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Overheard at the GetUp Climate Torch Relay finale, Sunday 12 October

By Overheard - 13 October 2008 31

The GetUp Climate Torch Relay reached its finale yesterday with a great event on the lawns in front of Parliament House.

While Messrs Rudd and Turnbull were otherwise occupied with the melting global financial system (as opposed to melting polar ice caps), Greens leader, Senator Bob Brown was on hand and spoke passionately, vehemently and inspirationally.

Can’t tell you too much about what he said as I was running around taking pics and helping people off-stage etc.

It was a brilliant day. It was short on political rhetoric and big on tips and traps for reducing, recycling and reusing. The GetUp theme was: Be a super hero for climate change, so there were orange capes for to don to signify their will to reduce their use of precious natural resources.
(On topic, I just realised the living room light that’s been burning usefully since 5.30am is now surplus to requirements. Back with you in a few seconds. Flick!)

(Slideshow and more below)

The day was a chance for green-related groups to get some exposure. For example, the latest ‘No Dam’ issue of the Mary River in Queensland was news to me. I’ll certainly be visiting EarthBasics in Fyshwick soon to pick up some earth-friendly cleaning products and thereby stop washing bucket loads of ammonia and other chemicals into the environment. And unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to go chat with ‘Australian Ethical Investments’ about their work.

The day cheered my little community-minded heart no end, as people were encouraged (with a little/lot of jibing from the MC) to have a chat to strangers about what they do to reduce their consumption. My personal tips were the wind-up torch I bought recently that powers one of my mobile phones as well. Or the simple practice of dropping a washing-up tub into the kitchen sink so the grey water can go on the lawn instead of down the sink.

Rhys Muldoon took the microphone-shaped baton during the main part of proceedings, showing what an eminent professional he is, geeing up old and young alike as the torch made its way to the stage, and the elected ones got their 15 minutes of stage time. (As reported elsewhere, I was given some excellent advice from Len of Len’s Hairdressers in Puckle Stree, Moonee Ponds on how to get the suits off stage if needed, but ultimately, with Rudd and Turnbull nowhere to be seen, I didn’t need his hair-sweeping broom to clear the politicians out. Katy Gallagher was slightly in awe of the hard act she had to follow in Bob Brown and MC of the time, Rhys was actually having a chat to me and unaware Katy had finished her shorter than short speech, having to make a mad gallop up the steps to back-announce her.)

Mostly, it was a great day for entertainment. Unfortunately Dubba Rukki weren’t available but there was some great music from Equinox, Chorus of Women, Sarah Daphne Foo, Cyrenes, Fizz, Locki Gillis and Chris Kunze, and the wonderful Simone Penkethman.

Go Google their ar$es!

The impetus from the day will be only carried through if everyone present (and everyone not present) can find the motivation to switch off the V8s and the cricket and 90210 or whatever dross they’re watching, and GetUp (off the couch), StandUp and put some political pressure on our elected brethren and sisteren to do something about climate change.

Oh, and you can probably do something too. Are you actually watching that TV or can it go off now?! That wrapper that just went in the bin: does it have a recycling sign on it?

Disclaimer: ‘Overheard’ is not a member of GetUp (yet) nor is he aligned with any political party or any movement that isn’t somehow related to music.

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31 Responses to
Overheard at the GetUp Climate Torch Relay finale, Sunday 12 October
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RuffnReady 12:04 am 15 Oct 08

And if you’re really serious about challenging the way you see the world, go here:

http://www.soderberg.tv/

and check out some excerpts from johan Soderberg’s work, and maybe one day I’ll show you ‘The Planet’ or ‘Surplus’.

RuffnReady 6:27 pm 14 Oct 08

As for Kosh’s comment about being unable to reduce his meat intake, what a friggin tool. He’s always been a tool, but that just makes him more of one. It’s easy to reduce your meat intake to something more rational, not to mention far better for your body than basing your diet around meat at every meal. I can just see him whining “…aw but Mel, I NEEEEED steak every night!” No you don’t you tool, and if you have a really good steak once a fortnight or once a month you’ll actually appreciate it.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of citizens of modern western societies have become so atavistic that we confuse ‘want’ with ‘need’. “I need a new car!” “I need a McMansion!” “I need meat 3 times a day!” No you don’t, you WANT those things. You NEED sustenance, water, shelter, a reason to get up in the morning, and social contact.

RuffnReady 6:21 pm 14 Oct 08

Sam – I agree that Australia acting alone is absurd, I don’t believe I ever advocated that… my point was that the environment is always the first priority to give way to ‘other circumstances’ which are usually economic, a paradigm which is absurd over the long-term but makes sense in the context of 3-year electoral cyles.

Action on climate change has to be global or there’s little point, but in any change movement there are always early adopters who lead the way, as there will be in the case of cutting carbon, and the early adopters usually end up either broke or the big long-term winners. Do it right (demand reduction, efficiency and conservation first, in conjunction with a paradigm shift in the way we use energy), lead the way, and you will win. I know it’s pie-in-the-sky, but you’ve got to have hope…
As for the Native Americans, decent point you make, but they also hadn’t massively exceeded the sustainable limits of their environment as we have.

BTW, if you are interested in these issues, take 20 minutes and watch this:

http://www.storyofstuff.com/

Then show your family and friends. It packs a lot of really good, thought-provoking information into a digestible 20-minutes video.

Overheard 4:40 pm 14 Oct 08

stray said :

good vege burgers too..mmmm! give kochie one of those!

Bugger. Missed out on the vegie burgers — got sidetracked by the snags, as the bogan said after making his way to the bar through the ‘Politics in the Pub’ session and the men’s knitting circle.

Ok, that’s my second Four Nut Post Bag for the day, and it’s showing I’ve only had two pints so far (from a lovely young thing from County Ann..An.. it’s in the north) so I’m off to even the score.

Have fun at The Front, those what’s going. Give me regards to all three performers.

Overheard 4:38 pm 14 Oct 08

stray said :

it was a top day.
man, i love going to these things to hear bob brown speak. id follow that man into war, protest, fires of hell etc. or give him my first born (if only he asked…*sigh*)
he’s so passionate and articulate and is one of the only pollies who makes me feel anything (apart from pure rage with messers howard, abbott et al)

i had to laugh though, when we turned up, we thought all the orange were getup workers and were thinking ‘sheesh, we’re a bit outnumbered!’

I was happy to shake the man’s hand and say it was my pleasure when he was elected to power to email my sincere congratulations and tell him that while I don’t believe in everything he stands for, I’m glad he says it and does it. Politically, that be.

His response was a big guffaw and to respond that not even his partner believes in everything he’s doing or advocating!

There’s not much not to like about him (if you can’t not misunderstand my double negative. Not.)

Overheard 4:36 pm 14 Oct 08

Unbeliever said :

A couple of weeks back there was a story on 7’s Sunrise about how being a vegetarian saves so many tonnes of CO2 over a predominantly meat based diet. The response from David Kosh was that it’d be hard for him to do this. The problem is that our current habits and lifestyle are what got us to this point in the first place. So we can’t not change these habits and lifestyle choices. How do we explain it to the next generation that the world’s in a crapper, ‘I’m sorry but I needed my meat! (V6, 3 plama TVs, french/italian (any) bottled water, etc).

The GetUp day was good. And I didn’t even mind being a rent-a-crowd for the media hoards for it.

Yeah, see, I stopped reading after I got to “7” and “Sunrise”.

It’s like someone reporting something from “60 Minutes” or “Today Tonight” or God forbid, “A Current Affair”. I’ll hold up a hand and say, ‘Thanks, but I can have my intelligence insulted without asking for it, so why I choose to attend to anything these tabloid bits of bumff have to say?’

Answer: I don’t!

Overheard 4:34 pm 14 Oct 08

WildWoila said :

Overheard said :

But WW, at some point when I get two minutes to rub together I WILL offset my carbon emissions, because I do HAVE to fly the big winged bird for work (1) and work (2) and work (3), sometimes for work (4) and private and personal reasons (5-27).

Well, when you do get around to offsetting, you’ll want to check out Carbon Offset Watch:
http://www.carbonoffsetwatch.org.au/

But in my view, offsets are very much a last resort thing.

Many thanks. I’ve not begun my search/look in earnest but my meagre enquiries have, like the greengrocer’s barrow after rush hour at the markets, proved fruitless.

Hmm, even I know that one needs work.

Much obliged for the info. There’s a longer story here about the Federal Government prevaricating over their selection of an offset provider (if their be such a term) but that’s for another time and debate.

stray 4:15 pm 14 Oct 08

good vege burgers too..mmmm! give kochie one of those!

stray 4:14 pm 14 Oct 08

it was a top day.
man, i love going to these things to hear bob brown speak. id follow that man into war, protest, fires of hell etc. or give him my first born (if only he asked…*sigh*)
he’s so passionate and articulate and is one of the only pollies who makes me feel anything (apart from pure rage with messers howard, abbott et al)

i had to laugh though, when we turned up, we thought all the orange were getup workers and were thinking ‘sheesh, we’re a bit outnumbered!’

Unbeliever 2:13 pm 14 Oct 08

A couple of weeks back there was a story on 7’s Sunrise about how being a vegetarian saves so many tonnes of CO2 over a predominantly meat based diet. The response from David Kosh was that it’d be hard for him to do this. The problem is that our current habits and lifestyle are what got us to this point in the first place. So we can’t not change these habits and lifestyle choices. How do we explain it to the next generation that the world’s in a crapper, ‘I’m sorry but I needed my meat! (V6, 3 plama TVs, french/italian (any) bottled water, etc).

The GetUp day was good. And I didn’t even mind being a rent-a-crowd for the media hoards for it.

WildWoila 2:01 pm 14 Oct 08

SamTSeppo said :

WildWoila, happy to! Basically, since Diamond first gathered his data back in the mid-90s a series of scientists from Australia, New Zealand and the US have started doing extensive research on Easter Island that shows that Diamond’s narrative of “ecocide” turns out to be a case of severe data cherry-picking.

This link offers a good layman’s description of what the new data has to say in regard to Diamond’s work:
http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/issue.aspx?id=1002&y=2006&no=5&content=true&page=5&css=print

Thanks for that – very interesting!

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