Air pollution

China’s dirty air

A woman wearing a mask crosses a road during severe pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013.  AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones/Getty Images)

A woman wearing a mask crosses a road during severe pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013.
AFP PHOTO/Ed Jones/Getty Images)

China has been pointing the finger at New Zealand…but what about their record on pollution?

It isn’t good.

Air pollution in China is becoming a serious political concern for the country?s leaders. It is by far the biggest environmental issue in China, attracting considerably more public anger than does climate change. That should come as no surprise, since air pollution has killed millions there. As a result, China is embarking on a debate about controlling pollution, comparable to what the U.S. and Europe went through 30 years ago?a journey that led to pathbreaking legislation such as the Clean Air Act. ? Read more »

Saving the world from climate change actually contributes to more harm

So now it appears that actions taken to clean up air quality, partially in an effort to reduce the so-called effects of man-made climate change, have in fact contributed to far more destructive climate change in the form of deadly hurricanes.

Apparently air pollution was helping to cause more of the sun?s energy to be reflected back into space, calming down ocean temperatures and circulation patterns. Now that air quality is better, more of the energy is getting into the oceans and creating conditions favourable to hurricanes.

Is this the law of unintended consequences in action, a reminder that we?re actually far better off leaving mother nature to sort her own sh*t out, or both?

Hurricanes, referred to as “acts of God” by insurers and seen by others as harbingers of the effects of climate change, are becoming more common as an unexpected side-effect of efforts to reduce pollution, research indicates.? Read more »

Nicola Toki trips over her own tongue

If there’s one thing militant conservationists tree/snail huggers are becoming increasingly notorious for, it is rank hypocrisy. When Nikola Toki isn’t busy jumping up and down about Bathurst Resources plan to mine the Denniston Plateau, opposing the creation of jobs and its flow on effects for the economy, she’s busy burning solid fuel and polluting the atmosphere with smoke.


Read more »

China’s Toxic Sky Erases In One Day All Of NZ’s Climate Change Efforts For A Whole Year?




In the world politics, it doesn’t pay to lead with your jaw, especially when you’re a tiny nation in the Pacific.

Opponents of the Kyoto Protocol have stated that New Zealand’s contribution to “reducing Global Warming” wouldn’t even go to one day of pollution in China, and therefore it was at best a token gesture.

Not to our collective checkbooks, of course. ?And the effects of that dumb decision is still echoing through our economy just this week with the Fonterra milk chemical scare caused by a fertiliser farmers use to… wait for it… try to reduce greenhouse emissions.

It is therefore good to keep some perspective as to what on earth we’re doing to ourselves economically as a meaningless international token gesture, when people in Bejing can’t even breathe? ? Read more »

Rushing to judgment causes red faces

I bet some?political?parties and their spokespeople are feeling just a little bit sheepish today after they rushed out press releases trying to capitalise on a report on air pollution from WHO that has since been withdrawn.

The World Health Organisation has removed data from its website that suggested New Zealand cities’ air quality was poorer than any major city in Australia and that Auckland’s air pollution was on a par with Tokyo’s.

In a compilation of air quality data from 1100 cities in 91 countries, reporting concentrations of health damaging “PM10” particles WHO published 2009 data it said was sourced from the Ministry of Environment which suggested air quality in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington breached its safety guidelines.

That, however was challenged by Environment Minister Nick Smith and his ministry.

The data has been replaced by 2010 numbers which showed all New Zealand main centres within the WHO safety guidelines of no more than 20 micrograms of PM10 particles per cubic metre of air with the exception of Dunedin which had been the only compliant New Zealand city according to the previous figures.

…Coordinator at WHO’s department of health and the environment Carlos Dora told Radio NZ the mistake was down to human error when the data was entered into its database.

“We’ve already been in touch with the Ministry of the Environment and different people in New Zealand because they spotted correctly there was a mistake. We have already corrected the database we presented already our apologies.”

Gareth Hughes should now feel more than a little bit stupid for his press release of Tuesday:

“More people in Auckland are dying from air pollution than in road crashes,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“This survey comes soon after a report to the Auckland Council estimated more than 700 premature deaths a year result from air pollution, should serve as a wake-up call.

“If these deaths happened all at once it would be recognised as a national tragedy and would be the subject of an official inquiry.

“Air pollution costs our health system, it’s bad for our people and it’s bad for the economy.”

Rather emotive and based on an?erroneous?and now withdrawn report. Phil Twyford and Charles Chauvel can likewise feel a bit silly:

A report showing air pollution in Auckland is double that of Sydney?s and on a par with Tokyo?s is another blot on National?s ever-expanding not very environmental copybook, Labour?s Environment spokesperson Charles Chauvel says.

World Health Organisation data out today reveals New Zealand cities trail all major Australian cities in terms of air quality, with Auckland the worst.

“Our largest city is just now getting a glimpse of the real cost of Steven Joyce’s anti-rail, more roads-at-all-cost policies – increased air pollution,? Charles Chauvel said.

?What?s particularly disgraceful is that the WHO report comes just two months after Auckland City Council reported that dirty air accounts for more than 700 deaths each year.

?Diluted air quality standards, minimum vehicle emission standards, and a relentless push for more cars is a disastrous combination.

?That?s a terrible public policy failure for National. As another MP observed recently, and rightly, Steven Joyce is the Colossus of Roads, and that will be his legacy,? Charles Chauvel said.

Well maybe it is a terrible failure, but I reckon the failure is on their part for relying on dodgy states from WHO. I wonder fo they will now retract their silly press releases.

Has John Key sold out Nikki Kaye?

Under pressure from the right, John Key has changed his policy on emissions from farm animals and is talking about exempting agriculture from the ETS.

Agriculture looks likely to get a free pass out of the emissions trading scheme if National is re-elected, despite generating about half of the country’s carbon emissions.

Labour pledged at the weekend to bring forward agriculture’s introduction into the scheme, but Prime Minister John Key said yesterday that agriculture would not be “thrown to the wolves” if other countries did not get on board.

In doing so he will likely alienate a lot of urban liberals, the type of people that threw out Judith Tizard and replaced her with Nikki Kaye in Auckland Central. The yummy mummies and chardonnay socialists in Ponsonby will likely be re-evaluating their vote for National and Nikki Kaye if National change their commitments to the ETS.