Welcome to the Titanic, we hope you enjoy your trip

So how worried are NZ scientists about climate change? Worried enough to put up their own money to pay for an ad in the Dom Post and Otago Times. Page B4 for the Dom. Names on that list include directors of science centres at Vic, authors of IPCC chapters, winners of NZ’s best science medals, i.e. the best scientists that we’ve got, and, erm… me.


====== TEXT OF ADVERTISEMENT ======

An Urgent Appeal to New Zealand Voters

Recent events have show that tax cuts and all the other election issues pale into
insignificance compared with the importance of weather and climate on our lives.

Reputable scientists now agree that climate change is caused mainly by burning
fossil fuels like petrol, gas and coal. This poses the most serious threat in
history to humanity and the global environment.

Shrinking glaciers, thawing tundra, warmer shorter winters, and more extreme
weather events, like Hurricane Katrina, are all signs this phenomenon is already
profoundly affecting environments and economies world-wide.

Ours is the first and only fossil-fuelled civilisation. Our entire economy and
standard of living currently rely on the burning of fossil fuels as a cheap,
convenient form of energy. This is coming to an end, with recent price hikes in
part due a global peak in oil supplies.

We have reached a critical cross-road. Either we carry on until change is forced
on us, as has happened in New Orleans, or we begin to wean ourselves from fossil-
fuel-driven consumption by reducing demand and switching to clean renewable
sources. We urgently need to take full responsibility for our climate changing
emissions; take new localised initiatives with energy supply and demand and retain
balanced and inclusive laws for sustainable resource management decisions.

We have to begin to take action now. Past collapsed civilisations that overshot
their resource base are a warning. We cannot afford to have leaders of the
George W. Bush type, who turn their backs on the evidence of climate change and
refuse to support national and international efforts to address the unprecedented
threat it poses to our way of life and that of our children.

Further information on this issue you may like to review:
Climate change: http://yosemite.epa.gov/oar/globalwarming.nsf/
Peak oil: http://www.peakoil.net/
Community Action Options: http://www.communitysolution.org/
Party policies on climate change issues: http://www.environmentvote.org.nz

We, the undersigned, appeal to voters in the 2005 elections to consider deeply
where the political parties stand on climate change and unsustainable energy use.
In the end it is these issues that will really matter.

And if this doesn’t affect how you vote, then you’re a fool.

13 thoughts on “Welcome to the Titanic, we hope you enjoy your trip

  1. You are a boffin *giggle*

    I understand that you aren’t allowed to posture politically in such adverts, but what is your learned opinion on the main political parties’ stances on such things?

    Me having missed much of the campaigning and this being your pet subject. I can tell you all about each party’s stance on Child Support

    1. Re: You are a boffin *giggle*

      Actually, coz we’re officially independent and not civil servants, we don’t have to be politically neutral. We still do, however, coz we have to work with what ever government gets in.

      However, speaking personally:

      • ACT – have doubts about whether climate change is happening at all. I’d have thought that a party that presents itself as rational and ideology-free could do better. Haven’t even got an energy policy, other than to leave it all up to the market. Minus several billion points out of ten.
      • National – wants short-term economic growth above all, and if US and Oz aren’t going to do anything about climate change, then why should NZ penalise itself by paying for carbon emissions when the costs will mainly fall elsewhere? Well, coz the ‘clean green NZ’ brand makes us money, both in tourism and exports to Japan & Europe, where they give a shit and are likely to penalise us if we go back to coal. Nats are promising to cut petrol taxes and build lots of road. Haven’t got a seperate energy policy. Zero out of ten.
      • Labour – at least recognise that sustainability is needed and economically beneficial. Still, they are supporting more coal, more gas and their actions on energy efficiency have been minimal. Three out of ten.
      • Greens – Think we need to put some real action behind sustainability, pushing for more efficiency, more solar hot water, more wind, more geothermal, more public transport. Effect on the economy? Its arguable whether it will lead to lower economic growth, personally I think not, but it will lead to less vulnerability. Seven out of ten.
      • NZ First – balanced, reasonable and pragmatic, so they claim. Some good things in their policy from the climate change respect, some bad. But not recommending the drastic actions needed to have any impact. One out of ten.
      • United Future – they want security and competition. So it would be another balanced, middle of the road approach, except that they’re having doubts about the science behind Kyoto. Minus one out of ten.
      • Maori Party – keen on decentralised and local power systems, which could make a difference, keen on being responsible for Aotearoa, which seems like a good thing, at least until we know the details. Four out of ten.
      • – Less profiteering, more renewables, more efficiency, maybe clean coal if its good enough (which might be a better idea than it sounds), more biomass, more efficiency, double glazing, targets for efficiency in public sector energy use, and keeping energy poverty covered so the poor don’t suffer too much when the price of fuel and heating goes through the roof. Eight out of ten.

      Strangely, I’d be more likely to vote progressive if I was thinking about just this issue.

    2. Re: You are a boffin *giggle*

      And the nettles that no-one’s grasping:

      • Tourism – everyone flies here. Flying is astoundingly cheap at the moment, coz aviation fuel is not taxed. What happens when the price triples?
      • Coal – we don’t use much, despite our huge reserves. Oh, we’re so green, feel our sparkly karma! But we do sell it to China as fast as we can. Oops.
      • Transport fuels – We can get less than 5% of our diesel from current plant and animal wastes. If we wanted to, we could grow enough vegetable oils to run our entire private transport system on biodiesel, but we’d need X% of the agricultural land in NZ, where X is between 10 and 100, depending on who you ask. And it would cost more than current diesel prices. (I tell a lie, the progressives want biofuels to be duty-free.)
      • Skiing – We simply don’t know enough about the expected changes in local weather to say what’s going to happen in NZ. But if the mountains get drier, then more seasons like this one.
      • Freshwater – wetter in the west, drier in the east, droughts far more frequent and intense. Major dislocations in agriculture, so do we leave it up to the market to drive people off some land and onto others, or what?
      1. Re: You are a boffin *giggle*

        Thanks for that.

        I am vaccillating between voting for the Greens because where theya re is where my values/heart lead me, and voting for Labour bacause I so badly don’t want National in.

        *sigh*

        1. Re: You are a boffin *giggle*

          And the beauty of the NZ system is:

          Labour electoral vote, coz Mark Blumsky is a sleaze.

          Greens for party, coz if the Greens don’t get 5%, then Labour is out and National is in:

          “As I say to Green supporters who are thinking of voting Labour, if Labour gets 44 percent of the party vote and the Greens get 5 percent … that equals 49 percent. That means that with Anderton they can govern. But if Labour gets 44.1 per cent and the Greens 4.9 per cent, that equals 44.1 per cent. Let me spell it out clearer: If the Greens go under 5 per cent they get no seats in parliament at all and Brash becomes Prime Minister. So if you’re a soft Green or an independent and want a Labour-Green government, you should give your party vote to the Greens.”
          from http://www.livejournal.com/users/specialknives/111450.html

          1. Re: You are a boffin *giggle*

            That’s a friends-only entry. I’m not authorized.

            *shrug* I don’t even know who that person is so my chances of getting friended so I can read it are non-existent.

          2. Re: You are a boffin *giggle*

            Ooops. Is Suraya, who you may not have met, but is definitely One Of Us.

            Anyway, quote came from some opinionist in The Herald on Sunday, but their maths is valid, if the Greens don’t get 5% then Brash will be in.

          3. voting

            i would vote for Kedgley if she had the faintest chance to win the seat but will be going for Hobbes as i do NOT want Blumsky in.

            and I wavered re the labour/green party vote but in the end decided Green because I want the sort of govt that labour being pulled more to the left by the greens would achieve. a straight labour govt would sway in a centrist-right direction i think- all the influence of business unchecked by having to cooperate with others.

          4. Re: You are a boffin *giggle*

            Oh, and I don’t vote in Wellington Central. I believe Ngaio is Ohariu/Belmont. Which is a bit silly.

          5. Re: You are a boffin *giggle*

            So you’ll be getting Peter Dunne then. Unless whoever’s coming second in your electorate wins, which would knock all United First out of parliament, which would be a Jolly Good Thing. You may even want to hold your nose and vote for a National electorate MP if that’s the case (since adding one Nat would come at the cost of 3 – 5 UF MPs.

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