I guess this is progress.
His mouth opened up and lots of words came out of it. Basically Federated Farmers do not want to reduce emissions because then someone overseas will emit more.
He talked about the latest science on how methane contributes to warming.
He questioned the data and had a weird analogy about how people need to lose weight. He claimed that New Zealand farmers were among the fittest in the world which is true but it means that they are poisoning the world more slowly than their overseas counterparts.
He also said that although there was a climate crisis there was also a food production crisis. He did not appear to understand that you cannot grow food on a dead planet and the two issues were actually interlinked.
He actually said the presence of more carbon would improve farming conditions because grass would grow more.
He was then asked if he thought that climate change was real and is happening.
He said, and I kid you not, “probably” and conceded that ten or twenty years ago he would have said no. He also thought we would have to wait for 50 to 100 years to know for sure.
And he is part of more mainstream thinking amongst the farming sector.
They do not understand that food security does not have to depend on meat or milk. A more vegetarian diet would do wonders for the world’s climate.
And they do not appreciate that the world is gradually but inevitably changing for the worse. Hesitation caused by mucking around negotiating with vested interests is the last thing that we need.
This Newsroom scene captures our situation perhaps in a too pessimistic fashion but you get the drift.
To be frank the Government’s response is timid.
I appreciate there are political imperatives at play and the need for a deal was important.
But negotiating with climate change deniers and hoping to come up with something that will work is not going to get us the scale of change that is required.