Open mike 18/12/2009

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 18th, 2009 - 15 comments
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Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

15 comments on “Open mike 18/12/2009”

  1. Jenny 1

    Why capitalism can’t and won’t, halt global warming,


    The Trickle Down Theory – For the committed supporters of capitalism, is there any question it isn’t the answer to?

    The super rich who rule the planet and the big corporations who sustain them, have been the main funders of climate change denial. Profit being their motive. The plan is, to put paid to any mitigation policies that could affect their profit taking.

    If governments are forced to have to do something, that something, should be something that makes these people even more money, like the carbon trading schemes that are all the vogue around the world but actually do little to limit CO2 pollution, but – are a new profit stream.

    But now, even these sorts are people are having to admit publicly, the very real danger that this form of pollution poses to humanity, and that something serious should be done about it.

    But behind the scenes the same rich and powerful interest groups are the reason that world political leaders meeting presently in Copenhagen are dragging their feet on any binding agreement to do something meaningful about it.

    So when they are pressed, as they were last week, by the desperate appeal from the people of Tuvalu -what is this type of person’s best answer?

    After the debacle of the the ’90s, the average person in the street would be gob smacked to hear that it is the Trickle Down Theory to the rescue again.

    The same thing that was said would create jobs and financial security for all, end cyclical recessions, and eventually bring world peace, is now being touted publicly for the first time by a mouthpiece for these profit takers as the cure for, rather than the cause of, climate catastrophe. (No doubt this lobbyist and others like him, have been using their positions of influence to secretly drum this advice into the ears of political leaders for years).

    It’s like Don Brash was right after all, in his claim that slashing the minimum wage will bring prosperity to the low paid. And was not at all motivated by the narrow self interests of the class of wealthy parasites he is the political representative of, but by the deepest humanitarian concern for all New Zealanders.

    Yeah right.


    “…… Fred Smith of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington free-market think tank that says US and international moves to restrict fuel consumption will be too economically damaging. He believes trickle-down wealth is the best support for the islands.

    “If the focus in this century is on wealth creation, then the islands will be much better prepared for the risks if they materialise,” he said.

    • Bored 1.1

      Jen, try this for an answer…Expanders and restrainers…new terms from Monbiot, frames our debates on planetary issues to date splendidly. Love him or loath him Monbiot gets to the heart of issues quickly, so heres a little sample of his description of “expanders”…..

      The angry men know that this golden age has gone; but they cannot find the words for the constraints they hate. Clutching their copies of Atlas Shrugged, they flail around, accusing those who would impede them of communism, fascism, religiosity, misanthropy, but knowing at heart that these restrictions are driven by something far more repulsive to the unrestrained man: the decencies we owe to other human beings.

      Suggest you all read his latest, do we like the terms?

  2. Wonderful ABC clip containing a debate between George Monibot and CCD (and book peddlar) Ian Plimer is at

    IMHO Monibot wipes the floor with Plimer who shows that typical ability to not answer a direct question. Mind you I could be accused of being biased ..

    • Galeandra 2.1

      A sobering discussion with Robt Kennedy Jnr on Campbell Live last night. He highlighted the effects of coal in the USA (ALL fish stock carrying mercury in dangerous levels, for example) but for me his main point was the clamp that media corporations (all five of them) have on the public discourse outside of the blogsphere around the major issues like climate & warming, pollution, financial collapse, public health.

      As all these interlocking issues become more critical, and options for political change become ever more unattainable, will we enter an age of chaotic acts of destruction, violence, even assassination? (My question, not his.)

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        Pretty much inevitable, as energy supplies dwindle and food becomes scarce then people will begin to fight for their lives.

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    About them there deficits what that Mr Obama is running. Pretty graph

    Nut graf:

    The Bush tax cuts, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the economic downturn explain “explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years.”

  4. Ben 4

    I think a good article would be exposing the actual routines of the PR industry.

    I mean I’m the keenest to read about the individual cases of the “Denial Machine”, exposing how one or the other case goes against factual data, and the history of going from global warming to “climate change”. However, possibly a better approach from the left would be to expose not one or the othe clever use of PR, but the discipline (if you can call it that) itself?

    How metaphorical thought, and framing work. I think people (I often run into this) hate being told facts that go against their preconcieved notions, because it makes them look like dupes. They definately won’t thank you for the enlightening.. However, if you expose the magician’s trick, teach people to see the sleight of hand behind the magic themselves… Then there was no magic!

  5. Ben 5

    Oh yeah, and two small addendums to the climate debate :

    > Experts from Tobacco

    Not sure if it’s been pubhished, but it’s interesting to see how many of the Experts from the Tobacco debate are now re-appearing on the scene to champion global warming denial. Peole like Fred Singer ( consultant to various major corporations, including GE, Ford, GM, Exxon, Shell, Sun Oil, Lockheed Martin and IBM ), and Frederick Seitz ( co-founder the George C. Marshall Institute, a think-tank made to counter global climate science, and the Kyoto protocol ) were there to convince us that smoking cigarettes and lung cancer had no scientifically “solid” connection. Now they’re here to convince us that climate science is inconclusive..

    > How much of a consensus is there?

    As N. Oreskes points out in a recent article in Science, that is itself a question that can be addressed scientificially. Oreskes took a sampling of 928 articles on climate change, selected objectively (using the key phrase “global climate change’) from the published peer-reviewed scientific literature. Oreskes concluded that of those articles (about 75% of them) that deal with the issue, 100% (all of them) support the consensus view that a significant fraction of recent climate change is due to human activities.

    Article in science :

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    Crazy lefties, suggesting that a central bank should pay attention to things other than inflation.

    I can’t imagine getting a more direct answer from the chairman than that. Mr Bernanke does not want to risk a de-anchoring of inflation expectations. He is willing to accept 10% or greater unemployment and the resulting economic and political fall-out in order to avoid that risk.

    Personally, I think that Mr Bernanke owes us all a better explanation of why he has opted to place so much more emphasis on the price stability aspect of his mission than the full employment aspect. And, there should be a policy debate on this question, the resolution of which should inform the choice to reappoint (or not) Mr Bernanke.

  7. CJ 7

    Numerous Standard writers have mentioned the shoddy DomPost/Herald journalism lately. And another classic example today: front page of DomPost – ‘Fight youth crime with crayfishing and art, says judge’. Completely misleading headline, making the intelligent and thoughtful Judge Becroft sound utterly fatuous.

    And then there is the DomPost editorial, where they basically write-off Labour’s 9 years in power as being a big frivolous spend up. Like National really needs their helping hand at the moment. Ironic that they chastise Cunliffe for a ‘populist rant’ and then go on one themselves.

    Thirdly, the featured letter is from Gordon Copeland who suggests Transmission Gully be named… Peter Dunne Highway. What can you say?

  8. Tigger 8

    This is hilarious –

    And at the sound of Key’s voice the nations of the world lay down together, the lion with the lamb, and thus they did end their evil ways.

    How Key manages to say this stuff without the hypocrisy choking him is beyond me.

  9. illuminatedtiger 9

    I would like to ask why the media hasn’t reported on the fact that Key has been (or still is?) a Climate Change skeptic once referring to man made global warming as a “complete and utter hoax”.

  10. Ianmac from Abu Dhabi 10

    There is no history of Politicians ever introducing an unresearched educational policy successfully. All successful educational innovation comes from the bottom-up and careful research. Tim and his sweetheart Tolley will be unable to support National Testing with any valid research. So Tim unless you can give some substance I will skip your comments.
    I know of one country where the decisions are made from on high and the teachers must carry out the instructions to the letter. The result is underachievement by the pupils. NZ has always had a cooperative sharing of ideas educational, and teacher debates have produced excellent results even though schools are on relatively poorly funded.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    Did you hear the one about the bunch of authoritarian nutjobs appointed to the Human Rights Review Tribunal?

    Brian Neeson, who Boag is rumored to have engineered the demise of to get Key his selection in Helensville; and Ravi Musuku the longstanding Mt Albert candidate, recently removed.

    It’s not so much jobs for the boys as it is Wingnut welfare

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