Tuesday, 15 January 2013


This is a long and heavy post.  Please make yourself a cuppa and take a seat.

Recently we have had many fires burning around us in Victoria.  There have also been heaps of fires in New South Wales and Tasmania.  Every time the temperature gets high (which is often) there are many fires that start up.  The Country Fire Authority have been amazing and none of the fires in Victoria have become major catastrophes yet.

And while yes, I am very scared of these fires and want to make sure we can protect ourselves, that is not what I want to write about today.

I watch these fires springing up all over the place on the web site's map, I look outside at the dead and dying countryside and I look at our dwindling dam. I watch my veggies struggle, see my chooks panting and listen to my footsteps as I walk through the orchard.  My footsteps across the grass produce a loud crunching noise that sounds so wrong!

I listen to reports of cyclones on the other side of the country and reports of winter being the coldest ever on the other side of the world.  I watch in horror as tsunamis and earthquakes kill people and destroy homes.

And I feel fear.  Real fear!

All these occurrences are proving to us that climate change is real and it's here.   And that scares me!  But that's still not the root of my real fear.  My real fear is that so many people are unwilling to accept the dire situation we have put found ourselves in.

I have five beautiful children and a grandchild and I want them to have a good life.  I want them to be happy people, good people.  They will probably want to have children of their own, just as I did.  I don't want to damage our world and speed up climate change.  I want my children to be thoughtful and giving and to be appreciative of the real things they have (food, water, shelter, friends) and to appreciate the wonderful world in which they live.  I hope they get the opportunity to live my dream.

Why are so many people not taking this seriously?  Why do I feel like I'm perceived as a doomsdayer or raving hippy if I talk about it?  It's okay to talk about green stuff but not to mention the unmentionable - We are in big trouble! And then there are the sceptics; in my mind these are people who are just too scared to accept the real picture.

I feel so frustrated sometimes.  If people were to take this seriously and work together it is not too late to ensure a future for our children.  Soon it will be.  And the lifestyle changes required to reduce our footprints are not hard, nor are they horrible.  Yes it requires a lifestyle change but it is a truer, more real lifestyle where people and food and daily tasks are celebrated, not stuff and things and having and owning and being indulgent.  People living the latter lifestyle are surely struggling to be happy anyway.  I can't imagine that working your butt off to afford a 'thing' to impress others or indulge yourself could ever be as satisfying as achieving things for yourself and knowing you have skills to benefit yourself and others.

There are many out there who have begun to make change, no matter how small.  I congratulate you and implore you to keep going.  Keep making change and don't rest on your laurels.  As a family, there is so much more we could be doing and plenty we need to learn before we get it right but we are always trying to find new ways to do things to improve our greeness.  But there are so many that don't even try, or make a token effort and pretend they are trying.  And due to those people I don't only feel fear.  I also feel anger. 

I often hear people dismiss out of hand buying organic or recycled because 'they are too expensive'!  That is without even looking at the price charged, just a preconceived idea they have come up with and they are sticking to.  Sorry but I have to say to these people - Are you fools?! Do you not realise the REAL price you are paying.  No you won't part with money but you will pay with something much more valuable!  I don't even begin to understand why you would come to a decision that your comfort zone is more important than the world you live in, but how dare you make that decision on my behalf and at the expense of my children.  This is a situation we can address but NOW, not when it suits you or when you realise it's too late.  If you don't know how to start there is plenty of information on this blog and heaps of others.  Most of these people would be happy to have a personal conversation with you about how to create change.  Just contact them on their emails and ask."

And as for people whinging about the carbon tax, if people are too stupid to address climate change then we need legislation to address it.  The carbon tax is a fantastic idea but doesn't come close to addressing the problem.  Let's heavily tax anything disposable from paper plates and glad wrap through to menstrual pads and nappies.  And then there's electricity.  The cost of electricity in itself doesn't seem to deter people from using it.  Wouldn't it be great to fine people for overusing the precious resource!  Maybe a toilet flushing tax.  I know I should be paying it.

So let's stop running around pretending nothing is wrong.  We need to make alternative lifestyles 'the norm' if we want to have any lifestyle at all!  Oooh!  I love that idea!  Let's turn consumerism into a weird, alternative and unacceptable lifestyle choice!!!


Dani said...

Well done, Linda.

Any change, no matter how big or small, begins with one - one person at a time. If we care enough?! If we're passionate enough?! If we're considerate enough?! And, if we love this beautiful planet we inhabit for such an incredibly brief time?!

No - it is not always an easy journey, and it does require what can, to some people, be a radical lifestyle change. But, if one is more conscious of how we live each day, and each and every one of us makes an effort to be less self-absorbed and fixated on the latest "must have" gadget / modern lifestyle accouterments, then, with the end goal in mind, anything is possible / bearable / worth adopting.

Thank you - for being one of the "ones" :)

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Thanks for posting this Linda. You are right on so many levels. There are things that I see on a daily basis that that make me realise how far we have to go. Hubby and I still have a lot of work to do ourselves and yet we are miles ahead of so many people we know and that is what scares me. I think it will take a disaster or imminent threat of one to move many people to action. Also I do not believe we have any great political leaders prepared to make the hard decisions that are needed.
But in saying all of that I still think we need to do what we can and take positive action in our lives.

narf7 said...

People are listening...until governments make living unsustainably a more expensive option, people are just going to go about their days in a cloud of denial. I think if you look at the bigger picture you will go blind with fear...it can turn you inside out and it can make you feel numb and impotant and "how can my humble efforts do anything to help this crippled world?" but they can... every single person who tries...who puts an effort in...who gives a damn and changed their consumption and starts living more sustainably is a shining beacon to other people in their lives...it is contageous and rather than look outside and watch the bushfires (we live in Northern Tasmania so we know about bushfires!) I choose to turn our property into a little oasis of sustainability for our children. I choose hope and not despair and rather than sit on the floor feeling completely empty with sadness at what big business and simple ignorant disbelief is doing to our world, I am bums up in the garden effecting positive change. Thats right where you are too! Take your own little patch of Victoria and make it shine for sustainability and show your neighbours just what it means to be a positive rolemodel effecting change for the better :)

Tracey said...

YES! I agree with everything you said - everything! It sucks that we feel afraid, and that in a smaller way, our children do too. Isn't it unfair that those of us who are trying to make a difference are the ones who feel the fear? And those people who continue to cause serious amounts of damage, don't? Love the idea of taxing people for their damaging habits - particularly toilet flushing ;)
I think that those that believe we are 'dooms-dayers' are under the impression that we are trying to be self sufficient because we believe that will save us if (when?) something catastrophic happens. That's not how I think though (and I'm sure you're the same). We work towards, not self sufficiency, but a less environmentally damaging life - not to survive the catastrophe, but to try to avoid it.
Think I'm going to share your post over on mine - love it!

purplepear said...

Hi Linda, I was going to go back to yesterdays post bacause I left a hurried comment and you've been on my mind for a while now. I just wanted to say how much I admire what you and your family are doing.I know it's not easy as I have been living this way for a number of years now, but as you say it is a much more rewardable lifestyle, well it is for us anyway, and as we have lived the other way as well I think I am able to say that it is so.And having said that it's not easy , going to work at something you don't enjoy and rushing around doing all the stuff you need to do to cope with all that sort of lifestyle isn't easy either and certainly not rewarding.I love what you are doing and I know that more and more people are getting it. The others are addicted and like any addiction you have to admit you have one before you can kick it, but of course our economy thrives on addictions. I still get angry sometimes, I feel fustrated and hurt. I have to believe that the change is building, but even that can feel like a white wash as people change one form of consuming for another!It's ahrd to know what can be done, but we can, all of us that know, can model a tremendous way of life, just as you and your family are doing. More and more I am impressed with what's happening there on your patch of earth and reading your posts everyday is something that I look really forward to.

Calidore said...

Well said. We have to do what we can and lead by example. I guess it's the old story of you can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink. People have to come to the realisation themselves of what is happening and while that is frustratingly slow we can't force them. What you and so many others do is a shining light in a world gone mad. Don't despair. Everytime you or someone else has made a change and talked, blogged or shown what they have done it sticks in someone's mind and they then think about that action and in many cases try it. We have to lead by example and you are a fantastic example.

Anonymous said...

Linda, you are so right. I struggle daily with holding my tongue and trying to just show through my example how to live a little lighter on the planet. I worry for everyone who is in the path of destruction whether it be your wildfires, devastating hurricanes, droughts and so on. I know the sound you talked about, that crunching while walking over the grass, it's a horrible sound.

Here in the USA we have such conflicting viewpoints. We hear people like Al Gore (Inconvenient Truth) talk about the consequences of global warming, yet his lifestyle (that we are shown) doesn't seem to reflect his stated concerns. Then we have Jesse Ventura who has a program call Conspiracy Theory (you can find them on Youtube) where he goes into great detail on one of his programs telling people global warming isn't happening and is a government conspiracy. People don't know who to listen to, so they do nothing.

I want to scream, open your eyes! Don't you want to try to do something that in the worst case scenario will leave your future children/grand children a chance to live, a chance to experience some of what you have experienced.

Thank you, for saying what you have, I hope plenty of people read this and take it to heart.

Caro said...

Good on you Linda!

Tricia said...

Hear hear!

I share the same fears and you have expressed them beautifully Linda.

I keep my fears to myself far too often out of fear I'll cause people to stop listening. Instead try and make this life look like a life worth living.

But every now and then we do need to scream from the rooftops 'Do you not see what we are doing to our children's future!'.

Thank you for sharing your fears Linda.

Joy Belle said...

I hope you guys are safe from the fires areound Licola

Earthwise said...

I try to live my life with optimism, believing that all the hard work that we put into trying to make a difference - will make a difference. Listening to the politicians argue over climate change is just simply depressing, so little vision that point scoring is more important than actually doing something. I hope that gentle rain will fall for you soon.

Linda said...

Wow! Thank you all for your wonderful comments! At least we know some of us are thoughtful in our lives! With a bit of luck others will follow quickly. It's heartwarming to blog with you!