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Open mike 05/12/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 5th, 2012 - 81 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

81 comments on “Open mike 05/12/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    Are David Shearer and Russel Norman, Texans?

    To understand the sort of Climate Change Ignorer psychology evidenced by both Shearer and Norman you couldn’t go past Texas. The US oil state.

    Texas the CCI capital of the world

    Visiting Texas last month as part of my
    research into the psychology of climate change, I found a state of extremes……

    ….The wildfires that swept across Bastrop County in autumn 2011 were the worst in Texan history. They burnt 140 square kilometres of forest and destroyed around 1700 houses. The state climatologist, John Nielsen-Gammon of Texas A&M University, is reluctant to attribute the event to climate change, stressing that droughts are a regular feature of the Texan climate. He nonetheless describes the combination of extreme drought and record-breaking temperatures as “off the charts”.

    George Marshall writing for New Scientist.

    Marshall Noted that, while he found that there were pockets of extremes of belief in Climate Change, from denial to conviction.
    “Generally”, the main response he encountered from Texans, was to, deliberately avoid talking about the issue.

    Generally, though, my questions about climate change were met with polite embarrassment and a swift change of topic. Escobar could not recall a single discussion about climate change in relation to the Bastrop fires. Nor could the mayor, the editor of the local newspaper or the head of the chamber of commerce. The topic appears to have been actively excluded from public discourse.

    George Marshall writing for New Scientist.

    “Even among Republicans I think there’s a lot more belief in this than people are willing to say out loud. They just can’t talk about it.”

    Gerald North professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M

    This reluctance to talk about climate change evidenced by the citizens of Texas, is for the same reasons that Shearer and Norman don’t talk about it. Talking about climate change would mean having to agree do something meaningful about it. If it were a country, Texas would be the seventh biggest emitter in the world, so any talk of cutting back, makes for some very unpalatable conversation for Texans.

    • weka 1.2

      Jenny, how about you produce some evidence that Norman is ignoring climate change? Several people pointed out to you the other day that Norman still talks about climate change, and that there are other people in the GP whose job it is to talk about CC and keep it on the agenda (links were provided). Rationales for the strategy were also provided.
       
      It’s fairly ridiculous to say that Norman is ignoring climate change. Just because someone doesn’t dance to your tune doesn’t mean they’re not dancing.
       
      You also stated the other day that the Green Party no longer opposes deep sea oil extraction. I’d like to see some evidence for that too (I provided links to show the opposite)
       
      Telling lies about the GP, or making misleading statements about Norman’s actions and motives, doesn’t help your cause IMO.
       

      • karol 1.2.1

        Question Time today.  Question 1:

        Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Prime Minister: What policy directives has he given his two Ministers attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha?

      • Jenny 1.2.2

        weka be careful who you accuse of telling lies.

        Otherwise you risk looking foolish.

        I did not say that the Greens do not “oppose” deep sea oil extraction. What I am saying is that it is one of the things that the Greens are prepared to negotiate away in a coalition deal with Labour. You can still be opposed to something but agree not to do anything about it.

        And nobody has been able to point to any recent speech by Russel Norman where he manages to force the words “climate change” out of his mouth, (or pen).

        Of course he talked about it with James Hansen in 2011, but he couldn’t have avoided that one.

        I might mention that this was some time ago.

        I also might mention that since then we have had a National election in which the Greens deliberately decided not campaign on climate change, and barely even mention it . (If they mentioned it at all). I am told this was decided, “so as not to scare the horses”.

        (The same sort of CCI strategy was also agreed in the US presidential elections.
        Unfortunately for Obama and Romney an unprecedented superstorm disrupted this CCI election campaign making them both look like idiots.)

        In your opinion weka. Will the Greens in a continuation of the policy of 2011 continue with their decision to Ignore Climate Change in the 2014 election campaign?

        In my opinion the horses need to be scared.

        • weka 1.2.2.1

          Your actual words from a few days ago –
           
          “Already the Greens have agreed not to challenge Deep Sea Oil drilling”
           
          I think this might be the fourth time in the last few days that I have asked you for a citation for that statement. If you can’t produce one, then I am going to assume you made it up (hence I used the word ‘lie’). I see in other comments you have responded, but again without any evidence. It is of course entirely fine that you personally believe that the Greens will badly compromise on this issue, but personal belief is a completely different thing than the Greens having already agreed not to challenge Deep Sea Oil drilling, which is what you have said they did.
           
          In fact, google “deep sea oil” and the “green party” news for the past few days and you will have examples of them challenging deep sea oil :roll:
           

          In your opinion weka. Will the Greens in a continuation of the policy of 2011 continue with their decision to Ignore Climate Change in the 2014 election campaign?
           

          The Green Party are not ignoring CC. Multiple links have been provided to you in the past few days that prove this. I can’t predict what will happen in 2014, but in general I support the Greens’ approach of focussing on what will win them the most seats at the next election. I don’t think CC is the most pressing issue for them to focus on if it means that they have less MPs as a result. A Labour/GP coalition with less MPs will be far less effective for the environment, including CC issues, than one where the GP is strong.
           
          btw, comparing the Green Party’s approach to the US elections and Obama/Romney would have to be one of the stupider things I’ve seen lately. There is an obvious difference between a party that has worked hard to combat climate change, including spending years getting and keeping it on the public agenda, and US centrist parties who haven’t really taken any real action on CC at all. The GP can spend less time on CC now, to their advantage, because they’ve put so much time and effort into it. And it’s not like they’ve stopped everything on CC, which what you keep implying.
           
          “In my opinion the horses need to be scared.”
           
          On this we are agreed. I just don’t think it’s the job or responsibility of the GP to do this at this point. Time for others to step up.
           
           

          • weka 1.2.2.1.1

            your reply in another thread –
             

            “Already the Greens have agreed not to challenge Deep Sea Oil drilling, or the opening of the Deniston plateau for strip mining coal for export. As a condition of entering into coalition with the Labour Party.”
            I ask you, Will the Green Party will let these two things stand, to get into government?
            I and all those concerned about climate change await your answer.
            All the evidence is that to secure cabinet positions, serious action against climate change is off the table.
             

            There is no evidence Jenny, you are expression a belief about something in the future, but that belief is not based on anything concrete. I and others have repeatedly asked you to post something that supports your statement that the GP have already agreed to not challenge deep sea oil as a way of gaining cabinet seats. You haven’t, because you can’t. You made shit up about the GP, you lied.
             
            I have no idea what the GP will do once part of govt, maybe they will compromise some things around CC as part of the bigger picture. We know that has already happened and the reasons why. Here is Toad’s comment yesterday –
             

            toad

            The Greens’ preference is and always has been for a carbon tax and a regulatory regime rather than an ETS. There was a strong internal debate within the Greens over whether to support Labour’s ETS legislation or not – many Green MPs and activists considered it far too weak a response to climate change, but eventually the decision was made that it was better to support some response than oppose Labour’s ETS and have no response at all, given that the ETS was the only response on the table.
            The strength of the response to climate change post-2014 really comes down to how the numbers stack up in a Labour-Green Government. If Labour have twice the number of MPs as the Greens, we probably won’t get much stronger response than Labour’s 2008 ETS legislation, as the Greens simply won’t have the bargaining power. If the numbers are closer to equal, expect a much stronger response
             

            http://thestandard.org.nz/taking-the-gap/comment-page-1/#comment-558202
             
            But your argument is getting tedious. Really, what you are doing is using the GP in a reality-manipulative way, as a way of pushing your agenda that CC (as you define it) is the most important issue we face and that we should all be following your lead. Those of us that don’t are Climate Change Ignorers according to you. You see the world in black and white – people who think CC is the most important thing and those that think it’s unimportant. There are other credible and useful ways of understanding the world.
             
            Pascal’s bookie said it in the other thread: “what mandate do you have to claim to speak on behalf of everyone who cares about climate change?”
             
            As an aside, I think the GP and its policies and directions should be open to critique. I just think it needs to be done with intelligence and using facts that are real not made up.

             
             

          • Jenny 1.2.2.1.2

            Who?

            • Jackal 1.2.2.1.2.1

              Toad is a long serving Green activist who blogs at g.blog about various environmental and social issues. Toad is also vocal on Frogblog and here at The Standard, which makes your claim that you’ve not heard of him/her rather silly.

              I often struggle to find anything I disagree with what Toad writes.

              Although I agree that Climate Change is the most pressing issue facing the world, weka is right that the Green party and its policies and directions should be open to critique. That critique should be based in reality and use verifiable facts. Unfortunately your argument does neither of these things Jenny.

              And nobody has been able to point to any recent speech by Russel Norman where he manages to force the words “climate change” out of his mouth, (or pen).

              This just makes you look foolish and ignorant! Try not to do that Jenny, it doesn’t make for good reading.

              Russel Norman could be finance minister

              And on policy, Mr Norman said the party would seek to have climate change considered across a broad range of Government policies.

              “I think climate change should be an issue whatever the policy is,” he said.

              ”We should be considering the impacts on climate change; it is the greatest global environmental and social and economic challenge we face.”

              Hansard: Greenhouse Gas Emissions—Rate of Change and Current International Ranking

              Dr Russel Norman: How can we ask the rest of the world to make the necessary cuts to avoid out-of-control climate change, when we ourselves are refusing to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and we have the second-largest increase according to the United Nations?

              Q+A: Transcript of Gareth Morgan and Russel Norman interview

              Well, I mean, you know, we have a broad church, but I think when you look at what the caucus puts forward and what we put forward, that’s our agreed policy. When you think about how have environmental ideas been put on the agenda, 20 years ago people stood up for climate change, and people thought they were pretty extremist back then, but they made it part of the mainstream agenda, and obviously science backed what they were saying. So I think when you look at how change happens, it does require some people to speak out sometimes. But I think Gareth’s bigger point about us putting forward a smart, green economic alternative to the current Government’s agenda is the project that we’re engaged in, and I think he’s right to identify that project.

              • Jenny

                My apologies. I was going by the Russel Norman speeches put up on the Green Party website. Presumably the ones that the Green Party want us to see.

                http://www.greens.org.nz/advancedsearch?tid_1=174

                After poring through as many of these speeches as I could and not finding any mention of climate change by Russel Norman.

                I challenged anyone to find where Russel Norman had mentioned the phrase climate change in any of these speeches.

                No one could.

                Though alex did make a rather brave attempt.

                As a result of this disappointing result I admit I may have got a bit cocky and supposed that Norman had made no such mentions, anywhere.

                Again I apologise, one of the examples you gave was not too bad either.

                http://m.nbr.co.nz/article/russel-norman-could-be-finance-minister-ck-131342

                It might have been the headline that made me miss it.

                • Jackal

                  In some ways you remind me of those people who say the Greens don’t want marijuana to be decriminalized because they aren’t in the news every other day saying as much.

                  I think the Greens will push hard to have climate change legislation written into various acts and policy to ensure New Zealand once again starts to lead the world on environmental issues not to mention actually doing our part to avert climate catastrophe.

                  Russel Norman might not raise the issue in every speech he makes, but there’s no question that he’s as dedicated as they come to reducing GHG emissions. In fact his ability in the house to show National up for their environmental failures is second to none as far as I’m concerned.

                  Just today, Stuff reported that Russel Norman had tabled a tweet from the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, who wrote:

                  Very disappointed that New Zealand will not enter #Kyoto2.

                  And none of those dimwitted National sycophants objected… Excellent!

          • Jenny 1.2.2.1.3

            Time for others to step up.

            weka

            Who?

            Jenny

            • Colonial Viper 1.2.2.1.3.1

              Although I agree that Climate Change is the most pressing issue facing the world

              Jackal, energy depletion is.

              • Jackal

                Energy depletion at a time the world is making inroads into renewable energy hardly seems comparable to Climate Change that threatens billions of peoples lives.

                There’s enough oil and coal in the ground to easily cook the world, that makes climate change a more serious issue.

                But please, entertain me with an argument instead of just these grandiose statements of yours Colonial Viper, that seem to be without a modicum of evidence to back them up?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Nah you’re the smart one you win.

                  BTW the global economy has been suffering from peak oil for almost 10 years now. Another 10 years and it’ll be obvious to even the self-smug like you.

                  BTW energy depletion also threatens billions of peoples lives. You just haven’t thought it through yet.

                  • Jackal

                    You’re right but here’s why you’re wrong… Contradict yourself much CV?

                    Climate change is already contributing to the deaths of nearly 400,000 people a year, and has been estimated to kill around 1 million per year by 2030. In comparison I cannot find any deaths associated with peak oil.

                    So why don’t you put up or shut up Colonial Viper?

            • Jackal 1.2.2.1.3.2

              OK Fair enough Jenny, but what about the rest of my comment?

  2. Morrissey 2

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/12/04/justice-peace-and-the-israeli-state/

    Justice, Peace and the Israeli State
    by WILLIAM A. COOK

    “As for the rights of Jewish people in this land, I have a simple message for those people gathered in the General Assembly today, no decision by the U.N. can break the 4,000-year-old bond between the people of Israel and the land of Israel.”

    – Ron Prosor, United Nations Ambassador from Israel, November 29, 2012

    In today’s world a tragic hero is a representative figure who stands before us as one speaking for his people, an Ambassador if you will, addressing the citizens of the world at the United Nations, enunciating the beliefs and demands of his nation as they must confront an event of great magnitude that appears to represent a reversal of their fortunes. Such a figure was Ronald Prosor, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations on November 29th, 2012, as he addressed the assembled delegates before their vote on the recognition of the state of Palestine. “No decision by the UN can break the 4,000-year-old bond between the people of Israel and the land of Israel, “he arrogantly proclaimed, thereby determining that no decision by the UN can alter the absolute dictates of the state of Israel as they have impacted the desires and hopes and dreams of the citizens of the world regarding peace and justice in the land of Palestine.

    That statement must stand as an articulated hamartia, a mistake of moral blindness, capturing in its hubris the downfall of a noble nation. Before the citizens of the world, Prosor demanded that Israel alone must determine what peace and justice will be, knowing beforehand that the UN, in General Assembly, would momentarily act to question the legitimacy of Israel’s unilateral defiance of its decrees. The vote to recognize the rights of the people of Palestine, by electing it to the forum of nation states, proclaims to all that they are equal to all assembled and can use the powers vested in the UN to bring their oppressors and occupiers before the International Courts of Justice and to seek redress for the rights denied them under its charters. No longer can they be shackled to the demands of either the United States or Israel. Now they can address the UN as victims of an aggressive nation that has defied more than 160 of its Resolutions since 1948 by imposing with force conditions inimical to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which it is a signatory. …..

    Read more….
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/12/04/justice-peace-and-the-israeli-state/

  3. Jenny, climate change is a really hard problem. For a politician to engage effectively on it they have to have thought deeply about the many connective issues that span just about every portfolio. I am sure the Greens have done that thinking because it is core to what they are about. But it takes two to create meaningful dialogue, and there is not much point in Norman going there unless Shearer is prepared. Can anyone point to one deep analysis and exposition of an issue by Shearer this year? Harsh perhaps, as he’s been trying to get briefed across all portfolios. But that’s what happens when you haven’t done an apprenticeship over time. And being ‘briefed’ is not the same as ‘nutting’ through the issues yourself. Fundamentally you need a good grasp of economics (both traditional economics and the latest thinking on environmental economics) to be able to drive a climate change response. I don’t think Shearer is anywhere near that level of understanding. The story doing the rounds in Wellington earlier in the year was Shearer didn’t understand the difference between mico and macro economics. If that is true, deep climate change analysis is beyond him.

    • Neoleftie 3.1

      From what I get whispered over the years very very few labour MP understand macro at any level and fewer support Keynesian theory, very good on social micro policy in specialised areas but nothing strategic or cross linked. Last convert to Keynesian was benson pope and he got rolled by the MSM., first causality. Mallard to his credit was left once and supported SOE investing outside NZ. Robertson aka H3 is an unknown should be left of centre but IMHO is a long term player an liberal social dem with an agenda.

    • Ad 3.2

      Benghazi would you mind using some paragraphs please?

      It’s all wonderfully penetrating, but for us of advancing years a certain syntactical flow would assist.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      The story doing the rounds in Wellington earlier in the year was Shearer didn’t understand the difference between mico and macro economics.

      Most economists don’t either and that’s why the policies for the macro resemble those for the micro. Policies for infinite competition and international trade rather than taking into account the real available resources.

      • Colonial Viper 3.3.1

        Most economists don’t either and that’s why the policies for the macro resemble those for the micro

        Actually orthodox economics deliberately takes micro-economic theory and by making massive and falsifiable assumptions, pretends that you can derive big picture macro-economic theory from it. Hence their idiotic and incorrect focus on utilisation maximation of individual rational agents, etc.

  4. Jenny 4

    From what I get whispered over the years very very few labour MP understand macro at any level and fewer support Keynesian theory, very good on social micro policy in specialised areas but nothing strategic or cross linked.

    Neoleftie

    In my opinion it is a matter of lack of leadership, or more accurately the suppression of leadership.

    There was that one MP that talked about climate change. What was his name?

    Oh, that’s right, he was banished to the back benches.

    • Neoleftie 4.1

      True poor cunliffe can’t scare the centre voters now can we we.
      Labour election strategy is all about saying little and praying that the election cycle holds true. Two years is a very long time for the suffering people to wait for what….the same with a token smattering of social policy penned in by budgetary constraints.
      My line for last 15 years was we need a left block that is prepared to reconnect and reeducate, maybe prepare the public for the new direction.
      Time for shearer and co to start the campaign now. The party and public crave direction hope and inclusiveness.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        But Shearer won’t. He’s too connected to the old neo-liberal way of doing things.

  5. muzza 5

    Ex-cop denies having supplied porn movie

    From the *Police/Politicial Archives of shame*, this on I recall causing some serious problems for The Clark govt, meanwhile AK is still pedling her sphere of influence inside the LP.

    Its these sort articles illustrate of the types who control NZ, or represent those who do. It illustrates how the cops and politicians were, and thus still are working to cover up serious abuses inside NZ, and give credence to the masses of unsolved murders in NZ which have been linked to all manor of vile institutionalised cover ups.

    It also gives an insight into how those charged with protecting and serving NZ society are controlled, which goes a long ways to helping understand by NZ is so broken!

  6. Jenny 6

    Meanwhile back In Texas

    Last year, officials surrendered to a revolt by scientists over attempts to purge all mention of climate change and sea level rise from a report on the environment of Galveston Bay. And criticism from climate specialists, North and Nielsen-Gammon among them, led to the 2012 State Water Plan including mentions of “potential” climate impacts, albeit as an “ambiguous” risk.

    The use of this sort of “ambiguous” language reminds me strongly of Alex’s weak defence of Russel Norman’s CCI phrasing, “repeatedly” replacing the words climate change with the more vaguely ambiguous phrase, “environmental degradation”;

    Yes, the phrase climate change doesn’t appear, but he talks repeatedly about environmental degradation, the need to avoid growth based on wanton resource exploitation and how our environment is crucial to our global brand.

    In short, this is still a very Green article.

    alex 4 December 2012 at 9:35 am

    • Jenny 6.1

      One of the contributors to the report I cited above, Jennifer Walker of the Sierra Club an American environmental organisation, describes the small insertion of the phrase “environmental degradation” in the Galveston report as a “major breakthrough”. Such a phrase would also be seen as a major breakthrough in the Texas inhabited by Shearer and Norman. Just as well Jennifer Walker was not in the NZ Labour Party caucus, or she would have been quickly shown to the backbenches.

  7. Wow.

    Treasury’s spending on consultants is expected to go up tenfold over the past five years.

    In  2007-08 it was $1.97 million.  In 2012-13 it is expected to be $21.93 million.

    The advice being bought is all neoliberal from the likes of Deloittes, KPMG and PWC.  This amount of money could restore night classes with change left over.

    Just goes to show this Government’s priorities. 

    The link is at http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8036074/Rise-in-consultant-costs-gob-smacking

    • muzza 7.1

      MS – I suspect if you look at the history there will be a trend which is somewhat consistant, yet agnostic of the government at the time..The articles have been pumped out regulary for as long as I can recall. I see it as the establishment showing off to the public via their media about whats happening, and given nothing has changed, its hard not to consider that!

      All this shows is the power of the consultancies (banks) – Just take a look at Auckland to understand the takeover which has been executed by the amount of money Deloitte are taking out of the place. Its not just the obvious amounts of cunsultants directly working through Deloitte, the place is crawling with *independent* ex Deloitte contractors also!

      Who ownes the consultancies again, and who owns them!

      Don’t get tied down in the unimportant trivia, like which government has racked up the latest massive bill!

      • vto 7.1.1

        Deloitte, PWC, KPMG all robbers…

        A more pertinent question which may pique the public’s conscious more on these rorts is not the total sum spent but the hourly rate charged.

        Get hold of some details around this becuase it is obscene.

        While at it, try asking Deloitte what they charge to wind up finance companies. The investors are getting fleeced again.

  8. Jenny 8

    “The oil wells are full of smells
    Deep in the heart of Texas”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXEZuAfxT3I

    As the original lyrics go.

    However that is not the only thing that smells in Texas, (or New Zealand for that matter).

    Climate Change Ignoring is pretty whiffy too.

    In keeping with the psychology of CCI, the Texas Chamber of Commerce TXCOC, blatantly ignore this prominent line in their modern rendition of this song.

  9. marsman 9

    Trust National? Sure can’t!
    From Gordon Campbell at Scoop:-

    Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser’s ‘political projectile vomiting’ about the TPPA
    December 4th, 2012

    “Remember how the Key government has justified being so very, very secretive about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) because goodness me, you don’t negotiate these things in public? Well, guess who has just been negotiating the TPP in public? Trade Minister Tim Groser, that’s who. In an interview published yesterday in the influential Inside US Trade publication, Groser “signalled” to the Americans that he is “willing to be flexible on two key issues in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations: new disciplines for New Zealand’s pharmaceutical pricing agency and protections for geographical indications (or GIs).” (GIs are a system of quality assurance in dairy products.)

    Groser seemed pretty confident in his Inside US Trade interview that he can both please the Americans, and manage any outcry that might break out here at home: “I am confident we can find ways that advance U.S. interests [on these two issues] without causing projectile political vomiting in New Zealand, and many of the other countries of the TPP,” Groser said. Plainly, by being seen to be seeking to “advance US interests” and by casting himself as a deal broker within the TPP, Groser would also be doing no harm at all to his bid to become the next head of the World Trade Organisation. Let’s just hope and pray that Groser’s personal ambition and New Zealand’s best interests manage to intersect at some point.”

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2012/12/04/gordon-campbell-on-tim-grosers-political-projectile-vomiting-about-the-tppa/

  10. There is a headline on the ‘money’ section of stuff that states ‘SCF case lifts fraud to a
    record high’ one poster blames labour for introducing the retail deposit scheme,but
    obviously you aren’t allowed to correct that belief, by answering that English actually
    changed the terms and conditions which allowed SCF into the scheme against treasury
    advice.
    This denial of retort illustrates what has been going on in the media and press over the last
    few years,everything has to be ‘Nact’ friendly.
    Sorry i can’t link.

    • karol 10.1

      Thanks for the heads-up, starlight.  Link.  I think you can reply to comments below the article if you register first.

      • starlight 10.1.1

        Thanks Karol, i am registered etc, i made two comments defending labour and both
        were moderated out, they were both in the vein that english changed the terms and
        conditions allowing scf into the scheme, denial of reply irked me.

        • karol 10.1.1.1

          Is there a delay before comments are posted, starlight? Are your comments up there now?

          • starlight 10.1.1.1.1

            The headline has now gone into a black hole, thanks for your attention on the matter.:)

            • deuto 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Hi starlight.

              I just clicked on the link that Karol provided at 10.1 and it still goes through to the Stuff article. Comments are at the bottom of the page and there are two there which could be yours.

              • Chris

                Yeah if you are PatJohn then your comments are there. I think stuff moderates before they show comments (well they used to anyway). So it can sometimes take a while to show, particularly on articles that aren’t attracting a lot of comments.

                • starlight

                  Hi to all, yes they are my comments, i clicked on Karol’s link and got it, blushing a bit
                  though, so thanks for your help,have a nice day :)

                  • Rosie

                    Hi Starlight and Co. Regarding the Stuff.co.nz comments “forum”. You mentioned your comments were moderated out. I was interested to hear that. I very rarely comment on stuff these days – I just can’t be bothered and you just end up going around in circles with talk back caller types, with no grasp of the topic they are meant to be commenting on. In saying that, in relation to your observation, what I have noticed is that my comments only ever made it about half of the time. They tend to make it if I say something reactive, petty or polarising but when I try to put a reasoned argument forward, using examples in relation to the topic to illustrate a point, they don’t make it.

                    I’ve often wondered what it would be like if the knowledgable and wise authors of and visitors to this site and others occupied the MSM comments section for a week. It would freak all their regulars out. It would be great. But I don’t think their moderators could handle such a flood of reason and sense and they would stick to their routine which seems to be “Lets have a fight! Yeaaaaahhhh!!”. It seems to be how they roll.

  11. Jenny 11

    “We have suffered enough”

    Cyclone Bopha: The biggest Super Storm to ever strike Mindanao hits.

    “We have suffered enough,” Felicitas Cabusao said, clutching a Holy Rosary beside her crying 12-year-old daughter.

    Cabusao said her daughter survived Typhoon Washi, almost exactly a year ago, after she was washed out to sea when flash floods swept away entire coastal villages…. stuff.co.nz

    Mindanao rarely gets hit by typhoons, since the island is too close to the Equator, and the infrastructure of Mindanao is not prepared to handle heavy typhoon rains as well as the more typhoon-prone northern islands. Bopha is potentially a catastrophic storm for Mindanao. The typhoon is following a similar track to last year’s Tropical Storm Washi, which hit Mindanao on December 16, 2011 with 60 mph winds and torrential rains. Washi triggered devastating flooding that killed 1268 people. Washi was merely a tropical storm, and Bopha is likely to hit at Category 4 or 5 strength, making it the strongest typhoon ever recorded in Mindanao. Super Storm Bopha

    …..Typhoon Bopha, with wind gusts of up to 195 kph, made landfall at dawn, uprooting trees and tearing off roofs.

    About 40 people were killed or missing in flash floods and landslides near a mining area on Mindanao, ABS-CBN television reported, saying waters and soil had swept through an army post.

    A television reporter said she saw numerous bodies lined up near the army base. A military spokesman earlier said about 20 people, including six soldiers, were missing.

    Disaster official Liza Mazo, said more casualties were expected to be discovered as search and rescue teams fanned out.

    Media said dozens of people were injured by flying debris, falling trees and swept away by swollen rivers and flash floods.

    But the relatively low death toll was due in part to an early evacuation. More than 155,000 people were in shelters late on Tuesday. stuff.co.nz

    Bopha: the 2nd most southerly typhoon on record
    Bopha became a tropical depression unusually close to the Equator, at 3.6°N latitude. Tropical cyclones rarely form so close to the Equator, because they cannot leverage the Earth’s rotation to get themselves spinning. According to hurricane expert Dr. Paul Roundy of SUNY Albany, Bopha got its spin from a large-scale atmospheric wave called a mixed Rossby gravity wave. Because of the lack of atmospheric spin so close to the Equator, it took Bopha over four days to intensify into a typhoon, and it stayed a relatively small storm. Bopha became the 2nd most southerly typhoon ever recorded in the Western Pacific at 06 GMT on November 30, when the storm was at 3.8°N latitude. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center lists Typhoon Vamei of 2001 as the most southerly typhoon on record, at 1.5°N. However, other meteorological agencies do not credit Vamei with reaching typhoon strength, so this record is disputed. The previous most southerly typhoon was Typhoon Kate of 14 – 25 October 1970, which reached typhoon intensity at 4.3°N, 137.4°E.

    Bopha “Unusual”

    My question is this: Will we have to wait for a superstorm devastates Auckland or Wellington before our political leaders stop ignoring and start addressing climate change.

    • Jenny 11.1

      Climate Change Ignorers like Shearer, and Climate Change Apologists like Key should pray that while they refuse to address the question of climate change, that a superstorm does not strike the already vulnerable population of our second most populous and earthquake damaged city.

      • Jackal 11.1.1

        Climate Change Ignorers like Shearer? You’re so full of it Jenny it’s not funny.

        David Shearer not looking for Helen Clark’s endorsement

        He said people should not read too much in to Clarke’s appearance in the Herald last weekend – the same weekend as the Labour Party Conference. “ ” Oh look I think people have got past that, I mean Helen Clark is now firmly ensconced for the last four years as the UNDP Administrator, great job, and she was talking about climate change, which is a hugely significant issue for not only the UN but obviously us. So I think that people have moved on from that.

        Emphasis mine.

  12. David H 12

    Just catching up on Yesterdays Question time. How did I know that Parkers Inability to count correctly would come back to bite him, So now the NATS have yet another free target courtesy of the Labour Caucus when are they going to get something / Anything right?

  13. Jackal 13

    Jan Wright’s fracking publicity stunt

    How can the public have faith that Jan Wright is undertaking an unbiased investigation if she doesn’t even mention all the fracking problems in Taranaki that have already occurred?

  14. felix 14

    Is Bill English a drinker?

  15. Rogue Trooper 15

    Well it is very hot here in our region, anecdotally 41 Degrees celsius in Brisbane
    That Bel and the Dragon is apocryphal
    Yet guess what blew in beside the Nor’Wester
    Hyperventilation Syndrome
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hyperventilation-Syndrome-Breathing-Disorders-Overcome/dp/0857830295
    my GP who I trust says she is seeing increasing prevalence of people presenting with this disorder
    so I read this book this morning and British figures were 40% presenting with symptoms
    and quote “a silent epidemic” (nervous system arousal)
    to paraphrase, “for better sleep AVOID television news and Talk-Back Radio :)
    so I’m listening to the radio, Who is The Pilot of The Airwaves? Th ITU want to. Will consider
    Political Activity according to an interesting article in the Herald by Chris Barton; interesting article
    If you are not sleeping, don’t stay in bed, I’ve read that once before
    So it may be a very HOT summer according to the HB Today; the airconditioners block the light
    When the power’s off in New York.Breathe Breathe in The Air…don’t be afraid to care
    Stand your own ground. In 10 Days Time the Pope will tweet.White dog for God locally.
    Milan has an Exorcism HotLine while we fly the unemployed to Australia.Gidday Mate
    Nice to see ya; Tiwai Uncertain. Rancid Aluminium not my Pot of Tea,too Violent
    so it’s
    Breathing retraining
    Esteem
    Total body relaxation
    Talk
    Exercise
    Rest and Sleep

    If we are Mindful we then begin to Remember The Body
    Computers are apparently a factor and I can understand that.Take Care out there, it’s not quite
    Hill Street Blues. A Rocking Chair is “wooden valium”.To be a “shock jock” you have to Be
    Rude and Insensitive; a post-modern Archie Bunker, not alls viewed a Family
    Substantively cloudy weather, oh resignation “naughty boy” from the 6 OClock Roundup
    Our living word, will film ever be over? Dependent on the “good graces” of NZ film distributors
    Media Bites “nine hours of film to do justice to a book”. Stoicism is helpful.Weather the Storm
    (it is a Fienne mess we may getting into). Media Media Media.In a safe place now, a man 10 years
    older than me said he too had watched the Clampdown of the powers that be
    In His lifetime. “Come in he said I’ll give you Shelter from The Storm”

    • Rosie 15.1

      Hi RT. As a quick non political aside: Last year I flicked through the pages of a book of the same topic as you mention above. What a fascinating subject and food for thought for those who are over worked/unrested, have an anxious disposition or have an underperforming nervous system due to excess stressors and illness.

      Come to think of it, you might see signs of mild hyperventilation in some of our ministers and our PM as they emerge from a room within parliament and are pounced upon by journalists who are asking them really hard questions and trying to get them admit they are responsible for the cock up of the moment. Shoulders up, inhale and not breathe out. Eyes fixed in fright, that kind of thing.

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        Yep classic fight or flight response, but chronically induced, and supported by coffee/alcohol/over eating/stimulants/…

        Interesting thing is that short term memory, concentration, communication skills etc. all end up in the toilet under these conditions.

        • Rosie 15.1.1.1

          Yep, so true CV. Key is a classic example but has adapted to hiding his fatigue (except when confronted by balcony jumpers in the house).His remarkable indifference to issues that don’t concern him (ie: everything that matters) does a good job of masking his true state. Seems to need quite a lot of holidays. (A luxury that most overworked workers can only dream of). Holidays required for restoration of well being OR simply because he couldn’t give flying F about his position and needs to maintain a lifestyle. You choose!

  16. Jenny 16

    All that is missing is leadership

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/12/04-11

    David Roberts, policy writer at Grist.org, put emphasis on the fact that Obama could pick up this policy recommendation without any input from Congress, which has repeatedly stalled any and all climate-related legislation in recent years. “This chance to spur decarbonization in the power sector is Obama’s greatest second-term opportunity on climate change,” he said.

    “The genius of NRDC’s proposal,” Roberts continues, “is that it solves the most difficult dilemma facing the agency when it comes to stationary-source regulations.”

    According the NRDC analysis, which was presented Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, the plan would:

    Cut carbon pollution from the nation’s existing power plants 26 percent by 2020 and 34 percent by 2025.
    Make large reductions in other dangerous pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, from existing power plants.
    At a cost of about $4 billion in 2020, save Americans between $25 billion and $60 billion in lives saved, avoided illnesses and reduced climate change.
    Save 3,600 lives, prevent more than 23,000 asthma attacks, avoid more than 2,300 emergency room visits and prevent nearly 1.2 million restricted activity and lost work days.
    Stimulate investments of more than $90 billion in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources in the next eight years.
    Create thousands of jobs, boost local and state economies, and move America toward a clean energy, clean air future.

    And Roberts concludes by asking if President Obama will seize the “extraordinary opportunity” of a simple and flexible plan that “is already in [his regulatory] toolbox; does not require any action by Congress; reduces U.S. emissions by 10 percent by 2020; and has the net effect of stimulating the economy through lower power bills and better health.”

    Roberts contends: “Whether he does will determine whether he goes down in history as a climate champion or someone who, despite lofty rhetoric, fiddled at the margins while Rome burned.”

    Common Dreams staff Tuesday, December 4, 2012 (Wednesday NZ time)

    All that is missing is leadership, will Obama rise up to the challenge?

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      At a cost of about $4 billion in 2020, save Americans between $25 billion and $60 billion in lives saved, avoided illnesses and reduced climate change.

      Saving lives and extending life span worsens energy and resource consumption over the long run. Need fewer people on Earth, surely?

      • Jenny 16.1.1

        Misanthropic nonsense. When people’s lifestyle improves population increase lessens and even drops. So much so that in some European countries if it wasn’t for immigration population growth would be in negative figures.

  17. gobsmacked 17

    Opposition had a good session at Question Time.

    Goff nailed McCully, more to come on that (note to Patrick Gower – this is a damn sight more important than some unknown ex-weatherman).

    Genter got English all muddled on road numbers.

    Key lost the plot at the end – Damien O’Connor wants to kill miners – WTF?

    It shows what they can do when they’re not wasting questions, not giving Key a free hit. Shearer wasn’t there, and so the gov’t Ministers were struggling. If only that happened every time.

  18. Jenny 18

    Title: Climate Change Deniers

    Definition: The CCDs argue that climate change is not real and is not happening. CCDs explain the controversy as a result of a global conspiracy concocted by scientists politicians and media, unfortunately they have not been able to give any rational explanation of the reasons for this global conspiracy.

    Current Status: The CCDs are Pretty much at the fringes of the current debate on climate change

    Title: Climate Change Apologists

    Definition: CCAs admit that climate change is happening, but say that jobs, profits, the economy and growth, and a myriad other issues are far more important than taking steps to address climate change. The apologists are also adept at blaming or scapegoating others, usually groups that they have already taken a dislike to anyway. This group are quite comfortable with the idea of millions if not billions of human deaths, as well as the destruction of entire eco systems and the resulting mass animal and plant extinctions. Their previously listed preoccupations are considered far more important.

    Current status: The most sinister, pernicious, cynical and dangerous of the different Climate Change factions. Currently the CCAs are the main spear carriers for opposing action on climate change.

    And now a third category has arisen:

    Title: Climate Change Ignorers

    Definition: Political leaders and parties who refuse to even mention Climate Change, if they can avoid it. Usually for sectarian political advantage, ie, “not scare the horses”, “not look too radical in the eyes of the voters”, “not offend vested interest”, etc etc.
    Rather than alert the electorate and the wider population to the danger, the CCIs put getting bums on seats for their particular sectarian grouping, more important than even alerting their political rivals who would steal a policy march on them if they were made aware of the danger.
    The whole topic of Climate Change is a ‘no go area’ for these politicians. They will rarely if ever mention the subject of Climate Change, unless it is pushed right up under their noses, and often not even then. If forced to mention Climate Change CCIs say that one day when they are in complete control of the presidency and the congress, or have the most seats in the house of parliament, then (and only then), will they call for action on Climate Change. CCIs neither deny, or apologise for climate change, they just simply ignore it.

    Current Status: The most ridiculous and laughable faction of all, I don’t expect it to last long.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      People have been promised a grand lifestyle and consumption pattern; the middle aged middle classes aren’t going to give up their SUVs and overseas holidays, the young need economic growth to pay off their student debt.

      The ship’s systems are locked on course for the iceberg and everyone is busy trying to get last drinks from the bar before it hits.

    • KJT 18.2

      I would add another lot.
      The ones who say we are stuffed whatever we do.

      Equally as bad as deniers because the logical response to that is to give up and party.

      Which suits the deniers as well.Yet another reason to do nothing.

  19. Rogue Trooper 19

    Trees Are beautiful beings. I’ve always loved trees.Sit amongst some old trees. They’re Powerful
    Not politicians, so many being publically dishonest. Heard a prophecy thr the grapevine That
    Hawkes Bay’s gonna Rock, gently. Ah the virtuosity goes on. Horan again.
    Ever dogs gotta earn his keep and you can’t keep a good dog down.Be Thyself. Blog Masters
    Many of you are, and very experienced too. It’s not looking too great is it. Teleportation.
    The Tomorrow People. They have carried out participant observation random allocation trials
    prayer over people works. The Force Is Strong with that one Dr Luke. It could be worse
    some reverb going on outback. Tijuana Brass balls. The Big Kahuna. No Men without Hats
    in the hot sun, we can dance to the safety dance,many in Hi-Viz now They are growing Hemp
    in Canterbury, that idea’s been grown all my life-time. Children of Men. A Complete Circle.
    While packing the groceries wrapped in an article yesterdays Dom, yesterdays news once more
    about potential Bear slumps in the commodities supercycle covering the ground of the Increased
    cost of carbon / fuels. Australia, a country described as ” a credit bubble built on a commodity market built on an even bigger Chinese credit bubble” is the dinner talk over the ditch.Might start
    reading online papers more. Make Love not War. Radio Free Europe. Does a person have to be
    Job? Volunteer (Jefferson Airplane). Gautama how long need you suffer. Freedom Hallelujah
    and the less we eat, the less we eat, interestingly. Auckland “lacking” in rankings for Infrastructure
    43rd. The same thing’s witnessed in the States. Sydney to Hobart. The Sound of Wind-Sheet
    Clapping. The end of Television? “Calling Mr Lee” Know Thyself; “kiwis are socialists at heart”
    Thats the key. Which shepherds saw the star that night;recovering that thread. Is Poltics in NZ
    getting worse.I can imagine a JT reality tv show; it wouldn’t be suitable for all families.
    Cotton-wheel tractor with rubber bands and knitting rats-tail; As the mat gets larger the progress
    gets slower. What’s The Frequency Kenneth, oh it’s Hauraki. Remember Pirate Rock.Rainbow
    Warrior.Another former stomping ground has empty units now.It is quite a process dealing with
    HNZ now only two staff Mondays and Tuesdays; helpful staff I found though;Very friendly
    and supportive but there is only so much they can do.Lookin for a preachers daughter not a Wino
    we might as well whistle Lynard Skynard while Rome Burns or Tuesdays gone with the Wind.
    Yesterdays News once more.Wasn’t The Fisher King just fetching, “just a step to the left and
    put your knees inside, do the pelvic thrust, it will drive you insaaaane ane.Lets do the Time Warp
    Again.Be Thyself. Ramble On.

  20. karol 20

    What did Maggie Barry say that upset Metiria Turei so much in a debate this afternoon?  I caught the end, with Barry very dismissively and insincerely withdrawing and apologising, and making derogatory remarks about List MPs along the way.

  21. QoT 21

    It’s Hump Day and I’m overtired, but I propose a new drinking game: every time someone leaves successive unthreaded comments about the same issue which they’ve already copy-pasted multiple articles about into Open Mike, take a drink.

    Every time they make a snide comment about Standard authors not posting on said issue, take a drink.

    When they imply there’s a vast underground conspiracy to hush up the issue, finish your vessel, close the browser window, and find something else to do for the evening.

  22. karol 23

    Tonight, the most staggering argument I’ve heard in the House since…. whenever…

    On the Employment Relations (Protection of young workers) amendment Bill – first reading.  e.g.s were given of children as young as 9 or 10 years being employed as independent contractors, such as doing deliveries, without supervision – without full protections of an employee.

    Nat Adam Bennett attacked it as undemocratic and on the individual’s right to choose – in this case the right of “young people” to choose to be an independent contractor.

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