Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Climate Change: The consequences

For the past week in Question Time, the National Party has opened with a question complaining about high petrol prices. In doing so, they're suggesting that petrol prices be lower, and that therefore greenhouse gas emissions increase. In other words, they're demanding that the government destroy the planet. Meanwhile, there's a scary article today on what climate change is doing already. The short version:

  • The tropical dry zone is getting bigger by half a degree of latitude a decade;
  • The Sahara desert has increased by 10% since 1920;
  • The boundary between the wet part of the continential US and the Great American Desert (previously on the 100th meridian) has shifted east by 140 miles;
  • Tornado Alley has shifted 500 miles east in 30 years, endangering more people;
  • US plant hardiness zones are moving north at 13 miles per decade. This is a proxy for natural ecosystems, so what it means is shifting climates and the potential extinction of plant species;
  • Canada's permafrost line has moved 80 miles north in 50 years. Again, this means shrinking natural ecosystems;
  • Australia's wheat belt is moving 160 miles south per decade, meaning reduced production.

None of this is good news. But by supporting lower petrol prices, this is what National is implicitly demanding: the continued devastation of our natural ecosystems, more disasters, more drought, less food. These are not responsible policies. They are not humane policies. And parties which advocate for them do not deserve your vote.