NZ Green Party
John Key shirks responsibility

Well, the news is out. A 10-20% target, with so many conditions as to be meaningless. Minister Groser even confirmed during the post-cab that the 10% was in no way unconditional. Cabinet would revisit the whole thing anyway.

So there we have it. The National Government failing to take responsibility for our share of the mess. Such a small share, but ours to bear nonetheless.

The feeble details can be found at the MfE website.

Nick Smith practically admitted that the government hasn’t even done a bottom up analysis of what each sector could manage in the way of emissions reductions. This is a sad abdication of responsibility and of leadership. We deserve better.

I think this Scoop image says it all!

http://img.scoop.co.nz/stories/images/0908/55c8ab7106be251619d1.jpeg

Well, with our limited resources we have done the government’s work for them. The punters have praised it, saying NZ must do better.

We certainly have set ourselves up to fail with this one!

82 thoughts on “John Key shirks responsibility

  1. This target, if adopted by the whole world, is not enough to stop anthropogenic global warming. If this sort of inaction also applies to other environmental problems, what sort of world are we leaving for our children?

    The question I have pondered is what should be done now? As individuals we can do a little bit (and I personally believe everyone needs to do their bit). However, I believe group action is likely to be more effective than non-coordinated actions by many individuals.

    To me, doing nothing is not an option. I have therefore done a bit (probably not nearly enough) to try and reduce my family’s GHG emissions. However, when I look around, though I see many people trying to do their bit, I also see many others doing nothing at all (and they’re not the crowd who denies that global warming is happening; they’re your average Joe citizen on the street).

    We (as a planet) need action, and we need it now (we actually needed action yesterday). What ideas do people have about what can be done now?

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  2. Hmm, interesting.

    MfE’s website lists China as a ‘developing’ country, yet lists it as being the world’s largest contributor to GGE.

    Surely a country that does that much damage is far beyond ‘developing’ and is, in fact,, ‘over-developed.’ The website states further for developing countries, “Developed countries have agreed to take the lead. As developing countries’ emissions and wealth grow, they will need to increasingly take in a share of the global effort.”

    Clearly, China, India and Brazil can afford the ‘stuff’ that creates GGE in the first place, therefore can afford to take action on it immediately.

    While the large players have a large part to play here, we cannot shirk our responsibility. We have always (at least, until about 5 years ago) been a country unafraid to step out and do something different to the masses, and have effected dramatic change at times in the world for doing so. (Remember Lange and no-nukes! Ah, the glory of yesteryear…..).

    Key, Smith. We live in a democracy. The people showed overwhelming support for a 20 – 40% reduction by 2020.

    Key, Smith, grow some balls, stand out from the crowd.

    As Mark Twain said, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

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  3. Glenn, excuse me if I have been living under a rock, but when did “the people overwhelming support for a 20-40% reduction by 2020?”

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  4. Glenn – they have invisible ones?

    Nature – She’s a never ending source of wonder!

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  5. Pretty disappointing “target” here – so many opt out clauses to do nothing as well.

    I think the thing that annoys me more than anything else are the misleading numbers being thrown about. Surely gross emissions aren’t going to be the same as net emissions by 2020? That would assume no forestry is planting in the next 11 years right?

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  6. sweetdisorder,

    There is a dearth of links on the MfE website to the results of the feedback that the Govt received on what the target should be. I hate to be cynical and think that the lack of information means that the feedback was heavily in support of a larger reduction than the Government wanted….

    If you can find the report, I’m happy to stand corrected.

    I’m not sure if you got to any of the public meetings that Jellyfish Smith where pretended to be a leader, but what I saw, and heard from everyone afterwards, was overwhelming support for a reduction of 20-40%.

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  7. greenfly

    Hell, I dunno. I’m no jellyfishologist. All I know is that a Google search for “jellyfish testicles” comes up blank!

    I’m too afraid to search for “Climate Change Minister testicles”!

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  8. China and India are defenatly developing nations – look at car ownership rates in NZ and contrast them, look at how much of India has power etc or ask any friend who has done travelling.

    New Zealand does export coal to both of those countries and helps them add to their rising emissions.. surely we should be wanting to help such countries avoid some of the mistakes of the ‘developed’ world – like overconsumption and wastefull habits in the US. China and India are investing in renewable energy (unfortunatly a lot of that has been mega dams – but the good sort is happening too).

    An interesting contrast is the mitigation and spending Holland is having in flood prone areas – and nations like Bangladesh and some pacific nations who cannot afford to do what the Holland can..

    New Zealand can make alternatives to the coal fired power station at Huntly – the single biggest source of co2 in NZ I have read.. with geothermal and other forms of energy, protect forests, do replanting.

    With transport being a key source of emissions – we need to do things like increase cycling, walk more, carpool, invest in more public transport (A great move with the Rugby World Cup coming up), and look at making green jobs here with windmill construction and instillation etc.

    Denmark is the world’s largest exporter of wind turbines – why can’t we learn from them – rather than follow John Howard’s old policies and keep dithering with the laggards.

    Also Glenn – we buy the things that China makes, increasing their emissions, and no doubt buy soy from parts of the amazon that is deforested for farming in Brasil.

    It is an international problem, China etc need to reduce emissions eventually and find a more low carbon development path, and Australia, USA etc need to reduce emissions and invest in green jobs. New Zealand need to stop making excuses and get into it.

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  9. Nick’s sit along side of his spine, in a locked cabinet in Key’s Beehive office. Bill English’s pair are in there also, held in a partly closed vice.
    There are other body parts in there as well; Paula Bennet’s heart, Tolley’s brain, other stuff…
    There’s a lot of dust.

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  10. Glenn look at China’s emissions per capita… then look at the US

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  11. treesoftomorrow

    Also Glenn – we buy the things that China makes, increasing their emissions, and no doubt buy soy from parts of the amazon that is deforested for farming in Brasil.

    No, WE don’t, YOU do…

    I avoid the stuff…

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  12. Glenn, without having looked at the MfE website yet, my gut feeling, along with pretty much minimal coverage in the media, is that most people actually don’t care about any targets. The biggest and most documented case recently is key v kesha castle hughes in the stick to acting comment.

    Secondly, as you might have guessed, I am a man made climate change skeptic. What relatioinship is there between CO2 emissions and climate change? Yes, I understand CO2 emissions are at about 390ppm, but world temp as measure by the nasa satelite (http://www.drroyspencer.com/) to be pretty much bobbing around the same temp since 1979. So, if the temp is not going up, and through out the earths history there have been warming and cooling times (http://www.drroyspencer.com/global-warming-background-articles/2000-years-of-global-temperatures/) why are we setting up this enron type scheme to operate carbon credits?

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  13. treesoftomorrow

    Glenn look at China’s emissions per capita… then look at the US

    Yep, I agree, clearly the US is the biggest bully in the playground. But because China is the fattest kid, and has less pocket money, he doesn’t get to beat up everyone else and have a different set of rules governing their behaviour therapy.

    Glenn

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  14. Glenn, without having looked at the MfE website yet, my gut feeling, along with pretty much minimal coverage in the media, is that most people actually don’t care about any targets. The biggest and most documented case recently is key v kesha castle hughes in the stick to acting comment.

    So you’ve no evidence either….

    Secondly, as you might have guessed, I am a man made climate change skeptic. What relatioinship is there between CO2 emissions and climate change? Yes, I understand CO2 emissions are at about 390ppm, but world temp as measure by the nasa satelite (http://www.drroyspencer.com/) to be pretty much bobbing around the same temp since 1979. So, if the temp is not going up, and through out the earths history there have been warming and cooling times (http://www.drroyspencer.com/global-warming-background-articles/2000-y ears-of-global-temperatures/) why are we setting up this enron type scheme to operate carbon credits?

    Yaaaawwwnnn…

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  15. greenfly

    I reckon Igor cleans the dust each night when he comes to slice off a bit of something to sell it, to raise money to fund research into climate change denial and stupidity prevalence.

    ;-)

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  16. I don’t think it’s fair to focus on India as a country that has to reduce emissions. Both as a whole and per capita, India has lower emissions than Africa.

    China and Brazil do obviously have to be included in emission reductions, but can’t be expected to make anything like the percentage reductions of a country like New Zealand.

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  17. Glenn – Of course! Igor!

    He’s the one who stole Brash’s emails!!!!

    sweetdisorder said:

    as you might have guessed, I am a man made climate change skeptic.

    You’re… a robot then?

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  18. kahikatia

    I don’t think it’s fair to focus on India as a country that has to reduce emissions. Both as a whole and per capita, India has lower emissions than Africa.

    Absolutely agree. I only picked on those two because MfE’s website showed them.

    Africa is politically more challenging though. That’s the same as saying Asia or Europe have high GGEs.

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  19. If the Greens weren’t stuffed full of far lefters they may have been more of a credible environmental force (and able to influence policy).
    The red in green is more culpable then national.
    :mrgreen:

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  20. Glenn, my second paragraph is actually a question. If you can’t argue your case, are you saying I am right?

    Greenfly, a robot? That one when a bit over my head, sorry, is it an in joke?

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  21. Hmmm, sweetdisorder, they say energy-efficient lightbulbs are a bit dull. You certainly are one of the early models.

    ;-)

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  22. Brazil could def do something about deforestation in the Amazon. A lot is destroyed for soy crops and cattle farming.

    Indonesia could have deforestation limits. And Australia is the worlds biggest coal exporter.

    Of course for some emissions reductions to happen alternative jobs and industries/livelihoods are needed.

    Low emissions activities are needed, and less high emissions based industries. Protecting old growth forests, using more low impact farming methods and becoming less wasteful are all usefull things.

    We need a what can be done to reduce emissions and pollution approach – not a blame a neibouring country approach.

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  23. Glenn, as much as I enjoy your cutting wit and sarcastic humor, you still haven’t addressed my points? If you can’t answer, so be it, just say so and I will look else where.

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  24. Glenn

    Keep up, IPCC has released version 4 of their report. It came out 2007, you might want to update that 2001 text you have. Any how, as you don’t know the answer, and can only throw some weighty doc at me (yes, I have all night to read ipcc v3, thats what I cam on to frogblog to do tonight) , and I am quite capable of google searches myself, you show yourself to be the classic green (IPCC said so, so there ends the debate) I will open this to anybody else other that my tunnel visioned Glenn here.

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  25. sweetdisorder – if I might have a shot at addressing your points;
    You say:

    my gut feeling, along with pretty much minimal coverage in the media, is that most people actually don’t care about any targets.

    To clarify; you have a gut feeling and you’ve not seen much media coverage of people caring about any targets – yes?

    Firstly, do you mean people have no care about, say, a target of 40%?
    You feel that the scaremongering by Nick Smith and his fellow scaremongers
    hasen’t got the support of the people? People don’t reject a high target?
    I await your response.

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  26. Ahha, thanks for that.

    From a very quick read, I note the following:

    Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations. This is an advance since the TAR’s conclusion that “most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in GHG concentrations”

    I’ll read in more detail tomorrow and look forward to continued, more robust, debate.

    Glenn

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  27. I’m also annoyed with Key.

    He should have pulled us out of this worthless, pointless, fraudulent, unscientific, moronic, complete and utter scam.

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  28. >>Key, Smith. We live in a democracy. The people showed overwhelming support for a 20 – 40% reduction by 2020.

    Hahahahaha….

    They did nothing of the sort. 93% don’t give a toss about environmental issues.

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  29. Yet 100% of ‘them’ live right smack in the middle of the ‘environment’.
    You could assume that the problem is ignorance.

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  30. Why the disappointment in this target ? Its enormous

    Remember that we are 24% up on 1990, so a 10-20% decrease on 1990 is actually 35-42% on where we are right now. Thats a lot to acheive in 11 years, and if the globe gets serious then buying out by means of credits would cost, so we would actually have to do things.

    Given our policies on the last decade – SUVS for all, ripping up trees to plant cows, no vehicle economy policy, no fuel policy, ETS on hold, the threat of more thermal generation – this is just what we need

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  31. I think the real problem is that the environmental movement hasn’t proven its case.

    Until then….

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  32. It’s not up to us to prove a negative.

    Perhaps a teacup really is orbiting Saturn…..

    Or maybe not….

    Wouldn’t bet money on it, though….

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  33. BP

    Maybe you should be proving your positive then, that rampant resource use is perfectly healthy for our environment…

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  34. It’s not up to us to prove a negative.
    Good call.
    Your statement:
    I think the real problem is that the environmental movement hasn’t proven its case.

    is clearly wrong, wrong, wrong and a lunatic suggestion , but it’s not up to me to prove the negative.

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  35. snap!!!!

    http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/news-anzeige/klimawandel-offener-brief-an-kanzlerin-merkel-temperaturmessungen-ab-1701-widerlegen-anthropogen-verursachte-temperaturschwankungen/

    To the attention of the Honorable Madam Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany…

    History tells us time and again that political leaders often have made poor decisions because they followed the advice of advisors who were incompetent or ideologues and failed to recognize it in time….

    A real comprehensive study, whose value would have been absolutely essential, would have shown, even before the IPCC was founded, that humans have had no measurable effect on global warming through CO2 emissions. Instead the temperature fluctuations have been within normal ranges and are due to natural cycles. Indeed the atmosphere has not warmed since 1998 – more than 10 years, and the global temperature has even dropped significantly since 2003…. According to the IPCC, it was supposed to have gotten steadily warmer, but just the opposite has occurred.

    More importantly, there’s a growing body of evidence showing anthropogenic CO2 plays no measurable role. Indeed CO2’s capability to absorb radiation is already exhausted by today’s atmospheric concentrations. If CO2 did indeed have an effect and all fossil fuels were burned, then additional warming over the long term would in fact remain limited to only a few tenths of a degree…

    In the meantime, the belief of climate change, and that it is manmade, has become a pseudo-religion… The German media has sadly taken a leading position in refusing to publicize views that are critical of anthropogenic global warming… It is indeed unfortunate how our media have developed – under earlier dictatorships the media were told what was not worth reporting. But today they know it without getting instructions.

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  36. Greenfly

    I mean that most people don’t support the man made global warming story, and they don’t really give a feck. See how much support you have when you try to introduce a tax for carbon.

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  37. Wait until environmentally based trade protection kicks in – we’ve seen a little of it in some european airfares and the first skirmishes over carbon-miles

    NZs pathetic record (and the difficulties that our heavily agriculture based emissions patterns present) may lead to interesting times

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  38. sweetdisorder, you offered to look elsewhere. I suggest you look anywhere other than the output of Dr Roy Spencer, who has been thoroughly discredited.

    Trevor.

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  39. More importantly, there’s a growing body of evidence showing anthropogenic CO2 plays no measurable role. Indeed CO2’s capability to absorb radiation is already exhausted by today’s atmospheric concentrations. If CO2 did indeed have an effect and all fossil fuels were burned, then additional warming over the long term would in fact remain limited to only a few tenths of a degree…

    You know, I just got done answering this point a day ago. It isn’t that complicated.

    Physicists, who are the ones who play with spectral absorption lines, often seem to make a mistake, that the question of where in the atmosphere column the radiation has been fully absorbed by the CO2 is irrelevant. The radiative transfer is what they are expert at, and if they were just dealing with the column of air and radiative transfer they’d be right.

    So to them it doesn’t matter if it is fully absorbed in the first 100 meters of atmosphere or in 50 kilometers higher. Black is black and there isn’t any more the CO2 can do.

    Except that anything in the lower troposphere, and particularly in the lowest part of the troposphere, right next to the ocean is good, is subject to convection, conduction and actually being absorbed by the ocean in turbulent mixing.

    …and the greater the concentration of CO2, the closer to the surface the radiation is fully absorbed.

    Which opens the doors to all sorts of calculations that quit looking anything like the nice clean physics of radiative heat transfer.

    Which may be one of the reasons that the last time we are aware of that the planet had 390 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere ( some 3 million years ago), the temperature was at least 3 degrees warmer the ocean was 25 meters higher and the ocean currents weren’t working quite the way they do now.

    Physicists are experts but not beyond making mistakes. I don’t doubt that they have the radiation transfer equations down perfectly. Dummies do not get PhDs in physics. So they will be SURE that they are right. Absolutely confident. Yet thirty percent give-or-take, of the extra CO2 we have emitted to date, has been absorbed by the ocean. Which means that they can be – absolutely wrong.

    There is no “growing body of evidence” Sweetdisorder. That is a claim made by desperate people fighting a losing battle against actual science, it is not meaningful unless there is actually evidence. I have seen none.

    Spencer has been alone, and remains alone. We are in a period of an intense solar minimum and the best we get is a “flattening”? I don’t even really see that. I can see an upward trend in Spencer’s own data quite clearly, and he has made some classic errors in the past.

    The robot meme WAS a joke… you claimed to be a “man made climate change skeptic”. We sometimes have been known to exhibit a sense of humor.

    I think you may have a point, that the average person on the street doesn’t care. He or she will not have to live with the problems. Ask the kids what they think.

    BP has a point (sometimes). What we do now probably won’t make the difference that needed to be made.

    I set down my guess at what would come out of Copenhagen, a goal of 15-18% and long odds that China will recognize that we aren’t really that serious and tell us to go fnck ourselves… which we are doing vigorously.

    That makes the odds quite good that we’re going to blow past 450, blow past 2 degrees of warming and trigger one or more of the more dangerous positive feedbacks, losing control of the process forever. Odds of the positive feedback at +2 are middling poor. It is uncertain, but 1 in 5 would be representative. At +3 the odds are 1 in 5 we dodge the bullet.

    So that 25 meters of sea level rise will come (in a couple hundred years time), no matter what our kids do, and it could be worse than THAT.

    Stupid… “The age of stupid”… it isn’t just the name of a movie, it is where we are now. Ignorance is bliss and the people in government are entirely too happy.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  40. BJ,

    …..losing control of the process forever.

    Makes a huge assumption that we can “control” the warming (or cooling) “process”.

    At best I would say we could influence global weather, but control?

    Interesting dicussion in Australia last week where a scientist made the claim that the water would be lapping the steps of the the opera house.

    Got roundly shot down by geologists who modelled the weight of the water on the pacific plate and calculated that it would sink at least 20 meters into the magna.

    This would force up the australian plate upwards by 4 to 5 metres. So no water lapping the opera house.

    But unfortunately for New Zealand, the sinking of the pacific plate would open up the circle of fire and unleash volcanic and earth quake activity oblitarating all of New Zealand, Japan, Alaska, Western USA, etc.

    Australia’s eastern seaboard would be far more susceptable to Tsunamis then rising sea water levels.

    So New Zealand is not the best place to be.

    Interesting observations from the other side of the ditch.

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  41. BJ

    “We are in a period of an intense solar minimum and the best we get is a “flattening”?”

    You are not a real AGW alarmist BJ. The IPCC discounts solar effects – it is all CO2 – because the TSI varies by only about 1% between max and min. Svensmark has shown how this could be wrong…

    BUT, once you start thinking in terms of solar effects on the climate then you open up many new possibilities – the medieval warm period and the little ice age for example – which Michael Mann tried so valiantly to get to disappear. Also if a deep solar minimum can ‘flatten’ a warming period we can presume that a strong maximum such as we had recently could do the opposite?

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  42. Sweetdisorder

    Support for a tax on carbon?

    If it is coupled with a reduction in taxes elsewhere and includes transfers to those who might suffer disproportionately?

    No need for MORE money to be taken out of the economy to ensure that the commons is paid for, but the commons MUST have a price.

    BJ

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  43. stuhugfj

    Both effects are possible and show up clearly enough in the climate record. The 11 year solar cycle is a large enough variation to be quite apparent… but being a predictable cycle it is also NOT producing the upward trend.

    Describing me as “not a real AGW alarmist” is an interesting take on my attitude. I wanted the targets to be roughly double what we got… because anything less than that results in HUMAN civilization having about a 1 in 5 chance of surviving through the next 150 years… based on climate.

    Svensmark has done a lot of work in the service of his alternative theory, but his alternative theory leaves a lot of loose ends.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/08/still-not-convincing/#more-728

    The idea that the CO2 does nothing at all is curiously out of touch with the paleoclimate… but if it DOES explain much of the climate change and it we know for certain that it does exist (one of the few certainties we have) , then the GCR effect is “extra”. One of them is “extra” at least.

    The problem is that the MWP and LIA are irrelevant to the current situation. Completely and utterly irrelevant. That this temperature was reached before is clear enough… the Holocene optimum was still warmer, than either now OR the MWP, but the mechanisms by which the climate changed then have no effective bearing on the mechanism we see operating now… any more than the processes that ended the last glacial period are relevant.

    AGW isn’t about “CO2 causes everything that happens” it is about CO2 is responsible for THIS thing that is happening NOW. Making out that we think otherwise is a very common misconception in the non-scientific blogosphere.

    BJ

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  44. Gerrit

    The theory is that we are the cause. If we are the cause we CAN (theoretically) be the solution.

    That’s one way. I have another way to control it and I’ve mentioned it before MANY times, and now regard as the only hope the planet has.

    Andrew Lloyd Webber

    :-)

    Of course I mean CATS “Cheap Access To Space”.

    Which gives us the power to directly control insolation and thus climate changes like ice-ages and AGW.

    Doesn’t give direct control of the WEATHER, but that doesn’t bother me at all.

    Since I have also mentioned the effects on the plates as a possible hazard I am inclined to believe the geologist in this respect, but the problem of fresh water in Oz is a troubling one.

    I don’t think that geologist knows exactly what will happen. I don’t know what he based his computation on either… but he confirms my suspicion that the malevolent god Murphy is still in control and that this is one of the not-quite-understood problems attendant on the unscientific, uncontrolled experiment we are conducting with the only habitable planet we can reach.

    Stupid. Simply stupid.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  45. No one seems interested in the Agriculture paradox – the real ruminant elephant in the room.

    At present, we are the only country which includes agricultural emissions in its Kyoto calculations, and we have chosen to include only the belched methane and nitrous oxides – which account for half of our emissions.

    There is now a call, from the UN and elsewhere, to include agriculture in the next protocal – but not to punish agriculture, but to allow pastoral farmers to win credits for their carbon sequestration in the soil.

    The irony is that they are using technology developed in New Zealand by Dr Baker to improve their own carbon sequestration in their soil.

    So America, Canada and Australia are already preparing to, or are already paying their pastoral farmersmreal dollars for their mitigation of climate change.
    If we sign up to these terms our Kyoto obligations would almost certainly disappear because, on the basis of the Canadian calculations we would be a net carbon sink.

    I pointed this out in my submission to the Select Committee but the Committee has not yet reported back. What are we doing taking these positions without hearing from the Select Committee.

    Here is the full statement from the UN FAO:

    “Millions of farmers around the globe could also become agents of change helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Alexander Mueller, FAO Assistant Director- General on the occasion of the ongoing UN negotiations.
    By keeping higher levels of carbon in the soil – a process known as “carbon
    sequestration” – farmers can help reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, enhance the soil’s resilience and boost crop yields, according to FAO.
    “Agricultural land is able to store and sequester carbon. Farmers that live off the land, particularly in poor countries, should therefore be involved in carbon sequestration to mitigate the impact of climate change,” said Mr. Mueller, who also noted that farmers and their families, particularly in poorer countries, will become victims of climate change.
    Farmers can alleviate agriculture’s contribution to climate change by reducing tillage, increasing organic soil matter and soil cover, improving grassland management, restoring degraded lands, planting trees, altering forage and by sustainable use of animal genetic diversity, using fertilizer more efficiently, and improving water management.
    However, Mr. Mueller said, “Current global funding arrangements, like the Clean
    Development Mechanism [CDM] under the Kyoto Protocol, are inadequate and are not offering sufficient incentives for farmers to get involved in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
    For example, soil carbon sequestration, through which nearly 90 per cent of agriculture’s climate change mitigation potential could be realized, is outside the scope of the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol.
    Neither climate change mitigation, nor food security, nor sustainable development, benefit from this exclusion.”

    How can the Green Party disagree with that?

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  46. I don’t know Owen… I didn’t earlier. Not sure you are wrong about it at all.

    It seems reasonable to me that we could improve our farming practices. Certainly with respect to dairy the Greens are calling for that…. that involves waste water and other effluent but it is part of the larger picture.

    The reasoning behind our inclusion of our agriculture as we do include it is a bit of a mystery to me.

    Someone else will have to take up this argument and make sense of it. I am not at all sure they will succeed either.

    Not an area I have studied at all.

    BJ

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  47. Owen quotes:
    Farmers can alleviate agriculture’s contribution to climate change by reducing tillage, increasing organic soil matter and soil cover, improving grassland management, restoring degraded lands, planting trees, altering forage and by sustainable use of animal genetic diversity, using fertilizer more efficiently, and improving water management.

    I’ll bet there isn’t a green who doesn’t support that Owen.
    I’ll bet there are few conventional farmers doing it to any significant degree.

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  48. I am trying to find out if the FAO proposition is on the agenda for these talks in Germany or for the later round in Copenhagen.
    My searches draw a blank.

    One theory is that the European block do not want it on the agenda because their own agriculture is so inefficient and they would lose their “Moral high ground”.

    I would appreciate any assistance. It would be bizarre if we reduced food production to appease the Europeans who are unwilling to expose their own biological exchanges to scrutiny.

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  49. Well, if we’d put forth a credible target we might have had the clout to get it on the agenda. It isn’t like the discussion topics are all decided yet.

    Though they probably will be fairly soon.

    I’d like to see CATS on the agenda too, but I am not expecting that.

    BJ

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  50. # Owen McShane Says:
    August 11th, 2009 at 9:43 am

    > At present, we are the only country which includes agricultural emissions in its Kyoto calculations, and we have chosen to include only the belched methane and nitrous oxides – which account for half of our emissions.

    Nonsense – it’s included in the Kyoto protocol calculations for all countries. Countries don’t choose which emissions they are going to be liable for under the Kyoto protocol – that would be silly.

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  51. I just discovered that Tasmania is connected to the Australian continent with a high voltage DC cable… the stuff I didn’t know.

    BJ

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  52. kahikatea
    You may think it is nonsense but here is the sentence from the FAO quote above:
    Mr. Mueller said, “Current global funding arrangements, like the Clean
    Development Mechanism [CDM] under the Kyoto Protocol, are inadequate and are not offering sufficient incentives for farmers to get involved in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
    For example, soil carbon sequestration, through which nearly 90 per cent of agriculture’s climate change mitigation potential could be realized, is outside the scope of the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol.

    And while agriculture is in included in one sense it was agreed at the last round to defer requiring counties to include because we did not know enough about the science of all the exchanges involved. We alone are counting our methane and including in our balance sheets.
    If anyone else is doing so I would like the reference because change is taking place all the time and it is hard to keep up.
    IF you do know of such a nation then could you check to see if they count methane only, or look at the total equation?
    If so that could be a useful precedent.

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  53. Owen: We alone are counting our methane and including in our balance sheets.

    No, you are wrong. You are confusing responsibility under Kyoto with action taken to meet Kyoto targets. Countries are responsible under Kyoto for all their emissions of all greenhouse gases – CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, halocarbons etc. Targets are expressed in CO2e for that reason. However, in determining what action to take to reduce emissions, countries are free to take any approach they want, and many have decided to exclude agriculture from their emissions reduction schemes/policies – usually because agricultural emissions are a small part of most countries GHG profile. That is not the case in NZ, and why it is important to the overall NZ economy that our agriculture play its part in emissions reduction. And soil carbon could be a part of that…

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  54. Owen – how can you state”At present, we are the only country which includes agricultural emissions in its Kyoto calculations, and we have chosen to include only the belched methane and nitrous oxides – which account for half of our emissions.”?

    That is patently false. Everyone includes agriculture in their Kyoto calculations, and is required to pay for it if they exceed their targets during KP1.

    You are purposefully conflating what is required of Kyoto and what countries have brought into their emissions trading schemes, to make it look like we’re doing something different.

    Why should the taxpayer pay for all the agricultural emissions in NZ? I can understand many countries not bothering because their ag emissions are so low or such a small percentage. But why NZ Owen?

    And why do you persist with your dis-information campaign?

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  55. bjchip Says:
    August 11th, 2009 at 11:09 am

    > I just discovered that Tasmania is connected to the Australian continent with a high voltage DC cable… the stuff I didn’t know.

    Here in New Zealand the North Island is connected to the mainland in the same way, or is that an AC cable? Why would they use DC rather than AC?

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  56. I am not persisting in disinformation – I am trying to establish the facts.
    And with this issue of agriculture it is damned difficult because there are so many weasel words out there.

    This report I link to above which puts agriculture firmly on the Bonn agenda raises all manner of questions. Does Australia then count the methane from its rice paddies. How will China deal with the methane from its rice paddies.

    Where does Europe actually count its agricultural emissions. It is all very well to say agriculture is important to NZ by percentage but Australia and New Zealand actually produce only 2% of the meat produced in the world. America’s 70 million cattle make our herd look trivial.

    The fact is that when we tally up how many dollars worth of carbon credits we shall have buy we include our agriculture. I have not been able to find anyone else who does. I am only asking your help. If any of you know of any countries who are expecting to buy credits under the ETS to compensate for their agricultural emissions please let me know. I do not see how this is a disinformation campaign.
    If Canada’s farmers are working towards being able to claim credits for their mitigation (at present they say their herds are trivial even though they are twice the size of ours) then why aren’t we? They acknowledge we have more perennial pastures and all year grazing.
    I don’t get it.

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  57. That one I know Kahikatea, and it has to do with coupling with the surrounding conductive medium. Induction losses dominate. Which is one of the reasons the high tension lines (which ARE AC) are pulled as far up off the ground as they are.

    You can’t run that sort of high voltage AC underwater or underground.

    Plays hell with the cables, the generators and probably the fish too. Doesn’t work.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  58. kahikatea,
    Its a DC cable here.
    As I understand it, DC is chosen for its lower energy loss when being transfered through the straight. This energy loss being lower because AC is constantly inducing changing magnetic feilds where-as DC holds a constant magnetic feild and is thus less effected by the sea water.
    Though of course I am a layman and one of our resident engineers should verify this.

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  59. Should have refreshed before posting :P
    I change my response to “what BJ said”. lol.

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  60. >>What surprised me was the length of the thing

    Said the actress to the Bishop…..

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  61. Owen: The fact is that when we tally up how many dollars worth of carbon credits we shall have buy we include our agriculture. I have not been able to find anyone else who does.

    You need to read what I wrote (and Frog echoed ;-) ) – everybody counts agricultural emissions – emissions from all sources count towards targets. Most countries choose to ignore them in their current mitigation schemes, that’s all.

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  62. Counting is one thing
    Making it cost is another.
    Sums come cheap.
    Action is expensive.

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  63. Re: Owen McShane.. tutt-tutt..

    I like to catch up occasionally with OM’s inputs.. he hath over many years taken a good many positions according to the state of knowledge and its contexts from time to time.. and yes, the spelling is invariably impeccable..

    Agricultural interest, he complains, is not being taken seriously (let alone any other way). Incorrect. For those who hath complained too much.. and vociferously.. the interest is high and getting higher.. yea by the day it would seem.

    There is intelligence in the soil-carbon-sequestration line though we would all be wise in recognising that this hath nothing whatsoever to do with the European acclaim which Minister Groser today professed the case for the NZ government’s timid target proposals. I can tell you with utter certainty that their(european) pov hath more to do with their own interests than anyone else’s.

    Oh yes, and supposed “Moral high ground” is bosh!

    Finally, an appropriate wrap to his rhyming metric would more adequately state: Inaction most expensive..

    AS my first point and $trades are presently sustaining..

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  64. You know, I just got done answering this point a day ago. It isn’t that complicated.

    Of course not, it is even more complicated.

    Here’s the longer and better answer. I pegged the boundary which is simple and persuasive, but this is WAY more important and I wish I’d found it earlier. Reminding me of HiTran helped.

    Part 1: (Yes it took two blog pages to cover this)
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument/

    Part 2:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument-part-ii/

    This shows how the spreading works for a doubling:
    http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn107/Sprintstar400/CO2spectra.gif

    More complete and correct answers are always to be preferred.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  65. When I studied electrical engineering in the dark ages one obvious reason for using DC in cables which required insulation from the surrounding medium is that the DC voltage required to carry a given amount of energy is lower than the peak AC voltage. Hence a bit less insulation required. I believe the other more complex reasons are also valid.

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  66. I think this announcement speaks volumes about this government’s attitude to climate change. Much more that they would admit directly.

    With global cuts of up to 95% needed by 2050 (and even that might not be enough) how would 10%, or even 20%, by 2020 get us on the road to the kind of longer term cuts that may be needed? The answer is that it doesn’t. And that, along with the set of conditions attached to just the 10% figure, shows that this government is in denial about climate change.

    If they accepted AGW and that it represents a major threat to the habitability of the planet, then far more stringent cuts would be proposed and with no conditions. Although it matters what other countries do, also, every country has to step up regardless. What is the alternative? It seems it is to let the planet go down the tubes, which is to no-one’s benefit. So the government clearly don’t believe in the threat. If that’s true, they should actually be proposing no action at all. It all shows that we have no leaders, either way.

    It seems that economics is the god here. Provided we don’t lose competitive advantage in an economic system that is doomed anyway (because it isn’t sustainable) then nothing else really matters to this government (nor, to be fair, the last government).

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  67. That’s right Sofistek, economics is god and until that changes the environment doesn’t stand a chance.

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