Nov. 16, 2021

#FindYourRole: The soil champion, the climate activists and the coal miner

#FindYourRole: The soil champion, the climate activists and the coal miner

The Sustainable Hour no 389 with soil champion Bev Middleton, Blocade Australia activists Marco and Rilka, and coal miner Grant Howard.

The Sustainable Hour no. 389

Our guests in The Sustainable Hour on 17 November 2021 are:

[13:29] Soil champion Bev Middleton regales us enthusiastically with how much is happening in this field, so to speak. She acknowledges all the work that different groups are already doing but often in isolation. Her ambition is to encourage these groups to connect and in doing so, become a stronger force for change.

From 5 to 12 December, Soil Week Australia, organised by Healthy Soils Australia, will be highligthing and creating awareness about the benefits of “Healthy Soil, Healthy Plants, Healthy People”.

The event is created in connection with World Soil Day – a United Nations initiative, which is held annually on 5 December to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for better soil management practices. You can find out more about the International Soil Day and the Australian Soil Week, as well as about Bev’s work, at

[24:49] Marco and Rilka from Blockade Australia are in the largest coal port in the world – in Newcastle, New South Wales – in the middle of a concerted non-violent direct action campaign to disrupt coal from being delivered to the port. They describe their motives in doing that as they put their bodies on the line on train tracks, in tree sits and on huge coal loading equipment.

This is a live Facebook feed by Emily as she lay on train tracks – it will give you a picture of the situation. It leaves us with the question: Who are the real criminals in this situation? More on this can be found at

[35:58] Grant Howard is a coal miner from central Queensland. You may be asking why a coal miner would want to come on The Sustainable Hour, a podcast dedicated to closing down his industry. You don’t have to listen long to realise that Grant is not only a very intelligent and courageous man, but also a coal miner who has set his mind to be the difference.

[01:12] We go back in time today as we hear a clip from arch conservative English Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher from 32 years ago. This poses the question – how did we go so far backwards in that time? Following this we have the leader of COP26 Alok Sharma fighting back tears as he ended the proceedings in Glasgow. Mik Aidt then gives a very measured assessment of the disappointing COP-flop as well as encouragement to join the climate revolution. This includes a comment from US Climate Envoy John Kerry about what we need to achieve in the next eight years.

[23:13] We also play the soundtrack from a video about the #FossilFreePolitics campaign letter, which was handed over to COP26 leaders in Glasgow.