On September 14 Rachel Brown, chief executive of New Zealand’s Sustainable Business Network, will feature in a global internet multi-media event led by Al Gore entitled ’24 Hours of Reality’. Interview by Andy Kenworthy.
“[This] will connect the dots between recent extreme weather events, including floods, droughts and storms, and the man-made pollution that is changing our climate. We will offer a round
the-clock, round-the-globe snapshot of the climate crisis
in real time. The deniers may have millions of dollars to spend, but we have a powerful advantage. We
Al Gore on 24 hours of Reality
Andy Kenworthy: Are you surprised at the continued resistance to climate change science in New Zealand? Rachel Brown: I am not surprised. Every day we are exposed to misinformation and mistruths about the climate crisis; so many people are confused, a bit afraid, or just don’t like change. I believe that a lot of people aren’t likely to have heard the positive opportunities this brings or about the exciting future that is possible. AK: Which groups is that resistance still coming from? RB: The interests involved in oil and coal are very powerful and doing quite well out of business as usual. Why would they want people to believe a change is needed? There have been naysayers in other traditional, non-renewable industries and there are too many in our government who seem yet to be convinced. Confusion has certainly led to inaction, but over the last few months we have finally started to see a shift happening in the major business groups. They now accept the need for action and can see the risk and opportunities that necessary shift presents for business. AK: What will be the main message of the event? RB: This is all about busting some of the myths that are out there and using the science to simply say: climate change is happening, we need to do something about it, and we can do something about it. AK: What are the positive opportunities for New Zealand in taking action on climate change? RB: New Zealand is a bit behind the eight ball at the moment. Internationally governments are stimulating clean renewable solutions and finding ways to reduce their dependence on imported oil. But we are letting things drift along as usual. I believe we have a natural advantage. By continuing to develop our expertise in renewable energy we will attract international businesses looking for carbon-friendly locations, and our clean, green country makes New Zealand really attractive. To find out more go to: climaterealityproject.org or sustainable.org.nz