My Personal Philosophy On Climate Change and Renewable Energy

My Personal Philosophy On Climate Change and Renewable Energy

As M.D. of an engineering consultacy working in the power, solar and technology fields for over 26 years i have developed an affinity for renewable energy and alternatives to the carbon based energy production systems currently in place. I wrote this article for GGA,  Green Group Australia , in May this year – it captures some of my thoughts on the subject:


When the climate situation is getting worse, and the politics is going pear shaped in Australia, what should we do?

This is the conundrum that I’ve been grappling with – trying to work out what we can do as a movement and what I should do personally.

Over the last 12 months I’ve been doing strategy work to figure out how we can take the climate emergency agenda forward despite Tony Abbott being the new PM.

Three key action ideas emerged, and one key unresolved problem.  The three key strategic action ideas are:
  • It’s time we worked even-handedly across the political spectrum ( right / left) to mobilise ‘realists’  people who take their cues from the state of the real world rather than from what they would like to believe.
    • Delivering a safe climate restructuring at emergency speed is not a “single issue” task.  Our best chance for early implementation is in localities where climate awareness is highest, creating a powerful demonstration effect.
    • Local government is the level of government where the first implementation successes can be possible – even in difficult times.
    The unresolved issue was the deficit of climate emergency leadership.
    One suggestion was to encourage more public intellectuals to contribute opinion pieces in the media.

But more was needed.

Then two months ago a new strategy was put to me.  Adrian Whitehead, the co-founder of Beyond Zero Emissions, asked me to join a newly forming political party that he is setting up – Green the Planet.

At first I was very hesitant.  Not because I was worried about upsetting Martin Ferguson, but because I wasn’t sure that forming a new party was the way to go.

I had a lot of discussions with Adrian about how Save the Planet could operate.  It was agreed that:
  • it would s focus on the climate emergency (restoring a safe climate at emergency speed);
  • it would not get involved in policy issues that did not relate directly to climate;
  • it would be a campaigning party, campaigning for climate emergency action, rather than for party recognition, in both election and non-election periods;
  • it would cooperate with candidates and MPs/Councillors from any party, or none (across the left – right spectrum) that were prepared to provide strong leadership on climate, preferably climate emergency leadership;
  • it would not position itself as being on the left or the right.

After a lot of agonising and weighing up the pros and cons, I finally decided it was worth a try.

The deciding factors for me were that:
  • we need an organised presence that will provide climate emergency leadership directly and publicly, rather only being able to urge others to provide leadership.
  • the preferential and proportional representation systems in Australia mean that the existence of the Save the Planet party would not damage other parties that are active on climate (eg. the Greens).

The experience of working with Save the Planet has confirmed my hunch that there would be something powerful about working for a group that is tightly focused on providing climate emergency leadership ‘in the real world’.  The work is highly practically focused but there is no watering down of the goals.

So where are things up to now?

We have already launched our core campaign – pressing decision-makers to prepare (and then implement) an emergency plan, for their jurisdiction, for the restoration of a safe climate.  See the online petition that is still collecting signatures at:

And Save the Planet has 200 members already.

To register as a political party for the coming Federal election, and therefore be able to have the party name on the ballot papers, we need a little over 300 more members.

You could help us achieve this goal by passing this email on to friends and family and others in your contact networks.
And one more thing.  Would you be prepared to join Save the Planet yourself?  Today, or some time over the next 7 days.

This is the moment in time when ‘one more member’ will make the most difference to the world and to Save the Planet. 

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