It was the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing on Saturday.

The moon missions gave us some images of Earth which really opened our eyes, or should have, to how isolated this lump of rock is.

The blue planet, appears quite lonely in those incredible images taken on those voyages.

We should remember there is no "Planet B" and that there is no help from some alien to clean up the mess we have got ourselves into.


It's up to us.

There are no words I can think of to express my feelings of urgency and frustration about our procrastination and obfuscation to avoid doing what has to be done.

Before the end of the 1980s science had informed us that global warming had been shown to be so indisputable that we should have started to do something to reverse CO2 emissions then.

But humans being humans found every possible way to ignore and deny the evidence.

From the big corporations more concerned about their profits, to the ridiculous and deliberately misleading "anti-fart tax" protest of 2003.

This ignoring of the science and years of obfuscation has wasted the time we have to mitigate our CO2 emissions.

This calls for urgent action now and we must all take responsibility and accept some discomfort to at least secure some sort of liveable future, if not for us, for our children – you've heard it all before.

I feel strongly that this [Climate Change response] Bill needs to have a methane reduction target of at least 47 per cent by 2050.


I believe that a clear target is crucial for allowing the agricultural sector the long-term certainty they need to transition.

Those who so vigorously opposed "the fart tax" should accept that action will now cost more, and the delay of 15 years should not be born by the country as a whole.

The goal for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 must be more ambitious. This is to better safeguard our future and also to show other countries the New Zealand can be a climate leader.

The vehicle fleet needs to change as rapidly as possible away from fossil fuel, and electric vehicles must be encouraged more than at present.

The Norwegian Government showed how and has implemented a number of incentives to encourage people to buy electric cars.

Zero-emission cars don't pay the 25 per cent Value Added Tax and are exempt from Norway's carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and weight taxes imposed on petrol and diesel vehicles.

They also get discounts on parking, toll roads and ferries.

If some of these incentives combined with rapidly increasing the number of charging points throughout New Zealand would certainly reduce our carbon footprint.

Although it would be unpopular discouraging road transport and putting much more into buses and rail it would speed up curing our addiction to the car and reduce truck transport.

Build it and they will use it.

New Zealand already has a high percentage of renewable electricity and this could be improved if incentives to install photovoltaic panels were introduced, such as no interest loans.

The power companies should have to pay a respectable rate for buy back as it would improve our renewable energy percentage.

There is much to be done to keep global warming at or below 1.5C, we must act as fast as possible.

Look at the images of Earth, somewhere down there are our children. Gift them a future.

• John Milnes was a Green Party candidate for three elections, founder member of Sustainable Whanganui, a parent and grandparent.