This is a big contrast to Peter Dunne’s Special Select Committee which had many months to hear submissions and refused to hear them all, including ours.
The two points we made were that enteric methane is outside the scope of the IPCC and the UNFCC definition of climate change. According to the IPCC for an activity to contribute to climate change it has to alter the composition of the atmosphere. Eg increase methane or carbon. We know it can not increase carbon and we also know that steady state emissions of enteric methane only replenish the continually depleting stocks of methane so there is no increase therefore no global warming. We gave them the statement from NIWA confirming this.
Our second point was that the carbon dioxide equivalents and the global warming potential they use for methane of 21 over 100 years does not reflect reality. We gave them the evidence showing that the IPCC itself is not happy with the system of global warming potentials and is looking to ditch them. Global warming potentials are the cornerstone of our ETS because so much of our greenhouse gas is non carbon dioxide and so all the major financial policy initiatives that will flow from NZ’s ETS will be based on a system that the IPCC admits is flawed to the point it needs replacing.
I used the lawnmower / sheep story we did some time ago (link to it is at bottom of page) to show them how stupid the current carbon dioxide equivalent system is. Russell Norman asked some questions and when he asked how I could explain the rise in atmospheric methane if it was not livestock, I told him it was fossil fuel. A previous submitter from Solid Energy had been talking about the methane that was released from a coal seam and so I reminded him about that. He also stated that ruminant digestion causes carbon dioxide to become methane and methane is a more potent greenhouse gas. I replied that it was a good thought but only half a thought because the methane then became carbon dioxide again and there was no increase in the atmospheric concentration. Moana Mackey asked a couple of questions about my lawnmower/sheep calculations and that was about it.
They were all very nice and we had a couple of laughs along the way. But wouldn’t you know it the next morning in the Dominion Post was a story about a couple of Victoria University Professors who worked out a dog was twice as harmful for global warming than a Toyota Landcruiser with a 4.6lt motor. I would have loved to have had that because I would have told them that this was another example of how stupid the Kyoto rules are and how wrong the model they use is. The sad thing is these professors don’t get that, they actually believe it is better for the planet to drive a landcruiser 10,000km than to own a dog . (a link to this story is at the bottom of the page)
I am glad none of my kids went to Victoria University. I will email all the committee members with the story and tell them it reinforces what we say, and I will say that people like these Victoria University Professors are indicative of most of the global warmers who think enteric methane contributes to global warming. They are all strangers to commons sense and deep thinking.
On the select committee process, it is an interesting process, they are really just trying to score points for their respective political parties. The questions they ask are so that they can get an answer that suits their Party. They are trying to undermine each other and that is all they are doing. There is no way they are going to take any notice of a group like us but now a few more MP’s know bit more about the flaky system they use to assess agricultural emissions. Little by little we go.
The focus of the members is very much on highlighting the differences between the existing ETS which labour passed and the amended ETS that National is putting through now. There are some problems with this amendment and National’s scheme is going to be less fair for some because it removes the ability for a farmer to opt out and assess their own liability rather than just pay the average amount that will be deducted at processor level. Under Labour’s scheme a group of farmers could get together and assess their own circumstances if they thought their liability would be less than that of the average. This won’t happen now.
I will report in more detail later but just because the entry date for agriculture goes back a couple of years don’t assume this scheme is better for farmers than Labour’s, in some ways it is worse.
Links to our lawnmower/sheep comparison
link to the Dom Post story about a dog and a Toyota Landcruiser
And if you want to read our full submission
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