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Farmers Need To Be Wary Of Pete's Porkies

Farmers need to be extremely wary of the explanations for signing up to Kyoto and global warming touted by Energy Minister Pete Hodgson, ACT Rural Affairs Spokesman Owen Jennings said today.

"The Minister is happily mixing fact, supposition and fiction in his pursuit to wear the thickest hair shirt of any nation in the world. There is absolutely no need for our nation to rush into a settlement, particularly when the productive sector stands to be gutted by self inflicted wounds.

The facts are:

1 The climate is changing.

2 The climate is always changing.

3 In the 1970's the majority of the world's scientists believed the world was getting colder.

4 Today the majority think it is getting warmer.

5 Nobody is certain how much warmer. All the predictions are based on computer models that have changed by 100's of per-cent as new data emerges. It's called "calculated guessing".

The suppositions are:

1 Human's are contributing to global warming through gas emissions.

2 These climate changes lead to unpredictable weather pattern changes - some good, some bad.

3 Risk management for farmers dealing with greater extremes will become more critical.

The fictions are:

1 The sea level will rise . The truth? Sea level change is difficult to measure. Where we have measured it, it has fallen.

2 By putting ourselves through extraordinarily painful and expensive restraints we can make a real difference to the changes in the climate. The truth? With all the measures proposed to reduce emissions all we achieve is a miniscule gain delaying expected temperature increases by 6 years. The estimated cost of these actions is about 10% of the entire world's income. If we must spend that money why not direct it into adjusting to the changed climate?

3 New Zealand has a moral obligation to show some leadership. The truth? This sort of leadership will make Pete Hodgson and Helen Clark feel good but is already making us an international laughing stock. The Australians who have negotiated a deal to suit themselves cannot believe we are so masochistic.

4 There are real technology gains for us. The truth? We may be lucky to find through genetic engineering some different ways of doing things but these will be quickly picked up by out competitors who aren't putting themselves through the sadistic hurdles that we have chosen to inflict on ourselves. Reducing methane gas from stock will be done through genetically modified bacteria in the animal's gut. Can you imagine getting through the ERMA system with such a proposal given the amount and spread of stock manure in the environment?

5 Doing nothing isn't an option. Why not? The truth is that 95% of the world's population is doing nothing. Can they all be that wrong?

"Farmers should be aware that the measures proposed by this Government will impose severe costs on them compared to their international competitors. This will ruin the recent gains made by New Zealand farmers. Why put this leg-rope on ourselves for so little gain? We have enough insidious compliance costs making New Zealand farmers less competitive than they should be now.

"This anti business Government needs to be stopped before too much harm is done. This dangerous exercise can only be stopped by farmers raising their voices in a united way against such ideologically driven nonsense," Mr Jennings said.

Ends


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