ON AIR: Early Edition

5AM - 6AM

Andrew Dickens: Why I support kindy kids protesting climate change

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Thursday, 14 March 2019, 12:34PM
Waihi Kindergarten children prepare to join the global school strike for climate on March 15 with their head teacher Kate Mullaney (right). Photo / Rebecca Mauger, Bay of Plenty Times
Waihi Kindergarten children prepare to join the global school strike for climate on March 15 with their head teacher Kate Mullaney (right). Photo / Rebecca Mauger, Bay of Plenty Times

Anyone who didn’t hear the interview between Mike Hosking and Waihi Kindergarten head teacher Kate Mullaney this morning needs to get to our website and have a listen because it’s an absolute classic and highly entertaining.

Mullaney is taking the kindy kids on an excursion tomorrow to join the school strike for climate. All the kids are going. Remember, it's totally optional, kindy will be available. So it’s still the parents call at the end of the day.

Of course, for many taking two, three or four-year-olds on a protest march is silly because they can’t grasp the complexity of the issues.

Kate Mullaney understood that, but then explained to Mike what they’d be doing. It was so very entertaining because I’m sure that Mullaney was using exactly the same sing-song kindy voice she uses to talk to her kids to talk to Mike.

The kids have decided to take placards with slogans, they’ve decided themselves, they all say things like "stop using plastic, stop throwing rubbish in the ocean, look after the turtles and fishes, compost, have worm farms, take care of the trees, be kind to each other".

It was hilarious because I swear I could hear in the background the sound of every climate change denier, greeny and lefty hater, drivers of V8s, exporters and frequent flyers slapping their heads or screaming at the radio.

It only took minutes before the texts were full of claims of brainwashing à la 1938 Germany and Communist Russia and China.

To me, it was the sounds of the two sides furiously speaking right past each other.

The difficulty is that this is specifically a march against human-caused climate change, which despite considerable scientific proof for, also has considerable proof against and a cohort of opposition that is very vocal.

Now the reason that many are so vocal against mitigating emissions is two-fold.

Firstly, you have to use a car less and it’s so fun and handy. Plus you also have to say goodbye to pleasures and tourism. If we really mean business it’s goodbye to overseas travel in a jet for fun or business. It’s bye bye cruises. Has anyone told these kids they’re marching against their right to have a drunken time at the Oktoberfest in Munich? Or visit Paris in the Springtime. It’s also bye bye to our $14 billion tourism industry.

But the second reason is that the remedies suggested so far are just so expensive. Enormous taxes. Destruction of century-long business and economic models. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas and exporters don’t vote for an end to fossil fuelled container ships.

So bearing that in mind, I think the only protestors who have got an achievable message are the kindy kids. Perhaps they’re the only grown-ups on the planet

I’d march every day for their messages of stop using plastic, stop throwing rubbish in the ocean, look after the turtles and fishes, compost, have worm farms, take care of the trees, be kind to each other.

ON AIR: Early Edition

5AM - 6AM