Blame or repair?

The Herald today fumes over fumes from farming.

There’s so much in their editorial with which to take issue, but a single point glares out from the page. They say:

The whole point of the ETS is that emitters take financial responsibility.

The Herald appears to replace concern for the environment with a vindictive crusade to lay blame. And I thought they just wanted to repair the environment.

Who is the emitter?

Is it the farmer or his customer? Or the customer’s customer? Surely everyone who eats butter or cheese shares a slice of the “blame” for the emissions caused in producing what he eats.

So the final customer should pay a share.

You think they do? But, in an auction, how does the farmer ensure extra on top of the auction price for his milk or meat or whatever, to compensate him for the ETS tax? That’s not going to happen.

Farming is unique in being mostly helpless to recover the ETS costs. Fonterra can adjust their wholesale prices or their payout, Air NZ can charge extra for a carbon footprint and ordinary businesses set or negotiate higher prices as costs increase.

But farmers’ selling prices are dictated by the auction system. They can neither alter the prices nor reduce their emissions. It’s like shooting trout in a barrel. Hardly fair. Unless they’re on a canning or a supermarket contract, and we know how easy it is for the farmer to dictate terms to the buyer…

Responsibility?

The farmer bears the same responsibility for his animal’s “emissions” as Australia bears for the fumes from Chinese power stations burning Australian lignite.

Which is none, of course – China takes responsibility for those emissions; or it would, if it joined the game.

The farmer’s final customers should take responsibility for the products they select, for without their purchase, the farmer would not produce it. Still, it’s far too hard to levy every user of mutton, bacon or milk; much easier to attack the helpless farmer.

And everyone knows the ETS won’t repair the environment anyway.

It’s all symbolic. What a sham.

And we call ourselves grown-ups.

Multiple meltings of Arctic sea ice

The Skate at North Pole in 1959

Australis posted this link to Steven Goddard’s Real Science list of newspaper articles for us here in comments. I highly recommend it.

Whenever anyone – anyone at all – becomes anxious over apparently excessive melting of Arctic sea ice, this long list of previous such meltings will demonstrate that Nature can cope with it and bounce back from it.

Whenever anyone tries to alarm others with the modern, allegedly excessive, melting of Arctic sea ice, this long list of historical events will stop them in their tracks and prevent alarm.

It’s what we might call proof that modern sea ice melting is not unprecedented, despite the efforts made by the likes of Greenpeace to make us believe that it is.

Speaking of Greenpeace

For example, in August 2009, Greenpeace were caught in a lie. Continue Reading →