To learn a bit more about the changes necessary for the good type of change, my sister and I went along to the Transition Decade Launch (www.t10.net.au) held at Melbourne Town Hall on Sunday. It promised to be an action packed programme of enlightening speakers who could assist in articulating the events and actions required in the next decade to lower GHG emissions to a safe level, lower consumption and tackle the effects of a growing population, whilst all along transforming our economy from growth at all costs to a sustainable one. If the crowd gathered in the massive auditorium was anything to go by, expectations were high.
They certainly delivered the goods. Even this middle aged neo-hippy zombie was moved and educated by what the speakers had to say. Of particular interest to me were the words spoken by Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne (Tas). She openly stated that the two major political parties in this country and the US, UK and Canada were so alike in their policies and were hell bent on an economy based on unlimited growth. For unlimited growth to be a reality, you need unlimited resources, however, our Earth has hard limits which we are quickly reaching. Ever dwindling resources poses a major problem, not only for the way these politicians act and think, but for all of us on Mother Earth. Even though this was not new information for me, it was very encouraging to hear this from an Australian Senator. Normally they are full of hot air like most politicians. After her oration the crowd burst into rapturous applause. The truth has never been told so well. I was also impressed that she only mentioned her own party by name once at the end, and that she portrayed an air of deep belief in the message she had just delivered. I wish I had have taken my camcorder as Senator Milne was truly inspirational. I believe that my sister now has a new idol!
The other speaker that got my undivided attention was Cam Walker, the National Liaison Officer for the Friends of Earth Australia. He talked about our society and its unrelenting drive towards conspicuous consumption and consumerism, and that happiness is found within and not in the form of the latest gimmick or thing. We only require a certain amount of material possessions to make us happy like food, water, adequate shelter, clothing and love to name a few. Once at a certain level, accumulation of more stuff leads to unhappiness and cognitive dissonance in the form of 'must keep up with the jones', but hate the credit card debt'. He also delivered a message that I was familiar with, but needed to hear it from someone else to confirm that I wasn't going crazy! All of the other speakers were great as well, it was just that I had heard their messages before.
It went for three hours, but it certainly did not feel like it. The comic relief in the form of the T10 airways crew was hilarious and we all had to fasten our sense of humour for the duration. This act was seriously funny and livened up the proceedings. Transition can be a dry subject, but not when the T10 airways are around.
We left at about 3pm, and headed towards Fed Square when I had parked the car and showed Sis where the Sustainable Living Festival was going to be this weekend. She was suitably impressed, but abnormally quite. On the way home, I knew that all the new information she had just received was being deeply processed, so I slipped on the Pulse album by Pink Floyd as thinking music, and let her think things through. I was there for her if she needed clarification on anything. We arrived home, and Sis was still in deep thought and tried to convey what she had learnt to Kim. Kim is a good listener and although she has already had her green epiphany via listening to me, she helped Sis through the process of enlightenment and understanding. I sat in the background waiting for the call which did not come. We are all looking for this weekends activities at the SLF! For another perspective of the launch from my sisters point of view, have a look at her post, "It's Happening Part 2".
I have included a short video that was played at the launch, so that you can understand what the event was about. Enjoy and have a great, green week!