The Climate of Thinking Changes

Article excerpt

Happy New Year. 2006 was notable for marked shifts in thinking on sustainable development priorities in Australia--particularly where the climate change agenda was concerned. We can hopefully expect deeper progress on broad-scale solutions in the year ahead as the win-win effects of organisational commitments to sustainable practice are more widely revealed. Imperative action on climate change is leading to new perspectives and action on other sustainability priorities.

Last year, as we watched the weather more intently, the drought scorched urban areas and forced attention, concerted discussion and decision-making on critical water planning across Australia. Meanwhile, in parallel, the climate change discussion built up, influenced by leading initiatives across Europe and Asia, to a historic media crescendo with the successive influences of Al Gore's tour and film release, and Sir Nicholas Stern's landmark economic assessment for the UK Government of the costs of the scenarios around climate change and action.

The Stern Report's hard dollar numbers were tough love, and a 'reality check', in a cost language that the business-driven world understood, as it presses onward with a focus on maintaining growth and profits.

On pages 16-17 Mike Smith muses on the wide influence of Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary that accessibly brought the phenomenon of climate change to the layperson, and struck chords--not uncontroversially--at higher levels in industry and government. …