Victories of a gardening culture

Our guest in The Sustainable Hour no 314 on 20 May 2020 is one of the founders of permaculture,  David Holmgren. David reveals his motivation for doing what he does and his belief that permaculture holds many answers to the wicked problems we face in our world today. He speaks with great authority on many topics, not the least of which is his decision to break with business as usual in taking a huge risk in crowdfunding his latest book ‘Retrosuburbia’ and getting it published in Australia.

David also explains why he has offered it on a ‘pay as u like’ basis and has been overwhelmed by the positive response. His not-for-profit business has never been as busy as it is right now. It is seen by many an an essential roadmap to a safer, more just and healthy future. Those who look at permaculture as a simply a way of ‘growing stuff’ will be re-educated in The Sustainable Hour today.

Colin Mockett ranges widely in his ‘Global Outlook’. He introduces us to a new term, ‘Astroturfing’, and explains its significance. He talks about a report that the prestigious Oxford University has brought out recently, where researchers looked at 700 different economic stimulus initiatives that followed actions to get economies up and running after the Great Financial Crisis in 2007. They concluded that the green focussed ones were much more successful.

Following this, Colin reports on the recent decision made by the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund to divest from a number of Australian companies that keep entrenched in a polluting fossil fuel-based business model. His concluding point for today is about residents from The LaTrobe Valley to take the Victorian Environmental Protection Authority to court for the way they managed the fires there a few years ago.

Towards the end of the program, we join Charlie Mgee‘s choir as he raps “Let us rise as a choir of the people who get it,” and David Holmgren agrees with us that the success of pioneer movements such as permaculture and the climate movement comes down to whether or not a whole lot of people find the inclination and the courage to be the difference.


“Given that we as a society have been walking like a zombie into the maelstrom of climate change, resource depletion and ecological breakdown and dealing with a lot of the economic limits that come from that, the wake up call that has come from the coronavirus for a lot of people has been really positive.”
~ David Holmgren, co-founder of the permaculture movement, author of ‘RetroSuburbia’, a guide to life in a post-carbon world


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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 land. They nurtured it and thrived in often harsh conditions for millenia before they were invaded. Their land was then stolen from them – it wasn’t ceeded. It is becoming more and more obvious that, if we are to survive the climate emergency we are facing, we have much to learn from their land management practices.

Our battle for climate justice won’t be won until our First Nations brothers and sisters have their true justice. 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…

“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.”

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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David Holmgren presents ‘Aussie Street’

In June 2019, permaculture co-originator David Holmgren gave his much loved ‘Aussie St’ presentation to a crowd of 200 people at Kernot Hall in Morwell in the Latrobe Valley. The event was presented by the West Gippsland Catchment Management and the Latrobe Catchment Landcare Network, and was filmed by Darryl Whitaker.

From May to September 2019, David Holmgren and his partner Su Dennett travelled around Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia on a RetroSuburbia Roadshow. The Morwell gig was one of 22 roadshow events. David documented his and Su’s four months away on a blog, which you can read here.

→ ‘RetroSuburbia’ home page: www.retrosuburbia.com



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Joel Salatin has hope for a post-COVID regenerative agri-culture

Joel Salatin has been one of the most prominent voices in regenerative agriculture for many years now and Oliver, who produces the Abundant Edge podcast, thought Joel would be the perfect person to not only kick off a new series on regenerative agriculture, but also for his optimistic perspective on the future we are collectively heading into as our countries continue to grapple with the social and economic costs of the COVID-19 pandemic and its response.

→ Listen to The Abundant Edge podcast



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→ Oxford Real Farming Conference – 20 May 2020:
A Food Revolution Starts with Seed
“Growing your own food has seen a resurgence on a scale that has been compared to the Dig For Victory campaigns of the second world war. But with so few places selling seed, how can you take advantage of this planting season and get your own veggie garden under way?”

→ Resilience – 18 May 2020:
Growing in the Quarantine: Urban Gardening, Alone and Together

→ Sustainable Food Trust – 11 May 2020:
Resilience in plant breeding
“As we face this climate crisis, we need to grow crops that are able to adapt to the changing climate. This will require plant breeders to focus on increasing resilience in our crop varieties.”

“If our collective approach to climate change showed the same respect for science, the same focused sense of purpose, creativity and leadership, how different would it look? COVID-19 is, after all, merely a tragic foreshadowing of what uncontrolled climate change will look like and, indeed, how it is already being experienced by many, particularly in the Global South.”

→ Transitionnetwork.org – 8 May 2020:
What the Transition movement can teach us about how to ‘bounce forward’
“Many Transition groups have been responding to the COVID19 crisis in emergency mode.” By Rob Hopkins



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ABC steps in

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation ABC is beginning to live up to its responsibility as the country’s public broadcaster with reporting on the climate emergency with an increased frequency. Some of the recent highlights:

→ ABC Four Corners – 18 May 2020:
Climate Wars

→ ABC Radio National – 16 May 2020:
Climate grief 2 – Singer-songwriter Missy Higgins
“One of Australia’s greatest young singers, Missy Higgins, tells Dr Jonica Newby how climate grief has been at the heart of her most recent songs.” On The Science Show with Robyn Williams

→ ABC Radio National – 9 May 2020:
Climate grief 1 – Marine scientist Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
“Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is Professor in the School of Biological Sciences Faculty of Science at The University of Queensland.” On The Science Show with Robyn Williams

→ ABC Radio National:
Hot Mess: why we’ve failed to fix climate change

→ ABC Late Night Live:
Michael Moore’s divisive documentary (20 min audio)
By Phillip Adams. Guests: Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies, Asia-Pacific, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, and Ian Lowe, Emeritus Professor, School of Natural Sciences at Griffith University.



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Events we have talked about in The Sustainable Hour

Events in Victoria

The following is a collation of Victorian climate change events, activities, seminars, exhibitions, meetings and protests. Most are free, many ask for RSVP (which lets the organising group know how many to expect), some ask for donations to cover expenses, and a few require registration and fees. This calendar is provided as a free service by volunteers of the Victorian Climate Action Network. Information is as accurate as possible, but changes may occur.

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Podcasts and posts on this website about climate emergency
Latest news on BBC about climate change


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