web analytics

The costs and benefits of having a habitable planet to live on

Written By: - Date published: 3:20 pm, May 3rd, 2017 - 24 comments
Categories: climate change, global warming - Tags: , , , , , ,

In “most frustrating news of the day”:

Govt orders stocktake for how NZ can meet carbon promise

The Productivity Commission has been asked to look at the cost and benefits of moving to a low-carbon economy.

Having deleted my initial unprintable reaction, let’s try again.

I guess any sign of sanity is to be encouraged. But. When the Nats came to power there was a framework for reducing carbon. It was an inadequate framework because of political compromise, it needed strengthening. Instead the Nats dismantled or weakened it. Now, nine long years later, they want Yet Another Study? By well known environmental “experts” the Productivity Commission?

I hope that the Commission takes into account the costs of not having a habitable planet to live on. There is no economy without the environment.

24 comments on “The costs and benefits of having a habitable planet to live on ”

  1. weka 1

    Yep. I fully expect in the next 6 months for National to do a number of things that look like they are starting to move in the right direction. It’s lies. There is no epiphany where they’ve realised that CC is real or that homeless people need housing etc. I truly believe they don’t give a shit, and anything hopeful coming from their direction is designed to win them the election. After which they would then continue with their pillage while they can governance.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Can the fruit of the ACT tree be anything other than rotten or will the Sun explode first? Time will tell.

    At the bottom of the tree is the National Party, gorging itself on the nation.

  3. Bill 3

    Aw…what could possibly be remiss with doing a cost/benefit analysis of saving our arses?

    On a more serious note, Kevin Anderson has been pointing out for about the past decade that this nonsense – of putting economic considerations before all else – has been the responsible driver behind a veritable mountain of pollyannish AGW reports, including ones by such luminaries as Hanson and (less luminary) Stern.

    So, to be fair, this isn’t just the NZ Nat government pulling this shit in isolation – it’s ubiquitous.

    • Antoine 3.1

      Emission reduction in NZ will not save our arses, all else being equal.


      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Doing so is holding ourselves responsible, otherwise known as taking responsibility for our actions.

        Something that all RWNJs say people must do but then come up with excuses as to why they’re not at fault when they obviously are.

        • Kevin

          People need to accept the fact that any thing we now do will do nothing to avoid the inevitable decline of the human species on this plant.

          Reductions in emissions, assuming that was even possible given the worldwide political climate, are already too late.

          The evidence is all out there. People just need to read it and plan their lives accordingly.

  4. Gosman 4

    You lot haven’t been terribly successful convincing the wider population to come along on the journey to tackle AGW. Perhaps that might be because of the attitudes expressed here. Have you ever thought that it is better to make some progress and get some movement rather than bemoan lack of serious action and potentially cause a backlash where no action is taken at all?

    [Stop trolling Gosman – weka]

    • In Vino 4.1

      Arrogant fool. You obviously don’t even believe that there is any possibility of a real threat, let alone the extinction of our species. Profit is what really matters to your lot, isn’t it Gosman?

      • Fustercluck 4.1.1

        Extinction of our species is certain. The only question is when. Environmental degradation will catch us long before climate change does but arguing about climate models allows business as usual to continue. So many people missing so many points. Oh, well.

        • Kevin

          I agree.

          AGW is real and happening, just accept that there is nothing that can be done about it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      “The wider population”.

      [citation needed]

      In other news, is Gosman lying or just full of shit? Read all about it.

      • weka 4.2.1

        Research jointly co-ordinated by Dr Milfont in 2015 found that if people from 24 countries believe that addressing climate change will result in a more caring and moral community, they are more likely to take action.

        That’s a gem.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2

        It’s both.

  5. Jeremy 5

    “There is no economy without the environment.”

    I’m not sure I understand what that even means. I had a quick look at the dictionary, and it had two definitions for environment:

    1). The surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates.

    So our environment exists whether it is carbon dioxide rich or not. Do you mean there is no economy without a healthy environment? If so, that is problematic when we look at definition two:

    2). The natural world, as a whole or in a particular geographical area, especially as affected by human activity.

    But what is an economy if not the bringing together of land, labour, capital and enterprise, which usually takes the form of enterprise directing labour and capital to effect the land? So an economy is how man effects the environment to make life more comfortable and secure, and whether we get vastly more efficient or not in terms of carbon, we will continue to have a massive effect on the environment because we will continue to have an economy. What constitutes a healthy environment then becomes a matter of debate.

    In summary I think the sentence is a non sequitur.

    I don’t think doing a study on whether focussing on one form of efficiency (in this case carbon efficiency) may lead to an overall decline in New Zealander’s comfort and security is inherently a bad idea, however I suspect we lack the ability to do it accurately.

    • In Vino 5.1

      The problem is with your all-encompassing definition of ‘economy’.
      For most people ‘economy’ means money matters. Many profit-gougers in the system have no concern with your over-generous definition involving bringing all those concepts together. In fact, it is mainly the environmentalists who actually care about ‘stuff like that’.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 5.2

      Recalling the line from a wonderful Clark and Dawe commentary (also part of the environment):

      The ship was towed outside the environment

      There is no part of “the economy” that exists outside of “the environment”. All economic activity is a subset of the environment, which includes both the Earth and the tangible and intangible outputs of humans (also part of the environment) and other organisms.

      Basically, before the economy, and before humans, there was the environment. After the economy, and indeed after humans, there will be the environment.

  6. Tamati Tautuhi 6

    Unfortunately a number of economists do not understand that the Environment is actually part of the Economy, when the numb skull Tory Economists do the maths on things like irrigation of light land soil types on the Canterbury Plains they do not factor in the degradation of the Environment and the on going costs to society and the loss of enjoyment for recreational purposes/tourism etc of the Canterbury River ?

    One way to describe it, dumb, dumb and dumber ?

    • Macro 6.1

      The Economy is a subset of the Environment not the other way round.
      If you trash the Environment ultimately you trash the Economy.
      That is what humans are doing right at this very moment.
      For example:
      Farmers are trashing our waterways with excessive runoffs from over stocking of pasture. They are consuming the environmental capital upon which their livelihood depends – clean water. When there is no more clean water their economic power will have vanished.

  7. Antoine 7

    Sending something to the Productivity Commission basically means binning it. There will be a long delay followed by a report that is not acted on. If the Nats wanted to do more in this space they would just do it.


  8. Macro 8

    There has already been two reports similar to the import of this done. One in the UK – The Stern Report, and one in the US by Yale professor Nordhaus
    The problem with reports such as these lie in the assumptions being made by the economists undertaking the calculations, of future costs.
    The discounting of the costs of future warming is the main area of concern and there is no way that that can be accurately assessed.
    Gives a rundown of the differences that occur over a simple figure. Nordaus’s 3% – 5% of GDP v’s LOrd Stern’s up to 20%. Only God knows. If warming causes rapid SLR such as indicated by recent collaping Ice Shelves in Greenland and Antarctica then a 20% cost in terms of GDP may even be on the low side.
    This proposal by National is just a further example of the only “Policy” they have in their political bag: “KIck the can down the road”.

    • Antoine 8.1

      You are missing the point. National’s study isn’t about the cost of global warming, but about the cost/benefit of various options that NZ can take. None of which will prevent global warming, but some of which may save us some costs under our international obligations.


      • Molly 8.1.1

        ” None of which will prevent global warming, but some of which may save us some costs under our international obligations.”
        Most likely, using a totally contrived and isolated set of parameters to quantify.

        I agree with your earlier comment, they have no intent to “govern” on this issue, but they have never been in power to govern our resources and people well.

      • Macro 8.1.2

        If you support that “policy” you miss the point about being responsible global citizens.
        Are you aware that Kiribati and the Tokalaus are under immediate threat from rising sea levels? NZ has a responsibility for both of these Island Nations but at present shows no interest in their plight nor accepts Climate Change refugee status.

        • Antoine

          I’m not sure how your comment relates to mine. Are you disagreeing with my view on what the CBA will be about?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 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
    4 days 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
    1 week 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago