Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Environmentality, 26th June 2013

Hello Environmentality listeners,

After some technical difficulties, we finally got into contact with Cam Walker from Friends of the Earth. Friends of the Earth is a membership based organization that engages in environmental issues. Friends of the Earth integrate human rights with environmental issue to try to achieve good outcomes for both the community and environment. Active around the world, Friends of the earth has groups in more than 70 countries. We chatted to Cam about climate change refugees, the east-west tunnel and wind power politics.

Courtesy of Friends of the Earth 

The current UN convention for refugee classifies refugees as people affected by War. However the Friends of the Earth believe that there is another category of refugees the convention overlooks; people forced from their homes due to climate change. Many of the climate change refugee comes from low lying countries and islands that are particular vulnerable to any changes to their climate due to their on agriculture and fishing industries. Furthermore, many of these countries also do not have the resources to adapt to the impacts of climate change. “They are in the front line"; it will be the some of the poorest people in the world that will be greatly impacted. The majority of global warming created by rich nations, and as such it is this carbon debt that is causing the problem. Hence it is reasonable that developed nations accept their responsibilities and start planning for climate change refugees. Rather than rewriting the current UN refugee convention, Cam highlights that a new agreement should be created.

With the Chinese shift towards renewable energies and Obama’s recent statement about climate change, is it possible that there is a global shift towards global collaborative climate change action? It may be too early to say at the moment, but signs are definitely hopeful. With China and the US taking a stronger position on climate change, is it likely that other nations will now be willing to take action?

We quickly also chatted to Cam about the east-west tunnel. Money should be invested into improving public transport and supporting people reliance on public transport. To read Kenneth Davidson’s article that was mentioned on the show, click here.  Cam shares Environmentalities sentiment about the lack of government supporting wind power; the current state government’s laws excluding wind energy and preference for coal over renewable energies.

Don't forget to listen to the podcast!

Some Tracks played
The Rubens- Don’t Ever Want to be Found
David Bridie- Wake
Mark Moroney- Circles
Major Chord- Everything is Everything

Cat Empire- Steal the light   

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Environmentality, 19th June 2013

Hello Environmentality listeners,

Our resident gardening expert, Jodie, returned this week after a long absence. It was certainty good to have Jodie back! Ahmed, Jaime and Fola chatted to Jodie about what we can do in the garden during winter.

Just because it is cold outside doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be out in the garden, there’s still plenty to do. It’s bare rooted season so we should be planting things like potatoes, garlic, root vegetables, turnips, parsnips, cabbage, Asian greens and peas. Jodie’s recommendation if you’re confused, “think soups”. Winter time is also a great time to be preparing the ground with lots of organic matter, putting down mulch around the vegie patch and fruit trees.   

Some councils also provide free mulching. More about Hume City Council’s free mulch day can be found here.

Thinking about starting a new garden? Jodie suggests winter is the good time to start; it’s cool and not too hot to be working outside. Now is also a good time for green manures (putting organic matter into the soil). You can go to your local farm supplies and get some broad beans. Once germinated, once they are knee height you can turn it into the soil to be broken down for spring.

First step for first time gardeners, if you’re unsure about your soil, check the pH levels. pH kits can be found at your local garden stores or you can make your own from red cabbage! And don’t be afraid of clay, clay is full of minerals that are fantastic for the soil. To break up the clay, composting and cultivating with green matter.

A rainy, there’s still lots we can do. Think outside the box! Here’s Jodie’s list:
  • Tool maintenance: sharpening, cleaning and oiling
  • Process your seed: sorting and milling
  • Work on your garden diary: take notes on your garden every now and then
  • Stare out the window: reflect on your garden

Jodie’s advice if you’re busy? Everyone can do 15 mins to 30 mins in the garden every day.

To hear all of Jodie’s great advice, don’t forget to listento the podcast!

Tracks Played:
Smooth Criminal - Alien Ant Farm
Tell me how it ends- Bernard Fanning
Departures- Bernard Fanning
Circles- Mark Moroney  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Environmentality, 12 June 2013

Hello Environmentality listeners,

One thing we had never done on Environmentality was a pre-recorded interview. On this day Fola and Jaime ticked that milestone off our list, it was a very decent effort despite Jaime's initial (and unsuccessful) attempts to pretend the interview was live.

The main feature of this pre-recorded segment was a very interesting chat about Geothermal Power with Michael O'Connell, an engineer, lecturer and environmental educator who volunteers with the Alternative Technology Association’s International Projects Group.

Michael O'Connell, courtesy of Leader Newspapers
Michael proved to be a knowledgeable and engaging guest, so it did not surprise us when we learnt that he also hosts a gardening show on WGRN and has his own blog, Six Gorillas.

Unfortunately on the day we were experiencing some technical difficulties and as you will be able to notice if you listen to the podcast, the sound quality is less than ideal. Despite this, I still think it's worth listening to what Michael had to say!

Listen to the podcast!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Environmentality, 5 June 2013

Hello Environmentality listeners,

Today we had another pleasant conversation with an old friend of Environmentality, John Merory. John is a neurologist and a committed environmentalist and he agreed to spend some time with us talking about sustainability and transport.

From the conversation it was clear that John has spent a huge amount of time thinking about this issue, and thanks to this we managed to cover quite a lot of ground. Some of the topics discussed included the environmental and health impacts of fossil fuels based transport, pros and cons of helmet laws, the controversial East-West road link or the potential introduction of a congestion tax in Melbourne.

John Merory - courtesy of the Heidelberg Leader newspaper
As people can imagine, John is a passionate advocate of the humble bicycle (as he put it, by far the most energy efficient mode of transport ever invented)  as a mode of transport, and we also talked about the need to provide infrastructure to support increasing bicycle usage (green ways, more train services).

One of the things I will take away from our conversation was John's explanation about how inefficient conventional cars are (in his words, only about 1% of the fuel is used to transport the person travelling when one person is in the car), and his clear account of the health impacts of this mode of transport through  reduction of physical ability.

The tracks we heard were:

Black boy / The Medics and Bunna Lawrie
How to see through fog / The Drones
Quasimodo's dream / Gotye and Perfect Tripod
A man like that / The Transatlantics

I hope this is enough for you to decide to listen to the podcast!
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