Monday, December 06, 2021

The polluter doesn't change its spots

Over the weekend there seems to have been a bit of a campaign to paint Nationals' new leader Christopher Luxon as being somehow different from his predecessors on climate change (despite its total absence from his initial "big issues" list). For example, this piece in Stuff, talking up Luxon's time at Air New Zealand as somehow demonstrating a personal commitment to sustainability. So, what change have we actually seen? So far Luxon has:

  • said that farmers - our largest polluters - aren't villains. Their climate record tells a different story.
  • refused to countenance any drop in cow numbers in a Q&A interview, effectively saying he intends to do nothing about the problem.
  • Reappointed Scott Simpson as climate spokesperson, suggesting that the current policy of foot-dragging and pandering to deniers will continue.

These are not the actions of a leader who views reducing emissions as a priority. Rather, they're the actions of a leader trying desperately to protect polluters and continue the "business-as-usual" policies which are destroying the planet. The polluter party doesn't change its spots.

So when can believe National has changed on climate change? Obviously, when it actually does. When they stop advocating foot-dragging and denial, and start advocating effective policy - the complete shutdown of the fossil fuel industry and a massive cut in dairy herd sizes - then they might be acceptable. Until then, they're firmly on the side of those wanting to destroy the planet.