16 January 2023
Human race must change its ways
I was quite taken aback to read the somewhat lupine attack by Dr Robert Wolfe on our dear Climate Chap, Steve Green (Focus, Dec 19, 2022) where the good doctor remonstrated severely with Steve about air travel and beef.
Doctor Wolfe maintained that despite air traffic being reduced by about 90 percent in 2019/20, 2020 was the hottest year recorded despite less air traffic. So what Dr Wolfe? As we all know, global warming is occurring because of the burning of fossil fuels, ie the same as that burned massively in jet engines in the form of kerosene. How much warmer then, would it have been eventually if those aircraft had still flown?
Steve was also castigated for his apparent stating that beef production also needs to be controlled to help in global warming, Dr Wolfe stating that animal meat protein is the greater source of that required to provide the essential amino acids which we need. Quite so, but those essential amino acids may also be furnished by quinoa, legumes and beans et al. And hey, one steer needs almost a hectare, while a lot of veges can be grown on that. Notwithstanding, Dr Wolfe's claim in all this has validity.
The planet is in grave danger though, because of its greatest threat – the human race. I too have run my own stock and killed our own sheep over the years and we must not rush to kill our farming overnight, but the need to think out of the square and change our ways is an undeniable must.
Recently I have looked at ways to include a major city into a water scheme I designed and which, although well retired, I am retained as its engineer. I have consulted with NIWA scientists regarding the huge growth rate of river intake, screen blocking algae, caused with increased temperature and the proliferation of farm nitrates invading waterways – the algae can now grow at a rate of 3-4cm an afternoon. Add to that, from where the river forms, many hectares of priceless wetlands were destroyed, just a part of the 90 percent or more in the country to date.
Hindsight is a great tutor of course, but there is seemingly little alternative. The human race must change its ways quickly or pay the ultimate price.
Is there really a climate crisis?
I'd like to publicly thank Robert Wolfe, PhD, for the comments that he made in his recent letter to the editor re the climate change alarmism that is being touted as fact by your regular contributor 'The Climate Chap'.
Robert is absolutely correct that the articles written by 'The Climate Chap' present a biased and unsubstantiated perspective that isn't balanced by any sort of counterpoint, but sadly that seems to be the case with almost all of the major issues that NZ and the world are currently facing; well-meaning people blindly accept and then repeat ad nauseum what their government and so called 'experts' are telling them without giving the matter any critical thought, doing their own independent research, or looking at possible conflicts of interest or the motivations of those behind these one sided messages. And then these opinions are given a platform by the national media and publications such as The Focus where they are presented as if they were facts.
Let's take a look at the latest article written by 'The Climate Chap' where he wraps up 2021 with an article entitled 'The Year in Review'. In it, he talks about the 'climate crisis' arriving in 2022, but is there really a climate crisis? As Robert Wolfe has already pointed out, all of the frightening climate predictions have been generated by computer models. And we know from experience in many other complex areas (Covid anyone?) how misleading computer models can be. If you put faulty data into a computer model, it will generate meaningless predictions, it's as simple as that, and over the past 50 years all the predictions about global warming and its dire effects on humanity have been wrong.
What if there is no climate crisis and it's all a big fat con? According to over 1400 scientists and climate experts affiliated with Clintel, an independent foundation (and therefore one with no political agenda) that operates in the fields of climate change and climate policy, there is no climate emergency.
Quoting from their website, "extreme weather events such as heatwaves, droughts, floods, hurricanes etc are intentionally used to support the extreme climate predictions. But if we position these events in a historical context, we see that they are 'climate business as usual' (Goklany, 2020)." In other words the world has always experienced these kinds of extreme weather events, which are not caused by increasing levels of man-made CO2 in the atmosphere. In fact CO2 is essential for all life on earth. Without it, crops would die and humans would not be able to feed themselves.
Most New Zealanders, including 'The Climate Chap' seem unaware that the government document at the heart of NZ's response to climate change, the 'National Adaption Plan', is based on an improbable and in fact now discredited 'climate Armageddon scenario' which is also driving New Zealand's 'Emissions Reduction Plan', its 'National Climate Risk Assessment', its 'Coastal Hazards and Climate Change Guidance for local Government' as well as its interim 'Guidance on the use of new sea level projections', all of which propose sweeping new regulations and legislation including the abandonment of certain coastal areas and the forced relocation of residents. Even the UN at its recent COP27 meeting admitted that this worst case scenario is improbable, and has revised its guidance accordingly. But not the NZ government, who continue to reference a completely fictitious climate scenario to scare the public and justify massive government spending (paid for by the taxpayer of course), tax increases, the destruction of our farming and agricultural sectors, and control over our lives on an unprecedented scale.
New Zealanders really do deserve to hear both sides of this incredibly important issue and so I'm with Robert Wolfe here – if the Focus is going to continue to give a platform to climate cultists such as 'The Climate Chap' in the absence of an opposing viewpoint, then his column needs to be prominently flagged as his opinion, not facts.
Under the Climate Chap’s byline you’ll see the word OPINION. And one thing we can agree on is that there is a huge amount of material out there regarding the state of the world’s climate, and the case for both sides of the climate change debate can easily be researched online. - Ed
Boaties flout speed limits
My house overlooks the upper Mangawhai Estuary. We moved here to live full time a year or so ago. As a lifetime boatie I have been surprised (and disappointed) by the flagrant disregard for marine speed limits in this area. New Zealand maritime regulations are clear – the speed limit within 200 metres of the shore, and within 50 metres of another vessel, is 5 knots. There are reasons for this limit, mainly to do with safety but also for environmental reasons. Furthermore, the upper estuary is a 5 knot zone, as indicated by a buoy located at the bend.
Over a holiday period the upper estuary fills with many types of watercraft, and it is quite a narrow passage of water, so is almost impossible for a moving vessel to remain more than 200 metres from the shore, nor more than 50 metres from another craft at peak times. Some of these craft are clearly travelling at speeds of up to 40 knots or more (74 kph).
I note that Northland Regional Council (NRC) has a designated harbour warden. After contacting NRC I was advised that no contact details for the warden can be given out, nor does the warden have a boat, so the best that can be done is to leave a message with the council that there are vessels speeding but clearly, little if anything, can be done about it.
As the number of jet skis, small speedboats, and children riding in inflatable towed craft increase, the risk of a severe accident also increases.
From an environmental aspect, those fishermen who live in Mangawhai should also be concerned about this issue. The estuary provides a spawning area for many fish species, however the noise and water disturbance by speeding craft upset the delicate ecological balance required for fish to procreate.
I have also just discovered that the protected fairy tern (Tara Iti), of which there remain just 30 birds, feed in the upper estuary to provide for their chicks. But given the disturbance by speeding vessels in the area, it has become very difficult for the birds to catch fish for their chicks during the summer season. It appears that the battle to save the fairy tern species is well on its way to becoming a lost cause.