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At least Labour wants to save the planet

Written By: - Date published: 1:16 pm, October 8th, 2018 - 46 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, climate change, Conservation, Donald Trump, Economy, energy, Environment, global warming, greens, labour, national, sustainability, us politics - Tags:

One of the supposedly most contentious things this Government has done is take steps to stop offshore oil drilling.

Shock horror, there was no consultation, it will cost lots of jobs and it is one of the reasons that business confidence is plummeting.

Although stories about plummeting business confidence need to be taken with a certain amount of salt.  As pointed out by the excellent Mediawatch on Radio New Zealand.

Stories about plunging confidence among business leaders just keep on coming – along with economic data that shows no need for panic. Other surveys of opinion about business and the economy tell a different story, but make far fewer headlines.

One of the claims is that the Government’s decision will actually increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Which it might, but only if a number of other nations decide to do nothing but be slow followers.  If every nation steps up and does its fair share to reduce carbon emissions we have a chance.  If a number of nations welch on their obligations we are f&%ked anyway.  The right’s “this will increase carbon output because some idiot in another country will try and make money out of it” is a perfect metaphor for all that is wrong with capitalism

This was not only the firmly held beliefs of the oil industry and the National Party but it has also been something of a rallying cry. For those who still refuse to accept that climate change is happening.

And it is a bit tiring that we are still having this debate. In 2018. Decades after it was shown that climate change due to human causes is an actual thing.

Each year we see the retreat of ice levels at the poles and glaciers. We see more and more intense storms. Cyclone after cyclone.  And we see spreading deserts and failing coral reefs due to warming seas.

Yet still we have to have the debate about how we should not do anything because it may not help.  And the dogwhistle to the science deniers conspiracy freak right wingers makes them laugh loud.  And claim that everything is fine.

But things are not fine.  In fact when the Trump Administration states that we are looking at a near certain 4 degrees increase in global temperatures you know we have a problem.

Get that? Things are that bad that even the Trump Administration is acknowledging that global warming is inevitable. Although the message has changed.  It used to be that we should do nothing because there was no problem.  Now we should do nothing because it is too late.

Let that sink in, according to Trump we should give up doing anything about climate change because it is going to happen anyway. From Chinese conspiracy to inevitability in such a short time.

From the New York Post:

It’s getting hot in here.

A 500-page environmental statement by the Trump administration predicted that the planet will warm by seven degrees [farenheight] by 2100, the Washington Post reported.

Scientists said the effects would be catastrophic — flooding coastal cities like New York and Miami, causing irreparable harm to coral reefs and generating heat waves that would bake much of the planet, the report said.

The administration, in a draft statement issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, did not call for cutting greenhouse emissions to avoid the changes, but just the opposite.

The statement, written last month to justify freezing federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks manufactured after 2020 as proposed by the Obama administration, admitted the plan would increase vehicle emissions but said they’d only be a small addition to the environmental damage that’s already been done.

“The amazing thing they’re saying is human activities are going to lead to this rise of carbon dioxide that is disastrous for the environment and society. And then they’re saying they’re not going to do anything about it,” Michael MacCracken, who served as a senior scientist at the US Global Change Research Program between 1993 and 2002, told the newspaper.

Get all that? It is time to give up.

What has happened to the world’s aspirations?  The IPCC is due to report today that the world can still get under the Paris Accord’s goal of a 1.5 degree increase.  But it will not be easy.

From Umair Irfan at Vox:

The leading international body of climate change researchers is preparing to release a major report Sunday night on the impacts of global warming and what it would take to cap warming at 1.5 degrees Celsiusor 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels, a goal that looks increasingly unlikely.

The report is from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international consortium of hundreds of climate researchers convened by the United Nations. Authors are meeting this week in Incheon, South Korea, to finalize their findings, but Climate Home Newsobtained an early leaked draft.

Why examine the prospects for limiting global warming to 1.5°C? Because under the Paris agreement, countries agreed that the goal should be to limit warming to below 2°C by 2100, with a nice-to-have target of capping warming at 1.5°C.

According to the drafts, the report finds that it would take a massive global effort, far more aggressive than any we’ve seen to date, to keep warming in line with 1.5°C — in part because we are already en route to 3°C of warming. And even if we hit the 1.5°C goal, the planet will still face massive, devastating changes. So it’s pretty grim.

The graph below sets out how difficult things will be.  And it makes it clear that the Trump Administration thinks that there will be no action taken to address climate change.

So after decades of the right saying that climate change is a figment of our imagination and we should do nothing the right is now saying that it is inevitable and so we should do nothing.

Which is why the current argument of the right, that we should continue drilling because if we don’t then the Chinese may drill more, is so annoying.

If you refuse to give up, if you still think that for the future of our kids and grand kids we should still do something then make a submission on the Government’s Crown Minerals (Petroleum) Amendment bill.  Submissions close on the 11th of October so do not hesitate.  I am sure the right will be rallying its climate change denying intellectual hating supporters to do the same.  But this is an argument that is too important to lose.

46 comments on “At least Labour wants to save the planet ”

  1. Antoine 1

    This policy is likely to lead to increased emissions, https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/06/05/113361/ban-likely-to-increase-emissions.

    If you want to reduce emissions, it would be better to move against coal mining in NZ, while promoting energy efficiency and conservation.


    • Andre 1.1

      Y’know, we could actually reduce and eliminate coal use and mining in NZ and stop exploring for new fossil fuel sources. It’s not an either/or.

      And yes, the more we do to improve efficiency and conservation, and move as much as we can to electric power as quickly as possible all makes sense. If that means shutting Tiwai Point because we’re better off using the electricity here to displace fossil fuel import and use, that’s better than exporting that energy for a pittance in the form of shiny bars.

      • Antoine 1.1.1

        > Y’know, we could actually reduce and eliminate coal use and mining in NZ and stop exploring for new fossil fuel sources. It’s not an either/or. And yes, the more we do to improve efficiency and conservation, and move as much as we can to electric power as quickly as possible all makes sense.

        Do you see that it’s a stretch to increase electrification, while at the same time stopping using coal and gas?


        • mickysavage

          Why is that? And don’t you accept that we have to do this if we want to save the environment? That it is not a nice to have?

          • Antoine

            I do not accept that the NZ Govt needs to do this, I believe it may not even be helpful.

            It is only likely to be helpful if it is combined with a big diplomatic push to get other nations to follow our example. Do you see this push happening? I don’t see it but I could be missing something.

            I say this because Nz’s contribution to greenhouse is very low, both as a consumer and producer. Our emissions are immaterial. We can only have a significant effect by inducing other, larger nations to change.


        • Andre

          ” … a stretch to increase electrification…” – yes, it will take a bit of effort. All good things do. And that effort is economic activity that will employ a lot of people in good jobs. The sooner we start, the easier and smoother it will be with more time to iron out the inevitable wrinkles.

          There’s also an awful lot of consented new renewable generation capacity that’s not yet underway, because of flat demand. That will start construction quite quickly if it looks like demand is going to start increasing.

          Finally, what’s the downside to reducing the billions of dollars we send overseas to buy nasty polluting black petroproducts? That’s going to be a big economic effect of substantial electrification.

    • mickysavage 1.2

      Whoosh …

      • adam 1.2.1

        Your so polite mickysavage.

        I was thinking other words to describe what Antoine said, that were not so polite.

        This deliberate muddy the waters, or distraction by some is just stupid at this point – so Antoine I’m just going to call you stupid, it’s the politiest I can be.

    • cleangreen 1.3

      Agreed Antoine 100%

      And use steel wheels with trains, and not use tyres, as one truck tyre uses 30 litres of oil to produce the tyre and a truck has from 18 to 32 tyres each truck.

      Steel wheels don’t pollute or leave black tyre dust on our ice shelves and will cause rapid melting of the ice caps.


      When black carbon tyre particles reach the ice caps this is what happens.


  2. cleangreen 2

    Well done there Mikey full marks for you article.

    This remark really woke me up today and thanks for that.

    Mickey said;
    “Get that? Things are that bad that even the Trump Administration is acknowledging that global warming is inevitable. Although the message has changed. It used to be that we should do nothing because there was no problem. Now we should do nothing because it is too late.”

    Bloody hell; – we are really in the shit. We should do all we can now in the hope that it will help to change something.

    “Hope lives eternal”

  3. Ad 3

    With 15,000 submissions so far, Shaw has done an outstanding job keeping the noise down so far.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    I suggest caution in regard to the veracity of this report. Wait & see if it holds up under scrutiny. A week since it got published in the NYP and nowhere else in the global media since?? Something funny going on.

    It’s so out of whack with the IPCC we have to suspect the scientific basis! Could be some Trumpist loon has gone out on a limb, producing the document as a bullshit scheme to justify booting Obama’s standards. Even the most alarmist scenarios I’ve encountered don’t go beyond +6 degrees by the end of the century and +4 seems the top end of what’s currently feasible. For this current administration, officially in denial of global warming, to issue a document predicting a +7 degree increase is surreal.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Their analysis is in farenheight which equates to 4.4 degrees celsius.

      • Dennis Frank 4.1.1

        Ah, right, thanks. Makes a lot more sense!! In that case it depends what scientific advice has gone into the report. Remains significant that they seem to be tacitly conceding that the IPCC has been too cautious. I’d like to see the US media tackle Trump about this report. This could be his response: “Oh yes. It was written by a deranged person. I fired him.”

  5. Ad 5

    IPCC report is out now.

    Not pretty reading.

    • Bill 5.1

      Curious as to whether you think it’s not pretty reading because it sounds pretty bad, or because it’s pretty much cotton candy wrapped bullshit?

      • Ad 5.1.1

        I’m not a climate scientist so I’m quite happy to take their advice and guide my life according to their very best scientific advice available in this matter.

        • Bill

          I’m in total agreement with you there Ad.

          But these guys who help compile IPCC reports are positioned between the science and government. So insofar as they take more than just the science into account, it’s not “scientific advice”. And (a very quick read of the report reveals this) they, yet again, unscientifically assume that negative emissions technology will pop up from a magic box somewhere and save our collective arse. That desperate hope being embedded into everything isn’t, surely, something an intelligent person would allow to guide their life, is it?

          • Ad

            Well that is where you and I differ.

            I believe in irrational hope.
            I believe in miracles.
            I believe in ghosts. And angels.
            I believe in humans.
            I believe in agency.
            I believe in God.
            I trust in that belief as the will to life itself.

            For me, that will to life is within my impulse to love. Hard core Sparkle Pony.

            And with all of that, and the best science available, I will do the best I can.

            • Dennis Frank

              Obviously more to you than meets the eye! Well put, and it goes for me too. The spiritual dimension of politics is way more powerful than most commentators assume. It has swung collective destiny at crucial moments throughout history.

            • Bill

              “Hard Core Sparkle Pony”. Still smiling.

  6. Bill 6

    That graph used in post is chock full with negative emission tech on the 2 degree and 1.5 degree scenarios.

    And neither Labour not the Greens are out to “save the planet”. Seriously, where in the name of fuck did you get that idea from micky? (Not having a go, but hearing that kind of shit being spouted fucks me off) They are out to save an economic order in the face of environmental catastrophe. Big difference.

    Meanwhile, both the Guardian and Independent reports on the IPCC “study” are parroting IPCC bullshit around the supposed feasibility of 1.5 degrees.

    You want to get in the road of global warming? Then get off the pavement. Seriously. Walk on the road. Vehicles account for a good whack of emissions. Grind them to a halt. It would be a start.

    But you won’t do it, and your neighbour won’t do it, and your workmate won’t do it. Too many places to be and people to see, aye? 🙄

    Planet earth: killed by fly buy and drive by.

    • Dennis Frank 6.1

      neither Labour not the Greens are out to “save the planet”

      Quibble: Ardern’s sincere, I reckon. You’re probably correct re the rest of the LP. And you’re wrong about the Greens. However I suspect you really mean those in parliament are hamstrung by Labour & I agree they are, so I understand your perception (that democracy in general, and MMP in particular, is a severe handicap on their intent to save the planet).

      • Bill 6.1.1

        So what realistic and effective measures have any of those people suggested? They certainly haven’t enacted anything even remotely close to worthwhile. Which y’know, given the situation we’re in, and assuming they’re actually cognisant of the situation we’e in, suggests they’re all grossly inept and/or deeply stupid..

        • Dennis Frank

          Last I heard the process James has been conducting in recent months is due to release its policy output soon. I expect the govt to then prioritise the legislation. The reason the process has taken months is to secure both full public and business input via consultation in many meetings throughout the country.

          The process is unprecedented because the scale of the challenge is likewise. Russel Norman doesn’t get it. He sees dinosaur Nats holding everyone hostage. They could prove him right, but I suspect they’ll play follow the leader. Which politician wants to create a future in which they are on the wrong side of history, and it gets more obvious to everyone that they screwed up? A cross-party consensus is essential.

          • Bill

            Lets cut the crap Dennis. Either we cut fossil down to zero as fast as we can (10% – 15% per year), or we don’t. If we don’t, we burn/bake or whatever cooking analogy’s your fancy.

            Consultation is just a piece of bullshit these clowns are indulging in because they don’t want to make the hard calls, or are too stupid to realise hard calls need to be made.

            If they were serious (they’re not) they would be consulting on how to make those cuts – not on what should/shouldn’t be cut and not what sleight of hand might work (at least on paper) by way of carbon credits, carbon sinks, off sets etc.

            • Dennis Frank

              🙄 I’ve had your stance most of my life so I’m not going to argue against it. The problem with the learning curve of practical politics is summarised in the old saying that `politics is the art of the possible’.

              So doesn’t matter how much we rail against human nature, to get stuff done we have to work with them on the basis of where their heads are currently at. I know it’s tedious & exasperating. I’m not going to say TINA, but I haven’t been able to find one!

              • Bill

                I can’t see how my thoughts can be contrary to human nature – what with me being human and all. Institutional stupidity and human nature aren’t one and the same.

                As for the people occupying influential positions within our institutions and where their heads are at. If we work to their timetable and their mindset, then we simply echo the institutional stupidity they embody and continue with 30 odd years of failure.

                Why do that?

                All social change and movement has come from them feeling so scared of consequences that will be landed on them by us, that they accommodate a shift. And in this case, there’s another factor

                Physics is going to be landing hard on me and on you, and on them. If you’re not bloody scared of the likely consequences, and so willing to shift your thinking, attitude and action in a way that pushes those institutions and the idiots that inhabit and run them (over a cliff if need be), then you haven’t been paying attention.

                • Dennis Frank

                  The consequences are in the pipeline anyway. The time for urgent response was around the change of millennium. Democratic process does not work any faster if you push on it. Hassling MPs? Waste of time for me, but I have no problem if others try that.

                  Garner made much this morning out of Ardern not having a date for implementing the cc legislation. I agree she ought to have been able to front with one, but she’s Labour. Why would anyone expect a Labour leader to be on the ball??

  7. Exkiwiforces 7

    Funny a enough I was talking to couple fisho’s and couple of crabbers during a fire patrol (show the flag) on weekend at the pub and they and a lot of others have notice a big spike in the water temperature for this time of the yr compared to the last 3-4 years for the same period. Even the fresh water river which doesn’t flow during the dry the water temperature has gone through the roof, with the red claw (fresh water crayfish), fresh water fish and resident sapping handbags are going nuts, just like their salt water cousins atm.

    Even the soil moisture content is getting worst for this time of the yr. Yesterday afternoon around half one I counted about 4 cars on road and normally I would see about 2doz plus on road, not sure if it was due to the big race being on or it was too bloody to drive to anywhere yesterday.

    It’s getting crazy IRT weather and temperatures atm. Might become like the Arab’s and don’t work between 10am and 2pm 😎

  8. Enough is Enough 8

    “Shock horror, there was no consultation, it will cost lots of jobs and it is one of the reasons that business confidence is plummeting”

    Your sarcasm is quite disturbing. This is a good policy, but no matter how good policy is, there needs to be consultation in a democratic society.

    It would not have been too hard to either announce this as a policy pre-election, or as a working group so that all those affected had a chance to absorb it before it became law. There is genuine anger at this process which could should have been dealt with in a more caring way.

    As we have found out in the past 12 months every incoming government plays the silly game of using the last government as a precedent for their own dodgy behavior. The next time the Tory’s come in and impose their bullshit on us without consultation they will conveniently use this as their precedent.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      Why does there need to be consultation? If we are facing some sort of medical epidemic should we talk to everyone before taking action? Besides it was in Labour’s and the Green’s election policies.

      It is quite timid. It does not stop existing rights being exercised. It only stops the possibility of permits, that is permission, being granted to explore in the future.

      • Enough is Enough 8.1.1

        Why does there need to be consultation?

        Because we don’t elect dictatorships. Forget about the policy for a second, and think about the principle.

        National Government is elected in 2036 with a broad policy to tighten up on government expenditure. Three weeks after they are elected Foot and Mouth breaks out killing our export base. With reduced Government revenue the Government has to make some important decisions. So without consultation it reduces all benefits by 33%.

        This is a terrible way to govern regardless of who is in power.

        • cleangreen

          Yes Enough is Enough

          I agree; – it is irresponsible of government to leave that “sunset clause” in there cutting 33% of all benefits after 2036.

          Shocking to leave our kids to face this.

        • mickysavage

          Did you read Labour’s policy in the area? Or the Greens? Presented at the last election campaign? That is all the consultation that is required.

  9. Naki man 9

    “Your sarcasm is quite disturbing. This is a good policy, but no matter how good policy is, there needs to be consultation in a democratic society.”

    I am not so sure this is good policy, leaving our oil in the ground is not going to make a jot of difference to how much petrol we burn, all our petrol is imported and our consumption wont change until there is an affordable alternative.

  10. Craig H 10

    Free electric public transport is my suggestion.

  11. In Vino 11

    Oh come on, EiE… (@ 8.1) The issue was already well-known (our need to stop burning fossil fuels); the new PM had already announced that Climate Change was our new Nuclear moment… Such a big surprise?
    No – the same grumps who deny Climate Change united with the Oil Industry people to do a big public beat-up on how terrible this “sudden” and “irrational” (based on the tenuous argument that we will import the same thing from overseas at worse carbon print… largely utter drivvle) ..
    And here you are trying to push that BS even further. Sorry, it is uphill now.

  12. Rae 12

    What chance if this guy gets his way http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/107678959/brazils-farright-candidate-jair-bolsonaro-holds-big-lead-in-presidential-election

    It seems the more urgent addressing climate change becomes, the more the world is turning to right wing stupid.

  13. Infused 13

    China can out do our emissions in one day. What we do dosent matter

    • mickysavage 13.1

      So give up now you reckon? And all other nations with similar outputs, stop now? Just rely on Trump and China to both make really major change while we sit back?

      • infused 13.1.1

        The us and china need to make the change to have any meaningful impact. End of the day, it’s the poor who are going to get hurt by all the changes here in NZ, where our cost of living is already rediciolus.

    • Macro 13.2

      Your comment is wrong on so many levels it is difficult to know where to start.
      Firstly, China’s GHG emissions have basically flatlined for the past 5 years. Yes they actually grew by around 1.4% last year (much below the anticipated rate by those studying world wide GHG emissions) as China has been in the process of increasing growth in energy intensive industries. However, while these industries have shown increased growth, China has also been working hard at moving to renewable energies.
      Which leads to the second point.
      China is the world’s leading country in electricity production from renewable energy sources, with over double the generation of the second-ranking country, the United States. In 2013 the country had a total capacity of 378 GW of renewable power, mainly from hydroelectric and wind power. China’s renewable energy sector is growing faster than its fossil fuels and nuclear power capacity.
      Thirdly, the reason China is such a massive consumer of energy (and hence emitter of GHGs) is because many other countries – and to a large extent NZ – have exported their production capacity to China. So what we used to produce in NZ, and would have emitted large amounts of GHGs in NZ to do so, is now being done on our behalf in China. The goods produced are still consumed in NZ and GHG’s are emitted in transporting them here as well.
      So we should not be pointing the finger at China, because much of their emissions are not for consumption by Chinese people but for the whole world – NZ included.
      We should be following the lead set by China, and working as hard as they are, on moving towards a more sustainable energy source.


      • infused 13.2.1

        Sounds good in theory, until you visualise what it actually is


        People need to wake up. A decrease in world population is needed. Anything else is just nonsense.

        • WILD KATIPO

          So you’re in agreement with reducing the earths population to around 500, 000,000 ?… I see…

          You must be one of the ‘chosen ones’… to live.

          Tell you what buddy , … don’t come try preachin that shit to me , boy…. or my family.

          #13 – Georgia Guide Stones – Episode 13 – YouTube

  14. cleangreen 14

    Listening to Jacinda on the AM show with Duncan Garner Newshub this morning at 6.45 am I felt that jacinda has no idea what to do regarding lowering carbon emissions now, as she is still using the “we need to stop increasing carbon emissions by 2050!!!!!!!!!


    What the hell is she saying, as we are now entering the stage where the climate change effects are being impacted on our businesses and horticulture and farming right now.

    Jacinda you need to take dirty diesel polluting trucks off the roads and use cleaner buring rail freight as your way forward.

    We have requested this of your “transformative Government” in our letters and emails sent from CEAC to you since November 2017 after you announced “Climate change is your Generation’s nuclear moment” after winning the election.

    If you do not switch to cleaner ‘freight transport’ – you are now failing in your duty to save our future citizens from disasters as climate change, increases.

    So Jacinda, now the clock is ticking so press the emergency button now please and act.

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