It was encouraging to see thousands of ordinary New Zealanders out on the streets and at Parliament on Tuesday 9th November, protesting, waving NZ, Maori sovereignty and United Tribes flags. Parliament was in lockdown, perhaps fearing a US Capitol-style invasion.
Irrespective of the reasons for protesting, the overall themes were perceived loss of freedoms - compulsory lockdowns, mandatory vaccinations, freedom of choice, ominous climate change proposals. The right to protest within the law is fundamental in a true democracy and must of course be upheld.
With the lockdown of Parliament unprecedented in the last 40 years, according to Speaker Mallard, politicians dared not address the crowd. Imagine the reception Prime Minister Ardern would have received had she fronted! Instead we had a dismissive comment from Ardern to the effect that the protesters were “not reflective of the vast bulk of New Zealanders” - a dangerous and ignorant comment in that these brave souls had the courage to demonstrate, whilst many others who might have quietly agreed with them, stayed at home.
It is well-known that
one of the politicians’ favourite strategies is fear. Keep the population
fearful and you can do almost anything. Today, we live in fear - of
Covid19 (though the death rate in NZ is negligible by comparison with the
common ‘flu), and we are encouraged to be most fearful of the imminent
apocalypse of climate change, to name just two. These issues are of course
being stoked for all their worth by the Ardern government, without them
offering any realistic and useful strategies to confront these fears. There are
solutions, if we wish to pursue them, as is pointed out below. Also, both
National and Act have proposed sensible solutions, only to be dumped on by a
highly biased media.
A year or so ago, I
was engaged in discussing climate change and global warming with a good friend
of mine who has a very sound science background. We shared our views on what exactly is or
seems to be contributing to global
warming. If you accept and believe that according to the IPCC international
reports, the major contributing factor is claimed to be the increase in
“greenhouse” gases, CO2, Methane, etc, all man-made and totally ruinous. This
is not factually correct because various natural phenomena also produce methane
and CO2, but then who do we believe? The doomsday proponents would have us
believe that we are already doomed, reminiscent of the character in the TV
series “Dads Army”, whose inimitable character, Fraser the undertaker,
frequently resorted to his memorable line, “we’re all doomed, ye ken, we’re all
doomed!”. We must now live in absolute fear, according to the Ardern government
- if Covid doesn’t get you, then climate change will! Only she and her
government have the answers, so listen up! Except they are not producing any
answers or solutions, are they?
Just more bumbling and
obfuscation. Ask anyone outside New World for their understanding of current
border restrictions and Ardern’s “traffic light system”. I will guarantee most
would not have a clue!
When I suggested to my
scientist friend that the IPCC reports are equivocal and have been seriously
and scientifically challenged around the globe by a host of other scientists,
it became clear to me that man-made gasses whilst certainly contributing to global
warming, are not the only or perhaps even the most important cause. Why did I
conclude this controversial outcome?
Well, my friend
surprised me with a report from the American Institute of Physics (18 August
2019) which provides overwhelming evidence that the major contributor to global warming is
in fact the effects of solar activities, namely sunspots and solar
winds. In an article entitled “The Discovery of Global Warming”, the AIP
provides a 20-page extremely convincing argument that solar activity has a
huge, measurable, cyclical and influential impact on global temperature- and
has always had, over millennia, all evidenced by modern science, not
A recent report
attributed to The Guardian, of 1 April, 2020 (online) on the results of
scientific analyses of ice-core samples from Antarctica show convincingly that
the Antarctic sub-continent was once tropical jungle! Not an ice-sheet in
sight! Oh, and by the way, apparently oral history reports now show that our
Maori people first discovered and then visited
Antarctica, according to The Guardian of 11 June 2021 (online).Perhaps they
could describe the environment they found there?
So, where is all of
this heading, do you think? Climate Change and Global Warming have escaped from
the restraints of hard science and have become, yes, you guessed it, political and
cultural issues which require, perhaps even demand, political and authoritarian
responses. We are all doomed, according to our political masters and mistresses
unless we all totally reorganise the way we live. Two political groups in New
Zealand claim to have the sole, overwhelming monopoly over environmental
issues. The Green Party, sometimes called the “watermelon party - green on the
outside but very red on the inside”, have claimed the emotional high ground
over environmental issues for decades. Only they are concerned. More
recently, Maori sovereignty activists likewise claim that they, and only
they, have the knowledge or “matauranga” to deal effectively with our
natural environment. They have even convinced at least one university and the
prestigious Royal Society of New Zealand of this unbelievable, spurious,
invalid claim which is being accorded extremely high approval by the Ardern
government by mandating the enforced ownership by government, for example, of
ALL water resources in New Zealand - to be co-governed by iwi Maori. There seems
little doubt that their claim to own of all water in New Zealand will be
mandated by the Ardern government and ordinary New Zealanders will end up
paying a royalty to iwi Maori (16% of the population) for all water consumed or
used by ordinary citizens (the other 84% of us). Hold on, do not we all have
some claim to or input into our water resources? Not according to Minister
Nanaia Mahuta, who has stated she will seize all water resources, whether we
agree or not.
But, whilst these
political, social and cultural dramas will be played out, there is evidence
that “hard” science is coming up with real, effective and practicable answers
to some of the problems we face. Scientists at Lincoln University some years
ago developed a type of grass which dairy cows could feed upon, which produced
far lower levels of methane gases than the methane levels which more
common grass types produced. At the time, this discovery was vociferously and
strenuously opposed and denounced by the Green Party, not because of its
beneficial effects, but because it involved genetic engineering of the grass
types! The Greens are of course opposed to genetic engineering.
Then, 10 November
2021, we saw Lincoln University scientists developing a system of reducing
dairy effluent outputs, via an “Ecopond” system - apparently reducing all sorts
of pollutants and emissions to near-zero. But no, dairy farmers are the enemy
and must be condemned and vilified at every opportunity, according to the Green
Party and its Ardern-led Labour Party chums, eh?
The standoff is now
very clear. Science can produce an ever increasing and impressive array of
outcomes to reduce man-made greenhouse gas emissions. But these amazing
discoveries will, I predict, end up playing a minor part in the world-wide race
to reduce emissions, because the political, social and cultural importance of
the environmental doomsday predictors will take the high ground - as recently evidenced
by the highly-politicised COP 26 Conference in Glasgow. Just tell me, what
real, tangible, practical solutions have resulted from COP26 so far, apart from
The University of
Auckland has recently declared that “matauranga Maori “ or Maori knowledge, is
now consider to be equal to, and has parity with, world-science, so clearly,
New Zealand’s climate change response must by definition be lead by our first
Every New Zealander I
know is highly conscious of protecting our environment if we can. Most of us
re-cycle; will buy environment-friendly products; condemn those who willingly
pollute our spaces, such as freedom campers and litterers; and applaud efforts
to ensure our spaces and homes are clean. We all have this interest, not
just the Green Party and Maori sovereignty activists.
The introduction of
electric vehicles (EVs) is eagerly awaited by many of us as an alternative to
using fossil fuels for travel. Another solution - New Zealand is blessed with
opportunities to substantially increase the generation of electricity
from solar, wind and hydro sources. Why, then, is this corrupt Ardern
government annually importing two million(!) tons of dirty, cheap coal from
Indonesia? And not even a peep from the Greens, would you believe? Surely, our
future investments must be in renewable energy sources? Or, does that translate
into ethno-nationalistic developments owned by ethnic minorities?
The picture is
becoming clearer. Yes, we can, should, and must plan and develop new strategies
to deal with climate change - at least that part which is the inevitable result
of human activity. We also need to acknowledge the critical roles which the sun
inevitably plays in our climate changes. But we also need to resist the obvious
political intention to invest such opportunities in a small, ethnic minority
who falsely claim they, and they alone, are the sole arbiters of our
environmental future. But, then, even they, the tangata whenua, must kow-tow to
the Green Party whose superior and overwhelming claim to environmental
supremacy shows no sign of abating-whilst in the meantime they espouse the most
strident left-wing, ageist, racist and sexist agenda imaginable.
And, of course, we
need to put all of this into a global perspective. Where is the bulk of human emissions
occurring? Which countries are the largest emitters? In which hemisphere is the
bulk of human emissions occurring? Does little old New Zealand in the far South
Pacific with a tiny human population by comparison, really contribute
significantly to global emissions? Really?
At a conference I
attended some years ago in Queensland, it was proudly stated that Australia
annually exported two million tons of iron ore to China to be converted into
steel, using huge amounts of coking coal- from Australia! The point being made
was that the ore extraction process was a model of environmental processes,
returning the land to it’s original state. Uh?
When I was a young lad
growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, plastics were unheard of. Our groceries and
butchers’ products were wrapped in brown paper then tied with jute string.
Everything, including clothes, were recycled, darned, repaired and re-used. Our
meats were kept in a “safe”. Preserves were common. Refrigerators something
magic! One never threw anything away, unless it was completely knackered.
Vegetable gardening was a common and enjoyable necessity. Bicycles were our
main mode of transport, or trains if going beyond our home town. The only “fast
foods” we enjoyed were milk shakes and pies! How common, how utterly boring by
Our politicians were,
in the main, capable and experienced people who could be relied upon to be
honest and dedicated-regardless of their particular political philosophy or identity
- a factor never considered 70 years ago. All candidates for Parliament had to
front up to their electorates and convince their electors of their personal suitability
for office. Ha ha! Imagine that happening today!
Our Police were
respected and highly professional. They were not politicised to the extent they
appear to be today, using their “discretion” when unable to exert their
authority. Service in the Armed Forces was admired and valued. It still is by
many New Zealanders of all ethnicities - one of the very few organisations
which truly embodies diversity.
An ideal society? No,
we had the doomsday threat of the Cold (Nuclear) War hanging over us for many
years; the threat of militant Communism spreading throughout South-East Asia;
Britain entering the Common Market; pandemics - Polio, TB, Asian Flu; Sars; Aids;
etc. Yet we survived, often through being vaccinated!
Perhaps I lived in a
better time? I really do think so.
Armstrong is retired, follows politics, and writes.