Bunny McDiarmidA new year has begun and, as always, brings with it a sense of new potential and hope. And even though I’ve only been back at work a week it already feels like this will be a crucial year, a year where all that we do needs to count.

If you’ve been following the news over the last few weeks like I have you will also have been shocked by the extent of the flooding taking place in Australia, Brazil and Pakistan, fast on the heels of the most extreme cold felt in Europe for more than a century.  The extremity of the weather and the impact it’s had feels biblical in proportion. Religious or not though, the message is clear.

Even habitually conservative scientists are now cautiously describing a link between climate change and an exaggerated La Nina event in the La Nina-El Nino cycle, which has long been a fixture of weather patterns in the South Pacific.

It’s impossible to say that any specific weather event was definitely caused by climate change - but more severe and more frequent extreme weather events such as the floods we’re seeing now are exactly what climate scientists have said we should expect more of as climate change speeds up.

All of this certainly jolts one out of summer holiday mode and reminds us very starkly of the urgency of the issues we work on.  Greenpeace priorities this year, both globally and here in New Zealand, remain:

1. Avert runaway climate change, and together with a growing number of people, steer our world towards a low carbon future where our economic and environmental aspirations come together.

2. Changing the way we treat our oceans that’s now threatening the survival of whole marine ecosystems, as species are driven towards extinction and habitats are destroyed.

These are ambitious goals but we have ambitious plans to match - and of course we will be relying on you being a big part of those plans and putting them into action.

There’s real strength in numbers and over the past two years we’ve doubled our support base.

We have over 230,000 people Signed On to support a 40 per cent by 2020 emissions reduction cut, almost 50,000 more opposing new offshore oil drilling and coal mining, and we marched in unprecedented numbers and won our fight to stop mining in national parks. Fonterra has been called to account for its climate crimes and, all the while, the number of people standing with us has grown in number. The message is clear. Growing numbers of people want a new direction in how we are living and making our living on this small and fragile planet we call home.

This year is an election year so it’s a year where numbers count more than ever. It’s also prime time to be making the case for a better vision for New Zealand. Let's get together and make it happen!

Sign up to our email list join us on Facebook Set up a profile here on the website. Join us on twitter and donate a tweet a day.

And spread the network wider by inviting your circle of contacts to join us too.