Stop. Driving. Climate. Change.

Written By: - Date published: 1:29 pm, January 25th, 2017 - 79 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, energy, Environment, transport - Tags: , ,

How much can a single person affect Earth’s changing climate? According to researchers in the United States and Germany, 3 square meters of summer sea ice disappear in the Arctic for every metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) that a person directly or indirectly produces.

How can one person produce 1 metric ton of CO2? That’s about a roundtrip flight from New York to Europe per passenger. Or, a 4,000-kilometer car ride.

Researchers Dirk Notz and Julienne Stroeve hope the findings offer the public a better grasp of their individual contribution to global climate change.

The rapid retreat of Arctic sea ice is one of the most direct indicators of ongoing climate change on our planet. Over the past forty years, the Arctic’s summer ice cover has shrunk by more than half. Climate model simulations predict that the remaining half might be gone by mid-century unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced rapidly.

Does it matter if the Arctic melts? 

Arctic scientists have warned that the increasingly rapid melting of the ice cap risks triggering 19 “tipping points” in the region that could have catastrophic consequences around the globe.

The Arctic Resilience Report found that the effects of Arctic warming could be felt as far away as the Indian Ocean, in a stark warning that changes in the region could cause uncontrollable climate change at a global level.

Temperatures in the Arctic are currently about 20C above what would be expected for the time of year, which scientists describe as “off the charts”. Sea ice is at the lowest extent ever recorded for the time of year.

A quick google (PDF) tells me the average distance driven in NZ is 10,000 km per person per year. It’s worse when we take tourism into consideration. So that means restructuring the economy. But in the meantime, because we have to anyway, to have any chance of preventing the worst of AGW, let’s stop driving so much. We don’t have to stop completely immediately, so please don’t let the headline distract us from what we can do. We can make the connections between our lives and the global climate and we can remember that this isn’t the future where we all have electric cars and wind farms on the hills. This is happening as we type. Whatever else we do going forward, we have to change what we are doing now.

So, what are we going to do? We can figure out what each of us, our families, our workplaces can do now, and then figure out how we can change our lives so that others can drive less too. Then we can do it, and tell others about it.

How about we don’t argue the maths and instead argue how to change? Better yet, let’s look at what the benefits are to driving less and having a society that is based on not driving so much and use that to motivate us to do the right things. We get to save the world and make our lives better at the same time.

79 comments on “Stop. Driving. Climate. Change.”

  1. Ha! The pedal car in your picture; check out
    this one weka.

  2. You know, saving your own 3 square metres of ice from melting is not enough. Parking up the car and cancelling your air tickets is difficult, but changing your mind is even harder. But that, imo, is the only way.

    • weka 2.1

      True, and changing our minds is a prerequisite for action in the world.

      • How do you propose then, we do that? Standard approaches are not working well: education, protest, scare mongering, wailing and beating our breasts, posting on-line, composing songs for Youtube, graffitti. What’s you suggestion, weka? The clock is ticking…

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          I think things are changing, and faster than most people realise. Look at the change in how the media report CC now compared to even 5 years ago. Those things you list aren’t sufficient of themselves, but they are necessary nevertheless, because they help people change their minds. And nothing is sufficient of itself. I’m not looking for the answer, I’m banking on us knowing how changes happens (we’ve been doing change as long as we’ve been human), on societal tipping points, on hundredth monkey (metaphor not literal), on critical mass of people getting it, on enough of us being ready to tip things in the most desirable direction.

          Everything we do now matters (as you know 🙂 ).

          To bring that down to something more manageable, let’s use TS to organise, agitate and colonise. A bit of mycelial inoculation if you like. This year and now.

          • Robert Guyton 2.1.1.1.1

            TS as mycelium? Of course.
            “The Gaian significance of fungi is that they specialise in interconnecting other living entities, and even other living kingdoms. They have invented the most important nutrient transport system on the planet – the mycorrhizas (‘fungus-roots’) – in which fungal tubes engage in intimate associations with the living roots of plants. These associations are essentially a mind-like in Bateson’s sense, since complex signalling molecules are required to make these associations work. Mycorrhizal fungi are like umbilical cords – they channel sugars from trees actively photosynthesising in the light to nearby trees that are starving in the shade. They also allow plants to send information (for example, about predators) to each other via special plant signalling molecules transported along fungal tubes from plant to plant, thereby mediating a networked intelligence within the world of plants.”

          • Robert Guyton 2.1.1.1.2

            &
            “What is of great interest to animistic scientists is that fungi possess and eerie intelligence, and probably a peculiar sense of self to boot. This is in part because individual hyphae in a mycelium allow fungi to create networks of phenomenal communicative power that strongly resemble our blood system or the neuronal connections in our brains. The parallel with the nervous system is more than merely metaphorical, for, like bacteria, mycelia are in some sense sentient and aware. According to Paul Stamets (2004), mycelia are nothing less than the “neurological network of nature” which sense the movements of organisms upon the land and the impact of falling tree branches on the ground (potential food for decomposing fungi) thanks to complex signalling molecules that course through the communal spaces of their interlocking pipelines. Mycologists Alan Rayner and Christian Taylor describe fungi as ‘brains in the soil’ that have no need of the bodily appendages and organs which encumber animals such as ourselves. Fungi lack our sense organs and our high degree of neurological development, but they have a keen taste for the chemical environment around them. Like all good brains, fungi solve problems (where to find food and mates, with whom to make partnerships). Fungi think slowly. They lack the fast track neuronal paraphernalia of the animal kingdom, but this gives them time to make good decisions.”

    • Siobhan 2.2

      Maybe it’s happening anyway. Speaking anecdotally, I have 3 kids in their very early 20s. None of them own a car, and very few of their friends do once they move to the cities. I can’t find any easily understood statistics on this, but I guess driver licence holders is one way to get an idea…

      “Fewer people aged under 40 are learning to drive, new statistics show.

      About 3.5 million people in New Zealand held a driver’s licence in 2012, but by June last year that figure had dropped by about 100,000.”

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/316897/fewer-young-people-learning-to-drive

  3. HDCAFriendlyTroll 3

    Let’s see. Examples of driving less:

    Eating at home instead of driving out to a restaurant (or at least less trips eating out).
    Not going to the movies but choosing to watch a DVD or Netflix instead.
    Getting a job where you can work at home.

    Anyone actually doing these things?

    • weka 3.1

      yes. Those are actually great ideas.

      Consolidating trips by planning ahead (one trip to town instead of two this week). Co-ordinating ridesharing. These are not hard things to do.

      • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.1

        Or not flying at all….I can’t understand how a Green MP on the up and up thinks that if …. “she spends about $2000 of her own money each year buying carbon credits to offset her air travel.” …this is somehow going have any real effect.

        http://www.noted.co.nz/archive/listener-nz-2015/wheels-within-wheels/

        Just don’t fly. Stay home and do your socialising on the net. Family overseas because your an immigrant? Maybe you should have thought about that before you moved here.

        The messaging from the Greens needs to be seen to be consistent…http://act.org.nz/posts/greens-hypocritical-travel-expenses

        Else its all just talk.

        The picture of the two children walking alone along the tree-lined path on the Home Page quite frankly gives me the shits.

        it is simply not safe to allow young children to walk alone like that.

        Our communities would need to be much safer….and that might mean locking up the predators!

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          I agree, we need to stop flying so much too. But I do think it’s a process. MPs and other people that need to fly for their jobs can’t just choose to stop right now, there’s going to be a process. But yes, I’m sure there are some of those trips they can give up. I don’t have a problem with Genter spending $2,000/yr at the moment on carbon credits if those credits are meaningful rather than a scams and I hope she is working on how to lessen flying for MPs (something to ask her I guess).

          Not going to take much notice of an ACT party press release criticising anyone on CC sorry. But the issue would be interesting to look at. I’d like to know why the GP costs were higher, and what Shaw is doing to reduce dependence on flying. Good questions. Beyond that, we have the GP we deserve. They’re still ahead of the curve enough to be leading the way for most NZers.

          Lots of places in NZ where it’s still perfectly safe for kids to walk 🙂

          • Poission 3.1.1.1.1

            I don’t have a problem with Genter spending $2,000/yr at the moment on carbon credits if those credits are meaningful rather than a scam

            A significant constraint in one graph on aviation.

            http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/sres/aviation/images/avf6-9s.gif

          • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.1.1.2

            “MPs and other people that need to fly for their jobs can’t just choose to stop right now, ”

            Yes. They can.

            I googled ‘Green Party travel’…(as I’d heard it was higher than you’d expect) and the Act site delivered the numbers in the most cohesive form…I certainly didn’t read their commentary.

            While its nice to be in the privileged position of being able to flick off $2000 per year to offset your air travel…its doing nothing to reduce CC is it?

            Are any Carbon Credits “meaningful”?
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11624441

            “Lots of places in NZ where it’s still perfectly safe for kids to walk.”

            Where? Name the guaranteed predator free zone.
            Not Ranui. Not Palmerston North. Not Whangarei.

            Or where its safe for kids to ride a bike to school? Every parent of every child who has come to grief will tell you …”I thought he/she would be safe.”

            How about parents having work hours that allowed them to walk to school with the kids? And walk home with them at the end of the day?
            Have urban dwellers be , (compelled is maybe too strong), ‘encouraged’ to use public transport, which would run 24/7.
            Acknowledge that rural folk need to drive to do just about anything, and maybe give us real carbon credit because of all the trees we share our environment with. Not to forget the hundreds we plant.
            And plant trees. Lots and lots of them.

            It will be the better off who will be hardest hit by vehicle use reduction. Those of us on low and fixed incomes have already cut out unnecessary trips.

            • weka 3.1.1.1.2.1

              “Yes. They can.”

              Metiria Turei lives in Dunedin. How would she vote in parliament or attend a select committee meeting in Wellington if she didn’t fly? It could be done but not easily or immediately. It’s very easy to point fingers at people, but I’d like to see a bit more working out how we can change.

              “It will be the better off who will be hardest hit by vehicle use reduction.”

              I’d say having the kind of disability I have means I’ll be pretty hard hit.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                “Metiria Turei lives in Dunedin. How would she vote in parliament or attend a select committee meeting in Wellington if she didn’t fly? ”

                Travel over on the ferry and then hitchhike. There’d be a double benefit with this…she could save on the air miles AND get to speak with her constituents.
                “Sure, I can give you a ride as far as Parnassus, but tell me, how come an MP is hitchhiking….?”

                Boom! Perfect opportunity to spread the word. 😉

                I’m not really taking the piss weka, it could become an actual ‘thing’…Green MPs putting their money where their mouths are and actually walking (or hitching) the talk. The word would get around and all manner of folk would be bidding for the chance to have a Member of Parliament for a captive audience from Picton to Dunedin. It may come as a surprise to some that a fair few folk who refuse to fly (for many reasons) do do these long haul drives regularly. The extra time taken for the journey would be more than made up by the time spent with ordinary Kiwis.

                (Hint. Travel on Bluebridge and get chatting to the truckies…shout them breakkie and I’d say she’d be home and hosed.)

                • corokia

                  Oh fine- so you completely freak about a couple of kids walking down a path but then suggest that women hitchhike!

                  Julie Anne Genter rode her bike to the 2011 CANA summer camp in Mataura. She doesn’t just talk.

                  • I biked home from the same camp to Riverton, after meeting Julie Anne there, fresh from her cycling down to Mataura. She’s delightful and the trip she made was not an easy one. Nor was mine back home. I was challenged by head winds and rain, plus, it was further than I thought, but I made it, arriving several hours later than I predicted.

                • Lloyd

                  I think you will find that if you use a passenger ferry that the carbon dioxide used per person to travel from point A to Point B won’t be much different between a diesel powered displacement vessel and a modern jet airliner. There will usually be a time saving on the jet….
                  I would also add that the bunker fuel used on the ship may have short term air-pollution effects that the jet fuel won’t produce.
                  If you want to save the world lets start with coal-fired electricity generation – that is so replaceable. Petrol powered cars are also replaceable by electric cars. No-one has developed a replacement for jet fuel made from from crude oil that makes sense, so maybe we should leave jet-fuel to last.
                  One thing most people don’t realise is that jet-fuel is tax free by international agreement. If jet fuel was taxed at the same sort of rate as petrol is in New Zealand, then jet travel would suddenly become much more expensive. I am sure jet travel would immediately become less popular.
                  China is dumping steel in New Zealand. Steel making requires the production of carbon dioxide. The dumping of steel in New Zealand means the Chinese government is subsidising carbon dioxide production.
                  New Zealand steel uses only coal and natural gas to make steel. I am sure they could use a little wood and a few old tyres to help cut down the use of fossil fuels. Maybe the government should be paying for research in this field.

                  • weka

                    Yep, NZ could get off coal fired pretty easily, but if we all want electric cars there is a cost to that, both in increasing the NZ grid and in manufacturing the cars. What’s the carbon footprint of replacing the NZ fleet? How about we put a big chunk of that into public transport (renewables), and drive less?

                    And yep, tax jet fuel. We cannot afford to leave it until last, because there is no useful replacement tech on the horizon. CC is so urgent now that we need to just change our habits and be done with it. Save flying for critical need.

                    And yep, research to use what we have (as an aside, I’m interested to see how many new houses use steel framing, and what the trade off is there, carbon emissions vs longevity and ability to recycle).

                    Tyres are another bloody good reason to drive less. No-one knows what the fuck to do with them.

        • Molly 3.1.1.2

          Looking up a George Monbiot article for a friend the other day, and came across this one from 2006: On the flight path to global meltdown.

          Our moral dissonance about flying reminds me of something a Buddhist once told me: “It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do it with love.” I am sure he knew as well as I do that our state of mind makes no difference to either exploited people or the environment. Thinking like ethical people makes not a damn of difference unless we also behave like ethical people. When it comes to flying, there seems to be no connection between intention and action.

          This is partly because the people who are most concerned about the inhabitants of other countries are often those who have travelled widely. Much of the global justice movement consists of people – like me – whose politics were forged by their experiences abroad. While it is easy for us to pour scorn on the drivers of sports utility vehicles, whose politics generally differ from ours, it is rather harder to contemplate a world in which our own freedoms are curtailed, especially the freedoms that shaped us.

          These two paragraphs strike a chord with me because I spent much of my twenties overseas travelling, and loving it. Now I have five young people in my household, who are informed on climate change – but who I want to encourage to travel in order to learn not only about others – but about themselves. Can’t do it unless I practise self-deception to some degree.

      • greywarshark 3.1.2

        HDCA
        Sounds like huddling in our nests and not socialising, being with other people, participating in the local enterprise that serve customers to their faces. Suggest you don’t stay home and watch rented DVDs, walk or connect with public transport to go to the places where other people go, be with each other, that’s what human life is built around. Co-ordinate ride sharing with other people and go together then have a social drink of something non-alcoholic.

        Working from home is good if necessary, but again isolating.

        • Robert Guyton 3.1.2.1

          Unless, greywarshark, your home and surrounds is a hub for a community that you wish to share time with. This is one of my aims and one that’s becoming real. Getting those necessary satisfactions you describe is very important to the process of understanding the world.

    • Infused 3.2

      nope, nor will I.

    • Jimmie 3.3

      The AA encourages a fuel efficient driving style and driving to conditions and within the speed limit.

      http://www.aa.co.nz/drivers/speaking-up-for-drivers/driving-and-the-environment/driving-and-climate-change/

      Personal experience in Auckland is this can cause other cars to tailgate, which is psychologically hard to deal with, so pull over if necessary, also works on highways outside the cities and towns.

    • Jimmie 3.4

      The AA encourages a fuel efficient driving style and driving to conditions within the speed limit.
      http://www.aa.co.nz/drivers/speaking-up-for-drivers/driving-and-the-environment/driving-and-climate-change/

    • Richard McGrath 3.5

      Roll on the Keystone and Dakota pipelines. Pump that oil and gas!

  4. Paul 5

    The best thing anyone can do is to eat a lot less ( or no) meat.

    • Farmed or wild, Paul? Do you mean both? Surely not. And do you mean mammalian? Fish? Insect?

    • weka 5.2

      Try and relate it to the post Paul.

      • greywarshark 5.2.1

        Don’t be too doctrinaire weka. Surely there is a connection here.

        • weka 5.2.1.1

          see if you can make then grey, by all means.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1

            That’s easy. The destruction of the environment and the massive amounts of CO2 given off by our farming of meat for consumption adds massively to Anthropogenic Climate Change.

            • Sabine 5.2.1.1.1.1

              but lets say if we go down in meat consumption like we did before industrial meat growing became a thing, like say the 20 – 30’s? Would that be acceptable.

              I like meat, i do. Tasty Tasty, but i also like offal not the lung or the heart to chewie for my taste, but liver, kidney ….yum. 🙂 My sister likes knuckles in aspic, my mother loves lung and heart and brain, and while we all like bacon its a once a week thing if at all, but we used lard for cooking, and maybe smoked belly for cooking.

              so my question, if meat consumption is reduced, and all of the animal is consumed not just the choice bits would that not change some of the equation?

              I can’t see a fully plant based diet without importing massive amounts for plant based food from elsewhere in the world. How would that impact the envorinment.

              Now i just want local grown food, locally grown meet, locally grown fruit n veggies and i have no issues eating seasonally and cooking from scratch.
              I would like to see a return to small farms who supply the community rather then grow cows to export milk powder that no one really needs.

              • Draco T Bastard

                but lets say if we go down in meat consumption like we did before industrial meat growing became a thing, like say the 20 – 30’s? Would that be acceptable.

                Depends upon who you’re talking about. Anglo-Saxons have been traditionally eaten a lot of meat. So, 20s – 30s in Britain or the US is probably not.

                so my question, if meat consumption is reduced, and all of the animal is consumed not just the choice bits would that not change some of the equation?

                The entire animal is used.

                I can’t see a fully plant based diet without importing massive amounts for plant based food from elsewhere in the world.

                NZ could easily feed all the people who live here without importing any food and, at the same time, reduce the amount of land used for feeding us from the present ~54% of land to ~15%. If we used a proper sewage system that returned human waste to the land we wouldn’t even need artificial fertilisers. The land would bloom and the rivers become swimmable again.

    • Molly 5.3

      The best thing anyone can do is recognise that climate change response requires change. How people respond depends on so many things, and as they make changes without impacting on their lives they will attempt to make more.

      Your suggestion may be of use to someone considering how to change their diet to make less impact, but a vegan who trips around the world by plane can make a big impact by not travelling.

      It is better long-term to encourage attempts to make good choices, because further good choices are likely to be forthcoming.

      Community building for me is where the answer lies. Practicing making individual decisions taking into account the benefit of others. That naturally leads to better outcomes for all.

    • Lloyd 5.4

      Really the problem is too many people. If there were only half a million people in the world we could all chug around in coal-fired cars, we could eat as much beef as we wanted to and if we could actually build planes we could fire them with coal too and the effect on the climate would be minimal.
      The most responsible thing is not to have children and make sure that every woman in the world has access to good family planning advice and supplies.
      Any programme to reduce global warming that doesn’t include family planning is pissing in the wind.

      • weka 5.4.1

        I agree with this, except I would add that the huge discrepancy in wealth distribution is also a critical factor. What’s the carbon footprint of a 2 child family living in Timaru compared to a 4 child family living in rural India? In other words, NZers need to think about population for NZ, not just be thinking that it’s all poor countries with little or no birth control.

      • corokia 5.4.2

        How about men get responsible and have the ‘snip’. One off procedure, no ongoing need for supplies.

  5. mauī 6

    I’ve driven about 8,500 km in the last year, and im not a regular commuter which is a bit scary.

    • weka 6.1

      Ae, it’s a challenge. I don’t drive that much, but when I do it’s almost always with only me in the car. I can’t change much that until other people around me change too (there is no public transport where I live). But a big chunk of my petrol usage is going to buy groceries, so I may be able to find a different way to do that.

      • Sabine 6.1.1

        you might like the idea of a environmental awareness survey that could be held every other year?

        http://www.dw.com/en/germans-want-fewer-cars-in-built-up-areas-more-public-transport/a-18349731

      • Carolyn_nth 6.1.2

        More semi mass transit in rural areas; more streets giving priority to walkers and cyclists in urban areas. I just walked to the supermarket with my shopping trundler to make the load easier to transport.

        At each side street I need to stop and do a 360 degrees visual sweep more than once, to see if any traffic is suddenly appearing and heading my way. And I walked past a school, thinking – need to give us walkers priority over cars, instead of the reverse.

        • Sabine 6.1.2.1

          Yep, in the Henderson City Fringe the priority is given to the passing through cars.
          Makes no sense. Should be a pedestrian friendly shopping area, with barn crossings to reduce waiting times for pedestrians (try getting stuck for 5 min cause the lights got to run the course!), zebra stripes for easy crossing and once pollution goes down a bit more out door seating.

          but it ain’t gonna happen anytime soon, cause the little blessings must be driven around by a stressed mother in a yuuuge SUV to keep them safe.

          • Carolyn_nth 6.1.2.1.1

            Oh, and that barn crossing never give me enough safe time for the diagonal.

            And while we’re on Henderson, what’s with the escalators usually not working at the train station at weekends? – not very passenger friendly. If you have a load you need to use the dirty smelly lifts…. unless that’s not working as well, then there’s just the stairs.

  6. Molly 7

    I’m thinking about organising some form of Community Conversations this year.

    Non-partisan, get togethers along the lines of participatory discussions using tools like Democs, in order to get the information about climate change out, and real discussions happening at community level.

    I live in Franklin – very conservative, very little happening in terms of climate change mitigation. Any other Standardistas in South Auckland that have suggestions or want to put heads together to nut something out to get the community informed, that would be great.

    • weka 7.1

      That looks interesting. Would you do that as a public meeting or amongst people you know or?

      • Molly 7.1.1

        Open public meeting, everyone I know already has participated in discussions about climate change. 🙂

        Have run a few open community meetings about other issues, but usually a situation where people have direct connections to outcomes, so it will be interesting to see if there is any interest at all in the community. If I do, will hold and advertise it in Pukekohe – so even a group of ten to fifteen attending might be enough to start some form of local public conversation.

        I know I don’t want to organise a question and answer series, more of a discussion between community members. I just have to get some time to get up-to-date relevant information on climate change to put on the democs cards, – and some current information on the NZ political response.

        • Robert Guyton 7.1.1.1

          Hi Molly – this sounds something like what we are doing here in Riverton. Not quite so specific as “climate change”, more “what are we going to do about the state of the world” kind of thing, but very successful. So far, invitation only, but we’re expanding, now that we’ve found our feet (calves, knees and thighs next, then onward and upward!)

          • Molly 7.1.1.1.1

            That sounds great.

            My thought was along the lines of creating an environment where open discussion can take place, on various subjects. CC though may be the one subject that gets me motivated to get on with it. Had various ones already about community planning etc, but would like to get discussions going with meatier issues – inequality, water quality, community money systems etc…

            • weka 7.1.1.1.1.1

              what kinds of people do you both get?

              • Mine are thoughtful, light-hearted, well-read and pragmatic. Sometimes we build something as we talk; tunnelhouse, fence etc. Sometimes we refer to a book we’ve shared. One of us is an Anglican minister, another a cow cockey. No minutes are kept and only tea is drunk. We’ve others asking to join our conversations and there’s no barrier to anyone coming along, so long as they can discover the location, which shifts weekly 🙂
                Children sometimes accompany their parents. Our eldest is an octogenarian, the youngest a toddler.

                • weka

                  That sounds lovely. How did that get started? Do you meet every week?

                  • We tippy-toed around it for a few weeks, then jumped in; 5 blokes at the start, talking about a book we’d read, then it grew from there, with various people coming along as they heard about it or were invited. We’re sticking to a small team for now, but it’s one that discusses significant things and is covering lots of ground, plus, we are all feeling empowered and stimulated by the weekly moot. In fact, if there’s a chance we’ll miss a week, we try to wrangle an alternative day. It’s really enjoyable.

  7. greywarshark 8

    A cool look at what we can achieve. If you find Slavoj’s tics amusing it will give you an excuse to reject what he says, so that can be comforting for you.

    Human onmipotence over nature.

  8. Bill 9

    So those cruise ships?

    A piece in The Guardian citing a study claiming that an average cruise ship was the equivalent of 5 000 000 (5 million) cars moving the same distance – in terms of total emissions (not just CO2)

    Sorry.Don’t have time to search and link.

  9. some points

    – my friends and I carpool to parties now!
    – these people can offset your carbon – http://www.ekos.org.nz/
    – electric vehicle charging station opening soon in the bay – http://www.gbweekly.co.nz/
    – riding the bike is tough on rural roads and that is why we are part of a cycleways development group

  10. Corokia 11

    Meanwhile milk tankers drive millions of kilometers a year (releasing CO2) to take milk to factories where Fonterra use coal to dry it ( releasing CO2) and then milk powder is shipped overseas ( releasing CO2)

    Our personal efforts are important but there is a lot more that needs to change.

    • weka 11.1

      Yep. I think that if we all start changing we will change the culture, and then the politicians will follow. People who drive tankers and work for Fonterra etc are people who drive to work and play too. Or are the family, friends, and co-workers of people who are choosing to powerdown. No-one is coming to save us, it’s up to us now. We still have a lot of power.

      Speaking of which, did you see this? This is oldies chaining themselves to fences precisely because they know the chips are down and they are willing to make personal sacrifices.

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1701/S00131/grandmothers-and-farmers-block-fonterra-plant.htm

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/88671820/protesters-chain-themselves-to-gates-outside-fonterra-at-clandeboye-to-prevent-coal-deliveries

      • Corokia 11.1.1

        Yes- good on them. Would have been at the CANA camp if I hadn’t had to work.

      • corokia 11.1.2

        “I think that if we all start changing we will change the culture, and then the politicians will follow.”

        Only up to a point, a whole bunch of us leading by example sounds all very well, but it’s not going to do it. Think of stopping smoking & drink driving, they have only reduced because of penalties and restrictions, not by most of us leading by example.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.3

        I think that if we all start changing we will change the culture, and then the politicians will follow.

        But the politicians aren’t following and they’re fixing the underlying failed structure in place. In other words, they’re actually preventing the needed changes.

        • weka 11.1.3.1

          I would say they are following. Which is why the Greens are more centrist than they used to be. More people vote for them because of CC and the Greens will do more on CC.

          If people stop driving so much it’s far easier to push public transport legislation.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      Yep. The economics of export and trade don’t stack up in reality. They are, quite simply, unsustainable.

  11. Snowboarder Greg 12

    “Whatever happened to summer? Cardrona Alpine Resort woke up to its heaviest summer snowfall in living memory yesterday, 30cm covering the base. Temperatures dropped to -2degC overnight and snow continued falling for most of the day… it was not uncommon to get a light dusting of snow at this time of year, but this was the resort’s FOURTH snowfall this month [my emphasis].” 23 January 2017

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11787019

    One summer snowfall in January – weather. Two snowfalls – weather. Three – ooh a bit of a pattern forming here. Four? Now THAT’S climate(s) changing for you. N.B. It’s the sun.

    Kiaora Robert Guyton – having lived in the Bluff for seven years and surfed all around the Foveaux Strait – and Riverton on its day – I’m all too familiar with the joys of living in Murihiku/Southland. Sure hope your echiums survived the recent blows: Wayne of the Hill is an old buddy of mine.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

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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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    1 day ago
  • 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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    2 days ago
  • 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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    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
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    2 days ago
  • 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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    3 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
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    3 days ago
  • 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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    5 days ago
  • 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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    6 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
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    6 days ago
  • 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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    6 days ago
  • 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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    6 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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    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
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    6 days ago
  • 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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    6 days ago
  • 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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    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
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    7 days ago
  • 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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    7 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
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    7 days ago
  • 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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    7 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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    7 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
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    7 days ago
  • 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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    1 week 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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    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
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    1 week ago
  • 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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    1 week ago
  • 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
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
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    1 week ago
  • 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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    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
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    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
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    1 week ago
  • 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
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
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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