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2014 hottest year – a good thing!

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 am, January 18th, 2015 - 161 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, global warming, science - Tags: , ,

Climate change is a disaster. It’s a slow motion train wreck that threatens the future of humanity on the planet, and an indictment of the short-sighted failures of our political systems (and our thinking in general).

As widely reported, 2014 was the hottest year on record. And that’s a good thing!

It’s a good thing precisely because it has been widely reported, and because it puts a stake through the heart of the denier industry’s arguments. In particular, because of the high of 1998, deniers have argued that there has been a “pause” in warming. There never was a pause, but the argument was technical. Now we have a nice simple headline again: 2014 is the hottest year on record.

Please – please! – let this be the end of the deniers.



161 comments on “2014 hottest year – a good thing! ”

  1. weka 1

    Thanks r0b, so glad we have a dedicated thread for this today.

    “Please – please! – let this be the end of the deniers.”

    I think we are past that. We don’t have to justify anything any more. What I’d really like to see is instead of a whole bunch of time and energy tied up in this thread on rebutting deniers, we go straight to looking at what we can do (about CC, not the deniers).

    • Paul 1.1

      1. Read Derrick Jensen’s ‘Endgame.’
      2. Divest from fossil fuels.
      3. Attend marches against fossil fuels
      4. Join Greenpeace
      5. Simplify your life
      6. Vote Green
      7. Become vegetarian
      8. Learn to grow your own food
      9. Do what you can to bring down capitalism.
      10. Inform others about the crisis facing civilisation.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Good list. I’d amend a few things,

        1. read Derrick Jensen then read Joanna Macy, because you will need a way to deal with the despair. Or read the Arch Druid and Dmitri Orlov.
        2. encourage divestment from FF, either by one’s own investment choices, or lobbying others (individuals and organisations).
        3. protest where you can (marches/rallies, online), or support those that are protesting if you can’t (donate time, money etc)
        4. join Greenpeace, or whatever organisation is doing the right things
        5. Simplify your life, look at what you don’t want to give up and figure out how to give it up.
        6. vote Green
        7. eat local. If that means eating homekill meat or wild rabbit from nearby farms instead of importing soybeans from China, that’s good.
        8. learn to grow your own food, or if you can’t then support people in your neighbourhood/rohe to do so (barter, buy, donate etc).
        9. do what you can to bring down capitalism
        10. inform others about the crisis facing civilisation.

        To turn that into action,

        1. let’s create a recommended reading list from the standardistas. A basic one for getting the science and politics of CC, but with more of a focus on what can be done by people who want to do something but feel powerless.

        2. information on how to support divestment. There seems to be some good things happening with this, but how much is reaching how many people?

        3. protesting, I think that’s well covered by others

        4. what organisations are doing the right things? Let’s make an informed list.

        5. there are a zillion resources online now about simplifying one’s life. Been some nice snippets on ts too, what people are doing personally. Maybe a dedicated thread sometime?

        6. Green Party got this covered.

        7. what should we be eating? Not sure we can have a discussion about this tbh, because it will get derailed into a pu cul de sac.

        8. local food resiliency. I thought Rober Guyton was going to write a post on the good things Southland is doing (if Southland can do it, anywhere can).

        9. end capitalism. We talk about this alot here, but how often do we get past the education/debate?

        10. inform others. I think this is what we are doing already.

        • tracey

          love the idea of action based suggestions.

          thankz paul and weka

          • weka

            what sort of things would you like to see being talked about tracey?

            • tracey

              practical suggestions for people in high consumption homes so people can see both how little and how much needs to be done and can be done.

              • weka

                I’ve been having to think about that (you do start with a hard one!).

                I think alot depends on the consciousness of the people involved, and their income/wealth. Can you narrow it down a bit? Are you talking about people with lots of discretionary income, or people with lower income who use a lot because they haven’t thought it through?

                • tracey

                  I think about things like…

                  when I was 5 i visited my first farm (probably younger cos he was an uncle but I cant recall), I saw my cousins brushing their teeth with the tap off. I asked why, they told me. From that day on I brushed my teeth with the tap off because they said water didnt last forever, or that is what my 5 year old mind heard.

                  That was over 40 years ago, and I have stuck to it where ever I am including hotels etc. I understood from that uncle early on that resources were sacred. He taught me alot more over the years. When he died two years ago he asked people to go back to their homes, their farms, their cities and plant a tree to remember him.

                  So, that is one thing I do, very consciously, to remind myself that resources are sacred, that they don’t flow readily and freely for everyone and they arent always as available as we think.

                  I do the same with electricity but struggle to get the other household members to do it too.

                  So, both of those things can be done by affluent and poor, yes? How much impact? I don’t know.

                  When you live in a very large city, like auckland (geographically) I mean it is challenging to get around in a responsible way and to buy “locally produced”.

                  So, maybe narrow it down to big city dwellers…

                  • tracey


                    not suggesting that solves global warming but saying it changed my consciousness forever and understanding of resources and infinite supply.

                    • weka

                      That’s a great story tracey 🙂 Seriously. (I learnt about the tap thing from Sesame Street!). I think it’s these awakenings of consciousness that are crucial, and then people having ready access to solutions and things they can do themselves. Otherwise people get overwhelmed and turn off.

                      I haven’t lived in a big city for a long time. I think public transport is a biggie most places. Is there anywhere in NZ that is doing this well?

                      Eating local, I think there are many small, incremental things that can be done. Asking the supermarket where the veges have come from, and starting to buy on the basis of that. Eat seasonally. That means choosing to not buy something if it’s imported, even if I want it. It’s similar to what Bill said about using a car, justify each purchase that’s not local.

                      This also changes the supermarket. If they get enough people asking, they will start labelling. And it’s great when you find the person in the supermarket who wants to help. Or use the local greengrocer if there is one. This might mean it takes more time to shop, so there’s the choice again.

                      I would think Auckland has a lot of locally produced food, it’s just accessing it. These food box schemes seem to be doing well. They match local growers with people who want to buy locally, and deliver to your door.


                      http://organicboxes.co.nz/ (Wellington I think).

                      This is a good link for the issues around why relocalising food is crucial. I don’t agree with all of it, but I think it’s a good general resource for people that are still driving a lot, buying without thinking too much etc.

          • Pat O'Dea

            We could join the 3pm Auckland Anniversary Day protest against (“Technically Insolvent”) Solid Energy’s plan to reopen the old closed down Maramarua Coal Mine just south of Auckland, in Mangatawhiri.

            See the notice of this event: HERE

            From the notice:

            We must keep raising awareness of the dangers of Climate Change.

            We must keep getting our “No New Coal Mines” message out!

            By spending a few hours out at Mangatawhiri on State Highway 2 with signs and banners we will reach thousands of people driving home after the long weekend. These roadside demonstrations have been a great success in raising awareness of Fonterra’s coal dependence.


            When? Be there as long as you can between 3pm and 6pm on Monday January 26.

            Where? On the south (Auckland-bound) side of State Highway 2 at the corner of Homestead Road and Bell Road, by the Homestead Road overbridge.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Not bad, but Voting Green is insufficient – by trying to play pretend and extend with their middle class supporters, they are still far too soft on what is coming up. If you are a Green supporter you need to get in there and pressure them to go harder core on preparations for a low carbon de-globalising economy.

          • weka

            Yes they are, but they can’t go hard or they’ll lose votes. So it’s good that they keep the agenda on the table, and it’s the middle classes that are going to have to step up very soon and made radical change.

            “Voting Green is insufficient”

            Only if you take that one action on its own. If it’s done in context, then it’s very useful. If twice as many people had voted GP two elections ago, we’d be in a completely different place now re CC and preparation.

          • weka

            hang on, that wasn’t just an edit, it was a major rewrite?

          • tracey

            better than voting Labour 😉

        • Jonathan

          Nice to see a busy weka today! 🙂

          And I’ll second the Joanna Macy.

          As for making a reading list… I’ll throw out a few general ideas:

          For the science:
          Mark Lynas’s ‘Six Degrees’
          And maybe back that up with Spratt and Sutton’s ‘Climate Code Red’.

          To add in the politics and/or economics:
          Clive Hamilton – ‘Requiem for a Species’
          Naomi Klein – ‘This changes everything’
          Tim Jackson – ‘Prosperity without growth’.
          (And Gwynne Dyer’s ‘Climate Wars’, even if it doesn’t quite fit this category.
          Or Paul Gilding’s ‘The Great Disruption’.
          Rob Dietz & Dan O’Neill’s ‘Enough is Enough’.
          And possibly a shorter piece by Ian Angus, Patrick Bond or Brian Tokar.)

          To stay up to date:
          Joseph Romm’s Climate Progress blog

          For some action:
          Rob Hopkins – ‘The Transition Handbook’
          I’d like to throw in something protest-y in here, but nothing definite comes to mind. Maybe something like Hilary Moore and Joshua Kahn Russell’s ‘Organizing cools the planet’.
          And for growing your own food, just turn up to your local community garden, or have a good chat (or better yet, chat-and-garden) with a friend who gardens.

          For staying sane:
          Joanna Macy… but I must admit I can’t think what I’d choose… I’d like to pull bits and pieces from different places. Her earlier despair work material, plus some bits from ‘Coming back to life’, plus a later short piece specifically on climate change.


          • weka

            wow, that’s a great list, thanks Jonathon.

            I read Dmitri Orlov (online) a lot for a quite a while, which gave me the whole how to survive a collapse at a societal level perspective. Used to read Sharon Astyk too. Derrick Jensen until it got too depressing.

            The crossover between the political analysis and the practical preparation seems crucial to me. I’d like to see that happen more in NZ. It has the potential, but I see many in the prep sphere being apolitical, and those of us here seem happier to argue than to work together on something.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.2

        NZ is going to be greatly reducing its use of fossil fuels within the next 15 or so years. And it’ll probably be utterly unplanned and unprepared, as fuel availability and affordability go through the floor.

        Plenty of Labour Party MPs don’t understand/don’t accept how critical fossil fuel energy depletion now is. Expecting more growth and more exports/global trade is incompatible with the physical realities of what we are facing.

  2. mickysavage 2

    Please – please! – let this be the end of the deniers.

    Much as I wish you were right R0b I fear that there is not a chance of this happening.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Yeah, there’ll still be deniers as the corporations that make massive profits from the sale of fossil fuels keeps funding them to the tune of millions of dollars per year.

      • weka 2.1.1

        true, and there’s still value in telling them they’re wrong (and why), but we’ve reached the tipping point and there’s more value in focusing on what we can do rather than defending the position. We want the tipping to go in the right direction (towards immediate action rather than say apathy, more cognitive dissonance, partying while the ship goes down etc).

  3. Poission 3

    In particular, because of the high of 1998, deniers have argued that there has been a “pause” in warming. There never was a pause,

    The slow down ie the decrease in the rate of warming,was prior to 1998.eg (Schmidt 2014)

    A combination of factors, by coincidence, conspired to dampen warming trends in the real world after about 1992.

    Gavin Schmidt for example suggested there was no statistical significance in the warming trend 1997-2013,and being at the lower end of the cmip5 projections hence it was a fact in need of an explanation.

    Any divergence between real-world climate phenomena and prior expectations poses interesting science questions. The case of the apparent slow-down of warming since the record El Niño event in 1997/1998 is
    no exception. The global mean surface temperature trend was smaller1 between
    1997 and 2013 (0.07±0.08 °C per decade) than over the last 50 years (0.16 ± 0.02 °C per decade), highlighting questions about the mechanisms that regulate decadal variability in the Earth’s temperature. In addition, the warming trend in the most recent 15-year period is near the lower edge of the 5–95% range of projections from a collection of climate models that were part of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5).Why most of the model simulations suggest more warming than has been observed is a second question that deserves further exploration


  4. Macro 4

    We already know what to do about it (AGW that is).

    Firstly, we (that is, the first and developing worlds) have to drastically limit our use of fossil fuels. The carbon budget, we have left, is tiny if the world is to limit GHG’s to less than 450ppm* – already being around 400ppm.

    Secondly, we have to stop deforestation and increase permanent planting of forests to begin sequestering the excess Carbon. (The transformation of Forests into agriculture is the second highest factor in increasing GHG’s) and accounts for up to 15% of the recent increases.

    Thirdly we (the developed world that is) have to change our economic system from materialistic consumerism to a sustainable model where prosperity for all is achieved without the pursuit of “growth”.

    *I am well aware that many will call the 450ppm as too high a limit, and I tend to agree, Others will be *relaxed* and hope that climate sensitivity is low. Recently published work, however, indicated that CS is on the upper end of the scale rather than the lower end. and that 450 ppm will see warming of much more than 2 degrees. Considered to be the temperature rise above which catastrophic events will occur frequently.

    • weka 4.1

      If we know what to do, do we know how to do it?

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1


        • weka

          Go on then. Practical suggestions of what we (reading this) can do. cheers.

          • Draco T Bastard

            1. Stop using private cars
            2. Power down of fossil fueled generators
            3. Build far more renewable generators (In NZ this is limited to solar, wind and geothermal as all the rivers that can be used for dams have already been dammed)
            4. Shift all transport to using electricity for motive power except for ships which would go back to using sail

            It would take time but all those are practical and can be done now. Oh, and it’s society that will need to shift, not individuals.

            • weka

              Yes those things are theoretically possible, and yes society needs to shift. But I was asking what we here could do and that’s not a list of what we can do individually or collectively. Points 2 – 5 are things that govt, local govt and organisations with lots of power and money can do. So the question becomes what we we do to make govt take those actions (given we can’t take those actions ourselves).

              Point 1 is difficult to extremely difficult for many people to achieve. I live in a town with bugger all public transport and I know a few hard core people who have no car through choice, or severly limit the use of their car. But for most just stopping isn’t going to work. Even those in places with good public transport options, there is a transition process and obstacles like getting to work, carting kids around, getting groceries etc.

              When it gets reframed like Bill put it, it becomes practical: Stop driving your car just because it’s convenient to do so – justify each and every trip and make the journey as efficient as possible.

              • Draco T Bastard

                But I was asking what we here could do and that’s not a list of what we can do individually or collectively.

                Acting individually will achieve very little. We must needs to get society to change.

                So the question becomes what we we do to make govt take those actions (given we can’t take those actions ourselves).

                Why is the government already not listening to us or even the science? Isn’t that one of the arguments that is used by people to justify having a representative government? That it can and will make the hard decisions that the people won’t?

                The majority of people already want sustainable policies but the government refuses to implement them because the corporations and the rich don’t want them to.

                Point 1 is difficult to extremely difficult for many people to achieve.

                As I said, it’s something that will take time but it is certainly something that can be done.

                As per usual, you seem to be looking for an instant fix and they just don’t exist.

                • weka

                  No, I’m trying to find the path from your good ideas to how people here can act on them. This isn’t about instant fix at all (you are completely misunderstanding me there), it’s about pragmatics and not waiting for the govt alone to act.

                  For instance, share your own process of stopping using a car. That will help people make the shift more than just being told to do it because it’s needed.

                  Beyond that, you are making good points, but they’re not actually what I was asking about.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    For instance, share your own process of stopping using a car.

                    Sold car and started walking and taking public transport. For the majority of people that’s all that really needs to happen. As Bill implies below, people just use the car and don’t justify it at all. People no longer consider wastage when things become too cheap.

                    I recall a conversation that I had with my sister about something being wasteful (think it may have been incandescent light bulbs) and her response was that it was within her budget. She just didn’t seem to be able to comprehend that they just aren’t in the countries budget.

                    This is where the economics of the individual falls down completely because the individual is always operating with less than full information and so making less than optimal decisions. The aggregate result of the free-market must be complete collapse.

                • Tiro

                  1st – As agriculture add 25% to the emission – on a personal note you can reduce your intake of meat per day and per week. (Easy to do and choose organic or bio-dynamic for the other day(s) )

                  2nd – You can also promote a society that aims to lower the birth rate. As after all it’s a social issue over a personal one: every child born today will have a direct effect on its own quality of live and all the current young lives.

                  3rd -Do check you packaging in the super market and stop buying any product that has palm oil (vegetable) that contribute to the deforestation in Indonesia and the extinction of the Orang-Utan.

          • Bill

            Practical suggestions.

            Don’t go to your job tomorrow unless your job is of social value.
            Cease any and all debt/mortgage payments.
            Stop driving your car just because it’s convenient to do so – justify each and every trip and make the journey as efficient as possible.
            Stop flying.


            Throw your hands in the air and regale the world with all the reasons as to why it’s just not practical for you to radically change your behaviours and habits today…in other words, refuse to acknowledge your hypocrisy and carry on quietly looking to have your cake and eat it….meaning that you enable those who wield economic, political and social power to ride the fact that you want to have your cake and eat it. It ends well, does that scenario.

            note: ‘you’ in this comment is the inclusive and collective ‘you’ as in the broadly encompassing ‘one’

            • weka

              Thanks Bill, I was hoping you would chime in. That’s pretty much what I reckon we should be talking about in terms of point 9 (end capitalism).

              Someone here the other day (sorry I’ve forgotten who this was) talked about how their household had made the shift to one income as part of simplifying. Very cool.

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.2

        The Left doesn’t have the power, money or popular support to enact these plans.

        I think our civilisation is careening along at 200km/h and our leaders will only slam on the brakes once the concrete block wall of civilisation destruction is filling up the view out of their front windscreen.

        Hedges, Jensen and Tainter all agree on what civilisations on the edge of collapse tend to do – they double down on the activities which have led them to the brink, in the hope that doing more of the same will save them.

        • weka

          I tend to agree, but I think there is still value in us working towards these things eg reducing FF use. Because we should be anyway. Because people aren’t ready yet to see the coming collapse so you have to give them something they can work with. Because reducing FF use in any way we can is good prep for the collapse. Because resisting the double down dynamic is crucial in terms of damage limitation.

        • Karen

          I wish I didn’t agree, but unfortunately you are right CV.

          Unfortunately most people do not want to accept how quickly catastrophic climate change is coming, and those in power are willing to let people think it is something that may occur one day but not in our lifetime, and science will come up with a solution way before it does. The left can’t get traction on this because the vast bulk of the population just don’t want to know.

          All we can do is try to educate as many people as we can.

          • weka

            That’s one but not the only thing.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            It’s absolutely important to resist in any way we can, and in particular, to set up systems and networks which allow things to be done outside of (or at least in parallel to) the mainstream systems which are already failing many NZers. The elements which are key are:

            1- Food, water
            2- Electricity
            3- Shelter, heating
            4- Healthcare
            5- Clothing, footwear
            6- Communication
            7- Socialisation and education

            • weka

              + zillion.

              And the great thing is that we can do those things in ways that transition us to post-carbon as well as prepare for the coming crisis. Those actions done well and with thought for the bigger picture (as opposed to personal survival) will take us much further than education alone.

              The actions can be part of education, and people love being offered solutions. If you want to get people to wake up, give them something to do after the bad news. Most people will still get on with doing what’s right if they know they can make a difference.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The concrete wall turned up in 1992. Our ‘leaders’ have been stepping harder on the accelerator ever since.

        • Macro

          Totally agree.
          We will not be the first civilisation to fall at the feet of Climate Change the first Babylonian empire based on the Euphrates declined in little less than a century when the area turned to desert.
          The difference now is that we know what lies before us; much more so than those Babylonians 4300 years ago.
          The similarity however is that humans are still very much the same.
          Today the religion of the developed world is everywhere. How many of us gave our offerings of money at the local temple of the hidden hand today and everyday? Our high priests are the banks economists who work in the holy of holies and ivory towers. Our opium is a compliant media who soothe us gently with reassurance and the words of wisdom from our wise men (media commentators). As for our leaders? Well they are the same as they have always been.
          It will only be when the sheeple wake up to the fact that they have been worshiping false gods will the cry go up – “why have you forsaken us?” But by then it will be too late.

          Those who, like Noah, have prepared themselves for the inevitable will survive. Maybe. But I cannot foresee the future here with any certainty. All I can say is that we have seen the best of times and I fear for my grandchildren.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            How many of us gave our offerings of money at the local temple of the hidden hand today

            BOOOOOM! Nice one Macro…

          • Colonial Rawshark

            It will only be when the sheeple wake up to the fact that they have been worshiping false gods will the cry go up – “why have you forsaken us?”

            We’ll have to look out for those political opportunists and demagogues who are willing to promise the masses the miracle they are desperately wanting in exchange for “temporary emergency powers.”

    • Chooky 4.2

      It is very satisfying planting a little tree and looking after it….I have 10 baby gum trees and I water them once a week with 4 litres of water each …everyone should have a pet tree!…in their back yard or on the street…or at someone elses place

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.2.1

        Whoa there Chooky! Advice given to me by an expert..(after me having to deal with a fallen over tree)

        Never water trees from the top. Always, when planting a tree, dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball. Fill the hole with water. Plant tree. NEVER water again.

        The roots must be encouraged to seek water for themselves. The roots go deep and wide…creating a much more stable root system. If tree cannot handle drought conditions (if it looks dead…wait untill after decent rain, it may bounce back) plant a diifrent type of tree. Gum trees especially good at finding water.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Good sustainability tip!!!

        • just saying

          Disagree with you, Rosemarie.
          Regular watering is a bad thing, but intermittent, deep watering can double the speed of growth. In the teeth of fierce winds, or during long dry spells, many trees really benefit, some die or get knocked back for a few years if left without adequate water . Of course it’s best to grow the best trees to handle the conditions.
          Also, if you are growing trees for food, occasional watering can make a big difference to the yield.
          Encouraging strong, extensive root growth is important, but I don’t think it is as hard and fast a rule as you are suggesting.
          All this is imo, there is a lot of disagreement amongst gardeners, arborists and other assorted laypeople and experts when it comes to growing any kind of plants.

          • weka

            Good points from you both. I think local climate and soil has a lot to do with it too, as well as where water is in the landscape (water table, what happens when it rains, what’s the surrounding area like etc).

        • Chooky

          @ Rosemary McDonald….I dont water them from the top …I water them once a week at the base by hand using 2-3 litre fruit juice bottles …so no water is wasted….i pour it directly down to the roots

          …..and if I didnt water them once a week most of them would be dead by now , the ground is so bony and the weather so hot and dry and dessicating …. i agree that one should water before planting, which I did ….but nevertheless this is not enough for a young plant to survive in summer where I live until it gets established…these gum trees only cost me $3 each ….surprisingly (for a non gardener) it gives me great satisfaction to see them growing….and water is their life blood …i dont see the point in tough love and letting them die, because die they would without water…what I didnt count on is the satisfaction I get from watering them and watching them grow…if everyone were to plant and take on a pet tree it would help the planet

          • just saying

            Hi Chooky,
            I was talking about getting trees established, not mature trees, too.
            For extreme conditions (down my way at least – altitude, crap soil, high wind area, drought at times,) the native Oleander is brilliant. I planted a couple two years ago as part of a windbreak with some pittos. The pittos are nearly a metre, the oleanders are three metres+ and flourishing. They were all about a foot when I planted them. No more need for watering. I bought them from a native nursery half a km away on the advice of the nurseryman. You can’t beat local knowledge and locally grown.

            It does feel good watching trees grow. If you haven’t got the land guerilla planting is good too. Part of the windbreak I planted is in the reserve next door.

            • Chooky

              @just saying…thanks for the Oleander tip …I am beginning to get the tree planting bug ( like Johnny Appleseed…ha ha…I enjoy planting fruit trees as well…if everyone were to plant fruit trees or stones along country roads there would be a lot of fruit available for public foraging , home wine making, preserving ,etc )

              I was wondering what i would plant next year…so I will check out Oleander

            • Maggy Wassilieff

              There is no native Oleander. Perhaps you mean Olearia…. one of our tree daisies… Most are very hardy…. and O. paniculata, O. albida and O.traversii are commonly used for hedging/shelter.

      • Macro 4.2.2

        I like gum trees – they are ideally suited to drought and just touching the bowl of an iron bark, jarrah, or similar, in their natural environment one feels the density and strength of the tree – but how about natives?
        Not the time for planting now of course, but earlier this year we planted 200 pohutakawa and ngaio, along with other species, along the banks of the Waihoa here by Thames as part of a Forest and Bird redevelopment of the wetlands. (Cook describes in his journal on his visit to the Firth of Thames travelling up the river which was a blaze of colour from the many pohutokawa growing along its banks). An ongoing project that has seen the plantings starting to develop quite nicely. I live 400 m from the oldest arboretum in the country “Halls Reserve”. During the gold rush days the hillsides of Thames were stripped bare of Kauri, Totara, and Rimu. Hall, a local pharmacist, bought land and began planting the hillside and gully with Natives and exotics – including gums (There is an interesting “twisted gum” we recently “discovered” and have been working on a track to it.) Graham Platt will be visiting on 24th Jan (This coming Sat) and will be conducting a guided walk around the Reserve. The species of Totara Hall Identified – commonly know as the “bastard totara”, because unlike others it did not split cleanly, have their scion examples there.

        • weka

          That’s cool. How long does it take to get Hall’s Totara established?

          Gums are beautiful trees I agree. I think the most value of gums in NZ is if they are to be harvested. They’re also a fire hazard so much of east of the divide in the SI should be planting them by taking that into account.

          • Macro

            Well these have been growing over a hundred years 🙂

            • weka

              ha ha, not I meant from when they are planted to be being an adult tree.

              “Cook describes in his journal on his visit to the Firth of Thames travelling up the river which was a blaze of colour from the many pohutokawa growing along its banks”

              They say the Otago Peninsula used to be gold from the kōwhai.

              • Macro

                The totara I planted 25 years ago are nice smallish specimen trees now and the rimu is well on its way to 5+ m, but these are of course long lived.
                We have 2 Kauri churches here in Thames, both over 100 years old, – but the timber in them come from trees that could well have been saplings in the time of Christ. A rather interesting thought.
                I understand that the original wharenui built just down the road from where I now live, was moved to the Auckland Museum. It too will have timbers in it that are ancient indeed.

              • b waghorn

                I’ve said on the standard before but I’ll chuck out there again this country has vast areas of tussock that conifers would (and in the case of pinus contorta) transfer into a vast carbon sink.
                The time for being precious about keeping Aotearoa as it was is long gone.

                • greywarshark

                  Have you thought that relying on pine, though fast growing, is a bit like relying on dairy. Rut thinking and lack of diversity in enterprise planning.
                  Is there a better choice, one that is not as flammable as eucalyptus, and pine, still reasonably fast growing, etc.

                  Perhaps the trees could be wide planted on low hills with fodder shrubs such as taglytes in between and dairy cows grazed there, while the flat lands are used for growing grain (in Christchurch) and vegetables and fodder (instead of buying the offcuts of clear felled palm trees that have been part of resources for ordinary low-income farming people overseas.)

                  • b waghorn

                    Hadn’t actually thought we should log them and Douglas fur or larch would of been my choice for tussock country as radiata doesn’t cope with snow.
                    The shrubs between cows is great idea especially since the fools in Canterbury cut all the shelter down so I hear.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  but I’ll chuck out there again this country has vast areas of tussock that conifers would (and in the case of pinus contorta) transfer into a vast carbon sink.

                  Those tussocks are crucial for the fresh water systems of the land and provide major ecosystem services, especially in drier years. Don’t fuck with them.

                  • b waghorn

                    You ever been in the bush when its pouring down the water runs clean I bet trees and there associated under growth would hold far more water for slow release than tussock as I said the time for being precious about tussock is past the world needs trees .

                    • greywarshark

                      @ b waghorn
                      I think everyone would agree about the trees. But which trees and where. And about tussock just what you notice won’t be all there is to know about it and what lives in it, and how it affects the land and water. We tend to go at many things that have environmental impacts without understanding the result. End up losing more then we gain.

                    • weka

                      “You ever been in the bush when its pouring down the water runs clean I bet trees and there associated under growth would hold far more water for slow release than tussock as I said the time for being precious about tussock is past the world needs trees”

                      Probably not pine though, because left to itself it will create a dry monocrop. I think the best opportunity with wilding pines is to use them to transition to other forestry. Lots of places the only thing that will grow is wilding pine, but once they establish and provide shade and microclimates then other species can be introduced. Not sure if this work has been done yet, but I’d guess you could introduce broom to improve soil fertility and provide shelter, then start in with the natives.

                      People were experimenting with using broom and gorse to re-establish native ecosystems for a long time before it became acceptable. Now even DOC think it’s a good idea. Ditto wilding pines. They’re the enemy now, but in the future they’ll be formally recognised as the boon that they are.

                  • weka

                    “Those tussocks are crucial for the fresh water systems of the land and provide major ecosystem services, especially in drier years. Don’t fuck with them.”

                    We’re talking in generalities here, but I’m pretty sure that the research showed that out of pasture, tussock or plantation, the plantation was as good as tussock for water catchments (pasture was substantially worse).

                    I can see a case for keeping specific areas in tussock, but there is lots of land that is either modified (via sheep and rabbits), or wasn’t tussock originaly and had scrub or even trees growing on it in the past. If we’re willing to consider windfarms we should consider forests too.

        • Chooky

          @ Macro ..yes natives are good ….and next year I intend to plant 10 natives in a QEII native reserve….but as far as I am concerned all trees are good trees ( and I love pine trees) …the gums i have planted are intended to be cut down in future …maybe not in my life time …but they are replacements for gum trees which have been taken out elsewhere …and I am very aware of fire danger from gum tree scrub…nevertheless gums suit this area

          …yes Thames /Waihoa is a fascinating part of the country…and the pohutakawa and ngaio are amazingly beautiful and spectacular there

          … a classic book on NZ native trees and wetlands is by Geoff Park, ‘Nga Uruora – The Groves of Life: Ecology and History in a New Zealand Landscape’

          • Molly

            Just a quick note re gums, they are also liable for sudden limb drop. Our next door neighbour has a well established stand of gums, and every now and then we will hear a boom as a large limb breaks off and falls to the ground.

            I understand that for a while Auckland Council was trying to remove all the gum trees on their regional parks for this reason.

            • Chooky

              thanks Molly…they are a long way from the house

            • greywarshark

              @ Molly and Chooky
              I had the experience of hearing a gum bough drop, and what a noise and thank goodness it was away from a house. and nothing was underneath (I think). The remaining heavy branches have been chopped away and it’s mainly vertical now. But i look at the mature stand further down the road? When will they let go?

              Another thing to remember is that eucs peel bark all the time. It falls on anything below. Messy. It would also add to the flammability of the trees. Also it is toxic. I used to think that it would be a good tree for us along with the pines. But the future climate problems are against it. And fire is going to be one of our disaster probabilities affecting our trees.

              Just the other day there was a fire they have identified as from a spark from a grass mower or such. We will have to start using some other material, not metallic, where sparking can lead to fires.

              The oil that makes eucalyptus bark and leaves smell so wonderful is what causes illness when ingested. The plant is toxic to dogs, cats, livestock and humans. If the bark or leaves are eaten, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may occur. If large enough quantities are eaten, it may cause the person or animal to lapse into a coma. Animals such as the koala, which eat the leaves, have developed a resistance to the toxins, according to Cornell University Department of Animal Science.
              In addition, although the oil has been used as a topical ointment for its healing properties, some people may have an allergic reaction when it touches the skin. If you suspect that your pet or child has ingested the bark or leaves of an eucalyptus tree, contact your veterinarian or doctor immediately.


              I can’t stand eucalyptus smell in washing, bedding etc. and it appears it could cause an allergic reaction in children if used as detergent but not rinsed out adequately.

  5. Colonial Rawshark 5

    Yes there is some warming but its natural solar cycles etc, nothing to do with man, we can keep going with BAU, all is fine etc.

  6. This site has some excellent ideas


    The post that started ‘Green Wizardry’


    “For that, I have come to think, is one of the things the soon-to-be-deindustrializing world most needs just now: green wizards. By this I mean individuals who are willing to take on the responsibility to learn, practice, and thoroughly master a set of unpopular but valuable skills – the skills of the old appropriate tech movement – and share them with their neighbors when the day comes that their neighbors are willing to learn. This is not a subject where armchair theorizing counts for much – as every wizard’s apprentice learns sooner rather than later, what you really know is measured by what you’ve actually done – and it’s probably not going to earn anyone a living any time soon, either, though it can help almost anyone make whatever living they earn go a great deal further than it might otherwise go. Nor, again, will it prevent the unraveling of the industrial age and the coming of a harsh new world; what it can do, if enough people seize the opportunity, is make the rough road to that new world more bearable than it will otherwise be.”

  7. Truth Will Out 7

    The irony is that nature will decide the outcome no matter how much hand wringing and debate continues on any side of this issue.

    But it is safe to say that, because the true cause of global warming and climate change remains a matter of opinion for many, those who prefer to keep debating the issue instead of risking erring on the side of caution by taking steps to mitigate human contribution to the problem, are effectively gambling with all of our futures.

    Very effectively, if the overwhelming scientific evidence is anything to go by.

    Either way, it is safe to say that nature gives not one single f*ck about anyone’s opinions.

    The irrational belief that many people appear to cling on to in these sorts of equations, that they are somehow afforded a magic ring of protection by nature, due to their belief in their own piety or omnipotence somehow, or that “bad things only happen to bad people”, or at least “other people”, is so far removed from reality that it exists in the realms of pure idiocy.

    And yet, cling on to those beliefs they will, with all of their might, convinced of their ability to survive by eating money if all else fails in terms of the environment and their faulty logic.

    It would serve climate change deniers well to remember that they will be excreted from the backsides of bacteria as their bodies decompose just the same as everyone else on this planet will be, no matter how many battles they seek to win at any cost, in the process of amassing more mountains of pretty garbage to stand alone on at the end of all time.

    The only outcome I can absolutely guarantee beyond any reasonable doubt for all of us, is that history will prove money will be the last refuge of the ego, as sure as the sun will rise and set tomorrow, with or without us.

    • Colonial Rawshark 7.1

      Pretty sure you are spot on too…

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Either way, it is safe to say that nature gives not one single f*ck about anyone’s opinions.

      Nature bats last, does’t negotiate and doesn’t take prisoners.

  8. weka 8

    “The irony is that nature will decide the outcome no matter how much hand wringing and debate continues on any side of this issue.”

    Do you mean humans have no agency in changing the future re CC? The evidence is against you there I’m afraid.

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.1

      I think the commentator is expressing the principle that “nature bats last.”

      • weka 8.1.1

        I prefer to think of it as nature always bats, and we’re just the ball 😉 But we can still have a some choice in which way we go.

        Mangled analogy. I should read the original reference, but Macpherson gives me the shits and I don’t like the competitive nature of the analogy. We need a relationship with nature that’s inclusive, mutually beneficial and supportive, not one that’s about conflict and who gets to win or lose. It’s the win or lose shit that got us here in the first place.

        We are part of nature. What we do matters. To nature as well as ourselves.

        • adam

          I’d say what we have weka is freewill not choice. On this issue we need to put our effort into saying it like it is.

          Because their is no power in hinu for consumers. That consumption must stop.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Hominids have been around for a very short time, geologically, and homo sapiens are the very last of them. Although sentimentality is nice, personally I think nature is not going to miss us one bit when we are gone, whether that is in 1,000 years or 100,000 years.

          • Truth Will Out

            @Colonial Rawshark


            Those who are too confronted by their fear of the starkest truths and realities are always the last to accept them. Nature absolutely does not rate us above bacteria or any other life form, no matter how much we want to believe otherwise, and the faster we all own that, the better off we will all be. The planet may not be able to live with us, but it sure as hell can live without us, that much is certain.

          • weka

            Any species loss is felt by the ecosystem in which it exists. Going from humans are entitled to do what they like, to humans are valueless isn’t helpful IMO.

            The argument you and Truth are running is the one used by people who say it doesn’t matter because we’ve had mass extinctions before and the earth/nature recovered.

            Let’s not forget we have a responsiblity here too (nuclear waste being the most obvious).

            I think there are probably a percentage of people who respond well to the nature bats last idea, but most people IME need something less harsh and more encouraging to get them to change.

            btw, it’s not sentimentality. It’s what happens when people experience nature directly as part of their lives including survival.

            • marty mars

              “It’s what happens when people experience nature directly as part of their lives”

              This is very true imo. The earthdoesn’tcare types don’t seem to understand or experience connection with nature or themselves imo – just another branch of mechanistic thinking.

              I think the opposite – the earth does care, she cares a lot and if that was taken into consideration then we would make changes as individuals and as a species.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Well, “valueless” and “will not be missed by the Earth” aren’t exactly the same thing. I believe that human beings have an enormous amount of intrinsic, non-monetary worth. I also know that the Earth has seen more species come and go since it was formed than we even know about.

              It would be helpful however if the powers with nuclear weapons didn’t use them.

              • weka

                I was meaning that one good reason that nature needs us to to stop the nuclear meltdowns that will happen if we disappear suddenly. Plus the waste containment.

                “I also know that the Earth has seen more species come and go since it was formed than we even know about.”

                What makes you think those species haven’t been missed?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I was meaning that one good reason that nature needs us to to stop the nuclear meltdowns that will happen if we disappear suddenly. Plus the waste containment.

                  Nature doesn’t. Even the most irradiated place will be thriving in a few hundred years or so. Not even a blip in the geological time scale of Earth.

                  Preventing climate change is for us.

                  • Lanthanide

                    I did just some wiki research about nuclear waste. There was no simple straightforward answer to it, but it seems after about 1,000 years, all of the dangerous-to-be-exposed-to stuff will have decayed away (long-term exposure due to living in the area could still cause higher rates of tumours etc though). Humans wouldn’t want to live next to a barrel of the stuff even after that time, but it’s not going to be causing massive no-go dead zones or anything.

                    Fallout from a nuclear war, given the distribution over a wide area, would be a different story. But again it seems all the bad stuff would be gone relatively quickly.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      yep, short half life stuff is the most radioactive but that stuff decays very quickly – in weeks.

                      The mid half life stuff is very problematic – but concentrations of that radioactivity go down enormously over a 1000 year time frame.

                      The very long half life stuff sticks around forever – but is not that radioactive.

                • emergency mike

                  “I was meaning that one good reason that nature needs us to to stop the nuclear meltdowns that will happen if we disappear suddenly. Plus the waste containment.”

                  I’ve seen a couple of ‘what if humans disappeared tomorrow’ docs which explain that the radiation fallout from nuclear power plants and waste cooling facilities would be localized and depleted within a few thousand years.

                  “What makes you think those species haven’t been missed?”

                  And that eventually all traces of our cities would erode to dust, and the bacteria, insect, plant and animal kingdoms would thrive and carry on quite happily.

                  Nature doesn’t need us. There rather appears to be growing evidence that it would be better off without us.

                  As CV said countless species have come and gone. I’m not sure how you are more aware than others as to the tears that nature has shed over them, but come and go they did.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Indeed. I would say that the Earth understands perfectly the nature of birth and death, summer and winter, and many other cycles on time frames far beyond ordinary human experience. This is not to say that the Earth doesn’t care for and have compassion for all beings within its realms today, of course it does.

                    As for meltdowns, 3 mile islands, Fukushimas and Chernobyls – I agree with you Emergency Mike. A radioactive material with a half life of days is very dangerous – to those immediately around, but they are soon gone. Radioactive materials with the half life of hundreds of thousands of years just aren’t that radioactive.

                    The medium half-life materials with half lives in the tens of years are the very problematic ones. Both strongly radioactive and persistent. However even the presence of two of the most dangerous and active radioactive materials from fission reactors (caesium 137 and strontium 90) will have significantly depleted after 500 years (to less than 1/30,000 original if I do the maths correctly).

                    It is a long time to evacuate a city or province for of course…

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Nature doesn’t need us. There rather appears to be growing evidence that it would be better off without us.

                    Yep, those docos about what would happen if humans disappeared tomorrow are brilliant. Puts things in perspective – rather than humans being massively creative and encouraging life we’re the biggest destructive force in the world. And that destructive force is all aimed at destroying us just so a few people can have more money and power for a bit longer.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      And once the ecosystem and civilisation in general is crippled, what fucking use will all those electronic dollar credits be? None of course.

                      It’s insane.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      No, he’s saying that if we continue as we are as a lot of people want to do then we’ll be fucked.

      • Truth Will Out 8.2.1

        Marty Mars & Weka:

        “The earthdoesn’tcare types don’t seem to understand or experience connection with nature or themselves imo – just another branch of mechanistic thinking.”

        “Maybe it’s too hard to describe to people who don’t experience it.”

        Get over yourselves, you’re both just on self aggrandising ego trips with that crap, trying to convince yourselves and others that you have some kind of superior take on spirituality.

        It’s just a wank, and a very easy to see through wank at that.

        What next? Are you going to try and convince us that the bacteria that poo you out of their bums when your carcasses start to ooze your bodily fluids and they eat you, are somehow going to be a *special kind of touchy feely bacteria*.

        Puhleeease, for f*cks sake.

  9. Rosemary McDonald 9

    Due to a combination of circumstance and choice, my partner and I spend about 10 months per year living in a 7m bus. Actual living/eating/sleeping/abluting area of about 6.5 m X 2m. We are fully self contained for water, effluent and rubbish. We have deep cycle batteries charged via solar panels, the alternator when the engine is running and the occasional plug into the mains. My partner is a fulltime wheelchair user.

    We manage, really really well. Takes some education and practise and experience. We HAVE to recycle and keep our rubbish to the barest minimum. Emptying our effluent tanks requires planning and forethought and one is forced to engage with the ‘process’, when simply flush and forget is not an option.

    Owing to the negative publicity around “freedom camping”, we have to be always mindfull that our behaviour could impact badly on the reputation of the entire motorhoming community….and especially on the increasing number of us who are fulltime (or as near as practicable) on the road.

    We also have the experience of revisiting a favourite spot a few months later….usually a beach…only to find the entire beach environment changed. Holes and guts have appeared or disappered, and erosion, despite the efforts of locals, is inexorable.

    We see up close the effects of climate change.

    My wish?

    A cost effective diesel substitute. Get off the oil tit forever.

    And ease our conciences.

    • + 1 Good stuff Rosemary.

      • weka 9.1.1


        Maybe when the OE is not longer possible, school leavers get to spend a year living in a housebus. I’ve done it too, and it’s a great way to learn about the natural limits of the world, and how much we take for granted.

        Locally produced biodiesel looked like a goer for a while, but seems to have fallen by the by.

    • Maui 9.2

      Hi Rosemary, How are you self-contained for water? Do you just make sure you are parked up near a tap somewhere? I guess you wouldn’t have a huge storage tank of water on the bus..

      • Rosemary McDonald 9.2.1

        We have built in water tanks under the Bus. A total of about 200l. We have to fill these tanks from available taps. Sometimes this water is freely given, or as part of a ‘fill your diesel tank, fill you water” deal. Occasionally we pay a small fee….maybe $5. We always ask before filling and always take only what we need.

        The availability of water is something we never take for granted however. So we make our tanks last for as long as possible. Seriously..it’s amazing how many days one can go without a shower.

    • idbkiwi 9.3

      Your wish will probably come true Rosemary: “My wish? A cost effective diesel substitute. Get off the oil tit forever”

      It is coming, albeit at a snails pace.

      It’s hydrogen, which is hugely abundant, and which powers the internal combustion engine perfectly well.

      The hurdles which need to be overcome include the cost of production, which will eventually come down as innovation and economics of scale kick in, and safe storage.

      A good mental image for the problems facing safe hydrogen storage is remembering newsreel of the airship Hindenburg going up in flames after the on-board hydrogen caught fire.

      A new product is required, something akin to acetone (used in cylinders for acetylene storage) which can absorb three-times its own weight in acetylene gas, to absorb hydrogen and thus extend the range of a fuel fill.

      Despite these challenges hydrogen use in vehicles is increasing, Germany now has over sixty filling stations, California several.

      See link for details: http://www.netinform.net/H2/H2Stations/H2Stations.aspx?Continent=EU&StationID=-1

      On the down side, while burning hydrogen produces bugger-all CO2 it produces loads of water vapour, by far the biggest greenhouse gas of them all. But considering the absolutely, gigantically, astronomically huge amount of water vapour already in the atmosphere any human contribution via vehicle emissions is likely to be miniscule in percentage terms.

      Also; oil companies don’t like it. Wonder why?

      Despite the present limitations, it’s likely to be the fuel of the future. So you will “get off the oil tit” in maybe, hopefully, twenty years.

      • Colonial Rawshark 9.3.1

        Despite these challenges hydrogen use in vehicles is increasing, Germany now has over sixty filling stations, California several.

        Most of those flags on the map fall into the category of “planned” or “out of operation” filling stations. And I think that large numbers of the stations which are “in operation” are not accessible to the public.

        That is, they are in vehicle company prototype testing grounds etc.

        This Oct 2014 article says that Germany has 16 hydrogen filling stations with more planned for this year.


        IMO the transition to hydrogen personal vehicles will not arrive in time in NZ. We need to get a highly electrified public transport network operating all around the country ASAP.

        • idbkiwi

          OK, fair enough, you may be right.

          But; “Germany has 16 hydrogen filling stations with more planned for this year.”

          Why would they bother?

      • Draco T Bastard 9.3.2

        It’s hydrogen, which is hugely abundant, and which powers the internal combustion engine perfectly well.

        Hydrogen is an energy sink making it pretty much useless as a fuel. On top of that it’s dangerous as it leaks out of everything.

        The hurdles which need to be overcome include the cost of production, which will eventually come down as innovation and economics of scale kick in, and safe storage.


        We’re actually pretty limited as to where we can get hydrogen from. Methane is, AFAIK, the easiest but considering the energy loss we’d be better off just burning the methane and that’s not an option.

        Much better to just run a decent renewable generation system and have electric vehicles. Of course, the personal cars are just going to have to go as we just can’t afford them.

        • idbkiwi

          “We’re actually pretty limited as to where we can get hydrogen from.”

          Ever heard of a mysterious liquid called Water? It’s around here, somewhere, apparently:

          “The chemical mediator they used is called silicotungstic acid (H4[SiW12O40]). Water is split at the anode into oxygen and protons; the protons remain in solution, where they can move to the cathode. There, electrons and protons are transferred to the mediator, which can then be moved to a separate chamber where it is oxidized, releasing hydrogen gas.”


          • Draco T Bastard

            It had an overall efficiency of 63 percent, which is on par with the current membrane-based systems.

            And that’s all that really required to know about that. It’s still useless as an everyday fuel as it loses energy.

            • idbkiwi

              You are hilarious Draco, really hilarious.

              And so smart; imagine if only Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and BMW could hire you, you could save them fortunes in development costs with your innate brilliance: “It’s still useless as an everyday fuel as it loses energy.” Why don’t you offer them your services?

              World’s Biggest Car Company Says No to Gasoline, Yes to Hydrogen


              BMW’s Hydrogen Car Will Soon Begin Testing

              • Draco T Bastard

                Laws of thermodynamics

                No amount of innovation, no amount of desire for cars, can break the basic laws of the universe.

                Can hydrogen be used as a fuel? Sure but it’s horribly inefficient and uneconomical. Of course, our entire socio-economic system is uneconomic so I’m not surprised that some people are trying very hard to continue it.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                We have to get away from individual passenger vehicles as much as possible.

                This cannot be about how we keep taking 45 minutes to drive across the Auckland Harbour Bridge to get to and from work, except now we do it in a hydrogen car instead of a petrol one.

                Even if the production and distribution of the hydrogen somehow has zero carbon cost, a new hydrogen fuel cell Mercedes is still going to contain 1500kg of steel and aluminium. And every kg of those metals is going to have required lots and lots of fossil fuels to be burnt in their mining, refining, fabrication and transport.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Methane is, AFAIK, the easiest but considering the energy loss we’d be better off just burning the methane and that’s not an option.

          Plenty of CNG cars on the road, even now…

  10. cyclonemike 10

    I was looking at the Wikipedia entry for “crimes against humanity” and half convinced myself those who fund and co-ordinate the climate change denial campaigns could be dragged before the courts for this.

  11. disturbed 11

    We on the East Coast have been fighting for saving the Napier Gisborne railway for 16yrs now, and here is why.

    (Source is from the Government Fuels & Energy study 1999)

    Rail is 5 to 9 times more efficient at moving one tonne one km than road is.

    Rail Greenhouse emissions are only 1 to 5% of road freight.

    Higher Efficiency of rail transport and lower emissions can later be found in a NIWA study by Scientist Gavin Fisher 2003.

    Consider this fact. – Tyres vs Steel Wheels.

    Rail only uses steel wheels.

    Trucks use an average of 18 to 32 tyres per truck.

    These are very large tyres which are made from Oil products and chemical name is Butadiene Styrene, a well recognised cancer causing compound.

    Tyre particulates (Very fine particles less then 100th the size of human hair) between (2 and 20 micrograms) are now found to be carried by the winds travelling globally in amongst the trade winds all across to world now to the ice caps of both hemispheres.

    This carcinogenic black soot from the truck and car tyres is now covering the ice and attracting heat from the sun to speed up the melting of the ice caps.

    Black dust from the tyres is also entering the lungs of humans and causing cancer from the Butadiene Styrene compounds that tyres are made from.

    I could writer a book on why we need to move freight back to rail but unless the Government reverses their wanton destruction of Kiwirail freight services, and wildly just carries on favouring truck transport over low emissions rail transport services, they will have doomed all of us and our world.

    • Colonial Rawshark 11.1

      Thanks for the information. I was wondering where the tread on my car tyres end up…in my lungs and yours!

    • Rosemary McDonald 11.2

      The Transport /Trucking lobby is hugely powerful. The increase in the allowable maximum weight for loads has not only seen much larger and heavier trucks on our roads…but paradoxically more of them…as one of the justifications for increasing the maximum weight was to reduce the total number of trucks.

      Many bridges around the country were not built to cope with these increased weights, and are now quietly being strengthened. The road surfaces simply cannot cope with the weight and the volume of heavy transport. We drove back to the Waikato from Wellington last October via the Waiarapa and East Coast.

      The abandoned and rusting railway line was kind of mocking us as we endeavored to stand our ground against the juggernauts ploughing their way from Napier through Wairoa and up to Gisborne.

      Good god almighty! We headed out of Gisborne heading to Tolaga Bay and in a 30 minute drive met 24 fully laden logging trucks heading for the port. And, boy, do those puppies motor. We were thwarted in our attempt to find a suitable camp, so turned around to head back to Gisborne…the south bound side of the road was atrocious…pot holes and ‘scrumps’ (my term for the slumpy scoury thing the tarseal does when a heavy vehicle takes those tight bends too quickly when the seal is warm)…making driving our minnow of a 7m 5tonne vehicle a nightmare.
      We abandoned the Coast Road and went through the Waioeka Gorge instead.

      We went from Opotiki up to Hicks Bay. More huge logging trucks, hurtling along a highway never intended for them. Some of the one lane bridges have speed limits for heavier vehicles…cheerfully disregarded by the logging trucks as they desperately try to meet whatever quota is set for them.

      And bugger the locals. They have to deal with the damaged roads. They have to deal with the dust on the unsealed roads. Complain? You are trying to sabotage the rock star economy.

      This is absolute lunacy.

      • idbkiwi 11.2.1

        ‘Well Rosemary, if “this is absolute lunacy.”, bring it on:

        Good god almighty! We headed out of Gisborne

        heading to Tolaga Bay,

        and in a 30 minute drive met 24 fully laden logging trucks

        heading for the port.

        Boy, do those puppies motor.

    • alwyn 11.3

      The problem with this railway line isn’t in the efficiency of the trains, as opposed to the trucks.
      The problem with the line was that there were almost no trains that used it. From a TVNZ news broadcast in 2012 there was the statement that “The line has no more than two train services a week and runs at a loss of more than $2 million a year”
      It simply isn’t worth trying to maintain the line if it is so little used.
      About the only way you could increase the rail transport on the line would be to bring back the rules that trucks aren’t allowed to carry goods more than 50 miles (or whatever the distance was).

  12. OhMyGodYes 12

    The Transition Town movement is well worth a look if you are interested in exploring solutions.

    As far as hydrogen fuelled cars go, it has 3 main limitations:

    1: It takes a hell of a lot of energy to produce.

    2: It is about as stable as Cameron Slater.

    3: It poses a significant safety hazard to other vehicles in very cold climates because the water vapor it produces causes more ice to build up on the roads.

    • idbkiwi 12.1

      1: Are you sure?: http://heshydrogen.com/hydrogen-fuel-cost-vs-gasoline/

      2: Cameron suffers depression, is that a good reason to make fun of him, because you see him as unstable?

      3: You’re joking, you must be. Where do you live that ice on the roads is such a problem?

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        Dunedin gets icy in winter. Central north island, too, I believe.

      • Colonial Rawshark 12.1.2

        I think hydrogen may end up playing some minor part in our future transport systems.

        But for NZ, electric public transport and electrified rail are far more the way to go, and can be implemented today relatively cheaply with no technology risk.

        • idbkiwi

          I’m not sure about that Rawshark, you are presuming that the price of electricity will remain stable, there’s no guarantee of that, that’s only possible if it’s “subsidised”.

          What’s not to permit the barking dogs of cronyism from running to your door and demanding more from you in taxes, levies, fees, line charges, daily charges, and Help me Jesus I haven’t dreamed up new names for other charges, to pay for “The Good” of public transport?

          Will you feel OK then, every time you log on your charge card as you enter public transport, that you can say to yourself: Well now I am cleansed. I have paid for myself, and probably another one, or two, other people?

          How long can you sustain that?

          • Colonial Rawshark

            What are you on?

            I thought that you were a serious commentator, but it appears that you are simply wasting time in pushing for expensive far away technologies which are not only unproven, but totally corporate owned for corporate profit.

            I suppose these same corporates are eventually going to come knocking on the door of the NZ government wanting tax payer support to build hydrogen fuelling stations on their behalf.

            And if we fell for it, we’d be totally captured by their proprietary technology and arbitrary pricing.

          • Draco T Bastard

            What’s not to permit the barking dogs of cronyism from running to your door and demanding more from you in taxes, levies, fees, line charges, daily charges, and Help me Jesus I haven’t dreamed up new names for other charges, to pay for “The Good” of public transport?

            National’s been doing that ever since they got in power. GST up to pay the rich for being rich. Subsidies to Warner Bros, SkyCity and Rio Tinto. They just haven’t done it for public transport but roads instead.

            Here’s the point that you fail to understand:

            Roads, trucking and private cars are far more subsidised than you know.

            NZ gives something like $46 million dollars per year in subsidies to oil industry. In the US that same subsidy is measured in the billions per year.

            Then there’s the actual physical costs to take into account. Cars cost more because they use up more of those physical resources – more metal, more rubber, more plastics, more fuel, more land for the roads and parking. And then they sit still and do nothing for 96% of the time:

            Though most cars still have five seats, average occupancy has dropped to 1.6 people per vehicle. American cars have more than tripled in weight from the 1,200 pounds of the Model T to more than 4,000 pounds today. As physicist and environmentalist Amory Lovins has pointed out, less than 1 percent of the energy in a tank of gas really goes toward moving the passenger from point A to point B; the rest is lost in heat, tire wear, and moving hunks of metal and air.

            Even worse, most of us own a car mainly to park it 96 percent of the time. Cars are typically the second biggest capital expenditure we make – the first is buying a house – yet they spend almost their entire lives sitting at home or in parking lots. While car companies have innovated in finance – they now lease the car to an individual to park rather than selling it to an individual to park – the basic productivity equation has not changed. The driver still gets precious little use out of the car.

            That’s called inefficiency and the only reason why cars are still around is because we have an economic system designed to boost consumption of resources rather than, as an economic system should, economize on them.

            I’ll put in language that you can, maybe, understand:

            We cannot afford cars.

            Anthropogenic Climate Change is just part of the truth of that simple statement.

  13. disturbed 13

    Colonial Rawshark,

    idbkiwi is obviously just another NatZ troll.

    I am totally ignoring it’s comments after responding to Rosemary’s comments of passing 24 logging trucks between Gisborne & Tolaga in their Motorhome.

    See here Rawshark? – idbkiwi appears to embrace truck gridlock and deaths from their crowding of our very windy narrow roads. In Napier last week two logging trucks overturned in two days so this is lunacy that idbkiwi is embacing.

    Quote; from idbkiwi, 11.2.1.

    ‘Well Rosemary, if “this is absolute lunacy.”, bring it on:

    Good god almighty! We headed out of Gisborne

    heading to Tolaga Bay,

    and in a 30 minute drive met 24 fully laden logging trucks

    heading for the port.

    Boy, do those puppies motor.

    • Rosemary McDonald 13.1

      ” In Napier last week two logging trucks overturned in two days so this is lunacy that idbkiwi is embacing.”

      An interesting excercise is to see just how many of these accidents make it into the media.

      Yes, a number do. But a shitload more never, ever, come to the notice of the media.

      A cynical, suspicious tin foil hat wearing nutbar would say that there is an unwritten rule that says ‘ keep as many of these incidents out of the public eye’.

      We travellers see what goes on. We are restricted to 90km/hr. We are constantly being tailgated, harrassed and passed by these juggernauts who are also restricted to 90 km/hr. What a joke. On one of our motorhome forums is a tale from someone with a flash dashvoard camera. The camera recorded his vehicles speed as well as filming the road ahead. So, caught on camera…with an accurrate relative speed measurement, was a fully laden logging truck passing the motorhome doing 94km/hr and forcing oncoming traffic to pull over onto the shoulder and grass verge. Off to the police….evidence? Charge the driver? Yeah, right.

      We were parked overnight at the i site in Whangarei…right on the SH1. From about 3 am the heavy vehicles were ploughing by from both directions, well exceeding the 50km/hr speed limit. Where were the local constabulary? Getting a bit more kip so they could start stopping motorists on their way to work from 6.30 am for minor infractions.

      It is almost as if heavy trucks are above the law.

      We will ignore this stuff at our peril.

      • Murray Rawshark 13.1.1

        Truck drivers say they are unfairly persecuted by the police. As a motorcyclist, I knew I was 🙂

      • idbkiwi 13.1.2

        Apologies to you Rosemary, I hadn’t clarified my point…that your writing had lovely rhythm, like an AR Ammons poem, that’s why I put the line breaks in. I wasn’t trivialising your point or embracing breakneck speed by timber jockeys. I believe life is not so short that likeable things can’t be complimented.

        I nestled in and found his life:
        there, love shook his body like a devastation:
        I said
        though I have looked everywhere
        I can find nothing lowly
        in the universe.

        From A.R. Ammons: “Still”

    • Colonial Rawshark 13.2


  14. NZ Groover 14

    Gavin Schmidt from NASA provided the talking point that 2014 is the hottest year ever BUT his own report says there is only a 38% chance that this is the case. That’s just plain dishonest.

  15. NZ Groover 15

    I can’t believe it, it gets worse. The NOAA report on which most of these headlines are based actually says there’s only a 48% chance that 2014 is the hottest year ever. By there own measurement this is categorised as “more unlikely than likely”. Unbelieveable.

    • joe90 15.1

      Cite or you’re pulling things out of your arse.

      • NZ Groover 15.1.1

        Here you go Joe, the key quote in this article is;

        “As a result, GISS’s director Gavin Schmidt has now admitted Nasa thinks the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38 per cent. However, when asked by this newspaper whether he regretted that the news release did not mention this, he did not respond.”


        Don’t you think it’s highly deceitful to leave this information out of a press release?

      • NZ Groover 15.1.2

        And here’s the NOAA report;


        Look under the supplemental information at “Probabilities related to 2014’s Historical Ranlking”

        It quite clearly states the probability is 48% of it being the warmest ever, which under NOAA’s own Conventions to Categorize table is “more unlikely than likely”.

        • Murray Rawshark

          You mean this: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2014/13/supplemental/page-1

          Importantly, it’s 90% likely to be one of the 5 warmest years, and the average surface temperature continues to rise. If you graphed the annual averages with the confidence intervals since any time in the 20th century, any light you fit will be of positive slope. Things are heating up.

        • Murray Rawshark

          They don’t show the probabilities for other years, but I imagine that 2010 would have the next highest probability of being the hottest year, so that the probability that it is either 2010 or 2014 is likely to be close to 90%. This doesn’t leave much for the other 100+ years.

          • NZ Groover

            The bottom line is, contrary to what’s been reported, the probability that this year is the hottest year ever is 48%. To state that it is the hottest year ever is mis-leading.

            • Murray Rawshark

              It may not be easy for the Murdoch press to understand, but the statement that 2014 has the highest probability of all years of being the hottest year on record can be approximated as 2014 is the hottest year on record. NASA probably has PR people who also probably don’t understand the distinction.

              I’m not misled by it, but then I know a wee bit about statistics.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                in other words, the race horse 2014 has the best odds of all the horses on the track.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  That’s one way to look at it, except that the race has been run and you have the finishing times of all the horses. The only trouble is that the clocks they were timed with aren’t 100% accurate. This means that a horse with a time of 49.37s may have actually lost to a horse with a time of 49.41s, for example, if the clocks are accurate to plus or minus 0.05s. The one with the shortest time will have the highest probability of having won the race, but it’s not 100%.

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