The not-so-sexy topic of Climate Change

17 Sep 2017 The not-so-sexy topic of Climate Change

Climate Change is one of those things that falls to the bottom of one’s priority list. As we focus on daily life; work, eat, sleep, repeat and sometimes even a social life. So when a climate change forum is held in a small rural city in Northern Victoria, you’d expect crickets and tumbleweed. Or perhaps a handful of nerdy environmentalists. 

But, Wangaratta is not to be underestimated. 

 

 

Not only was the line-up impressive, with speakers from big business, farming, mechanical sectors, and Sustainability Victoria. There were lecturers from the Australian National University and Melbourne University. With a crowd of people from different spheres; small business owners and farmers. 

The forum included presentations from producers dealing with the consequences of climate change first hand. Wine-maker Brett Mc Lennan from Brown Brothers in Malawa, shared their journey in coming face to face with the challenge. After a long series of weather events affected their crops, they consulted a specialist in the field of climate change. It was then that all the pieces came together. Undeniable that changes in the environment were a direct result of the raising temperature of the climate. So they got proactive and adapted their business model, which enabled them to explore other opportunities in grape production. So, instead of destroying their business, accepting the reality of climate change became the catalyst for new and exciting ventures in their business. 

There was a lot of interest in North-East Water and their science-backed approaches. Craig Heiner discussed how they recognised their business was directly contributing to the problem, and how they were now motivated to be a part of the solution - a talk that really got business owners listening.

Professor Mark Howden from ANU and Dr Kate Auty, presented a number of solutions which to cultivate action. The theme of creativity and measurement ruled the day. concluding with an ANU-led panel discussion, where the audience got a chance to question the experts.

 

The resounding message of the day was clear - you have the choice to ‘stay the same’ or ‘innovate’ in this time of change

 

It disturbs me to think how little I knew about climate change prior to the forum. As a law student and someone who considers themselves to be well educated, I found my knowledge barely scratched the surface. The impact of increased heat and what that means for the area where I live is more serious than I realised. I left the forum feeling inspired to engage because, let’s face it, it’s happening. And soon enough it will be affecting my everyday life, with or without my choosing. 

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There is no time like the present and small actions equal big change. 

Lets get amongst it. We can do this, there is an opportunity here to come together and do great things.

Watch talks from the Sustainability Forum 

 

Katrina Ginnivan - Foraging Relationships

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