Can we incrementally move towards renewable energy sources and reduced pollution and gradually clean our waterways, or do we have to take radical and immediate action to save the planet?
Green MP Gareth Hughes seems to have a softer approach to drilling oil:
Stuff: Region could become renewable energy powerhouse
Hughes was in New Plymouth on Monday to help select the Green Party candidate for the Taranaki-King Country electorate to contest this year’s election.
The party’s energy policy was to stop deep sea drilling greater than 100 metres and allow shallower inshore exploration drilling.
A ‘no drilling’ stance in Taranaki would not be good for getting party votes. Is this is why there is apparent electorate pragmatism, or does it signal a softening of approach to oil drilling and fossil fuels from the Greens?
Their Climate Change policy talks of a fossil-free economy and “deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as a step towards achieving zero emissions as early as possible”. Hughes:
“We can’t keep burning the stuff forever but no one is willing to put a date on it, or implement a plan around it.
I can’t find Greens putting a date on it, just that they want zero emissions as soon as possible.
But some want more urgent, more drastic action.
From a post at The Standard:
One of the speakers at Dunedin’s March for Science was a young woman by the name of Charlie.
Charlie knows that any talk of transitioning to a low or zero carbon future is ‘off the table’. She knows that all the renewable resources being developed are far too little and far too late, and anyway, are being deployed on top of existing fossil sources of energy – not replacing them.
She gets that investing hope in impossible or improbable technologies (BECCS) in impossible timeframes (less than 20 years) that sets a world of logistics off to one side, is just plain stupid and disempowering.
She’s cognisant of the fact that this isn’t ‘the Anthropocene’ as many like to claim – that it’s a small percentage of humanity that is responsible for global warming and not the entire human race fulfilling some kind of dark manifest destiny.
In a nutshell, Charlie, and I dare to hope a good number of other young people, fully understand that incrementalism – that which essentially amounts to running down the train tracks to avoid the locomotive of global warming, isn’t the direction to go in and is no kind of strategy at all.
Charlie’s aware we need a clean break – a radical and immediate departure. She looks to her possible futures and sees that only revolutionary ones contain prospects.
If even the Greens seem to be nowhere near (at least talking about) a radical and immediate departure from current policies and uses of fossil fuels then the likelihood of radical change seems very unlikely.
Charlie pointed me to the following observation made by Tim DeChristopher – “If we want to change the status quo, we might have to work outside of some of those rules because the legal pathways available to us have been structured precisely so we don’t make change.”
A suggestion they would resort to illegal actions?
Charlie, or Bill, don’t give any indication of what they would do or try to change urgently, they just hint at something revolutionary. Bill left ‘the last word’ to Charlie:
“I believe there is nothing more radical than burning more coal, oil and gas despite the urgent call for drastic climate action by frontline communities. There’s nothing scarier than the future of our planet, which our lives depend upon, being decided by a few powerful people.
The power to change the world right now is not democratic, but belongs to a few people. We can change that now.”
This sounds passionate but very vague. In comments Bill addressed the last word:
I’m going to go with Charlie’s last sentence and suggest that embracing and developing democratic bases of power is the way to go…in other words, bring the power back to where it rightfully belongs.
That’s not a quick fix and we don’t have time on our side, so we’d do well to start on it today.
Talk to your family, friends, acquaintances, work mates…see what you can come up with. It might only be something very small to begin with, but small things can spread and small things can grow – sometimes quite fast too
There’s some interesting comments on this: Thank you Charlie.