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What's my home worth?

Why we must work together

After the Howl of a Protest which swept through Cambridge and the rest of the country last Friday,

Peter Matthews

I thought it only natural that I should write about it this week. But what to write? It might be problematic to engage directly with the sentiments expressed on some of the placards. "Jacinda's a communist" and "Stuff the ute tax" being two examples. Neither factual nor constructive in my view. This is a hot issue and feelings were always going run high, and no doubt will continue to do so.

One of the cornerstones of democracy is freedom of expression and anyone who truly supports democracy would go a long way to defend it. I am staunchly in favour of any citizen's right to wave a placard stating their opinion, or even the suggested placement of any policy with which they do not agree. At some point, however, there has to take place a rational discussion of the issues. Actually, there is a lot of useful discussion happening across the globe and it is to be hoped that this will lead society in a positive direction. Positive, I mean, for society - not necessarily just in line with my own views.

Regardless, however, of the progress or outcome of any conversations, summits, gatherings, or protests, this is just another day at the office for the natural world. The universe, including our tiny part of it, exists in a state of flux - the juxtaposition for the time being of all available material according to all available natural laws. Every change being a result of all previous changes and so on.

If we look at some of what is happening in the natural world today we can see that Northern California is burning, Northern Ireland has just experienced its hottest day ever, large parts of Germany and Eastern Europe are under water with catastrophic loss of life and great economic cost, the Amazon is emitting more CO2 than it is absorbing, and the South Island of New Zealand is experiencing extreme weather conditions causing widespread flooding. I list these items not to make any point one way or the other. It is simply a statement of facts.

Notwithstanding divine, or in these cases probable satanic intervention, these phenomena have been brought about by the set of physical circumstances prevalent in each case immediately prior to each situation. What the human race must do, therefore, is attempt to determine what is causing these events and do something about it.

It seems to me that governments around the world are finally waking up to their responsibilities and are making major changes. It is predictable that lives and livelihoods are going to be disrupted by these developments. One of the challenges facing humanity is to work together to manage the process for the benefit of all. We have to do this. Nature is not going to help with this because nature is simply the next logical state in which all matter must and will exist.

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