The Sustainable Hour about energy democracy

On 26 February 2013, The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse was all about energy: community-powered energy and the shift from using coal and gas to solar and wind.

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We live in a democracy. But… how democratic are our energy structures? Do we have any real choices – or are we living in an energy dictatorship?

Some people say ‘Yes we are!’ and want to revolt against that regime, because that energy we are being provided with from central power plants is generated by burning fossil fuels. As scientists keep warning us that this ongoing pollution of the atmosphere changes our climate and threatens the future of children and grandchildren in dramatic ways, and since governments currently aren’t willing to create that change, communities are stepping in and doing it themselves. Kirsten Hasberg brings examples of this from Germany.

The future of energy is to harness sunbeams, wind blowing and river-water on the move. On 21 February 2014, The Sustainable Hour made an expedition to Melbourne to witness the world premiere of a film with exactly that title: ‘The Future of Energy’. More about this below.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 14:


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


» Subscribe to ‘The Sustainable Hour’ podcast — via iTunes or via your own podcast/RSS software



Guest in the studio:
Kirsten Hasberg, executive producer of ‘The Future of Energy’

Prerecorded interviews:
Theo Badashi, film director, ‘The Future of Energy – a love story about the renewable energy revolution’
Margaret Hender, chairperson, CORENA Fund.
CORENA is the short name for Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia. The interview was conducted by the ‘Barometer’ program on Radio Adelaide.

Prerecorded live performance:
Matt Wicking, musician, member of Green Music Australia


Audio excerpts from the programme

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Audio excerpt 1:
Theo Badashi, advocate and writer, ‘The Future of Energy’ documentary film



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

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World premiere: ‘The Future of Energy’
The film ‘The Future of Energy – Lateral Power to the People’, a love story about the renewable energy revolution, premiered at the Transitions Film Festival in Melbourne in Cinema Nova on Friday 21 February 2014.

» Home page of the film: www.thefutureofenergy.org


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Margaret Hender. Photo by Michael Kubler
Margaret Hender. Photo by Michael Kubler

Audio excerpt 2:
Margaret Hender:

The interview was conducted by the ‘Barometer’ program on Radio Adelaide.


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

» Home page: www.corenafund.org.au

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Mentioned in the programme

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Here’s the links to some of the various topics we talked about:

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Geelong’s Environmental Management Strategy 2013-2017
Until 28 February 2014, the City of Greater Geelong is seeking comment for its draft Environmental Management Strategy 2013-2017.

Trawling through strategic documents is most likely not everyone’s idea of fun but this document will inform City of Greater Geelong’s response to many environmental issues over the next four years, and it is vital that concerned individuals scrutinise it carefully.

» Read more and send your feedback to Council before 28 February 2014 on: www.geelongaustralia.com.au

» Listen to The Sustainable Hour where manager of the council’s environment unit Rod Thomas talks about Geelong’s new environment strategy: http://climatesafety.info/?p=6148

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Renewable energy target
The Renewable Energy Target scheme encourages investment in renewable energy by requiring electricity retail companies to purchase a certain amount of renewable energy each year. By the year 2020, at least 20% of electricity must come from renewable resources.

The Australian government has taken the target up for review and has appointed Dick Warburton, allegedly a ‘climate change denier’, to head the review panel. Panel member Shirley In’t Veld is a former Managing Director of Verve Energy who are primarily a fossil fuel generating business – 98.3 percent of their generation assets are from fossil fuels and just 1.3 per cent from renewables.

Yes2Renewables has stated that Victoria is at risk of losing solar jobs if the government cuts the Renewable Energy Target following a review of the policy.

A national survey undertaken by the Australian Solar Council found 81 percent of its member businesses would be forced to sack staff if the Renewable Energy Target is wound back or axed. On the other hand, if the Abbott government leaves the popular policy alone, 60 percent of the solar companies surveyed would hire more staff.

Analysis conducted by the REC Agents Association (RAA) found 12,600 solar jobs could go over the next four years if the Renewable Energy Target was axed.

» Source: www.yes2renewables.org.

» Friends of the Earth’s response to the review is available here: www.yes2renewables.org

» Taylor hints RET review will kill Australian wind sector: www.yes2renewables.org

» Federal politics – voting intention: www.essentialvision.com.au



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Clean Up Australia Day
Australians from Sydney’s Coogee Beach to the Railway Heritage Trail in Kalamunda in WA have created Clean Up events around the country that anyone can join. Organisers are expecting more than 7,000 to take place on the day. So join in a Clean Up Australia Day event near you. The big day is Sunday 2 March 2014.

Over the last 24 years, Australians have picked up more than 306,779 tonnes of rubbish on Clean Up Australia Day. That’s 306,779,000 kilograms of rubbish – six times the weight of the steel holding up Sydney Harbour Bridge.

» Find out more about an event near you: www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au/join



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Climate for Change
‘Climate for Change’ is a new initiative that aims to create a groundswell for stronger action on climate change through gatherings in peoples’ homes.

‘Climate for Change’ have taken the Tupperware party model of small gatherings in peoples’ homes, each of which generate further gatherings and adapted it to build a groundswell of ordinary people demanding stronger action on climate change.

» Home page:www.climateforchange.org.au

» Facebook-page: www.facebook.com/pages/Climate-for-Change/1438689356366984

» Crowdfunding campaign: www/pozible.com/climateforchange



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Alcoa to close in Geelong, future of Anglesea power station?
Media Release from Surf Coast Air Action about the future of Alcoa Anglesea Power Station
» www.surfcoast.airaction.org



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Utilities fear losing their monopoly

“From California to Colorado to North Carolina and other states, many generators of centralized fossil fuel energy are trying to prevent individual Americans from producing clean, renewable solar energy on their own roof tops. They would deny us the opportunity to participate in the greater goal of shifting away from polluting, climate-altering fossil fuels. There is a simple reason for the utilities’ action: They fear losing their monopoly hold on revenue from power production.”
Earthjustice.org

» Read more on: www.earthjustice.org

Renewables for climate safety
In Australia, the exact same ‘energy drama’ is unfolding. While half of the Arctic has already melted away and all sorts of dangerous climate tipping points have been reached, with extreme weather events costing citizens and societies billions of dollars already, (2013 gave us a world record of 43 billion-dollar weather catastrophes) we are just going to quietly sit back and allow this to happen?

Over the last 30 years, heatwaves in our area have occurred 17 days earlier, have become 1.5 degrees hotter, and up to 2 degrees higher, compared to 1950-1980. Extreme, over-40 degree heatwaves in 2009 and 2014 have resulted in 500 additional deaths from heat stress and related conditions.

Geelong will become less and less liveable as escalating global warming takes us to a new climate humans have never before experienced, with tremendous pressure on water supplies and food security. This is one important reason why we urgently need a big switch away from fossil fuels to a clean, renewable energy future.



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Mentioned in the news:
Hazelwood open cut mine fire
Current air quality in Morwell and Traralgon
This bulletin is updated hourly with information calculated on data readings averaged over eight hours for carbon monoxide and one hour for PM10. EPA air quality hourly update.
» www.epa.vic.gov.au



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Music

Music played in the Sustainable Hour on 26 February 2014:

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Matt Wicking performed his songs ‘Forest Fire’ live on stage in Melbourne.

» More information can be found on Matt Wicking’s home page: www.mattwicking.com


» Home page of Matt Wicking’s band The General Assembly: www.generalassembly.com.au




Matt Wicking talks about Green Music Australia:

» Home page of Green Music Australia: www.greenmusic.org.au



► We also played the song ‘Make a Noice’ by Katie Herzig



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You can listen to all of the radio shows in full length as well as in 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 14No 13No 12No 11No 10No 9No 8No 7No 6No 5No 4No 3No 2No 1 |




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