Jim Anderton on Q+A

June 24th, 2012 at 5:30 pm by David Farrar

Some words of wisdom from of all people on Q+A:

Well, there’s no question climate change is the number-one issue facing the future of the world.  I don’t have any doubt about that, but you’ve also got to have the ‘glass half empty, glass half full’ thing.  I mean, our major emitter, methane gas, for example, is our agricultural community.  50% of all our emissions come from there, and this is a very important exporting-food nation, so we live by exporting food, and yet we’ve got a big problem with the method of doing it.  So we’re putting a lot of research into that.  We’re encouraging farmers, and farmers have stepped up to the plate too.  I get— As a townie, but former Minister of Agriculture, I get a bit tetchy with the green kind of approach to this – that all farmers are dirty farmers and all the rest of it.  They are not.  There are thousands of young farming families in New Zealand that are putting their best endeavours into making their streams on their farms fenced off and planted and making sure that their farms are in better shape environmentally than anything they inherited from their parents and grandparents.  And sometimes we have to celebrate that instead of bashing into them.  And when we get into the clean-energy thing, well, try and dam a river these days.

This is the contradiction the environmental movement has. They want more renewable energy, but they oppose all and any law changes to make it easy to consent renewable energy projects such as dams.

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59 Responses to “Jim Anderton on Q+A”

  1. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I think one of the main problems with hydro is that most of the better sites were developed many years ago, so there is limited potential overall. Add to that the increased desire to conserve the natural state of what suitable rivers remain and hydro development becomes problematic. Geothermal, wind and tidal projects seem more likely.

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  2. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    There is no doubt the world’s climate is changing. But there is a lot of doubt about how much this is due to human activity vis-a-vis natural cycles. (Even dinosaurs produced emissions.)

    NZ is a food-producing nation. The world needs a whole lot more food. So we have a role in closing the food gap. But more food inevitably means more emissions.

    Token reductions will not help . If (big IF) human activity is the root cause of climate change, only a seriosly dramatic reduction will save the planet.

    So the only way to deliver a dramatic reduction in emissions is to reduce the world’s population.

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  3. Matthew Hooton (131 comments) says:

    mikenmild: You think wind projects “conserve the natural state”??? Been to Makara recently? Wind is a highly polluting form of electricity generation, if you take a holistic perspective. Is it really worth trying to avoid a small amount of warming and or sea-level rise by visually polluting all the most beautiful parts of the world?

    [DPF: I for once think the turbines look great on the skyline there]

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  4. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    Limited potential is as Fran O’Sullivan succinctly said earlier in Q+A just plain Bullshit.

    The Wanganui River flows through gazillions of acres of Native bush and has no need for the water that was diverted from the head waters around Ruapehu.
    Just imagine the howls of the manipulative ignorant if the Tongariro scheme to augment the Waikato was suggested today.

    There are still many river catchments that are potential opportunities for such development.
    The Landsborough flows south on the west of the divide past the headwaters of the Hopkins, The Dobson and the Hunter rivers that flow into Hawea and Ohau that feed the Clutha and Waitaki schemes.
    There are still many rivers that could, if we were still in the mindset of the 1st Labour government and the governments that followed with development as their driving ideal, however now every scheme proposed draws emotional protest based on nothing more than a desire to resist change and rapidly gains support from” Protest inc” New Zealand’s greatest economic threat.

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  5. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    Re: windfarms.

    “Visual pollution” – is that the new name for “I don’t like the look of it.”?

    Because that’s not really pollution, it’s not liking the look of it. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that opinion, but to call it “pollution”, if the only major environmental effect is some humans not liking it, is a bit over the top.)

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  6. Manolo (13,746 comments) says:

    Who would listen to an ancient, old Stalinist? Anderton does not deserve an audience.

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  7. Steve (North Shore) (4,560 comments) says:

    Nuclear will be the way. Change the name ‘nuclear’ to something else so the nutbars don’t get so paranoid.
    It’s just a mind thing. Look how many fuckwits go crazy when you mention dihrdrogen – monoxide

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  8. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    It’s entirely possible that technological developments may make nuclear power a better option. It would be unwise to count on that entirely though, so we need a mix of new generation and efficiency measures to prvode sufficient energy in the medium term, at least.

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  9. Leaping Jimmy (16,442 comments) says:

    DPF: Some words of wisdom from of all people Jim Anderton on Q+A:

    Anderton: Well, there’s no question climate change is the number-one issue facing the future of the world.

    Crikey.

    Since when has tilting at windmills been counted as “wisdom?”

    Er….

    Hello?

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  10. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Matthew H> Wind is a highly polluting form of electricity generation

    It is also extremely dangerous. More people have been killed by the Makara Wind Farm than died in the Fukushima melt down.

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  11. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    @tristanb:

    “Visual pollution” – is that the new name for “I don’t like the look of it.”?

    Because that’s not really pollution, it’s not liking the look of it. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that opinion, but to call it “pollution”, if the only major environmental effect is some humans not liking it, is a bit over the top.)

    So our other “pollution” that at levels that generally aren’t noticeable to the average joe, and causes no particular harm….that’d also not be pollution, right? Because that’s also largely about people not liking the look (or sound) of it.

    I suspect though that Mr Hooten is really pointing out that windmills have enormous embedded energy – cement, power lines, steel and aluminium. The construction phase is very polluting, the resulting energy not very dense and intermittent. On a whole of life-cycle basis, they aren’t as green as they seem. And they do crawl across the landscape. Not to mention killing birds.

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  12. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    Is it really worth trying to avoid a small amount of warming and or sea-level rise by visually polluting all the most beautiful parts of the world?

    I see tristanb already pointed out the big piece of stupid in the middle of that sentence, but what the hell, it’s big enough for a second run at it. Do you live in a house, Hooton? Is it visible to passers-by? Got a road running up to it? Fences round it? Oh, the humanity!

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  13. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    It seems necessary to point out that Hooton actually said “Wind is a highly polluting form of electricity generation, if you take a holistic perspective.”.
    If you take a holistic perspective (turbine production and installation included) wind is more polluting than coal (per unit of energy generated). The big amount of stupid is between your ears Milt.

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  14. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    ……enormous embedded energy ……sorry what?

    ………Not to mention killing birds……………….

    I killed three birds this morning driving into town to get the groceries ,,, note to self – ban cars

    PaulL , as Psycho points out , I hope you are presently turning off your computer and selling your car and not going to work tomorrow in a big fuck off building which has enormous embedded energy. FFS

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  15. Matthew Hooton (131 comments) says:

    RightNow is right, that, yes, wind is highly polluting in the sense that the environmental cost of turbine production etc is very high, but I also see no reason not also to take into account the visual aspects, that Psycho Milt and tristanb seem to mock – “if the only major environmental effect is some humans not liking it, is a bit over the top”. The only major environmental effect of smog is that humans don’t like it. Also, global warming is a problem because humans may not like it getting hotter etc. We often don’t build things in beautiful places (National Parks etc) – why not take into account the visual pollution of windmills at Makara?

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  16. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay: “I hope you are presently turning off your computer and selling your car and not going to work tomorrow in a big fuck off building which has enormous embedded energy. FFS”

    OFFS, what a tit. None of those things are touted as methods of clean energy production. Fail.

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  17. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    PaulEastBay – no, I’m not. Because I have no particular concern about global warming. I don’t think it’s as bad as people claim, and a degree or so of warming isn’t going to end life as we know it. We have bigger global problems. So I’m quite happy to keep burning coal and gas until either:
    a) the greenies let us build more dams
    b) the greenies agree that nuclear isn’t so bad after all

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  18. wiseowl (891 comments) says:

    ‘Climate change number one issue facing the world.’

    Utter bollocks.The climate has always changed.Always will.

    This is the biggest con job of all times.I’m disappointed in Jim.
    A scientist recently said there are 65 bacteria responsible for creating stock emissions.There is no way we are going to change that.The millions being spent on trying to breed the likes of fart free sheep is just a bloody waste of money.
    The rort goes on.

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  19. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Rightnow

    The point is everything pollutes, everything.

    I want nuclear power but too much emotion will stop that,

    I would much prefer nuclear rather than dams

    We have hundreds of years of coal but 12 people and 18 snails are stopping open cast mining even though the technology and the will is there to make the site enviromentally attractive when finished .

    We are not going back to the dark ages anytime soon so we have to make choices, there is plenty of coal and plenty of oil and plenty of water. The main problem is politics , the enviroment is being used by the hardcore left wingers to disinform many with crap and emotion.

    Where manifesto’s failed snails and water have been the replacement

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  20. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Wiseowl says…..I’m disappointed in Jim.

    So is everybody that has ever meet this selfish peice of crap

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  21. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay: my thought is that those things get stopped as long as there feels like no impact from doing so. Windmills are less efficient and visually polluting. So we should stop them too. The sooner we get to a point where nothing is approved and we’re running out of power, the sooner the silent majority will tell the hippies to fuck right off. Then we get dams, gas or nuclear, as that’s all that can sensibly work.

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  22. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    I don’t disagree with you PEB, and I don’t think PaulL was either.

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  23. wiseowl (891 comments) says:

    Windpower is not what it is cracked up to be.
    Get in to the coal.Get in to the lignite. Go for it.

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  24. rg (214 comments) says:

    People seem to accept it when somneone says that livestock methane makes up half our emissions. It does not seem to dawn on them to ask, where did it come from? The atmosphere is the answer, it goes CO2 grows grass, cow eats grass, cow belches methane, methane oxidises to CO2. It is a cycle with a cow today replacing the methane produced by a cow in the past.

    Global warming is supposedly caused by increasing concentration of greenhouse gas, yet no evidence exists in the world to link livetsock emissions with increasing concentration of any greenhouse gas. That is because it doesn’t.

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  25. JC (955 comments) says:

    FFS, stop thinking about *some* parts of the world and think of us who live here!

    Surveys of NZ migrants to Oz show that the second or third most important reason to migrate is Oz is *warmer* than here. And the same point is important to parts of the US, Canada, Northern Europe, UK, China, Japan and Asia. Most of the developed world would benefit from warmer temps in human happiness, health, productivity, crops etc.. so why knock it?

    Who wants a colder world?

    JC

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  26. All_on_Red (1,581 comments) says:

    The biggest problem facing the world today is the cost of energy. If you want jobs created and people lifted out of poverty then we should build more dams and hydro . It’s the best way forward for NZ . Shame to lose anor couple of valleys but it really has to be done .

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  27. Viking2 (11,467 comments) says:

    And the surplus is eaten up by our quick growing pine trees.

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  28. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    PaulL

    Your idea about stopping until needed has some merit but all that happens is we end up in a situation like the Auckland motorway system,. If future proofing had been done there would be much less trouble today.

    The inherent selfishness of those presently stamping their feet , for cheap political capital and its nothing ore than that,is in fact causing my future great grand children no end of problems down the track becuase nothing has been done now.

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  29. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    The only major environmental effect of smog is that humans don’t like it.

    You’re wanting to double down on the stupid? Smog isn’t only a visual pollutant, as you must have noticed if you’ve lived in a city that suffers from it. I recall a friend of mine with asthma suffering through smog-laden Christchurch winters back in the 60s, and another acquaintance who forked out shitloads to live up the Port Hills for exactly the same reason – “visual” pollution is the least effect of smog.

    If you take a holistic perspective (turbine production and installation included) wind is more polluting than coal (per unit of energy generated). The big amount of stupid is between your ears Milt.

    Forgive me for assuming that when someone writes “visual pollution,” what he means is “visual pollution.” And you missed [citation needed] out of that first sentence.

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  30. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Global warming is supposedly caused by increasing concentration of greenhouse gas, yet no evidence exists in the world to link livetsock emissions with increasing concentration of any greenhouse gas.

    It is a handy excuse for the Greens to call for us to reduce our livestock count by 20% leading to a contaction of our economy and reducing our standard of living. Their call for greater organic farming is merely the icing on the cake of our deprivation.

    The calculus to mitigate the effects of AGW leads inexorably to reducing population levels. Strangely, so do the economic policies of the Greens

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  31. Matthew Hooton (131 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt, you have basically agreed with me. The problem with smog is that people don’t like it – in the case of your friend it made his or her asthma worse. The point is that pollution only means anything insofar as it affects human beings, and so it seems strange that people don’t want to take into account the visual pollution of windfarms when human beings clearly value wide open spaces. Meridian Energy’s Central Otago wind farm proposal, for example, was absolutely insane. No one would have agreed with mining the Lammermoor Range (as we know only too well!) nor building hotels or shops there, but when it comes to garish windmills, the visual pollution seems to be ignored. Give me a dam (or a nuclear generator) tucked away somewhere rather than windmills any day.

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  32. OneTrack (3,089 comments) says:

    Turn off Huntly (save the planet) and raise Manapouri.

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  33. Matthew Hooton (131 comments) says:

    [DPF: I for once think the turbines look great on the skyline there]
    Well, you may think that David but then you also thought the ETS was a great piece of public policy …

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  34. Griff (7,683 comments) says:

    Central otago most of the country couldn’t give a fuck if u turned the whole place into a strip mine its good for fuck all else
    Wind farms look better than miles of brown dried grass

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  35. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    There can be no doubt that Jim is one of the unrecognised intellectual giants of our generation surely.

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  36. Matthew Hooton (131 comments) says:

    Griff – In that case let’s look at the economics of the mad Makara wind farm. If and only if it is windy, it generates up to 140MW. The Arapuni Dam (ever heard of it? I hadn’t. It’s somewhere along the Waikato) generates 182MW any day of the week. The Clyde Dam does 432MW any day of the week. There is no economic case for windfarms in a country that used its rivers properly (which, as Anderton and DPF point out is impossible) and which wasn’t in the thrall of warmist alarmism, to the extent that we don’t use the coal we have. How much of the country is to be turned into vulgar windfarms because of warmist alarmism and because the greenies also put a stop to any hydro-developments? It really is insane.

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  37. wiseowl (891 comments) says:

    Well Matthew, someone needs to investigate the con job that has seen councils around the country banning woodburners and open fires.No one has questioned the figures used to sell this unnecessary clampdown.
    Councils are told 300 people die a year because of emissions but I have never seen anyone question this whole scenario.
    In an area that has maybe 5 days a year where smog hangs around this is enough to breach magic levels and convince councils to ban open fires and some woodburners.

    When do these people die? If these smoggy days are a month apart how come they are so damaging? Do these people go outside on smoggy days on purpose?
    So many questions.

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  38. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    Rivers have Taniwha’s that must be assuaged Mathew. So far wind is free, just like piss. :)

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  39. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    We could introduce some science in to this thread

    Not only do methane emissions from cows come from grass or similar in NZ which has been fixed from the atmosphere, methane has a relatively quick 1/2 life down to CO2 and other bits. Including it in greenhouse emissions is bad science.

    Wind power is pretty damn useless for reliable power and the output is dependent (approximately) on the cube of the wind speed. We don’t have any environmentally friendly way of storing power. It basically wanks.

    Batteries, especially those used in cars rely on large amounts of heavy metals – one of the most poisonous polluting groups of materials we know of.

    Solar power is actually better than wind power in terms of reliability but suffers from major cost issues.

    Thermal or dams is the way to go – but oops that might cause an environmental problem.

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  40. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    “methane has a relatively quick 1/2 life down to CO2 and other bits.”

    Don’t you just love the scientific method? :)

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  41. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    Matthew >The problem with smog is that people don’t like it – in the case of your friend it made his or her asthma worse. The point is that pollution only means anything insofar as it affects human beings,

    Are you really comparing something that directly harms people’s health with something that (value judgement) doesn’t look pretty?

    The argument for/against sources of power has to be on better grounds than aesthetics.

    Nuclear’s not going to win many public votes after Fukushima.
    No one died – but around 80,000 people lost their homes and jobs and everything when they were evacuated and as far as I know, the 20km exclusion zone still stands .
    eg
    http://articles.cnn.com/2012-01-25/asia/world_asia_japan-exclusion-zone_1_exclusion-zone-fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-plant-radiation?_s=PM:ASIA

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  42. Griff (7,683 comments) says:

    Its no alarm ism its a train wreak ever seen one it happens in s l o w motion.
    Climate change is not a myth or a joke its a problem that will become more and more in focus in time.
    Yes hydro and geo are the best option and the coal will be used sooner or later. Nuclear will not happen in this country ask the japs about it.
    The greens are a bunch of Luddite nut jobs even with their attempts to become mainstream. Their core beliefs are to extreme to be practical ie electric cars are the classic green dream to expensive to slow no range not as green as they think and where the hell do you get all the electricity to run them on.

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  43. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    The point is that pollution only means anything insofar as it affects human beings, and so it seems strange that people don’t want to take into account the visual pollution of windfarms when human beings clearly value wide open spaces.

    If it makes your asthma worse, that’s an effect. If you just don’t like the look of it, that’s a big So The Fuck What. If my friend had not had asthma and based his enthusiasm for doing away with open fires on the “aesthetically dissatisfying” principle, I’d have told him to get a grip on himself and stop being such a precious little flower.

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  44. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    Shit haven’t you signed up for one of these Griff?

    http://www.mmnz.co.nz/imiev/?gclid=CLey6M-95rACFYhMpgodBnOmVQ

    Only $1200 a month on easy terms Bach! :)

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  45. Griff (7,683 comments) says:

    No JB I like my nice dirty toys 2.5 l v6 car 2.5l v6 two-stroke outboard and my lovely dirty smelly and noisy two stroke Detroit353
    Goes real nice with my hybrid wind genny and solar setup :lol:

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  46. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    And here was me picturing you taking Mum to the shops in your Dodge Ram Griff! :)

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  47. KH (695 comments) says:

    I used to think that Dams were just great. But I live on the waterfront of a dam lake. I love the landscape and watch it closely. I am starting to see the problems they talk about.
    Mind you I still think the big windmills are beautiful and a great solution. There are some hills they should not be on. But there are more than enough where they are just fine.

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  48. Matthew Hooton (131 comments) says:

    Mary Rose – I’m not directly comparing the impacts (the health impact is obviously more serious) except in the sense that the reason we worry about different forms of pollution is because of their impact on humans. That is what pollution is – something that affects humans negatively. And, yet, while people would obviously be opposed to a whole lot of rubbish being dumped at Makara or Central Otago because they wouldn’t like the look it it, when it comes to wind farms the visual pollution is somehow ignored completely (yet it isn’t, quite rightly, when it comes to mining or tourism developments). Combined with the fact wind farms cost a lot, economically and environmentally to set up (as RightNow discusses above) and that they don’t produce much electricity compared with the scale of the geographical impact they have, I don’t think those visual pollution costs remotely justify them as a source of electricity (unless, like DPF, you think white steel windmills make the skyline look great – in which case, I suppose, you could say they are win/win).

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  49. KH (695 comments) says:

    slijmbal (677) at 8:33 pm .
    You are wrong about the wind. it is very reliable year on year, more so than rainfall. Given the magnificent water storage we have with our existing hydro, the two work together magnificently. New Zealand is blessed by nature in this respect.
    But there is a balance in all things. So wind at about 20% of hydro is said to be the sweet spot of balance.

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  50. Australis (101 comments) says:

    “a degree or so of warming isn’t going to end life as we know it”

    Let’s get real about the “threat” of human-caused global warming. Theory says that doubling the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere from its 0.03% in 1850 to 0.06% around 2100 could cause a gross increase of 1.1°C. But the progression is logarithmic so about 3/4 of that increase has already happened.

    This leaves an AGW increase of less than one-third of a degree during the next 90 years. Is there any realistic chance that anybody is going to notice a 30th of a degree per decade? Our weather stations only measure in whole degrees so they won’t pick up any change – even during the lives of my great-grandchildren.

    Scientists who earn a living from this scare have developed a parallel theory that the original ‘climate sensitivity’ may be amplified by “net positive feedbacks”. Good luck looking for any real-world evidence on this topic!

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  51. Daigotsu (456 comments) says:

    @Matthew: You’re quite right that we measure the impact on humans.

    It’s that measurement that tells us that smog, which can aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions, is far less harmful than wind turbines, which some people find aesthetically unpleasant.

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  52. black paul (120 comments) says:

    @Matthew Hooton: – “the reason we worry about different forms of pollution is because of their impact on humans. That is what pollution is – something that affects humans negatively.”

    There’s where you’re having trouble.

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  53. CHFR (229 comments) says:

    [DPF: I for once think the turbines look great on the skyline there]

    Try living out here David you would change your mind. The turbines have provided a raft of issues for the locals not least of which is the noise. I was amazed how fast the “show” turbine at the beach became noisy, on a quiet night there is a tumble dryer in the hills that I would give anything to turn off.

    The other issue is how dangerous our roads have become thanks to the staff who work at the farm who seem to thing they are on a rally track every time they come and go.

    Also does anyone know how to find the output of the farm as the turbines seem to be not turning more often than not, I would like to see how long it will take Meredian to get return on investment as I suspect they wont.

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  54. dc (144 comments) says:

    There are plenty of technically viable hydro sites left. A 2004 study identified 2.5 Gigawatts worth, almost 50% of the current hydro base of 5.4 Gigawatts. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/hydroelectricity/5

    As someone else said, wind balanced with hydro is an excellent combination. You can see the current output of NZ wind farms on http://www.em6live.co.nz . This morning they are powering away at what looks like 90% of full capacity, markedly reducing the amount of coal we are having to burn to conserve the hydro lake levels.

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  55. Lance (2,654 comments) says:

    @CHFR

    So how technicians/ maintenance people drive is a valid argument against wind-power?

    Shit I thought the “you can’t have hydro on this river because it will ruin my fishing” argument was seriously fucked.

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  56. Paulus (2,626 comments) says:

    Anderson is only exploiting the scare that the Greens are well ahead of his Labour in the PR stakes and the media.

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  57. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Windmills are worse than hybrid cars.
    Hybrid cars are about as green and clean as cow shit going direct into the rivers. When one considers all the energy and pollution that is used and made during the making of the batteries for these cars – then its almost impossible for them to match the ‘greeness’ of standard petrol engined cars. The production of rare earths needed for the magnets and the seriously nasty heavy metals used in the batteries is awful. The rare earths come mostly from china or peru (- and china has reduced exports of rare earths) and production of them is turning areas of china into poisoned deserts. If the subsidies were taken off these cars then theyd never sell.
    Windmills are even worse, and theyre already falling to bits in offshore windfarms off the low countries in europe – and theyre less than 20 years old.

    As Mike Moore said not too long ago – in 30 years time nulcear energy will be the greenies best friend. Its just a pity we have to go thru all the bullshit to expose all these silly ideas – both about climate change and so called ‘green’ things – before we all come to our senses and realise that if we put all the billions into nulcear wed aftually have something that does less damage than all the rest…….

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  58. dc (144 comments) says:

    barry, there are more rare earth magnets used in hard disks and iPod headphones than windmills, but I don’t see anyone campaigning against them. Rare earth mining, like any mining, can be managed responsibly but if the Chinese aren’t doing that, that’s their problem. Alternate generator and motor technologies that don’t use them are available anyway.

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  59. Lance (2,654 comments) says:

    I call bullshit on barry’s comments.

    Heavy metals in modern batteries BULLSHIT! NiMh or Lithium batteries contain NO heavy metals
    Most large windmills don’t use rare earth magnets, only small windmills do and lots of other household gadgets.

    You got some data on the subsidies on hybrids? If you are looking at US figures then most of the fucking cars for sale in the US have subsidies on them. The largest subsidies were for the Hummers.

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