Saturday, September 13, 2008

ETS tu, Brute?

I disagree entirely with Karl du Fresne who, in his latest blog,
more or less says the Emissions Trading Scheme is a ghastly
mistake that we’ll all suffer from, but I do agree with him
when he says that the media have mostly put the ETS in the
too-hard basket and been far more comfortable giving yards
of space to the Peters/Glenn saga. Karl is a nice guy—I met
him on The Terrace the other day and, as old Listener
colleagues, we had lunch—but it’s disappointing to see him
side with Phil O'Reilly of Business New Zealand (another
sadly misguided soul) in seeing the ETS purely from a short-
term economic point of view and not as the first step on a
long road to ecological realpolitik. The scheme is
undoubtedly a pathetic gesture, like waving a teaspoon at a
tsunami, but just to get something politically and
legislatively in place is a triumph of sorts, in the teeth of
business sector resistance.

Someone reminded me the other day that when Roger
Douglas and Treasury were driving through their reforms in
the 1980s the big argument was that there had to be pain if
you wanted gain. Curiously, it seems that when it comes to
the twin challenges of global warming and peak oil, we’re
not supposed to feel any pain but somehow pussyfoot
around pretending that things aren’t as serious as they
actually are. Even Karl seems to think that global warming
isn’t really such an issue. Jeez, mate. I know what it’s like
living in Masterton—I spent 18 years of my life there—but
you don’t have to be that divorced from reality.

1 comment:

Steve Withers said...

I laugh every time I hear someone criticise MMP because they claim it prevents governments from making the tough decisions.

The clear evidence to the contrary either highlights their cynicism, ignorance or both.