So on Friday the #schoolstrike4climate was held, whereby a bunch of hysterical school children demand that a Government, which is literally obsessed with mitigating climate change (even though the impacts of its measures are infinitesimal), should do MORE, NOW!
I don't want to bother with critiquing a bunch of kids, backed by environmentalist/leftist teachers (and the poor quality teacher protectionist racket), demanding public policy changes without the faintest clue of the consequences, but I do care about the Green Party - the main future coalition partner of the Labour Party, agreeing to all of its demands. The kids aren't to blame, because the kids are being used by politicians and their supporters, because of the assumption that they'll get entirely positive media coverage and not be subject to criticism because... well... kids being political is meant to be a GOOD thing (imagine if kids were organised to go on a protest for something the Greens opposed though...)
#schoolstrike4climate put out a press release, published on Scoop of their rambling demands:
- banning the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers,
- halving the herd of cows
- Ban unnecessary air travel and
- Invest in better public transport
- Synthetic fertilisers literally help sustain 3.5 billion people on the planet. This is a demand that will kill people. Without synthetic fertilisers food production would drop significantly, prices would rise, and although you can be sure the kids and the Greens wont suffer, it would mean hundreds of millions of people would starve, and billions would be undernourished. Sure, if farmers can find alternatives good for them, let them do as they see fit, but let's remember New Zealand does NOT subsidise fertiliser (and hasn't done so since the late 1980s when the free-market liberal reforms the likes of the Greens opposed, got rid of agricultural subsidies).
- Halving the dairy farm herd would cut the country's export earnings by around 5% and GDP by 1.5%. That's about a quarter of the education budget. This will make the country poorer, especially rural areas. Sure the kids want to "invest in a just transition" (spend more taxpayers' money on people not producing anything to compensate them for banning their business), but it's just more money coming from nowhere. This would also put up dairy prices and modestly increase global food prices. For some reason the Greens think it is "just" for the world's least subsidised dairy sector to kneecap itself by half, but the Greens don't care very much about production of anything. If dairy drops because it is no longer commercially viable, then that's one thing, but this is just a demand of destruction.
- Banning "unnecessary" air travel is the real authoritarian scold streak coming out. What's "unnecessary"? I am fairly sure foreigners taking a holiday in NZ is "unnecessary" so maybe kneecap international air travel (except, of course, for politicians going to climate change conferences). That's around $17.5 billion a year of revenue, which IS the total education budget. Imagine the mentality that would want a law and a bureaucracy judging if your travel is "necessary".