Safe climate declaration to lead the way

“The evidence is clear. The world is standing at the edge of major ecological and humanitarian tipping points, and time has run out for half measures.”
Introduction to the National Climate Emergency Summit, held in Melbourne on 14-15 February 2020.

We open The Sustainable Hour on 19 February with a report from the Climate Emergency Summit in Melbourne, where we hear former coal executive Ian Dunlop read a summit resolution and summit director Luke Taylor’s end remark to the attendees, followed by Colin Mockett’s global outlook.

Guests this week are Janine Duffy from Koala Clancy Foundation, Sarah Hathway from Climate Justice Alliance Geelong, who tells us what is going to happen in Geelong on the national Climate Crisis Day of Action on Saturday 22 February, and our 11-year-old youth reporter Ben Pocock. 

We play a clip with Russell Crowe, who spoke to millions on tv-watchers during the Fire Fight Australia show on Channel 7 and tv-stations around the world, and Paul Shelton from Transition Australia runs through the events calendar in his weekly ‘National Wrap’.


“We’ve got the hell of a movement to build, so let’s keep doing it.”
~ Luke Taylor, director, National Climate Emergency Summit 2020


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Who’s gonna show up?

We start off this week with Ian Dunlop, an ex coal executive and long time advocate for real action on climate in our country, reading out the very significant resolution that he and Carmen Lawrence presented to the enthusiastic audience of 2,000 who attended Australia’s first ever Climate Emergency Summit last Friday and Saturday in Melbourne. This groundbreaking resolution based on real science is going to be made available for everyone to sign. 

We interviewed Ian Dunlop and Carmen Lawrence in 2016 in our ‘Churchillian Challenge’ series of interviews, where we asked: ‘Who will be able to be that ‘Climate-Churchill’ for Australia who is able to do what Churchill did at his time for the United Kingdom and its allies: uniting and mobilising everyone to take action against the threat.’ The interviews from back then are available here.

Following this we listen to a little gem from Academy Award winning actor Russell Crowe. In it he is very critical of the current federal government’s lack of ambition on climate change. He uses the recent catastrophic bushfires as an incentive for the government to get their act together for the good of all living things in Australia. 

Our two studio guests today are firstly Janine Duffy from the Koala Clancy Foundation. Janine is a passionate advocate for our iconic native animal and is determined to do everything she can on her watch to make sure that they don’t become extinct. The recent catastrophic fires in both Queensland and New South Wales wiped out hundreds of their numbers from when they were already under increasing pressure from development and habitat destruction. On current trends she says they won’t exist outside of Victoria for much longer. We hear what Koala Clancy plan to do to educate people about the importance to both our economy and ecology of this amazing animal. Janine calls out to residents of the areas around the You Yangs to open privately owned river areas for tree planting, and for schools to get involved with the tree planting events Koala Clancy Foundation will organise in the coming months.

Secondly Ben Pocock, our youth reporter. Last week our regular listeners will have heard Ben’s report of his family’s recent horrific experience as they faced up to wildfires that interrupted their camping holiday near Mallacoota in East Gippsland. Today Ben elaborates on that and we talk with him about his plans for his reports this year.

We also hear from Geelong Extinction Rebellion representative Sarah Hathway outlining plans for our city’s Climate Crisis march on this Saturday – 22 February. We hear that an unprecedented number of local groups have stood side by side to make this happen. More information about this event in the calender below on this page.

Until next week: Be the difference.



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A call for Australia: The safe climate declaration

Call for a new approach to climate action in Australia, a response to match the scale of the threat as climate-warming impacts escalate across Australia and around the world

→ Sign here: www.climateemergencysummit.org/declaration

. . .

→ The Guardian – 15 February 2020:
Climate summit calls for urgent action after Australia’s fire-hit summer
“Forceful declaration calls for governments to set short-term zero emissions target to avoid catastrophic warming.”

“Let’s lead the way.”
~ Russell Crowe, actor, in the Fire Fight Australia tv-show



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We are all paying the price

‘Business as usual’ on climate change will cost Australia $29 billion a year. 

Globally, poor land management, rising emissions and further loss of natural habitat will cost the world at least $711 billion a year, adding up to almost $15 trillion dollars before we get to 2050.

“Research from the World Wide Fund for Nature showed that over the next 30 years, Australia’s economy will be the fifth worst-affected by inaction on climate change. Using new economic and environmental modelling to assess what the impact would be if the world pursued a “business as usual” response to climate change, the study showed that Australia would lose $29 billion from annual GDP by 2050. This was a best-case scenario.”

“The world’s decision-makers are failing today’s children and youth: failing to protect their health, failing to protect their rights, and failing to protect their planet.”
~ Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general

Alex from AYCC wrote:

“This summer, we all paid the price for decades of government inaction on climate change. 

Thirty-three people were killed. Thousands of homes and livelihoods were destroyed. And our cities were choking on toxic smoke for weeks, as unprecedented bushfires tore through communities all across the country. [1]

But the Morrison Government still doesn’t have a real plan to address climate change – and is instead giving more public money to prop up the fossil fuel industry. [2]

That’s why thousands of us are taking to the streets this Saturday in a National Day of Action”

References
[1] The Guardian – 11 February 2020:
Counting the cost of the bushfires: Australia’s summer of dread

[2] The Guardian – 14 February 2020:
Coalition likely to give $11m to Vales Point coal-fired power station for upgrade



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Journalists declare

The earth has just had the hottest January since records began, since humanity started measuring the temperatures world-wide. And… again, where were the headlines in mainstream media?

This morning, a headline that jumps at me in my mailbox says: “One man dead in freak storm hit, as residents wake to trail of destruction”. It is almost every day we hear about some sort of destruction or apocalypse closing in, but in the mainstream media it is rarely connected to neither climate change or our inadequate carbon emissions reduction policies.

Why not? The climate emergency is the “biggest and most important story of our time”. So if you are a journalist, why aren’t you engaged and doing your bit to communicate whatever you can about this?

Whether it is about telling the truth, explaining the science, showing the solutions, or viasualising how we come together and make a difference? Journalists have a platform, and they can make a difference if they want to – just like Russell Crowe just did.

But that is actually not what the Journalists Declare campaign is about: It is a petition, where the journalists who sign it are calling for their national and international unions to declare. To lead. To guide the profession and take measures that inspire and spread.

www.climateemergencydeclaration.org/journalists



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Koala Conservation Day in Geelong

Enjoy a day of wellness in the outdoors, connecting with nature and helping Koalas.
Hosted by Koala Clancy

Sunday 5 April 2020
You Yangs Regional Park
Turntable Dr, Little River, Victoria
Tickets: www.eventbrite.com.au



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“Australians, we live in a country where one of our major insurance companies just told the media that parts of the world are becoming uninsurable because of climate change and yet our government doesn’t recognise it as real. We are leaderless on the risk of our time.”
~ Blair Palese, former leader of 350 Australia

→ Sydney Morning Herald – 17 February 2020:
‘Risks aren’t worth it’: QBE says parts of planet becoming uninsurable due to climate concerns
“Global insurance giant QBE has warned climate change poses a material threat to its business and the entire economy as its chief executive Pat Regan said premiums were at risk of becoming too high in areas exposed to repeated, extreme weather. The comments came after the insurer posted a statutory profit of $550 million, up 41 per cent from the prior year.”

https://twitter.com/zalisteggall/status/1228455951163723776
https://twitter.com/AudreyCooke77/status/1229265725451161601
https://twitter.com/MikeHudema/status/1229274863619203072



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Acknowledgement

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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