Early on January 26th, Australia Day, an enthusiastic crowd gathered in Katoomba’s verdant community gardens to send an emphatic message to politicians about renewable energy.
On a day contentious for many reasons, it was heartening to see so many members of the Blue Mountains community come together for a common purpose.
Organised by Low Carbon Living’s Annabel Murray, the crowd formed the word ‘SWITCH,’ which was then photographed from the air. In doing this, the crowd joined climate action groups around the country in such far flung places as Tathra, Broken Hill, Mt Kosciusko and the Inner West of Sydney, to create a ‘human sign’ which will say; ‘Renewable Energy Now, Make the Switch Now, 100% Imagine”.
The project is the latest initiative by Clean Energy For Eternity (CEFE), a community group from Tathra on NSW’s South Coast. Led by Dr Matthew Nott, CEFE were formed in May 2006 when over 3000 people turned up to Tathra Beach to form a human sign, an overwhelming response in a town with an official population of 1200.
According to Dr Nott, the rise of drone technology has meant that human signs are easier to achieve than ever. Since CEFE’s first foray into activism, they’ve facilitated over 100 human signs nationwide. It’s a form of protest that has encouraged thousands of conversations about climate change and shortly after the original sign, the Tathra township committed to a 50% reduction in energy use, in both domestic, community and commercial sectors. The town also voted unanimously to transition to 50% renewable energy by 2020 - an incredible outcome for this small community.
At the Blue Mountains’ event, attendees included BMCC Greens councillors, Kerry Brown and Brent Hoare. Greens’ candidate for the Blue Mountains state seat, Kingsley Liu was also present. The human rights lawyer, engineer and businessman stated that he hopes his party’s commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2030, will be achieved earlier, “as our planet is in dire trouble…unfortunately, politics have slowed this date down. We’re actually at 2 seconds before midnight. The world wants to wander into it, but we understand the urgency of having a renewable goal that’s definable.”
Many thanks to all who attended and to the caretakers of the community garden for allowing us to use their field. Special thanks to drone operator Sean O’Keeffe and watch this space for more community events to come!