Blog # 1 – The last line of defense; The Politicians have stopped listening.
October 7, 2009
Aren’t blogs funny things… we’re all in these categories of whether we’ve got enough time to read them or not… or write them or not. It’s hard to remember that some people don’t even have the internet when many of us are checking to see whether we’ve got the most up to date networks! It’s like trying to remember what it was like not being able to ride a bicycle!
Which is pretty relevant to Climate Change. Never have we been more connected and powerful as individuals. Connectivity is power… and historically the little man never had access. The loud and funny, the rich and ruthless, the musically talented and the politicians once held the sacred power – and people listened. Now it’s reasonably simple to amass hundreds of friends on any social networking site – hell even strangers will connect and accept ‘friendship’ or that kid from school who you’re pretty sure you didn’t hang out with. A simple political statement can reach thousands through social networking. WE need to save the world… and guess what… WE have the tools. We have the technology – we are the last defense line that humanity has right now. The youth have the power to life their determinism, there optimism and commitment to turn this around.
The politicians have stopped listening.
They are busy. Money has become too important, lobbyists too loud, constituents too concerned. In July the New Zealand Government held talks in every major centre in New Zealand and asked the public what level of emission targets should we as country aim for. At every meeting the overwhelming majority stood for 30-40%. There was haka… there were questions… there were challenges and there was support. There were shining examples… there were emotional pleas from every generation. However, it seemed that minds had been made up. They didn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t listen to the public in their ‘democratic’ consultation meetings. Internationally New Zealand disclosed a plan to fall below a 10% emission target, well below the 40% minimum cuts advised by scientists. It shocked New Zealanders but it also shocked many nations, all the while reporting that it was well received overseas.
Our government, perhaps well-meaning, made their calls based on the cost to the individual Kiwi. They divided it into the thousands of dollars we each would end up paying, the effect of which painted the ‘Greenies’ and others as groups who wanted to ruin the economy and bankrupt everyone. This despite many offers from companies to show the government it could be done… despite the proof created by the Green Party that simple measures could achieve a 40% cut without much cost and presumably with a saving… despite a Green New Deal helping achieve this and creating thousands of jobs.
Is it turning their backs on democracy, is it that they know better than all the scientists in the world, or at the extreme was their heart ripped out in their 20s along with a quarter of their brain? This scenario would certainly account for a decision that will almost without a doubt sentence their children and grandchildren… and their unborn children to a miserable and unpredictable future.
But this is where we come in… enough New Zealanders understanding, staying positive, and supporting the government is the only way to send a worthy and just statement with them to COP 15. If every New Zealander emailed and advocated for their right to a future, blogged, facebooked, bebo’d and twittered their way to a National MP – we could help save the world. And it’s possible… If I didn’t believe so I wouldn’t spend my life dedicated to being a cog… that hopefully turns a couple of other cogs… which adds to the movement.
Don’t hate the government… help them to help themselves… show them the power of youth – the last line of defense.