Recently we have had many fires burning around us in Victoria. There have also been heaps of fires in New South Wales and Tasmania. Every time the temperature gets high (which is often) there are many fires that start up. The Country Fire Authority have been amazing and none of the fires in Victoria have become major catastrophes yet.
And while yes, I am very scared of these fires and want to make sure we can protect ourselves, that is not what I want to write about today.
I watch these fires springing up all over the place on the web site's map, I look outside at the dead and dying countryside and I look at our dwindling dam. I watch my veggies struggle, see my chooks panting and listen to my footsteps as I walk through the orchard. My footsteps across the grass produce a loud crunching noise that sounds so wrong!
I listen to reports of cyclones on the other side of the country and reports of winter being the coldest ever on the other side of the world. I watch in horror as tsunamis and earthquakes kill people and destroy homes.
And I feel fear. Real fear!
All these occurrences are proving to us that climate change is real and it's here. And that scares me! But that's still not the root of my real fear. My real fear is that so many people are unwilling to accept the dire situation we have
I have five beautiful children and a grandchild and I want them to have a good life. I want them to be happy people, good people. They will probably want to have children of their own, just as I did. I don't want to damage our world and speed up climate change. I want my children to be thoughtful and giving and to be appreciative of the real things they have (food, water, shelter, friends) and to appreciate the wonderful world in which they live. I hope they get the opportunity to live my dream.
Why are so many people not taking this seriously? Why do I feel like I'm perceived as a doomsdayer or raving hippy if I talk about it? It's okay to talk about green stuff but not to mention the unmentionable - We are in big trouble! And then there are the sceptics; in my mind these are people who are just too scared to accept the real picture.
I feel so frustrated sometimes. If people were to take this seriously and work together it is not too late to ensure a future for our children. Soon it will be. And the lifestyle changes required to reduce our footprints are not hard, nor are they horrible. Yes it requires a lifestyle change but it is a truer, more real lifestyle where people and food and daily tasks are celebrated, not stuff and things and having and owning and being indulgent. People living the latter lifestyle are surely struggling to be happy anyway. I can't imagine that working your butt off to afford a 'thing' to impress others or indulge yourself could ever be as satisfying as achieving things for yourself and knowing you have skills to benefit yourself and others.
There are many out there who have begun to make change, no matter how small. I congratulate you and implore you to keep going. Keep making change and don't rest on your laurels. As a family, there is so much more we could be doing and plenty we need to learn before we get it right but we are always trying to find new ways to do things to improve our greeness. But there are so many that don't even try, or make a token effort and pretend they are trying. And due to those people I don't only feel fear. I also feel anger.
I often hear people dismiss out of hand buying organic or recycled because 'they are too expensive'! That is without even looking at the price charged, just a preconceived idea they have come up with and they are sticking to. Sorry but I have to say to these people - Are you fools?! Do you not realise the REAL price you are paying. No you won't part with money but you will pay with something much more valuable! I don't even begin to understand why you would come to a decision that your comfort zone is more important than the world you live in, but how dare you make that decision on my behalf and at the expense of my children. This is a situation we can address but NOW, not when it suits you or when you realise it's too late. If you don't know how to start there is plenty of information on this blog and heaps of others. Most of these people would be happy to have a personal conversation with you about how to create change. Just contact them on their emails and ask."
And as for people whinging about the carbon tax, if people are too stupid to address climate change then we need legislation to address it. The carbon tax is a fantastic idea but doesn't come close to addressing the problem. Let's heavily tax anything disposable from paper plates and glad wrap through to menstrual pads and nappies. And then there's electricity. The cost of electricity in itself doesn't seem to deter people from using it. Wouldn't it be great to fine people for overusing the precious resource! Maybe a toilet flushing tax. I know I should be paying it.
So let's stop running around pretending nothing is wrong. We need to make alternative lifestyles 'the norm' if we want to have any lifestyle at all! Oooh! I love that idea! Let's turn consumerism into a weird, alternative and unacceptable lifestyle choice!!!