Catching up on emails I noted one from a new advocacy group, launched this week, Generation Zero www.generationzero.org.nz.
I would have thought it deserved some media coverage but despite a cute photo op outside Parliament, it looks like this only appears to date on their Facebook page.
Good on them for putting the effort into getting up the website. Generation Zero are calling for zero carbon emissions by 2050 and binding targets en route. NZ’s current goal? 50%. of 1990 levels. On current tracking we have about as much chance of reaching that as our 2020 commitment of reducing to 10 or 20 percent below 1990 emission levels. (In fact we are increasing.) Across the ditch, Julia Gilliard’s carbon tax has set a 80% reduction target. And Britain’s Tory government has a similar goal. In fact there, it’s bipartisan.
Yet Gillard’s plan is going down like a bucket of sick under the constant attacks of Tony Abbott (who bowled former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull because he tried to back Labor’s earlier wider-ranging, less subsidising ETS.)
Generation Zero’s guru is James Hansen, who visited here recently. I’m currently reading the book he has devoted to his grandchildren – effectively Generation Zero.
As Australia illustrates, the politics and potential outcomes of this debate are horrible. Attempts to encourage/require change from our carbon-fueled lifestyles are politically fraught; not doing so puts the very existence of Generation Zero – and their grandchilren – at extreme risk.
If you want examples of our own Julia or Tony choices, look to the differences between Labour and National on agriculture in the ETS or whether lignite mining in Southland should proceed.