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The Speech From The Throne

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, November 27th, 2020 - 21 comments

I’m sure one needs a particular depth of political nerdiness to give a flying fig about such things, but since I am one of those, these are my highlights from the speech from the throne to Parliament this week.

Resiliency politics

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, November 19th, 2020 - 14 comments

With news of more global stressors next year, the stories we tell right now are critical to how we build resiliency. Let’s make sure they are good ones.

No Right Turn: Climate Change – The problem of air travel

Written By: - Date published: 6:02 am, November 19th, 2020 - 147 comments

Until the pandemic, air travel was one of the fastest growing causes of greenhouse gas emissions. And its obscenely unequal, with just 1% of the world’s population causing 50% of the problem:

C’mon Grant

Written By: - Date published: 10:40 am, November 18th, 2020 - 51 comments

This government must demonstrate that it has the ability to lead the New Zealand economy where it has stated it wants it to go. It does not want more headlines like the average house in Auckland now being priced at $1 million.

Powerdown part two

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, November 16th, 2020 - 90 comments

Christchurch transition engineer Susan Krumdieck lays out the realities of the various crises we are facing, and why green tech won’t save us. What can we do instead?

Labour’s new Oceans Ministry

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, November 3rd, 2020 - 23 comments

Jacinda Ardern’s decision to rename the Fisheries Ministery to “Oceans and Fisheries” and install David Parker instead of Stuart Nash shows a welcome desire to protect this most precious of resources.

Business Develops Practical Plan for New Zealand Climate Response

Written By: - Date published: 8:56 am, October 31st, 2020 - 10 comments

The Sustainable Business Council has released a list of priorities for the new government.  And they are pretty good.

Justice Coney Barrett appears to be a climate change denier

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, October 28th, 2020 - 10 comments

Newly appointed Republican and Trump supported Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett is not convinced that humans are changing the world’s climate.  Meanwhile China and Japan are convinced and have announced dates by which time they intend to be carbon neutral.

NZ election 2020: Labour win is a watershed moment in the country’s history

Written By: - Date published: 12:27 am, October 20th, 2020 - 47 comments

The 2020 election was more than just a victory for Labour and more than a crushing defeat for the National Party (New Zealand’s main centre-right political party). This result marks a significant watershed in New Zealand politics which will likely have implications long after this parliamentary term.

This should have been the climate election

Written By: - Date published: 10:35 am, October 16th, 2020 - 30 comments

A new Ministry for the Environment report on New Zealand and the climate crisis is sobering. If you haven’t voted, climate is still by far New Zealand’s biggest challenge, and it’s the Greens that have the plan for what to do.

About the Greens…

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, October 15th, 2020 - 74 comments

Here’s the thing about the Greens. They want change. They want change more than they want power. I think that they fully understand that we are out of time on climate, poverty, the environment and now is the time to act boldly.

Greens: will push for more climate action to match the scale of the crisis

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, October 14th, 2020 - 12 comments

“The Green Party welcomes Labour’s commitment to reduce climate emissions in the next term of Government, but would go further and faster to address the true scale of the crisis.”

Labour Increases Protection for Kauri Dieback

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, October 10th, 2020 - 10 comments

In an announcement that will probably gain them few extra votes but still warms the cockles, Labour have promised to put Kauri Dieback on the same scale of national disease response as Bovine Tuberculosis and Kiwifruit PSA.

The NZ Defence Force and extreme fire events

Written By: - Date published: 6:08 am, October 7th, 2020 - 19 comments

This Guest Post by The Scud looks at the issues with the NZ Defence Force’s capability in responding to extreme fire events and climate change.

Meanwhile, the climate crisis

Written By: - Date published: 11:56 am, October 4th, 2020 - 44 comments

A large wildfire has destroyed many homes in the village of Ohau in the Mackenzie Country, and hundreds of people have been evacuated.

No Right Turn: The transport policy we need

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, September 30th, 2020 - 40 comments

All of these policies will get fossil cars off the roads, reducing emissions. 

So much for the climate change consensus

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, September 25th, 2020 - 39 comments

Ten months ago National supported the Zero Carbon Bill and called for a consensus between the major political parties on the overall framework through which climate change issues are addressed.  This week National trashed all of that to try and shore up its sagging support.

The Greens on urban farming

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, September 24th, 2020 - 25 comments

This is exactly the kind of approach the Green Party would like to encourage – it’s strategic, it’s intergenerational and it recognises the interconnectedness of our people, the environment and local communities.

What is this regenerative agriculture thing anyway?

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 am, September 13th, 2020 - 32 comments

Given the state of New Zealand land and water, changing how we do farming should be a strong political topic for the left this year. The Greens and Greenpeace are campaigning for a shift to regenerative agriculture, so it’s timely to look at what that is.

National’s infrastructure bank

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, September 11th, 2020 - 21 comments

National’s proposed Infrastructure Bank is an accounting trick, with very high risks that the entire power of our political order for anyone affected by these monster projects will weaken citizens’ rights.

How has Conservation Fared Under This Government?

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, September 10th, 2020 - 39 comments

I’m going to give this government just 5 out of 10 on the conservation front.

Will our cities revive?

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, September 5th, 2020 - 43 comments

Our cities are the nation’s lungs; they recycle and accelerate external goods and transform them internally into faster circulation. Auckland and Christchurch have had tens of billions invested in them over successive local and central governments, but has this improved our strength or wealth as a country at all?

Labour’s Hefty Carrot-And-Stick For Water

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, August 31st, 2020 - 16 comments

New Zealand’s local and regional councils have been given until August 31 2020 to sign up to a ginormous fund that would help them improve their water, wastewater, and stormwater systems.  The implications for them doing this are significant and could see the end of Council control of the supply of water.

 

Greenland ice sheet is disintegrating

Written By: - Date published: 4:48 pm, August 28th, 2020 - 34 comments

For the last 30 years, earth scientists have been warning that Greenland was nearing a tipping point into complete disintegration. Now authors of a new study published in Nature has claimed that, even if the climate now reverted to the levels where it was stable a few decades ago, that would still happen. It is now clear that the IPCC worst case for Greenland is what is now being observed.

If National wins the hope for clean water and swimmable rivers will be gone by lunchtime

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, August 27th, 2020 - 40 comments

National has promised that if it gains power rules designed to improve water quality in our streams and rivers will be “gone by lunchtime.

Yale does socialist medicine with new covid test

Written By: - Date published: 11:07 am, August 20th, 2020 - 15 comments

Yale have developed a covid saliva test that is not only effective but will be intentionally cheap and easily available.

What Might A Democratic Party-Dominated U.S. Foreign Policy Do?

Written By: - Date published: 1:02 pm, August 19th, 2020 - 24 comments

Inasmuch as tiny, distant New Zealand need worry about the foreign policy of the United States, it’s worth a drill into what a Democratic Party dominated United States foreign policy might look like.

Covid-19 vs 1918 influenza

Written By: - Date published: 5:29 pm, August 15th, 2020 - 67 comments

Reading a number of articles in the NZ Herald in recent days calling for change in how we handle outbreaks of covid-19 in NZ. The implied precept is the damage covid-19 poses to the population of NZ over time is less than the immediate economic damage. That covid-19 is like the flu and results in herd immunity. However it is far worse than the influenza pandemic of 1918, much longer lasting and we probably won’t reach herd immunity naturally for generations. 

The top seven things Covid has changed

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, August 14th, 2020 - 47 comments

Covid has fundamentally changed society for the better in surprising ways.

Covid recovery and bouncing forward

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, August 10th, 2020 - 21 comments

Central to the Transition movement from the outset has been the idea of resilience. Usually framed as the ability to ‘bounce back’, it is seen in the Transition movement as being better imagined as the capacity to ‘bounce forward’, i.e. to use it as the opportunity to move forward to something better. How then to ‘bounce forward’ from COVID-19 in such a way that we also move to a way of doing things consistent with the scale of the climate crisis?

The fragility of our food supply

Written By: - Date published: 11:11 am, August 6th, 2020 - 98 comments

As climate, ecological, pandemic and neoliberal pressures put our food security at risk, we can take heart from the many people who have been developing and practicing sustainable and resilient food growing.

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