This is your moment in time

The Sustainable Hour #328

Guest in The Tunnel on 19 August 2020 is Michelle Maloney – entering at 29 minutes in the podcast. Not being content with co-founding the New Economy Network Australia, she did the same for the Australian Earth Laws Alliance. Michelle is an extremely inspirational women who just oozes positive energy. Zoom does nothing to diminish the spark in her eyes. With practical solutions and a big vision, she empowers people to help create the better world so many of us are yearning for. It’s as though ‘Yes we will’ is her personal motto as she tells us about her latest projects called Beyond Crisis and Green Prints.

We listen to Sonya McKay‘s passionate call for a gas free Australia as she spoke on 25 July 2020 at the Narrabri Gas Project Public Hearing. Her speech was one of over 400.

As usual Colin Mockett takes us all over the world today in his Global Outlook: Firstly he introduces us to Cherry Murray who is co-chair of the InterAcademy Partnership, a world body of scientists. This consists of the Academies of Sciences from 140 countries. As the spokesperson for such a reputable organisation, her words should carry weight. She joins the legion of organisations urging governments to follow the science in their post-Covid economic recovery plans. Next we visit Mauritius where yet more toxic diesel oil has leaked into the ocean. This time from a ruptured Japanese tanker. We learn why diesel is much worse for the aquatic environment than ordinary crude oil. Finally we get an update of our performance on the UN’s ranking of countries in terms of their ecological performance – no cause for joy here as Colin compares Australia’s 2018 ranking to this year’s.

Rounding off the hour, we welcome back Juice Media for their irreverent satirical take of the way our Federal Government sells us short. STRONG LANGUAGE WARNING.

Our final item is a song entitled ‘I Once Loved the Land Called Australia’ which is not only a nostalgic look at our country in better times, but also a call for building local resilience and a better way to live.

This is our moment in time. Till this time next week, educate yourselves and #VoteTheDifference.

If you like what we do, please share us far and wide.


“The thing that’s been great is we have tried to really just open up the conversation of ‘don’t we all want a fair, just and healthy society?’ and very few people say ‘No!’. So if you change the conversation or change the framing, you find that most people want the same stuff … But to talk about the economy with mainstream people, one thing I have found is if you talk about having core objectives of caring for each other and supporting each other and flourishing and being able to live on a planet forever rather than desecrate it, most people will come together on these values.”
~ Michelle Maloney, co-founder of New Economy Network Australia and Australian Earth Laws Alliance


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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?

“Greenland’s ice sheet may have shrunk past the point of return, with the ice likely to melt away no matter how quickly the world reduces climate-warming emissions, new research suggests.”
~ Reuters, 15 August 2020

“Scientists studied data on 234 glaciers across the Arctic territory spanning 34 years through 2018 and found that annual snowfall was no longer enough to replenish glaciers of the snow and ice being lost to summertime melting. That melting is already causing global seas to rise about a millimeter on average per year. If all of Greenland’s ice goes, the water released would push sea levels up by an average of 6 meters — enough to swamp many coastal cities around the world. This process, however, would take decades.”

→ Phys.org – 13 August 2020:
Warming Greenland ice sheet passes point of no return
“Nearly 40 years of satellite data from Greenland shows that glaciers on the island have shrunk so much that even if global warming were to stop today, the ice sheet would continue shrinking.”

→ Reuters – 15 August 2020:
‘Canary in the coal mine’: Greenland ice has shrunk beyond return, study finds
“Greenland’s ice sheet may have shrunk past the point of return, with the ice likely to melt away no matter how quickly the world reduces climate-warming emissions, new research suggests.”

“Today, leaders all over the world are speaking of an “existential crisis”. The climate emergency is discussed on countless panels and summits. Commitments are being made, big speeches are given. Yet, when it comes to action we are still in a state of denial. The climate and ecological crisis has never once been treated as a crisis.”
~ Greta Thunberg, Swedish teenager and climate activist

→ The Guardian – 19 August 2020:
We may have just seen the world’s highest recorded temperature ever. Has that sunk in?
“Death Valley’s forbidding landscape registered a preliminary high temperature of 54.4°C / 129.9°F on 16 August. Don’t look away.”

The Arctic experienced its first 100°F day on record on 17 June 2020 when the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk hit 100.4°F (38°C).



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Michelle Maloney

The Sustainable Hour interview with Michelle Maloney

Greenprints has been created because while we have ‘blueprints’ to document and plan the design of building and engineering projects, we don’t yet have effective ‘greenprints’ to help us construct the governance systems we need, to build regenerative, bioregional, Earth-centred human societies that can nurture the Earth community and flourish in a post-carbon, climate changed world.

Greenprints offers a practical way to draw on existing and emerging approaches for creating sustainable, regenerative and economically secure societies, within the unique limits of local and bioregional place.

→ Read about the Greenprints Steps


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School strike event: Time to go gas free

A damning report released by one of the Australian government’s own bodies has shown that the gas industry is ‘dysfunctional’, and ‘failing to support any form of recovery’ and in fact, there is already such an oversupply of gas, ships full of the stuff are ‘sailing in circles’ because nobody wants to buy it.

“Yet, the government is pushing forward with its plan to prop up this failing industry and line the pockets of their mates in the gas industry with billions of dollars instead of building a fair, just and sustainable future,” writes Emillia, a South Australian school striker, who is mobilising for an event on 25 September, titled ‘Fund Our Future – Not Gas’.

→ RenewEconomy – 17 August 2020:
Dysfunctional gas industry failing Australian consumers with inflated prices

→ Sydney Morning Herald – 16 July 2020:
Sailing around in circles: LNG tankers idle at sea as buyers delay cargoes

We’re ready for renewables – not gas! Are you in?

Freja Leonard from Lock the Gate wrote on 18 August 2020:

“Have you seen the torrent of media stories in recent weeks about the federal government’s plans to fund a gas industry expansion with our public money?*

Yep, you heard right! This shocking waste of cash is being pushed on advice from the hand-picked, big-business and gas industry reps on the Covid Commission Advisory Board. 

The Covid Board is pushing hard for massive subsidies and other expensive ways to prop up this destructive industry – and our government looks set to back their self-serving agenda.

We can’t let this harmful gas-focused approach further endanger our water, land, communities and climate. Will you join our new campaign for a renewables-led recovery?

We know that we need renewables NOT gas for a sustainable, healthy future for our communities, our environment AND our economy. 

We must do whatever we can to counter the gas lobby and direct public money for public good: clean water and prosperous communities. 

That’s why we’re calling on the government to provide Australia with strong leadership to deliver a renewables-led future. Will you join us?

Coal and gas have received taxpayer support for far too long. It’s time we invested our money wisely on safe and sustainable industries, and towards a clean energy future.

Right now is the time for bold, decisive action. Will you be a part of our new Ready for Renewables campaign and help make this happen?

SIGN THE PETITION

We’re excited about our new campaign to replace gas with renewables. 

Australia can be a global leader in renewables and we look forward to working with you to make this happen in the weeks and months ahead.

Thank you for being part of the solution,

Freja Leonard
Renewables not Gas Program Coordinator
Lock the Gate Alliance

*See for example:

Morrison prepares a gas plan to boost economy out of the pandemic

Covid Commission advised Morrison to underwrite gas pipelines, but ignored green jobs

COVID taskforce urges government support for new gas projects

→ Lock the Gate Alliance’s media release on this shocking waste of money on gas.

→ Lock the Gate Alliance’s home page: www.lockthegate.org.au

https://twitter.com/EnviroVic/status/1295861932168159234?s=20

One week left to stop AGL

Rai Miralles from Environment Victoria wrote on 19 August 2020:

“AGL, Australia’s biggest climate polluter, is pushing ahead with getting approvals for a gas import terminal in Westernport Bay.

We have only one week left to give feedback on AGL’s application for environmental approval for their destructive gas plan. As the clock ticks down, it’s crucial Minister Wynne and the Inquiry and Advisory Committee hear from people across Victoria opposing a new fossil fuel project and calling for protection of our precious wetlands and wildlife.

AGL have put together more than 11,000 pages of technical reports to review and respond to. This is an impossible job for anyone to do alone – particularly with only seven days to go.

So, we’ve made it easy. Our new 8-question survey will automatically transform your responses into a full, unique submission. You’ll have an opportunity to read and edit your submission before it is sent.

If thousands of us make submissions against AGL’s polluting gas plans we can make the opposition to this project impossible for AGL or the Victorian government to ignore.

Making a submission can be intimidating, but we want everyone to be able to participate and have a say. This survey tool will make it easier than ever to make your voice heard in this complicated process.

You don’t need to be an expert. You just have to care about what happens to Westernport Bay and the precious wildlife who call it home. Having a say is as simple as answering some multiple-choice questions about what you think are the biggest risks if Minister Wynne allows AGL to proceed with building this polluting gas import terminal in one of Victoria’s most special natural places.

Once you’re done, the options you’ve selected will automatically turn into a full submission. Then you’ll have an opportunity to read the text we’ve pre-written. You’ll also be able to edit it so it better reflects your views on the project and add details we might have missed.

We’re working with teams from Save Westernport, the Victorian National Parks Association, Environmental Justice Australia and volunteers from across Victoria to review AGL’s technical reports and ensure AGL are subject to one of the most rigorous environmental impact assessments on record. But this alone won’t be enough.

The more people make submissions against this project, the stronger the message will be that AGL does not have the social license to operate a gas import terminal in an internationally-recognised Ramsar wetland.

To really get their attention, let’s work together to break the record for the greatest number of submissions made to the Victorian government. The record is just under 1,000 submissions and is currently held by community opposition to the North-East link.

Can you write a submission and help us set a new record?

Together, we can keep this dirty gas project from going ahead. Thank you for speaking up to protect our precious wetlands and our climate.”

→ Complete the survey here: Write your submission



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Permission to double coal output

→ The Sydney Morning Herald – 12 August 2020:
Whitehaven wins nod for plan to double Vickery’s annual coal output
“NSW’s Independent Planning Commission has approved Whitehaven Coal’s $607 million Vickery mine expansion while imposing 184 conditions on the plan that will double peak yearly coal output and disturb an extra 776 hectares.”

The Independent Planning Commission’s determination comes a day after the Resources Regulator issued 16 charges against Whitehaven over alleged breaches to its mining and exploration licences.

Comments on Linkedin.com
“Unbelievable. In what possible world could that project be deemed to be “in the public interest”? How does robbing future generations of a future while polluting the present while driving mass extinction, sea level rise and condemning civilised nations to their demise constitute the public interest? They say ignorance of the law is no excuse, the same thing should hold true for ecocide.”
~ Shane Ward, Founder at Action Ecology

“Truly, I despair…. Giant Whitehaven coal mine expansion approved the day after the company is facing 16 charges for breaching NSW mining laws. Matt Kean MP, Premier Berejiklian – how can you let this go on – and on – when we know that NSW is already being hit by climate change impacts with huge costs — lives and communities? Remember last summer’s deadly bushfires? Clearly not.”
~ Blair Palese, Climate Editor, Climate & Capital Media

Tim Clifford listing ‘fossil fuel donations’

“I can understand why so many people in our community feel hard done by when politicians consistently choose to listen to the folks in the oil and gas industry instead of scientists and community. It helps that these large corporations give hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations. We need to clean our democracy.”
~ Tim Clifford MLC

“In other countries political bribes are illegal. In Australia they are called “donations” and the figures are staggering. Just listen to some of the ones we know about. Many politicians on the receiving end of these generous payments go into jobs with the same companies, writing policies and advising who to make the next donations to. It’s no wonder our corruption ranking has risen every year for the last eight years.”
~ Ta Lia



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Surf Coast youth zoom in on climate action

Media release from Surf Coast Shire on 18 August 2020:

“Surf Coast Youth 4 Climate (SCY4C), a new youth-led group formed with support from Council, are continuing their environmental advocacy work online, despite challenges posed during the pandemic.

The group of 11 (ranging in age from 11 to 20) have completed a series of workshops run by local facilitators, connected with existing climate leaders and undertaken team building activities – all via Zoom.

Alanna Fitzgerald, 14, from Anglesea said with fellow members residing in Jan Juc, Torquay and Aireys Inlet, Zoom allows them to continue to “call for climate action” despite the current restrictions.

“The group was originally designed to utilise Zoom so we didn’t have to drive to different places, it’s easier online and it turned out really well with coronavirus,” Alanna said.

“The big thing we want to do is take action, we (the youth) are trying to act now because we’re the ones who will have to experience the effects of climate change.

“We’re taking action for generations to come. It’s about getting out there and actually doing things: tree planting, collecting rubbish – it’s about doing more and talking less.”

The group has completed workshops to assist in filming, photography and editing; public speaking, leadership and event planning, cyber safety in collaboration with Victoria Police, and digital story telling with Humankind Enterprises and the 2040 Project.

“It’s a range of skills that will help us get our message out there to people on the Surf Coast. If there’s teens wanting to save the environment and take action then that’s a good thing.”

On 20 September, Sustainable House Day SCY4C will run an online seminar about simple, cost-effective household changes to help the environment including: growing and purchasing local food, utilising renewable energy and effective waste management.

Surf Coast Shire Torquay Ward Councillor Martin Duke said the initiative is part of the youth development project Our Living Futures.

“Our Living Futures aims to empower young people in the shire as role models and leaders in response to Climate Emergency,” Cr Duke said.

“It’s great to see young people staying connected during this time and pursuing their climate action goals online. Surf Coast Youth 4 Climate is supported by Surf Coast Shire’s Youth Development and Sustainability Teams.”

To launch the program, Wadawurrung traditional owner Corrina Eccles ran a cultural awareness workshop where the group learned about engaging with local Indigenous groups, and created their own Acknowledgment of Country – now used at the beginning of all meetings and workshops.

Despite the challenges an exclusively virtual meeting place has presented, it has allowed members that might’ve previously missed out due to distance, school commitments or COVID-19 restrictions, to be involved and form new connections.”



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“Shit happens when good men do nothing!”



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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.

» To listen to the program on your computer or phone, click here – or go to www.947thepulse.com where you then click on ‘Listen Live’ on the right.

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