Mick Stacey, Ballina
What ever happened to the idea of ‘living simply so others can simply live’?
In reference to the upcoming conference in March, The Economics of Happiness, I’m all for getting together and planning for a better future. I’ve been part of that most of my life. From my early teens when getting together with other like minded kids in the village where I grew up, in the North East of England, to try to save foxes from the cruel, barbaric hunt.
By the age of 19, I’d become a vegetarian. I took up the bigger challenges, as an anti-nuclear, anti-war activist, which I continue to be today. On the down side of this, I took up the trade as a wood machinist, after a short spell in forestry.
In the early 70s I joined Friends of the Earth and CND, and as a result of the knowledge I gained, gave up working in the timber industry. Along with this, I lived a pretty frugal existence, never being one for fancy clothes, cars or the like, with a bike and a few vinyl records being my only possessions.
Today at 70, I still live with what I consider to be a small footprint, in a small unit in Ballina, with my long time Aussie partner. Our last water bill was $8.92. We pay more for service fees than for power used. We’ve never had any children (by choice), never borrowed money, don’t have investments, we have a very small car which is rarely used as Ballina is a great place for cyclists.
After a long life of activism, for peace, social justice and the environment, and a bit of travelling on land, in a society which is rampant with greed, we still feel we’ve had a good quality of life.
With all due respect, we feel that flying people across the world, to a talk fest, in a country that has some of the worst human rights abuses and environmental degradation, supposedly to address the world’s ills, into a town that has already got huge traffic gridlocks for most of the year, is something the planet can do without.
How about using Skype? Then everyone can stay at home and keep it local?
Food for thought!