Aug. 24, 2021

Independent candidates put climate first

Independent candidates put climate first

The Sustainable Hour no 377

In The Tunnel on 25 August 2021, our first guest is the independent Member of Parliament for the federal seat of  Warringah, Zali Steggall.

Zali replaced Tony Abbott in a once Liberal stronghold in Sydney at the last election. She did this with a very carefully carried out community organised election campaign. Today in The Sustainable Hour, we learn about this campaign, which she is urging other electorates to try, in an attempt to stifle power from the major parties whose policies of voting along party lines are holding us back as a nation and making us a mockery on the world stage, particularly when it comes to our lack of action on climate.

To address the climate emergency, Zali has introduced a Climate Bill into Federal Parliament. It failed at the first attempt. She intends to keep putting it up till the weight of evidence means that it becomes an election issue. And so that during the election period, we can hold each candidate accountable for how they voted on Zali’s Climate Bill.

You can find out more about Zali’s Climate Change Bill at and about Zali’s political and personal initiatives

Her opening statement on the website gives insight into her values: “My team and I are passionate about finding solutions through innovation and collaboration. We are focused on being champions for integrity in government and being an independent voice for Warringah”.

Local resident Robert Patterson has taken up a very keen interest in Zali’s bill. We learn what he’s been doing to support her bill over the last 12 months and why he has decided to ramp that up in September with a mass mailout to federal politicians.

You can find out more about Robert’s letter campaign here: We urge all our listeners to support Robert in this! Send a letter to Canberra before 30th of September.   

Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook this week starts with Australian scientists challenging the IPCC global warming report, but not in the expected Aussie way. They’re saying the UN-backed report underestimated the likelihood of major weather events in the Pacific. Their paper says figures indicate the frequency of El Nino events with extreme rainfall impacts will double from one event per 20 years to one every decade. 

In light of last week’s topic on Geelong’s proposal to burn waste for energy, we then zoom to London where the UK Government announced that eight companies have been shortlisted to receive a share of £20 million to develop a process that will turn waste into jet fuel. They would  convert waste alcohol, carbon from the atmosphere, sewage and household waste into jet fuel on a commercial scale. If successful, this would deal with two huge problems we currently face: emissions from jet fuel and carbon in our atmosphere. 

At the weekend Greenland saw rain at the highest point of its ice sheet for the first time, ever. Usually the place is below-zero year round, it only snows. This, and the wildfires on the French Riviera – rated the worst in centuries – show that climate change is impacting now. 

Finally, back in the United Kingdom, with less than 100 days to COP 26, the UK has unveiled its new hydrogen strategy aimed at producing 30 per cent of the country’s energy consumption by 2050. As part of this impetus, British Airways announced it had invested $24.3 million US dollars in a company called  ZeroAvia to develop a large hydrogen-electric engine, capable of flying further and using larger aircraft as soon as 2026. 

Until next Wednesday when we return, we hope that we have given you all much to think about – in fact expanding your thinking to what’s the best way for you to become a political and election-focused climate revolutionary. Take care and may the difference be with you.

“My call would be for people who want to run as independent: The worst thing that can happen is you have ten independents running, and then no one gets up. So it is really important for people to work together within communities that you find your best candidate, and everyone gets behind the best candidate, rather than, you know, everyone cannibalising each other, because that is what the major parties rely on. So you have to be united. Climate is an issue which should be beyond whatever small differences there are, and everyone has to be united around one candidate. And then you will absolutely give the major parties a run for their money.”
~ Zali Steggall, independent member of Parliament, in The Sustainable Hour no 377

Zali Steggall MP and Robert Patterson from ADAC explain what it is the Climate Change Bills and the Mass Mailout For Climate campaign aim to achieve. Share on Facebook

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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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“We are either entering a period of profound and rapid transformation, or brutal collapse.”
~ Paul Gilding, Australian author and former Greenpeace leader

Independents and the Greens lead the pack on climate

“Force our politicians to act on climate change by becoming a Climate Voter with Vote Earth Now. Which leaders are really doing something about climate change? See the Climate Action Score…”
~ Professor Rob Eisenberg, founder of Vote Earth Now

“Each of our votes is both precious and powerful. Realise how much power we have together to force politicians to face climate change. We are a community and a movement and the more you spread the faster we will succeed!”

Find Vote Earth Now on FacebookTwitterLinkedinInstagram

“We must forget about net zero… We need real zero.” Following on from last week’s release of the latest IPCC report, Greta Thunberg’s powerful words at Davos 2020 ring ever true. All eyes are on companies and their work to achieve their ambitious climate and carbon goals. Discerning judgement from consumers, shareholders and employees means that there is zero tolerance for greenwashing or carbon offsetting shortcuts.”
~ Alexia Croft, Project Director, Sustainable Business, Reuters Events

“Net zero by 2050 is a tough target. It will require an unprecedented pace of asset replacement and renewal, starting now.”
~ Grattan Institute report, ‘Towards net zero: practical policies to reduce industrial emissions’

“The European Union has just presented some of the world’s most ambitious climate policies to confront climate change and make the ‘European Green Deal’ a reality – transforming the 27-country bloc to a climate neutral continent by 2050 while fostering prosperity and nurturing the natural world. Back home, the Australian Government is persevering with its ‘gas-fired recovery’, heavily investing in the fossil fuel industry, increasing emissions domestically and overseas, and increasingly alienating itself from trading partners and key allies.”
~ Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director, The Australia Institute

A bolder vision of climate leadership

1. Cut emissions towards zero, not “net zero.”
2. View carbon removal only as a last resort (for unavoidable emissions).
3. Pay the “Social Cost of Carbon” for ongoing pollution.
4. Address historic emissions, too.
5. Carefully weigh issues of climate justice every step of the way.

Project Drawdown Executive Director Jonathan Foley offering a new way forward for corporate climate leadership. 

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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. The program is instead in rotation and is aired on FM at different times, often several times a week.

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

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The independents in Parliament rank high on Rob Eisenberg’s Climate Action Score card. Click to go to the home page Vote Earth NowWhen you ‘climate vote’, an email is sent to your local member of parliament, saying:

“To the Honourable …xxx…,
I am a voter in your electorate. I am fearful for the future and sad and ashamed that Australia is last in the world for action on climate change. I have just pledged to be a Climate Voter on pledging my vote to the politician with the best track record of action against climate change (according to the Climate Action Score). The sooner you act the better your chance of helping to save the future and winning my vote. Yours Sincerely ……”