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Open mike 28/12/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, December 28th, 2014 - 171 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeThe Authors of the Standard are now in holiday mode. Posting will be less regular and dependant on individual author enthusiasm. Open mike will continue every day and prepare yourself for some year in review posts and some recycling of old stuff. And as R0b has said be nice to each other.

Open mike is your post.

The Standard is not a conspiracy – just a welcome outlet for the expression of views. Leaders that command respect will not be undermined by this.

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

Step up to the mike …

171 comments on “Open mike 28/12/2014”

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  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Life cycle analysis confirms renewables’ lighter footprint

    Even though wind turbines use 14 times the iron and solar plants use 40 times the copper as fossil fuel plants (including natural gas), the impact pales in comparison to the raw materials needed for fossil energy. Why?

    To keep coal plants going more coal must always be mined, but raw material extraction is a one-time event for renewable energy production.

    Fossil fueled generation costs far more than renewables. It is only our delusional financial system that makes fossil fuels seem cheaper.

    • gsays 3.1

      anton oliver did a great essay opposing the wind farms in otago.
      he was saying government departments could use accounting tricks to make the wind farm “viable” (financially).
      he opined that this was not their role and was unsustainable in the long term.

      i have questions about wind farming as a renewable resource.
      there is a huge amount of concrete poured in the base of a turbine.

      solar, solar, solar.

      this is from someone who choose to go off-grid after relocating their home.
      we did a solar/wind system.
      in a heartbeat i would get rid of/ sell the turbine and reinvest in more solar.

      how about getting government buildings to put a pv solar array up.
      use the lovely chch made grid tied inverter.
      there is a job scheme and it is not yet lunch time on a sunday.
      no charge (no pun intended) for this idea.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Wind generation is fickle which is why they pretty much have to be as big as possible and be in farms. In other words, they work when each turbine is measured by the mega watts and you’ve got several hundred of them.

        They’re just not viable at a household scale.

        • batweka 3.1.1.1

          That may very well be true (although there is a lot between household turbines and large scale windfarms). The problem is that the wind farms in Central would be generating power for the North Island. Also, I wouldn’t want a wind farm in my back yard to be powering increasing consumerist lifestyles*. Likewise, no more dams on the Clutha or Waitaki rivers.

          Better to let local communities decide about generation and tie it into local use or local benefit.

          *that alone is a good reason to put solar in every home in NZ. Nothing like the in your face relationship between solar generation and usage to teach you about the limits of nature and physics when you don’t have fossil fuels to burn.

          • vto 3.1.1.1.1

            A row of wind turbines on the Waitakeres would be of significant use.

            Maybe Aucklanders should stick some up there – good enough for everyone else’s landscapes to be blighted so maybe it is Auckland’s turn. They can generate their own electricity for a change……..

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1.1

              The Hauraki Gulf would be a better place.

            • lprent 3.1.1.1.1.2

              If you can’t put them offshore on the west coast, then the top of the west coast dunes would be more likely. The winds aren’t particularly strong in the upper waitakeres except at a few isolated locations.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.2

            Also, I wouldn’t want a wind farm in my back yard to be powering increasing consumerist lifestyles*.

            Best place for wind farms is offshore. Get more wind, more often and with less turbulence in it so that you get more power.

            Better to let local communities decide about generation and tie it into local use or local benefit.

            Can’t really do that due to the nature of renewables. Essentially, you have to have them spread out over a large area so as to maintain supply.

            And, yeah, no more dams – just maintain the ones that we have.

            • batweka 3.1.1.1.2.1

              “Can’t really do that due to the nature of renewables. Essentially, you have to have them spread out over a large area so as to maintain supply.”

              Not sure what you meant there. Why can’t a local community decide yes it wants a windfarm on it’s hills, but it wants the benefit too?

              • Draco T Bastard

                To supply power over an entire landmass using renewables requires that the supply be planned over that entire landmass. This pretty much precludes a local community having a say. They’ll still get the benefit.

                • batweka

                  How is a local community having a say different to an individual power company having a say? It can still be planned nationally.

                  “They’ll still get the benefit.”

                  How would the communities around the Lammermoors have benefited from a windfarm there?

                  • greywarshark

                    Having an argument about machines in the landscape to provide electricity to enable life in the country, with locals who aren’t interested in anybody else’s but their own wants and needs, would be similar to the arguments with people not wanting prophylactic fluoride in the public water supply. Endless, emotional, nostalgic, irrational, obdurate.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “prophylactic fluoride”

                      so you accept it’s a medication. No medical treatment without a patient’s informed consent is a pretty simple and well established principle – don’t you think?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Nope. Google gives me:

                      a medicine or course of action used to prevent disease.

                    • batweka

                      “Having an argument about machines in the landscape to provide electricity to enable life in the country, with locals who aren’t interested in anybody else’s but their own wants and needs, would be similar to the arguments with people not wanting prophylactic fluoride in the public water supply. Endless, emotional, nostalgic, irrational, obdurate.”

                      At the moment that’s pretty much what happens*, except that local communities are on the back foot as they don’t have the resources that big business does for the fight. Nevertheless there have been some good successes eg the Lammerloors was stopped, and I doubt there will be another dam on the Clutha.

                      *Except of course the bit about selfishness and irrational emotion. The selfish people are the ones that want endless power supply for luxury goods in a world that’s fast becoming a parody of itself while other people suffer and die.

                      As for emotional and irrational, I’m remembering Manapouri, Aramoana, Paparoa etc, all spearheaded by locals who gave a shit about something bigger than themselves. Emotion is a fine motivating force when it connects us into life in the larger world.

                    • greywarshark

                      Haha CR caught me out did you? But you know how often there is talk of wilful ignorance. When people as a group are trying to do something recommended as good for all, the irrational must be listened to, but not necesssarily left to be the deciding judges.

                      And that applies to batweka. I am tired of seeing obeisance to opinions of any sort from any body capable, or nearly incapable, of making one, all being treated as equal not when it comes to nationally important matters.

                    • batweka

                      “And that applies to batweka. I am tired of seeing obeisance to opinions of any sort from any body capable, or nearly incapable, of making one, all being treated as equal not when it comes to nationally important matters.”

                      I am tired of people making obscure statements in lieu of effective communication in a debate.

                      Obeisiance to who by who?

                      Nationally important matters? So we should all defer to who exactly if we’re not going to take any notice of locals?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      When people as a group are trying to do something recommended as good for all, the irrational must be listened to, but not necesssarily left to be the deciding judges.

                      Pretty sure that is exactly the way the 0.1% view the thronging “irrational” emotional, poorly informed, flighty masses, btw.

                      Decisions of import should clearly be left to their ‘more rational’ betters amongst the power-elite. Of course, if it is sorely needed to appear democratic, pretend to hear the mob out, nod and make notes attentively. Then proceed as you were going to all along.

                      (Does one need to point out how it is the very highly qualified “expert” and “professional” classes who have made so many greviously poor judgements in the past, and who even now are speeding our civilisation to the very brink and beyond – let’s put even more faith in them, yes?)

                    • greywarshark

                      Yes CR there is a problem about who should plan and implement for future needs and present conditions. Both central and localised power can result in problems. But putting one’s belief into one OR the other is not wise. Looking at the results from both sides.

                      But how to get past the listening to the strident few? We know that they often have viewpoints that save the many, so they shouldn’t be dismissed merely on numbers. The masses are often conformist, manipulated by clever PR, and reluctant to show initiative even if it involves spending $! now to save $5 in 5 years, so their superior numbers don’t provide safety for best decision making.

                      And I don’t believe in letting God decides. He/she helps and guides them who seek to make good change, ie help those who help themselves.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    How is a local community having a say different to an individual power company having a say?

                    Whatever makes you think that I’m in favour of individual power companies? They increase inefficiency, decrease planning capability and generally fuck things up.

                    Power generation is a natural monopoly and should be treated as such.

                    How would the communities around the Lammermoors have benefited from a windfarm there?

                    By having power.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Sorry mate, but you continue to push your concepts of fragile, highly centralised, technologically complex systems run by an authoritarian Wellington bureaucracy which will become increasingly disconnected to local needs and difficult to afford, and which assets can easily be sold off by the next Tory government.

                      Localisation, decentralisation and community democratisation are the keys to resilience. Get on board mate.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      They’re not fragile nor particularly complex. Wind turbines have been around since about 200 BCE and all power generation requires is a magnetic field and some metal moving in relation to each other.

                      As I keep pointing out, we will always be able to afford them because we will always have resources available to produce them.

                      Localisation, decentralisation and community democratisation are the keys to resilience. Get on board mate.

                      Yeah, building power generation right across the country is centralisation…

                      oh, wait, no it fucken isn’t. What I describe increases resilience while what you describe decreases it.

                      And I’m pretty sure that you’re one of the people who keeps saying that we can’t have direct democracy which really calls into question your call for greater democratisation.

                    • batweka

                      “By having power.”

                      They’ve already got electricity. How does a windfarm on the Lammerloors make any difference to that?

                    • batweka

                      “They’re not fragile nor particularly complex.”

                      He’s talking about the system, not the turbines.

                      What happens when the Alpine Fault shifts and we lose the SI power generation because it’s centralised? As it stands at the moment, that’s what’s set to happen. Adding windfarms into that system won’t change that, irrespective of the ownership models. That’s the point about resilience (although there are economic resilience issues as well of course).

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      How does a windfarm on the Lammerloors make any difference to that?

                      By helping to ensure that they continue to have electricity.

                      What happens when the Alpine Fault shifts and we lose the SI power generation because it’s centralised?

                      It’s not centralised – it’s across the entire nation.

                      Adding windfarms into that system won’t change that,

                      Yeah, actually it will as they’re across the nation and not just in one place.

                      That’s the point about resilience (although there are economic resilience issues as well of course).

                      What you propose doesn’t add to resilience – it takes away from it.

                    • They’ve already got electricity. How does a windfarm on the Lammerloors make any difference to that?

                      So we’re talking about a basic NIMBY, ie yes we like having mains power, we just don’t want it being generated anywhere we can see it. Fuck ’em.

                    • batweka

                      Draco, please explain how the system is resilient when a single event like the Alpine Fault shifting can take out the SI power supply. I don’t meant supply to the SI, I mean supply from the SI.

                    • batweka

                      Milt, do you think that Manapouri should have been raised then? Where’s the limit on development? Or are you saying we can have perpetual growth and eventually build power generation wherever is possible irrespective of consequences?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      They’re not fragile nor particularly complex. Wind turbines have been around since about 200 BCE and all power generation requires is a magnetic field and some metal moving in relation to each other.

                      How much fabrication, maintenance and systems control experience do you have in an industrial context???

                      As I keep pointing out, we will always be able to afford them because we will always have resources available to produce them.

                      DTB, I’m talking about the centralised state planning bureaucracy that you want running things and making all the decisions for the rest of the country.

                      Some centralised co-ordination will be useful of course. But regions need to have their own generation which they own and be semi-autonomous.

                      As for direct democracy one citizen one vote referendums vs localising democracy out of Wellington.

                      They are not necessarily the same thing at all. Don’t conflate them.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      please explain how the system is resilient when a single event like the Alpine Fault shifting can take out the SI power supply. I don’t meant supply to the SI, I mean supply from the SI.

                      Because it’s over the entire country and not just in Te Wai Pounamu.

                      Really, which bit about that, which I’ve now said three bloody times, did you fail to understand?

                      How much fabrication, maintenance and systems control experience do you have in an industrial context?

                      WTF that’s got to do with anything? We already know how to make the necessary stuff and have done so for a long time. We’re not going to lose that ability.

                      But regions need to have their own generation which they own and be semi-autonomous.

                      Actually, they really don’t.

                      They are not necessarily the same thing at all.

                      One maintains a hierarchy and the other gets rid of it. I’m in favour of the latter whereas you prefer the former.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’m talking about the centralised state planning bureaucracy that you want running things and making all the decisions for the rest of the country.

                      I’ve never said that I want that. In fact, I’ve spent the last several years saying that I want direct democracy and raising ideas as to how it can be achieved.

                    • batweka

                      “please explain how the system is resilient when a single event like the Alpine Fault shifting can take out the SI power supply. I don’t meant supply to the SI, I mean supply from the SI.”

                      “Because it’s over the entire country and not just in Te Wai Pounamu.

                      Really, which bit about that, which I’ve now said three bloody times, did you fail to understand?”

                      Probably the bit that you just keep repeating when I ask for clarification, instead of explaining further.

                      Ok, so you consider a system to be resilient that can lose a massive chunk of its generation. Good to know. That means we don’t actually need any more generation, we should be able to make do with what we’ve got now.

                      Out of curiosity though, which parts of the system do you think are redundant in the case of sudden generation loss like the Alpine Fault one? Although maybe that’s a silly question because if most of the SI can’t access power the NI can probably carry on as usual. Be interesting to know who, if anyone, has done the figures on that.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Probably the bit that you just keep repeating when I ask for clarification, instead of explaining further.

                      Ok, so you consider a system to be resilient that can lose a massive chunk of its generation. Good to know.

                      No you idiot, I consider that when an earthquake takes out a small chunk of the grid the rest of the grid will keep working.

                      Are you really so stupid that you can’t understand that I’m NOT talking about putting all the generation in one small area? That it will be distributed across the country? And that all these generation areas will be inter-connected?

                      An Alpine Fault release will destroy some of those lines and some of the generators but not all of them. The rest will remain connected to the grid and thus continue to supply power across the country. The people cut off will also have their generators in the area and so will likely also still have power.

                    • Milt, do you think that Manapouri should have been raised then? Where’s the limit on development? Or are you saying we can have perpetual growth and eventually build power generation wherever is possible irrespective of consequences?

                      I was too young to have any real knowledge of the arguments for and against raising Manapouri. Presumably there was merit to both. However, if it didn’t go ahead because a bunch of people felt very strongly that it shouldn’t and made a big fuss about it, that’s a political outcome, not an evidence-based one.

                      Also, consider the flipside: is there any existing power station that environmentalists wouldn’t have opposed if they’d been around at the time? Any that the current energetic crop of NIMBYs wouldn’t have dragged through the courts if it had been built anywhere near them? The fact that we have any power stations at all is because previous generations were prepared to accept that electricity has to be generated somehow.

                    • batweka

                      No you idiot, I consider that when an earthquake takes out a small chunk of the grid the rest of the grid will keep working.

                      Are you really so stupid that you can’t understand that I’m NOT talking about putting all the generation in one small area? That it will be distributed across the country? And that all these generation areas will be inter-connected?

                      Of course I get that, duh. Why are you not getting what I am saying?

                      When you say that the SI generators are a small chunk of the grid, what kind of proportion are you thinking?

                      An Alpine Fault release will destroy some of those lines and some of the generators but not all of them. The rest will remain connected to the grid and thus continue to supply power across the country.

                      Yes, but there will be significantly less generation right? ie less available power. So which bits of the system do you consider to not need power?

                      The people cut off will also have their generators in the area and so will likely also still have power.

                      “Likely” doesn’t equate to resilience. Most of the SI as far as I can tell is still operating on the hope that the big one doesn’t hit within our lifetime.

                      Damage to hydro electrical generation plants and transmission lines will result in an immediate shutdown of South Island power generation and widespread disruption of reticulation. Electricity supply is likely to be unavailable for many weeks or even months in some remote areas.

                      The Clyde Dam has been built to very high specifications and it is unlikely it would suffer catastrophic damage.

                      http://www.orc.govt.nz/Information-and-Services/Natural-Hazards/hazards/Earthquake/

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Why are you not getting what I am saying?

                      I am getting what you’re saying. It’s of no relevance.

                      “Likely” doesn’t equate to resilience. Most of the SI as far as I can tell is still operating on the hope that the big one doesn’t hit within our lifetime.

                      Actually, it does. We cannot prevent catastrophic failure, we can only mitigate against it and that is what renewables spread out across the country will do. Exactly as you say you want while you argue against it.

                    • batweka

                      “I am getting what you’re saying. It’s of no relevance.”

                      Fuck off Draco. And thanks for wasting everyone’s time in a “I’m right and everyone else is wrong” one sided conversation.

                      Pretty sure you have no idea what I’m talking about, given you’ve refused to answer quite specific questions. This is another spectacular example of piss poor communication on ts.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Pretty sure you have no idea what I’m talking about, given you’ve refused to answer quite specific questions.

                      I know what you’re talking about and I’ve answered every question you’ve asked.

                      Specifically you’re talking about every community having it’s own generation to build resilience. Unfortunately for you what you’re saying is a load of bollocks due to the nature of renewable generation and resilience. A small community that only has it’s own renewable generation is not going to have a stable power supply and a catastrophic even such as you describe will ensure that it has no power at all.

                      To get what you want we have to have a national grid with renewable generators spread across the country through multiple redundancies. Then when the catastrophic failure happens not everywhere will lose power and there’ll be a high probability that power can be maintained to most places and that places that do lose power could have power returned to them reasonably quickly.

                      We can’t stop a catastrophic failure. It will happen. All we can do is mitigate against it and try to minimise its effects and even then we’ll probably fail.

                      You’re demanding that when that catastrophic failure happens then everything will continue on as if nothing happened and that’s got to be more delusional than our bloody financial system.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      WTF that’s got to do with anything? We already know how to make the necessary stuff and have done so for a long time. We’re not going to lose that ability.

                      It’s relevance is that you’ve got no idea what makes a reliable, robust system in practice, and what does not.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      It’s relevance is that you’ve got no idea what makes a reliable, robust system in practice, and what does not.

                      Actually, I do. You were just trying to use it as an ad hominem.

                    • McFlock

                      just out of interest, CV, How much fabrication, maintenance and systems control experience do you have in an industrial context?

                    • batweka

                      “I know what you’re talking about and I’ve answered every question you’ve asked.

                      Specifically you’re talking about every community having it’s own generation to build resilience.”

                      No you haven’t, and no I’m not. So go stick your arrogance and your assumptions up your arse. And don’t bother pretending that you are here for anything other than wanting to be right. This is the reason why ts is too often an echo chamber. The game is far more important than change or learning something.

                    • batweka

                      “You’re demanding that when that catastrophic failure happens then everything will continue on as if nothing happened and that’s got to be more delusional than our bloody financial system.”

                      And doubly go fuck yourself. I’m not demanding that at all and you still have no idea what I am talking about because you’re so stuck in your own assumptions. And then you have the gall to call me stupid. Christ on a cross, if you applied half your intelligence to communicating effectively then maybe we’d actually get somewhere. Stop making assumptions, check things out, clarify, listen and hear. Unless of course you’re just here for the sound of your own voice.

                    • McFlock

                      SI power generation isn’t centralised.
                      There are half a dozen separate hydro schemes I can think of off the top of my head.

                      Transmission has slightly less redundancy, particularly the higher-voltage network going to the cook strait cables. But in the short term much of the shortfall could be accommodated by increasing production in the NI generators, e.g. Huntly. Auckland might have brownouts, but that’s nothing new. Longer term it would be a problem, but short term it would be endurable.

                      But basically, it’s a network. Anything big enough to seriously disrupt it would cause a shedload more problems that have a higher priority – most places that need power have standby generators to respond to more local events.

                      As an example, any earthquake big enough to break all three cook strait cables would probably have some pretty devestating effects on wellington. But then Wellington’s grid power demand would probably decrease markedly due to being seriously fucked by an earthquake.

                    • batweka

                      I think centralised is being used in two different ways in this conversation.

                      “Transmission has slightly less redundancy, particularly the higher-voltage network going to the cook strait cables. But in the short term much of the shortfall could be accommodated by increasing production in the NI generators, e.g. Huntly. Auckland might have brownouts, but that’s nothing new. Longer term it would be a problem, but short term it would be endurable.”

                      What’s short and long term in this context?

                      “But basically, it’s a network. Anything big enough to seriously disrupt it would cause a shedload more problems that have a higher priority – most places that need power have standby generators to respond to more local events.”

                      Chch residents might beg to differ on that.

                      “As an example, any earthquake big enough to break all three cook strait cables would probably have some pretty devestating effects on wellington. But then Wellington’s grid power demand would probably decrease markedly due to being seriously fucked by an earthquake.”

                      Is that likely? (the 3 cables going). I’m not sure what the ORC think is going to happen, but I assume that the Hawea control gate goes, so no storage at the top end. Clyde is considered safe, but I don’t know how much the loss of Hawea would affect it, or whether Clyde survives but is not functional. I also assume loss of transmission lines and other infrastrucutre, and that that will be the biggest issue. On the Waitaki side similar – the dams survive but the lines and infrastrucuture are down.

                      I’ve not seen a good explanation on what exactly would be the cause of the disruptions, but there seems to be a general consensus that resinstating power will be majorly hampered by other quake damage (to roads, bridges etc). Lots of lessons learnt from Chch too.

                    • McFlock

                      Short term is generally how long a competent repair job would take. Long term is planning for decades to come.

                      What do you mean by “centralised”? I took it to mean “broadly in one location or controlled from a single facility”

        • tc 3.1.1.2

          You also need them facing in a few directions to generate whichever way the wind blows and being mechanical they can be costly to maintain once out of whatever warranty you can get.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2.1

            Wind turbines swing so they’ll face anyway that the wind blows.

            You have to do maintenance if you’ve got a warranty or not. In fact, for new cars you don’t get a warranty unless you maintain it to the manufacturers standards. I suspect that the same would be true of wind turbines.

            • tc 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Domestic ones may but then you another point of failure being the rotation axis.

              All the larger commercial ones are fixed and assume a certain wind direction last time I visited a wind farm.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yawing

                Modern large wind turbines are typically actively controlled to face the wind direction measured by a wind vane situated on the back of the nacelle. By minimizing the yaw angle (the misalignment between wind and turbine pointing direction), the power output is maximized and non-symmetrical loads minimized. However, since the wind direction varies quickly the turbine will not strictly follow the direction and will have a small yaw angle on average.

                Having a wind turbine fixed in place would really, really stupid.

              • alwyn

                What utter rubbish.
                The wind turbines are always aligned so that they point into the wind when they are operating, and they turn to take up this position.
                The only time they don’t do that is if a turbine is shut down for some reason. And yes I am quite sure of that. I can see the Makara wind farm out the window as I type this.

              • Murray Rawshark

                What made you think they were fixed? I can’t remember ever seeing a fixed wind turbine. As DTB hints, it would not be the most sensible of designs.

          • Murray Rawshark 3.1.1.2.2

            You have to maintain any machine that generates electricity. The turbines in the dams are not install and forget either.

            • batweka 3.1.1.2.2.1

              which means they’re not really sustainable as they rely on non-renewable resources.

              • Draco T Bastard

                No, actually it doesn’t. Everything that goes into producing hydro, solar and wind generators can be produced without fossil fuels.

              • Murray Rawshark

                If you want to be totally pedantic about it, everything relies on non-renewable resources to some extent. It’s the rate at which those resources are consumed that makes something sustainable or not. Think about organic gardening. Would you use a steel spade? Iron ore is non-renewable, but would you call an organic garden not sustainable?

                • batweka

                  This is exactly my point. True sustainability doesn’t work via reductionist thinking. You have to look at the relationships and the context, think in systems. A steel spade that’s made to last 100 years and is repairable is more sustainable than one that’s going to break after five and end up in the landfill. But it’s still also going to depend on how many spades you need relative to how much metal you have (and that’s going to depend on how many people you have wanting to organic garden). Then there are the issues of where the metal comes from, can it be reused at end of spade life, what resources are needed to mine more or to recycle etc.

                  There is a point where we have to stop thinking we can just keep digging up stuff out of the ground forever. By the time we get to Peak anything, it’s far too late. This isn’t being pedantic, it’s about changing how we think, and realising that all things have to make sense within nature. So windfarms are a good transition to power down, but they’re a stupid idea in the context of perpetual growth. But even with powerdown, they’re not sustainable in the true sense, and if we are honest about this we will make far better decisions about resources than we currently are.

                  • Murray Rawshark

                    There are no good ideas in the context of perpetual growth. I’ve said that before.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Or the concrete aspect of it, consumption maximisation.

                    • batweka

                      “There are no good ideas in the context of perpetual growth. I’ve said that before.”

                      ae, but to get to a post-perpetual growth world we have to change our relationship with the world, including how we think about resources.

                      By all means build windfarms, but understand they’re not perpetual. Manufacture, maintenance, decommissioning all use non-renewable resources. When we understand that, our choices and priorities change.

      • millsy 3.1.2

        In a few weeks, I am due to move into a house with solar panels (offically for water heating, but apparently the whole house can run off it, according to the land agent (probably a better salesperson than electrical engineer).

        Anyway, will be interesting to see how the power bill goes.

      • saveNZ 3.1.3

        Solar is the way to go. On a domestic scale the solar panels are guaranteed for 20 years while most wind generators are about 5 years. There is more maintenance for wind turbines. With the price of power all government buildings should be on solar and new builds should have to use solar. The power companies are noticing this, so to screw the consumer they are putting up the ‘daily charge’. It is something like $1.80 per day before you even use the power. My advice for anyone domestically deciding to build, is to go off grid completely so you don’t have to pay to connect to the grid. Then you can just have a generator for really cloudy days and no daily charge.

  4. James Thrace 4

    I see Pete George is back. What a horrendous way to end the year.

    *sigh*

    Time for another round of only reading the articles and skipping over the comments section entirely. It is hard to pick out the gems from the shit when PG appears everywhere in the comments thread, derailing, defecating and obfuscating as he goes.

  5. Chooky 5

    Gorbachev , the man of peace who brought down the Berlin Wall and advocated detente with the USA and West ( some say a naive fool) now argues that Putin has saved Russia

    http://rt.com/news/217931-gorbachev-putin-saved-russia/

    Who is Putin?…three experts give their views …and it is a different Putin from that portrayed by the mainstream Western media

    http://rt.com/shows/crosstalk/201083-russia-putin-popularity-west/

    “Mikhail Gorbachev served as general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the USSR’s only president from 1988. He led controversial perestroika reforms that are believed to have accelerated the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev’s rule was also marked by the warming of relations with the West”…”Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost (“openness”) and perestroika (“restructuring”) as well as summit conferences with United States President Ronald Reagan and his reorientation of Soviet strategic aims contributed to the end of the Cold War, removed the constitutional role of the Communist Party in governing the state, and inadvertently led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He was awarded the Otto Hahn Peace Medal in 1989, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 and the Harvey Prize in 1992, as well as honorary doctorates from various universities”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Gorbachev.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Putin recently did his annual mega-press conference. 3 hours unscripted in front of the global press, no questions barred, all questions answered live and off the cuff, no autocues. No other major leader – Cameron, Obama, Xi Jinping would dare to front up in the same way.

      In fact, some journalists complained as last year, Putin did 4 hrs and they felt short changed this time around.

      • Chooky 5.1.1

        yes pretty impressive …and the mark of an honest man with nothing to hide imo

      • The Al1en 5.1.2

        CV, if you love him that much why don’t you marry him? Oh that’s right, you can’t, not in russia anyway because putin has enacted homophobic legislation and you’d be persecuted, beaten and improsoned.

        Honest man with nothing to hide 😆

        • Midnight 5.1.2.1

          Putin isn’t my type…sorry!

          Years of knowing someone who can be so cruel, it literally puts you off, the chemistry just disintegrates. It doesn’t come back.

        • vto 5.1.2.2

          what proportion of the worlds population live under such rules alien?

          • The Al1en 5.1.2.2.1

            Is that a rhetorical question? I hope so because I wouldn’t have a clue, but not that makes the state legislated homophobia any less cruel or un ‘left wing’.

            • vto 5.1.2.2.1.1

              I have no idea what the proportion is either but generally history and scale is an indication of the level of human acceptance of various things – an example being that which you mention. Not saying whether it is right or wrong, just that history and scale of approach are indicators of human tolerance.

              Human tolerance is a major factor in setting societal limits, as is also right and wrong. Sometimes the masses are guided by the leadership, sometimes the leadership is guided by the masses ….

              Gay rights (for want of better description) is perhaps a good example of these competing factors – if viewed from out of space.

              just saying

              • The Al1en

                Sounds like a bit of a cop out argument to me.
                Either it’s homophobic and bad, or it’s homophobic yet excusable because it’s someone I like or someone who’s against something I dislike.
                I’m all for grey, but some things some times just have to be black or white.

                Just saying.

        • Tracey 5.1.2.3

          yea, i am not sure why the haste to paint Putin as all good… especially as he is a doyen of capitalism

          • vto 5.1.2.3.1

            as a semblance of balance

            like Russia has always been painted as backwards, rough, poor, uncivilised, and evil of course…..

            • Tracey 5.1.2.3.1.1

              so, to balance a misconception, one creates another misconception.

              the disparity of wealth in russia is as bad as any nation criticised regularly here. a few, including Putin, are getting enormously wealthy at the expense of the many.

              i have been in russia. i have seen many things, including the sights of people lighting up and falling over themselves to assist because they got the equivalent of a two euro tip. which told me how much difference such a small amont makes in their lives, which told me how poor they are.

              I enjoyed getting past their rather dour exteriors to find people like every other. friendly helpful and loving a good time. but the daily grind, the poverty, and the decades of oppression arent far away. Mr Putin is perpetuating that life.

          • The Al1en 5.1.2.3.2

            That’s one of the bad things about some left wingers for me, that like most people, despite saying all the proper things to the proper people, they can’t see past the ends of their own agendas.

            I get anti americanism, and anti capitalism and anti antisms, but to paint such an oppressor of people as some sort of romantic hero is just bizarre.
            He manipulated his way to retaining power, he’s imprisoned and victimised his legitimate political opposition, cut energy supplies for political gain and engaged in an expansionist agenda whilst all the time thumping his iron fist over Chechnya, South Osettia, Crimea, Ukraine and all the former soviet states that want to become part of NATO, which brings me full circle to point one – Why do some lefties back putin whilst sacrificing the rights of self determination by independent sovereign states?

          • greywarshark 5.1.2.3.3

            @ Tracey
            I don’t think it is haste to paint him as deserving a medal for goodness. We are having a piecemeal discussion on what he is and what he is achieving and do we understand him and Russia apart from the obvious flaws. We hear so much from the USA and can’t understand it still, it seems important that our lack of understanding about Russia should be advanced so that the two super-powers get balanced bewilderment.

            • Tracey 5.1.2.3.3.1

              I get that but recently, rightly or wrongly, that is not what i get from some posters here.

              cv lauds putin for his speaking in front of journalist for three hours, answering all questions etc…

              but how many were fed beforehand just like ours.

              i, like alien hesitate to commend putin for fronting publicly and addressing every question when freedom of speech is under threat constantly in russia at his command

              • Colonial Viper

                Watch the 3 hrs. It’s on YouTube. Putin got a few soft ball questions, but he got many pointed ones about every area of his government, the annexation of Crimea, the Ukranian crisis, relations with Europe and the USA, etc.

                I agree with you that the press in Russia is sometimes slanted towards pro-government viewpoints and journalists can be harassed by authorities and law enforcement.

                But that seems to happen in a lot of countries nowadays, wouldn’t you agree.

                • Tracey

                  yes. and you agree that putin oversees a pretty oppressive regime, freedom of speech and economic advancement of the poor wise?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yep, absolutely. It’s Russia, after all. These people defeated the massive armies of Hitler and Napolean by throwing their own people at them.

                • Karen

                  Journalists can be harassed? No, journalists can be murdered. In the past 5 years alone 14 have been killed in Russia.

                  I find this lauding of Putin extraordinary. Russia is now one of the most inequal societies in the world. Read this report and open your eyes.
                  http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/10/19/russ-o19.html

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Karen. The Israeli government has killed more journalists than anyone else. Those journalist deaths you point to may have been due to the Russian government. Or it may have been due to the Russian mafia. Or the Russian oligarchs. The picture is less than clear. There is camera footage of US forces deliberately targeting and killing a Reuters camera man in Iraq. The US government put Sami al-Hajj, an Al Jazeera journalist in Guantanamo Bay for 6 years, even though it knew that he was completely innocent.

                    And as I mentioned, US armed and trained Israeli forces killed over a dozen journalists in Gaza.

                    Of course I know that Imperial powers do not have clean hands.

                    As to the massive income inequality you point to in Russia. Russians used to live in a society where every Russian had the right to housing which was theirs and they could not be moved out from.

                    The collapse of the Soviet Union, which the west engineered, ended that. Then the raiding of Russia by investment banks like Goldman Sachs and the World Bank (who were all keen to send their “advisors” in to help the Russian government, set up its current oligarchic system.

                    Nevertheless health and longevity statistics have improved massively under Putin, as well as the creation of a smoothly functioning economy with record low unemployment (under 5%). Which you will note, the west is striving once more to destroy again.

                    • Ad

                      So on the whole are you a Putin supporter?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I think that Putin has a statesman-like mettle, smarts and seriousness under pressure and provocation that Cameron, Obama, Abbott, Harper and Key just can’t muster. Do I support his policies and his politics? Not particularly. But I do think they fit the Russian psyche very well.

                      So in the end, I see Putin as being the right man to lead the Russian people this decade – and an overwhelming majority of them agree.

                    • McFlock

                      an overwhelming majority of them agree

                      especially the ones who want to avoid beatings or prison. Or a polonium enema.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey McFlock. Who do you think has run more politically motivated assassinations, imprisonment and torture programmes in the last 50 years? The USA or Russia?

                      Think Chile, El Salvador, Brazil, Nicaragua, Cuba, Argentina, Iraq, Panama, Afghanistan. Think of what happened to Osama Bin Laden. Think Abu Ghraib, think Guantanamo Bay. Think kill lists and think targeted killings.

                      Then, get off your high horse.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, I reckon they’re about even, most likely. Not that it’s at all relevant.

                      It says a lot about Putin that your best argument in defence of him is ‘ooo but the yanks are bad, too’. That doesn’t actually mean that Putin’s someone who should be in charge of a country.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Glad to see you got off your high horse.

                      I’m guessing that Putin will outlast all the current FVEY leaders, and do so with more public popularity.

                    • McFlock

                      I wasn’t on a high horse. I suspect that your perspective might merely have been skewed by the chip on your shoulder.

                      BTW, longevity is another thing that does not mean an individual is someone who should be in charge of a country.

                      Not that I can see Obama blatantly stealing a superbowl championship ring.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That doesn’t actually mean that Putin’s someone who should be in charge of a country.

                      I’d be fascinated to hear who you think “should” be in charge of Russia in that case, and I’d be fascinated to hear who you think “should” decide that. Seems like you want a say in it too.

                      Me, I think Putin has done OK after the mess that Gorbachev, Yeltsin and the western investment banksters left the country in.

                    • McFlock

                      He’s done very well at lining his and his friends’ pockets, finding constitutional loopholes, invading neighouring nations, and cultivating a nice wee cult of personality.

                      Improving life for the average Russian and maintaining basic law and order? Not so much.

                      Edit: to explicitly answer your question: the opposite of all the above

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Please name all the neighbouring nations you say that Putin has invaded.

                      As for lining friends pockets. He’s learnt that from the west. Blair, Harper, Obama, Key, Abbott. It’s standard practice, nowadays.

                      (By the way, if you thought Russia was ever in a thousand years going to let Sevastapol become a NATO base, you’re as delusional as the White House)

                    • McFlock

                      Chechnya, Georgia, ukraine. Off the top of my head.

                      And again, just because blair was bad, too, doesn’t mean we should be putin cheerleaders like you are.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Russia runs limited operations (well it’s hard pressed to do much else) in territories which are either part of it or immediately adjacent to it. With Georgia the whole deal was over in days and Russia left. With the Crimea. Well it’s always been Russian and that happened with maybe 5 lives lost. (And as I said, you’re totally delusional if you think that Russia was ever going to let Sevastapol get turned into a NATO base). Ukraine. Well, the Ukrainian government has killed thousands of civilians by shelling populated areas and launching airstrikes at crowded apartment buildings but of course you must must must focus blame on Putin.

                      Chechnya was very nasty. Lots of atrocities there. Russian territory though.

                      In contrast, the west loves to run operations on the other side of the world, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of troops at a time, cruise missiles, drones, airstrikes, etc. Eventually killing thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of civilians and leaving entire nations crippled and in total disarray.

                      Like I said empire is a messy business.

                    • McFlock

                      The chechens, for one, disagreed.
                      So do the Ukrainians.
                      I’m not sure what the Georgians would think about your ‘if you pull out quickly, it’s no harm no foul’ school of geopolitics.

                      But I guess empire really is a messy business.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah the Chechens disagreed. Lots of them would have preferred to have been independent from Russia.

                      If a referendum had been held and a clear majority of the locals had wanted independence from Russia, do you think that should have been respected both by Russia and the international community?

                    • McFlock

                      Maybe one that didn’t include 40,000 russian soldiers, or indeed wasn’t applied after two wars by an occupying power, and key groups weren’t calling for a boycott, maybe.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well you should respect the results of the public referendum which was held in Crimea then.

                    • McFlock

                      which one? Was there one that met those criteria?

                    • It says a lot about Putin that your best argument in defence of him is ‘ooo but the yanks are bad, too’.

                      It’s more a motive than an argument. Still, it produces some remarkably entertaining public demonstrations of sophistry so I shouldn’t complain.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Look where Russia is now. Putin has put back together a disintegrating country which was in utter financial ruin. It’s societal and civil structures were in collapse, with rocketing rates of death, less than one generation ago.

                      Shit, you guys are a tough crowd to please.

                    • Chooky

                      +100 CV…

                    • Karen

                      You obviously have a blind spot when it comes to Putin. I agree that the west engineered the collapse of the Soviet Union and this was disastrous for the majority of the population. But Putin is not the saviour of Russia.

                      Even the state figures admit over 12% of the population live in extreme poverty while billionaire oligarchs flourish. Putin is one of the richest of these. The level of corruption is horrendous and there is widespread abuse of human rights. What is Putin doing about this? Nothing, because he stays in power because of it.

                      Yes, this is true of many countries, but that doesn’t make it okay.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Even the state figures admit over 12% of the population live in extreme poverty while billionaire oligarchs flourish.

                      So, not much different from NZ then.

          • millsy 5.1.2.3.4

            Plenty of reasons why the left shouldnt love Putin, his resistance to Ukraine being turned into a labratory for post-GFC permanant austerity not-withstanding.

            His domestic policy hasnt really been talked about, but from the sounds of it, those at the bottom havent had the benefits from Russia’s oil and gas boom, and fossil fuel revenues has largely gone to the wealthy in the form of a flat tax.

            That said, his economic policy involves the government controlling sectors of the economy regarding as ‘strategic’ ie, ship building, aerospace, railways, heavy industry, etc, which puts him to the left of most of his ‘peers’ in other countries.

            I guess, on balance, he would be comparable to conservative leaders of the late 1960’s, early 70’s.

            His relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church should also be worrying. The Catholics have nothing on these corrupt hacks — I have seen photos online of ROC priests openly purchasing booze and porn in their robes. Nasty pieces of work. It was the ROC that supported Putin’s anti-gay laws. Its Patriarch Kirill, their leader, probably pulls Tsar Vlad’s strings.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.3.4.1

              Oh fuck off.

              Have a look at the western Presidents and Prime Ministers who have links to the Catholic Church.

              Then think about the paedophile scandals of the last many years. And the scandal in the UK over Parliamentary child sex abuse rings. And the cover ups through every level of law enforcement and the western political system.

              No empire has clean hands.

              BTW under Putin the economy has recovered strongly from Gorbachev and Yeltsin days, when western investment banks were destroying the country. Completely agree that there is a strong oligarchy now entrenched in Russia – but Putin pushed back and kept them in line.

            • nadis 5.1.2.3.4.2

              “and fossil fuel revenues has largely gone to the wealthy in the form of a flat tax”

              Millsy – I think rather than the benefits go to the wealthy as a flat tax, you’ll find the benefits have actually gone to Putin and his cronies as a flat skim off the top, padded contracs to their mates, and just general backhanders.

              And this:

              http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-billionaire-wealth-inequality/25132471.html

      • vto 5.1.3

        I agree. Lets see key do even 30 minutes – ha ha ha, Key is a puffball, Putin is a man

        • nadis 5.1.3.1

          I suggest anyone who defends Putin should read this book before revising their opinion.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/30/books/review/putins-kleptocracy-by-karen-dawisha.html

          $15 in ebook form and well worth it.

          Fascinating read – the scale of wealth that Putin and his cronies have stolen from Russia is unbelievable. It’s also quite clear from his behaviour that a strong Russia is incidental to a powerful Putin. His popularity is more a function of sate controlled media, economic largess to favoured sectors, and a police state apparatus that is highly efficient, ruthless and has no compunction in killing critics, journalists, competitors.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.3.1.1

            LOL

            Russia’s oligarchs and wealth thieves learnt from the banksters at Goldman Sachs etc. Who still provide them with financial services. It’s as simple as that.

            As for the surveillance and security state…well the west currently outdoes the East German Stasi in that western nations now monitor the communications and location of every citizen in real time. It really is impressive.

            • nadis 5.1.3.1.1.1

              Read the book. Then give us your informed opinion.

              • Colonial Viper

                Why should I waste my time? Your bankster fraternity is simply sore that they could not complete their heist from the Russian people in the 1990s. They did a pretty good job of it though.

                • nadis

                  You’re saying Karen Dawisha is part of the investment banking community? Really?

                  You really should read the book – then you would know the facts you are overlooking with your man crush on Putin. Or keep on putting up straw man diversions (bankster community, goldman sachs, catholic church etc) to move the goalposts. Are you trying to get on a young pioneers field trip to visit the motherland?

                  The only oligarchs Putin has ever pushed back on are the ones who thought they could do business without a payoff to Putin.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    8 Myths That Undermine Educational Effectiveness

    Myth #4: A Successful Program Works Everywhere

    Myth #8: Merit Pay for Teachers Improves Student Performance

    And that pretty much puts paid to everything that National has done or is going to do to our education system.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Apologies and retractions: How we botched in 2014

    Here at The Press we are committed to the highest standards of accuracy. From time to time, however, the football of error slips past the goalie of scrutiny and into the net of bungles. In an effort to remedy this we offer the following rectification of gaffes from the past year:

    *Recently it was reported that respected political journalist Patrick Gower starred in a hoax news item in which he shouted “This is the f…… news!” We would like to sincerely apologise to all readers who were offended by the phrase “respected political journalist Patrick Gower”.

  8. North 8

    Have 8 people staying with me at the moment 5 of whom are youngsters. Two of them (15 and 17) are visiting from Samoa for the first time and thought Waitangi would be a good number particularly for them. Checking the entry fee for Waitangi Treaty House / grounds I came across this (excluding outright lies) superlative piece of bullshit from TheGodKey re the reimposition of entry fees arising from nil government funding of this place of all places –

    “John Key, who is also Tourism Minister, isn’t happy.”

    ‘I potentially can’t stop them applying fees to New Zealanders, but my own personal view is they shouldn’t do that,’ says Mr Key.” – [WTF does ‘potentially’ mean here please ?]

    “But he won’t help either, saying the grounds are run with no funding from the Government.”

    ??????? – Paraphrasing – “As always folks I’m on your side – I disagree with it – I could help – I won’t – therefore it’s got nothing to do with me but don’t forget – as always I’m on your side.”

    http://www.3news.co.nz/politics/waitangi-treaty-grounds-entry-fee-angers-local-mp-2014092912#ixzz3N8avN06a

    • vto 8.1

      If the government is going to stop funding things public

      then the public should stop funding things government

      • Scheherazade 8.1.1

        Good Point!

      • greywarshark 8.1.2

        @ North
        lol We need an icon thing with a kiwi laughing.

        Thanks for that lovely piece of fudge – or was it toffee – (toffee is made with vinegar, which is, to complete the stream of consciousness trivia, good for cleaning things. Key should apply it liberally, daily, recommended for his spotty condition.)

    • Murray Rawshark 8.2

      If there’s one place of historical importance that should be funded, it’s the Treaty House. I can only suppose that NAct wants the public to associate Te Tiriti with something expensive so that it’ll be easier to get rid of.

  9. Scheherazade 9

    Wishlist for 2015,

    Unity, compassion, forgiveness, friendship, communication and connection, partnership, support, understanding, progress, harmony, happiness, laughter and good will, courage, excitement, risk, adventure, possibility, opportunity, determination, innovation, boldness, success, mystery, beauty and unconditional love…… forever.

    I wish upon a star tonight, may my wish be true!

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Londoners miss out as homes built as ‘safe deposit boxes’ for foreign buyers

    The control of plans for tens of thousands of new homes in London is now in the hands of foreign investors who are increasing their grip on the capital’s prime property assets, figures obtained by the Guardian have revealed.

    Sites for close to 30,000 homes are owned by just 10 investors in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore and Sweden, sparking warnings from politicians and housing industry experts that too many are being built to act as “safe deposit boxes” for international investors rather than for Londoners in housing need.

    How much is this happening in Auckland? It may not be as much as London but we can be sure that it’s not nill.

    • vto 10.1

      This exact phenomenon is happening on a large scale in NZ too. We come into contact with it – it is real and it is happening right now ….. huge money looking for a safe place to park up.

      Brings no benefit to us – just makes more of us tenants in our own land.

      This phenomenon will have a very significant impact in a few more years as it becomes more apparent, but the actions are being taken right now today.

      It is one of our looming very largest issues.

      • RedLogix 10.1.1

        Same over the Tasman:

        But the selling agents denied the tenants faced eviction. The houses sold for between $840,000 and $915,000 – as much as $200,000 above their written reserve price. “They were all Asian buyers …. they thought they got them cheap,” Robert Pignataro, of Strathfield Partners, said.

        “We had 350 people there, minimum, and we were just going from house to house.”

        http://news.domain.com.au/domain/real-estate-news/homebush-auctions-turn-violent-20141223-12c8qu.html

        Spent this afternoon with a young Chinese man we have gotten to know quite well. He’s a perfectly decent and educated man. But listening to him it becomes apparent he expects several hundred million Chinese to colonise all of Australia and New Zealand within a few decades.

        He doesn’t seem to particularly like the idea, but he says “some things you cannot change”.

        • BassGuy 10.1.1.1

          Earlier this year, a friend of mine was busy flat hunting, trying to find a two (or three) bedroom place for himself and his girlfriend, and their hobbies.

          While waiting for an appointment at the local real estate office, he saw a Chinese gentleman walk in, walk up to the secretary and ask to speak to someone. After a few moments, someone came out, and asked what they could do for him.

          The prospective buyer walked up to the houses for sale board and said he would like to buy some – and pointed to seven or eight, or more (I can’t recall). When asked to make an offer, he added a few tens-of-thousands to the for sale prices of each.

          Before my friend’s appointment had begun, each of those houses had been sold and there was a lot of excitement in the office.

          I’m unsure what conclusions to draw from this, beyond how wealthy that particular person must have been.

        • greywarshark 10.1.1.2

          Tibet deja vu. We will be a sure bet too, now the Chinese have found their feet, have money – will travel.

          Will we be just a portfolio in a bamboo folder in a wealthy Asian man or woman’s briefcase? Will their interest protect us from being yanked over to inflammatory wars in the Middle East? What wars will be fought in our part of the world? Will we be better or worse off than with our bunch of uninvolved greedies who come from Planet Key and beyond?

          Is this link an example of our future pattern?

          We can’t compete on the marching scene at any level with these Japanese.

          USA dropping military spending but shifting interest to South Pacific!

  11. Macro 11

    Five bits of research that shaped climate science in 2014:
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2014/12/five-pieces-of-research-that-shaped-climate-science-in-2014/

    1. Pacific winds drive surface warming slowdown
    2. West Antarctic glaciers show signs of collapsing
    3. Antarctic sea ice measurements hit record high (but why?)
    4. The link between Arctic sea-ice loss and extreme winters got a bit stronger. Maybe
    5. Record summer heatwaves are ten times more likely with climate change

    And it’s now pretty much official:
    2104 is the hottest year on record.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/dec/17/2014-will-be-the-hottest-year-on-record

  12. greywarshark 12

    The NY cop problem seems to arise largely because of their use of racial profiling. And particularly the practice of trying to prevent crime by watching and questioning those with the look of wrongdoers, which apparently is black people. Then anyone with the wrong profile in the area of a crime is a suspect, apparently before police even start to gather definite information.

    Racial profiling happens here People are pulled over because they are Maori. This has led to the cynical suggestion that there is an unwritten guideline in police training that ‘if you are Maori and in possession of a car at night, then you must have stolen it’. It is not just likely lads that have suffered this sort of intrusive, human-rights and free-citizens denying behaviour either, respected mature Maori can attest to the experience.

    Much coming from the USA about the NY cops. And the latest is that the police there are so entrenched in their behaviours, and angry that there has been the inevitable reaction, that concern raised by the chief politician for the area caused them to turn their backs on his eulogy for a slain policeman. Who then do they give their allegiance to? Each other? As gods and uncontrolled dispensers of order? And who is in charge in New York? Who keeps the police force true to the mission of respect for all people as we want a good police force to meet?

    Ex and serving black officers.
    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/off-duty-black-cops-in-new-york-feel-threat-from-fellow-police/ar-BBh9xQE

    • millsy 12.1

      The NYPD officers need to realise that the people of NYC, especially those of colour, are not the enemy.

      Over the past 20-odd years, they have been used essentially as goons by the elite to keep the rest of the population in line and, along with the justice system, to solve worsening social problems (ie ‘broken windows’, moving homeless on, etc).

      Giuliani likes to bang on about supporting the police, and law and order everywhere, but his record on pay and conditions for patrolmen suggest otherwise, especially given he slashed spending on education and social services and then handed SS-like powers to the police to deal with the fallout from that.

      • greywarshark 12.1.1

        @ millsy.
        That’s interesting background. That theme of slashing services and then strengthening the ‘forces’ against every crime, even harrassing people who aren’t committing offences, seems a tactic becoming familiar. Keep people buttoned down, knowing that their own political moves are causing problems.

        You put up something good the other day too which I have to go back to. I’ll be reading you in 2015 thanks for good info.

        The trouble is that changes from lawlessness in Ny seems such a good thing that noone could speak against it.

  13. Pete George 15

    “Yes, because everyone else, across multple blogs is wrong,”

    If you’re assuming it’s everyone against me then you’re quite wrong. If it was I’d have given up long ago. But believe it or not some people tolerate me and discuss and debate with me like adults – actually a lot more have taken that approach compared to the relatively small number of vocal opponents.

    And this isn’t just based on what happens on the surface. I often see that for every person that has an open bitch about a link I post 10-100 or more may follow the link.

    The visible anti-tr0lls are actually a small minority of those using blogs.

    • Sacha 15.1

      Look below, readers.

      What happens for you in non-online situations, Pete? Do people laugh and nod and respond like you want them to – or turn away, make faces and avoid you?

      You can do better if you are serious about helping change things.

    • batweka 15.2

      “The visible anti-tr0lls are actually a small minority of those using blogs.”

      Including the admins who ban you. How many sites you been banned on now? How many sites have banned me or any of the others calling you out on your behaviour?

      Spin it however you like, but there is wide disdain for how you engage across the blogosphere.

  14. Ecosse_Maidy 16

    I really don’t get The PG Trips Syndrome.
    He comes on TS passively disrupts, derails, trolls, you name it he’s done it. The reaction he gets here, is similar to what he gets on other sites, which ultimately they work him out and he gets banned. Here though it seems slightly different he comes back depending on length of ban, like a poor mans Halleys Comet.
    Is it a guilty pleasure that some enjoy on here? That the admins, tacitly allow the Poor Mans Court Jester PG to do his stuff, as it fills any white noise down time on the site, so it serves a purpose?
    Personally i wont engage direct on his nonsense as he just frames the narrative in his favour, yet I put my hand up I to have occasionally thrown a verbal snowball or two at HRH, The Legend on His Own Toilet Paper. yet enough is enough surely? The PG Cak o meter is approaching max, dispense with him. Emoticons etc, things only feeds his Ego of Attentionitis. Now he’s changing tack like a cheap Americas Cup Entry and saying he is misunderstood and listens more than he comments? Really?
    I have seen people on here, dispatched, on Ban Leave whom in comparison to Petey Pie are veritable Saints. Why is PG Trips given more latitude, allowances, benefit of the doubt, than other Pains in The Arses? I like TS as a whole, yet this when PG is back from re education cruises and appears like Marleys Politican Ghost, my spirits sink. Also , with his frothing burbling, self fact checking nonsense and taking over, whole tracts of convo and threads, how many good people whom may want to comment and get involved are put off by the Failed Mayor of Dunedin, Middle Earth or wherever??
    Perhaps a TS democratic Vote, Ban or No Ban PGitis for good!?
    Yeah Or Nay????

    • The Al1en 16.1

      I vote nay.

      Not out of support for pg tips, but because then we’ll all be at the mercy of clique hunts and resultant popularity contests. As one who speaks my mind and calls it as I see it, voting yes would be tantamount to forum suicide. Let’s not leave it to gang bang blood letting because something or someone ires.

      Ignore him, slag him or engage and best him in debate. Simple as that.
      10 to 1 the latter has the most silencing effect.

    • Paul 16.2

      I vote ban.

    • batweka 16.3

      I’ll be relieved when PG eventually gets his inevitable ban, but really it’s up to the moderators.

      In the meantime, there’s always the smileys 🙄

      “Why is PG Trips given more latitude, allowances, benefit of the doubt, than other Pains in The Arses?”

      He’s not. He’s just better at staying just within the rules.

      Have you read the rules lately? It becomes clear why PG isn’t even getting warnings at the moment. There’s also the bit about telling ts authors/admin/mods what to do 😉

    • batweka 16.4

      “The visible anti-tr0lls are actually a small minority of those using blogs.”

      Including the admins who ban you. How many sites you been banned on now? How many sites have banned me or any of the others calling you out on your behaviour?

      Spin it however you like, but there is wide disdain for how you engage across the blogosphere.

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