energy and the environment

Pat Wall

 I really want to push towards justice, be that social, economic, environmental. I really desire justice and positive change to see things get better for people.

 

Sust Lens:

Guest tonight is Pat Wall. Now, what we did tonight was … what we did a couple weeks ago was we looked at all the candidates for the regional council because there was too many city counselors to even think about, so we looked at all the regional counselors and said like, “Who looks like to be the most sustainable person, the one who is the core candidate, he’s really exemplifying this.” You want to put him to the test, or her. Unfortunately it’s mostly men. Tonight we have Pat Wall who’s an energy and environmental management scientist and he’s Native American and he’s come and decided to stay and live and make a home here in New Zealand. He’s running for regional council. Otago Regional Council, which does our environmental management around the region. Welcome to the show, Pat.

 

Pat:

Thank you very much for having me.

 

Sust Lens:

You mention that you’re Native American. What part of America are you from?

 

Pat:

Well, all over. Born in Japan but the family is from … I grew up in the southeast. My father is from the southeast. Tennessee is where he’s from. I grew up in Florida. My mom’s from Colorado. There’s actually a mixture of native on both sides. Cherokee on my dad’s side and then another western tribe that we don’t know because my grandfather’s orphaned on the other side. I grew up with the knowledge and respect of that and that has always seen me be very close to the environment. Part of my heritage, part of my soul if you will.

 

Sust Lens:

You said were born in Japan. I’m guessing you were military family?

 

Pat:

Yeah, yeah, which is why I’m very anti-militant right now. Fundamentally why I left the United States was I got tired of seeing all my taxes go to wars around the world when I would rather see them go to health and education for the public.

 

Sust Lens:

Right, so what was it like growing up in the southeast of the US? What was that childhood like? How is it different from a normal non-native American? If that’s the term. I don’t know. We have [inaudible 00:02:08] here.

 

Pat:

Well, I mean, the United States regionally is very different, and the south … I don’t have the southern accent anymore but I was a southern boy. I actually grew up in a very conservative family that most of them still don’t believe in climate change in a region where science denial, denial of facts of any sort is prevalent and racism is prevalent and I grew away from that. I look back at it, I grew up in that and I understand it and I moved to the north, central north Minnesota, Minneapolis, which is a very progressive place, a very rational place. I grew very far away from that southern upbringing, and then I travelled the world and started looking at human issues around the world in a completely different light. I was very … I had very much tunnel vision growing up in the south and it was a product of my environment, the people around me and such as that and yes, going out and traveling and studying, et cetera, broadened me. Thank God for that.

 

Sust Lens:

You were almost escaping that.

 

Pat:

Oh, absolutely.

 

Sust Lens:

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