Reparation – and other elephants in the Zoom

The Sustainable Hour no. 421 | Podcast notes

Climate Rescue, Plan E and Destination Safe Earth: The reparation work that must be done

Adrian Whitehead and Bryony Edwards from CASE, Community Action in the Climate Emergency, were friends of and worked closely with climate strategist Philip Sutton, who so tragically died recently. They are now leading the move to keep Philip’s important work alive. They have a clear view of how this can happen and outline their plans for this.

We learn that Philip had formed a group called RSTI: Research and Strategy for Transition Initiation, and that his strategy work centered around saving the most vulnerable people. It was based on the premise that we are already too hot and if we want to save places like the Great Barrier Reef, it isn’t enough just to get to zero emissions, we also have to work out ways of drawing down carbon.

We can use methods we have often referred to in the past, like stop cutting down forests and using regenerative farming techniques which enable carbon to stay in the soil, but because we have taken so long to realise the error of our ways, this isn’t going to be enough. Individual change isn’t going to be enough, it has to be systemic change.

So we are going to have to work out other ways of cooling our planet. We are going to have to resort to methods that are very controversial within environmental groups. This is often referred to as “geo-engineering”, or “solar radiation management”. If we want to save the Pacific Islanders we have to work out the way of doing that that causes the least damage to the most vulnerable people and places, explains Bryony Edwards.

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Dr Elizabeth Boulton has recently been awarded her PhD qualification for her work entitled Destination Safe Earth. This is a multi-focussed project. It looks at how to keep the global heating to well below 1.5C degrees, how to arrest the sixth mass extinction event, and it addresses all the safe planetary boundaries that are being threatened by the current western lifestyles and a range of other threats that we humans face.

Liz provides what she refers to as a utopian vision of what it would look like for humans to live in a thriving safe by 2100. She used her experience in the army to look at in terms of threats and how to manage those threats. In a fascinating analysis, she changes the common narrative of what security is all about and frames it in terms of what are people’s priorities for a safe and meaningful life are. Once these are known, the agents of security should aim to provide this. The result is her ‘Plan E’ which outlines how we can make planet Earth a safe place to live for all humans, animals and plants.

She aims to change the focus from conflict, which she refers to as “mutually assured destruction”, to how we can achieve what has been this elusive “safe earth”.

. . .

United Nations chief António Guterres starts us off today with a short comment that once again questions the sanity on any front of continuing to rely on fossil fuels knowing what we do about the damage they are causing.

Mik Aidt then uses a Sydney advertising billboard to question the Committee of Enquiry into Viva Energy’s proposed gas import terminal. He questions why we are even holding such an enquiry when the best scientists and economists are screaming out that we must not have any more new fossil fuel projects. This will be the essence of our submission to the Committee tomorrow – you will be able to see it live at 2:15pm on Zoom – and through them, to our governments who are currently supporting this insane pursuit of these climate-destructive products. We’ll be asking: At what cost?

Between the interviews, we have a classic rap from Baba Brinkman, entitled “Making Waves”.

. . .

Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook starts off this week with contrasting extreme flood events here in Eastern Australia with the extreme heat occurring in many places in the northern hemisphere where unprecedented high temperatures, accompanied by wildfires are killing people in the hundreds all over Europe and Northern Africa. Even Alaska hasn’t been spared from these horrors.

Colin notes that attribution studies have positively linked every one of those individual events to climate change, as has the ongoing drought in north western America and our own flooding experiences – the second and third floods within months. Yet we are still to see a worldwide concerted effort to reduce emissions, despite all the pleas coming from worldwide scientists and United Nations.

Colin then takes us to the United States and reports on a new study from the prestigious Dartmouth College which has just come out. It looks at the countries that have caused the most climate damage and proposes that rich countries, like the U.S. and Australia, should not just pay the most to address climate change, they should also pay reparations to poor countries. This is because industrialised nations have historically emitted the most greenhouse gases.

This study warned that the figures were so strong and potent that they could be used in future courtrooms and in international climate negotiations about payments from rich nations that are still mining and burning coal, oil and gas, to other countries damaged by emissions. This will no doubt have implications for us as we continue to explore for, extract, transport and export fossil fuels without taking any responsibility for the resultant emissions. So far our new government has shown no indications that this will change under their watch.

The study even itemises how much damage the offending countries have caused to developing countries and contrasts this amount this with the amount of money coming in from fossil fuel projects – these figures are mind boggling and once they are examined and exposed to public scrutiny. In the case of the U.S., for every dollar they take in approximately five dollars damage is caused in developing countries.

Once again this begs the questions: Who is responsible for this damage? Who pays?

Will we soon see the United States declare a climate emergency? President Biden’s stalled climate policies are drawing criticism from within his own Democrat party, with a survey of more than 1,000 members expressing their discontent with the progress, and the call for the president to make a climate emergency declaration has never been stronger.

Finally for this week, Colin zooms us to Spain, where the government has announced free rail travel throughout the country from 1st of September 2022 to the end of the year in an initiative to move people away from cars and on to public transport, saving money, fuel costs – and emissions. We’ll be following this initiative with great interest.

. . .

What a fascinating hour presenting us to two realistic views on how we can get to the safer, more just, inclusive and healthy world many of us yearn for. Two ambitious and wide-reaching climate campaigns that we at The Sustainable Hour, under the brand of Centre for Climate Safety, are very happy to actively promote and be part of.

Rest assured that we’ll be following up on both these ideas in the future. Climate Rescue and Destination Safe Earth are two ideas whose time has come. As we face up to the climate emergency, they are beacons of active hope outlining new ways of being and acting in the climate revolution.

Until next week we will begin to live the reparations!

“A lot of climate activists don’t like to touch the ‘cooling the planet’-part because they see it as a cop out, but no, no, no – we still need to do the emergency to zero, we still need to do the draw down carbon, which might take 100 years, but we also need to cool the planet at emergency speed if we want to pull out of the 6th mass extinction. Whatever we do will probably have negative impacts, but we just have to choose the one which is the least amount of several evils – that is if we want to save the Pacific Islands, or if we want to save Bangladesh. We have to cool the planet now, there’s no waiting for zero emissions to have that impact.”
~ Bryony Edwards, member of RSTI and CASE

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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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Plan E 

Expeditions with MCUP – An Introduction to PLAN E:
Grand Strategy for the Twenty-First-Century Era of Entangled Security and Hyperthreats

The theoretical arguments for a new plan:

a. Journal Advanced Military Studies (JAMS); Spring edition 2022, page 92-128: ‘Plan E: Grand Strategy for the Twenty-First-Century Era of Entangled Security and Hyperthreats’

b. The plan has also been published on Project Muse

Related news article:

→ Defense One – 2 July 2022:
Climate Change Isn’t a Threat Multiplier. It’s the Main Threat

Advertisement billboard in Sydney: Note to politicians

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“The climate crisis is our number one emergency.
The renewables revolution starts now.”
~ Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations, on 17 June 2022

“The heatwave has already damaged airport runways and bent rail tracks, and people have
been so frightened or unwell that paramedics are receiving 400 calls each hour.”

“Climate change kills: it kills people, as we’ve seen; it also kills our ecosystem, our biodiversity, and it also destroys the things we as a society hold dear – our houses, our businesses, our livestock.”
~ Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s Prime Minister

The Guardian – 19 July 2022:
‘Heat apocalypse’ warning in western France as thousands flee wildfire
“Nearly 25,000 escape blaze sparked by southern European heatwave that has already killed hundreds of people.”

→ The Washington Post – 19 July 2022:
Why this European heat wave is so scary
“Climate change is pushing temperatures to levels previously considered unfathomable — faster than many can imagine.”

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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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