Global student climate strikes spread to New Zealand

Some people, probably many people, are getting very insistent that major things are done to combat climate change, believing that the future of the planet is at stake.

It seems a bit ironic given that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that combating climate change is the most important issue of the current time that urges to do something drastic about it are being made here in New Zealand.

Internationally (Vox) – Playing hooky to save the climate: why students are going on strike

Thousands of young climate change activists around the world have refused to go to school in recent weeks, and more strikes are planned, including a worldwide strike on March 15.

“We are the voiceless future of humanity,” activists wrote in a letter published Friday by The Guardian. “Now we will make our voices heard. On 15 March, we will protest on every continent.”

To date, students in the United KingdomAustralia, France, Germany, Ireland, Uganda, Thailand, Colombia, Poland, and more have skipped a day of school to demand stronger action on climate change from their governments.

New Zealand (The Spinoff) – School kids are going on strike to fight climate change. How will schools react?

Strikes in more than 20 towns and cities around the country are planned for March 15, a Friday, with the Auckland event scheduled to take place in Aotea Square. While some schools are openly facilitating organisation, some schools are treating the impending strikes as unjustifiable absences, and have cracked down on efforts by students trying to organise.

RNZ: Climate change protest on school day divides MPs

Labour and Green party MPs supporting next week’s school strike for action on climate change are being careful not to encourage students to wag classes to protest.

The protest includes a march on Parliament and it’s clear that Labour and Green MPs are supportive of the strike while National Party MPs said it should not be happening on a school day.

Green Party co-leader and climate change minister James Shaw agreed immediately when asked on TVNZ’s Q and A programme on Monday night if students should leave classes to protest next week.

But he told RNZ today he was not urging children to participate in the event.

“In choosing to take time out in order to do this, these students are placing something at risk. That’s actually the point of a strike, you’re placing something at risk and that is an individual choice that people have to make for themselves.”

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said it was up to schools to decide how to handle the strike.

“I want kids to be learning. If taking part in this action is part of the learning process, then there may be some merit in it. If they’re just taking a day off school then actually they’re just punishing themselves,” Mr Hipkins said.

Other Labour ministers were more supportive.

They are supporting aa protest urging them to do more about climate change.

National Party leader Simon Bridges said climate change was an important issue, but the strike should not have been held on a school day.

He said the protest could have been timed to coincide with the upcoming strike by secondary school teachers on 3 April.

National Party education spokesperson Nikki Kaye said government ministers should not be encouraging students to participate.

“I’m a bit concerned that we have got the Minister for Climate Change out there encouraging people to not be at school and that does put parents and principals in a pretty difficult situation,” she said.

Stuff: Students who strike for climate change will be marked as truants, principals say

Schools are threatening to mark students as truants if they strike for climate change, with one principal calling it “wagging” that won’t make a difference.

Thousands of students plan to strike across New Zealand next week as part of a global campaign urging politicians to treat climate change as a crisis, and act now to protect students’ futures from its effects.

Christchurch strike organiser Lucy Gray, 12, said students were striking for their future.

“Teachers, they strike all the time to get what they want and that’s just money. We want our future; I think that should be allowed.”

But Secondary Principals Association president and Pakuranga College principal Michael Williams said students’ impact on climate change would be “probably zero”.

The impact of a day off school on the education of the children is likely to be “probably zero” too.

It’s not just young people rising in protest – Stuff: The planet’s last stand: Why these climate change activists are ready to break the law

In a suit and tie, retired fund manager Charles Drace is not your typical rebel. California-born, he was once a theatre and film actor, with bit parts in the spaghetti Western ‘Once Upon A Time in the West’ and war movie ‘Patton’.

Now, from his neat town house in central Christchurch, the 74-year-old is plotting how to get arrested.

“For years and years now, we’ve been playing nice. And I think one of the things that has been recognised in the last year or so is that it’s not working. We just can’t be nice anymore.”

Drace is a climate activist, a member of the global movement Extinction Rebellion. It began in November, when thousands of protesters paralysed London by disrupting traffic. Since then, it’s caught fire across the globe, with around a million members in 35 countries carrying out acts of civil disobedience.

They’ve glued themselves to buildings and spray painted “frack off” graffiti, closed five major London bridges, swarmed Fashion Week and gone on hunger strike outside Westminster Palace.

In New Zealand, ‘zombies’ have paraded through Wellington airport, held a funeral for Planet Earth in Nelson, and shut off the water supply to Environment Canterbury’s headquarters. Last week, 35 activists banged on the glass windows of BP’s Auckland office, chanting “liar, liar, pants on fire.”

Next month, they’ll join groups across the world in a week of civil disobedience and attention-grabbing stunts.

Will all of these protests be largely like whistling in a hurricane?

Or will the New Zealand government actually take drastic action beyond their rhetoric?

 

 

Leave a comment

84 Comments

  1. duperez

     /  7th March 2019

    The most effective learning for the school kids who bus past our paddocks would be for them actually walk to school on their ‘strike’ day with big bags collecting all the rubbish along the road. They, their friends, neighbours and fellow citizens have chucked it there. Well, trucks would be better for the amounts.

    Climate change is destroying the planet? The planet they want to show us they care about?
    Whistling in a hurricane? And travelling through the tsunami of rubbish they have created.

    Reply
    • Ray

       /  7th March 2019

      No doubt various MPs ( the usual suspects) will join the march to show how “woke” they are.
      Seemingly haven forgotten that they are member of the coalition Government and their leader has said that climate is her raison d’être.
      Of course those were only words…..these are “actions”.
      Pick up some of your rubbish, a bit like hard work.

      Reply
  2. Corky

     /  7th March 2019

    When I first heard this news, a picture popped into my mind about the young snowflakes who would be marching. Of course such a mental image was the result of of preconceived prejudices.

    However, One News fleshed my mental image into reality as I watched young white middleclass kids working on their placards for the protest.

    None of these children will have the fainest idea of the lies and rorting this scam has been perpetuating. They would have no idea they are what’s called ”useful idiots.’

    Hopefully intelligent schools and parents will keep their children at school. I be won’t holding my breath.

    I think the low decile kids may be the lucky ones given most of their schools don’t give a stuff about climate change. Their focus is more about a dying culture…not a dying planet.

    Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  7th March 2019

      I knew you would post a post like your one where its the bright rich schools and stupid poor schools,A rightwinger no surprises there and a racist to boot

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  7th March 2019

        Making shite up again, Lurchy?

        Reply
        • Griff.

           /  7th March 2019

          Making up shite ?
          like this corky .

          None of these children will have the fainest idea of the lies and rorting this scam has been perpetuating

          It is what I like to call gibbering like a loon .
          The scam my friend is a lot of sheep have been made to think climate change is not real .
          Hence the kids are protesting because to much attention is given to idiots in denial and they know they will be paying the cost for our inaction.
          Best you stick to your alt med nonsense and whacky cloud busting son.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  7th March 2019

            ”Best you stick to your alt med nonsense and whacky cloud busting son.’

            Enough said.

            ‘Hence the kids are protesting because to much attention is given to idiots in denial and they know they will be paying the cost for our inaction.”

            The kids are protesting because they have been brainwashed.

            ”The scam my friend is a lot of sheep have been made to think climate change is not real .”

            Since when have I said CC is not real?

            More shite, Griff.

            Reply
            • Griff.

               /  7th March 2019

            • Corky

               /  7th March 2019

              ARGUING WITH A TROLL IS LIKE PLAYING CHESS WITH A ENDLESS LOOP MACHINE. NO MATTER WHAT POINT OF THE LOOP YOU DISAGREE WITH, THE SAME MOVE EVENTUALLY COMES AROUND…AND AROUND..AND AROUND..AND AROUND.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  7th March 2019

              FINALLY ! CORKY SEES HIMSELF AS OTHERS SEE HIM.

              Admitting that he’s a troll is, I hope, a step in the right direction.

        • lurcher1948

           /  7th March 2019

          There’s nothing like pointing out the faults of a righty who thinks a radio shock jock called mikey* is the source of all knowledge
          *proud to never listen to the droning idiot wait thats larry williams,well proud anyway

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  7th March 2019

            You are a poster of limited potential, Lurchy. That’s why you rely on Righties for
            anything of value to post… why not something from National Socialist Radio.🙄

            Hell, even Johnny couldn’t hack red radio.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  7th March 2019

              National Socialist Radio ? NAZI Radio ?

              If you’re calling Lurch a Nazi, be careful. That is a gross insult.

              I disagree with most of Lurch’s views, but would never call anyone a Nazi unless I knew that they were one.

              If you say this again, I will have no hesitation in asking for it to be moderated,

  3. Finbaar Rustle

     /  7th March 2019

    Great show of courage from the kids. Good on them. Love it.

    Reply
    • Ray

       /  7th March 2019

      Knowing how schools and school children think I would suggest the only courage shown will be the students who stay on task despite the pressures to follow the crowd.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  7th March 2019

        When were school pupils given the undeserved name of students ? Students are university students.

        Reply
  4. Sunny

     /  7th March 2019

    What other things can they take the day off to protest? Will it be ok to take the day off school to protest free speech and democracy when Speakers are banned from public venues? Day off to protest singing the un migration pact? Day off to protest women’s suffrage, abortion, kauri dieback, school funding, #me too? Day off to protest kids at school who don’t want to cut their hair? Political parties and teachers using children as political pawns

    Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  7th March 2019

    Christchurch strike organiser Lucy Gray, 12, said students were striking for their future.

    “Teachers, they strike all the time to get what they want and that’s just money. We want our future; I think that should be allowed.”

    Young Lucy is certainly no dummy. Like to see the teachers’ union response to this one.

    Reply
  6. The Consultant

     /  7th March 2019

    Instead of a strike why don’t these “student leaders” organise a Get To School Under Your Own Steam event?

    You know: bike, walk, run – whatever the weather. Tell your parents you don’t need to be carted around by car to school, sporting events, etc.

    Making a real difference to CO2 emissions in other words.

    But this is much more fun, I have to admit. And fun wins every time. 🙂

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  7th March 2019

      I hope that they take the posters away afterwards, unlike the ones who protested against oil drilling and left theirs at the beach for the locals to remove and dispose of.

      Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  7th March 2019

    Splendid. A political action led by those who know least about everything.

    Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  7th March 2019

      Maybe but they have the biggest stake in the game.

      I was listening to the Panel to day on Radio NZ, or 1YA when I was born but still the same AM frequency, no FM in those days. Anyway, apparently the NZ fishing industry (friends of NZ First) is bottom trawling on the Chatham Rise, basically dragging a weighed net along the sea bed. Would we allow a forestry company to do that? Clear felling is probably not much different, but we have to look at the results of that, or if you live downhill and it rains heavily the slash ends up on your land. The end result on the seabed is not much different.

      Rubbish the kids but they have to live in the world we leave.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  7th March 2019

        They’ll have the same choices we had.

        Reply
        • Patzcuaro

           /  7th March 2019

          That is not quite correct, they start from a different point the planet is vastly different now from what I grew up with. We did what we wanted with little regard for the future. They don’t have that luxury.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  7th March 2019

            Of course they do, same as we did. And some will and some won’t just as we did.

            Reply
            • Patzcuaro

               /  7th March 2019

              That is just evading reality, the stakes are totally different, with the increase in population you can’t just go and piss and crap where ever you like.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  7th March 2019

              I certainly don’t remember that we all did what we wanted with little regard for the future. Anything but.

              We made up a song at my school, to the tune of ‘Yellow River’ (odd how these things come back) It began ‘Why is everybody being so mean/Fighting wars and being unclean/There’s so much mess in this beautiful world/There’s not enough room for love.’

              Doggerel, I know. But we were indeed concerned with the world and its future,

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th March 2019

              Kitty is right. Nor could we piss and crap wherever we liked. The next generation will face the same choices with better resources and technologies. That’s all.

            • Patzcuaro

               /  7th March 2019

              They will need the better resources and technologies because we will have left the planet in a worse state than we inherited.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th March 2019

              No we haven’t. Here we have fewer wild fish but everything else is better. So is our diet.

            • Patzcuaro

               /  7th March 2019

              Yes our diet maybe better but is the planet better?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th March 2019

              Neither of us know the planet but we do know our own places and country. And I challenge you properly to judge what is better or worse.

            • Patzcuaro

               /  7th March 2019

              @Alan better or worse? The more people on the planet the more pressure on resources. The planet is a lot of finely balanced relationships built up over millennium, not something you hit over the head with a club.

            • Gezza

               /  7th March 2019

              The planet & the cosmos have done a sterling job of eliminating dominant life forms here on a reasonably regular basis & starting over again & I assume it’ll carry on doing that.

            • Patzcuaro

               /  7th March 2019

              @Gezza exactly it might just be without us which is little importance to me but is to my daughter.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th March 2019

              @Patz, no, it’s not finely balanced, it’s incredibly resilient. No sign of running out of anything that matters is there?

              @G, in which case let’s celebrate delaying the next ice age.

  8. Once again in their dubious history, Labour are neither for, nor against a strike. Sigh.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  7th March 2019

      If they’re not careful, the fence they’re sitting on will collapse from overuse.

      Reply
  9. Treuddyn Ted

     /  7th March 2019

    “There’ll be no nationwide strikes on my watch”
    signed
    (Serial liar Ardern)

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  7th March 2019

      Signed

      Ostrich Ardern

      All communications to the Beehive Swimming Pool, deep end.

      Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  7th March 2019

        Kitty putting it bluntly, Ardern is the PM and you are just a poster abusing her on a blog which seems rather pathetic.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  7th March 2019

          Lurch, you say a lot worse about people.

          I do think that she’s out of her depth as PM.

          Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  7th March 2019

      TT,kiwiblog GD is on the right side of your screen, and her name is Jacinda Ardern the PM, not a loser like 5%

      Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  7th March 2019

      tedbear MEET Treuddyn Ted…KIWIBLOG GD ARRIVES….roll of drums
      School kids going on strike.

      “There’ll be no nationwide strikes on my watch”
      signed
      (Serial liar Ardern)

      Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0 LOG IN TO REPLY REPORTMARCH 7, 2019 12:44PM

      Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  7th March 2019

      Idiot

      Reply
  10. Treuddyn Ted

     /  7th March 2019

    Serial Liar Comrade Ardern not my PM

    Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  7th March 2019

      You don’t live in NZ.

      Reply
      • Treuddyn Ted

         /  7th March 2019

        Patzcuaro says “You don’t live in NZ”
        Well excuse me, but I do.
        Where do you live? Mexico?
        Is there a rule that one has to be in certain places or not have a name with a place name in their handle to enter a post here?

        Reply
        • Patzcuaro

           /  7th March 2019

          Not at all but you said Ardern wasn’t you PM so I assumed you live overseas.

          Reply
  11. Ben Waimata

     /  7th March 2019

    It’s great to see kids passionate about the environment and their future. I wonder though if they realise they are protesting against their ability to own/use their smartphones etc, their designer clothes, access to electricity and fresh water delivered to their homes, fresh food delivered locally, all imported goods, all transportation? Do they realise that in the absence of some dramatic new renewable energy source, their demands require a return to a level of pre-industrial lifestyle that even their grandparents would have never experienced?

    I think most of us want a sustainable world, but those of us who are no longer kids can see the practical difficulties of dropping several decades/centuries worth of technological advances by living without oil. Still, the zeal and enthusiasm of youth is great to see.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  7th March 2019

      Not so great to see parents using their children as proxies for their own politics.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  7th March 2019

        A common failing among several types of ideologically-driven parents.

        Reply
      • Ben Waimata

         /  7th March 2019

        Alan, you make it sound like that is an unusual occurrence! You bring up a good point though, if this line of thinking proves to be not from their parents, then where does it come from? School? Media? Social networks? Surely not peer pressure (or even peer hysteria)?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  7th March 2019

          Considering the hysterical campaign Stuff is running you’d be hard pressed to deny parents and media are involved.

          Reply
          • Patzcuaro

             /  7th March 2019

            Stuff survives by selling adverts, like a lot of other media because we want everything for free, so they need clicks.

            Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  7th March 2019

        The Greens don’t seem to see that no oil = no modern phones, no computers, no modern appliances (as it happens, much of my current micro is metal, but that’s sheer chance, I must admit), no fridges, modern washing machines (I once lived in a flat where there was an old wringer washing machine; no, thank you)…..

        I know that some people do make the choice to not have appliances and live off the earth, but I don’t want to. I reduce, reuse, recycle, but I am not willing to use a stoneware jar instead of my electric blanket, swelter fanless in summer and not have a computer….

        I agree about adults using children for their own ends. I was on a march against testing legal highs on dogs, and there were many dogs there, but people didn’t make Fido and Rover carry placards. I very much dislike people putting words in children’s mouths.

        Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  7th March 2019

      I don’t think anyone is suggesting that we drop several centuries of technology, hopefully that technology will save us in the future. But you can’t carry on consuming without some thought to where your consumption goes once you have finished with it.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  7th March 2019

        I think we all studied consumerism & the ills of the throwaway society in 3rd form but it made no difference.

        Reply
        • Patzcuaro

           /  7th March 2019

          When we were in the 3rd form (Yr 5?) it didn’t matter, now it does. When you and I were in the 3rd form there were no supermarkets with everything wrapped in plastic. I can remember my grandmothers shopping basket with wheels to go to the local shops. Now the local shops are all restaurants or other services apart from butchers and green grocers.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  7th March 2019

            No but we talked about how more & more already seemed to be coming in plastic packaging that was going to end up in tips & whether we’d end up with mountains of the stuff. There seems to be barely a product you can buy now that isn’t in a moulded plastic bubble. Not even batteries. Appliances & other large products are all packed in that bloody awful non-recyclable polystyrene foam that shreds when you break it up to put it in the rubbish & tip fees now put me off going to the tip as frequently as I used to.

            Reply
            • Patzcuaro

               /  7th March 2019

              Down on the farm we just burn it, when we are allowed to, until then it sits in the shed. If it is a bit dodgy we take it into to the city and put it in a friends bin to head to the tip.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  8th March 2019

            There certainly were supermarkets then and had been for a long time. Not as much was in plastic, but a lot was. I don’t know how old you are,

            A friend found a wheeled cane basket (30s style, according to an old man who rediscovered his mother’s one which is similar) and I seized on it for a linen basket.. I also have one in the laundry, a 60s one, whose cane is plastic coated.

            You BURN polystyrene ? I bet that stinks.

            I break & cut it up into tiny pieces and make it fit into as small a space as I can. What a teejus job, but it’s worth it. What I hate is trying to get it OFF the appliance.

            Alas, there seems to be no alternative for protecting appliances, but the last two that I bought (micro, sewing machine) had it only at the ends.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  8th March 2019

              Anyone who was 13 before supermarkets in NZ was born in the 1940s.

              Cellophane was widely used to cover things and keep them clean and fresh long before the kind of plastic that we have, and it’s just another form of plastic.

      • Ben Waimata

         /  7th March 2019

        Patzcuaro that’s the point I’m trying to make; they don’t appear to realise that their demands can’t be fulfilled without either some major new energy innovation (or nuclear power), or a massive reduction of the materialism and consumer goods they understandably see as totally normal.

        Reply
        • Patzcuaro

           /  7th March 2019

          Maybe everything buy should have a built in cost of disposal. There is what you want and what you need.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  7th March 2019

            The problem with extra built in cost of disposal is that consumer has to carry the cost for products they often have no choice but to buy.

            Reply
            • Patzcuaro

               /  7th March 2019

              It is just a cost of using the product.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th March 2019

              No, the problem with the built in cost is that there is no local choice as to how it is best disposed of.

            • Gezza

               /  7th March 2019

              No the problem with built in cost of disposal is a lot of products whose packing has a significant disposal cost doesn’t need the packaging with a significant disposal cost.

            • Patzcuaro

               /  7th March 2019

              Your solution?

            • Gezza

               /  7th March 2019

              Mine? Might as well tax the producer. & Tax their mansions at the same time. Bastards. If we can tax Trump somehow that’d be good too. Just off the top of my head. Might need to think it through a bit more. I hear tax law is pretty complicated.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th March 2019

              No, the problem with excessive packaging is that the disposal cost is insignificant compared with the benefits of sales display, documentation, protection and identification it provides.

            • Patzcuaro

               /  7th March 2019

              @Gezza more than happy to have your solutions but it was directed to Alan

            • Gezza

               /  7th March 2019

              @ Patz. I thought that was probable & so was mine 😉

            • Patzcuaro

               /  7th March 2019

              @Alan disposal costs insignificant now maybe, you just put it in the wheelie bin and it magically disappears, but it doesn’t go away.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th March 2019

              No I don’t. I sort it by recycling number and place it in the correct bag at our transfer station.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  8th March 2019

          I put it in my green bin.Ours are for all recylables.

          I take things like Sultana Bran out of boxes and leave those at the supermarket in their paper bin to save space in my bag; it makes no difference whose paper it goes out in.

          Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s