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Climate change – the ongoing disaster

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, February 12th, 2019 - 32 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, farming, global warming, science - Tags:

In my youth back in the late 1970s and early 80s, I did a BSc in Earth Sciences. That gave me a sense of geological time where a million years was a relatively short period of time. It also made me realise that the human historical framework of decades and centuries was but a blink of an eye.

Finding that massive geological processes resulting from human activity are happening within my lifetime gives me a major sense of temporal discontinuity. The Met office in the UK are predicting the warmest 10 years globally since records began in 1850. 

Which is a correct but limited view. It is going to be the warmest that it has been in hundreds of thousands of years. We’re heading for global temperatures that our planetary home hasn’t seen for 10’s of millions of years.

Click for larger image.

Those teeny red dots on the right of the this logarithmic time graph show temperatures relative to the expected average world temperature of 1960-1990. About 2 degrees Celsius in 2050, and 4 degrees in 2100. I suspect that both of these are conservative estimates. After all they are based on the conservative IPCC reports which only includes estimates of climate change process in their reports when the evidence is pretty overwhelming.

What many people seem to fail to realise is just how much our species is a direct product of the ice age we have been in for the last 40 million years when Antarctica started to glaciate at the south pole. It dropped the world into another long fridge period.

Starting about 3 million years the world started to get significiant glacial periods largely as a response to orbital patterns. That was when we evolved as a species.

Over the last 10,000 years after the last glacial, in a period of extraordinary climatic stability, we managed to develop a civilisation capable of supporting an extraordinary population growth spread over the whole world.

When I was born in 1959, the world’s population was about 3 billion. Now it is close to 7.5 billion. Most of that population growth is dependent on food grown using farming techniques based on relatively stable climates. That climatic stability for food production won’t continue as the extreme weather from shifts in climate keep impacting.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has published an analysis of five major international datasets showing that the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22.


“Temperatures are only part of the story. Extreme and high impact weather affected many countries and millions of people, with devastating repercussions for economies and ecosystems in 2018,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.


“Many of the extreme weather events are consistent with what we expect from a changing climate. This is a reality we need to face up to. Greenhouse gas emission reduction and climate adaptation measures should be a top global priority,” he said.


Other researchers in the field said the new forecast for the next five years was in line with expectations, given the record level of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere in 2018.

BBC via Radio NZ

Currently in human time frames, this is a slow ongoing disaster. It shows in the shifts in weather patterns causing heatwaves, flooding, and fire around Australia and NZ. But also in the freezing in recent decades in the northern hemisphere as cold air from the Arctic gets pushed south as the winds around the north pole change. It is a basic bit of science that slogan fixated idiots like Donald Trump clearly fail to understand.

More heat in the climate drives more extreme movements in the air, and the oceans. And it is all happening so damn fast that there are no obvious references in geological history. No-one is really sure exactly what is will happen as climate change continues to accelerate. And accelerate it will.

All of the existing scientific estimates on the effects of climate are just that – estimates based on conservative and sparse data. The only thing that is consistent in the development of the scientific estimates of climate change over the last 4 decades is that the best estimates have consistently under-estimated the rate of change.

While this is going to cause problems for various parts of humanity as they get burnt out, flooded out, washed out, or frozen as the climate shifts. Similarly there will be farming disasters like the recent droughts followed by floods in Queensland that are suspected to have killed half a million cattle last week. That isn’t where the real problems lie.

We are unlikely to have the kind of catastrophic failure in the biosphere in the next centuries that is so beloved of dystopian movies. Insurance premiums and hardening against foreseeable risks will shift the more stupid behaviors like living and farming on flood plains or at the very edge of oceans (or below existing sea levels!).

But the disruption, famine, and disease that shifts in climate and weather patterns bring are the classic causes of breakdowns in human political systems leading to wars and direct societal disasters. That is what we need to really need to harden our civilisation against.

32 comments on “Climate change – the ongoing disaster”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Which is why we must design for resilience. All public policy from here on must be based on this necessity. Survival requires it.

    National remain in denial of this. Labour are going with the zeitgeist due to their leader taking the initiative. I’ve seen no sign NZF have a clue. To be fair, as far as I know the GP hasn’t acknowledged the necessity of resilience design either, but it is implied within their traditional framing (sustainability).

    First step is appraisal of the legislation pending from the coalition. Will it form a satisfactory basis on which to proceed? Will the terms of reference for the Climate Commission include prioritising resilience design?

    Excellent choice of graph there, Lynn. Makes the Holocene stand out dramatically as a long period of stability thanks to Gaia, and your red dots show our shift out of that towards huge instability. The old Al Gore hockey stick done much better…

  2. greywarshark 2

    Thanks for those details lprent. And good that a cerebral comment from Dennis F is the first.

  3. Macro 3

    Excellent post Lynn. Right up there as an overall summary of climatic conditions and the fact that up until very recently humans have evolved and lived in a Goldilocks period of stable climate.
    The future is not looking good – and we as a species will have an awful lot to do if we are to survive.
    But added to the problem of increasing global temperatures rising sea levels and continuing loss of arable land is the staggering and depressing collapse of biodiversity.
    I’m not sure if readers here have seen this series of articles in the Guardian yesterday on the dramatic collapse of insect populations globally, which carries the message that with the current rate of decline in insect populations of around 2.5% pa, insects will become extinct on Earth by the end of the century. This is a huge wake up call because if that were the case, then human survival along, with all other species on the planet would be under threat as well.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/10/plummeting-insect-numbers-threaten-collapse-of-nature

    ps.
    I guess the denial camp will seize on the WMO’s announcement

    The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has published an analysis of five major international datasets showing that the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22.
    and twist it as usual.

    “No warming for 22 years”

    If I believed in Hell, then I believe there would be a special place for these people there, and they would be really feeling the warming. 😈

  4. greywarshark 4

    Forward-thinking moves from Tuhoe mentioned by Rod Oram on Radionz in his slot after 11 am on Tuesdays.

    Te Kura Whare received Living Building Challenge certification in May 2017. Your building is New Zealand’s first to accomplish this concept, and one of only 15 certified Living Buildings in the world at that time. You can find more information about this on the International Living Future Institute website.

    http://www.ngaituhoe.iwi.nz/sustainability-and-the-living-building-challenge
    http://www.ngaituhoe.iwi.nz/te-kura-whare

    (Another Oram comment about business in NZ is about the sale of Methven which has profits only rising by 2% I think he said, so a bit unsatisfactory for the sharemarket. About to be sold as a company. There is a block of 19% being sold by previous executive – is there a NZ investment fund ready to buy into one of our good businesses?

    Is this an example of a good company that is not growing profit to satisfy – perhaps we cannot expect to receive so much in a more balanced, realistic NZ, and world. Be content to have a small stable business?)

  5. One Two 5

     Although 60 GHz has traditionally been avoided due to its high absorption of oxygen and water

    With such disregard to the severity of impacts on oxygen and water…is it any wonder…

    Pending diasters which will amplify the on-going disasters…

    • greywarshark 5.1

      One Two
      Can you please stop talking in coded language meant for the minority initiates and give the rest of us some detail of what you are referring to.

      eg.
      Introducing Facebook’s new terrestrial connectivity systems — Terragraph and Project ARIES
      Terragraph is a 60 GHz, multi-node wireless system focused on bringing high-speed internet connectivity to dense urban areas. Utilizing commercial off-the-shelf components and leveraging the cloud for intensive data processing, the Terragraph system is optimized for high-volume, low-cost production.

      • One Two 5.1.1

        Hi GW,

        My recent posts on tecnhnology as they relate to the environment are to highlight the drive which exists behind technological development and deployment…

        The developments are devoid of consideration to non-machines…except as collateral and as the very workers who could ultimately extinct themselves while participating in building this experiment…for a pay check…

        60ghz specifically many years ago was identified as the frequency which inhibits the orbital properties of electrons in the oxygen molecules and prevents the oxygen molecules from binding to the hemoglobin in our blood…

        Yet big tech have specifically selected these frequency bands for deployment…

        2.4ghz (WiFi) which has been the standard for years is the frequency of the water molecule which becomes destabilized when exposed…

        Immune system degradation leads to illness and disease…

        No silos!

        • Dennis Frank 5.1.1.1

          Well, as a facebook-free-zone, I can only suggest that users organise to collectively lobby their service-provider’s corporate management, pointing out that negative effect on human biological process and likely averse health consequences!

          • One Two 5.1.1.1.1

            Stop using and buying wireless devices may not prevent what is coming…

            Perversely, climate change responses might be the only action that prevents the technological machinery from devouring life…

            The danger seems not to be observed by enough users though, and like all addicts, will continue to keep using…

            Technology , and worse, the ‘science’ that comes before the technology and facilitates tech development is without doubt a central contributer to not only climate change…but directly to human illness and death as well as animal, insect extinctions and environmental damage…

            Technology. Wireless Technology!

            • greywarshark 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m confused – which technology should we try to limit our use of?
              There are a lot of thoughts going on in your head. Spell them out for us.

              • One Two

                Any device which connects into carrier networks using a wireless interface.

                Primarily: Summary

                Wifi – including fixed wireless (home/office/school routers) and hot spots of any type (retail/commercial)
                Home/office computers/laptops

                LTE – Mobile roaming data when you’re away from wifi range (consider it when not at home on a mobile device) also includes using mobile device as a tethered hot spot
                Can also include laptops with data sim active

                In short – it all needs to stop because…

                Wireless Frequencies = modulation/bandwidth

                Modulation/Bandwidth = radiation

                Radiation = damage to all living things

                That is based on current technology and network frequencies only…1G / 2G / 3G / 4G / 4.5G

                If the ‘Internet of Technology’ 5G onwards becomes globally active then forget climate change…

                It’s over at that point!

                • DJ Ward

                  I think your confusing what Radiation is vs wavelengths.

                  There is radiation as in bits of atoms flying in space crashing into your body’s atoms. Very dangerous to health
                  There is wavelengths that in effect stretch and compress the vacuum of space, emitted from its source in all directions at the speed of light. It radiates from its source. Which is why it gets confused with radiation above, but it’s not the same thing.

                  Yes if you get the wavelength correct, for eg in resonance you can heat atoms, or compounds as in the home microwave with water. We are constantly exposed to wavelengths from our enviroment naturally, from pretty much everything. It has risks but I’ve never seen research showing anything other than very small dangers of cellphone use.

                  I’m pretty sure that any known resonate wavelength would not be used for mobile phones.

                  • One Two

                    I think your confusing what Radiation is vs wavelengths.

                    No.

                    Electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) are invisible areas of energy, often referred to as radiation, that are associated with the use of electrical power and various forms of natural and man-made lighting. … Ionizing: high-level radiation which has the potential for cellular and DNA damage

                    I’m also referring to non-ionizing as radiation…for your reference…

                  • Tricledrown

                    D J Warped Science is not your strong point.

                    • DJ Ward

                      X Ray’s and Gamma rays can ionise atoms but normal wavelengths like radio waves can’t.

                      Radiation.
                      PHYSICS
                      the emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or as moving subatomic particles, especially high-energy particles which cause ionisation.

                      So what’s ‘One Two’ talking about?
                      Radiation is in 2 ways as I described. One is harmful (particles) and the other is all encompassing, like all the universe is relating with you. For example in extremely high energy levels like an MRI, both EMF and radio waves combined at high levels do no harm.
                      It’s a false argument I hear often. Particles radiation is not the same as wavelength radiation. Particles have mass, wavelengths have no mass.
                      It’s not high energy particles from radioactive elements or X-rays from atom splitting. It can’t be EMF because they are not at X ray of Gamma ray frequencies. So all that’s left is what occurs in microwaves with resonate frequencies.

                      Maybe Tricledown you can explain things. Because I’m not getting what One Two is trying to say.

                    • McFlock

                      Talk about the blind leading the blind, lol.

                      Radiation is in 2 ways as I described. One is harmful (particles) and the other is all encompassing, like all the universe is relating with you. For example in extremely high energy levels like an MRI, both EMF and radio waves combined at high levels do no harm.

                      DJ, firstly 1-2 is indeed a complete nutbar. But on the other hand, you’re very wrong.

                      Secondly, particle radiation (alphad, beta, and neutron) isn’t always damaging – alpha particles have very low penetration. But electromagnetic radiation (visible light, magnetic resonance, commercial radio waves, microwaves & radar, UV rays, and gamma rays, etc) can indeed be very dangerous – the higher end of the specrum for ionising radiation (gamma radiation), but resonance in some atoms and molecules (e.g. water and microwaves) can also simply result in heat (infrared electromagnetic energy).

                    • McFlock

                      excuse the stray D typo on alpha. And the thought that occurs in the light of day is of course that electromagnetic radiation is both a particle and a wave, anyway lol

                    • greywarshark

                      Reading D J Ward
                      I don’t know how we have managed all these years on this blog and elsewhere when he was not round to put us right on all matters.

                      I have a very amusing book of comments amassed from The Guardian called ‘I Think I Know Where You’re Going Wrong’. It is funny, and witty where there are additional comments.
                      It’s a great self-deprecating aid.

                • greywarshark

                  Thanks for answer One Two I didn’t know anything about that.

  6. SHG 6

    Climate change is nothing if we lose insects in this century.

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    Meanwhile, the Nats are still trying to push fake climate science onto the public. Latest culprit identified on Stuff: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/110499590/national-party-mp-unsure-whats-scientifically-accurate-wades-into-methane-debate

    Matt Brown asks “why did Kaikōura MP Stuart Smith take to Facebook last month to declare “Agriculture is NOT the major source of NZ’s greenhouse gas emissions”, refuting the stance of the Ministry for the Environment, Landcare Research, and the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre.”

    Probably because being naughty is such fun. “Smith said a friend, a university professor, told him methane was not an issue and should be measured in a different way, as the current method overstated its impact.” Un-named, this friend.

    “A report prepared by Dr Andy Reisinger of the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, written for the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, showed that to stabilise the warming coming from New Zealand’s current methane emissions would require a 10 to 20 per cent cut in methane emissions. Clark said a 20 to 30 per cent cut in methane emissions was required to stabilise warming to the 1990 level.”

    And Simon Upton is the PCE!! Will he discipline the stroppy Nat? Or will he just roll his eyes, reflecting that misinterpreting science is too normal to bother about?

  8. cleangreen 8

    Yes folks very true thanks Iprent;

    We are ‘reaping what we have sown’ as even the fire watchers are now saying climate change is here now.

    The genie is out of the bottle now we dear.
    We need to head what fire scientist Grant Pearce, from Scion Rural Fire Research Group is saying now..

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1902/S00142/niwas-hotspot-watch.htm

    NIWA hotspot watch said; Areas deemed hotspots continued to expand during the past week in the North Island. A large hotspot now encompasses nearly all of Northland, Auckland, northern Waikato, and the Coromandel Peninsula. Additional hotspots are in place in coastal Taranaki, central and southern Manawatu-Whanganui, Wellington City and Porirua, northern Hawke’s Bay along with parts of Gisborne and Bay of Plenty.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/381980/nelson-fire-anxious-night-for-wakefield-residents-as-they-prepare-to-evacuate

    “Fire managers have reported that current fire danger levels are the highest they’ve seen in almost 20 years and NIWA’s soil moisture maps are showing significant soil moisture deficits across the region.”
    He said that Nelson, as well as other parts of the country, were likely to see more of these types of wildfire events in future with climate change becoming more prominent.
    “Modelling of potential future changes in fire danger indicates that the number of severe fire weather days is likely to increase in many parts of the country.

    Current fire danger levels ‘at highest in nearly 20 years’
    Fire scientist Grant Pearce, from Scion Rural Fire Research Group, said the Nelson region had a history of significant forest fires.
    “The 1981 Hira fire occurred at a similar time of year (5 February), and is closest in size to the current event.”
    The region also experiences 9-10 days per year on average of very high and extreme forest fire danger, Mr Pearce said.
    “However, in a bad fire season as many as 16-17 days of very high and extreme fire danger may occur. This year alone, Nelson has seen seven days of very high, and eight days of extreme forest fire danger, since the beginning of January, with the recent heatwave being a major contributor to this.
    “Fire managers have reported that current fire danger levels are the highest they’ve seen in almost 20 years and NIWA’s soil moisture maps are showing significant soil moisture deficits across the region.”

  9. Pat 9

    “But the disruption, famine, and disease that shifts in climate and weather patterns bring are the classic causes of breakdowns in human political systems leading to wars and direct societal disasters. That is what we need to really need to harden our civilisation against.”

    and we cant….people being what they are….the only real mitigation is a massive attempt to forestall the worst impacts by ceasing emissions, yesterday….and we wont do that either.

  10. Tony Veitch [not etc.] 10

    A scientist discussing the catastrophic decline in insects on tele on Monday night used the term ‘the 6th mass extinction.’

    I think this is the first time I’ve heard it on main stream media.

    Almost everyone is aware of climate change, but oh so few are cognisant with just how bad things will become before our own folly does us all in (and most other forms of life as well.)

    The next couple of decades, if we as a species last that long, are going to be rocky in ways we cannot really imagine.

    A lot of the filthy rich are aware how bad things will become – hence the bolt holes in New Zealand. But the irony of 1500 private jets flying into Davos to discuss climate change!

    We all needed to throw away our car keys yesterday if we are to have any chance of getting through what’s coming.

    It sure as hell doesn’t look good.

  11. Stuart Munro 11

    I find it interesting how far we are from a joined up response at a national level. The Greens are keen to stop coal mining, but we’re not really hearing a transport strategy that will begin to wean us off petrochemicals yet. Part of the problem I think is carbon credits. The same business folk who avoid or cheat on their taxes will do the same with carbon. Have done so already with their fake eastern bloc credits and not been punished.

    No biodiesel program. No butanol. No policy level shift to local production or to develop robustness in critical supply chains like food. Hell, we’re not even genuinely recycling our plastics yet, much less recovering all our metals, which take a fair amount of carbon based reduction to produce.

    These are the kind of hard questions a real opposition would be asking – but we’ve only got this sad-arsed bunch of second rate comedians. Whatever will become of us.

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Comedians good, RW politicians bad. I must speak up for comedians, we must stop using that word as a pejorative. Heaven knows it is only the regular little laugh and ridicule of how we think and do, that keeps us going, from going mad, and from weeping.

  12. Griff 12

    One of the most well informed posts I have seen in a long time thanks lprent .

    The disruption of the polar vortex is also possibly in NZ’s future if the ice melt to the south continues to accelerate.

    Another often overlooked risk for NZ is tropical cyclones moving pole ward. We simply to not build here for the sort of sustained winds a reasonable tropical cyclone will bring . With the warming oceans around us It is a matter of when not if we get hit by a real Category 3 or stronger storm. Many of us remember events like Bola and Giselle as cyclones when they are cold core ex tropical storms that are not the real deal. If you want to see what destruction a Category 3 storm will bring here google cyclone Tracy.

    A blue green party may be not such a bad idea if they can skew national even slightly towards reality.
    With the future unfolding we need all the influence towards taking climate change seriously we can get .

  13. timeforacupoftea 13

    Don’t complain about climate change.

    There is going to be plenty jobs available for sure.

    Everyone should be issued with a shovel and wheelbarrow at birth far better and more useful than a iPhone !

    Green Blue Party be blowed, I look forward to a RED / Blue Party.

  14. WeTheBleeple 14

    Actual ground on fire. not the grass, not the forest. The ground.

    Now do we want to talk about water retention?

  15. WeTheBleeple 15

    This is interesting. The game Civilisation VI has climate change as a game mechanic included in the new expansion. here’s an expert reviewing it.

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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    3 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    3 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    4 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    7 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago

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