As you may have seen from the energy and climate change links in the left-hand column of this blog, these are areas I’m keenly interested in. At present, there’s a well-funded campaign which is attempting to convince New Zealanders that climate change is not a threat, or if it is, that the threat is remote. The purpose of that campaign is to dissuade politicians from taking any action on the issue: in particular, any action which would hit the big greenhouse gas emitters, such as agriculture and heavy industry, in the bottom line.
This campaign of denial has had such notable successes as getting the Listener’s environmental columnist removed when he started to question who was paying the climate sceptics’ bills.
I’m therefore pleased that the Royal Society of New Zealand has released a statement setting out the basic facts about climate change in a clear, non-technical way. The Introduction to the statement says:
The globe is warming because of increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Measurements show that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are well above levels seen for many thousands of years. Further global climate changes are predicted, with impacts expected to become more costly as time progresses. Reducing future impacts of climate change will require substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
The rest of the statement goes on to lay on the evidence underpinning this statement. It’s the perfect reading matter for climate change sceptics who are still prepared to listen to reason.