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Open mike 27/02/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 27th, 2023 - 46 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

46 comments on “Open mike 27/02/2023 ”

  1. Ad 1

    With multiple 1-in-100 year events now occurring inside 6 weeks, it's time for Auckland Council to radically alter the budget it is proposing.

    Just like central government.

    Since the Mayor won't of course since he campaigned on low rates, it is time for all the Green and Labour Councillors to get together to propose their own alternative budget.

    They should not be afraid – they need to take a leadership position on the budget, and know that they will be fully in step with Government in doing so.

    Come on Labour and Green Councillors!

    • SPC 1.1

      La Niña is characterized by lower-than-normal air pressure over the western Pacific. These low-pressure zones contribute to increased rainfall. Rainfall associated with the summer monsoon in Southeast Asia tends to be greater than normal, especially in northwest India and Bangladesh.

      We're in the third year of a La Nina cycle (the first since 1950 and this time exacerbated by global warming). It's forecast to go go neutral soon and then back to El Nino for next summer.

      What we've had is not the new normal, it was an extreme – and will be rare with El Nino (more drought in the north and east of Enzed).

      But even La Nina combos (mostly 2 year only) that will happen within each decade when combined with worsening GW is enough to justify planning for resilience. And that and acting on recommendations will require funding – thus budget change. Then the part to be played by council in recovery – also budget impact.

      • AB 1.1.1

        Yes. As long as the El Nino – Neutral – La Nina cycle continues, we will get respites. These respites may be regional – one region gets hit badly in one phase of the cycle and other regions in other phases. Less optimistically, the cycle may give us different types of extremes – floods in La Nina, and heatwaves/fires in El Nino. More gloomily, can we be sure that 3 or more degrees of warming wont mess up this natural cycle in some way?

        It is right to assume we are on a generally deteriorating path until some time after net zero emissions are achieved and therefore should plan accordingly. The sooner net zero is achieved, the more likely it is that adaptation can be afforded – though the pessimist in me suspects that it already can't be.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    I do believe that long-term weather trends are linked to climate change.

    However, in the specific instance of Cyclone Gabrielle, and other recent weather stability in our area, there is an international study looking at whether there is a link between the recent Tongan eruption and Cyclone Gabrielle.

    From the article:

    NIWA principal atmosphere and climate scientist Olaf Morgenstern said there was no established link between the events, but it is believed the eruption increased the earth’s temperature.

    So, no established link between those events at the moment. But, in theory, there might be. Will be interesting to see if that eruption is linked to recent events.

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      Looking for the "out clause" for every damaging weather event will be seen, eventually, for what it is.

      • bwaghorn 2.1.1

        Claiming climate change causes every storm is as bad, storms been storming since for ever, climate change is just the coraline these storms get jacked up on.

        • Robert Guyton

          Agreed. There's no simple answer to "what caused this storm".

          \However, citing sun-spots, HARP or some volcano somewhere to counter the over-all AGW phenomenon is just feeble, imo.

    • weka 2.2

      AGW intersects with natural events. How would you ever separate them out? Trying to separate them out is rearranging the deck chairs.

      The Tongan volcano eruption tells us even more that we should be dropping GHGs as a much as possible. Everything we can do at this point to create more stability matters.

      • tsmithfield 2.2.1

        I don't dispute climate linked weather events at all. It makes absolute sense. A boiling kettle puts a lot more water into the atmosphere than a block of ice. And I agree it could be both working together.

        But, I think we need to be careful to ensure that we don't ignore other contributing events. Otherwise, we end up in the same camp as climate change deniers who point to every bout of cold weather as evidence that climate change isn't true.

        • weka

          I don't understand your point. Are you suggesting that climate change might not be a factor in Cyclone Gabrielle?

          • tsmithfield

            I am in agreement with you pretty much. I think that climate change definitely has a role. But it may have been exacerbated by the volcano. It is difficult to tease the two apart.

            Events like volcanic eruptions have been a part of weather forever. But, if that is combined with climate change, then the effects could well be a lot more severe than the would otherwise have been.

            But, if the extreme weather we have experienced is due to a combination of both the volcano and climate change, then all the poor sods up north may not have to experience those sorts of extremes every year.

            They still likely will get increasingly unstable weather. But, if the mix explaining the recent weather does include the volcano, then it may not be that bad again for quite awhile. So, I think it is worth the research being done to find out.

            I guess it strikes to the question of how much local mitigation and adaption will be required going forward.

            • weka

              whereas I think that climate change is here, now, and we're very behind on what we need to do and we just need to get on with it. Equivocating about whether x storm was caused by AGW or a volanco seems like a distraction at a time when we really can't afford it. For instance, if we go, oh maybe it's not going to be so bad after all, do you think that will make people resistant to change more or less likely to change?

              • tsmithfield

                For instance, if we go, oh maybe it's not going to be so bad after all, do you think that will make people resistant to change more or less likely to change?

                Not so much that. But more to do with whether we need to relocate whole swathes of the population or not.

                If the extent of flooding we saw in the NI is only likely to occur in a rare combination of circumstances then we may not need to put as much into mitigation and adaption. But, if this type of flooding is going to be the norm, then we probably need to be much more proactive in relocating communities.

                So, getting some understanding on this is quite helpful for planning for the medium term future at least.

        • Robert Guyton

          No sensible person is "ignoring other contributing events", they're/we're just not being deceived by those who drag red-herrings across the trail every single time there is a harmful weather event.

          • tsmithfield

            Chill out. Not everyone who points to some contributing factor outside climate change is a rabid climate change denier.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption is a possible “contributing factor” to the severity of cyclone Gabrielle's impacts on Aotearoa NZ and its people.

              One year later, a preliminary calculation has been done that suggests the eruption increased the earth’s surface by 0.1C.

              That’s a very small amount in terms of the overall global warming behind the increase in extreme weather events being experienced in the North Island, he said.

              The idea that New Zealand has been hit this summer by a deluge of rain is entirely consistent with what we expect based on global warming.

              No one can prevent large volcanic eruptions, but I can decrease my carbon footprint. It's really quite simple (not rocket science), if you're genuinely concerned about the consequences of anthropogenic global warming.

              How to reduce your carbon footprint – 20 top tips
              In brief, to reduce your carbon footprint, you’ll want to do things like reduce the amount of energy you use, eat fewer animal products, shop locally, travel smart, and reduce your waste.

              What have we learned in the last 4 weeks/years? We can be really dim bulbs.

              National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee says Kiwi bill payers will be stunned to learn that the Electricity Commission is planning to spend up to $3.5 million in the next year promoting energy efficient light bulbs.

              Labour’s priorities are so warped in these tougher times that Helen Clark plans to spend more than $3 million telling New Zealanders what light bulb to install.

    • Anne 2.3

      If there is a link it is a very indirect one.

      Cyclone Gabrielle was originally a weak low north of Fiji. It moved westwards into the Coral Sea not too distant from Queensland where conditions were ripe for it to become a Cat.3 tropical cyclone.

      The Tongan Islands are a long way from Queensland.

  3. SPC 3

    As we have been informed there is a reliable MSM and there is other less trustworthy news sources.

    So this must be really embarrasing for RNZ and TVNZ and the staff there.

    In 2021, Gunn suggested that an earthquake that hit the central North Island was Mother Nature’s response to then Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about new vaccination targets, passports, and the traffic light system."

    When litigation lawyers cite "act of God" as supporting argument …


    There is of course a growing career for the investigative journalist looking at the (origins) sourcing of money behind various "freedom fronts/other supportive narratives".

    Yesterday the New Zealand Outdoors & Freedom Party posted about the arrest and said Gunn was “now safe at home, surrounded by good friends” and that the arrest, which the post claims involved a “jumped up Karen” and a “bully cop” came as a “shock”.

    The Counterspin Media website …

    That list will grow.

  4. SPC 4

    The National party confirmed that it's targeting the jobs of so-called “back-room bureaucrats” to pay for tax cuts.


    It should be interesting to hear Nicola Willis explain the cost of the tax cuts and relate this to the number of workers and wages they are paid (and where they are employed).

  5. There is of course a growing career for the investigative journalist looking at the (origins) sourcing of money behind various "freedom fronts/other supportive narratives

    Given that this seems to be an interesting and public good project I am not sure why this has not been supported. It was widely posited that these organisations were obtaining finding from 'shadowy' figures supporting similar groups in the US & Canada.

    Even if they listed the NZ based supporters of the parliamentary protest in terms of on the ground support as part of the 'memories' series that Stuff is doing. I would be interested in some investigative reporting into who these firms were, do they still support the aims of the protest etc. I appreciate that some of this material is still live as these supporters continue eg Counterspin media and various other white supremacist groups. Some seem to have morphed into anti climate change groups.

    Wiki says this about who they were


    'The protestors were a mixed group, but the majority protested the COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates in New Zealand, while some identified with far-right politics such as Trumpism, white nationalism and Christian fundamentalism. The protest methods ranged from peaceful to increasingly violent'.




    • SPC 5.1

      Our own Nicky Hagar is a member of this group of investigative journalists.


      Those who would have a motive would oppose international co-operation on tax havens/regulatory oversight of offshore companies/trusts/international money movement – stateless money/power/influence as well as normal right wing agendas under the banner of useful populist causes "freedom" from government – national and and international regime (GW/environment/labour/migrant labour/offshore ownership and investment).

  6. SPC 6

    We've all come across cases where there seems to be two rules applying. Say a business or tax fraud case and a welfare fraud case and the disparate consequences.


    There is another, people who have a tertiary debt only pay it back when they they realise employment level of income but those with debt to MSD have to pay it out of their benefit income.


  7. joe90 8

    A cautionary tale for owners, and especially potential owners, of homes in low lying areas.


    But as the couple toured the area, situated on the banks of a sluggish river that feeds into the Chesapeake Bay, they noticed something alarming about the homes they were seeing. “We were looking at one house close to the water, and [our real-estate agent] started talking about flood insurance,” Sara recalled to me. “I said, ‘Really? In this area?’” The houses were about half a mile from the river, but monthly flood-insurance premiums on the homes were $800 to $1,000—almost as much as their mortgage payment.


    This displacement is at once profound and not very visible in the coastal housing market, where buyers and lenders are just beginning to digest the immense consequences of future sea-level rise. The value of all of the coastal real estate in the United States exceeds a trillion dollars, and a large portion of that value may vanish as buyers starts to shy away from homes most vulnerable to erosion and frequent flooding. As home values fall to reflect climate risk, wealthy homeowners and investors will dump their distressed assets and flee, while middle-class homeowners like the Langfords will be left to deal with climate catastrophes and costly mortgages. The resulting turmoil could reshape the Eastern Seaboard, threatening the growth of coastal cities such as Norfolk and potentially triggering a slow migration inland



    • Ad 8.1

      The Queensland and Brisbane floods last year are even more pertinent.

      Many years of Brisbane region plains citizens resisting the stop-bank works that might have protected them, or indeed any other scheme.

      Yet another 1-in-100 year event.

      That is why our flood recovery minister has got our officials engaging with them over lessons learned.

  8. Visubversa 9

    Gender ideology by stealth. The Census is so desperate to know your gender – they will make it up if necessary.

    "It's a problem because Sex Matters.

    Women need to be counted and this data collection method is prioritising the needs of one group over the needs of another.

    The new data standard is advertised as being necessary for the rainbow community to be visible – but how does it create visibility for women? We are a distinct sex class, not a "social or personal identity".

    Over the past few months supporters of Speak Up for Women have been busy emailing Stats NZ seeking clarification on the Gender question and the way that various responses will be recorded. We are concerned because we don’t believe in gender, it’s not that we have no gender, it’s not that we would rather not say, it’s that we don’t believe that anyone has a gender and we object to the question. It’s like being asked whether we prefer blue or pink unicorns and being unable to answer that we don’t believe in unicorns.

    We are concerned because Sex Matters. We want to be counted as a sex class."


    • weka 9.1

      They could have allowed people to answer 'no gender', but presumably that would interfere with their plans to use gender identity as the default.

      For those that aren't aware, Stats NZ have said that if you don't answer the gender question (or answer incorrectly), they will choose a gender for you based on data from elsewhere (including the sex question).

      • Molly 9.1.1

        Gender (as in identity) appears before the sex question, significantly increasing the likelihood it will be answered as if it relates to sex.

        Data most likely will be compromised but the number of answers stating a gender identity will be artfully inflated.

        What happens if you are a heretic, and do not believe?

        • Visubversa

          Stats seems to be working really hard to avoid the option of "I don't believe in any of this nonsense".

          And they propose one of the synonyms for "female" to be "transwoman".

          Obviously up to their necks in Gender Ideology.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 9.1.2

        Imho, questions about the “insidious” concept of gender won't go away anytime soon.

        Australian Bureau of Statistics slammed for failing to ask questions on gender identity and sexual orientation in the 2021 census [28 June 2022]

        Analysis of non-binary sex responses in the 2021 Census
        [27 Septmber 2022]
        The most recent 'Standard for Sex, Gender, Variations of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables' documents the ABS’ definitions of sex, gender, variations of sex characteristics and sexual orientation. The Standard describes that the best practice to accurately capture these concepts requires four separate questions. The four questions (sex recorded at birth, gender, variations of sex characteristics and sexual orientation) together lead to a comprehensive understanding of a person’s sex, current gender, if they have variations of sex characteristics and their sexual orientation.

        ABS asks what should be included in the 2026 Census [28 February 2023]

        Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender
        These legal protections are complemented by the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender, which commenced in July 2013. The guidelines recognise that individuals may identify as a gender other than the sex they were assigned at birth, or may not identify as exclusively male or female, and that this should be reflected in records held by the government. The guidelines also standardise the evidence required for a person to change their sex/gender in personal records held by Australian Government departments and agencies.

        Is nowhere safe from the clutches of 'gender ideology' – maybe move to Canada?

        A Question of Gender: Gender classification in international research
        [29 June 2022]
        Moving away from the more traditional binary question may also result in negative reactions from some research participants who could be less accepting of the additional options or potentially be confused by question wording that they don’t fully understand and thereby disengage from the project. Morgenroth et al. (2020) examine the nature of potential resistance to change in gender management that might be relevant to researchers. We assume that such reactions may differ widely from country to country and in different parts of society. We also note that in the UK those moving in the direction of the “politically correct” are described and often derided as being “Woke” and going too far in terms of change.

        Whilst our focus is principally on marketing research, we should note that in the wider context some countries do recognise that not all people identify as male or female and provide them with another option for legal documents, such as birth certificates, driving licences, national identity cards and passports. Examples include New Zealand, Denmark, The Netherlands, Iceland, Malta, Argentina, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, US, Canada and Australia. In some countries trans men and trans women are able to change the sex on their birth certificates to reflect their lived identity. For example, the UK Gender Recognition Act has allowed this since 2004. However, there is not yet any legal recognition of other genders or the ability to legally have no gender or an unspecified gender in the UK. Some countries are starting to gather official statistics on how the population defines their gender, but in other countries there is little to no investigation nor changes being considered. Checking these types of official documents may give useful clues to a country’s position on gender.

        Prepared by Canada and the United Kingdom [25 January 2019; PDF]
        One complicating factor for measuring gender identity is that for some people who are transgender, privacy concerning their transgender status is of paramount importance. The issue of privacy has been influential in how the ONS is considering asking questions related to gender identity.

  9. SPC 10

    The mantra of the 20th C was "gender equality", as per suffrage and the equal place in society of women.

    And here we are in the 21st C and we have some complaining about gender ideology. Some are Promise Keepers who believe in male leadership (or a form of equal but different) and others who want gender to have no distinctions from birth sex.

    For this reason the latter oppose terms such as cisgender because it is an affirmation of the concept that there are those who are not so.

    Which explains the politicisation of the census, as it enables some to identify a gender apart from birth sex.

    Once people would have complained if people could identify as having a sexuality not heterosexual, or complained that people could identify as having a form of faith seen as blasphemous (say unitarian, universal salvation, deist, gnostic, theosophy, witchcraft, etc).

    Some people are free to declare their birth sex and not answer the gender question.

    They will be determined to be cisgender. They are not the group being identified, these are those who identify other than their birth sex gender, and what the variants are.

    Others are free to identify their gender, but not identify their birth sex. The purpose here how many would do this. It speaks to the issue of allowing people to adopt an official identity at variance with their birth sex gender and or to change their birth identity certificate. Otherwise any significant numbers of those not conforming to birth sex cisgender stereotype, as to information to government.

    • Visubversa 10.1

      Unfortunately, you are confusing and conflating sex and gender. Sex is to gender what astronomy is to astrology. You are welcome to believe in astrology – millions do. Astronomy and its sister sciences got us to the moon and puts robots on Mars.

      You also use the term "cisgender". This is a term used by gender ideologists to falsely claim that there are two sort of humans – one "cis" and one "trans" and that they are some sort of equal variants. Sex in humans is bi-modal and immutable. To attempt to get around this fact, "gender" was used to attempt to establish an equality between physiological reality and psychological ailments or paraphillia.

      If the Census has to have a section on gender – it should be treated like any other ideology.

      • SPC 10.1.1

        If the Census has to have a section on gender – it should be treated like any other ideology.

        We also have the religious question.

        Your opinion about the existence or otherwise of God has no more relevance to that than your opinions on gender.

        Unfortunately, you are confusing and conflating sex and gender.

        No, I am explaining the census to you.

        Whereas you are using the census as part of a campaign to reject transgender women being able to identify as women and to label people as psychologically ill or with a paraphilia. The conservatives opposing homosexual law reform want their arguments back.

        • Visubversa

          Trans gender "women" have to "identify" as women because they are not women. There is nothing physical that separates them from the category of "men" and places them in the category of "women".

          They are men with a bodily dysmorphia, men with internalised homophobia, or men with various paraphilia.

          And don't you dare wave the Law Reform arguements at me. Gender ideology totally rejects the whole concept of same sex attraction. The very words are called a "transphobic dogwhistle". We are supposed to be same gender attracted these days – not same sex attracted. Lesbians are denied even the right to organise gatherings for lesbians without having to admit any man who opens his mouth and utters the magical incantation "I identify as".

          "Transing away the Gay" is the ultimate Gay Conversion Therapy.

          • SPC

            I would reply but apparently not even one sentence in my post (that was blocked) cannot be made again – not even by typing out the words afresh here in this box.

            • Incognito

              I have no idea why your comment might have been ‘blocked’!?

              • SPC

                It's a weird one alright, I referred it to LPrent at the time.

                And it's

                not even one sentence in my post (that was blocked) cannot can be made again – not even by typing out the words afresh here in this box.

                Debating the issue on another occasion might require some improvement in grammar and vocabulary, never too late to start I suppose …

                • Incognito

                  Clearly, it is above my pay-grade and ability. I can see the ‘test’ comment you made on Tuesday morning, which you then trashed. Weird indeed …

                  • SPC

                    I made a post on Open Mike 6 March (last one) – it appears Word Press has banned me form using the word sexuality when discussing gender issues.

                    Gone over the head of the site.

                    This reminds me of the old carnivore and echelon word search methods to identify subversives … now to censor/cancel culture?

          • Molly

            Cotton boxers is becoming an issue as more heterosexual women disrespectfully identify as gay men.

            (I can't think of a worse impact on well-being than targeting as the sole group for your intimate partners people that have a sexual orientation that excludes you.)

            • weka

              ‘The gay rights movement was about liberation, this is about control’

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