Private polar bears good, public bears bad?

As reported in the ODT and elsewhere, Minister Brownlee launched a “National tourism energy efficiency programme” on Friday.

“The results from the pilot programme… showed this was a worthwhile investment. If all of the 16,000 tourism businesses in New Zealand made similar savings to businesses in the pilot programme, that’s nearly $500 million dollars a year that could be invested elsewhere,” said Mr Brownlee

Twelve tourism businesses identified potential energy savings worth $375,000 a year, and annual savings of over 700 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking 170 cars off the road.

It’s an effective programme where pilots have shown real savings, and the potential is huge if it can be expanded to the whole industry. Indeed, it’s a very good “hug a polar bear” initiative from the Government.

Hang on, didn’t the Government bag the bears recently? A statement from Russel Norman a month ago, following the Government’s axing of the Govt3 “hug a polar bear initiative”, showed that:

The Inland Revenue Department made a profit from sustainability initiatives last year, cutting energy and travel spending by over one million dollars. The savings … include:

  • Annual energy efficiency and conservation savings $337,000
  • Annual air travel savings (extrapolated from a six month figure) $600,000
  • Annual paper savings $100,000
  • Annual petrol savings  $4,510

[T]he Minister for the Environment also revealed …that ‘savings of $4.7 million have been achieved across a range of areas’ as a result of the now dumped Govt3 sustainability programmes.

So Govt3 was an effective programme where pilots have shown real savings, and the potential is huge if it can be expanded to the whole public sector – one that would save the taxpayer and lead by example.

Yet this was dumped. Go figure!

28 Comments Posted

  1. Sadly the reduction in air fare costs did not reduce our carbon production by one gramme! The planes still flew, the fuel was consumed, the emissions produced and the carbon deposited.

    Only an air line can reduce carbon emissions from passenger travel by either a) downscaling the planes they use (expensive as there is little or no resale value in guzzlers during the recession) or b) cancelling flights.

  2. Too tasty. Too entrenched in the human psyche.

    I’ve got nothing against treating animals humanely and killing them for food, any more so than you have for growing plants and killing them for food.

    That’s nature.

  3. much as people scoffed at the very idea of ending the human slave trade that drove/underpinned so many countries economies..

    ..just in the last couple of years the word vegan has gone from huh..?..

    ..to (almost) mainstream..

    ..and there are three main threads to those vegan arguments/ideas…

    ..the one of personal health/wellbeing..that ensues..

    ..and the ending the personal contributions to the suffering that surrounds us..

    ..and the f*cking of the planet…that carnivores contribute to..

    ..every day….more people go vegan..

    and especially amongst young people..

    ..it is an idea that makes sense..

    ..and that cheers me no end..

    (the other day my son told me his friends at school tried to buy the vegan lunch i had made him..off him..

    ..i thought that was pretty cool..eh..?)

    ..y’know..i know quite a few people who live the vegan lifestyle..

    ..from babies to people in their seventies..

    ..and what they all have in common..

    ..is an almost ‘glowing’ health..

    ..that is absent from most carnivores/addicts to flesh/fat..

    ..all i can testify to is what i see/know..

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    and blue-peter.. there are quite a few hindus in india..eh..?

    ..there..you are in the minority..

  4. much as people scoffed at the very idea of ending the human slave trade that drove/underpinned so many countries economies..

    ..just in the last couple of years the word vegan has gone from huh..?..

    ..to (almost) mainstream..

    ..and there are three main threads to those vegan arguments/ideas…

    ..the one of personal health/wellbeing..that ensues..

    ..and the ending the personal contributions to the suffering that surrounds us..

    ..and the f*cking of the planet…that carnivores contribute to..

    ..every day….more people go vegan..

    and especially amongst young people..

    ..it is an idea that makes sense..

    ..and that cheers me no end..

    (the other day my son told me his friends at school tried to buy the vegan lunch i had made him..off him..

    ..i thought that was pretty cool..eh..?)

    ..y’know..i know quite a few people who live the vegan lifestyle..

    ..from babies to people in their seventies..

    ..and what they all have in common..

    ..is an almost ‘glowing’ health..

    ..that is absent from most carnivores/addicts to flesh/fat..

    ..all i can testify to is what i see/know..

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  5. yes bp..it’s the old incrementalist vs. absolutist argument..eh..?

    i am firmly in the absolutist/abolitionist camp..

    ..and i want people to question their own acts..(especially self-professing greens..)

    ..not just ask for slightly larger cages..

    ..the whole vile/unnecessary/evil practise of society accepting the torturing/killing and eating of living/feeling/suffering animals..

    ..must end..

    ..and it will..

    ..and those who scoff at such aspirations..

    ..need to look back to the first abolitionists..

    ..principled people revolted by the evils of human slavery..

    ..all of their arguments/aspirations apply here..

    ..and the evils of ownership/slavery of animals..

    ..are really no different..

    ..and just as they eventually prevailed..

    ..so will we..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  6. >>..by shortening their natural lives..and killing/eating them..

    Phil, that sort of talk will blow the opportunity.

    If people think it’s a bunch of vegetarian hippies demanding people make a fundamental lifestyle choice by not eating meat at all, people will stick with the status quo.

    The reason this has got traction is that it *isn’t* coming from the usual quarters, who are written off as fundamentalist loons. It’s coming from that funny Maori fella, who swims in the mainstream.

  7. i am puzzled toad..

    ..that you express such disgust at this..

    ..yet you perform the ultimate cruelty/indignity upon such living creatures..

    ..by shortening their natural lives..and killing/eating them..

    ..how do you maintain such a disconnect between your disgust..

    ..and the cruelties you yourself support..perform..?

    did you have bacon and eggs for breakfast..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  8. Trouble is, what to do about the imports?

    The labeling would help take care of that angle while the pen pushers bumble about, as samiam suggests.

  9. >>Farmers who torture their animals can go and get f**ked as far as am concerned.

    Hear, hear.

  10. phil u said: no..what the govt must do..is outlaw crate-farming.. it’s as simple as that..

    It is indeed, phil u. I often disagree with you on strategy, but this one is as basic as it gets re principle. Farmers who torture their animals can go and get f**ked as far as am concerned.

  11. a moment of hilarity in the close-up coverage of this tonight..

    the host/moustache-guy asked the pork-industry-dude how he felt now about mike king..their former spokes/sales-person..(who was there..)

    ..now dissing the ‘product’..

    pork industry-dude kept a straight/wooden face..

    …and said..’we are disappointed in mike..etc etc..

    (a benchmark in understatement..eh..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  12. no..what the govt must do..is outlaw crate-farming..

    it’s as simple as that..

    btw..which famous person do we need to send into a battery-farm with a camera..?

    to end those nightmares..?

    and..i am surprised that so many people profess to have had absolutely no idea

    of the realities/cruelties of/around pig-farming..

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  13. Re the pigs…
    The first thing that the govt should do is make for mandatory labeling of free range vs non free range pork (and eggs/ poultry), a large label at that. Then while they review, as bureaucrats love to do, the market might just sort it out for itself, especially if Mike King does a promo of ‘nice’ pork. Watch the industry squeal!

  14. philu – google this:

    sow crate site:greens.org.nz

    You will see heaps of things that Sue K has done since 2000. many of the top links are from 2001, when she did a budget speech about it, but you needn’t pass the first page of links to see how long and hard the Greens have worked on this issue.

  15. that’s good frog..

    kinda ‘telling’ tho’..that you had to go back to 2000 to find some green party ‘action’ on this issue..

    and correct me if i’m wrong..

    ..but there hasn’t really been a lot happen since 200..eh..?

    .what is it now..?

    ..2009..?

    got any more recent links..?..

    ..frog..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  16. Why on earth is someone like Sue K commenting on what “Blue” Peter has to say.

    Sue only commented on what the Minister had to say. greenfly commented on BP’s post in another thread.

  17. > ..did the greens vote for/sign off on this vile abomination..?

    Of course not. Minister approves Codes. Greens often submit, petition, protest, press release, speech-make, but Animal Welfare was one area where the Labour Govt (and Jim A) stood firm in the exploitation against our pleas.

    Pigs and politics, 01 Aug 2000
    “It’s a brave feminist who climbs willingly into a sow crate for a photo-opportunity.
    “But Green MP Sue Kedgley not only jumped at the chance recently, she reportedly had to elbow aside some of her Green colleagues for the privilege.

  18. Why on earth is someone like Sue K commenting on what “Blue” Peter has to say. The rebuttal of people using acronyms should be undertaken by others using acronyms, eg Toad etc…not by an MP with some standing.

  19. Sue Kedgley’s comment about Carter:
    “His apparent lack of awareness of a widespread and controversial farming technique..
    points to a pattern with the National Party MPs where they seem, repeatedly’ to have not been aware of so many of the things we ‘greens’ have been intensly interested in for years. The ‘folic acid’ situation is another where the ignorance of those charged with the portfolios concerned seem to be coming to these issues for the first time. This is reflected in the responses from the right-wing bloggers and commenters, who appear to be getting their first glimpse of these things. I’m pleased for BluePeter (and for the pigs he might have eaten) that he has ‘become aware’ of the sow crate issue, but see the same pattern there. Perhaps it is a
    good thing that the Tories now have to focus on these things, as the decision makers, because it sure looks like they had a galaxy of blind-spots up until now.

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