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Zero carbon bill – let the battle commence

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, May 9th, 2019 - 102 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, farming, global warming, greens, labour, national, nz first, same old national, science, sustainability - Tags:

So the Government has released the Zero Carbon Bill and it looks not too bad.  I suspect a few lefties are now weighing up the failure to put forward a capital gains tax with the success in putting forward a zero carbon target and thinking that the compromise was an appropriate one.

And if you want verification of this then Idiot Savant has these comments about the government’s goals:

And here there’s some good news. While I was expecting a sell-out, the targets are much better than expected: a 10% reduction in methane by 2030, with a 24% – 47% reduction by 2050, and net zero for all other gases. The variable methane target will be determined by a review in 2024, but the minimum level stabilises the level of warming from methane, while the upper limit would reduce it significantly. And even the interim 2030 target is going to mean reducing the number of cows, with flow-on benefits for water quality.

The Herald has tried to suggest that the bill is a terrible thing because the farming lobby think it is far too much and the environmental groups think it is not enough.  This could be interpreted as equilibrium.

But here is the farming comment, from climate change spokesman Andrew Hoggard:

“This decision is frustratingly cruel, because there is nothing I can do on my farm today that will give me confidence I can ever achieve these targets.”

He said the Government was “arbitrarily” targeting businesses based on a “random selection of report” and incomplete data.

He said the 10 per cent target, over a 10-year timeframe, was “unheard of anywhere else on the planet”.

As to his last comment, maybe he is right. But we do live in extreme times. Either we reduce the production of greenhouse gasses or the world burns. Take your pick.

The bill may mean less cows.  They belch methane and contribute to global warming.  They also destroy our waterways and plains.  Yes there may be a hit to the business model but if the local and global environment improves is this not a good thing? 

I personally am willing to give up my latte and my very occasional burger if it means that our world’s environment has a greater chance of surviving. Short blacks and pesto on toast is fine as far as I am concerned.

And besides the changes will not occur overnight.  There is a rather long lead in time.  Maybe farmers should think about converting their paddocks into forests.  If there is a functioning emissions trading scheme then trees will be the future cash cows.

Beef and Lamb are also concerned.  Again from the Herald:

Beef and Lamb was also “deeply concerned” at the methane targets.

The proposed reduction significantly exceeds both New Zealand’s, and global scientific, advice, Beef and Lamb chairman, Andrew Morrison said.

“The Government is asking more of agriculture than fossil fuel emitters elsewhere in the economy.”

I am not sure what advice he is referring to.  The advice I have seen is that we need to cut emissions drastically and quickly.  He could be referring to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report on methane where this was said:

… if New Zealand wished to ensure that methane from livestock caused no additional contribution to warming beyond the current level, emissions would need to be reduced by at least 10-22 per cent below 2016 levels by 2050, and 20-27 per cent by 2100.

Dairy NZ has also grabbed hold of that figure and are using it as a possible goal. Note that this reduction will maintain New Zealand’s current contribution to global warming from methane, not reduce it. If Beef and Lamb’s scientific advice says differently then it is contrary to what the IPCA and the PCE has been saying and should not be trusted. And the proposals will hit fossil fuel emissions. Hopefully completely.

The contrary view, from Greenpeace, is that the bill does not go far enough.

Greenpeace executive director, and former Green Party leader Russel Norman, called the bill “toothless,” and said it had “bark, but no bite”.

Although the bill would help bring, and keep, New Zealand in line with the Paris Climate agreement, to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees by 2050, Norman says the Bill will have little direct effect.

This is, he said, because it has specifically written out any mechanism that would hold any person or body to account for not adhering to it.

“What we’ve got here is a reasonably ambitious piece of legislation that’s then had the teeth ripped out of it. There’s bark, but there’s no bite,” he says.

The two farming lobby comments are that the goal was far too ambitious.  Greenpeace’s response is that the goal is good but they are concerned that the enforcement mechanism may not work. The Herald article does not show this subtlety.

And it looks like the hope for a political consensus will not be met.

Politik has reported (paywall) that National will support the creation of the climate change commission but not the specific reduction targets.

It always was going to be a big stretch.

Climate change is an existential threat. We should have been making changes 20 years ago. Vested interests are clearly still going to try and fight this.

The progress of the bill through the house is going to be a very interesting process and a test of how well our democracy is functioning.

102 comments on “Zero carbon bill – let the battle commence”

  1. Gosman 1

    One issue with attempting to tackle this issue at a national rather than a global level (which directly impacts NZ Agriculture) is that setting national targets rather than Global ones may actually lead to greater average emissions overall. For example NZ may be very efficient at producing agricultural products from a Carbon/Methane point of view compared to say Poland. If both nations have to reduce output by the same percentage amount it may impact NZ more as there may be less room to make Carbon/Methane savings whereas Polish farmers might just need to change some basic farming practices but can still produce higher level of Carbon/Methane. As a result average emissions per unit of farm output is still quite high but the emission target is met. It would make more sense in that situation for NZ farmers to produce at a lower rate and Polish farmers to stop producing completely.

    • Robert Guyton 1.1

      " For example NZ may be very efficient at producing agricultural products from a Carbon/Methane point of view…"

      It isn't.

    • Tiger Mountain 1.2

      Gosman, how is that view going of your lower bowel today?

    • Sam 1.3

      It is mathematically impossible to achieve targets that was set 10-50 years ago, and have already exceeded the limits of the targets in both the environment and the economy.

      Instead of chasing targets from the past we have to leap frog the upgrading of legacy infrastructure and research the technologies of the future, key to this will be R&D tax credits so this comment isn’t entirely make-believe.

      Technologies that are integrated into our own language, doctrine and culture so I'm talking about producing more content indigenous to the South Pacific so to add an extra layer of complexity on top of our own technology in order to make reverse engineering our own technology more expensive and thus cheaper to just trade with us.

    • Sacha 1.4

      "If both nations have to reduce output by the same percentage amount"

      They don't. But nice strawperson.

    • Wayne 1.5


      You can't be serious that we would covert prime farmland in the Waikato, Taranaki, Canterbury and elsewhere into forest. Though I suspect you put that in just to wind people up.

      The green left has an agenda to grossly interfere with New Zealand farmers rights and to compel a massive reduction in the dairy herd. Well, that ain't going to happen. There will be no Ukrainian style progrom against Waikato kulaks. No New Zealand government could tolerate the level of civil dissent that such a coercive policy would require.

      What is much more likely is a comprehensive research programme that engages with the farming community, and enables them to continue dairy farming, on much the same scale at present. In short, improve what current farming practises.

      I would thought it pretty obvious by now that the PM's operational style is to bring people along with her. She has no intention of being a green dictator. Instead she (and her key ministers) will work with affected communities to solve the problems. Incentives, joint programmes, and agreed outcomes are the PM's way of working.

      And if you and the green left look too strident, well, it will certainly encourage many in provincial New Zealand to vote NZF to act as a check. Maybe that is exactly what you intend.

      • Molly 1.5.1

        " The green left has an agenda to grossly interfere with New Zealand farmers rights and to compel a massive reduction in the dairy herd. "

        Anyone who informs themselves about the impact of climate change on current lifestyles and quality of life – whether they are green, red or blue, right or left will be looking to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in any and all ways possible, along with thinking of how to sequester those already existing in the atmosphere.

        It is a deliberate redirect to frame the issue as "against farmers", as farmers are part of the collective that will be negatively impacted by our current climate change trajectory.

        Changes are necessary, but they will be imposed upon us by nature, not by Parliament. Political changes may provide us with old, unsuitable reins but the climate change horse is already bolting and we are all going to be taken along for the ride – farmers included.

      • Sam 1.5.2

        Dairy is what made New Zealand prosper one hundred years ago, Wayne. And you are trying to live in the past with a cows tit in your pocket. New Zealand's Dairy farming industry is bloody lucky the previous National Governemtn totally screwed bio security because with out that admission the industry may not have received such a healthy gift in the form of the micro plasma bovis bail outs. Viruses like that will pop up at random with in a population so we cull the dairy cattle numbers to say half (subject to a survey) and quit over intensifying dairy.

      • Robert Guyton 1.5.3

        There's a "green left", Wayne and you know their agenda?

        Can you specify who you are talking about and how you know the details of this agenda?


        • Wayne

          I am referring to the people who say they want to drastically reduce dairying in New Zealand. Often they say that it will be done by passing legislation, which is another way of saying it will be done by expropriation.

          Quite a number of Green MP's have said this. Certainly many activists.

          It is pretty explicit in mickysavage's article.

          • Robert Guyton

            "I am referring to the people who say they want to drastically reduce dairying in New Zealand"

            Sheep farmers?

            "Often they say that it will be done by passing legislation,"

            It will be done, Wayne?

            How could anyone claim this? Are you making it up?

          • Sam

            Beats jamming the stick in reverse while gazing hard into the rear view mirror and driving as fast as possible into the past. Dairy is in the past. We have to allow farmers to swim and adapt to the new economic conditions they find themselves in.

            For what ever reason we gave foreigners access to cheap ex government farm land, okay? So we've allowed foreigners to set up shop and extract wealth. Now we must live with in those limits.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Virtually every futurist/post apocalyptic movie scenario imaginable is now confirmed to be our kids future, and bloody lumpen rural Nats are whinging…“what about meeeee”…

    I am with Greta–General Strike Now! A revolutionary shift in class power is the only thing that can save the Earth.

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      After the pan-global strike, everyone will be standing around thinking, "What now???"

      What would you say to them, Tiger Mountain?

      • Tiger Mountain 2.1.1

        “you have nothing to lose but your chains, and a world to save…”

        • Robert Guyton


        • RedLogix

          Also left wondering when the power will come back on and when your next meal will arrive.

          People who advocate mass revolution with no thought to the consequences are nothing but mass murderers on a scale that makes ChCh look inconsequential.

            • RedLogix

              Find anywhere where in a decade of commenting here where I have ever once, just the once, advocated for 'unbridled capitalism'. We know that's part of the problem, just restating that ad-nauseam takes us nowhere. It's nothing more than a daily whinge that makes you feel better I imagine.

              The reason why you are even alive to complain about it, is because of this insanely complex, astoundingly productive 'capitalist' machinery that delivers food, shelter, education, transport, energy, medicine, law and so on every day, so reliably, so seamlessly you take it for granted.

              We cannot move forward unless we are honest about this. Then we can start figuring out how to properly place the 'bridle' and steer the machine in the direction we want.

              • KJT

                Capitalist machine that works, because of co-operation, law, State supplied infrastructure, education and other "socialist" , support.

                The third world place I have the most familiarity with is Bangla Desh.

                Huge changes. Once they got over the war damage, re-established the rule of law and started building themselves a functioning infrastructure, education system, and started sharing some of the income more evenly. It was only then, that Capitalists were able to start factories and private production.

                To credit capitalism, when at least 80% is due to our having co-operative functioning States, is simply, a lie.

                I refer you to a book called the entrepreneurial State.

                If the USA, and UK, had relied on the owners of capital to drive innovation and advancement, we would still be in the dark ages. Which the owners of oil companies and others are driving us back into, with feudal style employment arrangements and resource depletion.
                Rich capitalists are simply not interested in charge, because innovation and change, is not to their advantage.

                Even the most "Capitalist" company fails without co-operation. The hint is in the term, 'company'.

                • RedLogix

                  OK and I'm 100% good on that. And we also know that the neo-liberal revolution of the 80's put a very large dent into that 'entrepreneurial state' model. (It's my sense this coincided with the appearance of cheap computing power that was going to unleash a quantum jump in the rate of change that conventional state could not keep up with. But that's another thread.)

                  But we've arrived at this point where the right wingers are very good at producing wealth, and the left are very frustrated at how badly it's distributed and how it's being misused. Yet at this moment the two camps distrust each other intensely, at the point when we urgently need to co-operate more than ever … we cannot.

                  • KJT

                    I could almost laugh.

                    The Neo Liberals in New Zealand destroyed billions in National wealth.

                    The right destroy and expropriate wealth. We make it.
                    I’ve built dozens of houses. How many have National sold, again?

                    Almost all their money was made by asset stripping, running down public infrastructure and pushing up asset prices.

                    Meanwhile the rest of us, working class, continued producing "wealth", building houses, schools, power stations and roads. Not to mention replacing the rail lines, and other commons, the "wealth creators" fucked!

          • Tiger Mountain

            The spectacle of barely 60 individual squillionaires owning as much wealth as half of the worlds population, is significantly implicated in pushing this planet to the brink of viability for human society.

            Capitalist ownership, accumulation, appropriation and control via armed force has to be retired in the interests of survival for “the many not the few.” A lot of thought has been put into this by millions of people. Young Greta is telling it like it is. The “coots in suits” are not expected to like it.

  3. Stuart Munro. 3

    As a species, we are headed for the rocks.

    The best answer, in maritime terms, is early and substantial action – not consensus building with the interest groups who've been driving the problem. They are the past. They were the past fifty years ago and didn't know it. The past is another country, we did things differently there. Which is why we're in so much trouble now.

    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      Trouble is, Stuart, like Noah of ark fame, we have non-human passengers in our care and we've already lost plenty of those overboard. We did that because we didn't love them enough and thought of them as less worthy than ourselves. It might be that we need to ask those that remain for advice on steering a safe course. I'm betting they know and all that braying and mewling we've been hearing was them trying to get our attention.

      • Stuart Munro. 3.1.1

        We are orders of magnitude from going to the ant and considering her ways now, Robert. Ordinary pragmatic voices are automatically drowned out by the ravening loons of Treasury, and the apparatus of our state which ought to be driving and modeling sustainable change (and ought to have been doing so since before I was born, god damn them) instead creates obstacles and faked up technical fixes that only make things worse.

        Cleangreen is right to rant about the inaction on rail, as I am on coastal shipping – action in these two areas alone would drop our transport footprint substantially. So why aren't they being done?

        Lying, lazy, dishonest politicians are trying to sell a low grade satisficing solution instead of approaching the issues in a workmanlike fashion. It's going to cost us all so much more because these clowns won't wake up.

        As for other species, it is more often the macro or systemic levels rather than the endangered individuals we are truly screwing up. The loss of the less than a kilo biomass of the Chatham Island Robins would have a much lesser effect than the deforestation of macrocystis beds creating kina barrens which we have tolerated due, apparently, to their want of charisma.

        • Robert Guyton

          If we don't listen to other beings, Stuart, we are bound to interview only ourselves and we've done plenty of that. That source of advice has proven faulty, untrustworthy, self-interested and sometimes pathological. Do you recommend we carry on trying to find answers from within our own camp?

          • Stuart Munro.

            Well that's where the pathology lies I think. The Bramble Cay melomys could not have told us how to clean house – it merely instantiates the necessity.

            We have a government that is not entirely a festering mass of corruption for the first time since Key – but our rivers are not being restored, immigration remains at 4x US and UK levels in spite of inadequate housing availability, and DoC remains hellbent on a Key era poisoning program that lacks ecological wisdom.

            The various cures for corruption are well established – but are not being implemented. So our groundwater is to be stolen (by Lianne Dalziel, no less!), our littoral waters further degraded, and our public services a circus of foreign jackals like the recently departed Makhlouf. Why is there no cleanup of this? Have we no standards at all?

        • greywarshark

          Cleangreen on rail and you Stuart on coastal shipping and road transport. Can you bring yourself to gather stuff on these subjects and have a post on it on Saturdays or Sundays. If so would you find if mods are willing to host it for a while. Give us something solid to bite into – what are they doing overseas, and here? Highway up north – what is the reason for it.? Is the auckland-Okaihau land still available for rail tracks. Are there easy rail tracks to lay these days?

          Wat was that long word connected with possible constant charge let into the road for electric vehicles referred to in last few days. Sounds similar to the trolley buses yet in the ground?

          WtB said that shipping might only be able to move in certain seasons. That's important for us. Why can't we have regular posts, similar to the general and gardening and environment How to….?

          • Stuart Munro.

            I'll scrape something together GWS – the logic is pretty solid, though of course the perfected NZ model will require a bit of thought.

    • RedLogix 3.2

      Well I outlined a partial list of the essential steps necessary for "early and substantial action" on another thread a few days back … and no-one was interested.

      They are the past. They were the past fifty years ago and didn't know it.

      But they are also our present, and this is what feeds us and keeps us safe most days. There are two problems to solve simultaneously; the obvious one which is to transition to technologies and engineering that has far less impact on the planet, and the other which is to maintain our capacity to make that change.

      Yes we are in trouble, but just saying so doesn't help. No single one of us has all the pieces of the answer, and but collectively do. The single biggest impediment at the moment is that we have yet to work out how to make sense of our world at this scale.

      • Stuart Munro. 3.2.1

        "No single one of us has all the answers"

        The paws on the levers of power have never listened to me. They love the costly, cumbersome and ineffectual QMS, because it replicates a neo-liberal fiction, of monetizing a natural resource. Biological populations don't behave like perfect markets however, they need to be managed with a certain wisdom, as do fisheries, which includes their human component – a radical thought indeed to the purists of Treasury, but ordinary commonsense to any local community. These clowns have, ostensibly in my interest, managed me out of my industry, without growing it, upskilling it, or increasing its robustness.

        They must show me the elements of basic competence before they'll get the time of day from me.

        • KJT

          Fishing, is a prime example of the failure of, "capitalising the commons".

          • Stuart Munro.

            If they had had even a smattering of developmentalism they'd have noticed that a quota system, by increasing the capital value of any fishing enterprise, both doubled the cost to new entrants, and halved the ROI of all participants. Way to destroy an industry! – Without even considering ecological or socioeconomic implications.

            • KJT

              Ah. But a few people made a lot of money.

              And. ordinary New Zealanders stopped eating fish.

              • Stuart Munro.

                It's taken me a long while to characterize it properly I think – our former public service was invaded by economic charlatans. They were (and remain) incapable of performing even on their own very limited merits.

                • KJT

                  I think they performed very well at their allotted task.

                  Transferring the commons to private hands.

                  Think Highland clearances and the Enclosures Act.

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    That's all well and good – but they did so under the auspices and the authority of a democratic government – which means their corruption becomes a cause to pursue them and shame them – pour encourager les autres – because not doing so gets us the kind of wretched governments we've suffered for the last four decades. We go after the pawns until they're too afraid to take the hush money, and we can get the next tier of rotters, and the next, until scoundrels like Brownlee and Key really do face the lengthy imprisonments they so richly deserve.

      • Robert Guyton 3.2.2

        I reckon saying so does help; the shock of realisation will be needed before action is taken. When we decide to act, how will we judge if our choice of act is not just more of the same; replace those coal-fired power stations with wind-turbines…

        We have to search outside of our culture and petition for advice.

      • Pat 3.2.3

        "But they are also our present, and this is what feeds us and keeps us safe most days. "

        They do but not in the way inferred…95% of production is exported

  4. vto 4

    "Short blacks and pesto on toast is fine as far as I am concerned."

    We have been cutting way back on our consumption of late. It has led to several observations, one of which is the complete and total vacuousness of consumption.

    Having money beyond base requirements may well be a pleasure for some as they get to spend on a new euro motor, or yet another holiday to some tired tourist spot, but it is completely empty-headed and just a cheap thrill. It is nothing else. Mouths agape as empty mind has tedium poured in.

    Excess money = tedium and empty heads

    A further observation has been the sharpening view and appreciation of the world immediately around. There is no desire to go elsewhere, or buy more stuff, as it is all here already. And its simplicity and purity is like that of a perfectly formed butterfly – a sight to behold and in which the entire world and universe can be seen, understood and appreciated.

    I say give it up. The world will open before your eyes.

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    Only, Micky, it's not a battle; battles are for war-loving beings and taking those on will result in defeat. It's something else.

  6. im a bit out of touch .. but wern't we told we had only 12 years to fix or we hit the tipping point??

  7. The Chairman 7

    Worth a look

    Zero Carbon Bill Economic Analysis

    Click to access Zero-Carbon-Bill-Economic-Analysis-Report-FINAL.pdf

  8. esoteric pineapples 8

    Expect a farmer backed coup d'etat

    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      Farmers want to destroy us all? Business as usual, damn the torpedoes?

  9. Pat 9

    The Bill is already over 6 months behind schedule, is watered down and we still have to wait for actual policy directives to BEGIN reducing emissions….meanwhile our emissions continue to grow….in no way shape or form can this be considered progress, merely more delayed window dressing, something this administration appears to have down to a fine art.

    And the confluence of the CGT is irrelevant as you well know.

  10. RedLogix 10

    This touches on many themes. It starts with a truck journey but becomes something else.

  11. infused 11

    lovely. except our impact on the world will be nothing, and just cost you more.

    like gosman said, the world needs to do something, like, I don't know, set population limits. address the elephant in the room – the world is over populated.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      Nope. After many years of believing that I changed my mind. The problem is not overpopulation, it's underdevelopment.

      The big challenge is getting all the people in the world through the development pipeline and into an energy, resource efficient middle class. And removing the political impediments to doing so.

      • Pat 11.1.1

        "… an energy, resource efficient middle class. "….the oxymoron to end all oxymorons

        • RedLogix

          OK so what is the alternative that does not involve 'depopulation' … or mass murder?

          Or watch the video I linked above that gives a glimpse of the real hardship that poverty and political dysfunction creates.

          Like I said above, somehow we get all wound up over 50 deaths in ChCh, yet all too often embrace a plan for our future that implies the death of billions.

          • Pat

            what plan has anyone embraced that implies the death of billions?….the problem is the lack of any planning that will indeed result in the death of billions. and include sundry unpleasantness on the path there….is about time people wrapped their head around the fact that BAU is the WORST of a range of difficult options, not as some seem to believe the best

            • RedLogix

              Right where infused said "the world is over populated.

              BAU may or may not be a recipe for disaster, but 'depopulating' is. That's a dead cert.

              This challenge is actually way harder than most people imagine. It’s doable, but we have to aim high.

              • solkta

                It was the set population limits that got me concerned. These would only be useful re Climate Change if they were retrospective.

                • RedLogix

                  Most of the highly developed world, the top 1 billion, is already at replacement or lower.


                  It's the less developed countries that have the high birth rates. That and backward social beliefs that prevent women from controlling their reproduction.

                  • Mark

                    100 percent fucken correct.

                    My grandmother had 8 kids in China some dying off in early childhood. That was typical. Now people in the advanced East Asian economies, of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, have among the lowest birthrates, if not the lowest in the world, and China is fast following suit.

                    You are right about backward social beliefs. They should be called what they are. Backward. And then we go in and fix it so it isn't backwards.

              • Pat

                writing "the world is overpopulated" is a statement of fact, not a "plan that implies the death of billions"…indeed its barely the basis for the formulation of a plan.

                This challenge is indeed difficult and therefore you should be able to grasp the fact that the longer we take to actually do something about it the harder the task becomes (and the more casualties there will be)….and we waste approaching 2 more years (and counting) with more rhetoric FFS all while our emissions continue to grow and the carbon budget for disaster is rapidly dwindling towards zero.

                • RedLogix

                  indeed its barely the basis for the formulation of a plan.

                  Yes it is. It frames the plan incorrectly from the outset.

                  • Pat

                    thats open to debate and if you wish to waste time debating that go for life….the fact is the population will decline one way or another in the not too long term and we are rapidly running out of time to have any say in how that may occur

                    • RedLogix

                      OK so you're in the "I give up, I'm useless, we're all going to die" camp.

                      Please stay out of the way and don’t make a nuisance of yourself.

                  • Pat

                    you have comprehension problems…im in the "our so called leaders are useless and couldnt organise a piss up in a brewery (assuming they actually want to) and their incompetence will cause a preventable tragedy if we continue to let them" camp

                    If youre in the camp that continues to enable them then perhaps you should get out of the way

                    • RedLogix

                      Acquiescing to a mass die-off is the same as precipitating one. A theme that quite a few people here seem to be happy to be on board with.

                      As for our leaders, they're generally useless because we're no better. And we're useless because we have no vision, no courage and lack all competency.

                      Why should they care if the best we can manage is 'depopulate'?

                    • Pat

                      you truly are fixated and the comprehension problem continues….I havnt advocated depopulation

                    • RedLogix

                      Right where you said the fact is the population will decline one way or another in the not too long term.

                      You made it a 'fact'. And by doing so you are advocating for it … passively yes … but still complicit.

                  • Pat

                    you are an idiot…the worlds population will decline because of biodiversity collapse, soil degradation, lack of potable water, over fishing and climate impacts and the consequent conflicts…how much and when depends on our actions (or inaction) now…it is not a policy or even a plan, but it is reality

                    • RedLogix

                      The directors and managers of Pike River did not apparently have a 'policy or even a plan' to kill their workers. Do you think this made them any less culpable?

                  • Pat

                    say what??!!….comprehension is not your strong point is it?

                • cleangreen

                  Climate change = bankrupt the world.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                We must be the first species in the history of the planet to perceive an impending global population ‘bottleneck’ of our own making. BAU proponents are certainly no less complicit in the probable “death of billions” than proponents of radical change.

                "Eduardo Brondizio, an anthropologist who co-chaired the report said it was time to abandon a growth-at-all-costs mindset: "'Business as usual' has to end."

                "PANIC IN THEIR EYES"

                Among the questions dividing the 'new economists' is whether the risk of catastrophic climate change is now so acute that economic growth should be suspended altogether in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions fast. Some still see room for sustainable 'green growth', but others want governments to oversee sharp reductions in consumption now, to avoid what they fear would be a descent into a 21st-century Dark Age."


                • RedLogix

                  We've known that for decades. The big question is are we going to just keep bleating this line because it makes us feel virtuous, or are we going to do something competent and effective about it?

                  Some still see room for sustainable 'green growth', but others want governments to oversee sharp reductions in consumption now, to avoid what they fear would be a descent into a 21st-century Dark Age.

                  OK so lets assume the top 1 billion halve their consumption to something we imagine is sustainable. At the same time the other 6 billion will aspire, and strive, to match that. Ooops … that isn't the way out.

                  We all have to reimagine the way we do everything .. at global scale. I keep telling you this is much harder than we've been pretending. But it's still our best bet.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    I get and agree that "We all have to reimagine the way we do everything", both on a global scale and as individuals. Unfortunately, reimagining isn't sufficient – action is essential, and that’s the hard bit.

                    I don't understand your contention that the weathiest billion on the planet halving their BAU consumption of resources would make no difference. Unimaginal to some (likely comfortably off, older folks with maybe 25 years ahead of them at most), leadership by example to others.

                    Why are we (yes, NZers are in that group) entitled to continue our current level of consumption?

                    This (on RNZ today) is an example of BAU in NZ. Maybe all SUV owners could give them up for Lent, if not longer.

                    "The latest passenger vehicle sales statistics indicate that approx 70% of new sales are SUVs (sport utility vehicles). These 'Remuera/Khandallah/Merivale tractors' are now the most popular vehicle option in NZ."


                    • RedLogix

                      I don't understand your contention that the weathiest billion on the planet should not be expected to half their BAU consumption of resources.

                      What I'm contending is that we have to all radically reshape the way we use resources. Consider for a moment how much has changed in the past 200 years. Our forebears of 1819 could never have dreamed of the nature of our lives. Just consider something as simple as electricity reticulation, unimaginable to them, yet we take it for granted until it stops.

                      What we've achieved so far is remarkable, but even if 10% of the tech research going on right now proves viable, we will go places that we in 2019 cannot imagine. The big impediment is political; how do we all come into coherence with each other in order to make sense of this new world together?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Yes – “radically reshape the way we use resources“, particularly if that results in using less resources.

                      Still don't understand why self-sacrifice (halving personal consumption) is not a pausible way forward in your view. Maybe such selflessness is not dominant behaviour, but (as you say) we must reimagine (globally and as individuals), and then act.

                      I might be able to manage it – would be tough, initially, but I might end up the better for it. IMHO vto @4 had a good take on it.

                    • RedLogix

                      Still don't understand why self-sacrifice (halving personal consumption) is not a pausible way forward in your view.

                      I haven't ruled that out; I just don't see it as the best way to frame the problem. As I've pointed out many times, even if the developed world halves or quarters it's consumption, this really doesn't change the big picture when the rest of the developing world is taken into account.

                      It helps, but it's not decisive.

                      What will make a difference is the very real possibility that we can rewire the world for virtually unlimited energy and computing power. Resource efficiencies orders of magnitude greater than the present. Smart organically closed loop agricultural systems, bio-mimicry tech, new materials tech, and so on.

                      We cannot segregate the human heart from the environment outside us and say that once one of these is reformed everything will be improved. Man is organic with the world. His inner life moulds the environment and is itself also deeply affected by it. The one acts upon the other and every abiding change in the life of man is the result of these mutual reactions.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "It helps, but it's not decisive."

                      Their isn't a silver bullet or even a magazine full of them. It's the little things that count, not because of their apparent combined effect but because in the making of them, human thought and behaviour will change and when that does to a significant extent, everything will change. Imo.

          • KJT

            De-population is not that hard.

            We have known for decades that empowering women, and giving them access to contraception drops the number of children they have, dramatically. Having social welfare for the elderly removes the need to have extra children as a retirement plan.

            Already working in Singapore, South Korea and many other countries.

            Ironically the biggest obstacle to that, is the USA's refusal to fund aid programs that involve birth control, due to the "Christian" "Mullah's" in the USA.

            And, of course, capitalisms total reliance on population increase and resource depletion for "growth". For example, all the "growth" during National's term was due to immigration and disasters.

    • The glaring logical fail in "We're a small country so we don't have to do anything" isn't obvious to you? That's very worrying. Do you struggle with basic mathematical concepts as well?

  12. Mark 12

    The big challenge is getting all the people in the world through the development pipeline and into an energy, resource efficient middle class. And removing the political impediments to doing so.

    Agree with this 1000%

  13. Jenny - How to get there? 13

    I hope the Nats do oppose this bill. There has never been an election held in this country where action on climate change has been an election issue, where the voters get to decide.

    This bill is so watered down to get the Nats on side; That National will eventually sign up. And we will have another election where action on climate change will again not be an election issue.

    • solkta 13.1

      I just think you like your "war" too much. What if National oppose the Bill and win the election?

      • Stuart Munro. 13.1.1

        As opposed to hollowing out the bill's provisions post election, as they do with other inconvenient legislation? "Getting the Gnats onside is a farce – like involving embezzlers in anticorruption legislation.

        • solkta

          Well some hollowed legislation would be better than none at all. You must have been in the same maths class as Bennett.

          If they were to fully support the legislation now it would be messy for them to then try and change it later.

          • Stuart Munro.

            The Gnats have reached a level of corruption at which their input is worthless. If they clean up that act they may begin to function as democratic politicians – but I wouldn't hold my breath. Endorsing them in their unreformed state is not a public service.

            • solkta

              Right, so you are happy to leave them to their thing and have us flip flop from doing something to go backwards for the next 30 years. What a trooper.

              • Stuart Munro.

                Oh yeah – I'm so bad.

                And you must be down with systematic fraud like this: https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/credit-where-none-is-due/

                Until the Gnats reject that level of corruption there is no point in having them at the table. They must treated as they are – utterly irresponsible. Lending them the Coalition's credibility so that they can subvert it is not a winning strategy.

                • solkta

                  systematic fraud like

                  We all know that. The point is to create an environment where they can't get away with it. To have an independent body that would pull them up.

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    Well the 'independent body' better have gunmen, because the Gnats have no respect for laws – none whatsoever.

                    • solkta

                      Gnats have no respect for laws

                      But they do for public opinion. But we need more than just the Green Party calling them out.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      On that we can agree.

                  • cleangreen

                    Good luck with that thought. Solkta

                    Any checks and balances the nats will cheat to get around them.

                    Nats willl always cheat and steal Solkta.- that in their DNA.

                    • solkta

                      Oh fuck give up. Put ya head in the oven. Too hard. Can't fix. Need to die now rather than later. Don't try and save me. No hope. No chance. NO NEED TO ACT. Where's my Merlot? Ahhhh, better.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      They didn't use to be as bad as this. My Grandad knew a bunch of them, I met a few. He wouldn't have had the current lot on his porch, much less dined with them. They are contemptible.

                      The require that social pressure to straighten out. Back in the day the journalists would have been applying it constantly – not from left motives – on humanist criteria, that lying, cheating, and stealing are not acceptable behaviours for any MPs.

                  • Jenny - How to get there?

                    What do you mean Solka, "by pull them up"?

                    I thought that was the opposition's job?

                    You must be aware Solkat that this newly created quango is to have even less power to pull up the government than the opposition parties?

                    I suppose this 'independent body' could write a guest column in the Herald berating the government for missing the targets set out in the Zero Carbon Act only to have it hidden behind the Herald pay wall.

                    You know what I think. I think that the Zero Carbon Act will become completely irrelevant to the political discourse within a few months, possibly even weeks. And within a few years the Climate Commission will be quietly disbanded,

              • Jenny - How to get there?


                10 May 2019 at 5:49 pm

                Gnats have no respect for laws

                But they do for public opinion. But we need more than just the Green Party calling them out.

                But Solkta the Green Party don't even do that.

                Todd Muller recently launched two very public attacks on the Green Party and the government over climate change, and the Green Party never whispered a murmur in their defence.

                ‘It’s called leadership’

                If the Greens want to influence public opinion they should at least try and defend their position when they are attacked on it, instead of keeping their silence.

            • RedLogix

              The Gnats have reached a level of corruption at which their input is worthless.

              How's that for a coincidence; that's what they think of the left.

              • Stuart Munro.

                Nonsense – they just think the Left are an obstacle to their self-enrichment. Ascribing motives is beyond them.

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