Renewables, rebellion and revolution in one

The Sustainable Hour no 357

To start us off in The Tunnel on 7 April 2021, we have Suzie Brown – the National Director of Australian Parents for Climate Action. Suzie joins us with news of AP4CA’s rapid growth and plans for how they’ll use their now considerable numbers to push for the political changes we need on climate.

She tells us about their ‘Solar Our Schools’ project. This pushes strongly for solar and battery arrays in all schools and child care facilities. These virtual power stations will result in considerable savings for schools of all sizes. They are focusing on both the State and Federal governments.

Suzie also talks of their plans on how they’ll use their numbers, especially in marginal electorates, during the lead up to the next Federal election. Finally, we hear of their campaign pushing for parents and grandparents to give their votes to their kids – #GiveTheKidsYourVote. See more info and links further below on this page.

Following Suzie, we have Akira Ellis, a 17-year-old gender queer climate activist with Extinction Rebellion Youth who last week took non-violent direct action against governments for their lack of meaningful action against the climate and ecological emergency. In our chat with Akira, we get a strong sense of what XR Youth is all about, why they did what they did, what the consequences were for them and why they just refuse to go away.

[At 47:08 min] Geelong Sustainability’s head of community campaigns, Sal Fisher brings news of the Geelong Energy Futures Forum on Wednesday 21 April. This forum came about when Viva Energy announced their plans for a floating gas hub in Corio Bay, which led to a group of concerned Geelong and district residents getting together to oppose their plans. This group just couldn’t accept that Geelong should continued to be powered by fossil fuels and are exercising their democratic rights to show there are 21st century energy options that won’t cost us the Earth – literally. More info below.

The Sustainable Hour is an active participant in this group and the energy revolution it is proposing. We’ll be there front and centre, in the lead up to April, on the night itself and after it as well.

Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook begins with us zooming to England where British Airways have announced they’ll be investing 24 million pounds into a new company which has huge plans to develop zero-emission aircraft running on hydrogen and electric power. Their very ambitious game-changer phased-in plan starts with a 20-seater aircraft with a range of 500 miles (925 km) by 2024, a 50-seater by 2026 and a 100-seater by 2030.

Then to Germany where two State elections that occurred in the wake of Angela Merkel’s leaving politics saw her ruling Christian Democratic Union party well beaten by the Greens, who are their coalition partners. The pundits now forecast that a Green win is highly possible in the forthcoming national election held later this year.

In London, US head of the American climate response, John Kerry, told a conference of energy providers that coal must be immediately abandoned if the world is to meet its Paris targets.

Finally, for today, we zoom back home where Kevin Rudd published an article telling future Australian governments that climate change should become a new pillar of their foreign policies.

That’s all for another week – please join us again next week when we’ll be highlighting more ingredients for the climate and ecological revolution. Be the difference.

Akira Ellis blockading a busy highway in Melbourne

“We ended up deciding on that wording, ‘We refuse to be the last generation’, because we felt it really got across how we felt about the situation: to show that we choose not to accept that politicians, the people who are paid to to look after our futures can ignore or intentionally, do nothing about it. We are not happy, and we do not consent to that happening.”
~ Akira Ellis, 17-year-old Extinction Rebellion Youth activist in Victoria, Australia

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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 the climate emergency 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?

“When it came to Covid, we listened to the scientists, and we took action on that. Covid is also a good example of that we can take action quickly in the situation of an emergency. And when it comes to climate, it IS an emergency. We do need and we can actually take action. It is just a matter of politicians sucking it up and holding themselves accountable to the responsibility that they have been given by the people that have voted them in.”
~ Akira Ellis, 17-year-old Extinction Rebellion Youth activist in Victoria, Australia

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Join Lily D’Ambrosio at the Geelong Energy Futures Forum

Sally Fisher, Geelong Sustainability, wrote:

“Energy impacts how we work, live and play, and the ongoing health and prosperity of our community.

Will you join us at the Geelong Energy Futures Forum? We’ll hear how Geelong can transition to clean, cheap, and reliable energy that’s good for our planet, while creating new jobs and vibrant industries so that communities in our region can thrive.


What: Geelong Energy Futures Forum
Wednesday 21 April from 7pm-9pm
Where: Geelong West Town Hall, 153 Pakington Street, Geelong West, VIC 3218
RSVP: Online at Eventbrite

The Forum’s opening address will be delivered by The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Solar Homes. The MC is Tony Gleeson, Host of The Sustainable Hour, 94.7 The Pulse.

Other speakers and topics include:

  • Simon Holmes à Court, Senior Advisor at the University of Melbourne Energy Transition Hub. Topic: How is Australia’s energy transition going? Wins and challenges.
  • Dan Cowdell, Community Energy Partner at Mondo. Topic: Where are the solar, wind, battery and other opportunities to power Geelong’s clean energy transition?
  • Ian Dunlop, Independent Advisor & Commentator, Climate Change & Energy. Topic: Why is the energy transition critical and urgent, and what are the drivers?
  • Gemma Harrison, Sustainability Engineer and Development Manager at ENGV. Topic: What is the ‘hydrogen powered future’ about, and what does it mean for Geelong?
  • Imogen Jubb, Zero Carbon Communities Project Manager, Beyond Zero Emissions. Topic: How are Australian cities accelerating their energy transitioning plans?
  • Colin Long, President of the Victorian Trades Hall Council. Topic: Can Geelong benefit from job opportunities from the clean energy transition?
  • Greg Foyster and Rai Miralles, Environment Victoria. Topic: Is Victoria’s ‘looming’ winter gas shortfall real and, if so, what are our options?

Light supper will be served following the Q&A.

Will you join us there? RSVP NOW

I hope to see you there for this conversation about a cleaner, fairer world – for Geelong and all Australian communities.”

Geelong Sustainability Group is part of a network of independently organised, volunteer-run groups in the ACF community. ACF will pass on your contact details to the host for the purpose of running the event.

It’s up to all of us to slow the spread of COVID-19. Please stay home and do not attend this event if you feel unwell or if you are showing any COVID symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat or fatigue). Additionally, do not attend the event if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or have had direct contact with an individual diagnosed with or suspected to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Stay up to date with public health guidelines from

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14,000 parents come together to act on climate

Australian Parents for Climate Action was born as a seed of an idea at the School Strike for Climate in November 2018. Like many parents who have attended these inspiring, emotional and thought-provoking events, our Founder and National Director Suzie Brown walked away thinking “I can do more, and I can’t leave it up to my child to stop climate change!”

So alongside a committed group of like-minded parents who felt the same way, Suzie set up Australian Parents for Climate Action – to be the vehicle for concerned parents who want to influence government and big business in Australia to do more on climate.

Australian Parents for Climate Action has since grown into 30 local groups and 14,000 active parents working together to create a brighter future for our children.

The organisation’s new logo encapsulates the energy and optimism for a safer planet, if we all unite and work towards positive change.

If you have time and skills and would like to volunteer with AP4CA, you can contact

→ Australian Parents for Climate Action’s website:

Order an AP4CA T-shirt to show the world you care about climate action

“Show you care about climate every day of the year – but especially at the May 21 #ClimateStrike – by wearing our LIMITED EDITION Australian Parents for Climate Action t-shirt, featuring our funky new logo!

Choose from a black or white t-shirt with our colourful logo – either way, you’ll look great with your kids and friends at the May 21 #ClimateStrike in this gorgeous organic cotton, fair trade t-shirt.

Our new fair trade, organic cotton T-shirts – in crisp white or dramatic black, with our colourful logo – are only available for order until midnight April 19th, to be distributed to you in time for the #ClimateStrike on May 21.”

Order your limited edition AP4CA T-shirt

Solar our schools
Climate Action Goal = Widespread Change! AP4CA are working hard to get the state and federal governments to agree to implement Solar Our Schools: to fund solar panels and batteries for every school and early childhood centre in Australia that doesn’t yet have solar – or needs more!

It’s the perfect COVID-19 recovery economic stimulus project, creating clean local jobs Australia-wide, slashing school electricity costs, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to protect our climate.

→ To find out more, jump over to

Or to find out more ways to take climate action in 2021, download AP4CA’s handy Climate Action Checklist on

Give the kids your vote
Australian Parents for Climate Action are calling on adults to #givethekidsyourvote, listen to the kids on climate, and make this the #climateelection. See more at Give The Kids Your Vote This Climate Election and

→ NBC News – 17 May 2019:
Climate-conscious voters entrust E.U. ballots to their grandchildren
“The voice of young people needs to be heard. Jim Platt, 79, has pledged to vote for a candidate of his 11-year-old granddaughter Lilly’s choosing in next week’s European Parliament elections.”

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“We’re fucked. We’re young. We’re coming.”

“We, the youth, are marching to the capital cities around the world to arrest the ‘leaders’ for treasonous crimes against humanity, against indigenous people, against the next generations.

Firstly in Australia where we will be marching from Sydney to Canberra. As other countries take the pledge to do the same we can support each other as we take on this responsibility.

Standard campaigning, one day marches and writing emails isn’t enough. We must take the appropriate action that is required within the context of the situation the whole world finds itself in.

Our generation is the last that can prevent human extinction, our one demand is simple – we demand a Binding Citizens Assembly to transition our society to net zero emissions by 2025 and halt biodiversity loss.

We are the last line of defence. The last generation. Let’s do this! “

→ See more in the Facebook group Treason March International Support

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“Clearly, the inadequate 2030 target is the source of the problem. By requiring very little emissions reduction this decade, the Morrison government is kicking the climate can down the road for our children to pick up. It means Australia is also failing on its moral obligation to do its fair share in the global climate effort. This sad state of affairs is not news to the rest of the world. Australia is widely viewed as an international climate laggard.” 

→ The Conversation – 17 March 2021:
Wake up, Mr Morrison: Australia’s slack climate effort leaves our children 10 times more work to do

→ Stanthorpe Borderpost – 1 April 2021:
Labor comes clean on its policy on coal power 
“Labor is now explicitly supporting coal in its official policy platform, after earlier criticism it was conspicuously absent. The Australian Workers’ Union and CFMEU pushed for the inclusion at the second day of the party’s national conference.” 

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Australian climate spin

“Having got his $US1.9 trillion (AUS$2.5 trillion) economic stimulus through Congress, US President Joe Biden is now working on a $US2.3 trillion (AUS$3 trillion) infrastructure spending plan, some of which is to go on emissions reduction and renewable energy. By contrast, Europe runs the first and still biggest emissions trading scheme, started in 2005.

Neither of them, it should be noted, is doing anywhere near enough yet to reach net zero by 2050, but at least they’ve made a start.

The great irony is that the headquarters of capitalism – the United States – is doing it with the socialism of government spending, while Europe is using the market. The Australian government is using a bit of both, with the emphasis on “a bit”.”
~ Alan Kohler, The New Daily – editor in chief of Eureka Report and finance presenter on ABC News

→ The New Daily – 6 April 2021:
Alan Kohler: The climate spin can’t go on forever. Net zero must be our aim

→ Canberra Times – 11 March 2021:
John Hewson: Australia’s climate inaction remains a national embarrassment
“Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia Chair Dr John Hewson says Australia’s climate inaction remains a national embarrassment in The Canberra Times. “The costs of inaction are becoming alarming, as is the squandering of the significant opportunities that would flow from adopting a globally significant leadership role in terms of growth, new industries, regional development and jobs”.”

→ The Conversation – 31 March 2021:
Seriously ugly: here’s how Australia will look if the world heats by 3°C this century
”Imagine, for a moment, a different kind of Australia. One where bushfires on the catastrophic scale of Black Summer happen almost every year. One where 50°C days in Sydney and Melbourne are common. Where storms and flooding have violently reshaped our coastlines, and unique ecosystems have been damaged beyond recognition – including the Great Barrier Reef, which no longer exists. Frighteningly, this is not an imaginary future dystopia. It’s a scientific projection of Australia under 3°C of global warming – a future we must both strenuously try to avoid, but also prepare for.”

→ The New Daily – 31 March 2021:
This is what will happen to Australia if the world warms by 3 degrees
“Australians will be hit by blistering heatwaves, Black Summer-style bushfires every year, if global temperatures rise by just 3 degrees. And 250,000 homes on the coast could be flooded. The dire warning comes from the Australian Academy of Science in a landmark report that found the country’s ecosystem would become “unrecognisable” if urgent action isn’t taken on climate change.”

→ Sydney Morning Herald – 1 April 2021:
Barrier Reef doomed as up to 99% of coral at risk, report finds
“The Great Barrier Reef is all but doomed, with between 70 and 99 per cent of corals set for destruction unless immediate “transformative action” is taken to reverse global warming, according to a new report. The Australian Academy of Science says the more ambitious target of the Paris Climate Agreement of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees has now slipped out of reach and is “virtually impossible”.”

→ ABC News – 31 March 2021:
Santos and partners investing $4.7 billion to develop Barossa offshore gas field near Darwin
“Energy giant Santos is pushing ahead with development for a major new gas field off the coast of Darwin, in what it says is the biggest investment in Australia’s oil and gas industry in almost a decade.”

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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.



List of petitions where you can 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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