Family Party response to National Climate Change policy

The National Climate Change policy restates their commitment to introduce an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) within 9 months, but never once mentions what this trading scheme would be expected to achieve. It is an environmental policy that hardly mentions the environment.

The policy describes an ETS that would be less expensive than that proposed by Labour, but as a result would be expected to achieve less for the environment. As Labour’s scheme would achieve no significant emissions reductions according to Greenpeace, National’s policy can be expected to achieve less than nothing, if that is possible.

But it will still impose significant costs on New Zealand families and businesses, in order to achieve nothing.

Then if human-induced climate change turns out to be incorrect, which a number of scientists are suggesting, this money would have been completely wasted.

It is good that National recognise the need to engage major emitters like China if global emissions are to be reduced, and that they are wishing to “defend our economy”. If climate change does turn out to be correct, and we have to deal with the effects of it in coming years, we would need a strong economy to cope. But their idea of defending seems to be not damaging it quite as much as Labour would. This is not how we define defending.

An Emissions Trading Scheme would be the largest change to our economy since Rogernomics in the ’80s, and we will not approach it lightly. It would hit agriculture particularly hard as agriculture is responsible for 48.5% of NZ’s emissions but a much smaller percentage of GDP. So half NZ’s emissions (the half that is arguably the most difficult to reduce) must be paid for by this small sector of the economy. Many farmers are struggling to pay the bills at the moment, an ETS could put these farmers out of business.

The Family Party would have a Royal Commission of Enquiry into Global Warming, to determine whether humans are in fact causing global warming, and if we are, what response is appropriate for New Zealand to take. This approach allows our policies to be based firmly on the best advice of scientists and economists. We would also reduce costs for businesses and support the export sector, while National is proposing extra costs for businesses and would damage many exporters.

National needs to justify scientifically that an ETS is necessary, that it would actually help the environment, and that it would be affordable. None of these three vital questions are addressed in their policy.

National’s policy is vote-winning rhetoric, not a plan for New Zealand’s future.

Referendum on smacking confirmed

Finally, we have confirmation that there will be a referendum on the smacking law.

This is great news. It probably won’t happen at the election, but at least the s59 repeal’s days are numbered, provided whoever is in government actually listens to the will of the people next year.

Pharmac funding flavoured condoms

Pharmac is now funding flavoured condoms (among many other novel varieties), to help “promote better sexual health practices”.

I understand the reasoning behind Pharmac funding contraception, even though I have some issues with it of course. But the whole point of flavoured condoms is that they are not being used for contraception, when you think about it…

This particular example is government subsidised “entertainment”, with absolutely no health benefit whatever way you look at it, and is taking money away from providing real health services.

Email to Greens on ETS

This is the email I have sent to the Greens on the ETS. They do seem genuinely interested in figuring out how to vote, because it is a tough decision for them. Either way they’ll be disagreeing with half their supporters.

I would recommend you vote against the ETS:

Assuming human-induced global warming is correct:

– It won’t help the environment much if at all, even according to Greenpeace.

– It will cost a horrific amount of money for something that does no good. This money could be used to actually help the environment.

– It could force businesses off-shore, probably to Asia, where they will use coal for electricity. It may actually increase global emissions as a result.

– It will depress our economy while favouring foreign countries like China. China is a major military power ruled by a communist government, and may turn out to be one of the largest threats to international peace over the next few decades. We should not be giving them money to strengthen their military at the expense of the West.

Assuming human-induced global warming is incorrect (it is increasingly disputed, each week some new piece of evidence against it seems to come to light), or is correct but we cannot stop it through emissions reductions:

– This certainly won’t help the environment, as it would be based on a false premise.

– It would cost money, force businesses off-shore and depress our economy completely pointlessly.

Best wishes making this decision. I know you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, you’ll annoy half your supporters if you vote either way, so you’re in a rough situation on this one. Stick by what is best for the environment and the economy, and vote against it. Think practically rather than wondering which way would get you more votes (you’d never figure out which way would give you more votes anyway). That way you’ll make the best decision for the country.

It will be very interesting to see how they vote on Tuesday, as it will show whether they are serious about helping the environment (and vote against it), or are more interested in passing green-sounding legislation simply to gain votes (vote for it).