Climate change

Climate change

R. Blackstock

After reading the article on the attack on Cardinal Pell, I thought it approriate to add some facts which have not been mentioned.

Before I start I must advise that I have no time for theories, estimates, assumptions or projections, no matter who the so-called experts are, but I do believe in proven historical fact.

During World War II, while serving with the RAAF, I was stationed at Coningsby Airfield, close to the City of Lincoln, UK, from December 1944 to February 1945. I was subjected to intense cold which I had never experienced before and this led me to visit the local library to check whether the then current weather pattern was abnormal or par for the course.

What I discovered was that between around 900 and 1300AD the whole of England was subjected to a very warm climate and at the same time there was no sea ice around Greenland.

From then until about the mid-19th century there was a mini ice age. For example, in 1730 the waterway from Lincoln to Boston froze over so that it was possible to skate all the way to the coast. In fact, this mini ice age did not finish there but continued on until at least 1900

This was certainly the case in New Zealand where my wife's grandfather William Shirres was wiped out of Aviemore Station in the early 1890s after losing 14,000 sheep over three years due to exceptionally heavy snows.

Walter Cameron, the grandfather of the present owner of Otematata Station, told me just before he died that it was so cold in the 1890s that even Pukekos (New Zealand swamp hens) froze in the swamps.

In 1960 my wife and I took over the run from my father-in-law, who had been badly gassed in the First World War.

In 1968 we had seven feet of snow and this was followed by the coldest month ever recorded in New Zealand history (for below 3,000 feet), the mean average temperature for July being 22 degrees fahrenheit (or ten below freezing).

On 28 November 2009, I attended a National Party blue/green forum at Totara School, where I had an opportunity to consult with the New Zealand Climate Minister Dr Nick Smith privately. I asked him two key questions which were shown on TV:

• How are emissions from the burning rain forests in Borneo and Sumatra treated and who pays for them?

• How are emissions from volcanoes like Krakatoa, which controlled the global temperature for five years from 1883-1888, calculated out of the overall emissions equation; and who pays for them?

His reply to question one was very evasive: "You know rain forests will regrow". And to question two: "It is not possible to measure these emissions and they should be ignored".

He then informed me he was New Zealand's representative at an inter-governmental climate meeting in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 where the Kyoto Protocol was fleshed out. I asked him who authorised New Zealand to sign up to this convention and he said the New Zealand Government, adding, "when you elect a party to govern, they do as they think fit, and if you are not satisfied you can change them at the next election."

The above information was forwarded to the leaders and deputy leaders of all the parties in the New Zealand Parliament with a request that they try to prove my information wrong. Thus far not one of them has done so. Perhaps Cardinal Pell's detractors might care to try.

(retired farmer of 47 years)
Omarama, North Otago
New Zealand

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