Focussing on what matters

Is a price on carbon enough? Or do we need complimentary measures to make sure that we get the emissions reductions we need? These were the questions asked of Jeanette and other key leaders at the climate change conference yesterday.

All the speakers, except Jeanette, said that it was about 80/20, that a price on carbon (the ETS) would do the heavy lifting and that the ETS would give us the most emissions reductions. Jeanette, in contrast, said it was about 20/80. A price on carbon is necessary but not sufficient to get the job done.

I think it is hilarious that the very people and parties who claim that the ETS, in its current form, will not reduce emissions are the very same people who say that we needn’t do anything else besides an ETS because it will be enough!

Complimentary measures include things like the Renewable Preference, which is already in the Bill, vehicle fuel efficiency standards, minimum energy performance standards (MEPS), and building and urban design codes. They also include things like investing in public transport instead of new roads, and maintaining the roads we do have so that they run optimally.

What complimentary measures do you think are the most important for getting our emissions under control? Do you think that a price on carbon is sufficient? Is it even necessary? If you could legislate new codes and standards, the one thing proven across many cultures and countries to actually work, what would you do first?

The Greens don’t claim to have all the answers, but we can claim to be the one party that often if not always asks the important questions. We like to stay focussed on the things that really matter. The things that are important.

65 Comments Posted

  1. Aristophanes:
    If human induced climate change is correct, we are certainly facing disaster. It is likely that we cannot stop this, as to do so we would have to get China, India and the rest of the world to reduce emissions, not just the West. This isn’t going to happen to any great extent by the looks of things. Even if they did we would still have to deal with some climate change.

    In this situation it is likely that the ETS would probably be mainly symbolic, as you suggest. But it is a very expensive symbol. If you want to spend your own money on a symbolic gesture, go for it. But we are talking about the economy (ie. lots of other people’s money), and need to be very careful to ensure we are spending wisely.

    If climate change occurs, we will have many expensive consequences – relocating low-lying cities, agricultural and transport expenses, health costs, housing refugees, not to mention war over scarce resources. We would need a strong economy to cope. If we have spent too much money on futile symbolic gestures and can’t afford the costs of climate change we’ll be forcing our descendants into poverty.

    We need to be sure enough of the science to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of all measures we are taking, to ensure we are spending our money wisely. Yes, human-induced climate change is a possibility as you state. But that doesn’t mean we should blow all our money in a panic on the first policy that seems to be aimed at countering it.

    So the ETS may well be a waste of money and counter-productive even if human-induced climate change is absolutely correct. And if it is wrong it is of course even more of a waste of money.

    “But then, where else do we start?”
    I am glad you asked! The Family Party is calling for a Royal Commission of Enquiry into Global Warming, to answer:
    – Whether or not it is correct.
    – If it is correct, how we should be responding to it.

    This would allow policy to be designed around the science and economics, rather than just aimed at reducing carbon emissions in a potentially futile display of greenwash.

    Party Vote FAMILY 😉

  2. It’s frustrating to have to go back to first principles in a debate about how we engineer our economy to reduce greenhouse emissions, but I was alarmed to see a comment by Mr Dennis, who says:

    “The most important issue . . . is whether human-induced climate change is actually occurring . . . the most fundamental question that needs to be addressed before supporting an ETS . . . ”
    (abridged, hope that’s OK)

    No. No. No No. Sorry. No. No. No. 🙂

    This is not a strategically clever position – for you or for the planet. Who but a lemming walks blind through an unknown landscape demanding “prove to me there is a cliff”!

    IF human-induced climate change is a possibility – ‘possibility’ not under question surely, and IF positive feedback in the environment such as reduced albedo effect caused by ice-melt, methane release from permafrost etc are a possibility (assuming that this is not under question as a possibility), THEN we have a simple game theory position that dictates we must reduce the risks of runaway climate change by acting in good faith. If the environment defaults on us (we don’t know for sure if it will) then lots of us are going to be toast. Holidays in the sun may go on forever, but not as we know and love them. This is more than science, this is the prisoner’s dilemna.

    The ETS is part of a solution.

    A very small part – possibly even symbolic.

    But then, where else do we start?

    Party Vote GREEN 😉

  3. Frog sayed “Complimentary measures include things like investing in public transport instead of new roads, and maintaining the roads we do have so that they run optimally.”

    I presume the latter means use hotmix instead of chipseal, using the best signal coordination software, dividing the busiest highways to eliminate opposing vehicle aerodynamic turbulence (and head on crashes), reducing gradients and providing curves that can be driven around at the legal speed limit or at the natural speed limit (the one dictated by the nature of the road since the legal one ignores reality most of the time). It’s good to see that Frog supports the National Road Safety Committee’s call to spend $500m a year on this type of road maintenance instead of spending that money pretending to solve urban congestion.

    Investing in public transport seems to be the most oversold response to peak oil and climate change. The best illustration is from Urban Transport Fuel Use Evaluation, NZERDC Dec. 1980, which found the following petrol consumption (litres per person, 1976):
    Auckland 683
    Hamilton 682
    Wellington 597
    Christchurch 605

    Notice how Wellington and Auckland, with similar ribbon development and motorways but different PT systems, are less than 20% different. See how Christchurch, by putting all it’s hills to one side has been able to locate it’s suburbs and CBD cheek by jowl thus acheiving all the benefits of an expensive rail system for free. The study made a startling claim about Hamilton being as bad as Auckland. Hamilton is small enough for people to pop home for lunch or pop into town.
    Vehicle trips per day per person
    Auckland 1.9
    Hamilton 2.3
    Wellington 1.2
    Christchurch 1.8

    Average trip length
    Auckland 9.5
    Hamilton 4.7
    Wellington 8.8
    Christchurch 5.2

    Wellington’s investment in railways had the same impact on land use that is normally associated with motorways, creating commutes 50% longer than in Christchurch which offsets the fuel economy gained by having 1/3rd of commutes on rail. This actually suggests that the best peak oil land use planning is to abandon cities built around harbours, volcanoes and faultlines and build up the nearest flat city. Ie move Wellington to Palmy (or Napier), Auckland to Hamilton (or Tauranga), Dunedin to Oamaru. And don’t invest in types of PT that create ribbon development, invest in ones that create circular cities, ie a hybrid/trolley bus system instead of light rail to utilise the soon-to-be underutilised arterial road network instead expensively duplicating those arteries.

    Regions (litres per person)
    Northland 787
    Auckland 692
    Waikato 806
    King Country 890
    Bay of Plenty 839
    East Coast 676
    Taranaki 709
    Wanganui 762
    Hawke’s Bay 715
    Manawatu 685
    Wairarapa 736
    Wellington 590
    Nelson 668
    Marlborough 787
    West Coast 814
    Nth Canterbury 888
    Mid Canterbury 635
    Sth Canterbury 828
    Central Otago 1074
    Coastal Otago 660
    Southland 834

  4. Greenfly:
    My choice of phrase probably wasn’t that great. But increasing numbers of scientists appear to be turning away from the theory of global warming, and seem to have good reasons for this when you read what they are saying. These objections do not appear to be being considered by the Greens or any political party (apart from the Family Party and Act), as far as I can see. Are they being considered behind closed doors, where we cannot see?

  5. “..Bryan Spondre Says:
    August 21st, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    phil U: Dear oh dear. “Professor Robert Winston in a series of documentaries on human evolution available on DVD at Borders…”

    carniovore-addict..?..is he..?

    ..well..he would say that..wouldn’t he..?

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

  6. Mr Dennis
    I’m dissapointed by your naive comment,
    “the Greens instantly assume “climate change is a biggieâ€?. This is taken by faith, with no questions asked.”
    Green Mp’s have been ‘taking advice’ on this issue for years, from the advisors that have correctly called issues of resource depletion etc. and have proved reliable and, more importantly, correct, and similarly, those who trust the judgement of those MP’s have heeded their advice, along with their own research (in my case and that of other greens I know). Not faith based, no questions asked territory at all. I’m taken aback that you would think that. Don’t you know any greens at all?

  7. Whatever Philu, you can believe what you like since you aren’t making the decisions. Hopefully our elected MPs are a bit more capable of reasoned debate. And you obviously didn’t read my post if you’re still calling me a “denialist”.

  8. i’m not ‘blindly’ believing anything..

    ..i am accepting the consensus of the vast majority of those experts/climate-scientists..

    ..you are the one ‘blindly believing’..if you accept the denialist view..

    ..but anyway..as i said..

    ..the debate has moved on from there..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

  9. Valis:
    “Yes, climate change is a biggie and the Greens firmly believe that a price on carbon is a key aspect to dealing with it.”

    The point I am making is that the Greens instantly assume “climate change is a biggie”. This is taken by faith, with no questions asked. These questions (which are becoming stronger not weaker) need to be addressed first, before deciding what to do, not just ignored.

    Philu: I am not a “denialist”, you don’t seem to understand how science works – through debate. I have not yet sold out to one view, like you have. That doesn’t make me a “denialist”. And if I was, what would the problem be with that? If I blindly believed one view it would be no worse than you blindly believing the other.

  10. stop trolling dennis..

    ..the one message that came out of that meeting between clark/rudd was agreement on the science..

    ..stop trying to reignate irrelevant/old arguments..

    ..aside from a few denialists like yourself..

    ..everyone has accepted the need to act..

    ..as soon as possible..

    ..which is part of the reason the greens should/must adopt a strong est as their election bottom-line..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

  11. Thanks for bringing us back a bit Mr Dennis. There are actually two huge issues. Yes, climate change is a biggie and the Greens firmly believe that a price on carbon is a key aspect to dealing with it. The other is peak oil, which is a huge threat to the economy. If there is a silver lining to this, it is that what helps with one problem helps with the other as well.

  12. This thread is going off track!

    The most important issue, which the Greens aren’t addressing, is whether human-induced climate change is actually occurring, and if it is, whether it can actually be stopped through emissions reductions. We have this debate here a lot and I won’t get into it again. But this is the most fundamental question that needs to be addressed before supporting an ETS or any other measures.

  13. big bro:

    “You ask for public submissions in election year yet you refused to take any notice of what the public wanted re the anti smacking bill.”

    First, the bill wasn’t about smacking. Second, the public was split. There was plenty of support for the bill or you wouldn’t have had all but two MPs vote for it. Third, its just not a comparable to the ETS, which is hugely complex and will have an effect on the whole economy, rather than the few people who get arrested for beating their kids with hose pipes. Fourth, the Greens obviously haven’t got everything they want and have a difficult decision to make. They have conducted a lot of their ETS negotiations in public already, so this latest isn’t really surprising. Fifth, of course it matters in terms of the election, as others have pointed out.

  14. �Replace skins with fibre, meat with nuts, stems, roots, tubers, rhyzomes, leaves, etc. etc. �

    So what is actually wrong with eating animal flesh ?

    Bryan – I said, replace…elevate .. no mention of ‘wrong’. In the same way that clinging to petrol engines has squashed the development of other fuels/systems for motor vehicles and the abundance of petroleum based fertilizers has kept other (more sustainable) methods out of the mainstream, so meat eating (and the market that supports it) is hindering the development of plant based food research and development. It’s the old story. Phil is up against that with his campaign.

  15. having just heard jeanette on the radio..

    ..my feedback would be not to help pass a (faintly) incrementalist bill..

    (that still forces everyone else to subsidise/pay for the polluting farmers..

    ..untill 2013.!.)

    ..but to say no..(for all the right reasons..)

    ..and to fight the campaign on that issue..

    ..with a strong e.t.s. being your bottom-line for any coalition negotiations..

    ..there’s your 10-15%..!

    ..there’s your trans-ideological issue to run on..

    that and food safety..

    ..should be your twin issues..

    ..there’s your election campaign..!

    ..on a platter..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

  16. What a joke!

    You ask for public submissions in election year yet you refused to take any notice of what the public wanted re the anti smacking bill.

  17. welly asked: What’s this I hear about an ETS announcement from the Greens today???

    Not so much an announcement, but an outline of where the Greens have got to in negotiations and a request for New Zealanders to give the Greens their views on this over the next few days. I’ve got it by email, but its not on their website yet. No doubt frog will post something in more detail soon.

  18. “..If you think he is ‘ramping-up’ his green work, you must wonder why he isn’t berating all and sundry, the way you are. Who will be the more effective, I wonder? Nandor..phil..Nandor…phil???..”

    um..!.. i would assume..(in the short term at least)..that as a high profile ex-mp..

    ..he could be more effective..

    ..but i would note that i have a sizeable audience at whoar..

    ..who i deluge with this stuff..

    ..but..um..!..nandor isn’t a vegan..

    ..so i guess if you’re eating them..

    ..you can hardly tell others not to..eh..?

    ..and greenfly..i’m not here..and other places..arguing/fighting these battles over and over again..

    …just for the sake of it..eh..?

    ..if being a stalking horse for this cause is what i can do..

    ..i must do it..

    ..and hey..!..i used to be a flesh-addict too..!

    ..i know where you are..!

    ..and i know where you can get to..

    ..and i also know..how much ‘better’/healthier/more alive.. it makes you feel..

    (i would also note i was a vegetarian for a long while..

    ..and that vegetarian is a halfway house..

    ..and one that is much closer to carnivore than vegan..

    and hey..i’m not prescribing a life of taste/sense deprivation..

    ..going vegan is the best thing you can do for so many reasons..

    ..and vegan taste treats..are definitely high amongst them..

    ..i mean..don’t you ever think..as you chew the flesh..

    ..that this is/was a living/breathing/feeling creature..

    ..and what right do i have to do this to it..?

    ..to take its’ life-force away..

    ..and in the ultimate indignity..

    ..to eat it..?

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

  19. big bro Says:
    August 21st, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    > You and I have no idea when the peak is going to be, hell it may have already been and gone but the reality is that we can only offer an educated guess at best.

    It’s true that we don’t know when it’s going to be. But we also don’t know when the next big earthquake hits Wellington, but we build buildings that are designed to withstand earthquakes anyway. We don’t keep building new buildings that are unable to withstand earthquakes until we find out when the earthquake is going to be, and then hurriedly strangthen them then.

  20. Frog

    The fault in your argument is obvious, when you (and others) talk about peak oil and then talk about more oil being discovered in the same breath you contradict yourself.

    You and I have no idea when the peak is going to be, hell it may have already been and gone but the reality is that we can only offer an educated guess at best.

    Until you know exactly how much oil there is then Peak Oil remains nothing more than a theory.

  21. I think that first the ETS should be modified to fit the following criteria;
    1; New Zealand generated Carbon Equilvent Deficits may only be off-set by purchasing New Zealand verified Carbon Equivlent Credits, with the option of purchasing foreign Carbon Credits through the State from verified distributers at a set proportional added cost.
    2; The base rate for New Zealand Carbon Emmisions should be set at zero, in effect removing the grandfathering effect inherant in most models and producing real steps towards carbon neutrality.
    3; Those whom create the Carbon Equivlent Credits through approved means are allowed to sell them as they choose, the government having no claim over and above GST.
    4; Those whom generate Credits from plantations of native forest are excluded from GST.
    5; The State has an allocation of Carbon Equivlent Credits equal to the net production of all crown land reserves and half of the production of the New Zealand territorial waters. These Credits may be sold by the state at a set proportion above the market price.
    6; Imports from countries which lack carbon accountability may have carbon tariffs imposed apon those goods sufficent to account for the approximate carbon emmisions during creation at New Zealand market value.
    7; Emmisions Debits for wide distribution goods are to be paid by the producer or importer of those goods.
    8; Tax collected through carbon tariffs must go towards a fund for increasing energy efficency within New Zealand.
    9; Fuel spent within New Zealand aerospace must be offset by a volume with the equivlent radiative forcing as the average radiative forcing at the average emmision altitude of the flight.

    In addition to the ETS there should be fuel efficency and energy efficency measures and, as hinted at in the previous list, the ETS should apply to all major recognized greenhouse gasses acording to their relative radiative forcing.

  22. BB – If you thought that peak oil was about running out, I am very disappointed. I thought you were actually reading all my posts on the subject. Clearly you have not. It is the right wing parts of the media that keep putting up the straw man of ‘running out’ in order to knock it down again, without engaging with the basic geology of peak oil. (So we know whos stuff you actually read.)

    Peak oil is not a theory, it is a geological fact. When global peak oil will occur is the object of much speculation and theory, and should rightly be debated extensively and researched.

  23. I’m with phil – animals out, food crops in! Replace skins with fibre, meat with nuts, stems, roots, tubers, rhyzomes, leaves, etc. etc. Time to think more widely. Elevate animals to the position they should enjoy. Provide a reciprocal role for them in the now-human-dominated world. They can do things we can’t. (pollinating, pest managing, soil creating, waste managment etc. etc.Stop farming them for their flesh) In the meantime….. there will be only loss by bashing meateaters/transition/thinking about it New Zealanders. Phil – I’m not swept away by the credentials you present. I’ve met many who were greener. Have you considered Nandor (you admire him, as do I) and the direction he is taking? If you think he is ‘ramping-up’ his green work, you must wonder why he isn’t berating all and sundry, the way you are. Who will be the more effective, I wonder? Nandor..phil..Nandor…phil???

  24. Back to topic, “What complimentary measures do you think are the most important for getting our emissions under control?”

    I don’t think this problem will ever be satisfactorily tackled until individuals take individual responsibility for their emissions, and are rewarded or penalised appropriately. In other words, the “carb” needs to become a dominant economic unit.

    At the moment I can get a glow of virtue every time I walk or bus downtown instead of driving, or bus to Christchurch instead of flying or driving, but it doesn’t save me a huge amount of money. Under a personal carbon scheme I could sell my saved carbon directly to someone who needed or wanted to use more, or it could go into the surplus pool for general distribution, and I would get money instead.

    People who don’t have their own transport, share housing, and can’t afford to buy much benefit here. And as all people adjust to using less carbon (with the help of serious infrastructure investment) the total pool diminishes – personal and national contraction and convergence. Interestingly enough, Brits surveyed in depth by a think tank preferred this emphasis on personal responsibility than either emissions trading or taxes, though it was still a minority, and legitimate concerns about privacy and practical working details were raised.

    http://www.ippr.org.uk/pressreleases/?id=3208

    It will be good to see Greens tackle some of these ideas post election.

  25. phil U: Dear oh dear. “Professor Robert Winston in a series of documentaries on human evolution available on DVD at Borders.” : is a little more than something on the telly 🙂

    Tell you what, toddle down to Borders and buy the series yourself ( it cost about $120) . It was produced by the BBC and is about 8 hours long. A fascinating watch: even has a bit of ‘wild monkey sex’ or rather ‘wild almost human but still hairy sex’ to add to it’s reality.

  26. how very strange..

    i’ll take that..as you unable to back up your ridiculous..

    .. ‘if we didn’t eart meat..we’d still be monkeys’-theory..?

    (‘sumfing on the telly’..dosen’t quite cut it..eh..?..)

    ..and are withdrawing from the/that debate..?

    ..to go and fret about the (inevitable) rising cost of pig-meat..?

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

    ..

  27. “..# Bryan Spondre Says:
    August 21st, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    phil U : Yes I am…”

    ..is that another version of that traditional schoolyard response to an irrefutable argument..

    “..i know i am..but what are you?..”

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  28. BB said: …that sounds a lot like the way the left have morphed “Global warmingâ€? into “climate changeâ€?

    BB, here’s what the US Environmental Protection Agency have to say on the terminology:

    The term climate change is often used interchangeably with the term global warming, but according to the National Academy of Sciences, “the phrase ‘climate change’ is growing in preferred use to ‘global warming’ because it helps convey that there are [other] changes in addition to rising temperatures.” Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). Global warming is an average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth’s surface and in the troposphere, which can contribute to changes in global climate patterns. Global warming and climate change can be caused by a variety of factors, both natural and human-induced.

    But of course the EPA are all a bunch of raving lefties. Gee, I suppose the CIA are a part of the greenie leftie conspiracy too. We’ve infiltrated everywhere, eh BB?

  29. bb says:
    “As far as I am aware “peak oilâ€? was all about the supply running out.”

    A “peak” is the highest point.
    From the highest point the only way one can go is down.
    Unless you have wings? (that you flap yourself?)…

    After “peak oil”, oil recovery becomes more difficult, more costly (in physical and energy use terms) and eventually it is not worth it (in physical and monetary terms.

  30. toad: I understand the point at which it becomes economic to recover the more expensive sources of oil e.g. oil sands is around $60/bbl. We are currently at about $110 so surely it’s been economic for a while.

    What is holding up a lot of new oil recovery is not cost but environmental activism: it suits the Green movement for whatever reason for oil to be expensive. Ditto nuclear power.

  31. “Peak oil is not about the end of oil – it is about the end of cheap oil”

    Goodness me!, that sounds a lot like the way the left have morphed “Global warming” into “climate change” simply because the facts no longer suited their Trojan horse argument.

    As far as I am aware “peak oil” was all about the supply running out.

  32. Bryan: Of course we will find more oil. But we’ve already extracted and used most of the oil that is easy to find and extract. That means we’ve got the oil that’s difficult to find and extract left, which will inevitably mean it will be more expensive. Peak oil is not about the end of oil – it is about the end of cheap oil – and that will inevitably be reflected in the cost of fertilisers and transport.

    As for replacements for oil, well the biofuel option is already having an impact in forcing up the cost of food as land that was used for food production is being converted to biofuels.

  33. ..and the penny has just dropped for me..

    explaining why the opposition to vegan ideas/imperatives is so violently/virally/vehemently opposed by many ‘greens’..

    ..i think it is that the greens..(especially the ‘old’ ones..hello toad..!..)

    ..are so used to being the ones wagging their fingers at everyone else..

    ..that to have someone pop up and go ‘oi..!..you are the bloody problem..!’..

    ..is just too too disconcerting for them..

    ..whaddayareckon..?

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

  34. phil u: Professor Robert Winston in a series of documentaries on human evolution available on DVD at Borders. My 7 year old son has been an evolution nut since he was 3 so I have sat through many hours of this type of documentary 🙂

    kjuv: slavery was a social adaption not a physical one and certainly not essential for our evolution.

    toad: peak oil drives up price of a Chicken Royale with Bacon Combo. Hmm, that assumes that we won’t find a replacement for oil and that we won’t find more oil before we find a replacement. Both assertions, while a core dog whistle to Green voters, are far from certain. I am an optimist and think things will get better not worse.

  35. “..But it sounds like you want to prohibit farming and eating meat – hope you’ve got a good supply of hair shirts and jackboots then!..”

    no..it’s a consciousness-raising exercise..(oh ‘alarmed’ carnivore..!..)

    ..the upcoming economic/environmental firestorms will help to kick it along..

    ..but i am sorta cheered by the growing awareness of the vegan option..

    ..(and all those ‘old’ vegans..who look..so ‘young’..

    ..vanity is (yet) another strong/irrefutable argument for kicking the flesh/fat addiction..)

    ..even just a couple of years ago..it was a word/concept most had not heard of..

    ..and of course..the screams of denilal/protest from the toads of this world..

    ..are part of the process that must be gone through..

    ..and do any of you seriously think we can just continue the way we are/have..?

    ..cos’ that is what you are arguing for..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

  36. “…# Bryan Spondre Says:
    August 21st, 2008 at 11:29 am

    phil U: my understanding is that it was the consumption of meat that facilitated the development of the primitive apes brains into those sophisticated ones of ours.

    Being vegetarian is by definition ‘un-natural’ for human beings..”

    really..!

    (so..if we hadn’t starting eating everything that moves..we’d still be apes..?..)

    do tell..!

    ..do you have any ‘evidence’ you can point us at..?

    ..(for this fanciful claim..?)

    ..or is that one..as i would assume..an orifice-plucker..?

    greenfly..

    i am urban-dwelling/vegan/no dishwasher/clothes-dryer/small fridge/renting..

    ..does that answer your question..?

    ..i do what i can do..

    ..do you..?

    ..going vegan is the greenest thing you could do..

    ..think on..!

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

  37. Bryan Spondre said: My concern is that Green party policy will make it far more expensive for me to exercise my choice to enjoy eating meat.

    Bryan, I think you will find that peak oil, without any help from the Greens, will do that all by itself – cost of fertilisers, transportation etc – unless we move to organics and greater localisation of production to consumption. Organic meat, while more expensive now, eventually won’t be thanks to peak oil.

  38. >>my understanding is that it was the consumption of meat that facilitated the development of the primitive apes brains into those sophisticated ones of ours.

    Hmm…. surely by that reasoning it could also be argued that it was slavery that facilitated the social, scientific and (especially)economic progress of the western world? Even if correct, it does not mean that we should persue the practice! Also… there are a number of cultures/religions in the world who are vegetarian. Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from them? But this is off-topic, sorry.

  39. phil u – sorry phil I may have missed your response to my question yesterday on which shade of green you consider yourself to be (compost toilet etc.) If I didn’t see it, could you point me to it? Cheers

  40. toad: sure it is your personal choice not to eat meat. My concern is that Green party policy will make it far more expensive for me to exercise my choice to enjoy eating meat. That is a defacto ban.

  41. phil U: my understanding is that it was the consumption of meat that facilitated the development of the primitive apes brains into those sophisticated ones of ours.

    Being vegetarian is by definition ‘un-natural’ for human beings.

  42. Bryan Spondre said: You want to ban Burger King by the sound of it.

    Not at all Bryan – although I never eat there (or McD’s or KFC etc), that is and should be my personal choice. The Greens suggest education and labeling to encourage people to make more sustainable dietary choices – not bans.

    Phil, it seems, would want to ban Burger King though.

  43. it dosen’t really matter if the meat is ‘organic’..

    (“..this flesh i’m eating lived a (not long) but ‘happy’ life..”

    ..what sort of sick argument/excuse is that..?..)

    ..the elephant in the nations’ room..

    ..and the main cause of the environmental degradation of new zealand..

    ..and greenhouse gases etc..

    ..is the farming/eating of animals..

    ..and a gentle chiding in green party policy to eat a little less..

    ..or eat organic..flesh..

    ..is really far far too little..

    ..far far too late..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

  44. Chris Trotter makes this comment about the Greens and the ETS on his new blog:

    “Green Party co-leader, Russel Norman, needs to stop obsessing with cows piddling and pooing in the odd DOC-administered river, and get back on message. The voters are concerned about climate change and peak oil. The ETS is a step (albeit a very small one) along the road to addressing those two mega-problems.”

    I am not naturally inclined to support the left but on this issue I tend to agree with him on this one.

  45. mugwump:
    >>I guess you might need to adjust for the effect of imports from countries which are not imposing any kind of CO2 regulations… ie carbon tariffs for non-Kyoto signatory countries.

    Care to list which countries they would be then? The non-Kyoto countries we have important import relations with?

  46. Phil, the de-intensification of agriculture and reducing meat consumption are actually supported by Green policy:

    Promote, by labelling and education, dietary choices that have a reduced impact on the environment, recognising that these will differ in different places. For most people in New Zealand this will involve eating more locally grown organically produced food with less processing or packaging and eating less meat and animal fat.

    But it sounds like you want to prohibit farming and eating meat – hope you’ve got a good supply of hair shirts and jackboots then!

  47. Its all very well bleating about the ETS Frog but you and I both know that when it comes down to it the Greens will vote with the government or at the very least abstain.

    If you really want to make a point in election year then vote against it, however we know that is not going to happen.

  48. can i bet a pound to a pinch of green dust..

    ..that stopping the farming/eating of ruminant beasts..

    ..wasn’t one of the ‘what matters’ that was raised/highlighted..?

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

  49. The only way you can de-carbonise your life is to kill yourself.
    We are a carbon based life-form.
    Someone at one of these conferences ironically asked where the carbon free food was and the people round him apologised for not knowing where it might be.
    Carbon free food? And this was at a University gathering.

  50. I guess you might need to adjust for the effect of imports from countries which are not imposing any kind of CO2 regulations… ie carbon tariffs for non-Kyoto signatory countries.

  51. Thanks Aristonphanes for taking up the challenge. I didn’t really want to devolve into the ideology, but debate the potential of complimentary measures. Great comment!

  52. Kia ora

    I don’t have much faith in price signals sorry.

    Codes we require are:
    1. maximum emission of CO2e per unit of profit for major polluters and energy users
    2. some kind of regulation to prevent carbon traders turning the ETS into a money-go-round
    3. incentives for small business and the citizenry to decarbonise their lives, including distributed generation and investment in transport alternatives

    I know this will get shot down – I’m not a policy wonk but I can see that an ETS is not enough.

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