I was blown away on Wednesday when Russel Norman asked Minister Smith if he thought central government should give local councils some direction on how to adapt to climate change, and the Minister spent heaps of words saying ‘no’.
Russel’s questions were in light of the World Meteorological Organisation and global insurance giant Munich Re both coming out and saying that the unprecedented amount of floods and other extreme weather events around the world right now are definitely part of a trend attributed to climate change. The head of GeoRisk at Munich Re had this to say:
Climate change cannot be identified from individual events but our figures, backed by verifiable changes in meteorological data, indicate a trend towards an increase in extreme weather events that can only be fully explained by climate change.
The current state of knowledge leaves no doubt about the existence of anthropogenic climate change.
So, climate change is already causing an increase in extreme weather events, just as the science predicted. Go figure!
All Russel was asking the Minister was whether or not he would require local councils to plan for these events, through a National Policy Statement on climate change adaptation.
The Minister didn’t want to say no, so he pretended that Russel was asking for something else – like telling councils where they could build houses and the like.
It was really just smoke and mirrors to indicate that John Key’s Government is going to do absolutely nothing to help New Zealanders prepare for what the scientists and actuaries know is already happening!
This has really turned out to be a do-nothing government of empty rhetoric, busy tearing things down but not preparing or planning for the future.
‘Letting the market decide’ is a poor excuse for a lack of vision and leadership.
Here’s Russel in this week’s Green video: