To John Key and Nick Smith from Donald O 20 May 2010

An Open letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Climate Change, Nick Smith.

As concerned citizens, tax payers and voters, we do not understand why you are pressing ahead with the extension of the ETS on 1 July, when the effects on climate will be nil and the effects on every citizen will be substantially increased taxation.
We would invite you to answer the following questions please.
  • What are we getting in return for a tax on energy of 5-10%?
  • How will a four cent rise in petrol on 1 July and another four cent in 2013 save the world?
  • What do you think the effect of this ETS tax will have on global temperatures?
  • What do you think the effect of our ETS will have on global climate?
  • If climate change is driven by man-made CO2, what caused the Medieval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age, as there was no man-made CO2?
  • Mr Prime Minister, you said you would not lead the charge but would be a ‘fast follower’. Australia has postponed any decision on their ETS bill until 2013 and it also seems that a US cap-and-trade bill is far from certain. As we are the only country implementing an economy wide ETS, who are we following?
  • We are too small a nation to lead anybody on such a scale, so why are you proceeding to seriously damage our nation?
  • The EU has a diluted ETS that excludes about 60% of their emitters and only includes carbon dioxide.  Why are you including all greenhouse gases and all sectors of society?
  • Treasury estimate the immediate lift in prices on 1 July will be 0.4%. When our economy is just showing signs of recovery, why are you smacking it down again with a pointless tax?
  • Meat and Wool NZ estimate the average farmer will be hit with a $10,200 increase in costs from electricity, petrol and processing costs. How will this save the world?
  • Where does the new tax money go? Overseas?
  • How many new jobs are you creating in government to administer the ETS and at what cost?
  • Who do you think will benefit from this new tax?
  • In the light of the recent scientific scandals, what OBSERVED evidence do you have that industrial CO2 emissions are driving the climate?
  • Half of our 0.2% CO2 contribution to the world’s emissions are from our farm animals. Do you want us to stop farming and stave to death?
  • Many scientific bodies now accept that natural fluctuations in climate are driven by solar activity, which was very high last century but has now all but stopped. How will the ETS tax affect the sun’s behaviour? 
  • Many scientific bodies now accept that the earth has stopped warming or has cooled from about 1998. Why don’t you defer the ETS, as Australia has done, until better OBSERVED science is available?
  • The OBSERVED sea levels in Tuvalu have not risen and those in the Maldives has been have even gone down in the last30 years. There is no emergency. Why do you think you need to take action on sea level rises?
  • Mr Nick Smith said of the ETS in 2005:
‘The madness of the Government’s new carbon tax is that New Zealanders will be the only people in the world paying it. It will drive up the costs of living and undermine competitiveness of New Zealand business for negligible environmental gain.’
  • Why has Mr Smith changed his mind and now imposes ETS taxes on our citizens?
  • The raw temperature data on NZ’s NIWA’s site show NO temperature change, up or down, since 1850. Why were you so enchanted with their ‘adjusted’ graphs?
  • CO2 is an essential life gas; without it all plants would die and so therefore would we. As a farming country, isn’t it in our interests to have a higher CO2 level?
As citizens and voters, we implore you to answer these questions so that we can understand why you are taxing us. 
We respectfully suggest that the correct action for you to do is to defer the ETS until the science really is ‘clear and settled’, our trading partners also implement an all sectors ETS, and a binding international agreement on emissions has been reached.

Donald O