This week saw the launch of the new Sign On campaign. The essence of it is that world leaders are meeting in Copenhagen later this year and by signing up to Sign On we are letting John Key know that we want New Zealand to agree to set a target 40% reduction of emissions by 2020.
The reasons I support this campaign are threefold:
Firstly, the science behind the need for a 40% reduction is clear and strong; anything less is not going to be enough.
Secondly, I don’t have the willpower myself to achieve a 40% reduction and I believe this is one of the roles governments perform; to constrain some of our harmful and selfish urges and to reward behaviour that is mutually beneficial.
And, finally, I see great technological opportunities for our civilisation should we find the motivation to innovate. I’m confident we’ll come up with energy, transport, agriculture and production technologies far superior to what we have now. We just need the will to do so. As I heard someone say, the bronze age didn’t come about because stones became scarce; bronze was a better technology. I think that there is another age waiting for us beyond the oil-and-deforestation age.
I also like the fact that the campaign is saying nothing about how we ought to go about achieving a 40% reduction. That can wait. First we need the will to make a commitment and then we can act on the best advice from our scientists, politicians and economists to see how we will best achieve this target.
So, if you share my opinions on this, head on over to the Sign Up website and add your name to their list of participants. And perhaps let your local MP know where you stand on the issue too. Hopefully enough people will step forward to let our prime minister know that we taking this seriously.