Thursday, October 30, 2014

Environmentality 29 October 2014, Dr Stephen Bygrave, CEO, Beyond Zero Emissions

Well what can be said about this week’s show… Brilliant, informative, intelligent, inspiring and at the same time, devastating. Here’s why:
This week we were fortunate enough to be speaking with Beyond Zero Emissions CEO, Dr Stephen Bygrave. For those unaware of or unfamiliar with Beyond Zero Emission (BZE), they are a not-for-profit research and education organisation doing fantastic work designing and implementing a zero emissions economy for Australia. The organisation oozes ambition but it is more than just their vision that makes this organisation stand out. Their ongoing partnership with the University of Melbourne Energy Research Institute has produced a number of high quality plans, reports and publications provided free of charge through their website

On the show this week we had a good discussion with Stephen about BZE’s most recent release Land Use: Agriculture and Forestry which details how emissions from agriculture and forestry can be reduced to zero net emissions. Following this discussion, we moved onto the Stationary Energy Plan detailing how 100% renewable energy is both achievable and affordable and can be done within 10 years. We finished the show discussing the High Speed Rail report which is a fully detailed feasibility study into a high speed rail service between Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney-Brisbane.

All this discussion was “brilliant, informative, intelligent, inspiring” and those who were listening live I’m sure would agree. Now the “devastating” part of this week’s show is that the recoding has been lost, and by lost I mean it was never recorded due to a problem with the radio stations data logger which we discovered during our post show high fives and back patting. After some tears, we managed to pull ourselves together and be grateful for the opportunity to speak with Dr Stephen Bygrave and the benefits that brought to the live audience. Unfortunately our blog subscribers and podcast downloaders will miss this gem UNLESS someone out there in the wide world who reads this blog managed to record the show? Please let us know.

All I can suggest is that you get onto the BZE website, have a look through the work they have already produced, follow BZE on twitter and Facebook and spread the word about this organisation as they will be in the headlines more and more over the coming months and years.
Some links worth having a look through:
Agriculture and Forestry: hidden emissions, solutions in plain sight. An article by our guest Stephen published in RenewEconomy last week.
High-speed rail: Australia could build network for more than $30 billion less, according to Beyond Zero Emissions. A great article appearing on summarising the report and all the latest developments when it comes to potential implementation.
The freedom revolution to kill power bill confusion. Another piece by our guest Stephen published in Climate Spectator in July. This article provides the background to an initiative of BZE called Energy Freedom, check it out!
Next week on the show we will be having a chat with Greens candidate for Broadmeadows, Jaime De Loma.

Music Tracks from this week:
Heart Out by The 1975

You Give Me Something by Jamiroquai

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Environmentality 22 October 2014, Jane Garrett, Labor member for Brunswick & Colleen Hartland, Greens member for Western Metropolitan

As we ramp up to the State election on the 29th November, we are going to start hearing and reading a whole heap in the media,  a lot of promises, argumentative debate back and forth, he said she said, policy releases…you know, all the normal stuff. That’s why it is great to have a chat one on one with some of the local members and candidates to find out a little bit about who they are and what they stand for without too much of the official politics involved.

This week on Environmentality we were fortunate enough to have Jane Garrett and Colleen Hartland generously donate some of their time to us and all our listeners. We spoke separately with each for around 20 minutes and covered some interesting and topical issues such as Victorian (anti)wind-farm laws and the east-west link. If you missed the show, you can listen here to find out what our guests had to say.
Jane Garrett is a member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), the current member for Brunswick (lower house) and is running as a candidate for the 2014 state election. Colleen Hartland is a member of the Australian Greens, current member for Western Metropolitan (upper house) and is running as a candidate for the 2014 election. We wish them both all the best.

If you are feeling a bit left out of the political loop or just want to get a better grip of the environmental issues of importance facing Victoria at present you'll find some useful links below. Please feel free to add your own links or provide any comment!
The ABC website has a full list of electorates and candidates as well as some interesting tools like a calculator to predict who will win and a breakdown of the key seats.

Check out the Environment Victoria website for a thorough look through the environmental problems, the solutions, the actions as well as the providing a top 10 priority list for environmental policies for Victoria.
Vic Labor flags state-based renewable target if Fed folds – With clear environmental and financial benefits of renewable energy investment including more jobs, it looks like parties with pro-renewables position are going to have an electoral advantage. Victoria’s current lack of government led support for renewables is at odds with the 71% of Victorians who support state government policies that encourage renewables.

The East West Link…what can we say here…Just do a search on this topic and you will find many aspects of this issue hotly under debate. Just to name a few, there is the secrecy surrounding the business case and it’s non-disclosure, huge spending on a road rather than public transport, environmental impacts of construction as well as encouraging more cars, trucks and air pollution and emissions that come with it, compulsory acquisition of housing to construct, waiting 3 years then cannot wait another 8 weeks until after election to sign the deal, a undisclosed cancellation amount ($$) written into the contracts in case the opposition form government and can the project. From an environmental point of view, this project will be a disaster and another clear example of government being blind to the social, environmental and economic benefits of steering away from road infrastructure in favour of public transport.
Next week on the show Dr Stephen Bygrave, CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions will be coming in to the studio to have a chat with us about the work of the organisation, we are super excited for this one. Check out their website before the show to get an idea of the kind of innovative, inspirational, ground-breaking work and reports they are delivering to the public and Government.
Music tracks from this week:
Rip Rip Woodchip by John Williamson
Geronimo by Sheppard
From Little Things Big Things Grow by Paul Kelly

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Environmentality 15 October 2014, Jodi Jackson, My Everyday Garden
This week on My Everyday Garden, Jodi shared her wisdom on seed saving your winter crops, how to best use your worm juice or weed tea for growing seedlings and what to plant in your garden to bring bees and biodiversity. AND as always, we covered and discovered many more interesting topics along the way thanks to our regular tangents and digression, oops. Listen to the podcast to catch up with what Jodi had to share.
One of the things from the show I wanted to pick up here was the discussion around the Spanish Ramallet tomatoes. Tomàtiga de Ramellet are from the Mallorca region and have a thicker skin and a pasty flesh and in Spain are commonly strung by hand and hung to dry. The tomatoes can then last for long periods and are actually used all year round, usually after the more common tomatoes have finished their season and have been used up. I want to put a call out to our listeners and readers to ask whether someone is growing Ramallet tomatoes here in Australia? If you are or know someone who is, please post the details or let us know on the next show with Jodi on Wednesday 19th November. It would be interesting to know and maybe we could do some seed sharing!!

On the topic of bringing diversity to your garden, we spoke last month about insect hotels and I shared on the blog a few images for those, like me, who had not seen them before. After chatting with Jodi off air this week I discovered that Jodi actually makes these creative insect habitats herself so feel free to contact us during next week’s show for any advice otherwise head to Jodi’s etsy page to see what they’re all about.

If you would like something in particular covered by Jodi, please let us know by posting a comment below. Alternatively, contact us when Jodi is on next (Wednesday 19th November) via text on 0 44 77 77 989 or via twitter using @enviro_pod or #environmentality.

Next week on the show we will be talking environmental policies with candidates for the upcoming State election. Jane Garrett, ALP, current member for Brunswick electorate(lower house) and Collen Hartland, Greens, current member for western metropolitan electorate (upper house).

Music Tracks:
Steal The Light by The Cat Empire
Tombs by Hiatus
I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate by Cecile McLorin
All Of Me by John Legend

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Environmentality 8 October 2014, Simon O'Connor, CEO, Responsible Investments Association Australasia

Question: Why don’t you invest in a responsible and ethical superannuation fund?

Answer: Well, I’ve worked all my life to get some money into my super and I don’t want to be left behind, I don’t want to lose out on my grand plans for retirement… I want the larger and more reliable returns from sticking with the proven performers.
Hmmm… you may want to read on!! “For 13 years the Responsible Investments Association Australasia has been producing a report that assesses the industry including its size, growth and performance of both responsible/ethical funds and the mainstream funds. What has been shown over the last 13 years is that responsible and ethical funds have been outperforming the market (ASX300 index & the average conventional funds) in nearly all time horizons and nearly all investment classes.” Simon O’Connor, CEO of Responsible Investments Association Australasia on the show this week.

This week is a must listen (listen here) and although I think we might be preaching to the converted here, I recommend heading to the Responsible Investments Association Australasia (RIAA) website to get your head around what it means to invest responsibly and ethically. It is a great resource for those looking to find out some more info on this topic, and there is probably more to it than what you first think.
If anything, when looking into moving your investments, whether that be you bank savings, your super, your investment portfolio, make sure you look for the Certified Responsible Investment logo. The Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) is the peak body for professionals working in responsible investment so you can be sure that if it’s certified by RIAA it’s has been thoroughly checked out and ticks all the right box’s, and that applies to financial advisers too.

Links from this week’s show:
On the show this week we discussed a recent piece written by our guest Simon which appeared in The Guardian, Beyond Politics: how finance can influence climate change in Australia.

China coal consumption down 23% as more funds dump fossil fuels. Some key points from this article include a long list of public and private institutions, organisations and groups moving away from fossil fuel investments, a common myth used by fossil fuel linked industries around losses to retirement savings and also the issue of moving out of fossil fuel in favour of nuclear…is this still responsible and ethical? A question I would have liked to ask Simon. What do you think?

Vested interests cutting down clean energy, resisting change. As the title suggests this piece shines a light on the great progress that the clean energy sector has been making in recent years and the current moves to halt progress, including the overtly biased Warburton review of the RET. If the RET is weakened, it will effectively transfer $10 billion from renewable energy generators back to fossil fuel generators.

Hopefully you are still reading and not bored completely by this stuff but I for one find the topic of responsible/ethical/renewable investment not only interesting but I think it is the crucial link we need to promote in order to achieve the rapid positive environmental change required to keep climate change in check.
On next week’s show we have our resident gardening expert Jodi Jackson in the studio. Tune in live to 98.9 North West FM or download the Tunein or North West FM app and search for us on there!

Unfortunately, the music tracks were omitted this week due to time constraints, however Simon did provide some suggestions before the show which we will play over the coming weeks! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Environmentality 1 October 2014, Megan Williams & Emily Gayfer, Friends of the Earth volunteers and Yes2Renewables campaigners

Do you support good air quality, a strong manufacturing and technology industry, phasing out fossil fuel energy generation, jobs and investment in Victoria, reducing peak energy demand and associated costs, climate change solutions, energy security? Then say Yes2Renewables!

Megan Williams and Emily Gayfer, volunteers with Friends of the Earth and the Yes2Renewables campaign spoke with us today about the campaign, national and state renewable energy policy and a study they are currently undertaking looking into the impacts on employment opportunities if the suggested changes to the RET come into effect.
The Yes2Renewables campaign is run by the volunteers at Friends of the Earth (Melbourne) and is pushing for more favourable renewable energy policy to come out of the coming state election. Two of the primary objectives of the campaign are to reinstate the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) and removal of the current anti-wind farm laws. The current state Government (and federal Government for that matter) seems intent on stunting growth in the renewables sector and instead are fostering their out-dated interests in fossil fuels. Let's not forget that the burning, mining and export of coal has been a major factor in Australia's prosperity in the last 50 years or so, however it's time to move on. The technology is here, the community demand is loud and clear and hey, even the economic benefit is now waving it's hand and perhaps the biggest motivator which often gets lost is the environmental benefit. We can no longer claim ignorance on the environmental damage that burning fossil fuel brings with all the evidence now presented so let's all spread the word and get some action from our governments. Listen to the show here to hear some great discussion on all this and more.

We also got the goss on a rockin’ fundraiser for Yes2Renewables “ROCK 4 RENEWABLES” this Sunday 5th October at The Gasometer Hotel. Plenty of bands lined up already so get on board if you want to get renewable energy on the election agenda or even if you’re just in the mood for some live music!
On the note of fundraising, I would like to say that we have had the privilege of speaking with many employees and volunteers alike who do great work for not-for-profit organisations. These organisations rely on generous donations from people like you and I so why not pick and cause go for it.

A few useful links from this week’s show:
Candidates Forum: ‘we’re in the business of growingrenewable energy’ say Vic Labor – Yes2Renewables
China shows there’s more to renewable energy than fightingclimate change – The Conversation
Victorian Greens will today unveil a policy to reinstate theRET – Weekly Times Now
How does the Renewable Energy Target affect your powerbills? – The Conversation

On next weeks’ show we have Simon O’Connor, CEO of Responsible Investment Association Australia. Tune in live to 98.9 North West FM or download the Tunein or North West FM app and search for us on there!
This week’s music selection:
Gorecki by Lamb
Joga by Bjork
Padlock and Chain (Peabody Coal) by The Lurkers
James by Pat Metheny
Me At The Museum, You At The Wintergardens by Tiny Ruins

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