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Extinction Rebellion

Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, November 2nd, 2018 - 35 comments
Categories: climate change, Conservation, disaster, Dr Deborah Russell, Environment, global warming, greens, labour, national, nz first, sustainability - Tags:

As pointed out by Ed in Open Mike in the United Kingdom action against climate change is ramping up with George Monbiot urging direct action to be taken.

He was speaking at a rally organised by Extinction Rebellion, a new mass direct-action group modeled on Occupy.  From Rising up’s website:

We are in an ecological crisis caused by climate change, pollution and habitat destruction; a mass species extinction on a scale much larger than the one which killed the dinosaurs is underway. Our course is set to societal collapse, the killing of millions, likely billions of people – human extinction is possible. The future is bleak and our children are not safe.

Change to avert the worst of the disaster is still technically and economically possible. The changes won’t be simple but there is nothing more important or worthwhile. It involves creating a world which is less frenetic and more beautiful; making the necessary changes will also create jobs. This is an emergency situation – action is urgent.

Our Government isn’t acting in accordance with what science and history tells us. Therefore our Government is criminally negligent. We have a moral duty to rebel, whatever our politics. Social science shows us that peaceful civil disobedience is an effective way to bring about change. Our lives have meaning and purpose when we follow our conscience and are willing to make sacrifices to protect what we love. We ask others who feel the same way to join our peaceful Rebellion.”

The organisation has some powerful support with 94 signatories from the ranks of academia and politics releasing an open letter supporting the organsation.  In an open letter they have said this:

Our government is complicit in ignoring the precautionary principle, and in failing to acknowledge that infinite economic growth on a planet with finite resources is non-viable. Instead, the government irresponsibly promotes rampant consumerism and free-market fundamentalism, and allows greenhouse gas emissions to rise. Earth Overshoot Day (the date when humans have used up more resources from nature than the planet can renew in the entire year) falls ever earlier each year (1 August in 2018).

When a government wilfully abrogates its responsibility to protect its citizens from harm and to secure the future for generations to come, it has failed in its most essential duty of stewardship. The “social contract” has been broken, and it is therefore not only our right, but our moral duty to bypass the government’s inaction and flagrant dereliction of duty, and to rebel to defend life itself.

We therefore declare our support for Extinction Rebellion, launching on 31 October 2018. We fully stand behind the demands for the government to tell the hard truth to its citizens. We call for a Citizens’ Assembly to work with scientists on the basis of the extant evidence and in accordance with the precautionary principle, to urgently develop a credible plan for rapid total decarbonisation of the economy.

Meanwhile in New Zealand the Government is closer to getting the Crown Minerals (Petroleum) Amendment Bill through Parliament.  The bill will ban the issuing of new offshore oil drilling exploration permits.  The bill has faced staunch opposition from National and the fossil fuel industry but significant support from most submitters even though it is not overly radical.  The effects will not be felt for some time.

Deborah Russell summed up the select committee hearings in this speech:

And her summary of the submissions is very apt.

When I look at what Business New Zealand said about the bill, they said “Business New Zealand agrees with the underlying policy objective sought by the 12 April decision, but strongly considers that banning new oil and gas exploration is an unnecessary way to achieve emissions reductions goals.” But if we aren’t going to do something, how can they show they really do support the idea of taking action to mitigate climate change? If not, how, and when? These were just a few of the submissions against the bill.

Chris Norton, however, said “I acknowledge some people and interested parties will feel like they’ve been short-changed. However, this financial loss to a few is nothing compared to the catastrophe that continuing with the exploration and exploitation of our fossil resources would contribute to for everyone.”

Abbie Jury from Tikorangi in Taranaki said she urged members of Parliament “to understand that while gas may burn more cleanly than some other fuels at the point of end-use, there is nothing at all clean or sustainable in the process of getting that gas out of the ground and keeping the gas flowing.” She went on to say “If we do not change our energy sources now, that change will be forced upon us by the probability of catastrophic climate change.”

We examined these submissions initiated of the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. Dinah Hawkins says that the latest IPCC report makes it absolutely clear that we, all of us, must work now to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Last of all, giving everyone a flavour of all the submissions that were totally in support of the bill, the 85 percent of submissions that were in support of the bill, from Sam Netherclift: “I am 18 and I think it is very unfair that my generation is inheriting a world affected by climate change because of older generations, so making exploration for oil illegal is one step forward in the right direction.”

There is overwhelming support for this bill, and in conclusion I give you the simplest submission of all, of all the many I read: “I support this bill because climate change.”

Good on Russell and the Labour Green NZ First Government for pushing this through.  But there is still a sense of inertia that the urgency of our predicament does not warrant.  New Zealand’s commitment has improved dramatically but the fundamental move away from consumption led economic growth is not happening quickly enough in my personal opinion.

With only 16 countries having set clear goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions that will allow them to match their ambitious pledges to tackle climate change the outlook is bleak.  Maybe it is time for a local branch of Extinction Rebellion.

35 comments on “Extinction Rebellion”

  1. roy cartland 1

    “dethrone growth”
    I like it. right and left, perpetual growth is seen simultaneously as impossible and desirable.

  2. tc 2

    Good to see and how about the power retailers get made to give the same value for export grid Kwh’s as we get stung to import them.

    Used to be parity but since 09 it’s snuck down to 25%. So the power industry takes it, then sells it at 4 times the price having made zero investment in the source being folks solar export grids.

    Slightly off topic for this gas/oil issue but another example of rentier behaviour in our energy sector which effectively discourages solar with its pricing behaviour.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      So the power industry takes it, then sells it at 4 times the price having made zero investment in the source being folks solar export grids.

      You do understand that’s how retail work right? That it’s all about skimming off value for doing as little as possible?

      • tc 2.1.1

        We understand exactly how it works DTB. People have gone off grid in response, all the wind farms proposed slowly faded from view from 08 and retailers are owned by the flogged off generators. A truly rigged game.

        If the greens are serious about being ‘green’ and not just making up the numbers then people need to be encouraged to generate and export.

        Localised generation is an essential part of the mix if we’re to be 100% renewable.

  3. Bill 3

    Aw. You didn’t include the video of the talk people aligned with Extinction Rebellion give, where the presenter dresses in pastels to portray that “safe middle class” image . I’ll throw it in here. 🙂

    • Sounds like this isn’t good enough for you bill?

      • Bill 3.1.1

        No. I’ve watched their presentations and read their stuff. It’s pretty well on the mark as far as I’m concerned.

        Was it my reference to her (I’m picking deliberate) decision to wear pastels and come across as “not at all threatening” that’s confused you?

      • The Al1en 3.1.2

        Pastel colours are now safe middle class, just like Kavenaugh is a plummy name, like that nugget on here a while back spouted Jacinda was proof enough of her ineligibility to be left of centre. 🙄
        Seems like Irish has more than a few perception issues.

    • Pat 3.2

      there is something strangely chilling watching a non remarkable middle class woman matter of factly describing the demise of our children

    • Jenny 3.3

      Thanks very much for this Bill.

      Dr Gail Bradbrook covers many of the themes that I have been writing about here for several years now.

      Dr Bradbrook referenced several themes

      – World War II scale mobilisation to tackle climate change

      – The necessity of building a peaceful protest movement to bring about the necessary political change to make this possible.

      – The alternate, strategy of repression and fascism, that the elites if the left to their own devices, may favour to deal with the crisis.

      In line with these themes, Dr Bradbrook spoke of the Arab Spring and how peaceful protest actions brought down a repressive regime.

      Supporting evidence of the efficacy of the strategy proposed by Dr Bradbrook:

      In this country, we have seen direct action – against coal mining, deep sea oil, fracking etc. as a way to create the necessary political pressure to match or even top the political pressure of the fossil fuel lobby to allow politicians the political breathing space to put forward what would otherwise be considered radical legislative changes.

      We have seen this strategy bear fruit in the government standing up to the coal industry of Te Kuha and up to the oil and gas lobby over the ban on new exploration permits.

      Both these successes came off the back of powerful direct action protests against the opening of new coal mines at Mangatangi and the protests against Petrobras which d.

      Looking further back Dr Bradbrook referenced the freedom riders in the US as an example of direct action that led to executive legislative changes in the US.

      In this country we can look back to the anti-nuclear ship protests and the anti-apartheid protests. We can also look to the Ngati Whatua protest led by Joe Hawke which saw 222 people arrested in a police and army operation, (50% Pakeha supporters), which stopped the private housing development of Bastion Pt. and which ultimately led to government legislation for the return of this land to its rightful owners.

      So where to from here?

      Should be the next question.

      • Jenny 3.3.1

        More bold intervention needed
        Written By: ADVANTAGE – Date published: 8:00 am, July 17th, 2016 – 71 comments

        The curious convergence of Labour and National towards major housing market intervention is quite something as a principle…..

        ……What other policy areas are there where the parties can agree on active state intervention?”
        ADVANTAGE

        From a speech by US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D) Rhode Island in the US Senate during the last US Presidential election.

        @14:39 minutes

        So where do we look for leadership?

        ‘Well! Not to one of the leading presidential contenders. This character says that, and I quote him. He’s just, quote “not a great believer in man made climate change”
        So There.
        Like the science cares what his opinion is.

        All that science, the decades of research by thousands of scientists across the globe, the pride of the scientific profession.

        “It’s a hoax”, he says. “A con job”, Pseudo Science” and ” B.S.”……

        ….To my Republican colleagues I’ve gotta ask is that really the line we want to have about this problem? Is this your guy? Are you gonna stand by him on this stuff?

        …..But wait, it actually gets better. Politico just yesterday reported, that this New York billionaire is also applying for permission to build a sea wall. He’s a wall building kinda guy, and he wants to build a sea wall to protect his seaside golf resort.
        What does he want to protect his seaside golf resort from with a wall?
        Rapist Mexicans coming across the border?
        No. What he wants protect his seaside golf resort from with a wall, is, and I quote, “global warming and its effects”

  4. Good initiative imo – we need many fronts and much action. We need change and we need urgency. Everything must be used. The time for inaction is over.

  5. Philj 5

    Expunge the word ‘growth’ from all policy makers statements and replace with the term ‘suststainably less’ would be a start.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    When a government wilfully abrogates its responsibility to protect its citizens from harm and to secure the future for generations to come, it has failed in its most essential duty of stewardship.

    It is following the logic of capitalism that has destroyed so many previous civilisations. Ours is no different in that respect. The profit drive is pushing us to collapse and taking the environment that supports all life on Earth with it.

    But there is still a sense of inertia that the urgency of our predicament does not warrant.

    Of course there is. Capitalism requires that we continue to destroy the environment for the profits of a few and this government is still an enabler of capitalism.

  7. Brutus Iscariot 7

    The mass action required is a one-off, random lottery cull of 1/3rd of the earth’s population (Thanos style) – and procreation controls on the remainder.

    Anything less won’t be enough to give an inhabitable planet for whoever is left.

    • soddenleaf 7.1

      Disagree. The basic instinct is still there, to not worry about the destruction, to let the belt out and get fatter and stupid all consuming lifestyles, the pattern once embedded of ignoring the hard choices of expertise and choosing gross simplistic delaying tactics reminiscent of concentration camps. yeah, rewarding rent seeking doubled down to reward cruel mindless mass slaughterers

  8. Philj 8

    Brutus. For maximum effect shouldn’t it be the wealthiest 1/3 rd?

    • Brutus Iscariot 8.1

      Randomness is the only fair way. It’s not just about effect on consumption patterns, as it needs to be longitudinal across nations too to some extent.

      If you took the top 1/3rd by wealth or income globally, that’s the richest 2.5bn humans, which i guarantee includes you and me. So Western Europe, North Asia, US, Australasia, all completely empty. You’d also cripple humanity’s collective chances of survival by removing basically all those humans with a decent level of education. Those left would have no idea what they’re doing, including being able to understand the rationale for the original decision and the consequences of screwing up again.

  9. RedLogix 9

    The anti-human murderous side of environmentalism lets the mask slip .. right off.

    Geneticists tell us that the human race has come close to extinction at least twice before. Usually due to mini-ice ages. And due to a dramatic expansion of human wealth, population and inefficient resource use, we may well come close to it again.

    Each of these could be described as an unintended consequence of changes in our environment and way of living, and our fumbled responses to them. Jared Diamond traced this topic in some detail; that human societies do lose their way, and often do end badly. These are the tragedies of history.

    But it seems to me quite a different thing to incorporate into your philosophy the idea that a mass death would be a good thing. That somehow the more people you can eliminate the better. There’s a different word for that ….

    • AB 9.1

      RL – I think Brutus was joking. A grim sort of joke, but grim jokes are one way of coping.
      To go from that to saying that there is a murderous side of environmentalism is some leap. I am pretty certain that if things get really ugly, it won’t be the greenies doing the murdering.

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        I’d like to think Brutus was joking too; I’m not oblivious to black humour.

        murderous side of environmentalism is some leap.

        It’s a leap I’ve encountered before.

  10. Ed 10

    Thank you for making this post, Mickey.
    Thank you.

  11. patricia bremner 11

    Thanks Micky.

  12. SaveNZ 12

    Might want to forward to Auckland council and Ports of Auckland because they are proposing turning part of our waterfront into a carpark for 2019.

    “Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has weighed into another high-profile planning proposal for Auckland, describing a bid for a car park on Bledisloe Wharf as “mind boggling” in its lack of vision.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12153899

  13. Michael 13

    Begs the question of why Labour decided to cave in to Big Oil again by letting them keep on drilling off our coasts. Wasn’t climate change supposed to be Jacinda’s generational challenge equivalent to the anti-nuclear issue of the 1980s – or was it simply synthetic moral posturing too?

  14. Dennis Frank 14

    “We demand the UK declares a state of emergency, takes action to create a zero carbon economy by 2025, and creates a national assembly of ordinary people to decide what our zero carbon future will look like.” Not bad for a radical manifesto – until you start to examine the context.

    This from “Extinction Rebellion, a new mass direct-action group modeled on Occupy” according to MS. So is a model of a protest movement that went global then fizzled out months later part of the solution or part of the problem??

    Will this group get the intended mass traction? Is their urgency sufficiently contagious? Is their design likewise? I doubt it – but I agree that declaration of a state of emergency would be a good idea to rouse the complacent and focus their attention. Will we see the Labour Party conference this weekend adopt such a policy? Not a snowball’s chance in hell.

    Will Ardern even call for it? Unlikely. She’s an incrementalist. Citing her generation’s nuclear-free moment was good pr, but without urgent action it will seem mere sloganeering in retrospect.

    I also agree that a zero-carbon economy in seven years is a good aspiration. How? Leave that to career politicians & public servants. Protestors are only there to make unreasonable demands, not to provide solutions.

    Creating a national assembly of ordinary people to decide what “our zero carbon future will look like” is a great idea if you want a consciousness-raising forum to brainstorm a suitable goal. Doomed to failure via diversity of opinion unless you create a task force instead, in which teamwork is prescribed to secure a suitable outcome, via a suitable design and decision-making format.

    So, all up, the flawed conception here is that a pressure group can scare a democratically-elected government into hijacking democracy and the economy to serve a minority view. Good to see them giving it a go. Bad to see them failing to learn the lesson of Occupy.

    MS: “the fundamental move away from consumption led economic growth is not happening quickly enough in my personal opinion.” Quite so. Still political suicide to call for that. Democracy dooms everyone.

    • Jenny 14.1

      So is a model of a protest movement that went global then fizzled out months later part of the solution or part of the problem??

      Dennis Frank

      The weakness of mass protest movements Dennis, is just as you point out, they reach a peak and then ebb away. In my opinion the key to keeping the gains made by a mass protest movement at its peak permanent, is for activists to link up with lawmakers and codify the advances made, in law. This was the great strength of the anti-nuclear ship movement in this country.

      Ex -Values Party member and activist Rod Donald and others joined the Labour Party and were able to lobby and influence the opposition Labour Party to support a private members bill to ban nuclear ship visits. Of course this was only part of the story, this political lobbying was done against a background of mass protests and political ferment in society.

  15. Jenny 15

    As I have often said before, “We are living in an age when activists must become politicians, and politicians must become activists”

    Why I’m turning from law-maker to law-breaker to try to save the planet

    Molly Scott Cato – The Guardian, October 31, 2018

    On Wednesday I will join hundreds of others in Parliament Square to assert that we will not stand idly by in the face of climate breakdown and ecological crisis. We will affirm a commitment to engage in non-violent but illegal activities to try and force urgent action. Collectively we have signed a declaration to this effect; an Extinction Rebellion against the British government for criminal inaction.

    Over decades we have all operated in our different spheres of life – whether as journalists, academics, politicians, campaigners and educators – to ring the alarm about the way planetary life support systems are being destroyed. But a powerful alliance of wealthy individuals and multinational corporations, backed by complicit politicians, has subverted the political process and blocked action. This is why, whoever we are and whatever we do, we are coming together now to say we are prepared to engage in civil disobedience to force urgent climate action.

    We are prepared to halt lorries entering fracking sites; to stand in the way of bulldozers building roads and block traffic along heavily congested and polluted streets. Direct actions like these have a long and proud history; it’s time to carry them through in a systematic way to protect the climate, and to be willing to be arrested for doing so.

    If we only had such law breaking law makers here.

    We used to. And they were vital in making New Zealand Nuclear Free.

    We are again living in an age when activists and politicians must again be prepared to leave their traditional comfort zones and activists become politicians and politicians become activists.

    The ‘real’ story of accidental hero David Lange and how New Zealand became nuclear-free
    David Fisher – NZ Herald, January 19, 2017

    Jim Anderton, who was a Labour Party president turned MP by 1984, recalled Palmer approaching himself and fellow MP Helen Clark about the request for the USS Buchanan to visit. Both were staunchly anti-nuclear, and told Palmer there would be no equivocating.

    Anderton confirmed he told Palmer if the ship arrived then he would be at the wharf protesting along with ‘half the Labour caucus’.

    The influence Anderton had over the issue was obviously a factor which concerned the US Embassy.

    One of the CIA reports show it kept careful count of Anderton’s support in the Labour caucus on the issue and on that of Labour’s free market reforms.

    • the other pat 15.1

      we need in NZ a bit of Springbok tour mongrel and some anti nuke flavour…..get out on the streets…out on the water and indeed into the skys…..keyboard warriors get off your arses!

  16. Jenny 16

    New Scientist reports on Extinction Rebellion

    Frustrated climate activists resort to civil disobedience in London
    Michael Le Page – New Scientist, October 31, 2018

    The idea behind the Extinction Rebellion movement is that governments around the world are failing to do enough to prevent extreme climate change and the ongoing mass extinction. The only choice left, they say, is to rebel.

    “The situation is dire, and there are very few governments that are prepared to act,” one of the protestors, Annie Randall, told New Scientist. “We are really fed up.”…..

    …..There is no doubt at all that the basic premise of the Extinction Rebellion – that governments are not doing enough to limit climate change – is correct. Greenhouse gas emissions need to fall extremely fast if we are to have any chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C, a UN climate report warned earlier this month. Instead, they are still rising and look set to keep rising…..

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    4 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    5 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks 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

  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours 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
    2 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to 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 welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
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  • More support for wood processing
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  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
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  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
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  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
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