web analytics

Climate change thought experiment

Written By: - Date published: 7:10 am, January 27th, 2020 - 120 comments
Categories: climate change - Tags:

Dr. Genevieve Guenther @DoctorVive on twitter asks,

Thought experiment for the weekend:


What if everyone could have adequate food & healthcare, access to education & the arts, but industrialization were unsustainable.


Would you rather de-industrialize & halt warming or continue industrial activity & let the planet heat 3C+?


Moderator note: no CC denial comments under this post thanks (including “we’re all going to die”, “it’s too late” or “there’s nothing we can do” comments).

120 comments on “Climate change thought experiment”

  1. Andre 1

    The idea that everyone in a world of 7 billion people (on the way to 10 billion) can all have access to adequate food, healthcare, education, arts etc without industrialisation is even more far-fetched than the idea that industrialisation can be modified to become sustainable.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      I completely agree with your first proposition. De-industrialising is a dystopian, morally bankrupt plan to fail on a monumental scale.

      But why do you think our current forms of industrialisation are beyond improvement? After all this is what they've been doing constantly for over 200 years, why the sudden stop now?

      • Andre 1.1.1

        I don't in the slightest think industrialisation is technologically incapable of changing into a completely sustainable form.

        I'm firmly of the opinion that the simple change of requiring industries and consumers to pay the full costs of everything that currently gets externalised for free is fairly likely sufficient to cause that change to happen in a fairly short time frame.

        I'm just doubtful that we humans collectively will develop the will to make it happen. Due to resistance from those that directly benefit from the status quo, those that don't understand how the change will in fact benefit them, and those that will resist because the resulting relatively modest change won't fulfill their deeply held desire to totally upend and smash current sociopolitical systems and structures.

        • RedLogix

          I think I see where you're coming from, and like you I'm doubtful the collective will to implement full costing of externalities would ever happen. Besides it would be immensely complex and bureaucratic thing to try and do. Which kind of rules it out as a good option.

          Yet industrialisation, in the very big picture, really boils down to three things, competent people, energy and resources. We don't look like we're going to run out of people anytime soon, so it really comes down to energy and resources.

          What if energy was abundant, cheap and had only a tiny impact on the environment? What if instead of getting resources primarily from mining or crude oil refining, we could recycle almost everything? Everyone in that industry is clear, the primary barrier to 100% recycling is energy costs; remove that barrier then the methods to achieve it will become highly available.

          Therefore energy is the pivotal issue. We don’t need to just decarbonise, we need 5 or 10 times more energy per capita than we have now. With that we can decouple from exploiting nature and drive the externalities as low as we like.

          Look back at the past 200 years … whenever a new technology becomes cheaper and better than it's predecessor, it replaces it very, very quickly. And it takes no collective will whatsoever.

          • Andre

            The vast majority of the problem is simply CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels for energy. Putting a price on that is relatively bureaucratically simple, as long as it is applied to everything. But sure, when we start trying to quantify stuff like agricultural emissions it gets a lot harder.

            When it comes to energy, this piece has a lot of easy to digest info and charts. Not far down there's a chart of world primary energy consumption from various sources.

            Of the 140,000 TWh used, almost all of it was from coal, gas, oil, and biofuel, and renewables are just a tiny sliver. All those fuels have to be burned to extract their energy, which means most of their energy just becomes waste heat and only a small fraction actually does anything useful for us. Lets be generous and say that useful fraction is 40%.

            Could we supply all that primary energy from renewables? Let's just consider solar. Large parts of the world get over 2500 kWh/yr.m^2 of incoming solar energy. Let's be pessimistic and say we can harvest that with 10% efficiency (commercial panels and solar thermal plants are up over 20% efficiency, but don't get 100% land coverage). An area 750km x 750km would be needed to harvest 140,000 TWhr/yr of electricity. That's about half the area of a small saharan country like Chad. Then halve it, considering it's displacing fossil energy that's only 40% useful.

            Sure it's a massive amount of engineering, but it seems doable if we collectively develop the will to. Especially since it won't just be solar, there will also be wind and geothermal (please no more massive hydro ruining rivers, just pumped hydro for storage).

            • RedLogix

              Good logic. There are only three known horses in the energy race.

              1. Efficient Solar PV: A runner with track record, and still showing promise. But the pundits wonder about her staying power long term.

              2. Nuclear Fission: A runner that has stumbled at the gate a few times, but shows tremendous development potential with a trainer who has faith. Could go all the way.

              3. Nuclear Fusion: Great breeding genetics, but hasn't so much as stepped onto a training track yet, much less shown any results. Great long shot, but nothing will happen for a few seasons yet.

              Three good bets, but quite different characteristics. No-one can be certain yet which one will be the winner, therefore the smartest plan is to back all three.

              • Robert Guyton

                The 4th "horse" being the one that looks at the racers and thinks, "meh!" and goes to sit under a tree, as Ferdinand did. Trees, it's well known, provide most of the needs humans have; food, shelter, spiritual sustenance, inspiration, fuel and so on. That horse is a winner!

                • RedLogix

                  most of the needs humans have; food, shelter, spiritual sustenance, inspiration, fuel and so on.

                  That's the photosynthesis world prior to coal. Our ancestors and those people in the world who are still not yet connected to an electricity grid will tell you what a tough, precarious and boring life it was. The natural world has an important value and place in our future. We will always need wilderness and the natural world, without invoking any utilitarian argument, and if only of aesthetic and spiritual reasons. I want to see the natural world thrive, expand and restored from it's presently battered state.

                  But as the basis on which maybe 10b people will grow and thrive into a good future … sorry but no.

        • weka

          "I don't in the slightest think industrialisation is technologically incapable of changing into a completely sustainable form."

          What's your concept and definition of sustainable there? Some practical examples would be good.

          • Andre

            I don't really want to get into nitpicking about definitions of “sustainable”.

            But broadly, to me sustainable means 'not quantifiably permanently increasing humanity's footprint on the plant and not causing irreversible damage to the biosphere'.

            So to me, a subsistence farmer on the edge of a forest remnant in say Kenya or India that clears just a bit more land to grow food for his six kids and thereby reduces habitat size below viability for unique species is unsustainable.

            But say, a steel plant that used electrolytic processes using solar electricity beside a mine that was formerly low-productivity farm that had already deposited a bond with an independent organisation sufficient to cover restoration of the site would qualify as sustainable.

            • weka

              Given how loosely the term sustainable is used I think having clarity about what people mean is useful, so thanks for that.

              I not sure if that steel plant would be sustainable, it would depend on the relationships between that plant and the society around it. Obviously metals are a finite resource, so theoretically if those metals were in continuous re-use at a set level, then there might be a way to create a sustainable system there. Would also depend on things like what pollution was being produced and whether the EROEI was justified.

              However the thought experiment was positing that if industrial society was inherently unsustainable, would one choose to continue it and thus lock in 3C, or instead choose a different lifestyle and standard of living but one that was still pretty good? It's interesting that you believe that the latter is impossible, but that making industrialisation sustainable is possible. Much if this hinges on what people mean by industrialisation too (eg are electrolyte processes inherently industrial?), but I'm going to respond to that more to Gosman below.

    • weka 1.2

      Maybe dig a bit deeper into the thought experiment Andre. If you believe that 3C is catastrophic, that humans can't make industrialisation sustainable, and that it's impossible for us to have good lives without industrialisation, how does that affect your decisions regarding climate action?

      I'll be interested if you have a rationale for the belief that good lives without industrialisation is impossible. Maybe it depends on what you consider essential.

      • RedLogix 1.2.1

        The romantic idea that we can all revert back to a form of subsistence agriculture and or village life is undermined by the simple fact that if you actually go and live in such places in the developing world, everyone with any dreams wants to get out from the backbreaking, boring work, and move to a city. As soon as possible. These people will bluntly tell you it's not a 'good life'.

        While it's entirely possible for niche communities to live on the margins of our modern world and sort of replicate low tech village life, they're rarely if ever self reliant. They're always embedded in the industrial world to some degree, and in the final analysis totally dependent on it.

        The massive trend of the past 100 years is that people are moving to cities. By 2100 it's projected over 80% of humanity will live in them. That's what people define as a 'better life' … and they vote with their feet en mass.

      • Andre 1.2.2

        My refrigerator is quite essential to what I consider a good life. It massively reduces the amount of time I have to spend frequently sourcing food, and massively reduces food waste. Cost effective refrigerators are not possible without industrialisation.

        I've been fortunate to have good health, but on occasion I've needed sophisticated medications and treatments. Some of my nearest and dearest have literally been kept alive long-term by ongoing medication and treatment. Some of which they have to frequently travel significant distance for. All of that requires industrialisation.

        That's just two examples of many things in life important to me that simply don't happen without industrialisation. I've traveled enough to see what life is like for those without access to the benefits provided by industrialisation. It's not an attractive life.

        • weka

          Refrigeration is a really good example. I've lived without a fridge at times. My mother was raised without a fridge, so that's within living memory of it being manageable and safe. From those experiences and looking at different tech that people use, it's quite easy for me to imagine humans spending ten years doing R and D on passive cooling and coming up with solutions that are way less polluting and resource extracting than what we do currently. This isn't about reverting back to some civ black fantasy of nasty, brutish and short, it's about taking the best of our creativity and ingenuity, combined with modern and traditional ways of knowing and knowledge bases and designing a tech appropriate to the situation.

          So the question for me isn't refrigeration vs living in a third world country where people die from dysentery. It's whether I would choose the inconvenience of modern living sans fridge if that meant avoiding 3C.

        • Psycho Milt

          Some of my nearest and dearest have literally been kept alive long-term by ongoing medication and treatment.

          You bet. I don't get to live very long at all, let alone a good life, without genetically engineered synthetic human insulin. Can't see that supply being maintained without industrialisation.

          That said, if industry had to pay full costs rather than externalising all kinds of shit, keeping me alive would be a lot more expensive, so you'd have to figure at some point Pharmac would start asking itself "How much is it really worth to keep this asshole breathing for another year?" Maybe I shouldn't be such an enthusiast for industry being made to pay its costs…

          • weka

            Having said below that I think food is one of the easier ones to solve, I think medicine is one of the hardest. My preference at this point would be that we deindustrialise to a point, or at least start to powerdown, and retain industrialisation for key processes like producing insulin or purifying water.

            Rather than this being an issue of what capitalism can afford, I think it's an issue of our lives now vs the lives of the babies born this week. The OP question is not saying we have to choose, it's saying we might be able to avoid that choice. I'll take prioritising your insulin over most of what is found in a $2 shop for instance. Civ has so much excess that we don't even have to look at rationing things that keep people alive (we do have to look at population though).

            • Psycho Milt

              I was being tongue-in-cheek suggesting I shouldn't support industry being prevented from externalising costs. As you say, the way things are going we aren't going to be presented with a choice about whether we continue our BAU or not, so the cost of keeping people like me alive ends up on the table at some point anyway. And I'd way rather it was on the table as part of a controlled programme of climate change mitigation rather than on the table via a climate-change-induced collapse of civilisation – not much negotiating to be done if that happens.

              • weka

                yep. In a hard crash I'll be one of the first to go under.

                Is there a reason that insulin can't be manufactured using small scale tech? eg could a lab in Dunedin make it? (economics aside for the moment).

                • Andre

                  At a guess, the biggest obstacle is probably getting the skilled humans needed. Setting up and running the process would require a lot of different specialist skills needed from a lot of highly skilled people.

                  Then the time they put into replicating a production line that already exists elsewhere is time not spent doing other valuable stuff that's not just replication of something already done elsewhere. Like developing new medicines.

                  Then the economics are that the skilled input needed for a production line making 100 kilos a year of highly specialised stuff isn't much different to the skilled input needed to make 10,000 kilos a year of the same specialised stuff. But the amortised cost per unit is very different when you spread it over 100kg or 10,000 kg. Especially when that skilled labour is the biggest component of the cost.

                  • weka

                    that's certainly a set of problems under a growth economy. Even bigger problem under a climate where food supplies are collapsing.

          • Andre

            Had a quick look at what's online about insulin manufacturing, and I don't see a lot of potential for freebie externalities. Doesn't look like there's a massive waste stream they get to dump for free, or a lot of input resource they get to grab for free from the commons.

            The enormous cost of insulin seems mostly due to profiteering, and the extremely stringent quality control and testing required at many steps along the manufacturing process. Along with dodgy business methods to enable profiteering. And did I mention profiteering?


            • Psycho Milt

              Oh right, I was forgetting that bit. If it comes to a showdown in the negotiations, Pharmac has "You would lose X million dollars if we can't reach a deal" while the company has "Well, you could just let lots of people die, I suppose." Not exactly a level playing field.

  2. Gosman 2

    I think many people are not really understanding what industrialisation means. It does not necessarily mean factories billowing harmful pollutants in to the environment. Industrialisation is a means of producing manufactured items that human desire or need on a mass scale via an organised process. Many of the original factories that kick started the Industrial revolution in the UK were water powered with pollutants like coal only being used for heating purposes. There is no reason why industrialisation cannot go hand in hand with a less environmentally damaging way of living.

    • Leapy 2.1

      Gosman, for once I agree with you. What we need to do is reduce/remove the industrial processes that cause the most pollutants and encourage those that are more sustainable. This needs to be done at a personal level, a societal/governmental level, and internationally. The first is possible, but getting the latter two done is more difficult given the amount of money being used by current polluters to buy political influence to stop change happening.

      We should pass legislation to only allow sustainable business to make political contributions.

    • RedLogix 2.2

      Yup. That's the essence of my argument.

      Prior to the 1700's humanity was running into the limits of a photosynthesis based tech. It's not well understood that more than 70% of de-forestation occurred before 1800, that most large mammal extinctions were done by tiny bands of non-industrial hunter-gatherers. Pre-industrial humans were very tough on their local environments and life really was short, brutal and nasty for most people. By the mid-1700's local environments were under considerable population and resource pressure, they were running into a wall.

      Coal jumped us up onto a new tech plateau. It enabled everything we take for granted in our modern world, it let us become civilised for the first time. But now we're running into the CO2 and minerals wall and we have to take the next big step up. Fortunately the stage we're on has enabled us to develop the energy tech to do this. We really just need to be clear on the big vision, agree on the broad strategies, and then get busy making money at it. 🙂

    • Robert Guyton 2.3

      "I think many people are not really understanding what industrialisation means. It does not necessarily mean factories billowing harmful pollutants in to the environment. "

      Yes, it does, evidenced by reality. That's what "water-powered" industrialisation led to and always will. We need to de-industrialize. At least, we need to understand scale and apply discretion. The industrialists have shown that they can't.

      • RedLogix 2.3.1

        We need to de-industrialize.

        I'll be blunt on this as I usually am. This statement is the claim of a mass murderer. I know you don't intend it as this, but prior to industrialisation we peaked at 1b people, on a planet riddled with disease, violence, slavery, empire and war. We had deforested three quarters of the planet, we had driven to extinction dozens of large species, our shit was poisoning surface water everywhere we lived in numbers. There was nothing romantic or idyllic about it at all.

        Now we have increased our population roughly ten-fold. We have more than doubled our life expectancy. Blindly advocating we revert back to the low energy intensity prior to what enabled the modern world is at best naive. And that's the polite respectful version Robert.

        • Robert Guyton

          Well, that's me exiting the scene for good.

          • Gosman

            You are not explaining how a deindustrialised society could feed more than 1 Billion people

            • weka

              Have you ever gardened Gosman? Or lived on a farm? Growing food is not that hard relatively speaking. It's hard work sometimes, and it's definitely hard for many people locked into economic systems that aren't designed primarily for food and resource production, but the actual growing is something that humans have done for a very long time and we're pretty good at it even without industrialisation.

              Under the current global system, there is a large amount of food wastage, a large amount of energy wastage, and pressures that promote daft ways of growing food (trying to grow milk en masse in a desert for instance). Regnerative systems are much better at managing those things, and they're more resilient.

              In terms of the OP, we know that climate change is likely to create food shortages within our lifetimes, and that chunks of the industrial tech supporting ag currently has to stop (fossil fuels, artificial fertiliser, chopping down rain forests and so on). So it's not really a question of industrial not letting people starve, because we're already on track for that.

              • Gosman

                There is very good reasons modern society moved away from subsistance agriculture and why humans moved to cities rather than living in smallish self sustaining rural communities that we had lived in for the vast majority of our existence as modern humans. Specialisation and economies of scale allow greater productivity which in turn leads to increased living standards and/or population.

                • weka

                  I wasn't talking about subsistence ag though Gosman. And you seem to be ignoring the bit about climate change being about to make industrial ag fail.

                  Cities can produce food locally so not sure why you are referencing historical situations of villages.

          • RedLogix

            I'm not quite sure what you mean by that, but please take a walk in your forest and chill. Then come back and work with this.

            All I'm doing is challenging some deeply held assumptions, not you personally. I know that can be really hard to untangle. I have expressed nothing but respect and support for your competency and dedication Robert.

            • Dennis Frank

              Being reactive is easy, and I get why Robert is reacting (although not the extreme bit). We've been exploring thesis/antithesis via the history of the twin Green social archetypes that apply. Doing zero-sum on that Green history is a non-starter, so my advice to Robert is to admit that. He's still free to state his preference for resilience design.

              He & I differ only on acceptance of what others elsewhere need. You & I are pragmatic enough to admit industry will always play a part in the economy. Robert seems averse to the notion. I'm ambivalent, so I see an upside and a downside. Industry will maintain BAU until forced into sustainability, but civilisation is trending them onto that trajectory. Too little too late is a valid view. I'm with Monty Python though.

              Third world countries choosing modernism while we do postmodernism is understandable. Green fundamentalism inclines some to telling them off for that – unsurprising if they get angry about the paternalism, eh? Typical leftist arrogance projects the view that the leftist knows best, hence the prescription advocacy, but that denies third-worlders their freedom to choose. Immoral.

              So leftists need to be more considerate and diplomatic with regard to global projections. Nuances apply. Listen to what the locals want.

              • RedLogix

                I made my case to Robert with more force than was necessary. That was a mistake.

                It's hard to make two apparently contradictory cases at the same time. On the one hand I firmly believe that if we can access, cheap, abundant, zero carbon energy then we can ramp up our energy intensity to the point where we can substantially de-couple our civilisation from direct dependence on natural systems and photosynthesis. Let the natural world have it's food source back and it will recover rapidly.

                At the same time we will need the Robert's of this world to be the custodians and guardians of the natural world. Their essential skills in managing forests and systems, aquaponics and advanced regenerative landscape management, water systems, and as you say … adapting to the local nuances … will be valued more than ever before.

                If only I could convey to Robert that if we can get humans to stop depending so directly and intensely on nature, on photosynthesis … it would release vast tracts of the planet for his hopes to be fulfilled on a scale he would scarce dare to dream of.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Yes, that's a good way of seeing the situation. Reducing our collective footprint on nature is essential, and due to clever design that is a trend we can see is now gathering momentum. I'm encouraged whenever a new report documenting it shows up in the media.

                  ” [17 June 2019] The world’s population is expected to increase by 2 billion persons in the next 30 years, from 7.7 billion currently to 9.7 billion in 2050, according to a new United Nations report launched today.” https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/world-population-prospects-2019.html

                  • Dennis Frank

                    "Earth has been in ecological overshoot (where humanity is using more resources and generating waste at a pace that the ecosystem can't renew) since the 1970s. In 2018, Earth Overshoot Day, the date where humanity has used more from nature than the planet can renew in the entire year, was estimated to be August 1. Now more than 85% of humanity lives in countries that run an ecological deficit. This means their ecological footprint for consumption exceeds the biocapacity of that country."



                    • RedLogix

                      There are two related concepts at work here; one is relative sustainability, the other is absolute sustainability.

                      The bad news is that because human populations are increasing our total absolute footprint continues to get worse as your link shows. The good news is that (even in the worldpop link you give above) the peak rate of population increase topped out at around 2.1% in 1972. Since then it's been declining quite dramatically. More than half the people in the world now live in a nation where fertility is now below replacement level.

                      In relative terms our footprint per capita however is slowly improving. Every year we get a little more efficient and less dependent on natural systems. But for the time being population growth is dominating the picture.

                      At some point, hopefully this century, the two curves will reinforce each other, and even presupposing no technical improvements, our total absolute footprint should start to diminish.

                • Poission

                  In a section titled self producing cultures and dependent cultures (apocalypse postponed) Umberto Eco writes.

                  The drug culture,complete with its own values and rituals ,can only survive as a tolerated alternative within a much larger cultural model that does not itself propound the spread of the drugs prinicple.In a world made up exclusively of junkies,there would be nobody left to run the international drug trafficking business:drug culture presupposes a commercial framework for the buying and selling of drugs,this in turn presupposes a freemarket culture.Those hippies who artificially create an idealized culture of the past in which to live can only do so,thanks to the existence of general motors or the pentagon,which allow them to languish on the periphery of repressive intolerance.

                  The danger here is not in these cultures inability to express their own system of values and behaviour ,but in their failure to acknowledge their dependency on the dominant bourgeois model.

                  • RedLogix

                    Sometimes I almost think I understand what you're getting at Poisson. cool

                    It may of course be a foolish conceit on my part ….

                • gsays

                  Perhaps seeing us as seperate from 'nature' can be untangled.

                  • RedLogix

                    As an infant you were totally dependent on your parents; they provided everything for you. You were indeed inseparable from them, without them you might likely perish.

                    Now as an adult do you consider yourself an individual separate from your parents? Do you make your own decisions, provide for your own welfare and take responsibility for your life? Of course you do. At the same time you remain related to your parents, you will always have a vital social and spiritual connection to them.

                    The same applies to our relationship with nature, we are both connected yet separate at the same time.

                    • gsays

                      As an infant it was very easy, natural, to realise I was at one with nature.

                      As time progressed, that can become harder.

                      If you listen to some folk, they would tell you you were seperate from nature.

                      Others would have it, that nature is there for us to keep biggering.

                    • RedLogix

                      We are not separate from nature, we will always remain embodied biological creatures and connected to our origins. At the same time we've become the first species on earth to become post biological, the first species to consciously and extensively modify our environment, to wriggle out from under the thumb of natural selection, and certainly the first to ponder how much better we could be.

                      Separate or not separate is a false dichotomy, as neither answer is right.

          • francesca

            Oh no


            Apparently you could have a very good job as something like a museum curator, looking after Nature so that we highly evolved and sophisticated humans could go there(Nature reserves) on spiritual vacations, in between the times when we are living free from Nature having a wonderful time in a completely human made industrial utopia, where we all have all our heart's desire.


            Seriously, I think the major problem is our denial of death.A truly peaceful acceptance of death would go a long way to peaceful existence

      • Gosman 2.3.2

        Simply stating it does (as evidenced by "reality') is not an effective argument. Please advise me how the first water powered factories using canals for transportation were causing massive amounts of pollutants.

      • weka 2.3.3

        "At least, we need to understand scale and apply discretion. The industrialists have shown that they can't."

        Indeed. Seems to me that many think of industrialisation as the tech, rather than also largely being about the intention and philosophy. How much would have been solved had industrialists applied self regulation and accepted feedback, especially in regards to nature?

    • weka 2.4

      "I think many people are not really understanding what industrialisation means"

      I see it more that different people have different ideas about what it means, and we don't yet have a good way of talking about this where we're all understanding each other. It's very clear that a number of people here have very different ideas about what deindustrialisation means than I do.

      "There is no reason why industrialisation cannot go hand in hand with a less environmentally damaging way of living."

      As mentioned above to Andre, the issue here is about shared understandings of 'sustainable'. But sustainable isn't defined by being less environmentally damaging, although it is definitely that. We have lots of ways of being less environmentally damaging that aren't even close to being sustainable (think fencing off waterways on industrial dairy farms).

      • Gosman 2.4.1

        Sustainability is such a fuzzy broad term that it has become little more than a buzz word for people to bandy around to prove their environmental credentials. The amount of mathematics required to truly calculate if an activity can been deemed sustainable over different time periods for different levels of use would be massive.

        • weka

          I agree it's become a fuzzy word, but more because it's been appropriated by the mainstream and used in ways that destroy its actual meaning.

          You don't need massive maths to make something sustainable, you need a systems perspective and knowledge of how the rules apply. It's not that hard once one learns this, and it's really just a skill set like other. At the moment we don't have many people with that particular skill set, nor do we have a lot of language to be able to talk about it generally.

          • Gosman

            I'd say it is incredibly hard and I will prove it by asking you to explain the calculation over whether using an iPhone to access the internet is sustainable or not.

            • weka

              It's not. We already know this because of the precious metals used in iphones and how they are acquired and the pollution they cause. Also, that iphones are essentially disposable, rather than having components that can be taken apart and reused. Yes some of the bits get recycled but that's rather poor relative to sustainability itself. It doesn't take complicated maths to know this.

              There are whole branches of knowledge around what sustainability actually is, and that knowledge is based in principles like cradle to grave, produce no waste, reuse before recycle and so on.

              • gsays

                Sustainability = leaving the soil in better condition for this season than it was last season.

                I would rather not cite who I got that from as it becomes a distraction. Suffice to say it is hard to argue against.

                • weka

                  I agree. I've been wondering today if applied gardening might be the best way to teach sustainability.

        • Dennis Frank

          Better to view the term as an ideal to be approached in an ad hoc, incremental manner. Don't allow those using it as a buzzword to dictate the agenda. It's whatever works to sustain an economy in perpetuity. Like living within your means, upscaled to the global level.

          • Gosman

            Again that makes not sense in complex systems where the means your are meant to be living within are unknown. How much energy can someone sustainably use if it comes from renewable sources like Solar or Hydro for example?

            • Dennis Frank

              Not sure what you mean there. There's the principle of sustainability, then there's how to implement it. Implementation will proceed on a `what seems to work best at the time' basis, which will get amended or changed when necessary. Pragmatism will rule. That's how people normally operate. So there's no need for angst about the future. Bad for one's mental health…

              • Gosman

                What are the different criteria used to determine if using solar or hydro energy is sustainable then?

                • weka

                  At the moment they're not if we're building a new one. The criteria would be things like:

                  • where do the materials come from, how are they extracted, are they renewable or not, is the extraction rate higher than is reasonable over a long timeframe (1,000 years?)
                  • how much pollution is produced (cradle to grave analysis)?
                  • what is the energy returned on energy invested over the whole life cycle of the solar or hydro system?
                  • can all of that be done without using fossil fuels? At what scale?
                  • weka

                    all of that relative to growth. One new hydro dam in NZ might be meaningfully sustainable if we were using it to shift to a steady state economy (including population), but not if it's being used to promote growth and thus require more extraction, wasted energy and pollution.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Well, the sun is a nuclear reactor with sufficient fuel to burn for several billion more years at least. Tech systems to convert sunlight to energy have limited life-spans, but are usually replaceable by better systems.

                  Hydro systems are sustainable if replenishment matches draw, on average, with the caveat that climate change may trend them towards being unsustainable – no mountains or usable rivers in Northland, but if there were it would be a dodgy investment!

                  • weka

                    plants and animals remain by far the best converters of sunlight to energy.

                    • Andre

                      How do you figure that? At very best, plants turn about 5% of incoming solar energy into chemical energy in its biomass. Very little of a plant's life is under optimal conditions, so actual efficiency is generally under 2%. PV panels and concentrated solar thermal plants are routinely above 20% efficiency converting incoming solar to electrical energy.


                      Then animals are horribly inefficient at converting the energy and protein they are fed into live weight (which is mostly water) and protein. For instance, it takes a cow 25kg of protein in its feed to produce 1 kg of edible protein, or 5kg of protein in feed for 1kg of edible chicken, or 10kg of protein in feed for 1 kg of edible protein in pork.


                    • RedLogix

                      Depends a lot on what you mean by 'best converters'. Inevitably photosynthesis is both diffuse and highly seasonal. Feeding large populations took large tracts of relatively rare highly fertile land in large river basins. A few years of drought or a failed monsoon, and famine stalked the land. Hell in many locations just getting through a normal winter was a tough business.

                      Coal and oil changed everything. As essentially a highly dense store of ancient sunlight, suddenly we had a reliable fuel that was easy to store and transport, and enabled us to achieve high temperatures to in order to generate electricity and run industrial processes efficiently. Fossil fuels are about 1000 times more dense on an energy per unit mass basis than wood or food, but it was still locked into the carbon cycle, and the resulting unbalance is the story of AGW as we have spoken of for years.

                      High efficiency PV is roughly on a par with photosynthesis for energy density, but it does have the great merit that it produces high quality electricity directly and bypasses most of the carbon cycle.

                      Nuclear fission on an energy per unit of mass basis is about 10,000 times more dense than fossil fuels. It's the ancient store of energy from the core of the planet, the natural thorium/uranium reactor that keeps the mantle liquid, generates the protective magnetic field of the planet and drives the plate tectonics that form continents and makes resources available to us to mine. Without this reactor at the heart of the earth, we would live on a dead planet.

                      Nuclear fusion is at least another 1,000 times more energy dense than fission is again. This is the process from the heart of the sun itself. Ultimately we will crack the secret of this very hard puzzle. Within decades of this breakthrough we will not recognise our world, everything will have changed. Whether for the better or not is going to depend on choices we make.

                      But ultimately the logic is that human energy needs will come from sources that are higher quality, much denser, more abundant, far cheaper and will no longer depend at all on plants and animals. That strikes me as a very good prospect.

                    • weka

                      any set of stats that starts with factory chickens in a conversation about sustainability should be set aside.

                      Ecosystems have maintained stability over millions of years. And adapted. In that plants and animals have a supremely sophisticated set of systems for converting sunlight into life that not only sustains the individuals but provides for the whole system. Regenerative.

                      Energy from PV panels cause more pollution than the system can sustain, and take more resources than the system can sustain. That might change if we move to a steady state economy/population and attempt to design them with sustainability in mind (rather than simply being renewable energy outputters).

                    • RedLogix

                      In that plants and animals have a supremely sophisticated set of systems for converting sunlight into life that not only sustains the individuals but provides for the whole system.

                      Nice but didn't produce the computer you are typing on. Essentially that statement erases the whole of the human endeavour. From the very moment we started to use tools like sharp flints fractured from rocks, or fire to cook with and to extend the range we could survive in … we started down the path of becoming separate from these purely natural systems. We've been modifying our world for a very long time now; it's just now that we've grasped the enormity of both the threat and opportunity before us.

  3. Sabine 3

    well, currently we are doing nothing. Collectively we don't want to give up our 'comforts' our 'lifestyle' our 'toys' blahblahblah. Because essentially we have become a blob of over entertained, bored, under challenged human beings who will do fight change any chance they get. Some to show it to the SJW, or to own the libs, others because their business / political interests hinge on it, others because they really don't care about the future and so on.

    There are some countries that are future investing but then i guess we don't want to do what they do cause capitalism or something, i never quite understand the reasoning of people that think signing papers of no significance is 'doing the work'.

    But here that might be something that we could do, once we decide that we can do things.


    German rail operator Deutsche Bahn and solar project developer Enerparc have signed a contract for construction of a 42 MW solar power plant in Wasbek, in Schleswig-Holstein, eastern Germany.

    The solar power generated will be fed directly into Deutsche Bahn’s 16.7 Hz rail network via a converter plant in Neumünster.

    Enerparc told pv magazine the solar plant is expected to generate around 38 GWh of electricity per year.


    Every electric train on the Dutch railways NS network now gets 100 per cent of its energy from wind energy.

    NS Dutch Railways has partnered with energy company Eneco to use its wind turbines to generate the energy needed to power all of its electric trains. The pair had hoped to achieve this milestone by 2018 but managed the feat as of January 1 this year.

    NS annually consumes 1.2 billion kWh of wind electricity, reportedly equivalent to the amount all households consume each year. The 100 per cent wind energy-powered trains transport 600,000 passengers and three strokes of an Eneco wind turbine drives a railway train one kilometre.


    Some trains in the UK are now running on a rail line powered entirely by a solar farm in what's said to be a world first. Around 100 panels are keeping the signaling and lights up and running on the track near Aldershot in Hampshire, and the project could be a precursor to solar-powered trains on the nation's network.

    Several UK train stations already run on solar. Network Rail, which manages most of the railway infrastructure on the British mainland, has earmarked billions of pounds to electrify rail lines, and aims to do so with solar power if the pilot project is successful. The UK government aims to eliminate the use of diesel on the rail network by 2040.


    • As per the NITI Aayog data, carbon dioxide emission from the Indian Railways was around 6.84 million tons in 2014
    • Piyush Goyal also said that the Indian Railways will be 100% electrically run by 2023


    The DLW converted two WDG3A Diesel Locos into a twin electric WAGC3 locomotive of 10,000 horsepower. According to official statements, the government has called it a ‘complete Make in India’ initiative which will result in less greenhouse gas emissions while also making way for better efficient locomotives.

    The question should never be 'you like that civilisation that you have" then you put up with our polluting and not giving a shit – cause that is not a choice that is extortion. And this is what we do currently . What we should be asking is how can we keep the parts of our lifestyle that make our life better i.e. fridges, hot water, public transport, hospitals, education etc (the cavemen already had arts and they – one could argue – had no lifestyle at all) while not constantly collectively shitting our bed every chance we get.

    And going from fossil fuels (including lithium mining) to renewable energy, i.e.. solar, wind, water, heat would be the thing to do. Getting people out of their single serve cages into public transport that gasp would be powered by renewable energy should be something to aim for, and we could make it free so that people use the services provided – and not only those to poor to keep a car – but above all those so rich or such large businesses that they can write of the costs of maintaining fleets and have the tax payer foot the bill for their travels and pollution and use of resources.

    Heck our fridges, freezers could run on solar power. And it would be a whole new industry with many jobs and such.

    But we are not gonna do that. Cause it would be the sensible thing to do, and because we don't want to pressure our industry leaders, our selected Ministers, our business leaders our banks into doing the right thing. That is not what any of these guys have signed up for. They are here for the profits.

    And thus Australia is the Canary in the mine, and the poor bird just died.

  4. Sabine 4

    and here is a picture of down town Auckland in the past with its electric busses.


    • Graeme 4.1

      Another thought experiment is to consider what Auckland would look like now if the trollies and / or trams were still in place and Robbie's plan to electrify the rail network had come to fruition in the 70's. It seems odd seeing Auckland is going there after 50 years.

      Small aside, those ARA trollies were the quickest thing across the lights on Queen Street, if empty with a willing driver. Many a young hoon in their hot Zephyr was embarrassed.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        Auckland has started to do the right thing because it is exhausted from doing all of the alternatives.

  5. Andre 5

    As examples of things that would change if climate change were taken seriously and a price put on greenhouse gas emissions: consider domestic refrigeration and air-conditioning.

    Prior to the ozone hole becoming a problem and the Montreal Protocol adopted to fix it, Freon (also called R12 or dichlorodifluoromethane) was almost universally used as the working fluid in fridges, freezers, domestic and automotive air-conditioners. But after the Montreal Protocol, R12 was quickly replaced by other gases that don't damage the ozone layer, usually R134a ( 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane). So quick changeovers can happen when there's a will and an alternative.

    As it happens, this was also a bit fortuitous from a global warming perspective, since R12 has a global warming potential of 10,900, while R134a has a GWP of 1430. But now it's abundantly clear global warming is also a problem, there seems to be a distinct lack of action on changing to alternatives to R134a. The easiest alternative is R600a (isobutane, GWP 3), which actually is starting to get used in fridges. But there's resistance on the bogus grounds of flammability, even though the amounts involved are tiny (a few cigarette lighters worth in a fridge). So far, I have yet to see any heat pumps using R600a, they are all R134a.

    But even more shocking, R134a is sold for a variety of other uses. Completely unrestricted, and with no information on its effects. Such as my kid going and buying a can of computer duster to blow dust out of his electrickery. It was full of R134a, and he and I were both shocked to work out that from a global warming perspective that can was the equivalent of burning at least 250 litres of petrol.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      So quick changeovers can happen when there's a will and an alternative.

      Exactly. Both factors are necessary, but it's even better if the alternative or substitute is actually better than what it replaces. The best example is how rapidly cars replaced horse drawn vehicles in the cities of the developed world in just one short decade, from 1900 to 1910. Cars were not only better, they were much cheaper to own and operate. That's the ideal type of transition, one that is driven by the underlying economics.

      Your point on R134 is a good one, at present there isn't a strong enough economic incentive to replace it, and therefore it's a good candidate for either regulation or costing off the market; both mechanisms have their place. (Incidentally large industrial vendors who have multiple generations of product in their catalogs often do this to earlier generations of product, they simply put a ridiculous 'don't buy' price on it and their customers soon get the message that it's time to start making the switch.)

      • Poission 5.1.1

        The kilgali amendment has restricted the use (and has a phase down) on the use and manufacture of HFC this will reduce the GWP by around 0.5c by 2050.

        On October 15, 2016, with the United States’ leadership, 197 countries adopted an amendment to phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda. Under the amendment, countries committed to cut the production and consumption of HFCs by more than 80 percent over the next 30 years. The ambitious phase down schedule will avoid more than 80 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 2050—avoiding up to 0.5° Celsius warming by the end of the century—while continuing to protect the ozone layer. Under the amendment, developed countries will reduce HFC consumption beginning in 2019. Most developing countries will freeze consumption in 2024, with a small number of developing countries with unique circumstances freezing consumption in 2028. The plan also provides financing to certain countries, to help them transition to climate-friendly alternatives. Key elements of the Kigali Amendment include:


        Click to access hfc-consumption-in-nz.pdf

        Kinda gets in the way of a good story.

        • Andre

          An 80% reduction over 30 years is underwhelming, considering the seriousness of the problem and that there's near drop-in replacements available right now for most applications.

  6. Andre 6

    What does a de-industrialised food supply look like? Particularly for meat?

    Is it like the producer markets so beloved of western hippies? That in the early 80s in Spain supplied me the meat that gave me my worst-ever bout of food poisoning?

    Is it like the markets in Africa that sell bushmeat and are strongly implicated in spreading ebola?

    Is it like the markets in Wuhan, that are strongly implicated in spreading the current coronavirus outbreak?

    • weka 6.1

      No, it's none of those. It's taking our modern understandings of hygiene and how illness spreads, and factoring that into a system that is designed to be sustainable. You seem very centred in a vision of full industrial vs (what you imagine as) hellscape poverty. I guess I'm fortunate that instead of spending time in places where the food systems harmed me because they were problematically designed, I've been around a lot of people whose culture creates sustainable systems and people produce food that is safe and healthy.

      Of all the things that might be about to go wrong for humans, I think food is actually one of the easier ones to solve. If we had to rely on locally grown food we could, and those systems can be designed more safely than big industrial supply chains. It would be different than what we do now, but I think it's doable and meeting the criteria of the question.

      The problems re Wuhan are likely to be industrial factory farming. We could see that problem as not being industrial enough, or we could shift to regenerative systems that respect animals and nature. Where you see two options, I see three (or more).

      • RedLogix 6.1.1

        The Chinese 'wet markets' are notorious for their medieval notions of hygiene. The only reason why they work is that in the absence of refrigeration everyone must eat the food that is purchased that day. Otherwise it rapidly becomes too dangerous to eat. It also forces women into a constant daily round of chores shopping, cooking and cleaning. Anything not eaten that day is discarded.

        In the aftermath of this crisis the CCP will almost certainly impose much higher standards of food preparation and handling. Already they are moving to ban trade in wild animals like snakes, bats and the like.

        You seem very centred in a vision of full industrial vs (what you imagine as) hellscape poverty.

        Because quite simply if you abandon industrialisation (and you don't get to pick and choose which bits you like and don't like, it's one vast interconnected web of sciences, materials and engineering) we know exactly what that looks like. Either go back in time 200 years or so, or travel to undeveloped countries where people are not yet connected to electricity. Compared to what we enjoy on a daily basis, yes it is a hellscape of sorts. Certainly anyone still living this life chooses to get out of it if at all possible. They don't suffer any romantic illusions about how pure they are.

        Choosing a 'third path' is a reasonable option. Is it possible to devise an 'eco-technic' future in which we select from a menu of the best of both worlds? Can we have a limited industrialisation, those components that give us safe water, power, good food, education, health care, connectivity, safe regulated communities and so on, while living de-powered lives 'in harmony with nature'? I have to say I was convinced of this option for many, many years. It does have an innate appeal and I don't want to scoff at it.

        Will this path save the planet? I used to think so, but in truth 10b humans will take up a LOT of land living in such a mode. By contrast if we look around the world where there is relatively untouched nature … it's the places like mountains, deserts, glaciers and marginal lands that humans have not been able to find an economic use for. We save nature by not using it.

        In the meantime all the big global trends are running in the other direction. Our agricultural footprint per capita is half what is was in 1960. We're generally using fewer resources, using less land and living far more densely in large cities. Slowly but surely we're de-coupling from nature, becoming far less dependent on it directly. And all of this is being driven by constant improvements in our industrial civilisation.

        I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but as we've become more energy intensive, our impact on the natural world per capita has diminished. The logical path forward is to drive this process to it's optimum outcome … the greater mass of humanity living advanced, civilised lives in highly dense, thriving and attractive cities, surrounded by a natural world allowed to regenerate because we are no longer using it.

        Look at pictures of Hong Kong. Here is one of the great world cities, highly developed and dense, yet it occupies barely 10% of the island. The other 90% is bright green forest right up to the windows of the high rises. Here is a very plausible prototype of how a truly sustainable future might look.

  7. Matiri 7

    (Jonathan) Pie takes a new direction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-YuoWaCfhI

  8. pat 8


    "Since 1970, the human population has doubled, the global economy has grown fourfold, and trade has expanded tenfold, a trajectory that — in the absence of widespread recycling — relentlessly pushes up the demand for energy and resources."


    Now recycling will help but there are many critical resources that either cannot be recycled or only recycled a limited number of times and in most instances there is a decline in quality and/or application…and then theres potable water

    • Drowsy M. Kram 8.1

      Thanks Pat – such reports demonstrate that fair theories about the sustainability of current human enterprise are unrealistic.

      Governments must urgently adopt circular economy solutions if we want to achieve a high quality of life for close to 10bn people by mid-century without destabilising critical planetary processes.

      • pat 8.1.1

        very much so….no matter how much we would wish otherwise

      • Dennis Frank 8.1.2

        Business as usual (capitalism) incorporates consumerism. Consumerism is a culture, created to fuel demand for more products. Christmas gifts are a key structural component. You may have noticed a new consumer trend last November: `Black Friday Sales'. Dutiful consumers get an extra opportunity to buy yet more crap.

        Approximately half of these people intent on making the world worse vote Labour, of course… 🤫

        • RedLogix

          Yet oddly enough as a society becomes more prosperous and settled, essentially as we move up the Maslow Hierarchy of needs, the demand for physical goods shifts towards a different sort of demand for experiences and services that is less resource intensive. Or you can make a simple productivity argument as this report does:

          Resource productivity, expressed as a ratio of GDP to DMC, links overall resource use to economic activity. Between 2000 and 2012, it increased markedly in the European Union (by 29% for the EU-27 and by 39% for the EU-15), a sign that European economies are creating more wealth out of the material resources that they use, although it also reflects changes in material use and the structure of economies.

          The country with the highest resource productivity over the available time series is Switzerland. Switzerland, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have consistently been the most resource-efficient economies in Europe between 2000 and 2012. The increase in resource productivity between 2000 and 2012 was highest in Ireland, Spain, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Italy, Cyprus and the United Kingdom. Only two countries — Romania and Estonia — experienced a decline in resource productivity in the same period.


          • Dennis Frank

            Yes, that countervailing trend is encouraging. I suspect that the balance is still tilted towards the bad side due to elements of capitalism such as planned obsolescence. That didn't exist in Aotearoa when I was growing up.

            There's a helpful trend towards businesses incorporating recycling of materials. Interesting that this is happening voluntarily rather than via legal compulsion. The Green ethos is infusing the capitalist system slowly. A quality mark on the packaging that gives the percentage would hasten the effect, much as the energy-efficiency rating of appliances has become normal.

        • pat

          not just the increasing race to grab the consumer dollar for goods (and facilitate cashflow before its spent elsewhere) but also services…..at any given time there is approximately 1.2 million people in the air travelling to places other

    • RedLogix 8.2

      Anyone in the recycling business will tell you that the primary constraint on what they can do is the price and availability of energy. Potable water is solved if you have abundant cheap energy for desalination. There will be always some need for raw resources to be extracted, but intensive recycling could reduce this by a factor of 5 or 10 even.

      These kinds of report are correct and useful in that they point to the very real limits of our present industrial base … but all too often they overlook what is possible as energy becomes cheaper. That’s the real pathway to a ‘circular economy’.

      • pat 8.2.1

        and anybody that uses recycled materials will tell you about their limitations….and desalination plants cause as many problems as they solve even if the energy is green and abundant,

        Resources are limited (even renewables have a replacement period, and one that we are and have exceeded) and they will all run out at some point, many in a very short period of time at current consumption rates…never mind the associated impacts.

        • RedLogix

          and desalination plants cause as many problems as they solve even if the energy is green and abundant,

          No really you will have to explain that one to me. I'm genuinely curious.

          As for other mineral resources … extracting metals from sea water is entirely possible and for all practical purposes represents an almost unlimited resource. Again cheap, abundant, green energy enables this.


          • pat

            "These pollutants increase the seawater temperature, salinity, water current and turbidity. They also harm the marine environment, causing fish to migrate while enhancing the presence of algae, nematods and tiny molluscus. Sometimes micro-elements and toxic materials appear in the discharged brine.This paper will discuss the impact of the effluents from the desalination plants on the seawater environment with particular reference to the Saudi desalination plants, since they account for about 50% of the world desalination capacity."


            • RedLogix

              Is that it? The solution to this is dead obvious, simply pump in more raw seawater and dilute it more before discharging the brine. A simple operational change that just requires a bit more pumping energy. Or simply disperse the discharge outlets more efficiently so as the brine dilutes more rapidly.

              • pat

                and all while increasing the the extraction and discharge …..and added to that you wish to mine (further) minerals from the oceans without understanding the impact on the environment and biodiversity….yep you'll solve it all right, just like the oil companies

                • RedLogix

                  Have you any idea just how large the ocean's are? The dilution factors are immense, pretending there is a problem here is irrational.

                  Lets look at one obvious metal, lithium which is present at 0.17ppm in the oceans. The volume of all the oceans is aprox 1.3 x 10^9 km3. That means there is around 220 cubic kilometers of lithium in the oceans. That's quite a lot really.

                  Still I understand that no matter what actual data I present, the real problem here isn't the one your talking about.

                  • pat

                    yep it is…and what purpose does it serve in the oceans?…do you know?

                    And there was a shit load of oil when they started extracting it, and quite a bit of various other resources in the ground….you do realise how desperate you are appearing promoting the extraction of lithium from ocean water at a ratio of less than 1ppm….might be time to accept that we have reached (or passed) the limits of this planet

                    • RedLogix

                      Don't be an idiot, 220 cubic km is an immense amount, we'd never get close to using a fraction of a percent of it. Current land total reserves of lithium are estimated at 65m tonnes, while just one of those cubic km in the ocean would be around 530,000 m tonnes.

                      At one time people like you were claiming shale oil would never be economic, but a mere decade later it’s cost competitive with Saudi crude, and getting better. I don’t endorse it, but its a perfect example of improving tech making fools of people who keep thinking progress doesn’t, or shouldn’t, happen.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "…we'd never get close to using a fraction of a percent of it."

                      Red is correct. Not because of the apparently 'limitless' nature of the resource, but rather because our collective 'disbelief in limits' will ensure that human civilisation is brought low by those limits sooner rather than later.

                      Will the global human population reach its projected peak of ~11 billion? What a catastrophe for all other inhabitants of 'our' planet if it does.

                      Maybe human civilisation is too 'special' to fail – that’s a magical thought!

                    • RedLogix

                      but rather because our collective 'disbelief in limits' will ensure that human civilisation is brought low by those limits sooner rather later.

                      Yet every single time the anti-human Malthusians pronounced the imminent end of times they've been proven wrong. In this they're even more morbidly obdurate than marxists.

                      Off course there are limits, as an industrialist I'm likely more aware of the details of them that most, if I didn't believe in them I would be here discussing them. But every time we encounter a new limit, we learn to adapt. We find a different way to solve the same problem.

                      While resources are constrained, perfections are without limit. And that is the magic of being human.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Evolution yields “adequate design“.
                      The drive for perfection is a human quirk – magnificent and sad.

                      Perfection is an unattainable illusion that taints reality.
                      View at Medium.com

                      Will civilisation survive its drives? Time will tell someone.

                    • RedLogix

                      Perfections plural. An endless unbounded process of improvements.

                      Evolution yields “adequate design“.
                      The drive for perfection is a human quirk – magnificent and sad.

                      Which is why humans are well described as the first post-biological species. Still people manage to find misery in just about any damn thing, so why am I not surprised you find this sad. Maybe something radical would shift things for you.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Red, are you prescribing from experience? Alas, I fear the effects of psychedelics which, as your link informs, "are highly variable and depend on the mindset and environment in which the user has the experience".

                      My life is fine, and I prefer to see the world as it is; more than magical enough (for now) without recourse to mind-altering drugs.

                      Postscript: I can understand the appeal of the idea of humans as a post-biological species, but we should have learned to ‘walk‘ first. All this imagined “leap-frogging” is too much.

                    • RedLogix

                      My life is fine, and I prefer to see the world as it is; more than magical enough

                      How odd, for comment after comment you project little but dark doomer negativity and gloom, yet when I gently call you on it, suddenly everything is 'fine'.

                      Yeah nah.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Ah, Red, my little 'cheer germ' – such a dark (and perhaps a tad personal) assessment of my 'agonised psyche'.

                      While you have perceived accurately that I'm not optimistic about the future of human civilisation in the medium term, I genuinely don't let that belief (which is all it is) get me down, and am more upbeat in regard to my personal future than I have any right to be.

                      Please consider the possibility that your magic mushroom advice and "Yeah nah" psychobabble might be better applied closer to home laugh

                    • pat

                      Your lack of understanding is wondrous to behold…what I want is irrelevant.

                      All your scenarios are predicated upon unrealised dreams of future tech….a future that wont arrive as you not only ignore reality but crucially you ignore time.

                      As the link I posted noted the projections of the Limits of Growth have been anything bit disproved, indeed they remain remarkably accurate.

                      And the EROI of a kg of Thorium is currently negative…and will remain so IMO

                    • RedLogix

                      And the EROI of a kg of Thorium is currently negative…and will remain so IMO

                      That merely amounts to saying " it hasn't been done yet, therefore it cannot be done ".

                      Well from this logic I'm concluding that because I can't get a rational response from you so far, it's therefore impossible to get one.

                      I looked at that Limits to Growth link, it dated back to sometime in the 90’s. You’ve been suckered by someone telling you what you want to hear.

                      Incidentally 1kg of thorium is enough to power one human for more than a lifetime. At a rough estimate we can power humanity for least 2000 years from known deposits.

                    • pat

                      "That merely amounts to saying " it hasn't been done yet, therefore it cannot be done ".That merely amounts to saying " it hasn't been done yet, therefore it cannot be done ".

                      No..it amounts to you asked what the EROI of a kg of thorium is and it IS negative….until such time as it is producing energy it will remain so.

                      "I looked at that Limits to Growth link, it dated back to sometime in the 90’s. You’ve been suckered by someone telling you what you want to hear"

                      Then you looked in the wrong place (not surprising)…my link was from 2017

                  • pat

                    it is an immense amount…and we will never get close to extracting a fraction of it…but not for the reason you think.

                    And im not sure where your reserves figure comes from but you may wish to check your source

                    • pat

                      I suspect that Red would be (if he could) be one of those burning high EROI oil to facilitate sub 1 EROI fracked oil and gas….the question of externalities and purpose is secondary…if considered at all.

                      'Progress' at all costs…right up until it all goes tits up

                    • RedLogix

                      And how did all those Peak Oil doomer scenarios work out for you pat? The world was supposed to be all over by 2010 … and here we are burning more oil than ever, and doing more with it than ever. I think you need to update some of your assumptions.

                      But setting fossil fuels aside … what can you tell me about the EROI on a kg of thorium? What do you imagine might happen if we suddenly each had 10 or 100 times more cheap and abundant energy than we do now? What do you think might become possible? What constraints might suddenly vanish?

                      Because every major technological innovation we have achieved, since we first achieved modern cognitive abilities over 70,000 years ago, has transformed our world beyond all recognition. Why do you insist against all the evidence that this process has come to an end? Why do you want it to end?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "What do you imagine might happen if we suddenly each had 10 or 100 times more cheap and abundant energy than we do now?"

                      Well Red, which is it; 10 times or 100 times? Not that your answer really matters – one scenario is almost as fanciful as the other.

                      Oh, and you forgot to add ‘non-polluting‘ to your “cheap and abundant” descriptors – that was careless. I love Science Fiction as much as the next guy, but should humankind be relying on such imaginings to solve the problems we created?

                    • RedLogix []

                      If we committed to it we could get to 10 times by 2050 using thorium/uranium molten salt fast spectrum tech.

                      And at some point we will crack the fusion puzzle and that gets us to 100 times without breaking sweat.

                      Yet it seems really important to you to insist none of this is possible.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      I found both your scenarios, i.e. that we might suddenly have 10 or 100 times more cheap and abundant energy than we have now, to be fanciful = over-imaginative and unrealistic.

                      I would not insist your scenarios are impossible, but genuinely believe that they are fanciful, and therefore actually quite dangerous.

                      Red, you can prepare for a future of 11 billion souls without limits; personally I think the focus should be on accepting the reality of limits and planning accordingly. But I acknowledge that your solution sounds much more fun – well, more fun for us anyway.

          • pat


            and energy isnt the main limitation (or cost)

            5. Economic analysis

            The profitability of mining minerals from sea or seawater brine depends on the capital cost, operation and maintenance cost, sale revenues of water and minerals, and geological location.11 The major capital costs are those of equipment, buildings, construction of plants, and land. Operational and maintenance costs include cost of energy (e.g. electric power), chemicals and other consumables, labour, equipment replacements, and maintenance.

            • RedLogix

              The major capital costs are those of equipment, buildings, construction of plants, and land.

              All of which contain major energy costs themselves. In the context of a civilisation where energy is cheap, these costs reduce as well.

              Here's another paper that looks more directly at the fundamentals and makes it clear that energy is the limiting factor under present conditions:

              Abstract: The concept of recovering minerals from seawater has been proposed as a way of counteracting the gradual depletion of conventional mineral ores. Seawater contains large amounts of dissolved ions and the four most concentrated metal ones (Na, Mg, Ca, K) are being commercially extracted today. However, all the other metal ions exist at much lower concentrations. This paper reports an estimate of the feasibility of the extraction of these metal ions on the basis of the energy needed. In most cases, the result is that extraction in amounts comparable to the present production from land mines would be impossible because of the very large amount of energy needed. This conclusion holds also for uranium as fuel for the present generation of nuclear fission plants. Nevertheless, in a few cases, mainly lithium, extraction from seawater could provide amounts of metals sufficient for closing the cycle of metal use in the economy, provided that an increased level of recycling can be attained.


              • pat

                "All of which contain major energy costs themselves. In the context of a civilisation where energy is cheap, these costs reduce as well."

                but not just energy costs as you conveniently ignore…resources

  9. pat 9

    "The big takeaway, if you agree the fit is worth taking seriously, is the trends around 2020-30. All three parts of the economy plummet, then the death rate increases and the population drops, yet all the signs look good just before, which is now. Limits to Growth projected this possibility decades ago, yet nearly everyone ignored it…."


  10. All the 'what ifs' in the world matter not at all, when set against the fundamental problems: public inertia and political shortsightedness.

    While a majority of the public in many nations now appear to accept the science of climate disruption, it seems that few are willing to accept much personal sacrifice (e.g. no more holiday flying) to ensure that our kids have a chance at a decent future. Some of us are working to keep the issue in the public eye and in the MSM, and to pressure politicians to take it seriously. Right now, politicians are not willing to risk decisive action: their event horizon stops at the next election.

    There will be global tipping points in public opinion; the Oz bushfires was perhaps the first of many. Question is, will they come in time?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand First calls for tahr cull halt
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industry New Zealand First is supporting calls by hunters and the New Zealand Tahr Foundation (NZTF) to halt a large scale cull of Himalayan Tahr by the Department of Conservation in National Parks. The calls are supported by a 40,000 strong petition and the ...
    4 days ago
  • Response to Spin-off allegations
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First leader Winston Peters today scoffed at suggestions that a team of six political operatives have been dispatched to New Zealand to assist his campaign. ‘As President Ronald Reagan once said, ‘there they go again.’ ‘The clickbait journos can’t ...
    4 days ago
  • Jenny Marcroft MP to represent New Zealand First in Auckland Central
    New Zealand First is pleased to announce Jenny Marcroft as the party’s election 2020 candidate for the Auckland Central electorate. Jenny spent years working in Auckland Central, having spent a vast proportion of her broadcasting career there. She says she, "knows the place and knows the people." Ms Marcroft says ...
    5 days ago
  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    6 days ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    6 days ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    6 days ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    1 week ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    1 week ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    1 week ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    1 week ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Gang crime, meth harm targeted in Waikato
    The Minister of Police says a major operation against the Mongrel Mob in Waikato will make a big dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks. “Senior leadership of the Waikato Mongrel Mob has been taken out as a result of Operation Kingsville, which resulted in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Supporting victims and families to attend mosque attack sentencing
    The Government is extending the border exception criteria to enable some offshore victims and support people of the Christchurch mosque attacks to attend the sentencing of the accused beginning on 24 August2020, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “We want to support our valued Muslim brothers and sisters who were directly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Boost for community freshwater restoration projects
    A project to support volunteer efforts to look after streams and rivers is getting a boost thanks to support from DOC’s Community Conservation Fund announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today.  “The government is backing efforts to look after waterways with $199,400 for the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • More support for women and girls
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter today announced that funding for the COVID-19 Community Fund for women and girls will be doubled, as the first successful funding applications for the initial $1million were revealed. “Women and girls across the country have suffered because of the effects of COVID-19, and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending
    The Government’s books were better than forecast with a higher GST take as the economy got moving again after lockdown, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the 11 months to the end of May indicate the year end results for tax revenue will be stronger than forecast. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Govt releases plan to revitalise wool sector
    A plan to revitalise New Zealand’s strong wool sector and set it on a new, more sustainable and profitable path was unveiled today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The newly-released report - Vision and Action for New Zealand’s Wool Sector - was developed by the Wool Industry Project Action Group ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Funding for Predator Free Whangārei
    Community efforts to create a Predator Free Whangārei will receive a $6 million boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. The new funding, through Government company Predator Free 2050 Ltd, will create around 12 jobs while enabling the complete removal of possums over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment for international engagement there,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand remains deeply ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding for Whangārei’s infrastructure projects revealed
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced details of a multimillion-dollar investment in Whangārei for infrastructure projects that will help it recover from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 jobs are expected to be created through the $26 million investment from the Government’s rejuvenation package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed isolation and quarantine update
    Following a second incident in which a person escaped from a managed isolation facility, security is being enhanced, including more police presence onsite, Minister Megan Woods said. “The actions of some individuals who choose to break the very clear rules to stay within the facilities means that more resourcing is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes
    Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361,447 grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) Sustainable Kaipara. “The new funding will allow Sustainable Kaipara to partner with local schools, kura, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
    The Government will support the Southland economy in the wake of multinational mining company Rio Tinto’s decision to follow through with its long signalled closure of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. “This day has unfortunately been on the cards for some time now, but nevertheless the final decision is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
    New tools being developed to help boost Aotearoa’s Predator Free 2050 effort were unveiled today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. A new rat poison, a camera with predator recognition software to detect and report predators, a new predator lure and a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
    The Coalition Government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced today. The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity. “The age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
    The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.   The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago