The only way we can deal with the climate emergency

In our milestone hour No 300 on 12 February 2020, we are excited to launch a new collaborative podcast syndication-arrangement: ‘The National Wrap’, which Paul Shelton from Transition Australia presents as a weekly calendar segment – brief, but chock full of information for any listener who wants to know more and to get active as we face up to our climate emergency.

With the world first Climate Emergency Summit on this Friday and Saturday, 14 and 15 February 2020, at the Melbourne Town Hall, we are fortunate to be able to steal director Luke Taylor away from his desk to explain what will be happening over the two days. The 2,000 tickets are completely sold out, but for those who missed out or didn’t want to fly, it will be live-streamed. Register for a ‘virtual ticket’ to the remarkable event by going to The focus of the two days is going to be on solutions, solutions and more solutions that we must do together.

Our 11-year-old youth reporter Ben Pocock is with us again this year. 30 minutes in, we hear of his recent drama filled experience in the horrific wild fires that interrupted his family’s camping holiday in East Gippsland. Ben has taken to his role with great enthusiasm. He is developing his own individual style of reporting. We are so happy to have him on the team and look forward to a long association with him.

The Australia Institute’s chief economist Richard Denniss has estimated the cost of this summer’s bushfire crisis is enormous − at least $100 billion − making it the most expensive natural disaster that we’ve seen in Australia. Australia’s iconic singer and song writer Paul Kelly forces us to wake up to the reality of the crisis with his ironic new song ‘Sleep Australia Sleep’.

We conclude the hour with Ocean Grove local Suzie Brown who co-founded Australian Parents for Climate Action and is also on the committee of the Ocean Grove Community Association. Suzie tells us about AP4CA’s active support for the federal independent member for Warringa, Zali Steggles’ proposed Climate Change Bill which they hope will be voted on later this year, and also advertises for OGCA’s collaboration with 100% Clean Bellarine in undertaking a bulk solar panel and battery storage project.

We start the show as usual with our regular guest in Colin Mockett. Today he explains two things: The relative land area that different food types take to be produced, and the relative carbon emissions produced from the same quantities of different foods. His conclusion: we need to eat less meat.

Until next week: Be the difference!

“The only way we can deal with this, is to connect with each other.”
~ Questioneer among the audience in ABC’s Q&A on 3 February 2020

Luke Taylor
Live phone interview with Luke Taylor in The Sustainable Hour

“A critical element to the solution to the climate emergency is working in a highly collaborative way, cross-movement and cross-sector. It is everybody’s problem, and it will require everybody to be involved in some shape or form. To build and collaborate. Many groups, aside from councils who are declaring, a lot of industry and professional organisations, associations and so forth are starting to declare a climate emergency as well, and thinking about what role their industry plays in this great transition. So it is an exciting time from that point of view. We are seeing a new wave of climate action. There is a big shift happening both within the community and in early parts of industry, and at local government level as well.”
~ Luke Taylor, director, Climate Emergency Summit in Melbourne, speaking in The Sustainable Hour

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Sleep, Australia, sleep
The night is on the creep
Shut out the noise all around

Sleep, Australia, sleep
And dream of counting sheep
Jumping in fields coloured brown
Who’ll rock the cradle and cry?
Who’ll rock the cradle and cry?

Sleep, Australia, sleep
As off the cliff the kingdoms leap
Count them as they say goodbye
Count down the little things
The insects and birds
Count down the bigger things
The flocks and the herds
Count down our rivers
Our pastures and trees
But there’s no need to hurry
Oh, sleep now, don’t worry
‘Coz it’s only a matter of degrees
Fog, Australia, fog
Just like the boiling frog
As we go we won’t feel a thing
Who’ll rock the cradle and cry?
Who’ll rock the cradle and cry?

Sleep, my country, sleep
As off the cliff the kingdoms leap
Count them as they pass on by
Our children might know them
But their children will not
We won’t know ’til it’s gone
All the glory we’ve got
But there are more wonders coming
All new kinds of shows
With acid seas rising
To kiss coastal mountains
And big cyclones pounding
And firestorms devouring
And we’ll lose track of counting
As the corpses keep mounting
But hey, that’s just the way this old world goes

Sleep, my country, sleep
As we sow so shall we reap
Who’ll rock the cradle and cry?

→ Sydney Morning Herald – 31 January 2020:
‘A tipping point’: Paul Kelly’s new song attacks climate inaction
“Leading Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly is about to release a powerful new single that tackles Australia’s lack of action on climate change and environmental destruction.”

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Ecological democracy

“One of the many things which this summer has done, I believe, is blown away the myth that we humans are separate from nature. When you’re spending months breathing in the ghosts of trees and animals, have your windows smashed by fist-sized hailstones, and wake up each morning wondering what the skies will throw at you today, it’s impossible to continue to believe that our society can keep living as though the natural world we are one small part of can be safely ignored.

That opens the path to some amazing conversations about living ecologically, about reshaping our politics and economies and society along ecological principles. And we’ve got some exciting plans for stimulating and hosting those conversations in the weeks and months ahead.

Part of living ecologically is understanding that we’re all in this together, and that each one of us is a vital and irreplaceable part of the wonderful, grand, messy, beautiful whole that is nature.”
~ Tim Hollo, The Green Institute

. . .

“We are saddened but we are also angry. These unprecedented bushfires and heatwaves have been predicted, and governments warned about them, for decades. The health sector is not fooled, nor are we consoled, by the federal government’s untrue assertions that they are adequately acting on climate change.”

~ Fiona Armstrong, Climate and Health Alliance executive director

. . .

→ Reuters – 12 February 2020:
Australia’s ‘black summer’ provides glimmer of hope for climate policy action
“Australia’s deadly wildfires have opened up a small window of opportunity for the country to break a decade-long impasse on climate policy, as some politicians and big business push for major change.”

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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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