I personally believe that the IPCC is basically right with its conclusions that, if nothing else changes, ever increasing levels of greenhouse gases will lead to a rise in global temperatures. It is pretty basic science.
I think there is uncertainty about the “if nothing else changes” because we don’t know for sure how the rest of the climate system reacts to the increased warming from greenhouse gases – does it exacerbate the problem (as IPCC thinks) or does it mitigate the problem (as some believe). On issues such as this, there is little hard data – it is mainly forecasts and theories.
Overall I think prudent steps to reduce emissions is sensible. However the notion that if we do not act with a few years the world is doomed is hysterical scaremongering – the IPCC itself forecasts an increase in sea levels by 2100 of only 19 to 69 cm.
The Herald reported on a recent consultation meeting on what our emissions target should be. And I just detest those who try and demonise those with a contrary viewpoint. It is like modern day witch burnings – but without the fire.
In another moment of silliness, electricity consultant Brian Leyland – seemingly the only climate change sceptic in the room – was heckled by Mr Lee, the man who was supposed to be keeping the meeting in order. “We have a flat earther here,” he joked.
Great. The so called neutral chairman insults and denigrates someone who has taken the time to turn up and have their say. What fucking arrogance.
For a minute it seemed Mr Leyland might have a saviour – climate scientist Jim Salinger protested that the sceptic should be given his chance to speak.
But seconds later Dr Salinger, too, put the boot in, comparing his opponent to a Holocaust denier. “And I can say that because of my ethnicity.”
No you can’t. You should be ashamed of yourself to compare someone debating forecasts and predictions of future climate change, to neo-Nazi racist hate filled Holocaust deniers. If you do not know the difference between a massively well documented and witnessed historical event, and forecasts and predictions of future change, then you are stupid or malicious.
Most people in the packed meeting room at the Hyatt Regency hotel had turned up to say they supported Greenpeace’s target of cutting emissions 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 – likely to be considerably bolder than what the Government ultimately commits the country to.
Of course the Government will not commit to 40% by 2020 – they are not suicidal. This is barely ten years away, and as we are already 20% or so over 1990 levels, it is really calling for a halving in a decade.
Now half of our emissions come from agriculture. So if a Government was stupid enough to sign up to 40% reduction by 2020, it would either need to totally eliminate agricultural emissions (which can only be achieved by shooting every cow in NZ) or totally eliminate non-agricultural emissions – yes in just a decade every power source that emits carbon would need to be replaced. Or some combination of the two.
You think 8% unemployment is tough. You just try and reduce our emissions by 50% in a decade. And think how proud we will be with 20% unemployment but hey we reduced our contribution to global emissions from 0.2% to 0.1%. But in the meantime China (which will not sign any reduction agreement) has doubled its emissions. I would have to check but I think the weekly growth in China’s emissions is more than our 50% reduction would be.
Again, I support reducing our emissions – both for reasons of trade, but also to contribute to reducing global emissions. But the 40% target by 2020 is simply not achievable without a huge reduction in output – or in other words a massive reduction in income levels and employment.