Care is in the air

…and on air, not just in The Sustainable Hour, but finally now also in national news programs and documentaries on the channels of our public broadcasters.

In The Sustainable Hour on 7 March 2018, we talk climate care with ACT’s Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment, professor Kate Auty, and with artist Margaret Rowe-Keys, who created a ‘1000 flowers for the planet’ exhibition.

We listen to Anna Skarbek, CEO, ClimateWorks, and Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO, Australian Conservation Foundation, who spoke at the Great Debate at Sustainable Living Festival on 9 February 2018 about how we tackle the climate crisis.

We also play an excerpt from ABC Four Corner’s new documentary ‘Weather Alert’, and a 30-second advertisement for SBS News which features an advice about how Australia collectively could reduce its carbon emissions with one small step in the bedroom.

And we play a song with our favourite peer-reviewed rapper Baba Brinkman. More info below.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 206 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




 MAJOR TURNING POINT – #1: 

Climate emergency on public media agenda

After years of mysterious silence and editorial confusion on the topic, Australia’s two public broadcasters, ABC and SBS, have started 2018 by communicating on both the problems and the solutions.


SBS News suggests a climate solution

SBS marketing campaign promotes ‘big thinking’ and carbon consciousness

SBS World News presenter Janice Petersen in a 30 second advertisement for SBS News, suggesting that Australia could improve its appalling emissions records if all Australians would turn down the heat at night during the cold season.

This video was published by SBS on YouTube.com on 1 March 2018.



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“For Australian business, business as usual is no longer an option.”
~ Quote from ‘Weather Alert’, ABC TV’s Four Corners

ABC breaks its silence with climate change documentary

On 5 March 2018, on the ABC, we saw this kind of investigation into climate change which has been absent and highly missed on national Australian tv for a very long time. Apparently the ABC has one journalist, Michael Brissenden, who decided to stand out and make a difference.

It was a deliberate cut from the producer’s hand that he did not claim to or want to tell the “full story” this time around. He wanted to focus on one story: what real persons, real Australians, people living in the present, have to tell us about climate change – rather than what the politicians think or have opinions about – or what scientists are able to predict and warn us about.

For once we did not have to hear about people who either “believe” or “don’t believe” – but rather about people who “have experienced in person” and therefore now have taken action at the personal level. They showed us showed the impacts that increasing extreme weather is already having on Australian agriculture and other major industries.

This was a wise editorial choice, considering how bad things stand in Australia at the moment. This kind of documentary as really important, because what it creates is “people-to-people” communication. Those ordinary people we see on the tv screen, talk to us about solutions. And it is this conversation we need to see happening and rising. #StoryChange!

We posted a rather lengthy blurb about the importance of “StoryChange” in this blogpost over the holidays: www.climatesafety.info/carbonsafety


» You can see ‘Weather Alert’ on ABC iView until 4 April 2018

Roger Harrabin on SBS World News on 19 January 2018

Shift towards better public climate communication?

Actually, nearly every night at the moment there is something related to climate change on the news. Could this be what it looks like when the two public broadcasters of Australia finally decide to live up to their duty of climate care?

Now we are all of a sudden being explained that “global warming is a reality” and that “the next three decades are about how we adapt to it and go beyond net zero emissions so we can attempt to reverse the damage already done.”

Climate change covered properly – by SBS World News
SBS News showed that it is possible – that it can be done, and how it should be done. On the national news in prime time. They did it in 18:30 SBS World News program on the 19th of January – in the summer break:

First they had one of their reporters, Lydia Feng, showing scenes and telling the story about this terrible heatwave, Australia was suffering under – and then, right after her report, Roger Harrabin took over in the studio with a report on the climate aspects of this heatwave, interviewing a climate scientist and and emergency manager.

Was it ‘a single swallow’ as a result of different staff working in the SBS newsroom during the summer break? Or was it a deliberate editorial shift towards reporting more responsibly about the climate change issues?

We are hoping this signals a conscious shift towards better climate communication in public broadcasting.

Janice Petersen presenting SBS World News on 19 January 2018



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 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Content of this hour

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


“For change: Start where you are. Organise. Show what you did. Think more, use less.”
Kate Auty, ACT’s Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment

Kate Auty: Commissioner for a safe climate

Two-minute excerpt of The Sustainable Hour’s 16-minute live phone interview with professor Kate Auty

Professor Kate Auty was appointed to the independent statutory position of Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment for the Australian Capital Territory in May 2016. Appointed for a five year term, her main role is to investigate complaints about management of the environment by the Territory Government and to highlight issues of ecological, sustainable development.

Auty is an academic, lawyer and magistrate committed to environmental issues. She is a former Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability and has a strong interest in engaging the community in conversations about the environment.

The Commissioner also produces the ACT State of the Environment Report.

In 2017, the Commissioner examined the climate change actions taken by the ACT Government over the previous three years, providing an audit and some expert commentary about what was now needed, from people who live and work in the ACT, while considering some of the potential opportunities:

» ‘Implementation Status Review of ACT Government’s Climate Change Policy’ – August 2017, 120 pages

“The ‘Davids’ are showing the ‘Goliaths’ how it is done. We cannot, and will not, wait for the Prime Minister of Australia, or the President of the United States to decide that the long term interests of our communities are more important that the interests of the coal lobby. Instead, cities like Canberra are taking action now.”
Shane Rattenbury, ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability in 2016


ACT: “Rising to the challenges”

“Complacency in the face of climate change will lock in dire local and global outcomes. Scientists, social scientists, practitioners, thoughtful and purposeful governments, and the community know this.

Every new report released on climate change implications reinforces these concerns. CSIRO and BOM, our pre-eminent Australian research organisations, tell us that Canberra will have significantly more days over 35 degrees Celsius by 2030 as a function of climate change.

Of concern, the hot days in Canberra ‘have already exceeded the earlier 2030 projections’. By 2050 it is expected that there will be an increase in Forest Fire Danger Index of up to 30 per cent. The need for ongoing commitment to climate change mitigation and adaptation actions is an imperative for government.

Sub-national governments like the Australian Capital Territory have assumed responsibility and have been rising to the challenges with regulation, policy, community engagement, and the active cultivation of business partnerships. The ACT is regarded as a ‘front runner’ in the Australian context, committing to 100 per cent renewables by 2020 and net zero emissions by 2050. This has been a bipartisan commitment.

The Climate Council has recently observed ‘the ACT’s leadership … shows the positive impact one small territory can have in a few short years with political will and smart policy design’.

This is not the time to push the pause button. I commend the ACT Government for the work which is presently being undertaken to develop the Climate Challenge strategy to 2050. Highly focused and auditable actions have never been more urgent.”
~ Kate Auty’s foreword in ‘Implementation Status Review of ACT Government’s Climate Change Policy’

» Kate Auty’s Twitter account:
www.twitter.com/kateauty



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Margaret Rowe-Keys

Margaret Rowe-Keys: Art for the planet

Artist Margaret Rowe-Keys who has created the remarkable art project called ‘A Thousand Flowers for the Planet’. In the Sustainable Hour, she tells a great story about caring for the planet and each other.

Margaret Rowe-Keys runs an exhibition at the UBU Gallery at Dell Paper Mill in Fyansford on Saturdays and Sundays – until 1 April 2018.

» See more on www.1000flowersfortheplanet.tumblr.com



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“The farmers in this ad represent thousands from across Australia who are demanding rural and regional politicians do more to stop damage to our climate harming our livelihoods. We must act, to prevent a situation where our kids won’t have the choice to farm like we do.”

This video advertisement was published by Farmers for Climate Action on YouTube on 22 February 2018.

“It’s not you, it’s climate change”

By Farmers for Climate Action | Media release on 6 March 2018 

‘Business as usual is no longer an option’ is the key message from not-for-profit advocacy organisation Farmers for Climate Action, with a new crowd-funded television campaign set to launch across regional screens from 24th March.

The television campaign comes hot on the heels of the inaugural Farmers for Climate Action Climate Smart Agriculture Fellowship in Victoria and the first ever climate change summit of Queensland farmers, which is taking place this week. 

“Farmers across Australia know that climate change is already hitting them hard – this isn’t just a problem for future generations, it’s hurting us here and now,” said Verity Morgan-Schmidt, CEO of Farmers for Climate Action.

“Momentum for climate action is growing rapidly across rural Australia and we’re calling on farmers to look up, speak up and our politicians to keep up.” 

Yesterday representatives from Farmers for Climate Action delivered a petition with more than 150,000 signatures to the Queensland Parliament, calling on all politicians to take action on climate change and to oppose the expansion of new thermal coal projects. 

The petition was delivered as the ABC’s Four Corners program aired an episode on the impacts of climate change, showcasing agriculture as one of Australia’s most climate exposed industries. 

Farmers on the frontline
“As farmers, we can’t allow our country to continue on a trajectory of rising emissions and climate inaction. Our future is in our hands,” said Verity Morgan-Schmidt.

Crookwell sheep farmer, Charlie Prell, said farmers were on the frontline of climate change and were taking the lead on climate change action.  
“Standing up for rural Australia means standing up for action on climate change,” said Mr Prell. “As farmers, we’re feeling the impacts already. Our livelihood is at stake — and that impacts on the food security of Australia. This is everyone’s problem and we need to act now.”

» Find the advertisement on YouTube 

» For more information on Farmers for Climate Action, visit the website at www.farmersforclimateaction.org.au 


Verity Morgan-Schmidt, CEO, Farmers for Climate Action, wrote in a newsletter on 7 March 2018:

“We know that agriculture is Australia’s most exposed industry to the ravages of climate change. We know that it’s past time we did something about it. Farmers are getting on with it, and we need our politicians to keep up. This is not about party politics. It’s about our future.

Last week, we released our new ad on social media featuring prominent farmers calling on rural and regional politicians to take damage to our climate more seriously. In the last week it’s been shared widely through agricultural circles, reaching over 50,000 people on social media. And it’s clear that our message is getting through.

Over the weekend, Fairfax published comments from the new federal Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud, signalling the start of a shift on climate policy. His comments were extremely encouraging. “I am in favour of renewables, make no mistake,” he said. “It will mean we will have cleaner air to breathe, there is nothing to fear in that.”

Wow! It was only late last year that the Nationals passed an anti-renewable energy motion at their federal conference, prompting our farmers from across the country to take out a full-page ad in The Land newspaper expressing concern.

It shows that there’s never been so much #appetiteforchange within rural and regional attitudes and politics over climate change.”



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 MAJOR TURNING POINT – #2: 

Renewables generate cheaper and cleaner electricity

The anti-renewables scare campaign, which the Liberal party keeps trying to push through, goes that, “Electricity prices will go up because of renewables”.

Now the energy retailer Powershop has dropped their electricity prices for all Victorian customers… and the reason? Powershop has purchased some hydro energy assets and signed lots of agreements with wind and solar farms, so now they are able to get electricity from generators that are much cheaper than traditional fossil fuels.

This is what is happening in the real world.

It’s sad that the Liberals are so blinded by the fossil fuel industry’s donations that they are ready to compromise their own traditional values such as honesty, integrity and common sense.


Why are Powershop dropping prices in Victoria? 
How is this connected to renewable energy? Ed McManus explains. He is Powershop’s Chief Executive Officer:


In this video, author and climate councillor Tim Flannery talks about why he likes Powershop and the work they do with Hepburn Wind:




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» The Guardian – 6 March 2018:
Australia’s solar future bright as households install record 3.5m panels
“2017’s energy output equivalent to a medium-sized coal-fired power station.”

» One Step Off the Grid – 6 March 2018:
Australian homes, business installed 6.5 solar panels per minute in 2017






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Truth comes out: How our democracy has been corrupted

The extent of job-swapping and ‘mateship’ between public servants and fossil fuel lobbyists – they call it ‘The golden escalator revealed’: 180 documented cases of career corruption.

Joel Rosenzveig and Adam Lucas write:
“We have compiled a database of more than 180 individuals who have moved between positions in the fossil fuel and/or mining industries and senior positions in government, or vice versa, over the past decade. This includes senior political staffers working for prime ministers and state premiers. We have also found examples of key ministers hiring individuals straight from the fossil fuel and mining industries, who then return to those industries straight after leaving government. This revolving door might be better dubbed a “service elevator”, ensuring that “delivery of the goods” happens away from public scrutiny.”

More than 180 individuals! Australians are being made fools of by their parliamentarians. 180 documented cases of career corruption. On top of this other story that nobody seems to care about that mining companies are donating millions of dollars to the Liberal party, but doing it secretly to offshore accounts. Straight out corruption.
 
An example of what we are talking about: During last year’s Queensland election campaign, the ABC revealed that Cameron Milner, former Queensland secretary of the ALP and chief of staff to federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, had been the main lobbyist and go-between for Indian mining giant Adani.
 
» The Conversation – 5 March 2018:
Revealed: the extent of job-swapping between public servants and fossil fuel lobbyists
Article by Adam Lucas, Senior Lecturer, Science and Technology Studies Program, University of Wollongong
 
» ABC News – 1 December 2017:
The Adani lobbyist and Labor insider who smoothed the way for the mega mine



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Sydney Morning Herald and The Age:


The Liberal Party allegedly receives secret donations on offshore accounts

On 5 February 2018, the Sydney Morning Herald published an investigative article that revealed that the Liberal party receives million-dollar donations on offshore accounts.

The article was written by Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker with the headline ‘The minister the money and the mine. How a rotten deal was hatched’.

What I don’t understand about Australian media is why this was not reason for questioning, interrogation and further investigations all over the place in mainstream news programs, asking:

– “How much has been channeled from the fossil energy industry to these offshore accounts over the years?”
– “What use is it that parties have to declare donations, when they simply use offshore accounts to hide their dirty deals?”
– “How do these offshore accounts influence and damage our democracy?”

Why have this type of questions not been asked anywhere as a result of that article on 5 February? Have Australians fallen completely asleep? Or is it that everyone are fully aware that this is what is happening behind the scenes in Australian politics, so there’s simply no reason to regard this as “news“?

If what McKenzie and Baker wrote isn’t true, why then hasn’t the Liberal party been out to explain this?

Why is no one upset? A week as gone – why has no one followed up on this article?

The source for their story was businessman who, in a signed statement, had outlined what happened at a café in 2012 when he was seeking political backing from the NSW Liberal Party for a Chinese state-owned company to buy an Australian mine. The businessman was offering to funnel $2 million dollars to the Liberal party, and he told the three Liberal insiders dining with him at the cafe that he didn’t want the donations traced. “Don’t worry,” one of the men told him, “We have offshore accounts.”

I found it absolutely shocking to learn that this is what is happening, and how this explains those totally illogical, irresponsible and irrational decisions that are being made in parliament, allowing industries to continue to pollute and destroy our country not only with the governments’ blessing, but even subsidised with taxpayers money, in total disregard of the fact that it threatens our safety and our future prosperity.

» Read the article on www.smh.com.au



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 CLIMATIC ROOT TREATMENT | COMMENTARY: 

A caring nation versus a bullying nation

Average citizens in Australia have a carbon foot print that is ten times larger than where we should be, and four times larger than people in Europe. Why? What is the reason for this difference? Don’t Australians care at all?

As we approach the dire situation with a hope to turn it around, we seek an understanding of its root causes. Enter a dark and often hidden side of the Australian culture, which recently has been getting refreshed media attention: the bullying crisis.


Our carbon foot print – who cares?

By Mik Aidt, director, Centre for Climate Safety

In a new promotion campaign for SBS News, we see SBS World News presenter Janice Petersen talk about how we all can do our little bit and suddenly even the bigger picture looks quite different. It makes a huge difference when a public broadcaster takes up the topic of our carbon footprint, and how we can contribute to improving it.

When we talk about our individual carbon footprint – how good or how bad we are with keeping our carbon emissions under some kind of control – Australia frankly looks to the rest of the world as a nation of rogue, non-caring carbon addicts.

In average, each Australian has a carbon footprint of 23 tonnes per year. Which is the worst climate-shattering behaviour in the entire world. No one else one our planet are as ignorant and careless as that.

The figure comes from buying stuff (6 tonnes), what we eat (4 tonnes), driving our cars (3 tonnes), flying off to far away destinations (1.5 tonnes), using power to cook and heat and cool our homes (2.3 tonnes), and the rest comes as a portion of all the emissions that come from building our houses, constructing roads and schools, hospitals, and mining (5.2 tonnes) – all together 23 tonnes.

Compare that to the UK and the Scandinavian countries, where the average citizen emits three to four times less – around 7 or 8 tonnes per person. In India, each person emits 2.3 tonnes per year. That’s ten times less than an Australian.


The thing is: in order to keep the promises of the Paris Agreement, we need to get down to 4 tonnes per person per year. And in order to actually be sustainable, we all – every human being on this planet – need to get quickly down to a level around 2 tonnes per year.


That is the challenge: We have to go from 23 tonnes to 2 tonnes of carbon emissions. And then onwards to zero tonnes, and onwards below zero, where we begin to draw down more carbon than we emit.

When we talk about those 23 tonnes per Australian, we are not even accounting for those almost 100 tonnes of carbon emissions per capita that this nation exports to somewhere else in the world. Each Australian carries 120 tonnes of carbon emissions on their back… every year.


Comparing for example Denmark and Australia, why would the Danes be four times better at managing and reducing their air pollution? Is this a question about how much we care? 


What does caring mean?

Usually, when you show that you care, as a loving and caring person does, it often starts – and is expressed – in all the little details:

It’s that you care to actually care to sign your letter. It’s that you care enough to say goodbye, maybe even with a little goodbye-kiss, before you rush out the door.

When you care about the Earth, it’s no different. It’s in all the little things you do, that you show how much you care. It’s that piece of plastic that you removed from the ground so a bird won’t be eating it. It’s the choice you make in the supermarket when you decide to buy something that is 30 per cent more expensive, but isn’t toxic when its washed out in the sewer. It’s that you begin to use your bicycle to get around. It’s your research into who you will vote for in the next election. All those little things we can do – things that show, at least to ourselves, that we care.

So how does this story about care and love fit in with what they talked about almost half the time on ABC’s Q&A this Monday evening: bullying?

In January, there was a 14-year-old girl in Queensland who took her own life, because her friends were bullying her on Facebook. And you probably saw this post a couple days ago, where a boy – again from Queensland – posted a photo of his 12-year-old brother in a hospital bed, after he had tried to hang himself, because he had been bullied in school.


I shared the post – along with 85,000 others who’ve also shared it – and I wrote:



Australia, maybe it is time to talk? Over the last months I’ve been discussing this topic with a number of parents. The general attitude seems to be that their children can escape the bullying by moving to a different school. What I am saying is: Bullying in school doesn’t all of a sudden happen out of the blue. Take a look at what is going on in the workplaces, on the political arena and in the streets… Where I live, an entire City Council got fired a couple of years ago on bullying-grounds. ‘The pixie moves along’, we say in Danish.

So what I’m asking when I read this sad post, is: Could we start talking about what it will require to take Australia through a deeper ‘root treatment’ of what makes kids (and later in life: kids turned adults) become bullies?

If you are a bully, I reckon you probably also have the attitude that you couldn’t give a shit about your carbon footprint. Why would you care? Just like you don’t care what happens to these people that you have been harassing and bullying.


I could be wrong, of course, but that would be my impression.
 If I am right, this means that if we want to tackle Australia’s 23-tonnes-per-year weight of carbon shame, we need to talk about how we care – which is to do the opposite of bullying – just as much as we have to talk about the price of solar panels or whether to eat meat or not.

There are 1,800 threatened species in Australia. Do we care about them? Do we care enough about them to save them from extinction? If we do, then why aren’t we taking the next steps that are necessary?

Do we care about what is happening to the Great Barrier Reef, where already one fifth of it is dead?

Does Australia have a dramatic care-deficit? If the answer is yes, then we need a national conversation about what we do about it. Like climate change, this is not something a few people can fix on their own. We will only succeed when we have figured out what will get the majority of the nation to come together and get into collective action-mode.



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The mutual responsibility to care for one another

“To solve the world’s biggest problems, invest in women and girls.”
~ Musimbi Kanyoro

As CEO of the Global Fund for Women, Musimbi Kanyoro works to support women and their ideas so they can expand and grow. She introduces us to the Maragoli concept of ‘isirika’ – a pragmatic way of life that embraces the mutual responsibility to care for one another – something she sees women practicing all over the world. And she calls for those who have more to give more to people working to improve their communities.

“Imagine what it would look like if you embraced isirika and made it your default,” Kanyoro says. “What could we achieve for each other? For humanity?”

Let’s find out – together.

» Watch now



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The number one solution to global warming…

“…It’s not a solar panel. It’s a woman.”
~ Paul Hawken speaking at the conference What’s Now: San Francisco in April 2017



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Women leaders in the clean energy field

“There are nearly 41,000 certified electrical installers in Sweden. Only about 150 are women…” The C3E TCP seeks to both inspire more women to enter into clean energy careers and retain the current female clean energy workforce.

By Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E)

“As the clean energy sector continues to grow and evolve, competitiveness relies on the ability to attract and retain a diverse pool of talent capable of bringing fresh perspectives. Many countries have recognised the importance of harnessing all talent and closing the gender gap, noting that greater gender equity brings economic and social benefits to all.

However, the energy industry remains one of the most gender imbalanced sectors. Women make up substantially less than half of the workforce across the energy sector and continue to be underrepresented in leadership positions. Closing the gender gap is not only a moral and social imperative, but makes good sense for business, as studies show that diverse organisations perform better.

Currently, there is only limited gender-disaggregated data for the clean energy sector and there is limited knowledge about how to make the sector more gender equal. To remedy this data gap and help advance women in this sector, the C3E TCP seeks to collect and develop consistent, reliable data measuring women’s participation in clean energy.

The C3E TCP’s founding participants, Canada, Italy and Sweden, are launching this effort by preparing this overview of the gender issue globally and in their respective countries, based on available data.”

» Read the C3E TCP brochure

» More info on www.iea.org/tcp



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Baba Brinkman: ‘Ride Electric’

From the 2016-album ‘The Rap Guide to Climate Chaos’

℗ Lit Fuse Records





 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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Our Carbonic Ocean

The climate change painter


Artist Ray Dahlstrom and his family were survivors of the horrific Black Saturday bushfires which ravaged the state of Victoria in February 2009. The fire totally destroyed the family property, including Ray’s about 100 paintings, completed over 25 years of painting in the valley.

Re-establishing at Inverloch in South Gippsland’s Bass Coast Shire, he set up ‘Studio 40’ in a restored shed on a 40 acre property in November 2009.

Since then, Dahlstrom’s work has been affected by the dramatic influences of climate change on the environment.

“My art should have something to say about the effect of climate change on the environment. It’s OK to create pretty pictures, but it’s more important to me now to get people thinking about the big issues which affect all of our futures,” he says.

His work has highlights the problems of climate change, acid oceans and other aspects associated with mankind’s burning of fossil fuels. The different series are progressively entitled ‘Black Saturday’, ‘Your Carbon Footprint’, ‘Acid Ocean’ and recently Ray has embarked on a ‘Climate Change’ series with art works entitled ‘Antarctic Melting’, ‘Red Dust Rising’, ‘Capricorn Burning’, and more.

» Studio 40’s home page:
www.studio40.net.au

» Nine-minute radio interview with Ray Dahlstrom on 3M FM

» Peter Gardner – 28 January 2018:
Inverloch Artist Ray Dahlstrom’s Climate Change series

» Peter Gardner – 19 June 2016:
Our Carbonic Ocean




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Jeremy Rifkin

This video presentation is long, but worth spending the 100 odd minutes to watch:

Economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin is onto something important here. He describes the way that the current political restrictions and lack of forward thinking is not allowing us to pave the direction to the future that we need to create.



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Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger and Adani’s mine will make things worse

Last week businessman Geoffrey Cousins appeared on ABC’s 7.30 to talk about Adani’s proposed coal mine and a trip he made with with the leader of the federal Labor party, Bill Shorten, to the Great Barrier Reef in late January.

I was invited on the trip, along with Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation and Prof Terry Hughes, director of the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

We visited the once magnificent Opal Reef offshore of Port Douglas. This reef had been devastated by two years of severe coral bleaching. What was left was mainly bare grey rock, with a few corals growing here and there. It was a very sad sight.

During the trip Mr Shorten was given legal advice that showed how the federal government could stop Adani’s Reef-wrecking mine.

The advice clearly shows that Adani’s environmental approval can be revoked if new information comes to light, showing the mine would have a significant impact on the Great Barrier Reef – an impact that wasn’t known when the approval was made in 2015.

Since the approval was given, half of all the corals on the Great Barrier Reef have died from a massive underwater heatwave. The back-to-back coral bleaching event of 2016 and 2017 was catastrophic. Scientists didn’t expect this to happen until the late 2030s.

Our Reef is far more vulnerable to higher sea temperature – climate change – than scientists had previously thought. Scientists believe our Reef has changed forever.

This new information is clear grounds for revoking the mine’s environmental approval.

AMCS has just become aware that the waters in the far northern Great Barrier Reef are now hot enough to cause coral bleaching for a third year in a row. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has triggered an alert for these waters.

Please ring Minister Frydenberg’s office (02-6277-7920), tag him on Facebook, Twitter, email him, etc. Tell him our Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger and Adani’s mine will make things worse. He is responsible for protecting our beautiful Reef. Tell him, politely, that he must do so.

Tell him the devastating loss of corals on the Reef in the last two years is more than enough reason to revoke Adani’s approval now.

Yours in action,
Imogen Zethoven
Fight For Our Reef Campaign Director
Australian Marine Conservation Society







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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?




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