Thames-Coromandel Mayor Sandra Goudie was interviewed on Radio New Zealand this morning and said she would not support her Council signing the Local Government Declaration on Climate Change which has already been signed by 55 other councils. She refused to say whether she believed there was climate change and said the push to get the declaration signed was “politically charged and driven”.
The Mayor’s comments have produced a firestorm of criticism. Here is a sample –
“Thames is on the front line of climate change. The town already suffers from coastal flooding, and in the event of even modest sea-level rise, half of it will be underwater every spring. And just this week they were in the news for (finally) sticking a flood warning notice on a coastal development they should never have allowed in the first place. So its a bit shocking to see this morning’s news that the local council is refusing to sign up to a local government climate change declaration.
“Goudie refuses to give a straight answer on whether she recognises climate change is happening – which sounds like the weaseling of a Denier not wanting to admit it. And meanwhile, the waters keep rising. And no doubt, having stuck her fingers in her ears and refused to do anything, she’ll expect the rest of the country to bail her shitty little council out of the problem exacerbated by their own stupidity.”
“To describe the issue of climate change as “politically charged” is to assume that there is still room for a range of opinions on the reality of climate change. This is the kind of view that was commonly heard more than a decade ago but has become very rare as the scientific consensus has settled. Climate change is now much bigger than party politics or tribal ideology. “
“But New Zealanders, whether they are in remote farming communities, small towns or larger cities, deserve more informed leadership than that which Goudie and her councillors seem to be offering to the people of Thames-Coromandel. With local body elections approaching later in 2019, many voters there and elsewhere in the country may find themselves looking at the list of signatories to the declaration, checking if their own local body has joined up and, if they haven’t yet, asking why not. “
Bill Barclay was at the Council meeting and here is his account of what was said.
There are some of the other statements that Sandra Goudie made in the interview –
Question – “do you believe that climate change is happening – that your Council needs to deal with the fallout from that?” Answer – “I haven’t said that it all”
Question “but do you believe climate change is happening” – Answer – “I haven’t said that either”. “I am not about to respond to that”.
Question – “why not” – Answer – “I don’t have to”
Question “Don’t you believe you have an obligation to tell your ratepayers whether you believe climate change is happening” – Answer – “no I don’t”
Question “why not?” Answer –“Currently I think that it is highly politically charged and driven”