ETS submissions open

Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, January 4th, 2009 - 31 comments
Categories: democratic participation, Environment - Tags:

Submissions for the review of the Emissions Trading Scheme have opened but will close on the 13th of February.

Given the time of year that’s a reasonably short submitting period, especially for legislation that has such far-reaching implications for New Zealand’s economy and international reputation.

I expect the vested industry interests will have their submissions already drafted and I also expect the outcome will be to water the current legislation down and/or further delay any initiative taken but it is important to register your concerns via submissions if only to do your part to make sure the whole cynical palaver gets the attention it deserves.

You can view the terms of reference for the inquiry here. Of particular concern is the term:

identify the central/benchmark projections which are being used as the motivation for international agreements to combat climate change; and consider the uncertainties and risks surrounding these projections

Which is the opening to question the basic science of climate change. We’re about to become the nation state equivalent of the flat earth society.

31 comments on “ETS submissions open”

  1. lprent 1

    How unexpected. You can trust the NACT government to act in a truly undemocratic and unconsultative way.

    No really, you can’t just call them a undemocratic pack of muldoonesque jerks, who intend to ignore the whole process of government, and who just bulldoze whatever they want through the institutions of government. They’re far worse. They are hypocrites of the very worst sort – exactly as predicted. Instead of improving the practices of government that they opposed in opposition, they have taken them and made them far far less democratic. In fact to the point that there is no real ability to have any public input.

    I suppose that the pro-democratic commentators of the right here that were so eloquent about the ‘undemocratic’ practices of the previous government will be their usual pathetic selves that we have come to expect over the last month. A slight wringing of hands, a statement of vague disapproval, and then a statement of support for the government. Have to say that the right appear to be easily bribed. Just give them their tax cuts and they are anyones poodle.

  2. dave 2

    …In fact to the point that there is no real ability to have any public input.

    Select Committees are public input. That’s what this post was about. Public input. I assume lprent wont be doing a submission, then. He doesn’t want to have input, just moan.

  3. lprent 3

    dave: I will try to do a submission. However I work hard. I’d expect that over the next month’s contract that I’m liable to be doing 12 hour days, plus the blog, plus my other commitments.

    That means that I’d have to write a submission on a weekend (although I may also be working through those as well to hit deadlines). However there are only 4 weekends between now and when the submissions have to be in. Currently I have two of those weekends committed already.

    Imagine if I didn’t read blogs (because I bet that the papers don’t report it widely), did have kids, or was having a long vacation away from the local news. I’d have even less time.

    So what this decision about public input is saying is that only corporates, organizations, people with unspecified income (probably from corporates), and layabouts will have time to write sensible submissions.

    Now lets look at the profile on your blog….

    This is Dave’s blog. Dave is a former journalist, a current student, writes, looks after his kids and drinks coffee throughout. Sometimes he blogs. Sometimes he sleeps.

    Perhaps you’d write a submission. Sounds a lot easier for you than it is for me to do in the short period available.

    And yes, in the previous comment, you were one of the highly democratic commentators of the right prior to the election that I was talking about. Proud of this government that you helped elect against the anti-democratic old one. Dismissive of warnings about Nationals usual undemocratic traits in government. Now too bloody wimpy to stick your hand up and comment adversely on the actions by this government that are much worse than those you objected to so strongly. Tell me why I should not regard you as a hypocrite?

  4. lprent 4

    Irish – there is no link on the post

    IrishBill: sorry Lynn, I had to copy it from the (small) public notice I found in the paper by off chance and I’ve spent the day out and about. Link added now.

  5. dave 5

    I didn’t help elect this govt. I didn’t vote National. Or Act. And I will certainly be commenting adversely on the actions of this current govt. In fact, I already have. At least twice. So there. Perhaps you`re the hypocrite.

    My blog is more balanced and less biased than this one. And I also work part time. That wasn’t on my blog profile. Terribly sorry. So I probably have less time – and get less sleep – than you. Perhaps that’s a few reasons to start with that are reasons why you should not regard me as a hypocrite.

    Now off to cook tea for the kids, bath them, put them to bed, do the dishes and fold up the two loads of washing I did today while lprent lies in the sun. And he thinks I have more time than him…ha.

  6. lprent 6

    Ok – so you didn’t vote for these wallies. You did write a post on the bail laws (which is good. I don’t think any of us had time because of the number of crappy things going on at the time) – which used the word urgency exactly once. Your post on tax cuts does sound a bit like me too?

    Yeah kids always take time. Fortunately I don’t have any around at present (well for the moment). Yeah, been lying in the sun. I’ve just managed to have my first non-working holiday in 3 years. Usually it gets chewed in voluntary work – but this time I managed to sneak one between one job and the start of the next. If I’d known that the NACT morons were going to close submissions in a month, I’d have used to the week and a half to write a submission.

    So dave – having avoided the question so far. What do you think about having only a couple of weekends over summer to write a submission on global warming? Or the use of urgency?

    To me both seem to have been used purely to avoid having public input so that bad law could be pushed through. That is what I was moaning about. Tell me – did you put in a submission to the select committee on bail laws?? 😈

  7. higherstandard 7

    Don’t see what all the excitement is about – isn’t this exactly the same thing that the last government did with their version of the ETS – and regardless the illusion of the public having a say in what will be passed into law is just that an illusion – this government like the one before it will push through what they think is best for the country. The public voted them in to do just that because the vast majority of them can’t be fagged thinking for themselves.

    I predict that NZ’s ETS will end up being a carbon copy (excuse the pun) of the Australian scheme.

  8. IrishBill 8

    HS, I’m already tiring of your tepid nitpicking in defense of the indefensible. I’d also point out that, as Lynn notes, National are being far less democratic than Labour were. In fact they have already passed nearly as much legislation under urgency as Labour did in its whole three terms. And they have only sat for two weeks

  9. higherstandard 9

    IB

    Indeed National are actually governing as is their right after being democratically elected – I believe a large helping of diddums is in order.

  10. IrishBill 10

    Whatever.

  11. dave 11

    What do you think about having only a couple of weekends over summer to write a submission on global warming? Or the use of urgency?

    Regarding urgency. Read my blog. Regarding time to do submissions, Just stay up later at night Lynn.Drink some coffee if that helps. Gee, I`ll even sub it for you if that helps save you some time . Just email me. I never go to bed before midnight. Do you?

  12. QoT 12

    I’m with dave – if lprent isn’t willing to sacrifice sanity, decent sleeping patterns, work opportunities and mealtimes to comment on every single piece of legislation National is probably going to rush through anyway no matter what the paltry public submissions say … well, clearly it’s just a case of not trying hard enough. [/sarcasm]

  13. Ag 13

    The public voted them in to do just that because the vast majority of them can’t be fagged thinking for themselves.

    You’d have to be mad to want them to. If a proper response to climate change came up for a vote, then, because it would require significant personal sacrifices, it would be voted down.

    Climate change is one of those rare phenomena that provoke democratic failure. Democracies are hopeless at dealing with slow burning problems like this. Sure, they’re good at other things, but not at stuff like this. If we were rational, we would want our government to force us to emit less carbon in the short term, because I hate to think of the sort of authoritarian decisions that will have to be made 50 years from now when cuts are forced on our descendants (at least I’ll be in the ground by then so I probably won’t see it happen).

    It’s very unlikely that there will be a democratic solution to our problem. If we were honest, then we’d accept that. Democracies make idiotic decisions all the time like voting for Tory governments. Sometimes they are just incapable of ever making the right decision.

    My own view is that the problem will solve us Many human societies have failed before (the Easter Islanders are the classic example we’re proving that we are no better than them).

  14. PFraser 14

    QoT

    It’s not case of Lynn not trying hard enough it’s just that like the previous government they are unlikely to give a toss what is said in public submissions – if anyone seriously think that governments in NZ are worried what the pubic thinks apart from the few months leading in to elections they are delusional.

  15. Graeme 15

    I’d also point out that, as Lynn notes, National are being far less democratic than Labour were. In fact they have already passed nearly as much legislation under urgency as Labour did in its whole three terms. And they have only sat for two weeks

    In National’s first two weeks they passed, I believe, 7 bills under urgency.

    In Labour’s last week, they passed 11 bills under urgency. I could go back further, but what on Earth are you talking about? I’m not saying National isn’t as bad as Labour, or isn’t worse than Labour (they probably are, although it really is a pox on both their houses), but this is a pretty idiotic claim.

    I would also note that Michael Cullen’s last urgency motion included the need for urgency for “the introduction and first reading of Government bills” – it didn’t even specify which general areas of law these unnamed bills might deal with, or even how many there would be!

    IrishBill: I’m sorry Graeme, I should have specified that I meant legislation passed through all readings under urgency and thus without any public consultation.

  16. infused 16

    “dave: I will try to do a submission. However I work hard. I’d expect that over the next month’s contract that I’m liable to be doing 12 hour days, plus the blog, plus my other commitments.

    That means that I’d have to write a submission on a weekend (although I may also be working through those as well to hit deadlines). However there are only 4 weekends between now and when the submissions have to be in. Currently I have two of those weekends committed already.”

    That’s really your problem, no one elses..

  17. PFraser 17

    I congratulate posters who are at least contemplating making a submission. As a person involved in education, I was angered that I didn’t did an opportunity to make a submission on the far reaching Education Amendment Bill rushed through all its stages under urgency before Xmas – counter to all principles of democracy and justice (let along good education policy).

  18. PFraser 18

    Ag are you IPRENT ?

    [lprent: no]

  19. PFraser 19

    By the way that PFraser of 7.16 am is an imposter.

  20. PFraser 20

    There is only one PFraser in this house, using this computer. Imposter, pick another name.

    [lprent: Looks like the same person to me]

  21. Draco T Bastard 21

    The public voted them in to do just that because the vast majority of them can’t be fagged thinking for themselves.

    Pretty sure everyone thinks for themselves quite well. What is the problem is that most people don’t have the time to do the needed research on how best to govern the country. If they did we would never have had a NACT government because everyone would have been aware of the bullshit that they were/are spouting.

  22. Draco T Bastard 22

    That’s really your problem, no one elses..

    No, that’s a problem for the entire country as democracy fails when people don’t have enough time to participate in it.

  23. Ari 23

    Don’t see what all the excitement is about – isn’t this exactly the same thing that the last government did with their version of the ETS – and regardless the illusion of the public having a say in what will be passed into law is just that an illusion – this government like the one before it will push through what they think is best for the country. The public voted them in to do just that because the vast majority of them can’t be fagged thinking for themselves.

    Firstly, being just as wrong as everyone else doesn’t make you less wrong. Grow up, HS, your name has been becoming an increasing misnomer the longer you’ve stayed here.

    Secondly, this government campaigned specifically on a platform of doing better, it was one of their main lines of attack on the previous government and it worked. They have an obligation to hold to that promise, and they will find re-election increasingly hard the more they blatantly ignore it this way. This criticism isn’t going to stop, they’ve set the tone. Just wait until they recognise that the honeymoon is over.

    Thirdly, democracy doesn’t stop after an election. (As much as some on the Right seem to want it to) While the government got a mandate for its policies, most of its mandate was for a fresh start that was more consultative, representative, and less arrogant than the previous government. It has proceeded to thoroughly ignore that mandate and show that its concern is only with implementing its policies. Trying to pass that off as hard feelings is amusingly rich of you. 😉

  24. higherstandard 24

    Ari

    You numpty.

    “Firstly, being just as wrong as everyone else doesn’t make you less wrong.”

    If you want to make a submission make one instead of trawling blogs.

    “Secondly, this government campaigned specifically on a platform of doing better, it was one of their main lines of attack on the previous government and it worked.”

    Yes let’s see if they can do better than the previous government instead of being subjected to the bombast coming out prior to seeing the legislation.

    “Thirdly, democracy doesn’t stop after an election.”

    As you correctly state they got a mandate for their policies.

    That mandate as you correctly state was also for a fresh start that was more consultative, representative, and less arrogant than the previous government.

    “It has proceeded to thoroughly ignore that mandate and show that its concern is only with implementing its policies.”

    That remains to be seen the policies implemented to date were policies that were run on in the election campaign if they push through “new” legislation and are not consultative and become as arrogant as the previous mob they’ll suffer the same consequences.

    Ps as a Green supporter what did you make of Keith Locke’s comments regarding the inmates at Guantanamo ? Sometimes I wonder if he engages the brain before opening the mouth, or indeed deciding not to open the mouth at all.

  25. Chris S 25

    HS:

    “That mandate as you correctly state was also for a fresh start that was more consultative, representative, and less arrogant than the previous government.”

    That’s exactly right HS. People voted for a change and a policy direction.

    Policies must be moderated by public submissions by interested parties. Businesses, unions and other such commissions temper a parties policy into a good law via the select committee process.

    How is pushing legislation through all stages with no public input “consultative” or even “representative” of the electorate?

  26. higherstandard 26

    Chris

    “Policies must be moderated by public submissions by interested parties. Businesses, unions and other such commissions temper a parties policy into a good law via the select committee process.

    How is pushing legislation through all stages with no public input “consultative’ or even “representative’ of the electorate?”

    A tad bombastic and factually incorrect as the post points out that “submissions are being called for in relation to the review of the Emissions Trading Scheme and will close on the 13th of February”

    If you want to make a submission get writing !

  27. I think it’s fine that the uncertainties should be considered. The AR4 contains a number of models, and these all come with uncertainties. Assuming you’re using the scientific uncertainties in these reports, it’s a worthwhile exercise.

    For example, from the AR4 global climate projections:

    the 20-year average from 2025 to 2044 will be greater than
    the 20-year mean over 1980 to 1999 with 95% confidence

    There’s an uncertainty! 5%.

    Sea level is projected to rise between the present (1980
    1999) and the end of this century (20902099) under the SRES
    B1 scenario by 0.18 to 0.38 m, B2 by 0.20 to 0.43 m, A1B by
    0.21 to 0.48 m, A1T by 0.20 to 0.45 m, A2 by 0.23 to 0.51 m,
    and A1FI by 0.26 to 0.59 m. These are 5 to 95% ranges based
    on the spread of AOGCM results, not including uncertainty in
    carbon cycle feedbacks.

    There’s a lot more uncertainty figures! Of course the “Carbon Cycle Feedback” uncertainties they are talking about are positive feedbacks which would worsen the predicted rise. So there’s an uncertainty to consider – that the situation might be wildly worse than forseen.

  28. Sam P 28

    Anyone making a submission should consider plugging the term ‘precautionary principle’, as it is a major ideal in NZ’s environmental management practice.

    In environmental management the precautionary principle is often applied when there is uncertainty to avoid the risks of greater environmental problems in the future.

    I am personally writing a submission requesting that when the committee “consider the uncertainties and risks surrounding these [climate] projections” that they have full regard to the precautionary principle, which basically says that when there is a level of uncertainty it is best to go with the worse end of the spectrum of uncertainty, then the better end. The precautionary principle is encouraged by NZ’s other environmental management legislation and applied by the Environment Court in caselaw, so it is only reasonable that it also applies to Central Government decision making.

    Another good one to use is inter-generational equity, which is pretty self explanatory. However, our government isn’t even concerned with equality for those who are living now, so I don’t imagine them caring about equality for those who aren’t even born.

  29. The clause in the terms of reference that intrigues me most is

    examine the relative merits of a mitigation or adaptation approach to climate change for New Zealand

    Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but is that seriously suggesting the consideration of a policy approach in which we just presume to be able to weather the effects, ignoring mitigation altogether?

  30. GregJ 30

    The best thing that NZ can do, re an ETS, for its citizens current and future, is absolutely NOTHING.

    Yep, you got it. Absolutely nothing. No ETS. No Carbon Reduction Crap. Nothing. You will save yourselves a lot of worry and money over something [AGW] that is simply not happening.

    AGW is shortly to go the way of the Y2K scare and all the other millenial type doomsday hoaxes.

    There is absolutely no evidence that human emissions of Co2 have caused any global warming at all.

  31. lprent 31

    GregJ: You are the type of person I was referring to in my post  Climate change deniers – accidental comedians

    Of course as per usual you have absolutely nothing to back that claim apart from a blind sort of stupid faith..

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