Wednesday, March 07, 2007

National isn't serious on climate change

Back in the days of FPP, politics was simple: the government governed, and the opposition opposed. If the government did anything, it was Bad. If anything happened, it was a) Bad; and b) The Government's Fault. The approach is clearly on display in Gerry Brownlee's response to the canning of Marsden B: it's a bad thing, the result of "policy uncertainty" and therefore a failure by the government. The facts that Marsden B would have increased greenhouse gas emissions by 2 million tons of CO2 a year, that National Party climate change spokesperson Nick Smith has been complaining about this all year, and that National now claims to support action on climate change don't get a look in. Something happened, therefore it is a) Bad; and b) The Government's Fault.

It's even more laughable that Brownlee tries to have it both ways, blaming the government for Marsden B's demise, then in the same breath complaining that

“Environmentally sustainable energy projects can’t be expected to flourish while the Government’s climate change policy is in such a mess.

Apart from the fact that a dirty stinking inefficient coal plant is the very antithesis of environmental sustainability, I'd have said that this showed that things were moving in the right direction, and that generators were being pushed towards sustainable options. Which is the result National claims to want - except, clearly, when the government wants it, in which case it must be Bad.

There is one thing that is clear from this: National is not serious on climate change. It has no coherent policy, not even enough to welcome a positive move towards keeping emissions low. Instead, it simply sees it as another front on which to engage in the same mindless oppositional politics it has in the past.

On an issue as important as this, I think the public have a right to expect something better than that.


That's great use of

Posted by Anonymous : 3/07/2007 05:25:00 PM

I like the fact that it allows me to link to specific supplementaries within Question Time, rather than the broader exchange. Also, it showed up near the top on Google.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 3/07/2007 05:34:00 PM

Yes, this is pretty good. I could have a moan about Project Aqua and all that. But really, this is a tangible move in the right direction. I'm sure there was political pressure - and frankly there should have been.

So we have potential problems in dry years? Hopefully more wind and energy conservation should address this, but we can't afford to take our eye off the ball.

But I/S - you do seem to be permanently in opposition to National!

Posted by Anonymous : 3/07/2007 08:14:00 PM

Kiwi Donkey: You do seem to be permanently in opposition to National!

Well, if they get some decent policies, I'll voice my support for them, particularly in this area. But really, I don't like their general ideology, and their l33t policy skillz don't impress me.

I'm also more than willing to call the government when they don't conform to my preferences or whentheir policies are lacking either. but in climate change, their policies are about as good as you can get. It's implementing them that will be the problem, and where they have a permanent lack of balls.

I don't think this will lead to problems in dry years - hell, Mighty River, in bending over itself to deny credit to the environmentalists who opposed them from the start, pointed out that there is plenty of renewable generation in the pipeline, from a variety of sources. What we are going to see is a slow rise in the price of electricity - something that's been predicted for a while. With no central planner producing an oversupply or undercharging to keep prices low (which is what we used to do), it is going to get more expensive. It's not going to go through the roof, but those who have traditionally benefitted from cheap electricity are goign to do a lot of whining.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 3/07/2007 08:39:00 PM

It seems it is much easier to get you to oppsoe labour (oreven the grens) than it is to get you to support national ;)

at least you have one and a half eyes which is better than most.

Posted by Anonymous : 3/07/2007 09:13:00 PM

Anon: Again, when I see policies from National I like, I'll say so. But given that I think Labour are too right-wing and willing to compromise on the values they supposedly hold dear, and that National are usually hostile to those values, I think the prospect is unlikely.

And just to make this clear, since some people seem confused about it: I am not blogging in order to provide a neutral point of view - I'm blogging to provide my point of view. Anyone who doesn't like that fact is welcome to read one of the many other blogs out there; I'm sure they can find something more to their liking down in the sewer.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 3/07/2007 10:22:00 PM

It's not the lack of support I/S, it's the gratuitous abuse whenever you can work it in.

But that's alright. As you say, it's your blog. I can think of a lot worse places to be. Like down in the sewer, or even on the end of a skewer.

Posted by Anonymous : 3/07/2007 10:43:00 PM

KD: It's not the lack of support I/S, it's the gratuitous abuse whenever you can work it in.

I wouldn't call it "gratuitous"; I'd call it deserved. While I respect the right of the National Party and its supporters to hold whatever political views they see fit, I see no reason why I should pretend to respect the views themselves, particularly when they are so transparently nonsensical.

The politness of journalists and their unwillingness (or rather, institutional inability, given the constraints on them) to call "bullshit" when they see it is one of the things that allows politicians to lie to and exploit us. I refuse to be a part of that problem.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 3/07/2007 11:14:00 PM

Lol. That gave me a good chuckle. Well, you at least have a consistent and reasoned point of view I/S. Good for you.

Posted by Anonymous : 3/08/2007 07:53:00 AM