I’ve got to put my hand up and admit I was wrong. I have been making a mistake in disbelieving climate change is man-made, and that the effects we are seeing now are merely cyclical.
One of the reasons I had rejected the calls was that the whole “global warming” movement was led by Al Gore, a disreputable politician at best, backed up by an ever-growing camp of “experts” clamouring for grants from governments and universities to prove their theories, at the same time lining their pockets. In short, the whole thing had become big business, with all that implies.
What changed my mind? A media address by Alistair Davies, managing director of Toyota New Zealand. Alistair is the first person I have heard speak on this subject who has a vested interest in denying that carbon dioxide produced by, among other things, motor vehicles, is heading us towards an unacceptable level of climate change and planet warming.
Instead, he presented compelling arguments that New Zealand, together with the rest of the world, must reduce emissions to levels well below 2degC above pre-industrial levels.
It’s a big ask, and New Zealand has particular problems in that 48 percent of “greenhouse gas” emissions in this country come from agriculture (methane and nitrous oxide), with another 22 percent (carbon dioxide) from energy production, 17 percent transport (including trucks, buses, trains, ships and planes, as well as cars) and 6 percent waste, plus another 6 percent synthetic greenhouse gas from industry.
The figures confirm that the Government must be very careful of where it spends time and money to fight climate change as spending in one area would have to be at the expense of another.
Subsidies for EVs are really dodging the big issue – the age of the New Zealand fleet. The overall average age of cars on our roads is 14 years, with imported vehicles at almost 16 years.
It would make more sense, if there are subsidies to throw around, to get rid of these old cars as a first priority.