Monday, July 13, 2009

Events to be aware of...

Some great things are happening, be a part of it.

Sign on: A petition to reduce NZ 's emissions by 40% by 2020.

Start Freedom: A campaign for young people, youth groups etc. Oct 14th


World March: For peace and non violence, starts here in NZ. Oct 2nd


  1. Thanks for pointing out these events, Jess!

    I've listed them on the 'Just Act' SPPU section of the website.

  2. Just a question... Does the promotion of a cause on this website indicate that cause is sanctioned by The Salvation Army?

    If so, have we done any serious research on the ludicrous push to reduce our emissions by 40% by 2010. (Which in itself is misleading as the actual is a 50% drop from current levels) I quote David Farrar:

    The UK government has just announced an ambitious plan to meet its 34% by 2020 climate change target. The details look like nothing less than a green revolution:

    Now you may look at this and think hey the UK is going for a 34% by 2020 target, so why not have NZ go for a 40% by 2020 target.

    But here is the key difference. This is about how much below 1990 levels you can get. Now as of 2007 NZ was around 20% to 25% above 1990 levels. So in fact we would be having to go from 120% of 1990 to 60% of 1990 – in other words cut our emissions in half in just a decade. It simply can not be done without shooting a hell of a lot of cows.

    The UK in 2006 was already 20% below its 1990 level. So the UK has to just go from 80% to 66% (a 14% reduction on 1990 levels), while NZ would have to go from 120% to 60% (a 60% reduction on 1990 levels).

    This is why I call a 40% target by 2002 madness. It ignores where we are at today. It would lead to a huge number of jobs destroyed, and could well lead to increased emissions from other countries as they would take up our drop in agricultural production.

    Can you please advise which research body TSA used or is this just a nice sounding bandwagon to get on (I agree it would be great if it were achievable without committing economic suicide but...)

  3. Pretty sure I commented on this earlier but held for moderation...

    Are we not allowing comments that disagree?

  4. Sorry Paul, I've had problems accessing the internet since ISG have changed our server. I hope you're comments fuel the conversation...

  5. Hey thanks for your contribution. Firstly, did you mean 2010 or 2020? Secondly, while The Salvation Army hasn't engaged itself in any serious research, it has within its grasp the Creation Story, a story that suggests to me that earth and everyone, everything on it, is a gift that has to be handled with care. What do you think?

  6. Hi Jess

    Yes, I did mean 2020 :)

    Yes, I firmly believe we have a God given responsibilty to look after the planet, as I said in my earlier comment,
    I agree it would be great if it were achievable without committing economic suicide but...

    Here's a link to a Colin james article: Note that Colin is a respected Political Journalist with no extreme right wing agenda.

    Highlights from his article that show the craziness of this particular 40% goal.

    So to get to 40 per cent below 1990 levels in 2020 we would have to cut by around 60 per cent compared with going on as we are ("business as usual")

    Advocates of 40 per cent say that is the cut rich countries need to make to keep the global rise in temperature under 2 degrees and that, as a rich country we should pitch in.

    But in fact we are third least rich among Annex 1 countries. And a good part of our increase in emissions since 1990 has been the result of growth in our population, which has been the second highest among Annex 1 countries. More people equal more emissions, all other things being equal.

    New Zealand also has a most unusual emissions profile among rich countries because agricultural emissions account for about half the emissions. That argues for a lower national target because right now the only way to reduce the methane which sheep and cattle breathe out is to stop the animals breathing, though there are ways to reduce the climate impact of their effluent and farmers' excess fertiliser use.

    Farmers argue that agriculture should be extracted from any target, because food is critical to life. And there is a strong case for accounting for methane differently from the current international standard because it stays in the atmosphere far less time than carbon dioxide.

    Moreover, the Kyoto rules on forestry and land use change disadvantage this country, without a climate benefit.

    Yes we need to look after the planet. But we need to be responsible in how we do that too.

    God bless

  7. paul, to clarify ..., whilst it was initiated by Campbell Roberts, is not an official Salvation Army publication, but is a blog with multiple authors who are all (I think) are Salvationists writing their own opinions in their own names and personal capacities

  8. I would be interested to hear how proposers think we can in just over 10 years reduce NZ's emmissions 40% below 1990 levels ... which are already much lower than today's levels - so we would need a significant reduction just to get back to the base ... then we can have a rational debate on whether it is a goal we could (not should, could) aim for

    the relevance of the creation story is that it makes us guardians of the earth and all that is in it ... but I see very little specifically in the creation story itself to inform a debate on our emission levels in the context of the definitions contained in the Kyoto protocol

  9. malcolm, why don't you invite paul to be an author on this blog, then his comments won't be moderated

  10. Done Gavin and good idea to invite Paul. Thanks.

  11. Done Gavin and good idea to invite Paul. Thanks.

  12. ps

    i have no doubt that humans are being wasteful in our use of the earth's resources, and that this is having a detrimental effect on the earth itself

    so, i unreservedly advocate a wiser use of the earth's resources that aligns much better with our Genesis 1 role as guardians of everything god created

    however, we need to be realistic about how quickly we can reduce our emissions, and set our goals accordingly ... any such emission reduction goal should be bold, but achievable or it undermines the whole point of setting the goal

    my perception is that this 40% by 2020 goal is far too simplistic and pays no attention to the actual sources of NZ's emissions, and our collective ability to lower them

    we also need to factor in the impact on the economy of reducing emissions so that we make knowledgeable decisions

    we can't reduce our emissions dramatically without reducing economic output ... the very same economic output which is also expected to keep funding increasing levels of social spending