Disturbing the Peace

Apparently, according to The Age newspaper, “Australians are ‘loosing interest’ in climate change“. WTF? How can this be so?

Are we such an arrogant nation, that we dismiss the biggest threat to our way of life, as another example of ‘she’ll be right mate’ or ‘it’s all too hard’ or ‘how could I possibly make a difference?’

One thing I will say for the average Australian, is that if there is an easy way (or lazy way) to take, or avoid action, we will. It is so blindingly obvious to me now. I only have to take a look around me to notice the apathy in my fellow country men and women, who go about their business as if nothing is happening. There are the dedicated few of course, who are trying to make a difference in their own way, but for the most, it is business as usual, with happy motoring and excessive consumption the norm, which definitely confirms this statement;

“What really strikes me is that we still have so few Australians taking specific actions like substantially reducing their household energy use, driving and flying less, switching to green power, or even buying carbon offsets, especially given all of the media coverage on this critical issue,”

Given that my family have been changing our lifestyle each and every day for over two years, there is not much evidence in my neighbourhood that anyone else is actually doing much about our current predicament! All I do see and hear is just a lot of head in the sand behaviour, and that if I can’t see it, it is not happening to me. Maybe I just mix in the wrong circles?

I can also vouch for the statement that;

almost one in 10 Australians (nine per cent) strongly agreed with the statement “I have serious doubts about whether climate change is occurring”. A further 23 per cent agreed to some extent.”

I meet at least one climate change denialist every day I travel into work. I do my best to try and convince these people that the science is in, and that the truth is all around for us to see, but my simple message just doesn’t get through. I suppose I am not as convincing as Al Gore, with his authoritative tone! It makes me sad to think that there is still a large percentage of our fellow citizens that have been conned by the media and high profile denialists, and who have put considerable doubt into their minds, which has forced a kind of haze to cloud their natural perception of the world. Maybe these denialists will snap out of it in time to see the water lapping at the doorsteps of their beachfront holiday homes, or maybe they will just buy larger rubber boots and deny the fact that they have fish swimming in their living room!

What seams to be such a simple a concept to most of my readers (pump more CO2e into the air from fossil fuels, Earth heats up, temperatures rise, ice melts, global weather goes crazy, sea levels rise), is obviously so bloody hard for most ordinary people to grasp or want to understand. I can’t put it much simpler than that really. It makes me want to run down the length of Collins and Bourke streets, yelling, “Wake up to yourselves. Climate change is real!” Alas, the only thing that would probably happen is that I would get locked up for being a looney and disturbing the peace.

Now, if you call that disturbing the peace, just wait and see what Mother Nature has in store for us in a few years time! It is going to one hell of a ride if we don’t act soon.


  1. says

    I also find it very tough to ‘preach’ when there is apathy and denial all around me – people want to see hard PROOF before they will even concsider making changes :-( It’s human nature I suppose to be in denial about something as terrible as the potential impacts of CC and PO, so they are quite happy to ignore it if and until the water is lapping at their door, as Belinda said. NOT ignoring it would mean they would have to step well outside of their comfort zone I suspect, so they don’t need much of an excuse to ignore it.

    I see so many examples of this kind of thinking in other areas as well – people who wait until the bank is about to reposses their house before they decide they might need to stop spending money on their credit cards; people who never do a single spot of car maintenance who are then suddenly hit with an expensive repair bill they can’t afford; etc etc etc.

    The best I can hope to do is be the constant whisper of reason (I’ve long since given up trying to talk to people directly about PO and CC, they just stick their fingers in their ears) that might work it’s way into their subconcious through demonstrating how change is possible and the benefits of it, the same as you and your family are.

  2. Anonymous says

    Call me an optimist but I am actually uplifted by how many people are starting to adopt sustainable practices. For the last 2 years I was the only person I knew changing light bulbs, trying to grow veggies, saying ‘no thanks’ every time I bought something and somebody wanted to put it in a bag.

    Lately I’ve decided to start looking out into the broader community and there are a lot of people out there making real changes in their – the internet is full of their stories (like this blog) and their are many others like me whose stories are not told.

    There is definitely a change, a swell, a grassroots movement. Hang on in there Gavin – we are legion 😉

    an aussie mate
    ( who might one day decide to write her own blog about slowing down in sydney, living more and embracing sustainability)

  3. says

    I have a very pessimistic theory that people won’t get serious about climate change until the water is lapping at the doors of the multimillion dollar homes on “Beach Rd”.

    I am working hard at educating those that I can but at times like now when I am not well … the rolling tide of the indifference around me just runs me into the ground.

    Kind Regards

  4. says

    Gav, I hear you! It sucks, we are pathetic and uneducated and blind in seeing what is right in front of our noses, well some of us anyway. There are some of us that are blinded by the bright lights and temptations and for most part I was one of them until you patiently taught me a simpler way of life. If you can convert a head case like me then you can get your message through to anyone. Life is too short for dwelling on the unconvertable Gav, Us Australians have been educated with “she’ll be right mate” and the most part let the Fatcats handle it cause its too hard, but there are also some of us that see that the world isnt right and just need a little patient guidance to see green and not bright lights. You are doing an awsum job Gav, dont forget that… xoxox

  5. says

    Well said Gavin, I find that most of the people I know think I am a bit eccentric – why would you want to mess up a perfectly good lawn with vegetables and where are your children going to play?

    Unfortunately you are probably preaching to the converted here though, maybe Bourke Street would be better.

  6. says

    It isn’t only in Australia that people are in denial – it’s exactly the same here. Even my partner insists that this is just a natural process as we emerge from the last ice age and that nothing we do will change anything. He does recycle though.

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