We all know of people who have become inspired or passionate about something and changed the world. My hero is Ian Keirnan. I didn’t know Ian, but I was inspired by his passion to clean up the world.
Ian’s journey started quite literally, sailing around the world. On that journey, he was horrified by the garbage he saw on the oceans and beaches of the places he visited. He decided to do something.
In 1989, Sydney Australia hosted the first Clean Up Sydney Harbour day. 40,000 volunteers turned up to help pick up garbage. It was an idea whose time had come and rapidly spread to become Clean Up Australia Day, then Clean up the World Day. It now involves 40 million people in 80 countries. Thousands of tonnes of rubbish have been cleaned up and removed from the environment and there is more every year.
Ian died this year (2018), but his legacy lives on.
This is what I’m talking about.
Take a simple idea. Advocate for it. Devote yourself to it. Share it with your friends and family. Find a way to get involved.
There is no shortage of causes that need advocates. Environment, women’s rights, child abuse, refugees, anti-bullying, aged care, wildlife, climate change, LGBTI, anti-corruption, conservation, drug abuse. I could go on.
The point is to find one that you feel passionate about and raise your voice to your local politicians, media, community. Take a stand and be prepared to fight for it, noisily or quietly. Do it your way, but do it.
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” -Benjamin Mee
My passion is climate change. I have been reading and studying alternative lifestyles, low energy housing concepts, gardening and conservation for my whole adult life. I live in Australia so I have become increasingly aware of droughts and devastated landscapes, fire storms, dust storms, record breaking heatwaves and our crazy, inefficient suburban building methods.
When the IPCC (UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reported on October 9, 2018 that we have just 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe and 32 years to get out of fossil fuels all together, I was alarmed.
When my government said they would not be told what to do by an overseas report, I was enraged at their arrogance and stupidity. That’s when I decided to act.
- I joined a political party and donated funds for the next election.
- I am supporting and will volunteer assistance to those challenging the coal dinosaurs in our current parliament. It’s vital we get them out of office.
- I am studying the solar equation in our power grid. Turns out wind and solar power are now cheaper sources of energy than coal, and getting cheaper. So despite Australia not having a coherent energy policy for over a decade, the market has made its decision and is going around them. (There is a great video presentation by Ramez Naam on the increasing viability of renewable energy here. Valuable and worth 15 minutes of your time).
- I bought a super rated insulation and had it installed in my ceiling to protect from heatwaves and reduce my energy requirements.
- I calculated, then offset my carbon footprint.
- I am following and will actively support Mike Cannon-Brookes movement ‘Fair Dinkum Power’ (So named due to the Prime Minister repeatedly using the phrase when referring to Australia’s energy sources – primarily coal). Sidenote: Cannon-Brookes is one of those restless entrepreneur billionaires who seek solutions, cutting through the politics. His ‘tweet’ to Elon Musk last year led to the world’s largest battery storage facility being invented and installed in South Australia stabilising their power grid. More here.
- I have signed up to volunteer for the Mulloon Institute which is using natural sequence farming to rehabilitate Australian farm land and make it virtually ‘drought-proof’.
And I have started this blog to announce my intentions to the world and to encourage you to find your own passion to advocate for.
The most damning quote against inaction is “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke
Don’t ‘Do Nothing’.