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Key: making shit up

Written By: - Date published: 4:23 pm, May 26th, 2011 - 41 comments
Categories: ETS, john key - Tags:

John Key just rumbles on from one lame excuse to the next on putting agriculture in the ETS.

First he said that it would raise milk and cheese prices: wrong.

Now he’s saying both that National won’t make our agriculture sector account for their emissions before others do, and that farmers can’t do anything about their livestocks emissions. He’s just making more shit up.

National have legislated to bring agriculture in in 2015. Nobody will have brought agriculture in by then. He hasn’t said anything about changing that, but if that’s what he’s proposing, he has several hundred million worth each year of cuts or tax-rises he needs to tell us about. Either there’s no substantive difference between National’s position and Labour’s (other than an $800 million handout to farmers), or he’s not balancing the books.

And anyone who’s ever eaten a curry knows there a strong connection between what you put in and what you get out. Different feed produces different emissions. Kiwifruit & clover produce almost as much hot air from cows as you get from John Key; other feed will improve things. There are many different things farmers can do to reduce emissions, which some farmers have had great success with – even before the agricultural research and development we really need.

Sheep farmers have done well to make changes and many will actually benefit from the scheme as they will have reduced their emissions more than 10% below 2005 levels. They may want to consider whether they want to keep subsidising their dairy cousins.

Do you want to pay the farmers’ tax for them? We can’t subsidise our nation’s biggest industry – last time we tried that we got skinny sheep syndrome and near bankruptcy. We need to ride on the back of the cow, not have it ride us.

41 comments on “Key: making shit up”

  1. higherstandard 1

    How do you measure a cow’s emissions ?

    How do you measure a farm’s emissions ?

    Who’s making money out of this bullshit ?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Wander past the field filled with cows/sheep etc, take air samples, take measurements of wind direction and strength and then test the air samples with one of these. Not fucken hard.

      • higherstandard 1.1.1

        Yes that’ll work brilliantly…………… snigger.

        • Blighty

          you fucken moron, hs.

          They’ve been measuring livestock emissions for decades (here’s a pic – http://inhabitat.com/spiffy-backpack-traps-bovine-gas/ ) and developed emission factors. Then, you just count the number of livestock.

          You don’t have to measure every emission, just like you don’t have to measure everything coming out of an exhaust pipe to calculate its emissions.

          And agriculture has been reducing its per head of livestock emissions – 8.6% more emissions since 1990 while agricultural output has increased a lot more.

          There’s nothing worse than an idiot like yourself who assumes something can’t be right when you have no knowledge of the subject and the experts know different.

          • Colonial Viper

            Well according to John Key on HardTalk, that NZ environmental scientist was just another guy with just another opinion, nothing special. So HS is just mimicking the style.

        • mickysavage

          Yes HS let us instead not give a stuff about it and then sit back and watch the world gradually warm and watch the sea levels increase and storms get more violent and watch our world slowly irrevocably change.

          And then in 30 years time wish we had done something, anything rather than snigger …

          • higherstandard

            Imposing an ETS on farming in NZ without a similar tax being imposed on agriculture being imposed on our trading partners and competitors will hurt our economy and do nothing to change CO2 and methane emissions.

            And as for the bright red fartbag link provided by blighty….comedy gold.

            • Blighty

              If farmers don’t pay for their emissions, we all do as taxpayers. Are you happy paying for someone else’s pollution as a taxpayer and for your own through the ETS on petrol? If you are, do you mind paying my mortgage as well as your own?

              and the bag collects burps.

              you thought that livestock emissions couldn’t be measured. You’re an idiot.

              • higherstandard

                Yes I look forward to the day that all livestock are wearing their emission detectors.

                It’s a tax which will achieve nothing, perhaps we should set up a ministry in charge of invoicing livestock for their emissions and another which can offer counseling for especially naughty bovine beasts.

                • Colonial Viper

                  It’s a tax which will achieve nothing

                  Except diversify our export base and use the dairy industry to help create new well paid high tech jobs in NZ industry.

            • neoleftie

              surely you agree with the concept of those that contribute to an problem, like polution, must pay their fair share, after all its only 10% of the total due or is it one rule for the damn and blind masses and one for the who can get away with it.

      • John D 1.1.2

        Yes, but is this taken into account into the ETS?
        My understanding is that the ETS on stock is just a flat rate on stock units.

        For example, the carbon farming calculator here


        I don’t see anywhere on this that emissions are measured.
        In fact the same website has this quote


        There are no off the shelf methods, additives etc to reduce methane from ruminant animals. It has been said that the only silver bullet for methane emission reductions is the silver bullet!


        Now, whether you agree or not with taxing farmers for methane emissions is one thing, but if you are trying to encourage better farming practices, then isn’t it better to reward these?
        I don’t see anywhere in these calculators that this is stated.

        Happy to be proved wrong, of course

        • Draco T Bastard

          My understanding is that the ETS on stock is just a flat rate on stock units.

          It probably is, especially at the beginning, as going out and measuring how much each cow individually is releasing would be to expensive so they measure several cows in a controlled environment and use that as a base. That said, the scientists are likely to come up with better ways (I mentioned one and thought of another couple) of doing the measuring over time and as that happens better enforcement will become available as well.

          Have to start somewhere.

          • John D

            “better enforcement”
            Exactly, another raft of non-jobs for science grads

            • Draco T Bastard

              I’d say that ensuring that people pay for their mess isn’t a “non-job” but it’s what I’d expect a RWNJ to say. They really don’t like paying for the messes that they make and much prefer everyone else to pay for them.

              • John D

                Oh, I had to look up RWNJ on Google.

                So, Draco, you’d be happy with a society that regulates every single aspect of your life, from cradle to grave, everything from breathing, eating and shitting?

                You’d be happy to have a bunch of “scientists” measuring your every move?

                Who exactly is going to pay for all of this?

                Oh, I forgot, it’s those “rich” people. I’d love to meet some of these rich people one day. I suspect most of them have got government “jobs”

                I look forward to your abusive and patronising reply.

                Oh, and Mr Smiths “cards”. He’s got a card for everything.

            • Colonial Viper

              Exactly, another raft of non-jobs for science grads


              Or would you prefer our science grads to go work in Australia and Singapore to help those countries get further ahead?

              Coz thats the country you have created.

          • neoleftie

            actual we are world leaders on rumient emissions research. ive personally seen a cow with a window and zipper along its stomach for research into this area.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    How are farmers actually supposed to measure these emissions, anyway?
    Seems like it’s going to be a calculated measure. Like they measure 10 cows in a lab eating different types of food, and then if a farmer changes their cows from food A to food B, they simply looking at the lab results of the difference, and multiply that by their number of cows?
    Who is going to do the inspections to make sure the farmers always feed their animals on the type of food they say they do? How do you know if they feed their animals on that food for all 52 weeks a year – maybe they only do it for the 4 weeks leading up to the inspection.

    Edit: Uh oh, looks like I’m in bad company with this thought.

    • wtl 2.1

      I imagine there will be some issues with measuring this, but I’m sure it is quite doable. As a complete non-expert, I can come up with a few ideas already.

      Methane produced probably depends on three main variables:

      1) The type of feed.
      2) The breed of animal.
      3) The gut bacteria in the animal (which will depend on 1 and 2, but should also be modifiable in its own right).

      Obviously 2 isn’t too much of an issue – it will require a bit of accounting, but nothing too difficult.

      As for 1, yes it could be a bit of an issue making sure farmers don’t ‘cheat’, but then again, I imagine most of the farm animals in NZ are pasture-fed, meaning the type of pasture would be a major determinant, and much more difficult to ‘fake’. As for additional feed that is not pasture, a relatively simple means that I can think of is some kind of ‘voucher’ attached to feed that produces low methane emissions. The farmers can then use these vouchers to reduce their ETS payment, which will provide evidence of how much their herd has been fed this low-methane feed.

      As for number 3, some research will let shows us ways we can change the gut bacteria composition in the animals. This might involve feeding the animals certain supplements that promote certain types of bacteria. or perhaps some kind of probiotics containing certain strains of bacteria that will colonise the guts of the animals. Obviously, farmers can reduce their ETS costs if they show evidence they have been dosing their animals with these products.

    • Blighty 2.2

      Here: http://www.maf.govt.nz/news-resources/faqs/faqs-agriculture-and-the-ets

      “7. How are agricultural emissions measured?

      To calculate emissions, participants need to multiply the quantity of a product by an emissions factor for that product. Download the tables of emissions factors for each product (PDF, 37 KB)

    • Bob 2.3

      The only emissions farmers are concerned with is is milk fat solids , every thing else is a means to an end , wether it be fert , palm kernal expellier , dirty streams/rivers , try and hide the effluent somewhere , diesel for the job . Thats right its not really emissions is it ? Its just business as usual

  3. ianmac 3

    “National have legislated to bring agriculture in in 2015.”
    Been wondering about that Eddie. If the reasons for bringing it in 2015 including paying the cost of emissions from dairy cattle, how can the same reasons be wrong for 2013? It might be argued that dairy farmers need time to gear up or something, but that is not what Key is saying is it. (Pity that the fart/burp tax was not carried through as by now there might have been credible significant remedies.)

    • Blighty 3.1

      the Nats are looking like not bringing agriculture into the ETS at all. There’s a review on and that’s the likely conclusion they’ll come to.

      • MrSmith 3.1.1

        Exactly Blighty, thats the dog whistling I have been hearing as well.

        This is the farmers party we are talking about.

        • Colonial Viper

          Once Were Farmers, you mean.

          These days National are just a bunch of neo-libs sell offs who throw the odd bone to the farmers and who pretend to still care about their old fashioned conservative roots.

  4. tc 4

    Great strategy though. Let sideshow do what he does best then when he has no option but to admit any BS he goes aww shucks I’m so busy or I was advised incorrectly etc etc Not that it happens as often as it should….tranzrail, blind trust, beemers etc

    Meantime the dark lords just go about their business while the clown performs.

  5. Jum 5

    Guess What. I tuned into the Key acolyte John Campbell who interviewed a wide-eyed innocent, youthful looking Dairy rep, just like Key looked pre-2008 election, honest John the look said;

    Crap. Knowing that Labour have come up with a first class idea of making farmers help to pay for their own crap, instead of every non-accountant-assisted taxpayer, beneficiary and dependent child, superannuitant (this is where the money is coming from as non-farmers’, non-moneytraders’ income and standard of living is steadily eroded – not just taxpayers) paying it for them, Key thinks up this ‘bright’ idea to front a stooge on his bought and paid for TV3 7-7.30 show to publicise what is happening in the beautiful wetlands down in Southland.

    (It makes me sick that so many farms are operating where I thought there was pristine land. On a quarter of a hectare paddock, two steers produce five heaped contractor wheelbarrow loads of shit in 3 weeks.)

    Then the gummint will charge down there, slap an ‘ECAN’ on the Council and take that over too.

    Then they will write a cheque to save the wetlands, like they did with the Herceptin lie, and moronic New Zealanders will once again get all dewy over the wide-eyed Honest Mr Key, believing he and his backers actually give a fxck. Then they will postpone the polluter charges if they get back in because farmers are NActMU supporters. Don’t forget that the cheque is signed by us; we deserve to have accountability from the farm owners.

    You can get fooled once and it’s not your fault. If you get fooled twice it is your fault and you NActMU supporters will steal my children’s birthright of a green sustainable country like the criminals you are by the simple act of ticking against NActMU. The one fact that the NActMU voters don’t seem to realise is that their children’s birthright will disappear over to the foreignors who own half our farms now, as will the rest of our assets.

    Remind me of what damage the farmers have caused when next they ask for help from me and mine when their farms are under water or whatever. No, don’t bother; I’ll remember.

    • ianmac 5.1

      I think Campbell Live did his job well. What staggered me is that it is only now in 2011 that the Dairy industry is finding out what has to be done to protect the water! What!!! The CEO fooled no-one. There was a TV water way program on recently about the Rangitata River in mid Canterbury. The upper reaches are brilliant the new dairy farms towards the outlet were dairy polluted visibly and badly so. Perhaps they didn’t know how to do it properly either.
      But Jum the voters are going to notice dairy pollution. Dairy talking plus tax concern could make this an election issue more than obscure economy issues. Anyone other than Campbell raise this? Doubt it so go John!

      • Jum 5.1.1

        Guess you’re right about who would air it, Ianmac. Guess I’m just getting cynical. I remember the less than objective debates pre 2008 election.

      • Margaret 5.1.2

        Jum is right, the soft talk by John Key is a continuation of the Ruthless Ruth -Roger Douglas philosophy’s. Both looked up to “Pepe” Paneda, the original author of the Employment Contractors Act,and the Minister of Labour in Pinochet’s government, saw it’s introduction in Chile, wasn’t it during the last National Government when he was invited to NZ more than once to meet with the Business Round Table.

        I think all the laws National have been passing is to ease a crackdown on society as we know it after they have been re elected.

  6. infused 6

    Fuck the ETS all together.

    • pollywog 6.1

      Werd…I hope Teh Mana party campaign on scrapping the Emissions Trading Scam.

      Should get a shitload of votes.

    • Campbell Larsen 6.2

      Pollution should be subject a financial penalty, but these debits should not be commodity that can be traded. International markets in today’s world are deeply flawed mechanisms which allow unseen manipulators to extract value at the detriment of honest participants.

      The pollution reduction targets of the ETS should be exceeded IMO not ignored, and industry should be forced to address the environmental cost of their operations.

      Pollution is real – and though people may choose to debate global warming or CO2 only an liar would try and say that pollution is not a problem.

      So lets put petty semantics aside. Its about human impact, and it must be mitigated.

      You emit, you pay, you degrade habitats, you pay, you, pollute, you pay. Simple.

  7. Charlie Parker 7

    ETS is a solution to problem that doesn’t exist. Stop believing the sky will fall and you needn’t measure cow crap. You will lose a means to oppress the people, but that shouldn’t bother anyone who isn’t of the Lef… ooohh, I see!

    • Craig Glen Eden 7.1

      Yeah if the fear was the sky is falling the sky is falling you would be right Charlie Parker, however, dirty air and rivers can be smelt and seen and these thing s have detrimental effects that can be measured so its not about belief. Massive fail on your part! Put your head back in the sand there’s a good boy.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      Charlie Parker: apologist for the cow shit industry

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