Climate change change vs scaremongering

Written By: - Date published: 1:19 pm, December 11th, 2016 - 31 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment - Tags: , , ,

I’ve been arguing for a while that Guy McPherson is as much a problem as Climate Change deniers. I won’t read his work now for a number of reasons. It is scaremongering at its worst and I don’t need to be more alarmed about CC than I already am. My time is better spent talking and writing about what we can do. McPherson is essentially proselytising the end of the world and how we should enjoy it, and the danger in that (a serious danger IMO) is that it encourages people who are finding change too difficult to just give up, or worse, have a party that makes the ship go down when we might still have a chance to save it. I also object to his position because he states his opinion as fact. He doesn’t know that the world is ending, he believes it is. It’s dishonest to confuse those two things.

Let me be clear, the situation we are in is very serious and we should be doing everything we can to mitigate and then adapt to CC. It’s the most important issue of all time. So please don’t take my views on McPherson as a statement that everything is going to be alright. I’m instead pointing to the damage that can be done when we scare people too much and they stop acting.

I also have to say that I don’t particularly care about the maths, because personally I’m already convinced we are in serious shit and arguing about the maths is like trying to measure the temperature of the house fire while there are people still inside. I’m sure some will debate that in the article below Renwick is too conservative, with an intentional or unintentional implication that McPherson must be right. My concern here isn’t so much with the maths, as what gives us the best chance of mitigating the worst effects of CC? Is it telling people we’re all going to die? Or is it giving people the information, skills and pathways they need in order to proactively effect change? – weka.

The following is a post from Hot Topic by climate scientist James Renwick, who attended one of McPherson’s recent lectures in NZ. It puts McPherson’s claims in the context of current climate science, and makes some points about where McPherson is getting it wrong.

Guy McPherson and the end of humanity (not)

Is climate change going to wipe out humanity over the next 10 years? Prof Jim Renwick doesn’t think so…

Ecologist Guy McPherson has been touring New Zealand for the past couple of weeks, explaining why humanity has only 10 years to live (a kind-of Ziggy message that has immediate appeal to me). After his appearance on the Paul Henry breakfast show, I was called by TV3/Newshub for comment. Based on my understanding of climate change science I said that though the situation is very serious — dire even — extinction in 10 years is not going to happen. When I gave my remarks to Newshub, I knew little about McPherson but I understood that he is a very knowledgeable biologist who should not be dismissed lightly.

So, what’s the story? Is McPherson right? Is the IPCC woefully conservative and keeping the truth from us all? I had the opportunity to hear Prof McPherson speak in Paraparaumu on Saturday (Dec 10th) to get more insight into what his views really are. It was a very interesting presentation, and a very interesting discussion with the audience of 50-odd Kāpiti coasters who showed up to hear him. As the old saying goes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. What we heard was extraordinary for sure, but was not too convincing in terms of evidence.

McPherson’s presentation was as much philosophy as science. Much of his message is built around the undeniable truth that we are all, one day, going to die. Hence, we would do well to live in and for the present, express our love to those close to us, and act rightly according to our own beliefs and principles. Excellent advice, and a great philosophy for living well, what you would be told in any number of “life-coaching” books. Where he differs from most is in saying that all of us, i.e. all of humanity, and most other species, will be extinct in 10 years or so. Why is that, you might ask?

The detail on his view of the climate system can be gained by reading his “monster climate change essay”. A briefer overview, and what he bases much of the scientific side of his presentation on, comes from a blog postat the Arctic-News blogspot site,  written by “Sam Carana” (not his or her real name – you know why). This piece suggests that the globe will warm around 10°C in the next decade, and since such warming was associated with mass extinctions in past epochs, humanity and most vertebrates etc will be toast very soon.

The blog post starts by assuming the February 2016 global mean temperature represents the current average temperature of the earth, then throws in another 0.8°C for pre-1900 (0.3°C) and unavoidable future (0.5°C) warming. This is pushing it, as February was the warmest single month on record (in difference from normal terms), several tenths of a degree above the annual mean for 2016, and the amount of unavoidable future warming is small (maybe 0.1°C?), should greenhouse gas emissions stop now.

However, the next steps are where McPherson’s grasp of the science seems shakiest. Cutting aerosol pollution to zero (as would happen when and if industrial society falls over) will unmask another 2.5°C of warming. This is a factor of ten too large, as the actual amount would be around 0.25°C by current best estimates (see figure 10.5). Reduced planetary reflectivity (albedo) from loss of Arctic ice will add another 1.6°C (perhaps in the Arctic, but not in the global mean), plus the water vapour feedback, seafloor methane release etc will add an extra 3.5°C. So that’s another 7.5°C on top of essentially where we are at now, giving a total of about 10°C warming compared to pre-industrial, assumed to happen in the next 10 years. Then, all the world’s nuclear reactors melt down, and we are all extinct.

The way Guy McPherson talks about water vapour shows his sketchy grasp of atmospheric physics. He states that most of the water vapour in the atmosphere is above 6km altitude, where it “acts like a lens” to heat the earth. Most of the water vapour is actually in the lowest few kilometres of the atmosphere, as the upper troposphere is too cold to support much water vapour. Perhaps he’s thinking of the release of latent heat in the tropics, which does occur mostly in the upper troposphere, leading to a warming “hot spot” in the tropical upper troposphere as greenhouse gas concentrations rise (See AR5 WG1, figure 12.12).

Water vapour is of course a critically important part of the climate change story and is the main amplifying feedback of greenhouse gas increase. McPherson is trained as an ecologist, so it’s no surprise that he isn’t totally on top of the vertical profile of water vapour in the atmosphere. But, if your public profile depends on your image as an authority on “global warming”, you would do well to be clear on the science.

Now, the potential consequences of climate change, and the lurking feedbacks such as Arctic methane release and other carbon cycle changes, are an extremely serious concern, one that I think the governments of the world have yet to really take on board. The risks of severe food and water shortages, population displacements and conflict over resources, already has the potential to endanger hundreds of millions of lives – even with another degree or two of warming (as outlined in the last IPCC report). But truly catastrophic and extremely rapid climate changes do not look to be on the cards, at all. Earth’s climate is not poised for “runaway” change (as per Venus), nor is there any clear indication from the geological record that the climate system is so sensitive to greenhouse gas increase that 10°C of warming in 10 years is imminent, or even possible. The climate community of course does not know everything about past climate change nor about what the climate system is capable of if pushed hard. But, the extinction in 10 years scenario is really at the outer edge of speculation about the future.

Even without imminent extinction, the consequences of climate change are more than dire enough to galvanise us into action. My perception is that concerted global action within the next decade can avoid the worst consequences. The flip side is that business as usual, even for another ten years, could lock in changes that do indeed put global society at risk and threaten possibly hundreds of millions to billions of lives. Not instant death but a very unpleasant future for a very long time. I find that prospect plenty scary enough, and it leaves room for us to take action. Let’s take it.

Gareth adds: McPherson’s views are a good example of real climate “alarmism”. Deniers love to paint the IPCC or consensus position on climate change as alarmist, thereby implying that their rejection of that consensus is somehow sensible or moderate. McPherson’s stance shows that to be a mere debating trick. The truth, of course, is that by rejecting the consensus view on what we can expect, deniers are as extreme as McPherson — polar opposites, but just as guilty of exaggeration.

31 comments on “Climate change change vs scaremongering”

  1. weka 1

    A couple of articles from scientists refuting McPherson’s work (in 2014), from a comment in the Hot Topic post,

    http://planet3.org/2014/03/13/mcphersons-evidence-that-doom-doom-doom/

    https://fractalplanet.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/how-guy-mcpherson-gets-it-wrong/

  2. Macro 2

    Thanks for posting this weka.
    As you are aware – my thoughts on the matter of MacPherson’s claims fall much in line with those of Jim Renwick and Gareth Renowden above.
    Further to the above article on the misconceptions of MacPherson it is important to state that he bases his outlandish claims on a misunderstanding of feedback loops. His “thesis” is based upon the misconception that feedbacks are multiplicative, and true there are many differnt feedbacks in the climate system – both positive and negative, but he claims that they have a multiplying effect on each other which is clearly erroneous, as their effect are not multiplicative but additive – and that is a big difference.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Feedback loops have an exponential nature:

      When the loop gain is positive and above 1, there will typically be exponential growth, increasing oscillations, chaotic behavior or other divergences from equilibrium.

      • Macro 2.1.1

        The feedback maybe exponential as you say – but that is not argument that MacPherson is making. There are numerous feedbacks (Water vapour, artic methane, albelio etc) – and his thesis is based upon a belief that they interact multiplicatively whereas they do not.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          Does that mean that if take phenomena 1 and phenomena 2, they will each have the same effects together that they would alone, whereas GM is arguing that you get double (or whatever) the effect of each because they are happening together?

          • Macro 2.1.1.1.1

            Yes essentially that is the case. By doing this he calculates a 10 degree increase in global surface temperatures in 10 years. That is obviously an outlandlish claim. And as Jim Renwick notes in his post on Hot Topic; inflates each forcing in some cases by a factor of 10 – eg the elimination of aerosols. He gets these figures by incorrectly misinterpreting the nature of feedbacks. He is an ecologist – not a physicist. However even ecologists need to understand the physics.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          It’s entirely possible that they will interact multiplicatively rather additively.

          It’s a complex system of relationships. An increase in one could result in a multiplicative increase in another.

          Personally, I’d expect it to be a proportional change and that is always multiplicative although most like measured in decimals of less than one. Added together they then, overall, be greater than one and at that point we have an exponential increase.

          No, I don’t think that things are as bad as McPherson thinks but I also don’t think things are as optimistic as the IPCC reports either.

        • Given that CC itself is exponential in nature, even additive feedbacks are a huge problem.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2

        Climatologists use the term to describe different phenomena than the one described by sound engineers. Even jargon depends on context.

        There was a post or comment about this on Realclimate some years ago – I’ll try and find a link…. to no avail. In any event, the terms are not interchangable:

        Climate change feedback (Wikipedia).

  3. Bill 3

    I don’t really care about McPherson. As someone said in a thread hereabouts, he’s the carbon copy negative of a denier.

    And as you know, I kind of do care about the numbers (eg – the available carbon budget and what not) . But anyway, putting all of that aside, something worth throwing in is that there seem to be a large number of people who don’t act because they believe we (or they) will be able to adapt as stuff ‘comes down the line’.

    And that’s the scary one for me; this idea of, or faith in simple adaptation.

    Even if we are of a mind to find it acceptable for those in temperate regions (us) to adapt to an average global surface temp increase of (say) 2 degrees even as that average surface temp increase makes living impossible for however many millions in equatorial or tropical regions, by the time we act on the basis of that immediate and impacting 2 degrees scenario, there will be another x degrees of warming locked in. And sure, maybe we adapt to that additional temperature too. But by then there’s another x degrees of warming locked in.

    And this is putting any feedback loops to one side. But there seems to be a kind of Peter Principle implicit to the idea of adaptation because of the lag time in warming.

    So whereas in management terms, the Peter Principle suggests that employees only stop being promoted once they can no longer perform effectively, and “managers rise to the level of their incompetence.” – relying on adaptation to survive likely CC we (or some lucky few in the right place) adapt right up until the situation we find ourselves in is beyond adaptation.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle

  4. AB 4

    McPherson is a gift to the CC deniers. He gives their accusations of alarmism some credibility.

  5. johnm 5

    Canadian Climate Scientist, Paul Beckwith says we’re in a climate emergency.He believes we must:

    1. Stop all emissions now
    2. Geoengineer the Arctic to stop its melting
    3.Start direct CO2 removal from the atmosphere asap.

    Peter Wadhams also advocates we must do 2 and 3

    Can’t see it happening though, we certainly will continue on our merry way with BAU and eventually CO2 will get to 450ppm.

    https://paulbeckwith.net/

  6. Andre 6

    Something I find really disappointing is when discussion starts about a specific mitigation measure such as a carbon tax, there are always poo-poohers jumping in to say we shouldn’t be dreaming about it because it’s not enough on it’s own to solve the problem.

    There is no magic bullet, there’s just the sum of a lot of different mitigation measures we can do now, a lot of development of new mitigation measures, and a lot of adaptation we won’t be able to avoid. How much and how expensive the third one will be depends on how serious we get about the first two.

    • Bill 6.1

      Too many people put far too much store by carbon pricing. And the studies show, conclusively, that a price on carbon as a central plank to any mitigation policy…well, it’s akin to standing on a train track and walking down the tracks ‘away’ from the train. Doesn’t even really buy much time.

  7. Red Hand 7

    Walk, cycle or use public transport
    Reduce meat, fish and dairy consumption (or stop eating them)
    Grow vegetables and fruit trees
    Turn off the lights, get rid of TV, dishwasher, dryer, heat pump, motor mower, leaf blower, hedge and string trimmers
    Reduce or stop air travel overseas
    When travelling stay in a homestay, camping ground or apartment
    Go boating in a sailboat
    Avoid supermarkets
    Avoid packaged goods
    Get a big, well made kete and use it

    • b waghorn 7.1

      and hope like fuck science comes up with a fix because 7 billion humans and climbing says that we art going to learn the hard way what happens when you ignore cause and effect.

  8. Andre 8

    Some interesting thoughts If Tillerson (ExxonMobil CEO) gets the nod for Secretary of State it will open up opportunities to publicize how they’ve been deceitful about climate change since the 70s at least

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamie-henn/trumps-pick-of-rex-tiller_b_13552612.html

  9. The Pants Of Doom 9

    When are we going to face up to the population issue?

    It’s time we made having children considerably more expensive. We do not need more humans. This is going to be a very hard call but someone needs to make it.

    Turning off appliances is not going to cut it.

  10. Pat 10

    if nothing else McPherson at least got climate change on the news and on the home pages of the daily newspapers for a few days……no mean feat in the current environment.

  11. Incognito 11

    A different perspective on climate (change) and possibly off-topic, but only ever so slightly IMHO, and a very interesting read:

    http://sciblogs.co.nz/guestwork/2016/12/10/ice-ages-earths-wobbly-orbit/

    If I had to put money on it, I’d say the Earth has experienced its last ice age for a very, very long time.

  12. CnrJoe 12

    did any of you even see how fast the last tens went bye?

  13. Sabine 13

    i just came across this at the site of the great orange satan aka Dkos.

    A diary about winter in Iceland that apparently never came this year.

    http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/12/10/1609543/-The-Sun-Has-Gone-But-Winter-Never-Came-A-hike-amongst-snowless-mountains-near-Reykjav-k

    but other then that all is well.

  14. Venezia 14

    Jim Renwick states ” My perception is that concerted global action within the next decade can avoid the worst consequences.” But are those with power to take ” concerted global action” coming anywhere close to this? The Paris agreement can hardly be decsribed as “concerted global action”. Thats the worry. For those with the power, retaining that political power and the focus on economic “growth” are the antithesis of what is needed.

  15. Seemorerocks 16

    Renwick’s science is at least 10’years out-of-date and hopekessly inaccurate. You don’t have to accept the near-term extinction but you can’t fault his science . Every statement is supported by scientific research that is at least up-to-date.

    How about doing something radical and start with reality and then sort out your response.

    Here is Prof. McPhersons response to Renwick

    http://youtu.be/tBjGYBmppg4

    • johnm 17.1

      Right at the end of Guy McPherson’s NZ tour Prof. James Renwick of Victoria University turned up and introduced himself. Instead of checking out the up-to-date references provided to him Renwick wrote a hit piece relying on grossly out-of-date information from the 4th IPCC Report.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Housing report earns Nats the red card
    National’s failure to acknowledge and fix the housing crisis will be their legacy. Labour will tackle the housing crisis head-on, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    4 days ago
  • Sluggish growth reflects nine years of drift from National
    Today’s GDP figures reflect an economy that the National Government has allowed to drift along on the basis of growing population rather than improving productivity and adding value, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is important to recognise that ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s campaign of deception an affront to democracy
    Voters this week have a clear choice between Labour’s optimism and honesty, or rewarding National’s campaign of relentless lies, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Day after day National has been deliberately spreading lies about Labour, our intentions and what ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s economy scorecard: D for drift
    New Zealand’s economy is failing the very people it is supposed to uplift, characterised by stalled productivity, exports going backwards and a Government content to let it drift, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Voters have a clear choice ...
    5 days ago
  • Another day – another health crisis
    News today that the emergency department at Waikato has turned 180 patients away is another crisis for the Government and its besieged health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “It’s astonishing that the Government has had to rely on ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on loan sharks
      Labour will take a tough stance on loan sharks and make sure that the Commerce Commission is properly resourced to protect Kiwi consumers, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson Michael Wood.   “People on low incomes must be protected from ...
    5 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    6 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts when kids go hungry shows National’s lack of moral compass
    National’s campaign of tax cuts that give $400 million to the top 10 per cent of earners, at a time when 120 Kiwi kids every year are being hospitalised for malnutrition, shows they have lost their moral compass, says Labour’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Freight being shifted off planes as fuel crisis worsens
    Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash. “It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is ...
    6 days ago
  • Apologise now Jonathan
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman must apologise for his part in a $2.3 billion shortfall that has contributed to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “All the Minister could say in an interview this morning ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s health report card shows need for new plan
    From increased GP fees, to kids getting sick from cold homes, to denial of important surgeries, National’s underfunding of health has hurt Kiwi families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.   “It’s time to invest in the health of ...
    6 days ago
  • Eye clinic wait downright dangerous
    The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “These people are entitled to the reassurance that if ...
    6 days ago
  • National has serious questions to answer over Auckland fuel crisis
    Thousands of air travellers looking for answers to Auckland Airport’s fuel crisis should be demanding the National Government come clean over its failure to secure fuel supply for the airport, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “There are serious questions the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on trade before the election
    In the two days before the election, New Zealand MFAT negotiators will attend a negotiations meeting in Japan on the successor to the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now called the TPP-11. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy but we ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • National unravels on transport
    The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy
    The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker.  “OIAs revealed on ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour supporting Te Reo Māori in schools
    Labour will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations, says Labour’s Deputy Leader and Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Labour will commit to a target that ...
    1 week ago
  • Is National planning a secret fuel tax?
    Sources suggest National is considering a secret fuel tax to fund its controversial Roads of National Significance (RONS) programme, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood. “While the Government keeps up its stream of lies about Labour’s tax policy, sources indicate ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity
    Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system
    Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. "Today ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Flavell’s fake news an insult to Māori voters
    A desperate Te Ururoa Flavell has resorted to fake news about Labour’s position on his unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s tax cuts reckless and irresponsible
    It is time for Bill English and Steven Joyce to stop the scaremongering and lies, and front up to New Zealanders about the impact of their tax cuts, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Bill English has no credibility on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Calculator shows Labour’s Families Package delivers
    Labour has launched a new online calculator that show how much extra families with kids will get from Labour’s Families Package, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Families can go to www.labour.org.nz/calculator and see how much better off they ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s identity through Labour’s media and film policy
    Labour has today launched its media and film policy aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s identity and providing sustainability for the industry, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in parents and babies
    Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes and state houses in Hawke’s Bay
    Labour will build a mix of 240 affordable KiwiBuild starter homes for first home buyers and state homes for families in need in Napier and Hastings, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “In 2016, the populations of Napier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges more for Whānau Ora
    Labour will strengthen the oversight of Whānau Ora and provide an extra $20 million over four years to improve outcomes for whānau and families, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis.    “We’ve created a new position of Whānau Ora Reviewer ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s housing band aid
    Throwing subsidies at an under-supplied housing market is one last desperate bid by National to be seen to do something about the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “First home buyers have been the collateral damage of National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing, families, education and environment top priorities in Labour’s first 100 days
    Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges to unlock funding for Te Hiku sports hub project
    The Labour Government will inject nearly $3 million into the Te Hiku Sports Hub project, to help realise a much-needed health and recreational facility for the Far North, says Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan to get job seekers into better work
    Labour will provide real support for people looking for work by increasing the amount of money someone can earn before their benefit begins to reduce, reinstating training incentives, and putting a renewed focus on upskilling and training, says Labour’s Social ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour sets strong target and plan for climate action
    Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are education cuts missing in National’s Fiscal Plan?
    National needs to explain why its plans for cuts to school transport have not been announced in its fiscal plan, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.   “Buried in the Pre-election Budget update is a $5m a year cut to ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joyce must come clean on Health and Education funding
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell them whether he will fund health and education to meet increasing cost pressures, or risk seeing services cut and costs increase for parents, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis is National’s legacy
    Reports of tenants languishing in boarding houses for years because they cannot get a state house is yet more evidence National’s legacy is the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We used to pride ourselves in this country ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour calls for release of report into civil defence flaws
    The National Government must stick by its word given to other political parties and release a technical report before the election addressing critical flaws in New Zealand’s civil defence capability, Labour Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran said today.  “Cross party ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Credibility shot as Government runs out of steam
    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Steven Joyce must apologise to New Zealand
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and apologise for his patently false and cynical attack on Labour’s Fiscal Plan, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Every respected economic commentator has come out and said that Labour’s Fiscal ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Bill English didn’t answer because the Oreti is badly polluted
    Last night Bill English was asked by Paddy Gower in the Leader’s Debate: “Which river did he swim in as a kid, and is it now polluted?” Bill English named the Oreti River, but did not answer whether it is ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Nats put out dodgy numbers – again
    National’s promise to increase the number of elective surgeries to 200,000 is bizarre, given Jonathan Coleman has claimed 200,000 electives are already being performed, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s Award to encourage young people into trades training
    Labour will introduce a $2,000 award for the best pupil in vocational courses in each public secondary school, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We know there’s huge demand for trades workers, particularly in the building sector, where construction ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Not another Nick Smith wild goose chase
    Only the election on September 23 can save the country and the RMA from Nick Smith, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    3 weeks ago