Category Archives: Podcasts

environmental podcasts recorded by The Environment Show

Is Global Warming Speeding Up?

Climate change record

New figures released by NASA have stunned the world’s climate scientists. The average global temperature for February this year has smashed the previous record. A record set only the month before.

This comes on the back of the warmest year on record 2015, which broke the previous record set in 2014.

And if you’ve been following this story, you’ll know already there are other worrying changes – like the Arctic melting faster than all expectations over the last few years.

So are we seeing a speeding up of climate change? And is the long stretch of warm weather we’ve felt here in Sydney linked to the global picture?

The Environment Show caught up with Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, a leading climate scientist from Germany’s Potsdam University. In this podcast he answers those questions and outlines how his own country is getting on with the job of implementing one of the most important solutions – renewable energy.

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Why We Need A “Fundamental Shift” To A Sustainable Economy

Professor Jeff Sachs: "We need to re-think economic development."

Last year I heard a speech by Professor Jeff Sachs which crystalised a lot of things for me. (Sachs is a Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.)

I’m giving a speech myself soon at The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. It’s for Design Week and it’s about ‘the importance of creativity for sustainability’. In preparing I’ve found myself coming back to Sachs’s talk at Sydney Uni.

Reason being Sachs puts the whole damn thing in context. He describes how we got to where we are now, how special our time is, and how we are at a watershed moment in human history where we’re going to have to make a fundamental shift to a sustainable economy.

In this post I’ve included a synopsis of the Sach’s speech and links to a podcast of it. I’ve also posted some notes from my proposition that creativity is going to be key in re-thinking and changing how we live.

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Earth Hour: is it a waste of time?

Earth Hour is on tonight 28 March 2009

Earth Hour is on again – tonight 28th March at 8.30pm. The event asks people and businesses to turn off lights and appliances for one hour. It ran for the first time in Sydney only a few years ago. Since then the idea has been picked up by many other major cities around the world.

But looking beyond all the hype, how useful is it really in helping to tackle the problem of climate change?

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What’s The Deal With Emissions Trading?

Coal fired power plant

Just at the time Australia is launching into an emissions trading scheme, the EU one appears to be faltering. Eek. In this post we’ve collected links to articles and videos on the European scheme and the political stoush that’s happening here in Oz. (We predict it’s only a matter of time before the Opposition here cotton on to the European failings.) And of course there’s the question of – what the hell is an emssions trading scheme anyway? Plenty of people wouldn’t have the foggiest. We explain here at the end. Click on.

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‘It’s time’ for a Green New Deal – an answer to climate change, peak oil and the financial crisis

Technologies of old providing inspiration for the future

It’s estimated governments have collectively found about $5 trillion to rescue banks and galvanize economies. Now the Head of the United Nations Environment Program and the leaders of some European countries are saying the time is right for the world to invest substantially in renewable energy. They’re calling for a “Green New Deal” to tackle our climate, oil and credit crisis together.

Audio:
Listen to our interview with Senator Christine Milne on the Green New Deal.

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Why Australia has the best beaches (from the man who’s been to every one)

Maroubra Beach, Sydney, Australia

Theres one person whos been to every beach in Australia – all 12,000 of them. It’s Professor Andy Short, Director of the Coastal Studies Unit at the University of Sydney. In this interview Andy explains how he came to visit every one and why Australia has the world’s best beaches – by far.

Audio: Interview with Prof Andrew Short on why Australia’s beaches are best.

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James Woodford’s grid-life crisis: one man’s journey to leave the city and live sustainably

James Woodford

Lots of people dream of making a ‘sea change’ to escape the rat race of the city. Some people even do it.

But how many leave with the intention of living sustainably? To live on the land, grow their own food, generate their own power and water, and even restore their new patch closer to its original, natural state. James Woodford and his family are working on just that.

Audio: Interview with James Woodford about his new book ‘Real Dirt’.

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Bicycles v cars: Adam Spencer on city commuting

Adam Spencer cycling advocate and ABC presenter

You may know Adam Spencer as a presenter of ABC Radio in Sydney and from ABC TV. But did you know he cycles everywhere and hardly ever drives?

In the lead up to ‘Ride to Work Day’, Adam goes into bat for the bike. In fact, in this interview he says what he really thinks of the constant hoo-haa about building more roads and tunnels in our cities. And doing the traffic report when you don’t drive a car.

Audio: Listen to our interview with Adam Spencer on why the bike is better.

Video: Adam Spencer also has a gentle word about the price of petrol.

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Why Germany has 1000% more solar power, with half the sunshine

Electricity feed-in tariff will feed solar power growth

A decade ago Germanys uptake of solar energy was on par with Australia. But thanks to an innovative financial incentive, Germany has surged ahead. So much so, its renewable energy is now a mainstream industry and a leading employer in that country.

Audio: Markus Lambert explains the effect the electricity feed-in tariff has had in Germany.

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Interest in sustainable housing goes through the roof!

The number of ‘sustainable houses’ is growing worldwide. And if you’re interested in making your place more sustainable, the best way to get going is to see one in action.

But where are they? This weekend is Sustainable House Day (which in fact runs Saturday and Sunday) when some of Australia’s best sustainable houses will be open to the public.

Audio: Interview with Judy Celmins from Sustainable House Day.

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