The title for this blogpost came from a comment Dermot O'Gorman made in his presentation at the Eco Expo last weekend (you can read my post Living in Harmony with Nature for more information). As I listened to his presentation I was typing away on my iPad and yes I did tweet. I was a little taken aback by the comment because I have used twitter to connect with environmental groups, researchers, other geography teachers and whole range of like-minded people. As a teacher, Twitter has given me access to current research in education, geography and science, newspaper articles from around the world and discussions on a whole range of issues. It came as a bit of shock to think that maybe sharing all this information wasn't actually achieving anything beyond my own classroom.
Last week as the new Federal government axed the Climate Commission and moved forward with plans to cut the carbon tax, I saw a plethora of disheartened people conversing, but it seemed that everyone was feeling a little helpless and depressed. Links to a few petitions regarding the axing of the Climate Commission were making the rounds, but they were interspersed with a number of other petitions about new government policies (NBN, cuts to universities, etc). O'Gorman's comment came back to me. Is all this discussion actually going to get anywhere?
At midnight, a new twitter and facebook account opened - the Climate Council. People were invited to sign up and donate money to get the Climate Council off the ground. Made up of many of the same people as the Climate Commission, this group are set to continue the work of the Climate Commission without using federal government money. So many people signed up and tried to donate that the twitter account got suspended several times and the facebook account kept requiring captcha requests to ensure that the popularity and spread of the site was legitimate. In the first 13 hours they had raised $160,000 to get the council up and running, and by the end of the day they had reached over $247,000. This is a great example of how the virtual world can create real change in the real world.
Scientists say climate cuts leave public in the dark.
Support for Climate Council takes off.
Deputy Principal at a Sydney high school. Coordinating author of the new Geoactive book series.