Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Environmentality 28 March 2012

Dear Listeners,

Smokey and Bridget coveredsome serious matters today, including the Fukushima disaster, but as Smokey said on the show, matters that are important tohear.

Firstly, both presenters are very disappointed to learn that the Victorian State Government has pulled back on the 20% carbon emissions reduction target for Victoria over the next decade, set by the previousLabour government.

The State government claimsthe 20% emission target was out of line with the Federal government's 5%emissions reduction target. The State government also claim they have to spend a few billion to buy the carbon offsets overseas.

Hazelwood Power Station, Victoria

These claims negatethe original intention of the target. Bridget notes Victoria is the dirtiest state in Australia due toits heavy reliance on coal. It hosts one of the highest polluting power stations in the world in Hazelwood. Victoria should be doingits fair share of reducing carbon emissions.

Australia has the potential to do more towards reducingemissions, this includes Victoria. As Smokey said, Australia is sunny, windy, completely surrounded by oceans for tidalpower and has untapped geothermal potential. Australia could be a world leader in setting higher targetsfor reducing carbon emissions.

In the second half ofthe show, Smokey and Bridget spoke to Dr Jim Green, National Nuclear Campaigner of Friends of the Earth. DrGreen updated listeners on details of the Fukushima disaster, one year on. The Fukushima disaster consistedof natural disasters, the terrible earthquake and tsunami. Reports have found the nucleardisaster is man made.

If the nuclear back-up generators had been safeguarded with a simple protection mechanism, the Fukushimagenerators would not have flooded! The Japanese people are very angry. The protection mechanism only neededsimple engineering, as an example the Friends of the Earth alone could have facilitated this over a weekend.

Fukushima 1

Many aspects to thenuclear disaster are depressing. Dr Green shared details of recurrent safety concerns about Japanese nuclearfacilities over time, resettlement issues of the people in and aroundFukushima, and the poor wellbeing of the Fukushima people in the aftermath ofthe disaster. You can find out more information on the Friends of the Earth website:

In the news currently we find Australia willing to have an increased number of US nuclear submarines visiting Western Australia. Dr Green says that this is an example of Australia not being serious about nuclear disarmament. The position of Australia having a nuclear military alliance with the US is unlikely to change.

Smokey and Bridget also talked about energy. In light of the Fukushimadisaster, countries around the world are abandoning or scaling back nuclearpower. Many countries will instead use fossil fuels, not the answer to combatclimate change.

Which brings us back to Smokey’s original point about how Australia should use its own naturalresources and environment to meet its energy needs, investing in technologies like geothermal or solarthermal. Importantly though, the transition to renewables needs to be properly planned and managed well.

Thankyou again to Bridget for joining the radio team and showcasing your broadcasting talents! If you missed this thought provoking show, you can download it here.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Environmentality 21 March 2012

Dear Listeners,

We had a very exciting show last week, with the wonderful Bridget joining the radio team for the first time!  Jaime and Bridget were delighted to interview two guests, Gavin Webber an award winning blogger, and Jacinta Clearey, Editor of ReNew magazine.

Have you ever had an epiphany? One of those rare moments in life that set you on an entirely new course? Gavin Webber had an epiphany after watching Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, feeling incredible anger, guilt and personal responsibility about climate change.  Gavin was strongly compelled to lower his own carbon footprint around the home. Gavin's blog has followed this journey.

The 'Greening of Gavin' blog as had almost 750,000 viewers, with around half of these being overseas hits. Gavin has shared how the simplest of changes at home can result in improved energy efficiency and self-sufficiency.  Simple changes like turning off light switches.  Gavin has transformed his home and garden to have veggie garden beds, fruit trees, chooks, a greenhouse and is fully solar powered.

What is most inspiring to others is that Gavin lives an ordinary suburban family life, on an average sized block, and works a 9 to 5 job. Yet, he has made remarkable changes and is inspiring others to do the same.  It's not too late to make a difference!  The blog won ‘Best Sustainable Blog’ by the Alternative Technology Association's (ATA) magazine RenEw.

You can find Gavin’s blog here:

Back again to RenEw magazine, Jaime and Bridget were also thrilled to speak to its editor in the second half of the show, Jacinta Clearey.   ReNew is a quarterly ‘DIY sustainability magazine’.

Jaime and Bridget admire the articles in RenEw, in that they are practical and have a good story behind them to engage readers.  Like for example, the story about Gavin and his blog, who shares his philosophy and actions.   

In the current edition, RenEw comes with an updated look, aiming to be easier to read and more enjoyable for readers.   RenEw features articles on a range of topics like sustainable design, DIY ideas, energy efficiency and more. 

You can find out more on the website

If you missed our show you can listen to the podcast.   We hope you will join us next time as we speak to a representative from the Friends of the Earth about the impact of the Fukushima disaster, one year on. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Environmentality 14 March 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Do you want to learn more about indigenous plants? How to compost and run a successful worm farm? Energy efficiency in the home? The Hume City Council are running a fantastic range of environmental workshops over autumn.  Jaime and Smokey spoke with guest Simon Finnigan, the Sustainability Education Officer from the Hume City Council to find out more. 

The workshops are part of the Live Green program of the Hume City Council.  And wonderful for the public, they are free.   Ranging from sustainable gardening, cycling, conservation planting, ‘green film’ nights, wildlife photography and many others!  The workshops are usually held on a Wednesday or a Saturday (with some exceptions).

There was a lot of chatter in the show about the thought provoking monthly 'green films' being aired and the delicious culinary related workshops.

In particular, Smokey is excited about the home brew workshop for non-alcoholic ginger beer.   Real, quality ginger beer is a personal favourite!   Jaime is keen to attend the cheese making workshop, and wonders, is it a process that can be integrated into his weekly domestic schedule alongside bread making?

The workshops are, let us mention again, free!   You can find out more about the program and how to register for the Hume City Council Environment Workshops here:

Staff from the Hume City Council are happy to answer any questions you may have about the workshops, call 9205 2200.

Listen to the podcast if you missed the show.  Otherwise, we look forward to you joining us next week!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Environnmentality 7 March 2012

Dear Environmentality listeners,

Jaime hosted a decidedly chilled-out show today, dedicating the first half hour to playing some music.

Jaime does miss Smokey… and he puts out a call to the community. Are there any budding radio presenters who would like to join in and be part of the show? Also, the Environmentality team would love to receive feedback from listeners on any aspect of the program, feel free to contact us on either of these matters.

Later in the show, Jaime welcomed Dan Atkins, co-founder and host of Sustainability Drinks to talk about his monthly events.