First responders seize their Coldplay moment

In The Sustainable Hour on 4 December 2019, Mik Aidt has just returned from a speaker-trip in New Zealand, where he talked about the emerging ‘Pause Movement’ and the impact which a wave of ‘Coldplay Moments’ could trigger – if more leading artists and sports teams followed Coldplay’s example and pushed the big Pause Button on their activitities. Could it trigger an entirely new level of bold climate action with emissions slow-down and massive economic disruption around the world?

Our 11-year-old youth reporter Ben Pocock is ready with his second report – this time with ten good tips on how each of us can take positive action, and our global outlooker Colin Mockett brings a report from EU and the United Nations climate summit in Spain. We learn that he had his ‘Colin Moment’ already 30 years ago.

We discuss the idea of a Pause Movement with Cindy Eiritz, Strategic Director at Regenerate Earth, who is building community consensus for regenerative farming methods and building healthy soils. Will we succeed in making the 2020s into a decade of regeneration and eco-restoration?

“All of us in every industry have to just work out what the best way of doing our job is.”
~ Chris Martin, Coldplay front man

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Content of this hour

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


What will be your Coldplay moment?

“We’re taking time over the next year or two to work out how our tour can not only be sustainable [but] how can it be actively beneficial. (…) Our next tour will be the best possible version of a tour like that environmentally. We would be disappointed if it’s not carbon neutral. The hardest thing is the flying side of things. But, for example, our dream is to have a show with no single use plastic, to have it largely solar powered. We’ve done a lot of big tours at this point. How do we turn it around so it’s not so much taking as giving?”
Chris Martin, Coldplay frontman, in a BBC News interview

FOALS: ‘Like Lightning’ – 22 November 2019

With news that Coldplay are pausing international touring until it is environmentally viable and Massive Attack building on our 2010 Moving Arts research into the climate impacts of touring Julie’s Bicycle were invited to comment on the subject in the media.

With JB’s ten plus years working with the music industry, coalescing around the #MusicDeclares campaign, you can hear them sharing their thoughts on the BBC’s 100 days programme (from 49:27), BBC Scotland (from 1:43:06), Radio 5 Live (1:55:41) and BBC World News

In other climate-focused music news: Foals exclusively premiered their new single ‘Like Lightning’ on the Music Declares Emergency website, and pan-European music trade body IMPALA has recognised Music Declares Emergency with an Outstanding Contribution Award.

Touring Bands Report
Our research project assesses the carbon impacts of Bands, Orchestras and Theatres touring the UK and internationally. The research is funded by the music industry alongside the British Council, Arts Council and Orchestras Live with support from the Association of British Orchestras. Lead researcher Catherine Bottrill has been joined by Christina Tsiarta to analyse nearly 100 samples ranging from small club artists, chamber orchestras and small touring companies to stadium tours, symphony orchestras and major west end productions.

Coldplay: Everyday Life

BBC Radio One’s recording of Coldplay performing ‘Everyday Life’ live at Maida Vale studios in London

Coldplay have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists.

Coldplay’s last tour was in 2016 to 2017 for their album ‘A Head Full of Dreams’, which saw them play 122 shows around the world.

Planet Radio interview: “It’s a little bit of a heartbreak” statement at 1:55

→ BBC News – 21 November 2019:
Coldplay to pause touring until concerts are ‘environmentally beneficial’

→ Rolling Stone – 21 November 2019:
Coldplay Pause Touring Over Environmental Concerns
“Band will not go on tour for Everyday Life until their shows are carbon-neutral.”

→ Euronews – 21 Novewmber 2019:
Coldplay refuse to announce world tour for environmental reasons

Another year, another record

In the last weeks, humanity has received yet another series of alarming warnings. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was higher in 2018 than it has been in millions of years, UN experts wrote in a World Meteorological Organization report which was published on 25 November 2019. This continuing long-term trend means that future generations will be confronted with increasingly severe impacts of climate change, including rising temperatures, more extreme weather, water stress, sea level rise and disruption to marine and land ecosystems.

The same week, another internationally leading research team emphasised that the situation is now so critical one major climate disturbance risks triggering a self-reinforcing chaos that cannot be stopped.

→ Bloomberg – 3 December 2019:
Global Warming Prediction Sounds Alarm for Climate Fight
“WMO sees temperatures rising as much as 5 degrees Celsius. Governments and companies pledging deeper emissions cuts.”

→ Nature no. 575 – 27 November 2019:
Timothy Lenton, Johan Rockstrom, Owen Gaffney, Stefan Rahmsdorf, Katherine Richardson, Will Steffen and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber: Climate tipping points – too risky to bet against

→ CounterCurrents – 3 December 2019:
Climate scientists planetary emergency: Planet in peril – act now

“An average of just 11.9mm of rain fell across the country this November – making it the driest November on record – which BOM said led to the country’s catastrophic bushfires. 2019 is shaping up to be one of the driest – and hottest – years on record”

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“That’s the Australia I want to live in.”


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


We with our listeners all the best for the festive season and may the new year ring lotsa love & light your way.

When you want to buy wine, we recommend:

Mitchell’s Front Page – 2 December 2019:
Talking Sustainability with Jackie Matthews, Presenter – The Sustainable Hour

Mitchell’s Front Page – 3 December 2019:
Extinction Rebellion Geelong Spokesperson Marian Smedley

Marian Smedley appeared on Mitchell’s Front Page to talk about the Extinction Rebellion movement in Geelong.

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Still rising

“Man-made greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2018 to 55.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. (…) The report says that even if all unconditional commitments under the Paris Agreement are enacted, global temperatures are expected to rise by 5.8 degrees by 2100, bringing even wider-ranging and more destructive climate impacts.

“This would make large parts of the planet uninhabitable and cause mass extinction of species,” the report says. “The cost to protect our homes, cities and people from extreme weather will rapidly escalate, and no country will be immune.”

→ USA Today – 26 November 2019:
‘Sleepwalking toward climate catastrophe:’ World must slash emissions immediately, UN report says

“The war on the climate emergency, if correctly waged, would actually be good for the economy,” writes Joseph E Stiglitz is a university professor at Columbia, the 2001 recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, a former chief economist of the World Bank and the author, most recently, of ‘People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent’

“When the US was attacked during the second world war no one asked, “Can we afford to fight the war?” It was an existential matter. We could not afford not to fight it. The same goes for the climate crisis. Here, we are already experiencing the direct costs of ignoring the issue – in recent years the country has lost almost 2% of GDP in weather-related disasters, which include floods, hurricanes, and forest fires. The cost to our health from climate-related diseases is just being tabulated, but it, too, will run into the tens of billions of dollars – not to mention the as-yet-uncounted number of lives lost. We will pay for climate breakdown one way or another, so it makes sense to spend money now to reduce emissions rather than wait until later to pay a lot more for the consequences – not just from weather but also from rising sea levels. It’s a cliche, but it’s true: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

→ Read more in The Guardian

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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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