Many of you will be working away at your reviews of the long-awaited Climate Commission report. My reading list around this is far from complete: if you think I’ve missed something you can always comment below. These just the climate leaders I’ve been reading:
If you spend time around the Wellington CBD, chances are you’ve seen Alex Dyer. He and his big yellow cargo bike are a regular feature in parking spaces around town. He’s been a one-man campaign to raise awareness about the alternatives to cars. Many people imagine that the future will look much like the present, but with electric cars and windmills. Alex and Lorraine talk about why this can’t be the case.
You’ll hear some traffic noise in this episode – I filtered out much of it after the first few minutes, but this conversation happens on the side of the road for a reason, so it’s only right.
The 2020 hunger strikes and climate vigil went for 103 consecutive days, ending at Labour’s landslide election. Soon after, the crew of regulars found themselves inside the building, watching from the gallery as Parliament declared a Climate Emergency.
At the same time, the government declared a range of measures to get it’s own emissions down, without presenting anything much to challenge the industries that drive our emissions. Greta Thunberg noted that this will address 1% of emissions.
It was nice, for a while, to have the crew together in a place out of the weather, with furniture.
These interviews are already old, and 2020 is nearly over. It’s probably churlish to be too negative, the two elections this year could have gone much worse, still, the machine is still going in the wrong direction, and the handles are still falling off it. We’re clearly in the middle of a K shaped recovery, where a growing economy is piping billions of dollars to the wealthy while the poor get locked into lives of high rents in substandard housing.
It also turns out anyone with enough financial stability can spend the rest of their lives working to pay debts on homes that will become un-sellable since the insurance companies will soon be cutting them off.
Watch the way Gun Control is discussed in the U.S. Everyone acknowledges the problem but very few imagine a solution. Ironically, every other country has found a way to do much better. It’s not that we can’t imagine solutions. We don’t even need to – they are already there.
We just can’t imagine using them.
Is there something bright to say at this point? At the beginning of this year, I didn’t know most of the people interviewed this year. From the gallery, I got to watch Kiri Allan’s speech on the emergency shake the walls. There are people inside the building who are hungry for change.
And there’s a fresh batch of people and stories we’re looking forward to exploring. We are finding each other. David Graeber died, this year, which is both how I found out about him and how he changed my views on everything. The parliament playground just has a slide, which gives you a break from the swings and the roundabouts.
This episode combines talks with hunger strikers Sue Boyde and Rick Williment, recorded by Lorraine Tyler.
The day Paul Nieman arrived to provide hunger striker Sue Boyd had to step down for medical reasons. He found himself taking her place and spent 10 days in the chair before returning to family in Ashburton.
His perspective comes straight from the high-emitting, blue voting, conservative core, where denial and skepticism are common.
I spent the evenings with him up at Viard house, and it was great to get some insights from outside our urban point of view.
In the end, I concluded that even if there is more acceptance of science here in the city, there is still precious little action from the person in the street, so maybe it amounts to the same thing.