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Obama’s climate initiative – too little too late

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, August 5th, 2015 - 48 comments
Categories: climate change, global warming, us politics - Tags: , , ,

Far too late in his presidency Obama is taking important action on climate change:

Obama unveils sweeping cuts to power plant emissions: ‘We have to get going’

‘We are the last generation that can do something’ about climate change says president in announcing requirement of 32% reduction on 2005 levels by 2030

Six years after first promising to “roll back the spectre of a warming planet”, Barack Obama finally committed the US to unprecedented action against climate change on Monday, with sweeping new curbs on carbon emissions from power plants that are equivalent to taking 70% of American cars off the road.

The culmination of his long-fought battle against coal industry lobbyists and climate change sceptics in Congress was greeted with jubilation by many environmentalists who described the tougher-than-expected regulations as a “game-changer”.

Describing it as “the single most important step America has ever taken in the fight against climate change”, Obama warned it was almost too late: pointing out that 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have already fallen in the first 15 years of this century.

“Climate change is no longer about protecting the world for our children and grandchildren, it is about the reality that we are living with right now,” said Obama in a speech announcing the plan. “We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.”

Credit to Obama for this action, it was desperately needed and is a cause for hope. But. But he’s wrong to warn that it is “almost too late”. It is already too late. Cutting emissions is no longer enough to prevent temperature rises above the already dangerous 2 degree limit. We must do more:

Two degree climate target not possible without ‘negative emissions’, scientists warn

All of our options for keeping warming below 2C above pre-industrial temperatures now involve capturing carbon dioxide and storing it underground – a technology that doesn’t yet exist on a large scale, according to new research.

The study , published today in Nature Communications, argues that ‘negative emissions’ alone, in the absence of conventional mitigation, are unlikely to achieve the 2C goal.

And in all but the most optimistic cases, staying below 2C requires capturing and storing carbon in amounts that exceed the capabilities of current technology, say the researchers.

Even if the technology did exist yet at a useful scale I doubt that governments would be lining up to adopt it. We are going to drive headlong off this cliff. As a short term measure – and as something anyone can do – plant more trees. We need to plant a lot more trees…

48 comments on “Obama’s climate initiative – too little too late”

  1. Bill 1

    Any announcement by any government that doesn’t take us down the path to achieve zero emissions from fossil fuels by 2050 is bullshit.

    Was just reading yesterday that coal, gas and petroleum is in line for global subsidises in excess of US$ 5 trillion this year.

    And I wondered:- “What could ~ US$ 5 trillion per year do in terms of retrofitting/upgrading infrastructure to deal with worst case +4 degrees C?”

    edit Should add that any announcement that does aim at zero by 50, but that relies on buying credits (as NZ cuts do) is also, obviously, bullshit. There ain’t no credits available in a world that must hit zero.

    • adam 1.1

      Capitalism must now pay the despoilers to give the appearance the system works. It is a very sad joke.

      My guess is Gosman will come up some inane comment at this point to prove the market is the only solution. Sheesh when will right wing libertarians realise your preciousness market was robbed from you when this lot got into power? The market does not exist – that subsidy alone proves it.

      I do have to laugh though, that the most stark betrayal in politics for the last 15 years, is the stabbing in the back by the oligarchs, of right-wing libertarians .

      We on the left know we been always shafted by the oligarchs, Obama was no hope and proven what I always though of him – he is just another Clintonesk, foe liberal. He can speak all the words of the left, he can feel the pain (so to speak) – but never delivers on anything.

      This emissions deal is just another example of foe liberalism in practice. To little, to late, and missing the whole point – then pouts when any body criticises it.

    • David 1.2

      “Was just reading yesterday that coal, gas and petroleum is in line for global subsidises in excess of US$ 5 trillion this year.”

      You do realise this isn’t an actual subsidy don’t you? Where do you think that $5tillion comes from exactly, or do you really think 30% of US GDP is spent subsidizing fossil fuels?

      • Bill 1.2.1

        Fuck me dead. You want a debate about when a subsidy isn’t an actual subsidy? Go talk to the IMF who produced the figures.

        But if you’re merely referring to the externalities (health costs etc) being costed back in, then yes, I’m aware the figure includes those.

        You can link to the full report from one of the links contained in the following piece.

        • David 1.2.1.1

          The point is very simple, there isn’t $5 trillion to spend on ‘upgrading infrastructure’.

          The subsidies, when they actually occur, are almost entirely consumer subsidies on fuels in the third world and oil producing nations. Iran is the largest of these, spending $100bn each year on fuel subsidies.

          In western nations it’s almost negligible.

          • weka 1.2.1.1.1

            What could US$100 billion+ per year do in terms of retrofitting/upgrading infrastructure to deal with worst case +4 degrees C?

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.2

            The point is very simple, there isn’t $5 trillion to spend on ‘upgrading infrastructure’.

            Incorrect. All that needs to be done is that the governments of the world print the money and spend it on renewables and, BAM!!!, we have 5 trillion dollars spent on renewables.

            And, yes, that would actually work. Take NZ for instance. The government prints enough money to train enough people to build wind turbines and place them offshore. They also ensure that there’s enough mining going on in NZ to produce the rare earth metals and other metals needed as well as producing enough resin (probably from growing hemp) to produce those wind turbines. Taxes would be properly adjusted and none of this would be done through private enterprise as we can’t afford the dead-weight loss of profit on it.

            All we’d be doing is utilising our own resources.

            The subsidies, when they actually occur, are almost entirely consumer subsidies on fuels in the third world and oil producing nations

            You are, of course, referring to the fact that oil producing nations only charge what it costs to produce the oil rather than what oil importing nations have to pay for it as a subsidy which is, of course, BS. The difference in price isn’t a subsidy but the profit that the oil producing nations get from selling offshore.

            In western nations it’s almost negligible.

            In Western Nations it’s about ensuring that the full costs aren’t placed upon the use of fossil fuels and other sources of CO2. The NZ example is how National have fucked round with the ETS so that cows are no longer included in it and by giving huge amounts of free carbon credits to businesses.

            • David 1.2.1.1.2.1

              “You are, of course, referring to the fact that oil producing nations only charge what it costs to produce the oil rather than what oil importing nations have to pay for it as a subsidy which is, of course, BS. ”

              Not correct, Iran and quite a few nations sell fuel at far below the cost to produce. Diesel, for example, was sold for 6c/gallon until very recently. Iran has a goal of raising prices to the cost of production, but that will take years.

          • Bill 1.2.1.1.3

            Every man, woman and child in NZ subsidisies to the tune of somewhere in the region of $2 per day, every day.

            That’s about $8million a day or about $3000 million a year. Hardly small cheese.

            It’s in the report’s spread sheet if you care to read it and correct my ‘from memory’ $2 figure.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    As a short term measure – and as something anyone can do – plant more trees. We need to plant a lot more trees…

    Something I’ve been thinking of lately is that we should limit land used for agricultural purpose in NZ to ~15% of NZ. It’s presently at 54% and provides enough calories to feed ~20 million people and so limiting it to 15% would still provide enough land to feed ourselves.

    We also need to limit city land to it’s present amount and thus no more sprawl. The rest of the land is then returned to it’s native (Planting lots of trees) and natural state and allowed to evolve.

    Then we need to work on shutting down our fossil fuelled power generation and building renewable power generation. Also, get rid of cars.

  3. johnm 3

    Game over for Homo Stupidus and Greedus and breed like there’s no tomorrow us, well, folks there won’t be a tomorrow! 🙁 Oh Sorry! that’s not a positive message Oops!

  4. Corokia 4

    Plant trees with edible crops. Multi layered permaculture plantings urban and rural.

  5. Molly 5

    Unfortunately Obama’s solution seems to be to crank up the fracking of natural gas in the US, still impacting on the climate and destroying communities, environment and water tables while he is at it.

    Too many advisors with limited vision giving possible solutions.

    • Colonial Rawshark 5.1

      Too many advisors with strong backgrounds and ties to the energy and financial sectors

  6. Bill 6

    – sigh – On the ‘techno-fix’ front…

    German researchers have demonstrated once again that the best way to limit climate change is to stop burning fossil fuels now.

    In a “thought experiment” they tried another option: the future dramatic removal of huge volumes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This would, they concluded, return the atmosphere to the greenhouse gas concentrations that existed for most of human history – but it wouldn’t save the oceans.

    That is, the oceans would stay warmer, and more acidic, for thousands of years, and the consequences for marine life could be catastrophic.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/aug/03/stop-burning-fossil-fuels-now-no-co2-technofix-climate-change-oceans

  7. maui 7

    A 32% reduction on 2005 levels.. or what about a limit to a 6000% increase on 1880 levels… or a 100% reduction on CO2 levels currently on Mars. Insert your madeup meaningless target here.

  8. feijoa 8

    The whole thing is overwhelmingly depressing. I despair for my children’s future. the only way I can rationalise it, is to do what I can on a personal level, and I am resigned to our fate, which will be exactly what mankind deserves.

    • maui 8.1

      I was overwhelmed with the whole idea a few months ago that we are going to burn up the planet and there’s not much hope. But, looking at the peak oil scenario where we’ve hit the peak in world oil production and we’re starting on a massive slide in oil production. I wonder if in a couple of years the more immediate crisis will be oil shortages, something unimaginable right now. Of course climate change isn’t going to go away, but there are hard limits to what we can suck out of the ground. Look at where we have to drill for oil now – the arctic and deep water off our own coast, the last places you want to look for oil. I just don’t think it’s viable that we will burn our way into oblivion if these are the measures we’re going to currently. This theory makes me sleep easier anyway.

      To go along with that I realise civilisations rise and fall, and ours has just had exponential growth, to counteract that there has to be a resulting crash to balance everything out. Humans will go on I believe.

  9. Ad 9

    Anthony you have got to be kidding me.

    Obama has gone to the limits of his Presidential executive powers, knowing that nothing good is going to pass either the House or Senate under Republican rule.

    And still we comlpain when he acts. Sorry he ain’t saving the world.
    He’s getting done what he can, and that’s the limits of politics.

    • adam 9.1

      You understand what a foe liberal is Ad?

      • JanMeyer 9.1.1

        A liberal’s foe is a faux liberal

        • adam 9.1.1.1

          I prefer foe liberal, rather than faux liberal – implies they are a 5th column.

          • Ad 9.1.1.1.1

            Clearly you have no idea who your allies are anyway.

            The progressive side of politics is going backwards electorally in every English-speaking nation. And yet no one wants to celebrate a win when it’s handed to them.

            If Pacific Rim countries cannot agree on something as concrete as their economic and commercial interests with TPPA, why would anyone think that the entire world is going to agree on something as nebulous, depressing, non-televisual and unlikely to affect as climate change? Best of luck if they do.

            If you really want to go Yah Boo Sucks to Obama for getting a massive climate change victory, while commenting from a country doing far far less and is on a per capita basis far more damaging to the planet, then you clearly have lost all political perspective.

            Obama sure ain’t perfect, but he is sticking his neck way out in the US, and on multiple fronts. Obama is going to be remembered as an effective liberal beacon compared to Hilary Clinton or Jeb Bush. Just watch 2016.

            • Bill 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Last time I checked, English was spoken in Scotland and…SNP.
              English is also spoken in England and…Jeremy Corbyn.

              A progressive party winning electoral landslides and a progressive politician pulling audiences that overflow the booked venues.

              In both instances, ‘the (liberal) establishment’ is expressing a certain impotent apoplexy 😉

              • Ad

                Scotland is part of the UK, you moron, by popular democratic choice.
                And the UK is ruled by the Conservatives. By massive democratic choice.
                Just snap out of the fantasy.

                • adam

                  Is this the argument now is it – when we defened socialism, were the wankers – Thanks for the heads up Ad. Always nice to see a foe liberal in action.

  10. JanMeyer 10

    Doom and bloody gloom! This is why the more extreme perspectives on climate change are a complete turn off to the average punter (read ‘voter’). Let’s just throw in the towel and burn away as your premise seems to be that we’re totally stuffed whatever we do.

    • adam 10.1

      If western people faced they fact we need to consume less – we would be OK – as you put it. The doom and gloom part is the fact we see no movement on the consumption front by the west. That is the doom and gloom – the people who need to do something are not, indeed they are consuming more.

      • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1

        austerity is involuntarily forcing the bottom 50% in western countries to consume much less

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2

      Oh noes, if mainstream scientific opinion is a turn-off for the poor wilting little babes just wait ’til they get a load of 2°.

      The biggest problem is fuckwits pretending that informed opinion is a “perspective”.

      • JanMeyer 10.2.1

        Whilst there’s a consensus among the scientists about global warming, there sure as hell ain’t a consensus about what to do about it.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2.1.1

          Yes, because of the aforementioned fuckwits.

        • Bill 10.2.1.2

          The general drift in the scientific community is for zero fossil by 50 and to do whatever can be done on land use (agriculture etc).

          Then cross fingers and pray to a god if that’s your thing.

          The problem is political will, not science.

          • JanMeyer 10.2.1.2.1

            Correct. And in terms of politics Obama gave a master class.

          • Colonial Rawshark 10.2.1.2.2

            I rather suspect that many countries of the world will be burning zero fossil fuels by 2050: not by choice of course.

  11. Macro 11

    Climate Change is already estimated to be killing 5 million people per year – Cancer kills about 7.6 million.
    http://mic.com/articles/21419/climate-change-kills-5-million-people-every-year

  12. Dear ladies and gentlemen
    Do you want to contribute something to solve the biggest problem of humankind? Then sign our petition under the world’s largest platform change.org:
    http://www.change.org/de/Petitionen/weltweite-geburtenregelungen-verbindlich-einf%C3%BChren-introduce-obligatory-worldwide-birth-controls
    The German physicist, aerospace physician, writer and television presenter Heinz Haber wrote in 1973 that a planet the size of our Earth should not be populated with more than 500 million human beings in order to maintain a harmonious balance between human beings and nature. Today (June 2013 ) we have, with (officially listed ) 7.2 billion human beings, reached more than 14 times this guideline value, and an end of this population growth is not in sight! A huge mass of unemployment and the collapse of our prosperity will be further consequences. A worldwide, mandatory birth control for all countries of Earth is urgent, if we want the impending climate catastrophe to weaken somewhat.
    Even the UN IPCC has recognised the danger in its fifth World Climate Report, but played it down by only predicting a higher sea level rise than previously prognosticated. The world however is in store for an unprecedented climate catastrophe which will bring us human beings – even in Europe! – primeval conditions. According to a current campaign at the world’s largest petition platform “change.org”, the reasons for this are obvious, but are ignored and tabooed as a result of ignorance, cowardice and lust for might.
    Quote from a proponent of the petition:
    “The overpopulation of Earth is a huge disaster and shows the picture of an egoistical thinking human being who doesn’t care the slightest bit about his/her environment and who has raised the fulfilment of his/her desires to be the supreme principle of his/her life. The quality of the future life of all human beings is inseparably connected with the state of nature. The unrestrained plundering, exploitation and the therewith accompanying destruction, devastation and poisoning of the soil, air and water, caused by the huge demand for foodstuffs and goods of all kind of a still explosively growing population, presents the human beings with unsolvable problems. Overpopulation is not a taboo word, rather the exact term for an excessive number of human beings brought about by an irrational and irresponsible procreation of children, and which nature can no longer cope with. There should only be as many human beings living in a country as it can also sustain from its own resources. In addition the fauna and flora must also have enough space to expand in order to fulfil their vital functions in a good functioning ecosystem. This shows that all countries of Earth are overpopulated and need to do something about it. The control of the overpopulation does not mean that human beings have to leave, and it also has nothing to do with racism, but rather it demands of the human being, regardless of his/her colour, that a reasonable birth regulation must be strongly striven for and carried out for the benefit of all human beings and all life on our planet.”

    • Colonial Rawshark 12.1

      Robert, you are doing something pro-active and activist like here, what has happened. I rather suspect that human population will be back under 1B by 2200 anyways…

  13. johnm 13

    Basically we have destroyed the protection and sacred balance of Gaia. The unleashed climate monster will boot human butts into eternity. But sadly millions of innocent species flora and fauna will die with this stupid arrogant ahole species. That is the truth! If you don’t believe arrogant, consider all the crazy wars we’ve fought since so called civilisation began.

    • Ad 13.1

      so we should wait for Gaia to save itself. as a monster. or something.
      Are you an extra from an Indiana Jones movie?

      • johnm 13.1.1

        Hi AD 🙂
        Heh Heh Heh LOL Good one!

        To explain my extraordinary statement we now know that climate change has been the main agent of mass extinctions in Earth’s history. Gaia is the Planetry community of all life that has adjusted chemically the atmosphere and maintains its stability to facilitate life to its maximum potential. Man’s pollution of the atmosphere and destruction of the forests and other climate stabilisers has kicked off rapid climate change this has the potential to destroy our habitat mainly our ability to grow food.

        The Revenge of Gaia by James E. Lovelock
        http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/248846.The_Revenge_of_Gaia

        Last Hours

        If only it were Indiana Jones! 🙂

        Some people are angry that we were stupid enough to do this 🙁

        A mass extinction of life forms is already underway I suggest you google the subject and see for yourself

        • Ad 13.1.1.1

          are you saying climate change will save the earth through killing everything off, so then life will start again ?

          what evidence of climate change doing that ?

          • johnm 13.1.1.1.1

            Hi AD

            What we really mean by “Earth” is the community of life on this Planet of which we are a part plus the chemical balances in atmosphere and oceans that have been created by Gaia to support life. Therefore CC will destroy most of this. Re: Lovelock he’s not sure that Gaia will recover as the Planet is very old now, but sadly the miraculous plenitude and bounty of Earth now is becoming extinct. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction
            Basically we’re likely to go extinct too as food habitat disappears!

  14. johnm 14

    Radical Predictions
    Should we fear near-term human extinction?
    By Ted Taylor

    http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/radical-predictions/Content?oid=5888387

    ” Most of us have figured out by now that we are toast: Humanity will be wiped out by an asteroid, supernova, massive volcanic eruptions, global axis shift, some untreatable virus, nuclear war or climate change. Our sun is going supernova. We’ve seen the disaster movies, read the books and laughed at the cartoons.

    But how quickly?

    University of Arizona emeritus natural resources professor Guy McPherson, author of Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind, which he co-authored with Carolyn Baker, recently spoke at a Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene, Oregon, offering dire, even shocking predictions.

    In his talk, McPherson figures the sixth extinction in Earth’s geologic history is already under way. We could see massive die-offs of humans and other species in as little as 18 months, and humanity has at best 10 to 20 years. “I could be wrong,” he admits. “

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    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    5 days ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    6 days ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    6 days ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    7 days ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    1 week ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    1 week ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National supports slavery
    Meanwhile, while the government is planning to restore voting rights to prisoners, National is promising to turn our prisons into US-style slave-labour camps:The Opposition is proposing compulsory education, training or employment for prisoners who are serving sentences of two years or more. [...] On Sunday, National Party Leader Simon Bridges ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Erasing the infamy
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Trade unions that never fight the sex industry bosses
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the second part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • A Team Approach to Tackling the Psychology Replication Crisis
    Dalmeet Singh Chawla In 2008, psychologists proposed that when humans are shown an unfamiliar face, they judge it on two main dimensions: trustworthiness and physical strength. These form the basis of first impressions, which may help people make important social decisions, from who to vote for to how long a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Big Pharma has failed: the antibiotic pipeline needs to be taken under public ownership
    Claas Kirchhelle, University of Oxford; Adam Roberts, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Andrew Singer, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Antibiotics are among the most important medicines known to humankind, but we are running out of this crucial resource. Decisive action is needed if we are to retain access to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bloody Great Political Story (From A Parallel Universe).
    Things That Make You Go - Hmmmm: “All right. Let me come at this another way. I’m guessing that what you’ve got in that box contains names, dates, bank account numbers – all the details you need to put Winston Peters and Jacinda Ardern squarely in the cross-hairs. So, the first ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Submit!
    The Environment Committee has called for submissions on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Friday, 17 January 2020, and can be made online at the link above. The bill makes a number of changes to the ETS, including linking it to the carbon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Message From Messenger Park.
    Coasters Turn Out In Droves: It’s precisely the widening gulf between those with actual experience of things like guns, chainsaws and drilling machines, and those who regulate their use, that accounts for the angry crowd at Greymouth’s Messenger Park on Sunday, 17 November 2019. In the rarefied atmosphere where decisions ...
    2 weeks ago
  • JFK’s assassination: a bit of physics
    There are perennial arguments about the circumstances of the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, and in particular whether more than one shooter is required by the evidence (such as the Zapruder film). Those who know little about physics frequently claim that the sharp backwards motion of JFK’s head as ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Is car washing so bad we need to ban it?
    Apparently, some people enjoy washing their cars. Each to his or her own, I suppose. I mean, some people like duck shooting, some people follow Coronation Street, and some people’s idea of a good day out is to sit on a grass bank at Seddon Park and watch cricket all ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • If Shane Jones isn’t corrupt, he is trying very hard to look it
    Last week we learned that New Zealand First had apparently tried to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Today in Question Time Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones had his ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: We need to end fossil fuels
    Finally, governments seem slowly to be beginning to act on climate change. But its not enough. While they're publicly signing up to targets, they're planning to destroy the world by continuing fossil fuel extraction:The world’s nations are on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • As bad as we expected
    Stuff has begun interviewing NZ First's secret donors, and it turns out that its as bad as we expected. They start with racing industry figure Garry Chittick, who is predictably grumpy about NZ First's coalition choices. Meanwhile, I'm looking at the list of pork NZ First has effectively given its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Second (And Final?) Crucifixion Of Winston Peters.
    Stag At Bay: Twelve years ago, Winston Peters was still robust enough to come back from the political crucifixion which his political and media enemies had prepared for him. In his seventies now, the chances of a second resurrection are slim. We should, therefore, prepare for the last gasp of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cancer Control Agency to drive improved care
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting small business to prosper
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Innovative technology and tools to better manage freedom camping
    A package of new and expanded technology and other tools will encourage responsible camping and help communities and local councils better manage freedom camping this summer, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. “Our Government has been investing to improve the freedom camping experience for everyone because we want to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improving wellbeing by understanding our genes
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government investing to future proof school property
    Nearly every state schools will receive a capital injection next year valued at $693 per student to bring forward urgent school property improvements, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.  The one-off cash injection is the first project to be announced from the Government’s infrastructure package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure investments to be brought forward
    The Government has decided to bring forward major investments in New Zealand’s infrastructure to future proof the economy. “Cabinet has agreed to a significant boost to infrastructure investment. I have directed the Treasury to help bring together a package of projects that can be brought into the Government’s short and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Future-proofing New Zealand
    It is a great pleasure to be with you today in Whanganui. Like the Prime Minister I grew up with the TV clip of Selwyn Toogood booming “What do you say Whanganui, the money or the bag?” to an unsuspecting ‘It’s in the Bag’ audience. For those under the age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa track opened – an asset for the West Coast
    New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa Track, was officially opened in Blackball today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage alongside the family members of the Pike 29 and Ngāti Waewae.  Local mayors and MP for the West Coast Hon Damien O’Connor were also in attendance. “Paparoa National Park ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • P-8A Poseidon base works commence
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Launch of the National Emergency Management Agency
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare today announced the establishment of the new National Emergency Management Agency from 1 December 2019.  The National Emergency Management Agency will replace the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. It will be an autonomous departmental agency, hosted by the Department of the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NASA 2020 Internship applications open
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to send more medical staff and essential supplies to Samoa
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cost less of a factor for Kiwis seeking GP care
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new data showing a sharp drop in the number of people who can’t afford to visit their GP is a sign of real progress. One year after the Government made it cheaper for about 600,000 Kiwis to visit their doctor, results of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade for All Board releases recommendations
    The Trade for All Advisory Board has released its recommendations for making New Zealand’s trade policy deliver for all New Zealanders.  The report was today welcomed by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker.  “Trade is crucial to this country’s economy and well-being, and the benefits need to flow to all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Porirua housing partnership to improve housing in the city
    A partnership signed today between the Crown and local iwi, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangātira (Ngāti Toa), will improve the quality of state housing in western Porirua, says the Associate Minister of Housing, Kris Faafoi. Contracts have been signed at a ceremony at Takapūwāhia Marae, in Porirua, between Ngāti Toa, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Prime Minster Delivers Erebus Apology
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