Petition peak moment, community power and The Bentley Effect

Reports from a climate emergency petition peak moment in Canberra, a congress about community power in Melbourne, and from New South Wales where the so-called ‘Bentley Effect’ has been transforming local communities.

Welcome to the Sustainable Hour on 1 March 2017 where we interview
Steve Posselt, climate action campaigner and kayak champion, who handed over the Climate Emergency Declaration petition’s 18,000 signatures to politicians in Canberra.

• Brendan Shoebridge, director of the new film ‘The Bentley Effect’ which is screened in Geelong in mid-March 2017

• Dr John Merory, neurologist and climate activist
Rod Horton, energy savings consultant, NRGwise – attendee at the Community Energy Congress
Greg Barber, the Greens – talking at the Community Energy Congress


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 158 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: 

Content of this hour

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


The rap song we played: ‘Erosion’

Baba Brinkman: ‘Erosion – Donald Trump vs Global Warming’
Published on youtube.com on 19 January 2017.

» Lyrics and source


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Climate kayaker Steve Posselt arrives in Canberra

The Climate Emergency Declaration petition was delivered to Canberra on 27 February 2017, and this marked the end of a two month journey for Steve Posselt – 1,200 kilometres from Ballina to Canberra in his kayak down the coast of New South Wales. At the end of the trip, the petition had gathered 18,101 signatures – with the petition still open for signing, by the way.


The petition handover group photo shows a wide range of interest in a Climate Emergency Declaration and Mobilisation. This occasion brought together not just many sides of politics but also involved collabortion between the worlds of engineering and climate emergency declaration campaigning.

Holding the box of petitions are Adam Bandt MP from the Greens and Pat Conroy MP from Labor.

Two along from Adam is John Hewson of Liberal party fame. Between them is Adrian Piani, Chair of the Environmental College of Engineers Australia.

Also present are former coal executive Ian Dunlop, former head of Engineers Australia David Anthony Hood, senator Janet Rice, senator Lee Rhiannon, Gill King from Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, Lyn from 350 Eurobodalla, Steve Posselt and his wonderful Kayak4Earth support crew, co-author of Climate Code Red Philip Sutton, and some of the other local supporters of this campaign.

Congratulations to Steve Posselt! And thank you to everyone who helped along the way! What an absolutely amazing eight-week long event, and what a wonderful array of people collaborated on making it a success.

In addition to the stars of the show, Steve Posselt and his wonderful support crew, this far-ranging event involved numerous individuals, climate groups, Greens branches, Knitting Nannas, Climate Angels, a CWA branch, Transition groups, indigenous Elders, engineers, politicians, mayors, Councillors, people collecting petition signatures and others doing data entry of the results, people taking photos and making videos, promoting on social media and sending out press releases, and people organising and attending the numerous welcome events and the petition handover.

All this and more is covered in at Steve’s diary and at www.climateemergencydeclaration.org/kayak.

Prior to people starting to collect signatures for Steve to take to Canberra, around 6,000 people had signed. By the interim handover last Monday 18,101 people had sign. That is a massive achievement, particularly for a petition with an unprecedented demand – an emergency declaration and full-scale climate mobilisation.

As Steve said as he handed over the box of petitions to Adam Bandt MP, “This is just the start”.

We are still collecting signatures towards our 100,000 target. We’d love to build on the connections forged during Steve’s trek, expand into other networks, and see what we can all achieve over the coming months.

In social media, please share or tweet the following – or write your own.

» Share the group photo on Facebook

» Retweet it on Twitter

Bill wrote: “Perhaps what we need to do now is TELL our pollies that we have signed the petition. Suggested first-bash sample letter below. The more different and personalised versions the better.”

Dear Prime Minister Turnbull,
I have just signed a petition calling on your Government to declare an Climate Emergency for full-scale mobilisation to combat climate change. We have known about the consequences of dumping greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere for decades, but have failed to take serious and timely action to curb the practice. We have squandered the opportunity for a gradual transition to a clean economy and now only emergency action has any hope of preventing a slide into an unliveable climate on our planet.

The petition has been signed by almost 20,000 Australians – and counting. We call on you to end the procrastination and token gestures and declare a climate emergency as described in the copy of the petition below.

Yours sincerely,



» See story and tweets on storify.com/takvera

» Listen to 2XX’s (98.3FM Community Radio) 11-minute audio recording of the handover statements at Parliament in Canberra (MP3-file)

» Information about 2XX and the audio recording of handover-event

» Sign the petition on ClimateEmergencyDeclaration.org/sign



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Bentley Effect

Filmed over a five-year period, this film captures and celebrates what is described as the non-violent ‘Eureka Stockade’ of our time. When the Northern Rivers community found their home being threatened by gasfield industrialisation, a critical mass of citizens from all walks of life responded to the call. They led a massive social movement and a historic showdown in Bentley, outside Lismore NSW. What happened in this once peaceful valley has now become the stuff of legend.

“After following the build up to the Bentley Blockade from its early beginnings in 2011, I have the privilege of telling an incredible story of courage and heroism…”
Brendan Shoebridge, director

The Bentley Effect – GREENS Q&A
9 March at 6:00 pm
‘The Bentley Effect’ has its Geelong premiere with Q&A with director Brendan Shoebridge on Thursday 9 March 2017 at 6.00pm. The event is a joint Friends Of The Earth and Greens fundraiser.

» Book here

The Bentey Effect – Q&A SCREENING
10 March at 6:00 pm
12 March at 11:15 am
14 March at 5:45 pm
15 March at 12:00 pm

www.pivotcinema.com.au
Corner Moorabool and Verner Street, South Geelong

» Facebook event page

More information about the film:

» www.thebentleyeffect.com

» www.facebook.com/thebentleyeffectmovie

» www.documentaryaustralia.com.au/films

Brendan Shoebridge: This is a film that gives hope




. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Grassroots consciousness on what needs to be done

Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri, who was chairman of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at the time, said something wise and central when in an interview at the time he stated: “I feel you really cannot rely on the leaders, you really cannot rely on the nation states. You really need a groundswell of grassroots action and grassroots consciousness on what needs to be done. If that is happening, then leaders will follow.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Rod Horton: We must take the electricity grid back





Related article:

“A paper authored by University of Queensland economist Prof John Quiggin says the creation of the national electricity market in the 1990s has failed to lower power prices and improve system reliability or environmental sustainability. Australia’s electricity woes could be solved through a unified and publicly owned national power grid, a discussion paper has said.”

» The Guardian – 3 March 2017:
Public-owned Australian power grid could solve energy issues, paper argues
“Economist says national electricity market has been crippled by design flaws and a failure to take climate change into account”





. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Dr John Merory: Health impacts of climate change

Dr John Merory is a highly experienced clinician and researcher. Trained in neurology at the Austin Hospital, the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, USA and the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, he has been appointed as a consultant neurologist at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, Austin Hospital and the Royal Darwin Hospital.

In the interview, John Merory responds to a recent article on the topic of health and climate change – about the unacceptably high health risks of coal mines and the argument that health professionals have a responsibility to speak up against fossil fuel projects such as the Adani mine – written by Dr Kate Charlesworth from the Climate and Health Alliance.

As a neurologist Merory himself has been noticing the impact that climate change has on people’s brains.

“The international medical community is watching Australia with alarm. This month The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals, published a report about the giant Adani mine, titled: Australia’s new coal mine plan: a “public health disaster”.”

» CAHA – 27 February 2017:
Adani coal mine is a public health catastrophe



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .





. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .




100% renewable energy cheaper than coal in Australia

A new study by energy experts from the Australian National University suggests that a 100% renewable energy electricity grid – with 90% of power coming from wind and solar – will be significantly cheaper future option than a coal or gas network in Australia. The need for the Australian government to get realistic and ditch its love affair with coal and take action on climate change are increasingly urgent as the Great Barrier Reef endures heat stress worse than last year’s record-breaking coral bleaching event, raising fears the natural wonder may suffer another hammering.

» RenewEconomy – 27 February 2017:
ANU: Wind, solar and hydro grid cheapest option for Australia


“The race is over: wind and photovoltaics have won”
Study by Australian National University finds the Australian energy grid can be powered by 100% renewable energy

“It’s official: solar became the cheapest source of new energy in lower-income countries this year, giving both companies and governments alike another reason…”

» ScienceAlert.com – 23 December 2016:
Solar power is now the cheapest form of energy in almost 60 countries
“We just hit a major turning point.”


» CoExist:
Solar Now Provides Twice As Many Jobs As The Coal Industry
“The solar industry is adding jobs much faster than the overall economy, but still makes up just over 1% of the country’s total power supply. Clearly, there’s room for growth.”


Energy policy abused for political gain or distorted by vested interests

“The fear-mongering, misinformation and downright lies that have plagued energy policy in Australia since 2009 are rapidly unravelling, thanks in part to that now-famous tweet from tech billionaire Elon Musk.For the past eight years of the energy hoax, we’ve been fed two lies: first, that the global shift to low-carbon energy isn’t happening, or that Australia just can’t afford to join that transition; and second, that privatising state-owned energy assets would give us cheaper and more reliable energy. Mr Musk’s Twitter exchange last week with Australian software billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes helped punch through these lies.”
~ Rob Burgess




. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Energy justice

The ‘Energy Justice’ session at the Community Energy Congress in Melbourne was hosted by a group of Indigenous Australians and First Nation Canadians. It was an emotional journey that struck a chord with the audience. The appalling treatment of Indigenous Australians – not just in the past, but in the present – and the erosion of cultural values through oppression and repression, was juxtaposed with environmental degradation.

As one speaker pointed out: “We live in The Lucky Country. Not lucky for us. Our people are dying. The race is on…” One person suggested the system was broken: “They’ve got dollar signs in their eyes. We must stop those people who take corrupt money.” Another said things would be different if we tapped into native wisdom: “We wouldn’t be in the situation we are in on the planet, had we not forgotten the ancient principles of the indigenous people.” Fred Hooper, of the Murriwarri Nation, said his people were traditionally energy efficient by nature.

But things are different now. “We have to beg to be even a portion of the energy efficient people we were. We have a right to choose our path. We have a right to self determination.” Community energy is about empowering people, said Dean, and that brings hope to remote communities.”

Simon Sheikh – director of FutureSuper – launched the Future Energy Fund at the congress – and 100 people signed up on the spot. There was a strong collective anger in the city hall, directed towards the vested fossil interests as well.

» See more on the congress website: www.c4ce.net.au

» Stream on Twitter: #CECongress17

» SBS – 28 February 2017:
Indigenous communities turn to renewable energy to break cycle of welfare



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .





Tackle marine debris and litter at the source

You are invited to participate in an exciting project to tackle marine debris and litter at the source. The Source Reduction Plan workshop in Geelong is on Wednesday 8 March 2017.

As a leading expert in addressing the marine debris issue, Tangaroa Blue Foundation is coordinating Source Reduction Plan workshops in seven council regions around Port Phillip Bay in 2017.

Cleaning up areas like beaches, waterways, streets and parks is essential to reduce the impacts of marine debris and litter, but this is only a Band-Aid approach to what has become a major environmental issue worldwide.

“If all we do is clean-up, that’s all we’ll ever do”
~ Heidi Taylor, Tangaroa Blue Foundation

The only way of making a real change is analysing where the litter & debris comes from, and finding ways of stopping it ending up in our oceans and rivers in the first place – a Source Reduction Plan.

What’s it all about…

Join us in 2017 to help find ways to stop the flow of rubbish into Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra River. The hands-on workshops will include:

• An introduction to the framework for developing a Source Reduction Plan

• A summary of the top items/groups of items being found in each of the seven council areas (collated from the Australian Marine Debris Initiative Database, other local data sources, photos and local knowledge)

• Overview of the location and effort of clean-up activities

• Overview of the existing capacity and partnerships in each council region helping to address the marine debris & litter issue

• The latest news and approaches of tackling the marine debris issue using examples from around Australia and the world

• Using a partnership approach to develop a Source Reduction Plan for each of the seven council regions.


Who should get involved?

We are looking for a range of people to participate in the workshops such as representation from different levels of government, clean-up groups, the education sector, youth, environmental organisations, community groups or interested individuals, schools, businesses, associations or industry.

Registrations are open and it’s free to participate. Workshops will run from 9am-1pm followed by a networking lunch. If you would like to participate in workshops in multiple council regions, you are welcome to do so.

To see more details about the workshops and register, please follow this link to Eventbrite. If for some reason you can’t register via Eventbrite, please contact cluder AT sustain-n-able DOT com to arrange for an alternate registration method.

Once you have registered, Tangaroa Blue Foundation will be in touch to provide you with more information.

Carolyn Luder
Project Manager





 ADDITIONALLY: 

In other news

From our notes of this week: news stories and events we didn’t have time to mention but which we think you should know about


ATA congratulates government on solar feed-in tariff rise

From 1 July 2017, the feed-in tariff for rooftop solar will increase from 5 cents to 11.3 cents per kilowatt hour, benefitting about 130,000 households.

The Alternative Technology Association (ATA) has welcomed the Victorian Government move to more than double the minimum solar feed-in tariff in that state. The change follows findings by the Essential Services Commission (ESC) in its report last year on the energy value of distributed generation.

Damien Moyse, the ATA’s policy and research manager, congratulated the State Government and the ESC: “It’s very heartening for solar households in Victoria to have a government that is serious about renewable energy. Today’s announcement is a very positive move,” Mr Moyse said.

“We also congratulate the ESC for its work on the issue over the past 18 months. Solar households and businesses across Australia provide greater value into the national electricity market than the narrow methodology used to calculate feed-in tariffs up until now.
“The new feed-in tariff is closer to recognising the full value that distributed generation brings to our energy market, which is important as solar and other demand-side technologies continue to play a greater role in our energy mix.

“We’d like to see other states following Victoria and accurately reflecting the value of distributed generation through their feed-in tariff.”



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



» ThinkProgress:
Chevron is first oil major to warn investors of risks from climate change lawsuits
“Big Oil’s lies about the existential risk posed by its product are now catching up with the industry and threatening profits.”


Irresponsibility on a monumental scale



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


CALENDAR

Monday 6 March 2017 at 6:30-8pm

Speaker: Imogen Jubb, BZE – National Manager for the Zero Carbon Communities project.
Zero Carbon Communities is helping to implement BZE research in local communities looking to work towards zero emissions . Many Australian communities and Local Councils are developing Zero Emissions targets. With support from the Lord Mayors Charitable Fund we are supporting three Victorian communities, Baw Baw, Benalla and Nillumbik to develop 100% renewable energy transition strategies.
McCoy Building, Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2), University of Melbourne, Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton
Public transport: Stop 111 Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets on tram routes 1 & 8.
Entry to building is on south side of Elgin St up the ramp and through the automatic doors.
Entry: Gold coin donation
Everyone is welcome to come along to the pub next door to continue the discussion after 8pm
» www.bze.org.au/events



Wednesday 15 March at 5:30pm: Green Drinks with Geelong Sustainability – The Art of Frugal Hedonism at Beav’s Bar

Tuesday 21 March: Decluttering Mindfully: KonMari Basics at Black Bull Bar
 in Geelong

25 March: Earth Hour
, global event

» See www.geelongsustainability.org.au/events



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 COMMENT: 

A question to Westpac

“Given that Earth’s atmosphere is a thin, brittle, fragile layer of air that supports life and since coal, an archaic, inefficient form of energy, is fossilised carbon from substantial afforestation 300 million years ago, does Westpac comprehend fully enough that digging up coal and burning it in the atmosphere in large quantities produces dangerous CO2 levels that can cause foreseeable and unforeseeable changes to our climate, including trapped heat, that will adversely impact species on the planet, in many forms, and wouldn’t it therefore be better to fast track investment in safe, renewable and sustainable energies, including batteries, that will both advance the company’s position and put us in sync with necessary present and future action worldwide to redress the damage done rather than eke out flawed practices that caused the trouble?”

See also:

» The Guardian – 25 February 2017:
Taxpayers to pay for oil spill clean-ups under petroleum resource rent tax
“Treasury confirms companies would be able to claim tax deduction for expenses incurred from cleaning up pollution”



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 COMMENT: 

Technologies that give health and quality of life

Australia is a long way from anywhere despite globalisation. This has disadvantages as well as advantages.

As a disadvantage we have road and car fever. While other developed countries are moving away from diesel vehicles, and car use in cities, Australia is busy planning to push more cars into cities despite the pollution and expense.
On the positive side: We have seen very significant technologies being developed and improved here – away from multinational corporate control – such as photovoltaics.

Perhaps it’s time to emphasise and pursue the advantages of this dry sunny island away from anywhere, by focusing on projects and technologies that give health and quality of life to the country and its people.

Perhaps the areas needing most change are social and political technologies: how we treat people – ourselves and fellow Australians – and how we treat the country that supports us.

Many Australians seem to have the view that this is where you make the money so later you can go overseas to spend it. Why else would you put your money in Cayman Islands or Panama instead of investing it here to make Australia better for people and better for the unique and wonderful natural environment?

Strangely so many corporations pollute and destroy parts of Australia yet their executives and shareholders end up living here in the mess.

As about 99.9% of us are going to live and die here. Why not make the environment better and the people healthier and happier?
~ Quentin Farmar-bowers



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .







petitions-banner560px


icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Podcasts and posts about climate change

outback-fantastic-clouds560

Acknowledgement

We at The Sustainable Hour would like to pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which we are broadcasting, the Wathaurong People, and pay our respect to their elders, past, present and future.

The traditional owners lived in harmony with the environment and with the climate for hundreds of generations. It is not clear – yet – that as European settlers we have demonstrated that we can live in harmony for hundreds of generations, but it is clear that we can learn from the indigenous, traditional owners of this land.

When we talk about the future, it means extending our respect to those children not yet born, the generations of the future – remembering the old saying that…



The decisions currently being made around Australia to ignore climate change are being made by those who won’t be around by the time the worst effects hit home. How utterly disgusting, disrespectful and unfair is that?




Streaming live

facebook-square-logo2_300px

» The Sustainable Hour is streamed live on the Internet every Wednesday from 11am to 12pm (Melbourne time):
www.947thepulse.com – click on ‘Listen Live’

Podcast archive

Hours and hours of sustainable podcasts

Listen to all of The Sustainable Hour radio shows in full length and in selected excerpts:

» Archive on climatesafety.info

» Archive on cpod.org

» Archive on itunes.apple.com – iPhone friendly



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

Promote The Sustainable Hour

Print this A4-poster and put it on a wall or a board at your work place, a local café, shop or where ever you think there’d be people who’d find this information interesting. thesustainab_flyer200 Go to our Facebook-page and give us a click on the LIKE-button. Let the The Sustainable Hour’s listeners know about your green product. To become a business supporter or sponsor, contact: Liz Carr, Marketing & Business Development, 94.7 The Pulse

94.7 The Pulse

» 947thepulse.comGeelong’s Premier Community Radio Station

 

 


 

Receive the podcast in your mailbox

Apart from your email address and surname, all other fields are optional
 


 

The Sustainable Hour on social media

» Facebook: Overview of all podcast front covers

» Catch up on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SustainableHour » Twitter tag: @SustainableHour


 

Share on Twitter

» Share this podcast on www.twitter.com





Share on Facebook

» If you’d like to share this page on Facebook, then copy this link:

(First paste the long link in a field on Facebook, wait until the photo has loaded, delete the link again, and then press ‘Post’)


Share on Pinterest

» Share this page on

 

 

» More Sustainable Hour posts on Pinterest

» Explore general topics on Pinterest:
Climate ChangeGlobal WarmingRenewable Energy


 

“Participation – that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
Pete Seeger, American singer




One comment

  1. The world’s largest solar farm has just been built in China. Time flies: there is much to do and learn about the new less polluting world of renewable energy. So what is our federal government doing? Seems to me that they are closely examining the sand in the hole they have dug.
    Perhaps they are trying to dig back to the 1950s when coal was king….. oh that cannot be right because that was pre-neoliberal.
    I think our politicians just cannot be bothered
    Seems China can. Was the technology for these solar panels developed in NSW?

Comments