Students look to future at hearings

OUSA president James Heath. Photo: The Star
OUSA president James Heath. Photo: The Star
Travel and starting a family are two of the things future generations would be missing out on if we failed to address the challenge of climate change today, the Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) says.

Speaking at yesterday's zero carbon hearings in Dunedin, OUSA president James Heath and education officer Will Dreyer said while OUSA supported the aims of the zero carbon Bill, it needed to be "much more ambitious in its targets''.

Mr Dreyer (21), a postgraduate student in politics, said he had changed his behaviour since he "became aware of the issues during his last year at high school,'' including going vegan.

He and his partner had also recently decided not to have children, as "people had the most impact on the environment''.

He said they would be open to reviewing their position if "things improved''.

Tweeting during the presentations, steering committee member and Dunedin South MP Clare Curran described Mr Dreyer's position on children as "powerful''.

The OUSA representatives went on to say that youth would be some of the most affected by "unmitigated'' climate change.

"New Zealand needs to do more than the bare minimum, taking into account our privileged position on the world stage and our history of emissions.''

Mr Heath said the Bill was a critical part of New Zealand's future.

"We want to make sure that we don't foresake its objectives for the sake of short-term profits,'' he said.

In response to a question from Ms Curran on his views on travel, Mr Dreyer said while it was not possible at present due to "a large student debt'', longer term he just could not see how it would be possible.

"Travel outside of the South Island wouldn't be something I'd consider,'' he said.

The OUSA written submission noted that emissions accounting should be amended to include an offset cap to prevent an over-reliance on trees as a means of offsetting emissions.

"We should restrict forestry offsetting simply to what emissions we cannot prevent and what we must emit to transition to a zero-carbon future ... ''



What a sad view of the future, has been dumped on and internalised by Dreyer.
He needs to research some counter view points, to the climate change doomsday cult so he can get his life back in balance.
It extremely disturbing that our universities and some of our politicians inflict such negativity on our young people.