web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Welcome to the Burdigalian

Written By: - Date published: 1:27 pm, January 14th, 2013 - 200 comments
Categories: climate change, global warming - Tags: , , ,

Last year, in the Arctic, atmospheric CO2 concentrations were measured at 400ppm. (referring to the text and links below the vid) If you search on line for historical CO2 levels, you’ll find a lot of comments that are of the opinion that 400ppm CO2 last occurred about 800 000 years ago…or maybe just a bit longer. The implication is that since that’s well within the span of human existence it doesn’t really matter too much. It’s fine; we’ve been here before.

One small detail is omitted from those 800 000 year punts though. Well, two actually. Firstly there is no indication from ice core samples of CO2 levels being as high as 400ppm. And secondly, ice core samples only stretch back 800 000 years.

According to sea bed core analysis, the last time atmospheric CO2 levels were around the 400ppm for any sustained period was during the Burdigalian stage of the Miocene. That’s 15 million to 20 million years ago. That’s the last time earth’s atmosphere had CO2 concentrations around the 400ppm for any sustained period of time.

And needless to say, we haven’t ‘been there’.

Just for some perspective on the time frames – 20 million years is about a third of the way back towards the extinction of dinosaurs, and our common ancestor, Homo Habilis (about 4 feet tall and with half our brain capacity) only appeared about 2.5 million years ago.

The point is this though, the world of 15 – 20 million years ago really is another world and climatically not one like anything we’ve ever experienced as a species. And the CO2 we have expelled into the atmosphere is creating precisely that world, right as I type, and right as you read.

The enormity and stupidity of what we have done boggles my brain. And it flops like a knackered fish brought to land when I reflect on politicians and industrialists jostling with one another across national boundaries for the right to expel even more CO2 into the atmosphere.

Like I said, ice cores record 800 000 years worth of climate. There was maybe a smidgen of ice somewhere 15 million years ago. But there was no Greenland ice sheet and no ice on the Arctic. And there would have been very little, if any, ice in Antarctica. (e.g. –  Scientists variously estimate Lake Vostok in the middle of Antarctica has been isolated beneath ice for between 500 000 and about 1 million years) And I don’t think I’m being unreasonable to suggest similar comparitively ice free environments on the Himalayan and Tibetan Plateaus that contain the glacial feeds for many of the world’s major rivers.

And we can expect temperatures in line with the Burdigalian – ie 4-6 degrees C above pre-industrial levels by 2040 or 2050 according to the estimates of such conservative institutions as the International Energy Agency, the World Bank and others.

Sea level rise is another, less definite matter. Although I keep hearing 1000 years with regards Antarctica, the truth is that nobody knows with any accuracy how processes associated with melting work or how long they might take. What is known is that once ice shelves disintegrate (as is happening in Antarctica) there is nothing to hold glaciers, increasingly lubricated by melt water, up on the land. And it’s also known that ice in seawater has the same effect on sea level rises as melted ice. But sure, lets say 1000 years to get full on Burdigalian sea level rises in the order of 20m or 30m or whatever.

Now, I don’t expect anyone who is reading this to flick all their electrical switches to a permanent ‘off’ position. And I don’t expect people to suddenly refuse to drive cars or fly in planes. And I don’t expect you or anyone else to lend their heft to a force that will compel governmental agencies and institutions to take the type of radical and urgent actions that they and we really need to commit to.

What I do expect is for people to do nothing or nothing much by way of putting a stop to the burning of those carbon deposits that were laid down hundreds of millions of years ago.

And so I expect that we are in for a horrendously chaotic ride as the climate transitions from one stable state to another stable state. And, as a consequence, I expect millions, or  possibly even billions now living to die – many within the memory of somebody, somewhere, who is alive today.

But that’s alright. Because maybe you’re up for promotion soon. Or maybe the Cullen Fund will yield you good returns for retirement. And maybe the next government will be better than the last government. And this plan; the one we are pursuing at the moment whereby we pretend everything’s okay on the basis that  everything’ll be okay if we pretend hard enough that everything’ll be okay…it seems to be working, yup?

N.B. Anybody attempting  to run an AGW denialist arguments will be banned. Them’s the rules. You don’t have to like them. You’ve been warned.

200 comments on “Welcome to the Burdigalian”

  1. Andre 1

    Well said Bill

    • aerobubble 1.1

      As the sun uses up fuel it gets hotter, as heat and light need to escape but have more waste from the nuclear processes to get through. So 800,000 years ago the sun was slight cooler! meaning that the greenhouse gases trap more heat as there is a hotter sun. The problems with assumptions is that they aren’t recognized, that the Earth-Sun relationship changes over time too.

  2. Erentz 2

    But the world is only 6000 years old! And if we go extinct that is just what god wants. An the world is so big there is no way humans can impact it. And there was a typo somewhere your article so therefore the whole thing is clearly unreliable. And the cabal of tens of thousands of scientists are just trying to take away my car an send us all back to the Stone Age without any medicine, because they hate our freedoms. And …

  3. Rogue Trooper 3

    Excellent rhetoric Bill; A+
    (I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike, I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I like, you say black, I say white, you say bark I say bite)

    Fat-bottomed girls you make the rockin’ world go round.

    -Freddie

  4. Scientific Moron (renamed from fustercluck) 4

    I thought data showed CO2 increases follow temperatures rather than leading them. Hmm.

    Yes, lets all focus on a normal atmospheric gas and Al Gores attempts to commodify carbon rather than looking at the actual destruction of our planets capacity to house us in comfort. Let industry dump poisons for free. Let deforestation continue unabated.

    Go ahead and cling to the specious fantasy of ‘carbon neutral’ cities and ‘offsets’…yep that’ll sort things out.

    That climate changes is the only constant. That our climate will change is a certainty. That we are changing the climate is a possibility. Another certainty is that we will choke in our filth long before we cook from rising temperatures.

    Ignore the hand the magician is waving about and watch the one he is trying to hide. It suits transnational power structures to debate CO2 as long as it allows them to pollute and despoil for free.

    [lprent: Just to clarify, there is usually a pulse of CO2 after the end of a natural de-glaciation - which is what this scientific moron is referring to. This is because land areas that have had cold temperatures defrost, and ocean currents warm up. Both release the vast amounts of CO2 that were locked up in tundra and deep current respectively. A natural deglaciation is largely caused by orbital forcing, ie the orbital mechanics

    Of course the whole point of AGW is that it is not a natural process, it is a forced outpouring of greenhouse gases causing climate change. It isn't a outpouring of greenhouse gases in a response to orbital warming. The only times in the geological record that show anything similar have been long periods of extended volcanism over thousands or millions of years, usually accompanied by mass extinctions. There is nothing in the geological record that shows anything measurable happening in decades like we have seen in the last hundred years.

    Of course the silly wanker above probably knows this. After all it has been explained so often that even the most pig-ignorant arsehole like him is probably aware of it. Since he has offered absolutely nothing of value, I'm going to change his handle and ban him for a week for trying to derail a post. ]

    • One Tāne Huna 4.1

      I thought data showed CO2 increases follow temperatures rather than leading them

      Really? Says who? What else did they say? Did they mention the Strawman?

      Question: are you now experiencing the humiliation of having been duped, or are you angrily rejecting the facts and clinging to your delusions like a cry-baby?

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        I reckon the latter.

        As for the “climate changes anyway” argument:
        Although lightning strikes people occasionally, it doesn’t mean that we as a species should happily stick our dicks in a power socket.

    • muzza 4.2

      Ignoring/abusing SM’s comment and a ban, does not remove the validity of what was said!

      Only those who can’t see the writing on the wall, will waste time worrying about it. The debate is not even a consideration for those who dictate to the planet, the policies which will decide the fate of the massess, we will get what we deserve, (apathy/stupidity/greed) ensure it, that’s been priced in so to speak.

      The other option is a sudden wind down/event so graphic, that the global population plunges, either way there is massive depopulation, when/how are the only variables!

      McFlock – Again with the references, you go boy!

      • McFlock 4.2.1

        It’s sweet that you still read my comments, then.
        A bit like the “moral majority” members [giggle] who opposed pornography so much they bought every single issue so they could point out the offensive content after close – er – reading.

      • lprent 4.2.2

        Then argue it. Don’t do what this silly dickhead did and insinuate. Personally I take a great pleasure in tearing spare ones for people who do that.

        Protect yourself from me because this is the one area of debate that I allow myself to play. Before putting up one of the idiotic myths of the climate ostriches (that I have now seen a thousand times before) at least read Skepical Science or Real Climate FAQs so you understand the actual arugument and data from the field. Blindly going off and repeating ritual from the Heartland, Watts, or that supreme fraud – the potty peer just makes me think that people aren’t worth arguing with.

        And FFS, learn some bloody basic earth sciences. It has been 30 years since I did, surely some of the basics haev leaked out into schools by now. I saw my niece reading some in her year 9 class work…

        • muzza 4.2.2.1

          Why would I care to protect myself from you LP, I’m not looking to debate the science, I’ll leave that to the *clever people*. I’m interested to read what those who seem to understand the science (or claim they do) have to say, but I am also interested in the realistic discussion about what is practical at the moment, and the short, medium term, and what ideas others have, which they are actively implementing in order to drive change, other than sitting back and waiting for the political system to *save the world*!

          All the science knowledge in your head is not going to alter what we are all up against, so far as the models which govern the path we’re headed!

          McFlock , yeah I read your comments, there is something to be gained from most of the regulars here.

        • TheContrarian 4.2.2.2

          “Protect yourself from me because this is the one area of debate that I allow myself to play.”

          Jesus man, listen to yourself “Protect yourself from me!”. What an asshole.

  5. lorax 5

    The sooner and severer the impacts of climate change begin to hit us the better, in some ways, as that may be the only way to elicit a response…or maybe not. Unfortunately I think we may be content to be frogs in a big pot.

    • erentz 5.1

      I’m kind of with you on this. As long as those impacts are not the really bad feedback creating, impossible to reverse kind. Lots more mega storms, and the like would be nice to have. Throw it in the face of people enough that they finally click. Time is the greatest persuader but unfortunately with climate change we’re out of time.

      I get very cynical these days on this subject. For example, I couldn’t quite fathom why everyone in Louisiana was so sore about the oil spill a couple of years back. I mean, going by their voting records, and rhetoric of their representatives, they all don’t seem to care that those marshes and shoreline will be non existent in a few decades due to climate change. So on the grand scale of things, what does it matter if they’re destroyed now or in 40 years time. If you care about protecting it now, you should equally care about protecting it long into the future. But I tried debating that logic with some, and it didn’t pan out very well. Humans are pretty dumb.

    • karol 5.2

      Actually, I hear people who aren’t usually that political talking anxiously about the extremes of temperature we’ve seen lately: the fires in Aussie and Canterbury, the heat in Auckland, unusual snow storms in China, etc. I had two such people talks to me yesterday – one specifically worried about climate change, another seemed to imply it. And on Saturday I came across a couple of people talking about what they should give up, with the need to power down. Most of these people have never talked to me about anything political int he past.

      The pollies and MSM may be trudging slowly along behind the general population on this.

    • Anne 5.3

      The sooner and severer the impacts of climate change begin to hit us the better, in some ways, as that may be the only way to elicit a response…

      I bet you there are oodles of Aussies who are more concerned about C.C. than they were a few weeks ago…

  6. Steve Wrathall 6

    The 1990 IPCC report predicted “Under the Business- as- Usual scenano, the best estimate is that, for the year 2030, global sea level would be 18cm higher than today”
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_chapter_09.pdf

    Meanwhile back in the real world sea level continues it’s non-alarming 3.1 mm/year rise , and there is no evidence that it is increasing.
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/current/sl_ns_global.jpg

    This puts us on track for 12.4 cm over 1990-2040. Below the average IPCC prediction from 1990, way below the upper-end IPCC estimate of 30 cm, and no-where near the fantastical Al Gore metres of sea level rise flooding NY before the WTC is even rebuilt.

    If you want to panic prople into the tax-and-control agenda that you have held all along, then you’ll have to try something different because the AGW scam has had it.

    • One Tāne Huna 6.1

      Why are you referencing a 23 year old study when IPCC AR4 came out in 2007?

      Is it because you are dishonest, or is it because you’ve swallowed the lies you’ve been told like a cretinous sponge?

      • Steve Wrathall 6.1.1

        Because there is now 23 years of real-world observations to compare with those predictions. You actually care whether the alarmist predictions you believe in are true…don’t you?

        Please state which proposition you claim I am denying.

        • One Tāne Huna 6.1.1.1

          I care about lab technicians who cherry pick and misrepresent science, and wonder whether they are upset that the smart kids got all the good research positions.

          • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1

            momentarily gobsmacked!

          • muzza 6.1.1.1.2

            I care about lab technicians who cherry pick and misrepresent science, and wonder whether they are upset that the smart kids got all the good research positions.

            And there it is!

    • Bill 6.2

      What tax and control agenda is that I’ve been holding all along? News to me. Anyway, because I forgot to put the caveat on this post – the one that says any denialist arguments will lead to the perpetrators being banned – I’ll let this one b/s comment of yours go.

      But be warned. Do not attempt to derail the thread with denialist clap trap. And read the fcking links if you want the science…particularly the one to Kevin Anderson’s presentation that explains in some detail the why’s and wherefore’s of various reports being manipulated to misrepresent the real picture. (The transcript is linked from the vid I link to in the post if you don’t have sufficient bandwidth to view the vid)

      And here’s the link again. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cabot/events/2012/194.html

      • weka 6.2.1

        I’d encourage you to moderate hard on this thread Bill. Maybe put the warning re denialist derailments from one of the earlier posts at the bottom of this post?

        [B :- Aye. You could have just succesfully persuaded me there ;-) Really have noticed a big drop off in denialist b/s since the Heartland sponsored study was released. But that's an observation for another day.]

        • Steve Wrathall 6.2.1.1

          Please state which proposition you claim I am denying.

          [B:- Steve. Not only are you screeching, but your posting duplicate comments. If you want to maintain that AGW is 'a scam', then that's fine by me. But you won't be holding that argument on this post. That clear?]

          [lprent: Banned 2 months.

          A month for trying to disrupt the thread - quoting a 23 year old study as if it was current puts you directly into the extreme troll area. And another month for being a dumbarse and trying to argue about it after being clearly warned.

          If you're going to argue about AGW, then for fucks sake update your knowledge to the point that you're not mindlessly repeating crap from decades ago.

          I removed the duplicate ]

          • mickysavage 6.2.1.1.1

            He did claim that the 1990 report was inaccurate because the increase in sea level was not as bad as predicted. But yeah cherry picking data and ignoring everything that is happening around the one bit of data that is not as bad as they thought it would be is pretty dishonest. Instead of arguing one particular bit of data they should be prepared to argue everything. They are backing a conclusion looking for some support, any support, that will back up their prejudice.

        • Populuxe1 6.2.1.2

          Can you actually point out anyone here who has denied climate change, Weka? Even futercluck at least admits the human element in the equation is “possible”. I’m inclined to suspect a combination of human and natural elements.

          • weka 6.2.1.2.1

            Haven’t actually read that part of the conversation Pop. Can’t be bothered. What I can see though is a steady pattern in these discussions on ts. Bill is probably right that the out and out denialists aren’t around as much, but there is still derailment going on, it’s just more subtle. If someone wants to talk about whether what Bill says in his post is real or not, or to what degree it is real, they’re missing the point, and IMO they can fuck off somewhere else to play with the figures. The point, IMO, of Bill’s post, is not to present and open debate about to what extent we are fucked or not, but instead it’s to state categorically that we are in an extremely serious situation and we have to do something NOW. We don’t have to talk any more about whether it’s sufficiently bad to change our lives, we’re already there.

            Any comments that create long discussions about the finer points of what’s true or not, or to what extent they are true, are complete bullshit, and just serve to reinforce Bill’s point. Point in case, I’ve just spent 6 or 7 minutes explaining this to you instead of posting some additional links to support Karol’s comment below about giving people tools to do something locally.

            ps. having now gone and had a closer look at the actual comments, how on earth can you not see this one as a denial and derailment?

            “If you want to panic prople into the tax-and-control agenda that you have held all along, then you’ll have to try something different because the AGW scam has had it.”

            • muzza 6.2.1.2.1.1

              Weka the problem is with attitudes such as that your comment illustrates you have, is the mirror of those who are accused of denial!

              Either end of the spectrum means that beneficial outcomes, and the plan to get to those outcomes, is not possible, because “we have to do something NOW”

              Do you actually care what something is, are you interested in meaningful discussion of what something is, or will you accept whatever TPTB decide will be best solution for humanity, not matter what?

              The fact you won’t even bother to read the comment, shows equally, as bad a view on this topic, as someone who flat out denies that its not an issue!

              If you’re that passionate about it, perhaps share what action you’re taking to negate yours/families contribution to the problem then…I look forward to reading it!

              Or are you waiting for TPTB to act on your behalf!

              Note: In case you’re waiting, consider this – The governments, nor the people the governments represent, give a toss about what happens to you, or your family!

              • weka

                “Do you actually care what something is”

                Yes. But I believe that we already know enough about AGW to take action.

                “are you interested in meaningful discussion of what something is”

                Yes, just not in this thread. When your house is burning down, you don’t need to stop and debate why it started, or whether the heat is x degrees or y degrees. You need strategies for you getting the kids out of the house and maybe saving the photos and other precious things.

                “or will you accept whatever TPTB decide will be best solution for humanity, not matter what?”

                That question doesn’t really apply to me, as I don’t think TPTB are competent to deal with this situation. It says more about you not knowing who I am.

                “The fact you won’t even bother to read the comment, shows equally, as bad a view on this topic, as someone who flat out denies that its not an issue!”

                Nope. There are lots of discussions I don’t read on ts. Life is short. I can tell you that I sometimes read Lynn’s comments about the details about climate change, because they’re interesting and often teach me something. And sometimes the comments from others. But in general I’m not that interested in debating the minutiae of CC so tend to skip over those conversations. Please bear in mind, that I’ve been environmentally aware and active for over 25 years, so it’s not like my avoidance is complete avoidance, or willful ignorance. I’m just selective on how I spend my energy.

                “If you’re that passionate about it, perhaps share what action you’re taking to negate yours/families contribution to the problem then…I look forward to reading it!”

                I do activism in my community that prepares for the coming powerdown. I’ve downsized my life quite a bit with regards to resource use, but like most people find there are distinct limits to what I can achieve as an individual. I’ve been talking about peak oil for a long time. I’ve not been very focussed on CC because it’s not been my area of interest, and because it seemed for a while like there was a lot of activism going on already, and because I thought there was bugger all we could do. Bill’s posts of the last month have changed my mind about that. There are other things I could say, more detailed, but I value my privacy :-)

                “Or are you waiting for TPTB to act on your behalf!”

                Most certainly not (I think you might be confusing me with Jenny there ;-) ). I don’t believe that govt (national or local) have the solutions. I believe instead that communities need to take responsibility and action, and that governing organisations (and businesses) will follow once we reach a population tipping point. The value of govt at the moment is to stem the tide, which is why people who don’t vote intentionally give me the shits. The work that I and lots of other people do is so much easier under a left wing govt than a right wing one. The further left we can shit that govt the better, but I don’t believe that parliament will save us.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I don’t believe that govt (national or local) have the solutions. I believe instead that communities need to take responsibility…

                  There’s no difference between those two entities. That seems to be the biggest problem with peoples understanding of politics today – especially the politicians understanding.

          • TheContrarian 6.2.1.2.2

            Careful Pop1, denying that someone is denying AGW is a bannable offence.

            (FWIW – I have no real disagreement with AGW)

            [lprent: Deliberately repeating a argument that has been refuted many times on a post about AGW is bannable offence because it is a classic troll diversion tactic. And in this case Steve W has used that line before used in exactly the same diversion, been banned for it, and now repeats it - in this case using a 23 year old report. That is just stupid and gets in the way of discussing what was actually in the post.

            The other idiot was merely repeating something that they'd probably read somewhere before and never bothered to check. At least I couldn't see him using it anywhere else on the site. What annoys me is the way that he used it. A straight assertion, no references, and no relationship to the topic of the actual post. Again a classic troll diversion technique. If he wanted a discussion on just that point, then he could have raised it in OpenMike instead.

            The likelihood of Pop ever getting banned for something that dumb is zero to minimal. I suspect it would require some kind of lobotomy. ]

          • lprent 6.2.1.2.3

            Pop: Of course it is a mixture of “human and natural elements”. The whole climate system is a balance between conflicting systems. It would take very very little shift in any one part of the “natural” system to render the planet uninhabitable to life above the level of a single celled organism – which is all that has existed for the vast majority of the Earth’s history.

            The earth’s climate is currently only inhabitable because the biosystems are maintaining it that way. At this stage in the solar evolution without a biology we should have an average temperature a lot different than we do and should have quite a different atmosphere. We’d be likely to look more like Venus than Mars.

            The point about AGW is that it is really only the human elements that are are affecting the stability of a system that usually only has quite gradual change. To have the shift in the earth’s atmosphere that has happened in the last century is something that would “naturally” take 10’s of thousands of years and more likely 100’s of thousands of years.

            The biological mechanisms that would usually compensate for such changes act far too slowly for the type of climate change happening now. So we’re heading for the classic symptoms of a mass extinction of the type we can see in the geological record many times. Typically this takes out the higher animal kingdom – like ourselves or the large dinosaurs. For instance the nearly million years of the deccan volcanism that culminated in the eventual extinction of the large dinosaurs (punctuated at the end with a meteorite).

            But those are the “natural” mechanisms. We’re currently tipping the balance in the atmosphere towards one of the other climate stability points. Which unfortunately isn’t one that either we as a species, nor our civilisations have evolved to cope with. As Bill points out, the last time the world saw similar conditions was a hell of a long time ago.

            Humans in our current numbers depend entirely on our agricultural technology. That has proven many times to not be particularly resilient in the face of mere weather, and to readily disintegrate into famine in even the minor climate changes we’ve had in the last 10k years.

            So as far as I’m concerned it is only the “human” factors I worry about. The Earth will abide with or without us. If humans can maintain their civilisation or even avoid extinction after accidentally modifying the climate that we depend so heavily on is a question that is yet to be resolved.

            • TheContrarian 6.2.1.2.3.1

              The plants survived their accidental poisoning of the environment – I think we can too…maybe.

              • Lanthanide

                Anyone claiming that humans are going to go extinct in the next 100, and likely 500 years, is barking up the wrong tree.

                *Industrial civilization* however, is an entirely different, and much more fragile, beast.

                • Macro

                  I wouldn’t be so sure. Your comment displays a complete lack of appreciation of the position and role of humans in the ecosystem. We are damaging the ecosystem irreparably and who knows what the outcome will be. Take the rapid extinction of bees worldwide for instance. Many of the foods on which we depend, depend for their fertilisation on bees.
                  http://thenationonlineng.net/new/business/agriculture/how-to-reverse-decline-in-bee-population/

                  • weka

                    Bees…. Macro, I think you are meaning the end of civ, not the end of homo sapiens. Yes bees are important for pollination, but they’re not the only pollinators, and I don’t see the evidence for extinction of all bee species. What that article is talking about is commercial monocropping, which is dependent on a small number of bee species from commercial hives that are a fairly unnatural condition for bees to exist within. I’m not saying there isn’t a problem, just that what industrial food growers need is not the same as what humans need.

                • AmaKiwi

                  Anyone claiming we don’t have the means (nuclear weapons, germ warfare, etc.) to make humans extinct is in denial.

                  • McFlock

                    Actually, with the exception of a complete nuclear exchange (and even then maybe not), extinction would still be difficult to achieve.

                    Germ warfare is excellent at killing large numbers of people, but achieving 100% fatality with 100% infection is a difficult combination: look at Rabbit haemorragic disease which would have been a limited control even if released properly. The Black Death achieved massive fatalities but still never came anywhere near to wiping out Europe.

                    Civilizations, on the other hand, are much more vulnerable.

                    But it will take something massive for us to wipe ourselves out. Climate change over a few hundred years (e.g. oceanic stagnation) maybe but unlikely. Nuclear exchange: maybe, but highly unlikely (although regional exchanges likely). Gas/chemical agents: probably not. Disease: civilisation, not entire population.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      But it will take something massive for us to wipe ourselves out.

                      The T-Rex Leadership Committee felt great relief at this report.

                    • McFlock

                      Two points:
                      Firstly, I never said extinction was impossible, just highly unlikely. Self-inflicted extinction in the next few hundred years if even more unlikely.

                      Secondly, T-rex and their campadres were not (as far as we’re aware) particularly good at tracking near-earth asteroids or building bunkers. Additional to that note, the nutritional requirements of humans are somewhat less than for multi-tonne lizards.

                      Mammals. We kick arse.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Mammals. We kick arse.

                      Rats maybe… :twisted:

                      I agree that human extinction by 2100 is very very unlikely.

                      At this point however I also believe that a human population of over 2B-3B by 2100 is just as unlikely.

                    • McFlock

                      maybe. The proof is in the pudding.

                • Anyone claiming that humans are going to go extinct in the next 100, and likely 500 years, is barking up the wrong tree.

                  That is denial of AGW, or maybe just the A?
                  Or to use my new pet words
                  cognitive dissonance

                  Regardless of your belief, the facts say we are gone burger

                  • weka

                    Different interpretations of the facts. I don’t see the evidence that we are gone burger. I see the evidence that we are possibly, or even probably gone burger as a species, but not an absolute. I haven’t seen you post any evidence of the absolute either :-)

                    • Sorry there might be 2-3 people down in the Olduvai Gorge, or a tribe in Antarctica, but from what Guy McPherson says global average of +4 = no oxygen, hasn’t Hanson said as much ? Like we are headed for Venus?
                      And transition towns might have worked if they had been maintained after WW2 but now they are just gardening clubs. They came out with a nice book though.
                      In the end the argument is academic as far as you and I go, we will not know or care the future of man kind.
                      That is partly why I use my real name … I don’t give a fuck.

                    • weka

                      Guy McPherson theorises about what will happen. It’s not the same as saying the sun will rise tomorrow. We have probabilities not certainties. The problem I have with your position is that if you are wrong, if we still do have a chance, then you are wasting it.

                      McPherson appears to still believe that acting as if we have a chance is still a reasonable and valid thing to do.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Indeed weka, it’s our human and moral imperative not to waste what remains of our (narrowing) chances. As long as we can draw another breath, we have another chance at life.

                    • All well and good guys, but apathy rules, the pig ignorant masses and that includes politicians, MSM, and just about every organization that could do something are just not listening, Jay Hanson said over 15 years ago, it is pointless doing anything while 99% of the system is traveling at the speed of light towards the cliff.
                      But don’t let my opinion stop you, go man the barricades, I will be right behind you, along with everyone else zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
                      In the end humans are just not worth the effort.

                    • The Al1en

                      “In the end humans are just not worth the effort.”

                      I don’t know, I quite like them.

                    • weka

                      Robert, I don’t see much difference between “we’re all fucked and there is nothing we can do” and “climate change isn’t real”, in terms of real outcomes.

                      “Jay Hanson said over 15 years ago, it is pointless doing anything while 99% of the system is traveling at the speed of light towards the cliff.”

                      If that’s true then he doesn’t understand much about societal change then, does he? However I suspect you are misrepresenting his views.

                      “In the end humans are just not worth the effort.”

                      Perhaps, but the rest of life has value beyond measure. That you don’t care about that says much.

                    • Weka my anonymous friend, it hurts to much to care, I can’t look at a polar bear or a new child without feeling like crying, but then I see a dog hung to death from a tree in Upper Hutt 5 or so years ago, or that video of the mother dog with her drowned pup in her mouth running up and down the river bank, crying for the rest of the litter, or the baby elephant beside its tusk less mother.
                      Then I think good fucking job and death to humans, we are utter trash. With politicians at the top of this disgusting heap, as a species we deserve what is happening.
                      Jay actually said something like he wouldn’t do anything to try and stop what is happening until he sees global governments taking control and appropriate actions, though having http://www.dieoff.org was doing something … maybe.

                      My default will be killing myself, so no need to suggest it, I am well and truly in the kill myself mindset.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      Thanks Robert, I understand better where you are at now, and share some of your sentiments. That’s a very hard place you are in, and I’m sorry for it. For whatever reason, my psyche still affords me some protection… I agree with the idea that we have to resist no matter what, but it works better for me to frame it in ways that do have some hope. I used to agree with Derrick Jensen’s position on hope (that hope prevents us from taking necessary action), but now I just find it more effective to work as if there is a point beyond resistance.

                      I will continue to disagree with your politics. However even though I don’t know if this is what you want, I wish you some relief from such suffering.

    • erentz 6.3

      Good news everybody! Steve says the AGW scam has had it, therefore he’s no longer worried about whatever it is about science that scares and worries his inflexible mind so much, and he’ll just go away and ignore all you AGW believers now and focus on his own life. Because the scam you’ll have been sucked into is over! Yay!

      It gets to a point where you have to start asking if Steve is some kind of bot, or he just has this persona he’s developed which he practises online as a kind of performance to amuse people at cocktail parties and the like.

      • Anne 6.3.1

        Perhaps he’s one of the ignorant gullibles who listens to the bull-shit supremo Denier- Leighton Smith.

    • Andre 6.4

      Selfishness , Personified, STEVE Well done….

    • Macro 6.5

      For the casual reader – you need to be aware that everything Steve says here is utter bullshit. His claim that sea level rise is 3.1 mm/year is a cherry picking hoax of absurd proportions. For a fuller – more balanced and accurate assessment of what the IPCC said, and what the actual observations are, you are referred to this exposition here :
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/sea-level-rise-predictions.htm

    • Barry 6.6

      I like the way he says “non-alarming” 3.1 mm per year sea level rise. At least it is progress from a few years ago when deniers were saying that sea level wasn’t rising at all.

      I find 3.1mm per year (31 cm a century) quite alarming, and that is the minimum we are likely to see this century.

  7. joe90 7

    Here’s the draft of the National Climate Assessment released late last week.

    http://ncadac.globalchange.gov/download/NCAJan11-2013-publicreviewdraft-fulldraft.pdf (179MB)

  8. weka 8

    Thanks Bill, good post. That made me get off the internet and go and make some phone calls on local relevant issues that I’ve been meaning to do.

    I’ll go all cynical here for a moment, and say, let’s all sit on the Standard and congratulate ourselves on knowing what is what, instead of going and doing something. Or let’s sit here and debate the minutiae of CC/AGW detail. Are we any better than anyone else?

    My first response to reading Bill’s post was that it’s just too big and too hard. Even for the people that are on board with the science and reality, it seems such an impossible task. For me personally, I tend to shift my focus back to my local community and supporting things happening here that might give us a chance as survival, and might also help people to not just wake up but have the resources to do something. But I also see a lack of avenues for political action on a bigger scale.

    The other big gaps I see in the political communities’ responses to AGW are helping people deal with cognitive and emotional dissonance, and giving people things they can do right now to take action (these need to be things that affirm survival for individuals and their families as well as helping mitigate CC).

    In other words, we need strategies, as well as pertinent information and talk fests (I’m finding Bill’s posts on CC in the past month to be very motivation and helpful, so let’s keep writing too).

    • Andre 8.1

      WEKA as you say the people need strategies as individuals and groups and country’s. It is fixable ….Lets get on with it for our kids..

    • karol 8.2

      I think acting locally is very important. I am reminded of this link to Transition towns someone posted under one of my posts a couple of months back. A post about collective action. The about section of the site says this:

      Transition Towns initiatives are part of a vibrant, international grassroots movement that brings people together to explore how we – as communities – can respond to the environmental, economic and social challenges arising from climate change, resource depletion and an economy based on growth.

      People may find it a useful site for getting involved in local activities in their area.

      • Gosman 8.2.1

        I’m curious about these Transition Towns. I initially thought they were actual towns which had been set up but the more I look into it they seem to be a bunch of political action committees offering advice on solar heated showers and small hold organic farming. Most disappointing.

        • karol 8.2.1.1

          Gos, it looks to me that it can be used for info and for making connections locally, especially via the forum “local groups” section.

        • weka 8.2.1.2

          “the more I look into it they seem to be a bunch of political action committees offering advice on solar heated showers and small hold organic farming.”

          Reducing demand on the grid and supporting local, small scale food production are exactly what we need to be doing. Why were you disappointed?

          • Gosman 8.2.1.2.1

            Because they are talkshops. Well meaning talkshop, but talkshops none the less.

            I went to that link provided by karol and noted that the movement started from a place called Kinsale. I did a search on it and, (if it is indeed the same place I looked at), the Kinsale council doesn’t reference much, if anything, about their seminal role in this movement.

            What I woiuld prefer to see is a group of like minded people actually setting large scale communities up that offer practical examples of how people can live in a prosperous manner going forward using as many of the new methods promoted. As more ideas come up they can try those as well. Now that is my idea of a transition town.

            • Bill 8.2.1.2.1.1

              Maybe you should have read my comments and posts on worker/housing collectives when I made them. Life was prosperous enough (ie, a more than adequate ‘standard of living’) , energy needs plummented and quality of life was much, much higher than you’d ever achieve in this, or any other, atomised market economy. And we had ample time and energy to develop and lay in whatever groundwork or infrastructure we thought we required. Of course, back then, AGW wasn’t really on anyone’s radar.

            • framu 8.2.1.2.1.2

              well – you know what to do then – get your mates and put some capital behind starting your own one :-)

              but i thought you hated collectivism and the coercion that goes along with it?

              OK – im with you on talk fests generally achieving little – but we are talking about re-organising entire communities, which would involve a fair amount of talking and progressing in very small steps. Its a slow process that will undoubtedly require different solutions in different places and take a very long time.

              eg: if your just staring out then surely “offering advice on solar heated showers and small hold organic farming” isnt a bad thing is it? – you do have to get people on board, which takes – you guessed it – time and talking a lot.

              also, in practice, transition towns would likely evolve into the description – i know from experience that if you get out and about in small town NZ this is exactly what is happening. Individuals or small groups starting projects, other locals seeing the positives and starting out on their own ideas and so on.

              The talk fests that you are describing are just the annoying unproductive, but highly visible face – you need to get amongst it to see the reality

              OK folks – back on topic

              • weka

                “also, in practice, transition towns would likely evolve into the description – i know from experience that if you get out and about in small town NZ this is exactly what is happening. Individuals or small groups starting projects, other locals seeing the positives and starting out on their own ideas and so on.

                The talk fests that you are describing are just the annoying unproductive, but highly visible face – you need to get amongst it to see the reality”

                +100 Spot on.

              • Gosman

                I dislike coersion but have no problem with voluntary collectivism.

                The point I am making is that people have the power to set up these new communities right now, so why aren’t they doing so?

                • framu

                  they are doing it – it just doesnt come about in the way you think it does. Which makes your point kind of redundant

                  re-read my comment and weka’s below

            • weka 8.2.1.2.1.3

              Gosman, I don’t think Kinsale council were a big part of the initial projects there. It was community based. But if you want to look at successful examples that have eventually involved local bodies and even national govt, try the UK ones, esp Totnes. http://www.transitiontowntotnes.org/

              Your idea about intentional community is interesting, but that’s not what Transition Towns is about. Intentional communities of the the kind you are talking about take resources, time, energy. Most people don’t have that. The Transition Town movement is SPECIFICALLY focussed on transforming existing communities, because so much of what we need in a community is already there, and because that’s where the people are that TT needs to make the change.

              Most people are unwilling to form intentional communities anyway, so TT focuses on what works for people where they are now.

              The main long term goal of most Transition Towns is to produce an Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP). The work at Kinsale, and the Totnes EDAP are founding documents, worth reading if you want to understand the scope. All the things that need to happen to produce the EDAP are what transform the community.

              • Gosman

                “Louise Rooney, set about developing the Transition Towns concept and presented it to Kinsale Town Council resulting in the historic decision by Councillors to adopt the plan and work towards energy independence.”

                This suggests to me that the Kinsale Town Council was involved in quite a major way with the concept. However as stated no mention, that I could see, is apparent on their website.

  9. McFlock 9

    Personally I think we’re at the point of needing some massive tech interventions to stop the different issues caused by industrial fossil fuel use.

    The problems I see are:
    A) warming, leading to severe weather patterns and sea level rise;
    B) ocean acidification that, coupled with warming and overfishing, will lead to continue species depletion and decline in food supply;
    C) energy costs rising to the point of economic collapse.

    A can be temporarily treated artificially today by changing the albedo of the planet.
    A and B can only be solved by carbon sequestration in massive amounts, not technically achievable in a useful timeframe today.
    C being prevented by a new energy source might enable B. IF the new energy source turns up in time.

    Basically, we’re fucked and in the hands of fate. But we’re also smart and adaptable.

    • Bill 9.1

      A. The only suggestion I’ve seen for changing the albedo of the planet was the one made a few years ago to paint all rooftops white. But since all the rooftops are in the wrong location with regards warming at the poles and since the area of arctic ice lost this summer was an area the size of Europe…

      B. Massive carbon sequestration could be achieved throughplanting lots and lots of trees. Then we could plant lots more. (I don’t know, but at a rough guess I’d say a 10 ton tree holds about 1 ton of carbon (the other 9 tons being water) and cycles or breathes whatever amount.

      I don’t like the idea of seeding oceans with Fe because of side effects both known and (inevitably) unforseen.

      And I think CCS is a crock of shit (inefficient, requires even more extraction of fossil fuels than now and needs geological formations close to source [or so I'd think], other wise carbon savings are potentially lost on transportation or in building the required infrastucture)

      C. Yes, it’s possible to develop non-fossil fuel energy sources. But not in the time scale we have. So, develop them and in the interim hammer our demand down hard and fast. And, I have to say, that if that means fcking the economy, then fck the economy. We can always imagine and develop non-market economic alternatives. And I don’t think the majority of humanity would be losing anything were the market to be abandoned.

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        There are also a couple of suggestions along the lines of releasing reflective vapours over the arctic in the North Hemisphere summer. Massive volumes.

        That’s of course if we discount the current “chemtrail” theory :) Trouble is that some of the suggested reflective vapours are acidic in their own right, so it’s addressing only one symptom. I expect they’ll end up doing it, though.

        I’m really not in favour of releasing more chemicals to try and tweak things in the other direction, but geo-engineering is our only option. Even if we turned everything off tomorrow, we still have the lag problem and the permafrost problem.

        CCS at the moment is useless. We need a tech game changer before we can address the root carbon problem. Tree planting isn’t going to cut it.

        • Bill 9.1.1.1

          If Kevin Anderson is even just kind of right, then yes, we are hitting 4 degrees C really soon and we have only the merest chance of ducking 2 degrees C if we tackle the problem head on and do it right now. So 40% reductions in fossil fuel emissions by the end of 2015 and a 100% reduction by 2030. And even then, he is making some very optimistic assumptions on rates of deforestation and the emission scenarios for China, India etc.

          But in the meantime, even if planting trees isn’t going to cut it, is there any other possible route that could take at least some of the current CO2 out of the atmosphere? I don’t know any. I mean, maybe there’s something that can be done to encourage plankton (besides Fe), but trees seems to be about it.

          And maybe it’s forlorn, but plant trees, stop the cumulative total of atmospheric carbon dead in its tracks, plan for 4 degrees C increase instead of the 2 degrees C increase governments are planning for, and, if you have a god, clasp your hands tight.

          Have I missed anything out?

      • lprent 9.1.2

        Massive carbon sequestration could be achieved throughplanting lots and lots of trees.

        Planting trees makes not a jot of difference. The amount of carbon released from long-term sequestration is enormous, far far above the ability of the biosphere to sequester it in any kind of plants. And the residency time of additional CO2 in the atmosphere and oceans is literally thousands of years before it gets sequestered into sediments. Trees can only sequester for a few centuries at best.

        There are only three possible courses to deal with what has already been released (ie heading up to 5-6 degree average temperature rise worldwide over the next century (or two if we are lucky).

        1. Adaption – which will happen eventually, but which I don’t hold out much hope for our current style of civilisation surviving. Our agricultural systems are just too fragile and susceptible to climate shifts. However adaption is what humans are good at.

        2. Geological sequestration. Which predictably appears to be failing despite all of the effort being put into it. And I don’t hold out much hope of it being feasible. Quite simply it is a hell of a lot easier in energy terms to burn stuff than it is to stuff it back down in the holes.

        3. Reducing the level of incoming energy. The albedo idea at ground won’t work because it conflicts directly with food production. Atmospheric albedo would be chaotic at best and unlikely to work the way that people would expect. What hasn’t been tried yet and would be kind of tricky to do on a long-term basis is doing the albedo trick in a solar or earth orbit. Without a orbital industry which we clearly aren’t likely to be able to get to that anytime soon.

        But in any of these cases, the sooner we stop releasing greenhouse gases, the easier each of these tasks gets.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.1

          Lucky we have a thriving rail infrastructure and rail manufacturing capability to electrify, helping to take half a million trucks and cars off the roads over the next 10 years. Oh wait.

        • KJT 9.1.2.2

          Look up the “white roofs project”.

          • lprent 9.1.2.2.1

            Oh I know about it. But the numbers simply don’t add up. Not unless there is a rather large increase in the urban areas and consequent reduction in food producing areas…

            • KJT 9.1.2.2.1.1

              Every little bit helps.

              • lprent

                Problem is that itisn’t a particular good solution. The nice thing about white snow is that it is white. White roofs are really just dusty and not reflective. There is a good chance that they’d help increase energy scatter. They are probably less useful than putting in a roof garden.

                If you really want to reduce insolation, then you really can’t beat high level dust, or putting more junk in orbit.

                • Populuxe1

                  Terraforming seems iffy at best on Earth – there are too many unknowns and unpredictable synergies. The more practical solutions seem to me to create large scale tidal protection (a proven technology, as seen on the Thames and the IJsselmeer), securing technological infrastructure (especially non-polluting energy – and our hydroelectric and geothermal resources put us well ahead – and electrically powered transport/rail), and food resources. Relocation of coastal populations inland might also have to be considered.

                  • McFlock

                    The last is already happening. Causing a bit of friction, too. But the real issue is drinking water – a number of potential flashpoints including North Africa, the Levant, and of course the Pakistan/China/India border regions. At least 4 nuclear powers directly involved in that top of my head list.

                    The thing is that as fossil fuels become more expensive, more money will go into alternative energies, but so far there was a wee bit of a boom before the GFC but that’s hit the ropes. My impression (and yeah, that’s all it is) is that we need more investment in looking at a range of alternative energy sources, and that will maybe help with terraforming projects in turn. Basically, we’ve been terraforming for the last 200 years. We need gamechangers to hold off some major problems. But some are going to happen anyway – I definitely expect massive food shortages and maybe even a regional nuclear war.

                    Where Robert A and I differ is that I’m actually not too upset at the thought of kids/grandkids in that environment. As opposed to non-existence, anyway. We’ve had it massively good compared to the rest of history, and I don’t expect life to become more solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short than one or two other periods in human history. And we recovered and thrived.

        • weka 9.1.2.3

          “Massive carbon sequestration could be achieved throughplanting lots and lots of trees.

          Planting trees makes not a jot of difference. The amount of carbon released from long-term sequestration is enormous, far far above the ability of the biosphere to sequester it in any kind of plants. And the residency time of additional CO2 in the atmosphere and oceans is literally thousands of years before it gets sequestered into sediments. Trees can only sequester for a few centuries at best.”

          Doesn’t this depend on what you are trying to achieve, and what you do with the trees?

          I thought climax state forests were fairly stable in terms of carbon ie they cycle carbon neutrally (Otherwise carbon would have been continuously rising in the atmosphere for all the time the planet has had forests).

          I also think that if you look at the multiple functions of a forest, there are benefits beyond the simple carbon cycle of a tree. For instance, agroforestry produces less carbon emissions than mono crop farming because of less reliance on fossil fuel machinery and artificial fertilisers, and because of different soil management techniques. Localising agroforestry also reduces the considerable carbon emissions of food transport.

          It’s not my area to argue figures, but I’d be interested in anyone’s thoughts on these:

          “Allowing for these factors, Nair and Montagninireport estimates of the world carbon storage potential of agroforestry ranging from 9 to 228 tons of carbon/hectare under different circumstances – tremendous variation. They report an estimate of current sequestration by agroforestry at 1 million tons/year. Their document estimates the amount of land that could be converted to agroforestry practices as roughly 585 million to 1.2 billion hectares (the U.S. including Alaska is 770 million hectares). Even at a fairly conservative 25 ton/hectare average, that would sequester 14-20 billion tons – over its lifetime as much as 10% of the total 200 billion tons many experts estimate needs to be removed from the atmosphere even if we stop emissions tomorrow.

          Sounds great – but that is a staggering amount of land. It works out to roughly 5-10% of the world’s land (excluding Antarctica), or a whopping 40-80% of currently used arable land.

          Permanent agriculture doesn’t just sequester carbon. It is also a fantastic way to restore degraded land to productivity. Much of the carbon we are pulling from the air becomes organic matter, the foundation of productive agricultural soils. The Global Assessment of Human-Induced Soil Degradation (concluded in 1990) found that vast amounts of the planetary surface have been degraded by human activity, through erosion of sloping land, desertification, salinization, and nutrient depletion.

          Perennial farming systems are particularly suited to stabilizing slopes and preventing erosion on hillside farms. Roughly 45% of the world’s farmland is classed as sloping at an 8% angle or higher – regeneration of this quantity of farmland with permanent agriculture would sequester 16.8 billion tons of carbon (at 25t/ha).

          About 135 million hectares of farmland have an unbelievable 30% slope or greater. I have seen miles of corn growing on mountainsides far steeper than this in Guatemala. These lands are severely eroding and completely unsuitable for annual crops without extensive terracing, living contour hedgerows, or (preferably) replacement with tree crops. If a targeted international project began just focusing on these most vulnerable agricultural areas, 9% of total world farmland, we could (at 25 t/ha, towards the low end of agroforestry’s potential) still sequester 3.3 billion tons of carbon – equal to a third of all human-caused carbon emissions released annually.”

          http://www.perennialsolutions.org/carbon-sequestering-agriculture-global-warming-solution-piece-remove-co2-from-atmosphere-organic-garden.html

          • lprent 9.1.2.3.1

            The problem is that they only looked at the tonnage in the atmospheric load. Problem is that most of the excess Carbon produced over the last century has been heading underwater at the poles. Most of that will start reappearing over the next two centuries as the currents turn over around the equator.

            It’d be nice if some of these schemes looked at the full carbon cycles rather than what fits their schemes.

            A better scheme would to be to create artificial climax biosystems which are much more efficient at storing carbon. They are called peat swamps and are a hell of a lot faster sucking carbon outof the cycle for longer periods of time than other lignin systems. As an added bonus they are far more useful as fuels and as biostarter systems.

          • Bill 9.1.2.3.2

            Just that last line – “3.3 billion tons of carbon – equal to a third of all human-caused carbon emissions released annually”

            Fraid not. We’re pumping between 35 and 40 billion tons into the atmosphere annually, not 10.

            • lprent 9.1.2.3.2.1

              The rest goes into carbon sinks. Most of which is temporary in the oceans. You have to calculate against the total additional load going into the whole carbon system – not just the atmosphere.

              BTW: your calcs below also assumed that there wasn’t any existing vegetation, which means that you’re over-estimating the sequestration.

              • Bill

                All I really did was roughly calculate the area that could be reforested, punted a fairly conservative total number of ‘new’ trees and divvied the CO2 up between them. So existing ground cover is taken to be the same…not non-exitant… just about a third of it has a pile of trees put through it. Is it not reasonable, perhaps even over generous to assume that existing ground cover would more or less equate to forest undergrowth?

                Thing is, the margins appear so large as to suggest that either I got my actual working out way wrong (a distinct possibility) or, in very simple terms at least, that a massive undertaking of tree planting would/could work.

                • lprent

                  The problem is that carbon “sequestered” in plants has this horrible habit of popping out into the atmosphere, usually in wildfires caused by climate shifts. If you look back over the geological history you’ll find that there are virtually no forest systems that last for more than a short period. Peat systems are more stable and have this other trait of actually sequestering carbon in quite large quantities over time.

                  Much of the worlds land surface is actually incapable of supporting long term forest during interglacials, which is why natural savannah and various forms of peat swamps are such a feature of the natural land surface.

                  • Bill

                    So…wet and acidic conditions underpin the formation of peat bogs. And we are likely to experience wetter conditions in some areas…but presently, (depending on the location) there’s nothing to ‘hold’ the water in the soil. So rain leads to run off of both soil and water – floods away or evaporates in a fairly short period of time because the ground is exposed to the full effect of the sun and wind.

                    But if trees…or even shrubs… were in situ, then the soil and water is more likely to be held. And if it becomes boggy and the pre-existing flora falls into it (raising the acidity by default?)…then we get peat.

                    So trees work to some extent if the land remains dryish and work to a better extent if the land becomes waterlogged and the trees and much of the other flora die and ‘fall in’.

                    So plant trees regardless.

                    • lprent

                      The main thing that underlies the development of peat bogs and swamps is shallow basins or valley land often accompanied with a slow rise or fall in water levels. Most commonly this is in fresh water, but you can also get salt-water marshes in estuaries and harbours

                  • Gosman

                    Interesting, I thought more savannah was a result of colder climates rather than warmer ones. From what I read it was one of the factors in early human development as the colder climate lead to forest cover disappearing and meant that early hominids had to adapt to less cover and meant they developed a more structured hunting pattern.

                    • lprent

                      Not exactly. During the depths of the glaciation at the poles you get larger deserts and wide near desert savannah areas in the latitudes on each side of the equator and even into the equatorial regions, which is what you’re referring to. This is caused by the reduction in the amount of water vapour being thrown into the atmosphere. Savannah’s and desert are not just in the interiors, but will extend to most seashores. The latter is why these periods were so stressful to our ancestors. Close to the glaciers there are wide areas of tundra and peat bogs. It means that the areas that are easily habitable by forest hunter gathers like all of the great apes apart from baboons are extremely limited.

                      During the prolonged interglacials (like now) there are frequently wide savannah areas that develop on the continental interiors outside of the equatorial regions. This has less to do with the amount of water vapour than with quite stable climate patterns developing of persistent highs in the interior with frontal systems tending to drop rain nearer to the coasts.

                      The period when you get extensive forests developing through most latitudes is during the immediate pre and post-glacials. Climate systems tend to get much more chaotic and rain gets much more widespread. However it doesn’t last.

              • Bill

                You’re losing me here. 40 billion tons, some of which is sequestered in the oceans. Okay… that’s what your saying, aye? But whatever, the piece weka linked said total emmissions were only of the order of 10 billion tons.

                • Colonial Viper

                  There seem to be two wildly differing estimates around…the IEA says in 2011 that fossil fuel emissions were over 31GT.

                  http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2012/may/name,27216,en.html

                  This other piece says that fossil fuel emissions in 2007 were 8.4GT in 2007, according to US govt sources.

                  http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/tre_glob.html

                  • Bill

                    Take your 31 Gt and throw in emissions from cement and it equates with the figures I have to hand. (And it’s a cumulative total btw) As for those US figures….pass.

                  • Bill

                    *cough* forget about the ‘cumulative’… that would be thousands of Gt. (About 3000 Gt by 2050 i think) So we are approaching 40 Gt p.a. …bearing in mind the caveats about measuremnet as per Lynn’s comment below about whether CO2 or just C is measured.

                • lprent

                  Depends like everything what you measure.

                  The actual quantity when you look at what is being burnt is ~30GT of Carbon Dioxide annually from all fossil fuels. That is a ~9GT of Carbon (the 2 Oxygen atoms add weight). The majority departs the atmosphere pretty fast into the oceans mostly in cold polar waters.

                  But it is still an active part of the carbon cycle. That winds up in cold ocean currents near the sea floor that will mostly reappear in warmer waters between 50 and 500 years later (depending on flows) where upon it re-enters the atmosphere. This is why fossil CO2 is such a pain. Once emitted it has a really really long residence time in the carbon cycle, and therefore in greenhouse warming.

                  But CO2 under normal heat conditions (ie anything we can survive in) is effectively chemically inert. The CO2 going into the oceans isn’t sequestered except for the small amount that gets sucked up into sediments, mostly from calcium carbonate diatom shells forming what will eventually be limestone deposits. Over time that is the the main scrubbing process for CO2. You also get some chemical deposition of carbonates but it is pretty minor*

                  So we’ve added something like 340GT of carbon (and over a 1000GT of unfixed CO2) into the system during our industrial period. Most of it is sitting in the ocean currents waiting to pop out again. At some point the oceans will stop accumulating quite so much CO2 because they get saturated (ie acidic) and warmer. So less of the CO2 being released from the ocean won’t be reabsorbed. No-one really knows when that point will happen as it is something that is easy to see in the geological record. In fact the level of absorption of CO2 into the oceans wasn’t even realised a few decades ago. It causes a breathing space, but ultimately makes matters worse.

                  Trees don’t help much because they too are part of the carbon cycle and are as temporary a store as ocean currents. Typically they give up their carbon with shifting climates – typically in fires.

                  * If the CO2 level ever rose high enough and the temperature rises far enough in the presence of water (as it has in the geological past), you can also get large quantities of CO2 sequestered by the chemical formation of carbonates. That seems to be the main mechanism that stops the earth becoming a snowball or a venus style planet – at least while we still have an active core producing volcanism that spits out water and carbon.

                  I see CV has the relevant figures… http://thestandard.org.nz/welcome-to-the-burdigalian/#comment-573755

        • Bill 9.1.2.4

          About this tree sequestration malarky. Granted that a plantation is a short term fix that gets reversed when the plantation is felled and milled. But I was assuming actual forest, not commercial pine plantations or whatever.

          So, if a single tree sequesters on average (say) 25% of its weight in carbon – a quick dumb arse search on teh net had higher figures than that, but never mind.

          So from ‘first hit’ google search sources – about half of the world’s forests are gone and the total present forest coverage is about 30% of the earth’s total land area (ie, 40 million square km down from 80 million square km)

          So if the 40 million square km was regenerated….at (say) 100 000 trees per square km – ie, one tree every 4m or so, then…that’s a lot of trees. 4 x 10 to the power 13 (I think).

          And a Gt is 1 x 10 to the power 9 (i think). And we are about to put 3000 Gt CO2 into the atmosphere between now and 2050. (or something in that region)

          And if each tree in a mature and natural forest captures one ton of carbon (we’re talking small trees to only weigh in at 4 tons) and that carbon largely cycles around within the natural ecosystem of the forest rather than getting released into the ‘open’ atmosphere wholesale – then a massive restoration of forests ‘works’ because each tree in our regenerated forest scenario only has to hold 75kg of carbon to contain that 3000Gt of CO2.

          So given the (apparent) leeway, it would seem that all the differences associated with tree types and latitudes and so on won’t make much of an impact on the overall scenario and there would be enough biomass to reduce atmospheric carbon by quite a lot, no?

          And I hate numbers. Can’t work with them. But I think I got this about right. Maybe.

          edit. Seems weka beat me to it and that took me at least 30 minutes to work those numbers out according to submit time stamps

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.4.1

            Granted that a plantation is a short term fix that gets reversed when the plantation is felled and milled

            Only if you incinerate that timber.

            If you build durable two or three level apartment blocks with it, that captured CO2 may remain sequestered for 75 years or more.

            • Bill 9.1.2.4.1.1

              meh. I seem to remember this debate from before at ‘ts’ and the amount of wood actually used for any long term structure or artifact is a really small percentage of the wood in the trees that are logged.

              • weka

                Right. But we’re talking about changing behaviour aren’t we? So one of the solutions to our predicament is to replace forest, stop destroying forest through burning and stupid end use like paper, shift to carbon neutral industry that uses timber in ways that preserve the carbon sequestration value (eg build with timber instead of steel and aluminium which require lots of carbon emissions in production and recycling). Then manage said forests with carbon in mind. Alongside all the other things like reducing transport emissions etc.

            • weka 9.1.2.4.1.2

              Post and beam buildings should last hundreds of years at least*, probably more, and the timber can be reused for other things when the building is decommissioned.

              *Depending on the timber used.

              Trees become carbon emitters once felled if they are burned or if they are left to rot. And timber that is going to rot can be buried so that the carbon becomes part of the soil cycle (or in a natural forest, rotting trees feed the new growth which sequesters carbon, so the carbon cycle should be fairly stable). There are lots of variables here, many of which are within human control.

    • TheContrarian 9.2

      @McFlock:

      “IF the new energy source turns up in time.”

      They are giving it a shot:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4629239.stm

      • McFlock 9.2.1

        Commercial fusion has been ten years away for the last 40 years.

        • TheContrarian 9.2.1.1

          Indeed, much like hydrogen fuel-cell powered cars. Remember that TV show ‘Beyond 2000’?
          Yeah…haven’t seen many of those great inventions yet.

          But this is the first time they have attempted to built a reactor as far as I am aware.

          • McFlock 9.2.1.1.1

            It’s still not in any decent timeframe at the moment.

            IT and big data are well on track, as well as some materials sciences and medicine, but energy-wise we’re fucked atm.

          • Rhinoviper 9.2.1.1.2

            Quite a few fusion reactors have been built and worked, actually. The problem is that so far, none have them have reached break-even yet ie., all have been “proof of principle” devices that use more energy than they produce. Even ITER is an experimental device and not a prototype for a commercial power station.

            Wiki gives an overview here:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_power

            The bad news is that commercial fusion power before 2050 is generally considered unlikely.

            • YehBut 9.2.1.1.2.1

              For NZ we need to get off fossil fueled transport, and away from a methane spurting economy.

              Shift to fiber and cyber pronto!

              We should be demanding that govt departments, Councils, SOEs etc urgently start introducing these technologies. So far it appears that only half arsed attempts have been made with no real political push. For example look at the relative effort going into the RONS, or further increases in intensive dairying.

              Talk about wrong headed!

              Glow-worms of hope are the investment in the fiber roll-out and the timid increase in petrol tax (wrong reason but hey at least a taxation of fossil fuel).

            • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1.2.2

              The bad news is that commercial fusion power before 2050 is generally considered unlikely.

              Basically its the same as unobtanium.

              Think, even if they did have a good fusion power reactor design by 2050 how much money and fossil fuel will still be available to build and oeprate hundreds of the things?

  10. One Tāne Huna 10

    I think the notion that we can do little as individuals is wrong.

    Eat less meat and dairy, drive less. Insulate your home. These are non-trivial ways to reduce personal carbon footprints.

    A complete ban on coal exploration and extraction is an achievable (albeit difficult) political goal. Lobby for it.

    PS: and read The Climate Scum for a laugh once in a while :)

    • Andre 10.1

      I think China holds an important role and we can effect the outcome of there /our pollution as individuals. We do not need for a happy and meaningful life, all the junk we buy from China. We can buy our own” green”stuff Do we need to fly to somewhere else to be happy All these things could keep our economic outlook sustainable Show the world how kiwi,s do it. Make them’ GREEN ‘ with envy ?

    • ad 10.2

      On climate change, the idea of “national policy” is of little use.

      Revolutionising transport would be great, and power generation, and water use, and reforestation. But power generation is about to leave state control, reforestation only works in a functioning global carbon commodity cycle now unlikely to ever happen, and water use is still years away from traded and priced agricultural commodification.

      The policy area a central government here still has leverage over is transport. But transport is so incredibly privatised in NZ that now only sustained fuel price changes really alter behaviour. Cities have thrown bucketloads of cash at PT over the last 10 years, and it’s only barely keeping up with demand.

      I agree with individual and NGO agency on climate change. I have pretty much no hope for a national climate change policy because there are so few levers to pull.

      • Andre 10.2.1

        That vote in the back pocket is the start as a country to make an ethical nation.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.2

        I have pretty much no hope for a national climate change policy because there are so few levers to pull.

        Most of the necessary levers can be taken back over a 10 year period but we would become a pariah state in the world economy, and actively undermined by the financial powers who care nothing about AGW except maintaining their own privilege.

        • ad 10.2.2.1

          10 years is 4 terms with a very strong Labour-Greens alliance always in power, consistently aggregating state power back over those 4 terms. I have no faith that will happen. From anything in politics you have seen in this country in say the last 30 years, why would you have such faith?

        • Andre 10.2.2.2

          Are children are willing and motivated to change the system of mutual assured destruction .Just as we were . Time for us to pull up a soap box and let them speak …..

        • Colonial Viper 10.2.2.3

          ad, Andre…I also think it very unlikely politically, even though it doesn’t seem at all impossible to accomplish technically. Frustrating eh.

          • ad 10.2.2.3.1

            The original post is just as pessimistic. I guess however a point that IrishBill and others recently have been asking is what is the extent of the use of this site in politics. And one answer is simply help get Labour-Greens elected. But in the climate change context, another answer is forming possible policy.

            A note of frustration I guess about the original posting about how impossible everything is. Stick to what is politically possible. Then debate it. Especially how to get to that. Be progressive, but be real.

    • Lanthanide 10.3

      “I think the notion that we can do little as individuals is wrong.

      Eat less meat and dairy, drive less. Insulate your home. These are non-trivial ways to reduce personal carbon footprints.”

      All of which is missing the elephant in the room: don’t have children.

      • felixviper 10.3.1

        +1

        I come across a fair few hippies who seem quite pleased that the small armies of children they’re raising are so green, with no apparent appreciation of the irony.

        • Andre 10.3.1.1

          Hey.. decided not have kids years ago and live with no car .solar and wind powered home. grow most of my own food and have not eaten meat for 31 years . What have you done for your children s future re carbon?

      • One Tāne Huna 10.3.2

        “…don’t have children…”

        Yeah, because that’s really going to make sense to the people who historically have large families. The religious, the uneducated and the dispossessed are going to jump right on board just as soon as the secular educated and comparatively well-off set the example of only having one or two children. No, wait…

        Tackling poverty and inequality is the best way to tackle family size issues.

        Middle-class guilt-trips, not so much.

      • Bill 10.3.3

        To repeat. AGW is not a population problem. It’s an energy/resource use problem. End.

        • One Tāne Huna 10.3.3.1

          +1

        • weka 10.3.3.2

          What makes you think that Bill? Any given landbase is only capable of supporting a finite number of people.

          • One Tāne Huna 10.3.3.2.1

            …and that affects AGW how?

          • Bill 10.3.3.2.2

            Two separate issues.

            Imagine wiping out all the people in supposedly overpopulated and underdeveloped countries (are we talking a few billions + here?….India, Pakistan wherever in Africa, rural China, Vietnam or wherever else) and see what effect it has on emmissions. If it ain’t exactly none, it’s going to be negligible.

            And then wipe out the population of the USA…or/and Europe instead and or urban/ industrialised China. What effect you reckon that would have? More? Less? The same?

            Like I say. It’s resource use, not over population – which is not to deny arguments about overpopulation stressing resources and what not.

            • weka 10.3.3.2.2.1

              Sorry, that’s all a bit abstract for me. If you mean global population isn’t a factor in CC, I’m not going to agree. China and India wanting western lifestyles is a massive issue for CC. But I was actually talking about NZ, not the whole planet. If humans here want to mitigate CC, then we have to look at the population carrying capacity of the land. We have to stop doing things like importing food, or transporting food long distances within NZ. Which means growing food locally. Which takes us to how many people we can support.

              Or, to look at it another way. Can you see NZ making the necessary changes while increasing its population as per normal? I’d be interested in your analysis of the logistics of energy, food, transport, jobs etc. Do we need more people or less? If we just look at energy, let’s say we try and powerdown, and use existing power generation (so no increase). How many people can we sustain at what standard of living, while reducing carbon emissions sufficiently to make a difference? AFAIK no-one has done the work on this in NZ yet.

              • Bill

                Okay. I had a long convoluted comment just then. But basically.

                China and India wanting western lifestyles is a massive issue for CC

                No. No it’s not. The time it would take to lay in the infrastructure and manufacture the goods and give enough people good enough jobs to buy the goods and services to get to the point where the same proportion of China and India had ‘the good things’ to the extent we in the west have, would take so long as to be irrelevent…it’s many, many years away. CC is now. But sure, China (and this is assuming nations focus on some type of preparation) ought to be shifting away from the carbon dependent type of infrastucture they are currently laying in.

                And to be brutal. The carrying capacity of the land has got nothing to do with not spewing CO2 into the atmosphere. If we hold back from crashing off from carbon because of a fear that large, densely populated cities would turn into hell zones (which they mightif it’s not done in an ordered enough fashion)…then those places will most assuredly turn into hell zones with temperature rise… except we won’t be able to do a damned thing about it then because ‘everything’ is going to be falling apart and we’ll be in a position where we find it difficult to tell our arses from our elbows at a societal level.

                But in a NZ context, I’d hazzard a guess that with no prepartation, our overall population density taken in conjunction with the availability of non-bought food sources (the sea and bush) means that more people have a better chance of a better life here than in some other places I could think of. (The likes of New York and London spring to mind)

                And with preparation, I’d punt that zero fossil fuel use…meaning the localising of food production and a gradual but quick reconfiguration of cities alongside a radical transformation of lifestyles… is very do-able.

                Add a population influx and I’d say that beyond a certain point it would become more and more difficult and precarious. And I’ve no idea where that ‘tipping point’ in population would occur.

    • Anne 10.4

      PS: and read The Climate Scum for a laugh

      Oh I see…. melting ice in Antarctica is caused by the penguins. Who woulda thunk it!

  11. xtasy 11

    CO2 is just one prospective “climate changing” gas, generated largely due to burning massive amounts of fossil fuels.

    Just right now, the pollution in increasingly “motorised” Beijing, also “powered” by many coal fired power plants, is at record levels, indeed a very serious threat to human health. That has been on the news in various international media, strangely I see and hear none on NZ news about that.

    Maybe Groser has some good connections to the editors in MSM???

    Another even more hazardous gas that will contribute even much more severely to the expected “global warming” is methane, locked also in huge areas of frozen swamp and other lands in Siberia and parts of North America.

    Once the permafrost moves further north, once more soil will warm, more of methane will be released.

    That will speed up the warming and rise of sea level something real big then!

    NZ and Australia need to prepared for floods of refugees, not just from the Pacific Island states sinking into the sea, kind of, but also from Southeast and South-Asia, where tens (if not hundreds) of millions will lose land and homes doe to climate change.

    So when they will arrive, where will the environment here end up?

    • Bill 11.1

      Yeah, I’m aware I only refer to CO2 and should probably refer to CO2e when talking or writing about this stuff. But that aside, I’m a bit curious about the methane being released from tundra and the arctic in general. It strikes me it could have only been captured during the past 15 million years – ie, as temperatures dropped to pre-industrial levels.

      And since the carbon we have pumped into the atmosphere is from a much, much older source, does that mean that the 4 degree C cooling of the past 15 million years will be reversed and be put on top of the 4 degrees C we’ve just put out there?

      You see where I’m coming from? If the methane comes from carbon sources and was captured due to temperature drops…and if it equates to about 4 degrees C of cooling… then it’s going to be released with a 4 degree C increase in temperature.

      As for refugees hitting NZ….Nz is fairly remote and I doubt there will be routes set up like at present for people attempting to escape war zones etc – more likely to be one off, one way trips. But the galling irony for me is that the tiny percentage of people who are responsible for most of our emissions are going to be the one’s best placed to get here – via private boat/yacht, private plane etc

      • One Tāne Huna 11.1.1

        Prof David Archer on CH4:

        Arctic methane, and all that frozen soil carbon, could easily play a huge role, not so much in the near-term evolution of Earth’s climate, but in the long tail of the global warming climate event.

      • xtasy 11.1.2

        Bill:

        “And since the carbon we have pumped into the atmosphere is from a much, much older source, does that mean that the 4 degree C cooling of the past 15 million years will be reversed and be put on top of the 4 degrees C we’ve just put out there?”

        I must admit, that I need to read up on this, as I am only going by what has been reported on many climate scientists saying about methane stored in Siberia and so.

        My impression was that they would know what they are talking about, so by my impression, a release of that gas is going to increase substantially over coming decades.

        As for the better off being able to get here, that will surely not mean, that others will not make it here. This has been going on for a fair long time, where the rich and elite have looked for and bought their ways into certain “refuges” here and there (mostly running from the taxmen of their home countries).

        The planet has its limits, and there will be no more refuges soon, for the ones you refer to. We know that refugees can fairly easily reach Australia by boats (via Indonesia), so Australia will be hit first, but the flow on will come to here also. Indeed I can see massive population movements all over the globe, which have already started and accelerated due to increased poverty and overpopulation, political and social persecution of many in various countries.

      • lprent 11.1.3

        It will have an effect. But probably not a catastrophic one any time over the coming centuries.

        But the key thing to remember about methane is that it has a pretty short residence time in the atmosphere. ~70 years where as CO2 is > 2000 years. So once free in the atmosphere, while it is many times as effective as a greenhouse gas than CO2. It also doesn’t hang around for long.

        The vast majority of the sequestered methane is in the form of methyl clathades (?sp) which are usually quite deep. When they melt, usually because of current changes, the vast majority of the methane never gets to the atmosphere because it gets readily absorbed by the seawater column.

        The material on land is mostly in the forms of tundra permafrost peat which will as it warms above freezing get released into the atmosphere. However it is almost entirely in high northern latitudes and despite the ice melting, they’re going to remain cold for a long time because they have quite a lot of depth and the actual direct temperature effects that far north don’t really move much above freezing. Think of it as defrosting meat in the fridge… Furthermore there is likely to be considerable biological takeup as methane is a pretty good fertilizer in low temperature ecologies.

        So we’re likely to only have a slow release. Significant. But probably less than the current increase in agricultural releases over the last century.

        To give you an idea of the time scale. We’re still getting outgassing from deposits of tundra permafrost still warming after the last glaciation. That includes some that was covered by seawater after the last big warm up thousands of years ago.

        Provided we don’t do any really stupid geoforming, methane in permafrost and underwater deposits is not going to be a major issue for centuries. Most likely to be an issue only after the slow but inevitable effects of CO2 push the temperatures up far enough to cause widespread defrosting in the north as a result of heat convection from further south.

        Of course there are always those crazies who think that the clathades would make a great fuel source. That could cause some considerable problems if it became widespread.

        • xtasy 11.1.3.1

          Thanks lprent, you seem to be an expert not only in systems and programming.

          Respect for that informative summary.

          • lprent 11.1.3.1.1

            First degree was in earth sciences. I never used it a lot apart from working for Ceramco in the early 80’s. But it sticks…

        • One Tāne Huna 11.1.3.2

          “70 years”

          I keep hearing different figures for the length of time CH4 persists. The link above has David Archer stating “the lifetime of methane in the atmosphere is short, about 10 years”, but I’ve also heard twenty years quoted.

          Lprent can you shed any light on this?

          • lprent 11.1.3.2.1

            Sorry my bad, Methane has about ~70x the greenhouse effect of CO2 in the atmosphere, but has a residence time of about ~20 years.

            The residence time has several different measures, but the one that is most commonly used (and is used in the IPCC reports) is the average period of time that a molecule will transfer to and from the atmosphere – ie while it hasn’t been sequestered into a sink or been transmuted.

            CH4 eventually usually winds up being oxidised to CO2 and water..

            It was a bit muggy yesterday and my memory wasn’t running (made coding a bit problematic as well)

            Ummm This table probably gives a good idea about why there is a range of residence times. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas#Global_warming_potential

            Global warming potential (GWP) for given time horizon
            Methane CH4
            12 years average atmospheric residence
            20-yr 72xCO2 effect
            100-yr 25xCO2 effect
            500-yr 7.6xCO2 effect

            So at 20 years a given excess quantity by weight of methane is about 72x as much as C02, However it may have been sucked in and out of plants and animals a few times. At 100 years much of it has sequestered but it is still 25x. etc..

  12. Rhinoviper 12

    A resource to counter denialists who are already – deliberately – misreading the latest IPCC report and claiming that warming has stopped:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23060-has-global-warming-ground-to-a-halt.html

    Precis: warming appears to have slowed because medium-term oceanic cycles such as El Nino/ENSO etc have turned to the oceans absorbing heat, but within the decade they are likely to turn to a heat-releasing phase, meaning that the rate of warming will accelerate.

  13. QoT 13

    85 comments into a serious thread on climate change and no Jenny … that’s interesting.

  14. ” (about 4 feet tall and with half our brain capacity)”

    Is it Simon Bridges?

  15. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 15

    Not sure I’d call 800,000 years ago “well within the span of human existence”.

  16. AmaKiwi 16

    I am putting my faith and trust in the Labour Party Spokesperson on the Environment, Grant Robertson.

    At a speech last year in Titirangi, Grant warned us not to be “environmental extremists.”

    I am sure Grant knows what’s best.

    • Rhinoviper 16.1

      I know that you’re being ironic.

      Alas, that cynical cretin is my electorate MP.

      He won’t get my vote.

      He didn’t last time either, because of his “pragmatism.”

  17. Great article Bill, thanks.

    We are something like 30 years behind the effects of 400ppm, to avoid annihilation not only should we stop emitting CO2 tonight, but we have to suck 30+ years worth out of the environment, very soon, then we have to do something to reverse the ice melt.

    Clearly 100% imposable.

    Hence the reason I have been harping on about not having children for the past 13 years.

    Fortunately all our councils have 10 year plans, and have everything under control, oh and we have the Green Party Kiwi Saver scheme ………… phew.

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 17.1

      Suggesting that one should not have children as an environmental act is misanthropic spite.

      • Bill 17.1.1

        Any more or less spiteful than knackering the world?

      • weka 17.1.2

        SHG, it’s not an ‘environmental act’, it’s an ethical one of immense proportions.

        • One Tāne Huna 17.1.2.1

          “Apparently the Eagle Weka had heard of survival of the species and wanted nothing to do with it.”

          To bastardise Douglas Adams

          • weka 17.1.2.1.1

            Can’t figure out if you are being intentionally obtuse. It’s possible for humans to decrease their population via family planning choices without the species going instinct. Obviously.

            • One Tāne Huna 17.1.2.1.1.1

              *extinct.

              Did you watch the Rosling presentation (linked above – “the best way to tackle family size issues”)?

              It might give you a clue as to what will be effective in tackling population issues, and what will be a tokenist middle-class ineffectual gesture.

              PS: Population nimbys would be a lot more persuasive if a single one of their predictions had come true, ever.

              • Colonial Weka

                I have no idea what you are talking about. No, I haven’t watched the link, don’t have enough broadband. Maybe you could just explain what you mean?

      • Robert Atack 17.1.3

        SHG
        It is not spite that drives my push to discourage having children, it is logic.
        Back in 1999 I started reading this webpage http://www.dieoff.org
        I didn’t have a clue before then how fucked the future was looking. I started thinking that by the 2040s it was going to be ‘difficult’ to live, and that if I had a child then, by the time it was my age, it wouldn’t be having a hot shower every night etc, and @ 42 I still felt young and healthy, where as my child would be living a life of hell.
        Partly out of luck, and maybe I was firing blanks?? I didn’t have any children, but I still had a vasectomy just to make sure.
        I ‘loved’ my old dog from the first day I saw her as a puppy, I was hoping parents thought the same about their children, so when I point out how difficult things are going to be for people in the future, you would think they would look into the details before having another child, but alas no. Your attitude is still the popular meme, so we will keep firing children at the peak oil bottle neck, in the hope that some of them will squeeze through, but then they are going to find themselves smack up against the cork of Climate Change
        Good luck to you and yours.

        • Robert Atack 17.1.3.1

          Sometimes stuff turns up in my in box at the right time.

          Reposted from TRUTHDIG

          Clive Hamilton in his “Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change”describes a dark relief that comes from accepting that “catastrophic climate change is virtually certain.” This obliteration of “false hopes,” he says, requires an intellectual knowledge and an emotional knowledge. The first is attainable. The second, because it means that those we love, including our children, are almost certainly doomed to insecurity, misery and suffering within a few decades, if not a few years, is much harder to acquire. To emotionally accept impending disaster, to attain the gut-level understanding that the power elite will not respond rationally to the devastation of the ecosystem, is as difficult to accept as our own mortality. The most daunting existential struggle of our time is to ingest this awful truth—intellectually and emotionally—and continue to resist the forces that are destroying us.

          Sorry links
          Chris Hedges’ Columns
          The Myth of Human Progress
          http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_myth_of_human_progress_20130113/

        • marty mars 17.1.3.2

          Robert – good on you for your choices.

          For me the argument just doesn’t stack up – for instance just because children might not have what we/you have doesn’t mean they are due for a shit death. And even if they are, does that mean they can’t have life? All death is shit.

          Some may call that selfish, although I can’t get their logic – it seems to me having a child is most unselfish.

          Just so there is no mistake I do believe we are in for very difficult times as peak oil and the effects of climate change rip in even more – not to mention the suicidal capitalistic charge into more and more exploitation of everything. I see western society we all love to hate, as we suckle continuously, will give up the ghost. The horror, the horror!!!

          I’m hoping to have another child, a sibling for my son. And if we all die well it’s going to make fuck all difference isn’t it. That is hope and realism.

  18. Andre 18

    Seems like the majority who post here think its to hard and moral obligations are just puff . Control of the political dogma, much more fun……..Bugger the helpless which will be the first to suffer our selfishness. ….Marx out of 10 3 for effort…

  19. Afewknowthetruth 19

    The CO2 content of the air will break through 400ppm in April or May of this year as the fossil fuels used to keep northern nations warm in the winter are not photosynthesised (due to low temperatures and deciduous trees not having leaves at this time of the year).

    Since Keeling began measuring in 1957 the annual increase in CO2 has approximately doubled. We can expect to see a further increases in the annual increase.

    Far from reducing emissions, most nations are increasing emissions as they exploit ever lower quality fossil fuel sources. For instance, the conversion of bitumen in ‘tar sands’ in Alberta into a usable liquid is the most greenhouse gas intensive activity in Canada and accounts for 70% of Canada’s emissions. The plan is to increase extraction of tar sand oil, despite the appalling EROIE, because there is nothing else (other than ultra-deep-sea and Arctic drilling). We should also note that fracking results in a high expenditure of energy to get back energy and higher emissions than conventional gas recovery, and results in the release of methane (which simply escapes into the atmosphere). As most of us know, methane is around 20 times as active as CO2 as a greenhouse gas (though its residence time in the atmosphere is relatively low). Additionally, with oil extraction ‘falling off a cliff’ in numerous locations, those desperate to keep the industrial system going plan to expand the use of coal.

    So, we can expect the CO2 content of the air to rise at an ever faster rate until the global industrial economy implodes. And since we have already triggered numerous positive feedbacks, even the inevitable implosion of the industrial economy probably won’t help.

    Interestingly, there in no evidence that the so-called safe level of a rise in average temperature of 2oC is actually safe at all; it was simply a number pulled out of a hat a number of years ago and for some reason has hung around. In practice we can already see that a rise in average temperature of just 0.7oC is not safe -unless you regard Hurricane Sandy, the 10 month drought in the US and what’s happening in Australia as safe.

    The reality is, a safe level of CO2 is below 320ppm, which was broken though decades ago.

    The other rarely discussed matter is that once Peak Oil really starts to bite people on the breadline will burn whatever they can find to cook and to keep warm: old tyres, plastic, coal etc. and will chop down every tree in sight.

    The time for action was in the 1970s. Even some action a decade ago would have helped. Yet poiticians do nothing month after month, year after year, decade after decade (other than promote the interests of corporations and money-lenders) Indeed, the current crop of politicians in most of the world (especially the western world) are worse than the Nazis who ran the death camps in Poland; whatever the Nazis did to Jews and gypsies etc. at least they loved their own children and did everything they could to protect them. The current mob of politicians don’t even love their own children enough to lift a finger to provide them with a future.

    • xtasy 19.1

      Well, we all know the value and integrity of most politicians, but honestly, in NZ and a fair number of other countries, there are also some not so smart, not very conscientious and not pre-planning people who tend to vote them in.

      Too many keep loving their cars and wasteful lifestyles above anything else, that will instead be needed to do, to prepare for the gigantic challenges ahead.

      We know how much flak the Greens still get, when they just raise some of this stuff. They are sadly still frowned upon by too many. And they are even the more “moderate” environmentalists now.

  20. Since we are agreed about CC if this means Climate Catastrophe here’s some ideas on how to fight another CC which means Climate and Capitalism.
    http://climateandcapitalism.com/

  21. Tom 22

    Re. the headline pic .. is that how the young ones express themselves these days ?

    They must have picked it up from somewhere ..

    • The Voice of Reason 22.1

      The lad’s name is Mikey Wilson and he’s gone on to become something of a cult figure in Rotterdam. I think the finger was raised when an Ajax supporter asked him how the last two decades have gone for Feyenoord, ho ho.

  22. Lloyd 23

    Plantations don’t need to be deserts. The German Black Forest for example is almost all planted, but the clever Germans plant rows of different species of trees, so that the plantation doesn’t look too different from a natural forest (except that each neat row is all of one species and that all the trees have an identity tag attached – very German!) such a plantation will need each species to be cut and replanted at different times, so it never has a completely razed look like we get in NZ pine forestry. The Black Forest fauna is probably very similar to a natural German Forest. (anyone got data on that?) NZ forestry companies could make much more ecologically friendly forests if they similarly mixed the species.

    Remember that when you sequester the carbon from a plantation forest grown tree you replace the tree and further sequestration keeps on occurring on the land used, whilst your timber house doing the sequestration keeps the carbon as long as it remains standing.

    Another possible use for plantation forestry is to provide the carbon needed for metal production. Charcoal made from wood will produce steel; it’s what we used before we started using that nasty coal stuff. Of course burning the wood returns the carbon to the atmosphere, but remember in plantation forestry you replant the tree and recapture the carbon dioxide that has been recently produced. Closing all coal mining in NZ won’t necessarily mean we have to close our steel mill down, and will probably produce more jobs in forestry than we have in coal mining.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The Greens are wacky?
    It is a bit like a game of pin the tail on the donkey, the National Government and their supporters are desperately attempting to stick the wacky label on the Greens again, but it is becoming harder to make it...
    Local Bodies | 31-10
  • Novopay Exemplifies National’s Governance
    This National led Government is strong on ideology, weak on process and reluctant to accept responsibility. The Novapay debacle exemplifies all of these well.When questioned about Novopay, National Ministers will never accept full responsibility. Initially the Government blamed Labour because they...
    Local Bodies | 31-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #47: The Forgotten Triangle
    48: The Forgotten Triangle What if the forgotten triangle behind Shortland Street was more than a parking lot? Continuing the series on forgotten or underutilised spaces within the city, the steeply rising wedge of land between Shortland Street, Albert Park...
    Transport Blog | 31-10
  • World News Brief, Friday October 31
    Top of the AgendaTensions Flare in Jerusalem...
    Pundit | 31-10
  • Guest post: Plain English is radical
    @aaronincognito is an anonymous soulless bureaucrat who blogs at fundamentallyuseless.wordpress.com. Despite all the ups and downs of the past few months, there has been one constant in left wing politics: jargon. Regardless of whether Nicky Hager, Judith Collins, or Eminem...
    On the Left | 31-10
  • Long past time
    The Dominion-Post reports that the government is considering wiping past convictions for homosexuality. Good. As a guest-poster to On The Left has recently explained, living with a criminal conviction isn't easy; employers and agencies will simply dump applications from people...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Define Instruments Expands into South Africa
    It’s always great to see companies grow – and Define Instruments recently took their first big leap. The team has followed existing international sales by setting up a South African office. It’s the first of many new overseas offices we hope to...
    Lance Wiggs | 31-10
  • MacLennan on fixing the OIA
    Journalist and lawyer Catriona MacLennan has some suggestions on Fixing Official Information Act Abuses . She identifies three problems with the law: lack of resources to enforce the law; deliberate flouting of the act; and inadequate understanding of the legislation...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
    It's Halloween! Time for a jolly pumpkin to remind everyone that there is chocolate nearby The weather is terrible, and while it can't rain all the time, I suspect there may be an absence of ghosts and ghouls. Whatever shall...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Indistinguishable from totalitarianism
    SF author Charles Stross has a lovely alternate-history thought experiment which demonstrates quite neatly how British surveillance is indistinguishable in practice from totalitarianism. And if you're in any doubt, you've only got to read today's news:The Government is facing calls...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Rate my minister
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce wants to introduce a new ranking system, Rate My Qualification, where employers rate tertiary education courses and then students can look up the results. Well perhaps employers should be able rate other things too, such as their ministers....
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-10
  • To the field experiments!
    In the wake of the Stanford / Dartmouth schnozzle this week, this political science article caught my eye: The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or...
    Polity | 30-10
  • NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s ...
    You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, it seems — certainly not if they’re gnawing a much loved old bone at the time. The lads from the NZ Climate Science Coalition — yes, the same boys who tried to sue...
    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere