Is There Hope For The Environment?

Another bushfire-tinted sunrise in Brisbane. Is there hope for the environment?

Is there hope for the environment? The stream of requests for me to give people hope continues to grow.

As a conservationist, I’m really sick of being right. If you want hope, I suggest you read the most intelligent thing to be said about leadership and coal in 2019 and then push for it to happen: ‘New coalmines in Queensland don’t help existing communities, they hurt them’, by Richard Denniss.

If you want inspiring leaders, look to people like Carol Sparks, Mayor of Glen Innes Severn Council, NSW: ‘We’ve been in bushfire hell in Glen Innes – and the scientists knew it was coming’.

The actions I have taken here at Bellis and which I encourage others to adopt are the brakes, airbags and seatbelts to help protect us in the coming global environmental car crash.

At a household level, in 2003, this northerner moved to Brisbane from Sydney to establish a personal project: an affordable, sustainable house and garden in an ordinary suburb. The latest demonstration of what I have been doing for over thirty years.

In 1986, Jude and Michel Fanton founded the Seed Savers’ Network and published a manual to help people grow their own food security.

In 1993, the National Toxics Network was founded for a toxic-free future for all, the same year that Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (QLD) formed to promote the things any Australian can do to secure our future. I am happy to be involved with them and their work.

Change at a household level isn’t enough without government leadership and action on Climate Repair.

I vote for climate action; I use a bank that supports sustainable development; my superannuation is ethical and very successful; my home generates more power than it uses; all wastewater is recycled to grow food at home; I plant trees and supply trees for others to plant; I raise money for environmental action; I coach people in sustainable horticulture: my website and public social media page are followed in 125 countries and I answer 10,000 gardening questions free each year.

It’s 2020. We’ve only experienced 1.5C of Global Warming so we are still lucky. When the Arctic experiences its first ice-free month, that’s the time when opportunities for climate repair dry up.

Do your bit. Get organised as best you can because if you wait for that first ice-free month in the Arctic you’ll need that safety belt damned fast.

Mass extinctions are what they are: dramatic and irreversible, involving everything, everywhere. So in the current absence of intelligent national and state leadership, people need to toughen up, to get organised as best you can, and to make sure every year is a year lived well.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Director, Seed Savers’ Network Inc.
Patron, National Toxics Network Inc.
Patron, Householder’s Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
Bellis, Brisbane’s award-winning sustainable house and garden
2nd January 2020


One Comment Add yours

  1. Marie McGrath says:

    With the current government I despair Jerry. Have been planting Spring seeds in Winter and it works. This year sick so only planted September so got 3 inch Rosellas with 1 fruit instead of prolific 3 ft bushes. Am at a loss to know what to do because even sun loving Nasturtiums have died killed by heat and high winds.

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