State of emergency for planet earth

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, July 22nd, 2017 - 52 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, Environment, science - Tags: ,

There’s a current state of emergency happening in Dunedin, Otago, Waitaki and Canterbury due to heavy rainfall and flooding. Wishing everyone affected all the best.

That’s the short emergency. Here’s the long one. James Hansen and a team of climate scientists just published this,

Abstract. Global temperature is a fundamental climate metric highly correlated with sea level, which implies that keeping shorelines near their present location requires keeping global temperature within or close to its preindustrial Holocene range. However, global temperature excluding short-term variability now exceeds +1 °C relative to the 1880–1920 mean and annual 2016 global temperature was almost +1.3 °C. We show that global temperature has risen well out of the Holocene range and Earth is now as warm as it was during the prior (Eemian) interglacial period, when sea level reached 6–9 m higher than today.

Further, Earth is out of energy balance with present atmospheric composition, implying that more warming is in the pipeline, and we show that the growth rate of greenhouse gas climate forcing has accelerated markedly in the past decade. The rapidity of ice sheet and sea level response to global temperature is difficult to predict, but is dependent on the magnitude of warming. Targets for limiting global warming thus, at minimum, should aim to avoid leaving global temperature at Eemian or higher levels for centuries. Such targets now require negative emissions, i.e., extraction of CO2 from the air.

If phasedown of fossil fuel emissions begins soon, improved agricultural and forestry practices, including reforestation and steps to improve soil fertility and increase its carbon content, may provide much of the necessary CO2 extraction. In that case, the magnitude and duration of global temperature excursion above the natural range of the current interglacial (Holocene) could be limited and irreversible climate impacts could be minimized.

In contrast, continued high fossil fuel emissions today place a burden on young people to undertake massive technological CO2 extraction if they are to limit climate change and its consequences. Proposed methods of extraction such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) or air capture of CO2 have minimal estimated costs of USD 89–535 trillion this century and also have large risks and uncertain feasibility. Continued high fossil fuel emissions unarguably sentences young people to either a massive, implausible cleanup or growing deleterious climate impacts or both.

Our conclusion that the world has overshot appropriate targets is sufficiently grim to compel us to point out that pathways to rapid emission reductions are feasible.

My translation of that reserved science speak:

  1. we’ve missed the agreed targets that would allow BAU for Western civilisation
  2. the only thing to do now is drop fossil fuels rapidly
  3. high tech Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is very expensive, unreliable, risky, and probably implausible as a solution.
  4. low tech sequestration via natural cycles might buy us some time but on its own won’t be enough
  5. it’s our kids that will bear the brunt of this

I’ll add,

  1. saving the conventional economy can no longer be the priority. We have to drop fossil fuel use immediately.
  2. the Powerdown gives us the best shot at this without collapse.

________________________________________________________________________

Moderator note: zero tolerance of climate change denial or ‘we’re all going to die, it’s too late’ comments. 

52 comments on “State of emergency for planet earth ”

  1. Andre 1

    “saving the conventional economy can no longer be the priority. We have to drop fossil fuel use immediately.”

    I recommend being very careful to separate out arguments about the urgency of responding to climate change and arguments about the problems of the settings of our current flavour of capitalism. The arguments for each stand alone on their own merits, and conflating them simply raises the suspicions of the unconvinced that there’s a hidden agenda.

    Let me illustrate: a while back while helping with the school camp, the bus driver made a climate change denial remark, so I said I’d be happy to talk through the physics with him. After about an hour of discussion (and collecting quite a group participating in the discussion), he finally came around to asking “ok, looks like it’s a real problem. So how come it’s only the communist happy-clappy hippy-trippies getting excited about it?”.

    • weka 1.1

      Well I hope you pointed out to him that the hippies are right and have been talking about this for decades and that if we’d listened to them we wouldn’t be in such a crisis 🙂

      Not sure what your point is though Andre, care to be more specific?

      Btw, the base of my comment wasn’t anti-capitalism. It’s that along with cognitive dissonance, resistance to doing things that might affect the Economy is the biggest block to preventing the worst of climate change. I don’t care if we transition to another form of capitalism or a different form of economics entirely but we really need to stop protecting the economy at all costs.

      • Andre 1.1.1

        My point is that if an argument for addressing climate change comes across as a stalking horse for some other radical change to how society is organised, it closes a lot of minds. The bus driver was aware of Naomi Klein, and had formed the impression Klein exaggerates the threat of climate change to scare people into accepting her economic goals. This had the backfire effect of making him much more receptive to the likes of de Freitas and Lomborg.

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          Klein is one of the most important global activists on CC. If it wasn’t for people like her we wouldn’t even be looking at the need for a rapid transition. Better strategy there is to explain the reasons why radicals are needed and in such a way as meshes with the bus drivers world view. It’s not that hard.

          However I wonder if you are in fact arguing not that the messengers are scaring people off but that message is wrong and that we should keep on with the Economy.

        • Bill 1.1.1.2

          Correct if I’m wrong Andre. But aren’t you one of the people who has thrown the “stalking horse” accusation at posts I’ve done on global warming?

          Just thinking it an odd thing for you to do given your supposed insight from talking to that bus driver, no?

          Regardless.

          Global warming can’t be decoupled from capitalism. It’s capitalism that’s driving our use of fossil fuels, that in turn are driving up temperatures.

        • ropata 1.1.1.3

          Turning your comment around Andre, is it not a sad comment on capitalism and our perennially divided arbiters of public opinion that we even have a climate change “debate”.

          There should be no such thing as “climate denialism”, but it is being kept alive by sociopathic corporations. Not the scientific community, that’s for sure.

  2. Tony Veitch (not etc) 2

    See my post on Open Mike today.

  3. Thanks weka – I prefer to be informed even if the news is grim. But fuck it I’m still going to keep on trying to sort the shit out – you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

  4. we’ve missed the agreed targets that would allow BAU for Western civilisation

    Capitalism has never been sustainable as history proves. It’s always had major environmental degradation as part of its MO.

    the only thing to do now is drop fossil fuels rapidly

    True. Not going to happen though as the rich get massive profits from selling and using it and the rich own the governments.

    high tech Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is very expensive, unreliable, risky, and probably implausible as a solution.

    That was a given from the get go.

    low tech sequestration via natural cycles might buy us some time but on its own won’t be enough

    We need to replant massive forests around the world to help build up the soil but that’s going to change other availabilities.

    it’s our kids that will bear the brunt of this

    That’s been known for some time as well. I recall it from the 1990s and it didn’t make any difference then either.

  5. Tony Veitch (not etc) 5

    At the risk of repeating myself – but acting on Weka’s suggestion – my post from Open Mike.
    Incidentally, this is why we need the Greens in government – at least one party is awake to the terrible consequences of ‘business and usual!’

    Further to my post of yesterday about extreme climate change, we need to be proactive, not reactive. At the moment we have a government which is barely even reactive: business as usual, as if you can have infinite growth on a finite planet!

    So, how could we future-proof this country, accepting that we have not a hope in hell of escaping the world-wide effects of climate change:

    • ‘weather bombs’ like the one that hit South Canterbury yesterday will occur with increasing frequency and intensity. These are hard to guard against, but putting more money into Civil Defence both nationally and regionally would be a good idea.

    • think locally, not globally. For instance, unless bananas can be grown in the far north of New Zealand, (and they can) bananas will disappear from the menu. So will all imported tropical fruit. But we lived without them before and we can again.

    • industrial farming has to go. The Fonterra business model is ludicrous, even in a capitalist society; in Bill McKibben’s harsh new Eaarth, it has no place.

    • nor has the whole capitalist system of growth. We need to think small, non-profit (ie – service) and local.

    • I may be criticised for saying this – and perhaps deservedly so – but in the mass migrations which have already started and will continue, NZ is particularly well insulated. At the moment people are moving north into Europe (and to a lesser extent into USA) but they’ll also stream southwards, in Africa, South America, from Indonesia and India into Australia. This country has more chance of closing its doors than most. We need to be prepared for these migrations! Think through the implications of this!

    • we need a government, like that of France, which commits to 100% electric cars by 2030 or some such date. Yes, too little, too late but still . . .; imported petrol won’t last forever, but the sun will.

    • every new house should be as self-sufficient as possible. Power companies should be compelled to promote solar power.

    • no new highways, but much investment in railways. Put the long-haul trucking companies out of business.

    We’re talking survival here, not convenience.

    I could go on – some further reading. Suggestions?

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2017/jul/17/neoliberalism-has-conned-us-into-fighting-climate-change-as-individuals

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html

  6. Richard 6

    We not only need a complete replacement of all emitting energy sources but we also need much more energy to clean up the mess we’ve made. State owned nuclear energy with passive safety mechanisms is the most realistic means of achieving this. The state should own the means of transmission also. Solar panels and windmills won’t cut it. Cheap plentiful energy is the only way this planet can support the population we have if it is to be treated equitably.

    • Bill 6.1

      And the time required to lay in that supply side infrastructure (nuclear or otherwise), versus the time available to drop fossil related emissions to nigh on zero at a precipitous rate of knots – that stacks up how?

    • State owned nuclear energy with passive safety mechanisms is the most realistic means of achieving this.

      Nope. Nuclear seems to be a false economy.

      Solar panels and windmills won’t cut it.

      Actually, they do – especially when combined with hydro-power and stable state economy.

      Cheap plentiful energy is the only way this planet can support the population we have if it is to be treated equitably.

      Renewables are the cheapest available when measured in real terms.

      • Liberal Realist 6.2.1

        Nope. Nuclear seems to be a false economy.

        Nuclear is a false economy. No one ever seems to take into account the energy investment required to:
        – Build the required infrastructure
        – Mine / Refine uranium fuel
        – Maintain the infrastructure for the lifetime of the system
        – Costs of decommissioning
        – Waste processing and disposal

        Not one nuclear energy plant has ever been built, anywhere, without state subsidies. Wonder why that is?

        An example in the UK below, specifically Hinkley C
        https://www.ft.com/content/b8e24306-48e5-11e6-8d68-72e9211e86ab

        • Richard 6.2.1.1

          You are referring to light water reactors. There are much better alternatives.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.1.1

            Not ATM there isn’t.

            • Richard 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Integral Fast Reactor and Molten Salt Reactor.

                • Richard

                  That link points to an article by Nick Touran that corrects six common misconceptions about thorium as a fuel. It is good information and had I not already read it, I would be thankful for your direction to it. If you read it carefully, you will see that none of what Touran says refutes anything I have said here. BTW – I did not specify thorium as a fuel, although I did suggest that molten salt reactors (MSRs) are an excellent alternative to currently used nuclear technology. You are confusing the two and so would appear to be a proponent of misconception number six in your linked-to article. Touran is a strong supporter of the MSR (and thorium). Strange that you would use his article to suggest my support of the same to be ‘astounding ignorance’. I do though confess some ignorance though as I am not a nuclear scientist. I prefer to defer to experts such as Touran (as you have done too). 🙂

                  • And in it he makes the same mention that I did – not viable ATM. It’s some years away and when, or if, it becomes ready renewables will be even better and cheaper than now meaning that they’ll be even less viable.

      • Richard 6.2.2

        Hydro has fairly severe environmental impact and is not an option everywhere.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.2.1

          Not really. Nature makes dams all the time and simply deals with them.

          And as for them not be valid everywhere – that’s why we have solar and wind.

          • Richard 6.2.2.1.1

            Nature can make all the dams it wants. We shouldn’t be making any when we have better alternatives. Solar and wind simply cannot realistically supply enough energy even if we were to cover the planet in them. Where will we get the materials for all these solar panels anyway?

    • savenz 6.3

      Westinghouse Files for Bankruptcy, in Blow to Nuclear Power
      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/29/business/westinghouse-toshiba-nuclear-bankruptcy.html

    • Incognito 6.4

      Cheap plentiful energy is the only way this planet can support the population we have if it is to be treated equitably.

      We’re paying a phenomenal price for energy in dollar terms and it’s killing us.

      We have to curb our insatiable consumption of energy and material goods – it is raping & pillaging the environment and polluting & poisoning it at the same time, the same environment that is our own ecosystem and which sustains the biosphere – and “cheap and plentiful energy” does not provide the appropriate (corrective) incentive to achieve this.

      In any case, energy will never be distributed equitably if it is accompanied with profit generation.

      No human can ever assume to own the sun or the sunlight reaching our planet or the Earth’s rotation, for example, and yet some invest in harvesting and converting this energy for general consumption and sell it at a profit. Thus, a free natural resource becomes a commodity that’s controlled by a few and the retail price is not set by the cost of production and transport but largely by demand. This demand is always increasing and so are the prices. Even more perverse is that pricing is influenced by competing energy sources where commodity ownership is also in the hands of a few.

      As long as there are these economic controlling elites equitability is just a pipedream.

      • Richard 6.4.1

        You remove the profit motive by taking it out of the hands of the elite. Energy generation should be fully state owned.

        • Incognito 6.4.1.1

          🙂

        • Richard 6.4.1.2

          Btw cheap (very cheap) state owned energy could create the possibility of desalination of sea water, of digging up and recycling landfills and other measures as yet unknown that may be demanded by the electorate. The electorate who own the energy generation and transmission means. We could drastically reduce our environmental footprint.

          • Incognito 6.4.1.2.1

            You lost me; please elaborate.

            • Richard 6.4.1.2.1.1

              I’m referring to the supply of energy being a limiting factor on otherwise doable work to solve serious looming problems.
              The shortage of fresh potable water could be solved by desalination of sea water.
              Much of the waste lying in landfills could be recycled.
              Carbon neutral liquid fuels could be derived from the air.
              I’m sure that more ideas will be thought of when energy is in much much greater supply.
              The key of course is state ownership. That way we the people can up the price on industry we see as harmful and make it basically free to other state owned industries (water suppliers and recyclers for example). Gen IV nuclear is the way I see this becoming possible.
              While we are at it ACC need to sell back their share of KiwiBank back to the government for a dollar. The government should then aggressively build it up to undercut and outcompete the private banks. Sorry off track I know.

    • weka 6.5

      Fukushima.

      • Richard 6.5.1

        Climate change.
        Fukushima is a light water reactor. LWRs are inherently dangerous. Integral Fast Reactors could be built wherever a LWR currently stands as they use LWR waste as fuel. They are also passively safe.

        • weka 6.5.1.1

          Sorry, but it’s hard to take seriously someone who believes that nuclear power stations in the Shakey Isles is not inherently risky. And that’s not even getting to nuclear waste.

          • exkiwiforces 6.5.1.1.1

            Seagrove was earmarked as a nuclear power station as it was a former RNZAF/ USMC airfield and apparently plans were quite well advance from I believe and the one in Jervis Bay south of Sydney almost got to the building stage and in fact its become a awful big carpark in what is now a National Park near Murrays Beach.

          • Richard 6.5.1.1.2

            Fukushima is a light water reactor and very vulnerable to seismic activity as was seen. I do not suggest the use of LWRs in geologically unstable areas or any other areas for that matter. There are passively safe alternatives that are much more efficient and create much less waste. For example: IFRs use spent LWR waste as fuel. You don’t have to take my word for it and I would not expect you to. When attempting to shut me down, Draco provided a very useful link that leads to more detailed information. Please do give it an hour or so of your time. I get the impression I am thought of as a troll judging by some of the replies. I assure you I am not.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.5.1.1.2.1

              When attempting to shut me down, Draco provided a very useful link that leads to more detailed information.

              A link that you failed to understand.

            • weka 6.5.1.1.2.2

              Can you provide a link that a layperson can understand to existing tech that is completely quake and tsunami proof?

              Also, where in NZ would it be built?

  7. RedLogix 7

    Having spent 7 months in the Arctic this past year I want to share this inspiring, moving and charming video with all the regulars here. Oh and the kids are amazing:

    https://youtu.be/9ACH2gKty9k

  8. savenz 8

    “CHASING ICE” captures largest glacier calving ever filmed – OFFICIAL VIDEO

  9. Corokia 10

    Kia ora from a very soggy East Otago. This combination of heavy rain and big tides shows us how vulnerable our infrastructure is to projected sea level rise.
    This government is spending billions restoring SH1 and the rail line from Christchurch to Picton, but wouldn’t the money be better spent on coastal shipping? I think that would result in fewer trucks on the roads (and so a decrease in CO2 emissions) as well as a transport system that was less vulnerable to floods,landslides,snow, earthquakes and sea level rise.

  10. Pat 11

    we may discuss alternative energy, strengthened infrastructure or even moving whole communities the fact remains …”for a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations for nature cannot be fooled”.. Richard Feynman.

    what must be done….does anyone see any of it happening (in time)?

  11. Rae 13

    The future of our ONE AND ONLY home, Planet Earth is probably the one thing that bothers me over and above everything else.

    Every single thought I have had about it leads back to the same conclusion again and again, and that is our overpopulation of this place, we can do little with our numbers increasing all the time. There is barely a spot on this planet that is still in its virgin pre human state. The oceans are beginning to look very small to me, now we can see how easily we are able to damage it.

    If we do manage to do the right thing, and I am becoming more and more despondent about our ability to do so, then capitalism is not going to fit in this picture. If you asked me to supply one word to describe capitalism it would be “more”, because to survive that is what capitalism demands.

    The clue to that is in its name – capital. It is about that and the acquisition of as much of it as one person can manage in a lifetime, it demands that we continue to buy, use, throw away as much stuff as possible. And, it demands more and more people (for that is what growth really is at the end of the day) to keep doing it, capitalism demands growth!

    If you are able to get your head around that, then it may also become clear to you, that that is not how it can continue to be in the future. Capitalism demands that we keep putting pure water into billions of single use plastic bottles, we cannot continue.

    We are now in the sixth mass extinction, it is us driving it, by screwing up the habitat of other species mainly but also via climate change – think Great Barrier Reef.

    I do not think we actually have a choice any more.

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    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    6 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    6 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    7 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response

    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment

    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President

    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Questions from God

    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The politics of money and influence

    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity

    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?

    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    1 week ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?

    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago

  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
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    5 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
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    1 week ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
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