42 thoughts on “General debate, May 19, 2013

  1. Photonz – The Otago Daily Times is no better than you or Bill English or John Key at understanding the difference between a sovereign nation and a business. Understanding how this budget fails to address what is wrong with New Zealand, again, isn’t something the mainstream does very well. Which is why the country is in as much REAL difficulty as it is. Some people are doing well. They think that the rest of the country doesn’t count. This is a rather larger mistake to be making.

  2. After the Greens gloated at scaring off small investors, Russel Norman complains bitterly that there’s not many small investors in Mighty River.

    Is it any wonder that mainstream media is starting to comment on Norman’ financial ability – “Green Party co-leader Russel Norman demonstrated again his inability to understand a balance sheet”.

    (from ODT front page last week)

  3. Kerry says “Any statement made by ACT or National I would expect at least 3 unbiased witnesses and further independent verification.The thieving bastards have already proven they “could not lie straight in bed””

    So what about Metiria’s blatant lies that power companies are making bigger profits than ever before?

    When they made on average $340m more (60% more) under the last four years of the previous govt, than they have for the last four years of the current govt.

  4. Gerrit – To an extent I agree.

    We as Greens can do better at publishing what we do, and showing people why we regard it as the right thing to do and adequate to offset the travel we undertake in service of New Zealand. We should set up the project and the trees and the rest of it so that those accounts are transparently open to scrutiny. We are doing what we can.

    Then we should have the necessary discussion of climate prominent in the party’s official web page with the necessary supporting links, giving the reason why we HAVE to do what we can.

    That said, I examine this discussion and mostly it is about how much you do not really trust what we have already done. Is there really ANY level of evidence that ANY party can provide on a website, that it is doing “the right thing”? Particularly given the slurs, innuendo and outright lies told about us in the press and promoted in the public mind by folks who like their stereotypes uncluttered by reality?

    I think we can do better, but I don’t think the standard you wish is achievable.

    respectfully
    BJ

  5. And. The Unions have had absolutely no power in the Labour party since 1984.
    Labour senior ranks are almost as full of Neo-liberal, wannabee fascist, RWNJ’s as National.

    Unfortunately. Otherwise the fascist attacks on individual freedom, such as the removal of the right to withdraw labour, would have been reversed.

  6. And. The Unions have had absolutely no power in the Labour party since 1984.
    Labour senior ranks are almost as full of Ne0o-liberal RWNJ’s as National.

    Unfortunately. Otherwise the fascist attacks on individual freedom, such as the removal of the right to withdraw labour, would have been reversed.

  7. The Greens are doing that.

    I take your point though, that perception is important.

    When, however, does trying to change perceptions become simply spin and propaganda?

    Personally, I prefer the Greens remain honest!

  8. Kerry,

    it has little to do with what you or BJ or I think.

    It has to do with the 10% extra voters the Greens need to make a serious political party in New Zealand with 20% of the vote.

    What will persuade a current Labour/NZFirst/UnitedFuture/Mana/MaoriParty/National/Conservative voter to vote Green.

    Starting by becoming a party that leads by example and displays transparency in ALL its dealing is a good start point to gain the extra 10% of voters need to reach a 20% total.

    A total the Greens will need to have any sway with the union led Labour party.

  9. Gerrit.

    Total hypocrisy, blatant lying, claiming false expenses, breaking the law, condoning serious breaches of the law by spy agencies and police and stealing from the people they represent to set themselves up in the private sector after they leave parliament, does not seem to lose National any votes.

    However one thing I am sure of. I am as sure that most Greens are trying to do the right and moral thing, honestly, as I am that most National, all ACT and some Labour MP’s are either venal self serving sociopaths or “true believing” fruitcakes.

    If a Green tells me he/she is making an attempt to account for carbon emissions, on past observation, I am inclined to believe them. And, be honest, so are you.

    On the other hand, if a National party politician shook my hand, I would count my fingers afterward.
    Any statement made by ACT or National I would expect at least 3 unbiased witnesses and further independent verification. The thieving bastards have already proven they “could not lie straight in bed”.

  10. DBuckley – I think you’re missing something. The debate internally at that point was VERY close, and we almost didn’t. I think it likely that if we had had some real confidence that Labour would be available after the election about to be held we might well have NOT opted to get “whatever we could get”.

  11. Kerry

    Holding them to a much higher ethical standard than you do any other political party.

    Wrong end of the stick. What I’m saying is that IF a political party has higher standards then it will be reflected in the vote.

    I don’t hold any party or person to any standard, just pointing out there are political advantages to be gained by having higher ethical and moral standards than the rest.

    Showing leadership is but a small part of that. If the policy is to offset carbon emissions made by air travel than the Greens should be transparent enough to show the electorate how they are “leading the way” by that action. Taking the moral and ethical high ground.

    Simple really.

  12. The idea was that some form of restriction on carbon emissions, however imperfect, was an improvement on nothing.

    Again, supporting legislation “however imperfect” is not an approach the Green Party generally adopt.

  13. I suppose, Gerrit, that we should be pleased you are paying a sort of back handed complement to the Greens.

    Holding them to a much higher ethical standard than you do any other political party.

  14. Presumably on the grounds that some action and recognition of the problem was better than none at all.

  15. Greens were actually against the Kyoto style ETS for precisely the problems you mention. … It was only supported in Parliament as it was the only option on offer.

    I’m calling bullshit on this.

    Frequently (probably, more often than not) the situation arises for the Green Party where there isn’t an acceptable option on the table, yet the Green Party still manages to vote against it. Just a few examples from the record:
    – Legal Assistance (Sustainability) Amendment Bill
    – Immigration Amendment Bill
    – Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Amendment Bill
    – Child Support Amendment Bill
    – Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill

    Presumably the Green Party voted against these bills because it was the right thing to do. Yet knowing that ETS was wrong, the Green Party voted for it.

  16. Kerry,

    But, If you were genially (genuinely or happy ??) concerned about politicians hypocrisy, and not just trying to bag the Greens, there are almost infinite examples from National.

    Two wrongs dont make a right. If taking the holy high ground then one must be above reproach oneself. Walk the talk in other words.

    Heaps more cliches available. Pot, kettle, black etc.

    Strategically it leaves the Greens vulnerable to having their virtue attacked. Not strategically smart.

    If the Greens seriously believed that carbon emission taxation was the way to go why dont they pay it anyway? Huge brownie point tally to be achieved in the eye of the electorate.

    If not then we go back to the reference from an earlier comment of mine from Kevin Anderson as mentioned in the Arch Druid post.

    people these days are acutely sensitive to signs of hypocrisy, or to grasp that even the most vital changes aren’t going to happen if even the people who are most aware of their importance aren’t willing to start making them in their own lives.

    What National or Labour or NZ First or Mana or United Future or Conservatives do is of no relevance to how the Greens should be leading the way.

    Leadership should be shown, not paid lip service to.

  17. Gerrit. Greens were actually against the Kyoto style ETS for precisely the problems you mention. It, as we well know, just become a financial ineffective money go round.

    It was only supported in Parliament as it was the only option on offer.
    The preferred Green options, direct charges or tax and dividend was not on the table.

    Green MP’s made the ethical choice to use real, known, carbon sequestration, from a local forest as offsets rather than buying unverifiable Kyoto credits.

    But, If you were genially concerned about politicians hypocrisy, and not just trying to bag the Greens, there are almost infinite examples from National.
    Including saying NZ needs lower wages to compete, while they accept 12% rises.
    Or ‘we are the party for low taxes’, while they raise taxes and charges on everything from paperboys to business fees.
    “We are the party of fiscal responsibility”, while borrowing billions for unaffordable tax cuts for the already well off.
    “We are the party for individual freedom”, while they remove workers rights, and increase the powers of spy agencies and police.
    “We are the party of individual responsibility”, while they do not take responsibility for anything.

  18. BJ,

    To bring you up to speed. Here is the link (same as supplied by Kerry) regarding how the Greens air travel carbon credits offsets work.

    http://www.greens.org.nz/node/30351

    Question is not to do with me kneecapping anything but more to do with the integrity of the Greens.

    I asked for details of the carbon offset scheme the Greens have in regards their air travel.

    A little delving we find no audit-able or investigate-able trail of how much carbon credits were cancelled by the Rameka Project in exchange for the Greens MP’s air travel.

    No money changed hands as the filed monetary accounts show very little in way of funding for the Rameka project.

    Nor do we find how the original carbon credits sink was measured and what independent audit trial was set up to verify the carbon credit sink was genuine.

    So the question remains, how many carbon credits were cancelled by the Rameka Project from the original unaudited base on behalf of the Greens air travel carbon footprint?

    This is totally to do with climate change, BJ.

    For the Greens are expecting to partly mitigate climate change by increase the ETS.

    An ETS where we, as emitters of carbon, can neutralise our carbon footprint by trading in carbon credits.

    If the Greens CAN NOT get their scheme as pure as the driven snow in regards transparency with a local carbon sink, what chance will the public have trading carbon credits with a forest owner in Siberia?

    Basically am calling the Greens ETS, in regards air travel, a sham.

    Perhaps Kevin Hague can best answer as he is a trustee of Rameka Project and the Greens organiser of the carbon credit swap.

  19. I remember all the discussion about it.

    And how actual CO2 emissions from flying were equated to real CO sequestration by new tree growth. I.e. Direct correspondence between CO2 absorbed and CO2 used.

    I know they decided to use the real CO2 balance and not Kyoto equivalents.

    I am sure Kevin or someone has the details.

    I agree we need more information, on what the Greens are doing about AGW, on the website, and not just links, as we discussed a few days ago..

  20. I suppose living in a tent on the front lawn of the Beehive might make it possible.

    Gerrit, some time ago – half a year perhaps, a detailed discussion of the scheme appeared here. Kevin Hague I think described the process. I don’t remember much more of it than that. You seem very keen on kneecapping us, but I am going to ascribe it to well-intentioned questioning – as the discussion is old and isn’t formalized or described well around here. Maybe there is such a description on the party website… I don’t know as I don’t often go there, and the point that it should be, along with the discussion of climate change that Trevor wants.

  21. Can anyone, anyone at all in the Greens, provide the formulation, equation or guidelines used to ascertain how many trees are planted to offset their MP’s (Clint type staff) carbon discharge through air travel?

    Or is it a myth that the Greens are planting trees to offset air travel carbon emissions?

  22. Well Viv, for a start we could be advocating the every new building be built to net-zero energy or as close as is practicable. Failing that, at the very least, every state house built could be net-zero.
    As they say….A long journey starts from a single step.

  23. Until we have an extensive electric powered transport network it will be bloody difficult for people to significantly reduce their carbon footprint without dropping out of society. This government can’t see past a fossil fuel powered world and promotes road building and airline based tourism. They can’t imagine anything other than diesel powered agriculture to produce bulk exports to send halfway across the world. How the hell is anyone supposed to advocate for zero carbon alternatives if they have ‘dropped out’?

  24. Even dodgier.

    Not paying into it. Planting trees on the project that absorb the amount of CO 2 their flying emits.

    What calculation have the Green MP’s used to work out the quantity, type and size of trees to be planted versus air miles logged?

    Even murkier.

    Any photos of Green MP’s planting trees? Remembering that new trees do not soak up much carbon, how many trees have the Greens planted?

    Or are the Greens just claiming carbon sink rights to trees planted by volunteers?

    As there is no audit trial to quantify trees planted versus air miles logged, can ANYONE use the same formulation to claim carbon offsets against any carbon emitting process?

    I planted a lemon and a lime tree on Sunday, and as such I claim all my carbon emissions are now neutral.

    Good scheme that.

  25. Gerrit.
    Not paying into it. Planting trees on the project that absorb the amount of CO 2 their flying emits.

    As for publishing what they are doing.
    Only a 100th of Green press releases make it to the public. The media are reluctant to publish anything which contradicts their favorite narrative of clueless sandal wearers.

  26. Kerry,

    You sure the Greens are paying their carbon offsets into the charitable incorporated society called Project Rameka?

    Link in your supplied node does not work.

    Searching the company office we find that the Rameka Project and its published accounts

    http://www.societies.govt.nz/cms/customer-support/learn-about-our-online-services/banner_template/CNAME

    And I dont see any “donations” from the Greens, nor any Green MPs names paying directly into the accounts.

    In 2009 the total income for the trust was $870 from subs and $1515 from donations.

    Something is not ringing true here.

    Dodgy and shifty?

    The last acounts were for 2011 with a gross income off $5000.

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  27. that the failure of climate change activism to make any headway in changing people’s behavior may have more than a little to do with the fact that the people who are urging such changes aren’t making them themselves

    A very good point. I don’t know if this will change before the climate becomes too bad to do much about (or before the locked-in effects are that) and it demonstrates that no-one knows how to get to a society (or even an individual lifestyle) that doesn’t emit carbon (either directly or indirectly) because continuing to emit carbon continues to raise the atmospheric level of it. Offsets, carbon taxes and compact fluorescents won’t do the job. Baby steps are just that, they really get us nowhere but that’s far too difficult a message to put to the masses.

  28. I have been translating accounts of animals left behind in the exclusion zone after the Fukushima disaster. None were killed from chronic radiation toxicity but it is tragic how many were simply abandoned by evacuees and starved to death. The government ordered farm animals to be put down, even though their radiation exposure had been fairly low and they excrete the radioactivity quickly. Many farmers and animal welfare groups disobeyed the directive and instead let their animals loose. Others got through fences that had been damaged by the earthquake. The feral animals are breeding, which may have other effects on the environment.

    It was a disaster waiting to happen and I am so pleased New Zealanders anticipated this and voted against nuclear power in the 70s. So while Christchurch was a tragedy, at least we do not also have to cope with nuclear fallout.

  29. Green MP’s pay for carbon offsets for their travel and donate/tith to party funds.

    Any public record of this activity? What is the current going rate for the carbon offsets?

    Surely if one is going to “walk the talk” then this would be published and shouted from the rooftops, no?

    And leadership is showing the country by how much the air miles are offsets as an incentive to ALL New Zealanders.

    Without the shout from the rooftops and backup figures to prove the carbon offset is for real the question than is, is the Greens parliamentary travel carbon offset tith, a myth?

  30. Of course this does not apply to the people at the very top of the wealth tree in our society. Who insist that we need to reduce wage costs to compete with the rest of the world. Who awarded themselves a 17% increase in pay, and/or a 20% increase in wealth last financial year.

    Gareth is, like all Green MP’s, cutting his standard of living to help. Green MP’s pay for carbon offsets for their travel and donate/tith to party funds.

  31. Interesting reading from the Arch Druid. The Greens (especially Gareth Hughes) can do well to take his sentiments seriously.

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/

    It has become increasingly clear that the perks, the salaries, and the comfortable middle class lifestyles embraced so enthusiastically by so many people in the movement are themselves part of the problem. I was intrigued to read earlier this month a thoughtful essay by leading British climate scientist Kevin Anderson arguing, in terms that will sound very familiar to regular readers of The Archdruid Report, that the failure of climate change activism to make any headway in changing people’s behavior may have more than a little to do with the fact that the people who are urging such changes aren’t making them themselves.

    emphasis added

    …but then you don’t need to wear an archdruid’s funny hat to notice that people these days are acutely sensitive to signs of hypocrisy, or to grasp that even the most vital changes aren’t going to happen if even the people who are most aware of their importance aren’t willing to start making them in their own lives.

    Food for thought?

    That question of leadership?

  32. Three bills have displayed this Government’s arrogance, its blatant abuses of human rights and social justice, its ignorance of good process, its disregard for our environment and its total refusal to base law on evidence and independent advice. It was great to see many Green MPs speaking strongly against the shocking legislation that the Government has been forcing through. I am really concerned about how much more bad law will be passed before we can get a change of Government in 2014.
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/greens-speak-strongly-against-bad-laws.html

  33. The magical world of New Zealand’s, Neo-Liberal right wing.

    http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/the-magical-world-of-new-zealands-neo.html

    “It has been obvious that some people live in a different world than the rest of us.

    One where Chicago school economics, work!
    One where you save the village by blowing it up!
    One where global warming can be stopped, Canute like, by legislation.
    One where dropping wages and giving everything to bloated financiers, makes us better off!
    One where removing money from an economy makes it work better.
    One where every country is going to get rich by out exporting every other country.
    One where enabling greater inequality than the dark ages, works!

    The one with the trickle down fairy. “Give us the money and we will p– on you”.

    The market fairy. “Leave it to the market and we will cut your wages,impoverish your children, and tell you it is a brighter future”.

    The Austerity fairy. “We will become better off by becoming poorer”.

    The catching up with Australia fairy. “We will catch up with Australia by doing almost the opposite of everything they have done”.

    The Democracy fairy. “We will let you vote, to change the names in Government, or on a few social issues which do not affect our making money off you, but not to make any meaningful changes to the way the country is run”.

    The privatisation fairy. “We will ensure that the NZ current account is forever in deficit, by selling all the income earning assets”

    The debt fairy. “We will cut debt by borrowing $300mill a week, to pay for unaffordable tax cuts, to pay for our Hawaii holidays”.

    The Job fairy. ” We will increase the number of jobs by putting thousands out of work, and cutting the unemployment benefit”.

    The “We support business” fairy. While ensuring New Zealanders have no money to buy from local businesses, and increasing small businesses costs.

    The better future fairy. “We will give you a better future by paying you less, charging you more and cutting services”.

    It is pretty obvious which side of the political spectrum is on another planet. Planet Key!
    (New Zealand’s, financial industry shill, Prime Minister)”

  34. Warming the planet at 4.5 Hiroshima sized nuclear blasts …. per second… and unwilling to stop.

    What part of stupid has the human species forgotten to embrace?

    Homo-Sapiens…. an oxymoronic tragedy.

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