Doctors speak up against ETS

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, November 19th, 2009 - 3 comments
Categories: class war, climate change, national - Tags:

A couple of days ago I raised (again) the question of why we don’t see more experts, scientists and academics contributing to public debate. Well here’s one example where they are doing so:

Docs say emissions trading scheme will hurt Kids

Senior doctors today said that the intended changes to New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) will not only threaten our future survival but will be an extravagant waste of public funds, describing the legislation process as a fiasco.

The doctors, representing OraTaiao: NZ Climate & Health, a large group of senior doctors and other health professionals acting to prevent runaway climate change, say that the changes to New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme will harm health as well as the economy.

Professor McCall says he is stunned by yesterday’s announcement that the scheme will cost taxpayers so much, when we know that it won’t reduce New Zealand’s high greenhouse gas emissions.

‘Treasury’s estimate of a staggering $110 billion blow-out will mean funding of health and social services will be even more vulnerable. Future taxpayers will have to subsidise big wealthy polluters to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, which is outrageous. As long as taxpayers foot the bill there is no incentive for change, so no environmental benefits either,’ he says. ‘Runaway climate change is recognised as the leading health issue for this century, and doctors must speak out.’

‘What’s worse is the ETS fails to protect the most vulnerable communities from the effects of climate change. Maori communities will suffer because of poorer existing housing and community infrastructure, and economic reliance on threatened fishery and shellfish stocks. The further loss of cultural taonga will also be hard for iwi and hapu to bear, and negate any positive effects of Foreshore and Seabed Act repeal.’

OraTaiao is very concerned at how the Bill has been rushed through. ‘Reading the Select Committee’s report, we fully agree that the way it has been handled seems chaotic and sidelines the democratic process,’ says group member Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman. ‘Poor process helps explain why the end result remains so flawed.’ …

It’s pretty damning stuff. And a reminder that when we talk about costs being imposed on the tax payer, that probably means both taxes going up and also massive cuts in services. Like Health. And Education. As usual such cuts fall hardest on those least able to afford it. A while back I pointed out that climate change is “racist“. It’s burdens will also fall disproportionately on the poor under National’s ETS.

3 comments on “Doctors speak up against ETS”

  1. Dancr 1

    also great piece from Brian Fallow in today’s Herald which lays the issues out:
    “Who will bear the costs and who will get the benefits? If we have to pay, where will the money go? So for those who have had better things to do than get their heads around all this, here is a rough guide.”

  2. Olwyn 2

    With regard to Brian Fallow’s article, there’s an interesting response from Mark Hadwin of Ponsonby among the comments. Surely there are other ways of responding to climate change than this weird money-go-round.

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