12 May 2015

Feds climate change stance 'disappointing'

5:33 pm on 12 May 2015

The Green Party says it is disappointing the country's farming lobby group is denying the scientific evidence behind climate change.

Russel Norman announcing he would step down in May but stay on as an MP.

Russel Norman announcing he would step down in May but stay on as an MP. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The party's co-leader Russel Norman made the comment in response to Federated Farmers saying farmers needed to worry about coping with climate change, not the causes.

Federated Farmers climate change spokesperson Anders Crofoot said whether or not climate change was occuring, or what was causing it, was not that important to farmers.

"We need to basically adjust to the realities that are being dealt to us and why it (climate change) may or may not be happening isn't really as important as actually being prepared for what we do get dealt.

"Climate is changing, it always has changed, and I think that's one of the things that in much of the public debate hasn't been particularly helpful.

"First it was called global warming and it was then, when various scientific records didn't back that up, then it got changed to climate change and then I don't think you're going to have anybody argue that the climate does change."

Dr Norman said those comments were "a basic science denialist position".

He said those sort of comments were disappointing coming from a group representing farmers.

"So in fact the earth has warmed since pre-industrial times by an average 0.85 degrees as a result of the release of greenhouse emissions by human activities.

"And that's just the basic science so it's pretty disaapointing that the Feds don't even accept the basic science around climate change.

"The reason why the term climate change is used is because the impact of global warming if you like is both going to be an increase in weather events like droughts, but also increases in events like flooding and storm events."

"We're seeing an increase incidence of extreme events," Dr Norman said.

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