I never expected Tony Abbott to take any sort of stance to fight climate change, so I’m not entirely surprised by his current move to form an alliance to put economy before environment. I don’t agree with it, but I am not surprised by it.
I am however surprised and disappointed by the ACT Government’s move to reduce their use of renewable energy for their services by more than three quarters. All this given their (very) recent announcement to achieve 90% renewable energy use across the Territory by 2020.
According to the Canberra Times, renewable energy use in ACT government directorates fell by 83% in 2012-13 and carbon emissions from the ACT public service rose 15 % over the past year.
Of course, I have read enough to know of the financial pressures on businesses and government and that the increased cost of renewable energy can be off putting. I can’t help but wonder though, if this is an issue that is fairly timely. Surely this isn’t something that can be ‘put off until we have more money’?
As a mother of 3 small children I feel a responsibility, or in more honest terms, a level of guilt over the fights they will have to fight on account of decisions we have made and are making now.
My neighbours have a garden full of fruit trees and vegetable plants. We have lemons and mandarins that droop into our driveway, that we can pick anytime. They installed double glazing (having lived in the UK for a number of years I can’t help but wonder why these haven’t been installed in every house in Canberra), haven’t extended their standard three bedroom home and use a wood burning heater. They make me wonder if we have strayed too far from what is sustainable. When I picture buying a house I think of 4+ bedrooms and plenty of garden space. Should I actually be contemplating something smaller that is more efficient to heat?
And then there are questions over the toxicity of cleaning products, the food miles clocked up in our grocery shop etc etc.
In all this it frightens me that we are becoming fatigued by the environmental message and that we potentially face a time (hopefully just one election term…?) where we move backwards and lose focus – and stop believing that protecting our planet for our kids is important.
For me, I’m trying to work out how to shift my family’s mind set towards simpler things, reduce our household waste and stop quite so much plastic crap entering our house. Wherever possible that extends to buying locally grown produce.
I can’t help but feel like it’s a small thing for us to make these changes. For the big things we are so reliant on our government to do the right thing. I fear the impact of their current stance.