OPINION: In your editorial in support of the oil and gas industry (January 23), you state that ''as long as every safeguard is put in place [for the industry], regularly monitored, enforced and regulated as and when needed, the vast majority of us can all peacefully co-exist''.
It is quite astonishing that it is still possible to assume that most of us will be OK as long as the fossil-fuel industry tries hard not to make a big mess (a small mess, like the 23-tonne oil spill in 2007, is considered a necessary evil).
Maybe 20 years ago you could have been forgiven. But nowadays, it is crystal-clear that the increase in CO2 levels due to emissions from fossil fuel combustion is the major contributor to climate change. Unless we radically change things around and stop burning fossil- fuels it will not just be a question of whether we can co-exist but exist. Right now, climate change is impacting on the most vulnerable: on those living on islands with not much freshwater storage where increased storms and erosion are making agriculture impossible.
Kiribati's president said: ''To plan for the day when you no longer have a country is indeed painful, but I think we have to do that.''
Climate change is already a reality. But the vast majority of us are still living the fossil-fuel ''dream''. The solutions for a just future are all around us, we are just too busy to embrace them.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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