Blah Blah Blah.
It’s hard not to become a bit blasé towards climate change headlines. Flooding kills hundreds - blah. Catastrophic droughts - blah blah. One-in-a-hundred year events happening every year - blah blah blah.
The earth had its highest temperature on record - again. Think we’ve read that one.
So many articles telling us what we already know. That we should urgently do something about climate change. But depressingly knowing that we won’t - again.
But some headlines do still catch the eye. Like this one from yesterday:
The article states that “it’s still early to determine the cause of this extreme event but according to our experts, it is certainly connected to the drought period and high temperatures in Lake Tefé, in which some points are exceeding 39 degrees Celsius.”
39 degrees, that’s pretty warm!
If you get into a swimming pool in the high twenties it feels like a warm bath. 39 degrees is hot pool territory.
The sort of temperature that relaxes you, makes you a bit sleepy. Lovely for half an hour, but you wouldn’t swim in it any longer and dolphins surely weren’t designed to either.
To be honest, it’s a surprise that they haven’t all left by now. The dolphins, I mean.
Seriously Nick, another newsletter on climate change? You know nobody wants to read one of those - why do you bother?
Can’t you just write another funny one about mean old Nicola Willis getting squashed by a house? Or Christopher Luxon being the pointless and powerless Oz, promising things from behind a curtain, with no ability to deliver them?
Or perhaps be a bit less obvious, like a courgette hidden in a bolognese sauce. How about one with James Shaw encouraging people to follow the green cycle path and telling people they can find the heart, the brains, and the courage to do so?
What’s so special about climate change anyway? C’mon you know voters don’t care. They say it’s less important than the price of petrol. Yes, I appreciate the irony.
What they want is someone to stop teenage kids going off the rails, lock em up and get them back on track. Or some other nonsense that doesn’t add up to a hill of beans compared to climate change.
I don’t want to labour the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy references, but it’s kind of like worrying about the ram raiders about to crash through the front of your dairy window, to get those cigarettes you keep selling. When the reality is a bulldozer is about to knock your business over to make way for light rail.
So, what’s the rush?
Last week I posted about New York City being underwater, nothing to do with the dolphins please note. Suggesting maybe we want to start taking this seriously? Saying there were signs on the East Coast of the US telling people to go home, to “turn around, don't drown”. Charlie, a friend on Facebook, made the following comments:
“There’s plenty of evidence and discussion out there, but the level of change is so massive that people are just not able to comprehend it and so see each event as a one off. We label those events a 1:100 year flood, a 1:50 year weather bomb, and so on. This helps us break the issue down into manageable parts, but ignores the fact that the ratios are changing and this method of managing acceptance is just kicking the can down the road.
Ultimately we should’ve been having the discussion about mitigation, coastal retreat, building zones, transport infrastructure changes and so on 60 years ago. The writing has been on the wall for about 80 years and arguably more. But 60 years ago we were being sold a technological dream in all facets of life that would be our salvation and create solutions to problems that didn't even exist yet.
That thinking still exists and so people are still living in places that will be disproportionately affected by incremental climate change waiting for those technological solutions to magically appear. Meanwhile we continue being overwhelmed by the actual truth of the situation, even when we’re wading through human waste and mud. Carrying our valuables to higher ground, talking about the 1:100 year events that happen in one form or another every bloody year..”
Meanwhile in southern Spain it was 45.7 degrees, believed to be the highest September temperature ever recorded in Europe, on the 5th of September, near Córdoba. It was 35 degrees there this weekend - in October!
On this side of the world the temperature peaked at 35.6 degrees in Sydney on Sunday. If it’s that hot in Australia now then what the hell is going to be like in January for the, now annual, bushfire season? Mind you if you think that sounds concerning, you might want to sit down for the next bit.
Some scientists are now predicting that the Gulf Stream may collapse as early as 2025, bringing catastrophic impacts. In good news that’s very much at the earlier end of the estimates, with the midpoint being 2050. In bad news - it’s the year after next!
Such an event “would have disastrous consequences around the world, severely disrupting the rains that billions of people depend on for food in India, South America and west Africa. It would increase storms and drop temperatures in Europe, and lead to a rising sea level on the eastern coast of North America. It would also further endanger the Amazon rainforest and Antarctic ice sheets.”
So what are the politicians going to do about all of this?
It’s quite easy to sum up the climate change policies of New Zealand First and ACT, you certainly don’t need a thousand words.
ACT are committed to canning the Zero Carbon Act, the Climate Change Commission, and the Climate Emergency Response Fund - which is nuts!
The only policy they have to address climate change is to lower emissions by reducing the number of weeks that parliament sits. You couldn’t make this stuff up.
New Zealand First opposes doing anything about agricultural emissions, but they do at least have policies for adapting to climate change. Unfortunately those policies are building an Aerodrome in Dargaville, and having a security plan for fossil fuels!
National on the other hand acknowledge climate change exists, but seemingly don’t much care. Kind of like their approach to poverty. While not all of their MPs are straight-out disbelievers, the rest seem agnostic at best.
National plan to use the money from the Emissions Trading Scheme, not for climate related projects, but for their beloved tax cuts. They’ll abolish the Clean Car Discount and stop support for companies’ emission reduction projects. But don’t worry, they will build some more charging stations. Which was already happening before they announced it.
A government of the three parties above would mean a move to doing even less about climate change that we already are.
The three parties of the left provide an alternative to that. They recognise the immediate, short term, and long term risks from climate change and have policies that do more to reduce it, and more to react to it.
If you’d like to read the full list of policies that the parties have for climate adaptation, or emissions reduction, you can find them all here.
My party vote this election will be for the Greens. I'm really impressed with their policies across the board. If I was to sit down and write a wish list it would be pretty much what they're offering.
I also have high regard for the senior people in the party, Marama, James, Chloe, Julie Anne, etc. Every time I hear them speak they impress me more with their knowledge and their determination. I feel like they're speaking for me, and I trust them.
No disrespect intended to Labour supporters, I’m not trying to sway anybody - people should vote for whichever party they prefer. Labour have done so much for this country that it’s easy to lose sight of all that they’ve achieved to help people. I also have high regard for their leaders, Chippy, Carmel, Grant, Megan, etc. Good people.
As we cast our votes I’m hoping both parties do really well, and I’ve no doubt that they’ll continue to work constructively, and positively, together. A bit different than we might see from some other parties!
I’d also like to see Te Pāti Māori do well. Not only for their climate policies, but it’s important that voice is there.
If you vote for any one of these three parties, the Greens, Labour, or Te Pāti Māori, you’re doing something to stand up and say climate change is important and the world my mokopuna inherit matters to me - I’m casting my vote for them.
The time for saying “Blah Blah Blah” to climate change is gone. Long gone. The least we can do is get out there and vote for a party that takes it seriously.
The following song was released last Friday. If you’d like to buy it you can do so at Bandcamp for just $2. Hope you like it.