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Why I’m not a millennialist

Written By: - Date published: 11:16 am, March 6th, 2011 - 79 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags: , , ,

Peak oil, peak food, peak metals, climate change. By over-exploiting the world, we have enjoyed tremendous improvements in the standard of living. And now the payback is coming. We’re clearly on a downward economic slope. Things have been going backwards for 3 years and the outlook is worse, not better. But it’s not the end of the world.

Make no mistake, a long period of successive recessions, accompanied by social and political upheaval is coming as a result of declining available energy, insufficient supply of raw material, most importantly food and climate change. We’re too late to avoid this, even if we focused our efforts on the task, which we show no sign of doing. But that doesn’t mean we should give up the ghost. What is coming is big, big, trouble, but it is not Armageddon.

New Zealand is the place to be
The oil age has allowed us to have more and more living humans in environments that previously were able to only small numbers. The growth of cities in the Arabian desert is the most obvious example. Not enough oil to provide energy for cooling, not enough food, and a changing cline will doom these cities, whose population will have to fall back to previous levels.

But in New Zealand, we’ve got heaps of growing land for our population, plenty of non-oil energy sources to tap, and plenty of minerals (even without digging up our most precious conservation lands).

The capital is built
In 25 years time, most of the built environment that is here today will still be here. That’s bad in a way because we’re stuck with capital that is designed for the oil age but it’s good because just losing income does not mean we’re losing wealth. We’ll face challenges in replacing worn-out capital as the economy shrinks but we will abandon stuff that is too oil-dependent and replace it with smarter stuff.

We can handle a fall in incomes
Available energy will fall at a couple of percent a year, and growing conditions will generally worsen over time but the economy is not going to completely collapse, taking us with it.

Since the Great Recession began, GDP per capita has fallen 3% since 2007, back to 2005 levels. But it’s still quite a bit – $44,000 a year per person. What if GDP per capita keeps falling for the next 20 years at the same rate? What if lose 25% of GDP per capita? Well, we would be back to 1993 levels – $33,000 a head. Which is plenty, if it’s distributed fairly. You could even avoid most of the population having to take a drop in living standard but the distribution of income would have to change dramatically. The top 25% richest could take all the hit and still earn today’s average full time wage and the other 75% of people wouldn’t have to lose out despite the economy being 25% smaller.

Even if the economy shrunk by half that’s still a huge per person productive capacity, on par with what we had in the sixties.

The new normal will become .. normal
The idea that economic growth should be a high priority for governments and society really only dates from eh great Depression. Elites realised that a growing pie, letting all slices grow, placated the masses, and disguised the fact that the elites’ slices were so big. Lack of growth and falling incomes had brought inequity into great focus during the Great Recession and prompted working people to support radical reform. The idea that growing the economy should be the sole focus of government and society is neoliberalism and is only thirty or so years old.

If a shrinking economy becomes the norm, we will get used to it. We’ll shed the luxuries of the oil age, the stuff that costs the most for the least benefit, while maintaining all the real gains that we’ve made in the past century. We’ll turn away from consumerism and invest, like we used to, more into infrastructure, and more into research.

On the other hand, we’ll also stop expecting that the future means more pollution, more ‘development’, more crowding. More or less steady-state societies have been the norm through-out human history with the exception of the last couple of centuries. We can get used to it again.

Progress isn’t just a dollar sign
Just because the economy isn’t expanding does not mean we aren’t advancing as a species. If we re-allocate productive capacity from consumerism to research and development we’ll be able to lessen and mitigate the troubles that we’ve unleashed on our world. We’ll still be able to push back the boundaries of science and engineering and develop new technology and practices to improve our lives. Eventually, we’ll have new energy sources on the needed scale too and we’ll be able to clean the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (already possibly, with enough energy).

What this all means is that we shouldn’t be giving up and saying ‘we’re fucked’. We should, instead, be investing more in our future. In research, in a green economy, in a more equitable distribution of wealth.

We’re a hugely adaptive species. That’s what got us where we are. The next few decades are going to be rough but we will get through it. It’s not going to be pretty but it’s not going to be the end of the world.

79 comments on “Why I’m not a millennialist”

  1. Jenny 1

    Great Post Marty, a counter to the doom and gloom of most commentators on these issues. And uncharacteristically is optimism based in the real world.

    I think your positive thoughts about renewal, also apply to the Christchurch earthquake disaster.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Deadly_NZ 1.1

      Yes great post. Have you or anyone else here seen the National geographic documentary called Aftermath world with out oil. Now that is an eye opener. I caught it the other day it’s worth a watch.
      http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/aftermath/4462/Overview

    • weka 1.2

      I’m curious what you’ve been reading Jenny. Most of what I’ve read is likewise proactive and forward looking in a solutions based sense (I tend to avoid the survivialist crowd). Try the Transition Town and permaculture networks. They’ve been doing serious work on the powerdown for some years.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    We still have time in the next five to ten years to invest tens of billions into infrastructure designed to carry us forwards for the next 250 years. Electricity generation, public transport and green built-to-last housing particularly. (Selling off our power generators at this time is sheer madness). Building up our on-shore industrial capability is also a must.

    This investment is what we should have been doing over the last 20-30 years but as you say that time is gone now. After the next ten years things get very tough, and even during that time it will do so.

    To my mind $3/L and $4/L petrol is inevitable during the next two or three years. $200 to fill her up is going to become the norm. For many around Wellington and Auckland, commuting 50 minutes each way for work is going to become uneconomic.

    And we need an upgraded and revamped military kitted out for homeland protection.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      And we need an upgraded and revamped military kitted out for homeland protection.</blockquote?
      Yep, although we don't want to project power we don't want to be stuck with an armed force that's incapable of defending us either and that means a switch from the peace keeping role that the last Labour led government put us to.

    • George.com 2.2

      We may well have 5 to 10 years for a transition (versus a drop) into a lower energy national growth path if we allocate sufficient resources and attention to it. The US produced a report a few years back, looking at the likelihood of energy shortages (oil plus others) which made the prediction that a transition 10 years before an oil peak would result in a 10 year energy gap before it was closed. A “transition” at or very near the point of an oil peak would result in a 20 year energy gap. The report recommended a 20 year transition period. Unles you are a optimist, that time gap has come and gone. Turning our minds to the next 5 or 10 years must be the priority of any prudent government.

      The Christchurch earthquake provides an opportunity to seriously rethink our current growth path. For example, the holiday highway with a BCR of around 0.6, the Waikato Expressway & Wellington Highway projects with BCRs of around 0.8 must be halted. There is $5 to $6 Billion freed up. Some of it can go to Chch. Some of the money could go to priority roading issues if pressed, bypassing Warkworth and some double laning on that highway for around $300 and maybe some for the Waikato routes as well. The Auckland rail loop, $2 billion but with a BCR of around 2 or higher, can be funded by shelving Puhoi and part of Waikato. Maybe in 5-10 years, if there is a proven need and Chch has been substantialy rebuilt, the government can come back and relook at some of these highways. If a need exists they can build them. If events have overtaken the age of highways then billions of dollars won’t have been wasted on John Key white elephant “Think Big” projects.

    • south paw 2.3

      lets face, if post oil China or Indonesia decide it could use the extra space, there’s not much we could do about it, unless we were bristling with nukes…

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.1

        Its Australia I’m thinking about. Serious.

        • south paw 2.3.1.1

          good point – they’ll probably team up with Indonesia -> re East Timor

      • Marty G 2.3.2

        The defence of NZ in that kind of scenario would always have to be guerilla-type warfare. You couldn’t prevent an invasion but you could make occupation too expensive

        • neoleftie 2.3.2.1

          well if it come to a foreign peril i’m sure we’ll all be at the barricades comrades…as churchill said ” well fight them on the beaches, in the streets and in the hills, this is our country” – and not the overseas capitalist elites or any other foreign power who want to control or dictate our future and national welbeing.

        • south paw 2.3.2.2

          Like Vietnam, finally throw them out but only after they’ve dropped the equivalent of all WWII bombs on us 2 or 3 times :(

        • Sanctuary 2.3.2.3

          Actually we could defeat any invasion quite easily with a bit of time to prepare – time we would almost certainly have. New Zealand is a long way from anywhere, and we are surrounded by thousands of kilometres of ocean, across which any invasion fleet must come. The balance of modern Naval warfare is overwhelmingly in favour of sea denial – even modern surface ships are almost defenseless against air attack and completely defenseless in the face massed supersonic anti-shipping missiles and modern submarines.

          Since the defeat of an invasion force would lead to a frightful slaughter to the many thousands in the troop transports, no country would contemplate invading an even moderately prepared New Zealand unless they had a massive fleet built around several aircraft carriers to guarantee sea control. This fleet would take at least a decade to build, and it’s purpose and threat would be obvious to everyone.

          Of course, it is far, far, far cheaper to build fifty supersonic anti-ship missiles than one aircraft carrier. It may be grim to contemplate a fortress New Zealand, spending much of its national fortune on missiles, naval attack aircraft and submarines, but we could, I think, retain our independence if we had the will and determination to do so.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2.3.1

            Bingo. Don’t even have to import them as we could easily research, develop and make them here.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2.4

          Preventing an invasion is easy – sink the ships. Just needs investment away from the present peacekeeping force and into things like this.

          • Marty G 2.3.2.4.1

            Any missile systems capable of destroying seaborne invaders wouldn’t survive the air attacks beforehand. We can’t afford the systems to maintain air superiority against any enemy with the capability to invade us from thousands of kms away.

            Of course, it’s never going to happen anyway.

            • fermionic_interference 2.3.2.4.1.1

              On this site there is always mention of the elite or powers that be, do you seriously believe that the wealthy elite of another country wont decide that they’d love to basically use NZ as a country club with current population as service slaves?

              Countries with very large populations and large numbers poorer citizens to be conscripted into the armed forces, possibilities include China and Indonesia mentioned above and many others whom fit this description, say the elites make a decision to expand their territories and we have so much productive space per person here and their populations are very cramped for space especially food productive space.

              How long is it before we look like an easy target to ease the local tensions with regard to income, food and space (which means increases in quality of life for those of lower financial status) than in their home countries?????

              We have a relatively small armed forces and a massive coastline, as MartyG said earlier we would have to make invasion to expensive due to guerilla warfare tactics, otherwise we are a relatively easy target invasion forces could pick any port they wished to land in other than Wellington. Hell we could probably have the Nth island taken from the top down if somebody really desired to. That is the point someone has to find their local situation that bad that the desire to invade us builds it certainly can happen it’s just a matter of whether it’ll be us or another country?

              for fun

            • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2.4.1.2

              Yeah, I don’t think air attacks will be a problem.

      • David 2.3.3

        The idea that Indonesia posses some kind of military threat to anyone (other than its own people) is nonsense.

        Although this is a common idea, it seems to me to be based on little more than racist paranoia that because it’s the most populous Muslim country Indonesia must be a threat to us white folk. That and a desire on the part of the Australian military to justify bigger budgets.

        The reality is, even with decades of military aid from the US, UK, Australia and, yes New Zealand governments, Jakarta still struggles to hold the territory, that no other state claims. Economic power – the ability to pay for troops and arms – counts for far more in an offensive war than population.

  3. We’re clearly on a downward economic slope. Things have been going backwards for 3 years and the outlook is worse, not better.

    The day’s been getting warmer for 3 hours now and the outlook is for it to get warmer yet. By midnight, we’ll be cooking….

    • RedLogix 3.1

      You are an intelligent man PM so I’m baffled by this.

      The nearest parallel I can think of someone saying on Sept 2nd 1939 saying, “There was no war today, therefore there can be no war tommorrow”.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    The one thing that must be stressed about the coming oil decline is that we must go forward as a society. We cannot go forward as individuals as National and Act like to think.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Still far too many folks who haven’t got the rather scary truth….. that we are all ‘tar babies’.

      Almost literally.

    • neoleftie 4.2

      Draco -that a very good statement, the downfall of our western society is that we are so disconnected from one another. disconnected individuals have way less power or voice than a united connected mass. an example is the grassroot churches that responded in an organised manner and filled the gap in chch recently. For 12 days these connected few provide a core which was able to in a meaningful way alter history…without these connected groups who wa going to feed the poor or displaced people of chch.

    • g says 4.3

      spot on sir.
      we need to learn to share. to share without thought of recompense. this is not barter, this is not green dollar etc. it is called sharing, what we learned in kindy and then spent the rest of our lives forgetting
      all this talk of the economy makes me smile. in the words of the great bill hicks.. the economy, the economy thats FAKE anyway.

  5. weka 5

    My biggest concerns for NZ are how we transition back to local economies. At the moment we are dependent economically on tourism and oil-sucking exports. Those are going to dry up as oil becomes expensive and scarce. We also import alot of food and goods.

    I agree we are one of the better places in the world for facing peak oil. Not only do we have enough land, but there are still many kiwis who know how to grow some of their own food. Organic, permaculture, and regenAg farmers in NZ have not only pioneered post-peak oil farming, but they’ve been doing it long enough to have ironed out some of the immediate issues. I’m not holding my breath on the govt supporting these farmers better (unless NZ gives the Greens some power again), so it’s up to as many people in the public as possible to learn what’s involved in post-peak oil food production and give support to those already working towards this.

    I also agree that we need to rebuild our industrial infrastructure onshore, but can’t see how that can happen without major govt initiative. Can anyone see how that could happen otherwise?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      I also agree that we need to rebuild our industrial infrastructure onshore, but can’t see how that can happen without major govt initiative. Can anyone see how that could happen otherwise?

      As a start I would suggest policies of localised Government procurement. Buying trains etc from China is madness when significant portions of the work could be done here. Also, give industry access to low interest loans for the purpose of obtaining and upgrading capital equipment.

      Might also be an idea to reconstitute the Ministry of Works as some massive infrastructure investment is needed and why give margin to the private sector for shareholder profits. Every single dollar needs to go into infrastructure not shareholder dividends.

      • neoleftie 5.1.1

        shareholder profits that are sqaundered or loss by money flows overseas investors or corporate owners

  6. Bill 6

    By over-exploiting the world, we have enjoyed tremendous improvements in the standard of living

    A-hem. Who is this we you speak of? There are countless examples of entire peoples who got exterminated and of others who got marginalised and impoverished (culturally, materially and politically)…actually, the majority of the world’s population if I pause to think about it. Any ‘end of the world’ already got visited upon them. Courtesy of the likes of you and me and the institutions we support (tacitly or otherwise).

    And do you really believe that as the exploitation of resources increasingly fails to satisfy the current needs of the (broad brush stroke) white world, that the more privilaged and powerful within the white world will just give it all up and move on? I think not.

    They will expand and deepen their forms of exploitation and economic oppression to include the majority in any given population. ie the third world won’t be ‘over there and brown’. It will be very much over here and very kind of pinky/white.

    I think a 20/80 split in society would be a very generous and optimistic view of the future, where 20% of a given populace has access to the benefits of industry, medicine, science, resources etc, while the other 80% are deemed as superfluous as… oh, I don’t know…Tasmanian Aborigines perhaps?

    anti-spam joys :-)

    • Marty G 6.1

      ‘we’ is the species.

      I’m perfectly aware that elites will seek to protect and expand their privilege at the coast of others during crises. It’s up to us whether we let them. So far, the outlook isn’t good. Except for the arab world revolts, most populations have let the elites have their way during the great recession.

      But even this doesn’t lead me to millennialism. Our self-made threats are not going to lead to the collapse of society but they are going to be nasty.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    It is good that some of the real issues are getting some attentions, but I wonder where Marty gets his unbounded optimism from: \’Available energy will fall at a couple of percent a year, \’

    The International Energy Agency recently suggested a depletion rate averaging 9.8% per annum. Extrction from Canterell (Mexico) is falling at something like 17% per annum, and several North Sea fields seem to recording similar rates of decline. Much of the world\’s oil system is collapsing right now and the rate of collapse will accelerate.

    If we take into account the export-land model, internationally traded oil could decline at something like 20% per annum from 2013/14 on. I would not be at all surprised to see the NZ oil supply down to 15 or 20% of the present level by 2020. It could well be far less.

    The other matter is, even if oil is available internationally, how are we going to pay for it? Are we not currently spending $300 million a week more than we earn? Are we not broke already -and facing a massive hit shortly as a consequence of what is already happening in Saudi Arabia? Oil is currently in the $104 to $116 range and the crisis has only just begun. Last time it spiked at $147 the world economy nearly collapsed.

    And, of course, the Chinese could easily buy up all the avaaible oil and leave nations like NZ with none if they choose to.

    Sorry Marty, this is just pure drivel: \’We’ll still be able to push back the boundaries of science and engineering and develop new technology and practices to improve our lives. Eventually, we’ll have new energy sources on the needed scale too\’\’

    It\’s just wishful thinking which is not based on any evidence at all. Engineering is the problem, not the answer. almost everything that engineers do uses masses of energy and generates masses of CO2 -thereby promoting climate Armageddon. The production of steel, aluminium and cement etc. are amongst the most environmentally destructive processes known.

    \’and we’ll be able to clean the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (already possibly, with enough energy).\\\’ More wishful thinking I\’m afraid. The CO2 content of the air is rising faster than ever: it\’s 391 and rising at over 2ppm per annum. CO2 is going up at something like 30 billion tonnes a year. Just wait till the ocean warm a little more and become net releasers of CO2; we seem to be very close to that point.

    Despite the rising price of most things, fantasies are still free.

    If there be a better way it to the future it starts with a full look at the worst -Thomas Hardy.

    If you don\’t deal with reality, reality will deal with you. -Dr Colin Campbell
    .

    • Marty G 7.1

      You’re conflating rising costs/shrinking economy with collapse. Of course new energy sources and climate change solutions will be very expensive, meaning economies will shrink but there still will be energy. Even if oil supply falls at 5% a year we’ll be able to offset half of that with other energy generation. It’ll be very nasty and mean giving up a lot of what we’re used to but the economy will not shrink to nothing or even half of what it is now, and that’s still enormous productive capacity. The question is what we expend that capacity on.

      • weka 7.1.1

        “Even if oil supply falls at 5% a year we’ll be able to offset half of that with other energy generation.”

        All energy generation in NZ is dependent on cheap oil (as is pretty much everything we eat and do). Can we build hydro or wind without cheap oil (or coal to diesel plants, Southland)? Can we even maintain current plants without cheap oil? Has anyone even done an analysis of these costs?

      • Robert Atack 7.1.2

        Also Marty
        What are we going to use that energy on? Flat screen TVs? fridges ? All that stuff takes a hell of a lot of oil to manufacture, post peak means no more plug sockets, let alone the power grid, or a place to save last nights McDonalds. I discussed this with Dr Peter Lloyd he thought wave power in Cook Straight would be a good idea, I asked him to look around his operating room and see how much oil went into everything he was planing on using the power on. ‘Alternative power’ is another form of denial, I suggest to people to go to the top of Mt Vic dressed in a toga on a wet windy day, then discuss how things will be post crash, and what sort of society you can create, because who ever is ‘in power’ in these times, will have the energy level of a Roman ie slaves.
        Thanks for opening these discussions

        • Deadly_NZ 7.1.2.1

          Well then we will have a good reason or 6 to dig up all the old landfill to get at all the plastics, old tv’s etc for the gold and other rare elements plus the good ol’ plastic bottle as well.

        • Marty G 7.1.2.2

          Peak oil is not no oil. And plastic can be made without oil. Not as cheaply but I’ve been saying all along that peak oil means major economic problem

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.3

          You know, back in the old days, TVs didn’t have plastic framework. It was made out of wood instead. Power sockets were, and still are, made out of ceramics.

          You seem to be one of the type of people who think that just because we won’t have as much of one single resource that we will necessarily lose everything. Which is very, very, far from the truth.

          • weka 7.1.2.3.1

            What are you going to make the ceramic power sockets with? Does the machinery used to make them need cheap oil to be manufactured and maintained?

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.3.1.1

              Nope. I didn’t say it would be as cheap but we will still be able to make them and we will still have power.

              • weka

                My question was how will you make the machines that make the sockets if you don’t have cheap oil? Once oil gets very expensive, how will we afford the amount of oil we need to keep everything running? We will still have power. But will we have enough power for making power sockets (as opposed to making things like food, medicine, shelter etc)?

      • Afewknowthetruth 7.1.3

        You keep refering to ‘new energy’ sources without ever saying what they are.

        No new energy sources have been discovered for over a century.

        You assert that ‘we’ll be able to offset half of that with other energy generation\’ withoiut saying what the \’other generatiion’ is.

        The nub of the crisis is liquid fuels for transport. Without a cheap and abundant source of liquid fuels for transport 90% of the current NZ economy -dairying, forestry, fishing, wineries, fruit production, construction, tourism (not that there is any future in that)- goes down the gurgler in a few weeks.

        Nothing you have written so far convinces me we are facing anything other than collapse within 20 years (and more likely 10).

        ‘conflating rising costs/shrinking economy with collapse’

        Don’t forget that the NZ economy constitutes a very complex system, and complex systems fail catastrophically when the weakest link fails. Bearing in mind that the NZ economy is a component of an even bigger complex system (the global economy) which is in the process of failing I see collaspe as inevitable and imminent.

        Collapse of the current violent, toxic, manipulative, unjust system is not something to fear, it is something to celebrate. It is the trrasition phase to a sane way of living that will be awful.

        The scariest thing that can happen is for the present system to continue to function for anotehr decade and render the Earth uninhabitable via positive feedbacks and abrupt climate change.
        .
        By the way, I am very suspicious of anyone who uses GDP rather than GPI.

        .

    • weka 7.2

      “We’ll still be able to push back the boundaries of science and engineering and develop new technology and practices to improve our lives. Eventually, we’ll have new energy sources on the needed scale too”

      Oooh, I missed that. Might be good to look at David Holmgren’s four energy decent scenarios.

      Originally he identified four categories of how we perceive the energy crisis:

      1. techno explosion – exciting new technologies replace oil, and we carry on as normal i.e. using up the world’s resources and creating increasing amounts of pollution.
      2. green tech stability – we use alternative technologies (sun, wind etc) that allow us something somewhat below our current standard of living but still fairly comfortable
      3. creative decent – we use permaculture and other powerdown knowledge bases to transition creatively to a low energy society
      4. Atlantis – society collapses in a screaming mess

      Later he incorporated climate change into his model and looked at four scenarios depending on how fast climate change and peak oil happen http://www.futurescenarios.org/content/view/27/46/

      The big issue is how much time we have. We don’t know, because we can’t predict climate change. Techno explosion is undesirable because it doesn’t solve climate change and other environmental problems, and it ignores social issues and probably leads to scenario four. Many peak oil commentators say it’s too late to transition to green tech stability because the financial cost is now beyond the first world countries (that transition was only really viable with cheap oil).

      We might get a choice between creative decent and the screaming mess i.e. we can choose to work within the physical and economic limits we have to significantly lower our energy dependancy. The idea that we can have some hard times and then recover via science and research doesn’t hold up because we need cheap oil to do those things and we’re not going to have it. Modern high tech is not only very polluting, it’s also incredibly energy hungry, and we simply won’t be able to produce that amount of energy without cheap oil.

      It’s true that we can use new technologies and knowledge to improve our lives, but it won’t be in a return to the first world via greentech kind of way.

  8. fermionic_interference 8

    Well thought out post Marty.
    Although it may be a bit optimistic in terms of how the current “powers that be” will react and work with others, considering that in most cases they have built their monetary empires by walking over and exploiting others and the environment. What is the likelihood of them, all of a sudden, becoming community minded and working toward a more civilized human society?
    I don’t think that this will be a likely outcome unfortunately, though with luck and the power of a few strong personalities I believe in NZ we can have a few strong local community setups.

  9. According to the IEA ‘we’ face a 3.5 degree temperature rise (above pre-industrial) over the next 25 years, 2 degrees equals 25 meters sea rise for a start = whats left of Christchurch going under water also large areas of Wellington and Auckland, including most of ‘our’ oil storage facilities etc, and a lot of productive land Manawatu, Horawhanua etc. Our agriculture is dependent on a lot of imported inputs or oil and gas dependent minerals. ‘We’ travel about halfway around the equator each day just picking up the milk from the farm gate, and delivering it to the treatment station (or is that 2 of them?).
    I’m sure there will be enough bunker oil left to ship millions of refugees to New Zealand if we do happen to end up as the last country standing, except the refugees will be turning up in aircraft carriers, and it will be aye aye captain whatever you want sir.
    Then as we get closer to the 3.5 predicted temperature rise, things will get way worse.
    I guess Marty has to come out with the typical happy chapter rubbish, it is human nature to avoid the truth …. hence why people like me and say Afewknowthetruth are ignored.
    Oh and it is 7 degrees+ by 2100. :-)
    Now what more bed time stories can we tell the kids?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      I wouldn’t worry about the temperature in 2100.

      Our industrial globalised economy will be lucky to last out the next 10-20 years.

    • weka 9.2

      “According to the IEA ‘we’ face a 3.5 degree temperature rise (above pre-industrial) over the next 25 years, 2 degrees equals 25 meters sea rise for a start”

      Got a link to back that up? I thought the point is that we don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s all theory and projection.

      The problem with the polarity you present – happy chapter vs we’re all going to die – is that most people will switch off. If we want people to change, or even make some preparations, we have to present information in ways that they can manage psychologically. The vision you just presented is a possibility, but I don’t see any actual evidence that it’s a foregone conclusion, so what is the point of scaring people? For every one person you might wake up, you’ll shut down a dozen others.

      Given that you do believe what you just wrote, what are you personally doing about it (apart from posting scarily on the internet)?

      • Robert Atack 9.2.1

        Washington, Nov.12 (ANI): Global temperatures are expected to rise 3.5 degrees C. over the next 25 years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said, suggesting that governments worldwide are failing to honor their pledge to hold global temperature at a two-degree increase.
        http://news.oneindia.in/2010/11/12/globaltemperatures-set-to-rise-35-degrees-c-by-2035inte.html

        London, June 23 (ANI): A new study on the effects of climate change on melting ice sheets has indicated that even if scientists could freeze-frame the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) as it is today, sea levels would still rise by 25 meters by 4000 AD.
        http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health/earths-sea-levels-may-rise-25-meters-by-4000-ad-despite-co2-freeze-re-issue_100208455.html

        The catch is we are not going to be able to ‘freeze-frame’ it, so the 4000 AD comes a lot sooner.
        Because people do not want to be scared, they would rather go out an have babies.

        • weka 9.2.1.1

          OK, so that’s what the IEA says. But for that to be a fact, you’d need to show some scientific consensus. I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m saying we don’t know. I think telling people worst and best case scenarios as well as giving them strategies for preparing makes more sense than asserting (scarey) opinion as fact.

          I agree that the worst thing that could happen would be for us to continue on for another few decades as if nothing was wrong. But scaring people so that they shut down or turn off is likely to make that happen.

          • Robert Atack 9.2.1.1.1

            >I agree that the worst thing that could happen would be for us to continue on for another few decades as if nothing was wrong. But scaring people so that they shut down or turn off is likely to make that happen.<

            Well the greed party has had that principle for the past decade, keeping the general dumb public (GDP) in the dark for these past ten years has lead to the general acceptance that building monoliths like Transmission Gully and the Kapiti Expressway should even be considered, when if they had been acting in a way to actually help their green cause over the past TEN YEARS ie- educating people as to the folly of such projects, and pointing out that Kiwi Saver is an utter growth based scam, but no they have been down talking all the real issues and just vote chasing.
            The greeds are the best humans/democracy could produce, that is why I can be sooooo sure we are in deep crap, and we have little time left. ……. and I'm not talk time left to 'save' ourselves I'm talking time left to live.
            The system is like an oil tanker traveling at full speed, it takes a lot to slow it down (economic ice bergs help), the softly softly approach is like trying to stop a Juggernaut with a rowboat. The system includes maternity wards.

      • Afewknowthetruth 9.2.2

        ‘According to the IEA ‘we’ face a 3.5 degree temperature rise (above pre-industrial) over the next 25 ‘

        Professor Guy McPherson quoted that in a recent speech.

        I personally think it could be a tad on the high side, but we are headed into uncharted territory. As far as I know the set of condtitons currently prevailing have never occured on this planet before. The CO2 level has probably not risen this quickly in 54 million years.

    • Marty G 9.3

      2 degrees is nor 25m sea level rise. And there’s limits to how fast the ice caps can physically melt. We’re talking thousands of years. So, we’re not losing these cities beneath the waves in any meaningful time frame. That’s not to say sea levels aren’t a problem but you do the argument a disservice with ridiculous fairytales. And even your doomsday scenario doesn’t add up. The yanks would have more to do worry about than invading some drowning islands and our society wouldn’t collapse just because two large cities were inundated

      • fermionic_interference 9.3.1

        We as a scientific community are only just beginning to scratch the surface (forgive/enjoy the pun) of Ice melt physics and ice physics and formation thereof, Dr P Langhorne of Otago University is a leading proponent of ice physics research bases in Antarctica.
        Ice physics
        This research is based on sea ice melt and growth rates not fresh water ice but there is an amazing amount left for us to get our heads around in this field yet, which means we cannot yet determine how much increase in melt rate will occur over the next century.

      • RedLogix 9.3.2

        As far as I am aware there are three main sea level rise threats:

        1. The West Antarctic Ice Shelf (WAIS). Grounded well below sea-level and exposed to warming currents it’s inherently unstable and could melt at anytime in a period than a decade. Total rise about 6-7m

        2. The Greenland Ice cap. Currently got a lot of folk very occupied at the alarming changes and dramatic melt-rates being shown in some parts. At > 450ppm it would almost certainly be gone around 2200. Total sea-level rise is thought to be about 7.2m

        3. The East Antarctic Ice Shelf (EAIS) is by far the largest chunk of ice on the planet, but also the most stable. Grounded all above sea-level it is unlikely to melt inside a millenium. Total sea level rise in the order of 60m

        Stabilising at 450ppm risks the melt of the WAIS …that’s 7m of sea-level rise which is dramatically bad enough. Eventually the Greenland cap would add another 7m or so… and that would change the world beyond recognition.

        • fermionic_interference 9.3.2.1

          Yes those are the ones I know of also, the question being the rate of decay which as yet is just postulation.

          Some additional issues for the WAIS and Greenland ice caps is secondary melt from pooling/lakes (forming on the surface and making rivers through the ice cap) and for both the ice cap to ocean change over point where the loss of ice is reducing the weight and the ice caps are “floating off” in some places where the ocean is getting in underneath and will be causing melt of yet another front and as the melt continues how much this “positive feedback” add to the rate of decay is unknown and barely even being guessed at as yet.
          With the lakes also cutting gashes through from the surface as they drain this will add to our issues and because we aren’t accounting for it, it may just sneak up and give us a bit of a bite.

          AFKTT has noted a bit on this side of things below as well.

    • Jenny 9.4

      As well as the huge democratic people’s movements overthrowing, the Western backed Middle East dictatorships.

      Here is an essay from New Scientist that convinces me that MartyG has cause for optimism.

      According to New Scientist, Uganda is a nation with no time for climate change scepticism, with lessons for us all.

      “There are no atheists in the trenches”

      This article makes me hopeful that Australians also suffering from drastic climatic change, extreme drought, paradoxically coupled with extreme flooding events, (in a much stronger position to fight back than Ugandans), may be moved by these climate change effects to take action against the determined CO2 polluters, the powerful big business coal mining and oil interests.

      Here’s hoping.

      • south paw 9.4.1

        “There are no atheists in the trenches”

        Off topic but this is a pat phrase from Team Jesus that I always rebuff by pointing out how many soldiers and civilians dumped belief in a god after experiencing the horrors of industrial scale warfare – especially in the context of “For the greater glory of god” and Empire.

  10. RedLogix 10

    As a counter to AFKTT and Robert above I’d point folks to one of Joe Romm’s more important posts here.

    In fairness if the human race fails to respond to the challenge then Robert Atack and AFKTT will turn out to be almost perfectly correct….except they will be seen to have been a little too optimistic.

    But the options to respond do remain, albeit it is now too late for anything but a lot of pain and ugliness.

    • Respectfully Red
      I couldn’t get over the title >The full global warming solution: How the world can stabilize at 350 to 450 ppm<
      At the best we are stuck with 390 – 400 ppm for the next 1,000 years (that shit hangs around) that already equals the extinction of us, I don't think I can be any more 'optimistic' once the ice stops melting then all that 'ice melt energy' will start on the water, it is already in motion, we can't reverse this, the ice melt has been absorbing global warming for years, just like all the particulates are masking the true damage to the global sunglasses, once they are washed out of the sky, as industrial society stops pushing the shit up there, we could see global warming increase markedly. The only reason we haven't fried yet is the buffer of the ice and the curtain of coal and industrial dust.
      If an idiot 4th form dropout can work it out why can't everyone else?

  11. Afewknowthetruth 11

    ice caps can physically melt. We’re talking thousands of years’

    You are way off the mark there Marty. Over the past 30 years the Arctic Sea meltdown has been phenomenal -a reduction of around 30%. The monthly Arctic Sea ice has been at the lowest area recorded for the past three months, so we are headed into the northern summer with the least ice ever recorded. Temperatures in Northern Canada have been up to 35oC above normal, i.e. normally minus 35oC but recently around zero!

    And ice doesn’t just melt; it forms holes and runs to the bottom of glaciers where it lubricates the ice-rock boundary, allowiing the glaciers of Greenland to slide off the land into the sea at ‘three times the historical rate’.

    Positive feedbacks have already been triggered -more open water means faster warming means more open water means faster warming.. Faster warming equals faster release of methane and carbon dioxide from permafrost equals faster warming. There are no known negative feedbacks.

    • Marty G 11.1

      Arctic sea ice is not an ice cap. It’s melting does not significantly influence sea levels either way because it’s floating. Do some research on maximum melt rates of the greenland and west antarctic ice caps

      • Marty G 11.1.1

        It’s a question of the sheer amount of energy needed to turn millions of cubic kilometres of ice into water and the time to transmit that energy from other warming systems to the ice caps

        • RedLogix 11.1.1.1

          Totally agree that the Artic is had no direct effect on sea-level, but the melting of the WAIS and the Greenland cap together add around 15m.

          The WAIS is the worrisome one because it’s inherently unstable, warming sea currents can attack it from below, releasing it from it’s bed-rock and causing it to break up. If that happened the resulting massive blocks of ice would be free to move northward away from the cold Antarctic and melt relatively rapidly in the warm oceans.

          There is past evidence that this can happen in very short time frames. I posted on this back in 2009.

          • lprent 11.1.1.1.1

            Of course not. The arctic is seaice. Makes virtually no difference to sealevels unless it turns to gas. Land ice shifting from a solid to liquid phase does.

            BTW: The WAIS scares the hell out of me. The geological history is so volatile.

      • fermionic_interference 11.1.2

        Marty you’re dead on that sea ice isn’t ice cap.
        Unfortunately as with most things it isn’t quite that cut and dried when the sea ice melts the ocean absorbs more EM radiation and warms faster as well as holding higher temperature (this is the theory to the best of my knowledge), now this is where AFKTT means there will be an effect on the Greenland ice shelves and glaciers (and similarly the West Antarctic Ice Sheet) at the ocean – ice boundaries the melt rate is
        a; increased by water of higher temperature being in contact,
        b; the area of ice-ocean boundaries increases
        so this is where the loss of sea ice becomes really quite important as well as the effect in siberian/canadian permafrost areas where the higher temperatures cause more methane to be expelled from soils.

        Ice cap decay (melt rates) is a relatively new area of serious study and ice cap decay models will continue to be updated and refigured over the coming years.
        So this leaves best / worst cases scenario estimates:
        60m sea level rise by 2100 is possible and predicted by models if runaway warming occurs and all positive feedbacks are triggered with an increase of CO2 levels to around 1000ppm,
        25m sea level rise by 2100 possible, avoidable? maybe, really a wait and see outcome.
        Best scenario 1m sea level rise by 2100.

        Mark Lynas’ book six degrees: our future on a hotter planet, has a fairly comprehensive collation of the modeled outcomes of every degree of warming and is worth a read.
        six degrees

        captcha: decides

      • Robert Atack 11.1.3

        Marty.
        Yes I’m sure we can agree on that, but Arctic sea ice melt is a good indicator that something is wrong?
        Not having it there is maybe a good thing for ‘growth’ ie faster shipping, maybe finding large gas reserves? Getting those pesky polar bears out of the way.
        I point out the ice is melting because things are going down, namely global warming or climate change, the heating isn’t going to stop once the ice cap is gone, it is going to increase.
        Ice melt is not going to be a big worry for humankind, abrupt climate change that damages the food growing areas are going to get most of us, ice melt is just something clowns like us discuss, but in the long term it will be starvation or local violence.
        Saying it nicely might give people ‘hope’ and all that does is encourage more children. Having children in this age of ‘enlightenment’ is like buying a flat on the tenth floor of a burning building.
        With the acceleration we are seeing in climate forecasts (zoning in on 3.5 by 2035 -50) and the economic and energy ‘problems’ we are facing, how should we discourage reproduction? 300,000 a year in Australia.
        Most peer reviews are around 3 – 5 years behind, according to David Wasdell http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKV7VfAQhs0 (who ever he is?). So what ever you are currently reading, well…. it is worse.

  12. Afewknowthetruth 12

    I am perfectly aware that melting of sea ice does not affect overall sea level.

    The whole point is that Greenland and the other Arctic land masses are surrounded by warmer than normal water, and that is almost certain to promote faster melting of ice on those land masses, which will result in faster than expected sea level rise.

    I suspect I have done a lot more research than you have. I have written four books which include major sections on the topics being discussed.

    • Marty G 12.1

      If you know it all it’s somewhat odd that you point to arctic sea I’ve melt rates to refute my statement that ice caps cannot melt completely for centuries. I’m not going to bow down to you because you wrote books. I’m interesting in the quality of the arguments. And your falling back on the appeal to authority fallacy doesn’t make me more likely to accept yours.

      Look, we both know that climate change and peak oil are huge problems but why I’m not a millennialist like you is because humanity can and will adapt to the challenges it faces. There will be famines. There will to ecosystem collapses. There will be revolutions and tyrannies. There will be wars and mass migrations. But there are ways to minimise the damage and get through this the best we can. We should work towards them, rather than just screaming that the sky is falling.

      • Afewknowthetruth 12.1.1

        I totally agree. It will take a very long time for the ice cap on Antartica to melt COMPLETELY. No argument there. The point is, it will not take much of a meltdown of Greenland, plus a few glaciers in Northern Canada, plus some of the Antarctic shelf, plus a bit of thermal expansion to generate a 1 or 2 metre rise. That would devastate a lot of locations around NZ amd pretty much annhilate most of the Netherlands, Shanghai, New York etc,.

        When you say adapt are you saying there will be 80% die-off worldwide and the 20% who get through the bottleneck will adapt to the rise in average temperature that is coming?

        I think it is very pertinent that we are up around 0.8oC so far and we are already experiecing a fair bit of climate chaos, yet there are people who say we can adapt to 2oC rise in average temprature even though we know our staple crops -rice, wheat, corn etc- cannot.

        I think it is always wise to consider how well the inhabitabts of Easter Island adapted after they had wrecked their environment: they expericneced a 90% population collapse, accompnaied by cannibalism. Yes, they adapted eventually.

        It seems to me the inhabitnats of most major cities are in a worse predicament that the Easter Islanders -surrounded tens of thousands of eaters, surrounded by concrete and asphalt, and government by maniacs who want more concrete and asphalt.

        These are most interesting of times.

        Nothing wrong with screaming that the sky is falling if it is. That way people might think to move.
        I spent a decade promoting a soft landing the ‘nice way’ and got nowhere. Most people are not the least bit interested and won;t be until reality hits them,. And it’s far too late then.

        Good on you for raising the issues, but let’s not promote faux solutions. Leave that to the Green Party: they are experts at ‘not rocking the boat’ and promoting faux solutions.

        • Lanthanide 12.1.1.1

          Unfortunately in a democracy, parties get into parliament by being voted in by the masses. The masses aren’t turkeys who will vote for Christmas, so any political party hoping to get into power can’t go hard-out doom-and-gloom. This should be obvious by the fact that we don’t have any doom-and-gloom parties in parliament.

        • weka 12.1.1.2

          “generate a 1 or 2 metre rise. That would devastate a lot of locations around NZ amd pretty much annhilate most of the Netherlands, Shanghai, New York etc,.”

          What time frame for the sea rise?

          What’s the purpose of screaming that the sky is falling? Or indeed even saying it? What are you wanting to achieve or have people do?

          Please explain why a 2oC rise means we can’t grow grains? Grain crops grow in much hotter places than NZ.

          Humans can live without grains. Whether we’ve got time to change is another matter.

          • Afewknowthetruth 12.1.1.2.1

            Nobody knows the time frame for the 1-2 metre sea level rise since the rate of rise is accelerating and the rate of acceleration is going to accelerate, but a reasonable estimate is 30 years. A rise of 5 to 20 metres by the end of this century likely if positive feedbacks play out the way we anticipate.

            The main point about hightlighting these realites is so that no further energy and resources are squandered on infrastructure that will have no untility in the future, and to minimise the misery to come, as opposed to what governments and district councils do, which is implement policies that will maximise the misery that is to come.

            The 2oC rise is an average. What that translates into with increasing climate instability is maximum temperatures up by 8 or 10oC above current maximuma: that ‘toasts’ pretty much everything. Raed Nature Bats Last ‘We’re toast’.

            Remember a couple of years ago when temperatures in Victoria were around 48oC , or Russia last year, where drought and heat destroyed around 30% of the grain crop. That is happening at just 0.8oC above the historical mean. Nothing grows without regular rainfall: climate instability equates to irregular rainfall: drought followed by inundation.

            I know highlighting unpalatable realities is futile because most people refuse to accpet unpalatable realities, no matter what evidence is provided.

            The ‘idiots’ currently in power will waste resources rebuilding Christchurch, so it can get demolished again by earthquakes or be inundated. They will waste resources on sports stadiums and motorways: that is tha nature of ‘idiots’ like Bill English, John Key, etc. Before them the ‘idiots’ were Helen Clark, Michael Cullen etc. Just like the statue builders of Easter Island: as long as they had workers with full vellies they just kept doing it. It was when the workers didnl’t have full bellies it all came to a stop.

            The political system is geared to putting ‘idiots’ into power because ‘idiots’ will facilitate the agendas of global corporations, who are running the show. For corporations, the more resources are wasted, the more they like it.

            Politiics is just a chirade – a stage show to keep the proles believing in the system. In reality debate in parliament is hardly above intermediate school level. And often it is at kindergarten level.

            Time to change? The Hirsch Report of 2005 suggested a 20 year transition period prior to Peak Oil would be required for a smooth transition. That puts us about 30 years behind, since Peak Oil was 2005-6.

            • weka 12.1.1.2.1.1

              A sea level rise over 30-90 years. Humans can adapt to that. The temperature rise I’m still not convinced about. Let’s look at Dunedin temperatures. The highest average max is around 22oC, with the maximum temp for January at 35oC.

              http://www.myweather2.com/City-Town/New-Zealand/Dunedin/climate-profile.aspx

              So if the average maximum temperature for January rises to 30oC and the maximum temperature is 43oC, you can still easily grow food in that climate if you have sufficient water and you know what you are doing (what happens in the winter may be more of an issue if frosts increase).

              It’s also incorrect to say that you can’t grow food in low rainfall or with irregular rainfall (there are many places in the world that produce food with irregular rainfall). The examples you give will be industrial agriculture, which is a crazy kind of practice that doesn’t take into account the land and climate it is growing in, and exists in a global economy where failure of a crop in one place is made up by a crop elsewhere – it’s not based on feeding the people who live where the crops are being grown, therefore there is less incentive to make it work.

              Water is seen as something that happens above the ground, which is problematic if you don’t have consistent rain or oil to pump up large amounts of groundwater. Sustainable food growing practices focus on keeping the water in the ground and keeping the water table high enough that you can access it. There are specific techniques that do that.

              Jordan is doing some cutting edge work on sustainable agriculture. It has the lowest rainfall compared to population of anywhere in the world, with summer highs over 50oC. Here’s how you grow in a desert (which, not for want of trying by dairy farmers, places like Otago aren’t quite at yet).

              http://permaculture.org.au/2007/03/01/greening-the-desert-now-on-youtube/

              They used irrigation for start up, but the point is that once these systems are established they are self sustaining. The key things to look at are how swales hold the water in the land where the plants are (rather than letting rainfall run off. If you store rain in the land you don’t need it as often), the depth of the mulch, the ratio of non-food bearing nitrogen fixing plants to food bearing to increase fertility, and the ability to desalinate the soil (pay attention Australia).

              These kinds of practices are happening all over the world outside of mainstream agriculture. Yes, the weather fluctuations are going to make growing food more difficult, but I don’t see how the two things you identify – sea level rise over a century, and 8oC increase in highs – are things we can’t adapt to. People are already solving these problems and growing under those conditions.

              I’m still not sure what the point is of scaring people. Are you saying that we have time to … what? if we just wake up. We’re not going to reverse climate change, we can’t prevent peak oil. Personally I think it’s too late to do much about climate change even in terms of stabilising, and am more interested in solutions based thinking. I see lots of discussion in this thread about possibilities and arguing over who is right. I don’t see a huge amount of actual practical solutions in terms of adaptation. If you are right about the time frames, isn’t that what we should be focussing on?

              I agree politicians aren’t going to provide any useful response (until the shit hits the fan in quantity). Most people I know who are aware of the issues are getting on with preparing anyway. They’re leading the way rather than waiting for people without the necessary skills (politicians) to manage the problems.

              • Afewknowthetruth

                My reply was global, rather than local.

                Yes, a place like Dunedin could stand a substantial rise in temperature provided it doesn’t get hammered by tropical cyclones -a consequence of wamer oceans..
                If you think I am ‘gloomy’ try this:

                Guy McPherson Says:
                March 6th, 2011 at 2:14 pm
                Terminal decline began in 2005 (May, to be precise). According to the DoD (echoing DoE), we’re falling off the cliff this year (2011). Even without the ongoing oilquake in Middle East, any hint of economic growth takes oil to $140/bbl … and that should do the trick for a fragile industrial economy. By lights out, I mean no food at the grocery stores, no fuel at the filling stations, and no water coming through the municipal taps … and, of course, no streets lights in the cities and towns. As I’ve indicated before, I cannot see how we can avoid a new Dark Age by the end of 2012.

                McPherson was a Professor of Ecology and Natural Resources till he quit to ‘run for the hills’

  13. Bored 13

    Good post Marty. I log on less and less now, theres too much to do other than spend time persuading people that the human constructed world as they percieve it is in permanent decline, where as the real world of a dynamic planet is close to a zero balance equilibriium (minus the human virus). What once was peripheral noise that was laughed at by all and sundry is now accepted. The question becomes what to we virus do?

    An observation:forget the concept of progress, try instead to see improvements in how we do things as something serendipitous and rather stand alone as opposed to a step up (even if it is). If we as a species had viewed and valued things as they are in reality we might have had less compulsion to change them in the name of progress.

  14. M 14

    I hope for the best but know that life is going to be a right hard-out slog where most will become poorer and hungrier and would welcome the chance to be proved wrong as to the very grim future I can imagine for all of humanity.

    Phosphate for farming could be hard to get and IIRC I saw a vignette some time ago on how a farmer in NZ discovered some phosphate rock on his farm quite by chance and was delighted by his windfall.

    People will need to enjoy the simple things in life: three hots and a cot, a garden, some good music and family/friends wrapped around me like a cloak is a damn good start.

    • weka 14.1

      We don’t need industrial phosphates to farm. Everything you need to grow food can come from the area in which the food is grown.

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    I have already shared two stories from psychology students about how the postgraduate allowance cuts have affected them. These stories demonstrate the widespread impact the changes are having. Here is yet another story I have received, this one giving the...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Against secret "justice" in NZ
    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Government’s ‘rock star economy’ throws hospital staff ou...
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star...
    PSA | 16-04
  • Lip service: it’s all climate action ever gets from Key & Co
    As expected, the New Zealand government’s response to the IPCC’s Working Group 3 report on mitigating climate change pays lip service to the science, while maintaining that NZ is doing all that can be expected. Climate change minister Tim Groser’s...
    Hot Topic | 16-04
  • Progress of FCV “slave ships” Bill is good news – but much work remai...
    The Maritime Union of New Zealand says the progress of the “slave ships” Bill in the New Zealand Parliament is good news – but much work remains to be done....
    MUNZ | 16-04
  • Judith Collins’ reputation dependent on Slater’s scandals
    Judith Collins' reputation as the possible next leader of the National party is in shreds. Her reputation as a minister of the crown in the Key owned National party caucus is in tatters. A resignation is the only honorable thing...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 16-04
  • Photo of the Day: Red III
    Learning Your Stripes, 2013, Regan Gentry, Papatoetoe. Commissioned by Auckland Council aer  ...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • The cost of tax cheats
    How much do corporate tax cheats cost? In the US, over US$180 billion a year:US taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Cats cavorting through capital – Morgan
    The capital’s cats are cavorting through Wellington properties at a rate of 49 million trespasses a year, according to a new study by anti-cat campaigner Gareth Morgan. Island Bay and the rest of the Southern Ward turned out to be...
    Gareth’s World | 16-04
  • “Stick to your knitting”…Gratuitous insult from Minister Groser to NZ...
    Climate Minister Groser continues to insult the New Zealand people – this time through our leading scientists. On Monday the IPCC released Working Group III’s section of its 5th Assessment Report.  Building on Group I (science) and II (impact), this...
    frogblog | 16-04
  • Needlessly shitty
    Parliament has been rejecting select committee submissions for not being written in English or Maori:The Health Select Committee is rejecting 60 submissions against plain packaging legislation because they were made in neither English nor Maori. [...] Committee chairman, National MP...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Fiji: Hoist by his own petard?
    Last year Fijian dictator Voreqe Bainimarama tried to ban political parties in an effort to limit opposition in the lead-up to promised elections. A key part of the crackdown was a ban on political campaigning by anyone who wasn't a...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
    Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
    The Smokefree Coalition is disappointed Imperial Tobacco did not win the Roger Award for Worst Trans-national Company operating in New Zealand, despite manufacturing products that kill 5000 New Zealanders every year....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tukituki decision a win for water quality and farming
    The draft decision by the Board of Inquiry (BOI) on the Tukituki Catchment proposal represents a significant win for freshwater management and the urgency of a transition to environmentally sustainable agriculture in New Zealand, says Fish & Game NZ....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • ACC reflects on passing of great Kiwi
    Today is a very sad day for ACC, as news of the passing of Sir Owen Woodhouse has become public knowledge....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Lincoln cleaners outsourced
    Lincoln University will outsource its staff to an as yet undecided cleaning company, but TEU organiser Cindy Doull says it’s not worth it, and what money the university might save is negligible....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
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