Accelerating the transition to honesty

The Sustainable Hour no. 498 | Transcript | Podcast notes

Guests in The Sustainable Hour no. 498 are Matt Bray from Environmental Film Festival Australia and Hugh The Waste Wizard.

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In this 498th episode of The Sustainable Hour, Mik Aidt initially criticises the media for not connecting natural disasters to fossil fuel consumption.

Colin Mockett highlights the role of the OPEC+ Cartel in controlling oil prices and the need to cut global emissions.

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Matt Bray from Arts Disrupt and Comms Declare joins the conversation to talk about a new initiative he’s involved in: the Environmental Film Festival Australia, EFFA. He urges us to be at ACMI at Federation Square in Melbourne on Saturday 25 May for their one-day event titled “Homegrown”.

Matt highlights the importance of fostering conversations and connections in the climate space. He discusses the efforts of Coms Declare in calling out the dishonesty of the fossil fuel industry’s communications. The conversation covers various topics related to sustainability and activism. It includes discussions on shooting videos in the bushfire-hit village Pomonal, hosting People Planet Pint meetups, and addressing misleading gas advertisements. “We’re fighting for honesty,” Matt says.

You can join the Environmental Film Festival newsletter for updates and follow the Enviro Film Festival Australia (EFFA) on Instagram – or start here.

You can follow Matt’s work at art.disrupt on Instagram or connect on LinkedIn 

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At the Off-Grid Living Festival, Tony Gleeson talks with Hugh – The Waste Wizard – about waste management and composting on site during an actual waste audit. Hugh takes us through this important process. We learn why such an audit doesn’t involve going through all the “waste containers”, it’s just a matter of making strategic decisions about the best way of getting a representative sample. Details of the Off-Grid Living Festival can be found at:

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This episode of The Sustainable Hour highlights the need for unified action on climate change, and the importance of individual choices in making a difference as well. The conversation also touches on the role of ‘superheroes’ in sustainability, the urgency for EU fossil fuel subsidies to stop, and the impact of Australian car emissions.

The episode concludes with a call to action and a reminder that everyone has the power to be the difference and contribute to positive change for the planet.

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Colin Mockett OAM’s Global Outlook as well as links to songs and video clips can be found in the transcript below.

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That’s all for The Sustainable Hour podcast #498. It’s good to have Colin back with us today, and yet another two inspirational guests in Matt and Hugh. We hope you found something practical that you can do in the chats we have with them. Until next week: Be the difference and try to find your way of joining the #ClimateRevolution if you aren’t there already.

“Who is actually representing community? In my opinion – and I’m slowly getting more and more political and I’m catching up – but I feel the Greens are the only ones that say anything that makes any sense in Parliament, and the independents are really good at pushing for progressive legislation and such powerful voices in the independents. So the next federal election is going to be very interesting. And basically that starts now, that campaigning, because it’s so important to get real engagement, and voting, and politics – to get people concerned about community, because we’re all in community. Why are we not thinking we should be focused on community resilience? That’s the place that I want to work in.”
~ Matt Bray, climate action campaigner

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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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Woodside sponsoring our National Press Club

Newsletter from Fossil Ad Ban on 2 April 2024:

Pomonal – one month on
We visited the western Victorian town of Pomonal, that last month lost of third its homes in the Grampians bushfire. We want everyone to know who is making our bushfires worse – fossil fuel companies.

The town of just 300 people is now trying to rebuild but some have decided they will never return.

You can help the people of Pomonal via Go Fund Me.

Stopping fossil-fuelled disasters starts with stopping fossil fuel ads. Tell politicians that everything is not fine.
Demand a Fossil Ad Ban
Watch the video

Fired Up
Today the head of the new Net Zero Economy Agency, Greg Combet, addressed the nation’s media at the National Press Club.

But as he spoke about how Australia is poised to grasp the opportunities of a green energy economy, the old economy was sitting in the wings.

Woodside Petroleum is one of the sponsors of the National Press Club.

Other sponsors are also entrenched in the old economy. Primary sponsor, Westpac, has loaned $9 billion to fossil fuels since 2016, including Woodside.

CT Group is the notorious spin agency behind many fossil fuels, including this infamous astroturfing campaign for Glencore.

Another lobbyist, SEC Newgate, has seven fossil fuel clients while Hawker-Britton has four, according to the Comms Declare and Clean Creatives F-list.

The Federal Parliament Press Gallery dropped all sponsors of its Midwinter Ball last year, following protests about fossil fuel influence.

But, at the NPC, dodgy ties remain.

Other sponsors include arms dealers Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. Classy.
Ban fossil fuel sponsorships now!

Let’s aim high and move fast!



→ Listen to more climate- and sustainability related music on our Youtube Playlist

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António Guterres:
It’s time to wake up and step up.

The Sustainable Hour – for a green, clean, sustainable Geelong. The Sustainable Hour.

Welcome to the Sustainable Hour. This is our 498th episode. We begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land we broadcast from, the Wadawarrung people of the Kulin Nation, the original stewards of these lands and waters. We honour their elders, past and present, their emerging leaders, and those yet to come acknowledging their enduring connection to country and their centuries-old practices of nurturing the environment.

In the spirit of reconciliation and as we indigenise ourselves, we recognise the importance of learning from and integrating indigenous knowledge and perspectives, especially in our battle against climate change and our journey towards sustainability. Indigenising ourselves means actively seeking to understand and embrace the wisdom and practices of indigenous peoples in living harmoniously with the land. It’s a call to realign our actions with the principles of stewardship and respect for nature that have guided Indigenous communities for millennia.

Today, more than ever, as we face a global climate emergency, the insights and leadership of First Nations Australians are invaluable. Their sustainable land management practices, honed over thousands of years, offer us lessons in resilience and sustainability that are critical in our quest for climate justice for all.

ABC News on 8 April 2024:
Russia has declared a flooding emergency in the country’s southwest after a dam burst near the Kazakhstan border.

ABC News clip:
It was one of the worst natural disasters in Australia’s history. The Black Summer bushfires of 2019 and 2020 destroyed nearly two and a half thousand homes in New South Wales, killed more than 800 million animals, and most tragically of all, took 25 human lives. After three years of work, the state coroners released her report, but some of those who faced the flames say the recommendations don’t go far enough. ‘Everybody in Sydney should feel exposed because there is nothing in these recommendations that will stop us having another mega fire.’

ABC News on 8 April 2024:
The clean up is continuing across the New South Wales Illawarra region after the weekend’s heavy deluge. Many businesses and residents are counting the cost of the flooding. Reporter Kelly Fuller has more from the Wollongong suburb of Theroux.

Mik Aidt:
The ABC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, is a public broadcaster. It’s supposed to be there for the public. For us. We are paying for it through our taxes. But the ABC and almost every mainstream news service in Australia continue to take us for fools, talking up and down the walls about natural disasters, when really they should be talking about fossil fuels and that these are fossil-fueled disasters. Never, not even once, do they make the connection between what’s happening to our world, everything that we’re seeing with the flooding and the fires and the hurricanes and the destruction, and what that means we need to get done as quickly as possible, which is stop burning oil, coal and gas. That needs to be mentioned every single time.

So how are we feeling Australia? Happy? Happy with all the burning and the flooding and the losses and the rising costs and are not mentioning the elephant in the room? Enjoying the ride? We are all paying the cost of ever more frequent and extreme flooding while the oil and gas and coal companies that are destroying our climate pay nothing. On the contrary, they are shoveling in profits. Which they use for what? For their own enjoyment? And whose side is our government on? Australia’s government just saw its highest ever thermal coal exports in a single quarter here January, February and March. And the latest forecast is putting Anthony Albanese up there on the pedestal as the highest fossil fuel exporting Australian Prime Minister in history.

Whatever Albanese and his Labor government is saying about their climate plans, the reality is that they are betting on catastrophic failure. And they continue planning to supply the fuel for that fire. Anthony Albanese, who was elected two years ago on a promise that he would deal with the climate crisis, is now King Coal. He will be crowned as King of Climate Disaster.

And meanwhile in Europe, what’s the government’s response there? Well, this weekend, once again, the governmental response was to arrest a climate activist, in this case, Greta Thunberg, for protesting against this madness. And in England, Roger Hallam, who was the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, got a two-year prison sentence.

But, but, but, that’s me now beginning opening up the global outlook, and there’s no need for me doing that, because – hooray! – we have Colin Mockett OAM back with us today. Welcome back, Colin! We can’t wait to hear what kind of news you have collected and scouted from around the world this week.

Colin Mockett OAM: (at 05:39)
Yeah, well, thank you, Mik. I’ve got a different approach, as you would expect, really. My roundup today begins with the OPEC+ Cartel of Oil Producing Nations, which has been quietly and regularly cutting its production for the past 18 months.

Now this hasn’t been reported much in the media but it explains a conundrum whereby we all know that we’re seeing more and more electric cars on the road yet fuel prices remain high. The cartel’s aim is to control the flow of oil so that the base price always remains high and people keep paying high amounts for their petrol.

Now, can you imagine what would happen if, for example, farmers are all banded together in the same way to control the price of rice or wheat? But it seems that the fossil fuel industry can do whatever they like because they donate millions to most of the world’s governments. Anyway, after a worldwide virtual meeting last Wednesday, the Joint Monitoring Committee of OPEC+ announced that the 1.3 million barrels a day of cuts that were agreed to last June and the additional 900,000 barrels a day of cuts announced in December would remain in place at least until July.

Now taking into account earlier production cuts that began in 2022, more than five million barrels a day, that’s almost 5 per cent of the entire global supply, has been withdrawn from the market. Or at least it would have been had the number of OPEC+ members adhered to their quotas. It turned out that at last week’s meeting that there was quite a bit of bickering between the oil producing nations themselves.

And surprise surprise, some of them can’t be trusted to keep their word, even to each other. Those members who’ve been producing above their quotas, that’s Iraq, Kazakhstan, and the United Arab Emirates are prominent amongst them, will now have until April the 30th to submit compensation plans.

Iraq and Kazakhstan have pledged to conform with their new quotas, and they were also said that they would compensate for their overproduction by producing at rates below the levels allowed. But Iraq is producing about 270,000 barrels a day above its quota in the first quarter. And the United Arab Emirates about 218,000 barrels a day above its target. And Kazakhstan about 92,000 barrels a day.

And all of that implies that there could be further and significant reductions in outputs later in the year. That’s if the quota dodgers honor their pledges and we all will be watching with interest. There were another couple of significant facts that came from the OPEC meeting. The first is that the two current wars are very good for fossil fuel sales.

And as a side result of the OPEC production cuts, the U.S., which is not a member of OPEC, is now by far the world’s largest current oil producer, meaning that President Biden has greater power over the industry should he win this year’s election in the United States.

Now for an article by Bill McKibben, published in this week’s New Yorker under the title, ‘Is the Fight Against Climate Change Losing Momentum?’ He points out that the world needs to cut global emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 in order to meet the target that was set in Paris in 2015. And 2030 is only five years and nine months away.

He says that the target is still reachable and praises the efforts of the Biden administration and also of China. But as a planet, we’re still using more fossil fuels each year.

That’s why the signs of backsliding in recent weeks are so painful. They come at a time when we should be accelerating the transition to renewable power, he says. And he singled out the world’s banks as being almost as bad as the fossil fuel industry, and that they’re saying one thing while doing the opposite. His point is that big banks will trumpet how environmentally friendly they are while still propping up fossil fuel industries and even coal-fired electricity generation. He called for people to come together around the world and not only vote for environmentalists, but also to move their investments away from the banks and utilities that are supporting the poisoning of our planet.

Now in this regard, the White House on Thursday announced that it was investing 20 billion American dollars to the U.S.’s first green bank network, which will fund tens of thousands of climate and clean energy projects across America. It was launched by Vice President Karmela Harris, and the policy is effectively saying to the banks, if you’re not going to change, we will set up in opposition to you.

Now, still in the U.S., Pennsylvania County is suing the fossil fuel industry for damages linked to climate change. It’s called Bucks County. It filed the first climate accountancy lawsuit this week, accusing oil and gas companies of carrying out tobacco-style campaigns to deceive and mislead the public. The suit is a result of an occurrence last July when Bucks County recorded a month’s rainfall in two hours, with seven people killed in the resulting floods.

And if that sounds sort of familiar, the same thing happened in Geelong over Easter, when our region experienced the average April rainfall, in one overnight fall. Now I wonder if there’s room for us to think about suing our own climate change denying fossil fuel industries.

And finally, the world’s only carbon neutral sports club, the footballing forest green rovers. This is especially only for Tony. They lost to Milton Keynes Dons 1-0 at the weekend, placing them quite firmly at the bottom of the English League too, and likely to have to reapply to rejoin the league at the end of the season. I will keep you posted on the Rovers and all of the other events as we’re ongoing because that ends my roundup for the week.

Listen to Our Sustainable Hour – for the future.

Anthony Gleeson:
Our first guest today is another friend of The Sustainable Hour – in Matt Bray. We’ve had Matt on before talking about Art Disrupt. He’s also involved in Declare Climate Emergency Comms. And Matt, I understand you’re involved with an international movie festival coming to Melbourne.

Matt Bray:
Not quite international, but just national. It’s the Environmental Film Festival Australia. They have just, post-COVID, done a bit of recruiting volunteers for their team to kind of re-energise their festival and their vision, and their mission. And through that process is, like a steering committee of around seven of us looking to do some really interesting stuff in the cinema space to where we can get some spark some really good conversations.

We have aligned vision so far is that we want to go into cinema to be more engaging than just you turn up and then there might be a Q&A and then you leave. We want it to be like, let’s start some conversations and host a space where people can have those continued conversations and make connections. So really excited to be part of the EFFA team now as well.

Mik Aidt:
And when will this go live?

Matt Bray:
Well, we’ve actually got our first event coming up next month on the 25th of May. I’ll send through some details and links as well. It’s going to be our first event under this new steering committee. I’ll read you a little bit of the blurb of the event, so you can get a feel for what we will be showing. It’ll be a one-day event and it’ll be at ACME on the 25th of May. And it’s:

“EFFA presents: Homegrown – a one-day exploration of Australia on screen. From Werribee Gorge to the Northern Territory, traversing the tops of Mount Kosciuszko and all the way down to Bruny Island, EFFA presents Homegrown, showcasing uniquely Australian perspectives on the environment, connection to country, and the fight to protect our home.”

So we’ll be doing that on the 25th of May. So I would recommend your listeners to follow what we’re up to. I think we’re going to do some really exciting fun stuff and engaging stuff. The best way at the moment is to join the EFFA newsletter or follow them on Instagram at @EnviroFilmFest. I’m so really excited that we started this journey really two months ago and next month we’re actually going live with something that first venture into this new group hosting an event and ACME is an amazing space to host it for us. We’re really lucky that we’ve got such a great venue on board for this kind of soft relaunch.

Anthony Gleeson:
How many films will we be looking at?

Matt Bray:
Yeah, currently it’s set up, at the moment – and I think it’s not going to change… We have three sessions on the day. The first session will be a collection of shorts. I think there’s around eight shorts. The second session is longer. In the shorts, there is going to be a little bit of a panel discussion with some filmmakers as well in session one. Session two, there’s going to be one film. And then there’s a third session with two films and a Q&A and then a reception at the end of it. And we’ve got a little breakout space that we will be hosting on the day to hopefully give people a place to connect themselves with the audience or with filmmakers and all that kind of stuff.

We want to give this space where you don’t just turn up and then watch some really inspiring stuff, but then have no outlet to talk about it and foster connections and communication to the broader community. So the structure feels very good. And I’m really looking forward to, we’ve got a big campaign we have to start putting into effect kind of basically now. So we’re pretty busy at the moment, but we’re looking forward to the 25th of May.

Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison: “This is coal. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be scared.”
American Senator Whitehouse: “At the heart of this conflict is a battle between truth and science and power and lies.”

Anthony Gleeson:
Just wondering why you chose to get involved in this. You’re a busy man at the best of times. I guess it’s the same, if you want to find… you’re already a busy person. But yeah, for you, what is it for you that made you get involved?

Matt Bray:
That’s a very good question, Tony. And I think the answer is really that it’s what the effort community and what their platform delivers is kind of what I’ve always been wanting to steer towards is I’m really now that I’ve been kind of experimenting with communications in the climate space, now I’m really feeling I’m ready to do those really face-to-face community events, those really inspirational where we combine art and cinema with important messages and really try to deliver them in a way that really takes people on a journey that we’re all on.

So it’s the ideal space to really accelerate where I wanted to get to and my kind of journey of what I enjoy doing in the climate space. I enjoy fostering the communications that really get people inspired to really explore where they fit in community.

So that’s basically why it was a great opportunity that came up. So I put my hand up and yeah, it keeps me busy for sure. The good thing about it is it actually overlaps with a lot of the other things I’m doing. So it feels like it’s not so much a new thing. It’s more expanding what I’m actually doing. And with that, you get to plug into some other people that are doing the same thing. So we start to spread the amount of work that we have to do to get some stuff out into the world. So that’s the reason it’s a great, really good opportunity for me.

Mik Aidt:
And in the meantime, what’s going on with Comms Declare? Comms Declare being this place where I’ve certainly seen some big billboards up in Brisbane and other places, a little bit taking the piss on the fossil fuel industry, is that right?

Matt Bray:
Absolutely. That is our role as Comms Declare. It’s really what I am there for is to be a little agitator and really it’s coming from a place of well, we’re fighting for honesty and the communications of the fossil fuel industry is inherently dishonest. So we want to call that out.

So we did this kind of provocative campaign over summer, the ‘Everything is Fine’ campaign where we’re just pointing out that the fossil fuel industry through this advertising and sponsorship basically are saying, you know, we’re on track. We don’t need to worry about stuff. We don’t need to be so concerned about climate change when the reality is very different. So we did some provocative billboards in Brisbane, New South Wales and Melbourne.

And we also did some content, we shot some banners out in some disaster hit areas. I went up to Pomona last month where a fire had gone through and destroyed 46 properties in Pomona, just at the foot of the Grampians. And that’s over a third of the town. So we got to see firsthand and talk to some of the residents there about what happened, how it affected the community. And we also shot some footage and me with a more of a provocative kind of edge to it, which I’ll share the link to the video we shot. Because really, we’ve got to call it out and it’s happening more and more and we want to play in that space to call it out.

We want people, you know… truth in advertising. We’re kind of focused on fossil fuels, but across the board advertising is just doing such a disservice to community through what they’re promoting.

So advertising and comms needs to have a really hard look at itself. I think there is a lot of self-reflection happening in the advertising industry, but it’s such, you get a lot of money for promoting bad brands that do bad things in the community. And that’s the reality. And it’s a hard ship to turn around when there’s so much money floating around in it. But we’re in the fight. Comms are clear as we’re loving it.

With the Fossil Ad campaign – and I’ll also share a link to that – the latest action is that there’s going to be… we’re supporting a legislation being tabled in the ACT by Greens MP, Jo Clay, to ban fossil fuel advertising in sport. I’ll share that action, and it would be good if people got onto the Fossil Ad Ban site and just sent, you know, a message to politicians that, hey, the community wants this to happen.

The Fossil Ad Ban campaign is doing very well, but there’s still a long way to go. We’re going to be entering our third year soon of the campaign. We’ve still got big plans and we’ve still got big goals. So that’s what we’re aiming for. And any support of people saying that they verbalise that, hey, we support this, is fantastic for the campaign. It really does show that people can get involved just through supporting some really good work happening out in the climate space. A lot of organisations doing very, very good work.

Mik Aidt:
I’m curious to hear, Matt, you’ve been out there in the field, you could say, speaking with people who are hit by bushfire. And now we have people being flooded up in Sydney. How do people feel on the ground? Do they actually talk about that? …that we have a government that’s actually at the moment helping the fossil fuel industry selling more of its polluting climate wrecking products than ever before in this country. I mentioned in the beginning of the show that Anthony Albanese, who promised us when he was elected that he would take care of the climate crisis, he is now becoming the highest fossil exporting Australian prime minister in history in this country. And I’m just wondering, how do people take it when they stand in front of a home that has burned down?

Matt Bray:
Yeah, it’s very interesting. And actually, an interesting fact about Pomona is in 2022, they, or might have been 2021, they did a video around climate action. So even in that town, there are voices that they’ve seen this coming to a degree. But then also you get all walks of life and you get the full spread of… You’re less and less able to ignore climate impacts because they’re just getting so frequent and more intense… But you do get all sorts of opinions and that’s fair enough. You know, we need to… the people we talked to really understood what was happening. And those conversations are happening, you know, everywhere. So it’s not just city folk that are just talking about this as a bit of a hobby. This is people in the country understand what’s going on. They do get hardest hit in a way. There’s not much resources out there. They have to really rebuild after this fire in Pomodoro and that’s going to take a lot of time. I had visited after the bushfires in 2019-20. I visited Saas Field as well, another town that had really affected by bushfires back in the Black Summer bushfires. And you can see the resilience is there. They’re really resilient. They come together. They support each other. And it’s really, really heartening to see. But they’re under-resourced, and we’re not doing them any good when we still just support the fossil fuel industry.

So like you say with Anthony Albanese, what such a disappointment that guy is after what he was voted in on. So that’s another thing. It’s another thing that’s going to be very heated is the next federal election. It’s like: Who is actually representing community? In my opinion – and I’m slowly getting more and more political and I’m catching up – but I feel the Greens are the only ones that say anything that makes any sense in Parliament, and the independents are really good at pushing for progressive legislation and such powerful voices in the independents. So the next federal election is going to be very interesting. And basically that starts now, that campaigning, because it’s so important to get real engagement, and voting, and politics – to get people concerned about community, because we’re all in community. Why are we not thinking we should be focused on community resilience? That’s the place that I want to work in. That’s how I’m through organisations like Comms Declare, my studio and EFFA. Those are the platforms that I hope to encourage that connection to the issues.

Another thing I’m doing, I’m hosting a monthly People, Planet and Pints meetings in the city. I’ll send you the links to that as well. It’s like, people concerned about climate. It’s like, come along, have a beer and we’ll just talk about stuff, process things, and network.

Mik Aidt:
And, may I assume: have a rant?

Matt Bray:
Hey, I love a good rant. But it’s also when you get to meet people that you just know, just care as much as you do about the same things. And it’s also really interesting to see what people are really passionate about. There’s things that people come to People Planet Pints meetups. And their passion is so interesting. I find people have such fascinating interests and it really expands your look of the world just hearing what different people are so interested in. Fascinating.

Mik Aidt:
I’d like to give a little plug here for that in Geelong, there’s a meeting, a community meeting, just like what you’re talking about, Matt. People are beginning to come together. And on the 9th of May in the West Geelong town hall at 5:30 in the afternoon, there’s a free event there, which is about people coming together and simply asking the question, what can we do to be heard? And if our politicians, the current ones, are not listening, how can we replace them?

Matt Bray:
Absolutely, yes. We just need to get so many people having conversations and it’s tricky when people are, you know, cost of living, people are struggling, people are trying to be, you know, look after themselves and that is very understandable. And the climate crisis is a confronting issue. So really fostering those spaces that are open, they’re, you know, they’re welcoming. You can process, you know, anxieties about the future and everything. And also out of the back of it, there was always hope. There’s always hope at the end of these conversations because then you get to see that community are there. We just need to connect more. We need to scale up. We need to have these conversations that turn into action, which is happening a lot.

So it’s a really nice space to operate in when you’re so connected to the issue because it’s a lot to process. It can be hard. And if you don’t share those emotions, they can get on top of you and that’s not what you want. And I’ll just plug the date actually for People Planet Pint. The next one is on the 18th of April. So next week. So I’ll send a link that if anybody wants to come along, it’s in Beer Deluxe, next to ACME [at Federation Square]. Come along!

Mik Aidt:
Matt, absolutely. And that idea can it be syndicated? – a Planet and Pint gathering monthly here in Geelong? I think it’s such an obvious thing to do and it doesn’t require much. Do you have an agreement with the place – or are you just simply showing up?

Matt Bray:
The person that hosted the first Planet and Pint meet-up in Melbourne, I went along to the event, I told her, I said: Look, I’d love to support what you’re doing and be a co-host. So basically it was as simple as that. So I’m a co-host with Jacinta, who’s the main host of the Melbourne Meet-up.

There’s one also in Brisbane, and I think there’s one in New South Wales as well. If you look up People Planet Pint on Eventbrite is probably the easiest way to get a link. And I’ll send you a link anyway, but you can request to host one. Like you can host one in Geelong, you just need to put in a request. And I think it’s pretty straightforward to be part of that network. I’m actually meeting one of the hosts of the Brisbane People Planet Pint next week to share ideas about how to make these events more engaging.

It’s so simple that it’s just an evening to turn up and have a conversation, but we want to really try and foster it to where we make sure that people that come along get as much out of it as they can. So I’m so happy to be able to talk to other hosts around Australia and the world. People Planet Pint started in Europe, and it’s come down here and it’s a great platform. Yeah.

Song (at 32:19)
Franke & Billiam James: ‘Gasolin Breakup’

Gasoline, gasoline, you’re driving me insane
Gasoline, gasoline, the world’s aflame
Gasoline, gasoline, I’ll tell someone new
Someone better, better than you
We had a good run, but now we’re done
You’re poisoning our atmosphere

You don’t even care,
something dirty in the air
We gotta leave you in the ground
Gasoline, gasoline, you’re driving me insane
Gasoline, gasoline, the world’s a flame
Gasoline, gasoline, I found someone new
And I’m leaving, leaving you

Anthony Gleeson (33:11):
The gas advertisements that we’re seeing. What are your view on them?

Matt Bray:
Yeah, with the gas advertising at the moment, advertising marketing themselves as a transition fuel. A good example of pointing out the holes in that positioning is the latest complaint made by Comms Declare. I’ll share a link to it where Santos is promoting the Nourabrie Gas Project, claiming it’s a crucial transition fuel when the facts actually don’t back that up. And there’s information in that article that will kind of reveal that it’s really just misinformation that we could do without.

Anthony Gleeson:
How do people who, well, personally, I find those ads really grating. What can I do about that? Is there anywhere I can appeal or express my concerns that’ll be listened to?

Matt Bray:
Well, with Comms Declare putting a submission to the ad standards, supporting those types of kind of complaints helps, but really it takes a bit of work. So you can do submissions to the ad standards yourself, but it may be kind of a tricky process to go through. So really, when Comms Declare – and they partnered with another organisation in this submission – they know all the kind of legal definitions you have to put in there, to make sure that it has the most success of getting through and getting the ads taken down.

Anthony Gleeson:
So would you consider getting people to sign on to that?

Matt Bray:
We’ve kind of more focused on the Fossil Ad Ban and trying to remove ads that kind of misinform as they come up. It is a lot of work though. So we are kind of looking at how we address being most effective in doing that.

Song: (at 35:02)
Gabbi Bolt & Emerson Brophy: ‘Don’t Trust Australia (A climate change anthem)’

Hey Gabby Bolt!
Did you hear that the Australian government is spending almost 13 million dollars on ads to promote their action on climate change?
Yeah, you know, I could really use 13 million dollars right now. Right?
Plus our ad would get straight to the point.
I think I know exactly what you mean.

For many years Australia has been led by climate skeptics
They’ve tried their tricks so now we all expect it
The metrics were slimely designed
To let us lag behind and hide the fact our climate action ranks dead last
Our quote-unquote ‘leaders’ don’t want to right this ship
With policy informed by fossil fuel defending
Pieces of shockingly bad news
Who routinely use renewable funds to make the coal industry last

We all love koalas, quackers and kangaroos
But we’ll burn them all to death and burn you too

Don’t trust Australia
Our government will never fail to lie to you
They’ll talk the talk and spin the spin
But never really change a thing
No, no, never
So don’t trust Australia!
Because we’ll burn this goddamn Earth right down!

Anthony Gleeson (36:29):
We show up in all sorts of places, and right now we’re going to do a similar thing. We’re at the aftermath of the Off-Grid Living Festival that was held over the weekend at Chiltern, which isn’t all that far from Wangaratta. And right now we’re very much going through the aftermath. We’re looking at the waste, the compost that was generated. And we’ll talk to… we’ve got a couple of the people that are doing that, and they’re working through the compost. Hugh, tell us what are you up to?

My name is Hugh and I’m sometimes known as The Waste Wizard. Otherwise known, people know me as the Interplanetary Teddy Bear, but that’s from a song I wrote.

I’ve got my hands in the borrowed materials, borrowed from the earth, the soil. And so what we’re doing here is called a ‘waste audit’, which is a technical term just to fancy up something that’s otherwise known as a ‘rubbish sort’.

So we’ve tipped the 140 or approximately litres worth of organic material from a green-lidded bin that was at the front gate of the Off-Grid Festival. And we’ve chosen that bin as a representative sample of the mainstream attendance at the Off-Grid Living Festival – Australia’s premier sustainability event. And so we’re just seeing what’s left over when the mix of people attending discards things along with the nearby vendors, who’ve also used the same bin. So that’s why it’s a representative sample.

There’s a liberal quantity between 10 and 15 per cent of coffee grounds from the nearest vendor. There’s then a genuine mix of food scraps, which is, again, also mostly from the vendors, because there’s lots of cabbage leaves, big cabbage leaves, there’s cabbage stubs.

And now I’m holding in my hand a capsicum minus most of its fruit, but still containing its seeds. If we left this mix and didn’t do much with it, the chances are that these seeds would still germinate, but they’ll grow much better if we put this through a worm farm compost value-adding making-soil conditioner process. This will all go back in the bin and then eventually wind up at the industrial bio digest are over at Shepparton where the Foott – F double-O double-T – people who’ve supplied the bins and a couple of the disabled toilets and other infrastructure to support the event, turn this into a high quality soil conditioner that can be then applied to farms in the area.

As well as this sort of stub of a capsicum with seeds, there’s carrots, whole carrots, half carrots, big chunks of zucchini, nearly uneaten apples, a drinking coconut shell, and slices of lemon. And then you start to get down to smaller bits, like the occasional avocado shell, avocado seeds, and spinach leaf that didn’t get consumed. But generally the people who buy food at the Off-Grid Festival, eat it. The largest percentage of this has come from vendors, even though it’s right at the front gate.

But what people have been encouraged to also do to put in to improve the mix is put in their paper napkins, their soil paper bags, soil straws, soil bamboo forks, soil paddle pop sticks, basically you get the idea, anything that’s soiled can go back to being soiled.

And the one thing that I discouraged them putting in was these bamboo skewers that have been heat treated that had, like, food stuck on them. Could have been anything you eat off a skewer. But these ones are so heavy duty treated that they take like more than five years to break down. So I sent a couple of people home with them as knitting needles. Other people came up with other reuses for them.

And so I’m encouraging everyone to keep out of their compost things that have a reuse. Reuse before recycling, and composting is a form of recycling we call ‘organics recycling’. And so doing this waste audit provides the data for doing the science of the report on how well did this event do in approximating the zero waste world that we’re always working towards. And I would give this event somewhere between eight and a half and nine. So they’re certainly in the high distinction range.

There’s only one true plastic item in the thing. And that was right in the bottom of the bin. So that was early on in the beginning. One plastic knife. That’s the only thing! So contamination rate, zero point zero zero zero something, you know.

So what we do is we work through all levels of education, and we start in the preschools, working with the young people, teaching them about worms. Once who are two or three, just love worms. And when they learn how groovy worms are and worms will eat stuff that we don’t eat and help make soil so we can grow more food that we do eat, then, you know, worms are our friends. And then from worms at preschool, you go to primary school, and they learn about chooks.

Chooks are very good at cutting up the things that we don’t eat into smaller bits and crapping them out into things that the worms really like to eat. And basically, it’s how quickly can you get the bacteria that live inside the worm’s gut to take over just doing the job on by themselves in the heat. And in that industrial bio-digester, it gets to 80C degrees because the bacteria are breeding, eating and breeding, eating and breeding, eating and breeding. And they’re making it so hot in there that you not just cook an egg, you cook yourself. So you better get out of there. The AIDS virus dies at 78 degrees, and it’s the last thing. So by 80 degrees, it’s totally sterile. And then you stick it out in a windrow and let time do its thing, and come back later with a bucket, pick it up, take it to the farm and you’ve got soil.

So why we aren’t doing this with every single piece of living stuff that we have passed through our hands that we don’t eat, well, you know, this is the thing: borrowed from the soil, returned to soil. So yeah, that’s a little bit of take home message about this gig. And the only other thing to say is that this thing in my hand, this should not be a plastic thing. This should be a metal thing, like you have in your kitchen. As should this bioplastic one should be a metal one, like you have in your commercial kitchen. All of the other artifacts – that’s it.

So we have B-Alternative here doing the Wash Against Waste, and all the plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, pizza boxes, all washable. Saved so many thousands of single use containers. That’s part of the journey. But the other part of the journey is to upgrade all of those plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, pizza boxes, knives, skewers, everything to the top level. I’m talking high quality stainless steel that you love using, because it’s so good to use. And the only modifications, you might add some high quality tempered glass so that your stainless steel cup has a Pyrex-like double wall glass lid. And when you drink out of it, you go like: This is a real like piece of art! That’s what we should all be using all the time is high quality artifacts maintained by volunteers who wash them, keep them clean, and the rest of it is composting and worm farming.

Song: (at 44:47)
Formidable Vegetable Sound System: ‘No Such Thing As Waste

There’s no such thing as waste
Only stuff in the wrong place
No, there’s no such thing as waste
Misusing water’s a disgrace

Moved to the city, rented a house
On my way to buy a bed
Saw one lying on the side of the road
so I took that one instead

And also found a fridge, a couch,
and a big old plasma screen
And the biggest pile of thrown out stuff
that I had ever seen

But there’s no such thing as waste. Oh no!
Only stuff in the wrong place
Yeah, that’s right, there’s no such thing as waste
That old lad feel his age is great

Timothée Parrique:
This is really my main message today. I don’t want to end up like this, beat up and bloody after seven hours and 19 minutes of fighting for the whole thing to be declared a draw. This is, I feel, what we’ve been doing for the last 20 years, fighting between eco-modernists advocating green growth, de-growth is advocating a steady state economy and post-growth and eco-socialists advocating whatever they are advocating. What we need to do instead is to form the Avengers of Sustainability.

So at this point, of course, I wanted the theme of Avengers to just play very loud, but I can’t because of copyrights. I’m gonna do it with my mouth. You see the thing? And of course, you’ll notice that I’ve mixed Disney Comics and Marvel superheroes, right? And that’s precisely the point. I don’t care in which team you are. What we need is to unite forces, to fight together with many ideas, uniting to face one of the greatest threats of all time, and really focusing on what unites us, and not what divides us. I want you guys today to look around. Everyone here has a power and everyone has strength and weaknesses. And so now, of course, with a slide like this, I cannot just end up with this thank you and leave the stage. I need to end up with some kind of grand Hollywood sounding sentence, something like, “We must fight together. The future of life on Earth depends on it.” Except that this time, this is actually true.

Extinction Rebellion rally in the Netherlands on 7 Apr 2024:
Many more actions will come. Each first Saturday of the month, movements of the UCJ are taking action locally. On May 4th, the Netherlands will join forces with the blockades in Brussels. On the 1st of June, lesser generation in Germany will be protesting in 18 different cities. Those are just two examples of the many actions that will happen in all the different corners of the EU before the EU elections in June.

If the EU fails to meet with the demand, we are ready to escalate further. Several plans are already in place for even more disruptive actions. This is also a call to action to all NGOs and other movements. Join us and stand in solidarity. The need for unified European action has never been greater and this now is our chance. Together, we are stronger than ever. So I extend an invitation to each of you to join forces with us and shape the course of history together.

A year ago, I could have never imagined that we would have successfully blocked the A12 so many times, resulting in thousands of arrests and inspiring many more activists worldwide. And all of this from just one movement in one country. Now that we’re united, I can’t even begin to imagine what we will accomplish together. So I only have one message for the EU. Act now. Stop EU fossil subsidies immediately or be prepared for many more actions to come and they will keep on coming.
No more subsidies for fossil fuel companies!
No more subsidies for fossil fuel companies!
No more subsidies for fossil fuel companies!

Climate Council video: Big Autos Aussie Dumping Ground-video (50:15):
What a new sh** box that other countries don’t allow on their roads? Then come on down to Big Auto’s Aussie Dumping Ground. The biggest brands are taking a dump in Australia because this is pretty much the last place they can. Right fellas? Right! We’ve got Toyota’s that are so polluting they’ll make you say, oh what a feeling. And that feeling is emphysema. We’ve got Honda’s so dirty they should have their own OnlyFans page.

And we’ve got Mazdas that are so expensive to run, the only thing that’ll go zoom zoom is your wallet.

The rest of the world introduced fuel efficiency standards years ago. The USA, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, China. That’s why Big Auto are sending all their boxes here to Australia. And Big Auto’s Aussie dumping ground, we have no standards. Big Auto’s Aussie dumping ground has a wide selection of cars, utes and lobbyists. Look, this one’s second hand. He comes from big oil. Let’s get him started.

It’s too soon to make cars cleaner, we’ve only been given 40 years notice. Such a classic. At Big Auto’s Aussie dumping ground, you can hear BS like that all day long. Why? Because we’re hiding behind the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, a lobby group for car companies that a whole bunch of car companies quit because the lobby group is so full of ****, even a Hilux couldn’t tow it.

So come on down to Big Auto’s Aussie Dumping Ground and you can drive away with much more to pay. In petrol! And lung disease! And a burning planet! And so on and so forth!

Song: (at 52:24)
Julian Lennon: ‘Change’

Don’t tell you what you can and cannot do
Don’t ever let them take your dreams away from you
Now it’s a new world and we’ve finally got new eyes
Now there’s a new flame and it’s burning deep inside
So gather up our courage for the road

If we don’t do this together, we’ll surely end up dead.
And we’ll put the past behind us,
clean the air and clean the sea,
feed the world with human kindness,
only love will set us free.
We’re gonna change the world!

What will it take now for us to open up our hearts?
Gotta take one step before we fall apart
Open your eyes now
Can’t see the forest for the trees
There’s only one planet
One planet, people, please

If we take away our egos, take away the love of greed
If we clean up all our oceans,
clean the sky and plant the seed
With the forest of devotion,
we can hope there’s air to breathe
There’ll be hope for one another,
and love for those in need
We’re gonna change, change, change the world together!

Love and meaning through these days unknown.
Everyone forever. Keep believing.
Love and meaning through these days unknown.

Mik Aidt (at 55:59):
That’s all, folks, we could fit in one Sustainable Hour as we are approaching Earth Day, which is only less than two weeks now away. This certainly has been an hour I think that warms us up on several fronts. I must say that really what a takeaway message for me today was that we could have some joy with mixing talking about the planet with a pint.

Colin Mockett:
And also talking manure. It’s always good to talk manure.

Mik Aidt:
And to be honest and upfront about these matters.

Anthony Gleeson:
One thing I didn’t mention that really stood out to me was we could deposit, go to the toilet and deposit into wheelie bins that are set high. And that is going to go to a local farmer or a local compost producer. So it’ll be interesting to find out where that’s going to end up and how they… because there’s a big taboo around using shit, I guess, for food. So, find out. But everything around the festival was around reducing emissions and living simply. And a very happy event.

Mik Aidt:
There’s something here that’s missing in the conversation. That is that we are all part of nature and we take food in and it comes out in the other end and it’s all a very natural process. And the microbes, out there are doing their job and we have to respect these microbes and take good care of them so that they can do their job. And all these different things is, there’s a lot of understanding missing as we move forward. I think that’s also what something like Earth Day can help us with that we raise the flag for that we protect life on the planet.

Colin Mockett:
Meantime we’ll keep on keeping on.

Mik Aidt:
And be the difference.

Colin Mockett:
Be the difference.

Greta Thunberg: (at 58:01)
Many people say that Sweden is just a small country and it doesn’t matter what we do. But I’ve learned that you are never too small to make a difference. And if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to.

Song: (at 57:55)
Missy Higgins: ‘The Difference’

Be the difference
Be the difference
I know the world’s gone mad, it’s true
(she said) be the difference
(you can) be the difference

Be the difference
Be the difference
Cos, darling, the future’s watching us

So am I gonna open everything up,
am I gonna let fury fill my cup
Am I gonna be an anthem singing in the dark,
gonna light up this burning heart
Am I gonna still as rock,
while everything shakes and tumbles off
Am I gonna remember the truth

Cos I wanna be nasty, wanna be brave,
not let his fear make me afraid
I don’t wanna pretend I’m too small to jump the wall
I’m just trying to remember her voice
Telling me that every day’s a choice
For where there’s good, there’s bad
But my child, you always can

Be the difference (be the difference)
Be the difference
I know the world’s gone mad, it’s true
(she said) be the difference
(you can) be the difference
Cos I see a fighter locked in you

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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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