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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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    6 days ago
  • Pause to Quarantine Free Travel from South Australia to New Zealand
    Quarantine Free Travel from South Australia to New Zealand will be paused from 11.59am (NZT) tonight, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. However, people currently in the state who ordinarily live in New Zealand will be able to return on “managed return” flights starting with the next available flight, ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity by Chinese state-sponsored actors
    New Zealand has established links between Chinese state-sponsored actors known as Advanced Persistent Threat 40 (APT40) and malicious cyber activity in New Zealand. “The GCSB has worked through a robust technical attribution process in relation to this activity. New Zealand is today joining other countries in strongly condemning this malicious ...
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    1 week ago
  • Remarks to Diplomatic Corps
    It is a pleasure to be with you all this evening. Some of you may have been surprised when you received an invitation from the Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control, and I would forgive you if you were. New Zealand is unique in having established a Ministerial portfolio ...
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    1 week ago
  • Early Pfizer shipment boosts vaccine schedule
    The largest shipment of the Pfizer vaccine to date has arrived into New Zealand two days ahead of schedule, and doses are already being delivered to vaccination centres around the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “The shipment of more than 370,000 doses reached New Zealand yesterday, following a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Backing for Bay of Islands predator free effort
    The Government is throwing its support behind an ambitious project to restore native biodiversity and build long-term conservation careers, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Predator Free Bay of Islands aims to eradicate predators from the three main peninsulas in the region, and significantly reduce their impact throughout the wider 80,000-plus ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government commits $600,000 to flood recovery
    The Government is contributing $600,000 to help residents affected by the weekend’s violent weather with recovery efforts. Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have been in the Buller district this afternoon to assess flood damage and support the local response effort. They have announced ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government assisting local responses to heavy rainfall and high wind
    Acting Minister of Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says Central Government is monitoring the severe weather across the country, and is ready to provide further support to those affected if necessary. “My thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this latest event, particularly communities on the West Coast and ...
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    1 week ago
  • PM Ardern chairs APEC Leaders’ meeting on COVID-19
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has chaired a meeting of Leaders representing the 21 APEC economies overnight. “For the first time in APEC’s history Leaders have come together for an extraordinary meeting focused exclusively on COVID-19, and how our region can navigate out of the worst health and economic ...
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    1 week ago
  • Health Minister welcomes progress on nurses’ pay
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation’s decision to take the Government’s improved pay offer to members and to lift strike notices is a positive move towards settling district health board nurses’ pay claims, Health Minister Andrew Little said. “It’s encouraging that the discussions between NZNO and DHBs over the nurses’ employment ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Boost for Pacific regional business
    Pacific businesses will get a much-needed financial boost as they recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the new Pacific Aotearoa Regional Enterprise Fund, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  The new $2 million fund will co-invest in Pacific business projects and initiatives to create ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • PM Ardern call with President Biden
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke with US President Biden this morning, ahead of the APEC Informal Leaders’ Retreat on COVID-19. “President Biden and I discussed the forthcoming APEC leaders meeting and the critical importance of working together as a region to navigate out of the COVID-19 pandemic”, Jacinda Ardern said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Renewed partnership creates jobs for New Zealand youth
    The Government has signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, strengthening the partnership to get more young people into work.  The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) is a nationwide network of all Mayors in New Zealand, who are committed to making sure all young ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • South Island areas prioritised in tourism fund
    Five South Island areas are prioritised in the latest round of decisions from a tourism fund that is supporting infrastructure projects from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island and the Chathams. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has announced details of 57 nationwide projects to receive support from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF). ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New code sets clear expectations for learner safety and wellbeing in tertiary education
    A new code of practice for the pastoral care of domestic tertiary and international students will be in place from January next year, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today The code, which makes clear that creating an environment that supports learning and wellbeing is a shared responsibility between tertiary providers, ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • First TAB New Zealand Board appointments announced
    The members of the first TAB NZ Board come with experience in racing and sport administration, business and governance, the betting industry, broadcasting and gambling harm minimisation. “This Board will progress from the excellent work done by the interim board, put in place in August 2020,” Grant Robertson said. “The ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Northland Maori Pathways initiative introduced
    The Government has today launched Māori Pathways at Northland Region Corrections Facility, a ground-breaking series of initiatives designed in partnership with Māori to reduce re-offending and improve outcomes for whānau. A key part of the Hōkai Rangi strategy, Māori Pathways looks to achieve long-term change and involves a number of ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Extended Essential Skills visas being rolled out
    Two year Essential Skills visa to provide certainty to at least 18,000 visa holders Streamlined application process to benefit at least 57,000 visa holders The Government is increasing the duration of some Essential Skills visas and streamlining the application process to provide more certainty to employers and visa holders while ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Pause to Quarantine Free Travel from Victoria to New Zealand
    Quarantine Free Travel from Victoria to New Zealand will be paused from 1.59am (NZT) Friday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. The decision follows updated public health advice from New Zealand officials and a growing number of cases and locations of interest. The pause will run for at least ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Hydrogen agreement signed with Singapore
    The signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation on low-carbon hydrogen with Singapore signals the start of greater collaboration between the two countries as they transition towards low carbon economies, says Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods. The cooperation agreement between New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Hydrogen arrangement signed with Singapore
    The signing of an Arrangement of Cooperation on low-carbon hydrogen with Singapore heralds the start of greater collaboration between it and New Zealand as both countries transition towards low carbon economies, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. The cooperation arrangement between New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to LGNZ Conference
    Kia ora koutou katoa and thank-you for the invitation to speak to you all today. I would like to acknowledge Local Government New Zealand President Stuart Crosby, and Chief Executive, Susan Freeman-Greene, Te Maruata Chair, Bonita Bigham, and our host, Mayor John Leggett. I also acknowledge all the elected members ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government to provide support for water reforms, jobs and growth
    The Government today announced a $2.5 billion package to support local government transition through the reforms to New Zealand’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services. The package will also stimulate local economies while creating jobs and unlocking infrastructure for housing. “New Zealand’s water systems are facing a significant crisis and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government Initiatives Contribute to Fall in Benefit Numbers
    Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the release of the June quarter Benefit Statistics which show a continuing fall in the number of people receiving a Main Benefit. “This Government’s plan to increase work focused support for Jobseekers is paying off,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “All up Benefit numbers ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Tourism support package continues rollout
    Mental wellbeing support is being rolled out to five South Island communities most affected by the absence of international tourists. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash today announced details of how tourism operators and communities can access the help announced in May as part of the government’s $200 million Tourism Communities: Support, ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • NZ-PNG Sign Statement of Partnership
    New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape signed the first ever New Zealand - Papua New Guinea Statement of Partnership today. “This new Statement of Partnership reflects the importance we place on the close economic, cultural and people-to-people links our two countries have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further advice being sought on new cases in Victoria
    Further advice is being sought from public health officials following seven new positive cases of COVID-19 in Victoria today, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “There are also a growing number of locations of interest that are of concern, including a sports stadium on Saturday and several pubs,” Chris Hipkins ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch Learning Community Hubs supporting ethnic families
    As part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to working with the victims and those affected by the March 15 terror attacks, today Associate Minister of Education Hon Jan Tinetti released the report ‘Voices from the Ōtautahi’ on the Christchurch Learning Community Hubs. “It’s so important we continue to support the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Hundreds more hands funded to work for nature
    Supporting biodiversity protection through community-led projects and on private property will create at least 500 more jobs under the Mahi mō te Taiao/Jobs for Nature programme, Minister of Conservation Kiritapu Allan announced today. “The work we are funding includes everything from pest control and restoration planting to plant propagation, skill ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Saliva testing expansion for frontline border workers
    All frontline border workers who are required to be regularly tested for COVID-19 will soon be able to choose regular saliva testing as a full replacement for nasopharyngeal testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. Saliva testing will be expanded as an option for all those on a regular ...
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    2 weeks ago