Friday, July 16, 2021

A howl of ugliness

Farmers are protesting today, invading cities with tractors and utes in protest against water and climate change policy. The core message of their "howl of protest" is meant to be "no farmers, no food" - which rather undermines their own case, given that 80% of the food they produce is exported. We could drive half the farmers in Aotearoa out of business, be massively environmentally better off, and still have more than enough cheese for everyone. But of course, they're also displaying their ugly side, with signs displaying racism, gun nuttery, more racism, and of course sexism, misogyny, and an obsession with dead political ideologies. And we haven't even got to the weird conspiracy theorist stuff yet!

Meanwhile, parts of Germany just received two months' rain in two days, causing massive, unexpected floods which have left 58 people dead. The US and Canada are experiencing another heatwave, and a huge chunk of the US is on fire again. And we may be about to get another freak rain and flooding event in Westland. In these circumstances, protesting against climate change policy is as irresponsible and sociopathic as being an antivaxxer. Oh, wait!

Basicly, this sort of messaging is likely to be... unpersuasive with urban Aotearoa. Where "unpersuasive" equals "as popular as a proverbial unpopular thing". Which means it is unlikely to be persuasive with the government either. Urban Aotearoa is where the votes have been for decades, and the first rule of government is "learn to count". Maybe farmers should learn that too?