I admit it, I was wrong.

Suffice it to say I don’t think I need to detail the new joke of an “emissions trading scheme”1 here, but I do want to say I feel pretty stupid defending the Māori Party all these times and having them betray their own constituents, the country, and the future with a law designed to pay polluters to damage our climate when it is clear the planet cannot take this sort of treatment and remain the welcoming place it is today. I had thought maybe they were just trying to edge out Act by being an undemanding coalition partner, but this isn’t strategy. This is stupidity, plain and simple.

As far as I’m concerned, signing on to something like that is pretty much indefensible, especially seeing a grand coalition on the ETS seemed much more likely than just leaving it to die, and probably would’ve resulted in an ETS that might almost have been worthwhile. The Māori Party has a lot of proving itself again to do if it wants people to believe they can ever work with parties of the left after the repeated capitulations to completely failed policies that we’ve witnessed. And that’s even discounting questions of whether they’re truly representing Māori anymore, or just the relatively few wealthy elites that probably voted for National anyway.

As for National- well, it appears even shooting for the centre doesn’t stop them from shelling out over $12002 million to subsidise polluters and giving out tax cuts to people who don’t need them while at the same time firing productive and loyal employees just to gut the public service, refusing to enter good-faith negotiations on pay for teachers and health professionals, refusing to fix the leaky homes which their own failed attempt at deregulation created, and many more opportunities to actually lighten the load on hardworking kiwis during the recession. What utter hypocrites.

1It’s not actually an emissions trading scheme because the amount of carbon credits available is not capped, extra subsidised credits will be added for “productive” polluters3. And even if the amounts of credits were capped, it’s still not an emissions trading scheme if you artificially cap the price of carbon credits like the government proposes to do. This doesn’t even guarantee a net drop in emissions, let alone reaching any target- even the government’s pathetic 20% one.
2See comments.
3An oxymoron if ever I’ve heard one. Pollution is by definition wasteful, and pollution that threatens the climate isn’t likely to make something that outweighs the value of the damage it will do.

5 thoughts on “I admit it, I was wrong.

  1. It’s not $400 million we’re subsidising polluters, it’s over $1200 million until 2015, with over $800 million to farmers in perpetuity.

    To quote I/S

    “In 2007 (the latest year we have figures for), agriculture was responsible for 36.4 million tons. With the ongoing expansion of the dairy industry and resistance by farmers to any improvement in practices which could reduce emissions (even when it is profitable to them!), that figure is likely to grow.

    Carbon costs around $25 a ton, give or take the exchange rate (currently due to the high dollar Treasury has it at $22.36 a ton). That number too is only likely to grow, as more countries sign up for emissions trading and caps are lowered.

    National has committed to a 90% subsidy of whatever agriculture is emitting in 2015. Assuming that’s the same as in 2007 (a conservative assumption), that means 32.8 million tons. Multiply that by $25 a ton and you get $820 million a year.”

  2. It’s frustrating me that the newsmedia is so bad. $430m is bad enough… but people deserve honest figures. These aren’t hard to work out either – I had ballpark figures calculated within ten minutes, and I’m no genius.

  3. Yeah, I think they just didn’t want to do the maths, and then failed to be clear about which bit of the policy they were talking about, and implied the $400 million was the overall long-term cost per annum, rather than the additional subsidy.

    I’ve just been pretty brainless recently, which remains my excuse for not catching it. πŸ™‚

  4. Oh dear Ari, your are not the only distressed at the capitulation: the eager shafting this Maori Party is willing to have exercised upon themselves.
    Such is the value and tradeable value of mana.
    Too bad mana is something we can’t buy shares in.
    Murray the Party is such a good fit for this Tory regime.

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