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Kill us now, or choose life.

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 am, August 23rd, 2019 - 27 comments
Categories: capitalism, climate change, disaster - Tags: , ,

Ten seconds of Peak Greenwash that have got me all ranty,

We will not be able to eat electric cars, or breathe them. This shit has to stop and it needs us to make it stop. Greenwashed BAU is a death trap.

All our efforts should be going into reducing all GHG emissions as much as possible as fast as possible, and protecting biodiversity as much as we can.

This excludes all the wasted embodied energy and materials that go into making retractable car chargers, because extracting those materials, processing them, building with them, cleaning up the waste produced through the whole lifetime of each charger, emits carbon and other GHGs, and destroys nature. We urgently need to use systems thinking, looking at cradle to grave of everything we do.

Someone has put a lot of thought in that retractable charging system. Forty percent of Brits live in streets with no off street car parking and therefore nowhere to charge their EVs at home. Here’s the problem though. We don’t have the time to use our rapidly shrinking carbon budget on technology that requires increasing complexity of industry and is coupled to increasing levels of consumption. Had we started transition when the need was first recognised in the 70s and 80s, we might have had a chance, but those days are long gone.

Repeat after me: all new cars need to be electric, we need to have far less cars than we do now.

We need to walk, bike, ride share, and use public transport as our primary response to the need to travel.

Our high tech industrial capacity needs to be reprioritised away from BAU lifestyles and into future proofing critical infrastructure. Humans can live without everyone having a personal car. We can’t live without good food supply chains or housing that withstands extreme weather events and sea level rise.

We need to share our carbon budget, technology, brain power and time with countries that are struggling to provide food, shelter, health and education to their people.  We need to stop running our societies as if there are no limits on nature. We need to stop pretending that we’re not in major overshoot in almost everything we do.

If this seems too hard to contemplate, consider that thousands of people have been thinking about this for a long time and many have been putting these things into practice. Much of what we need to do is already possible. Our biggest blocks currently are denial and fear.

If you want to act, join Extinction Rebellion, find your local Transition Town, seek out and support the progressive local body election candidates that already have a solid history of sustainability and resiliency work, garden, agitate, rebel. People who are doing those things are the ones that know what to do next.

Meadows, Meadows, Randers, and Behrens wrote The Limits to Growth in 1972. 

27 comments on “Kill us now, or choose life. ”

  1. cleangreen 1

    Good article WEKA.

    It moved us to post this comment;

    I feel let down by Labour now as they came in brandishing the clean green banner to clean up our environment and save us from quote “our generations nucear moment”

    At least jacinda should be doing this here. ‘get rail moving in all our regions’ and why you ask” read this;

    “Report says tiny plastic particles are from clothing, tyres”

    Press release by Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre. 23rd August 2019.

    This report was released back in FEBRUARY 22, 2017 and that gave Labour adequate time to act after they became Government, so Jacinda “lets do this”.

    https://phys.org/news/2017-02-tiny-plastic-particles-tyres-clogging.html

    Quote; – “Tiny plastic particles from clothing, tyres clogging oceans: report”

    This report shows that tyre particulates are already found to be freely released in the tyre dust as we drive on our roads now.

    Then we are advised these plastic particles are then washed off our roads into our drains, streams, rivers, lakes and aquifers, and finally into our drinking water as we heard all last week over the press.

    So we road users are part of the problem now!

    Sorry but EV vehicles will still emit the same tyre dust toxins as regular gasoline vehicles do.
    So what do we do now?

    This new scientific German report https://www.sott.net/article/418585-Plastic-particles-falling-out-of-sky-with-snow-in-the-Arctic
    ‘Raining plastic’ – QUOTE “fragments of rubber tyres”, signals we need to move now.

    Tyre dust pollution was found by lead scientist, Dr Melanie Bergmann in the laboratory at Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven discovered far more contaminating particles than they’d expected.

    This clearly shows the gravity of the problems we have with too many oil based synthetic tyres used on our roads now.

    These scientific reports are finally making us face reality here to warn us all of very important issues’ – to serious to ignore now.

    We need to reduce our over-use of plastic tyres, and our first signal is to lower truck freight and car use now, by using public passenger rail and move at least half our freight movement onto rail.

    There are no tyres used on rail, as they use only “steel wheels on a steel track” – ‘making rail virtually the lowest emitter of plastics.’

    CEAC is advocating for this Government to use rail to lower freight truck tyre emissions for climate change and our NZ water quality.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Humanity's being meted-out a harsh lesson. The burning of the Amazon is just the felling of the Amazon sped-up; different mechanism, same end. The despair felt by the indigenous Amazonians must be profound. The legions of young people around the world who believe that Ayahuasca holds the solution to humanity's continuance will be plunging into depression with the news of the fires. Botanists and authors of pharmacopoeia will be in despair at the losses evidenced by the burning; it's vandalism on a shocking scale, but few here in New Zealand will give it more than a passing look if indeed it appears on the news at all. The Canary Islands are burning too. I have plants from there: echiums in particular and feel thereby justified in professing the value of growing exotic plants here in New Zealand; I just with I had an Amazonian collection, aside from the few indoor-plants I've begun to collect. TheCanary Island report details a problem that interests me very much; the abandonment of land by people moving to the cities and the un-managed state that results, leading to susceptibility to fires spreading rapidly; when people lived here and there in the countryside, fires were far less damaging and more easily stopped. My personal vision for how humans can live harmoniously on the earth revolves around that model; we need to be everywhere that food can be grown in association with woodlands and forests, in communities of "scale", hamlets and villages, linked by walkable trails; a synthesis of hobbit-country and indigenous Amazonian habitat. Easy to criticise, I know, but in the absence of other's visions, I'm imagining along those lines.

    In any case, here's the Canary Island article and a couple of paragraphs to illustrate what I'm talking about:

    "A major, out-of-control wildfire in Spain's Canary Islands was throwing flames 50 metres into the air on Monday (Tuesday NZT), forcing emergency workers to evacuate more than 9000 people, authorities said."

    "Wildfires are common in southern Europe during the parched summer months but changing lifestyles and the emptying out of rural areas have made woodlands more vulnerable, experts say.

    Gran Canaria emergency chief Frederico Grillo said recent blazes on the island are much worse now than when families worked in the countryside and kept the forests more orderly, private news agency Europa Press reported."

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/115124871/thousands-flee-from-monster-wildfire-on-spains-canary-islands

    • weka 2.1

      this makes a lot of sense to me. I feel similar about predator control in NZ. Allow people to live where there are issues and solve the problems from the ground up from people that care about where they live.

  3. WeTheBleeple 3

    Time to topple some towers.

  4. Stuart Munro. 4

    During the term of the previous government, the Selwyn river was dried up by excessive water drawing, and Lake Forsyth became a toxic cesspool. The change of government was supposed to change this kind of thing. No change is evident.

    • Alice Tectonite 4.1

      Lake Forsyth/Wairewa is a long running problem & has suffered from intermittent toxic algal blooms for over a century.

      Deforestation, increased sedimentation, phosphorus accumulation… plus being shallow (warms up easily, particularly when lake level is low).

      No quick fix either

      • Stuart Munro. 4.1.1

        From what I can tell there's no fix going in there at all.

        Doesn't seem outrageously complicated – some action is required to increase inflow, and to contain pollutant levels in contributing waterways. Over the last decade ECan has of course been operating contrary to its public role, but now that the corrupt appointees' days are numbered it's time to wind back some of their most egregious excesses.

        This is a nice finite restoration, convenient to major cities and transportation, if inaction is the best that can be managed there it's fair to say that there is no substantial effort being made on environmental restoration.

        • Sacha 4.1.1.1

          it's time to wind back some of their most egregious excesses

          Won't cancelling long-term consents require a law change that Winston First will never support? Bring on a Green-Lab coalition..

          • Stuart Munro. 4.1.1.1.1

            I'm not sure Winston will die in a ditch for every dirty deal ECan did – some maybe. He likes a common sense argument; I doubt he'd swallow the line that Forsyth must be left toxic.

        • Alice Tectonite 4.1.1.2

          "From what I can tell there's no fix going in there at all."

          More regular flushing of the lake helps and has led to some improvement (but is easily undone by drought). Has been more frequent since the construction of the outlet canal made it easier to open the lake to the sea (much shorter cut through gravel).

          The whole "its all down to the Ecan dictatorship & can all be fixed easily" approach is simplistic.

          The phosphorous is mostly coming from the rock (& soil derived from it). So geology (old basalt lava). Main problem is sedimentation from increased erosion since clearing forest cover. Controlling erosion is likely the most effective long term solution. But then there is all the sediment that is already in the system… years worth of problems there.

          All very well saying increased inflow – but from where? Not a particularly large catchment, no intensive irrigation schemes like on the plains.
          In a drought the water level falls with stream flow reduction (water keeps seeping through the shingle spit even if the outlet is not artificially open, so can't maintain higher lake levels). Increased inflows in drought probably means piping it in from the plains (where water is already over extracted).

          Stock deaths etc: not a new problem, reports of that in the 1960s. Also old newspaper reports of low lake levels & "slime" (i.e toxic algal bloom) killing fish in the early 1900s. More searching would no doubt turn up more examples.

          The Ecan dictatorship was merely the latest outfit to oversee the problem & sure didn't do much, but then neither did its democratic predecessors. The problems are much longer running than single government cycles (as are solutions).

          And climate change won't help things either: Canterbury is likely to get more hot & dry (stronger west/northwest flow -> more down slope warming, greater rain shadow, etc).

          So as not to sound completely defeatist I would suggest:

          • retiring farm land at head of lake that is subject to regular flooding – plant it up as wetlands
          • buffer up all the main stream banks with fenced planting (reduced bank erosion, shades water when mature (cooler lake inflow))
          • possibly more forests (but that may increase wildfire risk depending on species (eg Port Hills Fire))
          • cutting back on the fert
          • regularly check all septic tank systems (cut back on overflows that are nutrient rich)
          • continue periodic flushing of the lake as levels allow
          • not expecting results quickly.
          • Stuart Munro. 4.1.1.2.1

            The do nothing and expect no results quickly is the simplistic approach.

            Comfortable fictions about phosphate origins and reliance on force majeure for flushing to solve anthropogenic problems – it's like nothing ought to be done in respect of any environmental issue.

            NZ needs to develop the skillsets of addressing such problems – and the greatest obstacle is the prevailing do nothing attitude. But she'll be right – someone else will fix it – let the whole world burn.

            • Alice Tectonite 4.1.1.2.1.1

              So what do you suggest? Since you think my suggestions are worthless and useless and amount to nothing. It seems that it is you in favour of doing nothing…

              Where do you suggest the increased inflow comes from?

              So according to you erosion has nothing to do with sedimentation and reducing will have no impact …

              • Stuart Munro.

                "So according to you erosion has nothing to do with sedimentation and reducing will have no impact …"

                Putting words in my mouth won't fix the lake.

                As I said before – more inflow, less nutrients. These can be achieved in a number of ways.

                • Alice Tectonite

                  That statement follows from you dismissing everything I said as "nothing" & "fictions".

                  Things that are irrelevant nothings (apparently):

                  • land use change reducing erosion (riverside planting, forests on slopes) reducing sedimentation (also reduces background phosphate levels)
                  • cutting back on fert (reducing additional phosphate)
                  • making sure private sewerage systems function properly (reducing additional phosphate + other nutrients)
                  • wetland vegetation around lake margins helping take up of nutrients already in the system

                  So I repeat: what do you suggest instead? Particularly in the line of quick easy solutions.

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    The assertion that the principal source of phosphates eutrophying Forsyth is erosion is frightfully convenient for those seeking to deflect enquiry from intensification.

                    Certainly some planting should be undertaken to control erosion, but it should also be done more broadly to rebuild the hydrology. And if existing streams are showing nutrient levels – and it really doesn't take much to create blooms – then some kind of biofilter planting needs to happen also. Intensive farming without water treatment is undesirable.

                    Algal blooms often occur in low oxygen environments, and further deoxygenate the water, depleting the diversity of zooplanktons that have some balancing effect on the algae. So something in the way of aerating devices is desirable – wind or solar pumps with venturi sprays or the like.

                    It's typically a 20 to 30 year window for hydrological planting to generate significant improvements – northern hemisphere forestry figures so it may be possible to do better with local growth rates.

                    Other possible sources of fresh water may need to be considered – membrane desalination is to be avoided due to toxic brine output, but saltwater greenhouses have proven economically viable in Australia, and produce a modest surplus of fresh water. There is flat land near the lake and near the sea suitable for such use.

                    The toxic algae are typically cyanobacteria, it should be possible to suppress their growth by growing and harvesting competing non-toxic water weed, which might find a use as fodder or as a compost base.

          • marty mars 4.1.1.2.2

            Some reasonable points in there. Waiwera is important for so many reasons – some background

            Wairewa means water lifted up. Te Roto o Wairewa was the last lake to be dug out by the legendary Rākaihautū. On completion, he thrust his famous kō (digging stick) into Horomaka Banks Peninsula) forming Tuhiraki (Mt Bossu), this act constituted the lifting up.

            Traditionally, Māori have sole eel fishing rights on this lake.

            One of two customary Lakes in NZ

            Today the lake is land locked and is significantly shallower as a result of the conversion of the landscape to pastureland and a subsequent reduction in its water retaining capacity. Similar problems have developed at nearby Waihora.

            In the past, Wairewa provided a rich supply of tuna to Māori communities who did not have their own sources. The harvesting and preparation of tuna at Wairewa continues today though numbers are greatly reduced.

            …The Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 has seen the recognition of Ngāi Tahu’s mana in relation to Wairewa and guaranteed tribal involvement in the future management of the site. The rehabilitation of Te Roto o Wairewa is a major focus for the Wairewa Rūnanga today.

            https://my.christchurchcitylibraries.com/ti-kouka-whenua/wairewa/

            I can attest to the dedication of the Rūnanga in wanting Waiwera to once again become the clean and fresh food basket for the people – the mana of Waiwera is important for all Ngāi Tahu as well as all the people of this land. No one there is not thinking of how to improve it.

  5. WeTheBleeple 5

    Governments are gearing up – not to fight climate change – but to fight climate activism. They'll use their considerable powers to deny progress and ultimately destroy civilisation. They'll pit armies against populace, full scale revolution is almost a given.

    Sensibly they could stop being capitalist/neolib/fascist/totalitarian scumbags but they will not. Cowardice has them frozen in place, but they will not save their own bacon as they are too stupid to see the only way forward is to move on climate change right now.

    Soy is destroying the Amazon. Trumps trade/tariff war is raising demand as silos of grain rot in the US. Corporate interests are buying up millions of acres and burning them for cropland to feed China's pigs. There is no reasoning with these people, but they must be stopped.

    • Robert Guyton 5.1

      Been this way for 10 000 years.

      Revolutions haven't even slowed its progress.

      It's a virus spreading across the petri-dish that is our planet.

      It's our culture.

  6. Sabine 6

    Maybe we simply need to realise that we are all dead men/women walking. All of us are closer to death then we were ever to life 🙂

    and maybe if we were to stop being so afraid of death we could finally start living.

    But until then we will shop, eat crap food, wear slave labour clothes, live in rubbish housing, drive single occupancy trucks, and expect our kids to do more than we ever did with less – cause when we are done ain't nothing left over for them.

    this fire is the direct result of someone stating that the forest needs to go in order to make money and profit. Sometimes the people that we elect really are the fuckwits that they seem to be. And maybe voting for someone cause he is gonna put all those 'others' in their god given places is not hte best choice.

  7. Geez,.. its a political hot potato in the Amazon,… the farmers, Bolsonaro and his business fetish .. and USA ties, loggers and miners,… I can see why some dirt farmers and logging company's over there do it… but ultimately they are supporting western capitalist ideology. Particularly that of the cancerous neo liberal variety.

    But will anybody think of the trees ?

    What about the trees ?!!?

    What about the wildlife and the massive ecosystem it supports ?!!?

    What about tribes who still live there? – do they want their homelands burnt down FFS???

    Bloody hell , Y'all !!!!

    It should rankle anyone who doesn't like brick and mortar and straight lines and gleaming stainless and wall to wall glass . The next time you see a family of Pukeko's meander across your lawn as of a morning in suburbia,.. just remember they have a home too. And it aint in your damn double garage !!! And just like the family of Pukeko's who used to grace my lawn and respond back when I chatted to them have gone in the last 2 years ( I fear the worst , – suburbia, I hate it ! ),.. once those huge forests are gone its pretty much kaput.

    Now I'm not a greenie, and I'm not so sure I'm a real climate change believer myself,… not really taking on board all the wild and fantasical claims that have been levelled over the last 20 years,… and I have some good reasons for that,… but I do find myself naturally allied in an oblique sort of way with that movement, – within reason.

    Environmentalists, bushmen , those who work land in an observant ans sensible way and those brought up in those environs… tend to see a common merging of the minds in some matters.

    No wonder the Aliens give us wide birth and don't disclose themselves !!!

    Third stone from the sun- Jimy Hendrix ( Reverse) – YouTube

    Oh , and in case you think I'm being tongue in cheek and taking the piss ( I am in a way)

    Here's Nick Pope, former MoD for Britain , who was charged to investigate strange phenomena … and if someone not from here wants those Pukeko's alive as pets and can treat them and our forests better than we do ? .. well hey !

    Whats our legacy really going to be?

    Nick Pope on UFO sightings, the Navy and Pentagon | New York Post

  8. johnm 8

    Scientists Have Been Underestimating the Pace of Climate Change

    A book entitled Discerning Experts explains why—and what can be done about it

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/scientists-have-been-underestimating-the-pace-of-climate-change/

  9. Aint gonna end that way, Johmn…

    It wont be climate change that'll do us in, though that will exacerbate it. Famine will be a symptom ,… but this vid below is what will end our days.

    The United west under a central global governmental and economic order against Russia and the Arab states, – and finally , China coming in from the east. Its all there in the Book of Revalation's. Thousands of years before the nuclear age.

    Atomic Bomb explosion – Close Up – YouTube

  10. johnm 10

    [deleted]

    https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=Y9MQGRI8N48&t=129s

    [johnm, stop spamming.

    Also, if you are cutting and pasting from off site you HAVE to make it clear which parts of your comments are a quote. There are lots of ways to do that.

    You’ve been warned about both these issues before and ffs, you’re only just back from your last ban.

    We’re now into wasting moderator time territory. I’m dumping your other comments here into trash, because I don’t want to spend time reviewing them or editing.

    You’re now in premod and you’ll be there until I see obvious change in your behaviour. If you return to spamming and plagariasing expect a long ban. If you respond badly to this moderation, or ignore it, expect a long ban – weka]

    • Robert Guyton 10.1

      Johnm – watching Roger Hedges once is enough, surely! His message is crystal clear.

      Why on earth would you want us to repeat the experience and why are you punishing yourself with repeated viewings?

    • weka 10.2

      johnm, mod note for you above.

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