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Inflating more than a blowfish

Written By: - Date published: 11:34 am, September 22nd, 2011 - 39 comments
Categories: climate change - Tags: ,

The peculiar tribe of climate change deniers have two major characteristics as far as I’m concerned.

  1. They prefer to avoid understanding science to the point that they don’t read the actual science papers that they refer to. So when they refer to a paper you can pretty well guarantee that the one person who read it didn’t really understand it and simply extracted a few words out of the scientific context.
  2. Having gained a invalid idea, they will then proceed to inflate it (while never linking to it as that might help people making their own judgement) by each blogger misquoting what the previous blogger/journalist said (also usually without links). The end result of this is a story that has no relationship to the actual paper that they are referencing floating around the nets steadily inflating like an alarmed blowfish.
It is all rather hilarious to watch exactly how stupid people can expend so much effort to not read the source document and to try to understand the actual science in it. If they spent even a fraction of the time reading science that they expend propagating self-referencing bullshit, then those of us to actually do read and understand science wouldn’t get so frustrated with them. But it appears that your average climate change denier (CCD) is far more concerned with inflated gossip than actually understanding science.
Bryan Walker at Hot-Topic points out this great recent example of both traits in “It isn’t the sun”. The video on the same topic by PotHoler pokes some gentle fun at the inflated failings of CCDs.

The recent CERN paper  in Nature on cosmic rays and cloud formation has caused considerable excitement in the denialist world.  Canadian columnist Lawrence Solomon in the Financial Post declared “The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun – not human activities – as the controller of climate on Earth”.  For what the paper really said readers can turn to the welcome and discussion it received on RealClimate. There’s also a useful response to Solomon’s claim on SkepticalScience.

It’s a complex picture, but today I came across this short video which sets it out straightforwardly and with a light touch. (Thanks to The Carbon Brief website.) Put together by Australian science journalist Potholer, it is both an explanation of the science and a picture of how misinterpretations travel in the denialist community.

39 comments on “Inflating more than a blowfish”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    I’ve come to the (likely unpopular) conclusion that climate change over the next 100 years is not the probable Big Problem facing global human civilisation; instead, irrecoverable fossil fuel energy depletion over the next 20 years is.

    This is also a logical conclusion from AFKTT’s statements that the global economy is only a few years away from significant retrenchment due to peak oil and various energy crises.

    IF that occurs, major reductions in economic activity and fossil fuel availability will become the norm. Global carbon output will fall, and fall hard, without external intervention (carbon taxes, ETS’s etc), Kyoto Protocol or no.

    • queenstfarmer 1.1

      I’ve come to the (likely unpopular) conclusion that climate change over the next 100 years is not the probable Big Problem facing global human civilisation

      I agree. I think there are much more immediate problems. I was reminded of this by an article by Prince Charles (of all people). While everyone is arguing about how many metres (or fractions thereof) the sea level may or may not be by the time most of us are dead, in the meantime:

      – critical forests are being irretreivably lost
      – water systems are being destroyed
      – fish stocks continue to plummet
      – soil and arable land is being lost at increasing rates
      – food production is becoming more costly
      – etc etc etc

      I suspect these issues in combination will be more immediate than “climate change” as popularly conceived.

      • Shane Gallagher 1.1.1

        Yes but you miss a crucial point here – as every enviromentalist finds out the second that they start to campaign on any of these issues is that they are all interlinked and luckily the solutions to one problem also handily are often helpful or the solution to the other problems listed. Including climate change.

        CV – you are forgetting that we still have a LOT of coal and now frozen undersea methane deposits to extract. All that carbon will be used if we don’t stop use of fossil fuels and that will seal humanities fate.

        And QT – YOU might be dead but I won’t and neither will my children or grandchildren and their children… I actually want to hand them a livable planet and a good life. Thanks. :-)

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Hi Shane,

          I agree there are huge amounts of coal left which might be extracted eg in US, China, Russia etc.

          However I believe that increases in coal extraction rates will not even come close to matching near term (<10 year) declines in crude oil production.

          IMO crude oil production per day will now never ever exceed 85mbpd, taken as a quarterly average.

          • insider 1.1.1.1.1

            You know that supply is running at over 86kbpd and has been since the beginning of 2010…

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Supply is running at 86,000 barrels per day?

              That number is way too low IMO. For ex. US daily consumption of oil is around the 20M barrel per day mark.

              • insider

                By supply I mean production, in case I confused you. Check the OPEC monthly Reports, iea or eia reports. Not sure how you can say it’s too low when it is higher than your maximum possible output. Are we comparing the same thing?

      • lprent 1.1.2

        QSF: Sea level is the least important or severe of the issues from climate change. Probably why you picked it as your only effect.

        In your list I can’t see any that will not be made far worse with climate change. Quite simply we are totally reliant on a stable climate and have non real idea of the risks of being in an changing climate.

        For instance, if you’d care to engage your brain for a second, just think of the effects on food production costs if the frequency of tropical storms impacting doubled in the next two decades. Based on what we know about climate, this is quite a feasible effect. But we don’t have enough information to build it into the IPCC models because we will only find out after it has happened.

    • RedLogix 1.2

      Well CV I’d agree peak oil will bite us in the butt soon, but climate change will crush us inevitably.
      The difference between the two issues is that climate change has very large delays and momentum built into the system. Once we go past climate tipping points there is nothing anyone can do to respond …except sit back and not enjoy the ride.

    • lprent 1.3

      Not really. You are dealing with a question of relative risk.

      With fossil fuels the effects of rising costs are relatively well known. The costs will rise as they get progressively harder to extract until a point is reached that an alternative becomes viable. This will almost certainly cause recessions to depressions as new economic equilibrium are reached.

      We already know what most of the alternative technologies are and even have some ideas on the price points of using them on a large scale. We have already seen most of the effects of changing energy costs in the economies. The main real effect at the fundamentals level is that it will drive up the cost of food production.

      The biggest unknown risks involved are that someone starts a widespread war.

      The problem with climate change is that the effects are unknown. The IPCC projections are simply the best minimum guesses based on what we already know. We have already pumped enough greenhouse gases into the the atmosphere to radically change the climate.

      We simply haven’t had another planet to try out the effects of widespread climate modification on so when the IPCC does a report they base it on what is known will happen – not what could happen. Noone knows where the effects of what is already in the atmosphere and oceans will lead. While it is feasible for scientific morons (like DPF) to purportedly treat IPCC projections like gospel, no one with any understanding of the unknown risks in the IPCC would do anything except treat them as the most optimistic possible projections.

      The risks are that we have no idea when the effects will manifest, no idea how great the effects will be, and no real idea of the impacts on our civilization. We have never seen it before as a civilization at anything like the same scale. The most extreme climate shifts we have in our history as a agricultural species were a fraction of what we know we’re going to get in climate effects and were quite localized.

      The difference in risk is that we have no real idea of what climate change will do to our food production even in the next couple of decades, whereas we do with increasing costs of energy.

      This is at a time when we have the largest population our species has ever had. The only thing we are sure about is that we will have an increased frequency of extreme weather events – exactly the type of thing that farmers fear the most.

      We’re going to get those effects sometime this century. The evidence is that we are getting them now at levels of statistical significance. We don’t know if these types of weather events are just the start or if they are as bad as they’re going to get.

      Now we could get lucky and the main effects hold off for a century until we are over peak population. But I think the current evidence is that we’ll see strong climate effects that affect food production in the next couple of decades.

      • Afewknowthetruth 1.3.1

        lprent

        ‘With fossil fuels the effects of rising costs are relatively well known. The costs will rise as they get progressively harder to extract until a point is reached that an alternative becomes viable. ‘

        That is simply not true.

        There are no ‘alternatives’ to fossil fuels. Nothing available on this planet matches the energy density, quantity and EROEI of oil and coal. No combination of so-called alternatives can support even a tiny fraction of present human arrangements. I susgget you rewatch Albert Bartlett’s ‘Arithmentic Population and Energy’ and Chris Martenson’s ‘Crash Course’. And read TEW.

        It took nature hundreds of millions of years to sequester all that carbon safely underground and generate the stable climate conditions that made civilisation possible, but humans have managed to transfer a large portion of that carbon back into the atmosphere (and the oceans) in just 200 years.

        • lprent 1.3.1.1

          I didn’t say that they had to be as efficient or as flexible to replace. What they need to be is as functional at some level of cost.

          For instance and just looking in our recent past at fundamentals. In the agricultural area in the 19th century and early 20th there were steam powered tractors. In transport there were steam powered buses and lorries as well as steam and electric trains and electric trams. Steam powered and wind powered ships (imagine the latter with some serious computer controlled sail area pushing large container craft).

          Sure it’d be hard to do it without touching fossil fuels, but those are just old tech that we already know has already worked with replaceable resources like hydro and biomatter. Then of course there are all of the new tech that has been tried but never been in full blown use because it is too expensive relative to a extracted fossil fuel alternative.

          My point was that all of these are known technologies that could be used at a more expensive cost point and we have some idea of the risk levels. However the effects of extensive climate change on our society and civilization is largely unknown especially in the area of food production. There are going to be unexpected gotchas in how that plays out. At present it looks like the first unpleasant surprise is how fast the frequency of extreme weather events is rising.

          • Colonial Viper 1.3.1.1.1

            Coal is going to make a comeback globally, we can bet on it.

          • Afewknowthetruth 1.3.1.1.2

            lprent

            I cannot follow what you are trying to say.

            We know we cannot go back to steam engines because we cannot burn coal and there isn’t enough wood (one of the reasons coal was adopted).

            We could have wooden sailing ships, but building more than just a few of those would be a struggle now that so much of the hardwood has gone and has been replaced by pine which is totally unsuitable for ship construction.

            ‘wind powered ships (imagine the latter with some serious computer controlled sail area pushing large container craft).’

            Why would we want to do that? Global trade arrangements will disintegrate fairly soon. We will soon be primarily concerned with day to day survival at the local level (as has been the case for 99% of humanity for 99.99% of human history).

            ‘replaceable resources like hydro and biomatter’

            We may be able to keep hydro running for a while after the global industrial system collapses, but there is no evidence we can maintain such systems in the long term and a lot of evidence we can’t, e.g.

            http://dieoff.org/page125.htm

            When you mention biomatter, that could mean horses eating hay. If you are suggesting making alcohol from corn or beet etc. that will almost certainly not work. Dr David Fridley spoke about ‘The Myth of Biofuels’, several years ago

            http://www.postcarbon.org/video/46329-the-myth-of-biofuels

            following on from the work of Pimmintel etc., who also figured out that biofuels are hopeless as fuels to run complex societies

            http://environment.about.com/od/ethanolfaq/f/ethanol_problem.htm

            and

            http://www.oilcrash.com/articles/pf_bio.htm

            • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1.2.1

              We could have wooden sailing ships…

              Why would we go to wood for ships when we can still produce steel?

              We may be able to keep hydro running for a while after the global industrial system collapses, but there is no evidence we can maintain such systems in the long term and a lot of evidence we can’t, e.g.

              Hydro-power was first built in the 19th century so chances are we’ll be able to keep it going. Would it be the same as what was built in the 1970s? Probably not as we’ll most likely go to in stream systems rather than damns.

      • Afewknowthetruth 1.3.2

        ‘This is at a time when we have the largest population our species has ever had. The only thing we are sure about is that we will have an increased frequency of extreme weather events – exactly the type of thing that farmers fear the most.’

        Awaiting the update of this site.

        http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

        It should be a available soon.

        Continuation of the trend of the past 11 months will be annihilation of a huge portion of US agricultural production.

  2. Are you fighting those things you list queenstfarmer?
    If not, why not?

  3. No wonder people say the word blog so derogatorily. Perhaps it should be a function of scientific papers and reports to have an even more succinct conclusion for all those bloggers that have the attention span of an ant. CCD = Cerebral Cognitive Disease.

  4. joe90 4

    I agree. I think there are much more immediate problems.

    A press release from State of the Oceans and the summary of a workshop held in April make for dire reading.

    Alex Rogers

    The findings are shocking. As we considered the cumulative effect of what humankind does to the ocean the
    implications became far worse than we had individually realized. This is a very
    serious situation demanding unequivocal action at every level. We are looking at
    consequences for humankind that will!impact in our lifetime, and worse, our
    children’s and generations beyond that.”

    p

    • Oscar 4.1

      Nothing wrong with the oceans except the bottom trawling
      -and why do we allow foreign countries to take out copious amounts of fish from our waters?

    • lprent 4.2

      Yep. An unknown effect. No one has any real idea what changing the pH of the oceans does to either the ocean productivity or to the weather patterns.

  5. Galeandra 5

    QSF at it again, living up to his arrogant title. Yesterday Krugman was cross, today it’s eco-warrior Charles who gets backhanded: ‘an article by Prince Charles (of all people).’

    Why doesn’t he go home to KB and stay there?

    • queenstfarmer 5.1

      Calm down – I wasn’t dissing HRH Prince Charles.

    • Bazar 5.2

      “Why doesn’t he go home to KB and stay there?”

      Indeed, this site needs him to leave so that it can discuses within itself and maintain its group think policy.

      Well thought out and constructively critical posts aren’t welcome unless they reinforce the group’s view.

  6. alex 6

    Science? What is fair and balanced about science?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      That depends what you mean – science isn’t so much fair and balanced as competitive and cut-throat. Nature is the only authority – and it is neither fair nor subject to notions of ‘balance’.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 8

    As with climate change, the Internet is awash with misinformation concerning oil. The peak in extraction of conventional oil occurred as two sub-peaks in 2005 and 2006. Extraction of conventional oil is in severe decline in the vast majority of regions of the world.

    However, the total liquids has been bouncing along the ‘bumpy platuea’ since 2006. Total liquids includes unconventional oil -deep water, condensates derived from extraction of natural gas, oil extracted from tar sands etc., even from coal, and some people have the cheek to include ethanol derived from the fermentation of corn as ‘oil’.

    Some say the world has been using more oil than has been extracting over the past year or so, the difference being made up by draw-down of stocks. The ongoing financial mess and unemployment in much of the developed wolrd is depressing demand and is depressing oil prices.

    What is irrefutable is that the Energy Return(ed) On Energy Invested continues to fall. Such is the desperation to prop up present industrial arangements that oil companies are signing up to explore and develop potential oil-bearing regions in the Arctic: they are looking forward to the meltdown of the Arctic, simply as a mechanism to aid resource extraction! Sea level rise and climate chaos do not factor into energy companies’ accounts.

    The other important factor to watch is the Export-Land Model: many oil exporting regions have rising domestic demand which means that export supply is being eaten into by depletion and by domestic consumption.

    With respect to climate change denial, it is worth repeating that oil, cement and automotive companies have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into funding misinformation and confusion. And it is still happening.

    Although some comments have noted the inevitability of a reduction in CO2 emissions from burning oil as we slide down the peak oil curve, they have failed to note that Global Dimming -the reduction in light reaching the ground due to industrial ‘smog’ in the atmosphere- will probably decline dramatically as we fall off the oil depletion curve. Less Global Dimming = more warming and more triggering of positive feedbacks.

    Coming generations are being totally screwed by the small sector of humanity that is currently misleading and misgoverning us.

    As far as I am concerned there are only two issues worth discussing:

    1. How do we prevent mass starvation when the industrial food system collapses (due to peak oil climate instability, soil loss, lack of fertilisers, lack of fresh water etc)?

    2. How do we prevent abrupt climate change ( a rapid surge in temperature in a short time) rendering the Earth largely uninhabitable in a few decades?

    (The matter of acidification of the oceans is also of huge concern but, as I point out in TEW, higher ocean temperatures could well drive CO2 out of the oceans, exacerbating the temperature predicament. Others would say that putting a halt to the Sixth Great Extinction Event is more important than the fate of humantiy.)

    I also point out in TEW, these issues are never discussed in mainstream, and those who raise them are ignored, lampooned, marginalised etc. This is because society was hijacked by banksters corporations long ago, of course, and they are only interested in maintianing their particular Ponzi schemes.

    In the meantime, ‘idiots’ are given plenty of airtime to promote nonsense, such as ‘growth in tourism over the next decade’. Indeed, our PM has special repsonsibility for lying to the nation about the future of tourism (and lying to the nation about practically everything else).

    The maniacs in charge will blithely take us into uncharted territory and in all probability annhiliate their own progeny’s prospects just so they can hang on to their perceived entitlements a little longer.

  8. burt 9

    World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown

    It is all rather hilarious to watch exactly how stupid people can expend so much effort to not read the source document and to try to understand the actual science in it. If they spent even a fraction of the time reading science that they expend propagating self-referencing bullshit, then those of us to actually do read and understand science wouldn’t get so frustrated with them. But it appears that your average Goreist is far more concerned with inflated gossip than actually understanding science.

    It cuts both ways lprent – there is a lot of filtering required to keep up with the current science.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Burt, that article you linked to is the laziest piece of sub-cretinous tosh I’ve read in ages.

      Still it should be right up your alley.

      • Afewknowthetruth 9.1.1

        Well said RedLogix.

        By the time I had got to the bottom of the first page the article I had gleaned no significant information from it, so I didn’t bother to access the second page.

        The article fulfilled its purpose of providing readers with distraction, and promulgating the ideas of doubt and conspiracy where they don’t exist.

      • burt 9.1.2

        OH, so after doing a google to find an article about the misleading melting glaciers by 2035 I picked one of the first off the list after a very brief scan of it. I’m very sorry the content of the ‘almost random’ link I picked wasn’t up to your standards.

        But just out of interest, do you have any comment on how this also fits with lprent saying CCD’s make shit up with no scientific backing and how crappy that is ? Did you get the connection that the melting glaciers claim is as shockingly poor from a scientific perspective as [xyz] example from the CCD’s ?

    • lprent 9.2

      So you quote an poorly written article by a lazy journalist about a inadequete section of the non-scientific part of the last IPCC report that was dealing with possible social and economic effects of climate change.

      I guess you just demonstrated yet again that there are idiot deniers around who don’t read what they quote.. In fact you are living proof of the what I was saying in the post in my first point. Perhaps I should have added another point that some people are incapable of recognizing the difference between science papers and less strenuously peer reviewed verbiage.

      You really are a rather pathetic munter sometimes. Perhaps you should actually read and think about the posts rather than making such a dickhead of yourself.

      • burt 9.2.2

        lprent

        I don’t understand why you are taking this so personally. Seriously I don’t. Was it because I only had to change one word in that paragraph I quoted to prove that it cuts both ways?

        from the link;

        Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was “speculation” and was not supported by any formal research. If confirmed it would be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research. The IPCC was set up precisely to ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change.

        I haven’t claimed anything myself, I haven’t said this post of your is incorrect, I haven’t said anything except that how you describe CCD’s also seems to fit the behaviour of some “climate scientists”. Unless you either wrote the particular section in the IPCC report or have quoted it as fact in the past I fail to see how this gets you so irate ?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.3

      There is one (yes, just one) salient piece of information in the Times’ article about this IPCC mistake – “the blunder was spotted by climate scientists who quickly made it public.”
      Which doesn’t really fit the denier narrative, so they ignore it. Another feature of IPCC AR4 (that doesn’t fit the denier narrative) is that it erred on the conservative side, particularly with regard to Arctic warming.

      Skeptical Science is probably the best resource when it comes to countering these witless truthers with hard facts, but for actual Climatology you can’t go past Real Climate.

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    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    1 day ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    2 days ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    2 days ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    2 days ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    13 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    14 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    17 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    17 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    19 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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