We are still here, I know I have not posted for a while but how many times can you keep saying a truth and have it ignored by the people in Government who should themselves be seeking it? The politics of global warming are such that there is no place for truth. I am not talking about the lack of temperature rise and the stubbornly static sea level, I am referring to the increasing realisation that enteric methane is not a problem. This was a radical concept when we started but it has become more widely accepted now. While that is something to be proud of, things should have changed because of this but they haven’t. Even though Tim Groser knows the methane methodology is dodgy, he is a politician first and foremost and science is of no interest to him unless it suits his political needs. That is why although we are attempting to use science to push our case we will have to use politics to get our science to work for us. We seek no more than recognition of the truth but only the naïve would think that the truth by itself will make a difference.
We are still on track to have a report done by the end of 2014 but it is the framing of it and the politics of how to use it that are the problem. A lot still to do there.
With carbon price at a few cents per tonne and likely to stay there for as long as the Eastern Europeans have plenty of bogus units and the ACT Party has the power to force the Govt to accept international units, the ETS is pretty low in profile. No one seems too bothered about it. That is one reason there has not been much to report on.
Interestingly there was no mention of the ETS costs when they broke down the components that make up the petrol price on tonight’s news. Govt taxes were 30% of the price and GST another 13% ( I presume there is a reason for this not being 15% but who knows) It was interesting that by the way they broke down the charges one would think that GST was not tax. That makes it a very clever tax indeed. Taxes including GST are a whopping 43% of the cost of fuel, and I presume the ETS cost is separate to that, but with carbon almost worthless it is not worth mentioning.
The latest NZ Inventory was filed with the UNFCC in April, some interesting points.
The report covered the 2011 year so DCD still featured. It’s use removed 23.6 Gg (1000 tonnes) CO2equivalent which was 0.07% of agricultural emissions. This is what they say in the report.
Dicyandiamide has been well researched, and research to date has shown DCD to be an
environmentally safe nitrification inhibitor that reduces N2O emissions and nitrate
leaching in pastoral grassland systems grazed by ruminant animals. There have been 28
peer reviewed and published New Zealand studies on the use and effects of DCD.
What all these peers forgot to do of course was check the rules around its use for our export markets. How anyone could think that spraying a chemical with melamine in it was ever going to go down well with our trading partners baffles me, especially the Chinese. I am sure its use is as safe as houses but perception is the problem and with 6 dead babies to its credit melamine is not something that anyone who produces milk should have anything to do with. Much of the nonsense they spewed out justifying an ETS was that we needed one to preserve our reputation. The Govt wanted to use it to encourage farmers to spray the chemical DCD on their paddocks to lower our emissions and thus enhance our reputation. As it turns out the only reputation damage that occurred has been as a result of using DCD. There is also the fact that the fossil fuel burnt to make it, ship it and spray it would do far more harm to the environment than the nitrous oxide its use is designed to reduce does
Some fun facts out of the report for you.
Gross emissions have increased by 22% since 1990 to 72834Gg
Net emissions (gross emissions less forestry removals) have leapt 88% to 59294Gg (this is huge but barely a whimper from anyone about this scandalous increase)
(The big increase in net emissions is why we could not stay in Kyoto. Our allocation of AAU’s equated to just over 61000Gg so we would soon be over our commitment)
Forestry removals are down a massive 60% on 1990 levels which is the main reason our net emissions have gone through the roof. There has been a lot of deforestation and also a lot of replanting with younger forests with less stored carbon replacing the pre 1990 forests. (Again not a whimper about the tree massacre)
Agricultural emissions are 47% of the total. Up from 46.6% in 2008
Energy emissions are 42.6% of our emissions down from 45.3% in 2008 largely due to GFC and Christchurch earthquake. .
N2O emissions are up 28.8% since 1990
Enteric methane emissions have increased by 5.7% since 1990.
The transport sector’s emissions have increased by 69.7% since 1990
Dairy cattle methane emissions up 108% since 1990 and sheep methane emissions down 34%.
If you would like to study the 456 page document in more detail the link is here.