Patrick Moore’s environmental beliefs

February 21st, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

I blogged yesterday on ’s views on what has happened to Greenpeace. From the same source, I want to today blog on his modern environmental beliefs, and encourage debate of which ones people agree with. They are:

• We should be growing more trees and using more wood, not cutting fewer trees and using less wood as Greenpeace and its allies contend. Wood is the most important renewable material and energy resource.

• Those countries that have reserves of potential hydroelectric energy should build the dams required to deliver that energy. There is nothing wrong with creating more lakes in this world.

• Nuclear energy is essential for our future energy supply, especially if we wish to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. It has proven to be clean safe, reliable, and cost-effective.

• Geothermal heat pumps, which too few people know about, are far more important and cost-effective than either solar panels or wind mills as a source of renewable energy. They should be required in all new buildings unless there is a good reason to use some other technology for heating, cooling, and making hot water.

• The most effective way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is to encourage the development of technologies that require less or no fossil fuels to operate. Electric cars, heat pumps, nuclear and hydroelectric energy, and biofuels are the answer, not cumbersome regulatory systems that stifle economic activity.

• Genetic science, including genetic engineering, will improve nutrition and end malnutrition, improve crop yields, reduce the environmental impact of farming, and make people and the healthier.

• Many activist campaigns designed to make us fear useful chemicals are based on misinformation and unwarranted fear.

• Aquaculture, including salmon and shrimp farming, will be one of our most important future sources of healthy food. It will also take pressure off depleted wild fish stocks and will employ millions of people productively.

• There is no cause for alarm about climate change. The climate is always changing. Some of the proposed “solutions” would be far worse than any imaginable consequence of global warming, which will likely be mostly positive. Cooling is what we should fear.

• Poverty is the worst environmental problem. Wealth and urbanization will stabilize the human population. Agriculture should be mechanized throughout the developing world. Disease and malnutrition can be largely eliminated by the application of modern technology. Health care, sanitation, literacy, and electrification should be provided to everyone.

• No whale or dolphin should be killed or captured anywhere, ever. This is one of my few religious beliefs. They are the only species on earth whose brains are larger than ours and it is impossible to kill or capture them humanely.

Some will claim Moore is no longer an environmentalist, but they will belong to one of the fundamentalist sects which are anti-development. But I’d like to hear reasons why the approach above is wrong, if they can be based on science, not fear.

Oh, and a topical cartoon below by Blunt:

Tags: ,

61 Responses to “Patrick Moore’s environmental beliefs”

  1. Pete George (21,796 comments) says:

    I mostly agree with most of that.

    But – I don’t think we should dam all our rivers, it’s important to retain some wild waterways.

    And I’d reword one slightly:
    Many activist campaigns designed to make us fear *issue of the day* are based on misinformation and unwarranted fear.

    There’s a public debate on asset sales in Dunedin tonight, those bloody foreigners are going to get everything! (If they promise to pay us all a decent living benefit will that be ok?)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Peter (1,468 comments) says:

    Agree with most of it.

    Lakes are great.

    It makes me realise that environmentalism is fine if it weren’t for the communist insanity.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. MD (60 comments) says:

    1. We should be growing more trees and using more wood – If we grow the trees and leave them, you need to consume ever more land for trees to take out CO2, the sensible approach is to grow them and use them, preferably as wood, rather than as fuel, and lock the CO2 up long term.
    2. build the dams – Totally agree, this has proven to be an excellent source of power and the lake developments have been great amenities. There becoems a point where you do need to retain a few rivers in their natural state, but I don’t think we’ve got to that limit yet.
    3. Nuclear energy is essential – If we had put the effort into developing this rather than demonising it, there are technologies available that would remove even the small remaining risks. I don’t see that this has changed at all from what happened in Japan, just we should learn from that and build higher walls, and get rid of the spent fuel rods.
    4. Geothermal heat pumps – This si a fascinating technology and used significantly in some of the colder northen counties, I don’t know how the economics stack up for NZ, but it’s certainly something we should be looking closely at.
    5. encourage the development of technologies that require less or no fossil fuels to operate – this is a no-brainer, more and more regulations are never a solution, technological progress has always been the answer, but to some extent it occurs as fossil fuels become more expensive / scarce. I’m not convinced electric cars are anywhere near viable yet, and certainly not until we’ve substantially improved our electrical generation capacity and moved away from buring fossil fuels to do it.
    6. The most effective way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is to encourage the development of technologies that require less or no fossil fuels to operate – the benefits of increased atmospheric CO2, together with improved crop varieties and farming practices have averted the looming food crises widely predicted 40 years ago, this is a trend we should be encouraging.
    7. Many activist campaigns designed to make us fear useful chemicals are based on misinformation and unwarranted fear – Totally agree with that statement, it largely applies to the nuclear energy debate as well.
    8. Aquaculture, including salmon and shrimp farming, – I don’t understand why we had a moratorium, this is the obvious answer to overfishing concerns, this is the same reason we took up farming on land rather than just trying to hunt passing wild animals.
    9. There is no cause for alarm about climate change. The climate is always changing. – Again he is bang on, the whole thing was overblown, but even if there is some basis for it we all know that warming is generally beneficial, and the fact that so much energy was expended on trying to convince us that it was bad just showed how corrupt the process has become.
    10. Poverty is the worst environmental problem. – There is no question about that, once a society becomes properous they want to look after the environment, but when you are struggling for existence then it’s not going to be your concern. Efforts to promote education and modern agricultural practices to assist third world countries has real envirnmental benefits. We don’t allow them to harvest the native forests and make things with it to provide income so instead they burn them down to clear land for agriculture, why are we suprised?
    11. No whale or dolphin should be killed or captured anywhere, ever – He’s identified it as a religious belief and that’s what it is. Not a religion I share, while I want to conserve whales I have no particular objection to countries that historically eat whales from continuing to do so as long as it’s on a sustainable basis like any other fishing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. wreck1080 (3,522 comments) says:

    I was looking at geothermal heat pumps — they are still not mainstream technology however, so very expensive.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Pete George (21,796 comments) says:

    2. build the dams – Totally agree, this has proven to be an excellent source of power and the lake developments have been great amenities. There becoems a point where you do need to retain a few rivers in their natural state, but I don’t think we’ve got to that limit yet.

    Someone living in an apartment in Wellington or Auckland may think we haven’t got to that limit yet.

    Sure, there must be scope to dam a few remaining bits of our rivers, but not much. And there’s a lot of waste transmitting power from one end of the country to another.

    Maybe we should look at a more efficient population distribution.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Maybe John Campbell and the media could shed some light on this…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Linda Reid (385 comments) says:

    MD – why do we need to lock CO2 away?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,049 comments) says:

    I guess the salient thing to mention about Moore is that he’s a lobbyist and PR consultant for logging companies and the nuclear power industry. So when he says, ‘Log more trees and build more nuclear power stations . . .’

    [DPF: He believes nuclear energy is better than fossil fuels, and that trees are a great renewable resource, so why shouldn't he promote things he genuinely believes in.

    Unlike promoting smoking (your later analogy) which is near-universally regarded as harmful, the positions Moore advocates are quite moderate and indeed supported by many (not most) environmentalists.

    You also need to beware your guilt by association theories. The Greens Wellington Central candidate would (unfairly) be judged by some of the companies he has worked for, if people follow you line of reasoning]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Mobile Michael (363 comments) says:

    I’ve always wondered why the correct response to environmental problems was socialism. Especially after the fall of the Berlin Wall when we saw how polluted East Europe is.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. swan (651 comments) says:

    “Sure, there must be scope to dam a few remaining bits of our rivers, but not much. And there’s a lot of waste transmitting power from one end of the country to another.

    Maybe we should look at a more efficient population distribution.”

    Pardon? You want to forcibly move humans around the country because you think this will save on power distribution costs. What euphemism does United Future use for this policy? I couldn’t find any mention of Gulags on your website.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    Not much to disagree with in that list.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    “…(Patrick) Moore himself warned in 1976, “It should be remembered that there are employed in the nuclear industry some very high-powered public relations organizations. One can no more trust them to tell the truth about nuclear power than about which brand of toothpaste will result in this apparently insoluble problem.” His words hold true today, even if he was essentially forecasting his own future…”

    from http://www.nirs.org/falsepromises.pdf

    Fascinating though that DPF is running so scared of the Greens right now, especially in light of his disgracefully tasteless (even by kiwiblog standards) and clumsy attempt to smear Trevor Mallard yesterday.

    That internal polling must really be going to custard for the National government.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Pete George (21,796 comments) says:

    swan: You want to forcibly move humans around the country

    No, I didn’t say anything like that.

    There’s voluntary ways people can be encouraged to relocate, like better regional development, distribution of government agencies etc.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. James Stephenson (1,885 comments) says:

    I guess the salient thing to mention about Moore is that he’s a lobbyist and PR consultant for logging companies and the nuclear power industry. So when he says, ‘Log more trees and build more nuclear power stations . . .’

    …and of course there’s absolutely no possibility that he’s a smart bloke who has found a way to get people to pay for promoting ideas that he already believes in.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Salacious Crumb (28 comments) says:

    “Maybe John Campbell and the media could shed some light on this…”

    John Campbell? Bwahahahahahahaha!!!

    Nice one EWS

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Ed Snack (1,535 comments) says:

    You really know that those who dislike Moore are desperate when the most important thing to consider is not what he says but who they want you to think pays him.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,049 comments) says:

    and of course there’s absolutely no possibility that he’s a smart bloke who has found a way to get people to pay for promoting ideas that he already believes in.

    And maybe all those well paid tobacco lobbyists who insisted there was no link between smoking and cancer really believed that, too.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. TimG_Oz (883 comments) says:

    One thing overlooked – Wood Burning is actually the dirtiest form of fuel.

    It is the most inefficient in terms of emissions (so much smoke, ash etc), and gives you the least return, compared to fossil sources.

    The proposed Gunns Pulp mill in Tasmania (now defunct) was going to be powered by burning wood. This probably would have made the neighbouring area unlivable.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. adze (1,695 comments) says:

    Danyl, I wonder if he’s also a PR consultant and lobbyist for Dolphins and Whales.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. tom hunter (3,998 comments) says:

    … a PR consultant and lobbyist for Dolphins

    They’d have to be paying “in-kind” I suppose. After all, once you’ve gone Dolphin …

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Peter (1,468 comments) says:

    You really know that those who dislike Moore are desperate when the most important thing to consider is not what he says but who they want you to think pays him.

    Straight out of the Good Little Communists Guide To Propaganda.

    Heaven forbid someone says something they believe in AND gets paid for it. Strangely, they accept this when it comes to Green MPs and Greens advocating for alt energy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Cobolt (82 comments) says:

    @MD
    Using timber will not lock away the carbon, eventually, within 100 years or so, the timber will rot away releasing the bound carbon, microbes release methane etc. The only way to lock carbon up up artificially is to charcoal it and bury it deep somewhere where.

    I agree with most of what Patrick Moore says. My exceptions are the damming of rivers, yes some but beware the ecological ramifications spawning fish etc.

    Also the use of electric everythings is only helpful when the vast majority of the electricity comes from clean production.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Agree with almost all he says – except some of this…

    • The most effective way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is to encourage the development of technologies that require less or no fossil fuels to operate. Electric cars, heat pumps, nuclear and hydroelectric energy, and biofuels are the answer, not cumbersome regulatory systems that stifle economic activity.

    Electric cars are about the dumbest solution to almost any problem (where does the electricyt come from – mostly fossil fuels. And the makeup of efficient batteries isnt a very nice story – and china controls most of those chemicals – and theres not a lot of them)

    Biofuels – a recent rport showes what stuipd ‘solution’ these are. they produce more CO2 than they are supposed to save, and theyve been called a “Crime Against Humanity”
    see: http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=21807&title=Biofuels+tax+drivers+%26euro%3B18+billion+but+don%27t+reduce+emissions+

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. petulantpacifist (12 comments) says:

    Patrick Moore is clearly a dishonest bloke. I can’t be bothered debunking all of what he says above, but take nuclear energy, for example. Even with extremely lax safety standards, nuclear energy has never succeeded without massive state subsidies, either indirect (restrictions on how much nuclear companies would be liable in the case of an accident) or direct (taxpayers running nuclear energy as PPPs and paying for the initial investment). It’s all very good to say ‘look at the ideological hippies’, but maybe the hippies are right. There is absolutely no evidence that nuclear will be a commercially viable investment anytime soon.

    Evidence: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17674

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. PaulL (5,774 comments) says:

    Agree with most of it, maybe not all the detail, but the general thrust.

    On whales and dolphins – yes, that appears a religious position. My position is a bit more nuanced – there are lots of sorts of whales, they range from large herbivors to small carnivors. Some of them (such as minke whales) appear to be the sheep of the sea, and I don’t really understand why we’d have an objection to killing them, unless we also object to killing sheep (and I accept that some people do object to that). Conversely, others like dolphins are more akin to dogs or other relatively intelligent animals, some like sperm whales are large predators – I see them being like lions or other charismatic megafauna. And then you have the orca, who appear to occupy a similar niche in the sea as humans occupy on land.

    And I fully agree on nuclear, and particularly see a lot of potential in liquid flouride thorium reactors: http://energyfromthorium.com/. They’re passively safe (i.e. a removal of power causes immediate shutdown), and generate far fewer radioactive byproducts than the uraniuim cycle, which would address most of the remaining concerns about nuclear usage.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. All_on_Red (941 comments) says:

    Take the “Global Warming test” and see how you do

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/GlobWarmTest/start.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Fletch (5,715 comments) says:

    You can also see Moore interviewed on Canadian TV here –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=udFlxod11HY

    I agree with a lot of what he says, although, I don’t quite agree with genetic engineering of our crops.
    Not sure about electric cars either, or biofuels. I believe that biofuel tends to deplete our world’s food – space is taken to grow crops for fuel instead of food.

    According to the head of Nestle, 35% of US corn goes toward biofuel now, rather than food, which is pushing up the cost of food and could starve the poor.

    Soaring food inflation is the result of “immoral” policies in the United States which divert crops for use in the production of biofuels instead of food, according to the chairman of one of the world’s largest food companies.

    Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, the chairman of Nestle, lashed out at the Obama Administration for promoting the use of ethanol made from corn, at the expense of hundreds of millions of people struggling to afford everyday basics made from the crop.

    Brabeck-Letmathe weighed in to the acrimonious debate over food price inflation to condemn politicians around the world who seem determined to blame financial speculators instead of tackling underlying imbalances in supply and demand.

    “Today, 35 per cent of US corn goes into biofuel,” the Nestle chairman told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York yesterday.

    “From an environmental point of view this is a nonsense, but more so when we are running out of food in the rest of the world.

    “It is absolutely immoral to push hundreds of millions of people into hunger and into extreme poverty because of such a policy, so I think – I insist – no food for fuel.”

    Corn prices almost doubled in the year to February, though they have fallen from their peak in the past few weeks. Anger at rising food prices contributed to protests across the Middle East, and rising commodities costs were among the factors pushing British inflation to 4.4 per cent in February, figures yesterday showed.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/food-beverage-industry/news/article.cfm?c_id=45&objectid=10714537

    Also, I do agree that windmills, although they seem like a very good idea, can make things worse. A story in the Daily Mail reports “lakes of poison” in China as a result of manufacturing the magnets used in these turbines.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1350811/In-China-true-cost-Britains-clean-green-wind-power-experiment-Pollution-disastrous-scale.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. unaha-closp (1,033 comments) says:

    Blunt must be really old, he uses a Chinese flag to symbolise communism.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Yoza (1,342 comments) says:

    SourceWatch provides a comprehensive outline of Patrick Moore’s history and corporate PR activity. This guy has practically zero credibility, corporate shills are not valid sources of information or analysis – they are just klaxons for elite fantasies.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. tom hunter (3,998 comments) says:

    .. he uses a Chinese flag to symbolise communism

    I can’t stand Blunt’s cartoons but I would not get too snarky about that point since there were a few (very few) far-lefters who claimed from the 1930′s on that the USSR did not symbolise communism. That was probably technically correct while also being fundamentally stupid.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Joel Rowan (99 comments) says:

    On the topic of wood & CO2, you’ll note that it doesn’t matter how long it “locks away” the CO2 for, because he also says global warming is not something we can stop, and not something we need to fear. I realise there are a lot of consequences, and sea levels may possibly rise etc. But there’s a big myth out there that CO2 is a pollutant, which it is not. It is ever-present in huge quantities in the atmosphere, and it is highly unlikely that human activity is actually increasing it by a significant amount.

    I agree with most of his points. I still think that nuclear power is not the best option for New Zealand. With the earthquake risk, it just isn’t sensible. Especially given we have so many alternatives. More dams is the best idea, in my opinion. Alas, the watermelons don’t like those either.

    The trouble is that human beings’ lives impact the environment. We use the “environment” for everything – for our food, water, energy, transport etc. There is no way to completely halt environmental impacts without forcing all people into a kind of stone age poverty. That’s why the most important point he makes is “Poverty is the worst environmental problem” – even in New Zealand, the so-called Green lobby is creating poverty, protesting against job-creation because it doesn’t meet their definitions of being good for the planet.

    Maybe lignite is a dirty form of coal, but there’s a demand for it, and someone else will dig it up and sell it to whoever’s buying and New Zealand will miss out on the cheque, while China (as I understand they buy the stuff) keeps on burning. Keeping NZ coal in the ground might make us feel all warm and fuzzy, but it’s doing four fifths of f**k-all to help the environment.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. XChequer (350 comments) says:

    Danyl, you’re being a petulant child.

    You’re a smart guy. Get of your arse, do some research on modern nuclear energy generation (specifically Breeder reactors) and come back with an informed opinion and not some hoary bias given to you that you’ve taken on face value.

    I really wish people would start making up their own minds about the nuclear debate. It’s a fantastic energy source, very, very clean and very safe. Instead, they throw rationality out the window when the “N” word is mentioned. They are generally too lazy to go out and find the information themselves instead of having it served to them in byte (heh) size packages from the MSM or Greenpeace.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    Some will claim Moore is no longer an environmentalist, but they will belong to one of the fundamentalist sects which are anti-development.

    That’s right – “You are either with us or with the luddites” there is no middle ground.

    As a Green voter I agree with much of what Moore has said with the following exceptions:

    “not cutting fewer trees and using less wood as Greenpeace and its allies contend.”
    This is a mischaracterisation and dates back to him vs Greenpeace when he was a lobbyist for Asian Pulp and Paper – APP were (and probably still are)clearfelling native rainforest – that is not sustainable forestry as we know it in NZ.

    • Nuclear energy is essential for our future energy supply, especially if we wish to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. It has proven to be clean safe, reliable, and cost-effective.
    Then why have hardly any nuclear power stations been privately built in the last few decades? The answer has nothing to do with the environment (although they still haven’t solved the waste problem despite decades of research) it is because the capital costs of a nuclear station are massive and nobody is willing to build anything without an iron clad guarantee from the government that the taxpayer will underwrite the cost of any accidents. He’s seriously overstating the case for nuclear here – but then he is a paid lobbyist so I guess that’s fair enough.

    Why is he saying that we should reduce fossil fuels at the same time as saying global warming is a good thing? Shouldn’t we then burn more coal to make the world a better place? He criticises people for being alarmist and then says that policies like a carbon tax are “far worse than any imaginable consequence of global warming” – isn’t that alarmist?
    He’s probably wrong on the science of climate change but I am not interested in relitigating the science with many deniers who frequent this blog, they can think what they want, I still advocate a revenue neutral “tax and dividend” resource tax on carbon. If in 20 years it turns out that I’m wrong and the effect was that we slowed economic growth by a fraction and ceased buying as much oil from Saudi Arabia and Iran then I can live with that.

    • Aquaculture, including salmon and shrimp farming, will be one of our most important future sources of healthy food. It will also take pressure off depleted wild fish stocks and will employ millions of people productively.

    Could be – although it is worth noting that Aquaculture can also be very unsustainable and can use wild fish stocks as a food source. Something I’m sure he would acknowledge (when not in paid employment by the industry)

    • Genetic science, including genetic engineering, will improve nutrition and end malnutrition, improve crop yields, reduce the environmental impact of farming, and make people and the environment healthier.

    The end malnutrition claim is false – malnutrition is not caused by a lack of available healthy food – it is caused by an inability to buy it. Malnutrition is fundamentally a political and economic problem which may require (shock horror!) a degree of redistribution in some cases. No functioning democracy has experienced major famine – it is reasonably straightforward for a government to feed it’s population to a basic level. Most countries that are affected by famine have non-functioning governments (much of Africa) or are not in the least democratic (North Korea, China under Mao).

    “But I’d like to hear reasons why the approach above is wrong, if they can be based on science, not fear.”

    Fundamentally development is not always bad – and most Greens don’t think it is. The counterpoint is true also – development is not always good – sometimes development can be harmful to people and the environment to an extent that the benefits outweigh the costs. You and I might disagree of the extent of mining that should be permitted or at what level the fishing quota should be set but I suspect you are not in favour of of open cast mining all our national parks or free for all overfishing any more than I am opposed to all mining or all fishing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. marcw (206 comments) says:

    Nuclear power will never be an option in NZ using the current technologies. Not because of the environmental issues or waste disposal problems, but it is just too expensive. Canada has recently mothballed a planned twin nuclear power plant development because the economic figures just did not add up. If a country of that size and resources came to that conclusion, how could a country of 4.5 million make a different decision.

    We have too many other options – notwithstanding some future technological breakthroughs.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. marcw (206 comments) says:

    What if we were proposing to build the Waikato River hydro scheme today. RMA issues, Iwi issues, it defies the imagination. Now think of the massive economic contribution this 1950′s scheme has made to the country and the incredible recreational and scenic facilities we enjoy.

    Well planned and respectful development is not the devil’s work as some of the anti’s would have us believe.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Agriculture should be mechanized throughout the developing world.

    I can understand the idea behind this; greater yields and reduced environmental damage. But it looks too top-down to work. The problem may be properly identified as a lack of mechanisation, by which I assume he means tractors etc. But this statement seems like it makes the solution to air-drop mechs into poor areas. I reckon that sort of direct intervention has failed in the past.

    Better to treat the lack of mechanisation as a symptom, than the disease. Farmers in the developing world are too poor to afford the mechs they want. Why are they poor? Thats the problem. What is keeping developing world farmers poor? Is the value of their produce that low? Do we really not place a decent value on food? Are their costs of production really that high?

    You can see where I am going with this, I hope.

    US and EU agricultural subsidies and other trade barriers.

    Its not the only reason, but it is one that could be fixed overnight.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Pete George (21,796 comments) says:

    Joel Rowan I still think that nuclear power is not the best option for New Zealand. With the earthquake risk, it just isn’t sensible.

    Most of NZ may have too much earthquake risk but the north of the North Island is relatively stable (if you ignore the occasional volcano).

    But I’d put more effort into efficiencies and reducing power requirements, especially long distance transmissions.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Then why have hardly any nuclear power stations been privately built in the last few decades?

    Public hysteria fanned by know-it-all Greens like yourself who have frightened the public into a reflexive “nothing nuclear” stance. If any politician campaigned on building a nuclear power plant, they would never be voted in. The science doesnt matter. Neither does the risk. What matters is what people perceive the risk to be. And that perception has been deliberately twisted by Green scaremongers.

    Why is he saying that we should reduce fossil fuels at the same time as saying global warming is a good thing?

    Same reason as above. The public wants fewer fossil fuels burned, correctly or not. So he is not fighting that battle, merely saying that if you do want that, then nuclear is the best option. People may be willing to take on the risk of nuclear energy if it abates the risk of global warming.

    He’s probably wrong on the science of climate change…

    You mean when he says that it is happening? Didnt you just say that?

    Most countries that are affected by famine have non-functioning governments…

    Cool, but werent we talking about malnutrition?

    No functioning democracy has experienced major famine…

    Has a capitalist economy ever suffered a major famine? Why representation matter, when it is the economic incentives that affect supply?

    … it is reasonably straightforward for a government to feed it’s population to a basic level.

    Ah, I see. It is the job of the government to feed ITS population. Now, we would say “it is reasonably straightforward for a government to ensure economic conditions that provide the natural incentives that lead to the population it serves having access to the food they desire.”

    Yours requires the government to do something to fix a problem. Ours requires the government not to cause the problem.

    I am sure you will never appreciate how horrific your view of the role of government is to a liberal, or what it reveals about your true opinion of humanity.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    New Zealand has large and sustainable managed forestry
    Most residential development is based on wood products

    We have already comprehensively used viable large hydro opportunity’s
    There is justification to ease up compliance cost around smaller scale hydro
    The rma loads significant cost and risk to such endeavors As it does to wind and other alternatives

    nuclear energy is not clean safe, and cost-effective.
    Yes there are few accidents those that do occur have catastrophic consequences.
    If you tried it in NZ you would have civil unrest
    New technology like thorium reactors is often talked up way before the technological barriers are understood let alone solved.

    Heat pumps for hot water are new and have not become mainstream in NZ yet
    They are however being installed in a suburb near you
    They should be encouraged not legislated.

    Electric cars,bio fuels
    Are not the answer to anything except how to waste money and smile at the same time.
    Electric cars are expensive and the batteries used are very dirty with a limited life span
    Bio fuels at present are displacing food production with the obvious result of higher food costs.
    An industry around converting waste from the timber or diary industry’s into fuel is only waiting for it to be cost effective.

    Genetic science. care needs to be taken. This decades super food could become next decades super weed.

    Chemical phobia is alive and well just ask your local alt med nutter.

    Aquaculture has a place .
    Not at to much expanse to the natural environment. Our fisheries are sustainable managed. More care should be taken around the biomass estimates avoiding the historic boom bust cycles.

    Climate change mostly positive?
    On a global basses new Zealand is fortunate that it has a maritime climate
    Warmer Wetter North or dryer conditions south east will definitely cause problems to our primary industries.
    Benign no . For some parts of the world catastrophic
    Insurmountable for NZ no

    Poverty is the worst environmental problem
    Good thing that we have no poverty on the scale he refers to
    bring the third world into the first is a noble goal
    Most methods proposed actually involve taking the first world down to the third

    Marine mammals nom nom nom sea pig anyone

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    What a cock “blunt” is. Ruins what would have otherwise been a good post by burying it in stupid and exaggerated political dogma from the start.

    When the agents of an Environmentalist Government contact DPF and forces him to remove that cartoon from the site, THEN we’ll have the kind of environmentalists he thinks/pretends we have…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Heat pumps for hot water are new and have not become mainstream in NZ yet
    They are however being installed in a suburb near you
    They should be encouraged not legislated.

    The problem when new building technologies aren’t adequately controlled, is than ten years later when they start to give expensive trouble people tend to blame the Local Gummint or the National Gummint for not having forseen the problem and banned whatever (or whoever) caused it…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. Scott Chris (5,675 comments) says:

    Moore says:- “We should be growing more trees and using more wood”

    Maybe, but the only trees that effectively sequester carbon are fast growing species such as pine and eucalyptus which are regularly harvested and replanted anyway in 25 to 40 year cycles.

    Selective logging of slow growing natives uses more carbon than the wood itself stores (apart from the environmental damage this practice causes) so that is not an option.

    So in the end if we are to plant more exotics the government has to intervene in the market to turn marginal farming land which produces a greater return per hectare, say, running sheep, into exotic forest. The farmers would only go for that idea if there is a financal incentive to do so.

    Hence the ETS. Alas farmers are a bit thick and prefer to stick to what they know (conservative in other words) so there isn’t a lot of planting going on… might have to sweeten the deal a bit.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. pq (728 comments) says:

    just to remind myself; here is Farrar’s PC position on Environment
    puke freely if you feel,

    Farrar drivel; from address note for NAT bullshit

    • We should be growing more trees and using more wood, not cutting fewer trees and using less wood as Greenpeace and its allies contend. Wood is the most important renewable material and energy resource.

    • Those countries that have reserves of potential hydroelectric energy should build the dams required to deliver that energy. There is nothing wrong with creating more lakes in this world.

    • Nuclear energy is essential for our future energy supply, especially if we wish to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. It has proven to be clean safe, reliable, and cost-effective.

    • Geothermal heat pumps, which too few people know about, are far more important and cost-effective than either solar panels or wind mills as a source of renewable energy. They should be required in all new buildings unless there is a good reason to use some other technology for heating, cooling, and making hot water.

    • The most effective way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is to encourage the development of technologies that require less or no fossil fuels to operate. Electric cars, heat pumps, nuclear and hydroelectric energy, and biofuels are the answer, not cumbersome regulatory systems that stifle economic activity.

    • Genetic science, including genetic engineering, will improve nutrition and end malnutrition, improve crop yields, reduce the environmental impact of farming, and make people and the environment healthier.

    • Many activist campaigns designed to make us fear useful chemicals are based on misinformation and unwarranted fear.

    • Aquaculture, including salmon and shrimp farming, will be one of our most important future sources of healthy food. It will also take pressure off depleted wild fish stocks and will employ millions of people productively.

    • There is no cause for alarm about climate change. The climate is always changing. Some of the proposed “solutions” would be far worse than any imaginable consequence of global warming, which will likely be mostly positive. Cooling is what we should fear.

    • Poverty is the worst environmental problem. Wealth and urbanization will stabilize the human population. Agriculture should be mechanized throughout the developing world. Disease and malnutrition can be largely eliminated by the application of modern technology. Health care, sanitation, literacy, and electrification should be provided to everyone.

    • No whale or dolphin should be killed or captured anywhere, ever. This is one of my few religious beliefs. They are the only species on earth whose brains are larger than ours and it is impossible to kill or capture them humanely.

    Some will claim Moore is no longer an environmentalist, but they will belong to one of the fundamentalist sects which are anti-development. But I’d like to hear reasons why the approach above is wrong, if they can be based on science, not fear.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. pq (728 comments) says:

    be sick here

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. profile (13 comments) says:

    Scott, if your goal is to sequester carbon surely wood is a better option than steel or concrete?! You can build 25 storey buildings with wood now in a fraction of the time and energy it takes to build a concrete/steel equivalent. An eroded East Coast hillside returning bugger all from sheep farming would sequester a lot more carbon than a steel mill. Land growing grass planted into trees stores carbon on all but the shortest rotation lengths.
    Read up a bit more on selective logging. It causes a hell of a lot less “environmental damage” than a steel mill. Does heli logging of West Coast Rimu cause more “environmental damage” than importing clear felled tropical hardwood? Harvesting one tree in a 15ha block every 15 years ain’t so damaging on the environment. It is quite a good option if you want to minimise “environmental damage”. People still want to buy hardwood decking/furniture and it better that it comes from our own sustainably managed forests than somebody else’s land clearing in the tropics.
    Farmers sticking with that they know pays the bills for NZ. Show a bit of respect! Why should farmers be expected to become foresters – it is not their area of expertise.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. Scott Chris (5,675 comments) says:

    Profile says:- “You can build 25 storey buildings with wood now in a fraction of the time and energy”

    Sure, but we live in a market economy so you have to find a buyer. Lots of buyers in fact. And the building has to meet strict construction codes.

    >>”Read up a bit more on selective logging”

    I don’t need to. I’ve seen the numbers. Look at it this way. Firstly pine forest stores carbon three times as fast as native bush. Then there’s the fuel for helicopter, truck, saw mill, kiln drying, transporting to wholesale yard, transporting to retail outlet – and that’s just the basic stuff. With an exotic forest you cut down the whole thing so it is a far more efficient process.

    >>”than importing clear felled tropical hardwood”

    There are no native species that are suitable for decking timber. If you don’t want to use pine (which is treated with chromium arsenate for outdoor use) then the locally grown and abundant hardwood eucalyptus saligna is very suitable for decking.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    @Kimble
    “If any politician campaigned on building a nuclear power plant, they would never be voted in.”

    Why should politicians be building Nuclear power plants – I thought you were a liberal small government type – isn’t that free market stuff?

    “Has a capitalist economy ever suffered a major famine?”
    Probably – half the countries in the Horn of Africa would be considered ‘capitalist’ (but large parts might also be considered fuedal or barter) this comes back to my point of a functioning government – the people most affected by famine are those who cannot participate in the economy.

    “it is reasonably straightforward for a government to ensure economic conditions that provide the natural incentives that lead to the population it serves having access to the food they desire.”

    So we both agree that the government has a role to “ensure economic conditions” or provide a framework in which the market operates. All I am saying is that framework needs to be set up to ensure that everybody can afford to feed themselves – democracy ensures this because the people who need feeding set the rules of the market.

    I’m not quite sure what makes the incentives “natural” given that the incentives are determined by the market framework in which they operate and that framework is set by the government – but being a Green I’m used to people adding the word “natural” to things for no reason to make it sound nicer :P

    I am very much of Patrick Moore’s view that people in poor countries want more of markets not less. Markets have a great role to play in preventing things like famine through allocative efficiency of resources. But free markets are not ‘naturally’ efficient (the ‘natural’ response of a corporation in the absence of regulation is to seek an ‘unnatural’ monopoly position in order to maximise profit) markets require regulation by a democratically accountable government to ensure they remain free.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    Patrick Moore’s environmental beliefs

    • There is no cause for alarm about climate change. The climate is always changing. Some of the proposed “solutions” would be far worse than any imaginable consequence of global warming, which will likely be mostly positive. Cooling is what we should fear.
    ………………………..

    A skeptic.. geeee!

    the question is what does National think about peak oil, climate,change population?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    We should be growing more trees and using more wood, not cutting fewer trees and using less wood as Greenpeace and its allies contend. Wood is the most important renewable material and energy resource.

    Agree, with the proviso that it’s not ancient forests being cut down, but wood grown for the purpose.

    Those countries that have reserves of potential hydroelectric energy should build the dams required to deliver that energy. There is nothing wrong with creating more lakes in this world.

    Agree in general, case by case in practice.

    Nuclear energy is essential for our future energy supply, especially if we wish to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. It has proven to be clean safe, reliable, and cost-effective.

    Agree where other non-fossil-fuel energy sources are not possible.

    Geothermal heat pumps, which too few people know about, are far more important and cost-effective than either solar panels or wind mills as a source of renewable energy. They should be required in all new buildings unless there is a good reason to use some other technology for heating, cooling, and making hot water.

    I don’t know enough about them.

    The most effective way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is to encourage the development of technologies that require less or no fossil fuels to operate. Electric cars, heat pumps, nuclear and hydroelectric energy, and biofuels are the answer, not cumbersome regulatory systems that stifle economic activity.

    Agree, I think? A bit of a non-sequitur.

    Genetic science, including genetic engineering, will improve nutrition and end malnutrition, improve crop yields, reduce the environmental impact of farming, and make people and the environment healthier.

    Disagree that genetic quality is the cause of these problems in the first place.

    Many activist campaigns designed to make us fear useful chemicals are based on misinformation and unwarranted fear.

    Okay. Sure.

    Aquaculture, including salmon and shrimp farming, will be one of our most important future sources of healthy food. It will also take pressure off depleted wild fish stocks and will employ millions of people productively.

    Yep, agree.

    There is no cause for alarm about climate change. The climate is always changing. Some of the proposed “solutions” would be far worse than any imaginable consequence of global warming, which will likely be mostly positive. Cooling is what we should fear.

    Disagree.

    Poverty is the worst environmental problem. Wealth and urbanization will stabilize the human population. Agriculture should be mechanized throughout the developing world. Disease and malnutrition can be largely eliminated by the application of modern technology. Health care, sanitation, literacy, and electrification should be provided to everyone.

    Agree.

    No whale or dolphin should be killed or captured anywhere, ever. This is one of my few religious beliefs. They are the only species on earth whose brains are larger than ours and it is impossible to kill or capture them humanely.

    Agree.

    Sounds like I mostly agree, with a few provisos.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    Blue Greens a national Party Advisory Group
    ________________________________________

    We are committed to exploring environmental policy in areas such as biosecurity, conservation and outdoor recreation, and investigating ways to integrate environmentally-friendly values into mainstream policy-making.

    Bluegreens believe:

    Environmentalism should be a mainstream issue for all New Zealanders.
    New Zealand’s environment and our national heritage – our soils and oceans and the imagery that surrounds our biodiversity and wilderness outback – hold the key to our nation’s future prosperity.
    There is a need for an independent band of environmentally conscious people to constantly remind the National Party that sustainable development is the way to prosperity.

    The Bluegreens approach is underpinned by five principles:

    Resource use must be based on sustainability
    Economic growth and improving the environment can and must go hand in hand
    Good science is essential to quality environmental decision making
    People respond best to change when engaged and given incentives
    New Zealanders have a unique birthright to access and enjoy our special places.

    http://www.bluegreens.org.nz/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    Some will claim Moore is no longer an environmentalist, but they will belong to one of the fundamentalist sects which are anti-development. But I’d like to hear reasons why the approach above is wrong, if they can be based on science, not fear.
    …..
    shouldn’t he provide references? Mombiot does.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    Richard Hienberg:
    “The ideological clash between Keynesians and neoliberals (represented to a certain degree in the escalating all-out warfare between the U.S. Democratic and Republican political parties) will no doubt continue and even intensify. But the ensuing heat of battle will yield little light if both philosophies conceal the same fundamental errors. One such error is of course the belief that economies can and should perpetually grow.
    But that error rests on another that is deeper and subtler. The subsuming of land within the category of capital by nearly all post-classical economists had amounted to a declaration that Nature is merely a subset of the human economy money or technology. The reality, of course, is that the human economy exists within, and entirely depends upon Nature, and many natural resources have no realistic substitutes. This fundamental logical and philosophical mistake, embedded at the very heart of modern mainstream economic philosophies, set society directly upon a course toward the current era of climate change and resource depletion, and its persistence makes conventional economic theories utterly incapable of dealing with the economic and environmental survival threats to civilization in the 21st century.”
    http://richardheinberg.com/221-economics-for-the-hurried

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    I saw a thing on Sky about geothermal a few months back.

    It was interesting, because they made the point that it’s the only “sustainable” technology which can generate industrial scale electricity, and do it reliably. Yet it’s the one “sustainable” technology which is simply not pushed by the “environmentalist” movement.

    Nothing wrong with electric vehicles either – very good for daily commuting. Right tool for the right job.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    At the end of the day the market,if allowed to operate free of corporatist/state influence will deliver the right and best option….never fails.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. ben (2,385 comments) says:

    Patrick Moore is what environmentalism could have been, and reminds us just how far from reason and evidence nearly all environmentalism, both green but especially watermelon, has strayed.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. ben (2,385 comments) says:

    And just to emphasise the point, another major environmentalist own goal has just been announced. When’s the last time you saw a leading skeptic resort to such tactics. Oh right, never.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    ben
    Its just terrible stealing documents from heartland .
    I mean there is no way they would continuously pay for illegally obtained emails to be posted on the web. Climate gate was proof that climate scientists are evil evil people even when nine interdependent reviews found them at no fault.
    Of course heartlands aim of
    “dissuading teachers from teaching science”
    Is a laudable aim for a liberal think tank to have.
    As is tax evasion and blatant misrepresentation about their sources of funding.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Why should politicians be building Nuclear power plants – I thought you were a liberal small government type – isn’t that free market stuff?

    I never said government should be building nuclear power plants.

    this comes back to my point of a functioning government

    No, your point was functioning democracy. At least, thats what I interpreted your point to be. Based on your words, their most common meaning, and the order you used them in.

    All I am saying is that framework needs to be set up to ensure that everybody can afford to feed themselves

    Well, you said that government should feed its population.

    democracy ensures this because the people who need feeding set the rules of the market.

    First of all the people setting the rules are nowhere near the people who need feeding. They do just fine providing for themselves. Secondly, democracy doesnt provide an incentive to a farmer to grow food. Those rules that government needs to set before getting out of the way are actually very light. Protecting property rights, providing conflict resolution, etc.

    I’m not quite sure what makes the incentives “natural”

    They werent “designed” by anyone. One person wants something and is willing to give someone else something in return for it. The incentive for that other person to provide it is the something else they would get in return. In my description the government simply doesnt get in the way, doesnt set up roadblocks, that prevent the natural incentives from operating.

    Markets have a great role to play in preventing things like famine through allocative efficiency of resources.

    Nice lip service. The thing is, too many Greens consider the governments role in ensuring markets stay free involves a determination of the “correct” or “proper” or “true” price for you to be given a free pass on this issue.

    For starters, hows about you admit that government is the creative force behind the creation of almost all monopolies we see?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  59. ben (2,385 comments) says:

    Griff I rest my case. Nobody who has reason and evidence on their side need stoop either to faking opponents’ memos or post the sort of nonsense you’ve put up in this thread. The game is up.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  60. chiz (1,090 comments) says:

    Ryan:Disagree that genetic quality is the cause of these problems in the first place.

    Many of the crops we currently grow around the world have problems that are ultimately genetic. Bananas are being wiped out by a fungus that aren’t resistant to. Most wheat varieties are susceptible to the ug99 rust which is wiping out crops in the middle east. Commercial rice varieties aren’t flood-tolerant etc.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  61. chiz (1,090 comments) says:

    Fletch:I agree with a lot of what he says, although, I don’t quite agree with genetic engineering of our crops.

    Why not? Genetic engineering is as safe as conventional breeding and in many cases better.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.