The faces of climate change: Helen

Food & climate change article written on the 13 Apr 2011

Welcome to our very first ‘Faces of Climate Change’ video for 2011, featuring the moving story of Helen Henry, a mum and community leader, from Hamilton in south-western Victoria. Watch Helen’s story now.

As the carbon price debate rages on through talk back radio, in newspapers and in Parliament, often spreading misinformation, Helen’s story seeks to remind us that climate change is more than just a political or economic issue, “this is bigger than religion, it’s bigger than country borders… it’s about the future of children,” says Helen.

Helen could be your next door neighbour. She’s a friendly woman with three kids, runs a business with her husband and has a great vegie patch. And like thousands of other people around Australia she’s witnessed the landscape and weather patterns of the area she grew up in change dramatically, “we used the sneak around the back and watch brolga’s dance on the swamp here… (but) it’s not really a swamp anymore.”

Helen realised that the changing climate meant that her children would not carry with them the same memories that she did of growing up in Hamilton. This inspired her to bring together community members who shared her concerns. Shortly after this first meeting ‘Future Makers’ was born. “The primary purpose of Future Makers is to keep at the leaders of our community, and the community members themselves to keep at their leaders, to reduce the carbon footprint of this area,” says Helen.

Helen’s not alone in this endeavour. Around the country people are calling for action, from community climate action groups, to the 1 Million Women campaign, to the campaign for 100% renewable energy, to the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and beyond.

Despite this enormous community support Australia continues to drag its feet when it comes to the government committing to reduce our carbon pollution. Over the past 3 months the government’s chief economic advisor on climate change has released reports highlighting the increasing urgency of action. The Department of Climate Change recently released a report showing that Australia is currently on track to increase our emissions by 25% by 2020 – a really worrying trend. It is high time for our government to get smart on climate change.

Did you know…

  • 32 other countries already have an emissions trading scheme or a carbon tax in place.
  • Renewable energy makes us almost 20% of the world’s energy supply but just 7% in Australia.
  • In 2009 China investedUS$34.6 billion in renewable energy technologies and Australia just US$1billion.

What you can do


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