Brian Rudman today pins down the real danger the Rodney Hide’s climate denialism represents to New Zealand:
The British Government Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, published in March, was blunt.
“The scientific evidence is now overwhelming; climate change is a serious global threat, and it demands an urgent global response. Hundreds of millions of people could suffer hunger, water shortages and coastal flooding as the world warms.”
The review warned that “our actions now and over the coming decades could create risks of major disruption to economic and social activity, on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the 20th century. And it will be difficult or impossible to reverse these changes”.
And these are the cautious, official pronouncements. Many scientists are much more apocalyptic. Alongside this overwhelming consensus, Mr Hide’s flippant naysaying was easy to laugh off when he was a gang of one. But for Mr Key to now give these views credibility risks making New Zealand a laughing stock as well.
National campaigned on reviewing the way New Zealand meets our Kyoto treaty obligations to reduce our carbon footprint. That’s fine. Act’s global warming denial policy was not part of the deal. Mr Key should spell this out pronto.
I would have said though that scientists are currently apoplectic rather than apocalyptic. Climate change is a relatively easy thing to combat, if only we want to. We have already developed all the technological solutions we need. We just need to start using them. But first we need some greater responsibility shown by Hide. If he is a scientist, as he claims, he should understand what a scientific consensus is and what it means.