Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Who is lying here?

New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions have been growing. Yes, they dropped in 2007 due to the recession, but since then they have continued to grow, from 41.27 MTCO2-e in 2008 to 49.45 MT now - an increase on 20%.

Today in Question Time, Green co-leader Dr Russel Norman asked the Prime Minister about that record of emissions growth. His answer? "His facts are incorrect" and to claim that the numbers were "misinformation".

The problem? Those numbers come from the inventory the government provides to the UNFCCC. So, the Prime Minister is basically claiming that the numbers of his own Ministry for the Environment are false. And if he's right, MfE has been lying to the UNFCCC and is in breach of its international obligations.

So who is lying here? The Prime Minister, or the internationally-scrutinised Ministry for the Environment? I think we all know the answer here. But it highlights yet again the Prime Minister's reflexive response of claiming that politically inconvenient facts are false and to accuse people of lying when they cite his own government's numbers at him. This is not the tactic of an honest man; instead it is the tactic of a deeply dishonest one.