Where is atmosphere? The great moderator. Does the Minister have no sense of our Climacteric times?  No wonder Energy Action* snuffed it under this Government. Wait. The Minister  makes an aside, “…The Climate Change Programme has some great posters and leaflets aimed at young people and teachers.” Beside me Junk Joules chuckles and cheers at the memory of their creation. 

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Note 2003

Energy Action was a world-leading education programme introduced into 1400 (half) New Zealand primary schools in the mid 1990s. It contained 70 curriculum based activities teaching the nature of energy and energy efficiency strategies in schools and homes. 10-12 year olds learned to audit school use of resources such as electricity, gas, coal, water and charted not only savings in monetary terms but displayed to their communities the reductions in carbon dioxide emission as a result of their activities. The average reduction in the 127 schools monitored was 28%. Schools also sold "energy efficient" light bulbs, draught stops, etc into their communities as awareness and fund raisers.

The school-community programme was designed by the visionary, Grant Dunford, and funded by communities. It was designed to underpin local council water “waste’ and transport education programmes as well as the national Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy  and the Climate Changes objectives under Kyoto.

A combination of the NZ Government assuming control over many of these community activities and focussing on the needs of large companies, Cabinet regulations and Ministry practice effectively stifled funding for the programme. It ceased in 2000.

I created the posters and some of the pamphlets the  Minister speaks of  in her speech and so am am intimately aware of the politics surrounding their creation.. Urgent deadlines suddenly imposed by the Government department funding the education material plus a very limited budget made it extremely difficult to do justice to the vast and wonderful topic of Earth's climate processes. In this cartoon Roger Steel the publisher explains why such projects need time if they are to achieve their full potential. It is fair to say short term considerations dominated the project.

Chapter Five - Land of the Other- Whither the Weather?!.       

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