Waste and built-in obsolescence will be key issues for any generations to come which survive the increasingly disastrous climate conditions that past and present generations have allowed to happen.
In the UK during WWII, every scrap of paper was recycled and I also remember scrap metal yards doing great business.
At secondary school, we were issued with all the necessary exercise books, one for every subject, plus one, made from recycled paper, which was to be used for general note-taking in any subject.
When we had filled one of these books, we were only issued, free, with a replacement if we had clearly filled every available space and not thinned down the book by tearing out pages! If we did not pass inspection, we had to pay for the replacement!
The profligate waste in today’s world, and the pollution resulting from our indiscriminate disposal of unwanted matter are adding to the climate damage, which is dooming us to ever more extreme weather events and damaged food sources.
In the Northern Territory, our remoteness, and lack of imagination, means that our recycling is very limited and far too much goes to landfill.
The other aspect of waste is our failure to harvest the abundant sunshine which we enjoy.
At great expense, we have a railway link to Adelaide in the Ghan railway, which is underused.
If I had the power to get together a group of commercial representatives and NT and Federal politicians, I would urge them to develop recycling facilities here in the NT. We no longer ship our waste to China but if they could recycle it, why cannot we? Bring it here on the Ghan! Or ship it to our port.
We could provide renewable energy to service any facilities required for the recycling process, we could turn suitable plastics into the material required for road surfacing, glass into a substitute for sand in concrete making and in the process we could also power manufacturing facilities for creating renewable energy resources. And while we need to reduce food waste, any that is thrown out should be recycled appropriately to put back into the earth what came from the earth!
With increasing temperatures, evaporation leads to water shortages, yet I understand that film that floats on water and which acts as a solar panel could simultaneously reduce evaporation and supply power! We could manufacture that film!
Our population is diminishing in the Top End, but this could be rapidly reversed if we were to develop industry. Also, ripe for further research is tidal and wave energy. The Top End and the north of WA have massive tides which could surely generate a different form of renewable energy. If you have ever felt the power of waves, you will know how much energy is going to waste! Such a pity that the CSIRO has lost so many scientists to other parts of the world, where wave power is being harnessed!
We are – praise be! – on the threshold of a national election. Inevitably one of the major parties will garner enough votes to be able to form a coalition to form government, but we need consensus government, not adversarial government.
Let us support independent candidates who have a vision for the long-term future, not limited to the electoral cycle, who also have integrity and are determined that government will be transparent.
I hate to think of people as a resource – in the way that economists talk of capital and labour – but we are wasting one resource in ways that damage people. The refugees offshore and who are living in the community but not allowed to seek work – this is costing the country billions and destroying people’s potential in the process.
In the long run, humanity repays a hundredfold!
Current government is responsible for increasing the gap by giving more to those who do not need it and penalising those who desperately require assistance.
Helping those who need help pays enormous dividends over time, morally as well as financially.
We must change course or we will be rapidly overtaken by events!
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