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Ministers’ Climate Science Denial “embarrassing”

Ministers’ Climate Science Denial “embarrassing” - Pm Must Respond

Press release - Generation Zero

Thursday 14 November 2013 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The refusal of senior National Party ministers to accept the overwhelming scientific evidence that humans are the main cause of climate change is embarrassing and deeply concerning, says youth climate group Generation Zero.

On 3 News yesterday, Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee and Deputy Prime Minister Bill English both expressed doubt and reservations when asked if they believed in man-made climate change.

The recently released Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s most authoritative scientific body on the topic, concluded that, “It is extremely likely [defined as greater than 95% certainty] that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

Generation Zero spokesperson Paul Young says: “It beggars belief that two of our most influential decision makers don’t accept the overwhelming consensus from climate science experts, which is also strongly affirmed by the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.

“The Prime Minister must come out and make his personal views and the views of his party on man-made climate change clear.

“Scientists are about as sure that humans are the dominant cause of climate change as they are that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer.

“We applaud Minister for Climate Change Issues Tim Groser’s comments strongly endorsing the scientific consensus, and agree with him that to believe otherwise is ‘denying reality’.

“It must be hard for the many members and supporters of the National Party who want to see action on climate change when the Deputy PM and Minister of Finance, who holds the Government’s purse strings, and the Minister of Transport, whose portfolio accounts for around 40 percent of New Zealand’s carbon dioxide emissions, seem to refuse to accept that the problem exists.

“Not only is New Zealand renowned for its clean, green image, we also have a proud history of science, from Ernest Rutherford to Sir Paul Callaghan. The expression of views so contrary to the clear science will only hold New Zealand back, keeping us stuck in the past.

“We urge Mr Brownlee, Mr English and any other MPs of a similar mind to sit down for a chat with Sir Peter Gluckman or some of New Zealand’s many leading climate change scientists.”


Reports referenced:
IPCC 5th Assessment Report, http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/
Office of the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee, New Zealand’s changing climate and oceans: The impact of human activity and implications for the future, http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/New-Zealands-Changing-Climate-and-Oceans-report.pdf

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