#BreaktheBias: The Climate Hour

The Sustainable Hour no 402 

Tuesday 8 March marks International Women’s Day 2022, and your hosts in The Sustainable Hour’s Women’s Day special – we call it ‘The Climate Hour’ – are two leading climate action and sustainability mobilisers of our region, Monica Winston and Suzette Jackson.

To get more ambitious climate policies, we need more women in politics. At least that is what a study based on data from a large sample of countries has suggested. Think Denmark or New Zealand. To The Sustainable Hour’s listeners, this would not come as a surprise: the study showed that countries that have more women in leadership have adopted more stringent climate change policies. 

But in Australia, something is holding the women back, and the organisers of International Women’s Day have identified this “something” as bias. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough. Action is needed to level the playing field. Hence the hashtag #BreaktheBias.

Dr Belinda Moloney, our first guest in the hour, is the perfect person to talk with about this. She was voted in in Geelong Council on a ‘put climate first’ agenda in 2018, and since then she has been a strong advocate for both climate action and gender diversity. Last year, she chaired WILD – Women in Local Democracy – a local group which supports women’s participation and leadership in community, civic and political Life. Belinda tells us about the gender strategy for City of Greater Geelong and about an exciting new gender diversity target for Local Government of getting men and women represented 50/50 in Victorian councils by 2024.

In reference to federal politics, we touch upon how we can all support the growing number of independent candidates who stand for cleaning up politics and following the science on climate change in the upcoming federal elections in May 2022. This is an exciting new development. In Climate 200‘s words: “A seismic shift is happening in Australian politics. All around the country independent candidates with courage and vision are stepping up to challenge the political status quo.” 12 of the 14 candidates Climate 200 are supporting are women.

The clip we play with independent candidate Zoe Daniels is an excerpt from a webinar which was organised by the Bayside Climate Crisis Action Group. Zoe is a former reporter with the ABC, who now runs as an independent candidate for the seat of Goldstein in the forthcoming Federal Election “to fight Liberals on climate and integrity”, as the ABC wrote.

“Women and girls are leading efforts to tackle climate change in communities around the world.”
~ Alok Sharma, COP26 chairman

According to UNFCC, 80 per cent of people displaced by climate change are women and children.

Hailey Tan is a 23-year-old women who is leading the charge against climate breakdown. She is vice chairperson of KAMY – Klima Action Malaysia – as well as Girl Up publicity director. Hailey presented at COP26 in 2021. KAMY is a climate justice and feminist organisation led by young people to push for a climate emergency declaration in Malyasia.

As part of Asia Climate Rally, KAMY collaborated with local students from Taylor’s University Girl Up Club to curate social media contents and organize a panel discussion related to gender responsive climate action.

Elizabeth Bechard is an American writer and coach, who recently released a new book titled ‘Parenting in a Changing Climate‘. It contains tools for cultivating resilience, taking action, and practicing hope in the face of climate change.

“Parenting in a Changing Climate is a story about how grief and love can be fuel for positive change,” Elizabeth tells us: “It’s about learning how to hold the enormity of grief and love within the context of the demanding early years of parenting, and learning how to translate these big emotions into practical, concrete habits. It’s about finding ways to cultivate resilience, take action, and practice hope in the face of climate change, during a season of life that’s often already overwhelming. It’s about finding brave, doable ways to show up for the children we love and the future that all children deserve.”

“Bechard traverses the experience of parenting in the age of climate breakdown with insight, compassion, and uncompromising honesty. This book invites readers to come to terms with the grief and travails that accompany bringing new life into an increasingly damaged world. It’s a book that our time badly needs; and if you are a parent whose eyes are open, it’s a book that YOU need.”
~ Professor Rupert Read, author of ‘Parents for a Future: How loving our children can prevent climate collapse’

The feminist birthday cake – 8 March 2020

We share the breaking news that Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced new offshore wind targets for Victoria: 2GW by 2032, 4GW by 2035 and 9GW by 2040. “The transition to cheap renewable energy will only get done if it’s led by states and territories,” Andrews said. We learned at the same time that Australia has imported $4.3 billion of Russian oil. The green transition can be seen as a peace project as well as a climatesafety project.

Thank you for joining us on The Climate Hour in celebration of International Women’s Day 2022!

“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge equality and collectively.”
~ #BreakTheBias

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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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Vote Earth Now​​​​​​​​: Women are leading the fight against climate change.​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​
Here are the 14 female @climate200 candidates for federal parliament. ​​​​​​​​
Armstrong Creek Times – page 12

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Meditation inspiration

By Monica Winston

Here are some links to assist people using various guided meditations to deal with and transform the world we face both internally and externally.

Weekly Healing Circle on Zoom
Elizabeth Mellor runs a global Healing Circle on zoom on Sunday nights from 6:30 to 7:30pm Eastern Australian Time, and people can get the link to join it by emailing contact@awakenw.net with Join Healing Circle Please in the subject line.

People use this group meditation with people from around the world to heal every aspect i.e. yourself, the people you care about, your community and country and the world including other species.

Elizabeth Mellor has lived most of her life saturated by the inner light. Her unique meditations have helped thousands of people to release themselves more fully into the profundity that each of us is. Elizabeth has worked for many years as a teacher, counsellor, parent educator, Reiki Master and Master of Meditation. She was a guest in The Sustainable Hour in 2020.

Meditations on MP3s
Here are a number of powerful guided meditations some of which can be used while being active and others that are for sitting or lying down. These are invaluable for people who are finding life very challenging and who want to effect change. They can be used to transform things inside us and outside us in a variety of ways. Here’s just some that have wonderful impacts. There are many more if you search iTunes for Ken Mellor.

Unifying Meditation by Ken Mellor
The Unifying Meditation is designed for dealing with conflicts and other imbalances in our lives that involve us in polarities. You can use the meditation to change aspects of yourself. You can use it to promote change with others – either between you and them, or “inside” them. Or you can use it to promote change in situations.

The meditation promotes many benefits including:
* resolving inner conflict
* helping to unite us with other people
* promoting cooperation, respect and unity between ourselves and others
* clearing historical conflicts between people
* resolving current conflicts between others
* releasing us from the projections of others and our own onto them
* drawing people together
* promoting peace and unity between others in conflict

Unified people are capable of dealing with situations involving polarisation and conflict with great competence and ease. They do this because they are in a state of inner union, rather than having their own conflicts that get stirred up by the conflicts around them. Also those who can do the Unifying Meditation are able to use it effectively and efficiently, should the need arise. This enables them to reestablish inner balance and unity as quickly as possible, if they lose it.

Many people have experienced the astounding way that changing themselves through the meditation seems to affect others too. The way this seems to work is as follows. As we unify with others, we change internally. As we change, those on whom we meditate during the process seem to change too. It seems that by moving into a state of inner oneness in relation to them, we release the ties to them that we were using to try to keep them as they were. By releasing in this way, they are free to evolve and we can all start to relate in fresh new ways in the present.

Grounding Meditation by Ken Mellor

Relaxation Meditation by Ken Mellor

There is a track to relax to for 30 minutes that wakes you up afterwards and another to go into a deep sleep that is very rejuvenating.

Stepping Down the Light by Elizabeth Mellor

This meditation starts by taking us through a process of connecting to our own inner light – the light of our deepest beings. Once established in this light, the meditation moves us into increasingly refined and rarefied illumination. We progressively move into and experience light with it’s source in the Beyond. Repeated use of the meditation can help us to transform everything in our everyday worlds.

About Elizabeth and Ken Mellor
Elizabeth and Ken Mellor have worked with people for many decades in a variety of ways including as psychotherapists, counsellors, educators, meditation teachers and spiritual mentors. They have developed a unique and practical integration of Eastern and Western approaches to physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual well being.

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Australian Parents for Climate Action
Newsletter on 7 March 2022

Monday morning. Scanning the climate change news headlines after school drop-off, my heart sunk deep into my feet. I couldn’t fight back the tears. The tragedy of the NSW and QLD floods comes on top of dire warnings from the last IPCC report that our leaders are failing us when it comes to climate action.

Every day small choices – riding our e-bike to school, the steamed green beans and plant-based sausage in my kid’s lunchbox. Honestly, it feels futile. I want a safe future for my kids, and our federal government is not listening.

We need to raise the importance of climate action. Can you help make it a national priority?

We’re producing signs that say “Our Family Supports Climate Action Now” for everyone. You can show your community and your federal election candidates your deep wish for stronger climate action.
You can order signs here.

My friend in Lismore told me how she saw fear blossom into bravery in her son, as they cut a hole in their roof with a blunt ax and got rescued in a tinny.

My wish is for every adult to have this bravery blossom in them, to act now, to pressure our government to take more climate action, so our kids don’t have to be the brave ones.

Thank you for joining with me to take action for our kids. Because if the government isn’t listening to the science, we need to make them listen to the parents.

Australian Parents for Climate Action

If you are able, please consider making a donation to Australian Parents for Climate Action to help fund our critical work into the future. The support from our community enables us to expand our impact. And every bit counts.
Australian Parents for Climate Action

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The New Daily – the new normal.
Illustration of how the climate emergency is quickly becoming ‘the new normal’ in Australia

The New Daily – the new normal.
Australians are beginning to feel the realities of what we have been warned about would happen.

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The green shift: Unions have come on board

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→ Financial Review – 7 March 2022:
Our politicians have lost their moral compass on climate
“Australia’s carbon policy is little more than selling coal until somebody makes us stop. Only a carbon tax will curb our worst instincts.”

→ RenewEconomy – 7 March 2022:
Pitt uses Russian invasion to justify another handout for gas drilling in Beetaloo Basin
“Federal resources minister Keith Pitt has gifted another $7.5 million to the gas industry to drill for gas in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin, with the Morrison government doubling down on its support for an expanded fossil fuel industry.”

“We face an emergency without precedent. We have a few short years left in which to avert horrors. And yet our leaders seem paralysed. And that’s no accident. Such is the cultural success of fossil capital. Big Daddy Gas has continued to make himself seem indispensable to civilisation.” 
~ Tim Winton, author

“Fossil fuels are a dead end — for our planet, for humanity and for economies. A prompt, well-managed transition to renewables is the only pathway to energy security, universal access & the green jobs our world needs.”
~ António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, on Twitter on 6 March 2022

If we can unite together

“Here’s the thing: real political leadership and genuine security means protecting our communities and the vulnerable from the threat of climate disaster. Politicians must act—the latest IPCC report acknowledges, for the first time, the importance of a climate justice framework and details the harmful impacts on vulnerable communities around the globe.

We know for certain that the climate emergency is a direct result of the imperialism of wealthy countries and their continual resource extraction. But there is still time to make change IF we can unite together and pressure our political leaders to adopt an emergency mindset.

“The cumulative scientific evidence is unequivocal: Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health. Any further delay in concerted anticipatory global action on adaptation and mitigation will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.” (IPCC Report, page 37)”

~ Climate Emergency Unit, Canada, 4 March 2022

“We have a mental health crisis because people feel they lack meaning and purpose in their lives. And a planetary emergency that needs everyone to engage to literally save the world. I wish we could connect these better.”
~ Dr Charlie Gardner

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“If we don’t cut emissions rapidly from now through 2030 we are extremely fucked, to paraphrase the IPCC. What terrifies me is we’re well into 2022 and world leaders continue to call loudly for EXPANDING the fossil fuel industry when we obvs need very rapid controlled contraction.”
~ Peter Kalmus


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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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The Sustainable Hour is streamed live on the Internet and broadcasted on FM airwaves in the Geelong region every Wednesday from 11am to 12pm (Melbourne time).

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