Friday, April 24, 2009

My meeting with our Federal member of parliament

I've just come out of a meeting with Russell Broadbent, our local representative in the Australian Parliament. We met at the Source Café in Foster, with mum's and babies at nearby tables and the street scene of Foster strolling past the big window right next to us. Fiona Mottram, one of the two reporters for our local paper the "Mirror", spotted us there and darted in with her camera to take yet another shot of me for the paper. I'm already suffering from serious over-exposure in the "Mirror" due to all the publicity associated with acting the part of Hugo in "Dinner at Hugo's" written by our local playright, Edwin Coad (final performance tonight: sorry folks, totally sold out!). The "Mirror" has also given me a very good run with my Peak Oil forum. Thanks Fiona and Wendy Williamson (who also got a talking part in the ABC Radio National documentary and who said nice things)!

Russell is a very affable, high energy sort of guy who it is impossible to dislike, even more so due to his courageous and principled stand against the majority of his own party over the appalling treatment of refugees by the Howard government (policies some of which appear to be still running under the Rudd Labor government).

He's a very wily and experienced old politician all the same, and managed not to answer my questions as to whether there is a Plan "B" by either party to deal with the consequences of the Depression now bearing down upon us when their Plan "A", return to Business As Usual, fails. However he listened attentively to my concerns and to my vision of how we could build a more resilient community here. Maybe it is some sort of beginning.

1 comment:

cablegrizzz said...

Hi Lloyd,

I just heard the documentary on the CBC in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I heard it in the car, driving back from going for a run along an aqua-duct in my city.

This is the documentary I heard. In a world confronted with climate change, financial crisis and peak oil, this is the story of a highly individual response to the challenges ahead. Lloyd Morcom, a former oil man and ex hippy, has not only made radical changes in his own life, he's also encouraging friends and neighbours in his small, rural home town to reconsider their lifestyles.

However, when he calls a public meeting to outline his fears for the future he knows deep down that his message won't make him universally popular. Wary of what he calls 'doomer porn', Lloyd believes small communities should adapt housing, transport and food production to survive the coming storm.

I live in a city built for driving. It is eight times the size of Manhattan in New York, and has only (roughly) ten percent the population. Other than Dallas and Houston, Texas, Calgary is probably the biggest oil city in North America. We live her like there will never be a stop to oil, water, or the environment (ecosystems).

I think you are doing a good thing, I feel your intentions are moral, and I wish you all the best of luck. People are listening, even if not right next door to you. I know I have a lot of things to change, and hearing your story is just another reminder that individuals, and small groups of people make a difference; they always have. Keep up the effort.

Cheers from the bottom of the world (or is it the top?).

Laurence

lhmarks@cbe.ab.ca