Follow the sun and which way the wind blows

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On 23 September 2015, The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse follows the sun and the way the wind currently blows, which is in the direction of better understanding of the benefits of cycling, wind energy, new forms of energy storage, and what food can do to open up new understandings towards more sustainable life styles and mindsets.

We also investigate our new Prime Minister’s understanding of the climate crisis, and we bring reports from a rally in Melbourne on 20 September to declare Victoria gasfield free, and a Renewable Energy Summit in Torquay on 21 September 2015.

Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 91:

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“Follow the sun, and which way the wind blows when this day is done. Breath in the air. Set your intentions. Dream with care.”
Xavier Rudd, in his song ‘Follow the Sun’


Guests in The Sustainable Hour no 91
Tim St. Quentin, 23-year-old cyclist and engineer student
Jack Nyhof, 14-year-old reporter, founder of Earth People Animals

Live phone interviews
Andrew Blakers, foundation director, Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems, Australian National University, Canberra
Suzette Jackson, director, Innate Ecology, Geelong

Pre-recorded phone interview
Søren Hermansen, director, Samsø Energy Academy in Denmark

Reports
• Rally to declare Vicoria Gasfield Free: Farmer Ray, Burnie Mills, Bruce Clark, Billy, Jillian from Bales, and Ursula Alquier
• Renewable Energy Summit in Torquay: Tobias Geiger, managing director, WestWind Energy

Speeches
• Three excerpts of speeches by Malcolm Turnbull




 LISTENER SERVICE 

Audio excerpts

Interviews in the 91st Sustainable Hour


Right-click here to download the audio file



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Right-click here to download the audio file



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Right-click here to download the audio file

Off-river pumped hydro energy storage

Green Institute webinar on 13 October 2015. Andrew Blakers reviews the opportunities for off-river pumped hydro energy storage in Australia – there are thousands of suitable sites, it costs much less than batteries and perfectly complements wind and solar PV electricity generation.



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Anthony Gleeson’s report from the rally to declare Victoria gasfield free

Right-click here to download the audio file

» The Age – 20 September 2015:
Farmers protest against coal seam gas in CBD fracking rally

» 9 News – 20 September 2015:
Vic farmers fight CSG industry

» Weekly Times / Herald Sun – 24 September 2015:
Miners have failed to sell the case for coal-seam gas



 MORE INFORMATION 

Quotes, excerpts and links

…in relation to interviews and topics in the 91st Sustainable Hour


What wild food has to do with sustainability

“We need to find our ways in a wild world, we need to learn how to live in harmony with nature, and eat of more of the wild. We need to learn to be wild. Again,” explains the Danish author Tor Nørretranders about the new Danish project, ‘Wild Food’.

Samsø Energy Academy is part of the project because they are on the lookout for a new paradign, a new narrative, for their island, which is not only about tourism or “energy-tourism”. (The academy has had visitors from Surf Coast Shire, Hepburn Wind, and even more recently, the Mayor and a delegation of ten people from Kangaroo Island visited the centre.) Søren Hermansen, founder of Samsø Energy Academy, explains in the interview in The Sustainable Hour that they have started to look at food as way to connect people with sustainability.

“It is time to return to a point of shared responsibility for the land, that will allow future generations to flourish,” says Søren Hermansen, founder of Samsø Energy Academy.

» Learn more on www.vildmad.dk



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Benefits of wind turbines

In reference to the interview with Tobi Geiger about getting Geelong powered on wind energy.

“Two wind farms that are approved, but not yet built, in the north of the Corangamite electorate will create more than 150 jobs during construction and up to 40 ongoing jobs, a renewable energy summit has heard.

West Wind Energy managing director Tobi Geiger said he hoped the Lal Lal and Moorabool wind farms, south of Ballan, would be built within the next couple of years.

He said southwest Victoria had good natural resources as well as a strong manufacturing base that could support a renewable sector.

“In Australia we often have stormy weather in the colder months of the year and sunny weather over our summer period when the wind often dies down a bit so there’s actually a good correlation between wind and solar for an entire energy system,” Mr Geiger told the summit in Torquay on Monday.”

» Geelong News – 22 September 2015:
Torquay renewable energy forums hears industry will bring jobs and investment
» Also published in Geelong News on 23 September 2015 under the headline ‘Winds of change. Renewable energy boost for jobs’



» Geelong Advertiser – 11 August 2015:
ACT launches second wind farm auction process
By Tristan Edis

» Geelong Advertiser – 16 July 2015:
Andrews to unveil renewables incentives; has run-in with anti-wind Hockey
By AAP

» Geelong Advertiser – 29 June 2015:
Conservationist Kelly O’Shanassy talks growing up in Corio and campaigning in Canberra

» Geelong Advertiser – 12 June 2015:
Vic changes will cut wind farm red tape: CEC



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Benefits of cycling

In reference to the interview with Tim St. Quentin about the cycling infrastructure in Geelong.

Commuting cyclists are twice as happy as people who drive, walk or use public transport to get work, new research suggests.

A University of Sydney study of 846 inner-city commuters found cyclists had better overall quality of life and health satisfaction than public-transport users, walkers and motorists.

Statistical adjustments were made for other possible explanations such as age, sex, education and income levels, lead researcher Melanie Crane said.

Cycling involved mental-health benefits of being active outdoors, a greater control over and predictability of their commuting journey, a sense of fun and a way to save money, she said. “This may be why cycling commuters arrive for work in a happier mind frame than other commuters.”

The research, published in the Quality of Life Research journal, is part of a three-year study on changes in travel and health behaviours as a result of new cycling infrastructure.

Bicycle Users Geelong commented:
“A happy worker is a good worker… Apparently bike commuters are twice as happy when they get to work than people using cars, public transport or walking. Imagine if we bike commuters didn’t have to deal with car doors and bike lanes mysteriosly dissappearing at intersections… The happiness reading would be off the chart! If your business or organisation wants happy workers you should stop subsidising cars and parking and get people on bikes.”


» University of Sydney – 13 August 2015:
Sydney’s cyclists twice as happy as other commuters: new research
“Cycling commuters arrive at work in a happier mind frame than other commuters.”

» See also: The real value of cycling



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What can we expect from Malcolm Turnbull?

The Sustainable Hour played excerpts from the following two youtube-videos and an ABC audio file:

1.   Turnbull in 2010:

Malcolm Turnbull said that we had zero carbon budget remaining and talked about climate policy as he was launching the BZE stationary energy report back in 2010. He certainly is fully aware that we face a climate emergency.

Malcolm Turnbull spoke at Sydney Town Hall on 12 August 2010. The video was published on youtube.com on 10 March 2012.

» To see the whole launch go to www.tiny.cc/idozaw


2.   Turnbull speak after winning leadership ballot on 14 September 2015:

When he had just won the vote in the Liberal party room to be the new leader of the Liberal party and Prime Minister-designate. Published on youtube.com on 14 September 2015.

3.   Turnbull on ABC Current Affairs on 21 September 2015:

So now – as prime minister – what will he do? According to this interview he gave on 21 September 2015 on ABC Current Affairs, Liberal politics have tied up the new Prime Minister, though fully aware that we face a climate emergency, to now be continuing Tony Abbott’s policies and saying that a 24-26 percent emissions reduction of 2005-levels is all that Australia should be doing.

» Listen to the radio interview: Download the audio file


https://twitter.com/amworldtodaypm/status/645722232392577024/photo/1

» The Guardian – 25 September 2015:
The inconvenient truth about Direct Action comes from Turnbull himself
“Malcolm Turnbull is now defending the policy he criticised, but his truths about climate change won’t go away and this stop-gap scheme will come badly unstuck.” By Lenore Taylor

Malcolm Turnbull’s maiden speech in 2004
As newly elected member for Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull delivered his maiden speech on 29 November 2004, where he talked about his personal background and upbringing:

“Mr Speaker, within the lifetime of most of us, and certainly in the lifetime of our children, the world we know today will be transformed.”
Malcolm Turnbull in his maiden speech on 29 November 2004 [9:58]

» Malcolm Turnbull’s maiden speech



The Tree: Turnbull’s vision for the future

The Tree wrote:

“In a warning for all fossil-friendly leaders globally, Tony Abbott’s blind support for coal and cynical inaction on climate change are among factors behind him being unceremoniously turfed out of his job this week. Challenged by former Environment Minister and previous Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull, Abbott was voted out by his party after Turnbull seized on his and the Liberal Right’s failure to develop and sell a credible economic policy given their “extraordinary gusts of hubris” and “feckless machismo”.

Eyes are now turning to Turnbull’s vision for the future, and how he will separate his stated desire for a modern, nimble Australia that embraces disruption (such as renewables), from the Abbott Government’s backward-looking coal wedlock. How Turnbull deals with the Coalition’s deeply ingrained climate denial and renewable bloodlust is also unclear. Despite recognising the importance of action on climate change, being a supporter of emissions trading, and declaring Tony Abbott’s “Direct Action” policy “bullshit”, he has in the past won major transitional concessions for carbon-intensive industries, and has already declared that he is happy with Australia’s current, inadequate, emissions reduction target.

All up, Turnbull is expected to move cautiously on climate. Renewable policy is unlikely to be further weakened; current climate policy will remain – for now – though it could be “dialed up”; climate denying elements such as Tony Abbott’s “business advisor” Maurice Newman could be ejected from key advisory roles; and the risk of Australian continuing to be a blocker at UN climate talks is now somewhat reduced.
The Tree


Claire O’Rourke, National Director of Solar Citizens, wrote:
“Malcolm Turnbull was in the Prime Minister’s parliamentary chair for barely 48 hours when he made a statement that caused us some distinct alarm. In question time Wednesday our new PM said the proposed goal of 50% renewable energy was “one of the most reckless proposals the Labor Party has made”.

Here’s what we have learned about reckless behaviour over the past two years:

• The Abbott government was reckless from day one, moving to slash the Renewable Energy Target from 41,000 to 33,000 gigawatt hours which cost thousands of jobs and millions in investment.

• The Abbott government attacked the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, an agency that fosters innovation and industry development – it was protected through the courageous actions of cross bench Senators including Glenn Lazarus, Dio Wang and Ricky Muir.

• The Abbott government also relentlessly pursued the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, a body that invests in renewable energy projects and has delivered 100% profit back to the taxpayer!

• With a new Prime Minister in charge, it’s the right time for a race to the top on renewables, not round after round of argy bargy between the two major parties.

It’s a troubling signal from the Turnbull government so early in the piece. The goal of at least 50% renewable energy is something the vast majority of Australians support, because it means we’re making the sensible move to use that handy and plentiful natural resource – sunshine.

Our new Prime Minister has the opportunity to lift the public debate on renewables and embrace the sunny future we all want to see, so it’s up to us to show him that people everywhere are calling for a new dawn for solar. Share this image on Facebook now to show that you won’t let negative statements from our politicians go unchallenged.

Let’s not forget, this is our future were talking about. Australians everywhere want a strong solar future and all the benefits that entails: good jobs, investment and a better future for our children in a thriving economy. And, earlier this week, the PM was embracing these sentiments, saying: “The Australia of the future has to be a nation that is agile, that is innovative, that is creative.” We agree.

There’s no time to waste in this busy week of politics – let’s make sure our message shines!


“It appears Greg Hunt now has responsibility for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. It likely signals that Turnbull will quietly dump attempts to abolish the agencies and the Government’s ideological crusade against renewable energy.”
Tristan Edis, Climate Spectator, 21 September 2015

Tristan Edis, Climate Spectator, wrote:
“Tony Abbott’s government was like a gang of school boys intent on fighting perceived enemies, not adults that carefully evaluated their options. Malcolm Turnbull isn’t a turncoat, he’s just interested in what works rather than representing a particular side.”

Lenore Taylor, The Guardian, wrote:
“Turnbull lost the Liberal leadership in 2009 over his backing for then prime minister Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme. Since becoming prime minister he has emphasised the important thing is to reduce emissions, rather than being “ideological” about the mechanism used to do so.”

» The Guardian – Monday 21 September 2015:
Turnbull government signals new approach to climate policy
“Staff at the Australian Renewable Energy Agency were told on Monday they were being transferred from industry department to department of the environment.” By Lenore Taylor

Turnbull’s light bulb phase-out

– when he was environment minister in 2007

The Sydney Morning Herald wrote in February 2007, at the time when Malcolm Turnbull was environment minister:

“Mr Turnbull said the most effective and immediate way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was to use energy more efficiently. “We have been using incandescent light bulbs for 125 years and up to 90 per cent of the energy each light bulb uses is wasted, mainly as heat,” he said, explaining the Government’s preference for the more energy efficient fluorescent bulbs…”

“Mr Turnbull said that during the Kyoto Protocol target period between 2008 and 2012, the light bulb phase-out would cut 800,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia each year.”

“Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull says the expensive bulbs will pay for themselves within a year by reducing household electricity bills by up to 66 per cent and eventually cutting Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by four million tonnes a year.”

» Read more on www.reneweconomy.com.au



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 OTHER INFORMATION 

News of the week

…which we planned to tell you about, but eventually didn’t find time for in The Sustainable Hour


New report about criminal taxpayer-funded subisidies to the fossils

“The earth is not dying. It is being killed, and the people killing it have names and addresses,” said the American folk singer Bruce Phillips.

When you look at this new OECD report which has come out, it becomes clear, once again, how many of these people are our elected leaders, who completely mismanage this planet and fail their responsibilities as leaders.

Government support for the consumption and production of the main fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – in OECD countries and key emerging economies is running at US$160-200 billion annually, the OECD says.

This means that governments – run by people who have names and addresses – are spending almost twice as much money supporting fossil fuels as is needed to meet the climate finance objectives set by the international community, which call for mobilising US$100 bn a year by 2020.

It is criminal what is going on.

» www.climatenewsnetwork.net



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The energy revolution is here

100 per cent renewable energy for all is achievable by 2050, creating jobs and cutting fuel costs, according to Greenpeace’s latest Energy [R]evolution report.

Researched in collaboration with the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), the report finds that the clean energy transition – including the electricity, transport and heating sectors – will create 20 million jobs over the next 15 years, and – unlike coal – will provide energy access to the one third of people globally that currently have none.

Greenpeace and DLR found that the investment necessary to reach a 100 per cent renewable goal will be a considerable US$1 trillion a year. However, this will be more than covered by the US$1.07 trillion in savings on fuel costs alone in the same period, not to mention the vast co-benefits to human health and the avoided costs from climate change-related extreme weather that come with the renewable transition.

To date, Greenpeace’s clean energy transition projections have proven to be the amongst the most accurate globally. This updated roadmap plots an ambitious path, but a necessary one for the world to tread if we are to remain below the agreed 2°C guardrail of average global warming. Renewable potential has been consistently understated, but with overwhelming public support, renewable records being broken all the time in Germany and elsewhere, Tesla about to add storage to the rapidly growing Australian solar market, and California recently approving 50 per cent by 2030 renewable target – to name just a few developments – momentum is growing at such a pace Greenpeace could be proven prescient once again.

» Read or download the report on www.greenpeace.org



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Sweden kicks off

The Swedes want to become the world’s first fossil fuel free nation. The Swedish government has plans to invest $546 million in clean energy in 2016 to spur solar, wind and energy storage measures.

» Bloomberg – 16 September 2015:
Sweden Boosts Renewables to Become First Fossil-Fuel-Free Nation
Article by Anna Hirtenstein



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Black carbon

New briefing uncovers “triple-win” economic, climate and health opportunities of reducing black carbon

Reducing black carbon – the second biggest pollutant contributing to climate change after carbon dioxide – brings ample economic, health and climate opportunities if businesses and governments work together, according to leadership organizations BSRand The Climate Group in a new joint briefing.

Earlier this year The Climate Group released a briefing paper underscoring the links between climate change and human health. In this follow up Insight Briefing released two days before Climate Week NYC, the group joins forces with BSR to zero in on one of the most critical climate-related threats to people’s health: black carbon.

Emitted during fuel combustion and second only to carbon dioxide in heating our planet, the impact of black carbon is worst in big cities. This is especially the case in developing countries, where more than 90% of air pollution derives from transportation. According to the World Health Organization, 3.7 million premature deaths resulted from outdoor air pollution in 2014. BSR and The Climate Group are both founding partners of We Mean Business.

» Read ‘Black carbon: An opportunity for low carbon leadership’

» See also: www.theclimategroup.org


Events coming up


‘Climamania’

– 90 minute show in Melbourne, a miniFestival of short plays and music

From Tuesday next week through to Sunday, at 6:30pm to 8pm at Brunswick Mechanics Institute.

The company includes luminaries Bob Sedergreen (jazz pianist) and Rod Quantock (comedian) and a cast of actors of varying experience.

» www.melbournefringe.com.au

Walk to school month: 5-30 October

Walk to school month is an annual event which encourages primary school children to walk to and from school in October. Walking to school is great for children’s health and wellbeing and helps to reduce traffic congestion around schools. Primary schools and students are encouraged to visit the Walk to School website to register and: 


• order free posters, classroom calendars, stickers, certificates and fact sheets 

• track walking achievements and be in the running for great prizes 



» More information: go to www.walktoschool.vic.gov.au


People’s Climate March Melbourne

On the weekend of 27-29 November, as world leaders arrive in Paris for the UN climate summit, people will take to the streets in hundreds of major cities around the globe as part of the largest climate mobilisation ever: the People’s Climate March. In Melbourne, a broad and diverse coalition of organisations from the environment, conservation, clean energy, development, indigenous, health, labour, faith and grassroots climate sectors will join forces to demonstrate the huge public support for real action on climate, hold our political leaders to account and build on existing campaigns and organising methods to strengthen our movement for the longer term.

The Melbourne PCM will be held at 5.30pm on Friday 27 November.

Support is building: A big thank you to the more than 25 Victorian-based groups that have already endorsed PCM. See the list and sign on at the home page:

» www.peoplesclimate.org.au

• Before that: in Geelong: Act On Climate Festival
20-23 November

• The next green drink event in Geelong in October will be about climate. Guest speaker: Philip Sutton, and more.

• 25 October will see the release of Naomi Klein’s film ‘This Changes Everything’. The film will be available on the TUGG platform, an intermediary website where members can go to host an event or buy tickets, so you will be able to organise local showings.



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