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Extreme weather

Written By: - Date published: 6:03 am, June 21st, 2013 - 173 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster - Tags: , ,

I hope everyone in Wellington, and other places affected by last night’s the ongoing storms, gets through it all OK. The reports of violent wind, high seas, power outages, heavy snowfalls and general chaos, certainly made for lively reading. (I got my share in the North Otago floods earlier in the week – picked the wrong day to dry and drive from Christchurch to Dunedin.) All this on top of the summer drought.

Extreme weather. As I have asked before – how bad does it have to get before we sit up and take notice of climate change?

Along with the rest of the world, New Zealand is entering a new phase: Extreme weather ‘the new normal’. Like earthquakes, extreme weather can’t be exactly predicted or ever controlled, but planning ahead, being prepared, can help us to adapt and cope. As a country, as regions, as communities, as individuals – we should be getting ready.

173 comments on “Extreme weather ”

  1. Poneke 1

    “last night’s storms: … ?

    It’s still happening as I write with the banshee wind wailing outside my window
    and the rain sheeting down.

    It’s just another Wellington mid-winter ..

  2. BM 2

    Yes, we need to build massive big domes over our cities.
    There’s no other option if we’re going to survive this extreme weather.

  3. Paul 3

    Or we could stop extracting fossil fuels from the earth.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      You need to rephrase that. To moving the life support of our civilisation and its cities completely off from fossil fuels.

      But we can see from Auckland as an example, that is never going to happen, until it is made to happen.

  4. joe90 4

    Wild night out here in ‘the cliff’, lots of banging and crashing, window rubbers couldn’t quite keep up with the heavy showers but nothing too serious, the cylinder stack struts got pretty damn noisy and a minor flue fire but a first light inspection this AM and nothing broken. A months worth of cabbage tree leaf kindling though.

  5. karol 5

    There was some lightening & loud thunder here in Auckland’s west last night, and some rattling wind.

    It’s interesting how this winter has so far been unusually warm here in Auckland so far. Now we seem to be heading into a cold patch as we hit the shortest day.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Power grid, storm water, waste, and a bunch of other non-sexy systems and infrastructure must be seriously upgraded over the next 10 years.

    Have any of our political parties even been talking about this? Or is everyone still yabbering on about an export led recovery selling stuff to increasingly poor people in other nations?

    • SpaceMonkey 6.1

      They’re all leaving it to the private sector

    • Tim 6.2

      I’d like more detail. I’d like to know how well anything ABOVE (i.e. not = to – but ABOVE) the 11kV ‘grid’ is holding up)I’d like to know because it would be good to be able to contrast Mex Bredford’s ‘promises’ versus the reality, and I’d like to be able to contrast that ‘grid’ with the below (and = to) 11k.V
      ….js kuriouse. after all – that competition that was going to occur due to the benefits of privatisation was going to be our salvation.
      Those ‘market forces’ were going to ensure fishinsy, fektivniss, countabilty, reinvestmint, and ALL and EVERYTHING a ‘free market’ theoretically would deliver – well it seems a total load of kaka right noe.
      (As IF!!! )

  7. halfcrown 7

    There’s something to be said about living in the much maligned Waikato. As usual nothing much happened here, a bit of breeze and a few heavy showers.

    • tc 7.1

      Get out more dude, plenty of slips all over the place as massive water in short time brings the inevitable landslips and trees crash down.

      Power outages also as it was wild on the coast, you must be inland and those with underground power like newer burbs in Hamilton wouldn’t have the outages.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1


        Q: Where does food come from?
        A: the supermarket.

        • karol

          Of course that’s how us townies view food. That’s why many of us have vegetable gardens/plots and why some like to drive out of town to farmers’ markets.

          • Colonial Viper

            uh karol, you’re a wee bit more aware of these things than the normal person. So I should say, present company excepted 😛

        • mac1


          In 2008 in an election meeting, the local farmers in serried ranks of folded arms all agreed with a local questioner who denied such a thing as climate change, then referred to as ‘global warming’………… “it’s been the coldest winter here we’ve had in years.”

          • Colonial Viper

            opinions are quietly changing in the rural community mate

            • mac1

              I hope so- I’ll find out next year when the next election meeting comes around. But will in the meantime keep my personal O2-CO2 exchange going.

              One thing though- of course those Culverden farmers knew their own weather, intimately, but they did not accept any idea of global warming, in 2008.

              The local Fed Farmers hosted the climate change denier Lord Monckton of Brenchley here in April and they agreed with him, still. A scientist friend of mine who as a viticulturist knows something of the local weather patterns and also about CO2 as part of plant growth etc was not heeded.

              So maybe our local farmers need to talk to your rural community.


              • Arfamo

                I dunno. As a layperson trying to get a handle on the subject it’s still muddy. Everything is under attack from skeptics – from those quoting other qualified climatologists disputing the current temperature records’ accuracy, the accuracy of the climate models when it comes to predicting associated weather-related events, the estimates and conclusions arising ice core records and comparisons with various reports & writings from previous times and civilisations – still seems to be pretty much basically detective work with a lot of guesstimates about which came first, CO2 increases or warming, in the past. The unknowns about releases of methane exacerbating the global warming effect.

                I’ve seen reports claiming the result will be many more severe storms, and/or more frequent storms, and/or shifts in monsoon patterns etc. Hurricanes already, even according to climatologists who are AGW supporters, are said to be subject to natural cycles of 20-40 years of poorly understood variation in frequency and intensity. So it’s too early perhaps to be seeing even a year or two of extreme hurricanes and storms as evidence of AGW/CC.

                All it would take for whatever we do to cut CO2 emissions and hopefully be spared the worst possible consequences of expected extreme and different weather & climate conditions could be rendered useless or even more confusing anyway with say, another Siberian Traps event or possibly even just an outbreak of higher than usual volcanism for a period.

                But the totality of the various strands of evidence still has me convinced AGW is causing climate change and it will be unpredictable and will be easier to see clearly looking back than forward, as usual. I’m in favour of the prudent approach to cut emissions.

                • lprent

                  …other qualified climatologists…


                  The only people that I ever see saying that kind of stuff and being quoted saying it are meteorologists (and one dickhead (Watts) in particular). They are trained in and specialise in predicting weather patterns – not climate.

                  Watts is a not particularly competent fool. He wandered around measuring the weather measurement devices looking for deviation caused by the siting of the instruments. Apparently he was competent enough to find the deviations.

                  However his published results largely agreed with the corrections that were *already* being used on the readings from those instruments. It appears that unfortunately Watts wasn’t competent enough to find out that out *before* wasting a whole lot of someone’s cash.

                  So what he got out of it was a whole pile of hysterical ramblings about silly stuff that climatologists and even competent meteorologists had known about already…. That weather stations particularly those on land always deviate because of their siting – it is the nature of land topography to have micro-climates. Even changes in instruments as they get upgraded over decades will give different readings. That is why they get tested periodically to find out how far they deviate and corrections are applied to their measurements.

                  Competent climatologists and meteorologists (ie not Watts) use the adjusted figures when they are doing the *statistical* analysis of climate across large numbers of sites and across decades or centuries of time.

                  Your other point about the decades required to measure changes in the frequencies of extreme weather is better. Of course it is a statistical reflection to be able to prove beyond any doubt that the frequency and amplitude of extreme weather events is changing. The problem there is more that we haven’t been keeping very good measurements on weather events across wide areas prior to the 1970’s or 80’s. For instance try and find the temperatures and/or rainfall at Auckland airport for the 1960’s or 70’s. But there are certainly some pretty good indications weather is becoming more extreme.

                  However we also know that weather and climate is a mechanism for dispersing energy – mostly heat. We also know that the amount of heat energy in the system has been rising pretty rapidly – you only have to look at the seawater temperatures and consequent increases in volume over the last century. So there will be increased movement of air and water currents as well. That is basic physics.

                  • Arfamo

                    Thanks lprent. As you will see from my comments, even basic physics (not my forte) is something I am having to try and remember and / or learn about in more detail. I can’t help it that I’m not an intellectual genius. I knew a lot more for certain about everything when I was younger and the answer was to do or believe the opposite to what my father’s generation did. These days I tend more to try and pick my way through the intellectual geniuses’ competitions for attention and reach some kind of rational conclusion. Especially with economists. 🙂

                    Sea temps and ice mass loss are the biggest factors in favour of my support for AGW.

                  • Arfamo

                    I was trying to remember the name of another climatologist who seems to be active in disputing some of the scientific consensus, at least in respect of the predicted weather changes – Judith Curry.

                    • Arfamo

                      Then there’s this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

                      Although it’s encouraging to look at the graph at the top right that depicts someone’s interpretation of the scientific consensus vs the skeptics, and I do note that several objectors seem to be qualified in fields perhaps not associated with climatology.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Afarmo, I could cite the studies that show what percentage of Climatologists fall into the “denier” category (about 3%), but here’s the thing, see: they each have a different explanation. Think about the implications of that for a moment.

                      When it comes down to it the only way to truly satisfy yourself is study it yourself. Chicago U offers Prof David Archer’s Climatology 101 for free, for example.

                    • Arfamo

                      Thanks OAK. Will check it out. (Doing Banking 101 at the moment.) Have read enough on sites like Skeptical Science and watched enough YouTube videos, and had enough explained to me about the thoroughness of various statistical validation and other analysis tools to be satisfied the scientific consensus is sound. More a case of wanting more people to be concerned about it and interested in what we & government need to be doing to cut emissions and/or planning to cope with changes. Have found myself trying to argue with people whose proof it is not happening amounts to “I have been going to the same boat ramp and fishing off the same wharf for 50 years and I can assure you its all bullshit: sea level is not rising!”

              • weka

                Has any actual research been done on the range of farmers’ attitudes to CC? Not all farmers think alike, and not all farmers are well represented or even belong to Federated Farmers.

                • Arfamo

                  The thing is weka would they be any better informed than the rest of the general population? I’m trying to think of what the results have been of online polls by news websites. Such polls I have seen referred to I think indicate more people are becoming skeptical. Don’t recall numbers or percentages though. And even fewer people seem to favour our government doing anything about emissions as long as the huge emitter countries aren’t signing up to the same deals.

                  Still, there’s this I just googled. http://treealerts.org/region/north-america/2013/05/new-poll-shows-public-demand-for-action-on-climate-change/

                  And this: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/04/09/1840831/gallup-poll-public-understanding-and-concern-about-global-warming-keeps-rising/?mobile=nc

                  Yet I keep meeting people who say they don’t believe it in NZ.

                  • Jenny

                    In talking with a farmer of mine on the South city fringe here in Auckland. Who had been on his land for 30 years. He said that he had not personally witnessed such a drought as the last one. He had never seen the creeks on his land so low. And all his new fence posts were rattling in their holes as the ground shrunk and cracked.

                    Was he convinced on climate change? He wouldn’t be drawn. Being a hard headed and practical person, he was not swayed by one event. He would listen to the underlying science so as to have an understanding of the arguments and be prepared to shift his position if need be.

                    But one more drought like this and he would be solidly convinced. Though only anecdotal, I imagine that if this attitude is common. Then one more severe summer drought. Or even one more unprecedented severe winter weather event. And the farming community would solidly swing enmass over into being convinced of the reality of climate change. Leading to a corresponding shift in the political landscape with far reaching consequences for our political parties. Will they be quick enough to take advantage of this shift? It is possible that if the centrist political parties of Labour and National are not quick on their feet that they could lose rural votes to any party that was prepared to take the lead in aggressively pushing for action against climate change.

                    • Arfamo

                      Yes, my feeling is that it is still too early to call extreme events we are experiencing in the last couple of years as attributable to predicted consequences of AGW/CC. But I am definitely starting to wonder if we are at the start of the point where the climate change extremes are so persistent they move significantly outside the range of normal variation and the change is undeniable.

              • Colonial Viper

                mac1 – I think that less than 30% of farmers are members of the Feds now. That should tell you something quite important.

            • dumrse

              The farmers are getting older and feeling the cold more.

  8. muzza 8

    extreme weather can’t be exactly predicted or ever controlled,

    With the quantity of posts on this site which refer to climate change, and related subject matter, would it not be prudent at least take a look into, and give some commentary on geo-engineering.

    Weather is becoming more unstable, but the reasons why will not be as straight forward as people would like to accept. Surely its better to engage in broad based coverage, rather than seek to contain the chatter, into narrow bands,

    There is no shortage of starting points on geo-engineering, here are some links I have posted previously. Its akin to the suggestions/solutions, which are offered on this site, around various topics, but the core issues of manufactured scarcity, and monetary supply, are seldom investigated, or included in discussions, whcih makes for limited coverage.






    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1


    • UglyTruth 8.2

      I few months ago I was fortunate enough to witness a weather modificaton event firsthand. It was an attempt to break up a tropical cyclone. Within about an hour the US weather predictions for the cyclone were taken down and after about five hours the cyclone had completely lost its symmetry and was a collection of disordered fronts.

      • Te Reo Putake 8.2.1

        Do tell! What happened when you woke up?

        • UglyTruth

          Cloudbusting isn’t a dream.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead

            That’s true: dreams are a real world phenomenon associated with sleep, whereas “cloudbusting” is a delusional fantasy associated with idiocy.

            • UglyTruth

              The cloudbusting that I witnessed used orgone tech, it’s not a mental process.

              Born in New Zealand in 1925, Trevor J Constable engaged a long career at sea which spanned nearly a half century, lasting from World War II until 1992. After finishing high school, he joined the New Zealand Merchant Marine for a year, followed with the British Merchant Marine for five years, and after emigrating to the United States in 1952, sailed for 26 years with the U.S Merchant Marine as a Radio Electronics Officer. He plied the North Atlantic with the British in the late 40’s aboard the famed Queen Mary and completed more than 300 crossings of the North Pacific aboard the SS Maui, flagship of the Matson Navigation Company; the ship upon which he conducted many of his famous weather manipulation experiments utilizing the multi-tubed Cloudbuster invented by Wilhelm Reich and the etheric principles expounded by Rudolf Steiner and Gunther Wachsmuth.

              • Te Reo Putake

                “The cloudbusting that I witnessed used orgone tech, it’s not a mental process.”

                No, it’s a mentalist process. And I say that as someone who has read Reich extensively. I came to his works via WS Burroughs, and like Old Bill Lee, I have made various forms of orgone accumulators, without measurable success. And that was the crux of Reich’s difficulties. He thought he was onto something, but he could never acheive scientifically sound results. The same applies to whatever kooks you’ve been hanging out with. Get back to us when you have impirical data that backs up the theory and maybe we can talk. Till then, it’s all pie in the sky.

                • UglyTruth

                  You don’t know that you’re talking about.

                  • weka

                    Probably because arguing about orgone is more fun than talking about, or shock, horror, doing something about CC.

                    • UglyTruth

                      Doing something without knowing what the causes are is a waste of time.
                      Whenever anyone says that the science is settled about anything you can be pretty sure that they are full of shite.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Anyone who says that anyone says “the science is settled” is a fuckwit, because no scientist has said that.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    “You don’t know that you’re talking about.”

                    Did you miss the bit where I said I’d done the reading and conducted practical experiments?

              • Murray Olsen

                Thanks for that post, UT. I needed a good laugh.

          • Populuxe1

            No, it’s a beautiful song by Kate Bush…

    • weka 8.3

      Weather is becoming more unstable, but the reasons why will not be as straight forward as people would like to accept. Surely its better to engage in broad based coverage, rather than seek to contain the chatter, into narrow bands,

      Not sure what you mean muzza. Obviously stupid people are doing stupid things with regards to trying to control the weather. But you seem to be suggesting that this is what is causing climate change, is that right? Or there is no climate change, just geo-engineering for nefarious reasons?

      • muzza 8.3.1

        Hi Weka,

        How would one know if the *stupid things* these people have been doing over, many decades, have in fact, not been a contributor, or a major one.

        Hard to imagine that the consequences of such, *manipulative technologies * would be well known until such time as the damage has been identified, and understood. Even then history shows that testing continues, so the *scientists*, can *gain greater learning’s*!

        So, no, I’m not talking against CC, only the potential reasons why its going on, being significantly more complicated, than the mainstream message being fed through various channels.

        Woops, sorry earthlings, we detonated a few too many nuclear warheads into the earths protective, life supporting, sky systems in the early days, because the *scientists* wanted to check the *results*. Looks like the consequences got away on us, and now we have got a global problem which we can’t control, or fix!

        No worries though, we swung the media arm of the operation into high gear, instructed them to find a single source of the problem, to sell as the primary cause. We will blame you all for being greedy, polluting consumers, and you will all lap it up, eagerly, while we continue with the *experiments*!

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead


          It’s HAARP. They use it to make earthquakes too.

          • muzza

            Hello Bloke, nice to hear from you.

            Your attempt to deflect, actually serves a point of discussion, by illustrating how people attempt to blow off, or seek to hide from *scary stuff*, by associating it with flippant remarks, seeking to denigrate discussion, or outright avoid it.

            How would we actually know, just what the HAARP systems are being used for, and how would it be possible to know, if what it is being used for, is not causing massive alterations, or damage, above and below?

            Do you think the results would be publicized, Bloke? Do you think if the *scientists* created a chain of consequences, which are unraveling in front of us, that TPTB would tell the world about it, of course they wouldn’t, but they would ensure the use of the term *conspiracy theory*, was readily available to throw in any direction, which might seek to pull the curtain back a little!

            The key issue comes down to this, people like to fantasize, that scientists/science related fields are all good people, with altruistic intentions, only interested in the seeking greater understanding, for the betterment of humanity and the planet, which is la la land stuff, to be sure!

            In reality, knowledge, research, technology et al, regardless of which field it comes from, there will be scientists involved, on some level, and just like anything else, TPTB seek to control the knowledge, research, and technology, how difficult can that concept possibly be for people to wrap their head around, it’s a key tenet, of the *development* of our species!

            Scientists, are human beings, just like everyone else (deflated egos, rest easy). Hate to break it to you science types on this site, your field is no less susceptible to the corruption of the human spirit, than any other industry in history. In fact, history tells us, repeatedly,, just how corrupted the science related fields have become, war, weapons, financial weapons, germ warfare and such like, all a huge thank you to the various scientific fields, and the ease at which developments are coerced with band intent!

            Heck, they even managed to create artificial radiation belt in space, awesome!!! And if they managed this, there is no end to what else they have managed to screw, right up!

            So while you’re busy enthralling yourself with the wonderful advancements that science has given humanity (and it has), science has also taken us to the brink of disaster, and likely over the cliff. Will science save us, finish us off, or allow those who control it, to escape the mess they have left on planet earth, and flee to distant locations???

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              So, nothing substantive then. Just you projecting your opinions of how other people think. Scientists human! Shock! Horror! 🙄

  9. pollywog 9

    Insurance companies must be just about over NZ by now.

    I reckon if they could up stumps and bail, they would…

    • vto 9.1

      It may seem that way but do the sums…. Canterbury, 400,000 people averaging, say $1,000 p.a. each (or probably substantially more given business as well) = $400,000,000 each and every year. 10 years = $4billion.

      The insurers are ahead of the game dontcha worry about that. That is why they are keen as mustard to get back into Christchurch – there is simply too much money in it. Especially when it is a stable premium-paying bunch of conservative folk. And further on top of that, after each disaster the premiums get unched up of course.

      And on a tangent – we are big enough to self-insure. Why don’t we all do that? As we used to. Oh, that’s right, better the privatise and a profit to it…….

      • Wayne (a different one) 9.1.1

        Your comments demonstrate you have absolutely no idea of what you are talking about.

        Without the support of their overseas parent companies, most insurers would have been bankrupted by the Christchurch earthquakes.

        Lest not forget the failings of AMI, Western Pacific and Civic – coupled with the withdrawl of China Insurance and Ansvar from the market.

        “Lets self insure” – look at what happened to the EQC – their entire reserves were wiped out by these events – so give me a break.

        One final comment, we are lucky as New Zealanders to still be able to buy earthquake cover (compliments of the re-insurance market) – one more event like Christchurch and, they will turn their backs on NZ. We represent less than 1% of the global insurance premium income – Christchurch represented over 20 % of the global claims for 2011.

        So don’t get too cocky!!

        • Colonial Viper

          “Lets self insure” – look at what happened to the EQC – their entire reserves were wiped out by these events – so give me a break.

          Easy to set aside larger reserves my man, plus an additional levy. It’s not rocket science.

        • Augustus

          That’s a TINA argument. If all insurance customers had paid all their premiums to one public insurer, reserves wouldn’t be a problem. EQC premiums are a small part of the overall picture, just look on your invoice.

          If ever an industry needed reform and regulation, it is insurance. Why should overseas based re-insurers (read: very rich people) dictate what can and can’t be insured here? You don’t actually believe they are still here out of the goodness of their hearts, do you?

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead

            Why should overseas based re-insurers (read: very rich people) dictate what can and can’t be insured here?

            Because it’s their risk.

            • muzza

              Because its their risk

              Bro, you are clued in various areas to be sure, but anything financial, not so much. Not that it stopped you attempting to tell me about a line of business I have worked in, when blatantly you have not!

              Take a look how many insurance companies, huge ones, were bailed out by the taxpayer globally, start with America, the All Blacks sponsor is fine example…

              Their Risk, what utter piffle!

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Did insurance companies pay out after the Christchurch earthquake? What about recent floods?

                Their risk.

        • Colonial Viper

          We represent less than 1% of the global insurance premium income – Christchurch represented over 20 % of the global claims for 2011.

          Excuse me, but politely put, I call BULLSHIT on that.

          What else happened in the world that year? Oh yeah, Fukushima, which devastated one of the wealthiest industrial parts of Japan and displaced several million people with an earthquake and tidal wave.

          You cannot be claiming that what happened in Christchurch was even 1/4 the cost of the damage Japan incurred.

          • Lanthanide


            “But Christchurch’s February 22 and June 13 combined were second largest behind the Japan tsunami for insured losses of US$14b, ahead of Thailand’s floods where many fewer people are insured.”

            He simply said that CHCH cost 20% of the annual total for 2011, not that it was the largest event. Given that it was apparently the 2nd largest insurance event, according to that article, I can easily believe the 20% figure. It actually says CHCH insurance costs were $14b, Thailand flooding was $12b and Japan was $35b, so out of those events, CHCH is 23%. Add in all of the rest of the global claims for various things, and Wayne’s 20% figure is probably not too far off the mark. Note that the article also talks about total economic losses, but that’s not what Wayne was talking about – he is talking about insured losses.

            The thing about the CHCH earthquakes is that although the disaster in Japan was much more costly, the insurance coverage there was also much lower. NZ is also I believe quite unique in the world to offer coverage on land.

        • vto

          “Your comments demonstrate you have absolutely no idea of what you are talking about.” — sure I aint no expert in this area. But go on – tell me those broad figures are incorrect. And tell me insurers are walking away. They aint. They want the business.

          “Without the support of their overseas parent companies, most insurers would have been bankrupted by the Christchurch earthquakes.” — rubbish.

          “Lest not forget the failings of AMI, Western Pacific and Civic – coupled with the withdrawl of China Insurance and Ansvar from the market.” — The reasons for each of these things are varied and cannot be all lumped in together.

          ““Lets self insure” – look at what happened to the EQC – their entire reserves were wiped out by these events – so give me a break.” — You miss the point self-insurance. Ffs, even just moderate sized corporates self-insure at times.

          “One final comment, we are lucky as New Zealanders to still be able to buy earthquake cover (compliments of the re-insurance market) – one more event like Christchurch and, they will turn their backs on NZ. We represent less than 1% of the global insurance premium income – Christchurch represented over 20 % of the global claims for 2011.” — That is a self-defeating comment. The entire global population can be broken down into 1% chunks of the global insurance premium income…….
          And further, “compliments of the re-insurance market” – there aint no “compliments” about it, that is how the system works noddy.

          Be interested to hear some comment from an insurance expert re why the insurers are happy to re-enter the Chch market, and about self-insurance.

        • joe90

          “Lets self insure” – look at what happened to the EQC – their entire reserves were wiped out by these events – so give me a break.

          Indeed, let’s look at what happened.

          A precedence of sorts was provided here when the government set up the State Fire Insurance Company. In their book Town and Country, Bryan Gilling and Alan Henderson observe: “In 1905 Premier Richard Seddon established the State Fire Insurance Office against fierce industry opposition. Its quick success in making good profits while driving down premiums inspired local authority leaders to think about establishing businesses of their own.


          • ropata

            A quick squizz around the Auckland skyline reveals that the largest skyscrapers are owned by
            – insurance companies
            – banks
            – accountants

            All of whom are very good at skimming from society (and repatriating profits to their corporate overlords) and perform a function that could just as well be done by government

            • Matthew Hooton

              They aren’t owned by the entities with their names on them. Vero, for example, does not own the Vero Centre. Kiwi Income Property Trust does. Vero has naming rights. So a quick sqizz as you put it doesn’t tell you anything.

        • infused

          Reserves were wiped out because the govt has been skimming off the top for years.

      • pollywog 9.1.2

        Yeah nah, not talking specifically bout Chch.

        Just think a few more ‘natural’ disasters and the equations soon start not adding up.

        Might find they conveniently price themselves out of the market.

  10. King Kong 10

    I woke up this morning, saw the mess from the storm and immediately blamed the Government. It was then I realised I had been reading the Standard for too long.

    Upon inspecting my late 19th century, Thorndon villa for any damage, I realised that this was a period where things got done properly and we should be trying to recreate this era in modern New Zealand.

    • vto 10.1

      ………………………. empty space

      • Veutoviper 10.1.1

        Well said, vto!

        Although I must say that my 113 year old villa in south Wellington also up to this storm well as it has in past storms – only damage the loss of the wood/glass end of a verandah which was original. But it may be repairable as it came away in two parts. Now just have to get help to move the parts off the driveway before I can get the car out. The various large tree branches that self-trimmed but are not in the way of anything can wait for a chainsaw session.

        A couple of 5 year old townhouses up the road did not fare so well, with roofs lifted.

        But the south coast extremes are something I love and why I came back to live here after years overseas.

        This storm was certainly extreme – very similar to the Wahine storm which I am old enough to remember. As a much younger surf club member at the time, I spent some hours helping out around the coast.

        But no – I did not blame the government when I saw the damage this morning!

  11. Bill 11

    Shit weather- yes. Extreme weather – no. But the effects have been more severe than normal down this way from what I can see because, firstly the ground is already sodden and, secondly the council have spent recent years stripping mature trees from the steep roadside slopes in these parts. So a change in weather patterns (eg. more rain over a shorter time periods more often) and no change in human stupidity tends to amount to predictable and unnecessarily damaging consequences from single weather events that are well within the bounds of historically normal weather.

    • just saying 11.1

      Looking at the slips round our way, I’ve noticed that patterns of planting seem to be a factor.

      Where I last lived, I had to learn how and what to plant to hold banks, and how to plant and nurture shelter belts on steep slopes sited in the teeth of regular gales. Couldn’t afford not to. When I look around town, planting for shelter and to stablilise the ground (not to mention soak up flood waters), seems to be a dying art, and fences and retaining walls seem to rule, even where planting would be both cheaper and more effective.

      Not that all such damage can be prevented.

      I see the local council has made the arborist in charge of the town’s trees redundant. Cutting costs etc.

      • Rosetinted 11.1.1

        just saying
        I remember someone from the environmental management for Canterbury suggesting that pine trees in the upper catchment should be chopped because they soaked up too much water (that was wanted downstream by the irrigators presumably.) I didn’t hear a mention about preventing erosion and silting up.

  12. Along with the rest of the world, New Zealand is entering a new phase: Extreme weather ‘the new normal’.

    A storm isn’t “extreme weather,” it’s “weather.”

    I recall when I was living in Christchurch in the early 80s, some loony Christians put out a flyer saying golfball-sized hailstones that fell in Halswell one day were an example of God’s judgement for human sins (quite what depravity the people of Halswell had been engaging in to prompt this judgement is anyone’s guess, but my money’s on “not much, actually”). Such irrationalists still exist, but have now been joined by a secular equivalent: this storm is because climate change.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 12.1

      Is that the argument? Or are people merely noting that Climatology strongly suggests an increase in storm intensity, and making the connection between climate change on the one hand and a severe storm on the other?

      This lovely weather we’re having has a lot more energy than it otherwise would have without the Greenhouse Effect: more moisture in the atmosphere etc.

      That isn’t spin, it’s Physics.

      • Pete 12.1.1

        Here’s a rundown of expected climate change impacts in New Zealand, and on a region-by-region basis.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          Thanks Pete. The info there is more concerned with climate averages than outliers: the potential impact of the outliers is somewhat minimised as a result, I suspect.

      • Poission 12.1.2

        Theory suggests that the excursion of the polar jets and accompanying antarctic storm tracks will decrease in a warming world as the meridional gradient decreases.

        At present unusual weather events are of great interest in the NH,but understanding is limited as there is an inverse relation for sea ice is evident in the SH.


        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          So that would tend to offset the effect of more atmospheric water vapour?

          • Poission

            So that would tend to offset the effect of more atmospheric water vapour?

            The two mechanisms have opposite effects, Here the range of experiments is limited or at least the literature is sparse, and it would be difficult to provide good analysis yet alone a conclusion at present,

        • Colonial Viper

          Snowed and hailed in parts of Switzerland yesterday. In the middle of summer.

  13. Skinny 13

    Fortunately we have a Kent fire & I’ve prepared for winter with plenty of hardwood. Here is what infuriates me.

    Recently we received a letter from Genesis Energy informing us they are putting their chargers up. I’ve read they made hundreds of millions in profits last financial quarter. One would think these psychopaths running GE would be content & show some compassion ‘knowing that power in today’s world is as essential as water for people to survive.’ And for many Kiwi’s, especially the young & the elderly that power for heating is a vital. This terrible John Key lead National Government has a huge part to play in this inhuman conduct. How ??? by selling off our power assets, driving these no good psychopathic corporate mongrels, to squeeze every cent they think they can possibly extract out of us. Why ??? so when it’s their turn to list on the stock exchange it represents a good investment. So the cycle begins of inflated (jacked up) chargers. JK you money trader ( traitor) this will be your ‘black Friday.’

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Recently we received a letter from Genesis Energy informing us they are putting their chargers up. I’ve read they made hundreds of millions in profits last financial quarter. One would think these psychopaths running GE would be content & show some compassion

      Welcome to the beauty of Labour’s state owned enterprise model.

      • Skinny 13.1.1

        Yes CV how right you are, yesterday I purchased a couple of Solid Energy bags of coal & couldn’t help a cringe thinking I was donating to the 48k Saunders & Unsworth fund.

    • johnm 13.2

      100% right mate! 🙂

  14. Or are people merely noting that Climatology strongly suggests an increase in storm intensity, and making the connection between climate change on the one hand and a severe storm on the other?

    Well, yes, that’s exactly the irrational connection they’re making. Step through the argument:

    1. Anthropogenic climate change could be expected to increase storm intensity.
    2. An intense storm is happening.
    3. Therefore, the storm’s intensity is due to climate change.

    The conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises. There is in fact no useful conclusion that could be drawn from those two premises.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 14.1

      “Due to”, no

      “Affected by”, yes.

      • weka 14.1.1

        And to paraphrase Bill from his posts on CC, at what point do we stop trying to figure out which weather event and what part of it are CC and which are ‘normal’ weather given that we are far enough into the phenomenon now that it really doesn’t make any bloody bit of difference how we intellectualise about our environment.

        Rome is burning, son. You can stop and argue about whether that fire over there was deliberately lit, or whether it was caused by floating ash landing on a pile of rubbish, but that would just make you silly in the extreme and blind to the fact that the fire at your back is what is really important.

      • Psycho Milt 14.1.2

        “Due to”, no

        “Affected by”, yes.

        The conclusion doesn’t follow regardless of how you tweak the wording. That’s because there isn’t a useful conclusion to be drawn from those premises.

        And to paraphrase Bill from his posts on CC, at what point do we stop trying to figure out which weather event and what part of it are CC…

        At a point before you engage in such irrational behaviour. The best time to stop doing something foolish is always before you start doing it.

        • weka

          Ah, a man who will stand and try to be witty while the fire rages on.

          • Psycho Milt

            If you want to persuade people of the existence of a “fire” they can’t see or feel, it’s best not to try and do so with obviously irrational claims. Blaming any individual weather event on climate change invites ridicule, not credence.

  15. vto 15

    mmmmmmmm…….. fire……….. burning old man pine, oregon, rimu, matai, white pine, rata (best), totara……. (don’t tell anyone)

    • weka 15.1


      • vto 15.1.1

        ha ha, it aint quite what it seems my friend. It is from sustainable legal permitted logging and windfall – just off-cuts from the milling. All above board (and sheesh it burns well)

        • Colonial Viper

          awesome…nothing better for morale than a good fire in winter

        • weka

          vto, there are very few truly sustainable native timber operations in NZ, but still a reasonable number of sharks. Are you sure it’s from sustainable operations? Do we even know how to sustainably forest podocarps yet?

          • vto

            Yes it is from a legit operation, but I understand your point about sustainability.

            I think we should be planting many more native podocarps for harvesting. They are much much better and financially superior imo than most people would understand. For example, people think kauri are slow-growing but they are not. Kauri grow at a phenomenal rate in the right conditions. We have a small crop and half of them are as tall as any other native that we planted at the same time, including the supposed fast growers like pittos. Even some of the rimus aren’t too far behind.

            Harvest a pine in 30 years, get $X per tree. Harvest a kauri in 60 years, get $10X per tree. It seems a pretty logical financial investment to me. Unfortunately in NZ we just cannot get our heads around not harvesting the trees in our own lifetimes. We seems to think there is no other way – sometimes things just seem to fly over our heads……….

        • mac1

          All above board? It might be legal and permitted (though not in our household before 8 a.m.) but is such punning sustainable?

  16. Jimmie 16

    So if this little blow was caused by global warming what caused the Wahine storm?

    What caused the big snow in 1953 when Levin was covered by snow?

    What about the various large scale flood events over the last 150 years?

    I mean its all wonderful being a global warming believer but blaming every little winter storm on evil CO2 is slightly odd.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 16.1

      Excuse me? Are you a bit dense?

      “Affected by” is not the same thing as “caused by”. Perhaps some English comprehension 101 is in order?

      • Populuxe1 16.1.1

        “Affected by” is a meaningless phrase unless you can demonstrate how.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          …and you can, so it isn’t.

          • Populuxe1

            Well no, you can’t – you would have to demonstrate this storm as being somehow measurably worse than the ones before it, or unusually so. This “worst storm in decades” bullshit is all media hype – it’s actually been relatively humdrum compared to the previous couple of years, and doesn’t even compare to the storms of 1975 or 1968. Show me some science on this storm. Climate change is pretty much an established fact, but its silly to attribute every patch of ordinary bad weather to it.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              No. Have a read of Hansen and Sato 2012: Perceptions of Climate Change, or Pall et al 2010: Anthropogenic greenhouse gas contribution to flood risk in England and Wales in autumn 2000.

              Attribution of an individual event isn’t the point: all the weather we have is affected by climate, by definition. Whether or not this or that individual event is stronger than it would otherwise have been doesn’t really matter; the system as a whole has more energy.

      • Paul 16.1.2

        And Stats 101 so he can understand data.

  17. Colonial Viper 17

    The comments in this thread demonstrate why this world is going to get far more fucked before it gets better.

    • UglyTruth 17.1

      What is your remedy?

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        I sincerely doubt there is one, apart from helping to get yourself, your friends, and your family ready for the financial, physical and psychological changes upcoming.

    • weka 17.2

      So you think it will get better CV? That’s very optimistic of you 🙂

      (and agreed about the comments in this thread).

      • Colonial Viper 17.2.1

        There’s a bit of the optimistic survivorship bias in there i.e. the people who survive the catastrophe think, hey that wasn’t so bad. Everybody else who got screwed by it…well they don’t get to voice an opinion on how bad it actually was, being dead and buried.

  18. Jackal 18

    You’ve got to give it to the MSM, they haven’t mentioned Climate Change once. Anyone would think their jobs depended on it?

    At least the weather gives the government something to blame the stagnant economy on I guess, or are they still claiming 0.3% growth is something to be proud of?

    The driest summer on record for many parts of New Zealand has turned into the wettest winter, with rainfall exceeding previous June records with more than a week to go.

    With records being broken left right and centre, anybody who believes we’re not experiencing extreme weather is deluded! Open your eyes people.

    • Paul 18.1

      Their masters told them not to write about it.

    • Lanthanide 18.2

      Actually they had a clip of a climate scientist on National Radio last night who said that this particular event cannot be strongly linked to climate change, however climate change will increase the severity of storms in the future.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.2.1


        An interesting choice of word 🙂

        • Lanthanide

          It’s my paraphrase. Basically there’s no particular factors about this event that link it to CC, other than that it was an unusual weather event and unusual weather events will increase as a result of CC.

          Compared to, for example, tropical monsoons and heavy rainfalls, which are clearly linked to a hotter atmosphere being able to hold more water.

          • RedLogix

            What I think is unusual about these weather events Lanth is the sheer size and scale of them.

            The kind of weather we are used to is a patchwork quilt of highs, lows and fronts maybe 500-1000km in size. What we are now seeing more of now are weather systems that are two or even three times that. Some of them extending in area from the polar regions and right up across the temperate zone.

            • Lanthanide

              Which is actually what that guy said. That the air has come directly from antarctica, and for that to happen, all of the pressure systems have to line up. He said it’s about a once in a 20-30 year event.

              It’s been compared to the storm that sank Wahine, which was 45 years ago, so if anything we’re ‘overdue’ for this particular storm.

          • weka

            “Basically there’s no particular factors about this event that link it to CC, other than that it was an unusual weather event and unusual weather events will increase as a result of CC.”

            Isn’t that the point? That we are already having more unusual weather events (and as RL points out, they’re more extreme).

            • Poission

              Actually they are not,and sometimes it is important to constrain fallacies that arise from confirmation bias.eg


              • weka

                That link talks about this week, in Wellington, not whether we (NZ) are having more extreme weather more often. I take your point, and it’s an interesting link, but it would be good to see something that was written to address the actual point: are we in NZ already experiencing the consequences of AGW, specifically increased intensity and frequency of weather events?

                I’m in the SI, and the snow storm this week doesn’t strike me as particularly unusual. But the drought in the last decade does, as does the amount of flooding NZ has in general. The number of times that storms take out infrastructure like power seems to have increased.

                But you are right, I don’t actually know and there may be other reasons for why it appears this way (different kinds of media reporting would head the list, and changes in land use and building practices most likely is influencing flooding).

                • Jackal

                  Every study I’m aware of shows that there’s been a marked increase in intensity and frequency of severe weather events, and there’s no reason to think New Zealand is somehow immune.

                  Although there are some questions concerning the accuracy and a lack of data in some fields, much of the statistical research clearly indicates an increase in most adverse weather events and especially increased drought, precipitation and hurricane events.

                  One interesting fact is that economic losses due to weather related disasters worldwide have quadrupled in the last 31 years, which were estimated to have cost approximately US$75 billion in 2010.

      • Rogue Trooper 18.2.2

        “this recent extreme weather is a ‘twice in a lifetime’ event; powerful storms will become more frequent from now on due to climate change”- James Renwick, Climate Scientist.
        earmuffs( GOD GIVE US STRENGTH’ there are some dense logs of hardwood who comment on The Standard) off.
        “15 years until the planet starts to cook”
        “New Zealanders have a record of profound deafness, our emissions record since 1991 is one of the worst of developed countries”. Futhermore, “public transport MUST have priority over motorways”.-Pat Baskett, commenting on the work of climate ‘rockstar’ Bill McKibben.

  19. Colonial Viper 19

    So, the Rolling Stones reporter who destroyed Gen Stanley McChrystal’s career, and was investigating misdoings by the FBI and the CIA accidentally drove his Mercedes into a tree at top speed in a single car accident, where the car exploded consuming his body in a fireball so severe that the coroner still hasn’t positively identified the body.

    Yeah right.

  20. Rose 20

    The yearning for material possessions and the industry and pollution that supports that are increasingly becoming a waste of time. We can reduce our purchases of new stuff. We can keep using old “outdated” stuff for longer.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      That’s why they keep making things to break, including software updates which break old tech or run slow, cars which can’t be repaired without proprietary electronic diagnostic equipment, also my smartphone (powered by a quad core 1.5GHz Cortex A7) does not have a removable battery. How bloody stupid.

      Once in runs out of charge cycles in 18-36 months it’s fucked and all that embedded energy has to go in the bin, simply because you can’t replace the battery, and I’ll have to buy a new unit. Because I simply need to be able to run millions more calculations per second on a phone.

      They are making money building a fragile, breakable society, and we will pay for it once we start getting hit by coming climate/financial/physical shocks.

      • Lanthanide 20.1.1

        “also my smartphone (powered by a quad core 1.5GHz Cortex A7) does not have a removable battery. How bloody stupid.”

        You chose to buy it.

        • Colonial Viper

          In case it wasn’t entirely clear, the smart phone had already been designed and made by the time I chose to buy it.

          • Lanthanide

            Yes, but the manufacturers only make what the market wants. Market says they want smaller/slimmer phones, one way to achieve that is to dispense with removable batteries.

            If you yourself prefer a removable battery over a non-removable one, then you should have done your research and bought the phone that suited you best.

            If a company designed and manufactured 2m phones with non-removable batteries which no one bought because they prefer removable batteries, then the company would seriously think twice before it did that again.

            Buying products you don’t agree with isn’t a good way to show your disapproval of those products.

        • Arfamo

          Yeah I think your point is valid. The fact is they’re marketed, and plenty of people will buy them just because they can, without considering the environmental cost & impact, so competitors will probably go the same way if the reason for producing it like that has commercial advantage.

  21. Poission 21

    We can keep using old “outdated” stuff for longer

    Back for the future or at least the resurrection of old technology that is more resilient, is a mechanism for multiple outcomes for the same expenditure ( more bangs for your buck).eg The romans


    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Schumacher’s “appropriate tech” concept.


    • Jenny 21.2

      The link about Roman concrete was interesting. For me the takeaway fact was that Roman concrete though more durable has been replaced with more polluting and less durable Portland Cement because of its quicker curing time. (Faster construction times = more profit).

      Surely this is an apocryphal summing up of where our throw away society is going so wrong.

      Greed is trumping sustainability.

  22. Jenny 22

    Snowmageddon again

    You won’t hear the words climate change pass the lips of mainstream newsreaders. But all this has been predicted. Warmer temperatures as well as causing drought cause more evaporation leading to more massive precipitation events.

    And it is not just New Zealand.

    Just this week even in just the last few days there has been unprecedented rains and flooding not witnessed in living memory In Alberta Canada.

    100,000 evacuated from downtown Calgary as floods hit Alberta. CTV News
    Friday, June 21, 2013 8:38AM EDT

    “We are in a position where I, in all my life in Calgary, have never seen the Bow River rise that high or that fast,”

    Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi

    And earlier this month there was massive flooding in Europe after heavy rain caused the Danube to break its banks. Effecting Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. And just last week massive flooding affected the South East of France putting a huge area under water and killing 25 in the worst flooding in 200 years.

    The images of the European French and Alberta floods

    Images of Alberta floods Today.

    Europe deluge kills at least 21

    Images of European Floods A fortnight ago.

    France: Latest pictures show extent of the flooding that killed 25. Last week,

      • ghostwhowalksnz 22.1.1

        You mean since 1910. Not quite ‘recorded history’- which could be 2000+ years

        • Jenny

          Their headline, not mine. The qualifier is “recorded”. Meaning; The start of official rain fall records.

          Still a hell of a lot of rain.

    • Grumpy 22.2

      The reason you wont hear the MSM mention “climate change” is that they made such dicks of themselves when they fell for the AGW con and don’t want to be bitten twice.
      Also, the Greens seem to have distanced themselves from it as well. from being “the science is settled” and huge faith in the now fatally flawed “computer modelling” (peer reviewed and all”, this late ” all together now” switch to “climate change” and “extreme weather” resonates as bullshit.

      Q; when does “weather” equal “climate”?
      A; when it suits……

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 22.2.1

        Last Stuff article on the subject, four days ago. Last in the Herald yesterday.

        The reason you won’t find wingnuts passing reality checks is they’re clueless.

        • Grumpy

          Oh, and I forgot. No increase in the world’s temperatures for 17 years…..

          • Arfamo

            Check again, especially sea temps.

            • Grumpy

              Yes, a possibility, but not one that was touted much before AGW bit the dust. More like a last ditch hope.
              Any empirical evidence yet? Or just more computer modelling, peer reviewed or not?

          • weka

            [citation needed] (Grumpy)

            • Grumpy

              Oh sorry,


              So, not only is warming stuffed, along with all the “consensus” and “computer modelling”, but now those same scientists, like Judith Curry, are talking global “cooling”. Maybe we should wait until they can come up with peer reviewed computer modelling and another claim of consensus????

              • Grumpy

                How do we reverse global cooling?? Well, we could increase the levels of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere but that doesn’t seem to have much effect, eh?

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead

            Grumpy, Afarmo is quite correct. You have been duped into thinking that surface temperature is the whole story; you’re forgetting the deep oceans, which have warmed significantly.

            The elusive nature of the post-2004 upper ocean warming has exposed uncertainties in the ocean’s role in the Earth’s energy budget and transient climate sensitivity. Here we present the time evolution of the global ocean heat content for 1958 through 2009 from a new observation-based reanalysis of the ocean. Volcanic eruptions and El Niño events are identified as sharp cooling events punctuating a long-term ocean warming trend, while heating continues during the recent upper-ocean-warming hiatus, but the heat is absorbed in the deeper ocean. In the last decade, about 30% of the warming has occurred below 700 m, contributing significantly to an acceleration of the warming trend. The warming below 700 m remains even when the Argo observing system is withdrawn although the trends are reduced. Sensitivity experiments illustrate that surface wind variability is largely responsible for the changing ocean heat vertical distribution.

            Balmaseda et al 2013.

            • Grumpy

              Um………so the heat got into the deep oceans without any increase in air temperatures, eh. In fact, when air temperatures showed a slight decrease.
              That’s a neat trick….,,,,

      • Jenny 22.2.2

        Also, the Greens seem to have distanced themselves from it as well.


        Yes, but only for narrow political advantage. Not because they doubt the reality.

      • Grumpy 22.3.1

        Aside from the fact that there has been no warming, and the discredited mutterings of one of their own railroad engineers, this is only weather……oh wait, it’s climate when it suits eh?
        Bit like arguing with Billy Graham that there is no God. True believers…..

        • Jenny

          Why do I always have to spell it out?

          Studies point to climate change as the culprit behind increasingly deadly floods in India.

          India’s monsoon season in the late summer and early fall typically brings in 80% of the country’s rain. Yet, a study in the Geophysical Research Letters found that greenhouse gases are causing India’s rainy season to become increasingly variable and unpredictable, with periods of flood followed by sudden bursts of rain, unleashing deadly flashfloods.

          This is not the only study sounding the alarm. The Hindu reports:

          A study by scientists at the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory, Tirupati, showed a six per cent increase in the frequency of very heavy rain events in India over 1901-2004. The more recent period 1951-2004 shows a 14.5 per cent rise per decade. They lay this at global warming’s door: the study talked of a “coherent relationship” between the increasing trend of extreme rainfall events in the last five decades and the increasing trend of Indian Ocean sea surface temperature
          Even the World Bank acknowledges that climate change means widespread devastation, particularly for the people of Africa and Asia. The World Bank warns that in South Asia, global warming will bring:

          Inconsistences in the monsoon season and unusual heat extremes will affect crops. Loss of snow melt from the Himalayas will reduce the flow of water into the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra basins. Together, they threaten to leave hundreds of millions of people without enough water, food, or access to reliable energy.

          But maybe we shouldn’t be listening to all the experts, with their years of studies and their figures and graphs. And we should take the unsubstantiated word of Grumpy instead.

  23. Rosie 23

    “planning ahead, being prepared, can help us to adapt and cope”.

    So true Anthony. That was one doozy of a storm here in Wellington. It was the worst I have ever witnessed. I hear now folks are comparing it to the Wahine storm. It came from out of the blue as we’d been having a weirdly warm settled “winter” with all the Pohutakawa’s around here showing a good flush of new growth on them – normally a sight you’d see in spring.

    (During the “winter” of 2011 spring bulbs had not only emerged but had flowered in May and June, and then hello snow in August! That was the only the second time I’d seen snow in Wellington. First time was as a child in 1976, I think it was).

    Power was out for 19 hours in our area during the storm. It was a good test of preparedness. Luckily we have a good logburner and a good supply of wood that dried out perfectly in that other odd weather event – The Drought.
    We got to use the emergency kit for the first time. The kit contains a wind up radio that is combined with a flashlight, alarm and cell phone charger. Unfortunately we were exposed to Newstalk ZB, as that was the only station we could pick up for updates.That was disturbing.

    But hey, mention climate change and you get looked at like you’re totally loopy. Still, after all this time.

  24. ghostrider888 24

    Well, these are “record” snowfalls down south, the Wellington storm “the worst in 50 years”, yet, by the end of May, the Mohaka river is only at 54% of normal flows, the Tukituki at at just 23%, while the Ruahine Ranges (where they want to dam) has only received 76% of typical rainfall.

  25. ghostrider888 25

    testing word: China

  26. infused 26

    Anything to breathe some life in to CC.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 26.1

      Quick, tell the insurance companies that they’ve got it all wrong and their weather-related payouts haven’t increased significantly: they’re sure to listen to you since you’re so credible and clearly not at all mired in imbecility.

  27. Martin 27

    So what do we do when extreme weather becomes the norm?
    What will those who don’t accept climate change do or say when the next 50 year event strikes
    5 years later or less?

    The Antarctic is being impacted. The ice shelves are being melted. Not from above but below by warmer water coming down from the north. Then there is the Antarctic Peninsular where average temperatures have risen by at least 4 degrees celcius.

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