Mindful, independent and fossilfree Australia

The Sustainable Hour no. 479 | Podcast notes

Our guests in The Sustainable Hour on 18 October 2023 are mindfulness meditation teacher Suzie Brown, and Jaimie Jeffries and Julie Hart from the Independent & Peaceful Australia Network.

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Suzie Brown joins us to talk about the grief, anxiety and stress related to facing the climate crisis. Together with another mindfulness teacher, Ingrid Jolley, she is offering a six-session live online course starting from 25 October 2023 for anyone who would like support with handling the difficult emotions, stress and despondency that are natural responses to such a massive global challenge.

Suzie has been teaching mindfulness meditation for over a decade through community courses and workshops and workplace training, after training as a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher. Suzie was the co-founder of Parents for Climate and has been a climate and environmental activist for 20 years. She is passionate about supporting people to learn skills to feel peace amidst these challenging times and to find their own power and joy in life. Joining Suzie to teach the course will be another mindfulness teacher, Ingrid Jolley, social worker, psychotherapist and counsellor as well as a climate activist.

An excerpt from their course outline:

“An Emotional Resilience in Facing the Climate Crisis online course: Are you struggling with the fear, anxiety, anger and grief of climate breakdown and feeling that our leaders are not acting fast enough? Are you involved in climate action and feeling burned out? Or maybe you’d like to do something but feel paralysed and unsure what to do – what is the best response? To help you with the emotions and stress of the climate crisis, you’re invited to join this 6-session online emotional resilience course with Suzie Brown & Ingrid Jolley – both experienced mindfulness teachers. They’ll give you a supported space and targeted skills to develop resilience in handling the difficult emotions, stress and despondency that are natural responses to such a massive global challenge. Runs on Wednesday evenings on Zoom from 25 October 2023.” You can book here.

Their facebook event page is here.

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Jaimie Jeffries is a retired public servant and long time political activist in the union movement and on a range of human rights and environmental issues. Her primary focus now is the anti-AUKUS campaign in which she is active at a local and state level. She is also involved in the closely aligned Independent & Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) This is a national organisation with state and regional branches. IPAN advocates for an independent and peaceful Australia, free of foreign military bases, and free of interventions by other foreign governments, corporations, or vested interests, that at present seek to exert undue influence in shaping Australia’s foreign and defence policies in a manner that diminishes Australia’s sovereignty.

Julie Hart formed IPAN Vic Southwest a few years ago. The Geelong group decided that it would be better for them to join the existing Vic Southwest group to become IPAN Geelong & Vic Southwest. This was launched in January this year.

In March 2024, on the first anniversary of the signing of the AUKUS-deal, there will be anti-AUKUS rallies all around Australia, so Jamie and Julie suggests that this could be a great time for all the different movements – the climate action and environmental movements included – to come together and support this call.

Their facebook page can be found here. For those who would like to know more about IPAN, their website is here: www.ipan.org.au.

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UN Chief Antonio Guterres starts us off today reminding us that “our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once.”

Mik Aidt reflects on the referendum result and the success and effectiveness of the referendum’s “no” campaigners’ slogan: “If you don’t know, vote no”. He then speculates on the lessons for the lack of success for all the time and effort that the united climate movement put into getting “yes” across the line in the referendum – and how this should inform their work to get real action on climate in this country as well as around the world.

We hear British author and climate activist Rupert Read talk about The Climate Majority Project with American author Jeremy Lent: A six-minute excerpt of their conversation about what Rupert calls The Wave.

After the interview with Suzie, we listen to Alexander Deutman sing Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound of Silence’ with new lyrics written by Julie Wornan and the title ‘The Change of Climate’.

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Colin Mockett OAM‘s Global Outlook this week begins in the Antarctic, where two new reports have shown the effects of more than 40 per cent of Antarctica’s ice shelves have shrunk over the past 25 years.

The Getz ice shelf, in West Antarctica, has had some of the largest ice losses. Only five per cent was due to ‘calving’ – where chunks of ice break off – and the rest was due to melting at the base of the ice shelf. If the ice shelves diminish, or disappear, this affects global ocean circulation, the report says. In the Southern Ocean, salty, dense water sinks to the bottom of the ocean and is one of the drivers of the ‘conveyor belt’. But fresh water released from melting ice dilutes this salty water, making it take longer to sink, which slows the ocean’s circulation system.

70 of the 160 ice shelves that surround Antarctica reduced in volume between 1997 and 2021, with a net release of 7.5 trillion tonnes of meltwater into the ocean, scientists from the University of Leeds say in a paper released in the Scientific Advances journal. These ice shelves act as ‘plugs’ at the end of glaciers, slowing the flow of ice, but when they become thin or shrink, the rate of ice lost to the ocean increases.

Dr Ben Davison, from the University of Leeds, said: “We expected most ice shelves to go through cycles of rapid but short-lived shrinking, then to regrow slowly. Instead, we see that almost half of them are shrinking with no sign of recovery.”

And then, a second report said that last month penguin populations in the Antarctic had suffered catastrophic losses. It showed that no chicks had survived through spring in four of the five colonies studied. The loss of the chicks coincides with record low sea ice coverage. Human-induced global warming was likely to be a key factor in the loss of the ice, the study found. If it had been due to natural variation in climate patterns, there would have been some signs of ice regrowth on the western ice shelves.

To California where the renowned climate group Berkeley Earth announced last week that global mean temperature in September 2023 set new records for global warming. This is the 14th time in the Berkeley Earth analysis that any individual month has reached at least 1.5°C over the preindustrial benchmark. This also previously occurred in March, July, and August of 2023. The report predicts that if the trend continues it is likely that global warming will cause the long-term average to exceed 1.5°C during the 2030s unless significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are achieved soon. The last four months have been extraordinary in terms of global average temperatures, with new monthly records being set every month and all by large margins.

Now, to end a week of mostly negative news, I have four positive stories.

First to Sweden, where it was announced that petrol and diesel-powered cars will be banned from the nation’s capital, Stockholm from 2025. The ban will cover 20 mid-city blocks. Announcing the plan, Lars Stromgren, the city’s vice-mayor for transport, said: “Nowadays, the air in Stockholm causes babies to have lung conditions and the elderly to die prematurely. We need to eliminate the harmful exhaust gases from petrol and diesel cars. That’s why we are introducing the most ambitious low-emission zone to date.” A number of cities have introduced – or are introducing – schemes to try to tackle air pollution but Stockholm’s goes further than most. Paris, Athens and Madrid have only banned diesel cars, and London has a charging scheme that covers most vehicle emissions.

But vice-mayor Stromgren, said that “Many cities have implemented low-emission zones where high-emission cars are allowed to drive if they pay a charge. But Stockholm’s model is more far-reaching. Petrol and diesel cars are prohibited, period. We have chosen an area where large numbers of cyclists and pedestrians are exposed to unhealthy air on a daily basis. It is also a part of the city that is home to forward-thinking companies that are keen to lead the transition to a more sustainable future.”

Now next-door to Norway, where it was announced that in September the nation’s EV sales set new records. 93 per cent of all vehicle sales were EVs – up from 89 per cent on the year before.

Then Sydney’s Dromana Drive In Cinema claimed a world first in combining plug in charging, dining and drive-in movie at the same venue. You can re-charge while you watch a film – and the plug-in part is free.

And finally, Forest Green Rovers, our clean and green sports team. I haven’t been reporting about it lately, because it’s been a six-month losing streak that started last season when it lost its manager and star players and tumbled out of English Division One, and lost most of its early games in Division two. It has been on the bottom of Division two for the past three games – until last weekend when it turned things around and beat Colchester 5-0.

And that positive note ends Colin’s roundup for the week.

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That’s all from us for another week. Again our guests have given us much to think about. From Suzie Brown we learned about the importance of meditation, particularly mindfulness in keeping us balanced and functioning through these troubled times. Jaimie Jeffries and Julie Hart had us seriously questioning the government’s decision to join the AUKUS alliance as well as committing us to spending an obscene amount of money on nuclear submarines – money that would be much better spent on alleviating the “housing crisis”, or investing in improving our health and education services, or helping us transition to the post carbon world.

We’re excited about our 10th anniversary show which will go to air on 1 November 2023 where Dr Janine Felson who is a legal academic at Melbourne (Naarm) University has confirmed that she’ll be coming on to talk about her work as the lead negotiator for the island state of Belize at global climate summit COP.

Until next week – Find your way of joining in the Climate Revolution and be the difference.

“So many environmental campaigners actually forget to go and enjoy what they are trying to save, which are the forests and the beaches and the beautiful. Not only does that re-inspire us, but it’s actually good for us. It calms the nervous system to walk in nature, to sit on a beach, or to go to the park to breathe in the fresh air. It really is important for our health, both physical and mental.
~ Suzie Brown, climate activist and mindfulness teacher

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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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Developing Emotional Resilience in Facing the Climate Crisis – 6 Session Course

6-session course with experienced mindfulness teachers, Suzie Brown & Ingrid Jolley, to develop mindfulness skills and connect with a supportive community to build inner resilience in dealing with the challenge of the climate crisis. Each of the interactive sessions will run for 90 minutes at 7.30pm AEDT on Wednesday evenings: 25 Oct, 1 Nov, 8 Nov, (15 Nov break), 22 Nov, 29 Nov and 6 Dec.

Like so many people, you may be struggling with the fear, anxiety, anger and grief of seeing climate breakdown impacting our world and feeling that our leaders are not acting. Perhaps you’re involved in climate action and feeling burned out? Or maybe you’d like to do something but feel paralysed and unsure what to do – what is the best response? Whatever your situation, this course will give you a supported space and targeted skills to develop resilience in handling the difficult emotions, stress and despondency that are natural responses to such a massive global challenge.

You’ll learn the skills to:
• Calm your nervous system and be present and focused during stressful times
• Manage and be with your own emotions about climate and other life challenges
• Develop good feelings like gratitude, joy, happiness, contentment or calm.
• Be able to handle uncomfortable and challenging things – in life and the world.

The course will be held on Zoom – you will receive the link by email.
Wed 25th Oct at 7:30pm to Wed 6th Dec 2023 at 9:00pm AEDT

Get tickets

Australian Parents for Climate Action – newsletter on 18 october 2023:
“We’re changing our name to Parents for Climate. To be accessible and memorable to parents everywhere, we need a short, simple name which clearly communicates who we are. So we’ve sharpened our name and our logo.

We recognise the urgency to accelerate climate action this decade, so we are making the necessary changes to build a large movement of parents that will achieve our mission to:

Empower millions of Australian parents to champion climate action within their communities, the media, business and politicians.

Can you help us take another step towards achieving our mission, right now?
Simply click on the image below and tag the mums, dads, aunties, uncles, carers, grans, and grandads you know in the comments on Facebook to invite them to be part of our movement. 

Not on Facebook. You can tag people on Instagram too.

Every one of them is needed to secure a safe climate for our kids to thrive. In just four years, we’ve engaged thousands of parents, shifted tens of millions of dollars in funding to climate solutions, and held decision makers to account – imagine what we will do when we grow!

There are over 12 million parents in Australia, and we want to reach every one of them. But we can’t reach them without your help. It is all hands on deck, so click on the link above and share our mission with parents you know.

We hope you are as excited about this next stage as we are. Thank you for everything you do to make Parents for Climate a real force for change.

For our kids, 
Nic and the team at Parents for Climate

PS: It’s been a team effort and I want to thank our amazing board team (all volunteers), our volunteer leaders, everyone who responded to our consultation, and our professional designer, Glen Barry, who volunteered his time to design our new look. I’m forever blown away by the generosity of our community that makes our organisation the unstoppable force for change we need. 

Let’s spread the call for all parents to be part of our movement.
Parents for Climate

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I saw on the news today
A hundred homes were washed away.
Stormy waters pouring from the skies
Met the seas as they began to rise.
Elsewhere, of water there’s no drop.
This man’s crop
Was lost due to the change of climate.
Forests going up in fire
Ice caps melting, seas going higher.
Well, you want to know, how can this be?
Will we too be touched by tragedy –
You and me?
Should we worry ‘bout the changing climate?
Once folks cooked their food on wood,
And kept warm as best they could.
Then some wonderful black rocks called coal
Warmed our homes and made the railroads roll
And when oil came gushing up we could go far
In our car
Without thinking ‘bout the changing climate.
Oil and coal and nat’ral gas
Were created eons past.
Carbon locked within them will go free
When we burn them for ‘lectricity
Carbon joins with air to make up something new:
Too much of it will change our climate.

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“Surprising. Astounding. Staggering. Unnerving. Bewildering. Flabbergasting. Disquieting. Gobsmacking. Shocking. Mind boggling.”
~ Ed Hawkins, climate scientist, NCAS and University of Reading, IPCC AR6 Lead Author

→ The Guardian – 5 October 2023:
‘Gobsmackingly bananas’: scientists stunned by planet’s record September heat
“The carbon emissions driving the climate crisis and rapid arrival of an El Niño event are to blame, researchers say.”

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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 www.947thepulse.com where you then click on ‘Listen Live’ on the right.

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