A strange and unexpected consensus on global warming in New Zealand

Posted on Thursday, November 19th, 2009 at 3:03 pm in

Right on the tail of Prime Minister Helen Clark’s controversial “commitment” to make New Zealand carbon neutral at some unspecified date, we have surprisingly been greeted with a remarkable degree of consensus on the government’s latest proposals to tax carbon usage.

Many observers put it down to the power of lobbying, as business groups(largely supporters of the National Party), state-owned and private power generators and even environmentalists, all agreed the two-stage strategy announced at year-end was ‘a good outcome’.

Remarkably, an IPCC report due out in 2007 will drastically reduce its estimate of human contribution to carbon dioxide emissions. New Zealand’s own are negligible and nothing scientifically feasible at this time can be done about natural animal and human emissions. Significantly, given the initial hoo-ha of the initial report, it now notes that the FAO, in a book called ‘Livestock’s Long Shadow,’ has calculated the world’s cattle alone — before counting sheep, pigs, goats and chickens — create more greenhouse gases than all the motor vehicles, boats and planes.

Indeed, only the usual suspects in New Zealand, the Greens and Greenpeace, are out of this new “club” and that’s because their’s is a vision of a future where personal mobility, comfort and living standards are drastically constricted. According to a Greenpeace statement: “(The world) is in the 11th hour and playing for our survival.”

But while the “Apocalypse-as-soon-as-possible” crowd might think that everything is going its way, there are some conflicting and interesting developments following on from the originally-apparently “seminal” Stern Report.

Already, the British government is backing off the Report and is on the verge of approving a third runway at the heavily-used Heathrow Airport. Sir Nicholas Stern himself has quit the Treasury because he has been left out of Chancellor Gordon Brown’s kitchen cabinet. Brown is believed to be backing off because he doesn’t like the political consequences of heavy ‘green taxes’. He will be encouraged to be new highly qualified scientists who trace global warming back to the Industrial Revolution.

Other experts too continue to challenge the anti-carbon crusaders, pointing out carbon dioxide is not the major cause of global warming, but has been singled out because it is the one that can be most easily taxed – providing too the ultimate “spin” for so many of the “spin-driven” governments of the day.

This article was made possible for the NZ Property Monitor by Timothy Terence Manning