NZ now a joke in Europe

Thanks Rodney. Thanks John. From Scoop:

Specialist news service Carbon News this morning reports broker Nigel Brunel, of OMF Financial, as saying New Zealand is “a bit of a joke in Europe at the moment” following the National-Act agreement to suspend the emissions trading scheme.

“This was New Zealand’s opportunity to reinvent its financial markets by being the Asian centre of the carbon trade.”

But this week’s announcement that the incoming government will put the ETS on hold pending a review that will go as far as considering a carbon tax instead of an ETS and will re-examine the validity of the science behind climate change, has jeopardised everything, Brunel says.

“We have just fallen off the radar in Europe,” he said. “They are saying ‘all you do is talk. You’ve been talking since 1992. You are all talk and no action. You maintain that you are so clean and green and try to be leaders and all you do is nothing. You make a decision and then you change your minds. How can we do business with people like that? We can’t take you seriously’.”

Well, I confess that I have never taken Rodney Hide very seriously, particularly when it comes to his science.  Europe is into its fourth year of emissions trading. Claims of New Zealand leadership from National and Act during the campaign were fallacious.

All I can say is that I am looking forward to the blow torch of lobbyists coming onto National and Act, hard and fast. Oh, and the Maori party and UF too. They stood on the sidelines and threw stones while the rest of parliament got on with the challenging work of coming up with an ETS agreement that could get a majority in parliament. Even though it was our second choice, we Greens rolled up our sleeves and engaged with the real work.

Now John and Rodney have re-opened Pandora’s box and there will be hell to pay as the lobby groups from all sides pony up the big cash and the big guns. Meanwhile, the very allies and trading partners that National and Act say we should emulate are actively putting in place their own schemes. And we wonder why we look the fools on the international stage. Bad timing boys!

69 thoughts on “NZ now a joke in Europe

  1. Enron invented carbon emission trading.
    I suspect that this character is just annoyed that he has lost a gullible market to rip off.

    His argument make no sense.
    To start with the amount of carbon dioxide credits we have for sale compared to the Northern Hemisphere is miniscule and we do not have to have
    any for him or other traders to take advantage of the time zone.

    For example, for many years Strada Holdings took advantage of the time zone etc to be the world’s largest financier of musicals.
    (I still get royalties from Les Miserables.)

    But during that whole time we were financing shows in Australia.,
    the US and the UK, we never financed a musical in NZ or financed a show from
    NZ.
    The closest we came was financing Phantom of the Opera which ended up
    starring Rob Guest in Australia. He is talking rubbish but what would you expect?

    Also genuine carbon traders would surely want to be sure the legislation
    was robust rather than likely to fall over at any time because of fraud etc.
    Would he prefer a legislative dog?
    The Greens originally supported a carbon tax and were right to do so.
    We don’t want to see any more Kiwis lose their savings down a carbon-black-hole.
    The ETS is a gift for the mafia – whether Russian, Italian or Australian.
    And the market is worth trillions but is a market in hot-air.
    The ones who look fools will be the ones who set up these markets and then see another set of losses as the crooked traders cash in on fraudulent schemes.

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  2. Just Great!

    I guess our only defence is “let’s laugh at ourselves” in front of the World.

    (This could be a great opportunity for various Kiwi Comedians to make a name for themselves as over-the-top stand up “Global Warming Deniers” a la Rodney!)

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  3. Oh no the euro trash don’t like us dearry me, I won’t sleep tonight.

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  4. As mentioned in another thread, a carbon broker is upset at NZ decision to suspend the ETS. I see a Tui advert coming here somewhere. Oh, and Nigel Brunel, who?!!?!?

    I think you will find from our current crop of MP’s, Hide is very qualified to speak, having degrees in zoology, botany and resource management. Can you let me know how the current crop of Green MP’s, who seek to speak for the environment match up please?

    The Maori Party has great concerns with the ETS with the factor then many tribes own large tracts of forestry. This for them becomes one of an economic issue rather than an environmental one.

    UF, well Peter Dunne is the parliamentary bike, ridden by everyone. He will be gone in 3 year, along with Jim Anderton (who I might add is only in his own party as he picks up some $15k more each year rather than just a MP.)

    Sadly Greens, the ETS is going to the bottom of the pile right now as NZ, and the rest of the nations around the world seek to stop their individual countries from going into depression.

    Y’see, Green issues are what you do when you have nothing else to do. Its not much good being green when you have just lost you job ‘eh.

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  5. South Africa had for many years a health minister who denied that AIDS is caused by HIV and proposed that beetroot be seen as the cure. She attended international conferences with this absurdity while South African non government organisations protested outside the conferences. She and South Africa’ policies were the laughing stock of the world. She was referred to as Dr Beetroot.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/5265432.stm

    Are we in danger of ending up in the same position, being the laughing stock of the world for our AGW denialism?

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  6. Well, that’ll give them something to talk to him about at APEC.

    sweetdisorder:
    Brunei, now that would be the immensely wealthy Sultan of Brunei’s protectorate, wouldn’t it, the one with a large stock of oil, and I think, precious gems?
    One of the influential, rich, asian nations in APEC….

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  7. According to Carbon News the government should be supporting Solid Energy’s plans to invest in a plant to convert Southland lignite into diesel fuel.

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  8. Katie

    Yes, correct about Brunei. Good to see. But I was talking about Nigel Brunel, a man, not a location.

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  9. Kevyn – rest asured, they will (dirty stuff that Southland lignite – damp and sulphurous) Key to prosperity in the South though :-)

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  10. Its a shame we are not as civilised as the european nations.
    Perhaps for us not to be laughed at as much we could copy their zoosexuality laws (beastiality) as a gesture of our desire to be more enlightened.
    After all it is only fair to give the same sexual freedoms to those that *love* their animals, and it will stop the rest of the world making such cruel, cruel humour at the expense of our conservative ways. ;)

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  11. Yes, I’ve always seen bestiality law reform on a par with controlling our GHG emissions. Glad to see Shunda finally come around.

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  12. Greenhouse gas emissions: National said “50% by 2050″

    Was that decrease, or increase?

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  13. Just how much damage are the Greens prepared to do to our economy in their naked lust for power?

    It MIGHT have some validity if they were a true Green party but the truth is that the Greens do not care if they send NZ into third world status just as long as they get the chance to inflict their own brand of communism on the rest of us.

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  14. A financial broker, with a vested interest in carbon market trading, pours scorn on a country that dares to say “hang on a minute….isn’t this a crock”?

    Who’d have thunk…

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  15. Come on frog, quoting a almost totally unknown trader with a complete vested interest as an authoritative source is going a bit far.

    Sure, there are jokes to be had in the carbon trading universe, but ask most people and I suspect they’ll tell you the whole thing is a joke.

    Waste of pixels, this one.

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  16. BB

    Just how much damage are the Greens prepared to do to our economy in their naked lust for power?

    How in the heck have WE damaged the economy.? Looking at the mangled remains of the planets footwear and the smoking gun in the hands of the bankers and businessmen and I really fail to see the connection.

    …or is this some putative future and additional damage you are assessing against us… not in evidence and not real.

    As for our “naked lust for power”… I have to wonder at your imagination.

    The party refused to even negotiate for “power” choosing its idealistic principles instead.

    So your first sentence is wrong in EVERY possible way. It takes talent to get so MANY things wrong in so few words.

    BJ

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  17. dbuckley – It’s the uncertainty for business that makes this policy waffle such a bad joke, not some trader in Europe. Rod Oram has a bit to say about it in today’s SST. It is a joke, and bad for business, bad for the economy.

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  18. I do not know how the ETS provides any certainty at all.

    The benefit of carbon taxes is that they are certain in the same way as GST is certain and leaves little room for fraud.

    Again ask what are the ramifications of turning pine forest into pasture.
    No one knows.

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  19. Just tell us how many people have to die to get your Green utopia and be down with it. Lets just bypass ther AGW bullshit and go straight to the gas chambers and ovens shall we?

    [Frog: James, I find your godwinning of the post and its implications despicable, but I'm letting this through the moderation filter. Try contributing to the dialogue rather than tearing the Greens down with your bullshit.]

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  20. Here is some really good news – Avego.
    Read about it here:
    http://www.avego.com/ui/index.action
    I remember my ex Professor and later friend and colleague, the late Mel Webber, predicting this over twenty years ago. Now the Greens will surely support this new technology although sad to say one US jurisdiction has sabotaged it because they feared the loss of passengers on their buses and trains.
    This is the future.

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  21. Sorry guys, i have to agree with John on this one. It might have been a good idea when the world was trying to bankrupt itself, but now the world has bankrupt itself things have changed. We might end up with the last laugh as when the world heads deeper into depression a lot less carbon will be pumped into the atmosphere.

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  22. Paranoid Peter..

    Looking at all the names and signatures and I have no idea who John is or what you are agreeing about. I may suspect but I do not have enough assurance to respond except to ask for clarification.

    James …

    It is a good question. How many people WILL have to die before Green principles are adopted and we learn to live on this planet without killing it and ourselves.

    Based on … something … that isn’t a Green policy and doesn’t appear in this thread or any post… you seem to think we might harm some people by those policies you imagine we have.

    You might want to check your meds… they are clearly not working well enough anymore.

    BJ

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  23. “[Frog: James, I find your godwinning of the post and its implications despicable, but I’m letting this through the moderation filter. Try contributing to the dialogue rather than tearing the Greens down with your bullshit.]”

    Oh poor baby! Facts a bit tough for you to swallow comrade?

    Green polices cause black death…millions of them and if you can’t handle that fact then get ready for a hard time because the truth is out there.

    [Frog: More quality contributions. Care to substantiate your vitriol?]

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  24. So, a carbon trader with no interest in the environment, and singular interest in making money from trading, calls us a joke because we wont play that stupid game. And you guys are falling for it?

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  25. I wonder if Orlov is aware that the Federal bailouts began with the National Highway Trust Fund. Congress had been repeatedly warned that if traffic growth didn’t resume then they had three options-
    1. Increase fuel taxes to pump more money into the fund
    2. Stop pork-barrelling with the fund so that spending on new highways can be reduced
    3. Top up the fund from general revenues

    Of course, politicians being politicians, the first two weren’t considered real options, although the Interstate 35W bridge collapse fleetingly made option 1 politically viable.

    So the order of the bailouts seems to be following the sprawl funding mechanisms. First the highway fund, followed by Fannie & Freddie, now it’s Henry and the General’s turn. Roads, houses, cars. Soon to be followed by PT. That’s the one thing Orlov never mentions. The collapse in funding for roads won’t lead to an immediate physical collapse of the roads but the collapse of state funding for New York’s MTA has already led to plans for cutbacks in services and a 25% fare increase (the Doomsday Budget) unless it recieves a bailout package from the state legislature.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/21/nyregion/21transit.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion
    http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008/11/20/2008-11-20_mta_pushing_for_23_fare_hike_to_cover_20.html

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  26. Without waiting to see if the ETS review actually improves the legislation you condem it – sounds like the usual left wing – we know best mantra – trouble is you don’t and the electors have passed judgement on the lefts record in power. The Greens have valid concerns on enviromental issues for sure but try cooperation and persausion for a change and you may learn and contribute to a better and perhaps acceptable solution.

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  27. As an ex-European (I had the lobotomy to qualify for citizenship quite a while ago) I have to laugh at the idea that NZ is a joke in Europe!

    I spend a lot of time talking to Europeans (damn the time difference) and can assure you that over 80% of those I speak to would move here in a firefly’s lifetime if they could. It is only their loyalty and/or caring for family that stops them in most cases.

    When you look at our nation in a per-head-of-population comparison to Europe I think you will find that we have better air, better water, better life-style and better all round living conditions than they do.

    Laugh at us? Yes! in that laugh that doesn’t quite differentiate itself from the sob of crying with envy!

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  28. Choose your friends with care. The much adored Mr Hansen tells a half truth to his audience in Stanford:
    http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/show_story.php?id=10155

    “Hansen advocates a “carbon tax with a 100 percent dividend,” with funds returned to households based on how much they reduce their carbon footprints. Fossil fuels should be taxed at their source—the wellhead or port of entry—to create incentives for the most efficient behavior. For example, he said, “we import food from New Zealand because there’s no tax on aviation fuel, even though it makes no sense from a planetary standpoint.”

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  29. “Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski is expected to propose a $5,000 tax credit for purchasers of electric vehicles, and fast-track required permitting and site certification for an EV charging network to be developed by PGE. In August, PGE announced that it was developing a charging network for both plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, with an eye toward the eventual development of a bidirectional vehicle-to-grid network (earlier post).”

    Meanwhile, what are New Zealand “environmentalists” achieving?

    America does. NZ just talks about it. Well, mostly they just talk about smacking…..

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  30. Well said Strings.

    It is wrong (and downright dishonest) to suggest that Europe is “laughing at us”.
    NZ just does not feature in their thinking unless they are considering moving here to live, we are insignificant and irrelevant to them.
    If you really want to know just how far we are from their radar ask them to point out where NZ is on a map of the world.

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  31. NZ just does not feature in their thinking unless they are considering moving here to live, we are insignificant and irrelevant to them.

    Unless you happen to be in Europe and involved with growing food in some way…THEN we’re a rather big bogey-man I think you’ll find.

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  32. Jet fuel (called “kerosene for aviation” by the IRS) is taxed at 21.9 cents per gallon for the 2007 tax year unless it is used for commercial aviation (i.e. airlines such as American Airlines and US Airways, and small commercial jets commonly chartered by entertainers, politicians, and business VIP’s). Such commercial operations qualify them for a special tax loophole that allows them to pay only 4.4 cents per gallon.[3] A bill has been introduced by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) that would completely eliminate the tax paid by commercial jets, while more than doubling the tax on non commercial jet fuel users to 49 cents per gallon.

    From the Wiki…

    Which is to say, 4.4 cents a gallon or ~1 cent a liter. Not exactly an exorbitant rate but any rate makes his statement untrue.

    Which means that Hansen is less of an expert on Tax than he is on Climate. Which is not a surprise.

    Or maybe you had something else in mind Owen?

    When you say someone is telling a half-truth then you really ought to point out what the details are that are inaccurate/false so the rest of us don’t have to wonder. Hard to be concerned about this… if this is what troubles you.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  33. Enron invented carbon emission trading.

    Eh? Since when? Emissions trading permits were a reaction to the problems with acid rain in the 1970s/80s weren’t they?

    I notice that the paper Innovation processes in governance: the development of ‘emissions trading’ as a new policy instrument doesn’t mention Enron at *all* in its history of emissions trading…

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  34. Thank you for all the kind comments.

    Please note – the comment I made was “many colleagues of mine in Europe think it’s a bit of a joke to review the ETS and the science”

    Firstly – it’s true that I have an interest in seeing a viable carbon market trade. However – I operate in the pointy of the carbon market – the buying and selling of carbon.

    Given New Zealand has passed the ETS – I was keen to see the market develop and trade. We had carbon deals ready to trade – forest owners wanted to sell and emitters locally and overseas were keen to buy.

    I have many European clients and they were dismayed at the turnaround here in NZ on the ETS. No one expected it to be shelved pending a full review and possibly re-re-re-introducing a carbon tax.

    What’s interesting to note is that 87% of people voted Labour, Greens and National – all of whom wanted an ETS – yet we reverse the ETS and open it back up to all the lobbyists due to ACT – a party that got less than 4% of the vote.

    50% of our emissions come from energy, transport and waste – this is unlikely to be changed with a revised ETS – the focus would be agriculture. Therefore – they could have let the ETS remain and trade.

    Europe, Australia, the USA and others have or are all moving in the carbon trading direction – not a carbon tax.

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  35. Stephen R

    The trading in polluting emissions (such as paint shop vapours) was developed in California in particular in the 70/80s and were highly effective – but they worked because they were normally traded within State boundaries.
    Similarly the Trade in water rights in the Murray Basin works – but there are problems with trades across the NSW Victoria State boundaries.

    International trading is fraught with difficulties. Also Carbon dioxide (not carbon – we are not talking coal or diamonds here) is extremely difficult to measure and regulate. Where is the department of weights and measures and where can you find the standard Unit to be traded? There is simply no equivalent to the international standard metre and the litre and the kilo.
    That is why there is such a risk of fraud and why so many frauds have already been perpetuated.

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  36. bjchip
    I am sorry. I presumed that everyone knew that when the UK Minister told his constituents that they should not buy NZ produce because of the food miles he was soon shot down in flames. We airfreight very little of our food to the US – most goes by ship. And I suspect that just as in the UK more fossil fuel is burnt driving the food from the supermarket to the home than is used in shipping it half way round the world. Also US beef is corn fed while ours is raised on perennial grasses which means a kilo of NZ beef has produced for less methane and CO2 than a kilo of NZ beef.
    The classic half truth is the implication that the means of transport determines the carbon footprint.
    I am sure Hansen is aware of this so while I dislike calling those I disagree with liars I have an uneasy feeling that Dr Hansen was being economical with the truth.

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  37. Sorry – should read:

    Also US beef is corn fed while ours is raised on perennial grasses which means a kilo of NZ beef has produced far less methane and CO2 than a kilo of US beef.

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  38. Well it’s all good fun.

    I would like to see a coal trader praised for complaining about the coal fire power station ban. Or perhaps a wood chopper praised for complaining about the lack of rimu on the market.

    I have nothing against business, but I feel that this one (carbon trading) is feeding off an unpopular and ill-thought-out regulation. We already have heaps of businesses which rely entirely on state mandate for their existence. We probably don’t need any more.

    I think Mr Hansen is probably pulling our collective legs. He has gone so far overboard in some of his pronouncements that I have a feeling he will pop up one day and say ‘ha ha, just kidding, as you were!’

    I’m not on first name terms with Mr Hide or Mr Key, but I have to thank them both for initiating a re-think on the ETS. It was put together in another era, one where we had so much money from the property bubble that we needed to squirt some of it down the drain. Now, we need to think about productivity, not CO2.

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  39. Lets have fun.
    The POHM Prime Minister has just added a tax of $240 on travel to New ZEaland (and similarly distanced locations) because of the Carbon Dioxide produced by the plane that brings people here.

    Goodbye major tourist revenue is the downside; however, less competition for RWC’11 tickets, so price reductions, may be the upside.

    Mind you, knowing the POHMs they’ll just flip over to Paris and fly from there, thereby sticking two fingers in the air in the direction of Her Majesty’s Infernal Revenue!

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  40. Heh, cogent.

    So, Enron invented international emissions trading then. ‘Enron invented it’ doesn’t necessarily mean anything – similar but does carry more weight than saying ‘Exxon funded it’. Just say why it’s bad and leave it at that!

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  41. GENEVA: Greenhouse gas levels rose to record highs in 2007, leading to a 1 per cent increase in the overall global warming effect, the World Meteorological Organisation says.

    Carbon dioxide rose 0.5 per cent from 2006 to reach 383.1 parts per million, while nitrous oxide levels were up 0.25 per cent, according to latest WMO statistics.

    Methane, meanwhile, increased 0.34 per cent, surpassing the highest level recorded in 2003.

    “Using the NOAA Annual greenhouse gas index, the total warming effect of all long-lived greenhouse gases was calculated to have increased by 1.06 per cent from the previous year and by 24.2 per cent since 1990,” said the WMO.

    Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have risen 37 per cent since the 18th century, the WMO said.

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  42. UN climate talks will focus on wrong temperature targets, NASA’s chief scientist said today.

    James Hansen, who is also former US Vice President Al Gore’s science advisor, told a group of British lawmakers in London that the targeted level of keeping global temperatures 2 degrees celsius below 1850 levels is too high.

    “The latest observations suggest that a global warming of more than 1 degree celsius leads already to an ice free planet with the situation out of control,” he told the UK Environmental Audit Committee.

    According to latest figures global temperatures have already risen by 0.76 degrees celsius since 1850.

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  43. No doubt James Hansen will soon be telling us that a rise of 0.5 degrees from 1850 levels is too high.

    As the ice age comes on, James will be telling us that anything more than 2 degrees below 1850 levels will melt the planet.

    Face it, this guy is not operating in the real world. He is an environmentalist through and through.

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  44. <<Face it, this guy is not operating in the real world. He is an environmentalist through and through.

    Oh I see – A person who is passionate about the planet cannot ipso facto be talking any sense about our effect or otherwise on the planet. Who can then? The financiers? Corporate CEO’s?
    Isn’t that like saying a bird watcher can’t be taken seriously when talking about birds?

    I’m sure you will once again ridicule my logic, Optimist. But it would be good if you could just take those anti-environmentalists blinkers off for a little while. I understand that many libertarians view the Enlightenment as a great step forward for Mankind. Be that as it may, surely the time has come for another step forward in our understanding of the Universe – namely one that involves mankind en mass accepting the intimate relationship that it has with the rest of the planet.

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  45. kjuv
    Don’t bother feeding right wing trolls. Have a look at the strawman being set up with statements such as “will soon be telling us…” and “James will be telling us..” that is then followed by the “shoot down” statement “this guy is not operating in the real world.” Ignore it, it means nothing.

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  46. > Isn’t that like saying a bird watcher can’t be taken seriously when talking about birds?

    No but a bird-ist probably isn’t the best person to talk about plate glass windows, or cutting down trees, or building motorways or other bird-unfriendly things.

    James Hansen has built himself a reputation over many years which he will now have to live with. His statement that 2 degrees will melt the ice is the ultimate straw man. Firstly, we have no expectation of that sort of temperature rise, and secondly we have no expectation that a further 1.3 degree rise would melt the ice.

    Any sort of fundamentalist is an unreliable character on which to base general discussions. If I introduced a christian fundamentalist, you would not have expect a dispassionate discussion on the rights and wrongs of abortion. Environmentalists are similarly unable to have a dispassionate discussion on human life on this planet. That is almost inherent in the same, which means someone more interested in the human ‘environment’ (which means everything non-human) than anything else.

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  47. Firstly, we have no expectation of that sort of temperature rise,

    Watch who you’re calling “we” ace. The 2 degrees is already baked in. That is “expected” by most of the people who study climate. I am sure you can find one or two oddballs out there, and there are possibilities that MIGHT mitigate if we were incredibly lucky. I don’t like the future of the human species to depend on “luck”.

    secondly we have no expectation that a further 1.3 degree rise would melt the ice

    No… we have evidence in the paleoclimate records that it will. That’s a little more certain than an “expectation”.

    Come clean with us Optimist. You’re actually one of those ultra-religious whackos who WANTS the troubles to come so that the end-time can come and Jesus will return…. He’ll be really p!ssed when he sees how we’ve redecorated the planet.

    The earth trembles, the trees shake, the air stinks, the ground breaks,

    the face

    of the earth

    has zits.

    BJ

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  48. > Come clean with us Optimist. You’re actually one of those ultra-religious whackos who WANTS the troubles to come

    That will be the environmentalists. There is enough religion around here to keep the enviro-clergy in clover for years.

    If we don’t get a planet-ended event fairly soon there is going to be egg on face all over this blog.

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  49. We

    Do

    Not

    Want

    Trouble!

    The problem is that WE are not changing the ecosystems of the planet. People who worship growth at any cost are doing that, and they are doing so at the behest of banks and the wealthy who profit from that growth due to the broken financial model of debt-based fractional-reserve fiat currency shared by every nation in the OECD. Demonstrably broken as every nation in the OECD is learning to our great sorrow.

    It isn’t ever a good idea to run an experiment without a control Optimist. It isn’t good science. When it’s the only planet we have, it is positively STUPID. Any scientist will tell you that much. A small minority will claim that what we do won’t matter that much, but none will assert that what we are doing is “good science”.

    No ecology, no economy.

    Sort of like “No Justice, no peace” only it isn’t the PEOPLE who will tear the place apart. It’ll be the planet tearing the people apart.

    respectfully
    B J

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  50. Someone in Queenstown drives a yellow hummer with a Vote Green sticker on the bumper (no doubt a property developer as they compete with the Almighty as agents of change).

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  51. > The problem is that WE are not changing the ecosystems of the planet. People who worship growth at any cost are doing that, and they are doing so at the behest of banks and the wealthy

    Who are these people who worship growth at any cost? Growthists? I don’t know any. No one wants to be the richest nation on earth but swimming in sludge to get to work. We have a very nice environment in New Zealand. There is plenty of room for mining. It is ridiculous the amount of land tied up by DOC and not able to be productively used. Do we really need 1/3 of the country off limits and the other 2/3 under burdensome environmental controls?

    Your last comments are close to demented I think. When is the planet going to tear the people apart? Tuesday next week? Let me know.

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  52. >>Your last comments are close to demented I think. When is the planet going to tear the people apart? Tuesday next week? Let me know.

    I guess one doesn’t see much of the world with one’s head firmly embedded in the sand. It seems that some of us lack the ability or inclination to extrapolate.

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  53. There is plenty of room for mining. It is ridiculous the amount of land tied up by DOC and not able to be productively used. Do we really need 1/3 of the country off limits and the other 2/3 under burdensome environmental controls?

    I wasn’t talking about mining, I was talking about burning coal. I regard mining as hazardous, necessary, lucrative…. but NOT evil. Moreover, I tend to agree that the point that how much land is tied up, may be excessive.

    Demented. Well, here it is in a nutshell.

    It is only 50-50 we will really get serious Global Warming, because the resource wars due to the other climate changes that come with even a little warming can end with a nuclear winter has an excellent chance of occurring before the Ice-Caps melt enough to be a problem.

    Good Luck.

    BJ

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  54. I read an interesting statement above . . . . .
    >
    we have no expectation that a further 1.3 degree rise would melt the ice
    No… we have evidence in the paleoclimate records that it will
    >

    So there is evidence that this warming event has happened before, but in a time before humanity!

    So is it possible that we are experiencing a part of the natural cycle of the earth, and that we need to learn how to live through it without Noahisation? I rather think that trying to change an earth cycle would be like trying to move the earth’s orbit; an interesting challenge, but not one we are likely to overcome for a while!

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  55. No Strings… because the situation THEN didn’t include a rapid rise of temperature following a rapid release of CO2. OTOH, the CO2 levels back then were not the entire forcing but feedback from some other forcing. *A* warming event occurred, but not like *this* warming event.

    This did look a little like it… if they got it correct –
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2038599.stm

    So we can compare the activity of the human species in burning carbon with the meteor impact that killed off the dinosaurs.. which is neat but not as relevant as if there had been the same CO2 without the other effects of the impact.

    However, the argument is about temperature and whether a little bit more could cause significant Ice loss.

    http://www.mindfully.org/Water/2006/Ice-Sheet-Instability24mar06.htm

    The temperature above the arctic circle is affected far more (the models do give this result AND it is measured) than the tropics by warming. The overall temperature of the planet goes up another 1.3 degrees but the temperature above the arctic circle ( Greenland ) goes up more. The ice-cap at the north pole has responded appropriately.

    That does look like it happened back then with respect to the temperature, but why the temperature went up THEN…. it isn’t so clear. CO2 isn’t the only forcing in the system. It isn’t often released in such a massive way.

    However, it is important NOT to look at the paleoclimate and say X is the same as now because there was the same amount of CO2 or the temperature was the same. The rate of change is important too. Each period is different. The formation of the circumpolar current when South America broke from Antarctica changed things immensely. The formation of the Panama Isthmus changed things. The rise of the Himalayas changed things.

    Now we’ve dumped millions of years worth of CO2 into the atmosphere faster than it can be absorbed/removed, and WE have changed things.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  56. BJ

    Thanks for that. My understanding is improved.

    I must confess, though, that my Gaianism leads me to believe that the planet is able to cure itself of unwelcome infestations quite easily. I remember Professor Asimov giving a lecture in Cambridge Mass. many years ago, when he explained to the uninformed the reality of an ‘itch’ and how the human body has an automatic imperative to correct it. He then went on to compare the durational existence of mankind on planet earth as representing about half a second for a human life-time in comparative terms. THEN he frightened us all, with his views on what the automatic response, to us by the planet, might be. What was worse was he then reminded us that the feeling of an itch lasts after the cure has been applied, but it does quickly go away. His view, back then in the mid 80s, was that it would only take about 50,000 years – not even a good night’s sleep comparatively, for all signs of mankind to be eradicated.

    Makes you wonder eh! (Well it did me!) What if we are just a very temporary parasite – who will care what we do or don’t do in the next 100 years 50,000 years from now?

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  57. Carbon Trading – not just a climate change argument.

    Personally – carbon trading aside – I think you could stand around and argue for decades on whether humans are affecting climate change – though – on my research – the science appears overwhelming but it’s ALWAYS important to be able to hear views on both sides without attacking them.

    All that aside – would it not make sense – for our long term wellbeing and continued existence to be more renewable in our approach to living? (Financially & Health-wise)

    Meaning – instead of drilling and digging holes all over the planet and using polluting and diminishing energy sources – start to use the “free” energy that is given to us everyday -(wind/sun/tides).

    I believe we need to start thinking 100 years plus – because – the population is increasing and the demand on the planets resources going forward is huge.

    Humans do not tend to make change until something forces them to do so – many examples – give up smoking when faced with lung cancer – start to exercise after the heart attack – cut back spending after they lose a job – etc etc – we do not tend to make changes when faced with threats.

    So my view on emissions trading/carbon tax is not just related to the climate change argument but rather it’s a mechanism that can “force” us to make the change to better uses of energy.

    I’ve heard compelling arguments on using existing resources better – such as linking all the worlds’ power grids and shunting from night to day in addition to all the wind/solar/tidal ideas.

    So placing a “cost” on energy that is not renewable gives an incentive to create uses of renewable energy which is better for everyone not just the planet.

    If we don’t create this “penalty” in order to get change – then nothing would be done ever until its too late or the price of oil goes to $200/b.

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  58. Don’t we pay a cost already – it’s called retail price usually! Where should the money from this ‘cost’ go, who should benefit?

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  59. You pay nothing at present for pollution – if you buy electricity or petrol from those retailers’ – you simply pay their price.

    In an ETS – the electricity or petrol company will have to pay for its emissions (carbon footprint) and will pass the cost on to you.

    They have to account for their carbon footprint annually and buy carbon credits to offset their footprint and pass these credits to the government – the government will “retire” these credits.

    Where/who do they buy them from various sources – ideally through a market from such sellers as: (a) forest owners – who plant trees – trees are known as carbon sinks – they suck in carbon and turn it into wood fibre – the growth of carbon in trees can be measured every year and those forest owners can claim carbon credits – these are issued by the government and the forest owner will sell them into the market to emitters. (b)Other sellers of carbon credits are those who build renewable projects in developing countries – like a wind farm in India – they can have the project certified by the UN and once completed – they can receive carbon credits from the UN and sell these into the market.

    Who benefits from all this – the planet.

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