Just climate

The Sustainable Hour no 326

Our guests in The Tunnel on 5 August 2020, as we get organised for the Hiatus, are:

Fifth-year law student Katta O’Donnell who is courageously taking the Australian Government to court on the grounds that they haven’t given the market clear signals about the climate risks in people’s investments. This is a world-first legal action which we and the entire climate activist movement will be following with a great deal of interest.

And podcast blogger Sarah Josephine Liberty, who has just moved back to Australia after a number of years studying and working overseas. She is an outspoken climate and human rights activist, who recently formed a not-for-profit initiative, JustSocial, focusing on online human rights.

We are sure that you’ll enjoy the interaction between these two determined young ladies who are determined to make a contribution to a safer, more just and healthy world.

As usual Colin Mockett’s Global Outlook is full of interest. Today he has three items: In his words, “one good, one bad & one that could go either way.”

Firstly the good, which takes us to New York and tells us about a long overdue climate advisory committee which will consist of seven young people from seven different countries. This committee has been established by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, to advise him on climate.

Colin’s second item is the bad. It centres on a research report that has just been released by the Australia Institute. The title “A War on Renewables” gives us a good insight into our current government’s unwillingness and inability to transition us away from toxic fossil fuels.

Finally in the category of ‘could go either way’ Colin tells us of the recent courageous decision made by James Murdoch to move away from his family’s media empire and gives the reason for him doing this. His resignation is generally understood to be on the basis of Newscorp’s climate change denialism. No doubt we’ll be hearing more about this in future shows.

If you like what we present each week, please share us far and wide. We’ll be back with more interesting and dynamic solution seekers this time next week, and until then: Live the difference!

“I think the change needs to come from everyone and not be left to young people. But unfortunately it is us and vulnerable communities that will suffer the most.”
~ Katta O’Donnell, law student, 23

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“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
~ Jane Goodall, British ethologist



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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Fight for our reef

Today we received this audacious message from Darren Kindleysides, CEO of the Australian Marine Conservation Society:

An audacious message

“Their coral homes damaged, vulnerable animals like our iconic clownfish and ancient green turtles are teetering on the edge. Their futures hang on the decisions being made today.

Politicians are starting to think we have forgotten that our Great Barrier Reef is in peril. They are wrong. 

It’s time to send them a message that will echo across Australia.

This is just one of the many billboards our team is booking right now. This will be the biggest advertising campaign we have ever run. 

Donate for Melbourne billboards

We have booked billboards at busy intersections in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, and we’re securing spots in shopping centres nation-wide.

Supporters have been writing, calling and emailing, telling us that they think politicians need a wakeup call. And with the Queensland election in only a few months, it is crucial we remind our politicians what is at stake before it’s too late. Timing is critical for our Reef.

Help us plaster this powerful message on billboards around the country. Let’s push our politicians take to the action our Reef desperately needs. It’s up to you and me to make sure this climate and coral crisis is not forgotten at this pivotal time. 

We need your help to confront decision makers with this powerful truth. Can you chip in to get our Melbourne billboards locked in by Friday?

After the most catastrophic summer we have ever seen, it is clear – climate change has arrived, and we’re almost out of time.

Just months ago, our Great Barrier Reef was hit by the most widespread coral bleaching event we’ve ever seen. Once a rare occurrence, hot waters have damaged our beautiful reef ecosystem for the third time in five years.

We are faced with a choice. Do we want our children to swim in oceans that are full of colour and life? Or are we content for colourful clownfish to be just characters in a children’s movie – forgotten memories, lost forever more? 

It’s time to hit back. Inaction is unacceptable.

A donation from you will show political leaders around our country that we are watching, and they will be judged on their actions.

As Australians, it is our great good fortune to have colourful coral reefs, playful dolphins and turtles on our doorstep.

And it is our duty, our responsibility to safeguard them.

Thank you for all you for our oceans.

Darren Kindleysides
CEO, Australian Marine Conservation Society

P.S. I don’t want Australia’s iconic reef wildlife to be just characters in a children’s movie. Our politicians need to hear that message at this crucial time. Don’t miss this chance – donate to lock in a Melbourne billboard today.

Authorised by Adele Pedder, Australian Marine Conservation Society, 3/98 Woods St Darwin NT 0801

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→ The Guardian – 22 July 2020:

‘World-first’ legal case: student accuses Australia of misleading investors on climate risk

“Katta O’Donnell, 23, says her claim will put government ‘on trial for misconduct’ for failing to address climate change.”

→ My La Trobe – 31 July 2020:
How a lecture at La Trobe led Katta to file a world-first climate change lawsuit
“At just 23 years of age, Katta has been compared to another notable young climate activist, Greta Thunberg. Just like Thunberg, Katta is also attracting attention from people who don’t share her concern about the changing climate. “It is exciting but also daunting. I’m putting myself out there on an issue that is still surprisingly contentious,” she says.”

→ SBS The Feed – 23 July 2020:
Why this 23-year-old is suing the australian government over climate change
“Katta O’Donnell lived in a high-risk area in Victoria when the bushfires tore through Australia in the summer. She is now suing the Australian federal government for allegedly not disclosing financial risks associated with climate change.”

→ BBC News – 22 July 2020:
Student files climate change lawsuit against Australian government
“An Australian student has filed a lawsuit against her government for failing to make clear climate change-related risks to investors in government bonds.”

→ ABC News – 22 July 2020:
Australian Government sued by 23-year-old Melbourne student over financial risks of climate change
“The world-first case alleges the Government failed in its duty to disclose climate change’s impact on the value of government bonds. The case is being led by a 23-year-old student and investor who says she did it to “protect her future”. Experts say it could open the floodgates for other litigation by tying climate change to real-world financial risk.”

→ Financial Times – 28 July 2020:
Why we need to declare a global climate emergency now
“It is cheap insurance for future generations to match the risk with action to preserve the ecosystems we all need.”

Murdoch’s influence on Australian climate denial

Rupert Murdoch’s son James has dramatically resigned from the board of his father’s media empire citing disagreements with editorial content. Media insiders are saying James’ departure is likely to “grant even more influence to his brother Lachlan” who shares his “father’s more conservative views.” 

GetUp writes that in Australia, the impact on the media empire’s climate reporting could be devastating, as Australia already suffers the world’s third highest rate of climate denial, with a proven link to where people get their news.

→ ABC News – 1 August 2020:
James Murdoch resigns from News Corp board over ‘certain editorial content’ in news outlets

→ BBC News – 1 August 2020:
News Corp: Rupert Murdoch’s son James quits company

→ The Guardian – 2 August 2020:
James Murdoch’s exit paves way for News Corp to move further right

→ The Conversation – 16 June 2020:
The number of climate deniers in Australia is more than double the global average, new survey finds

Stop the cash splash for gas

Lock the Gate wrote:

“Across the country, the Federal Government’s hand-picked Covid Commission Advisory Board is stacked with gas company reps trying to directly profit from the pandemic. They’re pushing for a massive gas expansion across Australia.

In a leaked report, the Advisory Board has called for billions of dollars in direct taxpayer subsidies for gas, lifting state bans on dangerous fracking and cuts to environmental protection. We simply can’t afford to let the gas industry get away with it.

On Friday September 25 2020, we’ll be joining with First Nations communities, young people, workers, businesses and unions to demand that public money is used to build our future, not gas. Will you join us?

The Covid Commission’s plan would force invasive gasfields onto First Nations and regional communities. It could lock in Australia’s reliance on high cost gas and increase emissions for decades to come.

Communities are under pressure for gasfields from the precious Kimberley and Mid-West regions of WA to the Northern Territory’s beautiful outback, the farmlands of Queensland and NSW’s Narrabri and Pilliga regions.

First Nations and regional communities are saying no to a fracked future. Your continued support has protected massive areas of this continent from gasfields so far, and we’re asking you to join us again. 

We need a recovery plan that builds our future, not gas. Register now or join an event in your community and help stop the cash splash for gas!

“If there was any real case for new gas projects and pipelines, these companies would not be begging for a taxpayer funded bailout. It’s time for the federal government to disband this Advisory Board stacked with vested interests. Join us on Sept 25 to demand that our governments assist our communities to recover and rebuild stronger for the future.” 
~ Gadrian Hoosan, Gulf of Carpentaria Traditional Owner.    


The broad network is calling for recovery funds to be invested in:

  1. Resourcing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led solutions that guarantee land rights and care for Country.
  2. Jobs creation that fast-tracks solutions to the climate crisis, and
  3. 100% renewable energy, through expanded public ownership.

The September 25 action also coincides with an international day of action through the Fridays for Future network. Young people around the world will be leading global actions to demand a covid recovery that puts the climate and our future first. 

With hope for a fairer future,


PS: Would you like to get more information on how you can organise an event? Join a webinar on Thursday 13 August 2020 at 6pm AEST (5:30 NT/SA time and 4pm WA time). This will be a special online briefing to answer questions you might have and to connect you with resources and support.” 

Lock the Gate Alliance


Tesco and deforestation

Flo from Greenpeace wrote:

From the climate emergency to the destruction of the natural world – and of course, this global pandemic we’re living through – these are not easy times. But did you know these three emergencies are closely connected? Supermarkets like Tesco are relying on an industrial meat system that is slashing and burning our forests and having catastrophic effects on our climate, nature and our health too. Will you ask Tesco to stop buying meat from forest destroyers to help tackle this triple emergency?

Sign the petition

Forests are being cleared and replaced with cattle ranches and soya farms for animal feed. In the process, vast amounts of CO2 are released into the atmosphere, Indigenous Peoples are subjected to violence, and natural habitats are destroyed, which increases the risk of future pandemics by shaking viruses loose from their natural hosts. [1] 

The rising demand for meat in the UK and around the world has created a destructive, greedy and bloated meat industry. And Tesco is supporting it by buying meat from companies owned by JBS – the biggest meat producer in the world – which has repeatedly been found guilty of driving deforestation in the Amazon. [2] 

Tesco has the power to help break the destructive cycle of industrial meat production by refusing to stock products from companies owned by forest destroyers like JBS. But until they hear it from the public, Tesco will keep making the excuse that consumers don’t want to see change. 

That’s why we’re asking Tesco to drop Amazon forest destroyers from their supply chains. And to tackle the climate emergency, they also need to replace half their meat products with plant-based alternatives by 2025. 

*If you ever shop at Tesco, don’t forget to tick the box on the petition form – as a customer your voice is even more important to them.*
Sign the petition
There is nothing natural about industrial meat: forest fires are started deliberately each year to clear rich, biodiverse forest to grow UK chicken feed in its place. This system is churning out nearly three million chickens every day. By selling industrial meat, our supermarkets and fast food companies are supporting this destructive system. Some investors are already taking a stand – but we need food companies to go further. [3] Ask Tesco to act now to preserve the forest that we have left, and protect people, our planet and our health.
Sign the petition
Take care, stay well, and thank you for all that you do. 

[1] Unearthed: Breaking down the Amazon, how deforestation could drive the next pandemic
Or watch the video on Facebook
[2] Greenpeace blog: Why meat is bad for the environment
The Guardian: Revealed: new evidence links Brazil meat giant JBS to Amazon deforestation
[3] The Guardian: Investors drop Brazil meat giant JBS

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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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The Sustainable Hour is normally streamed live on the Internet every Wednesday from 11am to 12pm (Melbourne time), but due to the corona lockdown, the radio station has been closed.

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