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Generation Zero

Written By: - Date published: 12:44 pm, August 1st, 2011 - 40 comments
Categories: activism, climate change, sustainability - Tags:

It is one of the failures of our society that far too many young people are politically disengaged or apathetic. Many – but not all! Meet Generation Zero:

From the About page:

Globally, and in Aotearoa, young people are outraged at the lack of action on climate change.

While every other generation has inherited a world with a promise for greater prosperity and a brighter future – our generation is facing an inheritance of ecological and economic debt, rising sea levels, poisoned ecosystems, lack of water, international famine and mass migration.

But we were born into a world of instant global communication and access to an unprecedented amount of information.

We, of all generations, have the potential to link together to confront and change this future. We have almost everything at our finger tips, including each other.

We are alive at an unbelievably exciting time.

We have the opportunity to rewrite, reinvent, and redesign our vision of New Zealand.

Our generation will guide the profound transformation of our society to a thriving, fossil fuel independent zero emissions society. We have the passion, the perseverance, and the skills.

But we cannot do this all on our own.

We need New Zealanders of all generations to join us in finding and enacting the solutions that will save us. We need to act with the fierce urgency of now.

We are Generation Zero.

Let’s unite to show our Government and our communities what is possible. This election – join the movement, spread the word, and vote for your future.

Please go visit their website, join up, or spread the word. Welcome Generation Zero. You have made an important beginning. May you spread and grow and achieve mighty things. Please consider sending us some guest posts, or otherwise get in touch. Aoteroa NZ needs to hear more from young voices, because the future belongs to you.

40 comments on “Generation Zero”

  1. queenstfarmer 1

    How is this any different from the Green Party?

    • r0b 1.1

      Well it isn’t a political party, and it’s made up of younger people, so that’s two differences for a start.

      Generation Zero also seems (at this time) to have a narrower focus, on climate change and carbon emissions.

    • mik e 1.2

      IT could be the National party or don,t they have any green policy other than making Labour green with politics of envy!

  2. randal 2

    so just how many of these youths are there?
    I am really pissed off at all this spouting of slogans and shibboleths with no factual basis or underpinning.
    will somebnody please tell me!

    • r0b 2.1

      Calm down randal. What is it that you want to know? What their membership is?

      They list six example profiles on their site, but they’re holding meetings in several city centres, so they must have more active members than that. My guess is that currently they are small, but every new organisation has to start somewhere!

  3. Dan 3

    I will vote for whoever puts aside $1bn to set up a research institution to head-hunt researchers who specialise in cathodes, semiconductors and lightweight metal research.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      I’m guessing that’s your field. Am I right?

      • Dan 3.1.1

        Nope. They’re key components in advancing battery technologies and moving us away from relying on fossil fuel for transport, as well as storing from the national grid.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        Those are all good aims, but I’d say forget about most of the basic research, and instead spend most of the $1B (or preferably $5B pa) on actually implementing it.

        Electrified rail, integrated public transport networks, pushing 200,000 private vehicles off the roads pa, massively boosting renewable power generation.

        There’s only 5-10 years of relatively smooth (i.e. sideways) sailing left. And there is nothing out of the above for which we don’t already have >95% of the technology, right here, right now.

        • Dan 3.1.2.1

          True, but that’s really what I’m getting at – we’ll need to find ways to best apply those technologies here – adapting them to work well within our current infrastructure. Once they’re there, they can be upgraded as they improve. Various engineers I’ve spoken to have said that it’s the storage capacity that’s the real problem in NZ – we can generate all the energy in the world we need from renewables, it’s just making it reliable day in, day out that’s the problem.

          • Rich 3.1.2.1.1

            We have that technology already, it’s called pumped storage, it’s been proven and working well for over 30 years.

            Existing hydro (such as the Waikato scheme) could be fitted for pumped storage with very little in the way of new earthworks. On windy days, water gets pumped uphill into the hydro lakes.

  4. randal 4

    what I want to know is how many of these youths are at present [those are bizarre and uncalled for allegations randal. Dunno what your problem is, but we don’t need that kind of stuff here. r0b]

  5. freedom 5

    randal, at the risk of a making an ill-informed unsubstantiated generalisation ( wow i just channeled Squirreltail) you will probably find it is made up of well meaning kids from semi-affluent households who have not yet had to face too many of life’s more interesting curveballs. It does not change the fact they are willing to do something about the situation. I recognise a few names from Intersect and other places where ideas are forming and people are making efforts to present options to each other.. Some of these people already have quite a history of making action instead of accusations.

    This may be the first step in a tsunami of change or simply a springtime shower that leads them on to more and grander projects. It does not need lowbrow criticism before they have done anything.

    Good on em i say, every voice that discusses alternatives to the status quo is called progress.

  6. Oscar 6

    And yet NASA have essentially proven conclusively that it’s ok, Earth has a perfectly natural balancing mechanism, so we don’t need to worry about playing god with gases now as hey, this so called GHG is actually released in vast quantities into space.
    Oh, and that thermal feedback loops during a maunder minimum is still under researched, and the oceans are getting cooler.

    Roll on the ice age. Hope the climatics are frozen in the glaciers.

  7. randal 7

    rob I am only repeating what was over all the newspapers in the weekend. this is supposed to be the information era so how about the information instead of the emotional outpouring and breast beating. how can be people consider themselves informed unless they get figures instead of mere assertions.

  8. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8

    “While every other generation has inherited a world with a promise for greater prosperity and a brighter future…”

    This can’t be true, can it?

    • r0b 8.1

      Well my generation grew up in the shadow of The Bomb.  That wasn’t exactly cheery.

      But as a general observation I think they are right. Nuclear war was always just a possibility. Now we have a generation growing up that is practicaly certain to be faced with global environmental disaster in their lifetime. That’s new.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        that is practicaly certain to be faced with global environmental disaster in their lifetime.

        And the associated and very significant economic/civilisation impacts around that.

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      It has been true over the last several hundred years.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8.2.1

        “It has been true over the last several hundred years.”

        Thank you, capitalism.

        • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1

          Well for a lot of that period it really was about mercantilism not capitalism 🙂

          Also feudal lord/serf relationships. (Don’t start licking your lips now haha esp since you’d clearly be a serf)

          One other thing is that the 1950’s and 1960’s industrial capitalism focussed on the middle class has turned into a ponzi capitalism primarily benefitting the top 0.01% in the world.

  9. Afewknowthetruth 9

    Unfortunately Generation Zero seem to have missed an important point.

    From their website: ‘we need to bring greenhouse gas concentrations down swiftly from around 390 ppm (parts-per-million) to below 350 ppm. That means kicking fossil fuels and going beyond zero net emissions in our lifetimes.’

    They are quite correct in saying that the CO2 content of the air needs to be brought down to below 350ppm. But that would require a more or less immediate halt CO2 emissions, i.e. a worldwide halt to the use of fossil fuels and manufacture of cement, not some kind of slight tweaking of things over the next 40 years. It’s not going to happen, even if the globalised economic system collapsed tomorrow.

    Much depends on the rate at which positive feedback mechanisms reinforce over the next decade. Right now the prognosis looks to be pretty awful. Emissions are rising rapidly (30.6 billion tonnes last year, according to the IEA) and the CO2 level is rising rapidly -around 2.2ppm per annum at the moment.

    • Oscar 9.1

      And of course the 350.org people will be responsible for the mass extinction of plants once the masses pull their heads out of the sand and realise it is neither sustainable, nor desirable, to have lower CO2 concentrations, especially when plant life flourishes under higher CO2 levels.

      Thats a fact. Just like reduced quantities of plant life gives reduced oxygen. Very little breathable O2 is obtained from oceans. The majority comes from land based plants.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        And of course the 350.org people will be responsible for the mass extinction of plants once the masses pull their heads out of the sand and realise it is neither sustainable, nor desirable, to have lower CO2 concentration

        Thats a foolish assertion given that CO2 has been sitting under 350ppm all through the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

        And the only thing extincting plants then was still humans, and not a shortage of CO2.

        (CO2 concentrations only climbed above 350ppm in the late 1980’s)

        • McFlock 9.1.1.1

          yeah. A bit like telling someone who’s drowning that “if we took all the water away from you, you’d die of thirst! You silly billy!”

      • Afewknowthetruth 9.1.2

        The world is full of f**kwits who know very little science and think that conditions in a laboratory translate globally.

        The primary effects of high CO2 are acidification of the oceans and climate instability. And plants do not grow well when subjected to drought, inundation and increased insect atttack.

        And there is well-documented reaseach which shows that plants reduce the number of somata in their leaves when subjected to high CO2 concentrations

        Care to check out what is happening to 1/3 of the USA right now, or the collapse of the boreal forests of Canada.?

        By the way, we are in the early stages of tthe Sixth Great Extinction Event as a direct consequence of human actrivity.

        CO2 content of the air in 1957 316 ppm. Current concentration 394 ppm.

        We are experiencing greatest degree of climate instability ever recorded; and there are idiots going round saying it’s not happening.

        You do like writing unsubstantiated tosh.

        And did you even bother to look at the links?

  10. randal 10

    Thank you Rob.
    The first sentence reads “far too many young people are politically disengaged or apathetic”. all weell and good but basically that says nothing. how many is far too many?
    My PROBLEM Is far too many people are makinhg assertions with no proof or evidence.
    We have become a society that just mouths off and expects everyone to agree.
    One of the basic tenets of socialism is that it is scientific but it sure doesnt look like it sometimes And when the elephant wakes up no one wants to know.
    Apart from that no problem.

    • r0b 10.1

      how many is far too many?

      Well in some electorates currently 50% of those aged 18 – 24 are not even enrolled.  Historically you can read a full thesis on the topic here, but in some elections 37% of those aged 18 – 24 did not vote.

  11. randal 11

    my apolgies for my intemperate outburst. I got confused with the breeding for business thread.
    But the fact remains this nation has become infantilised and the kids are suffering under a normative viewpoint that is like a leaden wight around them.
    The news is stage managed and nothing changes except prices go up and noone seems to be able to do anything about it.
    Their heads are filled with post modernistic claptrap about only ones truth having validity and the only thing to aspire to is the goods that are blandished non stop from the media.
    Its not their fault.
    How can they join a party when the emphasis these days is on keeping people out so only a few can get influence when the the party gets its next “turn”.
    all the old stuff about raising consciousness and building a mass movement has gone out the window under a welter of shoddy goods and empty promises.
    The world has become defiled and unconsciously kids know that.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      yeah….more and more young NZers I see seem to be treating life as if it is a rather dumb, short term game, for amusement purposes.

  12. Drakula 12

    There is a very good article on the Rolling Stone magazine by Al Gore I think Generation Zero would be interested in reading.

    Al Gore has a wonderfull way to communicate to the masses, he doesn’t blind you with science and techno babble.

    He tells the story my metaphores, in this case it is the big time wrestling match where there is a ‘goody’ and a ‘baddy’ the goody is the conservationist and the bady is the polluter. The bad boy will pick up a chair and throw it at the Good boy when the referee isn’t looking.

    The real world is very much like that pantomime where the game is phony isn’t it.

    • Afewknowthetruth 12.1

      ‘The real world is very much like that pantomime where the game is phony isn’t it.’

      And very heavily rigged in favour of looters and polluters, those who steal from the next generation.

  13. Bored 13

    Nice to see “yoof” with ideals. Go Gen Zero, step up and take a lead.

    PS Remember, BringingOldFarts like myself still think exactly as we did at 20 with a little worldly experience thrown in. In 30 or more years when decrepitude and bad temper get me evicted from my mortal coil YOU too will be a BoringOldFart railed at by GenNext, stand strong, keep faith with your ideals.

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