When an airborne catastrophe hangs over our heads, here’s what we do


Guests in The Sustainable Hour on 27 June 2018 in order of appearance:

Colin Mockett’s global outlook

Josh Meadows, media and communication officer, Environmental Justice Australia, about the Beyond Coal and Gas Jamboree

• Dr Chris Atmore, lawyer, author of Environmental Justice Australia’s report ‘Raising a Stink’

Carol Ride, president of Psychology for a Safe Climate

Dan Cowdell from Geelong Sustainability and Councillor Margot Smith in a clip from Surf Coast Energy Group’s video about community solar and about Surf Coast Shire’s 25%-renewables-by-2020 target.

• We also play two songs: Andy Paine’s ‘I’m carbon neutral baby’ and Baba Brinkman’s ‘I.P.C.C.’


Headline of article in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald in June 2018: ‘The climate catastrophe hanging over our heads’

A headline like this… – and then what?



 #STORYCHANGE: 

$5 billion more to coal and gas

More and more Australians are getting sick and tired of the parliamentarians’ inability to create policies that can protect us from unhealthy, toxic air pollution and the costly devastation from extreme weather events and other climate change related issues.

Polling released this month showed that 84 per cent of Australians want a future powered by clean, climate-safe renewables. But something has gone insanely wrong with our elected representatives. Just like Trump in America, the Federal Government in Australia continues its fight for dirty coal and gas. The other day we heard Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull once again tell the Parliament to get ready for coal to be a part of our energy mix… “forever.”

GetUp delivered more details on the recent moves in parliament: “One Nation and the Coalition teamed up to try and pass a Senate motion demanding we build new coal-burning power stations. It came within two votes of passing. Then the Nationals handed their new demands to Turnbull. At the top of the list: a $5 billion fleet of dirty coal and gas power stations.”

Coal and gas make no sense any longer, not even economically. These statements and calls for public investments and subsidies are so absurd that it’d be hilarious if we didn’t know that the government is gambling with an issue that will impact us all.

As our guests in The Sustainable Hour remind us on a weekly basis, the explanation for the seemingly irrational behaviour among our elected representatives is that many of them are in the pocket of Big Energy. The fact that it is free to pollute and destroy our environment makes fossil fuels profitable, and those who benefit from that profit are fiercely protecting their vested interests.

As scientists predict this shortsighted selfishness will have tragic consequences for life on this planet, the Australian government has lost its legitimacy to govern. We have elections coming, and the story needs to change.


What do we do? How are we to cope with and to deal with this extremely frustrating situation? That is some of what we talk about and relate to in this week’s Sustainable Hour.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 222 on 94.7 The Pulse:

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 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Content of this hour

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


Carol Ride

 #CLIMATECRISIS: 

Carol Ride helps climate activists deal with their emotions

Carol Ride is president of Psychology for a Safe Climate – a not-for-profit Melbourne-based organisation of psychologists and helping professionals who are passionate about fostering emotional engagement with climate change, helping people face the difficult climate reality, and supporting climate activists through workshops.

» Carol Ride’s profile page on www.climatemediacentre.org.au

» Psychology for a Safe Climate’s home page:
www.psychologyforasafeclimate.org


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Dr Chris Atmore

 #ENVIRONMENTALJUSTICE: 

Dr Chris Atmore: ‘Raising a Stink’

Dr Chris Atmore is author of Environmental Justice Australia’s report ‘Raising a Stink’, which was published by EJA and the Western Region Environment Centre. The report documents the community’s experience when citizens contact the governmental Environment Protection Agency.

As EJA’s lead lawyer in a VCAT court case, Atmore has been representing western suburb residents trying to stop the expansion of the Werribee tip, which already towers 24 metres above the ground – also known as Mt Werribee.

“At 24 metres high it is an eyesore and produces horrible smells that locals have to put up with.”

» Download the report:
‘Raising a stink: Communities from Melbourne’s West struggle for environmental justice’ (PDF, 3MB)

» EJA – 6 February 2018:
Community to challenge growth of ‘Werribee Mountain’
“Western suburbs residents will take the expansion of the Werribee landfill to VCAT after the tribunal refused to uphold Wyndham City Council’s attempt to have residents’ application dismissed.” Article by Josh Meadows

» The Age – 25 March 2018:
‘It’s a waste mountain’: fight brews over Werribee rubbish tip



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Josh Meadows

 #CLIMATEJUSTICE: 

Josh Meadows

Josh Meadows talks about the recent ‘Beyond Coal and Gas Jamboree’ which brought together more than 340 people from communities across Australia who are committed to build a movement that will move Australia beyond polluting fossil fuels into a future that puts people and the planet first, powered by clean energy. The gathering took place on the Sunshine Coast from 31 May to 3 June 2018.

Josh is communication officer in Environmental Justice Australia – a citizen-funded, not-for-profit, public interest legal practice, using the law to protect and restore Australia’s environment.

He looks after EJA’s media releases, eBulletins, Twitter, Facebook and its website. Before he came to EJA, Josh was the Australian Conservation Foundation’s senior media adviser.

» Home page: www.envirojustice.org.au



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Colin Mockett

 #PLASTICFREEJULY: 

Colin Mockett’s global outlook

Episode #5: Plastic recycling in the United Kingdom, Philippines and Surf Coast Shire.
Fixing our roads with plastic gravel. Building houses with plastic bottles. Kitchen bin without bin-liner.

» More episodes here:

Colin Mockett’s global outlook


We talked about compost, worms and CO2 drawdown in this week’s Sustainable Hour. Here’s a video which explains in more detail how that works.

…and we talked a lot more about plastic and Plastic Free July in last week’s program:

Groundswell of zero waste living



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 #COMMUNITYREBELLION: 

Community solar

A short film by Jezzalanko Creative produced for Surf Coast Energy Group.

More than eight out of ten Australians want renewable energy as the primary energy source. But we don’t know how, and our leaders are not helping us.

In that light: Good on Geelong Sustainability for getting more than 300 Geelong families together on its Community Solar Program, purchasing over 1 megawatt of battery storage in one go. This is more and more looking like a #CommunityRebellion.



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 #MUSIC: 

Andy Paine



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 #MUSIC: 

Baba Brinkman



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Climate policy procrastination’s 30 year anniversary





 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


Tipping Point’s launch in Melbourne on 28 November 2018

“The impact of the fossil fuel industry has never been more clear. Record-breaking temperatures. More than half the Great Barrier Reef dead. Severe storms. Devastating droughts. Politicians propping up big polluters who block clean energy. Environment groups under attack.

Our climate has crossed a tipping point. People power can tip it back.

The solutions are at our fingertips. Millions of Australians are on our side. What we need is a people-powered movement taking sustained, bold, and creative action that will drive the social and political change our climate so desperately needs.”

» www.tippingpoint.org.au



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Shell’s “shift in thinking”

Reportedly, there is a “shift in thinking” within Shell that is now irreversible. “We are further along than people realize,” says Mark Gainsborough, head of Shell New Energies

“People in Shell see a lot riding on the success of New Energies. And we are considered one of the most attractive units to work in. Anyone under the age of 35 wants to work for New Energies.”

New Energies, which includes the venture capital arm Shell Ventures (SV, formerly known as Shell Technology Ventures, STV) is set up to look for commercial opportunities and help Shell transition from a fossil fuel company to an “energy” company fit for the future low-carbon world. It has a budget of $1 billion to $2 billion a year on average up to 2020 to develop new activities in renewable energy, cleantech, digitalization and alternative transport fuels.

» EnergyPost – 21 June 2018:
Exclusive interview Mark Gainsborough, head Shell New Energies: “We are further along than people realize”



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 #CLIMATEJUSTICE: 

About Environmental Justice Australia

Excerpts from EJA’s June e-bulletin

Public funding for Adani = an EFIC fail.
What politicians say about new coal-fired power. And more

Victorian bill upholds community rights

A legal right for the community to enforce pollution laws is a welcome feature of the Environment Protection Bill, a revision of the 1970 Environment Protection Act. Look out for an EJA seminar on the EP Bill in July. Read more…

EFIC fail: support for Adani opens up risks

A new report by EJA finds that if Australia’s export credit agency, EFIC, funds Adani’s planned Queensland coal mine, it would expose EFIC’s directors to significant legal and political risk. Read more…

Four ways to dramatically improve air quality

Years of EJA relentlessly pointing out the inadequacies of air pollution laws has prompted the Victorian government to release an Air Quality Statement. Bronya Lipski has a few suggestions to make it more effective. Read more…

What pollies say about new coal-fired power

Which politician thinks a new coal-fired power station is “essential”? And which thinks it’s “a preposterous idea”? We document what some of the main political players are saying about proposals for more coal-fired power. Read more…

EOFY matched giving opportunity

A group of EJA supporters has pledged to match donations we receive between now and 30 June. That means if you give us $100, we get $200. Your gift gives nature the legal voice it so desperately needs. Will you rise to this challenge?
Donate now…

Fracking the Northern Territory

A new report by EJA examines a recent scientific inquiry into fracking in the Northern Territory and finds the inquiry defied its terms of reference to arrive at a palatable solution for industry.
Read more…

EJA in the media

Source

» Home page: envirojustice.org.au

» Connect with Environmental Justice Australia on Facebook and Twitter







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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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