The Cars That Ate China – epilogue

China now has car hoons too. A new generation of hot rodding has grown up as China taken to the car. (Another interesting revelation from the film.) In this podcast we also hear some of the Chinese hip hop music that’s currently firing up Beijing’s young petrol heads.

Audio: Listen to the final bit of the interview with Stefan Moore, director of the film The Cars That Ate China.

Garnaut lashes out at climate change sceptics (in his own gentle way)

The good professor has a message for the sceptics who still don’t believe in climate change and the scaremongers who would have us believe the sky will fall in if we re-gear our economy to lower our carbon emissions. Listen to the podcast interview with Ross Garnaut on climate change.

Is peak oil more urgent than climate change?

In this interview I speak with Bruce Robinson, Convenor of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil. (ASPO is a leading international group of concerned scientists on the issue.)

Bruce says governments should be informing people and preparing our economies now for peak oil, the inevitable declining rate of oil production.
Listen to the podcast interview with Bruce Robinson (from the Association for the Study of Peak Oil.)

Peak oil: the world’s looming oil crisis

In case you hadnt noticed, the price of oil is on the march. And there’s analysts saying we’ll look back at 2008 in the years to come and think we were lucky. That petrol was cheap.

So what is happening with oil?

There’s no doubt the world’s demand for oil is increasing in a big way. What is in contention is the world’s supply.

A growing number of experts are saying we won’t be able to keep up with the world’s insatiable demand. And in fact, we’ve reached a tipping point. The term they’re using is ‘peak oil’.

In this interview, Michael Lardelli from the University of Adelaide sounds the alarm bells. Listen to the interview with Michael Lardelli on peak oil.

‘Sharkwater’ will change how you think of sharks

Sharks have had a pretty bad rap for a long time. Now a new film, busts the myths about sharks and highlights the dire situation for shark populations around the world.

Rob Stewart, an underwater photographer, set out to show the beauty of sharks in his film ‘Sharkwater’, but stumbled instead onto the billion dollar shark fin industry. He found sharks having their fins cut off and their bodies thrown back in the ocean on a large scale. All to supply the demand for shark fin soup in Asia.

I went to see the film, then tracked down the director – who was in Paris on his way to Cannes – to flesh out the story. Click here to listen to the interview with the PR Manager for sharks, Rob Stewart.

Check out the trailer and the making of the Sharkwater film.

And if you want to help, you can adopt a shark through the Nature Conservation Council. They’re one of the few organisations campaigning to protect sharks in Australia.

Just add water (to food labels)

Here in Australia we know we should be watching how much water we use for things like showers, gardens and washing cars.

But really, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to how much water goes into the products we consume.

Now an Australian academic has proposed that the amount of water used in making food and other items be clearly shown on product labeling. Listen to the interview with James Hazelton.

To see how much water goes into making different products, check out www.waterfootprint.org.

Biofuels: blessing or curse?

In many developed countries food prices have skyrocketed. So much so there’s been riots and demonstrations in a range of countries from Cameroon and Senegal to Haiti, Mexico and Egypt.  One factor is believed to be the increasing use of crops to produce biofuels rather than food.

So is biofuel an important solution to our transport energy needs. Or is it creating problems the world doesn’t need?

To find out more about biofuels and the situation for biofuels in Australia, I spoke with the CSIRO’s biofuels expert Deborah O’Connell. I started by asking where biofuels come from.  Listen to the biofuels interview.

Grow your own says The Green Gardener

Josh Byrne is a presenter on the ABCs Garden Show. He’s also written a book called ‘The Green Gardener’.

Josh reckons people have seen the light and are now using their backyards to grow food. In this interview, he talks about how to go about grow your own, making your garden sustainable and the role of permaculture in his work. Listen to the Josh Byrne Green Gardener interview.

I caught up with Josh at the Australian Permaculture Convergence.

David Holmgren: Permaculture Is The Answer to Peak Oil

Permaculture is real counter-culture. Thats what I thought after attending the Australian Permaculture Convergence last weekend.

It combines traditional farming techniques and thinking about nature with modern technology to enable people to live differently to how most of us live. To live in a truly sustainable way.

In this interview, I tracked down David Holmgren, the co-originator of permaculture, at the conference.

Interestingly, having originally developed the idea in response to the oil crisis of the 70’s, David reckons permaculture is the answer to our looming energy crisis. With peak oil, permaculture is more relevant than ever.

More on permaculture on David’s site.

Cataret Islands: world’s first climate change refugees?

As the world continues to debate what to do about climate change, the people living on a small atoll to Australia’s north are about to become our region’s first climate change refugees.

The Cartaret Islands, north east of PNG, are only a metre above sea level. Each year tidal surges on the island get bigger.

The tides have damaged the islands’ fresh water sources and food growing areas. To the point where the people of The Cartarets are now planning to evacuate to nearby Bougainville. It’s estimated their island will be unihabitable by 2015.

Phil spoke with Charlotte Sterrett, Climate Campaigner for Oxfam Australia, to find out more about the situation and what can be done. Listen to the interview.