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Climate change work is behind the biggest proposed increase in staffing levels at the Dunedin City Council as personnel costs across the organisation are set to climb to nearly $70 million next year.

The council’s draft budgets for its 2021-31 plan released this week include a $1.5 million increase in personnel costs next year.

The increase represents a 2.1% increase in staffing costs, as an approved $67.9 million this year would rise to $69.4 million in 2021-22.

Of a proposed 10.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) increase at the council, 6FTE would be included to continue the council’s carbon neutral work programme and its South Dunedin climate change preparations.

On Thursday night the council published about 700 pages of reports relating to its forthcoming 10-year plan to be considered by councillors next week.

The reports show it would cost $831,000 to go ahead with the proposed zero carbon work.

And in order to address the rising sea level, ground water and flooding risks that low-lying South Dunedin faces, it would cost the council $500,000 to progress the South Dunedin Future programme.

A climate 2030 rapid review, by consultants Coffey Services, which surveys the current state of the council’s carbon programme and identifies opportunities to reduce or offset carbon emissions, highlights potential next steps as well as ‘‘quick wins’’ for the council.

In 2019, the council declared a climate emergency and set a goal of making the city carbon neutral by 2030.


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Dear god no. Now we start to see why they want more money.

"$1.5 million increase in personnel costs next year"
"$831,000 to go ahead with the proposed zero carbon work"
"$500,000 to progress the South Dunedin Future programme"

So no ACTUAL work done then?... and a rates rise of 9.8% without a spade in the ground, nor Akmon placed, narry a Groyne pole in the sand, neither a hint of a dyke nor pump. Seems to me a whole lot of expensive talk and morning teas achieving nothing but reports.
As the sea and the council costs rise, I think we have more of a risk in sinking under the weight of council debt than drowning in the streets due to climate change!

What a total waste of ratepayers' money.
1. 97% of global CO2 is natural from plants animals volcanoes etc. Humans account for only 3%. Half of that 3% comes from 3 countries, China, USA and India. New Zealand is only 0.09% (of the 3%).
At the end of the second quarter or 2019, Human emissions had dropped by 17%. At the same time Mauna Loa (Hawaii) recorded 417.2 ppm, the highest in 50 years.
By the end of 2019 the world reduction of CO2 was 8% less than the previous year but no reduction in Global CO2 levels.
So if an 8% global reduction over a year has no effect what so ever on global CO2 then if all human life in NZ were extinguished it would have no effect whatsoever.
Anything Dunedin City does is meaningless, so why waste 70 million to achieve nothing.

2. The sea level (Otago Harbour) has risen by 1.36mm/year for the last 100 years with no acceleration of that rate. NIWA scientist said a few years back that sea level would have to rise 30cm to be a problem for South Dunedin. At the present rate it would take 220 years for the sea to rise 30cm.
So why waste 70 million now for a problem that will not happen for 220 years.

We are obviously governed by fools.

To carry on on sea levels. The proper scientific way to project the future is to take your existing data and extrapolate it into the future, which is what I did to get the 220 years to reach 30cm. Our government agencies and all the reports by pseudo experts use the IPCC RCP 8.5 scenario. As anyone who can read would find out from the IPCC reports that RCP 8.5 was never intended to be an actual possibility. It was a top outlier against which to compare other scenarios. To get the RCP8.5 would require atmospheric CO2 to reach 1900ppm and sensitivity to CO2 to be in the 4 to 6 degrees per doubling of CO2 range. This will never happen. So everything based on RCP8.5 is a nonsense.

Then we should ask the question, what evidence is there that CO2 is the driver of climate change. Well we know that the climate has warmed a little but there is no physical evidence that that warming was caused by increased CO2. There is substantial evidence that it was not. Simply because the air is already super saturated with infra-red absorbing greenhouse gases so adding more will have no real effect .
Our councillors, however, are incapable of understanding even the most basic science.

While I agree with you that local councils will be ineffective and wasteful in the fight against climate change. I also think that it is you who is struggling to grasp simple science.
While the CO2 level is an important and symbolic measure of the global warming caused by humanity, it is a simple one. The increases in temperature the world experiences, and the heatwaves, storms and droughts that strike, also depend on how fast emissions rise or fall and how long they remain at high levels. The 350ppm level was proposed in 2008 by Nasa’s Prof James Hansen as a suitable target for climate stability.

Nearly 100% of the world's scientists believe global warming is caused by humanity, the UN and nearly all of the world's leaders believe it. Much of the science you mention is not in question but is well understood.
Do more research, look at scientific journals, UN reports, real data from organisation such a NASA, NOAA and UK Met Office. If you can keep an open mind and be willing to learn I am sure you will soon realise that climate change is real, happening now, effecting people's lives and it is only going to get worse and very quickly.

I have spent 13 years studying the actual science of climate change, as in reading the peer reviewed literature. Your comments on the other hand indicate that your information comes from the media such as TVone, Herald, Stuff or the ODT.
There is, in fact, no physical evidence that CO2 is the "driver" of climate change, it is a bit player, that is all. It is not in the IPCC reports and the Royal Society cannot provide one paper that shows that CO2 drives climate change. The work of Wijngaarden and Happer shows that the atmosphere is super saturated with infra-red absorbing greenhouse gases (mainly water) and that adding more has little effect. Christy et al showed that the tropical hot spot (required by all models) does not exist. These documents might help you
Regarding consensus, it does not exist. Science is about evidence not consensus. search for Clintel declaration or Oregon petition. or view the thousands of peer reviewed papers at that contest the IPCC view of the world.

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