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Greenpeace challenged to prove need for carbon tax

Media release (immediate) 21 April 2007

Greenpeace challenged to prove need for carbon tax

Before Greenpeace or anyone else criticises the Government for its failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it should cite the valid verified scientific proof that carbon dioxide causes warming of the earth to an extent that would involve New Zealanders paying President Putin of Russia for so-called carbon credits. This today from Owen McShane, chair of the policy panel of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition responding to a statement Friday by Bunny McDiarmid, executive director of Greenpeace which called for the immediate introduction of a carbon tax.

"There is no scientific evidence that justifies a carbon tax," said Mr McShane. "All we have is a scenario promoted by government funded scientists who are part of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), based on computer modelling that has been slammed by many independent climatologists around the world as lacking any scientific validity or credibility.

"People generally seem not to be aware that the UN defines ‘climate change' as only the effects of climate that result from human activity. It ignores the natural drivers that have governed the global climate for millions of years past. For reasons that have everything to do with politics and nothing to do with science or meteorological observations and records, the present Government committed New Zealand to the Kyoto Protocol that even its most ardent supporters admit will not reduce global warming,

"What Kyoto will do, like the sale of indulgences in the Middle Ages, is make people and organisations pay for emissions of carbon dioxide by buying credits from countries like Russia that have vast tracts of forested land.

"New Zealand should have followed the example of other Pacific Rim countries like Australia and America, and refrained from ratifying the Kyoto Protocol until the science of climate is settled. Currently, and since 1998, the earth has been cooling. New Zealand still has the right, up until February next year, to withdraw from the Kyoto agreement without penalty, and it should do so."

Mr McShane said that New Zealanders should take note of what is happening right now in Canada, where the Conservative Government has warned that unemployment would jump by 25% and the economy would move into recession if Canada has to implement short-term Kyoto targets immediately. Canada's Environment Minister has said that gasoline prices would have to rise by 60% and electricity by 50% and the price of natural gas would have to more than double.

"There is no scientific evidence to justify the wild claims of doom and catastrophe that have made headlines in recent weeks. What New Zealand needs to do is pause, take a deep breath, look more carefully at what proven science tells us," said Mr McShane.


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