John Key and the Fart Tax

Written By: - Date published: 3:16 pm, November 17th, 2014 - 35 comments
Categories: climate change, farming, global warming, john key, national, science - Tags: , , ,

In the last few days America and China announced a significant deal on reducing carbon emissions. The G20 nations also made progress, forcing the denier Abbot government to back down in the process. The tide of history is turning (too little, too late) – and the best that our own PM can do is whine about it:

John Key defends dairy industry’s climate change record

Global warming has become a hot topic at the meeting, which follows closely from a major new climate agreement between China and the United States, announced at Apec last week.

In an interview on TVNZ’s Q+A programme this morning, Mr Key said New Zealand could not set the agenda for global climate change talks. And he dismissed claims the dairy industry was not playing its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. …

“If the behaviour you’re trying to change is something you have no answer for and the farmer can’t control – the methane and nitrate emissions from the animal – then aren’t you just really putting a tax on them for the sake of it?” Mr Key said this morning.

fart-tax-mad-cowEmissions that the farmer can’t control? Has Key ever heard of science? Progress can be made on agricultural emissions. All it takes is research and application. Labour tried to fund such research by way of a modest tax once, and the Nats successfully turned it in to a laughing stock.

If the Nats had just an ounce of foresight and responsibility, they would not have fought this research. Then Key would have had some options. He would have been able to set out a timetable for NZ reducing its agricultural emissions. But no, instead the best that he can do now is whinge about how hard it is, and paint our country as a global idiot.

Oh – on an entirely unrelated matter: We’re Tired of Telling You These Things, but Last Month Was the Hottest October on Record.

October2014

35 comments on “John Key and the Fart Tax”

  1. Areobubble 1

    Keys argued Nz should wait for the world to move.
    US and China agree on targets.
    Key is vacant.

    • b waghorn 1.1

      He doe’s have a point though why penalize our productive sector when
      A – there are scientists working on it
      B- our emissions are a drop in the bucket
      C- there are many piontless activities humans are up that cause pollution where as we need food.

      • Tracey 1.1.1

        explain carbon tax on forestry …

      • Molly 1.1.2

        But he is not doing anything along the lines of addressing a, b or c either.

      • b waghorn 1.1.3

        I personally think ets and carbon taxes will solve nothing significant change will only happen when government s pass laws that force reductions

      • Tiro 1.1.4

        And here something if you yourself want to participate in making a difference for the environment and the next generation:
        Make Monday meat free day -http://www.raw.info/the-problem
        from the book – Farmageddon – the true cost of cheap meat

        • b waghorn 1.1.4.1

          I’m a farmer (worker not owner) but I probably have 3 days a week meat free as I’m finding it helps the health

      • Areobubble 1.1.5

        A Green innovation is not an explation for doing nothing, its a necessity we need to stimulate more. National continues to undermine Green entrepeurers.

        B Our emissions are not a drop in the bucket, per head our reading carbon pollution is amongst the worst globally. We just got lucky with hydro.

        C Carbon credits are all about incentives, if you don’t believe in Green then you’ll liable to not have the IQ, to understand how Coal is bad and food good, how the products of Coal are bad, and the products of our seed industry good. Its hard to debate with our anti-Green Luddite govt, nat govt and farm lobby. Had they listen to Greens thirty years ago we’d be a high wage economy today having a debate about how to spend taxation rather than save it. Having a debate about other things than leaky homes and poor supply of housing demanded by citizens.

        Its egregious how normalized the right have turned us all into a debating barn from the fifteens. The world has moved on, neo-liberals smears are public civic pollution, these nits are a gross underming of our nations future profitability.

        Green entrepreneur s are turning Green ideals into cold hard profits globally.
        And where is Hooten? Barely getting his head around how when we buy a car or food then carbon credits the traded, on farmers and miners alike.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2

      Remember China is not agreeing to any ‘reductions’

      They are saying that they will peak around 2030 but do not mention reduction after that.
      Allready they are more than 25% higher (8.5Bt) than total US at 5.5Bt ot carbon

  2. Tracey 2

    and yet he seems fine with carbon tax on trees… bad trees

  3. mickysavage 3

    “If the behaviour you’re trying to change is something you have no answer for and the farmer can’t control – the methane and nitrate emissions from the animal – then aren’t you just really putting a tax on them for the sake of it?”

    In other words lets do nothing …

    It is such a dishonest argument. I wish he would just come out and say that National does not want to do anything about climate change instead of pretending and trying to have it both ways.

  4. srylands 4

    You have no evidence to support your claim that the proposed research levy would have made a difference to mitigation options in New Zealand (or if you do have such evidence you have not cited it – are you sugegsting that there has been no public funding of GHG emissions reduction resarch in the ag sector?)

    There is considerable research in progress both here, e.g., http://www.pggrc.co.nz/ and internationally.

    Reducing New Zealand emissions remains expensive, RELATIVE to other countries. That is all that matetrs. It is more sensible for New Zealand to pay for cheap emission reductions in other countries. That is why international emissions trading featured so prominently in the Kyoto Protocol. I hope that New Zealand negotiators are pushing hard for such mechanisms in any future international agreement.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      You have no evidence to support your claim that the proposed research levy would have made a difference to mitigation options in New Zealand

      Tell that to Key. He is the one who said that Science would make a difference by 2050 and rubbished the current predications. If science is not going to do it then nothing is going to.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Reducing New Zealand emissions remains expensive,

      Actually, it’s relatively cheap – all we have to do is get rid of the cows.

  5. Neil 5

    The easiest way for NZ to reduce the emissions produced here, would for Key to put a cork in his gob.

  6. A voter 6

    Its not that hard John all you got to do is get you and all your rich mates to be prepared to stay in NZ come hell or high water and take a pay pollution cut in your 1% rich club payouts and get really conservative about all the wasteful spending like ,the highways of insignificance ,funding Rio Tinto building unnecessary offices and convention centres with tax payer money leave Invermay alone open up the full capacity of the INTERNET so we can trade faster without travelling out of the country and stay out of OTHER PEOPLES WARS
    That would do for starters oh and actually pay people to get rid of the Possums and make sure the BILGE from ships visiting NZ IS treated as you would with sewerage being dumped in our harbours
    And outlaw V8 cars on the road along with all the BS advertising and false values and then see who really wants to save NZ
    And for the sake of our health save our fishing Industry and our natural fertile land so we can grow decent VEGGIES and go to church once in a while
    FRIGGIN WAKE UP NZ your being conned

    5

  7. felix 7

    “If the behaviour you’re trying to change is something you have no answer for and the farmer can’t control – the methane and nitrate emissions from the animal – …”

    Sorry, what?

    Since when have farmers not been in control of the amount of animals they raise?

    Key isn’t that dumb. Are his supporters?

  8. Matthew Hooton 8

    Are you seriously saying the government is not funding and supporting research into reducing methane emissions? It launched the biggest research project in history on that very topic at Copenhagen!

    • Macro 8.1

      $25m! You have to be f88king joking! Peanuts! The cost of the emissions NZ produces alone will be way more than that. And the downstream cost are already in the billions – the result of years of drought and extreme weather to come.

    • Andrea 8.2

      I am seriously saying that when the spotlight moves the pitiful amount allocated will probably be shifted elsewhere and those working on the project will either ‘follow the money’ or go overseas.

      I am also seriously saying that very little effort will be put into creating and sustaining a working campus for the researchers.

      Further – it is highly unlikely that the applied science work either will be or can be done in this country because the means whereby and the skilled workforce will have been ‘dehydrated and dissipated’. (No. That doesn’t imply any sort of over-long Happy Hour.)

      ‘Oh, Science will save us!’ Like waiting for divine attention at an old time Billy Graham evangelist meeting.

      And – I agree with b waghorn: the moment you bring money into the story – that’s where the focus will be, and those who stand to make unearned/undeserved profits will be in like starving goldfish at feeding time. It will not address the issues at all.

      If the minnows at the lower end of the food chain cannot avoid the imposition of this crazy Monopoly-variation tax by taking alternative action such as buying a cheap-enough low emissions vehicle, or local sourcing, then the whole ets is nothing but a no-win charade. Gaia will be giggling as her bath fills…

      I wonder when the Greens will arrive with the other part of the equation – the piece that gives the population choices instead of the affliction of another tax. They’re not doing too well so far. Bless.

    • Shona 8.3

      Mathew $250 million per annum is a realistic amount, if we are remotely serious about dealing with climate change in any effective manner.
      The funds can be found by raising income tax on the top 3% to 45% inline with the US and Australia.
      An FTT is also long overdue along with the abolition of GST and the introduction of a CGT. Now would not be too soon for any of these taxes. Any whiners and rich parasites who bailed out of NZ would given a free farewell at Auckland airport ( middle fingers raised in a suitable salute to the scum) from the legions of underfed Maori and Pasifika children who largely make up the inexcusable statistic of 270,000 children who do not get enough eat each day in NZ.
      That Key brushes this shameful statistic off proves to any one with a working brain what a piece of sh** he truly is!

  9. A voter 9

    LOVE THAT word RESEARCH in its purest but this govt DOING SFA because it should have been a priority not saving the free market from its own constructed demise
    The Free Market can survive without govt controls Yeah f… but not without its bail out money
    HYPOCRISY PAY UP YOU SHYSTERS FREELOADERS

  10. RedLogix 10

    What gets me is that is a few years time when the denialists have been utterly discredited and the need for urgent action becomes uncontroversial – is that the Tories will turn around and blame the left for ‘how long it took to get to an agreement’ – and promptly take all the credit for achieving action.

    • felix 10.1

      Yep.

      Matt Hooton is already preparing the lines.

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.2

      Do none of these people have grandchildren? Do none of them have children under 20 that they want to have grow old in some kind of moderately survivable world?

      • RedLogix 10.2.1

        Short answer no. Here’s why.

        Most people are appalled by the idea of their children dying before them. Yet at another level they accept that they inevitably will – after their own passing.

        This is a psychological flaw hard-wired into humans, we just do not have an innate moral horizon beyond our own life-times. It’s why younger people who can see climate change impacting them personally are generally more receptive to the message than older people who will all be dead within 40 years.

        For many older people raised on the ‘forever progress’ fairytale – the possibility that there is a dark demon lurking in the basement of fossil fuels is something that disturbs, dislocates their value system. It’s cheaper to discount AGW by projecting the impacts beyond their lifetime – than to change their beliefs.

        • Colonial Rawshark 10.2.1.1

          Oddly, the idea of leaving a legacy and of leaving a farm better then when you found it, is not that uncommon. This was an age, not that long ago, where stories of ones parents, grandparents and ancestors, would help fix upcoming generations with a perspective longer than their own short lifetime on the planet.

          And we know humans are capable of it in various ways, the recent article the War Nerd has written on martyrdom explains and demonstrates the characteristic. In NZ workers used to build dams and other infrastructure that they had the satisfaction of knowing would benefit the people of the nation for generations.

          • RedLogix 10.2.1.1.1

            Yes – but both cases hinge on there being something tangible in the present to direct the intention onto. The farm, the hydro dam, the cathedral – whatever.

            Problem with climate change is that we keep focusing on a negation – not emitting fossil carbon. Humans are very weak at simply NOT doing something for a future reward. Like stopping smoking or drinking.

            And therein lies a big fat cluebat.

  11. Troy 11

    “If the behaviour you’re trying to change is something you have no answer for and the farmer can’t control ……….then aren’t you just really putting a tax on them for the sake of it?” Mr Key said this morning.

    What a weak and misleading argument. If that is your test for action then why price any emissions? Coal miners can’t stop their coal emitting, gas miners can’t stop their natural gas emitting, cement manufacturers can’t stop that damn limestone calcining, poor forest owners can’t stop deforestation releasing stored carbon……

    The point is that there are many alternative ways to produce energy, to use fertile land, transport goods, produce protein or whatever. Internalizing pollution costs ensures we do it all at least economic cost.

    New Zealand changes land use faster than just about anywhere, and when the pollution subsidies are removed from dairying, Farms that are not economic will switch to the most profitable use. End of story. There are no sacred cows John.

  12. rich the other 12

    Worth a read and makes our dairy cows seem very insignificant .

    India’s coal mining plans may represent the biggest obstacle to a global climate pact to be negotiated at a conference in Paris next year. While the United States and China announced a landmark agreement that includes new targets for carbon emissions, and Europe has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent, India, the world’s third-largest emitter, has shown no appetite for such a pledge.

    “India’s development imperatives cannot be sacrificed at the altar of potential climate changes many years in the future,” India’s power minister, Piyush Goyal, said at a recent conference in New Delhi in response to a question. “The West will have to recognize we have the needs of the poor.”

    Mr. Goyal has promised to double India’s use of domestic coal from 565 million tons last year to more than a billion tons by 2019, and he is trying to sell coal-mining licenses as swiftly as possible after years of delay. The government has signaled that it may denationalize commercial coal mining to accelerate extraction.

    .

    • b waghorn 12.1

      Caught a show yesterday saying china is putting 1.5 million new cars on the road a month. Nz should be working on how to cope with worst case scenarios of climate change imo

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  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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