Climate Emergency could be the best thing that will happen in our lifetimes
"What if I told you the climate emergency will not only be the biggest and most disruptive, but also potentially the best thing that will ever happen in your lifetime?"
These are the words of Mik Aidt, the climate change activist who was influential in Greta Thunberg's rise to prominence through his weekly podcast, 'The Sustainable Hour'.
Mik, an Australian citizen with Danish heritage, is speaking at Recreation Conference in Hamilton/Kirikiriroa and says that the climate emergency has the capacity to bring richness, goodness, value and excitement to our lives.
"An unprecedented crisis requires unprecedented solutions," says Mik, and he provides examples of what the Climate Emergency Declaration movement helps form. What started as a petition in Australia has so far inspired more than 1,200 councils and jurisdictions in 25 different countries to declare themselves in a climate emergency.
"After decades of procrastination on the greenhouse gas issue, where there has been a tendency for everyone to wait for someone else to take the first decarbonisation step, the climate emergency declarations have emerged as a tool that helps break that impasse."
"It has also started a conversation about the need for change at a much more radical and deeper level. It has opened a channel, where people pull the emergency brake at a personal and organisational level - just like the British band Coldplay did recently, when they declared they will stop touring until it can be done in a way that doesn't harm the environment," Mik says.
Mik will explain to delegates how the declaration movement happened, the difference it's made and what we can expect next.
Mik says that when community leaders declare on behalf of their constituents that they act with a new urgency; it brings about a new level of ownership and responsibility, and begins to change 'the story' across communities.
"We started out on this campaign journey with calling for the laws to be changed in our country, but today the campaign looks more like it has become a pathway cultivating unprecedented change - a people-powered green revolution, if you wish - from bottom up in the communities, and spreading all around the world," explains Mik.
Is this the solutions tool humanity has been waiting for?