Climate Change’s deadly twin

Written By: - Date published: 6:34 am, July 12th, 2012 - 57 comments
Categories: climate change, water - Tags:

The oceans are doing their best to save us from climate change apparently… but just ending up dooming us in another way.

Oceans are absorbing a large amount of the excess CO2 that we’re putting out.  But it results in coral and shellfish unable to form their skeletons and shells.  This results in fewer fish as reefs are damaged, less food as fish and shellfish harvests drop, and less jobs as tourism and fishing industries struggle.

Fortunately the world agreed at Rio to stop any increase in ocean acidification and we can all expect governments around the world to halt all CO2 emissions…

In reality as news comes in that scientists have examined recent weather events and concluded that many were likely the result of climate change,  and the US records yet another hottest year, you might hope for some action, but all we get is continuing subsidies of polluters.

(Pattrick Smellie had a good column about our lack of action too)

57 comments on “Climate Change’s deadly twin”

  1. Jenny 1

    I will get in here first before all the apologists, to say that we can make a difference.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Not unless you cut global energy use by 20%-30%.

      And the only way to do that is a massive global recession. Which, conveniently, is what is happening now.

      Faith and mantra repetition is not going to achieve the change you want to see.

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        yeah, the market signal is louder than ever. Governments desperately trying to look like
        their austerity is ‘working’ just goes to show how utterly out of touch world governments are.
        The problems are three fold, ecological, economical, and cultural. At the core is
        private car ownership, energy sapping suburban living, cultural death to human communities, unmaintainable as the market again reiterates, fueled by banks printing debt as neo-liberals
        took power and handed the keys over to big finance. Forcing the Human economy to
        produce at any cost to planet, future generations or fiscal fairness. Our political elites
        have essentially just slammed on the accelerator and forced the world economy into
        one long skid, their efforts to steer us to safety are a joke while they keep accelerating.

      • NotAConspiracyTheorist 1.1.2

        Makes you wonder if the austerity proponents have ulterior motives. Maybe they’re all on the side of angels, trying to crash the economy to get emissions down. They can’t tell us that of course because then it wouldn’t work.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      Also in regards to the SciAm article you referenced yesterday – how long do you think it will be that the vast majority of our transport and freight systems in NZ are run electrically or by hydrogen fuel cell?

      Perhaps by believing in it enough it could happen within the next 15 years?

      My view: it’ll never happen. Horse drawn carts are going to be more common than hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by the end of the 21st century. You should be happy that they are relatively low emission compared to current day vehicles, though.

      • Jenny 1.2.1

        Right to the heart of the matter CV. I agree with your critique as to electric or hydrogen fuel cell private cars. I thought that this was the weakest part of SciAm plan.

        All I can say about this is. This is an American made plan. And as we all know the Americans have a weak spot for, and a love affair with, the private motor car. There are other plans but I picked this one out of the crowd because it had the endorsement a generally conservative and well respected scientific journal that has an international reputation for only printing scientifically rigorous peer reviewed papers.

        In my opinion I agree with you, the internal combustion private motor car will never disappear. But it’s role will have to completely change. As a mass transit system, private automobiles are a complete failure, and will have to be replaced by public transport. Private cars should be for private use, ie leisure only. This would vastly reduce private automobile use, rush hour traffic jams, air pollution and pure waste.

        But apart from their thoughts on electric cars, the SciAm plan for complete global replacement of fossil fuels with energy from WWS for power generation, on its own this part of the plan would make a huge difference to climate change results.

        Never forget that coal for power generation is the number one source of Green House Gas emissions.

        • Colonial Viper

          Because of hydro and other physical resources in NZ, we can have a situation where fossil fuels make up only 5% of our total annual power generation.

          That is totally impossible in countries like China, India, UK and Japan. That’s a third of the world’s population.

          Further, transport is currently the most fundamental and hard to replace use of fossil fuels. Recognising that is the weakest part of the SciAm plan is recognising that the SciAm plan is fundamentally weak.

          Never forget that coal for power generation is the number one source of Green House Gas emissions.

          How can I forget? China’s coal consumption has increased by 200% in the last 20 years and still climbing.

    • MrSmith 1.3

      Jenny followed your posts on a resent thread (great stuff) and have a question, would you say reducing our methane emissions is the best place to start tackling the the problem. 

      • Jenny 1.3.1

        …. would you say reducing our methane emissions is the best place to start tackling the problem.


        Not necessarily.

        The thing to remember is that New Zealand’s total emissions are only 0.2% of the global total.

        Therefore the most important thing New Zealand has to do is to be an example of what is possible.

        To expect the whole world to change is unrealistic, one country has to be first. As yet no country has stepped up to the plate to implement the policies required. As in all collective action by human beings, leadership is often the decisive factor.

        Someone has to be first,

        Someone has to give the lead,

        Someone has to show by example that it can be done.

        It may be our world historical duty to give that lead. In my humble opinion no country is better suited to make the transition.

        As to what could and should be done, I have some ideas. But these are tactical questions. What is really needed is the political will to start.

        • mike e

          Farming would be more profitable if we slowly increased carbon taxes as farmers would be less reliant on imported fuels and fertilizers as well as making effeciency a priority.
          Just about all the dairy farms bar 1 I have visited in the last five years would be able to increase their output of milk by being better managed .
          Cows bein maltreated is very common with alot of cows milking on 2 or three teats because of neglect.
          Most of these dairyfarmers have got so much money they don’t give a rats arse about their animals their staff their ieffeciency.
          Because their so far up themselves they can’t see the wood for the trees.

        • Jenny

          The first serious political step we could take as a nation to signal to the world that we are willing to take action on climate change, is to abolish the Emissions Trading Scheme. (ETS).

          This should be immediately raised by the Green Party through a private members bill.

          The only ones to lament the passing of this scheme would be the polluters.

          Why the Greens ever supported a pollution trading scheme in the first place is beyond me.

          Without this shitty scheme New Zealand would for the first time, have to face up to taking some serious real world actions against climate change. (The sort of actions that this scheme was set up to prevent.)

          With such an initiative from the Greens the real debate on climate change in parliament would begin.

          Are they up to it?

          Or will they collapse like a blancmange in the face of screams of outrage from the polluters and the carbon futures speculators.

          • Colonial Viper

            What needs to be done is a $50B investment over the next 10 years; half in public transport systems and half in renewable power generation and energy de-intensification.

            Changing legislation will make minimal difference to our rate and type of energy use in the real world.

            • Jenny

              Changing legislation will make minimal difference to our rate and type of energy use in the real world.

              Colonial Viper

              Don’t ever underestimate the power of leadership. Without leadership no matter how much we want to change things, we will be running around like headless chickens.

              It wasn’t until the British parliament decided to mobilise the population that a fight back against fascism was possible.

              But as long as our political leaders sit like rabbits frozen in the headlights of the approaching disaster nothing will happen.

              Getting rid of the ETS is the first step to make them take that action, forcing them to step out of the headlights glare to see what really needs to be done.

              Without the ETS the international obligations our parliament has signed up to will have to be honoured not in money, but in real world cutbacks in emissions. Instead of, as at present under the ETS, our international obligations being paid out, with the financial speculators clipping the ticket along the way, and the polluters freed to continue business as usual. Without the ETS real mitigations will have to be put in place instead.

  2. AAMC 2

    As long as even The Greens speak of “Growth” and “GDP” and a return to “Surplus”, there’s no hope. Nobody has the political courage to lead on this issue. Not even those who formed a political movement around it.

    The incremental change of representative democracy, pr narratives and focus groups makes the whole thing a bit futile. We need radicle action now, but we won’t get it.

  3. Bunji 3

    And in today’s paper: Government’s decision will cost us a further $325 million over 4 years – presuming a low carbon price of $8/tonne.

    Great, I love subsidising polluters

  4. LoveIT 4

    Gosh, you are just so DESPERATE to be proved right. Good on you.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Its a desperate situation for the future of the planet over the next 100 years. But feel free to keep snoozing.

      • Richard Christie 4.1.1

        Try 100,000 + years

        • Colonial Viper

          I think its dubious to try and forecast this climate change as being a problem for the next 100,000 years. “Modern man” will be long gone by then, and with the zenith of industrial civilisation behind us, the biosphere will sort out excess GHG levels in a thousand or two years.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna

            “…the biosphere will sort out excess GHG levels in a thousand or two years.”

            Really? What mechanism do you propose will achieve this? Ocean uptake/invasion? CaCO3 neutralisation? The weathering thermostat? Wishful thinking?

            • Colonial Viper

              I’m assuming that human CO2 emissions will be negligible in 250 years time, and for the 1750 years after that natural carbon sinks pull in 6 GT of CO2 net pa. for a total of 10,500 GT atmospheric CO2 reduction.

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                I’m sure the sums add up, but please would you cite a source?

                • Bored

                  I think broadly CV summed it up saying modern man was not part of the solution (long gones….). Myself I think we win a collective Darwin Award for preferring I Phones and “boy racer” cars that can do wheelies.

                  The planet will heal itself over time, I sometimes wonder if the Dinosaur demise was actually due to some super Darwinian industrial dinosaur who feeked up their environment.

                  • Bob

                    Or Climate Change, because surprisingly, the climate has always changed!!!
                    Have a read here and you will see that the temperature was higher than it is now 120,000, 230,000, 310,000 and 410,000 years ago. The earth warms and cools fairly regularly, and so far none of these historic rises in temperature were due to human factors, so why do we think we are affecting climate now? In fact, if you look at the 3 million year temperature trend, it has always been incresing.

                    Making predictions based on the last 100 years data on a 4.5 billion year old planet is just plain stupid.

                    Also, higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere increases growth and fruit production of plants, this means more food. Why always look at the negatives?

  5. Lanthanide 5

    Meanwhile, the forests have been sucking up extra CO2 as well:

    • higherstandard 5.1

      I was under the impression they weren’t quite sure what the process was that was going on with terrestrial sinks.

      • Carol 5.1.1

        Did you read the article, HS? It is a report on a study just published. More research is needed to know if this shift is long term, and if it can be mitigated.—scientist/tabid/1160/articleID/261045/Default.aspx

        A study into global warming has revealed our planet is now absorbing a much larger amount of carbon dioxide than it was 25 years ago.

        The finding poses many questions – particularly whether the increase is temporary. If so, reducing CO2 levels may get even harder in years to come.

        • aerobubble

          Yes, plants grow faster and bigger. Oceans absorb more. But still the CO2 in the atmosphere
          keeps rising, north polar seas sink further, planetary cooling shifts from the N.Pole to the continents. The question for me is not how to maintain max carbon burning, or crimp it some, but to significantly stop using petroluem (i.e ban the private motor car) and hold the existing
          reserves of oil for generations to come, not burning them all in the next 30 years.

          And secondly, what happens when plants can’t grow any faster having hit their own
          genetic limits. And the Ocean just dies in places. Or the Tundra is exposed to warming?
          The solution is simple, end the Americian cult of the private car.

          • Colonial Viper

            hold the existing
            reserves of oil for generations to come, not burning them all in the next 30 years.

            This is the way to do it. And western countries will need to make the biggest sacrifices from current levels, while developing countries have to greatly slow their rates of energy usage growth.

            But the modern free market says “consume more now for bigger profits upfront”.

      • NickS 5.1.2



        It depends on the climax state, type of forest, moisture and soil type/depth + rate of disturbance (tree loss + top soil loss).

        Basically though all temperate forests are net carbon sinks via locking carbon up in the soil through roots, and leaf litter (lignin takes forever to decompose). The net amount of carbon locked away though very much depends on above factors, particularly younger forests lock away more carbon per year than mature forests, but then mature forests can contain gigatons of stored carbon anyhow…

        In the case of NZ, mature and disturbed native forests (ones experiencing regrowth of main tree species) of different types actually stored more carbon than pine plantations per hectare if I’m recalling my notes properly. So from a Kyoto and land preservation (reducing slip incidence) approach, letting native bush and forest regenerate on stream banks and other steep, low profit, prone to slippage hill country actually makes more sense than planting pine.

        As for other sinks, wetlands are very, very good long term carbon sinks, only we have a stupid habit of turning them to dairy farms, and thus as the carbon rich soil dries out, the organic carbon stores oxidise and release methane and CO2 into the environment. So preserving and regenerating wetlands = good idea.

        Grasslands not so much, but changes in land use and pasture management can yield high soil carbon increases, which also increases pasture growth/quality.

        Though the above is mostly NZ focused :/

        As for citations, Nick has once again run into depression mode this year, and is experiencing high variability in ability to function, but also had to drop out of the course dealing with this stuff again /sigh

  6. Kotahi Tane Huna 6

    Greater absorption of CO2 is cold comfort when the atmospheric trend is still relentlessly upwards.

  7. jaymam 7

    Reservoirs of CO2, and an attempt to sequester CO2 in Montana at great cost.
    Note that the CO2 in the atmosphere is negigible compared with other reservoirs.

    CO2 reservoirs:
    limestone 60,000,000 gigatonnes
    sediments 15,000,000 gigatonnes
    methane clathrates 11,000 gigatonnes
    DIC deep 38,000 gigatonnes
    mineral 1,220 gigatonnes
    Atmosphere 750 gigatonnes
    DOC deep 700 gigatonnes
    other soil 600 gigatonnes
    Plants 550 gigatonnes
    peat 360 gigatonnes
    POC soil 250 gigatonnes
    DOC surface 40 gigatonnes
    POC deep 20 gigatonnes
    microbial 15 gigatonnes
    POC surface 5 gigatonnes
    Montana sequestration 0.001 gigatonne

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Its great PR cover for oil and energy corporates though.

    • Richard Christie 7.2

      Note that the CO2 in the atmosphere is negigible compared with other reservoirs

      Here jaymam is laying another denial egg, desperately hoping uninformed readers will confuse this observation with an presumption that small relative reservoir equates with negligible effect on climate. Another fail.

      • Lanthanide 7.2.1

        Actually no, that is not his point at all. He’s showing that the man-made sequestration effort is very expensive and in contrast a pitiful waste of time. If we want to get serious about CO2 emissions we have to stop polluting at the source, or risk some of those other significant reservoirs listed being released, such as the methane clathrates.

        • Richard Christie

          man-made sequestration effort is very expensive and in contrast a pitiful waste of time

          I might even mostly agree with that observation, but if you think that was what jaymam was meaning to put across then I’d be surprised if you are even vaguely familiar with his past form in climate change discussions.

          • jaymam

            The CO2 in most of the reservoirs has transferred through the atmosphere over billions of years. A huge amount of CO2 is being added to and removed from the atmosphere by natural processes. Limestone which is by far the biggest CO2 reservoir is composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms. Those organisms have used the CO2 that has transferred from the atmosphere and dissolved in the sea. Yes, mankind has caused some extra CO2 to be in the atmosphere but there is no scientific proof that the extra CO2 has any significant effect on climate.

            • RedLogix

              The CO2 in most of the reservoirs has transferred through the atmosphere over billions of years. A huge amount of CO2 is being added to and removed from the atmosphere by natural processes. Limestone which is by far the biggest CO2 reservoir is composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms.

              Yes we all know this. It is called the carbon cycle and is taught at secondary school. Normally the processes involved are in balance, the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere by various processes being equal to the amount being removed by others.

              The crucial thing we are doing is digging up vast amounts of fossil carbon that was otherwise deeply buried well out of exposure to the atmosphere… and burning it up in an astoundingly rapid spike of excess CO2 pumped into the atmosphere which the natural processes cannot remove fast enough without consequences… like ocean acidification.

              Yes, mankind has caused some extra CO2 to be in the atmosphere but there is no scientific proof that the extra CO2 has any significant effect on climate.

              One of the essential characteristics of science is that it exquisitely and precisely defines it’s terms. Any ambiguity or lack of precision in the definitions always results in embarrasment. In this case you might want to tell us exactly what you mean by the term “scientific proof”…

            • Richard Christie

              Yes, mankind has caused some extra CO2 to be in the atmosphere but there is no scientific proof that the extra CO2 has any significant effect on climate.

              Don’t be a *ool, jaymam.
              Science deals with evidence; proof is for mathematicians, logicians and philosophers.
              The body of evidence that CO2 has, and has had, significant effect on climate is large, significant and growing all the time.


    • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.3

      11,000 gigatonnes in clathrates you say? That’s comforting. 🙄

  8. Observer Akl 8

    I can recall when the smog levels of London were as thick as a giant greatcoat. Nature had nothing to do with that, nor with the grey deaths and disability the filth caused.

    Nor did Nature have anything to do with the solution. Instead London sensibly and gradually abandoned toxic coal as a fuel. The problem went away.

    Guessing the effects of fossil fuels on a do nothing basis, is not a way to deal with pollution. Everybody over 7yrs knows that if you put filth into the air, you end up with seriously bad results; because the Air is not a rubbish bin. Neither is the Ocean a rubbish bin, nor any water supply.

    Deniers of Pollution are despicably stupid. They are lower than sewer rats, but unfortunately they own the toxins and they want to destroy our air and water. They love filth; they live for the stuff and they have become the enemies of every man, woman and child on the Planet. They are the shit faces of our Species. They don’t just foul their own nests, they foul ours too.

    All of their staggering wealth should be sequestered in vaults – for distribution to good men who are seeking to keep our air and all our waters pure.

    The Oceans are a huge and free resource of boundless good food. If only our terrestrial farmers could farm for free and as efficiently and cleanly as the oceans! To think that our Planet can provide boundless good food through our huge oceans – provided we let stocks recover and fish them sustainably – gives hope that we can live well.

    The so called scientific debate over warming/cooling is over. We are dealing with massive pollution. No debate required. All we have to do is punish the polluters for every gram of filth they spit, splash and splatter. Don’t worry, we will get to like a world free of pollution. Ask London.

    It makes sense to use free resources for free power and free food. Tell the scientists, the industrialists, the farmers, and their hyperactive lying lobbyists we simply don’t want their filth.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      The Oceans are a huge and free resource of boundless good food.

      Last time I looked, the fish stocks around the world were collapsing.

      • Populuxe1 8.1.1

        And with increasing levels of heavy metals.
        Better work those Indonesian slaves harder then.

        • Colonial Viper

          Not to mention radioactive particles from Fukushima spreading throughout the Pacific.

    • Bob 8.2

      What a crock of shit, no scientific debate is ever over! Name one thing that is 100% open and shut case in science………..I’ll give you a clue, there are none.

      Walking away from the climate debate with your fingers in your ears going la la la doesn’t mean it’s going away. There has still been not one single (except retrospective) climate model that has been able to fit the break in warming since 1998. You may come back with something along the lines of ‘it was affected by strong La Nina weather patterns’ like everyone else seems too, well what causes these? Why were these so strong? If the science is over we should have all the answers to these questions and be able to correctly predict them.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.2.1

        There hasn’t been a “break in warming” since 1998. Why don’t you measure from 1997 and see what the trend looks like then, cherry picker?

        Even if we play your brainless statistically illiterate game, you’re still wrong.

        Now you’ve been proven wrong (or delusional) I bet you reject the facts and cling even harder to your false faith, like a feeble-minded cry-baby with a blankie. That’s my prediction.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.2.2

        PS: Do yourself a favour and get a clue.

  9. Observer Akl 9

    Hi Draco

    You seem to be upset by my saying the oceans are a boundless source of free high quality food.

    They are under huge stress from Polluters who freely dump all types of toxins into them. They are hugely stressed by Harvesters who do not offer nursery protection, and who simultaneously do not allow fish populations to rebuild.

    I think I covered these two points in my comment.

    Do you believe that is sensible to destroy the benevolent Oceans by pollutants and over harvesting?

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      I was pointing out that the ocean isn’t boundless. It has limits that are presently being over stepped. You’re idea of farming them the same way we farm the land isn’t a good idea either – check out the damage that farming does to the land.

      The world is limited and the only real option we have is population control.

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        Can you unpack ‘population control’ a bit?

        Personally I can’t see any magical/technological means around the fundamental limits of the planet either, so for the purpose of the discussion I’ll accept the premise.

        But how do we achieve it? The only options I can think of that have be shown to work are:

        1. We politically enforce a ‘one child policy’ as the Chinese have done.

        While immediately effective this is of course fraught with problems. For a start it would have to be imposed globally and even-handedly. For another there are real problem with gender selection due to so many cultures still preferring boys over girls.

        2. We raise the standard of living, education, and rights of women so that they choose to have only one or two children… as has been achieved by many European countries.

        The problem here is that achieving this will take generations, and the elimination of poverty everywhere. Moreover not all cultures respond to increasing wealth by allowing women control over their fertility. And in the end the planet cannot support 9 -12 billion humans living Western lifestyles.

        3. Prior to the invention of agriculture human beings evolved for over 4 million years on this planet in a sustainable balance with the planet. Our numbers while relatively low by modern standards.. and we narrowly avoided extinction at least several times… never exploded as they have done since we got the magic of cheap oil energy.

        Clearly we can live in an ecological balance with the planet, but suggesting that we throw away everything we have learnt and achieved over the last 10,000 years is not going to happen. For while Peak Oil will soon impose a newer and far more austere reality on the human race … I’m not sure we will ever unlearn all that science and technology. Nor would I want to.

        Ultimately the problem is not a technical one, it is a cultural one. Getting to the point where ALL of the nations and cultures of the earth to uniformly agree to allow women full and unfettered control over how and when they have children … does seem at present more than a tad ambitious.

        For while I agree with your sentiment DtB, I’m curious to know how you might think it could come about.

        • Colonial Viper

          I wouldn’t expect global agreement on anything much from this point on. Without abundant energy to fuel global logistics and transport systems, globalisation will end and localised emphases will grow again.

          • RedLogix

            And yet fundamentally so many of the critical challenges we face are inherently global in nature. Therefore I suggest the solutions must be global as well.

            As with climate change, no-one will agree to action as long as they believe others parties are not ‘pulling their weight’, or attempting to cheat on the agreement.

  10. Observer Akl 10

    Hello Bob

    My comment – which you called a crock of shit – went out of its way to say that the warming/cooling scientific debate is bypassing the destruction that pollutants are causing now.

    You know perfectly well that neither the sky nor the oceans are rubbish bins.

    If you think sitting on your ass talking about the warming/cooling debate is the effective way of saving our atmosphere and our benevolent oceans, then so be it.

    I understand if you don’t get the point. Polluters understand very little.

    • Bob 10.1

      If you frame your arguement solely around pollution then I completely agree. We should be doing more to reduce reduce pollution in our waterways, we should be doing more to reduce CO (that’s carbon monoxide, not dioxide) Sulphur and other pollutants in our air, we should be looking at ways of reducing consuption of plastics, and other substances that take millenia to break down, we should be recycling more heavy metals from cell phones, computers, batteries etc and fining those who just dump them. We should be doing a lot to protect our environment for future generations, and we have made a start, but trying to change peoples mindsets on science which cannot be proven (there is a lot of comelling evedence on both sides of the arguement, so the public will never buy into it fully) is not the right way to go about it. Push the direct environmental inpacts, heavy metal poisoning, respiratory issues, pictures of rubbish accumulating in the natural environment etc and make changes based on these reasons.

      If the side effect of this is the reduction of CO2, and greenhouse effect/global warming/climate change or what ever they decide to call it next is achieved, then we win on both sides. But as you can see, there is always going to be scepticism of science when they change the theory and say its proven, then change it again, it’s alot easier to prove our air quality is causing health issues, water quality causing loss of aquatic life and reduction of natural habitat is causing the decline of animal species. Work from this basis and the masses will follow, work from the climate change platform, and people (including myself) will constantly push back until proven.

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  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    2 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    4 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

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