The awareness of climate change is here. Now who does the planning?

This is an acknowledgement of Greta Thunberg’s climate change protest movement. It is also an acknowledgement that simply willing her and her movement to shut up and go away is simply not going to happen and – despite my reservations about how New Zealand is/is not tackling climate change – it would be a bad thing for youth if it did.

Ms Thunberg and those helping make her campaign possible have done an A+ job of mobilizing the youth of the world along with a lot of adults. The young Pakistani lady Malala inspired human rights activists, but Malala did not succeed in a large scale mobilization of youth despite being only a similar age to Ms Thunberg when she was shot.

Ms Thunberg’s job is not finished. Not by a long shot. Now that the protesters are mobilized, the challenge will be to keep going and convince the politicians that this is an issue that we are running out of time to make a meaningful attempt at resolving.

But now that the activists are mobilized and demanding change, there is a major question looming on the horizon. It is one that I honestly do not think policy makers, analysts or the sectors that are going to be affected by the change being demanded have addressed. In fact I wonder how many of them have even thought about it?

Who is going to do the planning? Who is going to work out all of the areas that are going to be affected and establish meaningful contact with the leaders in those sectors?

Do they even know how to start? Maybe, maybe not. So here is a suggestion on what they do, except I expect it to be much more advanced planning than the brief S.W.O.T. analysis I have done below:


  • More than just an environmental gain to be had
  • Social justice and better equality
  • Economic gains


  • Partisan politics
  • Divisive individual voices
  • Little thought currently been given to associated planning matters
  • Passing legislation and enacting it takes time
  • Lack of long term vision


  • Green tech
  • Not all solutions have to complex or costly
  • Opportunities for significant job creation
  • Biofuel industry?


  • Conservative denialism
  • Anti-science and anti-technology agendas on the left
  • N.I.M.B.Y.’ism from some environmentalists for certain infrastructure
  • Political corruption
  • Lack of trust in data

A plethora of questions can arise out of this, such as (but definitely not limited to):

  1. How will we go about  establishing steering groups to manage different aspects of the planning – I see one for the social planning such as getting schools, hospitals and essential services off oil and gas, one for the broader economy, one for industry, one for law makers, a third for public input; who will oversee these individual groups.
  2. What time table are we going to working towards – the 2030 time frame by which it will be too late or the 2050 timetable for getting New Zealand off oil and gas?
  3. Who will work with individual sectors to identify their needs and help develop work around’s that are acceptable to government policy?

I wish Ms Thunberg and her campaign all the best, but I hope that the adults will talk to the protesters in good time about the need for a multi-partisan response. I hope that they talk about the compromises needing to be made. I hope that it is made known that the same science that is showing such alarming carbon readings can be the basis for some great social, environmental, economic and technological outcomes.

But to do that, we have to have a blue print of how to go forward.

And right now we have nothing.

2 thoughts on “The awareness of climate change is here. Now who does the planning?

  1. no plans to mitigate climate change.
    Well yes we do.
    The biggest contributor to climate change in NZ is Dairy farming, then next is transport,
    We have a coalition government passing legislation to mitigate climate change. There is the ban on new oil wells, there is the scheme for the promotion of electric vehicles and the retirement of petrol and diesel enging cars, and on the radio this morning I hear there is a plan in the wings to encourage upgrading of our vehicle fleet.
    There is an upgraded Emissions Trading Scheme in the pipline. There is legislation for helping dairy farmers mitigate their emissions ( with the associated benefits to clean up our polluted waterways).
    My Electriciry supply company Meridian Energy has just published its annual report and in it it commits to be fossil fuel free by 202O. We are fortunate in NZ that we are almost fossil fuel free in our electrucity production, and Meridian are taking on board wind generation and solar generation. Many businesses and public companies are going for solar electricity to be self sufficient in producing their own electricity.
    There is much needed development by local bodies to encourage public transport use getting people out of their cars and into electric trains and busses. Many local bodies have declared “Climate change Emergencies”, which means that they are commited to future development of CC mitigation processes.
    Ordinary people are doing their thing in using public transport, swapping to electric cars, bikes and scooters. Installing their own solar energy apparatus.
    The approach is polycentric, being attacked on all levels by committed Government, local bodies, businesses, households and individuals. Every little bit helps.
    If we continue to have a coalition government with green awareness then I am sure that NZ’s mitigation processes will accellerate.


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