Tuesday, February 21, 2023

National is still full of climate change deniers

National MP Maureen Pugh's response to Cyclone Gabrielle, the climate-change fuelled cyclone which has devastated the East Coast and Hawkes Bay and killed eleven people? Climate change denial:

National MP Maureen Pugh says she has yet to see “the evidence” that humans caused or the human impact on climate change.


If she believed in human-caused climate change, Pugh said she had yet to see the response from Shaw after a local councillor wrote to him asking for the evidence.

“It's not what I think, it's what I can prove. I am waiting on the evidence from the minister that provides that evidence.”

“I have yet to see what the evidence is that they are providing about that.”

“I'm not denying climate change. I've seen the evidence of it. We have cooled and warmed, cooled and warmed over millions of years.”

Except she is denying climate change, or at least that we've caused it and that its a problem that we need to do something about. And while the current National leadership is promising to have "a conversation" with her about this, National's dirty secret is that they're still full of climate change deniers. In 2013, Gerry Brownlee - who is still a senior National MP - expressed views pretty much identical to Pugh's: that "climate change is something that has happened always, so to simply come up and say, look, it’s man-made, is an interesting prospect". In 2019, in the midst of the debate over the Zero Carbon Act, Todd Muller - who was then their climate change spokesperson, and is in that role again today - when talking about the impact of agricultural emissions, said "this stuff is not conclusive" (it is, it really is). And while Christoper Luxon may pay lip service to climate change being real, he is absolutely crystal clear that the party he leads will never do anything about it (and will in fact repeal all the stuff we are currently doing about it). He'll happily burn the planet and kill us all so farmers - and airlines - can continue to make a profit. And while we all hope that National will somehow recognise reality, that seems unlikely, because their rural core vote are climate change deniers. That is literally who they represent.

The upshot of all this is that if you want climate change action, you can't vote national. It is that simple.