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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?
There is no membership fee.
To become a member of Wise Response Society Inc and help the new organisation achieve its purpose please fill in the form below:
Author and Wise Response committee member Philip Temple is about to publish a book exploring a future left unchecked. Anyone wishing to order a copy or copies, at the recommended retail price of $35, before 18 July, will receive signed copies at their postal address when they become available in early August. The price includes GST, packing and postage and a donation of $10 to Wise Response. Purchasers should contact Philip directly at email@example.com with their postal address and for a bank account number for payment. This offer will be available until 18 July.
An hour ago, I received on the steps of Parliament this petition. I undertook to bring it immediately to the attention of the House. The Clerk has tabled the petition today. It is fair to say that this is perhaps the most important petition ever to be delivered to Parliament. It is called “The Appeal to Parliament for a New Zealand Risk Assessment”. It calls for the 50th Parliament to commit to an all-party risk assessment of how and where New Zealand might be exposed to key global threats. No single undertaking could be more important. The petition comes just 2 days after the fifth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the assessed impacts of climate change for the world in the 21st century.
As the petition puts it, we live on a biologically complex and exquisite planet, home to 7 billion people and a myriad of other unique life forms. We believe, say the petitioners, that it is our human responsibility to maintain the integrity of life support systems and the natural processes that sustain and renew them. It follows, they contend, that our generation must satisfy our present material needs in ways that do not diminish the prospect of their realisation for future generations. The petitioners express a concern. So far, they say, New Zealand has failed to truly face up to such unprecedented threats to its collective security. Yet with scientists saying that certain critical thresholds are upon us, the consequences of not taking the proper action will, in all probability, be disastrous and irreversible. “Therefore,” they say, “in the name of all our children and grandchildren we, the undersigned, call on the New Zealand Parliament to face up to this situation now… We believe that Parliament should build on its proud tradition of foresighted collective response to risks, and initiate a risk assessment as the first step in achieving a more secure future.”
This petition is signed by some 6,000 New Zealanders, with a leadership group of 100 signatories. They include a former Prime Minister and past MPs; the mayor of a major city; leading Māori; a number of former All Blacks and Black Caps; a university pro-vice-chancellor and other prominent academics; a former Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment; a poet laureate; some of the country’s leading artists, authors and broadcasters; and several leading scientists who serve on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change itself. I choose to cite one name, Sir Lloyd Geering, professor of religious studies at Victoria University. I cite him because, at age 96, Professor Geering is a member of the Order of New Zealand, the highest honour this country can bestow. This is no ordinary petition. It is no disparagement of any others brought to this House to recognise that this petition is of unprecedented magnitude and import. It essentially appeals to Parliament to consider the future of the planet and our nation, and it does so in light of the enormity of what lies before us.
This House is the arena for party rivalry and the contestation of ideas. We devote our time to critiquing each other and competing for electoral support. It is pluralistic democracy and that is fine, but there are issues that transcend domestic political competition—above all, the fate of the planet. There is no other phrase that can do it justice. It requires that we lower our swords and come together to reason our way through. There is something primordial occurring here and we need to be up to the task. We need to be up to the task, for future generations, not only our own, depend on the decisions we make in this House now and in the critical next few years. I advance this admonition to myself as much as to colleagues opposite. I have on occasion been critical—trenchantly so—of Government policy, but I have also held conferences in the neighbouring Chamber designed to enable us to come together in a different setting and spirit and reason our way to a cross-party consensus. May this appeal assist us in that endeavour. May it be favourably received.
Mo tātou, a mo ka uri, a muri ake nei
Green Party: Kennedy Graham’s speech on Climate Change
The Appeal was presented on the steps of parliament, April 9th with support from Generation Zero.
Please note we will continue to collect signatures and support from organisations with a view to submitting them to the Select Committee.
Economist Geoff Bertram gave the following address:
My name is Geoff Bertram. I’m an academic economist and much of my work focuses on the role of markets as instruments of human wellbeing. But wisdom in policy-making lies in acknowledging and understanding the limits of markets.
Those limits come in at least two forms:
Future generations are not well represented in today’s markets, but their interests deserve acknowledgment and respect from today’s policymakers. The precautionary principle is important here: do not do irreparable damage to the natural systems on which humanity depends.
Thorough and open-minded risk assessment is inherently part of the precautionary principle.
So I encourage all political parties to take this appeal seriously.
Bryan Gould, (Former Vice-chancellor and Chair Research Science and Technology, Hamilton). supported the presentation:
“Conventional thinking has for far too long seen the sustainability of our environment as a side issue – at best, as a mere adjunct to, and at worst, as an annoying distraction from, the real business of running an economy. We need to change that mindset. There can be and will be no economy, and no business, if we fail to take the long view – if we fail to act now to ensure that our environment is sustained into the future.”
Professor Bob Lloyd gave the following address:
“My name is Bob Lloyd and I teach energy studies at the University of Otago.
Honourable Members. As parliamentarians you have been elected to govern New Zealand.
This duty is often interpreted as meaning that you should facilitate the growth of the New Zealand economy for the betterment of its people.
Unfortunately at this point in time we are at a unique point in the history of civilisation.
According to my research we have two significant problems, first our use of fossil fuels is reaching the limit of what the earth can supply.
Second the carbon dioxide produced is reaching the limit of what the atmosphere can safely absorb and is causing the earth’s climate to change.
Despite approaching fossil fuel limits there are, however, sufficient reserves remaining to cause major climate effects, as documented by the latest IPCC reports.
It is apparent that growing our economy using fossil fuels, is going to cause unprecedented risks for the continuation of society, both in NZ and elsewhere.
At present rates of growth of fossil fuel use we will have a one in three chance of exceeding the 2 degree temperature limit, agreed at Copenhagen, by 2030 or around 15 years from now.
I believe that this parliament must show leadership before we cross tipping points that will make further action pointless.
It is clear that an urgent transition must be made to a fossil fuel free economy.”
Gerry Te Kapa Coates MNZM
“Kia ora koutou, e hoa ma.
When I started Engineers for Social Responsibility in 1983 the major threat to humanity was nuclear war. Now 30 years later the major threat is human-induced climate change, or global warming.
Did we do anything about the threat of nuclear war? Yes, global leaders took action by making deep cuts to the number of nuclear armed missiles, and other major political steps. The threat is still there but it is much reduced.
What are we doing about climate change? What is New Zealand doing about it, and what are global leaders doing about it? Very little. The average person still thinks that engineers and scientists can solve the problem, and it will go away. The tools to do that are already around. Renewable energy based mainly on solar energy could be a reality if there was a political and economic will to do it. We, the people need to asks the Government for a Wise response to reports such as the IPCC issued two weeks ago. Governments will act if we, the people, demand it.”
The Green Party, Labour and United Future indicated support for the Appeal:
Labour Party: Wise heads want wise response
United Future: ‘UnitedFuture is broadly supportive of the direction of your Appeal and petition to Parliament, and will be willing to work with other parties to further the issues you have expressed concern about.’ Hon Peter Dunne
Television 3: Academics: Take climate change seriously
Otago Daily Times: City academics to petition MPs
Scoop Independent News: Multi-sector NZ risk assessment would allow “Wise Response”
Scoop Independent News: Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
Scoop Independent News: Wise heads want wise response
Scoop Independent News: Support for ‘Wise Response’ call
New Zealand Herald: Is democracy for sale?
Climate Safety: Call for a risk assessment by our leaders
Otago Dail Times: Council to consider action on campaign
China.org.cn: New Zealanders unite in call for climate change action
Otago Daily Times: DCC votes against backing risk appeal
Nigel: “I worry that New Zealand is losing ecological values through shifts in government policy. A lot of good work can be undone quickly. So much forest has been cleared already. In my art I attempt to explore the human relationship to land and nature or even to reinvent it. There should I feel be an emphasis on “the great simplicities” and by that I mean our relationship to the basics: sun, moon, creatures, plants.”
We’ve just released a new push for signatories to build on the 3,500+ including you who have already signed via the website, in advance of our submission to parliament on the 9th April. Please can you re-sign this Avaaz petition via the link below, and then share. We will de-duplicate signatures to ensure we do not misrepresent our supporter numbers.
Once you’ve signed on, Avaaz gives you the option to utilise your social networks with options to share via Facebook, email, or via Twitter.
Sharing is really important to getting signatory numbers, and we’re asking you to do this via as many channels as you’re comfortable.
Alternatively, just share this letter below the line by forwarding via email to your networks. If you choose to do this, please delete this top section above the line below:
One of New Zealand’s most respected politicians, voted most trustworthy party leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons, has endorsed the call from Wise Response for a cross-party risk assessment.
“The overarching purpose of government must surely be to look ahead at the big picture, see the major threats and opportunities for the country, and act to protect our people and our environment. Wise Response has accurately pinpointed the key threats to NZ and in fact the world but they are not the issues government is currently preoccupied with. It is time the focus on the trivial was replaced with serious analysis of the big, hard issues that confront us.” Jeanette Fitzsimons
Wednesday April 9, 2014 at 1.00pm has been accepted by the Speaker of the House for the presentation of our Appeal. While this is a non-partisan Appeal, unfortunately the rules of Parliament are such that this must be done through a political party. We have accepted the offer of Moana Mackey, Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson, to submit on our behalf. We will however present to the Parties that support us on the steps of Parliament or in the Parliament Foyer beforehand. The submission will consist of:
Preliminary Programme for Presentation of Appeal to Parliament in Wellington 9 April 2014
Check for updates the day before!
1.00pm Welcome: Steps of Parliament, adjacent Seddon statue.
1.05pm Outline of the Appeal and short supporting statements: Sir Alan Mark, prominent NZ supporters and organisations.
1.15pm Theatrical event led by Generation Zero supporting the call to confront symptoms of risk.
1.30pm Handing over the Appeal and petition to the MPs: Sir Alan Mark, NZ youth, prominent NZ supporters and organisations.
1.35pm Responses of supporting political parties. Labour, Green, NZ First and any other Party represented
1.45pm Finish, followed by media interviews of prominent Appeal supporters.
2.15 - 3.30pm Meeting of Appeal supporters to debrief and plan implementation of the Risk Assessment in the Old Parliament Building opposite, Rm GB604.