Are you smarter than a 10th year?

Written By: - Date published: 4:57 am, September 3rd, 2009 - 50 comments
Categories: climate change, education - Tags:

225px-Robert_WadlowMeet Robert Wadlow. When he died in 1940, he was the tallest ever recorded person, standing 8 feet, 11 and a half inches tall (2.72m) . That record still stands. The tallest living person, Bao Xishun, is a comparatively puny 7 feet, 9 inches (2.36m). As we all know, the typical person is getting taller. Over the 90 years since Wadlow was born, the height of the average American man has increased 5 centimetres, yet, there has never been a taller person than Wadlow since he died.

Now, which is the more sensible statement?

– ‘Wadlow was an exceptional person, we know why he was so exceptionally tall (hypertrophy of his pituitary gland).  Even though no-one has been taller than him since, the average person is definitively getting taller.’ or

– ‘Since no-one has been taller than Wadlow, everyone after him has been shorter ipso facto people are getting shorter’

Pretty obvious, eh?

getting hotterWhy am I going on about tall fellas? Because of this graph, one I didn’t think I would need to add to my post on climate change yesterday. Sadly, I was wrong. A lot of people are still parroting this ‘the world’s being getting colder since 1998’ rubbish.

1998 was the hottest year on record, until 2005 and 2007. We know why these years broke the records and why 1998 was so much hotter than other years around it. The El Nino weather pattern results in the ocean and atmosphere being warmer than in non-El Nino years. There was an extreme El Nino in 1998 (you might remember the serious drought it caused).  But, just like the fact that no-one has been taller than Wadlow doesn’t mean we are getting shorter, the fact that the 1998 record stood for seven years didn’t mean that the average annual temperature wasn’t rising. There will be exceptionally hot years, there will be exceptionally cold years – but the trend is all up. (oh and another El Nino has just started, it looks like it’ll be a most severe on record).

1998 was an outlier. You learnt about outliers in 3rd form or 4th form (I think that’s years 9 and 10 now). You’re not dumber than a 10th year are you?*

*of course, the average adult will be dumber than an exceptionally smarter 10th year but that doesn’t mean people get dumber as they age into adulthood 😉

50 comments on “Are you smarter than a 10th year? ”

  1. outofbed 1

    And there was me thinking it was hoax

  2. RedLogix 2

    Good post Marty. I’ve spent much of my adult life staring at realtime trend plots (in an industrial setting) of all sorts of variables. Almost always there is some variability and noise on them, and after a while your brain learns how to interpret what is meaningful at different timescales.

    The essence of a trendplot (a graph with time as the x-axis) is that it tells you the history of what you are looking at. Different people can look at the same data trendplot for quite different purposes, and either mentally or formally apply different types of filter to extract the information they want. There is a whole truckload of really interesting maths around all this; one of the best starting points is Tamino’s blog at Open Mind some of whose posts are small lecture courses in applied maths. (The only good thing about the whole CC debate is that it forces you to go off and learn some really neat new stuff)

    Climate change is fundamentally all about long-term information, but in order to ‘see’ this, you have to be able to mentally ‘subtract out’ the short-term variability, or the information that is not directly relevant to what you are interested in. You have to mentally apply the right filter.

    That’s one of the problems the science struggles with, is that we can present a thousand bloody graphs, all showing what to us looks like incontrovertible evidence of climate change… but unless the person looking at the graph is able to apply the relevant filter… they will see what they want to see and remain frustratingly, obdurately in the the denier camp.

  3. lprent 3

    Good analogy. Arguing about data points and ignoring trends. Did the CCD’s learn anything when they did maths?

    Still it was different decades ago. You were allowed to leave school earlier. Explains a lot of the numerical illiteracy that keeps popping up in strafe places

    • Graeme 3.1

      But not a perfect analogy.

      No-one – except real idiots – is using the fact there was a single hot day that hasn’t been bested as evidence there isn’t global warming.

      If you can find a year in which the average height was greater than it has been for the last few years, then you’ve got an analogy. Though I’m not sure what it would show…

  4. Nick 4

    That Y axis is shocking.

    That’s not 0.6 of 1 degree is it?!?!

    If so, we’re all tomorrow’s breakfast.

    • NickS 4.1

      /facepalm

      It’s the global temperature anomaly, which equals average global temp for all years – average global temperature at year x. Which translates into much larger localised average temperature increases;
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Global_Warming_Map.jpg

      Of which, this paper discusses the largely negative impacts on crop yields, on top off all the other issues these temperature increases cause.

      • Maynard J 4.1.1

        I am not sure that Nick’s comment was a sarcastic one, and if it was it is an exceedingly stupid one. .6 (more like .8) of a degree in 30 years does indeed equate to toast…

    • Sonny Blount 4.2

      Your argument is a strawman.

      The trend of recent flat temperatures does not rely on the 1998 data, in fact take it out and you’ve still got the same trend. Temperature has no up or down trend since 2000.

      Here is the hadcrut data since 2000:

      2001 +0.409
      2002 +0.464
      2003 +0.473
      2004 +0.447
      2005 +0.482
      2006 +0.422
      2007 +0.405
      2008 +0.327

      • Maynard J 4.2.1

        “Your argument is a strawman.”

        Tell that to the people who are arguing that 1998 was the warmest year so now everything is fine.

        But by the way – so is yours!

        Looking at the graph, there was a decline in the 1980s. Did that ‘trend’ continue? What defines a ‘trend’, Sonny? The few years that prove your argument?

        • Sonny Blount 4.2.1.1

          1980-1995 is no better a ‘trend’ than 1995-2010. 80-95 is the only period of warming on record since 1940.

          I have heard 30 years given as a statistically significant period of time for global climate. Temperature flattening since 2000 is very much a ‘watch this space’ phenomenon. But it has a big effect on the premise of ‘unprecedented warming’ that was concluded from the 1980-1995 data, which was also over a short period and when you take into account a more meaningful, longer data period, the rate of increase is nothing like what it looked like it might be at the end of the 90’s.

          I still expect a rise of up to another degree C before temps start to drop as we head into the next ice age.

          1940-1980 was a statistically significant period of time wherein, though a period of vastly increasing emmissions, global temperature dropped. This period should have bee more sensitive to CO2 than today because as you incease CO2 you get a decreasing warming effect per unit.

          Anthropogenic climate change as posited by James Hansen since 1988 was based on 3 observations:

          CO2 concentrations have increasing.
          Temperature has risen unprecedently rapidly.
          Throughout the temperature record CO2 and global temp correlate.

          Now in the early part of this decade, research has been able to provide us more fidelity from the historical records, and it has been shown that CO2 increase lags temp increases by 800-1000 years.

          Since 2000, the trend of unprecedented warming has abated.

          So the issues that gave reason to concern about anthropogenic climate catastrophe have been found to be misplaced, yet the hysteria continues because it appeals to our human natures. We will still have to contend with the quirks of human nature that gave rise to this irrational hysteria long after anthropogenic climate catastrophe fears have dissappated. I personally, will never let those who progpagated irrational fear and destruction to forget what they tried to do in the years to come, or else we will do it all again over something else.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1.1

            There’s no point in arguing with you. You keep spouting the same BS that’s been thoroughly disproved. It’s not so much that you’re a climate change denier but that you’re a reality denier. You hold the position that if reality disagrees with you then reality must be wrong.

            • Sonny Blount 4.2.1.1.1.1

              “You keep spouting the same BS that’s been thoroughly disproved”

              Now you’re just making things up.

              “It’s not so much that you’re a climate change denier but that you’re a reality denier”

              Look out your window, that is reality.

            • bill brown 4.2.1.1.1.2

              Can you see Olympus Mons from your back garden?

  5. bob 5

    Hi Marty,

    What does the Y axis represent?

    It looks like we had about 50 yrs below ‘0’, then about 45 yrs bobbing around ‘0’ and now 35 yrs rising above ‘0’

    I’m really interested in how I should interpret this.

    Can you help!

    • Bright Red 5.1

      As you can see in the legend of the graph, the numbers are the difference from the average temperature between1951-1980. So, now the world temperature is 0.7 degrees above that average from 1951-1980, or about 1 degree above where is was a century ago.

      Taking 1951-1980 as the base is arbitrary, it’s just a way to show change.

  6. NickS 6

    Good post Marty, and excellent use of FOX news =P

    Though if memory serves me right, there’s a good post on Real Climate on the El Nino etc effects on global temperature that’s well worth reading;
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/07/warminginterrupted-much-ado-about-natural-variability/#more-686

    Also, here’s a useful post from RC on short time interval data sampling that GCC deniers are so enamoured of;
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/01/uncertainty-noise-and-the-art-of-model-data-comparison/

  7. lukas 7

    hang on a second… I will admit that I have done no math since leaving school for Uni at 16, but we were always taught in math to disregard the outliers when analyzing data.

    Open to correction on that though, it was a couple of years ago now!

    • NickS 7.1

      Well, removal of outliers depends on their influence on the data set (leverage) + whether or not they can be explained by experimental error. In this case, I’d hazard a guess that the leverage of 1998 is actually not all that significant,but more importantly, 1998 is explainable via El Nino, meaning we can’t rationally exclude it from the data set, without loosing valuable information about global climate behaviour.

    • Bright Red 7.2

      lukas. that’s what the post argues – don’t get hung up on the single outlier in 1998, look at the trend.

  8. Andrei 8

    ‘Since no-one has been taller than Wadlow, everyone after him has been shorter ipso facto people are getting shorter’

    Strawman

    Over the 90 years since Wadlow was born, the height of the average American man has increased 5 centimetres, yet, there has never been a taller person than Wadlow since he died.

    So would you except the reasoning that in 1600 years or so the average American will be as tall as Robert Wadlow based on the trend of the last 90 odd years?.

    I doubt it!

    • Bright Red 8.1

      the logic of the post isn’t dependent on the average person reaching Wadlow’s height, Andrei.

      You’re not still claiming that because 1998 was the record for a while the world is cooling, are you? It’s not even the record anymore for god’s sake.

      • Sonny Blount 8.1.1

        Again, Bright Red,

        Take 1998 out of the data set and the warming period from 1980-1995 has abated and 1995-2010 is pretty much flat.

        • Bright Red 8.1.1.1

          No it hasn’t. look at the link. 2005 and 2007 were hotter than 1998. The trend is up without 1998.

      • Andrei 8.1.2

        You’re not still claiming that because 1998 was the record for a while the world is cooling, are you? It’s not even the record anymore for god’s sake.

        Another straw man.

        Nobody is claiming “the world is cooling” because nobody knows or can know whether the trivial amount of warming that seems to have taken place since the end of the eighteenth century has peaked or not.

        And you know what it doesn’t really matter one whit if it has or hasn’t.

        All that matters is whether or not the crops grow or fail. And the climate will change over the next hundred years one way or another regardless of what we do or don’t do. Along the way there will be bountiful years and sparse years in different places – the way it always has been.

        And human beings being what they are will adapt to the changing conditions the way we have since the dawn of time and prosper or not.

        • Bright Red 8.1.2.1

          It’s not a strawman, Andrei, just yesterday your denier mates were arguing that 1998 disporves climate change.

          1 degree is not trivial. I know it sounds like a small number but it’s actually a huge amount of energy that manifest in more severe droughts, worse storms and the science shows that another degree or so and we’ll tip the climate into run-way warming.

          of course the climate naturally changes, no-one denies that. the problem is the rate of change we are causing. If we hit runaway warming, and we certainly will if we do nothing, the world that will be left if the permafrost melts, the icecaps melt, the sea levels rise, the ocean acidifies, and the deserts spread, and the rainforests burn will not be able to support our civilisation.

          • burt 8.1.2.1.1

            Bright Red

            What happens… probably the stuff that wasn’t factored into the IPCC models. Increased precipitation, increased Tectonic movement & increased volcanic activity as weight shifts from the polls to the oceans.

            Oh, excess CO2 makes trees grow faster as well, so drive to the shop and save a rain forest!

            • Bright Red 8.1.2.1.1.1

              burt. that’s just so ignorant.

            • burt 8.1.2.1.1.2

              Bright Red

              What is ignorant;

              That additional CO2 in the atmosphere encourages plant growth ?
              Extra weight from melting ice caps will flow to oceans?
              Moving weight mass on the planet surface of billions of tons causes tectonic plate instability/movement and associated volcanic activity?

            • Bright Red 8.1.2.1.1.3

              It’s ignorant to think climate change is good just because carbon dioxide makes plants grow faster and its ignorant to think that increased volcanism is going to save us from climate change – if melting ice and changes in the world’s mass distribution lead to more volcanism that’s just another disaster on top of the rising sea levels that caised it.

          • Andrei 8.1.2.1.2

            If we hit runaway warming, and we certainly will if we do nothing, the world that will be left if the permafrost melts, the icecaps melt, the sea levels rise, the ocean acidifies, and the deserts spread, and the rainforests burn will not be able to support our civilisation.

            Its not going to happen – that’s just hysterical nonsense.

            Why are you so pessimistic?

            Why do you believe that anyone can alter the climate?

            And if the climate could be altered who would you trust that power to?

            • Bright Red 8.1.2.1.2.1

              I believe that we are altering the climate because

              1) we clearly are (see the graph above)

              2) nearly everyone whose job it is to study this stuff says that if we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll make it much worse, and I have seen no evidence that persuades me those experts are wrong.

              I don’t get what you’re saying about ‘trusting the power to change the climate’ to anyone, we’re doing it already as individuals and as societies.

              It’s the scientists that are forecasting those outcomes if we don’t change our behaviour. It’s not hysterical nonsense, it’s the scenario we can look forward to this century if we don’t change our behaviour.

              If you and I were standing on a railway track and I said ‘sh*t! there’s a train coming, let’s get out of the way’ Would you say ‘why are so pessimistic?’ becuase you’re comfortable where you’re standing?

  9. Sonny Blount 9

    “the science shows that another degree or so and we’ll tip the climate into run-way warming.”

    I’m sorry but thats not science, it’s conjecture.

    • Bright Red 9.1

      no, it’s science. It’s in the IPCC modelling. It’s where the 40% by 2020 requirement comes from.

  10. Clarke 10

    And I couldn’t help noticing that the UK Tories have signed up to 10% by 2010 – not much, but it’s something tangible. Our Tories, of course, have done no such thing, the useless gits.

  11. Sonny Blount 11

    Computer models are not empirical data. They only have validity once they have been run out against real life data.

    • Bright Red 11.1

      I knew you were going to say that.

      Science isn’t merely about understanding the past. A large part of it is developing models with predictive capability – ie. giving us an idea of what will happen if we do x.

      • Sonny Blount 11.1.1

        You develop a model by running it and then comparing the output with real life data. There is no climate model that has been verified against real life data. And this is because climate is a complex system, it would be arrogant to think that we can model it, all we can do is observe it closely, and respond.

    • Your theory of “gravity” is just a theory, not empirical data, you should should go and walk off a cliff, just to check that all the gravity up until now, is still there.

      • snoozer 11.2.1

        gold

      • Sonny Blount 11.2.2

        It is very easy to test and confirm. You can make a prediction and run a real life test to confirm your model very easily. It doesn’t matter whether anthropogenic climate catastrophe is a theory or 100% understood. Currently the historical data is the best model and until a computer model that makes a long term prediction different to the historical data that is verified with real life data, that historical data will remain the best predictor of climate.

        • Armchair Critic 11.2.2.1

          Normal modelling practice is to calibrate the model (adjust the variable parameters) to measured historic data, then validate it to a second set of measured historic data i.e. show that with the variable parameter values determined from the calibration, the model gives acceptably similar results, when used with the second and sometimes third and fourth sets of boundary data and initial conditions. Sometimes different words are used (the use of calibration and validation in the sense above comes from ANSI), but the process remains the same.
          My understanding is that this applies to climate models, just like any other model of a physical system, and I would be surprised to find that no climate model has been tested to prove it can hindcast properly before it is used to forecast. Is this what you were saying at 9:31 when you said “There is no climate model that has been verified against real life data”?
          Historical data are just a set of numbers, they don’t predict anything until they are used with a model. In this sense, even applying a fitted curve is a model. Even without models there are lots of data indicating climate change is occurring.

          • Sonny Blount 11.2.2.1.1

            “Is this what you were saying at 9:31 when you said “There is no climate model that has been verified against real life data’?

            What I am saying is a model needs to make a prediction for a statistically significant time period in the future (say 60 years) and if observed data stays within an acceptable margin throughout, then the model could be said to have some predictive validity.

            “Historical data are just a set of numbers, they don’t predict anything until they are used with a model. In this sense, even applying a fitted curve is a model.”

            Yes, it is our best model., we have observed the same warming and cooling cycle we are on now many times in the past. This is the same as planning crops or lambing based on the thousands of times in the past that the seasonal changes have been observed.

            “Even without models there are lots of data indicating climate change is occurring.”

            Yes, as you know observations of climate change do not confirm anthropogenic climate catastrophe. Even without man on the planet, warming would be expected in present day times.

            • Gareth 11.2.2.1.1.1

              Well Sonny, are you planning to rewrite the laws of physics? Not only do we observe warming, but we observe an increase in greenhouse gases, and the laws of physics (down to the quantum level) mean we should expect warming when that happens. In other words, theory matches observation.

              If increasing GHGs does not lead to warming of the atmosphere/ocean system, please explain how. A Nobel prize awaits.

            • Herman Poole 11.2.2.1.1.2

              “Not only do we observe warming, but we observe an increase in greenhouse gases”

              You mean water vapour? Please point me in the direction of any studies that show the change in concentration over the last 1000 years.

              “and the laws of physics (down to the quantum level) mean we should expect warming when that happens. In other words, theory matches observation.”

              I have a theory that windmills lead to global warming. There have been an increasing number of windmills and global temperature has risen. Theory matches observation. But this does not prove the theory.

              “If increasing GHGs does not lead to warming of the atmosphere, please explain how”

              Warming occurs today in same way that global temperature has varied in cycles between 5 and 15 degrees C over the last 100 million years. The reasons are not fully understood, but they have been observed to happen.

            • RedLogix 11.2.2.1.1.3

              You mean water vapour? Please point me in the direction of any studies that show the change in concentration over the last 1000 years.

              Yes water vapour is a greenhouse gas, and an important one… but you know perfectly well that Gareth is talking about the other gases CO2, CH4, NOx, etc, that human activity has increased.

              We also know from very precise measurements that these gases have increased in concentration because of human activity over the last 1000 years, most especially in the last 100. The evidence is incontrovertible. I could point you to a dozen different authoratitive studies, but you would not understand them, or would lie about them even if you did.

              There have been an increasing number of windmills and global temperature has risen.

              Yes that is a hypothesis, but it lacks an even faintly plausible mechanism to link the presence of windmills to an increase in global temperature. By contrast, atmospheric greenhouse gases and global temperature have a very well understood mechanism to link them. (I spent about seven years in the 1980’s very precisely calibrating infra-red spectroscopy instruments used in medical/technical applications. I’ve personally seen the absorption lines for many of these gases with my own eyes… so please, please don’t insult me by trying to tell me otherwise.)

              Warming occurs today in same way that global temperature has varied in cycles between 5 and 15 degrees C over the last 100 million years. The reasons are not fully understood, but they have been observed to happen.

              They are called Milankovitch cycles, are actually rather well understood and quite accurately explain the Ice Ages.

              I have no expectation, or hope even, that anything I can write will change your fixed thinking Herman, and that is simply that.

            • Gareth 11.2.2.1.1.4

              Warming occurs today in same way that global temperature has varied in cycles between 5 and 15 degrees C over the last 100 million years. The reasons are not fully understood, but they have been observed to happen.

              Furious handwaving: “I don’t know what it is, but it certainly has nothing to do with greenhouse gases”. Otherwise, what my spectroscopist friend said.

  12. Galeandra 12

    And the gold goes to…..armchair critic.

    And, Andrei, I’m so pesimistic because there are a serious number of individuals who don’t care in any way to attempt to ameliorate their impact on the planet. I’m angry at the greedy myopia I see demonstrated every day on threads like this.
    So run away and melt another ice shelf.

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    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    4 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    5 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    6 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 weeks ago

  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
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