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Asks me as I sit tapping away at my fossil fuel powered laptop, the outside world drowned in white noise from my similarly powered fan. Is there anything we can do to enact change? And will we be bothered?

I feel completely powerless when it comes to the political and economic debate that surrounds climate change. Perhaps I should be acting out my feelings literally and returning to a lifestyle more akin to the one I lived as a child: spending weekends on a property 40km from town and 6km from the nearest neighbour, eating fresh food cooked in a camp oven over a fire (then kept edible in a kerosene fridge), working or walking during the day and doing crosswords and reading by gas-lamp only at night.

It’s unusual for me to take a detour from transmedia, film and television content, but I read an article on New Matilda today that really affected me. It comes only a few weeks after the Copenhagen circus. What will it take for government to make decisions based on the ongoing and long term welfare of its citizens? I am reminded very much at the moment of a unit I studied at university called The Citizen vs The Consumer. Is this how it’s played out in each of us and as a group? We internalise anxiety about the devastation of our planet and go on doing the exact same things that caused the problem in the first place. That old definition of insanity – repeating the same behaviour and expecting different results – comes to mind.

With so much positive press about the mobilising power of social media lately, I started looking around at what’s creating disruption in the climate issue on the internet .

Blog Action Day has taken place for 3 years now. The aim of the global event is to promote conversation. It calls for bloggers to take up the challenge and write about the nominated annual topic on the same day of the year. Last year 13,605 blogs from 156 countries participated in the event and more than 18 million readers learned something about climate change.

350.org is a site on a mission to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis — to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet. The site is named after the maximum parts per million CO2 Earth’s atmosphere can tolerate and still sustain healthy human civilisation. Currently there are 390 parts. 350.org is packed with information and suggestions for taking action. The site uses Flickr, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and RSS to maximise its reach, as well as enlisting influential spokespeople including David Suzuki and Desmond Tutu. It’s available in 8 languages.

If you’re bored with stalking your exes and being poked by people you hated at highschool on garden variety online communities, you might care to try one of the green social networks that have been populating the web in recent years.

Climate skeptics think global warming is a huge farce, that the earth cyclically warms and cools. That’s all I’m going to write about that.

At least one of my peers believes the only way out of the mess we are in is through a fundamental change from liberal democracy to good old fashioned fascism. He reckons it’s the only chance tough decisions that need to be made will actually be made.

Another response to the crisis we’re seeing is a resurgence in paganism and sustainable living.

In recent months my mind has entertained visions of the shift to a simple, rural lifestyle (as long as fast broadband and big screens are involved) and I wonder if that’s the kind of change I need to be making to make my difference.

What are your thoughts about this issue? How do we create the change we talk about wanting?

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2 Comments

    • Stu mannion
    • Posted January 17, 2010 at 9:49 am
    • Permalink

    The problem with a simple rural lifestyle is all the driving. Driving is the single worst thing you can do. Inner city living is more efficient I think. Call me irrisponsable but I think the only way we’re going to get enough change to make a difference is with technology advancements. Idealy and not totally unrealistically the refinement of a new energy source. A breakthrough in solar, a new type of nuclear fission or even better cold fusion. The first world can all turn to electric cars and that will make a difference but intill first and 3rd worlds turns from coal and oil it’s not going to be enough.

    • Michael Ney
    • Posted January 19, 2010 at 11:08 am
    • Permalink

    I’d like to make people aware of the plan that a Melbourne based group called Beyond Zero Emissions is doing. Hearing this plan enthused me so much that I am now engaged in a documentary on the group and their progress in implementing the plan.

    See: http://beyondzeroemissions.org/zero-carbon-australia-2020


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