Climate change – the final final warning

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, March 22nd, 2023 - 78 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, greens, labour, national, same old national, science - Tags:

This year we have seen two storms batter Tamaki Makaurau and the East Coast of the North Island, atmospheric rivers dump huge amounts of water on California, snow in Los Angeles, and extreme flooding in parts of Australia.

And this is during a La Nina phase.  A predicted El Nino phase this year could see temperature records being shattered.  From Damian Carrington at the Guardian:

We are clearly now in the midst of a climate change crisis.  Years of warnings have not been heeded and humanity has blundered on in its quest to trash our environment in the pursuit of profit and materialism.

And we are running out of time if we want to avoid the worst of what a changed environment could pose to humanity.  The IPCC has delivered a very blunt warning that we are out of time.  From Fiona Harvey at the Guardian:

Scientists have delivered a “final warning” on the climate crisis, as rising greenhouse gas emissions push the world to the brink of irrevocable damage that only swift and drastic action can avert.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), made up of the world’s leading climate scientists, set out the final part of its mammoth sixth assessment report on Monday.

The comprehensive review of human knowledge of the climate crisis took hundreds of scientists eight years to compile and runs to thousands of pages, but boiled down to one message: act now, or it will be too late.

The UN secretary general, António Guterres, said: “This report is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe. Our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once.”

In sober language, the IPCC set out the devastation that has already been inflicted on swathes of the world. Extreme weather caused by climate breakdown has led to increased deaths from intensifying heatwaves in all regions, millions of lives and homes destroyed in droughts and floods, millions of people facing hunger, and “increasingly irreversible losses” in vital ecosystems.

Monday’s final instalment, called the synthesis report, is almost certain to be the last such assessment while the world still has a chance of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the threshold beyond which our damage to the climate will rapidly become irreversible.

The responses has been mixed.  National chose to mark the release of the most terrifying IPCC report that I have ever seen by launching a tax cut calculator.  And climate change continues to not appear in its list of priorities.

Groundswell continued to display its scientific ineptitude by suggesting that biogenic methane is different to other forms of methane.  Clearly they think that we can continue to have meat rich diets and modern farming practices and cut emissions.  Both need to change and fast.

Chris Hipkins continues to try and have a bob each way.

From One News:

Speaking on Breakfast, [Hipkins and Green Co leader James Shaw] emphasised that the current Government had done more for emissions reductions than any other in the past 30 years.

“That’s not to say there’s not a lot more work to be done,” Hipkins added. “don’t accept that we’re lagging behind. I accept that we’ve got a big challenge ahead.”

But the PM stressed he was running a “responsible government” and that there was a focus on the “most cost-effective way” to reduce emissions and fight climate change.

He said climate change was “one of the major areas of focus” for his government.

“I don’t accept that it’s an either-or. It is possible to reduce carbon emissions and still have cost-of-living front and centre of the government’s focus,” he said.

This is a difficult tight rope to manage.  If being more aggressive on climate change makes a government unelectable then we have a problem.  But Climate Tracker considers New Zealand’s response to be highly insufficient.  It is no secret that progressive activists believe that more is required.

And the Greens have expressed concerns.  Again from One News:

“You know, every relationship has its ups and downs. And obviously, in any governmental arrangement, you don’t agree on everything,” he said of his relationship with Labour.

Shaw said: “I’m very proud of the work that we have done over the course of the last five and a half years… Things are changing. They’re just not changing at the scale and the speed with which we need them to change.”

The Climate Change Minister pointed to the Government’s achievements on legislated emissions targets and the clean car discount as examples of success.

He said the new IPCC report was a warning for countries to “lift our game”.

“I think every country, including our own, does need to take it on board and to say that we need to lift our game,” he said. “Particularly to make sure that we’re actually delivering on the commitments that we’ve already made.”

The Greens have indicated a more aggressive stance taken in this election and have dubbed it the climate change election.

I expect that we will see a more muscular Green campaign where they will seek to differentiate themselves from Labour every chance they can get.

Meanwhile media continues to highlight heated disputes about cycleways.  We really need to get to a stage very soon where we accept that private car use is severely curtailed, and every alternative option, be it walking, cycling or public transport or remote working.

But we are running out of time.  Tick tock tick tock …

78 comments on “Climate change – the final final warning ”

  1. Ad 1

    In precisely this context, why hasn't Labour's blatant breaking of the Cooperation Agreement not generated the fall of this government?

    Hipkins has trashed most of the policies Shaw cares about:

    "A. Achieving the purpose and goals of the Zero Carbon Act through decarbonising public transport, decarbonising the public sector, increasing the uptake of zero-emission vehicles, introducing clean car standards, and supporting the use of renewable energy for industrial heat."

    … as well as ruthlessly sidelining Shaw on the biggest climate event we've had since the 1878 Clutha flood.

    Also Hipkins has just trashed the process part of the Agreement, namely:

    "18. On the areas of cooperation set out in this agreement, or other matters as agreed, the parties commit to undertaking political consultation between the responsible Minister and the appropriate spokesperson. This process will also apply to Green Party Ministerial portfolio matters.

    1. This process, which will be agreed between the parties and set out in a Cabinet Office Circular, will cover: A. the initial policy development, including access to relevant papers and drafts of legislation, B. the development of Cabinet Papers, C. the public communication of the policy to acknowledge the role of the Green Party."

    The policies were trashed on the bonfire of expediency and Shaw and Davidson appeared to barely whimper.

    If this had happened to NZFirst we would be in a snap election by now.

    The only reason the Greens aren't getting traction into the 12-15% range like Act is, is because James Shaw is weak and is the wrong leader for the party. The party came close to firing him last year.

    Shaw is the wrong leader for the climate change moment we are now in. The Greens need at least 10% and Shaw needs to do the Andrew Little now.

    • That_guy 1.1

      I take your points, but the Greens do not have the power to call a snap election or bring down the government. I am an admitted Shaw fanboy because he's never made it about himself. I think he's taken the attitude that someone has to dive into the swamp and lay some groundwork and get something done, because the alternative is ideological purity but no action. And when you dive into the swamp you end up smelling like shit, but like I said, he hasn't made it about him.

      But I do wonder if he's the right person going forward. For one thing he looks exhausted. But who do you think would be the best replacement?

      • Ad 1.1.1

        The stuff Shaw has achieved has long since been banked by the electorate.

        The good alternative is Chloe.

        • That_guy

          Can't. Greens have a constitutional obligation to have a female and "non-female" co-leader. So unless Chloe suddenly identifies as a man or non-binary then she can only replace Marama, not James.

          But that aside I agree she wouldn’t be the worst choice.

    • That_guy 1.2

      I also don't think Shaw is the reason the Greens aren't on 12-15%, or at least isn't the only reason. I think that's because the Greens are all-in on identity politics and voters just don't like it that much. And some of their politics are toxic to politically aware left-wing women, who are a core Green demographic. But my views on this are well known so I won't go on about it.

      • Ad 1.2.1

        If the Greens can't make better than 10% after the worst climate impact we've had, they should fold up and go home.

        Labour are rising and now have 4 polls on National. So Labour are fully doing their part, unlike the Greens.

        Green's competitors are Act and they lost their lead against Act in March 2021. That matters if the Greens want to make any more difference in Parliament.

        And no one owes the Greens their vote. They have to persuade.

        • That_guy

          I agree.

        • weka

          If Labour can't take meaningful action on climate while a majority government, they should fold up and go home.

          Macho politics won't get us out of the dilemma. Understanding the values of each party and their strengths as well as their weaknesses might.

          • Ad

            Bullshit. Most of politics is about winning. Losers are content with 8%. That's how they lose government.

            Green supporters who are content with the Green leadership show they just don't have the strength to change anything.

            • weka

              That's just more macho posturing that demonstrates a profound lack of understanding of how the Greens work.

              And needless to say, the whole politics/losers framing is the system that is not addressing climate. Own goal there.

              If you think the Greens are necessary for climate action and they need more MPs to do that, then join the party and vote on the processes that matter. Important ones coming up this year.

      • Shanreagh 1.2.2

        I agree. I won't go on either but I'm not a fan of the Greens identity politics and so am unlikely to vote for them (again) should Labour and its 'National Lite' posturing not snap out of it.

        While the 'Don't vote it only encourages them' was a popular slogan when younger I am trying find a place for my vote

        If I could I would vote for Te Pati Maori but I will have to wait for when & if they contest some General seats.

  2. arkie 2

    This is a difficult tight rope to manage. If being more aggressive on climate change makes a government unelectable then we have a problem. But Climate Tracker considers New Zealand’s response to be highly insufficient. It is no secret that progressive activists believe that more is required.

    The evidence shows that more people want more action, not more tight rope walking by Labour:

    54% want more urgency in climate action

    • Ad 2.1

      Really. The student climate protest right after the floods last month was risible.

      The farmer protest against 3 Waters with tractors gave National the courage to keep trying to kill 3 Waters off, and they won.

      The last big climate movement we've had peaked in the September 2019 and helped Shaw's legislation get through. Since then fuck all really.

      • That_guy 2.1.1

        As has been pointed out before by Advantage on this blog, SS4C attendance dropped by 90% after SS4C Auckland decided to throw their toys out of the cot and embrace identity politics by declaring themselves racist and disbanding. Obviously not the only factor, and I don't think it's the responsibility of the kids anyway, but still. Something to think about.


        • weka

          we also had a pandemic which is still going on and everyone is pretending it's not.

          What Auckland SS4C showed was how fragile the climate activist sector is on mass protests.

          At this point it's everyone's responsibility.

          • That_guy

            True, except I actually don't think it's the kids responsibility. I mean, I think it's great that they are protesting but it's also a sign of failure, because they shouldn't have to, they should just be able to be kids. They should be able to spend their time kicking the shit out of each other on a soccer pitch and comparing their Pokemon collections. Normal kid stuff.

            • weka

              we should all be able to do that.

              In human history, children are part of the tribe and have to pitch in when shit is going down as well as regular life. Besides, it's resiliency training and kids are going need that more than most.

              • That_guy

                I just think telling them that they have to help the adults save the planet is a heavy burden for some little shoulders. Kids take that literally. We have a youth mental health crisis as it is. And they really don't have any of the power anyway.

                I'll always support SS4C in whatever form it takes, but realistically we shouldn't need it. It's our job, not theirs.

                • weka

                  Teens have power. Messages that they don't have power is part of the mental health crisis.

                  I marched against the Tour at 15, it was incredibly empowering and it's part of why I know we can win now.

                  • weka

                    I do however think that attending to people's climate anxiety, depression and despair is urgent. All ages.

                  • That_guy

                    Yes, that is a fair point. I guess it's a fine line between empowering kids and laying too much responsibility on the shoulders of kids.

                    • weka

                      I think that can be partially resolved by honesty and teaching kids resiliency skills. The shit coming down the line is something we cannot protect them from and the days of carefree childhoods are coming to an end. But I agree there is a line and we should be giving kids as much support and time to enjoy their lives as possible.

                  • Roy Cartland

                    Totally, I marched against the tour at age 6; I understood it then, pretty much the same as now. Kids understand justice.

                  • tWiggle

                    I know 14 year olds are the purest idealists and revolutionaries, waking up to the wider world and primed by our hormones to kick against the pricks. Secondary schools work very hard indeed with smoke and mirrors to retain the illusion of adult control.

      • arkie 2.1.2

        It's almost as if I presented a survey of what people think the government should do but now we're talking about protests?

        The government is responsible for government action/inaction and Labour don't have any excuse but their own timidity.

        They are acting with less urgency to quell the demands of a vocal 10% who wouldn't vote for the left anyway, while saying to the 54% that want more urgency that their concerns aren't as important as those of the right-wing farmer groups.

        No one owes Labour their vote. They have to persuade.

        • Ad

          Labour are doing fine and increasing their vote every poll.

          Labour doesn't have principles left at the moment and is focused on winning. Not saying it's pretty.

          Yes protest is still more politically effective than a poll talking about feelings.

          • arkie

            In their focus on winning they accept and promulgate the right wing framing that there is a political centre between climate action and business as usual. There is not.

          • James Simpson

            Labour doesn't have principles left at the moment and is focused on winning. Not saying it's pretty

            They feel very much like a John Key lead government right now. They will do what it takes to win.

            • Shanreagh

              Yes that is what it feels like to me.

              So when they win, what then… they magically turn back to being a party 'of the people' or are those things like hate speech and three waters never to see the light of day?

      • That_guy 2.1.3

        Aaargh sorry it was not that blog, it was this one:

        and now I can't edit my original post since it's got a big banner in the way.

        • weka

          I edited your post to remove the big banner. When you post internal links, put a full stop before the URL and the banner doesn't happen.

  3. RedLogix 3

    I was aware of climate change in the 70's when I worked for the University of Auckland Geophysics Dept. I have written to the topic here numerous times, going back well over a decade. Here is the thing; no-one can take seriously the goal of eliminating all fossil fuels by 2030 in the OECD.

    This was always an engineering problem, and we have had for decades all the technical tools necessary to make decent progress toward zero carbon economies. Instead it has been turned into a deeply political issue with both extremist deniers and alarmists ensuring no progress will be made.

    The simple reality is that fossil fuels have been the essential pre-requisite that has enabled humans to expand from around 800m pre-Industrial to close to 8b now. A roughly ten-fold increase. Turning off fossil fuels in the next 7 years – absent a credible replacement- will return us to pre-Industrial populations. The pathological Malthusians are in love with this idea.

    Equally it is obvious that fossil fuels were always going to be a transitional technology; there is not an indefinite supply of them and that increasing CO2 levels without constraint is – well all what the IPCC is saying.

    And we have politicised this conundrum to an extent that instead of making steady incremental progress toward de-carbonising is a manner that balanced both the energy needs of humanity and the stabilisation of climate, we have procrastinated and delayed to the point where it is now a crisis. We have turned this into an emergency where the ends will justify any means whatsoever. We saw this overreach with COVID and we are setting ourselves up for something orders of magnitude more tyrannical in order to crash all fossil fuels to zero with the next seven years.

    We might achieve zero carbon in seven decades, but seven years is the pilot intentionally smashing the plane into the mountainside.

    • adam 3.1

      So you agree we screwed the pooch on this one?

      I sorta agree/disagree, as we need more action now, but not if it means authoritarianism.

      That said, part of me is not worried, as supply chains and food production is slowing down. Argentina, is an interesting case, as globalism ends we will have to deal with the transition as best we can.

      More democracy not less is the only way out.

      Local, local, local is a big answer.

      At this point the goal should be, zero Methane by 2030. Much more realistic. And in the short term will buy us some time to deal with CO2.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        Yes – the pooch has well and truly strayed off the porch.

        I agree with each point you make:

        1. The authoritarian/freedom axis is becoming far more turbulent and critical than the conventional left/right one.
        2. Globalism as we know it post-Bretton Woods has had an incredible run, but the conditions that made it possible are ending. It is not just a case of the US shifting it's role – demographics, security and energy flow conditions are in many ways are energising the shift even more.
        3. Yes democratic accountability is a vital consideration, but the current models need considerable re-shaping
        4. Local yes – this is the scale at which community and democracy function best – but I have also consistently argued that all the big problems the world face are global in nature and will demand solutions at that scale
        5. Yes methane mitigation is a good bet – but before we start ramping down fossil fuel energy we had better had a credible alternative up and running
    • mickysavage 3.2

      Lots to unpick.

      Our current goals are hopelessly optimistic. We show no signs of getting close.

      Auckland Council has had climate plans for years each promising significant reductions but the amount of CO2 we pump into the atmosphere keeps increasing each year.

      The on the ground changes required are too terrifying to parts of the population. We cannot even build cycleways without major opposition FFS.

      And we have politicised this conundrum to an extent that instead of making steady incremental progress toward de-carbonising is a manner that balanced both the energy needs of humanity and the stabilisation of climate, we have procrastinated and delayed to the point where it is now a crisis.

      True. But the oil companies and the right have converted this into a culture war. The science has always been sound but the opposition has sidelined every effort for proper action.

      We have turned this into an emergency where the ends will justify any means whatsoever.

      I think that others have turned this into an emergency. The left's failure to unite a coherent majority behind the science is part of the problem.

      We saw this overreach with COVID and we are setting ourselves up for something orders of magnitude more tyrannical in order to crash all fossil fuels to zero with the next seven years.

      I disagree. The Covid response with the benefit of hindsight is appropriate in my view. I agree that a severe adjustment is required. The alternative is that we watch the world burn or flood or both.

      The options are not great.

      • RedLogix 3.2.1

        I agree that a severe adjustment is required. The alternative is that we watch the world burn or flood or both.

        OK so if I accept your argument that a severe adjustment is required – and I have specified the complete cessation of all fossil fuel use by 2030 – and this led to the collapse of the global industrial and agricultural systems that keep roughly 7b people alive, and this resulted in the mass death of these people – do you think on balance this would be a cost worth paying?

        As this data shows it took roughly 1800 years for human population to slowly rise from 190m around 0AD to about 600m in the year 1700. This was about what we could attain using renewable energy sources from photosynthesis alone – muscle power and burning wood. If we stop using fossil fuels – absent a credible replacement (and solar wind batteries ain't it) – then it is very reasonable to predict human population will revert back to something under 1billion. Whether catastrophically fast or slowly over a few generations is not especially germane to the argument – but the argument for a civilisational and population collapse is a powerful one that cannot be ignored or handwaved off.

        On the other hand the prospect of rapidly increasing energy in the climate system is a novel and dangerous prospect. Climate and it's highly complex, chaotic, interactions with the oceans, ice, sea level, hydrological cycles and so forth are highly uncertain, regardless of how sophisticated the models. This is a scenario humans have never encountered before and is a risk we must address seriously. By contrast pre-Industrial civilisation that depends on diffuse and intermittent renewable energy sources is something we have millennia of detailed documented evidence for and it is a risk that also ain't pretty either.

        Hell we could easily stumble into a scenario where we get the worst of both, we collapse civilisation and the accumulated momentum of CO2 imbalance causes unconstrained climate change at the same time. There would be no coming back from this – we might be lucky to avoid extinction altogether.

  4. weka 4

    Micky, I appreciate you may not be able to answer this, but am curious what your thinking is on the argument that substantially more Green MPs wouldn't shift Labour because the GP have no centre position leverage.

    I don't think this is inherently true, but am seeing people saying it is.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      If Labour requires Green and TMP support after the next election to form a Government I suspect that pro climate change policy leverage should be significantly increased.

      • weka 4.1.1

        the argument goes that because the Greens will neither work with the right, nor let Nact form govt by refusing a deal with Labour, Labour knows they're a shoo in and won't have to give them many concessions.

        I'm not sure this is necessarily true because there is a perception of fairness (more votes, more MPs, there should be more Ministerial positions and concessions).

        TMP holding the balance of power would definitely help.

        • Roy Cartland

          If the Greens actually drew some red lines, would Labour accept conf and supp from National to stay in power? They have more in common than GP and Nats.

          • weka

            talk me through how would that work. The Greens say here are our bottom lines, without them we will sit on the cross benches? Labour accepts the bottom lines because otherwise they can't form government?

            • Roy Cartland

              I mean would Lab rather accept conf and supp from Nat (and would Nat give it to Lab) to keep the GP's bottom lines out of gov? Yes the Nats have some frightful ideas, but do both major parties hate the GP's bottom lines so much they'd team up against them?

              If the 'centre' is such a vote winner, as other commenters imply, in theory Lab and Nat could form an unholy majority to keep the edges of the bell curve out.

              • weka

                I don't think there's any chance that Lab and Nat would form govt. If Labour can't, then Nact will.

        • mickysavage

          the argument goes that because the Greens will neither work with the right, nor let Nact form govt by refusing a deal with Labour, Labour knows they're a shoo in and won't have to give them many concessions.

          I think Hipkins is pushing it as far as it will go. Lots of Labour activists have very green world views and concerns about climate change.

          • weka

            Do you think then that a shift will come from a swing left and that if the election is close there will be less movement on climate post-election?

        • James Simpson

          I think that argument is much stronger now under Hipkins. He has moved Labour right and appears to be standing up to anyone in cabinet that advocates for climate friendly policies. Look at Michael Wood.

          The Greens will have to hold their nerve and stand strong in coalition negotiations. Hipkins will know the Greens will not allow a National government to form. But that should not deter Shaw and co from being firm and make it clear that their support cannot be taken for granted.

    • SPC 4.2

      For now it's a choice between two coalitions – Labour-Green-TM vs National-ACT.

      Though there is the chance of NZF using resistance to those two options to make a come back. Labour and National are tacking centre, not just to win, but to see off NZF.

      If NZF do make it back via the polls, there will be no NACT government but a National minority government with NZF and ACT providing c and s for support agreements.

      If NZF are back by the time of the campaign start, Labour will have to consider going with an intent to be a minority government with c and s from Greens and TM for support agreements. Offending supporters of those two parties to campaign in the centre.

  5. arkie 5

    James Shaw on voting for bold action:

    “This is it; 2023 will be the last opportunity New Zealand has to get a government that will confront the climate emergency with the urgency it demands,” says the Green Party’s co-leader and climate change spokesperson, James Shaw.

    Speaking after the release today of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change synthesis report, James Shaw warned that time was running out and that putting off bold climate action any longer is not an option.

    “There is no time left for half-measures. It’s now or never. Anything less than urgent action to cut climate pollution in every part of Aotearoa will not be sufficient.

    “Climate action will be on the ballot paper this year.

    “New Zealand will end the year with the most progressive, climate-focused Government we have ever had – a government with more Green Ministers at the decision-making table – or a National-ACT government of climate inaction and delay.

    “2023 will be one of the most consequential elections we have had in Aotearoa for decades.

    “Scientists are telling us loud and clear that we have only a few years left to take the necessary action to limit warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, or face more intense extreme weather. However, among the dire warnings is an optimistic note that it’s not too late to make a difference.

    “That is, if we can build on the progress we have made in government and take action to cut climate pollution faster, then we still have a decent chance of avoiding the worst effects of climate change.

    “But it is the next term of government that will be the deciding factor. If the next government fails to muster the courage and moral clarity to confront the climate crisis with the urgency it demands, then it will be too late.

    • weka 5.1

      so how do we convince more voters to make this the climate election?

      • Roy Cartland 5.1.1

        It might be too risky (as it may turn people off altogether), but point to the betrayals by Labour?

        Media betrayal: The RNZ-TVNZ merger… no one can possibly vote on climate if they're not informed, and current NZ media is not informative re climate. Much of it is vapid distraction, if not flat out denial.

        Economic betrayal: Taxing the rich like supermarkets, banks, billionaires etc. Labour didn't adequately stand up for workers when they had the outright majority. Or if they did, they didn't rock the yachts of the rich. if the argument is left up to the Righties to define, of course it will sound 'unfair'.

        Climate betrayal: evidently big ag and fossils are too big to dismantle for Labour. If people are going to be hit in the pocket, and don't know why they're paying for polluters etc, that's another failure to win the argument.

        We have to reclaim the narrative and harsh as it is, that is about Labour's betrayals.

        • James Simpson

          Can you give us an example of either RNZ or TVNZ flat out denying climate change?

  6. Phillip ure 6

    Meanwhile back @ the posted topic..

    (Tho re shaw..he has been playing a long game…and he is nearly there.. surely earlier commenters are politically aware enough to know that hipkins has clearly emphasised to environmental voters that neither labour nor the tories will do what is needed..only the Greens will deliver..and it is a simple message that more green MP's means more green stuff done ..

    And I think this will be a very good election for the greens ..they will get their green core green labour voters concerned about glacial progress under two terms of labour ..

    And I don't think every tory voter is an environmental visigoth…and while green tories could never vote labour..I could see some of them issue-voting . And giving the greens their party vote..

    I also think the maori party will do better than the current polling shows…and they and the greens working together could well get the serious shit we need doing…being done..

    So suggestions that shaw be dropped makes no political sense…and if made by labour supporters ..can be dismissed as 'tactics dear boy.. tactics'..

    Back at the topic to hand:

    When I was here a few years back…I argued the rise of the plant-based meats etc…and that we would reach a point where as far as taste/texture is concerned that plant-based would be indistinguishable from arguing those grounds to still eat animal-flesh would just be insisting that an animal must suffer/die..

    Well..we are there now…any supermarket has those plant-based meats…largely indistinguishable from the animal..

    And last weekend I had one of the best burgers I have ever had..from the vegan burger bar in that hideous mall at the bottom of queen was made using jackfruit..and I defy any carnivore carnivore not to inhale tasted so good…

    So that is that argument…another one is the health grounds…I have been vegan for over 20 years…I am 72 years old…am fit/healthy..on no meds at all…(and I just followed role-models from 20 years ago..all about my current age .and all in rude good health then..)

    My final argument is the planet-saving one..anyone with a pulse now knows that we are in deep shit. .and we have to lower our yesterday..

    As I previously noted I recently did an online emissions-reading test ..where my annual output is 4.5 tonnes..

    The developed countries average is 18 tonnes per year…the new zealand average is 23 tonnes. .

    And what drives my low score is because I am vegan ..

    And I would submit that the above is strong imperical evidence that the most effective thing any individual can do to help save the to stop eating animal-flesh..and to stop eating byproducts from the abbattoirs .

    I rest my case ..

    • That_guy 6.1

      Agree, I love meat, I just don't know why all of it has to be grown on an animal that has a brain, nervous system and emotional life, and then hacked off in an abattoir. It's all a bit primitive.

      Cloned meat and GM meat-like alternatives like Impossible Burgers are really making some good strides.

      • Phillip ure 6.1.1

        @ that guy..

        They are like methadone for carnivores…

        • Tiger Mountain

          Am a big fan of plant based “meat”–in earlier days I always liked burgers and processed items like hot dogs for the texture and taste not because another sentient being had to give its life!

          Meat remains murder, so it is great that technology and skill is providing alternatives that are better for everyone.

          • Phillip ure

            Seriously t.m..if in ak get yrslf to lord of the fries…and tuck into their jackfruit-based burger..

            The boy and I both agreed it is right up there…

            (And kinda interesting the almost universal refusal here to engage by most on this solution to our existential crisis..

            First they laugh at you…then they ignore you..

            We appear to be [email protected] second stage…for now..

            Someone here the other day described the irrefutable environmental msgs/imperatives I am speaking to the current inconvenient-truth..

            I can't think of a better description..

            • Phillip ure

              And it has long puzzled me how those who self-tegard as 'green'/planet-savers…are able to both ignore the sufferings of the animals…and the negative impact on the environment..of/from what they eat..

              It pretty much sets new benchmarks in denial/cognitive-dissonance..
              And shows the power of that addiction to eating flesh..

  7. TeWhareWhero 7

    In addition to the terrifyingly imminent realities of climate change, there’s the spectre of mass chemical and plastics pollution, and species extinctions. On its own each of these threats is too huge and terrifying for many people to grasp, in combination they can be overwhelming.

    And, there’s the fourth "horseman of the apocalypse” – the probability that these interlinking and mutually compounding threats will result in extreme rightwing authoritarian governance in the service of global corporate capitalism.

    Instinctive human reactions to life altering or life ending threats range from running from it, to freezing and trying to pretend it doesn't exist, to fighting back. The more people who fight back – in unity and with clear, common purpose – the more likely it is those whose instinct is to flee or freeze will follow suit.

    The more we are divided into small, competing interest groups; the more we continue to fight for the scraps off the corporate table and allow ourselves to be diverted by ideological ephemera and junk, the more likely it is that the future for most of our descendants will be a dystopian nightmare.

    It’s a stark choice; we either unite by focussing on commonalities and eschewing all distractions, and we fight, or unfathomable numbers will perish.

    • Yes, I agree TeWhareWhero, we need to avoid distractions diversions and "look over there" to unite in our greatest survival fight, which we can't afford to lose.yes

  8. adam 8

    As a disabled person, if pisses me off that the media is manufacturing a storm in a tea cup about cycle lanes. Bikes are part of a collection of ideas to curb waste and idiocy in transportation.

    Densified cities, and the end of suburban sprawl is another. Make it so you can make public transport which is accessable to all. Start small, pick one of the rural cities, and make it walkable, liveable, and workable.

    UNIVERSAL DESIGN if you need pointers

    • RedLogix 8.1

      We built our first three units to the Universal Design standard 20 years ago – and they have performed superbly; even our non-disabled client (the large majority) like living in them.

      It is not too hard to achieve if you are building from new, it adds maybe 5% to the costs; but retrofits are typically too hard. Sadly it tough to make a business case and without effective, practical support like the Australian NDIS scheme it generally isn't going to happen.

      • adam 8.1.1

        Retrofitting is expensive, wasteful and in my humble opinion pointless. I think we should live with what we have, and keep it as a reminder we can build better and why we should do so.

        That said, can't understand why we just don't bit the bullet and go, all new builds have to be universal design. 5% extra cost up front to make peoples lives better makes sense to me.

  9. SPC 9

    The success of the Dutch Farmer-Citizen Movement in elections is going to embolden resistance from farmers groups around the world.

  10. Monbiot stops short of saying that humans are the problem; but here he points out our unsustainable way of farming will doom us if we keep going the same way

    • Phillip ure 10.1

      An excellent link ..!

      Monbiot nails it ..

      • Phillip ure 10.1.1

        And monbiot has reassurance for those partial to chewing on the flesh…

        And that is the meat being grown from a cell..

        So animal cruelty free meat…with minimal environmental footprint.. that is the same as that from animals…and cheaper…and no major transport cost…

        It can be grown in a warehouse on the edge of town..

        And as I said all those years back..this will also be the death-knell for our animal extraction industries ..

        As refrigeration-technology enabled those industries to birth/live..

        These latest advances in food-technology..will kill it..

        We need to pivot to growing high yield plant-based crops…

        We have no choice in the matter..

  11. Mike the Lefty 11

    "This will be the most important election ever in New Zealand…."

    This quote, paraphrased, is said at EVERY general election, but in terms of NZ's commitment to addressing climate change it WILL be the most important election ever.

    My snap shot of each party's policies on climate change:

    The Greens: We must do everything in our power….

    Labour: We will act, but only if the electorate gives us permission.

    National: We must address it – sometime in the future.

    ACT: You don't need to address something that doesn't exist.

    Maori Party: What is climate change?

    NZ First: We are not sure, we will get back to you as soon as we have looked at the latest polls.

    The rest: irrelevant.

    I think that in this coming election the political left will try to direct policy debate towards climate change where they are strongest and the political right will try to steer it towards the economy, cost of living and crime – where they are stronger.

    The more successful the left are in doing this, the better their chances of winning. They will need a very good election campaign management to counter the dirty Crosby Textor lies from the right.

    • arkie 11.1

      Te Pati Maori have a similar approach to climate change as the Greens:

      Climate change is one of the greatest challenges Aotearoa and Te Ao Māori will ever face. It poses an existential threat to our culture, our whakapapa, our economy, and the natural environment that sustains us, including the taonga species that make up our unique indigenous biodiversity.

      The Māori Party will;

      1. End new onshore oil and gas permits and withdraw existing onshore and offshore oil and gas permits within five years and aim to decommission sites by 2030
      2. Ban seabed mining permits nationwide and withdraw existing seabed mining permits
      3. Establish dedicated $1bn Pūngao Auaha fund for Māori-owned community energy projects and solar panel and insulation instillations on marae, kura, homes and papakāinga housing developments
      4. Work alongside interested whānau, hapū and iwi to develop a national Māori strategy for renewable energy and clean technology and ensure the Crown supports Māori-led clean technology projects with R&D, start-up funding, and partnership finance
      5. Phase out synthetic nitrogen fertiliser on farms by 2025 and bring methane emissions from agriculture into the ETS to disincentivise intensive methane-emitting agriculture
      6. Establish $300m Mātai Ahuwhenua innovation and support fund to incentivise Māori farmers to transition to regenerative and value-add farming practises
      7. Ensure the Crown works with whānau, hapū and iwi to establish climate change adaptation plans and establish a fund to support whānau, hapū and iwi with adaptation
      8. Ensure Aotearoa plays a greater role in supporting Pasifika leaders on the world stage through aggressive diplomatic efforts

      to compare:

      Also I think given their current inaction and commanding majority the Labour party position is more simliar to National’s, more accurately: We will act – sometime in the future, after the next election.

  12. Peter Bradley 12

    How many final warnings have been espoused over the last 20 years? They don't have any impact. What's more no-one – including all the highly motivated climate activists – is going to give up the life style afforded them by rapacious consumerism. It simply won't happen.

  13. I wish the passion shown by those who have turned bio women into the enemy could be channelled into climate change and co governance.

    We need this rather than fighting spooks and visions that don't exist.

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