Momentum for koalas, surfers, athletes and nature

On 4 November 2020, we open The Sustainable Hour no 339 with a clip from BBC filmmaker David Attenborough‘s powerful witness statement ‘A Life on Our Planet‘ – his outstanding first-hand account of humanity’s impact on nature.

Our three guests, as we leave our Hiatus in The Tunnel to explore the wild spaces of nature, are firstly Janine Duffy, president of the Koala Clancy Foundation, with lots of good news and good spirit to share around about increasing koala habitat in the Geelong region.

Our second guest is local longboard rider and founder of ‘Surfers for Climate’ Belinda Baggs. The Fight for the Bight campaign last year against a Norwegian oil company’s plans to drill for oil in the Bight saw 10,000s of surfers rocking up on the beaches around the country, and Belinda wants to keep up that momentum. We hear why she founded the organisation, what they are doing to engage Australia’s two-three million surfers, as well as what their future plans are.

Find out more about Surfers for Climate below on this page, and at – where you during the next seven days can support their fundraiser premiering a music video with Paul McCartney’s song ‘Wine Dark Open Sea’.

Our third guest is Craig Foster, a former Australian international soccer player, the face of soccer for many years on SBS News, and also long time advocate for refugee rights and now university lecturer in the role sport can play in helping to create a more just, inclusive and healthy world with a safe climate.

Just like the surfers are now jumping up on the climate activism wave, there are a number of sports groups who are backing up Craig Foster’s call for sports people to use their position of influence to stand up for a safe climate. We will continue to cover the rapidly increasing number of elite sports groups advocating for real action on climate over the next few weeks, so watch this space.

In acknowledging country today during this year’s National Aborigines & Islanders Day Observance Committee Week, we need to speak out against the atrocity that occurred on Djab Wurrung country near Ararat last Tuesday. Against the expressed wishes of the traditional custodians of that land, VicRoad contractors, aided by over 50 police and security guards, undertook the destruction of the Djab Wurrung’s Direction Tree, all to save a couple of minutes of driving as the highway is upgraded. Their embassy which had been there for three years was torn down, and the protectors, both First Peoples and Allies, were arrested and moved on. The following day a temporary Supreme Court injunction was granted to protect the other sacred trees in the area, expiring on Tuesday 17 November. This was yet another example of our First People feeling the wrath of the colonisers and having their wishes ignored. How can the Andrews Government be serious about negotiating a treaty when they do something like this? This treatment just has to stop. #TellTheTruth

Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook is once again very busy. Yes the fires are still burning in the western side of the United States – this week Colorado joined in when one off its iconic National Parks was shut down because the fires there were so intense and uncontrollable. We zoom to the Arctic where the sea isn’t freezing as it would normally do at this time of the year. Next we return closer to home where New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has surprised many people with her selection of a couple of her cabinet. Finally, across the Tasman to our shores where we see a Prime Minister facing more and more criticism for his idea of a gas-led recovery. This time from an unexpected source.

We always appreciate getting feedback from you, our listeners. Thank you for the warm letters with encouraging words and suggestions! Keep in touch via our Facebook page, put 28 November in your calendar as the National Day of Action against new fossil fuel projects – and till next Wednesday when we’ll be back on your devices: Be the difference.

“It is very hard to live with this knowledge, knowing that everyone around doesn’t know it. Or that everyone around you doesn’t believe it. Now we are getting to a stage where ordinary people are starting to listen to this, and they are starting to believe it, and governments are starting to discuss it. Big companies, insurance companies and banks are now starting to take action that will force governments to take further action on this. To know a problem is to solve a problem – almost. So we need to have this discussion if we are going to get anywhere towards solving it.”
~ Janine Duffy, president, Koala Clancy Foundation, about the climate and biodiversity emergency

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Watch David Attenborough’s witness statement – it could be the most important 80 minutes you spent this year

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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 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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Janine Duffy in The Sustainable Hour no 339

“We have to take things into our own hands and do this. Because the interest is there. People want to do it. Then let’s just go for it. (…)

We have got to climate-proof our koalas for the future. With climate change, they are going to need trees that are on fertile lowlands, close to water. So that’s what we are planning for in Victoria, while we still have good koala numbers down here. Now is the time to plan ahead, plan for the future and we’ll be able to keep our koalas alive.”

~ Janine Duffy, President, Koala Clancy Foundation

Janine Duffy:

Plant for the future

9,000 trees planted for koalas along rivers near You Yangs in Victoria

Koala Clancy Foundation planted over 9,000 native trees and shrubs along rivers and drainage lines from June to September 2020, and planning is underway for more in 2021.
→

WWF drones to spread eucalyptus seed in fire-affected areas 

Drones are currently being tested and funding sought, to disperse native plant seed across fire-ravaged eastern Australia. The drones can drop 40,000 seeds a day.
→ Read more on and

4,000 koala trees planted on Mornington Peninsula on 25 October

Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation have planted 4,000 native trees in their first season. 
→

→ Find more news stories in The Koala News & Science newsletter

Janine Duffy is president of the Koala Clancy Foundation

→ Website:

→ Facebook page:

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Belinda Baggs in The Sustainable Hour no 339

Belinda Baggs:

Surfers going all in for the climate

“We are all very united by the ocean. We spend intimate ocean-time together, and we are also all at our most vulnerable often, getting swamped by waves, getting changed in the parking lot, people see each other at their absolute worst, so we are all quite connected in that way. You are kind of stripped by all your power once you cross that shore line, and you are just at a whim with what the ocean is ready to hand out to you, and often the person at the day who is most successful at riding waves is the one who is the most connected. You are just connecting with this wild place, and with that comes a responsibility to to protect it as well.”


Surfers rally for climate action 

The biggest names in Australian surfing have banded together today to defend Australia’s coastline and the surfing lifestyle from the threat of climate change.

Surfers for Climate, founded by longboarding champion Belinda Baggs and former pro-surfer Johnny Abegg, is taking on the crucial challenge of bringing the Australian surf community together to protect the coastline from future threats.

“For surfers, the ocean is life,” Baggs said.

“Climate change, fuelled by the burning of fossil fuels, threatens everyone’s way of life. For the surfing community, this is a red alert. Everything we love is under threat.”

Australian surfers found their collective voice seeing off the Norweigian oil giants seeking to drill the Great Australian Bight in February this year, and have now come together to take on an even bigger challenge, climate change.

“The ocean has made me who I am. Now, we get the chance to help save it,” said Abegg.

“Through Surfers for Climate, we are standing to fight for the ocean, so my kids, and generations to come, can continue to ride waves in thriving oceans.

“Surfers for Climate will bring surfers together in a positive, fun and inspiring way. The ocean has shaped our country. And now, we must stand up and do what we can to create the future we all want.”

Legends of the sport, like pro surfers Adrian “Ace” Buchan, Laura Enever and Pacha Light have joined swimmer and ironman Ky Hurst, actor and director Simon Baker, surf filmmaker Jack McCoy, and musician Jack River as ambassadors for Surfers for Climate.

“The freedoms we had as kids, the thrills, spills and lessons learnt amongst the beauty and power of nature, it held us close. To think we could repay it by inaction breaks my heart,” Surfers for Climate ambassador Simon Baker said.

The surfer-led organisation’s launch today coincides with a remarkable collaboration between Jack McCoy and legendary Beatle Paul McCartney, who have created a new film clip to McCartney’s evocative homage to the ocean, “Wine Dark Open Sea,” featuring the hypnotic surfing of Belinda Baggs.

Surfers for Climate draws inspiration from the True Locals, First Nations’ people, their generational wisdom and connection to land, waters and culture. 

Surfers for Climate is an Australian-based registered charity fostering a broad alliance with other surfing and environmental groups, climate scientists and campaigners and surfing communities around the world. 



Podcast about a book and the daily ritual which connects the authors with the ocean and the planet

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Sport beginning to take a stand on climate

Craig Foster on why talking about the climate emergency is not “political”, it is “politisised”.

Guide for companies scaling up on climate action

A new guide outlining how companies can scale up climate action – with a checklist of steps and actions setting out how companies can show climate leadership.

→ Download the guide from

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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.



“The situation for our koalas has never been more dire”

Will you add your name and help save koalas threatened by recent developments? 
Save the NSW koalas ʕ•́ᴥ•̀ʔ

9,504 have signed 
DoSomething’s petition.
Let’s get to 10,000!
Sign now with a click

This petition calls on the NSW and federal governments to immediately protect every koala in NSW. Both governments recently approved the destruction of koala habitat in NSW.

There are three key reasons why we need to act immediately:

The 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires destroyed about a quarter of koala habitat on NSW public land. Thousands of koalas were burnt or killed. The number one threat to koalas is the destruction and fragmentation of koala habitat.

Without urgent government intervention, a NSW parliamentary inquiry found that koalas “will become extinct in NSW well before 2050.” In some parts of NSW and Australia, koalas are already locally endangered or extinct.

Despite these facts, the NSW Government is fast tracking the destruction of koala habitat. This is happening in places like AppinWilton, Port Stephens and other locations around NSW.

This petition calls for koala habitat to be urgently protected and for the NSW koala population to be doubled by 2050.

This petition also calls on Walker Corporation, Lendlease, Hanson Australia, NSW Forestry Corporation, Country Garden and other developers to safeguard koala habitat.

Following the devastation of the Black Summer bushfires, the situation for our koalas has never been more dire. Every koala and every koala tree needs to be protected. 

Peter FitzSimons article: ’Destruction of Appin koala habitat a disgrace’ – Sydney Morning Herald
Peter FitzSimons article: ’Premier, save our koalas’ – Sun-Herald
Read the 42 recommendations of the Upper House Koala Inquiry 2020.
Watch this CNN story on how the 2019-20 bushfires threatened the koala population in NSW:
Watch a woman attempting to save an injured koala in South Australia:

Petition posted by Jon Dee, NSW Australian of the Year (2010) on behalf of DoSomething:

Visit petition page

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