What should be NZ’s 2020 emissions target

July 7th, 2009 at 10:48 am by David Farrar

The Government is consulting on what should be New Zealand’s 2020 target for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

I know some think there should not be any reduction, as the science is doubted. But the reality is there will be a target, unless we want to risk losing trade access. And in case you think this is unlikely, I quote Colin James today:

Mr Key demurred. He asked the Feds if keeping agriculture out of the ETS would actually serve farmers’ interests. What if New Zealand got a poor reputation abroad on and consumers, retail chains and governments put up barriers to New Zealand products?

(He had a point. The ETS bill which passed the United States House of Representatives on June 26 included provision for tariffs on imports from countries deemed backsliders on climate change.)

This is pretty significant. The US legislation includes such protectionist measures, and I have little doubt Europe will. NZ is far too small to survive if our trade access is blocked.

So what is a reasonable target for 2020? 1990 is the base year everyone measures against. Our target was to keep emissions at 1990 level. They actually grew 22% to 2007, but were mainly offset by increased forestry plantings. And out 2050 target is a 50% reduction by 2050.

On a purely linear calculation, based on an ETS taking effect from 2010, the annual reduction needed is from 122% – 50%/40 years = 72%/40 years = 1.8% a year. Hence emissions in 2020 on a linear basis would be 18% less than the 122% we are at, or 104%. In other words if we manage to reduce emissions to 1990 labels by 2020, we would be on track (on a linear basis) to have a 50% reduction by 2050.

Aiming to return to 1990 levels is what Obama is aiming for by 2020. Canada is aiming for 3% below 1990 and Australia 4% below 1990 (unless there is a major international agreement in which case more). The EU is going for a 20% reduction.

The Greens are calling for a reduction of at least 30% by 2020. This is sheer madness. With agriculture making up half our emissions – the only way we’d reduce by that amount in just over a decade is by a huge reduction in agricultural output. You think the current recession is bad – just wait until the Green recession. They are basically saying we go from 122% to 70% or less in just ten years.

Personally I think we should go close to Australia. Say a unilateral reduction of 5%, but greater reductions if there is an international agreement and even greater if China, India and Brazil agree to limit emissions. Those three countries are now responsible for close to 30% of global emissions (the EU is only 13% and US 18%) and since 1990 have had emissions growth respectively of 121%, 80% and 55%.

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92 Responses to “What should be NZ’s 2020 emissions target”

  1. s.russell (1,580 comments) says:

    I am in general agreement with this. It is very much in New Zealand’s interests to be (and be seen to be) a leader in reducing emissions. But not suicidally so.

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  2. Brian Smaller (4,028 comments) says:

    Why not pick the best target that will look good, then ignore it. No-one anywhere is going to actually reduce their economies over this – it is all just rhetoric.

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  3. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Fact… Our only hope for human survival on this planet is to reduce current carbon dioxide levels to 350 (parts per million) and this can only happen if we reduce emissions to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2020.
    But why do anything theres more important things going on in the world right now that needs our up most attention..
    Micheal Jacksons funeral.. Dahh.

    [DPF: You state fiction as facts. The IPCC does not say the world is doomed at levels greater than 350, and most certainly does not say there must be a 40% reduction from 2020. Try reading the IPCC reports and separate out fact from fiction]

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  4. Ruby (110 comments) says:

    The Greens are calling for a reduction of at least 30% by 2020. This is sheer madness. With agriculture making up half our emissions – the only way we’d reduce by that amount in just over a decade is by a huge reduction in agricultural output.

    See Nick Smith’s response to Jeanette Fitzsimon at Question Time the other day:

    Jeanette Fitzsimons: Why does the Minister persist in suggesting that cutting New Zealand’s greenhouse gases is really difficult, when half of them come from burning fossil fuels in energy, transport, and industry, and when, in terms of energy efficiency, we are so far behind those other countries in adopting energy efficiency that there is still plenty of low-hanging fruit that we could be picking?

    Hon Dr NICK SMITH: The reasons I think it is very challenging for New Zealand are that 48 percent of New Zealand’s emissions come from agriculture, and the fact that New Zealand has one of the highest levels of renewable electricity in the world. I also note that we have a very spread-out population. In a country about the same size as the UK, we have but a fraction of the number of people, which makes providing public transport services more difficult. The other point I bring to the member’s attention is that despite very big and bold goals, New Zealand’s emissions have increased by 24 percent over the last 18 years, with very little sign of abatement, which I think is a warning about being too bold and big in an area where others have failed.

    The total output of greenhouse gas by livestock on a global scale is 18% – to put that into perspective, cars only make up 13%. Therefore, the fact that NZ’s agricultural emissions is 48% gives you an idea of how significant that factor is when taking ito account how reasonable it is to expect to achieve the sustainable targets the Greens are proposing without seriously restricting the farming industry.

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  5. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,820 comments) says:

    New Zealand should give the world both fingers straight up and tell them to spin.

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  6. MT_Tinman (3,044 comments) says:

    RKBee you are incorrect.

    The only hope for human survival on this planet is for the population to be quickly reduced by at least one third and that population to then be held at that level.

    Doomed! ………….. We’re doomed I say ……………….. Doooooooooooooomed!

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  7. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Perhaps we should all just stop breathing?

    That will work.

    Not only is the Science not settled, it is a deliberate ploy to wrest control from Sovreign Nations by the UN.

    Plus the ever so tempting pile of money that will be amassed for the benefit of the Plutocrats.

    Then we have the USA getting on board to simply nullify all attempts at developing nations actually developing.

    A perfect excuse to retreat into Fortress Yanqui.

    Just wrong, plain wrong.

    However I agree with Brian. Do what all the Med countries do in the EU.

    Agree to absolutely everything and do nothing except host the Federal Leaders holidays.

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  8. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,820 comments) says:

    New Zealand’s first priority is to address the concerns of Professor Chicken Little regarding the imminent falling of the sky with a punitive “Sky is falling” tax on the last remaining productive sectors in New Zealand. Only then can New Zealand concentrate on the far more minor issue of AGW, possibly with the power of magic moonbeams focused through the navel.

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  9. PaulL (5,983 comments) says:

    I’d go with about the Aussie level, and include agriculture. But fund some decent studies into the net carbon emissions of the full agricultural economy – so does pasture land absorb or release carbon? There is a lot of uncertainty around this, but a very small variation in this calculation makes a massive difference to NZ’s carbon footprint once agriculture is included.

    I also think it likely that some relatively simple changes to farming practices could make a large difference to carbon footprint – burying waste instead of burning it, and actions to increase the carbon / humus content of the soil. If we get this right we could come in under the target without killing our economy. Getting it right means the right investment in research – this is definitely an area where NZ has the interest (nobody else cares because they aren’t including agriculture), incentives (if we can demonstrate that our farming is carbon neutral where other countries aren’t that is great marketing), and capability (we have very high quality agricultural researchers). It is an area of climate change I’d support us researching, v’s faffing around pretending that NZers can have a viable industry in making solar panels and the like.

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  10. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,820 comments) says:

    On the other hand what would Flash Gordon do?

    Probably tell Ming the Merciless to “go shove it”.

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  11. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    I think it’ll probably be tough enough turning the oil tanker (rising emissions) around, let alone taking it back a significant amount by 2020.

    That said, most scientific evidence suggests that we REALLY need to do something fast over the next decade or we could be pretty damn well screwed. What’s more important to the climate – 20% reductions by 2020 or 50% reductions by 2050? Probably the former I would guess.

    Remember, the economic effects of making the change pale into insignificance compared to the effects in the long-run if we don’t make the change.

    In saying all that, I would go for something like 10-15%. The real question though is “how?” Steven Joyce’s motorway building bonanza certainly ain’t gonna help, nor will Gerry Brownlee allowing more gas power plants to be built.

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  12. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,820 comments) says:

    Will someone please think about the fucken cows in New Zealand!!

    …oh and the bovines as well. :lol:

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  13. PaulL (5,983 comments) says:

    Yeah, well you can be part of the debate, or you can sit on the sidelines calling out “CO2 has no impact on temperature” and “the globe has cooled since the hottest year on record.” Whilst the science is definitely not settled, there are almost certainly more causes of climate change than just human emitted CO2, and the models (particularly those that suggest positive feedback) are almost certainly wrong…… that doesn’t mean that inaction is the right answer.

    There are three good reasons for action:
    1. There is enough evidence that there is probably a problem. Taking relatively low cost and low impact opportunities to reduce emissions is a good insurance policy. A low carbon tax with offsetting income tax reductions is a relatively low impact thing to do.

    2. We need the PR. If we go out on a limb saying it isn’t happening, we get punished – refer the US protectionism. We need to do something just so we can keep access to our markets

    3. Reducing carbon footprint is usually good business. Notice how many corporates are on the bandwagon all of a sudden. My organisation does a lot of global training – our more junior staff love the junkets to the US or Europe. It’s hard to tell them they’re not going because of cost savings. But telling them they’re not going so we can save the planet – well, much easier. Farming that increases soil carbon content is good farming – it preserves the soil better. Driving a smaller car is good economics, it saves you money. A carbon tax is a good mechanism, because it lets people still choose not to do these things, it just charges them a bit more for that privilege.

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  14. davidp (3,557 comments) says:

    The world hasn’t been warming for ten years, and only warmed slightly over the last 50 years. What warming there is is almost certainly caused by natural recover from the medieval mini ice age, rather than the puny amount of CO2 created by man.

    If there IS warming, then that will lead to a net increase in well being. History shows that periods of warming have been much better for people than periods of cooling. The net flow of people from NZ to the much warmer parts of Australia suggest that people actually like warm weather, and an increase of even 5 degrees won’t be an problem, let alone the fraction of a degree that we’ve seen over recent times.

    Rather than making tens of thousands of people unemployed and increasing the price of energy and everything that includes energy in its production for no benefit, the government should do nothing. Other countries won’t sanction us because, firstly, sanctions are an act of war and, secondly, none of them are going to ruin their own economies in order to solve a fantasy problem. Obama might try, but there won’t be much left to ruin once he has borrowed and wasted all the ‘stimulus” money.

    If you really think that NZ needs to do something, then follow Brian S’s advice, set some ambitious targets, then ignore them completely. That plan worked just fine for Helen Clark and her allies in the NZ Green Party. But, IMHO, NZ should be a leader on this issue and leading means pointing out that there isn’t a problem to solve here.

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  15. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,820 comments) says:

    The End Is Nigh! Repent All Ye Sinners!

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  16. toad (3,672 comments) says:

    davidp said: The world hasn’t been warming for ten years…

    Crap.

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  17. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Will someone please think about the fucken cows in New Zealand!!

    BRRRUP! MOOOOW! BRRRUP! PLOP! PLOP! PLOP..

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  18. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Ok, since this is totally not the right thread for yet another of my big rants, I’ll just put this disclaimer at the start of my post. I am a sceptic. Shameless plug for the most awesome science blog in the world: Watts Up With That. Everyone should read that blog, every day (along with RealClimate if you want your daily dose of propaganda).

    On Topic:

    Why not pick the best target that will look good, then ignore it. No-one anywhere is going to actually reduce their economies over this – it is all just rhetoric.

    This is precisely correct. The best thing for NZ to do is to make a LOT of noise about how Green we are, get pictures of hybrids in front of Mt Cook et cetera, and milk the “eco-nomy” for all it’s worth.

    Come on guys, we all know that sooner or later the AGW bubble is going to burst (judging by the scientific literature, sooner rather than later) and that we’ll never have to actually end up meeting those emissions targets anyway, so we may as well make some coin out of it while we can.

    I also think this would be a great time to point out the benefits of moving to alternative power sources which are cleaner and better for the environment, such as nuclear power. (Being a Sceptic does NOT disqualify me from loving the natural world!)

    Out clean, green image is worth billions of dollars a year. We need to protect it. If that means emissions targets, then so be it.

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  19. dimmocrazy (286 comments) says:

    What a beautiful upside down argument that is. “We may disagree with the whole concept, but because everyone else takes it seriously we will have to comply in some way, now let’s see how we do that.” I say take a principled stance and just produce the best and cheapest agricultural products in the world. Our future major markets are going to poke their fingers at this anyway, and will need all the produce they can get to keep their increasing populations happy while they grow their economies to provide the industrial products that Europe and the US are not capable to produce anymore in their marxist economies.
    We should focus on being the best and most economic producers of primary products, try to put as much added value in them as possible, and spin the clean green image for all its worth. With the increased revenue we can then seriously do something about pollution that is relevant, not this carbon nonsense. Isn’t it obvious that bringing the cycle of the one element that defines life under government control is the absolute wet dream of any politician. That argument alone is already enough to throw the whole idea in the waste paper bin, regardless of the scientific fallacy of the thing. Why don’t we simply start saying this?

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  20. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    davidp said: The world hasn’t been warming for ten years…

    Crap.

    Eh? Uhh, toad, it really hasn’t.

    Regardless of whether you’re a believer or a sceptic, it’s just plain fact that there’s been no warming for ten years.

    As proof, I offer the following datasets:

    GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York)
    GISS dataset here

    HadCRUT (Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature, UK)
    HadCRUT3 anomaly data which can be found here

    NCDC (National Climatic Data Center)
    Interactive Climate Data Website here

    RSS (Remote Sensing Systems, Santa Rosa)
    RSS data here (RSS Data Version 3.2)

    UAH (University of Alabama, Huntsville)
    Reference: UAH lower troposphere data

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  21. davidp (3,557 comments) says:

    toad>Crap.

    I’m opposed to religion in politics, whether the religion is based on the supernatural beliefs of ancient Jews or the supernatural beliefs of modern Greens. The evidence is clear… except for a spike in 1998, there has been no warming for 30 years.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/03/uah-global-temperature-anomaly-for-june-09-zero/

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  22. MajorBloodnok (361 comments) says:

    RKBee: Fact… Our only hope for human survival on this planet is to reduce current carbon dioxide levels to 350 (parts per million) and this can only happen if we reduce emissions to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2020.

    You need to check your sources, RKBee.

    CO2 levels have been over 2000 ppmv in the past. 300 odd is low from a historical context.

    CO2 is plant food. Without it, we all die.

    Global temperatures show no correlation in the last 10 years with CO2 levels. There is no proof that CO2 increase CAUSES global temperature increase.

    Global temperatures are dropping. (How long will it take the alarmists to catch up with the public, who see that they have no clothes on their arguments?)

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  23. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    toad>Crap.

    I’m opposed to religion in politics, whether the religion is based on the supernatural beliefs of ancient Jews or the supernatural beliefs of modern Greens. The evidence is clear… except for a spike in 1998, there has been no warming for 30 years.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/03/uah-global-temperature-anomaly-for-june-09-zero/

    Ahh, another reader of the best science blog on the net! Davidp, you rock mate!

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  24. toad (3,672 comments) says:

    DPF said: With agriculture making up half our emissions – the only way we’d reduce by that amount in just over a decade is by a huge reduction in agricultural output.

    You are assuming that agriculture cannot do much to reduce it’s emissions other than reduce production.

    Sure, agricultural methane is a problem that is difficult to address because the research just hasn’t been done. We need to urgently look at ways of reducing methane production per hectare and per animal, including intensified research into alternative feeds, breeding and selection of lower emitting animals and rumen biochemistry. This may even include the use of new genetic technologies in the laboratory as part of the research – although not the release of living genetically modified organisms – whether cows or bacteria – into the farm environment.

    Nitrous oxide emissions can be much more readily reduced. Ways include maximisation of conversion to organic production by encouraging best organic practice (lower production but higher value), implementation of appropriate fertiliser management practices to ensure the most efficient use of nitrogen-based fertilisers, implementation of “alternative” technologies such as soil re-mineralisation, bio-intensive farming, and nitrification inhibitors (I’d be cautious about the last of these, as they themselves may have a pollutant effect and this needs more research).

    Exempting the beef and sheep industries from any requirement to purchase Kyoto credits (or pay a carbon charge) unless their emissions rise beyond 1990 levels (their emissions are below 1990 levels) would also assist in encouraging farmland that is used high emission intensive dairy units (that are also responsible for much of the pollution of waterways) to convert to more sustainable farming practices.

    [DPF: I think agriculture needs to be part of ETS long-term. But 2020 is not that far away, and the technology to significantly reduce agricultural emissions is not yet developed. And even when/if it is it will take time to implement. That is why too ambitious a target for 2020 carries the real risk of only being achieved by reducing agricultural production - and the job losses from that would be considerable]

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  25. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    Crap.

    Luddite

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  26. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Scotland commited to a target of 40% by 2020, with a proviso along the lines of ‘if the big boys don’t get on board, neither do we’. Not a bad way to go for a small country, as an unconditional target would be very damaging to us if none of the big countries (i.e. the ones that can make some difference) signed up.

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  27. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Oh, and another very useful website: http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/

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  28. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    Cows = Carbon Sink

    If agriculture wants to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere it should breed more cows. Any carbon burped or farted was sequestered by the grass in the first place. It comes out as methane rather than CO2 which supposedly has more greenhouse effect than CO2 (which is nil BTW) but breaks down within a few years.

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  29. toad (3,672 comments) says:

    davidp and Christopher: It is basing your argument on what has or has not happened over a period as short as 10 years that is crap.

    Look at what has happened over 150 years, and you might actually start to understand the issue. There are so many other factors that influence climate on a year by year basis that looking at periods as short as 10 years is simply irrelevant.

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  30. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    I used to be sceptic, but recanted once I worked out why we have stable temperatures at the moment. So then I thought about whether we should try to do something, and if so, what we should try do. My latest view is that is that with arctic sea ice, we are seeing a dip, wrapped up in a drop, inside a reduction.

    All you have to do is follow the data.

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  31. big bruv (13,559 comments) says:

    Is it just me or does anybody else hate be lectured by a fucking commie?

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  32. Brian Smaller (4,028 comments) says:

    DPF said [Try reading the IPCC reports and separate out fact from fiction]

    Pretty hard really given the political motivation of the IPCC reports in the first place.

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  33. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    Bugger, sorry, must have missed somewhere. Unfortunately, DPF has turned off his edit function.

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  34. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    If we’re worried about our international image. We should stick to scientific fact and produce the best, cheapest product possible. Good price and good product will always be first choice on supermarket shelves around the world, and if we’re the only ones making it, more so. Then when AGW eventually blows over we will be respected as an intelligent, principled country that stands by rational science and free market principles. Countries and groups at the forefront of pushing control systems will be labelled as corrupt and will not be listened to next time around. There may be some considerable shakeups after AGW blows over including convictions and sanctions for fraudulent and irresponsible science.

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  35. davidp (3,557 comments) says:

    Christopher>Ahh, another reader of the best science blog on the net! Davidp, you rock mate!

    To be honest, I mainly read it for the photos of the dodgy weather stations. It amazes me to think that you can run one for years, then site an aircon unit right next to it so that the exhaust is blowing all over the weather station, then use that as evidence that the climate is changing.

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  36. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    davidp and Christopher: It is basing your argument on what has or has not happened over a period as short as 10 years that is crap.

    Look at what has happened over 150 years, and you might actually start to understand the issue. There are so many other factors that influence climate on a year by year basis that looking at periods as short as 10 years is simply irrelevant.

    Toad, basing your argument over a period of 150 years is crap. Look at what has happened over a million years and you might start to understand the issue. There are so many other factors that influence climate that CO2 is simply irrelevant.

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  37. Brian Smaller (4,028 comments) says:

    Sonny – put a / in front of the last blockquote and your comment wont be further indented.

    or better yet read this
    http://www.w3schools.com/TAGS/tag_blockquote.asp

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  38. toad (3,672 comments) says:

    Sonny Blount said: Any carbon burped or farted was sequestered by the grass in the first place. It comes out as methane rather than CO2 which supposedly has more greenhouse effect than CO2 but breaks down within a few years.

    You’re half way there. But what you don’t seem to get is that if you increase the number of cows you increase the production of atmospheric methane. But the rate of its breakdown to CO2 doesn’t magically increase correspondingly. So you increase the atmospheric concentration of methane, and therefore increase the greenhouse effect.

    CO2 (which is nil BTW)

    Quantum mechanic shows that in theory it should happen. Laboratory experiments show it does happen. And what the hell do think makes the temperature on planet Venus average 460 C – much hotter than that on Mercury which is only half of Venus’ distance from the Sun? Nothing to do with a Venusian atmosphere that consists largely of CO2, I suppose.

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  39. MajorBloodnok (361 comments) says:

    Toad: Look at what has happened over 150 years, and you might actually start to understand the issue. There are so many other factors that influence climate on a year by year basis that looking at periods as short as 10 years is simply irrelevant.

    You are being selective about dates too. Look at what has happened regarding global temperature and CO2 levels over thousands or millions of years and you might actually start to understand the issue.

    Don’t leave out the Medieval Warming Period, Toad, when things were hotter than today. Unless, like Al Gore, you believe the “hockey stick graph” is actually truthful?

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  40. Alan Wilkinson (1,848 comments) says:

    Sonny Blount, no-one knows what has happened over the last 150 years with enough accuracy and coverage to be useful.

    However, we do know what has happened over the last 30 years via accurate comprehensive satellite coverage. And the result as reported by UAH is that the June 2009 average global temperature is exactly the same as the average global temperature for the whole of that thirty years of data.

    Amongst all the serious problems the world has to worry about, actual measured global warming is not one of them.

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  41. davidp (3,557 comments) says:

    toad>davidp and Christopher: It is basing your argument on what has or has not happened over a period as short as 10 years that is crap.

    But I’m basing my argument on a much longer timeframe. Climate runs in cycles. We’re still warming after a low point in the later medieval period. Cooler periods have been bad for civilisation and human welfare… Cooling caused Northern European tribes to migrate south, ended the Roman Empire, and plunged Europe in to 500 years of misery. The Dark Ages were, quite literally, dark and cold. Warming periods have been good for civilisation and human welfare… The warming that ended the Dark Ages allowed an era of exploration, of city building, and the Renaissance.

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  42. Brian Smaller (4,028 comments) says:

    You guys are on a hiding to nowhere. Toad is a religious fanatic when it comes to AGW. You woul dhave more chance of getting Philu to get a job than changing Toad’s mind with actual observable facts.

    As far as this goes though. One one hand we have Lord Monkton. On the other hand Keisha Castle-Hughes. No contest – the airhead actress must be right.

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  43. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Look at what has happened over 150 years, and you might actually start to understand the issue.

    Call me conceited, but I’m pretty sure I know more about ‘the issue” than you, your friends and your mum’s friends put together will ever know, so fuck you, you hippie bastard. Arguing with me is one thing, but suggesting that I don’t understand the issue is another.

    As far as this goes though. One one hand we have Lord Monkton. On the other hand Keisha Castle-Hughes. No contest – the airhead actress must be right.

    hahaha!

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  44. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    Sonny – put a / in front of the last blockquote and your comment wont be further indented.

    Thanks Brian.

    Quantum mechanic shows that in theory it should happen. Laboratory experiments show it does happen. And what the hell do think makes the temperature on planet Venus average 460 C – much hotter than that on Mercury which is only half of Venus’ distance from the Sun? Nothing to do with a Venusian atmosphere that consists largely of CO2, I suppose.

    Meanwhile, back on Earth where the rest of us reside, the CO2 concentration used to be many times what it is today (>1000ppm), end result: it got colder.

    If you want to bring other planets into it please explain global warming currently being observed on half the planets of the solar system.

    What ended the previous interglacials Toad? when increasing CO2 lead to rapid cooling. We really need to come to grips with what causes it because it is obviously a stronger effect than CO2 and its gonna happen again soon.

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  45. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    [DPF: You state fiction as facts. The IPCC does not say the world is doomed at levels greater than 350, and most certainly does not say there must be a 40% reduction from 2020. Try reading the IPCC reports and separate out fact from fiction]

    That was a Green Fact.. not the Fact.
    Change Fact to … They say.. the Greens that is.. and were on the same page.
    But you would have to admit Micheal Jackson is more important to the world at the moment than reducing our world carbon emissions… thats just the way it is.

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  46. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Interesting bunch of stuff there Vibenna – looks like you have enough links in your actual blog, so maybe the errors here don’t matter too much.

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  47. toad (3,672 comments) says:

    Brian Smaller said: One one hand we have Lord Monkton.

    Oh dear. If you’re relying on Monckton there’s probably no hope.

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  48. toad (3,672 comments) says:

    Sonny Blount said: We really need to come to grips with what causes it because it is obviously a stronger effect than CO2 and its gonna happen again soon.

    Problem is, Sonny, that it probably should be happening now if past cycles are anything to go by, but the opposite (ie warming) is what is happening.

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  49. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    Problem is, Sonny, that it probably should be happening now if past cycles are anything to go by, but the opposite (ie warming) is what is happening.

    Now, being within the next few thousand years.

    We’ll probably go up in temp by up to a degree before we hit the peak.

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  50. Lance (2,561 comments) says:

    Why bother talking about this?
    NZ as a whole doesn’t care… good grief the best we can come up with in 2009 is a bloody 1/3 subsidy for insulation for home insulation. I remember this being a topic of much debate 35 years ago… yes 35 years! This is a friggin joke on a scale that means true measures are a good 200- 300 years away at this rate.
    From the Govt to EECA on down, no one gives a shit, not really. There are a few exceptions but their numbers are tiny and usually a source of derision.
    So don’t worry about it, you’ll probably get by, your kids and grandkids will probably inherit the problems anyway.
    Must be time to buy a bigger car.

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  51. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    You’re half way there. But what you don’t seem to get is that if you increase the number of cows you increase the production of atmospheric methane. But the rate of its breakdown to CO2 doesn’t magically increase correspondingly. So you increase the atmospheric concentration of methane, and therefore increase the greenhouse effect.

    How long does methane survive in the atmosphere before breaking down?

    How much carbon is there in a cow, because it all came out of the atmosphere?

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  52. toad (3,672 comments) says:

    Sonny Blount says: How long does methane survive in the atmosphere before breaking down?

    It has a half-life of seven years – i.e. for every kg released today, 500g will still be in the atmosphere in seven years time. The other 500g will have oxidised to CO2 and water in that time. In 14 years there will still be 250g for every kg released today.

    Methane has a global warming potential of around 70 times that of CO2 (if measured over 20 years) or 25 times that of CO2 (if measured over 100 years).

    How much carbon is there in a cow, because it all came out of the atmosphere?

    That’s not really relevant. What is relevant is that how much atmospheric CO2 the cow converts to atmospeheric methane with its far greater global warming potential. The amount of carbon actually stored in the cow is miniscule by comparison, and it finds its way back into the atmosphere eventually anyway.

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  53. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    The biggest greenhosue gas is h2O; how do you plan to reduce that?

    look at the ice cores – warming precedes added carbon.

    What is the Green party policy? Freezing my fucking balls? I like warmer days, shame we’re not seeing any.

    Still, what should I expect from the same people who think they should push whales back in to the sea?

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  54. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    The ponzi scheme to end all ponzi schemes:

    And instead of credit derivatives or oil futures or mortgage-backed CDOs, the new game in town, the next bubble, is in carbon credits — a booming trillion- dollar market that barely even exists yet, but will if the Democratic Party that it gave $4,452,585 to in the last election manages to push into existence a groundbreaking new commodities bubble, disguised as an “environmental plan,” called cap-and-trade. The new carbon-credit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that’s been kind to Goldman, except it has one delicious new wrinkle: If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices will be government-mandated. Goldman won’t even have to rig the game. It will be rigged in advance.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/28816321/the_great_american_bubble_machine/print#

    The justification for inflicting this financial misery, of course, is the onrushing catastrophe of human-induced global warming – a catastrophe that can be prevented only if we abandon the carbon-based fuels on which most of the prosperity and productivity of modern life depend. But what if that looming catastrophe isn’t real? What if climate change has little or nothing to do with human activity? What if enacting cap-and-trade means incurring excruciating costs in exchange for infinitesimal benefits?

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2009/07/01/no_climate_debate_yes_there_is/

    No, I am not a climate change denier. As with all religions, I am a sceptic, a rationalist and a realist.

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  55. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    There’s only one Fact.. And that is the Fact that nobody really knows.

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  56. toad (3,672 comments) says:

    MNIJ said: Still, what should I expect from the same people who think they should push whales back in to the sea?

    Well, this one at least MNIJ.

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  57. PaulL (5,983 comments) says:

    Surely when you get to the point where you’re arguing on the same side as MNIJ, you must realise that you’re in trouble?

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  58. unaha-closp (1,140 comments) says:

    There should be no target.

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  59. pete (428 comments) says:

    The biggest greenhosue gas is h2O; how do you plan to reduce that?

    Where are you from, Nelson? Have you not heard of rain?

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  60. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    yep Pete, I’ve heard of rain. But I guess I did geography, you didn’t, and that’s why I ALSO know about water vapour. Still the biggest “greenhouse gas” of the lot. Ever seen those things called clouds? Ever noticed that not every cloud causes rain to fall on you? Ever noticed that even after rain, there are often still clouds?

    No, didn’t think so. Open your eyes and look to the sky, you may get a big surprise.

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  61. pete (428 comments) says:

    yep Pete, I’ve heard of rain. But I guess I did geography, you didn’t, and that’s why I ALSO know about water vapour. Still the biggest “greenhouse gas” of the lot. Ever seen those things called clouds? Ever noticed that not every cloud causes rain to fall on you? Ever noticed that even after rain, there are often still clouds?

    Clearly you didn’t do enough geography to learn that clouds aren’t made of water vapour.

    The point is, H2O enters/leaves the atmosphere very easily, which means temperature and water vapour concentration reach equilibrium very quickly (a matter of days I think). Compare that to methane (years) and carbon dioxide (decades), and you’ll see why we’re not worried about water vapour emissions.

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  62. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    Can someone explain why the methane generated by bacteria living in a rumen, and digesting plant material, is bad methane, and hence those bacteria are bad bacteria, while the methane generated by bacteria living in a wetland, rainforest floor, or rice paddy is good methane and hence those bacteria are good bacteria?

    Why are we discriminating against New Zealand ‘s ruminant bacteria simply because of where they choose to live?

    Whatever happened to the Bacterial Bill of Rights? Where is the UN when bacteria need them most?

    The European satellite ENVISAT measured over a three years period the world wide close-to-the-surface-methane-concentrations. The average values are shown here (source: University of Bremen http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:80/sciamachy/NIR_NADIR_WFM_DOAS/).

    Open it up and scroll down to methane and then see how much impact our ruminants are having on atmospheric methane compared to the Northern Hemisphere sources.

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  63. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    You have to love this.

    Video: Going Green the Wrong Way

    http://thechillingeffect.org/2009/06/30/going-green-the-wrong-way/

    As always, nice work from The Onion (America’s Finest News Source!) for this parody of Taco Bell and it’s new green menu.

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  64. backster (2,123 comments) says:

    By how much is the government of Czechoslovakia going to decrease their emissions. I understand their economy is booming.
    It seems to me that one of the major emitters of methane and CO2 are those humans who breathe in oxygen and breathe out CO2 and fart methane.Shouldn’t the various emitter Nations be planning to reduce the amount of CO2 and methane produced by that species, and reduce their numbers by an amount the same as the overall National target. The number ofpeople on the globe doubles in number in an ever diminishing period and will destroy the earth long before we fry due to global warming.

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  65. Gosman (336 comments) says:

    Serious question here regarding Global warming.

    Given the fact that it highly unlikely that life as we know it on planet earth will die out due to Global warming what benefit will it be for NZ if we attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a significant amount?

    Global warming might actually prove to be economically beneficial to the country. Increased CO2 and higher average temperatures usually mean increased returns in farming.

    While we would have some disruption due to increased sea levels this would be stretched out over a hundred year period and could stimulate economic activity through increased construction.

    The world has always undergone climatic fluctuations, even within human history. Witness the impact of the little Ice age during thew Middle ages. I would suggest our society and economy is more robust than it was back then to take climate change on the chin and NZ is probably ideally placed to benefit from the changes.

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  66. Bullion (74 comments) says:

    How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic

    Figure SPM.4. from the IPCC 2007 4th Assessment Report – synthesis report (p11).

    Comparison of observed continental- and global-scale changes in surface temperature with results simulated by climate
    models using natural and anthropogenic forcings. Decadal averages of observations are shown for the period 1906 to 2005 (black line) plotted against the centre of the decade and relative to the corresponding average for 1901–1950. Lines are dashed where spatial coverage is less than 50%. Blue shaded bands show the 5–95% range for 19 simulations from five climate models using only the natural forcings due to solar activity and volcanoes. Red shaded bands show the 5–95% range for 58 simulations from 14 climate models using both natural and anthropogenic forcings. {FAQ 9.2, Figure 1}

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  67. Bullion (74 comments) says:

    Figure SPM.4. from the IPCC 2007 4th Assessment Report – synthesis report (p11).

    Comparison of observed continental- and global-scale changes in surface temperature with results simulated by climate
    models using natural and anthropogenic forcings. Decadal averages of observations are shown for the period 1906 to 2005 (black line) plotted against the centre of the decade and relative to the corresponding average for 1901–1950. Lines are dashed where spatial coverage is less than 50%. Blue shaded bands show the 5–95% range for 19 simulations from five climate models using only the natural forcings due to solar activity and volcanoes. Red shaded bands show the 5–95% range for 58 simulations from 14 climate models using both natural and anthropogenic forcings. {FAQ 9.2, Figure 1}

    How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic

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  68. Bullion (74 comments) says:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/graphics/graphics/syr/spm4.jpg

    http://www.grist.org/article/series/skeptics/

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  69. Ruby (110 comments) says:

    toad (1280) Vote: 0 7 Says:
    July 7th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Sure, agricultural methane is a problem that is difficult to address because the research just hasn’t been done. We need to urgently look at ways of reducing methane production per hectare and per animal, including intensified research into alternative feeds, breeding and selection of lower emitting animals and rumen biochemistry. This may even include the use of new genetic technologies in the laboratory as part of the research – although not the release of living genetically modified organisms – whether cows or bacteria – into the farm environment.

    Or the most obvious solution is to stop eating meat. However, because people are more concerned about feeding the lust of their bellies suggestions like yours are what get focused on. Correct me if I’m wrong (and if I am I apologise) but judging from your proposals I am guessing you have no issue with the slaughter of animals and thus are only concerned with changing the way meat is produced rather than being genuinely concerned about the exploitation of livestock. That’s the thing with a lot of you Green Party global warming alarmists – you claim to care about animal rights under the guise of environmentalism yet will have no issue with killing them once you find a ‘sustainable’ way to farm them, and thus the focus becomes about finding ways to compromise with the cruel industry rather than eliminating it altogether.

    It’s ridiculous how many people claim to be environmental activists (including your party’s candidate for the Nelson region) yet have no issue with the contribution towards a culture and diet that does more damage to the environment than any other industry. The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage threatening the planet – deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, biodiversity loss, the destabilisation of communities and the spread of disease. Next to the secondary production industry, behind almost every great environmental complaint is milk and meat.

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  70. Viking2 (11,275 comments) says:

    What bothers me about all this is the lack of informed debate on the part of our politicians. Evidence is quite clear that the AGW is a dubious and doubtful proposition but no one in our govt. has stepped up and asked the hard questions nor has anyone said, stop, lets see if it is a fact or a fiction of Al Gores mind.
    Smith , because he is a nut case to begin with, has failed to address the concern, in fact he is as bad as the likes of toad.
    We have had the mad economist write a book that is badly argued, we have had an investigative journalist write a book with a well researched opposing view, but we have not had a serious debate in a formal sense nor has the government been given any MANDATE WHAT SO EVER to introduce into our economy a NEW TAX. If a referendum was ever needed it would be over this taxation. Remember Key and English were going to reduce our taxes but they are just too dumb for words. Oh they don’t think so but really they are.

    It astonishes me that these highly paid people who aspire to be leaders are so poorly and badly informed. They should all take time out and do some wide and concentrated reading on the subject, especially of the information that has come forth in the last while. The AGW warmers got their say first and vilified any skeptics but, the worm is and has turned and now that skeptics, so called, can voice their opinions based on rigorous analysis, the argument for warming is proving false.
    Shades of the emperor with no clothes, all over again.

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  71. Heidihi (3 comments) says:

    Everytime I burp I say a little prayer-dedication to the Greens..’mother-earth needs us because we are releasing so much carbon unnaturally and causing her to be unnaturally warm – everything manmade that isn’t ‘Green’ with a capital ‘G’ is ‘bad’.

    So here’s the plan, we will artificially engineer livestock to the point that the poor buggers don’t burp properly anymore, and that will put us back in good stead with mothernature.

    Except what do you do to a baby when it’s got wind? A cow when it’s got colic? Bloody cruel to consider implanting devices in stomachs to reduce carbon emmissions..yet it’s been proposed..

    Matching the organic movement to CO2 levels – dropping the whole temperature relationship BS – the only credible part is that conventional methods that reduce microorganisms in the soil probably do mean more carbon dioxide in the air, so lets address that with the new generation of fertilizers, but don’t make it about controlling world temperatures, that’s daft.

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  72. toad (3,672 comments) says:

    Ruby – Government enforced vegetarianism would be a disaster electorally for any party that promoted it and a disaster for the economy if it were ever implemented.

    I agree with you in principle – an end to animal farming is the most ecologically sustainable farming option – but there is no way to get there politically in the foreseeable future.

    “Sustainability through austerity” just ain’t a runner in an election campaign. And too many people (including me, occasionally) really enjoy eating meat.

    Hey, sorry about lumping you in with MNIJ on an earlier comment of mine. I now realise you are obviously much more thoughtful about these issues than he is.

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  73. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Went out to check the girls a couple of hours ago after reading this forum, they appear to be happy and contented. They gathered around me as I walked through the paddock. When I had their total attention I said to them “fart and burp up a storm girls the world is been run by the retards from the asylum”, they didn’t say a thing but I knew that deep in their bovine hearts they knew I spoke the truth. “Just wait for the retards to sell us down the drain girls, the stupid pricks are to dumb to realise they are toads in the pot on the stove”. “Don’t worry girls the retards will see the light when their stomachs start to growl”. 330 burped loudly, yes they knew!!

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  74. wknight (2 comments) says:

    I like a lot of what you post on this blog, but how can you sensibly discuss cuts in emissions as if it’s a popularity contest with the EU and the USA.

    New Zealand, like all other countries, must do no less that what the best science demands, and then a bit more as a margin of error, to keep the world well clear of 2 degrees warming.

    this will put us somewhere near the 90% mark for 2050.

    Just because this is politically difficult does not mean there will not be dire consequences if it is missed.

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  75. Ian Wishart (83 comments) says:

    Good to see some serious debate taking place, but please Toad, stop trotting out such rubbish about Venus.

    If you’d read Air Con, like many of those here already have (being NZ’s top-selling climate change book bar none), you’d have seen an entire chapter devoted to Venus.

    That planet’s problems are caused by three major factors. Firstly, it turns on its axis only once a year, so like a very slow spit roast the planet burns in the solar heat. Secondly, unlike Earth Venus doesn’t have plate tectonics, and it deals with subterranean pressure simply by upending entire sections of crust and continents back into the magma.

    Whatever water Venus once had turned to steam because of this a long, long time ago.

    Thirdly, rampant volcanism pumps clouds of CO2 and other noxious gases into the Venusian atmosphere.

    Venus is extremely hot, but if you and the rest of the Greens keep trying to blame it on global warming you run the risk of being laughed at for a very long time.

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  76. Ross Nixon (612 comments) says:

    Hey Ian, maybe you should have published ‘Air Con’ under a pseudonym. Some people have an (unwarranted) bias against conservative Christian opinion.
    Do many in the MSM read your stuff? Any noted media or political alarmists becoming climate realists yet?

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  77. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Ruby blathered “The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage threatening the planet…”

    The fact is, the “human appetite for animal flesh” is what drove the growth of human brains, drove the growth of human muscle and led to humans becoming the dominant animal on the planet.

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  78. Robat (16 comments) says:

    And what of global cooling I ask?
    Over the past two years, there is hard evidence that planet Earth is cooling. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile — the list goes on and on.

    Cold is more damaging than heat. The mean temperature of the planet is about 54 degrees. Humans — and most of the crops and animals we depend on — prefer a temperature closer to 70.

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  79. Ian Wishart (83 comments) says:

    @Ross

    Let’s just say there’s more of an MSM appreciation now that “the science is NOT settled”…and for those who are interested here’s part one of Air Con: The Seriously Inconvenient Documentary

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  80. Ed Snack (1,797 comments) says:

    There’s a major problem with including agricultural methane emissions, they are entirely natural and part of the carbon cycle anyway. Methane is a natural product of decaying vegetation, inside an animal or out. The major, major sources of methane world wide are the rice cultivating regions or East Asia, the Russian Taiga, and to a lesser extent Amazonia and Canada. If NZ stops feeding plant material to animals, the actual levels of methane won’t decrease, only the politically (or rather religiously) inspired measurement of them will change. Owen has an excellent link showing world wide methane levels.

    Tell me, greenies and other believers in the myths of extreme AGW, why should NZ take an expensive action that has a purely cosmetic effect ? If we take anything other than something like GE type bacterial modification, any vegetation that is removed from animal stomachs will decay anyway and give off effectively the same amount of methane. So we actually achieve nothing. If we go for a larger cropping regime, that will probably practically increase our actual methane output, but politically we’re allowed to pretend it doesn’t. So Toad’s little religious fantasy about halting animal farming is founded on myths.

    However, there’s one thing I can agree on, more carbon in soils through bio-char systems, a great idea. It improves soils, and properly implemented is economically self sustaining. I recommend Gary Jones’ blog “Muck and Mystery” to follow that up.

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  81. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    I’m disappointed in many people above who continue arguing the AGW dynamics in respect of the politics involved in setting global targets. Fact is, thanks to the global media of which ours has played and continues to play a willing, ignorant and unwitting part, it has DEEMED AGW to be a fact. End of story. Case closed. The reef-fish have been sucked in. There is no hope. Forget it and deal with it.

    Unfortunately, but that’s the reality.

    Air miles etc are just the beginning of our problems in selling into overseas markets.

    So, while it’s fun to tear the AGW evangelists to pieces with real science, the real and only question is: how can NZ best use its immense but aging ag-science global leadership in dealing with this new market factor?

    Luddites like toad don’t help:

    Sure, agricultural methane is a problem that is difficult to address because the research just hasn’t been done. We need to urgently look at ways of reducing methane production per hectare and per animal, including intensified research into alternative feeds, breeding and selection of lower emitting animals and rumen biochemistry. This may even include the use of new genetic technologies in the laboratory as part of the research – although not the release of living genetically modified organisms – whether cows or bacteria – into the farm environment.

    I mean seriously, how can we deal effectively with ruminant emissions without GE in both crops and ruminants? FFS, get off the grass, toad.

    Similarly, idealists like Ruth are well-meaning but extremely naive:

    Or the most obvious solution is to stop eating meat. However, because people are more concerned about feeding the lust of their bellies suggestions like yours are what get focused on. Correct me if I’m wrong (and if I am I apologise) but judging from your proposals I am guessing you have no issue with the slaughter of animals and thus are only concerned with changing the way meat is produced rather than being genuinely concerned about the exploitation of livestock.

    Whilst one might agree with Ruth in terms of adopting a vegan lifestyle for all the personal health benefits it brings and these are many according to the medical research, one must acknowledge that in the real world, our nation sells animal protein for its living. Apparently, once people start eating protein, they really really enjoy it so much, that they never go back to veges alone. That FACT may be anathema to some, but this is how humans living in the world, work. So trying to turn that tide is pointless. I doubt many of us Ruth, wish to become as wealthy as Tonga, for that’s where your suggestion leads us.

    So the only choice is to turn to our neglected ag-scientists to lead us out of this quandry. Let’s hope we start treating them better than we have, for the last thirty years. Reform after reform aimed at getting them to “commercialise” their science, has made many of them retire in disgust, many more younger ones leave to pursue lucrative careers overseas, and many others drop promising areas of research because the short-sighted analysts who awarded research grants couldn’t see the commercial benefit.

    It’s high time, really, that we started venerating these people who’ve given us our lifestyle, by making all aspects of ag-science into a popular and lucrative career option, as well-known and rewarding as being a top rugby player. The fact we currently have it arse-about-face, says a lot about our own (lack of) intelligence and also our own political leadership over the years.

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  82. Ian Wishart (83 comments) says:

    I’m afraid I just don’t buy this “lie back and think of England” approach to climate change, and this is where I fundamentally disagree with the compromise position of DPF’s post and the National Government’s policy generally.

    The reality is that for a fraction of what it will cost us in carbon fees and taxes, NZ taxpayers could well and truly fund a prime time ad campaign in the US and Europe that explained how efficient our agriculture is, how much carbon is soaked up by NZ’s forests and pastures etc…and how unsettled the science is on this subject.

    We weren’t afraid of standing up for our principles on the nuclear issue, or South Africa, yet suddenly we are going weak at the knees over daring to challenge global warming fantasies?

    Give me a break.

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  83. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    It’s a hollow man, Ian.

    We’re vulnerable to the global emission “science.”

    That’s the reality.

    It can’t be spun (by us alone).

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  84. burt (8,025 comments) says:

    Frankly it’s tin foil hat stuff. The climate has never been static, never will be. This is the first step on the continuum of brainwashing the masses into thinking they are actually significant in the context of the worlds climate. We are bigger than the effects of solar variance boys and girls – aren’t we special.

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  85. Ian Wishart (83 comments) says:

    Reid, I know what you’re saying and I’ve had the same conversation with some politicians, but I also know that right around the world there is growing public scepticism about climate change. If NZ were to spend US$100 million on some TV ads, we’d set off a chain reaction.

    I’m not saying that’s the first gambit, but it is certainly a weapon in the arsenal if someone tries to escalate a trade backlash.

    And US$100 million is far cheaper than NZ$1.5 billion in carbon bills…

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  86. burt (8,025 comments) says:

    Oh, and bring back the hockey stick, it was a cool frightener of the masses. Either that or have the same teachers who preached it to the kids as gospel now teach that it was just mischief.

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  87. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    You have a point Ian. I’ve been sensing it’s an increasing awareness (the bullshit of it).

    Interesting.

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  88. burt (8,025 comments) says:

    Ian

    So where do you think NZ will stand on Nuclear powered cruise ships when carbon taxes make it much cheaper than diesel?

    EDIT: Actually all cruise ship will probably run out of China, using coal supplied by NZ!

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  89. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    If NZ were to spend US$100 million on some TV ads, we’d set off a chain reaction.

    After thinking for a bit tho Ian, can we fight City Hall?

    100m is peanuts – even if they were hard hitting. Your average overseas lobby group is putty in the hands of people who are determined on the agenda.

    And these people are – where DID this all come from? They have to have billions to play with, let alone the phone calls they could make to the right people: editors, politicians, etc. How else did this come about onto the global agenda so quickly – every nation, the UN. World record.

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  90. Ian Wishart (83 comments) says:

    Ah Reid…now you are sensing the nub of the issue – what Bjorn Lomborg recently christened “the climate-industrial complex”.

    But just as the Berlin Wall fell to the popular will, even the mighty can still be brought to their knees by the same phenomenon…all we have to do is light the flame.

    I don’t believe for a second that the average US or British shopper gives a flying toss about air miles, especially during a recession. The idea of a retail backlash against New Zealand is merely the modern Green equivalent of the bogey-man of yesteryear, designed to scare decision makers into line.

    Frankly, even if we spent $300 million to stave off a billion dollar a year nightmare we’d still be ahead of the game, and there would be enough intelligent foreigners cheering us on from the sidelines that we’d probably experience a massive boost in trade and tourism, not the reverse.

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  91. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    And straight from the mouth of Dr Evil.

    Our very own Al Bore.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6658672.ece

    You have got to read this. Unbelievable.

    Climate Change is like Fighting the NAZIS!!!!! FFS.

    BTW, Great book Ian. Air Con will piss the money traders off big time.

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  92. Spam (597 comments) says:

    Quantum mechanic shows that in theory it should happen. Laboratory experiments show it does happen. And what the hell do think makes the temperature on planet Venus average 460 C – much hotter than that on Mercury which is only half of Venus’ distance from the Sun? Nothing to do with a Venusian atmosphere that consists largely of CO2, I suppose.

    And yet Mars has basically the same CO2 content in its atmosphere as Venus, and yet its much colder than Earth. Go figure.

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