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A bit of a hit

Written By: - Date published: 1:24 pm, July 26th, 2018 - 12 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, Environment, global warming, science, sustainability - Tags:

Not everything can be attributed to climate change. But we’re in for a bit of a hit.

Here the rain is certainly falling on the plain, but up in the northern hemisphere it’s a wee tad crazy.

Commodity producers are having a summer to remember for all the wrong reasons. A heatwave across swathes of North America, Europe and Asia, coupled with worsening drought in some areas, is causing spikes in the process of everything from wheat to electricity.

The electricity spike has many factors, but air conditioning is one of them.


Cotton plants are stunted in parched Texan fields.

Russian wheat output is faltering.


It’s well above freezing inside the arctic.


Corn and beans ain’t looking too great on the great plains either.

Now, sure, it’s the northern hemisphere summer. Stuff happens. It’s not a world-wide famine, sure. This ain’t 1848. Maybe it’s a couple of dollars extra on your Smith and Caugheys Kowtow locally-made organic cotton tops.

But there’s limits now to what we can do about the impacts of volatility.

We sure can’t dam rivers when the monsoons are even more intense than they used to be.

And by consigning ourselves to be a bulk producer of stuff nobody wants, New Zealand is playing no useful role in being able to either take advantage of price spikes from climate-derived shortages, or meaningfully lead a climate discussion.

We are past our ability to limit the earth. It’s limiting us.

12 comments on “A bit of a hit ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    And by consigning ourselves to be a bulk producer of stuff nobody wants, New Zealand is playing no useful role in being able to either take advantage of price spikes from climate-derived shortages, or meaningfully lead a climate discussion.

    Ah, the costs of ‘free-trade’ of an item any country can produce in amounts far greater than it wants or needs.

    Food should be grown locally for local consumption. It simply is not a viable export because a) it can be produced in enough where it’s going to be exported to and b) it’s not actually sustainable as the ongoing pollution and the importation palm kernel to feed the cows shows.

    • roy cartland 1.1

      “stuff nobody wants”
      This. And all so-called economies depend directly on this oversupply of stuff. So much so that you get to an absurd point of having to manufacture scarcity simply to prop up the failed system:

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        Another reason for the commonplace practice is a financial incentive for brands exporting goods to America. U.S. Customs and Border Protection states that “If imported merchandise is unused and exported or destroyed under Customs supervision, 99 percent of the duties, taxes or fees paid on the merchandise by reason of importation may be recovered as drawback.”

        It is incredibly difficult to calculate how much deadstock currently goes to waste as while there are incentives to do it, there’s no legal obligation to report it. As such, most of it remains hearsay.

        An actual incentive to waste.


        So much for the efficiency of the free-market.

        “We know that around 100 billion garments are manufactured annually. Let’s say the sell-through rate (both full and discounted) is a generous 90%, then potentially 10 million items of clothing become ‘deadstock’ every year. That’s a lot of clothes to miraculously make ‘disappear.’”

        100 billion garments for 7 billion of us?

        So, how many billion garments do you own?

        Yeah, I think either that she’s got her figures wrong or the reporter got the billion wrong and it should actually be 100 million.

        It’s all a confirmation on the selfishness of the rich.

      • bwaghorn 1.1.2

        We’d be broke if no one wanted our stuff . Milk has always been cyclical as has most commodities . Lucky nz isn’t a trick pony and we have fruit wine beef logs and probably the odd useless app being sold .

  2. esoteric pineapples 2

    “Laos, poor but blessed with abundant natural resources, aims to become the “Battery of Asia” allowing dozens of foreign-funded dam projects across its network of rivers. But fears over the environmental impact of the projects, which export most of their electricity to neighbouring Thailand and China, go virtually unvoiced inside the tightly controlled communist country.”

    The moment I heard they are daming all their rivers, I wondered what sort of environmental damage is being done with this unfettered development.

  3. bwaghorn 3

    I’m not religious but we’ve got floods and fire and will will probably lead to the other two horses famine and pestilance.

  4. SpaceMonkey 4

    What’s that saying… it isn’t over until fat lady sings? That fat lady is a large bodied object floating through space that some affectionaly call Mother Earth, because they recognise her ecosystem as being vital to nuturing and sustaining us.

    She’s singing now… but it’s a mournful song. Her children have used and abused her and in such situations there usually comes a point when enough is enough. Well… she’s absorbed as much abuse as she can and she’s pushing back now.

    We are errant children. We have been given plenty of time to change, to demonstrate our capacity for good in service to each other, to demonstrate our intellect but instead we have rapaciously taken whatever we want.

    So now the change will be done to us and we now have another chance to demonstrate our capacity for good in service to each other… to survive.

  5. Jenny 5

    Climate Change

    Are we there yet?

    Japanese authorities are concerned Japanese 2020 Oympic sporting events might be upstaged by climate change.

    The heat persisted yesterday, colliding with celebrations marking the two-year countdown to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

    Behind the pageantry surrounding recent announcements about the Olympic torch relay and details about opening day mascots were concerns about dangerous summer weather. Organizers are now soliciting ideas for keeping spectators and participants cool should the games arrive in the midst of another brutal summer.

    The worst flooding in decades on three of Japan’s four main islands is being followed by record-breaking temperatures. The stifling conditions are impeding recovery efforts in western Japan, where over 200 people were killed when torrential rainfall swelled rivers and sent rock and mudslides from steep hills crashing into homes. Thousands remain in shelters.

    The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) is urging caution as survivors and volunteers face the risk of heat stroke. Temperatures reached 100 F or more in Okayama, Ehime and Hiroshima prefectures, the areas hardest hit by the July storms and flooding.

    Hospitalizations from heat stroke or heat-related illnesses continue to rise. At least 1,800 were admitted to hospitals across the country, while eight deaths have been reported, according to the national broadcaster NHK. Most of the victims are elderly people who lack air conditioning or fans.

    Japan’s abnormally hot weather is expected to last through the week, at least.

    Record highs of 105 F was felt in Saitama prefecture. That’s the highest recorded temperature in Japan. Temperatures in Tokyo rose above 104 F for the first time ever this week. Regions throughout western and eastern Japan have been experiencing days of 100 F heat. Only the far north of the country has been spared the heat wave.

    The high summer temperatures more common for southern Arizona are unprecedented for Japan, and the nation’s famous humidity is adding to its citizens’ woes.

    “The heat wave will continue, reaching 40 degrees [Celsius],” Motoaki Takekawa of JMA said during a press conference. That’s about 104 F. “This heat can be recognized as a life-threatening emergency.”


    • Jenny 5.1

      Will the 2020 Olympics become known as the Climate Olympics?

      Tokyo weighs daylight saving time for 2020 Olympic Games in bid to counter heat
      Japan Times – July 27, 2018

      President of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee Yoshiro Mori met Friday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss the possibility of introducing daylight saving time during the 2020 Games as a countermeasure for extreme summer temperatures….

      …..The discussion followed a decision by the International Olympic Committee to allow the marathon to be staged at 7 a.m. to lessen the likelihood of runners competing with the mercury as high as 40 degrees Celsius during Tokyo’s sweltering and humid summer.

      Mori told reporters after the meeting that Abe said putting clocks forward one or two hours during the games “may be one solution.”

      The steps are in stark contrast to the description of Tokyo’s weather in the Tokyo 2020 bid committee’s pitch, which under the heading of “Ideal dates,” described the period from July 25 to Aug. 9 as having “many days of mild and sunny weather,” adding that “this period provides an ideal climate for athletes to perform at their best.”

      Toshiro Muto, the organizing committee’s CEO, was present at the meeting and said such extreme heat had not entered into the Olympic planning.

      “We were working under the premise that temperatures wouldn’t exceed 40 degrees. We’ve now recognized how serious this is,” said Muto, who said he had not sought the emergency measures to be extended beyond 2020.

      “If this should spur us on to create a society with lower carbon emissions, then that would become an important legacy of the event,” he said.

      “If the world’s most elite athletes need to be protected from climate change, what about the rest of us?”
      Asks, Christian Science Monitor – August 16, 2016

      Global warming may severely limit the potential host cities for Olympic Summer Games in the next 50 years….

      ….. the researchers found that 25 cities would still be a low enough climate risk in 2085 to be considered for the Summer Games, but that Istanbul, Madrid, Rome, Paris, and Budapest would not be among them. Tokyo, which will host the games in 2020, will likely not be able to do so again due to climate change….

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