Movement-building of people coming together

The Sustainable Hour no. 509 | Transcript | Podcast notes


Our guests in The Sustainable Hour no. 509 are Zane Alcorn from Rising Tide, a major coal ship blockade in Newcastle, and Liz Wade from Degrowth Network Australia and a newly started ‘degrowth hub’ in Ballarat.

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In its introduction, The Sustainable Hour no. 509 highlights the impacts of extreme heat and the need for action to prevent further damage. Mik Aidt addresses the misinformation spread by the fossil fuel industry and the affordability of renewable energy. Colin Mockett OAM reports on a new survey from the United Nation where 75,000 were asked about their views on climate policy and government’s lack of action. See the transcript for details.

Zane Alcorn introduces the upcoming People’s Blockade in Newcastle, Australia, as a protest against the coal industry and a call for a just transition to renewable energy. He emphasises the potential for collaboration between climate activists and coal workers to drive change, and invites listeners to join the Rising Tide event in Newcastle in November 2024, which is targeting seeing more than 10,000 people to gather from all over the country to participate in a 50-hour coal ship blockade.

Zane is a carpenter, ecosocialist, member of the CFMEU Construction union and part of Rising Tide. He is also a part of Earthworker Construction Cooperative.

The RISING TIDE TOUR Melbourne takes place on Monday 1 July 2024 at 6pm to 8pm at Brunswick Ballroom, Sydney Road. RSVP hereFacebook event page

→ See more about the Rising Tide Tour on www.risingtide.org.au

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“The joy of fixing lots of things together.”

A conversation with Liz Wade from Ballarat’s new Degrowth Hub explores the concept of degrowth and the efforts of the Degrowth Network Australia to promote a sustainable and equitable future. She talks about the need for deep change in society to prioritise well-being and balance with ecology, rather than relentless economic growth. The degrowth movement values diverse perspectives and working towards global equality. The conversation also touches on personal actions and choices that can contribute to the degrowth movement. Liz invites listeners to join the network and participate in workshops and activities:

• Degrowth Network meets monthly: Melbourne meetings held on 1st Wednesdays of the month at 6pm at Trades Hall in Carlton. National zoom meetings: 2nd Wednesdays at midday. You can email degrowthnetwork@proton.me to be on the email lists for meeting links and reminders.

• Degrowth Network Australia on Facebook and Instagram.

Let’s Explore Degrowth workshop in Ballarat on 29 June 2024 – or ask Liz the team if they can come and run this workshop in your area with you.

• Degrowth Network Conflict Resolution workshop (part 2).

• Upcoming Good Grief 10 step peer support program running for the Degrowth Network community in Melbourne – all welcome.

• Online Good Grief programs: Liz will be running one starting next January.

• Our international listeners – as well as local listeners! – can check out the International Degrowth Network at degrowth.net.

• Liz Wade runs her own blog on www.livinglightlywithlove.blogspot.com

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“The major aim of the degrowth movement is about meeting needs within, prioritising well-being, finding, reaching ways of living that are in balance with ecology, with our natural systems, instead of prioritising relentless economic growth.”

“A lot of people out there in the world are having a sense of things not being right, and they might not identify with, you know, being an environmental person or an activist or being left or right, or any of the different categories of things that people can be, but they can have a sense that they wish the world was somehow different. And that’s what we are really curious about: What needs are people really yearning for to be met? How can we change the way our world works to ensure that people are well and happy and flourishing without that impact, that unnecessary impact?”
~ Liz Wade, Degrowth Network Australia and Ballarat


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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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Illustration by Brenna Quinlan

→ Resilience – 26 June 2024:
Facing a Future of Fewer and Less: “Tell Them at Least What You Say to Yourself”

The media don’t get degrowth.

Yet.

By Matt Orsagh – 4 July 2024. Photo by Matthew Guay on Unsplash

Sure, there have been some nice wins for degrowth in that past month:

·        Regenerative principles to unlock a sustainable future | EY – Global.

·       Opinion | Do We Need to Shrink the Economy to Stop Climate Change? – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

·        In Defense of Degrowth (hbr.org)

These were great to see. I wrote about them, and I’ve seen many others write about them. Not surprisingly, a story critical of degrowth came soon after this degrowth media “winning streak.” A few weeks ago, the Washington Post rained on the degrowth parade:

Opinion | Degrowth will not save the planet – The Washington Post

First of all, the editorial writer(s) equate degrowth with Malthusianism (I didn’t know that was a noun).

“Degrowth” — the brand name for neo-Malthusianism — ignores how ingenuity and innovation have repeatedly empowered humanity to overcome ecological constraints identified by Malthus, Ehrlich, et al.

For those unfamiliar with Thomas Malthus, he was an economist in the 18th century. The “Malthusian Trap” is a theory he developed that assumes that improvements in technology would ultimately lead to collapse through an increased population that would overwhelm the resources that any nation.

Fun guy.

Malthus often focused on the population as the problem, noting that if the population grew too much, inevitably it would lead to a shortage of resources and food, and famine and catastrophe would result.

Not to be too critical, but this shows that the authors don’t know what they are discussing. Yes, resources and population play a role in our environmental problems. But the preponderance of degrowth literature doesn’t laud Malthus, or even discuss him much. Degrowth talks about living within planetary boundaries, using policy, cultural changes, and green energy to get there. Population control isn’t part of the equation.

Later in the article, the author(s) cite a graphic from the EIA International Energy Outlook as a “gotcha” for degrowthers. The graphic shows that if rich countries don’t grow at all until 2050 and all other countries of the world grow as they have been, the problem won’t be solved. A footnote to the graphic shows that “rich countries” include the US, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. This hypothetical future assumes that there will be no climate change progress in China and India or the rest of the “not rich” world. India and China make up more than 1/3 of all people on Earth. Both countries are making progress on green energy, so it is very disingenuous to assume they will continue on the same fossil fuel trajectory as they have been. The impacts of climate change are forecast to hit their populations quite hard, so their leaders will increasingly be incentivized to move away from coal, towards solar and other green energy technologies, or perhaps even degrowth.

I’m not going to spend any more time refuting the article. Read it and see for yourself. I don’t think the author(s) understand degrowth very well, but they are pushing the conversation along – which is a good thing. I’ll bet they will understand degrowth a bit better in the future, so let’s help them get there.  

Below is a primer for media on degrowth. I hope that it proves useful. It isn’t exhaustive but is meant to be a starting point so that we see more informed discussions of degrowth in the future.

A primer for the media on degrowth.

Let’s start with a definition of degrowth from people who have been working on this much longer than me. Degrowth is:

An equitable downscaling of production and consumption that increases human well-being and enhances ecological conditions at the local and global level, in the short and long term.[1]

Degrowth can also be seen as a de-emphasis on growth. Our global economy is set up to be a perpetual growth machine. But we are running into a problem. We can’t keep growing forever on a planet with finite resources.

If you are wondering why degrowth is necessary, you can start with the planetary boundaries framework. This framework describes the “safe” limits of Earth’s natural systems. Beyond these limits, these systems may not be able to self-regulate or repair themselves. In addition to climate change, these boundaries include things like ocean acidification, biosphere integrity, land-system change, and freshwater change. You can see from the below graphic from the Stockholm Resilience Center that we have already breached 6 of 9 planetary boundaries.

Graphic from Stockholm Resilience Center: 2023

Where this degrowth conversation started.

In the 1972 report, The Limits to Growth, scientists took a serious look at where our society was headed with an eye on the resources available to humanity. They concluded that by about the mid-21st century, our society would risk collapse under a business-as-usual scenario. 

In 2020, a researcher from KPMG, Gaya Herrington, decided to revisit the findings of the original Limits to Growth report. Herrington found that even in the most positive scenario where technological advancements helped mitigate climate change pollution and increase food supplies, many natural resources would still run out. A collapse of society is still very much a possibility, if not the most likely scenario in the coming decades.

Let’s not use GDP to tell us if we are happy.

In the 1930s, the economist Simon Kuznets was commissioned by the US Department of Commerce to come up with better economic metrics for measuring the economy. Kuznets came up with gross domestic product (GDP). Gross domestic product simply measures everything produced in an economy. More formally, GDP is defined as:

The total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific period.

Mr. Kuznets warned that GDP should not be used to judge the total welfare of the country because it only measured economic output, ignoring all the factors that went into that economic output.

GDP is a horrible measure of human well-being. It is a great measure of whether our capital (money) is producing more goods and services than we consume. But well-being and economic growth are not the same thing.

That’s okay, well just switch to green growth. Right?

This is where a rational person who has been paying attention to what is happening in the world will say, “Let’s just green our growth”. As of 2020, about 84 percent of global energy use came from fossil fuels.  We should switch that energy mix over to “green” sources as soon as possible.

But that won’t be enough. Things like solar, wind, geothermal, nuclear, hydroelectric, hydrogen, wave power, and fanciful notions like energy beamed from space and nuclear fusion may play an increasing role in our energy mix in the coming decades. But none of them alone can replace fossil fuels. Even when we add them all together, these “green” fuels can’t help us avoid catastrophic climate change and other planetary boundary-based tragedies. Historically, any new fuel source only adds to the total amount of energy used. “Green” energy sources have their own material and carbon footprints, and as Jevon’s Paradox shows us, any increase in energy efficiency always leads to an increase in energy use.

In addition to green power not being able to supply all we need, there will be more people in need of power and energy each coming year. The global population will continue growing to about 10.4 billion people (there are about 8 billion now) near the end of the century before peaking and slowly declining.

Green growth deals with the “supply” side of the energy equation. We should green that supply as quickly as possible. But we need to tackle the demand side of things as well. That is where degrowth comes in.

Degrowth is a path, not an economic system.

Degrowth focuses on human outcomes rather than economic outcomes. Degrowth asks “what is necessary” for a society rather than “what is profitable” or “what brings growth” to an economy. Degrowth emphasizes scaling back or shutting down those industries that harm us (fossil fuel production, plastics) and growing those sectors that help human well-being (green energy, elder care, education). This won’t happen overnight, but an orderly wind-down of some industries over time makes sense.

Degrowth is a path to a “steady state” economy in which we would live within our means as a global civilization. According to the report, The Economics of Biodiversity, published in 2021, we are using Earth’s resources as though we had 1.6 earths to use. Degrowth is the path we need to take so that we only use the resources of 1.0 earths per year.

Degrowth is about slowing down and living our lives in a way that does not overconsume our resources. Degrowth values human outcomes over economic outcomes so that we can eventually settle on an economic model that allows us to live meaningful lives without destroying our planet and ourselves.

Degrowth is not austerity or forcing the global economy into a depression. We need to throttle back on the things that are harming us and invest more in the things that will help us. Human outcomes like well-being, life expectancy, literacy, infant mortality, and yes, happiness should be used to judge our success as a civilization, not GDP.

If you are a journalist, or just an average person looking to learn more about degrowth, some of the topics below are a good place to start.

–        A four-day workweek

–        Income inequality

–        A just transition

–        Getting rid of planned obsolescence

–        Scaling down marketing

–        Universal public services

–        Universal basic income

–        What to measure if not GDP

–        Modern monetary theory

–        Public job guarantees

–        Redesigning our cities

–        Rethinking how we travel

–        Rethinking what we eat

–        Change in our culture is needed

–        Change in our politics is needed

–        Change in our leadership is needed

You can read this blog, or other degrowth resources that are popping up every day, like the degrowth database.

Feel free to reach out to me, or others that know more than me, (there are many of those).

Hopefully, with a simple degrowth primer like this, we will see fewer uninformed articles on the topic.

~ Matt Orsagh – 4 July 2024

→ Subscribe to Matt Orsagh’s newsletter Degrowth is the Answer



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“We talk a lot about leaving a good planet for future generations. What planet are we leaving for our children?
But, what concerns me most as a person and a mother is what kind of person am I leaving for the planet?”

→ UNDP – 20 June 2024:
80 percent of people globally want stronger climate action by governments according to UN Development Programme survey
“Landmark public opinion research reveals overwhelming majority around the world support more ambitious efforts and want to overcome geopolitical differences to fight climate crisis.”

Radical change inevitable

In 1990, we had a choice. Today, we have a responsibility.

Radical change is not an option; it’s a necessity.

So, the real question is “will we go through radical change?” (due to extreme events)

Being impacted by 2, 3 or 4 degrees of climate warming will be utterly devastating.

There would have been if we started in 1990. We chose not to. We chose not to in 2000. We chose not to in 2010 and in 2020. So radical change is inevitable now.

We are NOT all in this together.

Over half of emissions stem from just 10% of the global population, primarily the affluent in wealthy nations.

These countries must lead the way by abandoning fossil fuels and compensate poorer nations, enabling a jump to sustainable energy systems.

We’re talking about moving tens of billions of dollars from the wealthy parts of the world to the poorer parts. The wealthy countries will not engage in this of their own volition.

Incremental steps no longer suffice. We need revolutionary transformations in energy, infrastructure, and lifestyle, particularly among the wealthiest, to prevent catastrophic climate impacts.

~ Michael Flammer, Transformative Urban Coalitions

David Spratt wrote:
So this is what happens when a government refuses to talk / educate about climate risks:

→ The Guardian – 24 June 2024:
Only 60% of Australians accept climate disruption is human-caused, global poll finds
“French survey of 26 countries finds fewer Australians than global average agree that climate change is the greatest health threat facing humanity”

Australians are among the most sceptical around the world that climate disruption is being caused by humans and that the costs of tackling it will be less than that of its impacts, according to polling across 26 countries.

Just 60% of Australians accept that climate disruption is human-caused, a fall of six percentage points from the previous poll 18 months earlier and well behind the global average of 73%, according to the results from French polling company Elabe.

Richard Kirkman, the chief executive of Veolia in Australia, said the survey results suggested “we need to do more work in telling the stories about the facts”.

“We don’t have the full support of the people and we don’t have the political support.“


Analysis of how the Albanese government downplays climate risks:

→ Australian Security Leaders Climate Group:
Too hot to handle Report
“The scorching reality of Australia’s climate–security failure”

Especially: “Words Matter”, pp. 24-25:

“The government’s climate communications strategy is clear. In the international arena, make China the big story and climate a subsidiary one. Domestically, it is even more stark. The government is making the climate story about renewable energy and jobs, along with the “strategic” importance of gas expansion, whilst talking about the actual and projected climate impacts as little as possible.

Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen has referred to renewable energy on 373 occasions (up to 10 March 2024), with big numbers for battery (133), storage (165), hydrogen (143), coal (172), pumped hydro (32) and renewable energy superpower (105). The climate emergency rated 32 mentions and extreme weather or heat 15. But drill down to the specific impacts of climate change and the cupboard is bare. Sea levels get nine mentions, Antarctica — one of the fastest warming places on Earth and where Australia claims a large territory — rated four mentions, and the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), now in a death spiral, just one. Words relating to key climate systems — tipping points, permafrost, the slowing Atlantic circulation, the Amazon and extinction — score zero mentions.”

The Emergency Leaders for Climate Action have come up with concrete steps Australian governments can take to help better protect communities from the impacts many are already experiencing due to climate pollution. Read them here



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Transcript of The Sustainable Hour no. 50

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General:
We are playing Russian roulette with our planet. And we need an exit ramp off the highway to climate hell.

Jingle:
The Sustainable Hour. For a green, clean, sustainable Geelong. The Sustainable Hour.

Anthony Gleeson:
Welcome to the Sustainable Hour. We’d like to start off as always by acknowledging proudly that we’re broadcasting from the land of the Wadawurrung people. We pay tribute to the elders – past, present and those that will earn that honour in the future. We acknowledge that we’re broadcasting from stolen land. The land was never ceded. We also fervently hope that we learn the lessons that the Wadawurrung people, our First Nations people have developed over millennia from living in often harsh conditions. There’s so much to learn for us as we face up to the climate crisis.

Mik Aidt:
The American tv channel CNN reports:

CNN – Bill Weir:
It is not even officially summer yet, and the heat is already taking lives by the dozens. In India, during recent elections, at least 33 poll workers died of heat stress on the same day. At least 41 Jordanians perished as they made their pilgrimage to Mecca, where yesterday they set a new all-time high at over 125 degrees. And in Greece, at least three tourists lost their lives simply by hiking. Not enough water or shade. All those places are used to stretches in the tripple digits. The American north-east is not. And on a planet overheated by fossil fuel pollution, Maine must now brace for the kind of heat and humidity found in Miami. And big cities are bracing…

Mik Aidt:
Stop! Whoa whoa hey! Stop! Did you notice? In the midst of all this bad news coming out as usual, here finally is a mainstream tv channel that mentions the cause of why we are seeing all these deaths. In two simple words: fossil fuels.

CNN (continued):
… not enough water or shade. All those places are used to stretches in the tripple digits. The American north-east is not. And on a planet overheated by fossil fuel pollution, Maine must now brace for the kind of heat and humidity found in Miami. And big cities are bracing for a strain on everything.

Extreme heat is the most dangerous weather phenomenon we have in New York City.

In the northern hemisphere, new science finds that last summer was the hottest since the birth of Christ. And in the US, heat took the most lives since…

Sarah Aubrey, Electrify This:
Two trillion dollars. That’s what’s being invested in renewables in 2024. That’s double, double! what’s being invested in the fossil fuel industry. So the smart people, the people know where the future is, where to invest their money, where the profits will be. They’re investing in renewables, not in fossil fuels. And the fossil fuel industry is very, very worried. And that’s why you’re seeing a ramp up of anti-solar, anti-wind, anti-electric car stuff in the press. Because they know their days are numbered.

Mik Aidt:
Says Sarah Aubrey on her Instagram account, Electrify This. And she’s right, yes, it’s very noticeable: The air has become thick with lies and misinformation these days. ‘Wind turbines cause cancer’ or ‘they kill whales’ and ‘electric vehicles are worse for the environment than petrol cars’. And I don’t know if you heard the latest one: ‘Solar panels drain the sun’s energy’.

Whoa! These myths are, of course, started by the vested interest in the fossil fuels or by poor individuals who don’t understand the science behind renewable energy technologies. But really probably the most serious lie of them all – as we live in a cost of living crisis – is this claim that clean and renewable energy is more expensive than fossil fuels – when the truth really is exactly the opposite now.

Green energy is half the price of black, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest findings. Even gas now costs two and a half times more than the price of renewables. But our governments keep spending billions of dollars subsidising the use of fossil fuels – far, far more than they spent on supporting the clean energy investments. And that, of course, leads to a chat about the coming election, because clearly it’s time for some fresh air in our politics, some new leadership, somebody with integrity and trustworthiness, please! But that’s not the chat I think we’re going to have today. We’ll be talking about coal ships, yes, and blockades, yes, but also about degrowth and things that are much more peaceful.

And by the way, nuclear power: eight times more expensive than renewables. It’s not even necessary to ask the question why anyone would want to suggest that we should build some energy power stations that would be eight times more expensive than what we can get from renewables.

And another one we hear all the time is that, ‘Oh, as long as China is not doing anything…’, well, China doubled its solar last year and Europe is going to reach its 2030 target already next year. That’s five years ahead of time. So they’re onto it. And if we’re not, we’ll have to stop doing business with the Europeans, obviously, because they’re going to tax or boycott goods that come from countries that are destroying the climate that we all so much depend on.

Anyway, I got a little bit carried away here and out the tangent. It’s time to gather our thoughts and we do that with Colin Mockett OAM, who has gathered the Global Outlook for us for this week. What do you have for us, Colin?

Colin Mockett:
Yes, thank you, Mik. Our roundup this week is truly worldwide, it takes in deadly heat waves that are sweeping four continents, with climate change-fuelled extreme conditions leaving thousands of people dead in the last week.

An estimated 1,000 pilgrims died while they were undertaking the Hajj in Mecca, which last week had conditions above 51° degrees Celsius. In India, there were more than 40,000 suspected heat stroke cases and at least 110 confirmed deaths due to twice the usual number of heatwave days. New Delhi clocks 38 consecutive days with the maximum temperatures all above 40°C degrees.

Countries around the Mediterranean also endured blistering high temperatures contributing to forest fires in Portugal, Greece and Algeria. Belgrade’s emergency services said its doctors treated 109 people with heat and chronic health conditions in one night, while Serbian meteorologists forecast ongoing temperatures of 40°C degrees and more.

Parts of the United States’ northeastern Midwest are under a heat dome with floods and deadly wildfires in New Mexico.

There’s an estimated 80 million people under that heat dome at the moment. And it’s safe to say that we are experiencing climate change right now.

And this was born out in New York, where at the United Nations Assembly, the biggest ever public opinion survey on climate change was introduced last week. Called the People’s Climate Vote 2024, the poll showed that 80 per cent of people worldwide want their governments to take stronger action to tackle climate crisis. Even more, 86 per cent want to see their countries set aside national political differences and work together to seek a solution. More than 75,000 people across 77 countries were surveyed using 87 different languages. All of them were asked the same 15 questions, which were designed to help understand how people are experiencing the impacts of climate change and how they want world leaders to respond. 77 countries were polled, representing 80 per cent of the global population.

‘The People’s Climate Vote is loud and clear,’ said the poll’s administrator, a fellow by the name of Achim Steiner. ‘Global citizens want their leaders to act now and to act boldly to fight the climate crisis.’ He added that the survey’s results, unprecedented in their coverage, revealed a level of consensus that he described as truly astonishing. The survey revealed support for stronger climate action in 20 of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters, with the majorities ranging from 66 per cent of that’s the people in the U.S. and Russia, to 67 per cent in Germany, 73 per cent in China, 77 per cent in South Africa and India, 85 per cent in Brazil, 88 per cent in Iran, and the strongest being 93 per cent in Italy.

The five biggest admitters – that’s Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the United States – in those five big emitters, women were more in favor of strengthening their country’s commitments than men.

The gap was biggest in Germany, where women were 17 percentage points ahead to want the change, and that was 75 per cent to men’s 58 per cent. And aside from a broad call for bolder climate action, the survey showed support by a global majority of 72 per cent in favour of a fast transition away from fossil fuels.

This was true for countries among the top 10 biggest producers of oil, coal or gas, including majorities ranging from 89 per cent in Nigeria to 54 per cent of people in the United States. Only 7 per cent of people globally said their country should take no action. 69 per cent of people globally said their biggest decisions like where to live or where to work were being impacted by climate change.

Professor Stephen Fisher, Department of Sociology in the University of Oxford, said a survey of this size was a huge scientific endeavor. While maintaining rigorous methodology, special efforts were also made to include people from marginalised groups in the poorest parts of the world. This is some of the very highest quality global data on public opinions on climate change that’s available.

Classy Flynn, who’s global director of climate change, UNDP, said, ‘As world leaders decide on the next round of pledges under the Paris Agreement by 2025, these results are undeniably evidence that people everywhere support bold climate action.’ And you can see the full results by just going onto the United Nations website.

Now to the United Kingdom, where this week the annual flagship event of London Climate Action will take place. Called the Climate Innovation Forum, the event will bring together over 1,000 business leaders, policymakers, investors and representatives to accelerate the speed and scale of Britain’s collective efforts in driving climate action. The event is organised by the City of London Corporation with input from the government’s Department of Energy Security and Net Zero. …I mean, they’re a bit busy at the moment. They’ve got an election going on… But this forum is led by some heavyweight names, starting with King Charles and the Mayor of London. And the result is sure to influence the new incoming government.

Now for the last piece of news that I have is was released in South Korea in Seoul, but its impact is much closer to home. It was announced last week in Seoul that the Danish company Vestas has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contracts for the second stage of the Golden Plains Wind Farm, which is sited at Rokewood, that’s 60 kilometres northwest of Geelong, on the way to Ballarat.

The project’s second stage will feature 93 new wind turbines, lifting the project’s total generation capacity to a total of 1.3 gigawatts. Now this makes it Vestor’s largest global onshore wind farm. On completion of first and second stages, Vestor’s will also deliver a 30-year service and maintenance agreement to ensure that the optimal energy production into the Australian grid will be maintained. The second stage of the Golden Plains wind farm is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2025, with the first stage finalised at the beginning of 2026.

And that nice positive news winds up my roundup for the week, Mik.

Jingle
Listen to our Sustainable Hour for the future.

Mik Aidt:
With us today, we have someone who will explain to us what’s going to happen in November – we heard last week from one of our guests that he was excited about going up to Newcastle to get arrested. And it’s strange how you can get excited about that. But that’s… I think it’s because 10,000 people are – hopefully – going to meet up at the same time in Newcastle in November. So, Zane Alcorn, you are involved with the so-called Rising Tide, but you’re based in Melbourne, is that right?

Zane Alcorn:
Yes, that’s correct. Down in Melbourne. Although I grew up in Newcastle.

Mik Aidt:
Ah! Tell us what’s going to happen and how can you be sure that 10,000 people will show up?

Zane Alcorn:
Well, you can never be 100 per cent sure. But at the moment, the Rising Tide Tour is happening. So I think it starts around the 19th or the 20th of November this year, and it’s the people’s blockade of the world’s largest coal port. Mullabinba Newcastle is home to what is the world’s largest coal port and I guess it’s important to note more coal is shipped out of Queensland by tonnage than out of the port of Newcastle but it’s through multiple ports so that’s why Newcastle is the largest single port, but most of the stuff going out of Queensland is for steel production, and I guess steel production is hopefully within the next decade or so we might see steel production get to the stage where we are now with electricity production, where wind and solar storage, diversified renewables, have successfully been able to be proven up as a viable alternative to coal-fired electricity.

So Newcastle is the world’s largest coal port, and critically the vast majority – something like 85-90 per cent of what’s getting shipped out of there – is thermal coal for coal-fired power stations. It’s not the type that gets used in steel production. So it’s a very strategic target. Probably it would be hard to find anywhere on the planet that is a bigger choke point, if you will, of fossil fuels, and it’s still going to power stations. And we know that it’s that’s the easiest low hanging fruit to reduce emissions around the world – is to replace coal fired power with renewables. And so the people in Australia have this unique opportunity to converge upon Newcastle, blockade that coal port, and really exert political pressure at that key point of production and say, ‘We can’t keep doing this. We have to phase out coal. We’ve already passed one and a half degrees.’

As we heard from Colin in the news, we’ve got really serious heat waves in the Northern Hemisphere at the moment. We keep seeing these so-called ‘One in 1,000 year floods’ happening every second year. We saw the massive bushfires of 2019-2020. We’re increasingly seeing the retreat of glaciers, the collapse of our polar ice caps. That’s going to influence the ocean thermal currents. We are undisputably in a climate emergency.

And so as listeners of your show would know, in Australia we have a bipartisan policy where Liberal and Labour governments alike continue to approve new coal and gas projects.

The Liberal Party don’t really try and hide the fact that they just represent billionaire resource companies and they just want to keep shipping this stuff on their behalf. Whereas the Labor Party, they pretend to be on the side of climate action. They pretend to be wanting to do the right thing. And in terms of domestic renewables policy, okay, Labor is definitely a bit better than Liberal. Could probably be going a bit faster, could probably be doing more in the space of public ownership, public investment, in my opinion. But the kind of, where the emperor has no clothes, as far as the Labor Party is concerned, is that they keep allowing resource companies to open new coal and gas projects. So that’s a big part of what the People’s Blockade is aimed at, is saying to Labor governments in particular: ‘This is not good enough. It’s not acceptable. And we can’t keep kicking the can down the road any longer. We have to restructure the Australian economy away from coal exports. And we have to start right now.’

Colin Mockett:
The point that really worries me is that by releasing the news this early, you’re really signaling to the authorities and certainly to the police that they’re going to be there in force to greet you. Doesn’t this worry you?

Zane Alcorn:
To be honest, not at all. They will be there in force to greet us, but the people’s blockade of the world’s largest coal port is not a new event. Insofar as Rising Tide has adopted a new approach and is now really putting a lot of effort into trying to get people from right across the country to descend upon Newcastle, and make this thing really, really big, that’s new. But in terms of blockading the coal port… I was at the first blockade, and I think my memory’s a little bit rusty, I can’t remember if it was 2005 or 2006. And that was the first and only time that Rising Tide did their blockade in the winter, and it was very cold, and after that they decided, hmm, this works better when it’s warm and sunny, because, yeah, blockading in the water in the middle of winter is not nice.

So the police have been there from, you know, the first blockade nearly getting close to 20 years ago now. And I think the pattern that has emerged with many blockades either under the name of Rising Tide or under other like community organisations like HUNA Community Environment Center, the pattern that’s emerged, is that the police – and I think also the coal companies themselves – I think are very cautious about taking a heavy-handed approach towards activists, and they probably have calculated, ‘Meh, let the activists block the port for a day or two and then we’ll get back to shipping coal because if we go in there and we arrest heaps of people, we give them huge fines, we beat people up, we spray them, this might cause a backlash.’

We know the blockade tends to get a lot of international media and I think that the police, the state, the corporations are a bit cautious about being heavy handed. Now, maybe if we grow this thing and it gets bigger and it starts to really pose a threat to the coal industry, maybe they might change tactics and become heavy handed, but certainly for the last 20 odd years that we’ve been doing this and certainly last year, I think the strategy of the police is to avoid risking a backlash by going to being violent or giving massive fines or putting people in jail for extended amounts of time.

Mik Aidt:
But indirectly there, you just said that it’s not really working. They just go back to work after a couple of days of your protesting. Everything is back to normal and they continue as if nothing had happened. So what’s the point?

Zane Alcorn:
Yeah, and I think, you know, you could you could probably say the same thing about any protest movement in history: In the period before that protest movement wins, you could say, ‘Well, it’s not working.’

I think that the blockade has massive potential. And the dynamics of rising tide are really interesting to me. I come from an eco-socialist background and the sort of political education or the theory of change that I’ve been kind-of raised on is very focused on people power and mass action. You change the world when you harness the fact that we are many, and they are few, and you get huge numbers. Now in the early days, Rising Tide was arguably a bit more similar to maybe Blockade Australia today, where you had kind of secretly organised actions and relatively small groups of people locking onto machinery, stopping production – again for a short amount of time – and then production would resume.

What I find very interesting and exciting about Rising Tide since it has relaunched a couple of years ago – because there was probably a 10 year period there where Rising Tide sort of you know dispersed and slipped off the radar – but it’s back with a vengeance, and some of the new young people involved with Rising Tide they were involved in those massive school strikes that happened in late 2019 and have got a very clear approach. They have felt the immense power when you mobilise hundreds of thousands of people in all cities all across Australia, and they are wanting to harness that level of mass action and try and bring that to the world’s largest coal port.

So yeah, our blockade last year, it was for 33 hours or something. This year we’re aiming for 50 odd hours and we’re probably not going to succeed yet in permanently shutting down the coal industry and having a worker friendly transition away from coal.

But the potential is there, if we can grow the activist networks right across the east coast of Australia to start bringing very large numbers of people to the world’s largest coal port and blockading for extended periods of time.

And what I’m very excited about as a unionist is the potential to start to bring workers in the coal industry itself and union members from right across the country and say, ‘Yes we want to phase out coal exports and we want to do it quickly, but we don’t want to do it in a way that leaves coal workers on the dole or on the scrap heap. We want a properly funded transition and we want to build up alternative jobs in alternative industries, like renewables manufacture, so that this does not result in destitution for those coal workers.’

Because if we don’t take that approach, that creates a political problem because right-wing forces are able to say, ‘Hey, coal-workers, these greenies want to take your jobs. You should join One Nation or you should support our kind of racist brand of anti-refugee, anti-greenie, agro politics. So we need to be conscious of that risk, but probably the key to all of it in my mind is if coal-workers themselves can see the industry has no future, people are going to stop buying this and we can’t wait until the industry is in free fall to try and call for a transition. If the workers themselves come around to this idea of, ‘You know what, we can actually do this. We can pressure the government to invest in major alternative job creation in the new renewable industries. It’s a winnable campaign and we can do it.’

And if those people who work in the coal mines, if they start joining us, if they go on strike for climate action, then maybe we can shut down the industry permanently. And that may seem far-fetched, but I think it’s actually I think it’s realistic for us to potentially get to that point.

Mik Aidt:
That’s very interesting if that could happen. And I think… I can see the point of what you’re doing in the sense that, in those 50 hours you talk about there, it’s likely if you get 10,000 people together that you would have the mainstream media’s attention. And that means once the microphone of all the tv news is towards you, if you use your moment of fame, your 15 minutes of fame there, wisely and create a very positive story about the transition, not this sort of angry, you know, people-are-getting-imprisoned story, but more like, hey, this is a sensible way to reach out to the media and get into the mainstream media that we are so many people now that are ready for this transition, including the coal workers themselves. That would be brilliant!

Zane Alcorn:
Another thing that I’ve observed as someone who’s been interested and involved with Rising Tide, who’s participated in a number of protests with Rising Tide over the years, is back in the early days, in the sort of early- to mid-2000s, this divide between coal workers and unions and climate activists was quite wide.

As time has gone on and as the interaction between the climate movement and the system we live under has occurred. You spoke earlier about the level of investment in renewable energy around the world is now twice that into fossil fuels. Going back to 2006, that wasn’t the case. There was massive investment in new coal terminals, in new coal mines, in new coal exports, in new coal-fired power stations. So the economics have shifted and I think the more enlightened or switched-on part of the trade union movement, including important blue collar unions like the CFMEU, the AMWU, the ETU, who have members working on these projects, they can see: the future is in renewables. There are real job opportunities, big opportunities for lots of good quality unionised jobs building all of the different types of renewable infrastructure.

I was at this rally on the 4th of February in Newcastle called by Hunter Unions, but also attended by Rising Tide and the Greens in Newcastle, and a bunch of community groups and climate action groups. And what I saw was very moving and very exciting. And that was: union members and delegates from unions like the Public Sector Association, I think, the Teachers Federation, but also the MUA, the colorist people who work on the coal loaders. There was these two young women from the MUA, who got up and basically spoke about: the world is moving away from coal and we need to make sure this big offshore wind project goes ahead in the Hunter, so that we can start the economic transition, so that we can start building these alternative jobs.

So the gap between the climate movement and the union movement keeps getting smaller and smaller every year. And I think there’s huge potential. When those two groups combine, and if they can join together around the blockade of the coal port, we will be able to send very serious shockwaves through the status quo, through the powers that be.

SONG
Eco Warrior Barbie

Made of mushrooms, she’s the best
Eco Warrior Barbie
Putting bad guys to the test
Eco Warrior Barbie
Do you have the bolt cutters?
Yeah! She’s the one who takes control
I’m too late
I can file a lawsuit
When adults are wrong, she’ll do what’s right
Good bucket of poo!
She’ll go anywhere, even France.
Carol, Julia, Bebe!
Eco Warrior Barbie
Pussy Riot masks sold seperately.

Colin Mockett:
Our second guest, whose name is Liz Wade, she’s from Ballarat. She’s a member of the Degrowth Network and she’s about to start a Degrowth Network community in Ballarat. Is that right, Liz? Have I got that correct?

Liz Wade:
Yeah, the Degrowth Network Australia has been going for over a year and a half coming onto two years now. And yeah, there’s been a couple of us from our Ballarat way joining in with those activities, but the cat’s out of the bag now and people are hearing about it and just jumping on board, because there’s been a really interesting shift in people’s kind of willingness to be open to this idea of degrowth. And I think there’s lots of people that are still sort of getting their heads around what does that mean? But then people have a sense that there’s something, that there’s big change needed, and what does that look like? And degrowth as a term basically just refers to the fact that we are beyond multiple planetary boundaries. You know, emissions is just one piece of how far we are beyond the capacity of our Earth to sustain the way that we currently live and, yeah, people have a sense that there is deep change needed, that needs aren’t being met and yet we’re taking so much, and it’s partly to do with the distribution of it – because there are a few people that are benefiting greatly, and then the many, are not even having basic needs met.

And so, yeah, it’s really exciting. We’ve got a weekend coming up of activities. So there’s been conversations starting and a group of us have come together very quickly. So… Colin, go ahead.

Colin Mockett:
Well, I was going to say that you’re right. We tend to concentrate on the reduction of climate emissions. But in fact, the planet’s coming out under a flood of plastics, which is just going nowhere. It’s just flooding everywhere. And our economies are, they do have this madness that growth has got to be there all the time. So I’ve got two things that I’d like to ask you now. Number one: what do you see as being the degrowth networks major aims? And number two: What are the actions that you’re taking on your weekend of action?

Liz:
Yeah, okay. So the major aim… It always is hard to know exactly where to start. It is a big, like, it’s sort of changing everything. The basic thing is about meeting needs within, you know, prioritising well-being, finding, reaching ways of living that are in balance with ecology, with our natural systems, instead of prioritising relentless economic growth.

And looking at all our systems and finding ways to sort of reallocate how resources are used and making sure that people can have their needs met. So we’re sort of talking about restructuring society, restructuring our lives, the way we live in a variety of ways – and one of the things about the degrowth network that I find really important as well is that there’s a real emphasis on valuing diverse perspectives, so we don’t necessarily all have the exact same idea of what are the primary goals, what are the main solutions, and they are complicated conversations, so even just talking about renewables like it’s fantastic that there’s a shift from fossil fuels to renewables but there are complex issues involved there. Things to do with the critical minerals that are needed for renewables and things like this. So we can’t just keep going with the way we are and keep using more and more and more energy and just switch to using more and more renewables instead of using more and more fossil fuels without also having impact. So we also need to first of all look at how can we reduce our energy usage. And there are so many ways to do that, because there’s just so many things that are unnecessary. And so many things that aren’t benefiting the majority, they’re only benefiting a few.

So really taking a complex look at that big picture, but then also looking at the local. So I guess that’s why I’m really excited about having a local hub start up. So there’s a national network that meets monthly online on Zoom and has very interesting conversations. Then there’s a Melbourne group that meets monthly in person in Melbourne and do different activities. And then within that there are sort-of little hubs starting.

So there’s been, you know, some activities in the South East and more sort of localised, localised. And a lot of the initiatives that form part of the kind of the solution are things like local repair cafes and tool libraries and all those things that already exist in lots of places, little community gardens and all those things already exist out there in lots of different places but bringing those things together as well.

So then here in Ballarat, the people that have been starting to meet are interested to kind of connect with what’s already happening. So there’s lots of things. There’s a local food coalition, there are community gardens, we have our repair cafe and our tool library. But bringing those things together under this umbrella idea of how can we look at the needs of the population of Ballarat, what we can meet locally ourselves, what do we needing from elsewhere, what needs aren’t being met? How can we make sure things are distributed in an equal way and ensuring that people have what they need without just creating bigger and bigger impacts on the environment and leaving people behind?

Colin:
The weekend of action?

Liz Wade:
Yes, so we’re having a few of our Melbourne people are coming out. It’s kind of a community coming-together. So some of the Melbourne people are coming and the Ballarat people that we’ve already sort of gathered together are joining in. And then we are running some activities, including we have a Let’s Explore Degrowth, which is sort of an introductory workshop. So we’re running that and inviting anyone to come along and join in and sort of get that sense of what do we mean when we talk about degrowth? So that’s the kind of thing.

We can run that workshop, you know, anyone who would like us to come and run that workshop, we can go to different places and run that workshop. And it gives people that sense of, ‘Ah, I see, I start to understand what this idea means.’

And then the local, there’s already some things happening, like the repair cafes on the same day. And I’ve volunteered with the repair cafe for almost five years. They’re coming up to our fifth birthday soon. So we might just hang out there and sort of enjoy the community vibes and the joy of fixing lots of things together for the afternoon, and then we’ll have some social time just getting to know each other, because relationship building is really important and something we also prioritise in the Degrowth Network.

And for example, we’ve also got in Melbourne coming up soon the second of a series of conflict resolution workshops because we also know that, you know, in a future where we’re sharing more, we’re looking at living more closely together with things like co-housing, we’re sharing our things more so that we don’t have to have so many things. We don’t each need each tool. We can share them together. But these types of things are tricky and sometimes it’s complicated. So having the skills to work through things like conflicts, also when we work together, you know, conflict can come up. So having those skills of working through tricky situations and challenges are also something that we we centre in our work as well.

So yeah, then over the weekend, we’ve also, we’ll have a little tour of the Food is Free Green Space and hear about the Local Food Coalition that’s been happening for quite some time, and what’s going on there, because obviously food is a big part of, you know, meeting basic needs. That’s one of the very primary things that we need to be taking care of and finding out what’s already happening. There’s a lot of different initiatives in this area already. So finding out what those are.

And yeah, we might do some other things as well. So that’s our weekend coming up, but yeah, just a chance to have people have good conversations as well.

Mik Aidt:
So do you also invite people who are not from Ballarat? I’m thinking of if anyone here in Geelong region are listening to this and think, ‘Oh! This sounds inspirational. I would like to start up at Geelong fraction, a Geelong Hub.’ Could they come and attend your workshop?

Liz Wade:
Yeah, absolutely. Anyone’s definitely welcome to come along to the workshop. And as I said, also, you know, if there’s people who are from Geelong who want us to come and do something down there, we can. Yeah, I’ve certainly got connections down that way as well that I’d love to sort of, you know, talk to more about this as well.

Colin Mockett:
How would people contact you?

Liz Wade:
So we do have degrowthnetwork@proton.me is our email and that’s a good way to contact us a bunch of people can check that email address. And then you can also request to be on our lists. There are the Melbourne meetings. So people also from places like Geelong. So I got come in from Ballarat by train and go to the monthly meetings in Melbourne. So those meetings are kind of a bit of a central hub. So as we grow and more of these local hubs become their own thing, that meeting will become sort of a connecting place for the different groups to communicate, and we have that sort of general idea around growing locally and keeping that connection across the network. So it’s a really interesting way to organise.

We have Facebook, we have Instagram, so you can just search for Degrowth Network Australia on those platforms.

And then we are working on a website, and we do have other communications platforms as well where lots of interesting conversations happen about lots of the different complexities that, you know, they really are tricky and even things about how do we communicate about the state of the world. You know, when we talk about these things, it can be really scary. So, ways to ensure that people can feel engaged and feel into what’s possible because it can feel really hard and really insurmountable, but there is so much potential. If we come together, as Zane was talking about, having that sense of movement-building of people coming together at a mass level, it only takes each person to do one small thing and something enormous happens.

I love Naomi Klein’s quote, ‘To change everything, we need everyone.’

That’s something also that’s really important to Degrowth Network is being really inclusive and really listening to different perspectives and different voices, understanding people’s Why.

A lot of people out there in the world are having a sense of things not being right and they might not identify with, you know, being an environmental person or an activist or, you know, being left or right, or any of the different categories of things that people can be, but they can have a sense that they wish the world was somehow different. And that’s what we are really curious about. What needs are people really yearning for to be met? How can we change the way our world works to ensure that people are well and happy and flourishing without that impact, that unnecessary impact?

Yeah, so I guess that’s the way people can get in touch, there’s always different ways to join in. We do run other events. I also have a series, a program… I’m running one of the program I think I’ve spoken about with you guys before: the Good Grief program. So I’m running one of those for the Good Grief Network in Melbourne starting in August… eh, for the Degrowth Network. I think I said for the Good Grief Network, all the networks…

So that’s primarily for, you know, Degrowth Network community, but also again, anyone can join in with that. And then there’s those programs are running regularly as well because that consciousness of taking care of our mental health, our emotional wellbeing and community connectedness is also central.

What are the actual things that are important to ensure that people around the world are having their needs met? And it gets so complex in this world, but what we do know is here in Australia, here in the Western society sort of framework, we are using more than our share and that has to change. And within our own society, there’s a lot of inequity and then globally there’s even greater inequity, and this is not something that can continue, because we are using more than our planet can sustain, and not sharing it in a way that’s at all equitable.

And so how do we, what does it look like if we do it differently to that? And these are big questions that I can’t… you know, I wish I had all the answers.

Colin Mockett:
What would you say would be the biggest action that you personally have taken?

Liz Wade:
In my personal life, do you mean? I had a big focus… more like 20 years ago… on my own personal footprint or if you will, and even just the complexity of it was the fossil fuel companies that developed those footprint calculators in the first place. Why did they do that? To shift the focus on to individual action.

So I have previously lived with a much lower personal footprint. So there was a period in my life where my home electricity use was an average of 0.5 kilowatt hours a day, which included charging the battery for my electric bicycle, which was my only transport except for when I injured myself and then I did get a car.

And, you know, I did use electricity elsewhere to do things like… I used a washing machine at a different place and had hot showers, you know, like the luxuries of life. So living in that way gave me a real sense of what we can live with and without. Like, you know, even to begin with, we hadn’t, we didn’t have a water tank, so we had to go and get water. And there’s so many places where people do these things as part of life. And to have that experience of then having running water from a tap and just thinking, ‘How amazing is this luxury?’ You know? Things that we don’t take for granted.

So, since that time, like I sort of have a more normal life now and I’ve got children, which is part of that. But also one of the things that I’ve realised is that, you know, we live in a world of impossible choices and we can’t, we can’t, we actually just can’t live according to our values. It’s really difficult. And personally, I’ve had to come to terms with, you know, the guilt and the… like, I can really sort of wish that I could live in a different way, but my choice is to actually spend my time trying to work on the systemic change rather than putting that extra time into, you know, making all of the personal choices.

So in fact, I’ve shifted from that personal framing towards allocating the time to work for the systemic change so that overall we can do things differently. And that’s also including working on the community change level as well. So there’s all these different levels of change.

I don’t neglect my personal footprint. I do my best, but I kind of say, okay, sometimes I will buy things from a supermarket packaged in plastic because, you know, if I’m going to just like make pasta from scratch, from grain that I sourced from a farmer, like that’s all I’m going to do. Like I’m not going to do anything else.

So I don’t know if that’s an answer to the question?

Colin Mockett:
Well, that’s nice. Anyway, that gives us an insight into you and it comes at a time when we’re about at the end of our hour. We’d love to invite you back again if we can, Liz. Can you come back to us after your weekend of action and let us know just what a response you’ve got and what new actions you’ll be looking for afterwards? I’d really like to see that, if I may.

Hmm. Sure!

Yeah. Well, yeah. Watch this space in a year’s time. We’ll have lots to report back. I’m sure. Give us a bit of time though.

Mik Aidt:
Maybe Liz, if you could sort-of round off our hour with a few… I wouldn’t call them ‘selling points’ – as we’re talking about degrowth, but something you think is beautiful about the degrowth movement?

Liz Wade:
Yeah. Okay. I’ve been connecting with the International Degrowth Network… So Degrowth Network Australia is a member of the International Degrowth Network and then obviously, you know, it is what it sounds like. It’s also relatively new and coming together. The Degrowth movement has been having assemblies for five years and then the International Degrowth Network came out of that more recently. But listen to this for the vision of the International Degrowth Network:

‘A world where we collectively build an equitable future that prioritises happiness, well-being and community. One in which all life thrives and regenerates within planetary boundaries.’

And the mission is: ‘To organise and inspire individuals, organisations and communities towards a degrowth transformation of society.’

And again, what does that look like? That looks like everybody’s dreams. Like, it’s not predefined because participatory decision-making is so central because this valuing diverse perspectives is so central, because global equality is so central. So that, you know, the specifics of what that looked like… nobody’s coming in to say, this is what needs to happen. This is what it looks like. It’s about allowing everyone’s input to come together to create something beyond what each of us could imagine.

So yeah, just the possibility in that I think is pretty magical. And we have so much fun because we do prioritise, like, relationship building and caring for each other as we go. So we’re not just working towards a future that might exist one day, we’re living it as we go. We’re doing these local-based solution-based things as we go, and we’re treating each other with care and respect, and this collective-minded ‘Let’s ensure we’re all being taken care of and that no one’s missing out.’

MUSIC

Colin Mockett:
It’s not only fun, you save a vast amount of money because what you’ve done is walked away from the consumer society and you’ve taken your own course. And I don’t know the actual time over the past 60 years or so when we stopped being people and became consumers. It’s really nice not to be a consumer, but to be an individual and choose where you’re going to spend your money. And you don’t spend as much of it, do you? You wind up richer as well as happier.

Liz Wade:
Yes. And perhaps that’s something I did miss out of, even my own personal story is that, that sense of, cause one of our degrowth network people has, has a little zine on how to work less. And look, I worked full time for about a year and three quarters. And then I went, ‘No, not doing that ever again!’ And you know, I haven’t looked back. So, working part time because we don’t need to just keep focusing on earning money. And there’s a lot of privilege in that as well. But making choices about how we spend our time and the ways that we meet our needs does allow for possibilities of life in many cases. And then hopefully we can share more so that that’s possible for more people, and that equity is really important in that as well.

Colin Mockett:
Well, that’s lovely, Liz. Thank you very much for being a guest. We look forward to talking to you again and keep on keeping on because together we can be the difference.

Mik Aidt:
Yes, exactly. Be together.

Liz Wade:
Maybe just be.

Christiana Figueres in Al Jazeera’s documentary ‘Nothings Grows Forever – The lessons to learn form nature’:
Do some people wish for a worse crisis to make us change? I don’t. I think we have enough of a crisis right now. We have to understand that this is a moment for fundamental mindset change and not have any patience for those who are not willing to collectively contribute to that.

SONG

Come gather round people,
let me tell you a story
An eight year long story
full of power and pride

British Lord Vesty and Vincent Langaree
Were opposite men on opposite sides
Vesty was fat, full of money and muscle
Beef was his business and broad was his door

Vincent was lean and spoke very little
He had no bank balance, hard dirt was his floor

From little things big things grow

But you were working for nothing but Russians
We once had together the wealth of the land
Daily the pressure got tighter and tighter
The ring you decided that they must make us stand

Started out walking, out by the creek they willing sat themselves down
Don’t sound like much, but it sure got tongue-toking Back at the home city, in the name of the town

From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow

Stingman said, I’ll double your wages
Seven grid a week you’ll have in your hands
But Vincent said, no, we ain’t talking about wages
We’ll sit around here until we get our way

Best we may fall, but you don’t
stand a chance of our cinnamon snub
Vincent said we fall,
others rising Fall,

From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow

From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow

Vincent Langari, he boarded an airplane
He landed in Sydney, big city at last
And daily he went round softly speaking his story
To all types of men from all walks of life
And Vincent sat down with those big boys
It’s a matter of state,
you let us sort it out by your people
This is enough, you know how it feels

From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow



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

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.

Petitions

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List of running petitions where we encourage you to add your name

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The Sustainable Hour
The Sustainable Hour
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Sharing solutions that make the climate safer and our cities more liveable