Dear Parliament #1
Updated: Aug 22, 2019
An open letter to Parliament: #1
Dear Jacinda, Simon, Winston, Marama, James, David, Labour Party, National Party, NZ First, Green Party of Aotearoa NZ, and Act Party and all other political parties.
Tēnā koutou katoa,
My name is Alicia and I am a very concerned mother. By 2050 my eldest child will be my age and my youngest two in their late 30s. I can’t bear to think about what their experience will be like then. They will not have choice, they will be in the middle of a breakdown of civilisation as we know it. They will be in war.
I would like to start a conversation with you, Mum to Mum, parent to parent, human to human. This Climate Crisis thing, it’s a bit of a problem for me. For my children. For your children. For New Zealand’s children. For the children of developing nations who currently have the least carbon footprint and are currently bearing the worst effects of climate change.
Concerned parents and I created Millions of Mothers to advocate system change and to ensure that change is fair and equitable to all. We feel solely focusing on individual behavioural change is gaslighting, blaming and shaming considering we are still stuck within a system that focuses on economic growth and not the well being of society.
I am an ordinary busy parent but I feel I can’t accept the attitude that it is up to me and other individuals to make changes in the home and this problem will then miraculously disappear. This is simply not possible within our current system. We are confined by this destructive and pervasive idea that economic growth is the be all and end all. It will be the end of the everything we hold dear.
Jacinda, a few weeks ago you expressed that a climate emergency declaration wasn’t necessary. You and I both know that is not true. I understand that even you are limited by the system you are currently working in, by the rules of politics, by needing to tread carefully to remain in power. The rules need to be changed and who better to do that than you. Someone who understands that we do not live in a fair and equitable society, that our current system, that our economics are oppressing us and some groups way more than others. Climate change will make life untenable for our most vulnerable.
Simon, I feel very disturbed by the manipulative tactics National is tweeting regarding the new clean energy car subsidies. Playing on people’s fears surrounding economic and job security is low. Denying climate change is quite frankly, ignorant and dangerous. You are right in that New Zealander’s are hard working but you forgot something very important...New Zealander’s are decent people regardless of their political leanings. They work hard and they give hard. They give with their time and money. They give to their community. They give to others suffering outside of their community. They are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends who all want their children and grandchildren to have a safer healthier future. They like fishing, hunting, outdoor recreation, etc and they value the environment and are proud to call New Zealand home. They are responsible and do their part to help create a decent and just society.
Winston and David, this is your moment to shine and leave a legacy that people will look back on and appreciate that you put future well-being ahead of politics.
James and Marama, I can see you live and breathe Climate Justice. I can see you fighting every single day and I can see you working hard with all parties, with all stakeholders, and celebrating small wins. Keep fighting for our future.
There are countries already experiencing devastating effects of climate change, countries who have small footprints and less infrastructure to cope. There is famine, droughts, rising sea levels, flash floods and increasing weather disasters. We are not immune. The clock is ticking down. Bangladesh, a country who already suffers unsafe work conditions and environmental pollution because of Western societies need for fast fashion, are suffering the worst floods in their history and at risk of food shortages and diseases. In New Zealand people living on the coast, farmers and the poor will be the most affected and no amount of crisis management then will help.
Climate Crisis is above politics. To play your political power games when an issue confronting humanity, the magnitude of which is on a global scale is irresponsible at best and criminal at worst. Climate Change is already affecting and will affect every single human being on this planet. That is fact. There is irrefutable and long term evidence of this. Now is the point of no return and I would dearly love to be able to sleep again at night and not worry about our children’s future. This crisis is above politics, above beliefs, we are all on the same team, this connects every single of one us to each other.
The Government exists to govern people, all people, not only those who have elected you into power. We as individuals cannot do this alone…we need you to lead us into better and safer alternatives, to navigate us onto a different pathway, to help make the transition to a healthier, sustainable future for all of us and the planet.
I would like to end with this brilliant quote I heard the other day by Katharine Hayhoe, Atmospheric Scientist:
“We don’t have to be a liberal tree hugger to care about changing climate, all we have to be is a human living on this planet.”
Millions of Mothers