Thursday, September 26, 2019

Climate Change: Why I'm striking tomorrow

Tomorrow is the NZ leg of the global climate strike. Thousands of school students will be walking out of school to demand government action on climate change. They've asked adults to join them. And I'll be doing so.

Why? Because we're cooking the planet. Humanity has spewed enough carbon into the atmosphere to raise CO2 levels to 408.7 ppm, incresing temperatures by 1.1 Celsius since pre-industrial times. And if we keep doing what we're doing, that will be over 500 ppm by 2050, and 750ppm by 2100, resulting in a temperature increase of 3 degrees or more. And the effects of that are catastrophic: war, famine, disease and death - the four horsemen of the apocalypse. And the more we emit, the worse it will get.

I have no children, so I don't have an animal cruelty metaphor in this fight. Except I do, because this shit will be coming down the pipeline during my expected lifetime. Hell, its already begun to happen. Climate change is going to make my life worse, has already seen me living in a shittier, crueller world. Even if I didn't give a rat's arse about future generations, that's a reason to fight it.

How do we fight it? We cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible, while planting a shitton of trees to draw down carbon from the atmosphere. We have the technology to do this. Old industries are going to have to die as part of this transition. Fuck them, they're killing us. The idea of endless, cancerous "growth" is going to have to die as well. But if we want things to stay the same - if we want the sort of lifestyle we have at present, or some semblance thereof - then things are going to have to change.

How do we get that change, the policy to make it happen? By turning out tomorrow, and the next time, and the next, in greater and greater numbers, until the chickenshits in the Beehive get the message that their political careers and ministerial limos and fat salaries are on the line, and we're not voting for them unless they fix this. And actually fix it, rather than lying about it while pandering to the dairy industry and the fossil fuel industry and the rest of the polluting scum who fund them. We need to threaten them with democratic oblivion until they understand that lip-service isn't enough.

So, I'll be at my local school strike tomorrow, to support the kids and protect their future and my own. I hope you'll be doing the same. We can do this. But only if enough of us stand up for a future.