My latest piece on Newsroom reflects on the devastating impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle and the North Island floods and argues that “building back better” needs to encompass more than building “better” infrastructure.
“…there is a growing realisation that to make the transition to a low-carbon economy quickly enough to slow the accelerating effects of climate change and ecological breakdown, we must reduce our impact on the planet by consuming less, now. Isolated pockets of change, including the much-vaunted ‘behaviour change’ by the individual (which sits so comfortably within a neoliberal mindset) will not be enough. Only system-wide change will enable us to downscale our economy in time to have any chance of averting catastrophe.”
“As these catastrophic weather events have shown us, our communities – including our biggest city, for all its edifices of concrete and steel – are hopelessly vulnerable: they are like helpless, naked baby birds wholly reliant on their parents to bring them the sustenance they need to survive. But what if their mother can no longer get to them, what if their nest blows out of the tree? Here the analogy ends, because unlike our hapless nestlings, this is not a condition that must be accepted as ‘nature’. This helplessness has been created over a long period of colonisation, industrialisation and enclosure – processes that will continue if unchecked.”
Read the article here.