message from another Pacific Islander

I rec'd this message, but just opened it. I thought you might find it inspiring to read this message from another pacific islander:



Malo ni!

My name is Mikaele Maiava. I'm writing from the Pacific Island archipelago of Tokelau to ask you to join with us in action as we take on the fossil fuel industry.

Last October, Tokelau turned off the last of its diesel generators. In their place, we switched on our solar plants, making Tokelau the first country in the world to become 100% renewably-powered.

I woke up before sunrise that day, excited about the history Tokelau was making. My whole village made its way to the site of over 100 solar panels -- we could see the many hours of hard labor that had gone into this project. As we counted down to the switch, I could feel future generations smiling at us and thanking us. Our children's future suddenly looked brighter because we had the vision (and perseverance) necessary to get off fossil fuels and switch to 100% renewable energy.

You might wonder why we bothered. Aren't we doomed to lose our islands from sea-level rise? I don't blame you for thinking that if you did. So often the global media victimises the Pacific Islands and portrays us as helplessly succumbing to climate change and rising seas. But the global media know nothing of who we really are, or how it feels to live on these paradise islands we call home. They don't know that as Pacific Islanders, we are warriors, and that the land we live on is part of us.

We know that the longer the fossil fuel industry gets its way, the worse climate change will be, and the more sea-level rise will threaten our islands. But giving up on our home is not an option. We are not drowning.
We are fighting.

That's why on March 2nd, Pacific Islanders across 15 diverse nations will be mobilising at prominent locations to perform our unique war challenges, songs, and dances. We'll be laying down a challenge to the fossil fuel industry. It is their coal and oil and gas vs. our future. They cannot both coexist. And it is our future that has to win.

In this moment, and in the years to come, we need you to walk beside us. Because we live far away from the mines and power plants that threaten our future, we need the world's solidarity. Click here to stand with us during this weekend of Pacific Warrior climate action!

We want to show the world that people from countries and cultures everywhere are standing with us -- the Pacific Warriors -- in the fight against climate change.

Fakafetai lahi,
Thank you,
Mikaele Maiava



You'd think we could too.....

One would think with all the resources/privilege we have at our disposal we could do the same here, or at least come close.

Instead we're arguing about where to park our ever increasing number of cars. We've got our priorities so backwards. Likely we won't change a thing until we literally start losing our island, and by then it will be too late:(


joseph's picture

you got that right...

if we were truly "progressive" and enlightened, we would be solving the "parking" problem by tackling the larger issue of designing a sustainable transportation system for the island. We could do this, and probably for less money than we currently spend on the "private vehicle" model, including it's insane toll on road maintenance, which we all pay for whether we drive or not.
But we are humans, and like humans everywhere, we work with a short time horizon and prefer tackling small, solvable problems to wrestling with large, intractable ones, regardless of their relative importance in the larger scheme of things. This modus operandi is guided and supported by a culture and set of political/economic constraints that encourage short-term thinking and "universal" solutions.

The question then becomes: how can WE develop a culture, here on our little island paradise, that seeks cooperative, long-term solutions to the "big, important" problems rather than getting side-tracked by all the "small immediate" problems? How do we design and implement tailor-made solutions when we are constrained/incentivized by external forces to adopt conventional ones? How can we create organizational structures and processes that encourage and support this kind of local culture to grow and thrive?

I need a vision of an alternative. We all do!

I could use a vision of an alternative to the private individual vehicle that we now rely on and use. I'm not sure we could support or justify a "transit" system, and the van alternative didn't work because most people weren't into paying a couple of bucks for a ride, especially when the next vehicle would give them a ride for free.

Maybe we can encourage and incentivize ride-sharing and car-pooling, especially from neighbourhoods and along the main roads. We can also encourage less moving about, and using human powered, or at least lighter vehicles that use much less fossil fuels than the tons of vehicle we usually use to transport one or two people and sometimes some groceries.

I'd love to have other visions. With vision, we have something to work towards, as well as something to get away from.

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