More news of melting ice from the top of the world. According to Marc Tedesco, lead author of a paper in the May 29 issue of the American Geophysical Union’s Eos:
â€œThe sensors detected that snowmelt occurred more than 10 days longer than the average over certain areas of Greenland in 2006
NZ’s business leaders remain to be convinced about the accuracy of climate science, according to the New Zealand Herald’s coverage of its own Mood of the Boardroom survey:
The country’s top chief executives don’t think climate-change science is accurate and believe the Government is overstating the risk to New Zealand. But they’re ready to prepare for a carbon-constrained economy.
The situation is no better in small to medium enterprises (SMEs):
At least seven out of 10 SME heads (72 per cent) are yet to be convinced of the science of climate change, but 79 per cent say New Zealand should prepare for a carbon-constrained global economy. Sixty-eight per cent identify a risk to the national brand or exports if New Zealand doesn’t move to reduce carbon emissions.
I suppose that’s a relief: they’re willing to do the right thing anyway. I hope they will find the time to read Hot Topic (due out early August). It’s always better to do the right thing for the right reason.
Further down the page, Roger Kerr of the Business Roundtable is given room to prove just how much of a dinosaur he is when it comes to climate change:
â€œCarbon neutrality is completely unobtainable for the foreseeable future, even if we closed all our agricultural sector, banned all cars and other forms of transport and stopped economic growth. What then should New Zealand do about the Kyoto Protocol? We are not going to meet our commitments by a country mile. Do we ignore the protocol or do we honestly withdraw from it?
The Times Online‘s â€œecoworrier
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has released its annual National Exotic Forest Description report (HTML and PDFs), finding that New Zealand’s plantation forest area has declined for the second year in a row. From the MAF press release:
The 2006 survey indicates approximately 12,900 hectares of forest clear felled in the year to 31 March 2006 will not be replanted. This represents a third of the total area harvested. Most of this â€˜deforestationâ€™ occurred in the Central North Island and Canterbury, mostly converted to pasture.
NZ’s plantation forests cover about 1.8 million hectares in total, 70% in the North Island, and Pinus radiata, aka the Monterey pine, covers 89% of that land. Stuff, the Herald and No Right Turn point out the obvious – a loss of forest cover increases our Kyoto liability. Perhaps we should let all the wilding radiata grow, and count them as sinks instead… (that was irony, by the way).
Is peak oil good news or bad news? Much depends on your perspective. The gloomier prognostications about peak oil – living in a world where oil supplies are limited and expensive – suggest that it will be a bigger problem than climate change, and arrive sooner. On the other hand, if we’re forced to cut back on our usage of oil and gas as fuel for energy and transport, we might have a better chance of stabilising atmospheric carbon dioxide at levels low enough to limit the damage from climate change. The IPCC’s high-end scenarios typically assume that there’s plenty of fossil fuel – coal, oil and gas – to get us to double pre-industrial concentrations and beyond. What happens if the oil runs out?
Continue reading “Global warming and peak oil”