Cr Jinty MacTavish contested a submitter's views on climate
change during yesterday's annual plan hearing in Dunedin.
Photo by Linda Robertson.
There were no gauges at the Fullwood Room to check for
climate changes during debate on Dunedin's annual plan
But if they were installed near city councillor Jinty
MacTavish's seat at the Dunedin Centre when Dr Jock Allison
gave his views on climate change, there would have been a
certain spike in the heat emanating from that side of the
political and generational divide.
The environmental advocate sat quietly while Dr Allison gave
his views on the issue, the science of which he described as
The council, he continued, did not need any expenditure
related to planning for the effects of climate change,
because the topic was "adequately accounted for" by various
government departments, universities and lobby groups.
Self-described in his submission as Dr Jock Allison:
Ratepayer, he is also a former Invermay director and former
AgResearch board member.
His submission argued the world's temperature was not rising
at an increasing rate, sea level was rising but the rise was
slowing, and "much more" oil and gas remained to be found,
not to mention huge coal reserves and the opportunity for
safe nuclear power.
"Thus, no requirement for council to spend significant sums
of money in planning activities related to a situation which
is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future."
Dr Allison noted Cr MacTavish's "impassioned tearful plea"
earlier this year for the acceleration of an adaptation plan
on climate change, a decision he said was based on "doubtful
To round off his submission, he took aim at climate change
scientist Dr James Hansen, due to give a public lecture in
Dunedin this month, whom he said was a "seriously discredited
scientist" responsible for alarmist claims about temperature
and sea-level rise.
After sitting quietly through the speech, Cr MacTavish asked
Dr Allison if he was aware what he was recommending for the
council ran against the advice of the United Nations, the New
Zealand Government, the International Monetary Fund, and
organisations within both the British and United States
Dr Allison responded there was more than enough planning on
the issue under way from universities and government, and no
need for "a little unitary council wanting to have their own
part of it".
Cr MacTavish asked if he wanted the council to have policies
out of line with all those organisations.
Dr Allison said he did not, but he wanted the council to keep
"a holding brief" on the issue.
Policies needed to be put in place "if and when climate
change takes place".
The council staff response to the submission thanked Dr
Allison for his input, but said the council had to "keep in
step with the generally accepted paradigms of the scientific