Leading the way

Hans Paas, Castlemaine

It really does not get much better than this for any community. First we become a welcoming community to those who fled violence and oppression and settled among us. Then we are told that the 3450 postcode is the most generous donor postcode in the country.
Next we notched up a precedent-setting veto of the expansion of gambling, which has made it much easier for other communities to stop this destructive industry from ruining more and more lives.
Then we led the way in embracing renewables through rooftop solar and now batteries. Hopefully the wind turbines are not too far away.
Now we see news of our young people advocating for strong action on climate change. Since my first tentative move to Castlemaine more than a decade ago I have been amazed at what can be achieved by people power.
The idea that acting locally can lead to change globally starts to make sense when you consider all these milestones.
On the other hand, we now know that the average temperature has gone up, possibly irrevocably, by one degree as a result of climate change and science now tells us that we may be approaching a tipping point in as little as a couple of years.
The results are there for all of us to see in the increased bushfires and extreme weather events – no need to debate it any more. Another two degrees would clearly be very bad.
The baby-boomer generation has a great deal to answer for to those students and young people who went on strike to protect.
Hopefully we can try to make good some of our mistakes by mentoring and empowering them to implement the solutions needed to build a more sustainable community.

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