Colin takes a similiar view to myself:
On another issue, is anyone else puzzled by TVNZ’s lead story last night? Two National MPs, Lockwood Smith and Maurice Williamson, allegedly don’t “believe” in climate change. What? Quelle horreur! Have them arrested at once! Surely this is a hanging offence now in this country?
For a start, I’d be amazed if the Right-leaning and ultra-dry, cynical and conservative Locky or Maurice did accept the science behind climate change. Not that TVNZ had any proof of this, besides the pair’s refusal to state on the record that they were “believers”.
It has been going around the traps that both MPs have made scoffing noises at a couple of private gatherings about climate change. But so what? Both told TVNZ they accepted and supported National’s party policy, which is that climate change is a real and present danger. So what’s the problem here? I’d be staggered if all 48 National MPs did accept climate change. After all, Key himself is a relatively recent convert.
David Parker, the Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues, has put out a braying release this morning taunting National for having a couple of MPs with the temerity to suggest his portfolio is not as important as he would think. He should be careful. I’d be equally staggered if every MP in the Labour Party accepted climate change either. In fact, I can think of a couple of names off the top of my head who I’m pretty sure think it’s a load of bunk.
Isn’t it interesting the religious overtones that have crept into this debate? We talk about “believing” in climate change, and having “converted” to it. It’s like a new branch of Scientology.
Personally I accept the weight of scientific opinion that the planet is warming, and that human activity is at least partly responsible. I am, however, unclear as to whether the efforts being made to date to mitigate this are anything more than political tokenism and window-dressing.
I also defend the right of Lockwood Smith and Maurice Williamson to remain dubious about it. I just wish they’d have the guts to say it in public.
Salem witch trials, anyone?
Colin has been blogging for a while now and he is often forthright in putting forward blunt opinions on how he sees things. That’s the whole point of blogging.
What is somewhat noteworthy on this issue, is that the journalist who fronted the TVNZ story is One New Political Editor, Guyon Espiner,. As many know, Guyon and Colin are brothers. Now I don’t point this out to embarrass or cause hassles for either of them. I respect both Espiners for the jobs they do (while reserving the right to criticise on individual stories).
I just think it is a healthy sign that the sibling relationship didn’t stop Colin from stating his disagreement with the TVNZ story. And that is not to suggest that he has done so in the past – it is just the first time I can recall a fairly direct (albeit unnamed) criticism in such a situation.
On the same topic The Greens made some fair and useful points:
Labour’s attacks on John Key and various National MPs for not believing in climate change are interesting, but ultimately a bit of a sideshow. It doesn’t matter whether Cullen and his team believe in climate change or not if their actions are not doing anything to address the problem. Believing is a relatively easy step to take given there is a global scientific consensus that climate change is happening and is caused by humans.
Cullen and Clark can talk about sustainability and carbon neutrality as much as they like, but they are currently responsible for an increase in coal mining, dairy conversions and carbon emissions. Greenpeace says that their own target for the acceptable level of global warming is not low enough. On this issue Labour’s record is not significantly different than National’s.
Indeed. The percentage increase (which Kyoto is based on) of greenhouse gas emissions for NZ under Clark has been higher than for the US under Bush and Australia under Howard.