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Oh Johnkey Donkey!

Written By: - Date published: 1:46 pm, March 24th, 2009 - 27 comments
Categories: climate change, john key - Tags: , , ,

We’ve been outed! By none other than Thelma (or was it Louise?) A promotional video for climate action, voiced by Susan Sarandon for Greenpeace in the US, holds New Zealand up as a beacon of hope on a sickly earth praising the former Labour Government’s plan to ban energy inefficient bulbs by 2009.

Unfortunately for Susan (and for the video’s producers), they had no idea a band of sceptics were about to take the helm of the good ship Aotearoa and overturn all policy that so much WHISPERED the words climate change. So the production truck had to back up the result is crude but very telling. So are the posted comments: ‘Oh Johnkey Donkey! Why did you do that?? Shame on you John Key! WHY did new zeland halt the law thingy?’ and ‘Fuck that PM‘ demonstrating the breadth and depth of foreign sentiment. Could this be the first taste of that much-touted trade and tourism backlash?

27 comments on “Oh Johnkey Donkey! ”

  1. Judging foreign opinion on the basis of Youtube comments? Even tongue in cheek (and I am not sure that this is) that is pretty low. They are notoriously unhinged.

  2. jimbo 2

    Are the “good” bulbs still available? I guess no harm done if you convince enough consumers of their merits so they make an informed choice…

    Otherwise you can sit around hoping that NZ’s trade and tourism is affected. Whatever.

  3. ak 3

    Yep. Our clean green reputation on the bike track to hell (or Invercargill)
    thanks, nactional.

  4. sorry, should have made my mumbling clearer. My tongue was in my cheek. But i wouldn’t describe it as fully wedged. I do believe there are risks to having a Government that’s sliding backwards fast on climate change. The world is cottoning on to the fact that our clean green brand is bull; the backlash from this wake up could be bad or it could be very bad. For a time even Johnkey Donkey seemed to get this, telling farmers in the Hawkes Bay in July last year that “If we don’t do something about it, and be seen to be doing something about it, you will ultimately suffer push back from your consumers that buy your product in the UK and in other countries. That is the advice we get from British High Commission when we go and see them. It might not be advice that you like hearing but it’s true.” Damn straight Donkey. I just wonder what happened between July and now….

    • lprent 4.1

      He won an election. As we’ve seen from the arrogance since then (for instance ignoring the select committee process and rushed implementation of ‘policy’ under urgency), this means that they don’t have to be seen to be ‘centrist’ or ‘green’ any more.

    • jimbo 4.2

      Demeter – the world is cottoning on because for years we had a govt that was high on rhetoric but low on results. The last government was never “going forward” on climate change so it is wrong to describe this one as “sliding backwards” by comparison.

      By all means be passionate about climate change, but you cannot, being fair, regard the last nine years as “good” climate change policy.

      Perhaps we need to go back to “grass roots” level and convince individuals NZers of why they should be making green choices. Perhaps the approach we’ve had over the last 9 years – i.e. the government talking up big initiatives but achieving little – left many NZers doing less at a personal level under the mistaken belief that HC and “the government” were sorting it out.

      JK is not a climate change denier. If most NZers do not choose to recycle, use better lightbulbs, cut down on waste etc, then the issue is how do we properly getting the message out and getting some buyin.

      The “x is now banned” approach is shortsighted and ultimately does not work.

      • ak 4.2.1

        Ah. Just “doesn’t work”. That’ll be why we’re still burning lead, driving pissed without seatbelts, raping our wives and beating the snot out of kids then….

        • George Darroch

          Yeah, how well did market-based approaches to leaded petrol work? It didn’t, because leaded was cheaper. It’s called market failure, righties.

          Which is why you need regulation – some things just don’t regulate themselves. Which is obvious to everyone but wingnuts and libertarians.

          Terribly inefficient lightbulbs might eventually be replaced through consumer choice, but in the meantime a huge amount of unnecessary power use and pollution happens.

          As Frog points out, the use of the word “ban” by the far-right and National is a deliberate lie – minimum standards have to be met, but this no more means a ban than minimum safety standards for cars mean a ban on small cars.

          What an indictment on our society. We refuse to even do the smallest thing to confront climate change.

        • jimbo

          I have no idea what you are talking about, ak.

          If you somehow equate laws setting standards for light bulbs with laws against rape, then it’s fair to say it might be a little difficult to have a sensible conversation with you on this issue.

  5. i agree. Labour was hardly the pinnacle of climate leadership, and it was only in their last throes of power that they did anything at all. But during those heady months of the Energy Strategy release, the fossil fuel generation ban, the 90 per cent renewable electricity target, the lightbulb ban and the biofuel legislation (including sustainability standards) i felt a glimmer of hope that the rhetoric was morphing into something that would someday result in real emission reductions. Then bang. National wipes the slate clean. We are now pretty much the only developed country with NO climate programme in place. As far as i know John Key is also the only leader who is prepared to openly tip his hat to the skeptics (see latest Investigate Magazine, page 7).Yes we need grass roots but let’s be honest – no amount of lightbulb changing, reusable bag using or vegetable plot tending is going to make any difference if political leaders fail to get their shit together and make the big calls.

  6. Irascible 6

    What does one expect when self appointed climate expert Rodney (Dodger’s Shadow) Hide advises John Boy that climate change is a hoax hoisted on the world by business hating academics.

  7. frog 7

    I wasn’t aware that there was any ban on incandescent light bulbs. Simply a minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) that meant that the bulbs would have to be more efficient than they currently are if there are more efficient choices available in the market. In the case of the trusty GLS, there are several choices, many of which are more economic. Most incandescents were unaffected.

    And yes, we are now the only OECD country without a MEPS programme for light bulbs. National are Luddites!

  8. Stephen 8

    I really would’ve thought they’d hold up one of the European states (maybe Sweden, maybe Iceland) as a beacon of hope – they’re WAY ahead of us where it matters: reducing emissions! We’re a strange choice really, but maybe we have a more glamorous image that a lot of people are already familiar with, as opposed to dark old Sweden…

  9. Snail 9


    Yes we need grass roots but let’s be honest – no amount of lightbulb changing, reusable bag using or vegetable plot tending is going to make any difference if political leaders fail to get their shit together and make the big calls.

    Am I uncomfortable with this statement because it appears to place entire reliance on ‘political leadership’, or alternately, people are in your opinion incapable of making a strong and significant reduction of global atmospheric gases in the more immediate sense of what must be done for a livable planet.??

    As to the first I would have thought that democratic persuasions would succeed over business-as-usual; as for the second at issue, surely, would be organised coordination and concert.

    Though these would be mere framing-speak, when movement would amount to mojo..

  10. coge 10

    So a washed up former Hollywood celebrity is being used by Greenpeace to dictate “Noo Zealand’s” govt policy? All the name calling is so last year. I would suggest a fresh approach.

    • Tigger 10.1

      Yeah, calling someone ‘washed up’ and making fun of their accent is very last year, isn’t it?

  11. infused 11

    Pitty the bulbs are shit. I have two of them in the hall way. No way I’d put them in any bedroom or lounge.

    If the technology was better and they didn’t take 5 minutes to warm up, people might use them.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Never noticed a warm-up time for the fluorescent light bulbs. Modern ones are certainly better than what they were when they first came out as well.

      So, I’ve got to ask – how old are those ones that you’ve got?

      • infused 11.1.1

        Probably 2-3 years. If they have changed dramatically I’ll give them another go.

        • Con

          Suggest you do. I’ve tried a few different brands; none I’ve used has ever taken more than about 30s to warm up, and the “instant on” CFLs are indeed pretty much instant.

    • Macro 11.2

      I have recently rewired the room I am in now for the new lights . Previously the 6 x 8 m room used 2 – 150 W bulbs. I now have 8 – 20 W bulbs in their place. I have far greater luminance at half the wattage. No contest!

  12. Ianmac 12

    I went to Countdown today to replace two down light incandescent light bulbs. There were 4 on the shelf and many CFL’s. I presume that the forward ordering from 2008 meant that they are importing fewer. Solve the problem of accessibility?

  13. Snail 13


    I’m a day over – since your comment – on this one but I hear Electricity Commission are presently in a sponsorship deal with a new (looks improved) energy-saver bulb. Someone has gotten a couple for free at their local library. A mebbe if you’ve a mind for this..

  14. Politicians will never be able to fix Climate Change as long as everyone who cares about it sits at home waiting for them to do so. Just last week, Rising Tide Newcastle, a group that started off doing street stalls talking to coal miners a few years ago organised a Peoples Blockade of the Worlds Biggest Coal port sucessfully shutting Newcastle Coal Port down for the day. We need D.I.Y. Climate Action like this, and we need it FAST.

    Story Here; http://withoutyourwalls.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/rising-tide-australia-closes-down-world%E2%80%99s-largest-coal-port/

    “What has stymied effective climate action so far, in short, is not lack of ideas, inspiration, alternatives, initiative, knowledge or experience. It is rather the way political and social power is organized, and the way large numbers of people, and especially the middle classes on whose passive consent many political elites are dependent, have been made forgetful about what they already know, ignorant about what already exists, and divided from the movements and processes that are already working toward a solution.”

    Larry Lohmann – ‘Carbon Trading: Solution or Obstacle?’

    Climate Justice Now!
    news and communiques from the frontlines of the battle for Climate Justice

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