Stand Up And Be Counted – There’s Sustainability In Numbers

A couple of months ago I wrote about being inspired Hands cradling planet Earthto take action.

I mentioned how, even if you are very clear about why you – everyone – need to live more sustainably, sometimes it just gets too hard, too wearisome.  And that’s when we need help.

And I know that a lot of us are feeling that way right now.

Every day there are stories about how our climate is changing.  Fires are raging – earlier this year than previously experienced.  Floods.  Droughts.  Polar and glacial ice melting.  Ocean acidification. And temperature records smashed.

And often these stories are about how the changes are far worse than anyone ever thought.

Then there are all the stories about how companies are going to great lengths to exploit fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.  Stories about how they will stop at nothing, including poisoning precious water resources, land, air – and people…and destroying valuable farmland and places of great natural beauty – even World Heritage-listed icons like the Great Barrier Reef.

And finally, there’s what our governments are doing…or not doing, as the case may be.

Sometimes it feels like we are living through the early stages one of those horrible dystopia or science fiction stories.  I’m sure you know the ones, where a few people or an organisation becomes all powerful, destroying civilisation…while a few warriors on the edge of society battle valiantly to restore some semblance of civilisation. 🙁

And it’s times like these that we really need help to keep persevering…to know that we’re not alone…to inspire us and remind us why we need to make the changes we need to make.

As I have said before, it is very important in our quest to live more sustainably to ‘hang out’ with people who can keep us on our path. 🙂

And sometimes it’s important to stand up for what is right…to stand up and be counted.  And that’s always easier if we join with others.

In 2011 we faced a turning point when climate scientists warned it was the beginning of the critical decade for climate change…and stronger action was needed if we were to avoid the catastrophic effects of rising greenhouse gas emissions.

Today, we’re at another turning point.

We are in new territory in terms of global warming.  In Australia, summer has come early & bushfires are already burning.   But Australia is poised to go backwards on climate action… at a time when the government’s own independent climate policy advisory body has warned that current emissions reductions targets are “inadequate” and that stronger and more ambitious targets are needed.

Paying lip-service to climate action no longer cuts it.  But political and industry leaders won’t take effective action to combat climate change unless the community demands it : they are actually followers, rather than leaders.

So now is the time to join with others, to show how much you care about having a habitable planet.

Most Australians want stronger action on climate change.  People around the planet want – and need – stronger action on climate change.  We need to show it.

Now is the time to come together to turn up the heat & launch a summer of climate action.

Thousands of people all over Australia – and in other countries – have said they won’t stand by while governments make contradictory decisions and unwind any steady progress we’ve made toward stabilising our climate.  They – like me – won’t stand by while governments and companies put our health, environment, economic security and future generations at risk.  Indeed, there is evidence that ‘uprisings of people…represent the likeliest source of “friction” to slow down an economic machine that is careening out of control.’

So we’ll be hitting the streets to unite for climate action…and we’ll be letting our governments, companies, retirement funds and banks know that we want change – for safe climate for us and future generations to live in.

In Australia, there are two things you can do in the next two weeks.

First, join in the National Day of Climate Action late in the morning on Sunday, 17 November 2013.  To find out where your nearest event is – or to volunteer to host one – go to  Remember to wear hot colours (red, orange, yellow) and bring friends, a hat and water.  And, of course, donations are always welcome to help cover costs.

National Day of Climate Action image

And second, if you have any opinions as to how the new Australian government should go about implementing its Emissions Reduction Fund then you should let the government know.  It is seeking comments on any aspect how the Fund should be designed.  This includes any views you may have on potential sources of low cost abatement, and on key design features such as auctions, baselines and contract arrangements.  To send our comments, just go to the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund – Call for public comment web page.  You will need to get your comments in by 5pm on Monday, 18 November 2013.

I’ve already made a start.  Yesterday I made a submission on the exposure drafts of the new Australian government’s bills to repeal the current legislation for a carbon price and for the Climate Change Authority. 

Now I’m aiming to send a submission on the Emissions Reduction Fund…and (very importantly) I am preparing for the National Day of Climate Action on 17 November

And anyone, anywhere can gather with others to support each other and provide the necessary “friction” for systemic change.  You’ll be in good company.

Will you join me?

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Till next time…be gentle to yourself and our world!


Large image courtesy GetUp!