Climate change

Climate change.

Wait! Don’t run screaming! If you’re in business or you’ve got a kid and wonder what kind of a place the world might be over the next 100 years you’ve got to have a go at working it all out.

What’s a girl to do? She asks her big business mates, making more than the GDP of small African states by digging up stuff and selling it – they tell her it’s all a big media beat up by the Fundamentalists or Eco-Nazis and this doom mongering is getting in the way of their mining endeavours.

As I enjoy all the benefits of the modern world and I have been lucky enough to have been born on a high volcanic island and not a small low lying atoll they suggest I lie back and think of carbon credits. And so I drive my car to the $2 shop to buy my child more plastic stuff that she neither wants or needs to take my mind off it. Until I remember some of these mates are already trying to buy the rights to dig more stuff up in land that is currently 6 metres under ice. Obviously they know things that I don’t, and then I remember I do know people with houses not only on small atolls but also in Byron Bay – well I did, before they fell into the sea.

So I go and ask my Fundy friends. From them I learn that global warming has already been foretold that we are now in the end days and that it’s just the precursor to the full scale burn up of Armageddon. They suggest I stop worrying about saving the world and just get myself saved and, by the way, their particular flavour of fundamentalism has got family passes to heaven and discounts on all the rides.

This is depressing because I like this world and their heaven sounds like God, Disney and Fonterra got together and made a theme park and I’m not sure I want to go there. Not feeling the rapture, I drive to the beach to collect pipis – before their shells dissolve due to increased acidity in the sea. There I meet some greenies catching and releasing pipis (they’re all vegans now) who tell me that my big business and Christian fundy friends are all eco-terrorists locked in a conspiracy to turn New Zealand into one big dairy farm and that we should raze the cities, wear clothes made from discarded seagull feathers and eat flaxseed and by the way, they’ve confiscated my car and now I have to walk home.

Nobody is making much sense so I decide to go and spend an evening sitting round the fire with Uncle G.

Gareth Morgan would make a great uncle because he is rich and interesting rather than the usual combination of rich, and boring.

Uncle G has done what any other government, multi-national or lobby group has systematically failed to do on what could conceivably be the biggest question to face humanity in the last 5000 years. He’s used his money, not to push his own barrow but to head hunt the best science brains and then referee the ensuing intellectual boxing match.

So what did I learn? Is the Co2 in the atmosphere going up? Yup. Are we doing it? Looks like it – it seems the atmosphere is now testament to our predilection for burning up fossil fuels. Does this mean the temperatures are going to keep going up? Don’t know. Wait and See seems a dodgy verdict but that’s as good as it gets.

What will happen if the Amazon forest disappears? Uncle G will turn it into a dairy farm (the one he currently owns in that area in Brazil gives a 16% return). Should I go fishing while I think about this? No point. Uncle G has already got all the fish, 241 groper I think he said – but he’s a fisherman – who can believe him?

The camps on climate change may still be poles apart but credit where it’s due.
I still don’t know what I’m supposed to do about any of this but Uncle G. has got me thinking – and that’s a lot better than just getting battered by the prevailing dogma of the day.

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