Climate emergency radio relay

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We have a climate emergency, but no one is reporting or acting on the facts. What are we going to do?

Inspired by American presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ call for a World War II mobilisation, we started asking a row of Australian leaders this question. Their reply was not to look towards the politicians, but towards the people. Politicians will not lead with action until the public is aware, accepts the truth, and demands urgent action.

So we started asking: Who will be able to be that ‘Climate-Churchill’ for Australia who is able to do what Churchill did at his time for the United Kingdom and its allies: uniting and mobilising everyone to take action against the threat.


The Sustainable Hour’s climate emergency ‘radio relay baton’ has so far gone from:

[1] David Spratt – science author, co-author of Climate Code Red – and:
[2] Bernie Sanders – American presidential candidate – to:
[3] Ian Dunlop – former coal executive – to:
[4] Peter Rae – former Liberal senator – to:
[5] Christine Milne – former Greens senator – to:
[6] Carmen Lawrence – former Western Australia premier – to:
[7] Simon Sheikh – Future Super CEO, former GetUp! leader – to:
[8] Rob Oakeshott – independent politician

Who will be next? A media representative? A director at the ABC or SBS? The editor-in-chief at The Age?

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Welcome to The Churchillian Challenge radio relay




Rob Oakeshott

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In The Sustainable Hour on 2 November 2016 we called the independent politician Rob Oakeshott. He suggested to engage the ‘Captains of Industry’, the business community, to be advocates for climate action. If we are able to reposition the perception of the business industry, you will find that there are many leaders who are ready to speak up about the climate emergency, Oakeshott suggested.


» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with Rob Oakeshott

“Political leadership fails by ignoring Pacific Island neighbours who are moving schools, houses, and at times entire villages due to the emergency of climate change. This is happening right now. All at the indulgence of those stuck in a debate focused more on power and money than logic and evidence.”
Rob Oakeshott





Simon Sheikh

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In The Sustainable Hour on 7 September 2016 we called the former GetUp! leader, today CEO of Future Super, Simon Sheikh. He talked about the climate emergency petition as an incubator for initiatives such as a climate emergency fund and a coalition of climate emergency mobilisers.


» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with Simon Sheikh

“The point is not the petition in itself, it is who you connect with during the campaign.”
Simon Sheikh





Carmen Lawrence

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In The Sustainable Hour on 6 July 2016 we called the former premier of Western Australia, Carmen Lawrence. She stressed that in the absence of activity from governments nationally, locally and internationally, we are not likely to solve this problem.


» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with Carmen Lawrence

“We are inherently egocentric, as a species, but if we focus on the health effects [of climate change] and draw them to people’s attention, then we may be getting better results than we are getting at the moment. One of the ways that we can get people to think about climate change as an emergency is to focus on the impact on human beings. We should focus on all those things that people really care about – themselves, their health, their family, their community – and try and draw out for them what will happen if they don’t act, and how things can be made better. Constructing the climate emergency in terms of its effect on human beings more than, in a sense, its effect on the ice flow in the Antarctic. These are things that are remote for many people’s experience, but they do understand the effects of the extreme weather events, for example, on communities. They do understand what happens when there is a draught and when there is competition for resources. So, let’s focus on those things and make sure people understand how potentially dire circumstances are, but equally, how much it is possible to act to change these things.”
Carmen Lawrence





Christine Milne

Christine Milne
In The Sustainable Hour on 15 June 2016 we called the former Greens senator Christine Milne. She said we need to depoliticise the climate emergency and recommended to focus at the community level.


» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with Christine Milne

“We are in an emergency, and I think that the more we can use that word the better. At the moment, to a lot of people, that seems like an extreme thing to say, but it is actually an acknowledgement of the physical reality.”
Christine Milne





Peter Rae

Peter Rae
In The Sustainable Hour on 4 May 2016 we called the former Liberal senator Peter Rae. He said we need an education program, but this requires the media to be able to inform people accurately what the facts are and what the solutions are. So he advised us to get the media involved.


» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with Peter Rae

“We need an education program. This requires the media to be able to inform people accurately what the facts are, and what the solutions are.”
Peter Rae





Ian Dunlop

Ian Dunlop
In The Sustainable Hour on 20 April 2016 we called former coal executive Ian Dunlop to hear what he thought of Bernie Sanders’ statements.


» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with Ian Dunlop

“We’re being taken for fools by the political system. Politics is broken in this country. Money has stopped the real issues being addressed. This is not a left or right wing political issue. This is an existential issue. If we don’t get it right, we all have a very big problem. What we need is a Government of National Unity. The main environmental groups are not honest about the problem. The NGOs are as much a part of the failure as anybody else.”
Ian Dunlop





Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders
In The Sustainable Hour on 20 April 2016 we listened to the American presidential candidate Bernie Sanders talk about the climate emergency in front of CNN’s tv-cameras and a cheering audience. Never before heard: a politician in an election campaign speaking out like that?!


» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with Bernie Sanders

“We have a global crisis. Pope Francis reminded us that we are on a suicide course. … This is a difference between understanding that we have a crisis of historical consequence here, and incrementalism and those little steps are not enough. Not right now. Not on climate change.”
Bernie Sanders





David Spratt

David Spratt
In The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 23 March 2016, we interviewed author David Spratt about his new paper about the climate emergency, titled ‘Climate Reality Check’.


» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with David Spratt

“The unprecedented rate of global warming is melting the polar ice caps, raising sea levels and undermining food and water security for many of the world’s peoples. Action has been too slow, because economics has trumped physics. Now emergency action is the only rational response.”
David Spratt




» More about Churchill:
Winston Churchill: There is one bond which unites us all





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The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse has signed and supports the Climate Emergency Declaration Petition


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1 comment for “Climate emergency radio relay

  1. 11 November 2016 at 13:30

    I think we are heading into a perfect storm. It’s been brewing for the last 35 years with neoliberal ideology gripping politicians in all western nations and in most of the rest too (and is strongly held by our federal government today).
    The result has been growing inequality and therefore growing anger and confusion in societies.
    On top of that we have climate change coming as a consequence if our success with fossil fuels. Climate change will lead to environmental changes that will lead to increasing food problems and stress the health of all peoples. And finally we have a political class that lives in the past without realising that they have lost touch with reality.
    And we are electing rather frightening people into positions of power.

    There are a number of vital things we should be doing to avert this storm such as end the ability of business to buy political decisions, mitigate climate change, increase agricultural research to provide a better and more sustainable national diet. Educate the population and negotiate a more inclusive foreign policy.

    Plenty to do but I think the world will slip into a nuclear war… one way to reduce carbon emissions but hardly the best especially for the billions who will suffer and die.

    Let’s avoid the storm or at least lesson it’s impact. First by seriously mitigating climate change. Second by selecting far sighted politicians (and make political donations … bribery illegal) : educate people. And finally: Listen to experts and take advice from reliable fact based research.

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