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Thank you Charlie.

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 pm, April 24th, 2017 - 60 comments
Categories: class war, climate change, energy, Environment, global warming, science, vision - Tags:

One of the speakers at Dunedin’s March for Science was a young woman by the name of Charlie. She was introduced as a part of 350.org, and I admit my heart sank a tad as I prepared to be accosted by the ‘same old’ pollyannaish spiel about how we’re moving in the right direction and how everything will be just fine.

How wrong I was.

Charlie (I spoke briefly with her and a friend afterwards) knows that any talk of  transitioning to a low or zero carbon future is ‘off the table’. She knows that all the renewable resources being developed are far too little and far too late, and anyway, are being deployed on top of existing fossil sources of energy – not replacing them.

She gets that investing hope in impossible or improbable  technologies (BECCS) in impossible timeframes (less than 20 years) that sets a world of logistics off to one side, is just plain stupid and disempowering.

She’s cognisant of the fact that this isn’t ‘the Anthropocene’ as many like to claim – that it’s a small percentage of humanity that is responsible for global warming and not the entire human race fulfilling some kind of dark manifest destiny.

In a nutshell, Charlie, and I dare to hope a good number of other young people, fully understand that incrementalism – that which essentially amounts to running down the train tracks to avoid the locomotive of global warming, isn’t the direction to go in and is no kind of strategy at all.

Charlie’s aware we need a clean break – a radical and immediate departure. She looks to her possible futures and sees that only revolutionary ones contain prospects.

I owe Charlie and her peers that possibility.

And all of us who are currently closing our eyes, or grasping for a rationale that will justify us hanging on to what we’ve got; that will excuse us approaching the future in a linear fashion whereby tomorrow might be perceived as flowing in a seamless or recognisable progression from yesterday – we owe them that possibility too.

Charlie pointed me to the following observation made by Tim DeChristopher – “If we want to change the status quo, we might have to work outside of some of those rules because the legal pathways available to us have been structured precisely so we don’t make change.”

Indeed. So I’ll be searching out Charlie and her friends again and lending the knowledge and experience this old bugger has accrued from past years of organising, and from times living a less than orthodox life, and putting it all at their disposal to use or discard as they see fit.

It’s the least I can do.

And thank you again Charlie for those few minutes of fresh air, for expressing that rare thing –  a flourish of hope that’s firmly rooted in reality.

Last word to Charlie.

 “I believe there is nothing more radical than burning more coal, oil and gas despite the urgent call for drastic climate action by frontline communities. There’s nothing scarier than the future of our planet, which our lives depend upon, being decided by a few powerful people.

The power to change the world right now is not democratic, but belongs to a few people. We can change that now.”

60 comments on “Thank you Charlie.”

  1. Gosman 1

    How much of your experience has been of successful efforts to change the system rather than merely to fight rear guard actions to attempt to starve off what you perceive as the worst effects?

  2. Perhaps if you had listened to those of us who said your rigid view of what these organisations are and who are in them was incorrect or at least skewered by your own life experience and attitude then it wouldn’t have been such a surprise or revelation.

    How do you reconcile the individual acts and responses of an individual with these types of organisations now (who I assume you think are still doing next to nothing and all down the wrong pathway anyway) ?

    • Bill 2.1

      It’s the very first time I have heard any public speaker speak from the basis of hard science and reality marty. I absolutely stand by every criticism I have made of various organisations and individuals who have, and do, peddle false hope.

  3. Red 3

    Bill your problem is your medicine is worst than the cure The science on climate change no one denies, Including human impact, what is not irrefutable is the degree of human impact, the degree of change (you assume nothing will change re carbon out put etc) and what we can do about it, You seem to think and are only open to radical revolution is the answer by destroying the system which will do more harm than good, hence why you lack any purchase in your views, not to mention good old fashion fire and brimstone doomsday prophesies really does not do it these day.People need hope to work with, with out it you have nothing, this is the level you should work on, and yes be less grumpy and old

    • Bill 3.1

      If we’d begun to enact market based policies to reduce carbon emissions back in the early 90s, then they just might have been effective enough. But we didn’t.

      Today, yearly carbon emissions are about 60% above what they were back in the early 90s and no tax or carbon price mechanism (the studies have been done) will affect carbon levels to anything like the degree required in the time that we have left to us.

      So the choice is to ignore the science and pretend we can preserve some form of business as usual and so guarantee temperature increases in excess of 2 degrees, or on the other hand, get real.

      I prefer the latter.

    • weka 3.2

      “The science on climate change no one denies,”

      Actually huge numbers deny it, which is the point. I disagree with Bill’s position on incrementalism, not because incrementalism is right/will save the day, but because it’s one of the pathways to the societal tipping point we desperately need. But there are people who know how serious the situation is and won’t respond with direct action, and there are people who still think electric cars are going to save the day. That’s denial on both counts. Then there are the people who know how bad things are and don’t care or have given up. That’s a different thing.

      I agree with you that people need hope to work with though.

  4. ianmac 4

    Perhaps Charlie is making a call to arms. But the status quo has a mighty machine to dampen/crush the revolution in the name of National Security. Five Eyes is part of the machine. Comfort with the status quo calls for tomorrow sometime, not today.
    So where to from here?

    • garibaldi 4.1

      Where to from here? Just ask Red – he seems to think ‘she’ll be right mate’.

    • Anne 4.2

      Charlie IS making a call to arms.
      As a former Met. Service employee, we were talking about “global warming” – and the deleterious effect it was going to have on the planet – back in the 1970s. But nobody listened, and that allowed the national and international power blocs to consolidate and present a united front against even acknowledging C.C. existed. Their motivation was (and still is) based purely on maintaining power at all costs.

      Add to that the human race has allowed despots, narcissists and psychopaths to gain political or economical control of so many countries and entities… and it is not in their DNA to show any consideration, empathy towards their fellow countrymen/women or indeed ‘nature’ as a whole.

      It can only be overcome by political means in the first instance, but as ianmac says… how do you do it? We’ve been trying for decades and they still won’t listen. It is as much a form of defence mechanism now because they can’t admit to being wrong, and so grossly irresponsible.

      • Bill 4.2.1

        but as ianmac says… how do you do it?

        I’m going to go with Charlie’s last sentence and suggest that embracing and developing democratic bases of power is the way to go…in other words, bring the power back to where it rightfully belongs.

        That’s not a quick fix and we don’t have time on our side, so we’d do well to start on it today.

        Talk to your family, friends, acquaintances, work mates…see what you can come up with. It might only be something very small to begin with, but small things can spread and small things can grow – sometimes quite fast too 😉

        • Anne 4.2.1.1

          Trouble is they don’t want to know Bill. They’re sick of me blathering on about it.

          To be fair, they know how serious it is but they want our “leaders” to bite the bullet on their behalf, so they go out and vote for narcissists, despots and psychopaths. You can’t win! 🙁

          • Bill 4.2.1.1.1

            Then find “the Charlie” who lives near you. If you’re in Dunedin, that’s easy enough done.

            Maybe there are quite extensive networks of young people who actually do ‘get it’ (so, you know, who’re not buying into any of the ‘magical thinking’ that pervades so much of the discussion around global warming), but whose voices just aren’t being heard; whose fears aren’t being heeded. And maybe they ‘just’ need us oldies to tear down the wall society’s built between our generations, and for us to listen to them and then for us to get on board with them.

            • garibaldi 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Imo the elephant in the room is that if you acknowledge the seriousness of CC then you have to admit Capitalism has to end , and this is a bridge too far for your average Western human.

              • BM

                Not just capitalism but democracy as well.

                • weka

                  why would democracy have to end? Both Bill and Charlie are talking about increasing democracy.

                  • BM

                    How do you stop political parties reverting the country back to the “bad old ways”?

                    Take, for example, You could have a pro-climate change coalition squeak in at election time, once they’re then they go about trying to dismantle capitalism, impose all sorts of controls etc, etc.

                    The other part of the population really aren’t going to be that enthused and the rival political parties will no doubt try and tap into that anger and state that they’ll reverse these draconian measures and get the country back on track if elected.

                    This will be highly likely as there will be no doubt quite a period of upheaval and pain for the voters of both camps, which will result in the pro-climate change coalition getting the heave-ho and that will be the end of that for a generation at least.

                    Therefore for any sort of successful transition to occur democracy needs to be given the boot.

                    • keepcalmcarryon

                      For everyone who has Netflix, watch the Norwegian series “Occupied” which (so far fictionally) deals with some of the political realities of sudden change.
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okkupert

                      Definately there is a corporate power imbalance in the world at the moment but the main reason nothing much will be done is due to human nature and our inability and unwillingness as a species to think beyond the immediate future or even comprehend our own individual mortality and think beyond ourselves for future generations. Some people can – like Charlie by the sound of it. But most will not.

                      Think Easter Island http://scribol.com/anthropology-and-history/archaelogy/how-deforestation-caused-easter-islands-society-to-collapse/ ,think dodo, moa extinction, it is the human way.
                      That doesnt mean i think we should do nothing, its just that we wont.
                      I suggest its an evolutionary coping mechanism – for our mortal species to be able to exploit and survive an environment. Propogation of the species, who knew we would run out of environment? Further more, we are a tribal animal and the needs of my tribe always outway the needs of yours.
                      We are not as enlightened as we think we are, as a species, despite some brilliant shining exceptions.

                      The (eco)system will collapse before our behaviour changes.
                      Ditto local and world fish stocks and capitalism itself by the way,
                      My worry is things will get very very bad before we get real structural change.

                    • weka

                      Take, for example, You could have a pro-climate change coalition squeak in at election time, once they’re then they go about trying to dismantle capitalism, impose all sorts of controls etc, etc.

                      That would be a daft strategy and anti-democratic. More the kind of thing that’s likely to happen under National during times of big upheaval, they’re the anti-democracy party after all.

                      I have no idea how capitalism could be replaced but I would think that progressive parties would work with the people, not go all authoritarian and fascist.

                      You also seem to think that the end of capitalism would have to be initiated by political parties. I keep saying this, political parties follow the change that is happening in society. That’s why there were people in the 1970s talking about climate change and it’s taken until the 2000s for the mainstream parties to get on board (or not, in the case of National).

                      Did you read the post? Did you understand what it was saying?

                    • Gosman

                      Why would ypu think progressive parties would work with the people? They haven’t in the past.

                    • Bill

                      Why do you think the only possible way to get to the future is on your knees?

                • garibaldi

                  On reflection I must say I agree with BM about having to lose democracy to carry out what is necessary to slow CC down. The practice of one person/one vote would not let it happen because more people vote for ‘what’s in it for me’ than for altruistic reasons.
                  So ,yes it would pretty much have to be totalinarianism worldwide if we want to get results. Fat chance eh?

                  • Bill

                    Parliamentary representation is really just an empty democratic shell – all form and no substance.

                    Stick with that as a bar for what passes as being democratic, and sure, it slips into (a deeper) authoritarianism very easily.

                    But hold democracy to be people having a meaningful say over things that affect them, and we begin to move in a completely different direction – away from parliamentary representation and the threat of totalitarianism and towards democratic processes and procedures that are embedded within communities – and that are constantly refined and honed by the communities that are utilising them.

                    For a present day example of what that might look like or of how it could look and work, do a quick google on Rojava and their organisational structures.

                  • Carolyn_nth

                    That’s a very narrow view of democracy, but one reinforced regularly by our mainstream media. It is grounded in the individualistic culture of our capitalist system.

                    It’s a narrow version of democracy because it focuses on representative elections.

                    A deeper and more democratic system would involve much more debate among people at the grass roots in the community. Such on-going political debates would focus people much more on the measures that would benefit society as a whole.

                    We need better political education, and more participation in discussions by the general population. That would be closer to real democracy, or participatory democracy.

                    Our current version of democracy is a bit of a sham.

                    Edit: kind of a snap, Bill.

              • Anne

                Precisely garibaldi. And people can’t bring themselves to accept their style of life has got to change and so the myth that all is well will continue until something really terrible happens. Then they might move into survival mode… by which time it will be too late.

                Capitalism as it is implemented in today’s world has got to dramatically change.

                • weka

                  one of the things we can do is talk about life beyond capitalism and how that might be a good thing. People are more likely to change if they can see something good about it.

                  • Anne

                    Yes. Perhaps we should stop using the ‘ism’ words altogether because it seems to frighten a lot of people one way or the other. Common sense politics can’t be squeezed into a particular doctrine. It is more often than not a response to a given set of circumstances and those circumstances are constantly changing.

                    It always comes back to the same thing though. Educate people properly and give them a decent standard of living, and they will make better choices in their lives. I use the word “choice” in it’s normal setting and not part of a neo-liberal political doctrine.

                    • weka

                      It always comes back to the same thing though. Educate people properly and give them a decent standard of living, and they will make better choices in their lives. I use the word “choice” in it’s normal setting and not part of a neo-liberal political doctrine.

                      I like this. Tricky when the govt of the day is actively working against that. In this sense I think Charlie is right, we need to step up the action.

            • weka 4.2.1.1.1.2

              +1 If people are sick of the blathering then find a different way to talk. And focus on the people who are ready to change. They’re the ones who are more likely to step up. There are those people around, lots of them just don’t know what to do.

              In terms of the post, I think using opportunities to combat the ‘electric cars will save us’ meme is critical. I take a different approach then Bill, because I think Generation Zero etc need to be brought over to the dark side 😉 It’s easier for me to work with middle class communities than working class ones and I see huge potential once the middle class movers and shakers get on board and be wiling to give shit up. But we need this to happen on multiple fronts. The underclasses in particular have serious level skills on how to work with difficult situations. Working together seems the sticking point.

            • lprent 4.2.1.1.1.3

              I have been hacking my lungs out with a cough since the start of Easter. Plus pulling a few allnighters at work to get a project out of the door. It hasn’t been conducive to doing mundane things like the blacklist or shopping 🙂

              Lyn has been complaining.

  5. timeforacupoftea 5

    I can claim that the climate in Dunedin has dramatically changed since the 1950’s till now as I have lived through it, we live in a much milder climate now compared to the 1950’s.

    “BM …
    25 April 2017 at 10:56 am
    Not just capitalism but democracy as well.”

    Geeeees when I read BM … comment that –
    “Not just capitalism but democracy as well”.
    – MUST END, I was thinking of poor Charlie she will be a candidate for suicide or a future burden to New Zealand’s mental health waiting list.

    Lets hope she dose not read TheStandard.org.nz as some previous comments are depressing.

  6. Skeptic 6

    I see Wikipedia have defined “climate change denial” as pseudoscience – which I think most, if not all who read this site, would agree. I also see that recent polls on this subject have seen about 85% of ordinary people accepting the reality of climate change (of a cyclic nature) and global warming (by human intervention), with the balance being made up of deniers and don’t knows. These figures seem to hold for most western democracies give or take for local flavour and are pretty much the same +/- 15% for most other countries, with those directly affected already being more than those less affected or in a controlled political atmosphere.

    Given that we now know that 6 degrees change in average mean temperature will mean irreversible weather pattern change, along with sea level rise, increased severity of extreme weather, changed temperate and crop growing zones, increased insect and tropical disease zones, hugely increased insurance and infrastructure replacement costs, massively increased medical and agricultural research expenses and very expensive habitat relocation costs, and that the current exponential growth rate of that change will see this 6 degrees arrive in the early 2040s, while the current curbs on emissions won’t take effect till the 2050s, I think Charlie is speaking for her generation when she talks about “drastic action”. After all, it is her generation, and her immediate descendants who will pick up the costs of our failings. And those costs will be in the tenfold, hundredfold and thousandfold for each succeeding generation.

    As an aged activist from the time of my mis-spent youth, I applaud her intentions, although given the ground level passive support, I think that her ideas of “a few” are somewhat pessimistic. What is very much lacking is leadership in the provision of credible practical alternatives to everyday wastefulness and extravagance so prevalent in our consumer society. As a realist, I think that most people would, if given such practical and meaningful alternatives, willingly adopt them. How to change this overwhelming passive support to active demands for attitudinal change from our political leaders and business/industrial CEOs is a question where coalition building similar to the CND campaign of the 1980s is needed. A broad-based, across sector, mainstream groundswell call for change is, I think the only way the necessary impetus for change will be effective in time before the worst of the 6 degrees patterns impact.

    If we don’t, we may well be the last generation to enjoy a “blessed earth” instead of a “vengeful Gaia”.

  7. Ad 7

    I don’t think “climate deniers” are the main obstacle.

    I think the opposition to change is vast. Anthony Giddens as far back as 2002 did a whole book on The Politics of Climate Change. It laid a few of the structural resistances out.

    I sure think there’s a point to protest, and hearing fresh leaders say fresh things. But …

    … But the opposition to climate change activism are too often seen as fact-deniers that are so off the wall that they are psychopathic. I don’t believe they are, generally. I think they like the way things are.

    (After all, Goodies have a philosophy, Baddies have a psychology).

    The prescription for understand why the climate activists aren’t winning is to do the Ideological Turing Test. It was invented by Bryan Caplan the economist of George Mason University.

    It’s simple enough:
    If you truly understand your political adversary, then you should be able to write an essay explicating their point of view so well that a neutral judge cannot tell the difference.

    How many of us, do you think, could pass it?

    • Bill 7.1

      I’m not seeing the point Ad. Let’s assume I’d pass that Ideological Turing Test…or not. So what?

      There’s a myriad of systemic and cultural barriers standing between understanding and action. So I might well understand those who want to hang on to (say) our current economic and political paradigms down to the nth degree. And no reasoned argument I put to them – even on their own terms – would shift them, because belief is based on faith, not rationality.

      The task is to find and encourage the doubters. They are the ones open to suggestion.

      Or maybe, juts possibly, to get the true believers with something coming from waaaay left field 😉

      • Ad 7.1.1

        The task is to defeat those opposed to sufficient action on climate change.
        The side of the good is not winning, as you regularly remind us.
        So there needs to be a deeper understanding of why the opposition is winning.
        In order to do better at defeating them.

        • Bill 7.1.1.1

          The side of the good is not winning, as you regularly remind us.

          Critical, or even sometimes brutally honest evaluation of an analysis or goal is not the same as ‘reminding’ anyone about supposed winning or losing. I don’t think I’ve ever commented within any ‘winning/losing’ frame of reference when talking about global warming – I’d be surprised if you could dig up an instance of me doing that.

          What I have done, and will continue to do, is call bullshit on magical thinking and false hope, whether that’s being peddled by governments, political parties, NGOs, scientists, policy makers or individuals.

          For me, it’s about change – not winning.

          • BM 7.1.1.1.1

            How do you make it all happen, Bill?

            What’s the plan going forward? how does NZ go from where we are now to a carbon neutral society? assuming that’s the end goal?

            • Bill 7.1.1.1.1.1

              How do I make it all happen!?

              What, you think I’m God or something BM?

              I know you’ve no interest – but a good start would be to heed the basic science and act on the basis of the information we get from that science, without resorting to any ‘magical thinking’ and without skewing any scientific data so that possible actions and policies fit nicely within, and preserve, an economic orthodoxy that’s currently sending us ‘to hell’ at a rate of 2ppm per year.

              In practical terms that requires (besides land use changes) reducing our energy related emissions at a rate of something like 15% per year, year on year. A hard sinking cap would do it.

              • BM

                In practical terms that requires (besides land use changes) reducing our energy related emissions at a rate of something like 15% per year, year on year. A hard sinking cap would do it.

                How do you make that happen? what sort of plan is required to get that implemented?

                • In Vino

                  Dumb concern trolling. You don’t care a damn, and by the time you realise you should have, it will be too late. Go jump into a polluted river, BM.

                  • BM

                    Very useful comment.

                    I’m interested in ideas, solutions and how to implement them doesn’t really matter what the topic is about.

                    • Philj

                      What is your solution and ideas on Climate Change BM?

                    • Lol bm classic bullshit there. Love the line that the topic doesn’t matter because THAT is your role. Concern troll no matter what the subject ffs what a loser.

                      Hey barfly count up those insults will ya.

                    • In Vino

                      Liar, BM. You pretend too much. Your ‘interest in ideas and solutions’ is always is always skewed to undermining leftist ideas. You have become tiresomely boring.

                • Gosman

                  Apparently democracy is the answer but not the democracy we have now. A new and localised version that somehow allows us to achieve amazing things. How is immaterial at this stage. It will just work okay.

                  • adam

                    So you have given up on being a libertarian now Gossy?

                    • Gosman

                      I’ve never been a pure libertarian. My philosophy can be best summed up as ‘The Economist’s editorial position’ or ‘Libertarian realism’.

                • weka

                  “In practical terms that requires (besides land use changes) reducing our energy related emissions at a rate of something like 15% per year, year on year. A hard sinking cap would do it.”

                  How do you make that happen? what sort of plan is required to get that implemented?

                  Here’s a plan.

                  Activists step up the action and continue to build the climate justice and action movements in NZ. Lots of direct action, smart, engaging protest, and awareness raising.

                  Others work at the level of social media and MSM, getting lots of good quality information into the public domain. Tell people the truth and offer them something to do that is proactive and hopeful.

                  More of the general public become alarmed about cc due to extreme weather events and start to make connections between the wellbeing of their own lives (self, family, home, work) and climate change being here now. At this point all levels of activism need to push the notion that it’s not too late.

                  Work with the people that want to change, build action around those people. Sideline and marginalise people who are deniers (of any ilk), who push for the status quo, who promote inaction based on it’s too late, and who troll around cc. Work out effective strategies for this, and then put them in place and focus on the other stuff. Don’t waste time on this, but make it work to the extent that these people aren’t driving the conversation. For people that are still unsure, leave the door open and welcome them in.

                  Eventually there will be a tipping point where enough people understand cc and the need for immediate action. The more pessimistic among us believe that this will only happen once things are collapsing (think lots of floods, brown outs, govt and insurance unable to keep up with infrastructure repair, food shortages at the level of we can’t have tomatoes out of season, all that rather than mad max scenarios). And by that time it’s too late.

                  So stepping up action now is an imperative to get us to that tipping point earlier. Once the public are more on board (don’t know the %, but it’s not going to be everyone, or even necessarily a majority), pressure will be applied to national and local govt as well as business and NGOs. Remember that there will be people wanting action who are in govt (politics and public service), the MSM and business. Lots of people have grandkids.

                  With any luck that will coincide with two things. One is we have a centre-left govt with a strong Green presence, and now people have something competent they can look to for solutions. Two is that the people who have been working on transition for the last decade or two will have enough organisational capacity to go viral within wider parts of society.

                  All of that is possible. There is some luck involved, but there is nothing there that is far out in terms of what NZ society can do. The biggest stumbling block I see is the middle classes still thinking electric cars are going to save the day. I think there are various strategies to change that and IMO that’s where the focus should be. Once those people get on board with transition being urgent and actually a good thing for them personally, I think we will see a lot of change quite fast.

                • Bill

                  The hard sinking cap is technically easy. All that involves is software running on existent flow meters in petrol/diesel holding tanks. (Those tanks are intermediary points of storage for almost all heating and transport fuel)

                  But if you’re then stupid enough to want to hang on to this economic system we have, then forget it.

                  Otherwise, just give the stuff away to the end user.

                  NZ currently subsidises the fossil industry to the tune of some NZ$ 2.5 billion every year (direct and indirect subsidies). That roughly equates to the cost price of all the diesel and petrol used in NZ. Shift the subsidy in the short term so that oil companies get to retain their profits from fossil and don’t get tempted to instantly terminate oil supplies. Nationalise them if need be.

                  By 2035-ish, NZ will then have a fossil free energy sector and we’ll all have had 15 or 20 years to adapt to new and necessary ways of living.

                  I know. Too hard. Too imaginative. Too engaging. Too equitable. Too…not normal.

                  Barreling on into a 3 or 4 degree C future that only idiots think we’ll be able to adapt to is far more sensible.

  8. bugsolutely nz 8

    Part of the solution, as I see it, is to look at present behaviors and change those we can to behaviors that minimize the negative impact on the environment. Production of protein is an area where individuals can have an impact by seeking alternatives to the greenhouse gas producing methods used at present. Farming crickets for protein is one example all you have to do is change your preconceptions.

  9. Corokia 9

    We’ve got a society where almost all information comes in via social media and (for the older generation TV). Almost all the messages are telling people to consume, fly and drive – because that’s freedom and “you deserve it”.
    Somehow the message HAS to change. But the big money is with the status quo. How do we change the message?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      Don’t forget that there are many wealthy people struggling with this same problem, who know that we’re all in this together.

      The “us vs. them” on this occasion is between sociopaths (and their right wing thralls) vs. the rest of us, including many world leaders and the vastly overwhelming majority of the global scientific community.

      In the corporate world, Munich Re, for example, has been deadly serious about AGW for years if not decades.

      As for the deniers, I don’t think there’s a solution that includes them. The rest of us have to get on with it and knock them down (legally – which includes the right to self defence) when they get in the way.

      In short, it’s our behaviour, not the message, that has to change. Maybe the monkeywrench has to come out of the mothballs, maybe legal action might be enough. Whatever it is the time for political consensus with sociopaths is over.

      • corokia 9.1.1

        Behaviour has to change- yes.
        But the messages to buy, drive, fly, must change. The messages that turn up on facebook. The ads on TV. The billboards. The ads when we are online.
        How else do you think people are going to start thinking about their carbon footprint?
        Nothing (mainstream) in our current lifestyles reminds us that it actually matters.

        • Gosman 9.1.1.1

          Restricting freedom of expression is necessary then.

          • Corokia 9.1.1.1.1

            We have anti drink driving messages for the public good. We don’t allow cigarette ads. Guess that might be restricting freedom of expression to a certain type of troll.

            • Gosman 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes but you aren’t just restricting freedom of expression to goods and services that are deemed unhealthy. You seemingly wish to restrict it for ANY good or service regardless of if using the item has benefits or otherwise.

              • Corokia

                IMO we need more information out there about the importance of reducing CO2 emissions.
                I haven’t mentioned restricting anything.

  10. Philj 10

    Thank you Bill for taking a stand, and to Charlie. At the Wellington Science March it was a jolly hockey sticks, ‘just exercise your vote intelligently folks’. Excuse me… Really! The bell has been tolling for too long, too many prophets have been ridiculed, This is not going away… We are! And it is becoming increasingly obvious. Sorry, but this is as good as it’s gonna get. The time has come to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation and act intelligently now to minimize the wreakage. The obvious global consequence/solution from our ‘leadership’ is … Conflict?
    R. I. A. B We are no different from Rats In A Barrel. Hell, even Gossy & BM are sounding concerned.

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  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    4 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    5 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    6 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    7 days ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    7 days ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Mark expresses “absolute confidence” in NZDF forces stationed in Iraq
    While feeling worried about increased Middle East tensions, Defence Minister Ron Mark said he had "absolute confidence" in New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leadership. His statements come as the fate of Kiwi troops stationed in Iraq comes under intense scrutiny. Forty-five Defence Force personnel were thought to be in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • ‘No Body, No Parole’ Bill is pointless dog-whistling
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order National MP Tim Macindoe Member’s Bill, Concealment of Location of Victim Remains Bill does not do what he claims. The Bill specifies a requirement for the Parole Board to only “consider” denying parole if an offender refuses to disclose the location of the body. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Hon. Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Ron Mark: “NZDF focused on protecting troops in Iraq from retaliation”
    As tensions in the Middle East continue to grow after the assassination of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the New Zealand Defence Force is focusing on the protection of Kiwi troops deployed in Iraq. Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says that "recent attacks on coalition bases and embassies constitute unacceptable ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
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    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
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    3 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
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    4 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
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    4 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
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    4 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
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    5 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
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    5 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
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    6 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
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    3 weeks ago