Total shambles

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, November 17th, 2009 - 59 comments
Categories: Environment, national, scoundrels - Tags:

The government’s handling of the ETS is a total shambles at every level. Even their fans at The Herald are pointing out the elephants in the room:

Another sorry chapter in emissions farce

It is rare that all-party select committees of Parliament cannot agree on some improvements to a Government bill even if some parties continue to vote against it. The failure of the finance and expenditure committee to agree on practically anything in the Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Bill is another ignominious moment in the passage of this backward legislation.

The committee’s failure can be blamed partly on the ridiculously short time it was given to hear public submissions and study the bill. Submissions closed barely a month ago. About half of the 300 organisations and individuals wanted to speak to the committee. They were given about 10 minutes apiece. The committee had to complete its work by yesterday.

True to form National tried to bulldoze poorly conceived legislation through parliament in a mockery of the democratic process. And it has come back to bite them – not least in the form of a $50bn blunder in estimating the costs. National’s ETS is so bad that the Environmental Commissioner has (diplomatically) called it crap:

‘As it stands, the amendments to the bill virtually guarantee the ETS will not achieve its stated goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, so I cannot support the bill being passed,’ Dr Wright, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment said today

Treasury are (ever so diplomatically) calling it crap too:

Conspicuously, and for the first time anyone can remember, the Treasury has refused to endorse a regulatory impact statement for the legislation. The quality of the analysis, it says in the bill’s explanatory note, “is not commensurate with the significance of the proposals”.

National are still determined pass this pile of crap (perhaps by buying off Iwi – see “National’s ETS to include special treatment for Maori“). But that would be no progress at all. Labour has already said that this bill and its $155 billion blow out in debt is unacceptable, and they will repeal it when next in government.

National had a chance to get this right. Labour were working with them constructively to achieve the enduring bipartisan consensus that the economy so desperately needs when National walked away. As today’s Herald editorial continues:

A bipartisan approach to a subject of such far-reaching importance was briefly in prospect after a parliamentary review of emissions trading a few months ago. With all minor parties (even the Greens) preferring a carbon tax to a trading scheme, the Labour Party indicated it would give up elements of its scheme if National wanted a bipartisan solution. Sadly, National did not. John Key preferred to deal with Act and the Maori.

When a true global emissions market begins to take shape, this country will join it. Meantime, Parliament should not waste much debate on this miserable offering to the international effort.

It’s a total bloody shambles and National have no one to blame but themselves.

59 comments on “Total shambles”

  1. fizzleplug 1

    The real elephant in the room is of course climate change itself.

    Scrap the ETS completely, and let the rest of the world sort their shit out first. We are a tiny nation, with an undetectable level of emissions on the world stage, so we shouldn’t be leading this empty crusade.

    I’d rather be late to the party than the guy who turns up first with all the food and alcohol that I bought myself but that everyone else consumes.

    • Here we go again …

      If we do this then so will three quarters of the rest of the world on the grounds either they are too small or too poor.

      You don’t happen to have a spacecraft do you? If your thinking continues to dominate you will need it.

      • fizzleplug 1.1.1

        Hi, my name is mickysavage. I love my bankrupt little country that subsidises Russia, the US, Britain China. It’s so… clean. Probably cause we can’t afford to do anything here.

        But at least it’s clean!

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.1

          Hi, my name is fizzleplug and I think that the world’s environment will have to be destroyed so that economic growth can continue.

          DOH … the economy is the environment.

          • fizzleplug 1.1.1.1.1

            Actually, my thoughts are above. The worlds environment shouldn’t be destroyed, but we also shouldn’t strive to be leaders when we will have such a negligible impact on world emissions. All it will do is hurt OUR economy, which funnily enough, I kind of care about.

            • mickysavage 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Well the clock is ticking and we are running out of time.

              Shall we spend the next 50 years arguing about who should do what or should we at least start now to reduce the amount of CO2 and methane that our country produces.

              Quickly though. As the chair of IPCC Rajendra Pachauri has said:

              “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.”

            • Clarke 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Hi, my name is fizzleplug and I’m here because I lack any moral conscience.

              I realise that climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions, and that everyone needs to pull their weight to make a difference, but I can’t be bothered doing that – it sounds too hard.

              I know that my little country down the far end of the South Pacific has provided moral leadership in the past, on issues that are just as important. We declared ourselves a nuclear free zone, and stared down one of the world’s nuclear super-powers when we banned their warships from our waters, despite not owning a single nuclear weapon ourselves.

              We even applauded when our Prime Minister stood in the Oxford Union and told the world that nuclear weapons were morally indefensible – but that was back in the day when our Prime Minister possessed a backbone, rather than merely being a spineless middle manager.

              Those times of moral leadership are long gone, and now I’m content to wring my hands and do nothing, just like every other conscience-free middle class Act voter.

              My name is fizzleplug – and I’m a freeloader.

            • fizzleplug 1.1.1.1.1.3

              Hi Clarke. Don’t assume that everyone who disagrees with you or holds my views votes for ACT. I’m pretty sure more than 3% hold my views haha.

              Not a freeloader either, but you won’t believe me anyway. I also don’t wring my hands, I’m not concerned about the world at all, in fact the Earth is fine. Humanity will disappear long before the “environment”. But I do recycle (aren’t I awesome?).

            • Zorr 1.1.1.1.1.4

              3 words.

              Head. In. Sand.

              micky and Clarke, it isn’t worthwhile arguing with him on the facts because he doesn’t know any and don’t bother ridiculing him, he is ridiculous enough as is.

            • Clarke 1.1.1.1.1.5

              Fizzleplug – Recycling has been referred to as “the masturbation of the environmental movement – it makes you feel good but achieves nothing”. How appropriate.

              But my apologies for calling you an Act voter – it’s just that you display all the innate selfishness and short-sighted moral bankruptcy of the breed. An honest mistake on my part.

      • fizzleplug 1.1.2

        Sadly (in my view, but obviously not yours) my thinking doesn’t dominate. Which is why we have all the world leaders rushing to circle-jerk each other over climate change.

  2. randal 2

    when it comes to money this national government is solely focussed on grabbing every cent it can and diverting it into homes in the south of france and going around the world in jets and staying at flash hotels.
    that is about the limit of their engagement with the world and they are dragging their feet on the ETS so they work out how to load as much of the cost onto the consumer as they can before it is too late for consumers to do anything about it.

    • prism 2.1

      You should make a TV show out of this randal. It sounds like the sort of thing that would go down big with the viewing public.

  3. infused 3

    I have to admit with the ETS, this is one big blunder. The deal with the Maori party is a joke.

    Fuzzle, that’s exactly what I’ve been saying. The ETS is a sham. Let the rest of the world lead this.

  4. tsmithfield 4

    I agree the whole ETS thing is ridiculous.

    I heard on Breakfast today that we are the only country in the world that includes agricultural emissions in our calculations. How stupid is that?

    Why agricultural emissions should be included at all is beyond me. If you think about it, animals such as beef, sheep etc are also carbon sinks as well as methane emitters in that they are locking up carbon while they are alive and eventually have the carbon locked up in their meat absorbed by humans. If the vegetation that was consumed by the domestic animals was left to itself, it also would die and emit methane as it decays.

    So, I question whether there is really any negative impact from farming animals at all.

    • Yeah it is really stupid that damn Earth reacts adversely to the huge amounts of methane that our cattle produce.

      How dare it threaten our economic posperity by heating up.

      Your last comment is a beaut. I see that you believe your opinion is just as valid as that of the huge majority of climate scientists with one slight difference …you do not know what you are talking about.

    • r0b 4.2

      So, I question whether there is really any negative impact from farming animals at all.

      Well I guess it’s just you vs every scientist who has looked at the issue ts. 14% of the world’s emissions are attributable to agriculture (as even your own Tim Grosser understands – see second link).

      I heard on Breakfast today that we are the only country in the world that includes agricultural emissions in our calculations. How stupid is that?

      It isn’t stupid at all. It’s essential. And it’s an opportunity. Once again, even your buddies Key and Grosser understand this, and are trying to establish a leadership role for NZ in the area of agricultural emissions:

      http://www.nznewsuk.co.uk/news/?ID=3660&StartRow=101

      http://www.triplepundit.com/2009/10/kiwis-planting-the-seeds-for-curbing-agricultural-emissions/

      • tsmithfield 4.2.1

        I see the logic of your argument is based on the logical error of an appeal to authority rather than any actual evidence.

        I am not denying that animals emit methane. All I have argued is whether the net effect of emissions from the animals is any greater than the status quo if the animals were never there in the first place.

        On the debit side of the equation:
        Animals emit methane.

        On the credit side of the equation:
        Animals absorb carbon as they grow.
        Vegetation would have died and emited methane as it rotted if the animals had not eaten it.

        Both sides of the equation must balance out. Therefore, there should not be a problem in terms of net emissions. Can you demonstrate by any logical argument why I am wrong about this?

        On this basis, agriculture is on a completely different footing to say, burning coal, oil etc.

        • r0b 4.2.1.1

          I see the logic of your argument is based on the logical error of an appeal to authority rather than any actual evidence.

          Not an authority ts – every authority. As far as I know you’re the only person in the world who has suggested that agriculture is emissions neutral. Now you could be a visionary genius who has seen the obvious that no one else has seen. Or not. I guess not.

          Can you demonstrate by any logical argument why I am wrong about this?

          I don’t have time to write you an essay on agriculture and the carbon cycle, so I will keep my explanation as “simple” as your argument. Animals make methane – a much more significant greenhouse gas than CO2. For the same amount of plant material, animals make more methane than natural decomposition, because of chemical stuff that happens in the animals’ tummies.

        • lprent 4.2.1.2

          On the debit side of the equation:
          Animals emit methane.

          Ah no. Some animals emit far more methane than others – ruminants with their complex multi-stomach system for extracting the most out of plant matter emit thousands of times more methane via burping than humans and most animals do.

          On the credit side of the equation:
          Animals absorb carbon as they grow.
          Vegetation would have died and emited methane as it rotted if the animals had not eaten it.

          Ah no… (your simple scientific ignorance is showing). Plants generally don’t emit methane on decomposition, they emit CO2, SO3, and all sorts of other things. CH4 creation requires special conditions. Essentially an anaerobic environment, usually with specialized bacteria who have been doing it for billions of years, and in the relative absence of free oxygen. ie a fermentation chamber like a ruminants stomach or a peat bog.

          So all animals are not created equal. If you replace forest animals (few ruminants) with pasture and ruminants, then methane generation rises massively.

          Your entire argument is flawed because it simplistically says that replacing birds with cows is equivalent – which is dead wrong. It says that replacing forest mulch with sheep is equivalent – also dead wrong.

          You sound like an economist. Simple assumptions and processes don’t even begin to describe either the biosphere or the geological processes. They’re only useful on simple things – like you for instance.

    • Bright Red 4.3

      tsmithfield. your idea that animals are a carbon sink is woefully ignorant.

      They produce large amounts of methane during their lifetimes as a result of their digestion. Sure, their bodies physically contain an amount of carbon that was absorbed from the air by the plants they eat but that’s a small amont compared to the amount they produce during their life times and even that carbon is released during their lifetimes and on their deaths.

      Even when we eat them, we only take up a small amount of the carbon, the rest goes through us to rot, releasing methane. And we’re not permanent either. At best we’re small temporary carbon sinks.

      • tsmithfield 4.3.1

        Read my previous reply.

        The net effect of animals must be completely neutral. Think logically. Otherwise we are creating something out of nothing.

        • George D 4.3.1.1

          No, the earth’s ecosystem under equilibrium conditions is neutral. We’re actively moving the equilibrium point and have no idea where it will end up.

      • gitmo 4.3.2

        I have the solution to those pesky farting ruminants…………. kill them all ah ha ha ha ha ha ha

    • lprent 4.4

      There isn’t any ‘direct’ impact from animals. There is an impact from changing how land is used, including changing what animals and plants are on the land.

      You could argue on your daft basis that there isn’t any impact from changing fossil hydrocarbons into simpler compounds. You’d be right – in time scales that give a good probability of humans going extinct. You’re talking abyssal trench timescales.

      But since you won’t know what they are either… Kind of pointless talking to a scientific idiot…

  5. BLiP 5

    No one is seriously suggesting that agriculture should be left off the list of contributors to the environment problem, surely? I wonder how this will help John Key and his plans to make “100% Pure” our nation’s master brand?

  6. Bored 6

    Fizzleplug and TS for me exemplify the prevalent absentee school of thought about climate change. It coincides with our love as a nation of stories made into films where little heroes with hairy feet take on and defeat an evil of almost insurmountable menace at the last throw of the dice. There is amongst the economic resistance to the ETS an almost child like belief in fairy tales, a parallel with the great myths of individual heroic endeavour in which an Odysseus will save the kingdom from total ruin.

    My mother was more accurate with fairy tales, she inculcated us with the sure and certain knowledge that the ogres were real, and they did eat children and the unwary (metaphorically of course). So Fiz and TS, into the jaws of dragons, be warned.

    • gitmo 6.1

      The only fairy tale is that an ETS will do a jot to alter the climate one way or t’other.

      • Bored 6.1.1

        The jaws open wider for Gitmo, such a shame, so indigestable, more methane.

      • fizzleplug 6.1.2

        Which actually summarises how I think very nicely. Why spend all this money, time and effort, on something that ultimately, won’t matter (environmentally speaking anyhow)?

        • Bored 6.1.2.1

          No, Superman will not swoop down and heroically pick you up from under the wheel of the steamroller, you will have to do something…like get up and move.

  7. Zaphod Beeblebrox 7

    If every group of 4 million people on earth were as selfish as the 4 mill on our island, the planet would truly be doomed. Thankfully they are not though I am sure they will have noticed.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    No one has tried to answer me logically yet.

    Let me try and explain another way.

    Imagine that the only source of CO2 or Methane emissions was biomass. Could there ever be a problem with excess emissions. The answer is obviously no, because it is a closed cycle. Emissions are eventually re-absorbed by other biomass and the system stays in balance.

    So, if I am right about this, explain why animal emissions should be included in the equation at all.

    • Er it is quite complex. Up in Siberia there are huge amounts of frozen methane under the Tundra. It is now thawing and that methane is now being released into the atmosphere. Methane levels are going up.

      Also methane is produced by a chemical reaction. The more animals the more methane is produced.

      The amount of CO2 is also not fixed. It is made up of carbon and oxygen and when you burn the carbon CO2 is produced. Eventually all the carbon could be converted into CO2. This could happen after all life is destroyed and the atmosphere heats up to unbelievable levels. Earth would resemble Venus.

      You obviously did not do even school certificate science. So why should your opinion be taken into account?

      • Bored 8.1.1

        Of course it is so obvious the invisible hand of the market will drive divinely blessed signals that will in turn drive technicological advances…we will capture the methane, which of course will be burnt as a replacement for depleted oil, and yes this time we will capture and stockpile all carbon emitted…..the debt levels of the US toxic stocks will be consequently dissipated, and polar bears will drive their own sledges.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 8.1.1.1

          Maybe we could invent nano-bots who live by consuming CO2 to solid carbon. Better watch out that they don’t charge us for their services!

          Or alternately, we could learn to live by burning and consuming a lot less stuff, perhaps encourage people to video conference and holiday closer to home.

          Sorry, doesn’t make a quick easy profit for anyone and doesn’t add to GDP, but not that hard to do.

          • Bored 8.1.1.1.1

            Its possible ZB, I ate the first cabbage from my new garden last night. Productivity and pride, the GDP was also added to by tangible production. It grew in compost placed on top of the commerce section of the Dom, fine manure. Cheers.

      • tsmithfield 8.1.2

        Mickey, you still have not answered me logically. Making assumptions about my level of education is not a logical argument. Address the logic of what I say without trying to resort to put-downs. This just makes the points you try to make appear a lot weaker.

        Imagine that all the biomass on earth died tomorrow, and decayed and rotted away to nothing. Under this scenario, would the amount of emissions in the atmosphere increase or decrease? Obviously, they would increase by the amount of methane etc emitted into the atmosphere as the animals/plants etc decayed.

        Now imagine that the whole system started over, that a few plants and animals had survived and began to regenerate. As this happened would the net amount of greenhouse gasses increase or decrease? It is obvious that they would decrease because the gasses would become locked up in living biomass. Thus the net amount of biomass on the earth represents a given amount of carbon that is locked away at any one time.

        Therefore, increasing biomass reduces the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Thus we should be given a credit for agricultural biomass, not a debit.

    • lprent 8.2

      Imagine that the only source of CO2 or Methane emissions was biomass. Could there ever be a problem with excess emissions.

      If you envisage very long times that is correct – say 10k-40k years plus or so. Most biomass accretion is in either cold or waterlogged environments – ie tundra, permafrost, fens, bogs, bottom of the ocean etc. Eventually the mass will get released.

      Even in the medium term – ie hundreds of years that would be the case. The biosphere would adjust to moderate changes in greenhouse gas emissions from land changes (while biomass is also accumulating in stores)

      However in the short term (< 100 years) that isn't the case. In a steady state system uninterrupted by humans that would be correct. But of course it isn't a steady state. For the last hundred years deforestation has been going on at a massive rate. Peat swamps have been drained. We have been doing far more intensive farming which has allowed many more large ruminant herbivores with their fascinating digestive systems to flourish. etc etc All of those would have raised levels of greenhouse gases and therefore climate changes even in the absence of fossil fuel usage. Put on top of fossil fuel changes they are still significant - especially when you consider that most of the agricultural and landuse changes are heavily dependent on fossil fuels. If fossil fuels hadn't been used, then the pace of landuse change would have been a lot less. Of course the biosystem will adapt to all of these changes - in time. But it would increase the amount of biomass in forests etc. Humans are preventing that. The real question is if humans with their complex support systems so dependent on relatively stable climates can cope without a major dieback - probably from war... So basically your argument has no merit. It is far too abstract and ignores the actual changes the agriculture does to land-use. In particular the change of land-use from forest to raising ruminants. You really need to study more...

    • toad 8.3

      And further to mickysavage, tsmithfield:

      Sure it is cyclical, and atmospheric methane will eventually oxidise to CO2 and water. But atmospheric oxidation of methane has an average half -life of 7 years, meaning of all the methane that finds its way into the atmosphere this year, half of it will still be there in 7 years time.

      So if we put methane into the atmosphere at a rate faster than it oxidises, it increases in concentration. The problem with that is that methane has a greenhouse potential of 72 (over 20 years) or 25 (over 100 years) times that of CO2, so the climate gets warmer despite the methane-CO2 reaction being a closed cycle.

      And if the climate gets sufficiently warm that the frozen hydromethane under the tundra is released, we are, as micky suggests, in deep shit indeed.

      Oh, and then there are the nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture, tsmithfield, which you conveniently choose to not address at all. They are not part of any closed carbon cycle, and over a 100 year period N2O has 300 times the warming potential of CO2.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    All things being equal, if all biomass on earth died, greenhouse gases would increase as things decayed.

    On the other hand, if life magically regenerated again, the greenhouse gases would be
    absorbed in the biomass. Therefore, increasing biomass (animals/or plants) reduces overall greenhouse gases.

    Therefore we should be receiving credits not debits for our agriculture.

    • felix 9.1

      This is a good example of the Redbaiter style. It involves posing a stupid question, ignoring the answers, and pretending no-one has answered it.

      It’s popular with the slower trolls as it requires nothing but patience and stubbornness. Ignoring all answers means that no debate need be entered into outside of repeating the same question now and then.

      Y’all posting in a troll thread I’m afraid.

    • tsmithfield

      Can you read? How is your comprehension?

      The difference between plants and animals is that plants do not fart. Animals do. Cows spend most of their life doing so. They eat plants and combine the carbon with hydrogen and then fart it out.

      These gasses then go up in the atmosphere and most if not all scientists think this makes the world warmer. The North pole and South poles are melting as we watch them and it looks like the scientists are right.

      If we do not do something very soon then our planet will suffer major damage.

      There is no planet B.

      One further question. Why do you think your point of view is valid when it is clear that you do not have the simplest of understanding of the issue?

      • toad 9.2.1

        Because cranks like Monckton and Hide tell him it is valid, mickey. It doesn’t suit the ideology to accept the science, so the science has to be denied.

        You can’t reason with people like tsmithfield – I write about the science in response to him for the benefit of others – not for him.

        Just one point micky – the vast majority of ruminant methane emissions are from burps, not farts – not that it matters; it all ends up in the atmosphere whatever orifice it comes from.

        • BLiP 9.2.1.1

          I struggle to understand science at the best of times so appreciate your efforts. Thanks.

          Starting as a bit of an “agnostic” a few years ago, from what I have been able to understand, the data is irrefutable and growing – yet the trolls keep coming! It seems to be an argument based more on ideology than facts. I wish I could find the link, but I came across this great article explaining it all. One point I remember is that a lot of the denialist effort stems from their belief that the climate change is all part of God’s plan and that scientists are simply trying to rewrite the Book of Revelations as part of some heathen conspiracy to do away with Christianity.

          With such irrational beliefs at their core coupled with the millions and millions being spent by the polluters to distort reality there’s really no amount of facts which will budge these people.

        • mickysavage 9.2.1.2

          Thanks Toad

          I was trying to keep it really simple as explaining the difference between what a burp was and what a fart was may be confusing for some …

    • Armchair Critic 9.3

      Good theory, it is up there with theories like “day is night”, “white is black” and “wrong is right”.
      If all the biomass on earth died then that would include all the bacteria that decompose the biomass to its various constituents, including CO2. No bacteria equals no extra CO2.
      Suggesting that agriculture is neutral, in terms of emissions, is at best wildly optimistic. Suggesting we should receive credits is not credible.

    • outofbed 9.4

      thanx TS I feel better now

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Toad “Oh, and then there are the nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture, tsmithfield, which you conveniently choose to not address at all. They are not part of any closed carbon cycle, and over a 100 year period N2O has 300 times the warming potential of CO2.”

    At last someone addressing me logically.

    Fertilizer is a human input into the agricultural cycle that is artificially introduced by humans, subverting the natural closed cycle of the normal biomass system that would otherwise be closed.

    Thus, since the fertilizer is the human input, would it not be more appropriate to have the carbon debits applied to the amount of fertilizer applied in the land?

    • lprent 10.1

      Fertilizer is a minimal competent for greenhouse gases except for nitrous oxides . Yes they should have a direct tax on them – mostly for the costs of policing and cleaning up the waterways which the farmers are currently not paying for. If you did that then you’d find that their use goes down enough that it isn’t a major issue.

      But how are you going to cap’n’trade deforestation that happened decades ago and even a hundred years ago, and where the the gases are still escaping?

      Effectively there should be a charge for having paddocks in grass. Which of course is what the ETS is meant to do, provide a cost signal for differences between land-use.

      However the dickheads in NACT have severely distorted the cost signal

    • toad 10.2

      Ah, TS, you do get the science re the nitrous oxide after all. Let’s try again re the agricultural methane, with a little more detail:

      While the methane does eventually break down to CO2 and water in the atmosphere, it is over a significant period of time. Say 500g of methane is emitted per day by the cow it will, over 10 years, emit about 1.78 tonnes of methane.

      However, at the end of that 10 years, only a percentage of it will have been oxidised to CO2 and water. The cow doesn’t emit 1.78 tonnes of methane in the first day of that 10 years and none in the remaining 3651 days – that would be a very strange cow indeed (and one that I hope no-one’s working to genetically engineer)!

      Given that methane has a global warming potential of 25 over a 100 year period, and 72 over a 20 year period (compared with 1 for the the equivalent CO2 removed from the atmosphere by the photosynthesis process in the grasses eaten by the cow), and that, as I have shown above, the methane is emitted significantly faster than it is broken down) it is nonsense to say “It all goes around and around” as far as the global warming potential is concerned, even though it is cyclical as far as the carbon atoms are concerned.

      • jaymam 10.2.1

        “Given that methane has a global warming potential of 25 …compared with 1 for the the equivalent CO2”
        There is 220 times as much CO2 in the air as methane (0.0001745%)..
        There is 1270 times as much CO2 in the air as nitrous oxide(0.00003%).
        Both of those are negligible.
        CO2 is negligible too (under 0.04%)
        There is 10 times as much water vapour in the air as CO2. There’s the real greenhouse gas. We need to get rid of the clouds. Uh oh, they reflect sunlight and keep the earth cool. Whatever will we do?
        NOTHING – stop worrying about it. An ETS scheme is dangerous nonsense.

        • lprent 10.2.1.1

          It is evident that you’ve never done any real study of the atmosphere. Otherwise you wouldn’t be so daft at quoting figures.

          For instance the amounts of CFC’s were infinitesimal, but it was catalyzing a large scale change in the radiation shielding of the atmosphere by reducing the ozone (O3) in the stratosphere. Which is why those compounds have been heavily controlled from the late 70’s onwards, and the ozone holes have not increased much since the ban got effective. CFC’s should last about a century in the upper atmosphere before decaying on average, so we aren’t likely to see much improvement for a while. Tiny amount of gas – big big effects

          It isn’t the absolute quantities or percentages that is important. It is the effects that are important.

          In the case of C02 ~0.04%, despite its low level compared to O2 ~16%, everything living on land is utterly dependent on it. Plants breathe free CO2 and its removal would result in the rapid extinction of land-species.

          Its role in the adsorption of energy of energy in the atmosphere is what makes it important in climate change. Removal of CO2 would cause a catastrophic reduction in the ground level temperatures to below water freezing levels. Conversely increasing it will result in increased energy being adsorbed by the atmosphere.

          The reason for this is because:-

          Despite its relatively small concentration overall in the atmosphere, CO2 is an important component of Earth’s atmosphere because it absorbs and emits infrared radiation at wavelengths of 4.26 µm (asymmetric stretching vibrational mode) and 14.99 µm (bending vibrational mode), thereby playing a role in the greenhouse effect.

          It terby allows the earths atmosphere to adsorb and retain significant amounts of the solar energy.

          Since 1960, it has increased from about 0.0315% to 0.0385% at the longest sequence at Mauna Loa, ie a 22% increase in less than 50 years. As you can see from the chart, the rate of increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing. The 1832 level is estimated to have been 0.0284% from ice-core samples, ie about a 35% increase to todays levels.

          CH4 (methane) and NO2 (nitrous oxide) have had increases as well. It is quite clear from the isotopic balances with CO2 that most of this is coming from fossil fuels being burnt.

          While it is difficult to measure long-term changes in water vapour because of its nature and uneven dispersion. No similar levels of change have been exhibited for water vapor.

          In short – you don’t know what you’re talking about. This is really really basic science and could have been looked up in minutes.

          Sprouting figures without understanding their significance and not looking at change rates really makes you look rather stupid. You look like you’re just plagiarizing someones spin lines.

  11. jaymam 11

    My figures are correct and yours are not. Oxygen 16%? Where did you get that from?
    I am surprised that you use ad hominem arguments and use long irrelevant quotes to try to bamboozle readers.

    Here’s a short argument: Nothing that NZ does or tries to do in an attempt to reduce CO2 in the air will ever have a measureable effect. If you don’t agree, tell me your figures. So an Emissions Trading Scheme involving perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars will be a complete waste of money and be run by the same guys who just wrecked the world economy – money shufflers.

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      Nothing any given four million people can do will have an effect. So what?

      If you use that fact to argue that ‘therefore nothing can be done’ then you’d be as stupid as someone who argued that because an element is only a small part of a mixture, then it can’t have any major effects on anything.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 11.2

      “….Nothing that NZ does or tries to do in an attempt to reduce CO2 in the air will ever have a measurable effect.”

      You could say that about any group of 4 million people on the planet.

      Its a bit hard, however to tell the other 5.96 bill on the earth to stop killing the planet when we take that attitude however.

    • lprent 11.3

      Ok, 21% O2, the figure was from a sleep-dazed memory. It was early morning.

      I am surprised that you use ad hominem arguments and use long irrelevant quotes to try to bamboozle readers.

      Describing yourself. However you don’t show where you plagiarized your ones from. At least I linked to what I was reading.

      Nothing that NZ does or tries to do in an attempt to reduce CO2 in the air will ever have a measureable effect

      Nothing X number of people does will have any effect. Please define what the upper limit of X is? In the end result it is always 1 because if you are too lazy or self-centered to take responsibility for your trash, then who else will? Frankly you just come across as a self-centered irresponsible brat.

  12. jaymam 12

    “Controversy has exploded onto the Internet after a major global-warming advocacy center in the UK had its e-mail system hacked and the data published on line. The director of the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit confirmed that the e-mails are genuine — and Australian publication Investigate and the Australian Herald-Sun report that those e-mails expose a conspiracy to hide detrimental information from the public that argues against global warming”

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