The chances of anything being signed at Copenhagen were never good and thankfully it seems what slim chance there was is getting slimmer. The US is unlikely to get its emissions scheme through its Senate and nor is Australia. It seems NZ is one of the few who have a parliament that is keen for us to sacrifice ourselves at the alter of climate change. Without the US signing, no one is going to sign (except maybe NZ) so it looks good that nothing will happen.
That does not mean we should rest on our laurels and I remind you there is a petition being organised by Neil Henderson
that The House of Representatives urge the Government not to commit to
any emissions reductions at the Copenhagen climate change negotiations, so
that excessive hardship to individual New Zealand families and to the New
Zealand economy for no measurable benefit to the climate can be avoided.
To download a form click here Petition form
You will need to download it, sign it and post it back by the 6th November, so do it now. Address is on the form
The reason I would support the petition is not because I don’t want NZ to sign an International treaty on climate change. What I don’t want NZ to do is to do what they did at Kyoto and sign a bad agreement.
All the bad things in the Kyoto agreement will be in any Copenhagen treaty.
Copenhagen should not be signed because;
It includes enteric methane even though the emission of it falls outside the IPCC and the UNFCC definition of an activity that contributes to climate change. For such an activity to qualify it has to alter the composition of the atmosphere. NIWA and MAF confirm that steady state emissions of enteric methane only maintain current levels of methane in the atmosphere, they do not increase (alter) them.
The Government believe that in the process of ruminant digestion, CO2 becomes CH4 and they are right. But to assume, as they do, that this constitutes altering the atmosphere ignores the fact that the atmosphere is unchanged by the emission.
It is unchanged because in a steady state emission the methane produced simply replenishes depleting stocks. It is like pouring water into a bucket with a hole in it. The same amount comes out as goes in. The water just maintains the level in the bucket as does enteric methane when it replaces the methane that is continually oxidising back to CO2 and then absorbed by the growing grass.
So Mr Groser please explain whether NZ will sign an agreement at Copenhagen to limit the production of a gas that is outside the definition of climate change and has no impact on both carbon and methane levels in the atmosphere. Or if you are going to include enteric methane can you please explain how steady state emissions of it (which is most of it) contributes to global warming?
Kyoto is a dog of an agreement because we import carbon in products from overseas. When we emit that carbon to the atmosphere we are liable. But when we export carbon overseas and it is emitted over there we are liable for the carbon as well. The carbon we import is oil, the carbon we export is food. Why would any one sign up to that.
So Mr Groser because you are signing Copenhagen on OUR behalf we want to tell you that it would be very very dumb to sign up to such an unfair deal and we don’t want you to do that. Please tell us why we are wrong and it is not a very dumb idea to shoot ourselves by signing up for it. If you think we should sacrifice ourselves to save the word, we don’t think it will work. Why do you think it will?
I suppose a more polite way to say that would be why do we as a country accept responsibility of the emissions of the carbon we export as well as the carbon we import?.
Carbon dioxide equivalents are stupid. There can be nothing nice said about them so I won’t even try. They exist because of the half thoughts of academics and the stupidity of politicians.
The reason they are stupid is because the metric used to quantify them is the ‘global warming potential’ and this is even more stupid. Even the IPCC want to replace them because they don’t work. The trouble is nothing else they have tried works any better. Maybe trying to invent a universal unit, like a carbon dioxide equivalent, for all greenhouse gases is impossible and maybe they should not use a unit that does not work until one does.
In the meantime they could just carry on, on a gas by gas basis, and if they did that they would find that suddenly billions of tonnes of the invented emissions would disappear and the world will be saved.
These global warming potentials and the time horizon of 100 years that Kyoto use are the core of all our problems. This because almost half our emissions are not of real carbon dioxide they are of carbon dioxide equivalents. Whether we produce 24000Gg or 7000Gg of methane per year depends on whether the flawed global warming potentials we use to calculate it have a time horizon of 100 years or 500 years. There is no reason to choose 100 years. The IPCC don’t endorse it over the other time horizons. Nitrous oxide resides in the atmosphere for 120 years so why have a time horizon that is shorter than that. Most other countries don’t care what time horizon is used because most of their emissions are real carbon dioxide not the pretend ones that we have as our carbon dioxide equivalents. What the Kyoto clowns did not realise that the only way global warming potentials sort of work is if you are judicious and reasoned when deciding what time horizon to use. One thing that is for sure is that different time horizons reflect reality better in different situations. Different gases in different situations require different time horizons. One size does not fir all and Copenhagen should recognise that and revisit the time horizons used and sanction a range of them not just one.
So Mr Groser what are we going to base our country’s economic future and all our major economic policy on the flaky system of global warming potentials?
What provision is there in the agreement if global warming potentials are replaced when they ever find something that works?
What time horizon is NZ negotiating for?
Will NZ sign at Copenhagen regardless of what time horizon is used?
If the other countries don’t really care what time horizon is used and 100 years is used just because it is a nice round number could it not be possible for NZ to explain that a short time horizon of 100 years is very biased against a short lived gas like methane and maybe get it changed.
Are our negotiators more skilled than the idiots who did the Kyoto deal? This would be another question I would like to ask Mr Groser.
I have not said much about nitrous oxide but my two questions to Mt Groser would be3
Why on earth is a gas produced during the most important chemical reaction on earth (nitrification) regarded as a pollutant for goodness sake? Has anyone intelligent contemplated what life would be like without it? Oh that’s right there would be no life!
Secondly why is agriculture held liable for nitrous oxide emissions and forestry is not? When forestry emissions of nitrous oxide are quantified will they have to pay?
Oh I have a third question, will albedo be included in a Copenhagen agreement? This is when an activity like forestry is held liable for the extra heat that is absorbed and not radiated out to space by a forest. It is also when an activity like pastoral farming is given a credit because albedo increases when forests are cleared and put into pasture because pasture reflects more heat out to space than a forest. Converting forests to pasture cools the planet so will there be credits for pastoral farming at Copenhagen please Mr Groser and if not, why not?
So don’t forget if you don’t want NZ to sign at Copenhagen get that petition away. Unless you are going to march on parliament yourself or have another plan this is your only chance to influence the Government.
To make a comment you can do so on our website and very important please forward this to any one you think may be interested. If we all do a little we might just achieve something.