This time (without Sage input) the Waihi mining decision was not split and jobs have been spared

Labour  ministers  have delivered a sharp  slap  to  their  Green  colleague  Eugenie  Sage – the kind of  political humiliation  which  in other democracies  would produce a  resignation.

Almost certainly,  Sage  will barely  blink  while clinging on to  her  ministerial warrant  (and salary).

Earlier  this year, as  Minister of Land Information, Sage knocked back OceanaGold’s  application to buy land in  Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines.  That decision could have led to the closure of the mines and the  loss of 340  fulltime  jobs, not to mention  $2bn  in exports  over  nine years.

The prospect  of job losses  in the region of  that  magnitude offended  core  Labour  principles.

Since  then, OceanaGold  has filed  new  applications to purchase the land..  If  the  company was  encouraged to do so,  no-one  is saying.

This time  Sage  was sidelined.

Continue reading “This time (without Sage input) the Waihi mining decision was not split and jobs have been spared”

Extinction Rebellion should unglue their hands and reach out for the potential of gene editing technologies

History was being made (we  were  told  by  mainstream media)  when  170,000  New Zealanders  took to  the streets to  demand  decisive  action  against  climate  change.  It capped a  week in which the  16-year-old Swedish girl Greta Thunberg dressed down a  summit in New York of world leaders:

We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth”.

That  apocalyptic   vision  was  clearly  shared  by  many young  New Zealanders: one Wellington student called on the government immediately to  cull the   country’s entire  dairy herd.

So   what   has   happened in the  fortnight  since?

Nothing  very much.   Continue reading “Extinction Rebellion should unglue their hands and reach out for the potential of gene editing technologies”

Leading the world and saving it, too – but let’s brace for a drop in our standard of living (and wellbeing)

So  how  “transformational”  will  the   zero  carbon  legislation  prove to be?

Many  New Zealanders  have come to believe  global  warming  poses  a  real danger  to  their lives – but will the new legislation remove, or even lessen, the danger?

Under the legislation, agriculture   for the first time is brought into the emissions trading  scheme.  That’s won  support from Green lobbyists, but many  say it’s too little, too late –  “a  weak-ass  carbon  reform”.

On  the  other side,  the  criticism is  just as pointed.  There are  no tools to  measure  on-farm emissions and what  the  government proposes   could   shrivel  NZ’s growth rate  by  up to  $50bn   a year. Continue reading “Leading the world and saving it, too – but let’s brace for a drop in our standard of living (and wellbeing)”

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”