Forgive me this riff on impermanence. Last Sunday morning, my little group of middle-aged winos and winemakers (plus a professor or two) left the lodge in Martin’s Bay and crossed a serene Hollyford River on a jetboat. We walked along the edge of the bush on the spit, looking at Maori middens, layering in sand dunes, native plants and the succession from pingao to rimu, pondering the most recent ice age — which carved out the Hollyford valley — and the potential for rising seas to change this wonderful example of coastal ecology. Eventually we arrived at the site of the Mackenzie homestead – built in the 1870s by hardy settlers determined to make their lives in this wet and wild corner of what was then a new land to Europeans. All that remains is the stone fireplace, overgrown with grass, the vague outline of the walls, and some imported trees — the gums are doing very well. I pondered the lives of the settlers in the Hollyford and the scratches they left on the landscape, while New Zealand and the world grasped at bigger issuesâ€¦
From the wilder shores of crankdom (mainly the “dissenting voices” side of Climate “Debate” Daily ), I offer a few choice selections of current thinking on the sceptic front to brighten (or dampen) your weekend. From the perceptive political analysis of Swindler Martin Durkin to the verbosity of a “potty peer”, all agree on one thing: global warming has stoppedâ€¦
From Greenpeace, timed to coincide with the launch of the new James Bond movie, we have Coalfinger (wot, no Shirley Bassey?). Full of smutty innuendo (geddit?). That’s Brian Blessed voicing the baddie – a wonderful over the top performance.
Meanwhile, big coal’s biggest critic James Hansen expresses disappointment with the targets set by Australia’s Garnaut Report:
That plan appears to have been written by the coal industry, and, if adopted globally, practically guarantees destruction of most life on the planet. I would be more critical[1. If that’s possible!], except that much of the problem is probably due to our failure to make the climate story clear enough.
The final version of the Garnaut Climate Change Review on Australia’s response to climate change was released today. I haven’t had time to read it (it’s big, and detailed), but I will be taking it into account when I finish my long-promised post on targets. Money quote (from the synopsis):
There are times in the history of humanity when fateful decisions are made. The decision this year and next on whether to enter a comprehensive global agreement for strong action is one of them. Australiaâ€™s actions will make a difference to the outcome, in several ways.
The chances of success at Copenhagen would be greater if heads of government favouring a strong outcome set up an experts group to come up with a practical approach to global mitigation that adds up to various environmental objectives. On a balance of probabilities, the failure of our generation on climate change mitigation would lead to consequences that would haunt humanity until the end of time.
Quite. Barry Brook’s blog (Brave New Climate) will be a good place to go for informed analysis and comment over the next few weeks. And there will be considerable interest in Wellington and from our politicians.
[Title reference: Kate Bush at her daftest (with Rolf Harris on didgeridoo)]
It’s getting hectic down here in the Waipara bunker: articles to write, truffles to harvest – stuff is piling up, not least in a multitude of tabs in my web browser, items set aside as possible subjects for posts here. So here’s one of my infrequent omnibus posts to give me some room to move around the web…