Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Climate Change: PR bullshit from Labour

Climate change is our biggest and most pressing policy problem. We're seeing how bad things are getting overseas, with hurricanes, floods and fires, and this year new Zealand is getting the first real taste of it with a fire wiping the holiday community of Lake Ōhau village off the map. Last election, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recognised this, calling climate change "my generation's nuclear free moment" (though she then dragged her feet in government). So what's their policy now? PR bullshit:

Labour has pledged to decarbonise the public transport fleet by 2035 and continue with plans to ban some new coal-fired boilers if it wins the election.

The party is also keen to tip a tiny $6 million more a year into agricultural climate change research programmes.

The Government already proposed banning the new installation of low-heat and medium-heat coal-fired boilers for industrial heating late last year.

None of this is bad, but its just nowhere near the scale of the problem. We need to fully decarbonise our economy in the next three decades (and the faster, the better), including an agriculture sector which makes up half our emissions and which everyone says is really hard to reduce (by which they mean that it is really hard to reduce without affecting farmer profits. In fact its trivial to reduce: just shoot cows and plant trees on their corpses. But obviously, this policy is undesirable from an animal welfare perspective). But public transport makes up sweet fuck all of our transport emissions, while $6 million pays about two-dozen scientists. Its the most Labour thing ever: take a policy problem, stick a smiley-face badge on it to pretend you're doing something, while meanwhile completely ignoring the actual problem.

...Which is why we need the Greens in government, to hold them to ransom on this issue and force them to pursue actual policy, rather than this bullshit. We need radical and rapid transport decarbonisation via public transport and EVs, and de-intensification and de-stocking in the agricultural sector. And we need policy to drive those changes. Pretty obviously, we are not going to get that policy from Labour. If we don't want the planet to burn, if we don't want more Lake Ōhaus, we need the Greens.