Thursday, September 14, 2023

ACT: the party of climate change denial

Over the weekend, a no-longer rare "medicane" flooded the city of Derna in Libya. The confirmed death toll is already over 5,000, and could go as high as 20,000. But according to ACT's climate change spokesperson, there is no climate emergency:

The Act Party’s climate change spokesman says there is no climate emergency, which drew gasps from the audience during a pre-election debate last night.

Simon Court, who is also the party’s spokesman for transport, energy and resources, and environment, was speaking during an event hosted by the Environmental Defence Society at the law firm Bell Gully in Auckland.


Society chair and moderator Gary Taylor opened by asking the panellists for a one-word answer on whether a climate emergency is occurring.

Court answered, “not because politicians said there is” in an apparent reference to former Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern declaring a climate emergency in the House in 2020.

When pushed by Taylor, Court clarified that meant “no”.

Which invites the question: if 20,000 dead in a single climate disaster isn't an emergency, what is? And while Derna is an extreme example, news of climate change-induced fires, floods, storms, heatwaves and droughts is now a daily occurrence. Including in Aotearoa, where Auckland has flooded twice this year, and the East Coast has been devastated by Cyclone Gabrielle.

But ACT refuses to recognise this, because at their core they're a climate change denier party. They always have been, and they always will be. And when they're promising to use all the power they have in parliament to hold the government to ransom and impose their extremist ideology, it means that any coalition involving them is going to be a climate change denying government as well. And at this stage in the climate crisis, that's just not something we can afford.