Monday, September 02, 2019

Is National the party of climate arson?

The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in Stuff, there's a real chance their internal squabbles will see them go full denier on it:

A raft of angry opinion articles, full of wild speculation, questionable numbers and dodgy science, have recently begun to surface as the extreme elements in the [farming] sector looks to exert pressure on Parliament over the Zero Carbon Bill and emissions trading scheme.

Collins, the daughter of a Waikato dairy farmer, was ahead of the curve in harnessing that anger. In late July, she told a rural radio show the Government had thrown farmers under a bus.

By taking such a public and decisive stance on climate change legislation, Collins is throwing down the gauntlet to Simon Bridges who has pussy-footed around his position.

The disgruntled rural rump would be a powerful force to harness heading into the election.

Parties should represent their supporters. But it turns out that some of National's most vocal supporters are climate arsonists, who want to destroy the planet for their own profit. National then needs to choose who it wants to represent: the arsonists, who are minuscule in number and don't have anyone else to vote for, or suburban New Zealand, which wants to see a solution and is where elections are actually won.

Sadly, I think we'll all know which one they'll choose. While National has occasionally pretended to care, its record shows they have always been the party of climate inaction and foot-dragging. Their natural instincts are to oppose action. Unfortunately, at this stage of the crisis, inaction is as bad as active denial. And suburban voters should punish them for that.