So, in Brisbane 20+ of the most influential and powerful leaders of the world will be meeting.
Gee, I thought, if these leaders really put their minds to it, and they had the intention, then we could see some highly beneficial changes in the economic, social, environmental and cultural make-up of the world.
So, I put my mind to it and came up with 20 suggested changes that would be beneficial. Here then is my Gee Twenty list.
- A ban on further fossil fuel extraction and use.1
- Drastic reduction in spending on the military and weapons.
- Redirecting of those savings in 2 above towards providing access to clean safe water for all.
- A cap on salary levels, so that exorbitant differences in income are enormously reduced.
- Investment in renewable energy systems.
- Transference of investment in infrastructure that supports private vehicle use towards infrastructure that supports low impact and public transportation.
- Stopping the destruction of rainforests and other threatened ecosystems.
- Promotion of small-scale, local farming and agricultural activities in preference to large scale monocultural agribusiness.
- Free education for all – education that stimulates creativity and critical thinking.
- Promotion of restorative justice rather than retributive justice.
- Transitioning from electoral representative democracy to a democracy based on sortition and participatory democracy.
- Recognising that we already have enough and that continued economic growth is damaging to our environment and to our well-being.
- Full recognition to the rights of self-determination of indigenous peoples.
- Apologies and restitution to colonised people so that 13 above can be achieved.
- Full and accurate disclosure on what goes into the food we eat and where it comes from – both fresh food and cooked food.
- Research and promotion of programmes that look at nonviolence, forgiveness and other forms of resolving conflict.
- Restriction on where and when advertising is permitted.
- Greater access to mental health services.
- Complete protection of endangered species.
- Understanding that all the 19 suggestions above (and dozens more) are interconnected and that systems thinking is required.
Do you think the G20 leaders will take any notice of this? I suspect not.
Change must begin with us. As has been quoted often
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”Although attributed to Gandhi there is no evidence to suggest that it is a direct quote of his. However, the sentiment is one that he would have endorsed, so long as it was clarified that he also advocated a collective approach – change is not simply a personal one.
1. The Prime Minister of the host nation, Australia’s Tony Abbot, has removed any discussion about climate change from the agenda, claiming that he did not want the agenda “cluttered” by subjects that would distract from economic growth.