web analytics

How To Get There 24/11/19

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, November 24th, 2019 - 48 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags:

 

This post is a place for positive discussion of the future.

An Open Mike for ideas, solutions and the discussion of the possible.

The Big Picture, rather than a snapshot of the day’s goings on. Topics rather than topical.

We’d like to think it’s success will be measured in the quality of comments rather than the quantity.

So have at it!

Let us know what you think …

48 comments on “How To Get There 24/11/19”

  1. greywarshark 1

    Fran's War by Sally Trench, is what I  have just read – a novel incorporating her experiences and observations from her mission to Bosnia to truck out helpless children caught up in the Bosnian outrage of 1991-1996.  People were trapped with no food and there seemed no humanitarian plans. 

    Her background was the charity Project Spark which she had been running since 1972 to help deprived and disadvantaged children.   She and other drivers took truck convoys to and from Bosnia.   They involved schools and 'one Church of England primary school with only seventy pupils aged 5-11 gathered two tons of tinned food….

    Between 1992-1993 over three million people became displaced in Bosnia and 36 journalists were killed, 1500 foreigners were detained by Croatian police.   As fighting approached Sarajevo, workers at two aid institutes fled, leaving 230 children on their own….

    An estimated 55,000 Muslim refugees in Mostar were starving to death;  water supplies had been cut and the bombed-out hospital tried to function in its basement without medicines.  Doctors were performing amputations without any form of anaesthetic.'    (greywarshark – Condensed for brevity.)

    Sally writes about Fran as a young and ingenious, brave girl separated from her parents but with the strengthening message of her mother in her mind.

    We are in difficulties on all sides, but never cornered.
    We see no answer to our problems, but we never despair.
    We have been persecuted but never deserted.

    Fran draws on this thought and part of a small family as one of older children caring for younger ones.    During a phase of good weather and less shelling of the area, Fran explores the remains of the city devastated by an enemy army, where seeking safe accommodation, water and food (eventually eating rats) can be the key to staying alive of individuals and supportive groups that become like families.  

    Fran opens a door and sees a room and an an old man sitting on the floor who invites her in.  He greets her and then courteously offers her tea – from a much-used teabag which holds the memory of past times of  refreshment.   Then he curiously asks her which book she prefers, the Bible, the Koran or Dickens.    He has been a Professor of Literature and is using his collection of 5000 books as fuel.    He heats water in a pan using pages torn from his precious books.
     
    He ponders on the greed and poverty that is the reason behind wars.   He thinks that "This war is about moving maps.   It's about power and greed."   And continues: "One of the major difficulties in society is that problems seem so huge and so complex that we, as ordinary people, make this an excuse to do nothing.    We believe that we are merely spectators of a developing situation which we feel helpless to influence and then we convince ourselves that only outside governments possess the power and resources to deal with our own problems.  And yet it is self-evident that governments can only get away with what we, the people, allow them to get away with – that is if you're in a democratic country.   
     
    I think the idea of people power will certainly re-emerge as an expression of anger.  I'm not advocating it, but there is, after all, a kind of anger which the Bible calls "righteous anger".   Until the world feels anger at the pangs of the hungry, the indignation of the poor, the alienation of ethnic cleansing, they are not likely to act effectively."
     
    She questions 'So what will happen to us'?  He quotes Edmund Burke:   "As long as good men do nothing, evil will triumph…..People power needs leadership, and there is a grave lack of leadership in this contemporary world.  We need someone with vision;  an act of seeing, of course, but it embraces both insight and foresight…There is a great need today for indignation against the things that are wrong in our society.  But indignation is sterile if it does not provoke us into positive action.   Apathy is the acceptance of the unacceptable."     
     
    Finally he posits: "A leader recognises the extent of his task and the strength of the opposition.  He knows, too, that his own contribution may be small in the overall scheme of things.   But he remembers the wise words:  'Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing, because he could do only a little.'  Au revoir my dear."    He left his final message for Fran in his locked dwelling that the group had to break into.   He had decided that as his wife had died recently, he would choose to die also, and after meeting Fran he left his rooms and stored food for her and her group.

    The book reminds us of past experiences in the roil of international history that NZrs are part of and that we have to think globally, and act locally and in this nation actively and now, and watch globally as well.   It's a big task for the thinkers and doers and the precepts given from Fran's mothers are the ones to keep in mind.
     

     

    • greywarshark 1.1

      Here is some beautiful music that fits the above.

      from Stabat Mater by Karl Jenkins – 9.10m  (turn the sound down then  can adjust)

      Karl Jenkins – Stabat Mater – Cantus Lacrimosus – 01

  2. Sacha 2

    One way to 'get there' is to respect the connections and different fields of expertise that can help solve big problems. Working together is something we can always do better.

    One NZ venture making smart tools for that is Loomio: https://www.loomio.org/

    What are other innovations have you found that help people come together and form shared purpose and action?

    • weka 2.1

      Do you think something like Loomio might have helped in the Ōwairaka situation?

      • Sacha 2.1.1

        I do not know how it addresses mandates or refusal to respect them, but the evidence base would be there alongside the discussion at least.

        The 'big problems' to be addressed in that case are really local governance and the Tiriti relationship.

        • greywarshark 2.1.1.1

          Here is an item on Owairaka from Radionz.   From what I have heard I have formed a prejudiced opinion of rigid bureaucracy and targets and goals that have become set in stone even if they are overblown and excessive, and a far less 'Grand Scheme' would be sufficient to meet the requirements of good and pragmatic outcomes.

          I will read the item now and see whether my prejudice is justified.   At present I have an image of Eddie Izzard acting out the arrogance of the powerful ones over-riding the wishes of the local people.

          (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9W1zTEuKLY

        • weka 2.1.1.2

          which is an issue of citizen engagement. I listened to the Prager interview, and while I disagree that she is mana whenua, I found it very interesting for two reasons. One is that the issues she describes about planning and community awareness are very familiar. NZ is largely locked into systems of consultation that by design lose a lot of people.

          The other is that, hearing her background, the thing that stood out for me is she has no cultural/spiritual home because Pākehā are largely disconnected from the land at the collective cultural level (hence her trying to define herself as mana whenua). We still largely relate to the land, institutionally, as a resource not as our mother. This is a big deal for Pākehā imo, and it underlies our unwillingness to do things like meaningful climate action or protecting water.

          Both those need to be dealt with by increasing democracy rather than simply imposing (more) authority. In the Ōwairaka, it's reasonably clear who is mana whenua and who has authority (under Māori and Pākehā systems), but that doesn't address how to bring people along.

          In the regenag communities there is debate about the issue of removing exotics for the sake of it (sometimes exotics are good). I can't tell with Ōwairaka whether the reasoning is sound around timing, but saying that the (science) experts said it's best doesn't work for me because DOC, and regional and city/district councils throughout NZ routinely use slash and burn approaches to exotics and do a lot of environmental damage. F and B and similar NGO and community groups likewise.

           

          • greywarshark 2.1.1.2.1

            Simple wishes to return to the pre-built environment or allow the native trees to flourish instead of exotics of all kinds is now redundant.   

            Lots of trees is what is required for helping to keep the climate bounded, shade is required so we can get out of the pitiless sun when weather patterns remain stuck for long periods.  

            Pulling out useful trees because some prissy and gormless tunnel-visioned environmentalist is a no-no;  we don't want to go into re-education as certain dominating regimes have done, but we can't allow simple simons going around being wise on past years’ approaches, it is now and the future we must act for, and incorporate what is good from the past.

            Some interesting quotes:

            George Santayana

            Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

            • Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.
              .
              Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect.

            In fact, the whole machinery of our intelligence, our general ideas and laws, fixed and external objects, principles, persons, and gods, are so many symbolic, algebraic expressions. They stand for experience; experience which we are incapable of retaining and surveying in its multitudinous immediacy. We should flounder hopelessly, like the animals, did we not keep ourselves afloat and direct our course by these intellectual devices. Theory helps us to bear our ignorance of fact.

            Edmund Burke
            "People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors."

            https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Santayana

            It has all been said before;  now is the time for all good people to read and digest and consider and collaborate and act, and appreciate each other's gifts and personality and accept the wonder of our random unique arrival and make our brief time here a blessing for ourselves and others, as we can.   Anonymouse

            • weka 2.1.1.2.1.1

              I don't think Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority can in any way be characterised as a prissy, gormless and tunnel-visioned environmentalist. Mana whenua have very long relationships with the place, including a different kind of relationship than most Pākehā, and the knowledge that comes with that.

              https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/about-auckland-council/how-auckland-council-works/kaupapa-maori/comanagement-authorities-boards/tupuna-maunga-tamaki-makaurau-authority/Pages/default.aspx

              "Simple wishes to return to the pre-built environment or allow the native trees to flourish instead of exotics of all kinds is now redundant."

              On the contrary, there are compelling reasons for maintaining native ecosystems, as well as restoring them. There are biodiversity systems that cannot be had any other way. Even if you don't value native systems for their own sake, they are highly integrated systems because of their long evolutionary process and thus important in a climate change world. I don't think anyone is arguing that Ōwairaka shouldn't be restored to native.

              One of the key things about ecology and sustainability (and thus climate action) is the importance of relationship. So it's not simply about the shade that a tree can provide or the birds nesting in its branches, it's also about the relationships between all those things and how stable they are and how those relationships and stability create the whole. There is a lot to be learned about this from Māori, and also systems thinkers in regenerative parts of society.

              I personally think there are strong spiritual reasons for protecting and restoring native ecologies, and this too is part of climate action. The more we let ourselves belong to the land, the more likely we will tend and defend it like our family.

               

          • Sacha 2.1.1.2.2

            In the regenag communities there is debate about the issue of removing exotics for the sake of it (sometimes exotics are good). I can’t tell with Ōwairaka whether the reasoning is sound around timing, but saying that the (science) experts said it’s best doesn’t work for me because DOC, and regional and city/district councils throughout NZ routinely use slash and burn approaches to exotics and do a lot of environmental damage. F and B and similar NGO and community groups likewise.

            I have heard no reason to distrust the experts involved in this process about the need to remove the root systems of existing large trees to enable new ones to grow on the same spot.

            But these people are not protesting about evidence.

            • weka 2.1.1.2.2.1

              I haven't seen a good analysis of the site and the rationales (just seen people saying the experts say), nor anything indepth from the protestors. Removing trees to create space might be an argument for selective removal.

              If it were happening where I live, I'd be concerned about the trees for their own sake, as well as the bush. But maybe Ak has a surfeit of trees, whereas lots of places down here don't have any or many so each tree strikes me as significant.

              Yes, it’s more than about evidence, hence my original question of whether something like Loomio would have helped.

              • Dukeofurl

                TMA have been planting new natives on  Owairaka and certainly they can  be planted and grow as an understory to the large exotics as  well.

                 Its funny how I have been there often like at Ihumatao before all the rukus blows up.

                When TMA has as its experts Treescape they are goining to maximise removal in one go.

                • weka

                  I still haven't seen the rationale for removing all the exotics on one go.

                  • Sacha

                    It exists, whether or not we have seen it. /open-mike-24-11-2019/#comment-1668588

                    • weka

                      If you haven't seen it, how do you know what it is? I've seen a single link (on twitter) that attempted to explain, but it relied on 'trust us, we're experts'. I'm not saying they don't have a good rationale, I'm saying that I don't have an opinion on the rationale yet because I haven't seen it, but I'm not assuming that they are right. What I am seeing is lots of people saying the experts have good reasons, but little explanation of what those are. Certainly not enough to then have a conversation about whether it's got some of the problems of other authorities as mentioned above.

                    • Sacha

                      I've skimmed the Ngahere report a couple of weeks ago via Twitter (from Bookface I believe). Couldn't see the link again when I looked just now.

                      In any case, I trust the bodies and the people making the decision to have done their jobs properly (and I'm not driven by deeper motives about who should get to decide, like some of the protestors are).

                    • weka

                      Right, which is the position that many liberals take. Native good, exotic bad, trust the experts. There is however valid critique to be made of that position and it's very interesting to see how hard it is to even have the conversation. I've been treading carefully with the Ak situation because I think the mana whenua context makes it more complex and sensitive. But I and many others routinely see exotic plants removed (usually by poison, often by felling) to the detriment of the environment. And that slash/burn approach is endorsed by the experts including those within pro-native orgs like DOC, and F and B. So 'trust the experts' needs examining imo, especially because of climate change.

                      So while you may have been satisfied with Te Ngahere report, I'm guessing you weren't running a regen eye over it nor thinking about it in the context of the issues I am raising. Which isn't to say they are wrong, just that we haven't had the full conversation yet.

                    • Sacha

                      I'd say it is more likely the bigger trees are exotics rather than natives just because of who controlled that land at the time they were planted.

                      There has been broader local body work across the region over the last couple of decades to restore native bush connections for birds in particular from the gulf islands to the Waitakere ranges, and this is just another part of that.

                      Some strong threads about restoring wairua and mana in there. It is not however a regenerative agriculture venture so no doubt you may see some different angles.

                      Most private plantings across Auckland have been and will continue to be exotics so I don't think they are in any danger of extinction.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Hi weka. I'm very interested in the discussion and recognise that it's fraught; marty mars will go ballistic smiley but thinking our way through the native/exotic question (I know it's not really a binary, but want to ignite debatesmiley is to my mind, really crucial to how we manage our world into the future, if we are fortunate enough to have one. For example, the question of containing/preventing fires through the planting of flame-proof trees (oaks are best, and exotic-as) requires some debate; will we plant firebreaks through native forests with oaks, etc. My personal view, which is no secret at all, is that we need to quickly adapt our kaitiakitanga (shouldn't use that term unless we have manawhenua, doncha know) to an effective, rather than a theoretical one; that is, gather all the information available, no matter where it originates, and get very busy ensuring the place doesn't burn to the ground. It requires Greek thinking in the early stages and some good old Roman pragmatism when the decisions get tough. As to the issue of the existing exotic trees being felled and their roots removed; wtf? All that stored-as-roots carbon? All those tree-specific mycchorriza lost?? All that soil disturbed and it's humus-held carbon oxidised?? It's difficult to get the full picture from this distance, but easy enough to test some of the claims being made by both sides. The interview was cringe, but amongst the dross, some gold (or rather, preta) Mahingarangi wasn't great, I reckon  (for Marty smiley

                    • Sacha

                      I believe they were talking about preventing the root systems competing for nutrients, rather than actually ripping them out. Weka has a copy of the report now so may be able to say more.

                    • weka []

                      haven’t found a way to upload it yet. Nor can I find the original online. Would the word redacted in the file name suggest it’s not meant to be in the public domain?

                    • Sacha

                      On the contrary, redacted means it has been prepared to be public (well in a resource consent process anyway).

                    • weka

                      For example, the question of containing/preventing fires through the planting of flame-proof trees (oaks are best, and exotic-as) requires some debate; will we plant firebreaks through native forests with oaks, etc.

                      Can you give some examples of where you are thinking? In the Longwoods? Middle of Fiordland National Park?

                      I've been thinking about what's going to happen to the tussocklands and other higher ecosystems that are now carrying a lot more flammable material than in recent memory. Farmers have been pointing out the fire risks for a while, but their solution is burn and overgraze. I'm tending more towards keeping humans out of certain areas eg conservation estate that has has sheep removed but is still at the bracken stage. Mostly I want to see a wide range of people involved in those conversations. I don't know what work DOC, F and B and so on have done on this already.

                      One of the values of Pākehā not using the term kaitiaki for themselves is that it prompts use to think in our own language about what we are trying to communicate. We have some work to do culturally to shift us from resource caretakers to people who belong.

                    • weka

                      Here's the report, Robert you might be interested in the species lists. I've not lived in that climate so I don't have a good sense of what those plants will be doing.

                      /wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Owairaka-Ecological-Assessment-Oct-18-Redacted-3.pdf

                       

                • Sacha

                  There was a detailed site report from Te Ngahere.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Sacha, I reckon the debate around what is native/sacrosanct and what is exotic/invasive, is a very interesting and intense one. Aside from the particular situation at Owairaka, do you have a rule of thumb you employ when deciding the matter?

                    • Sacha

                      I never have to make any decisions of that sort.

                      The overall plan about how to manage the region's maunga was signed off in 2016. I expect the reasoning/principles will have been mentioned in that process.

                    • Grafton Gully

                      You can decide if native or exotic by referring to books on the NZ flora.  There will be a few plants where it is not easy to decide if self introduced or not, but in deciding on extermination the standard books on flora should suffice. 

                      Extermination when expedient is embedded in a humanity that imagines itself separate from and in authority over life on earth.   

                      The sacrosanct or invasive decision is obviously far more difficult because people have different points of view and opinions.  In my opinion the old exotic trees on Auckland's volcanic hills are sacrosanct invaders that have been part of peoples lives for generations.  I mourn their death, accepting that the destroyer's idea of sanctity differs from mine and is supported by legislation. 

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Grafton Gully – what do you think of the idea that previously exotic trees could be brought into the native "fold"; perhaps one a year, voted-for by the public; perhaps the apple tree, I would like to suggest, or the macrocarpa, given their service to herons and owls (ruru too). If that flew, we might consider exotic insects as well; the honeybee? Very much valued by humans living on these far-flung Pacific islands. After all, kiore have been granted taonga status; why not bees? Bumbles as well. There's a lot we could discuss here. Mammals that are now at home here. Then, cultures; how about we grant "native" status to one "exotic" culture as a gesture of friendship. Then some others…smiley

                    • Sacha

                      Robert, who is the 'we' you imagine doing this granting, and under what authority?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Humans, assembled, virtually and actually, for the purpose of exploring this new proposal. We vote for "Bird of the Year" don't we? If it was "Manu o te  Tau" wouldn't we do the same? 

                    • Pingau

                      Reply to Robert … The answer is … that depends! Some exotics are aģressively invasive and will change an ecosystem and diminish biodiversity in one place but in another place are not really a problem. Many exotics are quite mild mannered. Some wicked north island natives are a bit invadey down South in Canterbury (e.g. karo, north island houhere).

                      I sometimes think the way to tell if something is a pest or not is if it 1) is altering or will cause harm to … an ecosystem/agriculture/human health and 2) if it is expensive or difficult to control once it establishes in the wild.

                    • weka

                      'Native' already has a clear meaning though, and I can't see how artificially and arbitrarily bringing non-natives into the definition is useful or meaningful. Would it not be more change our relationship with the introduced plants?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Ah, but is the definition "native" a help or a hindrance as we battle to save the environmrent from the effects of our presence here? Are we on the brink of an overthrow of old paradigms; a necessary redefining?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Are kiore native?

                      Are humans native?

                       

                    • Incognito []

                      Only last week another commenter, who shall not be named, argued “[t]he whole concept of “indigenous people” is a ridiculous Eurocentric term anyway”.

                      What is the point of these ‘discussions’?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I do recognise the "danger" of including humans in the discussion, Incognito and would prefer to stick to plants, the original focus of the thread. What's the point in teasing out understandings of "belonging" or "origin"? I think, with regard plants, trees in particular, old descriptions and beliefs need to be revisited and dissolved if they doom those plants, the environments they live in or the people who live there too, to extinction. I can see that my view is not shared here and it's not surprising; it's one that is tentative and barely-formed, but waiting on the other side of a thorough discussion of the issues is a prescription for necessary change involving the plant world and humans as caretakers. These differentiations are holding back our understanding, imo. I'm not proposing a particular world-view, just angling for discussion however in light of the lack of traction and expiration of the thread (they don't last much more than a day, do they) I'll retire still hungry. 

                    • weka []

                      “Ah, but is the definition “native” a help or a hindrance as we battle to save the environmrent from the effects of our presence here? Are we on the brink of an overthrow of old paradigms; a necessary redefining?”

                      Come back to me in 700 years and we can talk about whether macrocarpa are then native to NZ 😉

                      I’m not aware of macro having established itself in the wild, so probably not a good example but I’d be interested to hear your rationale for that choice. Are honey bees still living in the wild? So bumblebees then. To be native (in my lay person opinion) there would need to be something like evolutionary adaptation that separates the species from bumblebees in their home ecology. I think the argument you are making is more about how humans define things rather than about how nature organises. Western science isn’t the only world view I hold, but it’s still useful to be able to discern between different sets of things. If we can’t tell x from y, how can we talk about it, or have a deeper relationship with both?

                      “is the definition “native” a help or a hindrance as we battle to save the environmrent from the effects of our presence here? Are we on the brink of an overthrow of old paradigms; a necessary redefining?”

                      I think it’s very helpful. We can and should overthrow old paradigms, but we might want to keep the baby even though we are done with the bathwater (overthrow or pour into a reedbed?). When we value exotics for their own sake and their role in ecologies as introduced plants then we might be able to start thinking about how species can be integrated more deeply. One barrier to appropriate response to CC is the Pākehā discomfit about being introduced and the contradiction between native/good/exotic/bad for the rest of nature but not applying it to ourselves. The resolution to that lies in loving nature rather than separating it into good and bad.

                    • Incognito []

                      I don’t have (the) answers, just loads of questions or thoughts rather.

                      When people mention sacrosanct I interpret that as rather purist and dogmatic, based on and in favour of (an) ideology and usually at the expense of other ideologies. It can also have moral overtones – there are certain terms for this, which I won’t mention because it will rip the lid of the proverbial can of worms. I don’t think talking about native or endemic versus exotic species is particular helpful unless it is very clear what the context is. By that, I mean what is the purpose and intention of the parties/people involved.

                      Should all non-native plants and trees be considered pests or weeds by default? On what ground [no pun]?

                      Should every Gingko, which is a living fossil, be literally be uprooted and destroyed? And the English Oak?

                      I think it often comes down to perception more than to science.

                      The flora and fauna is a hugely complex system, which we humans don’t fully understand. Yet, we make claims we can and should (must?) control it.

                      These systems have evolved over long periods of time and on one hand they are incredibly fragile, e.g. to outside influences such as invaders (pathogens), yet on the other hand they are incredibly stable and resilient, e.g. they recover from natural disasters such as floods, storms, fires, harsh winters. The thing that seems to be often overlooked is that they are still evolving, as this never stops really.

                      With climate change, we’ll see these systems change and respond. Who are we to stop these things?

                      I think human hubris knows no boundaries and instead of playing God, we should show respect and be in awe of powers that are much greater than ours are. We can master but never control them.

                    • Sacha

                      The prime consideration here is how well plants sustainably fit their local ecosystem. It's a principle in the overall regional maunga plan.

                      Does not matter what you call them but the least risky choices will be proven over longer time periods.

                      There are also other dimensions that the maunga authority has heeded. It is a body combining iwi and council representation so has had many perspectives to draw on in coming up with its plans.

                      There has been a process. If people do not like that they do not get veto rights simply by being noisy or having enough spare time to sit on a folding chair and wave a placard.

          • greywarshark 2.1.1.2.3

            There used to be workshops on the Treaty of Waitangi run around NZ by activists i think, but with government funding.    When determined to do things better government can get behind projects.    It is time we had workshop projects on how civic matters should be planned and facts gathered.    Having citizens understand that local governance is not just about where to put drains (an important matter) could result from taking part in a planning exercise with real outcomes.   It could start from being given three options and the first decision would be which to choose, and why. 

            It is no use just having more democracy.    People have to think about what is being planned.    At meetings there is usually someone who can talk hypnotically and they take up a quarter of the discussion time at a meeting with say 40 people.   So ways of running meetings to ensure full understanding and growth of thinking of a reasonable critique would be helpful.

            • weka 2.1.1.2.3.1

              The problem with meetings is that they tend to favour people without responsibilities. Think women with young kids. Maybe it's a matter of taking the issues to where those people are. Or adopting hui/marae formats where people live in and the kids come along and are taken care of.

              Or, use something like Loomio, and fund internet access for people that don't have it.

  3. joe90 3

    Yay trees!

    Clients: Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) and Speak for the Trees (SFTT)

    Authors: Bryndis Woods and Liz Stanton, PhD

    November 2019

    Researcher Bryndis Woods and Clinic Director and Senior Economist Liz Stanton, PhD prepared a policy brief that compares two cutting-edge carbon dioxide emission sequestration (or storage) technologies on the basis of cost, history of success, near-term commercial viability, co-benefits, and potential risks: 1) Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), and 2) Technosilvicultural Reclamation for Environmental Emission Sequestration (TREES). Our assessment finds TREES facilities to be competitive with, or superior to, CCS in all evaluation categories: TREES facilities are less expensive per ton of CO2 stored, have a longer history of success, stronger near-term viability, more robust co-benefits, and fewer risks than CCS.

    https://aeclinic.org/publicationpages/2019/11/20/technosilvicultural-reclamation-for-environmental-emission-sequestration

  4. Drowsy M. Kram 4

    Nothing new in this idea for those reading here, but interesting to me nevertheless.

    Wasn't much of a long-term thinker; more focused on short-term threats/consequences.  But climate change/global warming has shifted my focus.

    Brain biases

    We lack the collective will to address climate change because of the way our brains have evolved over the last two million years.

    “Humans are very bad at understanding statistical trends and long-term changes,” says political psychologist Conor Seyle, director of research at One Earth Future Foundation, a programme incubator that focuses on fostering peace long-term.

    “We have evolved to pay attention to immediate threats. We overestimate threats that are less likely but easier to remember, like terrorism, and underestimate more complex threats, like climate change.”

    ***********

    “Cognitive biases that ensured our initial survival make it difficult to address complex, long-term challenges that now threaten our existence, like climate change,” says Seyle.

    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190304-human-evolution-means-we-can-tackle-climate-change

  5. WeTheBleeple 5

    The might Kauri is felled by a microscopic organism that is, in turn, controlled by the exudates of Kanuka roots. Titoki leaves provide fodder for Tui when nothing else is available. Coprosma are a fire retardant species that also provide protection from wind and fodder for birds. The roles of each species are myriad but our understanding is poor. 

    It stands to reason many such relationships exist and so natives should be treated as ecosystem parts that together make more than the sum of parts, rather than singular species. A firebreak in a forest might be edged with the light loving wind and fire resistant coprosma, as it is made for such a job. This in turn provides shade and shelter for other species that, in turn, enhance others.

    Exotics are here to stay. We'd starve without them. But where they get to stay is the point requiring attention. Where land is set aside as a reserve I see no reason for keeping exotics unless they have a specific ecosystem service natives may not provide e.g. rapid growth for biomass to rebuild depleted soil. If the land is to yield more than carbon capture and habitat, exotics are (most likely) required. If the land is to be set aside as a nature reserve, go as natural as you can – lower maintenance, native habitat, nursery, seed and breeding sources… Self replicating systems of ecological value are priceless. If they are not spreading themselves out (a source of propagules) something is amiss.

    Our unique ecosystems require conservation efforts. Wetland restoration needs to occur on a broad scale to counter the depletion of aquifers (and myriad other benefits). The myriad connections and support systems between species that have evolved alongside each other is obviously beyond our understanding right now as, most ecologists I know are specialists, and don't connect between themselves let alone the dots. When you make statements like this they get defensive and point out all the conferences attended where they listen to each others work – and go back into their boxes afterward.

    Forests are an open microbial-fungal-insect-avian-animal-plant-soil-water-atmosphere system. Both the plants and the soil are habitat and important components of carbon capture and other services e.g. pollution reduction, water cycle (ground = storage, filtration and nutrient capture; plant = uptake, erosion control and rain catalyst). Both the generation of, attenuation of, and cleansing of water are microbially dependent, which are in turn plant dependent, which are in turn dependent on microbes, fungi and animals for nutrient capture, pathogen resistance, seed distribution etc. 

    No plant is an island. That is why so many Ag systems require so many inputs to run. A plant requiring fertiliser might instead be supplied by nitrogen fixing and deep rooted mineral gathering species, birds pooping, fungi eating rocks and lignin to trade for sugars…  Nature knows how to grow forests, we are amateurs, rank amateurs at best.

    Exotics are part and parcel of systems designed to provide for humans. The monocultures do little to enhance anything but BAU and landowner profit. These are the systems we could add natives to to enhance, and more exotics to diversify production lending insurance to the vagaries of markets and seasonally variant plant afflictions. 

    Forest or food forest – the roles of plants as they interact with each other and other types of organisms require better understanding. Plants are species within systems, they are integral working parts of a whole. Reductionism has failed us isolating productive plants and creating systems where they are central despite this rarely ever occurring naturally. These plants are junkies, requiring a fix constantly.

    Production systems of exotics should be designed as mixed species systems for many reasons, the most obvious being the ability to (at least partially) provide for themselves. Reduced inputs = raised profits. Where we plant is rarely even considered we instead force land to do our bidding, and then issues are never ending. 

    It's a whole other book describing a productive exotic system that is at once economically and ecologically sound, think food forest, but as well as trees that provide for us, there are also trees that provide for trees. And we, the Kaitiaki, watching closely.

    • Pingau 5.1

      Yes this!

      Thanks WTB – it seems to me that in European/Pakeha culture that most people view plants as interchangeable objects primarily for human use rather than an integral part of natural systems. Likewise, rivers are thought of as water (that is wasted if not "used") rather than a part of various systems.

       

  6. Stuart Munro. 6

    Some of you may be aware of the Good Bitches – an outfit promoting a better society by sharing food. A friend in Turkey drew my attention to this  http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20191125-turkeys-ancient-tradition-of-paying-it-forward?ocid=ww.social.link.facebook&fbclid=IwAR22YOZfCsSpcm2k-DjDLQR-hcTAwkPaXa6IzJqs7iw1KPWvMK1x8L5JEjQ

    which might be another path for greater community support.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • We have a date
    The Prime Minister has just announced the election date as 19 September. So, its a Suffrage Day election, and well before the Trump hits the fan in the US. The no-longer-new practice of announcing the election date well in advance is good, and puts everyone on a more even footing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 hours ago
  • The coronavirus outbreak in China: what a difference a week makes
    When it comes to emerging infectious diseases and outbreaks, so much can happen in a week. In the case of the coronavirus outbreak in China, I’ve gone from not being too alarmed, to thinking “oh, crap!”. But that still doesn’t mean we should all panic. As I’m writing this on ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    22 hours ago
  • National cries wolf over Coronavirus
    Opposition MP Michael WoodhouseLast week, the current National Party leader, Simon Bridges, claimed that the Minister of Health wasn’t leading on ‘significant issues that matter to New Zealanders within his Health portfolio’ when commenting about the Government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak.This silly comment was made despite David Clark working ...
    1 day ago
  • Fluoridation and sex steroid hormones – or the mouse that roared
    All the recent research anti-fluoride campaigners promote as “evidence” of harm from community water fluoridation amount to cherry-picking a very few statistically significant results from a large number of non-significant results. The whole exercise is a bit like the “Mouse that Roared.” Credit: The Mouse that Roared – TMTR Intro ...
    1 day ago
  • Leave Neve alone
    Neve Te Aroha Gayford at RatanaI’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that the Ratana birthday celebrations this year were a well-attended event that went off without much of a hitch. This is in stark contrast to previous years, where some form of controversy has usually taken centre ...
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #4
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 19, 2020 through Sat, Jan 25, 2020 Editor's Pick The companies that have contributed most to climate change Thought-provoking readings on those most responsible for the pollution. Sometimes, ...
    2 days ago
  • The swimming pool paradox
    It’s another warm day, but the breeze isn’t helping much, so off I go to the inviting outdoor swimming pool (banner picture) at the other end of campus. It’s an unheated pool (well, there’s no artificial heat source), which means one thing: It’s going to feel cold when I get ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • 100 seconds to midnight
    The Doomsday Clock is a tracker created by he Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for how close we are to global destruction. Created in 1947, it got worse as the Cold War started, then improved as it cooled down, then got worse again as Ronald Reagan tried to confront the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A multitude of drops: Social tipping points in climate action
    If you’re here, you probably know that the climate crisis is upon us, that it’s getting steadily worse, and that attempts to address it haven’t worked yet. People are still driving and even advertising SUVs with impunity, and oil companies are exploring like crazy, even in New Zealand. Politically, socially, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • The Thoughtful Mr Parker.
    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    4 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    4 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    5 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    5 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    6 days ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    7 days ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    1 week ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Should I ditch my fossil-fueled car?
    Yes. Reducing the number of cars in your household, or switching from petrol/diesel to electric, will dramatically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the easiest and highest-impact climate steps you can take. New Zealand is being flooded with cars The New Zealand vehicle fleet is increasing rapidly. In ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin
    This interview with Quentin Crisp is part of a series of articles republished from Planet, the independent magazine I edited in the early 90s from a base at 309 Karangahape Road, along with Grant Fell, Rachael Churchward, Fiona Rae, David Teehan, Mere Ngailevu and others.Inevitably, you forget things, and over ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #1, 2020
    Supply Side How are we doing with CO2 emissions? It's an important question, increasingly posed to a mixed bag of CO2 contributors who may or may not provide accurate reportage. Liu et al present a new, additional means of measurement based on satellite observations of nitrogen dioxide co-emitted from ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Donald Trump’s strategic gamble
    There’s a meme going around the Internet at the moment claiming that Donald Trump is a bit of an idiot. To outside eyes it does seem as though the President of the United States thumbs his nose at his own countries laws and administration far too often to be taken ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    5 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    6 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PM announces election date as September 19
    The 2020 General Election will be held on Saturday 19 September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the Government, which is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into constructionProvincial Growth Fund supports Waika...
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • New Zealand to support Pacific Public Sector Hub
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced New Zealand’s support for a Pacific-led hub that will strengthen public services across the region. “Strengthening public services is a core focus of New Zealand’s Pacific Reset, as efforts to improve democratic governance in the Pacific contributes to a strong, stable and more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago