An attendee at Nick Smithâ€™s and Tim Groserâ€™s public â€œconsultationâ€ at Hamilton last week was distinctly unimpressed.Â He said so in a column given a prominent position in Tuesdayâ€™s Waikato Times.Â
Rob Love expostulated that this was no consultation. Tedious introductions were followed by a long PowerPoint presentation by Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith. Finally, the Associate Minister Tim Groser â€œshared his observations on the blindingly obvious, while promoting the notion he is engaged heroically in the hardest negotiation ever undertaken.â€ There was little time left for discussion.
Not once, he complained, in all the Government rhetoric did the audience hear what the science is now shouting at us. “Rather the meeting was allowed to proceed as if global temperature is something you can adjust the dial to, with an associated cost.”
He was scathing notÂ only of the meeting, but also of the Governmentâ€™s failure generally to communicate the critical importance of the forthcoming Copenhagen conference and act responsibly in preparation for it.Â
In New Zealand our politicians need to aspire to leadership to take us out of the Age of Stupid. Rather than holding meetings to explain how difficult the job is, they must develop some backbone and vision and start explaining how we will get there. Certainly driving home a 40 per cent reduction by 2020 is a big ask. It is, however, what the situation demands as the minimum to give future generations a chance.
Increasingly the message to our politicians needs to be “If you have to walk to Copenhagen with this commitment just do it!”. After all you have been collectively kicking the tyre for so long it is little wonder it is now flat.
It was good to see a provincial paper giving serious space to a well-considered ticking off of a Government which is failing in leadership and determination on this most important of issues.