Home' Rotary Down Under : October 2015 (International) Contents Thank you Frank for such clear and candid thoughts, and
RDU for this letter. The issue resounds with many of us.
Rotarians everywhere are concerned about the degradation
of planet Earth. One hundred years ago when Rotary
started, there was an abundance provided by Mother Earth
and the population was sustainable, so we could dare to
dream of a good life for all. Economic advancement and
eradication of diseases like polio were paramount. Today,
population growth and environmental degradation takes
our dream further and further away.
The Fourth Test states: “Is it beneficial to all concerned?”
Was it intended only for (all) humans? I believe today we
should read it as all encompassing – flora and fauna, water,
environment and earth. We can provide water pumps for
clean water, but if the ground water has been drained or
polluted, what good is a pump?
If we can understand the Fourth Test and implement it
right here and now we do not need a Five-Way Test. All
future Rotary projects should pass the all-encompassing
Fourth Test for approval. So far we considered the benefit to
humans. Now, as a start, a quarter of our resources should
be directed to benefit the environment, and one meeting
every month in every club should focus on environmental
issues. Further, as a start, populations with unsustainable
growth should be targeted with projects to limit growth.
Rotary has the people, the knowledge, the resources and
most importantly the goodwill to venture anywhere.
What is holding us? Let us start now before it is too late.
Rotary Club of Strathfield, NSW
Frank Eden, of the Rotary Club of Narooma, NSW, has
placed before Rotarians a challenge to establish the Rotary
Five-Way Test by adding “Will it be of BENEFIT to the
environment?” to our existing four tests.
While this issue is being progressed, all Rotarians are
encouraged to apply our existing Four-Way Test to “the
biggest moral challenge facing our global civilisation”,
according to Peter Offer, a past president of Rotary
International in Great Britain and Ireland, and many other
world leaders. This is global warming and the plethora of
climate change issues that arise from it.
In the light of the Paris Climate Summit (November 30 –
December 11), the RI criteria of a “proper subject” for club
discussion, under the provisions of Article 13, Community,
National and International Affairs of the RI Standard Club
Constitution, appears to suggest that this is an important
program item for clubs.
For resources to assist club discussions, google:
• The Climate Reality Project Australia
• Guardian Australia, and use search to find the article
“Everything you need to know about the Paris Climate
Summit and UN talks” by Fiona Harvey on June 2, 2015.
Rotary Club of Magill Sunrise, SA
I fully support Frank Eden’s suggestion that Rotary adopt the
Five-Way Test. The added question “Will it be of BENEFIT to
the environment?” is relevant at local, national and global
levels, and has a place in all Rotary planning. Environmental
awareness among my club’s members was a feature that
attracted me to join Rotary two years ago. I suspect that
increased public recognition of Rotary as environmentally
aware will raise its credibility in society and will attract new
members. Doing good for both people and the environment
adds purpose to our efforts and will inherently create more
Members with similar interests might suggest that
their clubs join Rotary’s The Sustainability Trust (www.
thesustainabilitytrust.org), which provides resources for club
actions and proposes solutions. One of its eight objectives is
“To encourage the 1.2 million Rotarians to understand the
implications of using non-renewable resources on the lives
of future generations and on the climate of our planet.”
We might also collectively consider demonstrating Rotary’s
support for a sustainable future by joining the global
People’s Climate March on November 29, ahead of the UN
Climate Summit in Paris – under the banner “Rotarians for
Sustainability and Carbon Reduction”.
Rotary Club of St Johns, NZ
In response to Frank Eden’s article, “Should it be the Five-
Way Test?”, my response is as follows:
Of course it should.
Frank Eden has outlined a critical issue facing all of us,
especially our future generations. He is right when he says
that global warming is the biggest moral challenge facing
our global civilisation. Rotary needs to show leadership
and courage, as it has done in the past: Rotary needs to
accept, adopt and publicise the meaning of Frank Eden’s
suggestion and how we might begin to implement it.
I look forward to a major publicity drive on the Five-
Way Test, the fifth being: “Will it be of BENEFIT to the
Without everyone within Rotary acting on this
question, many of our other activities will progressively
lose their relevance to our global civilisation as predicted
environmental change accelerates.
Rotary Club of Flemington, Vic
Five-Way Test – but
did we understand
the fourth test?
Let’s apply the Four-Way
Test to global warming
Let’s show leadership
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