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Robert McLean's Podcast
A continuous conversation about climate change - news, views and interviews.
4 days ago
Eager to help farmers share their stories, Karin Stark organized Australia's first 'National Renewables in Agriculture' conference
Serendipity led me to talk with Karin Stark (pictured with her daughter) about her, and her partner's endeavours to reduce the energy costs of running their Narromine farm in central west New South Wales. Karin was one of two guests on a recent "Regional Horizons"' webinar staged by Farmers for Climate Action. Along with her partner, Karin has installed a 500-kilowatt solar-powered pumping system and it was through seminars she had been organizing that she got to know the company ReAqua, which installed the impressive system on her farm and she now works part-time for the South Australian-based group. Karen's first National Renewables in Agriculture conference last year, it attracted 250 people, was to be followed by another this year until Covid-19 came along and so the next event will be in Dubbo, New South Wales, on May 19, 2021
6 days ago
'We all need to do what we can' - Professor John Quiggin
Professor John Quiggin (pictured) is a professional economist, a self-declared socialist and a fellow who recognises the reality that most of us will never have a huge individual impact on national affairs but urges us to all do what we can to shape the national conversation. The professor, from the University of Queensland, advocates for a Liveable Income Guarantee, a similar but different version of the Universal Basic Income, both things I am eager to hear about and so if you have a view, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and if I receive sufficient replies, I'll create a new episode as I feel the social justice implicit in these schemes will impact on the climate crisis. Although uncomfortable with the present economic system, Professor Quiggin says we must work with it as the impacts of the climate crisis will be upon us before we can change the system - yes, we don't have time.
Jul 18, 2020
Chatting with the City of Greater Shepparton's new Climate change resource officer, Darren Tinker
Darren Tinker (pictured) has been appointed to work at the City of Greater Shepparton as its "Climate change resource officer". Darren, who has a regional Victorian background, but is presently in Melbourne and although he has visited the Northern Victoria city, is caught up in the lock-down brought on by the Covid-19 crisis and so is still in the Victorian capital. However, he will be virtually in Shepparton on Saturday, July 25, when he joins those who gather Beneath the Wisteria. Darren's passion for the environment, and his subsequent interest in the climate crisis, has grown organically and his appointment to this new role in Shepparton appears to be a natural next step in his career growth.
Jul 12, 2020
Literally a life and death decision - do we opt to arm ourselves to the teeth or adapt to the climate crisis?
Australia's Liberal National Party is proposing it spend nearly $300 billion on machines and processes that equate with death while ignoring, comparatively, the climate crisis that is descending upon Australia, and the world. Conscious that Prime Minister Scott Morrison would pay little heed to anything I might say, or anyone not of his political stripe, I figured my next best option to raise it with my local member of parliament, Damian Drum, the Member for Nicholls, who is from different party, the National Party, but who is in cahoots with the Liberal Party and so between them win sufficient seats to win government in Australia. I contacted Mr Drum directly seeking and written reply as to why we should spend such an inordinate amount on death and in doing so virtually ignore those things which help sustain life. The idea of a column for my local newspaper, the Shepparton News, attracted some push back from the hierarchy, not the editor, and so I turned to my podcast.
Jul 5, 2020
Considering the climate crisis through the prism of socialism
Thea Riofrancos (pictured) was one of many speakers at the Socialism 2020 virtual conference and was alarming honest in her discussion about the complications arising from the move to using renewable energy and, of course, the benefits. She, and others, spoke at a session entitled, "Toward a Green New Future". The conference was organized the Democratic Socialists of America. Thea is from the Providence College in Massachusetts, America.
Jul 1, 2020
Paul Mahony talks about veganism and the climate crisis
Paul Mahony (pictured) is the man behind the website, "Planetary Vegan" and here he talks about the essential need for humanity to embrace veganism if it is to have any real chance of addressing the climate crisis. He talked about the importance in relation to the vegan conversation of "Animals Australia" and along with that endorsed "Edgar's Mission" and "Vegan Easy", which he said was a wonderful place to find recipes for those living the life of a vegan.
Jun 28, 2020
A country girl leads and champions Farmers for Climate Action
Wendy Cohen (pictured) has the country life in her DNA, but took something of circuitous route to becoming the chief executive officer of Farmers for Climate Action (FCA). She was excited about the latest program to comer from and produced by the organization, "Regional Horizons". Ironically, and fortunately, it was just the day after the chat with Wendy that the former CEO with FAC and now the "Stakeholders relations director", Verity Morgan-Schmidt, was one of two people on a Monash University webinar talking about food and land use and it was then that Verity gave a thorough explanation of the new Regional Horizons program.
Jun 26, 2020
Professor Judith Brett talks about her latest piece in the Quarterly Essay, 'The Coal Curse'
La Trobe University's Professor Judith Brett writes about "The Coal Curse" and in conversation about coal-seam gas alludes to those involved with the Lock the Gate Alliance as "heroes". Her latest piece in the Quarterly Essay helps readers better understand the unusual history of Australia's economy and the "resource curse" that has shaped our politics. This discussion on Climate Conversations will help you grasp Professor Brett's thinking where she writes in the essay that: "Politicians have listened to the scientists and ..... put ideology and the protection of vested interests aside and behaved like adults. Can they do they same to commit to fast and effective action to try and save our children's and grandchildren's future, to prevent the catastrophic fires and heatwaves the scientists predict, the species extinction and the famines?"
Jun 20, 2020
We need the humanities courses at our universities to help us navigate the complexities of the climate crisis
Hamish McDonald (pictured host Q&A on ABC television in Australia) and is one of my favourite interviewers and just recently he interviewed Australia's Education Minister, Dan Tehan, about the doubling of student university fees for courses in the arts and humanities. This change by the federal government caused something of an uproar generating a deluge of letters to national newspapers and many articles and comment pieces, including one from The Guardian by Ben Eltham, another from the Melbourne newspaper, The Age, one from The New Daily by Cait Kelly, and an article on The Conversation by Peter Hurley.
Jun 15, 2020
Matthew Ricketson discusses the media, Covid-19 and the climate crisis
The head of the Communications Group as Deakin University, Matthew Ricketson (pictured), was one of several speakers at the Lismore webinar organized by Farmers for Climate Action (FCA) . The Lismore event was one of about four webinars organized by FCA at centres throughout southern New South Wales and northern Victoria. They concentrated on difficulties for those communities caused by the bushfires, the drought, the Covid-19 crisis and the general demise of rural media.
Jun 11, 2020
Having a chat with a champion of community
Denis Ginnivan (pictured) champions community and has great faith in its ability to take control of and change its circumstances. So much so that his life has been peppered with involvement in the community events and activities He has his own business, "Events That Matter", he played a key in the creation and success of "Voices for Indi", he is the vice-president of "Totally Renewable Yackandandah", and has been on of several speakers on a series of webinars organized by "Farmers for Climate Action". Denis celebrates the ongoing success of independents in the Federal seat of Indi, which is is presently held by Helen Haines, but was first won in 2013 by Cathy McGowan.
Jun 6, 2020
Professor Andrew Blakers champions solar power
Professor Andrew Blakers (pictured) from Canberra's Australian National University is an informed advocate of solar power and has written about that on The Conversation in a piece entitled: "Really Australia, it's not that hard: 10 reasons why renewable energy is the future". In a relatively short story, in which he makes just 10 points, the professor explains how Australia can remove most all its carbon dioxide emissions and totally eliminate fossil fuels from the country's energy agenda. Self-interest, he explains, is the one issue that is standing between us and a near emissions-free future.
May 31, 2020
Talking with Peter Holding from Farmers for Climate Action
Farmers for Climate Action (FCA) has a small staff of just six and south west New South Wales farmer, Peter Holding (pictured) is one of those, being the Farm Outreach Officer. Peter is helping organize and oversee a series of webinars organized by FCA designed to help farmers in those areas devastated by recent disasters, such as drought and bush fires, and now the Covid-19 crisis. Climate Kelpie is not a part of the FAC structure, but Peter was once aligned with the group and was a "Climate Champion" and brings all that knowledge and farming experience to the FCA. The FCA webinars are open to anyone interested and details can be secured from the group's website.
May 27, 2020
Talking with Tatura's Leon and Jack about the Covid-19 lockdown
Tatura's Terry Court is on the board of GV Community Energy, an active member of Tatura Transition Towns, a climate activist and the grandfather of Leon (11) and Jack (9) Findlay, the subjects for this episode of Climate Conversations. Leon (right) and Jack, like most others of school age, have been in lock-down, home from school and so doing their school work from home and just hanging out for the end of this health crisis. Many criticize our youth for their behaviour, but anyone with such inclinations should first listen to Leon and Jack before passing judgement.
May 23, 2020
Zali Steggall on The Australia Institute webinar
Zali Steggall (pictured) is the independent Member for Warringah and on May 20 was on webinar organized by The Australia Institute. She was in conversation with the institute's deputy directory, Ebony Bennett, and the director of the institute's Climate and Energy Program, Richie Merzian, about the economics of the present pandemic. Zali, who dislodged former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, from his seat, has been interviewed by Climate Conversations when still just a candidate. She has matured and gained immense poise since then. You can listen to the near hour-long conversation as recorded by the institute.
May 23, 2020
Christiana Figueres on a One Million Women webinar
Christiana Figueres (pictured) played a key role in pulling together the 2015 Paris climate agreement and was the star of a webinar staged in May 20, 2020, by One Million Women. Nearly 600 people joined the webinar illustrating what Christiana described as the "democratization of conversation", allowing for an event only made possible by the emergence and use of a technology fully exposed by the Covid-19 crisis. She pointed out that without the use of the technology, most of those involved simply couldn't have attended the webinar, or if they had, the cost would have been environmentally prohibitive. Here is the unedited version of the May 20 webinar, known as "Love on Earth".
May 22, 2020
Tim Hollo from The Green Institute has a rare understanding of what makes for a better life
Tim Hollo (pictured) is the executive director The Green Institute, a body structured to counter the right-wing think tanks and hopefully soften, and maybe in someway change the impact they are having on society. Using Zoom, Tim will join Shepparton's Beneath the Wisteria on Saturday, June 27, at 11:00 am. An invite to the gathering will be issued shortly and anyone eager to join should contact the convenor, Robert McLean, at email@example.com.
May 19, 2020
Quizzical looks greet Greg Hunt's comments about government's climate crisis action
A webinar, held on May 19, focusing on the present Covid-19 crisis organized by The Australia Institute featured Australia's Health Minister Greg Hunt who talked mostly about the health crisis, but did make a few observations how the federal government was addressing the climate crisis and after he left, that prompted a discussion between the deputy director, Ebony Bennett and the institute's chief economist, Dr Richard Denniss. The recently released "King Review" is aimed a building a robust platform to expand the ways Australia can lower its emissions while supporting the economy, businesses and households. However, The Australia Institute which has been critical of the review, especially the fact that the so-called "expert panel", chaired by former Business Council of Australia president, Grant King, has been stacked with people from the fossil fuel industry.
May 18, 2020
Climate warrior in Shepparton later this month
Anika Molesworth is a farmer from far western New South Wales, and a dedicated climate activist. Anika will be a guest, via Zoom, at the Saturday, May 30, of Shepparton's Beneath the Wisteria - here is the invite to that Zoom gathering - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82326064674. Those with any questions about the event can phone me, Robert McLean, at 0400 502 199, or contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is free and will last for about an hour.
May 17, 2020
Kerrie Douglas chats about Tatura's new library and the Covid-19 crisis
Libraries are among a community's important anchors and librarian Kerrie Douglas (pictured) is excited about what's ahead for Tatura's library, despite the complications arising from the present Covid-19 health crisis. Kerrie has said the new library building, currently being built near the former Rodney Shire offices in Casey St, will be "amazing" as it will be larger allowing for the introduction of new programs making it more integral to the wider community's general health. The Tatura library is a part of the Shepparton-based Goulburn Valley Libraries.
May 15, 2020
Carl Walters is from Katandra, but after some 30 years, considers Tatura 'home'
Carl Walters (pictured), who looks after sustainable agriculture for the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, is enthusiastic about living in Tatura, an enthusiasm that has been enriched during the present Covid-19 health crisis. Carl, who is also in charge of the northern Victoria town's Community Plan, is working with a small group of people to ensure the community emerges positively from the present crisis, takes the lessons it has learned and applies them to building a rich and innivative future. People, he observes, now seem to be more attentive to the needs of others, seem more willing to interrupt their walks for a chat and along with that have deeper interest in community welfare.
May 14, 2020
Talking with Tatura's Community House manager, Leeane Button, about the Covid-19 crisis
Tatura, in northern Victoria, has a population of about 4000 and although different people they has largely stood as one in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. And one who has experienced the embrace of the community in a very real sense is the manager of the town's Community House, Leanne Button (pictured). Leanne says that not a day passes that she doesn't hear from someone in community who is eager to do what they can to make the town a better place in which to live.
May 13, 2020
Wondering why we don't understand the climate crisis, but then realising it's all about money
Answers to the climate crisis seem so simple, but then in reading the article - "Fossil fuels already get billions in bailouts - they're called subsidies" - then you begin, see that what is simple is suddenly made extremely complex because of money, it's a pollutant as is many of the human activities it backs. And it was about the same time that Lisa Cox wrote in The Guardian - "Australia's annual carbon emissions reach a record high" - about some basic facts that that appear to make any useful and immediate solution to this conundrum quite distant and beyond our reach unless the Australian Government, and a few others around the world, change attitudes toward our behaviour and legislating for serious changes.
May 8, 2020
A note about renewable energy to Damian Drum MP
Involvement with a webinar about saving and protecting Australia's Great Barrier Reef raised many issues, among them a call for action that resulted in a note to the federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum. My request to Mr Drum was for him to put pressure on his coalition cohort, he is a National Party member, to ditch the dirty, polluting and expensive fossil fuels preferred by the Liberal National Party (LNP) and opt for the cleaner, greener and cheaper renewable energy and, at the same time, make Australia a renewable energy super-power. The latter would be inevitable if the concept was embraced by the LNP as Australia is richly endowed with that basics of renewable energy - wind and solar.
May 6, 2020
Anika Molesworth calls for lessions from Covid-19 crisis to be applied to climate crisis
Anika Molesworth, from far western New South Wales, is a regular on YouTube pointing out the challenges for farmers arising from Earth's rapidly changing climate system. And now she argues that our decision makers need to looking closer at what the present Covid-19 crisis meant for Australians, what lessons are to be learned from it and how they could be applied to even more concerning climate crisis. Anika, who involved with Farmers for Climate Action, will be in Shepparton on Saturday, May 30, at 11:00 am, well, virtually at least, to talk with those who gather each month Beneath the Wisteria in the city's Maude St Mall. Those eager to join the Zoom gathering should contact the convenor, Robert McLean at email@example.com for the details.
May 4, 2020
Talking while walking about the climate crisis
A good long walk is, for me, a great start to the day, but sadly it is sometimes soured a little by those you encounter along the way, Generally I embrace the chance for a chat, but occasionally, and just occasionally, you meet someone who holds a view diametrically opposed to your own, a view that more than a decade of reading and listening, illustrates that the fellow you have met is clearly and unequivocally wrong. Can you tell him that, no? Should you have let him know your views, yes? Why didn't you? It was early in the morning and I just wasn't ready for such a heavy conversation - poor excuse, I know.
Apr 25, 2020
Yanna Badet helps us better understand local governance and it's relevance to the climate crisis
Yanna Badet (pictured)is a climate resilience and sustainability consultant and was one of the many speakers at the week-long no-fly conference organized by We Don't Have Time. Yanna represents Climate Reality and her discussion about Local Government and governance felt personally entirely relevant as my council, the City of Greater Shepparton in northern Victoria, Australia, only recently declared a climate emergency. Her suggestion that we "tell stories" about addressing the climate crisis was exciting and reflects what needs to happen in communities throughout the world if we are to address this dilemma.
Apr 22, 2020
Dr Andrew Glikson's paper in Arctic News
Dr Andrew Glikson from the Australian National University is a prolific author and his latest paper "The Fatal Road to +4° Celsius" is worth you time. Dr Glikson was recently kind enough to afford Climate Conversations the chance to chat with him and it was during that interview that he spelt out that it's not his intention to alarm people, rather just let the facts speak for themselves. He is an Earth and Paleo-climate scientist from the Research School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University's College of Science.
Apr 14, 2020
Will Steffen talks about COVID-19 and the climate crisis
Will Steffen is one of Australia's great climate warriors and is not afraid to tell it like it is, letting the facts be the basis of the story. Will, a professor from the Canberra-based Australia National University was once a member of the Australian Government's former Climate Commission, but is now a part of the community-backed Climate Council. Asked what we could do as individuals about the climate crisis, the professor suggested we should obviously attend to our personal emissions, but then exercise our democratic rights and agitate for a government that will take a positive stand in addressing the crisis.
Apr 9, 2020
Dr Andrew Glikson doesn't aim to inflame the conversation, just deliver the facts
Andrew Glikson deals in the facts of the climate crisis and at no point sets out to alarm people, rather is the Earth and paleo-climate scientist from Canberra's Australia National University discusses the realities what's is happening to Earth's climate system. Dr Glikson has been prolific in his efforts to help people better understand the complications and implications of the climate crisis and it was an article in The Conversation - While we fixate on coronavirus, the Earth is hurtling towards a catastrophe worse then the dinosaur extinction - that caught our attention, and then in further research, we came across an article on the ABC news - Global heating and the dilemma of climate scientists. Dr Glikson is with the Research School of Earth Science, the School of Archeology and Anthropology, and the Planetary Science Institute, and is a member of the ANU's Climate Change Institute.
Apr 7, 2020
Climate Conversations "travels" to the far west New South Wales to talk with Anika Molesworth
Anika Molesworth is from the new guard of climate activist, she breaks the mold fashioned around the older, grey-headed male or maybe what some call the "woke" conservationist from an inner city suburb, the latte-sipping left-wing ideologue who has never been outside the city limits. No, Anika is a farmer from far west New South Wales who works, lives and breathes in a world that is literally on the climate change front line. But she is more than a farmer, although she is a part of Farmers for Climate Action, she is university educated, is national award winner, spoke this year at the National Climate Emergency event in Melbourne and has set up the website Climate Wise Agriculture.
Apr 3, 2020
John Pettigrew responds to climate emergency declaration by the City of Greater Shepparton
John Pettigrew (pictured) is a true "climate warrior" and has been since hearing former US vice president speak in Sydney on 2006 - 14 years ago. John, who is living under "house arrest" at his Bunbartha farm - directed by his children - because of the Coronavirus, is delighted that the City of Greater Shepparton has declared a climate emergency. He is pleased council has taken this decisive step and although looking forward to seeing what it does in response to its decision, he also argues the broader community has a key role to play in helping draw up a plan about how the city should adapt to our changing climate and help mitigate the causes of the climate crisis. John is the president of the Goulburn Valley Environment Group; he leads the Shepparton-based activist group, Slap Tomorrow, and is a board member of Goulburn Valley Community Energy.
Apr 2, 2020
Some ideas about how the City of Greater Shepparton should tackle the climate emergency
The City of Greater Shepparton has declared a climate emergency. That, however, was the easy part, and now the hard work begins. The council, and its team, now need to have an impact, they need to do something to reach zero emissions by 2030 and along with that apply the idea of a climate emergency to all their activities. And of course, and at the same time, bring the community along with them. In reply to some critics, Robert McLean (pictured) penned a number of ideas about what the city should do in response to the declaration of the emergency, a climate emergency.
Mar 31, 2020
City of Greater Shepparton declares a climate emergency
Eight of the nine councilors were at the March meeting of the City of Greater Shepparton council resulting in the vote to declare a climate emergency being evenly split - four saying "yes" to the emergency and four giving the idea the thumbs down. And that required the Mayor, Cr Seema Abdullah (pictured), to use her casting vote, which to the delight of those watching who had worked hard to see the emergency idea adopted, she said "yes" to the climate emergency motion. Because of the COVIG-19 dilemma, the meeting and ruling by the Federal Government, many who had agitated vigorously for the adoption of a climate emergency, had stayed away and so watched a Facebook live stream.
Mar 31, 2020
Geelong's Mik Aidt talks about the climate crisis and The Sustainable Hour
Mik Aidt's (pictured) journey began in Denmark where he married an Australian girl, moved to Geelong in 2013 and fell, almost immediately, into the role of hosting his own radio show, The Sustainable Hour. The one-hour radio show, which he now has co-hosts, is now broadcast via Zoom as the radio station has gone into lock-down because of the Coronavirus. Mik, a believer in the power of community, has three children and attributes to them his passionate desire to do something about the quickly evolving climate crisis to make the world as safe as he can.
Mar 21, 2020
Podcasts to help us endure the Coronavirus pandemic
The Shepparton News has pointed to podcasts as a possible "thing" to help people navigate social distancing and social isolation during the present Coronavirus pandemic. That is unquestionably true (I'm biased), but will we be using the valuable experiences from the pandemic to help us better understand what we can do both as individuals and a a community to find our way through the climate crisis. The Coronavirus, or at least news about it, has claimed all the world's major news sources, pushing the climate crisis into the little read, or watched, margins. However, the climate crisis is still front and centre for some and in France the government is actively seeking the advice of the people; asking it citizenry about how best the country could go about addressing the climate problem in what is seen by some a "grand democratic experiment". The idea was discussed on Australia's Radio National "Saturday Extra" program.
Mar 19, 2020
The good and bad of the Coronavirus
Thinking about what is good about the Coronavirus.
Mar 15, 2020
Conflicted about the Coronavirus and the climate crisis
The Coronavirus has brought some alarming difficulties, chief among them the deaths of many people, and serious social dislocation and disruption and yet if looked at through the climate crisis prism alone it has been a good thing as it has cut the world's carbon emissions and if this trend continues it could lead to the first fall in carbon emissions since 2008. The 2008 drop in emissions was brought on by the then global financial crisis and this health crisis is having an equally massive impact on the world's economy. And the question about how do we seize this moment, how do sustain this drop in our carbon emissions came up at the recent meeting of the Victorian Climate Action Network (VCAN). The Coronavirus is being combated through social distancing and that brings with it difficulties for climate activists who until now have found their strength in numbers, something that is going to quite difficult, if not impossible, under the social restrictions being forced upon people becau…
Mar 11, 2020
The myth of the Paris Agreement
Rarely do the realities of achieving the Paris climate agreements ever get mentioned or explained. Should all those countries which signed up to the 2015 Paris undertakings honour those commitments, then the world is bound for global temperature increases in excess of three degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Christiana Figueres, who played a key role in the Paris discussions, is presently touring Australia to promote her new book, "The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis", and stopped off to be a guest on the ABC television program, The Drum. Among the fellow guests was the CEO of the Menzies Institute, Tim James, a fellow with whom Christiana said she would "have to agree to disagree"
Mar 8, 2020
Greta Thunberg speaks truth to power
Swedish teenage climate activist. Greta Thunberg (pictured), recently told the European Parliament's environmental committee that it was surrendering. It realized its house was on fire, went outside, smelt the air went back inside, finished their meal and then went to bed. Greta dismissed the law as "empty words" and accused the EU of "pretending" to be a leader on climate change.
Mar 8, 2020
Meg Pethybridge talks about RiverConnect
Accountancy was dull and boring, leading to a disenchanted Meg Pethybridge (pictured) abandoning those studies and in thinking about her real passion, the environment, she joined the Shepparton-based organization, RiverConnect, about 18 months ago. RiverConnect is an initiative of the Shepparton-Mooroopna community to acknowledge the Goulburn and Broken rivers as the heart and soul of the community and is funded jointly by the City of Greater Shepparton and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority. Meg's passion for the rivers in the area is almost palpable, as is her desire to protect and enrich the prevalent flora and fauna in the area and, along with that, take the community with her.
Mar 5, 2020
Nicole sees the climate crisis and waste as inextricably linked
Nicole Wells (pictured), inspired by her three children, is doing all she can to enrich the life of her small rural community, ease the crushing waste problem the world faces and better equip people to deal with difficulties arising from the climate crisis. Nicole is acutely aware that many see the efforts of one person as so inconsequential, and yet conscious of that, she believes the efforts of the individual are critical and together can make a difference to our waste problems and the mitigation of circumstances leading to the climate crisis. She believes that if everyone did something small, something within their purview, regarding the elimination of waste or reducing the impact of the climate crisis, then the resultant changes would be significant. Learning about the once alarming cost of beeswax food wraps, that are used in place of cling wrap, Nicole set about to learn how to make them herself and now shares that knowledge through her Facebook page "Bee the Change".
Mar 3, 2020
Janet Stanley talks us through bushfires and the climate crisis
Associate Professor Janet Stanley (pictured) from the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at the University of Melbourne understands the implications and complications of bushfires and talks about those issues with Climate Conversations. Janet also has a keen interest in urban design and sees a distinct link between how we design our villages, towns and cities and keeping people safe during the climate worsened bushfire season. Like all of us concerned about the climate crisis, Janet can be dispirited by the broader inaction she sees from our decisions makers, particularly from the Federal Government and has some good advice to renew those spirits.
Mar 2, 2020
Communicating the science of the climate crisis
Dr Jenny Martin (pictured) teaches effective communication skills to science students at both undergraduate and Masters levels at the University of Melbourne, subsequently she has a unique understanding of why it is so difficult to help others understand the science of the climate crisis. She has been to Antarctica with Homeward Bound; she has seen the climate crisis free from the filters of the modern world; she has wept at what she saw and returned from that all-female expedition, a changed woman. What do we do about the climate crisis? We engage, we learn, we tell stories and we act!
Feb 26, 2020
Anika Molesworth calls out the politicians who scapegoat our famers
Anika Molesworth is among the most active of climate activists - she is always out and about somewhere making the case for more action on the climate crisis and arguing in support of Australian farmers. Anika, a board member with Farmers for Climate Action and a farmer from far western New South Wales, is something of a "regular" in social media calling out those who are doing nothing about the climate crisis, mostly those from within Australia's Morrison Government.
Feb 20, 2020
Graeme Hanigan's talks about how Australia led the world with this commercial solar power station at White Cliffs in NSW
Chance led Graeme Hanigan (pictured) and his wife Tina to what was the world's first solar powered commercial operation at White Cliffs in far western New South Wales. Since stumbling across the then mothballed solar power station, Graeme has worked with others to ensure that this vital piece of Australia's history and heritage is being preserved. Graeme talked with Climate Conversations about "the project" and why he is interested this seemingly remote solar power station after coming back to shore after another day as volunteer at Shepparton's Victoria Park Lake with Sailabilty. Graeme has not allowed the importance of the remarkable solar farm go unnoticed and the town's youth, and it hasn't as the local school has made a short film entitled "Blackout" that explores what has been happening at White Cliffs.
Feb 18, 2020
"National living treasure" to help celebrate and recognise 10th anniversary
Professor David Karoly (pictured) has, without hesitation, agreed to be a part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of Shepparton's Beneath the Wisteria. David, formerly with the University of Melbourne, but now the head of NESP Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub with the CSIRO, did not hesitate in agreeing to join us in Shepparton for this significant occasion. Late in January the professor delivered a pubic lecture at the AMSI 2020 Summer School at which he gave a brief overview of approaches for modelling the global climate system and talked about how such models are used for the attribution of observed recent climate change to human or natural causes, or both.
Feb 17, 2020
Anitra Nelson takes us on a journey through which we must hold hands
Anitra Nelson (pictured) was the chair of the organizing committee for the Australian New Zealand Society of Ecological Economics (ANZEE) 2019 conference held at Melbourne's RMIT University. Because of Anitra's interest in "eco-cohousing" she was a part of Melbourne's annual Sustainable Living Festival and it was her knowledge and experience as an author and an associate professor at Melbourne's RMIT University, where she is attached to the Centre for Urban Research, that she took to the festival. Anitra is multi-talented and you can learn about those skills and read her impressive range of skills and achievements by visiting her website.
Feb 14, 2020
Dianna McDonald talks about Victorians' perceptions of the climate crisis
Sustainability Victoria has a watching brief on the perceptions Victorians have on the climate crisis; they know what Victorians feel and think as it has researched the topic, looking at the dilemma from almost every aspect. Dianna McDonald (pictured), from the department's climate change area, spoke in Shepparton about the department's revealing research; research that illustrates that an overwhelming percentage of Victorians are concerned about climate change, want leadership and are prepared to take personal action. Dianna was in Shepparton courtesy of the local climate activist group, Slap Tomorrow, and among those who heard her speak at the Shepparton campus of La Trobe University was the mayor of the City of Greater Shepparton, Cr Seema Abdullah. While in Shepparton, Dianna also spoke to more than 40 members at the Goulburn Valley of The Third Age.
Feb 13, 2020
Talking with Terry Court about why we should be paying attention to the climate crisis
Terry Court (pictured) is one of those people that every community needs - he is shoulder deep in every activity that matters to the community. He is involved with community planning, the town's hospital and the development and maintenance of a major park within the town proper. Also he is also on the board of GV Community Energy and is the vice-president of the Goulburn Valley Environment Group. There is an urgency about Terry, he doesn't abide well with procrastination and he gets rather weary when he hears repeated rhetoric about , "Yes, we must do something about that, but first let's investigate it more and await a further report".
Feb 12, 2020
Chatting with Bruce and Bill about the Urban Design Forum and the climate crisis
The Melbourne-based Urban Design Forum began more than 25-year ago and two of the founding members were Bruce Echberg and Bill Chandler who recently had a chat with 'Climate Conversations'. Their experience is vast and in keeping with those who care about the environment, both are delightful fellows. It was during this podcast that I asked for feedback and my contact details are: mobile 0400 502 199 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feb 10, 2020
Zali Steggall tells Fran Kelly about her 'Climate Act Now' push
Zali Steggall was first interviewed by Climate Conversations in February last year ago, almost a year ago to the day and then she was little more than a candidate, taking on the seemingly impossible, displacing former Australia PM, Tony Abbott, for his seat or Warringah. She won the election and now is bringing a private member's Bill to our national parliament - 'Climate Act Now'. As I mentioned in the introduction, I would love some feedback and that can be done via email at email@example.com, or even via mobile phone at 0400 502 199.
Feb 7, 2020
Chatting with Mark Beeson about 'Environmental Populism'
Mark Beeson set out to write "Environmental Populism" for many reasons, among them personal therapy and to explore the literature of the climate crisis. The Professor of International Politics from the University of Western Australia has written a book that in its own way gives readers a whole new take on the climate crisis and is not impenetrable as many academic books can be. It was during our conversation that Mark talked about solastalgia, a some what new word that explains our emotions after our environment has been, or is being, destroyed, an idea that became increasingly relevant as bushfires tore through parts of south eastern Australia. Environmental Populism is an easy read, thoughtful, informative and recommended.
Feb 5, 2020
Words, language and the climate crisis
The mischievous use of words and language stands between humanity and the slim chance of working our way toward a useful position in avoiding the worst of the climate crisis. Politicians, of all stripes, are adept at avoiding question, obfuscation to the point the most of us are confused, frequently upset and almost screaming at the radio or TV set saying "Answer the damn question". Such frustration is understood by the Professor of International Politics from the University of Western Australia, Mark Beeson, who last year published the wonderful book, "Environmental Populism: the politics of survival in the Anthropocene".
Feb 2, 2020
Our leaders, our politicians just don't get it!
After nearly 15 years of listening to climate scientists and others of their ilk, and the endless reading of books about the climate, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the world is already deep into a climate crisis. Our leaders aren't listening, they take no notice of our scientists, well most definitely not on this matter and yet the chorus for action on the climate crisis gets louder and louder by the day. Some argue that populism is the problem and it you are keen to learn more about that in the book, "Environmental Populism" by the Professor of International Politics at the University of Western Australia, Mark Beeson.
Jan 31, 2020
Hearing about the dilemmas of climate change from the frontlines
In what is an ironic twist, farmers are said to be at the "coal face" when it comes to dealing with "on-the-ground" realities of climate change. And of course, coal is the absolute villain among the causes of the climate crisis that has the world cornered. In this episode of "Climate Conversations" we hear from two of those farmers who are wrestling with the realities of a warming world. Anika Molesworth helps work her family's farm in the arid outback of New South Wales and a new voice is that of NSW grazier, Jody Brown.
Jan 29, 2020
Plunging into podcasting to help people with the climate crisis
Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison (pictured), opened the 2020 The National Press Club series of discussions recently with a hollow presentation, devoid of facts, but loaded with rhetoric; rhetoric that would undoubtedly bring comfort to many of his followers and distress to many other people. Climate Conversations had been started with aim of helping people better understand the climate crisis and hopefully give them the tools to navigate this quickly unfolding difficult and challenging time. We hear today from ABC Radio National breakfast host Fran Kelly who took her show on the road and talked with many people on the south coast of New South Wales, among them a GP from Bateman's Bay who was clear in her diagnosis that what people were dealing with were the direct complications of climate change. Guardian columnist, George Monbiot, doesn't pull and punches and demanded that government stopped "fidling at the margins". And finally, we end with an uplifting piece from TedX in 20…
Jan 26, 2020
Australia Day, nostalgia and the business as usual paradigm
Hundreds filled Shepparton's Queen's Gardens for the annual celebration that is Australia Day. Some 40 people collected their certificates that designated them as new to the Australian fold and they, along with others in the crowd, listened as the Australia Day ambassador, Ann Peacock, who took them on a nostalgic and positive journey about life in Australia. Considered through the climate crisis prism, Australia Day is about more of what has taken us deep into the climate crisis - it's about business as usual.
Jan 23, 2020
Royal ideas about avoiding a climate catastrophe
The Prince of Wales (pictured) returned to the World Economic Forum after and absence of about 30 years and the message from his address undoubtedly challenged many in the audience. Being sensitive to the needs and value of a healthy environment, the heir to the throne in Great Britain gave a stern message to those at the Davos meeting in Switzerland, urging them all to think for a moment - "What good is all the extra wealth in the world, gained from business as usual, if you can do nothing with except watch it burn in catastrophic conditions?" He said he didn't want to be among those who did nothing to bring the world back from the brink.
Jan 22, 2020
Greta Thunberg, Donald Trump speak at the World Economic Forum
Greta Thunberg was at the World Economic Forum at Davos and again tried for convince the world's wealthy elite that the things they value faced a severe threat as the climate crisis worsened. U.S. president, Donald Trump was among those who spoke soon after the event opened and in a speech that damned those who care about the state of the world, championed all the neoliberal-like values that are taking world ever closer to irreversible climate change.
Jan 21, 2020
Greg Mullins, Climate Council, newspaper column, Beneath the Wisteria and Slap Tomorrow
Former boss of the New South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Greg Mullins (pictured), now a councillor with Australia's Climate Council joined the council's CEO, Amanda McKenzie, on a recent webinar to discuss the causes, impact and ongoing difficulties of the recent bushfires that troubled much of Australia. Mr Mullins called for leadership from our politicians and urged that all of us use whatever facilities or skills we have to impress upon our politicians, and wider community the need to plan for and prepare for conditions with which we are unfamiliar. Personal efforts have been the creation of a non-activist community group that meets monthly in Shepparton's Maude St Mall, that led to another activist group, "Slap Tomorrow", and the writing of a column in The Shepparton News that is either obliquely or directly about the climate crisis. Here is the "Bushfire update" featuring Greg Mullins and Amanda McKenzie
Jan 17, 2020
Denialists, fiddling, fixing and thoughts about security
Charles Sturt University Professor of Ecology, David Watson, wrote in the Melbourne Age about climate denialists fiddling and argued it was time the abandoned that stance and started "fixing". Radio National host Geraldine Doogue replayed an interview from April of last year in which she noted that the Director General of the Office of National Intelligence, Nick Warner (pictured), talked with Australia's PM, Scott Morrison, every day! That was worrying as Climate Conversations is yet to find a climate scientist, or anyone of similar ilk who regularly talks with the Prime Minister, or really anyone or any significance within the Australian Government.
Jan 17, 2020
Professor Jean Palutikof talks about the now defunded NCCARF
The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) had a vital role within the Federal Government but the rhetoric-laden LNP Government has now defunded the organizaton. Professor Jean Palutikof (pictured) from Queensland's Griffith University had been the director of the group and here talks about NCCARF during an interview on the ABC's News 24. Professor Palutikof once visited and spoke in Shepparton as a guest of the city's climate activist group, Slap Tomorrow.
Jan 15, 2020
Terry Court - our 'ideas man"
Tatura's Terry Court has long advocated for action on climate change. Terry, a former engineer with Goulburn Murray Water, has been a supporter of Shepparton's Beneath the Wisteria since its inception in 2011 and played a lead role in the establishment of advocacy group, Slap Tomorrow, in late 2012. He has long been one the most regular correspondents featured in the page of The Shepparton News, the Goulburn Valley's daily newspaper.
Jan 14, 2020
Proposed Royal Commission simply legitimizes procrastination on dealing with climate change
The idea that Australia should hold a Royal Commission into the present bushfire crisis warrants applause but should only happen in tandem with a national declaration of a climate crisis. A Royal Commission simply legitimizes procrastination - probably for about a year and provides cover for Scott Morrison and his LNP cohort allowing them to avoid comment arguing that it is inappropriate to say anything while the commission is in progress. We don't have time for the politicizing of an event which is bigger than all of us, or particularly the careers and ideologies of a few individuals. This episode of Climate Conversations includes a interview from Radio National by Tom Tilley with the noted climate change expert and professorial fellow from the University of Melbourne, Ros Garnaut, who frequently refers to his new book, "Superpower".
Jan 12, 2020
Dr David Killoren discusses "Relationships, Harm and the Environment".
Dr David Killoren from the Australian Catholic University was a keynote speaker on day one of the November Australian Earth Laws Alliance conference in Melbourne with the subject for his address being "Relationships, Harm and the Environment".
Jan 11, 2020
Anika Molesworth and Wendy Cohen talk climate change and FCA
Anika Molesworth (pictured) is one of our busiest climate activists and while helping keep her family's far western New South Wales productive, she is involved with several other projects, including being a board member of Farmers for Climate Action (FCA), whose name clearly spells out it reason for existence. Also, we hear from the relatively new chief executive officer from FCA, Wendy Cohen, who, naturally advocates for immediate and science driven action from the Federal Government on climate change. This episode of Climate Conversations is the first for 2020 and hopefully will be the start of a busy year of story telling and conversations that will advance the community understanding of this wicked problem and, along with that, will come a firm grasp of what it is we must do to adapt to this rapidly emerging challenge.
Dec 26, 2019
A panel discussion about the critical reflection on crisis and emergency framing
A panel discussion entitled "Critical reflections on crisis and emergency framing" staged by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) brought four enlightening speakers together to help those who attended better understand the idea of the climate crisis. And it was not just academic theory as one of the speakers, Sally Moxham (pictured), was from the City of Darebin, the first municipality in the world to declare a climate emergency.
Dec 17, 2019
The ACT Scientist of the Year, Sophie Lewis, talks with Climate Conversations
Sophie Lewis is the Australian Capital Territory Scientist of the Year for 2019 and was kind enough to spend some time chating with Climate Conversations. Dr Lewis, who attributes the birth of her interest in science to a star gazing trip with her parents, was acknowledged by the ACT Government for helping inspire young people to consider a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). She is with the University of New South Wales at its Canberra campus. Sophie's award came with a $30 000 component and she intends to apply that to helping young people engage with science.
Dec 8, 2019
Geoff Lodge talks about Mooroopna's new solar farm and the 11-year journey from 'Murchison goes Solar' to here
A new 21-mega watt solar farm in Mooroopna is the culmination of an 11-year journey for Goulburn Valley Community Energy (GVCE) and its CEO, Geoff Lodge (pictured). The solar farm will be built on land just south of Mooroopna owned by the City of Greater Shepparton with support and financial backing from the French company Akuo Energy Pacific. Interested people and residents were given the opportunity to learn more about what is proposed at a recent drop in and information session at the Mooroopna Community Centre that had been organized by GVCE. Akuo was also represented at that the four-hour session.
Dec 7, 2019
Vanessa Petrie brings the Beyond Zero Emissions story to Shepparton
Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) doesn't trouble itself with the problems associated with the climate crisis rather, it searches for solutions, considers those answers and writes evidence-based reports articulating those potential answers. BZE Chief Executive Officer, Vanessa Petrie (pictured), visited Shepparton to speak publicly at La Trobe University and then, the following day, at the Goulburn Valley University of the Third Age.
Dec 3, 2019
Simon Kerr helps us understand the climate crisis through the prism of music
Simon Kerr (pictured) has long been concerned about the climate crisis and so about four years ago set up "Music for a Warming World" with the initial intent of helping people better understand the science of climate change, but now the emphasis is now on the necessary cultural shifts we must embrace. Simon taught environmental policy at Lincoln University in New Zealand before moving to the University of Melbourne and now to La Trobe University. Nearly all the songs on the group's playlist have been written by Simon and it is through those songs that he can apply the lessons he learned in achieving his Masters of Applied Science in Environmental Management and completing his PhD in Political Ecology.
Dec 3, 2019
Considering populations and urban futures
Professors Ian Lowe and Mike Berry penned the article, "No Australian city has a long-term vision for living sustainably. We can’t go on like this", for The Conversation and then teamed up for a discussion at the recent two-day conference of The Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics at Melbourne's RMIT University. The topic for their discussion was "Population and Urban Futures".
1 hr 17 min
Nov 30, 2019
David Spratt, Harriet O'Shae-Carre and Kaity Thompson discuss the School Strike for Climate
The School Strike for Climate, the dynamics surrounding it and its broader impact on society were discussed at the 2019 Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics recent Melbourne conference. Activist and Melbourne-based climate intellectual, David Spratt lead a conversation about the School Strike for Climate (SS4C) involving one of the trio from Castlemaine who played a key role in bringing the movement to Australia, Harriet O'Shae-Carre and a Melbourne girl, Kaity Thomson, who credited the SS4C with changing her life. David Spratt quoted Rebecca Huntley during his introductory remarks and Harriet referred to another from her Castlemaine trio, Milou Albrecht.
Nov 29, 2019
Yarra Riverkeeper Andrew Kelly discusses this important responsibility
Andrew Kelly (pictured) was among the many speakers at the recent "Building Earth Ethics in Australia: Pathways and Challenges" conference staged by the Australian Earth Laws Alliance. As the Yarra Riverkeeper, Andrew outlined his role and lamented privately that northern Victoria, although it has many rivers, does not have a riverkeeper. He is the only one in Victoria.
Nov 28, 2019
Social researcher delivers MSSI oration - "Renewing democracy in a time of environmental crisis"
Dr Rebecca Huntley (pictured) from the Sydney-based Vox Populi research firm recently delivered the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) Oration - "Renewing democracy in a time of environmental crisis". The 400-seat Carilllo Ganter Theatre at the University of Melbourne was near full for the recent oration. She was introduced by former Member of Parliament and well-known reporter, Maxine McKew, who was, in turn, introduced by MSSI chair and Melbourne's deputy Lord Mayor, Aaron Wood.
1 hr 23 min
Nov 16, 2019
Mark Crosweller takes us on a journey through the climate crisis and onto resilience
Mark Crosweller (pictured) is the head of Australia's National Resilience Taskforce and because of his rich understanding of the importance of mindfulness in building resilience among people was among the speakers at the recent 2019 Mindful Futures Network Conference in Melbourne, Victoria. Mark, who was formerly the Director-General of Emergency Management Australia is also the director of Ethical Intelligence and has a blog "The Allegorical Life". The topic of his address the recent Mindful Futures Network conference was "Compassion: The essential premise of public policy and crisis response. He is also the director of Ethical Intelligence.
Nov 16, 2019
Dr Bronwyn Gresham helps us understand the psychological impacts of the climate crisis
Dr Bronwyn Gresham (pictured) was just one of the many impressive speakers at the recent Mindful Futures Network Conference at Melbourne's Brunswick Town Hall. About 100 people listened as Dr Gresham talked about the psychological impact of the quickly unfolding climate crisis, the need for compassion, mindfulness and self-care. Dr Gresham has a private practice, "Compassionate Nature" and volunteers with Psychology for a Safe Climate. The topic for her address to the recent conference was "Compassion and Climate: building future resilience". Bronwyn used several resources in preparing her address, among them: Self-compassion through supportive touch; the question about What is self-compassion?; a publication from Psychology for a Safe Climate - "Facing the Heat: stories of climate change conversations"; and an article about climate change from the Australian Psychology Society. And for those who was would rather read than listen, here is the text to Bronwyn's address from the recent m…
Nov 9, 2019
Interviewed by Geraldine Doogue, Lord Patten suggests the climate crisis could 'finish us off'
Geraldine Doogue traveled to Melbourne to interview Christopher Patten (pictured) for Radio National and it was during that interview he suggested that if we failed to attend to the climate crisis it could "finish us off". Lord Patten was in Melbourne to deliver the Malcolm Fraser Oration on "Political Leadership" and his discussions with Ms Doogue was entitled "Where have all the good leaders gone?"
Nov 7, 2019
Dr Martin Wainstein, Professor Ross Garnaut, the climate crisis, a note to council and Queensland all add to a difficult day
A train trip to Melbourne to hear Dr Martin Wainstein speak at the Australian-German Climate and Energy College became an enlightening session in a webinar, unsettling comment from Professor Ross Garnaut, a news story that swept the world about the dire situation we face according to more than 11 000 scientists, made fora difficult day. Topping that off was the personal dilemma I face about visiting my family in Queensland for Christmas, and although I'm enjoying it, my company on the train was the book by University of Melbourne anthropologist, Hans Baer, entitled: "Airplanes, the Environment, and the Human Condition". Hans, who describes himself as an "eco-socialist" questions society's use of airplanes and discusses the impact they and associated infrastructure has on worsening the climate crisis.
Nov 2, 2019
Many listen to Professor Neil Gunningham discuss 'Averting climate catastrophe: Extinction Rebellion, Business and People Power'
An overwhelming interest in what Professor Neil Gunningham (pictured) had to say about averting a climate catastrophe and the impact of the Extinction Rebellion was discussed recently during an event at the University of Melbourne presented by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI). Professor Gunningham, from the Australian National University, discussed an issue that obviously has resonance with many as the original venue, the Elizabeth Murdoch Theatre, proved too small and so the lecture was moved to a much larger venue at the Glyn Davis Building at the University of Melbourne. This podcast is an edited version of what Professor Gunningham had to say and the unedited recording, along with the images of his various slides can be seen on the MSSI website.
Nov 1, 2019
Environment Victoria's Nick Aberle gives me hope
Nick Aberle is the Campaigns Manager for Environment Victoria and his measured view about how we address the climate crisis gives me hope. Nick, who has been with Environment Victoria for six years was among the many who gathered recently to acknowledge and celebrate EV's fiftieth anniversary celebrations, a rare event Nick says for an environmental group. Nick and I sat down to chat at EV's office which is located in the Australian Conservation Foundation's "Green Building" in Leicester St in Melbourne. The green building is populated by organizations of a similar ilk to that of EV, is wonderfully open and has a striking collegiate feel about it. Visitors can tour the building and have all the green attributes of the complex explained.
Oct 29, 2019
Coming up in Melbourne, "Building Earth Ethics in Australia" conference
Michelle Maloney is the co-founder and national convenor of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) and along with a team of helpers and volunteers will bring a two-day conference to Melbourne in November - "Building Earth Ethics in Australia: Pathways and Challenges". Michelle, who oversees programs focused on Earth-centred law, economics, education, ethics, the arts and bio-regional governance, created Australia's first university level course on Earth laws that has been taught at the Griffiths University Law School in Brisbane since 2016. Passionate about ensuring as many as possible understand Earth laws and Earth centred governance, Michelle introduced lectures and workshops on both topics into Queensland high schools in 2018.
Oct 28, 2019
Getting irritated about inaction on the quickly evolving climate crisis
Rhetorically, the City of Greater Shepparton is tackling the climate crisis, despite the fact that it is not prepared to acknowledge it, but it is simply not doing enough. It is easy to stand outside the conversation and be critical, but it is somewhat more challenging to take up your amour and join the fray, suggest some solutions. And we urgently need solutions for as David Meiklejohn from the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action says we are dealing with a "super wicked problem". Tempered solutions from Robert McLean (pictured).
Oct 24, 2019
Professor Ole Waever discusses 'Climate change as a security issue'
Professor Ole Waever recently visited The University of Melbourne to give a public lecture about climate change as a security issue. Dr Waever, from the University of Copenhagen, is a Professor of International Relations and Director of the Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts. He spoke to a near full Research Lounge at the university's Arts West building and was introduced by Robyn Eckersley, a professor in political science at the university's School of Political Sciences.
1 hr 2 min
Oct 18, 2019
Live life, live well: the art and practice of growing old gracefully
More than 130 people gathered the Esson St Goulburn Valley University of the Third Age (U3A) rooms for a recent day-long forum: "Live life, Live well; The art and practice of growing old gracefully. A range of speakers talked about the "art" of growing old, including an Associate Professor from the University of Melbourne's School of Psychological Services, Christina Bryant (pictured). The former Member for Shepparton, Jeanette Powell, addressed the question about whether or not "Retirement is just a state of mind?" Also among the speakers was fitness "guru" Lyn Davidson, octogenarian Ray McDonald who talked about "Aging, active and eighty", while former U3A president urged those at the forum to "Try something new".
2 hr 50 min
Oct 14, 2019
From Michael Mann to Shepparton City Council and a climate emergency
Michael Mann is in Australia to give keynote address at a gathering of financiers who are contemplating the risks their businesses face from a worsening climate crisis. Dr Mann is attached to the American Penn State University and repeatedly warned the world about the dangers of unmitigated climate change. The idea that the council from the City of Greater Shepparton was raised and discussed in an article in the Shepparton News with one of the trio of activists, John Pettigrew (pictured) articulating their concerns.
Oct 13, 2019
Anika Molesworth pleads for action from our government on the climate crisis
Anika Molesworth (pictured) is one of Australia's pre-eminent climate activists and frequently uses Twitter to advance her case. As a farmer from western New South Wales, Anika is in a prime position to understand and talk about the climate crisis, something she does frequently.
Oct 12, 2019
Michelle Maloney talks about art, earth laws and ethics
Michelle Maloney is an impressively busy person and just a quick look at her biographer notes will confirm that. Michelle is the co-founder of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance which has a two-day conference coming up in late November at the Melbourne campus of the Australian Catholic University. However, this podcast is not directly about that event, rather to give listeners a taste of what drives Michelle and a feel her passion for the need of ethics and governance for an Earth-centred way of life, we turn to an event from about five years ago.
Oct 11, 2019
'We don't have time' - listen to the introductory comments from the group's latest webinar
The European-based "We don't have Time" movement is pushing hard to normalize the climate crisis conversation and does that through various workshops and non-fly webinars. The latest of those webinars featured a host of speakers, among them Australia's Ian Dunlop (pictured), from the Australian-based Breakthrough organization that is the National Centre for Climate Restoration. Breakthrough is an independent think tank that develops critical thought leadership to influence the climate debate and policy making.
Oct 8, 2019
Rob Feith joins the Extinction Rebelllion, thoughtfully and quietly
Rob Feith is a handyman and what is important in this instance, a grandfather. Grandfatherhood and the Australian Government's inaction on the climate crisis was, for Rob, a contradiction that drove him to join Extinction Rebellion. Rob has long been a meditator and the idea that Extinction Rebellion make its point by having members practice their meditation publicly, on the steps of the Victorian Government's parliament house in Spring St Melbourne seemed a natural fit for Rob. And so it was on Monday (October 7) of this that about 50 Extinction Rebellion members gathered under the banner of 'Meditating to the Climate". Rob was kind enough to break for his meditation to talk with "Climate Conversations" and so let's add here that he can be contacted for odd jobs around your home at 0423 630 443.
Oct 8, 2019
Talking with David Meiklejohn from the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action
David Meiklejohn (pictured) is wrestling with a "super wicked problem" - the climate crisis and how it is interpreted and is addressed by Australia's 500-plus Local Governments. However, his focus is somewhat more concentrated that as he is presently the Executive Officer for the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA), a network of nine Melbourne metropolitan councils working together on climate change projects. David is a remarkably busy fellow as he is also a PhD candidate at RMIT University researching the effectiveness of behaviour change programs by Australian Local Governments responding to climate change.
Oct 3, 2019
Arup's Joan Ko helps us better understand the carbon footprint of the Healthcare sector
Joan Ko (pictured) is Arup's sustainability leader in Melbourne as was among the speakers at the "Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum 2019". Joan's address was wide-ranging but gave those at the conference a first look at the new report: "Health Care's Climate Footprint: How the health sector contributes to the global climate crisis and opportunities for action". The September forum, held at Melbourne's Sunshine Hospital, was staged by the Melbourne-based Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA), Western Health, and the Institute of Healthcare Engineering Australia.
Oct 2, 2019
Grace Wong's "small step" in setting up Pharmacists for the Environment could have global implications
Grace Wong's 'small step' in setting up Pharmacists for the Environment could well be a giant stride - the Melbourne, Australia, based organization is thought to be the first in the world and could be the beginnings of a global movement. Grace, who was the MC at the September "Greening the Healthcare Sector 2019" forum, is a pharmacist at Melbourne's Western Health. The forum was staged by the Melbourne-based Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA), Western Health and the Institute of Healthcare Engineering Australia and attracted people from many parts of Australia.
Sep 30, 2019
"Bang" - Forbes McGain tells us about the carbon footprint of Australian healthcare
Forbes McGain is among those driving Melbourne's Western Health toward environmental sustainability. The Western Health doctor was among the impressive array of speakers lined up for the recent "Greening the healthcare sector forum 2019" staged by the Melbourne-based Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA), Western Health and the Institute of Healthcare Engineers Australia. Forbes ended his presentation with a plea to the audience to "Go forth and write"; write to anyone the could help Australia, and the world, avoid the worst of the present climate crisis. Those eager to get some further insights from Forbes can contact him either at Western Health or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sep 30, 2019
Terence Jeyaretnam discusses 'Climate risk and corporate Governance" at the 2019 Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum
Terence Jeyaretnam (pictured) has a rich experience in understanding climate risk and corporate governance and shared his extensive knowledge with those at the recent "Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum 2019" at Melbourne's Sunshine Hospital, a key part of the city's Western Health. Terence founded Net Balance in 2006 and that company was acquired by Ernst and Young in 2014 and so it was knowledge and experience from those organizations that he shared with those at the recent forum. The forum was resulted from the efforts of the Melbourne-based Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA), the Institute of Healthcare Engineers Australia and Western Health.
Sep 29, 2019
Anthony Carbines explains the State Government's approach to "Greening the healthcare sector"
Victoria's Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Anthony Carbines, who is also the State Member for Ivanhoe, gave the opening address on day two of the September "Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum 2019" at the Sunshine Hospital. The forum, staged by the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) , Western Health and the Institute of Healthcare Engineers Australia, attracted people from many parts of Australia who had gathered to hear and talk about the big picture changes needed within the healthcare system to address climate change and environmental sustainability. The two day forum provided many opportunities for collaboration, networking and information exchange among health industry colleagues.
Sep 26, 2019
The social implications of climate change explained by Dianna McDonald
Dianna McDonald (pictured) leads the social research project for Sustainability Victoria and has been examining climate change and in particular where the understanding of the present climate crisis and health intersect. Dianna was one of the many speakers at the recent two-day "Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum 2019" staged at Melbourne's Western Health in cooperation with and supported by the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) and the Institute of Healthcare Engineers, Australia.
Sep 25, 2019
Listen to Rosie and you'll better understand why the youth are concerned about the climate crisis
Rosie Stock (pictured) describes herself as a "newbie"and in being a first day volunteer with the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA), maybe she is, but she has an experienced head on those young shoulders and so is one of those young people Australia's PM, Scott Morrison, should be listening to. Rosie was volunteering at the 2019 "Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum" staged by CAHA, Melbourne's Western Health and the Institute of Healthcare Engineers, Australia. The two-day forum, at Western Health's Sunshine Hospital, looked at big picture changes needed within Australia's healthcare system to address climate change and environmental sustainability.
Sep 20, 2019
Emily illustrates courage to bring the "School strike for Climate" to Shepparton
Emily Minotti-Watson courageously stepped forward and brought the "School strike for Climate" to Shepparton in northern Victoria, Australia. Her decision to initiate the event prompted almost immediate support from a tight-knit group of people who, working with Emily, quickly pulled together all the behind-the-scenes work such an undertaking demands. More than 200 people gathered in Shepparton's Maude St Mall to hear several talk about the climate crisis and call upon governments at all levels to declare a climate crisis.
Sep 16, 2019
Music for a Warming World is both inspiring and comforting
Music is one of the best facilities to help people better understand the implications and complications of the rapidly unfolding climate crisis and there is no better group to do this than Music for a Warming World. Australian, and in particular Victorians and more specifically Melbournites, and fortunate to have the group willing to travel to seemingly unlikely places at little cost, to help people better understand why they should think deeply about a warming world. The band's leader, Simon Kerr, reflects a personal view that humanity is in deep trouble.
Sep 11, 2019
Living in an echo chamber, just like everyone else.
This episode is a "vocal version" of a column I write for the Shepparton News, the Goulburn Valley's only daily newspaper. The point is that although I might be living in an echo chamber with regard my interests in the climate crisis, a greater number of people; people who are hugely more influential also live in their echo chamber and it is the things they do and the decisions they make that are worsening the climate crisis. Shepparton's La Trobe University Campus has weekly sessions that encourage community writing and it was there that lecturer, Dr Margaret Hickey, talked about the importance of stories.
Sep 11, 2019
Bronwyn Chapman takes the Goulburn Broken Greenhouse Allicance to new horizons
Bronwyn Chapman's excitement for the work of the Goulburn Broken Greenhouse Alliance is such that it is almost palpable; it feels like you could almost reach out an touch what she is feeling. Bronwyn, the body's executive officer, directs it activities from her office at the Welsford St offices of the City of Greater Shepparton, but as she has worked in Bendigo and lives in Wangaratta, she has a wonderful feel for the social dynamics of northern and north-east Victoria. To better understand the perceptions of Victorians, Bronwyn turns to Sustainability Victoria who has found that the majority of Victorians are optimistic about making a positive difference on climate change and are willing to play their part.
Sep 10, 2019
Emily Minotti-Watson brings the 'School strike for Climate' to Shepparton
Emily Minotti-Watson (pictured) has put her hand up to orchestrate the "School strike for Climate" in Shepparton Friday, September 20. The strike action will be in Shepparton's Maude St Mall from 11:00 am and will begin with brief presentations, music and noise. followed by "marches" to the extremes of the mall at both Fryers and High Street. Emily, a Year 10, student from the city's Wanganui College, has been supported by both Slap Tomorrow, a Shepparton-based climate crisis activist group and the Goulburn Valley Environment Group.
Sep 5, 2019
Dr Margaret Hickey helps us understand - what comes first, the literature or the movement?
Dr Margaret Hickey lectures in humanities at the Shepparton campus of La Trobe University in her courses covers environmental matters. And so in the 2019 short research talks under the Shepparton Research Network banner she discussed "Toward pastures green - how to "write through" in the age of the Anthropocene". In discussing whether or not it was the literature that came first or the movements, Dr HIckey point to the "wonderful" book by Eric Rolls, "A Million Wild Acres", which she saw as igniting many of Australia's environmental movements.
Sep 2, 2019
Helen Haines visits Myrtleford to launch the 'Embedding Climate Adaptation in Agriculture' project
Independent Member for Indi, Helen Haines, sees many challenges ahead for Australia's agriculture industry, but none that match learning about and working with our changing climate. Dr Haines was in Myrtleford launch of the 'Embedding climate adaptation in Agriculture' project at a day-long conference organized by the North East Catchment Management Authority. The project has the support of the Federal Government's National Landcare Program and the Victoria Government through the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning. The August launch, held at Myrtleford's Savoy Club, attracted about 100 people.
Sep 1, 2019
An 11-year-old girl brings the 'School stike for Climate' to Echuca
Pixie Brain first thought the warming of the world was caused by the sun moving closer to the Earth, but now she knows it is the result of changes to our atmosphere; changes brought about largely by our (that's humans) flagrant use of fossil fuels. The 11-year-old Grade five pupil from the Echuca East Primary School first learned about the "School Strike for Climate" when her mother pointed out what Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg was up to. It all began when her mother asked her if that is what she would like to do and so an inspired then went to Bendigo to be a part of one actually happening. Pixie's Friday, September 20, 11:00 am event will be held in Echuca's Alton Reserve, after which the participants will then march down the city's main street and then to the office of the Nationals Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, in High St, where Pixie says she will deliver a message to the MP.
Aug 30, 2019
Dr Sara Hely talks at Myrtleford conference about cropping options and climate research
A woman who lived just a short drive away from a day-long conference about "Embedding climate adaptation in Agriculture" at Myrtleford in north-eastern Victoria, shared her knowledge about cropping and climate change. Dr Sara Hely, a scientist and senior manager with Agriculture Victoria and who has been the recipient of a host of awards and fellowships, discussed innovation and the opportunities facing farmers, particularly those in north-eastern Victoria. The Myrtleford conference resulted from the work of the North East Catchment Authority, supported by funding from the National Landcare Program and the Myrtleford event was the official launch of five year project known as the "Embedding Climate Adaptation in Agriculture in Agriculture in Norrth-East Victoria (ECAiA). Dr Hely was previously the company director of the not-for-profit farmer organization, the BIrchip Cropping Group.
Aug 29, 2019
Graeme Anderson discusses modelling as a tool for predicting climate effects on agriculture
Myrtleford's Savoy Club in north east Victoria was a busy spot recently when about 100 people gathered for the launch of the "Embedding climate adaptation in agriculture" project, supported by the North East Catchment Management Authority with funding from the Federal Government's National Landcare Program. Graeme Anderson (pictured), a climate specialist based in Geelong and from the agriculture and resources section of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, was one of many speakers at the one-day event. Graeme discussed modelling as it applies to predicting climate effects on Agriculture, and within that using it as as tool. Graeme played a role in the development of the "Climate Dogs" that helps explain the drivers of climate change.
Aug 23, 2019
A 1997 dilemma leads to listening to Dr Kate Dooley discussing more dilemmas
This episode begins with a road accident in 1997 initiating a journey that led to recently listening to Dr Kate Dooley discussing "Climate and biodiversity nexus: implications for land based mitigation" at a near packed session at the University of Melbourne. Being only audio, this podcast episode obviously does not include the slides shown by Dr Dooley, but they can be accessed on a link distributed by Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. Climate Conversations talked with Dr Dooley a few months ago and the discussion can be found here.
Aug 18, 2019
David Brian helps 'Climate Conversations' understand the many advantages of hemp walls
Hemp is another of the amazing offers from nature and if we can free ourselves from the misinformation that leads to a massive misunderstanding of the plant, we will be better placed to see its advantages; advantages that see the plant being used to make paper, provide food, help with our health and, in what is important to Climate Conversations, build energy conserving sustainable homes. Southern Hemp has been set up in Moama, just over the Victoria border in southern News South Wales, by David Brian (pictured), who is eager to see people building their new homes with his hemp walls. David is a member of Hemp Victoria and is eager to expand his hemp production facility through the construction of purpose built facility somewhere kin Victoria's Goulburn Valley. He is enthusiastic about the future of industrial hemp in Australia, a fact reported on last year by the ABC.
Aug 11, 2019
Sport, flying and the climate crisis
Flying is wonderfully convenient, but it is also one of the villains when it comes to the worsening of that climate crisis. Sport, something of a religion (that's a weary cliché) for many people is a key driver of the world's aircraft industry, and industry that relies almost entirely on fossil fuels for its success and subsequent profitability. An attempt to address the climate crisis must include some change in our attitude to flying.
Aug 10, 2019
Anika Molesworth calls for action on the climate crisis now!
Anika Molesworth is among Australia's busiest climate activists and regularly turns to Twitter to remind people of the urgency we face in the bid to counter the quickly emerging climate crisis. Anika, who played a role in the creation of the "Farmers for Climate Action" movement and connects with land managers and researchers through her platform "Climate Wise Agriculture", again took to Twitter following the latest report the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Aug 10, 2019
Grace Sandles and Hugh Farrell talk about the 'Shepparton Statement"
Young people from Greater Shepparton have been asked to contribute their thoughts and ideas to the "Shepparton Statement" and Grace Sandles and Hugh Farrell, as environmental prefects, are coordinating the Goulburn Valley Grammar School's contribution. The Shepparton Statement has been initiated by City of Greater Shepparton CEO, Peter Harriott and is being coaxed into life by Cheryl Hammer, who has been working with students from throughout the city and other young people. Young people from all walks of life have been asked to consider their views on what environmental approach the city should be taking and so contribute them to the statement in whatever form they are most comfortable with. When first conceived earlier this year, it was imagined the statement would be completed by the end of August.
Aug 8, 2019
Professor Ed Hawkins fills the lecture space at Climate and Energy College
The Australian-German Energy College at the University of Melbourne has regular lectures in a relatively small space at its Grattan Street offices and the latest was packed with many people forced to stand. Holding centre stage as he talked about the "Sensitivity of historical climate simulations to uncertain aerosol forcing" was University of Reading climate scientist, Professor Ed Hawkins. Among those in the crowd was Professor David Karoly; a senior advisor from the college, Simon Holmes á Court; a well known and respected climate activist who was the co-author of Climate Code Red, David Spratt, who has written reports for Breakthrough; and the founder of "Music for a Warming World", Simon Kerr. Professor Hawkins is responsible for many things in the climate world, among them the "Show your Stripes" - a simple graphic illustration of how the world is warming.
Aug 1, 2019
September Forum is about "Greening the Healthcare Sector"
Those eager to see a reduction on carbon emissions from the healthcare sector, and so see that aspect of our lives become more sustainable, need to make an effort to be at the "Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum 2019" in Melbourne on Monday and Tuesday, September 23 and 24. The Melbourne-based Climate and Health Alliance, which is affiliated with the international "Global Green and Healthy Hospitals" organization, has combined with the city's Western Health and the Institute of Healthcare Engineering Australia to stage the two-day forum. The Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum 2019 will explore the big picture changes needed in Australia's healthcare system to address climate change and environmental sustainability, as well as what can be done in individual hospitals and health services to reduce healthcare's environmental impacts.
Jul 29, 2019
Paul Ryan came to Shepparton to discuss the "Road map to Change" and while in town talked with 'Climate Conversations'
Paul Ryan is the Director of the Australian Resilience Centre and visited Shepparton in northern Victoria, Australia, talk about the "Road Map to Change" at a breakfast session organized by the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project. More than 30 people, mostly women, attended the breakfast session and most stayed on for Paul's masterclass on change in what was a quick overview the "three horizons" way of looking at the future and within that understanding how and why we change, both as individuals and communities.
Jul 27, 2019
PhD candidate Ellycia Harrould-Kolieb helps us understand something about ocean acidification
Dr Peter Kristoff described the recent presentation at the Australian-German Climate and Energy College by Ellycia Harrould-Kolieb as among the most important given at the college. Ellycia, a PhD candidate a young women with an already impressive biography, discussed "Governing ocean acidification: Framing an emergent issue across existing multilateral environmental aqreements".
Jul 19, 2019
A plea on Twitter from the Climate Council's Amanda McKenzie
Amanda McKenzie is the CEO of the Climate Council, formerly known as the "Climate Commission" until former PM Tony Abbott came along in 2013 and what was a clear illustration of his climate colours, disbanded the commission. However, as is well known, good ideas do not surrender to such misguided, brute force and so after a brief hesitation the former commission re-appeared and renamed as the "Climate Council", but this time with broad public support, both morally and financially.
Jul 9, 2019
Dr Michael Mann urges the adoption of a "war-like footing" to combat climate change
U.S.climate scientist, Dr Michael Mann, has impressed on the world the need for people from all nations to adopt a war-like footing in an effort to combat climate change. He argues that nothing less than such an approach will do, adding that the time for debate about the need of such an approach is past, although he still sees a need to some discussion about how we should re-jig the world economy for the changes he sees as unavoidably necessary.
Jul 4, 2019
Being inspired by Beyond Zero Emissions CEO Vanessa Petrie
Vanessa Petrie (pictured) has led Beyond Zero Emissions to new heights and just recently was recognized as among the leading international climate change think tanks. Its research shows how all sectors of the Australian economy can decarbonise, repower and benefit from the transition to zero emissions. These Zero Carbon Australia plans cover renewable energy and electricity; energy efficient buildings; sustainable transport; agriculture, farming and land use; and industry. Any climate activist whose passion is flagging should visit the BZE website, attend a BZE sponsored event, or even better, have a chat with Vanessa, as her focus on and enthusiasm for finding solutions to the climate crisis is both uplifting and inspirational.
Jul 2, 2019
John Pettigrew first got involved with climate issues in 2007 and here he talks with Climate Conversations
John Pettigrew is a "Lemnos boy", but spent most of his life as an orchardist at Bunbartha north of Shepparton, and it was in 2007 that he first became aware of and became a climate change activist. And it was in 2007 that John, along with just a handful of fellow Australians spent some time in Sydney to be trained by former U.S. vice-president and the man behind "The Inconvenient Truth", Al Gore. Although John declares himself as "fully retired", he appears to busier than ever being a part of groups and organizations that do critical and important local work in the Goulburn Valley and others that advocate on the national stage. John is presently the president of the Goulburn Valley Environment Group and on the board of GV Community Energy.
Jun 30, 2019
Grace and Hugh visit Beneath the Wisteria and explain the "Shepparton Statement"
Those who gather Beneath the Wisteria in Shepparton's Maude St Mall were fortunate at the June gathering to have two senior students from the city's Goulburn Valley Grammar School attend and talk about the "Shepparton Statement", an idea that has been initiated by the City of Greater Shepparton CEO, Peter Harriott, who has employed Cheryl Hammer to help him drive it and engage the city's youth. It was rather chilly and a little uncomfortable Beneath the Wisteria, but the few that were there soon warmed to the knowledge and enthusiasm of the two students, Grace Sandels and Hugh Farrell. Thanks for both Grace and Hugh, and to Cheryl to orchestrating events for her end.
Jun 27, 2019
Tim Baxter considers climate change through the prism of law
Tim Baxter talks about the trajectory that lead to him having an ever-expanding understanding of the law and how it applies to climate change. Tim, a father of two, has been with the University of Melbourne's, Melbourne Law School, but is about to pursue a new interest where he can apply the convergence of his knowledge and understanding of both law and climate change. His thesis has a long title, but in simple terms is seeks to unpack the legal hurdles which might prevent the commonwealth being found liable in negligence for their insufficient efforts to mitigate climate change.
Jun 20, 2019
Lucy Percival from the Grattan Institute discusses the criticality of energy
Lucy Percival (pictured) is a senior associate at the Melbourne-based Grattan Institute. Lucy is one of a three-strong energy team at the institute, a non-partisan body that has been working for about a decade writing and producing reports that cover most aspects of Australian society. The plethora reports all of which, as Lucy points out, are freely available at the institute's website. Representatives from the institute speak publicly whenever invited and, as Lucy says, it is like a broken record when it comes to trying to impress on decision makers, the need for Australia to have a stable and predictable climate change policy.
Jun 15, 2019
In conversation with Annabelle Workman from the Australian-German Energy College
Annabelle Workman (pictured) is a PhD student from the Australian-German Climate and Energy College at the University of Melbourne. She has two daughters, who are just six and two-and-a-half years old, and her understanding of climate issues has strengthened her determination to work even harder to do all she can to make the world a better place. Annabelle has explored the role of health co-benefits in the development of climate change mitigation policies in Australia, the European Union, China and America. The discussion with Annabelle followed a public lecture at the college by Dr Adam Bumpus who discussed "Energy entrepreneurial ecosystems: challenges to clean energy entrepreneurship".
Jun 13, 2019
Has the climate changed? A discussion about the climate, the environmemnt and Australia's May 18 federal election
A public forum at Shepparton's La Trobe University canvassed the questions: What role did such issues as climate and the environment play in regional Australia's voting behaviour? What role did the media play in the election campaign and the outcome? How might we understand the rural vote? The forum attracted about 100 people who came to hear the Shepparton-based MP, Suzanna Sheed, the McPherson Media Group executive director, Ross McPherson, and the Grattan Institute's Carmela Chivers, along with the MC for the event, the Director of La Trobe's Transforming Human Societies Research Focus Area, Professor Lawrie Zion. The aim of the forum was to try and arrive at some conclusion about what the outcome of the 2019 election meant for regional Australia.
1 hr 39 min
Jun 10, 2019
Véronique Lago talks with Climate Conversations about deep ocean currents
The University of New South Wales posted a general information story about Véronique Lago on Twitter and where listed some of her credentials and she immediately appeared a natural choice as a subject to interview for Climate Conversations. Véronique, who has been with the university's "Climate Change Research Centre" is now involved with a relatively new project that is considering Australia's carbon emissions. She is a French/Canadian who has been in Australia for eight years and has found it an ideal place to study oceanography as the country is surrounded by water. Véronique worked in 2007/8 on a Canadian icebreaker in the Arctic, including an overwintering project, moving constantly through the region that links the Arctic Ocean to the Canadian archipelago.
Jun 4, 2019
Ross Musolino - the heart and soul of Tatura Transition Towns
Tatura dentist Ross Musolino had an ache to do something about the environment and then a decade or so ago stumbled across an article about Transition Towns, read the book, shared it around and with the encouragement of a few others, decided the town needed a Transition Towns movement and so initiated one, and it has been operating ever since. Ross, originally from South Australia, is now personally deeply invested in Tatura and his eagerness to make a difference in the small town about 18 km west of Shepparton in Northern Victoria has been rewarded with many deep friendships. Here, Ross talks with Climate Conversations and he would love to hear from people keen to become involved with Tatura Transition Towns and he can be contacted via email at: sandalino@iinet,net.com.
May 25, 2019
The wonders of electronic technology allow a Canberra professor to address a Melbourne audience from his office
Associate professor Paul Burke from the Australian National University sat in his Canberra office and talked with an audience of about 30 people at the University of Melbourne's Australian-German Climate and Energy College. Professor Burke and his counterparts have been researching the use of residential solar-voltaic systems throughout Australia and have uncovered some interesting facts and international comparisons.
May 25, 2019
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie reflects on Australia's general election
Climate Council CEO, Amanda McKenzie (pictured), recently hosted a webinar in which she reflected on the Australian federal election; an election which had a surprise result, so surprising that even the winners were a little gobsmacked by an outcome that even caught them off-guard. Amanda, like all climate activists, refused to wallow in the self-pity of defeat and encouraged those involved with the webinar, to gather themselves up and continue the work of advancing the climate argument and calling out the government when it failed to take the necessary action.
May 23, 2019
The outcome of Australia's federal election alarmed Dr Kate Dooley and here she talks with Climate Conversations
It was an article on The Conversation ("Australia's major parties' climate policies side-by-side") by Dr Kate Dooley (pictured) that prompted 'Climate Conversations" to contact her for an interview. She said "yes" without hesitation and an interesting conversation ensued. Kate is attached to the University of Melbourne's Australian-German Climate and Energy College.
May 21, 2019
Counteracting climate change through the four-hour workday
Eager to make more use of my fortnightly columns in the Shepparton News, I have decided to use them as episodes on 'Climate Conversations', particularly when they revolve around climate change. This column discusses the four-hour workday as a possible solution, and there are not real 'solutions' of course, to the dilemma as it would re-frame our lifestyles and lead us to live a dramatically less energy-intensive was of living. The idea was taken to the National Climate Change Adaption Research Facility (NCCARF) and it was accepted for a poster display at its annual conference.
May 20, 2019
A blind government walks straight into the Intelligence Trap
Learning on dated ideologies the retiring Australian coalition government fooled sufficient people, and surprised everyone, including themselves, to be re-elected. Radio National helps us understand what happened and why during a discussion on "All in the Mind" between the host, Lynne Malcolm and "The Intelligence Trap" author, David Robson.
May 18, 2019
Professor Herbert Huppert answers a queston about geoengineering
Geoengineering is for some the salvation of our climate difficulties, but for others of it simply introducing a whole range of new, and even worse difficulties. Professor Herbert Huppert (pictured) is presently touring around Australia delivering the Selby Lectures, a traveling fellowship for overseas scientists, talks (briefly) about geoengineering. The professor was recently at the University of Melbourne and delivered the lecture: "Will Earth be too hot for your grandchildren to handle?" and it was after that lecture that he was asked about geoengineering and it was during his answer that he reflected on the fact that during all his well thought out and considered experiments that something always went wrong, just as it would geoengineering, the difference being, of course, that the experiment was not contained within a laboratory, but would impact on the whole world.
May 16, 2019
Tim Dunlop talks about "Technology, Inequality and the Future of Work
Tim Dunlop equate the dystopian attitudes towards the future of work with those of the malaise and confusion around climate change. Tim, a lecturer and author from the University of Melbourne, recently spoke to a near full theatre in the university's Redmond Barry Building about "Technology, Inequality and the Future of Work". He followed his lecture with a wide-ranging and vigorous discussion with the former assistant secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Tim Lyons.
May 12, 2019
Asha Chapman is terrified of her future; a future blighted by climate change
Some 200 people, invited by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), gathered outside Melbourne's Convention Centre to protest the Liberal Government's inaction on climate change. Among them was 17-year-old Asha Chapman (pictured), who talked with 'Climate Conversations' saying she is terrified about her future; a future that she says is being ignored and put at risk by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his coalition government. The convention centre protest, the AYCC prefer to call it a "rally", was noisy and attracted plenty of interest from police, including the 'evidence gathering squad' which was represented by at least two officers who filmed the whole event.
May 11, 2019
From small 'p' to capital 'P', Bill Chandler chances his arm in Kooyong
Bill Chandler had never considered politics with a capital P, but became so disillusioned with the poor performance of Australia's coalition government, particularly in relation to climate change, or global warming as he prefers to call it, he decided to nominate for the Melbourne seat of Kooyong, which is presently held by the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg. Climate change has long been on Bill's radar and he played-leading role in creating and setting up the climate activist group, Lighter Footprints. He brings many skills to the role, among them sustainability, which he learned about and applied through his profession of urban design, which is something if applied correctly will help our communities address the rigours of global warming.
May 10, 2019
Bronwyn Johnson talks about the work of Climarte
Bronwyn Johnson see art as critical in helping us address, understand and prepare ourselves, and our communities, for the rigours of a changing climate. Bronwyn, as the executive director of the Melbourne-based Climarte, is ideally placed to marry the subtleties, and beauty and strength, of art to the emerging challenges of a changing climate. She is presently in the midst of the 2019 "Art+Climate=Change"* *biennial festival which formally ends on May 19 although, as Bronwyn points out, many exhibitions continue past that date. Climarte has many supporters with the principal partner being Bank Australia, which Bronwyn says is clearly the most generous and decent backer she has been involved with during her time in the not-for-profit arts sector.
May 9, 2019
Candidate for the federal Seat of Nicholls, Damian Drum, at recent Shepparton forum
Climate Conversations was unable to get a direct interview with Murray Electorate incumbent Damian Drum (pictured) and so we went along to a candidates' forum at Shepparton's Eastbank to hear him present his case for election. The forum, organized by The Committee for Greater Shepparton and The Shepparton News, had almost ended, MC Sam Birrell had declared the next question to be the last, when a woman at the back of the forum spoke up, noting her surprise that climate change had not even been mentioned, adding the it was probably the most important issue facing voters. Eight people have nominated for Nicholls, but just six were in attendance. About 200 people came along to hear what the candidates had to say.
May 5, 2019
Talking with Nicholls electorate Labor candidate Bill Lodwick
Bill Lodwick (pictured) seems like an honourable and decent fellow who happily answered most questions, but referred me to the Australian Labor Party for answers to the big issues about meeting our country's Paris commitments in relation to climate change and the party's position on the proposed Adani mine in central Queensland. He argued those matters where large policy issues and well beyond his remit as a candidate. He falls in line with what is in those policies. Bill has never been directly involved with politics (that's with a capital 'P'), but he has been a councillor on the Shire of Mitchell, has worked actively with the Labor Party, and has held several roles in community organizations.
May 3, 2019
Anika Molesworth makes some points about the challenge of climate change
Anika Molesworth is one of the "everywhere" people, something that has been recognized by many others. She was the Young Farmer of the Year in 2015, she was a New South Wales finalist in the Young Australian of the Year in 2017 and since then has won the NSW Young Achiever Award for Environment and Sustainability. This dynamic young Australian helped set up "Farmers for Climate Action" and connects with decision-makers and researchers through her platform "Climate Wise Agriculture". She is active on social media and so it was a few posts from her which were combined to produce this episode of Climate Conversations.
May 2, 2019
Phillip Sutton has devoted his life to helping us understand climate change and here he talks with Climate Conversations
Phillip Sutton first entered my life about a decade ago when I spotted him darting about at a University of Melbourne climate change lecture putting flyers on the seats. Keen to know more about this enthusiast, I inquired with a friend who told me it was Phillip, whom he said was absolutely committed to helping people better understand climate change. Beyond that, he said Phillip was also insistent that we have the intellectual, and physical tools to combat climate change and so he has co-authored a book about the topic - Climate Code Red - and helped create several organizations that have illuminated the discussion. Subsequently, it seemed only natural that that he should join us on Climate Conversations.
May 1, 2019
Shannon's 'taking steps' to combat climate change
Shannon Loughnane is presently walking solo from Melbourne to Canberra to raise awareness about Australia's continued exploitation of fossil fuels and our government's absolute inaction on addressing climate change. The 29-year-old university student was conscious of climate change, but knew little about its extent or capacity to devastate our communities and so after making as New Year resolution, decided to learn what he could and among those books which changed his life was Naomi Klein's "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate." Shannon expects to arrive in Canberra just before the May 18 federal election and his petition, which calls for the abandonment of fossil fuels, the embrace of renewable energy and stopping of the Adani mine proposal, will, as some stage, go before our parliament's House of Representatives, he hopes. Information about Shannon's commitment combating climate change can be found at his walk website.
Apr 29, 2019
Greta Thunberg, Caroline Lucas, Anna Taylor and Franny Armstrong discuss climate change
Guardian Live put together an impressive array of speakers to help us better understand the realities and the threat of climate change. Caroline Lucas, a British MP with the Green Party, set the scene with a stirring address and then went to the heart of the matter in a panel discussion with Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg who was the catalyst for the "School strike for climate Action", and her British contemporary, Anna Taylor, with the director of the movie, "Age of Stupid", Franny Armstrong, as the MC. The conversation leaves no doubt that we, that's the older generation presently calling the shots on the world community's behaviour, have put at risk the future of those not yet able to vote.
Apr 27, 2019
Nicholls candidate for the May 18 federal election Nigel Hicks talks with Climate Conversations
Nigel Hicks believes that he is a good listener, he is stubborn and sticks with a project until it is finished. Beyond that he believes he understands the wants and needs of the people of Nicholls (formerly Murray) and having stood once before, he now has a better grasp of the dynamics of the process. Nigel is conscious of the power of alternative energy as his home at Wyuna is totally off-grid and although his sharply aware of the economic benefits, he argues we need to be sure of energy sources before we start shutting down coal-fired power stations. Nigel was one of five of eight candidates who gathered Beneath the Wisteria in Shepparton's Maude St Mall to present their credentials and try to convince the crowd of about 45 why they would be the best person to represent them at a federal level.
Apr 25, 2019
Friends of the Earth protest about Victoria's coal-to-hydrogen project
About 25-people gathered on the footpath outside the Melbourne head office of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) for a Friends of the Earth protest to raise awareness about the group's dislike for new project in the Latrobe Valley aimed at creating hydrogen from coal. But it was not just about demonstrating the concerns the group has for the project, rather the protest was also about creating an awareness among the public through social media and so the protest was an wonderful picture opportunity. Speakers included an organizer from Friends of the Earth, Cam Walker, and a spokesperson from the Westernport and Peninsula Protection Council, along reading of two letters from people unable to attend the protest, but who were concerned about the impact the project, primarily the carbon capture and storage of the resultant carbon dioxide in old gas and oil wells just off the coast of Victoria's iconic 90 Mile Beach.
Apr 22, 2019
Professor discusses the corruption that is creating climate change
U.S. Professor Jeffrey Sachs, who is critical of the vested interests that are taking humanity closer to the climate change abyss, was one of many keynote speakers at the most recent "We Don't Have Time" webinar. Along with clearly spelling-out the facts of climate change, the professor attributes the blame to just few people whose values are about personal enrichment, rather than the general and overall well-being of people. The professor is critical of many governments, among them the Australian Government, which, like a few others is corrupt, abiding by rules laid out by the fossil fuels industry.
Apr 21, 2019
Do we want to save the planet or compliant climate conditions?
Many argue that we need to act now to "save the planet" and some political parties have pinned their hopes on such a mantra. Author Stephen Davis wrote "Truthteller: An investigative reporter's journey through the world of truth prevention, fake news and conspiracy theories" and although he said nought about climate change his sentiments resonated with someone concerned about climate change. Stephen was interviewed by Hugh Riminton on Radio National's Sunday Breakfast program.
Apr 18, 2019
A chat with NIcholls candidate for May 18 Federal Election, Stewart Hine
Stewart Hine (pictured) has aligned himself with the United Australia Party and so will be the candidate for the Saturday, May 18, Federal Election in the Seat of Nicholls, formerly Murray. Stewart, a mortgage home loan broker from Dingley Park, believes he can make a difference for those living in Nicholls as he is comfortable with the pragmatism of the United Australia Party in that it sees a problem, identifies the difficulties and then sets about fixing them. Along with the five other candidates contesting the May 18 election in Nicholls, Stewart will speak at Beneath the Wisteria in Shepparton's Maude St Mall on Saturday, April 27, at 12:30 pm. Time is allowed for a Q and A after the six candidates have spoken,
Apr 16, 2019
Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty talks about human health and climate change
Professor Peter Doherty shared the Nobel Prize for medicine with his Swiss research compatriot Ralph Zinkernagel in 1996 and in the following year was named at the Australian of the Year. He recently visited Shepparton where he presented three lectures, the first at the University of Melbourne's Rural Health Academic Centre, with the support of the Shepparton-based group advocating for a wider understanding of climate change, Slap Tomorrow, the second at the Goulburn Valley University of the Third Age, and finally to the Goulburn Valley Regional Library where he talked about his latest book, "Accidental Tourist".
1 hr 10 min
Apr 13, 2019
'Home Front' the Breakthrough film gives the starkest of warnings about climate change
"Home Front" is a startling movie and again warns people of the dangers of climate change that are barrelling down the highway; the highway of life that is that will come to a dead end, and abrupt halt unless we change our behaviours. Initiating the warnings is a senior member of the Breakthrough board, and a former international coal oil, coal and gas industry executive, Ian Dunlop (pictured), who has been the chair of the Australian Coal Association and CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. However, beyond Mr Dunlop, it is not just the eccentric fellow from down the street issuing the warnings, they are coming from people who have been in some of the most influential roles in various aspects of administration, both in Australia and around the world. Home Front is the work of the Breakthrough organization that is working on the restoration of a safe climate.
Apr 12, 2019
Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty at the Goulburn Valley University of the Third Age
Peter Doherty won the Nobel Prize in 1996 and a year later 1997, was the Australian of the Year. He visited Shepparton, spoke at the University of Melbourne's Rural Health Academic Centre, the Goulburn Valley University of The Third Age, and then the Goulburn Valley Regional Library, where he discussed his latest book, "The Incidental Tourist". Her was interviewed last year for "Climate Conversations" and massively expanded on those topics during his lecture at the Rural Health Academic Centre and then, at the GV3A he talked about his success in the Nobel Prize, a prize he shared with fellow researcher Rolf M. Zinkernagel.
Apr 9, 2019
Andrew Bock says he has been in training all his life to represent the people of Nicholls
Euroa's Andrew Bock (pictured above) has, by default and in his view at least, been training all his life to be elected to represent the people from Federal Seat of Nicholls. Andrew is standing as an independent and believes the life-experiences he has gathered in his 32 years leaves him well-placed to understand and address those issues impacting on people in the electorate. He first sought election in 2016 and although he was statistically an also-ran, it was a wonderful learning experience that gave him a thorough understanding of those things that matter to the people of what was then Murray, but which is now Nicholls.
Apr 7, 2019
Karen Corr talks with Climate Conversations about how to 'Make a Change'
Karen Corr led the Bendigo Sustainability Group to success and has now (well seven years ago) set her sights on helping individuals and community groups 'Make a Change'. The idea that climate change can be resolved, or at least eased, if people make a change, is presently atop the pile of "things to do". Subsequently, Karen and her small team have created an initiative called Ramp Up Resilience. The initiative includes three planned events coming up soon, where people can learn more about the phenomenon and what they should do in response to unusual weather events manifested by Earth's damaged climate system. Visit the group's website to learn more about the coming events and take part in the online questionnaire to have your say too: www.makeachange.org.au/ramp-up-resilience
Apr 7, 2019
Carl Russell is passionate about seeing Shepparton serviced by an electric autonomous bus
Carl Russell, a former Tatura diary farmer, is eager to Shepparton at the forefront of the autonomous vehicle revolution and want to see the set in motion here with the deployment of an autonomous electric bus. Carl has researched the topic, talked with many influential people and is convinced the idea of an autonomous bus has particular relevance to Shepparton in that is would allow disabled people freedom of movement, as it would the elderly and anyone unable, for whatever reason, to use a conventional motor vehicle. He predicts such a bus, or buses, would bring a boost to trade in the city as it would allow people unable to move about the city could access retail outlets. Carl's narrowed his research to Local Motors autonomous bus, Olli.
Apr 3, 2019
Anthony Gleeson, climate change, The Sustainable Hour, sport and the climate emergency
Retired teacher Anthony Gleeson proudly describes himself as a 'climate activist' and with that is what he terms as a 'solution seeker'. Along with a small team he co-produces 'The Sustainable Hour', a weekly hour-long radio show from the southern Victoria city of Geelong, and the radio show also becomes a podcast. Anthony (he also answers to "Tony") is rightly proud and what he and others connected to The Sustainable Hour have achieved, but not one to rest on his laurels,Tony, like a gladiator, has strode onto the field (metaphorically) to encourage people to think about how sport will continue to function at present levels in the era of a climate emergency.
Apr 2, 2019
And the elephant wasn't even in the room
Water and its availability is unquestionably the greatest of all conversation/controversy starters of all; mention water at any meeting in northern Victoria or Southern New South Wales and almost immediately you will have a conversation/argument. Rarely though, is the "elephant" actually allowed in the room for it seems few people have the intellectual courage to talk about the impact climate change is having on Australia's rivers. The "elephant" was missing from a recent drought summit at Mooroopna in northern Victoria attended by about 100 people, the Federal Agricultural Minister, David Littleproud, the Drought Envoy, Barnaby Joyce, and the Member for Murray, Damian Drum.
Mar 30, 2019
Blair McNeill talks about his off-grid home near Castlemaine in Victoria
Faced with the prospect of paying about $60 000 dollars to bring electricity to their block, and their home (pictured) near Castlemaine in Victoria, Blair and Linda McNeill elected to pay about $75 000 to go off-grid and now with battery back-up they enjoy a surplus of power. The set-up cost included an emergency generator, which Blair said they had never had to use even though Castlemaine is in the one of the colder parts of Victoria. All their heating and cooling, along with the other power requirements of running a household,and a large shed, are sourced from the solar system.
Mar 28, 2019
Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub leader at the CSIRO, Dr David Karoly, in conversation
David Karoly (pictured above) arrived in the landscape of my life when he spoke at the University of Melbourne's week-long "Festival of Ideas" in 2009. At the time he was a Professor in the School of Earth Sciences at the university - David is an internationally recognized expert on climate change and climate variability. This exceptionally generous man has been described as one of Australia's 'national treasures' and is now the leader of The Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub (ESCC) at the CSIRO, and is committed to building a world-leading climate and Earth systems science hub, using its capability and understanding of Australia’s past, present and future climate to supply useful and accessible climate information for Australia.
Mar 22, 2019
Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia discusses climate change and economics
The Centre for Policy Development, supported by MinterEllison, hosted an event featuring the Reserve Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Dr Guy Debelle (pictured), who discussed climate change and its impact on the Australian economy. His warnings about the challenges ahead for the country's economy, and of course businesses working within Australia, were stark and in discussing the difficulties ahead, he encouraged business leaders to take what was now a trend and not a cyclical event, seriously. Dr Debelle's warning constitutes advice from the "big end" of town, encouraging all business people to make climate change, and its impacts, a part of their business plan.
Mar 20, 2019
New York Times reporter Somini Sengupta contemplates 'Urban life and climate change'
New York Times international climate reporter, Somini Sengupta, visited the University of Melbourne recently to talk about urban life and climate change. She said we live in a time when most of the world's population is urban and so climate change presents grave new risks for the world's cities and so forces those who live there to figure our how to survive. Somini discussed the scale of the problem and considered the different ways urban populations around the world are rapidly recalibrating their behaviours to address and counter climate change. She pointed the near full theatre of a New York Times story that allowed people to discover "How Much Hotter Is Your Hometown Than When You Were Born?"
Mar 18, 2019
School Strike for the Climate at Perigian Beach on Queensland's Sunshine Coast
Inspired by fellow student, Sweden's Greta Thunberg, a group of Sunshine Coast students organized and staged a School Strike for the Climate at at Queensland's Perigian Beach. More than 2000 people supported the impressive event; an event that was overflowing with youthful energy, commitment and passion. However, it wasn't a "youth only" event as a large part of the big crowd were older people whose school years were long behind them, including many grandparents. Demands on the day were clear, concise and easily rolled off the tongues of all those responsible for organizing the school strike and one of the principle aims, that of starting a conversation, was achieved with ease.
Mar 18, 2019
Eve Kelly talks about heat and the impact it's having on our wildlife
Eve Kelly, like so many other people, was heavily impacted by Victoria's Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, and of particular concern for her was the wildlife. She has long been concerned about Australia's wildlife and now, beyond being a volunteer wildlife rescuer, she is the secretary of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council, which advocates for the Australian fauna in every way it can and regularly reaches out through schools and various community groups to help the broader public better understand the needs of our wildlife. Rescuing, advocating for and being the voice of our wildlife can be draining work and so Eve was delighted to hear about Psychology for Safe Climate, which, while specializing in helping people emotionally deal with the rigours of climate change, has skills applicable to the difficulties faced by Eve and others who work with wildlife.
Mar 10, 2019
I weep as I listen to people talk about life plans, seemingly unaware of climate change and the limitations it brings
Climate change is going to disrupt the best laid plans, hopes, dreams and ambitions of nearly all people, especially the young who view their prospects through a prism constructed and set up by their parents. Most people, it seems, are aware of climate change, but underestimate its capacity to disrupt the good life most in the developed world have enjoyed for decades, certainly since the end of World War Two in the mid-1940s.
Mar 3, 2019
Maria Taylor's book is as relevant now as it was when written several years ago
Maria Taylor is an award-winning journalist and former documentary film-maker whose work over more than three decades in both Australia and the United States has focused on sustainable resource management and environmental issues. Her book – What Australia knew and buried… then framed a new reality for the public – was developed from PhD research at the National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science of The Australian National University. She took some time out from her busy schedule editing and publishing District Bulletin, and countless other things, to talk with Climate Conversations.
Feb 28, 2019
David Spratt talks about his engagement with climate change
David Spratt had always been obliquely aware of climate change, but then things changed and it became in interest, then a passion and in 2008 he co-authored the book "Climate Code Red" with Phillip Sutton. David is not a climate scientist, but he has a deep and abiding interest in climate science and with a background on economics, and a little dedication, he can make sense of the science that unpins climate change, just as anyone else can who applies themself, he argues. Working with Ian Dunlop, David has compiled and written many reports that have had a major impact on climate change education, both in Australia and around the world.
Feb 26, 2019
The numbers, the numbers, oh, the numbers of climate change
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison was given space in Tuesday's Melbourne Age to give his view about why it was not necessary to put a wrecking ball through the economy to combat climate change. Interestingly his view was challenged, or examined by the ABCs Media Watch, which pointed out that a paper on which Mr Morrison had depended to make his point was not peer reviewed and a second opinion had not been sought. The report, a four-page document, on which Mr Morrison relied was from BAE Economics and carried the name of Dr Brian Fisher and was entitled "Economic consequences of some alternative Australian climate policies*". *Interestingly, just before this happened the Climate and Energy College from the University of Melbourne, staged a webinar featuring a fellow from the Melbourne Law School and an associate of the Australia-German Climate and Energy College, Tim Baxter, entitled "In a Canter? Demystifying Australia's Emissions Budget for Paris".* *
Feb 25, 2019
Climate Solutions Fund - putting lipstick on a pig
Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison led a barrage against the media yesterday (February 25) talking about and promoting his government's latest effort in the climate change space - the "Climate Solutions Fund" (CSF). Few commentators had much to say in support of the CSF and the frequently used phase was "putting lipstick on a pig" as most considered it was a reboot of Tony Abbott's less than successful Direct Action Policy. Katharine Murphy from The Guardian was less than complimentary of the government's new policy; Giles Parkinson from RenewEconomy had few kind words for what the PM was proposing and a senior lecturer in economics from the University of Queensland, Ian A. Mackenzie wrote in The Conversation describing the policy as a "rebadged rehash of old mistakes".
Feb 20, 2019
Brexit and climate change are decidely different but strikingly similar
Brexit, Britain's exit from the European Union is closing in and irrational decisions about what happens are becoming increasingly likely, just as the are with climate change. Had we acted when first warned by James Hansen about 50 years ago, the societal changes we needed to make could have been gentle, acceptable and even friendly, but we have procrastinated for so long that the alternatives for maintaining the conditions that allow for human flourishing are evaporating and many are turning to such things as the untested and untried processes that are climate engineering, or as known in some circles, geoengineering.
Feb 17, 2019
Caring about our environment and making the "Shepparton Statement"
School kids from the City of Greater Shepparton will soon be telling the adults what to do, at least about the environment. The city's Chief Executive Officer, Peter Harriott, has initiated what will ultimately be the "Shepparton Statement" - guidelines about how we should be responding to the degradation of our environment, and within that, climate change. Peter may well have initiated the idea, from here on in it will be shaped and given direction the city's students. Listen here to hear about the "Shepparton Statement".
Feb 15, 2019
Barrister and former champion alpine skier Zali Steggall talks about taking on Tony Abbott
Zali Steggall ignited a whole new conversation when she nominated for the seat of Warringah that has been the exclusive property of the Liberal Party and is presently held by former Australia Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. Steggall, now a barrister, but formerly a champion alpine skier nominated her concern about climate change as one of her prime reasons for seeking election to Australia's national parliament. Had she not stood as an independent, Steggall could have easily represented the Liberals as she adheres to to many of the fundamentals of the free enterprise, market system/. Steggall appears as a wonderful alternative to the brutal denialist attitude of Tony Abbott.
Feb 11, 2019
Bill Kelly on art, peace and climate change
Bill Kelly is known around the world for his art, for his passion for peace and his creativity in helping design places for people. He is American by birth, but now calls Australia, more particularly Nathalia in northern Victoria, home. He and his wife Veronica have brought art to this small country town and through their dedication have given the community a point of difference as the town is becoming increasingly recognized for its interest in art; art in all its forms. Bill was at one time the Dean (he's patently uncomfortable with such a title) of the Victorian College of the Arts and has long been embedded in that city's arts community and although he's not affiliated with it, he recognizes Climarte. He is appalled by violence, in any form, and sees climate change as the manifestation of violence.
Feb 11, 2019
Katerina Gaita talks about Climate for Change
Katerina Gaita went from despair to hope and integral to that journey was the creation of the grassroots organization Climate for Change. Fortunately, I was able to sit through last annual general meeting of Climate for Change and discovered that although that the realities of our changing climate were well understood, there was a pervasive sense of optimism among those supporting the group. Katerina is the daughter of University of Melbourne moral philosopher, Professor Raimond Gaita, who joined his daughter to talk about "A climate of Change".
Feb 8, 2019
Professor Andrew Blakers says the power of renewables will take us past Paris
A report from Professor Andrew Blakers and his team at the Australian National University (ANU) suggests that Australia will meet its economy-wide Paris commitments five years ahead of schedule if, and that's important, politics doesn't disrupt the burgeoning move to renewable energy. Some have questioned the ANU report, but most acknowledge the caveat that politics doesn't necessarily have to support the push to renewable energy rather, not stand in its way by introducing policies that frustrate the introduction and use of primarily solar and wind power. Professor Blakers says that just like smoking, our fossil fuel powered energy infrastructure must go.
Feb 5, 2019
Talking with Dr Crystal Legacy about transport, planning, public involvement and climate change
Dr Crystal Legacy arrived in Australia from Canada in the early 2000s to study at the University of Melbourne and is now a senior lecturer in urban planning. Dr Legacy has published widely on transport politics, urban conflict, citizen participation, strategic plan-making, urban governance and infrastructure, and in all this her prime interest has been the welfare of people She is keenly interested in autonomous vehicles, urban governance and strategic planning and along with that she us attuned to urban politics deliberative democracy.
Feb 2, 2019
Greg Mullins talks about differences of fighting fires in the climate change era
Greg Mullins traveled the world learning about the intricacies of fire fighting and eventually became the commissioner of Fire and Rescue New South Wales and just recently he talked about his 39 years with the service during a webinar presented by the Climate Council. His father had been a fire fighter was able to compare the experiences and judgement of his dad to what confronts fire fighters as they are forced to address fires of hitherto unseen ferocity; a ferocity driven by conditions that frequently make the fires so extreme that they can't be fought. Fires fueled by conditions worsened by climate change are now being termed as "catastrophic".
Feb 1, 2019
'We're just kicking the climate can down the road' - Stuart Scott
Stuart Scott has some rather strong views about climate change and its causes, and is most certainly not a shrinking violet when it comes to attributing blame. Stuart, 70 and retired from his "day job" has taken his concerns about climate to the world in any way that is available to him; he makes a noise about climate change whenever and wherever he can - he has attended eight Conference of the Parties events staged by the United Nations, he has set up the website scientistswarning.org and an affiliate website scientistswarning.tv. He lives in Honolulu in the Hawaiian Islands and despite the remoteness of his home keeps abreast of what is happening in the international world of climate change.
Jan 29, 2019
Ian Coldwell talks about creating a quiet place - Farm3618
Ian and Jenni Coldwell returned to what had been their farm nearly a decade earlier to find that the parts they loved the most were still intact and the piece that pleased them the most was for sale - they bought what had been their former home and set about the create "Farm3618" The result of their intent and toil is clearly apparent as Farm3618 is populated by an array of beautiful native trees and a variety of equally beautiful shrubs and other plants, interspersed with meditative labyrinths. Rich farmland surrounds Farm3618 and its island of forest directed at creating a place of peace contrasts with the busyness of the nearby farms that are understandably pressured by commercial needs, as is Farm3618, but with peace as a priority.
Jan 26, 2019
Milou Albrecht talks about the schoolstrike4climateaction
Inspired by Swedish student Greta Thunberg, Castlemaine's Milou Albrecht gathered some friends and made the idea of students striking for climate action a reality Australia. Milou,who has talked via Skype with Greta, has been working with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and can be seen smiling on the homepage of the schoolstrike4climateaction. She has taken the message for climate action to local members of parliament, local councilors and the leader of the opposition, Bill Shorten.
Jan 25, 2019
Talking with an environmental champion - Lou Costa
Lou Costa and her partner Les live with their new child, Ellis, on a bush block just out of Rushworth in Victoria at the King Billy Retreat. Lou had been a passionate advocate of the environment since being a small girl and that dedication to nature has never left her and has really played a key role in fashioning her life and is no more evident than what you see when visiting her home - Lou and Les "walk their talk". She has made those personal concerns about the environment public being a long time member and past president of the Goulburn Valley Environment Group (GVEG), and when roadside trees near her home were threatened by VicRoads works she reacted immediately and the result saw a change in VicRoads' plans, the preservation of many old trees and the creation of the Rushworth Action Group for the Environment (RAGE).
Jan 23, 2019
Charlie Prell talks about the wonder of wind farms
Charlie Prell is the New South Wales organizer for Australian Wind Alliance and works from his Crookwell property in NSW. He is a fourth generation family farmer whose farm sits high on the Great Dividing Range north of Canberra from where he advocates for an inclusive "benefit sharing" model for wind farm developments rather than the pure development model most frequently used throughout Australia. Beyond being an enthusiast for wind energy, Charlie is also active in the climate change discussion, as one is intimately entangled with the other is the co-chair of Farmers for Climate Action.
Jan 21, 2019
Sir David Attenborough laments the end of the Garden of Eden
Some years ago a sage said it was important that we not politicize climate change, well, that's happened and humanity's efforts to slow the advance of catastrophic changes to earth's atmosphere have vanished into an impenetrable swamp of reports, consultations, inquiries, and uncertainty and doubt driven by richly-backed think tanks leaving the lay-person, those who vote for the decision makers unsure of what they should do. Australia stands divided with the country's two major political parties clearly on different ideological paths and using rhetoric often found to be wanting to promote arguments and positions that will ultimately not resolve the dilemma. This interview by Radio National breakfast host, Fran Kelly with shadow climate change and energy minister Mark Butler, illustrates that confidence and the sound of certainty is really just bluster that leaves to the real difficultly untouched.
Jan 20, 2019
Professor David Bowman talks about Tasmania's new Fire Research Hub, and climate change
A rash of lightning storms leading to a swathe of fire outbreaks in Tasmania have been attributed to climate change by the Director of the University of Tasmania's Fire Centre Research Hub, Professor David Bowman. Professor Bowman, the founder of the centre, talked about the work of the new centre with RN Breakfast with the host, Fran Kelly, and surprised many by referring to the upside of the present difficulties experienced in Tasmania as the Australian state wrestles with what Professor Bowman described as the "new reality".
Jan 16, 2019
Trying to understand the privatisation of the prtotection of the Great Barrier Reef
Australia's Great Barrier Reef is huge and public and yet our market-driven coalition government led by Scott Morrison has handed over nearly $500 000 000 to a tiny private company and while doing that has claimed it has made a significant investment in protecting what is Earth's largest living organism. Acting Environment Minister, Senator Simon Birmingham, argued that way during and interview with Radio National's Breakfast host, Cathy Van Extel. Shadow Environment Minister Tony Burke rejected the claims of Senator Birmingham arguing the government's first stop and expense should be in containing, as best it can, climate change.
Jan 14, 2019
Minister declares mass fish die-off 'natural event' that has happened many times before
The mass die-off a fish in the lower Darling River below the Menindee Lakes in New South Wales has been declared by the Federal Agriculture and Water Minister David Littleproud (pictured) as 'natural' and and another example of something which has happened many times before. During a discussion Sabra Lane from Radio National's AM program, the minister called for mature debate predicated on science, which is somewhat out of character for a coalition Minister as our government appears to prefer shrill conversations/arguments completely devoid of facts, particularly those rooted in sciences. Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, said, quite publicly that the die-off of the fish could be attributed to corruption, cotton and climate change.
Jan 14, 2019
Chatting with the 'gadfly' about climate change, capitalism and democratic eco-socialism
University of Melbourne anthropologist, Hans Baer, describes himself as a 'gadfly'. And while that may be true - a gadfly is someone who annoys or criticizes others in order to provoke them into action - Hans cares about the specific and broader welfare of humanity and although he may be annoying, he is absolutely unafraid to call out someone, or something, that he sees is not in the best interests of all people, whatever their role or social position in life.
1 hr 28 min
Jan 11, 2019
Solar panels, my house, air conditioning - heating up the world to cool down
My Shepparton home is about 70 years old, it's weatherboard and was built at a time when sustainability was barely in our vocabulary and while we have made many changes probably the most significant was the installation last year of a five kilowatt solar system, courtesy of Goulburn Valley Community Energy (GVCE). Unfailing accurate advice came from GVCE Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Lodge (pictured), who gave what appears at this point appears to be a conservative estimate on the payback period. The solar panels have delivered as promised cutting our power use from about 26 kilowatts a day to just a handful. Geoff advised against a back-up battery arguing, again with figures, that batteries were not yet financially viable.He did say, however, that they were improving every year, becoming cheaper and would soon be a worthwhile proposition. Our evaporative air-conditioner also draws on power provided by our solar panels and with the present heatwave (three successive days in excess of…
Jan 10, 2019
Corruption, cotton and climate change - damning words from Senartor Sarah Hanson-Young
Darling River fish in their thousands died (more than a million according to some estimates) and many scurried for cover as blame was being attributed to individuals and institutions. Radio National breakfast host Cathy Van Extel explore the drama and talked with Murray Darling Basin Authority chief executive, Phil Glide and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young who said the massive fish kill was the outcome of corruption, cotton and climate change.
Jan 9, 2019
Talking with Toolamba's John Laing about biodiversity and Landcare
Toolamba's John Laing has been volunteering with Landcare since it was established back in the 1980s and when he first bought his small property at the small town the wind was such that he and his wife figured (correctly) that a forest would be a perfect wind break. However, it quickly proved to be more than that as John discovered that as the forest took root and filled his small property, it also become something a biodiversity hot spot and was a wonderful resource for finding the "critters" he could take with him to local schools as part of his display of what lived in our natural world. And, of course, while talking with students about what he had to show, John was able to talk about the importance of the natural world to humans. While John's forest may be a resource for him, and of course for the huge range of critters that call it home, John himself is a important knowledgeable resource for the people of Victoria's Goulburn Valley.
Jan 3, 2019
Learning a little about Sydney's Knitting Nannas
A group of Sydney-based women, which are now apart of a near national movement known as the "Knitting Nannas" is working hard to ensure our fossil fuels, gas,oil and coal, stay in the ground. The Knitting Nannas largely focus their efforts on coal seam gas (CSG) and were founded in June 2012 in response to exploration for unconventionally mined gas in prime agricultural land in the Northern Rivers areas in New South Wales. Here Chris Rumble talks with Climate Conversations about this dedicated band of knitting nannas,
Dec 30, 2018
Castlemaine psychologist Susie Burke talks about climate change
Castlemaine psychologist Susie Burke has a keen interest in climate change and was one of the session leaders at an October conference in Beechworth staged by Farmers for Climate Action. Susie, who is affiliated with Australian Psychology, played a key role in the establishment of the Melbourne-based Psychologists for a Safe Climate and advocates action rather than despair for both individuals and groups when confronted with the complications of climate change.
Dec 12, 2018
Launching "Degrowth in the Suburbs" and talking with Samuel Alexander
Academics, activistists and some "ferals" from the grassroots movement gathered in the Japanese Room at the University of Melbourne's School of Design for the recent launch of the new book, "Degrowth in the Suburbs: A Radical Urban Imaginary" by Samuel Alexander and Brendan Gleeson. MC for the launch was the deputy director of the Melbourne Sustaible Society Institute, Dr Sangeetha Chandra-Shekeran, who introduced both Dr Alexander and Professor Gleeson (who is the director of the MSSI) and the Australian environmental designer, ecological educator, writer and co-originator of the permaculture concept, David Holmgren, who actually launched the book.
1 hr 8 min
Dec 1, 2018
Geraldine Doogue prompts thoughts about climate change and the need for a war footing
A discussion by Geraldine Doogue and John Edwards on Radio National about the acts of former Australian Prime Minister, John Curtin, caused thoughts about combating climate change by approaching the looming apocalyptic difficulty by society, on a world-wide basis, adopting a war-like footing. It's an approach some like, and others dislike, with those supportive of such a position arguing that humanity's survival rests entirely with it taking such proactive position, while many are uncomfortable with the use of militaristic terms. Most of those concerned about the advance of climate change and our apparent inability to slow or stop it, lay the responsibility squarely at the feet of prevailing neo-liberal economy that puts no value on nature, considering it an externality.
Nov 30, 2018
Students strike and take to the streets to protest government's inaction on climate change
Radio National predicted this morning that 6000 students would strike and protest the government's inaction on climate change, but now, late on Friday, November 30, that number is reportedly 15 000,more than double that originally thought to be the high water mark. The students took to the streets in Australia's state capitals, and many regional centres, directly contravening a "father-like" direction from the PM Scott Morrison that the students needed to stay at school and persist with their learning, rather than concerning themselves with matters that could be dealt with outside the schools.
Nov 29, 2018
Matt Canavan sidesteps the climate change question and gives a rhetorical answer
Australia's Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, is, like his coalition counterparts ideologically blind to the reality that the Queensland bushfires and the New South Wales downpours and flooding are examples of climate change at work. This manufactured ignorance of something nearly all the world's climate scientists, and nearly all other thinking people have absolutely no doubt about was front and centre on the same day the Mr Canavan announced that the Adani Carmichael mine and rail project was to go ahead, being self-funded by the Indian company.
Nov 28, 2018
More from the "We Don't Have Time" webinar
The "We don't have time" webinar brought everything into perspective with good advice from the co-vice president of the Club of Rome, Anders Wijkman, the founder of the "We stay on the ground" movement, Maya Rosen, and the executive officer of Scientists Warning, Stuart Scott. Images referred to be Stuart Scott can be found on the We Don't Have Time website.
Nov 25, 2018
We don't have time!
Ingmar Rentzhog founded the "We Don't Have Time" movement in response to the Earth's worsening climate system and a recent "no fly" conference featured a host of speakers, some in person and some who attended virtually, and among those who appeared in person was the co-vice president of the Club of Rome, Anders Wijkman who discussed the importance of addressing climate change. The conference which was also the subject of a webinar that featured several firsts, including the official launch of the song, "We don't have time" that reflects the theme of the movement.
Nov 24, 2018
2018 Peter Rawlinson Conservation Award winner, Todd Dudley, acknowledges his success
Project leader of the Tasmanian North East Bioregional Network, Todd Dudley, was presented with the 2018 Peter Rawlinson Conservation Award at the recent annual general meeting of the Australian Conservation Foundation. More than 100 people were at the Melbourne Town Hall to witness this humble and brave man receive recognition for his endeavours to conserve and preserve the natural beauty that makes Tasmania such a wonderful place.
Nov 24, 2018
Farmers for Climate Action CEO Verity Morgan-Schmidt helps understand more about the organization
Farmers are considered by many to be on the front line of climate change and so through Farmers for Climate Action they are organizing themselves to help each other, and their industry generally, navigate their way through the tangle of challenges our disrupted climate system is presenting in the way of significant changes to Australia's weather patterns. The Chief Executive Officer of the group, Verity Morgan-Schmidt kindly joined "Climate Conversations" to help us better grasp what it is they do and how they go about confronting the emerging difficulties settling upon out nation because of climate change.
Nov 16, 2018
Discussing conservation and climate change with ACF president Mara Bün
Australian Conservation Foundation president, Mara Bün is intensely passionate about the aspirations of the group and that becomes evident in listening to this conversation. Mara is nearing the end of her first year as ACF president with national body's 52nd annual general meeting planned for the night of Friday,November 23 at the Melbourne Town Hall in Swanston St. The foundation wants next year's Federal election to be a "climate election" and intends to initiate one million conversations about the climate before Australians go to the polls. Mara's infectious enthusiasm for conservation is intoxicating and she is hoping that others, whether members of the ACF or not, will join her and so leave our politicians no option but to act positively, and enthusiastically, to stop those dynamics that are worsening the Earth's climate and so putting all aspects of conservation at risk.
Nov 16, 2018
Cheryl Heller talks about using design to create a better world
The Security and Sustainability Forum's webinar - "Intergalactic Design- Applying Social Design to Sustainability" - featured American strategist and designer, Cheryl Hellere who argued that if we thought seriously about the situation we should be able to use the tools we applied to screw us, to unscrew us. Cheryl, who was the founder of the design lab, CommonWise, is presently pursing he PhD in Design at the RMIT University in Melbourne.
Nov 10, 2018
John Pettigrew introduces climate change to candidates dicussions
Just four candidates for the Seat of Shepparton in the November 24 State Election gathered at the La Trobe University Shepparton campus to prosecute their case for election at a "Meet the Candidates" forum organized by Goulburn Murray Social Workers Group. About 60 people were at the forum, chaired by the CEO of the Shepparton-based Family Care, David Tenant. The candidates were the present Member for Shepparton, Suzanna Sheed (Independent), Bill Heath (Labor), Peter Schwartz (Nationals) and Nickee Freeman (Greens). Liberal candidate Cheryl Hammer was an apology. Questions put to the candidate had an obvious social welfare bent, but the direction changed a little when Goulburn Valley Environment Group president, Mr John Pettigrew, who is also president of the Shepparton-based Slap Tomorrow, a group which aims to raise climate change consciousness among locals, asked what the candidates or their parties would do about this world-wide development.
Nov 9, 2018
Repower Health national director Alex Bhatal talks about the group's aspirations
Repower Health is a relatively new organization but its bold goals defy its nascent status - it wants to see the Australian health industry adapt to climate change and play a key role in the mitigation of the causes of the world's disrupted climate system. A group of health professionals is behind Repower Health and here national director, Alex Bhatal, explains what the group does and how it goes about making a more climate friendly health system a reality. The Melbourne launch of Repower Health late in October attracted about 60 people and had the immediate past president of the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, Dr Margaret Beavis, at the master of ceremonies.
Nov 7, 2018
Election 2018 - Shepparton candidates at Victorian Farmers Federation event
All five candidates for the Seat of Shepparton in the November 24 Victorian State Election were brought together to talk about themselves (a little) and expand on what they would do for the Goulburn Valley should they win a seat in the State Parliament. More than 60 people were at the "meet the candidates" event and as it was staged by the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) most in the room were either farmers or people from within the community conscious of the importance of farmers and farming to the economy, Climate change was barely mentioned although most were agitated about water, primarily the lack of it, but few, it appeared to grasp the reality that it was our disrupted climate systems that is the prime driver of water shortages.
Nov 5, 2018
Climate change is the strongest critique of capitalism- Joseph Stiglitz
Nobel-prize winner Joseph Stiglitz will soon be in Australia talking about global poverty and inequality and, of course, the dangers that face us all because of climate change. Stiglitz, who is the closest thing to a "celebrity economist" the world has, sees climate change as the damnation of capitalism and wonders whether the world's economic system is broken. He says: "Wealth begets power, which begets more wealth". Stiglitz is coming to Australia to collect the 2018 Sydney Peace Prize and while here will speak at the National Press Club and at the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne.
Nov 3, 2018
Christopher Browning discusses democracy and climate change
Christopher Browning is the the Frank Graham Professor of History Emeritus from the the University of North Carolina who recently wrote an essay in the New York Review of Books entitled "Suffocation of Democracy". It was in that essay that he discussed the Trump presidency and said that within several decades after the Trump dynamic the looming effects of ecological disaster due to human-induced climate change will be inescapable - "No wall will be high enough to shelter the US from these event," Browning wrote.
Nov 2, 2018
Our national interest should be responding to a climate emergency
Education Minister Dan Tehan has decided he will add a "national interest" clause to the approval of Australian Research Council (ARC) grants. The Minister has justified his decision by point to a few rather esoteric grants and asked whether or not they would pass the pub test, and those grants probably wouldn't pass Mr Tehan's scientific test, but many thins which has advance the state of humanity would never have passed any test if they had first sought public approval before proceeding. The national interest clause simply gives the government the power to promote its ideologies.
Oct 30, 2018
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud visits Shepparton only mentioning climate change when pressed
Australia's Agriculture Minister David Littleproud visited Shepparton today to what was described as a "town-hall meeting". Some 150 people gathered at the Eastbank centre to hear the Minister who had been invited to speak by the Member for Murray, Damian Drum. The Minister obviously had no intention of even mentioning climate change until one fellow in the audience raised the matter and then rushing for cover that most politicians always seek, Mr Littleproud quickly diverted to conversation by giving an answer that had no relevance to the original question. Mr Littleproud, and his parliamentary counterpart, Damian Drum are obviously so bound by government ideology and so locked into the myths that drive its present policies that they are unable to even talk about that Australia, and the rest of the world is facing a climate emergency.
Oct 28, 2018
Privatization will not work and will almost certainly worsen climate change
Privatization is celebrated by many, but at its root this dynamic has played a key role in worsening climate change. Many privatizations protagonists point to the many wonderful things in the modern world and credit them to the private entrepreneur, overlooking the fact that many, if not all the products they claim credit for were the outcome of the hard slog by publicly backed projects. Should the world be in a position to withstand the rigours of climate change, it will need to forego privatization and embrace "public".
Oct 28, 2018
Jay Weatherill talks about South Australia's journey to a renewable-energy future
A packed house at the University of Melbourne's Carrillo Gantner Theatre greeted former South Australian premier,Jay Weatherill, as he gave his first public address since losing his leadership of the SA Government. He was introduced by journalist and, obviously, a Weatherill enthusiast, Adam Morton. The event was hosted by the Australia-German Climate and Energy College; the Australian Wind Alliance, and The Energy Transition Hub, and of course the University of Melbourne.
Oct 27, 2018
Helping repower our health sector with clean, healthy energy
Repower Health was launched in Melbourne last night (October 26) and some 60 people gathered at the central city Fad Gallery for the event. Repower Health is an initiative of Healthy Futures and aims to engage as many health services, clinics and hospitals as possible, encouraging them all to embrace and use some form of safe and renewable energy, primarily solar. The National Director of Repower Health, Alex Bhathal was on of several speakers at the launch.
Oct 27, 2018
The opening stanza of the Farmers for Climate Action conference
Some 230 people were at Beechworth's George Kerford Hotel for the recent "Managing Climate Risk in Agriculture conference staged by Farmers for Climate Action. A powerful array of speakers set the attendees to thinking about how they should respond to climate change and what they could do to mitigate the risk and so ease this quickly emerging dilemma. A series of concurrent sessions touching everything from mental health to building resilience and within that ensuring productivity and then under the guidance of skilled convenors, one group explore what was needed to ensure on-farm energy savings and the best application of renewable energy.
Oct 25, 2018
Lucinda Corrigan closes the Farmers for Climate Action Beechworth conference
Some 230 people were at Beechworth's George Kerford Hotel for the "Managing Climate Risk in Agriculture" conference staged by the Farmers for Climate Acton (FCA) late in October. An impressive array of speakers covered most every aspect of farming in a changing climate from physical risks through to the emotional and mental health of farmers. Most of the presentations would have been sufficient has they been the entire substance of the conference to leave the audience in deep thought, but it was that of MinterEllison corporate lawyer and climate change expert specializing in climate risk, Sarah Barker, who set many to thinking and appeared to empower people.
Oct 25, 2018
Margaret Hender works with CEDAMIA to take the climate emergency idea to Australia
CEDAMIA is a group of volunteers mostly from South Australia and Victoria who busy themselves impressing the idea of a "climate emergency " upon Local and State Governements. One of the leaders of that group is Margaret Hender from Adelaide. Climate Conversations talked with Margaret about the group and explored some of the work it is doing, especially its "No More Bad Investments" program that is focused on what state and territory governments can do to avoid any investments that contribute to the worsening of the world's climate. CEDAMIA, spelt out is Climate Emergency Declaration and Mobilization in Action.
Oct 23, 2018
Richard Denniss discuss the political and enconomic case for targeting fossil fuels
The chief economist from The Australia Institute, Dr Richard Denniss, and a researcher from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Fergus Green, were in the Malaysian Theatre at the University of Melbourne for a forum entirtled, " Targeting fossil fuels: The political and economics case"
Oct 21, 2018
Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick talks with Climate Conversations about heat-waves
Heat-waves are now a better and more understood dynamic thanks to the work of Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick from the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. Sarah discusses not only climate change and heat-waves, but the personal challenges of having children (she already has one daughter and another is one the way) when she knows her children will be living in circumstances quite unlike those we enjoy today - when her eldest daughter is Sarah's age (she's in her early 30s) , she knows the global temperatures will be at least one or two degrees above what they are now. Sarah loves her work and her honesty and candidness is refreshing.
Oct 19, 2018
Talking Beneath the Wisteria about shop-top living in Shepparton
Those who gather Beneath the Wisteria in Shepparton's Maude St Mall each month have long been enthusiasts of shop-top accommodation as the tighter density of our towns and cities will play a key role in helping our urban areas build the resilience they need to negotiate the difficult times ahead as the world's climate worsens. Geoff and Prue Dobson have joined those who have taken the lead in living above a shop and today Geoff said both he and Prue had surprised themselves in how quickly they had settled into their shop-top unit and how much they enjoyed living there, right in the heart of the city. Geoff is a former City of Greater Shepparton Mayor and the present mayor, Cr Kim O'Keeffe was among those who listened to today's conversation.
Oct 16, 2018
Tim Dunlop helps us understand "The Future of Everything"
Most of Tim Dunlop's ideas resonate strongly with those of us concerned about climate change. Tim, from the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne, is a pioneer in political blogging in Australia and with a background in small business and a PhD in political philosophy, writing is natural extension of those aspects of his life and his latest book, with the bold title of "The Future of Everything: Audacious Ideas for Better Life", is a worthy read. Tim's book adds to the understanding of politics and power, something people will need if they are to play useful role in the climate change conversation. Tim is decent and gentle man, two human behaviours that will be essential if humanity is to stand fast amid the quickly emerging changes global warming is bringing to the world.
Oct 14, 2018
Climate Conversations talks with National Party candidate for the Seat of Shepparton, Peter Schwartz
Everyone is surprising - National Party candidate for the State Seat of Shepparton, Peter Schwartz was once an actor and in that role, he once kissed Sigrid Thorton. But those days are past and now he wants to bring National Party values, ideas, philosophies to the district as the Member for Shepparton. Peter is steeped in National Party having been a member for more than two decades, holding almost every office at both State and Federal levels. Here he talks about what is ahead and,of course, his position on climate change.
Oct 12, 2018
My heart skips a beat - climate solutions
Out walking I could see a tradesman's utility parked out side a shop emblazoned with the sign "Climate Solutions" and my heart skipped a beat. Nobody truly understands how we deal with climate change and here was a tradie, one ute and the solution! However, it quickly become clear that the fellow was installing air-conditioning and so he had "weather solutions" not climate solutions. The difference between weather and climate was touched upon by ABC News 24 weatherman, Nate Byrne, at recent University of Melbourne session. Nate was the MC for the panel session, attended by about 300 people.
Oct 11, 2018
In conversation with special counsel, Sarah Barker
Sarah Barker from the Melbourne law firm, MinterEllison, helps corporations and institutional investors manage dynamic environmental, social and governance risks through the corporate governance lens. After a "light bulb" moment a decade or so ago, Sarah has become passionate about helping people better understand the financial and corporate risk associated with climate change. Sarah will be among the impressive array of speakers at a Farmers for Climate Action conference at Beechworth later this month. Sarah was kind enough to share some of her thoughts with "Climate Conversations".
Oct 8, 2018
Suzanna Sheed discusses her first term as the Member for Shepparton and reflects on climate change
Suzanna Sheed's election as an independent to the State Seat of Shepparton was something of a revolution - she was an independent and broke the iron-like grip the National Party had on the electorate. She talks here about what a learning experience that four years has been, how fortunate she has been to represent such a self-starting community and answers a number of questions about what impact climate change has had and will have on the electorate.
Oct 7, 2018
Kim Le Cerf discusses the City of Darebin's Climate Emergency strategy
Melbourne's City of Darebin now has a climate emergency strategy and the city's mayor, Cr Kim Le Cerf talks about where the idea for such a strategy came from, why it was elevated in importance, what it means to the city's ratepayers (its community) and how Cr Le Cerf's fellow councilors intend to make a serious and measurable contribution to tackling climate change and help at least their community do something real and tangible about this quickly emerging difficulty.
Oct 5, 2018
Clare Press talks about her new book, 'Rise and Resist: How to change the world' and on being Vogue's sustainability editor-at-large
The idea of fashion being both ethical and sustainable is at the heart of the new book by Clare Press - "Rise and Resist: How to change the world". The author, journalist and speaker talked with about 100 people at the University of Melbourne after being interviewed by the deputy director of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, Dr Sangetha Chandrashekeran. Clare is thoroughly disappointed by Australia's lack of action on climate change and in voicing that displeasure said "They need a rocket up their ....!".
Oct 3, 2018
Climate Conversations talks with Bill Heath and Josh Hudson
Tatura's Bill Heath is representing Labor in the November Victorian election seeking election to the Seat of Shepparton and Josh Hudson, who set up the Josh Hudson Party to contest the upper house of Northern Victoria, and who is also from Tatura, spoke on Saturday at Shepparton's Beneath the Wisteria and in the past couple of days were both kind enough to spend some time talking with "Climate Conversations" about their values and attitude to climate change.
Oct 1, 2018
Talking with Corey Watts about Farmers for Climate Action
Farmers for Climate Action (FCA) want all agriculturalists to better understand the risks associated with climate change, from a scientific viewpoint, along with the impacts that are legal, financial, how it will impact on individual health and community health, what it will do to the market and how technology can be employed to first, ease the risk and second, help farmers adapt. And to do that the FCA has organized a conference in Beechworth on October 25 that will feature an impressive array of speakers covering all those topics. Corey Watts talks about that event.
Sep 25, 2018
Talking with the founder of Psychology for a Safe Climate, Carol Ride
Psychology for a Safe Climate is a tiny group of people, just eight, and the founder, Carol Ride, was generous enough to share a little about the group with Climate Conversations. Carol's group is busy promoting and staging its own regular workshops and has been increasingly asked to stage similar events at other bodies and institutions throughout Victoria stretching the group's already slim resources. Carol said he group has answered the call to interstate workshops, buty the demands to do that are such that efforts are now being made to find volunteers in other capoital cities who could underrtake work that Carol, and others in her group see as vital.
Sep 22, 2018
Gabrielle Chan talks with Climate Conversations about 'Rusted Off'
Political reporter and author, Gabrielle Chan was in Shepparton today to talk about her recently released book: "Rusted Off: Why Country Australia is Fed Up". Gabrielle had always been a Sydney/Canberra person until she fell in love with a farmer and moved to the small New South Wales trown of Harden and it was those people, along with others from throughout the district, that were a wonderul source of information for the book. And so armed with what she had learned on her political rounds, spiced with what she had learned from country Australians, she wrote 'Rusted Off" findinf out along the way that many people are deeply concerned about climate change.
Sep 19, 2018
Chatting with John P. C. Gray
John Gray has been a part of the Goulburn Valley since the 60s and has always worked to make this a better, stronger and happier community. John came here as a school teacher and through an interest to make Mooroopana a better place ended up on the then Rodney Shire Council and then, after amalgamation, with the City of Greater Shepparton. Even though almost an octogenarian, he is still to be seen doing what he can to solve issues that prick his acute social conscience.
Sep 18, 2018
Panels on roofs and batteries in sheds for Euroa - Shirley Saywell
The Federal Government, according to Shirley Saywell, Euroa Environment Group president, is trying to pretend the problem her town faces, along with many others, doesn't exist. She argues that not only is the government sitting on its hands, but it has ignored the problem facing small towns, and larger communities throughout Australia. Shirley's group is behind the $6 million grassroots project to install 589 kilowatts of new solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, and up to 400 kilowatts of new batteries. It will work with Mondo Power and Globird Energy as well as 14 businesses within the town.
Sep 18, 2018
Approval contradicts sustainability goals
The City of Greater Shepparton has given the go ahead to a Cosgrove farmer to remove 26 trees and nearly two hectares of remnant vegetation - the approval contradicts council's sustainability goals. It was pointed out at a recent meeting of council, at which the approval was given the go ahead, that the trees in question are probably two to three hundred years old.
Sep 17, 2018
Talking with Country News Editor, Geoff Adams
Country News Editor Geoff Adams was kind enough to talk with Climate Conversations about the Goulburn Valley's rural industry and how his newspaper was approaching and reporting on the issue of climate change. Geoff had many positive things to say about farmers and how they are responding to somewhat unknown challenges emerging from a changing climate. He argued that although many items in Country News may not have been blatantly about climate change, they were in fact about farmers adapting to the different demands faced today in farming.
Sep 15, 2018
Greens candidates talk to 'Climate Conversations'
About 20 members of the Greens Party meet in Shepparton to formally endorse Nickee Freeman and it brought to town a few influential Greens members, including upper house candidate, Nicole Rowan, the candidate for the Seat of Shepparton, Nickee Freeman, and Nakita Thomson, formerly of Shepparton but now studying in Bendigo, who will contest the Bendigo East Seat. Today Climate Conversations talked with both Nakita and Nickee.
Sep 14, 2018
Living in 50 degree cities
Just today a session on Radio National's Blueprint for Living, hosted by Jonathan Green was about living in and coping with 50-degree cities and his two guests were an Associate Professor from the Department of Geography at the University of Hawaii Manoa, Camilo Mora, and an Associate Professor from International Planning at RMIT University, Marco Amati. The discussion was about the challenges of how we live, and cope, and adapt to surviving and thriving in what will soon become the new normal
Sep 13, 2018
Suggestions there is a debate about climate change offends
The idea that there is a debate about climate change offends me. A debate suggests there is uncertainty; uncertainty, where there is none as the evidence pointing toward Earth’s disturbed climate system, is indisputable, humans, that’s you and I, have modified the weather envelope that assures us of the Goldilocks-like conditions (not too hot, not too cold) that have allowed us to thrive. We are locked in a weird conundrum and sadly it is the ideology and rhetoric of the business as usual brigade that is holding sway, at least here in Australia.
Sep 13, 2018
Hearing about greener cities, healthier and more productive people
Associate professors Thomas Astell-Burt and Xiaoqi Weng from the Wollongong University's "Powerlab" talked yesterday at the Melbourne City campus of RMIT University about "Greener Cities, healthier lives". The pair used a barrage of information drawn from research illustrating that people lived better lives, being healthier when towns and cities were greener and cooler, two essential aspect towns and cities need to embrace as our world warms.
Sep 11, 2018
Hearing from the Committee for Greater Shepparton CEO, Sam Birrell
Just today I sat down with Committee for Greater Shepparton CEO, Sam Birrell, and asked him some questions about what his committee understands about climate change and what it will do to help people from the Goulburn Valley survive and thrive in what will be a decidedly different future. Sam's comments suggest he and his committee have some grasp of this unfolding reality but apparently are somewhat unaware of the rapid advance of climate change.
Sep 10, 2018
A 'dark and dangerous future' is being built on Melbourne's northern fringes
Visiting Melbourne's Tullamarine airport today from Victoria's northern parts, the entry and exit were via Donnybrook and Mickleham Roads and the sight was alarming. The housing and commercial developments are energy-rich, car bound and dependent entirely upon fossil fuels, the root cause of climate change. The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has said we must rapidly shift from our dependence on fossil fuels by 2020 to prevent "runaway climate change".
Sep 5, 2018
Discussion with innovator, author and curator, Taylor Tran
Innovation was explored in Shepparton on Wednesday when author/curator, Taylor Tran, spoke at "Innovation Shepparton", an event organized by Liz Connick from Your Project Partner. Taylor explored the many technological aspects of the new directions of business and helped those attending better understand how they could incorporate those new ideas into their businesses. He once worked for the "Darkside"(an oil company), but is now conscious of the need to lead and live a more sustainable life.
Sep 4, 2018
Discussion with Nobel Laureate, Peter Doherty
Peter Doherty is acutely aware of his limitations regarding climate change, but despite that has a much better than average understanding than most of the concepts and behaviours that lead to the worsening of our clmate. Being a man of medicine he is concerned about "life" and would love to see "someone" take some positive steps to slow what is going to be a major event, or a series or cascading events, for humanity. Peter is a lovely man and so it is worth listening to this conversation.
Sep 2, 2018
A visit to Renewable Newstead
The small central Victorian town of Newstead has really "lifted the bar" and in fact is doing all the heavy lifting for small towns eager to travel down the renewablle energy path. The committee behind the idea is now just a few years into its project and yesterday launched the brochure "Small town, big switch" to the appluase of about 100 people at the town's community centre. The group, "Renewable Newstead" anticipates switching to 100 percent, locally generated renewable energy in a commercially viable and socially acceptable way.
Aug 31, 2018
Talking with architect/ builder John Lockyer
Tallarook architect, bulider, adventurer, and educator Peter Lockyer spoke at Tatura's Community House about "Passive solar, living with less". Peter helped people how they could understand better ways to save energy through having a clear understanding of passive solar design. He talked about designing a new home and retrofitting an existing home, something he had an example of, showing what he had done with an older home in Seymour.
Aug 30, 2018
Living in an echo chamber, and worried
Today's podcast features two stories, the first from ABC News by Kate Doyle referring to a Bureau of Meteorology climate outlook forcast that is undenierably grim; the second, is from The Washington Post by Sarah Kaplan and it is headeed "Climate change could render many of Earth's eco systems unreconizable.
Aug 29, 2018
What's happening with Climate Change news
A brief look at the latest posts on Beneath the Wisteria, which can be found at beneaththe wisteria.blogspot.com. News about climate change was once scarce, now it is pretty much evderywhere.
Aug 28, 2018
The beginning and the reasons for Climate Conversations
Inaction from the PM down and the sheer not knowing of many people about the difficitlies we face compounds this and I was convinced that it was important I do whatever I could to help people better understand the difficulties we face as climate change worsens and the resultant implications get further beyond our control, in fact we are already past the often mentioned "tipping point" and changes to the our weather are "baked in".