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March 18, 2019 | by  | in Environment |
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In Our Environment – Issue 03

Grunion fish beach themselves to mate. I watched the video of it—thousands upon thousands of writhing, gaping fish, beaching themselves and fucking. Meanwhile, there’s hundreds of birds swooping in, plucking them off for dinner. Only a few grunions return to the sea.

This is a metaphor for something, though I’m not sure what. The world we live in is ridiculous and beautiful and horrific, and often I don’t know what to make of it.

Climate change governs our lives. It’s not a car running in the lane parallel to us, but the car we’re in. Waste pours out of nations, the bees are dying, and so on. It’s very gloomy stuff. But I believe that looking into the calamity of our natural environment is a dark doorway we must step through to reach a solution.

The great refugee Albert Einstein once said, “A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.” So much about how our society is structured is ideology, and therefore can be changed. The seeds of this principle have blossomed into the current climate change strikes, where young people in droves are wagging class to protest climate change inaction. Wellington had its own protest outside parliament this past Friday (March 15). I admire these young people’s rage against a government that is not doing enough to ensure a viable, sustainable future.

Whatever path you’re treading this year at university, you’ll find the tools you need along the way. A sustainable earth needs a new economy with radical changes in food production, transport, energy, governance, and education. What role will you and your knowledge play in this change?

Saving the earth also requires a fiery sort of kindness. This kindness is grounded in a kindness to others and to self. We are all very small creatures, on a fragile blue dot in a space full of nothing, where fish are beaching themselves just for a bit of love. Surely that’s worth protecting.

 

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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this