Cyclone Gabrielle set to ravage upper-North Island, but polls shows voters here are less likely to prioritise climate change actions or policies than in other countries, even after Jan 27 floods
Thanks Bernard. To the point and welcomed. Here’s to voting for much more acting and a lot less performing.
There are days when it seems the public service is just willful, eg electric vehicles.
I reckon it is the inevitable result of the deliberate running down of the public service so that consultants can benefit.
Hi Bernard - New Zeland seems completely oblivious to the strategies needed to reduce the use of carbon from fossil fuels - as you know I have been an advocate for deveolping a bio-based economy for many years - largely as I see the benefits that other countries are starting to reap. As a country with primary production at its backbone economically and industrially - you would think that it would be a small step to integrate primary production into a more renewable carbon industrial infrastructure. This would markedly diversify our economy, make NZ more resilient in terms of energy and chemical supply, and probably has spillover effects for better land management and enhancing water quality etc.
I saw Benedict Collins report on the abandonment of the biofuels mandate on Saturday night on TV 1 - I have never seen such a poorly informed report - with his suggestion that biofuel mandates were a "bad" idea. Over 64 countries have biofuel mandates to reduce reliance of fossil fuels. Yes there is a food versus fuel issue, but now there are many companies using municpal wastes and effluents to produce biofuels - surely there is no food v fuel issue with these feedstocks.
NZ is does now seemto be captured by sector interests - to the point we are now struggling to plan the implement ways forwards in the context of global climate change. Some good political leadership would greatly assist this process - but this is definitely sadly lacking as well.
Excellent work Bernard. Sadly I think the upcoming election is more front and center for the government, the responses already given are muted to the point of being conspicuous by the absence of anything meaningful.
Thankyou Bernard, excellent analysis. The magical thinking is very convenient, fuelled by the withholding of data and information for political gain, in order to ‘not frighten the horses’. The evidence is clear we need to be frightened. It is time to exercise our power as voting citizens to insist on the truth
Was waiting your comments all morning.
Agree with your analysis. What is helpful if you take people with you on 'now is the time'
Has there been research on the forces
applied effectively in NZ that persuaded majority to 'give up smoking', where people became embarrassed about this.
ie Walking to school could become elite fashion.
Driving children everywhere is not in best interest of independent children. Parents can walk with children, lots of learning & socialising. Many more positives.
Please open this up so we can share.
I know many people who say they're concerned about the environment - keen to go more electric with cars, solar panels on the roof etc, but they make little change to their habits.
When the public transport subsidy was increased last year I was amazed that I could get to work (11km across town to another suburb for $1.10). I don't do it frequently - it takes at least half an hour longer than by car to get there, and the trip home has been plagued by bus cancellations and delays. If the traffic is very heavy between St Johns Rd and St Heliers Bay Rd I simply walk the last bit (moving faster than the traffic). It wears out a little shoe leather, but as well as saving petrol I get to walk about 4kms (a good thing!), avoid wear on the tyres and engine, and incidents in the work carpark (been dinged twice quite badly when parked, and an attempted entry to my car completely stuffed the driver's door). It does take WAY longer and some days I won't arrive home until after 7pm. It works for me because we're past having to collect children from daycare or school, and someone else will have started cooking dinner.
My other workplace is less than 3km from home, and that's a no brainer.
Someone I know will drive 400m to buy a bottle of gin.
Where is the gov't contribution to all these storm clean-up costs going to come from?
Reduced surgeries in the hospitals, less potholes fixed on the roads, under-funding essential services, pay freezes for essential workers (nurses, teachers, police, etc).
Will we see yet more 'penny wise and pound foolish'?
Yip complete leadership fail for profit and to act illegally to save the wealthy from spending the publics money on the public but divert it to the usual suspects. Successive Government’s simply haven’t taken the hard decisions to regulate the profiteering off people and extraction from the planet or done their due diligence on what is able to be done in the existing populations best interests and to meet reasonable human needs.They have been undemocratic, wish to preserve the status quo of favouring the elite and wealthy and do not want to address this exploitation and lack of fulfilling their legal obligations and duties in the best interests of the general public head on. Particularly the multiple threats people have faced both physical, economic and in terms of equitable treatment for all. They are maintaining an authoritarian, Government or institutional patriarchal, racist and sexist destructive and oppressive and negligent policy agenda which favours the powerful against the more vulnerable. The expectation we will consent to get dragged back into the cave into tribalism is just incredibly naïve, arrogant and ignorant and is not in the slightest bit “progressive”.
Are any of our parties serious about meaningful climate action? I haven't seen a lot of action from any party. And while there is talk, it all seems to be 'steady as she goes'; with some earnest hand wringing about how concerned everyone is and how everyone is doing everything they can, whilst actually doing just about nothing.
Excellent article, on point!
Thanks for more excellent analysis of the most important issue of our time. I think clear, repeated and trusted communication on this stuff is so important. I'd dearly love a ban on advertising climate unfriendly stuff like double cab Utes, SUVs and flying so we don't have to work against this too.
The comfortable excuses for inaction seem to be we're too small on the global emissions table (but we are one of the worst per capita and still rising), the ETS should sort it out (not with agriculture and big polluters getting a free ride), we have a Zero Carbon Act (but are not taking enough meaningful emissions reductions activities). I'd love a deeper dive into the immense problem we're going to face as a country by relying on buying emissions reductions from overseas rather than taking action here. Perhaps when older people realize that there will be no money for hip replacements because we need to buy carbon units from Costa Rica, the trade offs will become real. Open this up, Bernard, we need to shout this from the rooftops, if we aren't cowering inside from a climate fuelled cyclone. Stay safe everyone.
Keep on this crusade please. But read today's Greater Auckland blog to see how rundown AT and Auckland Council have made the city's public transport. One commentator said he was angry he had been forced to buy a car because the PT system in the city is now so broken with cancelled buses, cancelled rail services and ferries not working for various reasons including priority over cruise ship arrivals and lack of immigrant workers. This also needs to be highlighted before there is any chance of getting Aucklanders to break the car habit.
Well done Bernard,
Please release as widely as possible. Why are NZ'ers so pathetically stupid and deluded? ? because they are all sucked in by Capitalism and Magical Thinking but even the IMF seems to get it? Our political system is never going to be able to deal with Climate change unless it gets real and onto a "war footing" about the problem. (and re-organises farming and transport). We all need to change but will the elderly rich white double-cab ute drivers and property owners give up their privilege to help us all "transition" Yeah Nah! as you say so well. I did a V.U.W. course last year on "Climate change and New Zealand Society" (Excellent). My essay at the end of the course was about how "Westminster Politics and Capitalism was incapable of dealing adequately with Climate Change". Prove me wrong!
Love the Augustine quote!
I think Bernard, that the focal point of our problem(s) is contained in the word 'think'.
You say that 'We like to think that ... we are clean and green/ ahead on climate action and so on. In fact - I think - we do not like to think at all. We rubbish thinking. It is for wooses. We must strive for the lowest common denominator at least where thinking is concerned - otherwise known as the 'centre'?Might I be thinking this wrong?