Climate change is not just a scientific or technical problem, nor can it be solved in the “usual” way. Instead, people need to get organised and develop solutions that improve lives and communities as well as protect the environment.
This was the central theme behind the “Creating a climate for change” public meeting held on August 11 in the Northcote Town Hall. The meeting was organised by the Melbourne Playback Theatre Company and Darebin Climate Action Now.
Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) CEO Dr Stephen Bygrave told the audience that there are many solutions available right now for dealing with climate change, such as fast trains as an alternative to flying, solar power and shifting to climate safe agricultural practices and land usage.
These alternatives could also help create jobs, but what is needed is more investment in solar and wind energy, he said.
Bygrave outlined some of the changes being implemented at the local level. He said BZE is working with regional councils in Noosa, Byron, Cairns and Lismore to address issues of street lighting, waste management and land use. The ACT government has also asked BZE to provide advice on how to implement some of their solutions in the nation's capital.
Lucy Best from Positive Charge, a free energy advice service based in Melbourne, spoke of the work they are doing assisting local councils in Victoria and New South Wales to reduce their carbon footprint.
Best said Positive Charge had also started a “Solar Saver” initiative to help those who could not otherwise afford to install solar.
While climate change is scary topic for many people, measurable actions such as these make it easier to discuss this issue, she said.
Director of city design and projects at City of Melbourne Professor Rob Adams spoke about the importance of urban planning and resource management when it comes to the climate crisis.
Karen Large from Darebin Climate Action Now outlined some of the group's future plans and invited people to sign their emergency petition calling on all levels of government to get moving on addressing climate change immediately.
The night was rounded off with an interactive performance organised by Playback Theatre.
[Darebin Climate Action Now's petition can be signed here.]