A sampling of recent headlines:
“Arctic sea ice shrinks to smallest extent ever recorded”
“The staggering decline of sea ice at the frontline of climate change”
“Arctic sea ice melt ‘may bring harsh winter to Europe'”
“Balkans Suffering Worst Drought in 50 Years”
“Drought in U.S. reaching levels not seen in 50 years, pushing up crop prices”
“Extreme Weather Watch: The Effects of Global Warming Are Here Right Now”
“Extreme weather forces climate change up the corporate agenda”
“Extreme Weather Means Extreme Food Prices Worldwide, Aid Agency Warns”
“World Bank issues hunger warning after droughts in US and Europe”
It’s here, it’s happening, the centre cannot hold.
It is in this context that the National “government” of New Zealand is abdicating our responsibility on the world stage:
ETS changes a farce – Environment Commissioner
Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright says planned changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme will be a costly and environmentally damaging mistake. … Dr Wright says she is particularly concerned with subsidies to polluters being locked in. …
“Heavily subsidised polluters have no incentive whatsoever to reduce their emissions when the tab for them is being picked up by the taxpayer. “And if polluters are not paying for their emissions they’ve no incentive to reduce them. …
“The ETS is the main system New Zealand has for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Hollowing it out like this makes a farce of our climate change commitments.”
The “punters out in punterland” that National likes the most are climate change deniers. Because they argue for taking no action on climate change deniers are volunteering to pay the bill themselves (as taxpayers). Unfortunately the rest of us have to pay along with these useful idiots:
Changes may lead to huge ETS bill
he National Party’s pre-election pledge to keep amendments to the emissions trading scheme fiscally neutral has been blown out of the water by the changes proposed in the Climate Change (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill.
New Zealand Sustainability Council executive director Simon Terry has released new calculations, based on data released under the Official Information Act, to show New Zealand will not only add greatly to its carbon emissions deficit by 2020, but is on track for a massive blow-out by 2050.
The outlook, if realised, has the potential to cost future generations of taxpayers billions of dollars and is exacerbated by the indefinite extension of transitional arrangements that shield large emitters from their carbon costs and give no date for including the agriculture sector in the scheme. …
“If the legislation is changed and the new concessionary arrangements are not terminated before 2020, the consolidated taxpayer position will be minus 94 million tonnes,” the Carbon Budget Deficit report says.
“That is a sacrifice by the taxpayer of $2.3 billion…
The abdication of responsibility is cowardly and weak. Passing the bill to taxpayers is shafting the ordinary working Kiwi. None of this should come as any surprise – that’s just what you get with a National “government”.