The new climate for consensus

An hour’s radio-podcast around the new climate for consensus among scientists, artists and politicians.

Our guests in The Sustainable Hour on 19 April 2017 are: Kate Ferris, ethics officer and co-organiser of the March for Science in Melbourne, which takes place on Earth Day 22 April, and as the Art+Climate=Change festival opens, we talk with musician Buckman Coe who plays his song ‘Down to the Frontline’, and with musician Catherine Meeson who will be launching her song ‘I Am – Song of the Earth’ to celebrate Earth Day at an event in Melbourne.

We also play a clip with New Zealand’s climate minister Paula Bennett from the National Party who gave a speech on 13 April 2017 as a united parliament launched the country’s first Net Zero carbon plan.

See you at 1pm at the State Library in Melbourne for the March for Science. A climate action contingent will be gathering at 12.30pm at the corner of Little Lonsdale and Swanston Street to collect climate emergency declaration petition signatures.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 165 on 94.7 The Pulse:

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 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Content of this hour

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




» Read more: Why it’s time to march for science



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NASA:

March 2017 fourth warmest of any month in recorded history

NASA’s global temperatures data for March 2017 shows the month was 1.37°C degrees above a 1880-1909 baseline, making it the fourth warmest anomaly of any month in recorded history.

ThinkProgress article

TOP 6
The six warmest months on record since 1880 were all in the last two years:

February 2016: 1.57°C
March 2016: 1.53°C
January 2016: 1.38°C
March 2017: 1.37°C
February 2017: 1.35°C
December 2015: 1.35°C

» Source: NASA dataset  (Note: NASA uses a 1951–1980 baseline)



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Government with “blood on its hands”

As a category four cyclone developed off the North Queensland coast, Adam Bandt said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would have blood on his hands after such extreme weather events if he bankrolled new coal-fired power stations.

» Sky News – 29 March 2017:
Bandt defends his cyclone comments

“The Prime Minister recently said that ‘keeping Australians safe was the highest priority and was the first duty of my government and every government’. We know burning more coal will make global warming worse. Scientists tell us it may mean fewer cyclones but they will be more intense when they hit. But on the very day Queenslanders were preparing for Cyclone Debbie, your Resources Minister dropped a front page story spruiking a new coal fired power station in that very state, and you backed him in. Given the destruction that cyclones reek upon our country, why do you push policies like burning more coal that will make cyclones more intense? Doesn’t your duty to keep Australians safe include everything you can to stop cyclones becoming more violent?”
~ Adam Bandt’s question to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull


Adam Bandt asks about the national security implications of climate change and whether public money should be used to subsidise Adani.

“Are you happy to use taxpayer funds to threaten our way of life?”
~ Adam Bandt asking the Prime Minister about the Adani coal mine subsidies


» Adam Bandt’s press release about the ‘blood on his hands’ comment that caused quite a stir:
Blood of future generations on the PM’s hands if he builds new coal-fired power station

“The truth hurts, but someone has to point out what pro-coal policies are doing to our future.”
~ Climate Emergency Declaration



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Net Zero Carbon in New Zealand

New Zealand’s parliamentarians are now working together, collaboratively and cross-party, on how and when exactly they will make the nation carbon-neutral.

Two-minute excerpt from Green Co-Leader James Shaw’s speech at the debate in New Zealand’s parliament on 13 April 2017.

“This marks the beginning of something new in New Zealand climate policy. The Vivid Report reflects unprecedented cross-party collaboration. It provides an opportunity for developing an ambitious pathway to domestic emissions neutrality.”
~ Dr Kennedy Graham, member of the New Zealand Parliament for the Green Party and Chair of the New Zealand sector of Globe


While the goal of the Paris Agreement is clear, how different countries might contribute to its achievement in the medium term, and the associated economic implications, are much less so. Scenario planning can play a key role. Vivid Economics was commissioned by a cross-party group of 35 members of the New Zealand Parliament to complete one of the first attempts to apply scenario analysis across the New Zealand economy, covering both land and energy, to help illuminate long-term low-emission pathways.

» More info on www.vivideconomics.com

» Download a 38-page summary report (PDF)

Debate in New Zealand’s parliament




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Having confidence in mainstream climate science

» Yale Climate Connections – 18 April 2017:
Changing minds on a changing climate
Reddit online commenters point to reasons they went from being climate contrarians to having confidence in mainstream climate science.



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‘Drawdown’ – new book with plan to reverse global warming

“‘Drawdown’ maps, measures, models, and describes the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming. For each solution, we describe its history, the carbon impact it provides, the relative cost and savings, the path to adoption, and how it works. The goal of the research that informs ‘Drawdown’ is to determine if we can reverse the buildup of atmospheric carbon within thirty years. All solutions modeled are already in place, well understood, analyzed based on peer-reviewed science, and are expanding around the world.”

» Learn more on www.drawdown.org

» Newsletter

Drawdown book reviews

“The book, along with an accompanying website, may be the first to provide the insight and inspiration, backed by empirical research and data, that could enable companies, governments and citizens to attack the climate problem in a holistic and aggressive way. Moreover, many, if not most, of the solutions can be undertaken with little or no new laws or policy, and can be financed profitably by companies and capital markets.”
Joel Makower, Greenbiz

“Project Drawdown looks at 100 ways to “draw down” atmospheric GHG levels, whether through emissions reductions or enhanced sequestration. The book specifically quantifies out to 2050 the GHG benefits of 76 of those interventions. The authors suggest that with those interventions we can begin to reverse global warming before 2050, even based on conservative economic and deployment assumptions. Paul Hawken noted in a recent talk that the Project Drawdown team didn’t “pick” these interventions based on their own assumptions and biases, but drew upon an existing “collective human wisdom” about what to do about global warming. He argued in the same talk that this collective wisdom is reflected in the fact that deployment of many of the technologies has already begun to rapidly scale.
Hawken also makes the case that until this book no one he talked to could list the most important options and actions for reversing global warming. Certainly, there’s no doubt that he and his team have put in an enormous amount of work to put together the Project Drawdown list.” (…)

“Is Project Drawdown really the first comprehensive plan for reversing global warming? Not really. There have been many studies that have laid out a plan or modeled a reversal of climate change in the 2050 timeframe or thereafter, from Paul Gilding’s “one degree war plan” in 2010, to WRI’s recently published Risky Business Project: From Risk to Return.” (…)

“Project Drawdown is an important contribution to our understanding of many of the “chess pieces” that populate the “let’s reverse global warming” planetary chessboard. I would suggest, however, that it’s a mistake to assume that Project Drawdown has divined all of the important pieces on the chessboard, or that the Project Drawdown authors have unique insight into the millions of chess moves that are yet to come.
Project Drawdown does present a “comprehensive plan for reversing global warming.” Let’s applaud Hawken and his team for that, but let’s not assume it is “the” comprehensive plan.”
~ Mark Trexler, Climate Chess Strategist, 20 April 2017



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GEELONG:

Coming events


Cycling Without Age information meeting

» Facebook event page




 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


Climate change morphing into an existential problem

By the Oxford Martin School and the Oxford Climate Research Network

With unchecked emissions of climate pollutants, there is a 50% probability for the planetary warming to cross the so-called dangerous threshold of 2°C by 2050; and there is at least a 5% probability the warming can exceed a catastrophic 6°C in about 80+ years.

For the bottom three billion in rural areas, 2°C would be enough to pose existential threats. With a 6°C warming accompanied by 10 billion population, loss of bio diversity and species extinction, we should ask: whether civilisation as we know it can be extended beyond this century? Is there still time to avoid such catastrophes?

The answer is Yes. But, we need to reinforce the technological and the market-based solutions with societal transformation. An alliance between scientists, policy makers, religious institutions and health care providers has a good chance to bring the needed transformation.

Presentation by Professor Veerabhadran Ramanathan streamed live from University of Oxford on youtube.com on 10 March 2017.




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Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: Oceans Warn, It’s Time to Listen


“Humans have emitted 1,540 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide gas since the industrial revolution. To put it another way, that’s equivalent to burning enough coal to form a square tower 22 metres wide that reaches from Earth to the Moon. Half of these emissions have remained in the atmosphere, causing a rise of CO₂ levels…”


» The Conversation – 20 April 2017:
We need to get rid of carbon in the atmosphere, not just reduce emissions



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“We need to reconsider what is important, what is worth paying for and how decisions are being made.

At a national level, why are we devoting so much public money to subsidise fossil fuels that are destroying the climate?

Why are most politics determined by four-, five- or six-year electoral cycles that suit the markets but not the long-term interests of voters?

Why do our economic systems make it cheaper to dump plastic in the oceans than recycle?

Why do traditional beliefs of some countries encourage the slaughter of endangered animals or denial of climate science?

Why are forests worth less than cropland?

Why do we continue to prioritise material growth when it increasingly leads to obesity, cancer, conflict and instability?”
Jonathan Watts, the Guardian’s new global environment editor

» The Guardian – 18 April 2017:
Climate change: surely the most important news story of our age?




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“Beyond disgusting”

“We are toast. Well, not anyone like me over 50 – but my grandchildren and any future generations. They will get to reap the consequences of what we collectively have done to the world.

Food shortages from crop failure due to exreme weather conditions, drought and storms, massive heat waves along with animal husbandry issues from these events, with increased disease and the demise of natural ecosystems that will devastate natural food supplies from fisheries to bees and the impact on drinking water.

This world will become a harsh and unforgiving place, and most of Australia west of the great divide will be unproductive and practically unliveable with temperatures in excess of 50°C for around 190 days a year.

So what are we planning on doing? Making profit out of killing our children’s future world. We are beyond disgusting.”
MalloOut




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icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Podcasts and posts about climate change

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




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