Sunday, 21 September 2014

climate action

climate refugee in Bangladesh, by Munem Wasif: "Flood waters remain logged. The people have adapted to
this aspect of climate and continue to exist in waist-deep flood waters, sometimes even inside their homes."

Take take take, more more more. The consumerist world that has been created for us by the rich and powerful is like a bubble, with little connection to the Earth that gives us life. We’ve become conditioned to accept that meat comes in packets, expect that clothing should be super-cheap and have unlimited stock, and that fuel just comes out of a convenient metal tank at a service station. How can we have harmony with the environment and have a moment to question where these products come from, when everything is moving so fast that we want them NOW? Reconsidering our habits, lifestyle and consumer choices are changes we can effect within us, and it’s never too late to do so. With so many resources at our fingertips on the internet - whether it be switching to green power, conscious eating, or recycling - it’s easier than ever to be green. Even the smallest actions count, all amounting to one great, powerful effect. It all starts with a thought.

Changing our own lives is important. But the biggest changes must come from above. Calling to account our governmental leaders to reflect their people’s concern for the environment presents a problem that apparently isn’t as straightforward as taxing big polluters and investing in renewable energy sources. Agendas are riddled by back-room handshakes from greedy magnates and vested interests. It’s maddening to watch their thumb-twiddling, head-scratching and back-and-forthing as the news tells us that people are already suffering, their lives at risk, as a direct result of climate change. The increasing occurrence of natural disasters has been linked to it. Human greed has contributed vastly to the problem. Take take take, more more more.

We all know the Earth is dying, now at an urgent rate. It's up to the individual whether that is accepted (or worse, dismissed) as inevitability beyond repair, or whether deep concern for future generations translates to hope for change. One thing is certainly unanimously acknowledged: saving our planet is no longer an alternative mandate. The science has spoken, people are galvanising, and world leaders should be taking notice.

amongst 30, 000 Melbournians in the worldwide People's Climate March

I was proud to be one of approximately 30, 000 citizens marching in Melbourne today as part of the worldwide People’s Climate March, preceding the UN Climate Summit of world leaders in New York this week. We want our leaders to know that we want immediate and real action on climate change, with an economy that works for all global citizens and of course the planet we live on. It was a glorious sunny day, with a humbling vibe of goodwill. I don’t think I’ve ever high-fived and smiled at so many strangers before. Kids, uni students, adults of many ages, the elderly, people on wheelchairs, a rainbow of cultures: a broad representation of impassioned Australians. If any commercial news channels only choose to give airtime to the most stereotypical-looking of 'hippies' at the event, please consider that this is likely due to a subconscious prejudice and blatant information control; provision of fuel for those most opposed to the issue at hand, who will readily bah-humbug this as an uprising of smelly stupid hippies misguided by lefty idealism. Questioning the reliability and twisted intentions of our news sources is not only another important step in progressing the issue at hand, but also in opening up our acceptance of others.


a little post-march snooze in the sun wearing House of Riot and The Future eye

I am also proud to represent The Future, a new climate justice group that originated in the UK and has just commenced operations in Australia. Ollie Henderson from The Future has a clothing label called House of Riot, and she generously gave me one of her cool and succinctly-sloganed t-shirt designs for me to wear today. It was a tough call with so many great slogans, but I chose “SAVE THE HUMANS” in the end. It got a fair bit of attention, but my favourite was from a delightful elderly man who stopped me and said “I just love the message of your t-shirt. To me it is the most important reason that I am here today. I'm not sure that the politicians realise that is what it's about, too - their people.” We also painted circles around our eyes – the defining visual campaign for The Future, which is a statement to our leaders: “we are watching you”.

And I will be. Very closely.