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BLOG: Crisis? What global warming crisis?

By Philip Duncan

When I hear the word ‘crisis’, I immediately envisage people with arms out, desperately calling for help. For example, if you were to hear ‘crisis at sea’, you would think of a capsized ferry and people rushing to help the survivors. Or the ‘swine flu crisis’ – governments quickly jumped into action, ready to avoid a major disaster. So why is it when we hear ‘global warming crisis’, the leaders of the world contribute to it by adding even more hot air?

I was amazed at what a huge disappointment Copenhagen was. What an utter waste of time… not to mention the size of the carbon footprint created by leaders in private jets, limos, motorcades, security, etc. And for what?

When I hear the word ‘crisis’, I envisage those who run our government agencies jumping into action. Which makes me wonder… is this really a crisis at all? If a storm is coming, the government agency MetService warns people of heavy rain. If there’s a major flood, Civil Defence jumps into gear, along with police, fire, ambulance, army, etc. That’s what happens during a crisis.

But with this crisis, we saw the leaders of the world sitting around arguing and not really accomplishing anything…that’s not the sort of behaviour you show when there’s an immediate crisis at your front door. Instead, it’s more like planning ahead for a ‘potential crisis’. It seems like there’s no real urgency. It could be done today, or next year… or in 5 years.

I can honestly tell you, hand on heart, that I am definitely confused over whether or not global warming is something we need to be stressed about or not. I simply don’t know anymore. It’s like your doctor telling you that you’re unwell and you need to take medicine, but then not being able to figure out a prescription.

When your car breaks down on the motorway you urgently call a tow truck. When your house catches fire you call 111. But when the world is ‘doomed’, we have a meeting and do nothing. It just doesn’t make sense to me that something so massive, so urgent, so ominous, doesn’t seem to be making the world leaders react.

Now, I know many tried, and I know that countries like China and Saudi Arabia weren’t too keen on reducing anything… but I’m confused as to why that stops New Zealand and other developed nations from seriously tackling this issue – or at the very least start giving more help to developing nations so they can clean up their act. If they’re worried about the costs making trade difficult, can’t we find ways of ‘punishing’ those nations that don’t try to fight C02 emissions?

Perhaps I’m missing something – so I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Talk about rising waters… my head is a sea of arguments. I can’t see the horizon for the waves. I need to be enlightened, because after all the hype of this massive convention the light bulb in my head has now finally blown.

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