Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Does climate change really matter when push comes to shove?


I've been fascinated by a couple of examples over the last day of how much climate change really matters when push comes to shove. 

Remember how the UK government held the big climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow only three months ago?  

And remember how Boris Johnson urged that “It’s one minute to midnight on that doomsday clock and we need to act now”? 

They look a lot like empty words now, because news broke yesterday that his government plans to fast track six new oil and gas wells in the North Sea.   

The reason?  

The UK is in the grip of a national crisis of soaring energy bills. Households could see their energy bills rise by as much as 50% in the next couple of months. The UK government needs to find a way to bring those prices down and more domestic gas security is part of the plan. 

Over here, we have the case of Rio Tinto. The company’s decision to close the Tiwai aluminium smelter was seen as a win for New Zealand’s ability to meet its climate targets because we’d be getting rid of 0.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide that the smelter pumps into the air every year. 

But as soon as Rio Tinto signaled yesterday that it might want to keep the smelter open beyond the 2024 closure date, regional leaders were all over the papers saying how wonderful the news was. 

Because here’s a fact we need to accept: no matter how important climate change is to people, it is hardly ever more important than being able to pay your bills or keep your job. Most people will vote for jobs and a warm house before they vote for the climate. 

Governments should – and obviously do – bear that in mind.

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.


Denis McCarthy said...

This whole climate change mantra is a sham and a scam. Climate change is a continuing and complicated process which humans cannot control. What we've had is the creation of a doomsday cult scaring children and assuring the citizens that wasting enough money and distorting the economy is going to deal with the problem as they see it.
Most of the media treat the proclamations of the climate alarmists as absolute truth - no need for independent analysis or research and no need to give time and space to those other scientists who make a reasonable case based on actual research that humans cannot control the climate.
For those who want another perspective on climate change and the ability of humans to control it I recommend the writings of Ian Plimer especially "How To Get Expelled From School."
A Plain English No Bs presentation which attacks and clarifies the various claims and so called science of the climate alarmists.

Doug Longmire said...

Denis is quite right. Nothing New Zealand does can have any effect upon "climate change".
To illustrate:- of the total global output of CO2 from fossil fuels etc, New Zealand's out put is just 0.17%.
The rest of the world pumps out the other 99.83%.
The climate change commission's report for NZ (sorry - they call it Ayo-Teear-rower) has been costed out.
Cost of cutting our (insignificant) CO2 output is $85,000,000,000 per year EVERY year.
For a typical family of (say) four people, they will pay $68,000 per year, EVERY year. To achieve nothing.
Lunacy, p.c. gone mad. Economic suicide.

Anonymous said...

Aye O Tear A Rort

John Ratcliffe said...

Thanks Doug. I've been tracking climate change since I studied it 50 years ago at University and worked in the environmental science field ever since. I recently found my copy of the IPCC report froom 30 years ago, and we seem to be pretty much on course for all that they forecast then. The problem with your approach is that everyone can say the same so nobody does anything. And when 7 billino people do nothing we are all stuffed. It's always somebody else's fault. And it is. But it's your and my fault too. As Chairman Mao said (and the only useful thing he ever said!)"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". Some of is are on that march. Isn't it time to take a step?

Barry said...

Now that the UNFCCC has disclosed that they no longer rely on extreme modelling (RCP8.5 specifically) due to inaccuracies, where to from here?
Adaptation to climate change is important, but our actions must relate to sound evidence-based advice.