To My Valentine: the Planet. 'Happy Divestment Day!'
However it might appear, what you are looking at (above) isn't a Revival Meeting in the Deep South. The group's eyes are not gazing upward in search of the divine. Although I must say the photographic drone, the focus of their attention, was pretty heavenly. I'm sure you'll agree once you see an image of it:
The drone was there to take pictures of the human sign that members of 350.org, GetUp and other community organisations and individuals travelled to Alexandra Gardens to make this morning. Global Divestment Day was the occasion and the sign simply implored 'Divest'. It was Melbourne's contribution to the 2 days of activities designed to raise awareness of the need to withdraw funding from companies that are destroying our planet. The aim of the relatively new Divestment movement was well put by Amber Craig, a recent Science Graduate from Melbourne University and speaker at the rally: 'Our power is our bank accounts.'
The audience (human and canine) - many bedecked in GetUp's familiar orange - listened attentively to all the speakers:
We heard from Samantha Hunter, Greens councillor for the progressive Moreland City Council, that by June the council will have withdrawn all its money from the blinkered 'Big 4' banks (Commonwealth, Westpac, ANZ and National Australia). And it was heartening to learn that the Anglican diocese of Melbourne has set a financial example that is now being followed by other dioceses elsewhere in Australia.
It seems particularly apt on Valentine's Day, the day of love, that we are reviewing our relationships. And it's timely too to check out how the commitment of others to their old flames is faring. The billionaire Rockefellers, numerous foundations, colleges, universities and funds (including superannuation) as well as cities (such as Fremantle) and even whole countries, like Norway, are deciding to dump those old flames. They've realised that while coal, gas and oil might seem superficially to have humanity's interests in mind, just below the surface they are heartless and in it only for themselves.
So Valentine would agree that today is the perfect opportunity to break up with them once and for all and move on. Especially since renewables are ready and waiting. They might not have the conventional red roses in hand. But old habits are a thing of the past, and I'd prefer these orange beauties at the Alexandra Gardens any day: