Cancun: No will to save ourselves

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, November 27th, 2010 - 51 comments
Categories: climate change, International, leadership - Tags: , ,

The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference — the Copenhagen Summit — was one year ago. Great things were expected. There was a sustained media build up, including a carefully timed and completely spurious attack on climate science. There was debate and activism. World leaders were in attendance and great things were expected. And then it all ended in pretty miserable failure. Whatever hope remained for a workable agreement on action to combat climate change was punted to the future, to this year, to Cancun.

On Monday the 2010 conference — the Cancun Summit — begins in Mexico. Did you know? Have you seen the media build up? Is there the same sense of urgency and hope that preceded Copenhagen? No. Cancun is flying almost below the radar:

Twelve months ago, world leaders were preparing to converge on Copenhagen to hopefully put the finishing touches to a global agreement on climate change. The whole thing fizzed.

Next Monday, negotiators head to Cancun in Mexico to try again. This time, expectations are much lower.

Parties have been meeting on and off all year, going over the same ground time and time again. Realistically, the best that can be expected at Cancun is for last year’s Copenhagen Accord to be brought into the official negotiating text and for progress in important areas, such as financing climate change work in third world countries

Expectations are “much lower”. “Realistically” all that can be expected is tweaking round with last year’s inadequate and ineffectual non-binding agreement. This is beyond pathetic.

There will be no global agreement at Cancun and there is unlikely to be one in December next year in South Africa. As the pressure goes on to reach an agreement, one can only hope that common sense prevails and New Zealand does not sign up to something, either global or bilateral, that damages our economy more than our competitors’.

And that is beyond stupid. Does it really need saying again? Without the environment there is no fucking economy. Not for us, not for anyone. Even on purely economic terms it makes much more sense to incur some costs now to reduce climate change, because the costs to the economy if we don’t are going to be overwhelming (see Stern Review). But look beyond economic terms, climate change is going to be a catastrophe.

Future historians, if any, will I think look back on Copenhagen as the moment that we failed. Seems like it’s going to be down hill from here. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that we lack the will to save ourselves.

51 comments on “Cancun: No will to save ourselves”

  1. vto 1

    r0b, did you use the ‘f’ word in your post? That’s a bit naughty. Thought that’s just what us naughty kids did..

    Re the post, imo only a fool will rely on politicians to save the world. While trying to reverse / prevent suchclimate change we should at the same time prepare to live with the changes to come.

  2. At least now Key and Smith can go over and smugly tell them how we’re single handedly saving the planet with our world leading Emissions Trading Scheme….PFFFFFT

    • RedLogix 2.1

      Yeah right… so you’re going to wait for someone else to do it for you. …PFFFFTTT yourself.

      • pollywog 2.1.1

        do what ?.. create another tradeable bubble of fake assets for fatcats to get richer off the poor by ?

        i say party like there’s no tomorrow and go for broke if you want to cos it’s not gonna make one bit of difference how many trees we plant, plastic bottles we recycle or how much shit a cow produces

        the damage is done and all hope now rests with an energy source some can only just begin to think about.

        think global act local nah fuck that, think local act local…FUCK THE WORLD !!!

        save yourself and your family if you can…by any means neccessary

        • Bill 2.1.1.1

          Would “any means necessary” involve a revolution that targets, not the authorities that preside over us, but the market economy they protect and promote and that is the cause of all this?

          I’d hope so. And I’m realistic enough to realise that in the first instance people would probably merely replace the market with a command economy. And although that might be a good enough mechanism for making sure that destructive economic activities cease and cease quickly, it will provide us with the booby prize of a political dictatorship…which will require that we engage in a further revolution.

          • pollywog 2.1.1.1.1

            Would “any means necessary” involve a revolution that targets, not the authorities that preside over us, but the market economy they protect and promote and that is the cause of all this?

            uhhh…does this count ?

            http://dissensus.com/showthread.php?10019-Lets-revolt-!!!

            🙂

            • Bill 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, nah.
              That revolution happened in about 1982 for me. Still waiting for all youze all to catch up.

              • Colonial Viper

                You are legendary. Have a Speights on me.

                • Bill

                  Legendary? Dunno ’bout that. No decapitalising option from about ’82 onwards…

                  As for Speights? Piss poor doesn’t require being piss tasteless to boot now, does it?

              • pollywog

                it’d still be interesting to see if one can create a concerted global social media campaign to force a run on the banks.

                collapse the banks, collapse the market, collapse the gov’ts, collapse the system…then what ?

                what’s gonna fill the vaccuum ?

                • Bill

                  I put up a post about that the other day So Sport and Politics Should be Kept Separate. Admittedly it wasn’t too clear that was what it was about unless you clicked through the link to the youtube video of Eric Cantona’s interview.

                  December 8th this year is apparently the ‘big day’.

                  I put the post up more because it struck me as unusual that one of the world’s most famous footballers should be speaking out on political matters and advocating revolution than for any other reason.

                  I mean, how do you run down to the bank and withdraw your overdraft?

                  • pollywog

                    looks like Cantona and them froggy bastiches have been jacking my shit 🙂

                    the key to playing it out is to build momentum over a longer period and play the numbers game by picking an auspicious date and tapping into a wider cultural vein

                    20/12/2012…the end of the age of motion and the dawn of the age of light in line with the mayan calender and to celebrate a galactic equinox might tip the balance and give it the critical mass protests need to force real change.

                    I mean, how do you run down to the bank and withdraw your overdraft?

                    you don’t…you run to the bank and withdraw someone elses flush account instead but if you could do it online…then hmmmm 🙂

  3. oscar 3

    Im sticking to my principles on this, in that the leading ‘authority’ the IPCC being government funded is seen as the most credible source. In fact, the only reason why we’re all chicken little-ing ourselves is that for time in recorded history humans are watching a balancing act of sorts take place within nature.
    I see from todays dompost that England is already experience unusual snowfall this early into Winter. Whos to bet that this Winter will be their hardest in more than 30 years? Last year was their hardest in 30, will this be their hardest in 50 years?
    I personally reckon that the arctic will freeze again, but not for another 100 or so years, at least not until the current ice has all melted.
    Conversely, Antarctica is experiencing increased ice cover, and colder summer temperatures.
    Like I keep saying, the science isn’t proven, and it’s all based on hypotheses. Not proven results. Even the historical records point to ‘something’ happening, but it’s unclear just what exactly.
    On the upside, at least this new ‘faith based religion’ is certainly encouraging us to be more sustainable in terms of what we produce and consume, which I’m all for.
    And fwiw, I’m not a denier. I accept that the climate is changing, I just don’t accept this new religion we’re all being asked to believe in.
    Faith: that CO2 is the leading cause of global warming and cutting emissions will save us all.
    Fear: hell on earth. Boiling seas, drowned cities etc
    Saviour: Ourselves.
    All hallmarks of a new religion. Christianity out. Climatica In.

    • Bill 3.1

      oscar. You write : “Like I keep saying, the science isn’t proven, and it’s all based on hypotheses. Not proven results. Even the historical records point to ‘something’ happening, but it’s unclear just what exactly.”

      Every major scientific academy in the world, and all the peer-reviewed literature, says global warming denialism is a pseudo-science,on a par with Intelligent Design, homeopathy, or the claim that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. One email from one lousy scientist among tens of thousands doesn’t dent that. No: the debate is between the scientists who say the damage we are doing is a disaster, and the scientists who say it is catastrophe.

      And besides, seems to me the post is about the politics of climate collapse, not the science of it.

      • oscar 3.1.1

        Yet the science itself is psuedo science based largely on hypothetical notions.
        If we’re talking about the politics of what to do, then it seems to me that there needs to be a real and frank discussion, from all sides of the political spectrum instead of just leaping blindly into the latest faith based ‘science’
        What will we say if in 20 years it turns out that oops, the banning of CFCs did more to combat the cause of global warming, and as such, the political will surrounding CO2 is less able to come to a consensus as after all, it is one of the most natural gases in our atmosphere, making up less than 1% of the atmospheric layer surrounding earth. I have stated before that CO2 levels do affect plant life and biodiversity as CO2 is a major building block for all life. Of course my horticulture degree probably means jack now given that we were led to believe that in a controlled greenhouse environment, a reduction in CO2 led to a reduction in leaf growth.
        Captcha: increase. How apt given we should probably be increasing CO2 levels, not less. The current 391ppm level is still well below what has been previously experienced, particularly when ice sheets started retreating some 10k years ago.

        • lprent 3.1.1.1

          What exactly do you proper to do to make the science non ‘hypothetical’? Wait for it to play out s you can write a paper explaining that it was out on the fifth decimal place?

          You’re a bit of a science dingbat aren’t you – by your definition all science and engineering is ‘hypothetical’. According to you it appears that science is only ‘real’ is when it is history. Science is about predicting events but according to you it is seems to be all about documenting disasters..

        • lprent 3.1.1.2

          Plants aren’t constrained by a lack of CO2. They are constrained by nutrients, water, and tempatures. Why bother mentioning something so irrelevant?

        • Bill 3.1.1.3

          Science is evidence based. First a hypothesis is proposed and then empirical evidence either backs up the hypothesis or doesn’t.

          The hypothesis was that CO2 emissions among others hanging around in the atmosphere would lead to general warming which would threaten the rhythm of seasons, result in extreme weather events and cause die back in various eco systems.

          The empirical evidence is that there is general warming, more extreme weather events (both in frequency and extent) and a rise in the rate of extinctions.

          But you seriously advocate more CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere?

        • Jeremy Harris 3.1.1.4

          making up less than 1% of the atmospheric layer surrounding earth.

          It’s is 0.039%… It’s the effect not the quantity that’s important, I think that is what the debate is all about – the effect of this amount…

        • Ari 3.1.1.5

          The definition of pseudoscience is theories that aren’t accepted by the scientific community or basis in the scientific method, so you’re dead wrong on both counts.

          If we end up being wrong about CFCs or global warming in 20 years, the scientists will be the first ones telling us. Why? Because they care about being right more than they care about being consistent. Almost all scientists have an amazingly high degree of integrity and frankly, I trust that research was conducted with good intentions when it’s done by peer-reviewed scientists, even if they make mistakes. We’re not talking about politicians here- most research that’s spin is conducted by political think-tanks or activist organisations, so don’t go trying to pass off climate science in that category. It’s not.

      • lprent 3.1.2

        Good point Bill. I should read the post rather then responding to such a daft denier sprouting all of the same worn out disproven lines from watts up

    • lprent 3.2

      Climate change means exactly that. There are shifts in climate patterns.

      In the case of the arctic it means that is a lot warmer, but that also means climate shift is is pushing more cold air into more temperate zones. That is what happened weather wise last year – the tempature anomaly maps were quite clear.

      Antarticia has a different set of climate shifts going on. It a continent, so the different effects showing in different places. Some parts of the east are having more snow fall indicating more water vapour (bad sign), whereas the all important WAIS appears to have mass wasting. But the climate changes are happening there as well.

      Stopping co2 emissions won’t stop the climate changes already running. What it will do is to reduce the likelihood that they trigger a runaway event like the release of methyl hydrates or a shift in something like gulf stream or WAIS breaking up.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Your problem, oscar, is that the science is pretty much settled (better than 95% proved). Has been for quite some time now. Humans are causing global climate change through our unregulated use of fossil fuels and destruction of the environment.

      • Ari 3.3.1

        That’s really a horrible way of putting it. Science doesn’t settle, it just becomes increasingly unlikely that a new theory that doesn’t incorporate the old one in some way will pop up. (Relativity, for instance, was a great theory because it needed to be encompassed in subsequent descriptions of physics) We could be wrong about climate science- in fact, the revision of the possible consequences suggests we’re not exactly “right” yet.

        The important part is that there isn’t a truly competing theory that has passed peer review, which effectively means all the climate change deniers have been laughed out of town because their ideas were so full of holes. If someone can come up with a competing theory that explains the data better, I’m willing to hear it and climate scientists will be, too. The problem is that nobody’s got any serious ideas.

  4. anarcho 4

    Copenhagen also marked the failure of summit-hopping activism. After 20 minutes of pushing at fences thend crowds sat down on the road for a ‘popular assembly’ where they applauded each others speeches.

    Time to reject their authority (of both camps), decentralise, diversify and DIY.

    • Bill 4.1

      Agree with your sentiments anarcho, but prefer DIO ( ie Do It Ourselves…in concert, together, unfragmented) over DIY ( isolated, fragmented and ultimately inadequately)

  5. Bill 5

    Very good piece on Cancun by Johann Hari There Won’t Be A Bailout For The Earth

    The link provided in the post suggests that there is an expectation for “progress in important areas, such as financing climate change work in third world countries.”

    On the same matter, Hari writes that “everybody is backing off from one of the few concrete agreements at Copenhagen: to give the worst-affected countries $100bn from 2020. Privately, they say this isn’t the time..”

    And besides when Bangladesh, the 7th most heavily populated and the most densely populated country on earth has a carbon footprint equal to the Island of Manhatten. And when you consider that it’s fast sinking into the rivers and sea, questions arise over the whole notion of providing them with green technology. The poor are not the problem. Bangladesh and other ‘third world’ countries are not the problem. We are; the wealthy living in the ‘developed’ countries.

    On claims of inaction, I believe that Hari is closer to the mark when he writes that ; …”leaders are sometimes described as “doing nothing about global warming.” No doubt that form of words will fill the reporting from Cancun too. But it’s false. They’re not “doing nothing” – they are allowing their countries’ emissions of climate-trashing gases to massively increase. That’s not failure to act. It’s deciding to act in an incredibly destructive way.”

    I’d go further and contest that they complicit in the largest crime against humanity that humanity has ever seen.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      I’d go further and contest that they complicit in the largest crime against humanity that humanity has ever seen.

      and all at the behest of the psychopathic capitalists/corporations.

      • Bill 5.1.1

        I think it’s a wee bit more subtle than that. Capitalists or who-ever don’t have to make urgent demands of them. Market structures insist that certain types of action are defended and pursued.

        Beyond that, or because of that, you and I and ‘everyone’ else should be assuming a degree of responsibility too. The market also demands certain types of actions from us, and we comply.

        At the moment it seems to me that there are growing numbers of people not altogether comfortable or are becoming more aware of the intricacies of this mess we’re in. Trouble is, most people feel hopelessly entangled and either can’t figure a way out, or lack the motivation to find a way out, that would preserve their well being.

        It might compare to a war situation where, instead of refusing to sign up or risk the consequences of going AWOL, most of us are on the battle field where a growing sizeable minority are firing their guns but refusing to take aim or deliberately mis-aiming. Problem is that, that tactic is not enough to end the bloodshed. Our mere presence continues to lend credence to what is happening, or at best does nothing to stop what is happening.

        We need to be conscientious objectors. The market, like a war cannot continue if no-body is taking part.

        A very, very hard, but necessary row to hoe.

    • KJT 5.2

      Right on. It is not the third world who need to reduce their carbon foot print. It is us.

      Then we need to leave the third world room to improve their standard of living!

  6. Bill 6

    Got a little time to kill, so…

    1 million 600 thousand people live in Manhattan.

    162 million 220 thousand people live in Bangladesh.

    And the total carbon footprint of Bangladesh is comparable to that of Manhattan.

    Meanwhile, 4 million 388 thousand people live in New Zealand.

    In 2007 emissions were:

    7.72 metric tonnes of CO2 per person per year in NZ

    19.34 metric tonnes of CO2 per person per year in the US (Manhattan)

    0.28 metric tonnes of CO2 per person per year in Bangladesh.

    Lost me calculator, so on the back of an envelope…

    It takes 29 Bangladeshi’s to produce the CO2 emissions of 1 New Zealander. Or put another way, our combined CO2 emission is equivalent to that produced by over 40% of the seventh most populated and most densely populated country on earth.

    So, next time somebody claims that there is no point in NZ doing too much about CO2 cause we are so insignificant…?

    • burt 6.1

      So we should live like Bangladeshi’s then ? OMG, NZ is almost twice the land area of Bangladesh so we would need to cram 324 million 440 thousand people into NZ.

      • clandestino 6.1.1

        Haha yeah, you’ve got to laugh. Are you saying we cut back to Bangladeshi levels, so we can both live in equally depressing poverty?

        • KJT 6.1.1.1

          No. Just that we waste a lot less, so the Bangladeshi’s can live better.

          • burt 6.1.1.1.1

            Diminishing returns and unintended consequences. We have less so Bangladeshi’s living conditions improve and their CO2 footprint escalates. Imagine the CO2 impact of lifting the Bangladeshi’s living standards to NZ levels. I’m not saying we shouldn’t donate to poorer nations and improve their living standards, just doing that will probably increase global CO2 emissions.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m not saying we shouldn’t donate to poorer nations and improve their living standards, just doing that will probably increase global CO2 emissions.

              So the question is – are western countries willing to cut back on their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in order to let the people in developing countries have a fairer slice of the world’s resource pie? Well the short answer is, off course not, don’t be stupid.

              • KJT

                The sad thing is,, if the will was there we could probably still live at a good standard while reducing our emissions enough to raise the standard of living in Bangladesh, without increasing overall emissions.

                Have to give up the Beamer, but the bach is still possible, because that comes from sustainable resources.

            • Bill 6.1.1.1.1.2

              It’s not about ‘more’ and ‘less’, it’s about fundamentally different. The yardstick of comparative difference based on material consumption needs to be smashed up and thrown away. Which means – just to spell it out – that we need to stop measuring our lives on how much we consume as though that was a measure of meaningful wealth or well being.

              Or maybe you’d rather settle for the comparative advantage of that gin and tonic…

        • Bill 6.1.1.2

          Haha yeah, you’ve got to laugh. Are you saying we carry on being proliferate wasters of resources and guzzlers of bullshit so that we go down with a gin and tonic while Bangladeshi’s go down with a cup of chai? Way to prove supremacy.

      • Bill 6.1.2

        Nope. I think my point was pretty obvious. We are told time and again that NZ is just a wee country and so what we do doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things. Patently false.

        • pollywog 6.1.2.1

          yeah but…we don’t seem to collectively give a shit about alleviating poverty and inequality in our own country or addressing the causes for it from a Pasifikan perspective, so to expect us to give a shit about a billion sub continental Asians living in squalor and a shitload more starving and diseased Africans is a bit rich.

          29 people dying in a mine to support fossil fuelled big business is a tragedy, 40 000 kids dying a day from malnutrition is a statistic.

          you only have to look at Haiti and it’s cholera outbreak to see how much we care now.

          http://pollywannacracka.blogspot.com/2010/01/counterfactualising-colonial-racism.html

          where’s Mike McRoberts saving the world one little girl at a time now ?…pining on some street corner in Greymouth looking sombre as. I can just hear him now. “Right, camera’s off, who’s shout is it ?”

          Maybe he should do a follow up story on that little girl and see if the broken arm he saved her from has ended in her dying miserably from cholera ?

          • Bill 6.1.2.1.1

            Who is the ‘we’ who don’t give a shit?

            Is it the manufactured ‘we’ that is presented to us by media etc that, funnily enough, coincides with the sentiments of elites? Is it the fabricated consensus of ‘we’ that serves to excuse the deleterious effects of capitalist systems? Is it the deliberate smokescreen to perception of ‘we’ that encourages inaction on the grounds that the cause of various horrors are somehow natural, or as the result of specific ethnic or historical ‘fucked uppedness’ and so have nothing whatsoever to do with the dynamics of Capitalism?

            Or is it the real we; us and our neighbours, friends and workmates and the tiny spark deep inside that constitutes the fundamental human sentiment and feeling we hold in spite of the endless propaganda that seeks to nullify us and have us rendered hopeless?

            • pollywog 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Who is the ‘we’ who don’t give a shit?

              ‘we’ as in the majority of registered voters who voted in these clowns and look set to vote them in again next year for lack of a viable alternative…

              if ‘we’ give these pricks another mandate to pull the wool over our eyes again then ‘we’ deserve everything we get shafted with afterwards

              look, it’s one thing to give a shit and another to be fucked doing anything about and it’s not that i don’t give a fuck, it’s that i give too much of one 🙂

    • burt 6.2

      Oh by the way, If everyone buys 3 ha of farm land and lets it return to native bush the NZ people would be soaking up -1.28 metric tonnes of CO2 per year. Then we would each carry enough carbon credit for about 5 Bangladeshi’s.

      Source: http://www.ebex21.co.nz/faq.asp

      How much carbon dioxide is sequestered by a hectare of regenerating native forest?

      This has been estimated for a range of regenerating forest types in New Zealand and also varies with local conditions such as species mixture, temperature and rainfall. On average, across many mixtures and a range of localities, the PFSI uses a default sequestration rate of 3 tonnes CO2e/ha/yr to set the level of AAU allocation.

  7. MrSmith 7

    Lets face it the name less, face less, conscious-less corporations that are running the world plus throw in the deluded religious and the US militarily, this lot don’t like change or loss of profits, I don’t expect any change till it is to late but this time we won’t be able to undo the damage, I am an optimist normally but people mostly want instant gratification or thats what the consumer driven capitalist society would have us believe, we can’t even save for our retirement let alone deal with this. Someone suggested to me stock up on guns and ammunition, I hope it doesn’t come to that, but unless we have a revolution I see little hope for future generations. Bring on the revolution

  8. belladonna 8

    The biggest impact on climate change is caused by livestock – save the plant, go vegan.

  9. MrSmith 9

    Here is a little gem a friend sent me. ‘Corporate sustainability is like teenage sex. Everybody talks about it. Nobody does it very much. And when they do, the don’t do it very well.’ (Joel Makower)

    • pollywog 9.1

      ‘Corporate sustainability is like teenage sex. every old man in his right mind wants to do it but it can cost more than its worth to try’

  10. john 10

    British scientists at Cancun warn that up to a billion people could lose their homes to climate change by the end of this century, refer link:

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/11/28

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    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    4 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    6 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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