Doctor: People are being sacrificed for profits

Teals, trolls and gaslighting in the battle of information

The Sustainable Hour no. 474 | Podcast notes

Our guests in The Sustainable Hour no. 474 are Dr Louise Woodward, a paedetrician from Darwin in the Northern Territory, and podcast producer Mike DiGirolamo from Mongabay, one of the world’s most popular environmental science and conservation news sites.

We also play an excerpt from Mike’s podcast interview with Dan Ilic.

Dr Louise Woodward’s call from the Northern Territory to Australia. Transcript

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“Why are the Northern Territory people being sacrificed for the sake of fossil fuel company profits? As doctors, we say: ‘Do no harm’, and ‘Prevention is better than cure’. Why would we purposely contaminate our environment and harm our people – and tell them that that is good for them, somehow – and that we can’t have hospitals unless we do that? That is rubbish.”
~ Dr Louise Woodward

→ You can attend the grassroots Town Hall meeting on 9 September, which is calling for climate activist groups to step up together in order to stop the Federal government’s funding of irresponsible profit-driven climate-wrecking carbon bombs. The Sustainable Hour plans to be Facebook live-streaming from the event.

The Guardian: ‘Brought to you by big oil’: US billboards call out companies for record heatwaves

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Darwin-based paediatrician Dr Louise Woodward initiated an open letter outlining the health concerns of fracking in the Northern Territory – and then she led a delegation of doctors to Canberra, which we saw all over the news a couple of weeks ago.

Louise is deeply concerned about the health impacts to local people of the Middle Arm industrial project and Beetaloo fracking – and about the health implications to all Australians of the massive gas expansion in the NT driving climate change. She feels that politicians are not prioritising the health and wellbeing of people which allows them to continue to approve new fossil fuel projects.

→ For those who want to know more about Louise’s open letter, check here.

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Mike DiGirolamo is the Audience Engagement Associate at Mongabay, which is a conservation news web portal that reports on environmental science, energy and green design, and features extensive information on tropical rainforests, including pictures and deforestation statistics for countries of the world.

Mike is an audio-visual journalist who is responsible for exploring ways to further engage with their audience.

→ For those who want to know more about Mongabay, go to the Mongabay Explores Podcast and the bi-weekly Mongabay Newscast podcast. These are Mongabay’s two podcast series. The first is a narrative long-form series in an episodic structure, the second is a one-on-one interview show.

→ Find more information on

We include an excerpt of Mongabay’s podcast with podcaster and comedian Dan Ilic, also included further down on this page. Dan’s podcast can be found on

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We start this week’s show with a clip from the UN head António Guterres warning us just how dire the climate crisis we face is.

Mik’s Rant (he so wishes he didn’t have to do this week after week after week):
Today Mik Aidt‘s focus is particularly on one of our Federal Government ministers who talks about the importance of reducing emissions, but at the same time is part of a government that continues to approve and give subsidies to fossil fuel projects and allows our carbon emissions to, in reality, keep increasing.

The Guardian formulated it this way on 31 August 2023: Australia’s greenhouse emissions are a national disgrace that are destroying the planet and costing households. SBS reported on 2 September 2023 that the government’s climate targets slip further out of reach: After Australia’s warmest winter on record, the government approves more coal mining. Climate activists accuse the Albanese government of being reckless considering that it’s coalmine approvals in Australia this year could add 150 million tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere.

. . .

We listen to a social media clip with Pacific islanders pleading with our Foreign Minister Senator Penny Wong to take their climate change and human rights concerns to the International Court of Justice.

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Colin Mockett OAM‘s Global Outlook this week begins in Washington, where James Hansen, who was the first to warn the U.S. Senate about the greenhouse gas effect in 1988, said that we, the human race, and most especially our politicians, were ‘damn fools’ for not having taken substantial climate action much earlier.

He was referring to the searing summer of record heat, wildfires and droughts that the US had experienced during the summer that officially ended last week. “We are consciously heading into a new reality, and there is much more to come if we don’t make drastic greenhouse gas reductions,” he said. “This is just a taste of what my grandchildren will experience.”

Mr Hansen is now an 81-year-old scientist who continues to work in the field, continues to warn politicians, and also he wryly noted, continues to be ignored by politicians and the mainstream media.

Now to Iraq, which is currently experiencing what is described as ‘a significant crisis’ with extreme heat – temperatures around 48C degrees – which has brought dried-up rivers and water shortages. The Euphrates and Tigris river systems that Iraq relies on, are at risk of drying up sometime this century, against the backdrop of rising global temperatures and dam constructions in Turkey.

Iraq’s own government believes this could happen as early as 2040, whereas European analyses estimate that the river systems could be reduced by up to 60 percent by then. The consequences are already evident through bloody conflicts over water in Iraqi tribal communities, as tributaries, streams, and marshes have already dried up. And this drought is causing hunger and conflict in a country where the population is also growing explosively.

It’s a destructive mix and it leads us directly to the Horn of Africa where what is now a three-year-long drought has caused extreme devastation in one of the poorest parts of the world. Crops have withered, water has disappeared, and livestock have died, resulting in hunger and drought across large parts of Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia. The drought is the worst in 40 years, claiming tens of thousands of lives and leaving over 20 million displaced and in hunger.

Now to the United States where Hurricane Idala hit the northwest coast of Florida last week, with 200 kilometres per hour winds and storm surges of 3-4 metres. It left the State capital of Tallahassee with damage and floods making it uninhabitable for the next two months, according to NBC news. And the news came with the warning that climate change is making events like Idala more frequent and more destructive and the hurricane season is set to last until 1 November 2023. It’s that predictable.

Meanwhile in our region, South East Asia, the Super Typhoon Saola hit China at the weekend, with violent winds up to 200 kilometres per hour lashing Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzeng and the province of Guangdong. It’s the most devastating typhoon to hit the area since 1949 – that’s when they started taking records. Meanwhile another super typhoon called Haikui, which is not quite as strong as Soala, is poised to hit Taiwan this week.

Back to America, where there have been billboards erected in many US cities installed by a group which calls itself Fossil Free Media. The big boards have a map of the US showing all the places with fires, record temperatures, floods and hurricanes with the simple message writ large ‘Brought To You By Big Oil’. Maybe that’s the way to get the message across.

And finally from Europe, where Carbon Brief and The Guardian reported that 17 EU countries generated a record share of power from renewables in the first half of 2023. The standouts were Greece and Romania who moved above 50% renewables, while Denmark and Portugal both recorded above 75% renewable generation. As a result, the EU’s electricity generation from fossil fuels collapsed to a record low of 17%, which is estimated to have saved European citizens €100 billion.

That same article showed that Australia’s main grid reached a new 12-month rolling renewables record of 37.5 per cent last Thursday, the last day of winter. And that positive note ends our roundup for the week.

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That brings the 474th episode of The Sustainable Hour to an end. Never forget that the statistics of deaths from extreme weather events we include here each week are much more than numbers – they are real humans with real loved ones. In some ways the people who die are the “lucky ones”: the survivors most often have their lives and the world they knew completely disrupted, in many cases, destroyed forever.

The “all hands on deck”-bells for the #ClimateRevolution are ringing more loudly each week. #WelcomeAboard: #FindYourRole, and dare to #BeTheDifference as we are #SteppingUpTogether.

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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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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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