Better conversations a prerequisite for bike connections

Why is it either a ‘Big Yes!’ or ‘Hell No!’ to new bike lanes? Could there be a middle ground? If we want better bike connections in our city, there are a number of myths to be dispelled and frustrations to be addressed. Enter the benefits of actually having a conversation. This Sustainable Hour may hint how that could work.

Guests in our sustainable studio are Councillor Stephanie Asher, Vince Albanese, a shop owner and spokesperson for a group of petitioning Belmont traders and residents, and Tony Grgurevic who is president of Bicycle Users Geelong.

We also talk with Thea Ormerod from the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change about a webinar for Catholics about divestment, coming up in a week. More info below

Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 202 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


“We must speak up for our bike paths, because they can’t do it themselves.”
~ Alex and Matt, 10 and 12 years old, The Solar Buskers

‘Bike Power’


New music video from The Solar Buskers – let them know what you think about it!

If you live in Geelong, let Council know what you think about cycling and bike paths before Friday 16 February 2018:

» Fill the survey: ‘Building Better Bike Connections Survey’

Are you or aren’t you in support of the $4.7 million state government investment for separated bike paths running through town to the Barwon river and beyond through Belmont? The two cycling routes ware meant to connect central Geelong to Waurn Ponds, via Belmont, and central Geelong to Herne Hill, via Geelong West.

» More information: Geelong Council – Your Say

Barton Van Laar

» Last week’s Sustainable Hour with Barton Van Laar from Bike Safe







Vince Albanese

“95 per cent are not ‘anti bike lanes’. We’re not. We welcome bike lanes. But what we don’t welcome is to lose all the parking instead. (…) I think greening the street will look beautiful. I’m actually in favour of it.”
~ Vince Albanese, shop owner, High Street, Belmont, in The Sustainable Hour



Public bike path discussion in Belmont

Council’s ‘Drop in session’ on Tuesday: You can drop in and ask questions about the bike lane project between 3:00pm and 6:00pm on Tuesday 13 February 2018 at Belmont Library.



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Thea Ormerod

“Behind the scenes we all have accounts, and funds, and super funds, and we can do this as individuals and in our organisations: take our money away from where it is being invested in [fossil] mining and extractive industries, and polluting industries like coal-fired power stations. This will be a webinar about how you go about doing that.”
~ Thea Ormerod, president, ARRCC

WEBINAR:

Live Laudato Si’ with fossil fuel divestment decisions

“The prophetic stand of Australian Catholic organisations”

Thursday 15 February at 5:00pm Australia (7am GMT)

“This webinar will help you to understand the practical implications of taking a prophetic stand in relation to financial investments in energy and the move away from fossil fuels as a way to live Laudato Si’. On the basis of their own experiences, key people in two Australian Catholic organisations will give more detail on how they are managing effective implementation of their organisation’s divestment decisions.

Implementation can be somewhat complex in the Australian context. To answer questions from the viewing audience, the two presenters will then be joined by Fiona Thomas, a financial adviser with Ethinvest, a local firm established by a Christian which specialises in environmentally responsible investment.”

Who:
Jacqui Remond – Former Director, Catholic Earthcare Australia and Co-founder Global Catholic Climate Movement
Thea Ormerod – President of Australian Religious Response to Climate Change
Peter Richardson – Executive Director of CatholicCare Sandhurst
Fiona Thomas – Ethinvest
Daniela Finamore – Divest – Invest & European Programs Coordinator at the Global Catholic Climate Movement

» Sign up here



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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


Happy e-bike owner: Tony Gleeson

Electric Vehicle Expo in Melbourne on 18 February

The future of transport is here. See a range of electric bikes, electric cars and other vehicles at the Electric Vehicle Expo 2018 in Melbourne on Sunday 18 February 2018.

The largest event of its kind in Australia, you’ll be able to see EV displays as well as speak to owners who have converted their petrol cars to electric, hear tech talks from experts, have a test drive, watch the colourful Show N Shine competition and enjoy entertainment in a family-friendly environment.

One of the highlights of the EV Expo’s lecture series will be Eva Hakansson, the world’s fastest woman on a motorcycle and a passionate advocate for electric vehicles, who will speak about her record-breaking electric motorcycle KillaJoule.

Melbourne University’s Bryce Gaton will also give a presentation on what electric cars are on the market and what you should look for when buying one.

» Go to the Electric Vehicle Expo website to find out more: www.evexpo.org.au



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‘Big weekend’ coming up

This weekend is the Sustainable Living Festival’s ‘big weekend’ in Melbourne, with market stalls and events along the river near Federation Square. Ferry departure on Saturday from Portarlington to Melbourne at 9am, organised by Geelong Sustainability


» Listen to last week’s interview with festival director Luke Taylor.




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Creating a climate fit for life: Going carbon negative



Four Pillars of Climate Take Back

“If humanity has changed the climate by mistake, can we change it with intent?”

“The fast-evolving world of carbon removal – sucking carbon out of the air to be stored and utilized – is a potential trillion-dollar industry,” say the people behind a new project called Climate Take Back.

Global warming is the biggest threat facing humanity. In response, here’s a company setting a bold new mission, ‘Climate Take Back’. The company is called Interface, and it is committed to running its business in a way that helps reverse global warming. They do so “with an optimistic outlook, a solution-driven approach, and a commitment to creating a platform for partnership and dialogue among like-minded people and organisations who share our intentions to create a climate fit for life.”

“We need to stop just thinking about how to limit the damage caused by climate change and start thinking about how to create a climate fit for life. We’re adopting a fresh perspective – one that views the current crisis not as a problem but as an opportunity. This is not a question for the future. Solutions exist today, and others are rapidly coming online. That means the path to creating a climate fit for life starts with changing how we think.”

“Every day plants pull carbon out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis, but release it when they decompose. We’ve taken that plant-based carbon and converted it into a durable material that prevents the release of that carbon back into the atmosphere, and we’ve stored it into a concept tile.”

In this video, Interface CEO Jay Gould, Chief Sustainability Officer Erin Meezan and ecologist and environmentalist Paul Hawken explain the key elements of Climate Take Back. It was published on youtube.com on 22 May 2017:


Discover +Positive spaces | Climate Take Back (Chapter 1)


Discover +Positive spaces | Climate Take Back (Chapter 2)

“What is Climate Take Back? How does it relate to Mission Zero? Hear from Interface friends and leaders on our new mission to create a climate fit for life. Chapter 1 of 2.”


See also:

» The New Yorker | Annals of Science – 20 November 2017:
Going negative – Can Carbon-Dioxide Removal Save the World?
“CO2 could soon reach levels that, it’s widely agreed, will lead to catastrophe.” By Elizabeth Kolbert. With audio.



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Letter from Mik to Labor


And a reply from Labor MP Tanya Plibersek

From: Mik Aidt
Sent: Wednesday, 31 January 2018 3:22 PM
To: Shorten, Bill (MP); Plibersek, Tanya (MP); Bowen, Chris (MP); Burke, Tony (MP); Butler, Mark (MP); Macklin, Jennifer (MP); Marles, Richard (MP); Rishworth, Amanda (MP); Albanese, Anthony (MP); Chalmers, Jim (MP); Connor.MP@aph.gov.au; Dreyfus, Mark (MP); Neumann, Shayne (MP); Rowland, Michelle (MP); Fitzgibbon, Joel (MP); Clare, Jason (MP); King, Catherine (MP); Collins, Julie (MP); Wong, Penelope (Senator); Farrell, Don (Senator); Carr, Kim (Senator)
Subject: It’s time for Labor to get real about the climate threat

To even suggest that burning coal at this stage could “stack up environmentally” is madness. We are in a climate emergency, and the scientists are telling us things look a lot worse than Labor has been willing to admit.

Global warming is on track to breach the toughest limit set in the Paris climate agreement by the middle of this century unless governments make unprecedented economic shifts from fossil fuels, a U.N. report said recently.

In November 2017, more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries re-issued a warning from 1992: ‘World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice’.

Mankind must take immediate action to reverse the effects of climate change, deforestation and species extinction before it’s too late, the scientists warned in a paper which captured the environmental trends over the last 25 years, showed realistic concern, and suggested a few examples of possible remedies and effective steps humanity can take to transition to sustainability. One of them was, “devising and promoting new green technologies and massively adopting renewable energy sources while phasing out subsidies to energy production through fossil fuels.”

“There is a scientific consensus that we need to take immediate action if we are to avoid catastrophic climate effects on the future of humankind, the diversity of life and the entire planet. Already hundreds of thousands of people die every year due to climate change-related extreme weather events and millions lose their homes, go hungry or are forced to migrate. Ecosystems everywhere, and the biosphere as a whole, are reaching dangerous tipping points. The prolonged impact of an industrial growth society addicted to fossil fuels and the rapid extraction of non-renewable resources is pushing against planetary boundaries,” wrote Daniel Christian Wahl, educator and author of ‘Designing Regenerative Cultures’

In short, Labor: this is serious. Its time to make a clear public statement opposing this dangerous coal mining project, once and for all.

Stop Adani!

Yours sincerely,
Mik Aidt Geelong, Victoria, 3220, Australia

———-

From: Plibersek, Tanya (MP)
Date: 2018-02-05 7:53 GMT+01:00
To: Mik Aidt
Subject: RE: It’s time for Labor to get real about the climate threat

Dear Mik

Thank you for taking the time to get in touch with me with your concerns about the Adani mining project. It is an issue I feel strongly about and I am very pleased that so many Australians feel passionately about this as well. Climate change and environmental protection are among the most important challenges facing this country.

I do not believe that the Carmichael mine project stacks up economically or environmentally. Businesses are even refusing to finance the project.

It is appalling that Malcolm Turnbull wants to give a mining billionaire $1 billion of taxpayers’ money for the project. Labor completely opposes this.

The Great Barrier Reef is Australia’s greatest natural resource and requires the strongest possible environmental protection. It is already under great stress. We must do everything we can to ensure that it is preserved for generations to come. Not only is it an environmental asset, it also supports tens of thousands of jobs for Australians.

The $1 billion that Malcolm Turnbull is proposing to spend should instead be used to support new jobs in North Queensland through infrastructure projects, agriculture, and tourism.

That is why last week Bill Shorten announced a consultation process in North Queensland with locals to discuss where this money should best be spent rather than on a new coal mine.

Labor is committed to zero net pollution by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement. We believe that Australia can be a leading clean energy superpower.

Renewables are Australia’s future. We need a clean energy policy that gives us certainty and encourages further investment in the renewables. Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals have caused policy chaos and have driven away investment. Having a plan for renewables is not only good for our environment; it is good for our economy, too.

Renewables are becoming cheaper than coal. They create decent, sustainable jobs. Under Labor, employment in the renewable energy industry tripled, households with solar panels went from 7,500 to well over 1 million, Australia’s wind power capacity tripled, and carbon pollution in Australia fell by 10 percent. Since the Liberals have been in government, almost 6,000 renewable energy jobs have been lost it has kept going up under the Liberals, and Australia’s carbon pollution emissions have kept going up, just like your power bills.

It is vital that we have a responsible government that is equipped to deal with the challenges facing Australian people, not a Liberal government that won’t even admit that there is a problem.

Thank you again for writing to me on this important issue.

Yours sincerely

Tanya

Tanya Plibersek is a senior member of parliament for the Labor party.



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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