Individual Action on Climate Change

Good morning/afternoon, today I will be writing about what you can do to take a stance against climate change.

Climate change isn’t a topic I’ve discussed on this blog before. I have never been one to publicly discuss climate change, but I, like many others have felt called to action as a result of recent events. For those of you who feel the need to take a stance on climate change I have included a list of things you can do. Enjoy the post.

Climate change is a phrase used to describe the ongoing destruction of our natural environment and the consequences presented as a result of this.

Photo from: @marcusspiskeonunsplash

Why are some people reluctant to act?

Firstly I would like to discuss the “bigness trap”. The bigness trap is an expression used to describe the feeling of “it (the problem) is too big for me to do anything.” and I feel as though the bigness trap is quite often something that people find themselves tangled up in.

The biggest problem with “the bigness trap” is that it stops people fro trying before they even have the chance to get going. For those people who struggle with this I would simply advise you to remember anything is better than nothing.

Another thing that I believe stops people from taking action, is the idea that “it’s someone else’s problem.”

For example in Australia there has been a lot of pressure on our government to address climate change, get rid of the coal industry, lower green house emissions and ultimately start thinking in a more innovative and sustainable way. Although pressuring leaders is good we need to combine that with individual action. If we want to see change we can’t continuously think “well it’s the prime ministers job to fix it.” Its not. It is our job as residents of planet Earth.

A point worthy of mention here is that I believe that there is an established connection between the bigness trap and the idea of pointing the finger. Many people who feel the need to put the pressure on somebody else would probably be doing that as a result of feeling helpless.

Photo from: @marcusspiskeonunsplash

When you think about it if you felt as though you couldn’t make a difference, you would subsequently, be looking at others who you thought could make a difference. These “others” come in many forms: councils, governments, activists etc. Therefore I do think that there is (like many things) a connection to mindset, and when I say mindset I don’t just necessarily mean on world problems, but essentially i’m also talking about the way we regard themselves.

Having a sense of confidence and an open mind will leave you with a burning desire to know: how could I create change? And although climate change is an intricate and complex predicament sometimes the best thing you can do is change your own habits. You don’t need to be an author, scholar, activist etc to be able to create change. Thats the truth. There is no special personality type that you need to be able to take action.

When you go to ask yourself “why isn’t the president, prime minister etc taking action?” Switch it to a moment of self – reflection: what am I doing? What is good about what I am doing currently? How can I improve on that? It’s all good to be applying pressure to leaders, but its when that becomes an excuse, a way out, that it becomes a problem.

Thirdly I would also like to draw attention to the idea of being afraid.

Climate change is scary. I am scared. Some people are afraid of climate change itself and honestly, fair enough. But rather than putting the truth aside we need it to stimulate you into acting.

Photo from: @Li-anlimonunsplash

Aside from that there is also the portion who are afraid of just genuine change. Like I have mentioned in previous posts people are afraid of what change means for them. I will again go back to the example of Australia and the coal industry, if you were a coal miner who could barely afford a house, a bed, and 3 small meals a day the last thing you’d want is for your job to be taken away. Therefore I would think that you would be reluctant to start attending protests on ridding Australia of the coal industry. Think about it on an even bigger scale, one of Australia’s largest trading exports is coal, so what happens when no one will buy our coal or we stop producing it? We would need to be able to find another way to make money and keep the economy going, otherwise it would be bad news for us Australians. All of this happens and it all influences individual decisions. Even on a really small scale, someone may not want to stop buying chocolate containing palm oil just because they like it, even though they know that its horrible for the environment.

How do we overcome these obstacles

Humans are emotional creatures and we make a lot of our decisions based off of our emotions. In fact it has been proven that up to 90% of our decisions are formed from our emotions not logic. So to overcome this fear of change we need to create a safety net. We need innovative ideas, new people and thoughts to help us. We need to be able to have a job ready for that coal miner after we’ve closed the coal mines. We need a new export to replace coal after we’ve ridded ourselves of the coal industry, and although it may sound insignificant we need a new kind of sustainable cooking oil to put in our chocolate etc.

I also think that in order to call these people who are afraid into action that we really need to try and understand what it is like for them. We need to approach them with compassion and empathy. So instead of telling them that they’re being unreasonable, and illogical we need to approach this with an attitude of compassion.

Over the past year I have come to realise that you will rarely ever change a persons mind by yelling at them.

Photo from: @marcusspiskeonunsplash

So as you can tell climate change isn’t exactly a question, answer problem. It is a global problem that requires global action, not just from the world leaders but from you. It requires individuals such as us to create change.

So what can you do? Here are some ways to take individual action within your own home.

Indivual Actions

  • Turning off taps when you’re not using them

This could mean turning the tap off whilst you’re brushing you’re teeth or making sure there is no water trickling from the tap before exiting the room.

  • Taking 5 minute showers

Simple but effective. Be conscious of your water usage and how much you’re wasting.

  • Air dry your clothes

Air drying your clothes is a great way to save electricity, and help our environment.

  • Only taking what you need

Whether it been a large frappe at McDonalds or buying the new iPhone when your current one is completely fine, buying things we don’t need isn’t helping anyone. Certainly not the environment.

  • Natural light

If you have windows in your room turn the lights off and open your blinds! Not only does the natural light look better it is also environment friendly.

  • Drive less

If you can afford it, driving less is a good way to help our climate. If the shops are close see if you can walk next time!

  • Being an informed consumer

Knowing what’s in the stuff you’re buying and boycotting things that are unsustainable and/or causing harm to the environment is one of the best things you can do!

  • Reusable alternatives

Whether its a reusable coffee mug, drink bottle, bag, straw, fork, plate etc limiting the amount of waste you produce is an awesome way to take individual action.

That’s my list of individual actions you can take to make a stand against the climate crisis. A lot of these are very textbook ways to take action but they are effective none the less.

Also I wanted to mention an app that I’ve been using called A World. A World is an app owned by the United Nations that encourages individual action against climate change, and provides you with the tools to do so!

Thats it for today! I hope you enjoyed todays post. As always please take some time to reflect on this post and the things I have said. I hope this post has inspired you to take action, and showed you that you don’t have to fit a special mould to help save the planet! If you enjoyed this post and wish to see more articles such as this one please consider dropping a follow. Have an amazing day!

Systemic Racism (understanding it and where it came from)

Systemic racism by definition is a form of racism that is embedded as a normal practice within a society or organisation. Systemic racism (also known as institutional racism) is a global problem, which needs to be dealt with on a global scale. As a result , systemic racism isn’t something that is easily fixed. It is often engraved in peoples thought patterns from a young age and is passed on through generations, so when a person grows up believing in the division of the races it is often quite difficult to convince them otherwise. Even people who do believe in unity can sometimes have a closed mindset on the topic and here’s why.

Photo from: @claybanks on unsplash

It is a common misconception that racism started with a misunderstanding. That black and white people met and because they didn’t look the exact same they considered each other abnormal and acted under the falsehood that they were not the same species. And most people believe some variation of that story.

The problem with this is not only that it is false but also that it gives people an excuse to sit on their hands. Some white people look at that story and think because it was a misunderstanding, racism is a black person problem to solve.

This is true for a proportion of the world population; that they aren’t necessarily “racist” they just don’t believe its their problem to deal with. But the truth is, it is very much a white person problem, more so than a black person problem. To fully understand why that is and what us white people can do, we first need to understand where these unethical beliefs came from.

“The opposite of racist isn’t non-racist, it’s anti-racist.”

Ibram X. Kendi

Dr Ibram Kendi, one of the leading scholars in racism and author of the New York Times bestselling book “How to be an Anti-Racist”, has found what he believes to be the start of systemic racism. He believes that racism was first dominant around the 1450’s when slave traders tied to the Portuguese crown used racism as a way of justifying a poor decision. These particular slave traders were the first to travel to sub Saharan Africa. Upon their arrival they promptly enslaved groups of African people, and to justify what they had done, to themselves, and the world they lied. They claimed that the Africans were unintelligent and inferior. Therefore making it “ok” to strip them of basic human rights.

Photo from: Nathan Dumlao on unsplash

John Biewen a friend of Dr Ibram Kendi, journalist and documentarian gave a speech on the issue. He said that the whole idea of “blackness” and “whiteness” began then and there, and that it didn’t take long for other European countries to follow in their footsteps and adopt these unethical and racist ideas. He then went on to tell us that there is no such thing as “blackness” and “whiteness” that racism is a mental block. A mindset that is based off of a lie.

“Denial is the heartbeat of racism.”

Ibram X. Kendi

Dr Biewen also states that racism is a white person problem. It began with a lie, a lie that a white person told in order to justify a poor decision. To supposedly “right a wrong”. He then goes on to tell us we need not to feel guilty about the wrongs of our ancestors but to take on a sense of responsibility. Which I agree with entirely. Our history as the human race is not pretty, it is full of violence, irrationality, lies and hurt. However we must not only reconcile these past mistakes with the descendants of the victims but with ourselves as well. We no longer live in the 1450’s, the times have changed, so have the people, so should the thinking. This isn’t only meant to mean being racist or homophobic or sociopathic etc it is also about how we view solutions. If the people have changed the problems and solutions will change with us.

Photo from: Nathan Dumlao on unsplash

Dr Kendi spoke of the current causes of racism in his interview with The Undefeated. He talks about where racism comes from now. He tells us that these days racism is not out of hate or ignorance but more so out of self – interest. Dr Kendi claims that “education, love and exemplary black people won’t solve racism”.

I would also like to mention that culture is built from us, the people. Therefore collectively we can rebuild culture. And redefine “normal”.

White people need to understand that racism is as much their problem as it is a Black persons problem. People need to understand that there is no such thing as “blackness” and “whiteness” that racism is a mental block, and to fix racism we need to make a mindset switch.

Thank you for reading this post. It is incredibly important to me that these messages are heard and I am thrilled to have been able to pass this one on to you. If you would like to read more on major world problems and what we can do about them be sure to follow this blog. Anyways thanks for reading have an amazing day.

For anyone interested in John Biewen’s TED talk I’ve linked it here.

An Unpopular Opinion

Good morning/afternoon! Today I will be writing what I realise will be a controversial post. I would like to apologise if this post is in any way shape or form offensive. I would also like to issue a disclaimer: this is my own personal opinion, all opinions in this post are my own. I am by no stretch of the imagination a qualified scholar on any of the issues in this post nor do I know what it feels like to be personally persecuted or to watch my own be persecuted for any of them and I am aware of this fact. These opinions have been formed by conversations, essays, articles, speeches and personal experiences. Please respect my opinion as I respect yours.

Now moving on to the post!

I for a while now have understood that I am lucky. I am lucky because I have a house to live in. I can walk down the street without feeling afraid. I can wear what I please. Have the opinions I have. Love who I want. Achieve what I set my mind to. And ultimately, be who I please.

It is not like that for everyone.

In this post I am once again voicing an opinion.

Most of the time you will find me agreeing with the activists, scholars, lawyers etc but I do have one thing where I will beg to differ, and I have been seeing it for years, in speeches, books, conferences, rallies even TV shows…..

In order to be an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, the indigenous people, disabled people etc you have to believe that we are all the same. That you have to be comfortable talking about these issues. That you have to be willing to forget the past for a better future.

I don’t believe any of these statements to be true. I believe in order to be an ally of the ostracised groups you must accept that we ARE different. That we aren’t the same, we come from different places, we do things differently, we believe different things and our appearances will differ but that’s ok.

I also believe that it is 100% normal to be uncomfortable talking about these issues. For example I used to be extremely uncomfortable talking about racism, do I still experience mild discomfort talking about it? Yes. Does it mean I’m racist? No. Well, I don’t think so anyways. Being uncomfortable is normal, and it is ok. If someone is discussing something with you and you feel uncomfortable. Good. Be uncomfortable. Because in my understanding it means you care. Think about this. If I went to a racist and began discussing racism and they were not at all uncomfortable the chances are they do not care. But if I went to a “racist” and began talking about racism and they were uncomfortable they probably do deep down feel some form of empathy.

You may then ask if they do care why do they continue to be that way? And may I add that, that is a very good question. It probably means that there is some deeper issue. That they think being that way will be of profit to them. If you were poor and could barely afford food for you, your husband and your children, and the only source of income was your job you would be feeling pretty keen to keep that job. So what happens if discrimination stops and Eddie the transgender aboriginal woman who is 10x more qualified than you are, can now take you’re job because she’s know longer being discriminated against? What happens to you and your family?

From what I understand there is a population of people under this banner. That are afraid of what change means for them. Some of them have very good reason to be afraid. What is needed is a safety net. A way to look after those people, but that’s another days discussion. My point is that they probably do care, they are just afraid.

Lastly I want to mention the belief of “forget the past for a better future” or some variation of that phrase. Our history is what makes us. I will agree that it is ugly and wrong and filled to the brim with injustice, lies and violence, but it is still there. It will always be there. There is no hiding that white man invaded most of the nations on the planet, that they killed and tortured. I’m sorry but there isn’t any hiding that there were slaves. And for my country, Australia, there is no hiding that for many years the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were regarded as plants, not only that but in their own nation where they had been living peacefully for 40 000 years.

I know it is horrible, I too was ashamed to think that I am white. That my ancestors committed all these horrible crimes. But you know what? I shouldn’t. I am a firm believer that we should not feel guilty about the crimes committed in the past, but feel responsible for the reconciliation of all the different people.

I think that forgetting our past is going to solve as much as removing Hatshepsut from the Egyptian line of pharaohs did (For those of you who don’t know that story Hatshepsut was the first woman pharoah. Her and evidence of her reign was found and she was put back in the history books). We need to remember what happened and learn from it. To use it as motivation to heal the wound. We were never perfect, and never will be. But rather than burying our failures as the human race we need to understand what went wrong and learn.

Thank you for reading this post! I know it’s kind of long. Sorry. But this is just an opinion of mine I wished to share. I would like to close this post by saying I fully respect the opinions of people with those beliefs. I would also like to say to any of the indigenous, black, disabled, LGBTQ+, female, lower socioeconomic, (etc) people who may be reading this post, that I respect you as I would any other human being. I hope that reading this post and all the others on this site adds another name to the list of people who are your allies.

And to everyone have an amazing day!

Striving for Unity

The world is divided.

Into 3 primary classes, the elite, the middle class and the minority. In these 3 classes there are multiple sectors each one ranked unofficially in society in accordance to the colour of their skin, their gender, religious beliefs, quality of their education, political opinions, sexuality or wealth, and to be honest these deciding factors should not matter. Yet millions of people are at a disadvantage as a result of them. Some of these people are at more of a disadvantage than others, some even losing their lives as a result.

So my question to you is… What have you done, or can you do, to show your support?

My guess is that a lot of people will say that they have donated, or campaigned for BLM or the “Me Too” movement or some other worldwide campaign. Whilst this is a good start there is still a lot more to do. Whilst your thinking about the question I previously asked, I want you to also reflect on if you have ever thought about those people or helped them in any way after the campaign was no longer popular. The reasoning for these questions is to get you thinking and to get you reflecting on your decisions.

Let me explain. I want you to think about whether you have personally gone out of your way to see what you could do, whether whilst you were campaigning for that trending issue you were actually empathetic and connected to the issue, and if the answers no, don’t worry about it! I’m pretty sure your not alone. Because from what I understand more times than not people jump on the bandwagon of a particular issue just because their favourite celebrity was behind it or because everyone else was doing it. This chain reaction may help in some ways like spreading awareness and raising money for an organisations. The problem is the effort is not sustained. What I mean by that is that once it is no longer in peoples ‘recommended’ or their favourite celebrity moves on the problem seemingly “no longer exists”. The whole issue seems to just disappear and only a proportion of people actually continue to express their interest in the issue. I guess what I’m saying is that just because something is no longer trending that doesn’t mean it has been solved. Long after the issue has been forgotten by the mainstream, others are still suffering.

These trending campaigns they come and they go, as does the support they gain. The ‘2020’ Black Lives Matter movement was actually born in 2015, but was raised to popularity again in 2020. Yes, there were many campaigns in between but there was significantly less attention paid. Do you think that black people were only disadvantaged in 2015 than left alone for 5 years just to be harassed again in 2020? I don’t think so. Yes there were people out campaigning in those 5 years, but they were also a very small proportion of the people who were donating and campaigning in 2015. My guess is that they had forgotten, there was a new trending campaign that had gotten everybody fired up, and the year after that was the same and so was the year after that and I have no doubt it will continue for a very long time. Do you see the cycle? People have very short attention spans. They lose interest in the issue before anything has been changed. They forget about the injustice before things are any different, which means things tend to stay the same.

I have no problem at all with trending campaigns, and absolutely no problem with people combining forces to fight for a particular cause. I actually believe that the use of social media to advocate a campaign is quite an intelligent and efficient way to do it. My problem with using online media tools to endorse campaigns is that there are so many campaigns to choose from. Although it is good to gain exposure to all different types of problems in the world, having so many options tends to make people jump from band wagon to band wagon. Going back to my previous point, that means that before any particular issue has been changed people have moved on. Or because there are so many different organisations to support the followers are divided and there isn’t enough support for any of the issues to make any real changes.

Although it seems all hope is lost and that we will never be able to heal this divided society we have created there is a way. You don’t need to be some form of super human or a world renound activist to create change. The truth is everybody can do it! We need people, ALL people, to discover a humane empathetic respect for one another, and essentially it all comes back to the way we treat one another. If every person makes a conscious effort to treat others as equals to themselves we will achieve peace. In order for this to work people have to understand that for the greater good they need to put their own opinions aside and work collaboratively with people of all genders, sexualities, nationalities, religions, political parties, and classes. I must admit it will take a long time, it will be a slow and drawn out process of healing, but it can be done. I have no idea how many people will read this but if one person reads this and passes it on and then that person passes the message on this could go a very long way. But if you are going to take anything from this article, let it be that you can make a difference. The world is not an endless pit of misery, it is a world of possibilities. It is a world where we prove time and time again just how intelligent we are. It is a world where anything is possible, including change.The person who realises this and believes in it and the human race, with the whole of their being, that person will be the change this world needs to see.

On the topic of people who are working to create positive change, I would like to acknowledge all of the incredible work being done on a global level. I would personally like to acknowledge and show my appreciation for those real life heroes who go out of their way to help others. Who, for some of them, dedicate their lives to serving humanity. Your efforts do not go unnoticed, not by the people you’re helping and not by me. I’m sure you’re all aware of how negative the media really is and how much people tend to gravitate towards negative news. But just because we quite rarely hear about these inspiring stories of success doesn’t mean they aren’t there. The world truly isn’t doom and gloom as there are so many wonderful things taking place each day.

So I hope you understand that the problem isn’t that there’s no good things happening, the problem is that there is not enough support behind them. So I really encourage you to get involved within your local community or even set yourself a goal to show a small act of kindness each and every day.

As I said before I don’t know how many people will read this article, let alone how many people will actually think about what I’ve said, but I will be happy if one person at least thinks about this after reading this article and I will be over the moon if someone takes this message and passes it on. Because you cannot attempt to climb a whole staircase in one go, you have to take it one step at a time. Keeping the end goal in sight.

Thank you so much for reading this article. I hope something that I have said as got you thinking or resonated with you. This is something really important to me and I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks again for reading, have an amazing day.

What is Feminism?

Hey every one today I am writing a post on a cause that is quite important to me. I haven’t talked about this on my blog before but feminism is something I am exceedingly passionate about. No I haven’t been treated unfairly. No, there isn’t any personal trauma behind the belief. I originally found something about it in a book. I did some extra research and figured considering I am female it would be pretty stupid not to want equality for myself and the billions of other women out there.

Before I start this post I would like to give you my definition of feminism. Feminism is wanting equal rights. Personally I know that being a feminist is often quite misunderstood. Saying that I’m a feminist doesn’t mean that I hate all men. It doesn’t mean I want all the power to the women. It means that I want equality. It doesn’t mean that men won’t have to give up some of their power, because they will. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to disagree with them sometimes, because I will. But this is all part of it. Feminism is believing that women and men are equals. That we should be treated the same. Whether that’s what we wear, the title we’re given, how we treat one another or how much we’re payed.

I know when I talk about feminism that a lot of people envision angry women parading up and down busy city streets with posters in arm. I know some people automatically think about discrimination against girls who want to play soldiers or wear shorts instead of skirts. Some people see women working alongside men in major corporate jobs. Yes that is all apart of it. But it is apart of a much bigger picture.

One thing that is often misinterpreted is that feminism is only about girls. It’s not. Feminism includes letting boys wear dresses or play with barbies. It includes getting rid of that stereotypes that has been set for us, that boys have to be manly and girls have to be girly. That boys can’t cry and girls have to be lady-like. I’m not saying you can’t be those things I’m saying you should have a choice. I know that some people say that we do have a choice, but really we don’t. It’s either we fit into this mould that the world has shaped or we face discrimination, bullying and a hardship because we are different. Feminism is about freedom and liberation. It’s about tearing down those moulds that society has set for us. Not just for women but for the human race as a whole.

The Oxford dictionary defines feminism as; “The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”

In summary feminism is something that is quite often misunderstood. I felt it was important to correct some misunderstandings that people have about this particular topic.

I would like to thank you for reading this post. Wishing you a wonderful day!