Ben’s story

This scenario story is written from Ben’s perspective ten years into the future in 2030. Ben Sulman is one of my grandsons.

My name is Ben. I live in Brisbane and I am visiting my grandpa in Perth. Yes it is 2030 and I am 28 years old. Wow things are humming in Perth – a rich, green, vibrant city. What created that Grandpa?

It was a crisis Ben that created the changes. We had to work together. You see we got so caught up in development and the resources boom that we could not see the looming energy crisis, how our water supply was unsustainable, even our food supplies were threatened and we fought against nuclear energy. Our rich wetlands were all but lost and most of our precious bushland cleared or full of weeds. We were fighting each other!

We needed a better way to work together. We wanted to give everyone a voice. We realized three things:

  • People needed to be as self sufficient as possible in water and energy – every house now has its own energy system and water catchment

  • We got much cleverer in recycling water and making compost

  • We harnessed wave power to fuel desalination plants off the coast.

But most of all we learnt to understand the elements of a resilient community – each part contributes tom the whole, diversity creates more resilience and giving individuals more say creates new and great solutions. This is important because with all the shortages and threats in the world we need to be as self-sufficient as we can be.

But Grandpa what about nuclear energy, we use that in Brisbane. Well Ben, that was a great debate, such strong community feelings. The big boys in government and industry were keen on big centralized solutions but the people of Perth could not see that it was a sustainable solution. We have been stung by being dependent on big centralised power and water systems and heard of disasters overseas. When something goes wrong there is little resilience and we were concerned about contamination. Giving people and communities their own ‘power’ really made us resilient to disturbances.

Thanks Grandpa, hey this is great tucker – yes I love veges, we recycle our grey water and have some big water tanks. We also kept food growing areas close to the city to reduce transport so we have great fresh food in Perth. I am also a member of a cooperative that produces grains and meat so we keep the costs of the middle men down.

What will you do when you go back to Brisbane Ben? Well grandpa, I really liked seeing how your sharing circles meetings went and I would like to try that in my environment.