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Over 180 million babies were born
in 2014, thus keeping mankind
on track for the un-declared/
un-budgeted “goal” of 25 per cent
growth in the next 25 years.
Is such growth necessary, given
that the only clear threat to the
continued existence of the human
species is mankind itself?
Is such growth desirable? Over
60 million babies were born into
squalour or poverty, plus millions
more to unfit parents, with little
hope of a “decent” life.
And what of the “house” into
which they have been delivered –
Levels of CO2 are on track to
lift global warming by about four
degrees Celsius by 2040, driven
mainly by China and India’s goal of
cheap, coal-fired electricity to three
billion of their population.
On the land, we have felled
almost 50 per cent of forests. The
trees, which used to replace CO2
with oxygen, have been replaced
mainly by cattle and rice, which
produce as much CO2 and methane
as all the engines on the planet.
Rising ocean temperature is
driving sea levels up by about
0.5m by 2040. This, coupled with
exponential rise in ocean acidity, is
a breeding ground for highly toxic
algae, killing mangroves and coral
and disrupting breeding cycles of
critical marine species.
Collectively, this degradation of
natural habitats is sending about
10,000 species of plants and animals
to extinction each year – species that
were here long before us.
Surely it is time for mankind to
see that there is a problem – indeed
that we are the problem, with
hugely complex and costly long-
term consequences to all species,
which won’t be allayed with the
“Band-Aid” fixes currently being
mooted by politicians and media.
Rotary is uniquely positioned to
start this global conversation about
population growth. Do we have
the will or the courage?
Rotary Club of Mundingburra, Qld
Ray epitomises Rotary
We’ve all heard of and seen on TV the
devastation in Vanuatu – particularly
the island of Tanna – that Cyclone
Pam caused with unbridled fury. As
Rotarians we’ve responded with our
usual enthusiasm and plans are afoot
to offer assistance in many ways.
But some may remember that Tanna
was all but destroyed by a similar
event 20 years ago and we’re still
there rebuilding! “Project Tanna” is
a Rotary Australia World Community
Service (RAWCS) project of District
9650. It is chaired by a dedicated
Rotarian in Ray White. I’ve known Ray
for 13 years and I’ve had the pleasure
of working with him as the chair of
Adopt a School, Donations In Kind and
RAWCS. I don’t think I’ve encountered
a more dedicated and hard-working
Rotarian than Ray White.
Ray may bluster at times, but
he’s driven by a deep empathy
for his fellow man, particularly
the unfortunate in society. I’m
comfortable knowing Ray has my
back and I’m proud to know him and
learn from him.
Ray and his team are like so many
Rotarians who work hard to serve
their fellow man, but who are all
but invisible. I think it’s accurate to
say that “Project Tanna” is the only
committee in RAWCS D9650 that is
financially self-sufficient. This too, is
due to Ray’s tireless efforts.
Cyclone Pam has not only
destroyed much of Ray’s team’s work,
but has cost the lives of people on
Tanna with whom he’s worked in
the past. So, although this time the
destruction is probably greater, it is
now also personal for Ray.
Recently, 22 pallets of goods were
transported from the DIK shed in
Wauchope, to DIK in Sydney. Transport
has been provided over the past few
years by R&T Trucking in Wauchope
Time to talk about population growth
and recently by Pearson’s Transport in
Port Macquarie. This time the shipping
company waived its costs as its
donation to the cause.
Clubs in D9650 got behind the
relief efforts for Tanna, as did several
Sydney Rotary clubs. Once again, Ray’s
influence and genuine empathy have
compelled clubs to put their faith and
money in his committee’s hands, to
again rebuild Tanna.
Immediate, but temporary relief is
under way, but Ray White and the
team from Project Tanna will see to it
that the long-term needs of the people
of Tanna will be well met.
Ray White epitomises the very spirit
of Rotary and its core values. It should
be gratifying to all of us that when the
cameras stop rolling and the politicians
go home, Ray, and thousands like him,
will quietly get on with their work.
Rotary Club of Wauchope, NSW
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