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A plague on both your houses

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, November 24th, 2009 - 35 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, maori party, national, scoundrels - Tags: ,


So, as far as National and Maori leaders are concerned, it’s a done deal: “Maori Party to support ETS – bill to become law in days”. Unless (as suggested by Eddie) some Maori Party MPs remember their principles and vote against it, National’s ETS will be forced through parliament under urgency. NRT weighs in with some comments on the details of the deal, including a list of good opposition amendments that will be quashed with Maori support.

National’s version of the ETS is crap*: the Environment Commissioner says it “will not achieve its stated goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions” and does not support it, Treasury refused to endorse a regulatory impact statement. Combined with our inadequate emissions reductions targets for Copenhagen (we are now being internationally mocked for this) it is clear that this government has no intention of seriously addressing climate change.

It really doesn’t matter whether the National and Maori leaders are too stupid to understand the consequences of climate change, or whether they do understand and are simply too callous to care. Either way the end result will be the same. Unless every country does its fair share the world is going to end up with a lot more sand for useless short-sighted politicians to bury their heads in. A lot more sand:

World on course for catastrophic 6° rise, reveal scientists
Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The world is now firmly on course for the worst-case scenario in terms of climate change, with average global temperatures rising by up to 6C by the end of the century, leading scientists said yesterday. Such a rise which would be much higher nearer the poles would have cataclysmic and irreversible consequences for the Earth, making large parts of the planet uninhabitable and threatening the basis of human civilisation.

We are headed for it, the scientists said, because the carbon dioxide emissions from industry, transport and deforestation which are responsible for warming the atmosphere have increased dramatically since 2002, in a way which no one anticipated, and are now running at treble the annual rate of the 1990s. … Although the 6C rise and its potential disastrous effects have been speculated upon before, this is the first time that scientists have said that society is now on a path to meet it.

What does a 6° rise mean for the planet? The same article continues:

Just how dangerous was signalled in 2007 by the science writer Mark Lynas, who combed all the available scientific research to construct a picture of a world with [a 6° increase]. … He said: “It would cause a mass extinction of almost all life and probably reduce humanity to a few struggling groups of embattled survivors clinging to life near the poles.”

Very few species could adapt in time to the abruptness of the transition, he suggested. “With the tropics too hot to grow crops, and the sub-tropics too dry, billions of people would find themselves in areas of the planet which are essentially uninhabitable. This would probably even include southern Europe, as the Sahara desert crosses the Mediterranean. “As the ice-caps melt, hundreds of millions will also be forced to move inland due to rapidly-rising seas. As world food supplies crash, the higher mid-latitude and sub-polar regions would become fiercely-contested refuges.

National, Maori – this is the path that the world is on. This is the path that your short-sighted, stupid and greedy ETS does nothing to turn us aside from. The future will judge you harshly.  A plague on both your houses.

[* Sorry for the blunt language in this post. It is not a topic to be polite about any more.]

35 comments on “A plague on both your houses ”

  1. vto 1

    This reminds me of the Electoral Finance Act where something very significant is dealt with on partisan terms. Which is just wrong.

    This should be a cross-party deal.

    Pollies again dealing what’s best for their own position instead of whats best for New Zealanders.

    Hate it. Makes me hate them.

  2. Well said rob. Bluntness totally justified.

  3. NickS 4

    Well, even the 2-3 degree rise wasn’t paradise, there was a bit posted in NewScientist this year on how the world would look, and pretty much the tropic’s were uninhabitable and global population had crashed.

    Also, cue Andrei et al posting something stupid in 5, 4, 3…

    • Andrei 4.1

      Also, cue Andrei et al posting something stupid in 5, 4, 3

      So how much has the temperature risen in the past ten years Nick?

      Yesterday at this time the thermometer on my deck hit 30C – today it is only 9C sigh

      What does it all mean?

      It means we live on a planet with chaotic weather systems that we have virtually no control over despite what the ruling elites tell you. Nor are these systems in any respect predictable in the long term – this is in fact basic science – the limits of predictability being quite well studied. and applied to many fields,

      And anyone who believes that reducing productivity and lowering peoples living standards – which is the only possible way of “reducing emissions” needs their head read IMHO.

      The only beneficiaries of ETS schemes will be the ruling class and if you doubt this why do both National and Labour going down this path?

      Their schemes only differ in the detail – the losers remain the same (that is you and I who despite our differences of opinion remain mere peasants), the winners
      might vary slightly but even then not much being drawn from the parasite class who float to the top regardless of political system.

      • NickS 4.1.1

        So how much has the temperature risen in the past ten years Nick?

        Yesterday at this time the thermometer on my deck hit 30C today it is only 9C sigh

        What does it all mean?


        You have no idea how to do a statistically valid sample, and instead are relying on only two samples, not controlling for any of the factors normally taken into account with temperature measurement, a mistake that not even a first year statistics student would make. All in a dishonest attempt to prove a fallacious point.

        Or, more simply you’re a moron. Congratulations.

        It means we live on a planet with chaotic weather systems that we have virtually no control over despite what the ruling elites tell you. Nor are these systems in any respect predictable in the long term this is in fact basic science the limits of predictability being quite well studied. and applied to many fields,

        Wait, so as student of science, who will likely end up with a post grad degree, I’m in line to be one of the ruling class? Despite the strong tendency in the developed world to anti-intellectualism, lack of political power and crap pay?

        Wow, that’s some mighty strong stupid.

        Anyhow, you can forecast chaotic systems, and on large scales quite easily predict long term trends. It’s why Hansen et al’s models from the 80’s still have a statistically significant fit to the long term climate trend, despite not being having a time machine to pick up the data from the future and curve fit the model. It’s also why the vast majority of climate scientists accept the long term predictions for climate change, rather than be as utterly f*ckign clueless about it as you are.

        And anyone who believes that reducing productivity and lowering peoples living standards which is the only possible way of “reducing emissions’ needs their head read IMHO.


        Except you don’t need to reduce standards of living if you boost energy use efficiency and change the way we think about transport and the our bad habits of throw-away consumer culture.

        The only beneficiaries of ETS schemes will be the ruling class and if you doubt this why do both National and Labour going down this path?
        Hello conspiracy theory.

        Or you know, it could be due to international scientific findings indicating that we need to reduce CO2 emissions, along with pressure from our major trading partners not to be so stupid and ignore the science. But then, I suppose delusionaly believing in a shadowy ruling class is so much more comforting that reality right?

        Their schemes only differ in the detail the losers remain the same (that is you and I who despite our differences of opinion remain mere peasants), the winners
        might vary slightly but even then not much being drawn from the parasite class who float to the top regardless of political system.

        It’s like I’m reading something from the torrid depths of mid-20th, paranoid Marxist analysis.

        And I’m now running late for work, so the last bit can wait, or someone else can deal with it… /hint

      • Armchair Critic 4.1.2

        “Yesterday at this time the thermometer on my deck hit 30C today it is only 9C sigh
        What does it all mean?”
        According to your atrocious knowledge of statistics, and applying a linear trend, it means that in two weeks the temperature on your deck will be at absolute zero, i.e. -273C.
        Here is a full list of the predicted temperature on your deck up until then.
        25/11 -12C
        26/11 -33C
        27/11 -54C
        28/11 -75C
        29/11 -96C
        30/11 -117C
        1/12 -138C
        2/12 -159C
        3/12 -180C
        4/12 -201C
        5/12 -222C
        6/12 -243C
        7/12 -264C
        8/12 Absolute zero
        According to your theory, it’s going to be a white xmas at your place, Andrei.

        • Andrei

          According to your atrocious knowledge of statistics, and applying a linear trend, it means that in two weeks the temperature on your deck will be at absolute zero, i.e. -273C.

          My dear friend I applied no analysis statistical or otherwise to those two data points.

          It was you who have

          FYI the thermometer, a cheap warehouse job originating in China now reads 11C – make of that what you will.

          • Con

            FYI the thermometer, a cheap warehouse job originating in China now reads 11C make of that what you will.

            I will make nothing at all of it, then, since it has no statistical significance or even relevance in the slightest.

      • Con 4.1.3

        So how much has the temperature risen in the past ten years

        According to this NASA data source, the average global temperature in October this year was 0.35° warmer than 10 years previously.

        So there you are: 0.35 degrees is the answer.

        No doubt you were attempting to make some bogus statistical point, but your pseudo-scientific trolling failed miserably.

        • Andrei

          This would be the ground based data – no?

          FYI – the same data for February has it 1.6C cooler

          what can it mean?

          I wonder what the satellite data would reveal? Something different that’s for sure

          • Con

            You asked for the last 10 years, not the 10 years prior to last February.

            Of course you can find individual days or even months or years when it is colder, but underlying that fluctuation is a warming trend that is still there.

  4. Chris 5

    “breaking” is my captcha and it’s apt as it encapsulates everything that is wrong with National and the Maori Party.

    Breaking our childrens’ future. Our souls. The lives of countless animals and plants around the world that will be made extinct (think Hector’s dolphin for example and yes, shame on Jim Anderton for not standing up for them, and shame on what’s his name – the national minister for (selling, mining our) conservation – shame on them both).

    Good on you r0b for saying what needs to be said. It’s not chicken little stuff – it’s real and its here.

  5. Zorr 6

    The thing I don’t understand is why a lot of the CCDers seem to think that somehow those of us that support this side of the argument somehow WANT this. You know what I want more than anything? I want the view that my parents had back in the 70s and 80s when they were growing up, when there wasn’t the threat of peak oil and climate change. Where petrol was cheap and CO2 hadn’t been invented yet. But wishing doesn’t make it so and we need to live in the world we have, not the world we may want.

    • Bored 6.1

      Hi Zorr, I love the idea of the view your parents had in the 70s/ 80s. My wish (on a good day when dark brooding over a bleak future hasn’t become too oppressive) is for the younger generations to envisage a non utopian non materialistic world where inclusiveness involves doing something useful to save and enhance the planet. This at the same time has the added benefit of delivering a good life to future generations. Not too much to ask is it?

      • Zorr 6.1.1

        I agree that we should be aiming toward it. My point merely was that CCDers seem to argue that because I am on this side of the fence that I actually want bad stuff to be happening. It seems ridiculous to assume that climate change scientists might have something to gain from saying the world is in peril. Nobody ever gained anything from toting “End Of The World is Nigh” signs when it wasn’t going to happen.

        Responsible, sustainable living makes as much sense as teaching our 2 year old to clean up after himself. It should be a common sense issue (you would hope).

  6. Bored 7

    Got to agree with VTO that this is a non partisan situation, it’s a war we have to win as one. Unfortunately we have as a species the same nature as a frog in a pot of warming water. The temperature warms slowly, the frog takes no notice till he passes out, and then it’s boiling, too late.

    As mentioned previously, we cannot wait for Nick Smith, the Maori Party or other self interested twerps, we all have to do something collectively to change our habits. Catch the bus, walk to the dairy, buy food without packaging and processing, give up consumer shopping, turn off appliances, share car rides etc etc a lot of little actions comprise a lot of change. Do a Gandhi with the moral imperative. Most importantly raise awareness.

    Stations my captcha…take the train.

  7. tc 8

    Nice post Rob and maybe just maybe the MP’s in Maori who don’t have the comfy do nothing portfolios and limos (i.e. not the leaders) will see their political future on the line over this and vote accordingly to not pass it.

    Hide on RNZ this morning was scathing about the ‘lazy’ govt…..yes Wodney that govt that you’re a part of but again showed how he’s equally not bothered which is no surprise as it requires morals and standards to be bothered by this shambles.

    Gwynn Dyers ‘Climate wars’ should be compulsory reading for any climate denial monkeys as the science is compelling and irrefutable now……unless the sand is deep enough to fit your head into.

    It is nice to see JK following his ‘How to be a single term goverment for dummies guide’ to the letter though….the stupidity of this is even concerning some true blues I know.

  8. Tigger 9

    Nice piece in the Guardian. How much longer will Key bother with this Tourism portfolio. The wider the gap between our ‘image’ and reality becomes the more he walks a tightrope here.

  9. Bill 10

    Said before, saying again.

    We can have capitalism or we can have a future.

    Problem. Politicians think we can have both.
    Problem. Far too many of us are locked within a framework of reference that is dominated by or hemmed in by a capitalist perspective.

    An under reported story from Britain ( I just can’t imagine why!) does offer some light and interesting possibilities.

    “Employees who raise concerns about their company’s environmental practices won the right to legal redress yesterday after a judge ruled that green beliefs deserved the same protection in the workplace as religious convictions.”

    Could a similar precedent be won in NZ whereby a philosophical belief based on science was treated in the same manner as religion in relation to discrimination?

    If so, then a question that comes to mind is this. If I am engaged in a job activity that contributes directly to the endangerment of a life, am I legally protected should I decide to withdraw my labour? What if many lives are endangered? How many lives need to be endangered before I am looking at complicity in a crime against humanity?

    I like the idea of non participation with production techniques that contribute to climate change being won as a legal right.

    Anyway, my point is that no parliamentary party nor any business entity is ever going to offer a serious challenge to the status quo. Waiting for such a thing is akin to waiting for the Catholic Church to preach atheism. Not happening.

    Our present framework of reference constitutes nothing less than a gallows for the future to hang from. That’s our framework of reference. That’s our future. Which means that any change is down to us both individually and collectively…. not some politician, monkey, ape, god, saviour or whatever entity you want to conjure up….just us.

  10. Matt Andrews 11

    I disagree with your criticism of the Maori Party.
    They are taking a deal that has been offered to them.

    The party in the wrong here is National, which never should have offered the deal.

    • r0b 11.1

      They are taking a deal that has been offered to them.

      So, what – the Maori Party have no free will?

      They know what they are doing is wrong – see their minority report on the ETS. They know exactly what they are doing, and they’re doing it anyway. They are just as guilty as National.

  11. To the climate change deniers who think the temperature is stable the following article from the Herald caught my attention.

    “More than 100 Antarctic icebergs – and possibly even hundreds of them – are floating towards New Zealand.

    An Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist, Neal Young, said yesterday that the ice chunks, spotted in satellite photos, had passed the Auckland Islands and were heading towards the South Island, 450km northeast.

    He said more than 100 icebergs – some more than 200m across – were seen in just one cluster, indicating there could be hundreds more.

    Dr Young said they were the remains of a massive ice floe which split from Antarctica in rising sea and air temperatures resulting from global warming. “

    Wave goodbye as you see the South Pole sail past your bedroom window,

  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    As the ice-caps melt, hundreds of millions will also be forced to move inland due to rapidly-rising seas. As world food supplies crash, the higher mid-latitude and sub-polar regions would become fiercely-contested refuges.

    This is the part that scares the crap out of me. We’re only a small country and under AGW/Peak Oil we’ll have difficulty in supporting the number of people we have here already never mind the AGW refugees that are going to try to come here.

  13. Peter Wilson 14

    Scary indeed. What I am interested is if that study factored in peak oil and peak coal. As in, if it just extrapolated current emission rates increasing then it may not be right. If the carbon simply isn’t there to burn, and this applies to coal as well as oil (as the oil price goes up, it becomes harder to get the coal out of the ground, and there isn’t as much there as we once thought).

    It’s a very disturbing thing indeed to hope that energy scarcity arrives as soon as possible. But right now, with the current state of political leadership, a bit of geological reality that no National, ACT or Maori Party deniers can conjure their way out of might be quite welcome.

    • Bored 14.1

      I suspect the additional carbon fuel reserves are factored in, we probably have from what I have read only recently peaked oil and coal is nowhere near peak which is frightening. The rate the ecosphere can filter this out is extemely slow (centuries) by comparison to rate of carbon release. Put bluntly, we are in the gun.

      PS The so called scientific debate you see here from deniers makes me wince, as a degreed fluvial morphologist and geologist (many years ago and much memory loss later) it makes me cringe.

  14. So originally the data apparently showed there was no climate change, then somehow that same data showed that there is no climate change and magically also shows that if there was humans aren’t causing it. Now apparently, all the data is false which you guessed it, means there is no climate change.

    Not a hell of rigor to their method huh?

    If [anything] then “There is no climate change”

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