Our human right to a healthy, sustainable environment

In The Sustainable Hour no 384 on 13 October 2021, our two guests in The Tunnel are:

John Gemmill, the Chief Executive Officer of the Clean Ocean Foundation. From John we learn about the 21-year history of the foundation, plus their current project called #StopTheRedTide – where thy are using the lessons they have gleaned from their work elsewhere to lobby for Warrnambool’s sewerage processing to be upgraded. It is time to put a cost on pollution as we ask: “What is a Red Tide worth? What is stopping it worth?”

Alan Taylor, who works as a sustainability coach at multinational health insurance company British United Provident Association, Bupa. Yet another enthusiastic guest, Alan tells us about how seriously Bupa is taking responsibility for their emissions internationally. BUPA wants to make a positive impact on the word, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and climate action is a critical priority for the company, considered “the defining agenda”. “We also know that being a responsible business underpins our long-term success,” Bupa states on his home page.

Alan also works with a small group of professional coaches and psychologists across three continents – Europe, North America and Australasia – who are working with the global Climate Coaching Alliance to co-create effective methods to support organisations and their employees in taking effective action towards climate change. They are currently offering up to five organisations across the globe the opportunity to participate in a group coaching programme. This programme draws on innovative approaches that build employees’ awareness at a deeper personal level, moving from avoidant to adaptive ways of coping and engaging in effective behavioural strategies at an individual and collective level.

Mik Aidt starts off the hour by calling out our elected political representatives for the obscene amounts of money being given to the fossil fuel industries and the fact that coal mines are still being approved by the relevant ministers. In support with the school students who will be on the streets climate-striking again this Friday, Mik calls for nothing less than a climate revolution.

The fact that this revolution has already kicked off globally became evident during a five-day online conference last week, Daring Cities, where one city mayor after the next talked about how they are busy transforming their cities into areas that take more carbon out of the atmosphere than they put in. We play an excerpt from a speech by the mayor of Turku in Finland, Minna Arve. Her city of 330,000 residents is working hard to become carbon neutral already in 2029.

This evening at 6pm, 200 Geelong locals gather for an online meeting about the proposed floating gas terminal in northern Geelong. Sign-up details here: Residents at Risk: Community Forum on Viva’s Gas Import Terminal.

Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook begins this week with the United Nation’s Human Rights Council recognising for the first time that having a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a human right. Colin gives details of the vote.

This was followed by another UN report that said between 2009 and 2018, the continuous rise in sea temperature cost the world 14 per cent of its coral reefs – that’s more than all Australia’s reefs combined. This was not a lightweight opinion piece – it involved more than 300 scientists from 73 countries, over a span of 40 years.

Then to Iceland which announced that at the forthcoming Climate Summit in Glasgow it will increase its level of ambition from the currently pledged 40 per cent emissions cuts by 2030 to 55 per cent or more with the stated aim to be carbon neutral by 2040.

Back to Australia where Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals has thrown down a gauntlet to the other big miners – BHP, Rio Tinto and Gina Rinehart – by announcing an emissions target that leaves his rivals in its dust.

Next is news from everywhere on the electric vehicle industry: The Swedish EV manufacturer Polestar plans a $US20 billion expansion. Apple’s Sir Jony Ive is working on designs for Ferrari and Fiat. Rolls-Royce is launching its first electric vehicle. Ford is pouring $US11 billion into batteries as it switches away from fossil fuels. The industry predicts that within a decade, petrol-driven cars will be a relative rarity and it’s estimated that the EV industry will be worth $US1.2 trillion a year.

Finally Colin reports on how his favourite soccer team in England, the world’s only carbon-neutral football team, Forest Green Rovers, went over the w’end – there’s some good news and some not so good news.

Once again we sincerely hope that you have gained something out of this Sustainable Hour. Please keep those suggestions for topics to cover and people to interview in future shows flowing in. Right from our start eight years ago, we have aimed for our show to be truly interactive. We really appreciate these suggestions and feedback and hope they continue.

Till next week: Go well and keep nourishing your climate revolutionary. Be the difference you want to see in the world.

“We started to realise just how much rubbish went into our ocean from these ocean outfalls which are all around Australia. We then conducted an economic analysis of what would the benefit be if we did upgrade all these outfalls that weren’t a good quality at the moment to Class A Plus. We found that, from a national perspective, if we did, that, even though we would have to spend around $10 billion, the nett benefit would be $20-30 billion.”
~ John Gemmill, CEO of the Clean Ocean Council

“We are living through a make-or-break chapter in the story of life on Earth. Our health and that of every living thing is directly connected to the health of the planet.”
~ Katharine Hayhoe, American climate scientist and author

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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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16 and 17 October – sign up on www.geelongsustainability.org.au/shd-2021

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Join the International Day of Action on Big Biomass on 21 October 2021

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Learn more about Daring Cities

Australia Institute: Morrison’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 is a fraud

→ The Guardian – 6 October 2021:
Fossil fuel industry gets subsidies of $11m a minute, IMF finds


Help as an adult

The climate crisis is a threat to every child on earth. We must act fast. We must act now. And the first step involves listening to children.

Ways we can help as an adult to tackle climate change

  1. Take part and urge the government to take bold steps again climate action
  2. Eat a plant-based diet
  3. Start and take initiative in the climate conversation
  4. Make your commute green
  5. Consume less, waste less, enjoy life
  6. Be more conservative with energy usage
  7. Reduce, recycle, and reuse

→ Medium / Age of Awareness – 7 October 2021:
Climate Change- Why Our Kids Are Striking for the Planet
“Thousands of children from the world take part in protests to help protect our earth.”

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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 www.947thepulse.com where you then click on ‘Listen Live’ on the right.

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