The NZ Institute report on global warming, called We're Right Behind You, is "deeply flawed and spectacularly misguided" according to Hot Topic author and global warming researcher Gareth Renowden. His attack on the Institute is stinging.
The NZI report advocates that New Zealand abandon its Kyoto Protocol commitments and become a ‘fast follower’ rather than a leader of climate change policy. On his blog, Renowden says the report is “deeply flawed, overly simplistic, and their only specific recommendation, the abnegation of our Kyoto commitments, is spectacularly misguided.”
The Christchurch-based author and researcher says that New Zealand will face steeper cuts than Kytoto requires—and needs to act now to prepare for the next round of hard-nosed post-Kyoto negotiations. “Taking slow action now is only storing up more difficulty for the future. In that context, the report’s discussions of emissions trajectories and targets is not only simplistic, it fails to take account of reality.”
“The idea that we can somehow defer our Kyoto commitment without major international cost is risible.”
It's hard to get your head around this stuff but I find it ironic that a such a progressive think tank such as NZI would be so regressive on this matter. Not even the National Party agrees ; this morning on bFM, leader John Key reaffirmed National's determination to follow Kyoto.
And daily the global wamring picture gets worse. A story in the Herald early this month reported that CO2 rise is getting faster due to so called feedback effects. "The rate at which global warming gases are accumulating in the atmosphere has taken a sharp leap upwards, leading to fears that the devastating effects of climate change may hit the world even sooner than has been predicted," says the story. It goes on to say:
“The possibility that it may be occurring now is suggested in the long run of atmospheric CO2 measurements that have been made since 1958 at the observatory on the top of Mauna Loa, an 11,000ft volcano in Hawaii, by the American physicist Charles Keeling, from the University of California at San Diego.
“When he began, Dr Keeling, who is still in charge of the project and who might be said to be the Grand Old Man of CO2, found the amount of the gas present in the atmosphere to be 315 parts per million by volume (ppm); today, after the remorseless increase in emissions from power stations and motor vehicles over the past four and a half decades, the figure stands at 376ppm.”
Unfortunately I thnk the NZI has fallen into the trap of pleasing its sponsors.