When reflecting on what I was going to say for this 3min talk I had mixed emotions present themselves.
First I was excited, I thought yeh, I can rev people up in the crowd and get people excited to take action on climate change.
I left it for a few days and sub-consciously kept pondering about what I was going to say.
After thinking about it further, I then started to feel sad. I was thinking about how we are seeing evidence of weather patterns changing already and what that means for our children, and their children and all the children around us, and countries around the world that will experience far greater impacts than us.
But then, on further reflection, that sadness turned into anger. The more I thought about it, the more angry I got. Why are we meeting yet again to call for more action on climate change? Climate change has been known as an issue for many many years now and we are still having to turn up to rallies like today to call for stronger action.
Over that time of turning up to rallies, it seems Australia has gone backwards.
Politicians are making decisions on our behalf, bad decisions that are taking care of vested interests. They say we need to think about jobs and our economy. Well I say we need to think of humanity. What is the point of having jobs for the future, when there is no future because we haven’t acted quickly enough on climate change?
But then after vetting my anger, I read Tim Flannery’s email from the Climate Council about the upcoming Paris Talks and he said he is feeling hopeful. And that many people from around the world are coming together and this is a good thing.
“In 2009, 190 countries met in Copenhagen to discuss a global agreement on climate change. And while the conference was widely dismissed as a failure, it actually triggered a significant shift in global energy use and production away from fossil fuels - giving rise to the renewables revolution.
And now six years later, as I head off to Paris for the climate talks, I’m hopeful. Because conferences like these don’t make change - they mark it. These talks will give yet another boost to the momentum we’re already seeing behind this renewable energy revolution. The commitments made by countries as part of the Paris talks will alone almost quadruple renewables capacity by 2030!”
And after reading this, it dawned on me. There is a revolution happening and it is happening now – we are seeing it on the ground, in Bendigo, in communities all over Australia, in communities all over the world.
There is a revolution and we are all part of it. We can all take action on climate change. Action that will contribute to the global response that is so needed.
We can do this at a personal level and we must also do this at a community level. We need to collaborate with people and organisations we don’t normally work with. We need to have a louder voice when it comes to advocating to our politicians. We need to know that collectively we can make a difference and it is going to take something and it will be worth it if we do.
This revolution will continue to grow and be successful when we take on an approach of “collective leadership”. What I mean by that is regardless of the role we play no matter how big or small we are ALL leaders. It’s individuals, neighbourhoods, towns, businesses, local government, state and federal politicians. This isn’t about us vs them, one side of politics over another, one powerful organization vs a small community. There is only one side and it’s called US – HUMAN BEINGS. This is about humanity and we are all in this together, and all of us can be a part of it.
We all have a role to play and what we have to look at is what is our role and what can we do that is stretching us that little bit more.
- Like having a conversation with someone you wouldn’t normally talk to about this and asking them what are they doing to address climate change,
- or asking everyone in your street to join with you in making the street zero carbon emissions,
- or getting your whole school to sign a letter to the State Gov urging them to invest in clean renewable jobs for the future,
- or picking up the phone to Malcolm Turnbull and asking him to step up Australia’s response to climate change at the upcoming Paris talks.
Colin will talk about more things we can do shortly, but firstly let’s have a show of hands – who here is up for being part of this revolution, who here is willing to take on that bit more to address climate change and work together to make it happen.
And on the count of three let’s all shout out three times with a big cheer at the end:
JOIN THE REVOLUTION, CLIMATE ACTION NOW!