Starting somewhere …

Posted by  admin —August 11, 2010
Filed in Uncategorized

… anywhere.

A little while ago I wrote here:

“I am frustrated with my apathy … and the apathy of those around me in relation to the big challenges of our time. Climate change, social justice and inequality are just a few.”

I have also had a run of people asking me the same question, “What’s happening with that Transition Town project you guys got started?” My response in each was the truth, “Nothing at all”. Then the automatic run of excuses about why nothing has happened like ‘running my own business’, ‘being a father of 3 young boys’ … HOLD IT RIGHT THERE GEOFF! I can smell hypocrisy.

Yes, I am a father of 3 young boys and rather than making excuses about inaction, they should be my inspiration for doing something now. When I imagine them in the prime of their life, I want them to be in a world that is worth living in. The most important legacy of our generation (the generation currently knocking on the doors & corridors of power), will be state we leave the planet in for our children.

And then an email came in from a friend of mine about the current Federal election campaign in Australia:

“Pardon my flagrant electioneering, but……. desperate times cry out for desperate measures!

If you’re as underwhelmed by the election campaign as I am, you’re possibly considering …”

And like you Scott, I am ‘underwhelmed’ and your email inspired me to do something. Read on to find out what …

Planets Align

I was sitting at my desk, stewing on Scott’s email … then 2 more email came in about this weekend’s Walk Against Warming event – National, grassroots, collective action to send some clear messages to our political leaders.

So I decided to mobilise a Flash Mob. Well not exactly, because this gathering of people has a purpose and an intent. But the word-of-mouth principles in the invitation/recruitment hold true. It’s simple, we have a time … a place … and the purpose is to take a provocative photo that is part of a message to politicians. Whoever turn up are the right people and we will decide in the moment what the photo will be. My next door neighbour has been my sounding board and assisted me to frame the invitation. Thanks Ewan!

Here’s the description of the event in viral email #1 …
“Hello Friends

“Walk Against Warming” is a national day happening this Sunday and we are inviting you to join others in a simple activity in Aireys Inlet that will take no more than 15 minutes. Here’s a link to the Environment Victoria website to find out more about the ‘Walk Against Warming’ campaign and another link to our own Transition Mangowak website that describes what we have planned.

In 15 minutes on Sunday, what do we have planned?

Using ‘word-of-mouth’ (like this email) we invite as many people as we can to be at the Spilt Point Lighthouse in Aireys Inlet at 11am this Sunday 15th August. Please use this email and the attached flier to rally support and muster the herd!

At 11.05am, everyone forms a human sign stretching out below the lighthouse – the actual word or symbol we form will be decided ‘in the moment’ … let’s be spontaneous!

A photographer, perched high in the lighthouse then takes photos of the MOB and we use this image to send a message to our political leaders. We get the photo and our messages in the media, on website and wherever else we can.

Who should come and what should I wear?

If you are FRUSTRATED by the current election campaign and tired of climate change INACTION in Canberra, then please come along and join forces with others. Groups all over the country are sending messages in their own ways.

Given the weather forecast, wear something warm … and maybe a little loud so you can spot yourself in the group photo!

What’s the campaign message?

At this year’s Walk Against Warming we are calling on all parties to commit to:

Make the polluters pay by putting a price on carbon
Replace our most pollution power stations like Hazelwood with clean energy
Create new clean energy jobs and industries
Guarantee to cut pollution over the next term of government
Support poor and vulnerable countries to tackle the impacts of climate change and invest in sustainable development.
All Walk Against Warming events in all states have joined together on these key asks to make sure that our political leaders hear the call loud and clear.

Hope to see you there!”

And here’s the poster …

Just the beginning

So we shall see what happens this Sunday. What difference will this little event make to climate policy, the election result … probably none. But that sort of focus misses to point. These type of events are about creating a sense of ‘belonging’. Events like this, where people come together to co-create something purposeful, have a cumulative effect. Over time, they build relationships between people within and across community. They provide space for conversation and reflection.

Other events like these have emerged in our own community of late. On a small scale, a monthly ‘Chai Conversation’ at the local primary school. On a larger scale, the Aireys Inlet Open Mic Music Festival.

So, starting with this week’s lighthouse event, I’m now going to do more … be more disruptive … embrace criticism that comes my way … rattle the cages of business-as-usual … be a heretic.


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