Southland and Thames think they don’t have climate crises

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, July 4th, 2019 - 163 comments
Categories: climate change, local body elections, local government, science, sustainability - Tags:

Regular Standard contributor Robert Guyton put up a great fight but has failed to persuade the dinosaurs on Environment Southland to declare a climate emergency.   From Blair Jackson in Stuff:

“We’ve fumbled the opportunity to show leadership at a time when it’s important that someone steps up.”

Environment Southland councillor Robert Guyton expressed his disappointment after his motion for the council to declare a climate emergency was shot down at the council meeting on Wednesday.

Speaking after the meeting, Guyton said: “I had hoped the other councillors would have set aside their personal fears and shown courage on behalf of the Southlanders who voted them onto the council, but they voted against the tide of public opinion and against best advice.”

The opponents to Robert’s resolution all raised semantic arguments about what constituted an emergency.  At a time when all the residents of Kagoshima Prefecture are being evacuated because of flooding, and Alaska, Greenland, India and France experience abnormally high temperatures, these intrepid councillors are more worried about slight variations in the meaning of words.

And as Denis Tegg reports, Thames Coromandel District Council, which represents the area potentially affected by climate change, has refused to commit to LGNZ’s very modestly worded climate change declaration.  And court action is pending.

From Teggtalk:

A local climate action group has taken Thames-Coromandel District Council to court over its decision to not sign the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) climate change declaration. Hauraki Coromandel Climate Action wants the decision to be declared unlawful by the High Court.  It also seeks an order that TCDC must reconsider the decision after properly taking account of the global consensus that we face a climate emergency, the Local Government Act decision-making requirements, and its own policies and plans relating to climate change and engagement with its communities.

The court application also contends that it is unreasonable for TCDC to decline to commit to ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when there are significant predicted adverse effects from climate change for the Thames Coromandel District, New Zealand, and the planet.

HCCA chairperson Denis Tegg said predicted local impacts “include an increase in sea levels and the frequency of coastal flooding and erosion, greater risk of fire and drought, negative impacts on biodiversity and bio security, and oceanic impacts such as acidification in the Firth of Thames.” “In light of these potentially grave threats to our communities and the overwhelming global consensus on climate change, it is alarming and distressing that TCDC has not joined 65 other mayors and chairs and signed the LGNZ declaration” said Mr Tegg.

TCDC has not adopted a climate change emission reduction policy.

“The only material TCDC considered before making its decision was a short report from Mayor Sandra Goudie who was against signing the declaration” said Mr Tegg.  “In preparing her report the Mayor failed to understand or did not accept the scientific consensus on the predicted impacts of human-caused climate change.  The Mayor has made public statements to this effect.”

“It is highly unusual for councils to make significant decisions such as this without first considering thorough analysis from senior staff”.  “The fact that the only material presented to TCDC was from the Mayor who had refused to say whether she agreed humans were causing climate change, gives us no confidence that robust lawful decision-making processes were followed.” Mr Tegg said.

It is local government election year this year.  Vote wisely.

163 comments on “Southland and Thames think they don’t have climate crises”

  1. Chris T 1

    I'll probably get crap for this, 

    I am no climate change denier. Science is obviously undeniable on the topic, but what exactly does councils declaring "Crises" about it actually do to help?

    Surely they can still change their ways locally as much as they can to off set the changes without the buzz words.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      The problem is that the elected representatives who refuse to acknowledge there is a crisis because it is is just a word are the same councillors who are holding their councils back from making the big decisions that are necessary. There is an extremely strong correlation. If you can’t bring yourself to saying there is a crisis then you almost inevitably will also refuse to stop building roads and invest in walking and cycling and PT instead.

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        Yes, Mickey, it's that extrapolation to effects that causes them to baulk at the proposal. It's a fear that runs extremely deep in the conservative farming community and their political representatives. This climate emergency movement has forced it to the surface, like pus in a boil and we know what happens next; either the boil is lanced or the patient is poisoned from within.

        • gsays 1.1.1.1

          Hi Robert, I want to thank you and acknowledge yr efforts in showing leadership.

          Your mahi here on TS and on yr council is appreciated.

          You will be shown to be on the right side of history.

           

          Don't the bastards get you down.

          • Robert Guyton 1.1.1.1.1

            Thanks, gsays. I have a lot of fun with them, usually, and don't think of them as bastards it's only when it comes to the crunch, like it did yesterday, that they frustrate me. I bounce back real fast smiley

            • patricia bremner 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Sandra Goudie what a sad stance.  Does she think she is impervious to shocks?

              Denial comes in many forms,  semantics is one. Sorry your Southland members don’t get it.

              When their own situation is threatened they will have their hands out for remedial dollars.

              That may be too little too late 

              • Robert Guyton

                Perhaps it already is, patricia…

                Renovating that self-destructive culture takes a fair bit of doing, but when there's no other option, I guess we just plug on smiley

      • SHG 1.1.2

        Remember that not everyone has the same biases. There are lots of people around the world for whom a warming climate is the best thing since sliced bread.

        As a Canadian friend said to me recently: "ask yourself why investors are buying vast tracts of northern Canada as fast as they can"

    • WeTheBleeple 1.2

      The first step to dealing with a problem is admitting there is a problem. Change the words 'a problem' out for 'an emergency' and you'll get the idea.

    • Dennis Frank 1.3

      It's a reasonable point and why I haven't put any energy into supporting the concept, but I've come around to seeing why it's a good idea.  Shifting mass consciousness is actually essential, to get everyone on board, to collectively move from denial into solution-mode.

      So even though it initially seemed mere window-dressing, it is now realistic to acknowledge a looming global crisis.  Regional planning has to change to adapt & local govt therefore must engage that scenario and reprioritise what they are doing!

      • Robert Guyton 1.3.1

        "Shifting mass consciousness is actually essential, to get everyone on board, to collectively move from denial into solution-mode."

        That's it. The European New Zealander, 55years-plus, National Party-voting councillors strove to water down the wording to a point where it was insipid enough for them to stomach. 

        The audience, biggest ever and most diverse ever, was appalled at the vacuous rhetoric.

        • By golly there is a lot of shifting of mass consciousness to do. If you want to be 'afraid, very afraid' of the level of denial prevalent, go to all the Stuff articles via Facebook in the last three days on this topic and peruse the comments that Stuff facebookers post. Literally thousands of angry folk going to great lengths to say CC is bollocks and a scam akin to Y2K. I swear, if Donald Trump went for the National Party leadership at the mo, he would be welcomed with open arms by a sh*tload of NZers.

          • WeTheBleeple 1.3.1.1.1

            Sounds like desperation to me. Denial is part of the grieving process. Their free ride is all but over.

            Some other stuff articles aren't full of paid trolls, and the comments are surprisingly intelligent. Change is afoot, but so is denialism. Professional denialism with munter taggers on.

            The denialists all have the same lines, it's easy to spot. Almost as if they're being coached/have no thoughts of their own.

            Fear is their motivating factor, fear of loss of income, not life. 

            "I see dumb people" – The Sixth Sense.

            Check comments under Dame Anne Salmond’s recent contribution to Stuff regarding forestry. It might restore your faith in humans a little.

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/113901209/listen-to-what-the-history-of-our-trees-is-telling-us

        • Wayne 1.3.1.2

          I personally find the whole “climate emergency” thing an irritating piece of virtue signalling. So naturally it is beloved by the Left. As a means of bashing the Right. If I was a councillor, or a member of the National Party caucus I would be arguing against it. Pushing back against a Left narrative.

          The whole problem with an “emergency” is that it should take priority above everything else. I am not convinced about that. And in real policy terms neither is the government. Though I am sure they will love the virtue signalling aspect.

          My preference would be more practical. A decent financial incentive for electric cars, a government/industry partnership for charging station roll out. Much more tree planting, especially of stream margins. Working with farmers on better soil management and fertiliser application.

          But that actually requires working with people who might not be into virtue signalling. Much easier to just bash them (with rhetoric). 

          • Sacha 1.3.1.2.1

            'Virtue signalling' is as cynical a phrase as 'PC' ever was. Disappointing that you are so committed to it.

            Leadership includes symbols of commitment, and communication of longer-term collective goals.

            NZ suffers from too many old men who do not know how to lead and are too insecure to admit it and seek guidance or step aside.

            Also, electric cars are a red herring. Electric trucks, sure. Electric public transit, sure.

          • Robert Guyton 1.3.1.2.2

            Wayne, I'm surprised to see you so transparently tribal; I'd previously thought of you as free of those ideological handicaps. Your use of "virtue signalling" is disappointing, but, moving on… You say:

            "The whole problem with an “emergency” is that it should take priority above everything else."

            So says you; that's not the intention, widely explained, of the interpretation of the word in the case of climate emergency. Climate change is described elsewhere as "The Long Emergency" No one is demanding that we drop everything and attend only to climate change and I'm, again, disappointed that you're saying that. You may have missed my comment further down the thread that describes the efforts put in by councillors at ES to devise and have accepted, the very sorts of actions you say you'd prefer. Your National Party "mates" couldn't bear to vote for a synthesis of declaration and action plan, and it sounds as though you would do the same. You call for tree planting and working with farmers on better soil management; things we already do but it's going to take more than that and one very important thing councils can do is assume responsibility, take leadership, put up their hands and so, we'll keep our eye on this so you can relax a little; we've got the capacity to do much more than the average person and we've experts aboard to seek the best solutions. Wayne, I find your claims and statements very shallow and extremely disappointing.

          • WeTheBleeple 1.3.1.2.3

            Oh spin me another one.

            You trot out the same tired BS lines (virtue signalling), and how 'the left is just bashing the right'… which makes you sound moronic. There's plenty of conversations here that concentrate on solutions based thinking, but I'll gladly bash any government or representative deliberately obfuscating truth.

            "But that actually requires working with people who might not be into virtue signalling. Much easier to just bash them (with rhetoric)."

            That's my entire MO, bashing with rhetoric. In a nutshell.

            While you are defender of man, promoter of EV's, riparian planting, soil conservation…

            What a champion!

            • Wayne 1.3.1.2.3.1

              The use of "climate emergency" has now become just another part of the language of the culture wars. It is not intended to get people on board, instead it being used to identify "enemies."

              The fact that just about everyone on the centre-right has reacted to the term in the same way as I have shows its intended effect.  

              The Left has deliberately thought of a term that makes them seem virtuous while labelling anyone who doesn't buy into the language as bad.

              This whole item by MickySavage was designed with that intent.

               

               

              • Dennis Frank

                You could call this the Pavlov's Dog theory of politics, eh Wayne?  Nat/Lab folk incapable of thinking of anything except polarising against each other.  Such simple-mindedness has grown the centrist vote to over a third of the electorate in western countries in recent decades.  People acting like dogs are clearly powerful role models.

                I wonder about the cognitive dissonance though, in respect of Labour & National voters knowing that tradition requires them to act like sheep.  Some may struggle with those competing identities.  I'd like to see an anthropological research study into this.

              • WeTheBleeple

                The culture wars you say. Are we at WAR?

                "The Left has deliberately thought of a term"

                You mean Hobart City Councillors. I'm not a Hobart City Councillor. I am a leftie, but only after listening to what representatives of the right had to say. Charlatans!

                Maybe the Hobart Councillors were plotting how to annoy the right with a phrase while their state was burning down.

                "These forest fires are terrible, how do we salvage anything from this?"

                "I reckon we could think of a phrase to annoy the Liberals"

                "Oh good golly, yes yes, a phrase, that'll show 'em"

                "Ha ha yes, our best plot ever!"

                I mustn't have got the memo on the WAR. Or the phrase… 

                Dear me, where's my glasses.

                Water purification aka shit filter – check

                Box DVD set of Friends to light fires – check

                Hot roasted Schadenfreude – check

                You are still obsessed with fake war? Are you sure you want to take up arms against another imaginary threat? 

                Useless virtue signalling it all is aye, raising awareness and concern for the hundreds of millions suffering, right now, in heat waves, flood, drought, fires. you know, like here last Summer. The entire planet, including your precious economy, is about to go tits up.

                So wake the fuck up.

                Coming to a town near you. Not climate change, no, filthy lefty virtue signalling, that's the real fight.

                Culture war. blush

              • Robert Guyton

                "The Left has deliberately thought of a term that makes them seem virtuous while labelling anyone who doesn't buy into the language as bad."

                That's hilarious, Wayne. I reckon you're trying to rattle our chains; I can't believe you are serious. I did wonder earlier in the day, but now I'm sure;

                "The Left has deliberately thought of a term that makes them seem virtuous …" – oh please, Wayne! You ol' tease!

              • Blazer

                Have to agree with you here Wayne.

                Similar construct to labelling critique of Zionism as 'anti-semitic'.

              • mickysavage

                The Left has deliberately thought of a term that makes them seem virtuous while labelling anyone who doesn't buy into the language as bad.

                This whole item by MickySavage was designed with that intent.

                Actually Wayne it was written in despair.  I can't believe that we are still having a debate about should we be doing something when that debate was resolved a couple of decades ago.

                But the term and the debate is helpful.  It clearly shows up who the obstructionists are.

          • Pat 1.3.1.2.4

            so its all virtue signalling eh Wayne…care to outline your understanding of the likely near term outcomes , both financial and social of climate change?

          • Infused 1.3.1.2.5

            Its a joke. The council wont get voted out. It's a vocal minority of idiots

          • newsense 1.3.1.2.6

            F- off Wayne and take a decade of fart tax etc. with you. We know how you and your generation voted. 

          • newsense 1.3.1.2.7

            F- off Wayne and take a decade of fart tax etc. with you. We know how you and your generation voted. Take your lazy Republican rhetoric elsewhere. What did you do? Either stymie, BS and hamper or aid and abet. If wed started electric cars, public transport, transformation in our industries, or actually priced things as they cost rather than subsided polluters as happened under your last lot we might be somewhere. And you might have a leg to stand on.

    • As Micky Savage pointed out, it's effectively a proxy for whether climate change denialists are in a majority on the council or not. That's good for us to know, especially if we're in one of the majority-denialist areas and there are local elections coming up. 

      • Chris T 1.4.1

        Not really 

        It just shows which ones think officially proclaiming something is an "emergency" has any actual point.

         

        • Robert Guyton 1.4.1.1

          In fact it shows which ones don't understand what the declaration implies and means; by their own admission, literally saying "I don't understand…" repeatedly, in earlier discussions. My advice to a councillor facing a vote about something he doesn't understand, is to seek advice or, abstain from voting. 

      • Wayne 1.4.2

        PM

        You have exactly described the Left position. Anyone who doesn't buy into the "climate emergency" is therefore a climate change denialist.

        No middle ground. No need for dialogue. 

        People are either good or bad. According to the Left categorisation of this issue.  

        • Robert Guyton 1.4.2.1

          He did, Wayne, but I didn't and you haven't cited my words. You are feeding your own bias.
          What do you say, Wayne, to the poll that found the trend showing those who oppose the declaration of a climate emergency include European New Zealanders, 55+ years and over, who vote for the National Party?
          Cunning Lefty pollster plot?

        • WeTheBleeple 1.4.2.2

          Speak for yourself for once or are you part of a hive mind?

          Take one comment as evidence for theories which are large chunks of horseshit.

          'The Left position' like we've only the one voice. This issue affects the whole planet not just your property portfolio.

          Some people will definitely remember 'who was on what side'. I don't care except I'd like the deniers to join reality and the thumb plungers to give their anus some relief. People learn as they go and they grow. I forgive and forget, others struggle with it, with too much remembering to ever rebuild trust.

          I've been pushing for all hands on deck the whole time. 

          It is most definitely an emergency, or maybe, MAYBE, all the scientists are liars and the devastating weather patterns emerging are a figment of some leftie dream to piss off the right.

          Do you have a clown car to go with the noddy image?

        • Psycho Milt 1.4.2.3

          PM

          You have exactly described the Left position. 

          I exactly described my own opinion of it, Wayne.  There is no "The Left."

  2. Sacha 2

    Yeah nah we'd rather not use the word emergency to describe something requiring urgent action says the Southland council chair: https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018702566/southland-council-votes-against-climate-emergency-declaration

    Also the only thing that will make a difference is individuals “doing a little more”, eh. Recycle your milk bottles, southerners.

    Please vote these dolts out.

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      Cr Hubber argued that using the word "emergency" would frighten adolescents. 

      He proved his point.

  3. WeTheBleeple 3

    The writing is on the wall for councils (and business) worldwide.

    If you are not accounting for environmental concerns in your affairs – the public will hold you to account. And it will only get worse.

    So, instead of throwing good money after lawyers and PR firms you might as well roll your sleeves up and muck in. This is the wrong issue to be on the wrong side of. The whole planet will be up in arms shortly.

    The protesters will become more and more, the lies uncovered more and more. Till businesses are pushed out of markets and dinosaurs are pushed out of power. As climate conditions worsen protesters may not be so polite as to seek legal redress.

    People are largely tolerant and patient here in NZ (with a few notable exceptions). But taking this for granted is folly. Have you ever been stupid enough to endanger children in front of their parents – of course not. You'd be in a cell or headlock or even a hospital bed for your efforts. Now who would be so stupid as to do nothing about a situation threatening the lives of the generations ahead. Who will be standing on semantics when these children are voters and consumers.

    Much easier to read the writing on the wall. 

    The dinosaurs are dead.

    • greywarshark 3.1

      Useful lead to points for starting practical preparation for infrastructure needs which should involving planning to include work lessening future remedial work before it happens.

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018702603/councils-can-t-cope-productivity-commission

      Local councils dealing with climate change, and struggling with overloaded infrastructure and high visitor numbers need better financial support – according to a new report from the Productivity Commission.  The report says New Zealand's population has grown by about 30% in the last twenty years, but this growth has not been evenly distributed.

      The report makes 50 recommendations including a bed tax in some tourist areas, more user charges for basic council services such as water and the establishment of a climate-resilience agency and associated fund. Lynn talks with Dr Judy Lawrence of Victoria University's Climate Change Research Institute, and Chris Roberts, Chief Executive of the Tourism Industry Aotearoa.

  4. fustercluck 4

    Google "solar minimum"

    Snow and ice on Greenland are increasing. 

    • RedLogix 4.1

      And at the same time Antarctica has decreased unexpectedly.

      Glaciers never behave in a linear, predictable fashion. In very simple terms as we progress from very cold dry conditions a 'typical' glacier will transition through various responses. Very cold means very slow precipitation at the head, and the resulting ice formation is very solid and slow moving.

      Then with increasing temperatures the first thing that tends to happen is increased snow levels, the glacier grows and starts moving faster. The terminal will likely extend. 

      Increase temperatures again, especially if you have summers nights above zero degrees, and the low level terminal will start to melt. With less ice at the terminal holding the glacier back, it moves faster. Now more crevasses open up and meltwater starts to lubricate the ice/bedrock interface.

      Meanwhile as temperatures continue to rise at the head snow loading continues to grow, but it's wetter and slushier. The structure of the ice it forms is more granular and less dense, it moves faster. At this stage the glacier may appear to be in balance, gaining ice faster at the head while losing it at the terminal. But the equilibrium is now less stable; it only takes one of many factors for the overall mass of the glacier to change relatively quickly.

      This is why sometimes we see short-term volume gains, followed by equally dramatic losses. Inevitably increasing temperatures, particularly increased summer night-time temps, will win the battle. Glaciers in the Southern Alps I climbed on 40 years ago, are now wilting before our eyes. I worked for a geologist in my 20's and the above is a very abbreviated description of the complexity of ice. I'm sure an expert could improve on it considerably, but the fundamentals are roughly correct.

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    Google "fustercluck"

    Usefulness and worthiness are decreasing.

  6. marty mars 6

    Tasman won't declare either – they are already acting like it is an emergency apparently lol – failure of everything for these waste of spaces. Kick them all out and start again with new people. 

    • greywarshark 6.1

      Thinking of people who would be good to encourage to stand for coming Council elections?   Do people not standing have to change to becoming support people for thinking, acting for environment/people-sensitive practical Councillors?

      • marty mars 6.1.1

        You should do it and activate the good ideas you've had. Why not? All of the reasons NOT to do it are also reasons to DO it.

        • greywarshark 6.1.1.1

          Can't I have other commitments.   And I have to watch I don't get depressed – need to stop and take a break to keep my spirits up.   The petty meanness of many, the me-first of the older generation who feel they deserve much and have little time for the young adults gets me down.  

          Then Nelson prides itself on being a Smart City, but is more technology concerned than people.   They have just agreed to sell their social housing tranche and I don't know that they have land to build more to replace with newer.     They will have to be weaned off the mountain bike and view gondola so close to the city that will be a fire hazard risk of which we have had a fierce lesson recently from Wakefield and while that was still extant a wildcard nitwit man started one in the city near to houses.   I have too much to do and can only cope with so much.

          • Robert Guyton 6.1.1.1.1

            Don't go near it, grey; it's not for the faint-hearted (unless you're already a Member of the Clubsmiley

  7. Sabine 7

    Well, we don't have a climate crisis. 

     

    The climate is alright it does what it does. It is us that have an extistential crisis. But surely there are boats to be pulled across country for a bit of hooning up and down a river/lake, cows to be poisioned by overuse of fertilizer and  beneficiaries to be bashed and made responsible for all of our woes. 

    • Sacha 8.1

      Great photos, Robert.

      So these are the people Southlanders need to hold accountable at election time:

      Councillors Lyndal Ludlow, Maurice Rodway and Rowly Currie supported Guyton
      but they were defeated by councillors Neville Cook, Grant Hubber, David Stevens, Eric Roy, chairman Nicol Horrell, Ross Cockburn, Lloyd McCallum and Jeremy McPhail.

      • Robert Guyton 8.1.1

        I do agree with you, Sasha. In summing up on the day, I encouraged everyone in the public gallery to watch closely and note who voted for or against and remember that when the local body elections roll around in October 

        smiley

        • Gabby 8.1.1.1

          Does Eric Titsonabull Roy comprehend the elected nature of his position?

          • Robert Guyton 8.1.1.1.1

            His support in Southland is rock-solid.

            • Marcus Morris 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Sad but true- reminds of  the G and S character who always followed the party line and so "became the ruler of the Queen's Navy"  (or was it a "modern Major General")- although what did Eric Roy ever achieve in all those years in parliament, apart from keeping a "rock solid" seat warm – I lived in Southland for many years – the farming community, in my experience, was generous but incredibly insular and conservative in its thinking. 

      • SHG 8.1.2

        In a warmer world a lot of currently frozen/dry South Island property is going to become very productive (read: valuable) land.

         

         

        Disclosure: have financial interests in a number of southern properties

        • Pat 8.1.2.1

          Assume you mean monetary value?

          Only if the wherewithal remains to support that value.

          • SHG 8.1.2.1.1

            Oh in a thousand years civilisation might have collapsed and we might even be extinct because of anthropogenic climate change. But it's hard for landowners and councils in currently frozen places to care about that happening in a millennium when the aforementioned anthropogenic climate change is possibly going to make them very wealthy in the next fifty years.

             

            • Robert Guyton 8.1.2.1.1.1

              "Wealthy in the next 50 years" beats a collapsed civilisation every time, eh, SHG!

              Some communities don't agree. Some communities have a long-term view. Some communities have avoided the trap you've described. Ours must see it for what it is and get out, soon!

              Imo.

            • Pat 8.1.2.1.1.2

              you think theres that much time?….good luck

      • Swizzle 8.1.3

        So 4 for, 8 against. Sounds pretty democratic to me – far more so than many decisions made by our current Coalition Govt.

        But here's a scenario to which responses would be enlightening…

        A big Corporate with all their researchers, financial resources etc has invented the ultimate planet & humanity saving machines – they gobble greenhouse gases and convert them to oxygen, can be fed by renewable energy. They are patented, and cost money (less money however than the apparent costs of climate change) to all citizens – via the normal methods of taxation, donation, levy, rate etc etc. Obviously the patent holders want a return on investment, plus a bit of profit.

        Do we support this wholeheartedly, and rejoice that the solution has been found, and humanity can continue to flourish, thrive, advance..whatever your chosen descriptor?

         

         

        • WeTheBleeple 8.1.3.1

          Err, you are describing trees.

        • Robert Guyton 8.1.3.2

          Do we support a fantasy scenario with no basis in reality?

          Hardly worth thinking about, is it?

          How do you mean, "So 4 for, 8 against. Sounds pretty democratic to me"

          I can't make sense of your statement.

          • Dennis Frank 8.1.3.2.1

            He means the establishment defending the status quo against the barbarians is how democracy is meant to work.  He's right.  It was set up to ensure lawful protection of traditional privilege.  That's why the right to vote was restricted to property owners until idealists won the numbers game in the late 19th century.

            • Marcus Morris 8.1.3.2.1.1

              Good grief. Is this statement made with your tongue firmly against your cheek or are you saying that privilege is the only lawful power broker?

              • Dennis Frank

                Just reporting the history of democracy relevant to the prior comment.  I own and have read a bunch of books on the history of democracy, incidentally!  The law can be seen to do things other than preserve privilege, and is sometimes used to provide justice, even to achieve social justice outcomes…

          • Marcus Morris 8.1.3.2.2

            Neither can I Robert – nor the innuendo that went with it. Tory troll I suspect.

             

        • In Vino 8.1.3.3

          We are on this planet, not your fairy-tale one.

        • Augustus 8.1.3.4

          Why should anyone get a return on investment and a profit? Return on investment is the profit. Reward for labour on the other hand, well, you have to perform some.

  8. By golly there is a lot of shifting of mass consciousness to do. If you want to be 'afraid, very afraid' of the level of denial prevalent, go to all the Stuff articles via Facebook in the last three days on this topic and peruse the comments that Stuff facebookers post. Literally thousands of angry folk going to great lengths to say CC is bollocks and a scam akin to Y2K. I swear, if Donald Trump went for the National Party leadership at the mo, he would be welcomed with open arms by a sh*tload of NZers.

    • Pat 9.1

      and not just Stuff comments….it is widespread, although it could be the same clique in overdrive

  9. David Mac 10

    Lovely deckchair placement Titanic Councillors.

  10. Formerly Ross 11

    Yeah scaring the shit out of people has been tried before. People will think twice before accepting it. We had the Y2K bug which was going to cause untold harm. We have had moral panics around various things. Children in childcare centres being sexually abused en masse springs to mind. 

    In addition we have heard about the dangers of climate change with little or no attention given to the benefits. Are there none?

    If you want to get traction around climate change, scaremongering is probably not the way to go. However freedom of expression is a wonderful thing, and if there are those who think I am wrong they are welcome to say so.

     

    • David Mac 11.1

      It depends on how an individual acknowledges the issue whether it's scaremongering or just calling a spade a spade. More and more of us are calling spade, a few won't come around until the Pacific is lapping at their decks.

      • Robert Guyton 11.1.1

        The greatest fear for people will come as they realise that their elected governors are denying reality; who wants to be led by people with their eyes squeezed shut and their ears blocked by their stubby fingers?

    • Robert Guyton 11.2

      Declaring a "climate emergency" isn't "scaring the shit" out of people, FormerlyRoss, quite the opposite in fact; the squeal that we'd frighten the children by saying "emergency" was heard repeatedly yesterday, but when challenged to cite one single instance where other councils had declared a climate emergency, from anyone, young or old, reporting that they were frightened by the council's actions, a resounding silence descended upon the naysayers…because there are no reports, no letters from timorous children, only the wan protestations of dressed-as-realist climate change deniers. Those are the ones squealing, as if their lives depended upon a word and the admission that comes with using it.

      • marty mars 11.2.1

        and these people are in leadership positions, get the gongs and the kudos. Earn the big money and the free trips and here they are actively acting against people but will the people rise up in anger and teach these people some lessons – nah not even the good people of southland can lean and change the direction of the waka 

      • Chris T 11.2.2

        "Those are the ones squealing, as if their lives depended upon a word and the admission that comes with using it."

        The ones doing the squealing are the ones moaning the council didn't do the pointless token proclaimation.

        • Robert Guyton 11.2.2.1

          No one is " moaning the council didn't do the pointless token proclaimation".

          There are many people deeply disappointed that the council didn't declare a climate emergency though. 

          • Chris T 11.2.2.1.1

            Does not proclaiming an emergency some how impede them doing what little  they can to try to alleviate climate change

            • Robert Guyton 11.2.2.1.1.1

              In what way, Chris? I don't see what you might be thinking.

              At the same time I was encouraging the council to declare an emergency, I was encouraging the council to put up their action plan; both actions support each other; the declaration brings the public on-board; after all, they asked us to do that; it signals that we recognise the need for leadership and that we'll do it; after all, we were voted in so that we could represent the people and do the work they can't easily do; we have scientists and planners at our disposal; the public do not; we're in the ideal position to do stuff. One or two of the councillors were very busy putting together such a programme and asked at the meeting that it be included in the motion as an amendment; the negative councillors refused to include it, so they voted down the declaration and the proposal for action. With the wind of public support at our backs, we would have achieved far more than we're now able to do, defending our actions against an irritated and vocal public. Already, there are claims being made by the public and defences being erected by the council that would not have been needed, had the councillors agreed to cooperate on this issue; that's draining our resources already. I expect that to get worse. In any case, it's not so much that we're attempting to alleviate climate change, it's more that we've a responsibility to protect our people from the effects of climate change. Of course we can reduce our emissions and help others to do the same, but our real role will be softening the blow. But we won't be effective if we pretend it's a minor issue that we'll get round to later…

              • Poission

                I was encouraging the council to put up their action plan;

                Oh no the bulldozers.(which seem to come with concrete plans)

                 

            • Dennis Frank 11.2.2.1.1.2

              That's where leadership comes in.  Leadership happens in practice via signalling from leader to group, explaining goals, plan, strategy, then tactics.

              In an emergency, it helps for the group to already have shared the plan (after agreeing to the goals).  Signalling climate change as a crisis is an attempt to shift everyone into emergency planning.  Shifting into collaboration.

              You seem to default to individuals doing their thing.  That won't work.  Collective survival always comes via teamwork.  Entire tribes must engage the challenge the crisis, to exploit the opportunity for survival it provides.  Think of it as evolution 1.01 –  humanity has always done it to survive…

              • Robert Guyton

                Yes, I agree with all that, Dennis. You might be interested to learn that there were two public submissions before the debate yesterday, one from An Anglican priest who talked about responsibility; personal, familial, societal and ontological; he was brilliant. Most of the anti-councillors are church-going Christian men and the biblical examples used: Adam and Eve, Cain and Able and Noah, should have moved them, but seemed not to at all.

      • Formerly Ross 11.2.3

        Robert

        You may wish to explain what these other councils have achieved by declaring an emergency. Have temperatures and weather phenomenon changed as a result of such a declaration? Is there expected to be a change in weather and temperatures long term? If so, how will that be achieved by declaring an emergency?

        • Robert Guyton 11.2.3.1

          Those councils, some of whom only declared a climate emergency days ago, could hardly be expected to have "changed the temperature or weather phenomena", now could they? I suspect you're being facetious, which doesn't help the discussion. What will be achieved by declaring a climate emergency? I've already covered this but… firstly, a declaration identifies an agency willing to stand up, call it for what it is on behalf of the community that it serves. This not a council-led process, it comes from the people; council's offer their support, moral and technical, for the sake of the people who voted for them. It listens to their concerns, doesn't dismiss them because it wasn't the council's own idea (the usual process and one loathed by many ordinary rate payers). This is an opportunity creates a cohesion between council and community; such opportunities come rarely; turning it down is stupid and irresponsible, imo. The best analogy for how practically, a declaration of climate emergency affect the concrete outcomes of council is to regard the declaration as a lens which must be held up to everything the council does. When it is, council can see in detail where they can act. Without such scrutiny; and it won't happen without the commitment the declaration brings, business as usual will be the way, the same pace of progress will occur and we are not in a position, as a society, to allow that to happen; for goodness sake man, there's an imperative around what's happening to the climate. If you don't understand that, you should exit the discussion. When the media declared they weren't going to publish the opinions of climate change deniers, we began to make some progress with getting our society closer to reality. I applaud that decision. Climate deniers could form a club and sit round sharing their mistaken views ad nauseam. I know of one such club here in Southland smiley

          • Formerly Ross 11.2.3.1.1

            I suspect you're being facetious

            You suspect wrong, Robert. I'll ask my question in a different way: let's say Southland District Council had declared an emergency 5 years ago. In what way(s) would Southland be different today? Would its sea level be lower and would its average temperature be lower? 

            • Dennis Frank 11.2.3.1.1.1

              Depends on the subsequent actions taken by council & community.  Don't assume empty rhetoric.  Nothing wrong with being sceptical, but local governance can use public relations to change local culture, huh?  First thing would be to get whatever regional governance structures are operating to produce an economic analysis of the prospects.  Think bioregions shifting in trajectory in response to climate change.  As nature & ecosystems adapt, so must the people affected!

            • Robert Guyton 11.2.3.1.1.2

              Formerly Ross (fyi, the council I serve on is the Southland Regional Council)

              "let's say Southland District Council had declared an emergency 5 years ago. In what way(s) would Southland be different today? Would its sea level be lower and would its average temperature be lower? "

              Southland would be different in that it would have, over the past 5 years, been regarded nationally and globally, as an inspirational leader in the field, having declared a climate emergency so early in the piece. The Southland community would be glowing with pride with each successive council and country of the world (The Republic of Ireland, the U.K, Canada etc.) having followed their lead and declared a climate emergency. As Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, Hutt Valley, Kapiti, Nelson, Christchurch, Canterbury, Dunedin, Queenstown Lakes councils declared, more praise would have flowed to the people of Southland. The praise for the early-starting Southlanders would be global and would doubtless have provided opportunities for relationships with countless agencies across the globe. With that exposure and attention, Southland District councillors would have an excellent relationship with their constituents, having made them almost famous, globally, and would be hugely supported by them with every climate-focussed initiative they proposed; a remarkable achievement for a small council, you'll doubtless agree. The practical actions of the council are, naturally, down to them and their community (remember, their great and trusting relationship). Your suggestion that the sea level would be lowered by such an early start is facetious, but in fact, they had time to relocate people living in inundation-prone areas of South Invercargill and Otatara, something the denier councils elsewhere were to late to do, having dithered and denied for too, too long. Did they lower the average temperature? Yes; the councils plan to boost the albedo effect by assisting every business and home owner to paint their rooves white made a measurable difference to the amount of heat reflected by the region, into outer space, where it belongs.

              Okay?

               

              • Formerly Ross

                The Southland community would be glowing with pride…Southland District councillors would have an excellent relationship with their constituents, having made them almost famous

                Robert, responding to climate change isn't a popularity contest. Being proud and becoming almost famous are not going to assist the people of Southland. You could of course place a sign on your fence saying "no flooding allowed". It would be just as symbolic.

                If the main point of declaring an emergency is to become almost famous, I'm afraid that Wayne (whose politics I don't share) is correct and this is little more than virtue signalling.

                As for painting rooves, I'm not sure there is a law which prevents individual owners from painting their rooves. What effect on sea levels and temperatures has painting rooves had? Before commanding people to do something it’s always useful to show examples of where the same action has been successful.

                • Robert Guyton

                  You miss the point, Ross. Building connections and confidence with the community is vital for effective governance. The value of community pride is not to be underestimated, though it seems you do. If there's a significant threat to the wellbeing of the community (there is) it's critical that everyone works together to face it. Typically, the conservative right-wing element alienates the part of the community it doesn't like, believing that winner takes all, failing to see that bullying creates anger. The community needs to be unified, not divided. As ye sow, so shall the reap.

                  • Formerly Ross

                    I don't think I've missed the point – I simply don't give it the same weight you do. Again, there's nothing to stop the people of Southland from taking action. Communities can take action. Individuals can take action. They don't need the approval of district (or regional) councillors to paint their roof or plant a tree. 

                    • Robert Guyton

                      You don't recognise the importance of "the point", FR; I'm guessing therefore, you're a National voter.

                      There's nothing to stop the people of Southland from taking action, but the role of a council is to incentivise, encourage and advise on important issues; how many people do you think would know about albedo (not my actual focus, but for example). Council's have scientific staff and access to best advice; most people in the community don't. Council's can advertise widely, create movements for change (for example the estuary project in train now). Councils can bulk buy, white paint, for example, and make it easy for people who might not be able to afford it; I'm surprised at your reluctance to see what I'm alluding to here, Ross; what's your real intention, I wonder?
                      Edit: You say, “Before commanding people to do something …” revealing, I believe, your antipathy toward councils and your misunderstanding of what I’m saying here. Your blinkers seem tightly fitted.

                    • Formerly Ross []

                      I am a National voter? You should stick to climate change. I voted Green at the last election and Labour for electorate.

                      History has shown us that we really shouldn’t be making predictions around climate change. 

                      http://www.aei.org/publication/18-spectacularly-wrong-predictions-made-around-the-time-of-first-earth-day-in-1970-expect-more-this-year-3/

                      And the media aren’t helpful either.

                      https://nypost.com/2018/11/28/the-media-got-it-all-wrong-on-the-new-us-climate-report/

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I picked your political leanings wrongly, sorry, Formerly Ross. No one should accuse another of being a National voter smiley

                      You say:

                      "we really shouldn’t be making predictions around climate change. "

                      Really???

                      What do you suggest? Feign ignorance? Declare the future a mystery?

                      Hope for the best? Do nothing?

                • WeTheBleeple

                  This'll help understanding re: white roofs.



        • Sacha 11.2.3.2

          "Is there expected to be a change in weather and temperatures long term? If so, how will that be achieved by declaring an emergency?"

          Galvanising collective action.

    • Sacha 11.3

      We had the Y2K bug which was going to cause untold harm.

      It would have. I get annoyed about people using that as an example of unjustified concern.

      The most impressive avoidance of widespread damage I've seen close up. If only we could do the same for our climate.

      • Psycho Milt 11.3.1

        The people who use it as an example generally have no idea of how much time, effort and expense went into ensuring it didn't cause harm.  

      • Formerly Ross 11.3.2

        Sacha

        ”It would have”. Indeed it could have if everyone had sat on their hands. Is everyone sitting on their hands re climate change?

      • Marcus Morris 11.3.3

        I may be wrong, and it is nearly twenty years ago, but I have a notion that the Y2K bug scare was promulgated partly by some religious fundamentalist groups that claimed it was to be some kind of armageddon as prophesied in the bible – difficult to link this with the science of climate change.

        • Sacha 11.3.3.1

          Yes, you may be.

          • Marcus Morris 11.3.3.1.1

            From a Wikipedia article on the YK2 issue:

             Some experts who argued that scaremongering was occurring, such as Ross Anderson, Professor of Security Engineering at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, have since claimed that despite sending out hundreds of press releases about research results suggesting that the problem was not likely to be as big a problem as some had suggested, they were largely ignored by the media.[10]

            Just saying, and I know of at least one religious group that was issuing dire warnings.

            • Sacha 11.3.3.1.1.1

              Well that certainly trumps my real-world experience.

            • Formerly Ross 11.3.3.1.1.2

              Ross Anderson, Professor of Security Engineering at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, have since claimed that despite sending out hundreds of press releases about research results suggesting that the problem was not likely to be as big a problem as some had suggested,

              Yes, and of course some have said that climate change isn't going to be as big a problem as has been suggested. You'd certainly hope so given the $400 billion spent on it each year! 

              • Robert Guyton

                "of course some have said that climate change isn't going to be as big a problem as has been suggested."

                That's your belief, Formerly Ross? That climate change isn't going to be as big a problem as has been suggested?

                What makes you think this?

    • Dennis Frank 11.4

      In addition we have heard about the dangers of climate change with little or no attention given to the benefits. Are there none?

      I've never heard of growing mangoes in Aotearoa but a quick google informs us it is possible:  https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/home-property/80140381/can-i-grow-mangoes-in-new-zealand

      Imagine Northland acquiring a sub-tropical regional climate as the result of the global shift.  Plantations of mangoes tended by impoverished Maori, trucking the fruit down the highway to Auckland, gradually lifting the region out of poverty…

      • Robert Guyton 11.4.1

        One of the emails to the chairman came from a woman who works protecting the Yellow Eyed penguins and kakapo; she said never-before-experienced plagues of mosquitoes are attacking the hoiho and the never-before-seen disease is killing the kakapo, before the very eyes of the kaitiaki who have spent decades caring for those birds. 

        • Dennis Frank 11.4.1.1

          Yeah & I always suspected that kauri die-back was a consequence of climate-change growing indigenous fungi into excess populations (rather than foreign invaders).

          There'll be a parade of downsides to come.  Survival will require us to cope with those as well as exploit upside opportunities…

          • WeTheBleeple 11.4.1.1.1

            You are right. Phytophthora agathidicida is a local as we've learned. 

            https://www.kauridieback.co.nz/media/1371/weir-paper-2015.pdf

            My bananas are going great guns, taro out the wazoo, still waiting for the damn coffee to flower.

            Some of us have been thinking about this for some time.

            • Robert Guyton 11.4.1.1.1.1

              Indeed. Look for those "pushing the limits of growth" gardeners in your own region and keep and eye on what pops up in the spring! Those edgy ones exist in all populations and are the saviour when the heat's turned up; you'll recognise them by their unconventional appearance and behaviour smiley

              • WeTheBleeple

                Ha!

                I eco-sourced some Manuka seed from a nice gardener next to my local dairy yesterday, it was a large cutting…

                "Do you want to leave it here till you finish at the shop?"

                "No thank you. They're used to me being eccentric round here." 

                Eco-sourcing, if folk are curious, is taking seed from your own climate/soil type to give plants adapted to your neck-of-the-woods the best chance. Local plants have local adaptations. Saves a lot of faffing about.

                • Robert Guyton

                  One of the letters that came into the chairman was clearly from an eccentric. I laughed my aphid hat clean off!

        • SHG 11.4.1.2

          The kakapo fungal epidemic is heartbreaking. Anyone who doesn't see this as a climate incident is wilfully blind.

          • Robert Guyton 11.4.1.2.1

            It didn't move my fellow nay-saying councillors. In fact, no one mentioned it at all.

      • Gabby 11.4.2

        You are a wag franko.

  11. AB 12

    Around 40% of the electorate votes in council elections – in general the more affluent part. The purpose of Councils is to protect the existing material comfort of that 40%. Any action on CC is therefore  restricted to a limited range of technocratic adjustments. This will be the case irrespective of whether  words like 'crisis' or 'emergency' are used or not. 

  12. aj 13

     

     

    Invercargill since 2013:

    • 2013:    Record mean temperatures in July and August.
    • 2014:    Record mean temperatures in June.
    • 2016:    Almost record warmth in February and April. Record warm day-time temperatures in June.
    • 2018:     Record high temperatures in January. Record monthly mean in March. Second warmest July on record.
    • 2019:    Record monthly mean and record day time temperatures for March. Record mean daily temperature in May.
  13. Pat 14

    "These declarations have been criticised as ‘merely symbolic’, but we must not underestimate the importance of symbolic acts. In the past New Zealand has taken a stand against apartheid and nuclear proliferation, symbolic acts that helped shape world history. The declaration of a climate emergency by other governments and NZ councils recognises the value of this, and our leaders in Wellington should too.

    Such a declaration also serves to highlight the hypocrisy of ongoing government policies that are inconsistent with a climate emergency. This is exactly what has happened in the UK, where policies are now being scrutinised in the light of the climate emergency declaration. This is a good thing.

    Of course, declaring a climate emergency does not in itself solve the challenge we face. We need a real Zero Carbon Act that lives up to its name. We need investment in low-carbon technologies and infrastructure. We need to stop subsidising fossil fuels. We need to change what we eat.

    But to properly tackle these challenges, we also all need to acknowledge the grave severity and urgency of the problem at hand. Declaring a climate emergency forces our political leaders and ourselves to confront the climate crisis head on and commit to averting disaster."

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/07/04/665871/we-must-face-climate-emergency-head-on

     

    Support grows Robert….is it growing fast enough and widely enough is yet to be seen

    • Robert Guyton 14.1

      I believe you're right, Pat. What's likely to happen, I believe, is that as the realisation grows amongst the general public, the clingers-to-bau will flip their wigs and ridiculous stuff will happen.

      • WeTheBleeple 14.1.1

        In business there are early adopters of a thing/tech/idea, and then a certain percentage share in the market tips a product into the mainstream (can't recall offhand but it's nowhere near 50%.)

        Maybe a businessman can tell us the tipping point for market infiltration. It's been a while…

        • Dennis Frank 14.1.1.1

          Googling tipping point for market infiltration gets this:  The tipping point for success is at 15–18% market penetration. Scaling at less than 10% of market penetration is cnsidered premature scaling. This is because you may believe you have market fit, when in fact you don't. At 10% you are still only a bit over halfway into the innovators/early adopters.Aug 7, 2016

          Google’s editor was having a cuppa tea at the time (cnsidered). I wonder if this will eventually get correlated with a law of complexity – in respect of how chaos produces order. You’re right, such minority leverage on the whole is seriously impressive!

          Obvious lesson for the Greens: grow your voter base till it escalates over 15%. Then watch the mainstreamers jump on board…

          • WeTheBleeple 14.1.1.1.1

            Thanks Dennis. I couldn't recall if I even had the right terms. Mind like a stegosaurus brontosaurus thesaurus but with scrambled page numbers.

            Yes it is surprisingly low aye. Useful information.

            Watching Chernobyl at present. Simpler times…

          • greywarshark 14.1.1.1.2

            So let's build some trebuchets, load up the scoops, and let them go, if we have reached the tipping point.    Send our message in to the heart of the market and imply there is money to be made.   Build the anticipation and response, and the adopters will come.

            "You’re right, such minority leverage on the whole is seriously impressive!"   Let it be so.

  14. tsmithfield 15

    My problem with councils declaring climate emergencies is that they may well believe by doing such they have done something towards solving the problem. When in fact, all they have done is made themselves feel better about it.

    I would prefer to see concrete proposals and planning towards solving the problem rather than trivial virtue signalling, if this is all it ends up being.

     

    • Robert Guyton 15.1

      In the case of our council, Smithfield, we were proposing to do both things; declare and action. Those concrete proposals were being set, though I'd like to see the public involved in the more significant ones, and the declaration which you dismissively and trivially call, "trivial virtue signalling", due, I believe, to your inability to understand what is meant by it, what it involves, what it implies and the power it brings to the public and the strength it confers on the relationship between the public and the governing councils; it's a democratic opportunity and has gone begging, in my view. 

      • Sacha 15.1.1

        I believe the point was that if there's no accompanying action, those who love the phrase could label it as mere signalling.

        • Robert Guyton 15.1.1.1

          There was always going to be accompanying action, Sacha; the councillors knew that perfectly well and in fact had gone to great pains to claim that we're already busy with climate change mitigations. Their closer and expressed intent was to kill the use of the word "emergency". Holding to it, I argued, aligned us with every other country and council that has used the word. Readying ourselves for the effects of climate change isn't a singular pursuit; we need to combine forces and share expressions of intent. Going it alone, inspires no confidence. Our council failed to recognise the value of working with a the flow of events, despite my keeping the concept in front of them for weeks.

  15. Tired of hypocrits whether left or right 16

    There is more than a little hypocrisy here.

     

    As far back as 2010 it was identified that the carbon footprint of the internet was over 300m tonnes of co2 per annum, or the equivalent of every person living in Great Britain flying to the Us and back twice over. And that 9 years ago.

    By 2019 there is now.abundant research that clearly establishes that cell.phone and internet useage is significantly adding to climate change.

     

    So sites like The Standard are collectively significantly adding to climate change. So how about The Standard declares a climate emergency on this then?  No, thought so.

    Solving climate change is all.about others.modifying their behaviour. 

    • Sacha 16.1

      Climate action is about understanding the systemic impacts of behaviours and choices.

      How does the energy consumption and pollution around internet servers compare with airports, for instance?

    • RedLogix 16.2

      You are correct, the internet does consume way more energy from non-renewable sources than anyone wants to admit to on a daily basis.

      If I were President of the World one of my first actions would be to invest something in the order of 1 Trillion dollars into rapidly deploying Stable Salt Reactors as soon as possible and rolling out a global HVDC supergrid to enable renewables to be effectively used as base load.

       Both projects would be run by a UN Development Agency tasked with eliminating all fossil carbon burned for electricity by 2030 and doubling the global energy supply at the same time. Ambitious but entirely doable.

      • Dennis Frank 16.2.1

        Think Big, eh?  So Steward Brand was right.  "In the Chernobyl accident the two most prevalent isotopes released were caesium-137 and iodine-131 in gaseous form, which contributed significantly to contamination of the surrounding areas. In a molten salt reactor, these elements do not exist in a gaseous form but are instead bonded to the coolant salts, preventing their release in accident scenarios."  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stable_salt_reactor

        The Greens will freak.  Antinuclear has become a powerful religion.  Looks like the engineers have achieved the hitherto-impossible goal though, so it will challenge everyone.  Early adopters will be the key to progress.  There will need to be a pilot operation established in Britain and/or Canada – which is open to appraisal by govt scientists & nuclear physicists, plus engineers with relevant expertise.  There will need to be a govt-approved evaluation period.  The design looks good, but always beware the capitalist snake-oil effect!

    • Robert Guyton 16.3

      Everyone's a hypocrite, mate; you and me included but being one does NOT exclude anyone from saying what they believe on an issue; you have to own your hypocrisy, minimise it as much as possible then make good the problem as best you can. You are trying to dismiss certain claims and claimants by charging them with hypocrisy, but we see through you. I worry only that you can't see it yourself.

  16. Tired of hypocrits whether left or right 17

    No, 'climate action' is clearl all about other people making the sacrifices. The carbon footprint of web usage is colossal, and the bulk of that is not necessary. Eg, blogs, selfies etc.

    The mounds of plastic rubbish left behind in London after the Extinction Rebellion proves the point. 

    • RedLogix 17.1

      Whining about problems without proposing solutions is the hallmark of a loser. As one manager I used to enjoy working for had on his desk, was a little plaque saying "Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?"

      Yes you correctly identify the problem, we are all locked into a collective mode of being that is very hard for individuals to break out of. In this instance, the internet is not going away by choice, people will not turn it off willingly. Therefore the answer lies in powering the sodding thing in a manner that does not involve burning fossil carbon.

      The good news is this also solves a lot of other similar energy problems at the same time. The bad news is that it means instead of posting comments that serve little purpose other than to poke at people, you might have to take some responsibility for change.

      • WeTheBleeple 17.1.1

        Nice.

        Where's my stable salt reactor there's cash to be made saving the world too.

  17. Formerly Ross 18

    According to a recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, “Federal funding for climate change research, technology, international assistance, and adaptation has increased from $2.4 billion in 1993 to $11.6 billion in 2014, with an additional $26.1 billion for climate change programs and activities provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009.”

    Climate change is clearly a lucrative money earner for some. No doubt those earning the big bucks are doing everything they can to alleviate climate change. No sitting on hands then. Quite the opposite in fact.

    https://www.heritage.org/environment/commentary/follow-the-climate-change-money

    • Robert Guyton 18.1

      "Climate change is clearly a lucrative money earner for some."

      But not for those of us who are dedicated to trying to alleviate it. Your attempt to paint us all with the same brush, choose a worst-case scenario, is feeble, imo.

    • Sacha 18.2

      Heritage! – don't you have something from Faux News or RT for us?

    • Marcus Morris 18.3

      Great thing about the internet is that with a couple of clicks it is possible to learn a little about http://www.heritage.org – this quote is from their front page

       

      Donald Trump and many Republican Congressmen promised they’d drain the swamp. And Heritage is here to help them do just that! 

      We are ramping up our efforts to get them conservative policy solutions that will shrink the size of government, reform the tax code, dismantle Obamacare, and secure our borders. Become a Heritage member and force the change you want to see in Washington.

      I suspect that FR is one of those who would welcome D Trump's nomination for leadership of the National Party.

       

      • Formerly Ross 18.3.1

        I suspect that FR is one of those who would welcome D Trump's nomination for leadership of the National Party.

        I can't stand the guy which you should know if you've seen me comment here LOL

  18. soddenleaf 20

    It doesn't follow a warmer world means better southland. Think about where the world now cools down. The artic sea. Think about the circumstances that led to the ice age, it takes energy to raise water into the atmosphere and deposit it faster than it melts to create an iced over northern Europe, Asia and n.America. See how the world shifts where it cools, when the seas are warmer than now the cooling takes place over the north continents. It does follow that coastal regions of northern Russia, and southland will be nicer though, and that as cooling over centuries will lower the sea level. Firstly though the ice will melt to cool the planet, then the evaporation of the seas will ice over the northern continents.

  19. Ieuan 21

    So the council did pass this:

    'A motion was passed which says: "Environment Southland acknowledges that climate change is an important issue which we have to engage with. The Council commits to applying best practice and best science to its responsibilities and accords urgency to developing an action plan."

    Which does seem sensible and in no way implies that those voting against the 'climate emergency' are climate change deniers as suggested above.

    • greywarshark 21.1

      It's strange how the mind jumps to certain opinions.  Your name seems to be spelled in a traditional, conservative way.   I wondered if your opinions would be the same.   It appears that they are.

      You Ieuan, take a mild response to the idea of commitment by word and deed to dealing with climate change as an emergency.   You are mistaken in thinking that those sponsoring the climate change emergency initiative would name the no-voting councillors as 'climate deniers'.   No;  they will consider them slow adopters, even lazy thinkers who are not performing their duties on behalf of their voters and who are totally irresponsible.

    • Robert Guyton 21.2

      leuan

      Here's what I reckon about Cr Eric Roy's motion:

      Calling climate change "an" important issue, falls well short of an appropriate thing to do. Just one of many issues, it says; there must be others, it implies, of equal importance, such as…the M.bovis outbreak, perhaps? Winter grazing? Effluent management? Dairy-shed consenting…you know, the kinds of things the Regional Council considers important. Do you think?

      Then it's proposed that we "develop an action plan" – do you find that especially inspirational? Do you think the rate-paying public of Southland will rise in excited praise for this bold and daring proposal: a new plan! Hooray! Let's get behind the council on this one, the excited children will cry! They're going to apply their best practice (what is that?) and their best science (climate science? Does the council do climate science??) to developing The Plan. Pretty special but don't the council apply best practice and best science to every plan they make already?? If so, why move this at all? Councillors have already claimed in the media, that : "Council is doing so much behind the scenes in climate mitigation," so what's the new motion really saying, euan? I'm keen to hear your thoughts.

      And in any case, the opportunity to vote for both the declaration of a climate emergency, which would have inspired the public, as seen by the full-house that turned up to watch the debate and vote, was offered to councillors. They said no.

  20. Cinny 22

    It is local government election year this year.  Vote wisely.

    Abso-freaking-lutely, hopefully more people will vote this time than the last local elections.

    On the upside it's heartening to see the volume of climate related stories on the news. This crazy weather is on everybody's minds as well. 

    It's just going to take a while for the message to sink in for some, but it's pretty dang hard to ignore. 

    Neither the Thames-Coromandel district or West Coast have declared climate emergencies, nor are there any plans to in the near future, Stuff understands. 

    But in order for New Zealand to put its best foot forward in the fight against climate change, Rex Graham (Hawke’s Bay Council chairman) believes Parliament needs to declare a national climate emergency. 

    Jacinda Ardern says declaring a national climate emergency has not been ruled out.

    Local councils are hopeful the Government will help the regions combat the effects of climate change, following supportive recommendations from the Productivity Commission.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/113983386/small-councils-not-coping-with-climate-change-call-for-more-government-help

  21. Marcus Morris 23

    I suspect that everyone will have moved on from this thread by now but here is the link to a recent article in The Guardian by George Monbiot. An important read for "believers" and deniers:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/03/land-reform-brute-power-billionaire-press-attacks?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR19LprhYKBidvX-ytKgbhoAbK8CXdQeS8hDS0sQubJmYni_nAawou8MwMA

    • Robert Guyton 23.1

      I haven't moved on, Marcus. Your link is a very valuable one. I'll post it to Open Mike because of it's value and immediacy. Thanks.

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  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
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  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
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  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
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  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
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  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
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  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
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  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
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  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
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  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
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  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
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  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
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  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
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  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
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    5 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
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  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
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  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
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  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
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  • New mental health facility for Waikato
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  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
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  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
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  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
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  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
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  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
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    7 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
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    7 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
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  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
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  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
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    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
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  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
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  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
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  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
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  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
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    1 week ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
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    1 week ago