At the outset of 2016, a group of British climate change activists protested the planned extension of what is already, the world’s most pollution engendering airport at Heathrow. They were arrested, charged and found guilty. This is an extract from a letter to The Guardian, written by the father of one of those arrested: He applauded his daughter’s action and referenced a famous scene from the film ‘The Railway Children,’ in which three children avert a railway disaster by warning the driver of an express train of a landslide on the line ahead.
“We are, all of us, on that express train. We are all hurtling towards climatic disaster. We have been warned by scientists. The authorities responsible for the railway are fully aware of the dangers. The passengers know, and the train driver knows. And still the train roars forward at full throttle, oblivious, yet knowing. The Heathrow protesters have tried again to warn us. They have stepped on to the runway, and they have waved their red flags. They have trespassed, and we should be grateful to them.”
Climate Karanga respects the courage and motivations of these protesters, but feels such dramatic and disruptive actions as stopping twenty-five flights into Heathrow, are only justified if they are likely to be effective. In a democracy, they are unlikely to be effective, until the majority of the community supports them – at which point, they are unlikely to be necessary, as the politicians will already have fallen into line.
Climate Karanga’s aim is to help New Zealand achieve that tipping point of personal conviction. That entails persuading New Zealanders to take responsibility for their individual actions in respect to climate change and their children’s future.
TOGETHER, EVERY DROP COUNTS.
A bucket of water is filled with a million drips. Millions of humans taking individual action to reduce their personal footprints on the planet and, yet, more effectively, using their votes to force national political leaders to do the same, will soon have the bucket overflowing. To quote from Lisa Bennett, one of the gurus of the climate protection movement “… being unable to do everything never reduces the meaning of doing something.” Under the “Add your Drop” button there are suggestions of individual actions to be taken.
The most effective contribution you can make is by having the courage to stand up and be counted. Another quote from Lisa Bennett:
“We are vulnerable to peer pressure, especially about things that confuse us. We can watch the news, see photos of melting glaciers, even experience changing weather patterns. But if our neighbors aren’t doing anything about climate change, we’re unlikely to do anything either because, as much as we hate to admit it, we are herd animals who use social cues to adapt to our environment, according to Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
And if you doubt how powerful this instinct is, consider the experiment Cialdini conducted in which his team hung four different kinds of flyers on people’s doorknobs in San Diego, with the goal of inspiring residents to reduce their energy consumption. Three of the flyers directly asked them to reduce their energy use, offering three different motivations: save money, save the environment, and benefit future generations. But none of these appeals made a significant difference. Only the fourth flyer did, which read simply: “The majority of your neighbors are undertaking energy-saving actions every day.” The lesson: Don’t be afraid to appeal to our instinct to fit in.”
WHO WE ARE
‘Climate Karanga Marlborough,’ (CKM) is unaffiliated to any political party. It was formed in mid-2015, by a group of Marlborough residents alarmed by the lack of attention being paid by local and national governmental bodies to the impending adverse effects of rapid climate change. The group’s first action was to organise Blenheim’s successful contribution to the multiple Climate Change marches that took place around the globe on the eve of the December climate change summit held in Paris.
The much heralded ‘success’ of the Paris summit, should give no cause for complacency (see ‘Complacency’ on the menu bar.) At Paris, New Zealand’s government made promises on behalf of all New Zealand citizens. CKM’s role is now to ensure the government not only keeps to its commitments but, given that it committed itself to less action than virtually any other developed country, increases its commitments to make New Zealand a more effective participant in the battle to save the planet for future generations.
THE CKM MISSION:
• To Boost awareness of the fast approaching adverse impacts of climate change, locally, nationally and globally.
• To advise, help and inspire New Zealand citizens to take responsibility for their individual actions in respect to climate change.
• To Lobby governmental bodies, starting with the Marlborough District Council, to be more pro-active in their contribution to the international effort to slow, halt and reverse, climate change.
• To Lobby governmental bodies to prepare the communities under their governance to adapt to the impending, and now inevitable, consequences of rapid climate change.
• To actively promote local initiatives that contribute to the above cause.
One vehicle, through which grass-roots democratic pressure will be exerted, is through the linked site at www.karangapledge.org.nz By signing one or both the pledges at this site you automatically are accepted as a member of CKM. Alternatively, if you wish to participate and become a member, but have an allergy to pledges, simply ask to join by sending an email to email@example.com
Currently, there are no membership fees and CKM is funded by whatever individual donations its members care to contribute. In the coming few months a conference of members will be held at which a formal constitution will be decided upon. At this stage, rules for membership and funding arrangements might change.
YOU ARE NOT POWERLESS: YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY. JOIN CKM AND MAKE YOUR STAND FOR EVERYONE’S FUTURE: add your drop to the bucket.
Several CKM members contributed to this site – and others are welcome to!
Bill McEwan: In May 2015 I got so concerned about the lack of awareness of climate disruption in Marlborough that I sat in the band rotunda, open to the elements, in central Blenheim for a week and fasted. I was joined by my 32 year old son Robbie and had the active support of my partner Lois Mead-McEwan. It was a karanga (call) to the people of my province to research and action. Climate Karanga Marlborough sprang from that action. I was born in Picton in 1944 and have degrees in agricultural science and theology. Reading Bill McKibben’s “The End of Nature” 20 years ago alerted me to the grave crisis we are facing, necessary solutions, humanity’s focus on the short term and the difficulty of global cooperation. Climate Karanga Marlborough provides me with the intellectual and ethical company necessary to continue to speak to our fellow citizens. I like to sail, camp, tramp, garden and read.
Budyong Hill. Born in Fiji, I have lived in NZ since 1975 and have been a Marlborough resident since 2011. I have been involved since Bill and Robbie first sat in the rotunda and started this ball rolling, resulting in the formation of Climate Karanga. I first met Bill in the early 1980’s when I took him and a group of Nelson people for a walk through the beautiful Fox River forests on the West Coast, which are now part of the Paparoa National Park. I have seven grandchildren and am convinced that climate change is a huge threat that we all have to face up to ASAP. I wrote the technical Q & A page.
Hugh Steadman. With my wife, Chris, and three young children, we moved from Yorkshire to Marlborough in 1985. Entering NZ under the then ‘Entrepreneurial Entry Scheme’ we went on to establish the Prenzel Distilling Company. Prenzel We now have four grandchildren all under the age of three and have become increasingly alarmed about the worrisome state of the world in which they will lead their lives. With experience in the British military and a degree in politics and international relations, I have started a blog at Khakispecs One of its major themes is the failure of political leadership to adequately address the impending climate modification that humanity has embarked on.
Marion Harvey. Born in Nelson in 1947, I trained as a teacher and taught in secondary schools in New Zealand, and in Kyoto, Japan, in 1990. For the last 15 years before I retired in 2008, I taught classes of refugee and new migrant students at Hagley Community College in Christchurch. I have been living in Marlborough Sounds with my husband since 2009. I have always loved the outdoors, am a keen gardener, walker, would-be tramper, camper, bird and tree enthusiast. Mother of two daughters and grandmother of five, I think there are huge concerns about the quality of life our children and future generations will have. I believe it is imperative that we face up to the threat climate change poses, and do everything we can to mitigate its impacts.
Mike Harvey. With my wife Marion I live in Mahau Sound where I spend my days reading, writing novels and making tracks in the bush. (My five grandchildren come looking for me.) For a substantial part of my life I worked as a social worker in which profession I held senior positions in organizations related to child, family, medical and mental health. My Masters papers in Sociology include Human Ecology and Social Change. Working from these perspectives and my professional background I am gearing my contribution to the issue of climate change towards helping to prepare for and offset the social and psychological impacts of global warming. Initially I am seeking to inform myself on how the social and psychological sciences are developing knowledge and prediction of what is and will be involved in this crisis.
Penny Wardle…is – among other things – a Marlborough-based journalist and communications consultant who seeks to reach people with the message that it’s a beautiful and diverse world. Let’s work together to keep it that way.
James Wilson. An empathy with the environment led my wife, Barbie, and I to pioneer Sabbatical Fallowing on our organic farm. I later became disenchanted with organic farming, as the reality dawned that livestock farming is a grossly inorganic activity. In the interests of the environment’s and our own health we adopted a vegan lifestyle seven years ago which, has dramatically reduced our global foot print. I am alarmed at the danger our seven grandchildren face with the increasing global warming being so willfully ignored by so many. It is heartening to belong to Karanga Climate Marlborough. (James is responsible for managing CKM’s steering group’s Loomio decision-making software. https://www.loomio.org/marketing )