‘Life and death’ climate action needed now after February heat spike

Climate change ... "This will be the year of peaceful protest in New Zealand." Image: Greenpeace

The month of February has experienced a whopping temperature rise not seen before in the history of record-keeping, according to just-released global satellite data, claims Greenpeace.

Greenpeace executive director Russel Norman said temperatures around the planet — including in New Zealand — had experienced such a spike that the world would be “crazy” not to act immediately.

“Based on the data that’s just been put out it’s pretty clear that February has obliterated our previous record-setting month. It’s completely unusual, even taking El Niño into consideration,” he said.

“Doing something about this right away is a matter of life and death. We can’t afford to muck around.

“Even the climate deniers, who ironically have used this very satellite data in the past to further their own agendas, have gone very quiet.”

Action here in New Zealand needed to start with calling it quits on any future oil exploration, said Norman.

But on the back of the #COP21 Paris Climate Conference in January, Prime Minister John Key said he had no intention of scaling back any search for fossil fuels.

Facing floods, droughts
“Key is doing less than bugger all when it comes to climate change. And this means we’re facing floods in our homes, and droughts on our farms. We need to make the call now that enough is enough,” said Norman.

“I think this will be the year of peaceful protest in New Zealand. We’ve seen it with the TPPA [Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement], and we’re going to see it with the oil industry. Next on the agenda is Greenpeace’s day of peaceful civil disobedience in three weeks at the annual petroleum conference at SkyCity.”

Last month, Greenpeace launched the campaign, pegged as an “an escalation of protest tactics”, and called on members of the public to take part in a co-ordinated demonstration of civil disobedience at the conference in Auckland on March 21.

“Everyone who is concerned about news like February’s overwhelming temperature record should come and join us at the oil conference. We need real climate action,” said Norman.

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