I have decided to respond to recent criticisms in a positive and hopefully informative way that will encourage confidence in the principles of honesty, integrity, love, caring and sharing; the principles the Future Generations Movement is based on.
Firstly, a few years ago I to enjoyed living in a comfort zone of a very good income, farm, new motor cars and a lifestyle of plenty; farming, along with a very successful communications business; wine and beer when I wanted. So at the age of 55, why on Earth would you give all that up to attend university to study environmental science, and a diploma in town planning.
Like everyone else I love my family, children, grandchildren very deeply and in my case I ventured to read and learn about developments that might put love ones and indeed humanity at risk. I wanted to know about new claims being sounded about climate change that started as far back as the days of the Prime Minister Bob Hawke warning of carbon dioxide; plant a billion trees by year 2000 they said. As science screamed out warnings of new evidence indicating serious emerging changes, no body seemed to listen and almost no action was taken.
Most people including myself love feeling safe within a comfort zone and that’s fair enough, and when this is threatened we feel fear and disbelief at first as I did. It was when English scientist Nicholas Stern presented his findings of world wide research warning of accelerated Global Warming to the British Government that I made a decision to go to university and study environmental science to find out for myself what was going on.
In order to make judgements on what was true or false, I felt I had to develop my own understanding about how the life at the environmental level works. As well as studying chemistry, geology, biology of plants and animals, statistics, genetics, water systems, air and water pollution, ecology, global warming/climate change, I also completed six town planning subjects. The one thing, and I think the most important thing I have learnt, is that university education is about teaching people how to learn and question. In particular the very principle of science is to seek the best possible truth and to try and prove that theories are wrong before claiming they are fact. Mainstream education and science are about benefiting and protecting humanity, not to bring harm or fear. Mainstream science can and does make mistakes, but its aims are honourable.
To not warn the world of a grave set of possibilities, when evidence indicates and demonstrates serious events are about to happen, would be like Knowing that bushfires are highly likely, and that they will be worse than before due to weather conditions that have never been seen before in our life time. In the tragic 2008 fires things could have been many times worse, had there been no warnings or no fire fighting equipment, no staff training and no magnificent public response during and after the event.
Main stream science is fulfilling its responsibilities as are most world leaders and governments in warning all of us that we must prepare and make changes as fast as we can to minimise the effects possible pending disasters such as global warming/climate change. Let us all hope as mainstream science does, that we can avert the risk before they happen. To do nothing, to say nothing and ignore scientific evidence is not in our best interest. We truly need to play it safe.
There are some great outcomes emerging, some reasons to be positive and united. The new electric car announced by Mitsubishi is a result of concerns over climate change. The rapid development of geothermal and solar energy electricity generation systems, are to reduce greenhouse gasses, all because of the acceptance of scientific evidence on climate change. Incredible changes in social values are emerging creating what are called transition towns that will lead to more caring, sharing and loving communities. USA President Barack Obama’s announcements of developing much better understanding and friendship between Islamic cultures and our own culture should lead to a safer more compassionate loving world.
To finish off I have said many times I believe in human greatness and that if we unite within our homes, community, country and across the world human kind can overcome any challenge; all we need is the will to do so.
Authorised by Alan Lappin, PO Box 1234 Wangaratta VIC 3676