No Minister

Radical Emptiness

with 8 comments

I must admit that I was bracing myself this Monday morning at the prospect of Labour’s latest plans for tackling AGW, given all the talk about dairy farmers being forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars per year for our terrible Green House Gas (GHG) emission sins!

I was therefore immensely pleased to read this in Kiwiblog on Tuesday morning:

Stuff took the time to tally up these 284 listed actions and classify them.

Over half (158) are not really plans at all, but are plans to make a plan down the road, or to scope the scale of a possible policy, or develop an evidence base to build a policy on.

Excellent. NZ Labour strikes again. Plans and more plans amounting to nothing, although unfortunately a lot of money will be pissed up against various walls. It’s reached a sad stage in government when the best you can hope for is that the ideological fanatics you oppose turn out to be incompetent morons who couldn’t find their assholes with a mirror and a magnifying glass.

Still, let us be grateful for small mercies and the fact that for all the bloviating about the Climate Crisis, Labour have figured out that to really reduce emissions as far and as fast as they want would mean doing things that would be … harsh. This was explored from a US perspective in this article from 2019 where the writer lays out the reality of “getting serious” about reducing GHG emissions by imagining what a True Believer President (Democrat naturally) would have to do:

Inslee had launched his campaign two years earlier as a longshot, single-issue candidate. But events rapidly outpaced what had begun as a boutique candidacy intended to call attention to climate change.

As his first act as president, Inslee declared a national climate emergency. As his second, he announced national carbon rationing. Until further notice, consumers were limited to one tank of gas per month. Based on time of year and regional climates, natural gas and heating oil deliveries to households were cut by as much as 60%. Utilities were directed to submit plans within the month to cut total electricity generation by 40% and to optimize their existing generation mix to use as little fossil generation as possible.

In this imaginary scenario Inslee wins because Mother Nature delivers droughts, storms, tornadoes and hurricanes that perfectly fit his campaign. Congress follows Inslee (a real politician btw) and:

  • Nationalises the entire US electricity industry (the massive TVA and BPA are already public).
  • Creates a National Renewable Energy Corporation to produce enough wind turbines and solar panels to produce 60% of the nation’s electric power by 2030.
  • Creates the National Nuclear Energy Corporation, which takes over all private nuclear businesses build 200 single-design reactors in a decade to handle the other 40% of power needs.
  • Nationalises the Big Three US automakers to retool all their factories in three years to make EV’s.

While it’s imaginary the writer compares this to what is actually being proposed or being done to show how moderate even the calls of most US greens are.

As many environmentalists and even elected Democrats have come to believe that serious climate disruption is already upon us, it has become fashionable to call for a World War II-style mobilization to fight climate change. But virtually no one will actually call for any of the sorts of activities that the United States undertook during the war mobilization—rationing food and fuels, seizing property, nationalizing factories or industries, or suspending democratic liberties.

In other words even the zealots are full of it, and, although they probably are genuinely alarmed, don’t actually see climate change as the immediate and existential threat they publicly say it is. The article is lengthy and goes into some detail about the post-war history of the US Left in five sections:

  • The Libertarian Left.
  • From Public Goods to Market Failure.
  • Communitarian Capitalism.
  • Tilting with Windmills.
  • Our Divided Neoliberal House.

All of which has led them into a position where they can’t go for the imaginary ideas of a President Inslee. Thankfully, because it would likely be a catastrophe. If you think that’s OTT I suggest you look at what’s happening in Sri Lanka as a direct result of an ideological, scientifically ignorant decision by it’s (former) President to ban agrochemicals for farming. Which led to this:

Within six months of the ban, rice production in the country—a once very sufficient industry—dropped 20 percent, forcing Sri Lanka to import $450 million of rice to meet supply needs and surging rice prices rose nearly 50 percent.

Now, Sri Lanka will pay farmers across the country 40,000 million rupees ($200 million) to compensate for their barren harvests and crop failures. In addition to the funding, the Sri Lankan government will pay $149 million in price subsidies to rice farmers impacted by the loss.

Which then led to this:

Sri Lanka is on the brink of bankruptcy and has suspended payments on its foreign loans. Its economic miseries have brought on a political crisis, with the government facing a protests and a no-confidence motion in Parliament.

The reserves declined to $3.1 billion by the end of 2021, and to $1.9 billion by the end of March, he said. With foreign currency in short supply thanks to less tourism and other revenues, official reserves were tapped to pay for importing essentials including fuel, gas, coal and medicines beginning in August 2021.

Which has led to this, with only enough petrol to last one more day.

I note that the NZ Feckless covered this story a couple of days ago and in the story I read did not once mention the organic farming decision that led to all this. Stuff talks only of Chinese infrastructure projects and debts. Dishonest assholes.

Adam Smith once said, in reply to a student’s concerns about Britain being ruined by the loss of the American colonies, that “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation”. Sri Lanka is about to test the limits of that – and don’t for one moment think it couldn’t happen here if we had equally fanatical environmental decisions made along the lines of “President Inslee”.

8 Responses

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  1. The title of this post should be “The West’s existential crises” and it should be written as a companion piece to your post below.

    If you want to control people the way to accomplish it is to control their access to the necessities of life, food first and energy second, the first being related to maintaining the ability to remain alive and the second being correlated to the quality of that life and ability to maintain your individual autonomy

    And that is what everything is about and the lens through which you should view current events and political rhetoric and spin


    May 18, 2022 at 8:27 am

    • Like Putin controls what the media are allowed to report in Russia, Andrei?

      John JohnO

      May 18, 2022 at 8:53 am

      • Do you really think the media in the West isn’t controlled in what they can report and say?

        In fact most of the information you obtain comes from Government owned entities, BBC, One News NPR etc or those controlled by Western Oligarchs, Jeff Bezos controls the Washington Post for example

        Anyway there is not much respect for the “MSM” and the accuracy of its reporting and opinion pieces displayed by most of the authors and commenters of this blog except for the occasions when it is reporting on matters pertaining to Russia, China or various other nations at loggerheads with foggy bottom at which point the MSM miraculously transforms into an oracle of truth – which always amuses me


        May 18, 2022 at 9:21 am

  2. “Do you really think the media in the West isn’t controlled in what they can report and say?”

    Of course it is not controlled/ There exists media with anti government messaging. You are reading one right now. It is not controlled by the government. The existence of both Fox and MSNBC in the USA proves that the media there is not controlled by the USA government. DUH!

    Andrei, the last scrap of credibility you had here fell away some time ago. Time to ignore your mindless Russian propaganda bleatings. Goodbye.

    John JohnO

    May 18, 2022 at 10:22 am

  3. At last it is reported there is a massive support initiative coming to Andrei’s aid from that iconic figure so prominent in the highest intellectual stakes of NZ MPs and cloying coat tailer extraordinaire of James Patrick Anderton, Matthew Robson, ex Minister of the Crown in a Clark Government.
    Finally some actual traction for The Man oI Peace providing much needed balance to the blog.


    May 18, 2022 at 10:43 am

    • Heh! Matt Robson – what a loser and now an outcast as well.

      John JohnO

      May 18, 2022 at 10:53 am

  4. An excellent article here, Sixth Grade Arithmetic about the work of one Francis Menton and his blog Manhattan Contrarian. In particular this quote from the two minutes he was allotted for a public hearing called by the New York Climate Action Council about their “Draft Scoping Plan,” for achieving the net-zero emissions target in NY State:

    You’re going to need at least 10,000 GWH of storage to back up just current usage if you replace fossil fuel generation with wind and solar. At the price of Tesla batteries, that will run you about $1.5 trillion, which is approximately the entire GDP of New York State. If you triple electricity consumption by electrifying vehicles and homes, then you must triple the storage, and it will cost at least three times GDP.

    And by the way, you need a battery that can store electricity all the way from summer to winter without all the energy dissipating and then discharge over the course of months. No existing battery can do that…. How could you commit us to this without any feasibility study, any detailed cost workup, let alone a demonstration project showing that it can be done?

    Tom Hunter

    May 18, 2022 at 3:03 pm

  5. Maajd Nawaz noticed that two of the countries that abstained from the vote on Russia in the UN had their govts collapse, which included Sri Lanka. He’s very interesting, tends to look at the world differently.

    IMO, seems to indicate that govts can do crazy stuff and they will be propped up; but if they step out of line, the pin is pulled.

    Lucia Maria

    May 18, 2022 at 8:50 pm

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