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Prime TV: The Great Global Warming Swindle

Prime TV: Important Viewing For Everyone Who Cares about the Planets future and our Standard of living.

The documentary - The Great Global Warming Swindle - is to go to air on Prime TV on June 5th with a local debate about its message. In my view this documentary essential viewing for anyone seriously trying to understand whether the scientific evidence supports or rejects that man made CO2 emissions are causing the globe to warm, with dangerous consequences for planet earth.

This documentary is disturbing as it presents evidence from lots of scientists that reject the proposition above. Yet from everywhere else we hear a different story and, because it is now widely believed, we have to face huge costs and a big reduction in living standard worldwide to "save the planet".

In the end, it is what people believe that makes any public policy work. As Chris Trotter said on "Agenda" last weekend, the ETS as proposed by the government was going to put huge costs onto NZ'ers and it was politically unacceptable to do that without getting buy in to the need for it. Helen Clark listened and yesterday announced a delaying of their ETS etc to take the pressure off people paying a lot more for petrol, other energy and everything else that touches. This gives government time to get its ETS right, and to bring the public up to speed for the need for it.

But to understand whether there is, or is not a need, we have to have the debate much more widely than its been to date as to whether or not there is a need.

I had accepted the collective wisdom that others (IPCC) had said was probably true though I harboured doubts because I had also heard Assoc. Prof Chris De Freitas show us the science that indicated it was not true. Now after going to a lecture by Queensland scientist Prof Bob Carter , and having seen this documentary (EMA has a copy of it) which cites many eminent scientists who say it's bollocks, the debate should be held and truth allowed to emerge, whatever it may be.

Then, if we have to reduce living standards and go through a lot of pain (poor countries will go through much more, as resources are diverted from solving local issues such as poor sanitation and lethal drinking water to saving the planet), the debate should turn to what are the most cost effective ways to mitigate against the effects of manmade Co2 emissions.

If all countries were to have a good emissions trading scheme (ETS), the money (like a tax) would be raised to pay for each country's liability to others who have achieved emission reductions. So would a carbon tax. But news out this and last week says the govts proposed ETS won't reduce emissions much...one said just 2%! And of course the official annual liability that NZ has to the rest of the world is now put at $1b pa. It has to be paid and the money to pay it will come from all New Zealanders to pay to Russia.

I remember Pete Hodgson , then climate change minister, ringing me late at night (woke me up) about 6 years ago to complain that he could not understand why EMA was "being difficult" about the Kyoto package he was about to sign. He said, "I can't understand you Alasdair, this is good for NZ , the rest of the world is going to have to pay us $500m pa annum under Kyoto". I said "well that's the problem, we don't believe you; we believe the independent economic analysis saying we will have to pay the rest of the world $500m annually. This is fine if its going to solve the problem but it won't and we don't want you putting us out in front of all our trading partners where we take a hit and they don't, and our exporters have to relocate overseas or close down, and hopefully new ones will replace them with new business models/products that we can still compete in without raising emission level"

Several years back EMA organized a meeting at the govts request for businesses to come and hear why the imminent signing of the Kyoto Protocol would be good for NZ business. Pete Hodgson addressing the meeting told us NZ would get a windfall of $500m, and that NZ business would be better off.

Many business leaders were dubious and asked lots of questions. One from Fletchers stated why his company would be less competitive on international markets. Pete Hodgson disagreed but conceded that if they were, they would still be OK. How's that asked the guy from Fletchers.

In exasperation I think Pete Hodgson told the 140 business people present "well that's why we have a floating exchange rate; it means if NZ business loose competitiveness the NZ$ will fall in value and that will restore your competitiveness". The audience was stunned. Thank goodness we all thought....at last a silver bullet...all we need to do to be wealthy again is to see our $ continue to drop in value!

EMA and others such as NZIER were right. Hodgson was wrong. Even the $1b annual liability is probably well understated if the price of carbon goes higher (2 or 3 times) than has been allowed for in the latest calculation.

Watch the documentary on Prime TV - postponed til June 5th with debate.

ENDS

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