Is there a middle ground on climate change

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 am, May 11th, 2019 - 271 comments
Categories: climate change, Conservation, disaster, Environment, food, global warming, science, sustainability, us politics - Tags: ,

This is the question posed by US Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden.

From the Hill:

Former Vice President Joe Biden is looking to pitch a middle-ground approach to climate change as he faces a field of Democratic presidential primary challengers that has increasingly embraced more sweeping solutions on the issue, Reuters reported Friday.

Heather Zichal, a former Obama administration official who is informally advising Biden’s campaign, told Reuters that part of that plan, which is still being crafted, will likely include recommitting to the Paris climate agreement, the global greenhouse gas emissions pact that President Trump withdrew from in 2017.

It could also mean preserving existing emission standards and fuel efficiency requirements, Zichal said.

A second unidentified source told the news agency that Biden’s climate change plan could also seek to embrace energy sources like nuclear and fossil fuel options.

Zichal quickly pushed back on the Reuters report, saying the news outlet “got it wrong” and asserting that Biden “would enact a bold policy to tackle climate change in a meaningful and lasting way.”

But I am with Naomi Klein on this.

The threat posed by climate change is so huge why would we be only half hearted about it?

Would we tolerate 500,000 species extinctions instead of the million that is projected?

Would we prefer that fish stocks are depleted in 60 years rather than 30?

Could we live with 120 more harvests from our fragile soil base rather than the projected 60?

This talk of middle ground is nothing more than a rhetorical flourish seeking balance between an extraordinarily strong scientific consensus and a anti scientific crusade fed by conspiracy theories resourced by those that do not want their power threatened.

I hope that Biden’s timidity means that his chances of being the next nominee crash.  We really need strong determined  leadership at this time.

271 comments on “Is there a middle ground on climate change”

  1. Wayne 1

    Micky,

    It is pretty obvious that the reason for Biden's approach is to actually win the election. Otherwise you could end with Trump again. And that means zero progress.

    Incidentally the US record on reducing emissions is pretty good.

    In the US the change from coal to gas has meant a major reduction in CO2 production from energy production.

    The car industry continues to improve energy efficiency. More importantly it is swinging toward electric vehicles. By 2030 it might be pretty difficult to buy a petrol driven car. 

    New Zealand needs to ban the importation of fossil fuel cars from 2030 onward. Probably could not include trucks. Shifting trucks to electricity has yet not even started (in terms of what you can buy). But for cars, all major manufacturers will have electric vehicles (or plugin hybrids) widely available from 2020 onward.

    • RedLogix 1.1

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

      I generally find people who advocate that only perfection is acceptable, rarely achieve anything.

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        "The threat posed by climate change is so huge why would we be only half hearted about it?"

        Because we don't love the world and all Her inhabitants. If we did, we'd not be in this position. Until we do, nothing significant will happen.

        • RedLogix 1.1.1.1

          Because we don't love the world and all Her inhabitants.

          Nothing wrong with idealism as a motive. But that doesn't keep the lights on and food in the supermarkets. If we want to get there, we have to take everyone. Not just the people we like, or the ones who readily agree with us.

          How are we going to collectively make coherent sense of this new world we have to build?  Yelling at each other is going to do it.

      • AB 1.1.2

        “I generally find people who advocate that only perfection is acceptable, rarely achieve anything.”

        Well, I generally find that people who accept imperfection, accept too much of it.

        Also, I wouldn't really characterise doing just enough on climate change to give ourselves a fighting chance as "perfection".

        RL – I totally get your belief that balance and mutual respect of different opinions is essential to civilised society. It's a common theme for you here. In a perfect world that's how it would be. But we are living inside a radical right-wing status quo of 40 years duration that has skewed everything beyond the reach of such even-handed reasonableness.

        I actually think it is you who is tending towards the perfectionist/idealist in thinking we can bring the polite habits of the debating society to such a gunfight.  

        • RedLogix 1.1.2.1

          If it's a gunfight you want, don't be surprised if the metaphor takes on a life of it's own.

      • Jenny - How to get there? 1.1.3

        “I generally find people who advocate that only perfection is acceptable, rarely achieve anything.” RedLogix.

        That may be quite true Red. But it is those rare achievements that mark our progress as a people and a nation.

        I generally find that people who advocate compromise never achieve anything.  Further I generally find the compromisers are responsible for us falling further and further behind from holding onto the gains that we fought so hard in the past to achieve.

      • Rae 1.1.4

        Ever heard of "You got to aim high to hit high". The way we are going we won't even hit the side of a barn, from the inside!

    • mickysavage 1.2

      Thanks Wayne.  What if that means that there are 500,000 species extinctions?  And shouldn't the political system come up with decisions that are needed?

      • Wayne 1.2.1

        mickysavage

        Well, thats Biden's position.

        Do you have any reaction to my suggestion that NZ ban the import of fossil fuelled cars (excluding plugin hybrids) from 2030 onward? Should the government do this?

        I had an item on this issue in The Spinoff, which included a subsidy plan for lower income families.

        • mickysavage 1.2.1.1

          Hi Wayne yes I do.

          I understand that on current trends the cost of a hybrid will be comparable if not superior to petrol cars by then so why not? Electricity generation by then should be almost carbon free. Then we have time to get methane emissions under control and industrial production reduced and/or offset.

          • Jenny - How to get there? 1.2.1.1.1

            Now that would be something. If only we had something like that in the Zero Carbon bill. Instead of nothing…..

        • KJT 1.2.1.2

          Agree. However we should also be developing our own electric commuter car industry, banning long haul trucking and passenger flights in the near future, and replacing it with electric rail, and shipping.

          All things that are anathema to our "centre right" Governments.

        • KJT 1.2.1.3

          Then we have the contradiction that Capitalism relies on exponential growth, to work. A physical impossibility in a planet with finite resources.

          How do we resolve that?

          Certainly not by tinkering, or by expecting everyone but the wealthy, to pay the costs.

          • RedLogix 1.2.1.3.1

            A physical impossibility in a planet with finite resources.

            10,000 years ago we sustained populations of barely a few millions as subsistence hunter gatherers and burning wood. At each technology step we've learnt how to use previously unsuspected resources to sustain populations that would have been 'physically impossible' using the previous 'finite' resources.

            Neo-Malthusiasm is a persistent intellectual theme, especially among those who enjoy the prospect of mass human die-off.

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

            • Pat 1.2.1.3.1.1

              "The neo-Malthusian revival has drawn criticism from writers who claim the Malthusian warnings were overstated or premature because the green revolution has brought substantial increases in food production and will be able to keep up with continued population growth.[14][26] Julian Simon, a cornucopian, has written that contrary to neo-Malthusian theory, Earth's "carrying capacity" is essentially limitless.[1][how?] Responding to Simon, Al Bartlett reiterates the potential of population growth as an exponential (or as expressed by Malthus, "geometrical") curve to outstrip both natural resources and human ingenuity.[27] Bartlett writes and lectures particularly on energy supplies, and describes the "inability to understand the exponential function" as the "greatest shortcoming of the human race".[28] The Club of Rome and its 1972 report The Limits to Growth are fundamentally Malthusian in their outlook.

              Prominent neo-Malthusians such as Paul Ehrlich maintain that ultimately, population growth on Earth is still too high, and will eventually lead to a serious crisis.[11][29] The 2007–2008 world food price crisis inspired further Malthusian arguments regarding the prospects for global food supply.[30]"

               

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

               



            • Rae 1.2.1.3.1.2

              Sorry but he is still right, we cannot continue to grow on a finite planet forever, we have destroyed so much of it already and going great guns at the moment, we have great masses of waste, especially plastic, we are still flattening rainforests even though there buggar all left in real terms to flatten. It is absolute nonsense to think that we can continue on this path.

            • KJT 1.2.1.3.1.3

              10 000 years ago the earth sustained billions of large animals, as well as humans.

              How many passengers pigeons, buffalo, whales, lions and the rest, still exist?

              • Pat

                billions? …perhaps . Its estimated there were 30 to 60 million bison in north america pre columbus….there are currently over 110 million cattle. The estimates for humans vary widely are vigorously disputed but appear to range from 3 to 20 million…..current population is in excess of 360 million (excluding Mexico)

                pre columbus population of jet/ic engines was zero

          • JohnSelway 1.2.1.3.2

            " Then we have the contradiction that Capitalism relies on exponential growth, to work. A physical impossibility in a planet with finite resources. "

            Capitalism can very easily work with renewable resources and doesn't necessarily have to rely on exponential growth of limited resources.

            i.e – Capitalism could work by producing ever more efficient solar and wind farms instead of who can dig up the most coal.

            • Stuart Munro. 1.2.1.3.2.1

              Capitalism can fake growth just fine by inflating the value of housing for instance – no growth involved at all. Problem is, they then extract that extra value & use it to buy real things.

            • Incognito 1.2.1.3.2.2

              Indeed, energy generation, or transformation rather, can be from renewable sources. Apart from our dependence on petrochemicals for production of many (base) materials, we could do largely (?) without fossil fuels for our energy needs.

              The issue is that energy is used for production and manufacturing of goods and consumables that require base materials extracted from the environment. Simultaneously, this produces waste and pollution, both during the manufacturing process, the transport, and by the consumers. The economy relies on consumption and turnover (limited durability) of goods for its growth. As far as I know, this is inextricably linked to a capitalist economy.

              Economic growth needs to be sustainable and currently it is not.

              • JohnSelway

                "Economic growth needs to be sustainable and currently it is not. "

                 

                Exactly right. It could be though

                • Pat

                  curious. how?…youd be a celebrated individual if you could solve that conundrum

                • KJT

                  Attempts to have growth without increases in resource consumption have been conspicuous failures so far.

                  I am interested in how that could be made to work?

                  Especially as the third world, not surprisingly, want the same "growth" in prosperity that we have enjoyed, up until the 80's, at least.

                  I suppose the recurring recessions, and the money removed from communities, caused by Neo-liberal economics, at least have the advantage of slowing down resource use. At least until all those billionaires try and use the money they have accumulated to buy real things, instead of each others shares.

    • Jenny - How to get there? 1.3

      Biden represents business as usual.

      Biden's first big fund raiser meeting was with corporate sponsors opposed to free medicare and internet freedom. In seeking corporate sponsorship Biden is treading in the well worn footsteps of other corporate politicians like Hilarly Clinton.

      The American electorate has moved on, Americans have rejected this kind of politician.

      If the Democratic Party sticks with this, it will be a gift to Donald Trump.

      Your other point Wayne, about electric trucks over fossil fuel trucks not being a goer. For moving freight, trains not trucks are the future. 

    • Robert Guyton 1.4

      "In the US the change from coal to gas…"

      Phew! Trouble averted!

    • Bidon, is too old, establishment, beltway. And if that's his argument, I'll do more by placating, how's that any different. Atleast with Trump you know he's not going to do anythin, Bidon is worse, not promising, not leading, just more vacillation. Trump exposes us to how so little is being done, how slow, how much the lobbyists own the US political power.

      Anyway Trump won't win his parties nomination, well unless nobody stands agaibst him, remember lots of states you can just switch and vote in the republician primary. tAx dodging, motto mouth, lying bag of shit, geez, it's your moral duty to do everything to remove that slug.

    • cleangreen 1.6

      Wayne we are disappointed in you as a former National MP you was not wanting to save our planet when you and your cabinet voted to sell the oil refinery, then the railway.

      Now there two issues your Government have actively disposed of after that on us;

      *from being a low emission transport activity..

      *so now we have a broken railway and we are having our oil/gas sold overseas and pay to import it again.

      *by excessive use of trucks and not rail.

      *and transport the oil/gas back to NZ in ships from far away!!!!

      So what does the National Party want to do now?

      Pull a rabbit out of a hat?

    • Macro 1.7

      New Zealand needs to ban the importation of fossil fuel cars from 2030 onward. Probably could not include trucks. Shifting trucks to electricity has yet not even started (in terms of what you can buy). But for cars, all major manufacturers will have electric vehicles (or plugin hybrids) widely available from 2020 onward.

      I totally agree – we really need to get serious about our use and choice of motor vehicles  in this country. I really upsets me to see so many people these days driving new SUVs and large 4 wheel drive "Pick ups". Almost every vehicle on the road these days is a monster version of a child's Hot Wheels toy. Usually with a 3.5L or bigger engine. They carry at most two people  – perhaps 3 or 4 on a school run,  It's as if these people have no conception of AGW and even if they have, their response is simply to give it the middle finger. And yet it is their children, and their children's children who will carry the cost of their indifference.
      Do we really need this sort of thing?

    • hoom 1.8

      "There's nothing pragmatic about an incremental solution to a catastrophic problem" -Ron Placone

  2. Jenny - How to get there? 2

    Joe Biden is trying to copy the Ardern Government middle ground approach.

    A partial ban on new off-shore oil and gas exploration, that still leaves an off-shore area the size of the North Island for new exploration and exploitation.

    That offers a massive area of Taranaki up for on-shore oil and gas exploration and fracking.

    Compare the Ardern and Biden middle ground approach to that of Bernie Sanders.

    Wednesday, April 17, 2019

    by Common Dreams

    Bernie Sanders Raises the Bar Even Further' on Climate With Vow to Ban Fracking, All New Fossil Fuel Projects

    ‘That is exactly the kind of leadership we need if we hope to stop the worst impacts of climate change.”

    by Jake Johnson, staff writer

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/17/bernie-sanders-raises-bar-even-further-climate-vow-ban-fracking-all-new-fossil-fuel?fbclid=IwAR3WpP7HJDztCOfCRxhKMZRipy73xyarsSQKQE1hRxrE7pf4kRWeUw53xA8

    • ardern has no choice, greens and nzf got near 20%. So success for Ardern is talking Nat done on green rats, and Greens down on nzf rats. so getting successes. Ardern second term, when lots of fence sitting Nats vote lab… …that's when we'll see her real positions.

      • Jenny - How to get there? 2.1.1

        That is exactly the kind of leadership we need if we hope to stop the worst impacts of climate change.

        by Jake Johnson, staff writer

        Leaf I think you are missing the point made by Jake Johnson. Anything less condemns us to the worst impacts of climate change.

        A real leader would fight to the death to stop these effects occurring.

        We saw a glimmer of this sort of leadership, when the Prime Minister stared down NZ First and the Nats over offering any more permits for off shore oil exploration.

        She should have done the same again over the huge Taranaki offering.

        Personally I have trouble understanding the Prime Minister’s backdown over this.

        Either she understands the enormity of the crisis or she doesn’t.

        • cleangreen 2.1.1.1

          RAIL WILL REDUCE EMISSIONS FROM OVER-USE OF TRUCK FREIGHT.

          http://gisborneherald.co.nz/localnews/4077328-135/prime-time-to-expand

          May 11, 2019
          gisborneherald.co.nz
          Prime time to expand
          by Andrew AshtonPublished: May 11, 2019 11:58AM

          Report says container port, restoration of rail can boost growth
          A Deloitte report says investing in rail could be more commercially viable if Eastland Port had container port facilities.
          The lack of a container port in Gisborne is costing the region $36 million a year and potentially hindering the return of the Gisborne to Wairoa rail line, a report from a top finance firm says.
          The second edition of Deloitte’s Shaping Our Slice of Heaven report, entitled Regions of Opportunity, assesses the economic impact of increasing exports in tourism, agribusiness, food processing and advanced manufacturing from Auckland, Waikato, Hawke’s Bay/Gisborne, Wellington and Canterbury from 2019 to 2040.

        • soddenleaf 2.1.1.2

          I think your are missing the point. Green economy is good for profits, old subsidies for oil, sugar, etc are going to remain in place since all our current political, media, wealth elites have to trim their incomes to allow for the new growth, change. It’s pre WW1, when the ever pressing change met the immovable elites. Then the soft spot was the inwoven security alliances, now it’s big money that has to blow up. How can money be worth self destruction? Either we end our consumerism or we end finance?
          ?

  3. Ad 3

    If only they US public were going to vote like Naomi Klein. 

    A total of 13% of Americans polled in a 23-country survey conducted by theYouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project agreed with the statement that the climate is changing “but human activity is not responsible at all”. A further 5% said the climate was not changing.

    Only Saudi Arabia (16%) and Indonesia (18%) had a higher proportion of people doubtful of manmade climate change.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/07/us-hotbed-climate-change-denial-international-poll

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Exactly. The USA was ground zero for an immense disinformation campaign that will take time to undo. Once people become possessed of an idea it's not quick or easy to get them to change.

      My sense is that once policy starts heading in the right direction, once the bugs and unforeseen consequences are understood, then the process will accelerate.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        I don't think we can register how far and how hard the Trump administration has degraded public debate, weakened the civic service infrastructure, successfully tilted the entire judiciary for decades to come, lowered the powers of the government to alter business and personal capital decisions through tax, decreased the power of the media to hold the political order to account, and massively increased the power of the President to operate outside of the law. 

        It 's great to have ambitious and idealistic Democrat candidates – all power to them – but climate change is about as far down that list of big stuff to do as it is to Venezuela or any other petrostate.

        • Macro 3.1.1.1

          That is very true Ad. The dilemma the Democrats now face is enormous and was always going to be so with such a populist, but divisive "man". There are some excellent Democratic candidates in the field of now 21! Biden is the front runner at this stage, but he has a bit of baggage to deal with – as I'm sure almost all have in some form or other – but his will not endear him to the resurgent women's vote . There are months, and many primaries to go, and just who shall emerge as the candidate is anyones guess at this stage.

          On a more positive note:

          April was the first month that renewables – mainly wind power – generated more electricity in the US than coal!

          https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/green-power-estimated-produce-more-energy-coal-april-and-may-180972080/

        • greywarshark 3.1.1.2

          Thoughts on Trump.  Trump can be used as 'the bogey man' for the rest of the English-speaking generations.    Don't do the right thing or the bogey man will get you.   So scary.    Take note NZ, we are fascinated by his level of evilry but aren't alert to its spread.   (Note that the latest death in defence forces in training was in the latest joint USA and NZ  maneouvres in NZ.  I have put link about this in separate comment.)

          In pantomimes the watchers shout out a warning to the actors that the nasty frightening spider is going to drop on the leader, 'Look out behind you' the little voices cry.    This little voice does too, along with others throughout the land.    (It is important to use the arts methods, as spouting reality and practicality don't excite any response.)
           

        • One Two 3.1.1.3

          It 's great to have ambitious and idealistic Democrat candidates

          Public debate was degraded long before Trump became POTUS..

          It's as if some folks memory struggles to recall more than 3 years ago…

          There is no middle ground…no idealistic democrats…many ambitious democrats and republicans however…

          Business as Usual.

          • Ad 3.1.1.3.1

            The  Trump administration is definitively more destructive to American politics than we have had since Warren Harding way back in the 1920s.

            The next US President after Trump, whether Democratic or Republican, will spend most of their time repairing the institutional damage of this one before they get to anything substantive in environmental policy.

            • One Two 3.1.1.3.1.1

              The  Trump administration is definitively more destructive to American politics than we have had since Warren Harding way back in the 1920s.

              Tough line up to measure against, Ad…

              The next US President after Trump, whether Democratic or Republican, will spend most of their time repairing the institutional damage of this one before they get to anything substantive in environmental policy.

               

              Environmental policy….

              POTUS can begin by curtailing one of the largest (if not the largest) contributor to environmental destruction on land, air and space…

              The Military Industrial Complex.

              No. Can' do that. Too hard basket.

              Move on.

              • Ad

                The US military is one of the most prepared US industries for climate change, and they are fully aware of its threats. 

                Energy production, car production, farming, and air conditioning. That's the biggies. 

                • Robert Guyton

                  Prepared? They're believing they can weather the storm they and their culture created and maintain? 

                  Cool.

                  • Macro

                    In the meantime Robert be aware that Trump's latest budget proposes 62 cents in every dollar to be spent on Defence.  (Which is probably why they feel they can spring him $1.5B to help build his wall.)

                    And yes, the US military do take climate change seriously, with rising sea levels. they will have to spend $Bs re-siting Naval Bases for instance. And as the self appointed "guardian of the free world " the involvement in climate wars – such as Syria and Ethiopia is probably a given. Just whether people feel that is a necessary involvement or not, or whether they leave it up to some other power to put its oar in, is another matter.

                    • Poission

                      Syria was not a climate war,it was a result of the addition of austerity measures following the recent drought.

                      In light of the above we can now return to our main questions: is there clear and reliable evidence that climate change-related drought in Syria was a contributory factor in the onset of the country's civil war?; and, if and where yes, was it as significant a contributory factor as is claimed in the existing academic and expert literature? On each step of the claimed causal chain, our answers are no. We find that there is no clear and reliable evidence that anthropogenic climate change was a factor in northeast Syria's 2006/07–2008/09 drought; we find that, while the 2006/07–2008/09 drought in northeast Syria will have contributed to migration, this migration was not on the scale claimed in the existing literature, and was, in all probability, more caused by economic liberalisation than drought;

                      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/29/climate-change-syria-civil-war-prince-charles

                      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0962629816301822

                       

                       

                    • Macro

                      Well that is one body of opinion – There is just as much on the other hand that suggests that the effects of the drought were exacerbated by record temperatures. The subsequent failure of the harvests were a substantial factor in the resulting food shortages, rising costs of basic food items, and the resulting unrest, when the Assad Govt failed to address this major issue.

                    • Jenny - How to get there?

                      When your only tool is a hammer. Every problem is a nail.

                      This does not bode well for the world.

                      Syria is a microcosm of what the world will be, if we don’t address climate change.

                      Those with the military might will use it against the rest to maintain their privileged positions, and luxury lifestyles, even as the whole world slips into climate breakdown with all the resulting mega famine super storms and coastal flooding.

                    • Poission

                      The drought also affected lebanon,Jordan,cyprus with no accompanying violence is a problem,as is the metaphor rattling from the political elites such as .Charles, Obama ,and others.

                      Many will read this article as “all this talk of climate change and conflict is wrong,” when in fact the evidence supports a much more limited conclusion: the impact of climatic factors on the Syrian civil war is not entirely clear. But the dramatic nature of the Syrian civil war and the vocal nature of those linking it to climate change have caused this case to exert inordinate influence on how influential non-specialists and the general public view the relationship between climate change and conflict.  Barack Obama linked climate change to the Syrian conflict, saying it was a contributing factor Documentaries like Thomas Friedman's Climate Wars, The Age of Consequences, and VICE News' Assad's Syria and the Costs of Climate Change have all made a strong claim for security impacts of climate change building off of the Syrian case, in spite of the fact that most of the compelling influence for climate-conflict linkages emerges from statistical studies of hundreds if not thousands of cases, and most of that work supports a more limited, probabilistically causal linkages .

                      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0962629817301531

                       

                       

                • One Two

                  The US military is one of the most prepared US industries for climate change, and they are fully aware of its threats.

                  They are the threat, Ad. They caused and are causing unfathomable damage since inception.

                  Of course they are ready. Ready to take out all and sundry by whatever available means they are in control and possession of…

                  And therefore cannot  and will not be not part of the solution.

                  Ad , that comment is piss poor.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    "And therefore cannot  and will not be not part of the solution."

                    Unless they experience a metanoia.

                  • Ad

                     

                     

                    You're great at the usual wet leftie emotions, not so much on facts.

                    Even President Trump signed a massive funding bill for his military, which included major funding for preparation against the effects of climate change. 

                    H.R. 5515, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, includes language that directs the military branches to include in every installation’s master plan an examination of “energy and climate resilience.” That term is defined as “anticipation, preparation for, and adaptation to utility disruptions and changing environmental conditions and the ability to withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from utility disruptions while ensuring the sustainment of mission-critical operations.” 

                    The bill also directed the Defense Department to account for flood risks before starting new construction. That will affect roughly $10 billion per year in military construction spending, according to the Center for Climate and Security.

                    That new language was in 2018 the first of its kind in a Defence spending authorization bill in the US. Even the Associaton of Concerned Scientists noticed. 

                    A three-foot sea level rise would threaten 128 U.S. military bases, valued at about $100 billion in property and infrastructure.  So they're plenty motivated.

                    There's plenty of butwhatabouts for that scale of funding, but the fact is, the US military is a model for climate change preparedness.

                    I've often thought that turning our our defence forces towards climate change mitigation action would actually be a really useful set of national risk tasks for them. There's no other grow in New Zealand with anything remotely like that capacity. 

                    New Zealand could listen and learn from the US on this.

                     

      • greywarshark 3.1.2

        Once people become possessed of an idea it's not quick or easy to get them to change.

        But isn't that old thinking?   It may be hard for people on TS to make a dent on the self-satisfied shell, but corporations and others have worked hard at it, and appear to have succeeded.    And employ lots of public relations people nowadays.    In theory it would be possible to create an emotional wave that would get into people's minds;  the parts that mere facts and information wouldn't reach.   Think Assange and Wikileaks – he is abused and defamed despite the important stand and data and information he made available to public eyes.   He didn't have the right PR I think.

        https://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/12/consumer

        Psychoanalysis shapes consumer culture  –   Women sporting cigarettes as a symbol of female empowerment and the ubiquitous bacon-and-egg breakfast were two public relations campaigns inspired by Freudian ideas. The link between theory and practice was Edward L. Bernays, the acknowledged father of public relations and nephew of Sigmund Freud…

        Intrigued by Freud's notion that irrational forces drive human behavior, Bernays sought to harness those forces to sell products for his clients. In his 1928 book, "Propaganda," Bernays hypothesized that by understanding the group mind, it would be possible to manipulate people's behavior without their even realizing it.
        Different approach but also successful:   Bringing home the bacon.      …The Beechnut Packing Company was suffering lagging sales in one of its key meat products: bacon. In "Propaganda" (1928), Bernays wrote about his campaign to increase bacon sales and contrasted Freud's group psychology with behaviorist principles. An "old style" behaviorist campaign would repeat a stimulus to create a habit—inundate consumers with full-page ads and follow up with an incentive or reward by offering discount coupons. But in creating the new Freudian-style campaign, Bernays asked himself, "Who influences what the public eats?" His answer was to survey physicians and ask them whether they would recommend a light breakfast or a hearty breakfast. Physicians overwhelmingly recommended a hearty breakfast, paving the way for Bernays to convince Americans to swap their usual juice, toast and coffee for the now-ubiquitous, all-American "hearty" breakfast of bacon and eggs.   

        and

        The theory of cognitive dissonance—the extreme discomfort of simultaneously holding two thoughts that are in conflict—was developed by the social psychologist Leon Festinger in the 1950s.  https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/03/this-article-wont-change-your-mind/519093/

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

         

        Otago Daily Times:  https://www.odt.co.nz/lifestyle/magazine/new-propaganda   The new propaganda.

        Journalist Carole Cadwalladr, writing in The Observer, said one third of all traffic on Twitter before the Brexit referendum was 'bots. And they were all urging a ''leave'' vote. Before the United States presidential election, the 'bots were five-to-one in favour of Donald Trump, she said.

         

        https://www.afr.com/news/economy/what-business-needs-to-do-to-beat-getup-and-activists-on-social-media-20171004-gyttn8

        The Australian Left is named as psychological mind-benders against business by a leader of the Liberal Party on the Australian Financial Review.

        In each case, I have been staggered by the volume of money, superior tactics and ultimately greater impact of aligned interests standing against business and liberalism in support of the political left.

        In this series for The Australian Financial Review, I explore the corporate campaign model which is used by a group of close fellow travellers: unions, GetUp, environmentalists and industry super.

         

         

         

         

  4. marty mars 4

    The sooner the appeasement generation is replaced the better the humans and total biosphere will be. Hard to believe we are only a generation from ww2 and all the sacrifices made there. Weak failures supported by the even weaker. ffs

    • Pat 4.1

      I think you mean a lifespan rather than a generation fromWW2…depending on the measure used we are 3 to 4 generations post WW2

    • Robert Guyton 4.2

      A replacement generation will not do anything different if they continue the cultural practices of the previous generations.

      The change will be cross-generational; has to be cross-generational. 

      • marty mars 4.2.1

        nah mate too many 'olders' holding everyone back – to many vested culturally in the causes of this disaster – they talk, and weep and carry on as if it was someone elses problem. This is a big part of the ACTUAL problem imo.

      • greywarshark 4.2.2

        It's bound to become cross-generational.   As the modern generation grow up and try to plan for the future, and realise how many of the resources they should be able to draw on are compromised, unusable, extinct, or exhausted, they will be very cross.

        The fact is that everything we have done since World War Two ended, has been wrong as measured by a mega search of outcomes, (using that as a gateway opportunity for reflection towards prevention of war and depletion of ideas of civility and humaneity).   The end of WW2 led to no deep thinking from those with power and just ushered in a materialistic age the success of which has been summed up in the book 'Affluenza'.   It has been the Age of Chemicals and Elimination Technology – elimination of jobs by robots, of standards gained by tireless workers, of democracies by economic efficiency proponents phasing out government and hiving it off to ever-larger business interests.

        Ergo – we have to expand our vocabulary beyond following best practice and brainstorm into new thinking territory where a minority of brains have ventured in the past.   We have to use the systems we have developed to be stepping stones into a whole new way of thinking and being.  

        It will be beyond present capitalism, and more into co-operation, and it will involve putting some self into the mix, not just regarding life as a lucky dip of endless bounty; for the self-considered deserving though.

        It almost involves using the Constanza maneouvre – where in Seinfeld George bemoans that every single thing he has done has turned to failure.   Seinfeld makes the mind jump to the solution; if George is so profoundly wrong in his default positions, then if he does the opposite to that of the past he must become a winner.  

        So simplistic, but as a brainstorm technique where imagination and planning and vision seek to be unfettered from the past and look for possible different paths, it should be part of nationwide, weekend workshops not under the aegis of any political party, carried out throughout the country, which are recorded so that simple but elegant ideas are resurrected from the babble to be the base for firm projects.  Also the recording will be an archive for those looking for fresh thinking.

        Topics for discussion on separate points of our system could be held throughout the country at cafe political meetings.   One topic could be – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refeudalization.   Being part of a working democracy, realising that it is a growth medium rather than an end, would ensure that the participating citizens could wield some persuasion against the representative citizens agreeing to someone who can speak well, or who is known to most, to speak on their behalf.  

        Our present rep system of politics is echoed by that in many body corporates where the residents find they have signed away their rights to affect decisions and control their lives and property to others.   When are we going to demand that we want change and not be regarded as suckers as of now?

        There is a slew of great ideas coming forward and it is important to be aware of what is going on so we don't get caught in a revolution of new ideas that may be a mere reaction to those being practised at present.  There is a need to be pro-active and thinking around the subject, drawing on truths and good hypotheses wherever to be found.  NZ carries a large proportion of the middle class who don't bother too much about anyone else's level of survival as long as theirs is comfortable.   They don't want change, only if necessary to prepare for their own future.  This definition of Marx' ideology is telling:

        In Marxist philosophy, the bourgeoisie is the social class that came to own the means of production during modern industrialization and whose societal concerns are the value of property and the preservation of capital to ensure the perpetuation of their economic supremacy in society.     https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourgeoisie

        • RedLogix 4.2.2.1

          It is utterly incompatible to pretend to be at once concerned for plight of the poor, and hold the middle classes in contempt.

          • greywarshark 4.2.2.1.1

            Nothing is completely incompatible these days RL.   Keep up, you are falling back into the 20th century.   These are the days of believing six impossible things before breakfast, which is likely to happen once you turn on the morning news.

    • cleangreen 4.3

      I heartily agree Marty mars. well said my sentiments entirely.

      We have let down our fore-bearers who sacrificed so much for us baby boomers I am 75 this year.

      • marty mars 4.3.1

        ha and I'm 57 and grey as hell too.

        • cleangreen 4.3.1.1

          Marty.smiley

          Yes your generation is far closer to ours as caring about our collective future as the 30yr olds we find shake their heads and say, we are not interested in politics.

          So who is gonna look after their futures?

    • gsays 4.4

      I agree Marty, a good example is gardening.

      My Dad had an ok garden (begrudgingly), I did it for a few years but our generation dropped that ball by not modelling that habit to our kids. Supermarkets, tired from work…..

      • Rae 4.4.1

        Now we have swathes of houses being built with barely enough ground around them to grow more than a few tufts of parsley. That should about seal the deal.

  5. Incognito 5

    Actually, I think there is a ‘middle ground’. It is where you cross from A to B. As with pedestrian crossings, you’ll have to be very careful and keep moving or you are highly likely to get hit by something. The other thing to bear in mind is that we, as a (global) society, don’t all cross at the same time, if at all.

    Edit: a river crossing might be a better analogy; we’ll have to hold on to each other or we all get washed away and drown.

  6. Pat 6

    curious things horizons….seldom reached

  7. Andre 7

    No, there is no middle ground. There's only the range of what's actually achievable, and that entire range is far far short of what's needed to avoid really unpleasant consequences.

    When it comes to Biden's position, sadly it falls quite a bit short of the limit of what's actually achievable. It will be a particularly nasty dead rat to swallow if it comes down to a choice of that or the deliberate wanton destruction from the current lot of orcs in charge. But come time for election 2020, I will indeed choke it down if I have to. But I'm really hoping that one of the other candidates that's more climate and environmentally ambitious (and can actually put together the deals and compromises needed for progress) gets the nod.

  8. greywarshark 8

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/112581303/sas-trooper-dies-during-training-incident

    Counties Manukau Police Detective Senior Sergeant Malcolm Hassall said the trooper died during training at Ardmore.

    The SAS has a purpose-built training facility in the south Auckland suburb….

    It is essentially a 360-degree live firing range with special features to simulate real-life situations and locations such as aircraft fuselages, ship's bridges and public transport….

    Wednesday night's training marked the beginning of a two-week New Zealand Army counter-terrorism exercise, run in conjunction with a United States Army Aviation Regiment.

    The exercise was planned in 2018 and was meant to be taking place in areas of Auckland, Northland and Waiouru, which was once the army's largest base, until May 23.,,

    The exercise also involved a large number of soldiers and airmen, as well as Black Hawk and NH90 helicopters.   Its aim was to "practise counter-terrorism integration techniques between the two countries", an NZDF spokeswoman said.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/112583955/intense-training-secret-missions-behind-enemy-lines-what-is-the-sas?rm=m

    The fatality is the second to occur during military training in Auckland this year.   In March, 23-year-old Zachary Yarwood died at the Devonport Naval Base after an advanced diver training session went wrong.

    I think it would be better to pay men to learn parkour to keep fit and be self-disciplined and self-challenging than training them to take part in conflicts and assisting another country in destabilising other political entities.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkour

     

    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      Parkour is training for peace, not war.

      • greywarshark 8.1.1

        I can rely on you Robert to see my point, thanks.

      • Stuart Munro. 8.1.2

        And yet is was invented by a military fitness instructor. A brilliant sport – works in both wild and built environments – but it is not without military potential. The Russian Ultras are particularly fond of it.

        • Robert Guyton 8.1.2.1

          It's a practice (not a sport smiley that can be employed by anyone, military personnel included, and curiously, I suppose, not able to overcome the military "urges" that blight us all. Too much to ask, I suppose. I do note that it's largely a solitary pursuit, in it's application any way, so there's its lack right there. That said, teams of people gather to "parkour" and that's closer to what I'd want in any practice. My son parkours and I try…

          • Stuart Munro. 8.1.2.1.1

            Good on you – I tried to get my students interested in it in Korea – they have a dearth of recreational spaces. They liked David Belle's videos but weren't quite game to try it – and I had no expertise to show them how.

        • greywarshark 8.1.2.2

          Stuart – what you point out is what the thinking have recognised over these last informative years, that every new idea is assessed for its military potential.   

          We cannot ring-fence anything from the possible grasp of the protective and defensive also often anti-humane forces that gather the biggest expenditure in government budgets.   They wield power to the nth degree (which is unknown, and so is the extent of the 'defence' forces of the state, often only heard about centuries after events – except when there is wikileaks!)

          People have to be aware of ways they can utilise their own resources to enable them to make as good a life as possible.    Which means we need to watch the Russians and other Ultras while they watch us.

          I recommend again the spirit of Crete as told in Natural Born Heroes. Others may have stories of groups in various parts of the world who have been able to contain the good things of their society and stand against the incomers who gradually or quickly destroy.  

          marty mars might make a case for Maori here.    I see the strength and commitment of Tuhoe to each other and their rohe which got them through the police invasion, and enabled their continuance of their consultations and treating with government to get compensation for past infringements.   And their strength has carried them through.

          http://www.ngaituhoe.iwi.nz/news-landing

          https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/who-are-tuhoe/

  9. Cinny 9

    Agree with the wise Naomi Klein, there is no middle ground on climate change.

    Extinct species aren’t been brought back from the dead… once that happens maybe there will become a middle ground.

    Good on Joe for not ignoring it but, the reality is… industry needs to be accountable, and when industry controls media and political parties/governments, what then…

    Wonder how media will go about reporting on Joe's good intentions re said subject. 

    • RedLogix 9.1

      there is no middle ground on climate change.

      Of course there is. Imagine the perfect solution, not one gram of fossil carbon emitted from tomorrow onward. Have you any idea of the consequences of this 'pefection'? Maybe you don't, or maybe you choose to ignore them and hope the death toll doesn't go over a billion or so.

      It's a journey, we have at least 20 – 50 years of challenging, rough 'middle ground' to traverse. It's not even a certainty we will make it.

      • Cinny 9.1.1

        Too true Red, totally get where you are coming from.

        Maybe the middle ground is the actions and transitions of change.

        But could it also be the inaction of some industries as they are sitting on a precipice?

         

        • RedLogix 9.1.1.1

          I've worked in heavy industry most of my life and from this I've a very personal sense of just how complex and intricate the machinery of the modern world is. Every single made item in the room you are sitting in right now, has a deep and fascinating story attached to it. 

          The people who make this industrial machinery go are motivated by two contradictory things at the same time; one is how to make if go better, how to gain an efficiency and competitive advantage … the other is how to keep it going while minimising the risk of it going wrong.

          Governments can do two really big obvious things to help; one is to massively reduce the risk and cost associated with research and development, the other is to impose regulatory costs on players who don't improve, putting them out of the game over time.

          Because solving this problem requires these technical managers, engineers and technicians to do the real work to implement these changes. It's a massive task and we need them on our side. 

      • Robert Guyton 9.1.2

        "Imagine the perfect solution, not one gram of fossil carbon emitted from tomorrow onward. Have you any idea of the consequences of this 'pefection'? Maybe you don't, or may"

        That's not the perfect solution at all. The other degradations we are inflicting on the planet will continue to provide the gases we seek to manage and the accompanying harms to the environment/us. The perfect solution is far bigger than the mere cessation of emitted-from-fossil-fuel carbon. Holding that as our target is a mirage and won't result in what is needed. The perfect solution, in my mind, would be to have every human being realise their love for everything that is human and not human.

        • RedLogix 9.1.2.1

          Fair enough, fossil carbon is but one component of the story. The real depth of it goes exactly where you have suspected it does all along.

          "We cannot segregate the human heart from the environment outside us and say that once one of these is reformed everything will be improved. Man is organic with the world. His inner life moulds the environment and is itself also deeply affected by it. The one acts upon the other and every abiding change in the life of man is the result of these mutual reactions."

          • Robert Guyton 9.1.2.1.1

            That's the work I want to do. Do you have any pointers for me, RedLogix? At the same time I'm reading, listening to and watching material from people who are well-versed in this thinking, I am talking with others, like myself, who are neonates smiley 

            I'm very surprised at the willingness to engage and the value of face to face discussion. Heartened, I would say.

          • Robert Guyton 9.1.2.1.2

            Ah! Bahai!

            • RedLogix 9.1.2.1.2.1

              Yes. And that quote was written in the 1930's. Here is another one from the same book:

              A mechanism of world inter-communication will be devised, embracing the whole planet, freed from national hindrances and restrictions, and functioning with marvellous swiftness and perfect regularity.

              https://bqotd.org/authors/shoghi-effendi

        • Poission 9.1.2.2

          Are passion and reason compatible ?

          A letter from the Pope (Alexander)

          Two principles in human nature reign;

          Self-love, to urge, and reason, to restrain;

          Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call,

          Each works its end, to move or govern all:

          And to their proper operation still,

          Ascribe all good; to their improper, ill.

           

          Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul;

          Reason's comparing balance rules the whole.

          Man, but for that, no action could attend,

          And but for this, were active to no end:

          Fix'd like a plant on his peculiar spot,

          To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot;

          Or, meteor-like, flame lawless through the void,

          Destroying others, by himself destroy'd.

      • greywarshark 9.1.3

        We haven't got 50 years Red Logix.   So get off your fanny and get excited about what you are doing with your knowledge and use your rhetoric to get us doing stuff with a 10 year goal in mind.   Otherwise you are part of the problem with your softly softly approach.   We don't want soothing words, we need wise words, practical words and short timelines.

        • RedLogix 9.1.3.1

          We haven't got 50 years Red Logix.

          And it isn't going to happen inside 10 either. Advocating that it can be done overnight is the counsel of fools.

          • Pat 9.1.3.1.1

            the fact is it has to happen well inside 30 years or it aint gonna happen ….and the longer we wait to start the more likely failure.

            Theres no negotiation with physics

          • greywarshark 9.1.3.1.2

            Exaggeration and under-rating are both mistakes to make when discussing action for change, climate or human nurturing.  Ten years is not overnight.    You may wish to impose your wisdom on future climate-related events imposing on our lives.    Good luck with telling Nature that it's too early for the latest weather 'event'.  

            Then there is the aftermath.   There has been a dreadful cyclone somewhere near here and I can't even remember where – it has wiped all their water, their crops, their houses.    I am full of guilt, but I have to make a note to remind me as to who I donate to next, as they pile up.   I need to get into gear and give.   Money is the best, we might have plenty of clothes but often they are unsuitable.

  10. Siobhan 10

    Seeing as we are talking about Naomi Klein..any thoughts on this..

    She argues that we have all been thinking about the climate crisis the wrong way around: it’s about capitalism – not carbon – the extreme anti-regulatory version that has seized global economies since the 1980s and has set us on a course of destruction and deepening inequality.

    So if we are serious about halting climate change we need to be serious about dealing with inequality. Naomi is certainly not the only person to point this out. So my question is..seeing as our Government is committed to taking the middle ground on housing, inequality, benefits, health spending, city planning, Government spending etc..are we just kidding ourselves to think that we are going to be able to deal with this world wide catastrophe any time soon.

    Banning offshore drilling is fine..but that's the easy bit..meantime what exactly is happening to our 'recycling'??? $500,000 to Plastic recycling company Astron isn't really going to fix the problem.

    Then again nor is our free trade commitments that revolve around masses of disposable clothing, shoes, furniture..the middle ground in all Government policies is, quite literally, killing the planet.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/sep/14/naomi-klein-interview-capitalism-vs-the-climate

    • Cinny 10.1

      Siobhan,

      are we just kidding ourselves to think that we are going to be able to deal with this world wide catastrophe any time soon.

      I think if we stop believing that we can, then we may as well give up. 

      Absolutely agree that it's about inequality. Like, we can't save the planet with a petrol vehicle, but we are unable to save the planet if we can't afford a hybrid.  90% can't save the planet due to inequality.  For sure.

      Smarter, cleaner, cheaper ways to manufacture in our own country instead of relying on large corporations to supply, now that would help so much.

      Power supply/clean energy/cost to kiwi's is another thing that needs to change big time. 

      Free energy non polluting energy for all would change the world re climate change and inequality, something I'd love to see in my lifetime, even if it's just in NZ.  That kind of change would be something to be proud of for any government.

  11. adam 11

    It's amazing what corporate money can buy, nah just kidding, same old, same old – from out of touch democrats. 

    • AB 11.1

      The holders of money-power will resist any meaningful action on climate change. If necessary they will co-opt the coercive power of the state to do so and bring us 21st century fascism. We see the beginnings of that in Trump. Biden just represents a different, politer, more reasonable-sounding strand of that resistance.

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        AB   Fascism is very well suited as a system for running people into the ground as seems to be the present goal.

      • adam 11.1.2

        Resistance, you would't know it if it hit you with a wet tea towel AB.

        This liberal left peachment to worship people with money is getting to be a very sad joke. 

  12. Stuart Munro. 12

    Of course there's a middle ground on climate change – but it lies well beyond the meagre responses to the problem presently being debated by BAU candidates all determined to be the last dinosaurs.

    The firmer end of climate response would begin with mobilizing our societies and economies to respond at least on a par with the disruptions engendered by World War Two. Unattractive as that might seem to Strangelovian idiots like Wayne Mapp, the threat of a substantial event on the scale of the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction makes the rational response greater than WWII, not less. The middle ground will lie in the zone in which the biosphere survives, not that in which paleocapitalism remains dominant in a few bunkers until their supplies run out.

    • RedLogix 12.1

      The firmer end of climate response would begin with mobilizing our societies and economies to respond at least on a par with the disruptions engendered by World War Two. 

      More than this. We keep underestimating what is involved. It's not something any one nation or economy can resolve, this is a journey the entire human race has to undertake.

      When right wingers say annoying things like 'but nothing New Zealand can do will make any difference' they are actually correct in this sense … that alone and in isolation NZ cannot make any meaningful contribution.  No single nation can; it's vital we all have the same purpose and rulebook; that every nation vies to exert itself to the utmost in this. 

      • Stuart Munro. 12.1.1

        It's an argument based on failure, this 'nothing we can do will make a difference'.

        Respond swiftly and intelligently to this crisis and we will be a model and tech supplier to slower moving countries – drag our feet and the multiple consequences of climate change will maul our unadapted economy and our neighbours will distance themselves from our pernicious stupidity.

        • RedLogix 12.1.1.1

          Not necessarily. A business that doesn't pay tax gains a competitive advantage over those that do which is why we have tax rules and IRD auditors; by analogy countries that cheat may retain an unfair advantage.

           

          • Stuart Munro. 12.1.1.1.1

            Countries are not businesses though. If NZ Inc cheat on their carbon responsibilities (as without firm governance they surely will again), they will look to those not profiting from their frauds to make good their carbon deficit. Moreover, they will prioritize and develop expertise in fraud rather than adapting to changing circumstances. New Zealand will not benefit from this freeloading at all.

            • RedLogix 12.1.1.1.1.1

              New Zealand will not benefit from this freeloading at all.

              Why not? We have been so far and doing quite well at it. It's the lack of global rule enforcer that has allowed us, and everyone else to get away with the scams we've been playing pretend with.

              • Stuart Munro.

                We have not been benefitting from it. We now have an embedded and pernicious semi-criminal culture of fraud and entitlement that will resist instead of lead change and slow the responses of other participants. 

                It will cost us a bundle to root these stupid fucks out when our efforts and resources are needed in mitigation efforts, resource substitution, and preparation to receive climate refugees from our Pacific neighbours like Nauru.

          • Incognito 12.1.1.1.2

            What you describe there is a direct consequence of the current capitalist model, isn’t it?

        • greywarshark 12.1.1.2

          We could rush ahead of everyone else and boast how fast we could conduct a revolution in new green thinking.   We did this with neolib  against the people while we were still blinking and rubbing our eyes.   And the RW gave the perp a nighthood for taking us back to the dark ages.  

          Why don't we see if we can rush into the light and go mad setting up companies making green technology.   It doesn't matter if they go bust and they don't pay tax.   Donald Trump, leader of the world's biggest budget deficit, considers it good business to practice sleight of hand when you are in business, and we would have real businesses getting into the fresh, new green market and churning out new scientific ideas and for every business that failed, another would be popping up.  

          They overseas are falling over themselves to invest in Uber even though it has never made a profit.   There is so much money in credits floating around, people are desperate to put it into something they can boast about to their friends as a likely goer. 

          Possibly we'd find new ways with simple stuff that no-one else but us clever types had ever thought.   I think we should rush headlong at it, it's that or fail dismally.    I'm sick of dismal.

          • Stuart Munro. 12.1.1.2.1

            That's my take too. We've had quite enough of sitzkriegs – let's see some action for once in our lives. And, lest the Coalition run poll driven objections, the polling looked pretty Gnat pre election. But the public abhor their sloth.

            Plant a couple of trees, or wind turbines, or macrocystis beds, or local ports.

            Or turf a batch of deadbeat politicians too lazy to do their goddamn jobs and get some in that aren't.

            • greywarshark 12.1.1.2.1.1

              Yeah, yeah – and that is not said lightly.   We have made so many mistakes over the previous century and gathering pace in this one, that given the right dusting of pixie dust profit-possibility we should be able to swing the market on this one.  

              How to sell the investor fund and the government support to the punters?  These are some headings from old Property Investor mags for ideas of ways to present projects to them.

              • Set your mind to 'wealth creation' mode
              • Treasure mapping tool
              • Secrets to adding value
              • Young entrepreneurs (two only 24) – 25 million portfolio and Investor 16 houses, 1 street.
  13. That_guy 13

    Sorry to be the climate change grinch here. My personal 2c:

    No, there is no middle ground on the laws of physics.

    However, human sociopolitical interactions are also subject to certain laws: people are easily swayed by misinformation, tend to seek out information that confirms what they want to believe, and are more certain of their conclusions when they are ignorant of the subject matter.

    The outcome, if I may digress here, is that the Fermi Paradox has effectively been solved:

    The Fermi paradox is named after physicist Enrico Fermi and refers to the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence for and various high probability estimates[1] of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations elsewhere in the Milky Way galaxy.[2] The basic points of the argument, made by physicists Enrico Fermi (1901–1954) and Michael H. Hart (born 1932), are:

    • There are billions of stars in the galaxy that are similar to the Sun,[3][4] and many of these stars are billions of years older than the Solar system.[5][6]
    • With high probability, some of these stars have Earth-like planets,[7][8] and if the Earth is typical, some may have already developed intelligent life.
    • Some of these civilizations may have developed interstellar travel, a step the Earth is investigating now.
    • Even at the slow pace of currently envisioned interstellar travel, the Milky Way galaxy could be completely traversed in a few million years.[9]

    According to this line of reasoning, the Earth should have already been visited by extraterrestrial aliens, or at least their probes.

    So the Fermi paradox is a paradox no longer. There are no interstellar aliens, because all species are subject to the same laws of physics and the same law of sociopolitical interactions, because sociopolitical interactions are rooted in biology, which is basically applied physics. To put it another way: technological civilisation is essentially a short-term one-shot affair, because all technological civilisations quickly destroy themselves, because of short-term thinking that is rooted in evolutionary biology, which is the only way of getting an intelligent species in the first place.

    So, sorry to grinch, but there really is no hope. What needs to happen is that what's politically possible should align with what's required according to the laws of physics. This is literally, and I do mean literally, impossible, because when the definition of what's politically possible changes, it will be in response to an unprecedented series of disasters, and by that time, there's so much momentum in the system that no amount of political or personal change will be enough.

    Don't feel bad: no other intelligent species has solved this problem either. 

    Buckle up.

    • RedLogix 13.1

      So, sorry to grinch, but there really is no hope. 

      So your plan involves extinction. Why do I get the feeling you're not all that sorry at all; some people are so bitter and twisted they seemingly take a dark pleasure in the prospect of mass death.

      • That_guy 13.1.1

        Try not to make assumptions about people you've never met.

        I don't think total extinction will result.. more likely that we'll have a big war over the remaining planetary resources, and whoever loses by less will stagger on in some kind of neo-feudal society. 

        As for it being "my plan".. I mean, really. Unless you think i'm not actually a middle aged kiwi and am in fact the living personification of the Laws of Physics, then it's not my plan.

        • RedLogix 13.1.1.1

          Yes it's less extreme to think that a mass die-off will happen, maybe 90% of the human race could disappear. And the remnants of humanity would have to start again. A very common belief that's been around since Malthus, or earlier. And there is good evidence that civilisations do rise and collapse, this is well known.

          There is nothing romantic or nostalgic about collapse back into pre-industrial poverty. For a start you will most likely be dead. On the off-chance you are still alive, there will be no electricity, no clean water, food will be unreliable and of poor quality. Half your children will die before they reach one year old. No medicines, not even an aspirin. Crippling diseases will stalk us once again, and every day you will wake to the real chance of a violent death. There will be no typing on the internet in a warm clean home on a full belly of hot food.

          You really don't want to go there, and if you still are not convinced, travel to some country like the DRC (Congo) and ask someone who really does live in poverty if they want to trade places with you. Permanently.

          I know you don't think of this as your 'plan', or least you don't conceptualise it as such. I spent my whole life making the laws of physics do real work in real industries, so I get what you mean. But you are not separate from the world you live in, and what you aim at is where you will tend to arrive. 

          My position is this; when faced with total catastrophe, the only courageous response is obdurate defiance. You'll know the image of the mouse giving the plunging eagle, talons outstretched, the middle finger. 

          • That_guy 13.1.1.1.1

            Look, you seem like a nice guy, and I agree with a lot of what you say above, but you're kind of missing my point.  As I have mentioned before, because you're not a scientist, and you don't talk to scientists daily about science, you think that my ideas are wacky and extreme. But in my world, the kinds of ideas that I mention are totally mainstream. In my personal experience as a scientist, which is considerable and spans decades, a significant minority of scientists think like I do, and the rest are at least able to consider the possibility.

            This is because scientists have been saying for decades: If we don't do X, Y will happen. At a certain point, this becomes: We didn't do X, so Y is going to happen. For me we're at that point.

            I don't understand why you think "describing reality' is the same as "accepting and liking reality". Nor do I need a lecture about the realities of pre-industrial society, I'm quite familiar with history, thanks. What part of my post makes you think I have some weird romantic idea about pre-industrial society? Where do I say that? It's not there. So that's a straw man.

            • RedLogix 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Here is a post I put up here almost exactly 10 years ago.

              /unassailable-evidence/

              And at least twice on just this thread I've emphatically stated that the problem of climate change is considerable larger than most of us are thinking. It has multiple dimensions, and layers of technical, political and spiritual significance. 

              Did the directors and managers of Pike River have a plan or a policy to kill their workforce? I'd very much like to think not; yet nonetheless we understand that their actions were directly responsible for what happened. 

              We are not passengers on this ride, we are not dispassionate observers muttering 'X therefore Y'.  This is not a problem for 'someone else' to fix; we are all responsible for what happens. And if that means extinction, or mass death … then we are all as culpable as our ChCh gunman. Only many orders of magnitude more guilty.

              Don't tell me there is 'no hope'. Tell me how to work the problem and defy the odds.

              • Robert Guyton

                I support the position you've described there, RedLogix. Science, scientific thought and scientists, That_guy would have us believe, has shown that there is no hope, the future is certain and there is no hope. I don't believe a word of it, though appreciate Tg's comments, for the sake of the discussion smiley

                • That_guy

                  Your belief is not required. Jeez. I just posted an opinion about a well-known theory on an opinion forum and everyone's acting like I'm an evil person who just took a crap in your dinner. 

                  "I don't believe a word of it" was probably the response of many people when the theory of global warming was first described. Beliefs: overrated.

                  • marty mars

                    yeah some struggle with stuff here.

                    I like this idea that you've solved the Fermi Paradox – not so sure your solution is tenable because it is based on "There are no interstellar aliens, because all species are subject to the same laws of physics and the same law of sociopolitical interactions, because sociopolitical interactions are rooted in biology, which is basically applied physics."

                    Seems like you may be thinking aliens are like humans or use the same biology or 'sociopolitical interactions' – that seems highly illogical and unlikely to be honest. 

                    • That_guy

                      Well, that part is just my opinion. As a biologist what you tend to see is that there are only certain ways to solve certain problems, which is why dolphins are more or less the same shape as sharks. Convergent evolution. I just apply that principle to sociology. I do think that convergent evolution means that all species will tend to take mental shortcuts to save energy, and it's those mental shortcuts that ultimately cause the problem. It's just more energy efficient to be a racist or a bigot or to dismiss ideas because you don't like them, because you don't have to think, and thinking takes energy that you'd be otherwise using hunting antelopes or mating. Or whatever the alien equivalent is.

                    • marty mars

                      "It's just more energy efficient to be a racist or a bigot or to dismiss ideas because you don't like them,"

                      how about – The racist or bigot is using less energy but it is a higher percentage of the brain energy that particular person has available surely. In other words the racist brains are malformed and automatically less efficient than non racist brains because of that reason. Thus the racist brain is used less and it atrophies over time – making it use less net energy and the energy that is used is inefficient too.

                      What says a biologist to that.

                    • That_guy

                      I'd say it's an idea that isn't supported by the evidence. The idea that the brain takes cognitive shortcuts that lead to bad decision-making is established science. The idea that it's quicker and easier to dismiss ideas based on personal dislike of the person (rather than assessing the evidence) is established science. The idea that it's quicker and easier to categorise people by race / gender than it is to take the time to get to know them is established science. 

                       One example:

                      http://www.jneurosci.org/content/37/13/3588

                      Non-nerd synopsis:

                      https://www.huffpost.com/entry/psychology-mental-shortcuts-decision-making_n_58e26bfee4b0c777f7892021

                    • marty mars

                      "Our findings argue against the common interpretation of gain/loss framing as a competition between emotion and control. Instead, our study indicates that this effect results from differential cognitive engagement across decision frames…"

                      and 

                      … Yet, other evidence points to an alternative to the standard “reason versus emotion” model, namely, that framing effect arises when people adopt behavioral strategies that involve low cognitive effort. 

                      Very interesting. I have studied some behavioral economics – fascinating stuff and I work in mental health with people with maladaptive behaviours so this is very interesting indeed ta. 

                  • Robert Guyton

                    You personify yourself as an "evil person", That_guy, while at the same time writing, "ascribing negative personal characteristics ("bitter and twisted") to someone…"

                    In any case, your proposal is interesting, but not convincing, imo. 

                    The 'word of it' I don't believe is the hopelessness you claim. Beliefs, eh! Over-rated you say? That one of your beliefs, is it?

                • Incognito

                  If anything gives me hope, it is exactly evolution. Yes, that is my belief or my credo.

          • greywarshark 13.1.1.1.2

            End of lecture RL or should I say King Canute.

            • RedLogix 13.1.1.1.2.1

              Dear old Canute just needed some modern engineering talent on board.

      • That_guy 13.1.2

        By the way: ascribing negative personal characteristics ("bitter and twisted") to someone as a way of dismissing their ideas is a perfect example of the kind of rooted-in-biology mental wiring that is causing the human race to fail to reach consensus on this critical issue. It's rooted in biology because in the short-term, dismissing my ideas by saying I'm "bitter and twisted" is a cognitive short-cut that saves you from the energy expenditure required to properly discuss my ideas. The brain is an organ, it uses energy, and in evolutionary terms, these kinds of mental short cuts are a good way of saving energy that you might otherwise need to hunt antelope and mate. It's just that it's a terrible way of debating and reaching consensus. So thanks for proving my point: the human race is saddled with mental wiring that's fine for the short-term but bad for the long-term.

        • RedLogix 13.1.2.1

          Telling us that there is 'no hope' is bitter and twisted. I'm not dismissing you, I'm taking you very seriously. 

          Your argument is based on the idea that because we don't observe any other 'technical civilisations' in the universe, that they must therefore all destroy themselves. That is certainly one realistic interpretation.

          And if you seriously believed it, that if you truly thought there was no hope, then you wouldn't be here bleating about it. I see it as something else altogether darker; it's the idea that if we really are all threatened with annihilation or collapse, then by invoking the principle of self-defense, we are justified to take whatever extraordinary measures are necessary to survive.

          • That_guy 13.1.2.1.1

            Again going with the worst possible interpretation and ascribing a bunch of negative personal characteristics. 

            Maybe I just like to post interesting longer-term perspectives as a way of stimulating debate. 

            • RedLogix 13.1.2.1.1.1

              Maybe I just like to post interesting longer-term perspectives as a way of stimulating debate. 

              I have been aware of climate change since I worked for a Physics Dept in the 1970's. People forget that Margaret Thatcher was a chemist and had enough background to understand it in the 1980's. On that whole journey I've refused to give up hope.

              OK so I've been unduly harsh in my response; I'm sure your motives are more benign than I've painted them. Apologies.

          • greywarshark 13.1.2.1.2

            The comment at 13 1 1 of that-guy does not say that there is no hope.   However he does say:

            I don't think total extinction will result.. more likely that we'll have a big war over the remaining planetary resources, and whoever loses by less will stagger on in some kind of neo-feudal society.

            And what he is saying fits in with the happenings we observe and rail about daily.

        • Robert Guyton 13.1.2.2

          Hi, That_guy. I have a question; could we in fact be the first?

          If so, doesn't your theory collapse?

          • That_guy 13.1.2.2.1

            It's not my theory, it's Enrico Fermi's. Look him up. Yes, if we are the first the theory collapses, but this is extremely, vanishingly  unlikely given the age of the galaxy. If you understand the size and age of the galaxy you'll see my point.

          • RedLogix 13.1.2.2.2

            Yes it seems insanely unlikely, an invocation of Adams Improbability Engine at it's most extreme … but if this is true then what unthinkable responsibility do we bear as we enter this age of humanity's adulthood?

    • Some of these civilizations may have developed interstellar travel

      Error: huge, gaping hole in the reasoning occurs at the word "may."

      • That_guy 13.2.1

        No, it's not, because if the percentage of technological civilizations that develop space travel is absolutely tiny, the theory still works fine simply because of the sheer size of the Galaxy and because the spread of an interstellar civilization only needs to happen once on one of 400 billion stars. This isnt my random idea, this is a well developed theory, developed by some of the most prestigious physicists in history. 

        • Robert Guyton 13.2.1.1

          Do you hold to the theory, Tg?

          • That_guy 13.2.1.1.1

            It's not a theory, more of a paradox or a question. RedLogix has a good link below. I do wonder if we aren't experiencing the "Great Filter" now, and I'm not the only one.

            • Robert Guyton 13.2.1.1.1.1

              Not the only one experiencing the Great Filter, or not the only one wondering if we are?

              "The Great Filter theory says that at some point from pre-life to Type III intelligence, there’s a wall that all or nearly all attempts at life hit."

              A filter, to my mind, is not a wall; it's permeable ( a permeable wall would be a fence perhaps smiley

              In any case, I too believe we are in the process of passing through or being shredded by, the Great Filter. For me, the most important support for such an attempt, is hope. Without it, we are doomed to fail; with hope in our hearts, we have a good chance. In my opinion.

        • RedLogix 13.2.1.2

          The Fermi Paradox is a lot of fun. It's a great exercise in empirical thinking:

          https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/fermi-paradox.html

        • Incognito 13.2.1.3

          From an energy conservation perspective space travel seems illogical.

  14. Milly 14

    There is no middle ground.

    Either we abandon capitalism or we become extinct.

    Nature bats last. You can’t negotiate with it.

    • Robert Guyton 14.1

      That's travelling in the right direction, but only part of the story.

      (And I reckon you can negotiate with Her smiley 

      Negotiate; that's like, pick a mutually-agreed path, right?

      • Milly 14.1.1

        I agree.

        And we have to abandon capitalism.

        You can’t have perpetual growth on a finite planet.

        Have you read Derrick Jensen?

        • Robert Guyton 14.1.1.1

          (Oops)

          Perpetual growth – isn't that what forests have?

          And is our planet finite, or rather one of many celestial bodies and floating in a sea of energy/matter that has "stuff" landing on it all of the time? Perhaps even music, from those spheres nearest to us; are we accounting for all that in our "finite" claims?

          I don't mean to sound contrary; just having fun, Milly. I've not read Derrick Jensen but will have a look now, thanks!

        • Robert Guyton 14.1.1.2

          Now I've read, "When I Dream of a Planet in Recovery".

          Thank you, Milly.

        • greywarshark 14.1.1.3

          I am sure we can't wait to abandon capitalism before anything else.

          First we have to consider what we do with ourselves and our finite planet.

          That will involve using capitalism sometimes, finding our way around it at others.   But we must stick to our knitting.   That is a good example of doing things ourselves, by hand, and even sinking back to old tech, the 1900s or whatever.   Not relying on perpetual growth, and buying each other's good so we can ensure we have the means to live and be part of society.

          Then look at abandoning capitalism.    Too soon and our energies will be deflected.    It has been around since about the 14th century , according to one version of history.     

          The period between the 16th and the 17th century was essential the birth phase of capitalism. There can be traces of merchants or banking families from some European countries back in the 14th century, but it was during this time that capitalism began to exist.

          How and when did the capitalism era begin? – Quora

          https://www.dukeupress.edu/the-invention-of-capitalism  Capitalism:   For it to succeed, peasants would have to abandon their self-sufficient lifestyle and go to work for wages in a factory. Why would they willingly do this?
          Clearly, they did not go willingly. As Michael Perelman shows, they were forced into the factories with the active support of the same economists who were making theoretical claims for capitalism as a self-correcting mechanism that thrived without needing government intervention.

          Directly contradicting the laissez-faire principles they claimed to espouse, these men advocated government policies that deprived the peasantry of the means for self-provision in order to coerce these small farmers into wage labor.

          • RedLogix 14.1.1.3.1

            Amazing how everyone who advocates 'abandoning capitalism' never have anything credible to say about what might replace it.

            Capitalism is nothing more than an technical refinement of markets; which have been the engine of human prosperity for all of recorded history. 

            Neo-liberalism corrupted the concept of capitalism. Markets are very good at solving some problems, so like all ideological fools with only one tool in their conceptual toolbox, they decided unconstrained markets would be good at solving all problems. Which now having done the experiment we know this does not work. Just like we know Marxism does not work.

            In the meantime, despite the stupidities and excesses, most nations run some form of mixed capitalist markets and socialised regulation and have been generally getting on with the job of eliminating human poverty quite well thank you.

            • Dennis Frank 14.1.1.3.1.1

              Amazing how everyone who advocates 'abandoning capitalism' never have anything credible to say about what might replace it.

              Definitely the most relevant comment on the entire page!  I'm tempted to recycle my own perennial complaint about advocates of socialism always refusing to explain what they mean, but it'd be a waste of energy.

              Amazing how many commentators copied the failure by MS to acknowledge that the compromise achieved by James Shaw was better than nothing.  As if somehow forgetting that politics is the art of compromise.

              But I agree with where they all are coming from:  to solve a problem, you have to apply the solution.  Compromise that solution before the application, and you will discover that it doesn't work. 

              To the point:  markets drive the economy, regulation fails as often as it works, so something else has to be injected into the mix to change behaviour.  The left advocates lecturing (moral suasion) which fails due to human nature (fills people with distaste).  Greens advise sustainability, which most people can't understand, but comprehension does spread via working examples of resilience design (permaculture) so that's how to proceed. 

              What's missing is government endorsing this new style of economy, so as to shape mass expectations of the future.  Ardern's focus on being managerial makes her seem a classic neoliberal – when her idealism ought to be fueling the switch to the new path forward.  If anyone in Labour is wondering how to campaign next year, the essential switch is the signal!

              • RedLogix

                Thoughtful and interesting as usual Dennis. 

                Amazing how many commentators copied the failure by MS to acknowledge that the compromise achieved by James Shaw was better than nothing. 

                On reflection I've not made myself clear either. If this compromise deal was to be the final destination then every who cares about climate should indeed be unhappy with it. By itself this deal won't get us there.

                But myself and a few others see it as a first step on a journey. To my mind we're all better off if we get stuck in and support this whole-heartedly, then over time it will become obvious which parts worked and which didn't. Then we can improve the process, and once we start getting it consistently correct, progress will accelerate.

                • Ad

                  Red I don't mind your Eagle-Mouse-Finger image but I'm not as angry as that. 

                  Since it's Mothers Day I visited my mother at Waikumete Cemetery at 6am this morning. 

                  Talking to her is, of course, a version of psychoanalysis. 

                  So I was able to tell her this morning:

                  I know that I am doing good for the world, I know that I have committed my professional life to it, and I am confident in the extent of my agency. I know that the people around me strengthen me and endure with me. Helpfully the projects I do are all large scale public transport jobs.

                  To me the best way around futility and stoicism – let alone alternatives to capitalism – is to work hard towards what you know is good, and expand the network of love around you. 

                   

                  • RedLogix

                    and expand the network of love around you. 

                    Which sometimes I conspicuously fail to do. Something to think about.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      She's ever so postmodern, eh?  Uses a da Vinci painting (of Moses, if my recollection is correct), calls it Zarathustra on the basis that one dead male from bygone days can represent another, calls Nietzsche's recycling part of Z's mythology a text written by Z – rather than by a 19th century neurotic.  As if to dramatise the fact that, in the postmodern universe, authenticity is inconceivable.

                      Was Marxism so discredited by then that N felt obliged to dispose of the doctrine of equality thus?  Or did Lenin see it as a useful mythology in itself, regardless?  If so, he was right.  The myth endures yet…

              • Pat

                "Amazing how many commentators copied the failure by MS to acknowledge that the compromise achieved by James Shaw was better than nothing."

                And theres the rub….is it?

                for 30+ years 'we' have been paying lip service to this (existential) crisis during which time our emissions have continued to climb and here we have  self professed transformation champions delaying for a further 4 years any real action…..and to add fuel to the fire demonstrate a complete lack of understanding and promote the delusion that this will achieve a result already rendered impossible.

                "Winning(?) slowly is the same as losing"

                Bill McKibben

                • Dennis Frank

                  I doubt James is promoting the result you have in mind.  He's a pragmatist.  Mitigation is his praxis, and since the climate shift was initiated, has been the only real option.

                  However you imply a valid ethical point.  Ought politicians tell the truth?  When it hurts?  Do no harm is the ethical requirement.  Hurting people is harmful.

                  So, he could have said this: "Look folks, it's the best we could achieve under the constraint of democracy.  It won't avert disaster, but let's hope the disaster comes slowly, giving us time to adapt.  This legislation shifts us onto the path to resilience, and it's now up to us to take to that path with the right attitude and optimise our survival skills."

                  • Pat

                    you doubt James is promoting what exactly?….the Gov has released the Bill and it specifically states no policy action until 2021 and both Shaw and the PM has stated on numerous occasions this policy direction is designed to achieve 1.5 deg C of warming (max). (see below attached)

                    Ought politicians be dishonest/delusional?….I guess that depends on your expectations, but I suggest Trump is no paragon

                    http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/spirals/

                    • Dennis Frank

                      I agree that it is unlikely to achieve limiting global warming to 1.5 – I expect warming to pass 2.5 at least, eventually.  However I disagree that he is misrepresenting the political consensus.  Who in their right mind would expect a bunch of politicians and public servants/lawyers to know if their legislation was likely to achieve that goal or not?

                      So they have produced that consensus on the basis of their shared unscientific judgment.  Most government legislation only ever achieves the goal it is designed for approximately.  One need only consider the speed limit to know that `near enough is good enough' is the prevalent mind-set.  Expecting anything better to prevent a climate-driven disaster at some indeterminant point in the future is dreamland…

                  • Pat

                    "However I disagree that he is misrepresenting the political consensus"

                    couple of questions….what does that mean?….and where was it suggested?

                    If expecting realism is living in"dreamland" is "dreamland" then reality?….speaking of delusions

                    • Dennis Frank

                      I was responding to what you wrote here:  "self professed transformation champions delaying for a further 4 years any real action…..and to add fuel to the fire demonstrate a complete lack of understanding and promote the delusion that this will achieve a result already rendered impossible."

                      No, we can't expect realism when the scientific consensus is based on extrapolation from modelling.  There is nothing real about a computer-generated model of the future.  Best framing to use is pragmatism – acceptance of the most-likely outcome.

                    • Pat

                      and the consensus is where?…or the claim. Do you seriously wish to contend that this gov isnt (mis)representing themselves as transformative?

                      and your last paragraph is a study in contradictory statements…scientiific consensus and modelling have become the antithesis of pragmatism and most likely-comes when we wernt looking?

                    • Dennis Frank

                      The consensus is that produced by the govt, legislation pending.  Yes, they are representing themselves as transformative.  Compared to the prior govt, they are correct!

                      Re your second paragraph, the answer to your question is no.  Not sure what you don't understand.  To put what I wrote in a different word sequence:  it is pragmatic to accept a scientific consensus about what computer-modelling predicts.  Nonetheless, such predictions are merely guesstimates.  Given the natural indeterminacy of complex systems, it is unrealistic to believe that Gaia is predictable!  There are always multiple trajectories available, and shifting between them can happen at any time.

                  • Pat

                    Im sorry Dennis but there is no consensus within this administration even though I never mentioned any consensus previously so am unsure how you can disagree with that.

                    "However I disagree that he is misrepresenting the political consensus. "

                    Your revised second paragraph is quite different in meaning from your original effort , so my confusion is of no surprise

                     

                     

                    • Dennis Frank

                      I'm baffled, Pat.  Do you believe the agreement as announced lacks NZF support?  Without it, the coalition cannot legislate!  The consensus had to be established between all three parties.  Winston had withheld it since October until the recent compromise was forged – separate process for methane. 

                      Only the Nats are now withholding – due to seeking advantage with farmers to protect themselves from NZF's attempt to increase poll support at the expense of National.

                      Both conservative parties spent six months proving to the public that they believe there's no urgent need for the climate change legislation.  Winston blinked first in that stare-down due to the coalition running out of time to get its legislative program completed on schedule.  There's no evidence that he failed to yield to the PM's request!

                  • Pat

                    what debate are you engaged in Dennis?….review the posts and ask yourself how you have ended up with your latest offering. 

                    NZ Firsts position and influence are not recent events, indeed they will have been canvassed during coalition negotiations, we are in to the second half of this Parliamentary term…are we to write off these 3 years as a non event?…its certainly begining to look like it….and what then?

              • Incognito

                But I agree with where they all are coming from:  to solve a problem, you have to apply the solution.  Compromise that solution before the application, and you will discover that it doesn't work.

                With all due respect, I think this is imprecise inaccurate framing of the situation. IMO, we are dealing with a very complex system that nobody fully understands, in its totality, nor of its parts and how they integrate. Complex systems exhibit emergence, which is unpredictable if one does not understand (vide supra). The system’s behaviour is perhaps better described in terms of intended and unintended consequence from a PoV that assumes some kind of influence or control. Thus, ‘problems’ as such are not simply unintended consequences or outcomes of singular actions but the result of an integrated multi-factorial and multi-level process. We singularly fail to see this and thus our ‘problem solving’ almost always amounts to wishful (hopeful?) tinkering and often creates other unintended consequences. That, our currently limited intellectual capability to see the whole picture, and our emotions prevent meaningful transformative change with better ‘system behaviour’. IMHO, of course.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Oh yes, I agree with all that.  I was commenting on how the average problem-solver engages with a typical problem.  Human nature will always promote folks with problem-solving expertise to the fore, to engage social problems (albeit politics tends to defeat such expertise) but a godalmighty systemic problem such as climate change will be sure to defeat such simplistic thinking.

                  But human nature will persist with that traditional approach regardless.  Lateral thinking rarely achieves popular or political support.  Too weird.

                  • KJT

                    https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/04/why-experts-get-it-wrong/73322/

                    https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregsatell/2014/02/19/why-experts-always-seem-to-get-it-wrong/#e313f0f3a361

                    "Specialists, with their deep knowledge of a particular subject, tend to not to incorporate information outside their domain, which makes for a cleaner, more definitive story line.

                    Foxes, with their broad-based knowledge are less sure of themselves.  They also tend to be right more often.  Confusion, more often than not, trumps certainty".

                    Why the ignorant, especially those who are not ignorant in their specialty, such as certain cricketers, can appear so confident and sure of them selves. They have no comprehension of the shallowness of their knowledge, outside their specialty.

                    While those with a lot of general knowledge, and competence,  are full of doubt. The more you learn, the more you find you don't know.

                    Certainly noticeable that generalists, what they used to call "polymaths" who have a broad range of interests and curiosity, beat the "experts' almost every time. Note these people do take the trouble to learn in depth, about a huge range of interests. They don't just skim over statements on facebook.

                    We see it here. An example is economists, like Gareth Morgan, finding solutions within his narrow range of expertise. Without looking outside his box. He is not alone, of course

                • greywarshark

                  Our brains are not capable of comprehending the infinite so, instead, we ignore it and eat cheese on toast.”
                  Jonathan Cainer

                  Just off to have a toasted muffin with cheese, so am proving how malleable my brain is.

                  "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."Albert Einstein

                  The probability is that Einstein didn't say this – it sounds too smart-arse and flip somehow.

                  There is only one-way forward; that is to take one hundred steps in what seems the right direction, then stop and say something cheerful to someone, check your route with them and maybe have a laugh at being ridiculous, then repeat.  greywarshark

                   

            • Milly 14.1.1.3.1.2

              George Monbiot attempts to answer the problem you pose. What to replace capitalism with.

              You may not agree with his position, but his hypothesis is thought provoking.

              He recommends we look the ecological civilisation proposed by Jeremy Lent, Kate Raworth’s doughnut economics and the environmental thinking of Naomi Klein, Amitav Ghosh, Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, Raj Patel and Bill McKibben.
              He also says that some of the answer lies in the notion of “private sufficiency and that ‘another part arises from the new conception of justice, based on this simple principle: every generation, everywhere shall have an equal right to the enjoyment of natural wealth.’

              https://www.monbiot.com/2019/04/30/the-problem-is-capitalism/

              • RedLogix

                Monbiot always writes persuasively and with considerable power.

                Like coal, capitalism has brought many benefits. But, like coal, it now causes more harm than good. Just as we have found means of generating useful energy that are better and less damaging than coal, so we need to find means of generating human wellbeing that are better and less damaging than capitalism.

                Replacing coal though has not proven so easy; it has the innate advantage of incumbency, it's been reliable and we understand it well. And then there is the natural self-interest of those who profit most from it to overcome. Yet the process of replacement is underway, not because it was decreed 'we must abandon coal' but because new alternatives are proving to be more effective; the same metaphor applying to capitalism.

                Also we tend to be careless when using the term 'capitalism'. Monbiot emphasises the idea that it is predicated on infinite, unconstrained growth, yet nowhere justifies this. Another model is to look at the growth of all infants; during the early part of their life growth is what dominates everything, rapid change, new capabilities all appear one after another. But then arrives adulthood, and external growth no longer dominates. We reach a size and height we can sustain; and the progress of our lives becomes more inward, more psychological or spiritual.

                It's my sense this adolescent capitalism which has so terrified us with it's apparently insatiable greed, gobbling down everything it's parents put in the refrigerator, will of necessity pass into a new phase … once we take responsibility for the whole of humanity.

            • KJT 14.1.1.3.1.3

              No. We don't have anything "credible" that "Capitalists" who have won under the current system, will accept.

              Different from "no acceptable" alternatives.

              Some aspects of capitalism will always exist. Planting seeds and cultivating fields for future food, is an analogy of capitalism.

              However the incentive to get ahead, by effectively finding ever more elaborate ways of ripping off your fellow humans, and increasing selling of useless products, must reduce very soon.

              We have to stop the continued enclosure, and expropriation, of “the commons”.

        • gsays 14.1.1.4

          Derrick Jensen is a great read.

          Endgame (I think) was the one I read. Resonated for ages afterwards for me.

          I've not done university and aren't sure if there is already a name for this replacement for capitalism: sharing.

          Not bartering, not trading, sharing.

          With capitalism gone we can be rid of shareholders. Shareholders legally are entitled to a 'return'.

          Shareholders seem to need growth. The folk beholden to them often provide 'growth' by cutting or suppressing wages and conditions.

           

          Oops sorry, got a lecturey there. Not my intent.

      • gsays 14.1.2

        I am keen to know more of this mutually agreed path that can be negotiated with nature.

        • Robert Guyton 14.1.2.1

          In any community, you'd want to have input and agreement with all concerned, gsays, wouldn't you?

          I'm confident we are but the human element in a vast community of beings and feel sure we should be involving them in discussions about our shared fate.

      • Psycho Milt 14.1.3

        And I reckon you can negotiate with Her

        Me too. The evolution of Homo Sapiens offers quite compelling evidence in that respect.

        That doesn’t mean you’re going to enjoy the negotiations, mind…

    • bwaghorn 14.2

      Ok so what system to you propose we use to build the tech needed to combat carbon emmisions while still giving people all the modern comforts of food, medicines etc . 

      Anything less will  get no buy .

      • RedLogix 14.2.1

        Exactly. The same people who tell us we have to abandon industrialisation are also the same people who have zero idea of how, say for example, mass vaccinations are produced.

         

        • KJT 14.2.1.1

          Only you are talking about abandoning industry.

          The rest of us are talking about how our 'complicated" civilisation can last into the future.

      • Robert Guyton 14.2.2

        Natural systems. Wetlands, for example, are natural systems that sequester enormous amounts of carbon amongst their other many "services". Mangroves are even better at it!

    • mauī 14.3

      Thank you Milly, 100% absolutely correct.

    • Gwan 15.1

      There have been floods in the Midwest U S for as least a hundred years and I would say  a lot longer than that.

      Don"t confuse weather with climate and don't  make the same mistake and blame all climate events on CO2.

      Just stop and think about the 1958 Waikato flood when Kakapuku Mountain was scarred from top to bottom with slips starting in the bush near the top.

      Rain like this has not happened since and the Waipa river has never flooded to the extent that happened at that time

  15. Robert Guyton 16

    oops!

  16. KJT 17

    There is no middle ground.

    Either you are part of the solution, or "you are the problem". 

    All the advocates that think an environmentally sustainable world, for humans, is possible, without social and economic sustainability, are dreaming.

    The "Utopians" are the people who think that Capitalism, as presently constituted, can continue, without mass extinction. The supporters of gradualism, and waiting for monetary incentives, to change the resource hungry waste inherent in our society, are going to kill us all.

  17. SPC 18

    Biden is just revisiting Obama

    1. the Paris Accord is the middle way. 

    2. the nuclear agreement with Iran is the middle way.

    3. the Affordable Care Act is the middle way.

    4. playing by the international rules is the middle way. 

    5. government action to mitigate inequality is the middle way. 

  18. cleangreen 19

    KJT

    Yes our generation were far closer to caring about our collective future than the 30yr olds we find now as they just shake their heads and say, we are not interested in politics.

    So due is gonna look after their futures?

    • gsays 19.1

      Hey clean, isn't that a fair enough thing for a 30 year old to say?

      I know I hadn't grown up till I was 30.

      I got a little less selfish, stopped lying, started genuinely caring and acting for those around me.

    • KJT 19.2

      To be fair, up until nearly my 30’s, my main interest was women, ski fields, yacht races, and/or beer,

      • Incognito 19.2.1

        And nowadays you’d also include commenting on TS. We all get there in the end 😉

  19. Mack . 20

    Breaking News

    NZ's high priest of global warming admits that without some magical "greenhouse effect" in Earth's atmosphere, the Earth's surface temperature would be -18 deg.C .  ie all the oceans would be frozen solid, but this magical "greenhouse effect" of the ATMOSPHERE is keeping them liquid.

    Somebody needs to inform this AGW brainwashed clown that it's the SUN stupid. 

    • Andre 20.1

      If you're actually interested in gaining a glimmering of actual scientific understanding on the topic, here's a good place to start:

      https://skepticalscience.com/argument.php

      If you just want to persuade people you're a mouthy ignorant wanker, congratulations, your work here is done.

      • That_guy 20.1.1

        OMG, good for you for responding, you have a lot of patience. Personally I put climate skeptics in the same category as sweaty, shouty street preachers, I cross the road and try to avoid eye contact in case they start ranting at me.

      • Macro 20.1.2

        yes

        laugh

  20. Ad 21

    Mickey Savage:  "Is There A Middle Ground on Climate Change?"

    Jacinda Ardern and James Shaw: "Yes: Ta-Daaaa!"

  21. Pat 22

    “The critical thing is to do everything we can over the next 30 years to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius and the Zero Carbon Bill makes that a legally binding objective. "

    J Ardern

    https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/landmark-climate-change-bill-goes-parliament

     

    http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/spirals/

     

     

    • Macro 22.1

      And then Winston says….

      Mind you we should not be surprised. He effectively did the same trick in 2007 with Helen Clark – Remember the pledge to be Carbon Neutral by 2020 and the Carbon Tax that overnight became a watered down ETS? 

      • Pat 22.1.1

        I remember no such pledge 

        • Macro 22.1.1.1

          You obviously haven't got as long a memory as I have – Mind you I have been advocating for serious governmental action on addressing AGW for 2 decades now, 

          2007

          * February: Miss Clark pledges to make New Zealand carbon neutral. 

           

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/719646/The-prime-of-Miss-Helen-Clark 

           

          • Pat 22.1.1.1.1

            My memory is fine …and dosnt extend to unnecessary gilding of the lily.

            Your own link makes no reference to a pledge to be carbon neutral by 2020…indeed it dosnt even mention the controversial fart tax…but it does say

            "In the end, she tried to curb the urge to pass more laws like the Civil Union Bill, prostitution law reform and some of the more radical moves to cut greenhouse gas emissions."

            • Macro 22.1.1.1.1.1

              Those moves to cut GHG emissions were initially Clark's and she had initially advocated these ideas as long ago as the 1999 election cycle. The Labour led govt had been moving ahead with the Carbon Tax in discussion with the Greens who were in support, and it was to be introduced in 2007. Unfortunately Labour were supported  by NZF  as the minor party in the coalition (but still needed the Green vote to get the Bill enacted). Jeanette Fitzsimons tells me of the time she was in the PM's office and saw on Clark's desk a draft Bill for an Emissions Trading Scheme. This was her first knowledge of such a plan – completely contrary to what Labour and the Greens had been discussing. It was the work of Winston.

              • Pat

                and anyone without your fortuitous contacts would be expected to know any of this how (assuming of course its an accurate reccolection)?

                "You obviously haven't got as long a memory as I have"

                Difficult to remember something that was never publicly expressed im sure you would agree

                • Macro

                  The shift from a Carbon Tax to an ETS was well reported on at the time. How could it not be!

                  There was Shane Ardern Driving Myrtle up Parliament steps to protest a Carbon Tax and the next minute we have the introduction of a weak alternative, an Emissions Trading Scheme,  that left out the majority of this country’s GHG emissions. 

                  Media commentary was rife! Would the Greens support such a deal!? The fact was of course they would, fully knowing that such a scheme was destined to produce little to no reduction, because:

                  1.  the main contributors were not included, and
                  2.  the price of carbon emissions was being set by the "market" rather than the actual cost of emissions.

                  Why would the Greens go along with this?  One of the fundamental principles of Green Party negotiation is to reach agreement by consensus. In that way all involved can feel that they are part of the agreement, and can work together towards the fulfilment of the proposal. The ETS was way short of what the Green Party knew was needed, but at least it was a small step forward, and was all they were going to get at the time.

                  Subsequently, of course, the Nats on regaining Govt benches trashed even further what was a very weak ETS. Pushing out the inclusion of our main contributors to GHG emissions even further, and allowing the purchase of offshore hot air credits, amongst other bogus shenanigans, to cause the cost of 1 tonne of carbon emissions to fall under our ETS to the price of a cup of coffee. But! they could wave the existence of an ETS at climate conferences around the world, as a token of pride, that NZ was doing its fair share to address the problem of rising GHG's. (While, in fact, NZ was now threatening to become the worlds leader in emissions per capita.)

  22. Sacha 23

    "The threat posed by climate change is so huge why would we be only half hearted about it?"

    A great question to ask our current govt right now.

    • marty mars 23.1

      we could ask every single person that question – I think the answer is death.

    • Stuart Munro. 23.2

      Damned straight – if we were to over-support a widespread biological recovery it wouldn't cost us a bean – we could even dial it back a bit after. Underdo it though, and we'll never stop paying the price.

  23. WeTheBleeple 24

    Testing…

    (ignore me, just stripping out cookies with mixed results…)

  24. cleangreen 25

    smiley gsays at 19.1
    we hope your good character rubs off the other 30yr olds.

  25. SHG 26

    In Avengers Infinity War I wish there had been a sensible middle ground between the extremist Avengers dogmatically wedded to the idea of saving everyone, and the fundamentalist Thanos who wanted to kill 50% of all sentient life.

    Where was the moderate "kill 25% of sentient life" centrist option?

  26. Poission 27

    Best to be in the middle island tomorrow (13 may) as NI power generation (and supply) is at risk.

    https://nzgb.redspider.co.nz/

    very fragile from weather events

  27. Jenny - How to get there? 28

    There is no middle ground, you are either on one side or the other.

  28. Dennis Frank 29

    The answer to the question up top:  yes, and we're moving forward on that middle ground.  The three parties in government have agreed to create it, so that we can.

    Yesterday, up-thread, I was having some difficulty comprehending where Pat was coming from in his negative view of what they have achieved.  Perhaps that was a glass half empty or half full disagreement. The guts is that progress is happening, even if it less slower than required by the situation.

    Not sure why so many commenters here struggle to grasp the mechanics of democracy.  Agreements are forged via sufficient numbers of representatives.  Focus on what ought to happen, so beloved by political commentators, is irrelevant because it creates a hindrance to getting stuff done!

    Anyway, James captures the essence of the achievement in this quote from Toby Manhire's interview:  "a provisional target, and we’re going to kick it to the commission – is because no one has done the work on the assumption of staying within 1.5 degrees and what that looks like for New Zealand. So we’ve taken, basically, the best science we could get, which is the IPCC, which says what the world has to do to live within 1.5 degrees, and said: Let’s plug that in for the moment and get started, and get the homework done.”  https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/09-05-2019/james-shaw-and-the-zero-hour/

    This commission he mentions is intended to drive progress forward, advising govt in response to changing scenarios, I presume.  Seems sensible.

    • greywarshark 29.1

      Just a thought DF.   When you refer to the Green Party Co-Leader can you please put his full name.   We have another James that comes here and plants his IEDs of spiked words in amongst our discussions.    

      I don't want to be confused between one of his barbed items, and what the respected Green Party James-Shaw has to say.

    • Pat 29.2

      "Yesterday, up-thread, I was having some difficulty comprehending where Pat was coming from in his negative view of what they have achieved."

      Then i shall make it abundantly clear….they have achieved nothing…and best case scenario is they will continue to achieve nothing until at least 2021…they have wasted a further 4 years. 

      The glass is neither half full nor half empty…it is overflowing with emissions

  29. Middle ground on climate change? First, some evidence that we're causing it and that it's dangerous. Please. Cheers.

    • Robert Guyton 30.1

      You sound like an intelligent, open-minded sort of guy, Richard; have a look around and see if you can find what you seek; best of luck!

    • Dennis Frank 30.2

      Too late, the time for examining the evidence was back when you were much younger.  Don't feel bad that you missed the opportunity.  Learn from the experience.  Move faster next time…

      • Robert Guyton 30.2.1

        And yet, Dennis, we have to make room in the Lifeboat of Understanding, even for those who arrive embarrassingly late. Shove over, mate!

        • greywarshark 30.2.1.1

          Actually there isn't going to be enough room for all.    And those who are in the Lifeboat need to have some useful skills and their wits about them.

          • Dennis Frank 30.2.1.1.1

            The most essential skill is collaboration.  I mean expertise in the doing, not just the intent!  A team of collaborators can expand the lifeboat indefinitely, with the right ethos & culture.  However it's an idle prospect so long as most folk keep doing business as usual.

          • Robert Guyton 30.2.1.1.2

            I don't think that's right, grey; there is room and need for all humans; the earth is a very big lifeboat. I also think that it's not wits that are needed, but heart.

            • greywarshark 30.2.1.1.2.1

              Heart we need, but also backbone and smarts.   People sloshing around in an emotional soft-hearted way would want to draw too many people into the lifeboat and sink all.  Part of heart may be accepting that one can't be included, so that others may live.    That's real heart.

              I've been reading about people who worked in the Resistance in WW2, and those who served and died.   They loved others and died to help keep others safe, and able to keep striving for peace.   Peter Jackson's recreation of WW1 records shows one soldier saying sadly that the authorities don't care and no-one wants to hear about how it was.  That shows lack of heart, where it should have been seen in caring for the veterans, body and soul.

              That is how people with sentimental hearts are.   Wanting to hear just enough to have their hearts touched but not to really give from the heart.  

              • Robert Guyton

                "sloshing around in an emotional soft-hearted way " is not what I mean by heart.

    • Incognito 30.3

      Let’s approach this in a strictly scientific manner. The 7.665 billion humans leave Earth for a generation or so – don’t forget to turn off the lights and appliances – and when we come back we’ll measure how much climate has changed and compare it to the current model predictions. If it is worse than predicted, it wasn’t us; if it is better than predicted, than it was our doing after all. What do you reckon?

      • greywarshark 30.3.1

        That reminds me of a 70s tv play.   Earth is uninhabitable and a space ship, with facilities for hydroponic vegetables and environmentally planned, leaves earth with future colonists to look for a new home.   They treasure the memory of their old planet;  their motif is a tree in leaf.   They maintain the cultural practices, they can marry and have a child when someone dies, so as to cope with their limited resources.

        They follow a practice of maintaing a scan of any nearby planets as they move in space to receive signals which when analysed show a suitable atmosphere.   When one is noticed and reported to the leaders, they do nothing.   They have been acclimatised and abandoned the mission.  

        The young ones who wish to take this rare opportunity to at investigate possibility of finding a new home planet, perhaps the only chance they will ever have, have to steal the 'sacred' guidebook of technical instructions and advice on what tests to carry out, plan insurrection and method, and risk retribution from the elders who will object to alternative leadership decisions.

        I can't remember the details about it, probably it was a British production, but its story stands out as timeless.

      • Poission 30.3.2

        Let’s approach this in a strictly scientific manner

        Harari in Sapiens reiterates the obvious.

        “As far as we can tell from a purely scientific viewpoint, human life has absolutely no meaning. Humans are the outcome of blind evolutionary processes that operate without goal or purpose. Our actions are not part of some divine cosmic plan, and if planet earth were to blow up tomorrow morning, the universe would probably keep going about its business as usual. As far as we can tell at this point, human subjectivity would not be missed. Hence any meaning that people inscribe to their lives is just a delusion.”

         

  30. Milly 31

    There is no middle ground.

    It is 31 degrees in north Russia in May.

    Time to enact wartime regulations and rationing.

    Time to enforce a non consumer eco socialist programme.

  31. That's great, everyone, thanks. This post was referenced by a reader at the CCG so I discovered your revealing remarks. Now, you've said a lot about me but, oddly, brushed aside the evidence of dangerous man-made global warming. What makes you go for the guy, not the globe? Don't know? Can't reason?

    We can all say with confidence that with no proof of a problem it's unwise to declare an emergency. I'm not making this up. Do you know that the IPCC itself, when asked, doesn't produce proof of dangerous anthropogenic warming? If you don't believe me, ask them. The address of the IPCC Secretariat in Geneva is ipcc-sec@wmo[dot]int.

    Does anyone know what justifies not looking for oil and gas offshore? Or closing coal mines? Or building "clean" windmill monstrosities across the nations? Or NZ planning to spend two billion a year on climate policy? Meanwhile, academics and journalists who ask questions about this actually lose their jobs. They get fired. Meanwhile, we accept deception, misdirection and lack of proof from the IPCC. Feel free to respond.

    While God's Own indulges in virtue-signalling with no effect on the climate, Germany, Italy, Hungary and Poland last week rejected the “zero carbon” aspirations of the EU, exposing an East-West divide in Europe on climate change, with Germany siding with Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in their refusal to commit to climate neutrality by 2050.

    This is the result of Green demands to increase the intensity of their climate "ambition". Germany is the world's fourth largest economy with GDP of $US4 trillion, against NZ's $US206 billion. It's too expensive for them, but our government thinks we can afford it? Really? Lift your eyes and glimpse the real world, people.

    Cheers.

    • Robert Guyton 32.1

      Thanks for all that piffle, Richard; there hasn't been a lot of that around here lately and I was forgetting how lucky we have been. 

    • greywarshark 32.2

      Love your call sign Richard Treadgold.    It is such an evocative name that it might have affected your life, character and personality.;  has it do you think?   Or have you assumed it here as a sly dig at those of us who talk about being strugglers.   If I had a choice I might like to be Treadgrapes.

      • arkie 32.2.1

        Mr Treadgold is using his real name it seems, and has been on this climate-skeptic kick for a long time, a quick google brought up these:

        Don't be fooled – the "court challenge" to NIWA's temperature records is very little to do with the law and a lot to do with getting your attention.

        Finally, there's this little comment by one of those behind the court action, Richard Treadgold:

        Yes, finally [the Main Stream Media are paying attention]. It’s good, isn’t it? More people will hear of the existence of a contrary view. Of course, we must remember that this action is about the NZ temperature record (NZTR) and not anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

        Still, it’s a step forward, it will give support to climate realists everywhere and we can move on to AGW itself when this little matter is settled. We can hardly discuss the facts of global warming if warming itself is not accurately established.

        https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/i-dont-know-this-law-it-probably-exists-only-in-your-heads – 2010

        and

        It’s time to return to the delusions harboured by New Zealand’s little coterie of climate cranks about the NZ temperature record. Readers may recall that — somehow — the men who lost a court case against NIWA and then folded the charitable trust they’d used to bring the case in order to avoid paying costs, managed to get their “reconstruction” of the NZ temperature record through peer review and into the scientific literature. To no-one’s surprise, they found that warming in NZ was only one third of that found by NIWA and a generation of NZ climatologists. To do that, they had to torture the data beyond endurance, as I showed at the time.

        Equally unsurprising is that Richard Treadgold, prime mover of the whole fiasco, felt moved to respond in a number of typically prolix posts at his blog. His first, What Mullan actually says, purports to lay out the disputed points:

        …I think these are the debating points he’s trying to make, lined up with the passages in which he makes them.

        One small problem. This is not a debate. The facts are what the facts are, just as the temperature data is what it is. 

        https://sciblogs.co.nz/hot-topic/2014/12/03/solid-treadgold-easy-action-nz-still-warming-fast/ – 2014

        So, basically, ol' Richard here needs some new material. Or at least use a pseudonym so we don't just ignore him.

        • greywarshark 32.2.1.1

          Thanks for that arkie.   All that antipathy to anything that Hero didn't think himself makes attempts to move forward like walking through treacle.   It's the revenge of the patriarch-type after being moved from the central position to just a place at the table.

          Never tried walking through treacle myself, but imagination is enough.   And that's like Mr Treadtreacle.   He knows a lot of what he speaks, except that he doesn't want to find joined-up truth.    And he has nothing better to do than, like a malicious white-bearded gnome trying to recast an Enid Blyton story, cast himself as the bad doppelganger to all us naive Noddys.

          The problem of people living to older ages, sucking up medical budgets, is that we get more determined in our ways to match.  Before we go actually doolally and go into a state of freedom from all practical considerations, there can be a long period of apparent normality when we are taken seriously as misguided rather than irrational.   If the elderly aren't performing any useful services to society, then their influence should be less.

          For their abilities to fight strawman arguments on climate the CCG (Climate Conversation Group) should receive the Troll award.       Some of the arguments are on here.  If you want to find Treadgold's search and get straight to it.   Don't know what religious has to do with it – I'm not looking at that.  https://judithcurry.com/2010/12/20/understanding-conservative-religious-resistance-to-climate-science/

           

          And friend DTB crops up in a 2018 discussion relating to Trea..cle and his cohort.

          Draco T Bastard 10.2

          8 July 2018 at 6:48 pm

          The Paradox of Tolerance

          As paradoxcal as it may seem, defending tolerance requires to not tolerate the intolerant.

           

          On the Pundit link you provide it was noticed that Treadgold is connected to a Youtube clip put by by ACT Party which doesn't surprise.  https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/i-dont-know-this-law-it-probably-exists-only-in-your-heads

          And according to Richard Treadgold (contrary to whatever else he may have said yesterday, as quoted above), this attack on NIWA is all about the attack on AGW, [edit: or certainly the IPCC, anyway, and the 'warming', if not the 'anthropogenic' part] trying again to discredit the IPCC one wee mistake at a time. That link is to a Youtube clip, instructive in  all sorts of ways, posted by the ACT party. But of course they don’t want to talk about that, because they'd lose (for example, NOAA here and NASA here).

    • lprent 32.3

      *sigh* Always nice to have a scientific illiterate crank around. Tell me have you figured out what the difference is between the National Geographic and NZ Geographic / NIWA is yet?

      Do you know that the IPCC itself, when asked, doesn’t produce proof of dangerous anthropogenic warming?

      So following that exact same logic, one should always douse thyself in petrol before lighting a cigarette. After all cause and effect may not happen this time – right? After all by your logic, one should always burn yourself to death before concluding that maybe something should have been done earlier to prevent it.

      Geological processes, even those in the volatiles of the atmosphere and oceans, always take a while and this one has been ongoing for a few centuries. But there is more than sufficient evidence both in the physics, chemistry, and the geological record of what happens to incoming light and heat in an atmosphere and ocean system over time where the quantities of greenhouse gases rises. There is also considerable geological evidence of just how unstoppable the effects are for even slow rises in greenhouse gases.

      Right now I’d say that what is happening in the worst affected places in the polar regions like the Antarctic peninsula or the northern sea ice is dangerous to the animals and plants living in those regions. But the effects are moving into the areas that humans reside pretty fast as well. Just ask my colleagues getting washed away in Austin Texas this weekend.

      • Iprent,

        <blockquote>Just ask my colleagues getting washed away in Austin Texas this weekend. </blockquote>

        The flooding, yes, been going on a while now independently of increased CO<sub>2</sub>. Just breathe.

        <blockquote>So following that exact same logic, one should always douse thyself in petrol … </blockquote>

        That assertion is too nonsensical to complete and opaque to intelligent analysis. Tell me, do you genuinely approve of the fact that the IPCC has no evidence of dangerous anthropogenic global warming? I ask because you offer ad hominem abuse to me merely for reporting it, which is odd. You realise I'm not making it up, yeah? You understand that the existence of evidence underpins the UN climate campaign, the present post and most of the comments you and your colleagues have made here? If there's no evidence, your effort has been wasted. So what is the evidence?

        • lprent 32.3.1.2

          It isn’t nonsensical. It is an exact analogy for your defined process – essentially I’ll believe it after it has already happened. You’re asking for “proof” of the end results of a process that will take at decades to appear and centuries to go to full fruition and is very likely to cause immense damage to human society when it impacts. Moreover it is likely be impossible to reverse in any meaningful way with any usual human time frame.

          The science is quite clear to anyone who takes the time to actually look at it. And clearly you haven’t because I’ve seen your limited understanding of the basic science on the subject for more than the last decade and it is clear that you never have bothered to study the science. Instead you play the kinds of word games that are the last refuge of the incompetent.

          The evidence is in the maths and the mounting pile of measurements that have been accumulating.

          4 decades ago when I first looked at it in my first degree, this was a possible theory. 2 decades ago the evidence accumulated made it a likely to happen theory. Nothing since has been anything except make it highly probable to anyone with enough science (and who wasn’t being paid by the oil and coal industry). Clearly based on your comment you simply aren’t capable of understanding the basics. Which in essence is why I don’t bother treating you with any respect. Instead I prefer to simply rubbish what you are saying with the same kind of simple analogy that you seem to prefer and the word games that appear to be the height of your debating techniques.

          To be completely honest, your “ad hominem abuse” is merely my honest opinion of your “reporting”. I think that it is trash and just indicates a simple dimwit trying to look vaguely intelligent.

          But hey, be just another fool crying abuse and playing the victim for attention. I guess from your perspective it is easier than trying to live in an environment of robust debate.

          • Richard Treadgold 32.3.1.2.1

            “You’re asking for “proof” of the end results of a process that will take at [least] decades to appear and centuries to go to full fruition and is very likely to cause immense damage to human society when it impacts.”

            Something makes you believe that, what is it?

            “I don’t bother treating you with any respect. Instead I prefer to simply rubbish what you are saying”

            True. All this verbiage, from you and others, but no illumination, no knowledge, no courtesy, from people who claim to know it all. Sorry I visited. Still, you're welcome to pop over to the CCG, read the posts, decide for yourselves what I say independently of those here who claim to know me. We have good conversations. If you don't care to comment, I won't even know that you've been.

            Cheers.

        • Dennis Frank 32.3.1.3

          Arguments about the merit of circumstantial evidence are normal in front of a court, but the authorities tend to curtail time-wasting attempts to defer the verdict.  Such economic constraints apply in the court of public opinion, and it is quite reasonable for the IPCC to sideline the minority of climate scientists who seek to deny the weight of evidence forever.

          Humanity doesn't allow any minority to hold it to ransom, Richard.  You're just trying to get away with being irresponsible.  The precautionary principle is extremely simple – so much so that non-scientists readily comprehend the suitability of applying it to climate science.  Why so hard for you??

      • greywarshark 32.3.2

        I hope that we aren't going to be stuck in Treacle.   I like golden syrup myself.

  32. RedLogix 33

    For what it's worth this short lecture from Hans Rosling expands on my view around climate and population very well:



  33. Velcro 34

    'an extraordinarily strong scientific consensus' – there are literally hundreds of papers in reputable journals which in one way or other contradict the climate orthodoxy that we are seeing catastrophic man made global warming. Easy to find if you want to. No, global warming due to man's input is not accelerating. Nor should we expect it to, given that there is a logarithmic relationship between global temperature and atmospheric  CO2 concentration.  

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