James Shaw is becoming increasingly grandiloquent as he sabotages New Zealand’s economy with his particular toxic brew of voodoo economics and green charlatanism. His latest statement about CO2 levels is a case in point:

Shaw said the last time there was carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the concentrations present today, there were palm trees in Antarctica.

He said that indicates how urgent it is to deal with emissions.


Yes James, but did you know that what is now Antarctica was actually situated on the equator back then? Yeah…didn’t think so.

From about 550 million years ago Antarctica moved slowly from the tropics to where it sits now, winding up there about 45 million years ago.

I bet he also didn’t know that science has proven that statement to be a lie as well. It was, at the latest, 52 million years ago that palm trees were on Antarctica AND the CO2 levels were actually double that of today:

The study published in the journal Nature shows that tropical vegetation, including palms and relatives of today’s tropical Baobab trees, was growing on the coast of Antarctica 52 million years ago. These results highlight the extreme contrast between modern and past climatic conditions on Antarctica and the extent of global warmth during periods of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

Around 52 million years ago, the concentration of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere was more than twice as high as today.


Maybe he could double check with Maori: did they see any palm trees in Antarctica when they discovered it?

And when you look at his claims about CO2 levels you can see that they don’t stack up:

CO2 levels fell off a cliff about 35 million years ago, and have been substantially lower for the last 20 million years than for the preceding 500 million years. Coincidentally, and rather inconveniently, there were no humans on the planet back then, nor any industry at all to create these catastrophically high CO2 levels that he is trying to halt.

If he seriously believes his now fatuous statement surely he could prove his point by sailing off down to Antarctica and planting some palm trees and see how they go.

But why do these idiots want us to all shiver and freeze rather than warm up? Cold kills way more people than heat does. Witness just how few people there are/were in the polar regions compared to flourishing and ongoing civilisations inhabiting the temperate zones.

I think that we should be embracing warming. After all everyone should have the right to grow pineapples and mangos in their backyard, even down to the bottom of the South Island. What’s not to like about warming?

But I think what James Shaw was really alluding to was his intention to announce a new Government plan to reverse plate tectonics so that palms can grow again on Antarctica.

Image credit The BFD. Is James Shaw’s intention to announce a new Government plan to reverse plate tectonics so that palms can grow again on Antarctica?

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James Shaw Set to Announce Policy to Reverse Plate Tectonics?
Cam Slater

Cam Slater

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news,...