Open mike 26/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 26th, 2010 - 102 comments
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102 comments on “Open mike 26/11/2010”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    Provincial Editorial of the day: Shifting sands edition.

    daily news reckonz bashing the bennie is old news; make the rich pay instead.

    In the near-future the Government is likely to have to consider its own austerity measures. When it does we hope it will remember that some people in this country make 100 times the average wage.

    We also urge it to remember that it was not the poor and ailing who needed to be bailed out to the tune of $1.6 billion because of profligacy and mismanagement.

    It was not the poor and infirm who almost brought down the global financial infrastructure and then walked away from the damage.

    Maybe it’s time to look beyond the usual suspects.

  2. Peak Energy, Climate Change, and the Collapse of Global Civilization: The Current Peak Oil Crisis

    A managed “de-growth” is impossible, because effective mitigation of peak oil will be dependent on the implementation of mega-projects and mega-changes at the maximum possible rate with at least 20 years lead time and trillions of dollars in investments. Peak oil and the events associated with it will be an unprecedented discontinuity in human and geologic history.

    Adaptation is the only strategy in response to peak oil. Mitigation and adaptation are the only solutions for climate change.

    Peak Energy, Climate Change, and the Collapse of Global Civilization: The Current Peak Oil Crisis
    | Tariel Morrigan, University of California, Santa Barbara

    A comprehensive synthesis of hundreds of peak oil and climate change research publications which analyses how the two crises will play out and interact in the short-, medium- and longer-term.

    Here’s the executive summary with key passages highlighted:

    “Peak oil” refers to the maximum rate of oil production, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline (see Figures 1 and 2). Although there will be oil remaining in the ground when world oil production peaks, the remaining oil will become increasingly difficult and more costly to produce until the marginal financial and energy cost of producing oil exceeds the marginal profit and energy gained.

    Peak oil is happening now. The era of cheap and abundant oil is over. Global conventional oil production likely peaked around 2005 – 2008 or will peak by 2011. The peaking of oil will never be accurately predicted until after the fact. Nevertheless, since mid-2004, the global oil production plateau has remained within a 4% fluctuation band (see Figures 20 and 20b, which indicates that new production has only been able to offset the decline in existing production. The global oil production rate will likely decline by 4 – 10.5% or more per year. Substantial shortfalls in the global oil supply will likely occur sometime between 2010 – 2015.

    Global oil reserve discoveries peaked in the 1960’s (see Figure 10). New oil discoveries have been declining since then, and the new discoveries have been smaller and in harder to access areas (e.g., smaller deepwater reserves). The volume of oil discovered has dropped far below the volume produced in the last two decades. In total, 507 fields are classified as ‘giant’, and account for 60% of conventional oil production. The top 110 producing oilfields produce over 50% of the global oil supply, and the most productive 10 fields contribute 20%. The top 20 oilfields contribute 27%. Production from 16 of the top 20 producing fields was also in terminal decline in 2007 (see Table 1).

    Non-OPEC conventional production is projected to peak around 2010, and thereafter begin to decline. OPEC’s oil production will likely peak within the near-term. Saudi Arabia has more than 20% of the world’s proven total petroleum reserves. After 2010, a steady terminal decline in oil production is projected at a depletion rate above 5% per year (see Figure 7). Huge investments are required to explore for and develop more reserves, mainly to offset decline at existing fields. An additional 64 mbpd of gross capacity – the equivalent of six times that of Saudi Arabia today – needs to be brought on stream between 2007 – 2030. Therefore, it is unlikely that global oil production will be able to supply projected global demand within the near future.

    Business as usual (BAU) oil demand is projected to increase by 1% per year on average from 2007 – 2030 – from 84.7 million barrels per day (mbpd) in 2008 to 105.2 mbpd in 2030. Under BAU, oil production is projected to grow from 83.1 mbpd in 2008 to 103 mbpd in 2030 (see Figure 15). Undiscovered oil fields account for about 20% of total crude oil production by 2030. In other words, no one knows whether or how there will be enough oil to supply 20% of total projected crude oil production by 2030.

    The remaining oil is becoming increasingly harder to access and extract, and it is of increasingly lower quality. Therefore, the energy and economic investment required to produce the remaining oil is increasing as the energy yield from reserves is decreasing – i.e., the energy return on investment (EROI) is decreasing. The present EROI for oil is significantly lower than the past EROI for oil; and future EROI for oil will be even lower (see Figure 11).

    Conventional oil is a fluid that generally requires minimal processing prior to sale and consumption. Conventional oil from producing fields currently supply approximately 85% of the global liquid fuel mix. Unconventional oil may be found in a variety of reserve formations and viscosities (i.e., thicknesses) that typically require specialized extraction technology (e.g., mining, injection of solvents) and significant processing prior to sale and consumption.

    Unconventional oil generally includes extra-heavy oil, oil sands, oil shales, coal-to-liquids (CTL) and gas-to-liquids (GTL). These unconventional oil resources may supply less than 7% of projected global demand by 2030 (see Figure 15). It is unlikely that unconventional oil resources will be able to significantly replace conventional oil supplies in the future. The EROI of these unconventional oil resources is lower than that of conventional oil. Unconventional oil resources have greater environmental impacts associated with them, including higher CO2 emissions. Unconventional oil resources cost at least 2 – 3 times more to produce than conventional oil; so it is likely that oil prices for consumers may increase proportionally (see Table 2, and Figures 12 and 13).

    Electricity generation from alternative energy resources (i.e., wind, solar, tidal, geothermal) will not be able to replace oil as a transportation fuel since much of the entire world fleet of automobiles, ships, trains, and aircraft would have to be replaced by electric-powered vehicles. Furthermore, such alternative energy resources cannot replace oil as a petrochemical feedstock.

    Most biofuel crops are not feasible for replacing oil on a large-scale due to their enormous requirements for cropland and nutrients (i.e., fertilizers) (see Table 3). The projected share of biofuels in the total global supply of road transport fuels will increase from 1.5% in 2007 to 5% in 2030 assuming BAU (see Figure 15). Biofuels from algae and other microorganisms may potentially be a substitute for petroleum, but high capital and economic costs; and requirements for large areas of land, water, phosphorus and other nutrients (i.e., fertilizers) will likely prevent future algal and microbial oil production from replacing oil on a global-scale. In particular, peak phosphorus resources will severely limit the viability of large-scale algae production.

    Furthermore, the peak global production of coal, natural gas, and uranium resources may occur by 2020 – 2030 (see Figure 72), if not sooner. Global peak coal production will likely occur between 2011 – 2025 (see Figures 65 and 66). Global natural gas production will likely peak sometime between 2019 – (see Figure 68). Global peak uranium will likely occur by 2015 to sometime in the 2020’s (see Figures 69 and 70). Since oil is used to produce, distribute, and build and maintain the infrastructure for coal, gas, unconventional oil, nuclear and renewable energy resources, the decline in oil production could very simply bring about declines in the production rates of the other energy resources sooner than the above dates indicate. Peak oil thusly may cause peak energy resources to occur sooner.

    Global peak energy will be delayed only if: (1) one or more major new primary energy sources are discovered or developed that are comparable in quantity, quality, and versatility to fossil fuels (especially oil and liquid fuels); (2) significant breakthroughs occur in the quantity, quality, and/or versatility associated with one or more existing primary energy sources; and/or (3) a substantial and sustained decrease in the level of human energy consumption occurs. If either or both of the first two caveats do not occur, then the third caveat must come true, either through a reduction of per capita energy consumption and/or by a decrease in human population.

    The conclusions of this analysis are supported by publications and statements made by several national governments, the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, the U.S. Department of Energy (see Figures 8a and 8b), the U.S. and German militaries, leading energy information reporting agencies, the oil industry, the private sector (see Figures 9a and 9b), science, and academia. Part of the reason why the general public are unaware of peak oil is because oil data in the public domain is often misreported, greatly inflated, and sometimes falsified. Contradictions and ambiguity in public data are mainly due to a lack of binding international standards to report oil reserve volume and grade; the conditions at which oil resources may be classified as commercially exploitable reserves; intentional misreporting and falsifying data to further financial and political agendas; lack of transparency and auditing; and uncertainty in technical assessments. The oil resource data and assessments of OPEC (see Figures 3, 4, and 5), information and reporting agencies that monitor the oil industry (including the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Energy Information Agency (EIA)) (see Figures 8a and 8b), and private industry are also called into question. Buried in caveats and overly optimistic wording (see Figure 15), the estimates and figures of reporting agencies indicate that the global supply of oil will likely not be able to keep up with projected BAU demand, and that great oil supply shortages will likely start to occur within the next few years (see Figures 8a and 8b), if not sooner.

    The economic theory on which the economy is based assumes inexpensive and unlimited energy supplies. The global and industrialized economy is based on fractional reserve banking, compound interest, debt-based growth, and compound or unlimited growth. Credit forms the basis of the monetary system. In a growing economy debt and interest can be repaid; in a declining economy they cannot be repaid. Therefore, declining energy flows (i.e., oil) cannot maintain the economic production required to service debt. When outstanding debt cannot be repaid, new credit will become scarce; and economic growth will decline.

    Peak oil will have systemic effects throughout the entire global civilization. Global civilization is locked into a very complex and interrelated world economy. Any attempt to alter significantly the energy and transportation infrastructure and the global economy on which it is based would cause it to collapse – but without an increasing energy supply (i.e., oil), the infrastructure and economy on which our civilization is based cannot survive. The principle driving mechanisms for a global economic collapse are re-enforcing positive feedback cycles that are non-linear, mutually reinforcing, and not exclusive. A principle initial driver of the collapse process will be growing awareness and action about peak oil. Systemic collapse will evolve as a systemic crisis as the integrated infrastructure and economy of our global civilization breaks down. Most governments and societies – especially those that are developed and industrialized – will be unable to manage multiple simultaneous systemic crises. Systemic collapse will likely result in widespread confusion, fear, human security risks, social break down, changes in geopolitics, conflict, and war. With the collapse of the globalized economy, many communities will have to develop localized economies and food production.

    Oil shortages will lead to a collapse of the global economy, and the decline of globalized industrial civilization. Systemic collapse will evolve as a systemic crisis as the integrated infrastructure and economy of our global civilization breaks down. Most governments and societies – especially those that are developed and industrialized – will be unable to manage multiple simultaneous systemic crises. Consequently, systemic collapse will likely result in widespread confusion, fear, human security risks, and social break down. Economies worldwide are already unraveling and becoming insolvent as the global economic system can no longer support itself without cheap and abundant energy resources.

    This current transition of rapid economic decline was triggered by the oil price shock starting in 2007 and culminating in the summer of 2008. This transition will likely accelerate and become more volatile once oil prices exceed $80 – $90 per barrel for an extended time. Demand destruction for oil may be somewhere above $80 per barrel and below $141 per barrel. Economic recovery (i.e., business as usual) will likely exacerbate the global recession by driving up oil prices.

    A managed “de-growth” is impossible, because effective mitigation of peak oil will be dependent on the implementation of mega-projects and mega-changes at the maximum possible rate with at least 20 years lead time and trillions of dollars in investments. Peak oil and the events associated with it will be an unprecedented discontinuity in human and geologic history.

    Adaptation is the only strategy in response to peak oil. Mitigation and adaptation are the only solutions for climate change. Existential crises will soon confront societies with the opportunity to recreate themselves based on their respective needs, culture, resources, and governance responses. If the
    international community does not make a transcendent effort to cooperate to manage the transition to a non-oil based economy, it may risk a volatile, chaotic, and dangerous collapse of the global economy and world population.

    Humanity has already passed the threshold for dangerous anthropogenic interference with the natural climate system. Future climate change has the potential to substantially reduce the human carrying capacity of the Earth by 0.5 – 2 billion people, or more with abrupt and non-linear climate changes. Currently, many nations are dealing with climate change impacts that are resulting from shifts in the onset of seasons; irregular, unpredictable rainfall patterns; uncommonly heavy rainfall; increased incidence of storms; major flood events; and prolonged droughts. Further, changes in temperatures and weather patterns have driven the emergence of diseases and pests that affect crops, trees, and animals. All these climate impacts already have a direct impact on the quality and quantity of crop yields, and the availability and price of food, animal feed, and fiber.

    In 2010, the eight month mean (January 2010 – August 2010) global atmospheric concentration of CO2 was approximately 391 parts per million (ppm) (see Figure 33). The average global atmospheric CO2 concentration currently increases at a rate of approximately 2 ppm per year. By 2030 and 2050, atmospheric CO2 concentrations will respectively be at least 431 ppm and 471 ppm or more assuming current BAU emissions trends. As of 2005, cumulative GHG emissions may have already committed the planet to a warming of 2.4ºC (within a range of 1.4º – 4.3ºC) above the pre-industrial mean temperatures. Even if all anthropogenic GHG emissions cease in 2010 (an extremely unlikely scenario), thereby limiting atmospheric CO2 concentration to 391 ppm, the climate system may have already passed the 2°C threshold for dangerous climate change. As CO2 concentrations approach 441 ppm a corresponding committed warming of 3.1ºC will occur by 2030 in the absence of strong countervailing mitigation. At the current rate of GHG emissions, a CO2 concentration of 450 ppm could be reached by around 2040.

    A CO2 concentration of order 450 ppm or greater, if long maintained, would push the Earth toward an ice-free state and that such a CO2 level likely would cause the passing of climate tipping points and initiate dynamic responses that could be out of humanity’s control. Abrupt, non-linear changes are caused by small increases in global climate change that result in large and irreversible environmental changes once climate tipping points are passed. Anthropogenic GHG emissions are driving the global climate system toward such tipping points earlier than previously predicted. The potential impacts of passing such climate tipping points would be catastrophic, and include (see Figure 60):

    • the disappearance of Arctic summer sea ice (see Figures 50 and 51),
    • a major reduction of the area and volume of Hindu-Kush-Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau (HKHT) glaciers, which provide the head-waters for most major river systems of Asia including the Indus, Ganges, Irrawaddy, Mekong, Red, Yangtze, and Yellow rivers (almost 30% of the world’s population lives in the watersheds of these rivers) (see Figures 40 and 41),
    • ocean acidification (see Figures 52 – 55),
    • the deglaciation of Greenland Ice Sheet (see Figure 56),
    • the dieback of Amazonian and boreal forests (see Figure 57),
    • the shutdown of the Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation (see Figure 58),
    • the collapse of West Antarctic Ice Sheet (see Figure 59), and
    • a mass extinction event (see Figures 25, 31, and 32).

    The catastrophic impacts from these events could include many meters of sea level rise, massive displacement and loss of people and wildlife, severe loss of biodiversity, mass extinction of species and ecosystems, extreme climate events, megadroughts, catastrophic water shortages, and massive famines that could result in chronic economic depressions, political instability, social revolutions, resource wars, overwhelming humanitarian crises, and human rights challenges. Passing climate tipping points would likely cause other severe impacts, such as the release of CO2 and methane from permafrost and ocean hydrates that would likely cause additional runaway climate feedbacks that could accelerate further climate change.

    A target atmospheric concentration of CO2 of no greater than 350 ppm will likely be needed to prevent the world from passing climate tipping points. However, a target concentration of CO2 of 300 ppm may be needed to ensure that the climate does not pass the 2ºC threshold. Substantial reductions in anthropogenic GHG emissions post-peak oil, combined with major efforts in carbon sequestration would be necessary to achieve this implausible target. Temperature tipping points for abrupt and non-linear climate changes could be passed within this century, or even in the next decade. Even if climate tipping points are not crossed, committed climate change that is already “in the pipeline” will likely have severe negative impacts on most water resources, food production systems, economies, and ecosystems worldwide.

    Since the advent of the Green Revolution in 1950, the success of modern industrialized agriculture is primarily due to its increased use of fossil fuel resources for fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation to raise crops. Fossil fuel energy inputs greatly increased the energy-intensiveness of agricultural production, in some cases by 100 times or more. In particular, oil has been used on a global industrial scale to:

    • produce pesticides and other agrochemicals (herbicides, fungicides, some synthetic fertilizers);
    • produce pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for livestock;
    • fuel tractors, sprayers and crop dusters, farm equipment, and vehicles to produce food;
    • pump and transport water for irrigation;
    • make plastic materials for irrigation and other infrastructure;
    • transport materials to farms;
    • transport food from field to processors, storage, distributors, and consumers; and to
    • make plastic materials in which to contain, store, and package food.

    In terms of energy resources, the human carrying capacity of the Earth may be even lower based on historical relationships between global population and energy resource use, since the availability of all energy resources may limit the size of the global human population. The consumption of abundant fossil fuel energy has allowed the human population to increase greatly from approximately 0.5 billion before the year 1700 to about 7 billion today (see Figure 72). Until around 1500, the global human population had never exceeded 0.5 billion people (see Figure 24 and 72). By 1800, approximately 1 billion people lived on the Earth at the beginning of the the Industrial Revolution when fossil fuel energy was beginning to be exploited on a large-scale. Since the advent of modern industrialized agriculture around 1950, the global population has increased from 2.5 billion to nearly 7 billion in 2010 (see Figure 24, 61, and 72).

    Decreasing energy resources may decrease the global human population that depends on them. Without enormous amounts of energy that oil and other fossil fuel energy resources have supplied for the past two centuries, the human carrying capacity of the Earth may be as low as 0.5 – 2.5 billion people. Therefore, the total estimated human carrying capacity of the planet is 0.5 – 7.5 billion by 2050, and 0.5 – 6 billion by 2100, assuming that no abrupt and non-linear climate changes, a rapid mass extinction event, a global conflict (e.g., nuclear war) or any other massive environmental catastrophe occurs. Yet, the projected global human population is 9.2 billion people by 2050. This analysis only considered minimally adequate per capita food and energy supplies. The more resource-intense are the economies and lifestyles of the global population, the lower will be the potential carrying capacity. The human response to peak oil and environmental management practices will be a key factor affecting the potential human carrying capacity of the Earth.

    Ironically, peak oil and energy resources may offer the only viable solution for humanity to mitigate anthropogenic climate change on a global scale – by essentially pulling the plug on the engine of the global economy that has driven the climate system to a very dangerous state. Nevertheless, this potential mitigation of climate change will not stop the committed climate changes that are expected to occur in the future, nor will it stop all anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gas emissions altogether.

    It is possible that climate negotiations may be abandoned or at least marginalized for a long time (if not permanently) as the crisis of peak oil and economic shock and awe overwhelms the stability and security of every nation. It will likely require a concerted and transcendent effort on the part of any remaining international climate negotiators, their governments, and the public to pursue a meaningful international climate policy – much less a binding international climate treaty

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Dude even I find your cut and pastes annoying now.

      • mickysavage 2.1.1

        It is good stuff but a bit long. A couple of highlights and a link would work better.

      • Bored 2.1.2

        Yeah CV, agree. Robert, your posts have great content but you might be better served by pointing us at the original and making comment on them.

        I am guilty, as are a few others of Boring people to death with our Cassandra approach to the oncoming disasters. What I can say is that there is now a critical mass of bloggers here who dont question the reality any more, they are beginning to react to the event, share ideas and actions.

        My contribution today is to add a few links to Black Bloc aka a primer in street tactics for the civil disobedience that will be required to overcome corporatist claims to the little of the public domain that they have not attempted to seize… and this for advanced

      • Vicky32 2.1.3

        I simply could not read all that! Reading off a screen is awkward, and studies have shown that people have to be highly motivated in order to do it.
        Brevity is better!

        • Robert Atack

          Sorry guys, that ‘paste’ just came in this morning, I didn’t read it all, maybe the first 2 paragraphs, figured if you didn’t want to read it you could move on? And if you did well it is here for you, it should be no big deal the length of any post?, you can delete it if in comes into your mail box, or just scroll past it, but don’t fret I will desist in pasting anymore, as Bored (who ever you are?) says “there is now a critical mass of bloggers who are awake”, though very passively so it seems, oh for a few more people able to at least do half of what I’ve done (and put their names to it) … I did not but this on ‘my’ site to make out I’m ‘anything’, more to show the ignorance of the masses.
          If you claim to know about peak oil and climate change – this is to anyone who is ‘aware’- then why aren’t you doing something public about it? Why are you letting the bastards get away with it?? IE new $#%@ roads all over the country …. and the Greed Party?? how the hell those pricks are still breathing I don’t know, they are the biggest carpet bagging bunch of bastards in Wellington. THEY ARE LYING, and Kiwi Saver proves it.
          Climate Change is not an ‘issue’, it is so far beyond our abilities to do anything about, if every human disappeared @ midnight tonight, the planet would still look like Venus in a few thousand years … or whenever ? ‘They’ say we are 30 years behind how bad it is, and I’m not sure if ‘they’ get global dimming? (meaning it is a shit load worse).
          We are all dead in 30 – 100 years regardless, it is just how we get there? And how fast?
          The global economy (us humans) consumes annually 400 years of total planetary growth via fossil fuels (supposedly?), 3 X 1km3 – if we replanted every felled/burnt tree since the legend of Christ, that wouldn’t even equal the amount of fossil fuels we have used in the past 5 years.
          I’ve retired from it all now, it took a few years to wined down, I just use these blog sites to vent my spleen )
          I use to burn and distribute hundreds of DVDs per week, I give away maybe 1 a week now.
          We first ‘awake people’ thought the best thing to do was talk about it and educate the masses, well I think I can say that plan failed 😉

          Good luck

    • john 2.2
      Here’s another report by Chris Martenson based on the World Energy Outlook produced by the Paris based International Energy Agency which concludes Peak Oil is behind us! We now live in a very different World as is already evident with all the financial turmoil happening.

      R.A. is doing an important service :Everyone needs to wake up(but what if I don’t want to know,what then?) to the very different World we now live in in the Post Peak Oil era. A scary upsetting subject which isn’t going to go away,though most of us wish it would! Most of us are probably cowards when it comes to these apocalyptic changes! What’s on TV tonight I enjoyed watching “Alien vs Predator” the other night! When we watch the box we vicariously feel all powerful,for awhile!

      “Peak oil is not just here — it’s behind us already

      That’s the conclusion of the International Energy Agency, the Paris-based organization that provides energy analysis to 28 industrialized nations. According to a projection in the agency’s latest annual report, released last week, production of conventional crude oil — the black liquid stuff that rigs pump out of the ground — probably topped out for good in 2006, at about 70 million barrels a day. Production from currently producing oil fields will drop sharply in coming decades, the report suggests.”


    • KJT 2.3

      Robert. You are preaching to the converted here. Most here agree at least in part. We have got past the point of arguing about AGW and peak oil and are looking for ways that people can survive it.

      • pollywog 2.3.1

        some of us can even envision a scenario whereby we not only survive but evolve to a point where we live long and prosper 🙂

        • joe90

          Sustainable Growth Is An Oxymoron.

          The fact is that, eventually, we have to learn to live off the sun in real time. That’s not going to be easy. Fossil fuels aren’t just fossilized sunshine; they’re concentrated fossilized sunshine. As McKibben points out in “Eaarth,” 1 barrel of oil yields as much energy as 25,000 hours of human manual labor—more than a decade of human labor per barrel. The average American uses 25 bbl per year (some estimates are quite a bit higher), which, he writes, is like finding 300 years of free labor annually.

  3. joe90 3

    And I thought the bog and it’s RWNJ inhabitants were suffering from Clark derangement syndrome but the comments are unbelievable in this Faux news blog post.Overt racism and deranged ranting with more than 400 people turning up to spew their hatred but after reading some of the comments I’ve decided that I quite like our RWNJs.

  4. KJT 4

    “The world faces a serious leadership crisis in both the corporate and political worlds. Incompetency is not the issue. Rather, it is that those at the top of the organisational feeding chain are too often morally bankrupt.
    Greedy and unprincipled corporate governance may have caused the world’s financial and economic chaos, but its impacts are now compounded by equally inept political governance, according to London-based corporate philosopher professor Roger Steare. “

  5. This doesn’t sound to good eh ?

    Mr Forrester, an ex pat Pike River miner said he and co-workers went to management many times, and safety concerns were discussed regularly between the workers.

    “[The] reason I didn’t push it too far was the fear of losing my job. The pressure is always on, they’re losing a lot of money, so they’re making you cut a lot of short-cuts.”

    “the mine “always had ventilation issues” and had to be “gassed out” due to high methane levels many times. He said his gas detection unit would go “off the charts”, suggesting the methane level was at an explosive level.”

    “many of the methane sensors, did not work or were not calibrated and the mine’s phone system needed to be upgraded.”

    “When he raised these concerns with management, he said they did not take it seriously.”

    “”I don’t believe management spent enough time in the mine. They spent too much of their time up in the office filling in paperwork.”

    and yet…

    Pike River CEO said “This is not like some big scary place which is waiting to kill them – it is simply a place they went to work in every day. There is no reason this or any other mine cannot be safe.”

    ” There have been suggestions there was an electric problem – the lights flickered. This one grew yesterday with suggestions a Pike River miner was hawking the yarn to the highest bidder.

    None of this sits well with Mr Whittall. He maintained yesterday that “gas readings, returned from hand-held monitors and measuring equipment in the mine, were logged on Friday at acceptable levels and signed off. ”

    Any suggestion of obvious or known safety lapses does not find traction with unionised staff or union leader Andrew Little.

    He met union members yesterday for talks on immediate needs and the continuation of salaries and wages, but there was a chance for anyone to give credence to the safety rumours. None did

    …someones either lying or covering up ?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      By saying that the gas readings were acceptable and then there was a massive methane explosion implicates his operation in several unhappy scenarios e.g. gas monitors were not working, it had become standard practice to ignore gas monitors, there were no gas monitors, etc.

      • pollywog 5.1.1

        …or gas built up so fast there wasn’t enough time to do anything about it.

        BTW is there any video footage of the second explosion ?

      • Richard 5.1.2

        It seems very unlikely that gas monitors would be ignored, absent, or *all* non-functional. I think that the workers themselves would a) notice and b) refuse to work under such circumstances.

        It seems plausible that workings at the mine could expose a gas pocket or something — and thus quickly (i.e. in a matter of minutes or seconds) create an explosive atmosphere. Presumably there are mapping systems to identify such possibilities, but I guess mistakes can be made — like the miners accidentally working in the wrong place, or someone looking at the map upside down or something.

        I suppose another possibility is that gas monitors (assuming they are fixed) were placed in such a way that gas could build up in an unmonitored zone. I assume that would have been carefully thought about, but maybe either a mistake was made in placement or gas monitors were not repositioned when further workings significantly changed the topography of the mine.

        Another outside possibility is that an unexpected type of gas was present and hence was not monitored for. I don’t think that is very plausible, and certainly all the evidence seems to point towards a methane explosion.

      • KJT 5.1.3

        Gas monitors are problematic as a safety device. They can only tell the concentration at one point. Layering and pockets of gas can exist in dangerous quantities close to the monitor without being picked up. A fast build up to LEL can poison some types of monitors. (A common type works by testing flammability over a filament. Obviously if it is over UEL at the detector it will not show) The more accurate tests such as a gas chromotograph are useful more in a lab.
        I don’t know what type they were using, but all types have limitations.

        The fact is some jobs are inherently dangerous and ultimate safety cannot be guaranteed.
        That’s why miners, helicopter pilots, oil rig workers and seamen get the big bucks.

        It is a standard practice in other industries where people are working in dangerous areas to have a person just outside in constant communication with those in the area. That is one practice in this case I would question.

        There were probably mistakes made, there always are, (not getting at anybody we are all human) which will help us to learn about preventing future accidents.

        On the whole though I think the management of the rescue was done very well in the circumstances and they were right not to risk rescuers when the miners were most likely already dead.

        • pollywog

          not being ghoulish, but i want to see evidence of the second explosion…or it didn’t happen ?

          • felix

            What makes you doubt it?

            • pollywog

              What makes you doubt it?

              natural distrust of management, police and mainstream media.

              just seems convenient that at some stage, if miners have been trapped/missing underground with no water, food, light and air following an explosion and their families are getting agitated about not getting in there to ‘rescue’ them after 6 days, while calling in to question the process and personnel calling the shots.

              someone has got to say ‘look chances are if they didn’t die in the initial explosion then they are near certainly dead now and we’re dealing with a recovery.’

              so just when you got the rescue teams tooled and lined up to go in, then suddenly a second explosion happens and it’s confirmed lethal with the line being pushed and toed is that everyone is dead… seems too convenient a truth

              and given the amount of media focussed on that place there should be some footage of the second explosion or some evidence beyond what i’ve seen/heard so far.

              • Richard

                There is “natural distrust” and there is “insanity”.

                There is no way that such a conspiracy is remotely plausible. It is just too idiotic and pointless.

                Probably there is some police/rescue footage — which if it exists won’t show anything much beyond what the footage of the first explosion shows. I’m sure a version of it will eventually be released.

                There is unlikely to be any independent footage. The media were not at the mine itself — hence why they spent a lot of time interviewing each other on street corners.

                • pollywog

                  it sure did nip the families pesky attitudes in the bud and if the point was to get them to accept the hopelessness of their lost ones situations

                  then seriously, you couldn’t invent a better event to bring finality and closure and justification for vindicating the cautious approach adopted by the officials than to have a secondary explosion.

                  and if anything, there should be better footage and evidence given the monitoring of the mine after the initial explosion.

                  I’d just like to see it is all. All we’ve got so far is Whitall and Knowles say so.

                  • pollywog

                    The deaths of 29 miners at the Pike River Coal mine should have been prevented, says a former mining journalist who calls police efforts to keep waiting families informed on rescue attempts “inadequate”.

                    He was critical of the way the police dragged out the information flows, which was “just torture for the families”, who held out hope for five days until a secondary explosion yesterday crushed it.

                    “All the evidence was that the men had perished. It would have been impossible for the men to survive the force of a methane-fuelled explosion, the fireball that followed, then the suffocating smoke and poisonous carbon monoxide,” Mr Morris said.

                    He could not see why the families could not have been given more detail.


                    the larger secondary explosion gave the officials the chance to run the line they should have in the first place.

                    having the rescue teams lined up to go in just before hand adds that feelgood bit of heroic drama, as if the teams were seriously briefed to find anyone still alive after 6 days.

                    • pollywog

                      Despite the mounting pressure, Knowles insisted the conditions in the mine made a rescue attempt impossible.

                      On Wednesday he was proven right.

                      As a rescue attempt was being discussed a second explosion ripped through the mine, extinguishing all remaining hope for the 29 men inside.

                      Yesterday, Knowles said it was “not a case of vindication for me. It never has been”.

                      “I’ve shed lots of tears and I continue to cry,” he said. “It’s taken a toll on me personally and also my team who are up there working.”

                      At the time of the second blast on Wednesday, Knowles was being briefed by rescue workers at the mine.


                      given the levels of toxicity in the mine how could they have even been considering ‘going in’ to be a “rescue”

                      …and crying policmen is always a nice touch for the MSM. Wouldn’t mind some footage of that either

                  • Richard

                    and if anything, there should be better footage and evidence given the monitoring of the mine after the initial explosion.

                    “Evidence” yes, but necessarially video footage. There were no media at the actual site (I believe). There’s no real point continuously videoing the mine entrance from the point of view of the rescue operation.

                    Realistically, any footage will be of a lot of hot gas and dust and debris exiting the mine. I.e. much the same as the footage of the first explosion.

                    the larger secondary explosion gave the officials the chance to run the line they should have in the first place.

                    Perhaps. But there’s no reason to suppose that the second explosion didn’t take place. That is just madness.

                    having the rescue teams lined up to go in just before hand adds that feelgood bit of heroic drama…

                    If the rescue teams were lined up to go in, then I suspect that will not be a coincidence.

                    If oxygen levels had increased, that could be construed as a good reason to think about sending rescuers in. However, oxygen levels increasing will also change the mixture of gases to become more explosive (assuming that the reason there had not been an earlier explosion was a lack of oxygen).

                    • pollywog

                      “Evidence” yes

                      … a lot of hot gas and dust and debris exiting the mine.

                      so lets see it is all i’m saying and what if the mine were collapsed down the end of the tunnel ?

                      surely there’d be plumes of smoke and gas erupting from the vents and bore holes they’d just drilled…

                      …and interviews with anyone who witnessed or felt or saw any evidence of a secondary explosion

                      seismic monitoring ?

                      anything…nah ???

                      and what happened to the military robot with the flat battery…blown to shit ???…that woulda looked choice exiting the mine in pieces at a fast rate of knots.

                      But there’s no reason to suppose that the second explosion didn’t take place. That is just madness.

                      madness maybe…but there’s nothing so far to suggest it did, other than taking persons with vested interests words at face value

                    • Richard

                      …but there’s nothing so far to suggest [a second explosion took place], other than taking persons with vested interests words at face value

                      They certainly have a vested interest in not looking like they are insane.

                      The sort of conspiracy that you suggest would rapidly and quickly collapse. The perpetrators would be villified and criminally prosecuted.

                      There is absolutely no chance of the type of conspiracy you suggest. If you think that there is you are absolutely insane.

                      There certainly are occasions where police etc seemingly conspire against the public good. This is not one of those occasions. The conspiracy you suggest is way too fragile, and it is totally and utterly without point from the perspective of those you claim would mount such a conspiracy.

                      Those in charge of the operation can absolutely defend what they did as being the appropriate and sane thing to do. Every step they have taken has been at the advice of expert panels. There is no need for them to create some ludircious conspiracy to cover up their earlier decisions, because they have nothing to hide.

                    • pollywog

                      There is absolutely no chance of the type of conspiracy you suggest. If you think that there is you are absolutely insane.

                      sweet…so just offer my insane ass up some evidence and point me to something to show there was a second explosion.

                      it should be simple as cos other than putting faith in the big fossil fuel business manager, toeing the MSM line and trusting the local country cop you ain’t put up shit so far

                      cos lets see, it’s not like any big profit driven company has lied to or misled the public or that the police have ever misconstrued the facts to relieve pressure on a senior officer eh ?

                      that shit doesn’t happen in good ol’ corrupt free NZ and of course we just believe everything the media colludes with politicians to spoonfeed us cos its in our best interests to be lied to and treated like mindless sheeple isn’t it ?

                      just where the hell do you think you’re living…the garden of eden ???

                      short of supplying incontrovertible proof, how else exactly would my mindless conspiracy rapidly and quickly collapse ?

                      i’d settle for another pic of the blown out vents from the first explosion showing further damage, an interview with some experts and witnesses or another pic from the CCTV monitoring the entrance cos the tunnel shouldn’t be blocked eh…otherwise where are they gonna park the jet engine to blow out the mine ?

                    • Richard

                      sweet…so just offer my insane ass up some evidence and point me to something to show there was a second explosion

                      What about this?

                      cos lets see, it’s not like any big profit driven company has lied to or misled the public or that the police have ever misconstrued the facts to relieve pressure on a senior officer eh ?

                      Of course, that sort of stuff happens sometimes.

                      Just not in these circumstances.

                      You are expecting us to believe that the dozens (perhaps hundreds) of professionals (from many different organisations) involved in this have conspired to fake the second explosion. That is totally and utterly crazy talk.

                    • pollywog

                      Thanks Richard

                      now thats what i’m talking about. glad to know they weren’t just making shit up about the blasts

                      that just leaves their safety records and equipment to be inspected for truthiness


                  • pollywog

                    A Westport man has told how he and three others ran for their lives when the Pike River Coal mine exploded at 2.37pm on Wednesday.

                    they were waiting about five metres from the smaller shaft for a helicopter pick-up when they heard a roar.

                    “It sounded like a huge jet coming. We just had time to get out of it, just run like hell…It was all just split second stuff.”

                    They had sprinted 10 metres down the ridge when an “enormous boom” blasted smoke from the two vents, blotting out the sky.

                    “I just know nobody could survive that second one (explosion),” Mr Bainbridge said. “You had to be there to realise it.”


                    scary stuff indeed !!!

        • pollywog

          Russell Joynson, a cousin of Queenslander William Joynson, who is among the 29 miners killed, said some tough questions needed to be asked about the mine’s gas monitoring system.

          Having only recently retired from a lifetime of mining, Mr Joynson said the dangerous buildup of gas that preceded the explosion should have been detected earlier.

          Queensland, which had suffered several mining disasters, used “tube bundle” systems that fed air to the surface. These would automatically sample the air regularly and set off an alarm when problems were detected, he said.

          He was unsure what system was installed at Pike River but wanted to know why it had failed.

          “When you’re starting off a new mine, the area they’re mining there has had a troubled past, and you’re spending millions on the mine, then you would have the best of everything, wouldn’t you?

          Pike River Coal chairman John Dow said the mine did not have a tube bundle system, but used something similar

          Methane monitors were connected to the electrical system and automatically shut down everything when it detected dangerous levels.

          However, no alarms were triggered before the explosion and no-one knew why, he said.

          “I can’t speculate on that, we’ve been telling everyone for a week now we don’t know what happened and what caused it so I’m not going to speculate any more on that.”

          Mr Dow said Mr Joynson had a fair reason to question the system and Pike River was determined to find out what had gone wrong. “[Explosions] shouldn’t happen … a coalmine has hazards but methane has been a hazard since man went underground.

          sure, 20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing, but this place, given its history, either sounds cursed or an accident waiting to happen

          especially taking into account the shelved report from 2008 which highlighted concerns and recommended additional safety officers accompanying each shift.

          you know the one Key can’t conveniently comment on cos he never read but you can sure as fuck bet Brownlee must have…eh ???

          so whats Gerry got to say about anything ?

          can someone with a TV news crew please stick a camera in his face and ask him something…anything ???

      • Vicky32 5.1.4

        I had heard something to that general effect, CV… 🙁

    • jcuknz 5.2

      What disturbs me is that it took two hours by shanks pony for the news of the explosion to get out … a very serious fault in the mines set-up I would think.
      The need and principle is illustrated by the example of railway braking system which changed from pressure to vacuum decades/century ago because it was a fail-safe system.
      There are moaners everywhere and this is a situation designed for them to spread their tales by journos looking for a story but without the knowledge to verify.

      • vto 5.2.1

        Just because people are not experts in mining and disasters does not mean they cannot ask questions. Especially in a situation like this.

        There are several very good questions that need asking and I struggle with those that tell the question-askers to just shut up and accept the authorities view and have blind faith. That is simply madness.

        Have people never heard of govts and companies and individuals making mistakes before?

        I say to those that tell the question-askers to shut up… S T F U yourselves. The questions are legitimate and need answering. Go live in China if you don’t like people asking questions. Idiots.

        edit – asking questions is not the same as bald uninformed criticism. jucknz this is not really in reply to your post, more general…

        • pollywog

          ask and ye shall recieve in abundance…

          There has been a third explosion at Pike River mine this afternoon – almost exactly a week to the minute of first blast which trapped the 29 miners.

          He said family members observing the minute’s silence would not have heard the explosion because it was only noted on CCTV footage.

          “Normally we could give this news to the family first.” But we had no choice in this instance as news of the third blast had been “leaked” to media.

          The first two robots which went into the mine were probably damaged by the second explosion and will be in need of repair, Pike River chairman John Dow said.

          There was CCTV coverage now from the robot that will be “worked over” for information, Collins said.

          “That will be made available to relative so that they can see what’s in that tunnel, those who want to see.”

          captcha : satisfy


  6. Tigger 6

    This sounds like a pleasant workplace…

    Love that whole ‘I’m the boss’ attitude that is on display here – reminds me of the government…

    • pollywog 6.1

      guy needs to harden up alright…

      a logger gets 34k for concussion from a hard hat being thrown at him and his feelings hurt then quits when told he needs to tool up properly…PFFFFT

      …sometimes you just gotta handle the jandal and sometimes you gotta pull the pin.

      • felix 6.1.1

        Nah, you need to check your timeline.

        First he got assaulted, then jumped through a few hoops designed to discourage him from returning to work, then had the dispute about tools & job description, THEN resigned and got paid out for all the bullshit.

        Looks like constructive dismissal to me.

        • pollywog

          yeah maybe…but he doesnt sound like he was cut out for logging.

          just not hard enough !!!

          and i don’t get how he got paid out for unfair dismissal if he quit ?

          doesn’t that set a dangerous precedent ?

          • felix

            That’s what I meant by “constructive dismissal” – if you can’t legally sack someone you just make it really difficult for them until they quit.

            And yeah, it’s illegal.

            • pollywog

              fair enough if its workplace bullying but sometimes youve just got to suck it up and prove yourself worthy

              man up to give as good as you get. logging isnt for soft cocks eh !!!

              doesn’t sound like this guy wanted to be a logger and was looking for an excuse to get a lawyer and go for wrongful dismissal.

              i wonder if he’s got prior form ? i mean, keeping texts…that was handy

              • KJT

                Bullying is not OK.

                The whole idea of trying to see what someone is made of by giving them a hard time is wrong.
                It doesn’t work anyway. I have seen some hard men crumble in a real emergency and some so called wusses come up trumps.

                • pollywog

                  absolutely it’s not OK but you’ve got to apply pressure to people to see how they’ll cope in real life situations ?

                  the guy ‘supposedly’ fainted while using a chainsaw and for all we know may have faked a concussion to get a week off work.

                  maybe he was de hydrated and got sunstroke while exerting himself too much from using a shit chainsaw to which the boss said the answer is a better unit.

                  otherwise damn, that must have been some David Tua like hard hat hit to the head. Makes you wonder how Keven Mealamu can go barrelling into a ruck head first week after week 🙂

                  From my perspective it sounds like this guy set the boss up for a ‘constructive dismissal’ by pushing his buttons and keeping the ‘relevent’ texts which were then taken out of context.

                  • felix

                    Yeah maybe, and I know what you’re saying.

                    But maybe his boss and workmates were just a bunch of cnuts.

                  • KJT

                    “you’ve got to apply pressure to people to see how they’ll cope in real life situations” ?

                    Which situation?

                    I know some guys who I would trust to race after me into a burning building who faint at the sight of a hypodermic.

                    Hazing and bullying proves nothing.

                    No one knows how they will react in a real situation until they have been in one. Some of your tough guys turn out to be gibbering wrecks.

              • Colonial Viper

                I guess putting up with being assaulted in the workplace is a good way of proving yourself worthy?

              • that is a sad attitude polly

                • pollywog

                  oh please…

                  i suffered heaps worse pressing in the woolsheds for a good few years as a younger. it helped make a man out of me.

                  can’t imagine what i would be like and how i would have suffered if i ran to the boss everytime some shearer gave me a bit of shit and the odd twat

                  • vto

                    Sounds like in Mr Polly’s world it is ok to subject a person of a certain type, in this case a more feminine type, to broad generalisations and prejudices and harassment.

                    Must remember that next time Mr Polly brings up people’s generalisations and prejudices and harassments about another type of person, namely polynesians.

                    You are just like a racist Polly.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Now victimisation is not acceptable but I do have to say that wrapping our youngsters in cotton wool hardly does their psychological or physical growth any favours either.

                    • vto

                      Of course viper, but it amuses me no end when Polly’s comments on this situation are compared with his many many posts over racist victimisation. I think its called hypocrisy. Perhaps his race needs to harden the f..k up when similarly subjected to such victimisation.

                    • pollywog

                      feminine…eh ? how the fuck is it a feminine type of thing to do what that guy did. ?

                      you’re just like a patronising homophobic sexist vto

                      but yeah, A-fucking-mazing…vto clap clap clap

                      how you can compare the attempted systematic assimilation of indignous people to a foreign culture by using force, coercion, bribery, confiscation, institutionial racism and a cultural bias based on a percieved sense of superiorty to legislate for breeding intergenerational welfare dependency

                      and make it seem like i’m the one who needs schooling cos some percieved softcock can’t handle a little workplace beef without bitching like a kid whos had his lollipop taken of him

                      and yeah all that shit has made us harder and stronger for it cos fuckers like you couldn’t kill us in spite of giving it your best shot

                      like if that prick had thrown his hard hat at me i woulda thrown it back twice as hard and told him sort his shit out befoe apoliogising for using his shirt as a rag. as it stands i wouldn’t have put past that guy to have used the shirt on purpose.

                    • vto

                      ha ha ha, thanks for showing your true colours polly. I bet you are just like you sound. A dick.

                      btw, happy to step outside if you’re up for it – sounds like the bash is how you deal with shit.

                      Last time I ever post re you. Out.

                    • pollywog

                      vt0…in real life you’re the kind of total waste of time space and energy i’d turn my back on and walk away on in mid sentence cos nah, the bash is so how i don’t deal with shit.

                    • RedLogix

                      i suffered heaps worse pressing in the woolsheds for a good few years as a younger. it helped make a man out of me.

                      And I’ve done time in woolsheds too. Seems to me that you learned a lot of the wrong lessons.

                    • pollywog

                      …and pray tell, given what you know of me, what lessons might that be ?

              • freedom

                normally the guys and gals who are not suited to logging get weeded out during the training or does this show that people are not getting the adequate training for these proffessions anymore

                another no depth rubberstamped unemployment training scheme perhaps?

          • marty mars

            Not hard enough? That’s just a line that means nothing – what is hard enough? Whether he was cut out for logging is irrelevant – he may not have been – but he shouldn’t have been bullied like that. IMO being ‘hard’ (or more relevantly pretending to be) is the cause of many of our problems.

    • Jim Nald 7.1

      Saw that. More progressive, more prudent.
      Cunliffe’s full speech at:

      • KJT 7.1.1

        I like the talk. Still need to see the walk. Have been severely disappointed by Labour to many times now.

        • Jim Nald

          I don’t disagree. I’m still living in hope. Or the alternative with Nats is bleaker.
          Labour needs to have their toes held to the fire so that they deliver. And progressive voices in the wider community need to keep them to their word and to ensure the rabid right don’t drown out the calls for changes and pull Labour in the neocon direction.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        You missed the bit about more privatisation then?

    • ianmac 7.2

      Cunliffe: “He reiterated Labour intended to change monetary policy by amending the Reserve Bank Act to broaden its targets while retaining the central bank’s independence and the current 1-3 per cent inflation target.”
      Isn’t that what Winston was pushing for and was rubbished?

      • Jim Nald 7.2.1

        Whatever Winston was pushing for, I’m interested to read the speech.
        I would support widening the scope of the Reserve Bank Act that needs to be reviewed & refreshed so that the RB doesn’t just have a tool but a range of tools (ie ‘tool set’ as Cunliffe refers) at its disposal to deal with the upcoming economic challenges.

      • Bored 7.2.2

        Bit fekkin late, 9 years in office and Labour refused to scare the horses. Now inflation will not be the issue, it is deflation that is likely to be the issue.

      • Herodotus 7.2.3

        Extremely light on any detail, so NZ is to be experimented on again. Many of Davids comments appear to be incompatiable with one another. Re Increase NZSF/Cullen Fund but no comments regarding investing locally- just what our current account needs. We need to save more-how can we. Tax inflows into NZ so will this include NZSF and the Cullen fund, what are the solutions to overseas capital flight?
        How will we attrached overseas investment if we tax then the investors will require higher returns.
        Given the bullet points inthe speach the support document will be interesting to read and substantive in volume. That is if there is support detail as we will be given from my understading a few months at best to read thru, yet to change our fin system 2-3 months is ok yet to review the voting system 5-6 years is inadequate. Priceless.

  7. joe90 8

    Bloody commies, out to get them since wayback when…..

    They came here with the idea that after trying socialism that it wasn’t going to work. They realized that it was unbiblical, that it was a form of theft, so they pitched socialism out. They learned that in the early 1620’s.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Just more RWNJ, neo-liberal BS.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      What Britain should be doing is ramping up taxes on the rich, they being the ones that caused the debt in the first place, and also defaulting on a hell of a lot of the debt that the speculators caused. This would rebalance their economy in such a way that it would start working again.

      We should be doing the same.

      • Brett 9.2.1

        Are you serious?
        From what I saw in this documentary, Blair and Brown should have been strung up with piano wire for what they did.

  8. vto 10

    Something lightweight, fun and inspiring after the last heavy week… People are awesome

  9. joe90 11

    Liquid Mountaineering is a new sport viral hoax that these guys reckon will be the next big thing

  10. Fisiani 12

    Looking forward to this blog reporting the public apology from Phil Goff and the Labour Party for supporting and defending Field the proven crook who abused his power as a member of parliament.

    [lprent: That comes under the policy for telling us what we should do. I’ve already left a note on one of your comments today, I think that you need a timeout. Come back in week after you’ve read the policy. It may take you some time as it doesn’t conform to the pattern of “the great thoughts of the dear leader” pattern and I suspect you’ll have problems understanding it. ]

    • joe90 12.1

      Yeah Fizzy, the case against Field was so convincing that Smith never had the balls to take it outside the house.

      • Fisiani 12.1.1

        That’s the arrogance of entitlement that the voters rejected in 2008,2009 2010

        • Colonial Viper

          And I think Bill English’s arrogance of entitlement is going to get nicely rejected in 2011, eh Fis?

          • Shamy

            Highly doubt that unless Goff develops a personality

            Never fear Viper, we will all enjoy another 3 years of your communist rantings against the govt post 2011 🙂

            • joe90

              And they’ve been coming for you since the 1620s.

              capcha: fun

            • Colonial Viper

              My job after Labour gets in will be to make sure that they do not forget their social democratic roots and to make sure they do the right thing by the many, not the few.

        • joe90

          Nah Fizzy, it’s you running around like the class sneak, Miss! Miss!, Phil did…….oh, and it was after the Inrgam inquiry had reported back and found what…….?

          BTW, hows Jonkey handling Pansy, ah, right, she’s no longer a minister so he cant do anything…

          • Fisiani

            So which one of you communists will actually admit that Philip Field is a lying scumbag Labour crook. None of you?????

            [lprent: What communists? Are you including me in that? As far as I’m concerned it is as bad as calling me a tory supporter. Button poised over the ban key…
            Ummm and earlier in the day I find you telling us what posts we should write. Finger depressed and released. ]

            • Fisiani

              So which one of you (take a deep breath and hold nose) independent free thinkers will actually admit that Philip Field is a lying scumbag Labour crook? Go on press the ban key if that offends you.

              [lprent: Already did it for a earlier different offense. Is the heat getting to you? Telling us what we should write about on this site is a Darwin Award level screwup. ]

            • joe90

              Oh, he was lying and he was a crook but as far as your ‘communist’ jibe Fizzy, go fuck yourself. You wouldn’t know one if you fell over one, arsehole.

              Simple minded fools like you continue to minimise the suffering of millions by comparing a working New Zealanders political party to totalitarian monsters.Fuck you.

              Oh, and btw, Fizzy, seeing as how you’re such a fan of the thief from Dipton, go suck.

  11. Pascal's bookie 13

    Nice one Taffy’s…

    …but what a “lovespoon” is?

    I’m wiley enough not to ask.

  12. Draco T Bastard 14

    Johann Hari: There won’t be a bailout for the earth

    Yet the world’s governments are gathering in Cancun with no momentum and very little pressure from their own populations to stop the ecological vandalism. The Copenhagen conference last year collapsed after the most powerful people in the world turned up to flush their own scientists’ advice down a very clean Danish toilet. These leaders are sometimes described as “doing nothing about global warming.” No doubt that form of words will fill the reporting from Cancun too. But it’s false. They’re not “doing nothing” – they are allowing their countries’ emissions of climate-trashing gases to massively increase. That’s not failure to act. It’s deciding to act in an incredibly destructive way.

  13. David 15

    Just read that Bruce Emery is to be released next month, how is it fair that he stabbed a 15 year old to death and gets 2 years in prison? Wheres Garth McWan*er to tell us that Emery is the victim?

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    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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