Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Environmental league tables and their perils

38 Responses

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  • Euan Mason, in reply to Farmer Green,

    “The result is that NZ is not changing”.
    It is obvious to Farmer Green that agriculture is changing, but fails to see the opportunity that this change presents to it.
    Farmer Green sees absolutely no evidence of change in urbanity; only finger-pointing and heel-dragging.

    With restrictions on imports and a better NZU price, there would be clear opportunities for hill country farmers to plant their eroding lands (thereby sequestering CO2), very likely with minimal destocking, and they’d make higher returns on their farms while reducing siltation problems for dairy farmers on the flats. However, for this to occur we also need agriculture to participate in the ETS, IMO.

    Urbanites are paying more for their power, apparently, at $25/credit if the media is to be believed. I’d really like to see some credible sources on the electricity credit swindle, though. Anyone have access to one? Said urbanites placed their hopes in the ETS I suspect.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • Nathaniel Wilson, in reply to Farmer Green,

    I meant that discussion of population levels appears to be a taboo subject. It is the very obvious elephant in the room isn’t it?

    If it's an elephant, it's a rather monstrous one. Population control is only ever mentioned by people who intend it to apply to everyone but themselves (and perhaps their friends and family).

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Euan Mason,

    emissions per capita wouldn't solve the problem

    Because the world simply does not care how many people are sharing the pollution. Carrying capacity is absolute, not relative.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason, in reply to Sacha,

    emissions per capita wouldn’t solve the problem

    Because the world simply does not care how many people are sharing the pollution. Carrying capacity is absolute, not relative.

    Thanks, Sacha, you put it much more clearly that I did.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Nathaniel Wilson,

    If it's an elephant, it's a rather monstrous one. Population control is only ever mentioned by people who intend it to apply to everyone but themselves (and perhaps their friends and family).

    Especially if "everyone else" means the proles, in which case it crosses the dividing line into eugenics. And past attempts to actually carry it out in practice have all ended very messily.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    So FG or as I like to think of you the weird third person narrative guy. I think it must be some kind of distancing mechanism so your delicate ego doesnt get too bruised by the harsh language that we bandy about here. Lucky we dont bite eh!

    Farmer Green sees absolutely no evidence of change in urbanity; only finger-pointing and heel-dragging.

    Urbanites or urbanity is a rather vague term, and you are talking about a very disparate group of humanity. Would you mind awfully pointing that finger in a more specific direction?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1230 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Nathaniel Wilson,

    This isn't to say it isn't worth striving to improve things. Just that we should be focused on what we're doing on a local level, and not how we compare to Burundi or whereever.

    Wouldn't argue with that, but it also helps if we're having an informed debate off good data -- and fully aware of the limitations and black holes involved. I don't know about anyone else, but I tend not to make good decisions off bad or partial information.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to DeepRed,

    Direct population control is not on the table; neither should it be.
    The available evidence suggests that lifting women in developing countries out of poverty, and providing them with a good education , are initiatives that will go a long way in the desired direction.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Nathaniel Wilson,

    If it’s an elephant, it’s a rather monstrous one.

    Particularly as it has been pretty thoroughly demonstrated that if you have a society where the women are educated and there are relatively egalitarian outcomes (basically a society where parents are knowledgeable, confident of their children living to adulthood and being able establish themselves in society) the birthrate falls away. The solutions verging on eugenics tend to start with the assumptions that the privileged people proposing them are creating a world where they are at least as privileged as a present.

    Regarding carbon raw amounts vs. per capita (and actually urban ~ rural). People in cities have a lower per capita emission of carbon as a baseline, because they are centralized and goods can be delivered on efficient mass basis (basically the smaller the delivery vehicle the worse it is (not a linear scale)). OTOH cities are also the main hubs of consumption, which is (in it's present throwaway culture form) carbon-bad.
    As for me as an urban dweller- try to make the time to walk rather than drive, and choose not to travel far recreationally, try do buy things for the long term. By my own moral calculus, if I am in the quarter of the population using the 25% least carbon (in a small daily steps kind of way) I am moving in the right direction. I also tend to feel that the government's priorities are moving in the opposite direction, and the incentives to behavior their policymaking makes likewise at odds with my priorities.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to andin,

    People who don't own gumboots. Can't trust em. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I tend not to make good decisions off bad or partial information

    You'll never make it in party politics, sir. Pills or not.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    What kind of mad rash fool doesn't own gumboots? Even my 3 year old owns gumboots.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8592 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Direct population control is not on the table; neither should it be.
    The available evidence suggests that lifting women in developing countries out of poverty, and providing them with a good education , are initiatives that will go a long way in the desired direction.

    Sadly, Social Darwinist culture war-piggery under the guise of “anti-PC” is the single biggest obstacle in the way of such progress, particularly within certain developed nations.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

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