City looks its future in the eye – on Threatened Species Day

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Simone Boer and Tim Hellsten from City of Greater Geelong explain about the exciting ‘Our Future’ project which the city council launched on 1 September 2016 with an aim to create a conversation with at least 25,000 of the city’s residents.

Future Super CEO Simon Sheikh grabs our radio relay baton and talks about the climate emergency declaration and how it can lead to a climate emergency fund and a national coalition of climate emergency mobilisers.

PhD-researcher Joe Pera talks about the invasive carp species and a new virus which will kill it. The Sustainable Hour on 7 September, our National Threatened Species Day. More info below.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 138 on 94.7 The Pulse:

» 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



 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Audio excerpts

Three individual audio files with the interviews of this Sustainable Hour



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Geelong’s community conversation: Our future

Interview with Simone Boer and Tim Hellsten from City of Greater Geelong.

Simone Boer is Manager of Strategy & Program Delivery at City of Greater Geelong, and ‘Our Future’ Project Director

Tim Hellsten is Manager of Planning Strategy & Urban Growth at City of Greater Geelong

» Read more on www.geelongaustralia.com.au/ourfuture and below



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Simon Sheikh: Build a climate emergency coalition

Interview with Simon Sheikh, CEO of Future Super, former leader of GetUp!

In The Sustainable Hour on 6 July 2016, we called the former premier of Western Australia, Carmen Lawrence, to talk about the climate emergency declaration petition – and how to build more support for it. She stressed that in the absence of activity from governments nationally, locally and internationally, we are not likely to solve this problem of climate disruption. “We should focus on all those things that people really care about,” she suggested. Before Carmen, we talked with Christine Milne, with Peter Rae and Ian Dunlop.

In an interview with Simon Sheikh (click on player above to listen), we asked him to contribute with his insight on the matter.

» Read more about the climate emergency radio relay


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Joe Pera: The carp virus

Joe Pera is a water quality scientist working for WaterNSW, currently doing his PhD at University of Technology. He explains why your drinking water may suddenly be smelling of fish one of these days!

» Read more about Threatened Species Day below



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Facing mass extinction

“The largest ever analysis of 14,152 populations of 3,706 species of vertebrates from around the world showed a 58 per cent fall in animals between 1970 and 2012 – with no sign that the average two per cent drop in numbers each year will slow.”

» The Telegraph – 4 November 2016:
Prince Charles: I worry deeply that the planet is facing mass extinction




 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Content of this hour

Links, excerpts and more information about what we talked about in this Sustainable Hour


Take2: An important step for climate action in Victoria and in Geelong

The ‘Take2 Pledge’ is Victoria’s collective climate change action to help Victoria reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The Victorian government launches the initiative on 8 September, and writes: “To reach this target, and for Victoria to play its part in reducing global warming, we need to act together – businesses, local councils, community service organisations, educational institutions, families and individuals.

Some of Founding Partners that have signed up from the Barwon South West so far include:
· City of Greater Geelong
· Surf Coast Shire
· G21
· Deakin Uni
· Geelong Sustainability
· Surf Coast Energy Group
· Geelong Mums
· Fonterra
· LaMadre Bakery
· Southern Grampians & Glenelg PCP
· Southern Ocean Mariculture
· See who else has pledged

» Getting involved is easy and you can sign up and pledge to TAKE2 here:
www.take2.vic.gov.au

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‘Our Future’ – progress report

‘Our Future’ Project Director Simone Boer wrote on 9 September 2016:

It’s been an inspiring few weeks of ideas and feedback. We were thrilled to see such a diverse and representative crowd of Geelong community, business and industry leaders, coming together to share their experience and provide input at this vital planning stage of Our Future vision.

Following a week of thought provoking workshops with Professor Sohail Inayatullah, we are now finalising information around Geelong’s History, Geelong’s Strengths and have completed the What Makes a Community Great visual to use in future engagements with the community.

We have made a copy of Sohail’s slides available for your reference.

What’s next?

· We’re developing toolkits for your use when promoting the Our Future project to your networks and employees.

· We’re finalising the engagement activities and opportunities and will shortly release an event calendar for the project.

Please continue to share your ideas and feedback, via ourfuture@geelongcity.vic.gov.au or visit www.geelongaustralia.com.au/ourfuture for more inspiration and information.



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A vision for our city: The solution

“The solution is clear: cheaper, renewable energy in a fossil fuel free world. To become part of that solution we must all ­educate ourselves – along with those who are dear to us – so we can make the right choices.”

The short story in this booklet is based on an 8-year-old boys vision for Geelong. It contains inspiration and ideas as to how to get started on this collective ­as well as personal journey. It can be used to raise awareness and start a conversation about climate change solutions – and about the long-term future for Geelong.

» Read more about the booklet

» The vision – Introduction to the booklet



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National Threatened Species Day


7 September is our annual and national Threatened Species Day – a day which raises awareness about extinction prevention, and which encourages the community to help conserve Australia’s unique native plants and animals.

Threatened Species Day is held each year to commemorate the death of the last remaining Tasmanian tiger at Hobart Zoo in 1936. It is a time to reflect on what has happened in the past and how we can protect our threatened species in the future. A day to celebrate our success stories and ongoing threatened species recovery work.

49 new species were declared endangered in 2016 in Australia. Many species are tropical, migratory or previously poorly understood in terms of the ecology and distribution. Three species are in the greater Geelong district and include the swift parrot, Greater Sand Plover and swamp antechinus.

In 2014 the incoming ALP Victorian government made an election promise to review the the key law protecting threatened species in Victoria, the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act. Now, 18 months after this election promise, it’s time to follow through.

A report released by Environmental Justice Australia outlines what needs to be done to fix Victoria’s broken nature laws. » It’s available online here

Threatened species in City of Greater Geelong
Here is an overview of all known (including historic) records of fauna in the City of Greater Geelong which are considered threatened, poorly known, near threatened or extinct:

  • 84 species of threatened birds
  • 9 species of threatened mammals
  • 5 species of threatened fish
  • 3 species of threatened reptiles
  • 2 species of threatened amphibians
  • 4 species of threatened invertebrates

During the National Threatened Species Week, Environmental Justice Australia was calling on the Victorian government to deliver on its election promise to review the state’s threatened species laws and has released a report setting out how to do so.

» Environmental Justice Australia:
Weak laws the biggest threat to threatened species?



https://www.facebook.com/climateleaveposts/1766349633581850

Reflect: The disappearance of thousands of species

The Global Catholic Climate Movement wrote in their newsletter:

“In Pope Francis’ 1 September message ‘Show Mercy to our Common Home’ he said that “each creature has its own intrinsic value that must be respected.”  All of us probably know this, having had some kind of special experience when seeing an animal in the wild, or playing with our favorite pet.

Yet 150 species go extinct each day. In response to this loss of biodiversity, Pope Francis says, “thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us. We have no such right.” (LS,33)

Invitation: Take 5 minutes this weekend (or later during the week) to view this photo gallery of species which have gone extinct, or are close to extinction. Reflect on the tremendous loss of life and the consequences it will have for our current and future generations in light of the Pope’s words. Then pray for the courage of all people to look for ways to stop this mass extinction.”





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Media release:

Increased environmental protection for Ocean Grove

Strengthened environmental safeguards for vegetation in Ocean Grove.

At tonight’s Council meeting the City of Greater Geelong’s Administrators adopted the Ocean Grove Significant Tree Project, designed to increase protection for significant landscape character areas and vegetation in established parts of the coastal community.

The City’s Acting General Manager Planning and Development Joanne Van Slageren said in particular an endangered species, Bellarine Yellow Gum, would gain from the project’s enhanced protection.

Ms Van Slageren said there was a need to balance the retention of the unique character and feel of Ocean Grove with the tendency to subdivide and remove trees to fit large houses on small lots.

“Without this balance there is a risk that there will be continued loss of the characteristic vegetation,” she said.

Ms Van Slageren said changes to the planning scheme to allow for the project would not preclude all future development, but would ensure that new development reflected the special character of Ocean Grove and its remnant vegetation.



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David Karoly and Clive Hamilton:

“Why we can’t sign the latest Climate Change Authority report”

Climate Change Authority board member Clive Hamilton says the new Climate Change Authority report is “untrue and dangerous”.

“The Climate Change Authority report frames its recommendations around what is seen to be politically possible rather than what needs to be done to protect the nation,” said Professor Clive Hamilton of Charles Sturt University and Professor David Karoly of the University of Melbourne. Both are Members of the Climate Change Authority.

“As we see it, last week’s report from the authority is a recipe for further delay in responding to the urgent need to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.” (…) “We have been members of the authority from its formation and have signed on to all of its prior reports. But we felt that in good conscience we could not put our names to this one.”

“For three years, good climate change policies in Australia have been eviscerated by those who would prefer to do nothing. This is happening at a time when the urgency to act has never been greater and the rest of the world is pursuing a bolder and more determined path. All of the evidence shows that most Australians want much stronger action from the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and hasten the transition to a clean energy economy.”

» Their alternative report can be viewed at www.climatecouncil.org.au.



The Facebook page ‘100% Renewable Energy’ commented:
“MADNESS!!!!! This COALition government is going to be an anchor around the necks of all Australians for generations to come!
….so Greg Hunt loads up the board of the Climate Change Authority with his own board members – including some former COALition politicians and then the Authority starts advising government that their current policies are fine.
The SCIENCE is ignored and their recommendations are based upon “a reading from a political crystal ball”
This is CORRUPTION to the core!!!!
Australia is going to suffer the financial implications of these decisions for a long while into the future …. but Turnbull and his cronies won’t be around to suffer the consequences!
please SHARE this report widely!!!!!”

» Sydney Morning Herald – 5 September 2016:
‘Untrue and dangerous’: Climate Change Authority board at war over own advice

» Sydney Morning Herald – 4 September 2016:
David Karoly and Clive Hamilton: why we can’t sign the latest Climate Change Authority report




 ADDITIONAL: 

In other news

Our notes of the week: news stories and coming events we also think you should know about


Bipartisan Canberra

“The partisan divide on climate change is crumbling!”, writes 350 Canberra after Canberra Liberals have announced that they will match Labor and commit to
• 100% renewables by 2020
• 40% emissions reduction by 2020
• Zero emissions by 2050
Canberra Liberals are supporting the current world leading position of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
350 wrote: “Next stop: Zero emissions by 2030”. 350 Canberra’s response here: 350.org.au


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Humans in Geelong launch

Humans in Geelong founder and voluntary coordinator Jacqui Bennett is interviewed by Robert Hamilton-Jones.

The Humans in Geelong Facebook page – ‘Connecting People within our Community’ – was set up by Jacqui Bennett, a Geelong teacher who was inspired by similar pages such as Humans of Melbourne and Humans of New York.

The stories report on everyday people in Geelong who are taking action in a variety of ways, giving back and making a difference. This includes shedding light on causes, however small or obscure, that may not be covered in the mainstream media.

Jacqui and a few friends comprise a small team of ‘Not-for-Profit’ volunteers who aim to inspire by reporting on these ‘good news’ stories in our home town Geelong and the Greater Geelong area. They plan to launch a website soon to make the stories easily accessible to all.

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Circulate the news to others who would share the values of Creativity, Empathy, Connectedness and Engagement.

» Like and Share the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/HumansinGeelong

» Email story ideas to humansingeelong@gmail.com

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Climate


Faster warming of the ocean

“The speed of change in the ocean, such as the poleward range shifts in marine systems, is happening between 1.5 and 5 times faster than on land. Such range shifts are potentially irreversible,” states a 460-page study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature – produced by 80 scientists in 12 nations. Oceans have absorbed more than 90 percent of the heat trapped by man-made greenhouse gas emissions since the 1970s, and the warming is driving marine life such as plankton, jellyfish, fish and turtles toward the poles, according to the study released during an IUCN congress in Hawaii.

» Reuters – 5 September 2016:
Global warming disrupts oceans, seen lingering in the depths



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“Another cloud of preventable misery is gathering in our land and beyond our shores with the dangerous push to tolerate and expand coal mining and unconventional gas extraction. The reasons for political short-sightedness are similar to those that prevailed with tobacco and asbestos.”
Kingsley Faulkner



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» Download audio – and forward to where the interview starts at around 40:50 min

» ABC Radio National – 30 August 2016:
Effective climate change response requires major bi-partisan mobilisation, says Bill McKibben



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Government staff training program for climate resilience

The City of Greater Geelong is responding to a changing climate

The City of Greater Geelong, in conjunction with Loop & Co consultants, has developed the first comprehensive local government staff training program for climate resilience. The training is designed to increase staff awareness of the Council’s climate risks, including sea level rise and drought, and ways Council can plan for and respond to the risks. The program is funded in partnership with the Victorian Government.

A website training package has been designed to support a workshop facilitated by Loop & Co. Workshop attendees include the Council’s Engineering, Environment, Planning, Strategy and Urban Growth Departments, coastal land management agencies including committees of management and the Department of Environment (DELWP), and other Barwon South West Councils.

Please check out the video, which includes Geelong case studies, and do the short quiz to test your knowledge.

For further information please contact Burke Renouf, Sustainability Coordinator, City of Greater Geelong, on 03 5272 4877.

» CoGGresilience.loopandco.com.au

Making climate change adaptation come to life through stories of work by the City of Greater Geelong


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Good news from China and the US

China and the US are reportedly set to release review of each other’s fossil fuel subsidies in a “historic move” at the G20 summit. The cross-checking system between world’s two worst carbon polluters will be the first time Beijing has allowed another nation to review its domestic energy subsidies

» www.scmp.com/news



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Vatican urges boycott of environmental polluters

From tree-planting to boycotts, people of faith should do their bit to protect creation, says spiritual leader of world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

Cardinal Turkson, one of the Pope’s closest aides, wrote: “Pope Francis says it is up to citizens to insist that these commitments are honoured, and to advocate for more ambitious goals. He suggests that social pressure – including from boycotting certain products – can force businesses to consider their environmental footprint and patterns of production.”

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the Celebration of the ‘World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation’ on 1 September 2016:
‘Show Mercy to our Common Home’
w2.vatican.va


Dangerous fossil fuel pollution in our brains

Did you know that air pollution is a global health crisis that kills more people than malaria and HIV/AIDS combined? And now this:

“Many of the magnetite particles we have found in the brain are very distinctive,” said Maher. “They are very rounded nanospheres, because they were formed as molten droplets of material from combustion sources, such as car exhausts, industrial processes and power stations, anywhere you are burning fuel.”

“They are abundant,” she said. “For every one of [the crystal shaped particles] we saw about 100 of the pollution particles. The thing about magnetite is it is everywhere.” An analysis of roadside air in Lancaster found 200m magnetite particles per cubic metre.
Furthermore, said Maher: “We also observed other metal-bearing particles in the brain, such as platinum, cobalt and nickel. Things like platinum are very unlikely to come from a source within the brain. It is a bit of an indicator of a [vehicle] catalytic converter source.”

You’d think that the climate science deniers and the fossil fuel lobby might find this new research a bit more difficult to argue against. It is time to end our addiction to fossil fuels.




Good divestment news


Sydney

“The City of Sydney is set to divest from fossil fuels. A motion to divest over half a billion dollars was passed unanimously – supported by Mayor Clover Moore, Labor, Liberals, Greens, and Independents. Great work to 350.org Sydney on this huge success!” #divest

Canada

Canadian Medical Association completes divestment from fossil fuels. The Canadian Medical Association’s General Council, held last week in Vancouver, may well be remembered as the moment that Canadian MDs made climate change a priority.

“We cannot possibly live, we cannot possibly survive, we cannot possibly thrive without a functioning biosphere. There is no question that climate change is the biggest health threat of our time,” Dr. Orbinski told the MDs at the meeting. The World Health Organization also has stated that this is “the biggest health threat of the 21st century”.

» www.nationalobserver.com

United Kingdom

More than 3,500 churches across Britain have moved their electricity supply to renewables, or are planning to do so, according to data released on Thursday 1 September 2016.

» www.theguardian.com

» National Divestment Day is coming up on 7–8 October. More below



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CALENDAR


PERMACULTURE FILM on Thursday 15 September at 5.30 pm for 6pm screening of ‘Inhabit – a Permaculture Perspective’ at Beav’s Bar –
Free (drinks at bar prices), all welcome!

“Come and meet other friendly like-minded people and see a great film. There’ll be time to mingle after; then it’s likely that some will go over the road for dinner – again, all are welcome!”

“Inhabit is a feature length documentary introducing permaculture: a design method that offers an ecological lens for solving issues related to agriculture, economics, governance, and on.

The film presents a vast array of projects, concepts, and people, and it translates the diversity of permaculture into something that can be understood by an equally diverse audience. For those familiar, it will be a call to action and a glimpse into what’s possible – what kind of projects and solutions are already underway.

For those unfamiliar, it will be an introduction to a new way of being and a new way of relating to the Earth. For everyone, it will be a reminder that humans are capable of being planetary healing forces.”



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Divestment Day 2016

7 October – 8 October

https://www.facebook.com/events/632679320242951/



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Make a submission today: Show your support for Community Energy in Victoria

The Victorian parliament is investigating community energy. It is an enormous opportunity to develop policies that enable local people to participate in, contribute to and benefit from the renewable energy transition through community energy projects.

From 2013-2015, policy uncertainty at a federal level led to instability in the renewable energy sector across Australia.

In light of this, the Daniel Andrews government’s recent announcement of Victorian Renewable Energy Targets (VRET) of 25 percent by 2020 and 40 percent by 2025 represents a welcome commitment to a renewable energy future for our state. Community members across Victoria have welcomed the initiative.

Government, industry, and communities must work together to smash Victoria’s Renewable Energy Targets.

Community owned renewable energy (CORE) projects are an important and growing area of the renewable energy sector. In Victoria there are currently six CORE projects up and running and 26 projects in the works. These projects support local, clean energy production and jobs, as well as deliver social and environmental benefits.

This parliamentary inquiry into community energy has an opportunity to ensure communities play a vital role in transforming the energy sector.

But the government needs to hear our voices calling for this. Call on the committee to thoroughly investigate best practice policies and put forward recommendations to grow Victoria’s community energy sector. Urge the committee to take into account the policy options proposed in this submission to deliver the best outcomes for Victorians.

Support growing community energy in Victoria:
» Send your submission here



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Letter: Get organized to stop climate change

4 September 2016

“The time for debating climate change is over and now we must move forward. About 97 percent of all scientists agree that our planet is warming. James V. Hanson in his book, “Storms of Our Grandchildren,” predicted we would experience more violent weather conditions, melting of glaciers throughout the world, elevated sea levels and record temperature changes.

Who is responsible for this, and can it be fixed? For the past 100 years we have been burning fossil fuels and producing heat trapping carbon dioxide.

Can this warming process be stopped? Yes, and we have the know-how and the tools to accomplish it. First we must break the quid pro quo that exists between the special interest groups and our politicians. This can be accomplished at the ballot box by electing only those who will represent the will of the people. At the same time we must demand that our political parties be reorganized so that they more closely represent the people and not organizations designed to create and hold on to political power.

What can one person do to help win this fight to save our planet? Join an activist organization, write letters to your elected officials and become involved.”

Robert Van Velkinburgh
South Ogden, USA



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Comment about the economic system and climate disruption

“The problem with climate change is there is no downside. I mean, of course there is a downside for people, millions will die, but there is no overall downside for our economic system. Melting polar regions means more resources. Forced migration means real estate boom. Less crop land means fewer gluts. Invasive species means new markets for pesticides. Attempts to save current coastal areas means massive civil engineering.

There will be winners and losers as usual, both corporate and human, but the system still works. I can’t see any discontinuity that would scare the system back from the brink.”
Olds88, 6 September 2016



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Love food hate waste

On 3 June 2016, Sustainability Victoria launched a new Love Food Hate Waste Victoria promotion that focuses on helping Victorians reduce their avoidable food waste by loving their leftovers, which accounts for more than 250,000 tonnes of household waste annually.

‘I Love Leftovers’ promotes using up leftover food and extra produce as one of the easiest ways for Victorian families to reduce their food waste, their grocery bill and their impact on the environment. As a follow there has been training on delivering the campaign to LG and Community organisations.

» www.lovefoodhatewaste.vic.gov.au



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Sing to inspire a positive future! 2016 GLObalvision Song Contest open

All members of the community, young and old, are being called upon to inspire change and celebrate their environmental vision for the future through song, with the 2016 GLObalvision Song Contest.

Supported by globally renowned environmentalists David Suzuki and Blair Palese the Contest, now in its second year, aims to engage, inspire and motivate people through song to live more sustainably.

“So much of the progress we have made to protect our fragile environment has happened only because people stepped up and demanded change and action,” explained Ms Palese, Co-Founder and CEO 350 Australia.

“We need everyone involved and to be empowered to bring about change if we are to have an environment that supports us all!”
All songs are welcome: in any language, originals or covers; songs about love; songs about the mountains, valleys and deserts; the birds, bees and fish; the rivers, lakes, oceans; songs about community and family; songs that inspire others to join in and live ASAP (As Sustainably As Possible).

“By celebrating the steps we’re taking, however small, to live more lightly on the planet we can inspire and encourage others to join us and do the same.” explains GLObalvision Song Contest founder Shirley ‘Baglady’ Lewis, veteran environmental activist, broadcaster, journalist and soon-to-be granny.

The winner of the 2016 GLObalvision Song Contest will have the opportunity to record their song professionally at Delta King Studios in Sydney whilst gaining recognition throughout the environmental and music community for their inspiration, leadership and unique contribution to living ASAP.

Entry is open online at www.pledgeasap.com/global-vision-song-contest until midnight on the 30 September 2016.



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