What’s the point on declaring a climate emergency?

Auckland City Council have jumped on the climate emergency declaration bandwagon “with encouragement from young activists”.

Stuff:  Auckland Council declares climate change emergency

Auckland Council has joined other cities in declaring a climate change emergency.

Mayor Phil Goff said he didn’t want to leave future generations the “rotten legacy” of climate heating.

“We have an obligation to act, and it would be irresponsible and reckless, not to act,” Goff told a council meeting on Tuesday.

While the declaration is largely symbolic, it signals the start of a more urgent and focussed approach by councillors to curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

The council separately agreed to seek public views on an “action framework” that could lead to costed initiatives in next year’s budget.

A symbolic declaration that ‘signals the start of a more’ and will seek public views that could lead to something next year sounds nothing like how a council should act in a real emergency.

The only action Goff and Auckland councillors seem to be intent on is pandering to votes in anticipation of the elections later this year.

emergency
noun
a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action

While it is arguably serious there is nothing unexpected about the current climate change concerns, they have been expressed for decades.

One of the only things these climate change declarations do is add political hot air, and are not being backed up by immediate action of any substance.

Running around shouting ‘the sky is heating’ is likely to fall on deaf ears if it is nothing more than political opportunism.

TPP and a lack of democracy

There were a number of TPP protests around the country today. Some protesters  need to learn what democracy means.

In Christchurch their stunt was to have a burial for democracy.

‘Democracy buried’ at anti-TPPA protest in Christchurch

Anti-TPPA protesters have “buried Democracy” in Christchurch on Saturday afternoon, as part of a mass rally against the trade deal.

Nearly 1000 people showed up at Cathedral Square around 2pm.

More arrived as an enactment of Prime Minister John Key burying ‘Democracy’ took place during the rally.

“If the TPPA treaty is implemented then a substantial portion of our democracy will be dead,” It’s Our Future Christchurch’s Charles Drace said.

I don’t think this sort of overkill helps their cause. Democracy has survived a number of other trade agreements in the past and I don’t think the TPP will affect it either.

Meanwhile in Dunedin their stunt was Octagon declared a ‘TPP-free zone’.

Up to 250 people have declared the Octagon a Trans Pacific Partnership-free zone at an ”action event” in Dunedin this afternoon.

Event organiser Jen Olsen said Dunedin should follow suit and become the first city to declare itself TPP-free.

How democratic is this declaration?

The handout at last night’s meeting said:

In Aotearoa New Zealand a majority of Kiwis reject the TPPA.

That hasn’t been democraticly determined as far as I’m aware.

We will use democracy to protect democracy.

You couldn’t get much more undemocratic than making a unilateral declaration without even consulting with all the people.

Perhaps the Christchurch protesters should come down for a burial in Dunedin. Activist groups declaring things without consulting with or getting a vote from the people of the city is quite undemocratic.