Bad news lately for global warming naysayers … from two quite distinct directions.

NZ farmers — or at least their paid spokesmen — are especially recalcitrant when it comes to fronting up to the reality of the issue … and preparing for the inevitable greenhouse gas regime that will regulate agriculture.

But none other than the Rural News takes Federated Farmers to task in this August 4 editorial. Here’s an excerpt, but I urge you to read the whole piece …

“New Zealand farming faces some form of carbon charge in the immediate future – it’s an unfortunate but inescapable predicament. The sooner we, as an industry, face up to that distasteful reality the sooner we can start to prepare for its impact.

For the benefit of Federated Farmers and its incessant and dreamy protestations to the contrary, let’s reiterate the wake-up call: There is no wriggle room to escape looming carbon costs. While the Feds keep harping on about the science of climate change and a preferred target of ‘zero’ emissions reductions by 2020, the rest of the world has moved on.

The federation’s refusal to face facts – the ostrich approach, if you like – is doing the sector a grave disservice. Lulling the industry into a false sense of security that ‘she’ll be right, mate’ is setting the sector up for a major fall when costs are imposed. Instead of ignoring the inevitable, Federated Farmers should be actively assisting its members to prepare in terms of financial planning and mitigation response awareness, at the very least …

Now is the time to prepare for the inevitable; those who act to minimise the shock, rather than cling to false promises, will adapt faster to the looming carbon-restrictive environment and ultimately be better off than those with their heads stuck in the sand.”

Speaking of heads in the sand, John Key’s very own Chief Science Advisor, Professor Peter Gluckman, takes a whack at global warming deniers in this essay, released by the Prime Minister’s Office. Again, just an excerpt …

“There is a remote possibility that if we did little or nothing then the temperature would not rise to unacceptable levels. But we cannot gamble the future of the whole planet on the low probability of that occurring. We do many things in life that are based on the balance of probabilities, for example we think it prudent to insure our houses and wear seat belts in our cars not because we plan to have a fire or a crash, but rather because we are weighing the cost of the insurance premium or the minor inconvenience of putting on the seat belt against the significant risk of damage to our finances or ourselves if those events were to happen. It is the same with climate change – the collective wisdom of the scientific community is that action is needed to address global warming because without action the potential risk to the planet and ourselves is too high …

There is no easy answer – the science is solid but absolute certainty will never exist. As part of the global community, New Zealand has to decide what economic costs it will bear and what changes in the way we live will be needed. We must be involved. This is a global challenge, and a country like ours that aspires to be respected as a leading innovative nation cannot afford to appear to be not fully involved. Indeed, such a perception would compromise our reputation and potential markets.”


Tom Belford

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1 Comment

  1. Professor Peter Gluckman states – There is no easy answer – the science is solid but absolute certainty will never exist.

    Of course science is solid but science being solid does not prove that; Man made CO2 directly results in Global Temp rise.

    Proponents of Permaculture and Biodynamics would see intensive farming of any type as unbalancing and causing long term problems for health.

    Just as locking bovines onto Rye and Clover and attempting to keep control of their health with chemicals, so too planting much of Hawkes Bay in grapes, is a similar undesirable intensification.

    Forget Carbon Credits et al; that will only be a process that will benefit the "Ticket Clippers" rather look to Permaculture and Biodynamics to provide long term world benefits.

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