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Climate Action Mondays

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, March 21st, 2022 - 33 comments
Categories: activism, climate change, sustainability - Tags: ,

I can’t wait anymore, for whatever we are waiting for (covid to be over, the government to lead on climate action, the magic pixies who will save the Antarctic and Arctic from heating at an ‘impossible’ rate). It’s time to act as if our lives depend on it, to make climate change and ecological systems the context of everything we do.

We are in the long emergency. If we look at the last five years, the pace of crises is increasing and we’re not getting much of a break (Trump, forest fires, floods, rising fascism, the burning of the Amazon, insurrection, the covid pandemic, Russia invading the Ukraine, the oil crisis).

There are going to be more and compounding crises as time goes on, there is no going back to normal. Even if all other crises abated, we would still face the mamoth task of transitioning to post-carbon societies.

We can however choose to act for life, the best chance of things working out, and humans finding a new stability and way of being that doesn’t involve killing the planet.

The good news is that resiliency can be taught and learned. We can adapt to unsettled times and precarity, and we can even create better lives than many are living now. We’ve learned a lot in the past two years. There are whole swathes of counter cultures dedicated to just this: transitioning away from our current life-destroying societies to life-affirming ones that are built to both mitigate and adapt to climate change and to restore the natural world.

To that end, I’m going to put up a post every Monday dedicated to taking action on climate and ecology. This isn’t a post to argue about the angels dancing on the head of the COP pin. It’s for discussing action, talking about how to manage, developing strategy, telling the stories of how things can be different and how we can make that happen right now. This is empowerment work, not handwringing or intellectualising while Rome burns.

I’m in solidarity with nature. I’m in favour of proactive pathways – if we are going to acknowledge the scary stuff we have to, at the same time, talk about what we can do, and then go do something.

If you want to argue about abstract ideas about climate, please do that somewhere else (try Open Mike).

If you want to do something about climate change and the ecological crises, please join the conversation below.

Needless to say, I don’t allow climate denialism of any kind under my posts. That includes arguing the Bart defense (‘humans didn’t do it’), or the Gosman defense (BAU capitalism must reign supreme/change is too hard) or the McPherson defense (‘it’s too late’).

I’m with her ^^^

33 comments on “Climate Action Mondays ”

  1. Ad 1

    Excellent initiative.

    Can I recommend Harvest to Home rather than the supermarket.

    Locally Grown, Spray-Free Fruit & Veg Delivery, Auckland | Harvest To Home (harvest2home.co.nz)

    They don't guarantee 100% organic but they give it everything.

    What they do is source from over a hundred local producers from back yards to a few glasshouses.

    No, they don't do 'meal kits'.

    What you get is simply a random assortment of whatever's in season.

    Of course growing your own would be great if you have land and time.

    This is a nice alternative.

    • Gosman 1.1

      Why would you want to try and reverse thousands of years of human development with little impact (if any) on reducing activity that causes climate change?

      If you look at the issue from a productivity and climate impact point of view then it is likely (due to various economic concepts such as economies of scale and absolute/comparative advantage) to make more sense to source much of out food supply in a similar way to what we do now just with low carbon usage.

      This article highlights why there are probably more effective areas to look at than buying local.

      https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/2/20/21144017/local-food-carbon-footprint-climate-environment

      [maybe you didn’t read the post, or maybe you didn’t understand it. Either way, please stop commenting under this post for the rest of the day. You are welcome to read and learn, or take your pinhead arguments to Open Mike, where I am sure people will be more than happen to answer them – weka]

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        "Why would you want to try and reverse thousands of years of human development with little impact (if any) on reducing activity that causes climate change?"

        To enable people to function when the already-locked-in effects present?

      • weka 1.1.2

        mod note for you Gosman

      • DB Brown 1.1.3

        From your link:

        "It can be hard to know which products in your grocery store are air-freighted, since they’re almost never labelled as such. But a good rule of thumb is to avoid fresh fruits and vegetables that have a short shelf-life and that come from far away"

        Now, where would we get the fresh stuff in, if it's not air freighted, not… the back yard!

        You do know the data in your link is basically making a case for going vegetarian/vegan? Right?

        • weka 1.1.3.1

          part of the reason I stopped being vegetarian was because of the food miles. Legumes and grains generally are sourced from overseas if you eat whole food diet and don't eat a lot of bread.

      • Ad 1.1.4

        What can one person do anyway?

        There's a Leunig cartoon of a thousand people rushing around a crowded city, all thinking:

        "I can't do anything about it anyway."

    • Belladonna 1.2

      Thanks Ad. Have signed up to give it a trial.

      Though I usually buy through my local greengrocer, rather than a supermarket.

      But this will push me to a) eat more fruit and veg and b) be a bit more creative in food choices (rather than just buying the usual suspects)

      • Ad 1.2.1

        It's a little bit random in each box so consider it a food challenge.

        • weka 1.2.1.1

          it's very good they are listing what's in the boxes each week and that there are a few swap options. But seasonal eating is about going with what's available, nice to be adaptable.

          • Belladonna 1.2.1.1.1

            Yeah, I liked the swap option. I swapped out spinach (which I grow) for broccolini (which I don't).
            Will be interested to see the size of the box and the quality of the contents (I'm a bit picky at the greengrocer, looking for the best/ripest produce).

            This may well be an option for people like my 80+ Mum, who doesn't drive, and is dependent on family/friends being able to take her vegetable shopping. She's pretty mobile, and is happy to hop on the bus to go up the road to shop – but things like potatoes are a bit too heavy for her to carry home.

            • weka 1.2.1.1.1.1

              good point about swapping for what you're not growing. I'd guess increasing numbers of people grow and buy veg boxes, so the packers being able to work around that would be important.

              My mum has a supermarket close by, and she probably shouldn't be driving much longer. Will see what happens then.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    I support Ad's recommendation. If you are able to, track down some initiative such as that Ad describes, and consider how you might support them; there are all sorts of them, mostly run by young people with zest and vision for community and environmental health. If, by good fortune, you have a daughter or son involved in a venture that involves food-growing on this scale, back them and their choice of direction; it's not an easy path, market-gardening or non-industrial scale land-use, but it is the responsible path to take, in my opinion.

    For someone wanting to grow their own food, or at least a percentage of it, but has little or no garden-space, sprouting dried pulses, beans, grains etc. on the kitchen bench is remarkably satisfying and worthwhile; those freshly-sprouted peas, sunflower seeds etc. are enormously rich in nutrients and energy. Plus, it's so easy. Plus so good for your system. Plus, inexpensive. Perfect for those living in town and wishing to drive less often; buy bulk dried and sprout as required; always fresh!

    • Gosman 2.1

      Why is lowering food production productivity significantly a responsible path? You will just drive up the cost of food which impacts the lowest income earners the most.

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        Growing sprouts on the kitchen bench is "lowering food production productivity significantly" and therefore "irresponsible"?

        How so?

      • DB Brown 2.1.2

        Food production is one of the larger polluters on Earth. When your priorities are production for production sake, you have a point, otherwise, I fail to see it.

        When home/community production kicks off… there is less demand on the food system theoretically bringing prices down, not raising them.

        Or is competition only allowed when it wears a suit?

  3. DB Brown 3

    This is a fantastic initiative. Instead of paying for an expensive EV, some might opt to just hire one when they use it.

    There are a bunch of new players in the space so shop around, and learn what's available.

    For most you just sign up on their app, and you only ever pay when you use a vehicle.

    Having options like this will reduce at least one vehicle on the road – as I'm not purchasing another vehicle. I'll get an e-bike, car share, and take public transport. Bases covered, thank you.

    https://genless.govt.nz/for-everyone/on-the-move/consider-electric-vehicles/have-a-go-in-an-ev/?

    • weka 3.1

      Great idea. Lots of people in big cities already do this with cars generally – they don't own one, they rent one when PT, walking etc won't suffice. Would be doubly good if we had ethical, NZ based companies providing this.

      I would love to be able to hire an ebike at times.

  4. Hunter Thompson II 4

    Good thinking Ad. Looks like it's change for us all. City dwellers need to get out of their cars and walk, catch the bus or ride a bike to work. Grow your own food where possible; it can be done.

    Unfortunately we have a battle on our hands with people like David Seymour, the Natz and the rest of the "no need to change/business as usual" crowd.

    • DB Brown 4.1

      Many are at the point they ignore the naysayers and just get on with it. Likewise all this nonsense about 'productivity' and 'you gotta hustle' et al…

      The opening line of the post: "I can’t wait anymore, for whatever we are waiting for"

      Absolutely. If they're obfuscating push them aside. Too late for listening to their nonsense now, sleeves to be rolled up, communities to be assisted, etc.

  5. roy cartland 5

    Tautoko, Weka. Although I find it very difficult to ignore the rabid glee coming from media about "young kiwis going overseas in droves" and "you can now go on holiday overseas again" and "borders open to much-needed tourists" and "milk prices higher than ever", it's no excuse for despondency. As Monbiot says, despair is worse than indifference as it brings others down with you.

  6. Ant 6

    This year we've grown an extraordinary number of herbs, tomatoes and lettuces using only compost from our kitchen waste, bringing down supermarket visits markedly . Fortunately we live in an attractive suburb and can have inspirational walks daily from home. In our mid/late seventies with medical issues the simplified existence mindfully lived works well. Wish we'd started whilst young. How to get people en masse on board?

    • weka 6.1

      I'd place making suburbs really attractive places to spend time in as high on the list of things the state and local bodies should be doing (parks, trees, foods forests, bike lanes, places to walk and sit that are attractive, local shops and facilities). If we want to reduce car usage this is a must, and as you say, the incentive to walk (or bike) increases if the place is attractive, and then the flow on effects for community and health.

      How to get people en masse on board?

      My thinking currently:

      1. prepare for when we are forced to change en masse so that the later comers will have something already in place and will be attracted to it because it works (that's basically doing all the things we can and integrating them into our lives and communities)
      2. find the people that are ready to change now, and make it easier for them
      3. create stories of better futures that involve doing the right thing, and how we get there. The how matters, people need to know what they can do right now.
  7. weston 7

    In terms of basic resiliency at the top of the list for a simple home id put a water tank doesnt have to be huge just a minimum of say one cubic mtre and you need the water to gravity to youre sink .Easy peasy to do and then youre in dependent for basic domestic water .

    • Belladonna 7.1

      Not to be negative here – but …. not if you live in Auckland (or probably any of the other big cities). If you have rainwater tanks connected to internal house supply, you have to jump through major hoops with the Council – as they're concerned over the potability of the water (even if you're not proposing to use it for anything other than washing)

      I watched my neighbour give up on this, last year. He'd installed 2 large rainwater tanks, and proposed to use the water in his dog grooming business. Council effectively made it impossible (or vastly expensive) to do, legally. He gave up and sold the tanks.

      Agree that having a rainwater tank for garden use is a great option.

      Would like to see the Council proposing and approving standard usage solutions for in-home rainwater use (e.g. flushing toilets). Though, they’re not on board because of the way they charge for services (both fresh and wastewater are metered off the freshwater supply meter).

      Would love to see Council subsidizing or waiving consent fees for rainwater tanks.

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