Weakened NZ ETS not responsible economic management

Tim Groser, the new Minister for Climate Change Issues, is adamant in his defence of the intention to further delay bringing the agricultural sector into the Emissions Trading Scheme beyond the current date of 2015 unless there are adequate abatement options open to them by then and unless other countries step up to the mark with mitigation measures.  His remarks on Morning Report on Thursday made it clear that the interests of the overall economy were more important than mitigation of the 0.2% of the global greenhouse gas emissions that New Zealand is responsible for.  He spoke of the difficulty of managing the economy through tough times.

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Prat Watch #3: through the looking glass

Sunday morning laughs: over at his Climate Conversation Club, Richard “no warming in NZ” Treadgold fulminates about about the contents1 of a stolen email:

Appalling. It’s a free world, so even the “leaders” in climatology are entitled to express the opinion they like. But I draw attention to those who willingly follow these atrocious examples. Such people sabotage science, ransack reason and in the end destroy democracy. Though they imagine they do these things entirely for our own good, they must feel the heat of public opprobrium before they destroy us.

Change one word in that elegant little diatribe, and I would agree one hundred percent. The word? Climatology. Strike that through, and replace it with your word of choice for those would try to persuade us to do nothing.

It really is a looking-glass world on “the other side”: a world where the direction we know as up is called down, black appears to be white, and the laws of physics are puzzling Alice2.

  1. Interestingly, his horror is at the mundane reality of an author promising to put together a first draft of a summary for policymakers, which before publication will go through numerous drafts and which will be fought over line by line by the representatives of every government participating in the IPCC process, before being explicitly approved by them all. []
  2. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less. Source. []

The long history of hot air and inaction

In a comment on Tom Bennion’s recent post on the water crisis in Tuvalu and Tokelau Gareth drew attention to an article in the Economist which sounded similar themes. Small island states are well aware of the danger in which they stand and of how grudging any help is likely to prove:

Australia has turned down Tuvalu’s request for an emergency migration programme that would resettle the islanders. Even a €90m ($119m) aid package to tackle regional climate change pledged earlier this year by the European Union has done little to tamp down its fears.

The leaders of countries as far afield as Barbados and Grenada joined Tuvalu in raising the alarm over the issue in a series of impassioned speeches to the United Nations General Assembly last month. Ralph Gonsalves, the prime minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, laid the blame for the current debacle squarely at the feet of developed economies.

He was “baffled” he said, “by the intransigence of major emitters and developed nations that refuse to shoulder the burden for arresting climate changes that are linked to the excesses of their own wasteful policies.” As it happens, the first states to experience the effects of climate change as an existential threat are among the world’s smallest, most isolated and least powerful.

What particularly caught my attention in the Economist article was a link back to a past story published in the magazine in 1997. It was revealing both of how long the island states have been anxious and of how summarily those concerns have been treated by the more powerful.

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Don Brash: climate clueless™ to the core

The new leader of New Zealand’s far-right ACT Party — the former National Party leader, Don Brash — has confirmed that he’s a fully paid up member of the climate clueless™, a worthy successor to Rodney Hide, and perfectly on side with major ACT Party backer, millionaire Alan Gibbs (who just happens to be on the policy advisory panel of the International Climate Science Coalition). But Brash hasn’t troubled himself with working on a new script for his climate denial, he’s retreading some of the oldest canards in the denial play book. In a speech this afternoon to the annual conference of Federated Farmers, Brash trotted out this remarkable sequence of untruths, half truths and straightforward lies, annotated below for your reading pleasure…

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The Climate Show #12: twisters, Olaf on ozone, and Google in the sun

Ozone is the centrepiece of our show this week, with Dr Olaf Morgenstern of NIWA’s Central Otago atmospheric science lab (celebrating its 50th birthday at the moment) explaining the ins and outs of the ozone holes north and south, and their impacts on the climate system. Plus tornadoes, heatwaves, UN negotiations at an impasse, more melting in the Arctic, airships, see-through solar cells and Google’s solar towers. No John Cook this time — he’s been too busy launching his book (good luck with that John!).

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