No sense, nonsense and a dearth of common sense.

Written By: - Date published: 9:46 am, November 29th, 2018 - 23 comments
Categories: capitalism, energy, Environment, farming, farming, food, global warming, International, making shit up, Media, science, sustainability, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, useless - Tags: , , ,

The Guardian is reporting on a study by the InterAcademy Partnership that has found the global food system is “broken”. According to The Guradian’s reporting, the study is recommending a complete transformation in the way we produce food and in the food we consume. So far, so good, and nothing that many people weren’t  already aware of. The press release is here, and the full report can be downloaded here.

According to the Guardian piece

The global food system is responsible for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than all emissions from transport, heating, lighting and air conditioning combined.

From that, people might be forgiven for thinking that if only we changed our diets and how we obtained food, then emissions would drop by around 30%. And by the same measure, people might be forgiven for thinking that all the driving and flying and wasting of energy by industry and citizens isn’t such a big deal when stacked against the emissions from food production.

But the Guardian’s Environment Editor is engaging in some seriously dangerous “glossing over” of reality.

In terms of emissions, the global food system includes transport and heating and lighting and cooling. So I have no idea how Damian Carrington can seriously suggest setting aside the energy inputs required by the food system, just in order to get to a point that implies that by eating vegan burgers instead of a meat burgers we will somehow make a serious impact on the total emissions that are causing global warming (2 trillion tonnes and counting btw).

Almost all human generated emissions come by way of deriving energy from fossil. And eating a vegan burger may well entail more emissions being produced than would be the case with some other burgers. It depends on the energy required to sustain and process and transport whatever ingredients that go into the vegan burger as opposed to the other burger. That’s not me being anti-vegan or pro-meat. (Hell, I was a vegan for quite a number of years back in the 80s and a vegetarian for some years after).

My point is that if we are going to be serious about global warming then we can’t swan around spouting the type of bullshit the Guardian’s Environment Editor is spouting. Eat vegan food or vegetarian food or whatever. It’s not a bad thing to do. But eat the stuff with eyes wide open and not with a side-helping of virtuous “silver bullet” sauce.

The bottom line is that energy derived from fossil must be eradicated from all of our ways of living and all of our industrial and agricultural processes. Eating vegan or vegetarian food doesn’t do that. Removing fossil on the other hand, will push the necessary adaptations in the global food system and elsewhere.

Promoting “consumer choice” as a solution to AGW is an excuse for systemic inaction. Don’t buy it.

23 comments on “No sense, nonsense and a dearth of common sense. ”

  1. Sabine 1

    How about people actually don’t want to change.
    They don’t want to give up the super big truck, even tho they only drive to work with it.
    They don’t want to give up cheap plastic junk, cause that is all they got at the end of the day to make them feel good about ….something.
    They don’t want to give up cheap meat, cause it is cheaper then the veggies in the supermarkets who taste like nothing, often are close to rotting and are too expensive.
    They don’t want to give up their Friday night beersies and town going, new top bought just for that occasion..
    They don’t want to give up their cheap flights to go … somewhere.
    They don’t want to give up Macca’s cause chances are that for many it is the only ‘dine out’ they can afford.

    Really,t people, even many here on hte standard don’t want to change, if anything they want to go back to the good ole day of plenty, where the misery ,that we and especially our youngsters will suffer, has started. Cause they still feel entitled to what generations before them had, never mind the pollution and inequality that even existed then, plus the lack of regulations.

    Its in the too hard basket, or depending where you live, literally in the not possible basket.

    When people start framing what needs to be done in terms that most ordinary people can actually do, i.e. omnivore, eat locally, eat seasonally, eat less, i.e. take the bus/tram/train/walk/cycle – but only of course if you have the infrastructure, then maybe you can have a change, Also make it cheap as chips, like literally use the bus, 50 bucks the monthly ticket, and then watch people take the bus. Not Mike Hoskins of course, you will have to pry the keys to his Maserati out of his dead hands, but everyone else might just think that is cheap. We don’t need five cars per family.

    But until then, i venture a guess, most people would not know how to start. And obviously walking from South Auckland to the min wage job down town is not gonna work. Right? And the bus costs you nigh on 15 bucks one way, so that ain’t gonna work either, right?

    As for veganism, or any other extreme culinary experience, maybe we have become so spoiled that literally we can afford to be picky about what we eat. What i would like to know, without imports of many ‘vegan’ foods, and the likes, would that be a livestyle that can be lived here in NZ year round without issues to the body? But do we need to grow anymore cows? No, no we don’t. Absolutely not. We need to go back to producing our requirements locally, preferably as organic as can be, and eat seasonally. I don’t need to have a strawberry pavlova in July.

    But to demand of anyone who is not at least solidly middle class with ‘spending money’ to actually change their habits? I think that is a bit far fetched.

    maybe we should ask people if they really need to pull a boat across the island to go pollute someone elses river/lake. maybe this is where we should start. Make the excesses of the likes of Hoskins with his Maseratis un-fashionable and an object of ridicule, rather then expect someone who lives in a Food free zone in the outer rings of town to show better eating habits and take the bus to work.

    Also i would like a second hand mall as they have in Finland. A hole Mall with shops that are all pre-used, re-cycled, up-cycled and returned to the consuming masses.
    We need smart solutions that ordinary people, with the little bit of energy, time and money left at the end of the day can support.

    Everything else is just virtue signalling for the sake of virtue signalling.

    • Cinny 1.1

      “Also i would like a second hand mall as they have in Finland. A hole Mall with shops that are all pre-used, re-cycled, up-cycled and returned to the consuming masses.
      We need smart solutions that ordinary people, with the little bit of energy, time and money left at the end of the day can support. ”

      That sounds awesome.

      Christmas is just around the corner, and this year our family will be gifting 2nd hand, upcycled or homemade presents. It’s way more fun and better for the planet.

    • Bill 1.2

      Obviously most people resist making the necessary changes. If that wasn’t the case, we’d have made the changes already. Although, to be fair, seeing as how we’re locked in at the structural level, it simply isn’t possible to go “carbon zero” at the level of an individual – everything we buy has a carbon component built in because of how we derive the energy used for production and distribution.

      So we need a hard sinking cap on fossil, and there is no reason, beyond the stupid ideology of the economics that brought us to this point in the first place, why fossil subjected to a hard sinking cap can’t be available for free (thus ensuring equity).

      Basically, we can be fossil free in whatever space of time we choose if we adopt the mechanism of a hard sinking cap. And individuals, agriculture and industry will have precisely that same amount of time to adapt to doing whatever is done in the context of a fossil free world.

      It’s not complicated.

      On the other hand, we can run around like headless chooks flapping on about how anything and everything bar dumping fossil will somehow save the day.

      • greywarshark 1.2.1

        A hard sinking cap. How would we implement that? Can it be done nationwide only, or begun at least in one country and then picked up by others? Are countries already starting to operate this policy? Which?

        • Bill 1.2.1.1

          I’ve done posts on it. (For example here and here)

          New Zealand, by virtue of being an island nation, is one of a few places that can do it unilaterally and set an example for the international community to follow.

          At the time I did the posts, the cost of government buying all of the petrol and diesel used in NZ was about the same as what the government had set aside for buying carbon credits – so do-able. (NZ$2 billion in the first year and, obviously, ever less in subsequent years)

          My suggestion was and is that we use current distribution networks and with the addition of some simple software to “run” the hard sinking cap alongside already existing ‘flow rate’ software on pumps, people then access their requirements for free.

          Business that wishes to survive would do well to take any shot term savings from such a scenario and invest those savings in non-fossil sources of energy.

          • greywarshark 1.2.1.1.1

            If we cut out the free, which is idealistic, we can still get a message over that we have to limit our use of reducing resources but also that there iare increasing levels of climate changing emissions. Making something free doesn’t get people on the right track.

            Can we start handing out information at the petrol pumps, put it on a voucher that will help pay for some local project of value?

            • Bill 1.2.1.1.1.1

              What’s idealistic about free? It’s not in tune with economic thinking (if that’s not an oxymoron), but there’s nothing idealistic about it.

              It ensures equity. It frees up money for business and what not to adapt. It’s a practical way forward that merely severs the binds to an economic dogma that insists everything must have a monetary value attached to it.

      • Sabine 1.2.2

        i am not running, but then i don’t expect miracles from people who already have nothing.

        Those of us that could afford to make changes are the ones making the least. Be that by degree of government or individual choices of the people.
        This is like expecting the people in the developing world to cut their emissions while the first world drives SUVs to the dairy for a bottle of milk. Nonsense.

        We need to come up with solutions that people can actually work with.

        i.e. in smaller communities not every one has a car, not everyone can afford a car, but chances are most everyone will need a car at some stage, so everyone has one car or several. Currently you are to go into debt buying that car, hope to everything that is holy that you wont be stopped with out Rego/WOF, and that you have enough pennies putting in enough gasoline to get you where you need and back.
        Solution: A community car or three. A community carpark – locked if you like, and a membership stipend. Thus the car is bought for a charity/org, is run maintained via memebership fees, and if you need a car, you can book yourself into that day. Imagine all the free space as no one needs three car parks/or a three car garage anymore.
        A good way to take cars of the road that should not be there in the first place.

        Currently a nice thing going on are Community Fruit Stalls, people growing veggies leave their surplus there, for everyone to take.

        We can not be ‘fossil free’ until we talk about how we are going to be fossil free.
        You still need electricity, you still need heating, you still need a form of transport.
        So how about we talk about not the need for public transport but the effect it would have if done well.

        As i said, put a law out that forbids the towing of recreational boats on our tiny roads to rural areas to pollute rivers and lakes there. Essentially, store your boat there, by the lake/river, or rent a boat there by hte lake / river, but do not truck it 300 k ms down on friday to truck it back up 300 kms on Sunday. This is the excess that could should stop immediatly. The poor person in Huntley is not gonna give up their cars they need to go work/shop, if the rich fuck from AKL/WLGTN/Qtwn etc continue their excesses without reprimand.

        It took me 5 years to talk my partner out of buying a MacMansion. Why? Cause that is what is build, this is ‘his kiwi dream’ etc. Now we own a 50 sqm two bedroom unit, brick n tile, insulated, with more garden then house. He can’t begin to understand why ever he wanted one of the big things. I never saw any attraction in them to begin with.
        20 Years ago people laughed at me and my bicycle, could not understand that i walked to work, that i always lived closed to work – but it be cheaper elsehwere …..no it isn’t, and now i see that people are finally coming to my point of few. That a car is not a need, but only ever a want. The family car is serving as a Community Car. It is old, cheap, and it provides transport to people that don’t have any.

        WE have solutions, we just need to bend our mind around, not the negative impact it would have , but the positive impact it will have.

        As for doom and gloom, at the end of our lives we will die. Be that man made or because we run out of time, its still all the same.

        • greywarshark 1.2.2.1

          Great ideas Sabine. And good end point. And doing something towards being a good citizen, is good for oneself, and sets example, and can build in numbers.

        • Bill 1.2.2.2

          We can not be ‘fossil free’ until we talk about how we are going to be fossil free.

          Maybe you missed the past decades of talking and meeting and talking some more that have produced zero action? (Global emissions are rising year on year).

          We find out how we operate in a different environment by entering that new environment – by, in this case, incrementally creating that new environment. And we create it by diminishing our use of fossil at a rate commensurate with the best scientific knowledge and data we have.

          Or we can allow politicians wanking on about carbon prices and what not to effectively throw the poor under the bus.

          • Sabine 1.2.2.2.1

            i honestly don’t give a shit about polititians talking. That is literally all they do with very little to show for.

            WE – the people – need to come to grips that literally it is up to us to bring about change. And WE – the people – will have to get out of our cars, and of our high lofted ideas of what others should do – and start doing it ourself.

            So again, how would you bring about ‘power down’ if you still need electricity, gasoline, and the likes, because literally no one is changing a thing.

            you are writing the same thing over and over again, but what do you want to do, what would you be happy to do, cause our poor are already under the bus, and so are you and i and everyone else who does not own million dollar properties and bankaccounts hoping that that is enough to insulate them from the coming shit storm.

            • Bill 1.2.2.2.1.1

              New Zealand is going to have to commit to reducing fossil use by about 10% per year. That incrementally creates the environment we incrementally adapt to. (There’s nothing to be gained in “talking” before acting – it just pushes things back)

              I already produce 5/8ths of sfa carbon as an individual. But that counts for nothing given that the problem sits at a structural level and not at an individual level.

              If NZ got its shit together, then my carbon footprint, along with that of many other poorer people in NZ, would likely and properly rise in the short term. (ie – there’s a certain amount of carbon embedded in the necessary housing upgrades that poorer people need in order to have lower fuel/energy use in the longer term)

    • Brutus Iscariot 1.3

      His name is HOSKING.

      What is it with Kiwis and name malapropisms? Can’t remember how many times i heard JK referred to as “KEYS”. Do we have some tic where we need to insert random S’s into people’s names?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      Also make it cheap as chips, like literally use the bus, 50 bucks the monthly ticket, and then watch people take the bus.

      Public transport needs to be free. But then you’ll get the ignoramuses that want to be in their own car in their own world complaining that they’re subsidising everyone else through their rates while they had to pay for their cars. Which they actually would be but it’s their choice to have a car and all the added expenses to go with it. If they didn’t want to subsidise everyone else then they should just take public transport.

      Cars need to be made far more expensive as well.

      But to demand of anyone who is not at least solidly middle class with ‘spending money’ to actually change their habits?

      The way to do it is to make imports far more expensive. Not through any regulation but through the exchange rate. In fact, that’s what a floating exchange rate is for. We’ve had trading deficits for decades which means that the NZ$ should be through the floor. We actually shouldn’t be able to import from China ATM.

      If we allowed that to happen (or, better, actually had our dollar floating with regards to trade flows) we’d have the RWNJs here demanding that the market not be allowed to function because it’d be an effective pay cut for everyone.

      maybe we should ask people if they really need to pull a boat across the island to go pollute someone elses river/lake.

      In a market economy the idea would be to ensure that the costs of polluting fall fully upon the polluter. In other words, being able to do that would cost too much for anyone to actually do it.

      We had Wayne Mapp telling us how cars are a symbol of how wealthy we are a few months back.

      • Sabine 1.4.1

        i tend to agree with most of what you say.

        not sure if you can get things to be ‘free’ considering that they have a cost, but public transport should be run as a Not for Profit. Any money made needs to be reinvested in full to maintain the fleet, upgrade the fleet and upgrade the grid that gets the service.

        Of course Wayne Mapp would tell us that cars are a symbol of wealth, to be honest, most of us can’t afford them, so they are bought on tick – thanks to ‘finance’, badly maintained, often not wof’d nor rego’d, and only with as much gasoline as one would need.
        But cars are also a testament to how lazy, fat and uninspired our society has become, if cars are still a symbol of wealth as they were in the late sixties and early seventies.

  2. greywarshark 2

    Good thoughtful piece Bill. Does it mean that we will have to face counting miles approach in Brit supermarkets. Won’t we be able to export – little or nothing? We have to think as changes will happen. Can’t rely on Australia as co-operative partner, facing the future friends shoulder to shoulder. We are being shouldered out at present.

    • Bill 2.1

      If we need to bring fossil use down by 10% per year over x number of years to get to zero carbon from energy soon enough that we might limit warming to 2 degrees (which we do), then we have that same span of time in which to figure a way to produce stuff and send it half way around the world without using fossil.

      Alternatively, we can ignore the elephant and get stomped by climate changes that will render a lot of current production simply impossible.

      At the moment, the political and business world are pursuing the second option – trying to maintain “business as usual” and hoping for some kind of a miracle to pop up and take away global warming and any resultant climate change.

      It’s a course that doesn’t drop us off at any nice destination.

  3. WeTheBleeple 3

    Everybody talking, very few acting. We WANT this, but we’re waiting for leadership. Stop waiting and be the leader. Humans seem to fear being seen as stupid or wrong more than unimaginable hardship and death… Vanity and ego have to go.

    You are either scared, or deluded, being: insane… or ill informed. There are no other options.

    Your lawn is a fossil fuel sink. Try a rebellious planet saving act and turn it into food, medicine, fuel and flowers. Start today.

    Your food is shipped all over the world and sprayed with all manner of poisons. Think of your garden as the new main supplier of your diet, and the supermarket as your supplement. Now, keep that in mind and work towards it.

    Your body is a tool. Get fit again. Walk, bike, garden, breathe. All of these exercises can help your mental health as well as the planet. And if you’ve been paying attention, your mental health could do with the support.

    Your children are your legacy. Save them, or kiss them goodbye as selfishness will ultimately wipe your genetic line off the face of the planet.

    This is not a drill.

    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      Biogym, WTB. That’s what gardening is, a free-to-use, all weather, multi-base biogym where your whole self; body, mind and other bits, can recreate their worn-thin-by-civilization, selves. I recommend buying nothing in preparation for your sessions in the biogym; no devices or tools, no special clothing or shoes, just keep it simple, loose and practical. Biogyms are typically cheap to operate; the floors are self-cleaning, the air changes without fans or conditioners, anything you break will self-replicate and any minor damage you do to your body while you’re building yourself up; cuts and scratches, bumps and bruises etc. can all be mended with what’s at hand; plantain for cuts and stings, comfrey for sprains, willow bark for headaches, horehound for sore throats, elecampane for coughs and wheezes and so on. Biogym! It’s new! It’s you!

      • WeTheBleeple 3.1.1

        Today’s Biogym involves a weed whacker! Electric… to do the last vestiges of lawn, now paths between raised gardens, out front. It is a work in progress, this war on lawn. Then, it’s half a dozen sets of wheelbarrow wheeling down to make mulch mounds and stuff tomato cuttings in them.

        I’m trying to fool the general populace with a landscaped ‘bark garden’ look out front. It is the storm hit sweetgum logs now used as garden surrounds and a dozen productive trees planted in its mulch. While I love a wild look, a lot of people can’t handle it as they don’t understand it…

        Part of my mission, then, is to make sustainable gardening/permaculture more palatable. The front draws compliments from random strangers, a very low maintenance (cept those pesky lawn paths) highly productive set of gardens. Log surrounds, chip mulch, fruit and native trees, and a smorgasbord of flowers, berries and veg beneath. A stump with a bowl carved out for a birdbath. A random log lying in some mulch to break it up. Rectangles, a square, a triangle…

        Beautiful, yet not out of place in a suburb.

        The back is being converted to food forest, slowly but surely. So the section is a mullet. Business up front party in the rear. I hope to be able to present several types of garden design on the one section to give people more ideas/inspiration. A more formal landscape look, a cottage garden look, and a food forest.

        I must say, your articles have made me think a lot. This is a good effect aye. There’s only so much leaving it to nature I’ll be doing with the light hogging canopy of 15 m tree privet down back. Some will get coppiced, all will get cut down to size. Hugelkultur, borders, firewood, vine frames, mulch… I’ll make do. I think I can run vines on the coppiced specimens and bring down the food/wood harvests simultaneously. I want to lop them in autumn for the winter light so it works well in that regard. No trees come down till I have replacements though.

        When going for a tidier look, one rule of thumb you’ve probably figured out: Add more flowers. This simple rule can make a drab landscape pop.

        • WeTheBleeple 3.1.1.1

          “There’s only so much leaving it to nature”

          It’s ironic I said that just this morning. I dutifully barrowed down a load of mulch and dropped it where I’d deemed a good spot for tomatoes. I started to shape a mound and saw, only two feet away, five wild tomato volunteers.

          I could have been drinking lemonade on the couch…

          I pampered my new wild friends snipping the young nightshade out with fingernails and placing mulch all around the toms. I’ll still put some other varieties on the spot I’d spotted. I will laugh if the wild ones do better.

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    The Justice Committee has reported back on the government's racist bill to eliminate Māori representation in local government. The report duly notes the Waitangi Tribunal's finding that the bill breaches te Tiriti, and the bill's inconsistency with our international human rights obligations - and then proceeds to ignore both. Instead, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon is – Big in Japan
    This week our Prime Minister Christopher Luxon… mmm, let’s take a moment to consider just how good that sounds. Hope you weren’t eating.Anyway that guy. Better? That bloke from the telly, he said - what I would say to you is… I’m big in Japan. My kind of people, hard ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 21-June-2024
    Tis the winter solstice! The shortest day and longest night of the year. The good news: we’re on our way back to summertime. Here’s another roundup of stories to brighten up your Friday. Our header image is from CRL and shows Waihorotiu Station lit up for Matariki 2024 The ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, June 21
    Our economic momentum remains anaemic, and it’s possible the tiny increase in GDP was a ‘dead cat bounce’. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Per-capita GDP has fallen 4.3% from its peak over the last 21 months, which is more than it it fell in the Global Financial Crisis recession ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Futility of Punishment
    Hi,I was in Texas recently and couldn’t stop thinking about how in some parts of America they really like to kill their prisoners. As a society we tend to agree murder is wrong, but somewhere along the way Texas figured it’s fine if it’s after 6pm and the killing is ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The new Beehive approach to the environment
    A persistent theme has been weaving between the Committee rooms at Parliament all this so-called “Scrutiny” week as MPs have probed Ministers and agencies about their work and plans. The question has been simply what the environmental price might be if the country begins to accelerate its infrastructure building to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #25 2024
    Open access notables Climate Change Is Leading to a Convergence of Global Climate Distribution, Li et al., Geophysical Research Letters: The impact of changes in global temperatures and precipitation on climate distribution remains unclear. Taking the annual global average temperatures and precipitation as the origin, this study determined the climate distribution with the ...
    5 days ago
  • You take nicer pictures when you’re not drunk
    Readers keeping count will know it's more than five years since I gave up booze. Some of you get worried on my behalf when I recount a possibly testing moment. Anxious readers: today I got well tested.All the way across France I've been enquiring in my very polite and well-meaning but ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Cancer
    Turn awayIf you could, get me a drinkOf water 'cause my lips are chapped and fadedCall my Aunt MarieHelp her gather all my thingsAnd bury me in all my favourite coloursMy sisters and my brothers, stillI will not kiss you'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving youI remember the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why we shouldn’t buy new planes for the PM
    Its not often that one has to agree with Judith Collins, but yes, it would indeed cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” (at least) to buy replacement aircraft to fly the Prime Minister on his overseas missions of diplomacy and trade. And yes, the public might well regard that spending ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    7 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago

  • Government introduces Three Strikes Bill
    The Government has introduced a Bill today to restore the Three Strikes sentencing law, Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee says. “New Zealanders are rightly concerned about violent crime. We are delivering on our commitment to introduce a revised Three Strikes law as one of our key law and order priorities.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New support for agricultural emissions reduction
    The Government and the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) are together committing an additional $8 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Government actions strengthening Māori success
    Tākina Puanga. Ko Puanga kei runga. Ko Puanga e Rangi. Tākina mai te ara o Puanga nui o te rangi. Tākina ngā pou o te tau. Ki te whai ao ki te ao marama. Puanga or Rigel celebrations reflect a renewed energy across our communities – to acknowledge those who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
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