Hot hotter hottest

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, September 15th, 2015 - 102 comments
Categories: climate change, International, john key, leadership - Tags: , , ,

Plenty of distractions in the political circus at the moment, but meanwhile:

2015 and 2016 set to break global heat records, says Met Office

Next two years likely to be hottest recorded as the world’s climate reaches major turning point…

The world’s climate has reached a major turning point and is set to deliver record-breaking global temperatures in 2015 and 2016, according to a new report from the UK Met Office.

Natural climate cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans are reversing and will amplify the strong manmade-driven global warming, the report concludes. This will change weather patterns around the world including more heatwaves … “We will look back on this period as an important turning point,” said Professor Adam Scaife, who led the Met Office analysis. “That is why we are emphasising it, because there are so many big changes happening at once. This year and next year are likely to be at, or near, record levels of warming.”

The record for the hottest year was broken in 2014, when heatwaves scorched China, Russia, Australia and parts of South America. But, despite rising greenhouse gas emissions continuing to trap more heat on Earth, the last decade has seen relatively slow warming of air temperatures, dubbed a “pause” in climate change by some.

In fact, global warming had not paused at all. Instead, natural climate cycles led to more of the trapped heat being stored in the oceans. Now, according to the Met Office report, all the signs are that the pause in rising air temperatures is over and the rate of global warming will accelerate fast in coming years.

The warning comes ahead of a crunch UN summit in Paris in November at which the world’s nations must hammer out a deal to halt climate change. …

Consistent with the sort of “leadership” we have come to expect from Key, apparently we are doing our bit and: “Close the lights down on NZ and it wouldn’t make a difference”. If it doesn’t affect us in “the next year or two” it doesn’t matter. Makes one proud to be a Kiwi:

Clean, green NZ falls behind Australia on climate change

Even the carbon tax-scrapping Australians will do more than New Zealand to address climate change…

Newly released figures on nine countries and regions show New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pledges are the second weakest. Only Canada will take a less ambitious goal to the United Nations December climate change conference in Paris, according to a table by independent think-tank The Climate Institute.

Brilliant.

102 comments on “Hot hotter hottest”

  1. Macro 1

    Yep we are not even a “fast follower” simply a laggard and all the puff and wind about our “wonderful ETS” is shown to be just a scam with all the worthless Carbon Credits brought in from dubious sources off shore.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/environment/news/article.cfm?c_id=39&objectid=11510955&ref=rss
    This Govt makes me ashamed to be a NZer.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Do we have any major political parties which are now advocating for an end to economic growth and a reduction in household and business consumption?

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Not yet.

    • Macro 2.2

      Yes we do.
      https://home.greens.org.nz/policy/economic
      It does state specifically “end to economic growth” – such an end is implicit in “sustainability”.

      • weka 2.2.1

        It’s like people haven’t even bothered reading the GP’s documentation. Or they don’t understand what they are reading.

      • Bill 2.2.2

        “It does state specifically “end to economic growth””

        Really? I mean, call me a cynic, but all I’m getting from that link is ‘not quite business as usual “business as usual”‘. The market remains central, but somehow ‘nicer’.

        The basics are that the profit motive demands growth. Taking away the profit motive would be a head shot to the market economy. Now, apart from some different economic measurements and some nice sounding words, where is the intention to ‘pull the trigger’? And where is the economic vision for a future where the profit motive is obsolete and systemically or institutionally buried in such a way that it can never return?

        • weka 2.2.2.1

          The GP have been trying to have this conversation for a long time. They can’t do it on 10 or 11% of the vote.

          If you want to understand what they are on about, read the policy in the context of the other documents including the charter and other policies. Then go back and look at the Values Party and where all this came from, and how the GP has fared in the intervening years. Then explain how the GP could start talking in 2015 about pulling the trigger and who in NZ would agree with them, let alone vote for them. Seriously, I’d like to know, please be specific about the who.

          • weka 2.2.2.1.1

            All the lefties complaining that no party supports degrowth, tell me how you’ve been voting since the 1970s.

            Values Party policies included campaigns against nuclear power and armaments, advocating zero-population and -economic growth,

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Values_Party

          • Bill 2.2.2.1.2

            This is the ‘same old, same old’. So the priority is coming up with vote winning shit. That means nothing will change…not ever. Meh – fine. Vote Green.

            • weka 2.2.2.1.2.1

              bullshit. Stop misinterpreting what I am saying. If you want to play a game of duality, then I’ll just assume that your position is that the GP should give up their seats in parliament and become pure. See how useless that reductionist shit is?

          • Bill 2.2.2.1.3

            btw Why ‘can’t’ they have such a conversation (assuming they actually want it) on 10 or 11% of the vote? And if they can’t have it on 10 or 11%, then why would they be all keen to have it on 30 or 40% when they would have far more to lose by ‘rocking the boat’?

            • weka 2.2.2.1.3.1

              Well they could, but they’re run the risk of having less ability to influence change.

              I know you want a radical left wing voice, but as I’ve been saying, if you wanted the GP to be that, the lefties should have been voting for them when they were a radical party, not now when they had to find a way of effecting change without those votes.

              “And if they can’t have it on 10 or 11%, then why would they be all keen to have it on 30 or 40% when they would have far more to lose by ‘rocking the boat’?

              It’s statements like that that make me think you really have no idea what the GP is or what it does. If you look at climate change, where they started and where we are now, it’s obvious that two things have happened that allow them to be the only party standing up and saying “climate change is not just the most important issue of our time, it’s the most important issue of all time”. One is that they’ve shifted public understanding of the importance of CC. The other is that they’ve increased their vote. They’re the most radical voice on CC we have in parliament, and they’ve done that while increasing their vote. I trust them. I trust that they figured out from long experience and lots of work how to do that.

              Which is why I have no trouble believing that were they to get to 30%, they would get more radical on CC not less. This is because they’re still true to their principles of sustainability and what that really means (that’s obvious if you look). They can’t drag the rest of the country there one go, so they’re leading them there via talk about green growth and electric cars (except in everything they say, they’re not actually saying that). But if you look at that latest CC plan, it’s all there, the way to get NZ, as it is, to change.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.2.1.4

            The GP have been trying to have this conversation for a long time. They can’t do it on 10 or 11% of the vote.

            They don’t need more % vote to propose in public what they already know to be necessary in private.

            • weka 2.2.2.1.4.1

              They do if they want to remain in parliament at the level they are now.

              • sabine

                so you suggest that they lie in order to get elected?

                really?

                • weka

                  No, I haven’t said that, and that’s not what they are doing. Have you read their policies comprehensively? How about the CC plan Shaw released a few weeks ago? Where’s the lying? Be specific.

                • Alethios

                  It’s not a question of lying. People have been shouting at the top of their lungs that the end is coming for decades – see how far that’s got them.

                  The Green Party is the political wing of a movement for change. It’s not interested in firebrand politics, but systematically educating and influencing public opinion to the point where something meaningful can be done on the national level (meanwhile plenty of members are quietly going about making tha change in their own lives, and in their communities already).

                  Change starts where we are now, and plenty of groundwork still needs to be laid before people can truly understand where we’re headed – one way or another.

                  • weka

                    thank-you, that’s a very good explanation.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Time for that smoothly easing in preparatory work ran out a decade (or two) ago. The plane is in a flat spin, the altimeter reads under 10,000, there isn’t really time for the cabin crew to keep pretending that dinner will be served so as to avoid upsetting the passengers and maintaining the comforting facade that the ‘brace position’ will save lives.

                    • Alethios

                      In a way, I agree with you. As individuals, we need to be doing everything we can to find the parachutes under our seats, strap them on and make our exit.

                      The falacies I think you’re making here though is assuming the GP in this scenario is A) The Green Party are part of the flight staff and hence in a position to correct the course of the plane and B) The passengers, lulled into a stupor by their TVs and free booze, realise the plane is spiralling out of the control. Neither is true, and so as a passenger, yelling “get your parachutes and jump” is likely to either have little effect other than prompting a few passengers without headphones on to look at you like you’re crazy, or maybe get you shot by the air marshall. So if you want to save other people, your first step must be asking them to take a look out the window – once they understand the direness of the situation, then you can instruct them about the parachutes.

    • weka 2.3

      Ecological Wisdom:
      The basis of ecological wisdom is that human beings are part of the natural world. This world is finite, therefore unlimited material growth is impossible. Ecological sustainability is paramount.

      Social Responsibility:
      Unlimited material growth is impossible. Therefore the key to social responsibility is the just distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally.

      https://home.greens.org.nz/charter

      If more leftwingers and ‘ordinary kiwis’ had had the guts to vote Green a decade or so ago, the GP would now be in a position to set policy according to its core values instead of having to set policy to work towards its core values.

      Instead, we’ve had election after election where lefties have fence-sat and instead of voting for the one party that’s been consistent on addressing climate change as a priority, and the only party that has any chance of leading degrowth, they’ve voted Labour or NZF or not at all.

      Now, let’s all get distracted yet again by electric cars! and accusations of middle classery.

      Edit, Snap Macro /hot-hotter-hottest/#comment-1070918

      • sabine 2.3.1

        well then we could assume that the greens were not good enough to peel of the votes from Labour or NZFirst or any other of the fringe parties that got the votes.

        Guess they have to try harder then.

  3. game changer and the shocker is we get them every week now

  4. No CV EVERY political party is 100% behind economic growth, if they weren’t they would stand up and say that Kiwi Saver is what it is ~ based on increasing CO2 emissions
    What this shows is the people who vote green are the most stupid misguided fools ever to enter a polling both

    • maui 4.1

      Ok, what’s your take on National voters then?

      • Robert Atack 4.1.1

        National/Labor/Act are telling their truths, (according to their growth at all costs principles) and the fools that are pro destroying the planet for their children vote for them. Where as the Greens are telling people on one hand that they are pro the environment, and the future survival of ‘the children’ but on the other hand turn around and promote something totally different – Kiwi Saver ??
        What is hard to understand about that ?

    • Macro 4.2

      EVERY political party is 100% behind economic growth
      No they are not!
      You will not hear the Green Party banging on about growing GDP – what you will hear is developing an efficient, sustainable, and fair economy, quite a different concept.

      • You_Fool 4.2.1

        Shhh, don’t let the truth get in the way of a good rant!

      • Bill 4.2.2

        Green growth?

        • weka 4.2.2.1

          Yes, they use the rhetoric of the neanderthal system they work in. Have you read the actual core principles and policies of the GP? What do you think they mean when they talk about sustainability or when they say “this world is finite, therefore unlimited material growth is impossible”?

          • Bill 4.2.2.1.1

            Well, that’s what I would quite like them to explain. There are a number of circles I can’t square – eg, kiwi saver that they want to ‘amend’. You can’t have Kiwisaver if you’re not generating profits. And if you’re generating profits, then you’ve got growth.

            If they’re talking about some economy that isn’t a market economy (and I don’t think they are), then using clear terms to convey what they’re on about would be a fairly straight forward exercise.

            • weka 4.2.2.1.1.1

              They’re a mainstream political party with MPs in parliament. What do you think will happen if they start talking about getting rid of Kiwisaver? Or that caplitalism and mitigating CC are inherently incompatible? Some people appear to believe that the GP have never thought about these issues or had to make hard choices, but they have.

              This is one of the real issues for the GP. I get what it’s about, because I grew up in a household where one parent voted Values Party. It’s a cultural thing if you like. I look at the GP charter and their policy and it’s pretty easy for me to see that the current GP is forced into being mainstream because that’s what was required, but that their core values and principles are still there around sustainability.

              I’ve said this multiple times, the GP are working towards where we need to be, they and we can’t get there in a single bound.

              If you want them to bugger the pragmatics and work solely from their principles then they need another few decades to shift the ecological Overton Window further than they already have. Do you think we have time for that?

              My guess is that if the party decided to go hard for degrowth now, they’d get piloried and shed support. This isn’t analogous with Corbyn, because most of the population don’t understand sustainability in its true sense, whereas much of the population understands anti-austerity.

              • Bill

                So they made the ‘hard choice’ of backing a version of BAU even though they’re aware that means fairly catastrophic levels of planetary warming!?

                If there is no time to shift the ‘overton window’ (or whatever) and the Greens are going to continue, for at least that same amount of time, being ‘softly softly’ because there is no time to shift the ‘overton window’…. yeah, I can see that one ends well.

                There is only a leap or a bound or a jump. The liberal nonsense of incrementalism born from some idea of linear progress is, or was, a delusional luxury we have no time to indulge in any longer.

                • weka

                  You’re not understanding what I am saying. I’m happy to keep explaining it, but I’d like you to stop misinterpreting what I am saying. You can of course disagree.

                  So, we have my theory, that the GP over a long period of time have adopted pragmatic approaches to their politics but are still at core anti-growth. And we have your theory that the GP are at core BAU despite their charter and history and that what they really want is to have electric cars and green growth (as in BAU replacing ff with solar or whatever). Problem is, I know the GP much better than you, and even if you don’t want to believe me, there are others here who know the GP much better than I do and they disagree with your theory as well.

                  “The liberal nonsense of incrementalism born from some idea of linear progress is, or was, a delusional luxury we have no time to indulge in any longer.”

                  In the absence of context that’s just jargon and dogma. All change I’ve seen in NZ has happened incrementally over time, including the huge (as in massive) shift in thinking and actions around the environment. I don’t think change is limited to that, nor that it has to be linear.

                  I do agree with your general premise on a big jump re CC. I just think you’re off when you say it’s the GP that should lead that. If you were a GP member, I’d probably say have at it, start going to meetings and putting it out there. They’ve got one of the best processes in terms of member involvement. But other than that I just can’t see how it would happen.

                  In the meantime, you seem to be writing them off via distortions of their policy. I can’t see how that helps tbh.

                  • Alethios

                    Just a few thoughts re: incremental change.

                    One example I often give in this situation is that of the first world war. You look at society before and after that period, and you’d be hard pressed to find a culture more radically changed in such a short period of time. We’re talking chivalrous Victorian era attitudes of Honour and so forth suddenly thrust into what we would recognise as a pre-modern era. Women in the work place, massive industrialisation, entry of all sorts of modern technology into people’s homes and communities – not to mention massive cholera outbreaks, shellshocked veterans, revolutions and devestated landscapes. Read a book about any of these things, and you’ll see that any of them taken in isolation represented a huge upheaval of the established order. Taken together, you’ve got the birth of a whole new world in the space of just four years – virtually unprecedented in the history of humankind.

                    Take a look at actual accounts of people going through all this change though. Day to day, little really changed. People went on with their lives, even 50 miles from the front. A new policy would be announced, and a bunch of men would be conscripted. After they left, a few women might be employed at the local mill. A zeppelin raid kills three people the following month. The next year, a few veterans return, missing limbs and drinking heavily. On it goes.

                    While we like to summarise and draw hard lines where ‘everything changed’ apparently from one moment to the next, change is always incremental for those living through it.

                    • Bill

                      Change is change – it can happen slowly and it can be precipitous. I was talking about the liberal world view that attaches a notion of progress to that.

                  • Bill

                    I’ve not been willfully misinterpreting anything you’ve written. And I can only base my understanding of The Green Party on the literature they produce. Obviously I interpret shit and understand through a particular set of lenses.

                    The myth of progress isn’t jargon. It’s deeply embedded in the western psyche. Both individually and collectively it kind of runs – ‘someday’ we’ll be better; we’re moving in the right direction…

                    I don’t know how far back it goes, but it’s identifiable within the church and the immutability of gold – it being ‘prefect’ (reflecting God and ‘his’ ‘Grand Design’) and so the obsession by alchemists to find the ‘Philosophers Stone’. You can see it in Marx – historical materialism eventually finding a perfect expression in communism. Fukuyama’s “End of History” is another obvious example of it at play. The European Enlightenment; colonialism – all of it is ruled over by an idea of progress taking us from *this* imperfect state to *that* perfect state.

                    At the end of the day – just by my lens or perspective on the world – it’s a futile and somewhat silly attempt to stamp certainty and meaning, both on change and our own lives. Maybe it spawns from hope? I dunno.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It’s a lot easier than accepting the fact that conflict of interests is eternal.

                    • weka

                      I didn’t think the misinterpretation was willful 🙂 just naming what I was seeing happen over a number of comments. I would say x and you would respond saying oh so the GP think/do y.

                      “And I can only base my understanding of The Green Party on the literature they produce. Obviously I interpret shit and understand through a particular set of lenses.”

                      That’s probably where the problem is. I take as much notice of what GP commentators here and elsewhere are saying as I do the actual literature. Also, the literarture requires a specific kind of literacy. Ecological literacy makes it easier to understand IME, but green political literacy would suffice, and sorry, I don’t know how to say this without sounding patronising, but in these conversations I don’t see much green political literacy. An equivalent would be me trying to understand traditional socialism. I can’t directly because I don’t understand the language or concepts, so I have to get people to explain things to me as they’re being expressed.

                      (and yes, this is a problem for the GP that they’ve yet to over come).

                      From what I can tell, people are trying to debate GP policy, approach etc via conventional left/right concepts, but it doesn’t really work, which is why we end up arguing about electric cars and middle classery instead of the underlying concepts and princples.

                      So I ask again, and this isn’t a rhetorical question, what do you think the GP mean when they use the term sustainability? Or talk about the limits of the natural world and how that means perpetual growth isn’t possible?

                      As for the myth of progress, that’s all very interesting, but I fail to see how it applies to the GP and on the basis of what you’ve just described, doesn’t sound like them and what they do. Can you point to specific things they say and do that makes you think that?

                    • Bill

                      Well, if it requires a particular sort of literacy, then I’ll say the same to that as I do the more academic or theoretical ‘bookish’ stuff of the left – (not aimed at you) – “Fuck off! If you can’t express a political idea in a way that ‘average’ people can get a handle on it, then the idea probably isn’t worth expressing…and I’m suspect about your motives for being seemingly content to limit access to or understanding of your ideas to a ‘chosen few’.”

                      Right. That’s off my chest now 😉

                      Sustainability. I assume they mean to carry out production and distribution in a way that doesn’t denude or destroy eco-systems and what not. Which answers your second question too I think.

                      But – and this is a big ‘but‘ – nice as that sounds, they can’t ever hope to achieve that with the type of economic reforms they’ve contained in that paper/document because – market; profit motive.

                    • Alethios

                      Hi Bill,

                      Unfortunately, to my mind, the issue isn’t so much with explaining the ideas themselves, as why they’re necessary.

                      One could explain succintly that we envisage a fairer society decoupled from progress and growth for it’s own sake. “Living within our means” would be another way of putting it. What this tends to mean in practice is a substantial reduction in energy, land and resource use to sustainable levels (i.e. levels that can be sustained). All of this is in the GP charter and ultimately isn’t particularly difficult to understand as a political idea, but is utterly unattractive to a mainstream inculturated from birth into always wanting more (though they usually find otherwise when they actually try it!).

                      The issue then effectively becomes explaining why that path is vastly preferable to its alternative. To get into that, there’s a tremendous amount of groundwork on complex topics that steadfastly resist simplification that’s needs to be done first. Ecological concepts, statistical concepts (e.g. Just because artic ice grew compared to last year doesn’t it isn’t shrinking and the planet isn’t getting warmer), long term energy production trends, the interconnectedness of the global market and climate. Only after a grounding in at least some of these topics can one begin to understand the gravity of the situation we find ourselves in, and hence the urgent need for collective action not currently contained in the capatilist playbook of common understanding. All of this education is made all the more difficult by the blatant misinformation campaigns of those who are more interested in blaming us and sticking their heads in the sand. This is the sort of literacy that weka is referring to I believe, and unfortunately, this is the stage we’re still stuck at.

                    • Bill

                      All I’ll say is that complex should never be confused with complicated. Complexity can be made simple (in terms of conveying understanding).

                    • weka

                      Well, if it requires a particular sort of literacy, then I’ll say the same to that as I do the more academic or theoretical ‘bookish’ stuff of the left – (not aimed at you) – “Fuck off! If you can’t express a political idea in a way that ‘average’ people can get a handle on it, then the idea probably isn’t worth expressing…and I’m suspect about your motives for being seemingly content to limit access to or understanding of your ideas to a ‘chosen few’.”

                      Really? Because I see you using political literacies all the time that many people don’t understand, myself included. Taking part in debate on ts requires at least 3 literacies that I can see. Climate change required us all to gain a new literacy that we didn’t have 10 or 20 years ago. Anyone who wants to understand it needs that literacy.

                      There’s still a large chunk of people who don’t understand how MMP works, but we all needed to learn a new literacy for that.

                      Sustainability is a literacy.

                      “Sustainability. I assume they mean to carry out production and distribution in a way that doesn’t denude or destroy eco-systems and what not. Which answers your second question too I think.”

                      So do you think they are lying then? That they say that in their charter but don’t really mean it?

                      “But – and this is a big ‘but‘ – nice as that sounds, they can’t ever hope to achieve that with the type of economic reforms they’ve contained in that paper/document because – market; profit motive.”

                      Can you please explain that? Are you saying that the GP’s economic policy is at core a model based on the market and profit motives. Can you point to the bits that make you think that? Something that goes beyond anti-capitalist rhetoric and puts it in a context of why basic concepts of sustainability would be incompatible with the GP economic policy.

                      (and btw, “market; profit motive” requires a literacy to understand your meaning and because I don’t share all your literacies, I can’t get our point. So I’m asking).

                    • Bill

                      I’m just going to take one illustrative point. The Greens talk of Kiwisaver. Kiwisaver requires that returns (profit margins) are generated by the investments – ie, that companies and entities ‘make money’.

                      Making money (profit) can only come about by ripping one another off and increasing market share (growth).

                      That doesn’t and can’t square with sustainability.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “sustainability”

                      that’s like the comfortable middle class thinking they can pay an extra $100 for their family trip overseas to buy the carbon credits which will make their holiday “sustainable.”

                      It’s a farce.

                    • weka

                      I’m just going to take one illustrative point. The Greens talk of Kiwisaver. Kiwisaver requires that returns (profit margins) are generated by the investments – ie, that companies and entities ‘make money’.

                      Making money (profit) can only come about by ripping one another off and increasing market share (growth).

                      That doesn’t and can’t square with sustainability.

                      I assume you are talking about profit as financial gain over and above what is needed to run the business sustainably? Let’s call that profit, and let’s call excess from production surplus.

                      Most sustainability models I’ve seen talk about returning excess back into the system or sharing it fairly so long as that sharing doesn’t disrupt or undermine the system’s integrity and ability to keep functioning. That’s a core aspect of what sustainability is. It doesn’t say that surplus by default is wrong. The problem you appear to be alluding to could simply be that any surplus a system generates is controlled by people unethicaly in relation to other people and the system itself.

                      I don’t know what that means in terms of Kiwisaver other than obviously it exists in a system that is controlled by people behaving extremely unethically. Perhaps you could explain how exactly Kiwisaver is not sustainable because it relies on production having surpluses. The other way to look at it is, if Kiwisaver were in the hands of people who understood sustainability and behaved ethically, what would it look like? Would it be dismantled completely? How would we pay for the retirement of older people? We’d have to disband superannuation as well presumably, given it’s dependent on investment income.

                      And if we are going to do that, talk me through how a mainstream political party would do that, and you can’t say we need an post-capitalist system, because we’re just looking at one isolated policy, not the GP’s overall economic policy. See what I’m getting at there? If we can’t look at the GP’s overall plan for change to a fair and sustainable society, then we can’t very well look at any other plan as a replacement.

                      In other words, I don’t think it’s reasonable to take an isolated policy which is basically an adjustment to something society/another government created and then make out their whole economic policy and in fact their whole ethos around sustainability is wrong. If you were going to apply that degree of abstraction and purity to politics then I think we’d just have to agree there is no such thing as a sustainable human culture in modern terms.

                      All of which is by the by. In terms of CC, Kiwisaver is a red herring. At some point we will have to stop that kind of investment scheme, but I would see that as coming after developing ethical business practice as the norm (which is what the GP wants to do). In CC timeframes it’s not going to happen, so what can we do now? You’re waiting for the revolution. I’m happy to welcome the revolution when it comes (and even help get it started), but I’m neither relying on that nor waiting for it.

                    • weka

                      “sustainability”

                      that’s like the comfortable middle class thinking they can pay an extra $100 for their family trip overseas to buy the carbon credits which will make their holiday “sustainable.”

                      It’s a farce.

                      Sustainablity as a concept and word has been co-opted for quite some time. Using it like you just have is the equivalent of Josie Pagani using NACT or DP concepts to describe the Labour party. By that I mean, you’re contributing to misperceptions about sustainability and undermining real sustainability at the same time.

                      But the term and usage has existed much more deeply and broadly and over a much longer time, and in those contexts has meaning. People who do actual sustainability work know what it means. Maybe you should spend more time with them?

                    • Bill

                      @ Weka.

                      That linked document screams that the Green Party believe in sustainable markets. Thing is, that’s an unsustainable stance.

                      The savings scheme is important. If they have a Kiwisaver system, then surplus is most definitely being extracted from production/distribution/service in the form of a ‘dividend’ that accrues within kiwisaver.

                      The extraction can only be in the form of profit, yes? And right there, we’re back to businesses subjected to a compulsion to grow.

                      The only way I can see it being otherwise is if there was some form of command economy that in some way proscribed growth or somesuch – but that would just be setting shit up for a green tinged Stalin. And, hmm…no thanks.

                    • Alethios

                      @ Bill.

                      “That linked document screams that the Green Party believe in sustainable markets. Thing is, that’s an unsustainable stance.”

                      Why? Markets are not inherently unsustainable. Human’s have had markets ever since we started farming, and probably a fair while earlier than that. Somebody has an excess of fruit, and wants to trade it (perhaps using a medium of exchange such as cash), for somebody’s art work – would you consider this unsustainable?

                      “The savings scheme is important. If they have a Kiwisaver system, then surplus is most definitely being extracted from production/distribution/service in the form of a ‘dividend’ that accrues within kiwisaver.

                      The extraction can only be in the form of profit, yes? And right there, we’re back to businesses subjected to a compulsion to grow.

                      The only way I can see it being otherwise is if there was some form of command economy that in some way proscribed growth or somesuch – but that would just be setting shit up for a green tinged Stalin. And, hmm…no thanks.”

                      Profit is not the same thing as growth. Somebody with an orchard, or turning driftwood into artwork, can tick over a tidy profit each year without getting any larger. I reject your conclusion that we’re back to a requirement of growth.

                      Furthermore, ‘growth’ in a general sense is not the same thing as an economy growing. A tree grows, producing fruit, and seeding other growing trees. In fact, any activity that uses a sustainable energy source (lets not get too into the nitty gritty of which sources are sustainable here – and limit this to the sun for now?), could be, though isn’t necessarily, growing sustainably. Of course, in the absence of external energy sources such as fossil fuels, or resources stripped from another location, inevitably the activity reaches a plateau (say from lack of room for the orchard to expand) and reaches the limits of its growth.

                      Lastly, in an steady state economic system, some component parts are always reaching their end of life (say our trees dying from old age), creating niches for other things to grow and take their place. One can imagine a place for kiwisaver in supporting new projects in this natural turnover for example.

                      The issue has never been growth per se. Growth has been going on for millions of years long before we got here, and will carry on long after we’re gone. The issue is that much of our growth, and indeed a great deal of our economic activity is based on the unsustainable use of finite resources, and thus cannot be continue to be sustained indefinitely – ergo our ‘business as usual’ model, with it’s insistence on growth, is nothing more than a bubble hyperinflated beyond the planet’s capacity to sustain.

              • Colonial Viper

                Or that caplitalism and mitigating CC are inherently incompatible?

                James Shaw doesn’t believe that they are incompatible, IMO.

                • weka

                  Just as well Shaw isn’t the whole party then. For me the most interesting part of that is why the GP chose him (and I was part of that process and supported him being leader).

                  • Alethios

                    Can you elaborate on that? I’ve been with NGOs in Asia for the past year or two (back soon), so was unable to participate in that particular process.

                    • weka

                      The thing many people seem concerned about is that Shaw is neoliberal and/or right wing. What I saw the more I looked (esp listening to Shaw himself in depth rather than listening to the media soundbites and interpretations) was that Shaw embodies both the core principles and the ability to work with mainstream society in immediate ways (in that sense he’s Norman’s natural successor with things like the business community). He presents as credible to whole swathes of NZ that weren’t that fussed before, but if you listen to his deeper understandings and beliefs he’s not Green Lite or Green Blue.

                      To me he represents the GP’s best shot at getting NZ to take CC seriously, and I think that’s why he was made leader. Not that he is any better than the other candidates in terms of green issues, but that he is a better fit for NZ at this time.

                      I think much of the criticism of, or antipathy towards him on the left comes from the old/left right political analyses and the inability to see the GP on the vertical spectrum. So anything that doesn’t look left must by default be right. Shaw’s going to be the one that changes that I think. It’s still a risk. One of Shaw’s intentions is to increase the GP membership hugely, and I have to wonder how that will affect the party as a whole rather than it growing organically. And obviously if they get into parliament at some stage things are going to change.

                      Myself, I don’t care whether Shaw thinks capitalism is compatible with CC mitigation or not, because we’re not going to see the end to capitalism in the timeframes we need to change re CC, so what I’m looking at is whether he’s leading the GP in changing how NZers think and understand CC and what we should be doing. I have not doubt he is doing that, and for all the criticisms of him he’s one of he few politicians who’s saying that CC is the most important issue of all time.

                    • Alethios

                      Alright thanks. That’s been my impression from afar, but it’s good to hear it from somebody who was actually there during the leadership contest.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      and for all the criticisms of him he’s one of he few politicians who’s saying that CC is the most important issue of all time.

                      Really? More important than World War 2?

                      In which every Commonwealth country and every household and every individual was asked to give up much in material terms and sacrifice a lot in comfort and convenience terms, on a daily basis for years in order to “win the war”?

                      If this is as Shaw says “the most important issue of all time” what is he asking NZers to sacrifice?

                      Now I am not doubting that Shaw might be way ahead of most other politicians in Wellington in terms of understanding the ramifications of CC…but so what when the entire leadership class is so far back behind the starting line?

                    • weka

                      Really? More important than World War 2?

                      Yes, that’s what ‘of all time’ means.

                      In which every Commonwealth country and every household and every individual was asked to give up much in material terms and sacrifice a lot in comfort and convenience terms, on a daily basis for years in order to “win the war”?

                      False analogy. If CC change simply needed rationality, then we’d have been there a long time ago. WW2 was in peoples’ faces, of course they were going to change and make sacrifice.

                      (as an aside, I’m not a great fan of war analogies, but it’s worth considering if that’s a useful strategy. At first glance I’d say not because it’s so long since we were in a big war nationally that most people won’t relate naturally to the comparison. More recent metaphorically inspired wars, on terrorism, on drugs, have been largely unsuccessful).

                      If this is as Shaw says “the most important issue of all time” what is he asking NZers to sacrifice?

                      Odd question. Have you not listened to what he’s been saying?

                      Now I am not doubting that Shaw might be way ahead of most other politicians in Wellington in terms of understanding the ramifications of CC…but so what when the entire leadership class is so far back behind the starting line?

                      Actually I think he’s ahead of the line and so are some of his colleagues. I’d guess all the Green MPs are. They’ve been concerned about and working on CC issues for a long time. I’m willing to bet that it’s longer than you or I have been on board. That they’re part of the leadership class doesn’t mean anything in particular and that other leaders are not even at the starting line doesn’t say anything about the GP.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      False analogy. If CC change simply needed rationality, then we’d have been there a long time ago. WW2 was in peoples’ faces, of course they were going to change and make sacrifice.

                      it’s not a false analogy.

                      And I have no idea why you think anything to do with war or asking people to sacrifice for a war has anything to do with “rationality.”

                      haven’t you seen the old WWII posters. They did not make rational arguments, they made patriotic arguments.

                    • Alethios

                      Not sure quite where you’re getting the rationality bit from there weka.

                      CV – “In which every Commonwealth country and every household and every individual was asked to give up much in material terms and sacrifice a lot in comfort and convenience terms, on a daily basis for years in order to “win the war”?”

                      Yeah, we probably need something a lot like that, but more global and permanent.

                    • weka

                      My point is that CC isn’t in peoples’ faces like WW2 was. Of course people were willing to make sacrifices in WW2, because it wasn’t a rational motivation, it was about near future survival.

                      Climate change isn’t like that (which is why the comparison fails). It’s still too abstract. Yes it would be amazing if people were willing to make sacrifices now. That’s exactly what is needed. But they’re not and I don’t think the GP can be held responsible for that.

          • Robert Atack 4.2.2.1.2

            But invest in Kiwi Saver ???

      • Robert Atack 4.2.3

        Um who was it that wanted an inquiry into the 40,000 lose of jobs in manufacturing? It wasn’t so we could repeat it, it was to help grow NZs employment ??? employment = CO2
        Who was it that wanted Kiwi Saver from birth? KS is 100% dependent of growing GDP, I’m sorry but I would have to wonder how you have lived this long, if you don’t understand that !!
        Who was it that wanted to print money, QE? Du ? If you give people money they will spend it ??? on shit that destroys the environment, the Greeds just want to arm people with more ability to fuck things quicker.
        A ‘fair economy’ (guessing you rate feeding and housing as part of that?) of 5 million people on this island can not exists, without destruction of our habitat and inputs from fossil fuels/increasing CO2/other countries
        I guess it would be fair to have say 2 pairs of shoes each a year = 10 million pairs of shoes alone, make them without emitting CO2 ?
        The level of life expectancy New Zealand could support without inputs would be about 30 years old, we would probably see a couple of hundred thousand die off in a matter of months post Pharmac?
        It is easier to lie to some than it is to convince them they have been lied to.
        Good luck

        • Macro 4.2.3.1

          Your assumptions are altogether erroneous, and lead to ultimately incorrect conclusions.
          The exporting of manufacturing overseas has lead to an overall increase in Carbon emissions (we merely exported our manufacturing emissions off-shore and increased them with extra transportation emissions) as well as the despoiling of the oceans. Noise levels in the oceans are increasing at the rate of around 3dB per decade with a consequent effect on marine mammals reliant on echo location for their survival.
          Reestablishing manufacturing in NZ would therefore reduce Carbon emissions, aid in the more equitable redistribution of wealth, result in more quality products at a sensible price which would last longer and could be recycled thereby further reducing emissions.
          For instance, you assume that people need to purchase 2 pairs of shoes each every year! I suppose if one buys the cheapest pair made in China because one cannot afford anything else (because of the inequality now endemic in our society) that is correct as they fall apart. However a good pair of well made shoes can last almost a lifetime with good repair and care. I am wearing a pair of shoes tonight to a dance that I purchased in 1970, and they will out last me. The last shoes I bought was in in 2009. Creating a more equitable society would enable all people to buy better quality products which would last longer and thereby lead to a reduction in emissions.
          Reestablishing our manufacturing of product in this country not only ultimately reduces global emissions but also assists in recreating a more equitable society which in turn leads to a further reduction in emissions as a more equitable society places less stress on the environment. How is this so? In a society where wealth is shared there is less pressure for “growth”. There is already more than enough – we just have to find ways to share it more equitably. For instance – there are thousands of “beach houses” scattered around the coast of this country that are empty for 50 weeks of each year, and thousands in need of adequate housing living in cars and crammed in garages and 3 – 4 families sharing a house. If there was a more equal sharing of wealth then those beach houses would be lived in by people who needed them. There would not be a requirement to build more houses in a city that is already overfull. The redevelopment of our regional economies would assist those people who moved away to find employment in the local economies working in a sustainable way within the local area.
          There are many books on this subject and I have covered only a few ideas once over lightly here. For a more extensive coverage of how we can learn to live both sustainably and well i recommend:
          “what is the economy for anyway”, “prosperity without growth”, “enough is enough”, “Unequal freedoms”, “consumptionomics” , “not on the label”, and “the cost of fashion” to name a few books with a very similar theme.

    • Pat 4.3

      not at all…a concerted effort to develop a low/zero carbon society and a managed approach to population reduction is consistent with a return on investment a la kiwisaver…..it would be radical yes but by no means impossible and the sooner any political party develops and promotes a practical example (irrespective of current polling figures) the better, as the window of opportunity shrinks by the day

  5. Bill 5

    Not so many years ago I could light up a cigarette ‘any time, any place’. Smokers can’t do that any more.

    Now. How long (if ever) before it becomes socially unacceptable to run that car to town occupied by no-one but the driver?

    How long before social pressure builds against frivolous plane flights?

    How long before the guy with the centrally heated driveway wakes up to impromptu road works?

    That kind of stuff would be a beginning.

    I don’t think we can have any faith in any politicians who are currently on the scene, seeing as how their principle job is to ensure that the economy runs. There is no ‘green growth’ if climate change is to be tackled – there is no future at all for any market economy if climate change is to be tackled. That makes placing any faith that any political leadership will emerge from existing institutions, hmm… problematic at best. 😉

  6. infused 6

    Sweet, another great summer ahead.

    • adam 6.1

      Bless you infused, just remember you can not complain when the rest of the world arrives at our door step…

      • infused 6.1.1

        I can actually.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          But that would make you a hypocrite – doesn’t that make you uncomfortable to know that?

          • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1.1

            I’m happy that it’s going to be a good summer.

            Does that mean I approve of climate change? No. It just means that I’ll personally get a small positive side-effect from it. That’s all.

    • Anno1701 6.2

      “Sweet, another great summer ahead.”

      Shame your grand-kids wont be saying that down the line eh

      in fact they may well be saying “f#*K you grandad, this all could have been avoided”

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        what does infused care about that? He’ll be long gone; not his problem

        • Anno1701 6.2.1.1

          he will start to care when the Bach falls into the sea

          go visit the coromandel where this is already happening

          • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.1.1

            Given that Infused claims to be childless I doubt they’ll inherit the bach 😆

            • Anno1701 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Childless you say

              that explains a lot !

              • infused

                Why add to all the problems you guys keep complaining about?

                The reason all this shit is happening is because of over population. No one wants to talk about that though eh?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Sure, we can talk about it, just beware: you may turn out to know as little about that issue as you do any other.

                • Anno1701

                  “The reason all this shit is happening is because of over population”

                  nope….

                  “No one wants to talk about that though eh?”

                  nothing to talk about really, its a myth IMO

          • infused 6.2.1.1.2

            No batch for me… too much up-keep, and never been that much of a beach person.

      • infused 6.2.2

        Yeah, could be avoided if China and the US drastically cut emissions, which they wont.

        Has 2/10 of fuck all to do with NZ.

  7. grumpystilskin 7

    Talking of radiation, some of you may have missed this brief article last month in the herald.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11497566

    Seafood lovers are being warned their fishy feasts could contain high levels of radiation.

    New research has found concentrated levels of radiation in some of New Zealand’s favourite seafood – including Bluff oysters, skipjack tuna, greenshell mussels, paua, queen scallop, rock lobster and littleneck clams.

    Chemical contaminants in seafood can cause significant health problems, the researchers said. If eating fish is culturally important to you, or you rely on fishing and shellfish collection to feed your family, you’re most at risk.

    The 2011 Fukushima meltdown is most likely not to blame for the radiation, the researchers said.

    They found levels are the same here as in other countries, suggesting it’s a result of global nuclear testing.

    • Bill 7.1

      Fukushima is responsible for the ‘hot particles’ turning up in pacific tuna though. They (hot particles) ain’t picked up by conventional testing methods btw. Mutton birds migrate up that coastline and feed. Being at the top of a food chain, then like the tuna, they’re probably carrying the same particles. I’ve mentioned imported Japanese cars and the air conditioning (specifically the filters) in relation to this previously.

      I found it interesting that on a google search for ‘hot particles’ (that might not have been the exact search term I used), the top article was a hatchet job of Gunderson and the researcher who originally tested for particles in conditioning filters he gathered from around Japan. Someone has obviously been ‘bumping’ that page up to the top of the search engine.

      Anyway. Brief explanation of what hot particles are …

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_particle

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1

        Fisher et al 2013 documented the phenomenon but…

        it is clear that doses and resulting cancer risks associated with consumption of PBFT in eastern and western Pacific waters are low and below levels that should cause concern to even the most exposed segments of human populations. Fears regarding environmental radioactivity, often a legacy of Cold War activities and distrust of governmental and scientific authorities, have resulted in perception of risks by the public that are not commensurate with actual risks.

        • Bill 7.1.1.1

          Nah, that’s radioactive dose or concentration that they’re on about…gamma readings or whatever. Radioactive particles aren’t usually picked up by geiger counters and such like, because they are small (obviously) and because they bear no relation to surrounding levels of radiation and may be emitting beta radiation (which is usually no worry as it’s not very penetrative). The point though is that if just a single particle becoming lodged in your body it will poison the adjacent cell(s) as it decays, meaning that those individual cells get a lot of radiation poisoning from a very small, and usually undetected source.

          edit : heh. I see they peddle the banana b/s too 😉

          • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.1.1

            Source for the hot particle/Pacific Tuna finding?

            • Bill 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Hot particle stuff from fairewinds. Both links have ‘buttons’ that will bring up the transcript. Neither specifically mentions tuna – I can’t for the life of me remember where I came across that, but remember they were looking at particles, not general levels of radiation poisoning. Regardless, it takes little to extrapolate that if airborne hot particles are being found on land, then they also dropped into the sea and some will get caught up in the biota. If I ever come across the specific source again, I’ll post it for you on OM or something.

              http://www.fairewinds.org/nuclear-energy-education/hot-particles-and-measurement-of-radioactivity

              http://www.fairewinds.org/nuclear-energy-education/hottest-particle

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Thanks Bill.

                Looking at other informed discussion isn’t exactly encouraging; I’d like to see the level of risk compared to say, National Party health and safety legislation before jumping to any conclusions though.

                As for Arnies hot particles, I dont pay much attention to him or to attempts to quantify this stuff. I do think the issue of internal exposure is worthy of much more attention though. I would imagine that this risk will vary considerably between people, depending on what you do on a particular day in a particular location. If you manage to disturb some contaminated material that has settled, you could get more than your fair share.

                • Bill

                  Thinking that ‘gary 7’ is a have to be kind about it. An industry spin merchant if I want to be less kind.

                  If you search the fairewinds site, there’s a vid with the guy who rounded up the filters from japanese car air conditioner units. What he said was that the amount of air passing through a filter was roughly in line with what an adult human would process. He simply put them on x-ray film to show the presence of hot particles.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.1.2

            Just a bit of context: I’m opposed to nuclear power and I can still see no reason to distrust physicists more than any other interested group. After all, the first (afaik) people to declare the Fukushima meltdowns were the nuclear physicists/engineers at Physicsforum, and they did so within 24 hours by studying satellite and media photos.

            • Bill 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Yeah well, Gunderson was/is a nuclear engineer and a plant operator/manager. I think he got black balled after whistle blowing over the Three Mile Island incident.

  8. Paul 8

    We are destroying the planet.
    Tree by tree.
    Fish by fish.
    River by river.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11513455

  9. Ad 9

    There was a useful interview on National Radio this morning with a scientist who has been monitoring the impact of climate change to the East Antarctic ice sheets.

    Previously it had not been considered that warm water flows would be sufficient to get to these ice shelves, which are supposed to be among the most constant around.

    He found that they had changed significantly, to a degree that the next IPCC report will show an increased ocean level occurring into the future (esp by 2100) caused by changes to these ice shelves.

    Sure would be great to see the Greens and Labour working together on a joint position before the Paris talks, so we can see what this kind of government might look like. It’s a huge and predictable media peak moment to use.

    • The Greens and Labour had a get together in 2007 and drew a line in the sand as far as the environment goes, they created Kiwi Saver. Basically putting the economy, and growth ahead of the environment. Via the Greens Kiwi Saver scam ‘we’ are contributing to maintaining BAU. The system that is destroying our collective future needs investors, and the best investors are the faceless non human entities like retirement funds, they will put a buck on anything that will turn a profit, from tobacco companies to arms manufactures, they would invest in fences before refugees that is for sure.
      The Greens and Labour have as much compassion for the environment, and future generations as John Key. They will tell you whatever you want to hear for a vote.

      It would be better for the environment if the bullshit talkfest in Paris never happened, it will just be a bunch of people “jerking off, and pushing shit around” GC .

  10. We are in the midst of abrupt climate change, which will soon obliterate habitat on this planet for our species. This event has precedence in Earth’s history, and it’s irreversible at time frames that matter for humans. Civilization is a heat engine, and the planet is about to overheat. Our species, like all others, will go extinct. It’s later than you think. I’m not suggesting we “give up” in the face of certain death. I am, however, indicating that birth is a sexually transmitted disease that is lethal in every case. We all die. What matters now is how we choose to live. That’s always been the case, although we often lose track of the urgency.
    Guy McPherson September 2015

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