Now or never: kicking off a climate revolution

Hi all sustainable listeners – here we go for yet another year of our podcasts where we focus on solutions to the climate emergency we face, and in the process give you, our valued listeners, hope and motivation to become part of the solution along with us.

As we discuss in today’s podcast, the solution will have to be to become nothing less than a revolutionary. Welcome to the climate revolution of 2021.

We have two guests in ‘The Tunnel’ of the 348th Sustainable Hour.

It’s February and that only means one thing in Victoria, Australia: The SLF, or the National Sustainable Living Festival. Once again we have its director Luke Taylor outlining what wonders we can expect in this year’s program, which runs all through February. He directs us to to find out what is happening each and every February day, and also how the National Climate Emergency Summit 2021 will present a series of critical conversations – Reset.21 forum series – to advance strategy and responses to the climate emergency.

Following Luke, we zoom over to Sweden, where we meet one of that country’s leading sustainability consultants Mats Larsson who has just written a book that has been receiving very good reviews. We hear him reflect on why he wrote the book – titled ‘Blind Guardians of Ignorance: Covid-19, Sustainability and Our Vulnerable Future – A Handbook for Change Leaders, Young and Old’ – and what he hopes it will achieve. In the process we learn much about the political process in his country.

Rounding out the show today we have an item from our youth reporter Ben Pocock. In it, Ben reflects on his school’s Climate Council by interviewing friends who were on that Council with him. We learn about what they consider to be their successes as well as what they could have done better during a very Covid-19-interrupted 2020 school year.

Ben has just started high school and is keen to continue filing youth reports for The Sustainable Hour. We wish him all the very best in his secondary education and look forward to getting reports when he finds his feet at his new school.

Before Colin Mockett starts his Global Outlook, Mik Aidt chimes in excitedly with news of the historic findings of a worldwide survey of 1.2 million people commissioned by the United Nations and conducted by Oxford University – findings showing a world wide support for real action on climate plus an overwhelming acceptance by people that we do in fact face a climate emergency.

Yes once again Colin hits the ground running. Today he starts us off in the US where the new president Joe Biden has has set very ambitious targets backed up by funding in proportion to the need. Next, still in the US, we hear about the announcement by one of the biggest vehicle maker’s plans to stop making internal combustion motor cars – which Colin calls ‘explotion-driven cars’.

Following this, Colin takes us to South East Asia where we learn about the significant climate targets that Japan, South Korea and China have set. He concludes with a positive prediction about the future of rally cars from a very unlikely source.

That’s it for this week. Find more info and audio excerpts in the notes below on this page.

Wow, we are only two weeks away from show number 350 – there’s no way when we started out that we thought we’d ever still be broadcasting into our eighth year.

We look forward to continued support from our loyal listeners. We have said right from the start that we don’t want communications with you guys to be one-way: we welcome feedback as well as suggestions for future topics for us to explore as well people to interview. Because we now record the show via zoom, the sky is the limit as far as who we can have on the show. If time differences make it impossible to record at our usual time, we can accommodate that as we are quite flexible time wise. So please send in those suggestions.

In 2021 we will continue our focus on First Nation sustainability and justice matters, regenerative farming and the impacts of the climate crisis on sport as well as sport’s contribution to that crisis. However we will also look at local, regional, state, national and international sustainability projects and the people leading them.

All the while we’ll be unrelenting in our critical approach to a lack of political leadership for real action on climate, plus the absolute necessity for us to all realise just how harmful our economic system and current lifestyles are and that it doesn’t have to be that way if enough of us don’t want it to be like that.

We look forward to another year of truth-telling and hope-giving. Until next week, keep educating yourself about the climate emergency, see the systems you are a part of, allow others to help you and ask for help when you need it, find your role – we each have a special skill we can offer – and live in accordance with your values the best you can… In short: join the climate revolution.

“We have a moral responsibility to tell people the truth. In doing this, there’s always the possibility that telling people just how bad things are will make them feel helpless, but if this is accompanied by assurances that there are solutions to this crisis if enough people are prepared to stand up to demand them, that possibility is much less likely. (…) We need more people to take a leading role in this, and that is why the subtitle of my book is, ‘Handbook for change leaders, young and old’. There is a need for someone to lead.”
~ Mats Larsson, Swedish sustainability consultant and author of the recently released book ‘The Blind Guardians of Ignorance – Covid-19, Sustainability and Our Vulnerable Future: Handbook For Change Leaders, Young and Old’

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“We can’t let the fossil fuel lobby continue to stand in the way.”
~ Richie Merzian, Climate Director, The Australian Institute, speaking at the People’s Climate Assembly on the lawns of the Australian Parliament on 2 February 2021



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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“We have to move rapidly. What we do over the next two-three years, I believe, is going to determine the future of humanity.”
~ Sir David King, Former Chief Scientific Adviser for the United Kingdom

Luke Taylor, director of the National Sustainable Living Festival
32-minute interview with Luke Taylor in The Sustainable Hour no 348
Sir David King: “All Accelerating.”

Sir David King – former Chief Scientific Adviser for the United Kingdom – gave a presentation about the urgency of the matter last night at the National Climate Emergency Summit 2021 opening event “Matters of facts – the science of getting it right”.

National Climate Emergency Summit 2021:
Watch it here:

→ Watch the video recording of last night’s event in Melbourne with Jo Chandler and David Spratt on stage, and Sir David King and climate scientist from UNSW Sydney Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick contributing via Zoom, on

Check out some of the upcoming highlights in this year’s NSLF as we reconnect you with a summer of sustainability in 2021.

Join writer and researcher Sisonke Msimang to explore what unique events of the past year teach us? What aspects of the unparalleled COVID response could be activated to help deal with the climate emergency?
THU 4 FEB | 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

This talk invites two built environment practitioners and two Traditional Owners to share their experiences of projects they have undertaken together.
MON 1 FEB | 6:15 PM – 7:15 PM


Two expert speakers will explore the physical and emotional effects of the climate emergency on our wellbeing and how we can build resilience.
THUR 4 FEB | 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM


This panel of compelling design storytellers congregates around the field of biodesign to reconcile, decolonise, and indigenise our urban environment.
SAT 6 FEB | 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM


Learn about solar passive design, biotecture, and sustainable architecture through these participatory workshops, and then tour the Kinship Earthship with an opportunity for Q&A.



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Handbook for change leaders – young and old

Interview with sustainability consultant and author Mats Larsson in The Sustainable Hour no 348.

‘Handbook for change leaders – young and old’ is an expertly researched piece on the challenges our world is facing in terms of the urgent need to move towards sustainability, and a critique of the world leaders who are content to blindly lead us with no solid plans in sight or in action.

Politicians, business leaders, and sustainability experts have assumed that market forces will drive the transformation to sustainability. This book explains in clear language why this view is wrong and what we need to do to prepare for the future of humanity. Governments will have a key role to play in this process, and they need a wake-up call.

The Covid-19 pandemic is not the last surprise that awaits present generations. In 2020 people across the globe have realized that governments have failed to prepare for important challenges, even highly probable ones predicted by experts for decades. Greta Thunberg has scolded world leaders for not doing more to stop global warming. Greta and other experts seem to believe that there are plans for the transformation to sustainability waiting in the drawers of heads of state to become implemented, but there are no such plans.

Sustainability experts have focused on climate change — nobody has developed the large-scale solutions that Greta asks for. Instead, politicians, business leaders, and sustainability experts have assumed that market forces will drive the transformation to e-mobility, the circular economy, and a sustainable society. In fact, very little has been done to develop the large-scale systems that are needed to replace the present production and distribution systems of the global economy.

There are 6 million electric cars, 0.5 per cent of global car fleets. At the present rate it would take 500 years to replace existing car fleets and there is no solution for long-distance transportation ready to be implemented. In the case of resource efficient production and distribution systems, countries have made even less progress.

Very large investments will be necessary to build sustainable and resilient societies. Covid-19 shows that conscious measures, driven by governments, are needed to prepare for large-scale challenges. The transformation to sustainability involves large investments and management of large-scale transformation programmes, reminiscent of the largest development programmes ever performed by mankind.

Few decision makers are aware of the measures that need to be taken to make the global economy sustainable and resilient. Countries need to prepare for a challenging future. Can globalization continue or do countries need to build an entirely new type of economy?”

‘The Blind Guardians of Ignorance – Covid-19, Sustainability and Our Vulnerable Future: Handbook For Change Leaders, Young and Old’ is published by Imprint Academic in the United Kingdom.

→ Link up with Mats Larsson on and

Flipping oil to electric. Globalism and Green Politics with Mats Larsson
Robert talks with Swedish author Mats Larsson about the power consumption we use and how we use it in these Covid-19 times. How can oil power be replaced by electricity, is it viable, reasonable and inevitable?

Fully Charged podcast

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“We see young people taking on responsibility – and demanding it of others. Mindsets are shifting. Climate action is the barometer of leadership in today’s world. It is what people and planet need at this time.”
~ Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

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Ben Pocock, youth reporter
Ben Pocock’s report for The Sustainable Hour no 348: Interview with members of his school’s Climate Council

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Bill for extreme weather diasters in Australia since 2010: $35 billion

The cost of extreme weather disasters in Australia has more than doubled since the 1970s, reaching $35 billion for the decade 2010-2019.

The Climate Council’s latest extreme weather report, ‘Hitting Home: The Compounding Costs of Climate Change’ found that extreme weather disasters are costing Australians dearly – more than $35 billion in the last decade alone, a figure that has doubled since the 1970s.

In alignment with the IPCC, the Climate Council has stated that Australia needs to at least halve its emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero by no later than 2040. However, to reach the goal of 1.5 degrees set by the Paris Agreement, Australia must reduce emissions by 74 per cent by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2035, according to an analysis by the newly created Climate Targets Panel, which includes leading Australian climate scientists such as professors Will Steffen, Lesley Hughes and Malte Meinshausen, as well as former Liberal leader John Hewson.

Bureau of Meteorology recently gave evidence to the Senate that current world targets have Australia on track to warm by a catastrophic 4.4 degrees by the end of the century. The verdict on Australia’s emissions targets: “catastrophic”.

Across the planet in 2020 a record 50 disasters sparked more than $1 billion each in losses, which was also a record. 

Australians are five times more likely to be displaced by a climate-fuelled disaster than someone living in Europe.

Read about the report

Download the report (PDF)

What a 3-degree world would look like: “frightening”

We are currently on track for a 3-degree world, scientists tell us. In a radio report for the ABC, Laura Tingle asked climate scientist professor Will Steffen:

What would Australia look like with temperatures that were 3-degrees higher than they are now?

Professor Will Steffen replied:

“A 3-degree world is a pretty frightening one when you actually start looking at it in any detail.

Extreme heat would be beyond anything we’re experiencing now. A lot of what we call “extreme heat” – between 35 and 40 – might be considered a cool day during a summer with a 3-degree temperature rise.

The Great Barrier Reef would be gone.

Forests would probably burn as soon as they grow back. In fact, we probably wouldn’t have many forests – they would be converted to savannahs or grasslands.

The drought – the drying trend we’re experiencing in the south-west and the south-east in our major agricultural zones – is very likely to be much more severe and that means we may become a food importer rather than exporter. It’ll be really tough to grow the food that we need.

When you think about it, this is a world where you can actually plausibly say a collapse scenario could not be ruled out. This is going to be a really, really tough world just to live in, let alone survive in any sort of reasonable sense.”

→ Watch the ABC 7:30 report

→ Planet A Talks on climate change – 29 January 2021:
David Wallace-Wells – Are we creating an ‘Uninhabitable Earth’?
The Danish climate minister Dan Jørgensen talks with the American journalist and author David Wallace-Wells, who wrote the book ‘The Uninhabitable Earth’

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.



List of petitions where you could add your name

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Live-streaming on pause


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 where you then click on ‘Listen Live’ on the right.

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