DCC votes to be Green climate lobbyists

The infiltration of Green national politics into local body government took a worrying turn yesterday. Dunedin City Council has voted in four climate change resolutions:

• Urge the Government to adopt a tougher carbon emissions target.

• Support the Government in that goal by reducing Dunedin’s carbon emissions.

• Join the international ”Compact of Mayors” agreement to measure and reduce emissions across Dunedin.

• Ask the Government to place a moratorium on deep sea oil and gas exploration.

It looks like there is a big dollop of Green Party national politics in those resolutions, with the Dunedin City Council voting to allow themselves to be Government lobbiests on issues of national and international interest.

The resolutions were brought before the council by Crs Jinty MacTavish and Aaron Hawkins.

I don’t think McTavish is officially in the Green Party but is closely aligned with more extreme Green policies, and has been influential in promoting Green policies and practices at a local body level.

Hawkins stood as a Green Party candidate in 2013 local body elections when he became a councillor.

The ODT reports in Council says yes to climate change resolutions that there was some opposition:

Cr Andrew Noone said Dunedin would be better off ”walking the talk” than telling the Government what to do.

Cr John Bezett said the issue was one for central Government, and Dunedin was ”wasting our time” giving its opinion.

Cr Andrew Whiley said climate change was a problem needing to be addressed first and foremost by the world’s biggest polluters, including China and India.

Both there was more support in a fairly left leaning council:

But that view was rejected by Cr Richard Thomson, who said grass-roots pressure was what drove governments to make big decisions.

Cr David Benson-Pope brought cheers from the gallery for his speech on why Dunedin had to take a stand.

”Like it or not, colleagues, we are part of our community. In fact, we are supposed to be some of the carriers of the moral leadership.”

”There was no question what thousands of New Zealanders thought about the issue during the weekend’s climate change marches,” he said.

”They think this community needs to move.

”I agree with them, and I’m not reluctant to … tell the Government it’s time that they got real and re-established a degree of political integrity and moral fibre on this issue.”

Benson-Pope has a Labour rather than a Green background. He was an MP from 1999-2008.From 2005-2007 he was Minister for the Environment in the Clark Government.

Unusually for a setting MP he was not selected by his party to stand again for Dunedin South in 2008. It seems like he still has a hankering for being involved in national politics.

I’m not surprised with this Green politicking in Dunedin, the Greening and Lefting of the council was an issue of concern raised in the 2013 election.

I would rather the Dunedin council put more effort into administering and improving Dunedin for their rate payers rather than delving into Green national politics.

UPDATE: In other news in the ODT today things that don’t seem to matter so much to DCC councillors:

Queenstown-Lakes also fared well in the number of dwelling consents issued in October with 96, up from 65 in September and by far the highest for the past 12 months.

Central Otago had 19 dwellings consented, up from 16 and again the highest total for the past 12 months.

Dunedin slumped to 19 dwelling consents in October from 25 in September.

That’s depressing enough, but more so given the headline: New year looks good for Otago builders.  Not so much for Dunedin builders.

 

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28 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  1st December 2015

    The urge to control stuff they know nothing about is strong in the Left.

    Reply
  2. Zedd

     /  1st December 2015

    Go, DCC – Green-Lefties !! 🙂

    Reply
  3. Zedd

     /  1st December 2015

    btw; I hear that Jinty is a regular cyclist & Aaron is a regular bus rider (just like I&I) 🙂

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  1st December 2015

      Buses use fuel, too, although the Greens seem to imagine that they don’t. I don’t like oil drilling, but I do like what the oil does-like make computers.

      Maybe they would like us all to use Flintstone cars.

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  1st December 2015

        BUT.. buses carry 20-30 people at a time.. cars usually carry 1-2 in NZ.. I think that’s the point.. its called ‘efficiency & sustainability’ 😦

        Reply
  4. Well its happening throughout the west, when top down climate change politics fail, the push starts to come from below, they may be overstepping their responsibilities, but f***k, the current and previous governments both dodged their responsibilities on the issue.

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  1st December 2015

      I am very sceptical as to the efficacy of stopping cows farting. Climate change has always gone on. It does seem as if the protestors want someone else to do something about it; I bet that they all have cars, and many of them will have two cars. I also bet that they all drove to the protests and won’t be cutting their own emissions by down-sizing to small cars.

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  1st December 2015

        No we don’t all own cars & some of us actually walk to the corner shop too

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  1st December 2015

          But luckily the corner shop has a supply line serviced by tractors, trucks, ships and planes rather than bicycles, canoes and porters.

          Reply
          • Mike C

             /  1st December 2015

            @AlanW

            I think you might need to log out or refresh your page 🙂

            Reply
          • Zedd

             /  1st December 2015

            I’m certain there is some sense.. in there somewhere ? :/

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  1st December 2015

              Whether you walk or drive to your shop, your life and lifestyle depends on fossil fuels generating CO2.

            • Zedd

               /  1st December 2015

              @AW
              I’ve never advocating zero CO2 or CH4 (methane) etc.. BUT the word that seems to be missing here is one of my favourites : ‘sustainability’. The world (to my mind & others) is a fairly delicately balanced system.. if we upset that balance too much.. then we will ALL suffer the consequences.. I’ve often thought that there are some people who think the planet is just a pile of endless resources, to be exploited by whoever gets there first.. BUT they forget: we all breath the air & drink the water OR the increasingly added levels of pollution being dumped into it
              ‘here endeth the lesson’ :/

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  1st December 2015

              Sustainability is a “begging the question” arrogant and meaningless word since we can never know what is required for sustenance in the future. Rich nations look after their environment. Poor ones can’t. All of them have to make tradeoffs and have science and engineering to help.

      • For Zedd and others – @Kittycatkin – “I bet that they all have cars”
        This argument doesn’t wash with me any more.
        I have used it myself often and given it up now.

        First, it denies the incremental nature of change. By its logic we should do nothing to mitigate emissions in places where they measureably become dangerous to human health or life (Missy can attest to this?) because we’re all equally culpable. We do act though, and we begin by limiting emissions from the existing technology, the fossil fuel engine, while perhaps also encouraging mass transport, the development of hybrids, clean alternatives etc etc.

        Second, if you extend the analogy to its logical conclusion it looks a bit odd, e.g. nothing Gandhi ever said should be taken seriously if he became a pacifist, because he might have accidently stepped on a beetle and killed it. (I exaggerate of course). It is a “defensive byway” argument, in my opinion. None of the commentators on arguing and healthy communication I can find even mention it. It’s “Orh yeah, you can talk!”

        I hate to say this Kittycatkin, but if such human encounters come down to “Fight or Flight”, this “you can talk” tactic is neither, it’s stand and trade veiled insults.

        Even if it’s true “they” drove to the protest the argument is quite purposeless, with the possible exception of maintaining the status quo? It accomplishes only the defence. However, we don’t know whether it’s true or not, so your “I bet” is absolutely correct because it is all speculation.

        A Kiwi scientist on RNZ today reported great progress in research at preventing ruminants from releasing greenhouse gases, which they apparently do mostly by burping rather than farting? This may eventually be new chemical technology we can export all over the world. Kiwi innovation, eh what!?

        I’m somewhat sceptical about adding yet another chemical to the allopathic farming mix of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, hormones and drenches. It might be worth considering how much vegetable protein can be grown on the amount of land it takes to support one cow?
        Ψ

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  1st December 2015

          You confuse the entirely sensible implementation of clean air policies as was done in western economies during my childhood with the entirely speculative proposals to reduce CO2 emissions.

          You also claim those calling for drastic climate interventions are excused from the hypocrisy of making no change in their own lives because change must be incremental. I don’t excuse failures to consider the consequences of these interventions even on those privileged enough to have the time and opportunity to join protests.

          Reply
          • Nothing of the sort. Your response bears almost no relation to what I said.

            Missy’s reports from Bejing just last night attest to how well those “clean air policies” have worked. And I return to my earlier question: If we can ‘sensibly’ reduce CO2 emissions, why not just do it? What harm will it do?

            I don’t know what kind of interventions they are asking for. I was talking about the “You can talk!” argument. If this, “you can talk”, your hyprocrisy argument works because we’re all culpable, including “them”, and we’re all culpable, then using the hyprocrisy argument on them is hypocritical.

            You’ll have to explain “failures to consider the consequences of these interventions” because I don’t understand what you mean?

            “Those privileged enough” is just an extension of “I bet they’ve got cars” or “you can talk!” It might be true, or not, and regardless it’s purposeless defensiveness. Equally, “they” might have carefully structured their time so as to allow them to go on to the protest.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  1st December 2015

              CO2 does not produce smog, PZ. Likewise removing particulate pollution from smokestacks does not reduce CO2.

              The consequences of global CO2 emission reductions of the sizes allegedly required to forestall the magic 2 deg of warming (invented by a journalist) would condemn huge numbers of people to poverty and early death. Few of these would be in NZ and fewer in Dunedin.

              Failing that of course any reductions made by NZ would have an undetectable impact on global temperature. Likewise, even the most optimistic reductions that could be promised in Paris will have a negligible impact on global temperatures: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1758-5899.12295/full
              and
              http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/11/17/lomborg-pushes-back-against-joe-romms-over-the-top-screed-about-the-true-vale-of-cop21/

            • Alan – So focus on reducing the pollution that produces smog, right? Or is this an argument for doing nothing at all?
              To exaggerate, and I acknowledge I exaggerate, the pollution is worth it, right, to bring the masses of under-developed people into the global market economy for the benefit mostly of the West?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  1st December 2015

              Yes, reduce smog and water pollution. As the West did fifty+ years ago.

              Yes, the pollution in China was worth it – and it was their choice, not ours. But now they need to tackle it.

  5. Timoti

     /  1st December 2015

    Cheap scooters on special at the Warehouse Pete Buy a tent and solar bath while you are it.

    Reply
  6. Let’s renounce thought once again. To call it a world marketplace or global economy and then claim one country, any country, China, brought all consequences of it on themselves is to state a Monty Pythonesque absurdity. They had a choice?

    I’m no history expert (and that’s the very last time I use a phrase like that because I do not have to be) but based on what I do know I would argue that, if China had a choice, they’d have had nothing to do with the modern West.

    Here’s a better description of it, although the author didn’t predict consequences like overpopulation and pollution – “though the unification of the world has been finally achieved within the Western framework, the present Western ascendancy in the world is certain not to last.

    In a unified world, the 4 living non-Western civilisations – of 18, 14 extinct – will assuredly reassert their influence … and the Western component will gradually be relegated to the modest place which is all it can expect to retain”

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  2nd December 2015

      Blather. We all deal with a world we did not create. Our civilisation is a mixture of all contributors past and present. As Asia integrates into it obviously it will enrich and alter our civilisation. If you lived in Auckland you would already see that in progress.

      Reply
      • I know this is pointless, but you said, “their choice not ours” and “now they need to tackle it”.
        Your argument here sounds a bit like saying, 50 years ago, “There’s pollution in NZ and it’s Maoris responsibility to deal with it because they let themselves be colonised” (I always exaggerate, that’s what PartisanZ is). Is it useful?

        Modern trade with China was initiated by the Opium Wars, which ultimately overthrew the Quing dynasty and installed, surprise surprise, a ‘republican’ government.

        Now there’s a wonderful example of free trade for ya; the Opium trade.

        Plenty of experience of multicultural Auckland Alan; of Asia “integrating into ours”.
        Equally, those three words might be evidence of a rather inflated opinion of ourselves?

        Reply

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