by Pat Wundersitz and Anne Wharton
Friday 4 May 2018. Well, the force was certainly with us at Elder Hall in the dynamic duo of Lisa Lumsden of RePower Port Augusta and Peter Owens of The Wilderness Society. They preceded Bill McKibben of 350.org, who spoke of many matters affecting the world’s environment, including his absolute shock at seeing a part of the Barrier Reef, which he had previously visited when it was flourishing, now resembling a barren tennis court.
Following the 3 talks we were all asked to write a letter to the Prime Minister and leave it with the volunteers on the night. My letter in part reads:
… as a result we have committed to write and exhort you to embrace the way we do business in Australia. In Honolulu this week, the CO2 levels registered 412 ppm, which is a huge rise since the beginning of this century.
We need to keep encouraging renewable sources of energy, which will employ a number of our citizens in ongoing work. We need to keep divesting our savings into financial institutions which do not support the fossil fuel industry. We need to halt the expansion of fracking, e.g. new proposals in the NT and SE of South Australia.
We need to stop coal mining in the Galilee Basin which will carry disruption to the water of the Great Artesian Basin. This bothers me greatly, to think that coal producers may have this ancient water for free, but are likely to disrupt water sources for farmers, graziers and people of inland areas.
I worry for the people who follow us. I feel that the destruction of so much of our heritage will leave little joy and wonder in the natural environment that we have experienced.”
I was impressed with the slides of actions taken by 350.org groups around the world – actions have been taken in most countries and these were colourful and truly inspiring. Bill closed his talk with a reminder for 3 things to work on:
- 100% renewables
- No new fossil fuel projects
- No money for dirty energy…. He talked of the importance of removing the social license for projects that do such huge damage to our environment