Climate change: made by man – or made by men?

The Sustainable Hour on 8 March 2017, the International Women’s Day, with Suzette Jackson, Ninna Katrine Larsen and Thea Ormerod – and rally speeches by Dr Kate Lardner, Wendy Farmer and Cat Nadel.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 159 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

“We celebrate International Women’s Day with the recognition that it’s not simply one day a year, but every day that women take the lead in protecting our communities, our rights, and our climate.”
Amazon Watch





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Co-host of the hour: Suzette Jackson

Suzette Jackson is executive director of Bioregional Australia Foundation and director of Innate Ecology.

Bioregional Australia champions a better, more sustainable way to live and offers membership, training and the One Planet Program for national and international endorsement.
» www.bioregional.com.au

Innate Ecology is a sustainability consultancy focused on strategy, design and research in sustainable organisations, communities and urban settlements. » www.innateecology.com

» Suzette Jackson’s LinkedIn profile

» International Women’s Day hashtags: #IWD   #IWD2017   #BeBoldForChange



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“Together we can change world.”
Ninna Katrine Larsen, founder and director of Reground



Our guest in the studio: Ninna Katrine Larsen

Ninna Katrine Larsen, founding director of Reground

In Melbourne alone, more than two million kilos of methane gas from coffee waste is released into the atmosphere every year. Reground is a Melbourne based business dedicated to eliminating these toxic emissions via the collection and recycling of used coffee grounds.

Having experienced the unnecessary coffee waste in the industry first-hand, Ninna Katrine Larsen decided to combine her passion for sustainability and desire to innovate by founding the coffee waste management company Reground.

“The Reground mission is simple. We collect ground coffee waste from leading cafes, repurposing it as fertiliser for community gardens and individual gardeners. To date we have saved over 15 tonnes of ground coffee from landfill and this is just the beginning.”

Ninna finished her Bachelor degree in Design, Culture and Economics at the University of Southern Denmark in 2012 and then moved from Denmark to Melbourne, Australia, shortly after.

» Visit www.reground.com.au or follow them on Facebook or Instagram

» Reground’s crowdfunding campaign: Reground Needs A Van

» Ninna Katrine Larsen’s LinkedIn profile

» Geelong Advertiser – 4 October 2016:
Peter Judd: Inside a start-up pitch night, plotting the next big thing

» Herald Sun – 16 June 2016:
Melbourne waste authority’s move to scrap landfills, boost recycling



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“Action is the antidote to despair.”
Edward Abbey, American author (1927–1989)



With us over the phone: Thea Ormerod

Thea Ormerod is a semi-retired social worker, a Catholic, a grandmother and long-time social justice activist. Her interests in the past have included refugee rights, trade justice, debt cancellation for developing countries and peace activism. Currently she is president of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC, pronounced “ark”). ARRCC is a multi-faith grassroots climate action NGO, whose main focus is advocacy for a transition to low-carbon energy systems and lifestyles.

Photograph of Thea Ormerod: by Sean McPhillips.



Nonviolent Direct Action workshop in Melbourne

Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and others saw that sometimes a situation calls for action rather than words. Many in the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change are feeling that now is such a time, so they are planning some specific nonviolent direct actions soon.

To prepare, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change is hosting some one-day workshops with facilitators from Pace e Bene who specialise in Nonviolent Direct Action skills development and the spirituality of non-violence.

“At the workshop we will review several ways we may take action against injustice, while remaining compassionate and nonviolent. This is not only about civil disobedience. You may simply want to learn more about civil resistance and explore whether or not you want to participate in some way. This will be a safe environment, with plenty of opportunity to raise questions and concerns.”

» Co-facilitators: Simon Reeves and Simon Moyle, Pace e Bene

» Date: Saturday 18 March 2017 at 9:30am for a 10:00am start, finishing at 4:00pm

» Suggested donation: $50 or $15 concession – but price should not be a barrier, so if you can’t afford this, please contact the organisers

» RSVP essential: www.arrcc.org.au/nvda_melbourne

» Read more and get connected on the Facebook event page

» ARRCC on Facebook




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“To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?”
Mahatma Gandhi, in Young India, 10 April 1930



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 ACTION: 

Hold the climate blockers to account

Why would anyone in their right mind vote ‘no’ to climate action? In 2017, it is simply unacceptable to vote against action on climate change. Never the less, this was what the Liberal-National Coalition did, when the Victorian Parliament had a vote on the state’s new climate change laws, the Victorian Climate Change Bill 2016.

“People are dying because of decisions like those made by the Coalition”
~ Dr Kate Lardner

On 28 February 2017, Friends of the Earth Melbourne decided to call them out in public, on the street in front of their offices, where Act On Climate campaigner Leigh Ewbank was joined by a number of climate action and health groups, represented – among others – by these four speakers:

• Dr Kate Lardner, Healthy Futures. » Share via youtube.com

Jarra Hicks, Coalition for Community Energy

Wendy Farmer, Voices of the Valley. » Share via youtube.com

Cat Nadel, Safe Climate Campaigner, Environment Victoria. » Share via youtube.com


We need all political parties to act on climate. Cutting greenhouse gas emissions and building resilience to the climate impacts that are now locked in should be support by all parties – as is the case with investments in health, education, and infrastructure.

» Act On Climate campaign Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ActOnClimateVic

» Act On Climate campaign hashtag: #ActOnClimateVic

“This bill is critical to protecting public health. We believe the Victorian public deserve to know how the Coalition votes on climate change laws.”
Friends of Earth Melbourne



“Matthew Guy’s decision to vote against climate policy and vow to scrap the renewables target could relegate the Coalition to the political wilderness. Voters reward political parties that act on climate and grow renewables. It’s a reservior of support that the opposition cannot tap with its current platform.”
Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth Melbourne



Dr Kate Lardner speaking – and how the youtube-video was recorded

More about the topic of climate politics:

» Blogpost – 22 February 2017:
Restore a safe climate? First we must restore trust

» Sustainable Living Festival – 17 February 2017:
John Hewson and David Spratt: Right on climate

» The Sustainable Hour – 17 February 2017:
Right on climate and fear of coal





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Climate change already affecting economic activity and human wellbeing

“An independent review of the state of Australia’s environment has found the impacts of climate change are increasing and some of the changes could be irreversible. The latest State of the Environment report, a scientific snapshot across nine areas released by the federal government every five years, says climate change is altering the structure and function of natural ecosystems in Australia, and is affecting heritage, economic activity and human wellbeing.”

» The Guardian – 7 March 2017:
Climate change impact on Australia may be irreversible, five-yearly report says
“Exclusive: State of the Environment report says heritage and economic activity are being affected and the disadvantaged will be worst hit”

First generation in an entirely new world order

“We need to make it clear to ourselves that the accelerating climate crisis is our all-overriding challenge, and our ability to survive as a species will be decided in the coming decades. We cannot avoid a confrontation with the powerful financial forces that continue to advocate blind growth and use of fossil fuels. We can build all the stormsafe dikes we like, we can put our faith in the invention of new technological miracles – neither of this will provide us with more than an extension of the deadline. We must think of ourselves as the first generation in an entirely new world order. Otherwise, we will become one of the last ones.”
Carsten Jensen, Danish author



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“The longer world leaders deny the existence of climate change to benefit themselves, however, the harder it will be to reverse the damage that humanity has caused the world.”


» Varsity – 10 March 2017:
Climate change: the biggest threat to the world
“We cannot ignore humanity’s biggest existential threat”



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Climate change: made by man – or by men?


Climate change was an executive board decision. Board rooms are generally dominated by male testosterone. Does that mean climate change is not just ‘man-made’, but ‘made by men’?

On the International Women’s Day we ask: Is climate change a result of genetically embedded ‘alpha male’ behaviour? What has got us in the mess with climate change are decisions made in board rooms of some of the wealthiest companies on the planet.

When would the climate crisis be worth a strike? Maybe on the day we realise that the climate change havoc which now confronts us and threatens our livelihoods – with all its destructive weather events, droughts and flooding, melting poles, killing of coral reefs, extinction of species and numerous other existential threats – just 25 years ago was a single executive board decision.

Shell’s 28-minute film ‘Climate of Concern’ which was made for public viewing, particularly in schools and universities, back in 1991, reminds us that the executives of Shell knew all about the threats of climate change back then.

‘Climate of Concern’ was unearthed by Dutch journalist Jelmer Mommers of The Correspondent. He also retrieved many other documents showing the full extent of Shell’s understanding of climate change. Since the late 1970s, Shell began sharing data on climate change with other oil companies.

Regardless, instead of responding to the threat, they decided to ignore it. And they did more than that. Shell decided to start funding denial instead, as did the executives of all the major companies of the coal, oil and gas industries. Their strategy was to delay society’s transition away from fossil fuels. The immense profits in the industry enabled their lobby entities to influence and infiltrate national governments to ensure that air pollution would continue not to be regulated or punished, and that their destructive, polluting business model would keep profits flowing for decades ahead.

Over the last 25 years, this game has been running quietly under the radar of media and public attention, culminating with the industry’s official hijacking of legislative powers in countries such as Australia and the US, where they are busy removing regulations on carbon pollution, restricting clean energy development, and boosting production of the dirtiest fuels.

» ThinkProgress – 6 March 2017:
100 years ago, Alexander Graham Bell warned us about the ‘greenhouse effect’
“Back in 1917, the inventor of the telephone foresaw a future where coal and oil were replaced by renewable fuels.”

“The oil giant Shell issued a stark warning of the catastrophic risks of climate change more than a quarter of century ago in a prescient 1991 film that has been rediscovered. However, since then the company has invested heavily in highly polluting oil reserves and helped lobby against climate action, leading to accusations that Shell knew the grave risks of global warming but did not act accordingly.”


When we talk about climate change, we often talk about it as if it was some ‘natural disaster’ or a freak of nature. In that way we forget that climate change was a decision made by humans who knew. And we somehow manage to collectively suppress that every year, millions of people around the world are dying as a direct consequence not of natural forces but of that initial board room decision.

For some strange reason not even the news journalists of our public broadcasters see it as their role to expose – or at least to inform and educate about – how all this is happening behind the scenes.

Would it be fair to say that the climate havoc we are now facing on this planet is the result of decisions made by alpha males in executive board rooms? Research would reveal that most of them were men, just like Trump and the entire team of climate deniers he has employed and appointed around him are: obsessed with making profits and growth with no regard to the consequences of their business.

Of the 1,940 rankings on Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires, women claim only 227 spots. Among the billionaires in this world, there are nine men to one woman – if that is any indication of where the powerful decisions are made.

On the other hand, not all climate criminals are men, of course. The Coalition recently handpicked Western Australian mining lobbyist Vanessa Guthrie to sit on the ABC board, bypassing the independent nomination panel – something which is allowed under the legislation but is not common practice. (Talking about fossil fuel industry ‘infiltration’ in order to dominate the public domain, here is a hot example of exactly how it is happening, right in front of our eyes.)

At the presidential election in America, voters generally didn’t seem to think Hillary Clinton would be much different from Trump as far as climate protection was concerned. And in Australia, we have the nation’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, who with a fortune worth $14.9 billion US dollars has shown the Australians which kind of wealth can be accumulated by fracking, digging and drilling for fossil fuels.

However, this year, on the International Women’s Day, a group of American women actually have called for a strike, making the 8th of March the ‘Day Without a Woman’ and calling out the link between male chauvinism, power, greed and climate denial.



“To fulfil the Paris agreement, efforts to combat corruption and climate change must go hand in hand. Corruption, in the widest sense of the word, is the glue that holds the “system” together, that ensures that moneyed and powerful interests are free from rules that are meant to hold them in check. It is why governments that pledged to make large reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions have been unable to meet their commitments.”

» Live Mint – 27 March 2017:
How corruption fuels climate change
“To sustain progress in the fight against climate change and corruption, environmental and anti-corruption movements will have to work together”

 ACTION: 

Women on strike for the futures of their children

Let’s face it: The climate havoc we are now facing on this planet has been caused by alpha males blinded by greed who don’t care and have no consideration for what the mess they leave behind them which future generations will have to deal with and clean up. It is time to take a clear stand against greed and exploitation. The organisers of the strike wrote:

“In the spirit of women and their allies coming together for love and liberation, we offer A Day Without A Woman. We ask: do businesses support our communities, or do they drain our communities? Do they strive for gender equity or do they support the policies and leaders that perpetuate oppression? Do they align with a sustainable environment or do they profit off destruction and steal the futures of our children? We saw what happened when millions of us stood together in January, and now we know that our army of love greatly outnumbers the army of fear, greed and hatred. On 8th of March, International Women’s Day, let’s unite again in our communities for A Day Without a Woman.”

» AL.com – 15 February 2017:
‘Day Without a Woman’ strike set for March 8, Women’s March organizers announce

» www.twitter.com/womensmarch

» www.womensmarch.com




 RESEARCH: 

Men leave a bigger carbon footprint than women

The effects of climate change are gendered, and so too are its causes and potential solutions.

Do men and women think differently about how we pollute and destroy our safe climate? And if they do, what does this mean when we talk about how to find solutions? What is it going to take before consideration for future generations becomes part of the equation in businesses and parliaments?

Here is some of what the research tells us:

“With lesser financial means, it will be harder for women to recover from damage to their homes from extreme weather events driven by global warming, such as flooding, droughts or bushfires,” Senator Waters told ABC News. “Tragically, the incidence of family violence can increase in the wake of traumatic events such as serious natural disasters. For example, in the wake of the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria.”

A study from the Swedish Defence Research Agency showed that in some regions — they looked at Germany and Norway — differences in consumption rates were not as pronounced, but even so, men consumed more energy (8 per cent and 6 per cent respectively).

They found significantly larger differences in the two other countries they studied, Greece and Sweden (39 per cent and 22 per cent respectively). The men’s bigger carbon footprint was due to their greater tendency to travel by car, go out for meals, and consume alcohol and tobacco products.

In terms of climate solutions, men were more likely to prefer ‘end-of-pipe’ answers, that is, where problems were addressed by radical technological responses that may be risky.

» ABC – 20 June 2016:
Election 2016: Climate change – an election priority for women
“Women care more about addressing climate change than men, doubtless because they suffer more from its effects, writes Erin Stewart.”


 RESEARCH: 

Women more concerned about climate change than men

A Climate Institute poll in 2014 found that a growing number of Australians want the nation to lead on finding solutions to climate change: 64% of women want Australia to be a climate action leader compared to 58% of men.

The NSW ‘Who Cares About the Environment in 2012?’ survey suggested that:
• Women (75%) are more likely than men (67%) to be concerned about environmental problems
• On average, women undertake more environmental activities more often than men
• Women decide on 85% of household purchases, so there is inherent power to lead change

» Mehreen Faruqi: Women and climate change





Unconstrained greed

Greed could be argued to be part of ‘human nature’. Religion and religious morals functioned as a way to hold those primal instincts of ours – greed, violence and abuse – under a certain level of constraint and control. But in society today, with Trump as a banner-carrier, we are more and more seeing a tendency that people are saying “Just grab or snatch what you can, even you have to lie, steal and pollute with dramatic consequences for other people – including generations following after yours – and if you get away with it unpunished, then that is a good thing, something to be applauded.”

Who is going to control human greed, when greed and climate denial has taken over our governments, and religion has been kicked to the corner? – as the world’s Catholic politicians did it, for example, when they chose to scrap and ignore Pope Francis’ encyclical letter, which called for humanity to come to its senses and make a full stop to the destructive air pollution.

Climate change accelerates instability in unexpected ways. Growing water scarcity, declining crop yields, and rising prices are catalysts for displacement and conflict, as witnessed in recent years in Syria and in the European migration crisis. The national security dimension of climate change receives little attention in Australia, but is the subject of intense focus overseas – particularly in the United States, as the documentary ‘The Age of Consequences’ explains it.

As the speed of human-caused climate change picks up, it becomes increasingly clear that the fossil fuel-funded disinformation campaign has helped delay action until the point where deadly impacts can not be avoided. Hopefully, we can expect more and more government investigations and private lawsuits into the fossil fuel industry’s role in this catastrophe in the years to come.

A group of state attorneys general, led by New York, said in March 2016 they would go after the world’s largest publicly traded oil company Exxon for allegedly violating securities laws by soft-pedaling the dangers of climate change and efforts to fight it.

» The Guardian – 28 February 2017:
‘Shell knew’: oil giant’s 1991 film warned of climate change danger
“Public information film unseen for years shows Shell had clear grasp of global warming 26 years ago but has not acted accordingly since, say critics”

» Global Citizen – 2 March 2017:
A Powerful Climate Change Film Made by Shell in 1991 Was Just Unearthed

» #ShellKnew


“The U.S. military intends to move forward with plans to produce or procure 25 percent of all its energy from renewable sources because they make systems more efficient, safe, and robust.”


» MIT Technology Review – 2 March 2017:
The Department of Defense Wants to Double Down on Renewables
“As clean energy and environmental protection look set to suffer under Trump’s budget cuts, at least the military will do its bit to reduce emissions.”



“The top eight companies account for 20 percent of world carbon emissions from fossil fuels and cement production since the Industrial Revolution.”

» Science – 25 August 2016:
Just 90 companies are to blame for most climate change, this ‘carbon accountant’ says



Executive decisions on coal

More than 2,400 coal-fired power stations are under construction or being planned around the world, a study has revealed two weeks after Britain pledged to stop burning coal. The new plants will emit 6.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and undermine the efforts at the Paris climate conference to limit global warming to 2°C. China is building 368 plants and planning a further 803.

» The Times – 2 December 2015:
2,500 new coal plants will thwart any Paris pledges



Decisions made in Australian bank board rooms – still today

The four biggest Australian banks – ANZ, NAB, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac – provided three times more for non-renewable than clean energy projects in 2016, says Market Forces. Last year ANZ, CommBank, NAB and Westpac collectively loaned $10 billion to the coal, oil and gas sectors.

This is absolutely unacceptable, given that in late 2015, all four of the major banks committed to supporting the goal of holding global warming to less than two degrees Celsius.

[See Commonwealth Bank’s response to this below on this page, in the comments area.]

» The Guardian – 6 March 2017:
Big Australian banks invest $7bn more in fossil fuels than renewables, says report


Take action – Put your bank on notice!

In three simple steps, you can join thousands of customers working with us to ensure the big banks stop funding dirty fossil fuels

“Dear [name of your bank]
I believe in protecting and improving our natural environment and as a customer, I expect the same from the bank that has custody of my money.

The expansion of the fossil fuel industry in Australia is threatening our land and water resources, people’s health and parts of our natural environment, including iconic sites such as the Great Barrier Reef.

Furthermore, the world is at a point where we need to rapidly transition away from polluting fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy if we are to avoid runaway climate change. Any new loans to coal and gas projects represent a massive risk to our prospects of keeping global warming to within manageable limits and delay the necessary action required.

Thousands of customers have been leaving the major banks because of your heavy investment in the fossil fuel sector, and moving to banks that are not supporting these environmentally damaging projects. I may soon join them.

I want you to unequivocally rule out future loans to coal and gas mining, transport and export projects. I want you to make this commitment directly to me, as well as publicly. If you do not make this commitment, I will be forced to close my account with you and take my money to a bank that won’t use it to finance the expansion of the fossil fuel industry, climate change and environmental destruction.

I look forward to hearing back from you very soon.”

» Send your letter via www.marketforces.org.au/2016lending







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Australia backs bigger subsidies to new coal mines

By Dr Richard Denniss, Chief Economist, The Australia Institute

The Trump administration pledges to repeal the US coal mine moratorium, among other environmental policies, and Australia’s government is proposing to spend new public money on new coal mines and new coal power plants, on top of existing subsidies.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Resources are backing a $1 billion cheap loan to a rail line for Adani’s Carmichael coal mega-mine, to open up of the vast reserves of the Galilee Basin, one of the world’s biggest carbon bombs.

The Australian government also wants to give cheap loans to so called ‘clean’ coal power plants (as in, slightly less dirty), including through the green bank, which currently focuses on renewables and says it is unlikely to fund coal.

Australia has convinced the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to weaken its investment policies to allow it to fund new power stations, allowing it to open up new markets for Australian coal exports.

When the Minister for Resources was asked about a moratorium on new mines, the Minister instead urged new coal power plants.

While Prime Minister Turnbull cites Australia’s “vested interest” as the world’s biggest coal exporter, the Treasurer displayed government support by taking a lump of coal into Parliament to wave it around while laughing. The political signal is clear: Australia is contemptuous of world efforts to reduce emissions.

Understandably, Australia’s pacific neighbours are concerned. They are especially vulnerable to climate impacts and they have been the strongest advocates of a coal mine moratorium. The PM of Fiji has strongly criticised Australia’s “selfish” attitude over its coal mines.

With Fiji acting as President of the next UN climate talks, Australia and other coal-supporters may find their subsidies under international pressure.







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Trump’s fossil dynasty


“The level of complete corruption from the fossil fuel industry that marks this administration is like nothing we’ve ever seen.”
~ Bill McKibben, American climate activist and author



President Trump had the chance to fill his cabinet with the best and the brightest. In the past, cabinet members have been Nobel Prize winners, visionary business leaders, scientists, distinguished diplomats, and field-leading experts. This president is taking a different approach. Look at the track records of cabinet picks Scott Pruitt, Rick Perry, Ryan Zinke, and Rex Tillerson and you’ll see men who time and again have put the interests of Big Oil above the health of Americans and the future of our planet.

USA:

Bill McKibben: ‘Fighting Back on Climate Change’

American climate activist and author Bill McKibben comments on Trump’s climate policy in Real Time with Bill Maher


USA:

Task of climate deniers: Sway public opinion

“For years, the fossil fuel industry has worked to stir doubt about climate science, give credibility to climate deniers, and sway public opinion — much like the tobacco industry did with lung cancer. Pruitt has done the same. In fact, this is not the first time he has cast doubts on human-made climate change. In an editorial he co-wrote last year in the National Review, Pruitt said that “scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.” That is false. As NASA reminds us, 97 percent or more of climate scientists agree that burning fossil fuels is causing our planet to warm up. Just like the scientific community agrees that CO2 is a major contributor to global warming.

All this information is available on the EPA website — at least for now.”


» The Verge – 9 March 2017:
EPA chief clings to his own fantasy by denying overwhelming evidence on CO2 and climate change



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A declining industry’s desperate bid for power and profit

Duncan Meisel from 350 writes:

“If you’ve been reading the news lately, you have probably noticed a trend: all across the planet, a wave of right wing politicians with authoritarian tendencies have been rising to power — often using fear and hate to fuel the movements behind them.

And if you’ve been reading closer, you might notice that a lot of those politicians who spout hate also tend to spout climate denial, and keep close ties with the fossil fuel industry. This is not a coincidence. Right now the fossil fuel industry and their powerful allies in government are backing a global right-wing revolution in a desperate bid for power.

And to be honest, it’s been working. Sometimes it feels like we’re entering a dark age of violent, dangerous politics: corporate-owned politicians on every continent keep seizing power under dubious circumstances, and cracking down on movements who oppose them.

But ultimately all of this is a sign that the fossil fuel industry is going down — with a fight. It’s a desperate bid for power and profit by a declining industry.”

» 350.org – 9 March 2017:
In 2017, the fossil fuel industry is going down — with a fight



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One million women

“We are building a movement of inspirational women and girls acting on climate change through the way we live. Will you join us and be counted?” asks 1 Million Women, an Australian organisation which currently has over 300,000 members and is running campaigns such as ‘Start Your Low-carbon Life’

» www.1millionwomen.com.au



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Permanent fracking ban in Victoria

“We have achieved an incredible victory today. It is already inspiring campaigns around Australia and the world because it shows that the community can win against the gas industry.”
Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth Melbourne

On 7 March 2016, Victoria became the first Australian state to permanently ban the process of fracking to access ‘unconventional’ gas (gases like coal seam gas or CSG, and Shale and Tight gas). The moratorium on onshore conventional gas drilling was at the same time extended until 2020.







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» The Guardian – 8 March 2017:
Australia must put a price on carbon, say institutional investors
“Move needed to drive orderly transition to low-emissions power sources, Investor Group on Climate Change says”


New report: Mapping the Melbourne sharing economy

This report from University of Melbourne maps the services, networks and discourses around the sharing economy across Melbourne – a designated ‘sharing city’ (Sharp 2016). Furthermore, it contributes the first comprehensive listing of networks active and available to people in Melbourne.

» Read more on www.apo.org.au/node/74060


New report: How can education for sustainability create systemic change?

Wageningen Academic Publishers reports on an inquiry that investigated the current impact and how to increase the impact of an active citizenship education program that contains key elements of education for sustainability: imagining a better future, systemic thinking, critical thinking and reflection, participation in decision-making, and working in partnerships.

» Read more on www.apo.org.au/node/74181



The Daily News Wrap from Environment Victoria

An excerpt of Environment Victoria’s Daily News Wrap – a summary of news on our environment.

» Subscribe to the Daily News Wrap

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Men and women farmers in Benin are responding differently to climate change
[The Conversation]

The Conversation Africa’s Samantha Spooner asked Grace Villamor about her research on gender-specific responses by farmers in Benin.

Wind power provides half of the electricity on US grid for first time ever
[Independent]

‘Now we have the ability to reliably manage greater than 50 percent wind penetration.

Arctic sea ice could disappear even if world achieves climate target
[Guardian]

Goal of limiting rise in average global temperatures to below 2C may not prevent ice-free Arctic, scientists warn

Nearly two million children die every year because of pollution and unhealthy environment
[Independent]

‘A polluted environment is a deadly one – particularly for young children’

China pledges to make skies blue again
[SBS]

The Chinese premier says people are desperately hoping for faster progress in improving air quality and promised to address pollution caused by coal burning.

Lightweight thin-film solar charger is rollable, and includes a battery bank
[Treehugger]

These ultra-thin solar charging devices use amorphous silicon technology, which is said to be effective even in shady or lower-light conditions.

Leading climatologist urges mass protest against Trump administration amid global warming denial
[Independent]

Dr Peter Gleick says it is time for scientists to speak up about politicians who dismiss evolution, dispute the effectiveness of vaccines and otherwise disagree with hard evidence

Communicating climate change: Focus on the framing, not just the facts
[The Conversation]

Humans are currently in a war against global warming. Or is it a race against global warming? Or maybe it’s just a problem we have to deal with?

Pipe dream? China faces daunting task to suck in gas and wean itself off coal
[Reuters]

China has set itself a staggering task to cure its smothering pollution: switching coal-fired boilers and heating systems in at least 1.2 million households in 28 of its smoggiest northern cities to run on gas or electricity. By October.

Ethiopia looks to carbon trading as it gears up to be net carbon neutral by 2025
[Monabay]

Under Ethiopia’s Oromia Forested Landscape Program, the country’s region with highest concentration of biodiversity is on track to benefit from vital environmental protections.

Most Americans think climate change is happening – to somebody else
[Treehugger]

According to the Yale Climate Opinion Maps 2.0, a majority of Americans really do believe that climate change is happening. Even in the Reddest of states, it is over 50 percent and the national average is 70 percent.

This Republican mayor is bucking his party to stand up for climate action
[ThinkProgress]

Mayor Jim Brainard of Carmel, Indiana is not afraid to talk about why climate and environment should be Republican issues.

Analysis: UK carbon emissions fell 6% in 2016 after record drop in coal use
[Carbon Brief]

The reduction would leave UK CO2 emissions some 36% below 1990 levels. The huge fall in CO2 from coal use in 2016 was partially offset by increased emissions from oil (up 1.6%) and gas (up 12.5%).


Victoria

Hazelwood manager ‘devastated’ after telling recruits energy plant would remain open to 2025
[ABC]

Robin Warren even convinced his son Nathan to give up nursing and move interstate, just two years before the announcement of the imminent closure.

New station currently ‘unviable’
[LV Express]

The head of the federal agency tasked with financing clean energy projects has told a Senate estimates hearing that a new coal-fired power station would not be “financeable” unless the government indemnified it against future carbon risk.

Liberals, Nationals In A Fracking Bill Flip-Flop
[Vic Labor Media Release]

The Resources Legislation Amendment (Fracking Ban) Bill 2016 returns to the Upper House of the Victorian Parliament this week. After openly supporting an extension to the moratorium on conventional gas to 2020, the Coalition is now considering excluding it from the Bill.


National

Wind, solar to fill grid services as incumbents cash in while they can
[Renew Economy]

Wind farms and new solar parks in Australia are expected to take an increasingly prominent role in providing stability services as well as energy to Australia’s electricity grid, but it appears that the incumbent generators are not going to give up without a fight, or at least an opportunity to line their pockets first.

Climate change impact on Australia may be irreversible, five-yearly report says
[Guardian]

Exclusive: State of the Environment report says heritage and economic activity are being affected and the disadvantaged will be worst hit

Grannies protest Adani’s Qld coal mine
[News.com.au]

Queensland grandparents have occupied the foyer of Labor’s state headquarters in Brisbane in a bid to stop taxpayer funds being loaned to the controversial Adani coal mine.

The case for renationalising Australia’s electricity grid
[The Conversation]

After 25 years, the promised outcomes of reform – cheaper and more reliable electricity, competitive markets and rational investment decisions – are further away than ever.

Interconnector would solve SA power woes, says TransGrid
[AFR]

State and federal governments should fast-track regulatory approvals of new interconnectors between states to help alleviate power supply issues and to help fix the problems caused by the high uptake of renewables like wind and solar, says NSW transmission company TransGrid.

EnergyAustralia and AGL back an emissions intensity scheme for the electricity sector
[AFR]

EnergyAustralia and AGL Energy have backed BHP Billiton’s call for an emissions intensity scheme (EIS) for the electricity sector to provide stability and certainty in the National Electricity Market as well as reduce the nation’s carbon emissions.

Wind farm near Jamestown approved with tough licensing conditions
[Courier Mail]

The Hornsdale Wind Farm 2 will be the first to have frequency control technology and will work with the national operator on a trial which is hoped will provide increased grid stability.

Farmers back emissions trading scheme
[The Australian]

Australia’s peak farming group has thrown its support behind a carbon price to fix the country’s energy woes, calling on the ­government to reconsider its ­opposition to an emissions ­intensity scheme in the electricity sector.

Drought declared as parts of Queensland suffer one of the hottest and driest summers on record
[ABC]

The Bundaberg region in Queensland has been drought-declared after suffering through its hottest summer since 1897.

AFL chief Gillon McLachlan to tackle wind farm in court
[The Australian]

Mr McLachlan’s stance against the project, which is expected to provide intermittent power to 250,000 homes, comes as he has committed the AFL to reducing its carbon footprint and encouraged AFL fans to “work together for a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable future’’.


Sustainable Living

Urban jungle: saving city wildlife with trees, green roofs and pools
[Guardian]

From brush turkeys to powerful owls, Australia’s rarest wildlife lives in cities – protecting it has benefits for humans too


Natural World

Plastic pollution toll on wildlife expected to rise to 95 per cent, G20 to hear
[SMH]

More than half the world’s turtles and two-thirds of some bird species along Australia’s east coast are being found to have ingested plastics as the toll from pollution mounts, a leading CSIRO researcher said.



The fine print
The daily news wrap provides a summary of freely available online content and news that relates to Environment Victoria and our campaigns. It does not include any content sourced from subscription based services.

This wrap is primarily a service for Environment Victoria staff who wish to keep apprised of the day’s environmental news and the media’s take on issues relevant to our campaigns. We extend this service to our members and supporters for free in the interests of keeping our networks up to date on the latest news. However, we cannot guarantee that every article on every environmental issue will be included in our news wraps.

Inclusion of an article in our news wrap does not amount to an endorsement of that article, or represent any guarantee as to its accuracy.

» Subscribe to Environment Victoria’s Daily News Wrap here





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www.powerforchange.com.au





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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?




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One comment

  1. I recieved this response from Commonwealth Bank:

    ——————–
    From: Sustainability < sustainability@cba.com.au>
    Date: 2017-03-06 23:09 GMT+01:00
    Subject: Thank you for your email
    To: mik aidt

    Thank you for your email regarding your concerns on climate change.
     
    Commonwealth Bank plays a crucial role in enabling innovation, economic and social development while supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy. We balance a commitment to responsible lending with operating sustainably to ensure we excel at securing the financial wellbeing of people, businesses and communities.
     
    We are committed to the renewable energy sector and have an unlimited appetite for financing commercially viable renewable energy projects around the world. We actively seek opportunities to lend to, invest in, and support innovative technologies and businesses that decrease dependence on fossil fuels and mitigate the effects of climate change.
     
    At 30 June 2016 Commonwealth Bank’s lending exposure to renewable electricity generation was $2.2 billion, representing more than five times the Group’s exposure to direct coal-related electricity generation.  This compares to renewable exposure of $1.4 billion at 30 June 2015, three times the exposure to direct coal-related electricity generation, and a year on year improvement of 63%.
     
    Since December 2015 our lending to fossil fuels (mining, oil and gas) has declined by $2.8 billion.
     
    Many of the renewable energy projects that we support are offshore, as the number of viable Australian renewable energy developments has been limited to date.  You might be interested to read about some of these projects in our Corporate Responsibility Report 2016
    https://www.commbank.com.au/cr-report2016/index.html
     
    Sincerely,
     
    CommBank Corporate Responsibility Team
     

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