Breaking up is so hard to do ... it's a cliche that cliches become cliches because they often contain basic truths.
The stock analogy for how difficult it is for big things - or entrenched attitudes - to change direction is usually the ocean liner one.
It's a core fact that, yes, it does take a very long time indeed to turn an ocean liner around: first, all the information must be centralised and evaluated for a certain course of action to become apparent; then, even with the engines reversed, it's still a protracted process negating the huge mass of forward momentum; and so forth.
Vis a vis the whole climate "change" (some call it "collapse") scenario, that ocean liner is the lonely planet, and the climate its life-support mechanism.
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Young Greta Thunberg is one gutsy girl. She's also a real smart cookie. She relentlessly reiterates to the powers-that-be not to listen to her, but to the science.
For those who haven't heard of him, Dr Mike Joy is one of the country's leading freshwater ecology scientists. For many farmers and agriculturalists, far from bringing joy to their world, he's their bete noire because his field data keeps affirming that most of our major waterways are already eco-basket cases - mostly through over-intensive stocking and all the excessive chemicals and fertilisers that go with it. And he's not alone.
Recently interviewed, Joy expressed his exasperation over the years as regards the readiness of people from all walks of life to dismiss the science on one of life's fundamentals. As he cogently puts it, these are people who for one moment wouldn't question an engineer's specifications on how much weight an aeroplane or bridge can safely carry, but as regards the planet's life-carrying capacity it suddenly seems everyone's got a Harvard doctorate and knows better.
Of course, all the science may be wrong, but who exactly would be prepared to put their family on an overloaded plane that specifications stated had only a 5 – or even 50! - per cent chance of arriving safely?
Another New Zealand eco-science pioneer is Dave Lowe. He was one of the first in the world to accurately measure dangerously rising C02 levels in the atmosphere, following on from the pioneering work of an American scientist, Charles Keeling. Keeling was one of the first to gain hard evidence of the whole planet "breathing" just like other lunged organisms. His new analysis techniques showed a global in/out CO2/O2 respiration process governed by burgeoning plant growth in spring/summer and converse diminution in autumn/winter.
Lowe was a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose report won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. His data derived from the bracing air delivered to Wellington's Baring Head directly from Antarctica, and helped prove steadily rising CO2 levels were mainly the result of human-led combustion of fossil fuels – a fact that became clearly apparent several decades ago.
In effect, Lowe was lookout in the ocean liner's crow's nest. Suddenly he's seeing sheer cliffs looming directly ahead, but despite lots of shouting there are many deaf ears - and the liner blithely steams on. As he puts it: "I've lived this horror for 50 years. There's such little time left, and we've just been so bloody stupid."
Of course, for politicians with constituencies chock-full of Harvard-educated climate scientists, it's a hard row keeping voters on side, which is why there's currently much hui and very little do-ee.
If you do accept the science, that changes everything. It means adopting a completely different mindset about "business" in general. There's a word for the new business. It's called survival.
That means events like airlines going out of business aren't necessarily a bad thing.
On the plus side, Whanganui is ideally placed if the new business requires a return to genuine horse-powered transport - the lower trough in the Watt fountain was specifically designed for our thirsty equine friends.