So, as far as National and Maori leaders are concerned, it’s a done deal: “Maori Party to support ETS – bill to become law in days”. Unless (as suggested by Eddie) some Maori Party MPs remember their principles and vote against it, National’s ETS will be forced through parliament under urgency. NRT weighs in with some comments on the details of the deal, including a list of good opposition amendments that will be quashed with Maori support.
National’s version of the ETS is crap*: the Environment Commissioner says it “will not achieve its stated goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions” and does not support it, Treasury refused to endorse a regulatory impact statement. Combined with our inadequate emissions reductions targets for Copenhagen (we are now being internationally mocked for this) it is clear that this government has no intention of seriously addressing climate change.
It really doesn’t matter whether the National and Maori leaders are too stupid to understand the consequences of climate change, or whether they do understand and are simply too callous to care. Either way the end result will be the same. Unless every country does its fair share the world is going to end up with a lot more sand for useless short-sighted politicians to bury their heads in. A lot more sand:
World on course for catastrophic 6° rise, reveal scientists
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
The world is now firmly on course for the worst-case scenario in terms of climate change, with average global temperatures rising by up to 6C by the end of the century, leading scientists said yesterday. Such a rise which would be much higher nearer the poles would have cataclysmic and irreversible consequences for the Earth, making large parts of the planet uninhabitable and threatening the basis of human civilisation.
We are headed for it, the scientists said, because the carbon dioxide emissions from industry, transport and deforestation which are responsible for warming the atmosphere have increased dramatically since 2002, in a way which no one anticipated, and are now running at treble the annual rate of the 1990s. … Although the 6C rise and its potential disastrous effects have been speculated upon before, this is the first time that scientists have said that society is now on a path to meet it.
What does a 6° rise mean for the planet? The same article continues:
Just how dangerous was signalled in 2007 by the science writer Mark Lynas, who combed all the available scientific research to construct a picture of a world with [a 6° increase]. … He said: “It would cause a mass extinction of almost all life and probably reduce humanity to a few struggling groups of embattled survivors clinging to life near the poles.”
Very few species could adapt in time to the abruptness of the transition, he suggested. “With the tropics too hot to grow crops, and the sub-tropics too dry, billions of people would find themselves in areas of the planet which are essentially uninhabitable. This would probably even include southern Europe, as the Sahara desert crosses the Mediterranean. “As the ice-caps melt, hundreds of millions will also be forced to move inland due to rapidly-rising seas. As world food supplies crash, the higher mid-latitude and sub-polar regions would become fiercely-contested refuges.
National, Maori – this is the path that the world is on. This is the path that your short-sighted, stupid and greedy ETS does nothing to turn us aside from. The future will judge you harshly. A plague on both your houses.
[* Sorry for the blunt language in this post. It is not a topic to be polite about any more.]