The Soap Box: Ardern needs to remember to keep climate change close to home

Author
Barry Soper,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 6 December 2017, 6:24AM
Gore told it he loved it that right after the election she announced her plans to take on the climate crisis, shouting "I loved it." (Photo \ NZ Herald)
Gore told it he loved it that right after the election she announced her plans to take on the climate crisis, shouting "I loved it." (Photo \ NZ Herald)

It's a bit like a charismatic religion and certainly the proponents for and against climate change are as passionate as atheists and believers when it comes to espousing their point of view.

The leader of the climate change religion is without doubt Al Gore, the man who came within a whisker of beating George W Bush for the American Presidency in 2000 but who has since picked up a Nobel prize for his work as the global climate crusader.

He's not a man known for wild outbursts of enthusiasm but when Jacinda Ardern popped up on the online link for him to interview for his 24 Hours of Reality campaign he was effusive, almost leaping through the screen.

In a Brian Tamaki-type preach he enthused he was cheering for her even before she was elected as Prime Minister. He told a giggling Ardern, probably with a tinge of embarrassment, she'd really touched a nerve with people saying "wow what a breath of fresh air, so grounded and well balanced."

Gore told it he loved it that right after the election she announced her plans to take on the climate crisis, shouting "I loved it."

It was almost too much and the interview hadn't even started, but given the topic at least the fresh air part of the rant was appropriate.

But then she was almost as passionate when she came to talking about the issue that during the election campaign she likened to her generation's nuclear free moment. She told them about the billion trees someone's going to plant here, which in climate change parlance would represent a carbon lake rather than a sink.

And to all the naysayers in this country who say climate change is cool, well warm, and it should be encouraged, Ardern gave a plug to the man she's entrusted to wave the weather wand, the Greens' sole leader James Shaw. She told the global audience that Shaw's done his sums and says that while we may contribute less than one percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, if you add all similar countries together, they add up to 25 percent of the emitters.

The elephant in the interview studio was of course denier Donald Trump, which for some of us would be enough reason to believe in it. But a delighted Gore said the bombastic billionaire may have pulled out of the Paris Peace Accord but that can't be achieved until after the next Presidential election. He clearly believes this President's not long for the White House but then even though he might think it, climate change isn't the issue that'll send him back to Trump Tower in Manhattan, if you believe a recent study from Yale University.

While more than 70 percent of Americans believe global warming is happening and almost 60 percent are worried about climate change, just 43 percent think it'll harm them personally.

Closer to home Ardern would to do well to reflect on that.

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