Powerful convergence of the collective no

“Yes, I know we need a system change rather than individual change. But you can not have one without the other.”
~ Greta Thunberg, Swedish teenager and climate activist

Guests in The Sustainable Hour on 4 September 2019 are:

Libby Coker, Labor Member of the Australian Parliament for Corangamite, about why she has published media releases in support of the climate emergency declaration in Surf Coast Shire Council and of the school children who will be going on strike on 20 September. Our question to her is whether she is going to extend that call to the adults, in particular the parents, that they should be joining their kids?

Phil Baulch, Belmont Heights Transition Streets in Geelong, who is starring as one of the 30 members of the Transition Streets movement in Geelong, who are featured in our ‘Show me how’ Youtube-series. Today, we premiere the eight episode, entitled ‘Transitioning the way we consume’

Abbey Sweeney, Chiara Eden and Taylor Sadeghi from Sacred Heart College, who organise the Fight for the Bight paddle out at Cosy Corner in Torquay on Saturday 14 September 2019 at 12pm. 

Mary Stringer, president of Transition Australia, who spruiks the Transition Australia Victorian Convergence which takes place in Melbourne on Sunday 15 September. 

Today’s ‘Sustainable People’ episode by Lene Outzen Foghsgaard is inspired by a study from a Danish university which claimed that not only red meat produces a large carbon footprint, but also coffee, sweets and alcohol. Lene interviews Vibeke Lund, who is a health coach, Ann Kathrine, who spent a year in Melbourne and loves coffee and Anna, who is a teenager, representing a Danish youth that drinks twice as much alcohol as other young people in Europe. What are we ready to say no to for the sake of the climate?   

“Oh no, I thought, this one is a tough one. I have to find out what people think about this. Later it turned out that the study had been strongly influenced by the meat industry, so I only refer to it as an inspiration for the more general discussion about which sacrifises we are willing to make if it would be better for the climate. Because, no matter what, you and me together with billions of others have to cut down on consumption in general. Are we willing to do that?” 
Lene Outzen Foghsgaard in ‘Sustainable People’

Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 283 on 94.7 The Pulse:

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“Say no to consumerist greed.”
~ Pope Francis, leader of the Catholic Church

→ NewsCatholic Church – 4 September 2019:
Pope Francis claims climate in state of ‘emergency’, asks world to ‘abandon’ fossil fuels

100% clean future — Stand with the climate strikers – Avaaz
Petition to the UN Secretary General: “We stand with the kids joining the climate strike, and call on the UN to declare a climate emergency and urgently get the world to shift to 100% clean energy.” – “THIS is an emergency!”
Sign here


Content of this hour

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

The photo shows Phil Baulch’s packaging waste for an entire months. His weekly food bill is $39.00, half of which goes to his weekly local organic vege box.

Melbourne convergence of transitioners

Transition Australia is hosting a convergence of transition towns and like-minded sustainability groups. This one-day workshop is designed to enable groups to share, build and energise each other for the journey to a more just and sustainable future.

Key questions to be explored:

    How can we work together to bring authentic and powerful change to our communities?

    How can we build inter-dependence rather than isolation or competition?

    Who is out there and what lessons can we learn from each other?

    How can we showcase the work we do to change the narrative from business as usual?
We’ll be bringing together speakers representing everything from activism, transition streets, energy, food and permaculture to start building a narrative of collaborative, powerful and visible action. 

→ Sign up to the convergence: $30 including lunch

The power of collectively saying NO

“Hi I m from Norway, I love your podcast and listen to many episodes twice, just to make sure I take it all in. I ve been interested in the transition street movement, and hope to see it here as well.

Norway has also have a huge responsibilty, but our prime minister keeps handing out new places to drill for oil, and government owned businesses such as Equinor and Hydro keep destroying the Amazon’s rainforest and emit emissions. I m scared for my two children. Will they have to fight to keep their families together. Will they go hungry. The fear of all this is what the core of what Greta Thunberg said when she spoke to me – I want to be able to say straight to their face that I tried everything in my power to stop it from happening.

So I went vegan and started saying no. No to long trips, no to gifts, no to new cloths. In the beginning I m sure everyone around me thought I was extreme (as they like to label good intentions). After four months of hardships (yes it can be tough, even in a family full of biologist) my mom finally revealed to me that they took me seriously and that they are selling off their big house in Spain because they don’t want to fly as much anymore. These are the same parents that covered our house in solar panels back in 2001.

So, it just illustrates that we have a way to go; but the social impact is huge. Therefore, I urge everyone to lead by exampel, but also to not be afraid to tell it like it is – this is why i am doing it. Get the conversation starting.

Love you guys, Keep up the good work! truely inspirational podcast, my favorite podcast.”

~ Karina S.N 

Show Me How episode 8 is about consumption

Saying no to shopping

“We can’t go on blundering towards environmental disaster while telling ourselves that this is what makes us happy, when that simply isn’t true. Too much shopping is, like comfort eating, little more than a means of filling the emptiness inside. Once the sugar rush wears off, a faint feeling of nausea remains, followed by the urge to purge.”
~ Gaby Hinsliff

→ The Guardian – 31 August 2019:
Shop less, live more – save the planet. It doesn’t sound that bad to me
“A sustainable environment means consuming less, not differently. With retail therapy losing its appeal, that should be easy”

Saying no to flying

Labor member speaks up for the youth

Libby Coker, Labor Member of Parliament for Corangamite, supports the climate strike on 20 September 2019.

We often complain that our politicians close off ears to science and to economy, but listen to the shock-jocks like Tom Elliot, Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones. Not all politicians, though. In the Corangamite electorate, one federal politician stood out, when she sent a media release out which stated in the headline that:

“I support the student’s right to peacefully protest for their future, I support peaceful action to drive democratic change, and I encourage schools and parents across Corangamite to back their kids.”

She also sent a media release out the week before, where the headline stated:


Sunny Jim: ‘Plastic Wrap’


Explain to your boss why you go on strike

Dr Geoff Berry drafted a succinct one-page letter designed to help supporters get their workplaces on side re: the 20 September strike. “This letter could literally triple the amount of people that join the strike!,” he reckons:

Dr Berry’s letter to employers

Dr Geoff Berry is a member of the Australian Charter of the International Ecopsychology Society. He drafted a one-page letter designed to help supporters get their workplaces on side on the 20 September Global Climate Strike. You can adapt the letter freely and share it widely.

→ Download the Word document

→ Geoff Berry’s home page: www.naturecalling.org

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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

The second episode of our new series ‘The Regenerative Hour’ is out in your podcast player

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Podcasts and posts on this website about climate emergency


Latest news on BBC 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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Sharing solutions that make the climate safer and our cities more liveable

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