How bad does it have to get?

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, March 5th, 2013 - 63 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, food - Tags: , ,

A new Australian report has coined the phrase “angry summer“:

Angry Summer’ made worse by climate change: Commission

The latest report from the Federal Government’s Climate Commission says the weather extremes experienced around the country this summer were made worse by climate change.

The report – The Angry Summer – says the extreme heat, floods and bushfires experienced around country were all aggravated by a shifting climate, and it warns the trend is likely to continue.

More details here and here. It’s no coincidence that the same thing has been happening in America:

Historic U.S. drought will continue into spring and summer, experts say

Nearly five months after expanding to cover the greatest area on record, the devastating drought of 2012 continues to spread woe across the central and western U.S. And, according to climate researchers, severely dry conditions will persist throughout the spring and summer.

Meanwhile in NZ

Counting cost of big dry

The big dry has parts of the country firmly in its grip. The president of Federated Farmers in Waikato fears the drought could have an even greater economic impact than those in 2007 and 2008 – estimated to have cost the country $2.8 billion.

Internationally the trend is all bad, and likely to get worse. According to the World Bank it is already the case that “Severe Droughts Drive Food Prices Higher, Threatening the Poor“.

Agriculture – food – is fragile. I suppose at some point we will decide to take action against climate change (though it is already too late to avoid massive damage). But when? How bad does it have to get?

63 comments on “How bad does it have to get? ”

  1. vto 1

    There is no drought in NZ, there is standard summer weather pattern in an el nino cycle.

    Drought is relative to what farming has done to the new zealand land in ripping off the ground cover of bush.

    In evidence, go see whether there is a drought in the Waipouau Forest, or any other block of native bush in Northland. Betcha the flora dn fauna is fine (not in drought death throes).

    I think it is a case of we reap what we sow.

    • infused 1.1

      Pretty much.

      Worst weather since when? Always some date, which means it’s happened before. /end.

    • felixviper 1.2

      Quite literally.

      How come these same tories who bang on about ‘living within our means’ seem to think that doesn’t apply to the land water and air?

    • Colonial Weka 1.3

      +1 vto.

      We still need to take action about CC.

      And we need to change our food production practices while we still can. The reason weather is being classified as a drought in Northland is because of the industrial farming model (esp dairy). Plenty of people in the world grow food successfully in places a lot drier than Northland is currently (but of course this isn’t about growing food, it’s about strip mining fertility to make excess profit).

      • Colonial Weka 1.3.1

        I would add though, that I have seen plants in native bush dry stressed in bad years. Not so bad that trees die, but still very dry. Native ecosystems are at risk from CC, and we should be paying attention to that – if we start losing those most robust ecosystems, we are deep, deep shit.

        Plant more trees!!

      • Ennui in Requiem 1.3.2

        Been observing the Southern Oscillation (La Nina and El Nino) for years: this drought does fit within the El Nino characteristics of more rain in the west and drought in the east. Where the last few months have seemed unusual is that we have had (in Wellington) dry southerlies and easterlies as opposed to the normal westerly pattern. That in itself strikes me as abnormal, best leave it to NIWA to work out though.

        With soil moisture VTO comments that the bush does tend to retain moisture better, as you would expect from shading and a lack of human drainage interference. From the hours I spend in the bush (daily) it is as dry as tinder, it is only that the trees are well rooted that is keeping them alive (so I don’t agree that this is a normal state of affairs: lets just say the bush has adapted to cope with this occasionally). The issue we have is that it may no longer be “occasionally”.

        With regard to land use practices NZ farmers might best be described as grass miners. The trend is to go rip shit and bust with what ever will yield the best returns, which is currently dairy. As a consequence land that is unsuitable for cows gets “converted” with all the energy and petrochemical based inputs, water is also “mined”. The end result is the whole economic model predicated on high capital inputs is vulnerable to any input variance, such as a cost blow out in fertiliser prices or a lack of rainfall. This is balance sheet farming as opposed to sustainable / suitable land use.

        Don’t be too hard on the farmers: We too reflect their capture within a paradigm that is past its use by date. Their export receipts and infrastructural support industries pay a chunk of the cash and wages we see, and we in turn use it to buy SUVs and drive to the Warehouse. Our consumption generates the industries that put the carbon in the air that causes the droughts……

        • Anne 1.3.2.1

          we have had (in Wellington) dry southerlies and easterlies as opposed to the normal westerly pattern. That in itself strikes me as abnormal, best leave it to NIWA to work out though.

          It is abnormal. It is also correct to say the overall weather fits into the normal El Nino pattern, but the outcome of this El Nino is anything but normal. And because of CC it can be reliably assumed it’s going to happen more and more frequently. It stands to reason that ‘extreme weather’ is going to be just as likely under intensive, slow moving anticyclones as it is under low pressure cyclonic conditions.

          Labour, presently, is not giving Climate Change anything like the priority it demands. It seems they have also put it in the too hard basket and then buried their heads in the sand.

          Not brave enough to face facts or too busy playing politics with the facts? Take your pick.

    • jo 1.4

      I am in Nz in Auckland. There has been no rain in “rainy” auckland for 3 months now and the grass everywhere looks like yellow straw. I have lived here 10 years and it used to be humid and tropical and rain every day. It is like this all over the country this year. It is scary. Also a new player that I have noticed particularly in the last year is the constant wind as I walk quite a lot. The wind is very uncomfortable, dries out the skin, and goes away completely at night. Very eerie if you ask me.

      • Anne 1.4.1

        Nothing abnormal about the wind jo. Quite usual for the wind to die down overnight especially in summer-time anti-cyclones. What you are experiencing during the day is a fresh to strong sea breeze caused by the difference in temperature between the heat of the land and the relative coolness of the sea. At night as the land cools down the difference between the two narrows and the wind dies away.

  2. muzza 2

    No worries though, NZ has signed a food safety standards *deal* with the USA, so the FDA (Monsanto), can now further experiment on NZ, with their brands of GMO crops, foodstuffs etc, all rather convenient , the cross over of FDA/Monsanto executive eh!

    As for food prices, perhaps you might take a look at the commodities futures markets to see where the real problem there are, R0B! You think those who control the markets, and prices of food, oil etc give a toss about the poor, or anyone else, they despise humanity, which is why they are wrecking environments, seemingly carte blanche!

    Geo-engineering – Yeah its happening, no its not a secret, no sweat R0b, the action you’re looking for is already being taken, its just that people want to blow it off as conspiracy etc, and its not going to have the outcomes we would all like to see.

    So while people scratch around trying to understand when *action* on CC will happen, its already being done to you, its just that people can’t get their heads around it, because its not the solutions which they might consider *acceptable*!

  3. karol 3

    Very good post, Anthony. Yes, the droughts are very worrying.

    It’s been a very good Auckland summer for urban living, but the long term trend, and the impact on food production is very worrying.

    • kiwi_prometheus 3.1

      “It’s been a very good Auckland summer for urban living,”

      You are obviously not a gardener.

      • karol 3.1.1

        Actually, I am a novice gardener, with a small vege garden and collaboration with my landlord, also a novice. Requires much watering right now.

    • klem 3.2

      It better worry you, you live on a small island, you are much more vulnerable than the rest of the world. I live in N America, it does not worry me in the least.

  4. kiwi_prometheus 4

    ” How bad does it have to get?”

    Balls out all the way.

    Evolution hasn’t designed us to think that far head or that laterally.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Evolution hasn’t “designed” us for anything at all. Evolution does not have agency.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Well, it may not have designed you to be that capable but some of the rest of us are.

      • muzza 4.2.1

        Actually B, *evolution*, is what has rendered entire nations helpless to the systems which now dominate them, and the worlds people.

        So are the *rest of us* capable, I would sugegst not, because *the rest of us*, have not yet stopped the evil!

      • kiwi_prometheus 4.2.2

        You are missing the point.

        COLLECTIVELY humans don’t think that far ahead.

        Like the OP pointed out, we are already fucked, its just a question of how much?

        By the time humanity’s collective arse hole is really feeling the burn it will be game over anyway because of the cumulative/delay nature of CO2 in the atmosphere.

        • Colonial Weka 4.2.2.1

          “COLLECTIVELY humans don’t think that far ahead.”

          Some humans do.

          “In all of your deliberations in the Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not over your shoulder behind you the warnings of the nephews and nieces should they chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground – the unborn of the future Nation.”

          http://www.indigenouspeople.net/iroqcon.htm

          • kiwi_prometheus 4.2.2.1.1

            Still missing the point.

            It doesn’t matter if some humans do. If the rest aren’t interested the earth cooks, and they aren’t interested.

            Why? Because humans have evolved to satisfy immediate needs and wants. The earth is littered with dead civilisations that collapsed after using up their resources.

            • Colonial Weka 4.2.2.1.1.1

              I was just correcting your assertion that humans are not evolved to think ahead.

              ” The earth is littered with dead civilisations that collapsed after using up their resources.”

              And other peoples that have survived very long periods of time. What’s the difference?

        • Colonial Weka 4.2.2.2

          “COLLECTIVELY humans don’t think that far ahead.”

          Some humans do.

          “In all of your deliberations in the Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not over your shoulder behind you the warnings of the nephews and nieces should they chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground – the unborn of the future Nation.”

          http://www.indigenouspeople.net/iroqcon.htm

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_generation_sustainability

        • Ugly Truth 4.2.2.3

          “COLLECTIVELY humans don’t think that far ahead.”

          The main problem with humans (i.e. Cicero’s homo humanus) is that they think that they are the be-all and end-all of mankind. It’s just Roman universalism at work.

  5. kiwi_prometheus 5

    Nature article on how annual precipitation may stay the same in a region but become more unevenly distributed over the seasons making for more floods and droughts.

    “Although the magnitude of the shift is uncertain, largely owing to limitations inherent in the data sets used, the sign of the tendency is robust. On a regional scale, the tendency for wet seasons to get wetter occurs over climatologically rainier regions. Similarly, the tendency for dry season to get drier is seen in drier regions. Even if the total amount of annual rainfall does not change significantly, the enhancement in the seasonal precipitation cycle could have marked consequences for the frequency of droughts and floods.”

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1744.html

  6. ianmac 6

    Over 2007-8 there was a serious drought in NZ which precipitated the early fall into the Global Recession for NZ. However the National line then was to deny that as a cause and claimed Mismanagement as a cause. What goes around comes around? This drought is likely to cause an economic downturn now isn’t it? (A bit like the call about all those people heading to Australia being a bad thing and blaming the Labour Government of the day then Next Minit…)

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Yip. Wondering if this will finally be enough for RB to drop interest rates.

      • Ennui in Requiem 6.1.1

        Which sums up the problem nicely Lanth, money money money, we care more for interest rates than the planet we have to live on.

        Best to imagine a huge stack of cash which you can just take from at will, buy a Porsche, but because of environmental issues (related to the production of Porsches etc) absolutely no food available to buy. Enjoy the ride.

  7. RedLogix 7

    A worthwhile read in conjunction with this post.

    The apocalypse: Here’s the thing, though. It’s difficult to organize for or even against a future that you can’t imagine yourself and those children and future generations in. The thought of world-ending events may simply close down our operative imaginations. The end of the world may be popular in fiction, but in everyday life, I suspect, the apocalypse is the version of the future that it’s hardest to mobilize around. If the prospect is that it’s already hopeless, that the suffering is going to be largely down the line, that we’re all going down anyway, and the planet will simply be destroyed, well, why bother? Why not focus on what matters to you now and forget the rest? This is where denial, the almost involuntary turning away from unpalatable futures that seem beyond our power or ability to alter, comes into play. If the future is essentially over before it begins, then better to ignore it and go about your still palatable enough daily life.

    • Ennui in Requiem 7.1

      There is a theory that the death of a few million Amazonian natives post the Columbus introduced epidemics resulted in massive reforestation in the Amazon basin: consequently the theory goes carbon sequestration lead to the freezing winters recorded in 16th century Europe.

      My own version of hope goes much the same: get rid of the people and the whole planet will grow so much carbon sequestering vegetation that climate change will be a blip in planetary time frames. Us, well we are likely finito.

      • Jenny 7.1.1

        If that is what you believe
        I don’t buy it
        This world would not be the same
        Without people to admire it

    • Rogue Trooper 7.2

      Right On!

  8. SpaceMonkey 8

    I can see it now… neolibs declaring a “War on the Weather”!!!

  9. Bill 9

    A problem with asking “How bad does it have to get?” is that the question assumes that what we see is the full extent of ‘what is’. Unfortunately, due to lag factors, the full extent of how bad things are is well beyond what we can observe directly.

    When they signed the Copenhagen Accord in 2009, governments declared they would use the best scientific knowledge to hold warming below +2 degrees C. They’ve reneged on that commitment and are now (at best) seeking to mitigate the effects of a supposed 2 degrees C increase while looking for ways to avoid a 4 degrees C increase.

    I’m not going to bang on about the effects of + 4 degrees C again.

    Suffice to say that things are much, much worse than they appear and that our governments got into bare faced lying. I think it’s time to stop framing questions the way this post does (as though our or any government is going to take some required action at some point), and seek ways in which we can hold our government fully to account for the b/s they have and are peddling. They need to be made to commit to fast and drastic cuts in carbon emmissions. And they need to relegate the importance of the economic effects, so that some type of ordered chaos has a chance to prevail as we come off (‘plummet away from’ might be a better phrase) our current emmissions trajectory .

  10. pollywog 10

    What can I, as one man, do?

  11. Athena 11

    GE is already being promoted as the solution to climate change related decreases in food production. Last year the rural papers were very excited about Mark Lynas apologising for ripping up GE crops. Any opposition to GE is portrayed as heartless and irrational, given that, apparently, GE drought resistant ryegrass is going to save the world.

    • Jenny 11.1

      Any opposition to GE is portrayed as heartless and irrational, given that, apparently, GE drought resistant ryegrass is going to save the world.

      Yay! The mad scientists save the day, allowing us to mine coal and frack for oil until the cows come home, to roost.

      And a new building material formed from asbestos safely embedded in pitchblende will allow us to start up the asbestos mines again.

  12. Jenny 12

    Now we know the problem. Here is the solution.

    Stop all coal mines: Coal has been identified as the single biggest causative factor in climate change.

    Stop all coal mines: Starting with stopping the proposed open cast coal mine at Mangatangi South of Auckland

    Stop all coal mines: At a time when we should be closing existing coal mines – one more new coal mine, is one more new coal mine too many.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      The world wants energy Jenny, and in particular it wants a lot of coal.

      • Jenny 12.1.1

        Sez who? You? The coal miners? The Coal companies? And why coal “in particular” even though it is the most deadliest of all the fossil fuels? (And the cheapest).

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          Yeah I said. Just look at the global increase in coal consumption over the last 10 years.

          And why coal “in particular” even though it is the most deadliest of all the fossil fuels? (And the cheapest).

          Cheap upfront cost and low price volatility is part of the attraction. Supply stability is another. Chindia has been key to the global growth of coal consumption.

          • Jenny 12.1.1.1.1

            I understand now. Cheap upfront cost, low price, ie big profits.

            If blood be the price of your accursed wealth we have bought it fair

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.1

              MY accursed wealth?

              I hope you don’t use any appliances, materials or other household or personal items made in China, Jenny. After all 70% of their industrial energy needs is supplied by coal, and I wouldn’t want to think that you are supporting that.

  13. Jenny 13

    How bad does it have to get? (before we decide to take action against climate change?)
    It is great Anthony that you have raised this problem in the way you have.

    Raising the problem means thinking about solutions.

    let’s talk some solutions.

    Coal has been identified as the number 1 biggest single causative factor in human induced climate change.

    NASA climate expert James Hansen says that to have any chance of reining in uncontrollable climate change, all coal mining must stop. And definitely no new coal mines must be allowed to start, period.

    This is incontrovertible.

    So Anthony will you be calling for Labour Party supporters to attend the public meeting in Mangatangi against the proposed new coal mine?

    Everyone is welcome to attend.

    WHEN: 7 pm, Thursday 7 March 2013

    WHERE: Mangatawhiri Hall, cnr of Mangatawhiri and McKenzie Roads, Mangatawhiri (directions below). See location on Google Maps.

    SPEAKERS & TOPICS:

    Dr Young Lee (to be confirmed) on international research into the health effects of coal mining in the local neighbourhood.
    Dr Jim Salinger on the role of coal in climate change and the expected effects of climate change on farming in New Zealand.
    Jeanette Fitzsimons on how to make a submission under the Resource Management Act on the proposed mine.

    Chair: Peter Young, JP

    DIRECTIONS FROM AUCKLAND:

    Head South on SH1 and turn off onto SH2 towards Tauranga and Coromandel. After about 5 minutes you reach the new section of SH2 where the speed limit goes up to 100. The old SH2 goes off to the left and is Mangatawhiri Rd.

    Veer left on to Mangatawhiri Rd and soon you pass the famous Icecream Castle on your left, the former cafe now closed because of road rerouting.

    • klem 13.1

      “Coal has been identified as the number 1 biggest single causative factor in human induced climate change.”

      Um, but they haven’t proved their case for human induced climate change yet. I think you’ve jumped the gun on that one dearie.

      cheeers

      • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1

        Um, but they haven’t proved their case for human induced climate change yet.

        It’s been proved to better than 90% probability. I’m expecting the next IPCC report to say 95% probability. Personally, I’d say that’s close enough to say that it’s proved beyond reasonable doubt and that we should be acting on it.

        • RJLC 13.1.1.1

          You are wasting your breath DTB. “Klem” has been directed to the evidence on numerous previous occasions. ‘Denier troll’ is a term that appears apt in his regard.

          • Arfamo 13.1.1.1.1

            What’s happening to Arctic sea ice and the increasing loss of mass to glaciers and ice shelves pretty much clinches it for me – if it continues. There’s no doubt the global temperatures been steadily increasing for the last 300 years and especially steeply in the last 30. And it’s generally accepted scientifically I think that this co-relates remarkably with human-related CO2 emission levels. I haven’t seen the latest annual temps so I’m still waiting to see if they break out of the 16 year levelling off the denialists claim has happened. The graphs show the steady rise is happeng over decadal scales. From year to year they go up and down but the median point on the graphs keeps shifting inexorably up. If the climatologists are right we should be at the point where we should be clearly seeing consistent weather pattern changes, and it seems like we are. I don’t think cyclones/hurricanes can be said to be occurring more than in the past yet though. They have natural 20-40 year cycles of frequency and severity.

  14. klem 14

    “Historic U.S. drought will continue into spring and summer, experts say..”

    Headlines like this always make me laugh. They forget to mention that the drought occurred in arid and semi-arid parts of the USA. They do the same thing for floods, they forget to mention that the floods took place on established floodplains.

    Droughts in arid regions and floods on floodplains are about as unusual as snow at the south pole. Neo-libbies fall for it every time. Lol!

    Oh well, what can you say.

    cheers

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    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    2 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Women in Space.
    Count downThree twoI wonderIf I'll ever see you againI'm 'bout to take offI'm leaving youBut maybeI'll see you around somewhere some placeI just need some spaceA brief reminder that if you’re a Gold Card holder you can subscribe to Nick’s Kōrero for 20% off. You’re also welcome to use this ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • When an independent expert / advisory group is anything but ..
    OPINION: Yesterday, 1News reported that the Government's "independent" advisory group had recommended Kiwirail offload its ferries to another entity.Except this wasn't entirely new news at all, besides that it came formally from Nicola Willis’s advisory team.TVNZ is under significant cost pressure, and earlier this year, after expressing strong discontent with ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 9:00 am on Friday, July 12 are:Scoop: Ministerial group advises KiwiRail no longer run Cook Strait ferries 1News’ Julia RodenNews: ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 12-July-2024
    Kia ora and welcome to another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! The week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Scott delivered a delicious disquisition on donut cities, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Dominik Scythe on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Friday, July 11 are:Climate: Transport Minister Simeon Brown said in a release the Government's plan to reverse New ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 12
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s climate strategy ‘pamphlet’, its watering down of Clean Car Standards and its general lack of coherence;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Casey Costello strikes again
    Summary: A track record of deception is becoming evident in the Government’s Coalition alliance. Ministers across all parties have been found to either lie without contrite, and/or act unlawfully and unreasonably. The rails are coming off quicker than a marshmallow induced fantasy train ride as the conductors throw caution to ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28 2024
    Open access notables Antarctic Bottom Water Warming, Freshening, and Contraction in the Eastern Bellingshausen Basin, Johnson et al., Geophysical Research Letters Cold winds blowing over polynyas (areas of ice-free water) on the Antarctic continental shelf create sea ice, forming very cold and somewhat salty, hence very dense, waters. These dense ...
    4 days ago
  • We're back! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashWe’re back after a three-week mid-winter break. I needed a rest, but back into it. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s gas fantasy
    Yesterday the government released the advice on its proposal to repeal the offshore fossil gas exploration ban, including a Climate Implications of Policy Assessment statement, Cabinet paper, and Regulatory Impact Statement. I spent some time looking at these last night, and the short version is that the government's plan is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A criminal minister
    RNZ reports that cancer minister Casey Costello has been reprimanded and forced to apologise by the Ombudsman for acting "contrary to law" in her handling of an OIA request: Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced to apologise for trying to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
    New Zealand is one of six countries invited as onlookers to this week’s NATO summit in Washington. As such, PM Christopher Luxon will be made aware of the pressure on the 32 NATO member states (a) to increase their Defence spending (b) to become less militarily dependent on the US ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
    The revitalisation of Auckland city centre, especially around Wynyard Quarter, Te Komititanga, and Queen Street, is top of mind for Greater Auckland readers – but other cities around Aotearoa New Zealandare installing people-friendly streets. This guest post by Jessica de Heij, who grew up in the Netherlands and is an ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    5 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    6 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    6 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
    Last week at the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee, Kiwirail gave an update about the state of the network and the work they’re doing to get it ready for the opening of the City Rail Link. There were a few aspects that stood out to me so I’ve pulled them ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
    Photo by City Church Christchurch on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 8:00 am are:Scoop: Waipareira Trust political donations probe referred to Charities Registration Board NZ Herald-$$$’s Matt NippertScoop: Migrant whistleblowers speak out after ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
    This article by Robin Kundis Craig, Professor of Law, University of Kansas is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Federal Chevron deference is dead. On June 28, 2024, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old legal tenet that when a federal ...
    7 days ago
  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
    Note: This is a long readPolitical discourse on social media taught me that bad faith operators and tactics are not only prevalent, they are widespread and effective.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Their objectives are much narrower than one might imagine.The ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
    Hi,I am about to wing my way back to New Zealand for the Webworm popup this Saturday in Auckland — can’t wait to see some of you there! In the meantime, I highly recommend the latest pet thread over on the Webworm app. All I’ll say is that readers here ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
    Photo by Alex Zaj on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, news conferences reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 9 are:Politics: Full news conference: 'Please resign', Chloe Swarbrick tells Darleen Tana RNZ VideoPaper: Increasing speed ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
    The fundamental weakness of the waka jumping legislation is once again on display, as the Greens seem reluctant to trigger it to remove Darleen Tana from Parliament altogether. Tana has been suspended from the Greens Caucus while it had barrister Rachel Burt investigate allegations that she had been involved in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago

  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
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    6 days ago
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