Right-wing American stupidity is now a global crisis

Written By: - Date published: 8:04 am, March 29th, 2017 - 47 comments
Categories: climate change, global warming, sustainability, us politics - Tags: , , ,

It’s been pretty painful to watch the Trump regime in action in America. But now it gets even worse. Now we’re getting to the part where right-wing America truly starts to drag the rest of the globe down with it:

Trump begins tearing up Obama’s years of progress on tackling climate change

Fossil fuels to the fore as president signs orders to review clean power plan, lift ban on coal leases and discard expert thinking on true cost of carbon emissions

Trump will sign executive orders and presidential memoranda that suspend, rescind or review several measures that were central to Obama’s effort to combat global warming. They include a review of the clean power plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.

Trump, who has called global warming a “hoax”, has criticised the power-plant rule and others as placing an unnecessary burden on American workers and the struggling US coal industry.

Burdens and struggles – you ain’t seen nothing yet.

It’s not just environmental and social ignorance on display here, it’s economic ignorance too:

On a call with reporters Monday night to discuss the executive order, one unnamed senior White House official said Trump is “not going to pursue climate or environmental policies that put the U.S. economy at risk.”

But when this official was pressed with the fact that climate change poses grave economic risks of its own, he froze. “I’m not familiar with what you’re talking about,” he said, challenging the reporter to show him the research. Here’s the full exchange:

REPORTER: What about all the scientists who are saying climate change is going to have adverse economic consequences—things like rising sea levels, more hazardous hurricanes—how do you address those economic arguments?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Again, you’ll have to talk to those scientists.  Maybe I can talk to you afterward.  I’m not familiar with what you’re talking about.  But again, the President’s policy is very clear about addressing—making sure we’re addressing the economy, providing people with jobs, and we’re making sure that EPA is sticking to its core mission.

REPORTER: Are you saying you’re not aware that scientists are concerned about rising sea levels or more violent storms might impact the economy—

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I would want to see the research.  Sure, that would be good.  Show it to me.

Think about this for a second. The Trump administration is unraveling the best chance we have at slowing human-caused climate change, solely because he says it will improve the economy. But Trump’s advisers have apparently not considered how climate change’s impacts on agricultural productivity, human health, and property value will hurt the economy. Hell, they’re not even “familiar” with the idea that it might.

Brilliant.

The one bit of good news is that this these destructive changes will take time. Back to the first piece again:

The official acknowledged the orders’ effects would not be immediate, especially in view of legal challenges. “I would bet a good deal I’m sure there’ll be litigation … Whether that’s three years, two years or one year, I don’t know. It’s going to take some time.”

If ever there was a time for sane America to mobilise and vote, it is now.

47 comments on “Right-wing American stupidity is now a global crisis ”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    Greenpeace are planning to take on Trump’s agenda with an NZ protest.

    In the wake of today’s sweeping executive order by US President Donald Trump to reverse efforts to address climate change and instead protect the oil, gas and coal industries, Greenpeace New Zealand is preparing to go and confront his agenda at sea.
    Oil giants Chevron and Statoil are currently using the world’s biggest seismic ship, the 125-metre long Amazon Warrior, to search for oil off the Wairarapa Coast.

    Trump has shares in Chevron, and the oil company funded a large part of his presidential inauguration.

    Greenpeace NZ Executive Director, Dr Russel Norman, says Trump’s agenda is being rejected all over the world because people know that for them to have a future, the oil industry can have no future.

    “The Fossil Fuel President can do his best to implement this climate madness, but it’s going to be vigorously challenged by people everywhere,” he says.

    “In New Zealand, we’re preparing to go to sea to confront this monster of a seismic blasting ship that’s out here in our pristine oceans, doing Trump’s dirty work for Chevron.”

    More at the link.

  2. Keith 2

    National’s attitude to climate change is the same, only difference is they bare face lie and pretend it is of concern. I mean appointing none other than Paula Bennett as Climate Change Minister confirmed they couldn’t give a shit.

    But were we to have a government that took this seriously, why would we want to do business with an administration as warped as the current US government?

  3. Jordan 3

    Anthony, have you ever considered that those of us who are right-wing, who unabashedly do not support Trump, who support protecting the environment, who want to see a true 100% clean and green image, might not actually be evil?

    Have you ever considered that maybe being right-wing has nothing to do with it? Have you ever considered that terrible people can be either left or right wing? That in fact there isn’t really a true distinction between ‘left’ and ‘right’, rather that we all want to achieve the same outcomes, we just differ on how we think we should get there?

    Have you ever considered that you belittle yourself by rampaging around disparaging those of us on the right who consider ourselves respectful and tolerant? Those of us who consider arguments on intellectual, not party grounds?

    You would do well to consider that there exists more than the holier-than-thou high ground that you so often take.

    • Hi Jordan. I’m interested in what you propose here. Are you such a right-winger as you describe; one who “wants to see a true 100% clean and green image” (Image? That threw me a little, maybe you could expand)? Do you support “protecting the environment” and if so, what do you do?
      Thanks

    • r0b 3.2

      Anthony, have you ever considered that those of us who are right-wing, who unabashedly do not support Trump, who support protecting the environment, who want to see a true 100% clean and green image, might not actually be evil?

      Evil is your word not mine, and yes of course not every right-winger is a denialist nutter. But the ones running America at the moment are.

      Have you ever considered that maybe being right-wing has nothing to do with it?

      Considered it and rejected it. Sadly the overlap between climate change deniers and right wing political beliefs is high.

      Have you ever considered that terrible people can be either left or right wing?

      Well – obviously. But this isn’t a post about the complexities of human nature, it’s a post about right-wing American politicians abandoning sanity in the face of the climate change crisis.

      That in fact there isn’t really a true distinction between ‘left’ and ‘right’,

      Yeah there really is.

      Have you ever considered that you belittle yourself by rampaging around disparaging those of us on the right who consider ourselves respectful and tolerant? Those of us who consider arguments on intellectual, not party grounds?

      I have no problem with respectful / tolerant right-wingers – good for you! – but you aren’t running America right now.

      You would do well to consider that there exists more than the holier-than-thou high ground that you so often take.

      I’d rather be accused of ‘holier-than-thou high ground’ than sit on my arse and do nothing.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1

        Hi R0b, obviously my (deleted) remark was out of bounds in some way. Sorry about that. Just my honestly held opinion of someone who “takes one for the team”.

        • r0b 3.2.1.1

          Sorry what? I’m not aware of anything deleted?

          As moderators we don’t delete a whole comment (it mucks up comment numbering) – we delete the contents and leave a moderator note.

          Are you sure your comment actually posted?

          • Andre 3.2.1.1.1

            I think maybe that comment is now number 7 on Open Mike.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1.1.2

            Thanks R0b, yes Andre has it.

            It seems my reference to right wing “news” pundits with dubious ethics was insufficiently on topic. For me it’s a key to the problem, which is that right wingers have lost the policy debate so comprehensively (cf: IMF & World Bank evidence re: economics, Finland et al re: education, Dutch & Norwegian penal policy, the vicious clusterfuck in the USA and many more bodies of evidence) they have to resort to lies and character assassination to win elections.

            This phenomenon isn’t confined to the USA, and has the same consequences wherever it arises.

            A global crisis indeed.

            • r0b 3.2.1.1.2.1

              Ahh OK, mystery solved. I had forgotten the move to OM option (I am shamefully lax at moderating).

    • roy cartland 3.3

      Yes, I’m interested too. I know the terms are woolly these days, but I understood right-wing to mean advancing business while externalising any cost (environmental or social). Any social/enviro benefit being purely incidental, i.e. only if it benefits business and the personal financial gain to the businessperson.

      Please enlighten.

      • Phil 3.3.1

        I understood right-wing to mean advancing business while externalising any cost (environmental or social).

        There’s nothing fundamentally inconsistent about being right-wing (in an economic sense) and believing that environmental/social/consumer protection regulations should exist and that the private sector should comply with them.

        I cant speak for all self-described “right wing” people, but I consider the dividing line for left and right to be more around government ownership of profit-making entities and direct participation or competition with the private sector.

    • Ad 3.4

      Anthony used the phrase “right wing America”.
      Are you a right wing American? Did you vote for Donald Trump?
      If so, the criticism applies.

      If not, in the words of Frozen, “let it go”.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.5

      have you ever considered that those of us who are right-wing, who unabashedly do not support Trump, who support protecting the environment, who want to see a true 100% clean and green image, might not actually be evil?

      And you still vote National right?

      Those of us who consider arguments on intellectual, not party grounds?

      If you were considering things on an intellectual rather than at a party level then you wouldn’t be voting National. In fact, you wouldn’t be a right-whinger – you’d probably be voting Greens and probably be a member as well.

      See, if you really were using intellectualism you’d realise that right-wing policies are complete bunk designed solely to ensure that rich people get richer at everyone else’s expense.

    • Corokia 3.6

      Hey Jordan, Interesting word choice there….”who want to see a true 100% clean and green image”….. IMAGE.
      It’s reality that matters, not the f-ing ‘image’

    • bwaghorn 3.7

      would you be so kind as to point me to any info on positive things done in new zealand in the last 8 years by our government to reduce climate change. cheers

  4. BM 4

    The issue isn’t with right wingers so much, it’s with American fundamentalist Christians.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unsystematictheology/2015/10/why-do-so-many-christians-still-deny-climate-change/

    These people are core Trump supporters which is why we’re seeing these anti-environmental policies.

    • DoublePlusGood 4.1

      That’s just the people that vote for the Republicans. The Republicans are fundamentally right wing business looters first, and Christian fundies second.

    • Tui 4.2

      and frump is scared of muslims! lol!

      ~ tui

  5. Sabine 5

    it is not stupidity it is by design.

    there are seven billion people on this planet, with automation the ruling classes might only need one billion to keep them comfortable.

    Are you one of those that would survive? IF you don’t intend for your public to be healthy, educated, well fed, etc etc etc why would you care if they die of a flood, a fire, or simply just food poisoning.

    As for the socalled christians well that is a bit like the dark ages, God to hold the masses in chains while the mercenary travel the country looting everything in sight.
    Throw in a few witch hunts, public shaming, burning of the witches for some entertainment and i bet that many would have no issues. Cause they believe that they would be the mercenaries.

    But hey, emails, and the other one would start World War Three and is unelectable and purity and shit.

  6. mac1 6

    BM, I think the issue is with right wingers, Fundy Christians are a subset of that group. The thing with that form of right wing thinking, as I’m sure you appreciate, is that the behaviour is given religious sanction. Wealth is seen as a sign of virtuous, blessed living.

    Secondly, there are risk-taking right wing business folk who are quite prepared to countenance environmental degradation in order to make fortunes. History is littered with their slag heaps.

    • BM 6.1

      Right wing people aren’t all psychopathic business people or fundamentalist Christian loons.

      Just as Left wingers aren’t all extreme environmental nutbars, conspiracy freaks or angry man hating militant feminists,

      For an ex-teacher, I find this closed minded Balkan like thinking rather disappointing.

      • mac1 6.1.1

        Don’t believe I got in to that form of extreme generalisation. Just read the word ‘some’ into the argument.

        As a former teacher, I’d expect that a savvy reader would, knowing that, assume that a person gifted with such wisdom and experience as a former teacher could never be accused of rash or false generalisations, having spent a working lifetime ridding students of such incalculable evil….. 🙂

        Such a teacher would, however, encourage the use of hyphens in compound adjectives…. 😉

      • The post was about the American Presidential administration, (which is a subset of American right-wingers) not about the American right in general.

        Calm TF down.

      • Sabine 6.1.3

        sorry mate, but yes they are. Every single one of them will put money and the golden calf above any human including their own offspring.

  7. emergency mike 7

    Surely no one’s buying the claim of naive ignorance. They’ve seen the research – they’re busy deleting it. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/28/arctic-researcher-donald-trump-deleting-my-citations#comment-95664630

  8. Bill 8

    On the basis that existing US regulations were woefully inadequate and would have had bugger all effect on climate change, but that they acted as a kind of panacea for many people… this move by Trump could be a very good thing.

    If it shakes people from their complacency, gets climate change right back onto the centre of the table and if we then demand realistic action be taken, future populations might look back on this as the pivotal moment that shifted us beyond unrealistic attachments to incrementalism.*

    * the notion that CC is real, but that our current socio-economic paradigm can deliver ‘salvation’ through pricing mechanisms and advances in, as yet unknown technologies.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    If ever there was a time for sane America to mobilise and vote, it is now.

    Actually, it’s more that if there ever was a time for the rest of the world to act sanely and together it’s now – and ban all trade and all tourism with the US.

    But they won’t because they’re not sane. Instead they’ll be thinking about how big the US economy is, how much trade is involved and if they stopped trading with the US what would their people do?

    They haven’t figured out yet that a) they don’t need trade at all and b) that there’s an entire rest of the world to trade with. The US only makes up ~5% of the population.

    • Bill 9.1

      I’d agree that voting isn’t the answer.

      I wonder if there could be a realisation that the choice is to..

      a) hit the streets and stay out of the factories and buildings until demands for realistic action on CC are met (ie- a complete strike across industry and with regards to personal rents, debts etc)

      b) risk watching those same streets at some point in the future fill with the desperate suffering or death of your progeny?

      No imagination working in conjunction with fear suggests that a) won’t get off the ground and that contemplating b) will remain ‘off the table’ for most people.

      So it’s c)…which is b) catching everyone by apparent surprise

  10. AB 10

    I think Anthony is on the mark to characterise it as “right-wing” – because it is inherent in right-wing ideology to give priority to the rights of individuals (especially property rights) over the needs of the collective. In fact right-wing ideology in its more loony forms absolutely insists that the best results for the collective actually arise when everyone vigorously pursues their self-interest here and now.

    The desire to fight climate change stems from a concern for the wellbeing of people we don’t know, will never meet and who may not even be born yet. And the solution most likely involves us making sacrifices now. This seems to be the antithesis of atomised individuals pursuing their self interest.

    And that is why the most vocal CC deniers are the most right wing – because the solutions to CC are antithetical to their ideology.
    I had the misfortune to hear Rodney Hide the other day saying that Trump was right to reverse all the climate change ‘nonsense’. Which I think illustrates my point.

    • Bill 10.1

      And the solution most likely involves us making sacrifices now.

      Sacrifice. Came across an interesting take on that word the other day. Sacrifice is when something is given up in order to achieve something better.

  11. joe90 11

    The miners are coming back is nonsense, too.

    The founder and chief executive of Murray Energy supports Donald Trump’s move to roll back Obama’s clean power plan but cautions the president to go easy on talk of a jobs revival

    […]

    While Murray said new plants using “clean coal” technologies could soon be built, he doesn’t expect that coal’s share of the market will rise significantly in the future.

    Coalmining employed 98,505 people in 2015, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration, down from 127,745 in 2008, the year Obama was elected president, and about 250,000 in the 1970s. Trump has consistently pledged to restore mining jobs, but many of those jobs were lost to technology rather than regulation and to competition from natural gas and renewables, which makes it unlikely that he can do much to significantly grow the number of jobs in the industry, said Murray.

    “I suggested that he temper his expectations. Those are my exact words,” said Murray. “He can’t bring them back.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/27/us-coal-industry-clean-power-plan-donald-trump

    • Sabine 11.1

      He is not going too, they are stage props, and have served their purpose.
      I hear on the miners got his ‘signing pen’ as a souvenir and that is all the guy is ever gonna get out of a Trump administration.

      Shaking up the system, draining the swamp, not beholden to anyone..blahblahblahblahblahblah

  12. Tamati Tautuhi 12

    Anyway how is the “Beasts progress” and how long is it going to be here, I assume JK has shares in these licences, he was pretty enthusiastic about the oil industry, however I would hate to see the mess on the East Coast if there was an oil well blow out.

    There would be some pretty pissed off Maoris between East Cape & Wellington.

  13. Skeptic 13

    I read somewhere recently that Climate Change Deniers are going to cost our children $100 for every $1 unspent, our grand children $1000 and our great-grand children $10,000. There was some sort of breakdown of those figures into direct costs – repairs to infrastructure, homes, personal possessions etc, as a result of storms and droughts; indirect costs resulting from the same reason – insurance premiums (which are expected to go through the roof), replacement of fossil fuels research, government agency costs etc; and finally mitigating costs – medical and agricultural mainly for research and development of medicines and vaccines resulting from insect swarms affecting both human health and agricultural produce. These also include development of alternative crops and even food sources as the existing land use and availability changes consequent to climate change.
    In summary, the article suggested that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will know which of their ancestors was a climate change denier and will probably change their name by deed poll so as to not be associated with the scumbags (a bit like many Germans did after WWII) and would visit their errant ancestor’s grave to deposit something rather nasty on the grave-site after having kicked over the grave stone.

  14. Kevin 14

    The only thing worse than a climate change denier is someone who thinks we can do something about it.

    • Andre 14.1

      Well, yes, climate change is happening and we ain’t gonna stop it. But the decisions we make now and actions we take now will have a strong influence on how bad it gets.

    • Skeptic 14.2

      Sounds like you might be a candidate for a visit from your descendants Kevin.

  15. One Two 15

    Putting a wide angle lens on it, may assist

    It is my opinion that ‘the bottom’, while quickening in its arrival, is still some years away..

    Actions and events expediting arrival of ‘the bottom’ could be interpreted as positive

  16. lloyd 16

    Climate change will flood Florida.
    Trump has declared war on Florida just as certainly as Al Qaeda declared war on New York.

    • Sabine 16.1

      as it will flood the Te Atatu Peninsula. That does not stop people from buying overpriced properties.
      And as long as the insurance companies pay out, no money is lost. He will still have had his fill….and besides he does not live there, its just is ‘versailles’ to do business.

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    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    4 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    5 days ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    6 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    1 week ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 weeks ago

  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
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