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Necessary change – acceptance or resistance

In mid 2016 there can be no reasonable doubt that humanity must take urgent action to reduce carbon emissions to slow climate change and ocean acidification.

Individuals, communities and governments can either embrace the needed changes, which will probably come anyway – they have to come for the sake of the planet – or they can resist them.

Embracing changes that are desperately needed and probably inevitable results in increased happiness and community pride; resisting such changes results in frustration, controversy and misery.

This page written 2016/06/08, modified 2016/11/19
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com (David K. Clarke) – ©
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We must protect this beautiful world from climate change
Misty morning
Armagh; Clare Valley, South Australia


 
Brown Hill Range Wind Farm
Brown Hill Range Wind Farm
One of the many wind farms in Mid North South Australia
 
Wilpena solar power station
Wilpena solar power station
In the Flinders Ranges of SA
 
Clements Gap Wind Farm
Clements Gap Wind Farm
Another Mid North wind farm

Nations and change

The Australian and Canadian governments, both in countries that have been heavily reliant of fossil fuel exports, are resisting changes. They are being left behind by countries like Norway, which has also done very well out of fossil fuels, but is willingly encouraging change toward renewable energy rather than trying to cling to the past.

It seems that the Australian government believes that there is so much money invested in the Australian coal industry (in particular) that it must be propped up for as long as possible. Of course this is only delaying the inevitable. If the government was to recognise that change away from fossil fuels must come, if it was to accept that change and encourage it rather than resisting it, the transition would come with much less pain: environmental, emotional and financial.

Communities and change

It happens that wind power has been more developed in my region and state, the Mid North/Yorke Peninsula region of South Australia, than elsewhere in Australia. The region has a top-class wind resource and the state has a government that has embraced the necessary change toward renewable energy.

I see communities that have welcomed wind farms and communities where there is a vociferous minority of people resisting the change by misrepresenting the facts, exaggerating, and downright lying. The reader will probably not have any difficulty in guessing which of these communities is the happier.

There are two ways of looking at a proposed local wind farm:

  1. An imposition, a blot on the landscape, an intrusion of industry into a rural area, or
  2. A new opportunity, a source of local employment, increased income for the farmers who are hosting the wind turbines, a source of finance for community development and a local asset that can show the world that the people in this area are proud to be a part of the necessary change to renewable energy and away from the damaging use of fossil fuels.
The people of the Mid North town of Snowtown, where there is the most productive wind farm in Australia, have embraced change; they are very happy with their wind farm. (I recently put in a few hours on the local Clare Lions BBQ with a fellow Lion from Snowtown who said that the wind farm was "the best thing that ever happened to Snowtown".)

Similarly, Wattle Point Wind Farm near Edithburgh on southern Yorke Peninsula seems to have been happily accepted by the local people, Clements Gap Wind Farm on the south side of Crystal Brook and Hornsdale, north of Jamestown, too.

On the other hand there is the case of another wind farm that was proposed on the north side of Crystal Brook. Here there was resistance, particularly from one individual (Sarah Laurie) who went around telling people, with a complete lack of supporting evidence, that nearby wind turbines would make them ill.

The proposed Ceres Project, that would put 199 wind turbines around the middle of Yorke Peninsula also has met with vociferous resistance; most of it coming from a very few people who have little respect for the facts (the Heartland Farmers). Opponents of wind farms like to blame the wind farms for social disruption; they refuse to recognise that there is no social disruption where there is no dishonest and aggressive opposition.

We need to stop burning fossil fuels; coal should be the first to go, followed by the liquid and gas fossil fuels. Modern society demands cheap energy, the environment demands clean energy. Renewable energy development must happen if we are to pass on to our children and grandchildren a planet that we have not greatly damaged. Wind and solar power must be developed as quickly as possible. Embrace the change!



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