There has been quite a lot of coverage on the Climate Commission’s interim report on what it is we need to do to get our climate act together.
I mean, it’s not like we haven’t had reports before, and lots of them. And it’s not like we haven’t signed deals before making a lot of promises that were never going to come true.
That’s the great failing of big issues like climate change: we are fully on board with the furrowed brow and deep concern, just not so much when it comes to the doing.
It’s why Kyoto got replaced by Paris and all the stuff we signed up to in Paris isn’t going to happen.
Hence we need a special climate committee to write more reports and admonish us.
It also suits people like the Prime Minister, whose great gift is talking a lot and doing not much.
Her line was “we are not going to hold back”, which sounds important but says nothing.
Once again, farmers are fearful as to what all this means for them, and we should be equally fearful of what it means to farmers given we only do a couple of large scale things in this country: tourism and farming.
And given we are one of the cleanest lowest emitters in the world when it comes to cows and land, one can only conclude if we were to follow up on any of these recommendations, it would mean fewer cows.
And that means less income. That is where traditionally the rubber has hit the climate change road.
All for doing stuff, just not at a price we can’t afford.
A headline grabber from this report seems to be around gas cookers. And that really is the ultimate issue, isn’t it? Rightly or wrongly, at the nutty end of the climate change spectrum there is always a certain amount of thinking from outside the norm, or indeed this world.
To make change, you need buy in. To get buy in in this country, you don’t mess with farming, and you don’t talk about banning gas cookers because it’s stupid.
They also might like to put a number on it, a bill for all this upending and reform. The nearest we’ve got is somewhere between $2 and $11 billion or even more. No one does business on ropey numbers like that. No one takes a guess seriously.
So a couple of predictions: combustion engines aren’t getting banned and your BBQ is safe for a myriad of summers to come. You can relax, it’s just another report.
Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.
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