Amazing locals making a difference as temperatures rise

Guests in the Sustainable Studio on 20 September 2017 are: Monica Winston, Transition Streets Geelong, Leigh Ewbank from Act on Climate, and Jacqui Bennett from Humans in Geelong.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 187 on 94.7 The Pulse:

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Content of this hour

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


Community survey

The City of Greater Geelong has just opened an important survey that will guide the creation of a Community Zero Carbon Action Plan for Geelong.

The survey only takes a few minutes to complete and is only open for the next few weeks. Have your say on what a new Geelong community zero carbon action plan should look like.

The Community Zero Carbon Action Plan will map and prioritise projects, programs and partnerships to support a zero carbon Geelong. It will also highlight partnership projects and who is best placed to deliver zero carbon actions. So they are keen to hear from you and other community members to understand what actions you’re currently taking and what support you need to reduce emissions at home.

This is an important opportunity to contribute your ideas for a zero carbon and 100% renewable Geelong.

Please make sure you complete the survey before it closes on Sunday 1st of October. Click below to take the survey now. You can also help share the survey with your friends and family by sharing this post or the link below on Facebook.

» Take the survey now:
www.geelongaustralia.com.au/yoursay

» Share the video from youtube.com

» Read more:
Call for your ideas: Action plan to reach zero carbon





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Click to read more

50 organisations and individuals will be involved in the Humans in Geelong Expo – a free community event with guest speakers, workshops, displays, live performances, free face painting and crafts for kids.

Jacqui Bennett is Voluntary Coordinator

» www.facebook.com/HumansinGeelong

» www.humansingeelong.com





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Monica Winston

Monica Winston

In this interview, Monica Winston talks about the new Transition Streets in Geelong, and about how the Transition Street model helps cultivating decentralised leadership and becomes a way of combining sustainable living with local community development. She also talks about the climate emergency and the work Darebin City Council is doing to act on it.

Four households in Norlane are looking for more residents in the area, similarly in two different parts of Highton and in three parts of Belmont.

» Transition Streets Geelong on Facebook




» The Guardian – 21 September 2017:
Climate optimism has been a disaster. We need a new language – desperately
“The extreme weather of the past months is a game-changer: surely now the world is ready to talk about climate change as a civilisation-collapsing catastrophe”

Can you identify with Emilia’s feeling? So let’s get to work!

Transition Streets in Geelong

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

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

Want to start your own Transition Street? Three steps

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

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

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

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

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


New “central” home page for Transition groups in Geelong

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

See: www.transitiongeelong.com.au

» Transition Geelong on Facebook



See also: www.transitionsouthbarwon.org.au





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Local solutions to tackle climate change

Applications are now open for the Andrews Labor Government’s $3.8 million Climate Change Innovation Grants.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today encouraged community members to apply for the grants and to attend one of the many marketplace events being held across Victoria. The grants will provide between $50,000 – $300,000 in funding support to innovative projects and promote local action on climate change as we work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A series of events are being held during September and October across Victoria to discuss regional climate change priorities.

The Climate Change Innovation Grants are part of the Labor Government’s $5.6 million investment in the Virtual Centre for Climate Change Innovation Program.

Inaction is not an option, and these grants will help local communities work together to reduce emissions, adapt to climate change and grow the industries and businesses that will position Victoria for a low carbon future.

For more information on the Climate Change Innovation Grants visit www.climatechange.vic.gov.au
To register for a marketplace event visit www.eventbrite.com

Need help to make a Climate grant submission? See
www.actonclimate.org.au/bright_idea



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Adam Bandt

“I was proud to table in parliament a petition from thousands of people of faith calling for urgent action on climate change and a just transition to renewable energy.

The message and values of the communities of faith who supported the petition was loud and clear: we need to care for each other. We’ve seen over the last week in Bangladesh and Houston what climate change looks like. We can’t abandon our sisters, brothers, or neighbours to the crueller world that will be an inevitable result of climate change if we don’t act.”
~ Adam Bandt, 13 September 2017



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The blessings of fossil fuels



The next one who says that wind turbines are “utterly offensive”, try to clean the oil of one – or 1,000 – birds. That’s nothing but utterly disgusting and painful.

Last night, some one left the gas heater on without flame – filling the air in the room where two of our kids sleep with gas. They could have been gassed, or killed in an explosion.

Bring on the wind and solar, please, and let’s go all electric. No more time to waste!

Photo from Salamis Island, Greece. The oil spill has now reached the beaches of Athens. 180 tonnes have been cleaned up. 2,320 tonnes remaining.

Read more:

» New York Times – 14 September 2017:
Greece oil spill



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VW to spend 84 billion dollars on EVs

VW has committed to spending 84 billion dollars on EVs thru 2030 which is definitely going to get the attention of all major automakers and in all likelihood spur their EV efforts as well.

» Read more on www.electrek.co



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Malcolm Turnbull delusional turnaround on climate

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

» Sydney Morning Herald – 17 September 2017:
How Malcolm Turnbull has trashed the Liberal Party record and betrayed our oceans





 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




“I doubt the NSW Minerals Council asked whether those people would prefer clean solar and wind to more open-cut pits, particle pollution and runaway climate change, which is the real choice we face today.”

» Newcastle Herald – 14 September 2017:
Clean energy the clear winner with the people


Taking the problem with climate change to court

The problem with climate change is not the so-called ‘natural’ disasters that it cause. They are not ‘natural’ because the problem with climate change is that it is a human-made problem. Companies knew for decades that their products caused climate change and posed ‘catastrophic’ risk, but misled the public and continued to make enormous profits.

These are not my words. This is what San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Oakland City Attorney Barbara J. Parker announced recently.
So when humans are the problem, climate change becomes a matter for the courts. Consequently, the cities of San Francisco and Oakland are now suing the top five oil and gas companies over costs of climate change.

Hold that development up against the climate crimes Australia’s current federal government is committing by subsidising the fossil fuel industry with $8 billion every year, while pushing for opening up more coal mines and even to build more coal-fired power plants. This occupation of our democracy by a powerful vested interest group is obviously not going to continue for very much longer. We are finally beginning to see cracks in the walls that these Masters of Pollutions have managed to build around their dark ‘empire’ of fossil fuels.

» PR Newswire – 20 September 2017:
San Francisco and Oakland sue top five oil and gas companies over costs of climate change



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Rising electricity costs: election bluff

“So you reckon you’re paying too much for electricity. What if I told you that at the latest official count you spent no more on it than you would have in 1984?”

Peter Martin, economics editor of The Age, wonders:
“Why the anguish about electricity? Why is the prime minister concerned that the bills could bring him down? It could be because, unlike communications bills, we can’t see what we are getting for electricity bills.

“Until recently we didn’t much seem to mind. For more than a century through two World Wars and the Great Depression we consumed more of it each year than the year before. Then from 2010 (well before the introduction of the carbon price) the price became suddenly visible, and for the first time in living memory we cut back. Tony Abbott had sounded the alarm about a “great big new tax on everything”. The Sunday roast was going to cost $100, Whyalla was going to be wiped out. Politics became about electricity prices. And it didn’t stop.”

» The Age – 16 September 2017:
Household expenditure survey. Get real. Electricity isn’t that expensive



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Advocating for more coal


As Australians have learned, they were being taken for fools at the 2013 national election. The so-called ‘Carbon Tax’ was scrapped by Tony Abbott in order to protect the coal industry, not to save the Australians $550 a year on their household electricity bills.
The average Sydney household now pays $935 per year more in power bills, and as the video shows, Labor now uses this as ammunition against the Liberal-National government.

The sad part of this is that emissions are rising as a consequence of the policy games, and no one talks about how to implement legislation that will help protect Australians, the Great Barrier Reef and all life on this planet against the global temperature rises. On the contrary, four years later, Tony Abbott is still advocating for more coal.

Tony Abbott is reportedly threatening to cross the floor to vote against a clean energy target, warning Malcolm Turnbull it would be “unconscionable” for the government to do anything to further encourage investment in renewable energy.

Abbott told Sky News the government had to address market failure by providing base-load power and building coal-fired power stations.
“If we can have Snowy 2.0, let’s have Hazelwood 2.0, and get on with it,” he said.

» The Guardian – 20 September 2017:
Tony Abbott warns against ‘unconscionable’ renewable target



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icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Podcasts and posts about climate change

icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Spell of climate inaction: lift it with knowledge


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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