Letter of the week: The world we want — future positive
We are living in a climate funk, with perpetually pessimistic news on climate change, ongoing Covid blues, and repeated debilitating and depressing weather events. We need answers that give us better lives, answers we can be optimistic about. Survival-only solutions, like not flying or being vegan, are self-defeating. We won’t act for change we don’t want. We need a future-positive vision we want to pursue, one for a better world, not a shrunken survival world. With a future-positive vision, climate change will drive us to build the world we want. A future-positive vision will fuel our resolve to alter our emissions and adjust to the climate in ways that give us more than we have. To do this, we need the whole picture painted, not the one of total catastrophe that fuels protest, but the scientific one that shows complex systems have complex outcomes. A realistic picture, with a positive and progressive vision of a future we want, will fuel our will to act. A positive and progressive future will be one in which we are prosperous and thriving. The challenge of climate change is huge, but with a true picture of the challenge, and a clear and positive vision of the future we want, we can meet it through innovating and growing in the directions we need to. This is how modern economies meet challenges, by innovating and growing in new directions. Growth through innovation, through new ways of doing things and new technology, is how we have become so productive and prosperous. It is the basis of economic growth. There is nothing we have not been able to achieve when we have tried, and with a future-positive vision, based on shared values of freedom and personal fulfilment in modern economies, we will continue to thrive.
Ben Wallace, Wellington
No change as long as big emitters do nothing
Clyde Scott describes Kiwis who oppose expensive emission mitigation as “freeloaders” and calls on us to “pull our weight” (Letters, July 30). This language only makes sense in the context of a serious combined global effort – and there isn’t one. As long as the big emitters do nothing, the rest of the world cannot mitigate climate change no matter how hard we try. Isolated self-sacrifice will just cripple our economy and the poor will suffer first, most and longest. This needs to be discussed, but unfortunately it is yet another prohibited topic. The Free Speech Union is convening debates on prohibited topics: the media could do likewise.
Gavan O’Farrell, Lower Hutt
Minor empty promises
Why does the media even bother reporting what minority parties are proposing if they get into government ? These parties can promise the world because they know they will never have to deliver on their promises . By the same token even the elected parties fail to deliver on their pre election promises and even spring a few surprises from their hidden agenda . The current government is a classic example of this.
Jock MacVicar, Hauraki
Scrutiny of ministers
Shane Te Pou’s columns usually are of a positive vibe and clearly embedded with an innate pride towards our amazing nation. A nice gesture it was, to defend and sing praises of Kiri Allan’s ministerial time with realistic excuses of high workloads and too low staff levels. Our next column should be about exactly that: Too many ministerial portfolios — per minister — and adequate staffing levels for the enormous portfolio loads and citizens’ expectations. In top of that, every minister’s portfolio should be the right one for her/his talent and intelligence levels. Conflicts of interests and hypocritical actions, such as, for example, a forestry minister holding substantial shares in the forestry industry, finance ministers holding shares in large overseas banking institutions or ministers of justice driving into parked vehicles with excessive blood-alcohol levels should somehow have been scented out well before they had a chance to take us gullible citizens for laughing stock. Because, let’s face it: We put them there in the first place!
Rene Blezer, Taupō
Election season brings the customary mantras “Tough on Crime” as the invariable promise of opposition parties and “Soft on Crime” accusation on the governing party or coalition. No Government seeks an easy ride for lawbreakers, so they defend themselves. I’ve voted through some 20 election cycles and seen various attempts to reshuffle the corrective deckchairs with limited success despite the dedicated efforts of judicial, police, corrective, probationary and other staff and voluntary agencies. The causative factors are largely obvious. Through alcohol, our most hazardous drug, other drugs, parental instability, poverty, mental health issues, violence and other abuses, too many homes are unsafe for children and sometimes adults also. Distressed, frustrated, frightened children are easy prey for the promoters of dependency on hazardous substances. Until serious resources are focused at this end of the needs factors a continuing group of young people will become victims and perpetrators of crime. Getting tough on them in these later stages can be only minimally effective. Let’s move toward more support for families and young people at home and at school, encouraging, with their families/whānau, the self-control, hope, and affirmation essential to encouraging positive outcomes for all our young people.
John Marcon, Te Kauwhata
Thank you to our new arrivals, who have come from many different places to settle here and in turn plug the gaps that are so apparent in our essential services. I am so grateful for your diligent work when a large number of our own prefer to do none. Please stay strong and help us carry on.
R.F. Baird, Devonport
Queen St misbehaviour
In its wisdom, Auckland Council created a gathering place/playground at the Queen St end of Fort St and can be held responsible for all the bad things that happen there. From the moment the traffic was prevented from driving out of Fort St, the workers in buildings across the road witnessed and reported to the police a constant stream of nefarious acts in the playground by day and night. I’m not surprised people are afraid to walk down there at night. Local residents are subject to noise pollution beyond safe hearing limits. Cars (and people) scream up and down Queen St with music set at ear-splitting levels, particularly, but not limited to, Friday and Saturday nights. Burnouts and deliberate backfiring leads to cheers and more screams. The language shouted by those leaving to go home at 4am is atrocious. Does the council not think about tourists and New Zealand’s reputation? Who’s still drinking at 4am? Drunks. Let’s try 1.30am closing. What we do immediately is open up the street to traffic and remove all traces of the playground. Surely foot patrols can police the area? I’m sure the police have opinions on the safety of the public and would welcome the council reviewing its own incompetence. We’d like some peace please.
Rex Fausett, Auckland
Perhaps the council could supply each house with a worm farm. There would be nothing for them to collect, and the composted waste can go back in to the owner’s own garden.
John Ford, Napier
Our justice system so often is the very antithesis of what it is supposed to be and that was clearly demonstrated when an unnamed athlete who sexually assaulted a 15-year-girl was released without conviction and with full name suppression due to the effect that would have on his sporting aspirations. Never mind the girl he assaulted, never mind others that have done far less and have been sent to prison. After the police do their job, and usually do it well, it must be heart-wrenching to see a judge completely walk all over it. It’s certainly not justice. Get real.
Paul Beck, West Harbour