This is an acknowledgement of Greta Thunberg’s climate change protest movement. It is also an acknowledgement that simply willing her and her movement to shut up and go away is simply not going to happen and – despite my reservations about how New Zealand is/is not tackling climate change – it would be a bad thing for youth if it did.
Ms Thunberg and those helping make her campaign possible have done an A+ job of mobilizing the youth of the world along with a lot of adults. The young Pakistani lady Malala inspired human rights activists, but Malala did not succeed in a large scale mobilization of youth despite being only a similar age to Ms Thunberg when she was shot.
Ms Thunberg’s job is not finished. Not by a long shot. Now that the protesters are mobilized, the challenge will be to keep going and convince the politicians that this is an issue that we are running out of time to make a meaningful attempt at resolving.
But now that the activists are mobilized and demanding change, there is a major question looming on the horizon. It is one that I honestly do not think policy makers, analysts or the sectors that are going to be affected by the change being demanded have addressed. In fact I wonder how many of them have even thought about it?
Who is going to do the planning? Who is going to work out all of the areas that are going to be affected and establish meaningful contact with the leaders in those sectors?
Do they even know how to start? Maybe, maybe not. So here is a suggestion on what they do, except I expect it to be much more advanced planning than the brief S.W.O.T. analysis I have done below:
- More than just an environmental gain to be had
- Social justice and better equality
- Economic gains
- Partisan politics
- Divisive individual voices
- Little thought currently been given to associated planning matters
- Passing legislation and enacting it takes time
- Lack of long term vision
- Green tech
- Not all solutions have to complex or costly
- Opportunities for significant job creation
- Biofuel industry?
- Conservative denialism
- Anti-science and anti-technology agendas on the left
- N.I.M.B.Y.’ism from some environmentalists for certain infrastructure
- Political corruption
- Lack of trust in data
A plethora of questions can arise out of this, such as (but definitely not limited to):
- How will we go about establishing steering groups to manage different aspects of the planning – I see one for the social planning such as getting schools, hospitals and essential services off oil and gas, one for the broader economy, one for industry, one for law makers, a third for public input; who will oversee these individual groups.
- What time table are we going to working towards – the 2030 time frame by which it will be too late or the 2050 timetable for getting New Zealand off oil and gas?
- Who will work with individual sectors to identify their needs and help develop work around’s that are acceptable to government policy?
I wish Ms Thunberg and her campaign all the best, but I hope that the adults will talk to the protesters in good time about the need for a multi-partisan response. I hope that they talk about the compromises needing to be made. I hope that it is made known that the same science that is showing such alarming carbon readings can be the basis for some great social, environmental, economic and technological outcomes.
But to do that, we have to have a blue print of how to go forward.
And right now we have nothing.