Responding to climate change: introducing the ‘nanooks’ of Geelong

Okay. So the news is out. ‘Climate change – it’s here’. Front cover headlines. ‘UN: Climate change threatens billions of people’. For a day, the release of the latest UN-report gave climate change a comeback on the front pages of many national newspapers around the world, the Age included. So how are we supposed to respond to this?

In Geelong, a group of 10 young artists light up a projection-based show about climage change, a 45-minute performance about the polar bear Nanook who sets out to find out why the ice is melting, and what he can do about it. In The Sustainable Hour you are going to meet the creator of the show, Trevor Maitland.

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“The performance allows us to recognise we have a responsibility in our communities. And we can all become little Nanooks.”
Trevor Maitland


On 2 April 2014 in the studio at 94.7 The Pulse, we talk with two of our local ‘nanooks’: electrical engineer Tim Clark, and Caroline Hawkins who is an anti-coal activist in Surf Coast Air Action. They share their thoughts on how we deal with the climate change issues, the choices we have and the changes we need to make.

Tim Clark is renovating old houses and turning them into smart, energy efficient homes of the 21st century, while Caroline Hawkins is advocating for the closure of an old coal-fired powerplant situated less than a kilometre from her home-town Anglesea.


Guests in the studio:
Tim Clark, electrical engineer
Caroline Hawkins, Surf Coast Air Action

Prerecorded interview:
Trevor Maitland, creator and director of the show ‘Old Man Nanook’


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 19:


» To open or download this programme in mp3-format, right-click here (Mac: CTRL + click)


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“As an electrical engineer, I have always been looking at using this resource efficiently. I am amazed how much our society relies on this phenomenon to be produced in large facilities and distributed to the users. There needs to be a new view on how to create energy that is in synchronous with it’s environment.”
Tim Clark



Audio excerpts the programme

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Trevor Maitland 
Producer of the children’s production ‘Old Man Nanook’



» To open or download the mp3-file, right-click here and use dropdown menu to download.

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Trevor Maitland, 26, is an artist, a professional opera singer, a playwright, and now also the producer of a 45-minute visual extravaganza about climate change.


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‘Old Man Nanook’ – projection-based show about climate change

Enjoy this music and shadow puppetry show for children ages 9-14 about the last polar bear traveling to the very end of the ice to discover why the ice is melting.

Performed and designed by local Geelong artists and commissioned by the Geelong Community Foundation.
Featuring music, spoken word and projection – the work of Stacey Williams, Robert Smith and Trevor Maitland – the production serves as an allegory for climate change and the environment. Old Man Nanook travels the end of the earth to find out why his world has faded away.

Date: 5, 7, 8 and 9 April 2014
Time: 11:00am and 1:30pm
Venue: Courthouse Arts, corner of Lt Malop Street and Gheringhap Street, Geelong

Bookings
Available online on www.centralgeelong.com.au

A polar bear on Twitter
A polar bear on Twitter

Cost
A gold coin donation is request on entry, with proceeds going to the Good Friday Appeal.

School booking inquiries
School booking inquiries should be directed to Trevor Maitland, 3Mask Director on director at 3mask dot com dot au

Read more
» 3Mask home page:  3mask.com.au

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Community Forum on Sunday April 20

Surf Coast Air Action invite you to a public forum to discuss the future of Alcoa’s coal mine and power station.

Where: Anglesea Hall
When: 20 April 2014 (Easter Sunday)
Time: 2:00pm

Invited speakers will address the health, environmental and fire risks associated with the mine and power station. In addition, there will be presentations focusing on employment opportunities created when the mine and power station are shut down. Presentations will be followed by a facilitated discussion.

The Anglesea coal mine and power station was established by Alcoa in 1961 for the express purpose of supplying electricity to its Point Henry aluminium smelter. Alcoa has announced its intention to close its Point Henry smelter in Geelong in August 2014. In December 2013 Alcoa applied to the Essential Services Commission to supply electricity directly to the grid once Point Henry closes. It has since announced its intention to sell the coal mine and power station to an electricity generation and supply company.

The Alcoa power station in Anglesea is one of the worst polluting power stations in Australia. It is less then one tenth the size and output of Hazelwood power station in Victoria’s LaTrobe Valley, but it emits three times the total volume of sulphur dioxide.

Alcoa has consistently refused to upgrade this old, highly polluting plant by installing sulphur dioxide scrubbing technology. There is a long history of Anglesea residents enduring high levels of particulate matter and pollutants in their air. The continued existence of this power station and coal pit surrounded by a national park, within 500 metres of homes, within 1 kilometre of a primary school and next to the iconic Great Ocean Road can no longer be justified by the production of a mere 150 megawatts.


Surf Coast Air Action
» Surf Coast Air Action’s home page: www.surfcoast.airaction.org

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Not a common sight these days: Climate change made it to the front cover headlines. The reason was that another blockbuster report was published by the United Nations’ Climate Panel on 31 March 2014, warning us of the global scale of impacts from climate change.

IPCCreportWGII-cover“Surface air and oceans are warming, rain patterns are changing and there is worse, much worse, to come,” wrote The Age on the front cover on 1 April 2014. “The food produced by crops will likely decline. Sea-level rise will affect those who live in low-lying areas. Heatwaves will be worse, and will probably cause more death and illness. Floods, too.”

Tom Arup, The Age’s Environment editor, wrote that according to the new UN report, “in all it will be a less certain and more dangerous world, particularly for the world’s poor. Nor one we should look forward to. And the longer we allow ludicrous amounts of human-caused greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere, and the warmer the planet becomes, the more likely we will unleash these problems on to ourselves, and the more ferocious they will be.”

Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s response was: “Australia’s is a land of droughts and flooding rains. Always has been, always will be.”

» Climate change is here and the world is taking a turn for the worse

» Tom Arup, Lisa Cox, Dan Harrison in The Age on 1 April 2014:
UN climate report warns permanent change has already begun

“The reality is, cutting emissions will bring many immediate benefits for public health, as well as help limit climate change in the longer term. We can afford to do it but we cannot afford to wait.”
Dr Liz Hanna, climate and health researcher and President of the Climate and Health Alliance, 31 March 2014




“When the most trusted and authoritative climate science body in the world – the IPCC – released its latest report yesterday, we created a video to help our scientists get the message out. Watch the video and help our scientists spread this important message. Thanks for your support.”
Amanda McKenzie, CEO Climate Council



» Bill McKibben:  Time for climate scientists to go on strike

» If you haven’t already, then we recommend you give the Climate Council a ‘like’-click here:
www.facebook.com/climatecouncil

» Climate Councillor Professor Lesley Hughes is a lead author on the latest IPCC Report. She’s created a summary of the key findings relevant to Australia, available here:
» www.climatecouncil.org.au/ipcc

» IPCC video:  ‘Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’

» IPCC Working Group II home page:  www.ipcc-wg2.gov

» Open / download report:  ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5 (PDF)

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“Once at the centre of the UK’s wave of new oil and gas drilling, the residents are now turning away from dirty energy as they form their own renewable power co-operative, REPOWERBalcombe.”

“This little town said STOP! Now they’ve not only saved their town from fracking, they’ve got free energy forever. This is the future. The future is not in coal, oil or gas or even thorium and all the rest. There’s no need for any of that. Forget about big governments, it’s time for the people to take matters into their own hands.” (Facebook-comment)

People are finding documentary films on gas mining and fracking depressing, but what we should learn from Balcombe is that really, there is nothing depressing about being challenged and forced to rethink the choices we make. When each of us begin to actively make ourselves independent of gas, oil and coal – as the residents Balcombe in England are doing it now – then what first started up as a ‘resistance movement’ instead becomes a ‘solutions movement’ and an ‘energy independence movement’ where we build share-based energy projects for the progress and prosperity of our local communities as well as for a safer climate.

» www.repowerbalcombe.com

» EcoWatch – 28 March 2014:
UK Town Quits Fossil Fuels and Starts Renewable Energy Co-Op

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“At 92, I was arrested for protesting against mining. I’m glad I took a stand. The people worried about climate change have got to take action, because the government has completely ignored them. So I’ll continue to protest – I owe it to all children.”
Bill Ryan

 

“A real hero. Thank you Mr. Ryan. You will go down in history as a legend and a hero. Your children and grandchildren will be proud of you unlike any families of the current government!”
Pauline Koppel in a Facebook-note

» Read Bill Ryan’s commentary on www.theguardian.com



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Greener Government Buildings program axed
Meanwhile, our elected leaders seem to live on a different planet. For instance, the news came out this week that the Victorian Government has axed its hugely successful Greener Government Buildings program, which was on track to save billions of dollars in energy bills for taxpayers.

“Upgrades to schools and hospitals around Victoria, including in Frankston, Monash, Footscray and Geelong have now been put on indefinite hold. Communities around Victoria will lose out,” wrote Tina Perinotto on 27 March 2014 in The Fifth Estate.

» www.thefifthestate.com.au/archives/60739/



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Renew Geelong Picnic
Take part in an open air ‘renewables day’ in the shape of a public and free picnic in Eastern Park on Sunday 27 April.

It will be a good day for families, schools, businesses, organisations and decision makers in Geelong to meet each other and mark this year’s Earth Day and its Green City theme with exploring and exchanging sustainable experiences, ideas and visions, and in particular: solutions to the carbon emissions problem.

» Read more on www.thesolution.org.au/picnic

» Also check out www.earthday.org/greencities

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Music

Music played in the Sustainable Hour on 2 April 2014:



Melodysheep: ‘Symphony of Science’
Published on youtube.com on 12 September 2012.




Hungry Beast: ‘I’m A Climate Scientist’
Published on youtube.com on 10 May 2011.




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You can listen to all of the radio shows in full length as well as in selected excerpts. Use the links below. You will also find links to more information about the topics and sites that have been mentioned during the hour.

| Social streamHour no 19No 18No 17No 16No 15No 14No 13No 12No 11No 10No 9No 8No 7No 6No 5No 4No 3No 2No 1 |




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94.7 The Pulse

» 947thepulse.comGeelong’s Premier Community Radio Station



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