Hi Climate Council, advice worth more than a donation

I should share my insights more often. I got an email this afternoon from the Climate Council with a direct link to a donation page, which didn’t enrol me to donate… instead they got this reply that is probably worth more than a donation.

Hi Climate Council,

I love reading your posts and hearing about what you are doing. I used to donate money to you, but then realised my cash was better spent actually preparing the landscape for climate change and switched to donate to the Nature Conservancy. This is where the challenge lies with me with your call to action and support you into 2021.
As a Landcare champion, ambassador, innovator or whatever you want to call me I see and hear amazing landscape transformation that is happening from the ground-up. I also see people transform through social and cultural connection, and constantly hear inspiring stories from people about community action happening in their patch. When you fly across Australia you can start to imagine how action in these patches are making a difference, whether it is repairing a riparian zone alongside a creek, or piecing together critical corridors for biodiversity. I have seen first hand the efforts of community action to restore my local beach back to a coastal forest, 93ha of coastal dunes only a stones throw from the urban paradise of Surfers Paradise.
As a negotiate the contested terrain of the spaces and places I am caught in and deeply passionate about I know that the next four years will involve more trees being planted and see more solar panels of the roofs of homes, and my neighbours getting to know each other (more) and share the lemon myrtle tree that is out the front for a cuppa tea in the afternoon. I also know that the next four years will be challenging, but damn it is exciting to see industry groups, research institutions, councils (the good and bad), authorities, departments, agencies, groups and organisations starting to listen to each other and get that we get to drive the transformational change our great nation needs. And it is damn fun driving, planting this change – of which I am sure that you have had a huge contribution.
And as I walk the landscape with Landcare I get to see people changing the way they manage the land, change their species lists to plant for future climate patterns and along the way engage our decision-makers. I know we (especially Landcare) need to do more of sharing successes and outcomes of incredible projects, which could overpower and empower the doom and gloom I am frequently reminded of – especially by you.
I know there is no silver bullet, but what I have realised is that change comes from within, and we must nurture this change. I have nurtured people who would be perceived as definitely not on the green-side of change because I have shifted my preconditioned ideas on who wants to get involved. I have also sought out other ways of sharing stories and showcasing successes, and nurtured decision-makers through meaningful engagement and made sure they know that the next generation have got their shit together.
People can’t act with facts, but they can with tools. So perhaps your next four years can be about what we can do with tools for change. I think this gentle email is worth more than the $35 I was going to donate.
Best of luck, and bring on 2021 with more trees for cooler cities, repaired landscapes and shade for cows, and places to refuge for all creatures.
Have a great weekend,
Naomi Edwards

Change begins with rethinking

Change begins with rethinking

I have recently returned home, to the sunny Gold Coast on the east coast of Australia, after a 5 week tour riding the mountain motorable pass in the world in India, and engaging in thought-provoking conversations with coastal colleagues in Perth (Western Australia) then Airlie Beach (North Queensland). Back to back conferences after a lifetime adventure, hell yeah, my thoughts are flowing.

To kick start some tangents, here is a keynote speech that I was fortunate to share with colleagues at the Western Australian Natural Resource Management and Coastal Management conference, held at Curtin University (they have awesome coffee and hammocks to chill out on).

As the keynote is well over 5,000 words you can download it here –Change begins with rethinking

Here are some thought provoking quotes:

As a disruptor of institutions that is passionate about action and change, I would like to see more of us take risk whether you are an insider or outsider of the dominant institutions of our practice. Because whether we plan our practice with the best knowledge we have, in most cases that I have been engaged in it still doesn’t make a difference when it comes to getting others onboard. And in many cases it wipes the adventure, creativity and adaptability out of our practice.


I’ll quote Charlie Veron, which his new book, A Life Underwater is a must read…

… Most professionals today, whether they be in the sciences, arts, education, even sport, work within the cage of bureaucracy that controls most aspects of their working life. For most this works for them to ensure their needs are met… but for those that need time and headspace to think, something needs to change… and this change is being led by technology and the younger generation…although the scary part is that the younger generation are being bred to accept what to work on, when to work and how to work…

Unquote.


This failing technocracy-approach that scholars like Shelia Jasnaoff theoretically describes helps me to unpack the decay and almost U-Turn on historic environmental justices. In our world this has seen the dependency on specialists with the result of our institutional departments specialising to the degree which then can’t respond to widening issues, especially when departments are chewed to the bone.


Enjoy – Change begins with rethinking