Doing Our Best in This Changing World; the Nexus between Idealism and Realism Is Going to Be an Important Topic for All of Us as We Confront the Instability Caused by the Crises in Water, Food, Energy and Financial Supplies

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Byline: TUESDAY With Giovanni Ebono

THE brouhaha in Tweed Council last week over council procedures was described by Mayor van Lieshout as "teething problems".

There is a school ma'am tenor to her remarks that aims to settle down youthful passion so that we can all get on with the job of "making decisions which are, on the whole, for the best of the shire".

The problem is, dear reader, that the world is changing rapidly. Decisions are going to get more difficult and more passions are going to get aroused as a result. A flood of regulation is going to change the financial management landscape in ways that will probably affect every retiree's nest egg.

Food and water shortages will alter the value that we place on consumer items and an ongoing energy crisis will change our attitudes to transport. We will have to rebuild our communities to better support each other rather than expect Big Brother to look after us, because Big Brother is broke.

While the Tweed Shire Council has little control over any of these global fundamentals, it certainly has to make local decisions that are directly influenced by the changing world.

The discussion I had recently with Mayor, President and Administrator for 21 years, Max Boyd, illustrates the point.

A long-time advocate of household water tanks, he recognised 30 years ago that the state government laws effectively banning them overruled any vision he might have for using them to drought-proof the Tweed. Despite his own advocacy in their favour, he considers it idealistic to challenge the rules that are outside our control.

The nexus between idealism and realism is going to be an important topic for all of us as we confront the instability caused by the crises in water, food, energy and financial supplies.

Barak Obama built his election campaign and anchored his victory speech on the need for each of us to get out of our comfort zone and take responsibility for the change that we can make in the world. …


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