If It Quacks Like a Climate Science Denier

Some outrageous “alternative facts” have surfaced in statements Thames Coromandel Mayor Sandra Goudie has made about the Local Government Climate Change Declaration.  But there is one contradiction in her statements which takes the cake.

On the one hand, the mayor claims to not be a “climate change denier” calling this a “fabrication of the media.”

But when asked in the same interview whether she thought human beings were causing present climate change she said “I don’t know enough about the science to know what the cause is. I’m not a scientist” 

Contrast this with another of Mrs Goudie’s statements where she lauds TCDC for adopting climate change projections and scientific data in the Ministry for the Environment’s Guidance on Coastal Hazards.  That Guidance clearly spells out the causes of climate change. – 

“Earth’s climate is changing, mostly due to emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities, such as burning fossil fuels (eg, coal and oil).  The greenhouse gases we emit include carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. They warm the Earth, and one of the major and most certain consequences of warming is sea-level rise.”

Or take the Resource Management Act which her council is legally obliged to implement. The RMA contains this definition of “climate change” –

“Climate change means a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.”

It is simply not credible for the Mayor to say in one breath that she doesn’t know whether humans cause climate change and then praise her own Council for adopting government guidelines which spell out humans are causing climate change.  Nor can she continue to shamelessly ignore the definition of climate change in a law she is legally obliged to uphold and implement.

Nor is it socially acceptable for the Mayor of a District at the front line of climate change impacts and coastal hazards to admit she “ doesn’t know” what the causes of climate change are.  Can you not read? Why have you not bothered to inform yourself about the cause of the biggest crisis facing humanity?   We have 12 years to avoid climate catastrophe. Why have you chosen to remain willfully ignorant?


We have known for over 40 years from successive IPCC reports what the causes of climate change are.  Every government we have elected for the past 40 years has accepted this science.  A National-led government prepared the latest Guidance and signed NZ up to the Paris Climate Agreement. To say that asking all Councils to sign the Declaration is “politically charged and driven” is also total garbage.

If It Quacks Like a Denier

This disingenuous ruse to agree that “the climate is changing” but to then refuse to acknowledge that climate change is human-caused is primary school level climate science denial. 

Most climate science deniers have already moved on to more sophisticated forms of denial.

5 stages

Unfortunately, our Mayor is stuck on denial level 2.

It is her own stance which is “politically charged and driven”.  Because once you agree that humans are causing climate change you have to accept that we humans can unchange it.  And that means recognising we are in a climate emergency and acting accordingly.  I means signing up to take urgent comprehensive effective action to reduce the Council’s emissions and provide leadership to our community – just as the Declaration requests. Not window dressing. 


climate delayers

“Only the most fringe of politicians now disputes the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and human-caused, and they are largely ignored.”  Climate Scientist Michael Mann

Seems we have a ‘fringe” mayor. But regardless of where you place the mayor and the 5 councillors who voted with her on the denial/contrarian/sceptic scale – their refusal to sign the Declaration is dangerous for all of us but especially our youth.