Byron Forum nails climate fundamentals


Local film-maker, Cathy Henkel, is polishing this work prior to its screening on ABC television in three weeks (October 14). Narrated by Hugh Jackman and well seasoned with heart breaking and heartwarming images of orangutans, the film weaves together the stories of three very different protaganists, all involved in ending the burning of Indonesia’s remaining tropical rainforest. The films weaves the stories of an Australian carbon trader, a danish Orangutan rehabilitator and an Indonesian palm oil farmer trying to earn enough money to educate his daughter into a nail biting drama that climaxes at the Bali conference last December.

Sunday night’s panel wove together eight points of view about climate change to conclude that humans need to evolve somewhat before a real solution can be found.

Djanbung Garden’s Robyn ‘Consume less’ Francis and Rainforest Rescue’s Robert ‘Localise’ Rosen delivered the practical message that we need to break the nexus of international capital and create resilient local communities. Macadamia Castle’s Tony ‘Orangutan’ Gilding and film-maker Felicity ‘Howard victim’ Blake addressed the practical mechanics of fighting the greed that rapes the rainforest.

For Gareth ‘Mutineer’ Smith, “turning over this ship and sinking it as soon as possible” is the only way to minimise the disaster. Just as passionate, but more considered, Mark ‘Buddah’ Jackson built on the premise that, by definition, an unsustainable lifestyle is the genocide of the unborn, to observe that spiritual evolution is required to address the root causes of climate change, notably conflict and greed.

A well informed audience leaped at the opportunity to discuss these core values and, topically, pinpointed the rampant greed of the world’s financial institutions as the institutional face of that problem, meanwhile echoing Jackson’s quest for spiritual evolution as the only long term solution.

As I wrote in these pages five weeks ago, my study of global poverty led me to a similar conclusion. Yes, I’ve been infected with Northern Rivers idealism and my quest now is to build the links back to the Real Failed World.

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