Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Addressing the Climate Crisis Through Smart Economics


"We’re not just talking about the environment. We’re rethinking economics and rethinking the economic model in a way that has to tackle poverty reduction. It has to be for everyone..." Sylvie Lemmet, Director for the Division of Technology Industry and Economy for UNEP


Mentioning climate change in the Southland Times just brings out an endless stream of climate deniers who wax lyrical on nonsense based on highly flawed pseudoscience. I feel it is more productive to talk about smart economics that just happens to be 'green':


Dear Sir

There is a clear choice for voters in this year’s election between a ‘business as usual’ Government and a truly progressive, Green influenced Government that will make a real difference for most New Zealanders.

A recent BERL report on 'growth opportunities in the southern region economy' highlighted the fact that business as usual would probably see on going, but modest growth (largely because of the dairy industry). The report identified many different sectors within the Southland economy that had unrealised potential and smart, future focused investment would substantially boost the region's income and spread risk.

I have been appalled at the Government’s lack of recognition for the knowledge and capability that exists in our regions and the absence of meaningful consultation and collaboration with our local decision makers. We wouldn’t have had Solid Energy spending millions on mad lignite schemes, while our Southland roads have deteriorated due to funding cuts.

We could be supporting sustainable local enterprises rather than gambling millions on subsidising overseas corporations while they search for risky deep sea oil. The tens of millions of taxpayer money that is being spent supporting the fossil fuel industry would be better invested on addressing the unacceptable cost of our electricity supply.

This Government is now well out of step with current economic thinking, the IMF and World Bank are actively promoting smart green economics while our government is stubbornly rejecting that approach. We are developing into a low wage, backward thinking economy that is largely reliant on the export of primary commodities.

While agriculture will always be important, our economy should be far more broadly based. We need to become a high tech, smart energy economy that will create new jobs and enable 285,000 children to shift out of poverty and provide them with a real future. 


Yours sincerely
Dave Kennedy
Invercargill Green Party Candidate

9 comments:

robertguyton said...

"Endless stream" of climate change denialists?
There are two or three who write letters to the editor, so far as I can see.
Carol Cowan had their measure and wasn't fraid to match their letter-rate with her own. She was good. Pity she moved out of the region.
Rod Oram dismissed one of those ostriches at a public meeting once, with an elegant and funny reposte. I enjoyed watching that immensely.

bsprout said...

Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but there are a number of determined denialists who pop up when the topic is mentioned. While we may think that they are easy to dismiss I would rather not encourage them.

The sad thing is that despite the irrefutable evidence and international acceptance we have a Government made up of deniers (I refuse to use skeptics now because given the strength of evidence only the determined deniers remain). There is still a large proportion of the voting public who also refuse to accept the science and as logic has no part in forming their view then logic cannot be used to shift them.

I would rather be getting on with the business of saving the planet than having an endless argument on the sideline with a stubborn, vocal few. Many will quietly shift in their thinking a lot faster if we just focus on the solutions.

Shane Pleasance said...

Job creation will reduce child poverty?

bsprout said...

Certainly would, Shane, over 20% of our workforce is either under-employed or unemployed, more jobs (especially higher paying ones), would make a huge difference to family incomes and child poverty.

Shane Pleasance said...

Consequently a reduction in jobs causes an increase in child poverty?

Why are jobs better than benefits?

How are jobs created?

robertguyton said...

"I would rather be getting on with the business of saving the planet than having an endless argument on the sideline with a stubborn, vocal few."

You could do both. I do both. Sequestering carbon in the soil of our own backyard is doing something.Many New Zealanders can do that. Key's never done that.

bsprout said...

I had a good chat to a Southland Times reporter today regarding the new areas that have been made available for oil exploration, hopefully most of what I said will be printed. Climate change is still a huge reason for why we don't need to access new oil reserves.

corokia green said...

Hi Dave,
I've been talking climate change too, on the ODT online.
http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/your-say/297561/reducing-co2-emissions

Like you, we have our pop up deniers that repeat the same old lines. Keep up the good work over at Homepaddock, I'm wondering about backing you up over there, but I'm not sure if it is a wide enough read forum to expend much time & energy on.

regards
Viv Kerr

bsprout said...

Thanks Viv, I would think Homepaddock would be one of the wider read National blogs after Kiwiblog and Whale oil so any support occasionally would be welcome :-)