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The Chrematistic Camel

Written By: - Date published: 7:26 pm, July 4th, 2016 - 110 comments
Categories: capitalism, climate change, Economy, Environment, ETS, global warming, International, science, tax - Tags: , , , , ,

So this post is about a suite of frameworks not to adopt if the goal is to avoid 2 degrees of global warming.

I’ve no idea what a chrematistic camel of the post header might look like by the way. I guess its hump might be made from the curve of a $ sign. I do know a haruspice sits atop it. A haruspice is a charlatan who claims to know what’s going on by their reading of chicken entails and other such like. Haruspices have had a name change in recent times. These days they’re called economists – ie, a certain type of economist – one who would reduce the entire world and everything in it to a dollar value. For some reason the clowns and dolts we elect as our politicians treat these haruspices with reverence and awe. Anyway, we need to break the camel’s back and leave the haruspice stranded in the furthest reaches of some remote desert.

I’ll be happy enough if this post amounts to so much as a straw…

We have, according to the pesky laws of physics, about 15 years to get emissions from energy down to zero to have an outside chance of avoiding +2 degrees of warming. There have been enough posts done about that. I’m not spending time here running through it again.

It would seem that proposals claiming to deliver emissions reductions fall into a singular category. That category is jam packed with various proposals built around the use of various monetary mechanisms and instruments that, it is claimed or hoped, will bring about large enough changes in behaviour that a concomitant drop in emissions will occur, and we’ll avoid dangerous levels of global warming.

Actually, there’s a caveat to all those chrematistic proposals. They don’t actually confront the reality – they underplay the severity of our situation and rely on the belief that negative emission technology will suddenly rear up, come on line, and avert a 2 degrees average surface temperature rise at some point in the future. Again, there has been enough written about exactly how integrated assessment models underplay the severity of our situation and puff up our future prospects, and of how our politicians, under the guidance of the economists haruspices, base policy around those assessment models. I’m not spending any time on that here.

Our government, in line with almost every other government on the planet has committed itself to take measures to avoid dangerous climate change that won’t cause poverty and that are informed by science. So, we know the path we have to walk – it’s signposted equity and it’s sign posted science.

Meanwhile, financial mechanisms and levers are the ‘go to’ tools for politicians and policy makers in the face of global warming. To be effective, they would have to achieve something like a 10 – 15% in reduction in emissions per annum – immediately.

And there’s not a single policy built around taxes, fees or levies that achieves anything remotely like that scale of reduction. They simply don’t work at that level of change. It’s time to rummage them out of the tool box and throw them off to the side instead of instinctively waving them in the impervious face of physics as if it’s going to achieve anything.

If you have doubts on their efficacy, then you don’t really have to look any further than the much touted Emission Trading Schemes (ETS) – dangerous shambles’ that may well have encouraged a rise in emissions. Now sure, many people said ETS would never work and wanted a straight up price placed on carbon – a carbon tax as it were. This is still a very much ‘go to’ solution for many, if not almost all, people. But from a 2 degrees perspective, it won’t work.

There are various ‘tax and dividend’ suggestions out there. The basic idea is that carbon is taxed and the tax take is then passed back to consumers, either directly or in the form of enhanced infrastructure. The NZ Green Party has such a policy. Climate scientist and activist James Hansen supports tax and dividend proposals. British Columbia has such a policy up and running.

This is what the supporters of the British Columbia “tax and dividend” scheme have to say. (pdf link)

Since then (2008), per capita emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases covered by the tax have declined, continuing a downward trend that began in 2004. Averaged across the period with the tax (2008 through 2013…), province-wide per capita emissions from fossil fuel combustion covered by the tax were nearly 13 percent below the average in the pre-tax period under examination (2000-2007).

Taking those numbers at face value, and ignoring any reasons as to why emissions were reducing before the tax was introduced, and ignoring any potential on-going effects those things might have had – 13% over six years is all very well and good, but nowhere near the 10% – 15% per year reductions required to have any chance of holding global temperatures to + 2 degrees.

For a take on a carbon tax that was instituted and where cross border/state purchases weren’t possible (as is arguably the case in British Columbia), then we just need to look to Australia. Australia introduced a carbon tax of A$23 per tonne in 2011.

If we ignore every other possible cause for a drop in emissions (such as economic slow downs, increased efficiencies and so on) and assign all of any reduction to the effect of pricing carbon, then the tax resulted in a 1.4% drop in emissions over the period of one year.

As reported in The Guardian

“The Greens leader, Christine Milne, said: “These figures demonstrate to the rest of the world just how effective our carbon price was at bringing down pollution. This is the biggest ever drop recorded and the price made it happen.”

You get that? A 1.4% reduction when we need between 10% and 15% rates of reduction apparently demonstrate the “effectiveness” of pricing carbon.

Or there was the Australian Conservation foundation quoted in the same piece

“The price did better than expected. Also, we would have seen deeper cuts in emissions over time as the price created a long-term economic signal and changed investment in energy. We never expected to see the biggest reductions straight away.”

Is it just me who can’t quite reconcile “long-term economic signal” with a fifteen year window of opportunity?

There’s another example, much closer to home, that demonstrates how effective the application of chrematistic notions of the economy are in the field of policy.

In 2010 the NZ government embarked on a fifteen year plan to make new Zealand smoke free. The fifteen years is worth noting. That’s the same time scale we have to work on carbon emissions. (So think annual reductions in the 10 – 15% range)

Smoking rates were dropping prior to 2010. But in 2010, alongside a slew of public awareness programmes, ‘adaptation’ services, legislation and law changes, the government chose tax as its principle weapon against the prevalence of smoking. So every year, the tax on an already expensive product rose by the rate of inflation, and then by another 10%.

You can go view some rudimentary charts here that show the smoking rate in NZ has continued to decline since 2010, but on a trajectory not so very different from that which was already underway before 2010.

And unlike in the case of carbon emissions, readily available and cheap alternatives were and are available to smokers. Yet the whole “Smoke Free 2025” is (excuse the pun) going up in smoke. Just look at the figures as reported by the MSD

Between 2006/2007 and 2013/2014, the proportion of the population who were current smokers decreased 2.8 percentage points.

The bottom line (if that’s not too incongruous a term) is that monetary measures or financial instruments, are to tackling global warming as a bread knife is to sawing up a couple of cubic metres of wood. Yes, it can be done. But not by the end of the day. And figuratively speaking, as far as reducing emissions go, we only have ‘til the end of the day.

One last word on the idea that we can price our way out of this mess. In 2009 Alice Bows, Kevin Anderson and Anthony Footitt released a study paper (pp89 -109) on carbon prices as they would affect air travel. At a carbon price of ~ NZ$500 per tonne, (ie – many times higher than any tax suggested by Hansen or implemented in either British Columbia or Australia) the cost of an airline ticket would only increase by about 25%.

I just randomly looked up the cost of a return to Sydney. House of Travel. One way, departing Auckland, for $161. A $500 carbon tax makes that flight about $40 more expensive. A deal breaker? I don’t think so.

Anyway, if you know of any pricing mechanism that will reduce emissions at the level required, and not bury the poor in the process, then please, link to it or explain it in the comments.

The next post will be the bare bones, or a sketch or outline if you will, of a framework guaranteed (big call that, eh? ;-)) to bring the emissions from NZs transport sector (responsible for over 40% of NZs energy related emissions) down to zero by 2030 – as demanded by physics and in line with promoting equity as demanded by the international agreements the NZ government has signed up to.

110 comments on “The Chrematistic Camel”

  1. johnm 1

    Definition of chrematistic

    : of, relating to, or occupied in the gaining of wealth

    For the vast majority CC isn’t real until one day it bites them in the rear. Hasn’t happened yet. It’s business as usual until we can’t.

    • Bill 1.1

      Chrematistic enonomics is the economics of the dead. What it does is reduce and diminish the value of everything – of life – into tradable units of pounds dollars and cents, or failing that, write it off as worthless.

      That river that needs cleaned up? It plays out something like this. It’s only fresh water and fish, algae and a plethora of life on the river banks and birds and frogs and somewhere to play and swim and walk or romance and….it just doesn’t stack up any dollar signs.

      And yes, we know the factory is leaching toxins into the water, but the thneeds from its processes bring millions of $$$ into the local economy, whereas the river just isn’t worth anything. Sorry.

      Now, if the river was a trout river! Why, yes! There’s a pragmatic case to be put as to why, on balance, it should take precedence over the factory. $$$$$

      Meanwhile, an economist in the broader sense would appreciate a broad sweep of value, rather than just the reductionist, singular and tradable value that derives from successfully monetising everything – people, things, our relationships to one another and our surroundings, our surroundings, our actions, our experiences….y’know, like how we charge top dollar for what we used to give away for free.

      • Jenny 1.1.1

        Finally a post that looks the problem in the face.

        Also very glad to see Bill that you are going to be putting up a future post on cutting our transport emissions.

        As Oscar Wilde said; “Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

        In my opinion anything that New Zealand does on climate change has to be dramatic enough to be world news, it has to be something that is significant, and ground breaking, (Like for instance our stand on nuclear weapons or apartheid.)

        The reason for this is because New Zealand’s emissions from all sources only account for 0.2% of the world total.

        Sir Peter Gluckman the government’s top science advisor

        “New Zealand is a small emitter by world standards – only emitting some 0.2% of global green house gases. So anything we do as a nation will have little impact on the climate – our impact will be symbolic, moral, and political”

        Sir Peter Gluckman
        Chief Science adviser to the office of the Prime Minister

        http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/climate-change/

        “our impact will be symbolic, moral, and political”

        This is the key.

        Even if New Zealand magically cut its greenhouse gas emissions to zero, it would barely make a measurable objective difference to the world total.

        Our impact will be symbolic moral and political, because it will have to be.

        Any major initiative launched against climate change in this country must have as its aim to create that symbolic and moral effect.

        So how should we go about it?

        Our closest geographical neighbour Australia, shares with us a common language and culture, and a similar history. By some measures, Per capita Australia is the world’s biggest Green House emitter, (second only to Saudi Arabia).
        Australia (like New Zealand) has a relatively small population, compared to other countries, despite this, (unlike New Zealand), Australia is major gross global emitter in its own right.

        http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/each-countrys-share-of-co2.html#.V3qc5JN95Os

        And Australia is the world’s biggest exporter of coal, the most dangerous and polluting of all the fossil fuels.

        But as well as all the above, Australia is one of the countries worst hit by climate change.

        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/26/climate-change-will-hit-australia-harder-than-rest-of-world-study-shows

        Australians are worried.

        Any serious and major ground breaking initiative launched against climate change in this country would be closely watched and commented on by Australians.

        I we did something major and ground breaking against climate change here, Australians worried about the changing climate, and many them are, would be demanding that their government do the same there.

        If Australia were to drastically cut back its emissions and even stop its coal exports this would be a world event. With a huge measurable difference, not to mention a galvanising flow on effect to the rest of the world.

        Small wheels, can turn big wheels, which can turn, even bigger wheels.

        And we have done it before.
        First in the world to give women the vote,
        First in the world to found a Social Welfare State,
        On the debit side, the First in the world to launch the Neo Liberal revolution.

        All these ground breaking initiatives were remarked on and followed across the globe.

        We can do it again.

        We must.

        • Jenny 1.1.1.1

          What I would suggest for a start, is the announcement of a complete ban on the opening of all new coal mines.

          With a set date to shut down all the rest.

          This is the sort of initiative that that would strengthen the movement against coal in Australia.

          In particular the movement against the notorious proposed Carmichal Coal mine development.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmichael_coal_mine

          As James Hansen has said, “If we can’t stop coal, it is all over for the climate.”

          On the practical level this ban should begin with the immediate cancelation of the new coal mining operations being started at Maramarua and Ohura.

          Followed with a strong statement from the government that no new coal mines will never be allowed to be developed or started ever again in this country.

        • Bill 1.1.1.2

          Well, I have my doubts that a post on ‘thestandard’ would make world news Jenny – not even one of mine! 🙂

          But I’d say that the up coming post drives a horse and coaches through the typical “We’re only 0.02% of the problem, so what’s the point” response.

          NZ is (off the top of my head) one of only five places in the world that could be the first to adopt this policy framework. Australia, Japan, Ireland and Britain being the others that come to mind.

          And more than just a moral or symbolic gesture, it’s a practical and workable suggestion or proposal that can be adopted quickly elsewhere and that ticks all the relevant boxes bar one. And that one box that’s left blank, I’d argue, is largely irrelevant – an unnecessary hindrance that we could happily just simply ignore (as per this post).

          Now, since we all know that politicians know a good idea when they see one and are naturally occurring sources of huge quantities of that stuff called ‘political will’… 😈

          • Jenny 1.1.1.2.1

            “Now, since we all know that politicians know a good idea when they see one and are naturally occurring sources of huge quantities of that stuff called ‘political will’… 😈””

            But they have a long experience in knowing how to avoid even discussing a good idea.

            Campaign silence over climate change shameful and dangerous

            And political will….

            Don’t even start me on that one

            The missing ingredient

          • Jenny 1.1.1.2.2

            <"But I’d say that the up coming post drives a horse and coaches through the typical “We’re only 0.02% of the problem, so what’s the point” response."
            Bill

            Sorry to be a pedant here Bill, but could I give a correction to your figure Bill of 0.02%. The actual figure of the world’s Greenhouse gas emissions that New Zealand is responsible for is 0.2%, not 0.02%.

            However, even though it is wrong, I like your figure more because it better emphasises the point that Professor Gluckman makes that, New Zealand’s greatest
            “impact will be symbolic, moral, and political”.

            • Jenny 1.1.1.2.2.1

              Well, I have my doubts that a post on ‘thestandard’ would make world news Jenny – not even one of mine! 🙂
              Bill

              Too true. It’s actions that count not words. But if your lobbying for better transport options is taken up, and it is world beating and innovative enough, and really makes a difference to congestion and pollution then, yes it could quite likely become world news.

              I am looking forward to your upcoming post on transport solutions relating to climate change.

              I am hoping it is a real counter to the insane nutters in the Auckland Chamber of Commerce have been lobbying to get a four or six lane motorway built under the Waitemata harbour, and it looks likely that they will get their way.

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11643578

              What could that possibly achieve apart from pouring hundreds of more cars into the already overburdened North Shore isthmus, and on the Southern side, into the already horribly congested CBD groaning under the weight of finding parking space for them? And that is not to mention the eye watering price tag for this incredible boondoggle, which apart from allowing lots more cars onto city roads, will (if the leaking Victoria Park tunnel is anything to go by), have its own massive carbon footprint, having to be lighted and pumped and ventilated 24/7 hrs a day 365 days a year forever, at a huge cost of electricity, also all paid for by the public. Environmentalists have also told me that the water that has to be continually pumped out, will also negatively alter the turbidity and clarity of the water in the harbour.

              Simon Tunnels and an unnamed NZTA spokesperson told appalled GenZero a climate change activist group, that there could be a public transport option tagged onto the planned under harbour motorway tunnel.

              HERE is one of the resources I check out on transport.

              Free and frequent public transport, where it has been trailed overseas, has been a run-away hit, easing both congestion and pollution. And has even proved to be as competitive, or even cheaper than building more motorways. Before the whiners start moaning that the tax and rate paying public shouldn’t subsidise public transport. Looked at it the proper way, motorways are massive public subsidies for the fossil fuel and car companies who have managed to externalise all their infrastructure costs and running costs to the local and central government and the private citizen, not to mention all the externalised costs of pollution and climate change.. Worked out that way, fully subsidised public transport, buses, trains ferrys are way cheaper.

              There are a lot of schemes for addressing climate change, in transport, in agriculture, in energy generation. But what you touched on Bill, and what is really lacking, is any political will to implement them.

              How to create that political will is worthy of a full post in itself.

              Briefly; IMO. It will take a combination of leadership from above and activism from below. Climate activists on the ground need to organise campaigns around climate change issues and politicians who by their position have been granted a public platform, need to use that platform to publicise and support the activists. And so shift the political discourse.

              We live in an age where politicians need to become activists and activists need to become politicians.

              We need more of this;

              http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/67169170/cunliffe-offers-to-climb-threatened-kauri

              And more of this:

              https://aucklandcoalaction.org/

              • Jenny

                PS.

                I like the hints you have been dropping about your upcoming post.

                “NZ is (off the top of my head) one of only five places in the world that could be the first to adopt this policy framework. Australia, Japan, Ireland and Britain being the others that come to mind.”
                Bill

                My hope is that if your plan is adopted, that as you say, your transport plan will be template for others.

                This ties into my campaign for controls halting new coal projects in this country as a template that creates the groundswell for similar controls on new coal projects in Australia. Which would have a very real measurable affect on global Greenhouse Gas emissions.

  2. Greg 2

    One way to make it cooler is to follow what nature does.
    So lets pop a few volcanoes.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age

    or
    governments require growth of the economy pay its debt to private banks,

    If they lived directly of our taxation, they wouldn’t need constant growth by consumption.

    So how can will we get the government to change how they manage to pay for itself,

    Taxing us to affect consumption change, cant work,
    carbon credits have already been proven a fraud and great scam for East European criminal organisations
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11624441

    Spains solar panel project collapses economy,
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB125193815050081615

    Failed green policy in California
    http://dailysignal.com/2015/08/29/what-we-can-learn-from-californias-failed-green-jobs-plan/

    unless there is a total economic collapse,
    its popping a few volcanoes..

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Nuclear weapons. When climate push comes to climate shove, proposals to use multiple nuclear warheads to cause a nuclear winter, will be considered by the most senior and serious people in society.

      • Greg 2.1.1

        The little ice age is an interesting study, it leads us on different paths:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connections_(TV_series)

        still,
        how can we get government to live of our taxes and not private bank debt.
        =then they will be motivated to make our lives better and make Green policy work?

        And, Generation Y wont be able to afford the massive state that the baby boomers have created by unintended consequences.

      • Gristle 2.1.2

        So like most previous solutions, the people who will be sacrificed are the indigenous people, the agricultural peasants, the poor.

        If it comes down to nukes at dawn I think that the probability towards mass extinction of humankind becomes something closely approximating, if not actually, 100%.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      governments require growth of the economy pay its debt to private banks,

      If they lived directly of our taxation, they wouldn’t need constant growth by consumption.

      The government wouldn’t, no, but the people would as they rack up the debt to the private banks which create the money for the ‘loan’.

      So how can will we get the government to change how they manage to pay for itself,

      Real Monetary Reform
      Again, it’s not just the government finances that need seeing to but the private as well.

      Throw in a UBI and stopping the banks from creating money and we would easily be able to stop the need for growth while ensuring that no one was living in poverty.

    • lprent 2.3

      There is no science or engineering that I am aware of that shows how to produce the level of volcanism at levels that would have any appreciable effect on insolation. This requires mega volcanoes, and nothing we have access to can produce or modify the magma plumes required to produce them.

      Besides, all.it would do is to mask the problem. Stop for a few years and the climate shifts come back in full force. Similar geo engineering up to nuclear winter and dropping asteroids all have the same flaw. Stop having a nuclear war every decade and the existing excess greenhouse gases in the oceans continue to create global warming.

    • Corokia 2.4

      Trying to reduce the sunlight getting through to the planet (which is what you are suggesting ) and what those who advocate spraying sulphur dioxide particles in the atmosphere are also wanting to do, does nothing to stop ocean acidification.

  3. Gristle 3

    AI think your mistake is going to the market to look for a set of solutions. Pricing mechanisms are Neo libertarian tools.

    The state is not limited to the markets to enact policy.

    Here is a starting list:
    Putting a cap on the size of new cars
    Putting minimum emission levels on new vehicles
    Requiring use of rail for freight.
    Double tracking railways.
    Making government vehicles be electric vehicles
    Stop building more roads.
    Increasing environmental safeguards in agriculture.
    Bicycle lanes.
    Reduce the speed limit.

    • Bill 3.1

      I agree with all of that. But where we are at present, is that if some regulation is proposed it is costed and and a whole suite of chrematistic criteria applied like hurdles that the regulation must clear.

      Even where someone advances the proposal regardless, the market (which is just an expression of chrematistic economics) seeks to water it down, delay it, change it, have it scrapped or whatever on the grounds that it threatens the making of money.

      The EU attempts to set car emission standards offer up a fairly good example of that type of nonsense, and importantly politicians threw themselves into the fray on the side of the car manufacturers.

      For them it was a case of fuck the science, fuck the health implications, fuck yeah, money!.

  4. Bill 4

    Still waiting for anyone to put the case for using money as a mechanism for guiding policy or change.

    Y’see, if nobody puts up anything, on the basis that the general thrust of the post is being taken as read, then I have to wonder that we allow politicians to use those various chrematistic criteria when considering policy or regulation or legislation.

    I’ll come back tomorrow and see if there’s anything other than tumble-weeds and distractions.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      I don’t think you can altogether ignore the basis of our current economy and financial system. Even as you make changes to de-emphasise the importance of money and market mechanisms you still have to recognise how powerful a logic they provide in driving decision making at every level of the economy.

      • Gristle 4.1.1

        The use of financial incentivisation is probably best aimed at those who cannot afford to change. For example, low income has hand me down technology in the form of 20 year old cars. Financially incentivate them to swap out their car for a bog standard small EV with controlled /subsidised price. Increase the cost of petrol. Permanently Remove old cars NZ by regulating by stripping them. Further, no more ICE cars coming into NZ unless they meet stringent emission and consumption standards.

        Secondly, Put the true financial costs of road freight onto the freight industry while investing in rail.

        is this using money as a mechanism to guide behavioural change?

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          For example, low income has hand me down technology in the form of 20 year old cars. Financially incentivate them to swap out their car for a bog standard small EV with controlled /subsidised price.

          I agree with your general points.

          However you should also consider what the “sunk carbon cost” of different options are. For instance I think that a 20 year old 1.6L petrol powered Toyota Corolla is a far lower GHG option than a brand new hybrid Prius or EV, as the new vehicle requires the carbon intensive production of brand new steel, plastics, aluminium, etc. And the old Toyota doesn’t.

    • ropata 4.2

      No pricing mechanism can work because it’s embedded in the capitalist model which is a massive part of the CC problem

    • b waghorn 4.3

      The only chance pricing would have of working is if every cent taken in tax went into removing carbon, be it spent on science to create the mythical carbon capture machine , or some such thing.

  5. North 5

    Only came upon this word “chrematistic” the other day but I love it already – “of, relating to, or occupied in the gaining of wealth.”

    Immediately noted the sense of assured, legitimate authority it imparts. Like a science. It’s irrefutable Thought immediately about the reality that hundreds and hundreds of thousands of us live, maybe a third or 40% of us. Where the only rational aim can be bare survival. Maslow’s Need Heirarchy sort of explains that. We have no time for philosophising. We must first survive !

    The bastards in this picture are John Key and his cronies. This one or that one or Bennett or Dame Rebstock……..cavalier, audacious, mouthy, looking to turn snake-like on the victims. As urged by their morally bankrupt media minders. Looking after their own fat ugly arses and their personal power lusts. As they fuck around corrupting and diseasing our social psyche. Molesting our sense of decent thinking and decent behaviour.

    God they’re detestable ! Away with the bastards, please !

  6. In Vino 6

    Great but depressing post, Bill.

    You have taught me 2 new insult words. Chrematistic and haruspices. That was the great bit, and I thank you for it. The few economists I know are going to suffer..

    I fear that it will take another year or two of warning signs that it is too late before most people – especially the rightie deniers – will actually admit that we all need to act together.

    And by then it will be even more too late.

    I like both Greg’s and Gristle’s ideas, but I fear that the Titanic’s Captain will order such ideas executed only after the ship is heavily listing, having hit the iceberg some time ago.

    How do we make an explosive impact on people’s minds?

  7. ropata 7

    We are fucked. This was from 2009 and not much has changed:
    http://socialistreview.org.uk/332/climate-change-radical-solutions-needed

    The Geophysical Research Letters journal published evidence in December that a qualitative change for the worst has already hit – that of runaway global feedback. In 2007 methane levels in the atmosphere began to rise again. This would indicate that the methane is being released from the frozen peat bogs of the Siberian permafrost. This will further accelerate climate change, and leads to the release of yet more methane. Arctic permafrost also contains twice the amount of carbon that is currently in the atmosphere.

    All the evidence shows that capitalism, fossil fuels, and growing human population are not compatible with serious CO2 reductions
    http://isreview.org/issue/92/can-capitalism-prevent-catastrophic-climate-change

    It is now too late to stop global warming. Even if greenhouse gas production stopped today, two centuries of emissions will remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. The average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans will rise, with increasingly severe effects on climate and weather, no matter what we do.

    If emissions continue at today’s levels, catastrophic climate change is inevitable. At the very least, large parts of the world will be uninhabitable, and conditions in the rest will be harsher than humans have ever experienced. The survival of our species, and of the millions of animal and plant species we share this world with, is at stake.

    This article lays out a blueprint for the transformation that’s required. No idea how the hell humanity will ever actually do any of it. IMO (barring divine intervention) we are doomed to extinguish our glorious civilisation
    http://isreview.org/issue/94/marxism-and-ecosocialism

    Ian Angus and Simon Butler, outline the following steps in their book Too Many People? Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis:

    * Rapidly phasing out fossil fuels and biofuels, replacing them with clean energy sources.
    * Actively supporting farmers to convert to ecological agriculture; defending local food production and distribution.
    * Introducing free and efficient public transport networks.
    * Restructuring existing extraction, production, and distribution systems to eliminate waste, planned obsolescence, pollution, and manipulative advertising, and providing full retraining to all affected workers and communities.
    * Retrofitting existing homes and buildings for energy efficiency.
    * Closing down all military operations at home and elsewhere; transforming the armed forces into voluntary teams charged with restoring ecosystems and assisting the victims of environmental disasters.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      That’s what I call a serious plan. Thanks!

    • Pat 7.2

      as you say…a list of (some) of the things needed (yesterday), but no practical means of implementing them….you cannot remove the basis of production without a practical plan to substitute.

      We know what needs to be done, what we don’t know is how we do it AND continue to supply everyones needs….forget about wants.

      Kevin Anderson’s ideas are the most practical I have heard to date but even those would require a massive change in how we organize society, and in NZ with ag being half our emissions and our electricity essentially carbon free already more would be required to meet the required reductions.

    • Bill 7.3

      That’s not the first time I’ve come across the ideas about ‘re-directing’ the energies or purposes of the armed forces for civilly useful aims. I’d forgotten about it though, so thanks for the reminder.

    • Karen 7.4

      That is a great list of what is required Ropata – in every country.

      Unfortunately the vast majority of the population refuse to accept the scale of the problems we are facing and as a result governments are reluctant to to do anything even close to what is required. As the effects of the climate change accelerate then there will be a more realistic response, but as Bill says, it will be much too late to avoid 2 degrees of warming.

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    Nothing soaks up carbon like biomass. Macrocystis seeding would make a difference, as would various treeplanting strategies. Our cities could use a redesign though – unlikely under contemporary governments. It’s like we’re building a ruined earth set for the next remake of Planet of the Apes.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      That biomass would re-release the carbon into the atmosphere within a few decades at most.

      We’d also have to be willing to re-cover a lot of farm land with forest. Can you imagine re-foresting the Waikato, Southland, Otago and Hawkes Bay?

      • Stuart Munro 8.1.1

        Yes, there is churn, but a large biomass can absorb a lot – our cultural methods have tended to decrease biomass – deforestation for example. But the mass is not just the forest but the deep litter on its floor and the carboneceous litter that supports freshwater ecosystems and finds its way into marine sediments (or crayfish pots).

        Freeman Dyson was a bit of a smartarse, but he calculated a 2-3 mm increase in soil volume would soak up all the problematic carbon in the world. No, we don’t need to cover our farmland – though increasing tree cover would save a devil of a lot of irrigation. Browsable trees in pasture are one thing – tangaste, saltbush, willow, apple all improve livestock health, reduce erosion and moisture loss to wind events. Forestry is mostly moving to post and line rather than skidders for pragmatic reasons, but it’s better practice because it conserves the active topsoil.
        All the techiques are pretty much known but not always widely adopted here.

        Even proper composting of dairy manure or riparian planting to keep it out of rivers is pretty carbon positive. Recent roading policy has been to clear trees from beside highways – but something softer with good kinetic as well as carbon absorbtion should be planted instead – native flax would be my pick except in arid areas.

        There is plenty we can do, it’s not even very expensive. Absent political will however, the consistently lousy and backward outcomes we associate with Gnat misgovernance will simply shamble on.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          ” The idea that global warming is the most important problem facing the world is total nonsense and is doing a lot of harm. It distracts people’s attention from much more serious problems.”

          I understand that Freeman Dyson said that in 2007.

          • Stuart Munro 8.1.1.1.1

            Part of an ongoing father-son conflict. But he’s not a liar – his calculations aren’t crap – it’s his reasoning and conclusions that are questionable. He was always a heretical voice – the guy behind Project Orion after all.

        • Robert Guyton 8.1.1.2

          Hebe on the roadsides – they’re pretty and people need something other than pragmatic in order to feel inspired about planting their own stretch of roadside.

        • Bill 8.1.1.3

          I admit that I’ve difficulties with this idea that a simple increase in bio-mass will soak up all excess CO2.

          Before we began adding externally sourced CO2 into the atmosphere, there was a balance between the CO2 in the atmosphere/ocean and the CO2 of living things. And that produced an atmospheric CO2 level of around 250 – 300 ppm.

          So…if we restored all of the biomass that existed from before we started trashing it, then on a given amount of CO2 in the CO2 cycle, an atmospheric concentration of around 250 – 300 ppm would eventually result.

          But we have added externally derived CO2 into the cycle and so, even allowing for elasticity in the system, I find it difficult to conceive we’d get out of this current fix by simply restoring previous levels of bio-mass.

          The proportions that follow are all wrong, but my thinking is something like…. there was a 10l pot on a stove happily bubbling away with 9l of water in it. But then we swapped it out for a 8l pot while adding another 2l of water into the mix at the same time.
          Restore the carrying capacity by swapping back to a 10l pot, and we can’t accommodate the extra 2l of water we added to the mix.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.3.1

            I admit that I’ve difficulties with this idea that a simple increase in bio-mass will soak up all excess CO2.

            The coal and oil we are burning is carbon based biomass which was stored over millions of years. We’re not going to get it back into the ground within a 10 or even 100 year period of time. And its only the 10 year period of time which matters.

            Let’s say Freeman Dyson is right and 3mm more top soil or whatever is enough to soak back all that excess CO2 back to Earth (I very much doubt that as our seas which cover a clear majority of the planet and are kilometres deep and which can dissolve huge amounts of CO2 are not keeping up with our CO2 emissions rate).

            What he hasn’t said is HOW FAST we can encourage this increase in biomass/soil depth can take place.

            Like everything in this game, we are in the last quarter and the countdown is ticking fast. Whatever is done on the biomass front it won’t change the fundamental to slash carbon emissions to zero within 10-15 years, which will require 10% reductions per year starting this year.

            • lprent 8.1.1.3.1.1

              Biomass isn’t a solution unless it sequesters itself. It is pretty damn obvious why. At any point in geological history, the amount of carbon in living organisms is something like 0.001% of the weight of fossil carbon in hydrocarbons (and lets just ignore for the moment the carbon burnoff of other carbonates like the limestone used in the production of concrete).

              At best it will temporarily suck up a teeny fraction of the additional carbon added to the oceans and atmosphere for a few decades. And in the best case carbon releases will happen unpredictably whenever there is a wildfire. With larger areas of vegetation around, there will be more wildfires – especially as climate change is going on around it from all of the other released fossil carbon.

              I class biosucking excess carbon as being the same level as the idiocy of using volcanic or nuclear winters to reduce the heat. A temporary meaningless ‘solution’ for a geological timescale problem.

              • Colonial Viper

                As far as I can see, annual carbon (not CO2 but carbon) weight released in GHG emissions is equivalent to about 3% of the carbon stored in living above ground biomass.

                Which tells me that restoring the ecology of the planet – not just replanting a few forests – is theoretically scalable enough to be part of a solution.

                Although I may have the orders of magnitude wrong in the unit conversions…

                I do understand how it seems very unlikely that releasing carbon stored over billions of years is going to be offset by contemporary biomass storage though.

              • Stuart Munro

                Two things – of course the initial impact of biomass as a solution will be modest, though the need for sequestration is dependent on how much biomass you maintain. Dyson’s calculation is deceptive – that’s 2-3 mm across the land surface area of the world, and you have to keep it there.

                But biomass is both cheap and politically feasible, and, somewhat adaptive. A large mass of marine algae will propagate rapidly. Species grow where habitats exist – if we don’t expand manageable algae like macrocystis the same resources might just as readily support red tides.

                Can it solve all our problems? Perhaps – smart policy would certainly include it in any suite of carbon reducing measures. It’s likely to be among the most cost effective.

                This isn’t a problem we’re going to get to simply solve, it’s one we’re going to have to manage sensibly into the future.

            • Lloyd 8.1.1.3.1.2

              The biomass that New Zealand can sequester easiest is Mussel Shell. Shells of shellfish are mainly calcium carbonate. Aquatic algae are converted by mussels into shell. Increasing mussel farms will increase the amount of mussel shell available for storage in such places as road metal and in concrete. (I know both these examples are peripheral to heavy co2 production, but they are typical examples – use your imagination)
              Mussel shell will also help reduce soil acidity.
              With thought as to the hazards of ropes to aquatic mammals, New Zealanders could easily increase the amount of mussel shell sequestered every year by several orders of magnitude. We could sell carbon sequestration credits to the Ukraine!

              • Colonial Viper

                Good to know, Lloyd. However I understand increasing ocean acidification is going to eventually impair this process.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.3.2

            And thanks to the evil tech of Google, a video on the topic of carbon capture via biomass increase has just appeared on my YouTube page – Paul Beckwith, University of Ottawa

            • Bill 8.1.1.3.2.1

              Paul Beckworth needs to be treated with a degree of caution. He’s a ‘catastrophist’. His phd is on sudden climate change/collapse and he views most everything through that lens. And he gets many things wrong. For example, just the other day he was pronouncing that the jet stream was ‘bleeding’ from the northern hemisphere into the southern hemisphere and that the end (an immediate one) was nigh – again.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes he’s an advocate of the idea that we are in the middle of “abrupt climate change.” Given that we’ve had the most rapid CO2 increase in millions of years, and that we are now on track for 4 deg C or 5 deg C global temp increase in the next 80-90 years, would you disagree.

                By the way this is his video on the global “jet stream bleeding.” He doesn’t make “pronouncements” – his video talks through a whole lot of satellite imaging showing unusually high mixing of northern hemisphere air with southern hemisphere air.

                And he didn’t make any statements similar to the “end is nigh.” However he did say that we might see a blue ocean Arctic zero sea ice event, and that the mixing of the jet streams will reduce seasonality throughout the world and help cause massive hits to food supply and political stability.

                Again, I can’t argue with any of that.

                • Bill

                  ffs CV! That bullshit was posted and refuted the other day.

                  Y’know, there’s a big difference between being realistic and posting up stuff that would appear to revel at the prospect of imminent and unavoidable ‘big shit’. .

                  Can’t remember who I already said this to, but one handed typing while the other is stuffed down pants clutching at some stinking cock of doom, might be satisfying at some personal level. But like all wankery, it really is just wankery.

                  edited

                  • Colonial Viper

                    OK fine, so this is not Beckwith’s area of expertise and he is speaking out of turn on this matter.

                    • Bill

                      Which you could have discovered for yourself with just the most cursory of google searches.

                      Sorry, edit. I mean for fuck’s sake. Some wee joker jumps up and and says the jet-stream is going all to hell in a hand basket, and you’re not even just a wee bit curious as to what any wider scientific community might be saying about that?!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Bill, your reaction that the jetstream disturbances is a clear sign that climate chaos is upon us and the end is nigh, is your reaction to what Beckwith said. It was not my reaction.

                      The message I took from his presentation was that it was another sign of the end of the climate stability that we have all taken for granted.

                      I brought Beckwith up because of the idea he presented that restoring the ecosystems of the world land and sea will be a critical part of reducing atmospheric carbon.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Paul Beckwith responds to the Washington Post article.

      • b waghorn 8.1.2

        Waghorns out there theory on stored bioass is to grow harvest and sink to the bottom of the abyss mega tons of carbon.

      • Greg 8.1.3

        Err most of the Wakato was a giant swamp,

        http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/waikato-region/page-8

        • Robert Guyton 8.1.3.1

          There’s a deep West Coast lake that’s bed is littered with huge logs spilt from a barge. They’re not rotting (no oxygen down there) and represent long-term carbon sequestration.

        • ropata 8.1.3.2

          So were Canterbury and Central Otago (swamps that is). Drained 100 years ago. Great farmland (when it’s not a drought). Wetlands that were once as rich in biodiversity as rainforests, are now being shat on by bovines.

      • Xanthe 8.1.4

        CV ” That biomass would re-release the carbon into the atmosphere within a few decades at most.”
        In the specific case of plantation trees true,
        in general case Not true

        The swamps of waikato were very long term storage as are perrenial grassland plains
        Regeneration of natural carbon sink processes is a realistc goal
        Soil carbon can make a difference

  9. adam 9

    The only case I can see for money, is if we put stamps on it. By that, put messages on money to the public about what is needed to confront climate change.

    Yeap only way I can see money helping 🙂

  10. Don't worry. Be happy 10

    Tax ploughs out of existence and use that money to make direct slot drills cheap/free. Feed the micro organisms in the soil so that the carbon is buried, the soil is restored and those who depend on it are fed. Farmering practice is very cost sensitive esp. as fast cycling drought bites hard and government relief becomes central to economic survival. Convince the politicians that money and votes will flow their way. Expect push back from the giants who dominate current agricultural practice. And those who have already given up.

  11. Adam’s ‘notes on notes’ idea is brilliant!
    On the fiver, Sir Ed, standing on the last remaining ice floe, captioned;
    “You’ve knocked the bugger off!”

  12. Ad 12

    Money is just civilisations’ inhalant drug that makes everyone speak the same language and speak it very fast.

    • Heliopolis’ helium

    • Bill 12.2

      Not sure what you’re saying there Ad. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with having tokens of exchange.

      But when the reductionist idea of assigning a universal ‘unit of value’ to everything gets away and dominates our thinking as it pertains to everything – ie, when we get to the state of affairs where the only value recognised is that reductionist one and all other possible measures of value are viewed as worthless (the chremastistic view), then we have a huge problem.

      Our potential to act can become stymied or paralysed by an overriding and all consuming fixation on notions of chremastistic worth.

      • Craig H 12.2.1

        As the saying goes, the love of money is the root of all evil… (Not money in and of itself)

      • Ad 12.2.2

        I am saying that money is not escapable as the primary form of collective exchange and hence of almost all collective action. I’d like it to be something different. We can’t uninvent money, nor its dominance.

        Trying to think outside it is lovely and idealistic and all that, but futile.

        • Bill 12.2.2.1

          There’s no problem with universally recognised form of exchange.

          But when principle or even decisive concern is given over to the movements or dynamics of an affect that only exists within a conceptual framework to the extent that those concerns outweigh real world necessities, then we have a huge problem.

          Don’t know how clearly I’ve managed to express that. I’m sure someone else could do better.

          Maybe try this. It’s not the money or the existence of money that’s problematic, it’s the dominance of a particular conceptual framework that we’ve built around money that’s causing problems.

          • Ad 12.2.2.1.1

            Slowly getting clearer.

            But in this world money can’t be overcome. Would be nice. Not possible.

            • Bill 12.2.2.1.1.1

              I’m not asking for money to be over come.

              Lets throw it into another context. Not the best analogy, but anyway…

              The priests say that if action ‘a’ is taken then the gods will be displeased, so we mustn’t take action ‘a’. If action ‘b’ is taken, then all you guys are fucked, but the gods will be pleased, so sadly, we must take action ‘b’.

              Now, I could be very much against the priests, their way of thinking and the dominance that they exercise while not really being concerned at the apparent basic need people have to believe in a god or in gods.

              So, y’know, I wouldn’t want to set about burning down peoples’ places of worship or whatever. Just dis-empowering the priests and being done with their dangerous and stupid influence would do.

              And maybe in the aftermath, the religion’s organisation shifts from a very structured and hierarchical one like (say) the Anglican or Catholic church towards a more (it’s essentially between you and God) Presbyterian model.

              • Ad

                Like yourself I loathe that there is no option to money.

                But I can see why you had to use a religious analogy; it expresses a dominance through every thought and action.

                This is where your posts get somewhat unstuck Bill.

                They will only ever engage with a very rare few who are determined to live outside the world of money and the current trajectory of the development of the world.

                Almost all people believe in the omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience of money, even more powerfully than Europeans in the late Middle Ages believed in the omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience of God. Money is more powerful than God ever was.

                Other than on the extreme margins, there is no possibility of otherwise.

                • Bill

                  I don’t loathe money Ad.

                  Okay, I’ll tweak the previous analogy and mix it up a bit at the same time in the hope of imparting clarity.

                  The priests are saying that action ‘a’ would displease the gods and so, sadly of course, the injurious action ‘b’ has to be taken.

                  But unlike in years gone by, the financiers of today play the role of both high priest and god. So whereas in some past, priests, knowing all about eclipses may have ‘gamed’ those events for their advantage, financiers can (essentially) invoke chrematistic ‘events’ after the fact.

                  Our politicians and policy makers can sideline or dismiss those detached chrematistic ‘events’ in just the same way as eclipses could have been dismissed by some imaginary village chief. Or they can allow them to play a central determining role in decision making in the belief that they are crucial and hugely important.

                  It really is all down to belief – intractably tying actions and decisions to movements or events that happen within a mere conceptual framework.

                  Our politicians an policy makers are fucking stupid and no more enlightened than some imaginary chief cowering before an eclipse as the priests stand around smirking knowingly at one another.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Our politicians an policy makers are fucking stupid and no more enlightened than some imaginary chief cowering before an eclipse as the priests stand around smirking knowingly at one another.

                    That’s a quotable quote.

                    But is that a touch of superior colonial imperialism there?

                    • Bill

                      The Celts didn’t have chiefs and superstitions? The Goths? Vandals? Romans? Britons? Vikings?

                      Us modern day consumers and sophisticates?

                • ropata

                  Ad said “Money is more powerful than God ever was.”

                  That is flat out wrong. Fiat currency is inherently unstable and temporary, that’s why the global elites are desperately converting currency to tangible wealth, ie. land, gold, and other ‘safe’ assets

                  Some history of fiat currencies (hint: history)
                  http://dailyreckoning.com/fiat-currency/

                  Signs that the wheels are falling off our monetary system:
                  http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-collapse-of-the-western-fiat-monetary-system-may-have-begun-china-russia-and-the-reemergence-of-gold-backed-currencies/5521107

                  Getting more technical:
                  (BTW Bill this is sorta on-topic because the article talks about ecosystems just as much as the economic system)
                  http://www.macroresilience.com/2011/12/14/the-pathology-of-stabilisation-in-complex-adaptive-systems/

                  The ability of economic players to reorganise to maximise the rents extracted from central banking and state commitments far exceeds the the resources available to the state and the central bank. The key reason for this is the purely financial nature of this commitment. For example, if the state decided to print money and support the price of corn at twice its natural market price, then it could conceivably do so forever. Sooner or later, rent extractors will run up against natural resource limits – for example,limits on arable land. But when the state commits to support a credit money dominant financial system and asset prices then the economic system can and will generate financial “assets” without limit to take advantage of this commitment. The only defense that the CB and the state possess is regulations aimed at maintaining financial markets in an incomplete, underdeveloped state where economic agents do not possess the tools to game the system. Unfortunately as Minsky and many others have documented, the pace of financial innovation over the last half-century has meant that banks and financialised corporates have all the tools they need to circumvent regulations and maximise rent extraction.

                  Even in a modern state that can print its own fiat currency, the ability to maintain financial commitments is subordinate to the need to control inflation. But doesn’t the complete absence of inflationary pressures in the current environment prove that we are nowhere close to any such limits? Not quite – As I have argued before, the current macroeconomic policy is defined by an abandonment of the full employment target in order to mitigate any risk of inflation whatsoever. The inflationary risk caused by rent extraction from the stabilisation commitment is being counterbalanced by a “reserve army of labour”. The reason for giving up the full employment is simple – As Minsky identified, once the economy has gone through successive cycles of stabilisation, it is prone to ‘rapid cycling’.

                  …is the current rush towards “safe” assets a sign that we need to produce more “safe” assets? Or is it a sign that our fragile economic system is addicted to the need for an ever-increasing supply of “safe” assets and what we need is a world in which no assets are safe and all market participants are fully aware of this fact?

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    ” I just randomly looked up the cost of a return to Sydney. House of Travel. One way, departing Auckland, for $161. A $500 carbon tax makes that flight about $40 more expensive. A deal breaker? I don’t think so.”

    On the lowest cost flights appealing to the most price sensitive part of the market, that relatively small absolute ticket price rise will be enough to get entire flight services cancelled. Even if an extra 10% of seats went empty on each flight that will be enough to take out the profitability of many services. And ticket prices might go higher than predicted as all the overhead costs of the flight, not just pricier fuel but also fixed costs like wages and airport charges, now have to be paid for by fewer filled seats.

    • Craig H 13.1

      Bang on, and flights are incredibly price sensitive.

      • Bill 13.1.1

        No they aren’t. Read the paper linked to in the post.

        By the way. Ever heard of ‘bucket seats’? Scheduled flight has unsold seats. Seats go on sale cheap so as to hold up profit margin of the flight.

  14. If ‘we’ were serious we would stop all oil imports, stop all coal mining, go vegategian, close the maternity wards and stop all health cover 🤓 Easy

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      You’re getting more mainstream by the day…

    • jcuknz 14.2

      A minor contribution would be for humans to stop copulating for awhile…. take precautions…. not that hard really.

  15. Greg 16

    Just a thought CV,
    The government spends heaps of money on research ne Development and to privately owned companies, and universities,
    so any Green technology that gets invented isnt own by the major investor, us the taxpayer, and there’s zero accountability,
    so how come we just accept throwing billions at RND and not own some of it,
    = theres a labour party policy,

    it then gets quickly sold offshore,
    its just happens time n again,

    like national making policy on the hoof = my line

    • corokia 16.1

      Where are the billions being thrown at R & D in NZ?

      I reckon what needs developing are the techniques to make almost everything we need as close to where we live as possible.

      To have emissions down to zero by 2030, only the rarest, smallest and lightest items will be able to be physically traded. eg: specialist medicines and technological components. Everything else needs to be local. Food, clothes, shelter, machines.

      No more flying sports teams and dozens of hangers ons across the Tasman and the rest of the world every week. No more plane loads of tourists spending a week here. No more using fossil fuels to dry milk powder and ship it (or logs) across the oceans…so much of what is considered “normal” needs to be re-thought

      But hopefully we can have healthy local food, warm dry houses, healthcare, carbon neutral transport and, if we are incredibly lucky, technology to keep us in contact , informed and entertained.

      • Greg 16.1.1

        over a decade its billions,

        why doesnt the taxpayer get ownership,

        or giving tax credits to companies listed on the stock market,
        corporate welfare is something key said that he would not do,

        google the quote,

  16. Pat 17

    NZers consume 1.25 tonnes of oil products and 1207 m3 of gas per person per annum.

    If every person was allocated 1/4,600,000 of this total use and was unable to purchase those products without allocation and these allocations were tradable we could control the demand.

    Every year the allocation is reduced by 10%

    If you wish to purchase fuel for your vehicle you must use some of your allocation, the same for air fares, any service that requires the use of these products. If you are frugal in your use of oil/gas you will have a tradable surplus…if not you will be unable to travel or otherwise use carbon products.

    Either way the annual allocation will be reducing and everyone is incentivized to reduce consumption and find ways of living without carbon producing energy over a relatively short time frame.

    The wealthy will simply purchase extra allocation i hear some say….that would be true, certainly to start with when there was potentially spare energy but they will have to purchase from within that allocation and that will increasingly disappear and the poor members of society who use less energy will be the direct financial beneficiaries of their low use levels and they will be able to set the price and the time of the excess sale…..a sellers market

    a financial solution Bill

  17. Greg 18

    women want everything for love,
    just saying,

  18. Lloyd 19

    Research to reduce methane from sheep and cattle should be a major priority for any government, Taxing the burps seems logical.

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    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    3 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    4 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    4 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    7 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    7 days ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    7 days ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • A good first step
    Today the government announced a financial package to deal with the effects of the pandemic. So far, it looks good: an initial $500 million for health to deal with immediate priorities, wage subsidies for affected businesses, $585 a week from WINZ for people self-isolating who can't work from home, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    17 hours ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    5 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    1 week ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahead of the start of the criminal trial in the Netherlands on 9 March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has reaffirmed the need to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of Flight MH17 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister The Government is investing $19.9 million through the Provincial Growth Fund in a game-changing hydrogen energy facility in South Taranaki, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The development of alternative energy initiatives like this one is vital for the Taranaki region’s economy. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    4 days ago
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