Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sometimes you have to read the scary stuff

This BBC article on methane already seeping from the Arctic is more than a little alarming. Especially given the way that the general pattern with climate research updates seems to be - every few months - 'actually it's worse/happening faster than we thought'.

There's more commentary on the new methane escape findings here.

I hate thinking about this stuff. It makes my heart start pounding painfully if I linger on it, or think too deeply about it. So I kind of half-think about it; let it sink in just enough to remind myself that this is important, but not enough that I start having a panic attack in front of the computer.

But lately I've been thinking I'm not thinking about it enough. And I'm not taking enough action. And I've been feeling frustrated that other people aren't thinking about it - the people who reckon that it's okay for NZ to have a conditional 10-20% emissions target because we're just a small nation in the global scheme of things.

(By that logic - every town across every LARGE nation in the world could also say, it doesn't matter if OUR town acts, because we are just one small place and our actions won't make a difference. It's an artificial, illogical, and dangerous way to break it down - to think just in terms of big and small nations.)

I'm trying to spend a bit of time when I can on Transition Towns. (The personal is political.) I've joined Sign On, and I've taken very small actions.

But none of it feels enough. (Although I think joining Sign On, although a small thing, is really important - it's the most co-ordinated and effective public climate action campaign in NZ - and 'signing on' to that campaign is a particularly effective use of your name.)

What else? What else can be done?


Rimu said...

Yeah that's pretty scary.

Greenpeace knows that online petitions carry no weight with politicians, so I don't know what they're doing with the whole SignOn thing. Maybe it's just an email address harvesting exercise.

Johanna Knox said...

Hi Rimu - I'm interested in your comments on the Sign On campaign, and I take your point, but it seems like a really good public awareness raising thing to me.

The numbers of people signed on to it are important - maybe not to politicians - but to other members of the public - to see the interest growing and think that maybe it's an issue they need to start considering more ... if you see what I mean?

What do you think? I've been mulling over this a bit over the past few weeks, and am thinking that a general public apathy is a huge and frustrating obstacle to emissions targets and action on climate change more generally.

Being in Wgtn and working and socialising alongside people who are concerned with climate change on a daily basis, I think I don't get to witness and feel the enormous apathy that actually exists out there ... anything that battles that (on as large a scale as possible) I reckon is hugely valuable ...


Rimu said...

Yeah you're right. Anything that raises awareness should not be sneezed at.

I ran across a blog post tonight which reminded me of this blog post. Here it is

Fear is the only darkness

Anonymous said...

Hi Johanna
I have been trying to get an email to you.
regarding NCHENZ
are you able to send me an email
Thank you

joepotter-butler said...

The "we're-a-small-nation-so-what-we-do-is-unimportant" theory seems to me analagous to the "one-vote-doesn't-make-a-difference-in-an-election" theory.

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