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Plastic Fantastic

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, January 26th, 2018 - 55 comments
Categories: capitalism, disaster, economy, Economy, Environment, International, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , ,

I’ve noticed a fair few articles in “The Guardian” over recent months on plastic pollution. It tends to be a numbers and weights game – “x” pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans, or more tonnes of plastic than fish in the oceans by some given date, or “plastic as food” with shots of starved or starving fauna. This one adds a new angle.

Plastic carries disease, and also causes disease by compromising the vitality of organisms.

She [Joleah Lamb – lead researcher] said that once a coral is infected, disease usually spreads across the colony: “It’s like getting gangrene on your toe and watching it eat your body. There’s not much you can do to stop it. If a piece of plastic happens to entangle on a coral it has a pretty bad chance of survival.”

One third of all individual specimens of coral from across 159 reefs during a two year period of study had become ensnared by plastic debris. Corals entangled in plastic were reckoned to be 20x more likely to suffer from disease and, obviously, being less robust, less able to recover from any bleaching event.

Like global warming, plastic pollution is a systemic characterisation of capitalism – a free externalisation of costs that might otherwise impact on profits. The published paper (Science Magazine) touches on this where it reports

By 2025, the cumulative quantity of plastic waste potentially entering the marine environment from land is predicted to increase by one order of magnitude. Using this projection and assuming that the area encompassed by coral reefs remains constant, we estimate that 15.7 billion plastic items will be entangled on coral reefs across the Asia-Pacific by 2025 (the “business-as-usual” scenario for global infrastructure: 95% CI = 1.7 billion to 149.2 billion items)

Sadly, in spite of having awareness around the systemic nature of the problem, Joeah Lamb is quoted in The Guardian putting the onus back on individuals and consumers.

“The take-home message for individuals is to be more considered about the amount of single-use plastics you are using and think about where your plastic goes. These little things do matter.”

That’s akin to the sermon around AGW that runs  “change the lightbulb and save the world”. It’s ineffective bullshit that allows the culprits to sidle off into shadows where they can conjure up new and wonderful ways to protect and augment their profit margins…while doing nothing in the interim that would impact on profit margins.

If you think that’s too harsh or hopeless, then take your mind back to CFCs and how hairspray became “public enemy number 1” while ICI (the principle producers of CFC) devoted their time and energy to exploring and developing unnecessary high tech solutions that would deliver them a new monopoly and continuing rising rates of profit.

That’s not to say we should all continue using plastic willy-nilly. But the problem is well beyond “the supermarket bag” and the solution lies in production, not consumer choices.

Edited: I’d written that BP was the principle producer of CFCs when it was ICI.

55 comments on “Plastic Fantastic”

  1. JohnSelway 1

    I have become hyper-aware of the amount of plastic I use and made changes accordingly. I get really annoyed when I am at the supermarket buying a single item and they ask if I want a bag. Particularly if it is something, you know, already in a fucking bag.

    Just last week I saw a woman buy a single can of soup, ask for a bag, wrap the can in said bag and carry it like a fucking can. I nearly chased her down but luckily cooler heads (my girlfriends head) prevailed.

  2. Pat 2

    we will choose to fail

  3. weka 3

    “That’s not to say we should all continue using plastic willy-nilly. But the problem is well beyond “the supermarket bag” and the solution lies in production, not consumer choices.”

    We need both and more. Individual action and commitment is needed because what the public wants is what politicians respond to, and they’re the ones that will regulate. The more people that are willing to change and give up some consumer privilege, the sooner we will get political action.

    I also think that choosing out of plastic as much as possible grounds us in the ecological realities more and makes it obvious that we are all responsible, not just some evil people over there with power. We also need ways to hold the evil people over there with the power accountable, and that requires commitment also. Mostly people are going about their day buying plastic without too much thought. Any govt that regulates that without a shift at the individual level is going to experience some push back.

    • Bill 3.1

      I disagree with some of your premises.

      The chemical/plastics industry is nearly a US$ 1 trillion per year business. And like fossil, it’s driven by identifiable actors creating markets, chasing profit and shutting down markets that might compete with their business/ impinge on their profits.

      In other words, it is (to use your terminology) “evil people over there with the power”.

      Democratically elected western governments, first and foremost manage the economy and are beholden to economic interests. (And a trillion dollars is a sizable economic interest) You and me and everyone else are secondary considerations who are to be “jollied along” and encouraged to play our part in making profits for capitalists.

      Sometimes our demands are such that compromises will be made to keep us happy/contained. But we have never been and will never be the principle reason a government acts in a particular way – it’s business first.

      • weka 3.1.1

        Yes, (we’re not in too much disagreement there). But I’m not willing to wait for the revolution. So I’m also going to work to effect change in individuals (who will also feature largely in the revolution).

        If it’s all about power structure that you refer to, then people are powerless, and if they believe they are powerless they won’t act. Which serves the power structure 😉

        On the other hand, people mobilising as individuals does effect change (we are not powerless). At least in NZ, the govt can’t dictate our behaviours to the extent that we also can’t respond to the plastics issue. We can, and should. I’m arguing both/and here (which you are too I think, but we just have different emphases).

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          Not willing to wait for the revolution either.

          In the words ascribed to Martin Luther King by Viola Davis in her speech the other day –

          I’m not ready to wait a hundred or two hundred years for things to change. That I think, actually, that time is neutral. That it can either be used constructively or destructively. That human progress rarely rolls in on inevitability. It is through human dedication and effort that we move forward.

          But whereas you and I, as well as many others, understand the need for revolution, and may act with that horizon in view, I’m thinking far too many still have closer horizons and a belief that “if we just work this thing out*” everything will fall into place.

          Lifting horizons or suggesting the existence of other, arguably necessary horizons, is something worthwhile, and more worthwhile than allowing what I’ll call ‘virtuous complacency’ to take root because “poly bag”, “green lightbulbs” and “fair trade purchases” all adds up (for some) to “doing my bit” and “all I can do”.

          * capitalism and fairly ubiquitous forms of government

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I agree with that. I would add that we can talk about the need for urgent systemic change and frame individual action as part of that. An analysis of the differences between superficial action that supports virtuous complacency, and individual commitment that underpins further action, definitely seems useful.

            I’d also still really like people to stop using so much plastic as much as they can.

    • The more people that are willing to change and give up some consumer privilege, the sooner we will get political action.

      I think you’re wrong there. I think that the more people who are willing to give up that consumer privilege the less likely the politicians are to regulate. They’ll say that these people are choosing and so we don’t need to regulate and thus allow the corporations to continue to create this pollution.

      We also need ways to hold the evil people over there with the power accountable, and that requires commitment also.

      So how do we do that when the majority of politicians are on the side of that evil?

      • weka 3.2.1

        Voting for the ones that aren’t. And putting energy into supporting them as much as we can (Greens just put out the word that they need more votes next time round if we want true change).

        “I think you’re wrong there. I think that the more people who are willing to give up that consumer privilege the less likely the politicians are to regulate. They’ll say that these people are choosing and so we don’t need to regulate and thus allow the corporations to continue to create this pollution.”

        Except we know that activism pushes change, and that some activism at least is dependent upon numbers. The push around plastics now is in part a movement of people who have already decided to make change personally (e.g. there’s a whole genre of blogging around living a year without plastic kind of thing).

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          Except we know that activism pushes change,and that some activism at least is dependent upon numbers.

          Activism does but making soft personal choices that don’t make the headlines doesn’t. And all activism is dependent upon numbers. A single person standing up won’t make any change. It’s all those that join them and make a lot of noise about it.

          • Bill 3.2.1.1.1

            The single person standing up might not make any change. But the single person standing up can inspire or compel others to stand up too. And that can make change happen.

            So I wouldn’t be so fast to dismiss the “single person” 😉

          • weka 3.2.1.1.2

            I wasn’t talking about soft personal choices, but even those are useful. See the comment to Pat below. We need to stop adding to the pile as much as we can.

            “And all activism is dependent upon numbers. A single person standing up won’t make any change. It’s all those that join them and make a lot of noise about it.”

            Sure, but some activism is successful with relative small groups of people working together. Other things need a mass movement. This is one of them.

    • Pat 3.3

      I would suggest that even if EVERYONE drastically reduced unnecessary plastic packaging AND governments regulated for recyclable/biodegradable materials tomorrow we will fail to avert the impacts of the environmental disaster underway….we have still to deal with the 50 years plus of refuse and develop and expand alternatives (that are likely to bring their own environmental damage).

      The issue is we have developed systems that concurrently create and support the underlying problem…we have outgrown our environment….and we have no other.

      • weka 3.3.1

        I’m old enough to remember when we didn’t use plastic anywhere near like what we do now. I’m totally up for doing that again even if it means less convenience. Cleaning up fifty years of plastic becomes easier when we’re not adding to the pile. It also requires systems thinking, and the sooner we get on that the better.

        • Pat 3.3.1.1

          I am old enough as well however that world is now confined to history (how much forest was lost to the packaging industry in the days of paper bags?) and in the time since the systems developed have replaced and expanded both the population and the supply chains …..they cannot be undone and replacement is not instantaneous nor without impact….

          https://www.thoughtco.com/current-world-population-1435270

          As i see it the only possible hope of turning this ‘supertanker’ of environmental degradation would be a complete redirecting of the worlds economies from consumption which given the timeframes involved would inevitably need to be authoritarian (which in itself presents disquieting issues)….and is certainly at odds with any democratic principles

          • weka 3.3.1.1.1

            Oh, I agree with you about population.

            Not about change though. It might go that way but it doesn’t have to.

          • David Mac 3.3.1.1.2

            We can make paper and cardboard products with low grade wood pulp. Felled logs are stripped of their limbs where they fall, those branches are left to decompose or pushed into piles and burnt. I think it’s waste that could go a long way to creating much of the packaging we require, then recycled or allowed to decompose.

            Yes in just a few generations many of the key plastic polluters were once green. Milk in glass bottles, supermarket bags of paper, cigarette lighters of metal.

            • weka 3.3.1.1.2.1

              The one that gets me is having to buy something that doesn’t need protection in a semi-hard plastic package e.g. nails from a hardware store. Or a new cell phone. Or most things. It’s stupid beyond belief.

            • Andrea 3.3.1.1.2.2

              ” those branches are left to decompose or pushed into piles and burnt. I think it’s waste”

              You could also consider those windrows as returning some goodness to the soil over time; habitat for many invertebrates and myccorhiza/fungi; soil protection while the pioneer plants re-establish; a seed bed for the first plants – such as gorse, Cortaderia, Clematis and Dicksonia.

              Stripping the soil cover usually leads to downstream pollution, loose logs coming downhill in heavy rain, and gullying, which will impact on water quality, as well as increasing erosion. We’re kind of short of good soils in this country. Forestry is usually put on the steep ‘tiger country’ that can’t hold pasture, or other ‘low value’ soils.

              But, if using all of the tree, right down to the roots and resin is what we ‘have to do’…

              Yeah, nah.

              On the other hand – the cellulose from food wastes is already being used to make a plastics substitute, and is reasonably biodegradable. At least the bacteria, etc, are already part of the ecosystems.

              What I’d love to see is a ruling that only plastics that can be recycled safely in this country should be allowed to cross the border, with very few exceptions. Maybe for medical devices.

              If China can refuse to import any more of some plastic wastes into their recycling streams – we can, too. And stop shipping our toxic yuck to Third World countries desperate for work and income. There has to be many better ways.

          • Bill 3.3.1.1.3

            When the producers fold their arms or stick their hands in their pockets, everything stops. The working class “just” has to uncover its roots and flex is all.

            • Pat 3.3.1.1.3.1

              Yes everything does stop (in that unlikely event)….including the production and distribution of life essentials….even more pronounced in urban areas where the bulk of the worlds population are increasingly drawn to.

              • Bill

                Pat. In the event, if I’m an ambulance driver, do you think I’d stop driving the ambulance? Or if I’m a nurse, that I’d stop nursing? Or that anyone would pressure anyone carrying out such activities to stop? I don’t.

                In the event, it’s about killing “a way”, not about killing people.

                Are there grey areas, in terms of what we do to ensure human welfare, that could see different people engaged in the same work make different decisions to one another? Probably. Is that a huge issue? No.

  4. francesca 4

    While we are still in the jaws of market ideology its an uphill battle to institute legislation for our own survival.
    Woe betide any who get between extremist market ideologues and their money.
    The outrage,!
    the feelings of emasculation,!
    the threat to personal freedom!
    if anyone threatens to take single use plastics out of the food chain,or suggests that eternal and endless growth is not possible without turning Earth in to a massive rubbish dump

    • Bill 4.1

      Woe betide any who get between extremist market ideologues and their money.

      If I were a spanner and thems was a machine, I’d be happily woe betided crunching them thar cogs 🙂

    • cleangreen 4.2

      Francesca is so right here.

      The global corporate machinery has set us all up to pollute ourselves.

      It seems like they want to exterminate us all now as Francesca says and you can see this also with every issue we look at where if there was an @option@ to use a safe choice rather than the toxic option they choose to use the toxic option upon us all..

      Just look at the dirty drinking water crisis now:

      I wrote a blog to Government ministers about this critical issue today so see this.

      Importance: High

      26th January 2018.
      For your consideration Minister Clark please;
      Copy to;

      Hon; David Clark,

      Minister of Health;

      Also sent to all below.

      ===============================================================

      Public Health – COMMUNITY letter;

      26th January 2018,

      Dear Ministers; – please consider this plan to use a safe water purifier rather than using toxic chlorine in our municipal water supplies please read the facts below and link to expert companies use of the safe alternative of using hydrogen peroxide and not cancer causing climate changing Chlorine.

      http://www.h2o2.com/products-and-services/us-peroxide-technologies.aspx?pid=112

      Why can’t NZ water scientists speak up for using Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) rather than the toxic cancer causing chlorine in our water supply as other countries do so widely now.
      Wake up NZ remember when we were really “clean-green?

      Quote;
      H2O2 is Widely Used
      Since it was first commercialized in the 1800’s, hydrogen peroxide production has now grown to over a billion pounds per year (as 100%). In addition to pollution control, hydrogen peroxide is used to bleach textiles and paper products, and to manufacture or process foods, minerals, petrochemicals, and consumer products (detergents). Its use for pollution control parallels those of the movement itself — municipal wastewater applications in the 1970’s; industrial waste/wastewater applications in the 1980’s; and more recently, air applications in the 1990’s. Today, hydrogen peroxide is readily available throughout the U.S. in drum, tote, mini-bulk, and bulk quantities in concentrations of 35% or 50% by weight.
      This is Hydrogen Peroxide
      Hydrogen Peroxide Powerful OxidizerAs simple as it may seem, the treatment of contaminated waters is as diverse and complicated as the operations from which it comes. In today’s environment, where merely transferring contaminants from one medium to another is no longer acceptable, it is no surprise that a powerful oxidizer like hydrogen peroxide that looks like water — in its appearance, chemical formula and reaction products — should be so widely used. This is hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) — a powerful yet versatile oxidant that is both safe and effective.

      Warmest regards,

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        Hydrogen peroxide is a fairly weak microbiocide compared to UV and chlorine, and has a very poor persistence in the distribution system. It has some uses in small household systems, fed by wells or rain water.

        H2O2 does have a place in water treatment as a pre-oxidant stage, but it’s never used as a standalone treatement in large municipal systems.

        The key to safe chlorine disinfection is keeping the dose rate down to about 0.8 mg/l, and ensuring the organics are filtered before the chlorine is added. All this is very well known nowadays, and in NZ the big city supplies are tightly controlled in this respect.

        Places that use chloramine instead of chlorine do worry me; there really is far less research on the byproducts of this. Which is why chloramine (last I looked) is not permitted under the NZDWS.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.1

          …has a very poor persistence in the distribution system…keeping the dose rate down…

          I suspect you may need to explain these concepts until your head is bleeding.

  5. McFlock 5

    I can understand the societal resistance to losing single use plastic bags, but why not legislate that any single use plastic needs to be genuinely biodegradable of photodegradable? Make ’em out of starch or something similar – the tech exists. Is there some barrier other than a moderate increase in cost?

    • weka 5.1

      The biodegradable tech isn’t that good, and photodegradable isn’t what we should be aiming for. It’s a fundamental principle of sustainability to restrict high input/output tech and goods to essential things and to make them last as along as possible. Manufacturing single use bags (even if biodegradable) is massively wasteful of the whole cradle to grave resource loop. Think electricity usage in that alone, or carbon.

      That shit just has to stop and the thing that’s preventing it is our economic system which believes that businesses should be free to do what they want or we will all starve.

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        Actually, the thing that’s preventing it is that for at least the last two thousand years people have found single-use packaging a very useful way of protecting stuff that they only need to carry once. We just make ours out of plastic instead of paper, glass, clay or raffia.

        Legislating how something is made is a more achievable step than changing how people want to use it.

        What’s wrong with the biodegradable tech?

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          I don’t think so. I’m early fifties and we used reusable tech for the most part for food storage when I was growing up. It’s been a long time since we wrapped things in leaves.

          “Legislating how something is made is a more achievable step than changing how people want to use it.”

          And thus we have climate change.

          “What’s wrong with the biodegradable tech?”

          Some of what is in NZ already is photodegradable being marketed as biodegradable (I assume because it works better), so putting aside that stuff, cornstarch doesn’t hold wet things very well. The ones that do hold wet things well are very high tech plastics that don’t biodegrade in the environment. They need an industrial composter. And you can’t recycle them in the current plastic recycling stream. So now you have another layer of tech needed (build more factories and all the resource and carbon costs of that, plus economies of scale mean NZ probably won’t bother, so there’s shipping etc now too), as well as supply chains. Because this shit isn’t regulated and neoliberalism rules, those supply chains will likely not happen or not happen very well (think CFC bulb disposal, or even the fact that we have the tech to recycle shopping bags but we don’t), so the plastics will end up somewhere else. Landfills and the Pacific Gyre.

          Sure there will be improvements in the tech as we go along, but nowhere near fast enough, and there’s still the issue of capitalism/neoliberalism (government telling us what light bulbs to use!!!).

          This is sustainability 101 stuff. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

          • McFlock 5.1.1.1.1

            True, but on the climate change thing regulating how cars are made and what they run on (e.g. France’s regulations re:new car production) is more effective than getting people to give up cars.

            So currently the degradable bags aren’t fit for purpose. Move back to paper/waxpaper?

            It wasn’t just leaves – roman amphorae were often disposable items for transport convenience. The beer bottle is another longstanding usually single-use item.

            I think that a sustained campaign about plastic bags, coupled with advocating for a less shitty substitute, could involve a regulatory change. ATM the only impulse is for retailers to charge for bags – they get ‘charity’ advertising (or pocket the money) and the amount is trivial to the shopper. The business has no incentive to change away from plastic.

    • Bill 5.2

      Some years back there was a product (a film) developed that was going to replace plastic food wrap on meat or whatever. It was made from shrimp. I don’t know why it never took off, but remember comments about it being visually not so appealing.

      I suspect major pressure was brought to bear by those in the plastic/chemical industry who were seeing a threat to “their” market.

      Legislation would be the obvious first step. But even if various free trade deal clauses didn’t constrain the ability of a government to legislate, again we have very powerful industry players (think tobacco) who have one aim and purpose – profit.

      How long did it take for various legislation around tobacco to come into force? What about vehicle emissions and efficiencies? Or even efficiency standards on bog standard electrical products such as vacuum cleaners, fridges, washing machines etc?

      Staying within the existing parameters of the status quo for argument’s sake, unless or until governments step up and supplant markets and market forces as being the primary determinants of production and consumption, then any movement on the legislative front will be slow, hampered and piecemeal.

      • McFlock 5.2.1

        Then there’s also the problem that plastic bags are already generally ‘good enough’ (from a cost/use standpoint) so there’s no major push to improve on them, unlike e.g. electric cars and battery tech.

        Bags are cheap, portable (in rolls or stacks), quick to use and generally do the job. They just don’t disappear after use, which is the main problem.

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.2.2

        Take heart Bill…there is much work being done here and overseas on ‘alternative plastics’.

        Some of the ideas make sound sense….others sound really exiting and innovative and almost sexy, but have very limited application and/or are prohibitively expensive.

        Now…guess which ones are most likely to score the much competed for research funding? 🙁

  6. adam 6

    Just one more example of the failure of politics to produce a solution.

    There are no political solutions to capitalism.

    All we are doing is venting into the void, whilst the rich get richer, but are never satisfied.

  7. The Fairy Godmother 7

    We need to tackle industry on this. I understand 80% of Auckland landfill is industrial waste. The building industry is particularly bad with Styrofoam packing. In fact packaging is a huge issue. Being careful individually is only useful in so far as it puts us in a stronger position to collectively challenge industry.

  8. Like global warming, plastic pollution is a systemic characterisation of capitalism – a free externalisation of costs that might otherwise impact on profits.

    Correlation != causation. Pollution is a systemic characterisation of all developed industrial societies, including the non-capitalist ones – in fact the Soviet ones could have taught capitalism a thing or two about externalising costs via pollution. A non-polluting developed society wouldn’t be a capitalist one, but let’s not make it sound like getting rid of capitalism gets rid of the problem.

    • Bill 8.1

      The Soviet Union (thankfully) no longer exists. Putting aside notions of what might constitute “development” there are no non-capitalist industrialised nations in the world today.

      And the statement about externalising costs is accurate.

      If a non-polluting developed society wouldn’t be a capitalist one then are you suggesting that development as industrialisation is only one possible form of development and/or that all industrialisation produces egregious levels of pollution?

      The forced adoption of coal to power mills supplanted a far more efficient and clean source of energy (water) and there is no reason I can think as to why industrialisation must involve huge levels of unmanageable and deleterious pollution.

      I can see why capitalist industrialisation will always mean run-away pollution (eg –
      because production is for profit, not for the things produced), so taking the specific capitalist or market drivers out of production could, though won’t necessarily, curb dangerous pollution. (eg – the state capitalism of the USSR)

      • Psycho Milt 8.1.1

        If a non-polluting developed society wouldn’t be a capitalist one then are you suggesting that development as industrialisation is only one possible form of development and/or that all industrialisation produces egregious levels of pollution?

        I’m saying that externalising costs via pollution would be a very tempting option for any kind of society in a position to do it, and therefore a conscious choice to prevent people and organisations from exercising that option would have to be made – regardless of what type of society it is. A capitalist society lacks the mechanisms to make that choice and properly enforce it, but there’s no guarantee a non-capitalist society (which the Soviet economies most certainly were, for all the “state capitalism” horseshit invented by their Marxist apologists) would do any better. If we just called this a problem of capitalism and therefore we must get rid of capitalism, we’d misrepresent the problem and the solution.

        • Bill 8.1.1.1

          …therefore a conscious choice to prevent people and organisations from exercising that option would have to be made.

          Yup. So a “conscious choice” expressed by way of (say) organisational structures around production that would preclude externalising costs through pollution. And whatever those structures may be, it’s not possible to develop them within a capitalist context.

          And given it would require (in my view) quite substantive democratic input and oversight, any statist solution is no solution at all either.

          I’m no Marxist btw, and it was Lenin who said the Bolsheviks were developing state capitalism. A part of their claimed rationale was a Marxist contention that a revolution ushering in communism could only happen in advanced capitalist countries (eg – at that time Britain or Germany) and so they were going to create a “staging post” as it were.

  9. Bruce 9

    Its a pity the greedy politicians were sucked in by the crooked business men, rockafella, du pont etc to outlaw hemp and hemp plastic and destroy the planet with their own toxic products. And now none have the balls to admit they were conned and repeal the bad laws they made.
    Hemp plastic is a bioplastic made using industrial hemp. There are many different types of hemp plastic; from standard plastics reinforced with hemp fibers, to a 100% hemp plastic made entirely from the hemp plant. Hemp plastic is recyclable and can be manufactured to be 100% biodegradable.
    What Is Hemp Plastic? – The Hemp Bottle
    hempwaterbottles.tripod.com/what-is-hemp-plastic.html

  10. cleangreen 10

    true every word bruce,

    These men were criminals all.

    Though they look credible they snuffed out any optionns for a better way for our environment and our health for greed.

    DuPont and the Dow families were bad dudes as they caused many to die inserting their ‘nylon 6’ originally known on the CAS registry as ‘vinyl cyanide’ but the term was frightening people from using nylon so they changed the name from vinyl cyanide to nylon.

    The DuPont family are keeping one of their family members under house arrest now for 20 yrs as the son of one family is outspoken about DuPont products being toxic and killing people.

    https://www.nrdc.org/stories/24-d-most-dangerous-pesticide-youve-never-heard

    As for Dow, well we all know about the Dow chemical plant making the only supplies globally in NZ as this 2-4D poison that is used to kill possums and other pests is now banned most other countries but not here.

  11. David Mac 11

    We used to pay a deposit on glass bottles. I bought a bike via lugging empty pop bottles to the dairy. I think the only reason those schemes wouldn’t work today is because the deposit is too low. Not worth an industrious 13 year old’s effort.

    What would happen if I paid 20 cents a bag at Countdown and the 20 cents was paid back to the kid that returns it to a depot? Same with bic flic lighters, pay an extra 25 cents at purchase and they’re worth that much empty. The blister pack on my new trailer tie-downs, 2 litre milk bottles.

    They’ve had the deposit thing going on glass bottles in South Australia for decades, they’d have a mega data base of info re: what works and why.

  12. Whispering Kate 12

    There is also another pressing problem – the amount of textiles from clothing entering our landfills. Charity shops are saying that the problem is becoming worse these days as materials being produced for clothing are inferior and not lasting for any length of time and instead of being able to recycle as they would like, almost everything they receive, the vast majority of it is in such poor condition they have to bag it up for the tip.

    The charities are spending huge sums of money a year having to pay just throwing junk clothing into our tips. Shoppers today can buy an entire new wardrobe every season and why wouldn’t they when they are so cheap and not meant to last, so it doesn’t matter to them if they biff the stuff in a bag and give it to the charity shops to get rid of it for them.

    Clothing today even if it expensive is not as well made and stitched/tailored as they used to be – its a junk consumerable society we live in. Phones have a shelf life now, whitewear has a shelf life – everything is made to just be chucked out. Its a bloody wonder the planet doesn’t tilt off its axis under the weight of junk we chuck out. It’s all going to come back and bite us on the bum one day burying us in all this throw away stuff we buy endlessly.

    • David Mac 12.1

      In Stockholm they built a landfill upward. In winter they have an urban ski-field.

      Of course it is with issues and I may be wrong but I live more easily with land fill than I do suffocating reefs.

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    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    5 hours ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    21 hours ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    4 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    4 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    5 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    1 week ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National supports slavery
    Meanwhile, while the government is planning to restore voting rights to prisoners, National is promising to turn our prisons into US-style slave-labour camps:The Opposition is proposing compulsory education, training or employment for prisoners who are serving sentences of two years or more. [...] On Sunday, National Party Leader Simon Bridges ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Erasing the infamy
    Last year, the Supreme Court confirmed that National's prisoner voting ban - a law so shoddily passed that it brought Parliament into disrepute - breached the Bill of Rights Act. This year, the Waitangi Tribunal added that it also breached the Treaty of Waitangi. And now, the government has finally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Trade unions that never fight the sex industry bosses
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the second part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • A Team Approach to Tackling the Psychology Replication Crisis
    Dalmeet Singh Chawla In 2008, psychologists proposed that when humans are shown an unfamiliar face, they judge it on two main dimensions: trustworthiness and physical strength. These form the basis of first impressions, which may help people make important social decisions, from who to vote for to how long a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Big Pharma has failed: the antibiotic pipeline needs to be taken under public ownership
    Claas Kirchhelle, University of Oxford; Adam Roberts, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Andrew Singer, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Antibiotics are among the most important medicines known to humankind, but we are running out of this crucial resource. Decisive action is needed if we are to retain access to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
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