Whanganui district councillor Alan Taylor is not considered extreme in his views.
Level-headed, yes, sometimes even conservative.
Which is why his call for the council to declare a climate emergency carries weight.
What he aims to achieve is to compel the council to consider the consequences of climate change as a priority in any relevant decisions it makes.
And that make a lot of sense.
Taylor rightly points to the science and the fact global warming and climate extremes are already upon us. It's only going to get worse.
Whanganui must prepare: where it allows new developments to take place as sea levels rise, how it will deal with a likely influx of climate refugees, can it use wind and solar more to generate power, or encourage others to do so.
• More than 11,000 scientists from around the world declare a 'climate emergency'
• European Parliament declares climate emergency amid momentum for a Green Deal
• Whanganui councillors scrap climate 'emergency' declaration, says crisis is "impending
• It's official: Auckland has a climate emergency
It is an anathema that Wanganui's district council Horizons, hasn't already done so.
Alan Taylor: Why I'm urging council to declare a climate emergency
Whanganui consumers urged to conserve water use as rural fires, weather take toll
Whanganui District Council, guided by its "Leading Edge" strategy, needs to demonstrate that its head is out of the sand and it is prepared to show the necessary leadership, Taylor says.
That is laudable. But hardly the imperative. Homes needs air conditioning, our infrastructure needs to cater for electric vehicles, we need thorough data on what's heading our way over the next decade and beyond, and sound planning.
Last August, the council rejected Taylor's initial motion acknowledging a climate emergency. Yet all but one councillor was willing to say a climate crisis is "impending".
Given the summer of heat extremes, bush and forest fires, ice melts and an apparent acceleration of the changing climate, now would be a good time for the council to rethink its position.
• Editorial - Whanganui, we're better than this
• Editorial: Why shouldn't you pay tax, the rest of us do?
• Premium - Editorial: Why NZ should offer miracle Moscow treatment
• Editorial: Kiwi dream of home ownership a nightmare for some in Whanganui
"This is the greatest, most complex and most difficult problem we have ever faced," Taylor said in August.
Now he's calling a declaration as urgent - and he is not wrong. As is correctly pointed out, the impacts of global heating will affect everyone, everywhere.
It's time to take off the tin foil hats and face up to what is the biggest and most serious issue we face as a city, as a nation and as a world.