Climate Change and Us

Written By: - Date published: 4:02 pm, March 21st, 2017 - 4 comments
Categories: climate change, energy, Environment, farming, global warming, science - Tags:

The OECD published their 10-year environmental report on NZ today, showing many concerns; from rising greenhouse gas emissions, to having among the highest extinction rates in the world, to irrigation and freshwater pollution.

Steven Joyce blustered about needing to balance economic growth now and in the future against having a liveable country.

But 35 MPs in a cross-party grouping also delivered a report today.

The GLOBE-NZ grouping of MPs have been looking at our commitments to the Paris agreement, and to getting to net-zero emissions by 2050.

They’ve come up with a report, that looks what an “Innovative” NZ can do, through extensive technological improvements; or a “Resourceful” NZ can do, through extensive re-forestation and changing of land use from dairy to crops.  They compare those approaches with our current Off-Track way forward, where we make a bit of an effort, but don’t take radical steps.

Neither Resourceful or Innovative is enough, and we need some combination.

This is a brave report for the National members of the group to sign up for, when the recommendations go directly against the government’s dairy & irrigation intensification plan:

Scott Simpson, one of the National Party members of the group, said climate change was a challenge that would face all governments, of whatever stripe.

“These are issues that don’t fit neatly into a three-year parliamentary cycle.

“So it make sense for us to not be too politically isolated in terms of how we approach issues of this sort, I think it’s been a good process.”

Much easier for Green MPs, like group leader Kennedy Graham, and Labour to sign up for, when it marries with their other commitments.  NZ First and Maori MPs are also involved.  David Seymour was involved, but didn’t endorse the report.

It’s great to see cross-party engagement on such a significant issue that impacts all of us – as the World Meteorological Organisation’s report (also today!) makes clear.

Despite the dissipation of El Nino, 2017 continues to build on 2016’s record-breaking heat.  Polar melting continues to hit records, and is affecting the weather world-wide.  We have atmospheric CO2 at levels not seen for 4 million years.

Trump is trying to cut climate change research, and remove it from international agreements (G20 = 19 vs 1 – Russia & Saudi are concerned about climate change even when the US is not) but as record heat events continue it’s clear the rest of the us in the world need to step up.

(anomaly compared to 1961-1990 average. against pre-industrial age average is bigger…)

4 comments on “Climate Change and Us”

  1. weka 1

    The Green Party has committed to the Net Zero by 2050 option,

    “We are the last generation with the power to stop runaway climate change. Taking action to eliminate climate pollution today will change the lives of every generation that follows – for the better,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

    “This report has shown it’s entirely possible for New Zealand to have a prosperous future that doesn’t come at the cost of our environment – a future where Government supports the creation of successful and sustainable businesses and farms.

    “This is a political breakthrough. For the first time there is a shared understanding across all parties in Parliament about the nature of the challenge in front of us. The debate now is about how ambitious we want to be in living up to our responsibilities and in seizing the opportunities of a low-carbon economy.

    “The report presents three scenarios in detail, two of which would be a vast improvement on New Zealand’s current pathway.

    “The report also presents a fourth scenario which shows that, while ambitious, it is actually possible for New Zealand to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

    Full press release at

    https://www.greens.org.nz/news/press-release/greens-back-ambitious-pathway-tackle-climate-pollution

  2. Glenn 2

    “Record-breaking climate change pushes world into ‘uncharted territory’

    Shit, just at a time when the World needs heroic visionary leadership, what do we get?

    A total waste of Oxygen wanker for US president!

    TRUMP MAKING AMERICA SHITE AGAIN !!!” *

    *Not my words but my thoughts. Copied from a Guardian reader who pretty well sums things up.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/21/record-breaking-climate-change-world-uncharted-territory

    Our descendants will despise us for the world they will inherit.

    “It’s maximums of 31 in Canberra in late March and still 20 at midnight. Even an idiot should be able to figure out this isn’t right”…another reader.

  3. Paul Campbell 3

    Time for us to stop recycling paper and cardboard – we ought to be throwing that carbon back down coal mines, or at least land-filling it.

    If we stop recycling and start actively land-filling we’ll have to grow more trees and fix more carbon, all the better.

  4. Kevin 4

    I think people just need to face up to the fact that human civilisation has had its day.

    If anyone thinks that just turning everything off that is currently causing the problem is the answer, then they are dreaming.

    Key indicator, Arctic sea ice. The Arctic in the northern hemisphere, like the Antarctic in the Southern, is the air conditioning unit for each hemisphere. Arctic sea ice is disappearing at an unsustainable rate. I am not talking about what you see on the surface, but what is underneath. Approximately 40% over the last 30 years has disappeared. See here for the relevant graphs:
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/research/projects/arctic-sea-ice-volume-anomaly/

    or here:
    https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    At the rate it is disappearing, you do not have to be a genius to figure out the end result. Temperatures currently 2-5 degrees above average for this month. In January 7 degrees C above average.

    With the resultant temperature increases, human survivability in many parts of the world will not be sustainable and people will be looking elsewhere. Somewhere with shitloads of clean, fresh water for starters…

    I have twin daughters coming up to their 3rd birthday and so I realise that their future is not that bright, and that is being generous. Civil disorder is my biggest fear and so I am planning accordingly. No doubt people will mock and throw the usual insults.

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