Thursday, November 26, 2009

nature's most beautiful gift

I love trees. I love fresh air. I love beautiful wildflowers and wildlife. I love our pure, blue ocean and pristine beaches. I love the clear blue sky. I love watching the sunset and drinking clean rainwater.

For that reason, I am really sad that Kevin Rudd is being so tokenistic and short-sighted in his approach to climate change. The Emissions Trading Scheme he is blindly determined to introduce is not going to improve Australia's relationship with the environment. It may nominally balance carbon emissions but this small advantage will be outweighed by the incredibly complicated bureaucracy that will accompany it. Surely there are more simple and advantageous solutions available that don't involve an entirely new stock market and currency, stifling of the free market, a huge amount of red tape and soaring prices.

We need to get back to basics. A solution to climate change is not about having bragging rights at the next international summit. It's not about blithely copying the system adopted by other countries that clearly doesn't work. It's about being innovative, resourceful and independent; and making small, yet positive changes for the better. We need to protect Australian wildlife and preserve their natural habitats. We need to make public transport and bicycling convenient, accessible, pleasant and appealing for everybody. We need to compel companies to reduce their carbon emissions without imposing on the public. We need to instill a love for and connection with nature in children at school. We need to reject consumerism and focus on positivity and wellbeing. We need to buy canvas bags and actually use them (not leave them in the boot of the car!). We need to maintain beautiful nature parks and reserves for people and animals to enjoy. We need to provide subsidies to people who take the initiative to install solar power and rainwater tanks, who take care of injured or orphaned wild animals, who plant trees on their property, as well as businesses that promote environmentally conscious behaviour. We need to educate ourselves about bushfires and how to minimise their destruction. We need to learn to value quality over quantity. We need to subsidise and purchase from local, organic farmers. We need to, collectively, appreciate, respect and take responsibility for our beautiful, arid environment.

The ETS will not do any of these things. In fact, it will not do much at all.

“Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift.”
— Albert Einstein

My favourite beach, Meelup Beach in Dunsborough, Western Australia.

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