The author manages to wring in just about the whole panorama of dioxycarbophobia into this one short piece (pretty good effort if you are into unfounded hysterics)
People who claim it is safe to mine and burn coal are being unrealistic, writes Tim Jones.
Chris Baker, the chief executive of Straterra, claimed in these pages (Perspective, June 13) that it was “unrealistic and irresponsible to advocate for a halt to coal mining in New Zealand”.
Straterra’s spin is well-funded by its mining industry masters. But it is those who claim that New Zealand and the world can safely continue to mine and burn coal who are being unrealistic.
Those who want to profit from coal mining adjust their tactics to the circumstances. In the US, mining companies, drillers and frackers continue to pour money into the climate change denial movement. In New Zealand, at least in public, the mining industry claims to be concerned about climate change. It just works hard to stop us taking any meaningful action on it.
The world’s climate is already changing: more floods, more droughts, more tornadoes. Sea level rise has begun, and even if we stopped burning fossil fuels tomorrow, we are already committed to more.
Climate change is driven by the burning of fossil fuels, and coal is 79 per cent of the remaining climate changing potential. There is enough of it to raise the temperature of the planet by a further 15 degrees Celsius. If the world continues to mine and burn coal, flash floods and droughts will be the least of our worries.
Instead, we will see the collapse of ice sheets, major sea level rise, massive forced migrations, and major famines. New Zealand will not be immune.