The guy about to audition for the gay play at the Mechanics’ Institute: We chatted about Gaia theory and fate — is the world fated to fix itself and will we be uprooted in the process? (Also about sex in cubicles or saunas in the gay scene, and about same-sex marriage and Anna Bligh)
The old lady on her way to the bus: We talked about frugality. She had a keen sense of the area’s history (e.g. knew about Noel Counighan’s Free Speech protest). She was born in 1929 and raised in the Great Depression. She remembers her mother washing plastic bags and hanging them out on the washing line. She remembers people (“well-off people, mind you!”) folding their sheets in half and sewing them together lengthwise to sleep on so they would fade evenly. She is disgusted at Baillieu for rolling back the water restrictions. We chatted about the difference in attitude towards resources of her generation (frugality), the baby boomers (use everything! now! buy stuff!) and our generation (erring back towards frugality? We didn’t actually discuss this). Her theory is that from generation to generation, we swing from one position to the other. This is an opinion I have come across a couple of times already on the beach… Read the rest of this entry »
Last night we had a bunch of rather happy guitar-playing, passion-pop-drinking, singing girls and guys colonise the Brunswick Beach. Although Rich and I have always envisaged the beach as a place for everyone to use as they wish, we both wondered (as beach slowly transformed into beach party) how the presence of Bob Dylan-singing, rowdy and hot young people affected the space. We had good chats with them to start off with and I was pretty chuffed to see the space so enlivened, but after an hour or two everyone was too drunk to be coherent and two members of the party kept breaking out into swearing matches. We managed to make an enemy of one of the owners of the Retreat next door, who was mad at us for letting them drink in a public space. Read the rest of this entry »
The Occasional Quartet (Justina Lui, Miriam Oldfield, Lyndal Rowlands & Angel Duan) trial a new makeshift form of improvisation loosely based on John Zorn’s game Cobra, with some significant alterations. Players adjust each others’ sounds using coloured flags and hand signals, forming an internally regulated pattern of sound.
After the performance, Beyond Zero Emissions co-founder Mark Ogge chatted to us about the campaign he has spearheaded to switch the source of the Port Augusta power plant from coal to solar. On an issue closer to home, NAGA adviser Judy Bush from the Moreland Energy Foundation enlightened us on how to mitigate the urban heat island effect in Brunswick (which will be exacerbated by climate change). Read the rest of this entry »
We have encountered:
A father who is more concerned about his son’s chronic eczema than about the state of the planet.
An artist who has spent the last fourteen years watching the patterns of Port Phillip Bay
Two teenagers who think that it’s too late to do anything about climate change
A dude who came and sat on the deckchair and chatted about the need to take a long view into the future, and the difficulty of negotiating this in the humdrum of everyday life
Several climate change activists, who have provided welcome advice, some of which we have taken on board
The concept of “co-benefits” (side-benefits of climate change action e.g. benefits to health from reduction in pollution, cooling of urban heat islands due to tree-planting)
A mother who is convinced that climate change is a part of the earth’s natural weather cycles and is not human-induced
THE BRUNSWICK BEACH IS NOW OPEN.
Our observations from the first day (yesterday):
Everybody loves the beach.
It’s hard to talk to kids about climate change.
There are a lot of people rocking up, some stay a while, some only briefly. It’s exhausting but rewarding trying to talk to all of them.
Sitting on the beach watching Brunswick go by, you feel objective.
It feels good to talk about things (but is it enough?) One lovely lady, for example, when we brought up climate change, was equally concerned about asteroids accidentally hitting the earth. When it appears that individuals have as little control over climate change as they do over asteroids, should we try to shift this perception? Because in some ways we agree.
In light of this, when someone asks “what do I do about climate change?” it’s hard to respond with an accurate encompassing solution that they can personally carry out (we aren’t experts either, although we’re learning from others).
RISKY BUSINESS: Get geared up for playwright Fregmonto Stokes’ and entrepeneur Alex Turnbull’s masterpiece re-endition of the boardgame RISK. CLIMATE CHANGE RISK models the power play of nation-states, anarchists and a rogue fossil fuel lobby, who must negotiate a global emissions trading scheme. The stakes are high (and the heat is on!) on MONDAY 28th all day.
Curious? Want to play? Comment on the post to register as a country, an anarchist or a fossil fuel lobbyist.