Written By: - Date published: 6:10 am, March 22nd, 2024 - 89 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster - Tags:

I don’t want to be writing this post. It’s significantly easier to sit on twitter and be distracted by whatever the current hot political topic is than it is to look the climate crisis in its face. Not that those other things aren’t important. We are seeing a wholesale attack on New Zealand’s sociopolitical and economic structure in a way that we haven’t seen since the 90s, and this time it seems even worse.

But then somehow this pierced the social media veil.

United Nations sounds ‘Red Alert’ as world smashes every major global climate record

Every major global climate record was broken last year and 2024 could be worse, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Tuesday, with its chief voicing particular concern about ocean heat and shrinking sea ice.

The UN weather agency said in its annual State of the Global Climate report that average temperatures hit the highest level in 174 years of record-keeping by a clear margin, reaching 1.45 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Ocean temperatures also reached the warmest in 65 years of data with over 90% of the seas having experienced heatwave conditions during the year, the WMO said, harming food systems.

from Newshub 20/3/24

The video in the piece references the New Zealand context.

Beyond that, I’m not sure what to say. Maybe no-one will bother commenting. The UN sounded a Red Alert and we all carried on as if it’s not happening. I get that the scale of the problem is difficult for the human mind and heart to deal with. What I don’t get is why we’re not even trying.

During the pandemic a leftie friend told me that it was unfair to criticise progressives for not organising around climate because people were struggling. Last year it was the cost of living crisis. This year it’s both of those (why is no-one talking about the ongoing impacts of covid on society?), plus a government intent on radical right wing change that is going to cause immense chaos. Many of us are reeling.

And all of that will pale in comparison to the shit coming down the line within most of our lifetimes.

The only way this gets better is if we act. On climate we desperately need stories of how things can work out so that people feel it’s worth putting energy and time into climate action despite other urgent issues being in the foreground. But in order for those stories to exist, people have to make a conscious choice to read/listen/watch them and engage and take those messages out into the world.

We did the hard yards on getting people to wake up to the crisis. Now we have to show the way through.

Another friend said to me a decade ago that the fuckery coming from big business and right wing politics over climate was the death throes of capitalism. I found that comforting at the time, now I find it terrifying, because I understand there are people that will literally choose the death of the planet if it means they can have power and money now.

Which is by way of introduction to say that we can see NACTF’s current fuckery as being part of the same dynamic. The job cuts, mining and oil drilling, attacks on disabled people and beneficiaries, the threat to news media, stealing from the poor to give to the rich, the war on nature, all of these are contained within the climate/ecology crises, and arise out of the same condition.

The problem we have is that if we close focus on the things most urgently in our face, this plays exactly into their hands. Those things aren’t a distraction, but we have to see them in the context of the bigger waves. The time has passed for being able to put climate action on the backburner. What we might find is that climate action addresses the death cult as well. Maybe it’s the only thing that will, because it’s a radical choosing of life.

There is a Climate Strike coming up on Friday April 5th. That’s the ball in our court.

p.s. you know what protects us from tsunami? Forests.

Mod note: no climate denial under my posts. That includes ‘it’s too late’, ‘adaptation not mitigation’, ‘NZ is too small to make a difference’. All of those have been addressed many many times, and they all amount to saying the crisis isn’t as bad as it is. Take it to Open Mike.

89 comments on “F*ck ”

  1. That_guy 1

    Thanks Weka.

    I think the most useful thing people could do right now is to get involved in degrowth. Build systems and norms in your own life and community to replace capitalism, so those systems and norms are well established by the time they are needed. Work less, earn less if you can, take more time and less money, stop working more than you need to, to buy shit you don't need from systems that are destroying the world.

    Plan to progressively lower your consumption and earnings and time at work, and use that time to enjoy your life and build sustainable systems now.

    Also support the SS4C on April 5th.

    • weka 1.1

      cheers Tg 🙏

      I agree with your strategy. We are very fortunate that in every rohe in NZ people have been involved in setting up resiliency systems. Short of a hard fast crash, I think we will be ok in terms of the basics. I would add that building community is crucial alongside applying degrowth in one's own life, and this requires some of us at least to commit to staying in one place.

      Hoping to do some degrowth posts in the coming weeks, it's heartening to see more and more of this discussed.

      I also think we have to keep the politics pressure on. To keep the issues visible, and to act as a handbrake on the worst of the death cult while the other changes are being made.

  2. Bearded Git 2

    Great post Weka. I think all we can do is to keep ramming home the message again and again and again until enough people realise that much more has to be done urgently to combat climate change. Maybe put this post up every month with varied commentary?

    Meanwhile we are stuck with a dinosaur government that wants to spent 24 billion on RONS, where this 24 billion should be being spent on climate change measures.

    Perhaps this could be the basis for Labour's campaign in 2026? A nice simple message like this.

    I do take some solace from the Green's good performance at the last election, much of this due to their climate change policies. There is hope there.

    • weka 2.1

      Labour centering Just Transition in 2026 would be a game changer.

      Agree there is hope with the Greens performance. I'm halfway between hope and hope they don't fuck it up, lol. But Tana aside, the renewal is looking good. Also hoping Shaw goes on to do something awesome with a public presence.

  3. Yes Weka the scale of the problem is difficult for the human mind and heart to deal with.

    If any problem needed to be government led it is our commitment to net zero emissions.

    We know exactly what we need to do to get there.

    We know what it is going to cost.

    Labour, National and the Greens all say they committed to net zero by 2050 – yet none of these parties have a costed plan to get there.

    Until a government gets serious (or events intervene) people will find it hard to care.

  4. Phillip ure 4

    Our biggest polluter is fonterra..

    Which produces milk/cheese..

    ..and is a key component in the supply of animals to the charnal houses..

    So..I would repeat my contention that one of the most effective changes the individual can make..

    ..is to eschew those animal byproducts..

    ..and the eating of animals..

    ..and to go vegan…

    (I would like to hear any arguments against what I say…as I feel I am standing on uncontestable ground..)

    And really..being a bit peckish after a climate demo..so popping into maccas..

    ..sets a benchmark in something or other ..eh..?

    • Ad 4.1

      NZ is as addicted to the dairy economy as we are to cars.

      Fonterra's suppliers just ejected an entire Labour-Green government.

      So the ethical argument doesn't cut it sorry.

      • Phillip ure 4.1.1

        I fail to see any logic in what can only be seen as a shortsighted view/response..

        All I can see is 'so there!'-fatuity..

        Could you have another go..?

        And if your only answer is that I am in a minority… (!)….don't bother..

        ..I already know how much I am pissing into the prevailing dietary winds..eh..?

      • weka 4.1.2

        putting the vegan ethical issues aside for now, Fonterra are still a huge problem.

        Is the thinking that we will keep the economy going until the tsunami hits and the economy collapses, oh well. Or are people just in denial about the seriousness of the situation?

      • James Simpson 4.1.3

        And the dairy economy exists because there is an international market for dairy products.

        Every kiwi can become vegan, we can close every cow shed down in New Zealand and re plant the farms in native trees. But that international market for dairy products will remain.

        The battle therefore is, as it always has been, somehow convincing the rest of the world to modify their behavior. We must do our part first and foremost. And electing a Green government in 2026 will help with that.

        But our climate can't be ring fenced off from the global climate. Closing Fonterra down would be a great thing in our battle to save the climate, but it won't matter a jot if we can't convince China, India and the US to do the same.

        • Phillip ure

          Maybe starting at home is the best thing to do..?

          ..and these changes are being fought for internationally..

          ..and as a major supplier to that international market..

          ..it is down to us to change..

          ..and be in no doubt..locally/globally these arguments gather more credence…every day..

          ..the ongoing destruction of our environment.. only underlines them..

          • George

            The one and first thing that Fontera could and should do for NZ is to get rid of those bloody plastic milk containers and have a more sustainable way of packaging it. We are drowning in plastic waste! And in Auckland we are now producing more rubbish since the new rules for recycling came in. The corporates are responsible for the tsunami of packaging. It needs to stop. It's a huge carbon producer. The disposal needs to be factored in at the start of manufacture and a levy attached instead of passing it to communities and local government.

    • weka 4.2

      (I would like to hear any arguments against what I say…as I feel I am standing on uncontestable ground..)

      I will do a post on this Phillip, where we can all discuss without it overwhelming the other aspects today.

      • Phillip ure 4.2.1

        Good news about the post..

        ..but..in this thread…surely we can't not talk of what is the elephant in the room..(that most studiously ignore)..

        And (tho' I can) I am not arguing this on ethical grounds..

        I am arguing it purely on environmental impact grounds…science..

        ..stuff that is hard to ignore/refute..unless one is in some type of denial.. surely..?

        • SPC

          There are those arguing we can reduce current methane use to mitigate the effect of methane release from warming in the north, Arctic and permafrost.

          The other side of the equation is that wealth inequality leads to jet-setting lifestyles and others just looking to afford the necessities of life – all while government is reducing affordable access to PT, bike lanes etc.

      • Cricklewood 4.2.2

        Getting the world off animal products be it dairy or protein just isn't practical or possible any attempt to forcibly do so would be conterprouductive.

        But, given the vast amount of milk turned into powder that ends up in all sorts of highly processed low nutritional valued 'food' we could make real progress by regulating the use of milk powders in said products.

    • Belladonna 4.3

      A highly relevant recent survey, shows that Gen Z in Australia are increasingly less likely to purchase ethically (presumably because they can't afford to, and are reluctant to 'de-growth' their lifestyle); while Boomers are still purchasing ethically (feeling the budget crunch to a lesser degree)

      One of the more surprising findings of the research is a notable shift in young people planning to cut their spending on sustainable products, particularly in the wake of Gen Z activism around climate change and values-driven brands.

      Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of consumers aged 18-24 said they plan to buy less sustainable products compared with 48 per cent of Boomers and 55% of Gen X (those aged 40 and above).

      Women (62 per cent) are more likely to buy unsustainable products than men (53 per cent)

      “Young people that have grown up having conversations around sustainability, led by Greta Thunberg and other young activists, this is the first time their values have actually been challenged by economic conditions,” Lofts said.

      “There is a gap between intention and action. They might want to do the right thing but if they’re down to their last $20, they have a tough choice to make, and it’s putting their values to the test.


      Weka – this is not intended to be any of the anti-climate change issues you list – just a reflection of the current personal decisions people are making.

      • That_guy 4.3.1

        Fair point, I don't blame anyone for doing the best they can in difficult circumstances.

        My position is that people like me (rich, older, white) have most of the power and most of the money so we need to do most of the work. Questions of fairness are irrelevant at this point. People who have the capacity to change should do so (personal change) and try to make similar changes available to more people at less cost (political change).

        All should be framed as a turning away from things that demonstrably and provably don't make us happy (consumerism, overwork, lack of community) and towards things that we know make us happy (more time, more community, more locality, less work, less stuff)

        • Belladonna

          I'm not blaming anyone (and, even old, white, male Boomers can be in difficult financial circumstances – not all are wealthy).

          The point I was illustrating, is that much of the activism to date is along the lines of purchasing ethical alternatives, not stopping purchasing. So that, when people are faced with a budget crunch, they first think of buying less ethical, but cheaper, alternatives (e.g. makeup or EVs) rather than stopping buying makeup or cars.

          More-sustantable and de-growth may be partners, but they are not the same thing.

          • That_guy

            Yes, I agree, I don't think we can consume our way out of overconsumption.

            That said, I've been thinking for a while that there are probably a set of technologies that get us most of the way towards a modern lifestyle but much more sustainably.

            One example: Food.

            The unsustainable level (where we are at now) is you get any food from anywhere at any time all the time.

            The "collapse" level is returning to the situation where people regularly starved because there was no food or no way to preserve or distribute it.

            We recognise that the unsustainable level has to change but is there a set of technologies which will get us food security but not unsustainability? If we just give up our desire to have all food from everywhere all the time? Ie a sustainable system of food preserving (ie cans, glass and other highly recyclable materials) and distribution (E-rail, low-emissions container ships)?

            Doing my best to look into these questions (however I do have a job).

        • weka

          indeed. And to illustrate that, people that can afford to can right now start buying ethically raised meat and dairy. Those farmers are the leading edge, developing the tech to make regenag possible. The more people that support them now, the better that will get and then it will get more affordable for others, who can then buy and support and so on.

          • Phillip ure

            ..'ethically raised meat and dairy' is pretty much an oxymoron..eh..?

            Are the calves sent to slaughter done so in an 'ethical' manner..?

            ..are the serial pregnancies forced upon the cows 'ethical'..?

            Is them being slaughtered when past their breeding prime..'ethical'..

            It is a marketing scam..pure and simple..

            One that suits wealthy (self-regarding as green).

            ..they even boast about it..(!)

            Those needing to chew flesh without hurting any animals now have the options of the impossible-burger..and the like..

            And those options will only grow..Jeff bezos just threw u.s.$60 million into developing more..

            ..and vegan cheese is still pretty crap..but I am hopeful of improvements there..

            • Grey Area

              Ha. Agree about vegan cheese but not as hopeful as you about any improvement.

              Alternatives are good. For example we have aquafaba on nacho chips with beans.

              We also use vegan "parmesan" made from sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder on pasta.

              I agree with your comment about so-called ethical meat. I think it was George Monbiot who considered some years back that the single biggest thing an invidual could do to fight climate change was to stop eating animals. It's an obvious step to take but so many are resistant to it.

            • Michael P

              Meat replacements will never do well at least not for a few generations as people see them as 'dodgy' (lab grown and all that)

              What about current foods such as baked beans which are a great source of protein if you're eating less meat. The problem is that the cheap baked beans cost $1 per can whilst the ethical / sustainable cost up to $4 in my neck of the woods.

              Why does it cost 3 to 4 times as much to produce ethical / sustainable baked beans?

              While we are a low income country (relative I know), the cheaper food products will always be many peoples first choice. If you can buy a $1 can of beans or a $4 can there's no real choice for most people. If you want people to change then I'm sure most will be more than happy to do so but you have to make it affordable. That's where we should be focusing, on making the ethical / sustainable products affordable.

              At the moment, the goods we need to consume going forward are luxury items.

    • gsays 4.4

      It's a wee point but relevant.

      With the greatest respect, rather than 'go vegan' it's more accurate to adopt a plant based diet.

      I understand there are 4 aspects to being a vegan. The diet, no animal testing (pharmaceuticals make-up etc), animal products for clothing and no animals used for entertainment.

      The first and last of them are attainable for me, the other two a little less likely.

      • Phillip ure 4.4.1

        I am definitely a vegan then…I tick all those boxes…

        ..I guess plant-based means wearing leather jackets..

        • gsays

          You lost me with yr second sentence.

          Unless, leather like beef, is grown from grass?

          • Phillip ure

            Um..!.. didn't you say you are ok with wearing 'animal products for clothing'..?

            That was what spurred my leather jacket comment..

            • gsays

              OK, got ya.

              As it all turns out, I do have a 30 yr old leather bike jacket.

              That's where the quandry arises. How much fossil fuel based fabric/plastic would have been used in that 30 year term.

              Gotta say it is a lot snugger than it was 30 yr ago. Partly to do with where this conversation started.

    • Gareth 4.5

      Phillip, what are your views on the hunting and eating of deer, pig, rabbit, possum and wallaby?

  5. SPC 5

    The Arctic thaw is emerging as a significant release of methane threat alongside the better known thawing permafrost (frozen ground)(tundra)

    "While the focus is often on permafrost, this new finding tells us that there are other pathways for methane emissions which could be even more significant in the global methane budget," said study co-author Professor Alexandra Turchyn, also from Cambridge's Department of Earth Sciences. and tundra


    Whether that will be significant before we receive bad news about the impact on melting water on the Atlantic current is the unknown.

    The when of this is hard to predict, but would be the most abrupt change of all.


  6. Robert Guyton 6

    Get yourself into a lifeboat, weka.

    Harvest Festival in Riverton this weekend; I'm speaking about growing sub-tropical plants in this temperate zone and have leaves of banana, guava, pawpaw, sugar cane, carob, tamarillo and so on to illustrate my talk and prove that it can be easily done 🙂

    • weka 6.1

      Get yourself into a lifeboat, weka.

      how do you suggest I do that Robert?

      • Robert Guyton 6.1.1

        I hope you've been doing that for some time now, weka. Establishing or joining a network is one aspect of your lifeboat, as is gaining practical knowledge and a view of the overall situation, though the latter can be confusing and debilitating, if you take it too seriously. If you are bound to a neighbourhood, do an assay of what and who's in place and what might happen when the heat gets turned up. Try to establish "fonts" of essential needs: air, water, food. and try to maximise those resources/essentials for as many people as possible. Broadcast in a positive, encouraging manner: don't get weighed down by "how-to" – anyone can find anything/everything on-line. Make yourself known as a reliable, robust individual who's willing to share. And so on.

    • Ad 6.2

      Sorry I can't make that one, but be assured Robert that the Wanaka Community Garden (Grow Wanaka) is going from strength to strength, and as we are going through a harvest that certainly takes 20% off our grocery needs right now (it's a start!).

      Also the Luggate Harvest Festival last weekend was also full of workshops that just network people together, and each one lifts the reliance on New World a little with each effort.

      • Robert Guyton 6.2.1

        Good news, Ad.

        I recently drove a loop around Te Wai Pounamu, visiting community and forest gardens, as well as a raft of backyard gardens, collecting plants and broadcasting my message/listening to theirs 🙂 I was astonished by the extent of the "movement" and the levels of skill and understanding out there. I'm very encouraged, despite the shitgovernment we are labouring under right now 🙂

        • Grey Area

          Hi Robert. Did you visit Tasman and if so who did you connect with?

          • Robert Guyton

            Lots of folk, Grey Area, but not all, I've learned 🙂

            I almost met with Sol, though he was elsewhere. Rachael was there though. In Collingwood, Frank. In Motueka, Claire and Lynda. In Ruby Bay, Judy and Michael. And so on. I know there are many others I'd like to meet. I plan to be back next March. I'm open to advice 🙂

    • weka 6.3

      are you growing persimmon Robert? I found this interesting,

      Nishimura wase persimmon fruit. These can be eaten at the crisp-ripe stage if they are fully pollinated. If only part pollinated (fewer seeds), part of the fruit is astringent. It isn't warm enough here for this variety to lose all its astringency, even when fully pollinated.


      (I don't know where he is)

      • Robert Guyton 6.3.1

        Not yet, but soon.

        I favour the old-style "jelly" persimmons that you had to wait for. These modern crisp persimmons aren't my favourites.

        Some of these fruiting trees, even very small/young ones, are being sold at ridiculously-high prices on Trade me etc. Disturbing. Fashions affect all sorts of things but when you can grow from seed, there shouldn't be any "gouging", imo.

        I have cherimoya and sapote growing, but no fruit yet. Loquat and medlar too. Jaboticabita also, but I doubt I'll every eat any fruits from them. Still, stranger things have happened and as you've written, the situation is changing more rapidly than (most) people predicted.

        • Macro

          Just watch out for the Pukekos Robert – they love a ripe Juicy Persimmon. I had to put netting over my tree in order to get just one! And every year it was laden.

          • Robert Guyton

            I will Macro, though despite a site nearby being named "Te hui o ngā pukeko", there are very, very few of them about the place. Duck shooting over the years has seen to that.

            • Macro

              My favourite cat kept the rabbit and rat population under control for some years, but after he died at the ripe old age of 21* the pukeko population for some reason sky rocketed! I counted around 200 before we moved on. Mind you we had reestablished much of the land back into its original wetland state by that time. We live in town now and I have to say we get as much fruit off our 800 sqm as we did from our 40+ fruit trees in the country. The tuis would feast on the citrus, the rosellas always got the pears and apples long before they were ripe, the stone fruit was open slather for ever species of bird passing by, and the pukes were always running off with an apple or pear in their beak. Its was great fun. 🙂

              * We had a 21st birthday party for him – bring your own milk 😉

        • Cricklewood

          Indeed whats happened with Persimons is nothing short of a disgrace and to be honest sometjing the commerce commision should wade into.

          The short version is that most are grafted the covid lockdowns meant that there was a significant gap and drop in production. Then a major plant retailer purchased the entire stock and artifically created a supply shortage before significantly raising pricing (500%) and I believe colluding with retailers to keep this increased pricing in place.

          The situation is now slowly resolving but the behaviour of certain a right wing religious group with major interest in the nz hort industry need careful looking at.

    • Michael P 6.4

      We've got heaps of bananas growing around our neck of the woods in Mangere. They're small but come in big bunches and are really tasty. Easy to grow too, you pretty much just leave them to it.

      I wonder if this is partly why bananas are so cheap in supermarkets out this way…

  7. Drowsy M. Kram 7

    A most welcome post, given the current plague of distractions – thanks for the SS4C link.

    School Strike for Climate protesters plan biggest strike yet over Government's 'climate-butchering policies' [strike is on Friday 5th of April]

    Understanding Consumer Behavior to Convert More Customers
    [28 March 2023]
    3. Understand the three types of buyers
    Neuroscientists have defined human spending patterns as a process of “spend ‘til it hurts,”…

    The future truly is less, like it or not, but consumerism has a death grip on behaviour – people in 'developed' countries have been well trained to want more than they need.
    Still, maybe our CoC govt's austerity drive can reduce consumption – time will tell.

    I understand there are people that will literally choose the death of the planet if it means they can have power and money now.

    Spaceship Earth has survived several great extinctions – I was lucky enough to catch this free exhibition at the local museum.

    Six extinctions – Te Manawa Museum (16 Dec 2023 – 17 March 2024)
    From there explore the five mass extinction events in the Earth’s history, and the sixth and current extinction crisis – climate change – which is the first caused by a single species, humans.

    The exhibition now moves to Hamilton, where you must be <2 years old to see it for free.

    Six Extinctions – Waikato Museum 12 April – 21 July 2024

    Human proximity to the Anthropocene is unavoidable, but Earth Abides. I've just re-read Forster's 1909 short story, The Machine Stops – chilling stuff.

    Finally, the Machine collapses, bringing 'civilization' down with it. Kuno comes to Vashti's ruined room. Before they both perish, they realise that humanity and its connection to the natural world are what truly matters, and that it will fall to the surface-dwellers who still exist to rebuild the human race and to prevent the mistake of the Machine from being repeated.

    Guest post: Epitaph for a species [20 January 2019]

    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      "… they realise that humanity and its connection to the natural world are what truly matters, and that it will fall to the surface-dwellers who still exist to rebuild the human race and to prevent the mistake of the Machine from being repeated."


  8. Thanks Weka.

    We are in big trouble as a species and Earth as a planet. The geological sciences community are generally in agreement that the scale of humankind's impact on Earth is so profound that the next geologic epoch will be called the Anthropocene.

    And I agree that this idea that we can't do anything is rubbish. We can and we should.

    But also there are local gains to be had. Clean vehicles and scrubbers in factory chimneys can help reduce local air pollution and reduce the number of sick days people take off. More freight on the merchant marine and railways takes pressure off our roads.

    Do nothing is not an option. Mitigation helps.

    The problem is do we have the collective willpower to change our ways?

    • I find it ridiculous that we let our politicians get away with saying that their plan is for NZ to be zero emissions in 25 years.

      It is simply a project. Describe the problem. Plan the solution- broken down over 25 years and begin.

      No more ad hoc policies. Why is it so hard?

  9. Descendant Of Smith 9

    We grow enough food to feed everyone. How do you stop over-production being contractually bulldozed into the ground if Watties, McCains etc do not need it or prevent it being left to rot in order to keep market prices up / used as a PR exercise to get more overseas workers.

    Consumption is decreasing anyway as baby boomers with two incomes, no mortgages and no kids left at home retire at rapidly increasing rates. That consumer spend has been vanishing for a little while now.

  10. Macro 10

    At least someone in power is trying to do something*:

    The Biden administration issued the strictest-ever rules for tailpipe emissions to ensure that the majority of new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. are all-electric or hybrids by 2032. The new standards require automakers to reduce emissions by over two-thirds by 2032 – limits so stringent they’ll compel automakers to rapidly boost sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. In 2023, EVs made up about 7.6% of new car sales, but the new rule is targeting 35% to 56% for EVs in 2032, and 13% to 36% for plug-in hybrids. The rule will prevent 7.2 billion metric tons of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere through 2055 – roughly four times the total emissions of the transportation sector as of 2021. “Three years ago, I set an ambitious target: that half of all new cars and trucks sold in 2030 would be zero-emission,” Biden said. “Together, we’ve made historic progress. Hundreds of new expanded factories across the country. Hundreds of billions in private investment and thousands of good-paying union jobs. And we’ll meet my goal for 2030 and race forward in the years ahead.”


    * He planned to do a whole lot more, but Repugnants, and Mauchin in Congress stopped all that.

  11. Kay 11

    I don't tend to comment on climate change posts because I don't feel like I can say my piece in an intelligent way, but I'll try.

    I was motivated from replies here to look up 'degrowth' and found the moment's main website which I found to define the ideology very well for a novice like myself.

    "Essential for degrowth -Striving for a self-determined life in dignity for all."

    I feel that when people are unable to live in dignity, and become so broken down by the system, they can only exist in survival mode. When you're homeless/under threat of homelessness, can't pay the bills, working 3 jobs to pay the rent, relying on food parcels and going without meals, then the fate of the planet simply doesn't register, because it can't.

    It's also common knowledge that a large proportion of people existing in survival mode don't vote, particularly in the Anglo countries. If they all did, the make-up of our governments would be incredibly different. The beating down of the population to this point of effectively disenfranchising many who would otherwise be more aware of events and vote accordingly, is deliberate.


    We can all do our small, individual actions to help with climate and pollution, but -certainly in the Western democracies- our best hope is to encourage EVERYONE to vote. Like it or not, the fate of the planet ultimately lies with politicians, some of whom are most susceptible to influence by the big polluters/miners/drillers than others. We have to change the makeup of governments globally (or at least in all the countries it's possible to do so), and this is the power that we have, as individuals, and collectively.

    • Phillip ure 11.1

      Wot Kay said..

    • SPC 11.2

      Yet it is common for those on team blue to advocate for Greens to abandon their "left wing concern for social equity"

      • That_guy 11.2.1

        In my experience a surprising number of team blue are fine with traditional left-wing policies like strong unions, labour laws etc. and are quite comfortable with the idea of a just transition.

        What they dislike (along with many on the left) is narcissistic identity politicians/activists trampling on women’s rights in the name of their bespoke genderspecial identity while the world is burning.

        • SPC

          I can see no sign of it in the National Party, neither in their caucus nor their party policy.

          There is the occasional work with Greens – as per Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act and in the past on rental housing insulation.

          You have the "swordfish" penchant for trenchant use of adjectives against those of some group.

          • That_guy

            I said “in my experience” and “some”.

            You have the "swordfish" penchant for trenchant use of adjectives against those of some group.

            Could have been shortened to “you generalise” but sure.

    • Obtrectator 11.3

      As I said five years ago:


      The de-education process has continued in the meantime, with the Covid pandemic providing an accelerant.

  12. Michael 12

    Labour offers no alternative.

  13. newsense 13

    This doesn’t hit home.

    Not if cyclones or floods don’t. A little bit of consumer change won’t be a thing either.

    This is at the point of requiring revolutionary change. But that likely will create instability where stability and cohesion is required to enforce the required changes with maximum urgency.

    Hopefully the volcanoes and earthquakes will get us before the climate change! Spectacular blame free disaster apocalypse compared to climate change which is someone slowly putting a pillow over our head and we can watch it all the way.

  14. newsense 14

    Rod Oram. At the going down of the Sun, we will remember him.


  15. This is a massive problem and it's quite disheartening to even begin to understand its scope. CC and ecosystem collapse is the result of thousands of years of industrial human society growing like a hegemonising swarm, and with advanced agriculture and fossil fuels our population has exploded.

    Every other species has predator species that keep the population in balance with the local ecosystem, but our tools have enabled us to transcend the laws of nature.

    We consider ourselves the rulers of nature, above the dumb animals, and we celebrate the power of our technology to reshape the world as we see fit, and even reshape ourselves.

    But we are still hairless apes with powerful tribal instincts, sex drives, and various techniques to ascend the social hierarchy that we have constructed. We inscribe magical symbols on bits of paper and measure our lives by the amount of this magic stuff we have accumulated.

    I think the global economy is about to collapse like a house of cards – hence the flight to gold and crypto (and the present govt's irrational haste) – capitalism, extractive industries, and globalism are all doomed sooner or later. Low carbon, low-tech is the future

    Magic can only be dispelled by higher magic: Capital, a one-dimensional real god, an emergent logic of profit optimization, can only be overthrown by Democracy: a real god that we all control, living in 100 billion dimensions: a social logic of human need, if we build it wisely.

    90% of all the money currently in circulation (+$50 trillion) is stored on imaginary online databases running on a COBOL mainframe.

    We need to go back to the primal human mindset, knowing we are connected to the wider world, not atomised individuals (or even tribes) all running around trying to maximise our personal wealth and power.

    (image credit: @the_wilderless)

    nga mihi whanau 🙏🏼

    • Macro 15.1

      It all started to go wrong with the beginning of the Industrial revolution.

      About 200 years ago in Western cultures, things began to change how humans related to the natural world. This was the beginning of what is now called the Industrial revolution. The process of change was one from an agrarian and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacturing. These technological changes introduced novel ways of working and living and fundamentally transformed society. This process began in Britain in the 18th century and from there spread to other parts of the world.

      The main features involved in the Industrial Revolution were technological, socioeconomic, and cultural. The changes included the following:

      1. the use of new basic materials, chiefly iron and steel

      2. the use of new energy sources, including both fuels and motive power, such coal and oil, steam engines the internal combustion engines.

      3 the invention of new machines, such as the spinning jenny and the power looms that permitted increased production with less human energy,

      4. a new organization of work – the factory system which entailed increased division of labour and specialization of function,

      5. important development in in transport and communication including the steam engines steamship, cars, planes, radio,etc, and

      6. the increasing application of science to industry.

      These technological changes involved a tremendously increased in the use of natural resources and the mass production of manufactured goods. As a result people became more dissociated from the environment and nature.

      • roblogic 15.1.1

        Cossetted modern humans are going to become re-acquainted with the power of nature in a most painful fashion. We are only at the beginning of the killer heatwaves and climate migrations.

        (image: @extremetemps)

      • Descendant Of Smith 15.1.2

        Pretty sure things went wrong well before the industrial revolution.

        “It’s a common misconception that the human impact on climate began with the large-scale burning of coal and oil in the industrial era,” says Pongratz, lead author of the study in a press release. “Actually, humans started to influence the environment thousands of years ago by changing the vegetation cover of the Earth‘s landscapes when we cleared forests for agriculture.”

        The answer to how this happened can be told in one word: reforestation. When the Mongol hordes invaded Asia, the Middle East, and Europe they left behind a massive body count, depopulating many regions. With less people, large swathes of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


        • Macro

          Well yes, earlier civilisations had a measurable impact on the Earth's natural resources. But serious deforestation only began around 300 years ago.

          10,000 years ago, at the end of the last great ice age, 6 billion hectares of forests covered 45 per cent of the Earth’s land. Over the last 5,000 years, 1.8 billion hectares were lost, and most of this loss, 1.4 billion hectares, happened in the last 300 years. Today, forests cover about one third of land on our planet. An estimated 75 per cent of global forest loss and degradation today, can be attributed to deforestation for agricultural expansion. Per FAO figures, by 2050 global agriculture production will increase by 60 per cent, and meat production by 76 per cent. Meeting this global demand for food, without impacting forests and taking environmental risks, poses a significant challenge.



          As you can see from the second link the expansion of grazing land started about 300 years ago, but only in earnest about 200 years ago, when cropping and grazing of land occupied around 24% of the Earth's habitable land. In just the past 100 years the world has lost as much forest as it had in the previous 9,000 years. An area the size of the United States.

          As humanity has become further divorced from the Natural world, this has reinforced our conviction of natural superiority over all of creation, to our ultimate downfall. We are but a small part of creation.

          Whilst the industrial revolution brought benefits to some, and to some much more than others, the increased use of fuels such as coal and oil (otherwise known as fossil fuels) as the main source of energy, has had a huge impact on the environment to the detriment of folk not only today, but well into the future. Our children and grandchildren, and their desendants will bear the cost well into the future.

          Essentially the industrial revolution was based upon the premise that God had given humans dominion over the natural world – therefore it was entirely moral for humans to indulge in exploitation of the environment as a God given right. Didn’t the Bible say we had dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth? And where has this taken us? To daily climate disasters, where millions of people are displaced from their homes by flooding, thousands die from heat stress, famines resulting from drought, and cyclones and hurricanes destroy homes and infrastructure year after year. For the want of a dot, humanity created a catastrophe.

          • Obtrectator

            But serious deforestation only began around 300 years ago.

            Even earlier than that, I believe. Population of the British Isles AD1600 is estimated at around 6.5 million, less than a tenth of today's. But already by then forests – an essential resource for fuel, house-building and ship-building – were being consumed at higher than replacement rate (I know I've read this somewhere, but haven't time to locate the source).

            • Macro

              Yes, but remember that the United Kingdom was, and still is an outlier – even today. Essentially a small island with a high population density. It was this factor that lead to the search for alternative energy sources (firstly water and wind mills then the steam engine, … ), and the more "efficient" production of food and clothing. It is no small coincidence that the start of the industrial revolution was in Britain.

              If you visit the second link above and scroll to the bottom you will see a chart of land use from 1960 to the present day and how the percentage of agricultural land per capita over the world's surface has plummeted over the space of 60 years. If you were to amend that graph (as is possible) to include the UK, you would see that the percentage of agricultural land per capita in the UK is lower than all the other regions represented, and continues to steadily decrease.

  16. Rolling-on-Gravel 16

    I will be there for the protest.

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