Time for Civil Obedience to a Higher Law

21 Jul 2018


Ever grateful for Greenpeace Aotearoa.

Of the many points of interest in Russel Norman’s and Sara Howell’s recent video update is mention of the iwi chairs’ support.  In my view, the iwi chairs is a microcosm in relation to the macro New Zealand government situation, and the super-macro global political situation: of course we appreciate when our elected officials and civic leaders (including iwi) finally understand and accept that fossil fuel production must end.  But it took them too long to get to that point.  In this Age of 6th Mass Extinction, they must act faster.  


We, The People, hold the power to bend our public servants to our will.  And there will never be a more compelling time to do so than this moment when humanity is faced with multiple converging existential threats.  


One way to make our voices heard is loudly and openly celebrating successes like Greenpeace's defense against oil and gas ship, the Amazon Warrior, in 2017. Regardless of the ultimate judicial decision (to be announced later this year), this progressive beating back of the suicidal fossil fuel industry is a win of The People, by The People, for The People.  Truly, these are successes we may all lay claim to in so far as our contribution and support, however large or small, for the movement.


These newsworthy events stimulate civic awareness about more than just our fossil fueled climate emergency.  They provoke us to reflect on crises throughout our environment and society that require our urgent attention concerning Te Mana o Te Wai (the health and integrity of water), food security, biodiversity, human health, economy, democracy and of course climate.  Like other cases before it, they embolden us to use the Judicial arm of the State to challenge the failed Legislative and Executive branches of Government.  That knowledge provides both the moral energy and tactical inspiration we need to mobilize even more critical civic action.  

Such situations also agitate the very foundations of our fatigued and sleepy collective consciousness, reminding each and every one of us of our sovereign prerogative and our civic obligation to boldly assert our higher inalienable human rights to Life itself. Nothing trumps that – least of all pathological corporate agendas or proclamations of cowardly politicians.


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