Give ’em a taste of kiwi-climate holiday reading

In the Herald this morning Rachel Stewart, a rottweiler journalist and climate alarmist, complains about being on the receiving end of all kinds of flak drawn by her opposition to dairy farming pollution.

Now I shall tear her reasoning to shreds in an amazingly entertaining contribution to your summer holiday reading. Continue Reading →

Recycling burps and farts

Sheep

Sheep.

• Guest post •

— by Viv Forbes, Chairman of Carbon Sense

5th August 2015

Yesterday morning, before the frost had left the grass, I was sitting quietly beside my fashionably-green wood-burning heater reading the latest explanation in “The Green Gospel” on why the Arctic ice had not yet melted. Suddenly Flora burst into the room like an Arctic Blizzard with a look on her face that said I was in big trouble. Continue Reading →

Fart tax lacks facts

Here are the facts that find the “fart tax” lax. Let’s get physical. With physics.

To northern hemispherites, climate-centred farming taxes mean little, since they affect only farmers and who cares about farmers? It’s not as though they’re important to the economy or anything.

But Kiwis knowing the abiding value of farming to their prosperous way of life say, you toucha my farmer, I breaka you face.

Here are more reasons for our politicians not to toucha my farmer. This will keepa them safe. Continue Reading →

Brash trash of ETS

Monday, 21 November, 2011 – 12:40

Campaign Speech on the Emissions Trading Scheme

Don Brash, Leader ACT New Zealand

Bureta Park Inn, Tauranga

Monday 21 November 2011

My talk today is about the economy. It’s one of three that I’ll be giving this week as New Zealanders close in on the polls. This particular one focuses on the Emissions Trading Scheme, one of the most damaging policy choices that New Zealand has made in recent years.

Newspapers

This is an adopted article.

New Zealand’s hyperactive adoption of the world’s only all-sectors-all-gases Emissions Trading Scheme will not save us money on international obligations, because after the Kyoto Protocol expires next year there will not be any such obligations. It will not affect the global climate because New Zealand’s emissions form an utterly trivial fraction of global emissions 1. It will not set an example to the world: if anything it will show the world that trying to lead on climate change policy is counterproductive. It might improve “Brand New Zealand,” but only at an unacceptable cost.

First, though, let me set some context. Continue Reading →

  1. 2% – Ed.

Blame or repair?

The Herald today fumes over fumes from farming.

There’s so much in their editorial with which to take issue, but a single point glares out from the page. They say:

The whole point of the ETS is that emitters take financial responsibility.

The Herald appears to replace concern for the environment with a vindictive crusade to lay blame. And I thought they just wanted to repair the environment.

Who is the emitter?

Is it the farmer or his customer? Or the customer’s customer? Surely everyone who eats butter or cheese shares a slice of the “blame” for the emissions caused in producing what he eats.

So the final customer should pay a share.

You think they do? But, in an auction, how does the farmer ensure extra on top of the auction price for his milk or meat or whatever, to compensate him for the ETS tax? That’s not going to happen.

Farming is unique in being mostly helpless to recover the ETS costs. Fonterra can adjust their wholesale prices or their payout, Air NZ can charge extra for a carbon footprint and ordinary businesses set or negotiate higher prices as costs increase.

But farmers’ selling prices are dictated by the auction system. They can neither alter the prices nor reduce their emissions. It’s like shooting trout in a barrel. Hardly fair. Unless they’re on a canning or a supermarket contract, and we know how easy it is for the farmer to dictate terms to the buyer…

Responsibility?

The farmer bears the same responsibility for his animal’s “emissions” as Australia bears for the fumes from Chinese power stations burning Australian lignite.

Which is none, of course – China takes responsibility for those emissions; or it would, if it joined the game.

The farmer’s final customers should take responsibility for the products they select, for without their purchase, the farmer would not produce it. Still, it’s far too hard to levy every user of mutton, bacon or milk; much easier to attack the helpless farmer.

And everyone knows the ETS won’t repair the environment anyway.

It’s all symbolic. What a sham.

And we call ourselves grown-ups.

Suddenly everyone hates farming

Few people admire farming as we once did when we understood where this country’s wealth was created. On the contrary, farming has come under sustained attack, and from none more strongly than the National Party, once almost a fellowship of farmers and the industry’s staunchest supporter. Now our formerly admired farmers must tolerate the impending ETS tax on ruminant eructation, which farmers are helpless to reduce, yet for which they are further harassed by the modern epithet of “emitter”. As though those clean, natural gases could pollute the environment that has been creating them in vast quantities for millions of years. The “carbon tax” is a significant imposition, yet it’s hardly remarked upon except by those who strive to get it noticed and repealed — or others, apparently more numerous (certainly more vocal and popular with the media), who would gladly see it increased. The Coalition here rails against the unreasonable burden of an ETS which purports to “fight” in our name against so-called “anthropogenic global warming”. Do we still call it that? I guess this month’s stupid synonym is “climate disruption.” But since climate never goes for long without disruption the term defines tautology — how completely brainless to then declare it a crime and seek a culprit. (This press release first published on Scoop).

Press Release: New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

Friday, 16 September 2011, 5:08 pm

NZ farming remains at threat from ETS

“New Zealanders know that their prosperity relies heavily on the farm sector” says the Hon Barry Brill, chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, “and yet the biggest threat to the future of farming is an attack by our own Government. Continue Reading →

Will ILUC save our livestock?

biofuel

“Biofuels” are combustible liquids made from plants. They can replace petrol and diesel in our engines and are extracted from many different types of plants.

These biologically-based fuels have long been supported by green activists because when you burn them they only emit as much CO2 as the plants absorbed while growing. Their CO2 is taken out of the atmosphere and then returned, while fossil fuels add new CO2, removing nothing. Using biofuels adds no new CO2.

But it was difficult to ignore the fact that world food prices soared in 2008 as a result of US legislation requiring the conversion of US corn into fuel for motor vehicles. That price explosion led to farmers everywhere seeking to expand their cropping areas, often chopping down forests in the process. Here was another of the unforeseen consequences which seem endemic in climate policies.

This led to the new concept known as indirect land-use change (ILUC) being brought into the calculations. If you take a field of grain and sell the crop for biofuel, then somebody, somewhere, will go hungry unless those missing tonnes of grain are grown elsewhere. If the shortfall is grown on farmland created by cutting down forests or draining peat land, it can create enough new climate-warming emissions to cancel out any benefits from using the biofuels in the first place.

That’s an indirect land use change (ILUC). Continue Reading →

Methane, m’thane: methinks it stinks

The methane molecule

In July last year, and after more than a year’s absence, NIWA got around to publishing another issue of their “flagship” publication, Water & Atmosphere. It’s an attractive magazine, but it contains some curious information which deserves comment.

First, we notice a helpful comment by NIWA Chief Executive, John Morgan:

NIWA has a responsibility as a Crown Research Institute to share the results of publicly-funded science.

Hmm. Morgan should compare that statement with the conclusion of the methane article in the same issue:

if any real solution [to agricultural emissions] is on the horizon it’s likely to be a closely kept secret.

The article has some gems:

methane levels have grown by 150 per cent since organised animal farming began in the early 1700s.

They tell us methane’s a problem

Was farming disorganised until the 18th century? That’s not what the history books say. Continue Reading →

Old lessons good lessons

Dear Sir, A friend of mine in New England has a neighbour who has received a Government cheque for 1,000 dollars this year for not raising hogs. So my friend now wants to go into the business himself, he not being very prosperous just now. He says, in fact, that the idea of not raising hogs appeals to him very strongly. Of course, he will need a hired man, and that is where I come in. I write to you as to your opinion of the best kind of farm not to raise hogs on, the best strain of hogs not to raise and how best to keep an inventory of hogs you are not raising. Also, do you think capital could be raised by issuance of a non-hog raising gold bond? The friend who got the 1,000 dollars got it for not raising 500 hogs. Now, we figure we might easily not raise 1,500 or 2,000 hogs, so you see the possible profits are only limited by the number of hogs we do not raise.

The letter below surfaced in an email group today (on the right is its earliest incarnation). It’s creative writing and, if you’re in a good mood when you read it, finely stimulating, even hilarious.

But I was moved to investigate. Google gave several recent references, the earliest was May 7, 2006. I kept looking; there are a score of references dated December 2009.

Then, on a blog from Quite Interesting Ltd (www.qi.com), came word it was from 1982. The writer traces it back from 2006 to an entry in Hansard in October 1994. I urge you to take a look; the story is interesting enough, to be sure.

The matter has by now quite fastened on our writer’s imagination and he presses his investigation on and on, discovering it on both sides of the Atlantic and in ever earlier decades. Eventually he turns it up, almost fully formed, in 1935, with beginnings in Hansard, no less, in a shipping context, in 1934!

Old or new, early or late, it contains elementary economics lessons for ever. Not to mention some of the driest British (or American) humour you’ll find anywhere.


NIGEL JOHNSON-HILL, PARKFARM, MILLAND, LIPHOOK GU30 7JT

Rt Hon David Miliband MP
Secretary of State.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA),
Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London
SW1P 3JR

16 July 2009

Dear Secretary of State,

My friend, who is in farming at the moment, recently received a cheque for £3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs. I would now like to join the “not rearing pigs” business. Continue Reading →