“This is an existential question for us, and our very survival as a culture and as a people is at stake”

Minister of Climate Change James Shaw has been at the COP24 conference in Poland (he is still there, having extended his stay in the hope that something might be decided). Anything agreed on will govern countries’ efforts in adhering to their commitments under the Paris Agreement.

RNZ – Climate talks: ‘The levels of concern are so different’ – Shaw

One of the sticking points is whether efforts under the Kyoto Protocol will count towards Paris. Essentially, countries can’t agree on how they’ll count their greenhouse gas emissions, or their efforts to reduce them.

Mr Shaw told reporters this morning these were technical matters negotiators had been grappling with for three years. “Frankly, they should’ve gotten past that kind of detail before all the ministers showed up for the final three days,” he said.

Broadly speaking, Mr Shaw said a big frustration for him was the differences in countries’ commitments to fighting the effects of climate change.

“On one side you’ve got countries who are saying that they want a set of rules that are quite permissive and lets them do things, because they’re worried about the potential impact on their Gross Domestic Product.

“On the other hand, you’ve got a group of countries who are saying ‘this is an existential question for us, and our very survival as a culture and as a people is at stake’.”

That’s a big statement. perhaps Shaw is right, or maybe he just believes that everyone has to change to his way of thinking and living or they are doomed. It’s a bit like a religious thing – if you don’t believe in Green heaven you will go to hell.

 

 

Rethinking education

Instead of throwing an election bribe at the educated elite shouldn’t we rethink how we do tertiary education and work retraining.

Over the last fifty years there has been a shift towards more academic diplomas and degrees, but has this been at the expense of relevant work training?

If people are expected to have to retrain several times through their working life in the future it’s not practical to spend years getting academic qualifications each time.

What about having shorter one or two year general tertiary courses supplemented by more targeted short courses?

Cunliffe – Rebuilding the future?

David Cunliffe’s big conference speech went down well with Labourites, they have been reinvigorated and their numbers have been inflated by his leadership.

But it’s far from clear how the wider voting public see Cunliffe apart from being a slick politician. That is something for the future.

A major theme in Cunliffe’s spech was the future, his speech was headlined Building a future for all and there was many references to the future.

The house was a stone’s throw from the railway tracks, tracks on which my father’s family worked and which much of the early history of this country was built – with hard labour, with high hopes and fervent dreams of a more prosperous future.

This weekend, our Party sets out together on a challenging but exciting new path. The stakes could not be higher: for the very future of this country and all who live in it.

Helping to create a fairer, more equitable future for all New Zealanders.

3. Building a Future for All

We will restore an effective emissions trading scheme. We will not walk away from our responsibities to the planet, its climate or future generations.

We want a high value, low carbon, renewable energy, smart, clean tech future.

Labour will help New Zealanders look to the future with confidence, in who we are, where we stand, where we are going.

4.  Creating the future

Our mission is to Build a Future for All, including an economy that works for everyone, a fair and just society, an environment we protect, and a nation we can be proud of.

We need to reimagine the future. To rebuild it.

Together, we will build a future for the children in this country who live in poverty, who go to school with empty stomachs, whose parents can’t afford to take them to the doctor when they are ill, who contract Third-World diseases through overcrowding in sub-standard housing.

5. Summary

Together, we will build a future for the children in this country who live in poverty, who go to school with empty stomachs, whose parents can’t afford to take them to the doctor when they are ill, who contract Third-World diseases through overcrowding in sub-standard housing.

We will build a future for the young people who leave school directionless without support, guidance or prospects.

We will build a future with our young people who come out of university with huge loans, fight their way into poorly paid jobs., and who can’t afford to buy a home of their own.

We will build a future with our businesses and exporters held back by the inflexible Reserve Bank Act that sets inflation as its primary target while ignoring the devastating effects of a high exchange rate.

We will build a future with our scientists who, are forced to look overseas for meaningful work

We will build a future with our public servants – our wonderful policewomen and men, our teachers, our nurses and doctors – whose work and worth has been so undermined and demoralized by this destructive Government.

We will build a future with our artists, authors, musicians and performers – who help us to understand not only where we stand in the world, but to feel comfortable in our own skins – and proud of who we are.

Together, we will build a future for all New Zealanders, with an economy that works for all of us, a fair and just society, an environment we protect, and a nation we can all be proud of.

Building a future is an interesting enough concept.

But the first future reference was the most ambitious.

We need to reimagine the future. To rebuild it.

How do you rebuild the future? That could take quite a bit of reimagining what politicians are capable of doing. Even one as confident of his capabilities as David Cunliffe.