Shapes of things (2012 and all that)

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, December 31st, 2011 - 29 comments
Categories: climate change - Tags:

lprent: From Gareth at Hot Topic, his views on what 2012 will bring. I’m currently sceptical on the impact of the known Eastern Siberian methane releases – but Gareth is more worried than I am. The rest is likely. If anyone else wants to make some predictions, I’ll give them a good look for guest posting them.

 

‘Tis the silly season, time for journalists with little real news to report to reflect on the year past and make predictions for the year to come. I don’t normally play that game because there are too many interesting things to write about on the climate beat, but this year I’m going to make an exception.Glenn “Climate Show” Williams persuaded me to have a chat with him on his summer Radio Live show — and yes, we did cover the last year, and the prospects for 2012. The audio’s available to stream for the next week from the Radio Live site (select Dec 28th, then the 1-15pm segment — my bit starts after about 5 minutes). You may regard this post as an expanded version of my comments there (and a bit of recap on the last Climate Show of the year).

So: 2011 was the year of extremes, beyond any shadow of doubt. Wherever you looked around the world, there were record-breaking floods, heatwaves and hugely damaging extreme weather events. The USA alone had 14 separate extreme weather events with billion dollar plus damage bills (NOAA puts it at 12 with 2 more to finalise, the World Meteorological Organisation plumps for 14). The year broke no records for global average temperature — 2011 will probably end up as the 10th or 11th warmest year in the long term record — but it will be the warmest ever La Niña year. Here’s a WMO graph to illustrate the point:

 

2011LaNina

The prospects for 2012 depend in large part on what happens to the El Niño Southern Oscillation this year. Will the current La Niña hang around for another year, decay to neutral conditions, or swing round to an El Niño? The odds, according to NOAA’s Klaus Wolters (on Dec 7th) are interesting:

Based on current atmosphere-ocean conditions, I believe the odds for this La Niña event to continue right through early spring (March-April 2012) are higher than 50%. Beyond that, it is worth noting that of the ten two-year La Niña events between 1900 and 2009, four ended up as a three-year event, so I would put the odds for this to occur in 2012-13 at 40% right now. Interestingly, the other six all switched to El Niño, leaving no ENSO-neutral case. Will be interesting to see how 2012 evolves.

It will indeed. A return to El Niño conditions in the first half of 2012 would boost global average temperatures, and that, coupled with the currently active phase of the 11 year solar cycle, might be enough to push 2012 above 2010 and 2005 for a new record. But more importantly, a return to El Niño would also change the patterns of weather around the world, and with them change the places that experience record extremes. Exactly how this will play out is impossible to predict, because the timing of a move out of La Niña conditions is difficult to forecast, and because the nature of El Niño’s impacts on weather patterns around there planet depend on the season (see WikipediaNOAA and NIWA for more).

So what do am I looking out for in 2012?

  • More extreme weather events, with a pattern shift if ENSO changes phase.
  • Possible new global temperature record, if El Niño arrives early enough in the year.
  • Continued Arctic sea ice melt (in both volume and area), with a possibility1 of a new record minimum in September.
  • Lots of fine words at the Rio +20 conference in June, but little concrete action. Ditto for COP 18 in Qatar in December.
  • At least one nasty surprise emerging from current research. I hope it isn’t East Siberian seabed methane, but we’ll know more when the papers describing the 2011 Arctic research season are published.

And a very happy new year for all Hot Topic readers…

29 comments on “Shapes of things (2012 and all that)”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Methane hydrate stability and anthropogenic climate change (Archer 2007) concludes that the likely timetable for methane clathrate release means the consequences will be “chronic rather than catastrophic”. Not exactly good news but…

  2. tc 2

    What if ?
    Conventional theories on the PPM ( parts per million ) content of carbon in the atmosphere that is perceived as the tipping points already been reached as they were wrong as to where that point was.

  3. RedLogix 3

    I’ve fretted on and off about the possiblity of a methane catastrophe for years. Every source you read has a different take on it, ranging from frankly hysterical to blythly dismissive.

    Unlike the general CO2 climate change predictions; a methane catastrophe is an innately discontinous event. It’s not a linear projection from the current state, it’s a quantum leap into completely unknown territory. This means no-one can predict anything about it with any confidence.

    But this does NOT mean that the risk does not exist and waiting until the proof was upon us is simply waiting far too damned long. It would be game over for humanity at that point.

    I’ve concluded, based on nothing more than a gut reaction, that the probability of a catastrophic methane event could be something like 10%. That’s Russian roulette territory and should worry us.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      I still think our best hope is that catastrophic weather events will degrade our capacity to emit to the extent that the problem becomes moot. Perhaps I’m just being horribly pessimistic.
      And yes, the time to act has probably passed: we have forty more years of warming queued up even if we stop burning fossil fuels and making concrete etc. right now, which means more methane releases…
      It will be a different world.

      • Reality Bytes 3.1.1

        Or perhaps another possibility that could bring things into equilibrium:
        As Fossil Fuel extraction becomes more difficult, breakthroughs in economics for alternative renewable (eg. solar, tidal etc) energy sources could change our entire energy consumption structure. Fossil Fuels could become uneconomical to extract and use as an energy source, although still used for some plastics, cosmetics or whatever non-energy products (which would go up in cost, also a good thing meaning we don’t dump so much plastic waste).

        In some ways I think we are quite fortunate that our easy oil reserves are limited. It means we have to get off our lazy asses as a collective species and come up with a more feasible bulk energy source.

        I hope we see some great breakthroughs in clean energy that help us all in 2012.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1

          Forty-seven joules per kilogram.

          • Reality Bytes 3.1.1.1.1

            47 mega joules even, AFAIK

            Of course petroleum is an incredibly convenient energy store, but in some ways that convenience makes us lazy and wasteful. Up until very recently we humans have neglected efficient use of petroleum products and energy because of it’s convenience factor.

            But times are a changing, we now have electrically powered personal transportation vehicles that may not have the same range as their fossil-fueled cousins, but are practical enough for most tasks.

            Even if a rechargeable/non-petroleum system provides only a fifth of the range vs a petroleum system, there are a myriad of other benefits: less dependence on an unsustainable energy source, less pollutive repercussions, etc. I believe these ’47 joule conveniences’ can be overcome by other more pressing ‘conveniences’ like having a habitable planet to live on.

            Thinking outside the square is the answer imo. Stuff like faster recharge capability can provide the convenience factor. Rapid mechanical swap of batteries like we do already with LPG gas bottles perhaps?

            Efficient bulk renewable/clean energy harvesting is the key to provide the raw energy we require. This is ultimately the area that we could benefit most from in terms of energy technological breakthroughs.

            With this in mind, I actually do agree with SOME of John Key’s asset sales.

            But for very different and more nuanced reasons than his fire-sale approach.

            I DO support selling of OBSOLETE assets like fossil fuel power plants. I honestly could not fault Key if this was all he proposed for asset sales (but of course that wasn’t the case).

            I DO NOT support selling renewable energy systems, things like geo-thermal and hydro. Other than maintenance these assets simply create energy, FOREVER, with no reliance on dirty fuel sources that are also liable to socio-political-market forces beyond our control.

            I realize hydro schemes change the landscape forever and in some ways very harmfully, but once that damage is done we should reap the benefits forever. We should not be paying dividends to some fat cat investment tycoons for the pleasure of a few short-term bucks for our national sacrifice to get these things established in the first place.

            • Reality Bytes 3.1.1.1.1.1

              before the physicists jump in here and start schooling me on the first law of thermodynamics. I meant hydro/geo systems ‘harvest’ energy, not create 🙂

              • Colonial Viper

                Good thoughts, but allow me to critique, nothing personal.

                So if you sell the fossil fuel plants to private interests, you would expect them to crank them up in order to get a return on investment, right? Whereas if they were under Govt. control you could just mothball them when appropriate – right?

                BTW whats the embodied energy of a Toyota Prius? And of the Li-ion batteries that you have to replace every few years?

                Because if you are thinking that these hybrid (and electric) cars are really going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or reduce fossil fuel use by replacing a beat up Honda Civic or Toyota Corona which is already on the road…you better calculate how much energy it takes to manufacture, ship and upkeep one of the new hybrids.

                I am betting that keeping a 1990 Honda Civic on the road instead of replacing it with some hybrid monstrosity reduces net greenhouse gas emissions.

                Replacing an older car fleet with a newer car fleet wastes energy and causes net emissions. Even work it out in terms of tonnes of new steel and aluminium which need to be refined.

                • Reality Bytes

                  Of course the asset sales didn’t happen like this, but in an ideal world here’s how I’d like them to be sold:

                  Obsolete fossil burning energy sources would be sold with the understanding they would eventually be mothballed since the ultimate national(not the party) goal would be to switch to renewable energy supply systems eventually. Coal/oil burning power plants could be sold with the understanding they would be wound down as their natural lifespan design specs are reached. The only upgrades would be anti-pollution upgrades (which may be subsidized by the govt/tax-breaks).

                  Of course these limitations and regulations would reduce the net value of these assets, but so what, that is what they should be worth, they are anachronistic liabilities. But I realise National is selling things as they see fit with no real thought given to issues like the ones that concern me. But even so – I would be ok with the Nat’s selling off these ‘assets’ without such regulatory care regardless, since I’d hope a more progressive government would get voted in after them one day with more passion for move us towards a cleaner energy future.

                  On Prius’ I know what you are talking about.

                  Prius is not our saviour, I know that. Let’s remember this is virtually a first generation experimental product and is merely a proving ground for a couple of things: recycling brake energy, and using a battery system as a storage buffer to try and waste less fossil fuel produced energy. It’s a small step with a couple of useful technologies imo, that’s it.

                  I realize the required changes are bigger than that, we need to be thinking in terms of simply not being so wasteful with energy in the first place, and more conservative with the stuff we do use. I bet over half of the non-renewable transportation energy us westerners use is for ridiculously redundant trivialities like pointless trips to the local dairy or supermarket for some forgotten non-essential.

                  Motivating a 2 ton vehicle with an inefficient engine to travel on a several kilometer round trip purely for the purpose of picking up some cream/cigarettes/bread/whatever seems a ridiculous use of such a limited fuel imo.

                  For people that use their own pedestrian/bicycle power, more power to them, and my thanks, that is part of the answer right there imo. Get fit and get tasks done for a fraction of the environmental and economical impact. If all us able-bodied folks did that, hell our nation would be out of the crap economically and energywise.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    the Prius is 15 years old. That’s 4 Japanese car generations, not 1. Put another way, the Prius, as inadequate as you know it is as a solution has come only that far in 15 years.

                    We don’t have another 15 years to wait of course, so its all over for hybrid and electric car development as the great hope to combat energy depletion, which you appear to have identified.

                    As for people changing their lifestyles, making fewer trips, cycling and becoming much fitter. I predict that you are right and it will happen. But my spin on it is that it will only happen after people are forced to. That is, after petrol is $3/L or $4/L.

  4. Gareth 4

    lprent posted this around the same time as I added this update at Hot Topic:

    [Update 31/12: Jeff Masters’ end of year review counts “32 weather disasters costing at least $1 billion worldwide. Five nations experienced their most expensive weather-related natural disasters on record during 2011–Thailand, Australia, Colombia, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia.” The year of extremes, indeed…]

    [lprent: will do something about it after I get back to a computer ]

  5. Jenny 5

    This week has seen record breaking summer temperatures recorded at the South Pole.

    South Pole (and nearby AWS sites) have recorded record warm temperatures on December 25, 2011. South Pole Meteorology Office notes the following:
    “The temperature topped out at -12.3C/9.9F yesterday at 0250 UTC/1550 NZDT 12/25, not quite to 10F”

    University of Wisconsin Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) at Nico and Henry AWS sites appear to have experienced record warm temperatures – and more will be posted on them after the data has been reviewed.

    University of Wisconsin-Madison Antarctic Meteorology Program

    Preliminary reports from Antarctic meteorologists, seem to suggest that the cause of the record high polar temperatures was a tongue of hot air that penetrated the Antarctic interior.

    Similar tongues of cold weather, coming down, from the Arctic have been implicated as being the cause of the record breaking snow falls and record breaking low temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere Winter.

    The unusual mixing of cold air and warmer air have been put down to changes, (particularly eddies) in the circumpolar winds.

    Scientists have likened this effect as leaving the fridge door open. (ie Your kitchen gets colder while your fridge gets warmer)

    Though overall, the average Northern Hemisphere winter temperature was higher than usual, the tongues of cold weather, leaking from the Artic saw records for winter lows broken on the Eastern Seaboard of the continental US.

    If the changes in the circumpolar winds continue, – these wandering tongues of both hot and cold air, are likely to become more common.

    Lynn, based on this, I predict that the coming Southern Hemisphere winter will see records for snow and low temperatures, in both the South and North Island.

    Hitting particularly hard in the South – I also predict, that again we will be caught by surprise by this ‘natural disaster’.

  6. Lostinsuburbia 6

    I look forward to considerable inaction from the Government punctuated by copious emissions of hot air.

  7. Jenny 7

    Dylan’s, prophetic “A hard rain’s gonna fall” is a question and answer exchange between a parent and child, about what kind of world this generation will bequeath the next.

    If I didn’t know better, I’d swear this song was written about the threat of climate change.

    Where have you been, my blue-eyed son ?
    Where have you been my darling young one ?
    I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
    I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways
    I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
    I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
    I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
    And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
    It’s a hard rain that’s gonna fall……

    Bob Dylan, 1962

    • Carol 7.1

      Back in the day that great song was thought to be about a nuclear holocaust.

      • Jenny 7.1.1

        Quite likely Carol, though Dylan as Quixotic as ever, denied it.

        But what is undeniable is that the lyrics conjure up some kind of warning, and when it comes to climate change, the chorus, “a hard rain is gonna fall”, is strangely apt.

        Rain Storms worst ever, “since records began”

        And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son ?
        And what did you hear, my darling young one ?
        I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warning…

        And after the rain will come the snow.

        “Snowmageddon”

  8. This year is just going to get worse
    Now where did I put that Kiwi Saver investment broacher ?

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2011/12/50-doomiest-stories-of-2011.html

    50 doomiest stories of 2011
    Posted by Jim at Monday, December 26, 2011

    Here are 2011’s most profoundly doom-laden stories, chosen arbitrarily by Des. Last year, this feature was The Twelve Doomiest Stories of 2010, to evoke “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, but twelve stories just aren’t enough to capture the zeitgeist of doom that permeated the year.

    Nuclear meltdowns at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi plant and the resulting widespread radioactive fallout dominated the doomscape for months, much as BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster dominated 2010. Desdemona figures that we can count on one huge technogenic catastrophe per year, as civilization slides down the energy-production curve and loses the ability to maintain its complex, aging infrastructure.

    2011 was a bad year for the Amazon basin, with illegal deforestation spiking as farmers anticipated government pardons. The Belo Monte dam was approved, as a “green” form of energy production for Brazil; it will destroy 400 square kilometers of rainforest. Conservation activists were murdered.

    But climate disasters comprised the overwhelming majority of doom stories in 2011, with reports of species extinctions and agricultural failures from all over the globe. Record droughts and floods struck a number of nations, with La Niña getting much of the blame, and 2011 saw increasing acceptance of the idea that the global climate is changing rapidly before our eyes. Pakistan was hit with another round of record monsoon flooding, adding to the misery from 2010. More ominously, global civilization has been unable to muster the necessary humanitarian response, implying that we’ve passed Peak Humanitarian Aid. The long drought in East Africa continued to drag on, creating huge refugee flows and killing endangered wildlife across a wide swath of the continent. Texas experienced record agricultural losses and depopulation as the ongoing drought makes the center of the state uninhabitable.

    • Oscar 8.1

      Kiwisaver needs to be immediately clamped down on with respects to the banks.

      The fact that Banks are now utilising those KS funds as “their money” and leveraging further lending off of it signifies to me that this is a glaring oversight that needs to be rectified forthwith.

      Do you know where your KS money actually is?

      • Robert Atack 8.1.1

        Do you know where your KS money actually is?

        Or if you have any left ?

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          Its a big problem. The MF Global scandal in the US shows that even if you own a “segregated” or “allocated” account, things which are definitely supposed to keep your assets safe and you at the front of the queue should the institution go under…it doesn’t.

          JP Morgan will simply reach into the books and take your money and assets first and ask questions later.

  9. And here is parliaments predictions for 2012 http://oilcrash.com/articles/wake_up2.htm

    Conclusion

    The global economy is heavily dependent on affordable oil.

    It may seem counter-intuitive that, when oil reserves and production capacity are higher than ever, the future of the oil market appears bleak. The problem is that production capacity is not expected to keep up with demand. That fact leads to severe economic consequences.

    To replace the declining production from existing oil wells and increase production, oil companies are forced to extract oil in more difficult and expensive conditions (deep-water, oil sands, lignite to liquids) from smaller, less favourable reserves. The marginal (price-setting) barrel of oil costs around US$75-$85 a barrel to produce. This will continue to rise with higher demand and exhaustion of reserves.

    Although there remain large reserves of oil which can be extracted, the world’s daily capacity to extract oil cannot keep increasing indefinitely. A point will be reached where it is not economically and physically feasible to replace the declining production from existing wells and add new production fast enough for total production capacity to increase. Projections from the IEA and other groups have this occurring, at least temporarily, as soon as 2012.

    The difference between the global capacity to produce oil and global demand is the supply buffer. When the supply buffer is large, oil prices will be low. When the supply buffer shrinks – due to demand rising faster than production capacity or production capacity falling – prices will rise as markets add in the risk that supply will not be available to meet demand at any given point in time.

    When a supply crunch forces oil prices beyond a certain point, the cost of oil forces consumers and businesses to cut other spending, inducing a recession. The recession destroys demand for oil, allowing prices to drop. Major international organisations are warning of another supply crunch as soon as 2012.

    The world may be entering an era defined by relatively short periods of economic growth terminating in oil price spikes and recession.

    New Zealand is not immune to the consequences of this situation. In fact, its dependency on bulk exports and tourism makes New Zealand very vulnerable to oil shocks.

    Clint Smith
    Research Analyst, Economics and Industry Team
    Parliamentary Library

    Again Kiwi Saver anyone? ……. I mean Labour were going to make it compulsory ???
    They must have missed the above report, along with the ‘brighter future’ crowed 😉

  10. johnm 10

    Probabilities and Predictions for 2012
    1.Planet will continue to heat up producing more extreme weather events. Refer James Lovelock
    2. Maybe an aerial assault on Iran to definitively remove any possibility of it making a nuclear weapon.
    3. U$$$$ will continue collapsing as an economic and social entity. Unbelievable? 46,000,000 on food handouts and up to 50% of Americans can be defined as in poverty. The American Dream is dead. There will be social protest and even riots caused by the hopelessly neoliberal regime imposed on them. The 1% must stop bludging of their fellow Americans.
    3. As the U$$$ weakens it won’t be able to buy more and more Chinese manufactures even on more debt which means the Chinese economy has peaked out and will decline. They may require less coal from Australia which will reduce their export income.
    4. The U.K. economy will continue spiralling downwards as the scams of the city of London run out of financial players.
    5. The Euro zone may well break up as its weaker members wake up to the banker neoliberal rip off being imposed on them. Example? Ireland, the people are paying for the private casino banker gambles that went sour, their traitorous politicians in on the get rich scheme sold them out though there was no legal obligation to do so.
    6. We have reached the end of growth refer Richard Heinberg. That is we have reached the limits of oil and other resource extraction and their supply is heading downwards.
    7. Population will continue to increase making all the above problems worse. The whole human race has grossly overshot environmental limits this means that nature will reduce our numbers whether we like it or not.
    8. The Oceans are all but destroyed with acidification and 90% of all large fish GONE. Man’s greed continues unabated look at the Japanese still heading South to kill whales despite the Antarctic treaty they signed prohibiting this. Good on SeaShepherd they are the only real heroes in this mess!
    9. Global collapse to an eventual simpler system is well under way the material party of the 20c is over, we are into the contraction phase of Industrial Civilisation.
    10. The rich and politically powerful continue to deny the commons and seek to increase their wealth and privilege by privatizing public assets and resources where ever possible (Using junk fiat currency, in itself not worth the paper its printed on therefore get some real assets.). Key is one of their class and is performing his class role.
    11. Expect deprivation and poverty to increase almost everywhere.
    12. New Zealand will continue to polarise into relative haves and have nots having rejected Labour’s offer to remedy this to some extent with: Extending working for families to beneficiaries, raising the minimum wage, free child care up to 6, taking GST of fruit and Vege, maintaining the commonwealth (not privatised wealth) with no sale of assets or privatization of ACC. The have nots will find life getting slowly harder and harder. Key’s attitude is “it’s their own fault, they made the wrong choices” from the hot comfort and beaches of his Hawaii retreat-all right for him! The New Zealand egalitarian dream is like the American one DEAD. Expect more prisons and blaming the have nots even though there aren’t the jobs for them. God help us when Australia is unable to one day act as our surplus labour safety valve!

  11. >Extending working for families to beneficiaries, raising the minimum wage, free child care up to 6, taking GST of fruit and Vege, maintaining the commonwealth (not privatised wealth) with no sale of assets or privatization of ACC<

    All the above are something only available in a world with expanding energy supplies etc, we are in a new paradigm now = next year 'we' may have 10% (on average) LESS than we have now.

    No matter who is running the show it is going to go to crap, and sooner than most can imagine.

    If the government owns a power station and there are no generators available to replace the existing ones, or a few computers crash, then it doesn't matter who owns the bloody things, they will just be empty defunct buildings, along with the whole grid.

    For Labour to do anything it would need a functioning economy with law abiding people, once the supermarkets start to run out of food, even mother Teresa couldn't stop the ignorant masses getting pissed.

    I replaced one of our water pumps yesterday, if I couldn't find 1 x 25mm nipple the whole system would have failed, this is the same with so much of our infrastructure, it is very dependent on coal powered factories all over the world for its 'wingdings' , no functioning factories in the US or China = no functioning anything in NZ*, like I said it doesn't matter which bunch of wankers are pretending to run the show, at some stage in the near future they are going to have to admit we are screwed, and at this stage I can't see any of the scum having enough vertebrae to come close to telling the truth IE Labours compulsory savings scam, backed 100% by The Greeds and National.

    It doesn't take many brain cells to work out that just like the 'American dream' ponzie savings scams are as dead. …. but as we can see one thing the general dumb public lack is grey matter, well the ones that think voting is going to help anyway.

    * Japan had to borrow a generator/power turbine thing from South Korea after the Earthquake,

  12. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jan/01/european-leaders-downplay-2012-prospects?commentpage=1#end-of-comments

    European leaders predict 2012 will be worse than 2011

    Angela Merkel says new year will ‘undoubtedly’ be harder than the last as eurozone crisis hangover prompts more austerity
    Europe is set for an austere 2012 as fallout from last year’s eurozone crisis and bailouts lingers on, leaders warn. Photograph: Michael Probst/AP

    The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has warned that the year ahead will “undoubtedly” be harder than 2011 in the starkest of a series of downbeat messages from European leaders dominated by fears over the economy.

    Merkel said Europe was experiencing its “harshest test in decades” but would ultimately be made stronger by the crisis.

    Urging greater European co-operation to salvage the Euro, Merkel said the German economy was performing well “even if the next year will undoubtedly be more difficult than this one”.
    Her solemn new year greeting, broadcast on Saturday, set the tone for those of her European counterparts.

    The Greek prime minister, Lucas Papademos, spelled out a continuation of harsh austerity measures, while the Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano, warned that sacrifices would have to be made if the country was to avoid “financial collapse”.

    The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, said people had to be “courageous” when facing the challenges ahead. “I know that the lives of many of you, already tested by two difficult years, have been put to the test once more. You are ending the year more worried about yourselves and your children,” he said, adding: “This unprecedented crisis, which is without doubt the worst since the second world war, is not over”.
    But Sarkozy, who is lagging behind in the polls just months from a presidential election, vowed that there were nonetheless “reasons to be hopeful” and that no further public spending cuts would be made.
    Napolitano was less eager to gloss over the economic position of a country which last year was feared to be on the brink of becoming the next eurozone country to seek a bailout. “Sacrifices are necessary to ensure the future of young people; it’s our objective and a commitment we cannot avoid,” he said in his new year speech.

    “No one, no social group, can today avoid the commitment to contribute to the clean up of public finances in order to prevent the financial collapse of Italy,” Napolitano added.

    As growth stalls in countries across Europe, governments are coming under pressure to make further cuts to spending and fears are growing that 2012 could bring a second recession.

    In Greece – the first country to have sought a bailout in 2010 – Papademos warned there would be no let-up in the austerity measures, which many Greeks feel are too tough. “We have to continue our efforts with determination, so that the sacrifices we have made up to now won’t be in vain,” he said in a televised address.
    Papademos, an economist who was appointed to lead an interim coalition government in November after the resignation of George Papandreou, insists the measures are essential if Greece is to continue to receive bailout funds.

    [Robert. I really do respect your depth of knowledge and enduring committment to this topic. Well it’s more than a ‘topic’ .. you are right, the fundamental piles and underpinnings of our techno-civilisation are rapidly rotting out from under us. I get it.

    However I’d love to see your contributions here better valued. At the moment too much of what you are posting comes across as undigestable lumps of anger, frustration.. and not much in the way of inspiration or hope. Not many people want to engage with that much negativity. Too often you bring on yourself a form of self-fulfilling Cassandra’s curse.

    How about widening the scope of what you comment on? Not everything needs to be brought back to this one monomaniacal focus. Engaging in some give and take conversation with other posters would be constructive. I’m aware that I’m treading on the margins of patronising you … you’re a smart guy and you know what I’m getting at. You’ve been a very outspoken and dedicated voice and that I respect a lot; but I’d be delighted to see it become a more effective one. RL]

  13. randal 13

    one thing is for sure and that is the yardbirds are not going to reform.
    but you can still get “Blowup” from the hip video store and watch them in the deep underground.

  14. One Anonymous Bloke 14

    Two items of interest: Much ado about methane from Real Climate, and a TED video detailing some new developments in nano-materials that might be part of the solution.

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    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    1 day ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    3 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    3 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    4 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    5 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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