I can change your mind about… climate

Do you think you can change someone’s mind about climate change?

A new ABC television show  “I Can Change Your Mind About..Climate” seeks to address that question.

The website features a survey you can take to find out your views before the show airs.

I’d like to see them change a sceptic’s mind, but that can be hard work…. perhaps there is a better way?

I like the approach George Marshall from Talking Climate takes in the video above. He asks what the best way of talking to a cli­mate ‘denier’ is, including advice on lan­guage, framing, and a dis­cus­sion of whether ‘denier’ is even the right way of thinking about the problem. From How to talk to a climate change denier.

How resilient are you? survey


Grab some paper and write down your answers to the following questions.

Are you self- and community-sufficient?

  1. I put my savings and investments in community and regional banks and local institutions
  2. I buy or barter the goods and services I need from local merchants, organizations, or individuals.
  3. I make my income from my local economy.
  4. I know how to fix, grow, build, or create things (such as repair a roof, grow kale, give a guitar lesson) that others would want in good times and hard times.
  5. I have an alternative source of livelihood that could sustain me (and my family) if my current source were no longer viable.
  6. I consume locally grown food that I could afford even if prices went up substantially (e.g., from a food co-op, backyard garden).
  7. I know how to preserve food and keep a well stocked pantry.
  8. I have access to sources of water, even when the weather is unpredictable or the tap water doesn’t work (such as a rainwater tank or a reliable well).
  9. I have ways to get around, even if the gas at the pump is unavailable or pricey (such as feet, bike, electric car).
  10. I have alternative heat and energy sources (such as solar panels or a wood stove) if the power goes out or utilities get expensive.
  11. I actively promote the development of renewable energy in my local community.
  12. I have a hopeful vision of what my community and life can look like in a future without fossil fuels.

Do you have a support network?

  1. I have friends and acquaintances in my local community (and I know their faces, not just their Facebook pages).
  2. I am comfortable asking my neighbors if I can borrow stuff (e.g., tools, ingredients).
  3. I could easily call on nearby friends and neighbors for help in an emergency.
  4. I offer support to people in my community when they need help.
  5. I’m active in community groups (like neighborhood associations, potlucks, churches, soup kitchens, gardening clubs, arts organizations, or local political groups).

Do you have sources of personal resilience?

  1. I sing, dance, paint, or otherwise participate in arts or creative work on a regular basis.
  2. I regularly engage in activities that help me stay calm and balanced (such as meditation, exercise, prayer, or spending time in nature).
  3. I take care of my health, such as through regular exercise, a healthy diet, and an appropriate amount of sleep.

Adapted from the How resilient are you online test by YES! Magazine

Transition tip: Deconstruct your consumption habits

This transition tip idea comes from Mark Boyle in his book called The Moneyless Man – a year of freeconomic living.

As part of living without money for a year, he got a notepad and listed every single thing he consumed

“I called this my ‘breaking-it-down’ list. To structure my thoughts, I categorised my list into food, energy, heating, transport, entertainment, lighting, communications, reading, art and so on. The list eventually took up half the notepad – and that was the list of someone who considers himself quite a moderate consumer….

“It became clear, after just a couple of pages, that most of the stuff would involve me having no more than one degree of separation from what I consumed; either I would make it myself or know the person who produced it.”

“My list-making enabled me to establish my basic level of subsistence, the things I really couldn’t do without, and my priorities for the rest.”

The Moneyless Man
– by Mark Boyle

Transition tip: Participate in a free gifting system (freecycle)


Transition tip: Participate in a free gifting system

There are a number of free gifting systems around, with Freecycle perhaps the most well known. Using a website or email group you can give away things you no longer need or ask if anyone has something to give away that you’d like.

These schemes promote waste reduction and help save the landscape from being taken over by landfills.




Have you had any experience with a gifting network?

Garage Warrior


The bottles, you know, are jewels. This is garbage and it comes out like stained glass jewels.

– Garbage Warrior

Garbage Warrior is the story of radical Earthship eco architect Michael Reynolds, and his fight to build off-the-grid self-sufficient communities. What an inspiring visionary. I love the sustainable buildings the group creates out of recycled materials – the houses have so much character and are just beautiful.

List of Transition Town groups and initiatives in Brisbane


Transition Brisbane aims to support the city transition from oil dependency to local resilience.

It is a Hub of the Transition Network, which is a world wide movement to support community-led responses to peak oil and climate change, while building resilience and happiness.

Here is a list of the Transition groups and initiatives in the greater Brisbane area:

  • Enoggera Transition
  • Samford Green Street
  • Scenic Rim Transition
  • Sandgate Transition Town
  • Sustainable Jamboree – based in the Jamboree Ward of Brisbane and surrounds (all are welcome)
  • Sustainable Redlands
  • St. Johns Wood Sustainability – St John’s Wood
  • Transition Ashgrove
  • Transition Annerley – Annerley, Fairfield, Moorooka, Fairfield, Tarragindi, Yeronga
  • Transition Bardon – The Grove, The Gap, St John’s Wood
  • Transition East – Balmoral, Bulimba, Camp Hill, Cannon Hill, Hawthorne, Morningside, Norman Park, Seven Hills
  • Transition Kurilpa – Highgate Hill, Hill End, South Brisbane, West End
  • Transition The Gap
  • Transition The Grove – Arana Hills, Ferny Hills, Ferny Grove, Grovely, Keperra, Upper Kedron
  • Transition Town Kenmore – The Pullenvale Ward; Anstead, Bellbowrie, Brookfield, Chapel Hill, Kenmore, Moggill, Pullenvale and Upper Brookfield

Please note these groups are run by volunteers and some are still in the start up stage.

Join us online: http://www.brisbanetransitionhub.ning.com/


Transition tip: Create a Personal Energy Descent Action Plan (PEDAP)


Transition tip: Create a Personal Energy Descent Action Plan (PEDAP)

A Personal Energy Descent Action Plan (PEDAP) is a plan for dealing with Peak Oil and climate change at the family or household level. The aim of the plan is to head towards a more localized, lower energy and sustainable lifestyle.  A family may get together and have a brainstorming session about their goals and ideas on how to achieve this.

  1. Start with some butchers paper, coloured pens and some paper stickies
  2. Across the top divide the page up into 20 years including 5 year increments to cover the next 20 years
  3. Down the left hand side add the following categories:
  • Emergency Preparation
  • Energy
  • Finance
  • Food
  • Home
  • Health
  • Transportation
  • Waste
  • Water

As you come up with ideas add them to a paper sticky and then place them in the time frame when you think they are achievable.

Add some of the transition tips or personal household preparation suggestions as appropriate.

Don’t forget to document the plan (perhaps typing it up) and celebrate your success. Have some fun with it.

Case Studies

Have you created a Personal Energy Descent Plan yet?

Transition tip – Conduct a disposables audit


In honour of Clean Up Australia Day, today.

Transition tip: Conduct a disposable audit of your home.

You could go through your house and do each room at a time, and through out this week start to thinking about how you can replace some of those single use items, or disposables.

  • dog poo bags – replace with a Dog poo compost box
  • paper towels
  • plastic cutlery and plates
  • plastic fruit and vegetable bags – replace with reusable produce bags
  • plastic shopping bags – replace with fabric bags or Envirosax reusable shopping bags
  • razors
  • sandwich wrap – replace with reusable lunch wraps
  • sanitary products – replace with reusable sanitary products
  • takeaway chopsticks
  • takeaway coffee cups – replace with a Keep Cup
  • tissues – replace with handkerchiefs
  • toilet paper
  • wrapping paper – replace with fabric gift bags


What disposable products are you going to replace?

Coal Seam Gas is not clean

Coal Seam Gas (CSG) is methane gas found in coal seams. It is incredibly destructive to the environment.

It pollutes the air and water we all share.

It is not a clean energy, and it’s very inefficient.

We watched the Gasland documentary the other day and can’t believe the shameful and destructive practices that are going on overseas. Anyone who watches them light up the water that comes out of their home taps has got to be worried.

Environmental Impact Statements are not optional.

Please educate yourself about this issue:

A locked gate means you are not welcome on our property.

Product review: What’s in your deodorant?

Conventional antiperspirants and deodorants are a toxic mess:

“I am not sure why anyone in their right mind would want to spray a 25 per cent solution of aluminium under their arms everyday. We are worried about a trace of aluminium in a cooking pan that might cause Alzheimer’s, so why do we shave our underarms and apply a 25 per cent solution to that area every single day? It is absolute madness. People need to understand what is really in a pot of under arm cosmetics. It is just a toxic mess really!”

– Dr Philippa Darbre, Senior Lecturer in Onocology, The University of Reading

There are plenty of alternatives without the nasties. Here are some that I have tried over the last year: