Sept. 14, 2021

Climate solutions not pollution

Climate solutions not pollution

Another sustainable hour is ready to hit the airwaves. The 380th of its kind.

In The Tunnel we start today with yet another stark, but at he same time necessary question. This time using a report from the World Meteorological Organisation about the critical nature of the climate crisis we face, Mik Aidt asks us to consider how any more people need to die from extreme weather events before we give this crisis the same attention as what the Corona virus is getting world wide.

Our first guest is Rosie Brodie who is the Australian Youth Climate Coalition’s Schools’ Program Manager. We learn what it is about AYCC that attracted them, firstly as a volunteer, and now as a program manager.
Rosie also outlines two programs that AYCC are currently running: The organisation is supporting people to have conversations with their communities about what climate justice means to them through a peer-to-peer fundraiser called “Speak Up for Climate Justice”. You can find out more information about getting involved or donating here. Funds donated go towards supporting young people to take action on campaigns, growing their movement, up-skilling the youth climate movement and pushing hard on their new campaign “Climate Solutions, not Pollution”. As part of their new campaign they are asking people to tell how they’ve been impacted by climate change and where they want to see public money going, instead of to greedy gas corporations. You can help AYCC by filling out this survey here.

For anyone involved in a school who is interested in finding out more about AYCC’S School Program, go to where you can register that interest. Someone will contact you and organise for one of their workshops or talk about other ways of working together as solution seekers for climate justice.

Rosie’s fellow guest is Les Harrison – a fifth generation farmer from the Stony Rises. A fascinating wide-ranging discussion about the true costs of, and reasons for, industrial farming ensues. We learn all about Les’ pathway to regenerative farming, a pathway that started over 15 years ago with a desire for green grass over summer.
Over this time, Les has become convinced that it has to be the future of farming, both for financial reasons, for the good of the land and for people’s health. However, he understands how and why chemical farming came about and how it’s like being on a treadmill of chemicals chasing chemicals for many farmers. He doesn’t judge these farmers, he invites them to regenerative farming field days where they see the results for themselves.

Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook this week begins in Amsterdam where Greenpeace executive director John Sauven called for a moratorium on trade deals with ‘countries like Australia’… “until they improve on their weak climate targets and end deforestation”. This in the wake of reports detailing how British ministers dropped specific climate change commitments from their trade deal with Australia.

This came as a new study published in UK’s Nature journal concluded that 95% of Australia’s coal and 35% of its gas must stay in the ground by 2050 for there to be any chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

From the United States comes news that president Biden’s solar energy plan could account for 40% of US energy by 2035, representing a rise from 3% today, according to a new report from the US Department of Energy. The study outlines how the Biden administration could achieve the goal of decarbonising the electricity sector by 2035.

Also from the U.S., academic researchers warn that the fossil fuel industry has a new stance to delay efforts to curb emissions by pretending to support climate action. From Bill McKibben in The New Yorker comes an analysis that the cost of solar has regularly fallen about thirty per cent with each doubling of capacity—so the Biden plan should make what is already the cheapest energy on Earth far cheaper still.

Finally, from Iceland, a new machine that pulls carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and turns it into rocks. Called Orca, built in Hellisheidi, and opened by their PM Katrin Jacobsdottir, who said “This is indeed an important step in the race to net-zero gas emissions which is necessary to manage the climate crisis.”

This can only happen in Iceland because it has ample supplies of geothermal energy and underground basalt caverns where the CO2 is held captive in sponge filters, then blasted with heat, then pumped into caverns where it slowly turns to stone. Expensive, at $800 to $1,000 per tonne removed, but will reduce over time. Point is: this is carbon capture that works. However, it still leaves us with two big questions:
Who will pay?
Will the fossil fuel industry use this as yet another excuse to keep digging up, transporting and burning their toxic products?

We hope that you have all gained something positive from show number 380. We’ll be back again next to focus on solution seekers and climate revolutionaries. Till then take care and be the difference.
~ The Sustainable Hour team – Mik, Colin, Tony, Jackie, Rusty & Ben

“Climate justice is a really core value for AYCC. We recognise that climate change is a symptom of deeper injustices. At the root cause of that is a colonial system that is putting profits of the big polluters over Aboriginal land rights, over the well-being of our communities and the environment. We recognise that those who are experiencing the biggest impact of the climate crisis are those who have contributed the least. We want a fairer and more sustainable future, and we recognise that through wanting that, our struggle is so entwined with the fight for social justice that we can’t separate the two.”
~ Rosie Brodie, AYCC School Program Manager

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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 millenia before they were invaded. Their land was then stolen from them – it wasn’t ceeded. 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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“Over half of those surveyed said they thought humanity was doomed and that governments were failing to respond adequately.”

→ BBC News – 14 September 2021:
Climate change: Young people very worried
“A new global survey illustrates the depth of anxiety many young people are feeling about climate change.”

“It’s different for young people – for us, the destruction of the planet is personal.”

→ Below 2C – 11 September 2021:
In the Age of Eco-Anxiety, adults can be a climate proxy vote for youth
“Eco-anxiety and climate grief may very well be the new mental health crisis. Millions of young people around the world are struggling with real fear about their future. In the age of climate-anxiety, elders can ease despair and proxy vote for underage youth.”

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→ Bloomberg Green – 8 July 2021:
Climate Change Linked to 5 Million Deaths a Year, New Study Shows
“Almost 10% of global deaths can be attributed to abnormally hot or cold temperatures, according to new research linking extreme weather to mortality.”

→ Washington Post – 4 September 2021:
Nearly 1 in 3 Americans experienced a weather disaster this summer
“Climate change has turbocharged severe storms, fires, hurricanes, coastal storms and floods — threatening millions.”

→ The Guardian – 9 September 2021:
World’s biggest machine capturing carbon from air turned on in Iceland
“Operators say the Orca plant can suck 4,000 tonnes of CO2 out of the air every year and inject it deep into the ground to be mineralised.”

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→ Nourishing Matters podcast:
‘Incredible story of Soil’
“A great conversation with Matthew Evans and Sadie Chrestman about Matthew’s new book ‘Soil – The incredible story of what keeps the earth, and us, healthy’.”

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Events we have talked about in The Sustainable Hour

Events in Victoria

The following is a collation of Victorian climate change events, activities, seminars, exhibitions, meetings and protests. Most are free, many ask for RSVP (which lets the organising group know how many to expect), some ask for donations to cover expenses, and a few require registration and fees. This calendar is provided as a free service by volunteers of the Victorian Climate Action Network. Information is as accurate as possible, but changes may occur.


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

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Live-streaming: on pause

The Sustainable Hour is normally streamed live on the Internet every Wednesday from 11am to 12pm (Melbourne time), but due to the corona lockdown, the radio station has been closed.

» To listen to the program on your computer or phone, click here – or go to where you then click on ‘Listen Live’ on the right.

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