Rodney Hide answers your questions

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, April 28th, 2008 - 26 comments
Categories: act, interview - Tags: , , , , , , ,

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We’re very pleased to have ACT leader Rodney Hide respond to your questions as part of our Interview the Leaders series.

Question to all leaders:

 Of which of your achievements in politics are you most proud?

Making the IRD legally and culturally more accountable and responsive and getting my Regulatory Responsibility Bill to the Commerce Committee and, I hope, into law. I feel proud and privileged every day to be the MP for Epsom.

From reader r0b: Do you believe that the Earth’s climate is warming? If it is, is the warming dangerous? if it is dangerous, what does ACT believe we should do about it

I don’t like to take issue with questions but this one I can’t let pass. 1) I find it disturbing that questions of climatology are now cast in terms of belief, i.e. “Do you believe the Earth’s climate is warming?”, not about the facts and the testing of our theoretical understanding of climate; 2) the earth’s temperature has never been static and so whether it is warming or cooling or staying the same depends on the time period you choose.

Now to the questions.

The earth has been warming almost continuously for 18,000 years after 100,000 years of the ice ages. Orbiting satellites over the last 18 years have measured a slight decrease in average global temperatures.

The “warming” is NOT dangerous.

ACT intends to stop the Emissions Trading Scheme which will prove extremely costly to New Zealand for no gain. We need to negotiate a much better deal than Kyoto I in the second round. We need a deal that is Smart Green with Smart Green policies for New Zealand, not costly political showcases that don’t deliver

From reader Burt: Would ACT implement tax deductibility for private health and education fees in recognition that by purchasing these services privately tax payers are funding the public system that they do not use?

Yes.

26 comments on “Rodney Hide answers your questions”

  1. Steve Pierson 1

    “the earth’s temperature has never been static and so whether it is warming or cooling or staying the same depends on the time period you choose”

    I choose now.

  2. James Kearney 2

    Truly frightening stuff on climate change, but good on Rodney for answering the questions. It would have been nice to have heard his reasons for supporting burt’s question.

  3. r0b 3

    Disappointing answers from Rodney I think.

    In particular – Rodney: I find it disturbing that questions of climatology are now cast in terms of belief, i.e. “Do you believe the Earth’s climate is warming?’, not about the facts and the testing of our theoretical understanding of climate;

    I find it disturbing that Rodney picks on the term “belief” and tries to contrast it with “facts” and “theoretical understanding” (nice dog whistle eh). If facts and theoretical understanding were independent of our beliefs then there would be no disagreement about anything. But in the real world, facts are difficult to interpret as anything other than beliefs (some go so far as to say that they are created by our beliefs).

    The “warming’ is NOT dangerous.

    Fool.

  4. Dark Watcher 4

    About time someone confronted the left’s warmist dogma. You’ve got my vote Rodney.

  5. outofbed 5

    Dark watcher “You’ve got my vote Rodney.”
    I hope that not many people in Epsom share that view
    And 4.99% of everyone else does 🙂

  6. r0b 6

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking that only lefties take global warming seriously. Consider the UK’s Conservative Party, for example:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article651150.ece

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/article651824.ece

    On warming see:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article618699.ece

  7. Steve Pierson 7

    Forget everything you’ve heard from the IPCC – Rodney sez relax

  8. deemac 8

    regardless of one’s views on climate change, the idea that NZ on its own can negotiate a different version of Kyoto is delusional

  9. James W 9

    Good on you Rodney. The climate has been changing for thousands of years, why should humans being here change that?

  10. r0b 10

    Rodney sez relax

    Thanks for that flashback Steve! Argh!

    And to have another go at a point I tried to make above, it would be a disaster if we let climate change get politicised as a “left” vs “right” issue. It’s an issue for everyone.

  11. r0b 11

    Good on you Rodney. The climate has been changing for thousands of years, why should humans being here change that?

    The original question doesn’t mention humans. In many respects it doesn’t matter why the climate is warming, it just matters what we decide to do (or not do) about it.

    That said, if you think the volume of greenhouse gasses that human activity puts into the atmosphere as zero impact, I’d be interested to hear you explain how that is possible.

  12. djp 12

    go Rodney!

    whether or not you are a climate “believer” you have to admit the emission’s trading scheme is going to hurt

  13. Phil 13

    Interestingly enough, Rodney is exactly right in his analysis of temperature patterns, but falls victim to his own warning of being ‘choosy’ about time periods.

    The average temperature of the planet tends to follow a “U-shapped” pattern, with prolonged periods of relative cool followed by spikes that rapidly accelerate, and then equally rapidly decline. However, for the latest spike, temperatures have not fallen as expected. It’s unfortunate for Rodney that the lack of fall co-incides with the growth in Human population

  14. Matthew Pilott 14

    It always amazes me the difference in ‘facts’ bandied about over climate changes.

    I commonly hear that five of the last six years are in the top 100 warmest years on record, globally. I also hear that (as Rodney Hide mentioned above), global temperatures are cooling. Those two fact aren’t mutually exclusive (although for this to be the caseit would require some very cold years among the last 18…!) but I find it hard to reconcile th edifferent opinions offered.

    At the end of the day, there’s a hell of a lot more out there that shows severe warming, and not a lot to back up assertions such as Hide’s.

    WRT this being a natural cycle – as I’m aware, the rate of change is faster than ever experienced in thousands (if not millions) of years of records. Could have something to do with the millions of tonnes of Co2 in the atmosphere… Could be a coincidence, doubtful though…

  15. gobsmacked 15

    Supplementary to Rodney (though open to the floor, I guess):

    Why do people support your policies and yet plan to vote National instead? Your global warming reply is a perfect example: I disagree with you, so I won’t vote ACT. But some will agree with you, and yet they will vote for a party which now stands for something very different – not just on global warming, but across a whole range of policies. Meanwhile ACT is stuck at 1%, going nowhere.

    Are right-leaning voters too stupid to understand National’s new policies, or too smart to believe them?

  16. Phil 16

    “At the end of the day, there’s a hell of a lot more out there that shows severe warming, ”

    Actually Matthew, I’d challenge that.

    Take, for instance, those wonderfully evocative images of glaciers collapsing in massive ‘explosion-like’ moments… it turns out that those events are never really global warming related, and are actually the result of water build-up on the other side of the glacier, leading to a pressure driven breakage. They occur with such regularity you could set your watch (well, calendar…) by them.

    Talk of drying lakes and rivers can often be attributed to direct human intervention – siphoned off for agriculture and growing cities – and not global warming.

    Then, there is the increase in hurricanes and typhoons. Again it’s an issue of ‘choosy’ timing, but there are questions about whether the apparent increase is happening at all (it could quite easily be that we’re able to measure them better) and if they are increasing in number, La-Nina and El-Nino offer a much more complete explanation in their numerical variation from season to season than global warming can.

    Again it comes back to the age-old misunderstanding of correlation and causality.

  17. Draco TB 17

    The “warming’ is NOT dangerous.

    It’s entirely possible that the current anthropogenic warming of the Earth will bring about an Extinction Level Event same as has happened in the past and you think that it’s not dangerous?

    This politician is seriously deficient in his ability to apprehend facts and draw reasonably accurate conclusions from them. Can we trade him in for a new one?

  18. r0b 18

    Phil, the basic climate change denier arguments are well known and well refuted. Please take a look at:

    http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/climate-change/mg19426041.100

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/7074601.stm

    Re ice and melting, Arctic ice has retreated so much that new shipping lanes have opened up, and there are looming international debates over newly accessible mineral, oil and fishing rights:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/10/science/10arctic.html
    http://www.worldviewofglobalwarming.org/pages/arctic.html

    As well as Arctic (and Antarctic) ice melt, glaciers (one of the most sensitive indicators of global warming) are receding world wide – see dramatic images here:

    http://www.worldviewofglobalwarming.org/pages/glaciers.html

    The current ice melts (Arctic and glacial) cannot be explained by short term cyclic mechanisms (your “water build up” Phil).

    Yes, cause and effect are difficult to prove conclusively, but the overwhelming body of scientific evidence is now agreed by the overwhelming majority of scientists:

    http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/globalwarming/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier

    On Feb. 2, 2007, the United Nations scientific panel studying climate change declared that the evidence of a warming trend is “unequivocal,’ and that human activity has “very likely’ been the driving force in that change over the last 50 years. The last report by the group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in 2001, had found that humanity had “likely’ played a role.

    The addition of that single word “very’ did more than reflect mounting scientific evidence that the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases from smokestacks, tailpipes and burning forests has played a central role in raising the average surface temperature of the earth by more than 1 degree Fahrenheit since 1900. It also added new momentum to a debate that now seems centered less over whether humans are warming the planet, but instead over what to do about it.

    Governments all over the world (and many individual states in America) are taking action to combat climate change. Are they all fools?

  19. Stephen 19

    Didn’t we already know the answer to the last question?? Really! Patsy question?

  20. Phil 20

    r0b,

    I don’t want to rain on your parade, but you’ll note that my post did not attempt to refute the idea of climate change at all.

    All I was pointing out is that there are a number of events to which Global Warming has been fingered as the culprit, which can be explained quite happily by other factors. Some of those things are indeed caused by humans, but through much more direct mechanisms. In an ironic twist, Al Gores ‘convenient untruths’ makes a good starting list of them.

    As with all things in life, I view Global Warming with a good degree of scepticism – not because I don’t believe in it per-se, but because it has become a “default villian”.

    If we’re going to deal with the consequences of Global Warming, we sure as hell better know what those consequences are really going to be – right now our politicians and the media are being led to believe that solving global warming will be the answer to our environmental prayers. I simply do not belive that to be the case at all.

  21. r0b 21

    I don’t want to rain on your parade, but you’ll note that my post did not attempt to refute the idea of climate change at all.

    Well I’ll take you at your word. But it certainly read as if you were denying that climate change was an issue. You might want to phrase things carefully in future if you want your views to be clearly understood.

  22. jh 22

    Rodney doesn’t (or didn’t) believe in peak oil Hubberts theory is “not a very good one” (?). That was argued in his blog (before last election).
    It would be interesting to know his thoughts on housing affordability.

    PS Some discussions on Houston here:

    http://www.chron.com/disp/commnts.mpl/metropolitan/5524074.html?plckCurrentPage=3

    http://ask.metafilter.com/33687/Life-in-Houston

  23. Gooner 23

    Of course we all know, or should, that Rodney is the most qualified environmentalist in parliament. I prefer his knowledge to the Greens ideology and rhetoric.

  24. jh 24

    I suppose he’s read the Skeptical Environmentalist and The Ultimate Resource?

  25. MikeE 25

    I believe he has a postgraduate degree in environmental resource management or something similar and used to lecture ont he topic at canterbury?

  26. Stephen 26

    Fitzsimmons is about the same as Rodney in that respect. She also worked as a consultant. Meteira Turiea worked in the field of environmental law too.

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