Sunday, August 31, 2008

Islands going under

Here's an environmental issue that seems to be following me around today - its creeping me out whilst blowing my mind. First my fav good friend Shigeyuki Kihara casually sent this to me on trusty old bebo.

Then I learnt about Greenpeace's local campaign called BE THE CHANGE that relates to environmental problems we are experiencing as a human rights issue. Call me stupid but I was initially confused how they relate to eachother. Turns out climate change isnt just fun folly for polar bears, 'sluggish' islands and the apocalypse. And human rights isnt a glam affair reserved for third-world children, prisoners of war or dem poor tsunami prone countries miles away. Even our own township of Kaeo (population 500) in Northland is being forced to consider relocation due to being smashed with floods twice in 4 months, what many deam NZ's first major taste of climate change.

So big business stopping us from cleaning up the planet is taking lives and threatening geography much sooner than we thought huh - so we head into human rights territory as these eco shifts become more violently obvious and people other than 'hippies' are allowed to be pissed off.

On top of this one of our own Mental Detoxers Cat Gwynne is going to Tuvalu this month to undertake a long-term project once a year for what could be up to 5 years (awesome). I look forward to knowing more on this whenua and how this island is being actually effected on a day-to-day basis.

THEN - snap - I meet lawyer Vanushi Walters who is working on a fascinating thesis. She is researching and asking that the Geneva Convention explores and defines the rights of the 'environmental refugee' such as the people effected in these atols. So far they have the same rights as those countries effected by natural disasters, but unlike them, they don't qualify for direct aid. Hence Vanushi's passion for defining the entitlements.

Fun fact: did you know that NZ will be accepting 11,000 people from the Pacific over the next 10 years who lose their land or choose to migrate due to such issues. Did you know that Australia refuses to take any. Kia ora for that. Reminds me of the 2001 elections when refugees from Afghanistan were refused to land on the shore of xenophobic Australia and NZ took them all. To justify rejecting the graphic display of the desperate drowning TAMPA boat - John Howard lied and said they were throwing their babies overboard in order to get re-elected. Kia ora for that.

And to top off all my psychic synergy and everything is connected buzz, I meet a lady who left Australia and never went back over that very issue. Here's a video to creep you out and make you angry in case you'd forgotten. Ka kite!


Cat Gwynne said...

Far that's your style eh kare, spooky coinkidinks left right and centre! Awesome blog, I look forward to contributing to this issue when I get back. Dem islands! Dem sinking islands! xo

Lisa Loves Life said...

Mate, not only is big business preventing us from cleaning up the planet, it's actively causing climate the obvious way that the bottom line is faaaar more important than the environment...and in the more insidious way of those dodgy mofo institutions, the IMF and the World Bank, lending to developing countries if they accept their "structural adjustment" policies...which include the need for developing countries to rip up their natural resources and sell them off cheap to the developed world...such as deforestation, which, of course, contributes to climate change.

That said, the US govt shits on its own ppl as well...Hurricane Katrina, anyone? They say it's "debatable" whether Hurricane Gustav is due to climate change, but then the trusty ol spin doctors have been laughing off climate change for's not good for business, after all.

Alkom said...

"WASHINGTON - Those who love New Orleans say Hurricane Gustav is proof that the billions of dollars spent to protect the city and bring it back to life after the devastating 2005 storm season was worth it.

But what if Gustav had been stronger, a category 4 instead of a 2, and hit the city directly instead of 70 miles to the west? Even Gustav's glancing blow put the city at brink of inundation, waves splashing over the tops of its levees. Would it be worth the cost to rebuild New Orleans again if the storm were worse?"

That sounds like a great piece of realestate. All you need is a hurricane proof house, just incase... Luckily for the refugees of Louisiana they can be assimilated into the surround states. wonder what will happen when half the continent is covered in hurricanes!