In preparation for the unprecedented

On 28 February 2018, the Sustainable Hour enters that unprecedented territory where fear and anger meets excitement over new opportunities as a result of climate change – the issue above all issues of our time.

We listen to speeches by Canadian director of the Climate Emergency Institute, Dr Peter Carter who has co-written the new book ‘Unprecedented Crime – Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival’, and by Melbourne-based climate action strategist Philip Sutton.

We talk with the editor of RenewEconomy – Australia’s leading renewable energy website – Giles Parkinson, and the Anglesea-based campaigner Mike Bodsworth. We also play a short Facebook-clip with an angry Adam Bandt from the Greens, and a song by Baba Brinkman.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 205 on 94.7 The Pulse:

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

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“The exciting thing is the pace of technology change and the opportunities that provides, such a contrast with the idiot policies we see at national level.”
~ Giles Parkinson, editor, RenewEconomy and One Step Off The Grid


 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Content of this hour

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




Welcome to the era of Wacky Weather.


Sunday: Flash flooding in Canberra. A month’s worth of rain fell in one day. Roads and homes inundated.


Monday: “Unusual” thunderstorm hits Perth’s south, tearing off roofs and flooding homes.  

On the same day closer to home: Bushfire. A winery on Mornington Peninsula sees half a million dollars’ worth of produce destroyed in a bushfire there.  


Tuesday: Damaging storms lash parts of Queensland with heavy rain and damaging winds, battering communities in north and outback Queensland. About 30,000 properties lost power during the storm’s peak, roofs are ripped off and debris smashed through windows and homes. Wind gusts tears 1,000 square metres from the roof of Mount Isa Hospital.

On the same day, newspapers all over the world write about that it is now warmer at the North Pole than it is in Europe… 25°C higher temperatures than normal. “It’s never been this extreme,” a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute is quoted as saying.

And it is all described in the media as this endless stream of ‘Wacky Weather’ reports, unconnected, unexplained.

Complaining about the weather won’t help as this mess is our own creation. What we are doing – and even more so: what we are failing to do – with our lack of will to change our consumption patterns, our transport habits, our life style and our air pollution is highly connected with the wacky weather we are seeing play out in front of our eyes every day now. As long as that connection is never established, or even suggested, in mainstream media, we can go on pretending “it’s probably not as bad as they say”.

But it is bad. This map shows it:

This map shows the human influence on extreme weather. Orange markers denote human influence on extreme weather. Image: Carbon Brief



Meanwhile, an existential risk as terrifying as a ticking nuclear bomb – but which never gets mentioned in the mainstream news, because something that is happening continuously all the time is not considered to be “news” – is the danger that could arise from thawing permafrost in the Arctic. As we gradually warm the planet up and the permafrost melts, it releases massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. New methodology shows much faster and deeper permafrost losses at a much higher rate of melt than previously known.

There is twice as much carbon locked up in permafrost as there is carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and studies done by the Arctic Council show that 20 per cent of the permafrost could be melted already by 2040. If this huge ‘cache’ of greenhouse gases that has been frozen for thousands of years is released by the thaw, it could eventually create a calamitous “tipping point,” at which the escalating cycle of warming permafrost will be impossible to stop. That’s our blue Earth looking like Mars in a hundred years – a scenario physicist Stephen Hawking warns us could be realistic.

We are seriously playing with fire when we choose to ignore this kind of danger. The news media fails to inform us about it even though it should be front page news that called for society-wide emergency response.





Scientists have a new expression: They talk about MMEs. That means “mass mortality events”. A single, catastrophic incident that wipes out vast numbers of a species in a short period of time. Apparently these events are on the rise and will become more common because of… once again: climate change.

In Kazakhstan, there was a rise in temperature and an increase in humidity in just a few days. It stimulated bacteria to pass into the bloodstream where it caused blood poisoning. 200,000 antelopes fall over dead, just like that, over night. Killed not by the heat, but from bacteria that came because of the temperature rise.


So are we just accepting this and moving on, saying, “This is the new normal because we couldn’t really figure out how to wind ourselves off that fossil fuel addiction”? Do we accept this as good enough? We are gambling with the atmosphere and the climate, so we are just going to sit an watch it all happen, saying… “too bad we didn’t do enough”?



Our federal government wants to dig for more coal all over the place, and subsidise it with taxpayers money, and they want to frack for gas, especially in the Northern Territory, apparently. There was a letter on the ABC News website on 27 February, a letter from leading scientists who had written to the Northern Territory fracking enquiry panel urging a ban on new gas extraction in NT – on climate grounds.

“The fracking inquiry found in its draft report in December that developing a single shale gas field in the Beetaloo region between Mataranka and Elliott would increase Australia’s emissions by five per cent.” …and there are several new gasfields being proposed.

Why isn’t there more protesting and anger about what is going on here in Australia? Why aren’t our federal government’s unethical, unsustainable, and irresponsible policies called out as what they are: unprecedented crimes against the Australian people.

Public opinion on climate change has shifted, because people actually can see what is happening, and they are not stupid. As the slogan of this year’s Sustainable Living Festival in Australia said it: “We get it.” Politicians who continue to ignore this issue above all issues of our time do so at their own peril.






“Things are changing in the bush. We know the future of our regional communities doesn’t lie at the bottom of a gas well or a coal mine. Most farmers support action to reduce emissions, and are already implementing solutions – from climate-smart agriculture to renewable energy. But our political representatives haven’t kept up. Rural Australia needs leaders with the strength to champion policies to reduce Australia’s carbon pollution – pollution that harms our livelihoods and risks a situation where our kids can’t choose to farm the way we do.” 
~ Verity Morgan-Schmidt, CEO, Australian Farmers for Climate Action



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Dr Peter Carter

Someone who is angry about it, and angry enough to co-write a new book about it, published on 1 February 2018 with the title ‘Unprecedented Crime’, is Dr Peter Carter, a Canadian who runs the Climate Emergency Institute. He has written the book together with Elizabeth Woodworth, who we interviewed in The Sustainable Hour one and a half year ago.

In The Sustainable Hour today, we played a six-minute excerpt from an interview Dr Peter Carter which Jack Etkin from Canadian Independent Media published on YouTube.com on 28 April 2017:




Book review
We posted this review of Peter Carter’s and Elizabeth Woodworth’s new book:
» ‘Climate change criminality and the period of consequences’

It’s written by Dr Andrew Glikson, an earth and paleo-climate scientist at Australian National University



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Philip Sutton

Philip Sutton talks about why he believes local government action can lead to national and global action was a presentation he gave at the Sustainable Living Festival on 10 February 2018.


» Download audio

Philip Sutton co-authored the book ‘Climate Code Red’. He is co-founder of Research and Strategy for Transition Initiation (RSTI), the Climate Emergency Declaration and Cedamia.

» You can listen to all presentations in this session about Darebin City Council’s new Climate Emergency Plan on www.climatesafety.info/theclimateemergencyplan


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Giles Parkinson

Giles Parkinson is a journalist of 30 years experience, a former Business Editor and Deputy Editor of the Financial Review, a columnist for The Australian, and the former editor of Climate Spectator.

In 2012, Parkinson founded the independent website RenewEconomy which has emerged as Australia’s best informed and most read website focusing on clean energy news and analysis, as well as climate policy.

The website’s overall readership averages more than 250,000 unique visitors each month. By October 2017, it surpassed 25 million page views in total. The daily newsletter is received by more than 15,000 people, mostly in industry, with an excellent open rate of 38 per cent.

» Articles on RenewEconomy by Giles Parkinson




Most popular articles on RenewEconomy this week:

» Jaguar unveils its “Tesla killer”, and the EV race is on

» Will Turnbull’s Snowy Hydro continue its war against battery storage?

» GE unveils massive new 12MW wind turbine

» AEMO points to rooftop solar’s critical role in “remarkable” heat event

» Australia’s EV options vs the world’s – why are we waiting?


Giles Parkinson is also the founder and editor of One Step Off the Grid, a sister site to RenewEconomy which is designed to provide information and news to consumers on new technologies, explaining about what other people are doing and why, and helping them through this maize of information.

» One Step Off the Grid – 28 February 2018:
The What, Why, When guide to buying an electric vehicle in Australia
“Is there an EV available now or coming soon that will meet your needs? And would changing to an EV actually benefit you and/or the environment?”


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Mike Bodsworth

Mike Bodsworth is an Anglesea resident and chair of the Anglesea Bike Park Committee of Management. He lives in Anglesea with his wife and two children. He loves the outdoors and Anglesea’s unspoiled, natural character. “I feel lucky to live in a town that was so well protected by others before my time,” he says.

Mike has been a member of the Anglesea Bike Park Committee of Management for 11 years – since moving to Anglesea. Around Christmas last year he started a petition to Save Anglesea Bike Park, which is marked for destruction under the Anglesea Futures (DELWP) and Alcoa draft plans that are currently out for public comment. That petition was very strongly supported and led some people to ask him about the bigger picture – the draft plans. So now Mike is collaborating with lots of others to respond to the draft plans and urge others to respond. Some of the proposals in the draft plans could change Anglesea profoundly and permanently.

“We’re not advocating an ‘anti-change’ stance but urging people to look hard at this, ask hard questions, be skeptical and critical,” says Bodsworth.

You can submit your views on the Land Use Plan to the Victorian Government before 16 March 2018. The Draft Land Use Plan is available online at: www.engage.vic.gov.au/angleseafutures

Alcoa also would like to hear your views on the draft Concept Master Plan for its freehold land. This consultation closes on 6 March 2018. See: www.engage-anglesea.alcoa.com.au



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Dig deeper

» The Guardian – 1 March 2018:
Actions today will decide Antarctic ice sheet loss and sea level rise
“A new study finds that waiting 5 extra years to peak carbon pollution will cost 20 cm sea level rise.”

» Canadian Geographic – 21 February 2018:
The big thaw
“Arctic permafrost is thawing. What does that mean for the North — and the rest of us?”


» The Guardian – 28 February 2018:
Arctic warming: scientists alarmed by ‘crazy’ temperature rises
“Record warmth in the Arctic this month could yet prove to be a freak occurrence, but experts warn the warming event is unprecedented.”

» DW – 27 February 2018:
Arctic warmer than much of Europe is a worrying sign of climate change
“As frigid air sweeps across Europe, the Arctic itself is seeing an unprecedented warm spell. What’s going on and does it relate to global warming?”

» CNN – 27 February 2018:
Arctic temperatures surge in the dead of winter
“Although the Arctic has seen temperatures climbing for decades, the past few years have seen the most extreme changes, according to Martin Stendel, a climate scientist at DMI.”






» The Guardian – 24 November 2017:
I shut down an oil pipeline – because climate change is a ticking bomb
“Normal methods of political action and protest are simply not working. If we don’t reduce emissions boldly and fast, that’s genocide.” By Emily Johnston



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Crowd-organised film night: ‘A Plastic Ocean’

Geelong Inter-Church Social Justice Network (GICSJN) is crowd-organising a special one-time screening of the PG film on Monday 12 March 2018 at 6:30pm at Village Cinemas Geelong.

To ensure this film goes ahead, 57 tickets need to be sold by Monday 5 March. If successful, further tickets will be available to purchase up to 12 March. To purchase tickets please go to: www.tickets.demand.film/event/3703

Hope to see you there!

‘
A Plastic Ocean’: The film begins when journalist Craig Leeson, searching for the elusive blue whale, discovers plastic waste in what should be pristine ocean. In this adventure documentary, Craig teams up with free diver Tanya Streeter and an international team of scientists and researchers, and they travel to twenty locations around the world over the next four years to explore the fragile state of our oceans, uncover alarming truths about plastic pollution, and reveal working solutions that can be put into immediate effect.

Year: 2016 – Genre: Documentary – Environmental
 – Classification: PG
 – Director: Craig Leeson



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GEELONG SUSTAINABILITY:

Green Drinks about zero plastic in Geelong


28 March 2018 at Beav’s Bar in Lt Malop Street

Geelong Sustainability’s 2016 Canoe Ambassadors are pictured in What’s On in Geelong – a free, monthly, colour publication printed in 30,000 copies per month.

Geelong Sustainability will be doing it again this year in May.



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Film screening in Melbourne: The race is on

A roadmap for a clean energy future which explores the social, environmental, economic and psychological changes that are needed to lead us to a sustainable, renewable energy economy by 2040.

‘The Race is On’ shows us how our societies can be transformed into an ultra-low carbon way of living fit for our children’s future. This is not a fantasy, all the technologies needed to succeed are already here. The film showcases innovative solutions and lays out a clear and exciting plan for action to help build the world we need.

This utterly huge shift may be the greatest and most urgent transformation of our generation – it’s a race against time.

The Race is On exposes how serious the climate change threat is, but also how near we are to ensuring we avoid its most dangerous consequences.
Featuring contributions from world leading experts on the science, policy, economics and community, The Race is On will generate urgent discussions on how we can act now to avoid disaster.

Presented by Melbourne Sustainability Society Institute (MSSI)

Time and place: 1 March at 6:15pm in Cinema Nova, 380 Lygon Street, Carlton

» www.slf.org.au/event/race



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Baba Brinkman: ‘I.P.C.C.’

» Buy the track

Lyrics

You want a new definition of “hard core”?
Check out the intergovernmental climate report
It says the world is getting warmer, unequivocally
And the oceans have increased 30% in acidity
And 90% of the warming trend is oceanic
And concentrated in the arctic – nobody panic
But the level of greenhouse gasses in the air
Is higher now than it’s been in millions of years
We added more than a trillion tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere
It’s gonna be centuries before some of the gasses clear
I’m dropping science, unvarnished, unbiased
But I don’t blame you if your instinct is to deny it
‘Cause we evolved to prioritize immediate threats
If it bleeds it leads, that’s what the media says
So let the gangster-esque rap music paint a picture
And I’ll hit you with some evidence-based predictions
Get ready for…

Wars, famines, droughts, floods
Hurricanes, heat waves, murders, thugs
Chaos, refugees, stress, disease
Extinction, disaster, I-P-C-C

Hollywood summer blockbusters can’t touch this
I get my thrills from the latest reports published
By the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Formed in 1988 to get the science straight
Now they dropped the fifth assessment and the data’s up to date
So allow me to summarize: bad things on the way
Higher emissions, sea level rise, dire predictions
On target for disaster movie-style predicaments
In Copenhagen we set a limit of two degrees
But that’s still enough to disintegrate major ice sheets
Over the course of centuries, or maybe decades
Yeah, some of the details are still up for debate
They fluctuate between certain disaster and likely disaster
Slow and steady or higher and faster
Consensus, it’s the lowest common denominator
Which means it’s probably gonna be way worse
Than the…

Wars, famines, droughts, floods
Hurricanes, heat waves, murders, thugs
Chaos, refugees, stress, disease
Extinction, disaster, I-P-C-C

So be afraid, be very afraid
But we’re not, despite what the scenarios say
And the effect of talkin’ about it is visible yawning
And occasionally changing our behaviour microscopically
And even those who get it, tend to get it logically
But not viscerally, so we’re navigating myopically
The threat is existential, it’s not environmental
And your individual response is inconsequential
Only coordination of our whole species
Is gonna keep coastal cities from sinking below the deep seas
And when was the last time a solution included all of us?
Geophysics is at the mercy of geopolitics
Climate change communicators, keep it positive
People need to feel like they still have options
And we do have options, either we find a solution
Or we stick with the business-as-usual level pollution

And get used to the…

Wars, famines, droughts, floods
Hurricanes, heat waves, murders, thugs
Chaos, refugees, stress, disease
Extinction, disaster, I-P-C-C

Baba Brinkman: ‘I.P.C.C.’ from the album ‘The Rap Guide to Climate Chaos’ which was released on 30 September 2016. Written by D. Brinkman and Tom Caruana. Produced and Mixed by Tom Caruana





 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






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Clean Up Australia Day

Sunday 4 March 2018 is Clean Up Australia Day with nearly 50 sites around Geelong. See:

» www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au


Help clean up Australia

Newsletter from Carbon Reduction Institute:

Approximately 5% of all the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are generated from poorly managed landfill sites…

Worse still is the waste that is not disposed of correctly and creates issues such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the resulting micro plastics which are eaten by smaller fish and pass their way up to our food chain. Around 8 million tonnes of plastic flow into the oceans every year, and vast amounts more end up in bushlands, across the outback.

There are few more issues greater than how we manage the rubbish we create. Avoiding littering, increasing access to recycling and composting, and better managing landfill sites, are practices which have all been improving but to avoid the growing number of waste issues we must rapidly increase the speed at which we improve.

The easiest waste to deal with is that which is not produced; reducing packaging collected at the point of sale reduces the demand and therefore the volume.

At a household level, it’s as simple as avoiding single-use plastic bags and non-reusable bottles and replacing those with reusable shopping bags and bottles. In production and distribution, companies can look at using reusable straps instead of pallet wrap, or cardboard protection instead of polystyrene.

While these actions take more planning, right now there is something we can all do, and that is take part in Business Clean Up Day on Tuesday, February 27, one of three nationwide environmental campaigns under the Clean Up Australia Day umbrella. The others are a youth/schools’ event on March 2, and a general community clean-up on March 4.

As part of the Business Clean Up Day, CRI (a major sponsor) is working with Clean Up Australia Day to make the February 27 event, Carbon Neutral. Not only will organisers ensure rubbish is removed and disposed of correctly, but also that it is done without any additional impact on our climate.
~ Rob Cawthorne, Managing Director, Carbon Reduction Institute



Help the planet (and save) on Clean Up Australia Day, February 27
Event founder Ian Kiernan just wanted to make a difference in his own backyard when he first came up with the idea to spruce-up Sydney Harbour in 1989. Today, his simple concept has blossomed into the nation’s largest community-based environmental event, Clean Up Australia Day.

» Click here to find out more, and how all CRI-certified businesses can save 33% on registration.



2017 weather watch: NOAA’s season-by-season global reports
Forget what the sceptics are saying, climate change is real and it’s happening right now. Every corner of the globe felt the far-reaching impacts in 2017, from the catastrophic weather events in the U.S. to the scorching heat and record winter temperatures in Australia. By the year’s end, the global average was about 1°C above pre-industrial times, and 0.4°C above the 1981-2010 average, making it the hottest ever year without the influence of El Niño.

We break it all down for you here with the help of The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), one of the world’s leading scientific agencies.

» Click here for the State of The Climate Report, 2017.

Client Case Study – BioPak
With product packaging being a major contributor to the world’s waste problem, BioPak is dealing with this problem, head on.
Their biodegradable packaging options, carbon neutrality (NoCO2 certified) and efforts to minimise landfill, make BioPak the leader in sustainable packing in Australia.

» Click here for the full case study

CRI welcomes new clients to its certification programs
In the last few months, a number of Australian companies and businesses have engaged CRI to assist them in reducing their impact on climate change. They include:

  • Go-To
  • Hyperware Consulting
  • Mercure Wagga Wagga
  • Mercure Broome
  • Nexia Melbourne
  • Ningaloo Marine Interactions
  • Worldwide Printing, North Ryde

For taking such action, we believe companies should be rewarded and reap the benefits of an evolving consumer market.

» Click here for more details on who’s in the burgeoning Low Carbon Economy Directory – and how you too can sign on.

Carbon Reduction Institute
Suite 1304, 213 Miller Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060

» www.noco2.com.au

» Source



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Global Weirding with Katharine Hayhoe

“The easiest ways to fix climate change is population control and going vegan – right? Find out in this all new episode of Global Weirding.”

» Same video on Facebook

» Global Weirding’ YouTube channel



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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 to the program on your computer or phone, click here – or go to www.947thepulse.com where you then click on ‘Listen Live’ on the right.


Podcast archive

Over 200 hours of sustainable podcasts

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

» Archive on climatesafety.info – with additional links

» Archive on itunes.apple.com – iPhone friendly

» Archive on cpod.org




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Help us promote sustainable living

1. Print this A3-poster and put it on a wall or a board at your work place, a local café, shop or where ever you think there’ll be people who’ll find this information interesting.

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3. Let the The Sustainable Hour’s listeners know about your green product. To become a business supporter or sponsor, contact: Simon Finch, Marketing & Business Development, 947thepulse.comGeelong’s Premier Community Radio Station.

4. Maybe support us financially? Even a small donation will make a difference – in particular with printing expenses.

 

 


 

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