The RMA is a cumbersome and expensive piece of legislation that 30 years and 19 amendments, including the Greens’ latest contribution, have failed to make workable. It should be scrapped and rewritten. A recent example of the inefficient process is Watercare’s application to take more water from the Waikato river; it was lodged seven years ago and is still waiting for review with over 100 applications ahead of it.
Changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) passed their final reading on Thursday, meaning consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications.
Previously, under the RMA, decision-makers could not decline projects like coal mines and fossil fuel power stations, even if they thought the climate impacts were problematic and should be considered.
Climate Change Minister and Green Party co-leader James Shaw said the passing of the Resource Management Amendment Bill was one of the most significant policy changes to address climate change made this parliamentary term.”
The Greens are thrilled about adding more red tape to the overburdened resource consent process, saying “consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.”
Thirty years of politicians, media and celebs talking about the dire consequences of man-made global warming has not produced anything remotely alarming.
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said “The world is going to end in twelve years if we don’t address climate change.”
Britain’s most high-profile environmental group claimed “Climate Change Kills Children.”
The world’s most influential green journalist, Bill McKibben, called climate change the “greatest challenge humans have ever faced” and said it would “wipe out civilizations.”
Mainstream journalists reported, repeatedly, that the Amazon was “the lungs of the world,” and that deforestation was like a nuclear bomb going off.
As a result, half of the people surveyed around the world last year said they thought climate change would make humanity extinct. And in January, one out of five British children told pollsters they were having nightmares about climate change.
We passed the Zero Carbon Bill last year and Jacinda Ardern revelled in the opportunity to “become a world leader in climate change action” saying “for this generation, this is our nuclear moment”.
Environmentalist and reformed climate change doomsayer Michael Shellenberger says there is “very expansive middle ground between climate apocalypse and climate denial… it’s called all of reality. Both climate apocalypse and climate denial are 100% fictional. I don’t know of anyone who denies the climate… I don’t even think that’s grammatically possible.”
Shellenberger also says “I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem.”
The Greens consider spending billions on reducing global greenhouse emissions as money well spent. First the Zero Carbon Bill and now an amendment to the RMA to accommodate “man-made” global warming.
What we need right now are fewer politicians paying lip service to global warming and more politicians with both a good dose of common sense and the desire to find a workable solution to implementing the middle ground between climate apocalypse and climate denial without crushing future development.
Their idealism lacks realism. How do they propose replacing fossil fuel powered cars with electric vehicles dependent on short term energy? The current solution is coal fired power plants which the Greens will not countenance because they are “climate changing” fossil fuel industries.
The Greens cling to the notion that man-made CO2 is causing climate change despite CO2 levels under lockdown increasing rather than decreasing; which they should have done when planes and vehicles were grounded.
The CO2 levels went up during the Government mandated lockdown period in exactly the same way they went up at this time of the year in every other preceding year.
The Greens will need battery storage systems to effectively integrate a high proportion of solar and wind renewables into power systems, and this is impossible without a viable mining industry.
Lithium ion battery storage systems are made out of mining products: copper, nickel and lithium. The lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt-oxide (NMC) battery has a cathode that contains 10-20% cobalt. The clean green electric car is fictitious because batteries are reliant on minerals, and Tesla warns of global shortages of nickel, copper and other electric-vehicle battery minerals down the road due to underinvestment in the mining sector.
Electric vehicle batteries typically are replaced every seven to 10 years for smaller vehicles and three to four for the larger ones, such as buses and vans. Because batteries contain toxic chemicals they should not go into land fill and need to be either recycled, which involves an intensive manufacturing process, or repurposed.
Recycling is not easy due to the sophisticated chemical procedures involved and, if not handled properly, the metals in the battery can lead to contamination of the soil and water. The cost of extraction of lithium from old batteries is five times higher than that of mined lithium.
The Greens are the ultimate virtual signallers for our mining and resource sectors, and their insistence on electric cars and harnessing renewable solar and wind power is only possible by expanding our mining industry. Buying from overseas can support unethical mining practices.
This government forbade oil or gas exploration licences and now want future mining and large power projects to jump through the nebulous hoop of climate change. No problem, we will import our coal at a higher price and forgo the jobs lost by refusing to develop our own rich resources. Stupidity plus!
But they have not yet won the battle. This Bill aligns the RMA and the Zero Carbon Act by requiring RMA decision-makers to consider the emissions reduction plans and national adaptation plans that must be published under the Zero Carbon Act.
Climate change alarmists are tracking countries for zero-carbon target compliance including ours and, luckily for us, our government is “set to miss its ‘insufficient’ 2030 unconditional target by a wide margin, as it lacks the strong policies required to implement it.” In other words, our government is useless at implementing promises and neither the emissions reductions plans nor national adaption plans have been produced or adopted yet. In this instance, their tardiness works in our favour. There is something to be said for non-performance after all.
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