web analytics

Somewhat suspicious

Written By: - Date published: 4:36 pm, December 17th, 2008 - 21 comments
Categories: climate change, national/act government - Tags: , ,

Gerry ‘sexy coal’ Brownlee has spent today ripping apart more anti-climate change laws. Today, under urgency and without the opportunity for the public to contribute via the select committee process, National/ACT has repealed the Biofuels requirement and is now in the process of repealing the ‘ban’ on new baseload fossil fuel power plants.

Disturbingly National/ACT’s ministers just don’t seem to understand what they are doing. Nick Smith nodded his head when Jeanette Fitzsimons said ‘greenhouse emissions grew under National and grew faster under Labour’ but started yelling when she added ‘because growth was faster under Labour’. It’s like Smith doesn’t understand that, unless there is investment in research and legislation adding a cost to carbon, then greenhouse emissions are tied to growth.

Gerry Brownlee didn’t seem to understand that the fossil fuel power plant ban has exemptions for security of supply and replacing existing generators with better ones, if he did he wouldn’t have given those reasons for repealing the ban. Incredibly, he argued that a price on carbon will mean there is no need for a ban on thermal plants because they will be priced out of the market, even though National/ACT are having a select committee to see whether climate change is even real and a price on carbon is needed. Fitzsimons also showed he had no idea about the dynamics of the oil and biofuel markets. She showed that there were plans, now cancelled, for plants to produce enough biofuel from sustainable in New Zealand, so Brownlee’s scaremongering about imported, unsustainable biofuel was unfounded.

The really weird thing is that you keep on hearing National MPs running the line that nothing will change from repealing these laws. They seem to think the biofuels market will do just fine without the boost from a requirement that low percentages of biofuels be included in petrol and diesel, despite biofuels plants already being cancelled because of the removal of that requirement. They seem to think that there will be no new thermal plants without the ban, despite the ban already resulting in power companies already dropping plans for thermal plants near Auckland. They seem to think they haven’t just cost hundreds of millions to the carbon market by throwing the future of the emissions trading scheme into doubt.

The fact is, for all their talk of a commitment to climate change, National has voted against every piece of legislation to tackle this the greatest threat to our future. And, now they are in government, they are repealing those laws. We no longer have a government programme for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The only thing that is going to save us from from a blowout in emissions under National/ACT years is the contracting economy. Cold comfort.

21 comments on “Somewhat suspicious ”

  1. insider 1

    IrishBill: Sorry Insider – I deleted your comment as I thought it was made by infused (who has been banned). My sincere apologies, my eyesight isn’t what it used to be. I’ll see if Lynn can retrieve your comment.

    [lprent: I’m afraid not. Sorry insider]

  2. insider 2

    Bother. ANd it was so brilliant too! 🙂 Where’s that caching problem when you need it?

  3. Quoth the Raven 3

    If they think nothing is going to change why are they changing the laws?
    Slippery Slippery.

  4. Patently clear is a new government who wish to be known in this year of their lore by what they DO.

    And thereafter by what they DO NOT DO.

    Either (or both) ways their doings shall damn them.

    Perhaps next year we can recognise the world for what it is. Change versus unchange. The former yet to come, the latter already overdone.,

  5. A point on the relatively new terminology of emissions intensity. It serves definition on the direct relationship between energy and output(per GDP). In this way – I think it was the GWBush administration – which first coined the term into international parlance – the ambition or goal of economic growth may be seen to over-ride that of the planet and our environment.

    What is does not do, and cannot do, is admit to the starting status, as it were. For example, what if the world is already overgrown economically? Inference from the scientific evidence would suggest that this is already the case. Folks in pursuit of growth persé would thus ‘deny and/or disbelieve’ such evidence. And they rightly in my view belong to those I refer to as me-firsters, to hell with the rest!

    Yet the science will not accomodate wishes and wishful thinkers. When the claim is that it does we know it is not science. Oddly enough much of the economic attainments of modern mankind have come from positive growth-enhancing science and technology, but when science suggests constraint and effect alternative energy mankind’s errant doubters emerge. Though and such is local national politics, they seldom admit to this ailing.

    Or failing.

  6. MelloC 6

    Another part of this whole affair was the fact that they’re reversing on the phasing out of incandescent lightbulbs, one of the more obvious and easily-adopted climate charge policies. I was at a Nat rally where Key made this part of his speech–you should have heard the smug fucks cheer. Yaay! We can needlessly waste electricity! What reasoning could they possibly have for this, other than irrational anti-environmentalism?

  7. dan 7

    On the very day that Brownlee removed Nanny state lightbulbs, the National Party expressed interest in making cameras mandatory in taxis!! Nanny state, National style! Jeanette Fitzsimmons was brilliant yesterday talking through the bulb issue on National radio. Could someone load the clip please.

  8. Tane 8

    When was it Dan?

  9. gobsmacked 9

    Did David Garrett of ACT vote against the government on this bill?

    I can’t find a reference to this in the news reports online, but I thought I heard him say he would, on the radio. The numbers (62-59) suggest that National/ACT are missing a vote.

  10. deemac 10

    I gather he said he disagreed but voted for it anyway…
    so brave

  11. outofbed 11

    Changes ‘amplify Arctic warming’
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7786910.stm

    Rome Burns

  12. outofbed 12

    should be Nome burns i suppose

  13. RedLogix 13

    So .. how many Nat MP’s does it take to NOT change a light bulb?

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    Another part of this whole affair was the fact that they’re reversing on the phasing out of incandescent lightbulbs, one of the more obvious and easily-adopted climate charge policies. I was at a Nat rally where Key made this part of his speechyou should have heard the smug fucks cheer. Yaay! We can needlessly waste electricity! What reasoning could they possibly have for this, other than irrational anti-environmentalism?

    The perfect free-market can only work as economists say it works if everyone has perfect information. Given perfect information everyone would actually make a rational decision. In the case of the light bulbs everyone would stop using incandescent ones because they cost more. Economists are also quick to point out why their theories don’t work is because the market isn’t perfect. This means that we actually need regulations such as these to simulate the effect of everyone having perfect information.

  15. Gareth 15

    “Incredibly, he argued that a price on carbon will mean there is no need for a ban on thermal plants because they will be priced out of the market”
    He’s right there of course, but in that case why is he not putting this and the lightbulb legislation in with the ETS? The point of an ETS or carbon tax is to discourage this activity, but because we were taking so f’in long to get there both those measures were, and still are, entirely valid.

    Of course if they go down the $5 carbon tax their lobby friends want then those activities won’t be priced out of the market, will they. I really hope someone like an Idiot Savant calculates the increased cost to coal-generation from any eventual National ETS and ensures that it is high enough as to correspond to Mr Brownlee’s assertion that coal will no longer be in the market. I have my doubts.

  16. randal 16

    someone has to pay for the pies

  17. dan 17

    Tane,
    Re Jeanette Fitzsimmons
    The days are a blur! I think it was Radio New Zealand; I was driving a rental vehicle north from Christchurch with one of those automatic scanners that finds radio stations that are in range.
    So I am picking radio NZ network rather than National programme.
    Cheers
    Dan

  18. RedLogix 18

    Did David Garrett of ACT vote against the government on this bill?

    Yes. It was reported on RNZ yesterday. Interestingly he was quoted as saying something along the lines “having listened to the Opposition debate this today I have come to the realisation that they are correct”.

    The first time I can recall an MP acknowledging that the actual process of debate in the House has led them to change their thinking on a topic. Interesting to see what consequences arise from this flash of independence by Mr Garrett.

  19. gareth,

    I wonder whether Mr. Brownlee is aware of recent australian developments..?..

    Here’s a clip:

    [PG’s colleague] Robert Gottliebsen explains in his commentary piece “Power at any price’, these chickens are about to come home and roost, and bring with them multi-billion dollar losses, despite Rudd’s tax-payer funded “compensation for corporate stupidity’ program. Bob estimates that the banks are on the hook for around $5 billion for just four Latrobe Valley stations.

    Then again, and quite possibly for BBQ talking heads over the festive break, how might kiwi pols ‘payoff’ their aussie backers at the expense of australian energy consumers (price hikes would be the banking boys’ payback, you reckon)

  20. sweeetdisorder 20

    Draco T Bastard

    “Economists are also quick to point out why their theories don’t work is because the market isn’t perfect. This means that we actually need regulations such as these to simulate the effect of everyone having perfect information”

    What an arrogant prick you are; people are wrong, they won’t make the ‘correct’ decision therefore I must compel (enforce, dictate, make laws to require) them to make the ‘correct’ decision. Who made you boss of the world?

  21. tracey 21

    Not to worry, over at kiwiblog they have accepted that the now acceptable yardstick of conduct is the previous labour governments, which, until recently, they abhored.

    Michael Cullen is used as an example to justify actions taken by Nat/ACT under urgency. It didnt take long, less than a month in Parliament for those who railed against Labour’s “behaviour” to now be quoting it in defence of national’s.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government's response to preliminary referendums' results
    Minister of Justice Andrew Little has acknowledged the provisional results of the two referendums voted on in the 2020 General Election. New Zealanders were asked whether they supported the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, and whether they supported the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force. On ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New testing requirements for international maritime crew arriving in NZ
    The Government is moving to provide further protection against the chance of COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the maritime border.  “Yesterday I instructed officials to consult with the maritime sector around tightening of the requirements for international maritime crew entering the country,” Health Minister Chris Hipkins said.  “Ultimately, this will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Fast-tracked Northland water project will accelerate economic recovery
    The Government has welcomed the decision to approve a new water storage reservoir in Northland, the first of a number of infrastructure projects earmarked for a speedy consenting process that aims to accelerate New Zealand’s economic recovery from Covid-19.  The Matawii Water Storage Reservoir will provide drinking water for Kaikohe, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago