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The thoughts of Matt King on climate change

Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, August 26th, 2019 - 85 comments
Categories: act, climate change, Environment, global warming, national, same old national, science, us politics - Tags: , , ,

Remember Muriel Newman, the former ACT MP who had decidedly strange views on race and science?  Since the electors showed her the door she has been involved in the New Zealand Centre for Political Research,  a right wing astroturf organisation that is that awful the Tax Payer’s Union appears to be slick and well organised in comparison.

But it seems they have one fan in Parliament, National backbench MP Matt King who has been recycling their plaigarised climate change nonsense on the basis that their scientifically inept analysis poses legitimate questions.

From Lana Andelane in Newshub:

National MP Matt King has shared the belief that climate change “is natural” after posting a rant, taken from a US far-right source, to his Facebook page on Saturday.

The National MP for Northland attributed his rant to “some words taken from NZCPR website”. The article ‘Setting New Zealand Up to Fail’ was uploaded to the New Zealand Centre for Political Research website last Sunday. It includes an adapted script taken from a 2012 video by Free Market America – but swaps out ‘America’ for New Zealand. 

“If I wanted New Zealand to fail… I’d use our schools to teach one generation of children that our factories and cars and cows are causing runaway global warming, and I’d muster a straight face so I could teach the next generation that their parents are to blame for killing the planet,” says a section from the adapted script, posted by King and NZCPR.

“And when it’s cold outside, I’d call it climate change instead.

“I would ridicule as ‘deniers’ those who question the climate scaremongering of politicians, and when they remind people about the laws of nature – that climate change is natural and mankind’s impact is minimal – I’d enlist a sympathetic media to drown them out.”

It appears that King edited the original post as the social media bush fire set off.

As the Amazon and Indonesia burn and the North Pole melts it is incredible that we still have a Member of Parliament wanting to question the science.  The last thing that New Zealand politics needs is a right wing politician willing to engage in some good old climate change denialism for political brownie points.

85 comments on “The thoughts of Matt King on climate change ”

  1. cleangreen 1

    “As the Amazon and Indonesia burn and the North Pole melts it is incredible that we still have a Member of Parliament wanting to question the science.”

    How much I wonder does the oil industry intend to go by ruining our infrustructure and homes, before they must own up to the actual cost they are excacting on our ‘public purse’ repairs for their “natural events?

    It’s a similar story now to when the “big tobacco” CEO’s were all lined up in front of the Congressional inquiry into smoking causing cancer, – and they said “there is no proof that smoking causes cancer” Lest we forget.

    • fustercluck 1.1

      So it turns out that NASA reports:

      "As of August 16, 2019, an analysis of NASA satellite data indicated that total fire activity across the Amazon basin this year has been close to the average in comparison to the past 15 years."

      https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/145464/fires-in-brazil

      So much for the hysteria.

      • Formerly Ross 1.1.1

        Yes, climate change appears to be the latest moral panic.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_panic

        • Robert Guyton 1.1.1.1

          The intentional burning of the jungles of the Amazon basin is an issue of morality.

          Drawing attention to the fact that it is still happening, at a time when efforts are being made globally to protect existing forests and rapidly plant new forests as a foil to increasing greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, is an action I fully support.

        • left_forward 1.1.1.2

          What basis do you have for defining climate change, a moral issue?

      • Sacha 1.1.2

        total fire activity across the Amazon basin this year

        When did the policy change come in?

      • mickysavage 1.1.3

        But wait there is more …

        "With the fire season in the Amazon approaching its midpoint, scientists using NASA satellites to track fire activity have confirmed an increase in the number and intensity of fires in the Brazilian Amazon in 2019, making it the most active fire year in that region since 2010.

        Fire activity in the Amazon varies considerably from year-to-year and month-to-month, driven by changes in economic conditions and climate. August 2019 stands out because it has brought a noticeable increase in large, intense, and persistent fires burning along major roads in the central Brazilian Amazon, explained Douglas Morton, chief of the Biospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. While drought has played a large role in exacerbating fires in the past, the timing and location of fire detections early in the 2019 dry season are more consistent with land clearing than with regional drought."

        https://www.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/145498/uptick-in-amazon-fire-activity-in-2019

        While you are at it can you also explain why we have nothing to worry about Greenland melting?

        And how about forest fires in Spain, Siberia, Alaska and *Greenland*?

        • Poission 1.1.3.1

          The anthropocentric issue is the land use change,ie slash and burn and burning (weed control) of already cleared agriculture land.

          This was clearly identified in the IPCC report of the problems arising from agriculture where deforestation, and not agriculture emissions was the problem.

          “Fires are not a natural phenomenon in these forests,” said Mark Cochrane, an expert on wildfire and ecology at the University of Maryland. “All of the fires in this region are caused by people.”

          Mr. Cochrane noted that while a large majority of the fires were on land that had already been cleared, many others were detected burning with particular intensity. He said these were likely deforestation fires, not just fires for clearing previously deforested land.

          “When you slash an area, pile it up, let it dry and then burn it, it burns very intensely, and that’s also what puts off a lot of that smoke,” said Mr. Cochrane.

          There has been a rise in deforestation in recent years, after a long period of decline.

          https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/24/world/americas/amazon-rain-forest-fire-maps.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

      • mpledger 1.1.4

        The thing with averages over a wide area is that it can hide whats going on in small areas.

        Brazil's government weakened its environmental agency so people have been logging illegally and burning land for farming because they know they wont get caught. When fires are natural then the area reverts back to forest but when it's man-made fires then the land stays in a less useful state for planetary health.

      • cleangreen 1.1.5

        Lets get this straight,

        This creep Matt King says he is quote; "spokesperson for rural communities" like F–ing hell he is not; that’s a patent lie.

        Matt King does not represent the rural community at all.

        I have been a farmer in the Gisborne rural area running a small farm for 14 yrs and he has never been here saying he represents us, he would be run out of town here if he tried.to claim that rubbish!!!!

  2. Formerly Ross 2

    There is extremism on both sides. Apparently climate change is genocide! No, it’s not and scare-mongering won’t work.

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/115230184/climate-change-is-genocide

    What is interesting is that 150 years ago we had some truly awful weather. There weren’t many cars or Boeing 747s around then. Indeed the population was much smaller too.

    https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WI18680211.2.16

    https://teara.govt.nz/en/floods/page-2

    • Sacha 2.1

      What do you get out of climate change denialism?

      • Formerly Ross 2.1.1

        What do you get out of scaring the shit out of people?

        And why are you denying that we had truly awful weather before we had climate change?

        • Kevin 2.1.1.1

          And there is the problem right there with deniers. The inability too differentiate between weather and climate.

          • marty mars 2.1.1.1.1

            yep they are not the sharpest tools in the toolbox but they are tools nevertheless

          • Formerly Ross 2.1.1.1.2

            Kevin

            It seems to me your comments should be directed at Mickey who is discussing fires, not climate. 🙂

        • Robert Guyton 2.1.1.2

          Are people having the sh*t scared out of them?

          When news that smoking tobacco and lung cancer were intimately linked, was that "scaring the sh*t out of people" and wasn't that exactly the responsible action to take; alerting smokers to the scientifically-verified reality?

    • Robert Guyton 2.2

      "There is extremism on both sides. "

      Who'd have thought!

      "What is interesting is that 150 years ago we had some truly awful weather"

      Interesting, perhaps, but relevant?

      Not at all.

      • Sacha 2.2.1

        The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain, apparently.

      • Dukeofurl 2.2.2

        Climate is the long term average of weather. Science says it has to be at least 15-20 + years as weather is variable. Long term data does show climate is warming of course

        Last months weather isnt climate.

        Amazon Fires are another example This years burning is shocking but the longer term data says its 'about average'

        "As of August 16, 2019, an analysis of NASA satellite data indicated that total fire activity across the Amazon basin this year has been close to the average in comparison to the past 15 years. "

        https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/145464/fires-in-brazil

  3. solkta 3

    Matt King Coal was a merry old soul

    And a merry old soul was he

    • marty mars 4.1

      lol "I guess Justice is now a "climate change denier""

      yep that's the one brainbox – don't guess though – remember YOU know and everyone else is wrong.

  4. Interesting – that article doesn't seem to be on Stuff any more. It was there when I read it earlier this morning, can't find it now. I can understand King taking his post down, because he would have had the hard word that National's climate change denial is supposed to be clandestine, but why would Stuff help them out?

  5. Stuart Munro. 6

    There are some inconsistencies in our approach to local oil and coal, if we are prepared to import getting on for six hundred thousand tonnes of coal per annum, and one hundred and ten thousand barrels of oil per day, banning local production is less than entirely clever. It's as credible as using cheap carbon offsets instead of moving to more sustainable transport processes – offshoring our problems (and a great deal of our money). While governments rely on unhealthy industries like aerial tourism they are not developing viable alternatives. The market will not provide these alternatives, they are anathema to the short term, cost externalizing model.

  6. MickeyBoyle 7

    Criticism of Matt King is obviously warranted, but if you criticize his views for not listening to scientists, you have to hold the Greens to the same standard, in their ardent opposition to GM crops.

  7. Robert Guyton 8

    Well, we here on TS don't have to "hold the Greens to the same standard".

    We could, if we wanted to debate GM crops, ask if the Green's position is based on science.

    • MickeyBoyle 8.1

      You're right you dont have to hold them to the same standard. But you also cannot deny the hypocrisy in your position. Arguing that an MP is not listening to the science cannot be partisan, we must hold all sides to account. This goes for poverty statistics and the like also. Just because team Red is in power, doesnt mean we should be any less vigorous in holding them to account.

      • marty mars 8.1.1

        sure mb – your comments often seem full of vigour to me on 'holding them (the left) to account' – reminds me of the chairman tbh

        • MickeyBoyle 8.1.1.1

          Sorry I just refuse to be a sycophant, especially whilst team red in many instances are worse than team blue, read into that what you will. But whilst you bang on your fangirl drum set, our most vulnerable keep living in squalor, neoliberalism keeps marching on, inequality, real poverty, hardship grants, emergency accommodation and pollution continue to explode in prevalence. I prefer to hold anyone in a position of power to account, sadly I seem to be on my own a lot these days.

          • marty mars 8.1.1.1.1

            fair enough – we should hook you up with the chairman because like you he is a lone wolf fighting the dirty red team who, as you say need sorting because – "especially whilst team red in many instances are worse than team blue"

          • Incognito 8.1.1.1.2

            Sorry I just refuse to be a sycophant, especially whilst team red in many instances are worse than team blue, read into that what you will.

            Irony?

      • Robert Guyton 8.1.2

        For the moment, MickeyBoyle, the topic is climate change and Matt King. When the GM topic and The Greens position on it comes up, then sure, let's check their adhesion to the science. Discussing an MP, Matt King in this instance, and his claims can certainly be partisan; he's the topic and discussion of his dismissal of science need not involve any other politicians at all.

        • SHG 8.1.2.1

          The thing I find most infuriating is not that King is saying stupid shit; it's that it's not even his own stupid shit. He's just reposted some other idiot's stupid shit but has taken the time to change America to New Zealand in the text. That's a special sort of stupid.

  8. '..chirp..!…chirp..!..'

    (the above is a live/field-recording – of the noises inside matt kings' brain…)

  9. Formerly Ross 10

    Fires in the Amazon, interesting perhaps but relevant?

  10. AB 11

    It looks like the right will try to scare its way back into power by saying that the left want to take away your cars/air travel/meat/milk/job and make you eat raw kale sitting under a single eco-friendly light-bulb. It worked for ScoMo it seems. Once in power, they will aim to keep BAU going as long as possible. When it's no longer possible, they will work to prevent a just transition, i.e. those who already benefited most from BAU will be protected, while the sacrifice will fall on everyone else.

  11. cleangreen 12

    Climate deniers always refuse to recognise the inceasing intensity of cyclone activity and seem to grasp at straws saying cyclone activity has not increased.

    But that is misleading as it was IPCC https://www.ipcc.ch/ that said all the time it was ‘intensity of weather activity’ that will occur.

    Not the time of events.

    Anyone that had their roofs blown off can testify the real difference here,

    So do we have to wait until these climate deniers roofs are blown off in the middle of a dark nighht to realise that they were wrong?

    In 2017 NIWA predicted more intense cyclones; – and now this is coming true in 2019.

    https://www.niwa.co.nz/news/intensity-of-cyclones-predicted-to-increase

    ;Intensity of cyclones predicted to increase;

    5 October 2017 – Vagaries of variability

    • Formerly Ross 12.1

      Cyclones aren’t climate. But it is interesting we had truly awful weather events before we had climate change. What might have caused them?

      • Alice Tectonite 12.1.1

        Transport of surplus energy from the equatorial regions towards the poles on a spinning planet…

        Warming climate = more energy

        = "awful weather" more often

        • Formerly Ross 12.1.1.1

          So climate change isn’t responsible for all the adverse weather events as there were such events before climate change.

          • Alice Tectonite 12.1.1.1.1

            Warming climate means more energy in the atmosphere. That leads to increased frequency and/or severity of "adverse weather" events.

            Trying to pin all extreme weather events through out time on current climate change shows a spectacular lack of understanding.(Or alternatively, that you reside under a bridge in a fairy story…)

            • Formerly Ross 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Hmmm you may need to read my comment again if you think I’m pinning all extreme weather events in the past on current climate change. Nowhere did I say that.

            • adam 12.1.1.1.1.2

              Alice Tectonite, you can't argue with feelings and emotions. Logic and the scientific method just don't work with these people. It's like trying to have a rational conversation with someone from ISIS – loony far right crazies have their own emotional logic.

              • Formerly Ross

                Adam,

                I'll tell you what was crazy – Cyclone Tracy.

                The northern Australian city of Darwin was devastated early on Christmas morning 1974 when hit by the tropical weather depression that was given the name Cyclone Tracy. As the eye of the cyclone passed over the city between midnight and 7am on Christmas morning, torrential rain fell and the winds were officially recorded at 217 kilometres per hour prior to the Bureau of Meteorology anemometer being destroyed. Houses and other buildings disintegrated under the onslaught, accompanied by the sounds of flying debris and breaking glass. Records have identified 66 names of individuals who perished as a result of the cyclone (53 on land and 13 at sea), and many more were injured. Seventy per cent of Darwin’s homes were destroyed or suffered severe damage, and all public services – communications, power, water and sewerage – were severed.

                http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs176.aspx

      • Psycho Milt 12.1.2

        But it is interesting we had truly awful weather events before we had climate change. What might have caused them?

        Are you embarrassingly ignorant, or just being disingenuous?

  12. cleangreen 13

    FR Read weather change to learn how climate change causes a rise in SST (sea surface temperature) which inceases cyclones intensity.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_cyclones_and_climate_change

    Again you are misrepresenting Climate Change again. You are a true climate change denier.

    • Formerly Ross 13.1

      Your lack of comprehension is truly something to behold. Several times I’ve referred to climate change in this thread. There I did it again!

    • New view 13.2

      CG. Your arguments were almost plausible until you insinuated that when climate deniers had their roofs blown off they would then understand climate change. (Comment 12)

  13. Ian 14

    Meanwhile as the climate change fanatics spread their poison the suicide rate soars.

    • adam 14.1

      Bugger off, suicide rates are related to many issues, with economics being the primary cause in the overwhelming majority of cases.

      As for climate change fanatics, what does that even mean – people who read the science and agree with it. Or people like you who just have a feeling the scientists are wrong.

      Because at the moment, anyone who thinks we are not in some serious trouble in relation to the environment – is as loony as the other right wing fanatics ISIS.

      • Ian 14.1.1

        Anyone who seriously beleives that killing half of our cattle will result in anything other than economic ruin and social unrest is the equivalent of a religious nut job.

        Any research out there on why more people are killing themselves under a labour Government ?

        • Robert Guyton 14.1.1.1

          No one in their right mind believes were going to kill half our cattle, Ian.

          'cept you, it seems.

        • Anne 14.1.1.2

          It's got nothing to do with Climate Change. It's to do with ignoramus' like you getting on to social media and spreading poison willy-nilly just for a laugh and not caring about the effects some of it can have on vulnerable young people in particular.

          But I doubt you have the cerebral wherewithal to figure that one out.

          • Ian 14.1.1.2.1

            stop deflecting from the fact that our suicide rate is increasing under a labour Government . Preaching alarmist doctrines of future famine ,death and destruction has got to have a negative effect on the human mental condition ,particularly with our young people.

            • marty mars 14.1.1.2.1.1

              Piss off you feckless idiot – you know nothing and display that with pride. Typical rwnj – uses misery to score points – what a zero.

        • greywarshark 14.1.1.3

          Meanwhile the near-demented spread their malicious messages against the government, the only thinking they can manage.

    • In Vino 14.2

      Non sequitur, Ian.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 14.2.1

        CC is due to self-administered planetary poisons; there's no antidote in denial.

        "The suicide rates soars", by 2.55%. Meanwhile GDP 'super-soars' by 2.7% in the year to March 2019.

        Where is all this ‘sensational’ soaring taking us? Best to come down from the ‘highs’.

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