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Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick on fire

Written By: - Date published: 7:10 am, October 2nd, 2019 - 100 comments
Categories: activism, climate change, election 2020 - Tags: , ,

Riding the righteous wave that was the climate strikes last friday, Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick burns in this searing critique at the Spinoff of politicians’ responses to climate change. Starting with a description of what the strike was: Pacifika youth leading, Tangata Whenua making visible the connections between indigenous rights and climate justice, young kids in pushchairs, older kids with megaphones, older adults with placards, this is a riot of fighting-not-drowning voices bearing down on the powerholders of New Zealand politics.

Swarbrick contrasts this with the patronising responses from NZ politicians and tells them if they won’t listen to climate action voices, then listen to the science: people created this mess.

Politicians across the world have their hands on the wheel of a car that they are driving directly into a forest fire. They can see the fire. They have been, and are being, constantly warned about it as they drive. The heat and smoke is starting to make some of the car passengers uncomfortable, sick and coughing.

Politicians have their hands on the wheel and their feet at the pedals. They can slow the car. They can stop it. They can choose a different path: one that doesn’t lead to destruction of the car, its passengers – ultimately of civilisation as a whole.

For those trying to write this off as radical greenie rhetoric, get this analysis of political polarisation,

New Zealand has been privy to its fair share of attempted polarisation recently. An unignorable 48% of our country’s emissions coming from agriculture, which evidently must reduce if we are to do our bit to help keep global warming within 1.5 degrees. That is a fact. It is also a fact that thousands of New Zealanders work on the farms and in the industry that, unfortunately, produces these emissions. These people are important, and they – like all of us – deserve a warm, dry home, meaningful work, a sense of identity and strong community ties.

Some politicians have sought to sever those two crucial components for their own gain. They don’t talk about helping our farmers transition, but speak in divisive, binary, fanciful rhetoric. You can only have one, they assert: a liveable climate or regional development. They ignore the reality that farmers are already being hit with climate breakdown in ever-less predictable seasonality and increasing international standards on carbon transparency.

This is green politics at its finest, and it demonstrates why many have long resisted the pressure to separate out environmental issues from social justice. It says we, people, are part of the natural world, and we all deserve a warm home, food on the table, and connection, so let’s look at how we can make sure we are all ok, people and the land. We need to be closing the loops, ensuring that how we run society takes into account the need to protect the land as well as the need to make sure the people on the land are good, and that these two things are the same.

People who think the Greens are anti-farmer are really not paying attention, and the hour is getting late.

Having named NZ’s emerging Trumpian politics, Swarbrick then points to the real world implications,

… with two and a half weeks until the Zero Carbon Bill is reported back to parliament, it remains unclear if the National Party will support it. That cross-party support is seen as critical to the long term stability of the legislation and the independent Climate Commission. That cross-party support helped in the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008, on which the Zero Carbon Bill is based.

To spell it out, in practice this means that our defining piece of climate action legislation – one which 170,000 Kiwis just this last Friday demanded be made stronger and delivered faster – risks passing with only the government majority of 64 votes to 56 votes. That vote is less than three weeks out.

I can’t stress it enough: this is a law that – at present – a massive number of New Zealanders do not see as bold or progressive enough to the extent that they were willing to put their bodies, their education and in some places their jobs on the line.

Swarbrick’s final point is that the old political hegemony that is keeping us locked into the climate crisis needs to be broken and that can happen by increasing the number of MPs in the party leading on tackling climate change.

New Zealanders are incredibly fortunate to have such a party to vote for at all. Listening to people in the US or the UK I try and imagine living in a place where the choice was between Trump and the Democrats. Hold the Greens to account where needed, but let’s also count our blessings.

Swarbrick’s message seems aimed more at young people and the non-vote, but I think it applies equally to lefties who are still shy about trusting the Greens.

This then, and I’m bolding it because it’s the break-through-all-the-bullshit message,

Take the fight to election 2020. I agree climate action should not be partisan. But the reality is stark: a number of political parties do not as it stands want to make the sufficient steps to deal with it. If you marched on Friday, you already know that.

100 comments on “Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick on fire ”

  1. tc 1

    My hope is enough kiwi's wake up to hand the greens the votes in 2020 to be a mandatory coalition partner so they advance the cause.

    Jones, and as such NZF's priorities are clear. Over to you NZ voters are you frogs or sentient humans ?

  2. Gosman 2

    Is Chloe Swarbrick advocating that NZ starts subsidising our farmers again so long as they move to farming practices that are deemed environmentally friendly?

    • of course animal-extraction 'farmers' wanting to transition to growing crops – should have as much help/assistance/advice/practical-support as possible..

      what is wrong with that idea..?..gosman..?

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        If it is profitable why do they need assistance?

        • phillip ure 2.1.1.1

          sorry – i'm not answering stupid questions today..

          try me again tomorrow..

        • weka 2.1.1.2

          Is Gosman advocating that NZ stops subsidising and supporting all farming because it should be profitable on its own?

          • Gosman 2.1.1.2.1

            Yes.

            • weka 2.1.1.2.1.1

              the problem there is that the market and economic structures are stacked against small farmers, and regenag farmers, so the shareholder profit businesses that survive are most likely to be the high CC polluters. Much of that is due to farm debt, but it's not the only factor.

              The only way we can transition NZ farming to low GHG emissions is to help them.

        • Psycho Milt 2.1.1.3

          If it is profitable why do they need assistance?

          If their current business model is profitable only via a licence to pollute and externalising the emissions costs to future generations, they fairly obviously need assistance.

          • Gosman 2.1.1.3.1

            I don't see any issue with adding in the cost of externalities to farming so long as it is done in a transparent manner that allows businesses to reduce costs by changing practices. That should be enough to encourage transitions to other less harmful farming activity without subsidising them.

            • Sacha 2.1.1.3.1.1

              Changing practices by say returning stocking levels to what they were ten years ago? They can do that right now.

    • Aaron 2.2

      It's what we need to do. If we want to make rapid change then we need to spend money, it's that simple

      • Gosman 2.2.1

        What is the opportunity cost for spending this money?

        • Stuart Munro. 2.2.1.1

          Since state money, unlike household savings, are not a strictly finite amount, the opportunity cost only exists insofar as some other program is actually denied because of that spending.

          With environmental issues also, the cost of not implementing various harm reduction measures must be accounted for – for example, the glee with which the tragical idiots of the previous government wrecked border protection and inspection with cheese-paring cost control measures seems to have been misplaced, given that those savings would not cover the costs of M. Bovis even were they extended for a couple of centuries.

          Accounting is a wretched substitute for governance.

          • phillip ure 2.2.1.1.1

            'Accounting is a wretched substitute for governance.'

            grant roertson needs to adopt that as his mantra…

            and then just get on with it…

  3. well done to ms swarbick…(she has solidified her spot as most favourite mp – in my eyes..)

    and the interesting thing is that she is speaking to the green party as much as she is addressing the rest of the country..

    (given the recent pledge by brit labour party 'to de-carbonise britain by 2030) the greens flagship 'carbon neutral by 2050' policy is looking a bit 'nowhere near enough'..(which it clearly isn't..!…)

    the (embarrassing to watch) ongoing smooching of dairy farmers/'kissing cows' from james shaw also underlines the 'not enough'..

    the greens need to become much darker green –

    after the recent message from new zealanders that the time is here to do some serious shit about this – voters will be looking for more concrete policy than a nebulous 'promise' coming due 30 yrs from now..(essentially just optics – and meaningless..)

    i would be surprised if the greens are not already going over all their policies – and identifying all those that need serious ramping up..to be made much more ambitious/effective

    (ttodays' hint of genters' working on a buy-back bangers policy – to green our automobile fleets – is a worthy start..)

    the greens need to go into the next election with a clear/coherent set of policies – that directly address what many are now demanding..

    and of course – if they don't – and just continue with the cow-kissing..this will leave a political-vacuum – and room for another political party to step up..

    and just quietly – if looking for a leader who will grab the imagination of the voting public (esp. but not only the young) you couldn't really look past ms. swarbrick..

    could you..?

    this is the moment the green party have been waiting for since inception..

    the country is now looking to them to provide the political solutions/ideas to get us out of this mess…

    i hope the greens realise this – and cancome up with what is required…

  4. observer 4

    As a very middle-aged male, my first reaction to Swarbrick entering Parliament was a grumpy old knee-jerk ("kids today! call that music? when I was your age … ").

    After 2 years it's now clear that she is far more mature than many MPs who are decades older. And vastly smarter than the Hoskings and Garners who mock her … because the insular and ignorant will always mock what they cannot understand.

    Good on her, and her message.

  5. bwaghorn 5

    Weka not taxing emmisions is not a subsidie.

    And I hope the Swarbricks of the world are clever enough to have a plan that can rapidly stop the car and get going in the other direction with out it spinning out of control and killing the occupants.

    having trouble with replies button and commenting so if I dont reply it's that

    • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1

      Self-interest and avarice Trumps human welfare. Focus on wealth accumulation; don't think about the consequences. Sand is cheap.

      https://coalactionnetworkaotearoa.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/chch_press_hits_cartoon.jpg

    • weka 5.2

      "Weka not taxing emmisions is not a subsidie."

      Not sure how that relates to what I said. We have to put economic incentives in place (positive and negative) to reduce GHGs because apparently most people still believe in the market economy. My preference would be just to legislate directly.

      I'm good with subsidising farmers to transition to regenag, I think it's necessary for a whole lot of reasons.

      Plenty of people know what to do about the mess, we just have too many of the wrong people in power.

      • Poission 5.2.1

        NZ is the only country in the world to put agriculture into the ETS. it is used as a case study in the IPCC landuse review.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 5.2.1.1

          "NZ is the only country in the world to put agriculture into the ETS"

          And when did does this refreshingly positive (proposed) change begin?

          "Agriculture, the most polluting sector of the economy, looks set to join the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), but under a sweetheart deal that will see it pay just 5 per cent of its total emissions cost from 2025."

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/114267785/farmers-exempt-from-95-percent-of-emissions-charges-under-new-proposed-rules

          • Poission 5.2.1.1.1

            You answered your own question.Much of what is reported by the IPCC is in the future.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Admire you're optimism – the proof will be in the pudding.

              • Poission

                NZ has maintained its responsibility under the Paris agreement to fulfill the needs for mitigation without inhibiting food security.

                Are you suggesting that NZ should not fulfill its duty for food security.

                The tractors are marching in europe already.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  You have now raised the issue of NZ’s food security obligations/duties.

                  I have been commenting on the proposal to "put agriculture into the ETS", which I will happily believe once it’s actually in effect. Let’s wait and see.

                  • Poission

                    Sure its a constraint, but we are the only country to include agriculture in our Kyoto requirements(Upton)

                    With energy Clark for example said that NZ electricity was to be 100% Renewable by 2020,but that was only to beef up her CV.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      You seem confident that NZ will include 1/20th of agricultural business in its ETS some time in the future. Magnificent!

                      I sincerely hope that comes to pass, but your example of Helen Clark saying "NZ electricity was to be 100% Renewable by 2020" didn’t bolster my confidence. Let's wait and see.

                    • Pat

                      The NZ ETS covers forestry (a net sink), energy (42% of total 2012 emissions), industry (7% of total 2012 emissions) and waste (5% of total 2012 emissions) but not pastoral agriculture (46% of 2012 total emissions).[5] Participants in the NZ ETS must surrender one emission unit (either an international 'Kyoto' unit or a New Zealand-issued unit) for every two tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions reported or they may choose to buy NZ units from the government at a fixed price of NZ$25. The one-for-two transitional measure will be phased out evenly across relevant sectors over three years from 1 January 2017. The old 50 percent surrender obligation increased to 67 percent from 1 January 2017, and will increase to 83 percent from 1 January 2018, and a full surrender obligation from 1 January 2019 for all sectors in the NZ ETS. This phased approach was intended to allow businesses time to plan and adjust, and therefore to support a more stable market.[6]

                      Individual sectors of the economy have different entry dates when their obligations to report emissions and surrender emission units took effect. Forestry, which contributed net removals of 17.5 Mts of CO2e in 2010 (19% of NZ's 2008 emissions,[7]) entered the NZ ETS on 1 January 2008.[8] The stationary energy, industrial processes and liquid fossil fuel sectors entered the NZ ETS on 1 July 2010. The waste sector (landfill operators) entered on 1 January 2013.[9] From November 2009, methane and nitrous oxide emissions from pastoral agriculture were scheduled to be included in the NZ ETS from 1 January 2015.[10] However, agriculture was indefinitely excluded from the NZ ETS in 2013.[11]

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Emissions_Trading_Scheme

  6. soddenleaf 6

    There will be 10 billion people on the planet by 2050. Farmers have a guaranteed market. Industry, culture, communities want Farming to work so they eat. Obviously a few cockroach politicians see this as a opportunity to fight for farmers, farming is our future, and being the roaches they are, they know that disrupting the inevitable creates fiscal gouging scams. What was milk? Leaves out rivers polluted, farmers in debt, and China building its capacity for the next dragon year, no need for the extra capacity, all just a one off splurge. The worst of capitalism is serviced by these roaches. Every so often we need the other kind of politicians, the ego driven that want to be remembered for something, not for how big their wallets are and how they pressed the knives in each others backs. You know the type, promises to deregulate to the whims of the highest bidder, promises to grow the economy but no substance. Bridges to nowhere.

    Recently I heard they solved the artic tundra refreeze problem, where the climate will be tipped into chaos by release of trapped tundra carbons. They were going to remove the trees, so the soil remains frozen. Two slight problems, thus only delays the release, if the trees are removed (and not burned), and we stop reverse the increasing heating (not happening). The same people who live on oil sales, are going to cut trees down, and end their revenue stream… ..ha. Tundra fires kmkh a matter of time, climate change party on.

  7. Here is another angle to consider as agriculture is not the only emitter in the worldly 'game of life'here sadly.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1910/S00009/climate-change-is-here-act-now.htm

  8. David Mac 8

    In Oslo, Antwerp and Prague a Kiwi is not a bird or you and I. A Kiwi is a fruit. Zespri are the co-op Fonterra could be. Our globally recognised brands are Air NZ, The All Blacks and Zespri kiwifruit….and now, maybe Jacinda.

    Disease attacks aside, Kiwifruit farmers need no subsidy, they stack money. Showing the herd the door need not lead to financial ruin but I think winning an election requires leading farmers to change, not pushing them. I think this will need government sourced transition assistance. This does not have to equate to chucking money at farmers. There are other ways to grease the track to transition.

    A bulldozer poised in front of a rotary milking machine the guy still owes $200,000 on is not a winning plan.

  9. Gosman 9

    The idea that Chloe Swarbrick and the Greens could win over significant sections of the farming community is laughable at this point in time. Perhaps when Ms Swarbrick is approaching middle age they might have changed perceptions enough. Not now though.

    • Enough is Enough 9.1

      I think that is true as a result of a concerted and well funded 'fake news' campaign being run by vested interests.

      If you can stomach it, listen to this radio show and see the absolute lies being told https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/the-country/

      The rural community is being brainwashed into thinking that the Green Party is out to kill their livelihood, when the opposite is true. They want to transition to a long term, sustainable rural economy that isn't based on milking and killing animals. If this was understood properly, then no one could oppose it.

      The rural community would vote Green, if they weren't being fed National Party bullshit.

      • Wayne 9.1.1

        Enough is Enough,

        Farmers don't want to be told by the Green Party how to farm. They don't want to be told that they can't run dairy farms or have beef and sheep farms, on the basis that it is "compulsory" for everyone to become vegetarians.

        Incidentally I presume you are arguing that the bulk of New Zealand farmland that is too steep for crops has to be turned into forests, or sheep farming for wool only.

        So there is zero chance that the rural community en masse will vote Green. They don't need the National Party to tell them that, they can work it out themselves.

        In any event the fundamental flaw in your argument is that the level of compulsion required to achieve your ideal society is impossible in a democratic society. No democracy could ever sustain such an intrusive level of compulsion that you imply.

        • phillip ure 9.1.1.1

          vegan wayne – vegan…vegetarian still spports/enables the anumal-extraction industries..

          and anyway wayne..it is external economic/environmental/culture-change forces that are doing the dairy industry in..

          not vegans – as such..

          eh..?

          and smart farmers will feel these winds of change…and will be already discussing: 'how do we do this differently..?…

          how can we transition..?

          (i wd note that vegan film director james cameron has been experimenting with transitioning dairy farms in the wairarapa..

          to see which crops worked best..

          and his intention was to make the results of his experiments open-sourced..so..

          i wd suggest googling that..)

          i repeat wayne – you can fulminate all you like..

          but it won't stop what's happening..

        • weka 9.1.1.2

          "Farmers don't want to be told by the Green Party how to farm. They don't want to be told that they can't run dairy farms or have beef and sheep farms, on the basis that it is "compulsory" for everyone to become vegetarians."

          Perhaps you could clarify Wayne. You appear to be suggesting that the Green Party have policy that supports forcing people to become vegetarian. Which would be a daft thing to say in the absence of any evidence.

        • Robert Guyton 9.1.1.3

          "They don't need the National Party to tell them that, they can work it out themselves"

          Yes they do. No they can't.

          It's a cultural thing. Their political representatives have to cement the culture day by day, or they'll start to think other thoughts…

        • Stuart Munro. 9.1.1.4

          If farmers don't want to be led by the Greens they need to stop taking their cues from the Stupid Party. Sustainable environmental outcomes are attainable in a nearly infinite number of ways – none of which will be suggested or supported by the shambling morons who comprise the Gnats.

          Real farmers, as opposed to corporate ones, need to be careful they're not drafted into a fight that doesn't serve their interests – which will generate a punitive legislative regime chasing infractions rather than a cooperative one assisting transitions to better environmental practice.

      • Naki man 9.1.2

        I would like to hear the "lies"but your link is not working

      • weka 9.1.3

        "The rural community is being brainwashed into thinking that the Green Party is out to kill their livelihood, when the opposite is true. They want to transition to a long term, sustainable rural economy that isn't based on milking and killing animals"

        I'm not aware of any such policy. Jeanette Fitzsimons is a sustainable beef and sheep farmer. The GP ag policy includes sheep and cattle farming. Please don't make comments like this because then we get ex-Ministers of the Crown spouting nonsense as part of their right wing, anti-Green lines.

        https://www.greens.org.nz/page/agriculture-and-rural-affairs-policy-0

        • Enough is Enough 9.1.3.1

          I think my comments are consistent with the policy summary you linked to.

          I didn't state that sustainable beef and sheep farming would disappear. Simply that we need to transition away from the current way we farm

          • weka 9.1.3.1.1

            I thought you said that the Green Party want to transition to an economy not based on killing and milking animals. I took that to mean no meat and dairy farming (which as you say isn't GP policy).

            How we talk about this matters because of people like Wayne then using it to run Nat anti-Green lines, but also because it feeds into the vegan ideology that is messing with a transition to regenag.

    • you really are trying to ramp up an urban/rural divide aren't you..?..gosman..

      how does that fit with 80% if nz'ers having as a top concern – water quality of rivers/lakes/wetlands..

      i don't see an urban/rural divide there – i see agreement in where we want to get to..

      does the right see divide and rule as a future/current tactic/strategy..?

      is that all ya got..?

      does that explain this (trumpian?) beating of that drum by you..?

      • cleangreen 9.2.1

        Don't get unhinged by Gosman Philllip.

        I take some of Gosman's points and leave the others in my 'ignorance' file.

        Has s a fetish for upsetting us all some times.

    • The idea that Chloe Swarbrick and the Greens could win over significant sections of the farming community is laughable at this point in time.

      I agree. Recently, some of the "farming community" were complaining that their businesses won't be viable if they have to stop polluting waterways, seemingly oblivious to what they were saying. Can't see the Greens ever getting any traction with people who think like that.

      • phillip ure 9.3.1

        they will either learn to adapt/change – or they will be swept away..

        another interesting footnote to this is that much of the farming debt is held by the corporate-farmers..

        those who borrowed big to cash into the 'white-gold' chimera key peddled..

        (are they getting pissed at him yet..?..for sucking them all in…?..with his false-promises..?..they should be..)

        anyway – nobody (aside from the banks) will shed tears about them going down the gurgler..

        let it happen..!

        • Wayne 9.3.1.1

          "…swept away.."

          By whom or what?

          Dairy farming is not going to collapse anytime soon. It has been a central foundation of New Zealand farming for 140 years. Current prices for dairy products are pretty high. So the banks are hardly going to do it, and destroy their own equity.

          And in a democracy, neither can the government sweep farmers away.

          I note that on The Standard there is now pretty intense hatred for dairy farmers by some/many commenters. It has really just happened in the last few months. No wonder Eve McCallum wrote the article she did in the Herald. She can see that change in attitude.

          That dairy farmers are the same as the Ukranian kulaks of the 1930's, all to be swept away. But New Zealand is not a soviet state. And Jacinda is not Joseph Stalin.

          • phillip ure 9.3.1.1.1

            i think you might need to breath thru yr nose there..wayne..

            as i noted above – it is external forces/changes that will drive these changes..

            not soviet-styling dictatorship..

            you are sounding like a ciggy-smoker in a public bar upon receipt of the first bad news about smoking..'dead cold hands etc'..

            i’ll just let yr ‘dairy-hating’ paranoid fantasy just lie there..eh..?..)

          • observer 9.3.1.1.2

            No, Eve "wrote" the article because her father is a National party activist. Astroturfing as usual.

            • Wayne 9.3.1.1.2.1

              Eve might be the daughter of National Party activists. So what. She believes in what she wrote. Just like Green activists believe what they write.

              People are entitled to their views, whether you like them or not.

              • Incognito

                Spoken like a true post-truth politician. You can talk yourself into believing anything and that then becomes your reality.

          • weka 9.3.1.1.3

            "I note that on The Standard there is now pretty intense hatred for dairy farmers by some/many commenters. It has really just happened in the last few months."

            Really? Because I've been reading serious critique of industrial dairying here for years.

            You and Gosman are missing the point. The Greens want change not power. The farming sector as a whole don't have to become GP voters for that to happen. Farmers are outnumbered by liberals, and those liberals are now demanding that the government acts on CC. As we have more adverse affects from CC and greater awareness of the risks, this demand is likely to keep increasing.

            Fed Farmers and National anti-Green divisive rhetoric aside, many farmers are also more on board with climate action than they used to be, and it looks to me like this will also continue to increase. Lots of farmers want to do the right thing and will take advantage of government support to transition to better systems re CC and the environment. We need farmers and the Greens not only know this. but see farmers as citizens like other NZers.

            This is why the Greens are working to put options in place so that we end up with appropriate farming, environmentally and socially, instead of what we largely have now. From a green politics point of view, it doesn't matter whether farmers vote Green en masse, what matters is that we transition to sustainable agriculture/horticulture.

            I often cover these points in my posts, maybe you and Gosman should try reading them.

            • Wayne 9.3.1.1.3.1

              weka,

              I think you fundamentally misunderstand farmers if you think they will voluntarily surrender dairy farming. Of course the dairy farmers will improve their systems. Better stream margins, more humane treatment of animals (shelter and feed). But that is very different to telling/ordering them to stop dairying.

              It doesn't matter that liberals outnumber farmers. They are not going to enforce change on farmers, not if there is wholesale and deep farmer resistance to to government drastic mandatory charge. The city liberals simply don’t have enough skin in the game to seriously enforce their views over rural opposition.

              To be fair to Chloe, she seems to understand that reality. And she will settle for improved systems, probably more than farmers want, but not so radical that they are impossible to implement.

              • Pat

                Youre ignoring who controls what happens down on the farm..and it aint the politicians nor the city liberals…or even the National Party

              • weka

                one thing I don't do is think about farmers as all of a hive mind. Lots of farmers aren't in industrial dairying, and many more still remember how to farm in other ways.

                Not sure what you are envisioning re change. It's not like anyone in the national conversation is talking about nationalising farms.

                But farming is already having enforced change eg the new water regs. This isn't unusual, regional councils require farmers to adhere to rules and those rules change over time. There are already places in NZ where you cannot do intensive dairy farming. We all have to live within the boundaries of what society decides, I'm not sure why farmers should be different, and I'm kind of surprised to see you arguing for some kind of special libertarian, we can do what we want exemption for farmers.

                You seem to be asserting that the farming industry will comply with some environmental objectives but not others eg reducing the number of stock. I can't see the rationale here, it's like you are saying that dairying is some kind of sacred cow. But it's relatively new at the scale we are doing it so I'm struggling to see an emotional or cultural attachment to it when other ways of farming are on offer.

                Your argument also appears to be one of climate change denialism. Science says we have to address methane emissions. To suggest that farmers will address water quality but not CC doesn't make sense, because there's no good reason to not do both. In the end we will be forced to one way or the other (NZ as a whole, not just farmers). Smart people will adapt earlier.

                "The city liberals simply don’t have enough skin in the game to seriously enforce their views over rural opposition."

                One of the biggest protests NZ has ever had tells me otherwise.

                I don't like the whole city vs rural divide (I live in the country), and I think there are lessons here for liberals and city folk to learn about the importance of the country and the people that live there. But I also think that patience is running out, and unfortunately farmers are being seen as the enemy when really it's industry orgs like Fed Farmers, and Nats who are stirring up division between farmers and progressives. That shit is harming the country.

                • Wayne

                  A tame protest on the streets requires very little commitment. In contrast enforcing major change on “industrial dairying” requires a huge amount of state power.

                  Let’s say there was a rule enforcing a 30% reduction in the typical dairy herd. Well, that would be resisted by most dairy farmers, most of whom would be “industrial dairy” operations in the minds of most commenters. Very few dairy farmers would see Janette Fitzsimmons farm as a model to follow.

                  So how would the state enforce the herd reductions? Go and seize cows, fine thousands of farmers, jail a few? All the while politics in NZ would be divided in way probably not seen before.

                  Not going to happen.

                  Of course there could be a massive compensation package. Billions of dollars for say 1 to 2 million cows. Plus massive continuing income replacement payments. Works in the US. Where farmer compensation payments are a third rail issue.

                  How politically sustainable would this be. After all there won’t be a Labour/Green government forever.

                  So basically I reckon such drastic changes won’t happen. Much more likely there will be politically sustainable policies. Better stream margins. Better animal welfare. GE for methane reducing grass. Etc.

                  And as I noted, it does seem Chloe Swarbrick recognises political reality.

                  • weka

                    I hear ya, Wayne. Imagine if a workers' party got into power and spent nine years radically reforming the economy in a way led to mass loss of worker jobs. Inconceivable.

                    More seriously, obviously if you support the status quo you're going to come up with improbable scenarios to support your position that change can't happen. Kind of like a tobacco company exec trying to come up with social policy on decreasing smoking. Maybe also hard to see solutions outside of right wing market ones I guess.

                    Change happens for a range of reasons. Drought and flooding will be a factor here, as large scale intensive farming is shown to be increasingly vulnerable. Social pressure affects things. Not just the protestors pressuring politicians, but locally when rural people start to feel scared about what will happen to their grandkids. Shaw might struggle this year to get cross party support for the Zero Carbon Bill, but each year these things get easier and more people are supportive. Changes to regs along with support for transition is a powerful force, there's no need (yet) for the kind of things you are talking about.

                    "And as I noted, it does seem Chloe Swarbrick recognises political reality."

                    She certainly does. She just said that the old, BAU guard need to be voted out.

                  • David Mac

                    City infrastructures used to cater to 1000's of horses. The stable owners cried 'I will not give up my business'. Times change, move with them or rot on the vine. The smart stable owners went to horseless carriage school and bought spanners.

                  • Let’s say there was a rule enforcing a 30% reduction in the typical dairy herd.

                    Coming up with ridiculous and unenforceable ways your opposition could implement its policies and suggesting those are what would be implemented is idle partisan propaganda, Wayne.

                    Instead, let's say there were rules about water quality and greenhouse gas emissions that made it highly unprofitable to over-stock dairy farms, and complying with those rules would require going back to the more appropriate stock numbers of 20+ years ago.

                    You're correct that that would be resisted by some dairy farmers and especially by their industry lobby group and their AGW-denying political representatives in the National Party. However, unless AGW-denying politics prevailed in general elections (which it won't – see weka's point re urban liberals outnumbering industrial farmers), dairy farmers would over time have to reduce the size of NZ's dairy herd to comply with those new rules and still remain profitable – the reduction in national herd size resulting from that could easily be more than 30%.

                    In short: your propaganda vision of jack-booted Green Party enforcers trying to impose totalitarianism on NZ's valiant, freedom-loving farmers is a load of old cobblers.

                    • Wayne

                      PM,

                      You can see the level of resistance from the rural sector over what is being currently proposed. Farmers won't be fooled if they see that a set of water and other policies are put in place that would require destocking to much lower levels.

                      Now as it happens, I don't think Parker's rules are nearly so drastic. They are probably more in the nature of requiring broader stream margins and other remediation measures.

                      I was really responding to the comments by some on this site that wanted a wholesale reduction in dairying, or even a move out of livestock farming (Enough is enough and phillip ure). I suspect weka and I are not actually a 100 miles apart on the issue about the need for better measures for clean water and lower methane emissions. That will be able to be achieved within existing frameworks.

                      Weka made the comment that Swarbrick wants National voted out. Well of course she does. Her party is opposed to National. The reverse also applies. In short politics as normal.

                      As for what will actually happen. I suspect that your objective of reducing herd sizes by 30% can only be done some form of quite intrusive compusion. That looks like your objective. It won't be done by a few Regional council inspectors. You have said you want a drastic reduction in herd sizes by wanting the dairy herd to be reduced to what it was in the early 1990's (20+ years ago). That will be resisted, both by passive and active resistance. Farmers will simply refuse to comply (a bit like the French routinely do).

                      A much better approach would be a partnership (which Swarbrick at some level seems to accept) whereby there is encouragement to do things like better stream margins, improved runoff rules, etc. I suspect a sustainable policy might require some government money paid to farmers to achieve say 5 meter stream margins on streams. It is a significant amount of land taken out of production, obviously much greater than a measly 1 meter. But for obvious water quality improvements.

                    • I agree with you re Enough is Enough and Phillip Ure. They're peddling their own hobby-horse, veganism, and your dismissal of that is shared by quite a few of us who comment here.

                      It's not that I (or more significantly, the Green Party) have an objective of reducing the dairy herd size by some particular amount – the objectives are to minimise pollution of waterways and greenhouse gas emissions, because that is urgently needed. The Greens would be more than happy to work with National on how to achieve those objectives with the minimum of disruption to rural communities, but I've seen nothing to suggest National shares those objectives – in fact, its current MPs' statements suggest it quietly opposes those objectives.

                    • weka

                      "Weka made the comment that Swarbrick wants National voted out. Well of course she does. Her party is opposed to National. The reverse also applies. In short politics as normal."

                      No, I didn't say that at all (and imo neither did Swarbrick). You've completely missed the point. The people who need to be voted out are those that support the status quo/BAU when it comes to CC, and they're not restricted to National. This is the point. If it were just a right vs left issue, we'd be much further along in responding well to climate change. The divide here is progressive vs status quo/BAU. This applies just as much to local bodied elections too.

                      This *isn't partisan politics, the Greens will work with any party on shared policy, doubly so on climate action. What do you think Shaw has been doing all these long months?

          • tc 9.3.1.1.4

            "… there is now pretty intense hatred for dairy farmers by some/many commenters……"

            Ever thought that they may have good reason ? like the shit that's flowing in rivers and streams around them.

            I've found there's little sympathy from generational farmers, who are by default sustainable as it's their heritage/future, for the diary farmers who ruin the land and waterways for a max return praying Fonterra gets it ‘right’.

        • Obtrectator 9.3.1.2

          ” … anyway – nobody (aside from the banks) will shed tears about them going down the gurgler..

          let it happen..!”

          And who will acquire the properties in the resulting fire-sales? Be careful what you wish for …

          • phillip ure 9.3.1.2.1

            one thing you can take to the bank – which terrifies the banksters – who have financed this 'white-gold' house of cards –

            is that there will be a lot of (cheap) dairy farms on the market..eh..?

            some will just walk off the land..

            the transition will be messy/untidy..but it will happen..

            one thing for sure is that the status-quo cannot remain..

            the task is making these transitions as easy as possible..

            and really..!..animal-extracting 'farmers' just have to get a fucken grip..

            they have thrown their toys out of their cots…and are lying there drumming their heels – 'cos they are being asked to pay 5% of the costs of their polluting..?..at some time in the future..

            are-you-fucken-kidding-me..?

            backbone-of-the-country..eh..?

            and one thing they can take to the bank..

            is that their current temper-tantrums/reactionary-screamings..

            are doing their 'cause' no good at all…

            i hope enough of them are smart enough to see this – and to disbelieve the rural/urban divide the ratbag/cynical tories are trying to foster/capitalise on..(unscrupulous toads that they are..)..

            and that they just get on with it..and hopefully show the others the way..

            the nz animal-extraction industries in nz are similar to all the horse-support industries – upon the arrival of the motor-car..

            about to be swept away..by external-forces/change..

            • The Al1en 9.3.1.2.1.1

              he nz animal-extraction industries in nz are similar to all the horse-support industries – upon the arrival of the motor-car..

              about to be swept away..by external-forces/change..

              Doesn't matter how many times, or how many ways you keep saying it, animal husbandry isn't going anywhere and certainly won't be replaced by lab grown frankenmeats and pretend milk. There will be climate change driven changes to the meat and dairy industries, like all industries will face, but that won't limit the demand, nor the ability to supply food and drink going forward.

  10. William 10

    "… with two and a half weeks until the Zero Carbon Bill is reported back to parliament, it remains unclear if the National Party will support it."

    I marched in Wellington on Friday. At Parliament Andrew Little, James Shaw, & Nick Smith gave brief responses to questions from the organizers. Nick Smith commented that it was the opposition's job to oppose, hence their lack of support for the bill.

    Climate physics has no regard for the traditions of the Westminster system and it's debating procedures. It's time to put that aside and have unity of all in Parliament towards an Act that will be far more effective than the current Bill.

    • Yes pathetic isn't it William. It's the opposition's job blah blah. Nick Smith has been kept on for being good at sticking to the knitting and don't get confused by other POV. Just an example of how democracy has let us down just when we need it to be going in strong low gear with lots of heavy lifting. We may have to go into emergency regulations in the future to counteract these stupid people. Unfortunately our culture has not prepared us to cope with life when you have to actually think and not fill your head with garish tv scenes.

  11. Marcus Morris 11

    Listened to the last part of a discussion Wallace Chapman was having this afternoon with a climate Professor. From what I managed to catch it sounded an eminently reasoned argument. Before the interview was completed Wallace was being bombarded by the usual "culprits" with their empty and vacuous arguments e.g. "I have lived here for fifty years and haven't noted any change" and there is the current piece of fake news going the rounds that 500 climate scientists turned up at the UN recently but the media has chosen to ignore them. This Guardian article tells the real story and a bit more.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/26/co2-is-plant-food-australian-group-signs-international-declaration-denying-climate-science?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR3XxxIXQlq5GFcx-ue5T_ENSgsJX93lmfLDu5dyCpnWEmCtkorfaPx2Zqs

  12. xanthe 12

    "Pacifika youth leading, Tangata Whenua making visible the connections between indigenous rights and climate justice"

    And in one line sums up why and how the green party has derailed the climate change movement for the last generation.

    It would appear that you are happy for them to continue to derail this latest initiative.

    • weka 12.1

      Not sure what you mean xanthe. Pacifika youth lead the Auckland climate strike march (I think Wellington too). This makes sense when we consider that we live in the Pacific and that Pacific nations are going to the first to suffer from climate change in our region. Why is it a problem for them to be leading? And for a Green MP to talk about that?

      Pasifika people and Māori have important perspectives to bring to the table on climate change, what's wrong with that?

      • David Mac 12.1.1

        Our neighbours up in the islands are all in. I think it's just a matter of time until we hear stories like "I'm from XXX in Samoa, it's underwater now."

        In our region of the world, NZers have volcanoes to climb up. A nation 3 metres above sea level has every reason to be both concerned and involved.

  13. xanthe 13

    This is about people doing the right thing.

    The solution will not be a racist one however eloquently expressed.

    The greens took a wrong turn and now must walk it back if they are not to harm this movement.

    You owe all of us that.

    • It seems that weka is saying that climate change will affect the Islands in a devastating way before it affects NZ to that level of severity. That is not a racist viewpoint, just a logical geographical one. And we can't just be concerned about ourselves, as we are the big brother/sister as far as development goes, also size for many of the Islands. We have to work with them, they need us, they can help us, and we need to act responsibly.

      • xanthe 13.1.1

        I understand that climate change will "affect the Islands in a devastating way before it affects NZ to that level of severity." and I am not suggesting that an appropriate response to that is in any way racist.

        I do however feel that "making visible the connections between indigenous rights and climate justice" is racist claptrap that derails efforts to deal with climate change.

        • weka 13.1.1.1

          ok, so saying that Pasifika led the march isn't racist, but saying that a GP MP made visible the connections between indigenous rights and climate justice is racist. How so?

          • xanthe 13.1.1.1.1

            What you have done is turn the green ethos on its head to make it acceptable in a racist and neoliberal context.

            The phrase should read.

            ecological wisdom is a prerequisite of human rights. ….. no more or less!

            • weka 13.1.1.1.1.1

              So you won't say why you think talking about Māori's role in climate action is racist. You can keep asserting your beliefs all you like, but in the absence of explaining what you mean, it just becomes meaningless. I could try and guess what you mean, but it's really your responsibility to clarify.

              I'm not turning anything on it's head, Green politics has always included social justice. For good reasons, that have been well explained many times. I can back this up with links that demonstrate this (the inclusion and the rationales).

              You are doing vague, waving hand in the air assertions with no explanation or support. I don't know what you are saying other than that you don't like me talking about Māori involvement in climate action and you think this is somehow racist.

              Listening to an interview with Metiria Turei recently she talked about the time when she came into the Green Party and how the true commitment of the Pākehā MPs to kaupapa Māori was a big part of what made that work for her. The Greens didn't just make a big change that day, they were able to support Turei in this way because of who they were and the work they had already been doing. This has long been part of the Green Party ethos.

              • xanthe

                and how well did that work out for ecological wisdom?

                • weka

                  it's working really well.

                  • xanthe

                    That must be why they are protesting?

                    • weka

                      Of course. Did you even read the post? There are people with power with vested interests in BAU who are resisting climate action. They're not going to be convinced out of that BAU/power hoarding by us stopping talking about Māori.

                      3.5% of the population, one of the biggest protests NZ has ever seen, is a sign of increasing success.

                  • xanthe

                    well no one is convinced by

                    "making visible the connections between indigenous rights and climate justice"

                    And a heck of a lot of people who care wont have a bar of it cause its doublespeak.

                    You are part of the problem.

                    • weka

                      It's pretty easy to ignore that sentence and still get something out of the post. I still don't know what your point is other than you don't like it and think it's racist /shrug.

                      "well no one is convinced by"

                      Not even Māori?

  14. Jimmy 14

    It may be a bit soon, but Chloe should be the sole leader of the Greens. I believe she will be the leader one day.

  15. In Vino 15

    When all the dust settles, I think it is 'Chloë', not 'Chlöe'.

    • weka 15.1

      I wondered about that* but Chlöe herself uses Chlöe.

      (*had no idea)

      • In Vino 15.1.1

        Interesting… I checked Wikipedia, and Chlöe is so famous that she is on their list of prominent Chloës! The only other one to spell it her way was an English singer born in 1995. All others were either no accent, or double-dot on the 'e'.

        Some parents have a mania for spelling a normal name in a funny way, partly to annoy us teachers, I suspect..

        In English (and French) we put the double-dot on the 'e' when we want its sound kept separate from the vowel before.

        eg, put an 'e' after an 'o' and you get the single 'o' sound as in 'doe' and 'foe', unlike the 'o' in 'fog' or 'dog'. French for Christmas is noël – 2 separate sounds. So the dots on the 'e' are to stop us from pronouncing her name like 'doe' or 'flow'.
        Chloë = Chlo-ee.

        Putting the dots on the 'o' makes it look Germanic or Scandinavian, but I guess I can tolerate such linguistic vandalism if that is how she wants it spelt..

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