Rant: Sustainability struggles

Leichhardt Council’s annual Footprints EcoFestival is just around the corner and that means plenty of hippies, hipsters and yippies giving talks, showcasing demonstrations and running workshops on everything from DIY furniture mending to how to run a worm farm – pretty much anything that might do a little bit of good for the environment by stretching resources as far as they can go.

And that’s the problem. Yes, it’s great that there are people willing to take the time to promote sustainability and help others live more environmentally friendly lives, but it is on such a frustratingly small scale. Furthermore, with the current stance of our commander-in-chief and the Coalition on the topic of renewable energy sources, I don’t have high hopes for our nation to get anywhere on a grand scale anytime soon.

When the Liberals came to power they slashed a lot of the initiatives introduced by the previous government, such as the carbon tax to name one of the largest eco-related acts. Then there is the Libs condemnation of wind power, despite its fantastic success around Europe and even in South Australia, with the official reason for their cutting back on wind power infrastructure in Australia being “health concerns”.

“The last person I heard that considered windmills a danger was Don Quixote – and I wouldn’t trust him to run my government.”

I’m neither a doctor nor an expert on the dangers of wind, but the last person I heard that considered windmills a danger was Don Quixote – and I wouldn’t trust him to run my government.

A quick Google search would suggest that the greatest danger these windmills pose is shards of ice falling off them in winter. Of course, that will be a serious issue in our harsh Aussie winters (not!).

Even if you refuse to believe that global warming is real, it is simply a fact that fossil fuels are a limited resource and we need a replacement. Therefore, if you worry about the long-term state of this Earth, you should see the value of investing in renewable energy, both economically and environmentally, and at least consider the alternatives to coal, oil and natural gas.

So why are there arguments around sustainability at all? I don’t want to suggest that Mr Abbott or any of his esteemed colleagues are in the pocket of Gina the Hutt, but if the corruption shoe fits…

Honestly though, what I’m most upset about is the thought that our nation and its beauty could be destroyed by plutocracy and straight up greed. We are better than that. So all you hippies, hipsters and yippies, keep on doing what you do. It is small and slow but we have to start somewhere.

• Words: Max Kobras

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