Good News!

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, June 5th, 2016 - 158 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, Environment, global warming, Politics, science, sustainability - Tags: , ,

May 2016 didn’t record the highest land/ocean temperatures for any May on record! The world in May 1998 was 0.11 degrees C warmer than it was last month.

Here’s the graph.(source page)

98 to 2016 May

Here’s another comparing the six warmest years on record to the long term average. (source page)

horserace-201509

I’m sorry. The graph I meant to supply was for 2016, not 2015. here it is.

ytd-horserace-2016

Here’s another for where we’re going at present. This one is only based on air temperatures.(source page)

global_temperature_change_spiral

It’s all kind of depressing and…actually, I’ll retract that. It’s frightening. What’s depressing is that I could throw all the graphs of rising temperatures and all the images of collapsing glaciers or ‘husked’ landscapes and all the stories like polar bears desperately eating sea birds and their eggs now, or point to yet another ‘once in a hundred year’ flood/drought/storm or whatever. And I could link to all the scientific reports and the easily understood presentations from eminent scientists – and those people who read or listen just carry on tomorrow as they did yesterday and as they’ll do today.

edit – Apologies. I don’t know why the spiral won’t animate. the link will take you to its source page.

158 comments on “Good News!”

  1. riffer 1

    Frogs in a pot… and before we know it we will be frogs in a blender.

  2. John shears 2

    BUT I heard that in NZ 1938 was very hot not sure more than this year or the same.?

      • Rosie 2.1.1

        Was listening to that news yesterday and thought of the thread on Open Mike, or maybe a post, several weeks ago, that carried a sense of the slightly bewildered tone as many of discussed the flowering of tomatoes south of mid north Island, and other “seasonal” anomalies.

        Observant humans, especially from the middle aged, but more so for the elderly, are sensitive to air temperature changes and the effects on nature around them. It is sad, like witnessing a long slow death.

        • Bill 2.1.1.1

          Anyone who heats their home with firewood down this way – a not inconsiderable number of people – will most definitely have noticed that temperatures haven’t been what they should have been.

          It’s kind of nice that the wood stack persists. But y’know…

          • Rosie 2.1.1.1.1

            Ditto. Our 4 cubic metres we get will last us. We usually need a small top up with some scavenging thrown in, late winter. Had our first fire in the last week of May. Usually begin in fits and starts in April and is normally on every night through out May, and winter solstice in only a few weeks away on 20th June……

            Losing the certainty and clear cyclical patterns of seasons over the years has been unsettling and troubling for those who set their more holistic measuring of time to the seasons rather than clocks and calenders.

          • Kevin 2.1.1.1.2

            Not just the temps Bill. I have deciduous trees on my section and they have barely started shedding their leaves after the first week of winter.

            • Bill 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Bulbs coming up. Deciduous trees still holding leafs. Trees budding. Grass growing. I could go on.

              A lot of fragile shit’s going to get hammered some time in July.

              • Sabine

                plum tree budding.
                strawberries flowering and ripening
                ha, but look t’was a lovely weather for a long weekend, so it can’t be all bad?

      • John shears 2.1.2

        Thanks Bill

        “NIWA forecaster Chris Brandolino said every month this year, through to May, has had above average temperatures.

        The first five months of the year equalled the warmest start of the year on record – which was in 1938.”

    • Macro 2.2

      And what has NZ got to do with world temperatures? One small part of a planet where temperatures are moderated by a large ocean is unrepresentative of average global temperatures. Nevertheless NZ’s average temperature is included in the overall mix. Just because it was frosty at your place this mrning doesn’t mean the world is somehow cooling.
      Arctic sea ice extent set a record low every single day in May. Every. Single. Day.
      Here is a graph bill didn’t link too The Arctic could well become ice free in your life time. And that means that the Arctic ocean will heat up even more rapidly than it is now, because dark blue sea absorbs heat from the sun whereas ice reflects it back into space. and that means another tipping point and feed back could well come into play. The heating of the northern hemisphere will cause the permafrost to thaw and the tundra to begin releasing the massive quantities of stored methane which is sequestered there. Methane is 4 times more efficient as a GHG than CO2 although it breaks down in the atmosphere more quickly. It still remains in the atmosphere however as water vapour and CO2, so still acts as a GHG.
      We are very very close to tipping points beyond which runaway global warm will occur and humans will have no control over the eventual outcome. (Even if we think we have now).

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Methane is 25x more powerful a GHG than CO2 is, taken over a 100 year period.

        • Macro 2.2.1.1

          Yes! I stand corrected on that – thanks CV.
          My 4 times was way off the mark the actual potency at any given instant is according to this paper 30 times:

          While carbon dioxide is typically painted as the bad boy of greenhouse gases, methane is roughly 30 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas.

          .
          The paper authored by researchers at Princton confirms my contention above that as Global warming increases Methane from natural sources will increase (and not just from Arctic regions) producing an even greater energy imbalance in Global warming.

          • Andre 2.2.1.1.1

            I wish authors in papers talking about the potency of various greenhouse gases would make it clearer whether they are comparing on a volume or weight basis, and whether they are talking about an instantaneous value or averaged over a specific time period.

            So for instance the IPCC 2013 GWP value for methane over 20 years on a mass basis is 86.

            • Macro 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes the “problem” with Methane is that although its effect on trapping Infra red radiation is more potent than CO2 it begins to decompose over time in the atmosphere so how to compare it with CO2 is difficult. At present it is the 3rd major GHG after CO2 and water vapour, but in time could supercede those 2. There is as much Carbon stored in Northern Tundra and frozen peat bogs as half of the carbon already released through the burning of fossil fuels since the beginning of industrialization.
              Whether as Poisson suggests below the new plant growth in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere will become a sufficiently large Carbon sink to sequester and balance out the newly released Carbon is a matter for conjecture – but the initial response must surely be that that will not happen in the initial stages. The new plants and organisms will not grow that quickly. It also overlooks the fact that drought and high temperatures around the equator will hasten desertification. Grasses cease to grow when temperatures go beyond 36C.

              • Andre

                It’s a fairly thin hope that Arctic forest growth will absorb more carbon than the methane released from warming bogs. Especially since there’s all the seafloor methane clathrates that may be released as the ocean warms. I’d much rather not risk the experiment.

                In short-term pure temperature terms, I’m of the understanding that desertification is actually a slight negative feedback – sand reflects more sunlight than vegetation and doesn’t release water vapour. No fkn good for anybody living nearby or pulling any carbon back out of the atmosphere, tho.

      • Poission 2.2.2

        The heating of the northern hemisphere will cause the permafrost to thaw and the tundra to begin releasing the massive quantities of stored methane which is sequestered there

        Which is a negative feedback on atmospheric carbon.

        http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/ecosystems/gajewski.gif

        The thinking (or at least studies of the data) are counter intuitive eg D. J. Charman et al

        Opposite to expectations, our results indicate a small negative carbon cycle feedback from past changes in the long-term accumulation rates of northern peatlands. Total carbon accumulated over the last 1000 yr is
        linearly related to contemporary growing season length and
        photosynthetically active radiation, suggesting that variability
        in net primary productivity is more important than decomposition
        in determining long-term carbon accumulation. Furthermore, northern peatland carbon sequestration rate declined over the climate transition from the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) to the Little Ice Age (LIA), probably because of lower LIA temperatures combined with increased
        cloudiness suppressing net primary productivity. Other factors
        including changing moisture status, peatland distribution,
        fire, nitrogen deposition, permafrost thaw and methane
        emissions will also influence future peatland carbon cycle
        feedbacks, but our data suggest that the carbon sequestration
        rate could increase over many areas of northern peatlands in a warmer future

        http://www.biogeosciences.net/10/929/2013/bg-10-929-2013.html

        • Macro 2.2.2.1

          Yeah right!
          http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v443/n7107/abs/nature05040.html
          and
          http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01381.x/abstract

          Our results suggest that the loss of surface permafrost in peatlands increases net carbon storage as peat, though in terms of radiative forcing, increased CH4 emissions to the atmosphere will partially or even completely offset this enhanced peatland carbon sink for at least 70 years following permafrost degradation.

          my bold.
          Yes the increased growth in the Northern Hemisphere will become a sink for Carbon. Do not overlook however the increased desertification of the equatorial regions Northern Africa, The subcontinent of India, and Central and Northern South America.
          http://www.nature.com/news/earth-s-carbon-sink-downsized-1.11503
          The study you linked to concluded that while the balance of carbon sequestered would outweigh the release of Carbon it would only be slight. and the prospect still remains that for almost a century the forcing from the release of stored Methane would be a positive feedback.

          • Poission 2.2.2.1.1

            Hilarious stuff you use 2 prior papers that have little to do with carbon sequestration, or ch4 oxidation,(as an aside one of the authors in your papers is a co author of the study I provided)

            As permafrost melts in forms boreal mires,where methanotrophic bacteria oxidize ch4 to co2 (they are very efficient at this as they do it for a living and have for some 1gy)

            The methanotrophic bacteria also have a free trade agreement with the Sphagnum mosses supplying both isotopically light CO2 ,which is used for carbon sequestration,but fixing atmospheric nitrogen (which is often limited).

            http://www.pnas.org/content/111/2/734.full

            • Colonial Viper 2.2.2.1.1.1

              So what happens to GHGs when climate change fucks “net primary productivity”?

              • Poission

                During the holocene when temperatures were hotter the atmospheric ch4 reduced.

                What are your expectations?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Total carbon accumulated over the last 1000 yr is
                  linearly related to contemporary growing season length and
                  photosynthetically active radiation, suggesting that variability
                  in net primary productivity is more important than decomposition
                  in determining long-term carbon accumulation. Furthermore, northern peatland carbon sequestration rate declined over the climate transition from the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) to the Little Ice Age (LIA), probably because of lower LIA temperatures combined with increased
                  cloudiness suppressing net primary productivity.

                  If disruption to industrial primary productivity occurs, the above suggests that soil carbon accumulation will decline proportionally.

                  • Poission

                    Your expecting lower temperatures due to a decrease in PAR from increased cloudiness?

                    What are the justifications for your argument ?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I am talking about decreased net primary productivity due to an increase in the disruptive weather patterns which will directly result from climate change. This might be increased cloudiness, it might be increased cyclone behaviour and droughts. This decreased net primary productivity will have a negative knock on effect on the rate of carbon sequestration according to the excerpt above.

            • Macro 2.2.2.1.1.2

              Yes they are to prior papers and I am aware that one of the co-authors is associated with the paper you are referring to!
              The first highlights the fact that sequestered Carbon in the Arctic Circle is being released as a consequence of Global Warming.
              The second highlights the fact that (and I shall repeat it here verbatim
              ” increased CH4 emissions to the atmosphere will partially or even completely offset this enhanced peatland carbon sink for at least 70 years following permafrost degradation.”
              The paper you refer to in no way overrides the findings of the previous – rather it merely reinforces the fact that global warming of the Arctic will result initially in increased GHGs. It does not take into account (as Andre correctly points out above) the seafloor methane clathrates.
              http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28898223
              http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.nz/2014/08/horrific-methane-eruptions-in-east-siberian-sea.html
              The third link highlighted the fact that forests and grasslands in heat waves actually release carbon rather than sequestering, so rather than increasing to the store of heat sinks on Earth from global warming the balance is far more likely to be less.

            • Macro 2.2.2.1.1.3

              ooooops!
              https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150309155521.htm
              New research in the journal Nature found that for each degree that the Earth’s temperature rises, the amount of methane entering the atmosphere from microorganisms dwelling in freshwater wetlands — a primary source of the gas — will increase several times. The researchers analyzed nearly 1,600 measurements of temperature and methane emissions from 127 freshwater ecosystems across the globe (above), including lakes, swamps, marshes and rice paddies.

              https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150330095359.htm
              Based on their measurements, they concluded that methane-rich groundwater may be an important and currently unrecognized contributor to methane emissions from Arctic lakes. The study suggests that future warming in the Arctic could expand the active layer and increase methane transport to lakes, and from lakes into the atmosphere, exacerbating global warming.

              https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150504101256.htm
              Oceanographer Benedicte Férré, who is a team leader at CAGE, is a co-author of the study. It shows that the level of activity of the methane-consuming bacteria varied drastically over very short time spans.

              https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150420122623.htm
              “”We found that strong, fluctuating, currents were common above methane seeps, meaning that methane-consuming bacteria may not be as effective for regulating emissions of methane to the atmosphere as previously thought,” Dr James concluded.

  3. Paul 3

    Sobering news.
    We are running out of time.
    And appear to have no inclination do anything about it.
    Catastrophic climate change is on its way.

    Go back to sleep New Zealand.
    Max Key has just posted on Instagram.
    Go back to sleep New Zealand.
    The Warriors won this weekend.
    Go back to sleep New Zealand.
    The Block is back on TV.
    Go back to sleep New Zealand.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/arctic-could-become-ice-free-for-first-time-in-more-than-100000-years-claims-leading-scientist-a7065781.html

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Not sure I agree about the “running out of time” thing

      I think the countdown timer reached zero between 10 and 20 years ago.

      That is, we’ve run out of time.

  4. Jester 4

    This IS frightening. Not even a pandemic with high virulence and mortality rate could change the medium term future now (drastic, and horrible to say I know, but about the only way any sort of change in anthropogenic greenhouse gas production could have been effected in time to avert the looming extinction event). Wonder if the transition from El Nino to La Nina will give the deniers some breathing room to spin their lies and reassure the population?

  5. weka 5

    Being frightened seems entirely appropriate. I’m scared. Fear is a bloody good motivator, we’re adapted to react even if we’d rather not. The thing now is to give people options of acting in the right direction (as opposed to denial, cognitive dissonance, la la la etc).

  6. Jenny 6

    What is required is leadership.

    This is the missing ingredient in the fight against climate change.

    Labour and the Green Party tip toe toward a proper principled strategic alliance that may well, if it develops further, provide the leadership to address climate change in this country.

    And hopefully as Andrew Little says “The government I lead will make our country a leader in the fight against climate change”
    which will provide the leadership on this issue the world craves.

    The sort of courageous leading example that Little speaks of, could not but influence political events in Australia, our closest geographical and cultural cousin and a major world climate change player.

    It is our moral duty to make sure that principled agreement between the Green Party and the Labour Party especially over the climate is strengthened and deepened.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      And hopefully as Andrew Little says “The government I lead will make our country a leader in the fight against climate change”
      which will provide the leadership on this issue the world craves.

      I look forward to his announcing closing all fossil fuelled generators in the first three years. All of them to be replaced by wind farms and solar on all houses.

      Oh, and the renationalisation of the electricity grid.

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        And it still won’t make any difference to worldwide temperature rises.

        • Bill 6.1.1.1

          Not true Lanthanide. It most certainly would make a difference to global temperature rises. It wouldn’t have an immediate effect on temperatures. But those rises are off the back of accumulating CO2 in the atmosphere.

          • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1.1

            It wouldn’t make a scientifically detectable difference to global temperature rises if NZ shut down it’s few fossil fuel power plants and replaced them with renewable sources.

            • Bill 6.1.1.1.1.1

              There’s something about typing with one hand while the other is down the pants clutching the cock of doom. Oh yeah. It’s kind of wanky.

              • Lanthanide

                There’s something about pretending that making a tiny change in a country at the bottom of the world that 99% of the world couldn’t give a shit about, will somehow change the course of human history.

                • Sans Cle

                  Lanth, we are not as isolated, just because we are geographically so. Physically we don’t have large movement of people – (double edged sword, separate but relevant other argument) – but as the Panama Papers have shown, we are in the thick of financial flows. Capital and finance flow freely through NZ, albeit mostly run through algorithms, based on derivatives and things that are expected to happen in the future. These financial flows do have physical manifestations, and our first-world lifestyle in NZ is testament to this. We rely on imports of most material goods. We export white powder, which doesn’t quite pay for imports and our lavish lifestyle. We use sophisticated financial instruments created elsewhere, simplistically let’s call these instruments ‘credit’ or ‘debt’, but they are created so most people don’t quite understand how they work in the whole scheme of things (how many ordinary people understand how money is created?!).
                  Lanth, I agree with your sentiment that even if there were behaviour change in NZ, the whole CC problem would not be solved. However I don’t agree with the head-in-the-sand attitude that has developed in NZ, predicated on the futility of marginal change.

                  I love “The Hunger Games” as I see it as a direct corollary of how our economy works (minus the direct hand to hand combat to the death of children – we do it more subtly in the real world).
                  Head-in-the-Sandism is like the affluent fickle people in the Capital carrying on with their outrageously shallow lives (my definition of shallow is lack of empathy), despite knowing the consequences of their behaviour. Personally, I feel a moral duty to do something about it, given that we know how we are damaging ecosystems and the fragile life systems on earth.
                  What I also like about the Hunger Games is that it shows a collective solution to a problem (from District 13 – which also had the vagaries of power and ego in leadership) and individual solutions (Catnip doing her own thing, and battling with being the pawn in the power game between so many different people; Gaelle doing his own thing, albeit using violence).
                  There are some massive societal changes heading our way, and we can’t be the safe Hobbiton forever.

                • Jenny

                  “There’s something about pretending that making a tiny change in a country at the bottom of the world that 99% of the world couldn’t give a shit about, will somehow change the course of human history.”
                  Lanthanide

                  What an amazing insight Lanth. and you don’t even resort to using any facts to back it up.

                  Here is one fact that you might like to back up your subjective opinion, that nothing we do here will make any difference to climate change.

                  New Zealand’s total greenhouse emissions from all sources is…, wait for it…..

                  0.2% of the world total.

                  But you are wrong when you say that what we do here will have no effect.

                  This is what a scientist has to say on the matter:

                  “New Zealand is a small emitter by world standards – only emitting some 0.2% of global green house gases. So anything we do as a nation will have little impact on the climate – our impact will be symbolic, moral, and political”

                  Sir Peter Gluckman
                  Chief Science adviser to the office of the Prime Minister

                  http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/climate-change/

                  Get that, Lanth? “our impact will be symbolic, moral, and political”

                  You are right Lanthanide in your estimation, that even if New Zealand cut its greenhouse gas emissions to zero, it would barely make a measurable objective difference to the world total.

                  But what you are ignoring is the subjective effect.

                  Any major initiative launched against climate change in this country could have a massive and far reaching subjective effect.

                  How so?

                  Our closest geographical neighbour Australia which shares with us a common language and culture and a similar history. Is the acknowledged world’s biggest exporter of coal. Coal is the most dangerous and polluting of all the fossil fuels.
                  Australia is the biggest greenhouse gas emitter, per capita in the world. And ,Australia is major global emitter in its own right.

                  But as well as all this, Australia is one of the countries worst hit by climate change. Australians are worried.

                  You can bet that any serious and major ground breaking initiative launched against climate change in this country would be closely watched in Australia.

                  Australians worried about the changing climate, and many them are, would be demanding that their government do the same.

                  If Australia were to drastically cut back its emissions and even stop its coal exports this would be a world event. With a huge measurable difference, not to mention a galvanising flow on effect to the rest of the world.

                  Lanth, small wheels, can turn big wheels, which can turn, even bigger wheels.

                  And we have done it before.
                  First in the world to give women the vote,
                  First in the world to found a Social Welfare State,
                  On the debit side, the First in the world to launch the Neo Liberal revolution. These ground breaking initiatives were remarked on and followed across the globe.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Jenny, where you fall down, is that we are specifically talking about sitting down our fossil fuel power generation only, not about transportation or farming emissions.

                    Given that were are already 2nd or 3rd in the works for renewable energy, getting completely rid of fossil fuel power generation isn’t going to be much of a guiding light to other countries – they will just go “well easy for you, since you have such a small population and so much hydro power”.

                    Also I’ll note the conspicuous absence of the “anti-nuclear” policy in your list of our world leading policies – presumably because it hasn’t amounted to a hill of beans, despite lots of people on the left imagining that it was going to bring in a peaceful nirvana and result in disarmament.

                    • Jenny

                      Given that were are already 2nd or 3rd in the works for renewable energy, getting completely rid of fossil fuel power generation isn’t going to be much of a guiding light to other countries – they will just go “well easy for you, since you have such a small population and so much hydro power”.
                      Lanthanide

                      You are just underestimating my ambition Lanth.

                      I was thinking of something much more ambitious.

                    • Jenny

                      “Also I’ll note the conspicuous absence of the “anti-nuclear” policy in your list of our world leading policies – presumably because it hasn’t amounted to a hill of beans, despite lots of people on the left imagining that it was going to bring in a peaceful nirvana and result in disarmament.”
                      Lanthanide

                      LOL.

                      I also left out our stand against apartheid sporting contact with South Africa.

                      A world breaking stand that sent shockwaves around the world, no less than in South Africa itself.

                      Nelson Mandela, famously said that at the time, when he first heard the news of the invasion of Rugby Park in Hamilton, it was like a shaft of sunlight had broken into his prison cell.

                      But the effect it had on white South Africans was just as remarkable. Don’t believe me, then ask them. I have. There are a hell of a lot of them here now.

                      Nobody wanted to fight (and die) for apartheid anymore, strikes broke out in the South African Army on the slightest pretext. White South African troops would refuse to leave their barracks if their colour TV wasn’t big enough. Or mess house menu wasn’t varied enough. In the end they barely left the barracks at all.

                      With no reliable enforcers the whole edifice crumbled.

                      Oh, and yes, before I forget it, our anti-nuclear policy which you said never “amounted to a hill of beans.”

                      A policy that the US has been trying to water down ever since it was first imposed. And is a sore point of discussion raised by US political leaders whenever they meet our leadership. Remember National Party leader of the time Don Brash promising the Americans that this policy “Would be gone by lunchtime”. And now how John Key is now preparing to do a rerun of the USS Buchanan gambit in November as the thin end of the wedge to water this policy down.

                      And you are completely wrong that this policy wasn’t threatening to spread. Panicked, David Lange (no doubt under intense US pressure to do so) frantically claimed that, “New Zealand’s Anti-nuclear policy was not for export.”

                      But too late the genie was out of the bottle.

                      The anti-nuclear movement in Fiji was particularly strong, led by FANG the Fiji Anti-nuclear Group. Suva harbour’s sea walls were covered with Fang anti-nuclear grafiti greeting every US warship visit, no doubt much to US dismay.

                      Following New Zealand’s stand, the Fiji Labour Party led by Timoty Bavandra promised to ban nuclear ships.

                      And on being elected Bavandra’s government imposed a total ban on all nuclear warship visits to Fiji.

                      And the achievement of a Nuclear weapons Free Zone in the Pacific began to look like a very real possibility.

                      But things were not to be.

                      Enter US General Vernon Walters knows as the “Coup Master” for his role in the Chilean coup and in particular his complicity in the murder of US journalist Charles Horman dramatised in the movie “Missing” starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek.

                      The “Coup Master” General Walters flew to Suva and met with Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka.

                      Two weeks later Colonel Rubuka staged a coup storming the Fijian parliament and arresting all the Labour Government MPs. Rabuka also suppressed Fang and the union movement.

                      As well as storming parliament Colonel Rabuku sent armed troops to occupy the University of the South Pacific campus which had become a centre of antinuclear organising for the whole Pacific.

                      A hill of beans?

                      I don’t think so.

                      How to Stage a Military Coup

                      More aid came in the shape of Lieutenant-General Vernon Walters, who arrived in Suva on 30 April 1987 – two weeks after the election and two weeks before the coup. Walters had a very public career as US Ambassador to the UN and former Director of the CIA. He also had a somewhat less well-known career as a coup plotter, starting with Iran 1953 (Chapter 3) and progressing through Brazil 1964 to Chile 1973 (Chapter 6). The writing was on the wall of the arrivals hall at Nadi International Airport.

                      After a short, uncomfortable meeting with the new prime minister, General Walters moved on to hector Foreign Minister Krishna Datt about the no-nuclear-ship policy. No doubt the envoy lectured him about the American policy of ‘strategic denial’ under which Washington was determined to prevent, by whatever means necessary, South Pacific island states from entering into any foreign relationship of which the US did not approve. Next on the schedule was a protocolbusting meeting with Lieutenant-Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka; the minutes of that encounter have never been published.

                      https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=RrEtAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT167&lpg=PT167&dq=General+Vernon+Walters+Colonel+Sitiveni+Rabuka&source=bl&ots=oMpEzA7HOM&sig=7gTMPrmCCExYlpcAgE_qQhXTDtw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjN4qyVz5XNAhVFKaYKHbbfBVMQ6AEIOzAG#v=onepage&q=General%20Vernon%20Walters%20Colonel%20Sitiveni%20Rabuka&f=false

                      When Lt. Col. Sitiveni Rabuka and his military conspirators stormed Fiji’s Parliament House on May 14, the one-month-old coalition government of Prime Minister Timoci Bavadra ended abruptly. Upon taking office after the April 12 election, Bavadra (a medical doctor) instituted a progressive program of domestic and foreign policy reforms in the wake of the 17-year rule of staunchly pro-Western Sir Kamisese Ratu Mara. Domestically, Bavadra expanded medical care, resolved to protect Fijian timber resources (which were often sold by the Mara government without the owner’s consent), created an Institute for Fijian Language and Culture and promised greater access for Fijians to Fiji Development Bank loans that had been going to foreign-owned businesses. “We have done in four weeks for poor people,” said Dr. Bavadra, “what Mara’s Alliance Party could not do in 17 years”. But most controversial was the nascent government’s nonaligned foreign policy, which banned port visits by nuclear-laden warships.

                      https://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/fiji/not-so-pacific-pacific

                      Predictably the coup in Fiji put a chilling effect on the movement for a Nuclear Weapons Free Pacific. (which could have spread further to the rest of the world and quite literally have led to world wide nuclear disarmanment. A possibility you scoff at.)

              • Once was Tim

                Very true. What occurs below is probably just an an acknowledgment of defeatism (going forward), but also an admission of little dick syndrome.

                But then I should probably defer to Lanthanide’s supreme intelligence

              • greywarshark

                Bill
                +100

                and Lanthanide
                If your role is to be utterly depressing and think that everything is a waste of time then so are your comments here. If you do persist then add an interesting quote or a joke or youtube or internet link. FGS!@

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2

          Probably not but it will get us independent from importing oil and be well on the way to being a sustainable society..

          • Lanthanide 6.1.1.2.1

            How much oil do you think NZ imports to fuel our power plants?

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Good point. I was thinking overall with a good building program we could become energy independent and also not require burning valuable scarce resources for power.

              Still, it would put us on the way to full energy independence. We do, after all, import gas for some of our power plants. I recall that the last Labour led government had to change the law to allow it to happen before the private investors would build them. Now we have them.

        • Don't worry. Be happy 6.1.1.3

          What if other countries look at NZ powering its wonderful lifestyle on renewables and say “If they can do it we can too”? Maybe this is how we make a difference.

  7. johnm 7

    Just some thoughts. 97 98 and 2015 2016 are both anomalous periods due to powerful el ninos. As your bull’s eye graph shows the overall trend is upwards to an increasingly warmer world. There is also the consideration that the oceans have absorbed a huge amount of heat which caused many to believe that climate change had stalled.
    What is the Troposphere? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troposphere

    Unfortunately a small dip in a graph doesn’t signify good news. I’m like the rest of you this subject is intimidating . 🙁

  8. Poission 8

    and all the stories like polar bears desperately eating sea birds and their eggs

    Well they had their hands out in socialist times too.

    http://rarehistoricalphotos.com/feeding-polar-bears-tank-1950/

  9. One Two 9

    Talking about it ad nauseum, will not help

    Living in fear, will not help

    Voting, will not help

    Figure out what will help, and focus on that

    • Molly 9.1

      “Talking about it ad nauseum, will not help”
      Talking about it sincerely, with those who you have relationships with or contact with, may provide information where it has been scarce, and concern where there is currently disregard.

      “Living in fear, will not help”
      But it might help you prioritise.

      “Voting, will not help”
      But a cynical look at what you are asked to vote for, may make people demand change.

      “Figure out what will help, and focus on that”
      People are diverse, and so are their triggers and change motivators. Let everyone work to their own strengths, and stop looking for simple answers. If someone finds extra energy for transitional climate change projects by working for environmental politicians, or talking to others – then who are you to say that it doesn’t help?

      It helps them, and that perhaps gives them more resources to help others.

      Direct your criticism for those who know and are in positions of influence and power – and who still do nothing.

      (Politicians come to mind, along with some industry leaders and media commentators.)

      • Rosie 9.1.1

        +1 Molly.

      • One Two 9.1.2

        My comments were not criticism, Molly. They were direct statements regarding the continual beating of the same drum

        Figure out what does help and focus on that…..your examples illustrate what I was actually saying

        Thanks

        • weka 9.1.2.1

          ah, but then your comment focussed on what you are saying does’nt help instead of on what does 😉 Kind of.

          I agree with you, but I can see why some people, myself included, didn’t get that from the original comment.

          I’d love to see more discussion on doing what helps. Can we do that now?

          • Bill 9.1.2.1.1

            I think I’m correct in saying that transport represents about 40% of our energy related emissions. (I need to check on that). Anyway. I’ve a post coming up through the week outlining a strategy that will absolutely bring transport emissions to zero in the space of the next 15 years and simultaneously set us on the right course in other sectors. And the poor or low emitters (kind of synonymous) don’t get unduly hammered.

            • weka 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Sweet.

              Is that transport of all kinds (eg food miles)?

              • Pat

                http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/energy/energy-data-modelling/publications/energy-in-new-zealand/Energy%20-in-New-Zealand-2015.pdf

                the answer to your questions contained in link…..is worth noting that essentially 60% of energy consumed in NZ is provided by oil and gas, only 25% by electricity.

                • Bill

                  Transport also represents over 40 percent of New Zealand’s greenhouse gases from the energy sector. according to the Ministry of Transport. (and about 20% of total emissions).

                  http://www.transport.govt.nz/ourwork/climatechange/

                  The date of publication isn’t entirely clear, but given that they present info in an obvious form, unlike the mbie link (no fcking surprises there) it’ll do as a working figure….except aviation and shipping ought to be added.

                  • weka

                    ok, so land transport from all sectors accounts for 40% of all our energy emissions?

                    • Bill

                      Well, sort of. Aviation and shipping sit entirely separate and aren’t accounted for in government stats that get submitted to the IPCC and other such like bodies. So all transport would equate to something above 40% (I’m assuming that appropriate farm machinery is counted into transport and not agriculture)

                      edit – for the sake of the scenario I have in mind, the actual percentage only needs to be indicative. But I’ll be working on the basis of all transport – ie road, rail, agriculture, shipping and aviation.

                    • Bill

                      Thanks for that Paul.

                      I went on a wee dig though available links for an idea of what NZ was actually doing or proposing- and really wished I hadn’t. Nothing at all on mitigation. Everything spun like a corporate mission statement.

                      Off the back of an apparent likely one degree increase in temps by 2050 meaning fewer frost days and more sunny days – I fucking kid you not – we get the following…

                      Adaptation is the process of preparing for and adapting to the impact of these changes on our economy, environment, infrastructure and way of life, in order to minimise the risks and maximise the opportunities.

                      Sounds to me like an ex WINZ wonk is writing this shite. And…I can’t do any more of this tonight. If you want your soul destroyed, just go read through where our government’s at.

                      http://www.climatechange.govt.nz/physical-impacts-and-adaptation/

                  • Pat

                    Sadly you are right…..not even once over lightly, one wonders how any working for these departments can bring themselves to publish such utter crap.

        • Molly 9.1.2.2

          “My comments were not criticism, Molly. They were direct statements regarding the continual beating of the same drum”
          Sorry, interpreted it wrongly… All good.

          However, I think we need to allow for some differences in approach and keep criticism and negativity for the power brokers and people who in spite of their large circles of influence and access to other choices continue BAU.

          Those working in more limited spheres of influence, have the ability to try, review and try something new, and kudos to all of them for doing so.

          Although it might not seem an immediately efficient way of dealing with the transition to climate change, the benefits of allowing people to gather their own personal energies in a way that they can replenish it when they need to – is a good practice, and can allow more flexibility and innovation.

    • Bill 9.2

      Not burning fossil would help.
      Not going to your place of work – your job – ever again would help.
      Not paying off your debts would help.

      You want that I focus on that? I mean, I’ve obviously thought it through – have focused on what will help – and have reached reasonable conclusions.

      But if I just jump straight to those things, people don’t think about it and dismiss those things as being out of hand, unrealistic or impossible. I mean, fuck, even just laying out the facts of the situation meets with brick walls. It’s hard getting people to know those things that they simply don’t want to know.

      Back in the day when I was much more of a political activist, I used to naively think that ‘if just people knew’, then people would change; the world would change. It didn’t take long to realise that people acted on faith and belief, rather than on facts.

      So how do you get people to abandon their faith?

      • stunned mullet 9.2.1

        “Back in the day when I was much more of a political activist, I used to naively think that ‘if just people knew’, then people would change; the world would change. It didn’t take long to realise that people acted on faith and belief, rather than on facts.

        So how do you get people to abandon their faith?”

        There’s just been a thread on vaccination which ran to over two hundred comments with persons fighting over the “facts” , sadly many people will choose to ignore the scientific evidence/consensus until such time as it bites them personally in the bum.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1.1

          Stop the press! National Party supporter pays lip service to knowledge.

          • Stunned mullet 9.2.1.1.1

            I think you’re a bit confused if you think I support the Nats.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1.1.1.1

              I think you’re a bit confused about the meaning of the word “support”; exhibit a: your stream of comments that are “supportive” of the National Party.

              • Stunned mullet

                I think you’re confusing poking the delusional negative nellies at The Standard with a stick with support for the government.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You must be a SPLITTER! Watch you don’t get yourself purged if you keep this up.

      • One Two 9.2.2

        Hi Bill,

        I know from your comments and posts that you understand well the root cause problems created by the established systems which people take as necessary to life

        Breaking down why people continue to work towards their own destruction and the esistence of most species on this planet, is spent energy

        Ababdoning faiths can apply to any and every point of view held, including views most would rudicule

        Why are we here….who are we

      • weka 9.2.3

        Back in the day when I was much more of a political activist, I used to naively think that ‘if just people knew’, then people would change; the world would change. It didn’t take long to realise that people acted on faith and belief, rather than on facts.

        So how do you get people to abandon their faith?

        For some it’s belief over fact (all of us to some degree). For others it’s not that at all. I know people who understand CC, they just don’t know what to do. Including many here on ts.

        I think we need to keep on with the facts, and then address people’s concerns at the level of their beliefs eg if they believe that addressing cc means living a squalid life, there are facts there to address but also fears. Until those fears are addressed then people wont’ change. Facts won’t do it alone, nor will framing those fears as faith that need to be abandoned. People will change their beliefs when that change makes sense to them (or ultimately when circumstance forces them).

        This is why while I agree that people abandoning their jobs is a valid and potent act, I don’t think it’s a realisitic call until the way that that can be done is shown so that people know they won’t starve. It’s not enough on its own to say do X. People need reassurance and a path.

        • Molly 9.2.3.1

          “People need reassurance and a path.”
          +100.

          When people have concrete examples of alternative choices resulting in good (or better!) outcomes in terms of quality of lifestyles, relationships and/or community, then those choices change from being too hard to possible options.

          • weka 9.2.3.1.1

            thanks Molly. I’d like to do some posts on that, so please keep reminding me! and putting forward your thoughts.

        • marty mars 9.2.3.2

          I tend to think that changes have to happen now. People have to make the changes that they can. Waiting for some moment or movement or pathway is going to be too late. The physical and mental adjustment needed takes time. Do it and do it now because it will be 100 times harder to do later.

          • weka 9.2.3.2.1

            So if we, who understand the situation, don’t help those who are afraid and feeling powerless, how will they know what to do?

            • marty mars 9.2.3.2.1.1

              Maybe leading by example is the answer. Showing what to do even though we all feel powerless and scared. Ultimately personal choices will need to be made and they won’t be easy as we know but they will be essential both physically and mentally.

              • weka

                true, although I don’t think we have the time to rely on that alone. Hence my suggestion that we lead the way on explaining what people can do, eg in this instance how they can manage emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Lots of people don’t have the skills yet to manage the fear and despair around climate change. They need to be given the tools to learn how to cope with that, in the same way that we could want to give tools and support to anyone under mental health stress. If all they get is the scarey news and a message telling them they have to change, I think lots of them will end up in cognitive dissonance and not act.

                • I think takes a lot for people to make changes – better the devil we know and all that with the spectre of loss aversion too. If people want to make changes they will. Showing them the benefits short and long term is worthwhile and I support that. I feel that as the time to make any meaningful changes shortens paradoxically the harder it is to make changes.

    • Lanthanide 9.3

      Nothing, until its too late.

      • Bill 9.3.1

        What if it’s already too late in terms of a 2 degrees temperature rise? What if it’s already too late for the future viability of society and civilisation because tipping points have been passed?

        That would mean that you’re on board with searching for the right things to do and acting, yes?

        I’m curious as to why that wouldn’t also be the case if, on the off-chance, it’s not too late. Can you enlighten me?

        • Lanthanide 9.3.1.1

          “That would mean that you’re on board with searching for the right things to do and acting, yes?”

          Nope, I think civilization is doomed, so I’m being completely selfish. I’ll take 8 more years of BAU over massive power-down and unrelenting lower lifestyles starting tomorrow, if it means all of that stuff is delayed by 8 years.

          • Bill 9.3.1.1.1

            Relentlessly stupid would be closer to the mark than ‘completely selfish’. You don’t even know what a ‘lower lifestyle’ is, do you? To you it probably entails something along the lines of fewer flashy gadgets and ‘nights at the opera’.

            In other words, you’re desperate to hang on to an environment where lifestyles really can’t go any lower; that can only offer a degenerated sense of humanity sunk and struggling beneath a particularly sickening miasma of smash and trivia.

            • marty mars 9.3.1.1.1.1

              + 1 Bill. The attitude of selfishness is always distasteful and sad to me. Pathetic that some are so far gone they see me me me as some way of riding into the future. Those people are and will drag us all down if we let them – I have very little sympathy for them. Attitudes like theirs have caused the shitstorm we face – the weakest among us are them.

    • Rosie 9.4

      Disagree with you One Two. As weka rightly points out, fear is an excellent motivator. Fear is a primal emotion that sharpens our senses and responses, preparing us for fight or flight.

      I say we fight. That includes voting. Also for fighting on the side of nature. Think about how you live your life, how you travel, how you consume. Human lifestyles, as well as industrial activity contributes to climate change.

      Figure out how you contribute and focus on that 🙂

    • Draco T Bastard 9.5

      Why are you out to dis-empower people?

  10. infused 10

    Stop worrying about it then. Nothing much is going to change until it really starts biting us in the ass.

    Then you will see a lot of money and development go in to the problem.

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      By then it will be too late.

      • infused 10.1.1

        It’s too late no matter what we do. What everyone fails to grasp is that it’s out of your control.

    • Jenny Kirk 10.2

      Not with this government, you won’t. If they’re denying it publicly, they’ll be denying it privately too – and it won’t happen to them !

      • infused 10.2.1

        We hardly matter on the world stage.

        • Sans Cle 10.2.1.1

          You hardly matter on the world stage either Infused, yet I am sure you matter in your own private universe. Your private world is dependent on the “world stage”.

    • Paul 10.3

      Learn the story of the Rapanui

  11. Smilin 11

    This govts excuses for 8 years not to recognise with sincerity that we have a problem and its not going away unless we do something other than try and extract money from it which is what industrialist and monetarists and agriculturalists do under the watchful eye of the world’s controlling climate change deniers ,the US Fed Res etc
    The lies that are still being told and getting traction once again with the 2 most dangerous candidates running for office in the US
    Climate change has been the biggest problem for the industrialised world since WW2
    And as no one is doing enough even the most optimistic feel the world is on the road to hell with govts of the ignorant and fucking useless. really what hope is there unless they all drop dead and we can gets some sense of value that isn’t controlled by these useless upholders of those who think this shit they are doing is just fine
    It will correct itself like the famous free market doctrine and we saw how thats turned out
    yeah fucking right and God help us all
    And gets some people in govt who do know how to deal with the problem and make it happen

  12. Sans Cle 12

    I’ve recently re-read Bill Bryson’s -‘Short History of Nearly Everything’, and take comfort in the fact that human extinction is inevitable. What I despair about is that we take all other/most other adapting and evolving species with us – through our stupidity and greed. But life on earth will persist. It just will be different (and not have us humans).
    Stephen Petranek has a good Ted Book discussion on How we will live on Mars within 25 years (sorry can’t source free online version)…….which would extend our human history for a bit longer – until greed trashed that place and its resource rich satellites.
    (There’s even a brochure /sarc)
    It’s the neo-colonialisation process – at which humans excel. Pity about the rest of us who live their lives more gently!
    These two books have made me despair about Climate Change less; do not fill me with hope, but enable me to manage my frustration that I feel against the “system”.

    I also think it’s time to give up hope on, or leaving it to, collective (so-called) representative governments to solve – the problem will be solved (temporarily) at a local level, so we should dust off our philosophical anarchy textbooks to find strategies.

  13. locus 13

    i’m guessing most people commenting on this post will know about this recently published summary of NZ’s greenhouse gas emissions

    http://www.mfe.govt.nz/sites/default/files/media/Climate%20Change/greenhouse-gas-inventory-snapshot-2016.pdf

    i’ve only just read it, and it makes me think…

    – NZ must find agricultural alternatives to the use of fertilisers and the production of meat and dairy. imo it’s definitely worth making a stand on this, but there’s still overseas demand which would be met by others…

    – switching our domestic diet away from meat and dairy might help, but it’s difficult to change what people want to eat, and also this would leave a surplus likely to be exported…

    – getting a rock solid multi-party commitment to switching our electricity production to non-fossil fuels within the next 20 years?

    – similarly, multi-party commitment to switch NZ away from cars, buses and trucks powered by fossil fuels?

    • b waghorn 13.1

      https://farmersweekly.co.nz/topic/genetics-and-science/view/green-grass-hits-hurdle

      Every greenys keen on science when it pushes their agenda, maybe they should except a bit of practical science to look for remedies.

      • locus 13.1.1

        Farmers Weekly is probably not the best source to use in proposing an untested genetically modified rye grass with huge claims about how much methane will be reduced during rumination

        I think with GM you have to look at every topic case by case, and also look as widely as you can into all the possible risks.

        The FW article you quoted conveniently omits any discussion on effects of GM on other plant species (e.g. becoming invasive) and the possible transfer of traits from one species to another – with potentially harmful effects on human health (e.g. transferring allergenic properties to other species)

        • Andre 13.1.1.1

          The problem is the Greens have a blanket knee-jerk total ban on GM. Not any kind of nuanced case by case consideration of the merits.

          “Some of the Green’s research priorities include climate change, environmental issues, biotechnology (non-GE), organics, renewable and efficient energy, sustainable transport, waste minimisation, conservation, alternative economics, work and technological change. ”

          https://home.greens.org.nz/policysummary/research-science-and-technology-policy-summary

          Which is one of the reasons I need my full haz-mat suit on when I go to the polling booth and tick the box for the Greens.

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1

            Are there some specific GM crops you particularly like?

            • Andre 13.1.1.1.1.1

              None yet for NZ. But I think the problem we’re facing is so big that we shouldn’t refuse to consider something that might help. And just maybe, after careful checking, that GM ryegrass b linked to might be the first one I would agree with using in NZ.

              • Colonial Viper

                Look, until some GMO comes along as a solution that nothing else can even begin to approach, it should stay on the shelf in a Monsanto lab in Texas.

                Don’t tinker with this shit for the sake of it. We don’t know what the long term ecosystem effects of releasing these organisms in the wild will be.

                • Andre

                  Other people have offered themselves and their ecosystems as guinea pigs. So far none of the predicted horrors have eventuated. Many of the more rational predictions have borne out, such as insects becoming able to eat Bt corn, and weeds developing roundup resistance. So many of the important lessons have been learned by others, should we choose to learn from their example.

                  It’s not a case of tinkering with it for the sake of it. It’s about developing solutions that help us overcome problems. Monsanto has no interest in developing solutions to New Zealand specific issues, so we need to do it ourselves. So why deny ourselves a powerful tool? Particularly when the experience of others can teach us a lot about how to control it and avoid the hazards.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Introducing possums and gorse seemed to go well for a few years as well mate. The bright sparks of the day thought they had it all figured out.

                    Systemic, self reproducing and irreversible damage to the ecosystem as a result of some GM organism behaving in an unexpected way is the biggest danger that we face.

                    • Andre

                      That “systemic, self-reproducing and irreversible damage” boogeyman has been used as a scare tactic since at least the 70s when researchers were trying to get pines to fix their own nitrogen. I’m not aware of any GMOs going out of control, but there have been plenty of non-GMO organisms become serious invasive pests in the same timeframe. I’m comfortable that due to the much greater scrutiny and risk-assessment that will be carried out on GMOs, that the threat from properly assessed GMOs isn’t substantially different to non-GMOs. The threat is the introduction of a new organsim much more than whether or not it is GM.

                      The greatest actual damage from GMOs I’m aware of is GMO genetics mingling with wild and primitive corn stocks in Mexico (which I understand was already happening from “conventionally” bred corn), and more of the same kind of suppressing wildlife we already get with non-GMO pesticide and fertilizer monoculture. I fully expect everyone involved in assessing a proposed release to fully consider aspects like that, as well as how the GM was done and the risk of genetic transfer to other organisms.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hi Andre, you’re a smart person, but you’re being somewhat naive in the field of this technology.

                      That “systemic, self-reproducing and irreversible damage” boogeyman has been used as a scare tactic since at least the 70s when researchers were trying to get pines to fix their own nitrogen.

                      A “scare tactic”? You can only use the term “scare tactic” when there is no real underlying risk associated with the introduction of brand new organisms to a brand new environment. Otherwise it is simply lazy thinking. Possums, pines and gorse in NZ show what the truth actually is.

                      Further, you reveal how short term your thinking is. Nothing bad (that we know of) has happened over the last 45 years so that proves…what? That the past is going to predict the future?

                      Basically, demonstrate there is some critical and intractable problem that only GMOs can solve, then demonstrate that GMOs can actually solve the problem in reality, and then we can talk about it.

                      Otherwise you are simply greenlighting an immature technology in search of a problem to apply it to.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Also, your belief in scientists ability to assess the potential risks and damage of what they don’t know that they don’t know is, for lack of a better term, garbage.

                      Over and over again scientists, bureaucrats and academics figure out their fuck ups long after the fact, and only once enough damage to be noticeable to them has been done.

                      This process of figuring things out in this way is then called “progress.”

                  • Andre – we already have the ability to develop powerful tools and pride ourselves in being “no.8 wire New Zealanders” who have built an agricultural industry on our own ingenuity. This yearning for genetically-modification is not “us”, it’s “them”. We have done without it, we can do without it, easily. In its absence, we will develop excellent and manageable pastoral technologies that won’t carry the well-documented risks that genetic engineering carries. The overseas experience is reported by both sides and reports conflict significantly. There’s too much doubt, to much oppportunity for harm. The Precautionary Principle should prevail, but the purveyors of the Product will try to extinguish it. More fool us if we let them.

                • greywarshark

                  Colonial viper
                  Perhaps like the Triffids in the Day of the Triffids. These plants produced a valuable oil and were specially bred and kept harmless in large farms. They had a rudimentary walking system, gravitate to noise and habitation and whip people with shoots loaded with neuro toxins or something that stopped the heart with shock. And then waited for you to decompose so they could draw you up with their roots, blood and bone fertiliser.

                  Wyndham wrote some good well plotted science fantasy stories after his WW2 stint.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yes I particularly enjoyed reading The Day of the Triffids.

                    The sci fi theme of humans thinking they are clever enough to keep all their little genies safely bottled up all of the time is a common one.

                    Not one we seemed to have learnt from however.

                    The confluence of very powerful AI with highly mobile robotics is another area that I believe that we are going to regret (especially given the sci-fi series my pseudonym is drawn from).

        • Robert Guyton 13.1.1.2

          locus has it right. The push from the Feds (that’s you, Dr William Rolleston) is bullish and exactly what you’d expect from an ideologically-driven sector that seeks to make money from its innovations.

      • People from every corner cite science as their authority, b waghorn, when it suits. You don’t think ‘greenys’ (sic) except (sic) accept a bit of science when looking for remedies? I’m a greeny and clasp science to my bosom, especially when I’m looking for remedies and from talking to greenies/greenys and Greens, I’ve believe they all do the same, mostly.

  14. RedLogix 14

    Well I just purchased two of these:

    http://dillengerelectricbikes.com.au/electric-bike-kits/bbs-hd1000-bafang-mid-drive-by-bafang.html

    I actually have to detune it in order to be technically legal in Australia, but given I want reliability more than power that’s not a bad thing.

    Basically these things are a gamechanger in e-bikes. The mid-drive mounted motor means the bike handles normally; it has enough power to make most hills, head-winds go away, and repeatedly acelerating away from traffic lights is a lot less effort.

    And while they still aren’t cheap, they are reasonably affordable. Haven’t actually mounted one yet, but it doesn’t look too difficult if you’ve any experience doing your own bike maintenance.

    • infused 14.1

      E-Bikes a very cool. Few places in NZ making them.

    • Ad 14.2

      I’d be interested to see if it’s a game changer for your traveling life.

      We have great bikes but hardly ever use them other than on the weekends.

    • Bill 14.3

      That’s some fairly expensive gadgetry you’ve opted for there RL! A generous rele from over the waters helped me get an e-bike with a rear mounted motor. Balance and handling is fine (there was no way I was getting a front wheel drive).

      Rises and headwinds ‘disappear’ and hills ‘level out’. An approximate 50km round trip to town at a steady and easy 25 km/h (30km/h if I want to move my legs faster 😉 ) is undertaken regularly… and I’m far from fit.

      I suspect the price will crash.

      I’ve looked at e-bikes about twice the price of mine and to be honest, the only difference would appear to be the fact that the more expensive ones have some brand recognition or fashion kudos attached – but then, many in the biking community appear to be willing fashion victims.

      What’s with all that bloody lycra! The look on the faces of all those ‘serious’ lycra clad cyclists who chase me down (they do that) kind of supplies me an endless source of mirth. It’s like they can’t compute how a person just dressed in clothes and carrying a loaded pannier, can be effortlessly cruising along while they have to pace, chase and call on their fitness to close that gap. Maybe I should start asking for donations for acting as their pacer?

      Anyway…e bikes and e cigarettes – the way of the future 🙂

      • RedLogix 14.3.1

        That’s some fairly expensive gadgetry you’ve opted for there RL

        As I said … still not cheap, but at the moment they are by far the best value mid-drive on the market. Way cheaper than the much lower powered Bosch units.

        I’ve looked at e-bikes about twice the price of mine

        Agreed. Many are ridiculously over-priced for what they are. A bolt-on kit like these Bafangs can deliver 2 -3 times the performance and range at 1/2 the price.

        This is a market that is still far from mature; there’s a LOT of innovation going on out there and I fully expect there’ll be some big improvements in performance and price over the next five years.

        But on the other hand the rate at which I’m getting slower and the motors are getting faster are probably cancelling each other out now 🙂

        What’s with all that bloody lycra!

        I dunno … I did a bit of club racing when I was younger, and a lot of touring so I just tend to see it as normal. I wear street clothes when I’m commuting, but lycra is comfortable and functional if you’re on bike for more than an hour or so.

  15. Jenny 15

    As the rest of the biosphere undergoes complete meltdown, we could have clean rivers.

    That would be nice.

    (And we wouldn’t have to have that nasty business of taking on the whole political establishment backed up by the combined power of the fossil fuel lobby and bankrolled by the oil companies).

    Clean rivers, everyone likes that.

    Let’s do that.

    • Ad 15.1

      It’s a good policy and will be very popular – with Maori and with people who have baches.

      Smith is already unusually defensive.

  16. Your Average Voter 16

    It’s all to hard. Conflicting reports, political jargon, scientific jargon that few understand, doom gloom and all the rest of it.
    In the next 30 to 50 years we are doing to have the population rise of 2 to 4 billion people, nuclear war, police states spying on us, pandemics, no more effective antibiotics, the alpine fault going off, climate change, erosion wiping out large chunks of coastline and God knows how many animal species will become extinct while we become more obese. And of course we will all be sleeping in cars cause nobody can afford the rent so the councils will hike up parking charges………so pick your crises because there’s so many to choose from.

    So far we have been told that electric cars, self driving cars, catching a bus to work, public transport, stop eating meat, stop burning anything for heat, stop drilling for oil, use your bike, wind farms and solar etc etc will somehow save the planet.

    So I’m sitting at home in the middle of winter and told that turning on the heater is bad because it uses unrenewable electricity and wood/coal are bad. To get to work using public transport is a two bus trip that will chew up 2 hours of my day. Driving the car will only take 40 minutes but driving a car is bad. Biking is heathy but it’s damn hard to get all 3 kids on the bike and its pissing down with rain outside. Electric/petrol cars are so bloody expensive that I can’t afford one. So my second hand Toyota is bad but it’s all I can afford. Wind farms are great so long as they are in someone else’s back yard. And on and on it goes.

    So what do I do. I shut it out, throw another bucket of coal on the fire, get in my dirty petrol driven Toyota, drop the 3 kids off to school and drive to work which takes me 20 minutes. Go home at the end of the day cook up a big roast of meat on my electric oven, turn on the tv and zone out. Fuck it, global warming can be someone else’s problem today as I’ve got bills to pay, a mortgage, kids to feed and a stressful job that pays for it all. It’s called living.

    Doom, gloom, naughty stupid bad children doesn’t cut it. Make the message clear and simple, forget using jargon that no one understands, leave the political blame game out of it and offer hope with a positive way forward. Until then it’s just more static in the background 😀

    • Jenny 16.1

      “So what do I do. I shut it out, throw another bucket of coal on the fire, get in my dirty petrol driven Toyota, drop the 3 kids off to school and drive to work which takes me 20 minutes. Go home at the end of the day cook up a big roast of meat on my electric oven, turn on the tv and zone out. Fuck it, global warming can be someone else’s problem today as I’ve got bills to pay, a mortgage, kids to feed and a stressful job that pays for it all. It’s called living.
      Your Average Voter

      Without a lead from those whom we task to provide leadership, what other action can your average voter take?

      Doom, gloom, naughty stupid bad children doesn’t cut it. Make the message clear and simple, forget using jargon that no one understands, leave the political blame game out of it and offer hope with a positive way forward. Until then it’s just more static in the background.
      Your Average Voter

      Indeed

      Here it is:

      Stop Deep Sea Oil Drilling

      Cancel all new Coal Mine developments

      Allow climate refugees from the Pacifica nations free entry

      Switch the $11billon for Roads of National significance into public transport.

      Stop subsidising Solid Energy, instead use the money for a just transition to jobs that don’t fry the planet

      Close coal fired Huntly Power Station

      Construct Hauauru Ma Raki

      Make New Zealand’s electricity generation 100% renewable

      Make New Zealand a “Climate Change Leader”, (A.L.)

      Not a climate change “Fast Follower” (J.K.)

      • Your Average Voter 16.1.1

        Stop deep sea oil drilling…….I would have thought it was the use of oil/petroleum that was the problem not drilling for it. The problem being that we use oil based products in nearly everything from plastics to pharmaceuticals and right now, whether we like it or not, it is still feeds the engine of our economies and our households. That will change over time but it will be a long time coming.

        Cancel all new coal developments……..same as above and still used in a lot of product besides fuel. Most of what we have in our house comes from the ground.

        Allow climate refugees from the Pacifica nations free entry…….and where do we put them? We cant even look after what we have now. In fact to cope we need to push immigration numbers down

        Public transport still needs roads and we will always be reliant on some sort of personal transport. Interregional travel, holidays, hunting, fishing, beacing, camping, tramping etc. We are a nation of outdoors people that love travelling.

        Stop subsidising solid energy instead use the money for a just transition to jobs that don’t fry the planet…….what jobs?

        Close Huntley…..…that’s coming sooner or later anyway

        Make NZ electricity 100% renewable…….most of it is with hydro.

        Climate change leader (A.L) Not climate change follower (J.K)………politicises the issue and people entrench themselves into party lines. Neo liberal right wing bastards or looney left tree huggers. Somehow I doubt that the world would follow us no matter what we do. We are a small nation with only X amount of money. For sure try and develop our own technology as we already are, but leading the world. I don’t think so because the world has a bigger effect on us than we do on it and most New Zealanders realise this.

        I’m not saying any of this to be obtuse or even disagree with you, Jenny…………..I’m trying to demonstrate what the average voter thinks like. Most people aren’t political animals or activists and are too busy living their lives to worry about what may, or may not happen 50 to 100 years from now. Headlines don’t cut it. It has to come down to what can we actually do in our daily lives that will make a difference without either completely changing/destroying society and our lifestyles as we know them

        If the public imagination can be captured in a way that engages them instead of alienating them……..then you are onto a winner.

        • Bill 16.1.1.1

          If the public imagination can be captured in a way that engages them instead of alienating them……..then you are onto a winner.

          Would you vote for a party that offered free petrol/diesel? Serious question. Also asking it of anyone who happens by this comment.

          • Andre 16.1.1.1.1

            Me, no. Unless the rest of their platform was a work of genius I can’t currently imagine.

        • Corokia 16.1.1.2

          It’s not 50 to 100 years from now. People dying in floods in Paris and Texas. The ocean taking out houses in NSW. Remember the massive fire in Canada? Climate change is happening already, but the MSM (owned by those making billions out of BAU) are not joining the dots when reporting the ever increasing number of extreme weather events. The ‘average voter’ is being deliberately distracted and misled.

  17. Muttonbird 17

    The new Labour Green MOU must not get bogged down in CC stats like this. The Nats will have a field day.

    I know Jenny on another thread expressed disappointment that the Greens conference didn’t promote global CC issues, but instead highlighted local green issues such as water quality in rivers.

    I think this is the correct course of action in order to create a Labour Green government because lets be frank, self interested middle Kiwis do not engage with CC science. They are an extremely dumb horse which must be led to the CC water via something which their dumb selves can understand – and that is the local environment which they use during their leisure time.

    I think it’s good that the Labour Green MOU has finally understood this.

    • Bill 17.1

      They are an extremely dumb horse which must be led to the CC water via something which their dumb selves can understand –

      Would free petrol/diesel be something they might understand and relate to?

      • Muttonbird 17.1.1

        Don’t know what you mean, Bill.

        I think two things have happened in the MOU.

        One is that Labour and Greens have responded to the accusation by the right and the middle of NZ that they are in disagreement and pulling in different directions.

        The other is the move away from outright global CC stats to something the dumb, monied, middle electorate can understand and that is water quality in their holiday spots.

        It’s quite clear Middle/Right NZ doesn’t care one bit about NZ’s reputation in CC policy and clean status so the MOU has correctly placed that behind the items they will be engaged by.

        • Bill 17.1.1.1

          It’s just an honest question and a serious one. Do you think an undertaking to provide everyone with free petrol and diesel – to give people all their petrol and diesel for free – do you think it would attract votes?

          • Muttonbird 17.1.1.1.1

            Yes, it would attract the votes of some. Without further explanation I still don’t know where this idea is leading.

            • Bill 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, sorry to be a tease. There’s a post coming up during the week that’ll make things clear. For now, I’m curious about the answer to that simple proposition. (I mean, I’d suspect people would jump at it – but I want to know what others think).

              • Colonial Viper

                You get free petrol/diesel – but it’s in the form of a rationing coupon or similar.

                • Bill

                  No CV. You get free petrol/diesel. There are no coupons or what not. It’s basically straight forward and I’m kind of not up for playing parlour games of guess ‘n tell. The entire scenario will be posted.

              • Pat

                everyone….including business and industry?

                • Bill

                  Everyone or thing within all the transport sectors – road, rail, air and sea. But for voting purposes, consider every voter…you, your neighbour, the guy down the street and the woman over the road.

    • b waghorn 17.2

      +100 to the greens keeping it simple .
      I’m not sure dumb is the correct term , willfully ignorant , powerless and a little scared maybe.

      • Muttonbird 17.2.1

        I think the MOU is a step in the right direction and deliberately answers the question that the last Nat campaign asked of middle voters.

        That is, are the socially conscious left united?

        Looks like the MOU also centralised some of the framing of Green policy which IMO diluted the message from the collective socially conscious left, i.e. the one which could deliver a change of government. That message is largely based around social policy, not environmental policy.

        I am not saying overall global climate change concerns are not valid and important, they are and will increasingly become so, but charity begins at home.

        The Kiwis that vote middle/right are wilfully ignorant of global CC matters, but they want to swim at a clean beach, by god!

        • corokia 17.2.1.1

          Beach lovers won’t be able to ignore climate change for much longer
          http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/305699/'unbelievable'-storm-batters-australia

          • weka 17.2.1.1.1

            Incredible.


            “It was pretty scary. It all happened pretty quickly,” he said.

            On Sunday night, a number of sinkholes opened up along the foreshore and emergency services worked into the night to save the homes.

            One local resident, David, said the erosion was immense.

            “There is no beach at Collaroy,” he said. “I wouldn’t be calling it Collaroy Beach anymore, I’d be calling it Collaroy Point.”

            I note that the desalination plant that was shut down from storm damage last Dec won’t be repaired until later in the year.

            http://www.sydneydesal.com.au/faqs/#happening

            How much of NZ’s critical infrastructure has been analysed for climate change damage?

            • corokia 17.2.1.1.1.1

              Under this government??? Sadly you must be joking.
              They are too busy planning for more tourism, more dairying etc.

              • b waghorn

                Wait till national s core voters start seeing their “bachs” falling into the ocean , they’ll want action then.

                • weka

                  I have to admit to a bit of schadenfreude at some of the Sydney storm pictures. All those mansions with a good view of the ocean.

              • weka

                I was thinking more about local government. That Sydney has sink holes open up under the sand and collapse seawalls and cliffs should be a bit wake up call for NZ authorities. Dunedin has been battling that for a long time with the city beaches but I don’t think they’ve had a huge storm like that that takes out big chunks of land suddenly.

        • b waghorn 17.2.1.2

          Mr Shaw came across terrifically on henry this morning, this rivers thing of theirs is gold.
          henry said ” I think I’m going green” and said wade able was not good enough for our rivers. 🙂

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