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Solar storms: harden your networks – its getting warmer.

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, June 11th, 2010 - 37 comments
Categories: climate change, science - Tags: , ,

The sun is emerging from its deep sleep of the Solar Minimum. The increased sensitivity of human networks from satellites to power grids is starting to worry people who know what they’re talking about enough to cause them to have held a meeting on it.

The sun produces sunspots in a reasonably regular eleven year cycle between Solar maximums. The amplitude varies over time as you can see from the counts over the last couple of centuries (the numbers prior to 1850 are a bit patchy).

Click for larger view

As the wikipedia entry on sunspots says:

The number of sunspots correlates with the intensity of solar radiation over the period since 1979, when satellite measurements of absolute radiative flux became available.

These allow plumes of higher energy particles than usual to get expelled from deep inside of the sun’s fusion furnace. The effect on the earths climate is fortunately limited by a earths magnetic field. However as more charged particles strike the field, it depresses closer to the surface and more charged particles get down to the surface.

In the geological history however there have been periodic magnetic inversions where the north and south magnetic poles flip. As wikipedia says:-

Because the magnetic field has never been observed to reverse by humans with instrumentation, and the mechanism of field generation is not well understood, it is difficult to say what the characteristics of the magnetic field might be leading up to such a reversal. Some speculate that a greatly diminished magnetic field during a reversal period will expose the surface of the earth to a substantial and potentially damaging increase in cosmic radiation. However, Homo erectus and their ancestors certainly survived many previous reversals. There is no uncontested evidence that a magnetic field reversal has ever caused any biological extinctions. A possible explanation is that the solar wind may induce a sufficient magnetic field in the Earth’s ionosphere to shield the surface from energetic particles even in the absence of the Earth’s normal magnetic field.[7]

Personally, while the biological systems may have evolved to handle the increased flux during the flip, I’d take a bet that our electrical and electronic technology hasn’t. They certainly have had problems with mere increases in the solar output from the sunspot cycle.

The leakage of extra charged particles into the atmosphere which have previously caused issues for our technological systems. Most notable in modern times was the power outage in the Quebec power grid in 1989 which was attributed to a solar storm. Modern electronics are far more susceptible to charged particles than electrical systems.

Over the last decade since a peak in late 90’s and early 00’s we’ve been diminishing to the Solar Minimum. However the number of sunspots is due to rise again.

The following quote is from prior to the last Solar Maximum. It is worth repeating simply because it gives the strong impression of the rate of change of vulnerable devices world wide. For instance I understand that there are more cellphones in operation in NZ these days than there was in the US in 1981.

Why should we care that we are now once again living under ‘sunspot maximum’ conditions? After all, we have already weathered at least five of these solar activity cycles since the end of World War II. What is different about the world today is that we are substantially more reliant upon computers and telecommunications to run our commerce, and even our forms of entertainment and recreation. In 1981, at the peak of solar cycle 21, there were 15 communication satellites in orbit. Cellular phones were rare and there were 800,000 PCs sold in the U.S. with 300 hosts on the Internet. By the time the peak of solar cycle 22 came around in 1989, there were 102 communication satellites, and 3 million cellular phone users in the United States. With the new Intel 80486-based PCs, you could send e-mail to your choice of 300,000 host machines on the Internet.

As we arrive at the peak of the 23rd sunspot cycle in 2000-2001, however, we enter a very different world far more reliant on what used to be the luxuries of the Space Age. By 2000, 349 communication satellites orbit the Earth supporting over $60 billion of commerce. Over 100 million people have cellular phones, and Global Positioning System handsets are a commonplace for people working, or camping, ‘off road’. By 2003, 400 million people will routinely use wireless data transmission via satellite channels. There will be over 10 million Internet hosts with 38% of US households Internet-connected. To support all of this, not only will we need more satellites, but we will need more electricity flowing in our power grid which will have to work under loads unheard of in the past. As voters continue to elect not to build more power plants, blackouts and brownouts will become more common as power companies run out of temporary sources of power to buy during peak-load conditions during the summer and winter.

Yeah, I remember those crude old days (when things look better in 20:20 hindsight). The simple days when there were only millions of nodes on the Internet. There were still a lot of aircraft flying without fly by wire systems. When kids didn’t have a cellphone for each network. When the number of transistors in the CPU’s and GPU’s of a desktop computer or laptops were measured in million’s, much the same as those in cellphones are today.

Of course there is also the issue of where the extra energy pushed into the atmosphere and trapped with the increased greenhouse effect is going to wind up. The average temperatures around the world have been rising steadily during a period heading to the Solar Minimum as part of a long term trend. After all we have managed to keep the temperature averages rising over the last decade instead of doing their post Solar Maximum decrease. Now more energy is coming online…..

37 comments on “Solar storms: harden your networks – its getting warmer.”

  1. James John 1

    great article thank you.

  2. I look forward to a hotter summer

  3. really 3

    Interesting post Lynn. Those electronic manufacturers will be rubbing their hands together hoping for a rash of breakdowns and replacement purchases.

    Not sure about the last graph as the base it is using is the “Best estimate for absolute global mean for 1951-1980 is 14.0 deg-C” (1) , so while it is a good indicator for a possible temperature trend it a) is a bit of a guess because of the base uncertainty b) doesn’t show any cycles so makes it hard to determine what may or may not be happening in relation to solar flare cycles.

    (1) http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Denialism

    • lprent 3.2

      It is a delta chart to show temperature differences from an arbitrary base. It obviously has to start from somewhere, and the period they have picked is where there are reasonably good global records. Also 1950 onwards is in the current long term pattern of higher Solar Maximums.

      But it doesn’t really matter what the base used from where we have good temperature records. The effect in the last 50-100 years is always the same, a fast climb in tempatures.

      If they’d used a base of around 1905 as Don Easterbrook was suggesting in my previous post, then the delta climb would have been even higher because the Solar Max was a lot lower.

      If they’d picked around 1850 when the apparent peaks were higher, we’d still be showing a fast rise.

      • really 3.2.1

        Agree. The margin for error is still reasonably high.

        • lprent 3.2.1.1

          Sure, but the margin is pretty much on when things will happen rather than if they will happen. The science of atmospheric physics is pretty clear and unambiguous. Increasing greenhouse gases will increase the amount of energy retained as heat in our living space.

          Since the heat balance of the earth is very finely balanced, any sudden change (geologically speaking) tends to shift out of the narrow band that we’ve lived in for the last 10k years. Our civilization has a massive implicit dependency on the stability of the climate, so that isn’t good. Especially with the natural resource base stretched as far as it is into unsustainable usage because of population and expectation growth.

          The IPCC reports are very conservative scientifically because the science parts concentrate exclusively on what can be proven. I find that their worst case scenario is pretty much what I’d expect as an absolute best case (and their other two scenarios are just laughable). All of the since proven evidence since AR4 shows that, especially in the areas for positive feedback like ice cover.

          There is a high margin for error. Unfortunately it is all to the worse, and nothing to the better. Of course people who can’t follow the evidence prefer not to believe that. It’d involve hard changes…. Something that humans excel in avoiding.

          • really 3.2.1.1.1

            Yes things are changing and yes the downsides make pretty grim reading.

            The issue that I have is not with the fact that one directional climate change is a bad thing but with the degree of reliance on things like the historical (assumed) baseline temperatures to prove that this is happening.

            Out of interest, is there a commonly accepted ‘list’ of things that could easily be done/implemented to reduce climate change?

            • lprent 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah there are a range of things from orbital mirrors to getting the oceans to suck up more CO2 to storing CO2 in empty oil wells.

              Most of them are palliatives in that they don’t have long-term stability – they depend on having the high-energy civilization to maintain them, or they simply defer the problem for a short period of time – eg the ocean ideas.

              The simplest (and easiest) is to reduce the dependence on burning fossil carbon. That is more of failure of will than a technical issue.

  4. Bored 4

    Interesting stuff, the on the ground effects are going to be the interesting bits….

    From a weather viewpoint last spring we had a hugely windy time here in the Capital…cooler and wetter. I saw an item in November describing the El Nino event and that water temperatures mid Pacific were several degrees higher than average creating a big hot spot. In laymans terms this warmed air above it rose to be replaced by cooler air sucked in from the Southern ocean. It all seemed to come through Cook Straight giving us a crap spring.

    I would be interested to see some follow up on this like a regular report so we can track what effects actually happen, does the base information come from a regular source?

    • lprent 4.1

      Should be pretty standard data sources. I picked large chunks of this off NASA after I read a yahoo post. The sunspot data is ultimately from the collection point in Belgium. All of the data is pretty much available on the net these days. (of course there is the underlying question of the net handling the subject 🙂 )

      Hang out for wordpress 3.0 with its multi-site goodies. I want to set up a scitech.thestandard.org.nz that this type of post would be perfect for – along with my rants about iTunes – and anyone else who can write.

      Politics as a continual diet isn’t all that fulfilling 😈

      • NickS 4.1.1

        If I haven’t got a blog up and running by then, I might have a piece on 1080 and general pest control and fluoridation stupidity, and conservation/ecology stuff that I could chuck your way for it.
        /evil grin

        • lprent 4.1.1.1

          The delays are getting to be a bit of a pain – April, May, and now June for WordPress 3.0. But it should be soon. You’re welcome to come on as an author (because you can write) – the same relaxed rules as the political blog for authors. Since we’re not writing papers but more communicating scitech, I’d prefer pseudonymous.

          The blogs will cross-reference posts in the Community tabs on the right, because politics is science and vice-versa. Traffic and number of posts will probably be somewhat smaller than the political side.

          • NickS 4.1.1.1.1

            Awesome and thanks, but since I’ll probably be cross-posting stuff on my own blog I’ll use my current name. Though I’ll save the more esoteric, “what the hell/my brain hurts” stuff for my one 😀

            • lprent 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Cool. The stuff will be more science and tech overview – like the stuff that various of us have been writing. But with resource pages as well (so i can do things like put up example code).

              • NickS

                Neat, I just need to keep my present upswing motivation rolling then, though with the downtime due to dropping down to one course next semester and the temp-agency job-dance I should have plenty of time to pull together some good posts.

                I might try some brain storming tomorrow then and see if I can build up a bank of science topics related to present political issues, and finally get started on the 1080 thing.

                Which has been sitting on the back-burner for a year now.

                And I look forward to the iTunes rant.

      • Bored 4.1.2

        Excellent idea, I am really interested in posting on ecology, environmental issues that raise to raise awareness, would be good as it i see a lot locally but theres a hell of a lot more to be known / seen / discusssed etc.

      • travellerev 4.1.3

        Hi LPrent

        I’ve managed to secure the name “Subversive Foodie” and I’m working on my Diary Of a Subversive Foodie blog. I have you see, an extremely sinful hobby. Making my own fermented meats (Hams, Bacon sausages and all the Charcutery stuff you can’t get here) and cheeses (all the down and dirty un-pasteurised European style cheeses you can’t get here either) and growing my own foods etc. (I’ve stopped fermenting my own booze because it was just to good and to easy, Sigh)

        Anyway this seems to be almost subversive these day hence the name. LOL.

        • Santi 4.1.3.1

          Do you wear a tin-foil hat while preparing all these delicacies, Dutch Einstein?

          • RedLogix 4.1.3.1.1

            These ugly, misery gutted little noises you are dropping all over the threads don’t add much signal. Lift your game.

          • travellerev 4.1.3.1.2

            I don’t get it Santi,

            Sometimes you actually say sensible things. So why the vile stupidity in the face of real tangible discrepancies and mis-information in and about the official story and why here when we are talking about things absolutely not related to what you call conspiracy theories?

            Could it be you’re suffering from Cognitive dissonance?

  5. Oscar 5

    Solar Maximum also coincides with the planets lining up with the black hole in the centre of our galaxy.
    No idea what effect, if any, this will have. As it is the first time these two events coincide in nearly 2000 years, there is no recorded knowledge of what happens on earth.
    Will our seasons be affected? Will the poles shift even more, knowing that the north pole is shifting rapidly from hudson bay? Who knows.

    • NickS 5.1

      There will be no effect, why? Because your dealing with very, very small levels of gravitational attraction, that only really impacts on large masses, like stars. Where as planets generally are influence by objects within far smaller interstellar distances, mainly local large bodies of mass, like local stars, and heavier objects, along with planets, dwarf planets, moons and rocks. All of which can be worked out via basic Newtonian gravitational equations for two bodies, and forecasting techniques for three + bodies.

      Also, our star orbits the central black hole, which means we come into “alignment” with it regularly. aka we would have probably seen effects within human time scales already.

      Oh yeah, people, please quit it with the 2012 nonsense already, or at least explain it to your kids/other people’s kids that it’s a load of bullshit:
      http://skepticblog.org/2010/06/08/kids-fear2012/

      And next person to spout 2012 nonsense will be cluebatted with

    • Bright Red 5.2

      I’m pretty sure that’s not right.

      a) the planets won’t be ‘lined up’ any time soon http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/Solar

      b) when, as must very occassionally occur, the planets are all in a line from the sun, the odds that they will be pointing towards the centre of the galaxy are (literally) astronomical. In fact, I’m not even sure the Solar plane intercepts with the Galactic plane in such a way that they could point towards the centre of the galaxy.

      c) even if it did happen the forces are minute. The effect of gravity from the Earth on us is 10 metres a second squared, the effect of the Sun is 0.0006 of that. The other planets have a combined mass about 1% of the Sun’s. And the gravitational attraction of the galaxy on us is (by my reckoning) 0.00002 of earth’s gravity on us.

  6. NickS 6

    Personally, while the biological systems may have evolved to handle the increased flux during the flip…

    bork

    Nyet, infrequent events like that only drive selection during the event, rather than in-between events, meaning that other selection pressures alter what ever traits were selected for. And even then, dealing with it might be as simple as plain old phenotypic plasticity in terms of up-regulation of protective proteins and DNA repair enzymes 😛

    /bio-geek

    • really 6.1

      Translation, more birth defects and aborted pregnancies during these events?

      • NickS 6.1.1

        No, your talking about a jump in background radiation that is presently thought not to be a big driver of cancer-causing mutations per studies of populations living around (well maintained) nuclear power plants*. Will it cause a statistically significant increase in background radiation that will cause an increase in mutation rates? Yeap, but as I said there’s ways of dealing with this that involve up-regulating DNA repair enzymes, and not all mutations lead to malignant cancerous cells (many genetic roads, more oft than not rather biochemically twisty), or mid-late term miscarriages and abortions due to fetal abnormalities. To put in perspective, you’re much more likely to end up with cancer via working with radiation sources or mutagenic chemicals (and not following all the safety requirements) than you are from a slight increase in background radiation.

        And on the miscarriages, from memory I don’t think we have a good idea about the early term rate of them (clinically apparent vs non-apparent or non recorded), which is the first hurdle to generally clear. However I don’t have recent stuff lurking in my memory, and wikipedia isn’t much help.

        [Edit]
        ugh, stupid wikipedians not sticking relevant info on the right page:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion#Spontaneous_abortion

        So basically, our electrical stuff is more at risk from solar flares and magnetic field reversals than organic life is, unless you happen to be in an unshielded space craft/station, in which case you’re going to get more than the recommended dose.

        *What the authors failed to do was link the rates of blood cancers to viral diseases via anti-body tests + a few other controls if memory serves me right.

        • really 6.1.1.1

          Thanks Nick. Looking forward to your posts on the scitech blog.

          Should be a good addition to the NZ blogosphere.

          Can I humbly suggest that the scitech blog does not focus predominately on Climate Change, the reason being that it is a politically charged topic and will attract nutjobs of all colours.

          • lprent 6.1.1.1.1

            Hey I’m a programmer writing this on my brand new iPad. There is a limit on how much tech stuff I can write on a political blog. Same for the science (my first degree).

            I suspect that climate change will still be there because I am interested in the science. But it comes up here because the science is pretty well defined. The problem is political

          • NickS 6.1.1.1.2

            Thanks Nick. Looking forward to your posts on the scitech blog.

            Should be a good addition to the NZ blogosphere.

            Thanks, I just need to try and deal with motivation fun from my (treated) depression, but that’s what my student union fees pay for with really cheap counselling sessions. I just need to avoid the usual symptom of not breaking things done and pick up on some of the writing tricks the most excellent Ed Yong uses, and less like Darren Nash as I tend to…

            Hmmn, might need to actually start using that thread again to keep myself sane while I try and get some part time work.

            Can I humbly suggest that the scitech blog does not focus predominately on Climate Change, the reason being that it is a politically charged topic and will attract nutjobs of all colours.

            It comes down to the Emissions Trading Scheme and whatever succeeds the Kyoto Treaty, and the political opposition to it from ACT*, but also National’s pathetic modifications to the ETS and seeming incapability to be bothered with climate change. An issue that should not be, in my view, allowed to slip quietly out of sight.

            On top of that, I’m of the opinion that the IPCC is being far too conservative on feed-back effects, primarily the methane being released as methane clathrates decompose, though I’m more interested in ecological feed-back effects, such as changes in vegetation patterns and animal ranges.

            *And no mention of ACT’s braindeadness on climate change is complete without posting the following link about how ACT effectively sold out their previously sensible (for ACT…) climate change policies for some political funding:
            http://deepclimate.org/2009/08/01/meet-alan-gibbs-builder-of-amphibious-humvees-and-climate-science-coalitions/

            • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.2.1

              Thanks, I just need to try and deal with motivation fun from my (treated) depression,

              Best wishes with that. My older daughter whose just graduated from Vic (in an Earth Science) has also been hit badly by it as well. From what she says its seems a ridiculously common after-effect of completing a degree course these days.

              • NickS

                …And before I forget again…

                Thanks, though I’ve had this since before getting my BSc, so around 5 years, 3 years without knowing about it, and the 2 I did doing the ye olde NZ male stupidity of not getting proper help for it.

                And I hope your daughter gets through it.

  7. Jenny 7

    I remember reading somewhere that a severe electromagnetic storm struck the earth in the 1890’s with enough force to seriously damage the nascent hard wired telegraph system.

    Considering that such early communications technology was by it’s nature far more robust than modern electronic based communications, and even electricity supply systems, the consequence of a an electromagnetic storm of similar strength hitting today because of our reliance on these systems would be far more damaging.

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    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    5 days ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    5 days ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    1 week ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    1 week ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    1 week ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public health, externality, and vaccination
    Paternalism is contentious. Arguments for state action to protect us from ourselves are fraught. I come down pretty heavily on the anti-paternalism side of the argument, but I’ve heard respectable defences of paternalism. But policy around vaccination is hardly paternalistic. There’s a clear market failure that could be pointed to ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Happy Halloween
    Its Halloween, so its time for annual pumpkin trepanning and chocolate eating ritual. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
    I’ve been reading Jules Verne’s novel Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, considered as one of the very earliest science fiction stories. In brief, Monsieur Aronnax and a couple of sidekicks are taken prisoner by Captain Nemo and his mysterious crew and treated to an underwater voyage around the world ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosing the risks
    The climate crisis is going to mean some pretty big changes in our country, both from its impacts and the policies required to address them. Most obviously, whole suburbs are going to be underwater by 2100, meaning people and businesses are going to have to relocate to higher ground. But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • MPI fails again
    Yesterday a dairy company was fined $483,000 for repeatedly failing to report listeria in its facility. Its a serious fine for a serious crime: listeria is a serious disease, and they were effectively trying to kill people with it. But there's another story hidden in there, and its not a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Gay Men Address Gender Identity
    Gay men see the excesses of trans activism and are increasingly speaking out.  A new Facebook group addressing ‘gender identity’ and contemporary trans activism has been set up for gay men, by gay men. The following is the group’s Statement of Intent, Group Rules, and link to the group for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s Going Gangbusters.
    Criminal Enterprises: Gangs are not welfare institutions. Nor are they a substitute for the family their members never had. They are ruthless, violent, criminal money-making machines. That is all.OKAY, first-things-first. Gangs exist for one purpose – and only one. They are a sure-fired, time-tested institution for making crime pay – ...
    2 weeks ago
  • “Action for Healthy Waterways”: Some big ticket actions that the Government has neglected
    Prof Nick Wilson, A/Prof George Thomson, A/Prof Simon Hales, Prof Michael Baker The NZ Ministry for the Environment has produced a valuable discussion document with many good ideas for improving the health of waterways in New Zealand. But there are important gaps. In this blog we consider three big-ticket items ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • ADHD and fluoride – wishful thinking supported by statistical manipulation?
    Finding reality needs more than wishful thinking. The problem is that statistical arguments often provide a jargon to confirm biases. Image credit: Accurate Thinking Versus Wishful Thinking in Gambling I worry at the way some ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    4 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    5 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones annoyed at “elevated sense of entitlement from a lot of immigrant leaders”
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is defending Immigration New Zealand (INZ) after it instructed officials to stop granting visas as an exception to instructions. He has also lashed out at immigrant leaders upset with the tightening of the rules, saying they had an “elevated sense of entitlement”. Members of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand public likely to vote on euthanasia bill thanks to NZ First
    A change to the End of Life Choice Bill was passed in Parliament, meaning if politicians decide to vote for the law it must be approved by the public first. A binding referendum was a condition insisted on by New Zealand First, and Jenny Marcroft’s supplementary order paper (SOP) successfully ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Tairāwhiti Workforce development projects get $1.6m PGF boost
    Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), through its skills and employment programme, Te Ara Mahi, is investing a further $1.6m into Tairāwhiti’s workforce development, said Parliamentary Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “This PGF funding follows on from significant PGF investment earlier this ...
    3 weeks ago
  • NZ First welcomes primary sector support for climate change plan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says the Government’s steps to reduce farm livestock emissions are necessary and timely. Today the Government and farming leaders announced a plan to measure and price emissions at the farm level by 2025. “Many farmers ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Bede Corry as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “The appointment of a senior diplomat to this important role underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Mr Peters. “The United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
    An innovative approach to boosting the number of frontline Police has seen 20 new officers graduate from one of the uncommon training wings in Auckland. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of 20 constables today means that 1,765 new Police officers have been deployed since the coalition government took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Over 1.2 million hours of community work helps local communities
    Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the 1.2 million hours of community work completed by offenders in the last financial year has helped local communities right across the country. “Community work sentences are a great way for people to pay something positive back to society. There is a massive benefit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Te Huringa o Te Tai – Police Crime Prevention Strategy
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