But I don’t want to go first!

This must be the most pathetic excuse in the history of excuses:  “No other country in the world has done it, and we are not going to be the first”. The topic of discussion was putting a carbon price on agricultural emissions, and this statement came from our Climate Change Minister, Tim Groser.  Of all the possible excuses the government could have come up with to delay taking action, that’s the one they went with…: “we don’t want to go first”.

Even worse, some media commentators see nothing wrong with this u-turn. Apparently, unless it makes a difference on a global scale, it’s not worth doing. So is this how countries decide whether or not to do something? In that case, it certainly explains all the dithering that has been going on: nothing any one country does will make a difference on a global scale, so no one needs to do anything… right?! Awesome, that’s us off the hook.

In a media interview, our inimitable minister described New Zealand’s position as not putting our foot on the accelerator, nor trying to back the ETS (emissions trading scheme) truck up the drive again. So, we’re trying to go nowhere? It’s great to succeed at something, I guess.

Apparently all we’re aiming for in New Zealand is “doing our fair share”. Ah, the sheer ambition. It’s not about doing what’s right, only what’s fair. Heaven forbid we should be world leaders in climate change issues. We could be, but that would be unfair to another country that might want to take the lead. No, better to sit back, relax, and only do what it takes to scrape by… whoops, sorry, I mean, do what it takes so that we’re seen to be doing our fair share.

Here lies Courage, next to Leadership.
Don’t mourn them – they never did fit in.


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