Proud of protesting young people

LETTER

Re: Let’s support school strike, March 8 letter,

Bob Hughes quoted the young student who started a string of protests by school children, Greta Thunberg, telling world leaders at COP24 “You are not mature enough to tell it like it is . . . . We will be the main victims of climate change”. He urged everyone to support Gisborne students joining the worldwide school strike on Friday, March 15.

I will be down at Heipipi park at midday to stand with them. I’m proud of all the young people daring to protest at the mess we adults have made, mostly over the past 50 years, and asking that we clean it up before it is too late.

Normally I would oppose children skipping classes to protest, but these are not normal times. Two of the hottest New Zealand summers on record have occurred in the past five years and 18 of the 20 hottest years recorded globally have been since 2000.

Friday’s issue also had an article about councils needing to work with government to prepare for rising seas. It said New Zealand sea levels are expected to rise 30 to 100cm by 2100. Many scientists believe the rise will be much more than 1 metre by 2100 and that the level will keep on going up. The last time it was this warm, sea levels were six metres higher.

Oceans respond slowly to warming. Thick ice resists melting, but once it starts it is very hard to stop. The rate of sea level rise doubled in the past 30 years and many scientists believe we should prepare for rapid change and much higher sea levels.

“Fridaysforfuture.org” now lists 861 different towns and cities around the globe where students are planning protests on Friday. I’m so pleased New Zealand school students are joining in.

Bob Hughes is right in urging our Government to act quicker. When Generation Zero drafted its Zero Carbon Bill, the IPCC had not announced that we only have 12 years or less to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

I join with students in asking “Why is it taking so long to act?”

Bill Hambidge

Re: Let’s support school strike, March 8 letter,

Bob Hughes quoted the young student who started a string of protests by school children, Greta Thunberg, telling world leaders at COP24 “You are not mature enough to tell it like it is . . . . We will be the main victims of climate change”. He urged everyone to support Gisborne students joining the worldwide school strike on Friday, March 15.

I will be down at Heipipi park at midday to stand with them. I’m proud of all the young people daring to protest at the mess we adults have made, mostly over the past 50 years, and asking that we clean it up before it is too late.

Normally I would oppose children skipping classes to protest, but these are not normal times. Two of the hottest New Zealand summers on record have occurred in the past five years and 18 of the 20 hottest years recorded globally have been since 2000.

Friday’s issue also had an article about councils needing to work with government to prepare for rising seas. It said New Zealand sea levels are expected to rise 30 to 100cm by 2100. Many scientists believe the rise will be much more than 1 metre by 2100 and that the level will keep on going up. The last time it was this warm, sea levels were six metres higher.

Oceans respond slowly to warming. Thick ice resists melting, but once it starts it is very hard to stop. The rate of sea level rise doubled in the past 30 years and many scientists believe we should prepare for rapid change and much higher sea levels.

“Fridaysforfuture.org” now lists 861 different towns and cities around the globe where students are planning protests on Friday. I’m so pleased New Zealand school students are joining in.

Bob Hughes is right in urging our Government to act quicker. When Generation Zero drafted its Zero Carbon Bill, the IPCC had not announced that we only have 12 years or less to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

I join with students in asking “Why is it taking so long to act?”

Bill Hambidge

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Martin Hanson, Nelson - 2 months ago
I completely agree with Bill Hambidge and Bob Hughes, but while Greta Thunberg and her fellow students protesters are right in drawing attention to the seriousness of the crisis, there are two aspects to the problem that are not generally appreciated and which the media and politicians completely ignore.

First, manufacturing consumer goods is a major source of anthropogenic CO2 production, but there is no mention of the massive reduction in the manufacture and hence consumption of these goods that will be necessary. The bitter pill for most people is that the level of consumption is equated with 'standard of living'. In our present materialistic culture, calling for a reduced consumption is a vote-loser.

The second elephant in the room as that since there is no evidence that politicians and corporations are willing to discuss the first elephant, it's clear that they simply don't care. As long as there are massive profits to be made in the short term, and to hell with the long term, our society will remain blind to a key part of the crisis.

Extreme wealth separates people from each other and from the natural world; people who have less tend to care more for each other, and vice versa. The behaviour of many if not all corporations is that of psychopathy; a the total absence of conscience or capacity for empathy, or any appreciation of the common good.

Until the media allow these points to enter the public discussion, we will continue on the present trajectory.

Bob Hughes - 2 months ago
Bill is right, these are not normal times.
No.1, nor is our way of life, exploiting nature as we do, normal.
No.2, nor are the changing planetary weather patterns we now experience normal.
No.2 is a direct result of No.1.
To have the remotest chance of having any influence on No.2, our No.1 has to be radically changed.
As I write this your online poll regarding students going on strike over climate change shows only 33 percent of 233 votes so far support the students.
It seems to me Greta's words, "You are not mature enough", apply to the adults in Gisborne as well. Do the other two-thirds not believe the children will be the main victims of climate change?
Wake up time readers, we are all in this together.

Charmaine Fouhy - 2 months ago
Thank you Martin Hanson for providing "The Reality Perspective" that needs to be entered into the analysing of a very complex situation. Our environmental problems are a result of human-induced need that rapidly turned to greed and selfishness. Our solution to slowing and reversing our rapidly escalating environmental problems requires humans to make sacrifices and show real concern and dedication to ensuring a healthy, thriving planet for our future generations. This dilemma above all else is what will ultimately decide our planet's future!!

Peter Jones - 2 months ago
You're all barking up the wrong tree. Time will tell but that's my opinion.

Stuart Moriarty-Patten - 2 months ago
Martin Hanson, you call for us to have reduced consumption - I agree for the 1 percent who are the ones who are benefitting from the collapse of our environment. For the rest of us we don't need reduced consumption, rather we need better consumption. Just 100 companies have been responsible for over 70 percent of emissions since 1988. Let's make them pay for fixing the problems they have created. Tax their profits massively and redistribute the wealth among the general population so we can insulate our houses, buy solar panels, use more efficient transport, buy more environmentally-friendly food, etc.

G R Webb - 2 months ago
Pity that the three Hs of this world (Hambidge, Hanson and Hughes) don't understand that the ultimate resource, the human imagination, never runs out.

Bob Hughes - 2 months ago
Does Gordon also believe imagination will alone solve future problems of unbreathable air, undrinkable water, inadequate food and an unlivable climate?

G R Webb - 2 months ago
Bob, human imagination will, not that of soothsayers and pessimists. Human ingenuity will ensure survival of the planet.

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