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Denier dissected

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, June 6th, 2010 - 32 comments
Categories: climate change - Tags: ,

Climate change, let’s recap. It’s real, it’s happening, people are dying. It’s going to be hugely damaging to life in general and human agriculture and “civilisation” in particular. We know that there is a well funded corporate campaign to obfuscate and deny climate change science (similar to the tobacco industry campaign to hide the truth about cancer). We know that no amount of evidence or reason will ever convince those who have already made up their minds to deny. The task of climate change scientists is almost impossible. Deniers will keep denying until the facts completely overwhelm them, by which time it will be far, far too late.

One of the highest profile deniers is “Lord” Christopher Monckton. We’ve discussed him here before, and he has commented on The Standard himself. Monckton is a systematic liar, and it’s good to see him finally taken to task by a real scientist (part of a trend as scientists fight back). Monbiot sums up:

Viscount Monckton, another fallen idol of climate denial

Professor John Abraham’s withering scrutiny reveals how the gurus of climate scepticism repeat a pattern of manipulation

Another one bites the dust. Every so often, someone with a strong stomach and time to spare volunteers to devote weeks or months of their life to a grisly task: investigating the claims of a person who dismisses the science or significance of man-made climate change. Dave Rado did it with Martin Durkin’s film, the Great Global Warming Swindle. Howard Friel did it with Bjørn Lomborg. Ian Enting did it with Ian Plimer.

It involves slow, painstaking work, following the sources, checking the claims against the science. But the result in all cases has been the same: a devastating debunking of both the claims and the methods of the people investigated. Now another fallen idol of climate change denial must be added to the list: Viscount Monckton’s assertions have been comprehensively discredited by professor of mechanical engineering John Abraham, at the University of St Thomas in Minnesota.

John Abraham writes:

Monckton takes scientist to brink of madness at climate change talk

An angry professor who listened to Monckton’s speech at a US university demolishes the wild claims made by the climate denier

… Monckton cited scientist after scientist whose work “disproved” global warming. He contended that polar bears are not really at risk (in fact they do better as weather warms); projections of sea level rise are a mere 6cm; Arctic ice has not declined in a decade; Greenland is not melting; sea levels are not rising; ocean temperatures are not increasing; medieval times were warmer than today; ocean acidification is not occurring; and global temperatures are not increasing.

If true, these conclusions would be welcome. But there is a problem with this kind of truth it is not made by wishing. So I began a journey of investigation (the full results of which you can view here). I actually tracked down the articles and authors that Monckton cited. What I discovered was incredible, even to a scientist who follows the politics of climate change. I found that he had misrepresented the science. …

How can such misrepresentations be made without public recourse? I cannot answer that. I can say that scientists are listening and though our voices are small, we will use them to hold people like Monckton and others to account for their public claims.

The science community is slowly learning that if we don’t perform this service, no one will. Tough decisions are going to have to be made and the public deserves accurate information about the science so they can help make those decisions.

Abraham’s full results (a long narrated slideshow presentation) are comprehensive and devastating. Monckton is a serial liar, and it can only be deliberate. Deniers come in two flavours, fools and liars. The fools who follow, I can understand, desperate to believe what they want to believe. The liars who lead, like Monckton, I don’t understand at all. What makes a person tell lies that are going to cost us the earth?

32 comments on “Denier dissected”

  1. jcuknz 1

    However disgusting and regretable it is there have always people who take the opposite view, it must be part of human nature to object to being one of the sheep. You find it even in sheep so it must be nature rather than human nature.

  2. wyndham 2

    Could Monckton’s views have anything to do with the adulation of his fellow deniers, the wining and dining that accompanies his worldwide perambulations ? Strutting on the stage? And the money. Ah yes! the money.

  3. bob 3

    jcuknz: I don’t understand who you regard to be the sheep. Climate change deniers or critical analysts ?

  4. I hope this whole episode makes people realise the importance of proper referencing. Hooray for footnotes!

  5. Mac1 5

    I had a school and University friend who loved to defend the indefensible, purely for the intellectual challenge of it. One memorable argument I remember was his postulation that wind was caused by the effect of the rotation of the earth. The inevitable challenge that wind changed direction he put down to changes in land form such as the snow levels in mountain passes.

    For him it was a game. Perhaps it made him feel smarter being able to defend the indefensible against lesser minds who were on the correct side of the argument.

    As for Monckton, maybe he is a secular version of Bishop Brian. Or another manifestation of that national complexity- the English eccentric.

    I am more interested in an explanation of the followers who would rather believe than know, for whom truth is too challenging, or frightening, the intellectual ‘stay-a-beds’.

    • Bunji 5.1

      But the wind IS caused by the rotation of the earth! That’s why westerlies predominate and it takes longer to fly west than east…

      and, well… okay, it’s only a half-truth, but those are the most convincing lies.

      I can see the appeal for the followers. We have very comfortable lives in the west. Very comfortable and unsustainable lives – even most of those of use who make some effort haven’t really changed enough.

  6. Bill 6

    “The liars who lead, like Monckton, I don’t understand at all. What makes a person tell lies that are going to cost us the earth?”

    So are you really saying that you don’t understand the motivation of gurus?

    How about money and power for a start? Most know themselves to be charlatans…some are deluded but all are false and utterly dependent on having followers flock…

    How about the glamour of recognition…fame?

    And the list goes on.

    And then possibly a kicker…

    How about he is not deluded. How about he simply cannot believe that he is spouting his shit and getting away with it? How about he thought the game would be up pretty quickly and is as astounded as everyone that he has been allowed to ride the gravy train of fame and fortune for this long? How about he thinks, ‘If they can’t bring me and my crap to heal, then there really is no hope anyway and so I might as well carry on reaping the good stuff’?

    You can see how that might work, yes?

    Oh, and then the real targets of all of us ought not to be these false prophets, gurus (call them what you will) but the institutions that profit from their activities. Know what I mean? These guys are a bit different from the cliché of the Indian guru only insofar as benefits accrue to institutions and corporations as well as the practitioner…kind of like if there were ‘lone gun’ Catholic gurus who received only tacit approval from the church and so ultimately benefited the institution of the church as well as their own black hearted and swollen tongued selves.

  7. No doubt about it Bill ,money and power will bring out all the sleazy and slimy who will lie and lie if they are coining it in .Look no further than the present PM. The problem is they seem to get away with it.They also cause so much trouble. Take the ant- vaccination group , we now have a return of TB and measle outbreaks ,with all the trouble that causes. Then we have Holocaust deniers . There are many others ,but the common theme is money or power or both. The answer ? I dont really know , just slog on exposing these people the best we can.

    • Bill 7.1

      I’m not too sure about your focus there.

      TB is arguably a disease of poverty. Holocaust denial doesn’t spin money any more than that archaeologist whose name escapes me for the moment who spouted shit to sell books…aliens and stuff. And I can’t see who is making money from not immunising kids or whoever.

      Unlike the vaccination programme for the flu last year which poured billions into the coffers of two or three pharmaceutical companies. And it transpires that the WHO had the wool pulled over their eyes by having their reports written and criteria altered by advisors in the pay of the self same companies.

      http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/292992

      Or then there is Omega 3. A multi billion dollar industry. And it looks like hype.

      “…someone has now finally conducted a proper trial of fish oil pills(…:): a well-conducted, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, in 450 children aged 810 years from a mainstream school population. (…) and the researchers found no improvement. Show me the news headlines about that paper.

      Meanwhile (…) global sales for fish oil pills to be at $2bn, having doubled in five years, with sales projected to reach $2.5bn by 2012. ”

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/05/bad-science-omega3-fish-oil

      Or what about animal fat and cholesterol research being funded by the margarine council and relying (from memory) on a study from the 50s where rabbits were injected with animal product?

      Or what about send me your money or cede control to me and I’ll let you in on the secret, send you the product with a free add on, put a star on your chart, save your soul, see you right and generally take care of things for you to ensure no harm visits…at least for as long as you don’t ask any questions?

      We got a deal?

  8. BLiP 8

    In the words of that towering New Zealand intellect: “full credit” to the scientists who have taken the time and lent their energy to debunking the denialists.

    Personally, I’ve given up arguing with the denialists. Its like seeking to apply logic and reason to cult members who have had their cognitive functions disabled by the fervour of their belief and the brainwashing tactics of those who would control them. But, I wonder, is there a one-hit sentence or paragraph that can be applied which, upon investigation, proves climate warning. The nearest I have found came from someone here who wrote:

    Do molecules with dipole moments such as those of gaseous carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide emit heat when bombarded by infra-red radiation and, if so, what are the implications of that action for the Earth’s atmosphere given current levels of emissions?

    Any alternatives, suggestions for improvement . . .

    • seth 8.1

      The fact that the rate of increase in the ocean levels has slowed down in the last 20 years remarkedly, compared to the rest of the 20th century must be a real pain in the you know what for blind believers like you.

      You do realise that you blindly believing the media is exactly the same as what you attack on the denialists? Your cognitive functions have been impaired by reading BS media reports and hand picked and massaged statistics and data.

      Who is better, those who blindly believe in something or those who deny it?

  9. prism 9

    What makes a person tell lies that are going to cost us the earth?
    I guess because he loves the sound of his own voice, Brit wit was “He was vaccinated with a gramophone needle”.
    The other important point is that wealthy people are willing to listen, applaud and pay him in some way, certainly his transport I should think. He probably was a flatulent little boy at school and has never grown up inside his head.

  10. you picked on one man telling the truth. your business of earning while scaring is well exposed. have the decency to stand down

  11. Andy 11

    I am interested to know what exactly a “climate change denier” is, as you refer to it.

    As I am aware, the likes of Monckton. Spencer, Lindzen etc all accept that CO2 has a basic climate sensitivity of around 1degC for a doubling of CO2 in the absence of feedback.

    The IPCC claim a sensitivity greater then this due to a positive feedback. There are also arguments that the sensitivity may be less than 1degC due to negative feedback.

    There is very little evidence to support either hypothesis. Most of the “evidence” is based on the output of computer models. These models have proved in the past to be hopelessly inaccurate (e.g Ozone hole, Iceland volcanic ash, long term Met Office weather forecasts)

    So my question is, why do you label people “deniers” because they doubt the output of computer models that have been shown in the past to have failed to predict the future?

    • lprent 11.1

      Nope. Mainly because the CCD ‘science’ is hopelessly flawed. It takes the most wildly optimistic viewpoint possible. It assumes that almost everything we know about positive feedback mechanisms isn’t going to happen.

      The IPCC scenarios are almost as bad. They take the proven only and not the probable. A good example is the breakup of the Antarctica peninsula sea ice sheets and the consequent increased speeds of the glaciers behind them. Or they severe under-estimates of the decrease in ice mass in the Arctic ice cover. If those probable events were fed into the same models that you’re talking about in 2005 when the last IPCC report was being compiled, then their worst case scenario would become the best case.

      In both of the simulations you mentioned, the computer simulations have consistently under-estimated the potential damage rather than over-estimated it when measured against the physical evidence. Have you seen the pictures of the damage to the Finnish airforce turbines? That is because the sims are only loaded with the available proven evidence – not what actually is probable.

      The problem with your idiotic insistence that we wait until we have physical evidence before we act, is that we’d have destroyed our civilization because you want to play with your bloody SUV’s for a few years more.

    • Zorr 11.2

      There are several flaws to your argument there that place you still squarely in the CCD camp – possibly due to your misunderstanding of the science rather than a desire to be there so let me explain some of the ideas behind what constitutes “scientific modelling” and basic science while we are at it.

      You take a measurement. You record it.
      You take a measurement. You record it.
      You take a measurement. You record it.
      ad infinitum…

      Until eventually you have enough material evidence to start seeing a pattern beginning to emerge. At this point you start to use established statistical methods to correlate the immense amount of evidence gathered and to determine what factors have an effect that we are interested in and whether there is a determinable relationship between data points (simple ones being logarithmic or quadratic that you may remember from high school).

      At this point, a funny thing happens – because one of the things we are interested in is these changes as a function of time we can then (essentially) see in to the future with regards these variables as long as we have accurately assessed them. Would it make any difference to you if the scientists came out and said “Hey guys, we know you don’t trust that computer modelling stuff so here is 100pages of calculations for you to read over that we did by hand”?

      To take a simple analogy, if I was to state to you that the car you would be travelling in was going to accelerate at a rate of 10 km/h every min and that you would therefore be travelling at 100km/h after 10 mins, you would be hard pressed to argue against me. Climate change scientists are essentially trying to tell us the same thing – our planet is heading down a certain path and we will be hard pressed to stop it happening if we are even capable of reversing it still.

      Also, on the ozone hole thing, who ever said that was bunk?

      • Andy 11.2.1

        I seem to be getting some very odd responses here. I was trying to get some measure of what a “climate change denier” is.

        Naturally, I can understand that you hate Monckton. He is an easy target: hereditary peer, former advisor to Margaret Thatcher, etc etc. And of course, horror upon horrors, he has been shown to have been inaccurate in his statements.Now let’s be fair here, over 30% of the IPCC AR4 report is non-peer-reviewed, and can be therefore also be considered to be inaccurate.

        Anyway, moving right along, I am assumed to be making the idiotic assertion that we should do nothing about climate change, and what’s more, I drive an SUV.

        As it happens, I drive a small economical car, and ride a bike, but I’d really hate to shatter your illusion that I am a right wing racist with a Thai mail order bride.

        At this point, it is reasonable to assume that any further rational debate is pointless.

        • RedLogix 11.2.1.1

          ow let’s be fair here, over 30% of the IPCC AR4 report is non-peer-reviewed, and can be therefore also be considered to be inaccurate.

          What so this makes the other 70% irrelevant?

          And logically there remains a huge gap between something being merely ‘not peer reviewed’ and proven wrong. (By contrast Moncton makes provable errors over and over.)

          The real problem with the IPCC process is that it’s a massive, cumbersome process, involving thousands of people, that ‘committtee to death’ much of it’s work. In other words it tends to be a very conservative document, that tend to safest ‘most probable’ scenarios.

          Many people actually working in the field, personally believe the IPCC will eventually be proven wrong alright…wrong as in hopelessly optimistic.

          • Andy 11.2.1.1.1

            And you presumably have evidence that the IPCC is conservative

            We are dying to hear your rational scientific arguments as to why this may be the case

            • RedLogix 11.2.1.1.1.1

              If you wanted the science you would have found it long ago. That’s why we cannot have a rational discussion.

            • lprent 11.2.1.1.1.2

              Read the preface to the first part (science) of the IPCC reports. They state their methodology there.

              You can read can’t you? Maybe you can look it up? Come back when you’ve checked out the relevant parts.

              • Andy

                Oh sorry,
                the usual Warmist “you can read I presume” answer

                Sorry\, have to try better next time, \
                \
                Acheived not acheived

                • lprent

                  Don’t apologize. It wastes time.

                  Just do the damn reading…

                  • Andy

                    If the IPCC are underestimating the effects of climate change, does that not make them “deniers” by your definition?

        • lprent 11.2.1.2

          The IPCC report is in a number of parts. Only one of those parts is about the science of climate change, which is completely peer reviewed. The remainder are about expected effects about what is in the first part.

          Lets be fair here – since we’ve never seen such rapid climate change either in human history or even in the geological record, a lot of the non-climate change science parts are inherently speculative and are there for the guidance of the politicians.

          But lets be also fair here – you are just a bit of a scientific illiterate who really seems to know very little about a series of reports. Perhaps you should go and read them to gain sufficient knowledge to be able to discuss the topic.

          • Andy 11.2.1.2.1

            But lets be also fair here you are just a bit of a scientific illiterate who really seems to know very little about a series of reports.

            And your evidence for this rather sweeping statement about my intellectual prowess is.. exactly…

            Please tell me, I can hardly wait ,

  12. eye saw 12

    Alexander King cofounder of the Club of Rome from his 1991 book,”The first global revolution”,said,”The common enemy of humanity is man.
    In searching for a new enemy to unite us,we came up with the idea that pollution,the threat of Global Warming,water shortages,famine and the like would fit the bill.All those dangers are caused by human intervention and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome.
    The real enemy then is humanity itself”.

  13. Majestic Oil 13

    Thanks for that ROB its just what we need the sheep thinking as we are very heavily invested in “climate change” previously marketed as “man made global warming”( until exposed as a big lie).
    We are turning your country into one big enron and you are buying!
    Keep on spreading the word ROB(& our other little players/financially invested cohorts).
    We can still trick the people by calling all those that oppose Carbon Trading derivatives ” deniers and fools” .

  14. Thank you Eye Saw for the Alexander King quote “The real enemy is humanity itself’. I am unfamiliar with his work and my own research has led me to precisely this conclusion. A fascinating phenomenon became apparent during the tens of thousand of hours of psychoanalysis of the language of “climate experts’ and the Green Movement in general: we tend to frame issues so as to deny the change we call for.

    It is helpful to understand that a powerful element of the conscious state of all human beings is our capacity for self-deceit and that our capacity for denial of stewardship/change is incredible. In other words, it is beyond the capacity of our intellect to know and believe the sophistication of our denial. However once we can acknowledge this incredible capacity and enjoy compassion we are more able live in acceptance of stewardship/change.

    I hope this makes it clear that I am not calling “climate experts’ and the Green Movement “liars’ and “immoral’ when I suggest these groups put human kind at greatest risk. Indeed here is the paradox: it is our enhanced awareness of the possible negative impacts of our individual activities that make us extraordinarily vulnerable to using our prime symbols in denial of stewardship/change. These symbol uses reflect the extra dissonance caused by the conflict between our knowledge of our impacts and our actions. They also work to generate a similar dissonance in our audience. Hence we each become our own greatest enemy.
    It is possible to transcend our ego and enjoy greater harmony using guides such as the Sustainability Principle of Energy you can read more at http://www.bonusjoules.co.nz You might even like to join the call for a national review of our use of our prime symbols.

  15. JonL 15

    [quote]Who is better, those who blindly believe in something or those who deny it?[/quote] They are both as bad as the other!

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    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    6 days ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    6 days ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    1 week ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    1 week ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public health, externality, and vaccination
    Paternalism is contentious. Arguments for state action to protect us from ourselves are fraught. I come down pretty heavily on the anti-paternalism side of the argument, but I’ve heard respectable defences of paternalism. But policy around vaccination is hardly paternalistic. There’s a clear market failure that could be pointed to ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Happy Halloween
    Its Halloween, so its time for annual pumpkin trepanning and chocolate eating ritual. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
    I’ve been reading Jules Verne’s novel Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, considered as one of the very earliest science fiction stories. In brief, Monsieur Aronnax and a couple of sidekicks are taken prisoner by Captain Nemo and his mysterious crew and treated to an underwater voyage around the world ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosing the risks
    The climate crisis is going to mean some pretty big changes in our country, both from its impacts and the policies required to address them. Most obviously, whole suburbs are going to be underwater by 2100, meaning people and businesses are going to have to relocate to higher ground. But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • MPI fails again
    Yesterday a dairy company was fined $483,000 for repeatedly failing to report listeria in its facility. Its a serious fine for a serious crime: listeria is a serious disease, and they were effectively trying to kill people with it. But there's another story hidden in there, and its not a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Gay Men Address Gender Identity
    Gay men see the excesses of trans activism and are increasingly speaking out.  A new Facebook group addressing ‘gender identity’ and contemporary trans activism has been set up for gay men, by gay men. The following is the group’s Statement of Intent, Group Rules, and link to the group for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s Going Gangbusters.
    Criminal Enterprises: Gangs are not welfare institutions. Nor are they a substitute for the family their members never had. They are ruthless, violent, criminal money-making machines. That is all.OKAY, first-things-first. Gangs exist for one purpose – and only one. They are a sure-fired, time-tested institution for making crime pay – ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    5 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    5 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    6 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones annoyed at “elevated sense of entitlement from a lot of immigrant leaders”
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is defending Immigration New Zealand (INZ) after it instructed officials to stop granting visas as an exception to instructions. He has also lashed out at immigrant leaders upset with the tightening of the rules, saying they had an “elevated sense of entitlement”. Members of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand public likely to vote on euthanasia bill thanks to NZ First
    A change to the End of Life Choice Bill was passed in Parliament, meaning if politicians decide to vote for the law it must be approved by the public first. A binding referendum was a condition insisted on by New Zealand First, and Jenny Marcroft’s supplementary order paper (SOP) successfully ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Tairāwhiti Workforce development projects get $1.6m PGF boost
    Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), through its skills and employment programme, Te Ara Mahi, is investing a further $1.6m into Tairāwhiti’s workforce development, said Parliamentary Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “This PGF funding follows on from significant PGF investment earlier this ...
    3 weeks ago
  • NZ First welcomes primary sector support for climate change plan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says the Government’s steps to reduce farm livestock emissions are necessary and timely. Today the Government and farming leaders announced a plan to measure and price emissions at the farm level by 2025. “Many farmers ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Bede Corry as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “The appointment of a senior diplomat to this important role underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Mr Peters. “The United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
    An innovative approach to boosting the number of frontline Police has seen 20 new officers graduate from one of the uncommon training wings in Auckland. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of 20 constables today means that 1,765 new Police officers have been deployed since the coalition government took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
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