Sustaining the sparkle: connection is everything

Guests in The Sustainable Hour on 23 January 2018 where we celebrate our 250th show are:

Sue Constable who is an Ocean Grove mum and teacher organising Earthfest at Star of the Sea Primary Ocean Grove on 15 February between 4pm and 8:30pm. A fun event combining the recycle message with music.

Caroline Danaher, 76-year-old climate activist, who took inspiration from 16-year-old Greta Thunberg‘s school strike action and now sits every Friday outside the office of her local federal member of parliament.

We also discuss the new survey about Geelong’s transportation system, and play a clip of Anthony Gleeson, who was a guest on show number 1 and is now a presenter. Tony covers his journey of the 250 programs.

We play a video clip with the world’s 16-year-old climate action hero and oracle Greta Thunberg, which was played for the guests attending the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, we re-listen to the song ‘Oil and Gasoline’ as performed in our Sustainable Studio by local artist Wayne Jury, Formidable Vegetable Sound System, who will be performing at Earthfest in Ocean Grove, give us ‘Change’.

“When injustice becomes law, nonviolent resistance becomes duty”
~ Petra Kelly, co-founder of the German Green Party, 1979

Jackie’s first trial with live-streaming on Facebook

Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 250 on 94.7 The Pulse:

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Content of this hour

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


Earthfest in Ocean Grove

Friday 15 February 2019 at 4:00–8:30pm at Ocean Grove Community Park, 70 Presidents Avenue, Ocean Grove

Earthfest is a one-day community event held at Ocean Grove Park featuring music, art, community groups, food stalls and more. This will be a fun community event with something for everyone, hoping to inspire a more sustainable and connected community.

The headline act for the event is the Formidable Vegetable Sound System who will be supported by local musicians. Driftwood Café – a cafe who is close to no carbon footprint – is a major sponsor of the festival. Any proceeds will go to the Star of the Sea kitchen garden development.

The event will:
Educate: Through the power of community, music and art, environmental group participation, sustainable food vans and stalls.

Promote and Advocate: Bellarine and City of Greater Geelong community environmental groups will organise information stalls to help educate festival goers, as well as encourage volunteer sign-ups.

Celebrate: Gather, eat, talk and dance – FVSS + Support acts. Recycled Art Competition + a Repurposed/Inventor competition

Act: Organisers encourage a zero waste event

The event is part of the National Sustainable Living Festival

Tickets: Adult $5 and children free

Visit their Facebook page for more details and to enter the competition: » Facebook event page

» Email:

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Mitchell Dye and Mik Aidt

Survey about Geelong’s transportation problem

» Mitchell’s Front Page – 24 January 2019:
Mik Aidt talking about solutions to Geelong’s transportation problem

Geelong Council needs your help
“Geelong’s moving forward,” says Council and proposes some very positive and needed changes to the city’s traffic infrastructure. In short: Less cars and parking spaces, more cycling, walking and green spaces. If you have an opinion about whether this is good or bad, it is important you raise your voice in the media – or simply take this quick survey right now

Council writes: “The Revitalising Central Geelong partnership, jointly funded by the State Government and the City of Greater Geelong, has developed a discussion paper focused on central Geelong car parking to explore the present and future parking needs and land uses in central Geelong.

We want your input on the discussion paper. Your feedback will influence a central Geelong car parking strategy to be developed in 2019. We encourage people to read the discussion paper paper before completing the survey.”

Following the 100 day public consultation period, the City of Greater Geelong will review public feedback and develop a draft Central Geelong Car Parking Strategy, which will then be released for further public consultation in 2019.

You can keep up-to-date with the latest projects in the central Geelong precinct by following the Revitalising Central Geelong project on Facebook or by subscribing to email news updates.

We have to look further ahead

Commentary | By Mik Aidt

Remember, we’ve been here before: I remember a time when I was telling everyone: “It’s coming, it’s going to be transformative – it’s going to change the way we live”…

I was telling people something like that in the mid-1990s. What I was talking about back then was: The Internet! Back then, people were shaking their heads. They just couldn’t see it happen. “Never in my lifetime!”, they would reply. “You’re dreaming. It’s too clumsy, slow, expensive… Never!”

Now, that’s 20 years ago. I knew I was right back then, just like I know I am right this time around when we are talking about what is going to happen with transportation in the next decade.

What we have to do for a moment is to allow ourselves to skip the next few years in the near future, and instead think just a little bit further ahead:

For instance, think about the new generation growing up on electric scooters, ev-bikes and ev-scateboards, think selfdriving cars – taxi-drones – and people who use their own muscle-power to get around not because they can’t afford to drive, but because they actually WANT to do it that way, to stay fit, and to have an open and social relationship with the local community. When we don’t sit in those closed metalboxes, we actually meet and talk with one another in the streets.

The things is: there is a social cost to cars, which people don’t realise. Politians don’t factor this in either.

The social cost of automobility, cycling and walking
When did we last see Australian authorities make their infrastructure decisions based on calculations of the external cost of automobility, cycling and walking?

There’s been similar studies done in Denmark, but now there’s a new report covering all of the European Union, calculating the per kilometer cost of driving, cycling and walking. Not surprisingly, it concludes that the cost of automobility “is systematically underestimated”, and it sensibly argues that “policy decisions should rely on comparative cost-benefit-analyses where feasible”.

This is something to pay attention to: The research results suggest that each kilometer driven by car incurs an external cost of 18 cent, while cycling and walking represent benefits of 29 cent and 60 cent per kilometre. 

Extrapolated to the total number of passenger kilometers driven, cycled or walked in the European Union, the cost of automobility is about $805 billion per year.

Due to positive health effects, cycling is an external benefit worth $39 billion per year – and walking $106 billion per year.

The exact same type of calculations could be made for Australia.

Cost-benefit-analyses frameworks could be widened to better include the full range of externalities, and, where feasible, be used comparatively to better understand the consequences of different transport investment decisions.

» Source:

Think the unthinkable
For instance:  In Sweden right now there are more than 10,000 people who say they won’t step into an airplane until we found a way to fly without wrecking the climate. That’s currently unthinkable in Geelong – but it is reality in Sweden.

In Norway, every second car sold today is an EV. They are world leaders in EVs – electric cars. Unthinkable in Geelong right now… but possibly not in two or five years time. It’s all up to us.

» Download the discussion paper (PDF)

» See the video:
Have Your Say: Central Geelong Carparking 2018/19

» Take the survey


In other news

From our notes of this week: news stories and events we didn’t get to mention but which we think you should know about

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Podcasts and posts about climate change



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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