June 9, 2021

Gamechangers reimagine and recreate our future

Gamechangers reimagine and recreate our future


“We are rapidly reaching the point of no return for the planet. We face a triple environmental emergency – biodiversity loss, climate disruption and escalating pollution. (…) Science tells us these next ten years are our final chance to avert a climate catastrophe, turn back the deadly tide of pollution and end species loss.”
~ Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, speaking to the world on 5 June 2021, World Environment Day

The Sustainable Hour no 366

We have three guests representing #GenerationRestoration in #TheTunnel on 9 June 2021:

Isabella Morand facilitates the very popular ChangeMaker online course. This takes people who want to work for a better world through a course on how to be good community organisers and become an effective changemaker. Our system is not working the way that it is meant to, so in order to respond to what we are facing, local groups can make big change as they transform Australia’s hyper-individualism to grassroots relationship-building, while ‘Doing the thing’ and being the solution.

Natalia Shafa and her partner Edmund Weir are developing an online create-a-better-world competitive game, ‘Descendants of Earth’, and will launch a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter on 12 June 2021 to raise capital for improvements to the game in the lead-up to a full launch in November 2021. Crowdfunders can pay to reserve their profile name, access the alpha version, join our chatrooms and get limited edition merchandise. The two game-developers are currently busy adding new challenges for players to face, and an in-game map where players can post potential environmental actions in their local area and find local green businesses. “Climate action is a multi-player game,” they say.

We also hear Geelong resident Alan Barlee give his sharp and highly critical comments to the annual budget proposal which Geelong Council has had open for submissions from the public. How did the Councillors respond? That’s what we focus on after listening to Alan’s contribution.

Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook begins in Paris with a quote from the head of the OECD urging rich nations to take the sustainable path to Covid recovery. The surprise was the speaker’s name.
Then in quick succession to New York, where the United Nations on World Environment Day  called on countries to meet commitments to restore one billion hectares of land inside the next decade. That’s an area the size of China.
Then Colin zooms us to South East Asia where a cargo ship laden with chemicals sank last weekend after 10 days ablaze, spewing chemicals plastics and fuel in a new environmental disaster.
In California, Tesla’s chair, Australian-born Robyn Denholm noted that Australia provided her company with the lithium, nickel and other metals needed to make its batteries and vehicles – but it should be much more if we were to process the ore rather than simply export it.
This is followed by the news that six world banks now are combining to pressure the steel industry to decarbonise.
The town of Longyearbyen on the island Svalbard in Norway’s far-north was named the fastest-warming town in the world. The thawing permafrost, which is heaving and slumping has ruptured roads and caused other chaos.
From the United Kingdom we hear that London’s Heathrow airport has successfully incorporated sustainable aviation fuel called SAF into its operation, ahead of the G7 Summit. The fuel is HEFA, Hydrotreated Esters and Fatty Acids, which is made from vegetable oils, used cooking oil, fish fat waste from the food processing industry and sustainably sourced vegetable oils.
And finally, the UK government is spending  £44 million to reduce the carbon footprint of heating homes and workspaces, £30 million will fund three innovative heat network projects providing low carbon energy in south-east London, Manchester and Cambridgeshire.

“Start thinking of the planet as a spaceship with fragile and precious life-support systems traversing the cold and hostile void of space. Because that is exactly what it is.”
~ Peter Kalmus, on Twitter

#FindYourRole


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“On current trends, the probability of staying below 2°C of warming is only 5%.”
~ Peiran R. Liu & Adrian E. Raftery, on Nature.com

Acknowledgement

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 utterly disgusting, disrespectful and unfair is that?

“The G7 announcement on climate finance is really peanuts in the face of an existential catastrophe. It really comes as a huge disappointment for impacted and vulnerable countries like Pakistan.”
~ Amin Aslam, Pakistan’s climate minister

The global south, where 88% of the world’s population live, has been responsible for 8% of emissions, and as such 8% of the climate breakdown, yet bears 82% of the cost of climate breakdown.



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#LiveablePlanet

→ SBS News – 6 June 2021:
UN warns of point of no return on climate change
“The United Nations has warned the world is reaching the point of no return on climate change, stressing that the next decade is humankind’s final chance to avert a climate catastrophe.”

#ClimateRevolution: Conquering the public space with posters



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Geelong Council 2022 budget submission process

Geelong Council Budget Submissions Hearing on 2 June 2021: Video recording

“The Geelong Council budget shows you are able to find funding for all kinds of projects, including a climate-wrecking air show, while you neglect to adequately fund Council’s climate emergency response embedded in every department in the organisation, putting climate first in every decision. You keep being busy renovating the kitchen while ignoring that the house is on fire.”
~ Mik Aidt



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#ClimateRights #HumanRights #OurDemocracy – all connected



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Supercharge climate action

A special climate briefing from renowned professor and author Tim Flannery on his latest book, ‘The Climate Cure’. Also hear from the Groundswell Giving team about how you can help us supercharge climate action in this critical year for change.



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Nine presentations to help people to discuss the uncomfortable subject of the climate crisis



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10 years to restore our planet. 10 actions that count

Call on artists, storytellers, producers, musicians and connectors to join the GenerationRestoration.

World Environment Day marked the official launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global push to revive natural spaces lost to development. Against a backdrop of environmental crisis, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a chance to revive the natural world that supports us all. A decade may sound like a long time. But scientists say that these next 10 years will count most in the fight to avert climate change and the loss of millions of species.

Here are 10 actions in the strategy of the UN Decade that can build a #GenerationRestoration:

1. Empower a global movement
“The UN Decade aims to stop and reverse the destruction and degradation of billions of hectares of ecosystems, from lush forests threatened by wildfires to agricultural soils so eroded that they may only carry a few more years of harvests. It is a daunting task, made more complicated by the diversity of ecosystems and the threats they are facing. No single entity can steer the course in this endeavour. The UN Decade thus connects and empowers the actions of the many. Groups and individuals can get informed about restoration opportunities in their area, joining initiatives already underway, or start their own.

2. Invest in restoration
Restoration takes resources. Organizations driving activities on the ground are often underfunded and face financial insecurity. While the benefits of restoration far outweigh the costs, it can only happen with long-term financing. Governments, international lenders, development agencies, the private sector and individuals will have to ramp up their support.

3. Set the right incentives
In the long-term, healthier ecosystems can produce bigger harvests, more secure incomes and a healthier environment. But caring for nature can also mean foregoing some of the financial gains of less sustainable practices. There are ways to change this by incentivizing restoration activities and reducing subsidies that finance harmful practices, in the agriculture and fishing industries, for example.

4. Celebrate leadership
Over the past years, we have witnessed incredible momentum around restoration. Campaigns to plant trillions of trees have captured the imagination of many communities. Under the Bonn Challenge, more than 60 countries have committed to bringing 350 million hectares of forest landscapes back to life. Indigenous peoples have acted as defenders of their ecosystems for generations. The UN Decade will celebrate leadership and encourage others to step up.

5. Shift behaviours
Deforestation, the depletion of fish stocks and the degradation of agricultural soils are all caused by global consumption patterns. The UN Decade will work with all partners to identify and encourage restoration-friendly consumption. This can range from changes in diets to promoting restoration-based products.

6. Invest in research
Restoration is complex. Practices that work in one ecosystem may have adverse impacts in another. As the climate changes, new uncertainties arise. Returning to a former state may not be desirable as hotter temperatures or shifting rainfall call for more resilient plants and crops. Scientific understanding of how to restore and adapt ecosystems is still developing. Considerable investments are needed to identify the best practices to restore our planet – one plot at a time.

7. Build capacity
Thousands of conservation and restoration initiatives are already underway. The UN Decade will be fuelled by their vision, expertise and dedication. However, practitioners often face barriers that keep them from taking their projects to scale. Other critical sectors, such as finance, require more data and insights to make informed decisions. The UN Decade’s strategy seeks to build the capacity of marginalized groups that stand to lose most from the destruction of ecosystems, such as indigenous peoples, women and youth, to take an active role in restoration.

8. Celebrate a culture of restoration
The power to revive our environment does not lie only with governments, experts and practitioners alone. Healing the planet is a cultural challenge. The UN Decade’s strategy, therefore, calls on artists, storytellers, producers, musicians and connectors to join the GenerationRestoration.

9. Build up the next generation
Youth and future generations are most impacted by the current rapid destruction of ecosystems – they also stand to benefit the most from a restoration economy. The UN Decade’s strategy links the wellbeing of youth and the goals of restoration. Education for restoration will turn today’s children into ecosystem ambassadors and provide skills for sustainable jobs.

10. Listen and learn
Restoring ecosystems is not an easy task. So, the United Nations Environment Programme earlier this year surveyed conservationists, financiers and the general public in an effort to identify the barriers to restoration and spur grassroots action. Check out the results of the survey for pointers on how you can get restoration programmes up and running in your area.”

→ Read more on unep.org



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#BusinessForFuture

“Our planet is at a tipping point, and to avoid the most dangerous and irreversible effects of climate change, we must dramatically reduce emissions over the next ten years—starting now,” says Jop Weterings, McKinsey’s director of environmental sustainability. “Despite the impact of the global pandemic, carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere have continued to rise, and emissions may surge as the economy recovers. At the same time, we’re encouraged by a broader trend where many organizations are investing in longer-term resilience measures that advance environmental sustainability. We are committed to doing our part.”

→ McKinsey & Company – 15 April 2021:
McKinsey’s latest commitment to protect the planet: Reaching net-zero climate impact by 2030
“McKinsey & Company will achieve net-zero climate impact as a firm by 2030 and have joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign, a coalition of corporate leaders taking ambitious climate action.”

→ McKinsey & Company – 4 June 2021:
Kris Tompkins on leadership and conservation: “We’re past the moment where inaction is acceptable.”
“The former CEO of Patagonia and president of Tompkins Conservation talks about the role private companies can play in saving the planet.”

• Business Council for Sustainable Development Australiawww.bcsda.org.au
• Business for Naturewww.businessfornature.org
• Capitals Coalitionwww.capitalscoalition.org
• Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environmentwww.agriculture.gov.au
• EarthWatch Institute Australiawww.earthwatch.gov.au
• Tierra Mar Consultancywww.tierramar.com.au
• Trust for Naturetrustfornature.org.au
• World Business Council for Sustainable Developmentwww.wbcsd.org.au



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→ The Conversation – 27 May 2021:
Climate change will cost a young Australian up to $245,000 over their lifetime, court case reveals
“The Federal Court yesterday dismissed a bid by a group of Australian teenagers seeking to prevent federal environment minister Sussan Ley from approving a coalmine extension in New South Wales. While the teens’ request for an injunction was unsuccessful, a number of important developments emerged during the court proceedings. This included new figures on the financial costs of climate change to young Australians over their lifetimes.”



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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.

Petitions

List of many other petitions where you can 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 www.947thepulse.com where you then click on ‘Listen Live’ on the right.



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Podcast archive

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United Nations billboard advertisement on New York Times Square: #GenerationRestorationAlan Barlee speaking to Geelong Councillors on 2 June 2021Read more about Geelong Council’s budget hereRyan Hagen: “The key to reversing global warming: people power”“While we can be proud of our democracy, we can’t be complacent. One big issue we need to address is the power that harmful industries have to skew democratic processes to win political outcomes that put their profits ahead of our wellbeing. 

Industries like gambling and tobacco spend millions of dollars campaigning against reforms to protect our communities. Banks and fossil fuel companies donate millions to the major parties to discourage politicians from regulating them properly. Together, corporations spend billions hiring lobbyists to cosy up to politicians. 

They are able to do all this because Australia lacks basic transparency and integrity safeguards, and our outdated laws leave money in politics woefully underregulated. The impact is real, and deeply felt by the families torn apart by gambling addiction, and the communities who have lost their entire towns in bushfires fuelled by climate change.”

Sign the #OurDemocracy petition
Ever want to talk about the climate crisis but feel at a loss for solid facts to go on? → Check out this series of easy-to-understand lectures by Dr. Tom English to be more informed about the climate crisis.