Talk with those who come after us

“The real struggle over the next decade will not be for notoriety or power or wealth or pleasure but for something much more precious: Whether we will maintain the respect of our children.”
~ Rupert Read

The Sustainable Hour no. 469 | Podcast notes

Our guests in The Sustainable Hour no. 469 are Guy Lane from Vita Sapien, and Neil Plummer from the board of Geelong Sustainability. We also play a clip from ‘the people who come after us’ on 94.7 The Pulse, as well as a range of excerpts from various speeches and statements about the current climate breakdown from activists, news reporters and scientists.

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Guy Lane is the founder of Vita Sapien as well as a Navigator of life. Vita Sapien’s response to the climate and ecological crisis is to approach sustainability through cosmovision, worldview, spiritual philosophy and environmental science – with an aim to become “at one with Earth”. If the idea was presented in a compelling manner, Guy is convinced that 53 million people in the Western world potentially adopt Vita as their primary understanding of the world, and then act accordingly.

→ You can find out more about Vita Sapien in the Vita Speaks Interview Series on Youtube and on the website

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Neil Plummer, a climatologist and former head of Climate Services in the Bureau of Meteorology, joins us to tell us about Geelong Sustainability’s new Electric Homes Program, a community purchase program which is run in collaboration with RACV SolarJeztek Plumbing, and Reclaim Energy.

Contrary to The People Who Come After Us, we are all ears when Neil points to modelling from Rewiring Australia that shows an all-electric home, powered by renewable energy and with an electric vehicle, can save up to $3,450 a year compared to home using gas and a petrol-fuelled car. Similarly, a separate study published by Environment Victoria shows households in Geelong can cut their winter gas ducted heating costs from $700 to just $85 by switching to efficient electric reverse cycle air conditioning and adding basic insulation – an 88 per cent saving.

Neil works with organisations on their climate-related risks and also their opportunities through the clean energy transition. Neil also works with organisations on strategy, governance and leadership, and he is on the board of Geelong Sustainability. Through the organisation Out of the Box Executive, Neil works with organisations and companies to enable them to adapt to the rigours they will face in the climate crisis.

→ You can link up with Neil Plummer on his Linkedin page.

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We start off today with yet another impassioned plea from the head of the United Nations António Guterres for the world to wake up and step up on climate.

Mik Aidt then responds to comments made last week by “the people who come after us” each week on 94.7 The Pulse, Geelong’s community radio station. He plays a short excerpt of their discussion about renewable energy where the radio hosts Bob, Terry and Ken basically refute what we have been saying in The Sustainable Hour since our inception almost ten years ago, labelling it as ‘rubbish’. To them, we are not persons who have names – or a program that has a name, for that matter. Instead, we are repeatedly being referred to as “the people who come before us.”

First of all, let’s get the figures right, gentlemen: according to the annual electricity data from Ember, in Australia, during the seven year period from 2015 to last year, solar and wind went up by 18 per cent, while coal went down 16 per cent.

At the individual level, trusting the misinformation from climate deniers is costly, as we hear from Neil Plummer, because new modelling shows that households in Victoria can save up to 75 per cent on their winter heating bills just by switching from gas to electric.

Longer term at societal level, numerous costs are attached to listening to liars and misinformers. For instance, the impacts of sea level rise and storm surge are predicted to result in a $442 billion economic loss by 2100, according to a study commissioned by the Victorian Marine & Coastal Council and Life Saving Victoria. More than 80,000 existing residential, commercial, and industrial properties covering 45,000 hectares will be impacted.

Mik asks: Who will take responsibility for this loss? Will it be people like Bob, Terry and Ken?

And sea level rise is just one of so many aspects of the climate breakdown we are going to be witnessing in the coming years, thanks to the fact that we didn’t act when there was still time, which again is thanks to the misinformation which has been distributed and circulated widely ever since the Covid pandemic. Will the climate deniers eventually be held accountable for the costs and the loss of lives we are beginning to see already?

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We hear a short excerpt of a longer call from a father and scientist, posted by Scientist Rebels on Twitter, and an excerpt from a speech which James Dyke, Associate Professor in Earth Systems Science at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, held at a Climate Majority Project event in London.

In respect to the renewables discussion we have in the beginning of the Hour, we play an input from former chief scientist Alan Finkel, who spoke with Nic Healey from ABC Shepperton recently.

. . .

Colin Mockett OAM‘s Global Outlook begins this week in the south of France where heatwave conditions have worsened over the last month and hospital admissions and death rates are rising daily. The news this week was that an ambulance was called to the St Tropez home of 1950s film star Brigitte Bardot, because she had difficulty breathing in the conditions. Brigitte is 88 now, and regarded as an animal activist. Anyway, the medics administered oxygen until she recovered and decided not to take her to the overcrowded local hospital.

Colin explains: “The reason that I included this item today, is that it will probably spark the interest of Bob, Terry and Ken, who present ‘The Wednesday Lunchbox’ – the radio programme that immediately follows ours on 94.7 The Pulse. The three old codgers deliver a wonderful source of Trump-style misinformation to Geelong weekly, in a style reminiscent of the old men at the end of each muppets episode. Bob, Terry and Ken are especially keen on climate issues, where they are strong supporters of coal-fired generators continuing until they can be replaced by nuclear or hydro. In Geelong. They reject solar or wind generation with the brilliant argument ‘What happens when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow?’ Clearly nobody has told them of battery storage. Anyways, I reckoned that news of a 1950s sex siren having difficulty because of human-induced climate change might just get through their closed minds when the evidence seen on every news broadcast and facts from us – and 99 per cent of the world’s scientists – clearly hasn’t managed it yet.”

The rest of Colin’s report this week all comes from the same source: the Danish independent newspaper Dagbladet Information which last week put together an article under the headline ‘This is how climate change is affecting the world right now’.

It began by saying: “This is the summer of 2023, when the Earth’s total temperature reached a record level; when forest fires and record temperatures are in southern Europe, violent floods in Asia, and in the USA, citizens are cooled in body bags with ice. Climate scientists estimate that the temperatures we are experiencing right now are the hottest in the past 120,000 years.”

The heat will result in more natural disasters such as floods, droughts, storms and heat waves that can be traced back to the overheated planet. But we are already seeing the consequences of man-made climate change all over the world. In Greece, since Tuesday, the country has experienced over 123 forest fires. Citizens are being evacuated as it is feared that the flames will reach an area with oil refineries. Authorities report that one of the fires had a front which was over eight kilometres long.

Meanwhile in South Korea: The rainy season has brought severe flooding and extensive damage. Some regions were hit by more than 60 centimeters of rain and more than 10,000 people have been evacuated as a result of landslides and floods, homes and roads have been swept away. The rising death toll stands at more than 40, with nine missing and 34 injured.

In Italy, hospitals are experiencing a sharp increase of 20-25 percent in emergency patients as a result of the heat wave that is still sweeping the country, setting a record temperature in Rome of almost 42°C degrees.
Hospitals throughout Italy report patients suffering from heatstroke and other heat-related complications. Elderly citizens, among other residents of nursing homes, are most at risk, but people of all ages are seeking help in hospitals. This also applies to tourists. Italy’s Ministry of Health last week classified 19 cities as being on ‘red alert’, meaning that the extreme heat in the cities is a threat to anyone in the impacted areas. The minister pointed out that Italy’s heat wave last year cost 18,100 lives – that wasn’t as hot as this ongoing summer.

Then to China, where this summer, the nation is experiencing both severe flooding and extreme temperatures at the same time. Downpours in both southeast and central China have resulted in deaths, the evacuation of thousands of citizens and the destruction of infrastructure.

And in Iraq, extreme heat with temperatures of around 48 degrees, lack of drinking water and dried-up rivers constitute a significant crisis.

In the Horn of Africa what is now a three-year drought has caused extreme devastation to one of the poorest parts of the world. Crops have withered, water has disappeared and livestock have died, causing famine and drought in large parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. The drought is the worst in 40 years and has killed tens of thousands of people and left over 20 million hungry.

Meanwhile in India more than 100 people drowned in floods and on Wednesday, the water levels reached the Taj Mahal, which was swamped.

In the USA almost 120 million Americans are currently in a heat wave that has broken 1,500 heat records across the United States this month alone.

The list goes on through Switzerland, which is suffering forest fires, Syria, which has wildfires, the Arctic, where the ice has all but melted and even Denmark, which is suffering an ongoing drought.

“I could actually go on, but the picture is clear,” Colin says. “We are no longer warning of climate change in the future. We are reporting that it’s happening now. Are you listening, Bob, Terry and Ken? Because that’s our roundup for the week.”

. . .

We round off the Hour with a short prayer by Gail Bradbrook, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion UK, which she used to end a town hall presentation in the United Kingdom titled “What next for the Climate Movements?”

. . .

That’s it for another sustainable episode in a week when there has been an unprecedented – that word again! – number of extreme weather events in an unprecedented number of different places at the same time. We in Australia wonder if we will experience the same over our coming summer, and whether we will be prepared for it.

As Colin says, the climate crisis is something that is with us now, right now, not something off into the future. The scientific warnings have been there for decades, but they haven’t been heeded by enough people, and now those chooks have come home to roost, so to speak. The only two things lacking to change the situation for the better are: political will, and the number of people who are prepared to stand up to change that political will.

We’ll be back next week with what we hope will help with no. 2 on that list.

In the meantime, if you don’t have one already, it is time to identify what is going to be your role in the climate revolution. One area where we all have a role to play is when we hear people spread misinformation about renewables or the climate emergency: speak up. Counter the lies and the stubborn unwillingness to change. The measurable and very visible truth is out there, and on our tv screens, but it is missing advocates, who will be the difference and speak up for the solutions that are needed.

“It’s not just that strawberries will grow out of season. We are going to annihilate most life on Earth. And there is a deeply spiritual aspect to that, in terms of whether we individually want to partake in that or whether we want to do everything we can to fight it. The mission is basically communication. In order to communicate the message out there, we want to put together an operational centre. It’ll have a little film centre, a little recording centre, places to do workshops, where people can come in and do trainings in Vita Philosophy and its practices.”
~ Guy Lane, founder of Vita Sapien, in The Sustainable Hour no. 469

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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 millennia before they were invaded. Their land was then stolen from them – it wasn’t ceded. 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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Guy Lane: Vita Sapien

Guy Lane talks about the Verdant Age when human civilisation and nature thrive in synergy deep into the Long Future.

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“If it weren’t so serious it would be funny. But it’s not. It is a disgrace.”
~ ABC Media Watch

Full story here

“Do some research before you get all worked up over the global warming bullshit.”
~ Andrew Thaler

News to the people who come after us

→ The Australian Business Review – 25 July 2023:
Eraring power station must close by 2025 to prevent further cost of living strife
”Closure of Origin Energy’s Eraring coal power station, the largest of its kind in Australia, by 2025 will save consumers up to $3000 in energy costs over the next 10 years.”

A quarter of Queensland’s energy is now being generated by renewables and this figure should go up to 50% by 2030, according to the state’s energy minister Mick de Brenni. He said the clean energy supply had jumped by 20% over the past 12 months and more than 25% of the state’s power was now generated by renewables. De Brenni said once renewables “dominate the wholesale electricity market” the state will see long-term reductions in wholesale power prices.

Read more

“We don’t need to phase down coal, oil and gas. We need to phase out coal, oil and gas. We need to stop spending money on what is harming us.”
~ Mary Robinson

→ CNN – 25 July 2023:
Climate researcher: ‘We are witnessing the sixth great extinction’
“Climate researcher Eliot Jacobson explains why a triad of climate problems — global temperatures hitting record highs, sea surface temperatures rising, and a remarkably low Antarctic sea ice extent — point to disaster.”

People can save considerable money by switching away from gas – even more so if they have solar panels installed. But still, millions of Australians haven’t yet made the move. Why?

→ The Conversation – 24 July 2023:
Keen to get off gas in your home, but struggling to make the switch? Research shows you’re not alone
”More than five million households in Australia are connected to the gas network. Tackling climate change requires homes and businesses to move away from gas, and instead embrace electric appliances as the power grid shifts to renewable energy.”

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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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