Tuesday 18 June 2024

Climate: Revealed preference

"[A] very large number of voters have a great deal in common with those raised-in-the-faith Catholics who genuflect reflexively before the holy imagery of their religion without giving the gesture much, if any, thought. Like conservatives the world over, New Zealand’s Coalition Government is of the view that although, if asked, most ordinary voters will happily mouth environmental slogans, considerably fewer are willing to freeze in the dark for them.
    "Minister Jones’s wager is that if it’s a choice between watching Netflix, powering-up their cellphones, and snuggling-up in front of the heater, or, keeping the fossil fuels that power our extraordinary civilisation 'in the ground,' so that Freddie the Frog’s habitat can remain pristine and unmolested, then their response will be the same as the Minister’s: 'Bye, bye Freddie!' No matter what people may say; no matter how superficially sincere their genuflections to the 'crisis' of Climate Change; when the lights go out, all they really want is for them to come back on again. Crises far away, and crises in the future, cannot compete with crises at home – right here, right now.
   "The Transport Minister, Simeon Brown, knows how this works. Everyone supports public transport and cycle-ways, right up until the moment their holiday journey slows to a snail’s pace among endless lines of road cones, or a huge pothole wrecks their new car’s suspension.
    "Idealism versus realism: that’s the way the [parties of Luxon's Government] frame this issue; and they are betting their electoral future on the assumption that the realists outnumber the idealists. There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street [the previous] Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else."

~ Chris Trotter from his post 'Numbers Game'

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