Professor Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister’s science advisor, delivered a speech today about “Bringing science and policy together for good environmental outcomes”. While he touches on many issues some positive others not so much I wanted to focus on a particular issue he addresses. Part way through his speech he highlights that “[s]cience and technology can help us find ways to use resources more efficiently [.]” Unfortunately all too often efficiency and the actual real impact are confused. It is great that Professor Gluckman clarifies his statement with a follow up highlighting that using resources more efficiently means using more resources for the same impact or creating less pollution. Unfortunately this is described by Professor Gluckman as a win-win solution. While it might be a win for the environment, this is not always the case. National’s weakened ETS which allows more actual pollution as long as it is done more efficiently is the obvious counter example.
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