For the sake of future generations let us all hope that our community ‘leaders’ pull their head out of the sand and acknowledge that climate change is happening whether they want it to or not and that predictions for this region by non-partisan bodies like the United Nations Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) should form the basis for future regional planning. The IPCC report released in April this year was written by global experts on the impacts of climate change presents sober predictions based on over 550 studies with each chapter peer reviewed by at least 50 leading scientists. It also includes risk minimisation options and recommendations for every member of society with things we can do at a personal, local, regional and national level to address current trends and reduce the negative impacts of future changes. However some parts of the report basically say there is not much likelihood that the political and personal will exists to make the necessary changes before it will be too late.
It will take robust research such as the IPCC’s report to convince some sectors of the community that our region is approaching a crisis that, without radical changes to our personal, regional and national priorities, will see the complete and sudden collapse of our eco-system, national economy and society as we know it.
Threats to the security and quality of water for human consumption, plantation forests dying from the decline in rainfall and farming becoming an increasingly marginal activity on the East Coast of the North Island will all have immense impacts on our community and I would have thought the evidence and commentary from such an eminent panel would be of significant interest to us all.