Creating a Climate For Change

20170111_122728A few nights ago, I went to a Climate For Change event at a friend’s house. I found it informative, confronting and it left me with a strong sense of ‘What am I going to do now.’

The information was new in some senses. However, I worked for an environmental NGO in 2001 in Canada, this influenced many papers I wrote at university and the choices I would make in my life. However, it is easy to get lost in life and forget about those issues we once held passionately close to our hearts.

In the past, my passion on issues regarding the environment were more based on my frustration that within the current system there was not enough action taking place. Progress seemed to be going very slow and economic interests took priority over environmental degradation. I remember David Suzuki saying that if something isn’t done now it’s too late. That was 20 years ago.

As I sat there listening to the words of Katerina Gaita, the founder and director of Climate for Change, David Suzuki’s words kept ringing in my ears.

Is it too late?

Here is the thing when I think about my childhood playing at the beach, being immersed in nature I am grateful that I have this as a bench mark for how life should be. I NOW acknowledge that I have a responsibility, for my children and their children, to take consistent steps to make sure they will have a similar opportunity.

Climate For Change evenings encourage conversation and sharing of information.

Points made during the Climate For Change discussion that resonated with me:

  • I believe it is our responsibility to act as stewards for the earth.
  • I think it is funny how we talk about ‘The environment’ like it is somehow outside of our selves instead of referring it to being a system that we are a part of.

These two statements impacted me because it is easy to feel like we are somehow separate from the natural environment because that is how we build our houses and cities. I always love when nature breaks through the concrete. Over the years, in my head and heart I have likened it to the most beautiful act of civil disobedience. Nature taking back the world that attempts to keep it at bay.  

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  • Carbon emissions worldwide have plateaued since 2015 but here in Australia they have increased, since the cancellation of the carbon tax.

I remember being excited when Malcom Turnball became Prime Minister. I was aware that he had a more progressive view on issues such as climate change, compared to his conservative peers. Alas it would seem that towing the party line and maintaining power outweighs what should be the commitment to current and future generations.

I always think in terms of how we can prepare children but basically, we don’t have time to wait for the next generation to do something.  What is needed is action now.  Pressure on all levels of government and media outlets needs to happen by regular people who have an invested interest in our future. Writing a letter to your elected officials, signing petitions and writing letters to media outlets is one way that you can inform those in a position to influence policy that this issue is important and should be nonnegotiable.

Preparing our Kids to Meet the Challenges of Tomorrow

Katerina said something that really resonated with me. She said she found out about Climate Change when she was 12 years old. There was something about this issue that really evoked a strong response with in her. As she tried to go into dialogue with those around her she was met with resistance that didn’t make sense to her. However, this subject of Climate Change kept coming back to her at different points in her life until she created Climate For Change, a volunteer organisation that now has over 100 volunteers and 70 facilitators that deliver programs in homes around Melbourne.

With my work I use drama, music and movement to deliver a program that seeks to support students in learning to use mindfulness and self-regulating tools to develop behaviours that help them to process their emotions and be present. Ultimately, I see myself in helping them to connect to the well of creativity that lies within them. We need creative confident thinkers going forward who harness their talents and passions to make this world a better place.

Simple Choices

My daughter is the Environmental Representative in her class. I was told by the teacher that when they discussed that position, and her class had to vote, she yelled out I am made for this job!!! Naturally, her enthusiasm was catchy so everyone voted for her.

I asked her today why she thought she was made for that position. She said, because it means we have to take care of the chickens. We had chickens for years. From a young age both of my daughters would chase them, feed them, bring them scraps and carry them around like some girls play with dolls.

It is interesting that something so simple has now lead to her, at 6 years of age, being on the schools environmental committee. She is learning about environmental issues impacting her school, they take action and she then passes that information on to her classmates.

We just don’t know how simple choices that help to connect children to the natural environment will translate in a life time of experiences. Also, our passion and beliefs as children, like Katerina at the age of 12 becoming aware of Climate Change, may create a movement, an invention, a way of being in the world that could transform life as we know it for future generations.

The cold hard facts about Climate Change are real, you can find them here but please don’t let them be an excuse for in action or apathy. Get informed, Get moving and Take action now.

Here are the Action Steps I am committing to taking…

  1. Encourage my Facebook friends to like the Climate For Change Facebook page because Social Media is powerful.
  2. Become a volunteer for Climate for Change (or another NGO that encourages people to act NOW on climate change and other environmental issues)
  3. Write a letter to my local and government elected officials with a picture of my daughters and our concerns regarding climate change
  4. Write letters to media outlets asking them to report the Truth about the environmental issues facing our county in proportion to how much they report on Celebrities and Donald Trump.
  5. Everyday connect with the natural environment. Go camping, hiking or other nature centered activities to make sure my children have an understanding of the interconnectedness of life and a strong incentive to preserve our natural environment for future generations.
  6. Get into my garden, get dirty and grow stuff
  7. Fix my bike today.

How will you take action?

To find out more about how you can take action Now follow this link  http://www.climateforchange.org.au/take_action

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