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NRT: This does not bode well

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, March 31st, 2015 - 22 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Environment, national, science - Tags: , , , ,

I/S at No Right Turn on the way that National is manipulating official environmental reporting to try and conceal the damage…


This does not bode well

The Local Government and Environment Committee is due to report back today on National’s Environmental Reporting Bill. One of the key themes of submissions on the bill was that no-one trusts the Minister to decide the topic of the reports. And with good reason. Because Statistics New Zealand announced their Ministerially-approved national environmental reporting topics today, and they’re a complete disaster.

The list of topics is here. And you don’t have to look very far to find some obvious gaps.

  • Emissions of key air pollutants will be tracked for home heating and transport, but not industry or farming;
  • Global greenhouse gas emissions are included, but not national ones. Meanwhile there’s a strong focus on natural drivers of climatic variation such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation and on temperature, rainfall and sunshine-hours time-series.
  • Their definition of “extreme weather events” will focus not on the droughts, fires and floods highlighted by the IPCC, but on lightning strike density.
  • The impact of climate change will be measured by milk production, the economic performance of the agricultural sector, and by ski-field operating days. The health effects will be measured by melanoma statistics rather than heatstroke deaths.

So, rather than comprehensive statistics on climate change and what it is doing to our country, we’re going to get a bunch of stats which ignore key drivers and impacts while heavily implying that its all the result of natural environmental processes (oh, and throws in some cheerleading for our biggest environmental polluter as well). And it just goes on and on. Statistics on the effects of irrigation takes on rivers have been deliberately excluded, as have been illnesses caused by dirty rivers. Pollution of the oceans will be tracked by tracking not discharges of oil or sewage to the marine environment, but “marine debris”. But the value of oil, gas, and mineral extraction from the marine environment will be included. These aren’t environmental statistics. They’re economic ones, mislabelled, and deliberately designed to obscure rather than highlight our environmental problems. And just to make it clearwho is responsible,

The Minister for the Environment and Minister of Statistics approved the final list of topics in September 2014.

Submitters on the Environmental Reporting Bill were entirely right to be concerned. And if this is what National means by “environmental reporting”, we’re better off without it.

22 comments on “NRT: This does not bode well ”

  1. philj 1

    Its called being economical with the truth;-)

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    Dont quite understand the list

    Topic: Emissions of air pollutants from industrial activities

    Does this mean discharges are measured or not ?

    I can see with primary industries ( agriculture) they merely mention this as a topic, but with no outcomes measured.

  3. Steve Withers 3

    Why do conservatives everywhere have to poke the eyes out of the truth with sticks?

    This consistent dishonesty points to ingrained corruption and an ethical vacuum.

    …and kiwis vote for this.

    Sad days on this planet. The liars and cheaters are winning.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Why do conservatives everywhere have to poke the eyes out of the truth with sticks?

      Because the facts and truth always prove their beliefs wrong.

      …and kiwis vote for this.

      Some Kiwis hold the same delusional beliefs as National and Act and thus believe the lies that they’re told.

  4. Capn Insano 4

    “Pay no attention to those other statistics, they don’t agree with how splendidly well we’re handling environmental issues in 100% pure clean green New Zealand.”
    So is there an issue with Statistics NZ being Tory arse-lickers [see also employment stats] or is the information ‘massaged’ by National before release?

  5. It’s not related specifically to climate change, but this post at Public Address makes some powerful points about another area in which National have massively weakened environmental standards – all in pursuit of more dairy dollars:
    http://publicaddress.net/speaker/the-power-of-n-nutrient-caps-and-peak-dairy/

  6. adam 6

    Liberalism, the hydra, inimical to humans.

    It’s still the same leitmotif of these rancid money worshippers.

  7. saveNZ 7

    Face it, National and Act want to turn our country into a toilet for short term gain to maximise their profits. They are despicable.

    Crosby Textor would be proud, turning environmental statistics into a waste paper basket exercise and making sure no meaningful data is sought, while also adding in select data to muddy the water (literally).

    Hope Russell has the dumbo Nats up on it.

    Another plus for NZ First, they seem to understand you use rail to carry freight not trucks.

    Labour and Greens and NZ First should have National up on it. How can you plan when all your data is weighted on who is giving you the most donations and votes for you?

    Now we officially know, we are a banana republic under National.

  8. jenny kirk 8

    This smells like another cover-up coming up to me. Hide behind meaningless stats gathered specifically for the purpose and pretend there is nothing wrong happening with dairying and mineral extraction and their impact on freshwater sources. And then these nonsense stats will be used to justify further expansion of these industries.

  9. tc 9

    Nact know how to game the system, selective use of numbers is stock in trade for tge sell out crew. Unemployment, crime, welfare and the economy are also good examples.

  10. heather 10

    These environmental statistics are a nonsence, the monster dairy giant will continue to pollute and rape this land without any concern for what will be left.
    I remember listening to Dr. Mike Joy (the Nats do not like him), he said – the ground is so soaked with cows urine it can not take any more, so it runs off into the nearest rivers or streams. The size of the dairy farms is becoming unsustainable, but do we care?
    I also think that’s why the Canterbury Regional Council is not going to be a fully democratic body, if it was, they might vote against the huge amount of water being taken for dairying.
    Some people say that I have become cynical!! – what me…

  11. Upnorth 11

    how can something which is public be a cover up?

    • Sable 11.1

      How many people do you suppose pay close attention to the details? Many people still trust the government is doing the right thing so they assume any amendments are undertaken in the public interest.

      Are you really this naive or just another Tory who doesn’t care about our environment?

    • grumpystilskin 11.2

      Upnorth: You need to read the post again to understand what is going on.

  12. Sable 12

    Paving the way for the environmental disaster called the TPPA. This government are betraying the people of this country.

    • tc 12.1

      NACT are looking after the US corporate interests that drive them and the US government, if a few people get in the way that’s just business as they say its nothing personal.

  13. vto 13

    It is truly gobsmacking.

    And laughable.

    And, again, in breach of the Fair Trading (in politics) Act, whereby misleading and deceptive conduct is an offence.

    Why don’t the politicians subject themselves to the Fair Trading Act?

    And they wonder why they are not respected and are placed on the same kudos scale as secondhand caar dealers and dodgy salemenwomen selling snakeoil.

  14. vto 14

    Lets go to the doctor for the annual checkup – but the good doc is not allowed to follow professional training and do such checks as is seen fit, no no no the good doc is only allowed to check the things the patient wants checked. And very specifically the good doc is NOT allowed to check those things which are known problems no no no no no..

    ..the very shortest route to an early death

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    I give you the National Party and its supporters and their thinking

    what a fucking joke

    • Murray Simmonds 14.1

      Absolutely agree with vto’s comment.

      What a total farce.

      “Why don’t the politicians subject themselves to the Fair Trading Act?”

      That would require some intelligent input from the Minister for the Environment. He’s incapable of delivering on that particular score. Nor on any other score as far as I can make out.

  15. Lionel 15

    To me conservatives are people who don’t like taking risks or upsetting the applecart.When you look at the Nats and the amount of wreckage they have caused to ordinary people in order to keep their corporate buddies and the USA happy they are anything but conservative.More like vandals.

  16. Chauncey Gardiner 16

    Lets for the fun of it just concentrate on climate change, just the effect (i.e. ignore mans influence).

    What would the National Security organizations of American (CIA + DoD) + Uk MoD do about it.

    Would they:

    A. Bury their heads up their asses like a bunch of unimaginative National Party money munching status quo keeping poo jockeys.

    Or

    B. Be proactive and search for all relevant data sharing and coordinating with as many non military relevant organizations as possible?

    I’m picking B: Heres why

    1. CIA Opens Center on Climate Change and National Security:
    The Center will assume responsibility for coordinating with Intelligence Community partners on the review and declassification of imagery and other data that could be of use to scientists in their own climate-related research. This effort draws on imagery and other information that is collected in any event, assisting the US scientific community without a large commitment of resources.

    https://www.cia.gov/news-information/press-releases-statements/center-on-climate-change-and-national-security.html

    2. NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Protecting the infrastructure of American cities from the effects of climate change is rising on the agenda of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a top agency official.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/25/us-foundation-climate-security-idUSKCN0HK2PW20140925

    3. A major strategic threat: how the Ministry of Defence sees climate change. First of all it’s worth noting that climate change features heavily in the MoD’s analysis. Almost every section of its report, from transport to energy to health, makes reference to climate change impacts. People often talk about ‘ mainstreaming’ climate change into all aspects of policy-making or decision-taking. It looks like the MoD has taken this to heart.

    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2014/07/total-submersion,-sudden-migrations-and-harvest-failures-three-ways-the-ministry-of-defence-says-the-world-could-be-affected-by-climate-change/

    Why would the National Party hide what is happening? MONEY? But how?

    Are they following the same line as the Republicans in US in terms of reducing funding to National security agencies in order to reduce readiness to climate change (what economic advantage can be gleaned by hiding it…. remember Climate Change can be used for economic advantage)

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/energy/republicans-push-climate-change-cuts-at-cia-department-of-defense-20150317

    What are those Dirty little Nats up to?

    Odd how in Nicky Hagers book dirty politics National were copying the Republicans dirty tactics
    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2014/08/14/gordon-campbell-on-nicky-hagers-new-book/

    Are we seeing similar things… are the 2 parties connected (what American companies are investing in NZ)?

    Or is it the fact NZ is particularly well placed to do absolutely sweet FA as NZ is well placed in terms of its ability to cope with climate change (but so is the States and UK yet they are doing something about it).

    Funny how we need irrigation in Canterbury for already hugley wealthy land owners?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2908213/How-country-cope-climate-change-Map-reveals-best-worst-places-live-planet-warms-up.html

    COUNTRIES THAT WILL BE MOST AND LEAST AFFECTED BY CLIMATE CHANGE ACCORDING TO THE ND-GAIN INDEX

    Least affected Score Most affected Score
    1 – Norway 82.7 1 – Chad 31.6
    2 – New Zealand 82.2 2 (tied) – Eritrea 33.8
    3 – Sweden 81.6 2 (tied) – Burundi 33.8
    4 – Finland 81.5 4 (tied) – Democratic Republic of Congo 34.0
    5 – Denmark 81.4 4 (tied) – Central Africa Republic 34.0
    6 – Australia 80.1 6 – Sudan 35.5
    7 – United Kingdom 80.0 7 (tied) – Niger 35.6
    8 – United States 78.9 7 (tied) – Haiti 35.6
    9 (tied) – Germany 78.8 7 (tied) – Afghanistan 35.6
    9 (tied) – Iceland 78.8 10 – Guinea-Bissau 37.3

    OIA NZDF, MPI etc and see what they are doing about it….. then you might get a true picture…

    Happy heat wave

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