Mike's Minute: Will the climate report be anything other than hot air?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 9 Jun 2021, 9:39AM

Mike's Minute: Will the climate report be anything other than hot air?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 9 Jun 2021, 9:39AM

Climate change report is out today. It's another of these big picture dreams that may, or may not; ever really see the light of day.

I tend to favour the latter.

The goal is to be carbon neutral by 2050. The question around the document today is how different it is from the draft and the 15,000 odd submissions from various groups who saw it as delusional, extreme, nutty, or all three.

For the sceptic there is form, the world is failing when it comes to delivery of promises. The world has been collectively obsessed for years over climate change and its various issues. They’ve made plenty of promises, virtually none of which have come to fruition.

There is the clash between the believers and the non-believers. And there's the clash between those who, even if they do believe, whether they can stomach the economic damage required to enforce the sort of change apparently needed to save us all. So far, the economics have won.

Which brings us to today's document. The draft wanted barbeques banned, combustion engines banned, and fewer cows. We need a lot more forestry planted, both exotic and native. I would have thought that is more than doable.

It envisages a lot of solar panels. That might, or might not, happen.

It also has us on bikes and buses. That is where it starts to look ropey. We already know bus uptake is abysmal for a whole slew of reasons, not least of which public transport doesn’t suit a busy life.

The same applies to bikes and bike lanes. When you live 30 kilometres from work, school, or university, you're not on a bike.

As for the cows, for a country that grows stuff like meat and dairy, to hamper your income to that extent for some highfalutin climate goal is never really going to get traction.

That’s before you get to the real issue. We don’t pollute the planet; New Zealand is insignificant. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t play our part, but it does mean some of the big players have to get as enthusiastic as us. They're not, read China, India, and America.

So, another day, another report, and another theory versus reality exercise.  Kyoto and Paris have paved the way in terms of fanfare versus outcome.

Bottom line is, well it’s the bottom line, and it always wins. We like to talk about climate, but not at the expense of life as we know it.