GUEST BLOG: Finn Jackson – Won’t get fooled again



I am sixteen, a radical environmentalist, who is sick and tired of the total lack of leadership shown by governments around the world on tackling climate change.

Why? What is so hard to grasp about it? Burning the world’s supply of Gas, Oil and Coal will release massive amounts of Carbon Dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere. These gases will create a blanket around the earth. This blanket will not allow heat to escape.

Result? The atmosphere heats up.

My friends and I, how do we feel about this? We are the ones who will have to live through all this, we will have to deal with the consequences, we will have to live with it.

With what?

We will be the ones who are charged with cleaning up after our forebears. Ever cleaned a teenagers room? Imagine that on a global scale. In one corner, instead of a pile of old clothes, there will be mountains of waste from the mining industry. In another, piles of dead animals, plants and people.

We do not want to be the worlds cleaners. Have you ever told someone to help clean, because it takes a much shorter amount of time with more than one person? Why can’t the gutless UN Climate Chiefs and cowardly Government agencies actually do something other than sit on their backsides waiting for their next paychecks and the next election? It drives me crazy, the fact you care more for your own pockets and power than you care for the future of the entire planet.

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What does it matter if you get thrown out for doing something “Radical”? If humanity survives, you will be remembered as a hero who put the good of the people above your own personal gain. Otherwise, you will fade into that large pile of cowardly, gutless people who never did anything.

How does my generation feel about Climate change? Well, basically, while you’re worrying about your pension fund, and whether your retirement home will overlook the beach, we are worrying about whether we will live to be old enough to even pull in a pension. And forget about a house overlooking the beach, we will be lucky to have a house that isn’t flooded by the end of the century.

To all the government leaders who fly off to lord it over the tropical beaches: In thirty years time a lot of those island paradises will have been utterly swamped. We will never be able to sit on a tropical beach with white sand and turquoise water. The closest we will be able to come to that is sitting on a pile of dirt as we watch the water pass by, too polluted for human contact.

Why can’t you just get off your behinds and actually do something beneficial for the planet? Actually do at least part of your job competently. And yes, I am talking directly to you here, Amy Adams and Simon Bridges.

Simon, what is the point of opening up an area the size of Japan for oil drilling, when we all know it’s just going to run out? And don’t give me that spin of “Foreign investors are queuing up to invest in New Zealand”. It’s rubbish. they are queuing up to rip off our country so they gain a few more measly dollars. It’s pathetic. If I, a sixteen year old can see that, you don’t have a hope in hell of convincing anyone else.

I ask you all: What is more important; Your grandchildrens lives, or the temporary illusion of wealth?

Mull that over for a bit.


My name is Finn Jackson. I turned sixteen this year. I was born into a family of journalists who were very involved in politics. Since birth I have been surrounded by talk of Mayoralty Campaigns and election stratergies. This has influenced my entire life, and has prompted me recently to join the movement for change.


  1. Good on you Finn, keep the pressure on. Every extra person speaking out on this helps elevate the conversation & force our contrived leadership to engage on this.

    • Gives me a glimmer of hope to know that there are some thinking 16 yr olds out there ..if only all kids had the up bringing like yours ..imagine the difference ..the world would be.

      chrs to you my friend

  2. How does my generation feel about Climate change? Well, basically, while you’re worrying about your pension fund, and whether your retirement home will overlook the beach…..

    While it is laudable that you are concerned about the future of humanity and the earth, I think you need to check your own privilege, when you make these kinds of comments, Finn. Maybe the people in your social circle are worrying about retirement homes that overlook the beach, but they are a small, privileged minority of our people as a whole and a minority also of the middle-aged.

    Many of us are very worried about our and our families’ survival and the sustainablitlity of that survival, right now. Unemployment and underemployment are sky high, wages are pitifully low and making ends meet, right now is a constant, demoralising struggle for many many people.

    My point is that the shit has already hit the fan for a big portion of the people you are making these generalisations about and the present as well as the future is bleak

    I don’t know where you are – Grey Lynn? St Mary’s Bay? Ponsonberry? but look out the window.

    I’m looking out of my window looking at a whole lot of state houses – homes to people who are looking down the barrel of being chucked out with few resources, and in many cases, nowhere else to go.

    What do you see?

    • My son Finn feels so strongly about caring for people that he has decided to put his energy into working for change. We live in Christchurch, close to the February 22, 2011, earthquake epicentre that hammered our city, our suburb, our little house, our whanau.

      A child of privilege? Not at all. A young man with a social conscience? Definitely. I am proud of Finn that he is able to see a bigger picture than the immediate discomforts and stresses that living in a disaster zone has brought upon nearly a quarter of his life.

      Reducing climate change to an either/or issue is at best naive: those people in the state houses you “overlook” will be among the early casualties of climate change as the competition for resources intensifies.

      Alsome, if you are going to attempt to scythe a columnist at the knees for stating their opinion, do have the guts to put your name to your posts.

      Otherwise the rest of us will see your comments for what they are: bullying, cowardly, and quite possibly a trolling threadjack to divert the discussion on topics you do not wish to be discussed.

    • Alsome, you completely missed Finn’s point. Finn was pointing out how our main two political parties are debating over who gets the pot of gold in 5 years time…which in effect wrecks the hopes of future generations.
      I read Finn’s well articulated argument as an attack on our ideology and parliamentary system.
      Don’t take it personally Alsome. Unless of course you vote based on your personal circumstances in 5 years time, because if you do vote based on your personal circumstances in 5 years time, then you’re the problem.

      *And well said Sharon Murphy! Finn reminds me of a lot of millennials I have met. I think the views put forward by Finn are fairly common with our younger generations. I know its normal for generations to hate on the next, but I think our younger generation coming through now is far more ethical than the boomers or my generation – gen x

    • What he sees are the destroyed houses in ChCh! With people living in garages and tents! He was talking about the Simon Bridges of this world and the top 1% that have all the wealth, they are the ones promoting the mining, drilling and selling fossil fuels to make the rich richer. I think you need to relook at yourself and re-read the very concisely written piece that is based on fact and truth

  3. Oh, they’ve mulled it over quite a bit already and are going for short term wealth and as much as possible, thank you. That’s why we need to kick their asses out.

  4. Well done Finn, what an amazingly well written piece, you are indeed talented. You have hit the nail on the head with the rich getter richer at the expense of the environment and no care for the future or future generations you have a right to be annoyed and to be heard, well done young man…our future is in great hands and I hope there are a lot more like you coming along.

  5. Very well written piece Finn, clearly you spend a lot of time and energy thinking about our world, your place in it and crafting the literary picture to get your point across. As long as we have young people in our world with that level of understanding of it -we have hope. I loved your analysis of Bridges spin, very astute. Looking forward to seeing more of your work. Don’t ever go into politics Finn, keep up alongside it with the writing, document it, it lasts longer!

  6. Mate,
    I think the vast majority of the population agrees with you. Now tell us what we can do to help. Donate? Imagine if everyone on the planet was to donate $100 then there would be a large pool of money. But how will that pool of money change the course of climate change? Should everyone stop using their cars? Try implementing that! Should the government penalise industries who pollute to such an extent that they are forced to change or close down? Take the dairy industry for example. Cows pooing, farting and burping all contribute to the global problem. What if we penalize them and put the farmers either under duress or out of business. The positive effects on climate change would be infinitesimal when compared to the economic damage to the country. I’m not knocking your argument. I’m simply asking for a positive practical solution. Come up with the answer and you will have followers beyond number. You will be the hero who saved the Earth and I’ll be your number one disciple. Simply tell me what I can do and explain to me how that action will help.

    • This is so unfair Grant. Finn is 16, and you are demanding that he single-handedly solve one of the biggest crises facing humanity? As you imply, this is an issue that requires long-term vision, and well organised collective action across the planet. Finn is demanding that all the politicians, bureaucrats, diplomats, and executives contribute something to this effort to justify their 6 figure salaries and multi-million dollar Christmas bonuses and golden parachutes. His demand is not only reasonable, but under the circumstances, far too moderate.

      Finn, the awake among your generation are going to have to do the same thing the awake of my generation (born late 70s/ early 80s), and the awake of the Boomer generation have done. Question everything, protest, occupy, blockade, publish, communicate, and never be afraid of being called a radical or an extemist by the mouthpieces of the 1% – this is a sign you are doing the right thing. Kia kaha e hoa!

  7. In a byegone era not that long ago truth be told there were way more Finns (and Sineads)..
    They also did actually care more about what they saw happening around them that could or would potentially affect their futures too.
    Far more about than what back then was the equivalent of the latest app, game or social fad..
    A few of them grew to be the very frightening ‘elite’ who are doing just as you say Finn, no matter how humble we are told their ‘starts’ were.. John Key, Paula Bennett etc..
    Far more however have indeed long since given up on the Kiwi ( Western) dream of ever owning their own house let alone a bach or hanging on to either, if lucky enough to have had employment to own them or keep them for their children which is rapidly disappearing too

    The majority though have children or grandchildren who looking at it here now, would appear to have no chance of either.
    No chance at all ..
    Some of us though do still believe it can be achievable again and seeing young people like you give us hope..

    Talking to your peer groups before you are even eligible to vote the killers out.. The killers of dreams you deserve to be able to make come true just as some of us did, will help no end, encouraging your older peers to vote this year too..

    Once you are old enough to vote, people like you will lead and be followed..

    Never let anyone dampen that spirit or crush that resolve.. The next step I am sure you will have already taken, is to be part of the strategists who work out how to stop things like the TPPA etc now and how to provide the alternatives many of which we already know, worked well before the terrible blight called Neoliberalism spread like the cancer it is now
    Before people were viewed just as expendable human resources, and our beautiful world’s assets ‘commodities’ to be mercilessly and shortsightedly plundered, stripped and ruined, it was better. I still remember it..
    Let us not let it get, as you warn to the generations of the future who will have nothing..
    If yo haven’t ever seen the movies *one or two of the scariest for me in hindsight are beginning to look like reality if they are not stopped..Reality not parodies of the *MadMax world those of us who have always cared about and spoken up about too even as we have aged thought would never really happen.
    But they are beginning to ;-)..

    Massive respect to you and your Mum by the way….
    If you are ever up in Auckland for a visit.. please do let us know..

    • OMG! It officially no longer matters how much votes each party gets after the election, because the grand coalition of National and Labour will continue to outvote everyone else in supporting the pro-corporate status quo. Unless of course National and Labour were to have less than 50% of the vote between them. For that to have any chance of happening though, every Labour and National supporter who wants to see something done about climate change is going to have to punish those parties for letting corporations extract fossil fuels from our environment, by voting for someone else who pledges to vote against fossil fuel mining.

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