Powershift to 100% possible

Powershift – a beacon of hope and light in a world gone blind to any value other than greed, and an addiction to the car. It hasn’t always been like this. Up until the late 1940s, towns and even cities were compact, with trams and trains as the main means of public transport, with bicycles and walking. There was almost no unemployment.

What happened? Was the terrible suffering endured by so many in other parts of the world enough to trigger a desire for more? Was it misplaced gratitude to the USA for coming to defend us from the threatened invasion from Japan? In any case, the exodus from the countryside to the cities began, and that changed people’s perceptions and challenged their prejudices. It also brought other changes – the necessity of building more housing, with cities spreading out beyond the tram and rail network; the loose conglomeration of big business pushing the car industry, with the oil required to fuel it.

The political climate also changed. Communism was seen as a real threat, so even the mild socialism of Labour was considered dangerous. We were now given a new political vision, where everyone could have their dream of a life full of material wealth. We began to despise and stigmatise those who could not reach this goal. The car became king, so the railway system was not maintained. We know how that worked out.

We were one of the most egalitarian countries in the developed world: we became one of the most unequal in terms of wealth, health outcomes, violence towards children and educational opportunities. If we changed once, we can change again. This time of Advent is one of waiting in expectation and hope for the Christ Child.

We need to give thanks to God for our beautiful country and to all those who are working to bring about just outcomes for all of us – so let us turn to Powershift, the gathering of young people in Auckland last weekend. Over 700 of them from across the whole country and the Pacific came together to listen to enthusiastic speakers, participate in workshops on the wider effects of climate change, share their ideas – and have fun. They are the hope for our future, the catalyst for change.

We sponsored four young people from Wellington, and we will hear from them early next year. Watch this space!

Here is an extract from the website. [Powershift.org] ‘Moving beyond fossil fuels is 100% possible![1]

Not only is this 100% Possible – it’s the fair, responsible and smart path for Aotearoa to take… But to get on track we need leadership at every level, from communities to central government.

Throughout 2013 through nationwide and local projects and our own researched reports we will build up our vision to show New Zealand that this is not only 100% possible – it’s the fair, responsible and smart path forward. We can and we will move beyond fossil fuels.’ [My emphasis] — Patricia Kane

[1] 100% Possible is a collaborative campaign between Generation Zero and 350 Aotearoa

Patricia Kane is a former librarian and a grandmother.

Additional reading

News category: Analysis and Comment.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,