Climate suffrage: Arrests of three women

The Sustainable Hour no. 405  [podcast notes

“This is our last and best chance. We want to be able to say: ‘We did everything we could.’ And so, that does mean risking arrest. It means showing a bit of courage. It means getting up early in the morning. But it is worth it, because either we will be at the celebration cake going ‘Yeah, we’ve won! Aren’t we incredible?!’, or else we will be lying in our beds while everything falls apart around us, going: ‘At least I know I did everything I could’.”
~ Jane Morton, Extinction Rebellion ‘Just Stop It’ campaign spokesperson

We hear from a range of female “Climate Zealots” in The Sustainable Hour on 30 March 2022:

Jane Morton stands outside Exxon-Mobil’s fuel distribution hub in Yarraville where she talks us through the drama taking place: Extinction Rebellion Victoria’s first action in its ‘Just Stop It’ (stop burning coal, oil and gas, that is) campaign. Jane takes us right into the action as it unfolds around three courageous women who have locked onto two 44 gallon drums filled with concrete.

MidCoast Council Mayor Claire Pontin calls in from her city hall office north of Newcastle in New South Wales to tell us how her council is implementing their declaration of a climate emergency. They have looked internally at what their current emissions are, and – as much as finances allow – they are now working on ways to reduce these. Their goal is to reach zero by 2040. Like many other councils they have started with solar powering their own buildings and using the resultant savings in energy costs to fund other projects. The next big step is to start working within their communities to bring them along too. The interview was organised by our roving reporter Rusty.

A highlight at Friday’s climate strike in front of Geelong’s City Hall was the short and emotional speech by the student Lauren Dillon.

A busy week makes a busy Sustainable Hour. We’ve had more recordings of important local climate-related events in Geelong than we could fit in our weekly radio hour, so we have put out an extra podcast over the weekend: It can be found here.

The Sustainable Hour is the only radio show in the world which since 2016 has kept our listeners regularly updated on the development of the Climate Emergency Declaration mobilision. Latest news on this front happened on 23 March 2022, when Cate Faehrmann from the Greens put forward a motion that the New South Wales Government declare a climate emergency. The motion was voted down by 28 votes of Labor, Liberals and Nationals against and with only 4 Greens votes for the motion. Here is how Cate Faehrmann and environmental lawyer Sue Higginson described it in a live Facebook video on 25 March 2022. Sue Higginson did an interesting interview with Juice Media Podcast about going into politics and about the flooding disaster in north-eastern Australia.

In case you were in doubt that we are now in a climate emergency, watch the ABC Four Corners’ wild weather documentary about what is happening to our planet as a consequence of man-made global warming.

Mik Aidt sees the Netflix film ‘Suffragette’ as an insightful lesson for anyone who’d like to understand the ideas that are driving the Extinction Rebellion protest activism and their call for the right of all living creatures to have not just a vote and a voice, but a safe future on this planet.

We play a two-minute trailer for another Netflix film, ‘Don’t Look Up’ – the Hollywood movie which has been seen by more than 300 million people. It adresses the mechanisms of denial that lead to our collective failure to act on an approaching planetary catastophe. “We must come together to combat the climate crisis,” the filmmakers say, and to facilitate that they have set up an ambitious climate action campaign, ‘Count Us In’, where they have compiled a number of steps which each of us can take. The campaigners say they are “building the world’s largest community of people taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint.”

António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, said in August 2021 that “The alarm bells are deafening. Countries should end all new fossil fuel exploration and production, and shift fossil fuel subsidies into renewable energy,” and Craig Foster AM recently addressed the National Press Club of Australia with a similar message. Musicians warn us too. Keb Mo has written a tribute to the school-striking youth, ‘Louder’, and Peter Gabriel sings about the mobilisation and power of women in his ‘Shaking the Tree’.

Our carbon footprint expert Heidi Fog then follows with her third ‘Sustainable Endpoint’ episode – this time she compares the carbon emissions of paper bags and plastic bags, and reminds us of that we need to look at the whole story about where our emissions are coming from.

Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook begins as it did last week, in the Antarctic. We’re going to try to put a bit of perspective on to last week’s news that the Antarctic Sea Ice is at a record low. Colin produces a scientific explanation of why this occurred as well as more figures to show there is much to be concerned about this phenomena.

Then to the United Kingdom where research from RenewableUK shows the outstanding news about that country’s increasing total of offshore wind projects. We also learn how the same organisation ranks counties in terms of their use of this clean renewable technology. Meanwhile, in Australia, we’re still taking wind farms to court alleging noise pollution.

And while we’re in Australia, Colin refers to an article in The Saturday Paper that lists how our so-called “emissions reductions minister” Angus Taylor has spent $1 billion of the Emissions Reduction Fund and every cent has gone on projects that don’t actually reduce emissions according to Professor Andrew Macintosh, director of research at the ANU’s law school. He described Australia’s federal government’s carbon-reduction efforts simply as ‘a sham’.

Then we zoom to Germany and news of the leading recycling countries according to self-reporting recycling rates. However, in this new research, Eunomia – a Bristol-based environmental consultancy – took the recycling rates that countries self-reported and adjusted them with additional publicly available waste data. Interestingly based on this, some of the countries changed positions.

Then to Ireland where Ryanair has announced its decarbonisation strategy, called ‘Pathway to Net Zero’ developed in conjunction with the EU and Trinity College Dublin. Their ultimate aim is to reduce its carbon emissions and its strategy outlines its goal of net carbon zero by 2050, with more than a third of its decarbonisation to come from the increased use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels developed at Trinity College and more efficient operating procedures developed with EU regulations. This partnership will deliver research in Zero Carbon Aircraft Propulsion Systems and Noise Mapping. The big question based on the latest science is: is this ambitious enough? Or is it just kicking the can down the road for the next generation to manage?

Finally: our Forest Green Rovers won 1-0 away at Colchester at the weekend. This follows a run of seven games without a win – and according to the press, the relief was palpable. The win leaves them 7 points clear at the top of the ladder with nine games left in the season.

An important reminder: On Saturday in Geelong there’s a rally to show opposition to Viva’s proposed toxic floating gas hub in Corio Bay. You can find out more about this at There you’ll also find information about the two online workshops on how to put in a submission against Viva’s proposal. The Sustainable Hour will be there and record the proceedings.

That’s it for another week. As news of climate disasters gets closer to home, more and more Australians are coming together in unprecedented numbers under the mantra: We all share the same atmosphere, so let’s protect it together. You’ll be hearing more on this in future shows. Until next week what will your atmospheric protection look like? We can all make up our minds to be the difference and find our own personal role in the climate revolution.

“We are using a language that the government understands and that is disruption. We want to get on tv and talk directly to people to tell them how serious the situation is. It’s not just about putting up solar panels and everything stays the same. Sir David King who advised the UK government is saying that we have three or four years to get this right.”
~ Jane Morton, Extinction Rebellion ‘Just Stop It’ campaign spokesperson

Facebook post: “After contesting onerous bail conditions and eventually seeing a magistrate, the courageous and determined Jane Morton is out of custody with a three month good behaviour bond. All nine Rebels from the four hour blockade of Ampols Newport facility have now been released.”

→ 9News – 5 April 2022:
‘Dark days for our democracy’: What the new protest laws in NSW mean
“The introduction of new anti-protest legislation rushed through NSW Parliament last week has been described as “a dark day for democracy”. The Roads and Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 could see protesters who cause disruption to major roads, ports and train stations fined up to $20,000 and jailed for two years.”

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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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Students’ climate strike

Lauren Dillon speaking at the Climate Strike in Geelong on 25 March 2022
1 hour 15 minutes podcast report from the two events: a candidate forum and a climate strike

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Heidi Fog: The Sustainable Endpoint no. 3 – about plastic versus paper in an emissions perspective

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Keb Mo: ‘Louder’

“This one is for our kids. Go ahead. Get Louder.”
~ Keb Mo

“I am so terrified, I often can’t sleep. Our house is solar powered, I don’t buy anything new except absolute essentials, I try & recycle, reuse and do a lot of protesting, writing letters & lobbying. I wish I knew what else to do.”
~ Pippa Bailey, Australian Cultural Alliance for Climate Action

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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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