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Open mike 08/05/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 8th, 2020 - 201 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 …

201 comments on “Open mike 08/05/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Jordan Goudreau is a "Canadian-born US military veteran heads the US company at the centre of the plot to overthrow the Venezuelan president. A former Green Beret who received a number of bravery awards, he served 15 years in the US Army, first in the infantry as a mortar specialist, and later as a special forces medical sergeant, the Washington Post newspaper reports."

    "He was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan twice between 2006 and 2014, army officials quoted by the Post say. In 2018, he set up Silvercorp USA, a private security firm, in Florida. The firm advertises a variety of services, including assisting victims of kidnapping and extortion. It claims to have "led international security teams" for the president of the US." https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-52568475

    "Silvercorp's website advertises operations in more than 50 countries, with an advisory team made up of "former diplomats, former heads of security for multinational corporations, and the most experienced and viable military, law enforcement and intelligence professionals in the industry today", without naming them."

    "Venezuela's state TV has shown a video of a US citizen apparently confessing to plotting to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro and bring him to the US." "In Wednesday's video, Mr Denman, 34, appeared to explain that he was hired to train Venezuelans in Colombia before returning to Caracas and taking control of an airport to allow Mr Maduro to be taken out of the country. "I was helping Venezuelans take back control of their country," Mr Denman, a former special operations forces member, is seen as saying. Mr Denman said he and Airan Berry, 41, were contracted by Jordan Goudreau".

    Opposition leader "Guaidó denied having anything to do with the ex-Green Beret. In a statement, he said he had "no relationship nor responsibility for any actions" taken by the US war veteran."

    "Venezuela said it would seek extradition of Mr Goudreau, who has admitted he was involved in the operation." Good luck with that! Sceptics will, of course, claim that this is all just a conspiracy theory, as usual…

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        "At the end of March, Goudreau’s main ally, a hard-line former Venezuelan general, broadcast the plans to anyone who’d listen, then turned himself in to Colombian officials and was deported to the United States, where he’s currently in prison on drug trafficking charges. Goudreau, meanwhile, posted multiple tweets telling the world that he was about to do a coup."

        That's from the Huffpost report. So something new: a twittercoup. Maduro: "We knew everything." What he didn't say: "We read Twitter!" And can't call it a conspiracy – they happen in secret. This operation was public domain.

    • Ad 1.2

      Who is the client?

      • Andre 1.2.1

        Reading between the lines of the HuffPo piece, it appears there was the beginnings of a plan working with Guaido and the rest of the Venezuelan opposition. But that went cold. So it appears Dumb and Dumber went ahead anyway, on spec, possibly expecting a payoff in post-coup gratitude.

      • bill 1.2.2

        Well, not quite sure how you might want to define 'client'. I don't think it's controversial to say that Guaidó was 'in the loop'. And if anyone thinks Guaidó makes any moves without the knowledge and at least tacit approval of the US, then I'd like to see them produce evidence of the puppet having acted on its own.

        Anyway, rather than focusing on the 'client', maybe it's more worthwhile looking to where the incentive might have come from?

        And on that front, as the Huffington Post article points out…

        But even if there’s no evidence the U.S. was aware of or involved in the plot, as the AP reported, it’s plausible that Trump’s rabid “maximum pressure” campaign against Venezuela ― and his decision to place a $15 million bounty on Maduro’s head in March — helped fuel the absurd belief that a ragtag band of low-rent mercenaries could waltz into Caracas to cheering masses who’d greet them as liberators as they toppled an entrenched authoritarian.

        Maybe also worth noting that the attempts to ouster Maduro 'enjoys' Congressional bi-partisan support and approval?

      • Dennis Frank 1.3.1

        Cool, ta. "Cliver Alcalá, a former major general in the Venezuelan army and lifelong supporter of former president Hugo Chavez who had been living in exile".

        First, you don't get to be a major general if you are a fool. Not even in Latin America. Second, as a committed supporter of Chavez you'd expect him to support Maduro. This alerts us to the framing of left/right usually imposed on the Venezualan conflict is too simple.

        Clue: "feuding among opposition politicians". No wonder Guaido hasn't been successful. https://apnews.com/79346b4e428676424c0e5669c80fc310

        "And last month, Alcalá was indicted by U.S. prosecutors alongside Maduro as one of the architects of a narcoterrorist conspiracy that allegedly sent 250 metric tons of cocaine every year to the U.S." So he fell out with his drug baron buddy, huh??

  2. vto 2

    Very amusing listening to a farming lobbiest on Nat Radio just now demanding welfare benefits to help with this year's drought..

    .. stick with your National Party roots bro – "some people just make poor life decisions"

    .. and doesn't occur to them to put a little aside each year so there is a buffer for drought years?? It isn't as if it is unforeseeable…

    Capitalists, conservatives and National Party – the laughing stock of the nation as their long held politics are ditched for socialism…

    It was always going to happen. Such is humanity. Socialist to the core. Conservatives are so slow to catch on… to everything… they are like a lead weight slowing the rest down

    • Ad 2.1

      Farmers are practically our only exporting businesses bringing in the dollars to New Zealand, and we should be nothing but grateful to them right now.

      Every other business is being propped up to its gills right now – so should they be.

      • New view 2.1.1

        Thanks Ad for telling it how it is and supporting our farmers.

        • Ad

          No probs.

          It's going into winter but it's been a surprisingly good exporting year.

          The lamb is lean, the apples are awesome, all the vintners are telling me it's going to be an utterly vintage year, now all those moron Chinese need to do is recognise our venison as farmed not wild.

          So despite many still in drought and having had their freight ships stopped, farmers and the export companies are going keep bringing in the profits and the taxes that help us stay afloat.

          • New view

            So right. You see it clearly. Not sure about the taxes as all the smaller runs will make a loss but like the guy on TV trying to open his bar realising he Will makes no money but keep a few staff employed. Hopefully we will get there.

    • aj 2.2

      Recovery for all ODT 4th May

      For a moment I thought I was reading quotes from Corbyn or Sanders. But no, Bolger has had an epiphany.

      Neoliberalism, championing an unfettered free market, has been a failure, Bolger says.

      "Neoliberalism … created massive unequal growth," he says.

      "Wealth flowed uphill to the top, and they became massively, excessively, grossly wealthy. And the bottom … are barely surviving one paycheck to another."

      What we need, Bolger says, is a willingness to take a radical approach.

      • ianmac 2.2.1

        Thanks aj. If NZ takes notice of the venerable John Key then maybe there is hope that the venerable Jim Bolger must be heard. Will the Herald post his opinion?

      • KJT 2.2.2

        Bolger has long admitted they went too far, and it didn't get the results he intended.

        Always have respect for people who have the guts, to own up to their cockups.

        • Anne

          Always have respect for people who have the guts, to own up to their cockups.

          Me too. And remember he dumped Ruth Richardson quite early in his tenure. Despite his conservative politics I always had much respect for Bolger.

          • Barfly


          • swordfish

            Not all that early in his tenure, Anne.

            Only after 3 long years of extreme ideologically-propelled experimentation, after an absolutely unprecedented long-term plunge in the polls (from 50% right after their 1990 Election win down to the low 20s barely a year later) and, even then, Bolger took another 2 years to dump her … waiting until they came pretty damn close to losing power at the 1993 General Election (with parties openly critical of the Govt's direction – Lab / Alliance / NZF – collectively winning a significant majority of the vote).

            Bolger, of course, was broadly from the Muldoonist wing of the Party, never had all that much time for Richardson … but was still willing to tolerate her social destruction as Finance minister simply in order to placate internal opponents within caucus & the wider party.

            • Anne

              Thanks for the correction swordfish. It was my recollection he dumped her a little sooner but you know… memories can become frayed with time.

              I was never a supporter of Bolger's politics but…. after nine years of Muldoon and several years of the angst caused by the Rogernomes followed by Ruth R., Bolger himself seemed like a decent man. I think he was a decent man caught up in an ideological storm he wouldn’t or couldn't reverse. Whatever, he had the nous to eat humble pie at a later date – as indeed did David Lange.

              I had some sympathy for them both.

      • Ad 2.2.3

        In case anyone needs reminding, Bolger was in charge of the most radical reforms of our economy, welfare system, and political order since MJ Savage. He and Richardson left Lange and Douglas for dust in terms of severity and chaos and long term destruction of our society.

        This Emmaus-level hypocrisy crap out of his mouth about neliberalism is the burblings of a barely functioning 84 year old multimillionaire farmer hoping Mallard will keep tapping talc into his gimp mask to keep the happy moans going within the penthouse floors of The Terrace.

        • aj

          AD 2.2.3

          Your first para is quite true. But those words might ring the bell in a few other heads. It all helps.Better than taking his ideology intact to the grave.

        • Anne

          My God you're a shit sometimes Ad. Why, I don't know. You show a marked disdain for anyone over the age of 65 as if we're all senile and incapable of coherent thought.

          Well, I've got news for you. One day you’re going to be one of us. I bet you're attitude will change then.

          And he was not responsible for all those reforms. Some of them yes, but as I said @, he dumped Richardson quite early in his tenure… because he believed even then she had gone too far. And Jenny Shipley finished the job.

          • Ad

            You'd have to be remarkably stupid to defend Bolger – and still you leapt at the chance

            His hard right reforms got worse and worse throughout his 8 years in power. He was a far more effective Prime Minister than that fool David Lange ever was, because Jim Bolger was actually in charge of his Cabinet and his Finance Minister: he was responsible for it and we all knew it.

            Shipley was PM for barely 18 months and achieved nothing except the annihilation of the National Party for nearly a decade.

        • adam

          I like angry Ad laugh

    • Tricledrown 2.3

      Being Nasty to people going through extreme hardship is not going to win friends anywhere VTO.

      • New view 2.3.1

        Thanks to you TD and enough is enough for seeing the big picture and keeping it fair.

    • Enough is Enough 2.4

      Classy – Laughing at people down on their luck.

      Don't we aspire to be a country that cares and looks after everyone during troubled times (not just those that are on our side of the political divide)?

      Thank god we have Jacinda who lives and demonstrates that every day, or at least trys to.

    • Nic 181 2.5

      I could not agree more! Farmers take the money in good years, set up Trusts to minimise tax, pay expensive tax lawyers and arrange finances to their kids go through university on full benefit. There is no honesty in business!

    • New view 2.6

      VTO. If you going to talk through your arse just don’t. I live in CHB where are used to the dry conditions and farm accordingly. My son is trying to cope with the fact that our spring that waters our stock on 260 htrs is running at 12 litres a minute. We are pumping from a Dam that I built for this reason so we have alternate water. We have made baleage that we hope will be enough for winter but have been feeding our sheep grain and bulls palm kernel since Feb.we buy palm kernel because you can’t buy anything else. we haven’t destocked because there’s no where to send them. The works are running at half speed because of Covid. So far this situation has cost him around sixty thousand dollars and counting. Don’t tell me we don’t put feed aside to plan for the winter. You talk like the uninformed ignorant prat you must be. Oh by the way we grow the fucking food you and most others Eat.

      • Bazza64 2.6.1

        Good post New View. Farmers need respect as the start of the food chain, they are willing to get out there & battle the elements. Most people that criticise farmers when times turn bad wouldn’t last a day working on the land, and wouldn’t have the balls to buy some land & mortgage themselves to the hilt.

        • New view

          Thank you Bazza64.. I’m starting to have a little faith again.

  3. halfcrown 3

    ".. stick with your National Party roots bro – "some people just make poor life decisions"

    Ha ha, I like it. The bit that is realy getting to me is all the winging by the right expecting socialistic handouts from the government.
    I had a tory friend phone to see if we were coping OK yesterday, (not a bad guy really) I felt he only phoned to have a winge about how Ardern has really stuffed the country (the virus is all Ardrens and Labours fault ) and was not getting any help from the government.

    • Gabby 3.1

      If you believe the machinery of government exists to maximise the profitability of your farm, it all makes perfect sense.

    • Tricledrown 3.2

      This drought is being compounded by the pandemic farmers can't sell stock to free up cash.

      Being Nasty like you claim about life choices is disgusting ,That's why Jacinda is so popular she doesn't lower herself to Paula Bennett cheap nasty shots

  4. aom 4

    As an example of what ails our media, a headline from Stuff today reads, 'Coronavirus: Level 2 shows Covid-19 alert system's weakness'. Luke Malpass seems to think that the planned Levels should be immutably cast in stone and very prescriptive. Perhaps he wants the PM to be the loving mother of the nation who gives him a hug and tells him when he may go to the loo. If he bothered to refer back to the original levels that were mailed out, he would see that what was intended was very clearly signalled ages ago. Yesterday's announcement just reiterated what Level 2 means with some examples for clarification. The Stuff wank-fest also brings to mind the 'mediaed' to death whinging of the Principal of an Auckland secondary school who made a great fuss over the fact that the Ministry of Education hadn't detailed how he should run his school. What the fuck is he paid to do? He should have been conferring with his leadership team and doing some planning instead crying to the Court of Insignificance run by the Leader of the Opposition and then moaning to the media. Tim O'Connor must have been severely deflated with yesterday's announcement. Most Principals where ready to quietly and competently manage their schools through a pandemic. One can only hope that the majority of NZers (including children who have been responding well so far) will behave as grown-ups, continue to act sensibly and take responsibility for building on the successes that have been achieved so far. To save referring back to the mail-out, "Level 2 – Reduce: Disease is contained, but risk of community transmission growing." This is followed by risk assessment criteria then a range of measures which are pretty much identical to those the PM outlined at yesterday's briefing.

    • theotherpat 4.1

      and all these types of articles have no comment sections…..go figure

    • ianmac 4.2

      Here! Tim O'Connor cries, "Don't you know who I am?"

    • Incognito 4.3

      Tim O’Connor runs a school with loads of ‘special needs’ students and their precious parents. Give the poor man a break!

    • aj 4.4

      +1 I read to the point where Malpass said " and the health advice seems to change with regularity" and realised the article was a beat up. The health advice to people has been totally consistent. Under Level 2 there may be some people confused about how to apply that advice within their business. But I don't think that should be too difficult if people want to think about it. For gods sake just use your brain. There have been plenty of examples of how businesses are managing under level 3. It's not too hard.

  5. Janice 5

    Talking to a person who is part of the surgical team at Middlemore. The usual pre-op drugs are no longer available probably due to India being shut down. They are apparently having to use a barbiturate that dates back to the 1960s, which gives unpleasant side effects like disorientation and even hallucinations. How many other drugs are going to be impacted by Pharmac having a single supplier?

  6. Rosemary McDonald 6


    There was clearly an 'Oh shit!' moment at the Mystery of Health yesterday as Ardern stated quite determinedly that hairdressers unleashed at Level 2 would have to wear masks.

    No doubt there will have been others who pointed out the inconsistent messaging on the wearing of PPE, especially frontline health workers, and specifically support workers providing personal care in clients' homes.

    'Masks not needed unless patient or client has or is suspected of having the virus.' was the initial messaging that was repeatedly stated by the popular experts while those at the frontline advised the Precautionary Approach 'because we simply don't know who is infectious…'.

    Then around about the 23rd April the Guidelines were updated which 'allowed' mask wearing by homecare workers if physical distancing could not be maintained.

    Then Ardern states yesterday that hairdressers 'must wear masks'….and some poor minion at the Misery must have spent the night in a furious Guideline rewrite to produce the more heavy on the ticked boxes version that greeted me this morning.

    But…. many of the ticks are not quite as definite as it would appear.

    Crack out your close work spectacles and read the tiny print.

    • Sacha 6.1

      Caught my attention as well. Those tiny footnotes on the first page..


      Offloading responsibility for infection risk assessment onto low-paid care workers in each person’s home is not leadership.

      • Rosemary McDonald 6.1.1

        Thanks for posting the link Sacha…phone and tablet issues etc.

        I don't suppose the previous versions are still around?

        I downloaded one…but not the 23rd April version. I'm slipping. 😉

        FWIW, the supply if PPE is still not absolutely certain, and distribution seems to be dependent on the stressed courier system.

    • Tricledrown 6.2

      Masks worn inappropriately ,put on or adjusted,worn to long are more of a danger than keeping away from others. But if you are working next to somebody that's when correct procedures and protocols are necessary.

      NZ pandemic expert who was in charge of the controlling the Sars outbreak says there is a 10 point protocol for correctly putting on PPE if not followed makes it ineffective.

      Science not scaremongering please.

      • Rosemary McDonald 6.2.1


        What say you not comment until you have actually read at least the original post?

        Or perhaps, take the time to explain what prompted your "Science not scaremongering. " instruction.

        In little words, Tricledrown, so even you can understand…

        …the point of my comment here today and my comments last evening is the very weird mixed message about who should be wearing PPE.

        Hairdressers must wear PPE regardless of Covid 19 status of clients, while health care workers have been repeatedly told over the past two and a half months they only should wear masks when their charge has or is suspected of having The Virus.


        • Tricledrown

          My comments weren't critical but a overview.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            An overview of what?

            How does your overview account for the official line saying hairdressers need masks regardless of Covid status of clients and healthcare workers only need a mask if the client has Covid?

            Perhaps the perception is that hairdressers are more capable of learning proper donning and doffing of PPE than healthcare workers?

            • Tricledrown

              That status for care workers have changed after the outbreaks in 5 care facilities.My wife and niece work in care homes at first a mask was only required when in close contact .Now its across the board hand washing and distancing was optional now strictly enforced

              • Rosemary McDonald

                How did the status change?

                Right from the beginning healthcare workers at all levels were asking, begging for it to be SOP to wear at least masks when dealing hands on with patients or clients.

                The Ministry and its mouthpieces determined otherwise.

                The only thing that had changed is the Ministry's guidelines…and even then indeterminately.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          "…explain what prompted your "Science not scaremongering. " instruction. " "

          Rosemary, I wonder if that comment might have had something to do with your disparaging "the Mystery of Health" and "some poor minion at the Misery" comments @6. Your criticism is consistent, but your derogatory labelling is not.

          "No doubt there will have been others who pointed out the inconsistent messaging on" your choice of slur.

          • Sacha

            Disparagement is not the same as scaremongering.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              But disparagement can be part of a fearmonger's toolkit.

              For example, if I wanted to highlight or engender concerns/fears about the lack of competency of a particular Government Ministry, I might try replacing 'Ministry' with "Mystery" and/or "Misery". Undermining worthy of a politician.

              And full credit to Aunty Rosemary, such substitutions are amusing – well done.

              • Sacha

                What is the fear here?

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Fear of inconsistent/incorrect MoH advice on PPE use during a pandemic?

                  Maybe it's helpful to describe the MoH as a 'Mystery' and a 'Misery' during a pandemic – I think it's not. No affiliations to the Mystery/Misery, fwiw.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                " -well done."


                I could have used my other term of endearment…"Miserly"…but I doubt it accurately applies in this situation.

                Considering the MOH harbours some of the highest paid bureaucrats/public servants it's obvious they're not averse to spending the tax dollars allocated them in the Budgets.

                Its how they choose to spend those dollars of ours that is the issue.

                Successive governments have largely failed to effect meaningful culture change.


                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  "SSDD." Well said – and all without 'Mystery', or 'Misery', although ‘Miserly‘ is a new twist.

                  I may understand, in part – wasn't above using a disparaging word or two myself when management went off the reservation, for all the good it did. At least I felt better.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            Er. No.

            I am pretty sure Tricledrown would have said something along those lines if that was their point.

            I have been one of many in the disabled community locked in seeming perpetual combat with those fuckwits at the Ministry of Health for twenty years.

            If you had read just a few of the documents that have been shat out by their policy department over the years…never mind reading a few of the Ministry's audits…my weak attempt at making a joke of their title would seem a mild response.

            • Sacha

              You are hardly alone with that choice of names either. Some parts of the Ministry are good. Disability Services has never been one of them.

            • Tricledrown

              There is no doubt health spending has been wound back over 30 years and spin doctors have replaced real doctors.

              The political landscape has changed catering to a far more selfish self centered society.

              Successive govts are to sared to increase taxes to give us a comprehensive health system.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                IMHO it has been the long term plan to so under resource the Public Health and Disability sector that the default for those who can afford it will be insurance and private healthcare.

                Witness Ngati Whatua taking out medical insurance for its beneficiaries so they can access private health services. Supported by that perennial advocate Lance O'Sullivan.

                Whoever would have thunk it?

      • weka 6.2.2

        "NZ pandemic expert who was in charge of the controlling the Sars outbreak says there is a 10 point protocol for correctly putting on PPE if not followed makes it ineffective."

        Was that for home care workers or hospital workers? They're not the same.

        Re using masks appropriately, this applies to hairdressers and the public too, so your point is kind of moot to Rosemary's.

  7. KJT 7

    Can't link to this as on Facebook.

    But. Anyone who wants to moan about the NZ Government response, should read this. And have a think.

    "lQuiet on the Eastern Front
    I am a Covid ICU nurse in New York City, and yesterday, like many other days lately, I couldn’t fix my patient. Sure, that happens all the time in the ICU. It definitely wasn’t the first time. It certainly won’t be the last. What makes this patient noteworthy? A few things, actually. He was infected with Covid 19, and he lost his battle with Covid 19. He was only 23 years old.

    The Truth About COVID-19 by an ICU Nurse on the New York City Frontlines


    [link added – weka]

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    "5G conspiracies have led to a spate of attacks on telecoms engineers since the start of the coronavirus crisis, with Openreach reporting almost 50 incidents of abuse in April." https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/may/07/5g-conspiracy-theories-attacks-telecoms-covid

    "In just one weekend in early May, at least 20 mobile phone masts across the UK are believed to have been torched or otherwise vandalised."

    "Another Openreach engineer, Naveed Q, said he had to flee from a group of 15 people shouting abuse at him; one had accused him of installing 5G equipment in Walthamstow, east London. In Leicester, a man tried to open the door of an Openreach van stopped at a roundabout, according to Dylan F, an apprentice network engineer at the company, while shouting: “Who do you think you are? 5G is killing us all!”"

    I was still at school when Buffalo Springfield had a hit singing "paranoia strikes deep, into your lives it will creep". That contagion effect is evident still. There seems to be an irrational part of the human psyche operating like a fertile field that gets seeded by such mental contagions. They don't need a virus to carry them through the populace.

    • theotherpat 8.1

      ……….."It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
      Everybody look what's going down………great song

    • RedLogix 8.2

      The engineer in me tells me 5G is probably safe enough, but I can understand the skepticism and legitimate caution of people who have no easy way to evaluate what they are being told. It is a trust issue and the industry really should be working a lot harder to prove their case in a way that non-technical people can accept.

      Barging into rolling out something people don't trust is a dumb, arrogant move.

      • Andre 8.2.1

        Do you have any reason with even a hint of substance to think 5G is not safe? That is, anything beyond the normal scientist and engineers caution that all knowledge and understanding is incomplete, so there just might be something out there we don't yet understand.

        There's plenty of history with the frequencies to be used for 5G, at much higher power densities than communications will use. Not a hint of anything hazardous that I'm aware of, beyond simple surface heating at enormously high power densities. There have certainly been a few random statistical clusters that have prompted major investigations that then definitively concluded it was a random statistical cluster.

        The one that comes to mind was a cluster of Connecticut traffic cops with testicular cancer. They had regularly been keeping their radar guns in their laps, turned on, occasionally triggering them. Basically they were directly nuking their nuts, but without the hassle of trying to close the microwave door with their junk inside. But that clearly turned to be just a random statistical cluster.

        There's plenty of biophysics to say why there's no reason to expect any harmful effects. Or indeed any effects at all, beyond simple surface heating at enormously high power densities.

        So all the anti-5G stuff looks to me like fearful people taken in by pseudoscience gobbledegook, trying to inappropriately invoke the precautionary principle.

        • xanthe

          Andre you need to provide a link for "There's plenty of history with the frequencies to be used for 5G, at much higher power densities than communications will use."

          You do understand the inverse square law of power over distance?

          hint cellphones operate in VERY near proximity.

          • Andre

            You have any idea off the top of your head what frequency ranges are being proposed for 5G?

            You got any idea off the top of your head what applications also use those frequencies, currently and historically?

            You got any idea how deeply different frequencies penetrate biological tissues, what levels of voltages and other effects they induce, and how the effects of the power levels and frequencies used for communications compare to what is already present through other sources?

            You got any idea of how the prevalence of diseases alleged to be caused by communications equipment has actually changed over time as these technologies have been implemented?

            If you're not sufficiently educated to be able to answer at least some of that off the top of your head, then sorry, but that puts you in the category of the fearful ignorant susceptible to pseudoscientific gobbledegook.

            Meanwhile, for anyone interested heres a piece that briefly looks into the safety issues. There's plenty more easily found with a very brief search.


            Then consider: regulations require maximum signal strengths of these communications signals with zero demonstrated harmful characteristics to be in the milliwatts per unit area range. Go outside into the sun, and you are exposing yourself to UV from the sun that is known to be very harmful, at levels thousands of times higher at around 40 watts per square meter.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              If a significant proportion of the general public (say >10%) have concerns (rational or not) about the mass roll-out of a particular technological innovation, for example 5G, then surely the onus is on the providers of the technology to win over enough of those with concerns to push that percentage under 10%. A clear and simple presentation of the results of a few recent (say within the last five years) well-designed animal studies (preferably not industry-funded) should do the trick – how hard can it be?

              Or just go ahead with the roll-out and let the experiment proceed in real-time. There are plenty of precedents – Vioxx springs to mind.


              What’s your driverless car?

              • Sacha

                I believe you will find less public patience for soothing fringe protestors after the current crisis. That does unfortunately mean some genuine issues will be ignored as well as outright tinfoil hattery.

                • weka

                  Just another bunch of people ready to be radicalised.

                  • Sacha

                    They have always existed – and just look at the familiar faces jumping from issue to issue, chemtrails to fluoride to 1080 to 5g.

                    Hopefully the focus can come back to big harms like mass unemployment and poverty.

                    • weka

                      Yes, this is my point. They don't disappear when shunned. What they do now (compared to the past) is radicalise. I am not unfamiliar with this community. Nek minit they're voting Trump. The numbers of people into American-style conspiracy theories in NZ seems to be growing, although I'd love to see some research on that to see if it matches my perception.

                      Better to find some common ground, at the same time as increasing science literacy generally in a unpatronising way.

                    • Sacha

                      Compromising with people who resist reality never ends well.

                    • weka

                      One of the overlaps for me is that while I don't believe that 5G has anything to do with covid, I do understand the general distrust of technology especially as it is being implemented without regard for communities and nature. People who have a different world view than me parse that through anti-govt, libertarian philosophies and when that hits poor understanding of science we get communities of people fitting science erroneously to their beliefs. But the baseline of concerns about tech and the impacts on the world are not without basis.

                    • weka

                      Hating on them doesn't end well either. I thought we'd learned this lesson already.

                    • weka

                      not all of them are resistant to reality. There's a difference between not understanding science and rejecting it.

                    • Sacha

                      It's political rather than scientific. Not a matter of lack of information or understanding of it.

                      The similarity with what led to the tea party and Chump is the positioning of technical experts and the public service as an 'elite' – therefore dismissed out of hand as having an agenda that is opposed to the interests of the righteous (white) people's heroes who push rubbish.

                      Engaging or compromising with that just empowers it. And they will not be doing any compromising themselves. It's like the myth that ignoring bullies stops them.

                    • weka

                      "It's like the myth that ignoring bullies stops them."

                      I think that works for my argument not yours.

                      I'm not sure who you are talking about. The people that I know personally, that live in my community, that are against 5G, are people who understand the value of compromise. They're not anti-elite. They're not the ones going out and burning cell towers, but I bet we can turn some of them into that if we try hard enough.

                      Who I'm talking about is that whole subculture, many of whom are not extremists or racists or whatever, but who share values with those people around key areas. Shunning them, ridiculing them, is not going to change their minds. They appear to be growing in number, and some of them are radicalising. We're kind of sheltered here in NZ, but I don't see how we are protected from the social transitions happening the UK. Give us another 9 years of fjk, I'm sure we would get there.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  All "fringe protesters" are members of the public. Maybe the ‘5G fringe‘ is small and shrinking, but the proliferation of 5G sites will hardly go unnoticed. Living in city where the power cables are underground, the visual pollution alone might warrant a protest smiley

                  It's interesting to contrast the cautious language used in a recent Swedish report with some dismissive comments here. I would like to see further research on the effects of 5G radiation, even after that horse has bolted.

                  Wireless information technology is constantly evolving and new frequency ranges will be used. The fifth generation mobile telecommunication system (5G) will be installed all over the world within the next few years. Even though there is no established mechanism for affecting health from weak radio wave exposure there is need for more research covering the novel frequency domains used for 5G. The Authority also encourage researchers to start undertaking epidemiological studies, i.e. cohort studies, in this area.

              • Andre

                Thing is, a vast amount of information from studies is already available. It all points in the same direction – that microwaves used for communication do not cause harm.

                Yet objectors apparently refuse to educate themselves to the fairly minimal level needed to properly understand the information, or outright refuse to acknowledge the existence and significance of all that information.

                Seriously, how does one persuade a flat-earther?

                • Sacha

                  Push em off the edge. 🙂

                  • Andre

                    Cats have been pushing things off the edge since forever. That they haven't yet pushed everything off the edge is pretty good proof the earth isn't flat.

                • weka

                  Yet objectors apparently refuse to educate themselves to the fairly minimal level needed to properly understand the information, or outright refuse to acknowledge the existence and significance of all that information.

                  That's because it's primarily a cultural issue not a science one. If we keep treating it as a science only issue then the gap between us and them widens as everyone talks past each other.

                  • weka

                    This btw is why I generally don't argue the science with antivaxxers. I will point out the issues with their science understanding and things they link to, but the issue isn't about science, it's about world view.

            • Tricledrown

              When your talking milliamps and milliwatts as 5 g is very low power 5g is much safer than existing cell towers ,the power wires in your street are emitting hundreds times more radiation.

            • xanthe

              but you do understand the inverse square law of power over distance don't you?

        • RedLogix

          There's plenty of history with the frequencies to be used for 5G

          Usually in highly directed beams that just don't expose people to incident radiation. 5G cells are quite different because inevitably there sheer number of these sites will mean it becomes impossible to avoid exposure.

          I've been around radio tech since I was a teenager, and I fully get that 5G is non-ionising and will not cause direct DNA damage. But that doesn't speak to subtle effects, and if nothing else living creature are incredibly complex, subtle molecular mechanisms. And as the wavelength goes down the photon energy goes up, and I'd want to see more work done to understand what may or may not be going on at a biochemical level.

          And there are just enough authoritative voices out there saying similar things that I'm inclined to think the 5G industry needs to be doing more work to make it's case. Calling these concerns psuedoscience gobbledegook is the same kind of lofty liberal sneering that labelled middle American voters 'deplorables' … and look how well that worked out.

          • Andre

            To me that all looks like caution around what you don't know for sure. Without giving much weight to what is already known and studies that have already been performed.

            There have indeed been lots of studies conducted around signals in the GHz range. You remember that question I posed a while ago about how to interpret the results of studies that looked at many different factors using a significance level p<0.05? That was prompted by a 5G study looking at rats that looked at many different tissues, found one set of cells that was possibly affected, then trumpeted it as proof that 5G was harmful. Without also mentioning that the exposed rats lived significantly longer on average than the unexposed rats. That particular study is likely to end up as a textbook study in p-hacking or data-dredging.


    • Tricledrown 8.3

      Dennis Frank they just need a few empty vessels

  9. RedLogix 9

    Good RNZ article on regenerative agriculture this morning:

    Anderson believes land stewards will need to run agricultural models in the future which align with nature and rely considerably less on fossil fuel-derived products. As with many others interviewed for the Our Regenerative Future series, he thinks the biggest barrier to the widespread adoption of regen ag across NZ is one of mindset.

    "We need to move our mechanistic mindsets and egos from domination and manipulation of nature to life affirming living system processes."

    He's seeing promising moves from large international corporations, pointing to the example of dairy giant Danone, which in 2018 announced it was aiming to source 100 percent of ingredients produced in France from regenerative agriculture by 2025. Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard is a vocal proponent of regen ag, and the company has been running pilot programmes in sourcing both food and apparel fibres from certified regenerative organic farms. With these kinds of leading examples, Anderson hopes more multi-nationals will begin to nurture the 'whole' through regenerative agriculture.

    • ianmac 9.1

      Refreshing eh Red? Been several like programs on Country Calendar. A few decades ago the idea of protecting the soil by not ploughing was proposed but largely rejected. Maybe its time is coming.

    • Morrissey 9.2

      … promising moves from large international corporations, pointing to the example of dairy giant Danone…

      No, giant corporations, and their billionaire accomplices, are not the solution to anything.

      • RedLogix 9.2.1

        Tough. It's when the big corporates get on board that the real shifts happen. Small individual operators are admirable pioneers, but if you want the numbers to shift you need the big boys to get into the game.

        • Morrissey

          Don't need the "big boys" if they're devastating the local environment, riding roughshod over local communities, as they've done in India. We need their money, however. Democracy is the answer, not the likes of Musk and Gates.

          • RedLogix

            And in the aggregate the locals can be just as conservative and destructive of the local environment as any big multinational.

            Nor are all corporates the same, and when they do head in the right direction, even if it isn't far enough, fast enough, or politically pure enough to satisfy everyone, I'm still inclined to read it as an encouraging, positive move. Once you get some real momentum going, capitalism just might save the planet yet.

            Wouldn't that just rip your undies?

            • Morrissey

              And in the aggregate the locals can be just as conservative and destructive of the local environment as any big multinational.

              You think the local small farmers in India and Africa are "just as destructive" as, say, Monsanto? You are not serious, surely.

              capitalism just might save the planet yet.

              Like it did in Ecuador and Chile and West Papua? You're not talking about capitalism. You're advocating massive, state-subsidized corporations displacing local farmers completely.

              • RedLogix

                You think the local small farmers in India and Africa are "just as destructive" as, say, Monsanto? You are not serious, surely.

                Subsistence level, low productivity farmers tend to clear a lot of land and have big impacts on local wildlife. People forget that three quarters of all de-forestation occurred before industrialisation, that we've been causing megafauna extinctions for millenia. There is nothing especially virtuous about 'local people' living in near poverty, and most of them leap at the chance to move to a better life at the first offered chance.

                Nor am I going to defend everything big ag corporates like Monsanto have done either, but it has to be noted that 200 yrs ago 95% of people lived in rural settings working directly in primary industries. Now we have a population roughly seven times greater and yet in the developed world only 5% of people work to produce all the food we need. On the whole that's a pretty remarkable story.

                So when big industry players like Danone show they're receptive to lifting their game even further … then I'm counting this as progress. Even when it offends the unreconstructed hippie still lurking in my soul blush

      • bill 9.2.2

        Today's new (to me anyway) and useful word – autopoiesis. 🙂

  10. gsays 10

    Careful Mozza, Vandana Shiva spoke in Planet of the Humans. One of the few that saw that the emperor was wearing no clothes i.e. how good is an electric car if coal is being burnt to recharge it?

    You might disturb the sheeple's slumber.

    • Morrissey 10.1

      She reminds me of her equally brilliant compatriot Arundhati Roy.

    • RedLogix 10.2

      how good is an electric car if coal is being burnt to recharge it?

      Technically that's been well understood right from the outset. The assumption was that we'd add the new electricity capacity needed to power EV's with renewables.

      It's not a bad plan, but I'm not convinced it's a sufficient one. It's not that EV's are a bad idea, it's that we really haven't paid enough attention to the whole story.

      • mac1 10.2.1

        I have an EV. It is powered by home panels and from the grid. The grid is powered by 4% 'dirty' energy' in NZ.

        A petrol car is fueled by 100% 'dirty energy'.

        The 'sheeple' slur is not appreciated.

        • RedLogix

          The 'sheeple' slur came from gsays, not me.

          Renewables work really well in some contexts, and it looks like you've gotten your's working well. Australia and New Zealand are very fortunate that solar and wind renewables make good economic and technical sense … but globally the case is much less obvious. They have their limits, and we should be a lot more clear eyed about that.

          • Tricledrown

            Red logistics More and More European countries are putting Solar farms in places where land is not usable.from 2015 till 2019 there has been a massive expansion ,home use and industrial use as well.Motorway roundabouts factory roofs home roofs both photovoltaic water and heat exchanges I noted during extensive Travels .Even in Germany which is colder and has less sunshine than us.

          • mac1

            I appreciate that gsays made the sheeples comment. Apologies if you felt it was directed at you. I could have directed that specifically to gsays in a separate comment.

            • gsays

              It's ok mac, I got the message.

              The film offers a bit of context. Greenwashing to the max was being highlighted.

              If it is obvious to you that we have to change our wasteful, energy dense lifestyles pronto, then sheeple doesn't apply to you.

    • joe90 10.3

      how good is an electric car if coal is being burnt to recharge it?

      Better than you'd imagine.

      Energy efficient. EVs convert over 77% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels. Conventional gasoline vehicles only convert about 12%–30% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels.


      • Tricledrown 10.3.1

        Joe 90 using coal generated electricity is 8 times more efficient.Than pumping gas.When all the logistics of pumping oil out of the ground with all the Transport refining and distribution is taken into account.

    • Andre 10.4

      An EV running entirely off the filthiest coal-fired electricity is still cleaner than a dino-juice burner.

      A Tesla Model X will do about 5.6km (open road) to 10 km (round town) per kWh. The worst coal emits around 900g CO2/kWh. So a Tesla Model X powered solely by the nastiest coal emits between 90 and 160 grams CO2 per kilometre. Real life electricity generation mixes are less than half those emissions, unless you're in Poland.

      A BMW X5 is a bit smaller, a lot lighter, and way lower performance (except for autobahn top speed). In equivalent situations the X5 emissions are at best around 210 g/km, and closer to 300 is more likely.

      • weka 10.4.1

        "An EV running entirely off the filthiest coal-fired electricity is still cleaner than a dino-juice burner."

        This is largely irrelevant in a climate crisis if the number of cars keeps increasing (they do), and if the need to drop GHG far outreaches the savings from petrol to coal powered EV (which it does).

        • Andre

          But it is relevant in the context of a discussion about a film that implies there's no difference or that EVs are worse so that people may as well just go ahead and burn the fossil fuel.


          • weka

            For people that take CC seriously, two of the drivers of the push back against EVs is that EVs aren't sustainable in any meaningful sense of the word, and we're too late to convert everything to renewable power driven if we want to drop GHGs. So the argument against the film isn't the one you made, because the one you made doesn't actually prevent climate catastrophe, which is part of what I suspect Moore was on about (maybe. Haven't seen it, but did read Monbiot's piece).

            • bill

              For what it's worth, the only fault I could pick with the film on a single viewing was the clumsy presentation of consumption that suggested population was the basic problem – ie, it didn't really differentiate the consumption of a peasant from that of a billionaire.

              I've read quite a few of the so-called critiques that are flying around, and my take-away is basically that people do not like the films message, and so would rather bury it and maintain their comfortable idea that they can have their cake and eat it too. ~shrug~

              edit. George Monbiot’s piece is probably the most level headed piece I’ve read, but it’s still a hatchet job. For example, Jeff Gibbs was at a single event and commented only one “leader” (Vandana Shiva) rejected biomass. Which you wouldn’t get from Monbiot who writes – But when the film’s presenter and director, Jeff Gibbs, claims, “I found only one environmental leader willing to reject biomass and biofuels”, he can’t have been looking very far.

              • weka

                "and my take-away is basically that people do not like the films message, and so would rather bury it and maintain their comfortable idea that they can have their cake and eat it too."

                That would be my guess. Monbiot would rather the whole world was vegan rather than powering down. His piece is useful, but it's disappointing if he is basically running propagande lines as you report. Same shit on all sides, so sick of this.

              • RedLogix

                I've read quite a few of the so-called critiques that are flying around, and my take-away is basically that people do not like the films message,

                I've said several times here that I agree with the fundamental message …. that a lot of what passes as 'green' really isn't really, and in particular both solar and wind renewables while useful, have some important limitations that have all too often been glossed over.

                So from that aspect yes there will be quite a few people who don't like the message.

                Sadly however the film does make a number of technical mistakes and misdirections that had me shaking my head when I watched it. Handing your opponents easy ways to undermine the message is never smart. Monbiot traverses the territory with practiced ease.

                Worse still at the end it really doesn't have anything constructive to say. Which I'm sure suits all the catastrophe addicts who want nothing more than some almighty genocidal collapse to vindicate their dark desires.

                • bill

                  Sadly however the film does make a number of technical mistakes and misdirections that had me shaking my head when I watched it

                  Such as? Because apart from the unfortunate suggestion that energy use is a population issue ( a ‘glitch’ acknowledged and corrected in subsequent interviews), there were no glaring technical flaws caught my attention.

                  Monbiot traverses the territory with practiced ease.

                  But Monbiot shouldn't be a natural opponent, and as said above, he was "less than honest" in his Guardian piece.

                  Lastly, I'm fucked if I understand why Moore et al should be expected to dress up a truth with some message of false hope in any circumstances, but especially when their film is largely about exposing false hopes that have been peddled by some environmental organisations and some of their self appointed leaders.

                  • RedLogix

                    The technical mistakes have been linked to repeatedly. They can be readily found with a few seconds searching.

                    I'm fucked if I understand why Moore et al should be expected to dress up a truth with some message of false hope in any circumstances,

                    Only because the various green movements have irrationally and obdurately rejected the obvious alternative path forward that I've also outlined here. Fucked if I can be bothered repeating myself on this topic yet again.

                    As I said, it seems important to quite a few peoples these days to insist there is no hope.

                    • bill

                      The technical mistakes have been linked to repeatedly.

                      So there are no glaring technical mistakes, just spurious arguments from people mis-characterising arguments and ripping things from context.

                      And that obvious alternative path you can't be bothered repeating yourself on being the one that's littered with bodies, yes?

                    • RedLogix

                      There is no point in typing it all out bill. You can only see the path littered with bodies.

        • KJT

          If we just stack electric vehicles, on top of existing internal combustion engine ones, there will obviously be no gain. Currently energy use is growing faster than sustainable substitution.

          A paradigm shift on how we use transport is required.

          • weka

            If we replace every ICE on the planet with an EV (current and future) and don't reduce GHGs enough, we will still fry. I remain skeptical that it's possible to transition now. If we had started in the 80s, maybe. Best bet atm, is that a rapid shift to EVs will be quickly followed by the desperately neede paradigm shift away from growth economies, and towards systems that are actually sustainable (which EV BAU patently isn't). So, yes, EVs are obviously better than ICEs, in a reductionist, isolated sense. In terms of how they fit into the natural world, the only measurements that matter are if they drop GHGs now, and don't create ecological problems going forward. Hence it's not sufficient to measure ICE to EV (coal or renewable powered). We also have to look at quantity, cradle to grave, and how societies as whole function. We're not there yet and I suspect this is what Moore is pointing to.

            • KJT

              Replacing as many ICE, vehicles as we can with EV's, and more efficient forms of transport, even diesel trains and ships emit a lot less carbon per ton km, than road vehicles, though electric is better still, all play a part in reducing green house gases.

              It is not green washing. Just physics,

              There is no magical fix. Just a whole lot of carbon reducing actions, technologies and changes, which together add up to a major reduction in green house gas production.

              Given the reaction to the rather small and temporary changes, in comparison, for covid, I'm not optimistic about Governments doing anything meaningful. They would rather spend trillions on imaginary threats from other countries than on the real threat from AGW. The irony is that the armies would be less needed, if we minimised AGW, helping the global South to advance with more sustainable energy and food supplies, going forward.

              Instead of borrowing to pay the third world to make plastic widgets for us, so they can buy their way out of poverty, questionably effective. spend some of the trillions that is used for military defences on getting the surplus food the West produces, to them. And on allowing them to advance with more sustainable energy and resource sources.

              Currently the global North, is simply transferring emissions to plants making products for them in the Global South. A fudge. Like Germany closing nuclear power plants, while importing nuclear power across the border.

    • KJT 10.5

      Charging an electric car from a coal power plant is obviously not the ideal, but it is still less carbon emissions than an internal combustion engine in a car. Simple economies of scale. Just as a large solar power plant is more efficient than individual solar panels on roof tops.

      • gsays 10.5.1

        Have you watched the film KJT?

        One of the points is electric cars aren't going to save us as a species.We can't keep enjoying the benefits of industrial (fossil fueled) agriculture, nor carry on our wasteful resource ridden lives.

        I see these EVs as a similar thing to the plastic bag ban. It lets the sheeple think they have done their bit.

        • Andre

          Why would anyone want to waste an hour and 40 minutes when credible experts who have watched say it's full of misdirection, out-of-date information and outright falsehoods? Especially when just a few minutes of research verifies that the experts are correct and the film is wrong.

          Here's yet another review, this time from George Monbiot, that takes just a few minutes to read:


          • gsays

            Yep gave that a read, and the links to the sources cited by Monbiot.

            I learnt that he reckons biomass generators are renewable…

            Burning the lungs of the planet for electricity!

            For anyone that is interested here is a 17min clip with Moore, Gibbs and Zehner answering crticisms.

            Take homes are:

            We need to stop biggering.

            Only a friend can tell a friend when they have got it wrong.

            The pandemic has achieved more for the environment than 5 decades of environmentalism.

            The film is meant as a conversation starter.

            • Andre

              As just about every reviewer points out, biomass for electricity is a tiny part of electricity generation in the few places it gets used. It's very likely to go away very quickly if a bit of rationality starts getting applied to GHG emissions and electricity generation. That the film apparently gives it so much attention is one of the more egregious bits of misdirection in the film. As such, the film is a step away from rationality, and a boon to fossil fuel suppliers that benefit from the misdirection and confusion.

              No, I'm not interested in wasting 17 minutes on further misdirection. Video as a medium works very well for playing on emotions and thereby misleading people. But it's crap for conveying good information. As well as being painfully slow.

              • gsays

                So, you don't watch the film because of other peoples reckons.

                You draw conclusions about the film because of those reckons.

                Do you accept that there may have been other messages that are reasonable and necessary that have not been addressed by said reckons?

                Edit. I have just clicked that it is foolhardy to try and engage with someone about something they haven’t experienced.

                • Andre

                  I didn't watch the film because recognised experts pointed out many flaws and errors in the film, that I am able to independently verify.

                  It is indeed theoretically possible there are important messages that all of those experts missed. But sit through an hour and forty minutes of what has already been proven to be a lot of garage in the hope that there might be some nuggets they have missed? No thanks.

                  Especially not on the sayso of some internet random that can't even point to that nugget, but instead points to a piece of garbage that has already been analysed as garbage. Nor do Gibbs or Moore have any history that gives me any reason to believe they may have any unusual insight into renewable energy which might make it worth taking a chance on committing the time.

                • bill

                  The said reckons are in denial and tend to offer up smears rather than honest engagement. I've given one fairly typical example of a writer ripping things out of context to generate doubt (The example of George Monbiot in a response to a comment by Weka a few comments up thread).

                  A common criticism is that the electric car footage was from ten years back, as though the basic message that running an electric anything from energy that emits carbon (ie – the energy for charging) isn't really 'green' only carried water ten years ago.

                  And I'm buggered if I can see where the whole "in bed with the fossil industry" criticism comes from. Anyway…

                  There was a virus from a pangolin knocked emissions on the head short term, but we decided we'd take a punt at going back to business as usual because we really, really like playing the capitalist game of "pretend and extend". 👿

                  • gsays

                    Having read his Guardian article and the links within it I see another intelligent person kinda missing some of the points.

                    The biomass is ok, it just uses wood pellets… The notion of burning the earths lungs as a 'renewable' energy source is baffling. Capatilism has backed it so must be a winner.

                    Maybe because Moore is involved it has got folk antsy. Perhaps there is an Assangeness to him, they both piss off important people.

            • Grafton Gully

              His physique shows that Moore takes more energy from the environment than he expends.

              His spectacle frames look like plastic and his clothing is likely synthetic and produced with hazard to the environment.


              An option would be to eat less, use his body more and support craft industries by wearing naturally dyed clothing made from natural fibres.

        • KJT

          Electric cars, along with a lot of other things, are all part of the answer.

          Just as is changing the paradigm, of how we use them.

          Just substituting electric cars that are identical in use, financing and capability to the current petrol and diesel cars, is not going to work.

          The film was too nihilist for my liking, and had glaring inaccuracies and assumptions.

          • gsays

            In regards to the film being nihilistic.

            There isn't a way, and the message shouldn't be sugar-coated: As a species, we are in the shit.

            Like the virus, here in Aotearoa we are blessed to be removed from the worst of the consequences of the buggered planet.

          • bill

            If electric cars could be manufactured using sources of energy that were zero carbon, and then charged by energy sources that were zero carbon, then they might be a part of a solution. The same goes for solar panels and windmills and anything else.

            I dare say it's theoretically possible to produce a solar panel in a factory that is entirely powered by non carbon emitting energy, and that sources raw materials for the panels using energy from zero carbon sources, and that distributes, constructs and maintains those panels using no carbon emitting sources of energy.

            That still leaves out many factors such as the degradation caused by any mining for materials (whether or not that mining's done with energy that's emissionless).

            We need to use substantially less energy than we do now, and switch what we will still use to come from emission free sources. (And hope like hell that the current excess of some trillion tonnes of CO2 we’ve already kicked into the atmosphere doesn’t give us and the planet too much of a kicking over coming centuries)

            Pretending that windmills with their huge concrete platforms and solar and whatever else can be rolled out over the space of a few decades to replace fossil and other deleterious sources of energy such that we can carry on "as is", when energy consumption is rising faster than so-called 'green' energies are being deployed, and the yearly increase in fossil consumption outstrips any increase in so-called 'green' energies, is utter delusion.

            • KJT

              Nothing is, zero carbon emissions, Bill, including us.

              All we can ever do, is reduce the rate of entropy.

              • bill

                In terms of energy, there are zero carbon sources. The wind, the sun and water are obviously zero carbon. Capturing that energy in a way that doesn't create carbon is the trick.

                • KJT

                  Not a "trick" that is possible. Even building solar and wind power plants require carbon and methane producing humans, if nothing else.

                  The point is we need a whole lot of adaptive actions towards sustainability.

                  Reduced energy use, more efficient energy use, carbon sinkage such as renewing forests, more sustainable sources of energy, are all, required.

                  • bill

                    k – so there are about one trillion excess tonnes of CO2, courtesy of us, floating around the biosphere that has been building since the 19th C, and we add about 30 or 40 billion tonnes to that total every year.

                    It takes natural processes many hundreds of years to sequester that carbon. Planting trees won't, doesn't and can't cut it.

                    Or put another way – thanks to the joys of exponential growth, more than half of all the CO2 in the biosphere related to human activity throughout history has been spewed there in my lifetime. And governments acknowledged there was a problem about half way through my life (1991)…and have utterly failed to do anything by way of cutting emissions.

                    Which is really smart given the problem is cumulative. (I actually sometimes wonder if there are people who assume the world will return to a non-warmed state in a short period of time if and when we stop emitting carbon)

                    The only question is how hot do we think we can go before we stop? Or are we just going to let physics call the shots and hope we survive?

                    • KJT

                      Well basically. If we do nothing, we are fucked.

                      If we try, we may unfuck it a bit.

                      On the current trajectory, be prepared for billions of deaths, billions of climate refugees, and an economic fallout that will make Covid look like a minor chill!

                    • bill

                      I hear what you're saying, and would agree – except that if we literally did nothing it would go a long way as a first step. What's been the estimated drop in emissions off the back of "every bugger" locking down?

              • weka

                Processes can be carbon neutral though, and we're not yet trying to achieve that in any real sense.

                If I burn firewood (carbon emissions) and I plant trees that sequester that, then carbon neutral. So far, so obvious. If I use regenerative farming, I can sequester more than I emit with the burning. If I buy a woodstove that was manufactured using renewables that themselves are not carbon neutral (cradle to grave), best make sure that that woodstove will last hundreds of years, not 20 or 50, and that it is *super efficient. Likewise the chainsaw.

                Use the wood heat in multiple ways (space heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes and so on). It's those things that reduce and conserve energy in other ways. When we look at the whole system, we can design it to be carbon neutral at worst, or a carbon sink at best. But we do that for things that are essential (food, shelter, heat, medicine, not $2 shops and a new iphone every year).

                Some things will always break the bank, we can mitigate that in other ways, But again, only for stuff that really matters.

                Now look at EVs in that context. Which EVs actually matter? How can we design the whole system so that it's not polluting and extractive beyond what nature can manage? (Where is all the metal going to keep coming from?).

            • Andre

              While emissions from the US and Europe have contributed the most to the buildup of GHGs so far, and are still grossly disproportionate per capita emitters. they are actually slowly falling. The increases are coming from developing countries improving the living standards of their citizens. Shown in graphical form here with just a little bit of scrolling down from where it opens:


              You interested in telling them they have to hold back on improving the lives of their citizens? I'm not. But I am interested in developing ways for them to improve their lives while avoiding the mistakes we made that have dumped the planet in the shit. Engineering-wise, that means renewable energy that is cheaper and better than fossil-fuels, and life-improving stuff like fridges and indoor climate control etc that needs less energy while performing better.

              Yes, it is possible for all land-based energy users to convert to renewable electric, or in a very few cases involving very high process heat temperatures, hydrogen (or it may work out better to use some kind of biofuel in a very few applications). It won't even be particularly difficult for most users. It's just a matter of cost, and fossils are still cheap because they get to dump their hazardous waste into the atmosphere for free.

              As RedLogix keeps hammering, it all boils down to availability of low cost energy-dense, dispatchable on demand sources. Historically the only practical choice has been fossil, but the advancements in renewables over the last decade means we can shake our fossil dependence as quickly as we choose to.

              The only application I can bring to mind that has no readily available substitute for the energy density of liquid hydrocarbon fuel is long-haul aviation. But that's off the menu for a while anyway.

              • bill

                Historically the only practical choice has been fossil…

                Nope. The industrial revolution was initially powered by water. Even with the advent of the coal fired steam engine, mills stuck with water because of better efficiency and lower cost.

                The shift to steam was a somewhat complex story that arguably came down to a desire or need to control the then nascent working class.

  11. Adrian 11

    The stories out of Stuff and the herald complaining about the Governments response were to be expected even if they are wrong.

    The one thing I have noticed about the Governments response is that right from the start they assumed that a large portion of the population is as thick as pigshit and that the advice and rules needed to be very clear and precise. And that is why thousands and thousands of Kiwi families are not holding funerals for mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and children.

    If you hear anyone complaining, just tell them to shut up and if they still have a problem tell them to come and see me and all my over 70 mates.

    • Stunned Mullet 11.1

    • Tricledrown 11.2

      Most people now read overseas news have family and friends overseas.

      Everyone is praising NZ's response.

      Those crying Wolf are making themselves look bad.

      Looking at Australia their reinfection rate has gone to 1.4% ours is still around .84% making it less likely to open borders with Australia.

      • Koff 11.2.1

        Most of the new cases in Australia have come from a single cluster in Mebourne – a meat works. Shouldn't have happened as the employer had already been told that 2 of the workers had tested positive some time ago.It's a lesson in just how fast a cluster can explode without constant attention. Otherwise, 5 of the states and territories have had no new cases, WA and the NT for 2 weeks, now, so not that bad, just a bit more varied than NZ. Think with what JA has said about Level 2 restrictions in NZ, all the East coast states here will actually be more restrictive in comparison.

        • peterh

          Melbourne has had almost 100 new cases in last 4 days and the cluster has now gone into a aged care where there is a spark comes a fire

        • Tricledrown

          Australia doesn't report probable cases so NZs rate of infection is much lower nearly 10,000 cases NZ 1,150 cases .

          Australia having 40% more case's

    • Peter 11.3

      A lot of the population is as thick as pigshit and the advice and rules needed to be very clear and precise, exact. And then some of them, and others who aren't as thick as pigshit, deny and defy the advice and rules.

      Act like babies then complain about being treated like babies. Say 'trust us' and show they aren't to be trusted. Say they'll do everything right then complain when there's a request to dob in 'independent souls' like themselves.

      It's just people.

      • Kay 11.3.1

        If it is a minority putting this plan at risk then it's (subjectively) seeming like a significantly large minority getting bigger by the day, and a significant amount of them seem to live in my suburb. If so many people are completely incapable of basic common courtesy just using a footpath then why the hell are we bothering. I finally stopped being 'kind' today and screamed at a couple who didn't feel the need to stop hogging the entire path and briefly single file to allow space to pass. A near daily occurrence now.

    • AB 11.4

      "If you hear anyone complaining, just tell them to shut up and if they still have a problem tell them to come and see me and all my over 70 mates"

      Sounds terrifying – that should shut them up! Though maybe not as terrifying as your experience of being in the front row when the custodians of "the economy" go looking for human sacrifices to keep it all running.

      • Adrian 11.4.1

        Yeah AB, we could bore for New Zealand, couple of hours with us and Covid would look like a preferable option.

    • KJT 11.5

      They had to assume from the start, that anything over one syllable would be too complicated for our, so called, Journalists. As has been proven.

      It is even worse when people who are supposedly competent, to run a farm or business, seem incapable of working out and comprehending simple, safety procedures.

    • Sacha 11.6

      The one thing I have noticed about the Governments response is that right from the start they assumed that a large portion of the population is as thick as pigshit and that the advice and rules needed to be very clear and precise.

      When your target audience is the whole public, all communication needs to work for people without English as a first language, with impaired learning, etc.

      Whereas the truly ignorant have shown us they can miss the point no matter what efforts are made. Too many of them have columns and shows.

    • Poission 11.7

      The one thing I have noticed about the Governments response is that right from the start they assumed that a large portion of the population is as thick as pigshit and that the advice and rules needed to be very clear and precise.

      An absence of sophistry,was (an is still) needed.The only solution is isolate,and eliminate.We do not need great yarns on the R0 number,the genome,its origin etc.The formal response was to quarantine NZ ,raise the drawbridge and let those who are unclean stay outside the camp (or under constraint).

      Those who are aspiring for business as usual (or a return to BAU) are either in denial,or illiterate (here we define illiteracy as an inability to learn )

      The unsurprising fact of both simple measures,and simple communication in a complex world,is they have worked.

  12. RedBaronCV 12

    I see the universities are wanting to bring their overseas students back ( & put them through quarantine).

    If this gets any traction I'd want to see a level of quarantine offshore first( so they don't get into our health system with all those risks) plus the border quarantine here. I would absolutely not want any quarantine arrangements that have been privatised, outsourced etc. where there is a profit motive in running them and the usual inefficient oversight that would make it high risk.

    • observer 12.1

      "The government should definitely impose strict quarantine at the borders, except for all the exceptions, which will be whoever is in the news today".

      (statement released by the Blame Jacinda Regardless Party).

  13. joe90 13

    Listen up young fellas…


  14. Dennis Frank 14

    Tasmanian Ryk Goddard: "we’ve got a lot in common, starting with our suspicion of mainland Australia." https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/08-05-2020/the-case-for-a-conscious-post-covid-coupling-of-new-zealand-and-tasmania/

    "In recent days the Tasmanian state premier, Peter Gutwein, and the New Zealand foreign minister, Winston Peters, have been thinking aloud and enthusiastically about accelerating the bubble extension between the two places. They’re on to something. And it goes deeper than our relative success in stamping out Covid-19."

    Temperate climate with rain forests. "AFL is rugby crossed with ballet and improvised dance. It’s harder than rugby in the sense it’s 360-degree. It’s easier in that it doesn’t have full-on forwards." Sheesh.. 😵 I'll try to keep that in mind, but won't be easy.

    "Tassie was locked in a bitter ecological war between the Greens (which they invented, by the way) and three guys who went to private school together and loved chopping down trees for no profit." Good movie to come, huh?

    And "the New Zealand accent for which I was mercilessly shamed for 15 years is now sexy to anyone under 40." Sic a sociologist onto that pronto. We need to know why.

    "Tassie has a walkway in a forest and a slide into a swamp called Dismal swamp. It went broke actually. That’s what happens when a government funded business tries to do tourism. But we’re working at it." Sounds like they need a PPP. 🙄

    • woodart 14.1

      I have long advocated for us to buy tasmania. mainland aussies dont want it. we could get it fairly cheaply. the advantages of having a large offshore island to dump unwanted waste etc on would be worth the monthly repayments.

  15. Sacha 15

    A thousand New Zealanders a day going onto a benefit: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12330543

  16. Dennis Frank 16

    Winston leaking Farrar? "the internal polls of the National Party are at 25 per cent." https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12330544

    "Everybody out on the farm if they're actually honest has to admit that with the dollar being far further down than it was under the National Party – for heaven's sake it was about 80 cents US under the National Party sometimes – well we've got it at a level far more remunerative for farming."

    "We're dealing with the Three Waters and the changes there will be of enormous assistance to farmers. We've made a commitment to ensure that the change was a change we would pay for – not them."

    So if you know a guy who wears a black singlet & gumboots, see if the good news has trickled down to him yet.

    • Chris T 16.1

      Who cares about Winston?

      If he is correct, he is redundant.

      • Tricledrown 16.1.1

        Act senior party members accused of sexual harrasment of junior female party members.Tough on Crime Party needs to turn itself in to a private prison and take full responsibility for their actions.They will be paying for their own prosecution and imprisonment.

  17. Dennis Frank 17

    Now this is a space to watch: "A $24 million solution to the lower North Island's recycling crisis is being pitched to the Government for "shovel-ready" funding." https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/121410538/feilding-pitches-24m-plastic-processing-facility-to-government

    "New Zealand's recycled plastic is shipped overseas to Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines, but a proposed centre would reprocess much of it in Manawatū. The proposal would curb pricey shipping fees and importing plastic back into the country."

    "The equipment is commercially available. The land is owned by the council and already used for recycling. The project will collect all grades of plastic, including agricultural plastic, from the lower North Island. The plastic will then be cleaned, sorted and reprocessed into pellets or flakes. The finished product can be mixed with virgin plastic and used for normal plastic manufacture."

    • woodart 17.1

      this is worth following up on. we need to get properly serious about recycling ,and leaving it to the mythical free market is bollocks. also needs to happen with tyres, its a huge problem.

    • RedBaronCV 17.2

      Could be a good call. Investment at $25 mill is less than that flag referendum and I assume it would run at least at breakeven. I'd be happy to subscribe to any capital raising for it. Even at say 2.5% its more than most banks are paying. Be good if they had a bit of extra capital as well – so that where possible we transfer to bio degradable type products and recycle those to take us into the furture.

  18. Andre 18

    The Conspiracy Theory Handbook pdf talked about in the Skeptical Science link in the sidebar is really worth reading. Following the sidebar takes a few clicks, the final download button is on this page:


  19. Morrissey 19

    Is Michael Dukakis still available?

    Get ready for a disaster in early November….

    • joe90 19.1

      Have you watched Saager's propaganda vid boosting the neocon's favourite CIA-backed terror group?

      ENJETI: So, if the Iranian regime were to fall and Ms. Rajavi she was able to govern, could she be able to govern during a transition period? Do you think she could prevent the chaos?

      GIULIANI: Well, what they do, what they—these are the questions of course we ask them all the time, and I’ve seen evidence that they have a functioning government-in-exile. They evaluate the problems in Iran every day. They are enormously active in communicating within Iran. They remind me of the Voice of American in one aspect during the Cold War, which used to broadcast into =

      ENJETI: Absolutely.



      • mauī 19.1.1

        That have anything to do with the video Joe?…

        • joe90

          Enjeti played soft ball with the MEK. Dude's not to be trusted.


          • adam

            The dudes openly a right wing populist. The show has one from the right and one from the left as co hosts.

            I know strange way to do the news in this partisan hack era.

            And yeah take what Saager says knowing he a right wing populist.

          • Morrissey

            You're correct in your assessment of his character, Joe. I can't understand how anyone with a heart and a conscience, leave alone an intellect such as Enjeti clearly possesses, can have anything to do with groups like MEK, or AIPAC, or the Republican/Democratic Party.

            His commentary on American party politics, however, is astute and far superior to anything on CNN or Fox or MSNBC.

  20. joe90 20

    The most transparent president ever is asking the courts to block details of an investigation that exonerated him.

    The Trump administration on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to shield redacted grand jury materials related to former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe from the Democratic-led House.

    The 37-page request, filed by the Justice Department, asks the justices to temporarily block the release of transcripts and other documents that Democratic lawmakers initially requested as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

    The move comes after a federal appeals court in Washington ruled earlier this year that the administration could not keep under wraps certain materials stemming from Mueller's 22-month investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.


  21. David Mac 21

    The Wall Street ticker is carrying on like not much is going on. Why aren't stocks tanking? Why haven't McDonalds, Starbucks and Vegas casinos got leprosy?

    When Warren Buffet is liquidating, turning his holdings into cash and gold, something heavy is going down. Normally it costs $2k+ to sit in on Warren's annual address, in Corona times he made it free. He didn't look well.

    • Andre 21.1

      Part of it is valuations are based on how much money investors expect companies to make, which partly depends on how fast the Repugs and Adderolf Covitler can shovel alleged relief funds at companies instead of at those that actually need them and will spend them.

      Part of it is hopium for a V-shaped recovery, egged on by the Coppertone Caligula's pronouncements and focus on reopening the economy. Never mind that sick and dead people don't do much for the economy.

      Part of it is there's nowhere else particularly attractive to shift money to.

  22. David Mac 22

    Ha yes, a safe investment today would require floating the Red Cross.

    Gold and cash is safe, for now. I try to parasite onto the thoughts of people that know more than me. The King of what shares to buy when has just sold everything, cashed up. You don't need to be a share Guru to read the message.

  23. David Mac 23

    It saddens me and the Chinese people I know that their nation has the CCP doing their window-dressing. The display is wanting.

  24. KJT 24


    "Debt need not be the bogey which it is often portrayed as. The principal return on coming government emergency outlays will of course be the resurrected and reimagined supply chains, and the incomes (including tax revenues) they generate. Our children and grandchildren will be foremost among those beneficiaries. We can credit them".

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