Minnows can’t make big difference

Quote of the week from Minister  for Climate Change Negotiations Tim Groser:

“We need some international context around this. I mean, with 0.2 percent of emissions, New Zealand just doing something way out there on its own doesn’t make a damn bit of difference,” says Mr Groser.

He says without buy-in from big emitters like the US and China, the talks are just that.

He was responding to criticism of New Zealand’s progress on reducing carbon emissions.

Not only are our emissions tiny on a world scale, most of them come from farm animals and there’s very little we can do about that.

That doesn’t mean farmers and processors aren’t doing what they can. Fonterra intends to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030.

But Mr Ferrier says the ETS is already costing dairy farmers about $3600 per year in increased energy costs.

He says efficiencies can be made without having to pile more costs onto farmers, who have already reduced on-farm emissions by more than 8% since 2003.

All farmers contribute to research on reducing emissions too.

But we’re still and minnow in the sea of emissions and there’s no point criticising us for doing too little when the whales are being left alone .

29 Responses to Minnows can’t make big difference

  1. Andrei says:

    And I hear Government funding is sought to ascertain how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    How about figuring out how to produce more milk cheaply and developing new products and markets derived from this.

    Is that too hard for the morons who run this country? Is that why we waste time, money and energy on a question that has no real answer and any answer that is published is derived to advantage whoever commissioned the freakin report.

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  2. robertguyton says:

    “New Zealand just doing something way out there on its own doesn’t make a damn bit of difference”

    Gutless and selfish drivel from Groser and the National Government. If that’s what this Government aspires to, they should hang their heads in shame. “We’re too small to make a difference” – the Aspirations of a Key Government – too small indeed!

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  3. Stuaker says:

    That’s completely gutless, and treating NZ like it doesn’t matter. From what I’ve seen so far, Nat’s foreign policy has been frankly pathetic. I guess New Zealander’s shouldn’t bother doing anything, just because the US isn’t?

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  4. robertguyton says:

    Your grandchildren Ele, will curse you for your support of this ‘do-nothing’ Government, just as they will curse Key, Groser, Smith and the rest of the reality-denying National Party.

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  5. Andrei says:

    Your grandchildren Ele, will curse you for your support of this ‘do-nothing’ Government

    That is one of the most singularly inane statements you have ever made Robert Guyton.

    Think just for a minute how much the world has changed since your grandparents were born – it unrecognizable!

    Now I know you have this utterly absurd belief that the North Pole is going to melt or something but even if it does people will either take it in their stride or sit down and give up (and it is readily apparent which camp you’ld be in).

    And FFS Government programs cannot stop Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes, meteor strikes and they can’t change the weather either as the regular appearance of hurricanes, tornadoes, drought and floods which torment us regular basis only too well attest.

    And if you think taking money from dairy farmers to penalize them for farting cows and giving it to troughing Maori aristocrats because the Government in their infinite wisdom gave them some forests will in any way shape or form “save the planet” for Ele’s or my potential (since they have yet to be born) grandchildren then I’d say you are suffering from a seriously deficiency in the rational thought department

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  6. robertguyton says:

    As will your grandchildren Andrei. Despair at your foolishness that is.
    Your failure to recognise the issue and its ramifications is as pathetic as Ele’s.
    As to today’s world being ‘unrecognizable’ from the point of view of my newly born grandparents – poppycock!
    The sky looks much the same, as does the sea, the rural landscape and most everything else. If the grandparent you are imagining is bewildered by what they would see, I suggest that the problem would be dementia rather than ‘a changed world’.

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  7. Tired Farmer says:

    In MHO it is a pity that Lord Monckton has been neutered for his tour and debates in New Zealand.

    A skilled, informed debater who seems to be able to present more logic than his opponents.

    How come you didn’t challenge him to a one to one test Robert? .

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  8. robertguyton says:

    He’s a crank, that’s why Tired. You’ve been taken in by his spiel and crack-pot self-confidence.
    No reputable scientist or commentator would get into the ring with him? I’m not surprised. I do know many of them challenged him to an exchange of written evidence and argument but the Lord Monck has been shown-up through that medium many times before and wouldn’t have a bar of it.

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  9. fredinthegrass says:

    Rg, while I admire your rhetoric, I struggle with your apparent lack of scientific proof in this debate.
    I love a good argument, but you are being Robert Guytonish today.
    IMO there are two issues here – 1 – what can we do; and 2 – the relevance in the bigger scheme of things of what we actually do.
    It is certainly not acceptable to sit on our quoits and do nothing.
    It is foolhardy to commit to something that achieves diddly squat in global terms but endangers our economic strength and weakens the well being of all Kiwis.

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  10. Andrei says:

    The whole “debate” is actually meaningless because the future is indeterminate Now there’s a potential word of the day.

    It can be shown mathematically that there are limits on the predictability of future events whatever they be and no matter how well described they are mathematically (usually in the real world only approximately described in the equations, which are usually intractable in any case)

    If this were not so then there would be a fortune to be made in commodity futures for anybody who cracked it.

    And it is a far simpler problem to estimate the future price of oil, gold or wheat than it is to predict the weather 6 months out or even more than two weeks out..

    And it can’t be done with any reliability, which is why futures trading is perilous – just ask Nick Leeson of Barings Bank fame.and when it comes down to it is why futures markets exist – ie they give people a way to hedge their risks in volatile markets

    Climate change BS is the fricken blind leading the blind down the garden path along with some very devious con men taking advantage of the gullible,

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  11. fredinthegrass says:

    Climate change is real, Andrei, always has been, always will be.
    C.C. BS – now that is a matter on which I agree with you. And the Rg’s of our world are fodder for the BS artists – which is a shame because, dear fellow, Rg is a man of principle, except while blogging on right wing blogs – especially that of our dear (blog)friend, Hp. He is well known for obfuscating in a discussion. Hows that for a word?
    And as the rhetoric flys not much gets done in coming to grips with how to actually move forward in this highly charged arena and the greatly complicated subject – more’s the pity.

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  12. robertguyton says:

    Fredinthegrass – quite right, I’m not engaging with the issue using the tools of logic and citation, as they are wasted in this debate. I fully support the Greens dismissal of Monckton’s ‘challenge’ on the grounds that when wrestling with a pig, one gets covered in its waste products. Sometimes, experience requires obfuscation when the same methods employed by Lord Monckton are used by the lesser mortals who snipe at each other on blogs such as this. Have you a ‘killer’ statement that once and for all seals the discussion on climate change and blows all others out of the (rising) water? If so, I’d love to hear it.

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  13. robertguyton says:

    Oh and Fred, what to do (Or rather not do?)
    Don’t open up any more coal mines. None at all. Be part of the trend to keep the remaining sequestered carbon (lignite especially) in the ground – at least support a moratorium on digging it up for 10 years. That’s something I’d be happy to debate. All else is pish 🙂

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  14. IHStewart says:

    Hey Ele just finished reading Jeremy Clarksons “how hard can it be ” and now have to write a review for the magazine I work for, he has bought a farm and is allowed to run 0.6 sheep per acre or 75 sheep and had to buy a tractor to keep the grass down . I can’t remember high country carry capicities but I am guessing about this level.

    I loved this on Gordon Brown

    “….Strangely, however, he will give me cash money if I promise to make a trout lake and even more cash money if I don’t grow anything that could be turned into food. Quite how he squares this in his head when half the world is starving, I have no idea. ”

    I find it funny as Clarkson pointed out in the book that weather forcasters can’t tell us what will happen tomorrow but can predict what will happen 50 years in the future.

    I was on the road today and was able to listen to national radio I can’t remember if it was on Catherine Ryan’s or Jim Mora’s programme but a guy was talking about growing ginsing ( haven’t got a clue what that is but the Chinese want it and are prepared to pay for it ) in our pine forests.

    DPF posted a great blog a couple of years ago from memory on New Zealands ability to alter climate change and noted it was nil. No I am not migrating to the centre right but I wish the centre left would think about who is driving our economy.

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  15. George says:

    Robert Guyton, you are tilting at windmills. A noble cause in your mind, but to the rest of us it looks like an obsession. Thats fine if it’s only you that is affected by hysteria, but you want everyone else to go along and, what’s worse, pay for this maddened course.
    I refuse to do so. I am pleased that at least one member of this do-nothing government has voiced his concerns. I would be even happier if he cancelled Nick Smith’s lunacy.

    Like

  16. homepaddock says:

    IHS – Sounds like a good book. I think the EU gets at least soem of the blame for paying people not to produce.

    We can do everything possible to keep our house clean but our influence on climate change is infintisimal.

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  17. fredinthegrass says:

    Yes, Rg, I do have a ‘killer’ statement.
    When it comes to climate change – NOBODY KNOWS NUTHIN’

    Like

  18. fredinthegrass says:

    Rg, I can agree re the retaining of the lignite coals in the ground – but for a very different reason to yours.
    They are a layby on our future energy needs if we are unable to find a viable alternative.
    With the world population increasing and half the available food production areas no longer producing and our seemingly total lack of ability to transport food to the existing population equitably we may just need that energy source one day.

    Like

  19. robertguyton says:

    Fred – with regard ‘lay-by for future energy needs’ I agree entirely, you’ll apparently be surprised to learn.
    As to your knock-out statement ‘nobody knows anything’ – I can hardly believe you would say that. An enormous amount of entirely trustworthy scientific information has been amassed by a vast number of highly capable scientists. How you can deduce that all that is ‘nuthin’ astounds me. I suspect you have fallen for the ‘Monckton’ factor and have been left dazed and confused, where you don’t need to be at all.

    Like

  20. robertguyton says:

    And further to your post,
    “half the available food production areas no longer producing”
    that’s something we could certainly discuss.
    Care to expand on that statement?

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  21. fredinthegrass says:

    Sorry not to get back last night Rg – other things required my attention.
    First lets assume that all land is not created equal when it comes to food production. So when dense human settlement expands it is common to find “class A” land being used. The valuable soil is lost to food production by and large.
    The increase in ‘life-style’ living around the developed world has seen a dramatic loss of production – food for distribution from these areas is now only being used by the occupier – a nett loss of food.
    Vast industrial estates no longer select less productive areas to set up – they are set up to best suit the needs of the industries with no regard for the loss of valuable food producing ground.
    Areas of land once used for food that have become marginal for economic reasons are being taken out of food production.
    The inability of Socialists to make the change to Capitalists – and before you get excited, Rg, I mean the people not the system, for in our travels we find that the personnel dont necessarily change with the demise of the system – has seen vast tracts of food producing land left idle.
    There are other factors but in the meantime ……………

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  22. robertguyton says:

    Thanks Fred – there’s much to discuss there. I’m ‘en-chambered’ shortly and not released til late afternoon but will return for your discussion.
    Cheers
    Robert

    Like

  23. robertguyton says:

    Fred – at your leisure.
    First lets assume that all land is not created equal when it comes to food production.
    True enough, though the singular focus on monocultural production which blights modern farming practice works against itself here. land does not need to be ‘equal’, it has to be matched to it’s optimal crops (multiple). That’s why a permaculture system is so superior to a monoculture like, for example, dairy farming.
    So when dense human settlement expands it is common to find “class A” land being used. The valuable soil is lost to food production by and large.
    Human settlement in it’s present sprawling form is causing severe problems. There are superior ways to accommodate human communities, especially those which integrate living space with food production.
    The increase in ‘life-style’ living around the developed world has seen a dramatic loss of production – food for distribution from these areas is now only being used by the occupier – a nett loss of food.
    As before. It’s how you develop communities – how they are designed and how well they are blended into a productive landscape. This has been done in different parts of the world. New Zealand, not so much.
    Vast industrial estates no longer select less productive areas to set up – they are set up to best suit the needs of the industries with no regard for the loss of valuable food producing ground.
    Specialization and centralization create the problem you are describing here. Localise production and regard scale as a vital component for successful industrial production.
    Areas of land once used for food that have become marginal for economic reasons are being taken out of food production.
    Put them back into production, but invest in smart food production; diverse and integrated food production systems are the key. Monocultures and systems requiring synthetic inputs are not resilient or smart.

    The inability of Socialists to make the change to Capitalists – and before you get excited, Rg, I mean the people not the system, for in our travels we find that the personnel dont necessarily change with the demise of the system – has seen vast tracts of food producing land left idle.,/i.
    Y’wot?

    Like

  24. fredinthegrass says:

    A thoughtful reply, Rg, and one that needs expanding into the detail of your philosophy. I find myself in general agreement with (my perception) of your thrust. I remain unconvinced that some of the methods you propose will actually translate into the level of food production the world needs, and in the geographical regions where the food is most needed.
    I did not mention water in the previous post but the issue of water shortages – as being seen in the horn of Africa for example – is a frightening prospect we face in the not too distant future.
    As a working farmer I sometimes struggled with these sort of issues, but now I am retired I view things substantially differently.
    And I do not have much to offer in the way of long term sustainable solutions – pathetic really!

    Like

  25. robertguyton says:

    Water’s a critical resource Fred, as you allude.
    Irrigation is the beginning of the end for regions that want to grow food sustainably, in my opinion, (swimming against the tide here 🙂
    There’s more to water than rivers and lakes, ponds and pools. The most important water is moving quietly through the ground. WEe mess with that at our peril (see ‘fracking’ and weep).

    Like

  26. homepaddock says:

    “Irrigation is the beginning of the end for regions that want to grow food sustainably, in my opinion, ”

    That’s fighting talk Robert, but the debate will have to wait until I have more time.

    Like

  27. robertguyton says:

    I look forward to it Ele.
    I’m right you know 🙂

    Like

  28. homepaddock says:

    If you’re right, why do you always write as if you’re left?

    Like

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