Whatever New Zealand does in isolation as its contribution to the world wide battle against climate change, it will have next to zero affect on whether or not we reach or even get close to the IPCC’s greenhouse gas emissions reductions that they say will be required to save the planet.
I can make that statement with confidence that l will be proved right simply because those key nations who have the capacity to collectively turn things around, with or without our help, are in fact increasing their use of fossil fuels at an alarming rate and as a result, increasing their emissions as if there was no tomorrow. In that context, our efforts, no matter how self sacrificial, will be like a blip on the radar as the rest of the world continues to condone the destructive activities of those who could and should be making a difference.
Our efforts will be a complete and utter waste of time.
Actually it will be worse than that. We will watch on from the sidelines seemingly unnoticed by even the UN heavy hitters whose praise we appear to crave.
And in the meantime, we will destroy what remains of our agriculturally based economy at a time when we are emerging from the pandemic suffering from self inflicted wounds that already have reduced our capacity to earn overseas funds when we most need them.
At least that is the scenario facing this nation of 5 million when we next have the opportunity to avert this home grown disaster through the democratic process at the ballot box.
It appears that the government is still hell bent on cementing in place policies that will negatively effect the two most important ingredients that will determine our survival as a sovereign state.
The first is economic growth and the second is race relations, both of which are in danger of managed decline because both are reflecting the deliberate implementation of programmes that will have the opposite effect of what is needed now more than ever.
If allowed to be fully implemented, these policies: - the emissions reduction policies such as the halving of our dairy herds and the race based legislation that is being un-necessarily promoted giving control of our natural resources to Maori - have the capacity to propel a sufficiently divided nation into a state where civil war is a serious possibility.
You might be wondering whether l have taken leave of my senses by promoting the very real possibility of “civil war” in a country where we claim to have learned from the divisions of the past.
Yet that appears to be where we are heading as a direct result of governments policies that are deliberately divisive. It is as if some of our leadership can’t wait for it to happen and are deliberately provoking the reaction that they are about to get.
You think that is being over dramatic? Think again!
I choose my words carefully when discussing these potentially dangerous policies simply because it appears we are not yet prepared to acknowledge that the immediate danger to our collective future comes from within rather than anything from the world at large - including climate change.
In order to have a rational discussion about our future, we need to be acutely aware of the options available to us. In that context, the truth remains our only hope.
We can and must stop this erosion of trust before it is too late.
Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.