You done my brain in

catbrain.jpg Opposing the ETS is easy for those politicians who remain sceptical of the reality of global warming. Heather Roy, the other ACT MP, showed her true colours in a press release at the end of last week. After the now ritual swipe at Winston Peters (and it is hard to resist, I must confess), she feels the need to explain the “greenhouse effect”:

By day the Earth is warmed by the sun’s rays, with some of that energy radiating back into space as infra-red radiation at night and being captured by ‘ Greenhouse’ gases. Unfortunately, the ‘ Greenhouse’ effect has been given a bad name – without it the Earth would be bitterly cold. The most effective greenhouse gas is water vapour – more commonly known as cloud. As most people know, there is seldom a frost after a cloudy night as the cloud traps the ground’s heat.

Not too bad, except for the fact that she confuses water vapour with cloud, which doesn’t bode well for her understanding of the big picture. But things rapidly get worse:

The second most important greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. Although naturally-occurring, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has risen over the past 200 years – which is blamed on human activity, especially burning coal and oil. These rising CO2 levels are blamed for global warming – which, it is widely purported, will cause more storms and a rising sea level. Other scientists argue that the CO2 variation is largely a result of natural factors. Therefore, our very expensive efforts to reduce CO2 emissions are wasted. I do not fully subscribe to the mainstream view, for which the science is inconclusive … but there can be no doubt about its political consequences.

“Other scientists” argue that CO2 rise is due to “natural factors”? That’s utter nonsense. No credible “scientist” argues any such thing. Some of the wilder shores of wingnuttery might – step forward EG Beck – but nobody that any responsible politician should be listening to. I wonder if Heather gets her health policy advice from a crystal healer? ACT is clearly parliament’s right wing sceptic rump. I can only hope they get nowhere near climate policy in any future government, and that their other policies are rather more evidence-based.

[Hat tip for lolcat to Jules’ Klimaatblog]

13 thoughts on “You done my brain in”

  1. And people say that she’s smart…ACT is advocating a carbon tax (good if that was ‘their policy in a future government’), but I would bet it’s something along the lines of $2 a ton starting in 2025…

    PS Great to see a ‘notify’ function at the bottom!

  2. They’ve seen the alternative rather jumbled ETS I guess. But I see it as a pointless political move – hard to see what demographic they’re going for that they don’t already have.

  3. It seems simple really, just like their mates in the Business Roundtable they opposed the carbon tax when it was on the cards, and now they oppose the ETS when that’s up for consideration. They don’t want government to regulate emissions full stop, and they will use whatever means they can of opposing it, including arguing for a different regulation. At worst (from their perspective), it helps them end up with delayed and watered down regulation. At least, that’s my cynical interpretation…

  4. Fragment, that’s why I like the Realclimate description of “Inactivist” – it gets right to the hart of what they all have in common. Speaking of which, I transcribed something along those very lines Frank Bremeuel’s interview on the recent natrad Insight documentary. It sounded as if he was advocating a carbon tax to me!

    I’ll go and post it in the FF thread, which is a bit lonely.

  5. The thing that fascinates me, as I’ve mentioned over at, is that ACT support a “low carbon tax” at the same time as denying that anthropogenic climate change is happening.

    What is their low carbon tax meant to do if they deny there is a problem in the first place.

  6. Incredibly cynical tokenistic vote-grabbing?

    But like I said, they appeal to the free market types with their policies, so hard to see it getting them more votes. One commenter (PaulL) on Kiwiblog was considering (seriously as far as I can tell) voting Green on the basis that they prefer a revenue neutral carbon tax over the ETS, which he sees as really devastating for the economy – I informed him that ACT too supports a carbon tax, to his relief, as that meant that he could vote ACT again. An outlier perhaps.

  7. Hi, first call here.. neat site and insights..
    re the above subject maybe she “gets it” (as you say above) from the party’s self-professed “environmental scientist” – whose name eludes me for the moment.. possibly because I couldn’t find it professionally attributed..

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