At the beginning of a fresh new year, we like to do a collage of what images carry energy for us, and pop them together in a type of road map for the year.
What is your vision for the year? What would you like to manifest in your life, your community, your country; what is your vision for the planet?
Last night we saw the new movie ‘Carbon nation’ about the great greening efforts happening in the biggest polluting country in the world, the USA. It was heartwarming to see that the director Peter Byck, believes in focusing on inspiring stories of alternative systems to CO2. Which is what we do at the Green Times.
The power of stories
We believe a focus on 90% solutions and 10% true climate related facts is a healthy approach, which could assist anyone in following and creating more good role models. This is our challenge to our readers. What are you doing? Share your news with us. If we are to change the way we generate and use energy fast enough, we need to tell these stories and pass them on to all we know. This needs to become public knowledge; new life skills we all need to learn.
When I first started working in the world of news, I was shocked to hear that they subscribed to the premise that bad news sells. Even today this seems to be the model for the main stream printed newspapers. The question that begs asking is: when you’ve read your morning paper cover to cover, how do you feel? Inspired to go out and create a world better, or depressed and tired?
Most people who understand the power of the written word have opted out of this negative programming years ago. Why do that to yourself?
Programming for a better earth
We know that everything we read becomes part of our programming and determines how we think and behave. As such the media carry an awesome responsibility in a society. If it focuses on bad and sensational news and blows that up, it creates an impression that this is a true picture of our society. Yet it’s only a small part of the truth. Not only does this spread undue anxiety, it leads to the brain drain and can contribute to more of the same. Plus overseas media take their cue from local media and form and spread such biased opinions about our country. Who can possibly benefit from such a system?
We are not proposing hiding the truth – of course press freedom is essential – but the selection of our main focus needs to be linked to what outcomes we want to manifest. At the very least it needs to correlate to the percentage of good out there in our country, and from what I see daily it’s considerable.
Over the years it’s been a struggle to get sufficient cover for green stories. Many have complained that editors are not interested, nor sufficiently informed, to prioritise a constructive attitude of mobilising a solutions oriented society in the face of the fall out of the past 100 years’ developmental path.
Take a leaf from Brisbane
My step daughter Martine lives in Brisbane, Australia. I have just heard the most traumatic story of what it’s like to live through such a disaster on the ground. She has spent the weekend volunteering, as everyone seems to be doing. I have asked her to write the story for us â€“ telling it second-hand will not do it justice. Anyone whose still in denial of global warming should really go and volunteer in Austalia, Brazil, Sri Lanka or in Upington. We are IN climate change and we’re simply experiencing a roll out of all the predictions, as the planet’s heating up faster than was anticipated. This is the essential bad news we need to know and respond to by changing our lives.
Anyone, in any profession, can learn to think globally and craft a careful plan to align their career with the planet’s needs and the greater good. Simply that is what we’ve done with regular journalism. And this is what you can learn to do if you’d like to join our initiative.
Our email based Write for Earth course is structured into a 12 months programme this year. All new students need to register before the end of January, so that the group can progress as a whole and finish together in December. We have also formed an alliance with UCT’s Habitable Planet course, which will provide excellent scientific background for our budding eco journalist. Dr. Carl Palmer plans to offer this course country wide, so students across the country should be able to attend it in the course of the year.
Fun futurists unite
The cherry on top of our exciting work is that we meet the very best of the country’s pro-active, creative and caring individuals, who, like us, don’t have time to sit and mope about the state of the planet, as they’re too busy making a constructive difference. We need all hands on deck. This is a great way to get over feeling helpless in the face of the crisis. You’re not powerless. You CAN do something. Help yourself by helping the planet.
Our vision is to have an eco journalist in every town in this country. If you’re keen to help spread constructive green news and contribute to a better world, contact Elma at firstname.lastname@example.org.