This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 at 9:55 am and is filed under NZ Politics.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Both comments and pings are currently closed.
32 Responses to “Enviromental Forum in Wellington”
DPF, I’m always saddened when you feel the need to dance at the command of radical lobby groups like Forest & Bird. I know you want to be seen as fair-minded and encouraging debate but we are rapidly reaching a s tage where calls for ‘debate’ are simply coded calls for the promotion of ideas that will do great damage to New Zealand’s economy and the livelihoods of everyday people.
Stephen, you may scoff but the fact is we live in dangerous times. The political discourse (to use the term VERY loosely) is almost totally dominated by leftist ideas – sometimes environmental-leftist ideas, sometimes islamic-leftist ideas, sometimes homosexual-leftist ideas, sometimes just plain old socialist-stalinist-leftist ideas. Those who advocate freedom and prosperity struggle to even get their message out there.
The only way to provide effective resistance to this blizzard of leftist propaganda is to call it out wherever and whenever it appears. Never give a leftist the benefit of the doubt. Never fail to point out just how corrupt and corrosive their ideas are. Never allow their ideas to be expressed without firmly and decisively pointing them out for the intellectually flawed, deeply harmful and divisive propaganda they are. Leftist thought is a titanic enemy and the only way to restore some balance to the sadly anaemic realm of ideas in our sorry country is to never ever resist and never ever give up.
I will most likely continue to scoff at you pushmepullu, but not so much at the spirit of what you wrote in the second paragraph – ‘political engagement ‘, which is great, but for some reason you don’t seem so keen on what F & B are doing, which is as I said is merely providing a forum for MPs and the public to engage. Without the forum, we have no choice but to listen use the media, or go online to a party’s site, both of which are distinctly second-hand experiences compared to the first-hand engagement that is talking with MPs in public. Go to the meeting if you feel so strongly (and live in the right area) – plenty of other people will be!
Stephen, when will you learn that the monopoly the left holds on the instruments of public discourse means that genuine political engagement in New Zealand does not exist outside the blogosphere?
Or perhaps you know that already, and like a good leftist, think it’s all good as long as people don’t get to hear anybody argue with you when you tell them that Aunty Helen will tuck them in safe to bed at night, and never mind that she nicks off with the contents of their piggybank while she’s at it?
pushmepullu, GO-TO-THE-FORUM, very hard to talk to MPs on a blog. When I said the media was ‘second-hand’, I did not mean that as an endorsement. The blogosphere varies wildly in quality, but certainly has its uses. Start a right-wing think-tank maybe? Suharto nicked the contents of the piggy bank, not sure Helen has.
It ain’t Leftist, Rightist or any other ist. It’s trees and rivers and birds and beaches and dolphins and stuff. If you don’t like ’em, by all means don’t come along. But if you do, you might like to hear what politicians from ALL the parties have to say about such things.
Helen, around here it’s “Common knowledge” that environmental concern in any form is a scam by leftie socialist academics, in some ivory tower somewhere, who want to take away our freedoms, raise taxes and stop honest men from doing a day’s work. Until you accept this “truth” you’re going to have trouble engaging with anyone here!!!
“…….the recently created panic as regards dramatic, in the past allegedly unknown global climate changes and their supposedly catastrophic consequences for the future of human civilization must not remain without a resolute answer of the – until now – more or less silent majority of rationally thinking people, especially classical liberals, libertarians and other freedom loving men and women……
“….Many of us know (or at least should know) that this panic doesn’t have a solid ground, that it has not been set off by rational arguments, that it demonstrates an apparent disregard of the past experience of mankind, and that its substance is not science. It is based, on the contrary, on the abuse of science by a non-liberal, extremely authoritarian, freedom and prosperity despising (and destroying) ideology which I, together with many others, call environmentalism……
“…..In the past, the market was undermined mostly by means of socialist arguments with slogans like: “stop the immiseration of the masses”. Now, the attack is led under a more seductive slogan: stop the immiseration (or perhaps destruction) of the Planet.
This shift seems to me dangerous. The ambitions look more noble, more attractive and more appealing; they are also cleverly and very efficiently oriented towards the far away future and thus practically “immunized” from reality, from existing evidence, from available observations, and from standard testability…..
“…….hese ambitions are not only accepted but loved by the politicians, the media and all their fellow-travelers among public intellectuals. For the same reasons, I consider environmentalism and its currently strongest version – climate alarmism – to be, at the beginning of the 21st century, the most effective and, therefore, the most dangerous vehicle for advocating, drafting and implementing large scale government intervention and for an unprecedented suppression of human freedom……
“…….We need more books like Julian Simon’s The Ultimate Resource, Indur M. Goklany’s The Improving State of the World, Bjørn Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist (and others). We should try to explain to the silent majority what Julian Simon’s “ultimate resource” is and that the only resource endangered by environmentalists’ plans and activities is man, his inventions and genuine efforts.
I used to live in a world where prices and property rights were made meaningless. It gave me an opportunity to see how irrationally resources were used (and often depleted) and how damaged the environment was as a result. We should not let anyone to again play the market and dictate what to produce, how to produce it, what inputs to use, what technologies to implement. It would result in another, these days world-wide disaster and in the true “immiseration of the masses”, especially in developing countries. We already see some evidence of it……
“……We have plenty of reasons to expect that technological changes will be – as they have been in the past – more important than any imaginable climate changes. There is no need for technologic skepticism and as I have recently argued elsewhere, there is no reason to expect that we will enter a stationary world – unless the environmentalists win the debate and stop human progress…..
“……he much more affluent people in the future will have enough time and motivation to make rational consumption and investment decisions without our today’s “quasi-help”. Economic growth and the accumulation of wealth do not lead to deterioration of the environment and the empirical work in the field of the environmental Kuznets curves gives us reassuring arguments about it.
We should also explain to the non-experts the idea of discounting as the only rational basis for intergenerational comparison. This issue lies at the core of social sciences and especially economics……
“…….Indur M. Goklany published a whole book about the precautionary principle (10) in which he suggests ways to formulate hierarchical criteria and rank various threats, which is, of course, quite different from the application of the unstructured precautionary principle. Using several well-known examples, he demonstrates the tendency of environmentalists to systematically overestimate the negative impacts of human activities and to forget their positive impacts. Such approach can not bring good outcomes.
Even more frustrating is the fact that we do not pay attention to the abuse of the words “market” and “price” by the current global warming alarmists. They want nothing else than to tax us but speak about the market-friendly “emissions trading schemes” instead…….
“…….the Orwellian use of the words ‘market’ and ‘price’ to persuade people to accept a degree of control over their lives which is unprecedented in the Anglosphere, except in time of war. The climate fraternity succeeded in persuading the politicians and the media that these “market friendly” trading schemes are better than simple restrictions and prohibitions. In this respect, I prefer explicit prohibitions. They are much more understandable and, eventually, defeatable…….”
THIS is incredibly prophetic: Hayek, in 1949; He might as well be describing how the whole AGW beat-up has got its traction:
“….There is little that the ordinary man of today learns about events or ideas
except through the medium of this class(Media “intellectuals”); and outside our special fields of work we are
in this respect almost all ordinary men, dependent for our information and instruction on
those who make it their job to keep abreast of opinion. It is the intellectuals in this sense
who decide what views and opinions are to reach us, which facts are important enough
to be told to us, and in what form and from what angle they are to be presented.
Whether we shall ever learn of the results of the work of the expert and the original
thinker depends mainly on their decision.
The layman, perhaps, is not fully aware to what extent even the popular
reputations of scientists and scholars are made by that class and are inevitably affected
by its views on subjects which have little to do with the merits of the real achievements.
And it is specially significant for our problem that every scholar can probably name
several instances from his field of men who have undeservedly achieved a popular
reputation as great scientists solely because they hold what the intellectuals regard as
“progressive” political views; but I have yet to come across a single instance where such
a scientific pseudo-reputation has been bestowed for political reason on a scholar of
more conservative leanings. This creation of reputations by the intellectuals is
particularly important in the fields where the results of expert studies are not used by
other specialists but depend on the political decision of the public at large…….
“Yet it is not the predominant views of the experts but the views of a minority, mostly of
rather doubtful standing in their profession, which are taken up and spread by the
The all-pervasive influence of the intellectuals in contemporary society is still
further strengthened by the growing importance of “organization.” It is a common but
probably mistaken belief that the increase of organization increases the influence of the
expert or specialist. This may be true of the expert administrator and organizer, if there
are such people, but hardly of the expert in any particular field of knowledge. It is rather
the person whose general knowledge is supposed to qualify him to appreciate expert
testimony, and to judge between the experts from different fields, whose power is
enhanced. The point which is important for us, however, is that the scholar who
becomes a university president, the scientist who takes charge of an institute or
foundation, the scholar who becomes an editor or the active promoter of an
organization serving a particular cause, all rapidly cease to be scholars or experts and
become intellectuals, solely in the light of certain fashionable general ideas. The
number of such institutions which breed intellectuals and increase their number and
powers grows every day…….”
Another guy that we MUST know about in this context, is Patrick Moore, one of the founders of Greenpeace:
“……..I am often asked why I broke ranks with Greenpeace after fifteen years as a founder and full-time environmental activist. While I had my personal reasons—spending more time with a growing family rather than living out of a suitcase most of the year—it was on issues of policy that I found it necessary to move on.
Beginning in the mid-1980s, Greenpeace, and much of the environmental movement, made a sharp turn to the political left and began adopting extreme agendas that abandoned science and logic in favor of emotion and sensationalism. I became aware of the emerging concept of sustainable development—the idea that environmental, social, and economic priorities could be balanced. I became a convert to the idea that win-win solutions could be found by bringing all interests together around the same table. I made the move from confrontation to consensus…….
“……..Anti-forestry activists are telling us to stop cutting trees and to reduce our use of wood. Forest loss, or deforestation, is nearly all caused by clearing forests for farms and cities. Forestry operations, on the other hand, are geared towards reforestation and the maintenance of forest cover. Forests are stable and growing where people use the most wood, and are diminishing where they use less. When we use wood, we send a signal to the marketplace to plant more trees and produce more wood. North Americans use more wood per capita than any other continent, yet there is about the same forest area in North America today as there was 100 years ago.
Trees, and the materials they produce, are by far the most abundant, renewable and biodegradable resource in the world. If we want to retain healthy forests, we should be growing more trees and using more wood, not less. This seems lost on activists who use chilling rhetoric and apocalyptic images to drive us in the wrong direction……
“Environmentalism has turned into anti-globalization and anti-industry. Activists have abandoned science in favour of sensationalism. Their zero-tolerance, fear-mongering campaigns would ultimately prevent a cure for Vitamin A deficiency blindness, increase pesticide use, increase heart disease, deplete wild salmon stocks, raise the cost and reduce the safety of health care, raise construction costs, deprive developing nations of clean electricity, stop renewable wind energy, block a solution to global warming, and contribute to deforestation. How sick is that?”
(Patrick Moore, “Miami Herald”, 2002)
Visit Patrick Moore’s site and browse for hours…….learn about the evils of radical, irrational environmentalism…….
…I think the most effective conservative tactic would be to do nothing and let Labour do all the work for them, which isn’t too far off what is happening I’d say. I really do hope your ‘conservative activism’ is a bit more than the afore mentioned blog-posting though.