Contraception to stop climate change

September 16th, 2009 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

A month or so back I did a satirical post about the Green Party promoting abortion as a way to combat climate change. It provoked howls ou outrage.

Just to show how satire can sometimes come close to the truth, Brian Rudman writes today:

Luckily for Mr Goff, the conference was over before party activists had a chance to catch up with research from the London School of Economics arguing contraception was almost five times cheaper as a means of preventing climate change, than conventional green technologies. The principle being it’s much cheaper to hand out condoms to prevent the emitter being born, than it is to cleanse the atmosphere of the carbon he or she will emit, once born, for the next 80-odd years.

If the new leader is uncomfortable backing the case for energy-efficient lightbulbs, how much more embarrassing for him if the party latched on to the idea of free condoms as a way to stop global warming.

So will the Green Party jump at this opportunity to promote condoms to reduce carbon emissions?

Their population policy already says:S

The population cannot be increased beyond its capacity to offset its greenhouse gas emissions. says:

The LSE report called Fewer Emitters, Lower Emissions, Less Cost is here.

So who will be first to endorse condoms to fight climate change – the Greens or Young Labour? :-)

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Free Condoms for all

September 13th, 2009 at 12:27 pm by David Farrar

The HoS reports:

Taxpayer-funded condoms at supermarkets, dairies and service stations are on today’s Labour Party agenda.

But its rainbow sector group says it should only be for “basic” condoms – meaning the subsidy would not extend to the flavoured and ribbed varieties.

That is very fiscally restrained of them – not.

Now how much will free condoms for all cost? Already Pharmac spend $1 million a year subsidising condoms (including flavoured ones) by 10%.

Now a packet of 12 condoms cost from around $17.50 to $20.00.

Monthly condom sales in April 2008 were $6.1 million – or around 200,000 packets of 12. Around 70% of those are sold in supermarkets not pharmacies.

So Labour’s free condom policy would cost, on current sales, around $73 million a year.The exclusion of ribbed or flavoured condoms won’t mean much as their sales will almost disappear if standard ones are free.

However it is inevitable that when you make something free, demand will increase. I would conservatively estimate that the $73 million cost would easily exceed $100 million a year.

The party’s rank-and-file will today vote on the proposal, which its promoters say would help cut down on unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Condoms are presently subsidised only on prescription, but the suggestion that this be shifted to retail was put forward by both the health and rainbow sectors at the party’s national conference in Rotorua yesterday.

Labour’s health spokeswoman Ruth Dyson said the party wanted to look at innovative ways of stopping unwanted pregnancies.

I’m not sure there is much innovation in saying lets make taxpayers pay for it all.

She said it was obvious the type of person who had an unplanned pregnancy did not plan to go to the doctor for contraception either, “but they might whip into the supermarket on the way out”.

Dyson said it was still a “long way off”, and had not been costed yet.

Why not? The remit I presume was known in advance? Anyway I’ve just costed it for Labour.

Personally I hope Labour do promise to spend $100 million a year on free condoms. The reaction would just be wonderful.

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