James Shaw claims immediate effect on climate change

The Minister for (or against) Climate Change, James Shaw was interviewed by Corin Dann on TVNZ Q&A on Sunday 3 June.

Screen grab Whaleoil

Continuing from where we left off: Quote.

Corin: What about consumers, what can they do? The best thing they could do [according to an article in the Guardian] to curb climate change is to stop eating meat and dairy, do you agree?

James: Well look, 95% of New Zealanders consume meat and it is, kind of, fairly obvious that there is a lot of water, a lot of energy and a lot of land use that goes into protein production that way. Um, if somebody wanted to have an immediate impact, they could eat one less meat meal per week.End of quote.

What a load of complete tosh!? There would be absolutely zero impact on climate change if the whole country ate one less meat meal per week.

Someone has been motivated to lodge an OIA request to James to quantify this “immediate impact”: (From the web)

James then clarified that was his personal view and that they were not encouraging that as a government.? So Corin pushed on: Quote.

Dann: But that is a huge threat to our economy, given how much we do do in meat and dairy, how important it is as we heard from Damien O?Connor . If there are messages going around the world, ?stop eating meat and dairy? are you worried about that?

Shaw: No, no I?m not. We know that it is a very big planet. NZ has enough land to feed about 40 million people with current production methodologies, we know that the middle classes in China and India and parts of Europe and so on, there is a huge demand for our food products and you heard Damien O?Connor?talking about some of the highest quality protein for some of the most discerning customers in the world ?

Dann: It?s a little bit of a contradiction isn?t it? On an economic level we want people to keep eating meat and dairy but the logic is for climate change you need them to eat less? We are not getting it right.

Shaw: No it?s about, it?s about, the mix right? So and, and I, I think that the the whole point is that what we are doing is, is, we are engaging in a thirty year transition, ah, and, and, we know that we are going to have to match consumer demand. […] End of quote.

A lot of stuttering and hesitation there James. You did not answer the question, James. Did that question catch you out?? Have you not realised that you cannot have it both ways?? We can feed 40 million people but we have reached “peak cow” already, according to the government.

We are not allowed to use more water for agriculture or horticulture and yet we can output enough for 40 million people?