A good turn out in Wellington and Christchurch was dragged down by a mediocre turn out in Auckland for this weekends climate change protests…
Rain clouds bursting in Auckland meant many of the 15,000 protesters gathering in Albert Park had to run for the trees. But after a wet start the sun emerged just in time for the march to begin at 11am.
Another 8000 people hit the Christchurch streets and 7000 Wellingtonians marched on Parliament at lunchtime.
…this is surprising because the enormity and severity of what we are facing with climate change demands radical and immediate change. Let’s be clear, the latest research shows that things are far worse than the IPCC has concluded and what is happening in real time is the beginnings of tipping points becoming feedback loops. In short we can’t stop dramatic climate change and it will be hard to prevent catastrophic climate change. That’s the science settled reality, but the turn out suggests people don’t understand or appreciate the severity of the situation.
There are a couple of reasons why:
– NZ has one of the highest proportions of climate deniers in the developed world and NZers famed reluctance to think beyond talkback radio cements this.
– Mainstream media is far more interested in promoting clickbait infotainment minus the info and bait so this climate denial ignorance becomes empowered rather than challenged.
– This is a defacto Green Party demo and the Greens aren’t strong in Auckland.
– Poor communication of the event and the decision to put a climate change protest up against the Grey Lynn Festival suggests a terrible blunder.
This lack of connection between wider groups is partly because of the split nature of the social media bubble and partly because the Left in Auckland doesn’t have enough clear leadership.
This lack of populist reach was spelled out in a guest blog this week that asked some of the same questions when looking at the Activist Bootcamp and Step It Up conferences.
The climate change protests in the weekend managed to highlight more weaknesses than strengths.