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Herald supports Greens on climate change

Written By: - Date published: 9:12 am, June 4th, 2015 - 96 comments
Categories: climate change, global warming, greens, james shaw, leadership - Tags: ,

New Greens co-leader James Shaw made climate change his defining issue, and issued a challenge to John Key to discuss common ground and work towards climate change solutions.

Naturally Key, who always puts politics ahead of the common good, declined with bad grace and worse command of the facts:

Key rejects Shaw’s climate offer

Mr Key said what Mr Shaw really wanted was for the Government to “see it the Greens’ way” on climate change. “It’s pretty clear that the Greens want a reduction target significantly greater than the economy can afford,” he said. “A target of a 40 percent reduction on 1990 levels would be disastrous.”

The Greens been as effective as ever in countering Key’s nonsense.

Today, even an anonymous editorial in The Herald comes out in support of The Greens:

Key should accept Shaw’s climate offer

John Key should treat seriously the challenge issued by the Greens’ new co-leader to find common ground on climate change. James Shaw sounded genuine in his victory speech on Sunday when he declared himself open to working with National “where there is common cause”.

National has always overstated the economic costs of putting a realistic price on greenhouse emissions. If it were to adopt a 10 per cent reduction target, the consultation paper estimates the value of household consumption in 2027 would be lower by 1.5 per cent, or less than $1300 a year. GDP growth could average 2.3 per cent rather than 2.4 per cent a year. The prospect is hardly terrifying, and it is based on a carbon price of $50 a tonne – about eight times its level in emissions trading at present.

The Greens have always argued that the economic costs would be more than made up by the economic opportunities available to early movers on clean technology and adaptations to climate change. It is a possibility National tacitly accepts by investing in efforts to reduce methane emissions from farm stock, source of nearly half of New Zealand’s greenhouses gases. It reports promising developments on that front without clear commercial prospects as yet.

As we in Dunedin clean up after record-breaking rain and flooding, in the full and certain knowledge that climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, I hope that Key will get some guts, heed the advice of The Herald editorial, and stop playing politics with climate change.

96 comments on “Herald supports Greens on climate change ”

  1. Colonial Rawshark 1

    While the politicians are doing the slow motion dance over the next few years, detailed plans for getting off fossil fuels and reliance on high energy imports need to be drawn up.

    As well as plans to contend with increasing climate volatility over the coming decades.

    We don’t have time for the politicians to catch up to the reality, and we don’t have time to stand around where they are in the policy space, waiting for them to figure it out.

  2. weka 2

    Well done James Shaw on starting to shift the debate.

    • Heather Grimwood 2.1

      As I’ve noted on another post, Labour’s manifesto also embodies desire for cross-party collaberation on CC. It is FAR too important an issue to play games with!

      • weka 2.1.1

        Cool! Can you link when you get the time?

        • Heather Grimwood

          not time to check but try http://www.labour.org.nz…i must have got my hard copy from somewhere!

          • weka

            I don’t have time either sorry.

            • maui

              “Labour will:

              – Establish an independent Climate Commission, which would establish a carbon budgeting process for achieving significant emissions reduction targets.

              – Restore the ETS so it puts an effective price on carbon, so that we move away from carbon-polluting goods and services towards low or zero-carbon options.

              – Seek to play a leading role in international climate change negotiations for binding reductions in greenhouse gases, in a comprehensive and effective treaty.”

              There’s also a more detailed climate pdf document linked from this page, but I can’t see any mention of working with other parties.

              • weka

                thanks maui. Page 4 of the pdf has this,

                Labour is committed to achieving a lasting consensus among New Zealand’s main political parties on an ETS. We have consistently tried to work with the National Party to reach common ground. But we aren’t prepared to compromise our fundamental principles to do so.

                tbh I’m not sure what that means, even reading it in context.

                • maui

                  Whoops, completely missed that, good spotting. I’m not sure what that means either, they want agreement in Parliament but no indication how they will do that.

                • Macro

                  We can forget about an ETS as well! We already have one, and its just too easy for scammers to fudge and misuse to their own advantage – added and abetted by Nats and Act. A tonne of Carbon costing a cup of coffee just doesn’t cut it I’m afraid.

      • Gosman 2.1.2

        Considering many people’s solutions for dealing with the challenges posed by climate change is to impose some form of Socialism on us I’m not sure how you can get a cross-party collaboration on this. Perhaps you could elucidate on what you think this will mean.

        • Tracey

          I am almost certain you wont get cross party consensus if you dont sit down and talk about it, cross party.

          what’s the laissez=faire answer Gosman?

          • Gosman

            We’ve already had this discussion. I stated I see no problem with pricing the cost of externalities involved in Climate change and implementing a mechanism to charge it to those that cause it.

          • Gosman

            Are you going to answer my question about how you could get a cross party consensus on this when the solutions offered by the left wing are at odds with right wing policies?

            • Tracey

              I did answer. That you didn’t get what you wanted doesn’t change that. My experience is that you can be surprised what compromise can be reached…

              People thought Northern Ireland would never find peace, that the berlin wall would never come down. People, like you, I suspect, who gave up the notion before trying to talk.

              • Gosman

                The Berlin Wall came down because Communism collapsed (i.e. one side capitulated). Northern Ireland for all the power sharing is still part of the United Kingdom and therefore the Republicans gave up the ground on that one. Even the end of Apartheid required the Afrikaners to accept they couldn’t remain politically dominant anymore. There are very few cross party agreements that are genuinely bi-partisan.

                • Tracey

                  blah blah blah Gosman. Unless you have the conversation you can never know what was possible.

                • Tracey

                  blah blah blah Gosman. Unless you have the conversation you can never know what was possible.

      • Tracey 2.1.3

        Then they should speak up loudly and proudly

  3. maui 3

    I’m thinking of the massive GDP growth that would result from refitting all or most NZ homes with insulation, solar hot water, super low energy appliances. The mass conversion of our vehicle fleet to electric and bio fuels. Mass production of electric buses, expanding the electric rail network in cities and interconnecting cities. Moving unsustainable dairy land back to low impact cropping. Re-foresting large tracts of farmland.

    A vision based on something like that would make GDP growth explode in the next 5-15 years and start the downward slide on our emissions. It would take a Green Mana Government to do it however.

    • Heather Grimwood 3.1

      Yes the changes are huge, but not implementing them will bring horrific problems that I don’t wish on my great grandchildren..one already asking about it.

    • b waghorn 3.2

      The only thing I disagree with of you’re above statement is about planting productive farm land it would be far better to plant the mountainous areas and tussock country with trees like larch and Douglas fir .
      Is retiring productive land a green policy?

      • maui 3.2.1

        I just looked up an Australian study that says forests can store 10 times as much carbon as grasslands. I think it would be harder to plant up in the higher altitude country and growth would be slower and forests harder to create, what about rolling hill country instead? Also, we should look at native species rather than exotic, then we get a conservation benefit as well. Planting dougie fir could get people tempted to chop it all down, and you don’t get as rich an understorey of plants either.

        • b waghorn

          Three reasons I’m against retiring productive land;
          1Food 6billion and climbing rapidly
          2 Jobs every farm retired would cost minimum 1 fulltime job plus the knock on effect right through the rural chain.
          3 Political the right wingers already sell the “greens hate farming” line well you’ll just be giving them more ammo .

          On the planting exotics side my main 3 reasons are.
          1 the time for blind ideology is gone nz changed irrevocably the day the first māori set foot here.
          2 the only reason the mountains aren’t cloaked in conifers is because nz developed in isolation
          3 Jobs instead of spending fortunes fighting a losing battle against wilding pines we could be planting other types and in 50 years sustainable logging them.

          • weka

            If we look at a sustinability design science like permaculture, instead of taking a stand on one thing or another it would look at what was the best landcare and land use in any given situation (land base or catchment ideally, but farm boundary out of necessity). Permaculture would assess a catchment based on what the need is and how it could be met, and that would be done in the context of what the land already does (what is growing there, climate, soil type, water catchment etc) and how we could work with that. Most of the farming we do currently works against natural systems and so is relatively in efficient once you take carbon fuels out of the picture.

            So one high country station might be better suited to native restoration and another might be better to let the wilding pines establish forest much more quickly.

            I think one of the pressing needs we will face is water conservation, esp given glacier melt and changing rainfall patterns. Reforesting the mountains and hill country should be a priority and it should be done with this in mind ie what kind of forestry can rehydrate the landscape so that our catchments return to systems that hold water in the land and release water slowly over time rather than the flood/drought cycles we often currently have (and are making worse by the year)?

            I don’t see that as retiring land so much as simply changing use.

            “1Food 6billion and climbing rapidly”

            Food miles are one of the biggest GHG emitters. The whole planet needs to shift to localised food production (in NZ we should be aiming to eat mostly from with our own province). It will become increasingly difficult to export large amounts of food, although I expect we will still ship and trade around some things we can’t grow here (eg coffee). There is no reason that the places where people live can’t feed themselves.

            “2 Jobs every farm retired would cost minimum 1 fulltime job plus the knock on effect right through the rural chain.”

            Not if we plant food forests and other resources forests that need ongoing care. That’s how most forests have been maintained pre-fossil fuels. We should be planting many multiple species forests, and these need more care. There is a lot of productive and satisfying work to be done in food forests. It’s just a different kind of farming.

            “2 the only reason the mountains aren’t cloaked in conifers is because nz developed in isolation”

            That’s actually an ecological and sustainability argument to control wilding pines, not let them spread. Because of their unique, isolated development, NZ native ecosystems require certain conditions that are incompatible with exotic conifers.

            Having said that I do think there are places where it would be way more sensible to let the conifers develop into forest and utilise this as a resources.

            To do that, native restoration in some areas, conifer forests in others, would require Island wide co-ordination and setting up of buffer zones.

            • b waghorn

              That’s a lot for my battered old brain to try and deal with a couple of thoughts I had were that unless we have population of 15 mil nz can not move away from exporting with out reducing our quality of life and people including me don’t want to do that . I believe we can have our cake and eat it to we just need a government willing to push environmental options,
              We can’t get kiwis to pick the fruit we grow already so any harvesting would have to be mechanical.

              • weka

                There’s two different issues here. One is how to make a living for all NZers, the other is how to grow food for NZers. Hmm, a third is how to do both without wrecking the environment.

                How do you think we will export food in a post-carbon world? It can be done, but not in the ways we do it now. Are you saying you’d rather keep your lifestyle than prevent catastrophic climate change?

                Pay people a living wage and give them better work conditions and they’ll pick fruit.

                • b waghorn

                  “” Are you saying you’d rather keep your lifestyle than prevent catastrophic climate change? “”
                  What I m saying is that piecemeal self regulation will not work it has to come from the government down, key knows this but he’s to gutless to make a start (as rural person my car is my only option)
                  On shipping I’m not really qualified but there’s plenty of nuclear powered ships

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    What I m saying is that piecemeal self regulation will not work it has to come from the government down, key knows this but he’s to gutless to make a start (as rural person my car is my only option)

                    He’s not gutless on it. He and National don’t do it because it decreases the profits that the rich make from other peoples work.

                    On shipping I’m not really qualified but there’s plenty of nuclear powered ships

                    Interestingly enough, there’s less nuclear fuel available than oil never mind the calamitous effects that happen when you irradiate a harbour.

                    • b waghorn

                      As I said I’m not qualified and I’m definitely not pro nuclear I just chucked that in as a option of were things might go.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      sail powered ships. and coal/diesel powered ships still emit much less CO2 per tonne of freight than road freight.

              • Draco T Bastard

                unless we have population of 15 mil nz can not move away from exporting with out reducing our quality of life

                Total BS. We could provide everything we want from our own resources now simply due to today’s productivity. Throw in automation where possible and that boost wealth creation even further.

                I believe we can have our cake and eat it to

                That shows a truly phenomenal misunderstanding of that truism.

                That truism denotes the impossibility of having a resource available for use and the resource also being used. Both cannot be done. It is actually this truism that shows that our retirement is affordable if we do what needs to be done and that putting money aside isn’t what needs to be done as no amount of money will increase the resources available.

                We can’t get kiwis to pick the fruit we grow already so any harvesting would have to be mechanical.

                Well, according to the economists and Act you could if they were paid enough. Personally though, I’m more in favour of mechanical harvesting as it frees people up to do more important things such as R&D.

                • b waghorn

                  .”” We could provide everything we want from our own resources now simply due to today’s productivity. “”
                  I know I know we just need to print our own money ” I’m yet to be convinced on that one.
                  What I was getting at with the cake comment is that if a government makes a law saying all new passenger vehicles will be electric buy 2025 capitalism will take care of the rest. And that applies to all global warming issues it just needs government to lead (as unbelievable as that sounds) and capitalism will follow.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    the vast majority of road users cant afford an $80,000 electric car. Electric cars contain alot of steel and aluminum and plastics requiring fossil fuels to fabricate.

                    the real answer is obvious when you look at it hard enough: create situations where people can quit using cars altogether.

                    • b waghorn

                      A clever government would tell Rio tinto to f off and tell Tesla to come on down for 40 years of cheap power and low tax rates on the proviso that they build affordable electric cars .
                      And as you eluded to, making city living into a community experience were you live work and play all within a local area would solve a lot of problems. Ad to that growing all your veges. In situ and it only gets better.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Exactly. You might even get to meet your neighbours from down the road.

                    • Bill

                      Fabricating stuff from oil is fine. Just got to stop combusting the shit is all…

                      btw. If anyone goes down the electric car route, (+ all the other electrical alternative possibilities) then the grid is going to have to have a much, much greater capacity than at present.

                      And be incredibly resilient given the weather extremes that are likely coming.

                    • b waghorn

                      @bill that’s where the R n D comes in , you stick solar collection on every roof and build top of the line power storage systems for the power and the grid only has to fill the bteckfast and tea time rushes.

          • Draco T Bastard

            1. Not out problem. Seems callous but that’s the reality – we simply cannot feed the world. Each country should be able to feed itself.
            2. Jobs aren’t a good enough reason to keep destroying the environment.
            3. While we push more support for farming. So, a decrease in farming but the farms left are better supported to feed NZ.

            1. Drop native seeds but then just let the forest develop as it will.
            2. The mountains were cloaked in conifers until we cut and burned them down.
            3. Jobs are not a good reason to do anything really.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I think it would be harder to plant up in the higher altitude country and growth would be slower and forests harder to create, what about rolling hill country instead?

          Forests are quite capable of creating themselves. All we need to do would be to stop access to that land and the forests would return. If we want to speed things up a bit we could drop some seeds from aircraft after about 5 years.

          • Colonial Viper

            if you want useable timber, youll have to manage those forests each step of the way.

            • Draco T Bastard

              We probably already have more than enough wood forests so I’m not after usable timber but natural forests that provide a wild ecosystem.

      • Macro 3.2.2

        We need to be replanting our native forests first and foremost. All well and good looking at “productive land” The current drive under our current ETS is to log excessively Pinus Radiata forest planted 40 years ago and turn them in to dairy farms. There is no incentive to replant anything, nor is there any incentive to close Huntly and replace it with wind (even though there is more than sufficient wind projects consented to do so).
        It’s all to do with the price of Carbon, and buying in bogus credits (as we currently do) doesn’t actually reduce our gross emissions one gram. It may make our shonkey “nett emissions”, with creative accounting, look good; but it does nothing to reduce the world’s total emissions.

        • b waghorn

          What I think should of been done around the clearing of pines in the central plateau was it would only be OKed if a similar amount of highly errodible land was planted two replace the ones being removed.

          • Roger

            That’s a crazy suggestion. Most of the pines that grow wild in that area are not of a useful variety and their continued spread is a menace to the native flora-that’s why they try to get rid of them. You really need to do some more reading!

      • Wynston 3.2.3

        “it would be far better to plant the mountainous areas and tussock country with trees like larch and Douglas fir”

        NO WAY! They are two of the most prolific causes of wilding tree spread! They would eventually spread throughout nearly all our subalpine areas with a consequent detrimental impact on our endemic flora and fauna. They would also pose an ongoing threat to adjoining farmland and require significant expenditure to keep such areas free of wildings.

        • b waghorn

          And what do you think rampant global warming will do the the flora and fauna? As I said the time for rampant ideology is gone.

          • Wynston

            A bloody site less than rampant introduced weed trees taking over everything!

            • Draco T Bastard

              Well, IMO, you’re going to be in a bit of a pickle then as once we lose access to cheap oil in the next decade or so we won’t be able to do anything to stop their spread (Same goes for the possums as well). Our environment is going to change and many of our native species are going to go extinct whether we like it or not.

              My suggestion is that we simply let evolution do it’s job.

              • Colonial Viper

                we’re going to be quite busy enough trying to keep the basics available and running for ourselves.

              • Wynston

                “My suggestion is that we simply let evolution do it’s job”

                Evolution = “1. the process by which different kinds of living organism are believed to have developed from earliest forms, especially by natural selection. 2. gradual development.” Concise Oxford Dictionary. 12th edition 2011.

                Nothing there about the impact of introduced species!

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Nothing there to suggest that introduced species would cause evolution to fail.

  4. Skinny 4

    Agreed a smart move by Shaw by putting Key’s climate change weights up.

    Last week I saw a very disturbing graphical illustration of what land mass will be left of New Zealand if the sea rises various levels. Hamilton being in the centre of the Waikato basin is totally under water. Auckland is left as pockets of little islands so owning a boat for the lucky one left will be a must. So I guess the housing bubble will really reach dizzy heights.

    If this happens the call will be there is land on them there hills, opposed to the usual minerals miners call of gold, coal or oil.

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      Geotechnic processes because we sit astride two plates means a lot of places are moving sideways and or up much faster than reasonable sea level rises. This is above that of an earthquake which could be 2-6m in one go.

      The HB earthquake of 1931, had land move up from 1-4m, but also some areas from Hastings to Clive sank over a metre. Sinking didnt affect the area much compared to those places raised

      Hamilton’s CBD is 46m ASL.

      • weka 4.1.1


        • dukeofurl

          Alpine fault is horizontal movement 30m per 1000 years which is 3cm per year.
          And vertical movement is 20km in 12 mill years which is 1.6mm per year.
          These are broad figures.

          When we look at the Wellington region, research shows:
          ” These faults move sideways in a horizontal motion so that the area west of, and including the Central Ranges is moving northward while the East Coast of the southern North Island is moving southward. If earthquake activity is averaged out on a yearly basis, these two sections of the North Island move past each other at a rate of 5 to 7mm (for the Wellington area) and up to 15mm per year for the Dannevirke area.

          And there is Wellingtons ‘slow’ earthquake of 2013 where movements of up to 9cm ( yes cm) have occurred over 3 months.

          My earthquake ground movement map of Napier 31 has a dead link, but the coast at Clive I know well. A liitle village along a river bank.

          So , YES really.

          • weka

            Not sure what your are implying. Are you saying that geological movements will keep up with/outstrip sea level rises due to AGW?

            • dukeofurl

              Coast of bottom of NI and most of SI, yes. Its not specific enough, but the numbers are very high. Cm movement in months, not all upwards, is greater than current seal level at the mm per year range.

              If I was on a very large river delta say Ganges, the natural sinking process will add to climate based sea level rise, so nots so good.

              We have flooding increased in Christchurch from differential movements from earthquakes. Up till now sea level rise hasnt had a big effect, (yet) in these areas.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Thanks for adding another local wrinkle to the sea level rise issue. Very pertinent down here in Dunedin…

              • weka

                This paper is too technical for me but it appears to be saying that 45% of the NZ coast line is rising, 40% is stable, and 15% is subsiding.


                • Tracey

                  Nothing to worry about then. For those who can build move to higher ground.

                  • weka

                    Yeah, personally I think sea level rise is the least of our problems (not true for some other parts of the world, esp if the rise happens fast). There will be some infrastructure planning issues given we have no idea what is going to happen when, but in general I think water and land use, and changing weather patterns to frequent extreme events are going to be the biggies for NZ (of course storms will affect coastal places as well as sea level rise).

                    • Tracey

                      I just think we have to grow the fuck up and stop thinking that the right thing to do by ourselves and those who come after us and those who share the planet with us, is to argue about whether global warming is real or not, when we could just work on being better fucking citizens of the planet. Which means less or no polluting of water, food chains etc…

                      This idea that we can shit in our own nests and not start to stink and become diseased is ludicrous.

                    • weka

                      I completely agree and if I had my way we wouldn’t be allowed to have denialist conversations here on ts. They just suck up a whole lot of time and energy that we desperately need to focus on change and solutions. And you’re right, we are past that, there is just no need to keep arguing about it.

        • Gosman

          You reply seriously to dukeofurl’s comment but not Skinny’s rather ridiculous scenario. Unbelievable.

          • Skinny

            I’m just reporting what I read. A case scenario of the Polar caps melting is hardly ridiculous.

            My personal concern is the effect of volcanic eruptions and climate change as a result. This cold snap we are experiencing I believe has a lot to do with volcanic activity. There ya go Gosman go ponder this.

            • Gosman

              Yeah it is if you want to be taken seriously. I will grant you that a worse case scenario might mean sea levels rise by between 2 and 10 meters in the next couple of centuries (depending on if an icesheets collapses rather than melts) however noone is really talking 25 meters any time soon.

      • Skinny 4.1.2

        Yip and the 80 meter graphic took that into account.

        • dukeofurl

          All of Greenland will give you 6.5m rise. Only 39.5m to go in Hamilton

          Roughly we can expect at most around 1.10m per century. Thats if those tectonic plates keep still for that long.

        • weka

          Skinny, where does Musther say he took geological movement int account?

          • Skinny

            He does not critique the reasons just the sea level rise I guess. Water temperature will have a dramatic effect on the air patterns i.e storms.

            This is as depressing as listening to Trotter & Hide on the political show today. I may change my drinks tonight in front of the fire from Brandy to Gin.

    • emergency mike 4.2

      Got a link to that graphic Skinny?

  5. philj 5

    Will we become boat people on our own ocean? I have noah idea.

  6. Bill 6

    …he(Key) said. “A target of a 40 percent reduction on 1990 levels would be disastrous.

    That’s the nub of the problem.

    Like it or lump it, the sentiment Key is expressing, even if his numbers are contestable, is widespread and true. We can’t tackle climate change and maintain our economy. Unfortunately, damned few people, Green leaning or otherwise, want to face up to that fact.

    • yeah Bill, we can’t have our cake and eat it.
      As long as people want to improve their lot in life, we are going to see an attempt to ‘grow’ the economy, be it with insulation, regular food supply, health, or whatever?
      All the things we hold dear are killing us.
      Like trying to cure cancer for example, but then nearly everything we do increases ABRUPT CC, even if we all walked everywhere, it is still 7 billion pairs of shoes )
      @ 400ppm C02 and with C02 hanging around for no less than 1,000 years, reducing emissions now is just bullshit.
      If a child born today has any ‘hope’ whats so ever, it will be in us reducing the C02 content to 300 ppm within 10 years …. impossible

      simply put – for all the hopeaholics – 400ppm C02 in 2015 is the same as 400ppm in 250 million BC, the fucking fact is as the fucking records show, no if buts or maybes that 400ppm C02 = 95% extinction of ALL life on earth, and that includes every child born today.

      I know But But but
      Show me how you can remove 1 ppm C02 and I might change my ‘opinion’

      GDP – General Dumb Public
      GDP – Growth Destroys the Planet

  7. Seeing as many of the gases involved with climate change also crop up in air pollution, environmental health issues and acid rain, there really is no excuse not to act. I have long been interested in many more productive work hours we would be able to put were so many of us not downed by respiratory ailments aggravated by air pollution.

    • Poission 7.1

      Seeing as many of the gases involved with climate change also crop up in air pollution, environmental health issues and acid rain

      Sulfate deposition ( acid rain) in wetlands suppresses ch4 growth, its a negative feedback.

  8. Sable 8

    Take a look at the latest on Wikileaks about the dirty TPPA deal and you will see just how little this ugly government cares about the environment not to mention our sovereign rights.

  9. Hutty 9

    Meant as a very genuine question as I’m intrigued to learn more on the topic, does anyone have links to websites/research that show how heavy rainfall like that in Dunedin over the past day happens as a result of climate change? Any recommendations are appreciated!

    Or of course if someone is brave enough to explain in Layman’s terms also.


  10. Ad 10

    Imagine the political earthquake if Key had accepted Shaw’s offer.

    Key’s people know National can work with Shaw (far less so Metiria). I have seen the evidence internally.

    I suspect by the next election there will be substantial policy areas that the Shaw Greens and the National can work on. Whether by Budget agreement or more formally, is moot. This guy Shaw is no mug.

    Labour’s caucus need to figure out an agreement with the Shaw Greens, because they will otherwise quickly find themselves outflanked. Bet a shiver went down Little’s spine.

    Good play Shaw.

  11. weka 11

    Missed opportunity for Labour to come out and say it also supports cross party talks on CC.


    • Bill 11.1

      Cross party agreement resulted in the Holyrood Parliament committing to a cut in emissions of 80 per cent by 2050 and a 42 per cent decrease by 2020, compared with 1990 levels.

      It’s unfortunate, though entirely predictable, that they keep missing their yearly targets.

      Necessary emission reductions kill the economy. A growing economy kills any chance of taking necessary action.

      Have you seen or heard of any politician from anywhere advocating the necessary economic policy of de-growth? I haven’t.

      • weka 11.1.1

        That’s going to be the problem, how to actually make it work, but it’s good that the Scots have at least got an agreement on what should be done.

        I agree that the conversation about the economy needs to happen, and soon. I’m still not convinced the GP are the ones to lead that yet, because the risk is so great for them to get slammed and lose ground. They are pretty much the only ones in parliament making any headway on this and I don’t think we can afford to lose them. But if there was a groundswell of action outside of parliament it would make it much easier for them to be move their position.

        They talk about the need for a mixed economy as a way of transitioning to a post-carbon economy. I find it inconceivable that no-one in the GP is aware of the issues you raise (they’ve been at the forefront of this for a very long time) , but I think a mix of pragmatics and having to work with what is in front of them mean that they’re working with the transition not where we actually need to be.

        I imagine that those at the target meetings found it depressing or frustrating, but the write ups I’ve seen demonstrated that the people, actual NZ citizens, are ready for change. I found that to be the most hopeful thing I’ve seen in a long time.

        I also think there is a big class issue here that’s going to need to be resolved (which you bring up from time to time but not too many others do yet). The standard seems like a pretty good place to have some conversations about that.

        • Bill

          What impact do the 3000 Green Party members have on policy? Does the parliamentary wing merely respond to them, or does it reserve a capacity to shape their opinions or even ignore their opinions on the basis that they are simply and demonstratively wrong?

          I mean, if (say) Hague was fully aware of what needs done, could he even express the need for de-growth without the overt permission of a membership who might have placed their faith on carbon taxes and such like?

          p.s. Had to postpone that post I mentioned. Fallen over with head cold

          • weka

            This outlines the policy development process. AFAIK caucus develop strategic priorities, and members have input at three places: from the policy conference, via the Issues groups, and then later once draft policy is put out for feedback. So yeah, the parliamentary wing are hugely influential, but they can’t just do what they like either.


            I don’t know what would happen if a single MP started talking publicly against existing policy. But that’s the thing about the GP, it’s works via consensus a lot and the idea that an MP could just say and do what they want doesn’t make sense. This is in startk contrast to Labour. One of the reaons that the GP is relatively functional as an organisation is because of how people relate with each other and MPs going off and doing their own thing just isn’t part of the kaupapa (from what I can tell). That’s not a controlled, shut the fuck up thing, it’s about working together and respect and having clear processes.

            There’s no reason why an MP, or any member, couldn’t talk internally about degrowth*. But like I say, IMO this isn’t about awareness so much as strategy and I don’t know what would happen if someone instigated such a policy change (and as I have said, I’m not convinced it would be the right thing to do). I also don’t think there is any reason to assume that the membership are completely clueless about the situation, it will vary obviously, but I would expect there are active members who know.

            *IMO, degrowth is core to GP values and policy. They just don’t shout it from the roof tops in the way you and CV are suggesting. My take on that is that they learned early on that if they did that, no-one would vote for them and they would have an uphill battle with the media. But it’s there, implied rather than explicit and they’re doing the things to get us to a place where that can be explicit.

  12. I personally think they are dragging finding a solution because they secretly want to reap the profit from taxing the fossil fuel industry. For each unit of fossil fuel sold or transacted, they fund their coffers so it’s really not a surprise that they are not more proactive with doing something about the problem.

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