I have always understood the challenges we face with environmental pollution. That was the topic of my first speech in Miss Lamason’s class in 1967. I was six years old. Since that time I have read and studied environmental science and – for the last ten years – science story telling.
There is always something to learn. Although I understand science, and a little about corporate social responsibility and sustainable business, I don’t know sociology. Bronwyn Hayward begins my education with her book Sea Change.
To me the most important point I have gained from her is that we must regain our strength as citizens and cooperative people to demand action on climate change and inequality. We must make a fuss: Politically! As individuals! And, as groups! Major change happens after citizens demand change. That is how: women gained the vote, that is how slavery was abolished, and that is how gay and lesbian couples gained the right to marriage; and that is how we will rescue ourselves from the horrors of climate change and societal collapse.
My notes are: (Many Quotes)
Bronwyn Hayward: Sea Change Climate Policy in New Zealand.
“I offer three ways that citizens could shift the tides of political debate to advance the objectives of the Paris Agreement. First, by reclaiming our capacity as political actors, secondly by challenging assumptions of continuous material growth; and thirdly by reconsidering values that influence our actions as citizens.”
“There is increasing international recognition that economies cannot expand indefinitely. Many people have begun to talk about ways to ‘live well with less stuff’. In New Zealand’s case, this might mean reducing energy demand by using less fossil fuel, eating less red meat and milk, investing in public transport, reducing the intensity of dairy farm stocking rates and land conversions, and diversifying away from a reliance on international fossil-fueled tourism”.
“We also need to transform how we see ourselves, to change the stories and metaphors we live buy, …. We need more than science; as important as climate science is, we also need storytellers, historians and poets, novelists and playwrights, actors and artists, grandparents, aunties, uncles and children who can help inspire us to new ways of living more sustainably”.
“The tide has turned, the sea is rising but so are we, and when ordinary people act together, we can and will achieve extraordinary things”.
I think Miss Lamason would be pleased. After so many years, my values have not changed and my passion for science is still bright. She is one of the teachers who made me.
Kia Toa, Kia Ngakaunui