Happy New Year from The Sustainable Hour


The Sustainable Hour would like to thank everyone who supported our radio show in 2014. It was very much appreciated. 

Since we started broadcasting in October 2013, over 200 people have contributed to making The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse into Geelong’s leading and most talked about media outlet on sustainability, clean energy and global warming issues.

Here is an overview of the 56 shows and its participants so far:

Strongholds and platforms
We aren’t anywhere near where the latest climate science makes it clear we should be, in terms of real actions on reducing our carbon pollution. But 2014 gave us a range of new milestones, strongholds and platforms we can work from in 2015. For instance:

• Geelong now has representatives in State Government who are committed to taking climate change seriously while solving important environmental issues, and who are keen on involving the Geelong community, businesses and education institutions in this.

• Geelong will soon have a state-of-the-art Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre with a show room for all the latest in energy reduction and renewables technology.

• Geelong Council set a milestone with its new Environment Management Strategy based on the ten One Planet Living Principles. A Greenhouse Gas Strategy is also on its way, as you can hear about in the 55th Sustainable Hour. During the first half of 2015, residents of City of Greater Geelong will be asked to have a say on this strategy and its level of ambitions.

• Along with a long list of local environment and sustainability organisations Geelong Sustainability and Future Proofing Geelong are successfully mobilising the city – check for instance the inspirational Sustainable Living Festival coming up in February – and 2015 will see GetUp Geelong – a growing network of activists – launch a new clean energy campaign leading up to the federal election in 2016.

• A cross-sector and cross-organisational project nicknamed ‘ReeGee’ – REEnergise GEElong – has emerged: A group of like-minded people, most of them who have recently been guests in The Sustainable Hour, are in the process of creating a new advocacy campaign and vision of how we can run Geelong on 100% renewables by 2030.

• Under the title ‘The Sustainable House’ we will launch a new series of radio and video segments about energy efficiency and things we all can do to implement climate solutions in our houses. We have a ‘case story’ close at hand: Mik and his family have bought a 100-year-old house which they intend to retrofit energy effeciently – as much as it can be done without spending a fortune.

… all of which you will hear more about in The Sustainable Hour during 2015. These will be some of our major focus areas in the new year.

On a winning strike
Tune in to The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse – you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes and listen in your smartphone or iPhone. Learn more about how we create a region which is powered by job-rich renewables and which unites its residents, businesses and authorities around building a sustainable future which isn’t endangering the generations that follow.

At The Sustainable Hour we believe we have a responsibility to provide real life examples of countries, states, provinces, cities, towns and villages which are getting on with the task at hand. Feel free to forward any of those you come across to us.

What we have learned from talking with over two hundred Australians in The Sustainable Hours is that the only thing currently holding “The Great Transition” back is the lack of political will, and that this has nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with strong vested interests in the fossil fuel industry.

For this reason, the work in turning vested interests and short-term thinking around is very necessary and will continue on The Sustainable Hour in 2015. The necessary changes will only come about when more concerned people find a way to speak out publicly about their concerns.

Rest assured that The Sustainable Hour will continue to provide as many of these opportunities as we can. As Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency Adnan Amin wrote in The Guardian recently: “It will be a battle. But it is a battle we simply cannot afford to lose.”

So please stay in touch with us. We’ll start broadcasting again on 28 January 2015.


The good news
“If you are passionate about the future of the planet, now is the time to step up and either get involved and active in politics and try and change government – or forget about government and just connect with your neighbours and start sustainability in your neighbourhood,” said sustainability consultant Andrea Pape in the 55th Sustainable Hour.

Whenever you feel disappointed or worried about politics, fossil fools and all the bad news about what is happening to our world, we hope you will tune in to The Sustainable Hour, where we will be keeping you updated about the many good things that are happening as well.

We promise to keep your spirits high with comforting facts and figures as they are released – such as when we learn that renewable energy capacity now grows at the fastest ever pace – and when new super-efficient solar and wind power technology make renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels.

It won’t be long before economy in itself will become a driver for the transition to 100% renewable energy generation. That is the kind of solid good news we can celebrate as we raise the glasses this New Year’s Eve.

We wish you good health, lots of positive experiences and a continued determination to work for a safer climate during all of 2015!

And then we’ll let Earth have the last word in this new year greeting:

» See on youtube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmVLcj-XKnM



Happy new year reading

The 9 Most Electrifying Energy Stories Of 2014
This is the year renewable energy got interesting.

» Carbon Brief – 29 December 2014:
Energy trends in 2014 and how they affect climate change
Perhaps inspired by clear messages from the world’s scientific community, 2014 brought the sight of politicians across the globe speaking of the need to transition away from fossil fuels, and acknowledging the scale of that challenge. Here are the trends that defined the global climate and energy debate over the past 12 months.

» Mother Jones – 27 December 2014:
2014 Was the Year We Finally Started to Do Something About Climate Change
A year of extreme weather, climate denial, and some hope.

“In Geelong, IXL used to make components for the auto industry, but since Ford and other car companies announced their withdrawal from Australia, the company has switched to manufacturing steel mounting structures for solar farms. IXL is now a major supplier to First Solar’s two NSW plants, and has recently opened an Adelaide factory to keep up with the demand.”
Andrew Leigh, shadow assistant treasurer and Member for Fraser

» The Age – 26 December 2014:
The economic case for renewable energy
For a government that once declared Australia ‘open for business’, it’s puzzling to see Mr Abbott putting a ‘closed’ sign on the renewable energy industry. Whether you want lower electricity prices, more jobs, or more investment, keeping the RET makes sense. Oh, and by the way, it’s good for the environment too. Op Ed by Andrew Leigh.

» The Climate Group – 11 November 2014:
Low Auction Bid Prices Show Solar Cheaper Than Coal In India
Low bids show large-scale solar is slipping further down the price-ladder and is now below the price needed to make coal imports economically viable, which means power generation from solar plants in India is now cheaper than indigenous or imported coal.

» The Guardian – 29 October 2014:
If we want to make climate action happen we need to hear about the solutions
If we want to make climate action happen we need to hear about the solutions Reports show the biggest threat to progress on climate change is cynicism. That’s why 10:10’s #itshappening project showcases positive action happening around the world now

» The Guardian – 28 August 2014:
Renewable energy capacity grows at fastest ever pace
Green technologies now produce 22% of world’s electricity

“The global energy system is undergoing a transformation. Around the world, renewable energy has gone mainstream and is advancing at extraordinary speed. Costs are plummeting, millions of jobs are being created, and growth in clean power is outpacing all competitors. Combined with international efforts to curb climate change, calls for universal access, and a growing demand for energy security, I believe it is no longer a matter of whether but of when a systematic switch to renewable energy takes place – and how well we manage the transition.

That is why I am delighted to launch the 2014 edition of IRENA’s new series, Rethinking Energy.”
Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency

» Read more: www.irena.org/REthinking

» Download report: www.irena.org (PDF, 96 pages)

2014: Climate Desk’s Year in Review


About The Sustainable Hour

The Sustainable Hour is a weekly radio show on 94.7 The Pulse in Geelong, Australia. Broadcasted live on Wednesdays at 11am-12pm (Melbourne time).

Where to listen
• 94.7 FM and live streaming on www.947thepulse.com (click ‘Listen Live’)
• Podcast option I: search ‘The Sustainable Hour’ in iTunes Shop, under podcasts
• Podcast option II: go to www.cpod.org.au, find ‘94.7 The Pulse’, and go to ‘The Sustainable Hour’
• Podcast option III: Listen online on: www.climatesafety.info/thesustainablehour

Social media platforms
• Facebook page: www.facebook.com/thesustainablehour
• Twitter: www.twitter.com/sustainablehour  and @sustainablehour
• Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/mikaidt/the-sustainable-board

Overview of all podcast front covers:

Eco Warriors exhibition from Highton Primary School at the 2014 Royal Geelong Show
Eco Warriors exhibition from Highton Primary School at the 2014 Royal Geelong Show

The Sustainable Hour Index 2014

Over 200 people have contributed to making The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse into Geelong’s leading media outlet on sustainability, clean energy and global warming issues. Here is an overview of the participants of the first 56 shows:

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Sam Smith, Josh Creaser, Arron Wood | 17 December 2014
Andrea Pape, Tim Mordaunt, Darryn Lyons, Molly, Gen, Summer | 10 December 2014
Heinz Dahl, Per Bernard | 3 December 2014
Mark Diesendorf | 26 November 2014
Bruce Lindsay, Lisa Ashdowne, Christine Couzens, Doug Mann, Sarah Hathway, Heinz Dahl | 19 November 2014
Colin Mockett, Charlie Wood, Graeme Stockton | 12 November 2014
Jane Kempe, Colin Mockett | 5 November 2014
Dr Andrea Bunting, Dr Jacinta Morahan | 29 October 2014
Heidi Fog, Graeme Stockton, Seia Mikaele Maiava | 22 October 2014
Mary Constance Black, Jackray Black | 15 October 2014
Helene Cameron, Quentin Farmar-Bowers | 8 October 2014
John Miro, Ben Courtice | 1 October 2014
Chris Johnson, Srechko Kontelj, Richard Di Natale, Ben Courtice, Leigh Adamson, Dan Cowdell | 24 September 2014
Alan Roberts, Mariann Lloyd-Smith, Ian Clarke, Chloe Aldenhoven, Richard Di Natale, Andy Richards, Lloyd Davies, Adrian Whitehead, Damien Marchant | 17 September 2014
Colin Mockett, Greg Jones | 10 September 2014
Geelong gets up for climate action | Show no 41
Dan Cowdell, Leigh Adamson, Mary-Jane Walker, Alan Cuthbertson, Doug Mann, Bryan Eaton | 3 September 2014
Malcolm Ayles, Vicki Perrett | 27 August 2014
Leigh Ewbank, Tim Buckley | 20 August 2014
Rob Gell, Tim Buckley, Leigh Ewbank, Jacinta Morahan, Andrew Laird | 13 August 2014
Ross Mueller, Andrew Laird | 6 August 2014
Kieran Kennedy, Gavin Mudd, Mark Ogge, Cam Walker, Chloe Aldenhoven, Merryn Redenbach, Danielle Mulholland | 30 July 2014
Andrew Thaler | 23 July 2014
Meg Caffin, Alan Dawson | 16 July 2014
David Robinson, David Spratt, Ian Dunlop, Philip Sutton | 9 July 2014
Alan Manson | 2 July 2014
Thea Nicholas, Anthony Mangelsdorf, Dave Campbell, David Pace | 25 June 2014
Dave Kerin, Cr Eve Fisher, Doug Rolfe, Christian O’Halloran, Andrew Senia, Erwin Boermans, Leigh Ewbank, Peter Reeves | 18 June 2014
Ariane Wilkinson | 11 June 2014
Rachel Goldlust, Erwin Boermans, David Holmgren | 4 June 2014
Denis Scanlan, Michael Martinez | 28 May 2014
Dave Campbell, Katja Nedoluha, Pete Johnston | 21 May 2014
Lisa Gleeson, Mike Lawrence | 14 May 2014
Tim Adams | 7 May 2014
Mark Hoffmann, Mike Lawrence, Dave Kerin, Cr Eve Fisher | 30 April 2014
Carl Callaway, Madeleine Smith, Tim Clark | 23 April 2014
Jeremy Moss, Glen Martin, Samantha Hepburn, Felicity Millner | 16 April 2014
Daniel Cowdell, Margaret Rasa, Craig Memery | 9 April 2014
Tim Clark, Trevor Maitland, Caroline Hawkins | 2 April 2014
Aaron Lewtas, Vivienne Burke | 26 March 2014
The Renewable Energy Declaration for Geelong | 19 March 2014
Telmo Lima, Leo Renkin | 12 March 2014
Christian Pritchett, Doug Rolfe, Goshen Watts | 5 March 2014
Kirsten Hasberg, Theo Badashi, Margaret Hender, Matt Wicking | 26 February 2014
Andrew Senia, Gary Banks, Matt Wicking, Dave Kerin, Theo Badashi, Chris Jordan | 19 February 2014
Phil Baulch, Anna Boddenberg, Andrew Senia | 12 February 2014
Eve Fisher | 5 February 2014
Goshen Watts, Leo Renkin, Suzette Jackson | 29 January 2014
Rodney Thomas | 22 January 2014
Suzette Jackson, Vicki Perrett | 18 December 2013
Cr Andy Richards, Sustainanator Lennie, Anthony Mangelsdorf, Peter Reeves | 11 December 2013
Doug Rolfe, Dave Campbell | 5 December 2013
Suzette Jackson, Anthony Gleeson | 27 November 2013
Stacey Koole, Lloyd Davies, Karen Chaston, Kirra Dyer, Bianca Grima, Jade Telfer | 20 November 2013
Stephanie Asher, Doug Mann, Lloyd Davies, Geelong Green Roofs | 13 November 2013
Tina Perfrement, Future Proofing Geelong | 6 November 2013
Guests: Stephen Yewdall, Anthony Gleeson. Presenters: Mik Aidt and Mike Lawrence | 30 October 2013