Carnival Against Climate Change
Carnival Against Climate Change
Union leaders and activists from across the political spectrum are supporting tomorrow’s CLimaction Carnival Against Climate Change, that will block Queen Street to demand free and frequent public transport as a way of cutting Auckland’s greenhouse gas pollution.
Auckland Green MP Sue Bradford today wished the organisers of Saturday’s Climaction all the best for their rally in Queen St to mark International Climate Change Day on Saturday.
“Lack of action by Government and industry means it’s time for the whole community to come together to raise awareness of the need to take serious sustained action on the issue now, and to talk together about solutions that we will actually make happen.
“The time for ambivalence and inaction is past, and the Green Party welcomes support from all quarters for its longterm campaign to get New Zealandto fulfil its international and planetary obligations to ‘turn down the heat.’
Auckland Regional councillor Robyn Hughes sent an Open Invitation to other elected local body representatives urging them to join a ClimAction "civil disobedience" carnival and debate on climate change in the middle of Queen St. "ClimAction is adopting Martin Luther King's tactics of peaceful civil disobedience to promote public debate and action on climate change, which is the human survival issue of the 21st century," said Robyn Hughes.
"Taking over a section of Queen Stfor a few hours will spotlight the central problem of greenhouse gas exhaust fumes.
"To those who might say an elected councillor should always obey the road rules, I would reply: 'Tackling climate change so that humanity survives into the next century is more important than breaching some road rules for a couple of hours. Anyway, if more decisive measures on global warming aren't taken, Queen St may be under water in a generation or two, and then we will be swimming, not obeying road rules.'
"By forewarning people that a section of Queen St near Aotea Squarewill be a no-go area for vehicles for several hours from 1pmon Saturday, 4 November, motorists can avoid holdups by choosing an alternative route.
"I was elected to the AucklandRegional Council on the RAM (Residents Action Movement) ticket," said Robyn Hughes. "Over the last few years, RAM has been campaigning for 'free and frequent buses' across our region, a call that has been meeting with growing public sympathy. So I embrace ClimAction's call for 'free and frequent public transport'.
"And RAM supports ClimAction's call for 'system change, not climate change'. We must make radical social changes if humanity and other species are to survive the unprecedented chaos of climate change."
NDU National Secretary Laile Harre also
wished the Climaction protesters will on the day-
As awareness of climate change grows, the kind of TINA (there is no alternative) thinking that gave neo-liberalism the upper hand in the 80s and 90s must not be allowed to shut down a debate among the worlds people around the fair and democratic management of limited resources. Economists and management consultants will tell us that only the market can tackle this crisis. After years of market-driven waste and inequality, giving the market the power to fairly allocate the atmosphere would be like getting the Managing Directors of Foodstuffs and Progressive to set the minimum wage.
Fala Haulangi, a unionist active with the SFWU’s CLeanstart campaign for cleaners, spoke of her anger that many Pacific Islands will be completely flooded within decades-
I fully support the International Climate Change Day on Saturday for the following reasons:
1. As a Tuvaluan who lives in New Zealand, global warming has always been a concerm for me and my people because Tuvalu and its people are going to be the first victim of global warming. In 50 years time Tuvalu is going to disappear from this planet. Not because of our choice. This makes me angry and very sad beause we are going to be the first environmental refugees and are forced to go somewhere else which is not the same as HOME.
2. As a union organiser for Service & Food Workers Union / Clean Start campaign we support Climaction because we need free and frequent public transport in Auckland as an environmentally responsible policy that will have major benefits for the working poor who rely mainly on buses and cannot afford a car.
If we are serious about saving the environment, then it is time for the whole community to come together and do something. Talking time is over, it is time for Action Now.
Mike Treen, Auckland Secretary for the Unite Union and a leading activist with Global Peace and Justice Auckland, also pledged his support-
It is welcome that the need to confront global warming is becoming mainstream common sense. What is disturbing is that the solutions being offered - taxes and carbon trading - offer no way forward and will penalise the poor.
Carbon taxes will increase the price of petrol which will be paid for by those using company cars but hit workers who lack adequate public transport. The obvious start is to have a massive increase in public transport available at little or no cost to the user. When that is in place we can think of taxes to encourage greater use not before.
While the World
Bank estimates the value of the global carbon market nearly
doubled from $11 billion in 2005 to $21.5 billion in 2006,
there was no equivalent global increase in carbon emission
reductions. In fact, they argue, as the carbon market has
soared, global greenhouse gas emissions have continued to
rise - a stark indication that a more
pragmatic and direct approach to cutting emissions is urgently needed.
These "market-based" so-called solutions only entrench existing problems, enrich the already rich countries and individuals while discriminated against the poor. We need an alternative that penalised the corporate polluters while protecting the poor. That will require democratic social and economic planning on a national and international scale - the world can't be left to corporate markets to fix.
Finally, Joe Carolan, a central organiser with the Climaction Coalition and a member of Socialist Worker, warned the powers that be that this would be the first of many Climactions over the next few months to spur them into radical action-
Äl Gore is meeting the business elite of Auckland on November 14th. We think big business is the problem, not the solution to climate change, and we will be organising a people’s assembly outside the Business School where he is speaking, challenging Gore to come and talk to the people and debate why need a massive system change to halt climate change. Kyoto and greenwashed capitalism is not enough- we need a revolutionary transformation of economic and political priorities with in a decade. We invite people to this assembly as a chance to debate with Gore what possible solutions are needed to the many problems he raises in his otherwise excellent film.
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A recent report by Oxfam and coalition partners warns of the devastating impact on the poorest people in Africa. It comes after strong calls from Pacific leaders for urgent action to avoid their countries being submerged.
Climate change is already having serious impacts on peoples' lives across Africa, and is set to get much worse unless urgent action is taken according to a new report from a coalition of UK development and environment agencies. The report is released in the run up to the next week's UN Conference on Climate Change in Nairobi.
The report, "Africa - Up in Smoke 2", is based on the latest available scientific research and evidence from those living on the front line of global warming. It shows that climate change is already having serious impacts on peoples' lives across Africa - and is set to get much worse unless urgent action is taken.
Africa is already warmer by 0.5C than it was 100 years ago, putting extra strain on water resources. According to the UK's Hadley Centre, temperature increases over many areas of Africa will be double the global average increase, and drought patterns stand to worsen catastrophically.
The coalition calls for rich countries to make good their promises to reduce greenhouse gases made at Kyoto and go beyond them. It also calls for an overhaul of humanitarian relief and development, for donors to fund urgent measures to help communities adapt to a new and more erratic climate, and for donors and African governments to tackle poverty and invest in agricultural development.
Speaking at the Pacific Islands Forum earlier this month, Mr. Anote Tong, President of Kiribati said that rising sea levels would create countless environmental refugees. Kiribati is an archipelago of coral atolls that rise barely two meters above sea level, and together with Tuvalu, is one of the Pacific countries most at risk. Elsewhere in the Pacific, the impacts of climate change are already being felt. On the main island, Tarawa, the population is being squeezed onto an ever narrower strip of land between the lagoon and the sea.
Oxfam New Zealand's Executive Director Barry Coates says, "Climate change is no longer a theory. It is already having an impact, especially in low lying areas of the developing world. The Pacific is already suffering from problems of fresh water salination, increased frequency and severity of cyclones and sea level rise. It has the potential to have a devastating impact on the Pacific. The victims will be those vulnerable communities who have no way to protect themselves, no resources or social security to fall back on and nowhere else to go."
Commenting on this week's publication of the Stern review on the economics of climate change, Coates adds, "The desperate sense of urgency that runs through this report must be matched by immediate government action. The international community's blinkers have to come off--not only will immediate action on climate change save money in the future, but it will also save lives in the world's poorest countries today. The New Zealand government needs to take a strong stand at next week's conference in Nairobi, not only to make New Zealand a sustainable society, but to use our influence on the international stage to avoid devastating impacts on the lives of our Pacific neighbours and millions of vulnerable people in the poorest communities of the world."
Saturday November 4 is the International Day of Action on Climate Change, with public events planned around the country. In Auckland a range of environmental and social justice groups are hosting a carnival at Aotea Square starting at 1pm. Wellington will have a full day of climate change films, workshops and activities at the Paramount Theatre starting at 11am.