Tauranga Climate Action Workshop Report

Workshop Participant at boardThe problem of how to communicate and involve people is, for many, as perplexing a problem as that of climate change itself. The prospect of gaining practical help and developing ideas to overcome this hump brought together 22 people on Saturday March 24 at Tauranga’s Envirohub. They spent the day attending a workshop on Climate Action Plans run by Jeanette Fitzsimons and Pat Baskett, organised thanks to Mary Dillon, Envirohub’s chair.

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How to transform apocalypse fatigue into action on global warming

dissonance.jpg“How to transform apocalypse fatigue into action on global warming” is the title of a Ted Talk by Norwegian psychologist and economist Per Espen Stoknes who co-chairs the Centre for Climate Strategy at the Norwegian Business School.

His presentation is slick and quick and I needed a re-run to grasp his “new psychology of climate action.” Well….it might not be so absolutely new but I found it a helpful reminder of ways to improve the chances of engaging people on this difficult and emotive subject. Here’s a summary.....

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Rotorua Workshop Report

Discussion2.JPGWe had 16 attend our all-day workshop at the Rotorua Arts Centre on 10 Feb – a good number for discussion, and a range of ages from the 20s to 81. Jeanette presented with help from Pat , and with invaluable local organising help from Jenny Lux.

We covered ways of having a conversation about climate change: identifying shared values, understanding the other person’s point of view, making it relevant to them and motivating with hope rather than fear and guilt and too many facts. One theme that kept coming up was the balancing of pessimism and optimism, dealing with feelings of helplessness and building a supportive group. We practised this with role plays. Comments like “The Declaration made me feel excited” were very encouraging.

 

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Think small: how Kiwis are banding together to fight climate change

kids_in_garden.jpgHaving observed the failure of many governments to effect real change at climate conferences, former Greens co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons shares what she has learned about community engagement to help the environment.

Do we lobby the government to reduce climate emissions, or change our own light bulbs?

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What's a sustainable and healthy (and affordable) diet?

food_basket.pngOur Climate Declaration includes ‘growing local food, eating less meat and dairy’ in its vision of a climate-safe Aotearoa. Why did we include this?

Drawdown, a compendium of climate change solutions edited by Paul Hawken, lists changing to a plant-based diet as the third most powerful emissions-reducing intervention possible, surpassed only by avoiding release of refrigerants and stabilizing the number of humans on the earth.

In the Declaration we pulled out the barest few essential elements of a sustainable and healthy diet. Here is some of the rest of the story.

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Bring the carbon home

Thames_Community_Gardens.jpgThere are three huge carbon reservoirs – the earth (soils), the oceans, and the atmosphere. The first has been dangerously depleted, the second and third overloaded. How do we move the carbon back to where it ought to be? How do we bring the carbon home? 

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Re-Reading Drawdown

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Now that I’ve read - not all but most of - “Drawdown: the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming” edited by Paul Hawken, I recommend starting at the back. Begin by reading the chapters at the end called “An Opening” and “What do the Numbers tell us?”

 

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Drawdown – how can we apply it in NZ?

truck.pngClean cookstoves (replacing kerosene), improved rice cultivation and protecting tropical forests are clearly not things we can implement within NZ. 

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We have a Logo!

We have a logo!

You’ll have noticed our new logo on opening our website. We had a number of excellent submissions for a logo and selected a design by Kit Hindin of New Media Design in Christchurch. You can see more about Kit here: http://newmediadesign.nz/       https://www.facebook.com/newmediadesign.nz/  We thought this design conveyed that we are dealing with an urgent global issue, in which we are pushing out dangerous limits, and which requires decisive action. Thank you Kit! And thanks to others who submitted fine designs.

We hope everyone will enjoy using the logo in your work on Our Climate Declaration. Feel free to copy it on to whatever you are doing to promote this work. 

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Streets of the Future

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Cities are where most people in the world live and New Zealand is no exception. But cities are not inevitably carbon-producing hot spots. Urban design can make them sustainable, economical, pleasantly liveable and walkable. The section in Drawdown on Walkable Cities describes four criteria that encourage people to walk (or cycle) rather than drive their cars.

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