What might a holistic environmental politics look like in the Age of Consequences? This semester I have been exploring this question with students in my undergraduate class Global Environmental Politics. […]
On Saturday 4th October 2014 I had the pleasure of making a presentation as part of the OASES Graduate College Saturday Breakfast Series. During this workshop, I led participants through […]
This is a piece I published in December 2011, but the sentiment bears repeating… — Christmas can be a magical time. I like the sense of expectation in the lead-up […]
When my son grows up, I will have to look him in the eye and tell him I tried my best to limit the damage to his future. I want […]
BY BEN HABIB. The sustainability movement has for many years been preparing to confront converging environmental, energy and financial crises. That moment is now here. To adapt with as little disruption as possible, it has never been more important to embrace living lightly.
In a recent class activity, members of the second/third year undergraduate subject International Politics of Climate Change: Triumph or Tragedy at La Trobe University’s Albury-Wodonga campus engaged with a video presentation delivered by emminent American environmentalist Lester Brown. The following excerpts are a summary of the class discussion on what Lester Brown has to say in the video clip.
We are joined on this addition of the Politics Albury-Wodonga podcast by Jenni Humber, who was a key member of Wodonga’s victorious entry in the Origin Energy Sustainability Drive competition. Twenty households in Jenni’s street – Central Place, Wodonga – put together an outstanding entry in the competition showcasing not only their sustainability credentials, but also the sense of connection and community that can come from consciously living lightly.
BY BEN HABIB, with MARTIN DICKENS, LISA TUCK, LEA MACLAUGHLIN, KRYSTLE BROWN, JESSICA LOVE & ALICIA PETERS. Like everyone else in attendance, I was caught up in the excitement of being part of the spectacle of a live television broadcast. Over 700 people attended the show, the largest ever audience for Q&A. While prepping the audience before the show, Tony Jones described Q&A as an “open democracy experiment” that was “rare in the world”. Or was it?
Our guest on the podcast today, Heather Bruer from the Australian Youth Climate Coaltion (AYCC), is a 21 year old Economics student at the University of Adelaide and is currently co-director of the AYCC in South Australia. In December 2010 Heather was part of the Australian Youth Delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Council of Parties 16 (COP16) climate talks in Cancún, Mexico. In the podcast, Heather talks about her experiences at COP16 in Cancún, the reasons she became a climate activist and the moral imperative for young people to engage with the politics of climate change, as well as her thoughts on the current carbon pricing debate in Australia.
BY BEN HABIB. Mohandas “Mahatma” Ghandi once famously exhorted his countrymen to “be the change you want to see in the world”. That is precisely the purpose of taking personal responsibility for one’s own response to the climate change threat. When we practice what we preach, we give moral authority to our message, we send an economic signal to the market, and we send a political signal to our elected representatives that is more powerful than our vote. A critical mass of people making integrated, climate-conscious lifestyle and political choices, can demonstrate a constituency for change to governments, the business community, and the broader society.
BY BEN HABIB. Anyone who has tried to change any aspect of their behaviour will know that to create lasting change, knowledge is not enough. All the positive intent in the world is not enough. How do we go about altering environmentally unsustainable lifestyle patterns? Where do we start? It begins with identifying, scrutinising and altering the multi-layered beliefs systems that underlie our behaviours. Without addressing these underlying beliefs, any gains we make will be fleeting.
BY BEN HABIB. As anyone knows who has tried to stick to a diet or given smoking, people cannot transform unhealthy behaviours without changing their underlying beliefs. If you crave that smoko break or can’t resist a Big Mac, you’re probably not well placed to reform these behaviours in the long term. Behavioural change takes place in five distinct stages—pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance—which people progress through in a cyclical rather than linear fashion. As you read on, have a think about which stage you find yourself at in relation to your personal response to climate change.
BY BEN HABIB. Climate change is an existential threat to human civilisation, a threat which we ourselves are contributing to as individuals and as members of various social collectives. The damage we are doing is a product of destructive behaviours that are underpinned by ideas and assumptions that are not our own, which originate as the propaganda of our economic systems.
Lizette Salmon from Wodonga & Albury Towards Climate Health (WATCH). WATCH is an apolitical community group which advocates for sustainable climate solutions through engagement with political leaders and the local community. It promotes activities and events in the local community to meet, discuss, establish informed views and take appropriate action on climate change.
In this edition of the Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga podcast we’re joined by Ian Longfield from Transition Towns Albury-Wodonga. Ian has campaigned on peak oil issues since 2007 after becoming aware of the problems of energy descent during a 2005 land planning seminar. It was through his professional involvement in property development and agency that he became increasingly concerned at our unsustainable pattern of urban development, incompatible with a future dominated by peak oil and climate change. Our interview discussion ranges from geopolitics to individual action and everywhere in between, so buckle up and enjoy this engrossing conversation.
BY BEN HABIB. 2010 Jonathan Mann Memorial Lecture, presented by Professor Tim Flannery: “Here on Earth”. La Trobe University, Albury-Wodonga campus, Thursday 14th October, 2010.
One of the enjoyable aspects of administering Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga has been the opportunity it has given me to interview all kinds of interesting people from across the local community. One of those interesting people is today’s guest, Marie Jackson. Marie is a local legend, best known through her role as a much-loved DRU Yoga instructor in Wodonga. She has been nominated for Australian of the Year for her community work and has a wealth of wisdom to share on many matters spiritual, emotional and practical. We cover a lot of terrain in this discussion, but it is a fascinating journey…
You’re in for a treat here. Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga caught up with Chris Le Breton and Roland Smith, who have just set off on an epic cycling journey called […]