4500 ways in 174 countries to send a 350 message


350.org‘s planetary day of action is well under way, with schools actions happening all over New Zealand — that’s Remuera Intermediate above, taking their jumpers off for climate action. Tomorrow’s the big day, with over 130 350 Aotearoa actions scheduled all round the country. You can find one near you at 350.org.nz. Lend a hand. Send a message.


This is Jane Filemu, a 9 year-old Samoan girl taking part in 350 Islands For Change, an Oxfam-organised action at Takapuna beach in Auckland today. With Pacific Island nations being hung out to dry by the developed world, islanders waded out to a giant washing line and hung up 350 tee-shirts, each printed with the name of an island. Jane hung up the final shirt, recited a poem and then told the crowd:

“I have a choice to be one of many, to make a better world for the future of Aotearoa, Pasifika, our planet. Everyone has the power to choose wrong or right. Family, we can work together, we can make a change. Alofa, Aroha, Peace!”

My action? Colin King MP is turning up to open Amberley Farmers Market’s summer season. I’ll be having a chat to him about climate reality. 350 words, at the very least (and the mayor won’t escape either). 😉

Colbert v McKibben: physics and chemistry don’t haggle…

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bill McKibben
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Bill McKibben in the lion’s den: 350 ways to tame the Colbert Nation. Brave man — but the plug for October 24th is an effective one. Check here for NZ events…

[H/T to Whoar]

To boldly go…

targetThis article was first published in The Press on July 16. It’s a less technical version of my thoughts on where the government should pitch New Zealand’s emissions targets.

Climate change minister Nick Smith began his 2020 emissions target meeting in Christchurch last week by quoting Professor Ross Garnaut, the man who laid the foundations for Australia’s climate policy:

“Climate change is a diabolical policy problem. It is harder than any other issue of high importance that has come before our polity in living memory”.

Garnaut was right. Global warming is certainly a big problem — there are none bigger — and there are three factors that make it so difficult to deal with. For a start, it’s a truly global problem. A solution is in no one country’s hands — it requires all the nations of the earth to work together, in itself a heroic challenge. Secondly, we have to act now to prevent the worst effects, even though we won’t see the benefit for decades. If we wait for climate change to bite, it will already be too late to stop terrible damage. And if that weren’t hard enough, we also have to make a fundamental change in the way we fuel our economies, ending our reliance on oil, coal and gas. The Devil’s own problem, indeed.

Continue reading “To boldly go…”

350 ways to leave a mark

mckibben.jpg The Wanaka gig went well: a full house in the rather lovely “Crystal Palace” (a tent that thinks it’s a cross between a Victorian pub, a circus big top and a night club), to hear Bill McKibben and yours truly discuss the likely impacts of climate change on NZ and the world. Bill’s afternoon session was excellent, as he described the genesis and growth of 350.org, and the important role it has to play in the run up to the Copenhagen K2 climate meeting — giving the world’s politicians the popular backing to go for steep emissions cuts. This interview with Bill at Yale’s Environment 360 (10 ppm too many…) gives a good flavour of what he covered, but I would urge NZ readers to go and hear him for yourselves. There’s a full list of his talks here at the 350.org.nz site (Christchurch Friday May 1 at 9am, then Wellington in the evening, Raglan and Hamilton over the weekend, and finally Auckland on Monday – full details at the preceding link). It’s a pity we couldn’t get him in front of the ETS Review committee. Now, how do I come with a creative way to underline the 350 message come October 24th…? All suggestions gratefully received, or sign up and organise something yourself.