March 13, 2019
Maori show way in climate sense
This year’s winner of the Prime Minister’s Award for Science Communication says there are lessons to be learned fromTe AoMāori in tacking awareness of climate change.
Victoria University Professor James Renwick won the $100,000 prize for his communication of the science behind climate change, including being involved in more than 100 public presentations and 200 media interviews over the past five years in New Zealand and internationally.
He says western technological society has lost its sense of being part of the earth and the environment, but that knowledge is still evident in Māori communities such as those on the coast which are seeing its effects through level rise or a change in growing seasons.
"I’ve had the strong sense in every interaction I have had that Maori are really very aware and I think that's because there is that connection to the land,the climate and the whole environment, that these changes are seen and felt and it is well known these are not what has gone before, they’re not normal," Dr Renwick says.
He backs tomorrow’s schoolkid strike for climate change action, because community pressure and talking about climate change is a way to push politician to make the changes needed for a zero carbon future.
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