Auckland’s got a Bridge.

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, November 18th, 2018 - 42 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, democratic participation, Environment, global warming, International, political alternatives, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , , , ,

Six thousand people took part in an event of mass disobedience that closed down five of London’s Bridges. Their motivation is inadequate political action in the face of global warming.

As Jenny Jones, a Green Party peer quoted in The Guardian put it –

Basically, conventional politics has failed us – it’s even failed me and I’m part of the system – so people have no other choice.

The Guardian further reports that Extinction Rebellion or ‘XR’ as it’s being abbreviated as in some publications, is making international contacts and currently planning events in several other countries. I might be wrong, but the impression I get is one of a quite deliberate and ongoing organising effort that’s intended to develop and persist over time. If accurate, that sits in welcome stark contrast to previous ‘flash in the pan’ type events – “global days of action” that have momentarily flared and instantly disappeared.

The days leading up to the closure of London’s bridges had seen several other actions by people affiliating themselves to XR. More actions are to follow.

The demand being made of government is to-

  • Tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens.
  • Enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.
  • Set up a national Citizen’s Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.

This isn’t being pushed by fired up younger people whose actions many an older folk might be tempted to dismiss as “a phase”. This is a full cross section of society including and representing politicians, scientists, professionals and non-professionals, peers and the working class, students, children, parents, and grandparents…it’s not dismissible and (I hope) it’s not going away.

Here’s a link that’s been provided for people outwith the UK who want to throw their weight behind Extinction Rebellion. Should we expect Jacinda Ardern  to have already signed up given her rhetoric on global warming and her claim to view it as a second “nuclear moment”? Maybe she’s ready to “take the table”?

Or should we expect her to be more in line with the BBC, who gave space to their so-called Environment Analyst to ask of the action closing down the bridges across the Thames “Is the Protest Fair?” The suggestion made by the BBC’s Roger Harrabin is that government is ticking along just fine in its efforts to avert climate change; that it’s headed in the right direction and citizens are being a bit unfair to allege woeful shortcomings and to demand that comprehensive meaningful and effective action be taken.

Me? I’m with Jenny Jones, the Peer quoted above and everyone else who recognises the dire situation we’re in and the need to cut the crap, drop the excuses, and get on with it. So block the bridges, walk off the pavement, refuse to fly for work, talk to people, disrupt our demise and practice around how we might organise tomorrow’s world today.

 

 

 

42 comments on “Auckland’s got a Bridge.”

  1. Incognito 1

    I’ve had this idea for some time to drive strictly at the speed limit as ‘civil obedience’ and an act of protest. My petrol consumption would go down, which is a bonus. What stopped/stops me is that it could/would create a dangerous situation on the road because it will/might increase driver frustration with those “f-ing morons that don’t know how to drive”. Still, speed kills and this weekend has been an atrocious one because of the number of road fatalities and accidents.

    • Graeme 1.1

      We had an 80 kmh open road limit in the Muldoon years as a conservation measure, along with Carless days. Around here 80 kmh is pretty much the defacto limit anyway with windy narrow roads and tourist drivers, quite relaxing.

    • Molly 1.2

      The last few years have had me driving at the speed limit, because I’ve had a few learner drivers in the car. I’m used to it now, and move out the way when I can, but not often necessary. The interesting part about having learner plates on the vehicle is the increase in aggressive drivers tailgating, when you aren’t teaching anyone else to drive, which has nothing to do with speed and just a warped sense of humour.

      • greywarshark 1.2.1

        Perhaps we should have stickers on our back windows like:

        I’m a careful driver.
        If you want to pass, please be careful and ensure good space ahead.
        I will not increase speed while you’re passing.
        Have a safe journey.

        Would that be a positive message to take care.

        • Incognito 1.2.1.1

          That would have to be a rather large sticker, one that would cover the whole windscreen …

          I’d suggest replacing the L plates with the XR logo.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Should we expect Jacinda Ardern to have already signed up given her rhetoric on global warming and her claim to view it as a second “nuclear moment”?

    We should do, yes. Unfortunately, given her assertion of being a pragmatic idealist, I’m sure that she and the rest of government will come down on the side of BAU.

    We’re pretty much fucked because the governments refuse to do what’s necessary as that will make the rich people no longer rich.

    • R.P Mcmurphy 2.1

      what a load of twaddle. if you really want answers to those questions then write her a letter.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        She signed the TPPA and said that she’s an idealistic pragmatist ergo it can easily be extrapolated that she will continue BAU because that’s ‘pragmatic’.

      • Molly 2.1.2

        I did write to our PM before the signing of the TPPA outlining concerns similar to those expressed by Draco, (but more formally and politely :grin:. )

        As expected no individual or considered response – even from staffers.

        But a couple of months latter received a group email about the wonderfulness of the TPPA signing, and how great it was. Tone-deaf could be the phrase, or selective hearing might also be appropriate.

  3. adam 3

    We may build the bridge, but have we got time to get over it.

    Well with a whole bunch on neo-libs and their apologist hereabouts – I would not hold my breath.

    In the meantime, my tomatoes are doing well.

  4. SaveNZ 4

    Good on them, only thing that will get political or business attention is civil disobedience at this stage. If they wait for action from more talk fests from politicians who renege on their words anyway, then the planet is dead.

    “Six thousand people took part in an event of mass disobedience that closed down five of London’s Bridges. Their motivation is inadequate political action in the face of global warming.”

    Bear in mind though, 71% of emissions are generated by just 100 companies so that is clearly where the focus should be if anybody is serious.

    https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/jul/10/100-fossil-fuel-companies-investors-responsible-71-global-emissions-cdp-study-climate-change

  5. Graham Townsend 5

    We’re almost too late to prevent global mean temperature from rising disastrously. This might just be our last chance to challenge the status quo.
    For the first time in my life I’m prepared to risk arrest in an attempt to get the MSM focusing on what matters and to make it clear to politicians that there’s widespread public support for a carbon neutral NZ by 2030.

    As an aside, may I suggest that readers pop onto the Ministry for the Environment fb page from time to time, and counter the toxic, selfish sneering by science deniers? You don’t necessarily need to engage with them directly, – just drown their selfishness with support for Ministry initiatives. Even though these initiatives are timid and rather gutless.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      This might just be our last chance to challenge the status quo.

      This disaster that capitalism is leading us into may be what’s required to get rid of it completely without us forgetting that it is so disastrous.

  6. Ed 6

    Inspirational.
    Coverage of the climate change protesters demonstrating in London

  7. Ad 7

    When is Shaw going to release his carbon bill to Parliament?

    • Ed 7.1

      It would be good to see the Green Party publicly supporting brave activists like this.

      • Ad 7.1.1

        Alternatively to would be good to see the Green Party do what they were sent in to Parliament to do about climate change.

        According to their Government coalition agreement this was the actual task of the Green Party.

        Anyone that tried to blockade the Auckland Harbour Bridge would be run over by the lines of protesting truckies.

        • Ed 7.1.1.1

          And then the truckies would be in court for murder.

        • Grey Area 7.1.1.2

          “Alternatively to would be good to see the Green Party do what they were sent in to Parliament to do about climate change.

          According to their Government coalition agreement this was the actual task of the Green Party.”

          What was their task under the agreement exactly?

          • Ad 7.1.1.2.1

            Here you go.

            Some time early next year, so far.

            https://www.mfe.govt.nz/have-your-say-zero-carbon

            • Grey Area 7.1.1.2.1.1

              That’s not the coalition agreement.

              If we think that being carbon zero by 32 years from now is a crock, we agree.

              But you’re insinuating that there is an agreement that says that the Greens will somehow be the ecological conscience of the coalition government, I’m saying show me the money.

              • Ad

                You’re saying that these two items are not in the confidence and supply agreement between Labour and the Greens?

                – Introducing a Zero Carbon Act and establishing an independent Climate Commission which will oversee the transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2035, with a goal of net zero emissions by 2050

                Is there some other government you had in mind?

                It is indeed up to the Green Party to show anyone “the money”.

      • Macro 7.1.2

        Do you not know that Green Party members are regularly working actively and protesting around the country on a wide variety of issues including Climate Change?
        Just check out the action at Coal Action Network Aotearoa
        https://coalaction.org.nz/

        • Ad 7.1.2.1

          Do they have any idea of when James Shaw the Minister for Climate Change will come up with his legislative plan?

          • Grey Area 7.1.2.1.1

            You didn’t answer my question either. If you give me specific information about what you seem to know was in the coalition agreement I’ll follow it up.

            • Ad 7.1.2.1.1.1

              You know perfectly well what is in the Coalition agreement for the Green Party to actually deal with.

              Despite this being a post about climate change, you clearly need reminding about what the Greens signed up for:

              – Introduce a Zero Carbon Act with a goal of net zero emissions by 2050

              – Establish and independent Climate Commission, including the power to bring agricultural emissions in.

              If you have some specific dates on when these promises will be implemented that would be great.

              • Grey Area

                Ouch!

              • Incognito

                “These 15,009 submissions will combine with the advice we have received from the Productivity Commission, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Māori interests, and consultation with other political parties to help us finalise the draft Zero Carbon Bill that will be introduced to Parliament next year,” James Shaw said.

                https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/zero-carbon-consultation-feedback-shows-strong-support-climate-action

                • Ad

                  I’d already quoted that in the link provided above.

                  I was looking for something useful. But you know, thanks anyway.

                  What I was looking for was something along the lines of:

                  “Auckland’s got a bridge, but New Zealand’s got a Green Party, and it is delivering on its campaign and coalition promises by showing us the plan for New Zealand to transform away from carbon and towards the lowest possible impact upon society. Because at the moment, budget coffers are overflowing, unemployment is tiny, the government are all ragingly popular, and everyone is just overjoyed that the Green Party sector of the government has come up with a plan more powerful than the Auckland fuel tax, grander than a capital gain tax, more effective than the $3b Regional Development Fund, and more daring than the entire housing plan … it’s called the New Zealand Perpetual Sustainability Revolution.”

                  Nope.

                  Tumbleweed.

                  Regrettably it the Green Party’s responsibility to do something meaningful in this country about climate change, but no one from either the left or the right is prepared to hold them to account about it.

                  • Macro

                    Green Party sector of the government has come up with a plan more powerful than the Auckland fuel tax, grander than a capital gain tax, more effective than the $3b Regional Development Fund, and more daring than the entire housing plan … it’s called the New Zealand Perpetual Sustainability Revolution.”

                    And if you were to believe that anyone could come up with such a magic wand – I’ve got a lovely bridge in Auckland to sell you.
                    We offered our support to Labour of a Carbon tax back in Helen Clarke’s day. The Green’s were royally shafted over that,* and we ended up having to swallow the abortion of an ETS which National immediately trashed further, with the stoke of a pen.
                    Had other parties had the gumption to actually do something in the early 2000’s we would be in a far better place than we are now. But NZ’s are now so hooked on Carbon that on a per capita basis we are one of the worst emitters in the world.
                    All well and good to think that the Greens will come up with a magic wand to wave away our GHG’s – but it requires the will – not only of every Party in Parliament – but every person in NZ – to work urgently and collectively to making a positive reduction in our GHG emissions. We have had ample opportunities before. The process is pretty much still the same.

                    *Winston had his dirty little fingers in that travesty as well.

          • Macro 7.1.2.1.2

            I’m sorry Ad – not privi to that info.

  8. mickysavage 8

    Time for a local branch?

    • Grey Area 8.1

      I tried to link to Facebook but XR has online training for international co-ordinators 0700 this coming Wednesday.

    • Grey Area 8.2

      Sorry I don’t seem to be able to post working Facebook links but there is now a Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa New Zealand Facebook group.

  9. Potato 9

    It doesnt just have to be bridges that are blocked. I seem to remember the Auckland CBD being shutdown by blockades on the day of the original TPPA signing

    • Incognito 9.1

      Well, Auckland traffic is gridlocked about every week-day and it takes only one helium balloon to bring Auckland trains to and from Auckland’s Britomart Station to a standstill. In other words, XR will have tough competition and have to be inventive to stand out from the noise. Anyway, why Auckland and why not Wellington?

    • Ad 9.2

      If Fonterra’s shareholders demand and receive region-by-region briefings on their failures, and Vector’s shareholders can activate to fire their own Chairman, why can’t the Green Party members rise up and get some accountability for action from their own leadership?

      After all they are in government.

      Alternatively the Green Party members who want more climate change action could block off a bridge and unfurl a poster.

      • Grey Area 9.2.1

        I wasn’t paying enough attention yesterday but following your comments through I can see what you’re getting at.

        Things are moving very fast and what might have seemed bold a year ago (Carbon Zero 2050) is clearly not going to be enough.

  10. WeTheBleeple 10

    I’m keen on more about XR, but Facebook? No.

    • Grey Area 10.1

      Facebook is where most groups live nowadays. Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa NZ Facebook group has gone from around 30 members to just on 270 in a couple of days.

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