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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Climate change? Be careful what you wish for

30 March 2015

First of all we had the threat of global warming -- but when folks noticed that there was an increase in the frequency of extreme-cold periods the scientists renamed it to "climate change".

Following that the researchers tried to roll out "climate disruption" as the new buzzword for what was being observed -- but they seem to have given up on that.

However, the weather certainly seems to have gotten more extreme in many parts of the world, with "once in a hundred year" weather events occurring more than once a decade.

So, you'd think that this was proof that the climate scientists were right all along wouldn't you?

Well not if a group of scientists at ETH Z├╝rich and the California Institute of Technology are to be believed.

According to the folk at these reputable institutions, climate change should be producing that in most places the frequency and magnitude of weather extremes should be decreasing.

What the?

Well it's not quite *that* simple apparently and this report published on the Science Daily website seems to do nothing to actually clarify things.

The outcome seems to be that climate change causes everything -- except the things it doesn't cause and even then, it might still be responsible.

Now I'm not a climate change skeptic. Only an idiot could not recognise that the climate has changed a lot over the past few decades. However, the *BIG* question is "What's causing climate change?"

The climate-change industry seems hell-bent on blaming mankind for the problem. By doing this they can lobby naive, ill-educated and easily mislead politicians to introduce all manner of rules, regulations and restrictions that can then be leveraged for profit by members of the industry.

Now of course the huge levels of man-made emissions, combined with his ransacking of the planet's forests have certainly *contributed* to the climate change that we see -- but is it the primary cause?

I've yet to see any compelling evidence to prove, without doubt that this is the case.

Sure, there are hundreds of reports that link climate change to the industrial revolution -- but none that can discount the effects of natural phenomena such those which have produced similar climate changes over the millennia.

Of course we should do everything we reasonably can to mitigate climate change -- but it ought not become a religion or an ideology to the extent that we throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Unless we are able to temper our attempts to reduce emissions with the need for us to continue our industrial activities then we'll soon find ourselves at the mercy of those who control the climate-change revolution through gullible and easily lobbied governments.

That lobbying does work both ways of course. There is no doubt that large corporations have strongly lobbied to prevent pro-climate change advocates from restricting their ability to do business but imagine if those corporations finally get on the environmental bandwagon!

How sad would it be if they convinced governments (in the name of saving the planet) to ban or heavily tax fossil fuel use because *now* they have developed a far more expensive (and therefore hard to sell) renewable alternative. Remember that such revolutionary developments are likely to enjoy patent protections which would leave any patent-holder in an enviable monopoly position -- ideal for exploitation for massive profit.

So those advocating for more action to prevent climate change need to be careful what they wish for or we may end up saving the planet -- at the cost of impoverishing huge tracts of the population whist wildly enriching those with the rights to such technology.

Personally I believe an egalitarian society is every bit as important as climate change.

When it comes to climate change, let's not lose sight of the big picture.

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