Proposals to put the brakes on climate pollution run into a red light from Taxpayers’ Union

One lobby group spoke up on behalf of low-income people, when the government announced it is proposing to make electric, hybrid and fuel efficient vehicles more affordable.

Another – which speaks for car dealers – expressed a willingness to talk about the government’s plans.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced the policy, aimed at enabling families to “choose a vehicle that’s better for the climate and their back pocket”.

Presumably this will be done by calling on taxpayers to pick up a part of the tab.

Genter said the cars, utes and vans we use every day are also the fastest-growing source of harmful climate pollution and account for nearly 70 per cent of our transport emissions.  Continue reading “Proposals to put the brakes on climate pollution run into a red light from Taxpayers’ Union”

Culling our cows isn’t the only way to reduce emissions – but greenies shy from the GE option

Climate  change  warriors  who   are  demanding  NZ’s  dairy  herd   be culled  immediately to  meet  targets of  lower methane emissions  may be confounded by the evidence  that leading farmers  are  already succeeding  in  lowering gas emissions.  And the  prospects  of  huge  advances  in other  aspects  of  dairying,  particularly  in   AI, robotics  and  the development of  new crops,  portend further  gains..

And what’s holding  up another  key development?

It’s the intransigence of the so-called  Green lobby against the introduction of genetic technology.

In a Ministry for the Environment briefing to Environment Minister David Parker in June 2018, officials warned NZ could fall behind the rest of the world in genetic engineering technologies.  They said the rapid pace of technological change is forcing countries to clarify their positions, and recommended the government update the law. Continue reading “Culling our cows isn’t the only way to reduce emissions – but greenies shy from the GE option”

Why Winston Peters should be paying heed to the outcome of Australia’s climate change election

Winston Peters is too astute a  politician to be oblivious to the outcome  in what Opposition  parties  across  the  Tasman labelled  the  “climate change  election”.   Almost  certainly,  when he spoke   in the debate    of  the  Climate  Change Response  (Zero Carbon)  Amendment  Bill  on  Tuesday  afternoon,  he  was  thinking  of  how  the  Australian Federal  Labor  Party  lost the  “unloseable” election simply because  it  campaigned so hard  on   what  voters  assessed  as  too demanding,  and too costly, measures to  combat  global  warming.

How  else to explain   his  rambling  defence  of   NZ First’s  support  for  the  bill?    It  was,  almost   word  by word, as if   he  could feel  support  for  NZ   First in the rural  regions  evaporating.

He  started by   asking  why the House  was  having the  debate.  His  answer:  because the previous National  government had  signed up to the  Paris  Agreement.

He  went  on to  say  the  bill  fulfills NZ First’s agreement with Labour to establish a Climate Change Commission, “but one that does not resemble the statutory or arbitrary or final powers of the Reserve Bank”\, Continue reading “Why Winston Peters should be paying heed to the outcome of Australia’s climate change election”

Green co-leader will be led by science – but GM is not yet a Shaw thing

The  Ardern   government  wants to  lead the world  in implementing  measures  to  combat  climate  change.  Prime Minister  Jacinda Ardern put her personal stamp on this by saying it will be  her  government”s  “nuclear-free”  moment.

The science  on  global  warming  is clear,  say  both   Labour and  the Greens.   So  shouldn’t every   kind of  science   be  used  to  combat it?

Well,  no,  says  the  Green  Party.  It  refuses   to  contemplate  genetic  modification  as an instrument   for  example   in the  campaign  to  make  NZ-predator   free.

Predator Free 2050 is forbidden from carrying out any research which could lead to the use of genetic modification or gene editing, a letter written by Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage shows. Continue reading “Green co-leader will be led by science – but GM is not yet a Shaw thing”

Climate change and environmentalists – it’s time they gave the green light to GE science

PM  Jacinda  Ardern  has been  making waves  in  the  Swiss Alps,  we   are informed   by  Amanda  Larsson  of Greenpeace  NZ, writing  in the  Dominion-Post.  It’s  a feat   to command  worldwide attention.

Moreover, Larsson  believes  Ardern  quickly  emerged as a “star of the show”  at the World  Economic Forum and a  leader on climate change.

We  should be proud that, with the eyes of the world on us, we’re returning  to our rightful  place  on an issue of  great  moral fortitude”.

But, wait for it,

“ … before  we  bask too much, we  must  also turn our eyes closer to  home  and make sure   that  what  we’re doing to tackle  climate change matches our  bold global  stance”. Continue reading “Climate change and environmentalists – it’s time they gave the green light to GE science”

How MfE mandarins make a jumbo contribution (at our expense) to greenhouse gas emissions

The Point of Order check on  Beehive press statements – which suggests ministerial globetrotting has been on hold during the Christmas-New Year holiday period – tries to keep watch over just one governmental rat-hole. But Wellington is riddled with these rat-holes – far too many for the news media to monitor, especially in an era when newspapers and broadcasting companies are having their more experienced watchdogs put down and increasingly treat their audiences as consumers rather than concerned citizens.

Readers should be grateful, therefore, for the work of organisations such as the New Zealanders Taxpayers Union.

The union has alerted us to Ministry for the Environment officials “enjoying luxurious trips abroad...”

Since July 2017 – it says – the ministry has spent $769,955 on international flights, at an average cost per person per trip of $6,637. Continue reading “How MfE mandarins make a jumbo contribution (at our expense) to greenhouse gas emissions”

Research suggests we should take a harder look at the benefits of organic foods

The Green Party’s food policy may need revisiting, in the light of research published in the past week.

The policy was introduced in May 2017 by Green Party MP Mojo Mathers, who lost her list place in Parliament at the general election.

How we produce, distribute and consume food is of critical importance to growing
resilient healthy communities, minimising our ecological footprint and maintaining a
stable economy, she said.  That’s why food policy lies at the heart of Green policy.

Mather said:

“Aotearoa New Zealand can reap multiple benefits from a healthy and equitable food system that ensures environmental protection, social connection, and healthy communities.”

Continue reading “Research suggests we should take a harder look at the benefits of organic foods”