Last year I heard a speech by Professor Jeff Sachs which crystalised a lot of things for me. (Sachs is a Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.)
I’m giving a speech myself soon at The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. It’s for Design Week and it’s about ‘the importance of creativity for sustainability’. In preparing I’ve found myself coming back to Sachs’s talk at Sydney Uni.
Reason being Sachs puts the whole damn thing in context. He describes how we got to where we are now, how special our time is, and how we are at a watershed moment in human history where we’re going to have to make a fundamental shift to a sustainable economy.
In this post I’ve included a synopsis of the Sach’s speech and links to a podcast of it. I’ve also posted some notes from my proposition that creativity is going to be key in re-thinking and changing how we live.
With all this gloom and doom around, here’s something positive you can do. It’ll not only be good for your weekly budget, but all also make you happier. And surprise, in a very small way, also be good for the planet.
Grab a shovel, go out to the verge in front of your house, and dig it up. That’s right, turn that earth, plant some vegies in there, and watch food grow before your very eyes.
I did exactly that and you wouldn’t believe the results. Vegies are just some of them.
Earth Hour is on again – tonight 28th March at 8.30pm. The event asks people and businesses to turn off lights and appliances for one hour. It ran for the first time in Sydney only a few years ago. Since then the idea has been picked up by many other major cities around the world.
But looking beyond all the hype, how useful is it really in helping to tackle the problem of climate change?
Just at the time Australia is launching into an emissions trading scheme, the EU one appears to be faltering. Eek. In this post we’ve collected links to articles and videos on the European scheme and the political stoush that’s happening here in Oz. (We predict it’s only a matter of time before the Opposition here cotton on to the European failings.) And of course there’s the question of – what the hell is an emssions trading scheme anyway? Plenty of people wouldn’t have the foggiest. We explain here at the end. Click on.
The last few days has seen some of the worst fires in Australia’s recorded history. That’s in the South East of the country. Meanwhile in the north we’ve had extensive flooding. Not so well covered in the Australian media has been the snow storms enveloping the Northern hemisphere in places like the UK.
So is climate change the cause of these extreme weather events?
It’s less than a year until the major UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen – where the nations of the world are meant to settle on an agreement that will take us the next step on from the Kyoto Protocol. In the lead-up to Copenhagen, nations have been meeting at Poznan in Poland to prepare the ground.
The program for this week is on climate change. And specifically the Garnaut Review and where Australia is headed. We have an interview with Professor Ross Garnaut and comments from leading green and business groups. Check out the show live to air on Thursday 17 July at 9am – streamed live at 2ser or on your wireless at 107.3fm. You can also download segments onto your ipod through the itunes store.
And we have these videos from the Garnaut Forum. In fact you can even rate what he has to say. In this video, the good professor lashes out at the sceptics (in his own gentile way):
Here’s what Ross said when asked why Australia should act when other countries aren’t:
And here’s what Professor Garnaut had to say about compensating the coal industry:
The car lobby is given the right of reply in this podcast. I speak with Alan Evans, President of the NRMA, Australia’s largest motoring body. He says the GetUp organisation need to get real. To build public transport to all parts of Sydney and into the country is simply not going to happen. That people are always going to have a need for mobility. And since most of the growth of the traffic in our cities is commercial operators, do we really want to see refrigerators being wheeled onto a train instead? Listen to the interview with Alan Evans from the NRMA – on cars, public transport, fuel price increases and peak oil.