Open mike 05/03/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 5th, 2023 - 52 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

52 comments on “Open mike 05/03/2023 ”

  1. Maurice 1

    Some interesting input on our recent weather woes. Mainly from a US northern hemisphere perspective but there are interesting graphic bits that show the influence down here.

    On Wednesday, the World Meteorological Organization reported that a 'triple-digit' La Nina weather phenomenon, which caused severe droughts and floods, is finally ending. Nonetheless, the probability of an El Nino occurring is increasing and could affect global weather patterns

    La Nina is over, and an El Nino event is forecasted to begin this [northern] Summer. An El Nino event can completely change the weather patterns in the upcoming seasons, especially during the [northern] late Fall and Winter seasons, so this will likely be one of the biggest global events in 2023.

    Ocean anomalies and especially their changes can significantly influence seasonal weather patterns. Perhaps even more so in [northern] Winter, when the pressure systems are strongest.

    "El Nino and La Nina are naturally occurring climate patterns and humans have no direct ability to influence their onset, intensity or duration," according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1

      …..Whats your angle here?

    • Anne 1.2

      I note the final paragraph of your link to Zero Hedge (a right wing libertarian outfit which specialises in denial politics) is as follows:

      We would like to remind all the climate warriors on social media: "El Nino and La Nina are naturally occurring climate patterns and humans have no direct ability to influence their onset, intensity or duration," according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

      After an interminable exposé of the meteorological outcomes of El Nino and La Nina weather patterns (no doubt extrapolated from reputable scientific sources) the article reveals the real message it wants to convey:

      There is no evidence to indicate that humans are responsible for Climate extremes. They are natural phenomena.


      The Southern Oscillation climactic system has been around for countless millions of millenia so how come we have a heightened risk of extreme, life threatening weather events around the world on and ever increasing frequency.

      Its due to "Climate Change" caused by excessive amounts of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere – a direct response to human industrial activity over the centuries.

      You would do better to access your information from internationally recognised scientific bodies like NIWA:

      • Maurice 1.2.1

        "You would do better to access your information from internationally recognised scientific bodies like NIWA"

        Like this?

        "However, the CMIP6 models project inconsistent changes in the very extreme precipitation events in the region (Li et al., 2020) and, with regard to projections of intensification of heavy precipitation. This has low confidence in a world 1.5°C warmer compared to the recent past and low confidence compared to a preindustrial world. In a world with global mean surface temperature 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the CMIP6 models again project inconsistent changes in intensification of heavy precipitation in the region (Li et al., 2020), with low confidence compared with the recent past and medium confidence compared with preindustrial conditions."

        All seems to be a bit 'wooly' and imprecise?

        • Macro

          In your cherry picking of the referenced article above however you seem to have conveniently overlooked this:

          12. Evidence of observed changes in extreme weather events and their attribution to human influence (including greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions, and land-use changes) has strengthened since AR5, in particular for extreme precipitation, droughts, tropical cyclones and compound extremes (including dry/hot events and fire weather).

          My Bold

        • Anne

          It looks more like you are trying to create a scenario based on your own lack of understanding re – the greenhouse gas effects that have led to the global warming of the planet and which in turn is screwing up the climactic weather patterns.

          As Macro has said… you are cherry picking in the same way the 'professional' denialists try to cherry pick peer-reviewed scientific material for their own ends.

          • Maurice

            Cherries or plums? Dogma or discussion?

            • Drowsy M. Kram



              So much dogma and discussion, while the total concentration of greenhouse gases in spaceship Earth's atmosphere keeps going up (and up and up, etc.)

              If only there was some way of estimating the effects this on-going increase in GHGs might have on average global temperatures and adverse climate events. But it's almost as if we don't want to hear about estimates – easier by far (for most of us) to keep our heads firmly planted in the sand, at least for now.

              Nudging Behavior Toward Climate Solutions
              with Elke Weber [14 June 2022]
              A lot of the uncertainty in the existing forecast methods has to do with the climate system—how sensitive the climate system is to certain kinds of actions like increasing the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But it turns out that the uncertainty we have about final results, like in terms of global warming down the road, is just as much related to our uncertainty about the human response as it is to uncertainty about the climate system response.

              "…a warming climate is likely to cause freshwater wetlands to release substantially more methane…"
              Wetlands are dynamic ecosystems that provide habitat for wildlife and ecosystem services for people like flood protection and removal of excess nutrients from waterways.

              But we need need more flood protection – what to do, what to do…

              Editorial: Global warming is due to an enhanced
              greenhouse effect, and anthropogenic heat emissions
              currently play a negligible role at the global scale

              [24 Feb 2023; PDF]



              Cherry trees or plum trees? Dogma or discussion?

              • Maurice

                Dogmatic discussion coupled with climate change induced panic?

                Or structural uncertainty compensated for by group certainty ….

                Humanity may even have put off the next glacial for a bit – until the excess CO2 is leached from the atmosphere?

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Dogmatic discussion coupled with climate change induced panic?

                  If your comforts are atop a cliff, in a valley or on a flood plain, and it's hosing down, then panic is as understandable as it is unhelpful. Discuss.

                  Humanity may even have put off the next glacial for a bit – until the excess CO2 is leached from the atmosphere?

                  And if you expect “the next glacial” to intervene on our behalf, then imho your sense of time is off. The Anthropocene is noted for its rate of change.

                  Introducing the terrifying mathematics of the Anthropocene
                  [10 Feb 2017]

                  Spaceship Earth's big, but its capacity to buffer the effects of civilisation's wastes has limits. This comment (source unknown) 'tickled' me:

                  We’ve been smoking for 50 years, have stage 4 metastatic cancer, and are now in a hospice. But we think we have a cold.

                  • Maurice

                    Faux calculus no less! … very scientific

                    Meanwhile we need every bit of our Farming exports to pay for the fuel, machinery and supplies required for any sort of rebuild/repairs to our shattered infrastructure. Perhaps we can cut back a bit after the restoration?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Weather events will be more disruptive, then a lot more disruptive.


                      We must build new financial mechanisms to help communities on the receiving end of catastrophes.

                      COPs have been taking place for more than a quarter of a century. Is the glass half full or half empty?
                      It’s both — and it’s a dual reality that we have to understand. When you get to a COP, needs are high: people are dying; weather events are destroying communities and economies; expectations for change are enormous. At the same time, the multilateral and multinational institutions we have are imperfect. The COP is a consensus-based process in which all the countries in the world, including Syria, North Korea, and Russia, must decide in a consensual manner to move one step further. It’s like we are in a race, all on a 196-person bicycle, and if just one rider stops pedalling, you can’t move forward.

                      Faux calculus no less! … very scientific

                      Very nasty – if you're on the receiving end of that 'faux calculus'.
                      And, “after the restoration” – BAU tweaked? Good luck with that frown

                      Less is so much more [30 Sept 2022]
                      I think there is going to be a lot of disruption and change in what is considered to be acceptable and what’s not. Your competitors are going to be working on it. Do not become obsolete. Now is the time to change.

                      Or not. Doesn't matter personally – I won't be facing hard choices.

                      Driving ambition for the new economy [24 Nov 2022]
                      The circular economy, a sustainable model of production and consumption, is a pillar of climate action. But we’re not taking it nearly seriously enough.

                      The question is timing. We have to do more, and we have to do it faster,” she says. “But it’s not easy to change a way of doing things when you [have done it] since the Industrial Revolution and you have this mindset. To change that, and in a really short time… I don’t know if it’s possible, but we try!

                      After the flood – four ways to think about the future of growing food [9 Feb 2023]
                      Managing change is nothing new, says Clothier, but it’s perhaps the scale of the change that feels so daunting. “It’s a real challenge for growers and farmers to think about climate change because they live in the weather. So they’re very, very astute in terms of their knowledge of weather. But climate is longer. It’s longer than memories. People say ‘it’s the worst storm I can remember’ but that’s not very long.

                      But I’m an optimist. It will be difficult but there are solutions.

                      Then along came Gabrielle. The times they are a-changin’.

                      Frogs and Sandbags – a climate change reality check

  2. Visubversa 2

    Conservative men in Conservative Dresses – some interesting history and insights.

    "At least when they were calling themselves cross-dressers, these men weren’t claiming to literally be women and clamoring for access to women’s washrooms, changing rooms, rape shelters, prisons, and sports. Even if they wouldn’t admit it was a fetish, at least they would admit that dressing up in women’s clothing was a leisure activity and not a “gender identity” that had to be protected by law."

    • Molly 2.1

      Thanks for the link, which is an informative read based on Amy Bloom's 2002 article of the same name. It clearly states what many choose to ignore.

      Consider, as well, how accurately the following sentences describe what today’s trans-identified men ask of their wives and even from the rest of society:

      Cross-dressing is a compulsion, but we must not see it as a sickness. A good wife should tolerate it because the man has no choice, but it isn't too hard to tolerate because it's a gift. It is about fun and pleasure–and it's a necessity.

      The reason that what Bloom observed of cross-dressers in 2002 maps so neatly onto what we are seeing of “trans women” in 2023 is that these men are usually autogynephiles: they are aroused at the idea of themselves as a woman. As their claim to femaleness is based on male sexual arousal, it bears absolutely no resemblance to the experience of actually being a woman.

      It also links to a Children of Transitioners support group, which has the original 2002 article:

      Conservative men in Conservative Dresses

  3. observer 3

    Sunday morning, 11 am. Time for church.

    Or you can skip it and hear Righteous Luxon preach his gospel to the unbelievers. For His is the True Way, Repent Sinners (but don't go to church, I'm talking here!).

    No, he's not the messiah, he's just a very boring boy.

    • Ad 4.1

      Shaw isn't in the recovery team with Robertson and Roche, isn't being asked for advice on managed retreat decisions that need to occur within weeks, but still puts on a professional face to front to Jame Tame.

      TBH its pretty shitty of Labour not to get him to work on this stuff.

      • arkie 4.1.1

        As he says, the work is too important to give up in the face of that.

        But I agreed it's disheartening to see such an approach from Labour, but sadly it is only the latest instance of diminishment of the Greens.

        More Green MPs would still mean a Labour led government but one where the Greens can't be sidelined like Shaw has been. Party vote Green.

  4. bwaghorn 5

    Surly it’s only a coincidence that luxon announce a proposed funding boost for childcare, the same day its pointed how big a slice, for profit childcare providers ate taking.

    • Nic the NZer 5.2

      Its nothing to do with childcare profits. Its about the accusation, Luxon just wants it to turn into your saying no to childcare because your over paying consultants.

      • bwaghorn 5.2.1

        They win both ways ,

        funded child care=more profit for child care

        Funded childcare =more 2 income houses to strip profits from in other ways,

    • Muttonbird 5.3

      Incredibly poor timing for Luxon yet again. $2.3b not enough for corporate child farmers? Chrome-dome says, "here's another $240m!"

      • Muttonbird 5.3.1

        This is one of the worst policies I've ever seen. They claim it will benefit 130,000 families. It's only for those with kids enrolled in private ECE as far as I can tell. Inference is National sees stay at home mums as lazy and they should go get a job.

        It also targets quite a narrow band, people with kids under five. And the full amount is available to families earning $140k or less! Hardly progressive, is it?

        And why does that clown never wear a tie? He looks like a half-dressed pimp.

        • Mac1

          Because he's pushing the "I speak for hard-working kiwis because I'm one of them" line.

          Look at me, I've taken my tie off and unbuttoned my shirt so I'm ready to do the hard yakker, like all you other working men. I'm the hard-mahi man, the suited warrior, I'm just like you, really.

          Yeah, right.

        • PsyclingLeft.Always

          hi Muttonbird, this probably connects with some of it..

          The Wright (right !?) family….

          The crown jewel though, was childcare. A service every parent needs, a rare part of our education system which is largely privatised – but one the state heavily subsidises. They owned a huge chunk of that system through companies like ABC and Best Start.

          And… is he taking the piss? No sense of Irony? Other?

          The Wright family became involved with Plunket last year. “We thought that New Zealand could benefit from a non-biased, open broadcast media, but didn’t know how to do it,” Wayne Wright Jr told BusinessDesk. “Coincidentally, Sean knocked on our door, and asked us if we’d be interested in partially funding his idea. We listened and decided to fund the whole operation.”

          Just…wtf. But good reporting. And sometimes just good…letting them talk about… their aims

        • Muttonbird

          Plus, the first thing the child farming industry will do is put up their rates by $74/week. That is corporate subsidy and inflationary.

          Unless the Nats also put a price freeze on ECE…

          • gsays

            While I have no truck with 'baby farmers' (a good mate prefers the term baby gaol), what term do you have for those who clamour to keep the 'farm' stocked?

            Not any difference between this corporate subsidy and the accommodation supplement.

          • Belladonna

            Meanwhile the MoE is strangling not-for-profit Playcentres with unachievably onerous licensing and training requirements. [The expectation is that volunteer parents will undertake an undergraduate ECE degree; and, if they don't, funding is cut to the bone]

            While it's been happening under the Labour Government, I don't (personally) think this is driven by the government, but rather by the idealogues at MoE – who purely hate the concept of parents as teachers, and want 'professionalisation' of all ECE services.

            The baby farms technically have the qualified ECE staff – but are run for pure profit, not for the benefit of the children enrolled. There is no way that I would have sent my kid to one of them – though this was pushed as the default option by WINZ in order to make mothers 'work ready'.

            • bwaghorn

              We're destroying the family unit, in so many ways ,but this is probably the main one, getting all parents into work if possible.

    • Muttonbird 5.4

      Early Childhood Council CEO Simon Laube loves the idea. Of course he would, he and his child farming industry like The Platform owners, the Wright family, and National Party member, Tony Stuart, will be mainlining another $240m a year from the taxpayer.

      In fact, one suspects the policy was written by Simon Laube himself…

      Meanwhile, the Early Childhood Council applauded National's move, saying this policy offers more children the education and social benefits of ECE and will be a "welcome relief" for parents struggling to pay rising fees.

      "More investment in early learning is fantastic for our tamariki and their families, even more so for children from disadvantaged backgrounds," said CEO Simon Laube.

      "This initiative would offer Auckland centres struggling after lockdowns and the summer's weather events an urgently needed boost at re-engaging early learners in particular."

      He added that for parents, National's announcement would be "much more significant" than last year's childcare subsidy threshold changes and it avoids stigma about accessing social welfare support.

      "The policy recognises that more children in ECE means more parents able to work, and more children getting their education off to a great start to build the capability of our future workforce."

      • Stephen D 5.4.1

        What's to stop a Labour Govt nationalising the whole childcare industry and bringing it ubder the auspicious of the MoE?

        • Muttonbird

          Well, primary, secondary, and tertiary education are publicly owned or overseen in NZ.

          If our diseased, profit-driven society demands every ounce of flesh from every human being such that children have to be watched by private babysitters 9 hours a day from 18 months, why not bring ECE into the same model?

  5. ianmac 6

    No wonder Luxon chose a small believer audience! Stilted. Wooden audience. Clap on signal. But not with warmth. They tried to artificially create a strong leadership image. They failed!

    Content? Hodge Podge of usual criticism of Government a few detail-less policies. Really?

  6. Mike the Lefty 7

    If National don't believe in using bureaucrats (which is National's term for administrative staff) then who will do the organisational donkey work for them?

    National use just as many consultants as Labour, its just that they are better at hiding them under the euphemistic term "project managers".

  7. Sanctuary 8

    Latest from Seymour Hersh (on the far-right disinformation Youtube channel "Breakthough News" – part of the Epoch media ecosystem) and no, I am not linking go find it yourself if you must.

    1/ Russia hasn't committed it main army to the Ukraine

    2/ The attack on Kyiv was a feint

    3/ Ukraine has lost the war

    4/ It is just a matter of waiting for Zelenskyy to make enough money.

    So, Hersh has gone from peddling an implausible conspiracy theory where his "secret source" was probably Scott Ritter to pushing the same talking points as a Twitter account called "Z18276534322" created in January 2023.

    Sad to see senility getting a platform.

  8. Barfly 9

    I remember the rightwing's attacks on the Green Party 'magical money tree' – the National Party has its equivalent – its the 'magical efficency tree' where the National Party can pay less but get more – the latest instalment of this fairy tale is

  9. SPC 11

    They were told after cyclone Bola that planting pine would stop the floods. But the slash backs up the water and then the bridges/roads fail.

    • Maurice 11.1

      Which goes to show that sure-fire quick fixes and unintended consequences bedevil any response especially in uncertain times!

      • SPC 11.1.1

        Planting indigenous (and some suitable newcomers) managed erosion, restricting logging to areas with either no "downside" risk or a management regime (removal and or processing) and sheep/trails/tourism.

    • woodart 11.2

      nothing wrong with planting pine. dont demonise a tree species because of lack of cleanup .

  10. tWiggle 12

    MPI erosion-protection programme, including case studies where regional councils and others have repurposed slip-prone areas with government support, including 1 billion trees funding.

  11. tWiggle 13

    Cool commentary by Big Hairy News on ACT's denounciation of Creative NZ funding for The Savage Coloniser show based on Tusiata Avia book.

    #BHN ACT thinks a poem is the same as the Mosque massacre

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  • Speech to United Nations General Assembly: 66th plenary meeting, 78th session
    Mr President,   The situation in Gaza is an utter catastrophe.   New Zealand condemns Hamas for its heinous terrorist attacks on 7 October and since, including its barbaric violations of women and children. All of us here must demand that Hamas release all remaining hostages immediately.   At the ...
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