Open Mike 11/01/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 11th, 2017 - 289 comments
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289 comments on “Open Mike 11/01/2017”

  1. Sacha 1

    Ag 2.0 – How agricultural tech advances will completely disrupt NZ’s traditional models: http://pureadvantage.org/news/2016/11/29/lament-nz-farm/

    • BM 1.1

      Interesting article.

      I don’t think we’re quite as stuffed as the author makes us out to be or at least not in the short to medium term.

      There’s one key issue she missed out and that is consumer enthusiasm to these new types of food, the whole frankenfood, heavily processed mindset is going to take quite a bit of time to overcome.

      Positioning ourselves going forward though, organics has to be the future for NZ food production aim for those people who still want their food “natural’

      • Paul 1.1.1

        Yes there is a resistance to ‘frankenfoods’ and there is also a growing grasp of the connection between a plant based diet and a lower carbon footprint.
        That and the growing realisation that cows milk is not actually good for us.
        I agree that organically is the way forward.

        I recommend you watch ‘Cowspiracy.’

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          I recommend you watch ‘Cowspiracy.’

          I recommend that you don’t as it was obviously a load of bollocks written up by an ignoramus.

        • weka 1.1.1.2

          I also don’t recommend Cowspiracy, as it is a fundamentalist vegan propaganda film that takes far too many liberties with the truth in presenting its argument. I’ve critiqued this before – It seems to be comparing industrial stock farming with industrial agriculture and deciding that industrial agriculture is best. Both are highly polluting and destroy ecologies. Swapping one for the other out of ideological concerns just creates different problems, what we need to do instead is make all farming sustainable and regenerative.

          A review of the film,

          Responding to a polemic that plays as fast and loose with facts as this film could easily devolve into a line by line response, which would be even more boring to read than it would be to write. Instead, I’ll focus on a few of the main topics, beginning with how cows drink, burp, fart, and most of all poop, which – not to brag – I have some experience with.

          Methane is a more vexed question, since cows indisputably belch and fart. In the film Anderson implies that cows are the main source of methane and that reducing their numbers is the fastest way to reverse global warming. After too much time poking around in search of definitive numbers on methane emissions, I decided to use those provided on a NASA website, even though a number of reputable sources arrive at different conclusions, particularly concerning the amount of methane released by wetlands, listed at 22% in the data I am quoting. By these numbers, ruminant livestock directly account for 16% of global methane emissions, and the (mis)management of all livestock manure accounts for another 5%. Human sewage treatment is 5%, biomass burning is 8%, fossil fuels production is 19%, and, surprisingly, rice cultivation is 12%. Various other manmade and natural sources fill out the remainder. While 21% of total methane is certainly significant, the idea that the elimination of livestock would clearly lead to a reversal of global warming trends is both an overstatement and an oversimplification, without getting into matters of methane’s half-life relative to carbon’s.

          The great weakness of Cowspiracy, other than its title, is its single minded determination to prove that veganism is the only reasonable approach to feeding people, a proof it pursues without regard for facts or nuance. That’s not to say it’s worthless, for there are ideas for several good films within it. I would love to watch a truly investigative examination of any links between the industrial agriculture sector and large environmental non-profits, rather than one that infers connections from the vague responses of uncomfortable PR people. A devastating documentary could be made about the insanity of beef and dairy production in California, and I am all for consumers voting against them and other parts of the industrial food system with their dietary choices. I even think a fair examination of the ways small farms are not inherently better for land and livestock would be wonderful. Instead of any of these there is a failed effort to prove that one lifestyle choice can solve every environmental and agricultural problem.

          This failure is not just a result of misleading and erroneous data, but even more so of superficiality. Though I watched carefully and took copious notes, I do not have a clear idea what Anderson’s vegan world would look like. Would excess land be converted to wilderness? Should the hills and fields of my farm return to forest and scrub like so much of the nearby land that used to be grass? Why is a monoculture of wheat preferable to a polyculture of pasture? Should we humans be connected to and reliant on the land around us and should these connections take different forms in response to local conditions? Yesterday, while out hunting turkey, I came across the remains of a deer, one of ten or so my brother and I have found this year. All of them starved or froze to death in the clutches of last winter. Now they are piles of mossy bones marking where living things curled up and never stood again. Why is this preferable to raising cows as I do, particularly when there’s room here for both?

          http://cairncrestfarm.blogspot.co.nz/2014/10/cowspiracy-movie-review.html

          I’d also add that in this discussion we need to distinguish between industrial farming designed to produce commodities to make money, and the need to have people growing food so we can eat. They are two different things entirely. Saying we should all be vegan supports industrial farming, because it pushes shifting from feedlot cows to monsanto soy. Neither are viable in a world of CC or a world that desperately needs to protect the environment.

          • Paul 1.1.1.2.1

            You deny the massive carbon footprint of animal farming?

          • Paul 1.1.1.2.2

            Eating meat is the single most destructive thing you can do to the environment.

            • weka 1.1.1.2.2.1

              So someone who eats meat from rabbits raised in their backyard is engaged in the single most destructive thing they can do to the environment?

              Your ideology is blinding you Paul. Stop and think about what you just said.

            • The lost sheep 1.1.1.2.2.2

              According to the IPCC Agriculture in total accounts for only 13.5% of Greenhouse emissions, so that cannot be true Paul.

              • weka

                link please.

                • The lost sheep

                  https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/syr/

                  Click on 5th assessment Report, and see page 88.

                  • weka

                    Ta. Run it past Bill. I don’t remember the details (because I think the maths are a distraction), but from what I remember the ag figures are not a good representation of the state of play. Something to do with what they include in ag and what they don’t.

                    Plus there’s the food miles issue with eating meat (or eating anything).

                    • The lost sheep

                      Don’t know about that Weka, My understanding is that deforestation is included in agriculture among other things, so if you get down just to animal farming you are looking at much less than 14%?

                      What I do know is that it proves that PAUL’S documentary is a lying piece of propaganda shit.

                      And just for once, I’d like PAUL to stick around and keep discussing things when the FACTS don’t suit the lying propaganda he is posting….
                      Guess he’ll just go away for the night and then start up in the morning raving about the lying propaganda that doesn’t agree with his own lying propaganda….

                    • Paul

                      Watch ‘Before the Flood.’
                      You might learn something.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Trying to shift the ground Paul?
                      Why don’t you just address the lies in the previous propaganda you recommended?

                    • weka

                      “And just for once, I’d like PAUL to stick around and keep discussing things when the FACTS don’t suit the lying propaganda he is posting….”

                      Yes, I see what you mean.

            • Psycho Milt 1.1.1.2.2.3

              Eating meat is the single most destructive thing you can do to the environment.

              Quite apart from being wrong on the face of it (as others have explained), it’s also wrong at a deeper level: eating grass-fed livestock is better for the environment than eating crop plants. Get everyone on the planet eating soy and before long you’ll be wondering why there’s no topsoil any more.

              • weka

                Yep, although conventional livestock farming also depletes soil, just a bit slower.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Simple idea: we only grow the food required for our own population +20% for export.

                  That should get rid of a few million heads of livestock.

              • Paul

                Permaculture is the solution.

                • Or, eating grass-fed livestock is the solution. Comes down to whether you prefer some soy-based edible object to a slab of meat or not. Don’t find it a difficult choice, myself, but maybe that’s just me.

                  • Paul

                    Grassfed livestock uses up a massive carbon footprint.
                    Watch Di Caprio’s recent film ‘Before the Flood.’ – if you are suspicious of Cowspiracy.

                    Of course there is also the issue of animal cruelty.
                    Watch ‘Earthlings.’

                    And the health issues.
                    Watch ‘Fork over knives.’

                • weka

                  “Permaculture is the solution.”

                  on that we can agree Paul (or at least it’s one of the solutions).

                  • The lost sheep

                    I’d say decreasing the Earths population was the number one strategy personally.

                    • weka

                      How would you do that? And by how much? And how would you stop the remaining people from burning fossil fuels and generally polluting the place?

                    • The lost sheep

                      ‘How would you do that?’
                      Exactly the same way you would have people shift to perma-culture / power-down’/ go back to manual labour Weka.
                      You need social agreement it is necessary, and a socially agreed plan to make it happen.
                      It’s a tough one, but the Worlds population cannot simply keep growing can it?

                      ‘And by how much?’
                      4 Billion sounds good to me. Take a few centuries to achieve.

                      ‘And how would you stop the remaining people from burning fossil fuels and generally polluting the place?’
                      I’ve just spent a month in Asia and Europe on business, and from what i saw, my answer would be, ‘wouldn’t have the faintest idea!’.

                      Aotearoa is a tiny wee cocoon of tranquility. The pace and frenzy of the drive for ‘development’ in the emerging countries is way beyond anything I could envisage a mechanism for holding back.

                    • weka

                      We don’t have a few centuries. Post going up today for discussion.

            • James 1.1.1.2.2.4

              Tonight I’m cooking steaks just to annoy you Paul.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        I don’t think we’re quite as stuffed as the author makes us out to be or at least not in the short to medium term.

        Not in the short term. The medium term should be the crossover period and the long term is when we replant our farms as native forest.

        There’s one key issue she missed out and that is consumer enthusiasm to these new types of food, the whole frankenfood, heavily processed mindset is going to take quite a bit of time to overcome.

        Doubt it. People have been eating ‘frankenfoods’ for awhile – pretty much anything that comes pre-made fits that bill.

        • Cricklewood 1.1.2.1

          I would suggest and am an advocate for more of a Robert Guyton approach where we plant with biodiversity in mind. Natives are at their best supplemented by various imports a favourite plant of mine (or weed to some) is Verbena bonariensis. The insect life, not to mention bees it supports is unreal and it kicks in right after Muehlenbeckia axillaris which bees love.

      • greywarshark 1.1.3

        Talking about NZ going more to organic reminds me that I heard the Falkland Islands were into that.

        I think we should establish High Commissioners and set up as sister countries. They seem to have cool headed people making governmental decisions and have ideas that we should talk about, and vice versa. And Falklands are similar to us, next to a hostile country as we are to Australia – which is ready to stand on our shoulders to achieve advantage for themselves and government ready to show disrespect like the boors they are.

        http://www.falklands.gov.fk/self-sufficiency/commercial-sectors/agriculture

        http://organic-market.info/news-in-brief-and-reports-article/_Falkland_Islands.html/farm.

        google Falkland Islands organic farming

        Oh, Give Me a Home, Where the Sheep and the … – Modern Farmer
        modernfarmer.com/2016/02/falkland-islands/
        Feb 4, 2016 – The Falkland Islands are a wildlife sanctuary turned organic

    • ianmac 1.2

      Those Sci-fi books and movies showing machines that could be dialed up from stored ingredients and a synthetic steak pops out of the wall, are maybe a future much closer?

      A very interesting article thanks Sacha. Can you imagine the ponderous Government machine adapting to swift changes? What about the poor old dairy farmers?

      And how will I manage synthetic steaks? What about the sugar industry?

      Actually the whole World economy would be in for a huge shake up?

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        Can you imagine the ponderous Government machine adapting to swift changes?

        Actually, I can. What I can’t imagine is the private sector adapting to it as they need things to remain the same for them to make a profit.

        Actually the whole World economy would be in for a huge shake up?

        Yep. We can kiss goodbye to trade in food. Why import when everything that the city needs and wants can be produced in the city?

    • ianmac 1.3

      Those Sci-fi books and movies showing machines that could be dialed up from stored ingredients and a synthetic steak pops out of the wall, are maybe a future much closer?

      A very interesting article thanks Sacha. Can you imagine the ponderous Government machine adapting to swift changes? What about the poor old dairy farmers?

      And how will I manage synthetic steaks? What about the sugar industry?

      Actually the whole World economy would be in for a huge shake up.

    • I find articles like this really annoying – not due to anything the author writes, but because it rubs my nose in the fact that NZ used to be at the forefront of agricultural science but is no longer, and the outlook isn’t for improvement. We’ve had decades of a deadly combination: right-wing governments hollowing out the country’s public science research facilities, and hippies fighting against scientific experimentation in agriculture. Yes we’re going to get disrupted, and we’ve only ourselves to blame.

      • BM 1.4.1

        and we’ve only ourselves to blame.

        I don’t quite agree, What the author was trying to point out that what made us unique and successful( clean green, plenty of space) is no longer important or even needed.

        You can now have a “dairy farm” in the middle of the Sahara, you can have a “dairy farm” in the middle of a Nestle chocolate factory.

        These “dairy farms” can produce a product that is healthier than the original with no animal cruelty, minimal environmental damage and can be just about anywhere.

        it’s unfortunate for NZ but large scale traditional dairying has been or soon will be superseded by this technology, it’s going the way of the dinosaur.

        • Psycho Milt 1.4.1.1

          Given the environmental effects of large-scale dairy farming, it would be great if it became a niche business practiced only on a small scale.

          I’ve eaten what Americans fondly imagine to be cheese, and believe we don’t need to be seriously threatened by American start-ups of non-agriculture-based food IF we stop holding back our own ag/food research. That’s “if” in capitals and italics because it’s a very big “if” and I don’t see a strong likelihood of us doing it.

          • BM 1.4.1.1.1

            One thing I have noticed is how strongly attitudes have changed in regards to the environment/animal welfare, especially with the current generation.

            Take for example the electric car, it used to be the only selling point was that it would save you money, now the main selling point is that they’re eco-friendly which means you’re doing your bit for climate change, saving the world etc.

            The same mindset is what will make this next generation food popular, thanks to the internet people now know that dairy is terrible for the environment, milk isn’t particularly good for you even though it tastes nice and there’s lots of animal cruelty that goes into the creation of dairy.

            That is what’s going to be the big driver of this going forward if the dairy industry wants to compete it needs a radical overhaul and as soon as possible, the longer they leave it the worse it will get for the industry

            • Psycho Milt 1.4.1.1.1.1

              Just as an aside, the claim that milk isn’t good for you is a canard. Lactose tolerance is a poster boy for human evolution because it spread so rapidly through the population – that rapidity being due to the big survival advantage it conferred. Dairy is excellent food and the people without lactose tolerance are really missing out.

              No arguments re the problems associated with it as an industry, though.

            • halfcrown 1.4.1.1.1.2

              Answer to BM @ 11.31am

              Shit I hope this is not going to be a trend in 2017 but I agree with you BM 100%

              • Clump_AKA Sam

                I know right. Pfft to commercial agriculture. Shit taste like water and saw dust cause it’s stored longer and less nutritious. BM trying to sell dog shit again

            • The decrypter 1.4.1.1.1.3

              Just remembered an old favourite song , humming it now .a rollicking version of (Cows with guns}

          • Andre 1.4.1.1.2

            “I’ve eaten what Americans fondly imagine to be cheese”

            Trust me, there are many places you can get a variety of interesting tasty cheeses in the US. Just not in Wisconsin.

            • Colonial Viper 1.4.1.1.2.1

              Yes any good shop which has a wide selection of European foodstuffs

            • Psycho Milt 1.4.1.1.2.2

              I guess they have proper cheese in delis and suchlike. But in cafes and restaurants I stopped ordering anything that said it had cheese in it, because the bizarre white or orange stuff they were referring to wouldn’t be anything I’d recognise as cheese.

    • Ad 1.5

      Just gotta love those business consultants.
      David Skilling she ain’t.

      Bad business consultants like the writer generate answers that always start with:
      pile dumploads of private capital into something really risky, and pile dumploads of crap all over everything happening now, and trash every regulation you could possibly imagine might get in your way.

      Can anyone tell me where we’ve heard that before?

      – Sharemarket in the 1980s and 1990s
      – Real estate and residential construction market 2007-2016
      – GMOs in the late 2000s, within our CRI’s
      – Mining and oil 2008-2015

      And each one, tears before bedtime and generations of wasted capital generated fuck-all.

      And yet here we are, economy doing about as well as it has ever done in our existence, diversifying as fast as it ever has, but some nutjob with a PhD in wank and a logframe and some travel expenses and a free-hit column and some great billable units to achieve gets to tell us the whole of agriculture is a sunset industry.

      She should cut the horse manure and start a new essay with:
      What do our customers want, and what will those customers pay the most for?

  2. bwaghorn 2

    rodger douglas went on about farming being a sunset industry in the 80S and yet we’re still here still going strong.

    • Brutus Iscariot 3.2

      Yes, but compare to the alternatives:

      Fossil Fuels – self explanatorily bad

      Solar – land and habitat loss, requires significant raw and rare materials mined (rather than just a one-off large concrete pour). Not suitable for all locations due to climate.

      Wind – shreds birds. Massive visual blot on the landscape and again not suitable for many locations.

      Nuclear – promising but currently suffers from environmental issues due to waste problem. Expensive and vulnerable to technical problems.

      Geothermal – great, only works in select locations though.

      If we want to go clean, hydro power has a significant role to play, at least in New Zealand. Other countries might find it better to plop large scale solar in the desert or build next-gen nuclear plants, but NZ’s hydro electric backbone is fantastic.

      • weka 3.2.1

        Or we could power down. Let’s not pretend there aren’t other choices here.

        • BM 3.2.1.1

          Exactly, I’m going shopping for a new club and fur skin outfit this afternoon.

          [you’re a fucking idiot who has no idea what powerdown even means. Don’t troll me, I’m not in the mood. You’re quite capable of engaging in intelligent debate, so I suggest you make some choices along those lines and stop with the soundbite baiting – weka]

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.2

          Any political party promoting power down as an option for the nation?

          • Clump_AKA Sam 3.2.1.2.1

            What Johm Key has done to New Zealand as prime minister is similar to a friend who bought a WRX straight off the dock, pulled out to the lights to see how fast he could do a 1/4 mile and cooked the engine. Only in New Zealand’s case it’s going to take at least 20 years to become apparent that National can’t drive for shit.

            Call AAA immediately

            • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.2.1.1

              who bought a WRX straight off the dock, pulled out to the lights to see how fast he could do a 1/4 mile and cooked the engine.

              *facedesk*

              Paying $120 to get such a vehicle carried to your local mechanics for a thorough going over, all new fluids and filters, BEFORE hammering it is the way to do it

        • Bill 3.2.1.3

          Powering down, as you label it, isn’t really an option – it’s a necessity.

          Putting all of the non-fossil suggestions that Brutus has mentioned in place would take decades – assuming we undertook such a task. And if our energy consumption patterns continued ‘as is’ while all that infrastructure got put in place, then carbon budget after carbon budget would get busted and the average global surface temperature would keep going up.

          And I know you kind of hate numbers, but effective powering down isn’t a uniform scenario that can or even ought to be equally applied across all of society (or all societies). There is a huge class element involved due to the major culprits in terms of emissions tending to be richer people. (Roughly, the wealthiest 10% are responsible for about 50% of emissions according to studies done by Oxfam and others)

          And richer people tend to be resistant to giving up their privilege and ‘ways’ – they’ll find a way adapt to a changing climate. Delusional, I know. As Yoda might say – the ‘she’ll be right’ is strong in those ones.

          And richer people tend to be the ones heading up institutions we’ve tasked with organising and managing responses to climate change.

          Nothing up-beat from this quarter today I’m afraid. There’ll be calamities. But since the first will be affecting (are affecting) poorer people far away in equatorial and tropical regions, we’ll just carry on. Eventually the effects will come down on our heads (on the poorest first and hardest of course) and the rich will likely just kind of carry on as best they can (move house, emigrate, lay in highly individualistic or atomised adaptation measures etc).

          Eventually, as a society we’ll act.

          • weka 3.2.1.3.1

            thanks for going into that in more depth Bill. And yep, class and CC.

            It’s not so much that I don’t like the numbers, it’s that the I think the wrong maths are being done or at least some important maths isn’t being done yet. For instance, if what you say is true, that rich people disproportionately create/are responsible for more the problem (I believe this too), and that we therefore shouldn’t apply the power down uniformly across the nation (I also agree), and that therefore we should focus on rich people not poor people (I’m talking in NZ here, not somewhere like Somalia), then I’d say we need a different analysis as well. As you know, I think that most people in NZ need change, not just rich and well off people.

            For instance, if we were to look at, in NZ, stopping all fossil fuel power generation, decommissioning dams, and possibly building some interim wind farms but acknowledging that they have their own problems, what standard of living could we expect in NZ? (and allowing for this being a thought experiment, so I get that there are all sorts of other things to take into account like transport and agriculture). Whose standard of living could we sustain? Middle class? Lower middle class? Working class? Underclass? BM’s fantasy of cave dwelling?

            This is similar to when I talk about food and population. If we need to source most of our food locally and sustainably/regeneratively, how much food can we grow in each catchment in NZ?

            It’s just another approach. I come to it from permaculture, which starts with those ecological principles and works out. I’d like to think about that more in terms of class, not just at the social justice level but also because I think that many of us are going to have to do physical work again (e.g. growing food). If we have a culture hell bent on ‘working class’ being something to avoid or move out of, how is that going to work out?

            “but effective powering down isn’t a uniform scenario that can or even ought to be equally applied across all of society (or all societies).”

            That’s an interesting way to approach this too. If by uniform you mean everyone takes a % cut downwards, then yep that’s grossly unfair and probably wouldn’t be helpful anyway. But if by uniform we look at a range of standards of living to aspire down to or up to depending on where one is currently, then I can see that being both useful and fair.

            • Brutus Iscariot 3.2.1.3.1.1

              Your fantasies of some sort of communal agrarian society inevitably clash with human nature.

              Assuming we were to all “return to the land”, the problem isn’t solved. Pre-industrial societies also suffered ecological devastation due to overpopulation and the inability to preserve and ration resources – as Easter island showed.

              So you would of course need some sort of central authority to enforce environmental regulations in order to prevent the tragedy of the commons. Not only that, by forcing people back into lives of manual labour, considerable inequity would be generated – a society for the young, strong and able bodied effectively. The central authority would need to rectify these imbalances. Such a bureaucracy would require money, energy, and the ability to apply force to ensure compliance.

              You end up right back at the beginning – just as agricultural humans originally formed governments to order their affairs and acquire the resources necessary to fulfil the desires of their citizens. Which then becomes just another beast to be fed as different views vie for influence.

              And so we are back to square one.

              You have to understand, there’s no voluntarily going back. Only war, genocide, pandemics, and natural disasters could “achieve” what you seek.

              • weka

                I don’t think you understand what the Powerdown is, and you certainly are misinterpreting my own views. Can you please stop doing that, thanks.

                Let’s try another starting point. If you believe in a steady state country, how would you propose we stabilise the population?

                • Brutus Iscariot

                  Our natural population increase in New Zealand is almost zero – that part is taken care of. We can’t dictate to the rest of the world what they do, but we can make appropriate policies for our environment and country.

                  Also have replied to you below…

                  • Clump_AKA Sam

                    Do you believe in perpetual motion machines?

                  • weka

                    Are you suggesting limits on immigration then?

                    • Brutus Iscariot

                      We already do have them, but they could be tightened further especially given the number of NZ’ers already living overseas. If they all arrived back at once we simply wouldn’t be able to handle it.

                    • weka

                      Let me clearer, do you support limiting immigration so we have steady population instead of an increasing one?

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      His argument is similar to maori’s. If we let them in Aotearoa won’t handle it.

                    • weka

                      Rolling my eyes at the casual racism there.

                      NZ is a finite space. There’s only so many people that can fit here. Far less if we want to do it sustainably.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yep, harsh limits. No more than 10,000 immigrants per year, very carefully chosen people, under 40 years of age.

              • Bill

                Please explain why nothing could be produced in a post fossil world?
                Please explain what is so ‘against human nature’ about growing food, raising livestock or living socially (communally)?
                Please explain why a central authority is a prerequisite for order?
                Please explain your adherence to the utterly discredited notion of ‘the tragedy of the commons’?
                Please explain how it would be the case that people in whatever post fossil world would somehow lose the ability for empathy?

                Why do you think the choice is between regressing to some mythical misanthropic Hobbesian world or just staying more or less as we are? What happened to the future!

                • Brutus Iscariot

                  1. It can, of course.

                  2. It’s not, but why did such societies end?

                  3. Obvious. Communes over time begin to build their own identity to the exclusion of others from developing their own micro-culture. One group/commune organises itself to infringe/take more of the pie. That’s essentially the story of human history.

                  4. It’s not discredited, but it has been worked around at times. It’s still a reasonable basis for the argument though.

                  5. You may be empathetic, but in such a society, all it takes is for one group to not be and the party is over.

                  • Bill

                    2. many societies and many stories. Not all societies ‘ended’. Plenty of agrarian cultures/societies exist around the world today.

                    3. is a half arsed but passable description of the dynamics of capitalism, not human society/history.

                    4. There never was any ‘tragedy of the commons’.

                    5. isn’t true. All societies have ways of regulating behaviours or traits that are deleterious.

                    • Brutus Iscariot

                      Your assertions are simply wrong. Human conflict is not just a result of capitalism, as you suggest.

                      We are the culmination of an evolutionary process that has ensured our survival while resulting in both good and bad traits.

            • Bill 3.2.1.3.1.2

              We know (or it’s claimed) that the poorest 50% of people in NZ produce 10% of NZ’s emissions. So if we want to see a substantial ‘overnight’ drop in NZ energy related emissions, then everyone would have to be living as half of us already do.

              Homelessness aside, know anyone who lives in a cave? I don’t.

              So okay. The business trips and the global jaunts and the various consumer goods with the huge carbon footprints that most of us can’t buy anyway….gone.

              Throw in legislation around efficiency ratings on cars, fridges, etc and a fair few of us would see our standard of living rise (less money spent on the fuel needed to run the various contraptions/appliances) I should add that there is currently little or no price difference between a hugely efficient appliance or car and a crap one.

              That (getting on for) 90% drop in emissions would have minimal to no negative impact on most of us and (with an eye to whatever piddly carbon budget we still have left) buy us some time to lay in the supply side infrastructure that we’d need achieve the necessary zero emissions from energy.

              Throwing this last bit in just because it astounds me.

              Globally, if just the highest emitting 10% of US citizens dropped their emissions to a European average (which is still really bloody high), global emissions would drop by 30%.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2

        Solar – land and habitat loss, requires significant raw and rare materials mined (rather than just a one-off large concrete pour). Not suitable for all locations due to climate.

        Well, the land and habitat loss is non-existent: Solar roadways and, of course, house roofs.
        And, yes, solar does work in all climates. As long as the sun is up a solar panel will collect power. Of course, solar panels should be used in conjunction with other renewable generations such as wind and hydro.

        Wind – shreds birds. Massive visual blot on the landscape and again not suitable for many locations.

        Wind turbines do, occasionally, kill birds. So do cars. In fact, I’m pretty sure that cars actually kill more. And, no, they’re not a visual blot on the landscape at all – especially if you build them out to sea where they’ll also become an artificial reef helping sea life thrive. About the only place that wind can’t be directly placed is in cities.

        Nuclear – promising but currently suffers from environmental issues due to waste problem. Expensive and vulnerable to technical problems.

        Nuclear isn’t viable and it’s unsustainable.

        If we want to go clean, hydro power has a significant role to play, at least in New Zealand.

        We’ve pretty much tapped out all suitable hydro-generation in NZ. There’s really nowhere left to build hydro-dams in NZ.

        • Psycho Milt 3.2.2.1

          Wind turbines do, occasionally, kill birds. So do cars. In fact, I’m pretty sure that cars actually kill more.

          I was thinking about that the other day after seeing a sparrow bounce of my bonnet and hit the road behind me – if bird deaths are an argument against wind turbines, they’re an even bigger argument against road transport because there are millions of vehicles driving around. Strangely enough, I’ve never seen anyone argue motorised transport shouldn’t be used because birds, but it gets raised all the time for wind turbines.

          • weka 3.2.2.1.1

            “Strangely enough, I’ve never seen anyone argue motorised transport shouldn’t be used because birds, but it gets raised all the time for wind turbines.”

            No, but if someone said hey I’ve got this great new technology that will allow us all individually to move around the place quickly, only it’s going to kill a few people, lots of birds and small mammals, create immediate air pollution that makes people sick and puts further strain on the health system, and be a major contributor to a global catastrophe, then who really would want cars?

            • The lost sheep 3.2.2.1.1.1

              ‘then who really would want cars?’

              The answer is ‘nearly everyone’ Weka. That’s the reality of human nature for ya!

              • Clump_AKA Sam

                I don’t mean to but in but that’s incorrect. Cars are a manufactured want. Just turn on your tv and watch an ad for more information

                • The lost sheep

                  Call it whatever kind of want you like Clump, then get out into the street and have a look at the reality around you.
                  As Orwell said, ‘Propaganda only works on those who are already inclined to accept it’.

                  Or do you seriously believe that if there was no advertising of cars, no one would perceive any benefit in one, and no one would want one?

                  • Clump_AKA Sam

                    That’s what market makers say to, you’ve got a lot in common you know.

                    It’s also conceivable with the rise of VR googles, humans will live in apartments 24/7 with no need to venture outside because drones will bring them stuff and take stuff away and so on.

                    If you think I’m kidding just put on a set of VR and report back here

                    • The lost sheep

                      Sounds like you’ve already had too much VR Sam!

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      If I have I’ll adjust my schedule to maximise my earning potential so I become a winner out of all of this and not a loser

        • Brutus Iscariot 3.2.2.2

          Visual pollution is a major problem with wind turbines – they’re incredibly spatially inefficient.

          I’m not defending fossil fuels, i’m promoting certain solutions over others. You are correct on decentralised solar though as being very important.

          As for “powering down”, that’s just modern Ludditism (?). There are certainly efficiency gains to be had, but trying to reduce aggregate demand for energy in the world without mass population culls isn’t mathematically feasible (if it was even desirable).

          Environmental protection is entirely consistent with a steady-state population but advancing technology and prosperity – done correctly.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2.2.1

            Visual pollution is a major problem with wind turbines – they’re incredibly spatially inefficient.

            The visual thing is subjective. Most people seemingly like the look of them.

            Spatially they’re good as well. You design their layout to suit the prevailing winds and, on land, the land can still be used for other things such as farming.

            At sea you keep the same layout, get better wind capture and the benefits of a massive breeding ground for fish.

          • Psycho Milt 3.2.2.2.2

            “Visual pollution” doesn’t exist, other than as a matter of personal taste. If a person finds the sight of man-made objects in the landscape unbearable, they’re hardly going to be able to live anywhere but in a national park.

            • Whispering Kate 3.2.2.2.2.1

              I have never felt wind turbines are a visual pollution. Overseas where there are many areas with wind farms, usually in desolate or moorland type areas I have always seen them as a sculptural piece of art, eerie and stark against the skyline. Surreal in their own way, but as people on this site are saying its beauty in the eyes of the beholder. I think we should have many more of them out there on our skylines – its progress in action and an obviously cleaner substitute than fossil fuels.

            • weka 3.2.2.2.2.2

              “If a person finds the sight of man-made objects in the landscape unbearable, they’re hardly going to be able to live anywhere but in a national park.”

              That’s not what people are referring to when they talk about visual pollution, so null argument there I’m afraid.

              • If their beef isn’t with man-made objects per se, it’s just a matter of personal taste, for which the term “visual pollution” is inappropriate. I don’t like the sight of people wearing sports gear as street clothes, but it would be pretentious to call it “visual pollution.”

                • weka

                  It’s not the sight of man-made objects per se, it’s the impact of some man-made objects on the appreciation of natural beauty. Not all man-made objects. It’s a valid argument in itself, I’m sure you can think of places not to put industrial structures because of the visual impact (amongst other reasons). Or maybe not. Maybe having massive industrial structures next in a national park or next to a beautiful piece of architecture wouldn’t bother bother you. Many humans aren’t like that though.

                  I quite like the look of wind turbines myself, relative to other industrial structures, but there’s plenty of places I think they are inappropriate to put on visual grounds alone.

                  • NZ’s wind turbines tend to be in places where there are also farms visible and/or the original forest cover has been removed by humans. I don’t see why someone should believe that’s OK but a wind turbine isn’t.

                    • weka

                      Some people value iconic bare landscapes /shrug. I get that you don’t understand this, but you not getting it doesn’t mean it’s not valid. Myself, I’d prefer to see the hills of somewhere like Central Otago reforested even if that means letting wilding pines grow. But I also understand that the people that grew up there that have a direct relationship with the place experience the place differently.

                      It’s not a black and white thing, land, or appreciation of beauty. Nor is it rational in the way you want it to be. We can apply rationality over it, but that’s not always the best thing to do esp as rationales are rarely pure and simply represent a different set of values. For instance, there’s no way in hell I’ll support a wind farm on the Lammerlaws so that Aucklanders can wear t-shirts in winter or people can have heated towel rails.

                    • I get that you don’t understand this, but you not getting it doesn’t mean it’s not valid.

                      It’s valid, but it’s also just an opinion, or more accurately a personal preference. I get that people feel strongly about it, and their feelings on any subject are just as valid as mine, but feeling strongly about something isn’t an argument and can’t conjure something called “visual pollution” into existence.

                    • weka

                      ah, ok, I see what you are getting at. So pollution being something that can be objectively evaluated and probably measured?

                      Feeling strongly about something isn’t an argument but it can be used to make an argument. We do that all the time.

                    • McFlock

                      But “pollution” is the word that makes it a matter of opinion, not “visual”.

                      Nobody uses “pollution” to refer to harmless or positive stuff, be it light pollution, noise pollution, air pollution, or waterway pollution. It’s always a negative, and usually it’s a negative to the people mentioning it but not the people who discharged it. Nobody says “you’re polluting the stream with your fresh water” unless they fall for the “dihydrogen monoxide” joke.

                      “Pollution” is the loaded part of the term.

                    • weka

                      except at lay person level air pollution, noise pollution, water pollution all make sense, so why not visual pollution?

                    • Because it’s arbitrary. If someone is looking out the window of their house and thinks that the farms they can see are OK, and the road to their house is OK, and the power lines bringing electricity to their house are OK, and the fences they and all the other farmers put up are OK, and the non-native animals all over the place are OK, but those wind turbines in the distance, those are visual pollution, they don’t really have a workable definition of “visual pollution” beyond “I think it spoils the view.”

                    • weka

                      I think you are just arguing from your own personal preferences now. As I’ve already said, one can experience a man-made object as interfering with beauty, but not experience all man-made objects doing so.

                    • You’re right, I am arguing from my own personal preferences. I’m just saying it would be nice if wind turbine opponents would admit they’re doing the same, instead of inventing something called “visual pollution” so they can pretend they aren’t.

          • weka 3.2.2.2.3

            As for “powering down”, that’s just modern Ludditism (?). There are certainly efficiency gains to be had, but trying to reduce aggregate demand for energy in the world without mass population culls isn’t mathematically feasible (if it was even desirable).

            Environmental protection is entirely consistent with a steady-state population but advancing technology and prosperity – done correctly.

            Powering down is in fact feasible, and is what will happen anyway if we don’t do it. Every civilisation that’s collapsed has gone through enforced power down. I think what you mean is that you don’t know how to feed the world without fossil fuels (renewables require fossil fuels). It’s ok, there are people who know how to do this.

            I’m theoretically good with the steady state idea, although I tend to think that ship has sailed, but the upteching you are advocating isn’t in fact steady state. Running a high tech society requires fossil fuels and GHG emissions (care to share how to build NZ style-hydro without concrete for instance?).

            I would be interested to hear your ideas on population and steady state too.

            The Luddites were right btw.

            • Brutus Iscariot 3.2.2.2.3.1

              Well, one example of up-teching.

              Consider the computing power in your phone – roughly equivalent to a supercomputer of the 60’s that sucked tremendous amounts of electricity. Now we have better functionality and ability to aid/perform tasks, sitting right there in your pocket.

              In a resource sense, the old supercomputer physically used a lot more materials. If we keep growing the number of smartphones, obviously we will need to keep mining ad infinitum. But we can currently do a lot more with the same quantity materials than we used to.

              But all the resources we have ever mined on earth are still here, they’ve just been converted into different forms. So the stuff from the ground is now in a building or in a landfill somewhere. Currently it’s hugely expensive to recycle, but cheap and abundant energy would solve all those issues along with many others. Soon we will be able to grow meat in a lab, and return farmland to forest.

              At the core, it’s all just a physics problem.

              TLDR is population level off + efficiency + tech + recycling could get us through without the need for unpalatable situations.

              • weka

                While I appreciate the efficiency argument, I’d point out two things. There is nothing even remotely sustainable about mobile phones in an ecological sense, so any argument around steady state via high tech would need to include how to make cell phones that were modular with replacement parts and that didn’t require destroying other parts of the planet. Which takes us neatly to social/political issues which efficiency has nothing to do with.

                There is also the Jevon’s Paradox, which is also not solved by world views that propose high tech solutions to our predicament. Are you sure we are using the same quantity as in the 1960s, because I’m willing to bet we are using many many times more.

                I agree with you about better use of resources e.g. mining landfills and more functional recycling, but where is the cheap and abundant energy going to come from?

                How will we grow meat in a lab without fossil fuels (assuming it’s a good idea to base diets around, which I doubt)?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  There is nothing even remotely sustainable about mobile phones in an ecological sense

                  Wrong.

                  The materials can be mined using sustainable methods. Recycling using renewable energy means that once mined they’re available essentially forever.

                  The only thing that makes them unsustainable is that we have a tendency to throw them in landfills rather than recycling. We need to change that and make recycling mandatory.

                  Are you sure we are using the same quantity as in the 1960s, because I’m willing to bet we are using many many times more.

                  We probably are but that’s not due to increasing tech but increasing population. If population had remained the same then the increase in tech level would have seen a decrease in resources used.

                  I agree with you about better use of resources e.g. mining landfills and more functional recycling, but where is the cheap and abundant energy going to come from?

                  Renewable generation. As has been pointed out, there’s enough solar energy striking the Earth to maintain our present energy use without affecting the environment.

                  How will we grow meat in a lab without fossil fuels

                  By the simple expedient of not using fossil fuels.

                  • Brutus Iscariot

                    – Mandatory recycling protocols
                    – internalise environmental externalities in both raw material extraction, and industrial production

                    Won’t work very well without cheap energy, but improving solar and cold fusion might bail us out.

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      See. There you go again. I’m getting a very strong feeling you believe in perpetual motion machines.

                      It’s good to focus on economy but you have link it to ecology which no ones done except on the fringes orstudents interpreting the mass of data my and previous generations have collected but don’t fully understand

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      I totally missed the cold fusion reference. Is that a typo. Please xplain

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Won’t work very well without cheap energy,

                      Renewable energy is incredibly cheap. In fact, it’s always been cheaper than fossil fuels because it doesn’t need continuous inputs of fuel. It just needs the sun burning and it’s going to be doing that for the next five billion years without any help from us.

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      The problem is we will still be exploiting stored energy whether stored in stars, fission material or fossil fuels. Exploiting these free energy produces background radiation that seeps out of a process we’ve already over used. The only thing for it is to scale back and let Mother Nature work her self out

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      Further. If industry want to increase efficiency at the margins while acting with in the law they can pay for there own fucking research

                  • weka

                    “The materials can be mined using sustainable methods”

                    Rare materials are a finite resource. Yes, technically, if we stabilised the population and decided that only a percentage of them would get mobile phones at any one time, then we could produce them sustainably. But that’s not the situation we are in. It’s a literal impossibility to mine a small mineral resource sustainably at the scale we are talking about.

                    If you are intent on a somewhat aggressive argument (“wrong”), then I’ll just say that all your theoretical stuff fails when applied in the physical world. This is a classic example.

                    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/11/search-smartphone-soaked-blood

                    “We probably are but that’s not due to increasing tech but increasing population. If population had remained the same then the increase in tech level would have seen a decrease in resources used.”

                    Not just increasing population but increased demand per person for goods. We have far more electronics now per person than we used to.

                    Anyway, go ahead and explain how to build a wind farm without using FF or concrete. And by build, I mean in the real world, not the theoretical possibility.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Rare materials are a finite resource.

                      And fully recyclable.

                      This is a classic example.

                      Yep. Completely agree with that. That’s why I keep saying that we need to set standards for trade. Shoddy practices like those described would immediately prevent trade with that country.

                      BTW, we do have sources of tungsten in NZ along with all of the other rare earths (which aren’t actually rare BTW).

                      We have far more electronics now per person than we used to.

                      Yes we do but each device uses far less resources than they used to and they achieve far more. A single 1960s mainframe would probably use more resources than several thousand PCs and yet each single PC far outstrips the capabilities of that mainframe.

                      Now think about what that would mean if we’d stabilised the population at the three billion of 1960.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2.2.3.2

              renewables require fossil fuels

              No they don’t as I’ve explained to you several times before.

              Running a high tech society requires fossil fuels

              No they don’t as I’ve explained to you several times before.

              • weka

                as you’ve asserted several times before.

                iffy.

                • Andre

                  Just out of curiosity weka, what bits of modern industrial society do you think can’t do without fossil fuels?

                  Broadly, fossil fuels are either burned for direct process heat, or burned in engines for mechanical power. Renewable electricity can easily substitute for both of those. Powering large ships is going to be difficult with renewables, but could go zero-carbon with nukes. Long-haul aviation needs liquid fuels, which could be biofuels.

                  • weka

                    Ok Andre, let’s play this out. Two examples then.

                    1. Wind farms. Please show me how they can be built, in the foreseeable future using zero fossil fuels. You’ll need to include all materials (including mining, transport and processing of materials), as well as all the infrastructure involved in that e.g. the machines used to mine the minerals, the factories that those machines are made in, the materials those factories are made from etc. I get that that is theoretically possible at an abstract level, so I’m asking you to explain how it would work in the work over the next period of time.

                    2. long haul aviation fuels replaced with biofuels. Where are they going to come from?

                    • Andre

                      weka, it would take weeks to go through every single process, identify which energy input came from fossil fuels and show how it could change to electricity. The question you’ve asked is so general it’s like asking to prove a negative.

                      But as far as I know, every single step of making a wind turbine could be powered by electricity. For instance, steel-making uses coal both for heat, and to reduce the iron oxide. Coz coal is cheap. But it can be done entirely electrolytically.

                      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/cleaner-cheaper-way-to-make-steel-uses-electricity/

                      Every mining dump truck, front-end loader that currently runs on diesel could run on electricity. Whether by batteries, overhead wires, or trailing cables. It’s just cheaper and more convenient to use fossil fuels. Oh, and those massive german coal mining machine that can scoop up the volume of an olympic swimming pool in a few minutes? Electrically powered.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagger_288

                      The crushers and mills for pulverising materials that go into concrete often are already electric. The heat needed for the calcination of cement is usually fossil now (coz it’s cheaper) but can easily be swapped to electricity.

                      There’s three bits. If you’ve got a specific process you don’t understand how to convert, ask and I’ll help you.

                      Biofuels – well plenty of agricultural production now goes to really dumb bio-ethanol. It wouldn’t be hard to get smarter about that to make aviation fuel.

                    • weka

                      I think you misunderstand me Andre. I accept that it’s possible technically. I’m saying that once you try and do it in the real world, it looks really different. This stuff was hashed out by the Peak Oil crowd a decade ago, and that included industry people and engineers etc.

                      weka, it would take weeks to go through every single process, identify which energy input came from fossil fuels and show how it could change to electricity. The question you’ve asked is so general it’s like asking to prove a negative.

                      It’s not a general question, it’s specific. People who claim that because it’s technically feasible it must be literally possible at the applied level are the ones talking in generalities. I’m asking you to break it down and show how that could happen given the various limitations of the known physical world. You don’t have to go into every little detail but if you can’t do a cradle to grave analysis please explain what makes you think it’s possible in reality.

                    • weka

                      Biofuels – well plenty of agricultural production now goes to really dumb bio-ethanol. It wouldn’t be hard to get smarter about that to make aviation fuel.

                      Likewise with this. It sounds reasonable right? But I’d like to see that broken down into some broad figures on how much fuel is needed per flight, and how much land is needed to grow that fuel, and then how many non-ff resources are needed to process/transport it etc. You’re talking theoretically, I’m asking for some evidence that it would work in practice.

                      You could do it just for NZ. For the sake of argument, take the number of international flights and cut it in half as our responsibility to grow and process the fuel for it. There will be an interesting calculation there along the lines of how many flights we do per year compared to how long it takes to grow and process each crop.

                    • Andre

                      It works really easily in real time. As the price of fossil fuels go up relative to electricity, more and more processes become cheaper to do electrically than with fossil fuels.

                      When the price of oil went over $100/barrel I’m aware of several manufacturers went on quick conversion programmes to electric. Only one of which actually completed the conversion before the oil price went back down. The others abandoned their projects, and still run on fossil fuels now.

                    • weka

                      “It works really easily in real time. As the price of fossil fuels go up relative to electricity, more and more processes become cheaper to do electrically than with fossil fuels.”

                      That’s the theory, which has been demonstrated on a small scale. You are asserting that it can be done on the whole planet, but there’s nothing you’ve said that I find convincing.

                      When the price of oil went over $100/barrel I’m aware of several manufacturers went on quick conversion programmes to electric. Only one of which actually completed the conversion before the oil price went back down. The others abandoned their projects, and still run on fossil fuels now.

                      Right, but they still relied heavily and instrinsicly on ff-based tech. They had all that infrastructure, supply lines etc behind the conversion that was mined, manufactured and run on ff.

                      You’ve also now neatly highlighted the economic (and likewise political) realities, which I’m actually happy to leave out of the argument for now, because even with the best will in the world I’m not sure what you are suggesting is possible.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That’s the theory, which has been demonstrated on a small scale. You are asserting that it can be done on the whole planet, but there’s nothing you’ve said that I find convincing.

                      It can be done on the whole planet.

                      The problem is that you’re confusing the need for fossil fuels during the change over period as an ongoing need for fossil fuels for a high-tech economy.

                      Yes, we’ll continue using fossil fuels until the change over is done and then we won’t because they’re not needed.

                    • weka

                      The problem is that you’re confusing the need for fossil fuels during the change over period as an ongoing need for fossil fuels for a high-tech economy.

                      No, I’m not Draco, which you would know if you engaged in conversation instead of making assumptions and telling me I’m wrong. In this conversation I am talking about how to get from where we are now to fully renewables with the current population and standards of living. Neither you or Andre have done anything other than present some theory. Both of you are side stepping the pragmatics of how it could be done.

                  • Bill

                    Long-haul aviation needs liquid fuels, which could be biofuels.

                    Theoretically could, yes.And you could argue back and forth on the logistics. But since we need to have zero emissions from energy, it ain’t an option (not beyond the very, very short term anyway). And that zero carbon necessity means that no bio-fuel can be used anywhere for energy purposes – probably including my much beloved wood burning stove
                    🙁

                    You want air travel there are two options I’m aware of.

                    1. Hydrogen fueled aircraft (the prototypes were built in the 80s by the Russians – they retrofitted ‘normal’ aircraft)

                    2. Dirigibles.

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      Graphene is still an option. Anything that can repurpose carbon is an option

                    • Bill

                      Dunno what graphene is – never heard of it. Bottom line is that by around 2030 -2040, anything with carbon emissions is a ‘no go’ if we want even the slimmest chance of ducking 2 degrees.

                      Away to see what graphene is now….

                      A conductor, yes? So not an energy source.

                    • weka

                      “probably including my much beloved wood burning stove”

                      Maybe not (although we need to transition to high efficient burners),

                      while new plantations managed for timber and firewood have no net carbon dioxide emissions and actually take 0.17kg of CO2 out of the atmosphere for every kWhr of heat produced.

                      https://holmgren.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/41_firewood.pdf

                      His comparisons initially are with coal-fired electricity and gas (wood is a no brainer), but he appears to be saying that irrespective of comparisons with other forms of energy for heating, firewood has negative emissions if managed properly. I’ve heard Holmgren say that firewood is the only sustainable energy source on the planet (I assume because of it’s ability to sequester more than it emits).

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      Ae. It’s nano material. It’s just one possible step in along process required to recycle carbon. The thing is. We’ll have to wait for a Thomas Edison, JP Morgan type relation ship to emerge.

                    • Andre

                      Liquid fuels around 45MJ/kg, including tanks. Hydrogen best figure I’ve seen including tanks is 11 MJ/kg. Hydrogen and liquid fuel have about the same efficiency converting chemical energy into mechanical energy. The takeoff weight of a long haul aircraft going for maximum range is around 50% fuel. I just don’t see how that can possibly add up to hydrogen being viable for long haul aviation.

                      Let alone the other problems with hydrogen, ie where do you get it from and it’s an extremely difficult and dangerous fuel.

                    • Andre

                      Graphene has potential as a next next generation high strength material. You may have heard of carbon nanotubes – they’re essentially sheets of graphene rolled up into a cylinder to make a single layer or multi-layer tube.

                      Carbon fibre is more or less lots of graphene mushed together to form a really long log (at the micro scale), with the number and type of defects in the structure determining the grade (strength and modulus) of the fibre.

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      We experienced the same problems with silicon 50 years ago. We solved all that by pumping money into it. We can do the same with graphene. So time isn’t so much an inhibitor

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Not iffy at all. All we need fossil fuels for is energy and we can get that elsewhere.

                  All you do when you assert that we need fossil fuels for these things is prove your ignorance.

                  • weka

                    Another assertion Draco. It was an autocorrect, it was meant to be fify.

                  • pat

                    86.%of worlds energy use was supplied by oil,coal and gas (2006)…..while the theory of replacing the likes of earthmoving equipment et al with electric versions sounds feasible (small scale), to replace energy use without a reduction in production would require an almost 8 fold increase (at least) in electricity production and distribution worldwide……and in an impossibly short timeframe.

                    • weka

                      thanks Pat.

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      Now we’ve cleared that up. How do you tell some one there a horder

                    • weka

                      using words?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That fails to explain why we need fossil fuels for these things.

                      Yes, we’re presently using fossil fuels to supply energy but we don’t need to. This makes weka’s and your assertion that we need fossil fuels for both a high tech economy and renewables wrong.

                    • Pat

                      @DTB….it explains it very clearly to anyone who grasps the concept of dense mobile energy (which oil, gas and coal are) …and the concept of time.

                      We dont need fossil fuels…..but we cannot produce and service the lifestyles we currently enjoy without them…at least not at scale.

                      Simple really.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No, it doesn’t explain it at all. It makes a really basic fucken mistake.

                    • Pat

                      don’t be a dickhead….30 years to change over?right, have you any concept of what is involved in an 8 fold increase in electricity generation and distribution? (we won’t worry about any of the other challenges involved )…i suggest not.

                      there is one way you can hold on to your precious western lifestyle….reduce the worlds population by 86%(or so)

  3. Morrissey 4

    The Jeremy Kyle Show

    I have a transcript of Jeremy Kyle’s recent appearance in New Zealand. Anyone interested in me posting it up?

  4. Morrissey 5

    “These tests show that you’re a LIAR!”
    Jeremy Kyle in New Zealand, Monday 9 January 2017

    Part One of Two

    We join the show near the end of the first segment. Host JEREMY KYLE stands centrestage, holding a large white envelope. To his right are seated HELEN CLARK and HEATHER SIMPSON, to his left sits the disgraced ex-Labour MP SHANE JONES. Hovering close by, ever vigilant, are two burly, black-clad security men….

    JEREMY KYLE: All right, now just one more time, let’s get this quite clear: you say you did nothing in that hotel room except work on your Cabinet papers? [He turns to the audience and smirks disdainfully]

    AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha!

    SHANE JONES: Absolutely.

    AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha ha ha!… BULLSH*T!…. He’s the Minister for Porn!…The only papers he was working through was tissue papers!…. Ha ha ha ha ha!

    JEREMY KYLE: [waiting for the wave of catcalling and derisive laughter to subside] Well, let’s see what the lie detector tests say. …

    [tears open envelope, scans contents, pauses several seconds for effect]….

    JEREMY KYLE: These tests show that you’re a LIAR! You weren’t attending to cabinet papers in that hotel room, you were watching PORN!

    SHANE JONES: Bugger the lie detector machines! They’re obviously faulty.

    AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha ha ha! Not as faulty as the Labour Party candidate selection process!

    JEREMY KYLE: These good citizens will be happy, I’m sure, to know that their hard-earned TAXES are going on rental copies of Debbie Does Dallas!

    SHANE JONES: Piss off! It wasn’t Debbie Does Dallas, it was Vase de Noces.

    ….Awkward pause….

    JEREMY KYLE: You disGUST me! Get off my show, NOW!

    JONES skulks off, clutching the lie detector results slip…

    WAGS FROM CROWD: He’s fit only for the ACT cult now!…. He’s got the situation FIRMLY in hand! …. Ha ha ha ha ha! …. Off to the National Party, Jones—that’s where all the wankers go!…. More huzzas, general hubbub, raucous laughter….

    HELEN CLARK: [through gritted teeth] I knew it!

    HEATHER SIMPSON: [bitterly, to Clark] I TOLD you you should NEVER have made that clown a cabinet minister in the FIRST place, for pity’s sake.

    HELEN CLARK: [angrily rising from seat and advancing on SIMPSON] Don’t you DARE criticize my man-management! I ran a tight ship for NINE glorious years.

    AUDIENCE: Fight, fight, fight!… Smash ‘er, Heather!

    The security men step swiftly between SIMPSON and CLARK…

    JEREMY KYLE: Now, now, settle down ladies. This is the Jeremy Kyle Show, not Jerry Springer! Maybe we’ll have you back on the show soon to discuss your legacy, Helen! For now, you go THAT way, and YOU—[pointing to SIMPSON]—go THAT way.

    Exeunt CLARK and SIMPSON

    JEREMY KYLE: And the best of luck to them. Coming up after the break: this man [close-up of SWORDFISH waiting nervously in green room] says that the people on New Zealand’s leading blog need to COOL IT during this election year and STOP all the SQUABBLING!

    Cameras pan over nervous Standardistas waiting to make their entrance: marty mars, weka, Psycho Milt, Sasha and Morrissey.

    To be continued…..

    • swordfish 5.1

      .

      JEREMY KYLE: And the best of luck to them. Coming up after the break: this man [close-up of SWORDFISH waiting nervously in green room] says that the people on New Zealand’s leading blog need to COOL IT during this election year and STOP all the SQUABBLING!

      “Nervously” ???, Mozza, “Nervously” ??? … Never !!! I’ve always been a laid back sort of a Geeza, cool as a cucumber, me. I’d be sitting in the Green Room scheming up ways to subvert the programme by telling a few home truths that highlight Kyle’s remarkably ugly manipulative streak.

      Looking forward to the next instalment.

      By outrageous coincidence, my 16 year old Nephew (living in the UK) is a massive JEREMY KYLE fan (in common, no doubt, with most English 16 year old lads). His parents have spent a few years trying to wean him off the show (to no noticeable effect).

  5. Cinny 6

    Shhh better not let this news get to the public, wonder if the Herald or Stuff will bother mentioning it. (The Herald had a link to the story, click on the link and it is a 404 page not found)

    “Figures obtained by the Taxpayers’ Union under the Official Information Act show that to date Kiwi taxpayers have forked out $7.7 million to the Clinton Foundation’s “Health Access Initiative” with $2.5 million and $3 million earmarked for 2017 and 2018 respectively.”

    This pisses me off no end, dodgy Clinton foundation and our government decides that taxpayers are giving millions of dollars to it.

    What kind of dumb arse explanation will the outgoing government provide for this ‘donation’? Especially with all the scandal around the Clinton Foundation to start with. FFS.

    Here’s an idea, how about using NZ tax payer money for NZer’s.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1701/S00040/government-set-to-give-clinton-foundation-another-55m.htm

    • Tony P 6.1

      Maybe this explains things a little more clearly. Can’t say I take anything the Taxpayers Onion comes with seriously.

      http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/taxpayers-union-still-stupid-cynical-and/

    • If I understand this correctly, you’re endorsing a National Party front organisation whose press release includes the line “…New Zealand’s faux pas in co-sponsoring the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel on Christmas Eve…” and suggesting that the NZ government stop all foreign aid (“NZ tax payer money for NZer’s”). Is that really what you wanted to say?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.3

      …dodgy…

      [citation needed]

      Are you determined to make common cause with Breitbart?

    • red-blooded 6.4

      Do some independent thinking, Cinny.
      1) The Taxpayers Union is a front for ACT-ites.
      2) Why do you assume that everything with the name “Clinton”on it is “dirty”? Who fed you that line? (Clue, he likes to blow his own trumpet.)
      3) Are you seriously saying that NZ shouldn’t spend any money on foreign aid? Because, if you are, that’s a despicable attitude.

      Check out the posting, links and comments on just put up:
      https://thestandard.org.nz/the-great-taxpayers-union-fraud-and-corruption-discovery/

      • Colonial Viper 6.4.1

        Stop apologising for the corrupt Clintons.

        That money should have gone into our own foreign relief aid efforts in the Pacific, not into an attempt to curry favour with the next Clinton Administration.

        • McFlock 6.4.1.1

          Stop making shit up.

          • Morrissey 6.4.1.1.1

            That’s good advice. You should c.c. the Democratic Party’s desperate propagandists.

            https://www.democracynow.org/2017/1/5/glenn_greenwald_on_dearth_of_evidence

            • McFlock 6.4.1.1.1.1

              I tried forwarding some helpful advice to democrat_propaganda_unit@wetdream.org, but got the autoreply “morrissey isn’t in right now, but when he gets close to planet earth he’ll get back to you with some barely-legible ranting”.

              • Paul

                I find Morrissey both enlightening and entertaining.

                • McFlock

                  I get neither from him.

                  He’s a delusional fool. But at least he doesn’t seem to be a damned liar like CV, so there’s that going for him, I guess.

                  • Anne

                    He’s entertaining McFlock. He knows he’s exaggerating but that’s part of the fun… you take it into consideration. My Dad was the same. We knew to halve everything he said but he was also entertaining in the process.

              • stunned mullet

                LOL

                • reason

                  I enjoy Morrisys transcripts …………..

                  When Stunned mullet or James post …………. Its like someone slipping a dick pic into the thread ….

                  Piss and wind being the usual contribution from them …..

                  2017 could be a tough year to be knob spam …….

                  Bill English can not carry out the walking ‘fake news’ con job that John Key was packaged up as …….

                  I think it’s also accurate to say Winston beat key …… again…………..

                  and if Keys Tax Haven/cheating laws are properly dismantled it will be 100% defeat …

                  I’m picking Keys legacy will embroil the all blacks into a scandal in the near future ….

                  Lowering their mana and support …

      • Draco T Bastard 6.4.2

        3) Are you seriously saying that NZ shouldn’t spend any money on foreign aid?

        The question that I always come up with is: Why do these countries need aid?

        At no point should a country ever need aid or foreign investment. They have their own resources, their own people, and thus can create their own money to utilise those resources creating their own economy.

        I suspect that the real problem that needs to be addressed is the colonisation of these countries by foreign bankers and capitalists.

      • Cinny 6.4.3

        Thankies RB for the link, much appreciated.

        1. Doesn’t really matter to me whom the taxpayers union is aligned to, but that’s interesting that you say it’s a front for ACTites. Will def do some more reading/research.

        2. Nope no one fed me that line. Gosh certainly not Agent Orange. I do take on board much info, but do like to come to my own conclusions, and am happy to change my mind if more info comes to light. Only a stubborn fool would be stuck in one mindset, or gather info from an echo chamber or limited sources/sites.

        3. Foreign aid is fine by me, as long as it is used for those that need it. And with our country in so much debt, recovering from earthquakes, as well as making sure we have reserves to help any in the pacific islands should they have another disaster (because that is important IMHO), it makes me think that such a generous donation to that particular organisation is in bad taste.

        Just thought I’d mention I’m a supporter of increasing our refugee quota.

        I wonder what other ‘donations’ there are and to whom?

        This appears to have only come to light via an OIA, so what else is happening that they would rather us not know about?
        I mean if it was a great organisation, wouldn’t the government be proud to donate money to it? Wouldn’t the public feel proud to know they were helping people whom were suffering more than they are? So wouldn’t they be making it
        a publicity press opportunity. And that’s a bit of a crux for me, it appears to be all a bit slim shady.

        Been a primo day here, time for me to do some reading 😀

    • Bill 6.5

      If it’s okay for the government to give public money that was earmarked for ‘Foreign Aid’ to the Clinton Foundation (a private concern), then presumably it’s okay to give that same money to other private concerns like (oh – I dunno) The Bill Gate’s Foundation, The George Soros Foundation, the Ford Foundation.. the White Helmets…

      I’m no statist, but if we’re going to throw crumbs and bones from our banquet by way of foreign aid monies, I’d fully expect the public purse to fund orgs and programmes that had high degrees of public oversight…such as other government bodies. ..or to recognised aid agencies (eg Oxfam) for specific projects/programmes.

      • McFlock 6.5.1

        The donations were indeed for specific projects, the CHAI is a recognised agency, and it has admin costs probably better than anything the government does directly.

        Seems all your boxes are ticked.

  6. greywarshark 7

    Robert Guyton and weka
    This was interesting on radionz yesterday – have picked up item about different veges than usual from afficiando like Robert.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/summer-days/audio/201829571/seeking-unusual-vege-varieties

    food environment
    10 Jan 2017
    Seeking unusual vege varieties
    From Summer Days with Jesse Mulligan, 11:25 am on 10 January 2017

    Tim Martin is an ecologist who in his spare time cultivates a magnificent fruit and vege garden at his Mt Wellington home in Auckland.
    He tries to experiment every year with new varieties, some of which become staples, he says.

    Fuji apples as an espalier on boundary fence
    Leeks are a winter staple in Tim’s garden
    Courgettes
    Beans and capsicum
    All of Tim’s swiss chard (silverbeet) is produced by letting them grow wherever they self-seed.
    Cucumber grown as a groundcover
    climbing beans, sunflowers, pumpkin and corn in garden alongside house

    Heather potatoes – which Tim says have an amazing texture that semi-caramelises in the middle

    Tomato plants
    The summer tomato glut
    Tomatoes grown as groundcover under clothes-line
    Mesclun for all year round salads
    The loaded lemon tree

    “One of my favourites is the tomatillo. It’s a close relative of the Cape gooseberry, it’s in that tomato family, it’s a very easy way of growing a tomato equivalent, it’s disease resistant there’s no training or pruning they just form a bush.”

    Tomatillos are used in Mexican to make salsa and he says they can also be chargrilled.
    Tim grows them from seed in August/September and plants out in November.

    Having a problem with stringy beans? Try an old New Zealand heritage variety Tim says.
    “One of my all-time favourites is an old heritage variety The Dalmation bean, it’s a climbing bean and if you go away during your summer holidays … you won’t come back to inedible beans – even if they grow full size, they’re stringless and tender.”

    He suggests potato onions as a lazy way of growing onions, which is where you plant an onion, instead of an onion seed, and that onion turns into 10 or 12 small onions, much in the same way as garlic or shallots.

    Other options he suggests are water spinach (or Kang Kong) and a variety of tomato called green sausage which he says you can leave alone and it will grow like a carpet.

    [link and quoting fixed – weka]

    • Carolyn_nth 7.1

      Thanks, greywarshark. Makes me think, if I move, I’ll move to a flat where I can have a garden. There’s a limit to what I can grow in a pot.

      I do like leeks, courgettes and silverbeet – do grow the latter, have had difficulty growing leeks.

      I like the potato onion suggestion.

    • weka 7.2

      thanks grey!

      For future reference, can you please link to the RNZ page, not the audio? RNZ are not using permanent URLs for their audio, but instead audio IDs that link to a person’s history, so your link went to the last audio I listened to. If you link to the page instead (with the details of the content), then that will be a permanent link and the same for everyone. That page will also give the various options for listening e.g. stream or download, rather than just the stream which isn’t suitable for everyone. Cheers.

      • greywarshark 7.2.1

        OK I’ll try weka but I can’t always get to a place where I can do what I want to do – get message that I can’t be transferred for some bloody reason. I am sick of it being so difficult. So sometimes if I can’t get the right thing I will just have to put what I can get. I have to limit my time on the computer, but like to pass interesting stuff on. But have to keep a kitchen timer beside me – so old-fashioned! And proud of it. I don’t want to be completely controlled by machines and web designers thinking up new ways to make me feel inadequate and out of touch. Bah,

        Why RNZ couldn’t give all the previous options with a pretty format when they updated their site I don’t know. I think a lot of these programming types wouldn’t know their A from their E and simply work from the latest instruction book as to what is ‘best practice’ until the next disruption occurs! Strike it also on Trademe, where for no apparent customer advantage something will change and a useful option vanish.

  7. Sacha 8

    Industry lobbyists DairyNZ, who lost their recent complaint against a truthful Greenpeace tv advert, get a right spanking from Rachel Stewart: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11779636

  8. Anne 9

    Jordy-boy Williams of Taxpayers Union fame is having a tantrum after discovering the NZ Govt. has donated 7.7 million dollars of “tax payers money” to the Clinton Foundation. This is a charitable organisation which apparently has been highly praised by philanthropy experts:

    From Wikipedia:

    Through 2016 the foundation had raised an estimated $2 billion from U.S. corporations, foreign governments and corporations, political donors, and various other groups and individuals. The acceptance of funds from wealthy donors has been a source of controversy. The foundation “has won accolades from philanthropy experts and has drawn bipartisan support”.

    But what is upsetting Jordy-boy most is the fact that Donny-boy Trump won’t like it one little bit and we mustn’t upset the orange fella. How dare the NZ govt. support a charity set up to provide humane assistance to the disadvantaged wherever and whoever they may be!

    This is my paraphrasing of the Herald item because guess what: the highlighted online news clip has suddenly become “not available“.

  9. Carolyn_nth 10

    A heckler at a UK Brexit meeting told an economy professor that his GDP figures were not for her economy. And this article shows why she is correct.

    If economists tout GDP as signs of a healthy strong economy, but many people around the country (whether UK or NZ) are not getting the benefits, then there’s something wrong with the way economists are measuring the strength of an economy:

    Article by Aditya Chakrabortty

    Putting together official figures and the Bank of England’s own calculations, it looked at regional GDP per head from the capital up to Scotland. And it showed that only two regions of the total 12 were actually richer than they were before the credit crunch. Those two regions were London and the south-east. Nearly everywhere else was poorer than in 2007 – sometimes, as in Northern Ireland, a lot poorer.

    … On statistical aggregates the UK is enjoying a recovery. But in reality this has been a recovery for owner-occupiers in London and the south-east. It has locked out those without big assets, such as the young, and those renting in the capital. It has penalised the poor. And it has impoverished those who have been forced on to zero hours or bogus self-employment.

    the problem with economists … [is] that by concentrating on aggregates, they insist it’s sunny outside, when it’s T-shirt weather for a few in central London and the rest of the country is getting soaked.

    It’s all about how the statistics are used by economists…. or alternatively, they could just get out and about and see what the reality is for diverse people on the ground.

  10. Andre 11

    Oh boy. Popcorn time. Whether there’s anything to this, or it’s some elaborate hoax, either way it’s a grenade in the longdrop.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/10/politics/donald-trump-intelligence-report-russia/index.html

    • Carolyn_nth 11.1

      As Glenn Greenwald tweeted, whatever the truth of the weakly verified reports from the US intelligence agencies, there’s now open warfare between the intelligence services and Trump.

      Also Greenwald and others speculating that the CIA is retaliating to Trump being critical of the intelligence services.

      I have no doubt that both the Russia and US intelligence services have sophisticated surveillance and black ops capabilities. I have no way of knowing exactly what is going on in this covert warfare.

    • joe90 11.3

      He’s really pissed off.

      FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017

      • Andre 11.3.1

        Well, considering the usual ratio of truth and lies from Trump, that denial increases my confidence the stuff’s legit.

    • Colonial Viper 11.5

      Poor old lefty liberals. Still fighting the last war.

      Ten days to 16 years of Trump rule.

      (Assuming the CIA don’t successfully use their regime change skills on their homeland.)

      • stunned mullet 11.5.1

        16 years ?…do tell…

        • weka 11.5.1.1

          It’s a wind up.

        • mac1 11.5.1.2

          Two terms of Donald, and then two terms from one of the kids, as Mrs Melania is foreign born and not eligible, though Donald could get that changed. There are five kids, so why not 48 years coming up Trumps? 🙂

          • Anne 11.5.1.2.1

            Jesus mac1. Trying to give us ‘fellow’ oldies heart attacks are you? 😮

            • mac1 11.5.1.2.1.1

              In other countries it’s called the monarchy and is A Good Thing. You know, Liz followed by Charlie, then Billy, then Teddie et Al (whoever Al is.)

    • Bill 11.6

      Reported by ‘Mother Jones’ at the back end of October.

      So why now? As in, why the sudden ramping up? Why not back then?

      Haven’t read the links provided below yet about the US eating itself, but

    • Rob Gilchrist 11.7

      I’m rather confident that document is fake. I’m no Trump fan but the story on the report says something like it’s from a former Brit Spy – D I doesn’t say who he worked for but I guess MI6.

      After looking over the docs, it’s nothing like any Intel Report I’ve even seen. And I’ve seen a written a few.

      I don’t have time to pull it to bits, but will if enough people want it, but here’s my brief summary:

      The document isn’t laid out anything like a Intel Report, or even a gist report. So the format is the main thing that leads me to believe it’s fake.

      Now, what would this guy know I hear you ask… Well as our Intelligence services are based on MI6 MI6 and most other police or military. Our agencies follow very similar protocols and procedures… Including the way Intel reports, Gist reports etc are written. So NZ Intel reports are based in format / layout on the UK Intel Reports.

      This doc looks nothing like a genuine Intel report written by a person who should know what one not only looks like, but how it should be formatted.

      So, the format is just wrong, although it looks like they (the writers tried however) Them comes the content. It’s not written in a way that someone trained to write these reports would do. It’s shit, really. Like I said. I’m willing to go through it bit by bit and show you the mistakes, incorrect use of terms, lack of using real terms. Making comments wrapped in ()

      So, I don’t think this is a silver bullet. It’s fake, obviously written by people who knew enough to put the content together, and leak it. I’m not going to answer who I think it is. But the way things are sharpening up, this won’t be the last one of these.

      Again, if people want a full synopsis of the leaked report and why I think it’s fake, just ask and I’ll go through it bit by bit.

      Rob Gilchrist

      • Andre 11.7.1

        So if the 35 pages is just something made up by a fantasist, what are the intel agencies using as a basis for their announcement? Or have the intel agencies lost the plot so badly one will publicly announce more investigations into one candidate 10 days before the election (against protocol with apparently no reasonable evidence and very dubious legal grounds), then this, 10 days before the inauguration of the other one, (who was arguably assisted in victory by the previous dodgy announcement).

        Popcorn. Lots of popcorn.

  11. Draco T Bastard 12

    Good call by the union:

    Rail workers call out Transport Minister’s hypocrisy over electric vehicles

    The union representing working people in New Zealand’s railways says Transport Minister Simon Bridges is acting like a hypocrite for touting the benefits of electric cars while allowing KiwiRail to ditch electric locomotives.

    “There’s some incredible irony in this. While Bridges is ditching his diesel vehicle for an electric one, he’s overseeing KiwiRail’s move from electric locomotives to diesel ones,” said Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) General Secretary Wayne Butson.

    In December KiwiRail confirmed that it would not upgrade its electric fleet on the North Island Main Trunk Line, instead opting to downgrade to Chinese-made diesel locomotives.

    “If Bridges is sold on the benefit of electric vehicles why isn’t he sold on the benefits of electric locomotives?”

    “All the arguments that apply to electric cars apply to electric locomotives. They’re cheaper and better for the planet in the long run. Investing in electric locomotives would even create local jobs,” said Butson.

    RMTU modelling shows that KiwiRail’s electric fleet saves 8 million litres in fuel each year and the price of upkeep is only $1.13 per km, but the Chinese-made diesel locomotives will guzzle the gas the electric fleet saves and the likely cost of upkeep will be $2.27 per km.

    “This looks, sounds and smells like hypocrisy.”

  12. Attention Micky-savage ,back in the 1970s the late Bob Reece of Hamilton who you may remember told me that the LP had patented the silver fern badge . So if this is the case how is it that that the Nat’s
    are often seen wearing what looks very much like our silver fern membership badge .?

  13. james 14

    “Ngapuhi elder now backs PM’s Waitangi no show: ‘I wouldn’t go either'”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11780428

  14. Morrissey 15

    Full of incendiary anti-Russian rhetoric and selective morality,
    Hopey-Changey’s last hurrah is a model of hypocrisy and dishonesty.

    Chicago, Tuesday 10 December (U.S. time)

    I’ve just heard the man that Jim Mora calls “the greatest orator of our time” quoting Atticus Finch—the “walk a mile in someone’s shoes” quote from To Kill A Mockingbird. Incredibly, he doesn’t seem to realize that Atticus Finch could give Jeff Sessions a run for his money when it comes to bigotry. [1]

    Hopey-Changey’s brain-dead cheer squad didn’t seem to mind, though. These zombies even cheered when he boasted about how he’s “halved our dependence on foreign oil”—forgetting that he’s presided over a stratospheric increase in fracking, and has been a stubborn advocate of expanding nuclear energy production.

    He’s just spoken of “violent fanatics who claim to speak for Islam”, but said nothing about violent fanatics who claim to speak for Judaism, or Christianity. [2] Nor did he mention that for the last six years the United States has been supporting, in Syria, the most violent and fanatical of all the violent fanatics who claim to speak for Islam.

    He’s also just praised the “effectiveness of our law enforcement agencies”, as though all those police executions of unarmed black children across the United States had never happened. The crowd, which no doubt is largely comprised of self-described “liberals”, cheered even louder after that lie.

    [1] https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/11/atticus-finch-racist-go-set-watchman

    [2] http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/obama_netanyahu_2_.jpg

    • Paul 15.1

      When did Jim Mora know anything?
      It’s quite sad listening to his fawning to the establishment.

    • red-blooded 15.2

      Morrissey, have a look at the reply I gave you about Atticus Finch over in the other line where you posted this comment. Better still, read To Kill a Mockingbird (which is not the same book as Go Set a Watchman – hint, they have different titles – and does not feature the same character as the one who’s discussed in your link – that’s about a different book – an early draft that was abandoned and never intended for publication).

  15. Wainwright 16

    Bill asked me to back up some opinions I had on this thread so I’ve done that. Here it is for the afternoon crowd.
    https://thestandard.org.nz/wikileaks-unravels/#comment-1285609

    OK Bill. There was no search button on the front page so I did some googling\

    You’ve dismissed any suggestion that the positive reporting coming out of Aleppo might be biased.
    https://thestandard.org.nz/voices-from-aleppo/#comment-1281037
    You’ve mocked images of a wounded child and reporting from inside Aleppo which didn’t match your narrative.
    https://thestandard.org.nz/the-propaganda-war/
    You’ve shrugged and said “Everyone’s bombing residential neighbourhoods” to avoid people talking about Russain atrocities
    https://thestandard.org.nz/the-propaganda-war/#comment-1239631
    You’ve denied that there’s civil war in Syria implying the only resistance to Assad is foreign fighters.
    https://thestandard.org.nz/the-propaganda-war/#comment-1239682

    But I apologize. I should obviously have said “I have the IMPRESSION you are actively whitewashing the brutality of Assad’s regime and implying that anyone who thinks he’s a genocidal monter is uninformed and brainwashed.” I’ll be more careful in future.

    • miravox 16.1

      “I have the IMPRESSION you are actively whitewashing the brutality of Assad’s regime and implying that anyone who thinks he’s a genocidal mon[s]ter is uninformed and brainwashed”

      Thanks Wainwright. That turns out to have been a useful exercise. A nice little summary and I share your impression.

      • Morrissey 16.1.1

        A nice little summary…

        Wainwright’s attack on Bill is actually a nasty little smear. He could be trying for a job with the DNC.

        …and I share your impression.

        No you don’t. You know Bill does not support Assad, just like “Wainwright” knows it.

        • miravox 16.1.1.1

          “No you don’t. You know Bill does not support”

          IMO, you’ve just done something quite similar to what Wainwright was accused of which led to this summary – stating as a fact what what is actually your opinion about how I think.

          I certainly do share Wainwright’s impression. I interpreted Bill’s comments in a similar way to Wainwright at the time they were made, and have not seen anything since that has changed my mind.

          • Morrissey 16.1.1.1.1

            You are a liar.

            [Relax MV has addressed the issue. No need for this – MS]

            • miravox 16.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s harsh Morrissey… and wrong.

            • Morrissey 16.1.1.1.1.2

              Sorry Miravox, I just fired it off without thinking. I know you’re not a liar. I was thoughtless and irresponsible to write it, and there’s no excuse.

              While you’re there, Mickey, I’ve just had two messages for the “Obama’s last Speech” adulation thread bounced. I did not swear or engage in the sort of ad hom. nonsense that I unleashed on poor old Miravox.

              So why am I being bounced? I presume you are not the one doing it.

              [Nothing in the pending comments list. Will check – MS]

              • Morrissey

                [Nothing in the pending comments list. Will check – MS]

                Thanks Bill. This feels really sinister. I posed four serious questions to Sacha, asking her to defend her contention that old Hopey Changey had made an “inspiring” speech in Chicago.

                Looks like either she’s not up to the challenge of responding or someone is stomping on our right to politely and intelligently dissent.

                [there were 2 comments in the Trash, I’ve released them now. Nothing nefarious, it happens randomly, to many of us, including authors. You’ve been here long enough to know this Morrissey, so stop with the conspiracy stuff please – weka]

                • Wainwright

                  All my comments got put into pending because Bill didn’t like what I said. Do I get to imply there’s a dark conspiracy of Standard authors suppressing the truth too? 🙄

                  [all your comments got put into Pending because you accused an author of something they didn’t do. That’s premoderation and it’s one of the tools at a moderator’s disposal to make moderating easier and to teach commenters where the boundaries. Can you please reread the Policy, because it states clearly that it’s not ok to attack authors. Stop and think about it. If we moderated based on dislike, between the groups of us most comments would disappear. While we are all broadly on the left, there is a large range of views and opinions held by authors who moderate.

                  Sometimes people’s comments go into moderation randomly, but it’s amazing to me how many people assume something nefarious is going on despite it regularly being pointed out that this happens. I’m now putting you back in premoderation until I can see you’ve acknowledged this comment – weka]

                  • Wainwright

                    Yes weka, I know. That was my point. Sometimes comments go into moderation. Morrisey’s the one trying to paint himself as the Edward Snowden of the Standard.

                    • weka

                      Did you see my point about your comments about Bill? He didn’t moderate you based on ‘like’. This is an important point.

                    • Wainwright

                      I already apologised for it. I guess I’ll do it again. Bill moderated me for making a direct statement instead of making it clear I was stating an opinion that my impression is he obfuscates criticism of Assad’s regime. He also doesn’t “like” my opinion but has not moderated me for it. Message received.

                      [You still don’t get it, offer up half arsed ‘apologies’ and (I noticed way after the fact) took the opportunity to launch some smart arsed/half arsed attack on an Open Mike after someone else had prematurely released you from your first stint in pre-mod. Anyway…] – Bill

                      [I wasn’t asking you to apologise Wainwright, I wanted to know if you would acknowledge why you were moderated. It might not seem important to you, but there is a line around criticising moderators and you stepped over it. I thought you did well to back up why you said what you did originally but still apologise, I just wanted to be sure you understood where the line is. Suffice to say that moderator patience is wearing thin at the moment, so how about making our job easier? Out of premod now – weka]

                • Morrissey

                  Thanks very much, weka. I thought I was being a bit paranoid—and it turns out I was.

              • miravox

                All good – apology accepted.

        • Wainwright 16.1.1.2

          Never said Bill “supported” Assad.

  16. Ad 17

    The full transcript of Obama’s farewell speech:

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-obama-farewell-speech-transcript-20170110-story.html

    I would love to hear any New Zealand politician make a set piece speech as good as this.

    • Morrissey 17.1

      “As good as this?” What part did you like best?—The incendiary and hypocritical goading of Russia? The praising of U.S. “law enforcement” officers? The blather about “violent fanatics” that he has armed and diplomatically supported in Syria since 2011?

      Your comment, analysis-free as it is, shows nothing more than cultural cringe and an alarming susceptibility to soaring bloviation.

      • Brutus Iscariot 17.1.1

        I assume he meant in the gravitas and delivery. US politics has a certain pomp and dignity to it (most of the time).

        Contrast to the Key/Cunliffe debate.

        “Naaa, ya with Dotcom”

      • Psycho Milt 17.1.2

        The thing is, Morrissey, a lot of other people actually get the concept that a president or prime minister represents everybody in their country, that not all of those people share Morrissey’s opinions, and that the president/pm must nevertheless address his speeches to all of them. Perhaps if you write to him he’ll write you a speech that’s carefully tailored to your own opinions, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

        • Red 17.1.2.1

          Stop talking sense

        • Ad 17.1.2.2

          Morrissey has a North Shore cliff with a favourite spot that he gets to declaim in the evening to all the fallen gods and prepare great idealistic worlds for himself to live in. If only his genius were understood.

        • Morrissey 17.1.2.3

          …and that the president/pm must nevertheless address his speeches to all of them.

          Imagine if instead of embarking on another anti-Russian rant like he did, and canting about “values” and heaping praise, without any discernible irony, on American “law enforcement”, Obama had actually DONE something meaningful, like dropping all charges against Edward Snowden, and releasing—immediately, with compensation—Chelsea Manning.

      • Ad 17.1.3

        Morrissey you are the left’s worst misanthrope.

        Why not just shut yourself down for election year and come back once there’s a result later in the year. Save yourself the grief.

      • Ad 17.1.4

        You should check yourself for soaring bloviation before you start accusing anyone else.

    • stunned mullet 17.2

      Lange was the most recent NZ politician to impress as an orator, since then no one has really stood out.

      • Morrissey 17.2.1

        He was a better speaker than Obama.

        • Ad 17.2.1.1

          Lange survived on a few bon mots and some native cunning.
          He couldn’t hold a candle to a single Obama set piece.

          • weka 17.2.1.1.1

            I’m sure having a team of professional speech writers with plenty of time to spend on the speech helps.

            • Clump_AKA Sam 17.2.1.1.1.1

              Of course we know now if a noble peace prize winner says no more war, he’s wrong

              • weka

                You want to extrapolate Obama’s actions/words out to all Nobel Prize winners?

                • Clump_AKA Sam

                  Prior to 2008 they where all correct. After that they where all dead wrong

                  • Clump_AKA Sam

                    Obama’s handlers presented him as a blank slate, in other words you can write what ever you like. There are a few slogans, hope/unity/change, now write down what ever you like in between. It does arouse enthusiasm and we can understand why. More than 80% of the population thinks America and the world are going the wrong way. For most people in the US in the last 40 years it’s been a hard hard battle you can’t underestimate. And it’s a rich country which isn’t like living in Southern Africa but real wages declined for 40 years. There’s growth but it’s being hoarded by very few pockets. Health care/Benefits/wages have declined, this isn’t the work of a Nobel peace prize winner, this is the work of a charlatan. There isn’t anything to show for it other than keeping subsidising private inefficiencies.

                    There is tremendous dissatisfaction with institutions and that’s generalised right across the world. There’s a lot of talk about labour low poll ratings but parliament poll ratings is lower. In fact all institutions are not trusted and disliked. There is a sense everything is going wrong. So when you say hope/unity/change and talk eloquently and so on. Herd it all a million times

  17. Morrissey 18

    Reasons to be glad that Hopey-Changey’s leaving
    No. 1: No more of Samantha Power’s hypocritical cant.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/samantha-power-un-us-ambassador-america-syria-aleppo-massacres-srebrenica-rwandan-genocide-bizarre-a7476556.html

  18. Xanthe 20

    I thought she put a very different viewpoint, that really made me see it differently, somehow nnon confrontational, i was moved somewhat.

  19. Pat 21

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/10/trump-could-slash-civil-service-pay-to-1-armageddon-rule

    the life of an American public servant would appear to be an unhappy one as of 1/21/2017

  20. Pat 22

    more stirling work by Gordon Campbell….

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2017/01/11/gordon-campbell-on-why-tax-cuts-in-2017-would-be-a-bad-idea/#more-4727

    ‘Keep Kansas in mind this year when our politicians begin to try to sell the notion that tax cuts are a responsible form of economic management. They’re not. They’re a bag of sweets, a bribe to win your vote. Beyond the sugar hit, they’ll do nothing to fix the problems facing the country, and will also do nothing to make this country safer or more prosperous for your kids.”

    good advice ……we don’t need any more type2 diabetes.

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      Labour will take a tough stance on loan sharks and make sure that the Commerce Commission is properly resourced to protect Kiwi consumers, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson Michael Wood.   “People on low incomes must be protected from ...
    2 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • Tax cuts when kids go hungry shows National’s lack of moral compass
    National’s campaign of tax cuts that give $400 million to the top 10 per cent of earners, at a time when 120 Kiwi kids every year are being hospitalised for malnutrition, shows they have lost their moral compass, says Labour’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Freight being shifted off planes as fuel crisis worsens
    Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash. “It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is ...
    3 days ago
  • Apologise now Jonathan
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman must apologise for his part in a $2.3 billion shortfall that has contributed to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “All the Minister could say in an interview this morning ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s health report card shows need for new plan
    From increased GP fees, to kids getting sick from cold homes, to denial of important surgeries, National’s underfunding of health has hurt Kiwi families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.   “It’s time to invest in the health of ...
    3 days ago
  • Eye clinic wait downright dangerous
    The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “These people are entitled to the reassurance that if ...
    3 days ago
  • National has serious questions to answer over Auckland fuel crisis
    Thousands of air travellers looking for answers to Auckland Airport’s fuel crisis should be demanding the National Government come clean over its failure to secure fuel supply for the airport, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “There are serious questions the ...
    4 days ago
  • Come clean on trade before the election
    In the two days before the election, New Zealand MFAT negotiators will attend a negotiations meeting in Japan on the successor to the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now called the TPP-11. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy but we ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    6 days ago
  • National unravels on transport
    The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson ...
    6 days ago
  • Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy
    The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker.  “OIAs revealed on ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour supporting Te Reo Māori in schools
    Labour will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations, says Labour’s Deputy Leader and Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Labour will commit to a target that ...
    7 days ago
  • Is National planning a secret fuel tax?
    Sources suggest National is considering a secret fuel tax to fund its controversial Roads of National Significance (RONS) programme, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood. “While the Government keeps up its stream of lies about Labour’s tax policy, sources indicate ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity
    Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system
    Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. "Today ...
    1 week ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    ...
    1 week ago
  • Flavell’s fake news an insult to Māori voters
    A desperate Te Ururoa Flavell has resorted to fake news about Labour’s position on his unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s tax cuts reckless and irresponsible
    It is time for Bill English and Steven Joyce to stop the scaremongering and lies, and front up to New Zealanders about the impact of their tax cuts, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Bill English has no credibility on ...
    1 week ago
  • Calculator shows Labour’s Families Package delivers
    Labour has launched a new online calculator that show how much extra families with kids will get from Labour’s Families Package, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Families can go to www.labour.org.nz/calculator and see how much better off they ...
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s identity through Labour’s media and film policy
    Labour has today launched its media and film policy aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s identity and providing sustainability for the industry, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to invest in parents and babies
    Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes and state houses in Hawke’s Bay
    Labour will build a mix of 240 affordable KiwiBuild starter homes for first home buyers and state homes for families in need in Napier and Hastings, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “In 2016, the populations of Napier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges more for Whānau Ora
    Labour will strengthen the oversight of Whānau Ora and provide an extra $20 million over four years to improve outcomes for whānau and families, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis.    “We’ve created a new position of Whānau Ora Reviewer ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s housing band aid
    Throwing subsidies at an under-supplied housing market is one last desperate bid by National to be seen to do something about the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “First home buyers have been the collateral damage of National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing, families, education and environment top priorities in Labour’s first 100 days
    Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges to unlock funding for Te Hiku sports hub project
    The Labour Government will inject nearly $3 million into the Te Hiku Sports Hub project, to help realise a much-needed health and recreational facility for the Far North, says Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan to get job seekers into better work
    Labour will provide real support for people looking for work by increasing the amount of money someone can earn before their benefit begins to reduce, reinstating training incentives, and putting a renewed focus on upskilling and training, says Labour’s Social ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour sets strong target and plan for climate action
    Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are education cuts missing in National’s Fiscal Plan?
    National needs to explain why its plans for cuts to school transport have not been announced in its fiscal plan, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.   “Buried in the Pre-election Budget update is a $5m a year cut to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce must come clean on Health and Education funding
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell them whether he will fund health and education to meet increasing cost pressures, or risk seeing services cut and costs increase for parents, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis is National’s legacy
    Reports of tenants languishing in boarding houses for years because they cannot get a state house is yet more evidence National’s legacy is the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We used to pride ourselves in this country ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour calls for release of report into civil defence flaws
    The National Government must stick by its word given to other political parties and release a technical report before the election addressing critical flaws in New Zealand’s civil defence capability, Labour Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran said today.  “Cross party ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Credibility shot as Government runs out of steam
    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Steven Joyce must apologise to New Zealand
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and apologise for his patently false and cynical attack on Labour’s Fiscal Plan, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Every respected economic commentator has come out and said that Labour’s Fiscal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English didn’t answer because the Oreti is badly polluted
    Last night Bill English was asked by Paddy Gower in the Leader’s Debate: “Which river did he swim in as a kid, and is it now polluted?” Bill English named the Oreti River, but did not answer whether it is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats put out dodgy numbers – again
    National’s promise to increase the number of elective surgeries to 200,000 is bizarre, given Jonathan Coleman has claimed 200,000 electives are already being performed, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s Award to encourage young people into trades training
    Labour will introduce a $2,000 award for the best pupil in vocational courses in each public secondary school, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We know there’s huge demand for trades workers, particularly in the building sector, where construction ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not another Nick Smith wild goose chase
    Only the election on September 23 can save the country and the RMA from Nick Smith, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government supresses Climate Change report
    The Government has deliberately sat on a critical Climate Change report for 5 months which they must now release, election or no election, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “I want the report released immediately, so that New Zealanders ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joyce gets it wrong on Labour’s Fiscal Plan
    Labour’s Fiscal Plan is robust, the numbers are correct and we stand by them despite the desperate and disingenuous digging from an out-the-door Finance Minister, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Steven Joyce has embarrassed himself. This is a desperate, ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Making renting secure and healthy
    Labour will move to make renting a more stable and healthy experience for families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    3 weeks ago