Greenhouse gases xmas dump

Ministry for Economic Development have slipped in their end of year dump with an admission that in 2005 we released a million extra tonnes of carbon dioxide than they previously admitted. Due to an oversight in missing 20 petajoules of gas used in electricity generation. Oh well, everyone makes mistakes I guess. At NZ$30 per tonne that will cost another $30million per year if it were to occur in 2008-2012. But the Government seems blissfully unconcerned by the cost of our Kyoto overspend given the snail’s pace of climate policy.

127 Comments Posted

  1. PeterExitsLeft

    I seriously doubt that anyone could possibly endure such torture.

    However, I did see their editorial, and I did answer it. Whether they print my response will be an interesting test of their intestinal fortitude. 🙂

    “Never argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel and paper by the ton” – Twain (maybe)

    respectfully
    BJ

  2. One wonders if the Dominion Post has been reading this thread?

    tinyurl.com/ytntbj

    “most New Zealanders have come to a more pragmatic balance between environmental purity and economic reality, a balance that recognises the West Coast snails need to co-exist with mine development”

  3. Mouldwarp

    Habeas is LAW… The bill-of-rights is LAW… Two Thirds can change the LAW… and it is a tough standard to meet.

    Speech, Religion, Habeas… life… none are absolute, but they ARE different from ownership (property/money). The accepted morality underpinning our social structure is in the Bill of Rights but ownership, money and commerce are basic economic structures and were excluded. Captalism is an economic system. Not a moral imperative. Confusing it with democracy is only part of the mess you are making here.

    ——–

    “national sovereignty is a fiction” ??? ONLY individuals have rights? Wow! So corporations have NO rights?

    “There is no moral distinction between the Green party’s view of property rights and Robert Mugabe’s. Does *that* make it a bit clearer”

    Just how large a majority is Robert Mugabe? Does his will reflect the will of the entire population of the country?

    “You make it sound so reasonable.” — yes. Reality has a well known liberal bias.

    Once again you resort to the Libertarian ideal. I don’t disdain the ideal, I point out that it doesn’t WORK when real people try it. It doesn’t WORK in the real world, and that should be a clew that there’s more to the real world than goes into that model. Fundamentally you claim “this is what government should be” but you have NO means to ensure that government is that way. None.

    Fatal flaws abound in your rant, but that is the most egregious of all, and quite possibly the one that causes the extreme scarcity of Libertarian based societies.

    I am tired now. Was tired when I started. You don’t deserve any more answers anyway. You’ve already ignored your quota for a lifetime. I suggest you go away, learn something about the actual world, not the libertarian ideals but the way the world ACTUALLY works, and then perhaps you’ll be able to be as welcome a guest as Gerrit or Big Bruv on your return.

    BJ

  4. bjchip,

    – “The standard for changing the bill of rights is a 2/3 majority and if they were to get that they’d have the right to change something like habeas.”

    No, they wouldn’t have the right. Rights are not granted by governments; rather, it’s a question of what rights the government chooses to respect. The government may indeed choose to no longer recognise the right of habeas, nevertheless that right still exists: It just means that the state has become an oppressor of that right, rather than a supporter.

    The same applies for property rights. You personally do not have the right to steal another man’s car. You *still* do not have that right even if acting in concert with others and refering to it euphemistically as “redistribution.”

    – “Any population dumb enough to do that is going to get the government they deserve, but it is undeniably THEIR government to mess up and no-one elses.”

    That’s not an acceptable attitude since voters’ choices don’t just effect themselves, they effect other people.

    – “Property rights are not absolute Mouldwarp. They are one of those points on which governments may differentiate.”

    Likewise, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association are not absolute, eh? They are, as you say, “those points on which governments may differentiate.”

    You make it sound so reasonable.

    I’ll wager that if someone steals your car of breaks in to your house you would take a somewhat more robust attitude to property rights? Well, forced “redistribution” for the benefit of a self-serving majority, under threat of arrest and imprisonment, is entirely the same thing. You think that because tax collectors wear suits they’re any different from mafia extortionists?
    There is no moral distinction between the Green party’s view of property rights and Robert Mugabe’s. Does *that* make it a bit clearer?

    – “Since Greens take a more moderate approach…”

    You know what, I don’t *want* a political party like the Greens that takes a “moderate” approach to human rights, and I *certainly* don’t want one which, like the Greens and like Mugabe, is an *initiator* of state violence for the benefit of its cronies. They are there to serve. The state is not our master, it is our servant. Its legitimate duties are limited to that small number of tasks which need to be organised collectively. In carrying out that small number of tasks it is not for the state to oppress *any* of the human rights of *anyone*.
    Would you consider it acceptable for your plumber to oppress your individual freedoms? Your hairdresser? Then there is no reason for that other employee – the state – to oppress you either.

    eredwen,

    – “How about the “absolute property rights? of the people of Lebanon? of Iraq? of the Palestinians? of anywhere else that the USA and its friends decide they have “an interest? … Syria and Iran for example ?”
    How “absolute? are these peoples’ “property rights? in your scheme of things? What about them?

    These people have exactly the same rights as you and I.

    The question is, who is not respecting those rights? In answering that question be aware that national sovereignty is a fiction. Nations do not have rights. Groups do not have rights. Only individuals have rights.

    Foreigners toppling Saddam and creating a more humane government is perfectly acceptable. The losers in such a scenario are Saddam’s regime and the American taxpayer. As for the subsequent carnage, you will find that it is not the US which is waging muderous sectarian warfare in Iraq.

  5. lj

    The energy density and recharge times of pure electric vehicles puts them in a poor position vis-a-vis the automotive environment in the US. They have a place if they are cheap enough, as second cars and commuter cars. The question is whether Americans can be persuaded to buy them as such. The ability to drive to work and back on a single charge (often a 90 mile trip in the USA) is important.

    This is going to take some marketing on the part of GM though, and given that the existing management goal appears to be bankruptcy at any cost… well… I am not so optimistic. This technology is old news, that GM has finally moved on it is nice to hear.

    I wonder to what extent this change of heart at GM is the author of the Bush “change of heart” on climate change… money is the only thing that speaks to power in the USA these days.

    respectfully
    BJ

  6. BB

    No… I don’t know of any more recent global surveys BB… but I wasn’t making a random generalization, right? 🙂 More Euro-centric data exist, and the Social-Democratic states maintain high ratings for satisfaction. I can also cite personal contacts back in the USA… satisfaction there IS diminishing.

    It matters little if the average wage in the US rises, if the rise is predicated on 5 guys running investment houses getting 50 billion in bonuses and the rest getting nothing at all… the problem is that independence and equality are both ideals. They cannot be taken as absolute standards. Too far in either direction and the society deteriorates.

    This begs to be branched into a comparison of Aristotelian vs Fuzzy logic. I maintain that humans use and reality usually demands, Fuzzy rather than Aristotelian methods. I sense that this is part of the attraction of Libertarianism. Simple, not messy reasoning about things. Engineers are almost exclusively trained to use the Aristotelian methods, but Fuzzy does just fine and has broader applications.

    Borrow one of Bart Kosko’s books from the library. I think you’ll find it an interesting read.

    There’s another little issue that needs to be raised, and that is one of the actual purposes of government in a capitalist society that has too many peopls…. destruction of value.

    You heard that correctly. In order for all those people to produce and have a purpose, things have to be destroyed. I was astonished when I first encountered the concept, but looking at the system. it seems that this is inevitable. Rising efficiency is the LAST thing the government actually needs. I don’t think that this is consciously understood by most people or governments, but as an idea it has a lot of explicative power.

    BJ

  7. bj

    That hardly proves that ALL of these people are gloriously happy, I see on the same chart NZ ranks highly, well they sure as hell did not ask me for my opinion.

    I also note that Canada is well placed…dont they have an evil right wing govt?

  8. Gerrit

    Not objecting to any policy, just trying to define the difference beween “property rights? and “resource rights?.

    Wellll… that’s why I wasn’t sure… 🙂 the differentiation you are making is real enough. The question it raises for me, the question I reckon it should raise, is whether simple property rights are sufficient to actually support equitable resolution of the difficulties of people who are impacted by government projects by virtue of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    respectfully
    BJ

  9. BB

    Actually I DO know they’re happy there.

    http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/statistics/

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/lif_lif_sat-lifestyle-life-satisfaction

    Kindly note that the socialist ratholes of Scandinavia top the list, and despite their egalitarian leanings, they do quite nicely.

    I wasn’t generalizing, I’ve seen this data reported before, but I did have to go back to look for the links.

    As for answering Mouldwarp, I did. It really does seem to me as though certain statements and arguments simply do not register with him. I don’t think it is deliberate… as a response to cognitive dissonance it might be expected… and he has not answered my question to him. You are welcome to have a go at it. How do you plan to control the state if democracy is not used?

    If there is something I need to discuss more thoroughly please point it out. Reading all of one of his posts a second time is simply not going to happen. I will respond to your questions, rephrasing of one of his or a specific quote… but I actually have a real job.

    respectfully
    BJ

  10. BJ

    Not objecting to any policy, just trying to define the difference beween “property rights” and “resource rights”. Lighten up please. Not everything is an attack on Green party policy!

    Those people whose property is now next to the new motorway have not been deprived of their “property rights”. The value of the property has diminished but this value is actually the resource available to the property owner (value to use the property to borrow against, or resell at a profit, or simply to enjoy it in the peace and quite they once were able to).

    And as such the “resource right” has been diminished because the value of the “property right” is lower.

    They have not been deprived of the “property rights”.

    There is a huge difference.

  11. BJ

    I have read Mouldwarp’s piece and your response, when you have done being rude to him/her how about answering some of the questions or points he/she makes.
    And please stay away from statements like “most people are happier under this or that style of government”…you cannot possibly know this for a fact, generalizations do not do your argument any good at all.

  12. Gerrit

    I don’t accept that any right is absolute, and the difference you are identifying is fuzzier than the examples you give. Consider the effects on the owner of a home that is suddenly next to a major road (as happened recently in the construction of the Wellington Bypass). This person suffered no actual loss of “property” but the loss of value may well be significant. Similarly the people in the path of a transmission line may not be directly affected, but may still suffer loss.

    So “taking” by the state takes many forms, and insistence on rights in a specific form as an absolute is really not as much protection as a citizenry that makes the state responsive and hold it to standards of moral behaviour (ie NOT “stealing”).

    Even with rights that are purchased, it is conceivable that there are instances when the state must exercise “eminent domain” powers. The point at which push comes to shove is the compensation offered to the person whose property is suddenly and without recourse, forfeit. That person deserves to be paid well above market value (a fine paid BY the state), for the injustice of having to change his/her life unwillingly (I’d recommend a multiple more than 2x of the value rather than a fixed-fee). However, there can be no absolute right of refusal for the individual in the event no other answer will serve. The compensation has to be a real one.

    Most countries that have working governments and happy populations have protections of that sort in their legal structures and eminent domain is not exercised lightly.

    Extending property rights to cover loss of value and loss of use is perfectly within bounds IMHO, as long as the society agrees to taking this path. Making them absolute is not however, a workable approach.

    At this point I am not sure anymore what it is you’d be objecting to in our policies in this area.

    respectfully
    BJ

  13. Mouldwarp, Gerrit et al:

    Interesting arguments! You seem to live in a simpler World than the one I see around me.

    How about the “absolute property rights” of the people of Lebanon? of Iraq? of the Palestinians? of anywhere else that the USA and its friends decide they have “an interest” … Syria and Iran for example ?

    How “absolute” are these peoples’ “property rights” in your scheme of things?

  14. BJ,

    I think there is confusion between “property rights” and “resource rights”

    I have “property rights” over pocessions I’ve purchased (such as this key board I’m using at present — or the house I’m in typing this — and the land the house sits on).

    If by chance I have a large mineral deposit of coal buried under the land I have property rights to, that resource (the coal) by law doesn’t belong to me but to the people.

    The people may wish to buy out my land, sell the rights to dig up the coal resource and export to China, to a private or public company.

    I’m with Mouldwarp on “property right”, they are absolute if you have purchased them.

    However “resource rights” are in the grey area.

    Perhaps more pertinent is a discussion on the “resource rights” of publically owned rivers for example. The people have the right to dam the resource for hydro-electric generation or allocate the water for irregation or (preferably) let it be.

    The “property rights” of the river (the bed and the water) will always be owned by the people, the resource rights can be sold by the people (if desired).

  15. Stepping back a bit I see that we are not so far apart. Aside from some misperceptions and subtleties of worldview, the concept that there are limits on what government may morally attempt to do is intact in both systems.

    The nature and exercise of those limits reflects differences in societies around the world and their different levels of success in the process of survival reflect the appropriateness of their self-determination of those limits.

    For all the hard words Mouldwarp, there is actually scant difference between your position and a Green position. It basically comes down to property-rights… not any of the others that I can think of at this hour. Casting it as something else (dragging in slavery or other despotic extremes) is just bad argument… and led us away from the actual point of contention which is Property-Rights.

    The majority doesn’t accept property rights as the absolute you advocate. Nor does the majority accept a total lack of any property rights (as a communist might advocate). Along this line of 0-9 we can see communism as a 0 and your ideas as a 9. Greens would be perhaps a 3 or 4, Labour would be a 4-5 and nats would be 6-7 YMMV.

    BJ

    BJ

  16. Mouldwarp – In your world any form of self-government is coercion. You can’t accept any government at all, can’t control any government you have and can’t live without government. It must suck to be you.

    The standard for changing the bill of rights is a 2/3 majority and if they were to get that they’d have the right to change something like habeas. Any population dumb enough to do that is going to get the government they deserve, but it is undeniably THEIR government to mess up and no-one elses.

    You confuse altogether a statement about the moral right to govern having its sole source in those governed — which gives those who are so governed an absolute right to govern AS they determine simply because there is no higher standard that can be applied without external coercion.

    ( Clearly you don’t understand that implication that no self-government can be limited without the application of outside force. War would be an outside force. )

    You confuse that standard for government with the morality of the decisions made BY government, which must respect some rights of individuals absolutely or devolve quickly. Which is why all successful democracies DO have some form of “Bill-Of-Rights” (I am assured that NZ inherits this in the form of a body of law and precedent, even though I would prefer explicit statements). The standard for changing habeas (or enforcing some religious stupidity) is generally a supermajority in all such countries, and contrary to your expectation the people in them tend to pay attention to the rights of minorities. It is imperfect but it works.

    Property rights are not absolute Mouldwarp. They are one of those points on which governments may differentiate without (except at the extremes) self-destructing. You have an extreme view. It is not accepted by the majority country and it does not work.

    Since Greens take a more moderate approach you cast us entirely as the other extreme. Black and White. No colors, no shades of grey. Since you reject any suggestion that we are anything other than what you THINK we are, most of our positions and our statements zip right past you as though they were not ever said… and you STILL have not answered the question of how government is to be controlled barring it being the will of the majority.

    BJ

  17. bj,

    – “As noted before. You are clueless about the principle of cooperation that underlies Green politics.”

    Again you are confused over terms. What you keep describing is not cooperation, it is coercion,

    How could it be otherwise? If it is cooperation you seek then clearly we can rely on everyone’s self interest to cooperate and trade freely with each other for their mutual benefit. Your state intimidation, interference and controls are not required to initiate cooperation. This is the free market and it is why capitalism is the only moral economic system – it is the only one compatible with freedom.

    No, what you are talking about is something entirely different. Allowing people to cooperate freely is precisely *not* what you are interested in because it doesn’t deliver what you consider to be a satisfctory outcome. Yours, then, is a policy of replacing freedom and cooperation with coercive programs, enforced by the state, to impose the will of one group on another.
    I do of course understand why you choose to co-opt positive terms like “cooperation” when what you are actually talking about is coercion and threats.

    – “That decision [habeas] was taken by a mob that has less than 30% support in the US and which is at substantial risk of being impeached BY the people.

    The implication being that a slightly more popular government would be perfectly entitled to abolish habeas.

    That’s the crux of the matter. I’m saying that respect for individual rights should not be subject to the democratic process in this way. You, by contrast, say that *whatever* a majority votes for is legitimate (and of course in reality this actually means that whoever gains control of your all-powerful state mechanism decides these things, which is often not a majority but a minority motivated by the prospect of the large payout your state can deliver).

    If, as you say, a government with only 30% support is liable for impeachment for suspending the right of habeas, why would that same government not be liable for impeachment for all the other rights which it discards, such as property rights? You seem to be trying to have it both ways as usual: you profess outrage when your unchecked state mechanism suspends a right which you consider important (though apparently only on the grounds that not quite enough people support the government to “legitimise” such action), yet remain indifferent to the actions of the same government against those irksome property rights.

    -“The administration in power is not “the people? . ”

    Quite so. “The people” is every individual leading their own life as they see fit in the pursuit of happiness.
    Yet, bizarrely, it’s not “the people” you support but an administration with unchecked powers – one which will inevitably be captured by special-interest groups including bureaucrats, politicians, businesses, unions and public-sector workers and used for their own benefit at the expense of everyone else (but of course, as you say, all done in the name of “the people.”)

    – “Because there might be some redistribution of wealth in a system based on real democracy? Yes there very often is… and the people who live in such countries are happier than the people where unfettered capitalism allows corporate theft of their work and their income.”

    Likewise, there might be the abolition of habeas in such a “real democracy”, or slavery, or the oppression of women as in Muslim-dominated countries. And I’m sure the majority who benefit from such action are very happy indeed thank you. So your point is what, exactly?
    For you, sufficient popular support justifies the destruction of property rights and “redistribution” by the state; for others that support justifies the persecution of minorities, the imposition of a state religion, or the enthusiastic clamp-down on free speech. It’s all one and the same deal.
    Your support for the state destruction of property rights means you have no case should you ever feel compelled to express here your moral indignation at the behaviour of any moderately-well supported government anywhere in the world which acts at all oppressively, because your argument applies in all such cases – it is the will of “the people” being enacted.

    – “A government that has the guns and the power to enforce laws that protect private property also has the power to take sides with those who provide the best kickbacks. Usually the biggest corporations.

    A very curious way of phrasing it.

    It would be better to say that “A government that has the guns and the power to *steal* private property also has the power to take sides with those who provide the best kickbacks.” This is the reality. A state with the unlimited power you advocate will inevitably be utterly corrupted by those seeking to exploit it.
    Even if the confiscation and redistribution of people’s wealth were a proper state function such programs are inevitably captured and distorted by special-interest groups. Why is it, for example, that when such desirable redistribution is talked about so sanctimoniously I am not allowed to get even a little excited at the prospect of the vast tracts of Maori land which, surely, must be included in any such process? By my calculation I should be a huge beneficiary of any comprehensive national wealth redistribution program, standing to receive, by my calculations, several hundred acres. Yet – surprise, surprise – such wealth appears to be exluded entirely from the state confiscation program, with the result that city office workers are left paying high taxes for the benefit of country land owners. Why am I not surprised that what you consider to be a central government responsibility gets captured and corrupted by the political process?

    But you said “the people who live in such [democracies] are happier than the people where unfettered capitalism allows corporate theft of their work and their income.”

    Perhaps you could explain how unfettered capitalism allows corporate theft of people’s work and income?
    In a free market, if you don’t like the products or services offered by a company you are free to choose from competing vendors, there is no compulsion (contrast this with the effective state monopoly on health and education, for example, where you are stuck with what some state bureaucrat decides). Likewise, if you don’t like a job offer from a company, you are free to decline. They are not obliged to hire you, and you are not obliged to work for them.

    So where is the theft of work and income you talk about?

    I’ll tell you where. It’s when the your state wields the powers you wish for it and is in a position to provide handouts, subsidies and reglations to stifle competition. This is inevitable and predictable, but the key point is that this is *not* capitalism, this is *not* the free market; this is the *inevitable* corruption of the free market resulting from politicians having the power to dispense patronage. Just another good reason to limit the state to the role of upholder of individual freedoms.

    – “The most successful democracies are the ones that manage to ignore the corporate, religious, labour and other organizations and listen best to their entire population.”

    Successful? Successful for whom? The majority? Maybe. But so what. If a minority is being exploited it is entirely academic that you consider the democracy which produced such as situation to be “successful.”
    Slave-owning America fits your description of a successful democracy perfectly.

    – “People have the power to govern themselves. They have the moral authority to organize to do so. Legitimacy resides in the practice of self-government by the people. They are the only source of that legitimacy.”

    Fine words to describe your enforced collectivism. In fact, I think you are blinded by your own flowery, soviet rhetoric. Legitimacy does not come from a show of hands. Mob-rule is a show of hands. Legitimacy comes from respect for the rights of others.

  18. Mouldwarp

    “You are describing a situation whereby “whatever? actions are undertaken by a elected majority (or, in a democracy, quite possibly a self-interested, coherent minority) are, by definition, to be considered legitimate.”

    No Mouldwarp… the “elected Majority” would be the administration in power, not “the people together”. The concept of cooperation is a difficult one to you, your mind seems to reject it like some foreign organism. I feel sorry for you in that. You don’t understand what we say at all and your misinterpretations are beyond insulting.

    “Most people are self-interested. Given the chance they’ll vote for anyone who will take from someone else and give it to them. “

    This is no different from saying “Most people are self-interested. Given the chance they’ll steal whatever they can from someone else.” NOR is it different from saying “Most corporations are self-interested. Given the chance they’ll steal whatever they can from someone else.”

    But individual people are not ALL so greedy. All corporations are not so irresponsible. All governments are not evil. The problem is that you have to somehow control ones who are.

    As noted before. You are clueless about the principle of cooperation that underlies Green politics.

    “But surely, legitimate state activity is whatever people together agree the state has a right to do; isn’t that right? And that includes ignoring habeas.”

    Your mistakes are so egregious at this point as to appear deliberate. That decision was taken by a mob that has less than 30% support in the US and which is at substantial risk of being impeached BY the people. The administration in power is not “the people” . Nor is the US a good example of the people being in control of anything.

    The only person confused here is you… the Greens here know exactly what is going on. …

    …and where in your diatribe did you even attempt to respond to the problem I posed?

    JUST HOW DO YOU PROPOSE TO CONTROL THE STATE!!!

    All you have said is that democracy doesn’t work at all. That is the sum total of your rant. Why? Because there might be some redistribution of wealth in a system based on real democracy? Yes there very often is… and the people who live in such countries are happier than the people where unfettered capitalism allows corporate theft of their work and their income.

    A government that has the guns and the power to enforce laws that protect private property also has the power to take take sides with those who provide the best kickbacks. Usually the biggest corporations. By your logic government is fatally incapable of being controlled by honest people and will quickly become the yoke of servitude.

    If they follow YOUR precepts this will happen almost immediately. Actual democratic governments which submit to actual democratic processes do tend to have moderate policies to share the wealth, have happier populations and last quite a lot longer… despite having the same power.

    The problem of some group gaining ascendancy is of course real, as there are always some individuals and groups trying to take advantage of others. The mechanisms of ballot and vote and decision are critical to knowing what the will of the people actually is, and an interest in that knowledge is inherent in Green philosphy.

    The most successful democracies are the ones that manage to ignore the corporate, religious, labour and other organizations and listen best to their entire population.

    People have the power to govern themselves. They have the moral authority to organize to do so. Legitimacy resides in the practice of self-government by the people. They are the only source of that legitimacy.

    The practical problem is that you have to have government. If you have government it has to be controlled (Uncontrolled government is dictatorship, yes?). So who controls it? You claim the people cannot… and yet they clearly succeed in doing so in many places.

    “Reality has a well-known liberal bias”.

    This comes down, in the end, to the simple conflict between the rights and responsibilities of the group (the state) and the rights and responsibilities of the individual member of the state.

    Societies earn the right to survive by balancing these correctly… and one of the responsibilities accepted by successful societies is the responsibility to provide SOME assistance to citizens in need if at all possible. This does not create unlimited rights for beneficiaries or none for everyone taxpayers. People aren’t ignorant of that, or of the “there but for the grace of god” argument for charity.

    BJ

    BJ

  19. I would love some new topics Frog, how about one from Kieth Locke arguing against the taser and the arming of the police, I would love to debate that with the man in light of the Graham Burton incident.

  20. Frog

    That would be great, I would really like to hear Kieth Locke’s views on the taser and arming the police given the recent Graham Burton rampage.

  21. hi phil, happy new year to you too. frog is on holiday at the moment, and russel is presumably still on holiday too, either that or he is preparing for the Picnic for the Planet on Waiheke this weekend. (Surfdale Hall and Reserve, Waiheke Island, on Sunday 14 January, 11.00-14.00)

    the Greens are finding some time to unwind and recharge at the moment thats all (see the top story on http://www.greens.org.nz/) and then normal service will be resumed.

    far from hoping that frogblog will wither and die, we are soon to announce that one of the MPs will shortly be added to the frogblog line up and will start posting here soon.

    once the holidays are over and everyone is back in the offices/at parliament again that is.

  22. happy new year everyone..

    did anyone else notice that since 12/12/06..frog has done one post..?

    i reckon they are just going to pull the plug on it..eh..?

    just let it wither and die..as they are doing now..

    the reason they will do that..?

    a lack of control over what was/is said..

    and do you think the terms ‘nine-to-five-greenie/career-greenie’ applies to a lot of these people who are paid to be greenies..?

    that’s the impression we’re left with..

    eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  23. bjchip,

    – “What you are decribing is mob-rule given the fig-leaf of legitimacy by a voting process. Perhaps you should reconsider your committment to a state unfettered by individual rights”
    – ‘You are full of sh!t. That wasn’t what we described or committed to and you F’king well know it’

    On the contrary, the statement “Legitimate State Activity is whatever people together agree the state has a right to do” is open to no other interpretation.
    What on earth else could it mean? You are describing a situation whereby “whatever” actions are undertaken by a elected majority (or, in a democracy, quite possibly a self-interested, coherent minority) are, by definition, to be considered legitimate.

    Perhaps that wasn’t what you wanted to say although, given that you repeated it and emphasised it with much swearing, I think it probably was.

    – “Basically your position is that no matter how chosen and how controlled, government cannot be trusted, except to enforce the laws for individual rights and to protect itself from foreign interventions.”

    That’s pretty much it. The problem with your unchecked democracy is that it is a vehicle elected by a self-interested group of people to plunder everyone else.
    Most people are self-interested. Given the chance they’ll vote for anyone who will take from someone else and give it to them. The fact that the mechanism to do this is democratic doesn’t make it right. Of course, ambitious politicians don’t call this stealing, they call it “redistribution” and “social justice.”
    So all this noble talk about “the people” controlling the government is a crock. At best, people vote for one party because they know the other one will screw them even more.

    – “The difference between our position and yours is that we don’t believe that it should be uncontrolled by the people and you insist that there is no way for democracy to work…. no way for the people to control the government. Yet it HAS the power you wish to deny it, and in your theory it is without any control at all.”

    Again this noble talk about “the people” controlling the government. You sound like old Soviet propaganda.
    It’s not “the people”, it’s a particular self-interested voting group which gains ascendency over the rest. It is venal politicians who understand that the route to power is to promise other people’s stolen wealth in the form of handouts and benefits. It is unions seeking special privileges and rent-seeking opportunities at the expense of everyone else’s freedoms. It is businesses buying favours and subsidies and regulations to limit competition. It is all this and more. This is the reality of your “people” controlling a state which doesn’t limit itself to upholding individual rights (indeed, which is used instead as the vehicle for smashing them).

    – “Yet there are many places where people manage to exert quite a lot of control on their government and make it work for significant stretches of very good time. It is when that control fails that the Bill-of-Rights gets shredded and Habeas gets tossed in the bin.”

    But surely, legitimate state activity is whatever people together agree the state has a right to do; isn’t that right? And that includes ignoring habeas.

    You seem very confused on this point. When the democratically elected state is trampling on individuals’s freedoms with its smoking bans and plundering people’s wealth for “redistribution” etc, you call it the will of the people and so deem it legitimate. Yet when the *same* democratically elected state ignores other individual rights – such as habeas – suddenly you deem it to be beyond control.

    Do you not see the problem here?

    You seem to believe that the state only need recognise the freedoms that you personally approve of (habeas), but is quite at liberty to ignore all the others (and actually take an active part in the smashing of those freedoms, such as property rights, as part of its duties). I’m afraid it is an all-or-nothing deal.
    A state which is allowed – through a voting mechanism – to ignore one freedom is equally at liberty – through the same mandate – to ignore any others. So you can have no complaint when habeas is ignored by a democratically elected government. This is your system in action.

  24. BJ

    No problem, you should have realised that anything longer than two paragraphs is hardly likely to be written by me.

  25. Hundy:) Thanks to everyone here for keeping the discussion alive and interesting over the Xmas and New Year’s break. It has been intriguing to see how a discussion evolves left to it’s own devices. BJ in particular I would like to thank for putting into words so well the rebuttals. I feel a bit like a silent cheerleader. It’s been a great holiday. Cheers, and come back Frog, we need some new topics please.

  26. Teeny Weeny little Big Bro.

    You really don’t know where to get off, do you?

    Nothing in your post is relevant to the discussion on terrorism I addressed to you. You’re tilting at windmills, resorting to accusing me of having a hidden agenda. Well, there’s no answer to that. You can continue to believe that all you like, but please don’t address any more posts to me.

    You accused me of being anti-American. I consider that to be a pretty strong insult, which is why I reacted strongly. You don’t have any evidence to back up your accusation. (I challenge you to quote anything anti-American I’ve written on this site). That’s the whole problem : you obviously don’t even need to read my posts to know what I’m thinking. What a clever men you are.

    You’re sure I’m anti-American, because you think I’m a “left winger” and in your mind, that follows logically. Well, back at ya Bro : I’m sure you won’t mind if I call you anti-Semitic? I’ve got no evidence, but I don’t need any : after all, right wingers often are.

    Get it yet, Bro? When you address a post to me, you’re not talking to “left wingers”, you’re talking to Alistair. But as I’m not confident that you can understand that, I prefer that you don’t address me at all, OK?

  27. Big Bruv

    I apologize, Mouldwarp slipped one in and I missed that you were not the author. Should’ve known from the style. His is WAY more obnoxious.

    BJ

    Frog

    Being able to respond to specific posts here would be a “good thing” as well. It is all well and good to rely on us to track who was sending what, but in the case of some of these posts it requires several pages of scrolling to find the name associated.

    respectfully
    BJ

  28. Big Bruv

    Sometimes you listen, sometimes you don’t. This time you didn’t.

    You discarded what we said, because it did not fit your assumptions. You rewrote every word we put to the page. You put words in our mouths and fundamentally misrepresent every position.

    An apology would be in place here. I don’t expect one. You’ve already shown your stripes.

    What you are decribing is mob-rule given the fig-leaf of legitimacy by a voting process.

    perhaps you should reconsider your committment to a state unfettered by individual rights

    You are full of sh!t. That wasn’t what we described or committed to and you F’king well know it. The rest of your commentary is of a piece with this. Misrepresentations like that deserve nothing but the back of our hands. The cr@p about slick willy is further evidence of your lack of sense.

    I made a point about reality and you discuss libertarian principles. REALITY is that libertarian principles leave a state in an unstable position, which is why no state has ever been established and survived according to those principles. Humans have tried every sort of government, I’ve no doubt its been attempted, but history records no successes. It is wonderful theory but it does not work with real people any more than Communism works with real people. Both are failed idealism, and I am dreadfully sorry to have to break it to you but they are FAILED idealism.

    Basically your position is that no matter how chosen and how controlled, government cannot be trusted, except to enforce the laws for individual rights and to protect itself from foreign interventions. It has to have AT LEAST that power BB, it has to have the very same power you so abhor. The difference between our position and yours is that we don’t believe that it should be uncontrolled by the people and you insist that there is no way for democracy to work…. no way for the people to control the government. Yet it HAS the power you wish to deny it, and in your theory it is without any control at all. Little wonder it never can get started. Yet there are many places where people manage to exert quite a lot of control on their government and make it work for significant stretches of very good time.

    It is when that control fails that the Bill-of-Rights gets shredded and Habeas gets tossed in the bin.

    Historically it invariably does fail within some generations, however history records no instances of libertarian society succeeding even so far as adolescence.

    Don’t put words in our mouths and I at least, will try to be civil with you. Keep to the path you’ve gotten yourself on and you will be treated with less respect.

    BJ

  29. eredwin,

    – ““Legitimate State Activity? is whatever people together agree the state has a right to do.”

    What you are decribing is mob-rule given the fig-leaf of legitimacy by a voting process. Slavery and post-slavery discrimation laws, as enacted in the United States, undoubtedly meet your criterion of what constitutes legitimate state activity – i.e. the will of a voting majority.
    In New Zealand the appropriation of all Maori land would also meet your criterion of legitimate state activity if the white majority simply voted for it.

    I realise that you reject these examples but, equally, you should realise that this is precisely the nature of the state you are advocating.

    – “Your idea of what is legitimate is your opinion, what the people have elected to do as a group is a fact.””

    “Might is right” eh? At least that’s honest.

    bjchip,

    – “The smoking, liquor and drugs are all public health issues…but you will find I think, no effort to make any of them illegal for individuals. Greens are not authoritarian, but they are interested in the public good.”

    I think you’ll find that drugs are already illegal, as is smoking on private property like pubs and clubs. The Greens support the smoking ban, a ban on junkfood advertising, etc etc etc. So let’s not kid ourselves about them not being authoritarian; they want to use the threat of state violence to impose their views on everyone else. I fully understand that they think they are doing this for all the right reasons, but that in no way changes their proposition. “Authoritarian for good reasons” is the best you can hope for.

    But most importantly, what is this “public good” you talk about so matter-of-factly? Who defines it?

    There are four million individuals in NZ who have diverse wants, priorities and opinions. How can a centrally planned bureaucracy possibly define and implement the “public good”?
    Your Green party wants to ban alcohol adverts on television. I value the freedom – however inconvenient – which comes from having a state which doesn’t have the power to impose such a restriction. Where is the public good here? Freedom, or a ban on booze adverts? It seems pretty clear to me, yet you think differently.

    And if a party backed by the Brethren gets into power, do we all have to comply with *their* definition of the public good? Can you think of any greater public good than saving everyone’s souls by making them go to church every Sunday? Is the state to impose such a requirement as part of its duties? According to your doctrine, yes.

    – “You trust individuals and by extension corporations (legally persons for reasons I despise). We don’t.”

    But, by implication, you do trust the state?

    I don’t think I ever said I trusted individuals, corporations or the state.

    – “you don’t reckon that the organization of the whole population into a government qualifies as a group of individuals, even though such an organization is the only thing that can begin to check the power of a corporation.”

    The government is not the “whole population”; very often it is nothing but a motivated and well-organised minority which gets itself elected in order to benefit its constituents at the expense of everyone else.

    (And why do you mention corporations – which are essentially vehicles to make money by selling goods and services that other people value – rather than, say, unions, which are a clear example of a special-interest group which seeks to benefit its members at the expense of the wider society not by providing *anything* but simply by raising its members’ profits above market levels? Why do these greedy rent-seekers not attract your opprobrium even more than corporations?)

    Do you really think that an unchecked, activist state is the answer to corporate power? The current American government has now claimed powers for itself which would shock the politicians of even a generation ago. That should please you. How well has it stood up to corporate interests with these new powers?
    Ignoring for a moment that there is no such thing as a “public good” – especially one which can be imposed by force – your views as to the benefits of an unchecked state have to be prefixed with the words “in a perfect world.” But we don’t live in a perfect world: the people who grab the power you wish for the state are people like George Bush, Helen Clark and Tony Blair. That’s the ugly reality. The more power you allow the state, the scummier the people who will spare no effort in getting control of that power.
    If the current U.S. administration, with all its powers, doesn’t thrill you, then perhaps you should reconsider your committment to a state unfettered by individual rights. I fully understand that those individual rights would in turn hinder the plans you have for everyone: From my point of view that’s just another plus.

    – “I know of no state organized along libertarian principles that has ever existed except possibly in some transitional form during a revolution. It’s an unstable condition for a human society. It will devolve into authoritarian rule by force or be overwhelmed by force from outside in short order.”

    On the contrary, libertarian principles argue that the legitimate role of a state is precisely to uphold individual rights. Typically this means at least a police force, and usually some military capability.

    – “The difference is that there is a fundamental requirement in the Green Charter and assumption among Greens, that government serves the will of the people.

    This is an entirely meaningless piece of sanctimonious verbiage. *Any* party which gains power by a democratic vote is able to make precisely the same claim about implementing the will of the people, no matter how odious their policies. The Republicans in the States are, by your definition, serving the will of the people.

    Of course, as we know, “the people” en masse has no “will”, just an endlessly diverse array of wants and priorities. Only by limiting itself to supporting the freedom of everyone to pursue their own lives through free exchange can a government be legitimate. Of course, the sort of people attracted to politics – to power – are not the sort who would ever be content with such as passive role (plus of course their backers – those special interest groups such as organised labour and business groups – expect to be handsomely rewarded for their support; something only an activist agenda can deliver).

    – “Libertarians trust only individuals, Communists trust only the State. We trust the people as a group.”

    So you don’t trust people as individuals, but when they act selfishly in groups (to fight for control of the state), you suddenly trust them? The Republican Party would be thrilled to learn of your trust.

    They’ll probably send you a badge or something.

  30. alastair.

    Leaving aside the personal abuse I note that you once again attack the messenger when you cannot argue against the message.

    I feel as strongly on this subject as you obviously do and I am sick and tired of the left having a crack at the USA when ever they can, you lot sure as hell said sweet fuck all when Slick Willie was the Pres (or were you to busy covering your ears when he told his NUMEROUS lies)

    If the Yanks invented a cure for cancer you would be against it!

    I come here because I am passionate about animal rights, this does not mean that I am going to stay silent about the blatant lies and half truths many here spout in the name of global warming.

    Make no mistake there is a hidden agenda here and I suspect it is a hard left wing socialist agenda or communism in drag, this of course would explain your irrational hatred of the Yanks, the whole global warming theory is simply the Trojan horse it can ride in on.

    Oh, and BTW, those other issues you so arrogantly dismiss are REAL…your “theory is not”..should we stop AIDS research because YOU are worried about some “theory”..dont be so bloody stupid.

  31. Well said alistair!

    Some of us are already on that double-hulled waka, paddling along!

    … and we are learning the “whys”, the “how-tos”, the “dos” and the “don’ts” in order to be able to help others with their transitions.

  32. The EU has an energy blueprint :
    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/01/05/business/EU-FEA-FIN-Europe-Fuel-for-the-Future.php

    The EU’s blueprint, sketched out over the past year, plots a different path: lower energy consumption, the development of renewable sources and research into other alternatives, and ways of cutting carbon emissions from fuels already in use, particularly coal.

    But changing course won’t be easy, experts say.

    “Making a change is like trying to turn a supertanker around,” says John Loughhead, executive director of the U.K. Energy Research Center in London.

    Turning NZ’s energy use around would be considerably easier. It ain’t no supertanker. More of a waka. If we could only get a majority of people paddling in the right direction…

  33. Strangely enough, the US Green party has absolutely no say at all in the operations of the US government, and never has.

    The absence of our voice absolutely contributes to the failure of the US government to deal correctly with terrorism. It is symptomatic of the failure of democracy in the USA as well. Understanding the connection between al-Quaeda and the war in IraQ is important… because the letter ‘Q’ is the ONLY thing that links them.

    With that knowledge and the knowledge that there were no WMDs we can go forward into the lie-field that underlies the Bush Administration policies (oops…. “mine” rather than “lie”) and the source of the problem is clearer.

    http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqmiddleeast2000-1997.htm

    This mob has been planning war in the Middle-East for almost a decade.

    They still run this US administration.

    Democrats still need to grow a spine and go ahead and impeach (not that I trust the Dems a lot, just a LITTLE more than this mob).

    The “war on terror” remains a scam while they are in power.

    BJ

  34. Ah I nearly missed this little gem, Little Big Bro! Backtrack to the end of last year.

    Personally I find your comments about the war on terror being a scam to be heartless and small minded, need I remind you that thousands on innocent people died as a result of these terrorist scumbags…..or does the fact that they were Americans mean that you are not that bothered about that.

    F**k you and your arrogant assumptions, Bro. You want to use the dead of the WTC as an argument against me? F**k you.

    I could have been in Manhattan myself on 11th September, but my project was running late. My colleague in NY spent a week afterwards going to friends’ funerals. When I finally got there in December, I saw notices in the subway from the mayor, asking people to express their solidarity by doing their Christmas shopping in lower Manhattan. So I did.

    It was a small gesture, but a damn sight more useful in the fight against terrorism than, for example, invading Iraq (ironically, that war has now killed more Americans than bin Laden’s terrorist scumbags). You see Bro, fighting terrorism is important (though not among the ten most important problems facing humanity), but you don’t do it by undermining the rule of law, human rights, and democracy, or by invading countries that had nothing to do with it… because those are the things that distinguish us from the bad guys.

    So when Bush and his gang talk of the “war on terror”, I say it’s a scam. The attacks were a useful pretext for the plans they already had to reassert raw American power. If it had actually worked… if peace and democracy had flowered in the Middle East… then I would have had to bite my lip and admit it was worth it, despite the lies. But tragically it went exactly as it had to go. Much as I expected.

    The actual war against terrorists goes on in the shadows. It’s actually fairly effective, and keeps terrorism in its place as one of many minor problems of the modern world. The only remarkable thing about the 11 Sept attacks is their scale. Those who have not led sheltered lives didn’t have their world-view turned upside down by it. France has had its terrorism problems (I have been within earshot of a bomb blast, outside a Jewish school I have often cycled past on the way to work). It didn’t undermine democracy and human rights to deal with it, nor did it invade any other countries.

    I recognise the importance of the other problems you raise : AIDS, poverty, yes they are major, yet they are trumped by the dangers of man-made environmental problems. In any case, you aren’t going to get anywhere trying to play holier than the Greens on those issues.

    Oh, and did I mention… F**k you and your arrogant assumptions.

  35. Mouldwarp

    “Legitimate State Activity” is whatever people together agree the state has a right to do. Your idea of what is legitimate is your opinion, what the people have elected to do as a group is a fact.

    The smoking, liquor and drugs are all public health issues Mouldwarp, but you will find I think, no effort to make any of them illegal for individuals. Greens are not authoritarian, but they are interested in the public good.

    You make all the Libertarian mistakes Mouldwarp, and you make them more absurdly than any of our other visitors. You trust individuals and by extension corporations (legally persons for reasons I despise). We don’t.

    You reckon any limitations on the freedom to do things should come from other individuals but you don’t reckon that the organization of the whole population into a government qualifies as a group of individuals, even though such an organization is the only thing that can begin to check the power of a corporation.

    Government is not just necessary, it can also be usefu, and the social-democratic societies seem to be the ones that people like to live in. Not perfect, just the best there is. In contrast I know of no state organized along libertarian principles that has ever existed except possibly in some transitional form during a revolution. It’s an unstable condition for a human society. It will devolve into authoritarian rule by force or be overwhelmed by force from outside in short order.

    The difference is that there is a fundamental requirement in the Green Charter and assumption among Greens, that government serves the will of the people. That it is controlled by the people and that it makes decisions at the appropriate level. That’s not central planning, and it sure as worms come in apples not communism, even though I’ve no doubt there are communists among us.

    My simplistic analysis…

    Libertarians trust only individuals, Communists trust only the State. We trust the people as a group.

    BJ

  36. Mouldwarp:
    You obviously have read a lot and thought a lot, but you ability to get your ideas across in a manner that will encourage others to think as you do is seriously lacking. (For example, your entire post to me is well off the mark!)

    Constantly telling people what THEY think and WHY they think it, and repeating the same ideas OVER and OVER in “slogan” form is not an effective way to communicate … especially for people of well-above-average intelligence. Thus, on this website, you are misdirecting your message(s) totally!

    You have a lot to say about “the State” and ‘private property” and boundary between the state and supposedly free individuals engaging in private transactions …

    One example: “I don’t intend to use the state and its guns to force my censorship on anyone, no matter how convinced I am of my argument. again, I don’t plan on imposing my view using the armed state.”

    BUT you DO TRY to impose your views with a verbal “sledgehammer” here, and it isn’t working. Therefore, with all your efforts, the one thing you are teaching the Greens is that you judgement is “suspect” (at best).

    I have stayed out of these lengthy exchanges for a long time, hoping that you would see this for yourself. Now that I have entered the arena and told you clearly, I hope that you will accept my friendly advice to either change your “methods of communication” or just quit.

    Best wishes!

    eredwen

  37. eredwin,

    – “I’m very interested in MW’s concept that the Green Party has “bans on this and bans on that? etc … I wonder how much time he has actually spent on reading in depth through the Green website?”

    Well, in just a couple of minutes spent looking around I came across one press release with Sue Kedgley supporting the smoking ban on private property (e.g. pubs), and another featuring the grinning face of Nandor Tanczos arguing for a ban on TV and radio alcohol adverts.

    I could be wrong but I took these to be indicative of the Green Party mindset; one which clearly recognises
    no boundary between the state and supposedly free individuals engaging in private transactions.

    In fact, searching some more, Green websites appear to be nothing but an endless litany of calls for state control and regulation of every aspect of the lives and affairs of the private *non-state* sector.

    You and I might agree that a ban on junkfood advertising would have some benefit. The difference is that I don’t intend to use the state and its guns to force my censorship on anyone, no matter how convinced I am of my argument. You might think that a minimum wage benefits the poor. I don’t agree but, again, I don’t plan on imposing my view using the armed state.

    None of this – *none of it* – is legitimate state activity (even when done in the name of “social justice” or whatever other meaningless soundbite comes to mind). It is simply unchecked democracy being used to extinguish those freedoms which some find objectionable, or to derive some benefit for the ruling party’s supporters at the expense of an economic minority.

    – “I think that the major differences between Mouldwarp’s thinking and Green thinking…”

    The difference is that I don’t seek to impose my thinking on others using the state’s guns. You do. Everything else is detail.

    – “MW appears to see the Planet and beyond (why not?) as here for the exploitation of individual human beings. (Those who are clever enough to do so “deserve? to have “the freedom? to use/take/exploit whatever they individually or collectively can … and if they also choose to conserve that’s great, but it is an individual decision.)

    You mean when other people are free to use their skills, training, experience, time and effort to create something I want to buy, for our mutual benefit? Sounds good to me.
    And you know what, I’ll bet your standard of living is at least as good as mine, meaning you engage in mutually beneficial trade just as much as I do.

    So where’s the difference, apart from the misplaced guilt complex? Probably I recognise that technology and free trade etc will continue to improve the lives of more and more people, enabling them to feed and educate their families, live long and happy lives, have an increasingly higher standard of living, conquer diseases, etc, and have the wealth, skills and technology to tackle the problems along the way associated with their impact on the planet.

    – “In contrast, as a (long time) Green I see the Planet as our only home and the only home of all life forms (both present and future) who rely on it.
    We are only one (temporary?) species here and to better ensure our continued tenure we must conserve and we must share! AND I get the impresssion that the fact that LIFE CAN BE RATHER PLEASANT AND REWARDING DOING JUST THAT … seems to make MW’s teeth grate??”

    By “share” you mean “steal.” Sharing is voluntary and admirable. But that’s not what you’re talking about, is it.

    You may have seen a cartoon recently showing one caveman saying to another “Something’s just not right – our air is clean, our water is pure, we get plenty of exercise, everything we eat is organic and free-range, yet nobody lives past thirty.” You would have been that caveman.

    Sure humankind has a big impact on the planet. That’s inevitable. But conservation only has any purpose in so far as it serves humankind; it has no inherent merit. This is why we conserve whales and not the smallpox virus – because *we* value whales and we don’t value smallpox.
    Probably tigers will become extinct. I think that’s a shame, but not enough to pay any money to stop it happening; and I’m sure millions of Indians will breath a sigh of relief when the menace of the potential maneaters is removed. As for the tigers themselves, they, as a species, have absolutely no opinion on the matter. They only care about themselves and half a dozen other tigers specific to them. So tiger extinction is a shame for us, not for the tigers.

    Clearly you and I might differ wildly in how much we are willing to save the tiger. Which one of us is correct? The one most willing to save the tiger? Why?
    The problem comes when you try and force me – through the threat of state violence – to value the tiger as much as you do via forced contributions and conservation programs (i.e. the whole green political agenda).

    How much would you – as an individual – pay to prevent tiger extinction? Would you sell your house? Or is your compassion suddenly not so great? I believe that New Zealand would make a great habitat for wild tigers. Are you in favour of a release program here, or do you only like them at a distance; you know, in poor asian countries where the occasional child gets carried off and eaten?

    Perhaps you can see how different people – an Indian child and wealthy, fat westerner – can put a different value on tigers? So can two different fat, wealthy westerners. Who is to say which one is “correct”?
    The point is that the only species that matters is humankind. Every other species only matters in so far as they are important to us, and that can vary significantly from individual to individual. The continued existence of the Great White Shark might be important to you, whereas personally I would go fishing for them with hand-grenades.

    Again, you are free to dedicate your life and your own money to perpetuating whatever species you find attractive (all the while paying to eradicate those you dislike, such as the tsetse fly). Just don’t use the threat of state violence to impose your choices on me with conservation programs what I disagree with or don’t care about enough to support voluntarily.

  38. Mouldwarp says:

    “No, just I’m someone who understands that there is a difference between democracy and freedom.”

    As do we all!

    Overall, “democracy” is the best system we have come up with so far. Like any system is only as good as we make it, and thus it has a lot to contend with (human nature … especially that of our more domanant males for example!) I believe that our MMP system in Aotearoa/NZ, while at times a bit messy and still having teething troubles, is potentially nearer to mark than any versions of FPP.

    I’m very interested in MW’s concept that the Green Party has “bans on this and bans on that” etc … I wonder how much time he has actually spent on reading in depth through the Green website?

    From what I have read of his ideas, I think that the major differences between Mouldwarp’s thinking and Green thinking is that MW appears to see the Planet and beyond (why not?) as here for the exploitation of individual human beings. (Those who are clever enough to do so “deserve” to have “the freedom” to use/take/exploit whatever they individually or collectively can … and if they also choose to conserve that’s great, but it is an individual decision.)

    In contrast, as a (long time) Green I see the Planet as our only home and the only home of all life forms (both present and future) who rely on it.
    We are only one (temporary?) species here and to better ensure our continued tenure we must conserve and we must share! AND I get the impresssion that the fact that LIFE CAN BE RATHER PLEASANT AND REWARDING DOING JUST THAT … seems to make MW’s teeth grate??

    How’s that anaysis Mouldwarp? (I do admit to reading your often very long posts for context rather than detail.)

    eredwen

  39. Alistair,

    – “you’re a nihilist, with a visceral hatred of democracy”

    No, just I’m someone who understands that there is a difference between democracy and freedom.

    Democracy only has any merit as the most likely system to recognise our individual rights and is certainly not an end in itself. Whilst freedom could theoretically exist under a dictatorship the incentives are such that this is unlikely. A good podcast at econtalk discusses this – http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2006/08/the_political_e.html

    Whilst democracy is the most likely of all political systems to recognize individual rights, the odds are still against it: unchecked democracy is no different to mob rule or a mafia state and will plunder minority groups with abandon. This is the situation with western democracies today.

    This is why even countries with firmly entrenched democratic traditions have constitutions – because democracy is not the objective, freedom is: The constitution protects minorities from the democratic majority.
    Sadly, even a decent constitution like the American one can be thoroughly misused and ignored if citizens conflate democracy with freedom and assume that a democratically elected government is licensed to behave however it wants. This appears to be where you are now.

    It is also where the Green Party is with its bans on this, bans on that and an activist agenda which is in no way legitimised (and could never be legitimised) by the democratic process. (obviously the same goes for Labour and National etc).

    – “Any government is, by definition, fascist… fair summary so far?”

    No, actually. Completely wrong.

  40. Hah. The problem with responding to a stream-of-consciousness diatribe like Mouldy’s is obvious…

    Anyone who wishes the government to change anything is no different from Bush… Why not go ahead and say Hitler, mouldy, he was elected too …Any government is, by definition, fascist… fair summary so far? You’re not even a libertarian, mouldy, you’re a nihilist, with a visceral hatred of democracy. P*ss off.

    Oh, and seasons’ greetings.

  41. Kiwinuke,

    – “i) dealing with Climate Change will hopefully prevent the death of thousands of innocent civilians rather than directly cause it”

    Just as dealing with drugs or terrorism ‘will hopefully prevent the death of thousands of innocent civilians rather than directly cause it’?
    Every single one these state intrusions and power-grabs are initiated for the very best of reasons, or at least the pretence of them. The greens are out to harness the state’s powers of compulsion just like every other group that purports to have the best interests of “society” at heart.
    Democratic governments around the world are seizing upon the green panic to raise taxes still further and assume yet more powers to control our lives. In the UK the possibility of forcing everyone to carry a carbon quota credit card has been seriously raised: every time you buy petrol or book a flight you would have to present your card to have the appropriate amount deducted from your annual emissions ration (of course, this is on top of other state schemes like the ID card, a national NHS database, monitoring of all your financial transactions, a road-usage monitoring scheme that tracks the movements of every vehicle etc). Don’t think that NZ is immune from such state fascism: what was it that Helen Clark said? “the government’s role was whatever the government defined it to be.” Truly frightening.

    Western democratic governments around the world are out of control. They recognise no checks on their power to regulate, control, monitor and forbid. They recognise no boundary between the private and the public spheres.
    Whatever the merits of the green agenda (and personally I think the environmentalists have become one of the most lethal and morally bankrupt forces on the planet, since their misguided campaigns amount to little more than a war against the poorest people in the world) it will be used by the state to impose its presence still further in all out lives.

    Remind us what the Green Party’s policy on the smoking ban was? And recall how they argued for a ban on alcohol advertisements. This is a just another group eager to gain control of the state’s monopoly on violence so it can interfere in all aspects of our hitherto private lives with impunity.

    As the saying goes, smoking is healthier than fascism.

    bjchip,

    – “Nobody here calls it a WAR. It’s a stupid thing to say about drugs, terror and poverty and it is a stupid thing to say about climate change. We aren’t interested.”

    Potato, potato (okay, that comment only works when spoken aloud in the right accents).

    If the result of the states’ efforts in their wars against drugs, terror and poverty are so awful (and I agree that they are), what on earth makes you think we should empower them in a War (sorry, Fight) against Climate Change?

    – “You do mistake our position vis-a-vis state “power? badly though. REALLY badly.”

    The Green Party is out to gain control of the coercive state mechanism just as Labour and National are. The fact that the Greens have no prospect of achieving this on their own doesn’t alter the fact that they are statist thugs to the core. There is absolutely no prospect that any Green government would – in spite of its passion for the environment – deny itself an activist agenda and limit itself to just upholding the rights and the freedoms of the individuals that it is supposed to serve. From cant about “social justice” through to its religious fervour concerning global warming it would recognise no limits on its power to impose its will on the citizens of NZ.

    You despise George Bush for misusing his powers, yet naively believe that if only the right group could control the system (the Green Party, for example), then all will be well. Of course that’s not going to happen. The more power the state ascribes to itself the greater the prize and the more money and corruption it attracts.
    You want a state that can actively impose your favoured green agenda, yet seem suprised and angry when people like George Bush and his backers work the system and get themselves elected and start misusing all that power.

    Just what on earth did you *think* was going to happen?

    That’s the dilemma. Any state capable of imposing your green activist agenda (which is attractive to you and repellent to me) will inevitably become the target of a host of special interest groups looking to work the system for their own advantage: Business, organised-labour, whoever. Hence the Labour government we have today which is expected to transfer the property of free individuals to the so-called poor which it has cultivated and to organised labour which has funded it. It is total and absolute corruption.

    If you want a state which has the powers to implement your agenda, then expect someone like George Bush to be in control of it. That’s all I’m saying.

  42. Lets see Mouldwarp

    Difference number one.

    Nobody here calls it a WAR. It’s a stupid thing to say about drugs, terror and poverty and it is a stupid thing to say about climate change. We aren’t interested.

    Difference number two.

    The key measure which we advocate here is that the cost to the commons must be paid when the commons is used. That’s an economic tool, not an overbearing state intervention.

    The RMA is not a product of mine. It came in in 1991. You should remember that Greens are not part of the government, nor were they part of the government that passed the RMA into law (that was National). The amendments since 1991 may seem a bit heavy-handed too, but pushing that whole mess into OUR area of responsibility is a bit of a stretch MW. We had damned little to do with the way it started OR the way it turned out.

    What the Labour government or a National government will do based on their manipulation of any public perception of warming is different from any Green proposal but we have to live with that. The masses are not going to give anyone other than Nats or Labour control anytime soon. Social inertia is a reality.

    You do mistake our position vis-a-vis state “power” badly though. REALLY badly.

    BJ

  43. Hi Mouldwarp,

    A few tentatively suggested differences:

    i) dealing with Climate Change will hopefully prevent the death of thousands of innocent civilians rather than directly cause it

    ii) an effective “War” on Climate Change will take serious international co-operation – not a limited PR “Coalition of the Willing”.

    iii) more to the point re government control vs individualism there are a number of policies currently under consideration (yep, by the National Party too) which rely on market-based measures to resppond to the threat of climate change. Don’t see any such proposals currently on the table to deal with Terrorism – not to say that well-designed economic policies mightn’t cut at the roots of terrorist recruitment.

    To your last point I don’t think I’ve ever seen BJ argue for state imposition of a green agenda. My guess is that’s why he argues to long and hard to convince people of the value of Green ideas – he seems much more interested in a democratic process of persuasion than a Bush-ite process of PR spin and erosion of liberty.

  44. bjchip,

    If you condemn the state’s War on Drugs and War on Terrorism as devices to extend government control over the individual, what makes you think the War on Climate Change is any different?
    The national-socialist Resource Management Act is just a taste of what will follow when your War on Climate Change gets into gear.

    You might think that’s a cost worth paying. Presumably those who support the Wars on Drugs and Terrorism also think the costs (and political benefits) are worth it. So please don’t play the angry libertarian here. Like most people you are as statist as they come on their favoured issue.

    A state which has the powers necessary to impose your green agenda on everyone is a state which also has the powers to pursue unchecked its wars on drugs, alcohol, poverty, smoking, “terrorism”, obesity, you name it; all at the expense of the individual liberty it is meant to be upholding.

    So please don’t expect any sympathy when you rail against Bush and Cheney; you’re much more alike than you care to admit.

  45. Oh yeah… I’m a GREEN BigBruv. I have anounced to the world what my “political leanings” are. Somehow you almost got away with insinuating that I should conceal my contempt for Faux. That’s a product of the smelly end of the bull. I am a liberal and I am proud to be a Green.

    BJ

  46. BB

    The US has lost Habeas. That isn’t “theory” it is fact.

    Moreover, BUSH lied the US into a war in Iraq. He f0rn!cated with the dog in front of the whole world. Clinton played games behind closed doors. Bush’s vanity war will end up costing the USA upwards of a trillion dollars after all the costs are totaled. If it weren’t for the legal shenanigans of the Republican party, Clinton was out the cost of a dry-cleaning and the country was nothing out of pocket.

    … and you – compare the two?

    Warming of the planet is way past debate as far as the science is concerned.

    Faux was unacceptable to me long before you ever saw it BB… Campbell I never see… so I couldn’t say. Cronkite did good news… but your complaint is easily summed up. The truth has a well known liberal bias.

    Faux however… let’s see how “fair and balanced” works on HANNITY and colmes… on display today is the coverage of the 2003 State of the Union Address.

    “This is a big vision. This is a bold agenda!”

    vs

    “President Bush did a magnificent job!”

    Who said which? Does it really matter? For the record, the “liberal” came up with the “magnificent job” line. Yeah…. that faux news is a great place to get fair and balanced.

    I have no desire to whack ALL the lies (I know about) in detail, the patience of any reader would be tested long before I finished with them. If you have any particular favourite we can whittle it down to something that is manageable in this format.

    As for my little “conspiracy theory” it has more legs than the anti-global-warming theory. Habeas did actually get whacked and Gitmo still hosts a lot of people without benefit of trial. The imperial presidency is still argued by the White House legal counsel as well… on the basis that the USA is at war.

    Perhaps going over the Clinton-Somalia lie. That one has been around a while. What CRIME had Osama committed at that point and what proof did we have? The answer is that we had stuff all on the guy. So just what should we have done? Extract him by force and eject him from the airplane over the ocean somewhere?

    That’s pretty much what you’re arguing we should’ve done. We tried to get the Saudis to take him but they declined. Who did you say was abusing the power of the Presidency?

    So lets get some perspective on all of this and understand something about me BB. There isn’t anyone on this board who hates Dubya and Cheney as much as I do. What they did to the USA is treasonous. Clinton, in comparison, looks like the best President we’ve had since Eisenhower… who curiously enough had his own little affair but nobody regarded it as anybody elses business back then. (One could argue Carter is competitive)

    Eredwen… if I really get started on this you’d better close your eyes.

  47. BJ

    I did not chose any one problem as more important than any other although you miss one vital point, NOBODY doubts that Aids, Terrorism and Hunger actually exist…….the same can not be said for the global warming theory.

    I would rather put my time and efforts into something that is beyond debate.

    It is interesting that you have a crack at Fox news, by calling it Faux you show your political leanings, perhaps you would rather all news was presented by the likes of John Campbell?

    As for your last four paragraphs, they sound like the ravings of a conspiracy theorist, did you really expect nothing to change after 9/11?

    The first duty of any administration is to keep its people safe, you sure as hell can not rely on the UN for that, and lets remember Clinton had the chance to deal with Bin Laden, funnily enough he was far to busy telling lies to bother with anything like that.

  48. BB

    Sorry, I had to toddle off in the middle of this and it appears that you’ve ingested the other foot as well. It is an extremely awkward position no?

    What hidden agenda? I don’t think we are hiding anything here, we are all being just as insulting and obvious and oblivious as any other mob I’ve ever joined in with. You’ve said it twice but explained it not even once, and I’m getting a bit curious about what I am supposed to be concealing.

    Israel has its own problems, some manufactured for them in Washington

    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/122206G.shtml

    and some of their own making.

    Let’s get something straight here. There’s a real reason for the “War on Terror” and there are a host of fake reasons which get broadcast on Faux. The real reason is basically the 1984 reason, that perpetual war, a perpetual state of emergency, is required to justify the dictatorship being created.

    Did you notice when the USA lost habeas corpus? Not many did, cause it didn’t get reported, but it is in the Homeland Security amendments… you get declared (by the Prez) an “enemy combatant” and you get thrown in the slammer in perpetuity without any rights at all. No Habeas at all. Nichivo… Nada…

    To get that sort of power, they had to have a reason a good war is what the people back, and there can be no war longer than the war on a noun. We had the war on drugs (that worked well) and the war on poverty (also a clear winner), so we’ll try it again… only this time we’ll use it to justify breaking the back of the Constitution.. wartime powers are good!!!… a war that can’t be won makes them permanent.

    This isn’t accidental. It is a deliberate attempt to undermine the freedom of the American people… who are in no condition to notice because they’ve been distracted by the glory of war.

    BJ

  49. Big Bruv – Choose any catastropic problem you like, you had a longish list as I recall. None of them are really capable of extinguishing civilization. All of them are immediately recognizable. Destruction of our only habitable planet however, IS capable of that sort of destruction and is NOT immediately recognizable…. making it more dangerous than all the others together.

    The sentence that follows however, makes it clear that you think something entirely different is going on. What’s the story BB, have you been watching a lot of Faux news lately? The war on terror is a total scam perpetrated on the people of the USA by the current criminal occupier of the white house and if you don’t understand why I say that I can make it far clearer than he or faux could possibly tolerate. He’s done far more damage to the USA than Osama bin Forgotten ever imagined.

    Eredwen – I don’t think there’s anyone who’s read my stuff can make any mistake about when I’m talking for me and when I’m speaking as a Green 🙂 I am pretty sure that all the libertarian mob who’ve decided this is a neat place to be know

    respectfully
    BJ

  50. big bruv,

    We seem to have a serious communication gap here.

    What you appear to be reading into my reply just isn’t there (nor was it intended)!

    Perspective is a critical part of perception, and we see things differently because we look at them differently.

  51. eredwen

    You ask me not to use emotive words then do exactly that in your reply.

    I see nothing that would dissuade me from thinking there is a hidden agenda nor from the idea that those who stand against what you believe in are labeled “the problem”, this I am sure you will agree is a rather Stalinist approach.

    I note that you have a crack at the Israelis whose biggest crime it seems is being an friend of the USA, every country has a right to defend itself, or does that right not apply to those countries with are friendly with the USA?

    And please, do you seriously expect me to agree that the reason the UN is a complete waste of time is down to the Americans?

  52. Are we that dependent on what other people think?

    As every one of our visitors from the right has pointed out, and is obvious to all of us, the future of the planet is almost entirely in the hands of other people… in particular the USA with its exorbitant consumption.

    What they think is indeed damned important to our future.

    BJ

  53. big bruv says:

    “I am staggered that you believe that the biggest problem facing the world is environmental concerns … ”

    Alister actually said:
    “It’s been obvious to all thinking people for at least ten years (and to the general public for oh, several months now) that environmental concerns are the number one issue the world needs to deal with. And to do that, we need a whole lot of co-operation”.

    I agree with Alister. Also, I see no reason why that same “co-operation” can’t (continue to) be directed at “Aids, poverty, Terrorism, bird flu, and the like”. This is not an “either/or” situation!

    We are all on this Planet together, and none of us has a lifeboat! Therefore wasting time and energy worrying about whether to sail off to the “left” or the “right” is somewhat of an anachronism don’t you think?

    Talking about “the hard left” and “hidden agenda” and …
    Here is something that needs to be said to visitors to frogblog:

    PLEASE learn to UNDERSTAND THIS:

    “Green” really is a different concept:
    (In some ways lefter than “left” and in other ways righter than “right”!)
    Therefore it is is more accurate, and avoids confusion, to describe Green ideas as “green” (with a big or a small g).
    This means that green ideas do not need to be confined to the Greens!
    In fact this Planet and our future on it depend on green ideas becoming mainstream.

    BB, please let’s forget the emotive words/labels like “staggered”, “thinking people”, “blind loyalty”, “hidden agenda”, “shudder”, “heartless”.

    You and your ideas are too valuable to waste your time with that stuff!

    Also, to look at the “big picture”:
    The “war on terror” is, even in name, a scam. A lot of it is (and continues to be) about control of the Planet’s diminishing oil reserves, by a manipulative and incredibly greedy few … who happen to have control of various media, companies … and sometimes the White House, etc … at the expense of the many.

    Greens are OUTRAGED about the “thousands of innocent people died as a result of these terrorist scumbags” … and the thousand upon thousands upon thousands who continue to die (and will continue to die for generations to come thanks to Depleted Unranium) etc.

    I am outraged at the destruction of/in Lebanon by a neighbour who is supported by the USA, and therefore can behave as it likes. I am outraged at the destruction of Iraq, the threat to Iran, the treatment of the Palestinians, the sickening bias of our newsmedia. I am outraged at the weakening of the United Nations, that people are allowed to starve, while others roll in “money” and privelege … and other species are increasingly doomed to extinction … and I am OUTRAGED that the boys’ “rock throwing contest” has got itself back into the “Nucular” arena!

    Would you like some reliable references/websites/reading lists/ etc?

    I suspect that Greens will be prepared for a “post Bush” World !!
    … and more importantly, we must prepare for a (hopefully) a more cooperative world in which humans come to realise that WE have changed the Planet to our great disadvantage, and that WE must cooperate with each other now to try to do something about that.
    (We also MUST learn to cooperate with the other species on this Planet … or the Planet will shrug us off!)

    Kyoto is a first attempt.
    For the sakes of our Mokopuna, I be;lieve that we MUST join with those who want to be part of the solution, not with those who are determined to remain the problem!

    Do please join us in this.

    eredwen

  54. alistair – What does “spontaneously co-operate” mean? To jump lemming-like off a cliff? Go for it.

    >>Collective We? gets lost in your emphasis of that “Individual Responsibility?.

    Yes, charity starts at home. I’m not discounting the collective, unless the collective decides to swarm, lemming-like, towards the cliff. I sense a religious zeal about Kyoto and Gloabl Warming. “Believe!” “Burn the heretic!”. I guess when Al Gore visited, some saw the messiah. I saw a fat, bloated, rich has-been who has, rather curiously, a chubby finger in a carbon exchange market pie.

    >>The New Zealand carbon tax take should be spent in New Zealand to improve “our? environment

    Yes, it sounds nice, but my point is we have a good environment and we don’t have high emissions. We never will. We’re too small. We produce f**k all emissions. Big green tick for us!

    Could emission levels be further optimised? Sure. But at what cost? If the cost of Kyoto compliance is the *same* as the cost of buying carbon credits from Russia, as Treasury has pointed out, then the very real result is increased costs for NZ producers, and lower returns, leading to lower living standards for all, and all the consequences that come from that. What do we get for that money? A symbolic gesture, to an audience that isn’t even there.

    This is why we should not be “leading” on this one. We should follow on this one.

    My related point is that NZ is incapable of leading anyway. The self-important, self-righteous mouse thinking he can lead a pack of cats by setting a good example.

    Resources are finite. Choose our battles.

  55. OK Boys ?

    That is sounding better!

    bj: Please, when you decide to speak for the Greens do remember that “we” live in Aotearoa/NZ, and not in the streets of New York! (I would feel much more comfortable if you made it clear that you were speaking on behalf of ONE Green : our inimitable and much appreciated “bjchip”.)

    PeterExitsLeft: I really like some of what you say (including the fact that your “individual responsibility” bit involves planting trees!) The main way in which your attitude differs from the Greens here, is that the absolute necessity of a “Collective We” gets lost in your emphasis of that “Individual Responsibility”.

    Language is an imprecise tool. You are actually speaking to a group of people who are on the whole intelligent, well educated, responsible, hard working, innovative … etc … Really “good citizens” to your way of thinking, as well as ours!

    Let’s not let labels get in the way here.

  56. Alistair

    Your arrogance is breathtaking!

    A common left wing trait is to demand blind loyalty and adherence to the party line, anybody speaking out against the policy is to be pilloried and if all else fails brand them a racist or even worse….an employee of Exxon.

    I am staggered that you believe that the biggest problem facing the world is environmental concerns, it is obvious to me and all other real “thinking” people that we have had far bigger problems to deal with in the last ten years, Aids, poverty, Terrorism, bird flu, and the like are real problems and not merely a theory pushed by the hard left as part of a hidden agenda.
    I shudder to think of what your interpretation is of “co-operation”

    Personally I find your comments about the war on terror being a scam to be heartless and small minded, need I remind you that thousands on innocent people died as a result of these terrorist scumbags…..or does the fact that they were Americans mean that you are not that bothered about that.

    You can prepare for a post Bush World all you like, the chances are that there will be another Republican president to replace Bush, and if you think that the Chinese are going to back Kyoto then I feel you will be disappointed.

    We must “bail” on Kyoto, it serves no useful purpose to us at all, indeed it will cripple our economy, wanting NZ to burden itself with Kyoto will achieve nothing at all.

  57. “Will Kyoto cost us too much? Is the money better spent on other concerns?

    That is the question.”

    Totally agree and in my view we should not contribute one cent to Russia simply because they have carbon credits due to them having large tracks of sparsely growing siberian forests.

    The New Zealand carbon tax take should be spent in New Zealand to improve “our” environment. Unless you can guarentee that the New Zealand carbon tax take will improve the Russian environment (and not end up in some corrupt officials back pocket).

    BJ has raised a good point in capital outflow from New Zealand due to us not having control anymore of our own assets. Most capital generating assets are foreign owned and the capital is not reinvested in New Zealand. Would the Greens support prevention of capital flight from New Zealand by insisting to foreign owned companies that their New Zealand profits can only be spent in New Zealand? (can see enourmous loop holes here though – but the notion is worth debating).

    BJ, long term prediction is difficult as technology changes so fast. Who would have thought that 10 years ago you and I could discuss these topics on a blog?

    However lets crystal ball gaze and what do I see? Mankind living on and under the oceans, wave and wind power, sustainable aquaculture for food on a grand scale, wars fought over the ownership and use of the sea floor.

    And finaly, “If we bail on Kyoto before then, we’ll be looking pretty damn silly. We’ll be orphans, along with Australia and Canada, pining after daddy.”

    Are we that dependent on what other people think? Jeez Alistair what happened to the independent and can do spirit that we will need to live in the future?

    Cooperation is good, dependence is bad. Rather be an cooperative orphan then rely on “daddy” all the time (whatever “daddy” is in you post).

  58. Another fundamental right-wing trait is unwillingness to spontaneously co-operate. (Co-operate is what you do when someone points a gun at you, right? Or hires you.)

    It’s been obvious to all thinking people for at least ten years (and to the general public for oh, several months now) that environmental concerns are the number one issue the world needs to deal with. And to do that, we need a whole lot of co-operation. That has been sabotaged by the US, ever since the “war on terrorism” scam pushed everything else off the international agenda.

    But it won’t last forever. Already, people are preparing for a post-Bush world. The replacement treaty for Kyoto will be rolled out in 2008 or 2009, and it’ll be a much smarter treaty. By then a new, necessarily more enviro-friendly and co-operative US administration will be in business. China will come on board, they are not stupid people.

    If we bail on Kyoto before then, we’ll be looking pretty damn silly. We’ll be orphans, along with Australia and Canada, pining after daddy.

  59. I accept that we need to protect our future.

    I guess I disagree on the path (the emphasis, mainly) New Zealand needs to take in order to do so. We need to choose our battles wisely.

    I disagree that right-wingers don’t think about the future. Not USA right wing, kiwi right wing. I realise by saying that it damns me on here, but I do like some of what the Green Party has to say. I have trees. I like my trees. I don’t think anyone, except the most rabid industrialist, thinks more pollution is a good idea.

    Our environment is great here. We need to preserve it. We also need to build our wealth. Wealthy countries tend to look after their environments, better than poor countries do, anyway.

    Will Kyoto cost us too much? Is the money better spent on other concerns?

    That is the question.

  60. I’ve worked out another little lemna about political viewpoints here… and it is basically that the membership in political parties or position on the political spectrum is determined largely by ones perspective.

    The people taking the longest view tend to be Greens and other left-wingers.

    People with 5-10 year views wind up in the muddle.

    People who are concerned with quarterly reports and the real-world-right-now are generally conservatives or right-wingers.

    The time issue seems to be really strongly linked in my experience. Is this commonly observed?

    respectfully
    BJ

  61. Priorities?

    Our biggest problem is that we need to sustain our economy.

    We ship more money to Oz in a month than we would spend on this in a year. The problems with the NZ economy have damned little to do with our efforts to clean the air. The problems with NZ investment habits and NZ tax regimes and the NZ housing market have been covered. Fix those or… leave all the rorts unchallenged. Gut your children’s future instead.

    Peter, if we increase the price of our exports, we reduce our living standards. That’s a problem for us TODAY.

    If we collectively fail our responsibility for stewardship of this planet, that’s a much bigger problem for our children, and the decline in living standards behind that will make anything we can imagine now look like paradise to those poor kids.

    So you see, I always did accept your point, it just doesn’t affect the bigger picture all that much. It is part of our reckoning here among the Greens.. we want the economy to remain healthy… sustainably healthy… for many generations to come. You have a much shorter perspective.

    I live here in NZ now… I’m a Green. We don’t do dictation, we don’t take dictation, but we can look at ourselves in the mirror without fear and we know that we’ve done our best for our kids.

    BJ

  62. I sense some hostility 🙂

    You’re accusing me of the same traits you display. I don’t accept your view, and you don’t accept mine.

    I don’t give a toss what the majority of Americans think. They voted in Bush, they invaded Iraq, they’re polluting the planet. Get your own house in order, but don’t dictare to us what we should do.

    We’re a pleasant, tiny island in the South Pacific. We do not harm. Our biggest problem is that we need to sustain our economy, and I see danger in Kyoto, for us, in that respect.

    Can you not accept that point? If we increase the price of our exports, we reduce our living standards. We make sheep. We make cows. We entertain tourists. That’s what we do.

    We don’t f**k the planet. We leave that to America.

  63. Peter – I have been polite.

    Your single minded dedication to destroying the planet is however, unwelcome in this company. It is THAT simple. I look back at some of the other posts of other people and I am pleased that I didn’t say those things, but I can be a lot nastier.

    You cannot accept anything but total capitulation to your point of view, and that you will not get. Not from me. Nor is it likely you’re going to get any further answers from me. After all, you don’t listen, you don’t compromise, you don’t belong here and you haven’t offered a single argument in rebuttal except that you know better what Americans think than an American and you know better what is technically possible than an experienced engineer.

    You don’t know better. Repeating the same argument until you do it in your sleep does not make it any more valid.

    It IS our responsibility to do our share. Typical right wing chickenhawk BS is what we’re getting from you now. Responsibility! Responsibility! Everyone must take responsibility…. except ME! That’s right, I’m special.

    You make me sick with that attitude… so like Bush and his cronies and constituency… “the have’s and have-mores”. Don’t ask them to actually do THEIR part though.

    As for you, I have no desire to know more… you’ve made it clear that you desire this nation to do nothing and even to destroy even the slight attempt at correcting the situation that was begun a decade ago. You keep spewing the same line about Kyoto and economic doom.

    Is there something about us that makes you believe we care what you think now?

    Please tell us what it is so we can get rid of it.

    BJ

  64. >>Your ability to make any meaningful argument here is basically toast.

    That’s funny. “PeterPiker”, “where the disease comes from”, “Quit your bullsh!t Peter”, “Speaking of methane, your brain seems to be producing more than its fair share”….

    I could go on.

    What you really mean is “shutup”

    You *know* I’m telling the truth. New Zealand contributes little to the problem, and have little power to solve it. We can participate, but we have to weight the cost of participation against what other good we could do with the same money. If Kyoto compliance will cost the same as buying carbon credits, which is what the research shows, then New Zealand will make itself poorer, and all the real consequences that brings.

    Instead, we should step back and address the real problem that faces us: we need to gain as much independence as is possible from the oil economy. We’ve measured our emissions. We produce f**k all. End of story. Emissions are an expensive, pointless, expensive distraction for this country.

    It’s no use crying “we must do SOMETHING, ANYTHING”. While everyone else was chest-beating, I planted some trees.

    And now the idiots on the left want to punish me for it.

    Go figure.

  65. btw…’tho frog etc seem to have piss*d off on 22/12…

    (sheesh..!..and not even a feckin’ seasons’ greetings’..eh..?..)

    those starved of green news/news in general can still get a healthy fix at whoar…

    we never close….!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  66. Big Bro : “What parallels exactly do we share with the Scandinavian countries?”
    True colours eh Bro? Their ideas can’t be any good, because well, they are DIFFERENT from US! teeny bit xenophobic perhaps?

    You’re right though. We have nothing in common with the Scandies. They have foresight. And probably more Kiwi ingenuity than us.

  67. Ever – Peter, exactly ever… because calling Greens comical and me stupid is exactly the wrong way to make any point except the one about how we should perceive you. I didn’t expect that reaction from you, I basically expected a cease-fire-in-place, but your true colours show through.

    Believing that Kyoto will work won’t necessarily make it work, but believing that it WON’T work will sure as hell make it not work.

    You have shown that you are dedicated to making sure that nothing will work. We had to talk a long time to reach this denouement but I doubt that many of the other Greens on this board were surprised. Your mask has slipped and your true face has been seen. Why would any of us listen to you on any topic ever again?

    Your ability to make any meaningful argument here is basically toast.

    BJ

  68. big bruv asks:

    “What parallels exactly do we share with the Scandinavian countries?, apart from tax levels that border on the illegal I can think of very little else..”

    I reply:
    I spent a lot of time with Scandinavians, especially Norwegians, when I was involved in Alpine Ski Racing (and later, Instructing /Race Coaching).

    As Kiwis we found that we had a lot in common …
    A few examples:

    > Norwegian students are well travelled, they come from a small, peaceful, relatively NOT densely populated country, that is similar in many ways to the South Island.

    > Like Maori (whom they admire) they come from a seafaring (warrior) culture. Maori have been called the “Vikings of the South Pacific”.

    > and yes! Scandinavians support PEACE, excellent social services, hospital and medical systems etc … etc …
    and I note that bj has already talked about “taxes”.

    big bruv says:

    “as for your last point, I guess this only confirms that many greens are anti American, such naked hatred only dilutes any reasonable points you want to make about them.”

    I reply: A few other things you don’t know, big bruv!

    I have a “big bruv” of my own! He and his family have lived in California (UCSD) on and off for about 35 years. They are American citizens, Greens (and strongly support local Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer in her staunch opposition to the current American Administration.)

    I lived in Canada in the late 1960s- early 70s, commuting between winters in Australian/ Southern Alps and the Rockies (and stayed over for the occasional Canadian summer).

    I agree that “many of us are thinking of New Zealand’s future” … , that is the reason we MUST make sure that we become a part of the solution (even though we are small) and NOT a part of the problem.

    eredwen (ered=mountain; wen=woman)

  69. >>I think you’ve made as much of a point here as you will EVER make

    Ever? EVER? Heh.

    The difference is you appear to think symbolic gestures made by a tiny, pacific island, involving a gun and a foot, will be hugely influential in Washington.

    I just find that notion comical. Tragic. Needless. Expensive.

    Stupid.

  70. Peter

    If we just shut up and get on with it along the lines recommended repeatedly by the Green party, sustainable energy and education would be getting all the attention we can possibly give them.

    We don’t owe ANY money today, nor next year for that matter. Nor, as I have repeatedly pointed out, is the money poured into a black hole. It is invested in a more sustainabe New Zealand. Your goal as well. The difference really between us, is that you want to deal Kyoto a death blow immediately, because we might find the going too tough. Maybe it won’t help, the US is going into recession now and what happens next year will be interesting and the election in 2008 may be fought on vastly different lines than I expect. Iran is still in the sights of the shrub… but if the environment becomes part of the issue in 2008 the position of NZ will be important and any unilateral declaration on our part will make it almost impossible for the US to take any action at all.

    We both agree that the US must act if anything meaningful is to actually come of this. Yes?

    Green policy is not to pay the fine, Green policy is to fix the problem. Fixing the problem by investing in the future makes a LOT more sense than doing nothing, even to you, so it becomes mostly a matter of degree (and Greens are not out to destroy business), and the word “Kyoto”. That word is the single thing that stands between us.

    I think you’ve made as much of a point here as you will EVER make, and you’re not winning any friends or influencing any people.

    respectfully
    BJ

  71. Big Bruv – I didn’t read that as naked hatred… I read it as a legitimate complaint about American TV programs, which have gotten way past the stage where the time spend watching wouldn’t be better spent picking lint out of your navel.

    Scandinavian taxes are vastly different and more fairly assessed than our own. Not surprising that you’d miss this, but the top effective marginal tax rate in Sweden is about 56-58% IIRC and that’s assessed on the highest income earners. Here it is 90+ % and that is applied to the poorest and again to the middle class. It drops to 30% or so for the lower middle class and to 40% for the wealthy. The parallels are there, but they have the better of us in many ways.

    Canada is affected, whether they like it or not, by the influence of its southern neighbor. It cannot avoid this, and it cannot avoid the effects of the massive infusion of cash related to the bitumen they are turning into “oil” at the cost of a large piece of their environment. Money covers a multitude of sins, and creates a multitude more, and Canada is almost as divided as the USA is now. A conservative government got in, and anyone with 3 working brain cells will realize that the US exerted itself to ensure that that result came to pass. I don’t know how long it will take for it to become public knowledge, but I already know it, just the same way I knew there were no WMDs in Iraq.

    You can take it to the bank.

    However, the most important thing about the Canadian decision is that it was a decision about Canada made (at least partly) by Canadians. It has nothing to do with New Zealand and we have nothing to do with it. You and Peter will undoubtedly draw on other negative examples around the world in your efforts to persuade us that NOT trying is no different than trying.

    I suggest that you might as profitably try to persuade the tide not to rise.

    respectfully
    BJ

  72. >>he’s undoubtedly using the numbers provided by the environment minister

    He spent a great deal of time overseas talking with EU countries, over a number of years. I don’t think anyone should be under the illusion that Kyoto compliance will come cheap. It won’t.

    We could spend our money on better things – sustainable energy infrastructure, health, education…rather that tossing it down a black hole in the mistaken belief it will save something.

  73. If the Americans had chosen German it is likely that WWII would have gone differently. Language is vastly underrated as a social force.

    BJ

  74. eredwen

    It seems to me that the Canadian people see this as the right thing to do, you cannot just blame the govt for this.

    What parallels exactly do we share with the Scandinavian countries?, apart from tax levels that border on the illegal I can think of very little else.

    Many of us are thinking of New Zealand’s future, that is the exact reason we do not want to burden ourselves with these ridiculous Kyoto compliance costs.

    And as for your last point, I guess this only confirms that many greens are anti American, such naked hatred only dilutes any reasonable points you want to make about them.

  75. If he actually knew his stuff he’d be doing something besides assuming and the government would be doing something besides assessing tax hikes on people who are growing trees. Maybe he knows something about economics, but he’s undoubtedly using the numbers provided by the environment minister. The initial post shows the value of THOSE numbers.

    I didn’t call the government gormless by accident, but because of accident. The initial post is about a major ooops on the part of that ministerial body, which seems to have its thumb up its proverbial because of an urgent need to suck on it.

    BJ

  76. Alistair says:

    “Canada pulled out of Kyoto because it is becoming a major petroleum exporter, due to their huge deposits of bitumen, which can be laboriously transformed into something resembling crude oil … so Kyoto would cost them a lot of money … ”

    AND because Canada’s current Federal Government is of the Right.
    That will change.

    ” Take a look at the Scandies, they are very impressive indeed in reducing their reliance on fossil fuels, integrating urban heating and electricity generation, improving public transport infrastructure etc …”

    “OK so the Swedes were not ONLY thinking Kyoto when they started rolling out their energy saving initiatives. They were thinking of their own future”

    I wish that AotearoaNZ and Scandinavian countries, with whom we have so many parallels/similarities in outlook/history, would form closer relationships. That would be a good thing for us.

    ” … the Swedes were not ONLY thinking Kyoto when they started rolling out their energy saving initiatives. They were thinking of their own future”

    as Aotearoa/NZ should be!

    I often think “If only the Americans had chosen German (rather than English) as their official language way back when!”
    Just think how different it could be here, to not be bombarded with endless and insidious American crap.

  77. PS: “New Zealand” – Lets study this”

    What a sensible little country – no point killing off our trade and industry just because Al Gore has gone into the entertainment business.

  78. >>that this means they didn’t bother to even TRY to figure out a proper costing

    I’m a friend of one of the treasury analysts who costed Kyoto compliance. He’s an interesting fellow – he seems to know his stuff.

    What are you basing your compliance costing on?

    >>What part of taking care of OUR business is lost on you

    I’m fine with finding and developing alternative energy sources here. But that’s a separate problem to C02 output and Kyoto targets.

    >>investing in infrastructure that is immune to petrol price changes

    Such as?

    >>Lead, follow or get out of the way

    New Zealand should get out of the way.

  79. BJ,

    Spot on the money in your cultural assesment. I think it is worse in a socialist system where so many public servants have a finger in the decision making process.

    Worse in Australia where local, state, and federal government departments have to have their tupence worth. At least in New Zealand we dont have state legislators. Though we do have the anglo-saxon propensity to sit on a problem.

  80. Russel is from Oz? Hmmm…

    Let me tell you the story of the 3 countries and the new idea. I devised this after encountering a peculiar difference in Oz from the way things were in America. It took me almost 2 years to recognize it but it clarified things immensely.

    Culturally Australia, the USA and New Zealand have an instinctive reaction to a new idea, in particular a new idea that requires that something be done.

    In Australia you are greeted with –
    “What would you want to do THAT for?” – no matter how good, brilliant, easy, cheap or sensible the idea actually is, the automatic assumption is that it is bad to change.

    In the USA you are greeted with –
    “Why not?” followed by a rush to try it – no matter how stupid, difficult, expensive or destructive the idea actually is, the assumption is that it is good to change. Iraq is just the latest manifestation.

    In New Zealand you are greeted with –
    “Lets study this” followed by formation of crown commissions and endless debate… because no matter whether it is good or bad, it cannot be implemented until the generation that originally had it has quit talking about it, and the only reason they ever will quit talking is by dying of old age.

    This is not a guaranteed response, it is a cultural tendency, but it is by observation that I derive it.

    respectfully
    BJ

  81. Ah… the expert engineers and innovators at the NZ Treasury are the people you listen to? Well that would explain your belief that all progress is impossible and all efforts are wasted. At least we know now where the disease comes from. Worse too, “we assume” is what they said, and if you are in business you know damned well that this means they didn’t bother to even TRY to figure out a proper costing.

    Falling short is different from “Not Trying”. You advocate the latter and the bankers at Treasury agree that’s the right thing to do. I have mentioned my disdain for the economic model by which they are running (sic) New Zealand. Not people I rely on to give me the correct time of day.

    Canada may well get mentioned, but their image and their issues are not New Zealand’s nor are we campaigning in Canada. We’re HERE Peter. What part of taking care of OUR business is lost on you? What part of taking responsibility for OUR actions is missing from your repertoire? Is that only something the right advocates when it is a convenient way to lumber some poor sod for failing to be wealthy?

    The Euro-zone will have some surprises I am sure, but their effort is real enough. It is HERE however, that advocates of standing pat and the status-quo have the advantage of playing to a pack of like-minded sheep.

    Offsetting and reducing agricultural emissions isn’t impossible. Greater efficiency of automobiles, less gas burned for electricity and more forest is more technically feasible than reducing the methane content of cow belches… and the problem isn’t “half” our emissions, it is the emissions increase since 1990…. which is largely due to automobiles, deforestation and electricity generation, not an increase in the bovine population.

    Can 1990 levels be reached? Not only yes but hell yes. Not the way the treasury or this government is reaching for them, but most assuredly yes, and at a cost that would surprise both them and you… and investing in infrastructure that is immune to petrol price changes and gas shortages makes far better long-term business sense than doing nothing… or have you noticed yet that behind this do-nothing-or-the-sky-will-fall attitude of yours, “almost nothing” is precisely what is being done?

    Lead, follow or get out of the way. Investment in energy efficiency and alternate forms of energy is not wasted, nor is it “better spent elsewhere”. It is better spent right here in New Zealand on New Zealanders.

    BJ

  82. BJ : “Anyone would think you were from Australia… (along with half the damned parliament).”
    Looking for trouble with the Orange Roughie, are you, Yank? 😉

    PeterPiker : “I think the US will be taking more notice of Canada, and the fact that most EU members have fallen short.”

    Why would they start taking notice of Canada? They never have before… Canada pulled out of Kyoto because it is becoming a major petroleum exporter, due to their huge deposits of bitumen, which can be laboriously transformed into something resembling crude oil. i.e. they need to burn huge amounts of energy just mining and processing the stuff before it’s exportable, so Kyoto would cost them a lot of money. So, cynically, they have taken the low road, and backed out of Kyoto after ratifying it.

    As for the EU, all countries are making efforts, some more convincingly than others. Take a look at the Scandies, they are very impressive indeed in reducing their reliance on fossil fuels, integrating urban heating and electricity generation, improving public transport infrastructure etc. You are right that smart engineers can roll out solutions when needs arise, but you’re wrong about it being market-driven. When the price of oil doubles or triples again, there are places which will do OK (like Sweden, Denmark, even Japan…) and others which will cr*p out badly… like NZ, on current form.

    OK so the Swedes were not ONLY thinking Kyoto when they started rolling out their energy saving initiatives. They were thinking of their own future, and making investments which were not yet justified by present-value accounting. But Kyoto was a useful prod in the right direction, and anything along the lines of carbon taxes or tradeable quotas will sent useful signals to the market.

    “She’ll be right mate” sounds more like fatalism than optimism to me.

  83. BJ, I think the US will be taking more notice of Canada, and the fact that most EU members have fallen short.

    >>It says to me that your mind has been and is closed to reason on this topic.

    No, I’ve thought about it. There are two pertinent facts:

    a) NZ makes no difference in terms of global emission levels.
    b) The cost of compliance is high.

    NZ Treasury:

    “It is reasonable to assume that the cost to the Crown of meeting its carbon liability is equivalent to the cost of purchasing on the international markets….it is quite possible that the domestic economic cost of emission reductions could exceed the cost of international purchasing. Given the nature of New Zealand’s emissions (about 50% agriculture-based) and the fact that New Zealand’s agri-businesses compete on world markets (and therefore would likely be unable to pass on the cost of emission reductions to consumers), the economic impact of domestic emission reductions on a major scale may well be substantial.”

    My argument is that money is better spent elsewhere.

    The symbolic gesture you call for will cost us far too much, and I disagree with you about the level of New Zealands influence.

    The world doesn’t notice us unless we’re playing rugby. And the US, China and India aren’t much interested in the game regardless.

  84. Yes JH… I did call it a “gormless government. It’s attitude is less than productive in many ways. The only thing I can think of that would’ve been worse would’ve been a National led government out of the last election. The Brash view of global warming simply didn’t even get out of the starting gate.

    We do hope for some improvements. We don’t count on them.

    BJ

  85. With $8 million in funding, he says, he is convinced he can put a consumer version of the X1 into production that meets federal safety standards, has a 100-mile range, and recharges in 4.5 hours.

    Right… Now if I take that car and I take my family buggy from an empty tank in Wellington to anywhere, the buggy starts with a 4.5 hour head start and when it runs out of petrol it will be WAY more than 100 miles away. This is the point Peter. You have to pay attention to the fine print. You have to pay attention to the fact that a battery pack doesn’t last for infinite recharges, and you have to pay attention to the fact that we’ve been working on battery life since we discovered the damned things and we have trouble beating the limitations. Li-Ion is better than Pb-Acid, but neither will do the way cars are currently used. Nor is that recharge time acceptable. This is what REALLY gives fuel-cells an advantage… the energy density is higher and the refueling is as fast as you can pour.

    If he succeeds, great. I don’t think he will with numbers like that. Nor does the science indicate any likely improvements on the numbers. Peter, you’re trying to make out that we want him to fail… we don’t actually. We’re just realistic about the science and it is very likely that he WILL fail. We aren’t “cheerleaders”, we’re a political party.

    “We don’t like cars” is really individual taste, not Green policy. We don’t like waste and we don’t like putting roads ahead of mass-transit. My first car was a BMW 1600, and I love the damned things. There’s no place in NZ where you can really let them out though. Greens would love to see cars that will work without petrol or biofuels to replace petrol, but we perceive the future to be best addressed with a reduction in the use of cars, particularly in cities, and a change in the way we fuel them.

    That you demand we reject Kyoto straightaway, even BEFORE we attempt to meet its goals, is telling. It says to me that your mind has been and is closed to reason on this topic. The time to make a decision on Kyoto is when the decision has to be made. The decisions needed NOW have to do with pushing local renewables and conservation.

    What ARE the costs? I confess that I do not really know what it would cost to put a tax incentive in place to get trees planted, nor what it would cost to organize the tax system along lines that reduces the cost of houses and encourages home ownership instead of renting. Home improvements in insulation instead of buying electric heaters. Wood pellet fires in place of gas burners, and in place of gas water heaters.

    All we hear from you is that Kyoto is dooming us economically. Not just untrue, this unnecessary and untimely bleating insults our intelligence. Quit your bullsh!t Peter. You know damned well that if we announce that we are unilaterally pulling out of Kyoto, the process is dead and nothing at all will replace it before 2020.

    Which is actually what you’re after, but can’t articulate. Just by the way dooming human civilization as a whole, not just our pitiful excuse for an economy… but damned if we’re going to lead, eh? Damned if we’re going to do anything to upset the precious status-quo. Anyone would think you were from Australia… (along with half the damned parliament).

    We need never transfer a cent out of this country and certainly won’t even incur an obligation for another 2 years… but we should give up NOW because Peter is scared to death that we can’t do it. Don’t be naive! Despite your disbelief in our influence, we can still set an extremely negative example.

    Besides which, it can be done. Probably not the way THIS gormless government is going about it, but it can be done without wrecking the economy. The energy is here to do it. The will to do it is sucked away by fools who won’t or can’t lead.

    The Green Party however, will not go along with their fear, and neither will I.

    I have thought you smarter than this.

    BJ

  86. BTW: I own quite a few hectares of forest up past Otaki.

    Should I be harvesting now and converting the land to more profitable use? Curiously, the government won’t pay me to keep it there. In fact, they plan to tax me if I do so.

  87. >>What battery pack was that?

    http://www.teslamotors.com/
    http://tinyurl.com/jzjzw

    With further scale and innovation (batteries), we’ll solve this problem. We’re well on track to doing so. You think the Greens would be applauding such technology, but they don’t like cars, do they.

    >>I will say it yet AGAIN. Somebody has to start somewhere, we are here. I know you don’t LIKE it, but you cannot deny it.

    And my point is that we need to be careful.

    No one pays much attention to us, we don’t make a much difference in terms of output, yet the costs of compliance may be enormous. If the costs of compliance are minimal, then go for it.

    But they’re not, are they.

    Energy sourcing is a separate issue. I’m all for alternative, local sources of energy, rather than throwing money at perpetuating a near-dead oil industry.

    We can do that without Kyoto, especially if Kyoto drains our resources with which we would otherwise develop our energy infrastructure.

  88. Mr Dickie said plantings initially plunged and deforestation began when the Government announced it would confiscate carbon credits rightfully owned by the New Zealanders who have invested in forestry since 1990. To now be further undermining confidence in the industry with the proposed $13,000 per hectare retrospective tax was “reckless in the extreme”.

    http://www.kfoa.co.nz/

  89. PeterExitsLeft – We have a lot of Hydro which we are basically using all up. We have a lot of low-grade coal which is a total b!yatch to burn clean enough to avoid acid rain and whose energy output is worse than that of wood pellets, and our gas supply is not going to last to 2015.

    “The only energy crisis New Zealand will have will be self-imposed.” This is partly true, but not in the way you mean it. If we don’t build up our renewable base, our wind farms, tidal stations, biofuel and geothermal we’re in deep poo.

    You say “The Infrastructure will also ramp up, if required” but omit the problem that that exit ramp is not reachable once the freeway is choked with stalled vehicles.

    “The motoring industry and silicon valley have the technology to shift us to electric cars now.”

    What battery pack was that? You know (I should think you’d know) that the energy density numbers are simply nowhere near viability for a real electric general purpose vehicle.

    You keep saying the cost of compliance is high, but you omit that the costs you are citing are the costs of non-compliance. The cost of compliance is not nearly so high.

    Yes our absolute impact is low. We will not solve it by ourselves, but by our example we encourage (or shame) others to pull their collective thumbs from the place they are reaching to scratch their heads. We have a responsibility to future generations no less than anyone elses. We have the ability to do this without it costing us an arm and a leg.

    I will say it yet AGAIN. Somebody has to start somewhere, we are here. I know you don’t LIKE it, but you cannot deny it.

    Big Bruv… you know better than that. Nobody from anyplace left or right WANTS a hard crash, and the fact that we are all likely to get one in the next 12 months (no matter WHAT we do) is not a good thing. Saying what you said is more than a little insulting… and it isn’t related to Green politics in any way. I suggest you rethink this before pursuing it.

    Basically it boils down to the following, doesn’t it?

    This problem isn’t going to get a real answer until and unless the USA and China participate. China has indicated a willingness to follow the US lead. The US is still partly in the grip of one of the most incompetent, mealy-mouthed collection of cowardly conservative chickenhawks in the history of the planet. Barring an impeachment (which is still possible), US participation in solving this problem will be determined in the election of 2008 and could start in 2009. This is a decade too late for any meaningful accomplishment, all that participating in Kyoto will mean to them at that point will be a transfer of money to the Russians… compliance would have been easier had the path to reach it been started sooner.

    The point however, is that the election of 2008 will see Kyoto and Global Warming as important topics… provided a new war hasn’t been started by the lunatic in chief. This means that there will be a LOT of advertising space devoted to it, and if nobody has achieved their Kyoto goals and nobody has even tried including “clean green New Zealand”, which is what looks to be the case, the battle to get anything done will be stalled completely for another 4 years at least. If we do nothing now, the ads then will not miss that fact and the naysayers will win another political delay.

    Delay is the deadliest form of denial. The earliest start then will be 2013. Peak Oil will be an accomplished fact, and it may be that we will see some changes but effectively 15 years behind the curve. The lag time for CO2 warming is more than 30 years and we may well buy ourselves another 2 degrees of increase by simply futzing about.

    As the cost to US is not large, despite your continued whinges. I expect us to move to more renewables rather than building another coal plant, and to arrange to plant more forest and to arrange incentives for better fuel economy on the road and better scheduling and electrification for the rail.

    BJ

  90. PeterExitsLeft Says:”The topic of the thread is Kyoto compliance. The cost to New Zealand is high, and our impact is very low. That makes Kyoto high risk for New Zealand.”

    And that is it in a nutshell!….there are only two reasons I can think of for anybody to support this in NZ, one is the feel good factor, the other is that the undoubted economic crash that will accompany compliance with Kyoto is the real intention, the only people who would want that are those from the HARD (communist) left

    Make no mistake, our efforts will make not one ounce of difference to any supposed global climate change theory, it annoys me that so many continue to push the line that we can make a difference.

  91. >>your brain seems to be producing more than its fair share

    That’s not very nice.

    Cows don’t contribute to global warming issues? What was the proposed government tax all about?

    >>profitability

    Supply and demand. As the demand shifts to cheaper alternatives, production is ramped. The motoring industry and silicon valley have the technology to shift us to electric cars now. The infrastructure will also ramp up, if required.

    We’ve got a lot of hydro, gas and coal. Perhaps oil. The only energy crisis New Zealand will have will be self-imposed. Screw globalisation, eh 😉

    >>The invisible hand

    ….of doom! Woo-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha (lightning flashes)

    You Greenies really are a morbid lot aren’t you. No fun at all 🙂

    The topic of the thread is Kyoto compliance. The cost to New Zealand is high, and our impact is very low. That makes Kyoto high risk for New Zealand.

  92. PeterExitsLeft

    Right-O… We Engineers are just waiting for the profitability to show up so we can instantly sh!t fully tested and complete solutions.

    Puhleez! If the infrastructure isn’t ready and the engineering isn’t done the miracle doesn’t happen and the economy gets taken from behind without benefit of lubrication… after all it is the oil we’re running out of.

    It took a decade for a workable hybrid drivetrain to come about, and it took government intervention to persuade industry that the hybrid was viable. Now that higher petrol prices are here and the phrase ‘at the mercy of middle east oil suppliers’ which troubled Carter and Clinton enough for them to actually do something, has meaning, now would be a really poor time to START developing that system.

    The invisible hand is exquisitely sensitive and competent with things it can touch and feel. It is totally incompetent to manage events in the future, and it cannot see distant effects, it is ONLY a hand. You need an eye a brain to work out what is likely to happen and adapt your behaviours to advantage in the environment to come.

    BJ

  93. “Is it true that cows are responsible for much of our output?”

    Ah, you’d be thinking of methane there Pete, not CO2. Speaking of methane, your brain seems to be producing more than its fair share…

  94. There are plenty of places to get energy from.

    >>viable electric cars

    Yes. When faced with transport problems, we’ll solve them.

    >>CO2 production

    Is it true that cows are responsible for much of our output?

  95. “New Zealand could increase C02 output, and not reduce sustainability.”

    Oh really? How? What’s your scenario where NZ increases CO2 output without burning more fossil fuels? Or are fossil fuels a sustainable resource to you? I suggest you check “sustainable” in a dictionary.

    The Tesla car is a cute toy, for rich boys who like that sort of toys. I’m not knocking it, but it’s marginal — the rich will always have transport options anyway. More important, it’s a stepping stone to viable electric cars for the masses, and that’s the only thing that will offer future generations anything like the freedom and mobility we have enjoyed.

    As to dissociating CO2 production and energy independence : you’re moving the goalposts there, Peter… In the real world, they are tightly bound together. Or, if you prefer, there are three related issues, not two : sustainability is not identical to energy independence (it would be possible to achieve energy independence in an unsustainable manner, e.g. by massively developing coal).

    So, in sum : reducing CO2 emissions is not purely a charge on the economy, in particular because there are payoffs in terms of sustainability and energy independence, both of which we need to tackle anyway.

  96. I take your point, although I differ on what “unsustainable economic activity” means. Unsustainable to whom? New Zealand could increase C02 output, and not reduce sustainability.

    >>virtue is its own reward

    I would argue that there is little virtue in reducing our ability to pay for health and education, especially when all we’re doing with Kyoto, in real terms, is making an expensive point.

    >>the end of cheap energy

    Is that really what this is about? Energy independence? If so, then that problem can be tackled in better ways. Kyoto compliance is the wrong hammer for that job.

    What do you think of this thing?

    http://www.teslamotors.com/

    I’d buy one, and I’m a Nat 🙂

  97. The entire Climate Change debate, insofar as New Zealand is concerned and that includes the most recent consultation round, is that it lacks a framework that accomodates inter-regional, inter-national and intra-national tradability, AND it is not equitable. (Thanks Jeanette, for mentioning equity, some of us were listening).

    There can be no equity when the commodity is arbitary and there are boundaries. (even if there was an auditable ‘energy backed currency’ disputes for the greater part occur at the boundaries). THere is a solution space that extens beyond ‘to little to late’ kyoto, and the longer we leav it to have that conversation the deeper we’ll have to dig to get out of the hole. Presuming Kyoto is OK because ‘its the best we have got’, or becasue ‘politics is the art of the possible’ is anally retentative… its like saying Polio is OK because Anthrax looks terrible.

    We need something that builds upon the intent of UN Convention, thats for sure. As long as our uninsured economic losses are twice GDP growth, this thing is going to bite us in the arse (Expansion and Divergence).

    If the correction required is the equal and opposite ‘opposing forces’ to E&D then Contraction and Convergence (C&C) is to coin a phrase of the British Environment Minister, ‘the only game in town’.

    The curious reader will obtain a more thorough explaination at http://www.gci.org.uk

    If you think it has merit, dont keep it to yourself. Let MfE know. Tell them on the thier website, it is necessary to think beyond impositional and penalty based solutions, even transitional ones. (crap and trade, baseline and credit, and offset trading… bah humbug! who needs threshholds for entry? allowances (who gets them?) and penalties (just who is the policeman here?) who pays compliance costs? (and the lawyers) Coverage, flexibility, methods, leakage, safety valves, project based offsets, gratis allocations, auctions etc.. etc… its a busines nightmare scenario.

    Go simple, go C&C.

    Cheers and Beers everyone.. Have a great Xmas and a climate ameliorating New Year…

    “and long may yer lumb reek on other folks coal”

  98. Peter :

    To reinforce BJ’s point : reducing CO2 emissions is actually productive investment : pretty much by definition, it’s a matter of transforming unsustainable economic activity into sustainable economic activity. I would argue that virtue is its own reward, and we should be doing it anyway. You claim that globally it makes no economic sense to do so, but that depends on your assumptions and framework. To a large extent, it’s a question of accurately costing externalities. Lost productivity in the short term, perhaps, but better preparation for the cold hard realities of the end of cheap energy. Depending on your accounting techniques (present value etc) it may seem smarter to delay doing it until you absolutely have to, but that seems very short-sighted to me.

    Your point about sending money to Russia is a good one. In particular, because Russia is the world’s largest producer of fossil fuels. If I ruled the world (ha!), producers of fossil fuels would be taxed too, and not only the consumers, for the greenhouse gases they produce. They might just leave a bit more of it in the ground, where it belongs.

  99. “Whether we pay a fine or lose productivity, the result is the same.”

    Well no. The FINE is a billion dollars handed over to someone else. The investment is spent here. I run into the same argument often with respect to space. We spend X $ on Space. In actuality we spend it here on earth, and the investment goes into the economy like any other keynesian stimulus. So the difference is pretty stark.

    As for “lost productivity” I doubt seriously that this would be a major issue. The cost in those terms would be largely related to revising business models and adapting to the changed economic environment – Something that will have to be done eventually in any case. Doing it this way we have some control over the process.

    Actually doing something, which is what New Zealanders (and in particular this government) seem to instinctively attempt to avoid, is what Kyoto is encouraging.

    You seem to be resisting that encouragement and want to get rid of the imposed penalties for doing less than the little bit that is needful here.

    respectfully
    BJ

  100. >>Kyoto obligations aren’t primarily the cost of the fine. The fine is the >>consequence of failing the obligation to reduce CO2 emissions. The cost of >>reducing those emissions is investment in infrastructure and moderate >>alterations of business conditions to embed CO2 costing in the economic >>considerations of business.

    If we can reduce emissions for next to nothing, that’s fine. However, I would be interested in seeing the costs of compliance in terms of lost productivity, infrastructure changes, cost of goods, transportation etc. This is about a lot more than planting a few trees and encouraging composting, isn’t it?

    Whether we pay a fine or lose productivity, the result is the same.

  101. When the New Zealand public realises that a billion dollars a year of carbon taxes will go from New Zealand to the Russians it will be interesting how they percieve this. While the Greens can see the logic the general public might take a dim view. Election time could be interesting in 2008, 2011!

    A billion odd dollars per year builds a lot of wind, wave ,etc. renewable energy projects in New Zealand not to mention public transport facilities or energy conservation education programmes.

    I think Kyoto as signed up by the Labour party is fatally flawed, not from the carbon tax collecting point of view but where the tax recipients will “invest’ this money.

    We have no say where the billion dollars per year will be spent by the Russians. Maybe on nuclear submarine maintenance programmes?

    Not to mention an international agency will cream off 10% to “administer” these huge transactions and to make sure the Rusians are not double dipping in their carbon sink. An almost perfect vessel for corruption.

    I think we should scrap Kyoto but collect the carbon tax and invest that money in renewable energy in New Zealand. That makes common sense to me.

    A political party could sell this quite successfully in 2008, 2011, 2014.

  102. PeterExitsLeft

    That article describes the cost of remaining in Kyoto and continuing to do the ineffection nothing that this government and all preceding and prospective governments, have done or will do to achieve the goals.

    “The biggest change from last year’s estimates is a 24 per cent or 38 million tonne increase in the emissions expected from vehicle exhausts and smokestacks, especially the former.”

    .
    .
    .
    “But it also reflects a collapse in the rate of new planting of commercial forests and an increase in deforestation, which creates a liability under Kyoto’s rules.”

    Green policy is to fix the problem, not pay the fine.

    Basically, with the business community wailing and lobbying and gnashing of teeth, and this government’s ability to take two steps back for every step forward, the prospects are good that we’re gonna get fined.

    We shouldn’t be paying the fine though, and you shouldn’t lumber greens with that sort of ineptitude. What WOULD we do if the goal could not be met? Not sure. Personally I’d borrow against future credits while investing money in making sure we actually earn them.

    Sigh… under no circumstances should this country be in the position of having to PAY for carbon credits. The only reason we might be has to do with the resistance of business to ANY change (excepting lower taxes) and the resistance of this government to actually taking ANY action (*unless it involves Rugby ).

    Kyoto obligations aren’t primarily the cost of the fine. The fine is the consequence of failing the obligation to reduce CO2 emissions. The cost of reducing those emissions is investment in infrastructure and moderate alterations of business conditions to embed CO2 costing in the economic considerations of business.

    Paying the fine is purely stupid… and I do agree with you in this regard. I would not have that in a fit. However, paying the fine is actually punishment for the completely irresponsible way that business and government have both acted (or failed to act).

    Shipping money out of NZ isn’t Green policy.

    It might behoove us Greens to consider how we would deal with the failure of this business and money based government to achieve anything more than sub-zero progress on CO2. We aren’t in government, and by the time we are in government we’re probably be looking at quite a few more years of STUPID inaction and resulting deficits in the carbon account. What to do about those will eventually become a question.

    You have managed to make me angry PeterExitsLeft, but not with you. It is this government that infuriates. The National answers are worse, but THIS government, which talks wonders but delivers weasels, could use a hammering at the ministerial level.

    respectfully
    BJ

  103. It is real. $1 Billion buys a lot of education

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/3/story.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10331130

    That is money we will, quite literally, be throwing away. It doesn’t make a difference, in terms of emission damage, if New Zealand *increased* its current output. We’re too small. On a global scale, our output is comparatively meaningless. Our participation is, therefore, symbolic. A gesture.

    I think that’s too high a price to be symbolic.

    I can understand your arguments. I just think pragmatism is the more sensible path here. We’re a trading nation that depends on agriculture and tourism. Do enough to preserve those (marketing, mostly), but don’t kill them off by adding unnecessary impediments (loading them with Kyoto compliance costs)

  104. PeterExitsLeft

    I don’t see that meeting Kyoto obligations is the “big grand gesture” that you keep implying.

    Build a bunch of wind farms, insulate houses, encourage greater fuel efficiency, improve the transmission grid and a host of other things that all flow from higher costs laid on burning ancient fossil fuels.

    When, as it inevitably will do, the price of those fuels gets even more exorbitant, New Zealand will reap the profit of having an economy and a society that still works. The same is unlikely to be true of most of the rest of the planet.

    Some places, France for instance, derive much of their power from Nuclear plants. They will do better than most in the short run, but there is only so much Uranium as well. It is better at present, than burning carbon fuels, but it brings with it risks and problems.

    Personally, and this is not a green position, I am ambivalent about the insistence on Nuclear-Free NZ. It is not a matter I find important. It isn’t necessary however, to build nuclear power plants here. There is plenty of energy to be had from the renewables. I don’t really understand the drive to go “Nuclear Free”, but I have to doubt that it was any kind of attempt to influence the rest of the planet. I rather more perceive it as an expression of my 4th reason, which is that my obligations are not influenced by others failure to meet their own.

    The objective is to meet Kyoto goals, not to spend money or break businesses. The sooner we get serious aboud doing it, the easier it will be to adjust. I don’t think the delays we’ve had so far have done us any good, but even if we are a tad belated in our accomplishing the task it is best that we get on with it.

    I hate volunteering myself Peter… it’s instinctive at some level, but I also hate watching nations behave as a mob of cowards because not one has the intestinal fortitude to do what has to be done.

    This goes back to the comment that CP Snow made, as was pointed out in another thread. We don’t deal well with risks that affect the NEXT generation.

    You keep referencing the massive disadvantage to which we would put ourselves, but you don’t describe it. Is it real? Is it really that much bother… or only being painted as insurmountable?

    respectfully
    BJ

  105. Peter:

    I don’t understand your reference to being “reasonably wealthy yourself” in reference to my last post?

  106. PeterExitsLeft says/asks :

    “New Zealand can perform the big, grand gesture. But the question is, should we? Can we afford to do so?”

    I don’t see any “big, grand gesture” here.
    My question in reply is “Can we afford NOT to do so?”

    Peter: I understand the “pragmatisim” of all your arguments.
    However, I fear that the current threat is potentially too big for any of us, individually or collectively, to just “leave it to others.” (We should have moved into action decades ago.)

    We would not be “jumping out in front”. We should have moved into action decades ago. (However, “better late than never”, we will be doing our individual and collective bit to be part of the solution, and as such will at least be in the group that is trying to do something, and hopefully, have some say/influence in how to proceed from here.)

    This dilema highlights the major difference between your approach and the approach of Greens. We look at the collective good /”responsibility” ahead of our own individual short term interests. I was brought up to always think “What would happen if everyone did what I am doing.”

    With your scenario, everyone should put his/her immediate individual interest ahead of the longer term interests of the whole … and wait for someone else to “do something.”

    In (my reality) “real terms”: what is the point of having “billions” to spend on education if the Planet’s climate becomes hostile to human life.

  107. Eredwen,

    I’m reasonably wealthy myself, and it sure beats being poor, which is how I grew up! The socialist/capitalist argument is a long one, and I don’t see much point in going off-topic on this thread. It’s fair to say I’m happy with capitalism (depspite its failings), and I loathe socialism (for reasons far too numerous to list here).

    On-topic: New Zealand can perform the big, grand gesture. But the question is, should we? Can we afford to do so?

    We are proud of our idealism. The brave soldiers of Gallipoli did their duty under a gin-soaked incompetent allied command. Nobody can question our ability to muck in, but the cost was enormous. And for what result (in that battle)?

    We went nuclear-free. Again, doing our bit for peace, but as a poster noted above, the only thing that really made a difference was the appointment of Gorbachev, an event beyond our influence and control. We remain proud, but we made little difference. The reality was that we did ourself out of trade revenue, which would have increased our standard of living.

    Once again, we’re jumping out in front. Feels good to some, I’m sure, but I think it’s time we were a bit more clever and hung to the sidelines. Do what we can, make the right noises, but lets not get flattened unnecessarily while the giants dance.

    In real terms: billions spent achieving *nothing*, when it could be spent educating our young.

  108. peter:

    To follow on from what bj is saying about “all the Greens are doing is pushing conservation, insulation, less pollution and more renewables … ”

    In my case, I work informally at “the grass roots level” monitoring attitudes, use, waste and alternatives, and the knowledge level of the average Kiwi … and encouraging “positive change (without fear)”.

    I started by looking closely at my own behaviour, and then that of our household, and then that of our friends and neighbourhood, and I am planning how best to move outwards from there …

    As one who grew up in pre-plastic days! (in the same house that I live in now) I have witnessed the HUGE and continuing escalation in consumption and waste and imports, and “fashion” expanding into every sphere, and built in obsolesence (rather than locally made and repairable stuff, durability of products, and compatable components) and the increase to absurdity of Marketing-Marketing and more Marketing, and the fostering of “I want” attitudes to everything … all of this with little (if any) real enhancement of personal happiness, societal contentment and security.
    Money is seen as the ‘raison d’etre’ for individuals rather than a useful tool for a society.

    I see that there is a lot that can be done to ensure that we (and, with some ajustment, people everywhere) can retain (or gain) the things that make (modern) life and society functional and pleasant, without completely trashing the Planet and blighting the lives of others … All it would take would be for us to re-learn how to share!!
    THAT is the BIGGIE and it is often not even a tiny part of our currently fashionable economic theories, and our current tolerance (and even emulation) of those who have, and consume, too much.

    By the way, all of this and most of the discussion has neglected to even acknowledge that we share this country and this Planet and its oceans and atmosphere with a myriad of other species. It is their home too!

    I’ve been around long enough to know that, internationally, things can change, and change very quickly … I was born before the Battle of the Coral Sea … (younger people can google that if they don’t understand the connection!)

    We are lucky to live in Aotearoa/NZ. We are its current custodians and we all must take that duty seriously. Some of that duty MUST involve the part we play as part of the International Community.

    We all need this Planet and its systems. The Planet doesn’t need us.

  109. >>NZ visibility is higher than you think

    Respectfully, I wonder if you’re typical?

    I’ve spent time in the US (east and west, and a bit in the middle), and speak with people from the US on a daily basis, and those I’ve come across in the tech sector know nothing of New Zealand policy. I’ve yet to go to a country that knew much at all about New Zealand. I don’t expect them to, of course.

    >>do you REALLY think Iraq

    Where did I say what I thought Iraq was about? It’s off-topic. Clearly, it was about oil and bringing US control to the Middle East. No disagreement there.

    >>I think you fear Green policies too much and the consequences of inaction too little.

    I do fear pouring a lot of money into something that won’t make a difference. There is a high risk Kyoto compliance by New Zealand will make no difference whatsoever, and the cost will be borne by us, the New Zealand taxpayer.

  110. PeterExitsLeft – I *am* an American. I know what goes on in their (our) heads and you can believe it or not as you wish, but if we don’t take a lead here there is stuff-all chance of getting any movement out of America. NZ visibility is higher than you think. Particularly if we mess things up.

    As for your fear, all we are doing is pushing conservation, insulation, less pollution and more renewables. Given the cost of imported oil this is hardly controversial, even with you. Our reasons for doing it include something more than just money, and we want the system here to count the cost of the commons better than it does, but that change isn’t a “gut the economy” change.

    As for war… do you REALLY think Iraq was about WMD? …. or “bringing democracy to the middle-east” or anything but oil?

    The planet has a long history of war interrupted by brief periods of preparation for the next war. The only question is where and who with. War was avoided in the 80’s by a fellow named Gorbachev. His accession to power and the resulting changes in Russia, were all that saved the situation. It could have EASILY gone the other way. I personally evaluated the odds at 60/40 in favour of war before he showed up. I think all of us had a guess, I don’t know who thought it was a “dead cert”. Nothing is that.

    For instance: If we get Cheap Access to Space and we can use mirrors to control the climate. CO2 won’t matter as much. Won’t do the ocean acidity much good but the thermostat will be under our control.

    I think you fear Green policies too much and the consequences of inaction too little. Which of our policies is it that destroys the economy anyway? Not that it matters. The US economy is going down and I don’t think we stand or fall on our own merits these days.

    respectfully
    BJ

  111. It’s not a case of doing nothing. I think conservation and less pollution is, on balance, a good thing.

    Man-Made Global Warming – I don’t know, for sure, if we’re causing it. I don’t wish to debate it, because I can’t. The science is beyond me.

    *If* we are causing it, and *if* we can do something about it, then the Top 20 countries need to move on a reversal to work.

    Setting an example may feel good, but I fear that example may come at too high cost, and I disagree that people pay attention to New Zealand. Some do, on some level, but not the level you assume.

    The danger in using our economy to make a political point is that if we get it wrong (dive in too early, have no effect or influence) then we will kill and disadvantage New Zealanders. And future New Zealanders. Guaranteed.

    As for war – that’s way out there. I don’t see it as a logical conclusion. They thought it was a dead cert in the 80’s, too.

    Same song, same lyrics.

  112. big bruv:

    I agree that this IS a case of what we CANNOT afford.

    However: The main thing we cannot afford is the nations of the world NOT taking collective measures to combat climate change.

    This is not an easy decision for the reasons you state, but I believe it is the
    best first step for Aotearoa/New Zealand at this time: (a risky investment where we may lose some money but the potentiall gains, if the thing works, are enormous: a chance for humans to be able to continue a more careful version of “life as we know it”.

    Unfortunately we must do our part and be among the “good guys”. The Kyoto Protocol could be better, but we need to be on the “inside” if we are to be able to do anything about refining it, and above all we need to be on the inside to swell the numbers and thus help the Many put pressure on the greedy polluting Few.

  113. “Someone has to start somewhere. We’re here” – me

    1. Someone has to go first.

    2 The Chinese were happy enough to follow the US lead on this, and they did. The US won’t budge until other nations move.

    3. We, of all nations, can most easily afford Kyoto, because of all nations, we have almost certainly, the most abundant renewable resources per-capita. Oz would get a look in if they convert outback solar, but nobody else in the OECD is in the hunt, and the poorest nations aren’t producing a lot of anything.

    4. My responsibilities are not diminished by my neighbours abrogation of his own responsibilities.

    5. Relating to several others. Our social inertia is smaller. We can change course more readily than China or the USA. In some ways I think this lays the responsibility for leading changes at our door, not someone elses.

    The problem isn’t that Kyoto is particularly difficult for this nation to abide by. The problem is that it seems particularly difficult for this nation to do anything but study solutions until they either become impossible or grow a Rugby stadium.

    This isn’t intractable… it plays very nicely into the requirements of the future in terms of energy costs in ANY case, so the idea that it is too expensive is a time sensitive idea. Over how much time is the solution cost analyzed against benefits?

    It is a fair thing to say “it costs too much over the next decade” if we set a span of time and estimate the effects over that time, and include that time in our statement. It is wrong however, to simply say it costs too much without measuring the benefit.

    Apply it to buying a share, or a house. “It costs too much over the next 3 months” may well be true, but it is very likely to be misleading about the benefits over 10 years….

    That and the fact that by our inaction we give all others a similar excuse to fail to act,

    I’ll say it again. Someone has to start somewhere. We’re here.

    Kyoto may be imperfect but it is what we got, and all we COULD get in a political environment that was even more hostile to the global-warming concept than it is now. It is important that someone take the lead.

    respectfully
    BJ

  114. Peter is right, we of all nations cannot afford the Kyoto agreement.

    Unless ALL nations sign up it is pointless.

  115. PeterExitsLeft –

    Unlike you, I count up the peripheral effects on a civilization that is already better armed than fed. If food production is relocated (and it will be), and reduced even temporarily (and it will be), the result historically, is mass movements of population and war.

    If you reckon that the bulk of civilization will survive the combination of war and famine you’d be a bit optimistic. Some places might. THIS place might… but there’d be a lot of boats from a lot of different places, headed here.

    I don’t like to settle for “hoping” things will work out OK when the excrement impacts the rotating ventilation system.

    YOU think I overstated the case, but consider the systematic exclusion of such flow-on effects from the risk assessments. The science types aren’t going to count up “war”, as it is not in the realm of science. The Economists don’t count it as a risk either, because they have no tool to predict when and where and why it might start.

    War is what would wreck civilization Peter, not the rising water itself. The water, in changed rainfall patterns and storm patterns, would be the cause. You object to my phrasing, but I fear that I have described at least one level of risk quite accurately. The second level of risk comes in as a result of some of the weapons that might be used…. we could also trigger a Nuclear Winter. This would of course, resolve “global warming” issues and make you “right” in some pyrrhic sense, but I have low confidence in predicting that they would be used or not, or to what degree. India-Pakistan?

    So….

    Did I really “overstate” risks, or are you minimizing them?

    respectfully
    BJ

  116. Peter:

    How can you be so confident that “drowned wreckage of civilization? is an “overstatement”?

    Some whole countries are on low-lying land, as are some densely populated cities …

  117. “drowned wreckage of civilization.”

    See, that’s the problem.

    It’s overstated.

    Softly, softly, catchy monkey.

  118. PeterExitsLeft

    Right… the only agreement we could get and it’s both too weak to do any good and too hard to do. Good attitude. Lets just give up and let our children cope with the drowned wreckage of civilization.

    Sorry mate. That doesn’t work.

    Politics is the art of the possible, and if you were paying attention to what the Chinese were doing and saying you’d have realized that they stated that they would basically follow the lead of the USA. This is an imperative for them because the two economies are locked together in a murder-suicide pact of some sort.

    We know how Kyoto could be met…. Greens have been talking about how to do it for years. We DO know, and so do you. We aren’t the government though, so darned little of our solution gets anywhere near implementation.

    Kyoto won’t work if it isn’t tried. It won’t be tried if people keep worrying about whether anyone else is doing it. I have never seen so many people so willing to let this be someone elses problem.

    Makes me ashamed to be part of the same species, and a little concerned that I might not be 🙂

    BJ

  119. I find it sad that nations are struggling to even meet Kyoto targets. The mainstream appears to agree that Kyoto itself is far too weak. If we can’t even manage Kyoto, what hope is there??

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