Faith leaders voting for the climate

The Sustainable Hour no. 411  |  Podcast notes

We start The Sustainable Hour on 11 May 2022 with a clip from an American climate scientist Carl Sagan, who warns us that if we don’t act now it will be too late. Nothing surprising about that, you may be thinking, except that “now” was in 1985. We have allowed 37 years to go by without acting since then.

This is followed by similar quotes from local climate-concerned faith leaders: Anglican vicar Peter Martin and Buddhist Hannah Meyer talking about the political candidates’ moral obligations to act on climate now.

Mik Aidt then starts to explain the mountains of research that he has undertaken to explain what so many of us find so confusing. In doing this he refers to three online voting guidance systems that have been specifically developed to guide people whose major election concern is real action on climate. These are:
Climate Analytics
Vote Earth Now
Vote Climate One

Our guest for today is Bellingen-based Uniting Church minister and Landcare co-ordinator Jason John. We hear about Jason’s strong belief in his moral responsibility to do all that he can to educate people as to the parlous nature of the climate crisis we face.

Not to fill people with the paralysing “doom & gloom” that so often accompanies such news, but to leave them with the hopeful message “We can do this”. Yes Jason slotted very smoothly into our belief system, and he even surprised us with a ministerial poetry slam about the c-word.

Colin Mockett’s Global Outlook begins with in Europe where their scientists have gone into long-range weather forecasting and predicted a cooler, windy spring and summer ahead. We know this because their politicians have announced and are enacting plans to stop buying Russian oil by mid-year and Russian gas by the year’s end. This can only happen if Europe doesn’t have a hot summer, which would increase power demand from air conditioners, and there’s enough wind to keep the turbines turning.

They’ve also announced a huge increase in investment in the clean energy sector. What this is doing is supercharging the continent’s move to renewable energy generation which can only be good for the planet in the long run.

Colin then zooms us to India where the record-breaking heat wave that has engulfed much of India and Pakistan since March eased this week, but is forecast to return in the coming week with temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius. The heat, when combined with high levels of humidity – especially near the coast and along the Indus River Valley – has been forecast to produce dangerously high levels of heat stress that will approach, or exceed, the limit of survivability for people outdoors for extended periods. Scientists on the sub-continent agree that this is man-made climate change enacted. Already 25 people have died of heat-stroke in one state, Maharashtra, alone. Across India May is typically the region’s hottest month, and significant relief from the heat wave may not occur until the cooling rains of the Southwest Monsoon arrive in June.

Back to Europe where the global group ‘Better Cotton’ announced a new initiative to explore the supply chains of major clothing brands in order to crack down on greenwashing. For example, sellers will no longer be allowed to put a sustainability label on their product if there is no certification or recognition by a public authority. It also prohibits sellers from making generic environmental claims such as “eco-friendly” or “green” if they can’t demonstrate environmental performance. The group promotes sustainable cotton growth and has gathered input from over 1,500 organisations so far and re-trained more than 2.5 million farmers in 25 countries. They have raised €99 million since 2010 to fund these activities, and this is projected to grow to over €125 million by the end of the 2021-2022 fashion season.

In the US environmentalists are forecasting a flurry of regulatory and non-regulatory actions from the Biden administration aimed at achieving the United States’ aims under the Paris Agreement — a 50 to 52 percent reduction in economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 en route to net-zero by 2050. Politically, the Democrats’ window narrows for passing climate legislation before the congressional midterm elections. The administration has cleared the way by announcing a ten-point plan for year two of the Biden-Harris environmental agenda. More about that later.

To Iceland, rated one of the most low-carbon and energy efficient nations in the world, where the country is so proud of its renewable energy innovation and sustainability strategies that it is opening them up to tourism. They’re inviting students and young executives of the world to what they term ‘Sustainability Adventures’. They invite people to apply and ‘Discover the successes and challenges of a country that sources nearly 100% of its energy from renewable energy while adventuring through Iceland’s natural wonders’. Participants can see the effects of climate change first-hand on a glacier walk; gain exclusive access and private tours into Iceland’s renewable energy and biofuel industries and hike and camp through Iceland’s highlands, off the beaten path. The website to apply is

Finally … Forest Green Rovers drew their final match against Mansfield 1 – 1 but that was enough to send them up to English League One as champions. Their rivals, Exeter, lost to Port Vale leaving both Exeter and Forest Green on the same points, but The Rovers had a far superior goal difference (31 to 24), so a big congratulations to the only carbon-neutral vegan- and now championship-winning sporting club in the world.

We hope that if you are confused about our voting system or who to vote for before this week’s show, that it is all clearer now. We’ll be back with some more of our election research next week. Get ready to vote the difference. For a safer, more just, inclusive and healthy climate and truth-telling at all levels.

For The Sustainable Hour team
Mik, Colin, Rusty & Tony

“Unite in a national effort to save from destruction all that makes life itself worth living.”
~ MacKenzie King, Canadian Prime Minister during the Second World War

Subscribe to The Sustainable Hour podcast via iTunes or Stitcher

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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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Jason John: C-word


Once when I was preaching in a congregation
I caused a little consternation,
leading to a touch of confrontation
When they heard how I used the C word

​I said it not just once, this was no accidental slip
I said it a whole bunch of times, I really let it rip.
I thought I’d get away with it-
I’m middle class and white
And anyone will tell you that I’m usually polite

​That bloody C word
Causes such offense
Which is fair enough, after all, I guess.

Christ was very offensive
He left the temple in a mess
Kicking over tables and
whipping those who oppress

And I mean what else can you do
When you have to
Preach from the bible each week
And Christ – and his mother – just keep
Banging on about injustice, and hypocrisy and greed
And at Christmas time we read about their life as refugees!
It’s not my fault the little child
Didn’t grow up meek and mild!

​It’s not my fault Christ said we must forgive to be forgiven
(If we’re self-righteous arseholes who assume we’re off to heaven)
And that paradoxically, God sends rain on the wicked and ungrateful
So to be kids of the one in heaven we must all be merciful

Christ wanted us to do, or at least try
And our leaders to lead us
In justice and compassion
For this world of refugees
Then there’d be no rotting in detention
And we’d stick to 1.5 degrees-

If we only had a Christian prime minister!

I know, I know, we’ve already had a few.
We got lots of “thoughts and prayers”

And that’s going to continue, if I had to take a punt
With our “pray for rain” prime minister
And his “coal won’t hurt you” stunt.

Our PM prays for rain
But after WW1 & WW2 (and I could continue)
Wouldn’t it be strange
if God got off his butt for climate change?

Came down here to fix the weather
Or sucked all the carbon up to heaven to make it all better?
Prayers for the drought are vanity
Unless we stop the fossil fuel subsidy!

Where are the leaders who will lead us
Not misdirect and deceive us?

Well, for every disappointing PM
There’s a Miriam, a Byron, a Jacqui, a Jess
There’s Lisa with one i and Liisa with two iis and all of you I guess!

There’s Toni and Rachel and Pia and Pete
And millions of people are about to march in the streets!

You’ve never heard of them
And they’ve never heard of you
We’re Christians Muslims Atheists, Jews
Straights, lgbs and tiqs

All us scraggly little mustard bushes
Getting up off our tushes!

So whether your C word is Christ or Compassion
or Climate or Community
or crushing coal
or Country

say your C word loud and clear
live your C word and let’s put the fear of true democracy
right up the jacksy of the fossil fuel plutocracy!

By Rev. Jason John
→ Home page:

Faith vigil in front of Libby Coker’s office in Geelong in the Corangamite electorate: Peter Martin calling for climate action 
as an Australian Religious Response to Climate Change. Share on Youtube
Faith vigil in front of Stephanie Asher’s office.


‘Political party and independent climate goals: analysis’

Climate Analytics is a non-profit institute leading research on climate science and policy in relation to the 1.5°C limit in the Paris Agreement.
It has offices in Germany, the United States, Togo, Nepal and Trinidad, Tobago, and Australia.

Download their Australian Election 2022 analysis (PDF, 4 pages)

Vote Earth Now: Who should I vote for in Corangamite? In Corio?

Australian Parents for Climate Action:

Federal Election 2022: Where do they stand on climate policy?

Recommendations of the Climate Targets Panel and the Paris Agreement’s equity principles require wealthy, high-emitting nations to make cuts above the global average:
• Emissions reduction target (ERT) of 75% by 2030 (from 2005 levels)
• Net zero by 2035 – 100% renewable electricity by 2030

• Emissions reduction target of 43% by 2030
• Net zero by 2050
• 50% renewable electricity by 2030, and investment in energy efficiency

• Emissions reduction target of 75% by 2030
• Net zero by 2035
• 100% renewable energy by 2030 via public investment in large-scale renewables
and storage

• Emissions reduction target of 26%-28% by 2030
• Net zero by 2050
• No future renewable electricity target; various investments in renewables including
Snowy 2 and in the Hunter Valley

• Net zero by 2030

• No stated targets; supports immediate climate action to limit warming to 2°C

• No stated emissions reduction policy

• One Nation believes Australia should withdraw from the Paris Agreement, citing
fears of economic damage and job losses

• Emissions reduction target of 26-28% by 2030

• In Monash, Deb Leonard supports an ERT of 74% by 2030 and net zero by 2035.
• In North Sydney, Kylea Tink calls for an ERT of at least 60% by 2030 and Net
Zero by 2040.
• In Warringah, sitting MP Zali Steggall targets an ERT of 60% by 2030 and Net
Zero by 2050, and an orderly transition to 80% renewable energy by 2030.
• In Goldstein, Zoe Daniel supports an ERT of 60% by 2030, and a commitment to
80% of renewable energy by 2030

Read more

Same video on Youtube
Vote Climate: This Senate how-to-vote card is for Victoria.

Here are the Senate cards for New South WalesTasmaniaSouth AustraliaWestern Australia

The minimum number is 12 below the line. But for the most effective vote you need to number ALL the not so bad candidates and parties. It’s easy to make a mistake if you are trying to number 50 or so (which is what you would need to do to number all the good and ‘less bad’ options). Thirteen (or more) above the line is by far an easier option for an effective Senate vote.

Vote Climate One: Senate voting recommendation by Vote Climate One

→ Vote Climate One scorecards for Corangamite and Corio

→ Vote Climate One on Facebook

Solar Citizensscorecard focuses on renewable energy and clean transport

ARRCC: “Being spiritual people and #VoteClimate scorecard”

This is how the Greens propose you vote in Corio

The Greens suggest you put the Animal Justice Party second in Corio
Last week’s Sustainable Hour

“Populist right-wing politicians are going after the traditional working-class voters concerned about immigration and jobs, the left is focused on the more elite urban concerns of environment, child care and aged care and, in Australia, teal independents are claiming the middle. The old model of two-party representative democracy is failing because the choice is no longer a clear one between labour and capital, left and right, but between two sets of schmucks with no serious policies, about whom we know far too much.”
~ Alan Kohler, editor in chief of Eureka Report and finance presenter on ABC news – in The New Daily

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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).

» 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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