Hooton on Jacinda’s lack of integrity

Matthew Hooton, in his Newspaper column, reports: quote.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern describes her goal of New Zealand achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 as “my generation’s nuclear-free moment”.

Monday’s release of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was an opportunity for her to demonstrate if her words have integrity.

She failed utterly. end quote.

Yes. Because, if she was genuine about reducing carbon emissions, she would have just allowed fuel to become so expensive that no one would be able to afford to buy it. Just like with the blindsiding of the oil and gas industry, if we are going to have to do without it eventually, why not start now? quote.

Instead, she lamented the current price signal for motorists to switch to public transport or electric cars and announced plans to adopt Judith Collins’ 2017 proposal to bring petrol prices down.

Ardern’s hypocrisy is not absolved by this almost certainly being a short-term poll-driven gimmick, with any Commerce Commission inquiry into fuel prices likely to take years once participants litigate both the process and any draft findings. end quote.

Of course, it is poll driven. You didn’t think she would actually have the courage of her convictions, did you? Not when the gravy train is at stake. quote.

Her rhetorical push for lower petrol prices underlines that when the polls demand it, Ardern puts voters’ short-term economic interests ahead of the planet.

While deeply cynical, that is in fact the right stance.

The IPCC report and the global political response shows there is no value in New Zealand doing anything to achieve zero net emissions if such moves come with any cost at all. end quote.

Yes, but that is not what she is saying. If she were, she would give up on the madness of a zero carbon emissions policy when we emit so little of the world’s CO2 anyway. That is not what she is doing. She is still virtue signalling on climate issues. She just doesn’t want to lose votes. quote.

Ardern is not the only world leader to ignore the report’s release on Monday. China, the US, India and Russia are responsible for more than 50 per cent of global emissions, with the first two responsible for 40 per cent alone.

It is another annoying law of physics and chemistry that these four countries will determine whether global warming passes the catastrophic 2C or stays within 1.5C.

Steps by the likes of Japan, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, Canada, Mexico and Iran may have a tiny effect at the margins. Everyone else is irrelevant. end quote.

Yes, and we all know this. But there is no indication that she has softened her stance on a carbon neutral policy. These two things may well seem contradictory. Well, in fact, they are. quote.

Ardern, and even leaders of mid-size powers like Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, do not have the regulatory power to affect the emissions behaviour of a sufficiently large number of people or businesses.

Only Xi Jinping, Donald Trump, Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin do, and only if they act in concert. end quote.

There is as much likelihood of that happening as there is of the current government giving tax cuts. That is zero, by the way. quote.

There will be no agreement between these four when tens of thousands of delegates jet into Katowice for the IPCC’s next climate jamboree this December.

If the IPCC report is accurate, this means all is lost. Catastrophic global warming cannot be avoided.

It therefore makes no sense for Ardern to worry about New Zealand’s emissions, which account for just 0.2 per cent of the global total. No domestic mitigation measure New Zealand takes will make the slightest difference to the extent of climate change we face.

Given the attitude of Xi, Trump, Modi and Putin, Ardern’s focus, and that of her successors, should now be on adaptation.

It is her job to plan for how New Zealand will survive with higher temperatures and protect itself from the hundreds of millions of climate refugees the IPCC report suggests will be heading our way. end quote.

That assumes the report is correct, of course, but as our excellent writer WH pointed out in this article earlier in the week, the world should have ended in 2009, if the predictions at the time had been correct. Yet somehow, we are still here.

Jacinda Ardern is far more worried about votes than about saving the planet. Everyone ought to have been able to see her inconsistencies this week but nobody should be surprised. All that tripping around the world like a celebrity is not to be given up without a fight.


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