Yes we must: Vote and drive for the Earth

The Sustainable Hour no 378

[09:10] In The Tunnel on 1 September 2021 our first guest is Newcastle’s Dr Rob Eisenberg, the founder of Vote Earth Now. Realising that the climate crisis we face is a major issue for more and more Aussies, Dr Eisenberg and his team have developed an online tools where people in each federal electorate can pledge that at the next election they are going to ‘vote for the Earth’. The online tool makes sure to notify the elected parliamentarian representative in that particular electorate right away.

This means that before the election, no politician will be left in any doubt as to just how important real action on climate is for their constituents, and these concerns can then be taken into the party rooms and cause real policy changes, for instance when Zali Steggall’s Climate Change Bill comes up for a vote.

We believe Rob and his team are onto something important with this project and we will do all we can to help publicising it and get all ‘climate voters’ of Australia to participate in this exercise. You can make your pledge right now – it doesn’t take many seconds! – and find out more about how you can help the VoteEarthNow project as well – at

[28:13] Speaking of the power of pledging, it is significant that via 115 major businesses and global brands have now accepted the challenge of reaching net zero carbon by 2040. The Climate Pledge is a cross-sector community of companies, organisations, individuals, and partners, working together to crack the climate crisis and solve the challenges of decarbonising our economy. Amazon co-founded the Climate Pledge in 2019. We play an excerpt of one of their promotion videos.

Something the Australian business community – including Geelong Chamber of Commerce – should take notice of is the quote from Deloitte’s new climate report, which Mik Aidt opens the hour with. It states that “This is our global turning point.” There is no turning back.

[29:04] Geelong local Greg Lacey recently founded the driving school Bright Spark Eco Driver Education. During Covid last year, he saw a business opportunity for himself driven by his passion for electric vehicles. As well as promoting EVs by having his students drive them around, he was also able to educate them about ways to reduce their emissions generally. You can sign up and get more informed about Greg’s driving school at

[02:31] Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook this week begins at home, with a YouGov poll of federal electorates which found that every one had a majority of voters saying government was not doing enough on climate change and supporting more climate action.

Then to Denmark where the global shipping company Maersk has partnered with European Energy to produce green fuel for its first vessel to operate on carbon neutral methanol.

In Brazil, a group of scientists has released data showing that the country’s freshwater supply has reduced by 15 per cent since 1991. The reason that this is significant is that Brazil has the most freshwater reserves on the planet. The biggest reduction is on Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland, which now has water covering just a quarter of the area that it did 30 years ago.

Then the frightening news that a number of Middle Eastern countries became tinderboxes as extreme temperatures during their recent summer peak caused severe droughts affecting the entire region. Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia all recorded temperatures over 50 degrees.

In Scotland a new agreement between the Scottish Nationals Government and the Green Party will address issues including the climate emergency, economic recovery from Covid, child poverty and energy for the next five years. The Bute Agreement aims to improve the way Scotland is governed and create a stable platform to meet the challenges the highlander country faces.

And finally, Iceland is commemorating two years since they held a funeral for the first of its glaciers to melt then disappear. There is now a brass plaque which is written to the people of the future. It bears the words, “We know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.”

[55:48] In that same spirit, Matthew Cooke gets the last word of this week’s Sustainable Hour with his futuristic video The tale of climate chaos. Before that, from Twitter, we also manage to squeeze in a satirical version of the latest CoalKeeper advertisement.

We’ll be back next Wednesday with two more guests who have discovered their way to the climate revolution.
~ Anthony Gleeson

#VoteIntegrity | #VoteEarthNow | #VoteClimate | #TurningPoint

A letter to the future

“OK is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier. In the next 200 years all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.”
~ The wording on a plaque dedicated to the future beside where the Icelandic glacier OK used to be

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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 disrespectful and unfair is that?

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“This is our global turning point.
~ Deloitte Asia Pacific, in the report ‘Asia Pacific’s Turning Point’

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“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.”
~ Brené Brown, American author

Geelong poll

In Corio, 66% of voters say Labor and Coalition plans for climate action will influence their vote. 69% of voters believe the federal government need to be doing more to address climate change.

In Corangamite, 69% of voters believe the federal government need to be doing more to address climate change. 68% of voters say Labor and Coalition plans for climate action will influence their vote.

Check the numbers in your electorate

Newsletter from Rob Eisenberg, Vote Earth Now, to ‘climate voters’ who signed up:
Did you get a good feeling from Voting Earth Now? I know I did. The feeling that I had found the most powerful way to fight climate change. That it was essentially free and easy. There was a sense of relief that I could see light at the end of the tunnel. I wanted to give that feeling to other people. I needed to share it. 

Rain has fallen for the first time ever on Greenlands highest mountain and in the same week both the liberal-national coalition and labour parties have voted for new gas fracking at Betoola. 
The sooner we share the better.
Sharing right now will make politicians act sooner.


I’m really proud of the new section Votepower on the VoteEarthNow website. It shows that less than 1,000 people swinging the other way would have changed the result of last election. There would have been a minority government forced to negotiate with greens and independents. Our goal of having politicians who act on climate change is totally manageable when we show we can swing anywhere.

Vote Power

We’re getting increasing media attention. Last week we were in HunterHunter magazine, on the Sustainable Hour podcast and on Hunter local radio. How about sharing with a friend in the media where you live?

HUNTER hunter Article

We had some great sharing from influencers including Beau Pilgrim and Bonnie Rose. Thank you to them for having the courage to use their hard earned platform. This is how we can expand our numbers for a mightier voice.

A new Face of Vote Earth Now, coal miner Rodney ‘Rocket’ Linkson, spoke up about how workers in industry want a just transition to renewables for a secure future. Thank you to Rocket for having the courage to do what few miners have done – yet.

Thank you everyone for being part of this movement – please keep sharing and thinking of how you can grow us,

Rob Eisenberg
Founder of Vote Earth Now 

Go to Vote Earth Now
Bendigo Advertiser – 30 August 2021

Groundbreaking Australian climate poll:

Overwhelming support for climate action

Newsletter from Australian Conservation Foundation on 30 August 2021:

Today we’re releasing the results from the largest independent climate poll in Australian history, and the results are undeniable:

In every federal electorate in the country, the majority of voters want the government to do more on climate and agree that Australia’s energy future is renewable. It shatters the myth there’s one view in the bush about climate change and another in the city.

It also shows that 65% of voters say Labor and Coalition plans for climate action will influence their vote.

The YouGov poll used the groundbreaking methodology that successfully predicted both the 2017 UK election and the 2016 US election. It’s the first time the technique has been used in Australia. And the results confirm that Australia is a diverse nation united in our desire for climate action.

However, the Morrison Government still doesn’t have a climate plan that actually listens to what Australians want or heeds the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent, urgent call to cut climate pollution this decade and avert global catastrophe. The Labor opposition must also outline their plan for a safe climate.

The polls are in. Our leaders must listen. Send this letter of the groundbreaking poll results to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, and demand they renew Australia with climate solutions and cut pollution NOW.

The poll found:

  • One-in-three (32%) people in inner metro electorates and one-in-four (25%) people in rural electorates say climate change is the most important issue for them at the next election.
  • Half (51%) of Coalition voters want greater action on climate change and one-in-five Coalition voters say it is the issue that will most influence their vote.
  • Six out of ten voters (61%) support action to cut Australia’s greenhouse emissions by at least half by 2030.
  • Nationally, 71% of voters do not see coal and gas as part of Australia’s future energy mix, with a majority in every seat rejecting plans for the government to build new gas and coal-fired power plants.
  • 57% of voters think the Morrison Government should pay more attention to expert advice on climate change.
  • A majority in the Hunter Valley coal region of NSW and in the Queensland ‘coal seats’ of Flynn, Maranoa, Capricornia, Herbert and Dawson do not believe that new coal and gas plants should be built to supply Australia’s future energy needs.

Today we launch the poll results and our new campaign, Together We Can. Visit the Together We Can website and explore the poll including results for every electorate in the country!


The poll comes at a crucial time. In the next two months, the Morrison Government will decide on the climate plan it will take to the pivotal UN Climate Change Conference this November. It’s time for the Morrison Government to put politics aside, and listen to the poll results and the people they represent.

And the federal opposition, led by Anthony Albanese, are yet to commit to a strong climate plan. We must demonstrate to him the demand for climate action and get the Australian Labor Party to step up.

If we send the letter together, we will make clear to the people who want to lead this country that climate is not an issue to compromise on. We need and we want action NOW!

The poll was conducted on a nationally representative sample of more than 15,000 Australian voters aged 18+ and used multilevel regression with post-stratification (MRP) analysis for the first time in Australia, after the technique’s stunning success in predicting the results of the 2017 UK general election. Read more about this method on the Together We Can website by downloading the full report!

The poll results are incredible. The majority of Australians want climate action. Now it’s time for the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader to listen to the people. Send them this letter with the poll results and demand they act for our climate now.




Kelly O’Shanassy
Chief Executive Officer

P.S. Innovative and world-leading survey analysis powered this groundbreaking poll that cuts through the politics and shifts the narrative on climate in Australia. It was only possible because of our incredible, generous donors. Donate now to continue powering our work.


Sydney Morning HeraldAustralia’s biggest climate poll shows support for action in every seat

The Age: ‘We don’t want to be collateral damage’: Coal country concerns grow as climate reality hits


#TogetherWeCan | #ClimateElection | #ClimateEmergencyElection | #PutClimateFirst | #AusPol | #ClimateRevolution | #ClimateForAll | #AllForClimate | #ClimateChangeBill | #ClimateActNow | #TogetherForOurPlanet| #VoteEarthNow

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“Sustainability is now as important as safety to us.“

– Håkan Samuelsson, Chief Executive Volvo Cars

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Climate emergency election in Canada

The Canadian Climate Emergency Unit says two key elements are required for a climate victory in the federal election on 20 September 2021:

First, we need to hold the government to a minority, so it is compelled to work with others, and we are given openings to press for stronger and bolder policies. The Liberal’s climate record certainly does not merit them the majority they seek.

Second, we need to elect a huge contingent of true climate justice champions – people who genuinely get the emergency and will insist on bold action. We need to bolster the ranks of the climate squad across a number of parties. So, find your climate champion!

If you don’t think you have one in your riding or, more likely, you don’t think they have a realistic chance of winning in your riding, then find one in a neighboring winnable riding, and do everything you can to get them elected.”

The Climate Emergency Unit will be promoting its “4 Hopeful Lessons from WW2 to Confront Climate Change” video and has drafted a convenient list of questions available in PDF here.

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Stop Morrison’s $7 billion coal baron bailout

Newsletter from GetUp! on 30 August 2021:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is proposing a new cash for coal scheme — where households pay to keep old coal-burning power stations in the grid.

It’s a coal baron bailout, where people pay polluters.

Under the cash for coal scheme, households would pay up to $7 billion, primarily to polluting coal corporations, pushing household electricity bills up $182 to $430 per year1 — and blocking clean energy investment.2

The community led the way on clean energy as governments dithered — transforming the grid by installing rooftop solar panels in record numbers. Then state energy ministers invested in clean energy, while Morrison and Federal minister Angus Taylor relentlessly handcuffed us to fossil fuels.

We won’t let them. Fortunately, state energy ministers have the power to stop the cash for coal scheme because they control parts of the national electricity market.

It’s urgent that they hear a public outcry from thousands of people in their states before they meet to discuss the scheme on 20 September. Then they will feel our backing to stand up for clean energy and say no to the federal government’s latest scheme.

Will you send a quick email to your state energy minister today and ask them to oppose Scott Morrison’s cash for coal scheme?


Mik, coal-burning power stations can no longer compete with cheaper clean energy. When the price drops really low, coal-burning plants are turned off because running them costs more than they make from the power price.

Morrison’s solution? Make households pay coal-burning power stations even when they’re not producing power.

Instead of propping up coal, the Government needs a transition plan and market rules to enable an electricity grid that can run whole states with clean, renewable energy from sun, wind and battery storage.

It’s 100% possible. Last weekend, solar power outperformed coal in the national energy market! South Australia ran on 100% solar and wind energy for a period.4

The new Australian Energy Market Operator head, Daniel Westerman, has said a zero fuel cost and zero pollution grid is a “stunning phenomenon” calling for a “paradigm shift” in collaboration and cooperation.5

The barons in the board rooms at Big Coal are quaking in their polished black shoes.

They’ve known for years the clean energy revolution was coming, but now they’re scrambling to protect their climate-wrecking assets and looking to Scott Morrison to bail them out.

Your state energy minister needs to know we won’t stand for more cash for coal barons — email them now.

Angus Taylor is putting the state energy ministers under relentless pressure.6 Just like he did to the Chair of the Energy Security Board, Kerry Schott, who dared to speak the obvious truth that coal plants need to close,7 and questioned the government’s gas burning bonanza, only to be pressured to resign.8

The complicated scheme is unpopular. One of the only cheerleaders is the large electricity and gas provider Energy Australia, who will benefit enormously from the bail out.9 Gas-guzzling Origin was initially dubious,10 but are now sniffing for profits from it.11

But, the movement against the cash for coal scheme is building. The renewable energy industry is aghast.12 The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is concerned it’s a bailout paid by everyday households.13

People should not be forced to pay coal barons to keep polluting our planet!

Let’s flood state energy ministers inboxes with messages before their next meeting on September 20. And together, we can power our states with sunshine.

Email your state energy minister now — reject the cash for coal bailout!

In determination,

Kathryn, Teryn, Sarah and Isabella – for the GetUp team

PS — The states are kicking renewable energy goals in spite of Morrison. South Australia achieved “world-first levels of 100% solar power.” NSW has invested $32 billion in renewable energy.14 And Victoria is installing Australia’s largest battery.15Encourage your state minister to keep the clean energy revolution rolling.

[1] Taylor’s favoured coal subsidy could reach 7 billion and hit households Renew Economy, 20 August 2021
[2] Power market reforms to ‘chill’ green investment, Australian Financial Review, July 28 2021
[3] Australia installs record-breaking number of rooftop solar panels, CSIRO, May 13 2021
[4] Solar power in Australia outstrips coal-fired electricity for first time, The Guardian, August 23 2021
[5] New AEMO boss wants Australia’s grid to handle 100% Renewables by 2025 Renew Economy, 13 July 2021,
[6] Energy National Cabinet Reform Committee, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, August 20 2021
[7] “They’re going broke”, ESB chair says coal plant closures now unavoidable, Renew Economy, May 12 2021
[8] Government accused of pressuring experts who questioned its gas-fired recovery plan, ABC News, May 7 2021
[9] ‘The anarchy is over’: How to fix our broken power market, The Australian, August 7 2021
[10] ESB’s capacity payments for coal and gas may cost $3.2 billion a year. Guess who pays, Renew Economy, July 30 2021
[11] Big energy companies back market reforms Australian Financial Review, August 19 2021
[12] Power market reforms to ‘chill’ green investment, Australian Financial Review, July 28 2021
[13] ACCC Response to Market Design Consultation Paper, Energy Ministers, June 9, 2021
[14] NSW unveils $32bn renewable energy plan with focus on pumped hydro, The Guardian, November 9 2020
[15] Victoria to grab biggest battery title, Australian Financial Review, November 5 2020

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Stop public money handouts to gas corporations

Newsletter from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, AYCC:

Last week the federal senate voted in favour of $50 million of public money for gas corporations to frack in the Northern Territory. This a devastating blow, especially for Traditional Owners who have been fighting hard to protect their Country. 

The senate was divided for weeks in the lead up to the vote, but on Wednesday the Labor Party voted with the Morrison Government, despite the staunch campaign led by Traditional Owners in the Northern Territory and thousands of people like you taking action!  

But the fight isn’t over! There are champions in the Labor party calling to stop public money handouts to gas corporations, the senate inquiry is ongoing and the Greens have put forward another motion in the Senate [1]. 

Now is a critical time for us to put climate solutions that centre justice and communities squarely on the political agenda. Join the campaign for climate solutions, not cash for destructive gas! 

We know when young people take action we can shift our politicians. The AYCC local action group in South Australia have been working for months to engage Senator Rex Patrick who previously struck deals with Morrison government to lower gas prices [2]. But on Wednesday Senator Patrick voted to stop $50 million dollars in public money going to gas corporations [3]! This is the power of young people’s voices! 

Through our campaign we’ll build support in our local communities for climate solutions not handouts to Morrison’s gassy mates fracking in the Northern Territory. And then we’ll take our demands for climate solutions to our MPs, senators and candidates to make sure our political leaders and representatives hear us loud and clear. 

There are thousands of better ways to spend public money. Traditional Owners on the frontlines of gas extraction and climate change impacts are calling for investment in their communities, in roads, housing and healthcare [4].

Traditional owners should have the final say about what happens on their country, the opportunity to reap the benefits of climate solutions like clean energy, and the resources to adapt to the climate impacts we’re already facing.

By taking action in your local community alongside hundreds of other young people taking action across the country – we can make sure our politicians, senators and election candidates hear our bold vision for climate justice.

Public money should be used to fund publicly owned renewable energy; to fund self-determined solutions from First Nations peoples; to fund job creation initiatives and programs; and ensure our hospitals, public transport, and schools are resilient to the impacts of climate change.

At a time when so many people are facing the impacts of the pandemic, the government should support our communities, not give public money handouts to their mates for new gas wells. 

No matter where you live or what action you’ve taken in the past, there’s a role for all of us – join the campaign for climate solutions not pollution here!

Thank you for being part of it!
In solidarity, Lee – for the AYCC team

I acknowledge that I live, work and play on Aboriginal land wherever I go, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Sovereignty was never ceded.” 

[1] Christopher Knaus and Paul Karp, “Senate committee wants Beetaloo gas grants investigated as Labor refers matter to auditor general,” The Guardian Australia, August 2021. 
[2] Rebecca Gredley, “Centre Alliance admits gas deal a ‘draft’,” The Canberra Times, July 2021.
[3] Senate Hansard Proof, Wednesday 25 August 2021.
[4] GetUp! Australia, “$50 million for fracking!? We’ve got better ideas,” Instagram, August 2021.  

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“Policy makers everywhere know that the only chance of preventing disastrous climate breakdown is to reduce and retire infrastructure that depends on fossil fuels. Yet everywhere it’s being expanded. This is how catastrophe happens: with a million selfish and greedy decisions.”
~ George Monbiot, British author and climate activist

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 running petitions where we encourage you to 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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