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Nature issues statement saying climate change cannot be negotiated with

Written By: - Date published: 6:58 am, June 5th, 2017 - 29 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, Environment - Tags: , ,

The title is a quote is from John Hart in response to the US administration saying it will withdraw from the Paris Agreement. This came out the following day,

Salient reminders of reality. Here’s two more reminders from climate activists, on how we can respond,

Keep calm and carry on. – James Shaw

We will make sure that every leader who hesitates on climate will be seen as another Donal Trump, and we will makes sure that history will judge that name with the contempt it deserves.

… The backlash from this will be immense… and powered by renewables. Time to get active! – Bill McKibben

Thus endeth the divine right of kings. It’s time to remember where our power is.

I subscribe to the theory that we will do the necessary societal change on climate via tipping points. The great thing about them is that when they’re happening there is more opportunity to influence change. The US administration announcing that it will pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on climate change is scary, but it’s also an opportunity. Watching the responses of the past few days from citizens and power holders around the world, including pledges from cities, states, universities and businesses to meet the US targets, my hope just went up a notch. The US weren’t previously going to do enough anyway, and now the climate movement is galvanising around not just fear but righteous anger.

So, let’s see what we can do here in NZ to keep the snowball gathering momentum and mass.

Last week Auckland University students, staff and graduates did a rolling series of protests over several days, including marching, and occupying the Vice Chancellor’s office and the Auckland Uni clocktower. Their protest was to push for Auckland University to divest from fossil fuels.


I’m highlighting this because the divestment movement is working and will continues to snowball with support. Last year Otago climate activists pushed for the Otago University to divest and won. There is a good write up here of the campaign, including the multiple and compounding good that comes from such actions,

As the words came out of my mouth, “We WON! They’ve changed the policy to …” I saw my friends burst into smiles, laughing and hugging each other almost crying, and I realised why divestment was important. We built community and friendships as well as leaders in action that will outlast any policy change.

The evening progressed to a hundred people celebrating together, watching individuals answers to the question of, “what would you say about climate change?” projected on geology classrooms, while high fiving each other and eating some kai.

Divestment of our university was cool, sure, but to me the ultimate win was the hundred engaged students who want to see climate justice, and the thousands of supporters and acts of kindness that helped us get there. It’s an empowering thing as a young person to win against any establishment you are taught is impenetrable; it reminds us that we do have power and that community is something that can’t be taken away from us.

Here are the 350 Aoteroa local groups involved in climate justice in NZ including the divestment movement. There are groups in Auckland, Auckland Uni, Waikato Uni, Wellington, Christchurch, Christchurch Poly, Christchurch Uni, and Otago Uni,

To get involved, email your local group. If there isn’t an active group in your area, we can support you to start one. Have a read over this document and email niamh@350.org.nz to get started.

As micky wrote yesterday, this coming Tuesday (6th June)  US Secretary of State is visiting Wellington. You can sign up for the protest here.

When Rex Tillerson comes to Wellington on Tuesday June 6, we will provide the opposite of a warm welcome, and demand that Bill English denounces Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement as they meet.

Hundreds of us will join together to protest outside Parliament on Tuesday. Sign-up for alerts about the action here — and start making your placards.

Rex Tillerson is no warm-hearted man. Before he took the role of Secretary of State to do Trump’s bidding, he was the CEO of ExxonMobil — the company that despite knowing the truth about climate change since the 1960s waged a war of misinformation and denial that robbed humanity of a generation’s worth of time to reverse climate change.

We will make sure he knows that his brand of climate denial is not welcome in New Zealand.

It’s up to us now, to keep the momentum going, to demand change and that our leaders lead us down a sane path.  There’s plenty to be getting on with and it’s times like this when the energy for change is high that not only can we achieve more but we become more energised by the change. Feel free to share in the comments any places where people can get involved and make a difference.

29 comments on “Nature issues statement saying climate change cannot be negotiated with ”

  1. Philj 1

    Was not Sir John Key our chief denialist on Climate Change?

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    You have to wonder why Exxon executives haven’t faced RICO charges.

  3. 808state 3

    Why are the Globalists shrieking so much about Trump’s withdrawal while they swan around the world on private jets to Davosian confabs? Not too concerned about their own MASSIVE carbon footprint lifestyle.

    The United States ie US tax payer is expected to shoulder the economic burden with a massive wealth transfer to China, India and the rest of the Third World.

    Trump did right by his support base. The Paris Accord is not in their interests.

  4. AsleepWhileWalking 4

    Anyone serious about the environment needs to take notice of the massive amounts of aluminum dumped into the atmosphere and the damage it is doing to our earth.

    (ignore Snopes they are political and have themselves been debunked).

  5. Steve Wrathall 5

    “We will make sure that every leader who hesitates on climate will be seen as another Donal (sic)Trump”. You mean one that wins elections?

  6. One Two 6

    The Paris Accord, like all others before it..

    A waste of time and was going to achieve little of nothing

    The issues are wider and deeper than ‘people’ want to deal with, so they cling to ‘hope’ which such ‘accords’ provide

    False hope!

  7. Incognito 7

    It was a step in the right direction and a political achievement and statement IMO; it was not the end but a beginning. One of the effects of the Accord is now being played out in broad daylight and this effect is real, not some imaginary stuff or just a warm fuzzy feeling. I believe that people who cling to (false) hope fail to see (the) other dimensions and possibilities of such global accords; there’s real power in these but it is up to the people to wield it wisely (or not).

  8. weka 8

    I know it’s not a short post but it’s not hugely long either. Did anyone bother to read it?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Yep. I was considering listing a few of the other encouraging reactions, including Macron and Bloomberg’s, the responses from Munich and Swiss Re, to the effect that the sentiments expressed in the post span from the street to the boardroom.

      Then I remembered that the Paris Accord is far too little and we need far more to happen, and decided against it.

      • weka 8.1.1

        I agree with you about Paris, but the post isn’t about the Paris Accord. It’s meant to be about where the power is in regards to climate change, and that Tr*mp, or any powerful person/group, doesn’t run the planet and we need to focus on the things that are working and support those. But thanks for the feedback, because I’m obviously not making my points clear enough in the post.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I think your message was clear, I was really just describing my own thought process regarding a potential comment.

          any powerful person/group, doesn’t run the planet and we need to focus on the things that are working and support those

          Which is why I brought up Bloomberg, Macron and the reinsurers: I think they (and others) have come to the same conclusion, whether or not they can do anything effective.

          • weka

            It’s a tricky one. At this point I’ll support moves in the right direction even if they aren’t perfect, because we need the momentum. The value in the power-holders pushing back against the US isn’t to be found in the Paris Agreement but in the solidarity of the act of opposing the US itself. Like the woman writing about how more important than Otago Uni divesting was the solidarity built from the action. Those people know what to do now and have the skills and resources and networks to figure out what to do next.

            I also think that while world leaders and institutions are going to find themselves limited, that the real movement is happening because there are real people in those structures who have kids and grandkids who are realising now just how bad things are. Soon we will be having conversations about what we can do instead of capitalism. Whether that happens soon enough I don’t know, and it’s not going to be easy, but change is building and the people that are progressive need to be ready for which way they want that change to go.

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata

          Your point is we have the power if we choose to use it, so LET’S DO IT!
          The option of sitting back and doing nothing is the most fruitless thing we can do. Every bit of pressure, no matter how small on an individual level, swells to become significant when applied collectively.
          I have been impressed by the increase of younger people becoming involved in activism at the arms expo, at the oil conference, etc. They have grasped the fact that nothing will happen unless we make it happen. Watching bullying and doing nothing to stop it is basically as good as condoning it. Likewise doing nothing to help bring about political pressure for the good of people and the planet is being complicit in our mutual downfall.

          Don’t ever think that YOU can’t make a difference. We can’t all be in the front row of a protest but we can support those who are; we can write emails, phone, sign petitions, recycle, clean up our own energy act, badger local MPs, talk with neighbours to make them aware, etc.
          Don’t vote for political parties that have weak climate change policies, and question your political candidates at meetings.

          (National Party – “fast follower” on climate change at the last election …yeah right!)

          It is time for each and every one of us to think about what we can do, and nothing is not an option.

          • weka

            That’s the one!

            I’m seriously impressed by the activism coming from younger people too. And those climate actions are well organised and being done by committed people. That also gives me hope.

    • Bill 8.2

      I’ve just read it and can’t see any connection between the post and at least the first five comments. Maybe you should have put a picture of naked breasts beneath the title and just let people happily wank away? It’s what’s happening anyway and might have saved some time and thought on your part.

      Alternatively, use the Open Mike function with gay abandon? 😉

  9. Andre 9

    Trump pulling the US out of the Paris agreement may indeed fire up those with some understanding of the problem we face, which is cause for hope.

    But it may also further enable those who don’t give a fuck about the planet and just want their short-term gains.


    weka, sorry this comment is not about sharing ideas for positive actions. It’s a reminder of how broad the coalition of planet-burners actually is.

    • weka 9.1

      All good. I think the actions against and resistance of the planet-burners is also imperative, and that includes knowing who they are and how they operate. I just wanted to point out for the people that were feeling down that there is an opportunity here and that there are other powers at play as well.

  10. Bill 10

    In line with what the post is about and to amplify the divestment campaign of 350.org .

    …if you are an ANZ customer and able to, then pull your account.

    A small and painless action for you. But one worth taking.

    • weka 10.1

      I’ve been thinking about this. Problem is I’ve been with the ANZ, formerly National, all my life, so it’s incredibly easy for me to get money from them if I need to. Starting with a new bank is doable but not necessarily a small thing. More so for people with mortgages. Would also need to look at what other banks are better re the divestment issue. Might consider going to a Credit Union though.

      Am also wondering if there are other things I can re the ANZ while I am still a customer there.

      • weka 10.1.1

        Ok, here’s the 350.org stuff on NZ banks. It’s a brief summary of what investments each bank has, and a letter you can submit via their website to whatever bank you bank with. Co-operative Bank, Kiwi Bank, ASB, BNZ, ANZ, Westpac, TSB,


        Here’s the ANZ one,

        ANZ, who has policies in place to “assess the potential environmental impact of our corporate clients”, has provided over $1 billion for coal ports and liquefied natural gas plants within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area since 2008.

        This year they also sponsored the New Zealand Petroleum Summit, promoting fossil fuel extraction here in New Zealand.

        It’s not a pleasant feeling, learning that your bank – the custodian of your money – is lending billions of dollars to projects that damage the environment and drive climate change. But the good news is that, by working together, we can change this.

        By withdrawing our money, or “divesting”, from the banks that are funding carbon pollution, we are removing the social license of companies that pollute our atmosphere and block political action on climate change. Instead, we can choose to move our money to banks that are 100% fossil fuel free, or at least free of the 200 largest fossil fuel companies on the planet.

        Write to ANZ Senior Execs, David Hisco and Jeremy Salthouse, and let them know that you are putting ANZ on notice.

        Send form letter here http://act.350.org/letter/fossil-free-anz/

        • Bill

          My understanding from stuff being said around the recent ANZ protests is that Westpac pulled their investments when they heard they were to be the target of protests. And no, I can’t verify that.

  11. Bill 11

    Suggestion number 2.

    Every single time you run across a politician (whether one in government or opposition), hold them to the commitments NZ signed up to at Copenhagen and Paris (to name just two) that commit them (as politicians and prospective government ministers) to ensuring temperatures do not exceed 2 degrees and to taking equitable action on the basis of the best available science.

    Demand that they explain how their party’s climate change policy will ensure the above commitments are satisfied.

    Presently, no climate change policy of any NZ parliamentary party comes even close to the goals that are set out in the accords or agreements the NZ government has signed up to.

    Again. A painless action people can take.

  12. Poission 12

    Every single time you run across a politician (whether one in government or opposition), hold them to the commitments NZ signed up to at Copenhagen and Paris (to name just two) that commit them (as politicians and prospective government ministers) to ensuring temperatures do not exceed 2 degrees and to taking equitable action on the basis of the best available science.

    In the NZ case for commitments (being the arithmetic difference in emissions and sinks) that NZ is a poor performer and prostrating protestors can orchestrate change.

    The best available science suggests that the difference is less then purveyors of catastrophe suggest ,and the best policy initiative is to wage war on Australian and Norwegian immigrants (Possums,wallabys and rats).


  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Nature doesn’t negotiate and doesn’t take prisoners.

  14. Ad 14

    Professor Oppenheimer says 2 degree limit is gone, and in part puts it on the Trump Paris pullout and programme defunding:


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