This weekend artists, scientists, business and cultural leaders, on the Gold Coast, have been talking about how to create a better future. And the coolest part is that no-one is denying climate change is happening, we’re talking about how to make positive change – humanitarian and sustainable change. We have both fear and hope for the future.
Alex Kelly says hope is an active choice. Kelly is an activist and film impact creator, and when she was asked why our government and media are denying climate change, her answer was that they are afraid. That they are shouting the story they want to believe louder, because facing the alternative is too difficult.
She said that we need to create other narratives — positive narratives about climate and culture. I agree with this. It starts with story. But I also think we need a How To guide, lisiting the small changes we make within ourselves to create a liveable world.
It’s been wonderful to hear Indigenous people talk about how they have lived in peace with the land, both supporting it and supported by it, and how all their modes of thought are combined, they don’t separate story from science. In the Welcome to Country they asked that we consider the land that we’re on, in our discussions.
This wisdom seems to hold the answers. We need to bring all our technologies and experts together, a trans-disciplinary approach, put our heads together, to work out how to live with respect for the biosphere that supports us.
Many people at the conference seem to feel we still have a choice, we still have the chance to save our world from environmental catastrophe. But we need to start today.
I believe artists, writers and other arts professionals have the power of imagination and surprise, and we can create inspiring projects and be leaders towards positive change, as well as innovating new ways of doing things which are healthier for our communities.
Michael Aird talked about the importance of leadership. That strong leadership leads to prosperous, thriving communities, however traitorous leadership destroys communities for generations. Leadership is what we need now, and with an absence of it in our government, we need to find it within ourselves.
What are the steps? I would say we need to shout ‘yes’ to renewable energy and ‘no’ to fossil fuels. We need to show compassion to those in need. We need to try to close the gaps between those who have privilege and excess wealth, and those who don’t have a safe home to go to at night. The ability to consciously affect our world is what makes us human. Let’s be better humans!
In all our projects we need to measure what the net effect is. Are we making a better world? Or are we helping it die?
I’ll be thinking about these questions as I execute WordXchange, my writing/reading project, in Southport. It might mean sourcing second hand furniture rather than new furniture, catching the tram rather than driving, avoiding printing paper materials, encouraging those who are silenced to share their stories, helping those who find writing difficult to tell their stories, too.
We need to ask ourselves, how can we make positive change? And we need to act.