“Stick to your knitting”…Gratuitous insult from Minister Groser to NZ scientists

Climate Minister Groser continues to insult the New Zealand people – this time through our leading scientists.

On Monday the IPCC released Working Group III’s section of its 5th Assessment Report.  Building on Group I (science) and II (impact), this one addresses strategy (see my blog-post of 15 April). In a possibly unprecedented action, leading scientists advanced the view that New Zealand is not doing its ‘fair share’ in combatting climate change.

So I put those comments to the Minister during Question Time on Tuesday.  Mr Groser’s answer to my Primary was that New Zealand’s reputation in terms of our contribution to climate change is ‘just fine’.

Whatever a Groserian ‘just fine’ means; the Vice-President of the Marshall Islands regards New Zealand’s contribution as a ‘joke’.

In answering supplementary questions, the temptation to denigrate critics proved irresistible to this Minister.

Associate Professor Bob Lloyd (Otago University):

“…in international climate change negotiations, NZ is regarded as a particularly ‘tough’ negotiator. By ‘tough’, read ‘selfish’. New Zealand has obtained concessions in terms of emissions reductions that many other countries would regard as not being a fair contribution to obtaining equitable global reductions.”

Mr Groser:

“I totally reject the assertion”.

Dr Jim Renwick (Victoria University):

“New Zealand is as well-placed as any nation to lead the world on this, provided we have the political will. That appears to be lacking right now.”

Mr Groser:

“New Zealand is absolutely in the right space on this issue.”

Prof Ralph Sims (Massey University):

“In the foreword of New Zealand’s recent Communications document to the United Nations, Minister Groser stated, ‘The emissions reduction opportunities available to other nations through conversion to renewables, mass public transport and energy efficiency in industry have already been done or have far less scope in New Zealand’. The IPCC Mitigation report clearly shows this is far from correct.”

Mr Groser:

“Going around pretending that every country in the world is doing 10%, 20% or 30% reductions is complete and utter nonsense, so I think that ‘stick to the knitting’ would not be a bad piece of advice.”

For the record, Dr Renwick was a lead author of IPCC’s Working Group I.  Prof Sims was a lead author of Working Group III.  Their comments formed part of a media release by the NZ Science Media Centre, dated 13 April and titled “IPCC AR 5: Limiting Greenhouse Gases – Experts Respond.”  Its explanatory statement says the following:

“The Science Media Centre (NZ) is an independent source of expert comment and information for journalists covering science and technology in New Zealand. Our aim is to promote accurate, evidence-based reporting on science and technology by helping the media work more closely with the scientific community.  The SMC (NZ) is an independent centre established by the Royal Society of New Zealand with funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The views expressed in this Science Alert are those of the individuals and organisations indicated and do not reflect the views of the SMC or its employees.”

The scientists, in advancing their comments, were sticking to their knitting.  They were advancing their individual views on a matter in which they know as much as the Minister  — not just the science of climate change but on the need for, and adequacy of, a strategic response to the threat.

The Minster impugns them in the NZ House of Representatives. As such, he owes them an apology.

8 Comments Posted

  1. @Jackdaw.. well said, a bit of passion !

    The longer this Govt. remains in power, the more they show their arrogant, know-it-all attitude.. also their obvious agenda of ‘money, money, MONEY’ & everything else is fairly irrelevant.

    kia ora

  2. There is no excuse for Groser or the way the ETS is mismanaged. Groser thinks that the economists, business contributions, philosophies and economic theories on which National relies are more important than the science.

    Most Nationalistas have no concept of the far future, near term profit is their only guide.

  3. Am not in the least surprised at the attitude adopted by Mr Groser: he is desperate to achieve fame and riches beyond measure and working for N.Z. is just not part of the plan.
    The posturing and the hubris is totally unacceptable. That he has been appointed a Minister of ANYTHING is unbelievable; he should go ahead and seek his fortune elsewhere (Hollywood?) and let this country be advised by people who are know what they are doing.
    Does anyone remember the amount of taxpayer money Groser spent trying to get himself a cushy overseas job?

  4. Please!
    What other sort of reply would you expect from a member of this arrogant piece of shit government!

  5. Quite frankly I think that some of National’s Ministers are lacking of both experience an brain power (you’d only get emotional and offensive if you’re at your limit, physically or mental – and in this case it’s obviously mental) and they simply do the Job John Key asks them to do and when it comes to that we’d have to admit that they’re good, successful and reliable. Their plan is simply a third term based on success data and to deny any impact on environment and future generations.

    I reckon we need to share and convey our concerns and knowledge and the appalling impact of National’s unsustainable push for economic growth on the environment via social media and via MPs like Dr Kennedy Graham. If we can get the examples and the message to a broader audience and if we get New Zealand’s young generation to vote we can stop unsustainability and populism, and we can end the Key Age.

  6. They were advancing their individual views on a matter in which they know as much as the Minister
    Surely they know more than the minister!

  7. Another typically boorish attitude from a Tory party that doesn’t give a stuff about its people. Their collective arrogance and condescension is breathtaking… Democracy is dead in New Zealand and will be as long as we, the people, allow successive governments to ignore us. We need a system where, if a certain number of signatures is collected, a referendum MUST be held and the results are INESCAPABLE in law. Force the bastards to listen as they have not got the good grace to abandon their selfish power grabbing to take note of the citizens whom they allegedly represent. (Do I sound pissed off??)

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