Posts Tagged ‘melbourne’
It’s a truism that if you walk a mile in a person’s shoes, you will really know them. Today RMIT writing students and STREAT trainees walked that mile together. We spent the day in Federation Square receiving their texts, images, drawings. Can’t wait figure out how we’ll curate the work, but for now, here are some of their stories.
Easters coming, rabbits and chocolates everywhere. No sign of jesus.
Walking through the walk arcade.
Dragonboat is the place to be! Yum Cha is all the dream!
ANGUS swims beneath the bridge for the last beer
Free shaving gel given on a street corner. But now i have to carry it all day
I been hit by a pushie
Shiny red apple boy. You shine up my life.
We loved that alley, you and i. We wrapped in night and gin, the whole first year a blur.
Tell him I don’t want to go to Pony Laura. He wants to kiss you.
Bottled on a winter’s night. Can’t talk can’t speak. Yet fuck i could stick my tongue through my cheek.
And when I can afford it the 7/11 is my fluorscent heaven. I ruffle the dirty change and buy a sweet tooth pink doughnut
This whole climate change thing has to stop being fringe, and target public acceptance and mainstream understanding.
It’s been a bad few weeks for climate change, with skeptics in the US and UK making noise over trivial things. Heart heavy, I went to be cheered up at Melbourne’s Sustainability Festival, which I think has great potential to educate but comes up short when appealing to a wide audience.
At Friday’s keynote Peter Singer spoke on Climate Change As An Ethical Issue. Singer didn’t break new ground here. He gave us a sketch of his disappointment post-Copenhaagen, and how he had been holding out for political consensus on carbon reduction. His new hope? Technological innovation. He sees it as the only way to course correct. We need a paradigm shift in climate change, and our politicians don’t have the gumption to make it happen.
This didn’t sit well with some members of the audience. During Q&A –when the female journo facilitating the talk called on seven men in a row before being outed by an audience member for her gender bias– some men disputed the need to pour more resources into innovation. They argued that we already have the technology to depend on solar and wind power. Their viewpoint — I’ll call it Very Green– is that we need to continue our outspoken advocacy to make governments change their policy. We shouldn’t compromise our ethics in favour of a practical approach. We need to hold to the ethical extreme.
Singer agreed that this change would be ideal, but practically speaking, unlikely. He cited Bill Gates’ TED talk on innovation for zero emissions, and how this is the most viable horizon forward.
The back-and-forth is meant to illustrate a common problem: the reluctance of people very embedded in a cause to appeal to others less interested. To a vegan Melburnian who bikes everywhere and works on climate advocacy, technology might be a dirty word that means compromising with evil agents in the corporate world. Now imagine that you have a whole conference run by these same passionate, well-meaning, and informed Very Green people. The result is a green ghetto. The organisers run the Festival for people like themselves, who are so embedded in their social norm that they can’t see that their Festival isn’t accessible to the mainstream.
Have a look at the Sustainability Conference website. Their website doesn’t have a timeline of events for the festival. To decide what event to go to, you have to either download a program, or sort through pictorial categories. Really. My roommates and I spent 20 minutes trying to find the Peter Singer event, failed, and ended up using Google to pinpoint the right time and date. Even then, Singer’s talk in 2009 popped up first.
So apart from confessing to my questionable site nav skills, I say– bring the 2011 Sustainability Festival to the people who leave their air conditioning on all day. The people who drive whenever possible and haven’t considered the small changes they can make in their lives to reduce their carbon footprint. These are the ones who need engaging on the climate front.