Community protest

Hannah Aulby

Transition from Coal

Hannah Aulby grew up in Tasmania and she said she had an "environmentally aware youth" and her family were interested in environment matters .Since then she has travelled extensively globally, worked with Nick McKim, been Fundraising manager for BZE, Lock the Gate to mention a few. She is now Clean Energy Campaigner at the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF).

She mentioned the problem of mine rehabilitation where there is a big need for money to be available for mines at the end of their use. For example Hazelwood (Australia's dirtiest coal fired power station) whose owners are "considering" closure with insufficient funds to so. But there are many who merely desert mines and just leave without legal redress. So it seems then the taxpayer would have to foot the bill. There is also a need too for the communities to plan and have some alternative transition to alternative employment. There is of course too much coal in the system at present.

Hannah concluded by reminding listeners of the Forum - Coral, Coal and Climate Change forum on 16th June at Box Hill Town Hall with Lighter Footprints and  ECAM ( Eastern Climate Action Melb.) as joint hosts. Local candidates and politicians to attend with Rod Quantock as M.C. One can only wonder how/if he can make an endangered Great Barrier Reef light hearted!

(Summary written by BZE volunteer Bev McIntyre)

Prof Kate Auty: Environment IS us

Professor Kate Auty, new Commissioner for Sustainability and Environment brings a wealth of knowledge and experience on Arts/Law, Environmental Science and Aboriginal Affairs. She enumerates similarities between these main areas. "Environment IS us" and climate change is pivotal to everything including water, transport, energy, bio-diversity etc. But leadership (seriously lacking) is important, not that of Napthine for example, who used the term "climate variability" which insinuates that climate change is a natural phenomenon that will right itself.  There is need for leadership such as demonstrated by Cathy McGowan in Indi who has shown a welcome propensity to listening and communicating, and one is reminded of the present Labor initiative such as the old-fashioned town hall meetings etc.

Kate tells us, our present ecological footprint is "outrageous" and 3 times the world average. We need more worlds! (Having a timley interview with the BZE radio team) the 22nd of April is also date for ratifying Paris agreements and Greg Hunt is participating (this accompanied by cynical laughter in the background by BZE interviewers present). 

Despite all this Kate says people should not despair, that BZE is a "standout organisation" and she enumerated some positive grassroots initiatives. We must look to the future with a new approach. One is reminded of Tim Flannery's comment that stress needs to be put now on adaptation rather than on mitigation.  

(Summary written by BZE volunteer Bev McIntyre)

Further reading:

Dr Sara Bice talks social licence

Need for understandable data on increasing prevalence of unconventional gas and its impact on sedimentary basins

The BZE team talks to Dr Sara Bice with a history of journalism, sociology and now research fellow at Melbourne School of Government, University of Melbourne. 

Dr Sara Bice spoke of the need to create a regulatory basis and need for management of underground resources considering sedimentary basins comprise to a great extent  Australia's primary energy and water for agriculture and general rural population needs - in particular relating to CSG. This will have major effects on environmental economy and communities.  There is of course a need for a baseline for the effects of CSG and fracking in particular and with a moratorium such as that in Victoria.  The growth in CSG wells in Queensland alone has amounted to possibly 40,000 from 3000 in 2003! There is in particular a need for a better connection between University research, industry and policy makers and for the use of social media to provide a strong platform and despite for example, AGL giving the reasons for withdrawal as being financial with no mention relating to the power of protests. Reference to  AGL and "the license to operate" was also made by Green's Jeremy Buckingham. Is "social license" controlled by companies?

(Summary written by BZE volunteer Bev McIntyre)

Further reading:

Coal seam gas debate is more than hot air: Did community opposition have a role in AGL’s decision to quit exploration of natural gas?

The Sustainable Sensibility - Blog by Sara Bice

Sara Bice on The Conversation

Do mining companies have a "social licence" to operate?

Dr Sara Bice Awarded Research Fellowship

Burning Peat Or Burning Coal, Emissions Are Rising On The Road To Paris

 This show was broadcast on Mon 9th November 2015
The  worst environmental disaster of the twenty first century? Emissions greater than the whole US economy? Dr Daniel Murdiyarso from CIFOR, Centre for International Forestry Research talks about Indonesian peat fires.
PLUS Tim Buckley from the Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis (IEEFA) on investor shock, stranded coal assets and how we can be a  superpower.

Listen here to the podcast

TWEET it in : @beyondzeronews and #bzelive

FB conversation:

Further Reading:

Read up on the complex intersection of business and politics to what may amount as one of the greatest crimes against humanity and nature.
"As rains finally clear the skies over south-east Asia, dramatic Greenpeace photos show people and wildlife coping with the haze in one of the worst hit areas of Central Kalimantan on Borneo island."
Indonesia is burning. So why is the world looking away? by George Monbiot

"Lunatics,Sociopaths and Suckers"

This show was broadcast on Mon 14th September 2015
How climate activists are spoken to in the public gallery

Interviews with Phil Laird from 'Lock the Gate Alliance', Barnaby Joyce on citizens interrupting big projects and Dr Debra Roberts on reforestation around Durban and the IPCC plans for cities taking climate action.

Listen here to the podcast

Further Reading:

Ramsgate Re-cap

This episode was broadcast on 19th Jan 2015

In this Summer Highlights programme we revisit the RET at Ramsgate where the Solar Council Public Meeting hosted Bill Shorten and Mark Butler (both Labour MPs) and Christine Milne (Senator, Australian Greens) among others.  The Liberal party was not represented as the relevant member, Mr Nickolas Varvaris was a no-show.  
The last segment was recorded at the People's Climate Mobilisation, in Glebe Sydney and features Rick Laird (farmer), Julie McCrossin (radio broadcaster) and Michael Caton (actor).  Both of these recordings were first broadcasted on 29 September 2014 on 3CR.

Listen here to the podcast

Dr Washington, Jonathan Moylan & The Greens - climate action


In this episode, Beyond Zero talks to three prominent Australians about climate change action.

Dr Haydn Washington, Visiting Fellow at UNSW, has a thirty eight year history as an environmental scientist, writer and activist. As a biologist, his views follow Edward Abbey's quote that endless "growth is the ideology of the cancer cell" in nature. Our growth has brought about the environmental crisis, in which the climate crisis is a critical part. The solution is steady state economy. Sustainable growth is an oxymoron, as in a finite planet you cannot keep growing forever.

Dr Washington has written widely, with his most recent books being:
Human Dependence on Nature: How to Help Solve the Environmental Crisis (2013)

Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand (2011) by Haydn Washington, John Cook

David Rovics - Songs of Social Significance

Singer/ songwriter, author and activist, David Rovics, chatted with Beyond Zero's Vivien Langford on his recent Australian tour. She recorded an in-depth interview after Rovics' Sydney concert and she introduces the segment here:

Vote Climate


Another election edition featuring interviews with Michael Pulsford, Melbourne Divestment Coordinator at, Jane Morton from Vote Climate, and Basil Byrne from Australian Student Environment Network (ASEN).

Mike Pulsford was one of the organisers for the Australian leg of Bill McKibben's 'Do the Maths' tour earlier this year, and is working to on the campaign. Jane and Vote Climate is a communication network linking community groups working on solutions to the climate crisis. Our network includes local climate action groups, groups opposing new coal and gas developments, groups protecting forests, and groups working for a rapid transition to 100% renewable energy. Then Basil tells us about ASEN, the network of student environment groups from around Australia committed to building grassroots movements for change.

Election Edition


Welcome to Beyond Zero's Election Edition, where Vivien Langford talks to the three major political parties about their policies on climate change.

Greg Hunt, Liberal MP, Shadow Minister for Climate Change Action, Environment and Heritage

Yvette D'Ath, Labour MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and

Christine Milne, Greens senator, leader of the Australian Greens.

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