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D Day for ETS?

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, July 16th, 2019 - 75 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, ETS, global warming, Judith Collins, national, same old national, science, todd muller - Tags:

The Interim Climate Change Committee is expected to report today and according to Politik (paywalled) will propose that agriculture is made part of the ETS for a period of five years to build up funds to allow a levy/rebate system that can operate at a farm level.

National is already going hard out with its response.  Basically this is an attack on our way of life, particularly the way of life for our farmers who should be allowed to continue their current business model without interference.

I am not so sure.  I mean it seems pretty clear that the way things are going climate change wise our planet will not be the same.  Billions will be dispossessed and/or starve to death.  Ice at the polar caps and Greenland will melt.  Sea levels will increase and coastal cities, Florida, New Orleans and Dunedin amongst other areas will be submerged.

But it appears that some think that running millions of cows, and polluting our waterways and our drinking supplies is a god given right up there with the possession of high powered automatic weapons.

Inclusion of agriculture into the ETS has been on the cards for a long time.  After all if you have a system designed to apply market discipline to the production of greenhouse gasses then including agriculture is a very rational thing to do.  

But National went a bit weird on it and is claiming that a Te Papa touch screen that suggested more cows meant more methane and more global warming was somehow PC gone mad.

And National’s climate change spokesperson Todd Muller, the person who is responsible for the negotiation of a durable agreement between the major parties, is also somewhat skeptical.

I’m sorry but the solution is less dairy.  The result will be less methane, less pollution, less meat, less milk, less global warming.  I agree that there has to be less consumption of meat as well but to get ourselves out of this problem business as usual clearly will not work.

This is main stream scientific thinking, not some extreme crack pot theory.  It is a shame that National is going to play politics with the issue.

75 comments on “D Day for ETS?”

  1. Grey Area 1

     I heard a very accurate description recently.

    The house is burning and National just throws rocks at the fire engines.

  2. Janet 2

    Mostly there just has to be less people  in the world. The world is simply overstocked with people and our cows and our country are being used to feed these too many people . New Zealand is not overstocked with people – KEEP IT THAT WAY.  .

    • solkta 2.1

      Mostly there just has to be less people  in the world.

      Oh, so what do you suggest we do with all the excess people?

  3. bwaghorn 3

    Fucks sake the ets is a failure.  

    All it does is allows rich people to carry on living the life while feeling like they are doing something while the cunning one profit from it . 

    Fucking chuck it out and start again . 

    Not one mention about the 8 billion humans or the massive unneeded emmisions from tourism.
    Typical towny wank fest pointing the finger at others .

    • solkta 3.1

      Not one mention about the 8 billion humans

      Oh, so you think we should keep the cows but get rid of some people?

      • bwaghorn 3.1.1

        I'm for stopping population growth at the source ,education and contraception. 

        My frustration is at the stupidity of the ets . Tax carbon by all means in nz . But spend it in this country in real concrete reduction methods. 

        Tax non essential carbon twice as hard as essential carbon . 

        I know about 8 people who fly all over the show all the time . 

        I no a consultant who does up to 40 fucking flights a year . 

        Deintensify dairy by all means . But let them offset by planting instead of letting airlines by up farms so rich wallies can tick a little bit pay a couple of dollars and tell their wanker mates how green they are. 

        • solkta 3.1.1.1

          Tax non essential carbon twice as hard as essential carbon . 

          Yes that is right, there is no need for people to eat dairy products.

          • Poission 3.1.1.1.1

            What are they going to eat rocks?

          • Psycho Milt 3.1.1.1.2

            There's no "need" for humans to eat any particular type of food, so if we go down the path of "need" we'll find it ends with "A steady diet of nothing" (in quotes as it's also the name of an excellent album by Fugazi and that's probably why the phrase occurred to me just then).

            • solkta 3.1.1.1.2.1

              People need to eat something. I thought this was a discussion about lowering emissions?

              • Then let's revisit the folly of declaring what foods people don't "need" to eat. 

                It would be possible to identify a minimum standard set of foods that involved the least emissions while still providing the required nutrients for human life.  Governments could then declare these the only foods that people "need" and set about discouraging the production of any other kinds of foods.  That would lower emissions and ensure that people weren't eating foods they didn't "need" to. It would also be a world no-one would want to live in. 

                • solkta

                  I don't find it a great burden to keep my dairy intake to a minimum. A pot of Greek style yogurt a week is great as a treat. I'm also really happy living in my world. In a world with run-a-way warming, probably not so much.

                • mickysavage

                  And really bright people could work out how to make these meals as delicious as possible.  Most mornings I have a short black and pesto … very little methane produced in the creation of that meal …

                  • There is no "need" for people to eat pesto, Micky.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Specifically, what foods do people need to eat?

                    • Ask Solkta, he/she seems to be the expert on the subject.  I'm the one disputing the relevance of "need" to the question of what people might choose to eat.  

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Surely there's nobody who needs to eat cheese?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Some people need to eat sugar, to avoid coma.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Youths hoping to pass initiation tests in certain societies need to eat specific foods. 

                    • Surely there's nobody who needs to eat cheese?

                      I was chastened to discover that, after years of going to the supermarket with me, my kids had decided that being well off means being able to just grab fancy cheeses out of the cabinet without looking at the prices, and that they hoped for financial success in life so that they could at some future point raid the cheese cabinet with the insouciance their dad does.  All that teaching that you never even know you're doing, for good or ill…  

  4. I’m sorry but the solution is less dairy.

    Well, less dairy produce created in NZ, maybe. It's the intensification of dairying that's caused the problems, not the existence of dairy products.  Mind you, National are opposed to reducing intensification of farming as well, because it reduces the profitability, especially for farmers who are farming capital gain as well as dairy products.

  5. greywarshark 5

    Great image mickysavage

    • mickysavage 5.1

      Ta it popped up when I was searching and I thought it was the image I had to use …

  6. Drowsy M. Kram 6

    Moral/ethical initiatives, including educational programmes, that may eventually decrease the quantity of anthropogenic eCO2 in the atmosphere are welcome.

    https://ourworldindata.org/co2-and-other-greenhouse-gas-emissions

    Moral/ethical initiatives that may eventually decrease the quantity of humans collectively responsible for anthropogenic eCO2 emissions are welcome.

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

    In my lifetime the global human population has more than doubled to ~7.7 billion. Assuming I peg out at roughly four score, the human population will have more than tripled in my lifetime to something in excess of 9 billion, excess being an apposite word.

    Solkta @2.1 asked Janet what she suggests “we do with all the excess people?”  It’s a good question – there is an excess now, and there will be even more in the short-term. Don’t have an answer, but am picking that in the not too distant future the problem of excess people will solve itself.  For all of humanity's ingenuity, ‘our’ Petri dish can’t 'keep' 11+ billion people (2088 estimate) in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

    To summarise – I don’t expect excess people will be a long term problem, and in the short term some of them will be needed to build my new plug-in hybrid SUV.  Can we do it

    https://www.autobytel.com/sport-utility-vehicles/car-buying-guides/10-plug-in-hybrid-suvs-current-and-upcoming-131143/

  7. Pat 7

    There is no single 'solution'….to achieve the best possible outcome (which is still not likely going too be that flash) it needs to be addressed on multiple fronts which will require changes from everyone….there is little sign as yet that we are prepared to accept that.

    As to ETS I suspect due to the incremental nature of its impact its time to be effective in a timely manner passed a couple of decades ago….direct and targeted rationing is the only likely mechanism that will achieve the needed result now.

  8. Wayne 8

    Micky

    If the government has the same view as you (less dairy) then there will be no consensus. National is not going to roll over just because you think they should. And neither will the dairy industry.

    However, I am hopeful that the government does not share your view (even if the Green part does). Will Winston ride to the rescue of the rural sector?

  9. MickeyBoyle 9

    Best thing we could do is only have a maximum of two children and make this a world wide policy. Obviously triplets etc cannot be planned for, but childless people should more than compensate for these occurrences. Moderating our farming sector, and converting our fleet of vehicles to electric is not the whole answer and on a world scale is insignificant.

    • solkta 9.1

      Best thing we could do is only have a maximum of two children and make this a world wide policy.

      How would that make us carbon neutral by 2050?

  10. solkta 10

    Is Muller a total moron?

    Mr Muller told Morning Report emissions, including from agriculture, had to be reduced – but not the number of cows.

    "One would hope that technologies appearing in the medium term can assist that, like clover, rye grass and other things you can give to the animals themselves to reduce their belching.

    Clover and Rye Grass are the two main pasture species on dairy farms today.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/394492/mp-claims-te-papa-climate-exhibit-not-science-based

    • Wayne 10.1

      It doesn’t matter how much the Left rails against dairy and National’s support for farmers, it will have zero influence on National and dairy farmers.

      If there is to be consensus it won’t be based on dairy farmers reducing their herds and their income. It will need to be based on scientific work to reduce methane emissions from cattle. And I am sure greater focus on stream margins, pasture runoff and more rigour on fertiliser application. All good work for Landcare and Agresearch.

      • Robert Guyton 10.1.1

        System paralysis then.

        • Wayne 10.1.1.1

          Robert,

          Probably not.

          I don't think the government will take the same approach as many of the commenters (Micky, PM, solkta). The government will actually try and do a deal with National that doesn't require herd reductions. No doubt the solution will be challenging in other respects. You can tell the herd reduction idea is a non starter by the instant reaction by National to the suggestion of herd reductions.

          If the government pursued it, they should know that as soon as National gets back in power that particular requirement would be instantly reversed. It would also poison all current discussions on climate change. So I reckon the government won't take that approach. Instead they will be looking for solutions that are likely to be enduring.

          • Robert Guyton 10.1.1.1.1

            "You can tell the herd reduction idea is a non starter by the instant reaction by National to the suggestion of herd reductions."

            Yes. That "instant reaction" is the mark of a true blue Nat; deep ideological concretion, immovable, not subject to reasoned debate or evidence from the real world. Is it any wonder, do you think, that commenters here are frustrated by such  intransigence? Proposals to declare a climate emergency produced the same bullish response from the farmers and the National Party; crossed arms, florid necks, feet firmly planted in the mud. 

            • greywarshark 10.1.1.1.1.1

              We're in the cowshit, they're in the mud on Their Land.   They used to be plain hard-working folks;  my cartoon book ' Edna' by Malcolm Evans has the farming couple taking the cows to milking on a frosty morning.   She looks over her shoulder, where is the man, he's stopped – warming his hands over a steaming cow pat!

              But some have fallen prey to their own BS about being not just farmers but canny businesspeople.  One couple have won against those sharp purveyors of promise who led them along like little Red Riding Hood. How many have been ripped off though.

              https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/114240977/the-taranaki-farmers-who-took-on-anz-bank–and-won

          • Psycho Milt 10.1.1.1.2

            If the government pursued it, they should know that as soon as National gets back in power that particular requirement would be instantly reversed.

            Wayne, everyone on the left is well aware that National in power again will instantly reverse any of this government's environmental measures that impact on National supporters' BAU.  That's one reason we don't want National back in power again and vote for other parties instead.

      • solkta 10.1.2

        Yes we know that you don't give a shit. But do you think Muller is a moron?

        • New view 10.1.2.1

          No but I’m starting to worry about you Solkta. Having less dairy is not just a National voter problem. plenty of green and Labour Party people like milk on their porridge. Even a slice of cheese when nobody is looking for Christ sake. And dare I say it there is the odd vegan amongst National Party members. Our dairy farmers are the most efficient in the world and have right to contribute to our food intake like any other farmers. Numbers are being reduced so everyone should just lighten up. Don’t worry about 2050. According to the bloke on Television this morning we’ll all be dead. 

          • Pat 10.1.2.1.1

            NZers need not worry about having milk available for their cornies….95% is exported…..but they may start to complain about reduced consumer goods, medications or anything purchased in foreign exchange

          • greywarshark 10.1.2.1.2

            New View

            Go – get one.   Trotting out that old saw "Our farmers are the most efficient in the world" from the NZ Farmers Songbook.   How old are you people.?  You are past your use-by date for sure.

          • Psycho Milt 10.1.2.1.3

            …plenty of green and Labour Party people like milk on their porridge.

            You can keep the porridge, but yes lots of us eat plenty of dairy.  And the intensification of dairy farming under the previous National government could be reversed without even coming close to endangering our supply of milk, cream, butter, yoghurts and cheeses.

        • Robert Guyton 10.1.2.2

          "The museum's Climate Converter interactive exhibition has an option labelled 'less dairying' as one way New Zealand can reduce its carbon footprint.

          Mr Muller said that was a "kick in the guts" for rural families."

          Mr Muller a very emotional guy; very, very emotional.

      • Robert Guyton 10.1.3

        "If there is to be consensus it won’t be based on dairy farmers reducing their herds and their income"

        Dairy farmers would refuse a drop in income, even if the result of that refusal was great damage to their industry?

        Curious!

        Reducing herd numbers does not necessarily equate with loss of income anyway, as has been shown over and over, by players within the industry. Wayne's claims seem odd. Any consensus, btw, wouldn't be "based" on herd size reduction, but might involve that aspect.

    • Robert Guyton 10.2

      "One would hope"

      "assist"

      Aspirational stuff!

      • Robert Guyton 10.2.1

        "While National's traditional allies in the farming industry were joining a Green Minister in committing to reduce their emissions, the party's climate spokesman was arguing that a finding from a report co-authored by eight experts – most of whom were scientists – based on consultation with around 30 other experts (including some from the primary sector), before being peer reviewed by four additional experts and published by New Zealand's foremost scientific institute, was "not science based"."

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/114264250/an-unusual-coalition-appears-in-pricing-farming-emissions

        • Wayne 10.2.1.1

          Robert,

          That is because the package is the reasonable compromise that I would expect. While no doubt there will be haggling over the fine details, the overall package is fairly reasonable. It has a clear long term target, a phased in approach, with no specific directive (such as compulsory reduction of dairying) as how it should be achieved. It incentivises science to reduce emissions. See my comment at 10.1

          I would imagine National will come on board.

          • Robert Guyton 10.2.1.1.1

            "I would imagine National will come on board."

            Me too, so what's Todd Muller's problem?

            I remember him, at his public meeting tour of the country, deriding those calling for an active response to climate change, for their supposed "emotional" claims. Seemed then and seems now, Todd's the one who reverts to emotive, overheated language at the drop of a Fonterra-brand cap.

            • Psycho Milt 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Me too, so what's Todd Muller's problem?

              Dude has one motherfucker of a problem.  He's tasked with appearing to give a shit about the environment and pretend that climate change is an actual thing, while at the same time resolutely denouncing any environmental policy that might affect National supporters' BAU.  I imagine he wakes up in the night screaming.  

              • Robert Guyton

                All those years pimping for Fonterra has hardened him; I don't think he feels a thing.

                • Oh, right – of course. I guess Chris Bishop doesn't wake up in a cold sweat about his pimping for tobacco companies, either. Sometimes it's a good idea to remind yourself of who your political opponents actually are, as people.  

        • Pat 10.2.1.2

          BAU….

          “I do wonder if the 2025 farm-level levy/rebate scheme will ever get implemented, however – there will be two elections in between which makes it all seem very aspirational,” Diaz-Rainey said.

          His scepticism is not unfounded – since New Zealand signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the agriculture sector has seen emissions pricing coming, and managed to delay and avoid it all the same."

          https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@pro/2019/07/16/685221/report-lays-out-plan-for-action-on-agriculture-emissions

    • jcuknz 10.3

      Since I gather that The Greens are blocking the introduction of a grass which produces less harmful emmisions on being eaten I have given up on them as simply extremist/terorists [of a mild characrter]

      Purists are the worst type of terrorists.

      • greywarshark 10.3.1

        Ohdear The Greens will have to drop you jcuknz as a person they would have tried to explain their decision to, based on certain important matters which ordinary people generally don't consider.    They have been trying to explain things for so long they know when they look at the eyes if there is no portal into that brain.   Most people are ordinary but many are interested in making a change; those more ordinary will be overwhelmed.

      • Robert Guyton 10.3.2

        Mr Clover – you're now tabling The Green Party, "terrorists" so I'm bound to ask what terror they are creating; who exactly, is experiencing terror at The Greens alleged blocking of the introduction of a grass? The terrorists we read about in the newspapers use methods such as bombs or murders, but these New Zealand politicians use, according to you, the unspeakably evil technique of "blocking" and apply that heinous crime to … grass. Am I reading you right?

        With regard your description of the grass in question; is producing fewer harmful emissions on being eaten its only characteristic? Does it have no ramifications beyond the one aspect you describe or are you being selective in your claims?

  11. mikesh 11

    Pigs, rabbits and poultry are non ruminant, so let's switch our agriculture to them.

  12. Janet 13

    If the government is going to employ a whole new army of shiny bums to police a special levy and rebate scheme to incentivise NZ farmers to diversify away from dairy and meat then they can also  consider the efforts of countries that we export to, in controlling  and reducing their populations for  the long-term benefit of the world. Our farm produce should only be available to those countries who are doing something about containing and reducing their population.

  13. Imodium 14

    On a lighter note I am currently on holiday in the Maldives – I thought it was prudent to come visit this  visual paradise before they disappear- if I were to believe the messiah Al Gore I should be now be holidaying under water

    I have not posted here to antagonize but to highlight that the science is far from settled – past and current climate models are far from reality 

    • Pat 14.1

      the science has been settled for years….the timeframes and feedbacks not so much, but it appears they have erred on the side of optimism

      • greywarshark 14.1.1

        Thanks Pat that is the point I was considering.    But please spend your money on an orgasm of visiting possible last Shangri-Las and giving them a donation of half your travel costs as they need it to help transition to ..something.    And do go to see the orang utangs they, like many of the apes, are so helpless against us that we should take them to our hearts as innocents and suffering because of us, who as WHAuden says 'have never been happy or good.'   Or only for  a passing moment.

        Faces along the bar
        Cling to their average day:
        The lights must never go out,
        The music must always play,
        All the conventions conspire
        To make this fort assume
        The furniture of home;
        Lest we should see where we are,
        Lost in a haunted wood,
        Children afraid of the night
        Who have never been happy or good.

        https://poets.org/poem/september-1-1939

    • joe90 14.2

       You were too busy indulging yourself to notice the sand pumping to build new islands and the elevation and armouring of existing land masses?.

      • Imodium 14.2.1

        Yes I did notice the new islands been built and also the defences in place to reduce the natural erosion taking place. The Maldives like most other atolls were built from years of wave action depositing coral into the land masses we see today.Nature is taking back some of this land not because of excessive CO2 but due to natural forces not completely yet understood by scientists 

    • So, you wanted to humble-brag about your pointless visit to a distant beach and thought this would be the best place to do it?  There's something almost impressive about such intense cluelessness.

    • Robert Guyton 14.4

      Imodium: you "thought it was prudent to come visit this  visual paradise before they disappear"

      You fully bought into the climate change thing then, didn't you. I guess you must consider yourself gullible.

      • Imodium 14.4.1

        …before they disappear..was a dig at Al Gore and his climate scaremongering . I have definitely  not been duped by him and his ilk.

  14. Long and Tall 15

    Have a look at the EAT diet published in the Lancet with prof Boyd Swinburn as the lead researcher from Auckland University. I have included the link. It's a healthy diet that details how we can feed the world's population AND take into account climate change and sustainable farming issues. 

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    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    4 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    7 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    7 days ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • A good first step
    Today the government announced a financial package to deal with the effects of the pandemic. So far, it looks good: an initial $500 million for health to deal with immediate priorities, wage subsidies for affected businesses, $585 a week from WINZ for people self-isolating who can't work from home, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    19 hours ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    5 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahead of the start of the criminal trial in the Netherlands on 9 March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has reaffirmed the need to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of Flight MH17 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister The Government is investing $19.9 million through the Provincial Growth Fund in a game-changing hydrogen energy facility in South Taranaki, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The development of alternative energy initiatives like this one is vital for the Taranaki region’s economy. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
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