National is yeah nah on climate change

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, April 30th, 2018 - 34 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, climate change, Economy, Environment, ETS, global warming, greens, labour, national, same old national, science, Simon Bridges, sustainability - Tags:

The National Blue Green conference was on on this weekend.

There was a bit of a kerfuffle within the Greens’ ranks when former Green MP Kennedy Graham accepted an invitation to speak.  I don’t think too much should be read into it.  He is the brother of former National cabinet minister Doug Graham and I am sure the arrangement was easy to make.  And all parties should be made to confront climate change and get their heads around what is needed to address this most terrifying of phenomenon.

National’s problem is that wittingly or unwittingly it refuses to accept that urgent action is required now.  It has at least moved on from denial.  But its current response is couched in the turgid language of compromise and it is clearly not wishing upset its right wing base, its farmer lobby or its corporate friends.

At one level I can understand this.  Because National’s supporters are always resistant if not hostile to change.

This recent article by Jamie Morton in the Herald exemplifies the problem.  From the article:

More Kiwis want action on climate change than at any time in the past decade – but large numbers still don’t see a need to deal with it now, or even at all.

Horizon Research’s latest poll was carried out after New Zealand’s hottest summer in recorded history – and some of its findings have concerned a prominent climate scientist who says the world is running out of time to act.

Of 1164 adults surveyed nationwide last month, 64 per cent believed climate change was a problem, and 29 per cent of those thought it was an urgent problem.

But 30 per cent thought it was problem for later or not one at all; a result that suggested more than two million Kiwis were concerned about climate change, but 960,000 weren’t so worried.

The concern is down 12% from a decade ago although higher than it was recently.  It seems a decade of National Government has sucked some of us into a false sense of security.

Horizon Research broke down beliefs by political support and this produced some surprising results.  Below is the graph.

Even a majority of National supporters (54% to 43%) thought that climate change was an urgent problem or a problem that needed action now.

ACT supporters were the only political supporters where a majority did not think that climate change was a major problem but this should be tempered by the understanding that it must have been hard to find enough ACT supporters to make the result statistically significant.

And I would be keen to interview the 4% of Green Party supporters who thought climate change was a problem for the future and not now.

But it shows why National accepts that it has to be seen to be doing something.  The question is, how much is the minimum that they have to do before they start unduly upsetting their supporters and the corporates and farmers?

This is something that Simon Bridges attempted to address in his speech to the Blue Greens Conference.

From Joel Ineson at Stuff:

National leader Simon Bridges has pledged his party will have a strong environmental focus with a broadchurch approach to thinking.

“It’s important that we are pushing the envelope and that we hear from thinkers from a whole range of perspectives… We want to make sure that in Opposition we’re thinking things through and challenging our thinking and resetting things in some places.

Bridges challenged his party, staff and supporters with “resetting our approach to environmental issues”.

He said a strong economy, education, healthcare and social services were not worthwhile “if we’ve ruined the environment”.

“Good environmental practice is crucial for securing the type of future we want for our children and grandchildren.

“My view is that people aren’t used to hearing a National Party leader talk like this, but I’ve said right from the start that the environment is important to me and the National Party … The environment isn’t an optional extra.”

Every piece of rhetoric in the above passage is designed to say the right thing to the public at large.  But after this the rhetoric starts to drift away from the reality.

Bridges was “proud” of the work the previous government achieved during its nine years, introducing an emissions trading scheme, Predator Free NZ and the Environmental Reporting Act, but a continued and ramped-up effort was needed.

I don’t know if that is sloppy reporting or a misspeak on Bridges part.  For some reason I cannot find his speech on the web or any of his speeches for that purpose.  But the fifth Labour Government introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme.  National amended the scheme twice, the first in 2009 and the second in 2012.

The first changes were described in a New Zealand Herald editorial as an “emasculated version of a cap-and-trade scheme” and as a  “miserable offering to the international effort”.  And the Sydney Morning Herald, hardly a beacon for environmental enlightenment said that the ETS had been “significantly watered down” and that it gave “big polluters a much easier ride”.  The changes allowed for the unrestricted importation of overseas credits, something that caused international ridicule and opprobrium.

The second changes made things even worse.  The two-for-one unit surrender transitional measure was extended indefinitely beyond 2012, the entry of agriculture into the scheme was deferred indefinitely.

And how was National’s performance in relation to reducing climate change gas emissions?

Pretty appalling as this graph shows.  We are not on track to meet our requirements, we are not even being a fast follower.   We are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

National has clearly moved on from the old rhetoric of denial.  But its latest rhetoric, that there needs to be “balance” is designed for more of the same obfuscation and foot dragging.

When National comes out and say that we are collectively facing a crisis and urgent action is needed and then set out precisely what they would do including how we can deal with agriculture emissions then they can be taken seriously then they can be taken seriously.  Until then they will continue to be part of the problem.

 

 

34 comments on “National is yeah nah on climate change”

  1. Pat 1

    Yes National are appalling dissemblers on climate change however its pretty damn obvious that the bulk of current thinking irrespective of political leaning is ‘we must do something, as long as it dosn’t impact me’….until that changes little else will.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      +1

    • Cinny 1.2

      Indeed.

      Just goes to show national don’t care about our environment unless it involves gaining votes.

      • soddenleaf 1.2.1

        hostile to change, so much for the veneer of being capitalist. Green economy is opportunity for capitalism. Capitalism is pro or anti ecology, it’s conservatism that always stands in the way of necessity, whether pro or anti green.

        Take recently Bridges’, Arthur Scargill moment, rant about lost jobs ‘in mine’ or be it the petrol chemical industry. So much for the entrepreneurial free market party backing change for the greater good of the economy.

        But that’s the b teams role, to make Nats unpalatable and so create the opportunity in four year for a new momentum.

    • Peter ChCh 1.3

      ‘As long as it does not impact me’. Agree. We can see this clearly in the current crop of Green Mps. They talk the talk but do not walk the walk. They are hugely disproportionate users of air travel compared with other MPs and Ministers.

      https://www.parliament.nz/en/mps-and-electorates/mps-expenses/members-expense-disclosure-1-october-to-31-december-2017/

      • You_Fool 1.3.1

        ummm. lies…

        Green air travel expenses is the least per MP of all parties

        Green $4,523.13 /mp
        Act $4,637.00 /mp
        NZF $4,959.33 /mp
        Labour $5,626.86 /mp
        National $6,100.38 /mp

        Top spending Green is 13th on the overall list, and is Marama Davidson – not sure if her travel for campaign to be Green’s co-leader is counted?

        next Green is Chloe at 21st, Golriz at 25th. 4 Green MPs are in the bottom 25 of reported spending, including James Shaw.

  2. esoteric pineapples 2

    “fast follower” = doing nothing

    National is looking for that magical world where you can have things just the way you want them at the same time as reducing global warming – as are a lot of New Zealanders in general

    • AB 2.1

      “fast follower” = doing nothing
      All fast followers prefer to follow other fast followers. When there are only followers, how far up your a*se can you stick a corporate cliché?
      Answer: all the way, because everybody is behind everybody else.

      • SpaceMonkey 2.1.1

        Ha! Which means everyone is moving in a circle. Round and round…

  3. cleangreen 3

    Bloody good article thanks Mickey well done.

    Listening to national Leader Simon Bridges this morning on RNZ “morning report” and his ranting at the “regional infrastructure funding” hate he had for it and that he would “bin” it if his party got in in 2020 is so laughable.

    Bridges said nothing about the climate change or that truck freight is growing at an average nationally of 6% annually which is due to treble by 2035 (NZTA stats ‘ 2014/2017 freight demands study’)

    This transport emissions rise alone will from road freight kill any chance of us reaching our commitment to the paris carbon emissions target if rail is not supported here as bridges has indicated to us that he is lot keen of considering national rail freight policies again as labour is doing now.

    It is so disheartening that very little if nothing is even spoken about rail policy at all except for Auckland rail passenger services but nothing nationally about rail.

    Labour in 2004 championed a new “National Rail Strategy” that now needs to be actioned as when National got in in 2009 they “bined” it.

    https://www.transport.govt.nz/assets/Import/Documents/nationalrailstrategy.pdf

  4. Leaps 4

    This is an excellent post summarising National’s response to do with anything for the environment.
    Nationalistas really don’t get the fact that if you truly care about the environment then a lot of the Green party’s social policies are needed as well to help re-balance society to enable the environment to improve. It’s just not logically possible to deliver meaningful environmental goals while putting the economy first every time. And of course that’s not to say that these Green policies will destroy the economy, but will reshape it.

  5. Anne 5

    The ‘climate concern by party’ graph makes for interesting reading. All three coalition government parties have majority support for urgent action needed now. ACT of course is still in la la land, and National has managed to reach slightly over the halfway mark. They’re getting there but oh so slowly… as has been borne out by they’re past performance in government.

    Exactly the same situation occurred during the 60s, 70s and 80s when the anti-nuclear debates were raging. It took National umpteen years to admit to any concern and even when they did it was reluctantly conceded. It seems to be in their psyche to look backward to the past rather than forward to the future.

  6. Cold Hard Truth 6

    100 multi national companies are responsible for a large part of the climate change we are experiencing. The same companies can stand to tell us what to do if we sign up the the CP-TPP.

    • cleangreen 6.1

      True that is Cold Hard Truth.

      These 100 companies are a constant threat to the whole global population as well, and should face legal charges against humanity.

      we should see a global “class action lawsuit ” against them, we will join against these criminals.

  7. Ssorwredna 7

    From February 2016 to February 2018 the global average temperatures dropped 0.56°C. Is this good or bad climate change??

  8. SPC 8

    Yup Graham attending was a non issue, he led the climate change cross party group in parliament.

  9. Well maybe those who are unconcerned about climate alarmism are looking at real-world evidence, like the fact that Tuvalu is actually expanding http://www.nzgeo.com/stories/tuvalu-rising/

    • Pat 9.1

      as it has been for decades….however the accumulated coral debris and sand is of little use and susceptible to dispersal by storms….and the main threat is salt water ingress….due to rising sea levels due to…wait for it…climate change.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_in_Tuvalu

      The cherry picking needs to be of a higher standard

      • All coral atolls are porous and shape-shifting. To suggest this makes them of little use is directly contradicted by the people who have used them for millennia. And global sea levels are refusing to accelerate beyond the 3 mm/year that has been measured since accurate satellite measurement became available in the early 1990s. And yet we’re still told to expect almost a metre this century. Better hurry up, shouldn’t it?
        sealevel.colorado.edu

  10. Rob 10

    I love your line about Bridges and misspeak I’m not sure if he is speaking at all or which side of his mouth the noise comes from!

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    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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