Written By: - Date published: 7:43 am, March 15th, 2019 - 70 comments
Categories: australian politics, climate change, democratic participation, disaster, Environment, global warming, jacinda ardern, Judith Collins, labour, science - Tags:
As is usual this morning I woke up listening to Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report.
Two of the stories highlighted to me the problem humankind is having grappling with climate change.
The first mooted New Zealand having a space hub for private rockets engaged in sending uber rich tourists to outer space for the experience and talked how it may be possible in ten years.
The second was about a ten billion dollar project to have an elite rugby competition.
They both jarred. Imagine burning all that fuel or wasting all that money for so little. And ten years may be all the time we have to address climate change.
The response of some of our politicians has been underwhelming. National has been typically obstructionist as exemplified by this from Judith Collins:
National Party MP Judith Collins was dismissive of the protest action.
“Their little protest is not going to help the world one bit,” she said.
But Jacinda has come out in support. In comments that have been reported by Reuters but not locally for some reason she has said this:
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave her support on Wednesday to a youth movement urging government action to tackle climate change ahead of protests by students across the world later this week.
Thousands of school children in Australia and New Zealand intend to skip school and protest on Friday as part of similar action by students worldwide taking their cue from 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.
“Don’t underestimate the power of your voice,” the 38-year-old Ardern told local organizers of the protests and students during a live debate at a college in Wellington.
“Too often we make this assessment that to make an impact we have to be of voting age. That is not the case,” she said.
She correctly said that whether students should be striking during school time was a decision for them and their parents.
And she noted the change in tone of the debate from denial to obstruction. Again from Reuters:
Ardern said great strides had been made in attitudes towards climate change over the years.
She said she was booed by an audience 10 years ago for speaking about climate change, which she has described as her generation’s “nuclear free moment”.
“Now people are not debating whether we should do something. Now they are just debating how fast or what we need to do. And that is a big change,” she said.
“What we do now needs to last to 2050 and beyond. So we have a much higher chance of doing that if we bring everyone with us,” she said.
I hope many do decide to take part in this most crucial of movements. And realise the importance of politics. And the need for progressives to win this battle against obstructionist and conservative opposition.
Details of the strikes can be found here.