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Global Warming: Here And Now

The disintegration of a huge Antarctic ice shelf, twice the size of Stewart Island, indicates the urgency with which New Zealand must ratify the Kyoto protocol on climate change, Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey say they are "staggered" by the speed of the collapse of the Larsen B shelf, which they attribute to strong climate warming.

"This event indicates that the process of climate change is unfolding much faster than most people expected," noted Jeanette Fitzsimons. "While the collapse of Larsen B will have no practical effect on this country it is a salutary reminder of the extraordinary rate at which our climate is changing.

"Big business interests in this country are hiding their heads in the sand if they think this process will pass them by. The cost to them of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol will be miniscule compared to the cost inflicted by a rising sea level, increased rainfall and major temperature change.

"Selfish arguments based on self-interest pale into insignificance before the spectre of global catastrophe, of which the Larsen B collapse is a tiny, but significant, example," said Jeanette Fitzsimons.

"We must stop wasting time in this stupid, pointless debate about ratifying Kyoto and work together on ways of implementing it. Events like Larsen B are strong evidence that global warming is happening now and the only option we have left is to reduce our output of greenhouse gases before we pass the point of no return."

Ends

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