Todd Muller has posted some thoughts on Friday’s School Strike for Climate on his Facebook page. As he predicted, there has been a bit of a ‘pile on’ in the comments because he wasn’t alarmist enough. The climate reality deniers cannot handle anything but complete subservience to the ’cause’.

I admire the passion of the students who marched. 

I would admire their passion had they given up a day of their holidays.

I agree with their demands that those in political and economic influence around the world must initiate faster global action on climate change. 

And that is where the wheels fall off the National Party position on this debate. The climate has always changed and will continue to change and it is utter hubris for mankind to think that they can stop the climate changing.

First of all, we would need to agree on what exactly is the ideal climate that we should not change from.

I accept that civil demonstrations can mould the political and business will for investment in technologies that will support transition to a low emission future.

We do not need to worry about the emissions of CO2; it is the food our environment needs for plant growth. By all means, reduce the emissions of harmful exhaust gases and make engines more efficient, thus saving money, but demonising a harmless trace gas is a nonsense.

But when I see messages, repeated on signs held by our vulnerable, determined, anxious, youth saying “You’ll die of old age, I’ll die of climate change!”, I feel deeply uneasy.

I quite agree. This is an extremely harmful message that is being pumped into the minds of children not old enough to understand.

I do not agree that our young New Zealanders lives are at risk if global efforts to reduce emissions don’t happen at the pace that keeps global warming below 1.5 to 2 degrees.

Absolutely correct. There is no evidence that doom arrives at 2°C

Our young New Zealanders are right to be concerned about climate change. However, I do not believe their futures are hopeless, and we should not be allowing this message to take hold.

No, they are not. They are right to be concerned about the pollution of the rivers, lakes and seas. They are right to be concerned about the disappearance of the orangutan habitat and so on. But worrying their young heads about the climate is futile.

Doomsday predictions framed to challenge the perceived inherent inertia of the status quo, to make a political point, are reckless. For our young people, already feeling a sense of anxiety and lack of certainty around their futures, it can add to their sense of hopelessness.

Quite so. So why is the National Party agreeing with the whole climate change shemozzle that is totally built on doomsday predictions?

I appreciate that calling out such alarmist and catastrophising language will see many on the extremes of this debate pile in and say ‘hey, there’s the Nats Ag guy acting as a denier again’.

And, as predicted – they did.

I am not. I am, however someone who believes perspective is important in this debate, especially in how we articulate the opportunities, challenges and impacts of climate change to our youth and children.

Climate change is the most complex issue facing our planet.

Not it is not.

If we are to address climate change, it requires global adversaries, such as the United States, China and Russia, to cooperate together to transform their economies. Even if we work at breakneck pace, we still expect the world to warm 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius. With this will come changes to agriculture, oceans and cities around the world, and we need to focus on how we adapt to these changes.

Why do we need to ruin our economies to fix a non-problem?

But it is misplaced to state our society will collapse under these changes.

No, it is not. Please explain to us how society can continue without petroleum products and all the derivatives. The removal of all ‘fossil’ fuels is the end game of the climate strikers.

We need our young people to view climate change as a challenge they have a positive role in solving. Today’s youth will be the innovators of the next decade. There are opportunities to develop solutions to the challenges climate change presents to us, particularly in agriculture if given time to be invented.

Don’t waste their creative efforts on climate change. Channel them into something useful like reducing water pollution or predator control or anything else that improves our environment.

A balanced sense of both challenge and opportunity must be outlined to our youth precisely because of their talent, curiosity and determination.

Let’s not dampen that collective capacity by scaring their self-belief with talk of extinction lingering just around the corner.

Fear paralyses, Hope enables. Let’s demonstrate that.

Hear, hear!

I have met and talked to Todd on many occasions. Todd is a thoroughly decent bloke who genuinely seems to be trying to rein in some of the excesses of Shaw et al. However until the National Party completely opposes this climate change nonsense they will continue to alienate possible supporters and voters.


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