Friday, April 09, 2021

Striking for a future again

Today tens of thousands of schoolkids have walked out of school to strike for a future free from climate change. And tens of thousands of older New Zealanders have joined them. Their demands are clear: eliminate fossil fuels, implement 100% renewable energy with a just transition, and support our Pacific neighbours by ensuring our climate actions are aligned with the 1.5 degree Paris goal. This is, bluntly, the minimum we need to do to have a decent future, one where we don't have a billion premature deaths and make some of the most heavily populated parts of the planet uninhabitable.

The government will point to the Zero Carbon Act framework and say "we've got this", but they haven't. The targets set by the Act are inadequate, as are the international goals they have chosen. We have less than a decade to turn this problem around, and the government is basicly doing the minimum. And when we have the pandemic response demonstrating what a government can do when it really wants to fix something, what prioritising something actually looks like, it makes it look like they don't really care about this, that saving the world just isn't a priority for them.

When she was running for election, Jacinda Ardern called climate change "my generation's nuclear-free moment". The strikers today want her to live up to that and make it true. Otherwise, well, its not going to be long before they can vote (and they have plenty of friends who already can), and they'll toss her in the dumpster of history if they don't get what they want.