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Open mike 19/07/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 19th, 2010 - 48 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

48 comments on “Open mike 19/07/2010 ”

  1. David 1

    I see that we are up to 389 parts per million in CO2.
    Tell me;
    At what (low) level would all plant life die?
    At what level is CO2 harmful to mankinds ability to breathe?

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      High CO2 levels in the atmosphere increases plant growth rates…

      The levels are “parts per million”. As Oxygen is about 21% of air, ie 210,000 per million, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is never going to affect mammalian life forms unless something completely catastrophic happens.

      That’s not to say that they can’t be localised affects, and there have been in the past, where huge volumes of CO2 are unleashed into a small area at once. CO2 is heavier than air, so will sink into hollows/low areas and can completely suffocate living creatures if it displaces all the air. This has happened a few times, but is normally the result of volcanic activity.

    • If only it was that simple.

      It may be that we are already too late. The Tundra in the North is melting and releasing methane which then increased global warming causing more tundra to melt causing more methane emissions …

      Increasing CO2 levels will not cause breathing problems but it will cause eating and living problems.

      • joe90 1.2.1

        Global warming, sea level changes, melting tundra etc etc, all are insignificant compared to the effects of the increasing acidity of the oceans caused by rising CO2 levels.

        Like a piece of chalk dissolving in vinegar, marine life with hard shells is in danger of being dissolved by increasing acidity in the oceans.

        • Lanthanide 1.2.1.1

          Or more a case of the shells never forming, forming much slower, or much thinner/weaker.

        • Bored 1.2.1.2

          Which will completely stuff the whales (no plankton) and the marine food chain. All that time and energy saving whales might now be better spent ensuring that they have something to eat.

          • joe90 1.2.1.2.1

            Someone said whales.

            The Prince of Whales

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2.2

            I wrote this a few years ago so it’s probably not as accurate as it should be but I can’t be bothered updating it 😛

            The death of the Seas

            This is a thought exercise concentrating on the logical sequence of what may happen now that the seas have become acidic.

            As the seas become more acidic the life that thrives within will slowly die starting with the most vulnerable. The coral is already dying which will eventually see the death of the vast amount of bio-diversity that co-habits the coral reefs. Next will be the plankton.

            There are many types of plankton but the one I’m going to concentrate on here is the phytoplankton. The phytoplankton are microscopic plants that live in the sea and turn our oceans into the worlds biggest carbon dioxide sink – they are also the beginning of all the seas’ food chains.

            So, as the phytoplankton decrease due to the seas becoming acidic we have 2 immediate results:

            Fish population will decline due to a decreasing food supply.
            The seas will no longer sink carbon dioxide as effectively as they do now.

            As the amount of carbon dioxide in the seas increases so the seas will become more acidic killing off even more phytoplankton, converting less carbon dioxide making the seas more acidic, killing the plankton.
            This is known as a positive feedback loop as the condition that caused the initial imbalance feeds back into itself creating even more imbalance. Once the feedback loop becomes active then the seas will be in the throws of a mass extinction event. The fish will disappear from the smallest to the largest as the seas become more acidic and the food supply dies.

            At some point the seas will no longer be able sink any more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere meaning that the only carbon dioxide sink left will be the forests. We already know that the forests cannot keep up with what we are pumping into the atmosphere. The Amazon rain forest, the largest body of tropical rain forest, is being cleared at close to 24,000 square kilometres per year massively decreasing that oxygen resource. Without the seas the increasing of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will accelerate, adding to global warming. The point at which the seas can no longer sink any carbon dioxide at all will be when the seas are completely dead.

            This thought exercise raises a few questions:

            At what level of acidity are the seas now?
            At what level will the phytoplankton begin to die off?
            What is the rate of growth in the acidity of the seas?

            • Bored 1.2.1.2.2.1

              I think Joe and I are on the same page with you, the scenario is pretty scary. Despite what the late great Peter Cook might say about them whales are fab, wont be much of an ocean without them. Thens there are the seabirds…actually its BLOODY FRIGHTENING!

              • Bill

                Recently read of a voyage out to or through one of the plastic gyres in the Pacific. ( btw. Ocean going plastic =100 000 sea mammal deaths per year and 1 000 000 sea bird deaths. Fish? Can’t be estimated.). It was (from memory) a voyage by sail and retraced the route of some previous voyage by another person. (Can’t refind link)

                Anyway, the point was that for the three months the voyage took, they caught three fish although they had lines out every day. This was in contrast to the crew of the original voyage who sustained themselves on fish caught off the side of the boat.

                Wonder if marine biologists still eat fish or whether they are so cognisant with the facts that many of them just don’t go there any more.

  2. Carol 2

    There’s an article on gaynz that says that:

    http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/2/article_9066.php

    The future of queer student groups is under threat from a proposed law which would make student union membership voluntary.

    Sir Roger Douglas’ Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill is being considered by a Government select committee.

    I don’t have particular knowledge on how queer and other minorty groups work on campus to give me a basis for making my own judgement about the impact of the proposed law. However, it looks like something that should be discussed.

    Further explanation in the article:

    <blockquote.UniQ Otago's spokesperson on voluntary student membership Richard Girvan says passing the bill would be disastrous to those who rely on the Student Associations, especially minority groups like UniQ Otago. "The support services provided by OUSA are vital to queer students, especially to those who are questioning or are victims of homophobia and harassment."

    Holly Neilson from Askew Waikato says without a student union the group would lose its safe room, pride week and all of its funding, "meaning we would be forced to rely on fundraising which is quite hard for us as we do not have the manpower to pull off such feats."

    UniQ Victoria is fearful the bill will also undermine the voice of queer students as a group in society. "The battle for social inequality is patently still not over, and a strong queer voice on New Zealand university campuses has often been the catalyst for social equality in New Zealand."

    • mikenz 2.1

      What don’t you understand about democracy and other peoples money?

      • Carol 2.1.1

        Hmmm… as I haven’t made much of a judgement of the issue as yet, I’m surprised you know what I don’t know about anything in relation to this issue.

        But let me have a guess about what you may be referring to…? So the uni gets tax payer money to operate and provide an education for students. If it always caters to students as individuals, then the tax payer funding will benefit more students who are part of the dominant sections of society. So, there seems to be some fairness in setting aside some funding for the benefit of students from marginalised groups.

        But… I guess you’re referring to student union funds that come from students. Same principle applies as far as I can see… students who are part of demographic groups that have more confidence and power will benefit more at the expense of marginalised groups, unless there is some mechanism to provide support for marginalised students….

        … am I getting close to what you are thinking of? Maybe you can enlighten me about what I don’t know? It’s a strange question to ask me to tell you what I don’t know?

        But, just an additional point, there’s more than one version of democracy, and more than one perspective on who “owns” any money source…. so lots of versions of knowing in operation here.

  3. jcuknz 3

    Shades of Tesla …. battery-less safety devices work by being powered from ambient radiowaves.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/business/18novel.html?th&emc=th
    Tesla was an early inventor developer of electricity in competition with Edison, came up with our modern AC current rather than DC that Edison proposed. He thought this concept was feasible.
    Television technicians favourite ‘joke’ was to hold a light bulb close to transmitters and the bulb lit up without any connection to any power source to the amazement of visitors.

    • mikenz 3.1

      What a great idea.
      Looking forward to seeing how this technology develops.
      have started a technology to watch folder in my saved pages folder.
      thanks for the post

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Crystal Radio

      It’s just a pity that it wasn’t developed before now.

  4. jcuknz 5

    What is a RWNJ ? Right Wing Nutty Journo? 🙂

    [lprent: Right Wing Nut Job? (think Cameron)…]

  5. Jum 6

    http://www.geekosystem.com
    Neat site, showing info on the discovery of an18thC ship unearthed on the construction site of the World Trade Centre.

  6. Jum 7

    This government’s freedom of association bill (and it is a Key-led bill; make no mistake about that) is a dangerous bill in that Douglas spouts the freedom of the individual but as individuals we have far less freedom than we do in a group and if groups support one another the larger group formed has the larger influence over the freemarket loonytunes like Douglas who seek to destroy our rights in our individual form.

    It probably sounds odd to say compulsory unionism protects the rights of the individual but the group will always have more influence than the individual unless the individual has power, money or both. Douglas knows this. He also knows that the more power and money the individual gets the greedier the individual becomes and will seek to destroy others competing for that power and money. This is the type of country Douglas and Key want for New Zealand.

    I don’t think New Zealanders have fully thought through the implications that this government’s agenda plans for them further down the track.

    • mikenz 7.1

      Not that the last lot bullied or sought to destroy our rights ehh!

    • Bored 7.2

      I see that Key wants to keep Douglas and Hide about, they said that Nats wont contest Epsom…maybe Labour need to be gifting a seat to the Greens…

  7. Sanctuary 8

    Does John Key’s pizza delivery man really exist, or is he a friend of Bill and Mary Smith?

  8. joe bloggs 9

    Another Labour labour fiasco:

    Labour’s $1.5 billion Working for Families package has driven a net 1200 parents out of the paid workforce – achieving the opposite of its aim to “make work pay”.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10659723

    • millsy 9.1

      And what is wrong with that? Surely having a parent staying home to mind the kids is a good thing? Do you really want baby farms and latchkey kids?

      *Yes*

    • joe90 9.2

      It’s terrible that the $200> WFF (4 kids) my younger brother receives has allowed my sister in-law to be a full time stay at home mother, just terrible.

    • BLiP 9.3

      So, let me see if I understand you correctly – lifting people out of poverty and providing additional employment opportunities for those who need a job is a bad thing in your universe?

  9. Bill 10

    Anybody remember the breakdown and breakup of Yugoslavia or half a dozen other countries? Remember how it all begins with a bit of popular scapegoating against a back ground of widespread financial hardship? And remember how it gets out of hand ‘all of a sudden’ when some leader or movement picks up the baton of hate and runs with it? A movement not completely unlike like a Tea Party movement perhaps?

    “With two weeks still to go before SB 1070 becomes a reality, thousands of families are already leaving Arizona. Sandra Soto packed her bags last week, quitting the city where she’s lived for 20 years and relocating to New Mexico. She, her husband and two of her three children are legal US residents; only the third child is undocumented, but this was enough to make her want to leave.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/18/hispanics-flee-arizona-immigration-law

    And it’s not just Arizona. This from the LA Times

    “In fact, the number of immigration-related laws and resolutions enacted by states surged to 333 last year, up from 32 in 2005, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And during the first three months of 2010, lawmakers introduced more than 1,000 bills and resolutions, though it’s too early to tell how many will become law.”

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/16/nation/la-na-immigration-states-20100717

  10. joe90 11

    A license to hunt Bill and look who’s doing the hunting.

  11. outofbed 12

    The Green Party has its conferences in marae, schools and community centres. The National Party has its conference in a casino.

    • jcuknz 12.1

      From what I’ve seen on TV the Greens are such a small party they don’t need a large hall? Pretty much like ACT regional conferences.

      • outofbed 12.1.1

        Not right for example The Greens have more members in Auckland central then National have

  12. Pete 13

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1007/S00266.htm

    And I quote:
    “Prime Minister John Key today announced a fair and balanced employment law package aimed squarely at jobs and economic growth.”

    Shades of Fox News?

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      It was a National Party press release. Any actual connection with reality is purely coincidence.

  13. Nationals new policy on sick leave is stupid. Any one here woken up in the morning having caught something horrible and tried to get a doctors appointment that day? It just can’t happen in most cases.

    • Bill 14.1

      So you lose a days pay or worse.

      It’s just another stick for employers to crack over he backs of workers.

    • NickS 14.2

      Yeap, and once again we see National assuming employers all employers are nice, understanding people who none of which will exploit this law change as so to be a complete dick towards their employers, particularly those on low or minimum wages who can’t afford to see the doctors on even a regular basis for themselves. Or at least give employees time to get to the doctors and get the certificate.

    • Lanthanide 14.3

      Actually every time I’ve tried to get an appointment on the day, I have without any issues.

  14. just saying 15

    Just heard our local Employer’s Association trying to drum-up new members via offering to help non-member employers understand the new workplace laws.

    Never heard employers advertising on the radio before…..

    Maybe Chris Trotter is right, the class war might actually be getting off the ground.

    Better now than after a few more years of the working class being sucked dry.

    Still I’ve suffered from false hope in the past so I’ll believe it when I see it.

  15. I have never meet Sue Bradford ,but if she ever visits my home town I would very much like to thank her for the work she has done to better the lot of working people and the disadvantaged .
    If ever a person should be honour by the Unions and working people it is Sue Bradford. My personal thanks Sue in my opinion you have joined the ranks of such working class heroes as The late Rosa Luxemberg , Joe Hill , Eugene Debs and others . mI hope that the Union movement will honour you soon. Bye the way I

  16. joe bloggs 17

    ‘Fess up now – which one of you neolibs violated Chris Trotter with a Habanero? – he’s sure breathing fire at the arrogance of the left!! Ouch

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2010/07/arrogant-left.html#comment-form

    Even today, this deep contempt for the majority remains clearly evident in the Left’s language. To question the ideology of Maori nationalism is to reveal oneself as a racist “redneck”. Working-class communities attempting to defend their jobs from the demands of environmentalists are dismissed as “feral” or “white trash”. The slightest challenge to the sacred precepts of Orthodox Feminism will provoke torrents of vitriolic abuse.

    Traditional Labour politics was very different. The premise here was that a working-class party can only be the political vehicle for working-class needs and aspirations. Labour politicians, if they were worth a damn, saw themselves as nothing more than the frothy margins of the popular tide: markers of the masses’ reach. For these sort of leftists the will of the majority was sacred.

    It was only when Labour ceased believing in the wisdom and decency of the majority that its hold on popular affection began to weaken. It broke altogether when, in the mid-1980s, the brute arrogance of Roger Douglas and his fellow neoliberals made common cause with the smug superiority of the managerial-professional New Leftists who had taken over the party.

    Labour only rebuilt its relationship with voters by aligning itself with the vast anti-neoliberal majority of the 1990s. Once in power, however, the parliamentary party’s distaste for the values and beliefs of its own supporters grew more obvious with every passing year. By the end of its term Labour’s distaste had matured into open contempt.

    captcha – failing – soooo appropriate

  17. just saying 18

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/doing-the-time-warp-with-national-%E2%80%93-can-the-left-do-better-this-time-round

    The nineties are here again with the assaults on welfare and Labour handin-glove.

    Sue Bradford asks: Will Labour and the unions get it right this time round?
    Or will they destroy themselves via another pitiful sell-out?

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