Now, more than ever, I am feeling a bit clueless when it comes to international development, economics, politics, and science. I just attended the finance and expenditure select committee in order to make an oral submission on the Climate Change (Emissions Trading and Renewable Preference) Bill. We had lost the key player in the submission due to a family bereavement and so were left with the boss, who has only been in the job a couple of months, and me. I only went along to see how things worked in the legislative process and where we could make a difference on issues relating to international development.
Anyway, so it was the boss and I having to suddenly become experts on climate change and the effect of an international emissions trading scheme and how that affects developing countries… and then how that relates to the NZ bill that is heading through parliament.
I’m not convinced we were overly successful and I wish I’d read up on it a lot more so I’d have been able to offer something… anything!
After that we headed to have lunch with the boss’s former colleague up at the Beehive. She’s a lovely woman but we got talking about the plight of the world and she basically said “Africa needs to sort out its own problems.” I freaked out at this, knowing that it is near impossible and the reason is that “the West” has shafted Africa in the first place (among many other countries/continents) so bumbled something along those lines to her, to which she replied “But isn’t that just shifting the blame?” I couldn’t articulate anything even vaguely comprehensible beyond that so just left it and we moved on.
Why can’t I come up with any decent arguments for the things I believe in?
I’m not saying that the reason I am an idiot is because I spend all my time knitting and sewing, but I think I could definitely spend a bit more time reading up on these things if I ever want to engage in intelligent conversation.
It doesn’t help when I read George and Terence, who put a lot of time and energy into knowing ‘stuff’… but I guess I can aspire to contribute something worthwhile. And in order to feel less inadequate, I am trying to pressure George into taking up knitting. ha!