It is obvious the extent of Government’s promise to be transparent does not extend to letting the public know how much is being spent on the COP27 trip to Egypt, writes Ruta Mave.
It started with a dream. The Pharoah of Egypt was
confused when he saw seven fat cows be eaten by seven thin cows. The next night
it repeated with seven sheafs of wheat. Determined it meant something he called
for Joseph who was a slave imprisoned for supposedly having relations with the
master’s wife – he had been framed because he refused the wife’s advances.
Having said that, prison was a light sentence for such an offence in those
days, leads you to think that not a lot has changed in our society where a man
can ‘pat’ woman with a bush knife and only get a ‘pat on the hand.’
Joseph’s case proves the adage ‘God works
in mysterious ways’ because we see after 13 years of slavery and prison God
gives Joseph the important mission and assignment of saving the people of
Egypt. His is a roller coaster test of endurance and love for God after first being
sold into slavery by his brothers – you could forgive him for thinking he had
been given a raw deal – but his faith led him to the day he interpreted the
dream as a coming of seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine
Joseph is appointed in charge of the
collection of a fifth of every farmers harvest to store during the seven good
years and is in charge of distribution during the seven years of famine. He meets
his brothers begging for food and takes the opportunity to forgive them and
reunite himself with his family after being absent for twenty years. A happy
ending for Joseph and a moral story of perseverance and God’s deliverance. I
guess better late than never.
Egypt story is one of climate change which
affects them greatly and directly and they are the hosts for the 27th
annual United Nations Climate Change conference COP27. The country temperature has increased 2C
since the start of the 20th century. The Nile River which is certain
to change by a standard deviation of flow by approximately 50 per cent, will
likely cause an equal threat of both flooding and drought killing the fertile
agricultural lands alongside the Nile River.
It is the rise in carbon emissions that
has been highlighted as a main cause in rising climate temperatures that has
caused the increase melting of glaciers and the artic continents resulting in
rise in sea levels, flooding, droughts, heat waves reduced crop productions and
air water and land pollution.
This is a serious case for the world to
start preparing for like Joseph did in small incremental ways over an extended
period. So how does it make sense to have hundreds fly into Egypt to discuss
the very problems they want to avoid by adding to it with their lack of carbon
foot print care?
The Cook Islands is a microdot in the
scheme of things and yet we are sending how many people to Egypt? The Prime
Minister is a given, Head of Foreign Affairs and staff why? The information could
be accessed online. Staff from the Climate Change office you would think is a
given, but how many is necessary and what are they going to learn from Egypt’s
challenges that will be transferable to our tropical island? Why is Office of
Prime Minister head of staff Ben Ponia plus staff going? Is it because they are
sending so many ‘staff’ he needs to organise their itinerary and excursions? I
do believe someone should be there, not a whole netball team. It is obvious the
extent of Government’s promise to be transparent does not extend to letting the
public know how much is being spent on this ‘not so little’ hotel holiday
New Zealand just gave us fundings for
climate change is this what they are using? There is a green climate change
fund of millions of which we got our hands on, is this what they are using?
Is all this climate change babble just a
dream they have interpreted but no one is doing the ‘Joseph Effect’ by being
proactive and doing real time real production work to make changes like installing
the solar lighting on Rarotonga where most of the people live and use power.
Funding should be helping with effective
projects like saving the lagoon from pollution and thorn starfish, not for
sitting in a room the other side of the world. Research into clean energy
production avenues like using our constant and never-ending wave power around every
Climate change funding should be used to
do more than feather the nest of government gluttons.
This trip sounds like a pyramid scheme due
to the emphasis on recruiting countries to pay with no genuine tangible product
or service offered with a promise of high return in a short period of time.