Free Petrol Pt IV

Written By: - Date published: 6:25 am, August 5th, 2016 - 92 comments
Categories: climate change, energy, Environment, global warming, infrastructure, political alternatives, science, transport, vision - Tags: , ,

Remember that wee incident back in 2008 when the banking sector went bust? And remember how governments came up with a number and then started adding zeros on the tail end of it until the banks said – “yup, that’s enough”? If that can be done for banks, it can be done for society and future generations. Do not let anyone tell you that we can’t afford to take the actions we need to take on global warming.

Regardless of balancing accounts or whatever, the truth is that 3.5 degrees of warming has to be avoided at all costs….Well, if you think that the children around you today deserve any kind of future containing prospects, it has to be avoided at all costs. The laws of physics decree that there will be two degrees of warming or that somewhere in the middle of nowhere, a formerly worshipped haruspice will be abandoned to pore over the liver of his disembowled camel – unnoticed and unheeded.

But for all the incurable neo-classical economist types who cling to ideas about the infallibility and omnipotence of price signals, and who think that creating a balance in an artificial financial construct will somehow translate into a balance in the real world, and who place that financial construct before reality, here are some figures anyway.

The IMF calculated that in 2013, the NZ government subsidised the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $US2.5 Billion. Now, if the suggestion of the previous post is followed through on, then it would cost much less than that to give away petrol and diesel for free. Total petrol and diesel sales are about 2 billion litres annually and the wholesale cost of petrol is much less than $NZ 1 per litre.

Then throw the economic stimulus that would come from petrol money remaining in peoples’ pockets into the mix, and allow for the tax take on that extra economic activity. Factor in the necessity of developing our infrastructure too. Might that entail repurposing the army? Could it be necessary to look at some scheme of conscription or national service? It’s that huge.

In some ways free petrol might be viewed as being akin to how in some countries, the steel industry was heavily subsidised and run at a deliberate loss. The downstream economic activity that cheap steel generated more than outweighed any subsidy given to the industry by quite a margin.

You still want more money to be flowing?

Well, of the international shipping that arrives in NZ, something under half of it is carrying non-perishable consumer goods. Those consumer goods are likely what makes up most of the individual carbon footprint of the richest in society. Both Chancel and Picketty and Oxfam have independently calculated that 10% of society produces 50% of carbon emissions.

It doesn’t matter how rich you are, there is a limit on the amount of food you can eat. And sure, you can travel in more carbon intensive ways, but there’s still a limit on how many hours you can travel. So I don’t think it’s entirely unreasonable to assume that the richest are consuming far more goods with high carbon costs embedded within them than most of the rest of us. Identify those things and tax them hard.

Actually, while we’re at it, impose stringent standards on electrical goods so that only the most efficient ones can be legally imported. And, as Kevin Anderson repeatedly suggests, tighten the standards with every passing year. Then, with every drop in energy demand, we get a corresponding and opposite relief in terms of how hard and fast we need to expand and develop energy networks and infrastructures.

I’ve expanded beyond the bounds of my own topic a wee bit, but hey, it’s mine. If we want, we can be the type of example that the rest of the world will need to follow if 2 degrees of warming is going to be any kind of realisable target.

Now. China is among the Annex 2 or developing nations that need developed nations to get off carbon fast, so that they can have a bit of time to lay in the infrastructures that will increase the general well being of their people. That’s the equity that our government, through various international accords and agreements, has repeatedly signed up to. So what are the odds that China, with its huge industrial capacity, would be more than happy – even enthusiastic and eager – to help us get off carbon quicker or easier than we otherwise might without their help? I’m thinking somebody really ought to speak to the Chinese.

I did hope to end this short clutch of posts with an uplifting quote from David Lange. But it would appear that today we’re right back in that space he thought we’d left behind some years ago – somnolant and enraptured. So the best I can do is provide a reminder of where he thought we’d got to over 30 years ago in the hope it helps waken us up to reality again.

We in New Zealand, you know, used to be able to relax a bit, to be able to think that we would sit comfortably while the rest of the world seared, singed, withered. We were enraptured! And the fact is that we used to have the reputation of being some kind of an antipodean Noah’s Ark, which would from within its quite isolated, preserve, spawn a whole new world of realistic human kind. Now, the fact is that we know that that is not achievable.

Part one – overview
Part two – aviation and shipping
Part three – roading

Please try leave any comment on the more appropriate of the four posts. Thankyou.

92 comments on “Free Petrol Pt IV ”

  1. GregJ 1

    Hey Bill,

    Just wanted to say thanks for a very stimulating, provoking and, I have to say, somewhat unsettling series of posts. My wife and I have spent the last few days watching and reading a number of things as a result of reading your posts and frankly we are still a bit shell-shocked by some of the stuff we’ve been trying to take in (especially some of the pretty blunt talking from from Kevin Anderson). We’re still trying to process some of it and get a handle on some of your ideas, thoughts & suggestions.

    • weka 1.1

      I love this comment GregJ. As difficult as that process is, this is exactly what we need, people willing to learn and then take the time to deal with the shock and then figure out what to do next. I’m heartened to see that as one of the first responses to Bill’s posts.

    • Bill 1.2

      Thanks GregJ.

      It’s not an easy or quick thing to process. The first of Anderson’s presentations I saw was one he gave for the Cabot Institute a few years back. (It’s on youtube somewhere). I had to watch it repeatedly to get my head around some of the information – and every time I watched it, it seemed I picked up on something I’d previously missed – and nothing I’d missed was ‘good’.

      I’m just at the stage now where I want people to cut the crap, call it, and get on with it – policy makers, politicians, NGOs….

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    So what are the odds that China, with its huge industrial capacity, would be more than happy – even enthusiastic and eager – to help us get off carbon quicker or easier than we otherwise might without their help?

    They wouldn’t be at all as they’re dependent upon exports for the ‘growth’ and to keep that growth going they’re presently using a huge amount of fossil fuels. Sure, they’re doing a hell of a lot to move to sustainable/renewable energy but it’s going to take quite a few decades.

    • Bill 2.1

      So what you’re saying is that because China is relying on exports, that there’s no way China would (say) manufacture and export huge quantities of solar panels to NZ on favourable terms because ‘exports’?

      I’m confused.

      If we ‘get ahead’, then China gets huge benefit from that – not least because NZ becomes an example and leverage that can be applied to the rest of the developed world.

      • Peter Ch Ch 2.1.1

        And how are the solar panels manufactured? By power largely generated by coal fuelled power stations. Likewise with steel manufacturing and so on.

        Solar power for water heating is now very common in China but i think you do not appreciate the sheer size of the problems, the difficulty in making changes actually occur in the face of a stifling bureaucracy and pervasive corruption.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          There is speculation that China has past peak coal quite a long time before expected. If true that means they’re on the downward curve now, and the ratios should start to look better.

          NZ really needs to develop its own solar manufacturing though, and fast.

        • Bill 2.1.1.2

          I’m aware that fossil fuels are used in manufacturing. I’m also aware that there’s a carbon budget associated with 2 degrees and that budget says developed nations have to be carbon free (from energy) by the 2030s and that China and other developing nations have to peak emissions around 2025 and be fossil free (from energy) by about 2050.

          Given that fossil is used in manufacturing and we can’t lay in a fossil free energy supply in the time available – we need to crash demand while we get the supply side in place.

          I’m assuming that NZ doesn’t have anything like the manufacturing capacity to produce (say) solar panels in the numbers required. That said, I’m guessing that China has the manufacturing capacity to provide NZ with its needs without impacting too much on its own drive to shift from fossil.

          I could be wrong.

          But if the manufacturing capacity is there, and whatever internal bureaucratic or corruption hurdles that exist within China can be cleared, then its in the interests of both China and NZ, for China to help NZ present an example of what’s possible to the rest of the developed world.

          If NZ isn’t chewing through that global carbon budget (our individual emissions are huge) and that leverages other developed nations to get a move on, then China and other developing nations might get a wee bit more room to develop – ie, they can use more of the carbon budget to increase the general welfare of the Chinese population.

          • Robert Atack 2.1.1.2.1

            I new if I skim read a few paragraphs I would find evidence of denial – “carbon budget” WTF ?
            @ 400 ppm CO2 + god knows what the CO2e is of CH4. Idiot humans exceeded the the so called budget about 50 years ago.
            Nature is blowing the budget on it’s own now, its called a feed back.
            Like I keep saying, if we all left the planet tonight, taking our 440 nuclear power plants with us, the environment is still going back to one of it’s very normal mammal free climates. And with the way we have kicked started this period into action (10,000 years faster) the planet faces the oceans evaporating by 2070 ish WASF
            Most of us are going to die from lack of medicines, food, water, security. We are going to face neighborly violence, and government violence, with starvation, or suicide being the biggest killer.
            New Zealand is the last port of call for the oil tankers, we may have as little as 4 weeks stored on shore supply (Ie not in Norway or Japan)
            Auckland for one, is only days away from a bloodbath at any given moment, why the hell people flock to these death traps I don’t know, moths to the flame?
            😉

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        That’s not what I was getting at. The only way that China could help us reduce our GHG emissions is by reducing their exports to us. Even solar panels created by China would increase our GHG emissions.

        And we’d simply be better off producing solar panels here from our renewable energy. In other words, we build factories here to produce solar panels. We use the first few large batches to reduce our GHG emissions from power generation and then seek to export the excess until external demand drops at which point we reduce our production of solar panels to suit local demand.

        • Bill 2.1.2.1

          I’ve nothing against that idea (NZ production from zero carbon production facilities). But the roll out of solar panels has to begin today (yesterday!)

          Do we have the time to construct those facilities in a time scale that would allow us to begin those 10 – 15% annual reductions now?

          Build them by all means, with the aim of them kicking in in three or five years from now. We need shit between now and then though. And China (I believe) is the largest producer of solar panels.

          So buy the fucking things! And yes, China’s GHG emissions kick up short term because of our purchases. And ours tumble because we’re able to expand our energy supply fast enough to keep up with those 10 – 15% reductions being made in the energy sector.

          If those savings are more than the up-tick in China’s emissions, then millions of Chinese gain.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.1

            Do we have the time to construct those facilities in a time scale that would allow us to begin those 10 – 15% annual reductions now?

            It’s only a part of the total solution. We’re simply never going to get 10% to 15% reduction per year in fossil fuel use from installing solar panels.

            If those savings are more than the up-tick in China’s emissions…

            That, I suspect, would be a very big ‘IF’.

            • Bill 2.1.2.1.1.1

              The reduction doesn’t come from solar panels. The solar panels (and whatever else) are needed to cover any uptake in electricity that results from a yearly 10 – 15% reduction (minus whatever drop in demand results from more efficient appliances etc).

              Why’s it a big ‘if’?

              A one off carbon hit versus on-going carbon savings from their roll out. I’d suspect the carbon savings over 15 years would outweigh the carbon cost of production.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The reduction doesn’t come from solar panels. The solar panels (and whatever else) are needed to cover any uptake in electricity that results from a yearly 10 – 15% reduction (minus whatever drop in demand results from more efficient appliances etc).

                First we need to reduce our fossil fuelled energy generation. That would be a very large part of our GHG emissions reduction. We’d get that reduction from installing solar panels and wind generation. If we don’t replace it then we won’t get the necessary reduction.

                Why’s it a big ‘if’?

                Because of the amount of GHG emitted in their production and transportation to NZ. We probably won’t see any real reduction in such a path for several years. Enough time to build a factory or three here and start producing solar panels ourselves.

                • Peter Ch Ch

                  The solar panel and cylinder are very large. Would seem the type of thing that woukd be well suited to be manufacturered here.

  3. adam 3

    I’ve enjoyed your posts Bill, and I really liked the shipping and aviation post the most.

    They got me thinking, technology and “progress” are not set in stone. The choice made, we made because things were cheap and it seemed like a good idea at the time. We are at a point in history, where we have to put our reflexive cap on, and assess some choices.

    It seems we made some bad ones, but to hide behind ‘progress’ as I’ve seen some people argue, is just wooly thinking. If we lived in a world where the first invention was ‘progress’ and it was always right, we’d live in house with direct current, our ropes would be hemp, and computers would all have massive valves in them.

    We have done it with music, and in particular home stereo’s , we have actually decided that valve amplifiers make sound sound better. That Vinyl records actually sound better, and that if we keep it simple and power consumption is set lower, it actually sounds better.

    What I don’t understand is why we are not willing to look at these other options. The wholesale adoption of the Flettner-Rotor just makes sense. Coastal shipping just makes sense. Coastal transport of goods and people, just makes sense.

    But we are tethered to somthing, and I could theories to the cows come home what that is. But most of all I think it is the majority of people don’t want to think about it, I think the only option is to do.

    By that I mean don’t just sit at the keyboard today, but go out and make change – because that is how it happens. Be a leader, don’t get suckered to be THE leader. Go out and do, make those who are unworthy run from the change you bring.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Have you checked out the Archdruid’s latest chapter in his retro story? Basically there is a progress brainwashed mindset out there which sees the answers that we need as lying in brand new inventions and science fiction. Not in old fashioned answers like rail and coastal shipping and mending stuff at home.

      • Peter Ch Ch 3.1.1

        Rail and coastal shipping were answers that were appropriate to there time (and still are in some places and some situations), but they in turn replaced earlier transport methods such as horse and cart and narrow boats. So change and ‘progress’, by your own admission, can be beneficial.

        But in any case, there is now more rail mileage being constructed each year than at anytime since the 19th century, so clearly the ‘brainwashing’ has not worked too well.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          Not in NZ though right? (train mileage increase). One of the most important things we could do now is protect the existing rail infrastructure from the government.

          • Peter Ch Ch 3.1.1.1.1

            Absolutely in agreement there. But not supportive of coastal shipping though (such as we have). Duplication with rail.

            • Bill 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Trains can’t cross Cook Strait. So we need shipping.

              Expand electrified rail (or battery powered trains are an option too I believe). And get shipping off carbon. Some freight (goods) will be a better suited to going by rail and some with shipping. Some would be better suited to being freighted by those airships – I really like the idea of airships 😉

              • Peter Ch Ch

                Well thats one out of left field! But probably worth a serious look. I seem to recall that they were being developed for frwight about 4 or 5 years ago, but cannot locate on web.

                Thanks again for stimulating tgread. Much appreciate

            • adam 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Peter CH CH, I think one of the worst and most idiotic ideas that ever happened was the ending of the Ferry from Auckland to Christchurch. That link is essential to any future for the country as a whole. And sea freight is the only answer, cheap, carbon free and the ability to move in bulk.

    • Bill 3.2

      But most of all I think it is the majority of people don’t want to think about it, I think the only option is to do.

      That bit there Adam – I never expected these posts to produce a whelter of comments, given that they’re quite involved and not tailored to any ‘quick fire’ comments regime.

      But I do seriously wonder if people are running scared.

      ie – simply not reading when they twig to the topic, or reading but not wanting to acknowledge, through the act of commenting, what’s been laid out…essentially being too scared to engage because that would mean putting comfortable illusions aside.

      If that’s the case – that intelligent people are being turned away by their fear – then we’re fucked. Truly fucked.

      Wonder how that one will play out when kids of today ask why nothing was done? I suspect “I was scared” ain’t going to go down very well at all.

      And yeah, the concept of the leader is anathema to me.

      • Peter Ch Ch 3.2.1

        I dont think its a case of being scared, but maybe a mix of confusion and feelings of powerlessness.

        For example, our milk is natural and healthy yet in the process destroys not just our domestic environment, but significantly contributes to global warming. Not to mention the contribution to climate change by transporting our goods to the other side of the globe.

        So what do we do? Revert to a lifestyle of the 1950s era?

        • Bill 3.2.1.1

          Or we could proceed to a lifestyle of the 21st century instead of reverting to one from the 20th. Asking exactly what that will look like is a bit like asking someone in the 1930s what the 1950s or 1970s would have looked like.

          The “What do we do?” is the subject of these posts. As far as transport is concerned, I believe that what I’ve outlined in the posts would work in terms of bringing that sector to zero carbon with much not too much disruption.

          I haven’t seen any comments offering up any other possible workable alternative. I also (so far) haven’t seen any intractable problems being presented in comments in relation to the post’s proposals. So I assume it’s about on the mark. (As I commented on the Free Petrol II post, I got the aviation scenario wrong and so changed my thinking on that one a wee bit))

          Obviously the wider energy sector needs to be considered (but not in these posts) and agriculture/land use needs to be looked at (but not in these posts).

        • weka 3.2.1.2

          For example, our milk is natural and healthy yet in the process destroys not just our domestic environment, but significantly contributes to global warming. Not to mention the contribution to climate change by transporting our goods to the other side of the globe.

          So what do we do? Revert to a lifestyle of the 1950s era?

          We find a different way to make a living. Export dairy is completely unnecessary.

          In terms of transport emissions, supporting local economies and buying local food is key. Local needs to be defined, because shipping from overseas has less of a carbon footprint than trucking from Auckland to the South Island. The big supply chains have to stop, because once you factor carbon in from the transport, they simply don’t work in terms of efficiency. So maybe not 1950s but earlier, where milk was grown where it was consumed, but still in the 21C in terms of safety and some of the tech.

          I can’t see any good reason why we can’t replace export dairy with relocalised, organic dairy that is processed on the farm and then shipped short distances to the local markets (or by train/sea within NZ assuming those get sorted).

          • Bill 3.2.1.2.1

            Since the idea is to have zero carbon from transport, and since that’s just one component of getting to zero carbon from all energy – and if we choose to pursue policies to bring about zero carbon, the length of supply chains become moot.

            At that point, there would be no reason pertaining to a global warming perspective as to why milk couldn’t be dried and shipped where-ever.

            Conversely, if we don’t reach that point (zero carbon) then I think the length of supply chains is going to be among the very least of our worries.

            • Poission 3.2.1.2.1.1

              Milk transport up until 1984 in nz was not carbon neutral either.

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=11488492

            • weka 3.2.1.2.1.2

              Not sure what you mean there Bill. Do you mean we will have tech to replace FF that allows us to make milk powder and ship it globally? What would that be?

              • Bill

                I thought you’d read the posts.

                Hmm. Coal fired drying plants weren’t mentioned. Electrically driven drying processes with the electricity coming from a zero carbon source. The tech’s there. The capacity’s another matter.

                And the shipping options have been well covered.

                And the land or air options have been well covered.

                • weka

                  I don’t know what you mean. If you think that we can produce milk powder and ship it globally and still attain zero carbon for transport can you please explain how. Because I can’t see how it can be done.

                  Yes, I’ve read the posts and I still don’t understand what you are saying. The reason I’m pursuing this is that I think you just said that relocalisation of food wasn’t necessary, which is a pretty alarming thing to say in a post dedicated to reducing transport emissions across the board.

                  Maybe you can start by explaining how the length of supply chains are moot.

                  • adam

                    Weka, the way I read part 2 was that the tech exists, which means we are able to actually move large shipments of food now in a way that does not use carbon. For example Airships, and boats using the Flettner-Rotor, both methods can move large amounts of food.

                    I agree more local food production, but we need to produce surplus, becasue of environmentally extreme weather events. I think as we are interconnected the moving food, will be necessary.

                    • weka

                      The food miles are usually across land not sea. So if you want to do the existing milk powder export business to say China, you have to look at the whole supply line not just the ocean part (and that’s not even getting into the farming and milk drying aspects). All the trips to and from the farm, then from factory to storehouse to port etc.

                      Then there is the issue of all the infrastructure involved in that and how that can be produced and maintained and decommissioned without using fossil fuels. That’s not transport emissions, but unless the argument is that the only CC action we need is to go carbon zero on transport, then it’s an issue.

                      There is also an issue of how robust those supply lines are in extreme weather events.

                      Far better minds than mine that have been working on sustainability for a long time, say we need to relocalise food as part of reducing emissions. I think that small amounts of shipping are still possible, but the bloated global export for profit thing, nah.

                      That’s all in reference to Peter’s original point was about milk and the global economy.

                  • Bill

                    Given that you couched your original comment in the future tense “Do you mean we will have…”

                    With a zero carbon transport network as part of a zero carbon energy network, you can move as much stuff as you like as long a distance as you like without affecting AGW.

                    Now sure, there are plenty of other environmental reasons as to why intensive food production or whatever might not be the flashest of ideas.

                    • weka

                      “you can move as much stuff as you like as long a distance as you like without affecting AGW.”

                      So you assert, but you still haven’t said how. Most people would disagree with you, including myself who has read your posts. If you don’t want to explain your thoughts, that’s fine, but it’s hard to see how to progress the ideas if we don’t actually discuss them.

                      In the absence of an explanation, I’ll hazard a guess that you think that electricity can be used to replaced fossil fuels in a BAU sense. I just don’t think that is possible once you factor in cradle to grave and EROEI issues, and if that is what you are suggesting then I think it’s a major flaw in your proposal (although I’m not sure the proposal is dependent on that belief).

                      I’m not that interested in arguing about it tbh, but I’m also struggling to see how the discussion can be fruitful if pretty solid sustainability and resiliency theory gets written off without an explanation.

                    • Bill

                      What the hell you on about Weka?

                      The shipping and aviation post is pretty explicit in laying out how both shipping and aviation can be (and could have been) brought to be zero carbon on existing technology.

                      In your original comment you said…

                      In terms of transport emissions, supporting local economies and buying local food is key.

                      Well, it might be desirable, but it isn’t key. And from an AGW perspective, it’s irrelevant in the context of a zero emissions transport sector existing (the ‘how’ is explained in Pt II and the global context/prospects touched on towards the end of Pt I) as part of a zero emissions energy sector (topic not covered).

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.3

          For example, our milk is natural and healthy</blockquote.

          Hardly. From heart disease to autoimmune disorders, cows milk is best suited to calves not humans.

          And how you call cows lactating all year "natural" is an interesting twist on things.

          • weka 3.2.1.3.1

            How you call gardening natural is an interesting twist on things. I’ll bite my tongue before we get much more off topic 😉

            • Robert Guyton 3.2.1.3.1.1

              Too late, weka 🙂
              Everything is natural. What’s important is outcomes. Natural activity “A” leads to a particular outcome and natural activity “B” leads to another. Smart humans choose a path that benefits the whole of the natural world over a long time, rather than a sliver of it, for a brief flare.

      • weka 3.2.2

        If that’s the case – that intelligent people are being turned away by their fear – then we’re fucked. Truly fucked.

        Wonder how that one will play out when kids of today ask why nothing was done? I suspect “I was scared” ain’t going to go down very well at all.

        I don’t think it’s as straight forward as that even though we want it to be. Fear is a very complex emotion, with millions of years of evolution behind it. Fright, flight, freeze, or tend and befriend are all hardwired responses in humans to threat, and at the best of times we’re not necessarily good with those because modern humans are in such odd situations in terms of evolution. Worse, we literally have no evolutionary adaptation to deal with something like CC, so we’re having to learn on the hoof.

        If too many people are scared to face up to CC currently, we’re not ‘fucked’. We’re just at the point where the next thing is giving people the skills to deal with the fear in a different way. Whatever skills you and I have, logic dictates that people that don’t have the skills probably need assistance. Taking the position that they should just get on with despite the fear is not a winning one in terms of getting most people to change.

        Plus I think there is more than fear going on. There is overload, stress, denial, cognitive dissonance, anxiety, depression and often just plain ignorance etc. I think we need to be careful to not lump people into large unweildy categories. All of those things have solutions though, for most people.

        • Bill 3.2.2.1

          Nope. It’s that straight forward. Christ! We’re only talking about engaging in discussion or in exploring ideas. People simply fear exposing themselves to any, even remote possibility of having to make decisions that might fly in the face of their comfortable, or stupid, selfishness with its trajectory of a successful life and pleasant lifestyle that’s going to land them up in heaven (earthly or otherwise) some day.

          It’s got nothing whatsoever to do with being fearful of climate change and a lot to do with bullshit and hypocrisy.

          • weka 3.2.2.1.1

            “We’re only talking about engaging in discussion or in exploring ideas.”

            I don’t think so. We’re talking about waking up to a reality that requires radical change and huge challenges on almost every level that humans exist. That’s pretty confronting. Unless these posts are simply an academic exercise, they’re going to induce emotion as much as thought. And that emotion needs processing. GregJ’s comment at the top of this thread is a really good description of that process, so maybe it’s about why he can engage and others don’t.

            I’m scared, and I’m having to spend time working through that. I know other people who are too. And I recognise people who don’t have the skills to do that yet, or the time and space. Or courage.

            (besides, you said above that people are scared, now you are saying they’re not they’re just selfish?).

            Which doesn’t mean that hypocrisy and selfishness aren’t also factors. Some people are going to choose their short term wellbeing over the survival of the planet. That’s a different kettle of fish, that needs a whole different set of stratgies. But I think most people when confronted with the reality are struggling rather than deciding they don’t care.

            But let’s say there is a sizeable chunk of people who are simply being selfish. That still requires a solution. It doesn’t mean we’re fucked.

            • Bill 3.2.2.1.1.1

              I said (essentially) that people are scared of exposing themselves to change. What was the story I read of the woman who went off to her job at the bank even though the news reports were saying that the war had arrived in her city? It didn’t hit home until she turned a corner and there was a tank sitting in her path.

              She didn’t refuse to change because she was frightened of war. She more than likely refused to act intelligently because, like most of us, she liked the safety of habit.

              Look at this another way. I read climate change stuff and tried to get my head around it. That involved being “unsettled” and “shell-shocked” – just as GregJ indicates in the top comment.

              But if I was really rather taken by whatever life I was leading and didn’t want it upset in any way, then it’s not that I’m scared of climate change – I’m just that woman going off to work in her high-heels (as she did) stubbornly determined to carry on as usual because, well…why not? (I’m not reading anything about AGW, I’m not listening to anything about AGW and I’m not discussing AGW…except maybe in relation to that cancelled skiing weekend.)

              edit – and ‘the authorities’ are saying they have it covered. 1.5 degrees they say. Reductions by 2050 they say. Everything is A-OK they say….

        • emergency mike 3.2.2.2

          Well said weka, one dimensional caricatures of the complex lives of large swathes of the population won’t get us there.

          • Bill 3.2.2.2.1

            I agree. But saying that disengaged people are scared of AGW is just plain wrong. How can they be?

            The people who experience fear or misgivings etc are those who’re already engaged.

            • weka 3.2.2.2.1.1

              Lots of degrees of disengagement/engagement too. There are people who know about CC that wouldn’t get involved in this discussion for instance.

    • b waghorn 3.3

      “the majority of people don’t want to think about it”

      Every other day there is an article in the herald or on the news about climate change,
      so the time is right to make people think about it, an incoming government could start an advertising campaign informing and educating people on real world problems and solutions around cc.

    • Peter Ch Ch 3.4

      Agree Adam, these posts of Bill are very interesting. So thank you Bill!

      I disagree though on your conclusions, for example on coastal shipping. I guess there a number of reasons why coastal shipping fell out of favour, but the slowness and extra costs of double handling would have to be big reasons. Same with rail. Without doubt rail and coastal shipping are efficient for point to point, bulk and non time sensitive goods. But extremely inefficient for many other consignments.

      For example, just in time manufacturing is very efficient by minimising wastage and excess or dead stock, but requires a very reliable and fast supply chain. Coastal shipping especially, and rail to a lesser extent, struggles in this.

      And nz just too small a market to have both rail and coadtal shipping, as they will compete with each other to the detriment of each other.

      Progress or constant innovation and change i believe is essential and beneficial.

      • Colonial Viper 3.4.1

        And nz just too small a market to have both rail and coadtal shipping, as they will compete with each other to the detriment of each other.

        Wrong again. If you understood NZ history you would know that we had both way back when NZ’s population was under 1M people.

        • Peter Ch Ch 3.4.1.1

          Yes, when we had no realistic alternatives as trucks had a low payload and roads were poor. The worlds moved on. We now have aircraft that have huge freight capacity. Powerful trucks and great roads.

          And the country is different. We gave gone from a society where farming communities were connected by rail to the nearest port to an urban economy. We are now part of the global.economy. the world has changed cv.

          • b waghorn 3.4.1.1.1

            There is still rural communities it’s just they have been gutted of the industries and population to make rail work in the pursuit of profit and efficiency . Although with the amount of logs coming out of the hinter land if the will was their the work for rail would be there.

            • Peter Ch Ch 3.4.1.1.1.1

              And of course rail is ideal for these types of bulk and non time sensitive goods. At least i see that rail will play a key role in the movement of logs from the wairarapa area to Centre port

              • Colonial Viper

                I addressed your point that rail and coastal shipping cannot exist together. Yes they can and yes they have.

                As for your rumblings about road transport and roads. Wake up mate. The fossil fuel era is going away. In case you hadn’t noticed this is what this post is about.

                How many electric milk or logging trucks have you seen?

      • weka 3.4.2

        “And nz just too small a market to have both rail and coadtal shipping, as they will compete with each other to the detriment of each other.”

        So subsidise them as part of the public good.

        I think we have to change our expectations. So if supply chains for immediate goods need road transport to be efficient, then we have some choices. Use smaller amounts of electrified trucks, and have less goods. And/or suck up the lowered efficiency (is that an economic thing?). We have to get past this idea that we need tech to replace FF so we can carry on as usual. We actually have to change the underlying processes and demands on the infrastructure.

    • weka 3.5

      “But most of all I think it is the majority of people don’t want to think about it, I think the only option is to do.”

      I don’t think that it’s that most people don’t want to think about it. I think that was true 5 years ago, but not any more. It’s in our faces more and more each day. Lots of people I know want something to be done. But they don’t know what to do, or feel powerless, or think it’s the government’s responsibility, or are not ready yet to commit to change, or don’t want to go first. Those are all different things for different people and we need to be careful not to prejudge people en masse.

      I agree about the getting on and doing.

  4. Graeme 4

    Thanks Bill, a great piece of lateral thinking. You sent me to some places I hadn’t been before.

    But I think you might be a bit pessimistic about the speed new technology displacing fossil fuels. Your “Free Petrol” whilst providing a strong incentive to change, is predicated on there being resistance to change. There have been quantum leaps in transport technology before that were very swift once a better thing came along.

    The change from horse propulsion to ICE and electric happened over only 10 -20 years and in response to quite major problems in cities.

    “One commentator predicted that by 1930 horse manure would reach the level of Manhattan’s third-story windows. New York’s troubles were not New York’s alone; in 1894, the Times of London forecast that by the middle of the following century every street in the city would be buried under nine feet of manure. It was understood that flies were a transmission vector for disease, and a public-health crisis seemed imminent. When the world’s first international urban-planning conference was held, in 1898, it was dominated by discussion of the manure situation. Unable to agree upon any solutions—or to imagine cities without horses—the delegates broke up the meeting, which had been scheduled to last a week and a half, after just three days.

    Then, almost overnight, the crisis passed. This was not brought about by regulation or by government policy. Instead, it was technological innovation that made the difference. With electrification and the development of the internal-combustion engine, there were new ways to move people and goods around. By 1912, autos in New York outnumbered horses, and in 1917 the city’s last horse-drawn streetcar made its final run.” ( http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/11/16/hosed )

    Once electric propulsion is better than ICEs the uptake will be beyond rapid. In the same way the horse shit problem went from no foreseeable solution in 1898, to no horse trams in 1917, I can easily see virtually no ICE vehicles in 10 -15 years with the way the technologies are going. In road power may be the trigger but it could be something quite different and new. But once the scale goes out of petrol distribution the cost will go up dramatically accelerating ICE’s demise.

    Then it’s about how we feed, clothe and house everyone with minimum carbon impact.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Once electric propulsion is better than ICEs the uptake will be beyond rapid.

      Electric propulsion has always been better than ICEs so that was never the problem. The problem is that the capitalists can make far more profit selling 72 cars than they can selling one bus. And that’s not just the capitalists selling the cars either. It’s also the capitalists extracting the iron ore, the steel makers, the rubber producers, the oil industry, the tech industry, the car maintenance industry and probably a few that I’ve missed.

      Because of this they lobbied for councils and countries to support cars rather than public transport. Public transport could always have been run on electricity.

      Cars are massively uneconomic as they use far more resources to produce no more benefit. Just think about what we could do if we freed up all those resources and people to do something else. How many car mechanics would be freed up just in NZ?

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Giving container ships a new nose saves hundreds of tons of fuel

    To cut down on resistance, Kyokuyo Shipyard developed the Semi-Spherical Shaped bow (SSS bow), which reduced wind resistance by as much as 50%. In real-world terms, the new bow cuts energy use by 11% which on a container ship capable of carrying 2,000 cars (540 TEU) means 807 tons less fuel consumed each year, equating to 2,500 tons less CO2 emissions. Imagine using it on a 10,000 TEU ship? As the TEU of the ship goes up, so does the fuel saving, and it’s most effective on very tall ships which suffer the worst wind resistance.

    Sounds good.

    [Any chance you can cut and paste that comment to Part two? I’d move it if I could, but can only shift stuff to open mike. Cheers] – Bill

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Nope, sorry. If I still had edit capability I could but it just tells me that I’ve already made that comment now.

      • Bill 5.1.1

        Hmm. Any objection to me cut and pasting the body of text then?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1

          No but if you ask Lynn nicely he could probably just move the comment and thread (well, this thread could be deleted now).

          [Cut and pasted to Pt II. I’m just going to leave these comments. They aren’t much of a distraction] – Bill

  6. b waghorn 6

    Mini hydro could up nz.s power supply to levels that would leave solar in the dust , both for security of supply and the amount of emissions released getting there.
    Every valley in the country has a creek and only a percentage of the water needs to be removed for a short time.
    Instead of having a huge fee just to get the ball rolling(with no guarantee of acceptance) around the feasibility of a small scheme , there needs to be a government funded department to review applications.

  7. Hi Bill. May I ask, what do you hope to achieve as a result of your series?

    • Bill 7.1

      What could possibly result from putting up informative posts? What about informative posts that make people think or that give people information they didn’t previously have?

      What would you like to see result from it all?

      • Well, I wonder if we need more “information”. Isn’t there a surfeit of information? What we all need, I believe, is confident story telling. You’re good at that, Bill.
        What I would like to see is the generation of the new story. Churning through the mechanics; coastal shipping, rail… is not a new story. Tell us a story, Bill.

        • Bill 7.1.1.1

          On the one hand I could try to convince you this bean will grow a ladder to a nice place in the the clouds. Or I could just tell you the truth – it’s a bean….a dwarf variety. On AGW, every bugger seems to be promising big beans or believing in big beans.

          Really boring story, I know. But you see, there’s information and then there’s information. That’s all that’s in the bag.

          • Robert Guyton 7.1.1.1.1

            A bag of information? Is that what you’re offering?
            How about a bag of innovation?
            Information’s cheap and easy these days and we are swamped by it. Cut to the chase and inspire us, Bill! A bag of inspiration! Yes please!

            • Bill 7.1.1.1.1.1

              You didn’t discern anything innovative in any of those posts Robert? Nothing inspiring either? Oh well, that was that – for whatever its worth I guess.

  8. corokia 8

    Thanks for these posts Bill. There is no credible argument against the need to reduce emissions drastically and urgently. It would be wonderful if many of the ideas you have suggested could be implemented.

    My question is HOW do you make any of this happen?

    Back in May when I commented that it would be useful to get informed people in local body elections, you replied with ….

    “Bill11.3
    3 May 2016 at 11:26 pm So, I’m just going to say – fuck the local body elections and that layer of bureaucratic ‘overseer’ nonsense. It’s down to us – to you and me and you and you and you.. Our current institutions are incapable of doing or managing what must be done…the evidence of that is right before our eyes – our institutions have instigated nothing this past quarter of a century”

    So, really good ideas about WHAT we ought to do. But HOW do we get people to accept the need for change? Because I don’t see how “you and me and you and you” etc can stop the tv ads encouraging people to fly to family weddings, we can’t stop people needing cars to get to their jobs, we can’t stop the ships crossing the world full of non essential shit etc etc etc.

    You were totally correct when you said “ Our current institutions are incapable of doing or managing what must be done”

    SO HOW do you think this could all happen?
    (On the same side, really wanting my descendents to live on a planet that supports human life)

    • “Our current institutions” = our current mind-set. Change the mind set or, no cigar.
      How to change the current mind set?
      Corokia?

      • Corokia 8.1.1

        I wish I knew Robert. Changing the messages everyone is being bombarded with everyday?
        That’s why I am asking Bill how he envisages these changes being brought about, especially when he has previously rubbished me for suggesting local government might be useful.

    • Bill 8.2

      Well, way I see it…

      essentially we (the public) have to develop and use whatever leverage we can on the central government of the day. They have abrogated their responsibility on AGW and in spite of the Agreements they’ve signed up to, they continue to spin the line that it’s all A-OK. Well, it’s not.

      I’d suggest working on existing NGOs – Greenpeace, Gen Zero, 350.org and whatever others there are. Of all the orgs I’ve looked at, they base their demands and courses of action on make believe (unrealistic figures and unrealistic expectations of science).

      If they can be brought to adopt the raw numbers of AGW and base demands on those raw numbers, then they’d be looking to demand zero carbon by the 2030s.

      I asked in the first post for people to drive a coach and horses through everything I ws going to put up. At the time of writing that hasn’t happened.

      So unless someone comes up with different scenarios that actually achieve the reductions we need (10 – 15% per annum), then the stuff I’ve written would seem to be a fairly good framework to work from, no?

      If the various NGOs adopt the stuff in Pt III as a central demand (and I honestly can’t imagine any buyer/seller scenario that would work), then government has to be forced to accept it as an AGW policy.

      From that, I’d think everything else flows – from the shipping to aviation and on to the wider energy systems that I haven’t written about in these posts, but that yield the reductions we need if subjected to fairly similar courses of action.

      So, unless you know of, or come to know of other scenarios that would work, sell these ones to NGOs on the basis that it cleaves to the science and doesn’t entertain wishful thinking. They’ll resist. Unfortunately, they’ve spent a fair amount of time, money and energy constructing courses of action that will most assuredly fail. And they’re not going to want to hear that.

      So, for example – any scenario that suggests 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 is about 20 years too late and 20% too high if we’re talking about energy. Basing action on IPCC reports means whatever course of action that’s being proposed has negative emission technology built in as a default. Anything that uses bio-fuel into the future (beyond about 2030) hasn’t grasped the difference between a zero carbon scenario and a fossil free scenario, or the absolute need for the former. Any scenario that talks of net zero (for energy) will absolutely wind up north of 2 degrees. Anything that relies on price signals will not work – the studies have been done. See the Chrematistic Camel post for links.

      If you have the stomach for it, go to the pages of Greenpeace, 350.org or Gen Zero with those things in mind and see what you reckon. Then get along to any of their meetings that you can and lay it out for them.

      Talk to workmates, neighbours, people at bus stops or in the supermarket where appropriate. Basically be a seed pod for workable ideas or necessary demands.

      And any time a politician says they’ve got it in hand, challenge them and challenge them hard. Hold the bastards to account. They made commitments. They failed.

      Any time someone suggests a tax or ‘more time’, challenge them hard. Taxes haven’t worked and won’t work (small reductions at best) and we have no time.

      And do it in whatever small or larger capacity you can, every single day. But y’know, don’t be a raving nutter about it 😉

      That help?

      • Pat 8.2.1

        “If the various NGOs adopt the stuff in Pt III as a central demand (and I honestly can’t imagine any buyer/seller scenario that would work), ”

        how about a tradable variation on Andersons inevitable rationing?

        • Pat 8.2.1.1

          p.s. love the attached clip (Suzuki)

        • Bill 8.2.1.2

          Isn’t a hard sinking cap ‘rationing’? Why bring trade into it when the lack of price assures equity?

          • Pat 8.2.1.2.1

            the trade aspect incentivises reduction, and as we know the wealthy use a disproportionate amount and unfortunately the non wealthy don’t have the income to take advantage of low/no C tech……this acts as a cross subsidy from high user to low….or rich to poor if you prefer….sell half your ration, bike to work and use the funds to install solar panels i.e.

            and doesn’t impact total use which still decreases at the required rate

      • “essentially we (the public) have to develop and use whatever leverage we can on the central government of the day.”

        Focusing on “the central government of the day” is futile, Bill.
        Develop your story and be the story everywhere you go, here on TS included. That’s power. That’s influence and that’s change.

      • Corokia 8.2.3

        Reply to Bill
        Not wanting to be too negative here, but that sounds a bit like passing the buck to other people (the NGOs ) albeit after getting them to strengthen their message.
        Hey, but I like the don’t be a raving nutter bit

  9. Don’t worry about “everybody”, corokia, or bombardment. What message to you have for us?
    Speak it clearly for those who are listening.

    • Corokia 9.1

      I expect most reading this post are already completely aware of the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Like many here probably do, I have dreams of how we might live a zero carbon life.
      I imagine the countryside repopulated with thousands of people working on small scale organic farms. I imagine towns and cities based around multiple hubs of workplaces, schools, shops and services which people can walk, cycle to. Electric mini buses for when we are too tired, frail or juggling kids or the weather isn’t good. Linking up to larger buses and trams etc. Home delivery of heavy bulky goods. Reusing, reducing, recycling properly ( refilling containers, fixing things, building things out of “waste”) Watching the inter club soccer, rugby, netball game instead of hundreds of people flying thousands of miles every week. Doing the OE thing, if you must, slowly by ship, bike, train. Eat local, live local.
      There’s lots more, but that’s not the sort of life that people are encouraged to want because of. ….. capitalism, basically.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    6 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    7 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    1 week ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response

    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment

    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President

    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Questions from God

    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The politics of money and influence

    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity

    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago

  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins

    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended

    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance

    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones

    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress

    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government creates MAG for retail crime victims

    The coalition Government is establishing a Ministerial Advisory Group for the victims of retail crime, as part of its plan to restore law and order, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee says.  “New Zealand has seen an exponential growth in retail crime over the past five ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
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    1 week ago
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