How to put climate first in the Senate

The Sustainable Hour no. 412  | Podcast notes

Trust – what will it mean to us when we vote on Saturday? And why is trust so important? ‘Resilience author’ Richard Heinberg from the Post Carbon Institute stimulates our thinking on this in a short clip inspired by his latest book “Power: Limits and the Prospects of Human Survival”.

Mik Aidt reinforces this by referring to research he has been doing on how to vote climate generally.

We hear a collage of climate voices from a GetUp video clip, all aimed at helping us realise the importance of this being the “Climate Election”.

Many in the climate movement have been upset and angry about the way the government and the climate-friendly parties handled the pandemic, and they now want to teach these parties a lesson by voting for the so-called Freedom parties. However a vote for so-called ‘freedom’ at the same time means a vote for coal and climate denial. But there is a way to go about it, we come back to that.

Our guest today is psychologist, climate activist, writer and friend of The Sustainable Hour Jane Morton from Vote Climate. Jane gives us sage advice on how we can use our preferential voting system to give climate-concerned candidates the best chance of overall success. For instance, it turns out we should number 13 boxes above the line when voting on the white ballot paper for the Senate – not just the recommended six boxes.

Jane also points out various websites that will assist voters in their specific electorates how to vote climate.

A useful discussion follows about how this could play out in the local seats of Corio and Corangamite. Jane stresses the importance of voting above the line in the Senate. Voting for individual and ungrouped candidates would require voting below the line, which increases the chances of making mistakes and not having the vote recognised, so she doesn’t recommend voting below the line.

Colin Mockett’s Global Outlook begins with The International Energy Agency (IEA), which released a new report saying that global renewable power is set for another year of record growth in 2022. It stated that this year’s projected growth comes despite the first increase in the cost of solar and wind installations in a decade. This is caused in part by supply chain disruptions. But the report shows that the cost of fossil fuels has increased faster, actually improving the competitiveness of renewable energy. The IEA’s executive director, Fatih Birol, said the turmoil in Europe proved again that renewable energy was crucial not only to addressing climate change but to improving energy security. It also contained good news for this year. Unsurprisingly, the European Union, China and South America have seen the greatest expansion. The report’s bottom line said that over the past 10 years, the cost of renewables had decreased and would continue to do so in the future, while fossil fuel prices would continue to climb.

Another global institution, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), has published a “Net-Zero Foundations for Financial Institutions” paper. It’s aimed at financial institutions with US $130 trillion in assets in order to get them to commit to set consistent net-zero targets with emissions reductions in line with the Paris Agreement and 1.5°C. It names the financial institutions with approved science-based targets and they aren’t all the ultra rich institutions we’d expect. There are more than 50 financial institutions now committed to setting net-zero targets and more than 140 additional financial institutions are committed to setting near-term targets.

In the United Kingdom, a new “Green Building Council” has published a guide to retrofit the UK’s poorly performing commercial buildings. From 2025, every commercial building in the UK will require an energy performance certificate (EPC) which rates its energy efficiency from grade A to G. The Government has now strengthened these standards and has proposed that all commercial properties being let have a minimum EPC rating of at least ‘B’ by 2030 and is looking to require a minimum level ‘C’ by 2027. Buildings which fail to meet these new standards would require owners and landlords to upgrade or they will be closed down. The aim is to increase the pace at which the UK’s commercial real estate is environmentally updated. The government’s analysis shows that aligning the UK built environment with the Paris Agreement would require energy consumption across commercial buildings to be reduced by 59 per cent by 2030.

Then to Iceland where an updating analysis of the nation’s climate action forecast that it will not only meet its commitments to the Glasgow COP26, it will surpass them. The nation’s 48-pronged Climate Action Plan will lead to a predicted decrease of emissions by 55 per cent by 2030, and be carbon neutral by 2040. It will then look to improve its efforts to plant trees and look for other ways to reduce carbon in the atmosphere. Colin will be looking into those 48 steps singling interesting ones out for future Outlooks.

And finally … Forest Green Rovers’ promotion as champions, which we reported last week, isn’t the final word for the season. Manager Rob Edwards has left after secretly negotiating a deal with Premier league club Watford who are certain to be relegated at the end of the season. Presumably they are hoping he can work the same magic as he did at Forest Green. This was his first year at FGR, and he coached them to win the league. FGR Club chair Dale Vince was furious about the underhand poaching of his manager. Now he said he will be interviewing applicants for the job and nobody will be excluded, which insiders believe might be leaving the door open for a female to take the job. If that’s the case, she would be the first female to lead a club in the English league.

Next week’s show will focus on Saturday’s Federal election’s results. We will not know the final result, but trends should be emerging by then.

Over the last three weeks we have done our best to de-mystify how our preferential voting system works and to provide some guidance for our climate concerned listeners as to the candidates who have the best climate policies. We learned much in the process and hope you all did too.

Now do your own research, consider helping a climate group with handing ho-to-vote cards out, and on Saturday: care and vote for the climate – #VoteTheDifference!

“The system has changed. Now you can control where your preferences go, but people have just not learned how to use the new system, so they tend to obey the parties and vote for who they suggest. For the Senate, vote for 13 parties – or vote for 14, or 15 – above the line till you come to the parties that are absolutely horrible on climate like the United Australia Party.”
~ Jane Morton, Vote Climate

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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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How to vote-cards for Corangamite and Corio

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“A vote for Scott Morrison is a vote for corruption.”
~ Simon Banks, one of Australia’s most highly respected government relations, campaigning and strategic communications professionals with 17,000 Twitter followers

“A strong economy is worth zilch when the planet is burning.”
~ April Lindsay

“Let’s take a couple of minutes here to set the record straight on Liberal and National rorts, wasteful spending, and a Budget badly corrupted by Scott Morrison’s incompetence.”
~ Jim Chalmers, Shadow Treasurer, Australian Labor MP for Rankin

“Two’s company, but three can change the country! We must make this the climate election. Vote like their future depends on it.”
~ Climate 200

Paying for votes – that it is now so normalised. Surely the fastest way to ruin a country.
~ Kristen Lock, commenting on that Scott Morrison is reported in The Australian to be using a 220 million dollar forestry package to win votes in Tasmania.

→ ABC News – 18 May 2022:
Federal election 2022: Labor and Coalition climate change policies both breach the Paris Agreement. So what does the science say?
“Climate change has sharpened as a central issue this federal election.”

→ Jimboomba Times – 17 May 2022:
Climate change heats up election focus
Australia’s perception of the Liberal-National coalition’s approach to climate change could be defined by six words. “I don’t hold a hose, mate.”

“The Labor Party and the Greens have noble ideas such as banning or restricting coal and gas exports, but there is nothing currently to replace the hundreds of billions of dollars they earn. It is beyond folly, it is irresponsible.”
~ Barnaby Joyce, leader of the National Party

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Rising temperatures, rising tides

MEDIA COVERAGE – compiled by Hot Take in the United States

Earth could soon briefly hit threatening climate threshold – The Washington Post, by Kasha Patel

‘Our mountains are gone’: Grief as sacred New Mexico forests burn | Reuters, by Andrew Hay

Record heat fueling violent storms in central US – The Washington Post, by Matthew Cappucci and Jason Samenow

Most Great Barrier Reef coral studied this year was bleached | AP News, by Rod McGuirk

The swift march of climate change in North Carolina’s ‘ghost forests’, by Brady Dennis for The Washington Post

North Carolina beach homes collapse from lumbering coastal storm – The Washington Post, by Jason Samenow and Brady Dennis

Video Shows Surging Water From a Melting Glacier Destroying a Landmark Bridge, by Rimal Farrukh for Vice

New Research Shows Aerosol Emissions May Have Masked Global Warming’s Supercharging of Tropical Storms – Inside Climate News, by Bob Berwyn

Pakistan city hits nearly 50C as blistering heatwave grips nation | Climate Crisis News | Al Jazeera, by AJ Staff

India tries to adapt to extreme heat but is paying a heavy price, by Gerry Shih and Kasha Patel for The Washington Post

How future trees of New Mexico were almost destroyed by wildfires – The Washington Post, by Elizabeth Millre

Wildfires are still catching us off-guard. Congress’ plan to fix that isn’t going anywhere. by Chad Small for Grist

Dehydrated birds falling from sky in India amid record heatwave | Climate Crisis News | Al Jazeera, by AJ Staff

As record-setting heat blasts Pakistan, a glacial lake floods village – The Washington Post, by Kasha Patel

Winds fuel New Mexico wildfire, complicating containment efforts, by Elizabeth Miller and Paulina Villegas for The Washington Post

The Largest Water Reservoirs in California Are Rapidly Receding by Angely Mercado for Earther

Facing a new climate reality, Southern California lawns could wither, by Joshua Partlow

50-50 Chance We Hit 1.5 Degrees of Warming by *Checks Watch* 2026 by Molly Taft for Earther

Durban’s Floods Are a Climate Change Warning by Glen Retief for the New Republic

Congress is routing climate policy through the Army Corps of Engineers by Jake Bittle for Grist

Hurricane researchers decreased the number of storm surge fatalities, but inland flooding increased – The Washington Post, by Kasha Patel

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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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