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Kiwi greens downgrade climate concerns

Reader Peter sends me an article from the New Zealand Business Review. The article is paywalled, but it reveals that the Kiwi Green Party has been downplaying concerns over global warming, with the subject now barely warranting a mention at the party's annual conference.

The down rating is huge. Green co-leader Russel Norman in his speech to this month’s annual conference never once mentioned global warming...The Green Party did have a climate change conference the following week but Mr Norman’s keynote speech lacked any of the usual end-of-world prophecy and knee-jerk call to de-industrialise. His concern was the pedestrian one that New Zealand is failing to meet its international obligations.

There was no hellfire and no brimstone.

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Reader Comments (42)

Without hellfire, what is left of the CAGW cult? A sort of Anglican version of fundamentalist preaching?

'I say old chap, we think it'd be a jolly nice idea if you didn't burn the coal becasue if you do some not very nice things might happen at some point in the future. Or not, of course. If it's not too much trouble.. And can you spare a penny for Greenpeace to save the cute polies''

And - with no disrespect to my Kiwi friends, NZ 'failing to meet its obligations' makes as much difference as Scotland's renewable targets to the world's future climate..i.e none at all.

Jun 16, 2013 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Indeed, Latimer. Perhaps, in the tradition of some sections of the Anglican clergy, some of them don't really believe?

Across the ditch here in Oz, our Greens are split between the Marxists and the environmentalists, with falling public support not augering well for their electoral prospects. Here's hoping the zenith of Green power in the Antipodes is past.

Jun 16, 2013 at 9:48 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

one-way ticket to New Zealand please.

Jun 16, 2013 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered CommenternoTrohpywins

The NZ Greens are communists in drag. I attended two of their formative meetings in the late 90's and it quickly became clear that Marxism and "community empowerment" (i.e. their own empowerment) was their guiding light. Any lip service they give to the environment is P.R. only. So no surprises here.

Jun 16, 2013 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterNZ Willy

'Our friend' David Rose has a piece on Britain's normal weather

Myles Allen gets a brief mention

sorry this is OT Bish but I think David Rose is one of the good guys and deserves support

Jun 16, 2013 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenternoTrohpywins

and sorry but this is worth a read and may be worth a post

some hard facts on the cost of wind

Jun 16, 2013 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered CommenternoTrohpywins

Here is the full article.

The author Rodney Hide is an ex MP and ex leader of the ACT party ( roughly equivalent to your UKIP party but not as big ).

Jun 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

I might celebrate when I hear David Cameron, and his close associates, deny that climate change is even more potentionally dangerous than international terrorism. I will not be holding my breath.

Jun 16, 2013 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

Climate mitigation efforts in New Zealand are almost entirely self-serving and puny, considering that in each of the last 10 years, the increase in CO2 emissions from China alone is greater than the total UK emissions, which are themselves seven times those of NZ! It is clear where all the action should be focussed to have any measureable impact.

Jun 16, 2013 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterMichael J Kelly

I always liked McSteve's description of 'Acts of Petty Virtue' for all the pointless gestures small countries like to make to give them supercilious bragging rights about their rectitude...

Jun 16, 2013 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

I can't wait for 'warming is good, as it supports more total life and more diversity of life'. Here, let me order your life from the paleontology record.

Jun 16, 2013 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

We're quite good at common sense in NZ. Russell Norman is a very cunning politician.

Jun 16, 2013 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

Why am I not surprised?

In a 2010 Motu Working Paper (10-14) by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research we read,

"Accordingly our assessment based on research to date is that the direct impact of climate change on New Zealand’s RGDP/RGNDI via its effect on agricultural output, could be a small negative number – probably not more negative than about 0.5%. In view of Cline’s results, however, a positive effect of similar magnitude is also plausible."

However New Zealand exports most of its agricultural products and thus, "In contrast Table 4 shows that RGNDI could rise by over 2% as a consequence of higher world agricultural commodity prices if there is no carbon fertilization effect, easily outweighing the direct effects of climate change on agriculture."

Givern the standard economic models for assessing the agricultural impacts of global warming New Zeal faces little direct risk in regard to agricultural productivity. What's more, New Zealand will benefit because food prices are expected to rise and New Zealand is a net exporter.

So New Zealand Greens are laughing all the way to the bank.

The point about ignoring "carbon dioxide fertilization" is that the study assumed that the importing countries and New Zealand itself would not benefit from the fertilization of crops by CO2. This implies also that the reduced crop water requirements expected with increased atmospheric CO2 was also ignored.

[Plants do not grow as big pores (leaf stomata) when CO2 is plentiful and because the pores are smaller, water loss is less. So higher CO2 means plants do not need as much water.]

Standard practice in economic cost benefit studies of global warming is to ignore the benetits to agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Most critiques of the Stern Review focus on the low discount rate used. So far I have not seen the omission of benefits as a criticism. However, in my opinion, a major criticism is omission of the benefits of CO2 and global warming. The Stern Review was therefore deficient as a cost-benefit analysis by design.

The neat trick In balancing the costs and benefits of global warming is to leave out the benefits. This guarantees a result that will spread gloom and doom if governments do not act.

Jun 16, 2013 at 11:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterFred Colbourne

The NZ Greens are really hopeful of holding real power after the next NZ election. The Labour Party is in disarray, so the Greens are gaining their more left-leaning voters.

To hold power they have to seem reasonable. Sadly the emphasis is on seem. Hence no histrionics. It doesn't mean that they have changed their minds, just that they are keeping unpopular policies out of public sight.

In an amusing aside, they have recently made their internal procedures less democratic.It was a wise move politically, because it sidelines their more loony supporters who might otherwise press openly for urgent action on things like climate change. However it did make them look just like any other political party, which isn't quite in keeping with their image of themselves.

They want power. If they have to throw climate change under the bus in order to get it, so be it.

Jun 16, 2013 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterMooloo

That's how this AGWcult will end. Not with a bang, but with a whimper. People will just 'forget' they were ever part of it.. Cognitive Dissonance.

Leon Festinger (1957) proposed cognitive dissonance theory, which states that a powerful motive to maintain cognitive consistency can give rise to irrational and sometimes maladaptive behavior. According to Festinger, we hold many cognitions about the world and ourselves; when they clash, a discrepancy is evoked, resulting in a state of tension known as cognitive dissonance. As the experience of dissonance is unpleasant, we are motivated to reduce or eliminate it, and achieve consonance (i.e. agreement).

Jun 16, 2013 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

nTrophywins - Myles' quote:

‘This is a part of the world in which climate change is pretty hard to quantify,’ Professor Myles Allen, head of Oxford University’s climate research network, said yesterday.

I think David and Myles are neighbours on familiar terms. If David reads this, I would like him to ask Myles what makes climate change hard to quantify in this part of the world and when this difficulty was first identified. I'd also like him to give the criteria for places on the globe which do enable climate change to be quantified.

Re: CET, I think David should check out the work of Tony Brown who maintains the website He is methodically working his way through British weather records and publishes guest pieces from time to time. For example:

Re: the Cook Islands representative's comments - I think a link to the video clip would help.
Back on topic -

Re: Greens in the UK - I thought they were backing away from climate change as a head line issue but Caroline Lucas framed her criticism of the Energy Bill in terms of the "climate crisis". Despite that I do think she made some valid points about the dubious contractual nature of the nuclear deal the government and EDF have worked up. Maybe this story will change the dynamic:

Jun 16, 2013 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

From David Rose's article:

Looking back to one’s childhood, it’s easy to recall a succession of golden summer days and fool oneself into thinking this was then the norm.

Looking back to my childhood, I recall exactly this, but also just a clearly recall my tennis-mad English teacher bemoaning that yet again Wimbledon matches had been rained off - this would have been mid-to-late 60's. Nothing changes,

Jun 16, 2013 at 12:47 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

If you're failing to meet obligations then change the obligations to those more suitable.

Jun 16, 2013 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterAC1

I've noticed this shift a few times recently in the UK.
The cry is not that we have to, say, destroy what's left of our economy because otherwise we will fry, but we have to do stuff because of our international obligations*.
It's as if some people have given up trying to sell Armageddon but we have to have to get hypothermia in the dark anyway to avoid committing a diplomatic social faux pas.

* "international obligations" which sensible countries are quietly binning.

Jun 16, 2013 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Stern review was so misbegotten. As designed, without the benefits, it could not help but fail the test of reality. It was flimsy narrative, from the gitgo. So how, short of madness, has it succeeded so well? Hmmm, I guess the question is answered, sad to say.

Jun 16, 2013 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

To be fair Caroline Lucas hardly ever raises it. Her agenda seems to stem from the Socialist Workers Party, which has given her five years to state her point of view - I wonder if she told that to the people of Brighton.

Jun 16, 2013 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterTrefjon

Trefjon - the uk greens mention cc less nowadays but I think that is because they realise they look ridiculous given the obvious absence of evidence. Prior to her recent page 3 campaign, my impression is that most of Caroline's media exposure opportunities have been on the back of climate change and related energy policy.

Jun 16, 2013 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

The sky has fallen. On the Greens !!

Jun 16, 2013 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff


The Greens are a right wing, conservative, regressive party. What you are seeing is Monbiot style populism. Like Mosley.

Jun 16, 2013 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

@ Mooloo (11:41 a.m.) - Worrying words and I think you're right.

I hope, after all the green-caused strife in so many nations, that people the world over will be shy of any Green Party - no matter what it's claiming now.

Jun 16, 2013 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterA.D. Everard

This is just Rodney Hide polemic for the NBR. The NZ Greens are still batshit crazy and still believe the world will end in a ball of smoke.

They might actually get into a coalition with Labour in next years election.then we get worried

Jun 16, 2013 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy Scrase

I say, Bish, do you allow adverts?


You know what it's like: after a hard week at the demo, after two or three consecutive nights chanting outside a power station, you need to hug a tree.

But you can't. You live in town. No trees.


Just for you, entire forests are lightly clear-felled in North America and shipped across the Atlantic in sustainable barges. Reduced to healthy and non-toxic pellets using renewable energy, they are supplied with a zip-up case in luxurious sustainable felt, soft as the fur on a baby bunny's tummy, and dyed a healthy green. Just add the pellets to the case, zip it up and you have a DRAX HUGGY TREE.

Your Drax huggy tree is always there. Always huggable. Always ready for you. Get that smug feeling. Be as sanctimonious as you want. All day. Everyday. With your DRAX HUGGY TREE..



Jun 16, 2013 at 9:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJulian Flood

Andy Scrase is right. While Hide's observations are factually correct he is just having very clever dig at the Greens. ( Hide is an astute politician). The NZ Greens have been making some crazy comments lately and this is an attempt to get them to make more stupid comments.
I think you will see more of this ( having more political digs at Green policies and the Greens going quite on AGW in the media) and around the world --it is happening in Australia and in Germany. The translation of the Heartland publication by the Chinese etc.

Jun 16, 2013 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

Does this mean they are no longer kiwi fruit cases :-)

Jun 16, 2013 at 10:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Here are more examples of the change. Al Gore saying " I was wrong" in his latest book --never thought I'd see the day. But the money angle is just being twisted in a new direction. Looks like it maybe the turn of the risk managers and the engineers to put out their hands.

Jun 16, 2013 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

The NBR article was written by a right-wing Kiwi who has suffered some savage political wounds in recent years. His views are not to be taken seriously.

The NZ Greens are extremely politically astute. Their focus is on winning a substantial share of the Party Vote in the election next year.

New Zealand operates on an MMP political system (like Germany). Each elector has two votes: an Electorate Vote and a Party Vote. The Greens are well aware they are most unlikely to win an electorate seat and so are focussed on maximising their share of the Party Vote. It is not inconceivable this could run as high as 15-20% next year.

Hence they do not waste time talking of AGW. To do so is to preach to the converted. It is a not a vote-getter amongst the rest of the electorate. Instead the Greens are focused on maximising the number of party votes - largely by whittling them off Labour. Their aspiration is, at the very least, that after the election they will be a large tail wagging the dog of a Labour Government.

Rest assured, if this to should come to pass, AGW will be back on the agenda and what has happened in the rest of the globe will pale into insignificance with what the Greens have planned for New Zealand.

Jun 16, 2013 at 11:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterDr K.A. Rodgers

The proposed climate change amendment bill from the NZ Greens has 33% emissions reductions by 2020 and 88% by 2050

This came to light last week after their one day climate change conference in parliament

These emissions targets will be all but impossible to achieve since Nz is already a hydro and geothermal energy driven economy with lesser amounts of gas and coal

Jun 17, 2013 at 2:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndy Scrase

I wholeheartedly agree with the above good Dr.
The NZ Greens have a very astute politician at the helm. Hungry for power he is...

Jun 17, 2013 at 2:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterKiwiSkeptic

Dr Rogers is bang on!
And, as Andy Scrase says, the Greens are batshit crazy, pretending to care about the natural environment and its flora and fauna, which most of them are incredibly ignorant of; they also hate farmers and farm-based businesses, (unless they are organic or totally hopeless economically) which are the life blood of the country. The Greens would also tear down all the hydro dams as they may impact on things like the Hochstetter's frog, which are so rare that few residents of NZ have ever seen one. Most Kiwis become distinctly nervous if they have to suffer a rabid Green's company for more than five minutes.
The Green tactic of going silent on CAGW in NZ is quite sinister and would seem to be a tactic to gain power later rather than a sudden genuine lack of belief in the CO2 IS WICKED mantra.

Jun 17, 2013 at 3:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

The NZ Green's proposed amendment to the Climate Change Response (National Emissions Reduction) Bill is here (16 pages pdf)

Page 2 lists the very aggressive emissions targets.

Jun 17, 2013 at 7:02 AM | Registered CommenterAndy Scrase

I've never met a green yet who didn't smoke.

Jun 17, 2013 at 7:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh.

Meanwhile, over here on the big island, we have this latest nonsense from the notorious Australian Climate Commission, Tim Flannery's sheltered workshop:

Oh, the shame!

Jun 17, 2013 at 7:57 AM | Registered CommenterMique

Mique - it's an international pr initiative called "Stranded Assets". One incarnation here in the uk:

Jun 17, 2013 at 8:57 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Not surprising really - they'll want to keep it off the public radar... as global warming simply doesn't appear to be happening at present!! But you can be sure that the bureaucracies will still be hard at work issuing punitive targets for emissions and bumping up our power bills.

Jun 17, 2013 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Aaaaahh, bless, Julian Flood - I want a Drax Hug-a-tree...!!

Is it bio-degradeable..?

Jun 17, 2013 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Does this mean they are no longer kiwi fruit cases :-)
Jun 16, 2013 at 10:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterStacey
You can get cases for kiwi fruit? Are they of fleabay? ;¬)

Jun 17, 2013 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterEugene S Conlin


The ecofriendly production lines are poised to come into .... err ... production -- the delay is caused by a breeding Desmoulin's snail which has taken up residence on the person-powered sewing machine.

The DRAX HUG-A-TREE is not only bio-degradable but the organic nature of the product ensures that it will rot... that is biodegrade... all organic compounds brought into contact with it. Wash carefully after hug.

(Thanks for noticing, but I was hoping for Josh. I met a Greenie yesterday and it was like talking to someone beamed down from the Planet Zarg. The UKIP door is opposite the Green/Independent door at Suffolk County Council and I'd love to wind them up with a nice DRAX HUG-A-TREE advert....)


Jun 17, 2013 at 11:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJulian Flood

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