In 2020 Rotary International made Supporting The Environment a new area of focus for Rotary worldwide. This is a seismic shift, as evidenced by the powerful Climate and Peace Forum Webinar I attended this evening as my action for A Year in a Day. Every quarterly Climate and Peace Forum starts with Rory Phillips’ challenging youth voice singing ‘The Truth’. The topic tonight was Climate Risks – Making Choices with impending tipping points. There could not have been better speakers: Professor Will Steffen, ANU Climate Scientist; Zara Bending, Centre for Environment Law, Macquarie University; and Admiral (Ret) Chris Barrie, Adjunct Professor Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU. They outlined that the time for a measured response to climate change has run out and that climate change poses the same risk to humanity as nuclear war.
Admiral (Ret) Chris Barrie, former Chief of the Defence Force, took us through very disturbing real war games scenarios that included mass migration, starvation, viral contagion and storm surges. The speakers emphasised that ALL OF US HAVE TO TAKE ACTION NOW – WE ALL NEED TO SHARE IN THE LOAD OF CLIMATE ACTION! Next year might be too late.
Action must include demanding leadership sets an aggressive agenda for change but it should also be part of our dinner tables, our workplaces, our clubs …. We need to write letters to the editor, sign up to workshops and commit to connecting to nature so that we recognise what we stand to lose. They stressed that we can’t continue to do business as usual. Every single thing we can do counts.
Will Steffen underlined it one more time: “You’ve got to act now, consistently and with a long term perspective.”
Zara Bending spoke of the Coalition to End Pandemics at Source which has identified that there are 1.7 million viruses in wild animals of which half could spill over to humans – so we have to urgently stop illicit trade in wild animals.
Admiral (Ret) Chris Barrie said we have to hold our leaders to account in the Courts.
They all agreed we need collective action and large scale whole of society system change. Individual action matters.
We need to make our votes count and question candidates about their agendas and we need to get young people into parliament, particularly independent women forcing deals to make change happen.
They summed it up by saying we need relentless collective action and we need to hold leaders to account.
So what is your new action for today? Personal action becomes political when you share it and stand up to be counted. We need to do more than we’re already doing. Share how you’re stepping up in the comments of this blog or our social media so that we can mobilise collective action at the rate of whole year in one day.
And listen to Rory Phillips’ song here to remind you of who we’re working to protect.
Join #AYearInADay Citizen Science Project to see if we can all inspire one another to do more to restore planetary health
We’d love you to collaborate with us and share any actions you take to restore planetary health in the comments below or on our social media. While we welcome you to share ANY ACTION you take to inspire others, we’ll be recording NEW or EXTRA actions that people take as part of our tally, because we’re trying to inspire one another to do more than we’re already doing. Feel free to copy some of the actions our participants have been sharing – the action only needs to be NEW for you. Let us know if other people are influenced by your posts, or ours, so that we can measure outcomes of this project. To leave a comment on this blog you’ll need to enter your name and email address.
Our first step is to record 365 new actions. Our second step will be to aim for 365 new actions in one single day. Imagine if we could do it every day of the year! You can subscribe to receive a daily action from us here