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Open mike 13/01/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 13th, 2022 - 397 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

397 comments on “Open mike 13/01/2022 ”

  1. Coming to a future near you!

    If this short video, (4.48 mins) narrated in the past tense, doesn’t scare the shit out of everyone with half a brain or more, then I don’t know what will.


    It’s imperative we act now if we’re to have any chance. And planning to become carbon neutral by 2050 is not going to cut it!

    • Blade 1.1

      As long as that clip wasn't produced by the IPCC. I haven't heard of BICYCLOPOLIS before. The dude must has heavy credentials. I'm sure it will scare the shit out of believers. I mention the IPCC because many take their lead from what I consider a corrupt, at worst, organisation,

      A few years back, even this organisation had to send studies back to authors because they weren't up to scratch.

      Meanwhile, Gisborne banana growers are salivating over the possibility of being able to grow two banana crops per year instead of one. Hell, Robert many soon be able to grow some of the exotic fruit trees I do.


      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1


        Good appraisal of the doomster psyche…

      • mikesh 1.1.2

        Of course, the IPCC must be corrupt if what they are telling us doesn't coincide with your own beliefs.You obviously prefer to listen to what the oil companies are telling us.

        • Blade

          ''You obviously prefer to listen to what the oil companies are telling us.''

          What are they telling us? I don't pay them much mind, except when the price of petrol goes up.

          • Gezza

            “The oil and gas industry has found itself under a harsh spotlight as concern over climate change increases across the world. Lately, oil and gas majors have responded to the scrutiny with a series of pledges, plans, and press releases on the subject of global warming. The big five oil giants — Exxon and Chevron (US), BP (UK), Total (France), and Shell (the Netherlands) — have all pledged, with varying degrees of ambition, to reduce their emissions.

            The industry has clearly gotten the memo that climate policy is happening. And it wants to be at the table rather than on the menu.”


            Google returns multiple articles on this topic. Documents now in the public domain show that Exon’s & the oil industry’s own scientists reported years back to their companies that fossil fuel emissions were driving AGW. To protect their profits the oil industry in response decided to campaign against AGW CC & to bury these reports.

            • Patricia Bremner

              Great comments Gezza, "at the table not on the menu" Yes they are still trying to bargain and fudge. Councils need to put in their lease or land use clean up rules.imo. Too many put in underground tanks plus huge slabs of concrete and leave that when they walk away.

            • Blade

              ''To protect their profits the oil industry in response decided to campaign against AGW CC & to bury these reports.''

              Not to mention trying to stop new invention patents that may have threatened their industry. I think from what I have read there is more oil still to drilled before oil exploration becomes untenable. One article I read estimated more than 100 years supply left. But it's a finite resource that will eventually run out.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                At the rate we're travelling down our current paths, time will run out of much of this iteration of civilisation before the oil does – burn, baby, burn.

                ODOT Projects Gas Guzzling Won’t Decline, Even as It Pays Lip Service to Meeting Climate Goals [15 Dec. 2021]
                “With any agency, the way you really understand what they’re doing is you look at their financial statement. And their financial statement says, ‘Burn, baby, burn.’”

                Burn, baby, burn: ODOT’s climate strategy [29 July 2021]
                Technocratic climate denialism
                Future generations, enduring the brunt of increasingly intolerable summers and extreme weather, seeing Oregon’s forests and natural beauty decimated by climate change will look back to the decisions ODOT is making now and ask how it could simply ignore this problem, ignore the demonstrated science about its causes, and then commit literally billions of dollars to make it worse, dollars that future generations will be forced to repay.

                This may seem like a simple, routine technical matter. It’s not. Its an irrevocable commitment to burn our state, to cower in ignorance in the face of an existential challenge, and an effort to cling to an outdated ideology that created this problem.

                Otoh – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Moral_Case_for_Fossil_Fuels
                Even citizen Thiel gets a mention!

          • mikesh

            Well, you are obviously not listening to scientists.

            • Blade

              Oh, but I do. But the science isn't settled for me to accept climate change is a man made creation. You do realise there are many scientists who disagree with the consensus argument? Many wind up losing promotions, reputations and acceptance because people with your attitude, in power, just can't get their heads around people who dare disagree with them.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                The contention that the CO₂ our fossil-fueled lifestyles are 'donating' to the atmosphere of spaceship Earth isn't contributing to recent rapid increases in average global temperatures is a fine example of magical thinking.

                1. We can all agree that the global atmospheric CO₂ concentration has increased at an unprecedented rate in recent years – roughly 31% in 62 years (from 318 ppm (in 1960) to 418 ppm today).
                2. It would be churlish to suggest the recent rapid increase in atmospheric CO₂ (and other greenhouse gases) isn’t linked (by cause and effect) to the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities – after all, what else could cause the rapid increase in measurable greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere? What might 8 billion observers be missing?
                3. The last link: that anthropogenic increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations (cause) will increase average global temperatures (effect) – the science seems pretty well settled.

                Global Temperature Report for 2021 [12 January 2022]
                As can be expected from the global warming caused by greenhouse gases, the temperature increase over the globe is broadly distributed, affecting nearly all land and ocean areas. In 2021, 87% of the Earth’s surface was significantly warmer than the average temperature during 1951-1980, 11% was of a similar temperature, and only 2.6% was significantly colder.

                While a few may continue to deny the reality of anthropogenic global warming (to what end I know not), it really isn't rocket science – imho a well educated chimp would have at least a 50/50 chance of joining the dots.

                • Blade

                  So in other words you are insinuating I'm a chimp.crying I have lost count of the people who have told me similar over different topics. Most crawl away when I'm proven right. I, of course, never get an apology. That's OK , I wear their mana with pride.

                  One last time – you are being scammed. I can't help you if you can't see that. The media is to blame to an extent. The average person lives in a echo chamber when it comes to CC news. They know no different.

                  You obviously have done some research. You, like me, have NO excuse for being wrong.

                  • McFlock

                    Well, having the IQ of a poorly-educated chimp, it would appear.

                    But that's a bit classist and, frankly, I suspect Jane Goodall would regard it as an insult to most chimps.

                    • Blade

                      Drowsy and McFlock. Yeah…. doesn't inspire me when we talk about IQ. No offence meant.

                    • McFlock

                      No offence taken. It was a figurative rather than literal comment.

                      And now I'm considering a tale about a primatologist who studied a small troop of zoo chimps in grad school, got pigeon-holed as "the one who studies chimpanzees", and has spent the last 5 decades hating everything about the stupid bloody creatures (and African weather in general) but can't get funding to look at anything else. Shifting from giving them anthropomorphised names like "blue" and "baldhead" and strictly using each animal's reference code, mostly because the anthropomorphised names became "yucky one", "son of matricidal jerk" and "shit-thrower". While the person is globally hailed for their conservation work, lol

                    • Blade

                      ''No offence taken. It was a figurative rather than literal comment.''

                      No, it was a crafted comment the could be interpreted in a number of ways.

                      As for your next tale…that story is truly in the brain of the beholder. Lol.

                    • McFlock

                      Crafted? I think you overestimate the effort I put into it.

                      Rough-hewn, maybe?

                    • Blade

                      Rough-hewn, crafted or plagiarize. The delivery system is not important.

                  • Dennis Frank


                    You mean a con, right? As in global cabal orchestrated, to enable public health mandates. And/or depopulation, whatever. Do you really want to front here as a conspiracy theorist? An exercise in self-flagellation.

                    Perhaps you have a better idea. Competing unprovable theories are a waste of time to focus on since it incentives knee-jerk exhibition of favourite bias by anyone who responds usually.

                    • Blade

                      I use the world 'scammed' for affect. I would not call it truly indicative of the global CC situation or my personal stance.

                      In fact I have just checked links to web sites I was going to use for a reply. They don't exist anymore. And Wiki now has people looking out for climate deniers. I can't find the link to a list of eminent scientists opposed to the present CC dogma.

                      Geez, the inmates are out of the asylum and policing the internet.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      I have a bunch of books by deniers in my library – have probably read at least half of them. Just because I wanted to assess the merits of their view. I got into conspiracy theories in '71 so have half a century of experience on that front. Politically centrist radical since that same year. Just saying to let you know I have an open mind, a thirst for learning about interesting stuff, and plenty of discernment & scepticism re controversies.

                      Also a staunch free-speech advocate from way back; I resist censorship & that news you've shared about it happening online concerns me. Balancing the pros & cons is essential for human survival in any situation. Social designs/systems that prevent it happening are idiotic & sociopathic! 🙄

                    • Blade

                      Good sentiments, Dennis. Maybe we are better read than others on this blog, therefore we see issues in a global fashion rather than in a blinkered fashion. Yes, I once studied conspiracy theories. I have a prized copy of ''Behold A Pale Horse'' signed by William Cooper. However, once I worked on my intellect, things became much more transparent. Going down blind alleys is a hard ego busting exercise, but it’s a very good teacher.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    One last time – you are being scammed.

                    One last time” – if you say so, in which case it will be a simple matter to indicate the nature of the scam of anthropogenic global warming, which presumably lies in flaws in points 1, 2 and 3 @4:34 pm.

                    Doubt point 1 (the recent unprecedentedly rapid increase in atmospheric CO₂ concentration) is a scam, but maybe there are reliable and truly independent measurements of atmospheric CO₂ concentrations that show a different trend over the last 60 years. A link to this data would be good.

                    Maybe point 2 is flawed. If observed increases in atmospheric CO₂ concentrations over the last 60 years (point 1) have nothing to do with the burning of fossil fuels, then what might be responsible for generating all that CO₂? Some realistic non-anthropogenic alternatives to explain this part of the 'scam' would be welcome.

                    And maybe point 3 is flawed. Maybe atmospheric CO₂ levels don't affect average global temperatures, despite available data for periods extending back well beyond the rise of human civilisation indicating a link. Might that data be a scam? Imho this point is the weakest link, but I wouldn't bet the farm on thinking that atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations don't influence global temperature.

                    In the absence of evidential flaws in points 1, 2 and 3, the weight of evidence leads me to believe that it is you who has been scammed.

                    Frankly, the origin of the scam that anthropogenic global warming is a scam is, like most big scams, obvious – follow the (industrial scale) money. So many examples – here are a few to chew on.

                    There's none so blind as those who will not see.

                    On the safety of smoking tobacco.

                    On the effect of CFCs on the ozone layer.

                    On the toxicity of benzene.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.3

        Marriage of literary ethos & environmentalism occurs in habitat/culture evolution…

        Lopa Basu, professor of English and philosophy and co-chair of the Literature Committee, has written scholarly essays on graphic novels that explore historical and traumatic events. She was delighted to discover Avidor’s work.

        “I loved reading ‘Bicyclopolis’ and was struck how it resonated with ‘1984,’ consciously or unconsciously. I am planning to share the graphic novel with my first-year composition students. Its themes of environmentalism will move many students,” she said.


      • Robert Guyton 1.1.4

        I was out photographing the huge leaves of my banana this morning, along with my first-ever hibiscus flower! The new growth on the avocado is looking wonderful and the guava blossom promises fruit (I reckon).

        • Blade

          What the…!

        • Gezza

          One of the arguments some climate emergency skeptics use is that global warming will enable more tropical crops to be grown in formerly temperate regions that have been too cold for them before. So it’s a positive thing, not a negative.

          How are you managing to grow bananas down there in Invercargill, Robert?

          • Gezza

            Sorry, I meant Riverton, Southland.

          • Robert Guyton

            Just put 'em in the ground, Gezza!

            Gotta own though, the tree hasn't fruited yet, but it's showing signs – producing pups in readiness for expiring, post-fruit. Mine (I have 3 now – 2 successful pups moved and thriving) is under partial-cover of a tunnel house, but she's shrugged-off one winter already, un-heated, and I expect the family will make it successfully through the next. Our climate here on the Very South Coast, is moderate – no frost falls on my forest garden; on the farm next door, sure, but not where it's wooded. I've eaten bananas grown in Southland; in a conservatory, but nevertheless…

            Avocado strike and grow easily here, but are sensitive to cold. My 3 are looking fine, branching encouragingly. I've kiwifruit, streaking up the bamboo canes I've used to make "arches" throughout the tunnel house (it's big – 20m x 10m but only partially covered – one end and 1/5th of the sides are open to the outside world). Grapes indoor and out, fruiting moderately well outside, much better under cover. Other exotic delights too: galangal – Thai ginger (easy, cold-tolerant), finger lime (struggling initially – I hold great hope), lemon, lime and grapefruit, brugmansia, Solanum jasminoides, etc.

            Re the "positiveness" of climate change and rising temperatures, not so much: have you Colding moth, Brown rot, Mamorated stinkbug, Guava moth etc up your way? None down here. Yet. Coz, cool.

            • Gezza

              The only fruiting plant I have here at Pookden Manor is a lemon tree, Robert. I took out the feijoa tree because it was so chronically abundantly fruitful (it thrived on neglect) that I eventually couldn’t even give them away to neighbours & friends & they were falling on the lawn & rotting, & attracting stream rats.

              Last year my lemons suffered from verrucosis (lemon scab), caused by too much moisture/rainfall & too dense foliage which meant the fruit stayed damp. The recommended solution was to improve air flow by pruning off some of the dense, leafy branches, which solved the problem.

              I do see the occasional codling moth in Summer, like now – usually on the kitchen window at night, but curiously I see far fewer of them than I used to some years back.

              Brown rot, Mamorated stinkbug, Guava moth etc, I really don’t know. I don’t know any orchard keepers. But even though Welly’s Winters are now noticeably less cold than 4 or 5 decades ago, it still gets very cold in Winter & often stays pretty chilly until Nocember or even December. So if they like warmer climes, they probably don’t like Welly much. We don’t even have mynah birds here. They’re everywhere up in Taranaki.

              • Robert Guyton

                My guess is, they're on their way, Gezza. Like jaffas, migrating south 🙂

                I wish my feijoada were "chronically abundantly fruitful" – Southlanders lap them up, once they've acquired the taste! Lemons also. I have 8 citrus in my tunnel house and am on the look out for more – the demand down here is great! Our "myna" is the magpie – much maligned. I wonder if in fact, they are friends…

              • Stuart Munro

                Had you the guava moth your feijoas would not have been much good.

        • Puckish Rogue

          I too like to take pics of my banana, my wife doesn't approve but I don't think she understands

      • Molly 1.1.6

        You are most likely right to consider the IPCC a biased/inaccurate source. Given their origin and political influence, it is prudent to consider their reporting or advice curated in some way.

        However, I would be inclined to think it downplays rather than otherwise, given the lack of political will in the US (and most other countries) to address the reality of anthropomorphic climate change. (Yes. Mankind is responsible for the extreme climatic conditions that have resulted from our use of fossil fuels (and other actions) without regard for consequences.)

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Rod Oram has the govt agenda in mind: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/pro/rod-oram-the-most-important-day-this-year

    May 31 is the most important date for New Zealand this year, or arguably for some years to come. It’s when the Government will release our Emissions Reduction Plan… The Government received more than 3000 submissions on its ERP consultation document, plus some 7000 form submissions, by the closing date of November 24.

    The document gives a feel for the range of options on the table. It also gives a glimpse of the deep sustainability and climate compatibility future on offer thanks to concepts such as the circular economy (re-using all resources) and bioeconomy (using biological sources to meet many of our needs)… agriculture is essentially absent from the document, even though it generates 48 percent of our emissions. That’s because the sector has a separate workstream with the Government, the He Waka Eke Noa project.

    That’s due to a report on agriculture emissions on April 30; then on June 30, the Climate Change Commission will deliver its own assessment of the sector’s readiness to deal with its emissions.

    Government is significantly changing the way it works: Because the climate crisis/opportunity impacts all aspects of our lives, the Government is having to coordinate its very complex and comprehensive responses across many ministries and agencies. It is also seeking to accelerate policy development and make ministers and their departments more accountable for the climate advice and policies they initiate. A powerful tool in this work is the Public Service Act 2020, which was the biggest reform of government services since the 1988 Act.

    The first new structure, the Climate Change Chief Executives Board, predated the 2020 Act. It was formed in 2019 to bring together chief executives of key ministries and agencies to monitor and progress the Climate Action Plan.

    So it's not as if govt is fiddling while permafrost burns, it's being genuinely proactive.

    • From the above link:

      Conversely, if the plan is a mishmash of old and inadequate actions, or worse highly divisive, it will waste our precious energy, capital and time. When we finally get our act together, we will have made the climate crisis much worse, and the scale of irreparable damage far greater.

      I'm not holding my breath.

    • bwaghorn 2.2

      I'm still struggling with livestock emmisions being in the calculations .surely stock emmisions are circular??

      As opposed to oil and coal ,which is locked up carbon being released.

      • Graeme 2.2.1

        The problem is emissions from human activity, not just fossil carbon.

        Human diet and lifestyle is as much a problem as burning fossil fuels.

        • Ad

          Graeme how are you holding up?

          Way too hot out there for contracting work.

          Sincerely hope you and the team are bearing up under extraordinary stress.

      • pat 2.2.2

        They are…but when youre in the shit ALL emissions are a problem, circular or not.

        The world needs energy to support 8 billion so cuts need to be made wherever they can and livestock emissions are an area they can cut without impacting energy production.

        Theres a perverse logic to it.

        (and yes there are other environmental factors involved)

      • Robert Guyton 2.2.3

        Stock emissions, circular?

        Isn't urea, so generously applied to pastures upon which livestock are fed, made from fossil fuel/natural gas?

        Surely fossil fuel in means fossil fuel out (in the form of methane) and that "out" is up?

        • bwaghorn

          Surely urea could be carbon taxed instead of cow burps as some cows never graze urea applied pastures,

      • KJT 2.2.4

        No they are not.

        To take just one. Nitrates from mined fertilisers!

      • weka 2.2.5

        I'm still struggling with livestock emmisions being in the calculations .surely stock emmisions are circular??

        This is a really interesting question. As I understand it, there are the methane emissions from the livestock themselves (belching, manure), and the carbon and methane emissions from the farming practices.

        As mentioned below, we are so far in debt for all emissions that any emissions now matter.

        I just googled the methane cycle to see how methane is naturally removed from the atmosphere.

        One issue there is the time lag. But also methane is considerably more harmful in the atmosphere than carbon.

        Carbon is emitted by ploughing, inputs, deforestation, contemporary grazing practices.

        Regenag addresses the carbon emissions by rebuilding soil (carbon sequestration), avoiding problematic inputs by creating fertility onsite, and by replanting trees. Regenag can be carbon negative if done well. We should be doing this because we have to stop emitting, but also because we need as many carbon sinks as possible.

        I don't know if the same applies to methane. Technically it should I guess, but if the methane being emitted today takes 12 years to convert to carbon, and then we still need to account for it in the carbon cycle, that's a hard ask.

        I see no reason to not have small amounts of animal livestock in a regenag farm system, but the kind of industrial farming we are doing now is a problem because of the sheer numbers of cattle, and all the inputs, and the ploughing, and the tree removal, and the way that pasture is managed. None of it is remotely sustainable ecologically, let alone in terms of climate change. Farming could be if we changed our priorities. Industrial farming by definition never can be.

        • Robert Guyton

          Consider dairying in Southland. Its success depends upon the Fonterra factory at Edendale. The amount lignite coal burned hour after hour there, to fire the boilers that reduces the liquid milk to powder, is mind-numbingly huge.

          Do we count that CO2/methane production as "farming"?

          I do.

          Then there are the tankers that run 24/7, collecting the milk "from farm".

          That too.

      • mikesh 2.2.6

        Grass, if left in the ground, presumably absorbs carbon dioxide. Ruminants, on the other hand, consume the grass and emit methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas.

        • bwaghorn

          Come back 30 days later and the grass will be back to where it was, so the carbon it released must have been restored.

          • weka

            Part of regenag is letting pasture grow tall, then mob grazing briefly before moving the stock on. The mob grazing makes the grass shed roots in its own regrowth cycle, those dead roots (carbon) feed the microbes in the soil (as well as the manure and urine), which increases fertility. Soil rebuilds, carbon is sequestered, and the cycle perpetuates. That's a fairly closed loop and close to sustainable depending on stock numbers relative to the specific land they are on.

            Grass species matters, as does stopping ploughing (which releases carbon from the soil into the atmosphere), and spreading artificial fertilisers.

          • Robert Guyton

            "The carbon released" is beginning its 15 – 30 year cycle in the atmosphere, where it creates warming. The "carbon" going back into the grass is CO2 and not methane, and its extraction does not equate with the methane that was produced by the animals, that is, in the effect it has on the atmosphere; if it was the same, you wouldn't need to be boosting growth with urea. A closed circuit would have no added carbon, or at least, very little. The wool, milk and meat that leaves the farm, still returns to the atmosphere as carbon (wool takes much longer, of course).

          • pat

            It has …from atmospheric carbon.

            It is indeed a cycle BUT the level of atmospheric methane has increased over pre industrial levels just as CO2 has……though that may not be due to industrial farming (though it certainly hasnt helped0….theres methane from landfill, humans, wetlands (though decreased) and now with permafrost melt ….not to mention the oil and gas methane emissions.

            The graphic Weka posted earlier is a good simple explanation…its origin is linked.


            Self correction…apparently ag is credited with much of the increase…..huge increase in stock numbers in recent decades…..and projected even higher (suspect unlikely to occur for obvious reasons)


      • Gezza 2.2.7

        @ waggers

        I keep reading conflicting reports on methane produced by cattle. My understanding is that it doesn’t build up in the atmosphere because of the process known as the biogenic carbon cycle. But it’s sometimes hard to find articles explaining this these days because Google mainly finds articles saying cattle originated methane is contributing to GHG buildup:

        “Methane is given off by animals in ways that make sixth-graders giggle. They burp it, poop it, and well, you get the idea. It goes into the atmosphere, where it hangs around for about a decade. After that, it’s broken down into carbon dioxide and water vapor. Plants pull the carbon dioxide out of the air to live, grow and become food for animals that can digest what humans cannot, and the cycle continues.

        For that reason, scientists from the University of Oxford have suggested that we consider methane differently from other greenhouse gases. As opposed to carbon dioxide, the most plentiful gas stoking our planet’s heat blanket, methane is a short-lived flow gas. Though it’s more potent than carbon dioxide while in the atmosphere, it soon becomes a bovine of a different color.

        For starters, it likes to clean up after itself. Methane produced today will be destroyed and removed by a natural process in the atmosphere about 10 years later. If methane emissions remain constant, there is no additional warming; it’s being pulled out at the same rate it’s being added. Reduce methane today, and you’ll help dial the Earth’s temperature back rapidly. That’s because less methane will be in the atmosphere and it will result in less carbon dioxide as a byproduct, forcing plants to get it from other sources. Your car might be able to parallel park itself, but the carbon dioxide emitted from its tailpipe can’t hold a candle to methane’s environmental magic.”


        • Dennis Frank

          Just guessing, since this can only be clarified by a specialist expert in that field, but the important bit would be what the geekwire doesn't include in their description.

          1. amount of methane in the atmosphere at any time

          2. amount of warming produced while it's there

          3. ratio or percentage of the total warming it produces currently

        • Robert Guyton

          Methane isn't being "pulled out", it's converting to CO2, which lasts a great deal longer.

          • Gezza

            Yes but that CO2 is still still constantly being extracted from the atmosphere by growing plants, including the regrown grass that the cows eat.

            So if you don’t increase the total number of cows (& it helps if you feed them less methane-generating foods) & the world’s forests & pastures remain at much the same amount this is a CO2 neutral cycle.

            Some other refs:



            “It should be pointed out that additional methane outside of that equilibrium – such as before reaching it or adding more after – warms at 28 times that of CO2 over 100 years, making it important we do not increase methane emissions.

            But a really intriguing aspect of biogenic methane, is that if we are able to reduce it, such as with dairy digesters, then we can create a cooling effect since there is more methane being destroyed than emitted. These warming and cooling situations are considered in a new climate change matrix called GWP*, which better quantifies the warming effects of short-lived climate pollutants such as methane.

            Methane is created from atmospheric CO2
            The critical difference between biogenic methane and a fossil fuel greenhouse gas, is that methane from sources like cattle begin as CO2 that is already in the atmosphere. Gases that result from fossil fuel production begin deep in the earth, where they’ve been stored for millions of years, away from the atmosphere.

            So how does CO2 become methane? Meet the biogenic carbon cycle
            The cyclical nature of biogenic carbon starts with plants. Think back to your grade school years – what do plants need to grow?

            Water, sunlight and CO2.

            As part of the biogenic carbon cycle, plants absorb carbon dioxide, and through the process of photosynthesis, they harness the energy of the sun to produce carbohydrates such as cellulose. Indigestible by humans, cellulose is a key feed ingredient for cattle and other ruminant animals. They are able to break it down in their rumens, taking the carbon that makes up the cellulose they consume and emitting a portion as methane, which is CH4 (note the carbon molecule). After about 12 years, the methane is converted into carbon dioxide through hydroxyl oxidation. That carbon is the same carbon that was in the air prior to being consumed by an animal. It is recycled carbon. ”


            • Robert Guyton

              "But a really intriguing aspect of biogenic methane, is that if we are able to reduce it, such as with dairy digesters, then we can create a cooling effect since there is more methane being destroyed than emitted. "

              So, let's destroy it, rather than create it. Is the argument that no extra methane is being created by cow farming, and that's okay?

              • pat

                "So, let's destroy it, rather than create it. Is the argument that no extra methane is being created by cow farming, and that's okay?"


              • Gezza

                Is the argument that no extra methane is being created by cow farming, and that’s okay?

                If you read all the linked articles, the answer is yes. Globally, it appears that cattle herd sizes are not increasing, they’re either stable, or in some countries they’ve actually decreased. (I think I’ve read or heard somewhere that the NZ dairy cow count has decreased over recent years.) As long as the cattle count is not increasing there’s no increase in GHGs – either cow’s methane or CO2 because methane breaks down after 12 years & the CO2 is just persistently recycled through plants/pastures.

                • bwaghorn

                  During the increase in cow number over the last 20 years sheep numbers have more than halved, and the latest bout of pine planting is decreasing that more,

                • Robert Guyton

                  No increase is, I suppose, a good thing.

                  But perhaps we need to reduce our output, rather than keep it as it is now.

                  That's what I mean by, "So, let's destroy it, rather than create it."

                  = "Is the argument that no extra methane is being created by cow farming, and that's okay?"

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Overnight, Boris made a radical move. Instead of sensibly waiting for a civil servant to decide if he had attended the party – as he said he would – he did a u-turn and admitted it.

    Douglas Ross, the Scottish Tory leader, has “regretfully” called for Boris Johnson to quit as prime minister after he admitted attending a rule-breaking party in the garden of 10 Downing Street.


    Boris's lunge for radical cred was probably precipitated by the consensus of all those who attended the event. Radicals breaking rules was contagious.

    Boris Johnson has admitted attending a gathering in the Downing Street garden during the first lockdown and apologised to the nation while arguing it was a work event and “technically” broke no rules.

    Rules can indeed be technical. Presumably the civil servant tasked with deciding if it broke the rules will arm-wrestle the devil in the technicalities.

    Their workplace featuring lounging & wine-drinking (as I quoted last night) provides a new role model for future work and will be welcomed by liberal lounge lizards. Workers from the working class, however, will resent the lack of beer…

  4. Ad 4

    Very much looking forward to Prince Andrew having every minute detail of his sexual exploitation put into the public so he can be seen for what he is.

    Anything that further degrades English royalty as an Epstein-like hallucinogenic Survivor island cult of greed and low-permission fucking inside a gold-sprayed cum-encrusted nest of colonial theft and Anglican exploitation held together by a 95-year Ghislain-like Undead wastrel commanding nothing but perpetual female breeding, well it's worth holding a cold Riesling aloft and cheering on the Duke of York's defence as long as he wants to.

    • KJT 4.1

      Royalty.. One of the best arguments ever, for 100% inheritance taxes!

    • Prince Andrew? Surely you mean Mr. Andrew Windsor.

    • Puckish Rogue 4.3

      I exchanged a couple of words with Prince Andrew, 1996, for the formation of RNZALR


      It went something like this:

      "How are you doing'

      'Very well Sir"

      "Enjoying the parade" (parade took hours in Summer)

      "Oh yes very much Sir" (wry smile on my face)

      "Very good" (said with returned wry smile)

      Sorry its not more interesting

      • Your 15 minutes (or less) of fame, Pucky?

        • Puckish Rogue

          I had a few yarns with Trevor Rees-Jones (Princess Dianas bodyguard who survived the crash), good guy, big guy, someone you just know not to mess with

          I messed up dawn parade on ANZAC day in front of the Australian GG (that was a doozy)

          Apparently some guy off Shortland St groped my butt while we were on the dancefloor in some Auckland bar

          I had sexy times with someone who claimed to have presented Playschool in 1974 (I'm assuming its true because otherwise its a really unusual claim to fame)

          There are others but those are the more interesting ones

      • weka 4.3.2

        it's a good anecdote, apart from the fact that it included Andrew Windsor.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Innocent until proven guilty remember…naah hes guilty as

        • Tricledrown

          Mountbatten will have to abdicate to a New York prison after discovery and Ghislane Maxwells plea deal could see the Prince become a pauper.

          Along with other high flying celebs leaders and billionaires who were on the lolita express. Clinton and Trump to start with.

      • Anne 4.3.3


        Mind you, you have to feel a bit sorry for them having to make inane conversation with strangers – and do it up to a hundred times a day.

        Enough to send anyone bananas.

        • Puckish Rogue

          As I recall it was quite a hot day and 100 would probably be on the conservative side

      • Dennis Frank 4.3.4

        You dodged a bullet. Nowadays the temptation to respond with "Fucked any good under-age girls lately?" would be irrestible… devil

      • Matiri 4.3.5

        Good friend of ours was in the Royal Navy with Andrew, and described him as "a plonker and not very bright".

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    If you've ever been to Oamaru, this piece by Chris Trotter, in which he skewers the aging anti-vaxxers who dwell in the Victorian Precinct there, will amuse you.

    "Walking around the North Otago town’s “Victorian Precinct” in early January, the anti-vaxxer vibe was unmistakable. It wasn’t just the signs welcoming “everyone” into the market stalls and boutiques that gave the anti-vax sentiment away, but the defiant stares their owners levelled at the tourists. Some of the retailers almost seemed to be daring the out-of-towners to make an issue of the fact that their QR codes had mysteriously gone missing."


    • Dennis Frank 5.1

      Magic only works in circumstances where people are willing to suspend their disbelief and set their imagination free.

      Hmm. Depends how you define magic. Culture traditionally demeans it by equating it with delusion. That's unrealistic. I advise defining magic thus: transformation of reality. You can add a clarification: reality has a social component overlaid on a natural basis, both nature & society contain multiple complex systems, those are inherently indeterminate in trajectory and shift in response to infinitesimal small changes, some of which cascade through entire systems to transform their operation.

      • Robert Guyton 5.1.1

        Trotter has no idea about magic.

        Good article though – you can feel the angst or whatever it is those artisan anti-vaxxers are feeling – a town, famous for it's mask-wearers (Steam-Punkers) and mask-maker (Donna Demente), all anti! Brilliant!

      • Blade 5.1.2

        ''Depends how you define magic. Culture traditionally demeans it by equating it with delusion. That's unrealistic. I advise defining magic thus: transformation of reality.''

        100% correct. And the tools are simple: Imagination, willpower and Intent. Wielding them with affect is another story. People mistakenly assume the former are abstract functions only existing peoples head.

        • Dennis Frank

          You got it. Took me quite a while to integrate that view after transcending my scientific indoctrination. But where it gets you is an extremely powerful place.

        • Robert Guyton

          Some shamans practice sleight-of-hand as part of their training.

          Modern shamans (medical practitioners) employ placebo to good effect.

          • Blade

            ''Some shamans practice sleight-of-hand as part of their training''

            Then they aren't real shamans IF sleight-of-hand is a major part of their practice.

            You strike me as a Wiccan type of guy, Robert. You have the Gerald Gardner thing going ( no pun intended).

            • Robert Guyton

              ''Some shamans practice sleight-of-hand as part of their training''

              Then they aren't real shamans IF sleight-of-hand is a major part of their practice."

              I see what you did there. Not very impressed by that style of debate 🙂

              Gerald, of whom I'd never heard, is so not my kinda guy…

              • Blade

                ''I see what you did there. Not very impressed by that style of debate.''

                I don't see what I did. Please explain and I will rectify my comments.

                ''Gerald, of whom I'd never heard, is so not my kinda guy…''

                I'm sorry to hear that. So much for my judge of character.

            • Dennis Frank

              Making things happen tends to feature more on the right side of politics (trying to tends to feature more on the left) so the guy's family matrix is instructive:

              Gardner's family was wealthy and upper middle class, running a family firm, Joseph Gardner and Sons, which described itself as "the oldest private company in the timber trade within the British Empire." Specialising in the import of hardwood, the company had been founded in the mid-18th century by Edmund Gardner (b. 1721), an entrepreneur


            • Dennis Frank

              Also, Lyall Watson informed us of how deep-rooted in nature deception strategies are. https://philpapers.org/rec/WATDNA

              Sleight of hand is a deception strategy used mainly to support the illusory dimension of magic. The extent to which it succeeds in transforming collective reality depends how many people succumb to the spell…

              He uses a nifty triad framing: “genes operate on three rules, according to Watson: be nasty to outsiders, be nice to insiders and cheat where possible. It is because of these rules that our bodies repel parasites, that Serbs kill Croats and that human babies often pretend to be younger or hungrier than they are.” https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-06-017688-4

              • Robert Guyton

                No, no, no Dennis!

                Sleight-of-hand jolts the audience out of their "matrix of belief" and leaves them incredulous, ready to see things in a new light.

                The employment of sleight-of-hand, in the right hands, is a powerful agency of transformation and revelation.

                You must know this!

                Edit: fish, loaves, water-walking etc.. 🙂

                • weka

                  also fun!

                • Dennis Frank

                  Oh, you mean cognitive dissonance producing reframing. Yeah that's true & didn't occur to me. Well done! surprise yes

                • Blade

                  You don't need sleight of hand to practice real magic. Yes, it can be used as an adjunct to reinforce suggestions and create change. To that genre belongs metaphoric story magic and assuming the God forms etc.

                  I thought you understood what real magic is, Robert. You wouldn't have a clue do you?laugh

                  I had to give you the benefit of the doubt. Lol.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Ah, but Blade, I didn't say that you need sleight of hand to practice real magic.

                    I said,

                    "Some shamans practice sleight-of-hand as part of their training''.

                    That you believe I have no clue, worries me not a jot!


      • mpledger 5.1.3

        I get why people might be anti-vax but what I don't get is why they don't want to use every other means possible to avoid the virus.

    • weka 5.2

      The intrusion of QR codes and Vaccination Passes into this world was never going to be welcomed with open arms. Even among the vaccinated, one suspects, there would have been a strong sense of disappointment. Like when some kill-joy suddenly turns on the electric lights at an intimate candle-lit party.

      That's a failure of imagination. Think of the creative potential of plague masks. Or making steampunk vax passes.

  6. Puckish Rogue 6


    "As they didn't like this they got Clarke Gayford on the phone who proceeded to tell me that there had been a change in the guidance and these people should be given RAT tests.

    "[W]hen I explained that we had not received any direction from the MoH he was very unimpressed," the post said.

    So the 'confusion' was Clarke playing the Aaron Gilmore card and it not working?

    Good to see our pharmacists still have integrity angel

    • Blade 6.1

      This situation isn't uncommon in politics. Even Chris Bishop is having trouble working up a RIGHTEOUS outrage. Chris was caught out when a interviewer this morning asked how that situation compared to the Harete Hipango one. There was some ah's and halting speech that followed.

      That said, National need every bit of help they can muster. And the PMs fulla acting like Jake The Muss to try and force a chemist to acquiesce is a good start to the new year for the hapless Tories.

      • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1

        Yeah I don't think 'whataboutism' is going to help here

        One of the ways I train my dogs is with a spray bottle, so they do something they shouldn't do (which they know not to) I spray them with water and its now got to the point where I don't need to spray them, just show them the bottle and, eventually, they just don't do it

        Maybe that might work on Clarke 'Don't You Know Who I Am' Gayford

        However if it turns out he does work for the MOH and the guidelines have changed I will issue an apology right away wink

      • Pete 6.1.2

        "The PMs fulla acting like Jake The Muss to try and force a chemist to acquiesce"?

        Anyone'd think he had a protest outside the guys shop with a whole lot of throbbing Harleys ridden by a crew wearing darkglasses and black.

        I can't wait until the end of 2023 to see what's said when he rings someone somewhere and says "Find me 11,700 more votes." No doubt someone will make out that it's pressuring some poor sod to come up with the goods.

    • Dennis Frank 6.2

      Gayford was rung by a friend about Rapid Antigen Testing and was put on speakerphone while the person was in a pharmacy.

      I wonder why the friend rang him for expert advice instead of ringing the Health Dept. I presume the reason is that everyone knows if you ring a govt dept to get expert advice you get given the run around?

      Hey, that's only true if someone actually answers the phone, you'll say. Normally they put you on hold & a robot tells you every now & then that you're person 1,159 in the queue and will be able to speak to a human in x days plus y hours…

      • Puckish Rogue 6.2.1

        I have absoludely no idea why someone would ring the PMs fiancé to talk to a pharmacist in an attempt to circumvent the rules set down for everybody

        I have absoludely no idea why the PMs fiancé would attempt to intimidate the pharmacist into the changing the rules for his friend

        I absoludely refute any suggestion Clarke 'Don't You Know Who I Am' Gayfords actions are worse than Aaron Gilmores were

        Besides its not a big deal:

        'A spokesman for the Prime Minister had no comment and referred to the statement issued on behalf of Gayford.'

        Lets all move on shall we laugh

      • weka 6.2.2

        I wonder why the friend rang him for expert advice instead of ringing the Health Dept. I presume the reason is that everyone knows if you ring a govt dept to get expert advice you get given the run around?

        My guess: in that circle of people there was the belief that the rules around RATs had changed, and they rang their mate who was close to the decision makers.

        I might or might not ring the MoH in that situation, depending on how much time I had and how much patience 😉 but I would have looked on the MoH website, where it was clear what the rules are.

        It was either a dick move by the mates and Gayford, or incredibly politically naive, or both.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Lets be honest here, it was a musician friend of Clarke Gayford so I'm going to guess this is not someone that went to uni and studied so I'm not blaming the musician for being a bit thick, in fact if you've got the PMs fiancé (or the PM herself) on speed dial why wouldn't you use it


          But it makes me wonder if this isn't the first time Clarke 'Don't You Know Who I Am' Gayford has tried this before

          After all rules are for likes of you and me not he devil

          • weka

            lol, no prejudice there then.

            What's the relevance of the Hardcore tweet? Does it have anything to do with Gayford?

            • Puckish Rogue

              Just using it as an example of if you have access to important people then of course you're going to use it

          • Cricklewood

            To be fair it's a bit confusing as to why only a small sub section are allowed a rapid test… more so if you've come from overseas where they are widespread…

            • Puckish Rogue

              More testing the better I'd have thought

              • mpledger

                Overseas, covid-19 is widespread so a positive RAT tests most likely indicates the person has covid-19. In NZ covid-19 is only in a small subset of the population so a positive RAT test is likely to be an error. The PCR test is a much better test and a positive test is way less likely to be an error.

                More testing is good as long as it doesn't send heaps of healthy people into quarantine.

          • Blazer

            What happened to Sroubeck…was he deported?

          • Pete

            Let's run with wondering about the "first time" shall we? See how long it takes to get back to you, when someone says to you, "He's always' doing it."

            That's how it works. Recently I've seen a pieces of ridiculousness online which have been quoted to me as facts a week later. Adults, no discrimination skills, no objectivity, no sense of curiosity and checking, prepared to believe palpable absolute nonsense.

            • Puckish Rogue

              Whats more likely, this is the first time hes ever used his position in this way or its the first time hes been called out for using his position this way

        • Sabine

          I would go with boys will be boys. Namely he did not think for a moment just how stupid and offensive it would look for the fiancé of the PM to call a Pharmacist in town to educate that pharmacist on the rules that the pharmacist would surely know better then the fiancé of the PM who is not a pharmacist or works for the MOH.

          But then, all i know is that we can't have rapid tests because they are not legally allowed as an over the counter product for sale for all that want one.

          Fwiw, he just embarrassed the PM.

          • Puckish Rogue

            'But then, all i know is that we can't have rapid tests because they are not legally allowed as an over the counter product for sale for all that want one.'

            Do you happen to know why as it seems like it'd be a useful thing to have on hand.

            • weka

              my guess is because they're not as accurate as PCR tests and thus the government doesn't want people using them instead of the PCR when they have symptoms or a close contact. Makes sense to me.

              That logic will probably have to change if we get a widespread outbreak, for logistical reasons.

              • Cricklewood

                One of the real risks is asymptomatic infections letting people rapid test even if vaccinated helps pick those up.

                • weka

                  that has to be weighed up against OTC tests that give people a false sense of non-infected and they don't take the necessary precautions.

                  Why were the musos wanting a rapid test? For personal sense of relief, or for making work decisions?

                  • Sabine

                    Again, who cares why these guys wanted the test. The were told no, and the story should have stopped there.

                    Clarke should have never picked up that phone.

                    Rapid tests have their uses and should be available via government and private business to anyone who wants them. Sadly we can not have easy access to them here in NZ, and that is something the government has to answer for.

                    • weka

                      I was talking about the reasons, because it demonstrates how people might use RATs stupidly if they're OTC.

                    • Sabine

                      We are now protecting people from being stupid?

                      The guys wanted a quick rapid test, and asked the future spouse of the PM if they could help get one in a country were you can't get them. Everything else is deflection.

                      And someone should teach the future spouse of the PM how to not be stupidly using influence that one does not have.

                    • weka

                      Muso and Gayford were both stupid, I've moved on from that.

                      Limiting RAT now is protecting everyone from some people's stupid.

                    • DukeEll []

                      Just so I’m clear, long covid bad and rapid antigen testing bad according to weka.
                      thats fine if you honestly believe it, but surely the best way to avoid any covid is to have all sorts of testing available?

                    • weka

                      No Duke, RAT is a useful tool that needs to be used appropriately for the situation. I've explained what I think that means in the NZ context. Did you not understand?

                    • McFlock

                      surely the best way to avoid any covid is to have all sorts of testing available

                      Maybe in a rapidly spreading outbreak, speed trumps sensitivity.

                      When we have few cases in the community, we need to identify every single case.

                      And as Weka points out, eventually jerk#57 will get a false negative as an excuse to go clubbing that night and over the weekend, potentially spreading it to hundreds of people, when they might not have been so much of a jerk that they'd go clubbing that night while waiting for the result the next day.

              • Given the likely need for RAT's, and that Australia is experiencing a shortage of these tests at the very time they are needed most,


                I would hope that our MOH would take this limited window of opportunity to get ahead of the game and fast-track applications for the supply of tests to ensure we have a good supply when the shit hits the fan.

                But sadly, no…..


                • Puckish Rogue

                  Maybe they should give Clarke a call laugh

                • weka

                  from your link,

                  A spokesman from the New Zealand Ministry of Health said there were 5.5 million rapid antigen tests in the country. It also has 20 million on order, which will arrive in batches over the next six months.

                  There are good reasons to not let this just be a private business free for all.

                  • Sabine

                    It is totally good for the product to arrive in the next 6 month, cause really it would be bad for people to now go and on their own purchase a rapid self test. It is much better for them to stay in line, get an official test, and thus be traceable. /right?

                    • weka

                      the six months is a worry, and I doubt that that is enough tests if things go sideways but I don't know what the MoH plan is for RAT use.

                      But yes, it's better to use a system that is integrated into the MoH's contact tracing system. This is a massive part of why we are relatively covid-free in NZ.

                      For people concerned about government overreach and trust, one thing that could happen now is to lobby the government to make privacy re the app and contact tracing systems stronger in law not just policy. This would protect against any future Nact government taking advantage as well.

                  • The thing is we don't know when Omicron will arrive. And we will need many millions of tests when that happens.

                    Businesses such as ours will probably want to be testing staff weekly to contain any Omicron outbreak. I expect many companies will require contractors entering their site to pass a RAT test before being allowed to enter.

                    So, tests arriving over the next six months has the potential to be the vaccine delay bullet we were lucky to dodge all over again.

                    Australia has plenty of private suppliers approved already:



                    Why is our MOH so slack???

                    • joe90

                      Australia has plenty of private suppliers approved already:

                      And that's working out to be as peachy as fuck.

                    • weka

                      Why is our MOH so slack???

                      I don't know if they are being slack, but I already explained the problems of letting private companies sell RATs in NZ. Did you not understand? Or do you think business concerns should override public health ones?

                    • pat

                      "Why is our MOH so slack???"

                      Slack….or overwhelmed?

                      And Omicron hasnt started spreading here yet (that we know of)….limited resources means limited resources.

                • Jimmy

                  So we are not front of the queue?

          • alwyn

            "boys will be boys".

            Really? He is, depending on where you look, either 44 or 45 years old. Are you really suggesting that it OK for someone of that age to behave like a "boy"?

            • Puckish Rogue

              Be fair Alwyn this is just the usual sort thing PMs significant others get up to, remember when Dr Mary English, Bronagh Key, Pete Davis, Joan Bolger, Burton Shipley, Yvonne Moore, Margaret Palmer etc etc

              You couldn't keep them out of the news

              • Tricledrown

                Judith Collins husband

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Gee you'd have thought I of all people would've remembered when JC became PM because then I would have added her husbands name to the rest of the list of PMs significant others that, mostly, kept out of the media

              • Anker

                Max Key anyone?

                Anyway I think Gayford behaved like a bit of dick. So what. He's not a politician……….

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Agreed, there is absoludely no issue with with the PMs consort telling lies to a pharmacist in order for that pharmacist to break MOH rules for his mates

                  No problem whatsoever

                  No sir


                  • mpledger

                    Did he tell lies or what he mistaken in his beliefs?

                    It seems obvious that Clarke Gayford got put on the spot by his friend and, it seems to me, he tried to be helpful.

                    This incident seems to have violated a lot of patient's rights.

                    1) people are allowed to have support people, even if they are the prime ministers husband-to-be and even if he is mistaken in his beliefs,

                    2) people are meant to have confidentiality over their health conditions and treatments

                    3) people are meant to be treated with respect and dignity in all their health care interactions

                    For all we know the friend may have been given mistaken advice from some other party e.g. another health care worker. In such a fluid situation it's not unreasonable for people to get things wrong.

            • weka

              boys will be boys is a phrased used to describe the behaviour of some adult men. It's not an excuse in this case, it's a judgement.

            • Sabine

              You are right of course, Alwyn.

              I should have said" Those who self ID as a boys will be boys when they do things that are wrong'.

              I should have thought of that first, as i am not sure that Clarke actually self identifies as a male – on the terms ( biology that is) that we used to understand what a male is. He might self identifies as something else altogether.

              So maybe they are just a connected rich lister – who may or may not actually identify as a male – who thought they could intimidate a pharmacist to do something that a pharmacist is not allowed to do by providing misinformation about covid related rules -cause buying a rapid self test for home use, and doing so without government interference is verboten.

    • Bazza64 6.3

      Clarke will be in the Dogbox with Jacinda. Looks like the first dude needed to obey that old rule “Better to keep your mouth shut & be thought of as a fool, than to open it & remove all doubt”

      • Puckish Rogue 6.3.1

        Yes agreed, its pretty funny although to be fair to him its still probably all new to him as hes only been in this position for 4 years or so

      • Pete 6.3.2

        He sure as hell can't go into a shop to buy something like a new battery for the car.

        The price on the tab is $295 and he says to the shop assistant, "How about $280?"

        Somewhere overhears that and soon it's in the headlines, "PM's partner bullies shop assistant."

        The best thing for the guy is to say nothing to anyone. Then there'll be nothing anyone can turn it into crime of the century.

        And we all focus on, "Yeah, I've heard he's a real uncommunicative bastard."

        • Puckish Rogue

          Or you know maybe just pay the price of the tab?

          • Pete


            Oh I see, if he's silly enough to go into a shop on a day they're not having their "30% off everything" he should just pay the ticket price, or wait until the inevitable sale comes.

            Or he should pay the ticket price because he's a rich bugger? Or he should pay the ticket price because he's the PM's partner? Or he, like everyone, should always pay the asking price for everything because that's how a market works?

        • Jimmy

          Yes great analogy Pete. I often go in to Countdown myself and go to the checkout with 20 – 30 items and say to the checkout operator how about 99c for these baked beans that are $1.50 and she says "no". Then I move on to the next item and do the same. Can cause a bit of a queue sometimes but its fun.

      • Jimmy 6.3.3

        I expect Jacinda said to him something similar to:

        "Clarke, you need to drink this big cup of shut the fuck up".

    • Blazer 6.4

      As Gilmore was an M.P and Gayford is not….a very poor comparison.

  7. arkie 7

    Stay safe, be kind, get high?

    Compounds in cannabis can prevent infection from the virus that causes Covid-19 by blocking its entry into cells, according to a study published this week by researchers affiliated with Oregon State University. A report on the research, “Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants,” was published online on Monday by the Journal of Natural Products.

    The researchers found that two cannabinoid acids commonly found in hemp varietals of cannabis, cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and cannabidiolic acid, also known as CBDA, can bind to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. By binding to the spike protein, the compounds can prevent the virus from entering cells and causing infection, potentially offering new avenues to prevent and treat the disease.


  8. arkie 8

    Once again we are reminded that the hopes of the PM mean nothing to a market off it's leash, and that Labour can not and will not do anything that will actually cool this market:

    The national average house price rose nearly 30 percent last year. Figures from QV show the average house price went up 28.2 percent in 2021, with the new national average hitting $1,053,315.

    Christchurch saw the strongest growth. The city's average price rose 40.2 percent. The average price is now $785,000. In January 2021 the average price was $560,000.

    QV operations manager Paul McCorry said he did not expect prices to keep rising so much.

    "It's a huge, a huge increase for a year. Still a very good supply of homes in Christchurch, and probably in the wider Canterbury area, I don't think it's sustainable into 2022 at that level, so we would expect that to reduce."


    It seems Labour is happy to let the market correct itself, hopefully when they aren't the Government. There's been much discussion about the Greens and their failures or lack of successes; what logical reason is there to continue to vote for Labour when they consistently fail to achieve the meaningful material change they campaign on?

    • Dennis Frank 8.1

      Well, I suppose we could give them credit for their purist adherence to neoliberal doctrine? Suggest to David Seymour that he organise production of a Neoliberal Cheerleader Award in the form of a medal made of plastic, painted with gold paint, that he can send to Jacinda & Grant after demonstrating them at a press conference for the tv cameras. That would signal to the public that ACT, Labour & National are all on the same political page. devil

    • Gosman 8.2

      Nothing that Labour has done is making it much easier to build houses. Until that is resolved housing costs are going to remain astronomical.

      • arkie 8.2.1

        Only partially true and you know it, nothing is to be gained by discussing it with you.
        I do appreciate your mindless devotion to your demonstrably simplistic and incomplete understanding of markets though.

      • millsy 8.2.2

        Relaxing consent laws will not make a single cheap house. All it will lead to is more and more expensive luxury housing that is unaffordable by anyone except the wealthy.

        Developers will only build for the rich. End of.

        • Gosman

          If there is demand for lower cost housing why would developers build higher cost housing instead? They would only do that if they can sell the houses which means there is a market for it.

          • arkie

            Because it's more 'economically rational' to seek to extract the largest profit and margins are tighter when you are trying to sell for low cost, you monocular simpleton.

    • Herodotus 8.3

      Jut received an email from a pipe company, these increases were preceded less than 6 months ago with similar increase. And these increases are not limited to this company, they are being replicated thought out the industry. From my observations land to build on has dwarfed materials in price increases. Pity those in power have no understanding of the industry. Not sure how the Kiwibuild price caps can be maintained.

      The following changes will take effect for deliveries made after 1st February 2022;

      PVC Pipe & Fittings 8% to 10%

      Polyethylene Pipe & Fittings 4% to 6%

      Merchandise Product Ranges 6% to 15%

      • tc 8.3.1

        Imo they understand it just fine but lack the political will to take on the oligopoly/monopolies created by commerce commission rubber stamped acquisitions.

        Same with the foodstuffs/ progressive supermarket duopoly.

    • Patricia Bremner 8.4

      That rise is apparently skewed by high end sales as folk cash up expecting a fall in value.

  9. Puckish Rogue 9


    Just to make it clear for everyone, a trans female swimmer lost to a trans male swimmer in a womans swimming competition


    • millsy 9.1

      A media beat up by religious conservatives with an agenda to ensure that LGBTQ athletes are shunned from sport.

    • McFlock 9.2

      Reluctant to dip my toe in too far, but doesn't that mean that the person whom some folks think should have been in the race beat the person who the same folks thought had an unfair advantage over the other women in the race? And the person with the alleged unfair advantage was beaten by as many as four other women?

      • Puckish Rogue 9.2.1

        I'm trying to understand how a trans man and a trans woman can compete in the same race, surely one of them couldn't be in the race?

      • weka 9.2.2

        yes. What's your point though? That if a TW loses to women all the advantages weren't really there to begin with?

    • weka 9.3

      I removed the video. There are bunch of reasons why suicide jokes shouldn't be happening in this conversation.

      • Puckish Rogue 9.3.1

        I wasn't suggesting anything by it, just that I thought it was a funny clip expressing my bewilderment at the world we live in today

        But in hindsight maybe a clip of someone jumping through a window and running off into the distance might have been a better idea

  10. Robert Guyton 10



    Let's go to town on the details and interpretation of this astonishing article!


    • Puckish Rogue 10.1

      Unfortunately anything with the name Derrick reminds me of this and then I start to giggle

    • Dennis Frank 10.2

      Faroutski! Ought be an award for Greentech diy eh? You could nominate this guy & I reckon he's a winner. yes

      Did you notice he said total control? Labour's media-monitoring bots will pick that up & shunt the story to the top of the queue, so he'll be firing up the pace of greening Labour incrementalism too…

  11. arkie 11

    Covid-19 is not just a "mild infection" for our tamariki, according to a new international study on children who caught the virus.

    Nearly a quarter of those observed required hospitalisation, four died, and three percent experienced severe outcomes within two weeks of being admitted to an emergency department.

    Study author Stuart Dalziel, from the University of Auckland, told Morning Report that the three percent who experienced severe outcomes would have been admitted to intensive care units, with their blood pressure or respiration supported.

    "When you look at that, that's something we need to bear in mind when immunising our children. We are immunising our children to actually protect them from severe outcomes of Covid-19."

    The research found that children at highest risk of developing complications from Covid-19 infection were those who experienced symptoms from four to seven days, those older than five years, and tamariki with pre-existing chronic conditions.

    With vaccinations for tamariki aged five to 11 due to start next week, the findings dispelled the myth children were being vaccinated solely to protect adults, Dalziel said.

    "There is a perception that Covid-19 is only a very mild infection in children. However, as the pandemic has progressed, we are seeing greater numbers of children being infected and presenting to hospital worldwide," Prof Dalziel said.


    Good to see Aotearoa contributing to our growing knowledge of COVID.

    • Bill 11.1


      This prospective cohort study with 14-day follow-up enrolled participants between March 2020 and June 2021. Participants were youths aged younger than 18 years who were tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection at one of 41 EDs across 10 countries including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Italy, New Zealand, Paraguay, Singapore, Spain, and the United States. Statistical analysis was performed from September to October 2021

      Some cunt at RNZ needs to be dragged down the street. That study is not new as they claim, and has got precisely nothing whatsoever to do with Omicron.

      And Stuart Dalziel, from the University of Auckland should be put in a corner and never let out for spreading his b/s – “…we need to bear in mind when immunising our children. We are immunising our children to actually protect them from severe outcomes of Covid-19.”


      • arkie 11.1.1


        Better get that checked out, could be any of the COVID variants. Any of which can have severe outcomes.


        That too, around 1 in 10 New Zealand men will develop prostate cancer at some stage in their lifetime.

      • weka 11.1.2

        what's the problem? Afaik the vaccine available for NZ children is the one that protects against the older variants as well as more limited protection against omicron. The variants in NZ currently are the older ones.

        If/when omicron arrives, we will for a period of time have both delta and omicron. A vaccine against omicron is being developed.

        But hey, let's just let covid run free, and not worry about research showing risk to children of contracting covid.

        If you stopped thinking this is all about what's going on in your head for five minutes, you might understand what the public health approach is doing.

        • Bill

          The pretty obvious point is that RNZ put out a piece of fear mongering shit. You think it was by accident they omitted to say the study had no relevance to Omicron?

          Omicron will spread through NZ. Contracting Covid is not an issue. We could avoid an amount of unnecessary suffering and possible death, both from Delta and the side effects that will come from unnecessarily injecting children and administering booster shots to non-vulnerable people, by the simple act of not delaying the inevitable spread of Omicron.

          The longer we delay, the more suffering there will be.

          “If you stopped thinking this is all about what’s going on in your head for five minutes, you might understand what the public health approach is doing”

          Fuck me. This is back to the carbon copy shite you used to throw around when the conversation was around the stupidity of the Green Party – ie, you just don’t understand because you don’t think as we think or understand how we think (and you’ve the gall to talk of shit going on in peoples heads- ffs)

          • weka

            all opinions asserted by you as fact, despite the evidence in the article.

            • Bill

              All of my opinions are opinions. Fairly well informed and thought through, but opinions none-the-less.

              What from my previous comment is "despite the evidence" from which article?

              • weka

                it's the expressing of opinion as fact that's the problem. I have no doubt that your opinions are well informed and thought through, that doesn't stop some of them being wrong (for anyone).

                The article was the RNZ piece about the research on children with covid and what the risks are.

                • Bill

                  So, in a comment on the risk/benefit of delaying the spread Omicron versus not delaying it, I was saying something "in spite of the evidence" contained in an article that was not about Omicron – that was in fact about risks associated with Delta.

                  What was the evidence in the article that my opinion was remiss in ignoring or contradicting?

          • weka

            Fuck me. This is back to the carbon copy shite you used to throw around when the conversation was around the stupidity of the Green Party – ie, you just don’t understand because you don’t think as we think or understand how we think (and you’ve the gall to talk of shit going on in peoples heads- ffs)

            That wasn't the argument though. The argument was that green politics is a thing in its own right separate from left politics (with obvious overlaps) and that if one wanted to understand the Green Party one need to understand green politics on its own terms. Some leftists deny that green politics exists, but when I listen to what they say about it they patently don't understand what it is. This is a fairly common dynamic in society, some people who are bilingual trying to describe something to someone who is monolingual and won't acknowledge the other language exists or is important)

            You interpret 'understand x politics on its own terms' as 'agrees with', but that's not what I mean. I mean put aside one's own beliefs and look at it objectively.

            Likewise public health. Understand it on its own terms, and then critique it. As far as I can tell your starting point is your beliefs about covid, omicron, the pandemic, and you try and parse your arguments about public health through that.

            This is why people have been pointing out where you are just plain getting it wrong eg the efficacy discussion the other day. Understand what efficacy is, then see what the argument for or against vaccination is.

            The great thing about arguing from a point of independent understanding is that then when there are various views on it, we build better understanding. Arguing from a belief set without that, not so much.

            • Bill

              It seems you don't understand I'm very much a proponent of public health, and that I have precisely zero problems with it.

              • weka


              • Shanreagh

                As I have earlier said this view of apparently being in support of Public Health is not supported by your statements

                to the ones I listed there I can add this one

                – public health messages about being aware of Omicron and starting to take steps if one has to stay at home are dismissed as fear mongering

                As Weka has said one needs to know what PH is, what it is trying to do, its history, successes, failures and links to other PH systems in the rest of the world, the role of WHO. Gather this info from unbiased and informative sources, understand it.

                Then critique it, then see if your critiques are based on logic or lack of info. Then perhaps come out with criticism and ways to do better.

                So far we have got much on criticism that is not factually based. We have little with what can I do to help, what can I do to make it better in the future, have I got a good idea I can share.

                We can all go off and criticise, this is especially easy when we don't understand.

      • Shanreagh 11.1.3

        Thanks for the summary of the study, of course it was dealing with Delta and Delta is still around. Every single one of the current infections within NZ (excluding those at the border) is a Delta infection.

        If you read the write-up why would you be misled unless you were planning to be misled so you could show off an array of bad language.

    • Bill 11.2

      Here's a thorough breakdown of an actually recent study, supplemented with info from Holland and India.

      • McFlock 11.2.1

        Skipped the video, went straight to the study. I ain't going to give that shill advertising revenue.

        The California study has confidence intervals so wide that they include the possibility that rates of ICU and mortality from omicron are as much as 2/3ds that of delta. It could well be basically the same as alpha.

        Not sure NZ could handle a couple of million cases of that over a few weeks.

        • Bill

          Who's John Campbell a shill for McFlock?

          Anyway. From the study you seem so keen to rubbish

          Out of 52,297 cases with Omicron, 7 people received intensive treatment, 0 on ventilation and 1 death.

          Out of 16,982 cases with Delta there was 23 people who received intensive care treatment, 11 on ventilation and 14 deaths.

          Or, as the NYT reports on the same study

          Compared with Delta, Omicron cut the risk of hospitalization in half, the study found, and the people who came to the hospital with Omicron stayed for a shorter period. The variant cut hospital stays by more than three days, a reduction of 70 percent compared with Delta.

          (From the pre-print) – Hospital admissions occurred among 235 (0.5%) and 222 (1.3%) of cases with Omicron and Delta variant infections, respectively.

          Dunno what paper you read that had huge confidence intervals, but it sure as fuck wasn’t this one. 😉

          Omicron as an attenuated live viral vaccine. Now there's a thought 🙂 (It certainly does much, much more in terms of preventing Delta infection than any m-RNA injection)

          • weka

            half the risk of hospitalisation, and reducing hospital stay, but many more people getting infected = still too many people ending up in hospital. You still don't get it. Even after it's been explained to you many times. You appear to be plucking out abstract figures, thinking they mean something outside of a real world context.

            How many people can NZ expect to be hospitalised by covid if we let covid run free? That's omicron, delta and any other variant that's around at the time (unless you have a cunning plan to make sure the only variant is omicron).

            Oh, and long covid.

            • Bill

              half the risk of hospitalisation, and reducing hospital stay, but many more people getting infected = still too many people ending up in hospital.

              Why don't you just look at the real world numbers instead of repeating talking points?

              No country has suffered from a health system being overrun by Omicron hospitalisations. Health systems straining because of staff shortages on the other hand – well, that's been a thing. NZ ridding itself of nurses, doctors and specialists "because injection" was a really smart move, aye?

              Omicron supplants Delta very quickly – within a few weeks. And since NZ doesn’t have huge numbers of Delta infection…

              Like the Spanish Flu, Covid can last quite a time for some people. (Fallout from Spanish Flu ran through til at least the outbreak of WW2) What you want to do? Just about everyone's going to be exposed, and injections developed for a virus that existed in 2019 that's not around any more….well, both Pfizer and the WHO are scratching their heads on the sense of that.

              • arkie

                No country has suffered from a health system being overrun by Omicron hospitalisations. Health systems straining because of staff shortages on the other hand – well, that's been a thing.


                The latest Covid-19 resurgence in the US fuelled by the highly transmissible Omicron variant is leading to a critical shortage of medical staff across the country.

                About 24 per cent of the 5,000 US hospitals have a "critical staffing shortage", Xinhua news agency reported citing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as saying on Monday.

                The recent record-high new Covid-19 cases in the US have put additional pressure on the overwhelmed health care system.

                "While early data suggest Omicron infections might be less severe than those of other variants, the increases in cases and hospitalisations are expected to stress the healthcare system in the coming weeks," said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


                • Bill

                  I'm unsure if you're comment was intended to argue the point about staff shortages or confirm it.

                  • arkie

                    Why are there increased staff shortages?

                    These staff shortages kept growing as frontline health care workers are either infected or forced to quarantine due to exposure to Covid-19

                    The US is a country where a health system [is] being overrun by Omicron hospitalisations and one that is also straining because of staff shortages.

                    ¿Por qué no los dos?

                    • weka

                      I think Bill is arguing that if they didn't self isolate workers everything would work out. It's the self-isolation from a positive test causing the worker shortages, not people being sick.

                    • arkie

                      Ah, 'COVID absenteeism'.

                    • Bill

                      Ah. See, I'd put that around the other way. The system is certainly straining because of Omicron hospitalisations, but kinda buckling because of staff isolation policies.

                      I certainly don't see there would be a need for the Nightingale (what they call them?) "thingees" in the UK because of huge numbers, even if the staffing was available.

                    • weka

                      Ah. See, I'd put that around the other way. The system is certainly straining because of Omicron hospitalisations, but kinda buckling because of staff isolation policies.

                      To clarify, you believe that the health care system should be telling staff to go to work after they've had a positive test, rather than self-isolating?

                    • Bill

                      To clarify, you believe that the health care system should be telling staff to go to work after they've had a positive test, rather than self-isolating?

                      Nuance isn't your strong point?

                      Let's try this. Is it better for a cancer patient on a ward to be 'left to it' because staff shortages or, because so many staff are off feeling ill, to be cared for by a person who may be positive but who is not feeling unwell and who is taking all intelligent and necessary precautions required to continue administering care?

                    • weka

                      I'll take that as a yes, with the proviso that all staff have to wear full PPE.

                      I suggest you go read first hand accounts of what that's like for HC staff currently.

                      And what it’s like for staff going home and either having to risk loved ones, or do major decontamination before stepping through the door, as well as social distancing inside.

                    • Bill

                      Take it whatever way you want Weka. Like, why bother letting engagement, or a little nuance or subtlety in perspective interfere with your construction of whatever position it is you want to imagine people occupy?

                    • weka

                      all you have to do is clarify. Not ask rhetorical questions in response to a request for clarity, but just say, plainly, what you believe or think. It's not hard.

                    • weka

                      Let me parse it a different way. You said,

                      Is it better for a cancer patient on a ward to be 'left to it' because staff shortages or, because so many staff are off feeling ill, to be cared for by a person who may be positive but who is not feeling unwell and who is taking all intelligent and necessary precautions required to continue administering care?

                      How is that different to,

                      1. covid-positive HCWs should go to work
                      2. patients will be protected by HCW wearing full PPE while at work

                      Where's the nuance?

              • weka

                No country has suffered from a health system being overrun by Omicron hospitalisations. Health systems straining because of staff shortages on the other hand – well, that's been a thing. NZ ridding itself of nurses, doctors and specialists "because injection" was a really smart move, aye?

                To be clear, you believe that the shortages of health care workers in Australia is because of vaccine mandates? Care to put up the numbers to support that?

                Am asking about Australia because they're in the thick of what you propose. Would like to know the NZ numbers too.

                • Bill

                  see above

                  • pat

                    Have you considered Bill the system had negative capacity before covid?…..im pretty sure those seeking the likes of cancer treatments, diabetes or hip operations et al have been…hell the list of under serviced health conditions is monumental…..lets throw some more shit their way.

                    • Bill

                      That health care has been run as a business, and therefor closer to capacity at all times than a health system ought to be, is inexcusable crap.

                      And that the government has not moved to rectify that situation at least somewhat over these past two years is also inexcusable crap.

                      That in addition they fired doctors, nurses, orderlies and whatever other people in healthcare roles because injection is on another level altogether.

                  • pat

                    Run as a 'business' is debatable…but ultimately irrelevant.

                    We have what we have and we need to get the best result we can with what we have….not what we wish we had.

                    And we constantly supported those settings must be remembered (by all)

                    • weka

                      and it's simply not true that Labour have done nothing in the last four years.

                      Here's the most recent thing I can find,


                    • pat

                      And in that I would agree with Bill…..too little (excuse the pun) too late.

                      I agree with much of what Bill highlights but ….and its a big but(t) ….we placed ourselves in this position so we have no right to complain.

                    • weka

                      I agree with much of what Bill highlights but ….and its a big but(t) ….we placed ourselves in this position so we have no right to complain.

                      It's been a major critique on the left for decades that the health system has been underfunded and monkey wrenched by successive neoliberal goverments. I agree that we can't complain at this late stage in the sense that this is what most NZers have been voting for.

                      There's a limit to what can be done about that in the two short years of the pandemic.

          • McFlock

            It's even in the preprint's abstract (although I did flick through the entire thing):

            Rates of ICU admission and mortality after an outpatient positive test were 0.26 (0.10-0.73) and 0.09 (0.01-0.75) fold as high among cases with Omicron variant infection as compared to cases with
            Delta variant infection.

            I put the confidence intervals in italicised bold, just for you.

            Also for you:
            "what are confidence intervals"
            "what is a rate ratio"

            • Bill

              Why not put in the full cut and paste for the sake of context? (Cheers for the links)

              Among cases first tested in outpatient settings, the adjusted hazard ratios for any subsequent hospital admission and symptomatic hospital admission associated with Omicron variant infection were 0.48 (0.36-0.64) and 0.47 (0.35-0.62), respectively. Rates of ICU admission and mortality after an outpatient positive test were 0.26 (0.10-0.73) and 0.09 (0.01-0.75) fold as high among cases with Omicron variant infection as compared to cases with
              Delta variant infection.

              • McFlock

                OK, great. Do you understand what the numbers mean? Especially the ones in brackets?

                What happens if you convert those into projections of real sick and dead people (using the rate ratios and the confidence intervals from known delta proportions to calculate the possible range of values) from an omicron outbreak of 3 million people over 8 weeks, assuming we let it rip and get a majority of infections by the end of march?

                • Bill

                  Here's what I understand.

                  I understand that out of more than 52 000 cases, there was 1 death and no people on ventilation. (Omicron)

                  And that compared to 14 deaths, and 11 people on ventilation from just under 17 000 cases. (Delta)

                  What I don't understand is who you think John Campbell is shilling for? Can you answer me that?

                  Oh. And here’s what I suspect – that the hazard ratio associated with Omicron (for various higher levels of treatment post diagnosis) is far, far lower than the hazard ratio associated with Delta. But I’m sure you could expand on that basic understanding and put it all in layperson’s terms seeing as how you’re a numbers guy. Cheers in advance.

                  • McFlock

                    Here's what I understand.

                    I understand that out of more than 52 000 cases, there was 1 death and no people on ventilation. (Omicron)

                    And that compared to 14 deaths, and 11 people on ventilation from just under 17 000 cases. (Delta)

                    Great. So read up those links on rate rations and confidence intervals, apply them to, e.g. the number "0.73", and you might start understanding how unreliable your suspicion actually is.

                    What I don't understand is who you think John Campbell is shilling for? Can you answer me that?

                    Answered months ago. Himself via his advertisers. And that's without any declared conflicts of interest.

                    • Bill

                      He shills for himself through his advertisers?

                      So, all of the Pfizer sponsored programming, or the Microsoft sponsored programmes, or the BBC taking money from Gates etc etc etc – that's all okay, but a guy with a popular youtube channel is tasteless and suspect?

                    • McFlock

                      Hey, sure, whatever floats your boat: pfizer, bbc, [not a medical]Dr John, all shills.

                      Definitely caveat emptor on one's information sources. I don't particularly take the BBC's word for what goes on in Northern Ireland, either.

                      Do you understand what the possibility of "RR=0.73 the mortality rate of delta" means if most NZers get omicron within a couple of months? Please, show us that math.

                    • Bill

                      Please, show us that math.

                      What? To repeat.

                      "But I’m sure you could expand on that basic understanding and put it all in layperson’s terms seeing as how you’re a numbers guy. Cheers in advance."

                    • McFlock

                      Thing is, I'm asking you to do the rough math in the hope you might actually learn what [not a medical]Dr john's links are talking about for yourself, without rehashing these debates again and again and again.

                      At the moment, you're making grand pronouncements about public health policy based on what someone said that sounds good to you, when you don't know the basic tools and you can't even tell one end of the respiratory tract from the other.

                    • weka

                      I'd also like to see that maths put into a NZ context, taking into account our Māori and Pacifica population, the numbers of people that live in poverty, the numbers of people with co-morbidities, and things like our shitty housing situation (poor quality and overcrowding).

                    • McFlock

                      lols "applying for research grants to fund the massive workload" gets covered in semester two.

                    • Bill

                      But McFlock. The numbers in the paper refer to the relative risk for various patients (no jab, 1 jab, 2 jabs, prior infection etc) turning up at hospital with either Omicron or Delta (or just thinking they have Covid) and the 'hazard ratio' for them, ie, comparing between Omicron or Delta for a variety of base conditions, of them progressing to more serious care scenarios.

                      In other words, very convoluted stuff with very definite contextural constraints.

                      But you knew that (because numbers guy) and yet decided it was a really good idea to spin complete fucking lies on the off-chance you'd score a "gotcha" point.

                      What comes next?

                    • weka

                      Which are the lies?

                    • Bill

                      Basically this – "The California study has confidence intervals so wide that they include the possibility that rates of ICU and mortality from omicron are as much as 2/3ds that of delta. It could well be basically the same as alpha.

                      Not sure NZ could handle a couple of million cases of that over a few weeks"

                    • McFlock

                      Bill, they include confidence intervals for a reason. You want to look at just the rate ratios, but the fact is that (putting it into simple terms) the confidence intervals indicate how reliably that snapshot measurement reflects all cases in the world.

                      It's like looking at a change in political opinion polls without considering the margin for error, or engineering a 2.9mm pin for a 3mm hole but not bothering to consider the quarter mm tolerances for the pin and the hole (one might loosely fit in the other with a clearance fit, or it might not fit at all).

                      But you don't like the results, so you call me a liar. You've banned others for much less.

                      Post-test omicron mortality rates might be 1% of delta, or they might be 75% of delta.

                      So, ok, please correct my math:

                      • At a rate of 1:52k, the omicron rate from that study is about 20 more dead if a couple million people get it.
                      • The delta rate is about 14:17k, or about 1,600 more dead if applied to a couple million people
                      • 1% of 1,600 is 16. Sanity check shows the lower bound is below the observed value, so my math isn't immediately farcical
                      • 73% of 1,600 is almost 400 dead.
                      • the confidence interval, if applied to "mild" omicron spreading like wildfire in NZ, indicates there could be anywhere between 16 and 400 dead.

                      My math is frequently off, or there might be a typo I missed and ran with. So please, if you actually identify a fault in the sums, tell me.

                      But just because you don't understand something, it doesn't mean the results you don't like are a lie. It doesn't mean the researchers included confidence intervals in their results for shits and giggles.

                      It just means that you're mouthing off about stuff you are patently ill-equipped to discuss.

                    • weka

                      Is this the study?

                      NYT via archive.is https://archive.fo/T9XRR

                      Actual study (likewise) https://archive.fo/cczJ4

                    • McFlock

                      a report on it, yeah.

                      Link to the original in full living colour was below the youtube video. Looks like you have an archive link

                      It’s a reasonable bit of research – there are some quibbles in the comments, but nothing too serious. But it’s not a slam dunk or smoking gun, it’s another brick in the pile of knowledge about a variant that is only 8 or so weeks old.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      McFlock, is your high end right?

                      2,000,000/17,000*14*0.73 = 1202

                      Not 400.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh snap Nic, you might be right there.

                      I was ballparking it by quarters and fluffed it that way, getting 25% instead of 75%.

                      Not as embarrassing as when my filters have the crocodile teeth around the wrong way at work 🙂

              • KJT

                Have you adjusted that for "80% of positive tests don't have COVID?


              • Blazer

                Reassuring inspiration from Pfizers C.E.O

                • Bill

                  Here's the numbers from that California study McFlock's so keen to rubbish (comparing % of cases with Pfizer jabs between Delta – first column and Omicron) from within the same population where both variants were present.

                  1 jab 2.9% 2.8%

                  2 jab 38.8% 52.9%

                  3 jab 4.6% 13.4%

                  Which I read as a crash in Pfizer protection against Omicron.

                  And for shits and giggles, the unvaccinated are 49.7% and 26.6%

                  • Nic the NZer

                    What's the total numbers of Omicron and Delta cases?

                    I think you can only compare each column directly as a relative rate when both variant outbreaks are around the same size. Otherwise I think you need to apply something like Bayes formula and it gets complex.

                    There is also the likely issue that there can be some interaction between infection with different variants. It's at least possible that many unvaccinated were infected with Delta and defacto isolating already when Omicron swept through which could both explain the difference in their rates and also the relative difference in the vaccinated rates. Directly comparing the columns is actually making some strong assumptions about how the statistics were generated.

                    • Bill

                      Well. I suspect the entire paper's a bit of a treasure trove for those with the right kind of mind. I can only manage rudimentary reading, which is why I'm pissed off at McF because he could have actually provided some useful input in lieu of playing dismissive silly buggers. Anyway. The links repeated below, but here's the raw numbers added to the % from above. ( Total cases were 52 967 Omicron and 16 982 Delta and I’ve left out the J&J vax numbers)

                      Unvaccinated 8,449 (49.8) 13,874 (26.5) .

                      BNT162b2 or mRNA-1973—1 dose 487 (2.9) 1,459 (2.8)
                      BNT162b2 or mRNA-1973—2 doses 6,5921 (38.8) 27,659 (52.9)
                      BNT162b2 or mRNA-1973—3 doses 787 (4.6) 7,018 (13.4)


                    • McFlock

                      Not to mention an increase in 1st dose vaccinations from 79% to 82% during the study period.

                      Which basically dropped the number of unvaccinated by 14% (one seventh of the 21%) just as omicron was kicking off.

                      And yes, I did pop over to openepi to bung confidence intervals around 21% of 39million and 26% of 52,000. They didn't overlap.

                      @bill: when I try to explain stuff to you, you accuse me of lying because you don’t like the explanation.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      I think this is the reason vaccine efficacy was not part of the conclusion. It seems reasonable that Omicron does escape vaccine more successfully however.

                    • Bill

                      Putting aside any parsing of unvaccinated people who had prior infection and a level of immunity as a result – a crude and approximate reading – vaccines aren't half as effective against Omicron as against Delta.

                      I'm saying that on the (very roughly) 50% drop in the percentage of overall cases that are unvaccinated in those Omicron numbers.


                      @bill: when I try to explain stuff to you, you accuse me of lying because you don’t like the explanation.

                      I'm totally open to people explaining things I don't understand. I also don't care if I'm wrong about something, and I absolutely welcome good faith, robust and positive engagement – because I prefer to learn and understand than seek some immutable stance on a hill . But. The smart arse, personalised "gotcha" shit? No time for that….as I've said previously.

                    • McFlock

                      Bill, this isn't a gotcha discussion.

                      If our assumptions are incorrect, the conclusions we base on those assumptions are suspect.

                      Confidence intervals are important. The meaning of a figure for efficacy is important. Whether a virus replicates at all in the lungs rather than merely at a reduced rate is important when we're talking about the virulence of a respiratory disease. They're all important when deciding policy issues around controlling that disease. Policy issues like vaccination schedules or vaccination passes.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    I can get behind the last discussion paragraph of that medRxiv preprint, as it’s awash with caution befitting our current pandemic predicament. Gingerly does it – imho what comes next is (still) anyone's guess.

                    Clinical outcomes among patients infected with Omicron (B.1.1.529) SARS-CoV-2 variant in southern California
                    [PDF, posted 11 January 2022]
                    We have quantified two aspects of comparative severity of Omicron vs. Delta variant infections: the risk of progression to severe endpoints among diagnosed cases, and the risk of progression to acute respiratory symptoms among those first diagnosed before symptoms onset. While attenuation of disease severity in association with the Omicron variant is an encouraging finding, prior evidence of higher transmissibility of Omicron variant infections, as well as immune evasion from prior infection and vaccination, are concerning. Rapid spread of the Omicron variant in a compressed time period has led to unprecedented surges in COVID-19 among our study population and others globally. High rates of infection in the community have overwhelmed healthcare systems and could translate to high absolute numbers of hospitalizations and deaths, even with lower severity of the Omicron variant as compared to non-Omicron variants. Thus, implementation of concurrent prevention strategies including vaccination, masking, and appropriate infection mitigation strategies remains important to curb transmission, decrease morbidity and mortality, and reduce burden on health systems nationwide.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    People are trying to deliberately catch COVID. Here are five reasons why that’s a bad idea [13 Jan. 2022]

                    49 COVID deaths on 12 January, plus 57 lives lost to COVID on 13 January, makes 106 Australian deaths, more than for any other two daily death tolls combined (41 deaths on 31 August 2020, and 59 deaths on 4 September 2020) during this pandemic, with the Omicron wave likely close to peaking in Australia.

                    Hope the tragic death toll from this (live attenuated vaccine?) Omicron won't be too high a price to pay for the benefits – what are those again?

                    Kiwis, if you are eligible then please, please get a booster jab of the Pfizer stuff; it's much safer than immunisation by Omicron.

                    Unite against

                    Get your booster to stay safe this summer
                    People aged 18 and over can now get a vaccine booster 4 months after their second dose. Visit a walk-in vaccination centre or book by calling 0800 28 29 26. You can book online from 17 January.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Omicron, or (as some are calling it) the (naturally occurring) attenuated live vaccine, killed over 8,000 people yesterday, and the day before that. This is likely the beginning of an uptick in COVID-associated deaths that inevitabily follows an (in this case hugh) increase in active cases.

            The lag between infection and death might be slightly longer for Omicron (and the IFR lower), owning to this variant's attenuated virulence, vaccinations, and improved treatments, but make no mistake – the Omicron wave will kill hundreds of thousands globally.

            Like Bill, I'm hoping that the 'immunity' afforded by an Omicron infection (whether of a COVID-naive, or previously infected and/or vaccinated, host) will keep more people out of hospital in the long run – it should, but it’s early days.

            If you are eligible then please get a booster jab – there are so many reasons!

            Unite against

            • Bill

              The 8000 refers to Covid deaths, not Omicron deaths.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Apologies Bill, quite right – 8,000+ COVID deaths, including Omicron deaths.

                Maybe from now on, as Omicron continues to displace Delta, the daily global pandemic death toll will drop – I reckon that's unlikely (despite vaccinations, better treatments, and the decreased virulence of Omicron relative to Delta), but we can hope.

                If you are eligible then please get a booster jab – there are so many reasons!

                • Bill

                  Channel 7 (I think I have the right number) in Australia did a news segment reporting that ICU numbers (or maybe it was ventilator numbers) were dropping in spite of case numbers going off the charts.

                  You stay safe there. I'm long out of time for being able to get any booster.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Channel 7 (I think I have the right number) in Australia did a news segment reporting that ICU numbers (or maybe it was ventilator numbers) were dropping in spite of case numbers going off the charts.

                    That's nice, and thanks – I will stay safe, don't you worry smiley

                    In the month prior to South Africa's wave of Omicron cases, the COVID death toll was hovering around 25 lives per day, give or take. The 7-day moving average is currently 109 lives per day, about four weeks after the wave of Omicron cases peaked.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, but they're all dying "with" not "from". 'tis the season for hungry hungry hippos /sarc

                    • Bill

                      death toll was hovering around 25 lives per day, give or take. The 7-day moving average is currently 109 lives per day, about four weeks after the wave of Omicron cases peaked.

                      I'm kind of interested to dig into that a bit, but can't see how to go back beyond a few days (I'll dig around in more different tabs).

                      Essentially, I'm curious what the recorded case numbers were when deaths were around 25. I'd imagine most Delta related deaths would have occurred by now, though there may be a 'few' people stuck in long term limbo?

                      Anyway. Away to tab hunt…

            • weka

              Like Bill, I'm hoping that the 'immunity' afforded by an Omicron infection (whether of a COVID-naive, or previously infected and/or vaccinated, host) will keep more people out of hospital in the long run – it should, but it’s early days.

              It may well do. But Bill is advocating for speeding up the process of spread. Which will increase the deaths, hospitalisation and disability.

              • Bill

                But Bill is advocating for speeding up the process of spread

                And where did Bill ever say that?

                • weka

                  I thought you wanted NZ to:

                  • open borders
                  • not vaccinate/boost at the population level (do vulnerable people instead)
                  • no vaccine mandates
                  • no vaccine passes
                  • no more hard lock downs
                  • positive tested workers go to work
                  • don't bother with masks as they don't work
                  • I'm guessing also no restrictions on entry to businesses or events that have the potential to spread covid.

                  If I'm wrong, please say which ones.

                  Removing those things would speed up spread of omicron.

                  • Bill

                    Well Weka, you know what thought did, aye?

                    You're wrong. Plus, that shopping list is from your head, and not from what I have written.

                    • weka

                      It's from what I've read. And, again, you won't clarify, so I'm left with my own interpretation, again.

                      I'd be surprised if other people didn't also see your comments in a similar light.

                    • weka

                      any time you do want to clarify, I'm all ears. But this isn't the first time I've asked, so I'm not holding my breath either.

                    • Bill

                      It's from what I've read.

                      Then link to examples of all of those points you listed, and we can discuss whatever you find if you want. Otherwise, engage with what I say when I say it, and quit this bullshit of making stuff up about what I supposedly think or advocate and then inserting it as noise and sniping in exchanges you aren't an initial part of and that you apparently have no intention of engaging in on any worthwhile basis .

            • RedLogix

              A cursory glance at that data shows two graphs – one with case numbers dramatically rising from late December which we know is due to Omicron, and the other with a steady relatively flat rate of deaths to this point in time.

              Allowing that deaths usually lag 2 – 3 weeks behind cases, the data over the next 2 weeks between now and the end of January will be critical in making the call on Omicron's morbidity. Until then we cannot know.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Absolutely RL – hope for the best, and (prudently) plan for the worst.
                In all likelihood reality will lie somewhere in between.

    • mauī 11.3

      That study is for children who tested positive for Covid at the Hospital Emergency Department, not while at home. Which suggests to me anyway, that there's a small.. or large portion (who really knows?) of those children being admitted for other medical reasons and then being tested for covid. Signficant flaw in the findings then I would have thought.

  12. Blade 12

    Veganism is closely allied to the Green movement. It encompasses environmental issues and animal cruelty. It really has little to do with staying healthy for many vegan activists.

    The very thoughtful young man in the clip below has been able to cut through the bs and see things as they are.

    By the thousands people are having their health stuffed up by this incomplete diet trend. The irony is people have cured their heart disease using a vegan diet. But what adherents to vegan and keto diets don't get is it's horses for courses. People thrive on different diets as the blue zone ( long lived) areas around the world show.

    But I have a special dislike for vegan activist nutters. I have seen them more than once demanding a Subway worker put on clean gloves because they don't want their order made with gloves that have touched meat. They then look around ready to take on any meat eating, pollution loving, animal exploiting criminal as if their life depended on it.

    • gsays 12.1

      Along the lines of differentiating between anti-vax and anti-mandate/passport, a friend of mine made this distinction.

      From memory:There are other aspects to veganism – diet, ethics, animal exploitation/commodification and anti vivisection.

      Some folk merely have a plant based diet, this does not make them a vegan.

      • Blade 12.1.1

        When you say plant based, do you mean wholly plant based with no animal or dairy products and minus the activism. Or do you mean a mainly plant based diet with the occasional meat and dairy?

        • weka

          'plant-based' is weasel words designed to obscure that vegans are talking about being vegan, because the activists have done so much damage to the cause. It's also propaganda.

          Consequently, no-one knows what it means, unless someone also explains at the time.

          Sensible people would use it to mean a diet that is built around plants but isn't restricted to that, but we don't have sensible in this debate.

          • Blade

            Thankyou. That is what I was trying to understand.

            • weka

              I can only assume that some users of the term use it intentionally to muddle the debate.

              • Grey Area

                Don't know whether that's the case.

                As vegans we say we eat a plant-based diet at times depending on the setting because the V word is so loaded and such a trigger for some meat-eaters.

                If that's weasel words I'm okay with that.

                • weka

                  I have no problem with people describing their diet as plant based, even vegans. I do have a problem with fundamentalist vegans, the ones that ruined the word vegan, using it as propaganda or to fudge the politics.

        • gsays

          My chum eats a plant based diet. No meat, fish, egg, cheese.

          Best of my knowledge no honey.

          Doesn't identify as a Vegan.

          Hope this helps.

          • weka

            so he's basically a vegan.

            • Grey Area

              Not as I see it. Eating a plant-based diet is exactly that, a diet (usually motivated by a desire to eat healthier).

              Veganism is more of a lifestyle.

              I came across an excellent graphic once that I found really helpful as I transitioned from vegetarian to vegan. Plant-based and vegan lined up the same diet-wise. The difference was that the decision of the vegan to not eat any animal products is usually based more on animal rights and wanting to see an end to animal cruelty. So there is a moral and ethical viewpoint not necessarily shared with someone making decisions about their diet.

              • weka

                and yet there are people who are vegan for health reasons not animal rights, and they call themselves vegan. Are you really wanting to police that?

                • Grey Area

                  "and yet there are people who are vegan for health reasons not animal rights, and they call themselves vegan. Are you really wanting to police that?"

                  No. Why would I? I am just explaining my point of view. Someone who eats a meat-free diet for health reasons can call themselves whatever they want.

                  But in my view they are not a vegan, simply a person who doesn't eat meat, which is great.

                  Calling yourself something doesn't necessarily mean you are that thing, it just means that's how you see yourself or wish to be seen.

            • gsays

              No, she's not a vegan.

              If it helps, they still wear leather shoes, I would speculate that a vegan wouldn't wear leather.

              • arkie

                I would speculate that a vegan wouldn’t wear leather.

                Correct, veganism as a philosophy is to not consume animals products in any way, many will not use wool either, rejecting animals as commodities. Unfortunately so many products include animals, it’s virtually impossible to be 100% vegan; even the screen on which you are reading this on likely contains animal-derived cholesterols.

              • weka

                ok, vegan diet then.

                Problem with saying 'plant based' is it doesn't tell us whether the person eats animals or not. If someone was coming for dinner that eats a plant based diet, should I make sure some of the meal is vegan?

                • gsays

                  I think a good host would take the diets of their guests into consideration.

                  I try to make around half of whats available vegan(ish). Often that means not dressing the salad, and serving that and a vegan option seperately (lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, S&P and a touch of maple syrup or brown sugar).

                  I struggle to go past a roast vege salad, with plenty of toasted nuts and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin sesame) and a balsamic vinagrette. Great warm or cold.

                  As an aside, a friend brews his chai syrup in a local cafe. I commented that it was a vegan place. He paused and said the chef/owner described it as ‘inclusive’. An appropriate and new term for this old dog.

                  • weka

                    Hey, my mate is coming with me for dinner tonight, is that ok?

                    Sure, no worries.

                    They eat a plant based diet.

                    What does that mean?

                    I don't really know.

                    Cooking vegan is a challenge for a lot of people. Vegans should just be honest.

                    • gsays

                      I am surprised, at the borderline animosity, concerning plant based diet/vegan is bringing out from you, weka.

                      Did one of them pooh in your lunch box? 😉

                    • gsays

                      As a reformed chef, I find cooking for vegan a lovely challenge.

                      Anyone can grill a bit of bacon, pork or lamb chop, pop a bit of cream in the pan with wine and reduce – voila.

                      It is a challenge that appeals to me- stretches the imagination.

                      Coconut cream is a great dairy replacement. The coconut yoghurt as well.

                    • weka

                      more like pooing on the planet.

                      I eat a plant based diet. I was vegetarian for several decades, I still eat a lot of vegetarian meals. I also eat animal products and where I do my meals still tend to be plant based.

                      I totally get why lots of vegans who aren't fundamentalist who don't want to use the term vegan any more. The term is loaded. That's what fundamentalist veganism has done, and it's harming people. No problem with people chosing to be vegan, do have a problem with the vegan movement and politics.

                    • weka

                      I can neither afford the ingredients or the energy spoons, so it actually matters knowing if I am cooking vegan or not. It takes more time and energy. I'm not going to do that on the off chance.

                  • weka

                    As an aside, a friend brews his chai syrup in a local cafe. I commented that it was a vegan place. He paused and said the chef/owner described it as ‘inclusive’. An appropriate and new term for this old dog.

                    lol, that's very good for this age.

                    They could be making vegan chai 😉

                    • gsays

                      'Black Rooster Chai', I thoroughly recommend it.

                      The flavour throws savoury and peppery rather than the sickly sweet muck often used in cafes and coffee carts.

                      (I am not on commission).
                      BTW, it is vegan but don’t let that put you off.


                    • weka

                      if it's vegan chai I don't understand your anecdote then.

                      As an aside, a friend brews his chai syrup in a local cafe. I commented that it was a vegan place. He paused and said the chef/owner described it as ‘inclusive’.

                    • gsays

                      Reply to your comment at 2.45pm.

                      It is just coincidental the venue is vegan/inclusive.

                      He has used a few different places to brew, they just need to be licensed kitchens.

                      It's funny, I know what I mean when I type what's in my head, sometimes it ain't so straight forward for those that can't read minds…

                • Grey Area

                  “If someone was coming for dinner that eats a plant based diet, should I make sure some of the meal is vegan?”

                  Yes. A plant-based diet to me indicates the person doesn’t eat meat.

      • Grey Area 12.1.2

        "Some folk merely have a plant based diet, this does not make them a vegan".


    • UncookedSelachimorpha 12.2

      Vegan Police

  13. Poission 13

    Mitigated scepticism an awakening or as Huxley said

    It is the business of criticism not only to keep watch over the vagaries of philosophy, but to do the duty of police in the whole world of thought. Wherever it espies sophistry or superstition they are to be bidden to stand; nay, they are to be followed to their very dens and there apprehended and exterminated, as Othello smothered Desdemona, "else she'll betray more men."

    • Dennis Frank 13.1

      Tantalises more than informs, huh? When it comes to Occam's Razor, depends who wields it & how well. One can't assess a critic or criticism if the point remains obscure!

      I always get the sense about the Dawk that he's eternally captivated by some binary or another. Fact/Faith, for instance. Where do Hendy & Wiles fit into that??

      Any chance you can elucidate? 🤔

      • Anker 13.1.1

        Dawkins is a true scientitist.

        He is saying that Wiles and Hendry complained to their own employers about the vitriol directed at them and are going to the employment court, but apparently mounted a petition about the Listener 7……….Dawkins claims that because of the petition the Listener 7 increased vitriol and had their jobs thereatened.

        • Dennis Frank

          Thanks for helping. I'm unaware of what the Listener 7 even is! Haven't seen anything onsite here about that – if there is I missed it. The petition sounds interesting but their apparent gripe re employers even more so.

          Courts decide on precedent usually eh? Sometimes they must initiate though. Truth-telling by scientists is an ethical issue. Conscience-driven.

          Employment contracts may or may not bind employee or employer into legal obligations relevant to harassment by members of the public. Many dimensions to the situation, it seems…

          • Anker

            Denis, the Listener 7 were a group of scientists (one who has since died, one who is Maori and 2 who are members of the Royal Society).

            They wrote a letter to the Listener late last year, which was highly respectful of Maori Matauranga, saying it made a vital contribution, but was not science. Hendry and Wiles organised a petition for academics to support the alternative view.

            Swordfish posted a really good critique of what distinguishes science from Maori Matauranga, so there was some stuff about this on the Standard.

            • Dennis Frank

              Okay, that's interesting, thanks. I'm puzzled as to why they'd "support the alternative view" unless they specified science as how it was originally conceived. So broadly as to have little in common with current usage!

        • Stuart Munro

          Dawkins is a true scientitist.

          More of a science historian who preferred Huxley to Darwin.

          EO Wilson had his number: Biological warfare flares up again between EO Wilson and Richard Dawkins | Richard Dawkins | The Guardian

          So did David Stove:

          Dawkins in The Selfish Gene is not, of course, engaged on any mission of cosmic warfare or of moral reformation. According to Calvinism, we are pawns in a game, in which the real players are the demons and God. According to The Selfish Gene, we are pawns in a game in which the only real players are genes. The branches of literature are various, and the readers in one branch tend to be not readers in the others: the readers of science, say, tend not to be readers of history, or of philosophy, or of poetry.

          • Anker

            I wasn't saying they were the same McFlock, thats why I said I mostly agree with Dawkins.

            I loathe any vitriol or threats towards anyone.

            Personally I think it is a little bit immature for academic scientists to organise a petition. It does sound like an attempt to gang up. Why not respond with a Listener article or suggest a public debate. These are important issues, so why not address them in a suitable forum worthy of academia? I noticed Michael Baker was in the on-line news the other day saying he gets all sorts of threats but is not going to take a complaint against his university.

            But of course Wiles and Hendry have a right to do so. I noticed you commented about this a few days ago and suggested what the university could have done for Wiles and Hendry. All good stuff of course.

            I do seem remember however you trivializes the vitriol that Kathleen Stock received at the University of Essex for her Gender Critical views. Stock was subjected to amongst other things masked protestors on campus calling for her cancellation. She was completely vilified by Gender Ideologists and ended up resigning as a result because of the impact it had on her mental health, including having panic attacks.

          • Anker


            Possibly you are correct Stuart, but he has a background in zoology and research in this area.

          • Dennis Frank

            smiley Stove was that rarest of creatures, an aussie philosopher. And it shows:

            In "The Intellectual Capacity of Women" (1990) he stated his belief that "the intellectual capacity of women is on the whole inferior to that of men".

            • Stuart Munro

              You should read it, if you haven't – the argument offers no comfort to chauvinists.

              Stove often appears outrageous, but his arguments are invariably well-constructed – and often funny.

              • Dennis Frank

                That link you attached to his name just led me to an abstract of a book he co-wrote, and I did read it. Also read the Guardian story.

                He may indeed reason well but there's no evidence in that abstract to prove the point. Anyway the spat between him & Dawk is just competing interpretations of unproven (and possibly unprovable) theories.

                Dawkins is a scientist by normal criteria, getting a PhD in Zoology before being awarded a DSc by Oxford. As a prof he specialised in the publicising of science (working the cultural interface tween academia & populace). This is also an interpretational career.

                I read the book that made him famous long ago & still have my copy – thought it interesting but not obviously persuasive. I'm allergic to reductionists, being a holist. Here's some interesting news, anyway:

                University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dawn Freshwater, is now organising a symposium where all views on this topical debate can be aired in an open and constructive way. http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/5/397034

    • Anker 13.2

      Thanks for posting Poisson. I agree with most of what Dawkings has to say..

      Our universities are dumbing young people down

    • McFlock 13.3

      Arguing a professional opinion was grossly inaccurate is just a little bit different to asking your employer to maybe do something to protect you from death threats.

      • Anker 13.3.1

        I wasn't saying they were the same McFlock, thats why I said I mostly agree with Dawkins.

        I loathe any vitriol or threats towards anyone.

        Personally I think it is a little bit immature for academic scientists to organise a petition. It does sound like an attempt to gang up. Why not respond with a Listener article or suggest a public debate. These are important issues, so why not address them in a suitable forum worthy of academia? I noticed Michael Baker was in the on-line news the other day saying he gets all sorts of threats but is not going to take a complaint against his university.

        But of course Wiles and Hendry have a right to do so. I noticed you commented about this a few days ago and suggested what the university could have done for Wiles and Hendry. All good stuff of course.

        I do seem remember however you trivializes the vitriol that Kathleen Stock received at the University of Essex for her Gender Critical views. Stock was subjected to amongst other things masked protestors on campus calling for her cancellation. She was completely vilified by Gender Ideologists and ended up resigning as a result because of the impact it had on her mental health, including having panic attacks.

        • McFlock

          Lot of different issues there:

          You didn't say they were the same, but the post Dawkins linked to seemed to make that equivalence.

          There's a line where "public debate" simply legitimises BS.

          Baker works for a different university. Maybe his university responds to threats differently. Same with Stock.

          Although what you "seem to remember" my comments being, well I don't usually trivialise death threats. Look up the links if you want, I'm not too worried.

          • Anker

            Yes Dawkins implied equivalence, but I did not.

            I don't like anyone receiving vitriol or death threats, whoever they are.

            Kathleen Stock got virtually no suppport from her university and her colleagues were pivotival as perpertrators. Her union was the opposite of supportive.
            https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/nov/03/kathleen-stock-says-she-quit-university-post-over-medieval-ostracism. This is a link that details some of the harrasment that Stock went through. Its from the guardian

            My memory is that your response to someone posting on Kathleen Stock was to cherry pick the least concerning feature of what was happening for her i.e that students had been posting to get others to boycoutt her classes. You said words to the effect that students have always done this i.e. bagged some lecturers classes. This is not a direct quote.

            • McFlock

              I (comment 13.3) responded to poisson (comment 13), not you (comment 13.2). I don't particularly care if you usually agree with Dawkins, just as I assume you don't particularly care that I think he usually comes across as a bit of a dick.

              Either way, I'm sure that if Stock's employer also failed to take reasonable precautions to preserve her safety at her workplace, UK will have some sort of equivalent to NZ's OSH or employment court. But those issues are different to a less high-stakes issue of basic academic freedom vs academic misconduct, inadequacy, or mere unpopularity.

              • Anker

                "less high stake issue of basic academic freedom vs academic misconduct, inadequacy or mere unpopularity"

                I will assume you don't mean that if you have engaged in misconduct, are inadequate or unpopular that its o.k. to threaten someone or throw vitriol at them.

                Either you haven't read about Kathleen Stock or you are trying to muddy the waters. The issues Kathleen Stock faced were exactly that i.e. academic freedom. She has gender critical beliefs and she thinks that in some contexts biological sex matters more than gender identity. She is one of the most moderate people in this debate and has cautioned that there is likely to be a back lash against trans people because of Stonewall and gender ideologists. She says we have a responsibility to make sure this doesn't happen.

          • Nic the NZer

            Dawkins isn't arguing equivalence, has saying people seeking protection for expressing their academic opinions should not also (hypocritically) be supporting institutions attacking others academic opinions.

    • joe90 14.1

      Poor devil is in for weeks worth of the look.

    • McFlock 14.2

      It only came out via facebook yesterday or so, didn't it?

      But yeah, what an absolute pancake.

      • Puckish Rogue 14.2.1

        End of last year if this is to be believed:


        • weka

          looks like the Dirty Pol machine is a big rusty if it tool this long to get into the MSM.

          • Puckish Rogue

            I'm not saying the dirty pol machine didn't have anything to do with it but did Mr Clarke 'Don't You Know Who I Am' Gayford have to make it so easy…

            I'm pretty sure that both you and I wouldn't have done something quite as dumb (I'd probably end up something even dumber but a lot more cooler)

            • Anker

              Not you PR. You would have handled it with cool!

              Clark G puts himself in the plonker category (but only on the day at that point in time)

            • McFlock

              having muso friends is pretty cool.

              I live in mortal fear of either saying "cock" while giving a formal talk, or saying someone is a bit of a fuckwit and then finding out they're on a community grants committee. The latter is always a possibility, because fuckwits love signing up for being paid meeting fees while surfing trademe as others talk (thinking of one city councillor in particular).

              • weka

                I once told someone that hospital food is disgusting and unhealthy (back in the days when they still cooked meals in the hospital). She then told me she was a cook in the hospital kitchen.

                So glad I don't have any public roles.

                • McFlock

                  To be fair, when my mate had a huge heart attack, the first meal they gave him in the Dunedin ward (after he was reanimated and de-tubed) was 4 cheese rolls.

                  This was post-millenium.

                  So you weren’t slandering them lol

                  • weka

                    haha. I think it's more the propensity to put my foot in it when I think I am saying something important.

            • Nic the NZer

              The problem with this 'don't you know who I am' angle is Gilmour actually used the phrase. Mr Gayford appears to have been recognised without explicitely asking however.

              • Gezza

                The story got an airing on TV1’s 1ewes at 6, coverage was critical of Gayford for misusing his relationship to the PM & misrepresenting the MoH guidelines in an apparent attempt to pressure the pharmacist.

                It featured brief cameo appearances by Chris Bishop & David Seymour criticising him for the same thing. Seymour got an extra sound bite to say that if this situation increases the number of RATs available to the public that would be a good thing.

  14. arkie 15

    The Grey Ghost rides again!

    A recording from the Heaphy Track in Kahurangi National Park is being analysed to determine if it is the South Island kōkako.

    The last confirmed sighting of the South Island kōkako, now assumed to be extinct, was in 1967.

    South Island Kōkako Charitable Trust general manager Inger Perkins told Morning Report a researcher at Victoria University, Professer Stephen Marsland, had let them know his programme filter had just picked up the song of the kōkako.


  15. Anker 16

    Richard Dawkins bio from Wiki


    Possibly you are correct Stuart, but he has a background in zoology and research in this area.

    • weka 16.1

      If you're going to copy and paste from the internet, you have to,

      1. put the quotation in some format so it is clear what is the quote and what are your words
      2. link to where you took the copy and paste from.

      If you are not sure how to do that on your device, please ask.

      If you would like an explanation about why, please ask.

      I mostly just delete that content now because this is a long standing commenting guideline and I'm sick of having to chase people up about it.

  16. Anker 17

    My profuse apologies Weka. So sorry for the extra work.

    I will re-read the rules again, as it is a long time since I read them.

    Cheers and thanks for all you do for the site

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