If you clicked through on the last episode there was a link to George Monbiot noting that climate deniers mostly track older, and the activists are mostly very young. While there’s always a tendency for things to skew this way, climate change is an extreme example. Here in Wellington Generation Zero and 350 Aotearoa are examples.
I’m getting ready to face the idea that the climate will be even less of an issue in this election than it was in the last one. That while few people (in my town at least) outwardly refute climate change their belief in the details around it are as vague as the man in the street’s concept of God. Which means, effectively, that they won’t think about it a great deal. After all, that’s what is the government is there for.
Once you turn to this issue though, and take a look at findings, you realise its getting very, very late. 2017 has been called ‘decade zero’ – the point at which events move beyond our control. You know, as I’m speaking to you now, that I won’t keep your attention for long. And to have started reading this you are in the choir anyway. Here’s a weird thing I do at these moments of despair. I think about the boy in the picture, Mark Baumer.
Mark was an astonishing, clever, courageous and deeply funny soul. He was also a much better man than me. I use the word boy because I’m old enough to be his dad and I know that the moment that photo happened he was very tired, in despair, and quite alone. And I wish I was there.
Take some time to look around his zany world. This is a young activist at the end of his rope. I’m so glad he existed on this planet and was able to find ways to dance through its horrors. If you can’t quite connect with his despair then watch the video on this page. Mark Baumer hates pipelines and progress. Where ‘progess’ appears to mean driving like we did in the 1950s. See how disconnected and broken this battle could make us.
Today I heard about Sarah Thomson, a 26 year old law student suing the government over its inaction. In case there’s any question our performance on climate change is ranked as inadequate and comes very close to the bottom of the list. Australia and the US are doing better than we are.
When someone predicts doom, its important to consider who is speaking. We’ve listened to talking heads speak endlessly of terrorist threats but the the opioid epidemic outpaces it one thousand to one. Likewise, we think the activists are just making trouble but many are careful people readily throwing themselves in the path because the stakes are that high.
My furby Solomon sleeps as I read this. He dreams of Mark Baumer saying ‘I found an orb so I guess the earth is saved‘. Solomon was purchased as a reminder for all who are distracted from the issue by the passing of their own wind.
Thanks you Sarah. And the Gen Zeros, and 350s. When Solomon and I come to town maybe we can do an interview. And as its says in The Handmaids Tale, illegitimi non carborundum.
And shine on Mark. You beautiful crazy diamond. I’m just so very glad you passed through.