Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, December 8th, 2015 - 68 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, Environment, global warming, john key, national, national/act government, paula bennett, Politics, same old national, science - Tags:
So Paula Bennett is now Minister in charge of Climate Change issues.
Like everyone else I thought Simon Bridges would be given this very important portfolio. After all he is Minister for Transport and Energy and apart from agriculture these are the sectors where issues of climate change are most relevant. The Government does not want farming to worry about the future devastation of the world’s environment so the other Minister with a deep interest in the subject, Nathan Guy who is Minister for Primary Industries, was not going to be troubled with this issue.
But in a surprise move Paula Bennett has been appointed Minister in charge of climate change. My first response was “what the”. This was my second and third response too.
The rationale according to Jane Patterson is that Key thought that Bridges being Minister for Climate Change would involve him being in a conflict situation in that he has to do such things as grant permits for deep sea oil drilling and it would be awkward for him to then attend International Conferences. I guess it would but only if you accept that allowing deep sea oil drilling is a given and will and should continue. Bridges will be Associate Minister of Climate Change.
Bennett was asked by Patterson if she had any experience in the area of climate change and she said “no, none at all”.
As to her qualifications she has a degree in Social Policy from Albany University. She has worked as a receptionist, an electorate secretary, and a middle management recruitment consultant before becoming a Member of Parliament.
I had a search through her parliamentary speeches. The only mention of “science” in her speeches were either “social science” or variations of “it is not rocket science”. “Climate change” and “greenhouse gas” do not appear in any of her speeches. On the off chance I searched for “anthropogenic” and as expected it did not appear.
Bennett’s previous portfolios have included Minister in charge of beneficiary bashing and releasing private details of Government critics, terrorising local government and selling off state housing. She has not shown the slightest inclination of being involved in any scientific issue or environmental issue for that matter.
You would think that a basic grounding and/or an interest in the science would be a prerequisite for someone to hold the Climate Change role. At least if the minister was actually expected to achieve something.
And what Twitter thinks …
Paula Bennett is our new Minister for Climate Change. If I were a local climate scientist, I'd take measures to protect my personal details.
— Giovanni Tiso (@gtiso) December 7, 2015
Paula Bennett: "Look, if those Pacific islands just pulled themselves together and worked harder maybe they wouldn't be sinking" #nzpol
— John Palethorpe (@MrDuttonPeabody) December 7, 2015
Paula Bennett new Climate Change Minister, now we just have to tell her that poor people are getting carbon emissions so she'll cut them.
— Colvin (@Covlin) December 7, 2015
Paula Bennett is minister of climate change, I have no words.
— Kate Hannah (@Knhannah) December 7, 2015