Key to our future: citizen-led education, life-long learning

Guest in The Sustainable Hour on 24 May 2017 is Dr Simone Boer, manager of strategy and program delivery of ‘Our Future’, the new 30-year vision for Geelong city and region which links life-long learning and education with industry and jobs.

We also talk with Andrew Gaines about Kitchen Table Conversations and his ready-to-use teaching tools to inspire commitment to “transitioning to a life-sustaining society” – something which he says each of us are able to do through our own initiative.

We play short audio clips with futurist Dr Sohail Inayatullah, Geelong’s chair of administrators Dr Kathy Alexander, the Australian Conservation Foundation’s video about NAIF and an excerpt from the documentary film ‘Guarding the Galilee’.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 170 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


Our future as a clever and creative city

In the beginning of the interview, Dr Simone Boer explains to us what being a ‘clever and creative’ city-region is about:

“Clever and creative is about life-long learning. It is around linking education with industry and jobs. It is around adressing any challenges within a region not necessarily in a business-as-usual approach, but having problem-solving at the forefront. Adapting to social shifts so that the region itself continues to thrive both economically, culturally, socially and environmentally. And it is really curiosity, imagination and innovation that sits at the forefront.

What a clever and creative city-region does is it promotes research, innovation, design, science, technology, arts and culture, and has that at the forefront. It is around anyone who has an idea and being able to push that idea out within that particular region. It also has a global outlook – very much globally connected through communications technology. Economically viable. Environmentally sound. Socially responsible. Utilising the latest in technology for all of that.”

Cover of Siemens’ sketchbook

» Download ‘Sketchbook: Greater Geelong: Potential Technology Futures for Better Living technology’ (PDF, 68 pages)

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

» Read more about the assembly and the ‘Clean and Creative’ vision here:
www.climatesafety.info/ourfuturegeelong2017

Dr Simone Boer in the Sustainable Studio

» The Sustainable Hour no 154 – 9 February 2017:
IT’S TIME TO DECIDE OUR FUTURE

» The Sustainable Hour no 145 – 31 October 2016:
CELEBRATION OF OUR CIRCULAR FUTURE – AND A THREE-YEAR-OLD’S BIRTHDAY

» The Sustainable Hour no 138 – 8 September 2016:
CITY LOOKS ITS FUTURE IN THE EYE – ON THREATENED SPECIES DAY

» Articles and podcasts about ‘Our Future’ in this blog


Future of our values

In The Sustainable Hour this week, Mik Aidt raises the topic of values several times – the notion that any vision about change and transition needs to also address issues concerning, for instance, lack of trust and inequality in the community:

“Fixing the ‘hardware’ – the infrastructure, our buildings and our energy system – won’t make any prosperous, successful city, if the ‘software’ is broken. In a long-term view, we need to look at our culture, our value, how we do things, how we educate our children.

We also need to look at how our ‘hardware’ and ‘software’ are interrelated. Just to give one example in the sustainability-infrastructural space: The extreme car-culture that Australians have developed since the 1980s, where the healthy habits of walking and cycling have almost totally disappeared, is part of the picture. It keeps many people locked in their lonely lifestyles, and as far as I can tell, cars in themselves could possibly be part of the explanation as to why Geelong has become such a fragmented community.

Abduction-fear-induced obesity and car-culture-induced lack of exercise represent major long-term threats to our children.
Mik Aidt

» Read more of Mik’s thinking and experience on this topic here:
What’s Geelong’s future? Here’s inspiration from Denmark
Restore a safe climate? First we must restore trust
The burning issue of culture change
Climate inaction linked to culture of cutting corners
Benefits from understanding the connection between climate and mental health



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 OUR FUTURE: 

The future of work

What is happening in the world of work? We are moving into new ways of working, and the whole nature of work is changing, explained Dr Jude Walker at a seminar on the Bellarine Peninsula in 2016:

New technologies and new automation means that we expect to lose two billion jobs globally by 2030.

At a global level, green and sustainable energy, personal care, online and for profit education services, social network games, mobile phone applications and 3D-printing are some of the predicted growth industries.

Green and sustainable energy is the only one which has a potential for future employment growth as well. And that is a concern when we had a government and a prime mininister who thought that wind turbines were ugly and coal mines were very beautiful.

We need to be think about our position on renewable energy and not get too far behind other countries, because this industry offers opportunities, not just for professional people in the research and development, but also in manufacture and in maintenance. All of those areas that we are losing at the moment.

Presentation by Dr Jude Walker





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USA:

Solar and wind jobs growing 12 times faster than the economy

According to the American Environmental Defence Fund, the compound annual growth rate of employment in the fossil fuel industry – a measurement of average amount of increase per year – was negative, meaning a decline, of -4.5% between 2012 and 2015.

The Environmental Defence Fund estimates that in the United States, solar and wind jobs are growing at a rate 12 times faster than the rest of the US economy, and that 46% of large firms have hired additional staff to address issues of sustainability over the last two years.

» Source: www.businessinsider.com



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 STOP ADANI: 

Adani’s coal mine and the Reef it will kill

Coral scientist Professor Terry Hughes tweeted that, “30% of #corals died following bleaching in 2016, another 19% this year.” Professor Hughes will release the data behind this statement in coming weeks.

Mining and burning fossil fuels – like coal – is warming our oceans and that’s what’s killing the reef.

The Australian Conservation Foundation stated: “This is a global tragedy.”

“It is with great sadness that we share the news that up to 50% of the Reef’s coral may have died in the last 2 years. This is absolutely heart-wrenching but we must NOT give up! We have a duty to protect our iconic reef so that the critters who call it home can live on for future generations.

We will be ramping up our action events across the country to call on the government to put Adani’s requests for $1 billion in public funding in the bin! In the meantime, let’s all SIGN and SHARE this petition, together we can make a difference”

Petition: Stop Adani’s mega polluting coal mine

Up to 50% of Great Barrier Reef’s coral may have died on this government’s watch. Demand no public funding for coal pollution. No more coal. No more excuses.

» Sign the petition: www.acf.org.au/billions



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Comments on Facebook

“Australian governments offering a transnational corporation with a dubious track record (at best) free water, free coal, free infrastructure (at least) in return for destroying the local environment, the Great Barrier Reef and the global climate. This is even too absurd for our satirical Coal Diggers for heaven’s sakes…”
ClimActs

“Surely we have now reached peak stupidity and selfishness?”
Andrew Laird

“Ecocidal collusion.”
Peter Taylor

“A few years ago I would have said that all this couldn’t be possible. These days, with the Turnbull Govt, I’m far from surprised. Just how dreadful is it that I can say this and mean it? Why aren’t the newspapers full of this? Well done Australian Conservation Foundation… if this is all true, you’ve done a great job. Now we need lots and lots of Australians to see this.”
Christine Robins

“Corruption and greed is alive and well in Australia, for the benefit of a few. They have forgotten it is the Common Wealth.”
Dr Margerie Linton

“Australian political corruption and treason in action.”
Rob Rider



Flawed decision making processes

What’s truly outrageous here is that this kind of research would have to be delivered by an environmental organisation, while the journalists of our public broadcasters have fallen asleep.

Instead of simply holding the microphone for Adani and the coal lobby, you’d think it would be the natural role and duty of publicly funded broadcasters to be digging up this kind of information and then inform the Australian population about what really is going on.

It would clearly be in the public interest that everyone can be made aware of this, because it highlights how flawed the current structures of decision making are in this country. If we want to see honest and effective action on the climate emergency, then this is something that needs to be addressed.

» ABC News: Adani indefinitely postpones final decision on Carmichael coal mine
“Indian mining giant Adani defers its final investment decision on the Carmichael coal mine until the Queensland Government gives “clarity” over lower or deferred royalties.”


Lies about jobs

Adani has claimed in their promotion material that their coal mine will create “10,000 jobs”, but this is pure guessing and includes indirect service jobs in the coal miners’ residential areas, and so on. When the Adani company was under oath in court, and was asked how many full time jobs the company expected to create, the figure was suddenly only 1,400.

Journalists working for News Corp – Murdoch’s newspapers – have somehow been able to translate that to 2,600.

Take into account, please, that in this figure there will be more than a billion dollars of public funds invested in the project – and that the mine will become a competitor to other coal mines in the area and in the neighboring state New South Wales region, which could mean that the workers in these other mines will lose out. The lost jobs in other mines should be included in the calculation.

In addition, coal mining represents a direct threat to the corals and fish in Great Barrier Reef, which holds 65,000 people employed in the tourism industry there. Should the job losses in this industry not be counted in this calculation?

Not to mention the entire “climate accounts”. If the Adani mine were a country, it would be No. 15 on the list of most climate-destroying countries in the world. As we know, Adani will not be asked to pay the bill for all the damage that extreme weather events will cause because of its emissions. Society, us – the citizens – will be paying that bill.

If the Australian government instead invested those same millions and millions of dollars in renewable energy, there would first of all be more jobs than 1,400 in it – but here’s what has been revealed: This coal mining project is not about creating jobs at all, even though that is the politicians claim is their alibi for supporting the mine. Don’t let them fool you – that’s just a game for the peanut gallery. This project is not about jobs for the Australians, or about electricity for the Indians.

There has not (yet) been any investigative journalists proving this, but everyone is saying it: This project is all about corruption, dirty secret agreements and big money under the table.

If the topic interests you, you can follow one or more of the many Stop Adani facebook groups that have been created. #StopAdani campaign is the biggest environmental and climate campaign Australia has seen for decades.

» In Geelong we are part of a local alliance which runs this Facebook group



#StopAdani clippings from the newsstream

» ABC News – 24 May 2017:
Adani Rehabilitaion – Carmichael Mine
“ABC news report on the cost to taxpayers of the Adani coalmine in the Galilee basin, QLD.”

» The Guardian – 23 May 2017:
Labor senator breaks ranks and says Adani coalmine would be a ‘huge mistake’
“Lisa Singh departs from official Labor position that the mine can proceed on its own merits with no federal funding”

» Financial Review – 23 May 2017:
Adani takes brinkmanship to new levels
“In effect, 30 per cent of the immediate future funding task would be carried, in one form or another, by Australian taxpayers.”

» MoneyControl – 23 May 2017:
Adani Enterprises tanks 9% post its decision to defer investment in Australian project
“The company, on Monday, deferred a final investment decision on its long-delayed Australian Carmichael coal project as Queensland state government is yet to sign off a royalty deal for the mine.”

» The Guardian – 23 May 2017:
Australian Conservation Foundation vows to pursue all avenues to stop Adani loan
“Environmental group warns it will take legal action against Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility directors if funding granted for rail line.”

» BuzzFeed – 23 May 2017:
Everything You Need To Know About That Bloody Big Coal Mine Near The Great Barrier Reef
“If it was a country, the Adani coal mine would be the world’s 15th largest emitter.”

» The Conversation – 23 May 2017:
Report: government won’t rule out underwriting Adani’s Carmichael coal mine

» The Independent – 23 May 2017:
India cancels plans for huge coal power stations as solar energy prices hit record low

» Huffington Post – 22 May 2017:
Adani Carmichael Coal Mine Project Hangs In The Balance
“It may not be protests, but taxes that kills it off.”

» Reuters – May 2017:
India won’t be buying Adani’s coal from Australia
“Some of the world’s biggest pension funds, seeking long-term returns on green investments, are scouting for deals in India’s solar power sector, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is targeting $100 billion in investment in the next five years.”

» The Guardian – 15 May 2017:
‘They’ll get rich and go’: Glencore’s McArthur River mine could take 300 years to clean up
“Locals are divided on proposals to extend mining at the Northern Territory site for another 20 years. Jobs are available – but Indigenous groups living downstream say it will poison their land.”

» Sydney Morning Herald – 13 May 2017:
‘Monumental experiment’: Concerns raised over Adani’s mine rehab plans
“Mine rehabilitation plans for the proposed giant Carmichael coal mine in Queensland fall far short of best practice and will expose the environment and taxpayers to huge risks, according to anti-mine group Lock the Gate.”

» The Guardian – 10 May 2017:
Indian solar power prices hit record low, undercutting fossil fuels
“Plummeting wholesale prices put the country on track to meet renewable energy targets set out in the Paris agreement.”



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“Our strategy is to lift our game”

“In my view most of us who are activists need to raise our game. In 2014 Joel Makower, CEO of GreenBiz, commented: ‘Despite its real achievements, the sustainability movement is failing.’ Unless we think innovatively and mobilise passionate mainstream commitment to turning things around the continuation of business as usual will take current trends to their dismal conclusion.”
Andrew Gaines



Self-initiated action and education as the key to success

Andrew Gaines has a vision about creating transformative change by creating a global citizen-led educational movement. In order to accelerate a transition to a life-sustaining society, Gaines has developed a model – and a website with teaching tools – called ‘Inspiring Transition’.

“I’m committed to transitioning to a life-sustaining civilisation. I think that engaging thoughtful mainstream commitment to large-scale systemic change is essential for success. The Inspiring Transition model is to engage thousands of groups and their members as citizen educators, and provide open source ready-to-use communication tools. Let’s do it!,” encourages Andrew Gaines.

Andrew Gaines is a psychotherapist as well as a humorist, a creativity trainer and a Feldenkrais practitioner – who communicates about whole system change, helping people “think better”, as he writes on his LinkedIn profile. Gaines ambitious goal is to make hundreds of thousands of us, even millions, to realise that we – each one of us – need to communicate and educate about transformative change – while at the same time, at a personal level, getting on with it.

Andrew Gaines writes:

“School children learn about Antarctic ice shelves and global warming. Massive stuff. On current trends they will certainly experience traumatic societal disruption as global food supplies collapse and ever more violence emerges. Many young people already experience acute despair, and some young women do not want to bring children into the world because they fear what is coming. It was like this when the threat of nuclear war was on everyone’s mind.

Despair destroys the spirit. What might possibly give young people realistic hope?

I think there is only one thing. Young people will have hope when they see that society as a whole is passionately committed to reversing global warming and other trends (including arms build-up), and successfully transitioning to a life-sustaining society.

How would they know that this commitment exists?

Just as in wartime everyone speaks about the war, so people everywhere would be talking about transitioning to a life-sustaining society. Politicians would affirm this as our goal (rather than economic increase). They would justify policy decisions on the basis of their contribution to the transition to a life-sustaining society.

Both NGOs and businesses would frame their work as a contribution to the Great Transition to a life-sustaining society. Some would advertise their commitment. The media would regularly report on improvements in environmental indicators (while noting how much more we have to do).

Since a profound cultural shift is required, more resources would go into fostering personal creativity, inner well-being and community connection. Collectively we must become the kind of people who can create and enjoy a life-sustaining society,

Cultivating inner resources of well-being and joy in life would greatly reduce people’s dependency on material things for a sense of satisfaction and self-worth, and thus reduce compulsive excess consumption.

In time, CO2 levels would start to decline and environmental statistics improve. The mass media would report that we are making progress in transitioning to a life-sustaining society. At this point hope would seem realistic.

The ultimate test of effectiveness
Ultimately, the test is: are we living within planetary boundaries? Have we evolved a society that does is best to take care of people, communities and the environment? If so, we would have, not a new world order, but simply a new world. It will be much more loving than the world we now experience.

How might we act to make hope realistic for young people?

By masses of us communicating through our networks to inspire mainstream commitment to transitioning to a life-sustaining society.

Each of us can do this through our own initiative.”

Andrew Gaines


» Ready-to-use communication tools are at www.inspiringtransition.net

» Download Kitchen Table Conversations – The Manual (PDF, 38 pages)

» Connect with Andrew Gaines on LinkedIn

» Facebook page: www.facebook.com/InspiringTransition

Invitation email to send to networks

“Perhaps you will play a role?”, asks Andrew Gaines. “Participating need not take too much of your time. The simplest thing you could do would be to tweak this email text and send it to your networks. Another important role is to personally engage leaders of organisations and thought leaders.”

Here is an example of what the letter could look like. Tweak it and make it yours:

Dear

This email is to invite you to consider participating in an audacious project. It is called the Great Transition Initiative. Its purpose is to inspire a new order of intelligent public commitment to dealing with the great issues of our time.

Politics today is often about polarities. But the urgent issues of environmental degradation (through such trends as ocean acidification, dropping freshwater tables around the world and large-scale species loss) are far beyond partisan politics. It appears that we are in a global ecological emergency requiring a massive change in the way our industrial society operates if we are to have the possibility of a hopeful future for coming generations.

Well – this is not small stuff!

Transitioning to a life-sustaining society, rather than continuing on our present course of ecological self-destruction, will seem impossible to many. The prospect can seem so mammoth that it is even difficult to think about it.

But there is a way. There are millions of individuals and groups that care about environmental and social well-being. Although we have our divergent agendas, and this is as it should be, we can make common cause in our intention to transition to a life-sustaining society.

So the idea behind the Great Transition Initiative is for as many of us as possible to voluntarily communicate about transitioning to a life-sustaining society through our networks. Our combined networks are massive; we reach into every level of society.

The Great Transition Initiative website has ready-to-use tools to make communicating as easy as possible.

I would be pleased if you would investigate the Great Transition Initiative approach; it is quite well-thought-out. And if it makes sense to you, begin to communicate with your own networks.

Communicating about transitioning to a life-sustaining society need not take too much of your time. And you do not have to join an organization. In fact, the Great Transition Initiative is not an organization in the usual sense. It is an independent movement of people who are aligned our commitment to transitioning to a life-sustaining society. Seeing that communication is essential for success, we just get on with it.

I hope that you will consider lending your influence to this.

With warm regards,

» Source: app.box.com



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Transition Streets in Geelong

‘Inspiring Transition’ is similar but not at all the same as the Transition movement, which for many years have been about creating ‘Transition Towns’, and which more recently is gaining new ground with the idea of creating ‘Transition Streets’, where neighbours participate in making changes in their lives in five areas: energy, transport, food, water and waste and consumption.

Here’s a Facebook page to start to find people in your area and to access the Transition Street process and workbook.

Want to start your own Transition Street? Three steps

1. Get together about 6–8 householders in your street or nearby. You can use this page to call out to others who may be in your area if you’re uncomfortable door knocking or putting letters in people’s letterboxes. You may want to print one workbook first or email them the PDF so you can show people what you’re proposing.

2. Download a printable copy of the 180 page Workbook (or ask your Member of Parliament to print some for you if funds are tight) for each household here

In Geelong, Sarah Henderson’s office have printed 25 copies of the Transition Street workbook up to chapter 2, and Christine Couzens has offered soon to put the word out to her whole electorate about starting Transition Streets.

3. Schedule seven meetings for reading each chapter and chosing something to do. They could be one a month for example. People could opt to stop after that or keep connecting. » Read more

4. Celebrate your group and post photos and stories on this Facebook page to inspire us all


New “central” home page for Transition groups in Geelong

A new home page has been established to help people in the City of Greater Geelong find each other to start new Transition Streets or other Transition initiatives. It is also to share helpful information for the transition process.

» See: www.transitiongeelong.com.au

» Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TransitionCOGG




 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


Hurdles that get in the way of meaningful action on climate change

“We know humans are causing climate change. That is a fact that has been known for well over 100 years. Why haven’t humans done much about the problem? Answering that question may be more challenging than the basic science of a changing climate. Fortunately, a new review just out in Science helps us with this question. Rather than focusing solely on the problems with communicating the science of climate change, this work takes a wider view on the hurdles that get in the way of meaningful action.”

» Read more on www.science.sciencemag.org

» Article about the study on www.theguardian.com/environment – 19 May 2017



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» Reuters – 24 May 2017:
Survey Finds 8 In 10 People See Climate Change As ‘Catastrophic Risk’
“The report surveyed more than 8,000 people in eight countries.”



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The brutal logic of climate change

Full length talk that covers the facts of climate change, the urgency with which it needs to be addressed and actions we can take to stop it.

Delivered by Dr Aaron Thierry at the University of Sheffield, hosted by the Carbon Neutral University Network.

Published on youtube.com on 19 May 2017.



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The Climate Crisis

Michael Oppenheimer and Johan Rockström talked climate science at the World Economic Forum in February 2017



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» The New York Times – 18 May 2017:
Miles of Ice Collapsing Into the Sea



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“Governments around the world are increasingly being challenged in court to do more to combat the threat of climate change, with litigation ranging from a group’s attempt to stop an airport runway in Austria to a Pakistani farmer suing his government over its failure to adapt to rising temperatures, a new study has found.”

» The Guardian – 24 May 2017:
More people heading to court to spur action on climate change, study finds
“Study by UN and Columbia finds ‘proliferation’ of cases instigated by citizens. Lion’s share of court cases are in US but number also growing around the world”



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If you ever wondered what has caused climate change, and how come humanity now finds itself confronted with something called climate change which will change the face of the Earth for centuries, here you have the decision making process exposed and explained in a nutshell:

“Shell’s board has asked shareholders to vote against the resolution, which to pass would require 75% to vote in favour. Shell argued that unilaterally setting targets would harm the company…”



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“The fossil fuel industry is backing down”

The American Petroleum Institute (API), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM)  —  all major trade groups representing fossil fuel and manufacturing interests  —  had been ordered to submit to the court their responses to several key questions pertaining to the case, including their position on the science behind climate change. Those responses were supposed to be filed by 25 May 2017. 
Instead, all three groups filed motions to withdraw.


Our Childrens’ Trust wrote in a newsletter entitled “The fossil fuel industry is backing down”:

“Here’s a line we never thought we might be able to say: the fossil fuel industry is backing down. After spending 18 months trying to throw out the 21 youth plaintiffs’ climate lawsuit, a defeated American Petroleum Institute (API) and American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) filed motions last night requesting the court’s permission to withdraw from the litigation. This follows the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) nearly identical request earlier this week.

» Observer – 26 May 2017:
Kids’ Lawsuit Scares Off Big Oil Lobbyists Who Can’t Disprove Climate Change


This is our youth plaintiffs’ victory. They have courageously taken on the federal government and the fossil fuel industry and won at every hurdle towards trial. With the fossil fuel industry leaving, we know we’re being taken seriously. This lawsuit poses what they call a “direct threat” to “all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry,” and they’re frightened of the scrutiny we’re bringing their way.

As we head towards trial we’re now in the part of the process known as “discovery,” where we’re asking defendants to reveal what they have known and chosen to disregard about climate change over the past 50 years. The fossil fuel industry may be scared. Maybe they have secrets to hide, and they know that their climate denial won’t hold up in a court of law.

» Washington Post – 26 May 2017:
Three fossil fuel groups joined a historic climate lawsuit. Now, they want to get out of it
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/05/26/three-fossil-fuel-groups-joined-a-historic-climate-lawsuit-now-they-want-to-get-out-of-it/


As Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said on the steps of the Supreme Court in support of our case: “That’s why this lawsuit is so important: Because when you get to court, facts matter. When you get to court, witnesses must tell the truth, or they can be punished. When you get to the court, lawyers even have to tell the truth, at least to the court. When you get to the court, spin can be cross-examined. When you get to court, industry nonsense can be exposed.”

» Think Progress – 26 May 2017:
Fossil fuel groups try to flee landmark climate lawsuit before it goes to trial


The plaintiffs will be responding to these motions in the coming week and ultimately whether the industry associations are allowed to withdraw and under what conditions will be up to the court. They are jostling to head out the back door before the fight, but there should be consequences for wasting the court’s time.

Just as they’re retreating, we’re building our efforts, and we need you now more than ever. Can you donate now to support our effort towards trial? Can you volunteer your time to organize support in your community?

» Donate: www.ourchildrenstrust.org/donate

Onward,
Julia Olson
Executive Director, Our Children’s Trust
Co-lead Counsel, Juliana v. United States


» Follow Our Children’s Trust on Facebook:
www.facebook.com/youthvgov



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» Financial Times – 26 May 2017:
Special Report – Clean Energy
“A range of low-carbon technologies, ranging from solar and wind farms to battery parks and electric vehicles, are transforming power use across the world”

» The Financial Times – 18 May 2017:
The Big Green Bang: how renewable energy became unstoppable (Subscription only)
“The shift to cleaner power is disrupting entire industries. Will the 21st century be the last one for fossil fuels?”

Comment: What a silly question to ask: “Will the 21st century be the last one for fossil fuels?” But then of course, this is the Financial Times asking. So much the more, to see Financial Times acknowledging renewables as “unstoppable” is both unprecedented and top encouraging.



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» The Independent – 3 January 2017:
Record number of oil and gas firms go bust as renewable energy revolution begins to bite
“The world’s largest private power production company warns the sector that renewables could drive the oil price as low as $10 a barrel”


» Wired – May 2017:
The Mayor of Los Angeles Says His City Will Stay in the Paris Climate Agreement Even If the US Won’t
“It sort of can’t. But then again, it already is.”


Converting pecan shells into electricity in Texas

In May 2017, the Denver-based renewable energy technology company SynTech completed the installation of its newest facility which will convert pecan shells into electricity in Texas. Five similar plants are currently operating on walnut shells in California, the first dating back to 2008. SynTech is on an aggressive growth curve, is preparing three additional units for a new California customer, and is well into manufacturing its first unit for the Japanese market.

» Read more on syntechbioenergy.com



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» ANU – 18 May 2017:
Butterfly wings inspire invention that opens door to new solar technologies



» BBC News – May 2017:
UK firm designs ‘world’s most affordable solar lamp’







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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