Planet, Politics and Power: Climate Justice is Class Struggle

The Problem In 1977 James Black, a senior scientist at leading oil and gas corporation Exxon, delivered a presentation to the company titled ‘The Greenhouse Effect’. He outlined, with startling prescience and the best modelling available at the time, the danger that humanity faces if we continue with our acceleration of fossil fuel consumption. He […]

Dealing with Climate Catastrophe – The Metabolic Rift

On 16 March 2022 the Otago University Politics Programme hosted an online panel discussion on ‘Global Warming, Global Warning: The Politics of Climate Change’. The panelists were: James Shaw, Minister for Climate Change; Prof. Lisa Ellis; Assoc. Prof. Brian Roper; Sina Brown-Davis, Ngāti Whātua, Indigenous and climate activist; Adam Currie, Generation Zero; Jack Brazil, community […]

Capitalism: The Only Roadblock to a Sustainable Future

With Trump out of the White House, it seems like there is a return to normality in international media. But this normality hides the existential dread of climate change. The emissions targets set in the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 were abandoned when they were supposed to come into force in 2005. Governments around the world […]

Climate Change Commission Draft Advice Report

In 2015 the world’s governments signed the Paris Agreement, a mostly non-binding agreement, with the goal of keeping the global temperature to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels as a means to mitigate the looming climate collapse. The crux of the plan was to redirect markets towards greener technologies and climate-conscious infrastructure, […]

Political Attempts to Redirect Protest Energy

The first School Strike 4 Climate marches of 2021 were a fantastic show by young people that they are still angry, and that they recognise politicians have not moved anywhere near far enough to address climate change. Led by high school students, 13 marches were organised across New Zealand on 9th April, giving thousands of […]

Rising Tides, Raging Fires: the Capitalist Climate Crisis

This talk about the capitalist roots of the climate crisis was presented at Victoria University of Wellington on 3 March 2020. ISO member Emile Wilmar gives a historical account of how the environment has been exploited under different forms of class society and how capitalism, by its very nature, brings us to the brink of […]

The Ghosts of Waters Three

This year Aotearoa has been visited by the ghosts of waters three. The ghost of water-supply haunts the whole of Te Ika-a-Māui (North Island), Rēkohu (Wharekauri/Chatham Islands) and parts of Te Waipounamu (South Island). Te Tai Tokerau (Northland), Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) and Waikato, in particular have been in drought for quite some time and are […]

Aboriginal Society, European Invasion, and the Bushfire Disaster

Now even right wing politicians are talking about using traditional Aboriginal land management techniques to mitigate fire risk. But pre-Invasion land management wasn’t about logging and clearing land for profit: it combined knowledge of land with collective, egalitarian planning. This summer, we have looked through the gates of hell at the apocalyptic result of the […]

Labour’s and the Greens’ Reactionary Road Plans

On 28 January Jacinda Ardern announced the general election date. The following day, Grant Robertson unveiled a $12 billion spend on road, rail, schools and hospitals infrastructure: clearly the start of Labour’s pitch to the electorate. Labour is calling the plans the Big New Zealand Upgrade. Not all the $12 billion is actually new. Labour […]

Support the Climate Strikes!

There’s a climate crisis, and Labour and the Greens are failing to act. The climate crisis is upon us, but on some more than others, as more frequent, more extreme weather events take place. In March this year Cyclone Idai affected three million people in Mozambique, Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Malawi, including over 1,000 dead, over […]