Same isn’t safe

The Sustainable Hour no. 407 

We have referred to the various “Voices of” federal electorate climate independent candidates many times recently. These candidates, the vast majority of whom are female, are certainly causing a big stir in our two-party dominated political system. Sky News terms it ‘guerilla games‘. Today we have two perspectives of this guerilla from the ‘Voices for Monash‘ electorate which covers a large area in South Gippsland.

Firstly from Adam Tyson who was part of the Voices for Monash community committee that set the selection criteria and carried out the process of coming up with an independent candidate decided on by the community. A vastly different and much more democratic process than the preselection battles that we often see unfolding in the media from our major parties, where candidates are “parachuted in” by state or national party executives, usually without any regard for the wishes of the local party faithful. Adam talks of his delight in being part of this truly democratic process.

“My message to everyone out in Australia at the moment is: This election is possibly the most important election you will face during your life. We don’t have another three years to delay action on climate change. We need to do it now. So this is the election where you need to make sure your vote counts. And make sure you vote for a climate-conscious candidate – whether it is an independent or someone who’s got a really strong climate agenda.”
~ Deb Leonard, Voices for Monash candidate in the upcoming federal election

We then have Deb Leonard who emerged from their selection process as the community-chosen independent candidate for Monash. Deb, who is a mother of two young children with a lawyer background, is clearly chuffed to have been chosen and is taking this role very seriously. She tells us of the surprising number of conversations she is having with people who have always voted Liberal, but who have become disillusioned by the lack of climate actions and decisions truly representative of the wishes of the communities in their electorate. She is excited to not be weighed down by party expectations and being forced to vote along ‘party lines’.

We wish Deb, as well as all the ‘climate independent’ candidates all the very best on 21 May and will be watching their challenges unfold that night. One thing for sure is that all of these candidates are driven by the spirit of a true democracy, and that is so refreshing.

Recently Fireproof Australia has been getting a lot of negative coverage in our mainstream media because of their tactics of disrupting traffic, especially in Sydney. So we thought we’d reach out to them to come on to give their perspective of why they are doing what they are. One of their communications people Danny Noonan answered our call and is our next guest today. We learn from Danny that they formed out of frustration at the lack of real action on climate by all levels of government at the moment. He also tells us about their three demands. In doing so, he gives us a sense that they are very much ordinary Aussies who aren’t prepared to let their concerns go unheard about the true nature of the climate crisis we face. After listening to Danny articulate all this, it’s even more obvious that we aren’t getting the climate truth from our mainstream media.

Today’s news from Sydney about Fireproof Australia. One of the protesters, Alan,
has been a firefighter in the Hunter Valley Rural Fire Service for 40 years.

We start today’s show with a quick, but very important grab from the head of the United Nations Antonio Guterres. Mik Aidt then refers to the excitement around finally knowing the election date and the opportunity that will give us all to vote for the difference, to vote for a liveable future.

Additionally he refers to the scary headline hidden on page 3 of an American newspaper: “Earth On Track To Be Unliveable” – and what it says we need to do to get to a liveable future. Information bound to ground us in our determination to get us where we need to be on climate.

Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook begins once again at the United Nations, where its IPCC report, released on 4 April 2022 stated that the world already has the tools and know-how required to limit warming and halve global emissions by 2030. What we need now is for governments around the world to implement them. The report notes that major transitions in the energy sector will be required to reach this target. This involves a substantial reduction in fossil fuel use, widespread electrification, improved energy efficiency, and use of alternative fuels such as hydrogen. Without this, the IPCC warn that limiting global warming to 1.5°C is beyond reach. And this means that it has to happen in the term of our next government.

The IPCC report was backed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres using his address to a sustainability summit which took a very obvious and unusual swipe at Australia for not lifting its climate change efforts. Mr Guterres in particular targeted the coal industry, saying that “all G20 countries should be dismantling their domestic coal industries today, with a full phase-out by 2030, for OECD countries, and 2040 for others.” He called investment in coal ‘a stupid investment’ that would lead to billions of dollars in stranded and lost assets.

Of course, this was dismissed by our government, with communications minister Paul Fletcher calling the UN Secretary-General a member of the ‘chattering classes’ and saying that our government was committed to its coal industry. Our so-called minister for emissions reduction Angus Taylor changed the rules so that coal-fired power stations need to give five years’ notice before they can close. This was previously three years and can be seen as a deliberate undermining of the UN’s statements.

Meanwhile the latest report from the global wind generation industry shows that 2020-2022 were record years for several regions. It showed that offshore wind generation was growing globally, but installations must still quadruple by the end of the decade to meet the world’s net zero pathway. Last year global capacity increased by 93.6 gigawatt to bring total cumulative wind power capacity to 837 gigawatt, which is year-over-year growth of 12 per cent. While the world’s two biggest markets, China and the US, installed less new onshore wind capacity last year – 30.7 and 12.7 gigawatt respectively – other regions enjoyed record years: Europe, Latin America and Africa and the Middle East.

While in Europe: The International Energy Agency issued a 10-point plan on how Europe can cut its reliance on Russian gas by a third by the end of the year. This ranges from taking simple measures like asking householders to set their thermostats one degree lower to extending the planned life of nuclear reactors. It also recommended that all EU countries cut the red-tape and fast-tracked the installation of off-shore wind turbines. As Boris Johnstone said about the Ukraine war “Wind and Solar were the cheapest forms of electricity in most countries before this crisis and definitely are now. “The response from Europe in the last month has been unambiguous – this transformation must be sped up.”

In the United States, they’re taking a similar line. They may be sending tankers of gas to Europe to replace Russia’s in the short term, but they’ve stepped up their domestic decarbonisation by several notches. The US energy secretary Jennifer Granholm declared that the whole world was now on a war footing, with carbon the enemy. “The clean energy transition is not just coming, it is here,” she said. “Your investors are demanding action, your customers are demanding climate action and 70 per cent of voting Americans support the clean energy transition.”

Finally: Our climate champions Forest Green Rovers – the world’s only vegan carbon-neutral football club – at the weekend played Hartlepool at home. They drew 1 – 1 leaving them 5 points clear at the top of the table a game in hand and only 6 games left for the season. That makes them almost certain of promotion to English Football League One next year. But the big news is that Dale Vincent, the club’s chairman, owner and the man who revolutionised it, has put his main business Ecotricity up for sale and said he is now considering going into politics. That could have significant repercussions in UK politics.

That’s it for today. As always we hope that you have found some motivation to become active climate solution seekers and climate revolutionaries, if you aren’t already, in what you have heard. As we heard in the Hour: “Don’t sit this one out. Let’s make this a historic election.” We’ll be back again next week with some more information and inspirational guests who will help you vote the difference on 21 May 2022.

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
~ Dr Jane Goodall

“I think it’s so powerful that a community could come together and say ‘Hang on a minute, we don’t like the options that are being given to us by the big parties, we want to come together and choose our own candidate who is going to listen to us and represent us.”
~ Deb Leonard, Voices for Monash candidate in the upcoming federal election

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Climate 200 promotional video
Mike Lawrence from Voices of Corangamite
Juice Media on carbon credits and offsets
Fireproof Australia is a campaign of civil resistance proportional to the existential threat we face  

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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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“What’s needed is a price on carbon, but neither party is proposing that because Australian politics has been irretrievably polluted against it. After the floods and Sydney rains, global warming is front of mind for most Australians, but it’s unlikely that either of them will campaign on climate change at all, which is why independents supported by Climate 200 standing in Coalition seats could do well.”

Alan Kohler

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How Sky News sees it

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“The NSW Government rushed through new legislation last month that makes unauthorised protests where
roads or transport routes are blocked an offence that can carry up to two years’ imprisonment.”

“Many climate protesters are too young to vote. They are denied a voice in determining their own future, while politicians accept gifts worth millions from climate sceptics and fossil fuel interests. Through activism, including civil disobedience, they demand to be heard. When future generations look back on this period, as we look back on earlier epoch-defining campaigns, they’ll ask who showed more respect for justice and democracy: the activists so many of us find disruptive, or the governments they are trying to reform. I think we know what their answer will be.”
~ Elizabeth Cripps, writer and philosopher

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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