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.
bze.org.au
 
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

groedibles.com
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.

mallorcaphotoblog.com
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?
RenewEconomy

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
 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Environmentality 24 September 2014, Emily Braham, Editor at Sanctuary Magazine

August Edition of Sanctuary Magazine
If you’ve got even an inkling towards living a more sustainable existence, I bet you’ve thought about building your own sustainable house or at least tried to think of ways to modify your existing  house to incorporate passive solar design, use of low embodied energy materials, energy efficient EVERYTHING, renewable energy, the list goes on. Fortunately for you, the AlternativeTechnology Association (ATA) who among other things publish Sanctuary Magazine which is packed full of articles on sustainable building design and green homes.

This week on the show we had a chat to Emily Braham, the editor of Sanctuary about the current (August) edition of the magazine. We discussed the use of bamboo as a building material, green walls on a high rise in Sydney and how you can create your own at home, sustainable paving ideas, a typical mid 20th century Brunswick brick suburban home transformed into a sustainable living oasis through clever design to name a few of our topics. Sound like your cup of tea? The magazine is published quarterly and links to purchase can be found on the Sanctuary and ATA websites AND if you listen to the podcast you’ll hear about the special subscription deal offered by Emily and get the special redemption code needed.

In other related news Australia leads global green star revolution. Australia’s Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) is certifying more and more buildings (commercial) every year and say’s return on investment (ROI) and rental premiums as well as low rental vacancies are delivering good value to those going green. The benefits don’t stop at financials either, people feel better when occupying these spaces which leads to higher productivity, better staff retention and more creativity. And we haven’t even mentioned the benefits to the environment!

Until next week, get inspired, go and make your home (or business) a little more sustainable this week, you never know, maybe one day your efforts will end up on the cover of Sanctuary Magazine.
maxadesign.com.au
On next week's show we have Friends of the Earth, Megan Williams discussing renewable energy technologies. 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:
Hundreds of Ways by Conor Oberst 
Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
The Best Person I know by Cat's Eyes
Imagine by John Lennon
Say Something by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Environmentality 17 September 2014, Jodi Jackson, My Everyday Garden

theorchardgarden.blogspot.com.au
It’s that exciting time of year for gardeners when the summer fruit trees start to wake from their winter slumber and the thought of freshly picked home grown apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, figs ….yum yum YUM. But what if you are yet to plant your orchard to receive the fruits of your labour? This week we had a conversation with Jodi about setting up an urban orchard including what to think about when designing and preparing, keeping in mind the users and activities planned for the urban orchard space. Get the 5 top tips for starting an urban orchard by listening to the show.

Urban orchards are not just about planting some trees to produce fresh wholesome food. It’s more about creating a space that brings people together to facilitate the sharing of food, ideas, knowledge and even just a good story or two. “Organic gardeners are swapping homegrown produce, ideas and skills in an expanding community movement known as the Urban Orchard….The concept is simple: local gardeners and cooks meet to share produce and knowledge. They leave their surplus, and take whatever they can use. Some exchanges run workshops on gardening and preparing food to help build the skills of members.”  The above is from an old (2010) article but worth a look if you’re wanting some inspiration.

Melbourne’s own CERES Community Environment Park runs an Urban Orchard which brings people together to swap and share excess produce. Read more at the CERES website.


petitefarmstead.com
thegreenlever.blogspot.com
A brief mention of insect hotels by Jodi this week had me scratching my head as I’d never heard of them before. This no doubt demonstrates my level of gardening experience, however I thought I would show you all what one is, just in case I wasn’t alone on this one.


On next week's show we will be talking to Emily Braham, Editor at Sanctuary Magazine about all things sustainable homes, including Sustainable House Day which has just passed.

This week’s music selection:
These Days by St Vincent
Unforgettable by The Harpoons
The Devil You Know by Split Enz
Lace Skull by Hiatus Kaiyote

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Environmentality 10 September 2014, Renae Verboon, Lucy Fallon & Ahmed Yussuf, members of La Trobe University's Equality, Sustainability and Peace group

Divestment from fossil fuels is an important step to let the dirty polluters know WE MEAN BUSINESS… literally! Fossil fuel divestment is more than just you taking your money away from dirty, unethical, environmentally degrading investments. It is a statement to your super fund, your bank, your broker (if you’re lucky enough to need one) which in turn makes an even bigger statement to the fossil fuel industry, the government, clean energy investors that says “we’ve had enough, nobody wants these polluters around anymore and we’ll put our money where our mouth is, we’re taking our business elsewhere”

marketforces.org.au
This can and will be very powerful once the big banks and super funds realise the groundswell and have to listen to what their customers want because as we know too well in our society, money talks!

This week we had a conversation with some members of La Trobe University’s Equality, Sustainability and Peace group about divestment from fossil fuels. Listen to the podcast to hear what they had to say.

marketforces.org.au
Do you want to know what your bank is doing with your savings? Do you want to know where your superannuation fund is being invested? There are many great resources on the world wide web but a good starting point would be Market Forces.org and 350.org. These resources will give you a good idea of who is investing in what and all in easy to understand graphs and figures. Did you know that 55% of the world’s superannuation is invested in coal, oil, gas and other climate-exposed investments whilst less than 2% is invested in climate solutions like renewable energy? Or did you know that Since 2008, Australia’s big 4 banks have loaned $19 billion dollars to fossil fuel projects  including coal and gas export projects on the Great Barrier Reef? If you are not happy about it then get onto those websites and see what you can do about it.

Also on this week’s show we discussed an article by Alex White in the guardian ‘The ten worst environmental decisions in Abbott’s first year’. Have a read and see what you think. The crazy thing about this article is that there are 10 decisions, yes TEN (not just a few), all of which are devastating for the environment in their own right and all within the first year of this Government coming into power. What is in store for the next two years?
theguardian.com
On next week’s show we have My Everyday Garden with resident garden guru Jodie Jackson.

Music was selected by our guests this week (except for the last one, thanks Jaime)

It Isn’t Nice by Malvinia Reynold
Eyes Wide Open by Gotye
Welcome Home by Radical Face
Something’s Gotta Give by John Butler Trio
Lost Stars by Adam Levine


 
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