Festival for the Planet – Saturday 21 May 2011

My partner and son went into Auckland University last week to hear Dr James Hansen speak about climate change.

If you ambivalent, mildly interested or passionate about the subject –  this might be an event for you.  This leaflet was handed out at the lecture.

Entry is by koha

Who is James Hansen?

Dr James Hansen is the world’s preeminent climate scientist.  in 1988 he raised the alarm about climate change with his testimony to the US Congress.  He has been head of teh NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Earth Sciences Division since 1981 and is an adjunct professor at Columbia University.  George Bush tried to gag him, without success.  He may be the single most authritative voice on the science of climate change on the planet.  This will almost certainly be the only time he speaks in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Dr Hansen describes coal as “the single greatest threat to civilisation and all life on our planet”. His message is directly relevant to us in New Zealand.  The National Government has committed itself to digging up the country’s lignite reserves (lignite is the dirtiest type of coal) along with opening up our coastline to deep sea oil exploration.  Even without the human and environmental risks from mining and drilling, we cannot afford to see those resources burned – whether they are exported to China or burned here in Aotearoa.”

What is the people’s assembly on Climate Change?

The time for arguing about whether climate change is happening or not is over.  It is clear from the accumulation of scientific evidence and from what we see happening in the world around us.  Neither is is time is it time to ask the Government to take action – we asked them to make a strong commitment at the international negotiations in Copenhagen last year and they ignored us.  Now is the time for ordinary people to come together to celebrate our plant and our communities and to start taking grassroots action.  This event is not about how bad things might get.  It’s about how good we can make things, if we get together and make it happen”