Council to consider action on campaign

Alan Mark.
Alan Mark.
The Dunedin City Council is to consider throwing its weight behind the Wise Response Appeal on behalf of all city ratepayers.

The move would be considered at the next full council meeting, on May 19, after a plea from Emeritus Prof Sir Alan Mark on behalf of appeal organisers at this week's Dunedin City Council public forum.

The appeal urged the New Zealand Parliament to undertake an objective national assessment of the risks posed by climate change, economic instability and other potential threats to New Zealand's wellbeing.

It has already attracted about 6000 signatures and was presented to Labour, Green and New Zealand First MPs on the steps of Parliament on Saturday, although members of the Government failed to show.

Prof Mark told Monday's forum he hoped the council, or at least individual councillors and council staff, would add their names to the appeal.

That was because the urgency of the Government's response was likely to depend on how many people signed the appeal.

The Government would act only if public disquiet could not be ignored, he said.

The appeal tabled in Parliament was launched days after the release of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

Prof Mark told this week's meeting New Zealand had an important role to play in addressing climate change and other challenges, beginning by assessing the risks of a ''business as usual'' approach and identifying options.

He expected the appeal would be referred to a select committee, but progress from there would depend on the public's response.

''We would very much welcome the support of Dunedin City Council and staff,'' he said.

Mayor Dave Cull said council staff would prepare a report on Prof Mark's request, which would be considered at the council's May 19 meeting.

A Wise Response is not political

It's a shame that an issue that affects us all is seen as 'political' - instantly polarising us all. For my part I hope Dave Cull supports this call to action. The Wise Response call is only for an assessment of risk, not endorsing specific solutions. That's when it gets political. Something like a changing climate and the huge opportunities and costs that look set to come with that may just be the big issue that will help us get over our petty 'political' differences. Here's hoping.

Nothing wrong with the models

JimmyJones writes, "...their models show warming, but the actual temperatures show no warming. They speculate about why the models are wrong..."  There is nothing wrong with the models.  It's reality that is out of line.

its all about the temperature

vivk: you and the WMO would be wrong to believe that any warming trend is continuing. The warming trend starting in 1975 ended in 1998 and has been followed by 15 years of a flat temperature trend. The IPCC understands this plateau, they call it a "hiatus" and it is really messing up the credibility of their models and their end-of-the-world scare tactics. They say (AR5 WG1 full report p769) "During the 15-year period beginning in 1998, the ensemble of HadCRUT4 GMST trends lies below almost all model-simulated trends" - meaning that their models show warming, but the actual temperatures show no warming. They speculate about why the models are wrong, but don't have a clear explanation. No-one should have any confidence in the IPCC and their pessimistic predictions.

There is nothing significant about 2013 and 2007 both being warm years. All years from 1998 are warm years because the plateau in temperature trend is at the end of the recent warming trend (1976 - 1998). The WMO is trying to trick you into thinking that because 2013 was warm, then there must be a warming trend. I understand your great disappointment »LINK«, but there has been no statistically significant warming of global surface temperatures for over 15 years. There is no warming trend. 

Consider this- whatever bad effects that you have imagined to have been cause by global warming in the last 15 years, hasn't happened, at least not because of global warming - because there has been none. Burning coal and cows farting, have produced greenhouse gasses, but this has caused no actual problems over the last 15 years, and there is no good evidence that they did before that time.

It isn't just about atmospheric temperature

Global warming is real and it will have consequences for future council spending. Atmospheric temperature is one measure of heating, but the oceans and land masses absorb heat and overall the world is warming.

The World Meteorological Organization's Annual Statement on the Status of the Climate report confirmed that 2013 tied with 2007 as the sixth warmest year on record, continuing the long-term global warming trend.

Te Jackle asks "Is this the 3% margin of error". Te Jackle might be prepared to cross the road if there was only a 3% chance of making it safely across to the other side. Sensible people consider the odds that something has 97% chance of being right worth acting on. It is hare-brained scaremongering to advocate for doing nothing!

Never mind the warming, feel the change

The West Coast and Tasman district this weekend from Cyclonr Ita. Unusually big wets over the East Oz continent. GW is not the point, but looks like CCh is.

What global warming?

So the IPCC has reported with 97% certainty that humans are causing global warming, when has this warming occurred and how much has the earths atmosphere warmed this century?

Is this the 3% margin of error? No global warming for the last 17 years, until there is 100% proof and evidence of actual warming NO Council resources or Ratepayers money should be frivelled away on these hair brained scaremongering unproven theories.

Being prepared is important

Before spending ratepayers' money on infrastructure, such as roads, footpaths, streetlights and sewerage, the Council should consider the long term risks to that infrastructure from threats such as sea level rise and more intensive flood events. The IPCC has reported with 97% certainty that humans are causing global warming. Deniers can squawk all they like, but it would be madness not to take climate change seriously. Peak oil can not be ignored either, oil companies would not be looking for oil miles under the sea bed off the coast of New Zealand if they weren't running out of the easy to reach reserves.

Arabian oil

@bensan, where were you in '73? There was a global 'oil shock', in reality a Western propagandist exercise about accessing Arabian oilfield supply. I would have thought anyone with experience of the Netherlands to be sympathetic to concerns about encroachment from the sea. It may be Dutch engineers we consult in the long run.

What they should be doing

Councils should get back to and stick to roads, footpaths, street lights and sewage and not get involved in so called crisis such as this one founded by so called educated people that while meaning well, should look at all the science before backing this horse at the expense of others. 

All political parties may have been invited to this particular cause but look at the backers and you will see the true angle of where this is heading.  

Wise to prepare

Bensan. The 70's oil crisis was political, not because of peak oil. The founders of the Wise Response Appeal are educated people who are not doing it for financial gain or any reason other than that they are extremely concerned about the future if we continue with 'business as usual'. The appeal is to ALL political parties, however National and some others chose to ignore it. Good on Dave Cull for not ignoring it.

Imaginary threats

Loopy is correct and this Council has the attitude that this threat will come to pass. In 1979 I happened to be employed in the petrochemical industry in The Netherlands. After returning to New Zealand, Muldoon was then at the helm, we were told here there was an enrgy crisis. Carless days were in place and advertisements on TV showed candles burning out inducing fear amongst the car driving public. Today there are many more millions, if not billions, cars on the road. All that fearmongering amounted to nothing and clearly we need to attempt to stop David Cull from meddling in political issues.


But wait until alarmist rubbish has driven down the house prices first. At one foot per century, houses in South Dunedin are not going to be inundated any time soon.

Blub blub blub

I challenge all those who dont believe in rising sea levels to invest heavily in housing in South Dunedin.

Not in my name

This is an ideologically and politically motivated stunt in election year. It speaks volumes that the Council should even consider being involved with it except on a personal and individual basis.

Wise idea

A bit of forward thinking never hurt anybody!

I think assessing the risks of the 'business as usual' way of doing things is actually a very clever idea. By identifying today the potentially devastating impacts of a whole host of risks ( some of which we are not even fully aware of their consequences) in the future (i.e. when our kids and grandkids are kickin around), we stand to gain a lot both as a city and as a country. 

As a resident of Dunedin I would be happy to submit to Council my position on the Wise Response appeal.

Imaginary threats

Mayor Cull and his Council have no business being involved in any political campaigns, especially one as loopy as this. If Dave Cull knows his history he will know that there have always been small groups of hyper-paranoid people, claiming all kinds of terrible predictions that haven't come to pass: we have had the second coming, the end of the world (raptures), peak oil, the oxygen running out, global cooling, witches, evil spirits and various others. These people (the believers) are too stupid to tell the difference between imaginary and real threats; also they are often exploited by political groups who target their paranoid tendencies. They often seek the support of normal people who they try to preach to and persuade.

The Wise Response Appeal people are deluded about the threats they perceive and both central and local government should ignore them along with the many other similar groups of political/religious lobbyists. My impression is that the recent changes to the Local Government Act prevent the DCC from supporting political and religious groups.

I am very disappointed that Mayor Cull is taking these people seriously. If he thinks that his job is to save the world from imaginary threats then he should join the Wild Greens, and should have no part in making decisions about the running of our city.

Count me out

If individual Councillors or council staff wish to sign up and support the Wise Response Appeal, that's up to them but I don't.

DCC, just do you job. There is enough of a mess in Dunedin to sort out before you start solving the World's problems. 

Not the business of the Council

It is not the business of the Dunedin City Council to become involved in political campaigns such as this. People in Dunedin have a diverse range of views and are free to join individually if they so wish.

Wise Response would be not to respond?

The problem with the DCC supporting an organisation such as this is that while the ideal may be all nice and good, some of the organisations that support the ideal and Wise Response may not fit with the council.
It always pays to have a look at the supporting organisations or individuals of any campaign before signing up. Follow the money, as the saying goes.
While there are some noble organisations in the list of supporters there are also some heavy-hitting activists that any council would be wise not to get so close too.
One would hope this report from the council staff to be a short 'thanks but no thanks'. Mind you, some of those organisations would have no hesitation going public on a lack of support for the cause, making the council look bad.


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