Kevin Hester is an environmental and anti-imperialist activist living in New Zealand who is raising the alarm about the dramatic, planetary-scale changes that are underway. He is expecting “the imminent collapse of the biosphere from the perfect storm of runaway abrupt climate change and indifferent human hubris.” He regularly publicizes the latest pertinent stories and data on his website, kevinhester.live, and on his interview show, Nature Bats Last, on the Progressive Radio Network (which he took over from Guy McPherson, the well-known proponent of Near Term Human Extinction theory).
In January of this year, I spoke with Hester over Skype, as part of researching an upcoming (and nearly finished) new book. What follows is a transcript of the conversation, edited for clarity.
Sonnenblume: So I don’t know very much about you except that you’re an activist around climate change and specifically around abrupt climate change.
Hester: Correct. And also, I’ve been involved in anti-nuclear, anti-racist organizations all my adult life as well. So I’ve been in that whole spectrum of environmentalism and geopolitics, the whole gamut.
Sonnenblume: New Zealand doesn’t have any nuclear there, right?
Hester: Yes. Myself and my peers played a small role in that where we used to protest out on the water where the nuclear ships used to come to New Zealand. We’re a member of the ANZUS treaty (Australia-New Zealand-United States) and we fought the government into a corner and backed them up and got enough public support to have New Zealand declared nuclear-free. In the very early 1990’s. It was a really big victory for us.
Sonnenblume: And that’s still the case, right?
Hester: It is, but incrementally the government of New Zealand is making a rapprochement with the Americans. I would be certain that American ships are using our international waters for ships with nuclear weapons, and probably nuclear-powered. The government just turns a blind eye to everything.
Sonnenblume: Right. It seems like that’s kind of the story these days.
Hester: Yes. Subservience to the empire. Whatever America wants, America gets. They get it either officially or unofficially, from what I’ve seen.