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Bio-fuels.

Written By: - Date published: 2:15 pm, February 11th, 2018 - 35 comments
Categories: capitalism, economy, Economy, energy, Environment, farming, farming, global warming, infrastructure, International, manufacturing, science, sustainability, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, transport, useless - Tags: , ,

There’s one situation I can think of where bio-fuel use has a neutral impact on global warming.

I live in a house that’s heated by wood. I walk to the woods and gather fallen branches that I burn to keep my house warm. That’s carbon neutral.

If I drive to the woods, the whole process is no longer carbon neutral. If I use a petrol chainsaw to saw up the branches, the process is no longer carbon neutral.

If I drive to the woods in an electric vehicle and use an electric chainsaw, and if those things are powered by electricity that was generated from wind, water or solar energy, then the process is carbon neutral.

If the branches are coming from a plantation and not some natural woodland/forest or bush, then the process isn’t carbon neutral. (Plantations are carbon time bombs that go off at the time of harvesting. As such, they’re simply a flagrant mis-use of land)

Now upscale that to industrial levels of activity and it should be reasonably obvious that the likes of Fonterra switching its milk powder plants from coal to wood isn’t carbon neutral (in spite of what some literature says).

They will take their biofuels from forestry residue or from other crops that have been specifically grown in order to be burned. Putting a host of environmental questions around land use, water use and ecological impacts to one side, unless the land preparation, planting, growing/management, transporting and processing of those crops/biofuels are all done using power derived from solar, wind or water, then their use isn’t carbon neutral.

That’s why ideas about Bio-Energy Carbon Capture and Storage (beccs) are embedded in bio-energy schemes.

But as I’ve written before, those ideas just don’t stack up. Even if all of the land use, water use and ecological issues could be resolved; and even if all the technical barriers could be over come in the next seven years, we’d need to be planning, constructing and commissioning somewhere in the region of two to four BECCS plants with the power generating capacity of Huntly Power Station every single week for a quarter of a century (from 2025 to 2050) to avoid 2 degrees of warming. And on top of that, we’d need to be laying in all of the necessary transportation infrastructure (getting fuel to the plants and the carbon away from the plants), on top of locating suitably secure geological sinks for the stuff.

Alternatively, we can acknowledge the scientific necessity of cutting energy related emissions by between 13% and 20% every year (it varies across countries but. keeps. going.up.) until zero emissions are attained by some time in the 2040s. That way, we might avoid 2 degrees of warming.

That only leaves, at best, a very short window for utilising any type of bio-fuel by way of a stop gap measure as we come off of carbon fuel sources. Zero is zero. There is no such thing as “good” carbon and “bad” carbon, where “good” carbon somehow doesn’t count in the scheme of things.

So, what does a plan based on current realities (ie, no or very little BECCS) mean for the likes of Fonterra?

Well, their milk drying facilities will have to switch to solar, wind or water or else shut down. Under a regime of rapid carbon cuts, dairy won’t survive at its present scale. For dairy to survive, all the pasture preparation and care, all the milking, all the transportation of cows, final product and importation of feed stuff, plus whatever other energy related aspects of dairy production there are, will all have to shift to energy sourced from water, wind or solar power by the 2040s.

The same goes for all other industries and for society as a whole.

So perhaps that is why government policies around global warming don’t and won’t acknowledge the obvious issue of carbon emissions and our need to cut them. It destroys our current economy and means we have to make huge changes to the ways we live.

Far better then to insist on “affordability” and “cost effectiveness” (as the IPCC explicitly demands); to fold the whole very real issue of climate change into the theoretical concerns of chrematistic economics and assume the ‘invisible hand’ of the market is gainfully clasped and going to ensure the delivery of some impossible nonsense to the corporeal realm. And if when it doesn’t, well it’s only billions of people not living in rich countries who die.

Initially.

35 comments on “Bio-fuels.”

  1. Rosemary McDonald 1

    “So perhaps that is why government policies around global warming don’t and won’t acknowledge the obvious issue of carbon emissions and our need to cut them. It destroys our current economy and means we have to make huge changes to the ways we live.”

    And that, after over an hour discussing this post of yours Bill, is the most obvious and workable solution.

    Destroy the current economy, (it aint working for most of us anyway), and make those huge changes to the way we live.

    And for one “for instance”….considering most of us are struggling to pay rent and power and food is so expensive…look at the piles and piles of crap folk but from the likes of the Warehouse. Most of it is rubbish, built in obsolescence. Yes it affords a short term glow of buyer gratification, but we can (and some of us have ) learned to live without that. But we have been brought up to consume…to the point where not consuming is considered anti-social.

    • One Two 1.1

      Hi Rosemary…

      Yes it is the way to go..

      As you point out, the collapse is already in play, and life support of the current dominant ideology can’t be left on permanently…despite efforts to do so, it will ‘die’…

      Best to take a measure of control…

      Not that the westminster system will ‘lead’…

      As others here point out…disengage and take back control at the individual and community level..

    • Bill 1.2

      What can I say besides the obvious?

      I’m humbled and gratified a post I submitted generated lengthy thought/discussion Rosemary.

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.2.1

        Am I being a bit sensitive, or are you taking the piss?

        Seriously, we did (‘we’ being self and relative with PhD in chemistry etc with a special interest in exactly this issue) read your post, followed your links, had a rather heated discussion and decided that we could tinker around the edges (if we ever decided exactly which measure of CO2 emissions per country etc was accurate or even honest) and try to mitigate climate change within the current economic and political structures and we decided that no, it simply couldn’t be done.

        So we cut to the chase.

        It’s rampant consumerism and capitalism that has brought us to this…do we put out the fire with more gasoline? (pun intended)

        • weka 1.2.1.1

          Nice one.

          (I think Bill was being genuine. For me, that people talk about a post in their lives away from TS is one of the best compliments).

          • Rosemary McDonald 1.2.1.1.1

            “For me, that people talk about a post in their lives away from TS is one of the best compliments).”

            Some posts simply have to be discussed outside of TS else it all gets a bit echo chamberish.

            Bill always puts up challenging posts, and those that question the argument that ‘science can fix this’ always get talked about if the family Scientists are around.

            There’s a lot that science can do to mitigate CC, but not if its profit driven.

            Pure and un- corrupted- by -profit -and -politics science is fast becoming a distant memory.

            • weka 1.2.1.1.1.1

              So good to hear that. Few people I know in RL want to talk politics at that level. Nor CC. That includes lots of hippies who should know better but are in a different kind of denial (they know CC is happening but are focussed on their lives).

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Superficiality rules.

                It makes a comfortable cushion, and who can resist this earworm…?

        • adam 1.2.1.2

          Rosemary McDonald, what you wrote was bloody brilliant.

          I don’t think Bill was taking the piss, he way more vicious when he in that mode.

          Capitalism has got to go.

          a wee video if you have the time. 8:45 – it’s mainly talking, so I’d do somthing else and listen, don’t really need pictures.

          top ten capitalist arguments.

          • Rosemary McDonald 1.2.1.2.1

            adam…thanks for that…your viewing recommendations are usually worth watching…although I still haven’t watched anything that has sorted out (in my mind) what’s the fuck is going on in Syria.

            • Brigid 1.2.1.2.1.1

              The sources i rely on re Syria and I don’t give a fuck that others don’t trust my sources (not directed at you, but others), are Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett, Tim Anderson, Fares Shehabi – Member of the Syrian parliament for Aleppo , Chairman of the Syrian Federation of Industry., Pierre Le Corf, George Galloway, Tim Hayward, Piers Robinson,

        • Bill 1.2.1.3

          Hi Rosemary. I’m not “ripping the piss”. The comment is genuine and sincere.

          • Rosemary McDonald 1.2.1.3.1

            Hi Bill…I thought perhaps you might have seen it as a simple and maybe un- thought through response to your very serious post.

            This stuff sometimes scares me and mine shitless…no bs…one of mine has nightmares occasionally about the ‘end’…the nightmares usually involve burning.

            We must try and undo what has brought this about.

            First thing…ditch the TPPA Latest version…?

    • weka 1.3

      If there are middle class people involved in the discussion maybe seed this idea from sustainability systems designer David Holgmren – it might take as little as 5% of the middle classes withdrawing their support (including investments) from the global economy to start the collapse.


      David’s argument is essentially that radical, but achievable, behaviour change from dependent consumers to responsible self-reliant producers (by some relatively small minority of the global middle class) has a chance of stopping the juggernaut of consumer capitalism from driving the world over the climate change cliff. It maybe a slim chance, but a better bet than current herculean efforts to get the elites to pull the right policy levers; whether by sweet promises of green tech profits or alternatively threats from mass movements shouting for less consumption.

      https://www.holmgren.com.au/crash-demand/?v=3a1ed7090bfa

      If that’s too scary for people, they can read these things that would make the transition easier and give the middle classes a way to swap consumer/investor security for sustainability security,

      Powerdown

      Climate Change actions for the middle classes

  2. alwyn 2

    “If the branches are coming from a plantation and not some natural woodland/forest or bush, then the process isn’t carbon neutral.”.
    I really can’t see any difference, in the long run, between a plantation and natural bush.
    In both cases surely the trees take up carbon dioxide, turn it into wood and store it, at least for a while.

    A plantation is normally all felled at one time. The wood is all harvested at that time and after that it will be replanted. It will then go through the process again.
    A forest will not all be felled at one moment. It will however sooner or later reach a state of equilibrium where the amount of timber dying and rotting away, and releasing carbon dioxide, will be equal to the amount of new growth that is taking up carbon. No forest has trees that continue to expand forever.

    It is certainly true that a forest may keep more carbon out of the atmosphere as it will generally remain with more timber present than the average amount from a plantation but apart from that different average level there is no real difference if things are looked at over a long time span. I would suggest that even with the longest lived New Zealand trees this would be no more than a few hundred years before decay was equal to growth.
    I would in fact be inclined to think that the average density over the lifetime of a Pinus Radiata plantation may be greater than that of a native Rimu forest. The trees seem to be solider and closer together. That is only a guess by the way. I really don’t know the amount of lumber/hectare in either case.

    How is one case really different to the other?

    • Bill 2.1

      Putting aside all the fossil use in harvesting and transportation of a plantation, and also putting aside weather coming off the back of climate change that may have the capacity to wipe out vast standings of trees ( whether plantation or forest) my thinking goes along the lines that a natural woodland is a “full-stop” on emissions (that reaches an equilibrium and represents a given amount of sequestered carbon), while a plantation is a deliberately conscious “comma” on emissions (that is never allowed to reach or maintain a state of equilibrium and that can only ever represent a temporary amount of sequestered carbon).

      Once the emissions associated with harvesting are put back in the mix, then alongside the spike in GHG emissions that comes from ploughing hillsides in preparation for planting and all the other variable ecological damage from disruptive monoculture….

      How long term are we looking btw? How many times can a pine plantation be re-established without applying fertilisers? And in the absence of fossil fuels to run aircraft, how is that fertiliser spread?

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.1.1

        “How many times can a pine plantation be re-established without applying fertilisers? ”

        In the early days of planting pine plantations leguminous crops were planted between to trees to fix nitrogen.

        https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-009-6878-3_8

        https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=c8TtCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA238&lpg=PA238&dq=legumes+in+pine+plantations+for+nitrogen+fixing&source=bl&ots=qnFQ2Rq19M&sig=jEST8-HA4SF6tmiDEC2C80Ccx_A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiT2bC8mp3ZAhVByrwKHZT1DmMQ6AEIRzAE#v=onepage&q=legumes%20in%20pine%20plantations%20for%20nitrogen%20fixing&f=false

        Today, I understand, the land gets a dusting before the next trees are planted.

        If the wood waste was burned for energy, the remaining ash could be used for fertiliser.

      • Chuck 2.1.2

        With comparing the different forms of “renewable energy,” the total CO2 amounts emitted throughout a systems life must be calculated. Emissions can be both direct, and indirect – arising during other non-operational phases of the life cycle.

        Non-fossil fuel-based technologies such as wind, PV solar, hydro, biomass (as you point out Bill), wave/tidal etc. are often referred to as low carbon or carbon neutral because they do not emit CO2 during there operation. However during – extraction of raw materials, construction, maintenance and decommissioning they emit CO2.

        PV solar is one of the worst (other than fossil fuels) in total life cycle CO2 emissions.

        • Bill 2.1.2.1

          A rudimentary google search suggests that on a life cycle basis PV CO2 ranges from 12g – 24g per kWh of electricity. The footprint occurs in the manufacturing phase.

          By sometime in the 2040s, we have to be at zero CO2 from all sources of energy.

          That means that for electricity generated from water, solar and wind, the manufacturing of those sources (from mining and transport of any raw materials through fabrication and placement) needs to use no carbon based form of energy.

          And at that point the carbon footprint of those technologies drops to zero.

          So solar panel manufacturing facilities run on water? Mining carried out without fossil – perhaps on-site charging facilities for large batteries (there are batteries powering ferries these days)? Large loads such as multi tonne wind generators moved by dirigible?

          Whatever possible solutions there are, we have a finite carbon budget left for this century in terms of 2 degrees, and we’ve been spending it far too fast (it’ll run out sometime around mid-century at current rates).

          So how should we spend it?

          On bullshit consumer goods and all round carbon profligate lifestyles? Or should we be mindful and put what’s left to practical use?

          Capitalism doesn’t survive global warming in the event we do nothing about warming. And capitalism doesn’t survive global warming if we reduce our CO2 in line with the science (deep economic depression results from the required carbon reduction rates spinning out capitalist economic settings).

          It’s a no-brainer then. We should be getting on with it.

          Our political classes would have us choose in favour of carrying on along the path we’re on. 30 years of their inaction and bullshit stands as testament to that. So we have another problem besides the actual warming – institutional ineptitude and inertia.

    • David Mac 2.2

      200 years before decay? I would of gone along with that before discovering that Tane Mahuta is over 2000 years old. He was a seedling when Jesus was walking about. Reaching decay now, the other neat Tane Mahuta fact is that there are 58 different species living on and drawing nourishment from him.

      • Pat 2.2.1

        PV solar is one of the worst (other than fossil fuels) in total life cycle CO2 emissions.”

        You got any links that support?…my quick search suggests the level of emissions varies greatly manufacturer to manufacturer and country to country and is almost impossible to quantify

      • alwyn 2.2.2

        Well yes, but the fact that that tree is famous is because trees that age are very rare.
        I was just making a guess, and it really is just a guess about the typical time that a forest keep increasing in biomass. Lots of trees, and the various species living on Tane Mahuta of course, would have gone through many generations while it was living.

      • Brigid 2.2.3

        Open Mike 10/02/2018

        And don’t forget ‘would have’ not ‘could of’.

  3. Barfly 3

    ” Fonterra switching its milk powder plants from coal to wood isn’t carbon neutral ”

    Would you agree that using wood that you grow burn (rinse /repeat) will have significantly lower net carbon emissions than digging up coal that has been in the ground for millions of years and burning that?

    • Bill 3.1

      Sure. But in the absence of significant BECCS capabilities –

      That only leaves, at best, a very short window for utilising any type of bio-fuel by way of a stop gap measure as we come off of carbon fuel sources. Zero is zero. There is no such thing as “good” carbon and “bad” carbon, where “good” carbon somehow doesn’t count in the scheme of things.

    • Bill 3.2

      I should add that it’s not a given (that wood has a lower footprint than coal).

      Drax coal fired powerstation in the UK moved to woodchip. Trainloads of the stuff was delivered every day. It was meant to be sustainable (residue and off-cuts). In reality, the everglades in the US were strip mined, processed and dumped onto tankers to be taken over the Atlantic before being loaded onto trains…

      The required amount of woodchip was so vast that the US overtook Canada as a wood exporter.

      There was a documentary on it which is worth the time if you can find it. It looked at Drax and southern France where a similar move was being contemplated for one of their large power stations. The numbers, volumes and extent of environmental destruction was frightening.

  4. cleangreen 4

    Bill;

    It would also be smart to use electric freight locomotives that don’t use tyres that are made from oil also here, and use five to eight times less fuel per tonne carried per km than road based truck freight uses.

    http://www.kiwirail.co.nz/uploads/Publications/The%20Value%20of%20the%20Rail%20in%20New%20Zealand.pdf

    One truck pollutes the environment 100 times more than one car. (NIWA stat’s)

  5. Sparky 5

    You have to be careful about bio-fuels labelling. Its a bit like political parties claiming to be left wing when their actions clearly show they are not.

    But hey it makes people feel good and silences less astute critics.

  6. Andre2 6

    Meanwhile we have record sales of the biggest cars , record km driven and record fuel consumed emissions up 23% and the Greens reduced to the threshold of oblivion .
    Greed of today’s inhabitants of paradise NZ has won and a shit is not been given .

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  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
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    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
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    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
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    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
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    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
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    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
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    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
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    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    7 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
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    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
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    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
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    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
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    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
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    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago