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Does National really want climate change to be a bipartisan issue?

Written By: - Date published: 10:06 am, June 17th, 2018 - 94 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, ETS, global warming, greens, labour, national, same old national, Simon Bridges, sustainability - Tags:

Bob Harvey, who in my view is one of the most astute and visionary of politicians had a favourite saying, that in politics it was wrong to be right too soon.

He borrowed the saying from Michael Moore, one of my less favourite Labour politicians, but the saying is very relevant for progressive politicians.  Because the battle with the conservatives is to bring them kicking and screaming to accept that a new idea is a good idea, and that something actually has to be done about a problem.  Otherwise it will become an even bigger problem.

In the meantime the right attack and ridicule and rely on the general population’s reluctance to accept dramatic change and they gain a short term advantage.  Until the problem is undeniable and they have to do something.  And hope that the general population forget the crap they have been saying for years up until the time of the great realisation.

Climate change is a classic example of this.  Two leaders ago National was saying this:

The impact of the Kyoto Protocol, even if one believes in global warming—and I am somewhat suspicious of it—is that we will see billions and billions of dollars poured into fixing something that we are not even sure is a problem. Even if it is a problem, it will be delayed for about 6 years. Then it will hit the world in 2096 instead of 2102, or something like that. It will not work.

For far too long they thought it was not a problem.  Attempts to address it were a waste of time as the effect would be felt in the distant future.  This is what John Key was saying as the scientific community were yelling out that we had a major crisis.  And that we had to be doing something radical about it.  In 2005.  Otherwise it would be too late.

To be fair to Key by 2007 he was saying something different.

The National Party will ensure that New Zealand acts decisively to confront this challenge.

The scientific consensus is clear: human-induced climate change is real and it’s threatening the planet. There are some armchair sceptics out there, but I’m not one of them.

All New Zealanders want to preserve our world and the way of life it affords us, our children and our grandchildren. That ideal is not the preserve of the Labour and Green Parties – it’s a Kiwi instinct.

We are fair-minded people, and tackling climate change requires global action – and, as a responsible international citizen, New Zealand should stand up and be counted.

But although the rhetoric was improving the implementation was awful.

Fast forward to 2018.  We have an international consensus that yes we do have a crisis.  We have Pacific nations pointing out that if we do not keep global warming at a modest level their nations will be no more.  The scientific community think that we are at the point of no return.

And this week Simon Bridges gave a speech indicating that climate change should be treated on a bipartisan basis.  If only National had done this 20 years ago.

He started off by saying to a farming audience they are the engine room of the economy.  Agreed, but they are also part of the problem.  Half of our greenhouse gas emissions are from the agricultural sector.

He then moved into mom and apple pie mode.

One of the big long-term challenges we face is protecting the environment.

In a hundred years, when we’re all long gone, I want to be sure our grandchildren will be living in a New Zealand that is still the envy of the world because of its stunning natural environment as well as its prosperity.

I want them to live in a pristine New Zealand, where they can take their children to swim at Piha, or tramp in the Waitakere ranges like I did growing up.

I want our grandchildren to know that all of us have done what we can to protect the environment – our most precious natural resource.

Of course everyone wants the same.  It is just some of us have been determined to do something about it for the past couple of decades while others are only now catching up.

Bridges then talked about what the last National Government achieved.

National recognises the importance to New Zealanders – present and future – of addressing climate change, and playing our part in the global response.

We’ve made good progress recently, but we need to do more.

We implemented the world-leading Emissions Trading Scheme, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining economic productivity.

This will be news to everyone because the last Labour Government introduced the ETS. and National fought it all the way.  And then National weakened the scheme considerably when it was in Government until it was not fit for purpose.

But this was not the only comment from Bridges that attracted my attention.  He also said that greenhouse gas emissions had been falling.

Since 2008 our greenhouse gas emissions fell, despite a growing economy and growing population.

That is a big deal. In the previous 18 years emissions increased by 25 per cent.

But we now need to wrestle them down further.

I am proud to have been a part of the previous National Government which signed New Zealand up to the Paris agreement with its ambitious challenge of reducing our emissions to 30 per cent less than 2005 levels by 2030.

I was there in Paris as the Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues and I stand by our commitment.

It will be challenging to achieve, and will require an adjustment to our economy. But we must do so.

This is cherrypicked data.  Gross emissions are slightly down from 2008 but net emissions are up.

Gross greenhouse gas emissions 1990 to 2016.jpeg

And the policy direction we were heading in was totally wrong.

nz-emissions

And Bridges wants to take politics out of climate change, at least nominally.

Today I have written to the Prime Minister and James Shaw, offering to work with them to establish an independent, non-political Climate Change Commission.

I want to work with the Government to make meaningful bi-partisan progress on climate change.

This will be challenging. It will require compromises on both sides.

It will require us all to listen and engage respectfully.

But the prize is too great not to try, and the consequences on our economy, jobs and the environment are too serious if we don’t do so responsibly.

The Climate Change Commission would support New Zealand’s emission reductions by both advising the Government on carbon budgets, and holding the Government to account by publishing progress reports on emissions.

The Commission would be advisory only, with the Government of the day taking final decisions on both targets and policy responses.

There are a number of details I want to work through with the Government before the Commission is launched – such as ensuring the Commission has appropriate consideration for economic impacts as well as environmental, and that the process for appointments to the Commission is also bipartisan.

But I am confident that we can work constructively together to establish an enduring non-political framework for all future governments when considering climate change issues.

Bridges wants a continuation of having a bob each way, of compromise taken on important issues so that business interests are not overtly threatened.  It is not bipartisanship that he wants, it is a weak response.

Reaching consensus on appointments to the commission is dangerous.  John Key famously thought that it was possible to find scientists, like lawyers, who had counterviews to what may have been considered to be well accepted views.  As an example under the last Government the Environmental Protection Agency’s chief scientist thought that irrigation was good for the environment.  Federated Farmers must have loved her.

We no longer need “balance” or “compromise” or “bipartisanship”.  We need a plan to do our bit to address climate change, by reducing the output of greenhouse gasses and increasing the capture of carbon dioxide by growing forests.

And we don’t need to delay matters any further.

If this is what National and Simon Bridges is promising then all good and the Government can get on with things.  But if this is merely a replacement of outright denial with a more nuanced approach designed to delay urgent action being taken then he should rethink this.  We need to get on with making dramatic change to the way we treat our planet.  And we should have started decades ago.

94 comments on “Does National really want climate change to be a bipartisan issue? ”

  1. Gabby 1

    Much easier to wreck things from the inside.

    • soddenleaf 1.1

      National 2018. Climate change is real. Really. Digging up a fossil fuel before 2018 wasn’t going to change the biosystem. Anti-science party finds brain. Why cheer? Plastics in the food chain? Any number of late to the table declarations. Really who wants leaders who wait until the troops decide for themselves to March before they give the order. And wow what an order,Bridges says sorry, nope, he says he’ll possible work with the other parties, like somehow he now gets the science. Who does that, you realize that your years of running red lights was a mistake, now your willing to possible work with everyone.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    National’s funders will say, nah.

    • alwyn 2.1

      It doesn’t really matter what National funders say.
      The important thing is what Winston’s financiers want.
      Winston will do what they tell him. Then Labour and the Green Party will cravenly do what Winston orders. That way National, trying as they might to get progress, will be outvoted.
      Look at what Winston did about the Kermadec sanctuary.
      Look at how he whipped Labour, and Peters, into line over 3 strikes.

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        I share your concern, alwyn, but know there’s more to it than you’ve described.

  3. JessNZ 3

    1. Bi-partisan means two parties. National wants to regress to Nat vs Labour with Nat as the bigger party, instead of a coalition. Or if they really see Govt and opposition as two parties, their perspective is going to be no help whatsoever (no surprise there).
    2. I see what National get out of their proposal, should anyone be insane enough to accept it. What does anyone get out of National on the environment, apart from slogans stolen from other parties in past years?
    3. I guess we can add this to the housing crisis as something that is only a crisis now that National is in opposition?

    • Kat 3.1

      Agree with you Jess in that National just want to maneuver into a position of taking out the coalition in 2020 by appearing to be genuine about serious issues. A chunk of the electorate will fall for it but I would say 99.9% of Greens won’t.

      It is ALL about being in power for National, they cannot abide losing and not being the govt. Any policy National has on the environment is governed by industrial revolution big business and glass tower corporate interests.

  4. marty mars 4

    Simon is insincere imo. The gnats don’t care. Last throw of the die in many ways.

    I do struggle with types who refuse to accept or do things to deliberately obstruct and then in the last minute – oh we were wrong sorry we are on board now – ummm nah too late – your shame and dishonor is etched in history now.

    Their help won’t help – even near the end they are still going through the metaphoric cabins of the titanic stealing off those in the water already.

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    Trying make a wedge to peel off a few blueish Green voters. Lots of luck – voters are much better informed on these issues than the Gnats are.

  6. Jenny 6

    Does National really want climate change to be a bipartisan issue?

    Of course they do.

    Feeling the ground shifting under them, National’s corporate sponsors desperately need a bipartisan consensus to do nothing meaningful about climate change.

    Witness the screams of outrage and threats of legal action that greeted the government’s announcement that there will be no new block offers.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      +111

    • Unicus 6.2

      In its last term the Clark Labour Government passed a comprehensive suite of climate change legislation from the ETS to practical on the ground local government guidance on how to deal with rising sea levels and other issues directly associated to climate change.

      With the installation of Key the National Party took the opportunity to show the country it was far better informed than the scions of international climate change scientists and declared the whole thing a hoax . Needless to say there was no further legislatin introduced during the term of the Key Government . The requirements of Labours climate change legislation were quietly ignored – particularly by farmer dominated regional councils .

      To simple Simon – take a hike mate neither you or your party have the slightest intention of acting resposibly on climate change the last nine years proved that.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    He started off by saying to a farming audience they are the engine room of the economy.

    Except for the fact that they’re not and haven’t been for some time. And then there’s the fact that we need to cut down on the farming to being able to support us but not export. We need to do that simply to become sustainable.

    This will be news to everyone because the last Labour Government introduced the ETS. and National fought it all the way. And then National weakened the scheme considerably when it was in Government until it was not fit for purpose.

    As John Banks implied, the right-wing have to lie else no one will vote for them.

    I want to work with the Government to make meaningful bi-partisan progress on climate change.

    This will be challenging. It will require compromises on both sides.

    It will require us all to listen and engage respectfully.

    But the prize is too great not to try, and the consequences on our economy, jobs and the environment are too serious if we don’t do so responsibly.

    Translation: He wants Labour and the Greens to compromise and accept National’s position.

    And National will not budge from its position.

    We no longer need “balance” or “compromise” or “bipartisanship”. We need a plan to do our bit to address climate change, by reducing the output of greenhouse gasses and increasing the capture of carbon dioxide by growing forests.

    And we don’t need to delay matters any further.

    We need Think Big. Of course, we should do it without borrowing to pay for it (That was Muldoon’s big mistake – believing that a government has to borrow). The government never needs to borrow to utilise the nations resources and we do have enough resources to achieve it in a reasonable amount of time.

  8. Pat 8

    This is clearly an attempt to delay and water down any meaningful action that is unfortunately difficult to counter in any politically beneficial manner….and I suspect (contrary to Robert’s opinion) it is largely driven by Nationals funders.

    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      Your opinion and mine are the same, Pat. I musta rit ronglee.

      • Pat 8.1.1

        National funders will say,nah…..???? o-o-o-o-k, reads to me that the funders will discourage such action (whereas I believe they are driving force)….I have taken you incorrectly?

  9. Climate change measures need cross party consensus and support if they are to last, so National’s offer of support of the Climate Commission needs to be embraced.

    It’s far better for all parties to work together on this, and agree to a long term strategy.

    Sure National will have less radical preferences to the Greens. So will Labour and NZ First. But it’s better to include National and nudge them further than to exclude them and have them drag things back when they get into government next.

    It’s easier to reverse things other parties have agreed on than to reverse or water down something you have been a part of.

    And joining all parties together to work on major issues is what MMP democracy should be about, not trying to force things through on a bare majority.

    • Pat 9.1

      And that argument clearly demonstrates why it is a difficult strategy to counter…..of course it is better to have an agreed partisan policy that is unlikely to be abandoned in the short term….IF all parties are negotiating in good faith….any examination of Nationals actions and statements on this issue preclude that.

      • Pete George 9.1.1

        “any examination of Nationals actions and statements on this issue preclude that.”

        I call bullshit on that. National haven’t gone as far as some would like (including me) but they have been moving towards doing something about climate change for years.

        New Zealand signed up to the Paris climate accord under a National government – Simon Bridges was a part of that as associate climate change minister.

        There’s a chance to go much further and sustain a decent plan – and the chances are enhanced if all parties take part. As they shouuld in an MMP democracy.

        • Pat 9.1.1.1

          “I call bullshit on that. National haven’t gone as far as some would like (including me) but they have been moving towards doing something about climate change for years.”

          and you say that with a straight face?…you and Paula should get together sometime.

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/79031600/government-allowed-climate-fraud-to-reach-emission-reduction-targets–report

          http://morganfoundation.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/ClimateCheat_Report8.pdf

          • Pete George 9.1.1.1.1

            You’ll have to better than one report from a failed political party.

            There’s plenty to justifiably criticise past governments (plural) on lack of action over emissions.

            But now we have Greens and Labour, and Labour and NZ First, making governing agreements on climate change, and National saying they are willing to work with them, then National input should be both embraced and taken to task for inadequacies.

            This is the best opportunity ever for cross party cooperation on dealing with a major issue facing New Zealand and the world.

            Getting pissy about shunning parties beacsue they don’t measure up to ideals (non of them do) is a bit pathetic given what is at stake.

            • Pat 9.1.1.1.1.1

              It may well be the ‘best opportunity'(thats saying something and it aint positive)……and the proof of the pudding will be in the eating…..however as one of the cooks is a known poisoner I’ll retain my hesitation to sample the dish.

            • Pat 9.1.1.1.1.2

              so you dont like TOP….how about ex National Party MP and Speaker Simon Upton?

              “From the outside, New Zealand’s policy record on climate change reads very much as
              one of developing sophisticated policy tools but not being prepared to deploy them
              in a way that will ‘bite’. While the policy efforts of successive governments over a 20-
              year period finally settled on the centrality of an emissions trading scheme (ETS) as a
              core policy tool, there was no agreement on a long-term national goal or a process for
              progressively moving towards it.
              The ETS has been operated with muted price signals and consequently had little
              effect. Measures taken in 2009 eliminated any meaningful cap and diluted by half
              the requirement to surrender emission permits. This removed the signal to investors
              and businesses that they needed to plan for future carbon price increases, and
              instead created uncertainty. Instead of an expected growth in afforestation, there was
              deforestation over the period.
              In other words, policy has been ‘dialled back’ waiting for the rest of the world to
              move. Strong economic and population growth saw emissions rise almost continuously
              over the period. As a result, the path dependency of existing emissions-intensive
              technologies has not been significantly deflected. ”

              http://www.pce.parliament.nz/media/196427/zero-carbon-act-for-nz-web.pdf

            • Tricledrown 9.1.1.1.1.3

              Pete george from a failed political party such a hypocrite Pete.
              The Gareth Morgan party garnered 5 times more votes than United Future ever achieved even when you got 165 votes for them.
              Schadenfreude Pete so using your own dumb idea of measuring ones failure of ideas to election results .
              Shooting yourself in the foot again Pete.
              National are on the take from big oil just like United’s recieving money from the alcohol lobby and being in bed with national.
              National all talk and no trousers.
              National tried to copy GW Bush’s green wash initiative making a large area of the pacific a conservation park.
              Nick lizard eyes forked tongue tried the to look green but forgot previous govts had given the fishing Quota to Maori but because they hadn’t used National thought they could overide legal rights for cheap political gain.
              Pete trying to be relevant and flailing and failing.

        • Robert Guyton 9.1.1.2

          “Moving towards doing something”
          Shuffling their feet so they aren’t considered dead.
          That’s all.

          • Pete George 9.1.1.2.1

            What approach do you think is best Robert – MMP democracy, or petty partisan politics?

            Greens will get closest to what they want if they’re prepared to work hard with all other parties in Parliament to get the best out of all of them – kinda like the James Shaw approach.

            • Robert Guyton 9.1.1.2.1.1

              James is handling this issue beautifully, in the way a snake-handler manipulates vipers. Still vipers though.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      You’re making the simple mistake of believing National is being honest.

  10. Bill 10

    When all parties in NZ Parliament are dancing to the tune of “woefully inadequate” at the Global Warming Ball, who gives a toss whether they are dancing alone or with one another?

  11. Ad 11

    I was thinking on the same lines Mickey but you beat me to it. Good post.

    Minister Shaw has done outstanding work already to get National to this point.
    With public engagement not even half way, this is a huge signal of support for a small party’s efforts in government.

    There are many major issues upon which both sides of Parliament have broadly agreed, including:

    – NZSuper and NZSuperfund
    – Kiwibank
    – Kiwisaver
    – Focus on multilateral trade partnerships
    – Fisheries QMS
    – Treaty of Waitangi settlements
    etc

    All of which collectively have made New Zealand stable, open, tolerant, and with an optimistic society.

    But neither side is good at long term planning.

    While extremists will always be there, it’s looking like only James Shaw can lead them further through this.

    • Bill 11.1

      The problem (a mere detail to some perhaps 😉 ) is that Shaw’s own position is extreme. So he’s just leading extremists to new extreme positions.

      Any policy that doesn’t recognise a need to drop energy related emissions to zero in line with the known global carbon budget, while dropping overall land emissions on an ongoing basis in order that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 might drop, is no kind of policy at all.

      The nub of the problem (in terms of perspective) seems to be that politicians and policy makers are viewing global warming through a lens of economics, and focusing on how they might sustain the reification of current economic ideas “come what may”, when the only intelligent lens is that provided by physics.

      Ideas come and go. Always. But I think I’m on safe ground to suggest that physics is very unlikely to change any time soon.

      • Ad 11.1.1

        This is the greenest, most leftist Parliament New Zealand has had in fifty years.

        It’s not going to save us from climate change’s effects.

        But it is a feat of remarkable political skill from Minister Shaw to get such a shift from the National Party on climate change – without any political pressure being applied at all.

        It is too early to tell what lens will be applied to the issue from the Commission, and that is immaterial so long as they come up with binding answers that do their utmost to solve the issues we face.

        • Bill 11.1.1.1

          Yeah Ad, they’re all extremists – ie, they want to secure the future viability of the current economic system.

          To do so involves glossing over the fact that it’s the current economic system and it’s utter dependence on fossil fuel that’s driving global warming

          So they buy into, and in turn sell on. nonsense ideas like negative emissions technology being ubiquitous in 30 years or so, overlooking the fact that by necessity this tech would have to be pulling out the same amount of CO2 from the atmosphere as natural processes do at present.

          Think about that. We’re going to kind of build another planet. Over the space of few decades. With technology that we do not have, and at a scale we have never even remotely approached in any field of technological endeavour. Apparently.

          Their extremism (there are a number of labels that would fit, but the bottom line is that they aren’t alone within this ideological flunk or lock down that’s being occasioned by a dearth of imagination) is why there is no real action on global warming; is why fossil fuels are not being kicked into touch – it would be cataclysmic for the economy and the economy is sacrosanct and (apparently) a world without it can’t be imagined.

          But sure. Go ahead and congratulate them for pulling together on this.

      • Ad 11.1.2

        This is by a long way the most left and most green government New Zealand has had in 50 years. For the foreseeable political future, this is as good as it gets.

        Sure, the likely policies aren’t gong to “save” us from the effects of climate change.

        Whatever “lenses” the Commission views the issues, they will be more than ideas. They will be policies. You are on not safer ground than anyone else in this country, Bill. You are in New Zealand. What is in contest is the best possible political outcome from the most left and most green parliament New Zealand has.

        Minister Shaw is well on the way to pulling the National Party into alignment without any political pressure being applied at all. Too early for congratulations, but he’s well on the way to quite some feat for the leader of a very small party.

      • Ad 11.1.3

        This is the most left and most green parliament New Zealand has had in the past 50 years. Sure, maybe there is no politically possible set of policies that will save us now. But this government is making the best of the moment that they have.

        It’s of course far too early to judge what the Commisions’ outcomes are, or indeed their “lenses”. We don’t even have draft legislation to comment on yet.

        It is no small feat for any Minister to wrangle the Opposition into agreement, let alone that of a very small party.

        Too early to congratulate Minister Shaw yet, but all power to him.

  12. @jamespeshaw

    I welcome @simonjbridges offer to work in a bipartisan manner with the government on the design of the #ZeroCarbonAct.

    I’m looking forward to sitting down with @toddmullerBoP in the coming months.

    Climate change is bigger than partisan politics.

    That links to http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1806/S00154/national-calls-for-common-ground-on-climate-policy.htm

    • Tricledrown 12.1

      Pete making an ass of yourself again toad muelhead may give you the time of day but he is in big oil /coal’s back pocket and is a racist to boot.

  13. bwaghorn 13

    Be very careful when accepting a ride across the river on a crocodiles back.

    • Wensleydale 13.1

      “Why did you just knife me in the back, Simon?”
      “Well, because it’s in my nature, James. I’m the leader of the National Party after all.”

      • Robert Guyton 13.1.1

        Paula Bennett was Minister for Climate Change, YET WE STILL HAVE CLIMATE CHANGE!!!

        She seemed so…cock-sure !!!

    • Tricledrown 13.2

      b waghorn those with a tick won’t notice

  14. Ken 14

    So now the Nat’s want to help fix a problem that they’ve been denying the existence of for years.
    Next they’ll be trying to help fix the housing crisis and poverty and homelessness and the health system.

  15. Wayne 15

    Thank goodness the commenters here are not actually in govt. Most of you would not talk to National on anything (except for terms of surrender).
    In reality in a range of issues governments and oppositions co-operate. For instance on national super, various environmental issues, a number of national security isssues there is dialogue and adjustment to get a bipartisan (sometimes multi partisan) consensus.
    In fact John Key’s initiative in Opposition was to do the anti-smacking deal with Labour.

    • Stuart Munro 15.1

      Well you’re a pack of lying assholes.

      You need to retire and let some folk come through who can represent rightwing views without lying their asses off.

      Lies solve none of our country’s problems.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2

      Here’s a radical idea to improve your public image: stop lying and killing people.

      • Poission 15.2.1

        OAB a practitioner of pedophrasty ?

        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Df0TBBpW4AEQmlB.jpg:large

        • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2.1.1

          “Morbidity with a social gradient” applies just as much to adults as it does to children. Which is why I said “people”, not “children”.

          Wayne has previously stated that the increase in inequality inflicted by governments he was a member of was deliberate. As a consequence of this deliberate action:

          Infant mortality rates in New Zealand are higher than the OECD average. In 2014 the infant mortality rate for New Zealand was similar to that of the United States, higher than Australia and more than twice the rate in Slovenia, Iceland and Japan.

          If my mentioning this offends you, please accept my deepest sympathy.

    • Kat 15.3

      “Thank goodness the commenters here are not actually in govt…..”
      Are you sure about that Wayne, are you definitely sure ………..

      • Wayne 15.3.1

        Kat

        An interesting idea.

        Most MP’s see some merit in not vilifying their parliamentary opponents, not just in what they say about them, but also how they think about them.

        A large number of commenters here (not all, but many) clearly do not have that approach. If there are MP’s participating here through pseudonyms, I hope they are not among those who can’t see a single redeeming aspect in those they disagree with.

    • Tricledrown 15.4

      Wayne yeah right policies like the anti smacking bill cost f/all and make you look progressive.
      Social empathy wash the big issues dogma rules.
      Pathetic spin Wayne must be a slow day.

    • Bill 15.5

      I might have entertained an element of doubt around your statement there Wayne – until I read the responses 🙂

    • Jan Rivers 15.6

      At last year’s ECO conference Kennedy Graham spoke most persuasively about the work of the inter-party committee on climate change which he had instigated I think. There were difficulties and different perspectives but from what he said a lot of goodwill and listening.

      I’ve come at it from the idea that there will have to be quite a lot of squeeze and accommodation from all parts of society and not just “we’ll do stuff as long as it doesn’t affect us.” This requires trust and a willingness to change on a fundamental level. With that in mind I’ve been helping to organise an event At St Andrews on the Terrace in Wellington. It recognises the need for urgent action and to ensure that government as a whole is able to be on the same page as the NZ’ers values. These, in so far as they can be understood from surveys (by Pure Advantage and others) show the need for determined & urgent action on climate change.

      The seminar is next Friday and Saturday. You can register here http://www.satrs.org.nz and among the speakers are :
      Rev Dr Susan Jones the Minister at St Andrew’s
      Andrew Butler who will talk about his work with Sir Geoffrey Palmer on a constitution for New Zealand.
      Psychologist and Asst Professor Niki Harré will present on her latest book “The Infinite Game”

      On Saturday morning
      Professor Jonathon Boston on safeguarding the future and anticipatory governance
      Wellington’s Deputy Mayor Jill Day on Matariki and local government well-beings
      Professor Paul Morris will be talking about the new physics (new materialism) and what that means for the relationships between us.

      And after lunch we have a panel of speakers. There is also plenty of time for discussion. If you are interested you can book on the website htpps://www.satrs.org.nz

  16. Incognito 16

    Thanks for the good post.

    As usual, I find it difficult to unpack statements by National and Simon Bridges and not just because they’re bearing heavy rhetoric (e.g. dog-whistling and virtue-signalling).

    When Simon suggests that the Climate Change Commission (CCC) should be bipartisan he uses very slippery framing. Of course, the CCC needs to be made of experts and not of politicians to fulfil its duty as being “advisory only” to the Government of the day and as such it must be nonpartisan.

    Simon’s call (!) to follow a bipartisan approach would be most welcome indeed in Parliament and the Select Committees, which is where it belongs and is demonstrated (or not). Unfortunately, National has shown itself to be a poor partisan player in the House and Parliamentary Select Committees where they simply don’t show up when they don’t get their own way.

    National appears to have a strong FPP attitude still and they don’t seem to have got over the fact that they are in Opposition now.

    What “compromises on both sides” does Simon have in mind? It sounds more like horse-trading and Trumpian ‘deal-making’ for political (and other?) gain rather than for making meaningful progress on climate change or any important issue for that matter – they’re all linked anyway.

    My advice to Simon would be to start earning the trust that you claim you deserve by acting as a mature Opposition that genuinely holds the Government to account for the betterment of all New Zealanders.

    • “When Simon suggests that the Climate Change Commission (CCC) should be bipartisan he uses very slippery framing. ”

      Where has he suggested that?

      In National’s media release:

      Simon Bridges has taken a significant step toward a bipartisan approach to climate change policy.

      “Long-lasting change requires broad and enduring support, so I want to work with the Government to make meaningful bipartisan progress on climate change.”

      https://www.national.org.nz/national_calls_for_common_ground_on_climate_policy

      In his speech at the Agricultural Fieldays:

      There are a number of details I want to work through with the Government before the Commission is launched – such as ensuring the Commission has appropriate consideration for economic impacts as well as environmental, and that the process for appointments to the Commission is also bipartisan.

      https://www.national.org.nz/speech_to_fieldays_on_climate_change

      In his Q+A interview today:

      I think what we have agreed to is very important, right. It is very important for the government and for the certainty long-term, and it’s this – an enduring, bipartisan, non-political framework for climate change, an independent climate commission that will give advice and provide the advice to every government over the next probably 30, 40 years

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1806/S00186/qa-simon-bridges-interviewed-by-corin-dann.htm

      No suggestion in any that the Commission ‘should be bipartisan’.

      • Incognito 16.1.1

        I agree with you, Pete, that Simon has not explicitly stated that he wants the CCC to be bipartisan and that he has called for the CCC to be “an independent, non-political Climate Change Commission”. He also wants to ensure “that the process for appointments to the Commission is also bipartisan”.

        But the sub-text is clear, IMO, that the Government cannot be left (trusted?) with the task & responsibility to ensure these requirements are met and that it should (must?) include the Opposition. In fact, the CCC must include members hand-picked by National to be truly independent and non-political!? Is he correct or is he projecting?

        The slippery framing is a Master Class in PR as it aims to cast doubts on the independence of the CCC if National is not consulted. In fact, it goes even further and builds distrust that the Government cannot be left doing the things that governments do without involvement of the Opposition (i.e. National). It is a blatant power grab at the expense of undermining the public trust in this Government and the processes of good governance.

        You (and others) may see this as a hyperbole but it should be seen in context and the context is such that National needs to show first that it is for real while all the signs are that they pursuing the well-rehearsed and oft-trodden (by National) two-track politics.

        • Robert Guyton 16.1.1.1

          Well and astutely expressed, Incognito. Taking Bridges at face value would be foolish. Reading the gellified Opposition party leader’s sub-text is a necessity, so I thank you for highlighting it. Pete no doubt appreciates your work as well – sub-texts can be subtle and obscured and he’s a bit of a blunt instrument.

          • chris73 16.1.1.1.1

            I agree its pointless taking him at face value, I mean theres a very good chance he won’t be Nationals leader at the next election…

            • Incognito 16.1.1.1.1.1

              All National leaders are the same in this respect.

              • Gosman

                In which case you obviously don’t believe National can EVER be involved in a bipartisan approach to anything. Which means any policies implemented by the current Government around Climate Change is at risk of being reversed when National is next in office as National will not regard them as being part of their policy mix.

                • Robert Guyton

                  ” Which means any policies implemented by the current Government around Climate Change is (sic) at risk of being reversed when National is next in office”

                  Ummmmm…yes, Gosman. Yes. Sickening, isn’t it.

                  • Gosman

                    You are aware there are reasons to seek bipartisan approaches to topics aren’t you?

                • Incognito

                  Past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour.

                  All predictions are wrong but some are useful.

                  National may grow up one day and become a party true to MMP and genuinely interested in working in collaboration for the betterment of all New Zealanders. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll have a purple cabinet 😉

                  Never say NEVER!

          • Incognito 16.1.1.1.2

            Thank you, Robert.

            I think sub-texts are by default hard(er) to detect but their effects can be strong; the origin (or cause) might still be hard to trace back – it’s like a traceless poison.

  17. Pat 17

    no need to interpret ‘sub text’…..from the horses mouth.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018649727

    Let them make a submission like everyone else.

  18. DB 18

    Slimy little weasel wants to disrupt proceedings from the inside. Form a ‘bipartisan’ committee, and then stall everything. Screw that guy and everyone he stands for.

  19. Timeforacupoftea 19

    One problem we is that Simon Bridges won’t be the leader of National by election time.

    We should be hammering Judith Collins with all the questions regarding climate change as she is bound to be leader by then.

  20. Venezia 20

    After the nine years of lies, obfuscation, Dirty Politics, ethics free government, why should NZers trust what Simon says?

  21. Grey Area 21

    No Bridges tweeted: Climate change is a major environmental issue, we want practical solutions that won’t harm our economy or drive up costs.

    It’s hard to take anything he says about climate change seriously after that.

    Sure sounds like he understands the seriousness of the situation and that it will cost to address it and our lives will have to change.

  22. Martin 22

    Climate Change
    People talk about it but few understand it, or what is actually occurring.
    Headlines are not science, just as a “consensus” is not science.

    There was never a consensus in the first place, just a manipulation of numbers.
    Global temperatures are currently on a downward trend and are expected to continue in that general direction.

    Simon Bridges along with James Shaw and the Prime Minister have a legal duty to seek a balanced view before they change New Zealand’s energy direction, and not just subscribe to the politically motivated alarmist view of NIWA or the IPCC.

    Reality and climate model forecasts have not yet met, and never will, One molecule in 10,000 in the atmosphere is not doing or going to do anything.

    I asked a senior scientist responsible for central and local government direction on the issue, how far away from the 1.5C alarm or tipping point are we. He did not have a clue.

    Educate yourselves on the subject New Zealand with an open mind, you may even enjoy it.

    • mickysavage 22.1

      Can you provide your sources Martin. You say “Global temperatures are currently on a downward trend and are expected to continue in that general direction.”

      Can you point out where?

      • Martin 22.1.1

        micky
        Thanks for asking. Earth is going through the period of sun spot cycles = lower solar activity and the next cycle is expected to be lower.

        Here is a chart from a well published auther using univeraslly accepted data comparing the actual temperature to the model forecasts. It also gives the 1.5C target. It is slightly out of date (February) but the temperatures have reduced further since then, and are close to the 90% error range of the models.

        View post on imgur.com

        Here is one of the most respected records globally by all scientists. Again look at the trend. From the University of Alabama.

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/UAH_LT_1979_thru_May_2018_v6-720×415.jpg

        Here are some good websites to get a balanced view
        http://www.wattsupwiththat.com
        http://www.notrickszone.com
        http://www.judithcurry.com
        Enjoy

          • Martin 22.1.1.1.1

            OAB
            You must be kidding, 1980 to 2015?
            Talk about selective. It is 2018 now.
            No wonder you remain anonymous.

            About 7000 years ago it was 2 to 3C warmer than now. But don’t let that confuse you.

            Try looking back to the 1930’s when temperatures were warmer.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1.1.1.1.1

              Take your bullshit somewhere else, dupe. Global temperature trends are measured over decades.

              Try looking up Anthony Watts’ arse. You left your brain there.

              • Martin

                OAB
                Your reply says more about you than it does about me.
                Did a few facts upset you, or confuse you?
                Have a nice day OAB
                Martin

        • solkta 22.1.1.2

          wattsupwiththat.com

          An appropriately named site brought to you by a guy called Anthony who used to read the weather on the telly.

          • Martin 22.1.1.2.1

            Solkta
            And your point is ?
            At least he has an open mind.

            The only country that has reduced it CO2 emissions is the USA, Germany etc are all up after spending trillions on wind and solar. The German electrical grid is also extremely unstable as a result of all of the variables green energy introduces, and power prices are that high German manufacturers are not competitive.

            Citizens in many countries are experiencing “heat or eat” choices because the cost of power is so high. That is stay warm or eat because they cannot afford to do both.

            Try doing a bit of research.

            • Robert Guyton 22.1.1.2.1.1

              Is that you, Bipartisan Si?

            • solkta 22.1.1.2.1.2

              My point is that he is not a Climate Scientist but just a has been TV weather presenter.

              For some graphs from actual Climate Scientists you could try:

              https://climate.nasa.gov/ (land temperature)

              http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/ (air temperature)

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Meteorologists are perfectly capable of articulating basic Physics and Chemistry, if they take the trouble to learn any.

                Watts’ problem is that he’s a liar and a hypocrite, as his behaviour around the BEST study amply demonstrated.

  23. Climate change minister James Shaw welcomes ‘genuine’ approach from Simon Bridges

    Climate change minister James Shaw says he will consult National before taking proposals to cabinet to set up a Climate Change Commission and wants to involve them in the drafting of the law.

    He welcomed a letter from National leader Simon Bridges to the Government on Friday seeking a bipartisan approach in establishing a Climate Change commission.

    “I think it is a genuine offer,” Shaw said.

    “National as the so-called party of business has been hearing from particularly the corporate end of town who have been saying that there really has to be a stable policy environment that has to survive multiple changes of Government.

    Shaw said he would consult National before he took recommendations on the bill to cabinet in August and before the bill was drafted.

    “It is a horrendously complicated issue and it is going to take a few rounds of conversation before we settle on final decisions.

    “I think it is pretty unreasonable to ask them to support a piece of legislation that they haven’t seen yet and I think that engaging them in the process of drafting increases the chances that they will eventually vote for it.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12073046

    Sensible politics from Shaw.

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