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Arctic monkey wrenching

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 am, February 28th, 2018 - 121 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, Environment, science - Tags: , ,


I don’t know who Chunk is or what they are referring to, but I found their tweet apposite in the middle of a storm of #arctic news last night.

More and more I think we have no idea what is going to happen. Both in terms of how climate change will play out, and what humans will finally do in response. That not knowing, the huge discrepancy between possible futures, is feeding our inaction.

Video here. “There’s water where there should be ice

The Washington Post reports

North Pole surges above freezing in the dead of winter, stunning scientists

… an extraordinary and possibly historic thaw swelled over the tip of the planet this weekend. Analyses show that the temperature warmed to the melting point as an enormous storm pumped an intense pulse of heat through the Greenland Sea.

“No other warm intrusions were very close to this,” Labe said in an interview, describing a data set maintained by the Danish Meteorological Institute that dates back to 1958. “I was taken by surprise how expansive this warm intrusion was.”

Such extreme warm intrusions in the Arctic, once rare, are becoming more routine, research has shown. A study published last July found that since 1980, these events are becoming more frequent, longer-lasting and more intense.

“Previously this was not common,” said lead author of the study Robert Graham, from the Norwegian Polar Institute, in an email. “It happened in four years between 1980-2010, but has now occurred in four out of the last five winters.”

Whether a blip or indicative of a new normal, scientists have uniformly expressed disbelief at the current Arctic temperatures and the state of the sea ice.

“This is a crazy winter,” said Alek Petty, a climate scientist at NASA, in an interview. “I don’t think we’re sensationalizing it.”

“It’s never been this extreme,” Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute, told Reuters.

One weather event doesn’t a changed climate make, right? But that’s climate scientists saying there is something really not right about this.

Another year, another set of weird weather events. Another day, another series of alarming media reports. Maybe it’s an anomaly and we’ve got another 40 years. Or maybe this is it now.

If someone said hey, your house is going to burn down, we don’t know if it’s in the next hour or next week, what would you do? Keep watching TV? Go to work? Carry on with planning your holiday? Not tell the other people inside?

From Livescience,

“My biggest concern is that these warm air intrusions seem to be becoming both more common and more intense,” Rohde told Live Science in an email.

“This suggests that the warming in the Arctic may have passed a threshold where we can no longer count on the polar jet stream to maintain the historical weather patterns in the northern latitudes,” Rohde said. “A destabilization of the dynamics around the North Pole may lead to more extreme winter weather variations in the northern mid-latitudes and further accelerate the decline of Arctic sea ice.”

Previously, climate forecasts predicted that Arctic ice would disappear entirely by around 2060, Overland told Live Science. But based on what scientists are seeing now, the Arctic may be facing an ice-free future decades sooner than expected.

“We’re looking at sea-ice loss within 20 years, rather than 40 years,” Overland said.


The scientists discovered that some parts of western Antarctica are undergoing an acceleration of ice loss. This means that every year less ice melts during summer is restored by winter snows, which leaves less ice overall. This process is happening rapidly.

This event is alarming because the study indicated that the ice in the western part of Antarctica is unstable. It could cause massive swaths of “to slip into the sea,” increasing worldwide ocean levels. They noted if the entire western ice sheet melted, the ocean levels will augment as much as three meters.

Moreover, the scientists said that the increase in calving could be problematic. It could place the significant areas of ice at risk of melting, according to Phys.org.

My question now is, are we ready yet to do something? No-one is coming to save us and we cannot afford to wait for the government or business to sort things out, they are going to have to follow.

If we are not ready, what is it we are waiting for? The house to be on fire, just so we can be sure it’s actually that bad before we do something? We already know it’s too late by then, so what is stopping us from acting now?

Moderator note: usual rules under my posts – no CC denial, no “we’re all going to die” comments. Also, don’t link McPherson. Do start talking about what we can do. 

121 comments on “Arctic monkey wrenching”

  1. Ed 1

    Do start talking about what we can do.

    Walk or bus to work.
    Reduce the amount of meat you eat.

    • Gareth 1.1

      Move inland.
      Move to higher elevations.
      Plant things you can eat.

      • soddenleaf 1.1.1

        NZ is set to become more tropical, fish moving south, monsoons for summer.

      • cleangreen 1.1.2

        100% Gareth I now live 1600 ft up so safe from flooding so the stupid national Government has fucked us all with their “roads of National significance” which is bankrupting us and they will all be washed away soon so rail up in the hills is our future now.

    • mauī 1.2

      Exactly, try going meat free.

  2. As long as the government keeps propping up capitalism then there’s nothing we can do. We need to change the system to one that is sustainable and our governments are simply refusing to do that.

    • Regretfully, Draco, I know you are right.

      We live in a place called the ‘perpetual present,’ and simply cannot, or will not conceive of anything changing, except to get a bit better, y’know.

      Radical change could still save the human race – though it’ll be a near-run thing! But when the new leader of a dysfunctional ex-government party boasts of ‘infrastructure’ I wring my hands in despair.

      Not that I think the Coalition is any better, with TPP whatever it’s called.

      The next few years are gonna be one hell of a ride – fasten your seat-belts, ladies and gentlemen!

    • Ed 2.2

      And how do we rid the world of capitalism in 10 years?

      • tc 2.2.1

        A better hope is it screws itself as it holds far too much power and control to expect it to step aside or change its ways.

        So more a case of its removes itself as the sheeple lack the tools and motivation (apathy/she’ll be right) to get rid of it without some assistance or push.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Unfortunately, capitalism’s method of self-removal seems to be the removal of most of life on Earth including us.

          We really do need a better way and that means simply getting rid of capitalism via legislation.

          • tc

            yeah can’t see how you get that legislation with so many owned pollies though draco.

            Whatever would pass would be so pissweak and full of ‘outs’ that it would be virtually useless IMO.

      • soddenleaf 2.2.2

        Its not capitalism that’s the problem, it’s too much capitalism , it’s the wrongly misplaced incentives of neolibs… …getting rid of capitalism is akin to riddening the world of social is, ain’t going to happen.

        Immediately ban the private car, make public transit free. Open up town centers to small traders by mandating a council run covered market like most English towns have. Then go from there, give bamboo plants out that replace lawns, suckup carbon and reduce dismal lawnmowers.

        It’s manageable if we start about 1990.

        • patricia bremner

          Careful with bamboo. It can undermine pipes and footings like willow.

          Plant berry bushes, lemon trees, fijoas, make areas of groups of salad type greens onions rhubarb silverbeet and herbs and companion plants like marigolds etc. nasturtiums are excellent ground cover with edible flowers.

          Plant seeds 3 times over 4/6 weeks. Use the moon phases. seaweed blood and bone and wood ash. (non treated)
          Old buckets make good small planters that may be moved to shelter when needed.

          Tips/ carrots lifted at maturity can be kept by burying them in sand up to but not over the stem. Keep 6 to 8 weeks. cool airy under cover. Watch cats!!

          Onions plaited in strings and hung 2/3 months, pumpkin in an airy high place.2/3 months.
          Potatoes, cool dark place, same for kumera etc. 4 to 12 weeks dependent on variety.
          Cheers Cinny is right…. work out what you can do in your home/ place/area.

    • tracey 2.3

      T.P.P.A proves that

  3. Antoine 3

    > Do start talking about what we can do.

    I never know what you mean by this.

    Are you asking:
    – what each Standardista can do to reduce our personal carbon footprint, or
    – what all NZers can do to reduce NZ’s carbon footprint, or
    – what all people of the world can do to reduce the global carbon footprint, or
    – something else?


    PS Please don’t ban me, it is a genuine question

    • Pat 3.1

      The cure will kill the patient….and that is likely the solution.

    • Ed 3.2

      It is a structural thing.

      To help you.
      Imagine the question was.
      ‘What can we do to win World War 2?’

      Well,we can ration, grow our own plants, hand in clothes for soldiers, but until we have governments ready for total war ( like Churchill) nothing really will change.

      Climate Change is World War 3.
      Unless we mobilise on a global scale, the rest is tinkering.
      We need to completely change our economic model or we are stuffed.

      Beats me how we do this quickly though, with almost all political parties, Universities and the media captured by neoliberalism.

    • weka 3.3

      I won’t ban you for asking genuine questions Antoine 🙂 I’ll have more time to answer later.

    • weka 3.4

      > Do start talking about what we can do.

      I never know what you mean by this.

      Are you asking:
      – what each Standardista can do to reduce our personal carbon footprint, or
      – what all NZers can do to reduce NZ’s carbon footprint, or
      – what all people of the world can do to reduce the global carbon footprint, or
      – something else?

      All of the above, but in the context of making change happen. I write the posts for the people who read them, so yes, each individual reading. But it’s not just about personal carbon footprint, e.g. driving less, eating less dairy. It’s about doing those things so they effect wider change. We need system change, and that requires actual people to be willing to change, and then working to make that system change happen.

      My thinking at the moment is around people that are already on board with how serious it is, why are they not effecting change? Some people feel powerless, so there is some work there to be done so that people feel their actions are meaningful and effective. But there is also an issue of people not wanting to give things up.

      Those are the conversations we need to have next, because as long as we want other people to change or the govt to change but are unwilling to give up things in our lives in order for that to happen, it will be much harder for us (collectively) to do the right things.

      • Pat 3.4.1

        Diary of a conflicted emitter

        Today i drove to work and burnt around 5 litres of diesel, at work I emitted around 5 kg of CO2 directly into the atmosphere, my daughter today booked a flight to europe for 4 people for later in the year…..I am fully aware of CC and probably more than most believe that the timeframes for adverse effects are optimistic….so why havnt i (and my family) radically reduced our emissions?

        Quite simply we have little choice (flight excepted, but even that could be justified)

        If I dont work we cannot survive and there is no public transport available (even if there was it would emit) electric vehicle is out of my price range and its unlikely to be a viable option range wise in any case…my work by its nature emits CO2, there is no alternative available…the europe trip is for my daughters partners family to meet their grandchild (their first).

        What chance those that are unsure/unaware of CC will be able to make significant reductions to their contribution?

        • weka

          I think there are the things we cannot change on our own. I quite like Bill’s call for people to walk away from the climate change promoting or unnecessary jobs. But many people have children, mortgages, disabilities, etc.

          I think many people do have things they have choices about though and it’s more useful to focus on those.

          We can also take other actions – buy local food, vote Green, join a local transition towns group, support Greenpeace, political action etc. The point there isn’t to donate, or buy local, or sign a petition and carry on with the rest of life as normal, it’s to use those things to commit to ongoing change and long term change.

          “the europe trip is for my daughters partners family to meet their grandchild (their first).”

          Ironic right?

          “(flight excepted, but even that could be justified)”

          At some point we will have to give things up. We can all justify our current choices where we have them. But they still don’t make sense if what we believe is true (they make human sense, not logical sense).

          • Pat

            The irony was the motivation.

            Turning the air travel on its head, what is NZs largest industry in foreign exchange earnings?


            At some point (not very far away) we will indeed have to give things up(and not just air travel)…..but its a little hypocritical for my generation to tell the next they must not do as we have done …those are decisions that have to be arrived at within…..assuming the option exists.

            As an aside, I believe both air and shipping emissions are not included in national emission tallies….thats a very convenient position for us.

  4. Ed 4

    The Guardian also has an article on the subject.

    “Arctic warming: scientists alarmed by ‘crazy’ temperature rises

    An alarming heatwave in the sunless winter Arctic is causing blizzards in Europe and forcing scientists to reconsider even their most pessimistic forecasts of climate change.
    The north pole gets no sunlight until March, but an influx of warm air has pushed temperatures in Siberia up by as much as 35C above historical averages this month. Greenland has already experienced 61 hours above freezing in 2018 – more than three times as any previous year.
    “This is an anomaly among anomalies. It is far enough outside the historical range that it is worrying – it is a suggestion that there are further surprises in store as we continue to poke the angry beast that is our climate,” said Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. “The Arctic has always been regarded as a bellwether because of the vicious circle that amplify human-caused warming in that particular region. And it is sending out a clear warning.”
    Although most of the media headlines in recent days have focused on Europe’s unusually cold weather in a jolly tone, the concern is that this is not so much a reassuring return to winters as normal, but rather a displacement of what ought to be happening farther north.”


  5. Ed 5

    “This is more than just a temperature anomaly. It is an off-the-scale event. Why is the Arctic meltdown not headline news in every paper?” – George Monbiot

    And therein lies one key problem.
    The media has been captured by the enemy – neoliberalism and big business.
    And they don’t want you and I to read about any of this stuff and join the dots.
    They can’t now totally ignore it, but they sure as hell won’t report anything as climate change. People are not to see the link between capitalism, consumerism and climate change.
    So the story is written without context.
    The freezing weather in Europe is a separate entity to the warming in the Arctic.


    So the media, as an agent of a foreign power, distracts us.

    The evidence can be found every day.

    Today Stuff thinks this is more important than what’s happening in the Arctic.
    “Baby ‘just fell out’ in wheelchair bay at Christchurch Hospital, new mum says.”

    Today NZME thinks this is more important than what’s happening in the Arctic.
    “Drone hovers over sunbathing mother and daughter in Auckland backyard”

    “This is more than just a temperature anomaly. It is an off-the-scale event. Why is the Arctic meltdown not headline news in every paper?”

    Because the media is the enemy.

  6. Anon 6

    If humanity won’t prevent climate change then we should at least prepare for it, start at least preparing to mass evacuate the coasts for example. At that level we’re looking at local government planning, who far from planning for the future can’t even focus on the present.

    We could have a revolution, short of that..?

    • Ed 6.1

      A global revolution…in 10 years?

      • cleangreen 6.1.1

        Yes Ed, and we need to learn how to breathe underwater too!!!!!!

        I now live on seven acres over 1600 ft above the coast now so when we need to save folks follow me please.

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    Reading the parts of AR5 concerned with adaptation and mitigation, one thing comes through quite strongly – that institutions are insufficiently flexible and are frankly inadequate to the task.

    An example:

    Adaptation Opportunities, Constraints, and Limits.

    …the complexity of modern governance systems poses significant constraints on institutional change (Adger et al., 2009; see also Section, and new institutions do not necessarily resolve complex governance challenges (Lebel et al., 2013).

    So apart from the various things we can do as individuals – eat fewer cows etc, we also need to provide support to local institutions that can help. Keep them focused, try and ensure that they take sea level rise seriously, provide a counter to the inevitable business-oriented perspective individual members bring to the table.

    IPCC AR5 is long on description and short on answers (pdf).

    • weka 7.1

      “Reading the parts of AR5 concerned with adaptation and mitigation, one thing comes through quite strongly – that institutions are insufficiently flexible and are frankly inadequate to the task.”

      Is that in leading change or simply in changing?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1

        Both. It does identify many of the barriers to change though.

        • weka

          Do you have a link to the mitigation bits?

          Have to say I’m getting to the point of fuck adaptation. There is a very real risk here of people going ‘we can’t prevent the worst of CC’. Or, ‘we’re not going to give up anything, so let’s let the chips fall where they may and adapt around them’. Both those positions are ethically and practically big problems.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Climate-Resilient Pathways: Adaptation, Mitigation, and SD (pdf).

            These chapters are taken from the working group page:

            Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.

            I was hoping they might provide something a bit more coherent than the usual things we discuss here, but my impression is that they’re grappling with exactly the same issues themselves:

            Common problems with institutional arrangements for adaptively managing natural resources include a frequent incompatibility of current governance structures with many of those that may be necessary for
            promoting social and ecological resilience. For example, some major tenets of traditional management styles have “in many cases operated through exclusion of users and the top-down application of scientific knowledge in rigid programmes”.

            Or from the link at 7:

            At national and subnational levels, cultural attitudes can contribute to stakeholder marginalization
            from adaptation processes (Section, thus preventing some constraints and limits from being identified (such as gender issues and patriarchal conventions).

            Still, at least it’s a comprehensive look at the problems to hand.

  8. cleangreen 8

    Good article weka;

    So this morning that even Simon bridges said on radio nz interview; – National has been a bit slack on environmental issues and housing so read this,

    Simon Bridges the new leader of the National party has today admitted on RNZ interview today with Guyon Espiner that he feels National were light on some issues!!!! Housing and environment specifically he said.


    What a fucking joke this clown is as he closed Osborne rail for using many more trucks through the slip prone Waioeka Gorge now so more trucks will wreck the roads all the way to Tauranga!!!!!

    What a stupid clown he has shown already.

    Simon Bridges was the Minister in the last National Government that allowed oil drilling (by the most controversial oil drilling company globally ‘Anadarko’ (of the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill fame).

    So Bridges now is risking our own sensitive conservation land to become another toxic global known hazard on NZ conservation land, just for a few lousy dollars ‘permit licence’ to operate oil prospecting here, and now he says National was a bit light on environmental issues??????

    He is pathetic as a disgrace to his iwi.

    • weka 8.1

      Imo Bridges is irrelevant. If he lasts until the next election we can then see if National have any chance of winning, but other than that there is nothing useful to be gained by focussing on the aspects of the problem that are intractable. It if ties up our energy, they win. Better to spend our time on solutions e.g. tell us what needs to happen with that regional rail in the context of climate action. Have those conversations.

      • veutoviper 8.1.1

        weka, I agree that Bridges is irrelevant – my instincts are that the two Bs are holding pattern only.

        Also agree that climate change must be taken into account not only vis a vis the HB regional rail but in respect of all the regional development projects which will be happening under the Provincial Growth Fund announced last Friday.

        Re the expanded post we discussed re my comment re the PGF the other day, sorry I haven’t completed it yet – health issue intervened and I only came back up for air yesterday pm. Working on it but it is a bit like Jack’s beanstalk and keeps growing. My focus is on the way the three parties are working together on this big initiative rather than on the actual projects etc. Machinery of government is my area of knowledge/experience rather than the details of such projects – and so am focusing on the collegiality the three parties are showing re this initiative (and the areas of difference.)

        But a big factor in the way this big regional PGF initiative is being handled includes recognition of the need to factor in environmental and climate change issues.

        This morning Kathryn Ryan interviewed Shane Jones in depth on Nine To Noon on the billion trees plan under this initiative – and the need to plan for the effects of climate change are discussed in consderable detail in this 27 minute interview. I highly recommend listening to the interview. Here is the link. (Sorry cleangreen, don’t think rail was mentioned in this interview):


        I missed the first few minutes but am about to relisten as it also contained discussion on the roles and interaction of Ministers from the three parties which I want to build into my post. May still take a day or two but maybe one for the slower weekend.

        I have never been a Shane Jones fan, but I am slowly beginning to think that – just maybe – he may have finally found his niche with his appointment as Minister of Regional Development. And also that he,rather than being the ‘weak link’ I thought he would be when he first moved to NZF, may end up being a positive influence on the three parties working together. Early days, and time will tell.

        • veutoviper

          Further to the above, Kathryn Ryan is now currently interviewing
          Jacob Werksman, the European Union’s chief climate change negotiator.

          “He’s in New Zealand to hold bilateral talks and meet with climate change experts. Jacob joins Kathryn to talk through the challenges of turning policy into actual reductions in emissions, and what the effects have been of the US withdrawing from the Paris Agreement.”

          Will put up link when available.

        • patricia bremner

          Shane was always valued as a mover and shaker. One silly incident led to loss of mana.

          It has taken a long while for his capabilities to be used.

          He is older wiser and no longer frustrated and sidelined. IMO.

          • veutoviper

            And now happily married!

            Thanks for those views, as I know a lot of people wrote him off. Probably a case of sheer frustration at his capabilities not be used. It was interesting to see him and his behavior/body language during the hiatus after the election until the coalition negotiations were completed. Late for NZF meetings, dawdling in through the news media camped out etc etc. I really got the feeling he was not sure what he had let himself in for and how it would pan out. This Provincial Growth Fund is his baby and he has described himself as the Regional of Provincial Champion – on a 1000 day hikoi to get it off the ground – while at the same time acknowledging that there is considerable risk involved. We will see.

        • tracey

          Four Ministers will sign off his stuff. None of them are from Green party

      • Robert Guyton 8.1.2

        Bridges will become irrelevant if rivers are dry.

  9. patricia bremner 9

    So our climate tipping point may well have been reached.

    What to do?

    Weka is right, panic will not help.

    Privately, I plan to see if family are aware of this and look at what our personal mitigation plans could be, starting with a meeting to list them.

    Also, we have paid a degree of “lip service” to being prepared for disasters. (Weather etc.) So, that is going to be beefed up.

    The next step is to bombard anyone who should have this “front and centre” with letters, emails, phone calls and begin a petition for Government to hold a climate conference for the Pacific.

    Beginning with Local Council Leaders.. then, Jacinda and ministers, plus James Winston Simon and David and all TV, Radio and internet opportunities.

    Create information meetings to activate and motivate people. Ask weather and Science experts to attend explain what could happen, and what we may do to prepare and mitigate. Especially those living at sea level.

    I looked at that information with freeze/flight/fight reaction. Some part of me went “the phony war is over” I choose fight.

    • patricia bremner 9.1

      The p stands for phone calls. sorry..had an interruption.

    • weka 9.2

      Thank-you! This is what I am trying to get at. Having a plan of action and doing it.

      The freeze/flight/fight thing is spot on imo. At this point we need more people willing to fight. What that looks like will vary from person to person, but the choice to fight is incredibly important.

    • Bill 9.3

      I like the “holding their feet to the fire” feel of that comment patricia.

      On the private front, I’d suggest securing a non-municipal source of water to be a very good basic move. And scattered food planting throughout whatever landspace you have available – with an eye to wind scenarios in particular. (So, no “bed of peas” getting wiped out resulting in no peas, because you have peas over there and yonder too).

      Plant potatoes if possible (for carbohydrate). Unless there’s some communal effort, wheat, oats and other basic sources of carbohydrate aren’t really viable crops for one person, and it’s possible (some would say just a matter of when not if) a situation arises whereby those foodstuffs won’t be coming in from the global market.

      If you have the money, add as much thermal mass as you can to your house. Insulation can be a life saver when temperatures are high. (Especially when that heat pump just went bung because the electricity popped)

      Again, if you have the money, it might be wise to invest in solar panels. Some people reckon feeding into the hot water system is the most cost effective way to go, but that’s of limited use when the mains go down. (And they will be going down more and more often.)

      Better still, get neighbours on board and have communally fund shared solar. That could then lead on to some intelligent reconfiguring of resources. Eg- why have seven “laundries” spread out across seven houses when one might suffice? Why have seven or nine cars when they’re parked up 90% of the time and being used for inconsequential travel for much of the reaminder? Why have seven under-utilised kitchens? And so on…

      As neighbours become more engaged and connected at an “everyday living” level – ie, as community is formed and developed – possibilities and potentials rise up and unfold.

      • patricia bremner 9.3.1

        Bill, some great thoughts there.

        Personally, I am awaiting confirmation my specialist has date stamped my letter to begin my 4 month hip operation count down, so I can garden again.

        Currently limited to herbs in my sun room and some pots of lettuce and spring onions. Successfully grew 25 potatoes in a two tier tyre garden. Have 4 ready for next year for two plantings.

        Have invested in storage for pasta rice and oats and iodised salt.

        I am going to invest in a water barrel, and a webber BBQ. Solar panels to run lights and a good camping fridge freezer with battery storage and converter could help. ( Miss the independence of the motor home!)

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.3.2

        …be aware of local civil defence plans for weather “events”. Doesn’t hurt to volunteer whatever help you can offer them either.

        CD have a lot of networks already at their fingertips (or at least, our local one does). One of the predictions that doesn’t get discussed much in the prediction of increasing social unrest. People are prone to panic. especially if they are scared and isolated, so the more involved in community groups such as CD, local councils, even (curses) church, the better.

  10. adam 10

    I’d say get a back bone, a spin, some real courage.

    That is what it’s going to take. It’s going to take people to say no, and stop engaging with capitalism. It’s going to take people walking out to the streets and talking to each other.

    It’s going to take us stopping what we are currently doing. Go to places of real conflict – like the petrol station and stop people from buy petrol. Another point of conflict like the the Airport and stop the the air freight.

    But then again, you could just go for a drive and look at the trees. You could go buy somthing, or you could watch the latest blockbuster and just forget life is supposed to be hard. The choice is yours.

    • weka 10.1

      while I appreciate the call to action, I personally think the blaming rhetoric and framing of the other as the problem is counterproductive. Most people will switch off from that. I get it, I want to rail at certain groups of people as well. If we are looking at how to effect change, then I’m interested in which people are ready to and what they need to take the next steps.

      • adam 10.1.1

        My point is simple – Capitalism needs oil, and oil is a major problem in continued avoidance of the issue.

        I’d say stop dancing around it, and get to the core of the problem. We stop oil, we stop the problem – it really is that simple.

        As for working out solutions at the other end.

        We have democracy, expand upon it. Other can sort the nuts and bolts, I’m just harbinger of capitalisms doom.

        • weka

          “We stop oil, we stop the problem – it really is that simple.”

          Yes. And yet people aren’t stopping oil enough yet, so not so simple.

          The post is an invitation to people to act. In this case, what actions can I (or you) do to stop oil?

          I like the harbinger of capitalism’s doom 🙂

          • adam

            Stop using it, but direct action is need as well.


            Just so you know what I mean by direct action. De Cleyre direct action, stopping capitalism from functioning, direct action.

            Not leaving it to politicians, who in this environment – can be brought and with the rise trump incorporated – we now see, have been brought – on both sides of the aisle.

            • Bill

              So not necessarily buying petrol in glass containers stopped up with flammable rags. And not necessarily blocking off forecourts. And not necessarily simply not driving. And not necessarily handing out leaflets at traffic lights, or sticker bombing cars in car-parks. And not necessarily just dropping it into casual conversation.

              Just all of things (though some of them are really bad ideas) or none of those things.

              But regardless, something that involves not appealing to political authority for permission to act?

            • weka

              “stopping capitalism from functioning, direct action.”

              Sure, but unless you have a plan for getting mass numbers of people to do that this year, I think we need other strategies as well. Because the problem isn’t that we don’t have solutions, it’s that we don’t have solutions that people are willing to do. We can be angry about that (justifiably) but that still doesn’t give us solutions that people will do.

              Personally, I think we should be on the streets already. I would guess that eventually we will be, but of course if we wait until comfortable people find that path attractive it will be too late.

              I would love to see some creative direct action, and I think targeted direct action will both monkey wrench (yes, I used that in the title deliberately) as well wake people up. It’s the waking people up and giving them a path they can follow that seems the most useful thing at this point. I’m not willing to wait for the revolution though.

              tl;dr, you also have good ideas, what I’m looking for is people taking action rather than simply saying we need to take action.

              • Bill

                I’m not willing to wait for the revolution though.

                No waiting required. It’s here.

                • weka

                  That’s not a revolution, that’s an explanation of some of the dynamics at play.

                  • weka

                    which would be good in a post somewhere btw.

                  • Bill

                    Well no. The dynamics at play (whichever way it’s cut and diced) are those of revolution. That was the entire point of the comment.

                    There is no sitting on the fence waiting to see how things will pan out in the hope is that minimum upheaval will occur. (That presages huge degrees of upheaval) . And there has been no “storming of the Winter Palace/Bastille” (or whatever type “moment”) to mark it or pin it down.

                    It’s revolution on two tracks – very much here and very much happening. Some people have kind of missed it and are stuck in a state of anticipation for something that’s already come to pass, when really, the only thing that should be concerning us is if we can change the particular revolutionary track we’re on.

                    • weka

                      We have different definitions of revolution I think, but fair points. If I have understood right you are saying that the change is already happening, and some people have made choices about that, and others aren’t even aware yet that the revolution is happening.

                      I think there *is sitting on the fence waiting, that’s exactly what is going on.

                      “the only thing that should be concerning us is if we can change the particular revolutionary track we’re on.”


                      This isn’t the kind of revolution I meant in responding to adam though 🙂

                    • patricia bremner

                      Bill, getting people to buy clothing made of natural fibres is a start. So many things are oil derived. Buy Cotton clothing and sheets. Wool.silk, real linen and leather. Cast iron cooking pots camp oven and frypan. Stocking useful natural oils. Dried herbs keep indefinitely. Good “How to” books and mannuals.
                      So much knowledge to be relearned. Composting etc.

                • patricia bremner

                  Yes, that was my epiphany Bill and Weka.

                  “If we can change the evolutionary track we are on”

                  Now it is,
                  ” How am I part of the problem?”
                  “How am I part of the solution?”

        • Draco T Bastard

          My point is simple – Capitalism needs oil,

          No it doesn’t. Worked fine in Ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece.

          They too collapsed from excessive resource use and all the wealth going to the few. And they didn’t have oil.

          We stop oil, we stop the problem – it really is that simple.

          And that’s a misunderstanding of the problem that is capitalism. Oil super charges it but isn’t the problem.

          • adam

            Draco T Bastard I get you have a odd view of economics, but capitalism is a specific economic institution, which comes about because of series of economic changes in the history of people and how economies are formed – a key factor which differentiates capitalism is banking and insurance. So your belief that ancient civilisations were capitalist is at best misguided, I’d direct you to read some of the economics about antiquity – it was not capitalist. Give me some time to hunt down the authors.

            My point is simple, that modern capitalism as it stands, can not operate without oil. It will effectively stop functioning without it, (yes pockets will roll on), but the reality is that the majority of capitalist are tethered to oil as the “IT/ID”. Look how many people have had their livelihoods, health and indeed lives sacrificed to keep oil flowing.

            If working people put a spanner in the works of how oiled flowed. The system would suffer a major hemorrhage. Not a collapse, collapse bring another whole set of problems.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I get you have a odd view of economics,

              Is history really that odd?

              but capitalism is a specific economic institution, which comes about because of series of economic changes in the history of people and how economies are formed – a key factor which differentiates capitalism is banking and insurance.


              Trapezitica is the first source documenting banking (de Soto – p. 41). The speeches of Demosthenes contain numerous references to the issuing of credit (Millett p. 5). Xenophon is credited to have made the first suggestion of the creation of an organisation known in the modern definition as a joint-stock bank in On Revenues written circa 353 B.C.[8][82][83][84]

              The city-states of Greece after the Persian Wars produced a government and culture sufficiently organized for the birth of a private citizenship and therefore an embryonic capitalist society, allowing for the separation of wealth from exclusive state ownership to the possibility of ownership by the individual.[85][86]

              According to one source (Dandamaev et al), trapezites were the first to trade using money, during the 5th century B.C, as opposed to earlier trade which occurred using forms of pre-money.[87]

              So, by your own definition, those ancient civilisations were capitalist.

              My point is simple, that modern capitalism as it stands, can not operate without oil.

              And on which point you’re wrong. The abundance of energy supplied by oil certainly helps but it’s not necessary. Capitalism will survive the loss of that energy abundance.

              Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t stop that oil from flowing but we shouldn’t be thinking that capitalism will disappear if we do.

  11. RedLogix 11

    I do have a modest addendum to the OP weka. It may help to break down climate change impacts into several major categories:

    1. Impact on the ice.

    The three big ice sheets are Greenland, West and East Antarctic. Greenland has been steadily losing hard ice for decades and is gradually becoming more porous and rotten, storing billions of tonnes of water deep inside awaiting a potential collapse event. WAIS is grounded below sea-level and at some point, warm sea water will undermine it and break it up relatively quickly. Less in known about the EAIS, but hopefully it will remain stable for centuries to come.

    Both Greenland and WAIS contribute about 7m of sea level rise each.

    Loss of glaciation, especially in the Himalayas, will eventually impact major fresh water supplies upon which hundreds of millions of people depend.

    2. Impact on the ocean. The global meridonial overturning currents, driven by thermohaline circulating forces that only occur in several special locations on the planet, shift vast amounts of heat energy and play a critical role in shaping the temperate zones.

    Without them the surface waters of the tropics will warm further, nutrient cycles disrupted and acidification accelerated.

    3. Impact on weather. New patterns will emerge as we are already seeing. Tropical zones with unsurvivable heat and humidity will arise, wet bulb temps over 35 deg C for weeks on end will kill millions. A new Category 6 classification for cyclones is already been mooted. And as the OP points out, the loss of polar circulating winds will render all historic sense of weather patterns obsolete.

    4. Impact on the biosphere. In many ways life is remarkably resilient, adaptations can be rapid and radical, but many of them, such as the death of the Great Barrier reef will mean losses and extinctions on a scale we cannot imagine.

    These four categories are of course a simplification; in reality the real impacts will be more complex and inter-related than we can ever expect or model. For instance vast areas of melting perma-frost, releasing huge pulses of methane is a wild-card no-one really understands properly.

    As I’ve said many times before, this is NOT a technical or engineering problem. It is a political one, and also one that utterly transcends nation states. The ONLY answer to this challenge must also be both political and at a global scale. Nothing else will suffice.

    • Bill 11.1

      1. Impact on the ice.

      I’ve a post in the works on that. Like yourself, I’ve been paying attention to Eric Rignot of NASA and their take on possible rapid ice collapse in Antarctica. There are a couple of professors in the Physics dept of Otago Uni who study ice I want to talk to before going ahead with the post.

      Regardless, the fact our government (I believe in line with all other governments) is basing policy on scenarios that exclude sea level rise contributions from Antarctica, and further, that they’re basing policy on stuff that even the IPCC says ought not to be used (IAMs)…it beggars belief.

      • RedLogix 11.1.1

        The emphasis has to be on the uncertainty here. While we know that over 400 ppm CO2 will absolutely lead to the loss of the major ice sheets, resulting in about 90 – 120 metres of sea level rise … we just have no idea of the timeframe.

        It’s my intuition that the WAIS will go first, perhaps in our lifetime. Greenland is different and could remain apparently stable for a century or so, but then collapse very, very rapidly. The EAIS is of course much more stable, but in the long run is not immune either.

        I’d be interested to hear if my gut feelings line up with what the real experts have to say. I do know that as a rule they’re generally very reluctant to commit to timeframes in public simply because of the huge uncertainties.

  12. Andre 12

    What can we do?

    Explicit greenhouse gas tax is a big one. Start it at a modest level and ramp it up quickly. All the big anthropogenic emitters have alternative technologies that can be used but aren’t, because they get to just dump their waste into the atmosphere for free (or very very low cost). We can see from the growth of wind and solar power that as soon as the cost of a new non-polluting alternative goes below the old polluting option, the non-polluting alternative becomes preferred. So help that process along by making polluters pay for their waste disposal.

    We could get more nuanced about GMOs. Climate change is a reality, and part of that reality is what crops are grown where will also have to change. Conventional plant breeding (aka old-school genetic modification) will struggle to produce new varieties fast enough, let alone making big steps like getting perennials to produce products we currently get from annuals or introducing more efficient photosynthetic pathways (currently found in only a few plants) into a broader range of crops. Knee-jerk opposition to all GMOs because – well, MONSANTO! – is just nonsense.

    We could get real that climate change does have flow-on effects for property owners. Sea level rise and more extreme weather events have long been predicted. Coastal and other flood-risk property owners should be made fully aware they’re on their own, they can’t expect massively expensive protection works or other bailouts from taxpayers.

    • weka 12.1

      What I’m seeing there is some ideas on what should be done. Interesting ones, some I agree with and some I don’t. But the point I am trying to get to is we need to move past talking about the ideas. Many of us here have ideas about what should be done/should happen, and we’ve spent nearly a decade talking about that on TS. That is useful but it’s not sufficient.

      What I’m saying is we need to also act. Now. As a matter of urgency. So when I read your comment, I want to know what you are going to do to help make those things happen. e.g. what will you do now to make a GHG tax a reality? Or moving the big emitters to renewables?

  13. Cinny 13

    Fantastic post and discussion.

    What can we do? Educate and walk the talk. If everything was taken away, excluding the planet could you survive, could your children, your friends, your family? Do they have the knowledge, are they resourceful enough? Learning more everyday, throughly enjoying the comments/advice/info on this thread.

    Personally I’m very interested in the impact of space weather on the earth, magnetic fields etc etc

    Aunty went to Greenland etc a few decades back, must ask her about it re temperatures etc.

    Would like to see big warehouses of indoor hydroponic food gardens in the cities.

    Here in Motueka there is a big push and community effort to eliminate plastic bags and disposable coffee cups among other things.

    • weka 13.1

      Nice one Cinny.

      The push against plastic is such a good one. Not only is it urgently needed (Pacific gyres etc), but it’s going straight to the centre of the consumerist, disposable society that underpins climate change and says ‘this has to change’ and ‘we have other choices’.

    • tc 13.2

      How are the Hops after the weather down there with the harvest ?

      We’ve some of the best on the planet IMO along with our wine.

  14. Bill 14

    My question now is, are we ready yet to do something? No-one is coming to save us and we cannot afford to wait for the government or business to sort things out, they are going to have to follow.

    I tried to iterate the following before. (I’m getting there 😉 )

    In a time of revolution, there are usually two broad possibilities. Either huge change occurs, or the challenged status quo prevails. Many people in such situations, rather than choosing a side and risking very negative consequences from being on “the wrong side of history”, hedge their bets or sit on the fence.

    I could believe that a good part of “waiting to see how things play out” is guided by sub-conscious urges to stay safe – where a sense of safety or security is wrapped up in ideas of the familiar and the known.

    How that plays out in terms of AGW is inaction. Which will inevitably lead to a higher global average temperature. That in turn will wreak far more change on us, our world and our global sense of civilisation than would be the case if we took the radically transformative steps we need in order to avoid very dangerous or catastrophic levels of warming.

    How to get the message through, that sitting on the fence or hedging those bets, unlike situations that are wholly contained within the realms of human agency, isn’t an option in this current scenario?

    Or rather, to arrive at a point where we collectively understand that as an option, it will usher in incredibly deep levels of insecurity, dislocation and harm – those being the very things we seek to keep at bay in revolutionary times by positioning ourselves on the fence?

    Maybe we have to resign ourselves to the very real possibility that message will never gain enough traction, and that we will effectively choose to continue with the activities that drive up temperature until the rise in temperature makes those activities impossible.

    And those who “get it” (that seismic shifts are underway no matter what) can maybe only, merely act in revolutionary ways – ways that anticipate or even pre-figure future possibilities or likelihoods.

    The revolution isn’t in the future or contingent upon action from some sector of society – it’s unfolding right now; today. And the only question regards the figurative and actual; the human and non-human environment that revolution plays out in.

  15. Whispering Kate 15

    What can we do – on a personal level we can do a lot – but its not enough of course. People in power and who have first hand knowledge of what is going on with our planet for obvious reasons will not do anything serious/proactive to acknowledge we have this climate change occurring. To go back to our previous wars the citizenry were never informed of anything that would panic the masses. Churchill kept the population under control by his oratory skills and bullshit and was prepared to sacrifice people if it meant mass panic otherwise.

    You’d better believe it, world wide governments/business elites are being kept informed of the seriousness of the situation. They will be quietly going ahead with their own survival plans just like the mega wealthy have already bought up large swathes of land in remote areas around the globe, so they can get the hell out of Dodge when its time to do so. Stupid of them really to do so, this planet is larger than all the money and privilege that these elite can muster up for their survival.

    Ask any mariner who has survived seriously bad storms at sea – we are just pimples on the ass of the world – nature reigns supreme. Like being at sea, it will end up every man for himself. Disgusting really as this problem could have been mitigated by starting the ballgame thirty years ago.

  16. savenz 16

    Sadly some people think it’ll be someone else’s problem and it’s dinosaur business as usual. While we expect it from the evil Natz, more surprising (or maybe not) from other sources with surprising appointments in the $1 billion regional development fund.

  17. savenz 17

    I think also the Greens are dead at the wheel on this. They should be doing more on this type of crisis, the pollution (apparently oriental bay has one of worst plastic pollution in the world), TPPA which overrides government control and puts it in the hands of lawyers and the fine print by a bunch of morons like Grosser , conservation crisis and the things that are bigger and more wide reaching for a range of people across the political spectrum, than just the smaller short term issues Greens seem more focused on.

    Some issues are out of their control but their media isn’t and a push from the media, starts debate, and can change policy. Something that just isn’t happening any more from the Greens.

    Greens still the best party on these issues, but instead of shouting from rooftops, we seem to only hear an ineffectual little whimper, if at all.

    I get more from Greenpeace, Forest and Bird etc on conservation issues than the Green Party and I get more calls for funding from the Greens than policy I am interested in by the Green Party.

    Times change and what might have worked and people believed 30 years ago or 3 years ago or even 6 months ago, does not work any more because the people themselves and the world changes.

    It is the Greens time to shine, but sadly they are too caught up in their own affairs to capitalise on issues that everybody can relate too because environment is all around us, environmental degradation effects everything from housing to peoples safety, and the economy. It should encompass all policy not in the mean way it has been sidelined as a ‘nice to have’ but some individuals short term profit is more important and we should not stop until we have our entire country filled with concrete and tarmac and trucks so we can keep the low wage economy going.

    • solkta 17.1

      The Greens are providing the Climate Change Minister who is working towards a goal of zero carbon by 2050, what the fuck more do you expect them to do on this?

      And plastic waste, oh look a press release just yesterday from the Associate Environment Minister:


      • savenz 17.1.1

        @ solkta, Sorry a lot more. And other’s too. Sadly 2050 sounds like a long way away for many who want action now.

        • solkta

          I think James had to take his magic wand back to Woolworths.

          • savenz

            If the Greens were more firmly against TPPA for example then they could start a high profile media dialogue and in a non adversarial way, about the xxxxx dangers that have not been addressed in the agreement and if they really care about climate change then this is the xxxx potential effects.

            Lukewarm disagreement is not enough and enabling a race to the bottom. Labour have not signed the agreement so it is not too late to postpone it at least.

            How about a referendum for example on it, something so far reaching should not be signed with little analysis and many flaws and assumptions and risks not thought of.

            There is ZERO reasons to sign. There are practically zero economic benefits and a massive amount of unknowns and risks.

      • SPC 17.1.2

        I vote Green, but see plastic bags as insignificant (a waterway and sea pollution problem and little of it local). The alternatives are worse.

      • Ed 17.1.3

        2050 – way too late.

    • savenz 17.2

      Sadly also the growing environmental crisis actually helps those benefiting from construction contracts and the polluting industries, as more and more housing and infrastructure gets destroyed by floods and storms and climate related issues, they profit to build and maintain more houses and infrastructure! Why stop that! They are on all the boards, these engineering dinosaurs that benefit from climate change continuing as usual or they don’t believe it will have an effect they have to worry about.

      Instead a more individual approach should be made for climate change such as housing with MORE permeable spaces to NOT go into wastewater so we don’t pollute the beaches, more solar power in the case of emergencies, smaller and quicker build houses not mcMansions, transport that is designed to be more nimble in the case of crisis.

    • weka 17.3

      The Greens have moved from an opposition, caucus-activist party, to being in government. I suspect much of what they are doing is invisible to you. But consider that Shaw as Climate Minister is working now with a number of government departments and processes to actually change how govt responds to climate change. When I say we can’t wait for government, I’m not criticising the Greens, because they are in there doing the actual work of making changes exactly where we need them.

      I also think that they stood up last year and said very clearly, this is what needs to happen on climate change, and a large number of LW people voted Labour instead. I can only take that to mean that those people don’t consider CC that urgent, because it is blatantly obvious that Labour will do some incremental, we still have plenty of time change.

      The Greens are the masters in parliament at effecting change. They understand better than anyone the line between pushing too hard and not pushing enough. That we have Greenpeace, F and B etc is good because it means it frees the Greens up to do the mahi in the govt itself. That is what they got voted in for. They’re not a lobby party, they’re now the party to lobby.

      My suggestion is instead of complaining about what other people are doing or not doing, that we ourselves act. For instance you could become active in the Green Party and push for the kind of actions you want them to do.

      • savenz 17.3.1

        Speaking out, publicly through social media is action, Weka.

        Again times are changing, so people protest in different ways.

        Left parties seem to think shut up and vote for us, and we will pretend to listen, 6 months before and election and then talk about some pet project is the way to go.

        I think the big response to Jacinda, was because she seemed like normal person who cared. But actions speak louder than words and Labour dinoasaur’s are only too keen to capitalise on her popularity to get their dinosaur neoliberal policies through, and like David Lange (student fees and Rogernomics), and even John Key, worse things happen under popular leader’s watches, because they can get away with it. Tony Blair another good example, likewise Obama and being the president to kill the most people using drone warfare.

        But they bear the legacy of being leader when it happened in history.

        If Greens know better, they should say so a lot louder.

        • solkta

          If only all those pathetic activists in the Green Party would turn to bleating on social media then all this stuff would be sorted already.

          • savenz

            More than 140 characters.

            Search yourself in all the main media and see what comes up when you put in Green Party. It is not good viewing.

            I find all the ‘hate’ for the messenger, part of the problem with parties that just don’t want to listen and their inner supporters acting as unofficial attack dogs.

            Sober up, by checking last election results. If parties keep doing the same thing, guess what, same result.

            If Greens and Labour were doing astonishingly well, you could have a mandate to moan if someone was making suggestions, but they got in by a thread last time.

        • weka

          Speaking out, publicly through social media is action, Weka.

          Of course. The Greens have a social media presence. I just wrote a post.

          Again times are changing, so people protest in different ways.

          Yes, not sure what your point is. I’m saying that the Greens in govt has a different role than the Greens in opposition (or Greenpeace etc).

          Left parties seem to think shut up and vote for us, and we will pretend to listen, 6 months before and election and then talk about some pet project is the way to go.

          No idea what is in reference to, but I can’t see how it applies to the Greens on CC.

          I think the big response to Jacinda, was because she seemed like normal person who cared. But actions speak louder than words and Labour dinoasaur’s are only too keen to capitalise on her popularity to get their dinosaur neoliberal policies through, and like David Lange (student fees and Rogernomics), and even John Key, worse things happen under popular leader’s watches, because they can get away with it. Tony Blair another good example, likewise Obama and being the president to kill the most people using drone warfare.

          in the context of this conversation, I basically don’t care. Ardern is not going to do what is needed on CC, but I am grateful she is PM because it will make it far easier for change to happen than if we had National, or Shearer/Goff etc.

          If Greens know better, they should say so a lot louder.

          Know what better? They have a solid analysis of CC and what needs to happen at a governmental level. I don’t think it’s enough, because I think we need to power down. But I also know that the Greens have steady state built into their kaupapa. They can’t push hard on that, because then they will get less votes. So they do what they can do, and it’s a good move because (a) it will get changes happening in govt departments (not just structural but cultural), and it will help shift NZ to a position where it can do the things needed. Necessary but not sufficient.

          If you want to spend this year pulling down the Greens, that’s up to you. I think it’s a waste of time when we literally don’t have any to waste.

    • SPC 17.4

      As to plastic pollution – simply ban taking plastic bags to the beach or besides rivers.

      As for bottles, is the solution to plastic bottle pollution banning plastic bottles?

  18. savenz 18

    City Council Urged To Protect Public Assets before TPPA – Keep Our Assets Canterbury


  19. Sparky 19

    Its the same reason the CP-TPP is not news and poverty is not news. Time for everyone to face facts and threat the MSM with the utter contempt they deserve.4

  20. JohnSelway 20

    The only thing I can add to this is what follows….

    We’re fucked

  21. One Anonymous Bloke 21

    If you can’t play a musical instrument, learn. Our existing social structures are going to come under increasing strain.

    Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis:

    Given the available scientific knowledge of the climate system, it is prudent for security analysts to expect climate surprises in the coming decade, including unexpected and potentially disruptive single events as well as conjunctions of events occurring simultaneously or in sequence, and for them to become progressively more serious and more frequent thereafter, most likely at an accelerating rate.

    The primary focus of Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis is global. Its conclusions are just as relevant at the local scale.

    Also, beware of Disaster Capitalism: Ser Bronn explains theft of food during a siege.

  22. cleangreen 22


    We are walking blind into a climate change bomb that Jacinda said is “our generation’s nuclear event”.

    You bloody well are right here we need active change, to curtail big oil use.

    We must all remember our Prime Minister Jacinda ha already said we need to address the overuse of climate change emissions, and when I listened to parliament today no-one ever even discussed the weather event now hitting Europe that is the worst event in history.

    So our politicians are sleeping at the wheel and ignoring Jacinda’s call to arms to change our climate emissions and use rail and other climate friendly transport modes not trucks on roads.!!!!!!

    But in Parliament all i heard the politicians say when they talk “infrastructure” is about roads and more fucking roads.

    jacinda needs to send all her party back to the environmental school to learn how to say RAIL. not ROADS.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1

      when I listened to parliament today no-one ever even discussed the weather event now hitting Europe that is the worst event in history.

      So our politicians are sleeping at the wheel

      That simply doesn’t follow, CG.

      Parliament has work to do. It might be worth interrupting that work for an emergency debate about Climate-related issues, if you had something to say that’s worth undermining the responsible ministers for. There’s a budget due. I expect it’ll mention the issue and if it doesn’t, or it seems inadequate, I’ll criticise it.

      The PM has nailed her colours to the mast on this “nuclear” issue. Maybe she’s all mouth and trousers. I’m hoping not.

    • veutoviper 22.2

      cleangreen, see my comment at 8.1.1 above (and the ones below that one).

      Arctic monkey wrenching

      Climate change and environmental issues are integral elements for assessment and approval of funding for projects under the coalition Government’s Provincial Growth Fund – and were discussed in detail in the half hour interview of Shane Jones by Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon this morning in relation to the billion trees planting plan – the subject of the interview. Link to the interview is in my comment at Rail was not discussed.

      These aspects were not discussed directly in Parliament today because Bridges etc were trying to score points against the new government re the West Coast project under the PGF involving the person who is under SFO investigation. (This focus has actually backfired as the Nat govt actually paid about $50k to the company last year and the papers proving this were tabled later in the afternoon by David Parker.)

      I would like to write more for you but don’t have time. But If you heard ‘roads, roads roads’ today in Parliament – please put up links to the videos of the questions etc were these were discussed to prove this. I certainly did not hear this.

  23. Ed 23

    Make public transport free.

    • cleangreen 23.1

      Good call Ed, This parliament is still road mad talks roads roads roads like joyce always did.

      They have it ingrained into their heads now.

  24. Ed 24

    Make students go to their local schools.

  25. Philg 25

    What to do?
    Talk to your wider circle of aquaintences about your concerns, and ask them about their views. Try to understand each other and our shared position. This might be an interesting and rewarding experience.Ask Mike Hosking and Paul Henry etc. to opine on the issue. Lol.
    Implement mandatory car pooling, initially in congested cities first. Set up IT systems to allow.
    Initiate large public transport networks e.g commuter buses and trains. Encourage walking and cycling. Severely curtail RONS.
    Move freight mainly by rail to regional hubs, and reduce non essential consumption. Problematic, I know. Ramp up Coastal shipping capacity and ports.
    Purchase less, or no, crap. You know.
    Set up help centres to facilitate and educate the public about ways forward. Let’s not forget the growing mental health issues and provide support regionally and nationally.
    Acknowledge it’s not easy, but it is necessary. Get information flowing from the bottom up and top down. Central government and local government need to step up and acknowledge the seriousness of the issue. We are all on the same side.
    Reconfigure our defence force to focus on the direct effects of CC. Challenging times ahead folks

  26. One Anonymous Bloke 26

    We can learn a lot from the various ways in which Kurdish peoples have organised themselves over the last few decades.

    The cantons of Rojava, the Kurdistan region of what used to be called Iraq. Did they “dismantle Capitalism”, or other abstract conceits, when civil war and climate-driven chaos came their way?

    That’s a rhetorical question.

    • weka 26.1

      Maybe you could be less opaque?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 26.1.1

        When civil war destroyed their social institutions, they repaired them to a higher standard than they’d been before: the fourth estate, democracy, self-determination, etc.

        If they can do it in the midst of that chaos, so can we as climate change unfolds.

        • weka

          Thanks OAB, that’s one of the more deeply hopeful comments I’ve seen in a while.

          I don’t know much about Rojava, other than the posts Bill did some time back. It looked very impressive, but I never go clear on how they managed that. What were the conditions that allowed that to happen?

          This is one of the biggest things for NZ atm I think. Can we support the best of our culture so that as things get harder, we make good choices about how we handle that socially (and politically). I think things you are saying elsewhere in the thread are critical, how are we going to get on with each other as the shit hits the fan.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            how they managed that. What were the conditions that allowed that to happen?

            The Rojava Report has a lot of info on what happened – the development of democratic autonomy, organising for defence and agriculture,

            This article, Women Will Not Leave Their Freedom For After The Revolution touches on a lot of it. One thing that comes across quite strongly in this and other pieces is the influence of Öcalan’s philosophy. “The freedom of women and the revolutionary development are part and parcel of each other”. Kurdish nationalism no doubt plays a part too.

            Having a plan is an obvious starting point, and it doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel: we all* know what the hierarchy of needs looks like.

            *ok, maybe not Libertarians.

  27. patricia bremner 27

    Careful with bamboo. It can undermine pipes and footings like willow.

    Plant berry bushes, lemon trees, fijoas, make areas of groups of salad type greens onions rhubarb silverbeet and herbs and companion plants like marigolds etc. nasturtiums are excellent ground cover with edible flowers.

    Plant seeds 3 times over 4/6 weeks. Use the moon phases. seaweed blood and bone and wood ash. (non treated)
    Old buckets make good small planters that may be moved to shelter when needed./ or if you rent.

    Tips/ carrots lifted at maturity can be kept by burying them in sand up to but not over the stem. Keep 6 to 8 weeks. cool airy under cover. Watch cats!!

    Onions plaited in strings and hung 2/3 months, pumpkin in an airy high place.2/3 months.
    Potatoes, cool dark place, same for kumera etc. 4 to 12 weeks dependent on variety.
    Cheers Cinny is right…. work out what you can do in your home/ place/area.

  28. Macro 28

    A case in point is the example of Cuba following the Missile Crisis and the huge sanctions placed on it by the US, followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    An account is here:

    The era in Cuba following the Soviet collapse is known to Cubans as the Special Period. Cuba lost 80 percent of its export market and its imports fell by 80 percent. The Gross Domestic Product dropped by more than one third.

    “Try to image an airplane suddenly losing its engines. It was really a crash,” Jorge Mario, a Cuban economist, told the documentary crew. A crash that put Cuba into a state of shock. There were frequent blackouts in its oil-fed electric power grid, up to 16 hours per day. The average daily caloric intake in Cuba dropped by a third.

    According to a report on Cuba from Oxfam, an international development and relief agency, “In the cities, buses stopped running, generators stopped producing electricity, factories became silent as graveyards. Obtaining enough food for the day became the primary activity for many, if not most, Cubans.”

    In part due to the continuing US embargo, but also because of the loss of a foreign market, Cuba couldn’t obtain enough imported food. Furthermore, without a substitute for fossil-fuel based large-scale farming, agricultural production dropped drastically.

    So Cubans started to grow local organic produce out of necessity, developed bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers as petrochemical substitutes, and incorporated more fruits and vegetables into their diets. Since they couldn’t fuel their aging cars, they walked, biked, rode buses, and carpooled.

    “There are infinite small solutions,” said Roberto Sanchez from the Cuban-based Foundation for Nature and Humanity. “Crises or changes or problems can trigger many of these things which are basically adaptive. We are adapting.”

    Necessity is the mother of invention.

  29. Lloyd 29

    No-one in the above comments has mentioned the one revolutionary change that will reduce long-term greenhouse gas emissions.
    People use things which produce greenhouse gases and change the world with their agriculture and fishing and coal and oil burning. If there was only 1 or 2 million of us in the world wee could all fly Concordes and burn coal to produce energy to fry our steaks and the world would be minimally affected. Sure capitalism gives incentives to exploit oil and coal, but a communist run world would still need energy to keep the masses fed and to make things.
    Long term each couple having only one child is the only solution to the health of the planet. Birth control will ensure that our fewer descendents will have a world still worth living in. A successful economy will be one that can contract gracefully in line with a shrinking population.
    New Zealand should work towards an immediate goal of population stability with a long term goal of gradual population decline.

  30. R.P. Mcmurphy 30

    we are not all going to die but industrial capitalism will run its course before it collapses due to environmental constraints and resource depletion.
    all species expand to the limit of their ability and humans are no exceptions.
    it is hard for self aware humanity to actually comprehend what is going down at the moment and most dont care as long as they have a car and ateevee.

    • Pat 30.1

      “we are not all going to die but industrial capitalism will run its course before it collapses due to environmental constraints and resource depletion.”

      Oddly enough we ARE all going to die (even Peter Thiel)…..sadly it appears we may take down the future generations with us…..industrialism (capitalist or otherwise) may have brought us to this point but without it we cannot continue (at this scale)…..impossible choices equate to inaction….cars and TVs are minor symptoms which could be done away with tomorrow, not so food and energy production/distribution.

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