Working with nature to cultivate system change


We had planned to present you with an hour about regenerative farming practices, healthy soils and carbon drawdown solutions. But then the Swedish teenage-oracle Greta Thunberg stepped into our lives, and The Sustainable Hour on 5 September 2018 morphed into a podcast about climate anxiety among the youth and a parent’s role and responsibility in that respect, consumer power and not waiting for the government, and how using nature to draw carbon down from the atmosphere could mean the future won’t be as scary as it more and more often is being described.

Guests in the studio are Cindy Eiritz from Healthy Soils Australia, member of Citizens Climate Lobby and a regenerative farming researcher, and Lene Fogsgaard, a Danish journalist based in Melbourne.

Greta Thunberg, 15-year-old Swedish student, was interviewed in Stockholm by Janine O’Keeffe.

Gillian Sanbrook, regenerative farmer in drought-stricken New South Wales, who rehydrates the landscape and works with nature. She was recently featured in The Land as being very resilient when neighbouring properties are struggling with drought.

Colin Mockett today takes a look at the world’s largest solar plant, which is under construction in Egypt.

We also listen to a range of American climate change and carbon fee perspectives – by atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe, economist Jeffrey Sachs, senator Sheldon Whitehouse, philosopher and historian Noam Chomsky, and the peer-reviewed rapper Baba Brinkman, who has written some sharp and relevant lyrics for this hour in his song ‘Makin Waves’.

 

15-year-old Greta has a message to the world

“If the adults don’t care about my future, why should I?”
~ Greta Thunberg, Swedish student on school strike for the climate




Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 232 on 94.7 The Pulse:

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“Our coal kills more people globally than US gun deaths.”
~ George Crisp, Doctors for the Environment Australia




 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Content of this hour

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




 #CLIMATESTRIKE: 

Greta’s successful strike for the climate continues

Greta always said her strike, which she started on 20 August 2018, would go til 9 September, the election day in Sweden. But already on the last day of her school strike, Friday 7 September, Greta announced that she intends to continue the strike on every Friday:



. . .



“In Sweden, we live as if we had 4.2 Earths. This means that Sweden is stealing 3.2 years of natural resources from future generations each year. We who belong to the next generations would like Sweden to stop doing that. Now.”
~ Greta Thunberg




Greta’s strong speech last day of the school strike:
“I will continue and urge you to do the same!”


Message spread like a wildfire

“When Greta Thunberg, the 15-year-old Swedish school student, started her school strike on 20 August 2018, only a few thought she would spike local and perhaps even global awakening to fight the climate crisis.

When WeDontHaveTime.org published her first video message in English to the world, we anticipated it would resonate with people globally. But the way her message spread like a wildfire typical for 2018 exceeded our wildest imagination.

Teachers and students came to show her their support, and students around the world started taking after her example. And worldwide media outlets like Al Jazeera, the BBC, The Guardian and multiple others have featured her strike. We estimate the total reach of her strike for the climate have reached over 100 million people!

Greta is now standing on the shoulders of giants. As do we, the rest of us by following and applauding her. This has taught me to never ever say that one persons deeds don’t count. Or that your and my country’s emissions don’t count in the global perspective. Like never before they do. We must nurture and cherish the uprising we are currently seeing and not take it for granted. The climate crisis have gained momentum. Let’s embrace the brave new world and have the rest follow our lead! Be a part of the solution.”
~ Ingmar Rentzhog, CEO, We Don’t Have Time

» Medium – 23 August 2018:
This 15-year-old Girl Breaks Swedish Law for the Climate
Greta Thunberg skips school to protest outside Swedish Parliament: “If grown-ups don’t give a shit about my future, I won’t either.”


Greta Thunberg: Our lives are in your hands



Strike for safety. Climate safety

» Greta Thunberg’s Twitter account: @GretaThunberg

» Janine O’Keeffe’s Twitter account: @janine_ok

“Being a first follower is an under-appreciated form of leadership. The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader. If the leader is the flint, the first follower is the spark that makes the fire.”
~ Derek Sivers


The will and the anger grows

“When people take each other by the hand and take both individual and shared steps to become part of the transition, not only does the hope grow. Then also the will and the anger grows, if those in power who make the decisions are failing. If politicians and companies are not with it, citizens must go against them.”
~ Jørgen Steen Nielsen, Danish climate journalist


“Millions of people need to boycott work”

“The only way we’re going to get politicians to truly act is by shutting down the only thing they care about – the economy. Millions of people need to boycott work, shopping and paying taxes. During the Vietnam War, Nixon once stated about anti-war protesters “Let them march all they want, as long they keep paying their taxes”. These marches should be focused on blockading access to government buildings and specific businesses that profit from the biocide of the planet. They have essentially declared war on all life and thus a march on a Friday night after all of the politicians and other coal-addicted fossil fools have left the city and gone home seems like a futile response to a deadly serious threat. It sometimes seems like we may be simply shifting the deck chairs on the Titanic rather than commandeering the ship. We need to seriously challenge these eco-terrorists who are threatening a sustainable eco-nomy as well as the eco-logy of Earth.

Just to clarify I definitely support any and all marches but as John F Kennedy once said, ‘Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.’

The Coal-Addiction party is blocking the sustainable transition and peaceful revolution to everything that supports truth, justice, Democracy and all that makes life worth living.”
~ Jeff Scott White



Climate + youth = anxiety?



Relationship between temperature and suicidality
New research out of Stanford University finds a linear relationship between temperatures and suicide. A monthly rise in temperature of 1 degree Celsius leads to a 1-2% increase in suicide rate.

In the future, Dr Marshall Burke – assistant professor of earth system science at Stanford University and lead author of the study – hopes to expand the geographical scope of his research to build a global picture of climate change and its worldwide mental health effects.

Dr Sam Myers, director of the Harvard’s Planetary Health Alliance, calls the paper an “important piece” of climate change research.

“It’s the most exhaustive study I know of that’s really looked at this relationship between temperature and suicidality in North America,” he says. “Short of turning on and off the sun,” this paper does as much as possible to prove cause and effect, he says.

“What each individual needs to do is go out and find each other, and create a collective force. We need a movement in this country, more than anywhere, that makes it unacceptable for political leaders to […] not meet their climate obligations, or to deny that climate change is even a real thing.”
~ Dr Marshall Burke

» WBUR – 23 July 2018:
Global Warming Will Cause More People To Die By Suicide, Study Predicts
“It’s the most exhaustive study I know of that’s really looked at this relationship between temperature and suicidality in North America,” said Dr. Sam Myers, director of the Harvard’s Planetary Health Alliance.” Article by Justin Kaplan


Climate anxiety

Not only in the Liberal party, but widely in society, this is an argument used as a reason to ignore the problem with our climate-wrecking air pollution: “What I can do? It doesn’t matter anyway. We need systemic changes, and my individual choices would only have an insignificant impact.”

While it is true we need systemic changes, the issue at the moment is that things are moving forward at a much too slow pace. We can’t just sit and wait for ‘systemic change’ to come by itself. We will have to join together in movements that make things happen.

Just like it counts that you vote when there is an election, it also counts what each of us does with our carbon footprints, and how we talk about it. Climate action at all levels count. To claim anything else is morally wrong.

The 2°C limit – the Paris Agreement’s goal that all nations should aim not to make the planet heat up more than an average of 2°C degrees – was decided on in the UN system for strategical communication reasons, not because it represents a line where everything changes. There is no specific line where everything will be good if we stay below it – or bad if we cross it. The violent and dangerous climate disruptions we are already seeing play out will keep getting worse, even when we eventually get our emissions under control, because there is a decade-long delay in the way the climate responds.

So get used to it: climate disruptions is something we have to live with. It is not something to be nervous or apathetic about. We have to set all sails and accept that at this time, we have no idea where we will land. We can live with that uncertainty, because uncertainty is a part of life.


Eco-anxiety, grief and guilt
Susie Burke is an Australian psychologist and academic who specializes in eco-psychology. She treats people suffering mental illness as a result of climate change, and also recently set up a free hotline called the “Climate Change Psychological Support Network,” where Australians can call a qualified psychologist to talk through their feelings about environmental change.

“One of the very first things people need to do to engage properly with climate change is to acknowledge how they feel about it and talk about it,” Burke said.

A sense of pervasive loss, devastation and change are endemic to a world afflicted by climate change. Polar ice caps are melting, many animal species are going extinct; the weather is unpredictable and often extreme. We are increasingly aware of the impacts these changes are having on our physiological health – whether it be as stark as death and injury from extreme weather events, or more insidious harm from the worsening quality of water, air and food. But as the emerging field of eco-psychology is revealing, climate change is taking a significant toll on our mental health too.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change includes a section that details the loss and damages from climate change. It initially conceptualised loss and damage in terms of “infrastructure and the market” when it was written in the 1990s. But now it has been adjusted to account for “intangible losses,” such as “cultural knowledge, language, and place.”

» DW – 31 August 2018:
Climate change takes a toll on our minds, too
“We often think about the impact of climate change in physical terms – extreme weather, species extinction, and the destruction of habitat. But what about the emotional toll it takes on us?”



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 #RENEWABLEENERGY #GLOBALOUTLOOK: 

Colin Mockett

World’s largest solar farm

Report from Egypt

More from Colin:

Colin Mockett’s global outlook





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 #PRICEONCARBON #CLIMATECHANGE #GLOBALOUTLOOK: 

An American perspective on climate change and carbon fee

Katharine Hayhoe

Katharine Hayhoe is an Atmospheric Scientist and Director of the Climate Service Center at Texas Tech University

. . .


Jeffrey Sachs

Jeffrey Sachs is economist and one of the world’s leading experts on economic development. He did this presentation on 5 October 2017.

» Project Syndicate – 2 August 2018:
We Are All Climate Refugees Now
“The longer a narrow and ignorant elite condemns Americans and the rest of humanity to wander aimlessly in the political desert, the more likely it is that we will all end up in a wasteland.” By Jeffrey Sachs

. . .


Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s 158th climate speech in the Senate focused on the concept of a carbon fee, which has been embraced by a group of Republicans.

“At the heart of this conflict is a battle between truth and science – and power and lies.”
~ Sheldon Whitehouse, American senator

. . .


Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky is a philosopher and historian. He spoke at St Olaf College on 4 May 2018, discussing the the Sixth Extinction and our lack of climate change actions.

» More on www.climatestate.com

. . .


Rapper Baba Brinkman, featuring Gaia

. . .




 #REGENERATIVE: #SOILS #SOLUTIONS 

Regenerative farming

Gillian Sanbrook

www.bibbaringa.com
www.8families.com
www.artstreamalbury.com

» More about Peter Andrews and the topic of natural sequence farming here:

Delusional podcasters delve in natural climate solutions



» Australia’s Science Channel – 7 June 2018:

The fungus that could avert global warming crisis
“Follow the unlikely heroes on a quest to deliver a genuine climate change solution. Award-winning documentary ‘Grassroots’ follows the story of a group of scientists, agronomists and farmers on a quest to trap and store carbon in soil. It could be the only way to avert the global warming crisis – reducing emissions simply isn’t enough to avoid excessive warming.”

“It’s upwards of half a billion hectares we’re farming as a species. Soil is our largest terrestrial carbon sink, we need to know how to engage it if we’re going to make a difference.”
~ Guy Webb, agronomist, soilCQuest

» Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | Volume 34, October 2018, Pages 13-20:
Urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (SDG 13): transforming agriculture and food systems
By James Hansen and more

» More on the topic of natural drawdown here:

Drawdown for a safe climate





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 #FAITH 

Season of Creation: Protecting The Only Earth We Have

» Global Catholic Climate Movement – 26 August 2018:
“A form of stealing, fueled by greed for wealth and power, that keeps leaders from doing their duty by the people”

“On 1st of September we entered this year’s Season of Creation. The Parliament of the World’s Religions has a Climate Action Task Force, and they write:

“For all persons of good faith, this year must be a year of action to reduce human-caused greenhouse emissions and to prepare for and address the inescapable consequences of the changes we have already imposed upon the planet. Our decisions and action now will shape the conditions for existence, including for humans, on our planet for the foreseeable future.”

The path was set forth by Pope Francis and the scientists with which he’s collaborated. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, a senior climate advisor to Pope Francis as well as the founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (1992-2018), has published an update on climate science and risk, ‘Three years to safeguard our climate’.

Blessings on your Season of Creation! May we work together to get our world on the 1.5°C path embraced by 197 nations in the Paris Agreement and advocated by the Pope, Vatican, and GCCM in the preceding year. GCCM signed onto the big turnarounds we need to see to achieve that.

Now we just need to do it – enable clean electricity for all and ensure that new electricity, buildings, and vehicles are net zero in our communities, regions, and countries!”
~ Marie Venner





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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



» The Revelator – 6 September 2018:
Interactive Map: Climate in 2050
“How will rising temperatures affect your community? We mapped what the world will look like under current climate change projections.”



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It’s as simple as this: Healthy people need a healthy planet. Here are four ways the climate crisis is taking a toll on human health around the globe.

4 Ways Climate Change Affects Our Health
View story at Medium.com



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 #SOLUTIONS 

Bill McKibben: What can I do about climate change?

A common question when understanding and combatting climate change is to ask ourselves “What can I do?”.
Bill McKibben has one quick-fix: “Become less of an individual. Come together and push for solutions.” Bill and the Sanders Institute tells the story of how we can push for solutions. These solutions fall into either of these three broad categories:

1) Go for 100 per cent renewable energy
2) Keep carbon in the ground
3) Divest from fossil fuels.

Bill McKibben need little introduction to the climate community but to a broader audience he is probably most well-known for his work in organisation 350.org. He is an author, environmentalist, and an activist. In 1988 he wrote the book ‘The End of Nature’, the first book aimed for a common audience about global warming. He is a co-founder and Senior Advisor at 350.org, an international climate campaign that operate in 188 countries around the world.

This video is published with permission from The Sanders Institute, that posted the original version of the video. Their Mission Statement is: “A vital democracy requires an informed electorate, civil discourse and bold ideas. The mission of the Sanders Institute is to revitalize democracy by actively engaging individuals, organizations and the media in the pursuit of progressive solutions to economic, environmental, racial and social justice issues.”

» Read more on www.medium.com/wedonthavetime

» Retweet



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The Farmer’s Place Spring School Holiday Program

The Farmer’s Place is passionate about sustainability and creating an environment where people can engage with the food cycle – propagating seeds, growing produce in the garden, cooking with seasonal and local produce and composting waste to return nutrients to the soil. What better way to learn about this, than experiencing it first hand as a part of The Farmer’s Place Winter School Holiday Program.

The Farmer’s Place are again running their school holiday program, which is an extension of their education program. All activities will be run by their education team, will be educational and based around sustainability. Each session will be fun, interactive and be hands on learning for participants. Activities include, animal feeding, scones galore, damper making, veggie gardener, worm farmer, mud-pies and dirt cakes, sauerkraut, story time and much more.

If you’re looking for something which promotes environmental awareness and sustainable living through facilitation, inspiration, community engagement, hands on experience and curiosity, this is for you. 

» www.thefarmersplace.com.au/spring-holiday-program



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icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Podcasts and posts about climate change

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Acknowledgement

We at The Sustainable Hour would like to pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which we are broadcasting, the Wathaurong People, and pay our respect to their elders, past, present and future.

The traditional owners lived in harmony with the environment and with the climate for hundreds of generations. It is not clear – yet – that as European settlers we have demonstrated that we can live in harmony for hundreds of generations, but it is clear that we can learn from the indigenous, traditional owners of this land.

When we talk about the future, it means extending our respect to those children not yet born, the generations of the future – remembering the old saying that…



The decisions currently being made around Australia to ignore climate change are being made by those who won’t be around by the time the worst effects hit home. How utterly disgusting, disrespectful and unfair is that?




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“Participation – that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
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