Crisis? What Crisis?

head in the sandWhen I talk to some people about the seriousness of climate change, they tend to not take me too seriously, and I think it is mainly for these two reasons:

  1. If what you say is true, why isn’t the government doing a lot more?, and,
  2. If what you say is true, why aren’t there people protesting in the streets?

That’s because there’s no sense of urgency.  In the national newspapers you can read about the West Antarctic Ice Sheet breaking up and raising sea levels by 1 metre, right next to a story about the Prime Ministers Business Adviser Maurice Newman saying that Climate Change is a hoax perpetuated by the United Nations.  One is true, and the other a quack, but if you didn’t know better you would give the dire climate change story less weight.

Therefore, one very good reason for taking drastic public measures in the form of activism, street marches, protests, walk against warming etc.  in addition to just changing your life as best you can, is quite simply to create a sense of urgency in the general population.

Because right now, that sense of urgency is not there at all.  Mind you, that may change pretty soon if water gets scarce and food supplies dwindle and more beach-side properties begin to slip underwater.

The mechanism that counteracts the creation of a sense of urgency by the usual means (i.e. by articles about droughts, heat-waves, melting ice shelves etc. in the newspaper, posts in environmental blogs similar to mine, and warnings by climate scientists) is this;

A while ago, I was working at in an office tower,  when there was an audible alarm.  It sounded like it might be something serious, but I didn’t know for sure. So I looked around to see how other people reacted.

Since nobody seemed overly worried, I concluded that it was probably not a signal to leave the building, and so I continued working instead of running down the fire stairs.  Sure enough, it turned out to have been some technical glitch with the alarm system.

You see, the same happens in the larger context. When ordinary people read truly alarming stuff in the newspaper, hear it on the radio, or see it on TV, they will check around them to see how everybody else is reacting. If others don’t seem to be overly worried, they’ll shrug, decide that the alarming report was probably exaggerated, and continue about their daily business.

The only problem is in the case of climate change, we know it’s not a technical glitch, and it’s not an exaggeration, either.

They really should be worried.  By not being worried right now, could turn out to be devastating for the human race. 

And all this talk about saving the planet is rubbish.  We need to save ourselves from ourselves.  The planet will get along just fine without us, albeit in a slightly altered state and probably a lot better off, but with a lot less species inhabiting it.

It is this reason, in my humble opinion, why we need to start behaving like people who really do believe they are living in the time of the greatest emergency mankind has ever faced.

We need visible and real action because only visible and real action communicates to people who there is an emergency going on, and they should pitch in and help.

If more people also begin to notice the emergency, then my work is not for naught.  Ordinary people will begin to act in a positive way to help avert the climate crisis by voluntarily lowering their carbon footprints, or alternatively, the government of the time acting on policy and legislating large cuts in emissions and change the way we use fossil fuels.

Crisis over, and the emergency mostly goes away, except for the global warming that is already locked in.

I believe that at this point in time it will be the only way we will be able to save ourselves, unless a global leader takes the reins and leads us down the right path to avert the climate emergency.  There are signs of hope in the direction of the US and China of late, and some hope for meaningful emissions cuts at Paris at COP21.  But unfortunately no such meaningful action in Australia.

Aussie coat of arms

Source: David Pope 2014.

In this country, environmental leadership is a rare commodity indeed.  Don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen any time soon.  Look what they’ve done in reducing the Renewable Energy Target in the last few weeks.  Bloody ludicrous and the opposite direction we should be moving.

It will be up to people like you and me to step up to the crease and bat winning score!  The great thing is that lots of ordinary Aussies are installing their own renewable energy systems in the form of Solar PV on their homes.

We just need better incentives to keep the momentum going.  Taking away government subsidies from the fossil fuel industry would be a fantastic start, as would placing a price on carbon emissions.

Oh, that’s right, we had one of those that was actually working.

Some clown took it away.  I wonder who that could be?

TGoG 110 – Lucy House: Dawson Valley Free Range

Listen to the Episode Below (00:36:21)

Knowing where our meat comes from very important to Kim and me.  We want to ensure that any meat we consume has had the best possible life and has only one bad day.  Ethically raised and not factory farmed.

Imagine my delight when I was contacted by Lucy who runs a free range farm in Baralaba, Queensland.

We talked at length about farm management, how she farms without chemical inputs, and she even makes cheese. She even told me that she is a bit of a Joel Salatin groupie who has seen him talk three times!

So much great information in one episode.

You can find Lucy & Kim (her hubby) at the following places;

Dawson Valley Free Range - Kim & Lucy

Kim & Lucy


Don’t forget that this show is financially supported by you, the listener, via our Patreon page.  If you believe the show adds value to the sustainable living community and you would like to support the show, please pledge your support at http://www.patreon.com/greeningofgavin.  Any pledge small or large is most welcome, as it keeps the show going and growing week by week.

Become my patreon!

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It helps the podcast get noticed in the charts and makes it more visible for others who may be interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle in the ‘burbs.  Thanks!

Balancing Work, Play, and Rest

If I’ve learnt anything during our sustainable living journey, it would be that to stay on the path, one has to be in balance in three important areas of your life.

Your life has to have equal measures of meaningful work, hardy play, and peaceful rest.  I can speak from experience when I say that if any one of these three things begins to dominate then you may suffer physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Work Play or Rest

Work, Play, or Rest?

Let me give you some examples of this in action in my own life.

Work

When I work the day at my day job and then work on our small business at night, I find that my play time suffers, as well as rest.  Rest is vital to recharge your internal batteries so that you feel fresh as you possibly can the next day.  I know when I work too long and rest too little, I cannot think straight and make bad and unsustainable decisions.  My mind becomes cluttered and I start to feel overwhelmed.

I also take short-cuts that often have other financial impacts like paying for take-away food when we have enough food in the pantry or garden ready to cook, especially if Kim is tired as well. It also affects my mood, and that’s when tiredness leads to grumpiness.  I’m not good to be around when I have my grumpy bear head on!

Play

On the other hand, when I am on extended leave and am continuously playing and resting, I find that I have an urge to get back into some meaningful work.  Too much play and/or rest makes me feel lazy and lethargic, which is the opposite of what I am trying to achieve.  However if I balance that out with some hard work in the veggie patch or the by cleaning out the chook house, I feel much better.

Work or Play?

Work, Play, or Rest?

Exercise is another play task because it’s not work and not rest.  Daily exercise is an essential part of a sustainable lifestyle and can be a simple as a lunchtime walk, or a game in the park with friends, or pottering around the garden, or even a session at the gym.  Exercise has amazing benefits, even if only for 30 minutes each day.  Just make it fun and you will make it a habit that turns into a permanent behaviour.  I’m no Adonis but I do get my daily exercise to help keep me balanced.

Rest

I also find that if I don’t consciously take the time to rest my mind via 30 minutes of meditation a few times a week, that I begin to have cluttered thoughts and again lose focus on goals and objectives.  I would consider meditation a form of rest for the mind and spirit.  Without it, I feel incomplete.  I usually do this on the way home on the train.  By closing my eyes, clearing my thoughts and focusing just on my breathing, I find a place of inner calm that helps me wind down from my work.

Don’t forget that a good night’s sleep is essential to recharge your body’s batteries.  I read that 8 hours sleep is the minimum that your body needs to recover from the day, and by getting less affects vital regeneration that it needs to function effectively.  That old adage of “Early to bed, early to rise makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise”, has been told and repeated over generations for good reason.  That’s because it works!

A Good Balance

An example of good balance was our day yesterday.  Kim, Ben and I rose early to get to the soy candle making workshop an hour before it started so to set up before the students arrived.  We had a small breakfast and packed our lunch.  We worked hard until 2pm, then came home, unpacked the workshop stuff from the car and put it back into storage.

Kim then mentioned that she could kill a cider!  That was enough for me to seek some out.  Whilst we were relaxing, we chatted and just enjoyed each others company until about 8.30pm.  We were both tired from the days events, so we decided to go to bed (to sleep).  Both fast asleep by about 9pm.

And you know what?  We both woke this morning feeling full of energy, ready to start the new day with a bounce in our step.  That’s because everything was in balance.

Just Try Your Best

So, I’m not saying that everything has to be in perfect balance.  Nobody’s perfect, especially yours truly.

I still get slightly out of balance, but am now usually aware I am doing it and know when to reign in one activity if it starts to get out of control.  Thankfully I also have Kim to let me know if I don’t notice it soon enough.  She will soon tell me to slow down (because she cares and doesn’t want me to burn out).

Just be conscious of the amount of time you spend doing each of these three things during the day and be aware if one is taking over your life at the expense of the other two.

Too much of either one or two can lead to long-term issues further down your journey.  By using your common sense and taking the time to self check will make all the difference to your wellbeing.

I know it has for me.  Balancing work, play, and rest has made a remarkable difference to my life and to what I have been able to achieve.  I am sure it can make a huge difference to you as well.

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