War on plastic pollution with personal power


On 25 July 2018 – a day where the National Radio News reports Greece is in a state of emergency while extreme weather ravages most of the world, while the Australian Government gladly ignores the carbon-created calamities and wants to invest in more polluting coal power – and where Plastic Free July is coming to an end, our guests in The Sustainable Hour are:

At 1:40, Colin Mockett shares his Plastic Free Outlook with us today. At 24:00, a bonus question from Q&A about Australians’ War on Waste and government’s role in this.

At 27:10, Alexx Stuart, founder of Low Tox Life, increases our awareness of which chemicals have been put in the products we buy, and how that awareness is good both for our physical and mental health and for the environment.

At 35:20, we discuss ABC Radio’s encouraging news story this morning about 23-year-old Mark McVeigh who is suing his superannuation fund for allegedly failing to explain how it intends to protect his life savings from climate change.

At 39:15, Dr Jonathan Balls, postdoctoral fellow, Australia India Institute at Melbourne University and member of New Generation Network, explains about coal-fired power plants in India currently running at 60 per cent capacity, 10,000 new solar micro-grids, which will be built in India in the next few years, and the huge opportunity for India and Australia to exchange expertise and collaborate around decentralised energy.


“The most prosperous societies of the future will also be the ones that are the most sustainable.”
~ State of Green, ‘Powering our future with sustainable energy’



Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 226 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 Stitcher



Newsletter headlines on 25 July 2018

“We are all in big trouble when it comes to the subject matter of our future. But the opportunities for reconstruction and renaissance remain huge, if we can collectively wake up and act.”
~ Jeremy Leggett, author, UK solar entrepreneur



Review alert

The Sustainable Hour got its first review on its Facebook page:

On 23 July 2018 at 08:06, Lisé Blackgrove reviewed The Sustainable Hour to five stars out of five. She wrote:

“I really enjoy listening to this podcast. It is always full of relevant information and interesting people with lots of great ideas and actions to help make a better future. I also like the music these guys come up with at the end of most podcats. Very much worth a listen if Sustainability is your thing or you want to learn more about whats going on. Great job guys and thanks for your time and efforts to do this podcast. Cheers Lise”
~ Lisé Blackgrove

How wonderful! Thank you so much, Lisé!

Wonderful too if you, dear reader and podcast listener, would consider reviewing The Sustainable Hour on Facebook as well. This really means a lot for our work and could help on expanding its outreach. Constructive criticism is very welcome just as well, since we always have more to learn and to improve on.


 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Content of this hour

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




Alexx Stuart. Photo: Rob Palmer

 #HEALTH: 

Alexx Stuart: We can shape the world from our shopping basket

“When I choose something because I have researched it, there is a deep satisfaction in backing a company that is doing right by People & Planet, and this just gives people a renewed sense of confidence that we can shape the world from our shopping basket. People feel empowered.”
~ Alexx Stuart, Low Tox Life, in The Sustainable Hour

Servicing a low tox community of 80,000 people and growing, Alexx Stuart is the author of the ‘Low Tox Life’ book, and creator of the blog, a Low Tox Club chat group and social media pages with communication about the choices we must make “for a healthier you and planet” from home, body and food to mind.

“Great chats happen there with people sharing and recommending actual low tox stuff (no greenwashing as happens in many eco groups out there unfortunately), we have a monthly gift.swap.sell thread, bonus interviews, book club and more. And if you’re looking for more product recommendations / and want to ditch the nasties across all aspects of everyday life, then you should join us for Go Low Tox at some point – there is every resource imaginable in that course to help you make your switches across all daily life and home topics, or perhaps one of our other courses if you’re at pre conception stage, wanting to look into food or experiencing inflammation,” Alexx writes.

Connect with Low Tox Life:

» Home page: www.lowtoxlife.com

» Facebook page: www.facebook.com/lowtoxlife

» Instagram: @lowtoxlife

» Twitter: @Alexx_Stuart

Post on Instagram by Alexx



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Dr Jonathan Balls

 #ENERGY #COAL #INDIA: 

Jonathan Balls

Dr Jonathan Balls is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australia India Institute at Melbourne University. He is also a member of New Generation Network

  

» Twitter: @jballsNGN  

Some of the great distributed solar energy companies in India, which Jonathan mentions in the interview:

» www.boond.net
» www.meragaopower.com
» www.omcpower.com



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 #PLASTICFREEJULY: 

Colin Mockett’s Plastic Free Outlook


Colin Mockett touches on a range of energy and waste related topics today: The NEG – Waste to energy plants – ‘Pick up three’ – ABC’s War on Waste and Q&A – food waste – soft plastic recycling and the microplastics that end up in the ocean and in our food.






 #BYOWATERBOTTLE: 

Parliament to vote on Container Deposit Scheme in Victoria

For years, many Victorians have been calling for a Container Deposit Scheme in their state, because most other states in Australia have one. The Greens have put forward a bill which will be voted on in Victorian Parliament on 8 August 2018.

Currently, Victoria’s recycling system is failing and we have million of pieces of plastic polluting our parks, rivers and beaches. The evidence of how effective container deposit schemes are is overwhelming.

According to official figures, in its first six months of existence the New South Wales scheme has recycled over 500 million containers – 200 million of which would have otherwise ended up as pollution.

As such, it presents a huge opportunity for Victoria to greatly reduce our plastic waste. But The Greens will need your help to get it over the line.

The most effective way to do this is to get in touch with your local Labor or Coalition MP to ask if they’ll be supporting our bill. This tool helps you find and email your local MP. By demonstrating there is genuine support for CDS within the community, many MPs will be compelled to argue for a CDS within their own party.

» More on www.plasticfreesea.com.au/sayyes

 #PICKUPTHREE: 

Plastic ends up in the sea – and in our food

Each year, 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean – the equivalent of a truckload of waste every minute. This waste also ends up on our plates: studies show the average European shellfish consumer is eating up to 11,000 plastic fragments in their seafood each year.

» The Guardian – 14 February 2017:
From sea to plate: how plastic got into our fish
“Eight million tonnes of waste plastic ends up in the sea each year. Fish eat it – and then we do. How bad is it for us?”

» World Economic Forum – 27 October 2016:
Every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans. This has to stop
“At the moment, only 14% of global plastic packaging is collected for recycling and only 2% is reused.”

» Ecotox – 2014:
Microplastics in bivalves cultured for human consumption
“Microplastics are found in cosmetics and can be formed through the degradation of larger plastic items, are becoming increasingly abundant. As our research has shown, they can now be found from the surface layer all the way down to the deep-sea sediment. Worringly, microplastics can be ingested by a wide range of marine organisms because of their small dimensions which in turn creates an understudied risk of exposure for human consumers.”



 #WARONWASTEAU: 

War on Waste – new series on ABC TV

Taking out most outstanding factual or documentary program at this year’s Logies, War On Waste returns with Craig Reucassel taking a critical and first-hand look at household, retail and farming waste in Australia. This new series aims to find out what has changed in the Australian psyche and consumer culture that has led us to become among the most wasteful nations in the developed world.

» You can catch the second series of War On Waste on ABC TV at 8:30pm on Tuesdays – or view previous episodes on ABC iView now or at any time: www.iview.abc.net.au/show/war-on-waste

» ABC War on Waste video list on Youtube


ABC Q&A’s War on Waste special

The questions and answers of the Q&A show on ABC on 23 July 2018 has been transcribed and could easily be turned into a top-tuned agenda listing some of the most urgent action points – for any zero waste community group to then engage with our politicians about: How do we best deal with each these issues?

Individual behaviour 1:28
China ban 9:16
Recycling to landfill disillusioning 14:12
Plastic bags / Coles/Woolies backlash 19:51
Micro plastics 27:49
Water bottle = waste of money 30:44
Circular economy 36:00
Recycle glass into sand 39:59
Food waste 45:18 and 48:19
Waste to energy / burning rubbish 54:41
Community action 60:22

Bonus question


“Do you believe that comprehensive national regulatory standards, designed to achieve significant waste reduction and pollution control targets, should be imposed on all local governments in respect of waste management and resource recovery?”


Waste to energy: burning rubbish


“The federal government wants to establish the waste to energy incineration industry in Australia and give it Clean Energy Finance Corporation subsidies. But its more polluting than the oil, coal and gas industry, generates tonnes of toxic ash and undermines recycling industry and the goal of a circular economy. How can the government justify supporting this industry as a solution to Australia’s waste management problems, when the EU and the US are decommissioning this dirty energy industry right now?”

“Become food fighters, become waste warriors”



» See more segments from 23 July on Q&A’s Facebook page

» See the full-length show as well as segments on www.abc.net.au

Melbourne waste-to-energy plant entitled ‘Sustainability Hub’

“Inner-city councils have already begun work on plans for a “waste-to-energy” plant at Fishermans Bend, burning waste at high temperatures to convert it into electricity. The project would be part of a new hub aimed at processing all of the waste generated by the thousands of new residents and workers flooding into the redeveloped area. Plans are also well advanced to build a second waste-to-energy plant in the city’s south-east.”

“An officer’s report prepared by Maribyrnong Council, one of the inner-city partner councils, found plants that converted thermal waste to energy were likely to be the most feasible type of plant. But they also identified concerns around the resulting pollution and toxic waste. Costs were also found likely to be about 50 per cent higher than those for landfill and social and environmental risks were said to be “significant”. “Thermal waste to energy technologies pose the greatest risks to human health and the environment due to high levels of air pollution and toxic ash caused by incineration,” the report stated.”
» The Age – 19 April 2018:
Push for controversial waste-to-energy centre at Fishermans Bend

Yarra Climate Action Now have raised concerns about a proposed Waste to Energy plant for Fishermans Bend:

“This would burn waste, including plastic, and produce electricity. This method has been used in Sweden and the US for many years. However it produces toxic waste which has to be safely stored forever. And as the plant would be a commercial rather than a government-run enterprise, there is actually a disincentive to reduce plastic waste. In Sweden they import waste plastic to grow the business,” the group wrote in its newsletter.


» Peter Gardner – 29 July 2018:
No Energy from Burning Rubbish


“Straw no more”


The “Straw no more” campaign was started in Cairns by 10 year old Molly

“We need to reduce demand for single-use plastics, full stop. A managed decline from oil and gas production is going to have to include a just transition away from single-use plastics. From oceans to climate change, the straw ban also starts a much needed conversation around our unnecessary dependence on plastics.”

» Medium | Earthworks – 28 July 2018:
Why Straw Bans Don’t Suck

» www.breakfreefromplastic.org – “the global movement to stop plastic pollution for good”


Remember…
• It’s up to us to tell the bars: We don’t want the straw. We don’t need it!

• On social media: Let Coles and Woolworth know what you think about their plastic wrapping!

• Always bring your own water bottle – and make good use of the hashtag #BYOwaterbottle

Food waste



 #VICTORIA #PLASTICPOLICY: 

“Victoria says no to plastic waste”

Media release from the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio’s office on 27 June 2018:

Victoria: 96 per cent of 8,000 submissions supported a ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags.

“The Andrews Labor Government will ban single-use, lightweight plastic shopping bags from 2019 to help protect our environment from plastic pollution.

The ban will come into effect from late next year and will include all plastic shopping bags less than 35 microns in thickness – like those commonly used at supermarket checkouts. The ban will also include shopping bags made from degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastic.

It follows an overwhelming response of more than 8,000 submissions during community consultation on plastic pollution. The public consultation found enormous support for a ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags, with more than 96 per cent of submissions supporting a ban.

Over the next 12 months, the feedback will be used to develop a plastic pollution plan to reduce other types of plastic contaminants in our environment.

The Labor Government will establish a reference group to help develop the plan, with representatives from government, industry, retailers and community environment groups.

To support the transition away from plastic shopping bags and make the ban as effective as possible, the government will support an education campaign for retailers and the community.

Plastics in the environment break up into smaller and smaller pieces over time, becoming increasingly difficult to manage. They can end up in our waterways, lakes and oceans — contributing to litter and posing a significant hazard to our marine life. A transition period is required to help consumers and businesses adapt to the changes.

The government will continue working with other states and territories on a national, voluntary phase-out of thick plastic bags.

“Banning single-use plastic bags will slash waste, reduce litter and help protect marine life in Victoria’s pristine waters,” says Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio:

“We know Victorians want to do more to reduce pollution in our environment – we’ve received an enormous amount of feedback and they’ve told us loud and clear they want us to deliver this ban. The Government will continue to work closely with Victorian communities and businesses to design the ban – to ensure it works for all Victorians and our environment.”

» View the consultation report on environment.vic.gov.au/sustainability/plastic-pollution


» Sustainability Victoria – 5 June 2018:
The big plastic problem – what you can do
“World Environment Day 2018 focused on beating plastic pollution. With big supermarket chains cutting down on plastic packaging and introducing plastic bag bans, it feels like there is reason to be hopeful for a reduction in plastic consumption. It’s also a good time to remind ourselves why it’s so important. So, what’s the problem with plastic?”

Green Drinks slides about plastic and zero waste

Here is the slide presentation which was screened at the Plastic Free July themed Green Drinks in Geelong on 25 July 2018.






Colin Mockett’s global outlook






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Climate change


Newsletter headlines on 25 July 2018

 #BLAMEGAME #CLIMATEEMERGENCY: 

Courts on the front line

‘Biblical disaster’, writes The New Daily – as both Sweden and Greece are devasted with fires. In Greece, the wildfire death toll rose to 74 this morning. All over the world, people are dying in heatwaves.

Just sad…? Or self-inflicted? We knew what would be coming, didn’t we? We have known about the dangers of our unregulated burning of fossil fuels for 30 years. The American president was warned about it 50 years ago.

So… Have we kind of asked for it? Or should we start holding our politicians and the fossil fuel industry accountable for these deaths?

The battle – the ‘blame game’, if you like – is already playing out in the court rooms.

“Courts are a new front line of climate action with cases against governments and oil firms spiralling, and while victories have so far been rare, the pressure for change is growing,” as reported in a recent article published in The Guardian.

Climate litigation is poised to score breakthroughs as people and groups seek to assign responsibility for climate impacts to the fossil fuel industry. Predictably, Big Oil is fighting back hard by saying that climate change is the fault of the consumer.

In the US, a federal court recently dismissed two California cities’ suits against five oil companies. Because “consumers are the polluters. Everyone has dirty hands,” the oil companies said.

“Every municipality would choose clean energy if they could, but we’re decades behind where we could have been if the fossil fuel companies had not maintained an iron grip on our energy policy. (…) Consumers aren’t demanding fossil fuel energy, they’re demanding energy,” said Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Polls show that people really want clean energy. But the choices we make are constrained by the options available to us, which have been constrained by the oil companies’ lobbying for subsidies and against emissions limits, and by their recalcitrance to invest in clean energy.”

» Climate Liability News – 23 July 2018:
Big Oil Contends Climate Change Is Our Fault



» ABC AM – 25 July 2018:
Super fund faces law suit over its climate change strategy
“Young people are often accused of not caring enough about their superannuation but one young Australian could change that.
A 23-year-old Queensland man is suing his super fund for allegedly failing to explain how they’ll protect his life savings from climate change. If he wins, it will set a precedent for the super industry which controls a quarter of the companies listed on the A-S-X.”
3-minute interview and report by ABC’s environment reporter Michael Slezak, featuring: Mark McVeigh, Plaintiff against Rest; David Barnden, Mark’s lawyer; Mark Bland, financial services lawyer; broadcast on Wednesday 25 July 2018 at 8:26am.


“A shift towards climate-change litigation is gathering steam as low-lying island countries, and even US cities, take aim at governments and big oil companies for failing to act proportionately on emission reductions.”

» ABC News – 25 July 2018:
Super fund REST being sued for not having a plan for climate change
“The risk that your super could take a hit to its bottom line because of climate change could soon be something your fund is legally obliged to act on.”

“Last year, the international organisation the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) looked at 500 of the world’s biggest pension funds, and rated them on preparedness for climate change risk. According to AODP, Australian super funds are the fifth best for addressing climate risk in the world, behind only Sweden, Norway, New Zealand and Finland. The best fund in the world was Aussie super fund Local Government Super, which scored a AAA rating.”

“Unlike some of the other industry and retail funds, REST does not have a responsible-investment option, and has very little information on its website about how it deals with climate risk.”

» The New Daily – 25 July 2018:
Revealed: Australia’s most climate-conscious super funds



Demands to politicians

Instead of starting a new blame game about history, the right thing to do now is to focus on what we NEED to get done. Quickly.
Zero Hour’s list of demands to politicians would be a proper place to start.

Climatic clippings increasingly ‘crimatic’: critical, criminal and dramatic

» Read more


On Facebook, Zdenko Jaksic added this comment:

“Nature has a limit how far can you abuse it , these are man made disasters . capitalism , greed , general stupidity and consumerism is responsible for the destruction of environment and resulting freak climate changes world wide”

» Newshub – 24 April 2018:
Nature pays the price for our self-interest

“We may only be just realising the true costs of the environmental debt that’s been incurred. But we’re all paying the price. Government agencies need to step up and do their job and Government Ministers must see to it that they do.”
~ Geoff Keey, Strategic Adviser at Forest & Bird

New Zealand’s climate change minister told viewers of Newshub Nation that “Stopping climate change will make us richer than doing nothing”

» Newshub Nation – 21 July 2018:
Stopping climate change will make us richer than doing nothing – Shaw

‘Newshub Nation’ is an in-depth politics and current affairs show on weekend mornings in New Zealand, broadcast on Newshub – formerly Three News.

20 per cent instead of one per cent

“The tragic irony is that the more of society’s funds we spend to protect ourselves from the effects of climate change, the less will be left to prevent climate change from escalating further. It is now over ten years ago since the comprehensive report to the British government, ‘The Stern Review’, showed that prevention in terms of the necessary reductions of greenhouse gas emissions can be implemented for one per cent of global GDP per year, whereas the cost of not mitigating – NOT getting our greenhouse gas emissions under control – could end up costing us five to 20 per cent of GDP.

The problem is that mitigation is about big and long-term investment decisions in the transition. They often meet resistance from short-sighted vested interests and require both political visions and political courage. Then it’s so much easier only to open the money box whenever an extreme weather catastrophe hits us.”

» Information – 24 July 2018:
It’s stupid to keep the money box closed until the forest is burning [In Danish language]
“A tragic irony is that the more of the funds we use to protect us from forest fires, floods and other effects of climate change, the less is left to prevent climate change from escalating.” Editorial by Jørgen Steen Nielsen




Energy






When customers pay for coal-fired power, the price does not reflect its true cost. There is a bill sent to our community in terms of sickness, destruction from extreme weather events and environmental disruptions which remains unaccounted for.


End of coal

Australia’s coal power stations are not fit for a 21st century power system with almost 100 breakdowns at fossil fuel power stations in the seven-month period to the end of June 2018, according to a new Climate Council report ‘End of the line: Coal in Australia’.

Climate Councillor and energy sector veteran with more than 40 years experience, Professor Andrew Stock said, “by 2030, 55% of coal power stations in Australia will be over 40 years old. These ageing coal stations are  increasingly unreliable and expensive to operate, risking blackouts and higher consumer power costs.”

Key findings include:

• Coal costs Australian taxpayers about $2.6 billion in health costs every year.

• Australia’s coal and gas power stations had almost 100 breakdowns recorded in the seven-month period to the end of June 2018.

• By 2030, 55% of coal power stations in Australia will be over 40 years old.

• New coal power stations are the most expensive form of new power generation.

• The estimated cost of building a coal power station with carbon capture and storage in Australia is over six times the equivalent cost of Australia’s largest wind farm.

• Australia’s electricity sector is the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas pollution, producing 33% of Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution levels in 2017.

• There is no such thing as clean coal. No matter how “efficient” a coal-fired power station, it is always polluting.

» Climate Council – 24 July 2018:
‘End of the line: Coal in Australia’



» 9news.com.au – 12 July 2018:
Govt weighing up support for power assets including coal
Josh Frydenberg says government will consider taxpayer support The Turnbull Cabinet will “carefully consider” taxpayers supporting new power assets, including coal and gas plants, in the wake of the damning consumer watchdog review into prices. Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, said the recommendation in the ACCC report “has merit”, after the Prime Minister also left the door open. Mr Frydenberg told the Today Show said underwriting new sources of power “certainly could include coal and gas”.


Cutting costs

In Australia climate change for some reason is almost a taboo during election periods. But the rising cost of energy is a hot topic, and the liberal government is blaming renewables for both high costs and unreliability. However, did you know that 40 per cent of your energy bill is profit and marketing for big companies, and that 1.8 million house owners in Australia have switched over to solar power from their own roof top because it is much cheaper than buying the dirty coal-produced electricity from the grid? On top of that, energy efficiency is a topic that deserves much more attention in that debate, because:

“The cost of saving energy through energy efficiency programs is, on average, a fourth of the retail cost of providing electricity.”
~ Robert Walton

» Utility Dive – 7 July 2018:
Berkeley lab turns out comprehensive estimate of efficiency cost — and it’s cheap



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___________________________________________________________________

Climate action events in the pipeline

___________________________________________________________________

Saturday 8 September: Rise for Climate
Global event
Glen from 350.org wrote: “By mobilising on 8 September 2018 we will set the bar for what local commitments need to deliver: an immediate end to new fossil fuel projects and a fast, fair and just transition to 100% renewable energy. We don’t need to wait for national governments to act. Rise For Climate is bringing together hundreds of partner organisations, and local organisers from all corners of the globe. This is what our movement is great at – local action, everywhere. 
Organise a Rise For Climate action in your town on 8 September, and demand that local leaders commit to building a fossil free world for all. 
We look forward to working together for a massive 8 September!”  

         


11-12 September: Darebin’s Climate Emergency conference
Northcote Town Hall, Melbourne

Wed-Fri 12-14 September: Global Climate Action Summit
California
» Website: www.globalclimateactionsummit.org
» Affiliate events
Virtually attend the summit: Live stream the summit program on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter

Thursday 13 September: Victorian Anti-Fracking Forum
Victoria



Friday 14 September: Pathway to Paris concert
San Francisco, California

Friday 21 September: ZeDay – Zero Emissions Day
Global
It’s up to each of us to take care of our planet at this point. Our biosphere and all its inhabitants are counting on us. Don’t count that anyone else is going to fix this problem with global warming, if you aren’t doing anything yourself. When you are part of driving something this large, you have to stop every now and then… reflect on what’s working and what’s not working — and set a new course for where you really want to be. Zero Emissions Day on 21 September provides just that opportunity – to benefit everything and everyone on our planet.
www.zeroemissionsday.org

Thur-Fri 18-19 October: Cities Power Partnership National Summit
New South Wales
Climate Council will be bringing councils together for their first ever national summit on 18-19 October 2018, Kiama, New South Wales. The Partnership program is now powered by 70 councils and 250 towns and cities representing 8 million Australians.



___________________________________________________________________

Calendar – coming events 2018

___________________________________________________________________


The National Tree Day in Australia

Schools Tree Day and National Tree Day are Australia’s largest annual tree-planting and nature care events and take place on Friday 27 July and Sunday 29 July 2018.

This is an initiative organised by Planet Ark in partnership with Toyota Australia which provides on-the-ground support at tree planting sites across Australia. To find out more or to take part, visit treeday.planetark.org

Schools Tree Day Friday 27 July
National Tree Day Sunday 29 July


Facebook Live: Is your business clever and creative?
Hear four inspiring stories of how Oishi-M, Rip Curl, Sage Farm and Geelong Mums are running their businesses in sustainable ways.
They’ve become more energy and waste efficient, installed renewable energy systems, and educated their customers along the way.
Dr Niraj Lal, presenter for ABC Sciency and MC extraordinaire facilitates the Q&A session where you can post questions directly to the panellists.

Tuesday 28 August at 10:30am to 11:30am. Cost: Free

» Book here
» Read more on www.festival.business.vic.gov.au

» See also: www.facebook.com/EcoDevGeelong






Sun Bear Children’s Festival
The family wildlife Sun Bear Children’s Festival is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. They have found an exciting new location that they hope will “foster a deeper connection for the whole family to our local natural environment — the Anglesea Shark Park — located next to the river mouth and with access to the dunes and beach.” The activities are nature-based and community-focused. And to make the celebration even more special, the festival has added a Twilight Program the night before to kick off the festival with a special Indigenous Ceremony and nocturnal program.

Program:
• Saturday 13 October
5:30-7:00pm: Community Picnic
BYO picnic to gather in the spirit of the festival and in anticipation of the Twilight Ceremony
7:00-7:30pm: Twilight Ceremony
7:45-8:45pm: Spotlighting and Stargazing

• Sunday 14 October
10am-2pm: Wildlife and nature-focussed games, activities, talks & walks, young musicians and animal poetry on stage, kangaroo-whistle fitting etc.
2:30-3:00pm – Endangered Wildlife Parade

» Tickets on sale on www.eventbrite.com.au


Geelong Community Solar Program – replacing big energy with community solar
Get access to exclusive bulk-buy discounts on solar and battery systems.  
Cut your electricity bills by up to 90% with new solar and battery technology.

» Go to bit.ly/GeelongCommunitySolar to access exclusive bulk-buy discounts on solar and battery systems – until 31 July 2018  



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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


We received this newsletter from Blair Palese, CEO of 350.org Australia:


Why are we stuck with climate deniers in Australia?

This is an outrage.

In the lead up to #RiseForClimate – a global day of climate action on September 8 – we have seen another example of how deeply climate denial is rooted in the Australian political landscape. And how that climate denial is preventing us from real change that will make a difference for our safe climate future.

Last week the story broke that the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) had received approximately $4.5 million from the coal and iron ore magnate Gina Rinehart over the last two years.1 This is the billionaire who once said:

“I have never met a geologist or leading scientist who believes adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will have any significant effect on climate change….”2

The IPA is Australia’s most outspoken conservative think tank and virulent climate sceptics who have led an extraordinary campaign for years to ensure Australia has no national climate policy. The IPA has a history of supporting tours by climate deniers and supporting coal mines such as the Adani mine planned for the Galilee basin.

You have to wonder how the IPA can be a registered charity (yep, you read that right!) and actively advocate its pro-coal climate change denial that is playing a critical role in holding Australia back on the issue of our time.  It is a legitimate question to ask whether this “charity” is being influenced by a funder that has contributed almost 50% of the group’s funds in 2016 alone. And interesting that it takes an unrelated Gina Rinehart legal case for us to find out about that funding.

Meanwhile, Australia still has no national policy to deal with climate change. No plan for preparing our economy for the post-fossil fuel world. And no plan for helping fossil fuel-dependent communities make the transition from coal and gas, given the inevitable impact on the market in the wake of the Paris Agreement.

So why are we stuck with climate deniers in Australia?

It doesn’t take a genius to see what’s holding Australia back. Our federal leaders are too beholden to the likes of the IPA – with mining money flowing into its coffers – to show leadership on the issue of our time.

Federal government leadership on climate change seems to be driven more by vested interests like the IPA and the Minerals Council than what’s in the best interests of Australia and ensuring a safe and liveable climate.

There is hope.

While the IPA has Gina Rinehart and her $4.5 million… The climate movement has you and millions of people like you who have taken action, stepped up and made your voices heard to demand climate change action.

They have fossil fuel money. We have the people power.

We know that real climate leadership rises from the grassroots up. That’s why this September, we are supporting #RiseForClimate – a global day of action with hundreds of rallies in cities and towns around the world – to demand our local leaders commit to building a fossil free world that puts people and justice before profit.

Will you chip in to support the massive Rise moment for climate action in 2018?

Chip in and help us show the federal government, the IPA and the Minerals Council that grassroots demand for climate action will bring change.

Let’s Rise above the climate deniers,

Blair, for the 350 Australia team

PS. Are you a bit of a whizz at research, perhaps you have some knowledge of the world of philanthropy? If you have some spare time and have a hankering to do your bit for the climate change cause, we’re looking for some voluntary help in the office. Get in touch at info@350.org.au for more information.

Authorised by Blair Palese, 350.org  Australia, 50 Reservoir St, Surry Hills, Sydney NSW, 2010.

1. Gina Rinehart company revealed as $4.5m donor to climate sceptic thinktank.

2. Gina Rinehart urges Australians to fight against carbon and mining taxes.


350 Australia is building a global climate movement.You can connect with us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and become a Climate Defender and donate monthly to help 350 Australia keep Australia’s fossil fuels in the ground.

350.org Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to the land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to their Elders past, present and emerging. There can be no climate justice without justice for First Nations people across the globe.”

[ENDS]



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Environment news in The Guardian

Just skimming through an excerpt of the headlines of this week tells you a story of its own:



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 #GLOBALOUTLOOK #ENERGY: 

Denmark’s pathway to fossil freedom by 2050

State of Green – a not-for-profit, public-private partnership from Denmark – writes about climate change, economy and Danish solutions on the front of their home page:

“The inexorable rise in CO2 emissions over the last 30 years and growing global demand for stable electricity, heating, cooling, and transportation represent a major challenge worldwide. A growing population and expanding middle class set the global energy scene in flux. The million-dollar question therefore becomes: how do we ensure access to clean and affordable energy for all and halt global warming, without stalling economic progress?

Different countries face different kinds of energy challenges, which is why each country must find their own unique energy model to transition to a low-carbon economy. Some economies need to strengthen their domestic grid infrastructure to secure a stable supply of electricity, whereas others need to take action to reduce the country’s overall energy consumption. Some already base their energy consumption on energy generated by renewables, while others are well underway with the digitalisation of their energy system, rolling out sensors and smart meters, using data to create more intelligent and flexible energy systems.

Transitioning to a low-carbon society marks a paradigm shift in the energy sphere. However, decarbonisation and economic growth are not mutually exclusive. The most prosperous societies of the future will also be the ones that are the most sustainable.”


[Let’s take that line more time in bold for the Australian politicians and decision makers:}

“The most prosperous societies of the future will also be the ones that are the most sustainable.”
~ State of Green, ‘Powering our future with sustainable energy’



A fossil-independent society by 2050
“
Over the past 40 years, Denmark’s energy system has undergone a profound transformation. Hit hard by the oil crises of the 1970s, we became uncomfortably aware of our 99 percent dependency on oil imports. While the initial changes focused on replacing oil consumption with coal, Denmark soon realised that this was unsustainable and shifted its efforts towards integrating the use of domestic renewable sources into the power grid, making sure that the entire system became more energy efficient and stable.

The long-term goal for Denmark is to become 100 percent independent of fossil fuels by 2050, meaning that energy demand across the board – electricity, heating and cooling, and transportation – is to be met through renewable energy generation. Today, renewable energy covers nearly 30 percent of our energy needs, with wind and bioenergy being the largest clean energy contributors. With virtually zero hydropower resources available in the country, Denmark is yet to find the optimal energy mix to achieve a fossil-independent society by 2050. The challenge remains, and we have a lot to learn and explore. One thing is certain: We will not be able to reach the goal alone. Collaborating with global partners is vital.

Decarbonisation and economic growth – not mutually exclusive

Long-term, proactive energy policies that focus on cost-efficient solutions enable significant economic growth. Since 1980s, the Danish GDP has increased by over 80 percent without increasing domestic energy consumption. In the same period adjusted carbon emissions have dropped. It shows that decarbonisation and economic growth are not mutually exclusive. We even predict them to be interdependent in the future.

Despite the fact that global government support for traditional fuels across the world still by far exceeds that for renewables, electricity harnessed from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar is one of the cheapest options on the market. In Denmark, onshore wind power is currently the cheapest energy source.

Energy efficiency as a key driver

Buildings account for 40 percent of global energy consumption and in energy intensive industries, energy consumption accounts for up to 40 percent of total production costs. Ensuring successful energy efficiency deployment in buildings and industrial processes will allow us to meet society’s demand for various energy services more efficiently and effectively.

Working with energy efficiency measures since the 70s, energy efficiency has become an embedded part of the Danes’ mindsets. Both companies and citizens have been incentivised to reduce energy consumption through a combination of regulatory and economic initiatives, such as improved energy standards for buildings, energy labelling schemes for electrical appliances, taxes and subsidies, public campaigns and energy saving agreements with industry.

In addition, Denmark’s district heating system is highly energy efficient and has been one of the key drivers for reduced energy consumption and CO2 emissions from the energy sector. It utilises surplus heat from electricity production to heat water, piped into and distributed though the district heating system to provide heat to local areas.

Energy independence or interdependence?

Should a country strive for energy independence or interdependence in order ensure access to clean and affordable energy? There is no simple answer to this question and geography obviously plays a role in how viable either is for the individual country. The 70s oil crisis led Denmark to pursue energy independence of other countries. However, having advanced in the energy transition, it has become evident for us and our neighbouring countries, that energy security is achieved via the help of energy import from each other.

Significant elements of the Danish energy system have been developed in close public and private cooperation with other countries, institutions and corporations. Through the NordPool power exchange, Nordic countries buy and sell electricity to balance their fluctuating electricity production. This ensures energy access, increases security of supply and enables the integration of high shares of variable renewable energy in the energy system, thus providing a reliable supply.

Integrating renewables successfully via holistic and flexible energy systems
Production of clean energy depends partially on the climatic context and natural resources available to a country. Similar to countries such as Portugal, Germany and USA, Denmark possesses an abundance of wind, which is why the production of renewable electricity is based primarily on this source. In fact, wind turbines supplied 43.4 percent of Denmark’s electricity consumption in 2017.

Further increasing the amount of renewable energy in an energy system requires a strong transmission grid that copes with fluctuations from e.g. sun and wind energy. Integrating sectors and systems becomes crucial in establishing a holistic, flexible energy system across electricity, heating and cooling, gas and transportation. Doing so enables balancing the use of renewables in a financially viable way, by tapping into the combined strength of these systems. Denmark’s integrated system is fully reliable, with the highest level of security of supply in Europe. However, making a holistic, integrated energy system is an ongoing process, and we are continuously working towards increased integration via research and demonstration projects.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants play a significant role in the integration of renewables into the Danish energy system. Not only do the plants supply the country with a substantial share of its electricity by virtue of their design, which allows them to store heat and vary the proportion of heat and electricity produced, they can also alter their electricity output in response to changes in wind output, and thus help balance the grid.

The Danish Transmission System Operator (TSO) Energinet uses advanced wind forecasting in the operations of power system control and dispatch. Looking ahead, energy consumers will become energy producers and thereby help balance the energy system, both by shifting their electricity consumption during peak periods in response to time-based rates, but also by feeding locally produced electricity into the grid.

Energy storage: a hard nut to crack
Increased renewable generation requires the ability to store electricity generated by wind, solar and other renewables for later use. To date, no battery solutions can store these immense amounts of electricity. Instead, an integrated energy system, as well as increased electrification, can serve as storage capacity and thereby help balance the energy system. A concrete example is the use of heating storage in the district heating system and increased use of electricity for heating, accompanied by increased deployment of heat pumps and electrical boilers.

Also, power to gas (P2G) and electrification of transportation through e.g. electric vehicles will balance the system. The Danish gas grid has significant capacity to store natural gas and down the track, it will also be possible to do the same with green gasses such as biogas or hydrogen, which can be subsequently be converted to power or heat according to demand.

Connect. Inspire. Share. Think Denmark

Denmark aims to stimulate and inspire low-carbon, economic growth globally. We believe everyone has the right to prosper and develop, and we believe the most prosperous societies of the future will be the most sustainable. At State of Green, a not-for-profit, public-private partnership, we foster relations with international stakeholders interested in discussing their challenges and bring into play relevant Danish competencies and technologies that enable your green transition. We welcome partners from all continents to meet like-minded Danish energy stakeholders and discuss your challenges as well as potentials.”

» Read much more on www.stateofgreen.com


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 #ZEROWASTE | #LANDFILL | AUDITOR GENERAL’S REPORT: 

Over $500 million available to combat Victoria’s waste crisis

Media release from Environment Victoria on 25 July 2018:

Environment Victoria has welcomed today’s Auditor General’s report on the Landfill Levy, and says that its findings show that we have the opportunity to harness the levy to deal with Victoria’s growing waste crisis and tackle climate change.

The Landfill Levy puts a price on every tonne of waste that’s sent to landfill. The money raised through the levy is used to provide income for Victoria’s Sustainability Fund, which was set up to deliver programs that improve waste management, reduce carbon emissions and help Victorians adapt to climate change.

Today’s Auditor General’s report reveals that since 2005 approximately $1.7 billion has been collected by the Levy, with $562 million being fed into the Sustainability Fund, but until recently this revenue has not been used for its intended purpose.

“It is outrageous that successive governments have just been sitting on half a billion dollars specifically earmarked to improve sustainability in Victoria,” said Dr Nicholas Aberle, Campaigns Manager at Environment Victoria.

“This is the first time in years that the Sustainability Fund has been used for its intended purpose and not to simply prop up the budget.

“While it’s heartening that the Andrews government is starting to spend the fund, we need to significantly scale up expenditure on programs that improve waste management and cut carbon pollution.

“We’re pleased to see our state government starting to is stepping up and finally use the Sustainability Fund in the way it was intended – to tackle issues such as waste management and climate change.

“Victoria has taken some encouraging first steps to improve recycling, but there’s still so much more to be done, and we’ve got the money to do it.

“It’s time for Treasurer Tim Pallas to open his wallet and start investing in solutions that will solve our waste crisis, tackle climate change and create sustainable jobs.

“We know Victorians want a sustainable future for our state and ahead of the November election we’ll be making sure that sustainability, the environment and climate change are front-of-mind issues for political parties vying for votes,” said Dr Aberle.



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‘Clean meat’


‘Clean meat’ is coming – and it supposedly tastes even better than the real thing, according to the company behind this new meat, called JUST. Could this mean the end of slaughterhouses?







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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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