|Dear Wise Response Appeal Signatories
This is an update on the Wise Response Appeal and other WR initiatives.
Incorporation of Wise Response
To become a more effective force for change and assist with fund raising etc we have decided to adopt a more formal structure and we are now in the process of incorporating Wise Response. The rules state:
The purpose of the Society is to persuade the New Zealand Parliament, Government and New Zealand society in general to confront and respond effectively to any confirmed threats arising from the question "As demand for growth exceeds earth’s physical limits causing unprecedented risks, what knowledge and changes do we need to secure New Zealand’s future wellbeing?"
If you are receiving this newsletter then you will have registered in support of the NZ Risk Appeal. So this is to invite you to also become a member of Wise Response Society Inc and help the new organisation achieve its purpose. To join please sign up at our website. There is no membership fee.
Risk Appeal to Central Government
The petition and appeal were presented in Parliament grounds on 9 April. It was formally presented in the House by Moana Mackey, Labour Party spokesperson on the Climate Change, Environment and Science, and given a big plug by Dr Kennedy Graham of the Green Party in the House. We expect it will be referred to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee but have no control over when that will happen. Wise Response will submit in person to the committee when it does.
The post-presentation meeting with interested persons was very helpful. It resulted in a list of suggested actions which we are continuing to work through. One, for example, was concern that our school curriculum does not seriously question the assumption behind BAU that growth is good and can go on forever.
Meanwhile we are continuing to seek support for the Appeal from Local Governments, organisations and individuals so we can update the Select Committee on the level of support at the hearing.
Also raised at the Wellington meeting was the idea of mounting a legal challenge against Government for failure to confront risks listed in our Appeal. Subsequent legal advice is that the simplest and least-costly method to pursue in the first instance is to submit policy to the Otago Regional Council's Regional Policy Statement review.
We will prepare a suite of specific policies that meet WR objectives for adoption. They will be based around the "precautionary principle" which is in the new National Coastal Policy Statement and include matters like genuinely planning for limits, minimising risk and anticipating an "allocation and service" economy. To provide evidence for the proposed policies, we will assemble a strong expert team from amongst our supporters.
If this is successful we believe it will set a precedent that can be used to require similar policies in Regional Policy Statements for other regions. Given its potential significance, we will be seeking support from other organisations. Our preliminary submission (PDF) may be viewed at the ORC website - Wise Response is number 99 - and we welcome comment.
Election Candidates under the Spotlight
For those of you in Dunedin, Wise Response is supporting two pre-election public meetings
- The Politics of Climate Change: An Election Debate”on the 28 July, 5.30-6.30 at Archway Theatre, University of Otago. Labour and Greens have confirmed their attendance but National attendance has not yet been secured. You are invited to send questions you would like to be asked of the candidates to email@example.com before 15 July.
We have been asked what hard questions we should be putting to candidates and have listed some ideas at the end of this newsletter.
- "Meet the Candidates" evening: Tuesday, September 2 at 7.30pm in the Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum. Co-sponsored with Forest & Bird, Fish & Game, and Sustainable Dunedin.
Wise Response at EDS Conference
The Environmental Defence Societies annual conference is called NAVIGATING OUR FUTURE: Addressing risk and building resilience, Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland, 5-7 August 2014. Committee member Dr Janet Stephenson is involved with the conference and will present a Wise Response Poster Paper. So if you are going, do look out for her!
The WR Committee would like to encourage all of you to do what you can to promote support for the non-partisan "Climate Voter" initiative. Its sponsored by GenerationZero WWF, Forest and Bird, 350.org, Greenpeace and Oxfam, http://www.climatevoter.org.nz/. The website says:-
Being a Climate Voter means you care about climate change and you want all political parties to do something about it. It means you want real action on climate change and you’re prepared to use your vote to get it. It says you support strategies to rapidly phase out fossil fuels and grow New Zealand’s clean energy and low-carbon potential.
In the lead up to the elections they plan to put a series of questions to political parties on where they stand on Climate change and will hold a live debate.
MiStory - Fundraiser For Wise Response
Wise Response committee member, Philip Temple, has written a new novel that traverses the territory of concern to the group.
The Website says "In this gripping novel, underpinned by wide research, award-winning author Philip Temple tells a tale of life at mid-century and reveals what the future may hold if we ignore the threats that face us and carry on with ‘business as usual’. Philip’s last novel The Mantis was described in the New Zealand Listener as ‘at the summit of fiction writing’."
Philip says, "I should add that, although MiStory is a speculative novel it does, of course, have strong references to current political realities and that’s why I have been keen to get it out before the election."
The book is 272 pages with a retail price of $35 incl.GST. Philip is willing to offer copies, if ordered in advance of publication (by 18 July at latest), to Wise Response signatories and their friends and associates for that price which includes postage and a $10 donation to Wise Response. He will sign every copy and also dedicate any copy on request. Contact Philip directly with details of your requirements mentioning the donation to Wise Response. This offer will be available until 18 July - be quick!
More info on the book and Philip at: www.philiptemple.com
Email Philip at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to him at Philip Temple, 45 Sutherland Street, Dunedin 9016.
A Final word
A big thanks to those of you who supported the Appeal financially. Despite numerous expenses we are still in the black by the tune of $1,350 and one thing is for sure, there will be more costs before we can say our job is done! So donations are always welcome - send cheques to “National Risk Appeal,” c/o Alan Mark, 205 Wakari Rd, Helensburgh, Dunedin, 9010 or arrange a bank transfer to the “National Risk Appeal” Account: 38-9014-0100230-00. Any amount will help and is much appreciated.
With our best wishes
Alan Mark for the Wiseresponse Team
Ideas for Questions to National Election Candidates
Which of the following best describe your position? Why?
1. Growth and Limits
1. Resources are finite and therefore having a primary economic objective to maximise growth of GDP is foolish and we need to develop other objectives to
2. The only thing that is finite is mans imagination and therefore having a primary objective to maximise growth of GDP is both rational and sustainable
1. I would make a case in Parliament for an objective and integrated national risk assessment of apparent threats to our future security arising from encountering global and natural resource limits
2. I would not be prepared to make a case for such a risk assessment
3. Existence of Climate Change
1. Any climate change is natural and human influence on it is either non existent or negligible
2. Climate change is predominantly being driven by humans but is such a slow and uncertain process that we need not take any major action other than adapt were necessary
3. Indicators of human-induced climate change (e.g. extreme weather events, sea level rise, ocean warming etc) are consistent with predictions and we are already at risk of locking in irreversibly climate change that may make our children's future untenable.
4. Action on climate change
1. Allow the market have free reign in NZ and encourage any economic activity until the big emitters make significant moves to curb emissions
2. Withdraw support and subsidy for fossil fuel exploration and use
3. Implement targeted decline in production quotas of gas oil and coal to meet IPCC carbon reduction requirements and promote a renewable economy in NZ in the belief it will give NZ genuine economic opportunities and a more sustainable future
5. Free trade agreements
1. Free trade agreements (such as the TPPA, TISA) potentially undermine NZs sovereignty over the international financial sector and the ways NZs resources are managed, so they will make it more difficult to determine our future under increasing resource constraint.
2. Free trade agreements (such as the TPPA, TISA) will benefit us all by removing obstacles to seamless global operations by the financial services industry and giving us economic and social advantages