A recent Goulburn Post editorial (March 1) encouraged individuals to get involved in Clean Up Australia Day, as a positive way to care for the planet and make an immediate difference. Better than yelling at protests or trying to convince a wider audience of scientific facts.
On Saturday another event -Earth Hour - was held. It is one of the largest worldwide community movements for the environment.
The challenge of such events lies in converting these days and hours into widespread changed behaviours by the majority.
If not, they run the risk of being nothing more than feel good actions by individuals. Events ignored by those who can make a genuine and immediate difference - our governments.
Politicians love to show up for the photo op. At volunteer events, when what we really need is politicians who go back to parliament and introduce regulations and policies that reflect these concerns. Instead we get motherhood statements, and policies that support vested interests.
Will Earth Hour become nothing more than an hour under candlelight, or playing 'murder in the dark' with the kids? A feel good event for individuals, while our politicians turn us back to the dark ages with continued support for a small number of corporations who create the majority of global emissions? And laws are changed to allow forests to be logged and burnt to generate electricity as renewable energy?
Clean Up Australia Day? When the NSW government still lags behind all other states and territories in even banning single use plastic items? When mining is now allowed in our water catchments and rivers are polluted by industry.
Perhaps its time to have a Clean Up Australian politics day instead?
When our elected representatives don't listen to community voices, or even act in a way that reflects community standards of basic decency in the workplace, it's easy to understand why people feel the need to speak out (even yell at times) to make themselves heard above the business as usual approach.
Mark Selmes, Taralga
Small steps can drive down community emissions
The key to driving carbon down emissions in Goulburn Mulwaree is now in all of our hands with the release of the BZE-Ironbark Sustainability Snapshot tool: https://snapshotclimate.com.au/
Until now the exact amount of carbon emissions generated by a community, has not been known and now that knowledge enables us to direct our efforts to make the biggest difference to emissions reduction. In our case, the consumption of electricity is largest source of emissions totalling some 43 per cent versus transport at 26pc and agriculture at 20pc.
The recent formation of the Goulburn Mulwaree Grazing and Farming Group is designed to drive down farming emissions and draw down carbon. However we can make an even bigger difference by driving down our electricity emissions and making buildings more energy efficient.
A community energy project, over and above the excellent work of the Goulburn Solar Farm, looks to be the best way of reducing our emissions, creating jobs and reducing power prices. It is something that could be achieved by the coming together of the community, the council and the Chamber of Commerce.
It could be done under Community Voice for Hume's 'Building Hume's Future Together' program as it is already in progress.
In the meantime simple things such as allowing your grass to grow higher and putting your mower on the highest setting can help improve your soil, increase moisture levels and carbon drawdown.
Individual members of the community can measure their own carbon footprint and take action by using the calculator here:- https://www.lowcarbonliving.org.au/.
Bob Philipson, Goulburn
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