It’s almost hard to believe now, but just last year, hundreds of thousands of people all over the world gathered in huge demonstrations demanding action on climate change.
In spite of COVID, there are ways we can still demand action.
Earlier this year, the Farmers Markets Alliance of NSW was approached to sign an open letter to all Australians from the newly formed Commission for the Human Future.
After reading about their mission and two of their reports, The need for strategic food policy in Australia and Food is at the heart of our future, it was clear that this group of experienced politicians, public servants, academics and activists have a better chance than most to effect change.
Here’s the letter we co-signed:
As nations worldwide deal with the economic consequences of their battle with the coronavirus, it’s time to change direction so that humanity can survive and thrive far into the future. We cannot go back to business as usual.
The coronavirus crisis, with its economic and social impacts, can be seen as a dress rehearsal for what awaits us. Unless we take unified preventative action urgently, we will continue to be caught napping by ten catastrophic threats, including destructive changes in climate, serious shortages of water and other critical resources, pervasive pollution, the growing danger of nuclear war and the mass extinction of species.
The world, its governments, corporations and people, are unprepared for these risks because we have constantly ignored, in some cases for decades, well-substantiated warnings about them from science. As a result, as surely as the coronavirus followed last summer’s bushfires, we face crisis piling upon unanticipated crisis at an ever-increasing rate.
This MUST change. Hoping to relax back into the way we were is not an option. Societies have already demonstrated unexpected willingness to adjust behaviour, in ways they probably never imagined, in response to the pandemic.
The catastrophic risks we face, the policy pathways we must consider and some of the solutions to individual risks are described in the report “Surviving and Thriving in the 21st Century” by the Commission for the Human Future.
We call on all governments, industries and people to join together in developing a national dialogue, sound policies and a concrete plan for surviving and thriving amid the mounting dangers that beset humanity.
We can and must move in a new direction to ensure a positive future for our children and theirs.
As we have experienced over the last six months, farmers markets have proven to be an essential hub for communities. This will continue to be important and be increasingly vital for food security.
In the months to come, the FMANSW will seek out opportunities to join the call for changes that will benefit local food systems, farmers markets and the farmers, food businesses and customers who depend on them.
We encourage you to read the reports we’ve linked to and go to the Commission for the Human Future website to add your online signature to the letter.