Power to the truth

In The Sustainable Hour on 9 August 2017, as Al Gore‘s documentary ‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power’ premiers in cinemas, Dr Michelle Maloney tells us about The New Economy and the conference about this topic in Brisbane in September, we listen to clear talk about economy, coal mining and green bonds from energy analyst Tim Buckley, while Labor’s Federal Member of Parliament for Corio Richard Marles talks with wool in his mouth about the Adani mine, Elon Musk and Leonardo DiCaprio talk about batteries, Professor of Economics at Harvard University Gregory Mankiw talks about carbon tax, Naomi Klein about low-carbon jobs.

The podcast also contains two clips from Scanlan’s Front Page, the program which runs on 94.7 The Pulse in the hour before The Sustainable Hour, featuring Denis Scanlan and Colin Mockett talking about recycling, Al Gore’s new film, truth and power. More information below.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 181 on 94.7 The Pulse:

» To open or download this programme in mp3-format, right-click here (Mac: CTRL + click)

  » Subscribe to ‘The Sustainable Hour’ podcast — via iTunes or via your own podcast/RSS software



It’s time to #LeadOnClimate and #BeInconvenient.

“The truth is the best antidote to this flood of anti-renewables policies based on fossil fuel-funded misinformation. When people learn the benefits of renewables, they push back against these policies, defying partisan political stereotypes.”
~ Basav Sen

» The Hill – 5 August 2017:
Dirty energy’s quiet war on solar panels



 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Content of this hour

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


“Only in an imaginary world is coal cheap”

Today in The Sustainable Hour we talk ‘truth to power’, about how our democracy has been hacked by vested interests protecting the old fossil economy based on no accounting for pollution and destruction – and how there is a new economy emerging around us – a new way of doing things that any truly clever and creative city would be transitioning towards.

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has well and untruly jumped on the fossil fuel industry’s bandwagon and helps spreading the lies that The Minerals Council of Australia keep delivering – for instance about coal being good for Australia, and that new coal-fired generation is “cheap” compared to renewables.

That claim doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Even Financial Review noted that the figures “bear no relation to reality”. The truth of the matter is that new coal-fired power stations are an increasingly expensive way to build generation capacity – a fact which was reiterated recently by Catherine Tanna, the managing director of one of Australia’s biggest power utilities, Energy Australia. And Bloomberg New Energy Finance has stated that “only in an imaginary world … is coal cheap”.

In other words, sadly, Australia has a Prime Minister who talks about others being delusional but himself lives in an imaginary world.

Reputational risks, regulatory risks and return risks are mentioned as key reasons why new coal-fired power is more expensive than it was historically, according to Bloomberg’s Kobad Bhavangri. And Simon Nicholas wrote in RenewEconomy: Cheap coal power? Only in an imaginary world – “Attempts to suggest coal power is cheaper than the plummeting cost of renewables look increasingly ridiculous and desperate.”


At the same time, it is great to observe how quickly narratives can change and the ‘trenches’ in the Australian climate war move. For instance, in The Sustainable Hour today we take a look at an ad in the Herald Sun, a newspaper which repeatedly has argued against the transition to clean energy and a safe climate. On 8 August 2017, the paper all of a sudden published a full page ad with a photo of Elon Musk, and the headline: ‘Star Power’. Suddenly we see the American electric car hero Elon Musk, the Herald Sun, and even the fossil fuel company Santos mentioned in the same ad.



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“Fossil fuels are expensive. Much of their costs are hidden, however, as subsidies. If people knew how large their subsidies were, there would be a backlash against them from so-called financial conservatives.”
~ John Abraham

» The Guardian – 7 August 2017:
Fossil fuel subsidies are a staggering $5 tn per year
“A new study finds 6.5% of global GDP goes to subsidizing dirty fossil fuels”



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Low-carbon jobs

Naomi Klein explains about the Leap Manifesto and new low-carbon jobs

The Leap Manifesto is a call for a Canada based on caring for the Earth and one another – for a just transition and for “a genuine leap to the next economy”.

“Climate scientists have told us that this is the decade to take decisive action to prevent catastrophic global warming. That means small steps will no longer get us where we need to go. So we need to leap.”

“The time for energy democracy has come: we believe not just in changes to our energy sources, but that wherever possible communities should collectively control these new energy systems.”

» Read more about the Leap Manifesto on www.leapmanifesto.org

» Read more about Carbon Free Manifestos



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CONFERENCE:

New Economy Network Australia

A ‘Building a New Economy for Australia’ conference is held from 1 to 3 September 2017 in Brisbane. 

It’s no secret that there is mass disenchantment with our economic and governance systems. And there is an extraordinary range and number of people and organisations around the world working to harness this towards positive change. Australia is no exception.

Thousands of people and groups are working at the new economy in one form or another in Australia. But unlike a lot of other places around the world, there has been no over-arching means of connecting and developing the movement. There have been pockets of work on the new economy everywhere, but nothing to stitch them together.

Building on the inaugural 2016 conference held in Sydney, the 2017 gathering invites people to come together to share stories of success, address challenges and join the broader movement – working together to build a ‘new’ economic system.

A three days of fun-filled discussions, ‘unconference’ open working spaces, facilitated workshops, site-visits, clinics, training and learning opportunities – as well as academic presentations, debates, games and more

» Flyer on www.neweconomy.org.au (PDF)


“At its nub, what [we’re] talking about is shifting the underpinning structures that support industrial society away from destruction, and towards sustaining, nurturing and restoring life.”
~ Dr Michelle Maloney

PODCAST:

Building the New Economy

A conversation with national convenor Dr Michelle Maloney, the national convenor and co-founder of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance, and the developing New Economy Network Australia. Both are strongly connected with fast-growing global movements, and a burgeoning mix of initiatives on the ground.

All this has inspired a rapidly growing convergence on the second New Economy conference coming up in Brisbane in September, to formalise the network and its strategies for regenerating the systems and stories we live by. In this podcast, Michelle talks about who’s involved, what it’s aiming to achieve, how you can get involved, and why it matters. She also talks about some of her personal journey, these networks she’s convening, and how they can help us rethink and regenerate our society’s systems, for the interdependent aims of good human living and a flourishing planet.

The podcast was produced by Anthony James, the executive director of The Rescope Project.

» Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud

» Rescope Radio home page: www.rescopeproject.org.au

» Rescope Radio podcast: www.soundcloud.com/rescoperadio and www.itunes.apple.com

» See Australian Earth Laws Alliance: 
www.earthlaws.org.au for more info about Dr Michelle Maloney

» New Economy Network’s website: www.
neweconomy.org.au



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Tim Buckley: The success of green bonds

Six-minute radio interview with Tim Buckley about green bonds and how they work.
» Transcript

Tim Buckley is rated Australia’s top industrial analyst. He has 30 years financial markets experience in Australia and provides financial analysis in the seaborne coal and electricity sectors for the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

As Buckley explains it, the fact that our governments up til this point have failed to create confidence in the energy market, is a very basic problem that has allowed emissions to rise unchecked. Creating confidence in the energy market is not something that necessarily costs money – it has more to do with political culture, leadership and proper, cross-party legislation.

» For more with and about Tim Buckley, see:
www.climatesafety.info/timbuckley



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Climate ignorance tried in court

Companies who rely on the exploitation of fossil fuels face increasing transition risks. So too do the banks that lend money to, and invest in, these projects. When banks invest in projects or lend money to businesses, they have an obligation to investigate and report to shareholders potential problems that may prevent financial success. Consequently, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is now being sued in the Australian Federal Court for misleading shareholders over the risks climate change poses to their business interests. This case is the first in the world to pursue a bank over failing to report climate change risks. However, it’s building on a trend of similar actions against energy companies in the United States and United Kingdom.

» Read more on www.theconversation.com



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FILM PREMIERE:

‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power’

» ABC Radio Melbourne – 11 July 2017:
Why Al Gore needed to make An Inconvenient Sequel



» Screening sessions in Village Cinemas in Geelong



“Victoria has some of the slackest political donation laws in the Western world. Dodgy developers, gambling lobbyists, or mobsters can influence our democracy for the right price.”
~ Australian Greens Victoria

» Petition:
Dirty money has no place in our democracy


» ABC News – 31 July 2017:
Labor senator Sam Dastyari calls for total ban on political donations



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Before the Flood

In The Sustainable Hour, we listen to a short clip from Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary film where Leonardo DiCaprio is visiting Elon Musk at his huge Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada’s desert. They talk about batteries, and what’s needed to tackle the problem with climate change – how we can make our energy consumption sustainable and clean. All it would take, Elon Musk tells us, is if the big businesses around the world would follow Musk’s example and build 99 more factories like Tesla’s Gigafactory.

» The Elon Musk clip starts at 57:30 in the film


Gregory Mankiw, Professor of Economics at Harvard University, has what we think is a powerful message to all of us – something we really really need to understand about how economics and climate policy work in our society:

“Politicians, whether we call them our elected leaders, are really our elected followers. They do what the people want them to do. We need to preach to the people. Once the people are convinced, the politicians will fall in line very quickly.”

“If you want to change the government’s view on carbon tax, you need to change the public’s view on carbon tax.”
~ Gregory Mankiw, Professor of Economics, Harvard University

» The Gregory Mankiw clip starts at 60:15 in the film

We aired these clips from Leonardo’s film first time on 2 November 2016








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#STOPADANI:

Fluffy statement from Labor MP on Adani mine

While allegedly fully aware of the disruptive and dangerous implications of the climate emergency caused by fossil fuel emissions, Labor MP Richard Marles says he expects Adani’s Carmichael coal mine to “meet the highest environmental standards” and has no further objections to it.

On 1 August 2017, the Stop Adani Geelong group had a meeting with Federal Member of Parliament for Corio, Richard Marles. All looked smiling and happy on the photo from the meeting, posted on Facebook as seen above.

According to Stephen Higgs who participated in the meeting, Richard Marles showed a surprising depth of understanding of the global warming disaster we are facing. “But he could only come back to us with the party line which is to oppose the NAIF loan on the grounds that such a large loan should not go to one company,” said Higgs.

The group indicated that they were not satisfied with that, and asked him to take back to the party the clear expression of the people of Geelong in opposition to both the mine and the railway loan.

They asked for an official statement in writing from Marles about his views on the Adani mine, and the smiles disappeared when that statement from him arrived a week later.

In the statement, Richard Miles writes that Labor has committed themselves to ensure that we have 50 per cent renewables by 2030, and that “conventional fuels will be a part of our energy mix in the future”. He writes about Labor’s “strong history of acting to protect the environment”, but nothing about opposing the Adani mine.

All he says is that the Adani project received approval by the government in 2015, and that “Labor will ensure that any proposed mining projects meet the highest environmental standards, so we will be closely monitoring if conditions are being met to those standards.”

His not opposing the mine is another way of indirectly supporting it – or being careful not to state anything that could compromise the Labor government of Queensland, which is helping the Indian mining company with getting the project started.

“Sorry but that letter is ridiculous and he actually comes across as supporting the mine,” commented one of the members of Stop Adani Geelong.

The group has recently done a survey of 174 respondents, interviewed in the streets of Geelong, which found that 98 per cent of them were opposed to the Adani mine and to a NAIF loan for the mine railway.

They have also contacted Federal Member of Parliament Sarah Henderson’s office requesting a meeting.

The group has scheduled an evening meeting to plan approaches to strategy on Monday 4 September at 6:30 at Trades Hall in Myers Street (tbc), and a morning meeting detailing strategy and implementation plan on a Saturday in September at 10am–1pm followed by lunch at Geelong Library (tbc).



Adani puts the jobs of thousands of Australians at risk

A new report prepared by Australian Research Council laureate John Quiggin shows Adani will be putting the jobs of thousands of Australians at risk to directly create “336 full-time positions”.

Mr Quiggin’s report, Growth opportunities and constraints for agriculture in Northern Australia, is funded by farmers themselves, through the lobby group Farmers for Climate Action.

It notes: “Agriculture is worth more than $18 billion to Queensland, employs 55,400 people and is growing. If the Adani mine goes ahead, it will place current and future jobs in agriculture at risk, because of the risk the mine poses to groundwater resources.”

Adani has won approval from the Queensland government for a 60-year unlimited licence for use of groundwater, as well as a $320 million “royalty holiday” for coal extracted. On top of that, it is asking the federal government for a $900 million loan to build a railway to port from the Galilee basin.

» The New Daily | Finance News – 9 August 2017:
Growing farm jobs is wiser than subsidising Adani’s coal









 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


“When do we hit the panic button? Now.”
~ Miriam Robinson




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https://twitter.com/ReclaimAnglesea/status/894050511938174976



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ADANI-DOWNER BLOCKADE:

Eight people arrested blockading industrial sites

Over eight days, eight people have been arrested while blockading industrial Downer sites, Galilee Blockade
 reported.

Galilee Blockade
 met with a senior Downer executive but, as they write, “Downer needs more convincing not to build Adani’s mine. So we’ll be at their AGM on 2 November in force, asking pointed questions and showing their shareholders what a Nonviolent Direct Action looks like first hand. With 100 shareholders needed for a special resolution, we need as many people as possible to buy shares ASAP.”



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#STOPADANI PETITION:

Tell CommBank to ditch fossil fuels

Commonwealth Bank is currently one of Australia’s biggest funders of global warming — investing four times as much in fossil fuels as it does in renewable energy. For the sake of its shareholders, customers, and the broader community, Commonwealth Bank should declare the climate risks of its current investments, and rule out lending to any new fossil fuel projects, starting with Adani’s Carmichael mega mine.

» Add your name on www.getup.org.au

» The Guardian – 8 August 2017:
Commonwealth Bank shareholders sue over ‘inadequate’ disclosure of climate change risks
“In world-first case, shareholders’ move comes after the Australian financial regulator warned climate change poses material risk to entire financial system.”



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CELEBRATION:

Geelong Sustainability 10 years

Listen to reflections by Kathryn McCallum, who was GS President in 2007 and 2008

Kathryn McCallum and Vicki Perret blow out candles and cut the birthday cake

» Read more on www.GeelongSustainability.org.au



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PODCAST:

Sunlight and seaweed with Tim Flannery

Did you hear the Greening the Apocalypse podcast from 8 August 2017?

Professor Tim Flannery drops into the studio for a talk about his new book – his second follow up to the highly influential ‘The Weather Makers’ – which is titled: ‘Sunlight and Seaweed: An Argument For How To Feed, Power, and Clean Up The World’.

At the end he also talks about Citizens Juries for Representatives in Parliament.

» Listen on www.rrr.org.au



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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?




Streaming live

facebook-square-logo2_300pxThe Sustainable Hour is streamed live on the Internet every Wednesday from 11am to 12pm (Melbourne time).

» To listen on your computer or phone, click on this direct link – or go to www.947thepulse.com where you then click on ‘Listen Live’ on the right.

Podcast archive

Hours and hours of sustainable podcasts

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

» Archive on climatesafety.info

» Archive on cpod.org

» Archive on itunes.apple.com – iPhone friendly




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