A new model that makes the existing model obsolete



“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
~ Richard Buckminster Fuller, American author (1895–1983)


In The Sustainable Hour on 24 October 2018 we receive a letter from 14-year-old Harriet and Milou
 in Castlemaine, who are mobilising an Australian school strike for the climate, and our guest in the studio is Lis Bastian from ‘The Big Fix’, a successful community news outlet in the Blue Mountains, which possibly could be started up in our community as well.

In a speech in the Canadian parliament, Elizabeth May, leader of Canadian Greens, talks passionately about how the climate breakdown now is affecting our kids – not ‘someone else’s kids’, or some ‘future kids

’ – and we talk with Guy Lane about his new book 
titled ‘What Comes Next: Climate Change, the Future and You’ – a two-hour read that seeks to go viral and change the world.


Briefly we attend Byron Shire Council’s ordinary meeting on 18 October 2018 where all except one councillor voted in favour of passing a Climate Emergency Notice of Motion, the New South Wales municipality’s first Climate Emergency Declaration.

The American meteorologist Eric Holthaus was on CNN to talk about the new IPCC report on the consequences of 1.5°C global warming. We play a clip from the tv station’s online video titled ‘Climate catastrophe could hit by 2030.’.



 

“Some words missing from the IPCC SR 15 summary for policymakers are: Catastrophe, Collapse, Starvation, Emergency, Apology, Sorry.”
~ Jem Bendell, professor, strategist and educator on social and organisational change




Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 239 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







 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Content of this hour

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


#ClimateStrikeAustralia: Students walk out of school



 #CLIMATEEMERGENCY: 

Kids on school strike for climate action

Have you ever asked how our kids, the youth, feel about the way we, the adults, are going about our business and allowing air pollution to get worse and worse every year? Have you asked how they feel about our fighting over whether to construct new wind farms to produce clean power for our houses, or about our subsidising of coal, allowing the expansion of coal ports and construction of new coal mines, and ever-rising emissions, as both the COALition and Labor Party is currently doing it?

Well… Remember Greta from Sweden? Now Australia has two girls from Castlemaine who have announced they will be joining Greta. They have written a letter which the read in today’s Sustainable Hour…

More here:

#ClimateStrike: A peaceful youth uprise unfolds

Strike for safety. Climate safety




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Lis Bastian

Lis Bastian: Geelong to be part of The Big Fix?

The Sustainable Hour’s full 32-minute interview with Lis Bastian from 
Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute and The Big Fix, and Monica Winston from Transition Streets Geelong.

» Website: www.thebigfix.org

» Facebook page: www.facebook.com/fixingdaily

» Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheBigFixNews



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Elizabeth May: This is about our own kids

Watch Elizabeth May made an impassioned speech during a climate emergency debate in Canadian Parliament, which asked: How will the Canadian Parliament respond to the new IPCC report?

The Green Party of Canada had requested an emergency session to debate climate change in the Canadian Parliament, and this was what leader of the Green Party Elizabeth May had to say at the House of Commons Emergency Debate on 16 October 2018

The Greens leader talk about our response to the IPCC report on what 1.5°C global warming means – and that the climate emergency is about our kids – not ‘someone else’s kids or some future kids

.

» Share this video on Facebook and Youtube

“We are going to be the heroes in our own story”

“I increasingly am drawn to thinking about the five days in May 1940 when Winston Churchill was surrounded by people, the Lord Halifaxes and the Chamberlains, who said, “Face the facts. We cannot not defend this island. The Nazis are invading. Our entire army is stranded at Dunkirk. There are 300,000 men, and we cannot get them off because there is no way.” They sat and surrendered.

This is the moment when real political leadership steps up. This is when we need our Prime Minister to go to the negotiations in Poland, or to dispatch the Minister of Environment to the negotiations in Poland, and say, “We are stepping up. We are going to rescue everybody. We are going to be the heroes in our own story. We are going to adopt what the IPCC says we must do: 45% reductions by 2030.”

Churchill of course, surrounded by naysayers, thought up a miracle, one that is clearly undoable. He asked, “How many civilian boats are there in Dover? We could get those civilians to cross the English channel and rescue over 300,000 men.” Really? It was hardly plausible.

In this time and age we need to face the facts just as squarely. We need to tell Canadians that we have hope, to not despair or think it is too late. They should not turn away from the IPCC reports. They should not be afraid because we cannot breathe in British Columbia in the summer because of forest fires. They should not give up. We will rally and marshal every small town, every big city, every Canadian group, rotary clubs, church groups, and we will tell those naysayers who think that climate change is about a cash grab that they are in the way of our future and that they must get out of the way.

We also sadly must say to our own Minister of Environment that it is not true that we cannot change our target for five years. The Paris Agreement says clearly that any country can replace its own target anytime. The IPCC report has said to us as a country that our target is approximately 50% too little. We need to do twice as much. I know that is hard, but to save the lives of our children, what would we not do? Why will we not rally around the call that we go to COP24 and say we are not going to wait five years? It is an unthinkable thing what the minister has said to us. She said we are going to wait until 2023. “Read between the lines,” is what she just said.

We must go to the next climate negotiation as leaders in the world with the target assigned us of totals we must have. Then we must stand up and challenge the others by asking where is their target, where is their goal, because we are not prepared to tell our children we are a failed species. We are not going to do that because we are responsible human beings. We are Canadian parliamentarians and together we can achieve the pathway that has been put before us by world science.

Time is not on our side. History may not be on our side, but by God, we better be on our side. We better grab this chance and make it real.”
~ Elizabeth May, Member of the Canadian Parliament for Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

» Read Elizabeth May’s full speech

» Below2C – 22 October 2018:
Climate Emergency Response Must Follow Emergency Debate



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Meteorologist Eric Holthaus on CNN

The Global Group says the planet’s temperature will reach critical disaster threshold by the year 2030. CNN’s Ana Cabrera and meteorologist Eric Holthaus discuss climate change

» CNN – 14 October 2018:
Experts: Climate catastrophe could hit by 2030

“We’ll need a comprehensive crash course on human psychology to deal with the massive changes we’re seeing; a guide to self-care for the most important decade in human history. We need to know how climate change will change us as social beings, how we can deal with grief, how to go about the process of imagining a new society. We will need to know not only how we can survive in this new world, but how we will live. This is a necessarily messy process and it won’t be easy, but I’m not sure what could be more important.”
~ Eric Holthaus, meteorologist




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Guy Lane

Guy Lane: New book about the climate emergency and solutions

15-minute live radio interview with Guy Lane in The Sustainable Hour on 24 October 2018

Sustainability educator and fiction writer Guy Lane decided it was time to write non-fiction on climate breakdown. So he has just written a book called ‘What Comes Next’ which is read in two hours – and yet full of advice on what to do next.

» Web site and book sales page: www.guylane.com

» Guy Lane’s Facebook page






Guy Lane explains about the book


The Reality Report: interview with Guy Lane on the subject of climate change


“Climate change sea level rise will be worse than imagined. One of the leading climate scientists of our time is warning of the horrifying possibility of 15-to-20 feet of sea-level rise.”

» Rolling Stone – 12 October 2018:
What’s Another Way to Say ‘We’re F-cked’?



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Byron Shire Council declares an emergency


Byron Shire Council in New South Wales, Australia, passed a Climate Emergency Notice of Motion No. 9.1 on its ordinary meeting on Thursday 18 October 2018. The Climate Emergency Declaration 18-680 resolved that Council:

“a) notes the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC);

b) notes the Federal government’s latest emissions data showing we are increasing, not reducing our carbon emissions;

c) declares that we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government, including by local councils, and

d) acknowledges that Byron Shire is likely to be substantially affected by climate impacts, particularly sea level rise, bushfires, drought and floods.”


Thought leadership: How local councils crunch the climate stalemate

City of 
Moreland Council declares an emergency

It’s worth spending a quarter of an hour watching the video from the city council meeting in Moreland in Australia, where councillors discuss and argue why and whether the municipality must declare itself in climate-emergency mode – that “the climate situation is an emergency and should be treated as such.”

At City of Moreland Council’s meeting on 12 September 2018, councillors unanimously adopted a resolution acknowledging that “we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government, including local Councils.”

More about the city council meeting and the resolution here:

Moreland City Council declares a climate emergency



» More about local government on this website


What kind of leadership will we see now from Geelong Council?

A newly formed group of concerned residents of Geelong will be asking this question both to councillors and to the community in the coming month.

» See more on www.Geelong.ClimateEmergencyDeclaration.org

» Yale Climate Connections – 20 September 2018:
Climate Mobilization plea: Cities must declare emergency
“A young nonprofit aims to create a coalition of local governments pushing for World War II-style commitment to address challenges of global warming.”


Byron media coverage

“Cr Cate Coorey called for support for a Climate Emergency Declaration, which would aim to expand ‘existing climate-change mitigation strategies’,” wrote Echo Netdaily on 17 October 2018:

“Developing a Climate Emergency Plan would ‘further enhance resilience and reduce climate impacts in a timeframe that is as fast as practicably possible,” she writes. To make it happen, Cr Coorey says a special committee/panel of Council could develop the plan. 

Cr Coorey refers to Darebin Council’s (Melbourne) Climate Emergency Plan. She writes, “Councils in Banyule, Moreland, Yarra and Port Melbourne, as well as in NSW and Western Australia, are currently taking steps to follow Darebin City Council’s lead.”

While supportive of the plan, Council staff say ‘expanding the existing climate-change mitigation strategies and developing a Climate Emergency Plan is not included in the 2018/19 Delivery Program.’

Zero emissions
Yet staff say an “initial view of the Darebin Climate Emergency Plan… closely aligns with Council’s Zero Emissions Strategy, a key action in the 2018/19 Operational Plan and well advanced in its preparation.”

So what is Council’s Zero Emissions Strategy? The agenda says it sets the context at the global, national, state and regional level, establishes Byron Council’s emission profile and the Byron community’s emissions profile. The strategy would also use the ‘National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) methodology as Council’s carbon accounting approach ie Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions’. The strategy also aims to set goals, targets and timeframes.”

» Echo Netdaily – 17 October 2018:
Council considers ‘disaster dashboard’ and climate emergency



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New Years thoughts

Sketch of our route towards carbon safety. First stop: #StoryChange

This is the document Rusty refers to in the end of The Sustainable Hour





 


 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


What the scientists are telling us

The new IPPC report could hardly have been more frightening: By 2040 — only 22 years from now — the world will be in deep trouble, according to the unassailable expertise of the United Nation’s experts.

Food shortages, wildfires and the mass death of coral reefs are just some of the dangers. At the current warming pace, virtually all coral reefs will be degraded by 2100 and there will be a 170% increase in flood risk, according to the new report.

“Hundreds of millions of lives are at stake, the report declares, should the world warm more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, which it will do as soon as 2040, if current trends continue. Nearly all coral reefs would die out, wildfires and heat waves would sweep across the planet annually, and the interplay between drought and flooding and temperature would mean that the world’s food supply would become dramatically less secure. Avoiding that scale of suffering, the report says, requires such a thorough transformation of the world’s economy, agriculture, and culture that ‘there is no documented historical precedent’.”
~ David Wallace-Wells

“It is the biggest climate story of the year, probably the decade,” wrote the Washington Post. The Guardian editorial board called climate a “global emergency” and an “existential threat to the human race.”

Unless we drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, cut fossil fuel consumption, and increase clean energy and energy efficiency on a global scale, irreversible climate disaster could come before 2040.

The alarming report concludes that we can prevent the climate catastrophe, but only if we act now. That is the takeaway from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on 1.5°C, which was released on 6 October 2018.

Social media newsstreams: #SR15   #IPCC


Emergency

How we get more people to listen and take action on reducing their emissions? Over the last couple of years, there has been an intense discussion internally within the climate action movement whether or not to use the world ‘emergency’ when we talk about this topic.

The bigger organisations have been arguing that the use of the word ‘emergency’ should literally be banned in the communication about climate issues, because it would only scare people and trigger disengagement and apathy, rather than getting people involved. Climate change communicators have to “keep it positive”. If we call the climate crisis an ‘emergency’, people will simply block off from the messaging, the argument has been.

In February 2018, clinical psychologist and climate emergency campaigner Jane Morton gave this presentation titled ‘Dont mention the emergency?’:

Jane Morton is part of a group of climate action activists – The Sustainable Hour included – which since February 2016 have been advocating for that we need to acknowledge that we are in a climate emergency and then act accordingly, and Centre for Climate Safety runs the website www.climateemergencydeclaration.org.

This new IPCC report changed the climate communication landscape overnight. Mainstream media, the larger NGOs and at least one political party now generally acknowledge that the climate emergency is a truth we need to talk about in public and fully in the open.

A part of that truth, which is seldom mentioned, is that this dire existential threat humanity is now confronted with, didn’t have to have reached this level of danger. It could have been avoided. If governments had wanted to, they could had started decarbonising our societies three decades ago – simply by implementing the kind of pollution taxes that would lower our desire for buying dirty, climate-wrecking fossil fuels. The world’s governments talked about doing this back in 1988 at a global summit in Toronto. But then something happened in the corridors of the parliaments around the world… and instead, they did nothing. Lots of words but no action.

So today we are confronted with the issue. Our kids even more so. Friends of the Earth International and the Guardian marked the release of the IPCC 1.5°C report with a blog post and an editorial acknowledging in a very straight language that, yes, “It’s an emergency”:

» Friends of the Earth International – 8 October 2018:
‘This Is a Climate Emergency’: Global Mobilization Against Dirty Energy as IPCC Warns of Climate Catastrophe if Warming Continues
“Today the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change launched its Special Report on Global Warming at 1.5 degrees, Friends of the Earth International groups are mobilizing for equitable and ambitious climate action that keeps global warming below 1.5 degrees without the need for dangerous techno-fixes.”

» The Guardian | Editorial – 9 October 2018:
The Guardian view on climate change: a global emergency
“The consequences of catastrophic warming will be political and even military, not just environmental”

Here’s a different take on the recent IPCC climate report which underlines the ‘climate emergency’ language:

» Scientific American – 11 October 2018:
New Climate Report Was Too Cautious, Some Scientists Say
“Experts cite important outcomes and costs of climate change left out of the latest IPCC report”


“Help us hit the climate emergency button. Help us make the upcoming election about the climate emergency, not tax cuts and trickle-down economics.”
~ Adam Bandt, The Greens, in a newsletter


Media coverage

» Energy Post – 8 October 2018:
8 things you need to know about the IPCC 1.5˚C report

“The best minds in media should be giving sustained attention to how to tell this most important story in a way that will create change.”
~ Margaret Sullivan, The Washington Post

» Washington Post – 8 October 2018:
The planet is on a fast path to destruction. The media must cover this like it’s the only story that matters.

» Washington Post – 12 October 2018:
There’s grim news on climate change. Will it lead to mass migration and conflict?

» Grist – 15 October 2018:
If you’re suffering from climate grief, you’re not alone
“Last week’s U.N. climate report gave a terrifyingly clear picture of a world on the brink of locking in catastrophe. But it didn’t tell us how to process, cope, and adapt our lives to the grief of that overwhelming knowledge.”

»Grist – 15 October 2018:
We’re just beginning to understand the toll climate change takes on mental health
“We have to be thinking of this as one, big slow moving disaster. And that’s a different mindset, says psychiatrist Elizabeth Haase, member of the Climate Psychiatry Alliance”

» Eco-Business – 15 October 2018:
How will you respond to the IPCC’s urgent climate warning?
“In just 12 years, the world is set to blow its carbon budget for keeping global warming in check, a new IPCC report warned last week. How will you respond to what science is telling us?”

» Julie’s Bicycle – 19 October 2018:
Don’t look away now: What the IPCC’s take on 1.5 °C means for us



“To all the climate denialists who say Australia produces only 1% of emissions: we are the 13th largest economy in the world and one of the most emissions intensive. If we don’t pull our weight, why should anyone else?”
~ Paul Barratt, Former Secretary of Australian Departments of Defence and Primary Industries & Energy, on Twitter


Can it be done?

Yes. If policymakers get serious about a carbon tax set high enough to price oil, coal and gas out of the market

“On the day when the IMF issued a warning about trouble ahead for the global economy, the latest report from the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change said the world had only a dozen years left to take the steps necessary to prevent a global warming catastrophe. The message is clear for those willing to hear it: get ready for a time when economic failure combines with ecological breakdown to create the perfect storm.”

“There are countries that are prepared to self-immolate their economies in pursuit of growth at all costs. America is one. Australia appears to be another. At the other end of the spectrum are those who say there will be a future for the planet only if the idea of growth is ditched altogether. Politically, this has always been a hard sell, and has become even more difficult now that populations in the west have experienced an entire decade of flatlining living standards.”

“If the IPCC is even close to being right about its timeline, speeding up the transition from fossil fuels to renewables is vital. Can that be done? One of the winners of this year’s Nobel prize for economics – William Nordhaus – says it can, if policymakers get serious about a carbon tax set high enough to price oil, coal and gas out of the market.

Here, though, the breakdown in international cooperation and trust becomes really damaging. Ideally, existing global institutions – the IMF, the World Bank, the UN and the World Trade Organization – would be supplemented by a new World Environmental Organisation with the power to levy a carbon tax globally. Even in the absence of a new body, they would be working together to face down the inevitable opposition to change from the fossil fuel lobby. Instead, the response to climate change looks similar to the response to the financial crisis: fail to recognise there is a problem until it is too late; panic; then muddle through. That’s a sobering prospect.”

» The Guardian – 11 October 2018:
Climate change will make the next global crash the worst


First Dog On The Moon


“Australia Institute research shows climate change and replacing coal with renewable energy was the biggest single issue motivating voters in Wentworth. 78% of voters say it had at least some influence on their vote.”
Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director of The Australia Institue


Carbon tax – a human right

Governments need to end fossil fuel subsidies and increase tax on carbon, says Mary Robinson

“Future governments won’t be able to do what governments now have 11 years to do. In the future, we will have these tipping points – the Arctic will be gone, the coral reefs will be gone, the permafrost will be dissolving … all these things will just spin us out of control.

Put a real price on carbon and do it now. These are the levers that move things quickly and get the investment into clean energy. If governments are not capable of being more serious, then they lack moral leadership, which is what we really need now.

Grim scientific prognoses must not paralyse civil society, says Robinson. It must unite, march, organise, pressure politicians. Feeling a complete inability to do anything – ‘This is too big for me, I give up’ – that’s no use to anybody. [With] despair, all the energy to do something goes out of the room.”
~ Mary Robinson, former Irish president and author of the book ‘Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience and the Fight for a Sustainable Future’

» The Guardian – 13 October 2018:
Mary Robinson on climate change: ‘Feeling “This is too big for me” is no use to anybody’
“The former president of Ireland has a new raison d’être: saving the planet. Yet, despite the dire warnings of this week’s IPCC report, she is surprisingly upbeat.”

“The IPCC is right that two degrees marks a world of climate catastrophe. Four degrees is twice as bad as that. And that is where we are headed, at present — a climate hell twice as hellish as the one the IPCC says, rightly, we must avoid at all costs. But the real meaning of the report is not ‘climate change is much worse than you think’, because anyone who knows the state of the research will find nothing surprising in it. The real meaning is, ‘you now have permission to freak out’.”
~ David Wallace-Wells

» New York Magazine – 10 October 2018:
UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually Worse Than That

» Scientific American – 18 October 2018:
The Bad News We Need
“The IPCC’s scary new report could finally stir us to take action on climate change.”

The New Daily on 11 October 2018: ‘Unimaginable devastation’: Biggest storm in a century slams into Florida




“Full phase out of coal in Australia by 2030”

We are only doing half of what we should be doing at this stage, according to the IPCC.

The science says we need:

• All coal plants in pre-construction phase cancelled.
• Existing coal power capacity halved by 2030.
• Full phase out in OECD countries by 2030.
• Near-total global phase-out by 2050.

In other words, we need a coal phase-out in economically developed countries like Australia by 2030, and then the Asian coal giants need to follow suit — quickly.

Emissions and earnings: on the rise
The Great Barrier Reef is not just “dying”. It is being killed. By us. By our lack of will to confront those greedy decision makers in energy industry corporations and their buddies in the Parliaments who for decades now have been ignoring and lying about the science and their duty of care with one simple objective: to keep shovelling in even more profits.

We must all ask our federal politicians in our area: How does the IPCC findings match with building a new coal megamine in Australia and expanding its coal port? We must ask them, how do you expect our school kids to just accept all of this madness?

Currently earnings in the Australian coal export are on the rise, and the coal industry expects to keep getting paid, with public money taken away from investments in green energy, for doing practically nothing. This is completely unacceptable, considering what the science is telling us.

Will we really just passively accept that this nation’s great pride and tourist attraction, the Great Barrier Reef, is being killed on our watch?

We are being impacted by climate change in our daily lives. Yet we have to accept that our leaders are doing the complete opposite of what should be their response to the emergency.

Expansion of coal export
For instance, the Queensland Labor Government has just approved Adani’s plans to expand its coal export business – right at the same time as the international scientific community issued its latest warning everyone on this planet that unless we swiftly stop burning coal, we will lose all coral reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef.

This is the same Labor government that won the last election on a promise not to give the Adani coal mine a subsidy of a billion dollars. In the background, it quietly continues to support coal as it has done it all the way.

On 2 October 2018, the Queensland Government’s Coordinator General approved Adani’s plans to expand the capacity of the Abbot Point coal export terminal on the Great Barrier Reef coast from 50 million tonnes per annum to 60 million tonnes per annum. The documents were made public by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).

Abbot Point is currently running at 50 per cent capacity. Adani is banking on its Carmichael mine getting off the ground to make an expanded port viable. AMCS Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director, Imogen Zethoven AO, said:

“Approving an expansion of the Abbot Point coal port in light of the latest climate change findings is devastating news for the reef and an insult to all Australians who care about its future. The world’s top climate scientists have confirmed we are on a trajectory to lose the Great Barrier Reef unless we urgently phase out coal and switch to renewables. We are at a cross roads. Queensland can continue to open new thermal coal mines or it can maintain the Great Barrier Reef and the 65,000 jobs that rely on it. We cannot have both.”



» Unearthed – 10 October 2018:
How can we cut enough coal to get to 1.5?

» Petition:
Call on Angus Taylor to back Australia’s first offshore wind farm
“The Star of the South offshore wind farm promises to deliver clean renewable energy to 1.2 million homes, creating an estimated 12,000 jobs and avoiding up to 10 million tonnes of polluting  greenhouse gas emissions. The fate of the project now rests in the hands of Australia’s latest energy minister, the Liberal member of Parliament Angus Taylor.”



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‘Climate criminal activities’ in Australia

“Australia is among the world leaders for the following 14 climate criminal activities or parameters:
(1) annual per capita greenhouse gas pollution,
(2) live methanogenic livestock exports,  
(3) natural gas exports,  
(4) recoverable shale gas reserves that can be accessed by hydraulic fracturing (fracking),  
(5) coal exports,
(6) land clearing and deforestation,
(7) speciescide – species extinction,
(8) coral reef destruction,
(9) whale killing and extinction threat through global warming,
(10) terminal carbon pollution budget exceedance,   
(11) per capita carbon debt,
(12) GHG generating iron ore exports,
(13) climate change inaction, and
(14) accessory to climate genocide.”  

“Humanity and particularly young people must revolt with zero tolerance for coal-burning climate criminals epitomized by pro-coal Australia and Trump America.”
~ Dr Gideon Polya, Melbourne-based scientist




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“What can we do about climate change” is a tangible taboo we politely talk around; not despite, but precisely because, of the reminders of scale of the problem we are exposed to.”
~ Matthew Adams, Principal Lecturer in Psychology, University of Brighton


Social change needed

Here is a thoughtful article on the nuts and bolts of achieving major social change – as evidenced by the the victories of the suffragettes, the abolition of slavery, the abolition of the death sentence (in some societies), and the success of CFCs abolition in dealing with the ozone hole. We need to quickly shift the dialogue to the big picture, with examples that prove that the task is far from ‘too hard’ once people power clicks into gear:  

» The Conversation – 10 October 2018:
Individual action won’t achieve 1.°C warming – social change is needed, as history shows

“What do we need to maintain — or ensure — that temperatures don’t rise above 1.5°C? It’s going to take corporations, corporate leaders, local politicians who might grapple with how to reduce community-wide emissions in their cities and towns. Architects need to do their piece to maximize energy efficiency in new buildings, commercial and industrial as well as residential. Every part of society has to participate.

I know that not every part of society will participate, so policies are needed to help. A tax on carbon, which even Exxon Mobil has argued for, is an important step in making sure we pay the cost of climate change through our use of fossil fuels.”
~ Richard Heede, co-founder and co-director of the Climate Accountability Institute

» Vox – 12 October 2018:
Can consumer choices ward off the worst effects of climate change? An expert explains.
“Climate change isn’t all your fault. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it.”



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‘How to explain emergency mode climate action’

Booklet by David Spratt

This brief booklet explains what is meant by the term “climate emergency mode” very useful. It’s just been published by Breakthrough. 

It begins with what is familiar to many…
Many of us have experienced emergency situations such as bushfires, floods or cyclones where, for the duration, nothing else matters as much as responding to the crisis. If we want to survive, or help others effectively, we don’t rush thoughtlessly in, but focus on a plan of action, implemented with thought and all possible care and speed to protect others and get to safety. Everyone chips in, with all hands on deck.

It reminds us that in an emergency….
The challenge is to stop the problem escalating out of control and return to safety. In responding, failure and major tradeoffs are not an option, because the consequences are so grave. Action is time sensitive, because delay in responding leads to escalation and increased damage and cost. 

In an emergency there is thorough risk assessment…
An emergency response starts by fully assessing all the risks and potential damage, especially the “high-end” and existential risks, which would be devastating for human societies. Special precautions that go well beyond conventional risk management practice are required if the increased likelihood of very large climate impacts are to be adequately dealt with. International and national climate policymaking has not adopted this approach, and exhibited a preference for conservative projections.

» Read the whole brief and concise text



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“It would actually cost less to do this than to persist with the status quo.”
~ Jeremy Leggett



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$22 billion lost because of being glued to the fossils

In New York, new evidence has been published that each pensioner would be almost $20,000 richer had the state fund divested from fossil fuels 10 years ago. That makes them $22 billion poorer altogether.   

» GoFossilFree – 4 October 2018:
New York State Pension $22 Billion Poorer By Not Divesting 10 Years Ago
“Research firm Corporate Knights revealed that the pension fund would be $22 billion richer had it divested from fossil fuel stocks in 2008. That’s almost $20,000 for of each of the pension fund’s 1.1 million members and retirees.”



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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.”
~ Pete Seeger, American singer