Today Stuff launched a long-term project called Quick! Save the Planet that aims to make the realities of climate change feel tangible.
Rather than debating the science of climate change, Stuff Editor in Chief Patrick Crewdson explained the series would examine what New Zealanders can do to combat climate change and, when necessary, how to adapt to a changing world. He argued that complacency was the biggest enemy of climate change, so their aim was to keep the climate at the forefront of readers’ minds.
“We’ll report the latest science on the local impacts of climate change; catalogue the tools available to mitigate the causes of global warming; examine how people, communities, businesses and governments are adapting; and discuss how individuals can make a difference – even those middle-class hypocrites like me.”
To kick off the series, Leith Huffadine asked New Zealand climate scientists to debunk their most hated climate change myths. In it, Dr Elisabeth Ellis from the Deep South National Science Challenge tackled the idea that a single technological innovation will save us, Lincoln University’s Assoc Prof Anita Wreford busted the myth that humans have always adapted to change and climate change is no different, and NIWA’s principal climate scientist Dr Brett Mullan debunked shonky CO2 claims.
In his first interactive for the series, Stuff national correspondent Charlie Mitchell dove into our obsession with building on the coast and how we’ll soon need to start adapting to rising seas. NIWA climate scientist Dr Daniel Collins joined the throng with an opinion piece about the vulnerability of the West Coast to flooding.
The project launched on the same day the United Nations Environment Programme reported we’re not curbing emissions fast enough, so most countries won’t meet the 2020 targets set during the 2015 Paris Agreement. The report found emissions actually rose in 2017 and at the current rate we’ll be lucky if global emissions peak by 2030.
The section launched with a number of new articles, a selection below.
Editorial, Patrick Crewdson: Quick! Save the Planet
Charlie Mitchell: Beach Road: The rising sea and the reshaping of New Zealand
Leith Huffadine: The worst climate change denial myths, debunked by experts
Nicholas Boyack: Lower Hutt suburb could be swallowed up by sea level rise in just 80 years
Previous articles linked to the series include:
Michael Daly: 150 academics, researchers urge ‘robust and emergency’ climate action
Henry Cooke: What is the NZ Government’s Zero Carbon Bill and will it do anything?
Charlie Mitchell: Kiribati: The angry sea will kill us all
Charlie Mitchell: On Thin Ice
Charlie Mitchell, Alden Williams: One town, eaten alive