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Thank God for common sense

Opinion Piece

“Bad news. I'm afraid the IPCC — the International Panel on Climate Change — has issued its latest report. It's 2600 pages long and spans 32 volumes. But I can sum it up for you. Ah, we're stuffed. The seas are rising, the storms are coming, the locusts are close, we are going to climatic hell in a handcart. That's of course, if you believe them. Which, as it turns out, I don't. Twenty years ago they said we had 20 years to turn things around. We haven't. The Kyoto Protocol was a last-ditch attempt to save us all. No one adhered to it. The lesson they have not learned is that freaking people out doesn't get buy-in. I mean, if the MetSservice struggles with the accuracy of a five-day forecast, I'm thinking the accuracy of a long-range prediction that takes in 86 years might be a bit dodgy. So my advice: don't let it ruin your night.” Mike Hosking, Seven Sharp, Tuesday April 1, 2014.

Mike's deep and thoughtful analysis of the IPCC Report inspired Nelson-based conservative philosopher Dr Martin Schitzenhansen to cast a critical eye on global warming and the scientists promoting it:

The IPCC have released yet another massive report. If you're like me, you won't have bothered to read that long-winded, elitist, codswallop.

The scientists tell us they have mountains of data showing that humans are causing the Earth to heat up.

But not everyone agrees. Mike Hosking, veteran broadcaster and journalist, says it's rubbish — and that his lack of a science background gives him the advantage that he can assess the scientists' claims without having to look through a fog of data.

I must say that I think Mike is on to something here. And even if the Earth is warming, it doesn't mean that that we can do anything about it or even if it's anything to worry about.

It's hardly surprising that the scientists have a hard time convincing us that there is a problem, as they can't even get their facts right. They keep telling us that temperatures are rising, even though this is obviously untrue. Every year, without fail, we go from from a nice warm summer to a cold, bone-chilling winter. And last winter in Invercargill, we had a record cold snap. Give me a break!

But fair do's. I don't understand science, or anything the scientists are telling us about global warming. Why do they have to make things so hard to understand by using such big words? And how does maths and physics mumbo-jumbo come into the question of whether it's getting warmer? For Pete's sake, what's wrong with a tried and tested thermometer? That's why I prefer simple explanations, like what the Bible says about God creating the world in six days. Now that's easy to understand.

When scientists spout that stuff about temperatures, I just see a red mist before my eyes and zone out. All those big words are intended to scare us and to stop us asking questions. So my advice to climate scientists is to explain it in language an ordinary bloke like me can understand. If you had said that global warming was caused by hot air emitted by socialist politicians, you might have convinced me.

Fortunately, Hosking isn't alone in being a sceptic. His doubts are shared by oil, coal and gas corporations, whose smartly-dressed executives are highly educated and respectable. OK, their profits might be threatened if our economy were to become environmentally sustainable, but don't tell me that the desire to maximise profits would affect their views on global warming. Their shareholders wouldn't stand for it.

And it's not only CEOs that are sceptical; some right-thinking politicians are standing up for common sense as well. The ACT Party says it will oppose the Government's Zero Carbon Bill: “New Zealand's actions are not going to change the climate”, a party spokesperson said.

And as for the Greens, don't get me started. They want to tank the economy by suppressing enterprise, telling us we must all go vegan and ditch our cars for pushbikes in a socialist paradise. And how can you trust a party that wants to fry our kids' brains by legalising cannabis?

So listen up, folks. There's no crisis; those white-coated, bespectacled, so-called experts are trying to fool us into socialism. Ignore them. Y2K, bird flu, swine flu, nuclear armageddon and all those catastrophes that they tried to scare us with didn't happen, and neither will global warming.

And when you think about it, would you trust a gauche, shabbily dressed, weirdo scientist with bad teeth and halitosis, who uses public transport and hasn't done a real day's work in his life, rather than the smiling, successful, confident, nattily-dressed Mike Hosking, who drives a Ferrari and an Alfa Romeo?

- Thanks to Scott Yorke from whom the inspiration for this column was drawn.

Martin Hanson

  1. Ann David, Waikanae says:

    If this piece were not so serious, it would be seriously funny. Unfortunately – it’s serious. We have to wake up and do things differently. There’s not much point “protecting the economy” if the economy dies with the planet it’s conducted on. We can only have our quality-lifestyle cake and eat it if we depopulate rapidly.

  2. G R Webb says:

    So what’s your quick fix to “depopulate rapidly”?

    1. Martin Hanson says:

      I suppose Ms David left herself wide open to your comment, but the fact remains that overpopulation is one of the environmental problems confronting the world, including New Zealand. I’m sure she’s not advocating killing people off, but at the same time it makes sense for governments to publicly confront the problem, something they have been too spineless to do up to now

  3. G R Webb says:

    Confronting the problem is nothing more than saying you are sorry after you have killed someone. It’s a pointless exercise unless you are going to actually do something about it.

    1. Martin Hanson says:

      So what DO you think about it, Gordon? Is there a population problem? If not, why not? If so, what should governments, and the NZ government, do about it?

  4. G R Webb says:

    Martin, people pay me for my advice. But there is stuff all 60,000 or so people living on the East Coast can do to deal with a population problem, simply because they are not part of the problem. What we need to do here is to become more resilient and more infrastructure savvy so we can deal with the effects of a change in climate.

  5. Bob Hughes says:

    My advice is free Gordon – East Coasters contributing more environmental damage than the global average are indeed a big part of the problem. A change of lifestyles is needed now. Natural forces will compel us to do so soon anyway.