Monday, July 20, 2009

Climate change: Nelson and Napier

SignOn reports from the final climate change target consultation meeting in Nelson:

Last night, the final public climate change 2020 target consultation wrapped up in Nelson. It was a lively crowd with 180 odd people packing the Rutheford Hotel. The mood was upbeat, and like all the consultations I’ve attended, the call was loud and clear for 40%. We kicked off the night with a giant projection of messages from Sign On supporters on to the Rutherford Hotel.

The Minister, must be exhausted after this two week tour but I couldn’t help but notice his optimism or ambition from these consultations haven’t improved. He’s still framing the debate squarely around the economic costs, and downplaying the chances of a needed and ambitious target. From soil carbon experts, to geologists, from community board representatives to high school students (and Trevor, who is recently back from a training session with Al Gore) the message was – we need leadership and to focus on the enormous opportunities.

Meanwhile, out in the wops, they're still mired in Denial. The irony here is that Hawkes Bay is one of the areas most at risk from climate change, with severe drought expected to become eight times more frequent by 2080 in the medium-high warming scenario (which is looking more and more likely). That means a (currently) "one in twenty year drought", costing farmers around $500 million, every two to three years. These people aren't just ignorant - they're completely stupid.