Don’t leave the challenge for future generations

By John Lewis

Over the next few weeks, The News will run a series of interviews with community leaders about their views on climate change.

We asked four questions:

1: What is your position on global warming and climate change?

2: Are we doing enough to mitigate the impact of climate change in the region?

3: Do community and business leaders have a role in advocating for more action, and positioning our region to take advantage of emerging opportunities?

4: What is your number one priority to help mitigate the impacts of climate change?

Today we feature the responses of pharmacist and Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry president John Anderson. Mr Anderson emphasises these are his personal views and not those of the chamber.

What is your position?

I have followed over years the many media articles on global warming and the relationship with climate change.

I have tried to take a balanced view and read, listen to and watch many presentations on this subject.

My personal opinion is that we cannot deny that climate change occurs naturally and has done so over the millenniums of the earth’s existence.

This has happened millions of years before the evolution of the human race.

However, with all of what occurs with climate change, there is no denying the fact that the human race has had its own effect on bringing forward a faster rate of climate change.

This has happened due to our huge population growth and desire to create a better world for each generation which we have done successfully but at a cost to the planet.

The scientific evidence is indisputable on this subject.

Are we doing enough?

It is difficult for individuals to make a difference to the impact of climate change. It is therefore important for large business and enterprise to show leadership and take up the responsibility for action on climate change.

However, as individuals, we need to advocate and agree that the leadership should be supported in what initiatives they may take to reduce the effect of global warming and climate change.

So, it is possible that individuals within a larger organisation can have a voice that should be heard.

Do community and business leaders have a role?

Community leaders and business generally should take the opportunity to ensure that our politicians understand that we wish them to take up the challenge to reverse the trend towards a warmer more dangerous climate.

In our region and others in Australia we can see that more extremes in weather and changing seasonal weather has become a reality.

Those of us who have lived long enough remember the different summers, the different patterns in winter, and in fact all seasons.

I don’t wish to be a doomsayer and I prefer to look towards a positive future, but we cannot leave the work to future generations. We need to take responsibility now.

In this way we need to advocate to assist any possible initiatives in our region that may make a difference to slow down the advance of global warming.

What is your number one priority?

To assist with mitigating the impact of climate change, I would start by encouraging all business especially small business owners to install solar panels to reduce the requirement for energy developed by non-renewable sources.

I would advocate for business and households to replace inefficient appliances that use vast amounts of energy versus new installations that are more energy efficient.

I would ask all households and business to ensure they use only LED low power lighting in their homes and businesses.

I would ask all households and businesses to have a developed plan for reducing waste which ends up in landfill.

Finally, I would implore all people in a position to plant new trees to do so in an attempt to improve air quality and increase the amount of carbon storage.

So many small initiatives from individuals can add up to making such a difference.

Ultimately, the power is with our politicians.

We need to make sure they are hearing what we think and that they act upon this.

Read other community leaders views on climate change:

Hysteria is not the solution - Peter Hall

Prepare now for climate change - David McKenzie

Time to step up and tackle climate change - Peter Quinn

We must tackle climate change - Suzanna Sheed

Our actions are changing the climate - Helen Reynolds