Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The 4th assessment report (pdf) from the IPCC commenced it's roll out on Friday. You know the one. The one that gave the paper reason to use "global warning - violent storms, floods - tropical diseases spreading - water running out" as a headline.

And you know the Dom. The outfit that in 2005 placed a front page pic with high tide half way up the hill behind Oriental Parade. 'Cos that's what climate change is all about. Selling frikken newspapers.

So what's the story? None. No new science, no new remedies, no news. But boy has it got some coverage. There've been two quite testy comment salvo's over at Kiwi blog - the second of which denigrated to mudslinging despite raising some key points from a NZHerald article by Fran O'Sullivan.

O'Sullivan's article titled "cooling the hot air debate" is full of ill considered here say. But it also contains gold:

"The Government will regulate to ensure industry reduces pollution for broader environmental reasons such as cleaner air, water and soil, and the rest of us will be responsible for using energy efficiently for conservation purposes.

It shouldn't take the threat of climate change to get these aims on the policy agenda. They stand in their own right."
Bingo! My biggest bug bear about the climate change "debate" is the loss of reality. What's happening in the real world?

Sceptics hold that mad scientists are fiddling the books and politicians label sceptics as delusional fringe dwellers. All the while nobody seems to be looking out the window. Take a step outside people!

Christchurch swims in smog, kayakers keep their eyes and mouths closed on the Mangles River, chunks of the North Islands' east coast wash away when it drizzles, the south Wairarapa crayfishery is gasping for air... You get the picture.

Although this 4th report is only the policy makers preliminary for a comprehensive edition due in November, the reaction to it is intriguing. Its media coverage hasn't done much more than allow the "sides" to dig into their corners and turn up the volume.

Although it is fascinating to watch, the actions of policy makers in the next little while is the test. It'll reach its crescendo in the election race next year. Who'll have the most sense. Who'll have the balls to put a price on carbon. Who'll have had a good look out the window?

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