Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Peter Williams: Are you quaking in your boots over the IPCC report?

Opinion 10/08/2021

OPINION: My message to the hand wringers of the IPCC - get China and India to stop gas emissions first.

What do we make of the IPCC report? Are you quaking in your boots with yet more doom and gloom? Frankly in New Zealand, it is not a good day to be putting climate alarmism into the discussion. Here we are just wanting to keep warm, by any means possible, and we don’t need scientists telling us to change our way of life and decarbonise our basic means of survival and transportation.

The first New Zealand member of IPCC I heard speaking this morning was the political scientist from Canterbury University Bronwyn Hayward who’s piece on the news talked about this so-called simple thing of electrifying public transport - which sounds great, until the country doesn’t have enough power, like last night.  

But among all the doom and gloom of that IPCC report and how we have to change our way of living in the western world, where was the mention of the world’s biggest emitters of CO2, China and India? Not mentioned. Together they account for something like 40 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. And in China’s case they’re funding development in many impoverished nations, especially in Africa, bringing electricity to their life for the first time, mainly through thermal coal fired generation.

Are we, or rather are the IPCC scientists, happy to deny millions of people the chance to escape from poverty through energy security?  It seems they are? And as the great and the good prepare for this year's climate gabfest in Edinburgh, is there any pressure being put on China to stop emitting? Not that I can see.

So my message to the hand wringers of the IPCC, including the New Zealanders on that panel, don’t start lecturing us about our lifestyle choices in this land of 0.17 percent of  the world’s GHG emissions until you address the very, very big elephant or should that be dragon, in the room.

Listen to Peter Williams every weekday from 9am on Magic Talk.