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Podcast: 'The Sustainable Hour' - 7 June 2023

Posted By  
Friday June 16 2023
19:00 PM

On 7th June 2023, Liz spoke with Mik and Tony from "The Sustainable Hour" podcast.

It is an hour long discussion, here is the link and some info below!

Thanks to Mik and Tony for creating space for a very 'real' conversation! 



Our guest in The Sustainable Hour on 7 June 2023 is eco-military theorist Dr Liz Boulton, who centers climate and environmental issues as a primary security threat for Australia. She is currently a research affiliate at the Oxford University’s Climate and Insecurity Project.

Calling out our armed forces for not focussing on a proactive response to the climate crisis we face has taken its toll on Liz. Like any “whistleblower”, people who don’t want things to change are keen to shut voices such as Liz’s down. She calls for support to counteract this, and during the interview Liz gives us some guidance on how this can be done.

Liz’s concept for how to enact a large-scale climate and ecological emergency response is called Plan E, for Plan Earth. It was published by the US Marine Corps University Press in 2022, and we talked with Liz about it in July 2022 in The Sustainable Hour no. 421.

Liz talks about the results from war-gaming Plan E with ASEAN post-graduate students at the Australian National University in April 2023 – an event which gained media coverage with a lengthy article by News Corp media.

Liz also discusses narrative control in Australian security policy. She calls it ‘The Narrative Battle’. Since Plan E was published, there has been keen interest from U.S. and United Kingdom institutions. In Australia however – although good-willed individuals have created some opportunities – overall 2022 saw ardent efforts to silence the Plan E concept, Liz says. Her plan has allegedly been deemed controversial as it includes the fossil fuel industry in its threat analysis because they are causing harmful climate effects.

All key formal Australian climate policy groups such as the Climate Council, the ANU Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions, the Australian Climate Security Leaders Group and the various Women, Peace and Security groups as well as most mainstream media have turned their backs on it.

Liz suspects powerful groups with vested interest have to some extent appropriated or infiltrated these key policy bodies. In frustration, late last year she self-published a small book of poems called ‘Cancelled Woman‘. She has also written on female veteran suicide.

Liz will speak for 10 minutes at an upcoming peace rally in Geelong, prior to the film screening of David Bradbury’s film “The Road to War”, see details of this event and links to Plan E below.

. . .

The words REVOLUTION and REVOLUTIONARY figure prominently at the start of today’s show. Firstly in a brief clip from the former head of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. It’s “Time to generate a clean energy revolution,” he told the World Economic Forum in Davos in Switzerland in 2011. “It may sound strange to speak of revolution,” he said. “But that is what we need at this time. We need a revolution. Revolutionary thinking. Revolutionary action. A free market revolution for global sustainability.”

Mik Aidt picks up on this theme as he refers to information about how much Europeans have saved billions and billions of dollars by building new renewable energy sources, compared to what is happening here in Australia, where millions of dollars are currently being spent on creating so-called ‘public awareness’ about the lie that “Gas is key to Australia’s cleaner energy future.”

Mik also refers to areas in Australia that would be unliveable because of increased temperatures, and the likelihood of global food shortage as the climate crisis unfolds.

We play a short clip with Arnold Swarzenegger who was interviewed by BBC’s Laura K and explains why people are angry with their governments. “We need leadership, and we need people to come together,” he says.

This leads to a mention of new reports about The Tyre Extinguishers – a group which wants to ‘inconvenience SUV owners’ by deflating 4×4 tyres in major cities in Australia. Their goal is to rid the roads of these “massive and unnecessary” vehicles.

We eventually walk out of the Hour with a short excerpt from Missy Higgin‘s song ‘The Difference’.

. . .

Colin Mockett OAM‘s Global Outlook begins this week in France, where two of the most popular tv-channels have dramatically changed how they report the French weather. Since weather is a staple of news coverage the world over, this is an innovation that is likely to move around the world.

There, the public tv-channels France 2 and France 3 now present a nightly “weather-and-climate report complete with a sparkling new studio and a logo that joins the words meteo — French for weather report — and climate.

Viewers still see plenty of maps dotted with temperature numbers and snazzy graphics, while stylish female presenter, Anaïs Baydemir, still talks about how hot or cold it will be in Paris, Marseille, and other parts of the country, and how likely it is to rain. But it’s now presented in the context of climate change; viewers hear about how the weather they are experiencing may be affected by the overheating of the planet.

The goal is to “not just to say, ‘It will be sunny tomorrow or it will rain,’ but to explain why,” Alexandre Kara, the editor-in-chief of France Télévision, said “Viewers are left in no doubt that global warming is man-made and caused mainly by burning fossil fuels; indeed, they can observe the inexorable rise in average global temperature on screen in real time.”

France Télévisions is changing not only how it presents climate news but also how it goes about covering news in general. Except in cases of urgent breaking news, France Télévisions journalists will no longer travel by plane or helicopter to report on events inside France. They’ll look for local people or get their journalists to take the train.

To Norway where, of the 13,342 new vehicles sold in Norway in May 2023, 10 773 (80.7%) were fully electric BEV passenger vehicles, 703 (5.3%) were plug-in hybrids and 725 (5.4%) were new zero-emission vans. Another 399 (3%) were non-plug-in hybrids. Just 435 (3.3%) cars fuelled only by petrol or diesel were sold. Because of this, new data shows that Norway’s average new vehicle CO2 emissions dropped to just 16 g/km in May. Vehicle emissions in Australia last year were ten times that amount at 164 g/km.

Still in Scandinavia, the local airline, SAS – Scandinavian Airlines System – this week sold the first tickets on an all-electric commercial flight between Sweden, Norway and Denmark. There were 30 seats available on three scheduled flights which are to take off in 2028. Ticket prices were 1,946 kroner, which recognises that SAS began in 1946 – and all the seats sold within three days. The flight offer was really an effective way of advertising that SAS has set the goal of being net-zero emissions by 2050.

Now to Paris where the International Energy Agency this week published its annual report on global investment in energy, where it tallies up all the cash that’s spent on producing energy. It follows the old journalism maxim that in order to find the truth – you follow the money. They did, and found that last year the world saw about $2.8 trillion of investments in energy, with about $1.7 trillion of that going into clean energy.

That’s the biggest single-year investment in clean energy ever, and the first time that clean energy has outspent fossil-fuels. And where that money is going is pretty interesting. First, the good news: In 2022, for every dollar spent on fossil fuels, $1.70 went to clean energy. Just five years ago, it was dead even. Clean energy’s growing dominance is especially clear when it comes to solar power.

This year, in 2023, for the first time, investment in solar energy is expected to beat out investment in oil production. This is a stark difference from what the picture looked like a decade ago, when oil spending outpaced solar spending by nearly six to one. But the big money is going into power storage: batteries.

Battery storage investment is set to double between 2022 and 2023. All that new money could change everything, and there are already big shifts in the battery industry because of it. Hardly a week goes by without an announcement of a new battery factory somewhere. And if all the proposals take shape, we’re going to reach nearly seven terawatt-hours of manufacturing capacity for lithium-ion batteries in 2030. That’s enough for over 100 million EVs annually. Most of it’s going to be in China, but the US and Europe are starting to rival that country, and we’re beginning to get a clearer shape of how energy will be created, sold and used in the future.

And it’s looking very good for just about every developed nation, even Australia, despite our slow start and addiction to fossil-fuels. There’s also a huge geographical imbalance, and poorer countries are going to need a significant boost to help build up their electrical grids and establish new technologies. But the signs are there that the United Nations will be behind this push and the clean-energy reorganisation has the potential to address historical inequalities. And on that promising note we end our global roundup for this week.

. . .

We at The Sustainable Hour will do everything we can to help Plan E gain traction in the transition away from fossil fuels to clean, job-rich renewable energy sources and to a long-term future which is not just survivable but secure and in balance with life and resources on Earth. This journey will demand everlasting vigilance. We encourage you to find the time to click on the links below about Liz Boulton’s work – and develop a response to it. Could it lead us to a safer, more just, inclusive, peaceful and healthy world? We believe it could play a major role in the climate revolution.

That’s it for this week. We’ll be back next week with more ideas on how to become part of the solution. Once again today we have been reminded that democracy is not a spectator sport. Don’t be a ‘silenced voice’. Dare to be the difference.

“There are no ends to the sort of solutions people would come up with. One potential idea could be that  Fridays are devoted to planet care… for every company, every school, every person. So on that day, companies would engage whatever activities they need to do for the transition. So that makes it manageable that four-day week idea. There’s no end to the solutions if we give people the reins and the mission: We are going to save this planet. We are not going to let Earth become a tip.”
~ Dr Elizabeth Boulton, eco-military strategist and creator of Plan E