BZE Radio Community Show Podcasts

BZE Radio Community Show Podcasts 2017-09-08T12:00:31+00:00


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The BZE Radio Community Show is a one hour podcast focusing on climate solutions across society locally, regionally and around the globe and goes live every Monday at 5pm. The show aims to provide up-to-date news about community climate solutions and events from around Australia, including interviews with scientists, community and business leaders and economists just to name a few.
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BULGA to BYLONG- Locking the Gates

Mon 5th March 2018

BULGA to BYLONG- Locking the Gates

This is an audio voyage up the Hunter Valley where brave communities are holding out against climate changing coal expansions.

We meet:
    Wannarua Elder- Pat Hansson
    Ex Miner- Frank Turnbull
    Community Leader – John Krey
    Local Historian – Stewart Mitchell
    Goldman Prize Winner – Wendy Bowman
    Veteran Campaigner – Bev Smiles
    Bylong Grazier – Peter Grieve AO
    Guide at The Drip – Phyllis Setchell
    Environmental Justice- Dr James Whelan
    Lock the Gates Guides – Steve Phillips and Nic Clyde

    The Bulga Community is famous for having taken Rio Tinto to court and won!
    The extension of the mine was prohibited by the Supreme Court. Aboriginal sacred places and significant woodlands were protected. But their victory was short lived as the head of Rio made a special trip from London and the NSW Government promptly changed the law. Pat Hansson told us how sickened she was by the thought of the massive Warkworth Mine swallowing up more land. This area has great significance for Wonnarua People. They used to gather for Bora Ring ceremonies witnessed by European settlers but going back for untold generations. I interviewed these brave people last year when they were out protesting the sale of a road which stands between the Rio mine (now Yancoal) and the next big coal lode. Local Historian Stewart Mitchell explains how this is part of the Great North Road built by convicts and part of our National heritage while John Krey and Frank Turnbull dramatise for us why they are not giving up.
     This local battle has global importance. As fossil fuels are consigned to history the people have Bulga have stood firm, fought fair and must win. This is their finest hour.
     At Camberwell we met a farmer who is recognised internationally. Wendy Bowman tells of their thriving dairy farm which was made impossible by the encroaching coal mine. Despite being offered millions by Yancoal she is the last farm in the path of the mine and determined that her place will be protected. She was recognised by the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2017 You can join Wendy in demanding that politicians stop allowing mining to destroy rural communities.
     The next ghost town was Wollar where only four families are between the mine and its extension. Bev Smiles and two others face seven years jail if tough new anti coal protest laws prevail. She talked to the listening tour as we gazed around at empty houses, a church and school, the services all still intact but most of the residents bought out by Peabody Energy. From Wollar we had a police escort . Maybe they thought we’d stop the bus and riot!
     We bushwalked around the Great Dripping wall which will be at risk if the tunnels under the river are approved. You can join the Save the Drip campaign by contacting Phyllis Setchell at
     The end of the tour was in Bylong Valley. Gag Clauses prevented land owners talking to us about any negotiations with Korean Energy Company Kepco. They have bought up most of the property in this pristine valley but no sod has yet been turned Peter Grieve AO spoke to us of the old days when the Mouse races raised a million dollars for charity. The champion racehorse and sire HEROIC was born here and the land is perfect for high end farming.
      Peter Andrew trialled his natural sequence farming here. His ideas to rehydrate the land and restore it have caught on around the continent but we saw men in high vis vests now in command at Tarwyn park and mine machinery parked in his sheds. It could become part of the National Trust instead of another grand canyon of coal.
     It’s a climate cliff hanger for all of us. We can measure the amount of carbon dioxide pouring into the atmosphere. We can see the effects in the Antarctic, the Arctic and the Ocean but can we stop a new coal mine in a valley that looks like Switzerland? As poet Judith Wright said about the plans to drill for oil in the Barrier Reef and use the coral for limestone. It is like destroying the Taj Mahal for road rubble. But she was vindicated . It is now protected by UNESCO as world heritage.
     Bylong, Wollar,Camberwell and Bulga. They are our call.


05 Mar 2018|Categories: Community Show|

Ocean Drawdown

Mon 26th Feb 2018

Alix Foster Van Elst

Alix Foster Van Elst

Ocean Drawdown

Do you get seasick out on the ocean?

Is the sea sick of climate change?

Alanna Mitchell overcame her sea sickness and went down to the bottom of the ocean. She is an award winning Canadian Science journalist. After her show “SEASICK”, she spoke to Vivien about the erotic thrill of witnessing coral spawning. Her play dramatises the enormity of climate change affecting the ocean’s chemistry. As Charlie Veron said after bleaching, the coral will dissolve like an Alka Selzer Tablet in a jug of water. Dealing with the grief and tapping into a more creative response is all part of this sobering interview.

Professor Rocky De Nys from James Cook University is the leader of the Macroalgal Biofuels and Bioproducts project. He talks to us about Apsparagopsis Taxiformis and how it reduces methane produced by ruminant animals. The scientists thought it must have been a mistake when the results of 80% reduction in sheep came back from the lab.

We talk about the hopes for kelp farms sequestering carbon and other ocean based climate solutions.

Further reading:

A cow walks onto a beach” in Paul Hawken’s book Drawdown.

Alix Foster Van Elst is an Antarctic campaigner with Greenpeace. Their ship is right now in the Weddell sea where there is growing momentum to create an ocean sanctuary of 1.8million square kilometres, proposed by the EU. Healthy oceans draw down vast quantities of CO2 as well as protecting marine life. So it would be a boon for the climate. At the Bonn Climate conference last November, Australia was among the very lowest performing countries, yet when it came to protecting Antaractica in 1991 Bob Hawke proved that we could be environmental leaders. Is this new Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary an opportunity for us to regain our self respect?–with-Greenpeace-marine-biologist-John-Hocevar.-News-Edit-27MZIFJXE45T0.html

26 Feb 2018|Categories: Community Show|




Mon 19th Feb 2018

Mark Delaney brought his kids up in the poor suburbs of Delhi.Returning to Australia he and his son Tom were shocked at our apathy round climate change. Their story is a fresh look at the “small picture solutions” we can all take to reduce our 23 tonnes per person to the 8 tonnes of a European or even the 2 tonnes CO2e of an  average Indian. If you would like to participate in a book club to discuss this text over  four weeks in April contact Vivien at –

Daniel Simons will tell us about some of the Transitions Films he has brought us to inspire climate action.

Films such as:  Food Fighter (22nd Feb) The last Animals( 24th Feb) Guardians of the Earth (27th Feb) and The Gateway Bug (2nd March)

Eliza Muirhead  directed one of the Transitions Films called Operation Jeedara with Tim Watters as co director . She will take us to the Great Australian Bight which is still threatened by oil drilling despite BP and Chevron having given up. You can support Sea Shepherd, The Wilderness Society, Greenpeace   and the Mirning People who call the great white whale “Jeedara.”

For climate action be aware that there are massive forests of kelp in these waters quietly sequestering carbon.


19 Feb 2018|Categories: Community Show|


Mon 12th Feb 2018

We meet Dr Bob Brown to talk about restoring the Tarkine Forest to its indigenous custodians and sequestering carbon in its soils. Bob also discussed his case defending the right to protest  logging or mining operations and his win in the High court . This protects the Tarkine defenders in Tasmania but protestors in NSW and other states are still facing draconian penalties like 7 years jail for standing on a road leading into a coal mine!

Deane Belfield talks to us about regenerative agriculture and carbon farming. He represents the Regenerative Australian Farmers. They will host a masterclass on Drawdown with Paul Hawken and are keen to help famers get baseline data on the carbon content of their soil so they can eventually qualify for carbon credits.

Justin Borevitz from ANU is a plant biologist using big data to help farmers regenerate their soils and use fertilisers with more precision. His question is How much soil does your food grow? It’s all about the drawing down of carbon and restoration of a safe climate.

The Electric Vehicles Expo will feature the world’s fastest Motor Bike rider Eva Hakansson. We talk to Rebecca Lee from RevBikes about  quiet motor Bikes, less pollution on the roads and the joys of  active travel.

Read more:

13 Feb 2018|Categories: Community Show|


Mon 18th Dec 2017

How would carbon rationing work?

Would it be forever?

Would it hurt?

BZE’s Vivien Langford talks to author Stan Cox in Salina Kansas about his book “Anyway you slice it”.

Some people  are aware of the Climate Emergency, but others behave as if unaware. Australia’s per capita aviation emissions for example  are 18 metric tonnes compares to 5 for a French Citizen.

What if this generation put a cap on fossil fuelled travel and energy use? Would it feel better if it was an app on your phone and was called a Carbon Allowance?

We say that the bulk of existing coal oil and gas must stay underground, so shouldn’t we treat these as precious commodities, to be rationed while we make the transition? A Government committee in the UK researched this and said it could become an essential measure but that it was” an idea before its time”. We look into why it is such a taboo subject.

“How the world breaks” is a new book by Stan Cox and his son Paul. We talk to Paul Cox in Copenhagen about the anthropology of disaster response. He praises countries like Bangladesh as the Netherlands without a budget”. He wants us to stop talking bout “natural;” disasters as if there was nothing we could do to mitigate them. When Greens MP Adam Bandt called PM Tony Abbott a “climate criminal ” during a Blue Mountains bush fire, he was condemned as insensitive. But when is there a “right time to connect the  dots”? Paul talks about our bushfires and the floods and landslides that are testing resilience around the world. He says economists fear any restraint on growth more than they fear the worst that climate change can bring us.

How to change the narrative? Send us your ideas to :


Stan Cox – author of “Anyway you slice it ” and ” How the world breaks”

Paul Cox- Anthropologist and author “How the world breaks”

Music by David Rovics “East Tenessee”, Bangladeshi singer Mak Bul Chowdhury, and “Spirit of Place” sung by Yirmal Marika and Shane Howard.



Andy Britt  with interviews by Vivien Langford


Roger Vize and Jodie Green

Thanks to 3CR for help with SKYPE.


YOU.! Please send this podcast out to the world.

18 Dec 2017|Categories: Community Show|

CHRISTINE MILNE  An activist life

Mon 11th Dec 2017

BZE radio has spoken often to Christine Milne because she has always been at events to defend the Renewable energy target, the clean energy package and to rid parliament of fossil fuel influence.

Her memoir  shows “how hard it is not to become bitter about the ruthless ” people in power. Even at a time of bereavement  they pressured her to perform.

Her awareness of the urgency of climate action and the difficulty of translating that into enduring legislation are a lesson for those who want system change.

Vivien took the ferry over to Hobart where the retired senator was surrounded by friends.It was  at the launch of “An activist life” in Fullers Bookshop . The atmosphere was warm and full of the laughter  and friendship that underpins action.

We hear Christine in conversation with Tasmanian historian James Boyce.

In the interview that starts this show Christine Milne talks to Vivien about her love of history and Science. She reports that  climate activists now  are facing much harsher penalties than in her day when she was  jailed over the Franklin River campaign.

It is tough in parliament and it is tough pressuring parliament. But it is tougher if you are a forest animal in a logging coupe. It is tougher if you are a child now whose climate will be irreversibly changed. So as Christine says,”I know you will never give up”.


Production- Andy Britt

Interviews- Vivien Langford

Podcasts-Jodie Green and Roger Vize

Promotions? – YOU!. Please forward this podcast to advance knowledge and inspire action.


11 Dec 2017|Categories: Community Show|