Digging ourselves a hole

Dr Michael Kelly likens New Zealand’s Zero Carbon project to digging a hole while someone else fills it in.

Say the government has decided it’s an important national project, so they assign a platoon of 50 strong men and play trumpet fanfares so they’ll give it their maximum effort. But we discover China has amassed several battalions, totalling over 6000 men, to fill the trench faster than we can dig it.

Illustration from Neil Demarco's The Great War

Came across this rather whimsical little WWI drawing illustrating a cunning plan that has a lot more sense to it than James Shaw’s brainless Zero Carbon project China will assuredly fill.

These numbers are in the same proportion as our two countries’ annual emissions (10,000 million tons versus only 80 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e, about 125:1). Do we continue with a project we know is utterly futile?

The Greens respond by bickering over how much to charge our platoon for their shovels.


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11 Thoughts on “Digging ourselves a hole

  1. Peter Fraser on 17/07/2020 at 10:49 am said:

    Unfortunately this is the madness that we are subject to, but even if the greens fold their tent in the upcoming election we will still be no better off with this woke Labour government. It is time for Winston to grow some balls and call this stupidity for what it is. Wait until this new Climate Commission cuts its teeth and the pain will really be apparent.

  2. Richard Treadgold on 17/07/2020 at 6:25 pm said:

    Yes. I, too, think Winston is the only possibility but of course he’s far from a certainty. On the other hand, I have no confidence whatever that the Climate Change Commission might act from good reason. From what I’ve seen, they’re all as keen as mustard to implement the most sustainable UN path.

  3. Michael J Kelly on 17/07/2020 at 8:53 pm said:

    Ask the CCC for a cost-benefit analysis of what they propose, asking particular for the assumptions they make on the magnitude and timing of accruing the benefits. Every other item of government spending has such an analysis done by Treasury. Remember the proposed actions are being done to avert global climate change as it affects New Zealand. Even for a country like the UK that has reduced its carbon emissions, their efforts have been undone 70 times over in the rest of the world, so the benefits will only accrue when the rest of the world starts to reduce emissions which is unlike before 2050 at least.

    • Cambridgedon on 19/07/2020 at 10:38 am said:

      So in what universe do two wrongs make a right?

      The science is right. Your colleagues think you are a fool. And no, I’m not going to give you names.

  4. Richard Treadgold on 17/07/2020 at 10:13 pm said:

    Thanks, Michael, it’s a good question. But I wonder whether I shouldn’t rather ask the MfE, since the CCC hasn’t been instrumental in setting up the legislation, so they don’t actually “propose” it. Your thoughts?

  5. Richard Treadgold on 19/07/2020 at 9:38 am said:


    The most UNsustainable UN path, perhaps?

    Ah, yes, this would be the UNworthy UNpath to UNdo all the UNoutrageous UNimprovements, UNdiscoveries and UNinventions left UNused since the dawn of the UNindustrial age. UNbelievable but UNtrue! Some UNgrammatical and therefore UNlogical elements in that, but I UNcare, I’m just UNstriving for UNhumour! If I’m UNcaring, it means I UNcare, right? Oh, UNright! I’ll UNleave you now. WUNder what it means to UNderstand?

  6. Richard Treadgold on 19/07/2020 at 10:54 am said:


    What two wrongs? The science is right is wrong, but if it’s wrong that my colleagues think me a fool, I tend to agree with you except that you’re a fool. Stop wasting our time and address the science. For instance, why does the IPCC refuse to provide proof of human interference in the climate?

  7. Is this particular UN path sustainable then, in any scientific or economic, or even a political, expert opinion?

  8. Richard Treadgold on 20/07/2020 at 6:26 pm said:


    There’s no proof that man-made carbon dioxide dangerously heats the climate, and the IPCC refuses to provide proof, which means it’s a fabrication. Is a fabrication sustainable? I think not. The four major atmospheric gases are Nitrogen, Oxygen, Water Vapour and Argon, which total 99.8% of the atmosphere. CO2, CH4 and N2O contribute about 0.2%. Water Vapour overwhelms those three both in quantity and ability to absorb radiation. It is inconceivable they outweigh the radiative effects of Water Vapour, and it is also condensable, meaning it transports energy over great distances horizontally and vertically, forms clouds, mists and fogs and, by fast increases in specific humidity, introduces more radiative forcing in mere hours than CO2 manages over a hundred years. Water Vapour is self-buffering, self-regulating, self-compensating and self-restoring; it evaporates, humidifies, condenses and precipitates. The troposphere is never without water vapour, even at the South Pole. But CO2 is to the atmosphere what a week-old kitten is to a blue whale a million times heavier and will never warm it.

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