Nick Bradford highlighted this environmental issue. It’s not too late to act and set an example to the rest of the world.
30 years ago a Climate Change Programme was developed in New Zealand and I was a small part of it. Since then, three important aspects have become clear:
The physical basis for climate change past, present and future;
The growing evidence supporting many of the predictions;
The persistence of short-term thinking and misinformation.
After 150 years of science the impact of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide on the climate is well understood. In 1896 Svante Arrhenius, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, used basic principles of physical chemistry to estimate how much increases in this gas would warm the climate.
Since then major decreases in the carbon isotope ratio in tree rings and the ocean surface is convincing evidence that the source of the increased carbon dioxide is mostly from use of fossil fuels with their characteristically low C 13 to C 12 isotope ratio.
We have also understood with increasing precision that Earth’s climate has undergone many changes in the past. Ice cores up to 800,000 years old from the Antarctic reveal there have been nine interglacial periods in this period. Carbon dioxide has varied
greatly but current levels are 33% greater than during the warmest interglacials because of our increased use of fossil fuels. This has committed us to significantly more warming than we have seen.
Predictions of the effects of increased carbon dioxide are one of the successes of the science. Along with warming air temperatures, these include reduced numbers of frosts, receding glaciers, rising sea levels, extreme events such as increased rainfall, and increased pests.
Some of these effects will take years to prove statistically but the evidence for many is increasingly obvious.
The human tendency to restrict thinking to immediate It is ‘‘thanks’’ from Family & Financial Solutions Trust. priorities like the economy is understandable.
The reasons for misinformation are less acceptable because we have learnt so much. Climate change is finally an election issue and will easier for our children and grandchildren if we take the climate into account this election day.
Harry Keys, Taupo
A BIG THANKS
The team at Family & Financial Solutions Trust offer their sincerest thanks to Malcolm at Malcolm Flowers Insurances Ltd Taupo, who has generously contributed towards the cost of six months’ rent. We continue to be amazed at the fantastic support by the local business community.
This support allows us to continue the journey with families and individuals in need. Thank you Malcolm – we are truly grateful for your support.
Family & Financial Services Trust is a local not for profit organisation. We offer advocacy and holistic financial mentoring services to families and individuals, who come to us, at times, with complex needs. This is a free service to the community.
Family & Financial Solutions Trust
HAVE YOUR SAY
Send your letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to ‘Editor, Taupo¯ Times, 45 Heuheu St, PO Box 205, Taupo¯.