Thursday, November 28, 2019

Clive Bibby: Is this the "game changer" we need for our own good?

Voting alliances in this country since the introduction of MMP have frequently produced strange bedfellows but the makeup of the current government has reached farcical levels when almost every decision of cabinet is filtered through the chook entrail brew overseen by Winston Peters' favourite soothsayer.

Everything including the anointment of the Prime Minister of this country appears to be subject to a scrutiny rarely wielded by a politician commanding such a small percentage of the national vote.

Incredibly, it seems as if most voters are resigned to the ridiculous nature of this folly and the damage it is doing to the nation's prospects for growth.

Well, maybe that is about to change.

Successful politics in this country these days is achieved when enough independent voting factions are prepared to swallow minor differences when putting together a coalition that has the ability to govern albeit as in this case, at the behest of its smallest partner.

It wouldn't be so bad if the minor party operated as a support simply on matters of confidence and supply enabling legislation to be passed which reflected the will of the majority of kiwis.

Unfortunately today, the opposite is true.

Virtually every major decision of this cabinet must be vetted by the Deputy Prime Minister and a close handful of his non elected political cronies.

As a result, we are witnessing a nation holding its breath waiting to see where Father Christmas (Shane Jones' PGF) lands next. To be fair, many of the dollops of financial assistance received in the provinces (some quite large) are long overdue funds critical for regional infrastructure maintenance and it is unlikely that this money would have been forthcoming as readily had it not been as a result of the NZ First initiative.

We may never know but the PGF concept was probably a major factor in determining the survival of New Zealand First as a political entity of government at the last election but also in turn, the main reason behind this government's existence in the first place.

Sadly, like many other good ideas, it has morphed into something of a monster that is now taking on influence that is way beyond the original intentions of its designers.

Here in the provinces, the Minister responsible has allowed himself and his fund to be used in extracting agreements for unnecessary planting of pine trees on some of our best hill country that should remain as part of our livestock farming estate.
He will say that it is all part of the help being given to the farming community enabling them to make their contribution to the reduction of methane emissions from our livestock - ie. a way of reducing stock numbers without shooting the animals - how humane!

The truth is that this government is ideologically committed to a reduction of carbon emissions to zero levels whether it is necessary or not and it just so happens that the increase in the size of the carbon sink is the only acceptable way the Coalition partner farmer hating ministers will do business with the rural community in order to achieve their (the Coalition partners') objectives.

When reflecting on this latest dilemma, it is easy to speculate on what might have been had the Coalition partners of government been the result of an agreement between political factions to act solely in the best interests of all New Zealanders while adopting policies which reflected the majority viewpoint.

Ironically, it would appear that this possibility is now more than just a utopian dream.

The recent announcement of a new political party offering voters an alternative at the next election may be just the vehicle to turn the political landscape on its head.

If the Sustainability Party can impress a conservative old codger like me as a potential ally for National trying to introduce a more balanced, less vindictive approach to our nation's defence against climate change, surely there is hope that others may see things in the same light - particularly those kiwis who are being screwed by this mob all in the name of unsustainable, selective morality.

The one feature of the new party that appeals to me is their preparedness to look at compromises that are just common sense concessions  Eg. Climate change itself may force the adoption of radically different feeding systems for our livestock so it makes perfect sense to, at the same time, use the forced opportunity to change the type of food ingested by our animals. Scientists have developed a GM species of ryegrass that can reduce the amount of methane gas emissions by 40%. Even more impressive is the announcement that reductions of up to 90% can be gained if we fed them a species of sea kelp which is also the fastest growing plant on the planet.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out just how much more acceptable our responsibilities to make a meaningful contribution to a world wide goal of reducing carbon emissions would be if our political masters are more interested in what works best in the hinterland than forcing us all to be foot soldiers in the campaign for ideological purity.

From where l stand, we need rational heads who are prepared to work unselfishly in our best interests - who would have thought the cavalry is just about to come over the hill!

Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.


Mevyn said...

I am surprised Clive Libby a farmer knows so little about what goes on inside the stomach of a cow. The ingested feed is broken down by organisms in the gut. These organisms in their multiplication and growth produce methane. They are themselves killed by stomach acid and enzymes and their cell contents absorbed by they gut wall. To some extent a cow is a meat eater. Obviously you could develop fodder that these organisms do not multiply on but to what effect? The material in one end and out the other and the animal starve? This research is a waste of time and is more to do with funded employment opportunities than anything else, and in any case ignores the other green house gas emitted by animals, CO2 from respiration. Including animal emmissions as green house gases has no scientific or historical evidence basis. These emissions are part of natural balanced cycle that have been going on for millions of years without any atmospheric accumulation.

The inclusion of animal emissions are a short term fix to allow continued use of fossil fuels for political reasons supported by opportunist commercial interests. The elimination of animal production most especially New Zealans pastoral production will enable the control of the food supply by large corporations manufacturing fake food from crops, that can only be continued by running down soil carbon matter and fertiliser manufactured from fossil fuell To offset this it will be necessary tol envelop New Zealand in forestry allowing foreigners to continue to dodge their commitment to reduce fossil fuel use. These forests in all likely-hood owned as the present forest estate is owned almost wholly by off shore investors. We are being suckered, sold down the drain by all political parties and the bureaucrats and institutions that advise them.

I can't believe how clueless my fellow New Zealanders are and how easily they can be lead by propoganda.

Geoff. said...

It would take some err courage but I would like to see the National leader state that National will never go into partnership,with Winston. He normally behaves like a "Jack in a box" politician, only popping out of his box when someone says "Election". MMP has given him disproportionate power which he relishes. National should make clear that a vote for him will be a vote for another mish-mash terminally confused government.