Friday, September 25, 2020

Predatory delay

Farmers are whining again about being expected to clean up their act:

Canterbury farmers want politicians to stop painting them as climate change villains, listen to their needs and allow them more time to boost environmental standards.


“The targets are necessary for the environment, but do we need to achieve everything in the next two years? Probably not.

“Slowing things down a little would be good for farmers, and for the whole economy generally as we come through this recession.”

This is pure predatory delay: demanding "just a bit more time" so you can keep on polluting (and then demand "just a bit more time" again). But farmers have already had 15 years of "just a bit more time" - first as an exemption from even paying for researching emissions reductions during the "fart tax" fiasco, then in the form of an exemption from the ETS, which has been extended and extended and extended. If they were smart, they would have used that time to change their practices and prepare for the day when they will inevitably have to pay the full costs of their emissions. If they haven't, they have no-one to blame but themselves. And its a similar story on water: strong signals that they need to change, with repeated delays in following through. They've had more than enough time to adapt on both, and its time they finally did.

As for being painted as climate change villains, this is an industry which has repeatedly spewed climate denial while publicly and vigorously opposing any action. Perhaps the public would have a different view of them if they hadn't done that. But as it stands, it seems they have only themselves to blame. And if they want a better reputation, they need to start with actual change, not just petulant whining.