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Submit or surrender

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, July 11th, 2019 - 33 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, greens, labour, Parliament, science - Tags:

There is a disturbingly large chance that our civilisation is beyond the point of no return and a combination of western excess, inbuilt third world development momentum and the release of methane from the tundra not to mention the accelerating loss of ice sheets and glaciers mean that we may already have stuffed the planet.

So what do we do?

Do we give up?  Buy that V8 and burn baby burn because it no longer matters?  Or do we think that this is the world our kids and grandkids are going to have to live in and maybe we should try not to trash it and we should do whatever it takes?

And then there is the localised version of the debate.  New Zealand is too small, we cannot make a difference. And if we produce less greenhouse gasses here then someone somewhere else will produce more.

So what do we do?  Laugh and make jokes and say that those amongst us who actually want to keep trying are deluded?  Side with that strange group who think that pretty well all of the world’s climate scientists are wrong and it is a big conspiracy on the part of the UN to exert world domination?

Or should we do something because dang if we don’t we are a few generations away from a Max Max type armageddon?

The Government’s Zero Carbon Bill is out for submissions and the submission period closes on July 16.  The Government’s description is that: 

The bill would set greenhouse gas reduction targets into law and require that future governments continue these efforts into the future. It also seeks to:

  • Set up the Climate Change Commission, an independent body that will advise and support the government to reach the targets
  • Create a requirement that the government sets emission budgets every five years that will act as ‘stepping stones’ towards the ultimate goal of zero greenhouse gases by 2050
  • Create a requirement that the government understands the risk of climate change (for example, rising sea levels) and produces plans to address these.

There has been some criticism by Greenpeace and others because the targets are not legally binding.  If you think they should then say so.  Tell the Government that it should not have any wriggle room but has to, no matter what, meet the targets. To be frank I think this could be too difficult but by all means make it tough.

The process is important but the targets are the difference between wining or losing.

The targets are:

(1) The target for emissions reduction (the 2050 target) requires that—
(a) net emissions of greenhouse gases in a calendar year, other than biogenic methane, are zero by the calendar year beginning on 1 January 2050 and for each subsequent calendar year; and
(b) gross emissions of biogenic methane in a calendar year—
(i) are 10% less than 2017 emissions by the calendar year beginning on 1 January 2030; and
(ii) are at least 24% to 47% less than 2017 emissions by the calendar year beginning on 1 January 2050 and for each subsequent calendar year.
(2) In this section, 2017 emissions means the gross emissions of biogenic methane for the calendar year beginning on 1 January 2017.

These targets give us a fighting chance. As long as the rest of the world also do their bit.

Of course the right believe that we should be fast (or is that slow?) followers rather at the forefront of efforts to address climate change.

But emissions are continuing to grow and if we do not get back to carbon neutrality then this great big beautiful world is going to be damaged.

And the farming lobby will be fighting tooth and nail to have the methane emission target made as small as possible. To them it is an affront that business as usual is being threatened even though business as usual is killing the planet.

And I appreciate that methane is short lived in the atmosphere and cannot be sequestered. But this means that reduction of methane levels will have the strongest beneficial effect.

So make a submission. If you want say that the Government should be legally bound by the targets say so. If you think that the methane targets should be made more stringent then tell the Government this. If you think that we need to become carbon neutral much quicker then demand this.

Make a submission. Our civilisation’s future may depend on it.

Finally a video to emphasise the importance of the issue:

33 comments on “Submit or surrender ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    I see no reason to make a submission. The consensus has been thoroughly thrashed out. No reason to modify it has appeared in the media. Why not have confidence in the process?

    Sure, I could be an idealistic perfectionist, ignore realpolitik & demand everyone conform to my dream-world. But the lawyers that draft govt legislation would ignore such hogwash, wouldn't they? So I won't waste my valuable time…

    • mickysavage 1.1

      It is a numbers game. There will be lots of submissions opposing the bill particularly from the farming lobby. Sure sit back and don’t do anything. Everything is fine …

  2. patricia bremner 2

    We all need to exercise our right.

    • greywarshark 2.1

      To ensure that we go on having a right and the Right know we want one and to exercise it. Right? Right!

  3. bwaghorn 3

    If we can subsidize people into electric cars why cant we subsidize farmers into reducing their emmisions.

    Most farms could probably be economically viable running 10% less stock if they got credits for it.

    Surely reducing numbers is the same as planting trees. And if they reduce numbers and plant trees its double effective.

    • Morrissey 3.1

      Dirty dairying is ruining our environment.

      FARMER No. 1: Yep. I, I, I think a lot of farmers, ahhh, were disappointed at how much, ah how LITTLE help we received. But, you know, we’re a resilient lot and we just, ah, roll up our sleeves and get stuck in, but ahhhm, you know, Edgecumbe, they’ve got a LOT of help, but the water went THROUGH the town and out on to the farms, and um, you know, we’ve, the farmers have had to deal with that and it’s sort of been in the background and has had very little coverage really.

      FARMER No. 2: It’s all part of the joys and challenge of farming though! It’s—ha ha!—you know—-

      FARMER No. 1: Well you’re battling Mother Nature a little bit here. I mean, it was all swamp that was drained. Mother Nature wants to take it back one day probably but we’ll keep fighting!

      ….Stunned silence…

      COUNTRY LIFE: Hearing THAT, one does have to ask: SHOULD they get support to keep farming here?

      FARMER No. 1: [scrambling] Ahhhhmmm, this is, you know, very productive dairy land. We must produce a LOT for the region, not to mention, you know, the NATIONAL economy, so um, as far as cost-benefit goes, I would say the government would be making a GOOD INVESTMENT putting money into the scheme….

      https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/10/one-does-have-to-ask-should-they-get.html

    • Augustus 3.2

      You can't do that. If you tell them they'll get subsidies to reduce stock numbers, they will increase them dramatically before the subsidy kicks in. Bit like the possum bounty, people start breeding them.

      • bwaghorn 3.2.1

        Farmers put stock numbers into their accountant every year . Simple take a 10 year average and you have your number.

        • greywarshark 3.2.1.1

          Sounds sensible bwaghorn. Just bring farmers down to the ground gently and place beanbags around so they don't suffer any financial shocks. Slogan: My pocket, don't shock it! Pragmatically, your idea is the right way to go for the outcome we want.

      • David Mac 3.2.2

        I think we should be breeding possums. We obviously have the ideal climate. Possum fur groans with international potential. The fibres have extraordinary near unique 100% natural insulation qualities. Only the Possum and Polar Bear have hollow fur fibres, body heat extends out to the tips. The meat makes great pet food.

        The Scandinavians love all natural products and pay top dollar to beat their very nasty winters. As do many damn cold locales, Canada etc.

        • greywarshark 3.2.2.1

          David Mac – A good idea being resurrected – I think it's time has come.

          At least in certain designated areas.

    • Siobhan 3.3

      I notice the people in the UK who know more than me about such things are not celebrating the move to electric cars as being some sort of magic bullet…the idea we can all continue to drive around in our own little pods to our hearts content is a capitalist fallacy..

      Damaging levels of pollution will still be released into the atmosphere even if electric cars become widespread, a Government report has warned.

      Brake, tyre and road surface wear all contribute to dangerous emissions – regardless of the type of vehicle used.

      Plastic debris created from this wear and tear also contributes as much as 28 per cent of the total microplastics added to the ocean worldwide.

      The Air Quality Expert Group's Non-Exhaust Emissions from Road Traffic report said that the best way to reduce emissions is to lower the overall volume of traffic.

  4. Formerly Ross 4

    As long as we don’t use the word emergency, we will be fine.

    “declarations of ‘climate emergency’ will bastardise real emergencies, corrupt real work to avert and adapt to climate change, and build disbelief and resentment between the public and leaders”.

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/113943832/declarations-of-climate-emergencies-will-only-increase-apathy

    • Dennis Frank 4.1

      As long as we don’t use the word emergency, we will be fine.

      But you didn't say you will be sending that in as a submission, did you? It's not the words from people that makes a difference, it's their actions.

      I doubt using the `cry wolf' strategy is likely to be effective, given that the tide of public opinion has shifted towards seeing climate change as a wolf. Try explaining why complacency is a good thing.

    • greywarshark 4.2

      "Right when we most need sombre, thoughtful global and local action, our institutions are all too often faddish and hypocritical."

      So gearing up for the most stark change that there ever has been in our lives and that of the last thousand years, and more, is *faddish.*

      By the way the above link contains a good effort at explaining the real emergency and need for acceptance, before starting an action plan, is Robert our green guru with the beard. He was giving intelligent people the chance to take on the climate change moves in baby steps i

      Incidentally the opinion piece linked to is written by a PR man – which is one of the main jobs people from university fall into if they don't get into IT, lawyer or accountant. The next most prolific of course is Real Estate Agent! e&oe

  5. tc 5

    A big threat is the disinformation that infects the millennials who have no ability to question source, validate the rhetoric or think outside their social media and other bubbles they live in.

    Easy markers for the manufacturers of consent. The modern divide and conquer.

    • That_guy 5.1

      You think these characteristics are limited to, or even primarily shown by, millenials? ROFL

      • tc 5.1.1

        Did I say that ? I find them the toughest to get through to if they're open to it.

  6. That_guy 6

    I have seen precisely one method of dealing with climate change that might actually work, and that's planting 1.2 trillion trees. Yes, there is space for them.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/04/planting-billions-trees-best-tackle-climate-crisis-scientists-canopy-emissions

    We are now well past the point where just cutting emissions is enough. It's not, not even close. That's required too, but a scalable, planet-size carbon sink is required. Fortunately, we have advanced, self-replicating, durable, fault-tolerant bio-nanotechnology (or, for the layperson, trees).

    Tax the ultra-rich, close down tax havens, and plant 1.2 trillion trees. There is no other source of money that is big enough, and a substantial part of the money held by the ultra-rich was derived from trashing the planet anyway. There is no other method that is scalable and will sequester carbon on the scale required and in the timeframe required.

    • greywarshark 6.1

      ROFL to your idea of taxing the ultra-rich, there is no such thing as they deal with their money in an ultra-cunning way. They would rather pay an army of accountants and tax pathologists before they would cave in and pay their dues. Close down tax havens, how will the poor countries like us manage if we get heavied.

      You have stated the ideal as if it was doable. Just get people planting the trees. Set up targets for regions and have some rich person give a fire and rescue helicopter to the winning region. Have their name and livery painted on the side of it, so the shy philanthropist has his or her name recognised. That is how to drag the money out of 'em.

      Determined people awake for action have done this:


      African Green Wall

      (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=270FTs3YlEc
      Senegal plants millions – in the Sahel

      (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8swl–QWJ4
      Madagascar

      (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Lm2shj6DLw
      2018 #RightLivelihoodAward Laureate Tony Rinaudo has helped restore 200 million+ trees in #Niger 🌳🌳 Curious about how he did it? Follow his story to find out! http://www.rightlivelihoodaward.org

  7. Jum 7

    Surely, the most important next step is to seek submissions from early education centres, primary schools, secondary schools, techs and universities; they're the ones to suffer from our greed.

  8. greywarshark 8

    Done submission. Hope it makes a difference, good one that is.

  9. johnm 9

    We're in abrupt climate change now. Meaning the planet, it's not really ours, is transitioning to a new hotter climate regime, a sort of immune response to our presence. This exponential transition gives us the worsening climate disruption we're witnessing round the world. A zero carbon bill will make no difference. we crossed the climate rubicon decades ago. Global industrial civilisation is a 1 time only bonanza once played out never to be repeated.

    I see no point in submitting to a pointless process.

    • johnm 9.1

      Dahr Jamail on his book "The End Of Ice" and the significance of the many studies showing glaciers and sea ice around the world are melting at an unprecedented speed

    • Andre 9.2

      I see no point in submitting to a pointless process.

      Then what point do you see in posting here?

      • johnm 9.2.1

        Human nature to want to have a voice. My post is that our treatment of Climate Change is delusional because we think it's controllable; except extinction rebellion.We can only adapt. The heading submit or surrender is a challenge. This blog itself is not the pointless process, but invites a response. Submit or surrender is a delusional either or!

        • Andre 9.2.1.1

          We can only adapt.

          Then why do most, if not all, of your posts appear intended to convey the message that catastrophic doom is inevitable? Why do you rarely if ever post anything about pathways to adaptation?

          Reducing our emissions is a form of adaptation. Successfully reducing our emissions will reduce the amount of future climate change we have to adapt to, and it will also reduce the speed at which we will need to adapt to it. Surely that's something worth having a say on?

  10. greywarshark 10

    Participating is not pointless. You superior beings announcing this – go on working at your goals, go with Greenpeace on projects, carry out scientific studies or alert people to them and the PRACTICAL ways that citizens can meet the coming problems.

    If you aren't doing something practical, then you are blunting your points. I suggest that putting in your weight behind the Zero Carbon bill is not pointless, and you being ephemeral voices or words floating in the air like Scrooge's ghosts, is…

  11. Chris T 11

    "This may be the New Zealand Goverment’s last chance to put in place measures to get us to carbon neutrality in time to make a difference."

    We contribute 0.17% of the globes emissions

    Good luck with the making a difference

  12. Jenny - How to Get there? 12

    Surrender or submit

    What's the difference?

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