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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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    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    4 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
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    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    4 days ago
  • Outsiders.
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    4 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    5 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
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    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    5 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    6 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    6 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
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    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
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    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
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    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
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    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
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    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
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    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
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