Generation Zero: What’s the Hold-Up?

Monday evening was a visit to the Castle theatre for this talk by the Generation Zero people.  Very well attended with lots of young student types present.  People in my generation and older were in the minority.  As it should be for the age bracket Generation Zero targets.

Here’s some thoughts:

Speakers for Dunedin included Dave Cull, Letisha Nicholas, Janet Stephenson and Louis Chambers.  Dave Cull is mayor of Dunedin and Letisha Nicholas is one of the candidates standing with him on the Greater Dunedin ticket.  Having both of them speak felt like a campaign launch for the up-coming local elections.  Call me cynical.  This local election is going to contested by other progressive factions which were not represented on this panel.

Janet Stephenson is from the Centre for Sustainability at the University of Otago.  Louis Chambers is one of the founders of Generation Zero.

Reducing carbon emissions is like pissing into wind.  One of the first initiatives of the National Party-led government was to scrap our carbon trading scheme.  We have stopped being leaders and are happy to follow.  Indeed we have become foot-draggers, carbon fossils.  And we keep coming back to the spending on transport infrastructure, a cost with poor returns.

There is a shift among youth to dematerialisation, living life with less: travel less, own less.  Adopt digitalised music and reading.  This is convenient where it is available.

Generation Zero includes a lot of Denmark love, a nation that is making push to be among the first  of the post-fossil fuel nations.  Denmark has stepped up to become a leading nation in this field.  It took a cross-party concensus to begin this process.  That initiative has not yet appeared in New Zealand.

Breakfast is good for the brain.  Exercise is better.  Take the opportunity for walk to school.

There is a daily peak demand for electricity during the day.  Take the advantage of when power is available and cost is lower.

I’m curious, and suspicious, about the use of the conservative figures to promote energy saving and alternative transport.  I respect the idea that even conservative leaders like Boris Johnston and Richard Branson support making these savings and rescuing society.  But still….

One in twenty people in Dunedin bike.  One in four would like to bike if it was more convenient.  One in three prefer to drive.  Dunedin needs to become more bike friendly.

Local government is legally constrained to impose a standard on rental housing in Dunedin.  This is an issue for national government to pick up on.

In the end there are still people struggling in this society.  It’s not looking good for the vulnerable at the moment.  It’s up to those that are better off to become advocates.

If this audience votes at this election then I’m hoping to see change.  Don’t let them come disempowered.

Generation Zero: What’s the Hold-Up?