Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mike Butler: Tell Smith your views of ETS

Climate Change Minister Nick Smith's handling of the emissions trading scheme means that we are all to face a hike in the price of electricity, petrol, butter, cheese – you name it – in a costly empty gesture to the rest of the world.

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.


Geoff. said...

The world E.T.S. is just another scam where the rich will get even richer. The measures taken are difficult to verify and so will be wide open to abuse and the effectiveness of the measures are vitually impossible to measure; and the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland will have negated world carbon savings for many years.

Ross Muir said...

How does Nick Smith explain the following that he wrote in November 2005:
“The appetite of Dr Cullen and this Government for more taxes is legendary, ....The latest is the carbon tax. It will add 6c per litre to the price of petrol, 7c per litre to diesel, 6% to all power bills and put the price of coal and gas up by 9%....
“The madness of the Government’s new carbon tax is that New Zealanders will be the only people in the world paying it. It will drive up the costs of living and undermine the competitiveness of New Zealand business for negligible environmental gain....
“A further concern of the carbon tax is its impact on inflation, interest rates and the exchange rate. It will add to the costs of fuel and power and these flow right through the economy to basics like food. This puts pressure on inflation, which in turn drives up interest rates and the kiwi dollar. The Government’s carbon tax is a classic example of the way the Government is making things tougher for the productive exporting sector.”
The full article can be found at