Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Mike Butler: Tell Smith your views of ETS
The National Party campaigned on a policy of working towards a 50 percent reduction of carbon-equivalent net emissions to 1990 levels, and introducing an emissions trading scheme within nine months of taking office that balances environmental responsibilities with economic opportunities,
One would have thought that during the select committee process during last year’s hotly debated Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill, politicians would have taken on board a few facts that would have saved everyone a lot of time and money.
First, because New Zealand produces just 0.2 percent of global greenhouse emissions, we could all lock up the car, turn off the lights, the heater, and all appliances, and live off the vege garden, without making a blind bit of difference to the global climate.
Second, there has been no increase in global temperatures since 1998, according to temperature measurements using ground-based thermometers, balloon-mounted radiosondes, and satellite-mounted microwave sensing units.
Third, during that time atmospheric CO2 has increased, which is precisely the opposite of the global-warmer hypothesis that burning of fossil fuels is warming the climate and increasing CO2 emissions.
Moreover, the select committee was presented with evidence from climate scientists and geologists that showed an ETS would be a costly, expensive mistake. Instead, the select committee and Smith chose to believe the political diatribe dished up by the dishonest and discredited Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
That was a big mistake. Another big mistake was doing the forests-for-votes deal with the Maori Party to get the climate change response bill passed into law.
Meanwhile, in the real world, leaked/hacked emails from the University of East Anglia showed the extent to which the white coat brigade were doctoring climate data, the Copenhagen climate summit flopped, the French government dumped plans for a carbon tax in face of the prospect of a nationwide rebellion, the Australian government was unable to pass an ETS, and the Obama administration has had to put its ETS plans on the back burner.
Smith is now faced with a world that has changed. The Employers and Manufacturers Association and the Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce, as well as ACT MP John Boscawen are asking him to delay implementation.
Will he change? Nope. Smith is determined that New Zealand's emissions trading scheme (ETS) will start on July 1, and now argues that delaying it would create instability and uncertainty.
Smith said he had been contacted by a number of businesses which were making substantial investments or had entered into significant contracts that would be severely disadvantaged by any change.
I guess that would include the iwi group that benefited from the forests-for-votes deal.
So Smith is putting the interests of a few special interest groups ahead of the good of the nation, in fact ahead of enacting sound policy.
The scheme should be at least delayed, at best scrapped altogether. Tell Nick Smith what you think of the ETS.
at 9:12 PM