Dear friends, family, neighbours, co-creators, colleagues and inspirers of me,
Below is a letter inviting you to support and be part of my excursion to Paris for the COP21. It outlines some of my work over the recent decade with other dedicated change agents seeking to restore safe climate conditions and thus avoid catastrophic climate change. Included is my work with the Sustainable Living Festival, Earth Coop’s Murundaka Cohousing Community, the publication of my book on sustainable living and eating (The Conscious Cook) and my doctoral research over recent years into climate change and social change – Mobilising Whole Communities to Restore a Safe Environment. I explain my decision to go to Paris, my intentions whilst there and afterwards and the different story I will be helping to create in the pop-up community I’ve been accepted into.
With this letter I am also releasing through Vimeo a little iMovie video I have made. “Adventures on the Safe Climate Trail”. I hope you enjoy it.
I leave tonight and return in December.
Since we’re all in this climate change challenge together would you like to be part of the adventures in Paris?
For over a decade now, since 2003, I have worked alongside a number of dedicated change agents who are fully focussed on avoiding the climate catastrophe; indeed focussing on the most positive side of that story – restoring a safe climate. This is the overarching goal. In that time and in that context SLF has continued to run its annual world-class Sustainable Living festivals successfully engaging an increasingly broad section of the awakening mainstream while bringing together many of the most committed and effective sustainable change activists. The festival is a platform for ‘sustainabilists’ and helps to support and build the movement.
Also in that time I’ve been centrally involved in the establishment of Melbourne’s first cohousing community, Murundaka. Addressing the way we live through community, cooperatives and cohousing is consistent with that same big goal. In 2008 I published a book on sustainable living and eating (The Conscious Cook) framed in that same context of positive transformative change aimed at steering a better course to a more sustainable future. Over the last six years I’ve been involved in heuristic research to understand better the science of climate restoration and the transformative change – technical, social and personal – that’s involved.
Two years ago I decided I would get myself to COP21. I felt challenged to add my voice (plus my brain, my feet, my arms, my heart and soul). Many others are going also. My understanding of the science of climate change and the indications already unfolding makes this Council of Parties critically important – even more so if that’s possible. Whilst there are helpful signs and I am optimistic that a better outcome will be reached this time, I’m absolutely convinced it wont be adequate to the task and the time frame. If I have heard correctly, what’s on the table for Paris will deliver not a reduction or even a stabilisation of carbon in the atmosphere. Instead an woeful increase of a further 40 ppm by 2030! This is very frightening. Each 1º rise in temperature will lead in the long run to 15 – 20 meters of sea level rise. Climate Code Red reported in February that 2º warming is closer than you may think. Sadly this could have been avoided. Worse can still be avoided. The consequential human suffering of what is already in place and the inequity of who is most affected is appalling.
So we have a climate emergency and for the duration we need to be in a different mode that will pull us back from even worse outcomes and put us instead firmly on the path to restoring safe climate conditions. Short-termism and the absence of sensible standards and regulation plagues most governments. I, and many others have long believed it to be folly to depend on Business As Usual governments to step up and lead when the situation requires the establishment of a smart, new safe-climate economy. The fossil industries are still wielding power and influence but for how much longer? The leadership and the capability lie with us all and we each have a role to play from within our lives and the people in our orbits. A Sustainability Renaissance is underway but pace and timing beg the question: what will be lost if we don’t ACT APPROPRIATELY AND IN TIME?
So I am heading to Paris to be part of a great initiative to help create a different story. I’ve been accepted to ‘Place to B’ – a pop-up community bringing 600 ‘creatives’ together from different parts of the world – writers, artists, film-makers, photographers, journalists, etc. Thanks to the generosity of Judith Alcorn, I am taking 100 special USBs, in recycled wooden casings, loaded with Climate Rescue Action Tools including recent papers issued by the Breakthrough Forum. I’m going for six weeks (7th Nov to 18th Dec) to be part of the early activities, preparation and also the follow-up as a “co-pilot” for Place To B and also to extract as much value out of my travel emissions as I possibly can. I intend to be blogging throughout and when I get back, to get out to do talks. The first with help from Mary Stringer (CC’d) will be Tuesday Dec 22 (mark the date) probably at Murundaka and then in February during the 2016 Sustainable Living Festival. See my blog 4allsentientbeings for dates and further information.
It’s become apparent that the Old Paradigm doesn’t really want to fund its own demise. The festival struggles every year yet every year it delivers magnificently thanks to the outstanding group of individuals and all the voluntary involvement that makes it happen. Right now its SLF fund-raising campaign is working in earnest to raise the extra $50,000 it needs for next year’s event.
Like quite a few of us my work is self-funded and, to be honest, I gave up chasing grant money for my own work years ago. I earn a bit through public speaking, book sales, some consultancy and I receive occasional donations. This email is to ask you, if you value my work, to please contribute to this effort. It’d be great if I could raise $2000. Donations of any size to SEED Inc. Bendigo Bank BSB 633 000 A/C No.120379979 will be welcome.
Either way I hope you will keep an eye on my posts. I know a few people are going over – if you’re going to be in Paris please let me know.
I have also produced a little iMovie from my recent research trip earlier this year. In it I ask “What would you say to the United Nations if you got the chance?” What would you say?
It’s just launched today. A bit bumpy but I hope you enjoy it. Adventures On The Safe Climate Trail
Stranded on Brisbane tarmac for nearly an hour. (one hour less in another airport somewhere) Love this! can’t access the visuals but look forward to it. Probably be with you when you read this!
Margi O’ Connell email@example.com Twitter: @bioregionguide Sunshine Coast Australia 0476609146 Skype +61 0756410162