London calling: In The Sustainable Hour on 8 May 2019, we cancel some of our planned interview appointments in order to make room for reporting about something historic: the breakthrough for the climate emergency declaration and mobilisation which has been pushed forward by the school strikers and the Extinction Rebellion groups.
“What’s going to happen to the whole world?”, cries Stella Brazier, a 14-year-old Sydney student who burst into tears as she was interviewed by ABC Sydney when she gathered together with almost one hundred people outside Scott Morrison’s offices to protest against climate change, one among 70 #FridaysForFuture demonstrations across the nation. We also play a clip from one of the many youth strikers who spoke – and spoke well! – at the Geelong strike in front of Richard Marles MP’s office.
Then over to London for the breaking news: Opposition leader and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Caroline Lucas from the Greens, and Conservative environment minister Michael Gove all three touch on the historic momentum humanity has to stand up to the challenge as they debate Labour’s climate emergency declaration over five hours in the UK Parliament on 1 May 2019.
We ask long-time climate emergency campaigner and author Jane Morton about what she thinks about this declaration in the British House of Commons, and the role the Extinction Rebellion protests and the students’ climate strikes have played in convincing political leaders to create change.
Back2Bike is all about recycling bikes. It is a big sustainable workshop in Port Melbourne with more than 100 volunteers giving new life to old bikes. There are only two paid positions: The manager Mark Bradley, working full time from Monday to Friday, and a manager attending on Saturdays. Bicycle usage is increasing in Australia, and there are thousands of old bikes just waiting to be refreshed and repaired to get out on the road again. Back2Bike depends on donations and also donates some of their many bikes to people in need. In this 16th segment of Sustainable People, Lene Outzen Foghsgaard talks to both the manager Mark and four volunteers: Jeff, Ian and the two young school kids from St Kilda, who keep coming back. They have been back at least 15 times.
Colin Mockett takes a second view of the Carbon Action Tracker, which shows that if everyone acted as insufficiently as Australia, we’d be heading for a 3°C degrees warmer world. We listen to Peter Garrett‘s recommendation of Australian Labor Party’s climate policy, and we have a laugh with Juice Media‘s latest so-called ‘honest ad’ from the ‘Australien Government’ about the #ClimateElection.
“Britain can lead. We have lead in the past in defense of freedom. Let’s lead now in defense of our planet.”
~ Michael Gove, UK Conservative environment minister
Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 266 on 94.7 The Pulse:
» To open or download this programme in mp3-format, right-click here (Mac: CTRL + click)
Essential #ClimateElection viewing
Content of this hour
Links, excerpts and more information about what we talked about in this Sustainable Hour
Three governments have just declared Climate Emergency Declarations: The UK, Wales, and Ireland.
The reality of the climate crisis has become painfully clear, and in the United Kingdom, public pressure mounted to such a fever pitch – especially from Greta Thunberg’s school strike movement and the Extinction Rebellion groups – that the governments there are beginning to respond to the pressure.
The question now is: will more governments follow, and will the nations follow these merely symbolic declarations with radical actions?
Bright British leadership in defense of our planet, as the country declared a climate emergency, leaves Australian politicians standing in the shadow with their shameful inaction on the country’s rising carbon emissions.
Political decision-making in this nation is held ransom by arrogant and selfish billionaires and barons who place their residential addresses on remote islands to avoid paying tax and who couldn’t care less about which world they leave behind them.
A poll published last week found that nearly 63 per cent of the British public supported the UK parliament declaring a climate emergency – and 76 per cent said they are going to vote differently to protect the planet against climate change.
What happened in the UK Parliament on 1 May 2019 was extraordinary because it shows that climate action campaigning makes a difference after all. The Conservative’s environment secretary Michael Gove invoked the kind of bipartisan spirit that helped Britain through the world wars of the 20th century when he said: “Britain can lead. We’ve led in the past in defense of freedom, let’s lead now in defense of our planet.”
These are big words that leaders around the planet could take inspiration from. Defending our planet, and all the life forms on it.
UK Parliament passes climate emergency motion
On 1 May 2019, the British Labour party moved a non-binding motion in the House of Commons to declare ‘an environment and climate emergency’, which was passed by members of the Parliament across the floor.
The debate in Parliament starts at 09:35 minutes in the video above.
→ UK Parliament: Original Youtube live-stream | Hansard transcript
→ Extinction Rebellion: 37-minute video excerpt on Youtube
→ The Guardian – 30 April 2019:
Two-thirds of Britons agree planet is in a climate emergency
“Greenpeace poll findings released alongside group’s ‘manifesto’ to slash emissions.”
“This is an act of desperation. The climate crisis is bearing down on us, threatening to end our entire civilization, and yet all of our systems are acting as if nothing is wrong. So we’re putting our bodies on the line and acting at the level demanded by the crisis.”
~ Extinction Rebellion
Peter Garrett: Act on climate chaos
“If we fail to act on climate chaos at this point in our history then Australians will be hostage to external and increasingly unpredictable events of an order of magnitude and seriousness of threat most reasonably compared to war.
I’m not comfortable with the military analogy but it is applicable for the simple fact that it is the closest example we have for an incoming government to reference. Climate chaos washes across borders, it is on a world scale. Our national interest is at stake, as is our relations with other nation states.”
~ Peter Garrett, former Australian environment minister, Midnight Oil lead singer
“The former environment minister Peter Garrett has urged an incoming Labor government to convene a climate emergency summit to plot a transition to zero carbon, and create a super department aligned to Treasury, like the Department of Post War Reconstruction after the second world war, to implement the transition.”
~ Katharine Murphy, political editor, The Guardian Australia
→ The Guardian – 9 May 2019:
Peter Garrett urges Bill Shorten to declare climate emergency if Labor wins
“Exclusive: Former environment minister calls for creation of ‘war’ cabinet committee to plot transition to zero carbon”
Greenpeace: Declare a climate emergency“Call on Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten to declare a climate emergency now. It’s time for Australian politicians to start telling it like it is and take the urgent action required. A climate emergency has just been declared by the UK Parliament and momentum is continuing to build across the world.”
→ You can sign Greenpeace’s petition www.act.greenpeace.org.au/climateemergency
This is a #ClimateElection in AustraliaLike many others, Jackray Black in the #Corangamite electorate is frustrated about the past five years of climate inaction by the current federal government – to the point where he decided to break the ‘bystander effect’ and get actively and personally involved in what now is generally known as the #ClimateElection of 2019 in Australia.
MAYORS DEMAND CLIMATE ACTION
FROM NEXT FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Fifteen mayors from the Cities Power Partnership, Australia’s largest local government climate alliance, have joined forces to demand more Federal support for local work on climate change, commitment to a national 100% renewable energy target and rapid phase out of fossil fuel subsidies.If you want to learn about the Australian government’s approach to climate change since the election of the Liberal-National Coalition government in 2013, check the Climate Council’s new report, ‘Climate Cuts, Cover-ups and Censorship’
“And what ARE these catastrophic costs of failing to act on climate change?, we hear you ask.
Well, according to our groundbreaking new report, if emissions were to continue at current levels, cumulative damages to both agriculture and labour productivity over the next 80 years would cost the economy more than $4 trillion – that’s more than double Australia’s current GDP.
We know that a credible climate policy will cost far, far, FAR less than $4 trillion, so what are we waiting for, Australia!?”Amanda McKenzie, CEO, Climate Council
According to the ABC’s Vote Compass, the environment is rated as the number one issue by 29 per cent of respondents, a massive shift from just 9 per cent in 2016.
LIES AND CONFUSION ABOUT CLIMATE, COAL AND GAS
Thanks for your personal support for strong climate action. However Labor's plans to throw $1.5bn at fracking the NT and Galilee will unleash a massive carbon bomb -to raise Australia's emissions by 6%! Would you cross the floor to prevent this disaster? https://t.co/JRf0II6zK8 pic.twitter.com/nSxLZmIBaK— Kooyong Climate Action (@KooyongVotes) May 6, 2019
All #ClimateElection scorecards tell the same story: Consider climate independents and the Greens, not the coal and gas parties.
With your vote you are choosing between 26% or 82% emissions gone by 2030.
Between nothing extra or 100% clean energy by 2030.
Between massively more gas, and more coal, or an orderly transition away from coal and gas.
These are the choices we face as we stare down our mounting climate crisis. Scientists tell us we have to start reducing emissions steeply by 2020 (that’s next year, by the way!) or it is likely to end in tears.
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Petition: Sarah Henderson: Sarah talk to Caroline
The petition “Sarah Henderson: Sarah talk to Caroline” has a goal to reach 200 signatures – and that’s happening incredibly fast.
→ Caronline Danaher’s Persistent Presence Facebook page
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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
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Sign #ClimateElection petitions
Save Our Planet: Demand Climate Action – GetUp!
Sign the petition demanding real action to save our climate and life on our planet. To all politicians: We demand action on climate change to save life as we know it on this planet: 1) 100% renewable energy, 2) No new coal or gas, 3) Stop the Adani coal mine.
Australians for climate action – GetUp!
We demand that our government respects the science and aims higher on climate. We’re asking for strong, meaningful climate action, which is in the national and global interest. This GetUp petition now have more than 100,000 signatures.
Commit to Vote Climate this Federal Election – Climate and Health Alliance
Please commit to voting for a candidate that is committed to strong climate and health policies. You can view our Policy Scorecard to see where the major political parties stand on climate change and health this election.
Be a climate voter – Environment Victoria
This is the climate election. Sign the petition so we can tally up the numbers for each electorate and show the parties just how many climate voters there are: “This election, I’m calling on all political parties to end digging and burning coal, switch to 100% clean energy and stop Adani’s polluting mine
Pledge to Vote1.5° for climate action – 350
This is a climate emergency. Pledge to #Vote1.5 to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees. The world’s scientists have told us we must keep global warming to 1.5 degrees to protect our civilisation. Every single candidate across the country needs to show they will push for real climate action in Parliament by announcing a commitment to Stop Adani, stop all new fossil fuel projects, and transition Australia to 100% renewable energy by 2030.
Take action – Tell Labor to keep public money out of carbon bombs – Market Forces
The ALP has just announced plans to allocate $1.5 billion – of our taxpayer dollars – to projects that would open up the Galilee and Bowen basins and the massive Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory.
You can see more petitions here:
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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?
The Sustainable Hour is streamed live on the Internet every Wednesday from 11am to 12pm (Melbourne time).
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“Participation – that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
~ Pete Seeger, American singer