Journeys to eco-solutions

Our clever and creative guests in the sustainable studio on 28 June 2017 are: Dr Mazher Iqbal Mohammed, known by friends and colleagues as Iqy, a Research Fellow at School of Engineering at Deakin University, who explains to us how plastic waste material can be turned into 3D ‘eco-printing’. And Jack Meehan, a 16-year-old high school student from Melbourne, who gives us a youth perspective on a new poll which reveals what the majority of Australians think about renewables and climate change action.

Over the phone line we talk with Tom Hunt who wants the ABC to produce a ‘War on Climate Change’ series similar to their ‘War on Waste’.

We also play an excerpt from the podcast Shirtloads of Science by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki from University of Sydney who talks climate science with Dr Michael Mann and Dr Christopher Wright. We play two clips from the #StopAdani campaign, one from a local Geelong action, the other from ACF, and a clip with American senator Bernie Sanders.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 175 on 94.7 The Pulse:

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“This is not a red or a blue issue. There is no excuse for failure. This is the biggest test facing human civilization and we have to respond and win this battle.”
~ Bernie Sanders, American senator



 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Content of this hour

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



“I had never ever been to a protest until just before I retired – now here I am organising them. We must look for more ways to reduce our footprint and leave a better world for our children.”
Tom Hunt

War on carbon

After our talk on The Sustainable Hour, Tom Hunt launched a petition on change.org, which he will deliver to presenter on ABC Television Craig Roucassel, Keo Films Australia, and the Australian Broadcasting commission:

Fantastic War on Waste, how about a War on Climate Change ABC?

I am really worried by the world we will be leaving our children and grandchildren.

“Dear Craig

You are a knight in shining armour.

What you and your team have done with the War on Waste is nothing short of heroic.

Your sensitive but unrestrained treatment of this very divisive subject is having a marked effect on the people I know. People who care but who simply did not understand.

I am currently fighting with others in a similar war, but we lack the sharp witted weapons and army you have at your disposal. We appear to be losing the battle, and a large part of the problem is public opinion. I wonder if I could persuade you to consider joining the forces battling the War on Climate Change?

Actually, it’s just widening the War on Waste, when you look at it. Excess CO2 and all those other greenhouse gases are waste products from the engines of our society just like the one use plastics, textiles, appliances, and the other crap we rubbish our world with. The problem with the carbon we burn is we cant adequately contain or recycle the waste. Here we are using the atmosphere as a massive open sewer, and the biggest stumbling block is, we cant see it!

Nobody is listening to the scientists. The definitive texts on the subject come from the IPCC, representing the consensus view from the best climate scientists of every nation on Earth, but no one other than the scientists can understand them. Have you tried reading their reports? I started with the executive summary for the decision makers and even those are just …… well they dont tell you anything!. These are just not the right media format for the public. Nor even the politicians. So instead people read, and believe, whatever seems a good story on Facebook or in the popular press.

We need the facts laid bare, in your clear unequivocal style Craig. We need the pollies stirred to face reality.

And hey, I think you can have some fun too if you concentrate on the solutions rather than just the problems. I imagine lots of interesting avenues to explore:

• Move away from ICE’s and towards electric vehicles (you might get to test drive a Tesla model S)

• Powering our world with wind and sun

• storing power in home batteries, buying and selling to the grid to make a profit (eg. Reposit)

• Meet up with the people who are helping us move to sustainable living (eg. Alternative Technology Association, Greenie Flat, )

• Meet some of the people who are trying to get things moving, from Greenpeace to Citizens Climate Lobby, to Illawarra Knitting Nanna’s Against Gas(/Greed)

• Look at the technologies that are ready and waiting to be used (eg. Jet fuels from algae and seaweed)

• Look at alternatives to fossil fuels for industry

• Look at how our diet is affecting things (eg less red meats leads to less emissions)

• Can we limit population growth?

• Is a price on carbon (perhaps CCL Carbon fee and dividend) not the best solution for our economy based society?

I think this book would be a great source of inspiration for more ideas – Paul Hawken. Drawdown
I really hope you will be able to.
Cheers
Tom

PS: I cant believe that we have been kept in the dark for so long on the subject of climate change. The reality is that we add over 10,000,000,000 tonnes of invisible carbon waste to the sky each year that mother nature cannot cope with. We have turned up Earth’s thermostat to a setting that history tells us means several degrees of warming, sea levels up to 70 metres higher, and vast changes to our world. It’s now just a matter of time. Meanwhile we still have our foot hard on the accelerator!
I think we need to draw attention to this waste we create every day, explore the options we have and encourage a much quicker transition to renewables.”

» Sign the petition

» More on the topic of public broadcasters and climate change reporting here:
We call on ABC and SBS to break the silence on the climate emergency


“It is a dirty lie that CO2 emissions from fossil fuels have so far come with no cost – they cost us human health, damage to our climate, and billions of dollars in subsidies worldwide. Putting a clear price-tag on CO2 emissions means finally telling the truth. Pricing CO2 is key to climate stabilisation.”
~ Ottmar Edenhofer, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research



Carbon pricing watch 2017

A challenging international carbon market has not stopped the development of domestic carbon pricing initiatives. This World Bank advance brief is a one stop shop for learning about key developments and prospects of existing and emerging carbon initiatives.

Today, about 40 national and over 20 sub-national jurisdictions responsible for almost one fourth of global greenhouse gas emissions are putting a price on carbon. Together, these initiatives cover the equivalent of almost 6 gigatons of carbon dioxide, or about 12% of global emissions.

» Read more

» Download the advance brief (PDF, 20 pages)


Reducing food waste and a eating a plant rich diet in Top 5 of Top 10 things we must do to reduce impact of climate change. Reducing food waste and eating more plants is something we can all do, today.


‘Drawdown’ – a plan to reverse global warming

“Solutions are already in place. We can reverse the buildup of atmospheric carbon within thirty years.”
Paul Hawken, author of ‘Drawdown’




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“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
Thomas Edison, American innovator, 1931




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Humans produce almost 20,000 plastic bottles every second

“A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict will be as serious as climate change.”
Sandra Laville and Matthew Taylor in The Guardian on 28 June 2017

Iqy

Solar-powered 3D printers turn plastic trash into clean water

This video was used for the crowdfunding for a ‘3D-wash’-project on the Solomon Islands, which Dr Mazher Iqbal Mohammed explains about in The Sustainable Hour.

“Deakin University is helping women and girls and their communities improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene via innovative 3D printing using renewable energy and recycled plastics.”

The printers will be trialled at Plan International Australia’s projects in the Solomon Islands later this year. Plan Australia’s Manager for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Tom Rankin, said the potential applications of the technology – powered by free and abundant sunshine – are ‘limitless’: “This technology really lends itself to developing countries, where plastic waste has exceeded the capacity of governments to manage it.”

Below are some news articles surrounding the technology, including the early research publication of the technique using a combination of ABS and milk cartons to produce printable materials:

» Probono Australia – 11 May 2017:
Printing A Solution to the World’s Biggest Problems

» 3Ders – 27 April 2017:
3D WASH: empowering developing communities with solar-powered 3D printing & recycled plastic

» Deakin University | media release – 26 April 2017:
Solar-powered 3D printers turn plastic trash into clean water

» 3Dprint.com – 26 April 2017:
3D WASH Aims to Provide Clean Water Through 3D Printing and Recycling

» Herald Sun – 25 April 2017:
Deakin University 3D printer to bring clean water to the Pacific and clean up plastic waste

» Waste Management Review – 1 March 2017:
A New Dimension Of Plastics Recycling 


» Knowledge E – research paper:
A Low Carbon Footprint Approach to the Reconstitution of Plastics into 3D-Printer Filament for Enhanced Waste Reduction



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Podcast: Shirtloads of Science

By Dr Karl Kruszelnicki from University of Sydney

Why has climate science become so contested? In his ‘Shirtloads of Science’ podcast from 24 June 2017, Dr Karl talks climate science with Dr Michael Mann and Dr Christopher Wright.

• Dr Michael Mann is the US researcher who published the hockey stick graph. His latest book is ‘The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy’.

• Dr Christopher Wright has written about the past 30 years of climate change and policy-making in ‘Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction’.

In the program, Michael Mann explains how Exxon Mobile, one the world’s biggest and richest fossil fuel companies, already in the 1970s had scientists who referred to the possible effects of burning fossil fuels and warming the planet as “catastrophic”. This is out of Exxon Mobile’s own internal documents from the 1970s.

Rather than listening to their own scientists and find a way to transition away from burning fossil fuels for energy, the company then decided to double down by spending tens of millions of dollars on financing a massive disinformation campaign to attack the science of climate change, to confuse the public – and to confuse policy makers.

» Learn more by listening to the podcast on www.shirtloadsofscience.libsyn.com

» Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

» Hashtag: #Shirtloadsofscience



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“The roadblocks to serious action on climate change are not about the science but about public perceptions. These invaluable annual reports trace the evolution of those perceptions and help us understand how we might remove those roadblocks.”
Stephen Whately, donor to Climate of the Nation 2015 and Climate of the Nation 2016

Australians highly concerned about climate change

New polling released by The Climate Institute shows two thirds of Aussies are highly concerned about climate change.

The key findings from new Climate Institute poll:  
 
96% of Australians want our primary source of energy to come from renewables (58% want an energy supply based on renewables supported by storage technologies, 38% prefer renewables supported by fossil fuels).

81% of Australians think individuals and households should play a role in dealing with climate change.

73% of Australians want strong action taken on climate change and energy because it will create opportunities in clean energy, such as jobs and investment.
 
74% of Australians have a high level of concern about climate change causing destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.

66% of Australians have a high level of concern about climate change.
 
87% of Australians do not want our country to step back from the Paris Agreement, with 61% wanting us to “work harder” with other countries to achieve its objectives.

79% of Australians place solar in their top three preferred energy sources for the country.
 
64% want Australia to set targets and implement domestic action to achieve net zero emissions.

41% of Australians consider the federal government to be doing a fairly poor to terrible job on climate change and energy, up from 33% last year.

71% of Australians want state and territory governments to put incentives in place to encourage renewable energy development.
 
72% of Australians think governments should implement a plan for the orderly closure of coal-fired power stations to replace them with clean energy.

Action
The majority of Australians want Australia to address climate change because they see strong economic, environmental and social bene ts and opportunities in the shift to a clean economy (73 per cent).

Energy
The vast majority of Australians want Australia’s future energy mix to be dominated by renewable energy (96 per cent), preferably supported by storage technologies (58 per cent). They see this as an economically smart outcome for our country. A majority of Australians want traditional coal generation out of the mix within the next 20 years (60 per cent) and they want an orderly, managed transition to clean energy underway now (72 per cent).

International leadership
The majority of Australians want our country to be an international leader on climate change action (63 per cent), particularly renewable energy development, innovation and implementation. An overwhelming majority would not want Australia to copy the USA’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement (87 per cent). Most want us to work harder with other countries to achieve the Agreement’s objectives of limiting global warming to 1.5–2°C (61 per cent).

Policy
The majority of Australians want bipartisan, constructive climate change and energy policy implemented to make these goals a reality.
64 per cent want Australia to set targets and implement domestic action to achieve net zero emissions.

Federal government
The majority of Australians do not consider the federal government to be doing a good job of informing the public about climate change, managing its impacts and driving the transition to clean energy – only 18 per cent judge performance as good or excellent.

Climate change
The majority of Australians agree that climate change is occurring (71 per cent) and accept the scientic consensus that human activity is the main cause (57 per cent).

» Download Climate of the Nation 2017



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Stop Adani Geelong

Published on youtube.com on 9 June 2017.

» Join the #StopAdani Geelong Facebook group for general #StopAdani news updates



The #StopAdani Challenge: Speak out against public funding for a polluting coal mine


Petition: Tell Commbank’s Board: it must rule out Adani

At their next meeting in August, the Board of Commbank will be approving the bank’s new climate policy. There is a good chance that the policy will rule out Commbank funding for new coal projects like Adani’s mega mine.

The Board needs to know that their customers and the public will no longer accept the funding of climate-destroying, reef-wrecking projects. It needs to approve strong and robust climate policy that is in line with the bank’s previous stance on support for the Paris Agreement.

That means no new coal – and certainly no Adani.

Westpac have already shown that it is a climate leader, and Commbank now needs to catch up with a public statement and good policy ruling out the Adani mine.

» Sign the petition


Dr Grant Blashki – a Melbourne GP – speaks about the health implications of the Adani coal mine: Why the Adani coal mine is bad for health
Published on youtube.com on 10 June 2017

#StopAdani   #NoNewCoal   #CoalKills



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“As Turnbull said in 2010, by 2050 “all or almost all” of our electricity would need to come from sources that had zero, or near zero, emissions. There is no “technology neutral” policy that will get you to that point. What you need are policies that clearly discriminate, yet nobody is brave enough to say it.”

» The Guardian – 21 June 2017:
Ten years ago Turnbull called out Peter Garrett on climate. What went wrong? | Graham Readfearn
“After a decade of policy backflips and uncertainty, we are now being sold ‘technology neutral’ energy policy. But we need it to be discriminatory – and favour clean power”



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Rising electricity prices

In reference to the news about South Australia’s rising prices on electricity, David Clarke wrote:

Contrary to claims made by those who like to blame renewable energy for everything that goes wrong and as documented by Ben Phillips (Australian National University Centre for Social Research and Methods) in this table, electricity costs increased more in the period 2006-2016 in the mostly coal-powered eastern mainland states than they did in South Australia, which built most of its wind farms in that period.

The cost of electricity in SA rose by 87% in the period 2006-2016 while the corresponding figures for NSW, Victoria and Queensland were 109%, 119% and 136% respectively.



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Coal doesn’t stack up economically or environmentally

“The level of ‘stupid’ engulfing Canberra has hit new heights. No matter what problem with energy policy is raised, some politicians instantly shout “coal!”

Businesses and householders across the country are screaming at the government for relief from spiraling electricity bills. A broad and unlikely coalition of bodies representing industry, energy users, farmers and social services have all come together to call for policy certainty around a low emissions electricity grid.

But the government is ignoring their pleas and are instead obsessed with whether the coal industry is being properly looked after.

New wind and solar farms are very beneficial for regional areas, bringing income to farmers, construction jobs and community funds. This means keeping families in the area, keeping kids in the schools and players in the sporting teams.

If coal actually was the cheapest source of power you could almost understand the government support. But it’s not. Wind power is.

Electricity from wind farms has been contracted for as low as $52 per megawatt hour. Power from a new coal-fired station starts at $100/MWh and increases from there.

And because it’s impossible to burn coal without emitting vast amounts of climate wrecking greenhouse gases it simply can’t be something we depend on anymore.

Australia has a fleet of out-of-date coal power stations, 75 per cent of which are past their design life. If we choose expensive replacements such as coal our bills will continue to be high. If we replace them with cheap power from wind and solar farms, we have a shot at bringing bills down.

Coal doesn’t stack up economically or environmentally, so it’s time to stop wasting precious time and money on protecting this un-investable industry.”
~ Andrew Bray, National Coordinator for Australian Wind Alliance

» The Standard – 18 June 2017:
Politicians protecting coal industry at our expense



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“So while the stupidity of Australia’s conservative politicians — especially the ones suggesting that taxpayers subsidise, or even build, coal-fired power generation — is pitiable and embarrassing, it is fast becoming irrelevant.”
~ Alan Kohler, publisher of The Constant Investor, in The Australian on 24 June 2017


“In Saudi Arabia, the king has declared full steam ahead for the transformation of Saudi Arabia for a post-oil era. Australia is the Saudi Arabia of coal and must do something ­similar. We don’t have an autocrat king who can just make it happen, but instead a prime minister who requires partyroom votes. (…) Australia’s coal and Saudi ­Arabia’s oil are facing the same enemy: technology. (…) The technology that is eating coal’s lunch is the collapsing cost of photovoltaic cell solar generation and large-scale batteries.”

» The Australian – 24 June 2017:
It’s the technology, stupid: we need a plan for post-coal world



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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Sweden set to slash the carbon by 2045

On Thursday 15 June 2017, the Swedish Parliament took a decision on the most important climate reform in Sweden’s history: The country committed to becoming a net-zero carbon emitter by 2045 – by law. The lawmakers voted 254 to 41 in favour of the proposal, which was developed by a committee involving seven out of eight parliamentary parties.

The new law introduces a climate policy framework for Sweden containing the country’s new climate goals, a Climate Act and plans for a climate policy council.

“The new climate law is an important victory, not only for Sweden, but for everyone who cares about the future of our environment,” said Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate and energy at WWF.

» The climate policy framework [in English language]

» Climate Change News – 15 June 2017:
Sweden passes climate law to become carbon neutral by 2045



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France to ban all new oil and gas exploration

France is to stop granting licences for oil and gas exploration as part of a transition towards environmentally-friendly energy being driven by Emmanuel Macron’s government. Nicolas Hulot, the “ecological transition” minister, said a law would be passed in the autumn. “There will be no new exploration licences for hydrocarbons,” he told BFMTV.

» The Independent – 24 June 2017:
France to ban all new oil and gas exploration in renewable energy drive
“’Ecological transition’ minister says law will be passed later this year”



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‘Our Revolution’ – Bernie Sander’s book from November 2016

“Humanity is at a crossroads. We can continue down the current path of greed, consumerism, oligarchy, poverty, war, racism, and environmental degradation. Or we can lead the world in moving in a very different direction.”
Bernie Sanders, American senator



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Jim Hansen: How young people can take charge of their future

Published on youtube.com on 20 May 2017.

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Geelong calendar notes


Over the school holiday break, The Farmer’s Place – located on the Anglesea road, just outside Geelong – will be hosting a number of activities for children and adults alike to enjoy. Bush walking, worm farming, 
For more information or visit their website to book – www.thefarmersplace.com.au



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Last Our Future Deakin Lecture Series on Thursday 6 July

The next and last lecture in the Our Future Deakin Lecture Series is with guest speakers Ms Natalie Waldie and Mr Jake Dingle, who will speak on the topic Advanced manufacturing.

Ms Natalie Waldie is Project Manager at BAE Systems Australia.
Mr Jake Dingle is Chief Executive Officer at Carbon Revolution.

Ms Waldie and Mr Dingle will explain how new developments in advanced manufacturing are providing opportunities for the Geelong region through collaboration between research, technology, industry and entrepreneurship.



The Master of Ceremonies for this lecture will be Dr Adrian Panow, Director, Deakin Smart Energy Solutions.


DATE: 
Thursday 6 July 2017


TIME: 
6.00 pm – 7.30 pm

VENUE
: REACH Lecture Theatre 
Building DD, 
Deakin University Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus, 
75 Pigdons Road, Entrance 2


RSVP 
Thursday 29 June 2017 – 

Please contact Lisa Jacobsen on 
5272 4075 or ljacobsen@geelongcity.vic.gov.au 
to confirm your attendance.



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 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


We are ready for the EVs

Fifty per cent of consumers would consider buying an electric vehicle today, but this could increase to almost seventy per cent with the correct policy support to help these vehicles reach price parity, according to a new report by the Electric Vehicle Council.

» Read more on www.electricvehiclecouncil.com.au



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Minerals Council wants more coal

Australia has an influential lobby group which continues to advocate for building more coal-fired power stations:




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Is your health fund invested in dirty fossil fuels?

» Tell your health fund to dump fossil fuels on www.marketforces.org.au

» Read more about the campaign on www.marketforces.org.au/insurance/health

» Share or like on Facebook

“It is cost-effective to postpone global climate action. It is profitable to let the world go to hell.”
Jørgen Randers, co-author of ‘Limits to Growth’ (1972)




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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”







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

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




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