NZ scientists call for faster action on climate change

Again the Government is being pressured to live up to it’s hype on climate change. Jacinda Ardern said that climate change was her generation’s ‘nuclear free moment’.

A hundred and fifty ‘academics and researchers’ are ‘demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change’.

In August 2017: Jacinda’s speech to Campaign Launch

There will always be those who say it’s too difficult. There will be those who say we are too small, and that pollution and climate change are the price of progress.

They are wrong.

We will take climate change seriously because my Government will be driven by principle, not expediency. And opportunity, not fear.

And there is an opportunity, that we can turn into our advantage, and shape our identity. It is a transition that can, and must, be just.

This is my generation’s nuclear free moment, and I am determined that we will tackle it head on.

Last month (October 2018):  Jacinda Ardern ‘upgrades position’ on climate change as nuclear-free moment

Jacinda Ardern says she has “upgraded my position” on her characterisation of climate change as her generation’s “nuclear-free moment”.

As part of a wide-ranging interview with the Spinoff, the prime minister said the challenge of climate change had one critical difference to the nuclear-movement. Then, “we were unified”, she said. “And yet what we’re doing on climate change – it is just that much harder, because it’s a call to action for everyone. And so I’m hoping we can get to the place of having that same unified moment that we had around nuclear free for climate change.”

It was an elaboration of a position she outlined in a speech to the One Planet Summit in New York last month. Then she identified the “stark difference between the nuclear free movement and climate change: unity”, adding: “In the past we were defined as a nation by the coming together for a cause, and now, as a globe, we need to do the same again. Not because of the benefits of unity, but because of the necessity of it.”

But ‘academics and researchers’ want action rather than words – Top academics call on government to take climate action

One hundred and fifty academics and researchers from around Aotearoa, including Dame Anne Salmond, Emeriti Professors and several Fellows of the Royal Society, have signed a strongly-worded open letter to the Government demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change.

I don’t know why Salmond has been highlighted – her own description: Distinguished Professor Dame Anne Salmond, FNAS, FRSNZ, FBA, FAHNZ, DBE, CBE, Department of Māori Studies, University of Auckland.

The letter refers to the recent Special Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which contains its strongest message yet about the seriousness of the situation and the importance of limiting global warming to 1.5C. The report says we have about 12 years to make the dramatic reduction in global net carbon emissions necessary to get climate change under control. And, it says that to do so will require “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”.

“There’s a big gap between the severity of the warnings from the world’s most authoritative scientific body on climate change and the actions of our government. They need to be honest with us about the risks we’re facing and act accordingly” says senior lecturer Cordelia Lockett, who wrote and coordinated the letter.

“Cordelia Lockett, Senior Lecturer, Bridging Education, Unitec”

“Clearly, academics and researchers around the country are deeply concerned about climate breakdown and want the government to act swiftly and decisively.

“But it’s the wider New Zealand public as well. A survey from earlier this year showed that 79 percent of people believed climate action needs to start immediately. A large majority also said we need to meet or exceed our international commitments, and that we should act even if other countries don’t. The message is clear.”

Climate scientist Professor James Renwick:

“This government has shown a commitment to addressing climate change, including the Zero Carbon Bill and steps to limit fossil fuel prospecting, but it needs to ensure that its policies actually produce the deep and lasting emissions reductions required, especially in the transport, industry and agriculture sectors” .

An open letter to the NZ Government urging immediate action on climate change:

We the undersigned, representing diverse academic disciplines, call on the government to take robust and emergency action in response to the deepening ecological crisis. The science is clear, the facts are indisputable, and it is unacceptable to us that future generations in Aotearoa and globally should have to bear the terrifying consequences of climate breakdown.

Infinite economic growth on a planet with finite resources is not viable. And yet successive governments have promoted free-market principles which demand rampant consumerism and endless economic growth, thus allowing greenhouse gas emissions to rise. If we continue on our current path, the future for our species is disastrous.

The recent special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is unequivocal. The world’s leading climate scientists warn that we have only 12 years to halve global emissions and get on track to avoid warming of more than 1.5C and catastrophic environmental breakdown. They have advocated urgent and unprecedented global action. As Debra Roberts, co-chair of the IPCC working group says: “this is the moment and we must act now”. The message could not be clearer.

New Zealand has a history of taking courageous political initiatives which have had global influence. We can, and must, do it again with bold and urgent action on climate. New Zealand could lead the world by immediately developing a data-informed plan for rapid decarbonisation of the economy. We demand that the government meets its duty to protect its citizens from harm and to secure the future for generations to come.

Letter with 150 signatories (.docx)

They describe themselves as ‘top academics’ – I am not able to judge that – but their areas of speciality are diverse, including (words in their descriptions):

  • 1 with ‘climate’
  • 22 with ‘environment’
  • 5 with ‘psychology’
  • 2 with ‘creative arts’
  • 3 with ‘philosophy’
  • 5 with ‘sport’ or ‘physical education’
  • 8 with ‘architecture’
  • 4 with ‘community development’
  • 2 with ‘nursing’
  • 22 with ‘health’

Some have general descriptions that don’t rule out climate expertise.

Diversity of expertise could be a good thing but not all of the academics appear to be ‘top’ in climate science.

Also yesterday: Joint Statement by His Excellency Sebastián Piñera, President of the Republic of Chile, and the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern

The Leaders shared their concerns on climate change, noting the need to take urgent action.  They undertook to work together during the upcoming COP24 in December in Poland, in order to achieve an ambitious outcome that includes clear rules and procedures for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Chile and New Zealand share a common interest in collaborating to develop better climate policies, including carbon pricing mechanisms and developing national legal frameworks that address the specific needs of each country.

Note “noting the need to take urgent action”.

What urgent action is New Zealand taking?

Leave a comment

67 Comments

  1. adamsmith1922

     /  November 20, 2018

    Hysterical letter from a bunch of opinionated Ivory Tower dwellers, all essentially dependent on the government for their livelihoods. None of them seems to understand the economic,societal impact of what they clamour for.Like Ardern they seek the sanctimony of being world leaders with gestures that will destroy what they seek to save.

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  November 20, 2018

      adamsmith – great to have you here – there were far too few grumpy old men posting here. You’re contributions are solving the curmudgeon-imbalance we were suffering from.

      Reply
  2. Corky

     /  November 20, 2018

    Honestly, these academics should be charged with fraudulent logic and running a academic Ponzi scheme.

    As Dyson Freeman says, CO2 has many benefits (I can vouch for that), and those benefits outweigh the negatives.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  November 20, 2018

      Anyone who breathes in large amounts of carbon monoxide is likely to find themselves either brain-damaged or in the morgue.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  November 20, 2018

        Thread wrecker has arrived.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  November 20, 2018

          Yes, I saw that, it was not a surprise. There’s no need to announce your arrival.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  November 20, 2018

            Yeah, Freeman Dyson is a real thread wrecker. Sorry I mistakenly replied to you. I try not to encourage you.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  November 20, 2018

              You encourage me – dream on, 😀 😀 😀

              I assumed that the thread wrecker was you, as it usually is.

            • Corky

               /  November 20, 2018

              🙄

  3. Than

     /  November 20, 2018

    Skimming through the list of specialties, I notice a very distinct under-representation of technology and engineering fields. There are 3 or 4 computer scientists, but that’s about it. The list is overwhelmingly dominated by people in environmental, social, or medical/biology fields. There is not one electrical or mechanical engineer in the list.

    And this is a critical omission. It’s all very well to call for “action”, but at the end of the day its going to be engineers which deliver the technologies we will need to fight climate change. Demanding action on a problem when you can’t be part of the solution is just being churlish.

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  November 20, 2018

      The engineers will save us!!!
      Those medical people! Who’d want them making judgements about the welfare of humans???
      Good grief.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  November 20, 2018

        Griff will save us with some of his selective graphs & projectile vomit – this sort of post will see him commenting on this site quicker than a Coalition govt oil and gas ban.

        Reply
        • Griff.

           /  November 20, 2018

          Actually I have refrained from commenting as reading the wacko garbage you idiots posts is too amusing to interrupt your flow .
          Eight up ticks so far for corkys conspiracy fueled gibbering says it all.
          Buy the mug.

          Reply
  4. alloytoo

     /  November 20, 2018

    When the so called climate scientists start making predictions that actually happen, then I will start paying attention.

    Until then what they have is less than a hypothesis and more in the nature of a religious prophecy.

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  November 20, 2018

      Doesn’t the sand really irritate your ears?

      Reply
      • alloytoo

         /  November 20, 2018

        Make accurate predictions if you want your cult taken seriously.

        Reply
        • robertguyton

           /  November 20, 2018

          Allytoo – can you provide an accurate description made by the “side” you champion?

          Reply
          • alloytoo

             /  November 20, 2018

            Robby,

            Desperate strawman nonsense.

            I merely want predictions of the apocalypse to be falsifiable.

            Not infinitely shifting goalposts.

            Reply
            • Griff.

               /  November 20, 2018

              I merely want predictions of the apocalypse to be falsifiable.

              Have you got a time machine handy?
              No that is just fuckwittery .
              You can not prove the future before it happens.
              What we can do is examine the record so far
              From say 1981 .
              Hansen et al. 1981

              Hansen, J., D. Johnson, A. Lacis, S. Lebedeff, P. Lee, D. Rind, and G. Russell, 1981: Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Science, 213, 957-966, doi:10.1126/science.213.4511.957.

              The global temperature rose 0.2°C between the middle 1960s and 1980, yielding a warming of 0.4°C in the past century. This temperature increase is consistent with the calculated effect due to measured increases of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Variations of volcanic aerosols and possibly solar luminosity appear to be primary causes of observed fluctuations about the mean trend of increasing temperature. It is shown that the anthropogenic carbon dioxide warming should emerge from the noise level of natural climate variability by the end of the century, and there is a high probability of warming in the 1980s. Potential effects on climate in the 21st century include the creation of drought-prone regions in North America and central Asia as part of a shifting of climatic zones, erosion of the West Antarctic ice sheet with a consequent worldwide rise in sea level, and opening of the fabled Northwest Passage.


              The west antarctic ice sheet is melting .
              You can book commercial cruises to The northwest passage.
              There is a drought in the USA’s southwest with California’s wild fires being one consequence of it.

              Having posted this many times ‘i know that the right wing nutters will ignore any evidence presented and continue their cult like rejection of modern science .
              Thats why we call it denial .
              Because rejection of climate scince it is not based on a rational examination of evidence.
              Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired

          • robertguyton

             /  November 20, 2018

            Sooo….none then?
            ‘K.

            Reply
  5. Geoffrey Monks

     /  November 20, 2018

    Wrecking our economy in an attempt to change a global trend that is largely beneficial has to be so stupid that only academics and politicians could ever promote such policies.

    Reply
    • Money is everything (bugger the environment).

      Reply
      • alloytoo

         /  November 20, 2018

        Go and examine the superb ecological records of socialist countries. Shouldn’t take even you very long.

        Reply
        • robertguyton

           /  November 20, 2018

          The ecological records of all countries are rubbish, alloytoo. Some are worse than others, but none impress me at all. I’m keen to foster change for the better everywhere.

          Reply
          • alloytoo

             /  November 20, 2018

            Then you should note that only wealthy countries can ultimately afford decent environmental policies. Which makes Green party socialist policies ever more bizarre.

            Reply
            • robertguyton

               /  November 20, 2018

              These wealthy countries with decent environmental policies, alloy too – can you name … one?

      • PDB

         /  November 20, 2018

        Apparently throwing more money into the air fixes climate change so it must be pretty strong stuff.

        Reply
        • Griff.

           /  November 20, 2018

          Apparently creating straw man then arguing against it is your idea of debate .
          Where I come from its called logic ..
          Or a distinct lack of it on your behalf.

          Reply
  6. Dave K

     /  November 20, 2018

    Oh Nooooooes….its worse than we thought.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12152988

    But wait, maybe its the maths rather than climate which is dodgy……

    https://judithcurry.com/2018/11/06/a-major-problem-with-the-resplandy-et-al-ocean-heat-uptake-paper/

    But who cares about mere details, just like Manns strip bark and upside down varves, no need be correct as long as it adds to the hype.

    Reply
    • Griff.

       /  November 20, 2018

      But who cares about mere details, just like Manns strip bark and upside down varves, no need be correct as long as it adds to the hype.

      Still blathering about MBH 1998
      How quaint.
      Mann et al has been confirmed by many study’s using a range of different proxies since Mann’s last century ground breaking research.
      Corrections for Resplandy et al. are in press and will be included in a future issue of Nature Climate Change .
      The errors identified by Nic Lewis result in a small reduction in trend and a slightly larger margin of error. The result is still confirmation of the Argo network data on ocean heat content using a different method.

      Hype indeed.
      You think minor errors in a few study’s invalidate a massive body of congruent evidence.

      .

      Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  November 20, 2018

    As I noted a few days ago, environmental science has been thoroughly corrupted by the need to have the right politics to get funded. And the consequences are seen in the list above. As for the health representation, it boggles the mind how these folk think they can make judgements on climate science. I’m guessing they also belong to the public health lobby who believe they exist to make political judgements in the best interests of the rest of us.

    Reply
  8. robertguyton

     /  November 20, 2018

    “As for the health representation, it boggles the mind how these folk think they can make judgements on climate science. ”
    Why on earth couldn’t well-educated people form a view based on information available to them, then petition the Government accordingly??? Are the only people “allowed” to lobby the Government those who are experts in any particular field? That’s a nonsense, Alan. These people aren’t making judgements on our behalf, they’re presenting their sincerely-held views on this topic. Why do you seek to criticise them for that? Not a freedom of speech guy, then?

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  November 20, 2018

      These clowns are not lobbying as ordinary citizens but as supposed academically qualified experts. Lying under false pretences plainly.

      Reply
      • Griff.

         /  November 20, 2018

        A clown Alan?
        Roy Spencer is scientific adviser to the board responsible for this .

        “Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.”

        Your go to source for “climate science” is a creationist nutbar who thinks god made the earth so we can not alter it .
        Projection by the deluded right wing is somewhat of a repetitive pattern on here today.

        FWIW .
        I do not think this letter has any value .
        We have qualified organizations that have already advised successive governments of the imperative for action on climate change.
        As I have pointed out in the past .
        Not one viable political party in this country agrees with cranks who deny climate change.
        Go find a cloud to yell at gramps it will have more effect.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  November 20, 2018

          Given that Spencer is a Christian I don’t see anything out of the ordinary in that quote.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  November 20, 2018

            Seems a logical thing a Christian would say. We can debate the God bit, but his
            quote has a point.

            Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  November 20, 2018

        “These clowns”? That’s very unprofessional of you, Alan!
        Are they claiming to be experts in the field of climate change, or are you making false implications? They are plainly describing their backgrounds and qualifications. You are frothing over your own misconceptions.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  November 20, 2018

          We the undersigned, representing diverse academic disciplines, call on the government to take robust and emergency action in response to the deepening ecological crisis. The science is clear, the facts are indisputable, and it is unacceptable to us that future generations in Aotearoa and globally should have to bear the terrifying consequences of climate breakdown.
          Infinite economic growth on a planet with finite resources is not viable. And yet successive governments have promoted free-market principles which demand rampant consumerism and endless economic growth, thus allowing greenhouse gas emissions to rise. If we continue on our current path, the future for our species is disastrous.

          What idiot would put their name to that hogwash?

          Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  November 20, 2018

            So, Alan, according to you, “the undersigned, representing diverse academic disciplines” are “clowns” and “idiots”. I wonder how you can behave this way.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 20, 2018

              I’m more than happy to debate with any of them that utter crap they’ve signed up to.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  November 20, 2018

              Being an expert in one thing doesn’t mean being one in everything.

            • robertguyton

               /  November 20, 2018

              Why would any reasonable people want to debate with a person who publicly calls them “clowns” or “idiots”?

            • robertguyton

               /  November 20, 2018

              Kitty – they’re not claiming to be experts in climate science. Spare me the hyperbole.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 20, 2018

              A reasonable person would want to dispute the category but would never have signed up to such drivel in the first place. You would have though?

            • robertguyton

               /  November 20, 2018

              So now you’ve added “unreasonable” to “clowns” and “idiots” as descriptors for them – I guess you include this person:
              Distinguished Professor Dame Anne Salmond, FNAS, FRSNZ, FBA, FAHNZ, DBE, CBE, Department of Māori Studies, University of Auckland?

            • robertguyton

               /  November 20, 2018

              Did you enjoy good relations with other professionals when you were active in the field, Alan?
              Just askin’

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 20, 2018

              Anne Salmond is a complete idiot with long form when she pontificates outside her area of expertise (and possibly even within it for all I know.)

            • robertguyton

               /  November 20, 2018

              I really appreciate your balanced, respectful views, as expressed regularly here on YourNZ, Alan. Always the gentleman, considerate to a fault! Big ups!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 20, 2018

              Only with the competent ones, Robert. I avoided the others.

            • robertguyton

               /  November 20, 2018

              So, your circle was … tight … Alan?

            • robertguyton

               /  November 20, 2018

              As, it seems, is your collar.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 20, 2018

              I never wear a tie so my collar is always loose, Robert. I do actively seek to avoid idiots and bad people – keeps life simple and pleasant.

            • robertguyton

               /  November 20, 2018

              Avoid them, Alan? And name them and shame them, so it seems. Admirable.

            • Griff.

               /  November 20, 2018

              I’m more than happy to debate with any of them that utter crap they’ve signed up to.

              when she pontificates outside her area of expertise

              Self awareness in this one not.
              Soo Alan
              you are more qualified to pontificate than say.
              James Renwick
              Professor, Physical Geography, VUW
              https://scholar.google.co.nz/citations?user=1-1KL3cAAAAJ&hl=en
              Citations 7492 3741
              h-index 37 27
              i10-index 70 55
              Opps nope.
              Keep shouting at that cloud mate one day it might hear you .
              If clouds could laugh…….

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 20, 2018

              Does Prof Renwick actually believe that our economic growth is constrained by the planet’s physical resources? That free market principles demand rampant consumerism which is disastrous for our species?

              If so, he is an idiot irrespective of his citations and if he doesn’t he is an idiot for saying he does.

  9. Geoffrey Monks

     /  November 20, 2018

    The fact remains that the impact of human activity is a tiny component of a change which is a cyclic inevitability. Trying to stop that is a futile effort that will simply make our capacity to manage under that change less than it need be.

    Reply
    • Griff.

       /  November 20, 2018

      Your opinion is at odds with every major scientific body on the planet .
      It also denies some pretty basic physics know for over a hundred years.
      So its not “a fact” is it son.
      If it ain’t science based it must be your irrational religious beliefs showing….

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  November 20, 2018

        Blood letting.. Mercury vapour…. wrapping aneurysms with cellophane and hoping for the best ( killed Einstein). I could go on. Science must always be questioned. Remember science starts with a flawed premise – the only form of inquiry is scientific enquiry – nothing else exists…or is allowed to exist. As you say:

        ”If it ain’t science based it must be your irrational religious beliefs showing.”

        I doubt any Righties on this blog are religious in the accepted sense of the word.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  November 20, 2018

          Einstein died in 1955; his operation was in 1948. The initial aneurysm was bound in cellophane to induce fibrosis and this was standard procedure, hardly ‘hoping for the best’. His surgeon was a famous and innovative one who had many great successes.

          .It was not the flimy cellophane used on things like cigarette packets, needless to say.

          Reply
        • robertguyton

           /  November 20, 2018

          Mercury vapour, Corky? Have you seen my gravatar?

          Reply
        • Corky

           /  November 20, 2018

          A Google expert who has one look at Wikipedia and is then ready to pontificate. I think the point was missed about time periods; the advances of science and looking back in hindsight. Similar to what we will do regarding climate science in another 50 years time.

          Reply
  1. NZ scientists call for faster action on climate change — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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