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D Day for ETS?

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, July 16th, 2019 - 75 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, ETS, global warming, Judith Collins, national, same old national, science, todd muller - Tags:

The Interim Climate Change Committee is expected to report today and according to Politik (paywalled) will propose that agriculture is made part of the ETS for a period of five years to build up funds to allow a levy/rebate system that can operate at a farm level.

National is already going hard out with its response.  Basically this is an attack on our way of life, particularly the way of life for our farmers who should be allowed to continue their current business model without interference.

I am not so sure.  I mean it seems pretty clear that the way things are going climate change wise our planet will not be the same.  Billions will be dispossessed and/or starve to death.  Ice at the polar caps and Greenland will melt.  Sea levels will increase and coastal cities, Florida, New Orleans and Dunedin amongst other areas will be submerged.

But it appears that some think that running millions of cows, and polluting our waterways and our drinking supplies is a god given right up there with the possession of high powered automatic weapons.

Inclusion of agriculture into the ETS has been on the cards for a long time.  After all if you have a system designed to apply market discipline to the production of greenhouse gasses then including agriculture is a very rational thing to do.  

But National went a bit weird on it and is claiming that a Te Papa touch screen that suggested more cows meant more methane and more global warming was somehow PC gone mad.

And National’s climate change spokesperson Todd Muller, the person who is responsible for the negotiation of a durable agreement between the major parties, is also somewhat skeptical.

I’m sorry but the solution is less dairy.  The result will be less methane, less pollution, less meat, less milk, less global warming.  I agree that there has to be less consumption of meat as well but to get ourselves out of this problem business as usual clearly will not work.

This is main stream scientific thinking, not some extreme crack pot theory.  It is a shame that National is going to play politics with the issue.

75 comments on “D Day for ETS? ”

  1. Grey Area 1

    I heard a very accurate description recently.

    The house is burning and National just throws rocks at the fire engines.

  2. Janet 2

    Mostly there just has to be less people in the world. The world is simply overstocked with people and our cows and our country are being used to feed these too many people . New Zealand is not overstocked with people – KEEP IT THAT WAY. .

    • solkta 2.1

      Mostly there just has to be less people in the world.

      Oh, so what do you suggest we do with all the excess people?

  3. bwaghorn 3

    Fucks sake the ets is a failure.

    All it does is allows rich people to carry on living the life while feeling like they are doing something while the cunning one profit from it .

    Fucking chuck it out and start again .

    Not one mention about the 8 billion humans or the massive unneeded emmisions from tourism.
    Typical towny wank fest pointing the finger at others .

    • solkta 3.1

      Not one mention about the 8 billion humans

      Oh, so you think we should keep the cows but get rid of some people?

      • bwaghorn 3.1.1

        I'm for stopping population growth at the source ,education and contraception.

        My frustration is at the stupidity of the ets . Tax carbon by all means in nz . But spend it in this country in real concrete reduction methods.

        Tax non essential carbon twice as hard as essential carbon .

        I know about 8 people who fly all over the show all the time .

        I no a consultant who does up to 40 fucking flights a year .

        Deintensify dairy by all means . But let them offset by planting instead of letting airlines by up farms so rich wallies can tick a little bit pay a couple of dollars and tell their wanker mates how green they are.

        • solkta 3.1.1.1

          Tax non essential carbon twice as hard as essential carbon .

          Yes that is right, there is no need for people to eat dairy products.

          • Poission 3.1.1.1.1

            What are they going to eat rocks?

          • Psycho Milt 3.1.1.1.2

            There's no "need" for humans to eat any particular type of food, so if we go down the path of "need" we'll find it ends with "A steady diet of nothing" (in quotes as it's also the name of an excellent album by Fugazi and that's probably why the phrase occurred to me just then).

            • solkta 3.1.1.1.2.1

              People need to eat something. I thought this was a discussion about lowering emissions?

              • Then let's revisit the folly of declaring what foods people don't "need" to eat.

                It would be possible to identify a minimum standard set of foods that involved the least emissions while still providing the required nutrients for human life. Governments could then declare these the only foods that people "need" and set about discouraging the production of any other kinds of foods. That would lower emissions and ensure that people weren't eating foods they didn't "need" to. It would also be a world no-one would want to live in.

                • solkta

                  I don't find it a great burden to keep my dairy intake to a minimum. A pot of Greek style yogurt a week is great as a treat. I'm also really happy living in my world. In a world with run-a-way warming, probably not so much.

                • mickysavage

                  And really bright people could work out how to make these meals as delicious as possible. Most mornings I have a short black and pesto … very little methane produced in the creation of that meal …

                  • There is no "need" for people to eat pesto, Micky.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Specifically, what foods do people need to eat?

                    • Ask Solkta, he/she seems to be the expert on the subject. I'm the one disputing the relevance of "need" to the question of what people might choose to eat.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Surely there's nobody who needs to eat cheese?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Some people need to eat sugar, to avoid coma.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Youths hoping to pass initiation tests in certain societies need to eat specific foods.

                    • Surely there's nobody who needs to eat cheese?

                      I was chastened to discover that, after years of going to the supermarket with me, my kids had decided that being well off means being able to just grab fancy cheeses out of the cabinet without looking at the prices, and that they hoped for financial success in life so that they could at some future point raid the cheese cabinet with the insouciance their dad does. All that teaching that you never even know you're doing, for good or ill…

  4. I’m sorry but the solution is less dairy.

    Well, less dairy produce created in NZ, maybe. It's the intensification of dairying that's caused the problems, not the existence of dairy products. Mind you, National are opposed to reducing intensification of farming as well, because it reduces the profitability, especially for farmers who are farming capital gain as well as dairy products.

  5. greywarshark 5

    Great image mickysavage

    • mickysavage 5.1

      Ta it popped up when I was searching and I thought it was the image I had to use …

  6. Drowsy M. Kram 6

    Moral/ethical initiatives, including educational programmes, that may eventually decrease the quantity of anthropogenic eCO2 in the atmosphere are welcome.

    https://ourworldindata.org/co2-and-other-greenhouse-gas-emissions

    Moral/ethical initiatives that may eventually decrease the quantity of humans collectively responsible for anthropogenic eCO2 emissions are welcome.

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

    In my lifetime the global human population has more than doubled to ~7.7 billion. Assuming I peg out at roughly four score, the human population will have more than tripled in my lifetime to something in excess of 9 billion, excess being an apposite word.

    Solkta @2.1 asked Janet what she suggests “we do with all the excess people?” It’s a good question – there is an excess now, and there will be even more in the short-term. Don’t have an answer, but am picking that in the not too distant future the problem of excess people will solve itself. For all of humanity's ingenuity, ‘our’ Petri dish can’t 'keep' 11+ billion people (2088 estimate) in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

    To summarise – I don’t expect excess people will be a long term problem, and in the short term some of them will be needed to build my new plug-in hybrid SUV. Can we do it

    https://www.autobytel.com/sport-utility-vehicles/car-buying-guides/10-plug-in-hybrid-suvs-current-and-upcoming-131143/

  7. Pat 7

    There is no single 'solution'….to achieve the best possible outcome (which is still not likely going too be that flash) it needs to be addressed on multiple fronts which will require changes from everyone….there is little sign as yet that we are prepared to accept that.

    As to ETS I suspect due to the incremental nature of its impact its time to be effective in a timely manner passed a couple of decades ago….direct and targeted rationing is the only likely mechanism that will achieve the needed result now.

  8. Wayne 8

    Micky

    If the government has the same view as you (less dairy) then there will be no consensus. National is not going to roll over just because you think they should. And neither will the dairy industry.

    However, I am hopeful that the government does not share your view (even if the Green part does). Will Winston ride to the rescue of the rural sector?

  9. MickeyBoyle 9

    Best thing we could do is only have a maximum of two children and make this a world wide policy. Obviously triplets etc cannot be planned for, but childless people should more than compensate for these occurrences. Moderating our farming sector, and converting our fleet of vehicles to electric is not the whole answer and on a world scale is insignificant.

    • solkta 9.1

      Best thing we could do is only have a maximum of two children and make this a world wide policy.

      How would that make us carbon neutral by 2050?

  10. solkta 10

    Is Muller a total moron?

    Mr Muller told Morning Report emissions, including from agriculture, had to be reduced – but not the number of cows.

    "One would hope that technologies appearing in the medium term can assist that, like clover, rye grass and other things you can give to the animals themselves to reduce their belching.

    Clover and Rye Grass are the two main pasture species on dairy farms today.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/394492/mp-claims-te-papa-climate-exhibit-not-science-based

    • Wayne 10.1

      It doesn’t matter how much the Left rails against dairy and National’s support for farmers, it will have zero influence on National and dairy farmers.

      If there is to be consensus it won’t be based on dairy farmers reducing their herds and their income. It will need to be based on scientific work to reduce methane emissions from cattle. And I am sure greater focus on stream margins, pasture runoff and more rigour on fertiliser application. All good work for Landcare and Agresearch.

      • Robert Guyton 10.1.1

        System paralysis then.

        • Wayne 10.1.1.1

          Robert,

          Probably not.

          I don't think the government will take the same approach as many of the commenters (Micky, PM, solkta). The government will actually try and do a deal with National that doesn't require herd reductions. No doubt the solution will be challenging in other respects. You can tell the herd reduction idea is a non starter by the instant reaction by National to the suggestion of herd reductions.

          If the government pursued it, they should know that as soon as National gets back in power that particular requirement would be instantly reversed. It would also poison all current discussions on climate change. So I reckon the government won't take that approach. Instead they will be looking for solutions that are likely to be enduring.

          • Robert Guyton 10.1.1.1.1

            "You can tell the herd reduction idea is a non starter by the instant reaction by National to the suggestion of herd reductions."

            Yes. That "instant reaction" is the mark of a true blue Nat; deep ideological concretion, immovable, not subject to reasoned debate or evidence from the real world. Is it any wonder, do you think, that commenters here are frustrated by such intransigence? Proposals to declare a climate emergency produced the same bullish response from the farmers and the National Party; crossed arms, florid necks, feet firmly planted in the mud.

            • greywarshark 10.1.1.1.1.1

              We're in the cowshit, they're in the mud on Their Land. They used to be plain hard-working folks; my cartoon book ' Edna' by Malcolm Evans has the farming couple taking the cows to milking on a frosty morning. She looks over her shoulder, where is the man, he's stopped – warming his hands over a steaming cow pat!

              But some have fallen prey to their own BS about being not just farmers but canny businesspeople. One couple have won against those sharp purveyors of promise who led them along like little Red Riding Hood. How many have been ripped off though.

              https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/114240977/the-taranaki-farmers-who-took-on-anz-bank–and-won

          • Psycho Milt 10.1.1.1.2

            If the government pursued it, they should know that as soon as National gets back in power that particular requirement would be instantly reversed.

            Wayne, everyone on the left is well aware that National in power again will instantly reverse any of this government's environmental measures that impact on National supporters' BAU. That's one reason we don't want National back in power again and vote for other parties instead.

      • solkta 10.1.2

        Yes we know that you don't give a shit. But do you think Muller is a moron?

        • New view 10.1.2.1

          No but I’m starting to worry about you Solkta. Having less dairy is not just a National voter problem. plenty of green and Labour Party people like milk on their porridge. Even a slice of cheese when nobody is looking for Christ sake. And dare I say it there is the odd vegan amongst National Party members. Our dairy farmers are the most efficient in the world and have right to contribute to our food intake like any other farmers. Numbers are being reduced so everyone should just lighten up. Don’t worry about 2050. According to the bloke on Television this morning we’ll all be dead.

          • Pat 10.1.2.1.1

            NZers need not worry about having milk available for their cornies….95% is exported…..but they may start to complain about reduced consumer goods, medications or anything purchased in foreign exchange

          • greywarshark 10.1.2.1.2

            New View

            Go – get one. Trotting out that old saw "Our farmers are the most efficient in the world" from the NZ Farmers Songbook. How old are you people.? You are past your use-by date for sure.

          • Psycho Milt 10.1.2.1.3

            …plenty of green and Labour Party people like milk on their porridge.

            You can keep the porridge, but yes lots of us eat plenty of dairy. And the intensification of dairy farming under the previous National government could be reversed without even coming close to endangering our supply of milk, cream, butter, yoghurts and cheeses.

        • Robert Guyton 10.1.2.2

          "The museum's Climate Converter interactive exhibition has an option labelled 'less dairying' as one way New Zealand can reduce its carbon footprint.

          Mr Muller said that was a "kick in the guts" for rural families."

          Mr Muller a very emotional guy; very, very emotional.

      • Robert Guyton 10.1.3

        "If there is to be consensus it won’t be based on dairy farmers reducing their herds and their income"

        Dairy farmers would refuse a drop in income, even if the result of that refusal was great damage to their industry?

        Curious!

        Reducing herd numbers does not necessarily equate with loss of income anyway, as has been shown over and over, by players within the industry. Wayne's claims seem odd. Any consensus, btw, wouldn't be "based" on herd size reduction, but might involve that aspect.

    • Robert Guyton 10.2

      "One would hope"

      "assist"

      Aspirational stuff!

      • Robert Guyton 10.2.1

        "While National's traditional allies in the farming industry were joining a Green Minister in committing to reduce their emissions, the party's climate spokesman was arguing that a finding from a report co-authored by eight experts – most of whom were scientists – based on consultation with around 30 other experts (including some from the primary sector), before being peer reviewed by four additional experts and published by New Zealand's foremost scientific institute, was "not science based"."

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/114264250/an-unusual-coalition-appears-in-pricing-farming-emissions

        • Wayne 10.2.1.1

          Robert,

          That is because the package is the reasonable compromise that I would expect. While no doubt there will be haggling over the fine details, the overall package is fairly reasonable. It has a clear long term target, a phased in approach, with no specific directive (such as compulsory reduction of dairying) as how it should be achieved. It incentivises science to reduce emissions. See my comment at 10.1

          I would imagine National will come on board.

          • Robert Guyton 10.2.1.1.1

            "I would imagine National will come on board."

            Me too, so what's Todd Muller's problem?

            I remember him, at his public meeting tour of the country, deriding those calling for an active response to climate change, for their supposed "emotional" claims. Seemed then and seems now, Todd's the one who reverts to emotive, overheated language at the drop of a Fonterra-brand cap.

            • Psycho Milt 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Me too, so what's Todd Muller's problem?

              Dude has one motherfucker of a problem. He's tasked with appearing to give a shit about the environment and pretend that climate change is an actual thing, while at the same time resolutely denouncing any environmental policy that might affect National supporters' BAU. I imagine he wakes up in the night screaming.

              • Robert Guyton

                All those years pimping for Fonterra has hardened him; I don't think he feels a thing.

                • Oh, right – of course. I guess Chris Bishop doesn't wake up in a cold sweat about his pimping for tobacco companies, either. Sometimes it's a good idea to remind yourself of who your political opponents actually are, as people.

        • Pat 10.2.1.2

          BAU….

          “I do wonder if the 2025 farm-level levy/rebate scheme will ever get implemented, however – there will be two elections in between which makes it all seem very aspirational,” Diaz-Rainey said.

          His scepticism is not unfounded – since New Zealand signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the agriculture sector has seen emissions pricing coming, and managed to delay and avoid it all the same."

          https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@pro/2019/07/16/685221/report-lays-out-plan-for-action-on-agriculture-emissions

    • jcuknz 10.3

      Since I gather that The Greens are blocking the introduction of a grass which produces less harmful emmisions on being eaten I have given up on them as simply extremist/terorists [of a mild characrter]

      Purists are the worst type of terrorists.

      • greywarshark 10.3.1

        Ohdear The Greens will have to drop you jcuknz as a person they would have tried to explain their decision to, based on certain important matters which ordinary people generally don't consider. They have been trying to explain things for so long they know when they look at the eyes if there is no portal into that brain. Most people are ordinary but many are interested in making a change; those more ordinary will be overwhelmed.

      • Robert Guyton 10.3.2

        Mr Clover – you're now tabling The Green Party, "terrorists" so I'm bound to ask what terror they are creating; who exactly, is experiencing terror at The Greens alleged blocking of the introduction of a grass? The terrorists we read about in the newspapers use methods such as bombs or murders, but these New Zealand politicians use, according to you, the unspeakably evil technique of "blocking" and apply that heinous crime to … grass. Am I reading you right?

        With regard your description of the grass in question; is producing fewer harmful emissions on being eaten its only characteristic? Does it have no ramifications beyond the one aspect you describe or are you being selective in your claims?

  11. mikesh 11

    Pigs, rabbits and poultry are non ruminant, so let's switch our agriculture to them.

  12. Janet 13

    If the government is going to employ a whole new army of shiny bums to police a special levy and rebate scheme to incentivise NZ farmers to diversify away from dairy and meat then they can also consider the efforts of countries that we export to, in controlling and reducing their populations for the long-term benefit of the world. Our farm produce should only be available to those countries who are doing something about containing and reducing their population.

  13. Imodium 14

    On a lighter note I am currently on holiday in the Maldives – I thought it was prudent to come visit this visual paradise before they disappear- if I were to believe the messiah Al Gore I should be now be holidaying under water

    I have not posted here to antagonize but to highlight that the science is far from settled – past and current climate models are far from reality

    • Pat 14.1

      the science has been settled for years….the timeframes and feedbacks not so much, but it appears they have erred on the side of optimism

      • greywarshark 14.1.1

        Thanks Pat that is the point I was considering. But please spend your money on an orgasm of visiting possible last Shangri-Las and giving them a donation of half your travel costs as they need it to help transition to ..something. And do go to see the orang utangs they, like many of the apes, are so helpless against us that we should take them to our hearts as innocents and suffering because of us, who as WHAuden says 'have never been happy or good.' Or only for a passing moment.

        Faces along the bar
        Cling to their average day:
        The lights must never go out,
        The music must always play,
        All the conventions conspire
        To make this fort assume
        The furniture of home;
        Lest we should see where we are,
        Lost in a haunted wood,
        Children afraid of the night
        Who have never been happy or good.

        https://poets.org/poem/september-1-1939

    • joe90 14.2

      You were too busy indulging yourself to notice the sand pumping to build new islands and the elevation and armouring of existing land masses?.

      • Imodium 14.2.1

        Yes I did notice the new islands been built and also the defences in place to reduce the natural erosion taking place. The Maldives like most other atolls were built from years of wave action depositing coral into the land masses we see today.Nature is taking back some of this land not because of excessive CO2 but due to natural forces not completely yet understood by scientists

    • So, you wanted to humble-brag about your pointless visit to a distant beach and thought this would be the best place to do it? There's something almost impressive about such intense cluelessness.

    • Robert Guyton 14.4

      Imodium: you "thought it was prudent to come visit this visual paradise before they disappear"

      You fully bought into the climate change thing then, didn't you. I guess you must consider yourself gullible.

      • Imodium 14.4.1

        …before they disappear..was a dig at Al Gore and his climate scaremongering . I have definitely not been duped by him and his ilk.

  14. Long and Tall 15

    Have a look at the EAT diet published in the Lancet with prof Boyd Swinburn as the lead researcher from Auckland University. I have included the link. It's a healthy diet that details how we can feed the world's population AND take into account climate change and sustainable farming issues.

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