I only got the point on Climate Change about the middle of 2006. Before then I used to think I was only one person and couldn’t make a difference? Change has got to happen from Governments. But then I had an epiphany that changed my life forever.
I realised climate change was all about me, about my family, my friends and our future.
So I got my head around the issues, started to act in my daily life and at the very moment of taking action I took ownership of the problem.
And with the support from women across the country I started the 1 Million Women campaign (took 2 years to develop and we launched 18 month ago)
Our aim is to empower and mobilise 1 Million Women to take positive action on climate change, with a specific call to action – to collectively cut a minimum of 1 million tonnes of CO2 pollution out of our daily lives and that everyone who joins makes a personal commitment to cut 1 tonne within a year. It’s easy; we show you every step of the way. When you join (on our website. It’s all free) you have access to an activity centre that outlines 50 ways to cut pollution. Chose ways the work best for you. They cover shopping, food, getting around, household.
But why is our campaign just focused on women? Women are half of the Australian electorate. We have huge influence in the consumer market place. We are powerful natural networkers and make 70% of the consumer buying decisions for households.
We are harnessing the unique strengths of women.
Opinion polling consistently shows that women in Australia are significantly more likely than men to support stronger action on climate
Our targets are ambitious, I know. But climate change is real. It is transforming the way that we live and the way that society operates. We are already seeing this. Crazy weather patterns. Droughts. Floods, stronger cyclones, the hottest years on record.
And CO2 pollution is the main green house gas causing global warming. Right now it is at its highest levels in the history of humanity. There is clear evidence that this is human induced and has been rising rapidly since the birth of the industrial revolution and the industrial use of coal, gas and oil. We are on course for at least a 2 degree rise in average temperature globally, and likely much worse. This will be very bad for Australia, already the driest inhabited continent on earth.
And taking action can all start with the little decisions – when a switch is turned on or not, what transport to take to get from a to b. What purchasing decisions to say NO to? What over packaged goods to leave on the shelf to gather dust. What brands to support and what demands to put on governments. We are ultimately a society of collective individuals and as individuals we all have the power to influence change in our live.
If we complain that governments aren’t acting and we are not doing the things that compel governments to make change then we are as responsible as they are for inaction.
And the essence of the 1 MILLION WOMEN campaign is to help people internalise climate change. It takes an overwhelmingly complex concept and breaks it down. It gives bite size activities with tangible actions that show results.
People are increasingly demanding that we make choices that benefit the planet, not destroy it and I believe women will inevitably be at the forefront of this great social change, for reasons of both passion and pragmatism.
So as the New Year is now in full swing my call to action is join the 1 Million Women Campaign. Help us become a powerful women’s movement getting on with climate action.