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Climate activism has its perils


Sorry Bob, but I agree that time is up on your repetitive columns as you are now alienating people who once supported you.

I have known you for nigh on 70 years and know that you have a passion for good works, but your message should perhaps be aimed at a wider audience now, maybe the NZ Herald or, even better, readers of the New York Times. Good luck with that. Personally, I don't think you and all the Greta Thun(der)bergs will change anything.

The problem is that you want all oil wells and coal mines closed by 5pm Friday. I don't think you have thought that through. In a short space of time, half the world would have starved to death and no new crops would be planted (not enough Clydesdales to plough the fields), so more deaths would follow . . . but at least the world population would be reduced to a size this Earth could handle.

To bring the world into line with your thinking (I am not saying you are wrong), you would have to destroy the world. New Zealand would ban milk and meat, Oz would do the same with coal and iron ore. Many countries are in the same boat.

Are China, the United States, India and Russia going to curtail their emissions? Dream on.

On a different tack, you informed us that fishing is a blood sport.

You often quote from the Bible when it suits you, and while I find myself on shaky ground here, I do recall stories of impressive fishing exploits by Jesus.

I am not preaching, Bob, but if it is good enough for the son of God to eat fish, that's fine with me.

I agree the seas have been plundered, but that is because there are too many people. If we had held the population at say 4 billion not nearly 8 billion, we would not be having this conversation.

Perhaps when you hear a new method of propulsion has been invented and the internal combustion engine is now obsolete, you could inform us in your next column.

Tony Weatherley

  1. Bob Hughes says:

    Yet another letter calling me out for repetitive rhetoric and accusing me of alienating people.
    To Tony and all the others involved in the recent flurry of criticism here:
    After over a decade of writing to this page on my environmental concerns, I am at last receiving more positive feedback than I could have ever dreamed of. Actually it’s all quite embarrassing.
    As to the remark: ” …..I don’t think you and all the Greta Thun(der)bergs will change anything” I say What more important task is there?: “People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing.We are in the beginning of a mass extinction…….How dare you” These are Geta’s words, not mine.
    Tony Weatherley also challenged my Competitive Fishing a cruel blood sport column. saying “he could recall stories of impressive fishing exploits by Jesus”. Had he read my previous letter on the subject He would have found my words ” Even the Holy Bible condones dying fish by the netload in the New Testament”.. and I add the historic site of those Gospel stories The sea of Gallalie was a land-locked freshwater lake and any fish taken back then would not have been threatened marine species.
    However there is much in Tony Weatherley’s piece we do agree on, He would know that if he reads my stuff.
    He might just find something useful in my next column.

    1. G R Webb says:

      No predicted catastrophe has come to pass in the whole of human history. We humans have a long history of catastrophe prediction — they were originally religious, like Armageddon and the original millennial cults. Then came Malthus (versions of him are still around), right through to the Club of Rome, Y2K, SARS and now Global Warming. I see the virus that started in Wuhan is rapidly joining the ranks; the BBC is already blaming this on “the Climate Catastrophe” rather than species-jumping at the Wuhan fish market.

      No matter what catastrophe the media predicts, it won’t happen. Yes, the climate is changing but its not shoving Doomsday Clock any close to midnight. The only future we can predict is the kind that “tomorrow will be Friday.” We can’t predict what will happen on Friday. The unpredictable always happens. The world is not doomed and there is no climate catastrophe. The slight amount of warming since 1800 is a good thing, as far more people die from cold than warmth, and food grows far better with warmth; it dies with cold. The slight increase in C02 to four parts per million is helping to make plants bloom and forests grow better all over the world. CO2 is not called a greenhouse gas for nothing. Without the greenhouse effect there would be no life on Earth.

      Human ingenuity is why the world has never been a better, healthier and more prosperous place for vastly more people than ever in history. The catastrophe prophets seem to hate is humanity and human ingenuity. Many of them seem to want us wiped off the Earth like the plague they claim we are. Well it won’t happen. Based on provable history rather than predicting, I say that modern science develops the solution to every problem. Sorry about that. Not.

      1. Bob Hughes says:

        Gordon, I fully agree that “CO2 is not called a greenhouse gas for nothing. Without the greenhouse effect, there would be no life on Earth”.
        But all I could find on the BBC (re your comment about blaming the Wuhan virus outbreak on climate change) was “Environmental and climate change are removing and altering animals’ habitat, changing how they live”.
        Please give us some sources so we can make some sense of the information you offer on the other stuff.

      2. Martin Hanson says:

        The only thing Malthus got wrong was his timing. Apart from that, anyone who thinks there aren’t environmental limits to growth is, to quote Kenneth Boulding, “either an economist or a madman”. Resistance to the idea of limits is not based on reality or logic, but just illustrates the fact that most people can distinguish between sentiments and evidence-based thoughts.

        1. Martin Hanson says:

          I should have added that Malthus got his timing wrong because he didn’t anticipate the Industrial Revolution and the explosion of scientific and medical knowledge..