Population growth may not be threatening – but does govt fostering of fecundity make Green sense?

David Farrar, at Kiwiblog, brings comfort to his readers today with an item which advises against becoming over-population alarmists.

Reproduced from HumanProgress.org, a project of the Cato Institute, the item says unwarranted panic about overpopulation is a big problem that has led to human rights abuses and much pointless suffering.

It invites us to consider the long history of overpopulation alarmism and how the doomsayers’ fears have failed to materialise again and again.

Inevitably, we are reminded that – two centuries ago – Thomas Malthus’s Essay on Population warned that out-of-control population growth would deplete resources and bring about widespread famine. Continue reading “Population growth may not be threatening – but does govt fostering of fecundity make Green sense?”

A Green dilemma – trying to square govt support for families with the degrading environmental consequences

With Green Party support, the Government will remove a disincentive to the population growth that experts reckon is the number one contributor to the degradation of the global environment.

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced the removal of the disincentive among changes to the country’s welfare system (but just a few, for now) in response to the report from the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.

The government will remove the benefit sanction which penalised solo mothers who did not name their child’s father, the fellow who should be picking up the tab for raising the child – or his fair share of it – that resulted from a procreative romp in the hay.

Taxpayers – lucky us – will take over this responsibility. Continue reading “A Green dilemma – trying to square govt support for families with the degrading environmental consequences”

Treaty considerations colour the Greens’ thinking about democracy and the dilution of our voting power

The Green Party’s disappointment at the voting down of the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill was expressed in a press statement  headed Ngāi Tahu Representation Bill would have been a step forward.

A step forward to what?

Or rather, a step away from what?

Ngai Tahu gave a strong clue to the answer to the second question in 2015, when they shamelessly declared that restoring full democratic elections would be a “step backwards” for Canterbury

The Greens endorsed this sentiment when co-leader Marama Davidson said tangata whenua have guaranteed political rights on a national level but

“ … representation is often lacking or non-existent in local government. This does not always make for robust decision making and in the past has led to significant breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.”    Continue reading “Treaty considerations colour the Greens’ thinking about democracy and the dilution of our voting power”

‘Democracy’ rhetoric suggests Greens will oppose Ngai Tahu power grab – but let’s not count on it

The Green Party’s urge to strengthen our democracy through a Member’s Bill, the Electoral Strengthening Democracy Bill, should portend Green willingness to try to stall a Ngai Tahu power grab in Canterbury.  But don’t hold your breath.

Green electoral reform spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman, who is introducing the bill, said New Zealand proudly has a strong democratic system  – but

“… there is definitely room for improvement to ensure we have the best democratic system possible and that access is fair”.

And:

“The Bill seeks to stop unfair influence and potential corruption in politics.”

This implies the Greens will help to stymie passage of the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill,  a measure designed to allow Ngai Tahu to bypass the electoral system and appoint two representatives with full voting rights on to the Canterbury Regional Council.

Continue reading “‘Democracy’ rhetoric suggests Greens will oppose Ngai Tahu power grab – but let’s not count on it”

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”

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”

Greenpeace gets heated over decision to protect exports and keep farming out of ETS

Greenpeace  has  got its  knickers  in a  twist  over the government’s decision   not to include  agriculture  within  the emissions trading scheme  as part of   reforms   which the government  says  will  help  improve the  operation of  the  scheme.

But  Greenpeace registers  “disbelief”   that what it calls  the country’s biggest polluter  is  still being excluded from the  scheme.

Point of Order,  noting the  increasing   stridency  of Greenpeace lobbying  on  climate change, believes it  reflects the organisation’s dismay  that the  Green  Party  is  not  doing its  job  (as Greenpeace  sees it) on  climate  change.

Almost  certainly  Winston Peters, as  leader of NZ  First,  put the   kibosh on  bringing  agriculture into the ETS. He  knows it would  not only  choke  the country’s leading export industries   but   kill  off  any support  NZ First  has tried to  win by  portraying itself  as  the “saviour”  of  failing provincial  economies. Continue reading “Greenpeace gets heated over decision to protect exports and keep farming out of ETS”