Fire, forest management and the Sustainable Living Festival


Dr. Chris Taylor, at the University of Melbourne, talks about fire and forest management. Then we talk to Luke Taylor, Director of the Sustainable Living Festival in Victoria and Liz Franzmann who is organising the Jason Roberts Better Block - Australian regional tour as part of the festival.

Fire, heatwaves and the climate emergency


Associate Professor Peter Christoff at Melbourne University and Dr Elizabeth Hanna, National Convenor - Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Human Health at  ANU and President -  Climate and Health Alliance, were among fourteen prominent Australians, scientists and academics who recently published a statement calling on Australia to cease the expansion of coal ports.

'Let's talk about coal' dares to name the greatest contribution Australia is making to climate change and the impacts we are suffering right now through the recent fires, heatwaves, floods and droughts.

Dangers of Coal Seam Gas and Shale Gas

Beyond Zero Emissions speaks about the dangers of Coal Seam Gas and Shale Gas, fugitive emissions and related issues associated with the industry.

BZE has called for an independent study of fugitive emissions from coal seam gas due to ”massive unaccounted-for liabilities.”

BZE’s figures suggest that a typical coal seam gas well producing a terajoule a day of methane, and giving off one per cent fugitive emissions, would incur a carbon tax liability of $31,700 a year at the current rate of $23 a tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent. A well that leaked four per cent would be liable to pay $126,800 a year due to the carbon tax.

Coal mining, civil disobedience and the public good


Commentators were outraged by activist Jonathan Moylan's fake media release that caused disruption to the stock market last week. But there was little concern about the the impact of coal mining on people's health and the climate, the issue that prompted what was called his act of civil disobedience. 

Decades ago, industry and government were slow to listen to the message of activists about the dangers of asbestos, and we are now paying the price. The effect of coal mining on the health of local communities is probably far less significant, but nevertheless overseas evidence suggests it could be serious and far-reaching. 

The Beyond Zero Emissions 2012 study Health and Social Harms of Coal Mining in Local Communities points to evidence of elevated mortality rates in Appalachian coal mining areas in the US. The authors stress the need to research the health effects of coal mining in the Hunter Valley and other regions. But instead governments appear to be granting mining licences indiscriminately and offeringfavourable treatment to the coal industry.

Sustainable Fashion & Climate Change

Have a look down at what you’re wearing. Do you know what that top’s made out of? Or where your jeans were made? How much did you pay for your dress? And how many times will you wear it before you throw it away? Do you wash those trousers each time you wear them? And throw them in the dryer as well?  Are you wearing something that you got from a second hand shop? Are you wearing something that has a special meaning or memory attached to it?

In this show, we take a look at the fashion industry and the ways it’s responding to issues like sustainability and climate change. We speak to four passionate ladies from the world of fashion design; Kate Fletcher, Georgia McCorkill, Genevive Edmonds and Patricia Brien.

Genevive Edmonds, of Little Green Dress.

Kate Fletcher, Leader in Sustainable Design at London College of Fashion and director of design for sustainability fashion consultancy; Slow Fashion.

Patricia Brien, Lecturer in Trend Forecasting, School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT.

Georgia McCorkill, Fashion Designer and PHD student with the School of Architecture and Design, RMIT

Port Augusta Solar Update and the Climate and Health Alliance

Dan van Holst Pelekaan is the South Australian MP who represents Port Augusta. He’s engaged with his community and talks about the long term bi- partisan policies needed to lead Australia down the path of big solar power.

His select committee will investigate BZE’s proposition of a Concentrated Solar Thermal plant at Port August to replace the coal fired plant.

Fiona Armstrong is Convenor of the Climate and Health Alliance. She is into more than urging extra emergency beds for victims of heat waves, cyclones, and floods.

Medical professionals see the value of prevention. They are trusted communicators as we reframe the climate crisis as a threat to our health and build resilience. Health must be central to discussions of preventing the worst of climate change as well as adapting to the change that’s already locked in.

Fiona reports how the health sector is urging exceptional courage from our business, political and civic leaders. We have failed to curb emissions growth and must protect the health of people in vulnerable communities.

Solar Funding Evokes Mixed Reactions

$83.5 million for solar research funding as part of the United States- Australia Solar Energy Collaboration (USASEC) was announced by Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson on Thursday.
$33 million will go to the US-Australia Institute for Advanced Photovoltaics led by the University of New South Wales. $35 million will be provided to the Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative, led by CSIRO.
$15.5 million has been allocated to collaborative research projects under the Open Funding Round of the USASEC.
"Today's funding commitment supports the collaborative efforts being made by our governments to drive innovation, build research and technical capacity, and provide pathways to solar commercialisation," Minister Ferguson said. 

Defy Greenwash with Guy Pearse's new book

Guy Pearse is a Research Fellow at the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland and the author of High & Dry (2007), Quarterly Essay 33, Quarry Vision (2009) and he is well known for uncovering the dirty tactics of the “Greenhouse Mafia” or big polluters on the Howard government's climate polcies. His latest book, Greenwash: Big brands and carbon scams (Black Inc–2012), entertaining and practical guide for consumers to pick the truly green businesses from the greenwashers and to demand a higher environmental standard from all. Greenwash looks at the whole spectrum - from the Toyota Prius to Earth Hour, from celebrities to your pet dog! Catch the examples of 'This is our story' advertisements, created by the mining industry, and dedicated to taking our attention away from the harmful environmental and health impacts of mining. 

Continuing the theme of environmental impacts; John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute, talks about the newly released report Coming Ready or Not: Managing Climate Risks to Australia's Infrastructure which delves into the consequences of climate change on major infrastructure. The report focuses on the physical impacts and flow-on consequences on electricity networks, rail and road, property and water supply. It analyses preparations for climate change impacts in Australia among owners and operators of major infrastructure assets and highlights contrasting approaches.   

Ramping up against coal

Beyond Zero interviews Greenpeace Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner Georgina Woods on the Greenpeace report “Cooking the climate: Wrecking the reef", about the global impact of coal exports from Australia’s Galilee Basin.

Nine mega coal mines are planned for Queensland's Galilee Basin, with five of these projects larger than any coal mine currently operating in the country. If these go ahead, they could produce more coal than Australia currently exports. In addition, the federal government has recently approved the expansion of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal which is likely to affect the Great Barrier Reef. Greenpeace examines the health effects on coal-affected communities and the global implications of coal exports.
The Greenpeace report can be downloaded here.

We also discuss coal with Blair Palese, CEO of Australia and the Communications Director, Antarctic Ocean Alliance. in well known for organising international 'Days of Action', most recently for 'India Beyond Coal'.'s online campaigns, grassroots organising and mass public actions are led from the bottom up by people in 188 countries. We also ask Blair about her views on solutions such as those detailed in BZE's Zero Carbon Australia plans.

Georgina and Blair encourage you to get involved in your local community climate group and take action at:

Syndicate content