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Open mike 22/07/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 22nd, 2022 - 133 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 …

133 comments on “Open mike 22/07/2022 ”

  1. Jester 1

    Poor old Joe Biden has Covid. Hopefully just gets a mild dose like I did.

    US President Joe Biden tests positive for Covid-19, has mild symptoms | RNZ News

  2. Ad 2

    Will the new Russian Gazprom deal on supplying EU gas and the Russia-Ukraine deal on exporting grain be the start of the peace deal we all need?

    • RedLogix 2.1

      Maybe. We could get to a ceasefire, but not a peace deal. The problem I think is that the Kremlin thinks that it will be a re-run of Crimea – and Europe will quickly revert back to business as usual after it is over.

      That is a forlorn hope – a frozen conflict is the best we can hope for. With Russia decaying into a larger more dangerous version of North Korea over the next few decades as it becomes yet another client state of the CCP.

      • mikesh 2.1.1

        I don't think the US wants a peace deal unless it is one that re-establishes the status quo ante, and also allows Ukraine to become a NATO member state sitting on Russia's border.

      • Francesca 2.1.2

        I think they're more likely to view it as a rerun of the Minsk agreement.

        A bad faith ruse to buy time

    • Poission 2.2

      Nordstream is back to its reduced level of 40% of capacity (not enough to increase storage levels for Europe winter)

      In the release Putin stated that there was another turbine that had problems ( 26 july) gas flow is work in progress.Which is why the ECB doubled down on interest hike.

      • RedLogix 2.2.1

        Yeah. The game here is that the Kremlin still thinks it can go back to business as usual when fighting ends – as it must eventually. After all oil and gas is 40% of their GDP and the Russians don't want to be throwing their tar baby out with the Ukrainian bathwater.

        They know that just shutting the oil and gas flow down abruptly will destroy both their infrastructure (the oil wells and lines will freeze and become useless, and gas cannot be stored much), absolutely burn off all trust, and hand over the business to the competitors such as Khazikstan. So instead of this they come up with plausible lies about production problems and reduce flows rather than turn them off.

        As a strategy it is understandable – but a weak one that is destined to fail.

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    Here is a piece that should be required reading for pretty much every Western journalist writing on the Ukrainian conflict…but then it seems to be quite clear that responsible, contextualized reporting is not what they are there to deliver….

    Calling Putin ‘Hitler’ to Smear Diplomacy as ‘Appeasement’


    "previously noted how evidence-free caricatures in Western media of Putin as irrational (and perhaps psychotic) make diplomatic efforts to end the Ukraine crisis seem pointless. Tracing a connection between Putin and Hitler is an even more insidious attempt to make the idea of a negotiated end to the war seem like a moral outrage."

    • RedLogix 3.1

      An article pretending to be fair while scrupulously avoiding placing any responsibility on Russia or Putin. For instance it even goes out of it's way to misrepresent it's own data in a call out box highlighting a NORC poll on who Ukrainians believe is responsible for the war:

      According to a Wall Street Journal and the National Opinion Research Center poll, 58% of Ukrainians believe the US bears “a great deal/some responsibility” for the war in Ukraine.

      Completely omitting that the same number for Russia is 85% and a glance at the whole table clearly shows that an overwhelming majority of Ukrainians point to Putin's Russia bearing the largest part of the blame.


      • Blazer 3.1.1

        You see what you want to see…from the linked article-

        'A poll of Ukrainians conducted by the Wall Street Journal and the National Opinion Research Center—6/9-6/22—found 58% thought the US bore “some” or “a great deal of responsibility” for the current conflict, along with 55% for NATO, while 82% said the same of Russia. This majority opinion in Ukraine would be difficult to utter in an establishment US media outlet.)(my bold).

        A very measured and telling summation imo.

        • RedLogix

          The quote I lifted was in the highlighted text box.

          If you check the data they have done a sneaky trick and combined those with both a strong opinion and diluted it with those who reported a milder or even possibly neutral one.

          For Russian responsibility the strong number is 82% and some number is 3%. Adding these together you get 85% blaming Russia – but of course the overwhelming majority very strongly so.

          Compared to the US the strong number is way lower at 26% and the some number higher at 33% – adding up to 58%. But in this case the 58% consists of a quite different mix of respondents. (And if you just look at those who reported a strong view – the difference between 82% and 26% is night and fucking day.)

          But worse still the quote you link to (the body text that is in brackets) – is goes out of it's way to be even more deceptive:

          found 58% thought the US bore “some” or “a great deal of responsibility” for the current conflict, along with 55% for NATO, while 82% said the same of Russia.

          Spot the hilarious fuck up.

      • Adrian Thornton 3.1.2

        I hardly see pointing out Western MSM's outrageous pro war/no negotiating stance is gaslighting..but then you seem more than happy for the Ukrainians and Russians to die like dogs in and unwinnable war, so your response is of little interest.

        • RedLogix

          .but then you seem more than happy for the Ukrainians and Russians to die like dogs in and unwinnable war,

          Citation needed.

          • Adrian Thornton

            Look at the maps…

            • RedLogix

              So no citation – as expected.

              • Adrian Thornton

                Like I said..let your fingers do the walking…I can't be bothered trolling through endless pages of pro war propaganda to find something that is so plainly obvious to anyone serious to see and understand….or maybe more importantly not massively biased to the point of being a dangerous fantasists or feeble minded enough to be swayed by the fore mentioned endless pro war propaganda…though probably usually a bit of both.

      • mikesh 3.1.3

        The poll is obviously biased. One would expect Ukranians to vote for 85% Russian responsibility. However, that 58% think think the US has "a great deal/some responsibility" seems a more significant statistic.

        • RedLogix

          The two numbers as I explained above – simply do not represent the same information and are not comparable in the way the article uses it.

          I accept there are no ideal, lily-white actors in this mess – and this data more or less reflects what I would expect – that in the real world motivations are messy. When Ukrainians say that the US and NATO hold a strong or some responsibility for this war, we should be careful not to assume too much. For all we know they might be saying we blame them for not intervening sooner when Russia annexed Crimea, or even earlier.

          But there is just one person who could definitively stop this catastrophe tomorrow – and we all know who that is.

    • Sanctuary 3.2

      Putin is a fascist. Hitler was a fascist, as were Franco, Mussolini and Pinochet. Drawing from history to discover lessons on how to deal with fascists leads to some obvious conclusions, including that NZ's leftists have always made it a priority to fight fascist wherever they may be found from the Ebro river in Spain to the deserts of Libya. On the left, we do not make excuses for fascists.

      It is also a red herring to say that the Western media is smearing diplomacy. Diplomacy is about negotiation and dialogue. So far, Putin has offered neither. He maintains his brutal war aim of the total, violent conquest and subjugation of a nation that is showing in it's ferocious resistance that it is not of a mind to be easily conquered and subjugated. The only diplomacy that will bring Putin to the negotiating table is the diplomacy of high explosives via HIMARS, M270s, PzHb2000s, M109s, AHS Krabs, the supply of western tanks like the M1 Abrams and jet fighters like the F-16.

      I'll think you'll find that once his army is in tatters and routed from the battlefield Putin (assuming he is still around) will be much more open to a bit of traditional diplomacy. When that point arrives, we can talk about appeasement from a position of superior firepower.

      • Adrian Thornton 3.2.1

        "I'll think you'll find that once his army is in tatters and routed from the battlefield"…..it never fails to amaze me how well propaganda works.

        Ukraine are and losing right now as you read this…their poor boys are being slaughtered by overwhelming Artillery/Rocket and Missile fire, the intensity of which hasn't been witnessed since the Red Army swept the Nazi war machine from the battlefield.

        "Traditionally, in Russian military doctrine, manoeuvring troops support the artillery rather than the reverse. The preferred role of massed artillery and rockets systems is to destroy enemy formations, whilst manoeuvring infantry and tank formations have the role to fix the enemy."

        " For this reason, it is widely recognised that the use of en masse indirect fire support at the tactical level is a signature characteristic of the Russian way of war. This explains why Russian military formations have a quantitatively superior artillery, with a broader variety of munitions available and the ability to strike at longer ranges than similar Western formations."


        • Sanctuary

          Ukraine are and losing right now as you read this…

          To paraphrase Churchill on the promises of Putin's generals:

          , "In three days Kiev will have her neck wrung like a chicken." Some chicken; some neck!

          Defeatists and appeasers always wish to hurry the arrival of the conqueror, for in conquest they see opportunity for advancement.

      • mikesh 3.2.2

        I think Putin made many overtures for talks prior to the invasion, but has been rebuffed each time. Neither Russia nor Ukraine has been willing to abide by the Minsk agreements, though I think Ukraine has more to blame for this than Russia – however I could be wrong. Zelenskyy himself seems to have favoured peace talks, but he seems to have been overruled by the army – what wwould you call a state in which the army overrules its president? – I would call that a fascist state.

        • Sanctuary

          Putin just recently:

          (On Peter the Great) "You might think he was fighting with Sweden, seizing their lands, But he seized nothing; he reclaimed it! It seems it has fallen to us, too, to reclaim and strengthen…"

          Sound like a reasonable guy open to suave French diplomacy to you? He see it as his mission to recreate the Russian empire by conquest – why do you think Sweden and Finland are racing to join NATO? Those guys know by bitter experience how brutal an imperial and reactionary Russia can be.

          As for the Ukraine is Nazi stuff, you have got to understand the Russian national myth on this that Putin believes in. The USSR defeated Nazi Germany. Therefore Russia, as the ultimate victor over Nazism, cannot ever be Nazi. furthermore, anyone who RESISTS Russia within it's "greater Russia" borders must automatically be a Nazi, since to not be a patriotic Russian can only be explained in terms of being a Nazi.

          • Blazer

            I recently read Stalingrad -the fateful siege,by british author Antony Beevor.

            It mentioned that Hitlers operation Barbarossa armies had 275,000 ukrainian troops fighting the Russians.

            Russian resistance at Stalingrad and their counter attack and encirclement of Von Paulus' 6th Army,was the turning point in the war .

    • Stuart Munro 3.3

      The comparison is apt.

      Filtration camps = concentration camps.

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    The Taxpayers Onion is boo-hooing about being banned, BANNED I TELLS YA, from LGNZ (Local Government New Zealand conferences from here to eternity and have sent out a STERN WARNING to councillors around the country!

    [unattributed link deleted]

    • Incognito 4.1

      That e-mail smells like a fake. Where did you find it?

    • weka 4.2

      I've deleted it in the meantime. Same deal as below, if you provide the correct info, I will put it back in the comment.

      Your quote came from someone else, but your comment made it look like it came from the Taxpayers Union.

      You can probably find the TU statement online and link to that. Or you can provide the details of the email sender who wrote the original quote.

      Both would make the issue more easily understood.

      • Robert Guyton 4.2.1

        All good. Don't mind being quashed 🙂

        • weka

          it's not all good from my pov, it's just another piece of unnecessary work for us as mods. From people who know better (not just you, this aspect of moderation is coming from a range of regulars).

          • Robert Guyton

            Won't do it again.

            • weka

              bookmarking, because people keep saying this.

              It’s very hard to not see this as a disrespect of the site. Again, not just you, it’s happening every few days or do, people who have had it explained just doing what they want anyway. I don’t think it’s intentional disrespect, maybe more a distracted disrespect.

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    Emailed to my Council account.
    There was a great deal more in the body.

    • Incognito 5.1

      The style (text), spelling mistakes, and inconsistencies not to mention the language don’t give you any pause to consider its veracity? Did you check the source of the e-mail?

      Something is off here …

      • Nic the NZer 5.1.1

        What were you expecting, you do realize Jordan Williams is a lawyer by profession don't you?

        • Incognito

          A better handling of the English language is expected too much of a Lawyer? It reads like a Nigerian scam.

          • Robert Guyton

            Sorry, Incognito – the quote I supplied was from the prelude, written by someone else, on behalf of the communication from the Taxpayers Onion, that followed.

        • PsyclingLeft.Always

          showing that staff members acting on behalf of the organisation (and in an organised campaign) assumed false identities to lodge requests with the New Zealand Government's science research agency. After refusing to comment for two days, representatives from the Union admitted they had used false identities in this way.

          The Herald investigation found that all of the email accounts used for the requests were linked to one particular email address of a Taxpayers' Union staff member by way of account recovery processes


          Not like they got no history of devious/nefarious behaviour

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 5.2

      "There are obvious questions to be answered around whether the Minister’s office had any involvement in this decision. We note the LGNZ official who notified us of the decision is a recent Ministerial staffer. Given the many criticisms of Stuart Crosby selling out to the Government, this looks like yet another corruption of LGNZ's purported mission to promote democracy."

      “Astoundingly, when we put to LGNZ that the revoking of our registration was ‘utu’ for past criticisms, the LGNZ representative conceded that it was!"


      Interesting the Maori dislikers use of Utu? Of course thats only…Mr Jordan Williams spin

      Also Interesting…ol’ Ruth Richardsons involvement…brrrr. Icy chill..

    • Rosemary McDonald 5.3

      Mr Guyton,

      Were/are the good folks from the NZ Taxpayers Union barred from attendance at the LGNZ conference/s?

      In passing the other day I did read about this, I though it outrageous that the Taxpayers Union folks were insisting that since 100% of the funding for Local and Central government comes from taxpayers and ratepayers then those people should be in the room when matters concerning the running of the Country or the Regions are being discussed or debated.

      Outrageous I tells ya!!!

      Silly folks obviously haven't got the message that democracy only operates during elections.

      • Robert Guyton 5.3.1

        I guess, Rosemary, they became deplorable in the eyes of LGNZ.

        “Former Minister of Finance, Hon Ruth Richardson – banned.
        Former Broadcaster, Peter Williams – banned.
        Political commentator, David Farrar – banned.”

        • Jimmy

          If they don't agree with you then cancel them. That's the way.

          • Anker

            100% Jimmy.

            What would be the basis for cancelling these people? I mean I can't stand what RR did to the country. But Peter Williams? The sports guy? Farrar? Isn't he the guy who runs Curia polls?

            What is the reason for cancelling these people? Are they any sort of threat?

            If it is just because they will criticise what is being said and write about it then surely this is a bit bloody dangerous.

          • Robert Guyton

            I didn't cancel them.

            You seem to be blissfully unaware… 🙂

      • Sacha 5.3.2

        There is a difference between being an astroturf group purporting to represent citizens and actually having any such mandate. Good on LGNZ for refusing access to bad faith actors.

        • Robert Guyton

          Sasha is correct. Sasha is smart. Ignore Sasha at your peril 🙂

        • Rosemary McDonald

          So how do we the people hold local government to account? Get them to do their job? Get them to at least abide by their own Regional Plans and bylaws? I don't say 'vote them out'. You know damn well Sacha that a shit load of damage can be done in that three year window.

          And its a seriously bad look to exclude any group from conferences pertaining to democratically elected and running-entirely-on- rates- and- taxes organisations. There should be nothing discussed at these functions that is hidden from us. Absolutely nothing.

          At least allow attendance with no speaking rights, and sue their arses off if they report 'misinformation'.

      • alwyn 5.3.3

        "democracy only operates during elections."

        It is reasonable to argue that it did not operate during the last New Zealand election.

        Didn't the Labour Party hold their big opening meeting. Then, before the National Party opening, they increased the lockdown level so that a full scale opening was impossible for the National Party.

        Coincidence? I really don't think so.

  6. Patricia Bremner 6

    Those folk only want democracy when they can use it to further their own spin. lol. No wonder they are banned.

    • Anker 6.1

      100% Jimmy.

      What would be the basis for cancelling these people? I mean I can't stand what RR did to the country. But Peter Williams? The sports guy? Farrar? Isn't he the guy who runs Curia polls?

      What is the reason for cancelling these people? Are they any sort of threat?

      If it is just because they will criticise what is being said and write about it then surely this is a bit bloody dangerous.

      • Nic the NZer 6.1.1

        Probably Stuart Crosby had some ideas about what kind of participation these guys would have. Also, if your in the big leagues of pro National party spin then constructive involvement in government is "selling out".

      • Sacha 6.1.2

        That Goebbels fella should be able to take the podium whenever he likes.. #freedumb

        • weka

          It's like Godwin never even existed.

          • Sacha

            Or changed his mind

            • weka

              who decides which are the shitheads? And what happens when the shitheads have more power and decide that cancel culture is a good idea after all (we sanctioned it so we can hardly complain when it's turned on us).

              When someone puts up the details about what actually happened with TU and the councils, I'll have an opinion about that, maybe I will think the ban is fair enough. Or maybe I'll be less impressed when it's say climate activists making submissions about Fonterra being banned from talking about climate.

              • Anker

                Agree Weka about cancelling people. Its all well and good until it is your side being cancelled.

                And actually I think it is weak to cancel people. Use good arguements, listen to your opponents as there could be a grain of truth in what they are sayin

                Cancelling people most likely sends them underground.
                Same with the Leo Molloy stuff. The cries against Guy Williams for Platforming Molloy just play into Molloy’s hands. Streisand effect and all that.
                Williams allowed people to see Molloy for what he is. People can make their own decisons based on that. But when you get people piling on Guy it will more than likely increase Molloys vote. Like it or not, I think this is the case

              • Sacha

                Must be time for this again. Nothing new here.

                • weka

                  I don't believe in unlimited free speech either. Not sure I would place TU quite in the same league as Nazis though and there are obvious problems in doing so in the NZ context.

            • weka

              Godwin appears to be talking about neo and proto Nazis in the US/Trump context, btw. Which was always fair game.

      • Visubversa 6.1.3

        The question is what do any of these people have to do with Local Government that is more that just the basic ratepayer? They are an astroturf organisation at best. Why should the LGNZ let them in?

        • Anker

          Visu, I don't know what they have that the basic ratepayers don't have other than quite a few rate payer members.

          But if ordinary rate payers are allowed to go, I would wonder why a group who supposedly represents rate payers doesn't.

          • Sacha

            It is not an event for ratepayers to attend. These astroturfers think they are special.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              It is not an event for ratepayers to attend.

              Why? Seriously Sacha, why?

              • Sacha

                No big conspiracy. It has always been an event for people who work in local govt – like an industry conference.

                Is not a substitute for engaging the citizens they serve. Or for astroturfers claiming a mandate.

  7. Robert Guyton 7

    Groundswell going full-nut-case:




    https://www.facebook.com/GroundswellNZ/ (if you must).

    • weka 7.1

      that's not a permanent link. If you provide a permanent link I will reinstate the copy and paste.

      To get a permanent link, click on the date/time stamp of the post and then copy and paste the URL into a TS comment.

      • Robert Guyton 7.1.1

        Not sure how to post a "permanent link". The one I did post is to the Groundswell page where the most recent post is the one I'm referring to. Too hard. Won't bother 🙂

        • weka

          It's quite simple, and I just explained how to do it in the comment you are replying to.

          But sure, this isn't FB, it's not a place to just drop random out of context controversial quotes without political commentary.

          • weka

            I just went to their main page, found the first post, clicked on the time stamp, and copied this URL. It's only one step more than what you are doing already

  8. Anne 8

    I am not a supporter of NZ First or Winston Peters and I did not follow this court case. Nevertheless it sounds like yet another DP attempt to discredit NZ First and by association its leader:


    As far as the SFO is concerned I presume they had little choice but to pass the matter on to the police, but someone or some people were after their blood just before the last election?

    • Sacha 8.1

      Dodgy scheme involving big sums but carefully designed by Peters' associates so the party officials could not be breaking the Electoral Act that the prosecution relied on.

      Very similar to the way Roger Douglas pocketed huge donations to spend as he wished during an election campaign rather than passing them through the party he supposedly belonged to at the time.

      Mavericks find accountability inconvenient.

      • Sacha 8.1.1

        I was wrong about the law they tried with

        • Sacha

          Simplest summary I've seen – it was a Clayton's donation, your honour https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/07/22/nz-first-foundation-donations-accused-found-not-guilty/

          Justice Jagose released his reserved decision today.

          He ruled the money was not a party donation, where the money needs to have been donated to any person who is involved in the administration of the affairs of the party.

          Justice Jagose found the men were not involved in the administration of the party.

          They were entitled to have control of the money and therefore the judge found there was no fraud as alleged by the SFO.

          The pair had repeatedly denied they collected money that should have been treated as donations – and therefore declared to the Electoral Commission.

  9. RedLogix 9

    Binary framing of powerdown vs industrial tech

    Because that what it is. No energy = no tech = no suburbs however resilient.

    There really is only one clear path through this paradox – nuclear energy. It is not perfect, there will be rats to swallow, but there is nothing else well understood and available now.

    And to be clear I am not being confrontational for the sake of it. I have nothing against resilience or Retrosuburbia in itself. Hell I paid for the book. But as long as the developing world keeps building coal power stations pretty nothing else we do matters all that much.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • weka 9.1

      Because that what it is. No energy = no tech = no suburbs however resilient.

      As I've said to you before, you either patently don't understand what the powerdown is, or you choose to misrepresent it. That you think it means no energy makes this really obvious. You are just plain wrong. eg Holmgren talks about power generation and appropriate use, using industrial tech.

      I won't let people run such misrepresentational lines under posts I put up. At some point if you want to learn what the powerdown is, there will be conversations for that.

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        This is the most absurd abuse of moderation you have pulled yet.

        I was speaking directly to the topic of industrialisation that I have a lifetime of education, experience and expertise in. Your inability to tolerate a legitimate challenge to your fixed views and then to abuse your power as moderator to derail the discussion is just wrong.

        I resigned as a moderator because I could no longer stomach being associated with such dishonest and cowardly behaviour that fundamentally betrays the spirit purpose of moderation – and here you are repeating it. As I have often said – giving someone a little power quickly reveals their true character.

        I won't let people run such misrepresentational lines under posts I put up.

        The post was under Notices and Features. There was no indication who put it up.

        • Cricklewood

          Symptomatic of the rise of the more authoritarian left, that and cancel culture…

        • weka

          Direct quote,

          Binary framing of powerdown vs industrial tech

          Because that what it is. No energy = no tech = no suburbs however resilient.

          The powerdown doesn't mean no energy. It doesn't mean no tech. It doesn't mean no industrial tech. I'm sick of explaining this to you.

          When you say it means no energy, you are making shit up. It doesn't matter if I authored the post or not, I'm still not letting people make shit up. No-one else would be allowed to do this either.

          Your inability to tolerate a legitimate challenge to your fixed views…

          I'm only shifting your comments though. The reason I am is that I've engaged many times in the past with the false part of your argument (as a commenter and as a mod) and you just don't listen, you keep misrepresenting the thing you are arguing against. Then when I point out the problem, you attack me. These are pretty basic debate rules: don't distort the argument, don't attack the person.

          People challenge my ideas all the time, and then we debate. When you are willing to do that without distorting the thing you are critiquing, there won't be a problem.

          • RedLogix

            And I am sick of you pretending to know you understand anything about industrialisation when I am fairly sure – prove me wrong – you have never set foot in a large scale heavy industrial plant in your life.

            And I don't mean some little kiwi light manufacturer – I mean this scale. I spent my whole working life in these places, designing, building. commissioning the automation systems that make them work. I understand the processes, the material and energy transformations intimately.

            And I understand Powerdown just fine thank you:

            The alternative is “Powerdown,” a strategy that will require tremendous effort and economic sacrifice in order to reduce per-capita resource usage in wealthy countries, develop alternative energy sources, distribute resources more equitably, and reduce the human population humanely but systematically over time.

            First of all the 'tremendous effort and economic sacrifice' is quantitatively unspecified. What is more it places all the burden for this on the top 1b or so people in the developed world, while pretending the other 7b or so do not exist and will be content to remain poor forever. The numbers do not add up without some political means to impose austerity and poverty on the world – again forever.

            Then it suggests alternative energy sources can replace fossil fuels, yet solar wind and battery are very unlikely to do this – so far their total generation contribution barely matches the older nuclear capacity we are incomprehensibly turning off – much less replace the massive supply and reliability of fossil fuel generation. In some geographies SWB will work well enough to be a useful transitional tech, but long-term it locks us into a mean, miserable world deficient in everything.

            And then it demands ' and reduce the human population humanely but systematically over time. '. What exactly does systematically mean in this context – another Maoist One Child policy – only global in scope. That's a downright dystopian and authoritarian anti-human vision right there.

            Besides it ignores the simple reality that all developing and industrialised nations are already reducing their populations quite naturally – the only places on earth where population is still rising from high birth rates are in the already powered down nations in Africa. Completely contradictory.

            The problem here is that I did all of this hippie inspired, alt-tech, powerdown, resilience stuff in the 80's. It has it's place and I retain a soft-spot for it – but saving the planet it ain't going to cut mustard.

            • weka

              First of all the 'tremendous effort and economic sacrifice' is quantitatively unspecified. What is more it places all the burden for this on the top 1b or so people in the developed world, while pretending the other 7b or so do not exist and will be content to remain poor forever.

              You just made that up right? You didn't see someone like Heinberg advocating for the wealthy countries to power down and leave the poor countries to remain poor.

              The numbers do not add up without some political means to impose austerity and poverty on the world – again forever.

              Again, this is your thinking. Imo it comes from your ideological opposition to powerdown and your belief that anything other than global BAU will lead to Terrible Things. This is a failure of knowledge of the large body of work done by various pd and transition people and groups, and a lack of imagination.

              It's an analysis that also ignores that we are out of time and have to drop GHGs now, fast.

              • RedLogix

                Your definition of Powerdown seems to depend on which question you are answering.

                If you want it to save the world, then in order to make any meaningful difference the top 1b in the developed world will have to make a 'tremendous sacrifice'.

                If you want it to sound not so scary then Powerdown is like – we get to keep all the good industrial tech we like, but somehow turn off all the bad things we don't like. Even when you really offer no idea how to disentangle them.

                • weka

                  Listen up: we are going to lose everything. All of it. If we don't reduce GHGs fast. This isn't fringe theory, it's the mainstream prediction now.

                  The powerdown offers us some solutions. It doesn't solve all of the problems, it's not a panacea. In particular, it offers places like NZ and Oz an immediate way to start reducing GHGs, and shifting use from the systems that are killing the planet to ones that fit better into resiliency and sustainability methods.

                  I haven't given you a definition of the powerdown, I've simply responded to each time you interpret it through your industrial mindset and pointed out where you are missing the point.

                  If you want it to save the world, then in order to make any meaningful difference the top 1b in the developed world will have to make a 'tremendous sacrifice'.

                  Yes, we will. It's still less of a sacrifice than if we continue with BAU. Tremendous sacrifice doesn't have to mean nasty brutish and short, but it will if we don't act soon.

                  If you want it to sound not so scary then Powerdown is like – we get to keep all the good industrial tech we like, but somehow turn off all the bad things we don't like. Even when you really offer no idea how to disentangle them.

                  I didn't say we get to keep all the good industrial tech we like. We're past that, that's the point. Had we fronted up to CC in the 70s and 80s, we might have been able to transition to a green tech society, but that opportunity is gone, we no longer have the time for that.

                  What we can do is keep the stuff that we can keep. I already pointed out that if we don't drop GHGs soon we will lose it all anyway. But if we were to transition now, I can't see why we can't keep glass and steel for instance. And yes, I understand the massive complexity of the globarl steel supply chain at a lay person level, but I'm not saying we get to keep that. I'm saying we should transition to sustainability (because that's the only way we survive), and as part of that we should look at how best to manage steel as a crucial resource.

                  Good/bad is another unhelpful binary. The area I have the best sense of is food. Some argue that we can't replace industrial ag, but people are doing this all the time already. We already have those techs and systems to transition to. What we don't have is the political and social buy in, and imo arguments like I'm having with you today are part of the reason why. You are blocking it, because you can't see how it would work. Instead of learning how it might work, you put up lots of reasons why it won't without even understanding what it is.

      • Herodotus 9.1.2

        The link displays the source of electricity production. You can modify the search by country, the 2nd link is the NZ position. The world position Coal & Gas dominance is a concern and how to replace our dependancy with BAU ??



        • weka

          one obvious part of it is to lessen how much power we need. BAU isn't going to survive. It's just not. We can't green it in time, and there is still a massive amount of our economies that is extractive and degenerative not renewable and regenerative.

          There's a cross over with food production. Obviously shipping chilled food across the globe and then across country is massively wasteful. But on top of that we waste a huge amount of the food produced 15 – 30%. That's a waste of the food, but it's also a waste of the embodied energy (farming, transport, packaging, labour, and so on).

          • Poission

            There is no cross over with food production ( changes in agronomy being an eschatological problem) as Borlaug said .

            some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They've never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things


            In his Nobel acceptance speech he quantified the problem as such.( on the green revolution)

            I often ask the critics of modern agricultural technology what the world would have been like without the technological advances that have occurred, largely during the past 50 years. For those whose main concern is protecting the “environment,” let’s look at the positive impact that the application of science-based technology has had on land use.

            Had the global cereal yields of 1950 still prevailed in 1999, we would have needed nearly 1.8 billion ha of additional land of the same quality – instead of the 600 million that was used – to equal the current global harvest (see Figure 1 at the end of text). Obviously, such a surplus of land was not available, and certainly not in populous Asia, where the population has increased from 1.2 to 3.8 billion over this time period. Moreover, if more environmentally fragile land had been brought into agricultural production, think of the impact on soil erosion, loss of forests and grasslands, biodiversity and extinction of wildlife species that would have ensued.


            To meet the shared economic pathways (ipcc) we need to sustain the global population at 8 billion by 2050 and 6 billion by 2100.We hit the 8 billion number in november this year,so we need to state there is a limit to growth at our present population (and significantly reduce immigration) to sustain our economic capacity .

            Here we are living beyond our economic means (its debt funded) as we are already struggling to pay our way,(unsustainable due to high immigration and infrastructure costs to meet the existing demands).

            • weka

              There is no cross over with food production

              I was pointing to energy used in the global supply of food.

              what the world would have been like without the technological advances that have occurred, largely during the past 50 years.

              We probably wouldn't have climate catastrophe.

              At the same time, we invented new forms of contraception. We could have made that easily accessible to any woman who wanted or needed it.

              Moreover, if more environmentally fragile land had been brought into agricultural production, think of the impact on soil erosion, loss of forests and grasslands, biodiversity and extinction of wildlife species that would have ensued.

              But we did bring more fragile land into ag, and we continue to do so. In a perpetual growth world that will never end.

              I don't get your point. At the end of your comment you talk about the limits of growth. Borlaug appears to not understand it so why quote him?

              And yes, NZ has a set of specific problems from the growth economy spurred on by neoliberalism.

              • Poission

                No there was two parts,firstly the population growth in emergent countries was sustained by technological advancement,the postwar dream was that global poverty and hunger was to be eliminated.

                Borlaug who started in the 1930's depression with the US forestry corp,planting windbreaks and shelter belts to reduce soil ,and moisture loss (Duststorms etc) on the US plains saw what poverty was in real terms.

                Removal of the programmes funding especially into Africa saw that marginal land was needed to meet population growth from disease suppression.( the constraints were mostly from Europe,and continue with them stating last month that they would allow funding for African LNG,but not allow them to produce fertilizer)

                The use of fertilizers have allowed both an increase in population and life expectancy globally.

                From an energy perspective it is only in the last decade where technological development has made renewables cost efficient (over time nuclear is very cost efficient) in the 70's and 80's we only had hydro and geothermal.In NZ over the last 15 years electricity generation and consumption are flatlining (only the mix of generation and use have changed)

                • pat


                  The trouble is that it was always a stop gap.

                  • Poission

                    For the second half of the century it brought a greater stability,then the first 50 years.In the US it allowed a decrease in agriculture jobs and a move to higher paying factory work,a decrease in the birth rate,higher education,then reversal with a war (yom kippur) an oil shock,energy shock and price inflation,etc increase in crime,disease sort of like today.

                    • pat

                      I believe it was (correction) Borlaug who said "it has bought us some time. that is all"

                    • Poission

                      Without the GR developing countries GDP would have been 1/2 of today.Emerging markets that changed from subsistence farming,developed a middle class that brought some stability from the "colonel regimes" but unstable due to capital flight.

                      The Europe experiment ( trading e=mc2 for Russian CH4) will be tested this winter and with it the european socio economic dream as energy austerity takes place.

                    • pat

                      Despite the importance attributed to it (and there is no doubt of its impact) …as far as Im concerned finance and 'money' ultimately mean little….real resources are what count.

                • weka

                  Ok, but I don't see the connection with my comment about one aspect of the powerdown (food supply and waste)

    • KJT 9.2

      Time for the government to tell the truth about nuclear power | Letters | The Guardian

      “The gap in efficacy and competitiveness between nuclear and other options is continually growing. Supporting nuclear, rather than energy efficiency, wind and solar, slows down climate action, bleeds taxpayers, forgoes jobs and forces unnecessarily large and regressive burdens on consumers”.

      • RedLogix 9.2.1

        From your reference:

        Despite intensifying propaganda, even government data shows this military-backed technology to be, in reality, an expensive, slow, unreliable, risky and unpopular way to deliver affordable, secure, zero-carbon energy.

        Of these claims the only one with any merit is that it is expensive in it's current form.

        The primary reason is that the industry is insanely over-regulated and over-engineered. The secondary reason is that conventional project-based builds are exceedingly complex and prone to delays due to relatively minor matters cascading into GANTT charts.

        (Indeed this is not an issue confined to the nuclear industry – I have seen the same delays and cost over-runs across the whole of the engineering business. The current commercial and contract models we are legally compelled to work under are well overdue some serious reform.)

        But here is a point few people think about – if climate change really is the existential threat we expect it to be – then the expense really does not matter.

        And even this objection goes away when we consider that all the next gen designs – and yes they will be delivered this decade – are going to be factory built machines delivered to the point of use as a commodity asset. This change alone will make the economics directly competitive with coal on a levelised cost basis.

        • KJT

          Why go to that expense, in resources and labour, when we already have cheaper and easier energy efficient options.

          Like the enthusiasm for hydrogen cars, nuclear power is a money making exercise for the proponents, not a viable solution.

          BTW. Wind is already cheaper and more reliable than coal. And the plant is much simpler and easier to produce thann either. Nuclear would have to do a lot better than “Matching coal”.
          Of course if reactors are developed that solve the problems, i.e. Fusion? all bets are off. But after billions thrown at it over decades, nuclear energy is no closer to solving the blatantly obvious issues.

          We are already powering down. Many processes in industry are much more energy efficient than they used to be. To give just one area. . That is part of the answer. Investment in NZ, and elsewhere into renewables is long overdue and is another part.

          Magical solutions just direct money away from proven technology, and makes Snake oil salesmen, rich!

          • RedLogix

            Like the enthusiasm for hydrogen cars, nuclear power is a money making exercise for the proponents, not a viable solution.

            If I was proposing hydrogen cars you might have a point, but I was not. At that scale lithium batteries are a better engineering fit. But as you go bigger the weight of the battery increases and you wind up expending a larger and larger fraction of the stored energy just moving the battery about. The same goes if you attempt to extend the range.

            Therefore there is an effective upper limit on the size and range of vehicle batteries will be useful in. A battery powered Seuzmax is not feasible with any foreseeable tech.

            On the other hand hydrogen is exceptionally energy dense, about twice that of petrol. Storing lots of energy without incurring a huge weight penalty is not a problem. So even though the total energy efficiency for hydrogen is initially lower, once the weight and range reach a certain point – hydrogen becomes the optimum choice.

            And if you have generated that hydrogen using carbon free solar, wind or nuclear energy – you really don't care so much about the lower efficiency or cost for that matter.

            And besides – using hydrogen for transport is not a priority in my view – the obvious and most effective use is in Direct Hydrogen Conversion in steel making.

            Wind is already cheaper and more reliable than coal. And the plant is much simpler and easier to produce thann either. Nuclear would have to do a lot better than “Matching coal”.

            Well that might be true in some favourable circumstances – but this source suggests quite the opposite:

            Which energy sources are the most reliable?

            Currently, nuclear power is the most reliable. It has supplied the US with well over 20% of our yearly power needs for the last thirty years 1. Nuclear power plants have the ability to produce power during 93% of the year, which is more than 2 times more reliable than natural gas and coal, and 2.5 to 3.5 times more reliable than wind and solar energy.

            Of course, nuclear energy isn’t without its problems – namely, the waste it produces, which is highly toxic and requires careful storage and disposal. There’s also the risk of the damage power plants can cause if they encounter a major problem.

            After nuclear, the most reliable sources are (in order):

            • Natural gas
            • Coal
            • Hydropower
            • Wind
            • Solar
            • KJT

              The reliability of renewable sources is solvable by building more plants throughout the grid area, and/or using stored power.

              Even then much less expensive and a hell of a lot safer than nuclear.

              I did have thoughts that nuclear maybe the best option for countries like Germany. Advances in wind, solar and tidal/wave energy, and storage have now changed that equation.

              As for hydrogen. We will start to see hydrogen fueled ships very soon. It needs to be regarded as a weight efficient battery however, utilising sustainably produced hydrogen, rather than an energy source. The sums just don't add up for land transport, especially cars, that can have power supplied directly from the grid. The whole car paradigm needs to change. Most city commuters don't need cars. They need Golf carts, or scooters, where public transport doesn’t work.

              Hydrogen for steel making is, of course, already happening. https://emagazines.com/Account/ExpressLoginVerify?vc=87dc3b42-bb16-4830-8b5b-ae769632553c&ct=c172740c-ad0e-48bb-95ee-72b8c109e4d8&plid=82

              There are some advances in low emmission gas power plants as well. The oil industry may make this work. As they have a very strong incentive to do so.

              • RedLogix

                Even then much less expensive and a hell of a lot safer than nuclear.

                I have covered off the cost aspect above. Although I might add that SWB can be cheap on an installed nameplate capacity basis, because you have to so grossly overbuild it – as the Germans have discovered – that it becomes very expensive indeed.

                The Germans have gone all in on wind like no-one else, yet as I linked above – it produces in reality barely 10% net extra generation and it needs constant backing up with natural gas or lignite burning coal stations.

                (Lignite has the peculiar property that it is about 20% water by weight and this means the plants need to be run steadily. As a result it makes a very poor SWB backup. And apparently the Germans are running some very peculiar accounting to make this fact less obvious.)

                And that is before you consider what happens as the solar and wind penetration starts to rise, the storage and grid complexity costs also rise exponentially.

                Not to mention the vast areas of land involved, the relatively short lifespan of solar panels and wind turbines, the vast amount of materials and waste they produce – all negatives that never get mentioned.

                Yes I am more than happy to accept technical progress in the SWB field will continue – just as it will for nuclear – but some honesty around the limitations is necessary.

                As for the safety aspect – well you already know perfectly well nuclear is one of the best by a very substantial margin. Nuclear could have delivered us a fully decarbonised world decades ago. But instead fearmongering ideologues blocked it.

                5 bar chart – what is the safest form of energy

                • KJT

                  As soon as you start mentioning "vast areas of land" required, and resource use and lifespan of wind turbines etc, I start questioning the sources you are using.

                  Germany is far from utilising more than a small fraction of their possible renewables. And they would be one of the worst off for renewables.

                  Safety of nuclear power. You forgot to calculate total risk per unit of power over the whole lifetime of the plant, plus the decades of risk from the stored waste after deccom.. It changes the risk and expense numbers greatly.

                  Any calculation of solar and wind footprints show they use a small fraction of the land area we use for agriculture, let alone the total land area available. F
                  Unlike biofuels for one example. That, to replace oil in NZ, would use our viable growing land and then some, while requiring replacement fertilisers using even more land.

                  You can work it out yourself, but we did some of it on here a while back.

                  • RedLogix

                    I have linked to this TEDx some years back. David McKay was (he passed away recently) a physicist. The talk was given some years back, but the method of analysis still holds.

                    As I have said repeatedly, SWB makes sense in some favoured geopgraphies, but it has it's limits.

                    But worse than this, you must into account the inevitable doubling or tripling of current demand due to the 7b or so people in the developing world continue to become more prosperous..

                    Then I would double that again to allow for the energy needed to extract carbon from the atmosphere if we are really serious about the climate (as distinct from merely collapsing the economy). You arrive at a rough back of envelope total global energy demand by mid-century that is somewhere between 4 – 10 times the current number.

                  • RedLogix

                    You forgot to calculate total risk per unit of power over the whole lifetime of the plant, plus the decades of risk from the stored waste after deccom.

                    Your first claim can be set aside – the data referenced is indeed based on the lifetime of all nuclear plants already operating.

                    Your second claim assumes a hazard that has never happened. So far no-one has ever been harmed by spent solid fuel rod storage, which represents a much lower risk than many other serious waste streams from many other industries.

                    And I get kind of tired pointing this out – we already know that 97% of the energy in so called spent fuel rods remains. The French re-process their spent rods and effective recycle the uranium. We also understand that 'fast spectrum' reactors can consume this existing stockpile as fresh fuel. Otherwise known as Waster Burners this approach reduces the volume of waste by better than 95% and the time needed to securely store down to a manageable few hundred years. (And really only the first few decades are critical.

                    The point is that we already have several perfectly responsible ways to handle spent fuel. (David Le Blanc has designed more real world reactors than most people have owned cars.)

                • pat

                  Nuclear has the same issue as lignite…..flat generation necessitating surge demand support..i.e gas.

                  • RedLogix

                    flat generation necessitating surge demand support

                    Existing PWR designs yes. Once you ramp them down there is a period of some hours while you have to let the Xenon fission byproduct decay away before you can effectively ramp back up again.

                    However reactor designs that remove the Xenon (it is a gas) fairly quickly because they are working in a liquid phase are able to mitigate this problem substantially. Better still molten salt designs have a strong negative coefficient of reactivity; if you add more thermal load which cools the core, the reactivity innately rises and the power generation intrinsically rises to match the new load. And vice versa. This makes them very good load following machines on a timeframe of 10s of minutes.

                    Another approach is just to run the reactor at close to nameplate all the time and divert the electrical output instantaneously between grid loads and an energy store – such has heating a mass of non-nuclear molten salt or generating carbon free hydrogen. In this way you can schedule nuclear down to milliseconds

                    So yes while nuclear is conventionally best suited for relatively fixed base load applications, in reality this is not a limitation.

  10. Ad 10

    If anyone didn't see a recession coming, China, our largest trading partner in all our key exports, is about to take us down with them.

    Economists See China 2022 GDP Below 4% on Covid, Global Risks – BNN Bloomberg

    • weka 10.1

      I have quite a few friends who live on low incomes. They choose this lifestyle because they don't want to be working 40 hours a week. They also grow a sizeable chunk of their own food, which reduces their weekly budget needs considerably.

      This isn't a panacea, but it's easy to see how such food security creates a buffer during a recession. We could be enabling this for many people.

      • Ad 10.1.1

        It's the middle of winter, nothing is growing.

        We have near-zero elasticity in petrol use.

        We have one of the least safe urban environments for cycling in the OECD and one of the highest levels of car ownership and use.

        Good on your friends. I'm sure they exist. But this government is now forking out billions and billions a month on everyone including your friends just to help them survive.

        This is the year that people just hang on for dear life.

        • weka

          and? People still grow food in winter, they preserve food too. NZ knows how to store grains. Meat is available all year round. Dairy and eggs too, although it's debatable if that's sustainable.

          I'm hearing friends now talk about the fact that we may not be able to travel like we used to. These are people who have travelled a lot.

          Maybe now, finally, people will car pool and ride share.

          The government definitely has some big challenges. Hanging on for dear life won't work unless we think somehow next year everything is going to come right. It's also not our only choice. Those that really are having to hang on for dear life need those better off to change and fast.

          • Ad

            At the moment the vast majority of New Zealanders are under immense financial pressure and mental pressure. There's no maybe's on that. There's no silver lining. Most things are getting worse very fast.

            No, there's no sign of major transport mode change. Great if they do, but mode change tends to happen in summer.

            Advising the poor about how to grow vegetables is just patronising cant.

            The people who are preparing for the worst are on the right track.

            • weka

              Advising the poor about how to grow vegetables is just patronising cant.

              I didn't do that though. I'm saying people who can can set up systems, and help those that can't. Shit loads of people in this country would be growing food if they had the tools, skills and land. We have those three things in abundance. Wealthy people can pay people to grow food they don't have time to, giving people that love gardening meaningful work. None of this hard, and none of it requires a massive shift other than for some imagination* and dropping the fatalistic it's too hard, it's too late, can't be done messaging.

              *or letting the people who already get it have the funds and power to just get on with it.

  11. Anker 11


    This is what happens when you try and deny biological sex.

    An easy fix is for people to tick female if they are …..female.

    It will be interesting to see how this is managed. The most pragmatic thing and the thing that would help our over burdened health system would be to inform trans and non binary people who are women to tick the female box so they can ensure they get the correct medical follow up for their sex.

    • Rosemary McDonald 11.1

      The most pragmatic thing and the thing that would help our over burdened health system ….

      Thank you Anker. I do my MSM reading at 5am and that particular contribution caught my bleary eye and more than deserves a place here. I nearly posted meself…but couldn't find the phraseology that wasn't judgey.

      And I kinda got a little tense when Fearless Reporter used the phrase 'people with cervixes…'

    • Molly 11.2

      Well, it's not as if people highlighted the importance of adding a gender field instead of changing the sex one. Did they?

      Retains accuracy, and beneficial for collating information to improve transgender healthcare.

      It was trans advocates and allies that spoke against such a measure.

      And now it's used as an example of marginalisation and poor healthcare.

      • Rosemary McDonald 11.2.1

        ….used as an example of marginalisation and poor healthcare.

        No, no, no, Molly…it's so much more than that.

        Moira Clunie is the project lead at rainbow organisation Te Ngākau Kahukura and said "it's a massive issue of health equity" that meant there was a group of people who could be subject to poorer health outcomes.

        Where's the eye -roll emoji when you need it?

        • Molly

          "Where's the eye -roll emoji when you need it?"

          Cheers, Rosemary.

          Daughter and I had a quiet chuckle because I'd said exactly the same when posting my comment. laugh

          • Visubversa

            There are probably a bunch of men who demand we refer to them as women missing out on their prostate screenings as well. Science denial comes around to bite them sooner or later.

        • Anker

          Not a massive issue of health equity. Its a massive own goal. But they will turn it into an issue which adds to their "victim" status……..sorry if that seems a bit unkind, but really I am just a little over the msm single narrative on this.

          • psych nurse

            This denies people without a womb the opportunity of a cervical smear test.

      • JO 11.2.2

        yesyes Could being female be a white elephant in some wombs?

  12. Herodotus 12

    Where does the government get its understanding of reality. $860,000 IS affordable for a 1st home or at the lower end $550,000 for 1 bedroom ??🤬 . I am well aware that the kiwibuild managers are in the market with fixed price contracts, don’t they follow the media 18% increase in costs yet the poor contactor and stubbie has to take all the risk. Time for these guys to get out of their office and try to have some connection with the REAL world- because theire is none being displayed currently.

    • Molly 12.1

      "Where does the government get its understanding of reality. "

      Good question, Herodotus.

      (One I could only attempt to answer with much disdain, and some swearing. So I'm self-censoring.)

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