Approaching The Edge: The huge problem facing the Greens is that no matter how loudly they trumpet their latest round of “concessions” from Labour and NZ First, in their heart-of-hearts they know they’re not making the slightest difference to the pace and extent of what is looking more-and-more like runaway climate change.
GREEN POLITICS has never been about business-as-usual. Green politics has always been about the salvation of the planet and the reclamation of the human soul from the talons of the Capitalist death-machine. To reduce Green politics to mere environmentalism is to betray a complete misunderstanding of its raison d’être.
Sadly and predictably, however, that is exactly what the majority of New Zealand’s political commentators are doing. They are heaping their praise upon the Green caucus for taking the party back-to-basics with wonderful new policies about re-cycling car tyres and paying ten bucks to whoever before dumping your rubbish.
As if New Zealanders (or, at least, those New Zealanders with a still-functioning brain) aren’t aware that even if the entire nation voluntarily reverted to a stone-age existence, then the rest of the planet would struggle to measure the environmental impact of its sacrifice. New Zealand’s contribution to Anthropogenic Global Warming, by way of CO2 and Methane emissions, comes in at approximately 1 percent of the total. So the best we could hope for, capitalist-death-machine-wise, is to maybe knock just a tiny chip or two off its talons. Nothing more.
This is, of course, a huge problem for the Greens. No matter how loudly they trumpet their latest round of “concessions” from Labour and NZ First, in their heart-of-hearts they know they’re not making the slightest difference to the pace and extent of what is looking more-and-more like runaway climate change.
Alright! Alright! Calm down! I know it’s probably better to do something than nothing. But, really, isn’t that all about polishing our armour before riding out to certain death? We’re not going to win, but hey, at least we’ll look suitably heroic as we lose!
Except, the self-inflicted psychic violence required for this political strategy to work will very quickly destroy the Green Party. If “being in government” means accepting that climate change will continue to run amok before their helpless eyes, while in caucus-room and cabinet committee they argue about whether or not to exclude methane from the greenhouse gasses the agricultural sector should be expected to pay for, then, seriously, they’re nuts. Pretending white is black and up is down is injurious to people’s physical and emotional health. A political party which willingly engages in such Orwellian “doublethink” is bound to become very sick, very fast.
Before you know it, they’ll be attempting to rehabilitate the word “cunt”.
Or, failing to understand the need for legislation designed to keep every member of the Green Party’s caucus focused on how best to address the looming climatic apocalypse. Tender consciences should alight from the bus immediately.
Far from striving to remain in government, the Greens should be taking themselves out of it. By all means vote down every attempt by the National Party and Act to unseat the Labour-NZ First coalition, but don’t dissipate your energies in an unseemly scramble for a handful of sticky crumbs. Those New Zealanders who understand how serious the threat of runaway climate change has become want to know that the Greens get it too.
There’s a chilling track from Laurie Anderson’s Big Science album in which the lines “This is your captain /We are going down” are repeated over and over. That’s what it feels like now, whenever we read the latest grim findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “We are going down.” When we study photographs of vast holes in the Siberian tundra caused by the explosive release of tons of methane gas: gas trapped for thousands of years beneath the frozen soil; soil which is relentlessly thawing. “This is your captain /We are going down.”
What the Greens need to be telling us, both here and all over the planet, is how humanity can rush the cockpit, seize the plane’s controls and pull it out of its current death-dive. Does that amount to a revolution? Of course it does! How could it not? Is there any truly sentient individual who doesn’t believe that only a global revolution in the way human-beings interact with this planet’s biosphere can save them – along with the tens-of-thousands of other species threatened by rapidly rising global temperatures?
A Green Party bent on saving the planet cannot be satisfied with a mere 5 percent of the votes. It’s target must be 99 percent. No deals, no coalitions, no memorandums of understanding: nothing less than complete control of humanity’s stricken aircraft.
What does that mean for a tiny country at the bottom of the world? It means remaining clear and consistent. It means waiting for people to hear through all the static the Greens’ uncompromising message. It means transforming this country into a megaphone of sufficient volume to reach the ears of every human-being ready to listen. It means turning New Zealand into the home of a Green “Comintern”. A place to which people come to receive the message of planetary salvation and the soul’s reclamation, and then head back out to spread it to everyone who is willing to listen.
With every passing year, the number of willing listeners will grow. It’s a race now, between humanity in the cockpit fighting to prise capitalism’s hands from the controls – and the ground.
This is your Green captain …..
This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Tuesday, 21 August 2018.
There is a great song by Cheech and Chong called "Earache My Eye" (1974).
The most memorable lines, from the Green Perspective are:
"The world's coming to an end/ I don't even care
As long as I can have a limo/ And my orange hair'"
This neatly sums up my view on all doomsday scenarios.
We need to embrace the kamikaze dive that humanity is taking.
Burn more fossil fuels! Cut down more rainforests! Nuke the whales1
This is a very confusing: Chris I'm sorry. You seem quite clear on what you think the Greens should do, but a bit less clear on specific actions country should take? We are already a hell of a lot more polluted than we claim, and a lot of this is due to farming practices no matter how they excuse and how they obfuscate about it. I discovered the other day we have feedlots. I thought all our meat was raised on good old grass and the like. And feedlots are simply areas of concentrated pollution – particularly in the US. So as a country are we just going to ignore it? Just because we are small?
I think we should definitely be doing something, and if as the Greens keep telling us, green solutions and businesses can actually increase revenue then we should be doing that. Whatever it is.
Our recycling is a joke, eventually we're going to have to do something about things like old tires and plastic. Why not start now? After all, recycling provides jobs and does increase the GDP – as does building prisons mind.
We keep promoting the place as clean and green, but people are beginning to see through that. Coupled with the expense of actually coming here, it's eventually going to decrease out tourist revenues as well.
And you know that the Greens are never going to get much of the vote. In or out of government.
We need to take care of our natural world that's for sure but the Greens hitching their wagon to AGW doesn't look like a great long term strategy either. It's been cancelled; the only effect of the increase in CO2 is positive with a growth in vegetation equal to twice the size of the USA. Severe weather events less in the past forty years than the prior forty and any measured warming generally consistent with the natural trend since the last glaciation and more recent mini ice age with all the terrifying predictions proving to be wrong or wildly exaggerated.
The Greens obviously have some very serious credibility issues, their propensity for outrageous grandstanding doesn't help. James Shaw's support for beneficiary cheating or M Davidson's idiotic rant about the C word only serve to confirm the common perception they're a bunch of deranged ideologues.
but the AGW issue is not a prio
The Greens were once described (I believe by Matthew Hooton) as a left wing party using the environment as a vehicle to get elected; a good question would be where are all the scientists & engineers on the Green bench in Parliament?... The truth is the Greens are a bunch of left wing kooks who aren't interested in environmental ideas that challenge their own belief system.
We'll have 2 billion more people living on this planet in 30 years; the issues energy production & resource (particularly food) requirements need people with pragmatism & technological know how to overcome.
In terms of energy the majority of you babyboomers need to let go of some of your old antiquated beliefs, yes we need to put a lot more resources into wind & solar..... but considering how much Thorium is laying around Westport it's high time New Zealand pushed the technology of sodium reactors run on Thorium (at the same time banning coal exports seeing we all share the same atmosphere would also be a good idea).
As we're the nation which gave the world Rutherford perhaps it's time, now that most people grudgingly believe the scientist, to actually allow those scientists & their engineer compatriots to play their part in being part of the solution to climate change.
We need pragmatic solutions ,& to cast aside nonsensical emotive arguments that hold us back.
The crystal healing mentality of the present Green party does not serve anybody outside of its own members on their MP salaries; a true environmental party should be capable of forming a coalition government with either main party. It's mantra should be "the environment IS the economy," it should be a party about creating jobs for scientists & engineers whose task is helping in building the future.
It's time for a true Green party that embraces Rutherford!
Serious weather events down? On what planet?
@ Guerilla Surgeon
Feedlots are not necessarily more polluting, though I think grassland farming is better on the whole, but if the feedlot is properly set up it provides the opportunity to dispose of or process waste in a controlled manner. Just like human shit is collected up and processed , (and then taken out of environmental circulation). Intensive grazing doesn't provide that opportunity. And if stocking rates are too high runoff of becomes a problem; and the damage to pasture on flat clay soils in winter of heavy cattle can be extreme. Feeding feedlot cattle imported palm kernel is another matter.
D J S
Which would also secure the Labour/NZ First alliance... But, given the 3000 comments to your free speech series and the 3 comments here to THE (IMMINENT) END the Greens' voice is...important. Vital. But who would listen to them outta govt, they didn't previously. And none of them are exquisite talkers, communicators. No Chomskys, Hitchens, Vidal or, even, Burkes. Oh, if only there was a little more furiosity, even if it ended in the House of Lords like Lloyd-George.
It's always a concern (or should be) when the MSM are all singing from the same song-sheet, when theories become dogma and when those questioning that dogma are regarded as heretics.
One such heretic is environmentalist and former Green Peace co founder Patrick Moore. A fascinating talk that may help foster a healthy skepticism or, at least proper debate on the AGW question.
Guerilla Surgeon, trawling the net to find data to support your specific argument is pointless. The stats you linked to are specific to one tiny part of the globe.
There is a slight decrease in extreme weather events gobally.
David. Fair enough. I have only seen feedlots in the US, and they were definitely not set up properly. I certainly wouldn't want to live downwind from one. All within 10 miles of one to be honest. I would like to believe that New Zealand ones were, but I don't have a huge amount of confidence that they would be. Or even if there were regulations about it that they would be adhered to by everyone.
it gets better (or worse) kiwidave
Kiwi Dave. You didn't actually provide any evidence at all. And the only links I can find by actual climate scientists say that:
1. Yes there is an increase in some extreme weather events and:
2. There isn't enough data coming from places like Africa to judge one way or the other in some others.
So do I believe them or some random guy on the Internet?
On reflection I think you are more than right. Have any of them been near a soapbox? Trimmers.
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