Sustainable House Day: Replacing blah blah with action

The Sustainable Hour no 383

How to live well: The annual event in Australia called ‘Sustainable House Day’ is all about how we get cheaper bills and live healthier, happier lives. As Geelong Sustainability prepares for its 13th flagship Sustainable House Day event on the weekend of 16 and 17 October, we thought it timely to devote the majority of time in The Tunnel this week to this.

[14:38] We start off with Geelong Sustainability president Vicki Perrett talking about the event which will all be online because of Covid, in general terms.

Vicki then introduces Jenny and Malcolm Knox who will be opening up their newly built home on 17 October to virtual tours. They will also be part of a panel addressing sustainable new builds during the weekend. They speak enthusiastically about the process and are very satisfied with the finished product. Financially they see their investment in sustainability as a way of “Paying forward your savings” – but first of all it is about living their lives connected to nature and with a sense of well-being.

In contrast to this, Vicki then introduces us to Andrea Pape who no less enthusiastically tells us how she has retrofitted lots of sustainable initiatives to both her 1960s home and garden.

→ More details can be found at:

People Pedal Power – ride with Jessie
[49:05] Vicki talks of a young English person who is cycling to Glasgow, while cycling teams match the miles from across the world. One team at least: The Bellarine Belles, a women’s cycle group, who were so impressed by Jessie’s plan and commitment and at the same time so frustrated that the Coalition Federal government in Australia has neither a policy, a plan nor commitment to combating climate change, that they decided to send a message of support by riding along with Jessie, collectively riding the equivalent of 570 miles around the Bellarine Peninsula.

“In the face of the Climate Emergency, we, the people, have power. Let’s cycle to COP26 to show this,” Vicki said.

Youth report – sustainable habits
[52:35] Our youth correspondent Ben Pocock talks about “Sustainable habits” today. This time Ben introduces us to his younger brother Bobby. They have become an integral part of our team and we always look forward to their reports.

[50:38] Leading up to Ben’s and Bobby’s report, we play an excerpt of the song ‘Where’s The Money At’ by Youth Vs Apocalypse feauring Rudy Kalma, Destiny Arts Center, and Warriors4Justice.

Global outlook
[02:40] Colin Mockett‘s World Roundup begins in Milan, Italy, the site of the pre-COP talks, the last and largest preparatory meeting before the COP26 conference, which starts on 31 October in Glasgow. The Milan talks focused on preparations for COP26 as well as input from youth participants, including Greta Thunberg, who opened the talks calling for major industrialised countries to “match their words with action”. Alok Sharma, president-designate of COP26, said that “the energy that came forward from the youth did galvanise the ministers.”

In the United States, Saul Griffith, President Joe Biden’s climate and energy adviser, (who is an Australian from Wollongong) told the president, “if you could make the perfect country with the perfect policies, it would be Australia for rooftop solar policy, Norway or California for its electric vehicle policies, and South Korea or Japan for their electric heating. And if that place could exist in one place, you’ve got the recipe for domestic climate success.” Australia is such a place, Griffith said. Australia could easily lead the world.

Colin then zooms us to Puerto Rico, where small businesses have opened up new tourism avenues by using what they termed ‘low-tech solutions to high-tech concerns’. The concerns are electric vehicle ‘range anxieties’, where EV owners or hirers are worried if they might not have enough range to visit distant destinations. The tourist destinations themselves are now installing free charging stations and their low-tech solutions are advertising, sign-posting and free parking, plus food and drink outlets and tourism information around the charging stations. The government has built 85 charging stations in Puerto Rica, while small businesses have now installed more than 250.

Back to our Pacific region, where Vanuatu said it has built a coalition with fellow Pacific islands and other vulnerable nations to lobby the UN delegates at COP26 talks in Glasgow. In April, tropical cyclone Harold hit Vanuatu and Tonga, wrecking tourist resorts across four island nations with more than two dozen people killed. Pre-Covid in 2019, Vanuatu considered legal action against big polluters thousands of kilometres away amid the effects of rising sea temperatures, intense cyclones, and erratic weather patterns.

NASA satellite analysis shows sea ice in the Arctic appears to have hit its lowest amount, after waning in the 2021 Northern hemisphere spring and summer. The summertime extent is the 12th lowest in the satellite record, according to scientists. This year, the minimum extent of Arctic sea ice dropped to its lowest ever.

Finally, for today, back to England with the results of the world’s only carbon-neutral football team, Gloustershire’s Forest Green Rovers. We hear about their game on the weekend and their current standing after 10 games in their 4th Tier league. This is a team Colin has taken a real liking to. It’s going to be interesting to see how they go over time and how far up the tier system their carbon-free success will take them.

[10:13] We round off Colin’s weekly Outlook with the powerful voice of Greta Thunberg as she addresses the pre-COP26 Climate Talks in Milan. Will her “Blah Blah Blah’ address finally help get us to where we need to be on climate? Only time will tell. One thing for sure is that it will go down in history as one of her powerful ones as we rapidly approach what is being called “The Endgame”.

Until next week, all roads are leading to COP26 in Glasgow – there are many opportunities to get involved in climate solutions between now and then. One of these launched this week is the Australian Conservation Foundation-led “Together We Can” campaign – you can find more about it at – it is yet another way to join the climate revolution.

We’ll be back in seven days with stories of climate solution seekers. If you like what we do, please give us lotsa social media loving and sharing.

“The combination of the temperature and the light gives you a quality of life that you can’t quite explain to people until you have lived it. It impacts your mental health and your physical well-being. And our last electricity bill was $6.14 for the month, and that includes the connection fee.”
~ Jenny and Malcolm Knox, owners of a passive solar house

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“This year, people will be able to log in from anywhere and because we’ll be recording the sessions, it does mean that if people miss any of the sessions, they’ll be able to access it through our website so there’s no need to miss anything.”
~ Vicki Perrett, Geelong Sustainability President, about Sustainable House Day 2021

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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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Call on the Australian Government to take a strong 2030 target to the climate summit

The international climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow starts in less than 4 weeks and Australia has not yet committed to net zero emissions by 2050, or increased it’s 2030 target in line with comparable nations.

Australia’s climate ambition has been judged the worst out of 200 UN member countries. The window to influence the government’s decision on climate targets is closing, but there is still time. 

Together We Can Campaign Launch 

The Australian Conservation Foundation is launching Together We Can, a climate movement calling for greater action by our leaders on climate change. At the launch you’ll hear from guest speakers, learn more about the campaign and how to join the movement.

Together We Can includes the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA), Climate for Change, Australian Parents for Climate Action, 1 Million Women and many more.

The above is an excerpt from Yarra City Council’s newsletter from 4 October 2021

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Sunday 26 September

Simon Holmes a Court is sitting on a $1.4 million election war chest, here’s how it will be spent

In an interview with Peter FitzSimmons, Simon Holmes a Court explains the ethos behind Climate 200 and independent candidates how they have the freedom to vote with the values of the community.

“MPs have lost the courage to cross the floor, and with the numbers as they are, the government is hamstrung, held hostage by a powerful minority led by the likes of Barnaby Joyce dictating conditions – who will only ever do anything in return for monumental piles of pork.”

Saturday 25 September

“Voices Of” ignites 30 independent movements across Australia

Chronicling the impact of Cathy McGowan’s “Voices for Indi”, Michael West Media reports on the growing community independents movement stemming from dissatisfied voters. 

“The common denominators of the success in both [Indi and Warringah] was to highlight to voters that the incumbents were not always serving their needs or representing their views, but beholden to a party program instead.”

Climate 200 seeks to unseat government giants over climate change, integrity and the treatment of women

On Radio News breakfast, host Fran Kelly interviews Climate 200 convenor Simon Holmes a Court about the growing movement of independents campaigning for action on climate change, government integrity and gender equality.

“‘Government giants’ could face challenges at the next election by well-funded, well-organised independents who are being supported by the group ‘Climate 200’. Convenor Simon Holmes à Court says Climate 200 is supporting candidates in strategic seats with campaigns that fit their values: climate action, integrity and the treatment of women.”

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About Dan Ilic’s billboard project

→ The New Daily – 29 September 2021:

‘Sick of making jokes’: Dan Ilic on his campaign to shame Australia at COP26

“Australian comedian Dan Ilic has raised more than $70,000 in just two days to publicly shame Australia’s climate policy on billboards at the COP26 conference in Glasgow.”

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Young People’s Voices on Climate Anxiety, Government Betrayal and Moral Injury: A Global Phenomenon, by Caroline Hickman et al., is the first large-scale investigation of climate anxiety in children and young people globally. The study surveyed 10,000 young people (aged 16-25 years) in ten countries. Data were collected on their thoughts and feelings about climate change, and government response. The findings were startling: 59% of respondents were very or extremely worried and over 80% were at least moderately worried. Over 45% said their feelings about climate change negatively affected their daily life and functioning. Climate anxiety and distress were significantly related to perceived inadequate government response and associated feelings of betrayal.

Youth Rising Webinar

Join us on Thursday 21 October 2021 for this free, online conversation with climate justice activist and organizer, Josephine Becker; Founder and Executive Director of OneUpAction, Kevin J. Patel; and climate psychology consultant and psychotherapist, Leslie Davenport.

During this 75-minute webinar, we’ll discuss how young activists are stepping up to tackle the climate emergency, what would-be activists can meaningfully do in their own lives, and how young people can build their emotional and psychological resilience to face this existential threat.

21 October 2021 at 11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM GMT


If you can’t make it to the live event, registering with a donation grants you access to the event recording after the webinar.

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→ Grist:
It’s not just you: Everyone is Googling ‘climate anxiety’
“Interest in the phrase has soared 565 percent over the past year.”

→ The Guardian:
14% of world’s coral lost in less than a decade, study shows
“Largest analysis of reef health reveals equivalent of more than all living coral in Australia was lost in 2009-2018.”

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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 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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