I was listening to one of my favourite Saturday morning radio programs today and Brian, the announcer had recently returned from a music conference trip to the USA. He talked about one of the last days of the trip when he was in a small town near Indianapolis on his way via car, back to New York before heading back to Melbourne.
He and two travelling companions were having a bite to eat in a tavern/bar where he counted six large TV screens mounted around the room all blaring what seemed to be loud, news and advertisements. All the TV’s were either tuned to NBC or CBS news services and it was pretty much constant coverage of the American elections; the face that was plastered all around the dining room while they were trying to relax and talk was yep you guessed it - Donald Trump.
Brian and his mates noticed that about half of the dining area where watching, while the other half where caught up in chatter or busying themselves with getting more drinks from the bar. Being strangers in town, they reservedly asked one of the waiters if the TV nearest them could have the channel changed or preferably turned off for a while. In an oh-so-polite American response, the waiter advised them that the owners of the tavern had made it quite clear; all TV's where to be tuned to the stations they were on and were to be left on during opening hours. So that was that.
Anyway, Brian’s story then moved to him being back home in Melbourne and waking up this morning dreaming that we too were going through a bitterly fought election. It wasn’t long after waking just prior to dashing off to get into the 3RRR studios that he realised his dream (or rather nightmare) was actually true and we were indeed having to suffer yet another election; battling hard on every TV and radio in the country and with still another 45 days or so of electioneering to get through.
I caught the last part of Brian’s weekly Off-the-record show as I was parking the car outside the library; the gig guide had been read out and Brian and his guest were saying their farewells. I turned off the ignition, gathered up the pile of books I had to return and bundled into the library where I lightened my load placing the books in the ‘returns’ slot under the window of the counter. I did my usual perusing of the best-seller shelf and as usual, nothing there takes my fancy so I head over to the ‘psychology, philosophy and religion’ section where I usually find something of interest to browse through and/or possibly borrow.
I had a bit to do today so I didn’t spend long in the library. On the way to the exit door, I was stopped and had a chat with Dora. A lovely, articulate and vibrant 80-year-old who works at David Jones in the city assisting women who have had a mastectomy with bra fitting. We have awesome chats about travel, writing and I hope to do a blog post on her soon as I wait for approval from David Jones for me to go in and interview and photograph Dora at work. She is an inspirational lady who has a wicked sense of humour and I find myself wanting to quote her all the time – she just comes out with some unreal lines.
After saying goodbye to Dora I wandered out and just outside the library I noticed a group of what I assumed were young pollsters handing out brochures and talking to people as they were leaving the library. Knowing that we are lucky enough not to have someone as questionable and dubious as Donald Trump running, I asked them if they were spruiking for one of the delegates. They weren’t; they were part of what turned out to be a grass-roots organisation affiliated with Friends of the Earth called Yes2Renewables and they were asking people what percentage of renewable energy we should be aiming for by 2020. This is a hot topic and one that seems too often get swept under the carpet or seen as a secondary political responsibility so I was eager to talk with them as I felt this to be important. I must admit, whilst being pro-renewables, I hadn’t actually weighed in on the debate as yet and to be honest didn’t realise that there was such divergence in the aspirations of the states (Australian states, not the United variety).
Printed on a small flyer they gave me (well I asked for it actually as we finished up) this is the current state of play when it comes to renewable energy goals.
- ACT 90% renewable by 2020
- South Australia 50% renewables by 2025
- Queensland 50% by 20130
- Victoria 20% by 202
It turned out that the group I had been talking to were a passionate group of young eco-warriors come future politicians who were actively trying to lift the ‘renewables’ conversation back onto the table.
After our discussion, I said that we should increase the goal a little to 30% and then if we hit that our next goal for 2025 should be 40%. They wrote my goals on a small white board and asked if they could photograph me holding it next to one of their team members which I happily obliged. (gee I hate my smile when posing for pictures). They were a lot of fun and I thank them for their efforts in trying to bring our environment back into better shape.
It seems Victoria’s renewable energy targets are not as ambitious as other states and territories let alone other countries. I want to promote Yes2Renewables and I completed their feedback form, gave them my email address and said, ‘YES’ keep me up to date with any Yes2Renewables news. I even suggested they send me their logo so we can support them in our small way. So in the future you might see the Yes2Renewables logo on the Respite Now website.
Let’s give the Non-Renewables some respite and let their far healthier Renewable cousins keep all our cars running and our computers, heater and lights illuminating and warming us.
Keep up the good work Yes2Renewables and thanks for educating me today.
Send me your logo (jpg version preferred)