Wow. I for one am pretty surprised at the level of left-wing anger that has been directed at zero-carbon future campaign group Generation Zero recently. John Minto laid into them recently as did, somewhat less concerningly, Penny Bright.
Personally I think Facebook statuses from Socialist Aotearoa claiming that Gen Zero can’t be taken seriously are pretty unhelpful. This stems from a rather obstructive trait that we rend to share on the left: that being the unique capability to alienate our allies.
Sure, depending on your particular political allegiances, you might legitimately think that Gen Zero were a little light on Len and a little hard on John Minto in their Auckland Mayoralty Election Guide. However, is this really a reason to question their motives, their philosophy, and their commitment to social justice? Nah bro.
Generation Zero are very open about what they stand for: a zero-carbon future for the sake of intergenerational social justice. They say that it simply isn’t justifiable to continue to build a world in any form that will be uninhabitable for future generations, or even for young generations who are alive today. I’m not involved with Gen Zero, but I happen to agree with them on this one. We might not agree on everything but on this issue they are an invaluable ally, and their organising skills are formidable.
I think it’s too easy to forget that Gen Zero aren’t a political party: they aren’t tied to ideology or even a set of policies. They are, in effect, a single-issue group who have a number of (very reasonable) ways of getting to their desired goal. There are reasons for and against free public transport. Despite supporting it myself, I can see how it might run contrary to some of Gen Zero’s transport and low-carbon future goals. That’s cool by me. At least they’re doing something. It’s rarer than you’d think…
Wouldn’t it be better to use their expertise to help us with our common goals, and let them go on their merry way in areas where we do not agree? They are NOT THE ENEMY and, who knows, we might pick up some organising capability while we’re at it. We sure as shit need some.