Monday, June 22, 2020

Climate Change: Undermining their own policy

The most effective way New Zealand has of fighting climate change and preventing the earth from becoming uninhabitable in the short term is planting trees to soak up carbon. And, thanks to the carbon price being hard up against the cap for a few years, this has finally been happening. But now, the government is threatening to stop it:

The much criticised conversion of farm land into forestry could be checked by the government if it goes too far, politicians have been told.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor, who is also Minister for Rural Communities, yesterday told Parliament's Primary Production Select Committee that land conversions might have to be reviewed if they reach 40,000 hectares a year.

The conversion of farmland into forestry has been repeatedly accused of undermining thriving rural communities and replacing them with a green desert.

Which is typical for how climate change policy works in this country: when something looks like being effective, someone whines and the government backs off and stops it. Which is why we have 25 years of failed policy and why we expect to completely miss our targets. Which is great for established interests who want to keep profiting from wrecking the planet, but very bad for everyone else.

We can't afford to do this anymore. We are at 100 seconds to midnight. It was over 30 Celsius in Siberia last week. Parts of Antactica are turning green. Australia burned down last summer, and it'll probably do it again this year. We actually need to act. And if its a choice between futureless rural communities and the planet, I'm voting for the planet.