A quickstarter to residents of Geelong, Victoria
Get informed: Read, watch, learn
Knowledge is key, so:
Make sure to be picking up the latest news
Sign up to receive some of these newsletters in your mailbox:
• One Step Off The Grid – provided by the sister site to Australia’s leading renewable energy website, RenewEconomy.com.au. The newsletter is being specifically designed to provide information to consumers on new technologies, what other people are doing, and to help them through this maze of information. To sign up click on the button in top right corner
Get your daily climate and sustainability news fix via Facebook and Twitter. Click ‘like’ on, for instance:
Sign up to Facebook groups such as:
• Geelong Garden, Conservation & Sustainability
• Climate Change (Australia)
• Climate Emergency Mobilisation
Become member of one or several mailing lists
• Grassroots Climate Oz is a national discussion and announcement list for grassroots climate change activists in Australia. You can subscribe to the Grassroots Climate Oz email-list by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org – New members will be asked to provide names and locations and interest in the issue, and members must be approved.
• Victoria Climate Action Network
Get together around this
Organise social meetings with friends
You could invite them over to see a film, show them a powerpoint on your laptop, or hand out a booklet – or just a one-pager you have produced yourself.
A couple of potential conversation-openers:
Two short ones:
• ‘A Race Against Time’ – a six-minute “extract” of the famous tv-series Years of Living Dangerously which ran its first season in the US in 2015. “The short film presents a clear choice between a dangerous world affected by accelerating climate change and a clean energy future. The future is our choice.”
» Home page: www.araceagainsttime.org
• Here is a good 6-minute speech by Leonardo diCaprio that you might like to show
Also see the videos on Spell of climate inaction: Lift it with knowledge
Join your local climate action mobiliser group
• See VCAN’s list of climate action groups
• If you live in Geelong, see if you like what Geelong Sustainability is doing
• Help campaigns that you like. For instance, you could offer to give a hand with promoting the Climate Emergency Mobilisation initiative and/or collect signatures for their petition. Inspiration for online assignments: Toolbox
Enter politics at local level
• Become a candidate at the next Council election – support a party that advocates for strong climate action, or start your own party! What matters is that you spread the word and get engaged in the public conversation.
• See the list of petitions you could sign here and now
Get carbon physical
Make changes on the home front
Start investing. Renovate. Electrify! Begin asking yourself and explore what it takes to become a zero-carbon citizen. At a personal level, ask: “How do I achieve real carbon freedom in my own life?”
It’s time to initiate your own, personal journey towards a zero carbon lifestyle. You could aim high and become a leading all-electric urban-organic off-the-grid ‘Carbon Freedom Fighter’ and a role model for others. Or you could say, “I am only going to do what is feasible and makes economic sense at this point and time”.
For inspiration to that end, you could check some of the ideas and links on this page:
» Centre for Climate Safety:
What we all can do
Nine simple actions for reducing carbon emissions
• Minimise transport emissions
For example, walk, ride, take public transport, use an electric vehicle, avoid air travel. Instead, use video conferencing, skype for business, etc, whenever possible.
• Put your money into renewable energy
Invest in renewable energy, or donate to community solar projects – see lists of investment and donation opportunities at www.corenafund.org.au.
• Power your house with clean energy
Install solar if you can, or buy renewables-friendly electricity. Disconnect from gas – see www.greenelectricityguide.org.au.
• Be a conscious consumer
For example, buy only what you need, and buy things that last. Recycle. Upcycle.
• Eat less meat
For example, meat-free days, vegetarian, vegan
• Make your house energy efficient
• Promote the Climate Emergency Declaration campaign. This might ultimately prove to be the THE most important climate action you can take since governments have the power and resources to make the big changes we need.
Sharpen your general sense of carbon-neutrality
In every choice you make, think: “What will the carbon footprint be, if I make that choice?”
Search through The Low Carbon Economy’s lists of carbon neutral and low carbon certified businesses, for instance when you are looking for a carbon neutral hotel or biodegradable and compostable catering products.
What is it we need to do – and why?
Why we need to do something urgently is a long and complicated story – but it can in a way be explained over six minutes simply by watching ‘A Race Against Time’.
What we need to do is – as the length of the page What we all can do shows – also rather complex and lengthy. Marie Venner from the GCCM Movement explains it in this way:
“Those who’ve been looking at this the longest tell us it’s down to 1-2-3 in that order, we must decarbonize our electricity, our transport, and then everything else – without delay!
IPCC scientists, including Catholic leader and GCCM co-founder Pablo Canziani, are trying to help us by distilling some of the top points.
A drastic change, a rapid shift in the way the world produces and uses energy must occur. (See 1-2-3 above)
Already, the delay in phase out of fossil fuels has raised the need for measures to store and remove CO2, even though technologies in this area are unreliable and even unlikely at the scale needed. Staying on fossil fuels is not an option!
Adaptation measures and policies need to be implemented, such as:
In freshwater resources: rainwater harvesting, water reuse, desalination, and more efficient soil and irrigation water management, as well as restoring and protecting freshwater habitats, and managing natural floodplains.
In food production systems: altering cultivation and sowing times for key crops, breeding additional drought-tolerant crop varieties, improving water management and access to irrigation, as well as using water delivery systems more efficiently.
In urban adaptation: city-based disaster risk management such as early warning systems and infrastructure investments; ecosystem-based adaptation and green roofs; enhanced storm and wastewater management; urban and peri-urban agriculture improving food security; and good-quality, affordable, and well-located housing.
A rapid shift to clean energy is imperative and it’s possible now! It’s happening in many places already (see rapidshift.net).
How much do we value the lives of others? “The key issue is the scale of impacts and risks we are willing to bear and the mitigation actions we are willing to implement in order to minimize those impacts,” says Dr. Canziani.
GCCM Movement Sharing & Resources Coordinator”
» Grist Magazine – July 2017:
What you can do if that scary New York mag climate article drove you to act