CLI­MATE CHANGE

Taupo Times - - OUT & ABOUT -

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 daniel.hutchin­son@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz or mail to ‘Ed­i­tor, Taupo¯ Times, 45 Heuheu St, PO Box 205, Taupo¯.

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