Video Review: ‘Lester Brown – The Planet’s Scarcest Resource is Time’

In a recent class activity, members of the second/third year undergraduate subject International Politics of Climate Change: Triumph or Tragedy at La Trobe University’s Albury-Wodonga campus engaged with a video presentation delivered by emminent American environmentalist Lester Brown. The following excerpts are a summary of the class discussion on what Lester Brown has to say in the video clip.

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The Virtuous Circle of Sustainability & Community — Interview with Jenni Huber

We are joined on this addition of the Politics Albury-Wodonga podcast by Jenni Humber, who was a key member of Wodonga’s victorious entry in the Origin Energy Sustainability Drive competition. Twenty households in Jenni’s street – Central Place, Wodonga – put together an outstanding entry in the competition showcasing not only their sustainability credentials, but also the sense of connection and community that can come from consciously living lightly.

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Event Review: When QandA Came to Albury-Wodonga

BY BEN HABIB, with MARTIN DICKENS, LISA TUCK, LEA MACLAUGHLIN, KRYSTLE BROWN, JESSICA LOVE & ALICIA PETERS. Like everyone else in attendance, I was caught up in the excitement of being part of the spectacle of a live television broadcast. Over 700 people attended the show, the largest ever audience for Q&A. While prepping the audience before the show, Tony Jones described Q&A as an “open democracy experiment” that was “rare in the world”. Or was it?

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Interview with Heather Bruer from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition

Our guest on the podcast today, Heather Bruer from the Australian Youth Climate Coaltion (AYCC), is a 21 year old Economics student at the University of Adelaide and is currently co-director of the AYCC in South Australia. In December 2010 Heather was part of the Australian Youth Delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Council of Parties 16 (COP16) climate talks in Cancún, Mexico. In the podcast, Heather talks about her experiences at COP16 in Cancún, the reasons she became a climate activist and the moral imperative for young people to engage with the politics of climate change, as well as her thoughts on the current carbon pricing debate in Australia.

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Making Climate Change Happen, Part IV — The Power of Being the Change You Want to See in the World

BY BEN HABIB. Mohandas “Mahatma” Ghandi once famously exhorted his countrymen to “be the change you want to see in the world”. That is precisely the purpose of taking personal responsibility for one’s own response to the climate change threat. When we practice what we preach, we give moral authority to our message, we send an economic signal to the market, and we send a political signal to our elected representatives that is more powerful than our vote. A critical mass of people making integrated, climate-conscious lifestyle and political choices, can demonstrate a constituency for change to governments, the business community, and the broader society.

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Making Climate Action Happen, Part III — Scrutinising Our Underlying Beliefs

BY BEN HABIB. Anyone who has tried to change any aspect of their behaviour will know that to create lasting change, knowledge is not enough. All the positive intent in the world is not enough. How do we go about altering environmentally unsustainable lifestyle patterns? Where do we start? It begins with identifying, scrutinising and altering the multi-layered beliefs systems that underlie our behaviours. Without addressing these underlying beliefs, any gains we make will be fleeting.

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Making Climate Action Happen—Part II, The Behavioural Change Process

BY BEN HABIB. As anyone knows who has tried to stick to a diet or given smoking, people cannot transform unhealthy behaviours without changing their underlying beliefs. If you crave that smoko break or can’t resist a Big Mac, you’re probably not well placed to reform these behaviours in the long term. Behavioural change takes place in five distinct stages—pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance—which people progress through in a cyclical rather than linear fashion. As you read on, have a think about which stage you find yourself at in relation to your personal response to climate change.

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Making Climate Action Happen—Part I, The Plague of Manufactured Consciousness

BY BEN HABIB. Climate change is an existential threat to human civilisation, a threat which we ourselves are contributing to as individuals and as members of various social collectives. The damage we are doing is a product of destructive behaviours that are underpinned by ideas and assumptions that are not our own, which originate as the propaganda of our economic systems.

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Wodonga & Albury Toward Climate Health — An Interview with Lizette Salmon

Lizette Salmon from Wodonga & Albury Towards Climate Health (WATCH). WATCH is an apolitical community group which advocates for sustainable climate solutions through engagement with political leaders and the local community. It promotes activities and events in the local community to meet, discuss, establish informed views and take appropriate action on climate change.

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Transitions Towns and the Post-Carbon Future of Albury-Wodonga — An Interview with Ian Longfield

In this edition of the Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga podcast we’re joined by Ian Longfield from Transition Towns Albury-Wodonga. Ian has campaigned on peak oil issues since 2007 after becoming aware of the problems of energy descent during a 2005 land planning seminar. It was through his professional involvement in property development and agency that he became increasingly concerned at our unsustainable pattern of urban development, incompatible with a future dominated by peak oil and climate change. Our interview discussion ranges from geopolitics to individual action and everywhere in between, so buckle up and enjoy this engrossing conversation.

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Healthy Mind, Healthy Community, Healthy World — Interview with Marie Jackson

One of the enjoyable aspects of administering Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga has been the opportunity it has given me to interview all kinds of interesting people from across the local community. One of those interesting people is today’s guest, Marie Jackson. Marie is a local legend, best known through her role as a much-loved DRU Yoga instructor in Wodonga. She has been nominated for Australian of the Year for her community work and has a wealth of wisdom to share on many matters spiritual, emotional and practical. We cover a lot of terrain in this discussion, but it is a fascinating journey…

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