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Portugal

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, October 27th, 2015 - 38 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, climate change, democracy under attack, Economy, Environment, Globalisation, International, political education, Politics, science, vision - Tags: , , , ,

As initially pointed out by Draco T Bastard a few days ago in ‘open mike’, Portugal might be on the cusp of something.

The President has endorsed the formation of a minority pro-austerity government. The fact that the President is a former leader of a party the new Prime Minister was also a member of is, of course, inconsequential.

Also unimportant is the fact that Germany’s Angela Merkel has been reported as saying that a government reflecting the will of the electorate would be “very negative”.

So, Greece given a kicking. Italy’s electorate having unelected technocrats imposed upon them a few years ago.

This apparent crystalising of undemocratic governance in Europe, plus climate change, plus austerity, plus ‘free trade’ deals that concentrate political power in unelected and unaccountable international hands – these things don’t appear to be disconnected or entirely accidental.

The dots?

Briefly, it seems not unreasonable to suggest, and the suggestion has been made by eminent scientists, that economists have ‘informed’ climate modellers to allow for no more than 5% CO2 yearly reductions in their models. (No model factors in reductions beyond 5%). That’s had huge consequences for assumptions and parameters built into those models …ie, false peak emission dates, lower than actual rates of CO2 increases, reliance on non-existent technology to provide a guaranteed future fix etc. And it produces a rosy ‘do-able’ set of scenarios for avoiding 2 degrees C that entails nothing beyond a bit of tinkering around the edges of what we currently do and of how we currently live. Meanwhile, the ‘straight down the line’ science points to a need for 10% reductions. Not so rosy.

The contention made then, is that the only way the market economy and the power bases it sustains can survive in the face of climate change, is through a period of ‘controlled’ retraction.

Interesting times…

38 comments on “Portugal”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    NZ is small enough and with enough resources that we could stop the use of fossil fuels in 10 to 20 years without affecting our society too badly (Chances are we’d probably become quite a bit better off). After that we should be looking at actively removing GHGs from the atmosphere by such ways as using atmospheric carbon to produce products.

    • maui 1.1

      Instead we’ve burned through most of the cheap oil and wasted it on unsustainable car transportation and massive buildings and structures that will slowly degrade as we can’t get the resources to fix them. We could have rationed fuels and set ourselves up for a permanent affluent way of living, but we wasted it and will have to revert to a simpler lifestyle.

      No way will we be able to control the descent of our oil use, we haven’t been able to yet. Market forces will decide this, supply and demand.

      The right leaning folks will be looked on with more derision as the four lane motorways lie empty without the oil to populate the roads. What a gross waste.

  2. Kevin 2

    New World Order. QED.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      Yes. I’ve often said that is inevitable.

      Now exactly what sort of Order do we want?

      • Bill 2.1.1

        A democratic one. A non-centralised one. One that doesn’t create and maintain huge power imbalances.

        • RedLogix 2.1.1.1

          I’d expect the anarchist in you Bill to say nothing less.

          Nonetheless all functioning examples of human governance express hierarchy in some form or another. Governance at any level is dependent on authority, without which it becomes an impotent letter. And a global federation of any conceivable kind must have an identifiable centre.

          Given that an effective global governance of any practical sort will have these features of authority and hierarchy – then I’d suggest it’s really worthwhile to think about how we might achieve the ideal implicit in your third sentence.

          Because until you can demonstrate your vision of a ‘de-centralised, self-organising, self-regulating’ governance working anywhere in the real world – allow me to remain skeptical. As skeptical as we have learned to be of the much same idea when called the ‘invisible hand of the market’.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1

            Governance at any level is dependent on authority, without which it becomes an impotent letter.

            It depends upon where that authority is derived. The present move to global governance is not derived from the consent of the governed but from the rich and powerful who show all the signs of psychopathic in their pursuit of power and wealth.

            And a global federation of any conceivable kind must have an identifiable centre.

            Not necessarily. What it must have is an agreed set of rules. These rules can be arrived at from the bottom up rather than from the top down.

            There’s a reason why Anarchy is described as the most orderly of societies.

            Because until you can demonstrate your vision of a ‘de-centralised, self-organising, self-regulating’ governance working anywhere in the real world – allow me to remain skeptical.

            Try 40,000 years of Australian Aboriginal history as such an example. The tribes did have contact with each other and they had rules regarding that contact but they didn’t have a central hierarchy.

          • Bill 2.1.1.1.2

            You’ll have to remain skeptical then, in much the same way as those skeptical skeptics were when no evidence of a moon landing could be pointed to at the time when people were talking of going to the moon. 😉

            Nothing wrong with temporary, transient or shifting hierarchies and authority btw.

            Somewhat banally – the glazier is the recognised authority and coordinates the whole ‘putting in of the windows’ process, but occupies an entirely different space when it comes to the whole ‘prep, planting, harvest and storage of the potatoes’ process.

            As for the ‘scaling up’, well I can only reiterate my contention, based on fairly simple observations from all around, that complexity arises from simple initial conditions and that, contrary to our received cultural wisdom, any attempt to impose order, as can be readily observed, unintentionally creates various measures of conflict and chaos.

          • Jones 2.1.1.1.3

            I think what Bill is describing is a heterarchical model – centralised governance but with decentralised decision-making.

            A real-life working model of that structure are special forces within a military hierarchy.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    And on the aspect of climate change and GHG emission reductions:

    Tens of thousands of hectares of forest have been alight for more than two months as a result of slash and burn – the fastest and quickest way to clear land for new plantations.

    Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil and fires are frequently intentionally lit to clear the land with the resulting haze an annual headache.

    Burning down forests adds to GHGs and those ones have now been labelled a “crime against humanity” but the politicians still don’t want to bring the perpetrators to justice.

    • Sacha 3.1

      “the politicians still don’t want to bring the perpetrators to justice”

      Indonesia’s large military and long-time support by its US armourers may help explain that.

  4. savenz 4

    +100 – I think the connection needs to be made.

    The west is reducing democracy ‘for the peoples own good’ but bizarrely trying as hard as possible to keep corporations able to pollute and harm as long as possible to maximise their corporate profits.

    • Bill 4.1

      Was in my mind while doing the post, but got forgotten, so I’ll add it here. Market share is far more important than market size. The ISDSs in the TTIP and TPPA facilitate a growing market share for fewer players in a world where the size of individual markets is contracting.

      I think that is at least as important – probably more so – than riding roughshod over any potential environment legislation.

      • savenz 4.1.1

        Defiantly if you look at a corporation like Serco – it is taking over smaller companies or government roles, that could be providing services and then using it’s might to take over contracts. It has no ‘core’ business expertise but more relies on it’s might and size in the tender process to cut costs in any way possible while providing the same or lower level of service. i.e. get the tender, lay off as many staff as possible and use the money that used to pay the laid off staff to itself as profit.

        Meanwhile with less and more unqualified staff most services start suffering.

        Result job loss, lower wages, more money going to executives and share holders. Further inequality and the public are having to pay out to the unemployment from this process and more costs going to the company. The obvious happens governments will need more money from tax payers to keep this rort going and will be giving less in welfare. It is perpetuating inequality.

        It makes no sense from a business point of view or from a social point of view as they are just adding a large layer to cream off money. The only advantage is for lazy ideological bureaucrats, corrupt officials and for the owners and executive managers of these massive organisations.

        From Wikipedia – Serco Group plc is a British outsourcing company based in Hook, Hampshire.[3] It operates public and private transport and traffic control, aviation, military weapons, detention centres, prisons and schools on behalf of its customers. There has been a history of problems, failures, fatal errors and overcharging.

        It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Serco operates in Continental Europe, the Middle East, the Asia Pacific region and North America, but the majority of its turnover comes from the UK.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          It makes no sense from a business point of view or from a social point of view as they are just adding a large layer to cream off money.

          Exactly. Privatisation is an increase in bludging while decreasing services and innovation at the expense of the society/community.

          • ropata 4.1.1.1.1

            The purpose of most corporations is upward wealth transfer and downward cost transfer.

            Their business model is anti democracy and anti society.

    • Anne 4.2

      The dots have been slowly coming together for some time now and I’m starting to make sense of the bizarre way our government and their senior bureaucrats are operating.

      The west is reducing democracy ‘for the peoples own good’…

      I was reflecting only the other day that… that the powers that be are kidding themselves they are really doing it for our own good.

      The mind boggles but the voters are too dumbed down to see what is being done to them.

      • Bill 4.2.1

        Generally speaking, politicians are idiots. I’m willing to accept they genuinely believe they are ‘doing the right thing’.

        Thing is, they can only see problems from a perspective informed by the institutions and traditions that they very much form a part of. And so there’s capture and inertia and so on.

        It’s like every problem can only be seen as a variation on ‘nail’ and so their sweep of solutions can only ever involve a variation on ‘hammer’.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1

          Thing is, they can only see problems from a perspective informed by the institutions and traditions that they very much form a part of. And so there’s capture and inertia and so on.

          Which is why we need revolutions every now and then – to clean out the deadwood.

      • Anne 4.2.2

        Sorry, badly worded. Too late to edit.

      • Sacha 4.2.3

        “the powers that be are kidding themselves they are really doing it for our own good”

        The real powerbrokers know exactly what they are doing. Some of their ‘elected’ vassals, less so.

      • Jones 4.2.4

        The people are proverbial frogs boiling away in the pot.

  5. Tory 5

    Given so many commentators on this site are supporters of Communism, Marxism or Socialism, I would have thought the idea of a ‘one party state’ would literally have you salivating…

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      How many more of your feeble masturbatory perceptions aren’t connected to reality? 100%? 95%?

      [ Don’t. One idiotic comment is easily scanned past. Compounding it with another containing nothing bar personal nonsensical abuse isn’t helpful.] – Bill

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      No, only authoritarian types such as Tories salivate over one party dictatorships. It’s why they always get taken in by National’s lies about instability in left-wing coalitions.

    • ropata 5.3

      Whereas “Tory” would have us all worshiping at the altar of the Divine Jong Kee personality cult…

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    Reactionary right wing extremists have been doing their best to subvert democratic elections since year dot. It’s their response to everything, so if it’s also their response to the Greenhouse Effect at least they’re being consistent.

  7. seeker 7

    The International Democratic Union Executive headed by our own john key meets in Marrakesh from October 25 -27 2015. I wonder what they will be discussing and if my tax dollars will pay for key’s visit there in between his All Blacks nauseating photo ops. (never mind the fact that the All Blacks are in Britain to play Rugby).

  8. Ad 8

    Absolutely spectacular drone filming of Greenland ice sheet melting away, from big US greenhouse study.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/27/world/greenland-is-melting-away.html?_r=1

  9. Bizdb 9

    The situation in Europe is getting harder and harder. And on top of it we have a migrant crisis. And we are no closer to any reasonable solution here. Europe is not prepared for floods of migrants coming everyday.

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    1 day ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
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    1 day ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
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    2 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
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    3 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
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    3 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
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    5 days ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
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    5 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
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    5 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
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    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
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    5 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
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    6 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
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    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
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    6 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
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    6 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
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    6 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
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    7 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
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    7 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
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    1 week ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
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    1 week ago