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Lyndon Hood: Things The Emissions Target Is Like

Things The Emissions Target Is Like

Satire by Lyndon Hood

carbon cycle,
emissions, new zealand
'The Carbon (Policy) Cycle'
Click to enlarge

The New Zealand Government has announced its plan for 2020 carbon emissions. It wants to achieve (or buy) the equivalent of cuts to at least 10% below 1990 levels. Or, if the rest of the developed world cuts 30-40%, we will agree to cut up to 20%.

Ministers will have trouble explaining why this isn't either inconsistent, selfish or openly hypocritical. To help them out, here is a list of handy analogies to help the public understand New Zealand's target.

  • It's like when the alarm goes off, and you decide to lie in bed for a bit, then you go back to sleep and when you wake up it's like 9:30 and it would be embarrassing to actually go to work but you can't really call in sick, so you phone the boss and say you're going to "work from home". Like that.

  • It's like the All Blacks. You would think we'd be used to being disappointed by now.

  • It's like the new Cadbury's blocks, in that, although some insist a bigger one would be too expensive, teenage girls everywhere know it's not enough.

  • It's like what we've come to expect from a New Zealand government, but with the added indignity of petulant demands that everyone else save the world for us.

  • It's like that bit in Duck Soup when Groucho says, "Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot."

    Because it's a joke. And the more you think about it, the worse it gets.

  • It's like a wallet and probably a Blackberry but maybe an iPhone.

    Because it's what you'd expect to find when you're in the pocket of big business.

  • It's like Michael Jackson's much-anticipated follow-up to his hit album 'Thriller'.


  • It's like something that can't even commit to exactly how much it's going to cop out and seems intended to derail international negotiations. I can't actually think of an analogy for this, but it needed saying.

    [Update: It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a credible, good-faith negotiating position.]

  • It's like something that's a national embarrassment and flies directly in the face of our overseas image. Russell Crowe?

  • It's like an area of lower relative air pressure.

    Because it sucks.

  • As Wikipedia puts it: "Quincy Magoo is a wealthy, short-statured retiree who gets into a series of sticky situations as a result of his nearsightedness, or myopia, compounded by his stubborn refusal to admit the problem. Affected people (or animals) consequently tend to think that he is a lunatic, rather than just being nearsighted."

  • It's like certain 'Honourable Members'. It's big enough to shaft you, but not big enough to produce any of the expected benefits.

  • We are going to cut our emissions less than we expect everyone else to because of our unique situation. This is called 'special pleading'.

    It's like Clayton Weatherston.

  • It's like going around wearing headlamps, ropes and carabiners and so on.

    Because it reminds everyone that we have a history of caving.


Got feedback? Leave a comment on Lyndon's blog

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