Don’t Flush The Climate Down The John
Proceedings for the 'Parliament's Speech from the Throne' began this morning with Greenpeace activists filling the Beehive front lawn with an ironic message the Government should remember.
Distracted media and onlookers watched as we deposited rows of porcelain toilets on parliament grounds with a globe inside each one. Each lavatory read 'don't flush our climate down the John'. After being moved on by security, our toilet team moved the 36 toilets to a site right beside parliamentary grounds and tackled the topic of climate change throughout the day.
Visually this was a simple and humorous protest, but it had a very serious undercurrent. The toilets upstaged the somewhat detached National Government during its own proceedings by drawing attention to its poor international performance on climate change.
Bring On The Toilets!
Fittingly, today also marks the 9th day of UN climate talks in Poznan, Poland. The activity highlights that John Key and the 18-strong NZ delegation are being counter-productive at the Poznan negotiating table. Instead of representing a clean, green perspective and a passion for the climate issue, New Zealand representatives have helped stall emission reduction agreements, thereby marking us out as one of the ‘difficult’ voices at the talks. Alongside US, Australia, Canada, Japan and Russia, our representatives have now lost all claim to being progressive and have kissed goodbye to an environmental history to be proud of.
The Poznan summit is obviously crucial when discussing climate change and the impacts that it will have on the planet. Today's activity highlighted that this is not just an environmental issue but also has huge economic repercussions for New Zealand if not approached seriously.
Although a serious plea to world leaders and our representatives in Poland, the protest also saw passers by standing at the comical display of toilets having their photo taken (which will be sent to Poznan and beamed to the NZ delegates and all other countries at the climate meeting). It was obvious that the Wellington people were happy to support the cause and learn about what the Poznan climate talks potentially mean for New Zealand. You can upload your own image for the projections here.
With an intrigued media and an enthusiastic public, today's communication was a cool way to get people facing up to an issue that only plans to get hotter.