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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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    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    7 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
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