Written By: - Date published: 10:23 am, July 18th, 2015 - 139 comments
Categories: articles, climate change, disaster, Environment, farming, global warming, Media, science, sustainability, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: jack tame, john roughan, nz herald
Mike Hosking has been on holiday lately and Newstalk ZB have brought in Jack Tame to do his Mike’s minute slot. The change has been enjoyable.
Tame’s final effort which you can see here allowed him to rail against the world’s inaction on climate change. He was blunt in his analysis and said that as a species because of our failure to do anything significant about climate change we are heading towards potential extinction. He did not think his views were extreme. He merely reflected on the information he had been exposed to and what he had experienced. The tipping point is now. Either we wake up and do something so that we can leave a half decent world to our kids one day or we face catastrophe.
And with a 2 degree increase in average temperature such issues as Auckland housing market, dairy payouts and zero hour contracts will not matter.
Earlier this month he criticised the Government’s proposal for a 11% reduction in GHG emissions to be taken to the Paris Climate change talks later this year. He mentioned the almost unanimity of support for a significant and aggressive reduction in greenhouse gas production and how timid the Government’s target was in comparison. He talked about how some of our proudest moments happened when we stood up and took a stand. Womens suffrage, the anti nuclear movement and opposition to apartheid were referred to. He concluded by saying the 11% was not nearly enough.
Normal transmission will be resumed next Monday when Hosking returns from holiday. But for a few brief moments the spark of recognition of the seriousness of climate change has lit the newsrooms of Newstalk ZB.
But to return to right wing business as usual John Roughan’s column in this morning’s Herald is a startling effort.
He seems to accept that climate change is occurring. But he does not think that it will be such a big problem. Although even he thinks that the Government’s proposed target is not enough.
Climate change went well down the world’s agenda after the global financial crisis because economic problems were more important. The subject is coming back now as governments prepare for a December conference in Paris that will attempt to set new targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. A capped emissions market is an efficient precaution. I think New Zealand could bear a cap more respectable than the Government plans to take to Paris.
The final few sentences of his post descend into farce.
But if the worst that can happen is a rise of a metre in sea levels and a few degrees in mean temperatures over a century, I think we’ll cope.
The climate does seem to be changing. Auckland’s past two summers have been unusually long and lovely, this winter is unusually cold. Droughts and floods we can handle.
Science says otherwise, but not the sort of science that sends a probe to Pluto. Climate science is on a political mission.
That may be more exciting, more lucrative possibly, but I find all sciences more credible when their mission is the endless one into the unknown.
Unfortunately the reality is that climate change will not bring us slightly better barbecue weather. Adverse weather including presumably the floods in Whanganui, disastrous farming conditions, inundation of low lying areas and the threats to our transport networks already pose significant problems to the country. And we are only just starting to see the effects.