A NZ government representative yesterday blamed Federated Farmers for not educating farmers about Climate Change. I was blown away by this latest responsibility dodge from our leaders.
New Zealand it seems is the last country in the world to have a large portion of our population who disregard the globally accepted science credulous or remain ignorant about the issue and how it will affect our country socially, economically and obviously environmentally. And the government don’t seem to mind even going to the lengths of vocally encouraging ridiculous skepticism in our media. Please don’t be fooled… we are one of the last countries in the world to endure this lack of understanding the science – seemingly only beaten by indigenous people who live areas untouched by media and communication.

COP15 has brought the world to a conference centre in Denmark and we have no shortage of countries to talk to about the New Zealand position. They are incredulous about a number of things. Our governments emission targets and balanced lack of support for global funds, lack of emphasis on climate change education including removing environmental education such as enviroschools, use of unjustified and unbalanced cost scare-tactics, government subsidised legislation to support fossil fuel searches, lack of policy on dealing with pacific climate migrants, determination to keep a gass-guzzling government vehicle fleets, increased funds for roading and decreased money to public transport… the list is endless. And we can’t answer their questions!

As I’ve blogged about already, many countries throughout the world have successfully introduced mitigation practices to reduce emissions while New Zealand’s reductions only include restricting innovation to the private sector, to small groups of businesses who remain unsupported by the government. For example there our Agriculture Researchers who are continually frustrated at the lack of political will to follow through on research showing our ability to reduce our methane emissions by 15% without a large change from business as usual. Don’t our farmers and the public deserve to know about this to avoid paying for unnecessary emissions?

Thus businesses who can see the potential of a Green Economy are struggling to survive even though they increasingly seem to have answers that would help bail our government out. Experts have tried to advise the government that turning 10% of unproductive farmland into forestry while compensating our farmers would offset our entire countries emissions and provide cash resources to farmers who are currently balancing on the brink following the global economic crisis. Don’t our farmers deserve to know about this? Don’t our public?

The rest of the world accept the science… so do the many New Zealanders that have joined the movements to lobby the government. The extreme green environmental groups in NZ are the normal people by comparison in the rest of the world. In the UK parliament every party falls over itself to be the one with the best stance on climate change – no deniers there.

The New Zealand Government used to take responsibility for educating the public about areas of important knowledge. Surely a crisis which carries such immense threats on all levels is enough of an issue to bring this back. The public deserve the opportunity to understand the basic physics and geography of this issue. They deserve answers and they deserve decent political leadership. Our farmers deserve the access to solutions the government know is possible.

We all deserve a future – the New Zealand Government need to start fighting for it.