Delusional podcasters delve in natural climate solutions

On 19 July 2017 in The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse, we delve in natural and agricultural solutions to the climate change crisis. We have our regenerative studio phone lined up to Verity Morgan-Schmidt, the newly appointed CEO of Australian Farmers for Climate Action, and to natural sequence farming expert Peter Andrews.

We also talk farming solutions with Alan Broughton, a biological agriculture researcher and teacher, who has worked with Queensland beef producer Elena Garcia on writing the book ‘Sustainable Agriculture Versus Corporate Greed’.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 178 on 94.7 The Pulse:

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“Those who say coal and other fossil fuels have no future are delusional.”
Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s Prime Minister


“Natural solutions are an essential part of solving the global warming problem.”
~ Analyses by scientists at The Nature Conservancy





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Content of this hour

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



Three California municipalities file lawsuits

Three California municipalities have now filed lawsuits against 37 of the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies, including Chevron, Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell.

This could turn out to be a small beginning of something huge. It could mark the entrance to an era where citizens, cities and municipalities hold the fossil fuel giants accountable for the damage they have caused, and continue to cause.

Could municipalities turn out to have special powers when it comes to crunching the climate action stalemate that the national parliaments, occupied by fossil fuel interests, have managed to paralyse for decades?

The legal challenges, brought by Marin and San Mateo counties and the city of Imperial Beach, claims more than 12,000 homes, businesses and institutions could be at risk from tides and surge flooding by the end of the century, and allege that since these companies knew about the harm of burning fossil fuels, they should therefore pay for current and future damages to the municipalities due to climate change. The vulnerable properties in the three municipalities are assessed at $16 billion.

The suit also alleges the fossil fuel companies launched a “coordinated, multi-front effort” to discredit climate science and spread doubt.

“Sea level rise is here and we’re experiencing it first hand in Marin, as roadways continually flood with king tides and storms,” Marin County Supervisor Kate Sears said in a statement.

Regardless of how this court case turns out, it is good news for the climate, because it changes our perspective on and our knowledge about how the world has been conned by an industry since the 1980s.

“Each of the complaints presents the same simple, compelling storyline: These fossil fuel companies knew. They knew that climate change was happening, that fossil fuel production and use was causing it, and that continued fossil fuel production and use would only make it worse. They knew this, but they hid it. And then they lied about it, and paid other people to lie about it for them. All the while they profited from it, and plotted to profit more. Ultimately, their actions caused sea levels to rise, and thereby caused harm, are continuing to cause harm, and are contributing to future harm to the plaintiff governments and their residents. Accordingly, the complaints claim that the defendant companies should be held liable and forced to pay, both for the costs the local governments are incurring to adapt to sea level rise and for the companies’ own willful, deceptive, and malicious behavior.”
~ Commentary by Sabin Center, Michael Burger analysis

» The Associated Press – 17 July 2017:
California communities sue oil companies over sea-rise

» Marin Independent Journal:
Marin sues energy companies over climate risks

» SF Gate:
Marin, San Mateo counties sue Big Oil over climate change

» CBS SF Bay Area:
2 Bay Area Counties Sue Oil And Gas Companies For Sea Level Rise

» SF Weekly:
Marin, San Mateo Counties Fight Fossil Fuels in Court

» San Diego Union Tribune:
Imperial Beach, two counties sue fossil fuel companies for money to deal with sea level rise


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Radio interview with Peter Andrews, natural sequence farming expert

“Enough evidence exists that the planet is in trouble. This continent naturally experienced similar disasters and evolved solutions,” explains Peter Andrews.

Over the years Peter Andrews’ story has become the most popular in the history of ABC’s Australian Story series. In 2005 and 2009, the ABC’s Australian Story for the first time ever, produced four episodes about Peter Andrews and his Natural Sequence Farming process – the story about this rural innovator who turned ‘environmentally bankrupt’ farmland into green and fertile pasture.

“If just 30 per cent of the agricultural people took up what they could learn from the Australian landscape, you could be pre-industrial carbon levels in ten years.”
~ Peter Andrews, in a conversation with Don Burke in 2013

Published on youtube.com on 10 April 2013.

“Peter Andrews OAM has been restoring the environment using his unique landscape practices throughout Australia for over 30 years with extraordinary success. Despite this, his methods are yet to be widely implemented. Peter and Don Burke OAM are now reaching out to Richard Branson asking him to assist in driving this forward.”


ABC wrote in 2009:
“Four years ago Australian Story featured a farmer and horse breeder called Peter Andrews who seemed to have a rare ability to transform degraded Australian landscapes into thriving oases, converting degraded, salt-ravaged properties into fertile, drought-resistant pastures.
He called it natural sequence farming and it was producing some spectacular results. But for nearly thirty years, Peter Andrews’ work was rejected by scientists, bureaucrats and politicians alike until the evidence became difficult to ignore.
The Australian Story episodes on Peter Andrews, generated unprecedented viewer response. Now some very influential and highly placed Australians have rallied to his cause and the scientific evidence and international interest are building as well. The result has been some significant progress but some of the same frustrations.”

» Of Droughts and Flooding Rains – Part 1 (video)

» Of Droughts and Flooding Rains – Part 2 (video)

» Of Droughts and Flooding Rains – Transcript

» Right as Rain – Transcript

» Links to all ABC programs with and about Peter Andrews:
Search: Peter Andrews on ABC.net.au

» Soils for Life – 8 May 2014:
Peter Andrews’ management of vegetation & soil hydrology

» Peter Andrews’ home page:
www.nsfarming.com



Peter Andrews presenting at the Landscape Restoration workshop at Yarrie Station, Pilbara WA
Published on youtube.com on 3 November 2015


NSF Mulloon Creek demonstration project
Published on youtube.com on 31 July 2013


UNITED NATIONS:

Unlocking the potential of soil organic carbon

At the United Nations and around the world, there is an awakening happening around the potential of soil organic carbon and regenerative agriculture to play a major role in climate risk mitigation and carbon drawdown.

Regenerative agriculture is a win from every angle except one: the economic interests of the fossil fuel industry, and the fossil fuel based agricultural chemicals and fertiliser system.

A price on carbon would be the single most significant action to motivate farmers to shift away from the soil degrading oxidative carbon releasing toxic chemical-fertiliser industrial agricultural unsustainable model to the biological approach that draws down carbon, increases soil health and productivity water retentive sustainable model.

FAO – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – is organising a range of activities, events and publications about regenerative farming.

In March 2017, a symposium was held in Rome, Italy, with the title “Unlocking the Potential of Soil Organic Carbon”. The overall aim of the symposium was to review the role of soils and SOC in the context of climate change, sustainable development and land degradation neutrality.
This three-day symposium was structured around three main themes focusing on the assessment of SOC, the maintenance and increase of SOC stocks, and SOC management in specific types of soil. 

» Read the 36-page outcome document on www.fao.org

» Report of the Sixth Working Session of the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils




Restoration of terrestrial carbon sinks

In 2016, David Maher set up a Facebook page to inform communities of the practical methods available that can mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. He writes:

“The restoration of terrestrial carbon sinks should be the No 1 priority of governments world wide and viewed as an emergency response to climate change.

Considerable effort has gone into understanding how we have altered global climate and what positive action is required by individuals, communities and Government Institutions in order to stave off whats becoming a more widely excepted, bleak inheritance for future generations.

In every way, there is a need to respond to climate change as a matter of emergency. We have no longer the luxury of time for some aspects of science. Its nice we have people studying the ins and outs of a sinking titanic but in an emergency, would we be attempting to study cause and effect, or would we be hoping that work had been done and that our best people in the field would be given the tools and resources with the assistance made available to go out and address the problems.

Making a list of priority actions, and enacted them as if responding to an emergency.

In Australia, we have one of five models in the world that meets targets set out in the 2030 Millennium document on Sustainable Development recognised by United Nations.

I am uncertain as to the level of understanding in the wider population, that to my knowledge the Australian Model is the only one based on the natural Geomorphological Process that build, shape and maintain fertility and water cycles, successional sequences that move towards greater biological complexity. Restructured so as to mimic the natural processes that once reinstated, manage themselves mostly.

What you can do
Not everybody has to race out and become educated in how to reinstate the natural function of the land. BUT, we all do need to be seriously asking the questions about why our leaders are putting in jeopardy future generations ability to secure a future that we adults take for granted. For 40 years various Australian Governments have been aware of and advised by CSIRO to implement the landscape science thats been proven and recognised by the United Nations.

Whats needed right now is for at least for communities to be familiarising themselves with at some real opportunities to take positive large scale restoration of climate. Retro fitting training programs into existing government programs like landcare, Green Army, conservation volunteers and alike is a real possibility and a mode for up skilling and unrolling a consistent approach. And to start demanding change. Climate Adaptation is required for the survival of many including our own species. The information in this page puts a background around how we altered climate and what can be done to restore it.

Presently policy developers world wide are grappling with how best to address climate, energy, population pressures with climate as the cause we can see that action taken here will alleviate further social pressures.

Restoration of terrestrial carbon sinks and water cycles is whats required to cool climate and drawdown carbon. Insure fresh clean drinkable water into the future and productive landscapes to feed the world, and is the only feasible method possible for a task this scale.

Please, do what you can to make this information available in your community. Put pressure on you local power brokers to act in a fashion appropriate for future generations.

» Read more in the Facebook group: Watershed systems for the recovery of climate

» Maher’s collection of 16 PDF files with more information


“Our science shows that up to one-third of the reductions stated in the goals of the Paris Accord can be accomplished by sequestering carbon in forests, wetlands, agriculture soils and marine habitats.”
Mark Tercek, President and CEO, The Nature Conservancy

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“The solution to climate change won’t be found in the latest schemes to bend our living planet to the will of man. Perhaps instead it lies in something much more down to earth – an ethic of care and healing, starting with the soils on which our existence depends. Of course, regenerative farming doesn’t offer a permanent solution to the climate crisis; soils can only hold a finite amount of carbon. We still need to get off fossil fuels, and – most importantly – we have to kick our obsession with endless exponential growth and downsize our material economy to bring it back in tune with ecological cycles. But it might buy us some time to get our act together.”
~ Jason Hickel

» The Guardian – 10 September 2016:
Our best shot at cooling the planet might be right under our feet
“Studies suggest that regenerating soil by turning our backs on industrial farming holds the key to tackling climate change”


Darren Doherty

» More at www.regrarians.org


Singing Frogs Farm


“We have already facilitated $100 million worth of carbon sequestration contracts for Australian farmers.”

» www.regenfarmers.com.au



» Public Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/Soil4Climate





Short film about regenerative farming in New Zealand

‘Restoring Paradise’ shares the story of a farm in Hawke’s Bay practicing regenerative agriculture.

“Regenerative agriculture offers a future for sustainable farming of meat in line with nature’s needs, by using holistic management and organic/biodynamic practices and even sequestering carbon in the soil – so important in the fight against climate change. At Mangarara, in New Zealand’s beautiful Hawke’s Bay, Greg Hart and his family are in the process of restoring 1500 acres of land conventionally farmed for over 150 years into the paradise it once was.”

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“What’s the best way of supporting increased soil carbon?”

Here‘s a tricky question. We need a system of payment for farmers and Traditional Owners who sequester carbon. But we certainly don’t want increased soil carbon used as an offset. What’s the best way of supporting increased soil carbon?”

» The Guardian – 23 July 2017:
‘The idea is coming of age’: Indigenous Australians take carbon farming to Canada
“The Aboriginal Carbon Fund has signed an agreement with Canadian First Nations peoples to share lessons from successful land management program”

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As the Coalition keeps talking up coal, here’s farmer David Quince from Tambar Springs on ‘coexistence’.

» Share this video on Facebook



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Verity Morgan-Schmidt, CEO, Farmers for Climate Action

Since first coming together as a group of concerned farmers two years ago, Farmers for Climate Action has connected with a network of over 3,000 Australian farmers and industry leaders.

Farmers for Climate Action (FCA) have joined the large coalition of groups fighting against Adani’s giant Carmichael coalmine, after they became concerned about the affects the mine would have on groundwater, biodiversity, rural communities and climate change. Close to 70,000 people have signed Queensland grazier Angus Emmott’s petition to the Queensland Premier to rescind the unlimited, free 60-year water license they are proposing to grant to the Adani coal mine. 

Australian farmers are a well respected and trusted group within the Australian community, which gives FCA the opportunity to explore strategies for driving meaningful strategies to address climate change. They are receiving a fair degree of media coverage and will continue to be working to advocate for solutions and action in this arena.

FCA are associate members of the National Farmers Federation and were instrumental in creating policy change within NFF to recognise climate change as an important issue for Australian farmers. Their network also includes many of those who are or have been active on peak industry bodies and they are engaging with an increasing number of Queensland producers. They will also be bringing a Queensland coordinator on board in a couple of months.


» The Guardian – 30 June 2017:
Farmers join fight against Adani coalmine over environmental concerns
“More than 2,000 farmers and agriculture leaders express concern proposed Carmichael coalmine could affect groundwater, biodiversity and climate change”



Apart from restoring carbon and biodiversity in the landscape, focus areas of Farmers for Climate Action are:

• Research, Development & Extension – Scoping the RD&E landscape across all agricultural sectors to identify gaps in knowledge and barriers to successful climate change adaptation at the farm gate level.


• Supporting an energy transformation away from fossil fuels into renewables – with emphasis on ensuring benefits for regional communities 


• Policy, advocacy and lobbying – demonstrating the clear need for action on climate change from a farmer perspective 


• Membership & Outreach – working to ensure that we get as many farmers involved as possible and support the Australian farming community to deal with the realities of climate change.


Verity Morgan-Schmidt’s background
Originally a farm girl from the sheep and wheat country of Western Australia, Verity is a former Executive Officer for Western Australian Farmers Federation. No stranger to advocating for agriculture’s interests in the political arena, Verity managed WAFF’s response to both the introduction of $1 milk and the live exports ban, rallying farmers and rural communities to make their voices heard. Verity previously worked for Elders Ltd, including a stint at the National Wool Selling Centre in Victoria. She is the former Executive Officer for Country Noosa, an organisation linking hinterland producers to coastal communities in South East Queensland. Verity holds a Master of Arts (Politics) in Sustainability and Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Politics and Global Studies.


» Home page: www.farmersforclimateaction.org.au

» Facebook page: www.facebook.com/FarmersforClimateAction



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» Science – 11 July 2017:
The best way to reduce your carbon footprint is one the government isn’t telling you about

» Rutland Herald – 25 March 2017:
Using soil to fight climate change



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A voice for the farmers

In today’s Sustainable Hour, we interview Alan Broughton, researcher and co-author of a book about sustainable agriculture

‘Sustainable Agriculture Versus Corporate Greed’ is a book by Bairnsdale biological agriculture researcher Alan Broughton and Queensland beef producer Elena Garcia. They question the benefits to farmers of free trade and deregulation.

“This new book is vital to understand the desperate state of farming in Australia and the world. The foolish thinking behind the way world leaders propose to manage sustainable food production is clearly exposed.”
~ Michael Reid

“There is a continual drive for farmers to increase their inputs of fertiliser, mechanisation and pesticide to raise production to keep up, but this is self-defeating, causing greater indebtedness, heightened risk and further land degradation. The majority of farms only survive through off-farm income. The authors conclude that corporate control of agriculture must be challenged in order for farmers to be properly rewarded for their work.”

» Read more on www.egln.org.au


Article by Alan Broughton


» Green Left Weekly – 15 January 2016:
Ruminants and methane: Not the fault of the animals


Comments to this article on Facebook
“Ah at last. The field I have been working with for the last decade is finally seeing the light of day. Perhaps my environmentalist friends will consider looking into it further now that it’s published in Green Left Weekly. It’s quite simple really. Cattle managed badly destroy the environment and the planet. Cattle managed to bio-mimic the regenerative grazing of the world’s big wild herds can actually repair, restore, revitalise and regenerate land. In doing so they sequester both carbon and methane, pulling far more into the soil than is released into the atmosphere. If you’d like to know more about this incredible natural technology which can help save our planet, please ask”
~ Cindy Eiritz
 
“This is an important debate. There may be considerable carbon sequestration potential in soils. And the option to increase water levels in soils too. Maybe even potential to attract rainfall back over drying land. Maybe increased reindeer herds can help slow down the permafrost melt (see the Drawdown book). But we need to sort out whether ruminants help or hinder and look at the role of industrial farming practices in destroying methanogenic bacteria.”
~ Jane Morton



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About regenerative agriculture

Regenerative agriculture is listed as ‘solution no. 11 in the new book ‘Drawdown’, which presents 100 solutions to the climate crisis. The impact of regenerative agriculture is according to the researchers:


“From an estimated 108 million acres of current adoption, we estimate regenerative agriculture to increase to a total of 1 billion acres by 2050. This rapid adoption is based in part on the historic growth rate of organic agriculture, as well as the projected conversion of conservation agriculture to regenerative agriculture over time. This increase could result in a total reduction of 23.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide, from both sequestration and reduced emissions. Regenerative agriculture could provide a $1.9 trillion financial return by 2050 on an investment of $57 billion.”

» www.drawdown.org/solutions/food/regenerative-agriculture


Regenerative agricultural practices

Conventional wisdom has long held that the world cannot be fed without chemicals and synthetic fertilisers. Evidence points to a new wisdom: The world cannot be fed unless the soil is fed. Regenerative agriculture enhances and sustains the health of the soil by restoring its carbon content, which in turn improves productivity—just the opposite of conventional agriculture.

Regenerative agricultural practices include:

• no tillage,

• diverse cover crops,

• in-farm fertility (no external nutrients),

• no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and

• multiple crop rotations.


Together, these practices increase carbon-rich soil organic matter. The result: vital microbes proliferate, roots go deeper, nutrient uptake improves, water retention increases, plants are more pest resistant, and soil fertility compounds. Farms are seeing soil carbon levels rise from a baseline of 1 to 2 percent up to 5 to 8 percent over ten or more years, which can add up to 25 to 60 tons of carbon per acre.

It is estimated that at least 50 percent of the carbon in the earth’s soils has been released into the atmosphere over the past centuries. Bringing that carbon back home through regenerative agriculture is one of the greatest opportunities to address human and climate health, along with the financial well-being of farmers.


» The Examiner – 16 July 2017:
OUR FUTURE | Climate change and farm animals
By Dr Guy Weerasinghe




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About ‘Drawdown’

The book ‘Drawdown’ is edited by Paul Hawken and written with support from two hundred climate analysts, provides a much more hopeful prognosis than Wallace-Wells’ piece, arguing that we can reverse climate change by scaling up technologies and practices that are fully mature today. Hawken’s book is paired with an extensive website, www.drawdown.org, that describes 80 strategies for battling climate change, along with another 20 that are on the horizon.

‘Drawdown’ highlights the importance of some less-talked-about solutions. Reduced food waste (#3) and plant rich diets (#4) could, in combination, reduce emissions by more than 130 billion tons.

A large number of strategies are based on building a better relationship with nature.

23 of the 80 ‘Drawdown’ solutions are based in forests, agriculture or other land management strategies including tropical forests (#5), forest pastures (#9), regenerative agriculture (#11), temperate forests (#12), peatlands (#13), afforestation (#15), conservation agriculture (#16) and managed grazing (#19).

» Read more: www.drawdown.org



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‘Regeneration’ instead of ‘Sustainability’

“For 25 years, sustainable development has been held up as the solution to the world’s problems. But instead we have had ever more pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change. The concept of sustainability has been abused like few other terms in history. It is time to think not just about sustaining the world’s badly damaged ecosystems and human communities, but about regenerating them instead. (…) The refusal to put a price on nature’s services and on ecological and social externalities is a systemic problem.”

» The Guardian – 10 June 2013:
Sustainability is unhelpful: we need to think about regeneration
“The term sustainability has been stretched to become almost meaningless. It’s time to talk about regeneration,” writes Herbert Girardet




 GOING DELUSIONAL: 

Australia’s climate-denying energy politics

Links, notes and elaboration to what we talk about in the podcast


“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s statement that “Those people who say coal and other fossil fuels have no future are delusional and they fly in the face of all economic forecasts” confirms that four Australian states were right to go it alone, after his government failed to deliver a clean energy target at the COAG meeting. (…) His statement illustrates how far the climate deniers in his government have compromised him in the interests of retaining power.”
~ Dr David Shearman AM FRACP, Hon. Secretary of Doctors for the Environment Australia, and Emeritus Professor of Medicine University of Adelaide 

» The Guardian – 19 July 2017:
COAG: Can democracy weed out climate deniers?


“Despite paying lip service to sustainability issues, most politicians still operate firmly within an outdated growth paradigm in which new roads, new coal mines, or fracking for oil and gas, are touted as solutions to urban transport and energy problems.”
~ Dr Samuel Alexander, Research Fellow, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute; Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne

Vested interests threaten our security

The fossil fuel industry’s political wing, which currently has occupied government offices in Canberra. The stark reality here in Australia is that currently 77 per cent of our energy comes from dirty black or brown coal, 10 per cent from gas, and only 13 per cent from renewables, and the only reason for this is vested interests.

But our cities, states and territories are able to bypass that, just like in the United States, cities and states are now bypassing Trump. We need to realise that as long as our democracy is ‘occupied’ by vested interests, this is the only way we can protect our children from the threat of a complete climate change calamity that unregulated carbon emissions are building up in the horizon.

» Renew Economy – 12 July 2017:
Australia needs to cut electricity sector emissions by 60% by 2030
“A new report released by ClimateWorks Australia today shows Australia’s electricity sector needs to deliver a much greater cut than the 28 per cent emissions reduction analysed for the Finkel Review if we are to meet our 2030 target and put the country on a trajectory to net zero emissions by 2050.”


» The Sunday Telegraph – 15 July 2017:
Annika Smethurst: This mob wouldn’t be seen dead having a grown-up talk about climate
“Policies designed to reduce emissions have been the leading cause of political deaths in Canberra for the past decade.”

“If politics is theatre, climate politics is a family drama. For the last decade we’ve watched two rival households having the same endless argument. (In fair Canberra, where we lay our scene.)”
~ Greg Foyster

» Eureka Street – 21 June 2017:
Finkel and the climate theatre of the absurd


“The life of our reef is intimately linked to the health of our politics and the future of our communities. Coal has no role to play.”
~ David Ritter, chief executive of Greenpeace Australia Pacific

» The Guardian – 21 July 2017:
Dirty coal to dirty politics: everything is connected through a malformed political economy





“Politicians who promote the expansion and continuation of fossil fuel use in the face of all scientific evidence are deluded and irresponsible.”
~ Peter Doherty


Turnbull: Delusional? – or just a very desperate man?

This week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hit out at the Queensland Labor government’s so-called “reckless” plans to ensure the state’s energy supply is carbon neutral by 2050 and said Australia had an interest in ensuring the future of coal.


“Those people who say coal and other fossil fuels have no future are delusional and they fly in the face of all of the economic forecasts.”
Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s Prime Minister

How sad it is to be witnessing Malcolm Turnbull’s slide down the slippery slope to the dark coal cellar of manipulation and lies. Seven years ago, he was celebrating renewables and he spoke truthfully about the climate science that says we have to stop burning coal. Now he is trying to make people believe that renewables gives you “unreliable and unaffordable power”, drives business away and is a left-wing ideology:

LIE:

“We know what happens if you allow left-wing ideology and politics to drive your energy policy. You get unreliable and unaffordable power, and business is driven out of your state.”
Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s Prime Minister

TRUTH:

In Denmark, citizens receive increasingly greener electricity and heat every year. In 2015, wind turbines generated what corresponds to 42.1 percent of total Danish electricity consumption, and this figure is set to keep rising in the years to come.

Contrary what the coal-hijacked federal government tries to make Australians believe, the Danes are able to rely on that green electricity supply. Electricity consumers in Denmark had power in the socket 99.996% of the time, equivalent to only 19 minutes of outage on average per consumer in 2016.

Denmark is at the forefront when it comes to energy security, measured partly on the number of interruptions and the share of population having access to electricity. In both parameters Denmark is ranked number one in Europe, and number five in the world, according to World Economic Forum.

Left-wing, right-wing – this has nothing to do with it. Denmark is not a left-wing country – the country has had a right-wing government for years. Business has also not been driven out of the country – on the contrary. In particular the cleantech business sector is thriving there.

The Danes get more than 60 per cent of their electricity from wind, solar, hydro and other sources today, yet they will have to travel to Australia to experience what a blackout is.

» State of Green:
Denmark in top five among the world’s best electricity systems
“Denmark leaps up two places on the ranking and is now number five in the world in a new comparison of energy systems by the World Economic Forum.”

» State of Green:
Danish security of electricity supply remains among the best in Europe
“According to the annual security of electricity supply report just published by Energinet, Danish electricity supply continued to rank among the top European countries in 2016. Electricity consumers in Denmark had power in the socket 99.996% of the time, equivalent to only 19 minutes of outage on average per consumer in 2016.”


Don’t let your Prime Minister fool you. Renewable energy has never been and will never be an ‘ideology’, as Turnbull claims. It is plain common sense, socially and environmentally, but first of all economically. In that light it is extremely annoying, utterly offensive and absolute “crap” – or should we say Turnbullsh*t! – to have to listen to that sort of manipulating distortion of the truth, which only has one purpose: to make the Australian people believe that the coal and gas industry still has a future.

Since when was South Australia’s energy policy driven by “left-wing ideology”? According to the Prime Minister, a product like Apple’s iPhone should then be deemed a ‘left-wing ideology’, considering its preference and advertising for that Apple’s datacentres today runs on 100% renewable energy:

If advocating for policy that flies in the face of all science isn’t ideological, Mr Turnbull, it’s hard to know what is.


» The Guardian – 15 July 2017:
Malcolm Turnbull: ‘We’ve done more in past year than we did in previous three’
“Prime minister says those who think coal has no future are delusional, as Barnaby Joyce calls on party members to get behind Turnbull”


What is extraordinarily delusional here is that Malcolm Turnbull thinks he can get away with telling us this, when he – the same person – told us this in 2010 that, “Climate change is real, it is affecting us now, and it is having a particularly severe impact on Australia. And yet, right now, we have every resource available to us to meet the challenge of climate change except for one: and that is leadership. Our efforts to deal with climate change have been betrayed by a lack of leadership, a political cowardice the like of which I have never seen in my lifetime before.”

Malcolm Turnbull said this in a speech at the Deakins on the Politics of Climate Change in 2010. In the same year, he also stated that we have “zero carbon budget left” – meaning: we cannot allow ourselves to burn any more fossil fuels:

“Our response to climate change must be guided by science. The science tells us that we have already exceeded the safe upper limit for atmospheric carbon dioxide. We are as humans conducting a massive science experiment with this planet. It’s the only planet we’ve got.”

Well, science is telling us to stop burning coal. For instance, scientists from University of Oxford said last year that to avoid dangerous global warming, 2017 is the last year energy companies can build new coal power plants.

“For policy makers who think of climate change as a long-term future issue this should be a wake-up call,” said Cameron Hepburn, co-author of the study, back then. “Research published last year by four Oxford economists and scientists concluded that to keep climate change to below 2°C, no new coal plants can be built after 2017 unless they have zero emissions.”

“Climate models give a glimpse of the Australia we are creating. They show the nation’s wheatbelts, from Esperance to the Wimmera, dried to a crisp. They show the Queensland coast being thrashed more relentlessly by fiercer storms. They show a rash of summer bushfires that make Black Saturday look like candles on a cake. But they do not show the reef. By the end of the century, we will have boiled it to death. This is the Australia we are creating. Even more, it is the Australia we will have to accept if the Adani mine is approved.”

» For links to sources, see www.climatesafety.info/thesustainablehour167







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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


“With its coal-fired power stations, Australia is one of the worst polluters on the planet – and should be concerned about the future of its big cities on the coasts. According to our data, the levels on the west coast are increasing particularly strongly, at many stations more than ten centimetres. According to predictions of the global climate, the airport of Brisbane and the port of Melbourne are endangered.”
~ Correctiv, a German researcher group



Methane is of huge concern. It is more than 20 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and a massive release of methane in the Arctic could pose a significant threat to the global climate, driving worldwide temperatures even higher.

» The Independent – 19 July 2017:
Thawing permafrost poses even greater global warming threat than previously thought, suggests study
“As the world warms, methane trapped underneath the frozen tundra could be released, increasing the rate of warming in a vicious circle.”



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“With all due respect, Senator Canavan, you are robbing us of our future and you’re taking away a safe economy for Queensland.” (…) “Adani’s coal mine would be catastrophic for the climate and a disaster for my future.”
~ 20-year-old Michael Dillon, #StopAdani

Cairns anti-coal campaigner hijacks Q&A over Canavan’s Adani support

Cairns anti-coal campaigner Michael Dillon interrupted last night’s episode of ABC’s Q&A to deliver a brief anti-Adani message to Senator Matt Canavan before being dragged off stage.

Senator Canavan was being questioned about how Australia could profess to be bringing down carbon emissions while exporting huge amounts of coal when Mr Dillon took to the stage, waving a piece of paper.

“With all due respect, Senator Canavan, you are robbing us of our future and you’re taking away a safe economy for Queensland,” the 20-year-old said before being removed.

Mr Dillon said he was born and raised in Cairns and all of his family was in North Queensland.

“Climate change is savaging my home state. Half of the Great Barrier Reef, especially in the north, has been irreversibly bleached to death by warmer temperatures. When’s it going to stop? I’m 20, I have to live with the Senator’s decisions for the rest of my life,” Mr Dillon further stated.

» Source: www.cairnspost.com.au

» www.facebook.com/abcqanda




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Solution news

BBC Technology documentary on renewable energy
Published on youtube.com


“I was told 10 years ago it wasn’t possible to get across the Atlantic with a plane carrying a battery powered by clean energy before 2050, because of the weight of it and so on. But the way things are moving, it’s quite possible that a battery driven plane could carry a plane full of passengers across the Atlantic by 2030. The airline industry could tick that box [on reducing emissions] before some other industries.”
~ Sir Richard Branson, CEO Virgin Group


» RenewEconomy – 20 July 2017:
Transgrid: 100% renewables is feasible and affordable
“Major transmission company Transgrid says 100 per cent renewable energy is both feasible and affordable, and is urging policy makers to “step out in large ways” because incremental change will not deliver climate goals or potential cost savings.” By Giles Parkinson


» The Independent – 19 July 2017:
Irish farmers to create seaweed eating ‘supercows’ in bid to fight climate change
“Change of diet could reduce methane emissions by 99%, researchers claim”


“Over the past couple of weeks, a much-needed conversation about moving to 100 percent renewable energy has exploded into the national spotlight. Unfortunately, the focus has largely been on personal disputes and deep-in-the-weeds debates among folks who basically agree instead of a productive conversation about how we can get there.”

» Huffington Post – 18 July 2017:
100 percent renewable energy: 100 percent possible, 100 percent happening

Seema Jayachandran, an economist at Northwestern University, and her team randomly selected 60 villages in the Hoima and northern Kibaale districts of Uganda and offered owners of forested land $11.20 an acre a year if they did not cut their trees.

» New York Times – 20 July 2017:
A Cheap Fix for Climate Change? Pay People Not to Chop Down Trees


» Vox – 14 July 2017:
The best way to reduce your personal carbon emissions: don’t be rich
“Some lifestyle choices matter more than others.”

Biochar – a game changer?

“The first research step into the suitability of biochar as a livestock feed supplement will look for a reduction in methane or hydrogen emissions. It could allegedly be a real game changer for all sectors of the beef and dairy industries, not only as a way of reducing methane emissions and improving feed efficiency with the possibility of protocols for carbon credits, but for potential animal health benefits yet to be fully explored as well.”

» Canadian Cattlemen – 7 July 2017:
Biochar could be a game changer


Grow your own food indoors

“Vegetables, herbs, citrus trees and microgreens – like Mizuna, Kale, Radish, Mustard, Cabbage, Tatsoi and Pak Choi – are a great way to start growing fast, nutritious and fresh food at home. Microgreens will be ready to harvest in as few as 10 to 15 days.”

» The New Daily – 15 July 2017:
How to grow your own food indoors





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G20 Leaders’ Declaration – Shaping an interconnected world

G20 Summit 2017 Communiqué

“Improving Sustainable Livelihoods
Energy and Climate: A strong economy and a healthy planet are mutually reinforcing.
We recognise the opportunities for innovation, sustainable growth, competitiveness, and job creation of increased investment into sustainable energy sources and clean energy technologies and infrastructure.

We remain collectively committed to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through, among others, increased innovation on sustainable and clean energies and energy efficiency, and work towards low greenhouse-gas emission energy systems.

In facilitating well-balanced and economically viable long-term strategies in order to transform and enhance our economies and energy systems consistent with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, G20 members will collaborate closely.

We welcome international cooperation on the development, deployment, and commercialisation of sustainable and clean energy technologies and support financing by Multilateral Development Banks to promote universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy.”

“Striving to keep up the political momentum for global climate action…”

“We reaffirm our commitment to rationalise and phase out, over the medium-term, inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption…”

Agreed documents:

G20 Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth

G20 Action Plan on Marine Litter







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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