Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Snow and Climate Change

Snow is so beautiful.  We are awed and we laugh, in Cuba Street people dance.  Cameras snap and children make snow ball, and snowmen and snow women are standing beside the footpaths.   There is snow everywhere on the hills and on the flat over the last few days. 

While rain is depressing, snow makes us happy and playful, we are happy and even through the snow is melting we are all still happy, something to talk about and enjoy. Everyone has a story to share.  Social capital is being enhanced.  People laughing and talking on the streets.

We have lived in Wellington, Lower Hutt and the Kapiti Coast for nearly 45 years and it hasn’t snowed, well a few snow flurries, but this snow was on the ground and it is cold, the hills so beautiful. 

This year we have had tornados, we have had storms and before that spring bubs blooming in early June, instead of September.    June and July warmest on record and August will be coldest on record.

Last night I was in central Wellington.   I was invited to dinner up on the hills suburb of Karori.  As I left the city it started to hailing, getting thicker by the minute.   Thick large and heavy hail made driving difficult and the ground was soon beautiful covered, foot path, road and the grass all turned white.  

My car can only drive because I was following a four wheeled drive car and driving in its wet track being made in front of me.  Eventually I park and wonder how to get to the house across the road.  

In the end I hold onto the car until I can get to the grass verge.  Then slowly, slowly make my way to the house across a main road.   The main road was empty, hail thick on the road with a small track through the middle. 

No-one driving now just too dangerous and a wonderful quietness – in just minutes the whole of the land had been covered with thick white hail – slippery but awesomely beautiful.

The day before it had been snow and the hail now lay on the snow. 

I decide to stay the night.  We eat and talk in the warmth of the house –

I had left heaters and electric blanket on in the apartment.  The night before there had been power cuts, so wanted my apartment warm for the night, but at this point it didn’t seem to be any way I would get away from Karori. 

Wonderful food, company of grandchildren and family and warmth keep the evening perfect.

By 8.30 it started to rains now heavy and wet.  Very quickly the rain cleans the roads of hail and snow and I can go home to the inner city apartment – now warm and snug – the drive beautiful in near deserted roads with thick white edges like paintings framed.

On the radio yesterday I had heard an interview with a climate change sceptic.   His words echo in my head.   “This is just a normal weather cycle” he was staying.     

Funny cycle I say.  Must be a big cycle – nothing like this weather in my life time.

Our government are discussing and setting up  “Emissions Trading Schemes”  The  emissions scheme debate, are both in New Zealand and from Australia. 

I also hear discussions of Climate Change and global warming.   I certainly don’t need a scientist to tell me this is Climate Change.   Hot and Cold and serious fluctuations between the two and many unseasonal.

I know we have now added emissions costs to our petrol, electricity and  we are told that our new ‘trading scheme’ is now working well.

What we don’t hear is what is happening to our money – where is the money that is coming from our contributions.  Someone must be making money and I don’t think it is the ordinary people.   Where is the money going, who is using it?  Are these schemes cutting back global pollution?

We also hear the big polluters will not pay into this scheme, might stop growth! 

We hear that farming shouldn’t carry the cost of emissions, we need to earn the money for us from balance of payments. 

But when I ask who gets the emissions charges, no-one appears to know.  Certainly there is no trickle down to us all. 

Is this just another tax.  If so maybe that is good, but if just a way for the traders to take a cut of all transactions, then we need to watch and be informed.  

Whatever is happening.  Whoever makes money from the Trading Schemes.  Whatever costs we pay.   What is certain in our part of the world anyway, there is certainly climate change.  

But seriously it would be really good to really know what is happening.   

Maybe this election we will all need to vote GREEN.

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