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Eco whistle-blower brings a reality check to Aucklanders

August 21, 2019

Eco whistle-blower brings a reality check to Aucklanders

Dr Mike Joy warns people need to make major life changes. Photo: supplied

A leading environmentalist warns he is speaking “hard truths” as current efforts to reduce carbon emissions aren’t enough.

Dr Mike Joy warns people need to do a “lot less of what they’re doing now” to “save the world”.

“People are dying to hear some kind of nice story that means they don’t have to change,” said Joy, a Victoria University and freshwater scientist.

“They swallow up ideas like renewable energy and electric vehicles and distractions like banning shopping bags which are just so stupidly miniscule,” he said, ahead of a public lecture at AUT University on the future of food and energy.

It was focusing on to cover the limits to the “growth model” our country follows, driven by an increasingly short supply of fossil fuels, he said.

“This is like the reality after the big party - we’re going to have to change everything about the way we live.”

Joy said New Zealanders tend to feel “quite smug” because most of our energy is renewable, where in fact it is not.

“In reality, only about 20% of our energy use is electricity, the other 80% comes from fossil fuels so it’s actually a tiny proportion that’s renewable.

Instead, he aimed to give listeners some “energy literacy” around the current climate crisis.

AUT senior lecturer Lisa McEwan, who organised Joy’s lecture said she was excited for the “environmental whistleblower’s” visit.

“He says the truth, what other people are scared to say,” she said.

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