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Write a short submission on the Climate Commission’s draft report. The deadline is this Sunday 28 March. Here is the link.

Below is the submission from John Minto and Bronwen Summers – it might have some ideas to inspire your own submission.

Submission in response to Climate Change Commission’s Draft Report

General Comments:

  1. The draft report does not meet the challenge of climate change in a way which can give confidence we are doing our part in changing our food production and lifestyles to avoid the catastrophic impact of climate change for New Zealand and the rest of humanity.
  2. Evidence is mounting that climate change is occurring at a more rapid rate than previously thought. Already the 2015 Paris Agreement and the 2018 IPCC report, on which the government has set its carbon targets, have been overtaken by climate events which show the situation is more acute than previously thought. To give just one source, here are examples of accelerating climate change from Live Science including:
    • Arctic transformation may be permanent. …
    • A deadly hurricane season. …
    • Greenland may need new maps. …
    • Earth breaks records left and right. …
    • Massive Antarctic glacier in danger. …
    • Earth is facing a form of heat not seen in 50 million years. …
    • Lost penguin colony revealed by Antarctic melt…

3. While the basic analysis of the science of climate change in the draft report is comprehensive and commendable, the measures proposed in response are too tentative. They are simply inadequate to meet the gravity of the situation.

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4. The draft report has focused too narrowly on the targets for climate gas reductions set by the government in the Zero Carbon Act – targets which are nowhere near ambitious enough to address this deepening and accelerating crisis. The report has therefore allowed itself to be heavily constrained by the political decisions of parliament at the expense of the science.

5. This is NOT a situation where the Commission can go along with a Goldilocks decision (not too fast and not too slow!) to deal with the problem. Science doesn’t work that way. Climate change does not respect the political niceties of social-democratic government. This is a science emergency and the commission’s final report must reflect this.

6. However, the commission’s draft report says we can meet the challenge of climate change within existing technologies and without significant economic or social upheaval. This is irresponsible. In effect it kicks the can down the road for the next generation to confront. The heavy lifting should be done NOW rather than left for our children and grandchildren.

7. The final report must be nimble enough to respond to the accelerating climate change crisis. It would be a far better to “go hard and go early” rather than be caught in 10 years time by a reality of climate change which is unmanageable in human terms. The commission’s role must be to hold the government to account rather than go along with a scenario where political slippage is inevitable.

8. It is inexplicable that the Commission has accepted without comment the government decision to leave methane emissions from farming livestock out of the Emissions Trading Scheme. This is a massive community subsidy for farmers to continue unsustainable, climate-destructive activity.  Placating irresponsible farming practices has no place in the climate crisis we face.

9. It is important the Commission appreciates that many of those who benefit from the prevailing capitalist economic model, farmers and big business in particular, do not see the need for policy change because as climate change occurs it will simply revalue land and assets and they will remain in control whatever happens – irrespective of the human disaster which may unfold around them. Many of them see the climate crisis as a classic “disaster capitalism” opportunity. Their views should be read in this light.

10. The draft report repeats the capitalist mantra that “growth” is of itself a good thing. This thinking is not credible or acceptable. Unsustainable growth has got us into this problem and yet there is no mention of “no-growth” or “degrowth” options as strategies to fight climate change.

11. The draft report talks about the need to “co-develop” plans with Maori, Pasifika and low-income communities around climate changes issues but unless this is spelt out in detail it looks like a “tick-box” exercise.

12. Without substantial change the draft report will be too little too late – overtaken by accelerating global warming. If the final report is not substantially changed it will be a limp, flaccid and hopelessly inadequate document.

Recommendations 

  • The commission in its final report must recognise the evidence of accelerating climate change.
  • The commission should revise its timelines to make them much more ambitious in line with mounting evidence of accelerating climate change and the inadequacy of the government’s Zero Carbon targets.
  • The final report needs to recognise the need to be nimble and tighten targets and drive much faster change in light of the ongoing development of the science and the risks they reveal.
  • The commission should recommend methane emissions from livestock farming be brought into the Emissions Trading Scheme now.
  • Water quality issues are not adequately addressed. While the interlinking of these issues is acknowledged the critical importance of water quality must be in “lock-step” with climate change strategies.
  • The commission should place the greatest emphasis on submissions from those who have a deep concern for the welfare of humanity rather than from those representing profit-driven interests.
  • The report should suggest a specific “step change” for the whole country – something manageable yet significant enough to impact everyone. For example a move to free public transport which is occurring overseas and which is under evaluation for Canterbury by Environment Canterbury.
  • The final report should propose an intensive education campaign on the climate crisis which includes the cost of doing nothing against which to measure the cost of acting – in other words taking action now will save hugely into the future.
  • Remove references to “growth” from the final report unless in the context of “no-growth” or “de growth”.
  • The final report should provide “meat on the bones” for the co-development of climate change planning with Maori, Pasifika and low-income communities. For this to be authentic the commission should engage with these groups now and present in its final report a co-developed strategy for this to occur.

John Minto and Bronwen Summers

6 COMMENTS

  1. We have to have no growth or possibly de-growth, there is really no such thing as sustainable growth anymore. We’ve wrecked the planet and Covid is just the start of these type of viruses.

  2. 2021 to 2023; unravelling of the US dollar-based globalised Ponzi financial scheme.

    2021 to 2025; Arctic Amplification leads to there being no sea ice in September, and that results in faster Arctic Amplification and triggering of massive positive overheating feedbacks.

    2019 to 2029; the peaking of both conventional oil extraction and unconventional oil extraction leads to demolition of most current living arrangements.

    2021 to 2025; the combination of declining energy availability and disruption of industrial farming due to Planetary Overheating (Meltdown) leads to widespread malnutrition and starvation. The stress applied to populations causes widespread rioting, and increasingly militarised policing of ‘security’ to repress populations and to protect the short-term privileges of those at the top of the financial-social pyramid.

    2025 to 3035; collapse of most of the systems people currently take for granted, and a struggle for survival in most countries.

    Thank you so much, economists and bankers and politicians, for ignoring all the warnings about energy and the environment that date back to 1956, if not before.

    Industrial civilisation is an unsustainable heat engine that consumes its ‘food’ (oil, coal, gas, timber, soil, minerals etc.) at an unsustainable rate, causes extreme population overshoot and destroys the habitability of the Earth for all vertebrate species and most invertebrate species.

    Jellyfish and bacteria shall inherit the Earth.

  3. We can’t stop abrupt eponential climate change so, the sooner we take measures to adapt to the inevitable the better.

  4. Scientists Say Humanity Now at ‘Dawn of What Must Be a Transformative Decade’

    “Whether humanity has the collective wisdom to navigate the Anthropocene to sustain a livable biosphere for people and civilizations, as well as for the rest of life with which we share the planet, is the most formidable challenge facing humanity.”
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/03/22/scientists-say-humanity-now-dawn-what-must-be-transformative-decade

    Birchie
    Science is and has been almost completely useless in expressing the urgency of the crisis,

    I agree. All our science has failed to grasp the reality.

    There is no denying the effectiveness of modern science and technology, so far as they go. But our culture learns everything through a dead, mechanistic lens. I call us, “dead butterflies under glass.” That’s how we seek to understand Life, is by killing it and taking it apart.

    Our approach to the environment had the best scientists underestimating the arrival of extreme climate events by almost 100 years. They put all the tiniest elements of their way of knowing together and still could not come up with a valid model of reality.

    This failure to grasp reality permeates the entire society and culture. It is an entire worldview devoted to a special type of dead, mechanistic reality with one exception – humans, preferably white male humans with money.

    Everything else can be objectified.

    • I agree @ jay11.
      That’s why I think [they’re] closing in on AO/NZ.
      And by ‘they’ I mean ‘Them’. ‘Those’. The greedy fuckers who did this to our biosphere.
      The petrochemical industries and bankers who lobbied our politicians to smile to our faces while stabbing us in the back who knew what they were doing years ago and yet they kept doing it anyway. Because Ka Ching! right? And now? They’ll be planning an escape to here because like all rats they well know to be familiar with an escape path. No disrespect to actual rats.
      Meet Dave Lowe.
      RNZ
      ‘Carbon Watch & 50 years of CO2 measurements in NZ’
      https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ourchangingworld/audio/2018768161/carbon-watch-and-50-years-of-co2-measurements-in-nz
      “In my working lifetime it’s [co2] gone up around 90 parts per million,” says Dave. “And that’s the whole of the earth’s atmosphere. It’s a huge hit on the chemical and physical properties of the earth’s atmosphere – the only atmosphere that we have.”
      Now? If you have farming friends and/or whanau/family, nag them until they watch this?
      https://kissthegroundmovie.com
      Also available on Netflix.
      Never use lying, manipulative monsanto’s vile glyphosate and stop mowing the lawn. IMMEDIATELY!
      ( Lawns, and their underlying soil biome act as a very efficient C02 scavenger system which delightfully breaths out oxygen. Watch the fucking documentary !? Jesus ! )
      I was born on to a farm in central Southland. We grew our own vegetables, had a beehive, ran 3000 ewes and milked two house cows. That’s right. They were shaped like houses. They had a door at each end, a pair of windows up front, they had one huge speaker and two microphones and they had an inbuilt composting system. They had Bluetooth installed so when you asked “Hey Siri?” They’d look up, decompost themselves, then, as if controlled like a drone, would meander into their docking stations to be recharged and down-loaded.
      We’d never heard of ‘Roundup’ much less knew it caused cancer and we grew ‘organic’ vegetables year round to eat before we came to rely on supermarkets to guarantee we’d only get, so the ads go, the better, faster, more greaterer chemical laden, speed-grown, lab-rat veggies which, again, as we’re tirelessly told, are much, much better for us, and the profits of the crematoriums and funeral home industries. “ Oooh !? Did ya see that! He has a nice new lump!? Tasha? Here comes another one!? Buy that boat!? “
      Is so funny…? The word ‘organic’? It implies ‘hippy’ or ‘ nature nut’ doesn’t it? And ‘organic’ is significantly more expensive than normal’ food, right? So ‘organic’ means silly little plant-things that are dainty and frilly and not much use really. Better stick to that spud soaked in climate destroying, cancer causing chemicals then? “Real Man tucker. None o’ that hippy shit….Get in b’hind !? ”
      ‘Ripening off’ is a term used by some Real Man Kiwi-As National Party ball-cupper farmers ( And real dumb shits to boot .) to poison off potato shaws and grain heads to enable an easier harvest process. ( Wheat/ Barley mostly.) That, dear reader, is what you eat while your mind’s focused on your mortgage now that you drew down $45 k to buy that big, black, shiny 4×4 in the drive way. The one that loses at least $5 K a year in depreciation. Yeah, that one. And that blood in your poo? She’ll be right mate. A decent feed’ll sort ya.

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