Climate fighters putting bubbles and bodies on the line

The blockade of Adani’s construction works in Queensland is becoming Australia’s next frontline in the fight against the climate crisis caused by an industry that wants us to keep burning their fossil fuels. In the morning on 6 December 2017, a group of #StopAdani campaigners locked on to a gate by their necks with messages about preserving the Earth and our heritage for future generations.

In The Sustainable Hour on 6 December we have a short report over the phone from Jane Morton from the Victorian Climate Action Network, who describes the situation where Police are arresting those activists who refuse to move, including two members of the New South Wales parliament.

The term for this type of blockade is ‘Non-violent direct action’. Anglican Bishop Philip Huggins, president of the National Council of Churches of Australia, explains to us why he is supportive of non-violent direct action against fossil fuel projects such as the Adani coal mine in Queensland. It is about “demonstrating the extent and the intensity of our concern,” he tells us.

Our guest in the studio this hour is Torquay’s ‘recycling artist’ Regina Middleton whose remarkable artisan jewellery made from discarded plastic will be exhibited at the Boom Gallery and at Geelong Gallery in the coming months.

“Fight like the world depends on it. Because it does,” says the American climate action campaigner Al Gore whose ‘24 Hours of Reality‘ journey around the planet ends just one hour before The Sustainable Hour goes to air. We play an excerpt of an interview Al Gore did with climate councillor Tim Flannery in December 2016. We also play an 24 Hours of Reality’s interview with Erik Solheim, who is Executive Director of the United Nation Environment Programme and who tells us there’s five times more jobs in solar than in coal. More info below.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 198 on 94.7 The Pulse:

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

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All blockade photos on this page are courtesy of photographer Julian Meehan

“Some believe this to be extreme. In our view, it is being truly conservative to act according to our traditional values with the goal of conserving this sacred earth. We believe that in our context today, it is part of our mission as people of faith to include civil resistance in the suite of options we offer faith communities as they respond to the climate challenge.”
~ Thea Ormerod, president of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC)




 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Content of this hour

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





Jane Morton



Society is at a tipping point, but it needs a big push if we’re going to escape the status quo (which basically leads to catastrophic climate change). So we want to take affirmative actions that delay new fossil fuel projects.
~ Drew Hudson, 198 methods



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Bishop Philip Huggins

Philip James Huggins is the Anglican Church’s Bishop of the Northern and Western Region of Melbourne and Geelong. His visit to the energy minister Josh Frydenberg was in his capacity as current president of the National Council of Churches of Australia.

In this interview on The Sustainable Hour he explains why he is supportive of non-violent direct action against fossil fuel projects such as the Adani coal mine in Queensland. It is about “demonstrating the extent and the intensity of our concern,” says Huggins.

» Find more information about Bishop Philip Huggins on www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Huggins, www.acrt.com.au, and www.australianchurchesrefugeetaskforce.com.au


Similar words are coming from Rome, from Pope Francis, who speaks for and to the 1,2 billion Catholics in the world with a very clear message about getting off the fossil fuels quickly now.


“The world is now in a climate emergency, and this requires a response which is purely ethically informed and courageous, rather than cautious and self-protective.”
~ Thea Ormerod, president of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC)

» ABC – 30 November 2017:
We Are Facing a Climate Emergency: The Time Has Come for Civil Resistance



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Regina Middleton

Meet local jeweller, Regina Middleton from 5:30pm on Thursday 14 December at Geelong Gallery’s Sip & Shop evening. Discover her artisan jewellery made from discarded plastic gathered while scouring the beaches of the Bellarine Peninsula. Geelong Gallery members will receive 20% off purchases on the night.

» See much more on www.instagram.com/reginamiddleton

» Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/reginamiddletonjewellery



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No plastic bags in Victoria – do you agree?

Right now, the Victorian Government is considering banning single-use plastic shopping bags in Victoria. To come up with a ban that is fair, effective and lasting, they are asking Victorians to share their views and be part of a discussion on future approaches to managing plastic pollution.

Have your say on banning lightweight plastic shopping bags and future approaches to manage plastic pollution in Victoria. Consultation is open until the 25 January 2018.

» www.engage.vic.gov.au/waste/plastic-pollution



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‘War on Waste’ is back on ABC tv

In a brand new ‘War on Waste’ follow-up special, Craig Reucassel returns to again put rubbish on our radar. He looks at whether we’ve found any solutions and have Australians changed the way they think about waste?
 
» The one-hour program is available on ABC iView until 2 January 2018:
www.iview.abc.net.au/programs/war-on-waste
 
» Read more on
www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/war-on-waste
 



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CAMPAIGN:

Ask Coca-Cola to change their way

Coca-Cola produces an estimated 110 billion plastic bottles a year, and many of these end up in landfill, on beaches and in the ocean.

Greenpeace is calling on Coke to take action to reduce the amount of plastic they produce – as the world’s biggest soft drinks company they can change the way the whole industry operates.


The more people who watch and share this video, the more pressure Coke will be under to take responsibility for their ocean polluting plastic.
Watch and share the video to expose the truth about Coke’s plastic problem:
 


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Recycling in Victoria


Figures released by Sustainability Victoria during National Recycling Week in November show that Victorian homes generated 12.67 million tonnes of waste in 2015-2016. Of this, 8.49 million tonnes was diverted for recycling. However there is greater potential to decrease waste to landfill if we increase our recycling. And it is as easy as knowing what to put in your recycling bin.
 
Sustainability Victoria has put together a comprehensive guide on what you can and can’t recycle: www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/You-and-Your-Home

Recycling can differ slightly from Council to Council, so check with your Local Government office for the full list of items that can be recycled. For instance:
 
» In Geelong:  www.geelongaustralia.com.au

» In Surf Coast Shire: www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au

Recycling reduces the impact of climate change because recovered resources can go into new products and reduce the creation of greenhouses gases like methane. It also helps us to get the maximum value from the things we use.
 


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24 Hours of Reality – 2017

“When your world is in danger, you’ve got to speak up. Watch #24HoursofReality, a planet-wide broadcast about how people all over the world are fighting the climate crisis”



Dr Tim Flannery on “Carbon Negative Technologies” in Australia (24 Hours of Reality 2016)

Former US Vice President Al Gore interviews Dr. Tim Flannery, professor at the Melbourne University Sustainability Institute, chief councillor & founder of the Australian Climate Council (a nonprofit dedicated to providing expert advice to the Australian public on climate change), and author of the book, ‘Atmosphere of Hope’.

Dr Flannery explains how Australia can achieve carbon neutrality through “carbon negative technologies” like oceanic seaweed farms and putting a price on carbon.

Published on youtube.com on 27 January 2017


24 Hours of Reality 2017: Inconvenient Youth (Adelaide, Australia)

At Cowandilla Primary School in Adelaide, students learn about climate change from an early age. Inspired by what they learn in the classroom, the school’s Climate Change Leaders are cutting their carbon footprints everywhere from the energy they use to the food they eat, challenging their parents to take action too.

Published on youtube.com on 5 December 2017


Australian Climate Reality Leader Peter Hormann wants a better world for his son. He runs non-traditional workshops to educate people about the climate crisis and build relationships in his community. He is committed to energizing people to embrace practical, everyday climate action in their lives.

Published on youtube.com on 5 December 2017

» Home page: www.24hoursofreality.org



» JPratt27 – 10 December 2017:
Erik Solheim: My vision for a pollution-free planet

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Cartoon by Mark David

» See more cartoons from Mark David at Mark David Cartoons 
or on Twitter: @mdavidcartoons



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No Chinese finance for Adani’s mine project

Julien from Market Forces wrote on 6 December 2017:

“I’ve never seen anything like it. Yesterday, we received confirmation that the Bank of China, in their own words, “has not, and does not intend to, provide funding for the Adani Carmichael Mine project”.
 
Three Chinese banks in five days have publicly ruled out funding Adani’s mega mine. This was clearly no coincidence and later in the day China’s embassy confirmed that negotiations between the China Machinery Engineering Corporation and Adani had ended, due to an “absence of commercial feasibility”.
 
As far as we’re concerned, this is the end of Adani’s prospects of securing Chinese finance for the Carmichael coal project. If Adani ever tried to find another Chinese partner for their mega mine, they would still need to contend with the fact that banks have already ruled themselves out. 
 
Is this the end for the Carmichael mine? We’re close. After a flurry of activity involving lobbying, writing to banks and other investors, thousands of emails calling on the banks to rule out funding Adani, and planned actions at the banks’ Australian offices, Adani’s China option is no more. But as long as there are options available to Adani for finance, we’ll continue to fight them. 
 
Normally I’d ask you to take the next step on the campaign – and I’m sure I’ll be back soon to do just that. But after the last few days, the only thing I can recommend you do right now is celebrate.
 
And please note, if you were planning on coming to the Bank of China branch actions planned for this week, they have been cancelled.
  
Celebrating with you,
Julien, on behalf of Market Forces”

» Financial Review’s coverage of the developments






 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


Australian regulator warns financial sector

On 30 November 2017, Financial Review reported on an encouraging new direction from the top: Insurers, superannuation funds and banks are being warned by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) that they place their “futures in jeopardy” by ignoring risks related to climate change.

According to the article, APRA has started quizzing insurers, superannuation funds and banks about their awareness of climate change risks and what action may be required. It also plans to conduct an industry-wide review of climate-related disclosure.

The transition to a low-carbon economy is “underway and moving quickly”, according to APRA board member Geoff Summerhayes: “Shifts in market sentiment have increased the risk of asset value volatility, and for the potential for stranded assets. Institutions that fail to adequately plan for this transition put their own futures in jeopardy, with subsequent consequences for their account holders, members or policyholders.”

APRA has begun talks with Treasury, as well as fellow regulators Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Reserve Bank of Australia, on the sustainability and financial climate-related threats to the economy.

Centre for Policy Development policy director Sam Hurley said: “Thanks to the Paris agreement we now have a credible long-term anchor for policies and transitions to limit global warming to well below 2°C degrees. Shareholders, courts and regulators like APRA clearly expect businesses and investors to prepare for this transition – and also for the major physical impacts that are likely even if severe global warming of 2 degrees or more is avoided.”

» Financial Review – 30 November 2017: (Subscribers only)

APRA quizzes finance sector over climate change risk preparations

“It is abundantly clear that Australian companies and investors must now disclose the financial and economic risks that climate change poses to their business. This is not just a market expectation, but a legal requirement. To discharge it, businesses need to develop tools and expertise required to assess, report and respond to climate risks in a robust way. This is especially important in Australia, where climate risks are profound.”

» Centre for Policy Development – November 2017:
‘Climate Horizons – Discussion Paper’ (PDF)

» Canberra Times – 29 November 2017:
APRA’s Summerhayes says ‘weight of money’ now driving response to climate change
“Australia’s financial regulator says the transition to a low-carbon economy “is in motion” and local companies can opt to “float with the transitional current” or fight “against the rising tide”.”

» Bloomberg – 29 November 2017:
Moody’s Warns Cities to Address Climate Risks or Face Downgrades
“Coastal communities from Maine to California have been put on notice from one of the top credit rating agencies: Start preparing for climate change or risk losing access to cheap credit.”



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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