It’s the end of the world as we know it *

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, May 7th, 2019 - 104 comments
Categories: climate change, Conservation, disaster, Environment, farming, food, global warming, science, sustainability - Tags:

The United Nations has published a report that paints a stark warning that humanity’s current treatment of the world’s environment is destroying it.

From Kate Gudsell at Radio New Zealand:

The most comprehensive report on the global state of biodiversity to date has found one million species are threatened with extinction.

The just-published United Nations assessment – known as the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) – says nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history.

The landmark report issues an ominous warning – the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, and this will have grave impacts on people around the world.

Humans have significantly altered three-quarters of the land-based environment and two-thirds of the marine environment.

More than a third of the world’s land surface and nearly three-quarters of freshwater resources are devoted to crop or livestock production.

Up to $US577 billion ($NZ872b) in annual global crops are at risk from pollinator loss.

Plastic pollution has increased ten-fold since 1980 and up to 400 million tonnes of heavy metals, solvents and toxic sludge are dumped annually into the world’s waters.

The report said people were eroding the very foundations of their economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life.

According to the global assessment, an average of about 25 percent of animals and plants are now threatened.

All this suggests around a million species now face extinction within decades, a rate of destruction tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the past 10 million years.

The report can be accessed here.

So what can we do?  The solutions have been canvassed many times but obviously need to be repeated time and time again.  Things like:

  • Eat less red meat.
  • Drive and travel by plane less.
  • Catch more public transport.
  • Engage in pest management and trapping.
  • Plant more trees.
  • Reduce consumption.
  • Live more simply.

There are a great number of ideas in the Standard’s How to get there series.

What is clear is that we are now past the point of having to talk.  We are now in a position where we need to act.

And clearly politics must play its part.  We can no longer afford cautious triangulators or leaders that refuse to do what is right because they are afraid of upsetting entrenched groups. 

Time is running out. We collectively need to act now.

Reprinted from

104 comments on “It’s the end of the world as we know it *”

  1. Andre 1

    The other big choice that most readers here are past the age of making, but may be influencing how younger people choose: have fewer kids.

    • Chris T 1.1

      Probably the single biggest thing tbf.

      • Andre 1.1.1

        Almost certainly the single biggest lifetime decision anyone ever makes in terms of climate and planetary effect. But it's only an active choice for a small part of anybody's life, the rest of the time it's just a fact of life we have to try to do our best with.

  2. Kat 2

    Those solutions are what "hippies" and other long haired “commies” and the so called "modern youth" advised back in the 60's and 70's.

    Silent Spring anyone………Oh the sad irony of it all. 

  3. cleangreen 3

    Catch more public transport.

    Ok if you live in the two big cities in North Island but anywhere else public transport is very sparse.

    Labour coalition needs to bring back regional rail passenger services.

    • Heather Grimwwod 3.1

      to  cleangreen  at  3 :  railcars  of  earlier  time  were  fast,  comfortable,  clean  and  warm…..wonderful  in my memory  for  both  long-distance  and  suburban  travel. 

      • cleangreen 3.1.1

        Heather – yes I remember with warm thoughts of that time.

        Why not now is my thoughts always now sadly?

        We have gone back to the stone age not the progressive age.

    • Kat 3.2

      Reinstate a 21st century MOW, first job upgrade the tracks to take heavy haulage, reintroduce passenger rail cars with cabins and buffet facilities. We are the "can do" country, done it before, lets do it again and this time in style (no railway pies or half inch thick cups). The govt can have my winter energy payment if it helps.

      • cleangreen 3.2.1

        Yes Kat,

        *also if labour are really worried about the "viability" of rail services;*

        *then why don't they do what is the cheapest most economic method to carry both freight and passengers together on rail all at the same time?  *
        *This is called as a worldwide practice as "mixed trains"

        • Kat

          Don't get me started CG….there was a concerted political effort to crush the railway and maritime industry as the very union based structure was viewed as diametrically opposite to free market and private sector interests. This was the era where the baby was thrown out with the bath water and if Richard Prebble had got his way totally, the bath as well. We are suffering the traffic congestion gridlock and broken roads consequences ever since. Unfortunately it has got to the point where some widely accepted and revered public persona who can rise above the politics of it all is now required to champion a rail revolution.  

          • cleangreen

            smileysmileyTwo smillers Kat 100%

            Here is our stab in today's press release on Scoop.

            Our press release today on the n Zero carbon bill. Put it up on Facebook and anywhere you choose please.

            Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre, CEAC supports Zero Carbon Bill. Press release by Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre

            8th May 2019.

            We at CEAC support the Zero Carbon Bill as New Zealand’s actions are going to help change the climate.

            We may only account for just a few per cent of global emissions but we are widely respected as a “clean green country” so we need to lead by example here to encourage others to follow.

            ACT Leader is not voting for the Zero Carbon Bill and seems to want to just to be a follower or sit on the fence on such an important issue facing our young and old citizens going forward’

            NZ is a flood prone country with a very large exposed ‘coastline surrounded by one of the largest areas of sea around it, that is subject to flooding on future’ and if we don’t lower our climate emissions collectively, many properties and lives are at seriously stake here.


            This has been our focus since 2001 to lower the use of fossil fuels and climate emissions when we had solid support for using more rail from Helen Clark’s Labour Government, as they gave support of our calls for “common sense” multiple transport modalities in our submissions to Government and councils as we were asking to use more rail freight and lower the truck gridlock & carbon emissions, but sadly now we are again facing truck gridlock as National ran ‘rail down’ in their last term.

            Labour coalition again need to pick up where in 2002 Helen Clark wrote to our Environmental Centre offering to support us by sending us her Minister of Finance and the CEO of Transit NZ (now NZTA) to try and find resolution to lower the truck freight problems. These and others agreed to place a rail service transport link into “Watties” (now/Watties/Hienz as the largest cannery export business in HB that are supporting our community.

            The Watties press release in the HB Today claimed it would remove over 12,000 trucks a year from our roads in HB, and this was a large successful commitment then, so we need to encourage more examples of this by adopting the Zero Carbon Bill to save lives and the climate also.

            Also RNZ news announced that In support of this year's Road Safety Week theme of Save Lives, #SpeakUp, Julie Anne Genter told RNZ that the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is actively looking at reducing the speed limit on some roads to reduce fatalities.

            So as to road safety, we at Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre want rail to strongly feature also in the transport modality choices that our councils and government with us all make in future for those reasons of ‘road safety and climate change emissions reductions’, that associate Minister of transport Julie Anne Genter has now advocated for the same logic.

            Our narrow winding roads are not designed for those ultra-heavy trucks nor their increased speeds, and we support the Zero Carbon Bill for “common sense” policies that it encourages. We have always advocated for rail passenger and freight services to be restored since the public became the owner once again of the rail system, so Government needs to be encouraged to take action to get rail going again to lower carbon emissions in our provinces during their term of Government.


            Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre. (CEAC) 2001. /p>




  4. Rosemary McDonald 4

    So.  What's the plan for saving the planet and the economy?

    Where's Wayne?  We need Wayne!

    Climate change is this Government’s nuclear free issue


    I grew up believing it'd all end with a bang…


  5. Im right 5

    Love your 'list' MS, let's break down a few now we have had a left govt. For over a year and a half, and Jacinda emphasising climate change as hugely important.

    1: Drive and travel by plane less – Travel costs for MPs by party: The Greens by a large amount in air travel….do as I say I guess 🤔

    2: Plant more trees – pretty self explanatory the irony here, a billion trees in 10yrs policy and bugger all planted by Shane Jones govt dept (and no…the ones planted by private organisations do not count as part of the billion)

    3: Eat less red meat….why? Another dig at farmer's? The amount of sheep per capita has fallen since the 70s and 80s (and please note the amount of hospital admittance has risen as veganism rises due to iron deficiency problems) 

    4: Pest management – isn't that what 1080 drops are doing, not perfect but the best way thus far. I never understood why the bounty on possums was dropped, would make some people an earning and do away with NZ's biggest Forrest threat. A two or three dollar bounty on each possum and whole areas could be thinned out in no time. (Registered hunters….not a free for all as that would lead to shooting accidents)



    • Andre 5.1

      3: this shouldn't be just eat less red meat, it should really be eat less animal product. It's because it takes far more land area and greenhouse gas emissions and water to produce a kilo of animal protein than to produce a kilo of plant protein. Basically to get that kilo of animal protein you first need to grow a shitload more than a kilo of vegetable protein and other nutrients for the animal to eat and metabolise, most of which gets used for keeping the animal alive and only a bit goes into to growing more edible flesh, producing eggs, milk or whatever else you're harvesting from the animal.

      Most red meats are particularly climate warming, because they come from ruminants. Which have the unfortunate habit of turning a decent chunk of the carbon they ingest into methane which they then belch out, which is incredibly effective at warming the climate for the few years it stays as methane before getting oxidised back to CO2.

      So even if those that just can't reduce their meat eating could shift some of their consumption away from beef, lamb, goat, venison towards chicken, turkey, pork or even horse, it would drop methane levels a bit and make a difference.

      edit: here’s a piece that’s got a view fairly close to mine, although a bit short on the specifics of why to eat less animal products.

      • Andre 5.1.2

        And here's a fairly easily readable piece about the environmental impact of various diets.

      • gsays 5.1.3

        On top of all that, if it is meat from one of the supermarket chains, it all gets trucked to Auckland, processed then trucked back round the country.

        • MickeyBoyle

          No it doesn't, I used to work in a supermarket butchery, they take in whole carcasses and butcher them down into various products, the wrapping etc is then also done in store. The only items where you possibly are right, are the frozen items that many supermarkets sell under their own brands, but this is a tiny percentage of their stock.

      • New view 5.1.4

        You can quote your figures until the cows come home. Some of  what you say might be true most isn’t. The fact is you may not like the idea of livestock farming but their emissions are largely off set by the fact that the land is cultivated far less as grass regrows and does not have to replaced for many years if need be. Your plant based protein comes from annual crops requiring land to be cultivated annually. More tractors,more fuel,more fertilisers,huge amount of water. All on land that is disappearing because us humans, the biggest polluters of all,  build houses all over it. These dreamy theories like yours always have a dark side that you conveniently forget about. Your soy or wheat burgers will be just as damaging to the environment in the quantities required. It’s less of us and our lifestyle that’s needed. Not less cows. 

        • WeTheBleeple

          Definately less cows required. Overstocking is a huge problem.

          Go re-plant your farms trees you ecocidal asshat.

          • New view from

            Oh so intelligent wtb. The trees also have their dark side. At some point you have to cut them down. All that saved carbon is then undone. So we have to plant more to lock up the carbon we’ve just released again. Bit of a merry go round eh. Calling me names doesn’t make my argument wrong. I’m a retired sheep and beef farmer whose house looks down on flat land that gets cultivated 24/7. I have a pretty good idea what goes on around me on the land. What qualifications do you have to justify your smug response to my comment. 

        • Andre

          No argument from me that fewer humans would be a really good thing. Lower footprint per human would also be a really good thing.

          Your apologia for cows is lacking actual data. Which kinda weakens it as an actual argument. All the livestock farms I've ever seen operating had substantial fertiliser, fossil fuel, and water inputs. So actual comparative data is needed to support an assertion that growing edible plant matter actually uses more of these inputs than livestock farming. Considering how inefficient animals are at converting input plant matter into human-edible animal product, livestock farming is necessarily starting with a huge handicap when it comes to any kind of resource use, footprint and environmental impact comparison.

          In any case, lower-impact vat-grown substitutes are getting a lot of attention and starting to actually come onto the market. Personally, I consume waay too much dairy product. When I consider the likely negative health effects of dairy overconsumption, well, cheese is one of the big things making life worth living, so the question is kinda moot. But I'll be a lot happier when those dairy products are made from a mix of vat-produced proteins, fats etc produced by engineered microbes, rather than sucked out of cows directly downhill from their sewage outfalls.

          Similarly with animal flesh. While I don't much like eating steak or roast, I enjoy the occasional burger or sausage or salami. And I really can't be arsed learning what vegetarian foods I'd need to substitute in to get all the nutrients I currently get from that meat. But again, I'll be a lot happier when the raw material comes from vat-grown cultured cells, rather than what comes out of the current animal-processing industry.

          These developments don't look as close as synthetic dairy, but they're coming. When they do become a real product, I'll take a guess livestock farming will take a huge hit. Not just because of their enormously wasteful resource use, but also because they'll lose a lot of their social license to operate. At the moment, exposes of horrible farming and meat industry practices don't get much traction, because there really isn't a viable alternative. So people haven't really got their heads around the idea of alternatives, yet. But when an alternative becomes real, I'll bet the changeover will be rapid, just like other new technology adoptions.


          • New view

            Andre you are correct I’m light on detail. Sometimes people live off and hang onto every thing they read on the internet. I’m defending livestock farming because joe public see plant protein as the new god. It’s not at present. You may be right in that when cropping becomes  more efficient every one will jump aboard but livestock farming is improving as well so maybe it will come down to whether you want to eat meat or not. Yes there are too many cows in some areas. There’s to many people crammed into cities that are built on good farm land. WTB needs to debate both sides of the argument rather than poking the silly comment stick at me. 

    • greykit 5.2

      there are other alternatives too for areas that are accessible. Look up EnviroMate 100 on google. I hear it is having some excellent results and is particularly good at holding possum populations down by preventing reinvasion, something 1080 doesnt do. it can be used as a distributer of prefeed and/or poison or used in conjunction with traps. Results look very promising.

      • Janet 5.2.1

        Yes , pest control operators in Gisborne and Northland are reportedly "over the moon " with the results they are getting from using  EnviroMate 100 both as a pre feeder to support traps or as a prefeeder/poison trap. Not only the kill results but the highly improved labour economics of using them.

  6. belladonna 6

    I havent eaten meat for over 30 years and have never been iron deficient ever. Stop thinking of the almighty dollar and think of your children and grand children. So selfish I just dont understand how you can think like you do.

    • Im right 6.1

      Are you a vegetarian or a vegan Belladonna?….I specified veganism not vegetarianism. And there are many health reports of Vegans being admitted to hospital with severe iron deficiency, or is that a  by vast conspiracy of omnivores?

      • Im right 6.1.1


        Q: How can you tell if someone is a vegan?

        A: Don't worry, they will tell you!


      • lprent 6.1.2

        Only if they are fashionistas who don't read.

        Like having an all animal products diet (like Mort has)  or one based around any constrained diet (eg fast foods, dairy  wheat, etc), there are health risks in every diet. I've known a lot of vegans over the years. Most read. So they know what the issues are, both for themselves and for any children they have.

        Hell for that matter I'd bet that the 'usual' western diet causes way more people to go to hospital. Think of the number of people with diabetes and its rapidly rising incidence as a simple example.

        So basically you're wrong (as usual).

  7. Ad 7

    +1000 Mickey

  8. greywarshark 8

    Here is a small video link to play when you are confused.   The babel fish is an easily overlooked novelty that is handy to keep at hand which helps you to understand the complex matters that are increasingly outside the square of your hypotenuse.

  9. greywarshark 9

    Two more things to do – understand insects role in our lives, and with their disappearance, our deaths.   Stop spraying everything to kill it and have everything look neat and orderly and lifeless.

    Also allow us oldies, and very sickies if we wish, the right to decide when we will die, and enable us to plan a proper way for this to be done, allowing for some personal idiosyncracies.    Stop telling others what they should do, but help people to have a good life while they are young, and then decide to leave a space and resources for other people in their own time.

    • alwyn 9.1

      "with their disappearance, our deaths".

      Damn right. Singapore used to be a paradise until that rotten Government killed off the mosquitoes that spread malaria. Those lovely friendly insects that, with their friendly hum provided comfort to lonely people in the darkness. Bring back the mosquito I say.

      We should also free the smallpox virus. It has just as much right to live as we do. So what if a few people might have to suffer. I'm sure all the victims of the disease throughout the ages were happy that they were contributing to the survival of another species.

      Now, what were you saying again?

      • lprent 9.1.1

        Having spent 5 months outdoors in Singapore last year for work, let me tell you that the extinction of the mosquito there is just a another myth.

        I have photographic evidence and an aversion towards the Singaporean bush

        Now what were you saying again? Some bullshit right…

        • greywarshark

          I thought there was some rule that mosquitoes don't fly above so many.. stories in a building?

        • alwyn

          Oh you poor thing, you.

          I had heard that Singapore employment policies had changed from the ones they had when the country was poor. Now they bring in people from poor countries to do the unskilled labour tasks, often outside in the heat and humidity, that Singaporeans aren't willing to do themselves. Rather like the foreign labourers in the Gulf states or the undocumented Mexican workers on California farms.

          I didn't realise that New Zealand workers were reduced to that though. 

          • Macro

            Now they bring in people from poor countries to do the unskilled labour tasks, 


            That's been the case since  the 1960's and LKY! 


            And any NZ serviceman who served in NZFORSEA could tell you that.

            BTW many who did serve there had to be repatriated because of serious skin allergies following mozzie bites all over their bodies. Sometimes they would build up a tolerance so that the bite did not react with such venom – but they would be miserable for weeks until it subsided.

          • lprent


            I do program a lot of RF work. The kind that uses frequencies that don't like walls but have long line of sight. When you are installing them in an outdoor site or on boat you can't have the kinds of effete quibbles that you seem to have.

            In this case it was a rather large installation and integration of large numbers of multiple types of devices talking to the code I'd spent the previous two years writing. I don't cower behind air conditioning like some idiot playing with abstractions – which appears to be your idea of "work". I like to see my code working where it is in use so that issues can be solved early during the onsite testing.

            Tell me – have you ever as an adult spent time outside even in NZ? From all of your comments I suspect that you aren't exactly hands on for anything.

            In the last decade, I’ve tested my code on boats, in the European alps and now in the stinking hot tropics.

            • alwyn

              I'm glad you took it the way it was intended. I would hate to be banned for a joke.

              Outside New Zealand working outside?

              Not really. I was generally in offices. I never minded the heat though. When I first went to Brunei I found it too hot, even in the Office, for the first week. The second week was fine outside but I wouldn't want to have been working hard outside. By the third week I was going into the office, which was kept at 25 C and putting on a jersey because it was so bloody cold. Just me adapting of course.

              That wasn't the hottest place I spent time in. The worst was actually New York. For a couple of weeks the daytime temperature was 46 C and overnight it dropped to a pleasant 37 C. All at above 90 % humidity. Now that was really oppressive.

              When I was younger, and a student, I spent the summers working on a farm in Hawkes Bay. So yes I know what it is like. I never found Singapore that bad though. About 33 C was the max. New Orleans is much worse.

              • lprent

                The nice thing about Singapore was that its temperature was pretty constant. 28-35C in the shade. You got inured to it.

                However there were a few days working on ~800 gear on a stone field in the sun chasing bugs. That was hot – well over the mid 40s and you could feel the heat both below and above and muggy.

                It was like being up towards Darwin just prior to the wet season – once experienced never forgotten.

                But I think that the cold is harder. The sweat after installing gear is a real pain when you are just sitting around testing that it got on the network.

                Wasn't something for moderation.  Just something to be replied in kind.

                It is a pain writing comments on a cellphone. Harder to edit and check properly.

            • RedLogix

              hah … my two 'working temp' extremes are -60 degC and +48 degC. With a fair bit of high wet bulb temps in the tropics. When my glasses fog up at 5am in the morning I know it's going to be a loooong day.

              • lprent

                :l The joy of engineering. I knew there was a reason not to become one.

                Fortunately screens work better in the shade. I always have an excuse to get under cover…

                • RedLogix

                  Then there was the semi-annual leak test that needed to be performed on a Kr-185 sensor located in the dryer hood of a cardboard machine at Whakatane. We did wear an air cooled suit for that, but at +85degC you still only lasted about 3-4 minutes max.

                  Looking back I'm only grateful for all the adventures. The worst day on site was always better than the best day in the office. 

      • Stuart Munro. 9.1.2

        They don't have to poison them. In Korea most houses keep the aircon at 19° in midsummer – it stops them flying. 

        • alwyn

          I didn't realise that 19 C was low enough. I thought you needed about 10 C to make them shut down for the winter.

          I live and learn.

          • Stuart Munro.

            It's not perfect, (the aircon can't keep the temperature range invariable) but if you spray your window screens too you won't encounter more than one a week.

          • WeTheBleeple

            That's crap. I just had a mosquito do a fly by in the lounge @ 16 C.

            Maybe the Anopheles don't operate under 20. The locals sure do.

  10. belladonna 10

    Even though I didnt tell you I am vegan.  Every vegan has heard that pathetic unfunny so called joke hundreds of times.

    • Im 10.1

      That was more of a commentary than a joke, the reason it gets so many smiles and sniggers is because there are sooooo many non vegans that have actually met their first vegans at BBQ,s or dinner gatherings and that ''joke' is so spot on!

      Their  pomposity and overall heir of superiority annoys all who encounter them and is why, like birds of a feather, tend to flock together.

    • Im right 10.2

      That ''joke' is more of a commentary that just happens to be so true it gets smiles and sniggers, as all non vegans have met a vegan at a social gathering and they ALWAYS proclaim they are a vegan as if they have discovered a new element. As I recall any vegetarian I have met never proclaimed they are a vegetarian with such an air of pomposity as vegans do!

      • Molly 10.2.1

        …”As I recall any vegetarian I have met never proclaimed they are a vegetarian with such an air of pomposity as vegans do! “…

        Perhaps, some of that pomposity has spread to you.

        Most with dietary considerations – whether it’s Paleo, vegan or dairy-free, will – in a social situation that involves eating – state their restrictions. It’s a way of avoiding awkward situations.

        Also, it is a way of starting conversations with others, who then might ask – why? Social interaction it is called.

        • Im right

          Gluten free is a choice for many (they do not have coeliac disease) likewise Paleo and likewise dairy free (lactose intolerant aside). Just like all dietary requirements they are 99% catered for by family and friends when attending a meal/function. 

          I have had many a great meal and BBQs at vegetarian hosts place, plenty Vege dishes and also meat dishes for meat eaters (cooked in oven in own dish)…BUT I have yet to be offered even a vegetarian option (that includes dairy, eggs etc in the recipe) when we attended  2 get togethers where the hosts were vegan, see the difference, see the arrogance? We all tried for their dietary needs and all we got was lectures about meat and dairy bad etc etc….

          • You_Fool

            I think you need better friends….

          • Molly

            " …BUT I have yet to be offered even a vegetarian option (that includes dairy, eggs etc in the recipe) when we attended  2 get togethers where the hosts were vegan, see the difference, see the arrogance? "

            Our idea of being good hosts is similar but not exact, but our idea of being good guests is widely variant.

            Some people have made moral, environmental and ethical choices for their diets and – understandably – are often called on to defend their positions.  Sometimes that becomes a go-to conversation, when perhaps it shouldn't, but there are many conversations like that.  I drift off when sports and rugby are mentioned – and they are mentioned in casual company a lot. 

            As a guest, I would not expect all my dietary choices to be met, and as long as there is something to eat would consider myself well-satisfied.  The purpose is the gathering, not an episode of Masterchef.

            As a meat-eater – not being offered meat is not the same as not having an alternative option.  You can eat and enjoy vegetarian or vegan dishes, because you have no compunction about eating vegetables. 

            There is often a level of aggression towards those who make "other" choices from the norm, and it can often be displayed quite publicly in social situations. 

            Obnoxious people can be found in many situations – with their own hobby horses – as you point out, some of them are vegans – but remember not all. 

    • gsays 10.3

      That line is funnier and more accurate when applied to new i-phone owners.

      • KJT 10.3.1

        Buyers of expensive, underspeced, and short lived fashion items, feel the need to defend their choices.

  11. One Two 11

    The UN has little to no influence. Close to zero.

    Reports and more reports… Just like NZ governments of all persuasions, including the present one…

    Meanwhile the global corporations will maraud relentlessly seeking to wring every last dollar from the planet to keep the broken business models alive…


    And more reports will follow.



  12. WeTheBleeple 12

    We absolutely must take personal responsibility for our patterns of consumption. Yes the behemoth corporations are a huge problem – but we keep buying the plastics, the fly sprays, the herbicides and more. We buy the food that's been on a world tour before it hits our plate. And then we point angry fingers.

    Are you restoring your neck of the woods? Do you grow trees, food, community connections? Do you canvas your politicians? Do you vote for the planet with your dollars and votes?

    The time to transition is now. Stop waiting for a signal, the signal was, as is previously mentioned in the thread, Rachel Carlson's 1960's book Silent Spring. The signal is global warming, the signal is mass biodiversity loss.

    Plant trees. Grow food in them and under them. Turn your lawn to something useful for yourself and the planet not a gas guzzling expense. Get a bicycle, an e-bike, or an e-car if you can afford it. Take public transport. Walk more. Restore your neck of the woods. Your consumption, your backyard, your neighborhood. Be a PITA to your local council and politicians who do nothing. Join Extinction rebellion. Be a fly in the ointment. Invest in resilience and sustainability. Divest from idiots.

    We only get one shot at this. Get on with it.

    • BM 12.1

      So what do you think of Labour wanting to be a major sea/air transport hub for the movement of Chinese made goods into Latin America?Just a matter of getting NZ First on board.

      More of that "Climate Change is my generations nuclear moment" bullshit.


      • higherstandard 12.1.1

        Putting that fine Bachelor of Communication from Waikato to work…..wink

      • WeTheBleeple 12.1.2

        Fuck off and die you germ.

        • BM

          The truth upsets you does it?

          • WeTheBleeple

            I don't know what you are talking about, and from you, I ceased to care a long time ago. You are a fucking insect.

            • BM

              China's Belt and Road initiative, we're all on board.


              It’s full steam ahead on the Neo-Liberalism train and Cindy is driving it.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              WTB…BM is an odious wee person but he has a point with this.  I espied the bit he's on about on about somewhere in passing the other day and found myself slithering down the BRI rabbit hole.  We do seem to have gone from 'We'll have a look at this..' to 'Sign us up, we're in.'

              And my single biggest concern is that the driver for the BRI is for an increase in production of trade goods and the facilities to ship them all over the world.

              When we should be thinking very seriously about conserving, recycling/re-purposing, self  sufficiency at national level and cutting way, way back on air and fossil fuel powered shipping.



              • WeTheBleeple

                I don't want to hear about who is doing what wrong blame blame and on with the game just enough with the shit already. Another thing to protest, another finger to point, more tedious fucking debate. Belt and Road – just fuck off it's not even the subject matter.

                What am I doing personally. How am I spending my money, my time, my efforts.

                Do you have bugs in your yard, or bug zappers?

                Time to take some personal responsibility stop waiting for leadership we'll die before we see it. The people lead the government. The government are sheep.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  Belt and Road – just fuck off it's not even the subject matter.


                • New view

                  Ok WTB. You’ve got my attention. Apart from your boring potty language I may be able to learn to live a better more responsible life if you can enlighten us on how you live yours. I know it will be hard for me I’m sure but if you listed your food choices, rubbish disposal systems, transport arrangements, your minimal travel and environmental sustainability plans we could all learn a lot from you. ?

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    Go read How To Get There if you have a genuine interest, but it is obvious you don't.

                    Smarmy sarcastic wanker.

          • cleangreen

            BM + 'bullshit mania.' 

  13. tc 13

    We are also removing 1 million sharks every year…… Scientists and ecologists universally agree the removal of apex predators collapses ecosystems.


  14. Im right 14


    Gluten free is a choice for many (they do not have coeliac disease) likewise Paleo and likewise dairy free (lactose intolerant aside). Just like all dietary requirements they are 99% catered for by family and friends when attending a meal/function. 

    I have had many a great meal and BBQs at vegetarian hosts place, plenty Vege dishes and also meat dishes for meat eaters (cooked in oven in own dish)…BUT I have yet to be offered even a vegetarian option (that includes dairy, eggs etc in the recipe) when we attended  2 get togethers where the hosts were vegan, see the difference, see the arrogance? We all tried for their dietary needs and all we got was lectures about meat and dairy bad etc etc….

  15. Jonathan 15

    The "things you can do" section is mainly rubbish. It's putting the onus on individual consumers who are almost entirely blameless and powerless in this situation. Big industry and the politicians that sop to it are responsible for this mess and they must get us out, but they won't because profits is all they understand.

    The only "thing we can do" is form a peaceful-but-implacable mass people movement (like Extinction Rebellion) and demand our governments take decisive action on behalf of our eco-systems, regardless of the squeals of industry. Indeed, a mass people movement is the only thing in the world that will actually embolden our politicians to stand up to big business at this dangerous time in history.

  16. cleangreen 16

    Seems like the 'right wing trolls took the end of the world subject off this string entirely' but I will attempt to get it back on track again, 

    From Kate Gudsell at Radio New Zealand:

    The most comprehensive report on the global state of biodiversity to date has found one million species are threatened with extinction. The just-published United Nations assessment – known as the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) – says nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history. The landmark report issues an ominous warning – the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, and this will have grave impacts on people around the world. Humans have significantly altered three-quarters of the land-based environment and two-thirds of the marine environment. More than a third of the world’s land surface and nearly three-quarters of freshwater resources are devoted to crop or livestock production. Up to $US577 billion ($NZ872b) in annual global crops are at risk from pollinator loss. Plastic pollution has increased ten-fold since 1980 and up to 400 million tonnes of heavy metals, solvents and toxic sludge are dumped annually into the world’s waters.

    We need to discuss this rationally even if the right wing zealots don't care. 

    Rail with electric locomotives is our future here now; they have wagons with solar panels on them all and they can self power themselves now.


  17. RedLogix 17

    This is way worse than any of you are imagining.

    A few greenie dilettantes changing their diet and taking the bus isn't going to make one jot of difference. The human race will likely top out at 9 billion. And most of them will make it into the middle class and start consuming resources at a rate comparable to the current top 1 billion.

    You tell them they're not allowed to. Leaving them in absolute poverty will only have another kind of environmental impact as they chop trees, slash and burn, hunt for bush tucker or strip the last fish out of the seas.

    At the same time industrialisation keeps much of the rest human race alive, the idea that we can magically 'turn it off' and 'simplify' our lives is a murderous nonsense. Yet 'business as usual' also condemns us as we pillage the planet of the life we depend on. 

    There is only one path out of here, and it's not easy:

    1. Everybody has to play by the same rules. Rules that are enforced.

    2. The nations of the earth give up that part of their sovereignty which relates to their right to war. 

    3. The massive expenditure on armaments is scaled back to a small fraction, to that needed for local defense and commitments to a global task force under the control of the UN.

    4. The resources freed up are dedicated towards a transformation of our industrial technologies.

    5. Global research and engineering body dedicated to developing a world wide energy grid that is 100% fossil free and delivers abundant, cheap energy everywhere.

    6. Massive scale programs to enforce energy efficiency, waste management, recycling, high tech materials are implemented globally. Zero waste, zero toxicity and maximum energy efficiency are made primary goals.

    7. A sustainable agricultural transformation is made a central concern of governments everywhere.

    8. One third of the planet's land area and two thirds of it's oceans are set aside as wilderness. 

    9. We hope like fuck this is enough, because it's insanely hard and risky. But all the alternatives are worse.

    • One Two 17.1

      How would you rate the probability of those 9 points.





      • RedLogix 17.1.1

        That we will do it voluntarily … low.

        That we will do it after our collective arse is kicked … inevitable.

        • One Two

          I'm of the persuasion that the lights going out is far preferable an outcome than other options  presently on the table for discussion…

          The other options presently on the table, represent inevitability to which you refer… eventuating from the status quo fighting for its very existence…essentially against the universe…so that outcome is 100 | 0

          Whichever way it goes, the outcomes appear to be getting uglier…

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Will our capability to "do it" survive getting our collective arse kicked?

          Will 'doing it' include sharing whatever wealth/resources remain, with wealthier populations embracing (or at least accepting) a lower standard of living?

          Just can't see it – we grow more entitled with each generation, separated from the real world and the wider consequences of 'our' actions.

          • RedLogix

            That is the big question. Any plan that anticipates a mass human die-off is to my mind morally unacceptable and off the table. While it might  be all a lot easier with only say 1 billion survivors, it's impossible to imagine what sort of shape the human race would be in. Or what configuration of peoples and geographies that might remain. So I don't waste any time pondering how to work with something I cannot know or understand.

            But what we can envisage is transitioning 9 billion people from our current condition, to something new. It could be a Mad Max dystopia, or a benign Star Trek world … but again I'd argue we must aim for the latter. 

            Once we've decided the destination, then it's a case of working the problems and ruthlessly overcoming the impediments. Vision, determination, leadership and competence. 


            “Going lights out” is a euphemism for a ‘lot of people dying’. I can’t rule that out, but it’s a lousy plan.

        • Pat

          it is at least approaching a realistic appraisal of whats required…..and the chance that any of it will occur is…SFA

  18. vto 18

    I believe we are all going to follow the hippies again

    • cleangreen 18.1


      We will be forced to become as our forefathers were "as sustainable partners with all communities, 'bartering' with each other and then cutting out the need to haul road freight many miles  as was the case most of the last century.

    • higherstandard 18.2

      Best start investing in soap futures…

  19. Pat 19

    "The report said people were eroding the very foundations of their economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life.:

    My understanding is the report said we are placing our very existence in grave short term danger….never mind "quality of life" or "economies"

  20. WeTheBleeple 20

    Comments that individual efforts are useless are about as selfish as you can get.

    Self deluded too. Rampant consumerism, as practised by nearly all, has to stop. That means YOU.

    Governments must come on board – but they do not do as they are bid they do as they are forced to do. 

    Protest, disrupt, zero tolerance for BAU bullshit.

    Waiting on this climate change act, and that's the last of the benefit of the doubt they'll ever get.


    • Cinny 20.1

      Media needs to get onboard, we are pretty lucky in NZ at the coverage our media gives climate change, but offshore not so much.

      And when such media is owned by some of the 100 companies that are responsible for 70% of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions since 1988 it's blindly obvious that profit over the planet is their priority.

      However, even here in NZ, media is very quick to talk about what governments need to do, or what people need to do, but they will rarely talk about what corporations need to do.

  21. Bruce 21

    I think South East Asia gives a good example of how populations react to the demise of their environment. The burning of rice stubble, cane leaves and clearing undergrowth for new mushrooms has recently made the area the most polluted on the planet. The government institute a burning ban but the locals are clever, now they burn at night. Whats a little haze and kids coughing their lungs out on the street when there is money to be made.

    • Robert Guyton 21.1

      Same with flushing the toilet here in NZ.

    • greywarshark 21.2

      I think they may have a worse social welfare system in SEAsia than we have in NZ.    Therefore work must roll on providing for the families and the village, and the profits to the local big man.

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    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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