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Mahurangi magazine

Dedicated to democratic climate-action mobilisation and the Mahurangi

Thinking outside the three-bedroom-breeding box

author Cimino

Mahurangi Coastal Trail map

Malcom Idea-a-Minute McLean: Aside from a wobbly, ev-centric foray into the supposed future of transportation weeds, Daniel Yergin’s highly readable “map” of energy and geopolitics also contains timely reminders of the global changes a single determined person can precipitate. The vision and persistence of one-time truck driver Malcom McLean, pictured, unleashed the global containerisation revolution. That globalisation enabled has not been tempered by the reasonable behaviour of the rich and powerful is another matter. publication The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations

Good for absolutely nothing, war is now preoccupying the every waking moment that should be fiercely focussed on the climate emergency.

For those born into the post-war optimism of the United Nations, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sharply increased the struggle to retain a shred of belief in diplomacy. However, 24 February notwithstanding, determination to replace warfare with just-peace diplomacy must never be resiled from. Mahurangi Action Incorporated’s founding chairman, after relinquishing his United Nations work, spent the balance of his very balanced life beside the Mahurangi Harbour founding and promoting the Foundation for Peace Studies. Like many who served in either of the world wars, war poet John Male had found himself resolutely at the peace-campaigner end of the pacifist–warmonger continuum.

Post-World War II, there was every reason for optimism, and every reason to imagine that an end to industrial-scale depraved indifferent had been secured, in the wake of the swift justice of the Nuremberg trials. But rather than just-peace diplomacy, the West determinedly prosecuted a new, cold, world war, which didn’t end with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The Cold War has now flared into outright war, fanned by indiscriminate, ever widening economic-sanction warfare.

However, even the at-least 25 000 lives senselessly sacrificed to date since Russia’s invasion pales, in the shadow of covid-19’s 15 million excess deaths. It is tempting to describe both pestilences as equally preventable, but President Putin’s depraved indifference to the human consequences of his invasion is different by more than degree. It is one thing to exhibit depraved indifference in response to covid-19, as did then President Trump, but quite another to invade a neighbour—or, in Trump’s case, to attempt to stage a coup, which might have entirely convincing, but for his own cowardice.

There can be no denying that the global dysfunction that allowed covid-19 to become a pandemic, and Ukraine to be invaded, suggests that the infinitely more wicked problem of anthropogenic global warming could well be beyond modern civilisation’s wit to address. The walk-and-chew-gum failure was writ large even by the instant international darling of the pandemic response, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern—her failure to promptly commission a fit-for-purpose isolation facility. Built handy to the airport, such a facility would have gone on to save hundreds of lives in southern Tāmaki Makaurau, year after year—assuming, of course, that the covid-19 pandemic is contained within the working life of the facility. Instead, Aotearoa promptly retreated to the political safety of unameliorated neoliberalism. A further example is the failure to purchase the 49 000 air filters for school classrooms that would, outside this or subsequent pandemics, save scores of young lives and eliminate thousands of illnesses, winter after winter. Meanwhile, in a budget that fails to extend the healthy-school-lunch programme to the 75% of year-1–13 students still not  protected by it, ev-welfare is provided for the well off.

Image from the International Hydropower Association’s hydropower pumped storage tracking tool

Putting Aotearoa on the Real-World Energy Map: For there to be any realistic prospect of slashing greenhouse-gas emissions, much of the 80% of the world’s energy that is provided by fossil fuels will need to be directly grid-powered, ports being just one example. The Labour Party’s best shot at redemption will come one step closer this month, when its feasibility update on the world’s potentially largest pumped hydro storage scheme is released. New Zealanders, however, will need to brace for an orchestrated neoliberal backlash, in favour a market-led, lithium-batteries-can-power-everything fetish, and similar green-hydrogen fiction. It is to be earnestly hoped that New Zealanders wake up to the heroic vision of their countryman Dr Earl Bardsley, who has proffered the key for one small country to demonstrate onshore net-zero carbon emissions at scale and at pace. Circle volume-representation here is proportionate to Snowy Mountain 2.0’s pink circle—Snowy Mountain 291 gwh; Lake Onslow 5500 gwh. map International Hydropower Association | onslow representation Mahurangi Magazine

Globally, the predominant pandemic preoccupation has been to stem its economic damage. This lamentably business-as-usual policy not only puts money before people, its inherent mean-mindedness has failed even as an economic strategy. But so utterly has the myth of the infallibility of markets been inculcated, no concerted attempt has been made to draw up comprehensive climate-action battle plans. Climate-action battle plans don’t imply or require an end to free enterprise. What they do imply, however, is the democratic right of humanity to deliberatively lead itself back from the climate brink, rather leave all in the lap of individual changes in consumerism. It should not require to be spelt out that the wealthy have the purchasing power to utterly overwhelm the very limited choices available to those on the breadline. Demand for private light evs will overwhelm that for grid-powered public transport. Without the much-maligned leadership of central planning, new-toy, battery-powered everything will prevail, and the fossil-fuel-use needle will move only perceptibly, and probably in the wrong direction.

Global dysfunction all-but guaranteed that the initially imminently containable novel-coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan became pandemic. Failure of the world collectively to take stock after 15 million fatalities, and resolve, even at this late stage with no end to variants in sight and only 25% of global population adequately vaccinated, to collaborate on a response, bodes abominably bleakly not just for future pandemics, but most obviously for the wickedly more challenging consequences of humanity’s all-but-total dependence on fossil fuels.

Despite the inauspicious response to covid-19, the four decades that have been squandered without meaningful climate actiontargets don’t count as action, any more than sales targets count when flogging fax machines isn’t proof that humanity is doomed. Human history, even before two world wars, is a richly laced with examples of humanity’s inhumanity to humans. Cynics can cite any number of doomed civilisations as proof that this one too must fail. Current indications notwithstanding, civilisation could yet surprise itself. The Mahurangi Magazine steadfastly continues to maintain that one small country could lead the charge to arrest the current, increasingly risky global slide. However, with the covid-19 crisis otherwise wasted, Labour would need to rediscover its heart in a hurry, and wield its $50 billion election-year war chest in a way that convincingly communicates the deadly seriousness of the climate emergency—provide examples of the desperate measures demanded by the desperate times that, thanks to the nothing-to-see-here-but-titillation mainstream–social media complex, are appallingly poorly perceived.

Mahurangi Coastal Trail map

Required-Outside-the-Box-Reading: Right up there with Dame Anne Salmond’s luminous The Trial of the Cannibal Dog, Chris Trotter’s account of how utterly the best of British intentions to resile from colonisation were perverted, aside from being essential reading, desperately need to be dramatized and filmed for New Zealanders to understand themselves, and the world to understand Aotearoa. publication No Left Turn

Nothing would convince the world’s climate and energy experts more, about one smallone twenty-eighth the size of Australia, one sixty-third the size of Russia, or one four hundred and eighty-fifth of the planet’s land mass country’sone twenty-eighth the size of Australia, one sixty-third the size of Russia, or one four hundred and eighty-fifth of the planet’s land mass grasp of the wickedly intertwined climate–energy problem, than the announcement that it was committed to building by far the world’s largest pumped hydro storage scheme. That, and a commitment to investigate replacing Huntly with a elemental power station, would serve to shock humanity’s complacency to the enormity of the challenge of replacing the fossil fuel that critically underpins civilisation, almost overnight. Deliberately downplaying the difficulty of ditching the fossil fuels that have built and powered the human habitat for the seven billion added to global population in the last two hundred years, is an incredibly reckless strategy. The grownups in the room desperately need to begin doing what is required rather than what is politically palatable, even if that means taking one for the team of five million and fighting for climate-action mobilisation from the opposition benches.

The United States characterises its unequivocal support for Ukraine, in the face of despotic aggression, as a fight for democracy. While, in this instance, it unquestionably is, the United States, and particularly its deeply undemocratic Congress, is a poor advertisement indeed for the democratic ideals that have been 26 centuries or more in the making. It is deeply ironic that the dysfunction that neither climate nor pandemic could dent, has dissolved in its enthusiasm to go to war in Ukraine, by proxy. While anything is possible, the otherwise prevailing toxic partisanship is unlikely to remain suspended, to fight the covid-19 pandemic, or the inexorable global rise of greenhouse-gas emissions.

Today, researchers see scant evidence of a democratic world order materialising, the Varieties of Democracy Institute reports, in fact, that the inverse is occurring:

The level of democracy enjoyed by the average global citizen in 2021 is down to 1989 levels … Together, autocracies now harbor 70% of the world population – 5.4 billion people.

Aotearoa – New Zealand, the world’s first full democracyaccepting that all democracies are nominal, to varying degrees. Aotearoa – New Zealand’s was the first to enfranchise indigenous males, and then, effectively, all genders, is at risk of adding to that trend, with its undemocratic, incremental adoption of quasi-democratic co-governance. It is entirely possible that no democracy has adequately addressed redressed colonialism. If that is indeed the case, Aotearoa should urgently strive to be the first country to devise a just, post-colonial democracy, rather than plunge blindly down the there-are-more-important-things-than-democracy redress shortcut. Setting aside that the United Nations was blatantly structurally undemocratic from its inception, the veto built into the Security Council has nobbled that world body’s ability to protect one state from the aggression of another, right up to and including Ukraine 2022. While its founding heroes could be forgiven for cutting a few corners in their haste to cement the peace restored after the up-to-84-million excess deaths precipitated by Hitler’s invasion of a neighbour, the United Nations, in its nearly 77 years since, has moved no nearer to one person, one vote. In their haste to lock-in the co-governance project, proponents should at least allow it might fatally unravel the unjust peace, and put a just-peace permanently out of reach.

Cable ferry at Vaprio d'Adda, Leonardo da Vinci

Antedelugian Inspiration: While the dark, preoccupation with apocalyptic deluge that haunted an elderly Leonardo da Vinci appears to be misplaced in 1517–18, fear for a survivable climate in 2022 is entirely rational. The antidote is a just climate-action mobilisation, a just-peace, and a humane, young-person-led rebellion encouraging the willing to choose to have fewer or no children. Having the stimulation of a global population of only half a billion clearly didn’t dint Leonardo’s legendary polymathy. A cable ferry, meanwhile, is still in contention for the Mahurangi Coastal Path, along with an elegant footbridge farther upstream, complete with opening span. drawing Leonardo da Vinci

Deeply disturbingly, New Zealand’s most prolific left-wing writer, with heft, historian Chris Trotter, has taken to warning that civil war in Aotearoa is inevitable, should the problematic co-governance project be thwarted by the right. Trotter furnishes no detail to support his claim, but he surely would not be making it unless he was privy somehow to resolve for exactly that. Trotter issues his drastic warning by way of calling out the failure to conduct a national debate on co-governance. Before a debate can be had though, a great journey of exploration must be taken, to allow curious New Zealanders at least, to learn why the status quo cannot be allowed to inflict its injustice a day longer. Labour’s trust-us-we-know-what-we-are-doing failure to allow Māori health experts to ensure that covid-19 vaccination rates led rather than lagged the general population, is just the most recent reminder that redressing the profound negative consequences of colonisation cannot wait. A rigorous, open-minded exploration of how the redress could be accomplished may well reveal that trading away one-person-one-vote not only might not be the necessary price of it, but, on the contrary, could put a just peace in Aotearoa permanently out of reach.

Was it not for the beyond-urgent climate-action imperative, Aotearoa – New Zealand could begin a relatively leisurely journey towards a bicentennial just peace. But rather than view that as a conflict-of-priorities perplex, it desperately needs to be grasped as the golden opportunity—or perhaps, the pounamuMāori word for the green stones nephrite jade and bowenite uniquely found in Aotearoa – New Zealand opportunity—it is. Because the precise progression of climate warming is unknowable, only history will record if a heroic, no-holds-barred, just peace – just climate mobilisation was pivotal in preserving a survivable climate, globally, not to mention averting deadly, internecine conflict in Aotearoa.

Aotearoa is uniquely placed to begin the climate mobilisation, beginning with a three-bedroom-breeding-box rebellion. Whilst not denying that the hopelessly neoliberal Resource Management Act has much to answer for, the simple truth is that Aotearoa went from building watertight wooden housing for the people, to leaky homes, in a generation. Now, to replace the deficit in decent housing, at scale and at pace, the outside-the-box thinking that gave the world containerisation needs to be deployed by the country that led the world in planted forestry. Rather than lock productive land up in carbon-sequestering scams, factory-producing laminated-timber accommodation engineered to last centuries, would both better sequester carbon and warmly house those currently incarcerated in seasonal-respiratory-infection-inducing, overpriced suburban slums.

Potters Bar EV-charging bus fire

Anti-Virtue Signalling: While lithium-ion batteries of any size can explode, packing buses that can readily be grid-powered full of them is plain perverse, not to mention environmentally and energy profligate. The reason, of course, that decision-makers such as Boris Johnson double-down on double-deckers is that they want the streets clear for well-heeled congestion-tax-paying private-light-vehicle owners who, like themselves, are inordinately prone to fits of peak-bus apoplexy. Double-deckers fail the rapid-transit definition because of the prolonged dwell time involved in passengers laboriously and hazardously accessing the upper deck. Add to that, additional dwell time for charging. image Shaun Cunningham

Commenced promptly, a third of a century ago, all kinds of soft landings might have resulted from meaningful climate action. Now, with all bets off, nothing short of action on a heroic scale is worthy of consideration. That three-bedroom-breeding-boxes are now $1 million apiece is one thing, but humanity could slash the amount of concrete and steel and fossil fuel needed in nine months. Just one generation of young people could put the brakes on the burgeoning demand for the extraction and processing of raw materials. Young lives could easily be envisaged that were immeasurably richer than those of today—the High Renaissance shared by LeonardoLeonardo di ser Piero da Vinci and Michelangelo Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni existed in a world inhabited by only half a billion people.

Only once young people grasp that they have the commercial world at their collective mercy, will governments, whether of nominal democracies or unabashed autocracies, respond to the imperative to mobilise climate action at pace and at scale. The current, blatantly unsustainable growth-based economic model was always going to come to an end—and, left to its own devices, a crashing end. Young people, by rigorously interrogating the goods and services on offer, and the policies that encourage them, and surgically targeting the best and worst examples with buy- and boycotts, could turn today’s Titanic climate inaction around in her own length. The key, though, is to create the demand, by buttoning off the breeding. Never more should children be born into a world where they were made to feel surplus to requirements, like so many of the offspring of refugeesPutin adding 4.5 million from Ukraine alone since 28 February 2022, to the 82.4 million people worldwide forcibly displaced as of 2020, which he also had a hand in, not least of all from Syria..

NZ SeaRise, Mahurangi 2300

Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, Seriously: Given the wicked difficulty in slashing fossil fuel use, and the failure of even one country to demonstrate how it can be done without off-shoring the responsibility for it, it seems remarkable that sea-level-rise scenarios are predicated on a bunch of supposed shared socioeconomic pathways, none but business as usual has yet to be seriously embraced. Meantime, calls are being made for the business as usual scenario to be purged from discussion for apparently distorting the choices for policy makers. Be that as it may, Mahurangi Magazine here unrepentantly highlights the worst-casealmost certainly not the real-world worst case, however, given the huge gaps in data and in the understanding of icesheet collapse ssp scenario. tool NZ SeaRise | layout Mahurangi Magazine

Such is the concern of some of the climate scientists involved with the ipcc’s monumentally cumbersome assessment report process that they are calling for a moratorium on climate studies until policy makers demonstrate that they are capable of using the resultant 3949-page report for better than bureaucratic butt-covering. Probably the worst aspect of the suggested strike action, however, is that it suggests, fact is claimed, that enough is known about climate for climate-action mobilisation plans to already be in place. While, generally, that might be true, huge gaps remain. Dr James Hansen has been crying out for atmospheric aerosols to be measured, yet nasa’s Atmosphere Observing System is not due to begin to be launched until 2028. Until then, far too little is known about the additional warming impact of the switch from coal and bunker-grade oil to gas and diesel, the impurities of which have been reflecting solar radiation that would otherwise have been substantially adding to global warming.

Climate mobilisation must be many actions, immediately. One of the least dispensable actions is teaching. Fridays, if they are to be about the climate, must be about being back at school, learning how the world really works. This schooling is needed equally by the school-aged and long since educated. It needs to understand what has been built by the miracle of fossil fuel, and the mother-of-all-unintended-consequences that is anthropogenic global warming. It may feel good to vilify the fossil-fuel industry of a Friday, but unless it is understood that why purchasing solar panels and an ev, especially by those in developed countries who can afford them, is “bad for the planet”, a low-carbon future will be as far off as ever. Only by taking a crash course in why it is necessary, for example, to mobilise to minimise physical travel and to grid-electrify “journeys” that can’t be achieved via fibre-optic cable, will voters know a serious climate policy when they see one.

Scale of price increase for selected energy-transition minerals and metals

Thinking Outside the Battery-Powered Box: Given that there is no guarantee that that humanity can lift itself up by its own bootstraps without the help of fossil fuels, it is critical not to fritter away, not just the time, but the metals and minerals essential to at-scale electrification. The fetish for battery-powering that which can hugely more efficiently be directly grid powered must be challenged for what it is—a smoke-and-mirrors-screen, which is fatally delaying the beyond-urgent, real-world climate-action mobilisation needed. chart Mahurangi Magazine | data International Energy Agency

Buried under the deadweight of multi-billion-dollar, light-rail-because-we-wouldn’t-be-seen-dead-on-a-bus proposals are off-the-shelf solutions that could drastically reduce transit carbon, almost overnight, and without another kilometre of roadway built, much less motorway. The Northern Busway, already a standout success story, by being grid-powered—double-source trolleybuses—would substantially reduce the carbon emitted by the current 1000-strong diesel bus fleet in a fraction of the official timeline to dribble out a few overly expensive, inefficient, virtue-signalling 100% battery-powered vanity buses.

The unashamedly social-housing policies of the Labour Party that, for a time, healed the social fabric of Aotearoa, have, in the 2020s, failed to be emulated. What was needed was not to attempt to entice the failed property-development industry to grudgingly produce a smidgeon more units at below a million dollars. What was needed, and it is not too late for Labour, is a Liberty-ship-scale modular-building manufacturing complex to be commissioned, strategically situated—proximity to heavy rail and allowance for tens-of-metres-sea-level rise, come to mind. Small-government acolytes would scream blue murder, but, as in wartime, it is invariably privately owned companies that obtain the contracts to build that which the state has commissioned. Invisible-hand-of-the-market believers, likewise, will be appalled. But there is no invisible hand powerful enough, patient enough, to plan, finance, and execute that which even one inspired, skilled person, as in the case of Lake Onslow, can mastermind. Besides, any remotely objective evaluation of impact of invisible-hand dogma must conclude that in the 263 years since Adam Smith coined the notion, the market has led to the brink of the destruction of a survivable climate.

Fungicide-free radiata pine trial in open-ground nursery

Where Carbon Grows on Trees: Aotearoa – New Zealand missed an historic opportunity, in 2013, to celebrate the centennial of the Royal Commission on Forestry and go one better, with a Royal Commission on Land Use. Instead, scrappy policy and town-and-country polarisation is wasting the climate-emergency crisis by failing to put radiata pine to its best use, substituting for concrete and steel, and providing the raw material for manufacturing decent accommodation that would simultaneously sequester carbon for centuries. Here, in the row on the right, Scion Research demonstrates how a low-fungicide regime can result in better plant growth rates. The Volcanic Plateau forestry nursery here inspired establishment-growth-rate trials in the Mahurangi and later in the Lake Taupō catchment, that demonstrated indigenous species could be raised by these open-ground methods at prices closer to radiata pine. image Scion Research

Those inheriting the climate emergency must waste no time in directly grasping the levers to commission the climate-action mobilisation needed. This, however, means insisting to an end to bought-and-paid-for politics, by demanding campaign finance reform and accepting nothing less. Labour has a cute answer for those who question the status quo, suggesting that because donors invariably support both parties, democracy is fine. Simon Chapple and Thomas Anderson, however:

Cross-political spectrum donations are mostly from businesses and to the two dominant parties, suggesting that businesses are trying to buy the ear of the major power in government.

In the 2011–2019 period, National received, in total, significantly more than the four next most prominent parties combined. The Greens appear to receive very little in the way of campaign donations from business, although the party take any money and muddy their message is a mystery.

In a representative, one-person-one-vote democracy, political parties have no business accepting corporate money, regardless of whether stringent reporting requirements might be—or might not  be—in place. The income of political parties, in an uncorruptible democracy, must be strictly constrained to a membership fee, periodically set by a directly elected independent body established to oversee constitutional matters. National claims that its un-means-tested membership fee is $5. At that rate, the party is in no position to object to the democracy commission restraining membership fees to $5 per registered member, and  requiring the government to pay it.

At current apparent rates of membership—about half a million across all parties—the $1 million the parties would receive collectively is only a tenth what they currently receive in donations, with or without benefits. By delaying the implementation of such a system until after the 2023 elections–referendumsthe assumption should be that at least one referendum due, as part of on-going deliberative democracy, parties would have the opportunity to sign members up at 1950s rates of membership, which would maintain party income at not much below the current level. How happy the Green party would be with that outcome would be interesting, since the party attracts a significantly higher ratio of donations to the voter support it receives than does either Labour or National.

Because Aotearoa – New Zealand only gained proportional representation in 1996, two-party-politics remains ingrained. Parties have not evolved beyond the belief that forming and leading a government means utterly excluding nearly half the citizens representative’s from power. This is a recipe for the perpetration of the crude state of affairs where one half of a society is played off against the other. Notwithstanding the once unchallenged view that thermonuclear war could reduce life on Earth to nothing more intelligent than cockroaches, Homo sapiens sapiensas opposed to Homo sapiens, to acknowledge Homo sapiens idaltu, and to avoid the more cumbersome alternative of ‘anatomically modern human being’, and for sheer cussedness under the current greenhouse-gas emissions trajectory, only the elite of high-end survivalist states may have any sort of future. Humankind is on the brink self-harm on a planetary scale. But rather than take a team-of-7.9-billion approach, corporate and political-party polarisation prevails.

DH.98 Mosquito built by Avspecs Limited during test flight, 2013.

Thinking Outside the Butterbox: Conceived in moulded wooden construction to conserve the use of militarily strategic materials, particularly aluminium, the de Havilland dh 98 Mosquito, when it went into service in 1941, “was one of the fastest operational aircraft in the world.” During testing, at 631 km/h , it out-paced, by 51 km/h , a Spitfire MkII flying at a 800-metre-lower altitude. As formidable fighter– light bomber as the Mosquito proved to be, thanks largely to its exceptionally smooth, light and strong construction, post active-service, the ply-balsa-ply airframes, exposed to the weather, disintegrated rapidly. The wings, tail section and fuselage of this—in 2013, the only operational Mosquito in the world, of 7781 produced—were built at Ardmore, Tāmaki Makaurau. After this test flight, the fb 26 ka 114 was disassembled for shipping to Virginia Beach, Virginia. Fortunately for posterity, despite concerns for the durability of radiata pine—until then, planted as a hardscrabble windbreak tree on the Canterbury plains—the advocates of planted forestry at the 1913 Royal Commission on Forestry prevailed, and had the unlikely prince of pines included, for butter boxes. For a mere $4 million, a laminated-treated-radiata-pine Mosquito, equipped, for example, to reconnoitre rogue methane emissions from altitude, could tell a swashbuckling planted-forestry climate-action-mobilisation story. image Avspecs Limited

Green parties worldwide behave as if the moral high ground they fancy they occupy automatically made them the global-warming adults in the room. Nothing could be further from reality, as Germany’s inability to sanction Russia by refusing to take another gigajoule of its natural gas following the invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated. Nobbled by the Green’s dogmatic anti-nuclear-power proclivity, Germany is left tut-tutting on the sideline. More than a million deaths annually are attributable to fossil-fuel use, and half of that is coal combustion, which the anti-nuclear-power doctrinaire Bündnis 90/Die GrünenMerger of German Green and Alliance 90 parties, since 1993 has very directly contributed to. By daring to buck the progressive reticence to revisit nuclearDr James Hansen, since he blew the anthropogenic-global-warming whistle, has unwaveringly called for nuclear power to be included in the response power, Aotearoa – New Zealand, particularly if fronted by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, would instantly have world’s attention, if it was to double-down on the exploration of pumped hydro storage, with a similar exploration of the options for replacing Huntly, including with nuclear.

Aotearoa – New Zealand has occasionally shown itself to be incredibly courageous, famously when the de Havilland Mosquitos of its 487nz Squadron participated in the daylight, low-level Operation Jericho raid to release two American spies and numerous French Resistance fighters scheduled for execution—just one of the squadron’s 3112 sorties. The story of the squadron, and its initial near-suicidal bombing sorties in lumbering Venturas—which, in fairness to Lockheed, were earlier intended as observational aircraft—is just one in the vast lacuna that an Aotearoa film industry worth of the name would have long since addressed. The lacuna that history will struggle to explain, in a world awash with serial-killer-fiction, however, is dearth of uplifting, near-term-future, movie-material novels—much less, movies—depicting the excitement and heroics of climate-action mobilisation.

The market for such unabashed swashbuckling fare, of course, is nothing that the Mahurangi Magazine, and blood, toil, tears, and sweat, couldn’t test, in the hope of provoking an author of stature and élan—one who, perchance, could come up with prose as simultaneously evocative and dissonance-ameliorating as:

…Labour’s leaders, unlike Norman Kirk, were stroking the capitalist cat, from the head to the tail.

 

 

Disclosure The author of this article is the secretary of both Mahurangi Action Incorporated and the Mahurangi Coastal Path Trust, and has voted Māori, more than once. The article published here, however, is that of the editorially independent, independently funded Mahurangi Magazine.

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