Brill’s dissection of ZCB finds good meat and rotten

James Shaw

Our dim-witted commander.

In 1994, the authors of Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies coined the phrase “big hairy audacious goal” (BHAG, pronounced BEE-hag) to describe an organisation’s vision statement.

Barry Brill, Chairman of the NZ Climate Science Coalition and Bay of Islands lawyer, uses the term to describe the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill (ZCB).

NOTE: After this, I’ll post Barry’s eleven essays that form the backbone of his written submission. They’re must-read masterpieces distinctly capable of guiding us safely through the eating of what everyone interested in climate policy sees as a rat, as it doesn’t go far enough for anyone. I watched many videos of submissions to the Committee, and a surprisingly large number of people want to impose far stronger restrictions on their fellow citizens than the Bill would. Of course, those sceptics who question the very idea of a dangerous human influence would not restrict individual freedom at all. So the process suggests numerous futures, since proposing we change the weather invites diverse responses.

Barry made a written submission (PDF, 632 KB) on the Bill to the Environment Select Committee and followed that a week ago with an oral submission to them in Auckland (Facebook video 8:20 to 21:02), transcript here (PDF, 98 KB).

Our coalition government, with James Shaw, the courageous Minister for Climate Change, on the bridge, has the ship of state steaming full-speed at the most ambitious, challenging, expensive and disruptive BHAG New Zealand has ever seen. Barry is generally supportive, while forthright in describing amendments essential for its long-term success.

The Bill’s demands are a tall order. It aims to endure for more than ten Parliamentary terms (Barry calls that “uniquely long”) but can only do so if it’s technically excellent, doesn’t push the envelope of national change, respects our international agreements and enjoys all-party support—with the prospect of retaining that support for decades—and the Bill is none of these things.


It might cross your mind, as it did mine, that you’ve never made plans for decades ahead and never heard of the government doing so. National has its doubts. If changes aren’t made, doubts everywhere will grow.


He talks about grenades in the Bill that will destroy it, but inspires the Committee nevertheless to the task of taking it from good to great and making it last.

With statesmanlike vision, Barry advises that the NZ framework should be wholly aligned with the global climate change effort set out in the Paris Agreement. New Zealand was prominent in formulating the Agreement’s multi-lateral approach to climate change policy and we should not discard it now—we ought to adopt domestic goals affiliated with the Paris Agreement, having already agreed to them.

If that proves impossible, the Bill should be split into two separate Bills: a straightforward, unexceptional establishment of the Climate Change Commission and its framework, with a more controversial Bill for the Green-Labour manifesto promises.

Don’t squander this opportunity

Barry gives solid support for the overall aims of the Bill, offering forward-looking and optimistic advice not to “squander this opportunity”.

However, I fear our ship of state is in the hands of a dim-witted commander. Is it possible for him to compromise on some strongly-held partisan views of climate change? Can he comprehend perhaps some of the science at least? Is he in thrall to the alarmist United Nations? Does he love the farmers? Does he love the city-dwellers? Do let me know your views on this outrageous BHAG.

Your writer was unable to confirm a suspicion that BHAG evolved from a coarse “big hairy-ar**d goal” but thinks it’s feasible.

Views: 131

6 Thoughts on “Brill’s dissection of ZCB finds good meat and rotten

  1. Gwan on 25/08/2019 at 10:21 pm said:

    I am fleshing out my submissions to the Zero Carbon bill early in September in Hamilton .
    My main argument is live stock methane and how the government proposes to tax milk and meat at the processing plants.
    The basis of my evidence is that worldwide methane levels plateaued between 1999 and 2008 and they have since increased by 10 billionths per year ,
    Each billionth is about 2.78 million tonnes so that means that methane levels have increased 27 to 28 million tonnes per year since 2009 .
    The total emissions of methane from all sources is estimated to be around 600 million tonnes per year.
    That means that about 572 million tonnes of methane is oxidized in the atmosphere every year.
    Now the interesting facts that I have discovered is that between 1999 and 2008 coal production around the world was in decline but from 2008 many new mines were commissioned and coal production has been ramped up globally .
    The figures for methane emissions from energy are about 110 million tonnes and most of that is fugitive emissions released during coal mining and also oil and gas extraction and pipelines and pumping stations .
    If the UN was serious about methane emissions they should be ensuing that these fugitive methane are captured and used in all countries where coal mining and oil and gas extraction is carried out.
    With a 30% capture methane sources and sinks would equalize .
    There would then be no need to demonize livestock and suddenly New Zealand’s GHG profile would halve .
    As I have written before methane emissions from livestock are cyclic and no extra atoms of carbon are released to the atmosphere over any time frame .
    Live stock methane emissions are the ONLY emissions that are not extracted from the earths mantle and as they are cyclic and methane’s half life in the atmosphere is between 8 and 12 years over a 50 year span farmers would be taxed 4 to 6 times on the same tonne of methane emitted .
    Livestock methane emissions are a rort and the should never have been included with fossil fuel emissions Graham Anderson.

  2. Richard Treadgold on 25/08/2019 at 10:33 pm said:

    Clearly, you’ve done a lot of research on methane, Graham. You’re on the right track, and it’s just a pity the government plans to tax farmers on the basis of livestock emissions, without evidence that methane can significantly raise the surface temperature.

  3. Brett Keane on 26/08/2019 at 6:54 am said:

    Thanks Barry. Well-presented, as I saw it. My own little effort centred on the illegality of basing law on models. It looks as if now I will be denied the right to speak to it, twice, being a Northlander, but you never know with this clown…… Brett

  4. Simon on 26/08/2019 at 8:29 pm said:

    Barry argues that we don’t need to do too much because China will replace coal with nuclear and reduce the world’s emissions to safe levels.
    Prof. Kelly argues that it is pointless to do anything because China will build lots of coal fired power stations regardless and blow the world’s carbon budget within a couple of decades.
    Which is it?

    Surely the answer is that we should do as much as we can, and lobby others to do the same.
    Net zero carbon emissions has to occur sometime this century to keep global temperatures within safe levels. The environmental, social, and economic costs of doing nothing far outweigh the transitional costs of becoming carbon neutral.

  5. Gwan on 26/08/2019 at 10:38 pm said:

    Will you ever learn anything Simon,
    If there really was a climate emergency the people yelling the loudest would be calling for nuclear energy .They don’t and that only means one thing .they want to destroy western civilization as we know it .
    Modern countries depend on plentiful affordable energy .
    Without that we go backwards in all facets of society .
    From health care to food in the super markets ,if there is a lack of energy or energy becomes so expensive every thing that you eat or purchase follows suit ,it all becomes to expensive and scarce. .
    Things that you take for granted becomes a luxury like taking a hot shower .
    There is no climate emergency.
    In New Zealand why don’t we declare a Earthquake emergency ,
    Makes the same amount of sense and in the next 100 years more damage will be caused by earthquakes here in NZ than climate change ever will,

  6. Brett Keane on 26/08/2019 at 10:40 pm said:

    Simon no. If you believe Maxwell was wrong, having invented Thermodynamics, I grieve for you as a victim of the Billionaires’ and other Marxists’ dreams of Power. Doomed to fail but also kill massive numbers. You may live long enough to fall into this scene, unlike me.

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