by Sonya Bissmore
I am a 44 year old Pakēha mother of two boys (9 & 12). I have always cared passionately about the environment. I first heard the words ‘global warming’ in 1995, in my first of six years studying environmental science at University. I have grown increasingly alarmed at the failure of every government since then to take meaningful steps to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. I have worked in conservation, biosecurity and forestry at a number of government departments. I believe that public servants understand the immense challenges that we face both mitigating and adapting to climate change. But the public voice is not yet strong enough, the opposition to meaningful climate action too prominent and the politicians not yet feeling the full urgency of the crisis we face.
Having bought an electric car and bike, removed gas from our home in favour of electricity, insulated, removed meat from our diet and drastically reduced our flying, I felt that I still hadn’t made enough of a difference. I want my kids to know that I did everything I could to ensure a safe climate future for them.
I met Alicia at the School Strike for Climate and felt relieved to join other parents who felt as passionately, as vulnerable and frankly as pissed off with our countries’ climate actions as me. Every week I meet with the like minded people who are part of Parents for Climate Aotearoa, all trying our best to raise climate concerns within our communities, sharing our successes, learning from our failures and supporting one another as we push for greater awareness and action on an issue that affects us and our children’s future so deeply.