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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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    7 hours ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    8 hours ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    8 hours ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    9 hours ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    20 hours ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    20 hours ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    23 hours ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 day ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    2 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    2 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    4 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    4 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    5 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    33 mins ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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    7 days ago
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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