Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Global warming: NZ can and must act

by Auckland union activist 8 April 2009 A huge ice shelf in Antarctica is collapsing. See NZ rearranges deckchairs while ice shelf collapses This is more dramatic evidence that global warming is a reality. Yet still the right wing, who in the past denied that global warming was real and therefore we should do nothing, are still saying that we should still do nothing, because New Zealand's CO2 emissions are so small (less than 0.01% of world’s total) that curbing them will make no discernable difference and would just hurt business interests. But New Zealand can make a difference. When New Zealand declared itself Nuclear Weapons Free in 1987 the nuclear powers, in particular, the US, were so concerned that New Zealand's example could spread that they pressured and bullied Prime Minister Lange to make a globally circulated public statement that "this policy was not for export." Of course, people all over the world were inspired by NZ’s stance. And following our lead this policy was taken up within other Pacifica countries. The Fiji Anti Nuclear Group (FANG) in alliance with the powerful Fijian union movement was very influential, and influenced the anti-nuclear policy of the briefly elected Fiji Labour Party, before it was deposed by the US supported military coup in 1987. What NZ does is important. If we took serious steps to halt greenhouse gas emissions here, we could announce boldly that "this policy is for export". I’m sure we would be supported by our Pacifica neighbours and friends, who are already being directly affected by global warming. We can make a difference. A Climate Camp is being held at Parihaka 24-26 April. Participants will be discussing how to build a people's movement against climate change. Visit for more information. And for some background reading on NZ's nuclear-free policy read The Kiwi that Roared: Nuclear-Free New Zealand in a Nuclear-Armed World by Wade Huntley, an American academic.

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