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Mike's Minute: Stop giving the climate nutters credibility

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 24 Oct 2019, 9:50am

Mike's Minute: Stop giving the climate nutters credibility

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 24 Oct 2019, 9:50am

This seems, in so many respects, an ironic age. We are running the very real risk of curtailing our lives and our outlooks on what might turn out to be a fad or a whim. 

Climate change and its obsession is taking over rational thought. Now this is not to say climate change isn't real, but it is to say we don't know what to do about it. We might think we do, but we don’t.

And whatever it is we do do, whether that in any real tangible way is going to solve it, or if in fact its solvable at all, is another part of the whole debate.

There are movements and thought processes now that have infiltrated our daily lives, that are given space and taken seriously, not because they make sense, but because so many people have climbed on a bandwagon. We have a mindset that the more ideas there are the better, no matter how mad they are.

Qantas landed their plane over the weekend having broken the record for the longest ever flight. They have two more test flights. The idea is to go Sydney to London, and Sydney to New York in one go. In other words, anywhere on Earth in a single flight.

And that is what life is really all about, challenges, new frontiers doing the impossible. But that success is now juxtaposed against the growing calls for us to never set foot on a plane again, to ban airpoints programmes, to shame flying, or to tax frequent travellers.

These calls have currency. And that currency, I think is about as recent as a year ago. It all started with coal, fossil fuels, and reducing emissions. Big picture ideas to allegedly reduce footprint and save the planet.

It's rapidly turned into making travel ugly, it's turned into infiltrating every aspect of our lives and asking whether getting out of bed in the morning is bad for the planet.

And with this obsession surely has to come some sort of health warning. For those taking this seriously, and I'm not by the way, surely it can't be good for you to be this obsessed, or this negative. There's a bloke on leave in Britain and he's one of a growing number  who was on the news the other night who has a mental health condition brought on by Brexit.

This is how mad we are. Are we seriously saying, all that we have achieved, all the modern wonders of the world, of which flight is one of the greatest, that's all over?

Or what is the alternative? To ration flying? To make it so expensive it's only for the wealthy? To ban some sorts of travel? Like trips to Denarau or the Gold Coast because they're frivolous, as opposed to travelling to Zurich for a very important climate conference?

Forget all the economic fallout of this. The zealots never work the practicalities through because they are too obsessed with the planet. But the danger here is these people get air time, space in papers, and they're no longer dismissed the way they once were.

The inmates are taking over the facility, madness among with the crazed thought process is increasingly common, and gaining currency.

The rest of us need to wake up and push back because if it's got this nutty in a year, by next Christmas you'll be going camping instead of Bali, and the Koru Club will be an exhibit at Te Papa.  

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