Category: Climate Change
October was an important month for global warming advocates - New Zealand ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Essentially the Government has committed us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 - even though an estimated one million more people will be living in New Zealand by then.
After covering global warming debates as a journalist on and off for almost 30 years, with initial credulity, then growing skepticism, I have come to the conclusion that the risk of dangerous global warming, now and in the future, has been greatly exaggerated.
Public policy has a major impact on our lives; that goes without saying. If the assumptions upon which policy is based are sound, there is a good chance that the resulting laws and regulations will have a positive influence on the country. But when the assumptions are driven by ideology instead of reason, the outcomes can be detrimental.
Many articles in the Herald have emphasised the dangers of man-made global warming and warned us that extreme measures are needed to save us from this imminent climatic disaster. Almost without exception, the authors have assumed that man-made carbon dioxide causes dangerous global warming, rapid sea level rise and more floods, droughts, cyclones and so on.
The point is that junk science and hype-driven press coverage, doesn’t just apply to the diet industry. Dubious research can be found in all sorts of areas to justify claims for political or financial advantage. But nowhere is it more evident than in the field of climate change.
There is no definitive scientific proof, through real-world observation, that carbon dioxide is responsible for any of the slight warming of the global climate that has occurred during the past 300 years, since the peak of the Little Ice Age.
Should fact be the only issue that drives public policy? That is a question that is no doubt being asked by the 24,000 coastal residents in Christchurch whose properties have been designated by their Council as being at risk of sea level inundation because of global warming.
You may have heard in recent weeks that 2015 is shaping up to be the warmest ever based on the hottest recorded July. In fact we have the same positive El Nino weather pattern in the Eastern Pacific that we had in 1988, the hottest whole year on record to date.
The question that really needs to be asked is whether it is prudent for our government to be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on policies based on a theory, since man-made global warming is still unproven.
Quite why New Zealand governments have wanted to penalise households and small businesses, with an ETS that is far more onerous than that of the European Union, is not clear - especially when our country is one of the cleanest and greenest on earth, with human habitation covering less than one percent of our total land area.