Duncan Garner: Stop climate change grandstanding and cut emissions

Opinion 16/09/2019

Newshub and The AM Show are part of a global event called "Covering Climate Now". 

It's an international commitment to bring awareness to the issues surrounding climate change because, frankly, it's too late once your house drifts out to sea courtesy of massive tides and waves and you're clinging to the roof, and clinging to the phone on hold just hoping your insurer picks up. 

That's the scenario legitimately being painted by these councils across the country who have enthusiastically called for these climate change "states of emergency". 

Frankly, that's a bit of "grandstanding" if you ask me and confusing for our traditional "states of emergency".

News flash folks, climate change has always been with us - now we just have a hyper marketing department, alongside social media, to educate, help and scare us. 

But climate change is happening despite the grumps and groans from every Leighton, Larry and Alan Jones. 

But all these reports into what to do? Stop now. No more. Just act. The real report comes annually, it's the true test of our emissions levels. 

They are a report back on how we live our lives. And, despite everything being said, not much is being done.

Our emissions climb every year - up 65 percent on 1990. 

To meet all the global targets we have to cut by 6 percent a year, but ours increase by 2 to 3 percent a year - whoops. I think our love affair with cars is to blame. Take that a step further and population control is the answer - but politicians will run a mile from that. 

So, getting us to cut our emissions? It's a bit like getting a kid to let go of a lollipop. But we're not even trying on the emissions, and we're not being incentivised to try, either. 

In the year 2000 we had 2.7 million cars in NZ.

By 2015 it was 3.9 million, and now it's well past 4 million. 

I personally believe we CAN make changes in the world.

Although largely the path has been set, but we CAN have some influence at the margins by modifying behaviour.

However, let's not all lose our jobs and way of life trying to get there. But until the Government bans V8s and other big grunty dirty beasts the message surely is "go for it". What do we expect?

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.