Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?
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Meteorologist and mathematician, Edward Lorenz, asked this question in a 1972 paper. He didn't mean it as a literal butterfly but was trying to explain how small changes in a nonlinear system can result in large changes elsewhere.
In extremely complex and possibly chaotic weather systems, long-term weather prediction is incredibly difficult due to so many factors that influence the final result.
On October 16 a Dubbo school hosted an event that, at first, may prompt you to ask the question, "Why?" St Johns College was the host of the first 'Be Kind to the Environment World Ocean Day 30x30 Goals Workshop'.
I can hear your first thought. Did the organisers realise that the closest ocean is about 350km from Dubbo?
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Dubbo was chosen not as a location close to the ocean but, as the main organiser of the event said, as a location that is known for innovation and as a hub for other areas. There is only one school participating in workshops this year and that is right here. Next year many schools will be part of the program.
The Hon. Ben Franklin, MLC, President of the Legislative Council of NSW, was in Dubbo to deliver the opening address as he provided funding in his previous role as Minister for Regional Youth.
In attendance at the workshop were a number of young people who already had built up impressive resumes in personal achievements in addition to environmental activism.
When I see events like this, I am confident that the future of our planet is safe. The youth of today will be making decisions for our planet tomorrow and they will be different decisions to the decisions we have made in the past. That is not to be critical of the past as we must tread lightly when we look back at ideas from the past. What seems like folly now was often the stepping stone to wisdom in its time.
The students in the room worked through practical ideas on how they can help achieve the 30x30 Goal. This is a worldwide initiative for governments to designate thirty per cent of the land and ocean as protected areas by 2030.
The students learned more about their individual choices and how they can impact the health of the ocean. Reducing plastic use, such as plastic bags and bottles. Taking advantage of our three bins to reduce waste that goes to landfill.
Support sustainable seafood when we make purchases. As the cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
I saw a room full of thoughtful citizens this week and, indeed, they will change the world!
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