Congratulations on letter
Congratulations BDN and Ellouise Bailey for a fantastic letter to the young people of our community. I do hope heaps of them read this letter and take heed.
Jan Southcott, Pambula Beach
Children not a political weapon
In the opinion piece by Ellouise Bailey detailing her passion and zeal upon being taught the urgency of anthropogenic climate change, she says, "The politics and ecology of climate change was a class I took in my first year...", which does tend to indicate that it was a more emotive than factual class.
As she says, "The more impassioned I became, the more enraged I was and the deeper I drove myself into depression and hopelessness. My newfound disgust of the world around me led me to hate humanity and as a greater extension, myself. A treacherous territory for young people."
Anthropogenic climate change is not well supported by scientific evidence and there are well researched reasons to believe that the climate has always changed, hot some decades and cool in others.
Children should be allowed to be children rather than being used as a political weapon.
Warwick Gummerson, Richmond
Thoughtful words and actions
This is a very thoughtful letter. Living in a country community like ours is really a privilege. It enables you see how a community works and grows with participation by grass roots people. Land care is such a practical example.
Look how Clean Energy for Eternity has promoted solar power and renewable energy in our shire. There are numerous other examples too. The Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast not only works to help people in need in our shire and elsewhere, but also work to promote important environmental issues, for example reducing the use of plastic bags. It also promotes the goals of SPAN (Suicide Prevention Network).
To be able to contribute in a practical and positive way to your community and to work with like-minded people is is a joy and benefits your mental health. Congratulations to Ellouise Bailey for publishing this letter.
Leona Cairns, Bega
Courage of their convictions
Congratulations to the young people with the courage to move out of their comfort zone, defy their elders and protest on the streets for a better future (BDN, 21/5). The tragedy is that they feel the need to take such actions in the first place.
While we live in a bio-region without coal, gas and oil, the greatest contribution to climate change is when the majority of forests move from being carbon sinks to massive sources of CO2 emissions. So it was curious to see one of the conservation movement old guard attending, given conservationists generally ignore forest decline because they support the unsustainable management of national parks.
Most regional conservation groups are also members of the secretive and irresponsible Koala Action Network, that ironically also supports Forestry claims that planting trees on private land will somehow help koalas. So through the Far South Coast Landcare group they convince well meaning but poorly informed landholders to plant trees that will never help koalas.
Thankfully nowadays we have groups like Extinction Rebellion whose "you can't get blood from a stone'" approach has also been part of successful strategies to stop logging on the south coast. Unfortunately stopping logging only to have it replaced with management that ignores forest decline is not a positive outcome. Rather just another legacy left for the younger generation to deal with.
Robert Bertram, Bermagui
Moved to argue for change
I was interested and moved by Ellouise Baily's letter concerning the role of young people in the movement to push climate change higher up the political agenda, in the hope that Australia will do better, much better than our coal-choked government is doing.
I cannot agree that young people should not be involved in arguing for a world that reflects their beliefs and values. Indeed, there is no option but to protest unless they want to suffer a sheep-like fate on a wrecked planet. Much of what the climate change movement has achieved already has been because millions of young people around the world, with Greta Thunberg as the most conspicuous, have given sometimes fierce voice to their belief.
The pain and mental issues experienced by Ellouise Bailey as a result of her involvement in the movement is unfortunate, and she has done well to back out of it, when it became too much. However that will not be everyone's experience.
What she has experienced is part her education as a human being, of growing up and finding for herself how the system works, and helps her decide how she will deal with a society that is unfair, irrational and largely controlled by monied people to make themselves and their allies even richer.
It is a shock to find that our system of government is as imperfect as it is. And that the pursuit of religion leads to millions of deaths, and heaven remains but a hope. But we are better off knowing this and working out how to deal with this often-unpleasant reality than trying to pretend that everything is fine?
Young people protesting is a noble and helpful activity, and should be supported by everyone who doesn't want society to go over a cliff wearing a blindfold.
Thank you for your protesting efforts Ellouise Bailey. You have obviously learnt a lot from your experience. But please don't try and discourage others from doing the same thing. Each individual needs to go through this learning experience for themselves. The more people know, the better society will be.
Keith Bashford, Wallaga Lake
Want to have your say on these, or any other topics? Send us a letter to the editor using the form below