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Man pushing the world
Photo: Arztsamui 

Are environmental sustainability and climate change issues getting a bit tired? Have we stopped listening and increasingly just want to get on with our lives? Are we hoping that the government or someone else will sort it out, or are we beyond caring?

Interestingly, recent research shows that Australians are increasingly apathetic when it comes to environmental issues. Apparently our interest peaked in 2007 and has been on the wane ever since. There have been many discussions that the environmental movement has lost its way and is too focused on preserving pristine wildernesses (of which there are few) and not tying environmental protection to economics.

Ideally structural reform would allow for broad changes, so individuals wouldn’t need to think about making changes, the changes would be made for us. Suddenly it would be easier and preferable to ride a bike or catch a train, because the economic and built form structures would provide greater incentives than disincentives to change our behaviour.

Our government has now re-worded its descriptions on climate change, to refer to dealing with “the inevitable consequences of climate change”. So yes, we are past the point of preventing climate change, but could still slow it down if we cared!

I have to say the air of futility is catching, but fortunately there are still some enthusiasts out there. To help reignite the passion I have joined the locally run Carbon Challenge which asks you to commit to challenges over a 3 month period, aimed at reducing your carbon footprint.

Total Environment Centre Canberra Carbon Challenge

In the international sphere The Climate Reality Project continues to present and talk about the evidence for climate change and will soon be training the next batch of climate reality presenters.

Reigniting interest may require some rebranding, rethinking and a lot of baby steps. Do you know of any exciting environment focused projects out there, that are really making a difference?

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Cathy Wilcox cartoon - First extract the conspiracy theory gene...

Another climate change cartoon to add to the collection.

This one was used to illustrate a Sydney Morning Herald article about a proposal from Oxford and New York University philosophers that humans could be genetically modified to be smaller, dislike eating meat, have fewer children  and be more willing to co-operate with social goals. Climate change utopia or human engineering dystopia?

Read more at Final frontier of climate policy – remake humans.

I have noticed that there have been a lot of hits on Joel Pett’s brilliant cartoon, asking what if climate change is a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing. In the same vein is this light hearted look at the evidence for global warming…

climate change proof

hand holding cupcake

Today was a historic day for Australia as the Senate approved a price on carbon pollution with the approval of the Clean Energy Future package.

For the first time, Australia will have a price on carbon, after the 36 to 32 vote in the upper house.

According to the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Australia is one of the top 20 polluting countries in the world. Finally we may be taking some substantial action that should benefit future generations and help the Australian economy transition more swiftly into a cleaner, greener future.

Despite massive downpours in Canberra, a crew of committed supporters celebrated the event, with the filling of a time capsule to commemorate the event and speeches from Don Henry of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Christine Milne from the Greens and Penny Wong from the Australian Labour Party.

Let’s hope that the rest of the Australian community can realise the importance of this legislation and not just think of short-term vested interests or their own hip pocket.

Obviously we haven’t paid enough attention to An Inconvenient Truth!

Coming soon is the Climate Reality Project – a day long worldwide event on Thursday 15 September with the aim of generating interest and presenting facts about climate change in an attempt to engage public conversation on how we can solve this significant global issue.

The Climate Reality Project  consists of a multimedia presentation created by Al Gore being presented every hour of the day on the 15th September.

It will be a livestream occurring in 24 different time zones to audiences around the globe, in an attempt to generate (or regenerate) interest and discussion on this topic.

For my part I am heading off to special presentation in Canberra which is one of the host cities. For more information on the Climate Reality Project or to see the trailer.