Confronting inconvenient truths

More than one fifth of Australia's Great Barrier Reef was killed by warm water temperatures last summer, and the bleaching is in progress again this year. BBC picture

LETTER

We exist in a time of extreme universal deceit. Lies, alternative facts, propaganda and fake news engulf us.

We cannot prevent unforeseen natural disasters, but ignoring inconvenient truths will bring consequences.

Seventeenth century Japanese swordsman Musashi Miyamoto said: “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

For 200 years humanity has known CO2 is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere. A lesser atmospheric concentration brings ice ages, greater brings higher temperatures, changing climate and higher sea levels.

During all of human history, these levels fluctuated little. But since the discovery of fossil fuels, atmospheric CO2 levels have skyrocketed from 270 to 400 parts per million.

Other inconvenient truths:

• The sixth mass extinction is accelerating

• Biodiversity is falling as deserts expand, top soil is depleted and water degrades

• Dramatic decline in insect pollinators (threatening food security)

• Disrespect of our oceans — unsustainable fishing practices, dumping ground for human trash etc

• Habitat destruction through wars.

In New Zealand we have:

• Oil and gas exploration

• Intensive dairying

• No restriction on 50 percent of our GHG emissions

• Quick-growing exotics create huge future problems, wilding pines etc

• Environment-friendly rail transport forsaken for high-polluting, CO2-emitting road transport.

Inconvenient truths often draw the stalling excuse of “economic viability”.

The phrase itself is a lie. Eco stands for habitat or environment (Webster’s Dictionary).

In your October 22, 2015 editorial — State of the environment should be a big concern to all — you said climate change, declining water quality and the consequences of increased dairy farming are the major concerns highlighted in a state of the environment report.

Despite government acknowledgement then, 18 months on conditions have deteriorated further.

Let’s heed Miyamoto’s words. Let’s cease living a lie and bend to the power of truth while there’s still time.

Mother Earth’s ability to provide habitable ecosystems for generations to come depends on humanity taking an honest approach.

Bob Hughes

We exist in a time of extreme universal deceit. Lies, alternative facts, propaganda and fake news engulf us.

We cannot prevent unforeseen natural disasters, but ignoring inconvenient truths will bring consequences.

Seventeenth century Japanese swordsman Musashi Miyamoto said: “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

For 200 years humanity has known CO2 is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere. A lesser atmospheric concentration brings ice ages, greater brings higher temperatures, changing climate and higher sea levels.

During all of human history, these levels fluctuated little. But since the discovery of fossil fuels, atmospheric CO2 levels have skyrocketed from 270 to 400 parts per million.

Other inconvenient truths:

• The sixth mass extinction is accelerating

• Biodiversity is falling as deserts expand, top soil is depleted and water degrades

• Dramatic decline in insect pollinators (threatening food security)

• Disrespect of our oceans — unsustainable fishing practices, dumping ground for human trash etc

• Habitat destruction through wars.

In New Zealand we have:

• Oil and gas exploration

• Intensive dairying

• No restriction on 50 percent of our GHG emissions

• Quick-growing exotics create huge future problems, wilding pines etc

• Environment-friendly rail transport forsaken for high-polluting, CO2-emitting road transport.

Inconvenient truths often draw the stalling excuse of “economic viability”.

The phrase itself is a lie. Eco stands for habitat or environment (Webster’s Dictionary).

In your October 22, 2015 editorial — State of the environment should be a big concern to all — you said climate change, declining water quality and the consequences of increased dairy farming are the major concerns highlighted in a state of the environment report.

Despite government acknowledgement then, 18 months on conditions have deteriorated further.

Let’s heed Miyamoto’s words. Let’s cease living a lie and bend to the power of truth while there’s still time.

Mother Earth’s ability to provide habitable ecosystems for generations to come depends on humanity taking an honest approach.

Bob Hughes

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Martin Hanson - 4 months ago
Well said, Bob. As TS Eliot said: "Human kind cannot bear too much reality". The truth of this much-quoted statement can be seen in letters to the press, from people whose comfortable world view is increasingly threatened by scientific evidence.

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