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The third Industrial Revolution

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, November 19th, 2015 - 107 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, capitalism, climate change, disaster, Environment, global warming, Globalisation, International, Politics, sustainability - Tags:

The upcoming Paris COP 21 talks will now force every major political leader of the world to confront a convergence of global terrorist response with global climate change talks.

The core political challenge is that modern developed states are now well tooled in responding to localised asymmetric warfare, whereas they are consistently weak responding to a gradual and diffuse multinational threat like climate change. Diffuse international threats are what the UN is for. Perhaps.

It would take an almighty set of leaders to use Paris COP 21 to respond to climate change with the same scale, urgency and multinational will as their response to terrorism. But that is now precisely the conditions of post-attack Paris. Is this the set of leaders to do it?

Of recent world leaders to try and bridge the two, only Pope Francis has tried to forge a strong logical link between destruction of the earth, poverty, and war. He won’t be leading the talks.

It will also take extremely complex diplomacy to shift political minds away from trying to make us all safe by missiles, boots on the ground, drones, torture, or digital dragnets. This is because the Deep State would be forced to question exactly what they are defending: the safety of their states, or the survival of their economies against ecological degradation. The larger states have not yet shown themselves capable of stabilising this binary as an intersection into state interests and state responses. The odd report to Congress in July this year about the implications for US security from climate instability did not address their underlying intersections, other than at a theatre level.

So thinking beyond Paris, flailing around for hope, perhaps the world can do this without the political order binding itself to a grand plan. Jeremy Rifkin sees a convergence between all things digital, all things connectible, and all things renewable. He sets it out in four parts here.

His argument is that the world is already dematerialising away from carbon – perhaps enough to stave off collapse. Who knows whether it will be enough to save the climate. I personally believe Generation X and older broadly speaking will only be dragged very reluctantly into a low-carbon economy, leaving behind their beautiful cars, big houses, and processed foods. Some of the generation who are 80+ and remember the Great Depression, well, perhaps they are better equipped than I. It reminds me of the Dust-Bowl veteran interviews that bracket the movie Interstellar. But then, 50 Tiny Houses on an acre can start to look identical to a slum. It will take more than nostalgia to save us, and Rifkin charts that out.

But the Millennial generation in front of me can probably foresee perpetual austerity, endless insecurity, and weakening agrarian economies caused in part by climate instability and endless ecosystem collapse. Even if they live in New Zealand.

Between those generations, is a kind of “we’ve got to do this, or we’re doomed” narrative. Apart from a small percentage (remember at 9-11% the NZ Greens are a global popularity outlier), that kind of messaging rarely works and it won’t work now – especially in light of competing apocalypses.

It’s simply not enough for left and right to shout “schadenfreude” at each other about their own respective pet doomey scenarios of climate change and terrorism. Jonathan Porrit from the Forum for the Future points out in the Huffington Post that “All millennials will ever hear from politicians is that there’s no alternative but to grind on and on with today’s failed model of planet-trashing progress.” That’s not a useful binary.

Whereas Rifkin’s view of industrial convergence appear too blithe for some, he has mapped consumer and commercial trends behind his work to substantiate it. Have a read. Have an argument with it.

I’m also not proposing that all climate change political action at national level is hopeless. I’m proposing that there’s more to the world’s responses, even if Paris fails. In New Zealand, our governing politicians have lowered expectations so much that even parts of the business community are complaining. Pick up the latest edition of Idealog magazine and you’ll see how much the lack of national leadership on the environment means to them. New Zealand has been set back by this government internationally, and Paris COP 21 will shine a spotlight on our mediocrity.

Some political leadership is agreeing with exactly where Rifkin is pointing. The EU plan to make Europe the most productive commercial space in the world and the most ecologically sustainable society on earth is bold. The plan is called Digital Europe. Again, have a good read, and have an argument.

Even if Paris COP 21 does not have the political will to bind the globe into saving the earth, even if states have reached their limit, the NGO sector won’t be able to do it alone either. The largest non-state actors on earth are corporations. Have a good look at why the likes of Unilever, Coca-Cola, BT and Dow would want to save the world. Their way, sure. But save it.

Whatever the force of transnational political planning, it will need markets to lead as well as states. The world is run more by markets than by governments. It’s the marketing arms of corporations – not NGOs – that most accurately enable messages to make global change. According to Rifkin, this super-coherence of the Third Industrial Revolution is well underway.

And here’s a strange piece of hope. I do have some hope that states can react towards coherence not out of threat, nor out of huge benefit, but out of a need for greater international coherence. This brings me (controversially, sure!) to the politics of TPPA. The fact is every signatory traded privileges away, towards super-coherence. It took nearly a decade to get done. It was not contaminated by the language or instruments of terrorist security response. There was no Battle for Seattle to stop it. It signalled a renewed global belief that massive, economy-changing consensus is possible. If TPPA hadn’t happened, Paris COP 21 would be  seen by states as hopeless from the start.

State leaders can also now see that a simple, fully commoditised response to climate change like carbon trading won’t work. Has failed. States are feeling their renewed necessity in both terrorism and climate change precisely because pure market responses and pure security responses have failed both.

So I also have hope for Paris.

Perverse though it sounds, the world is richer, more interconnected, more reflexive to social damage, more in need of each other, than ever before. And it behaves like that – as a networked organism. The world is converging on itself. This makes it even more ready to face the common challenge of climate change than ever before. It is ready to engage through the interconnected threats of terrorism and climate change as if they threaten the interests of the state together.  One can but hope.

Meantime, there’s local marches on November 28th. I’ll be there.

107 comments on “The third Industrial Revolution ”

  1. Steve Withers 1

    Climate change is a much larger concern than terrorism. It will kill tens of millions.

    I’m getting annoyed by the terrorism meme being used to strip away civil liberties.

    What happened in France is terrible….but let’s put the numbers in perspective.

    In 2013 3,250 people died in France in traffic accidents. Twenty times the number who died on Friday in terrorist attacks. Have cars been banned? No. People just get on with it.

    Every year in France at least 23,100 people die of lung cancer – alone…..almost entirely from smoking. Something people (presumably) chose at some point to do. This is over 100 times more people than died on Friday.

    Are cigarettes banned? No.

    Every year in France about 7,400 people die of alcohol-related cancer (1/3 of the tobacco rate).

    Is anyone bombing distilleries? No.

    So before the fear of terrorism is used to deprive us all of civil liberties……it’s worth keeping the ACTUAL danger in perspective.

    • tracey 1.1

      Thought-proving Steve, thanks.

    • Ad 1.2

      If only politics was rational. It’s not. It’s human.

      Let me give you a little provocation.
      About 16,000 years ago, the earth went through one of the fastest climate changes ever. 7 degree warming, 100 metre sea level rise – and we thrived. The human population did the best it ever had.

      Whereas in the last two centuries we’ve seen the industrialization of death through mechanized war – millions and millions and millions of people killed in the name of one extremism or another from Communism to Fascism. We haven’t stabilised the most enormous binge-purge cycle of radicalism we’ve ever known. So much terror.

      I think they’re both worth facing. Ideally that’s the level of conversation they need to be having in Paris.

    • mary_a 1.3

      Good summation of the issue Steve (1). Thanks for your perspective.

  2. tracey 2

    Thanks for the post Ad

    I think the killings in Paris last week will provide the perfect excuse for some leaders to duck the problem because some know that attacking climate change costs them money, and will take money from the money makers from the keeping the status quo.. Some will be throwing away their previously contrived excuses to delay and have replaced them with this one?

    If both the Czech Leader and the NZ Leader are there, does that mean only one seat and meal is required?

    • Ad 2.1

      God I’m hoping for better than that.
      If we took New Zealand’s position internationally, you are right the talks would have no hope at all.

      • tracey 2.1.1

        Well, heartening to me in the last few days has been the proposition by some (including on the right) here that Key has absolutely no influence on the current Austtralian Government (vis a vis impotent to get Abbott ot Turnbull to keep the detainees or find out details about them) since at least Feb 2015 and that in parts of Asia they think he is the leader of the Czech Republic. This tends to confirm the notion that he is a follower of the USA and is merely their mouthpiece to make it seem like the US view is more widely held…. but in parts of Asia and Australia they are just seeing what sanatas little helper sees in that Simpsons sketch when Bart/Key speaks.

  3. Adrian 3

    The tobacco and alcohol arguments are a chimera, sure they are large figures and preventable to a degree but the Paris attacks were one event, to not respond desisively is to encourage more and dramatically larger events.
    The logical outcome of the idiotic ” shoot and blow up everything ” ideology is civil war and the death and misery toll from that far exceeds any of lifestyle diseases.

  4. gsays 4

    well done ad , good post.
    i am of the opinion that the majority of these ‘leaders’ (managers more like), ours included, are at paris a bit like a child at their least favourite grandparents place: they are there coz they have to: they go through the motions, say the right things and enjoy time at the lolly/biscuit jar but cant wait to get back home to their toys.

    to stretch the child analogy a little, i reckon this is where change will occur.
    having children shame or show the parents another way
    teaching the youngsters at school alternatives: gardening and food supply (trees, eggs, bees, animal care etc.), car pooling etc.

    while not poo-pooing the idea of changing our habits, i am keen for a return to true sustainable living, it is incredible what is expelled (green house gases) from a volcano ‘burp’.

    • Ad 4.1

      I’m not sure there’s much shaming Key with a community garden right now.
      Hope something works, that’s for sure.

      • tracey 4.1.1

        IN fact, having a daughter living in Paris has probably firmed his militaristic resolve

      • gsays 4.1.2

        no, not to shame, sheesh..i doubt there is much that shames him.

        the pollies will do what the pollies will do.

        to show children you dont need a supermarket or takeaway for a kai.

        there is no diesel embedded in a local cabbage, particularly if you make your own compost.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    This is because the Deep State would be forced to question exactly what they are defending: the safety of their states, or the survival of their economies against ecological degradation.

    Or simply against change. The people who are well off and in charge do not want change as that will remove them from the top of the pecking order. Our politicians work with them to protect the status quo which is killing us.

    Some of the generation who are 80+ and remember the Great Depression, well, perhaps they are better equipped than I.

    My parents remembered lived through and remembered it and I’d say that they were the generation that are the major cause of where we are now. I distinctly remember my father telling me that there were no limits to growth and that there was no such thing as “too many people”. What we’re slowly accepting that those limits do exist but the politicians and the rich don’t want to admit to them.

    Whatever the force of transnational political planning, it will need markets to lead as well as states.

    Markets are purely reactive and never lead. The lead we need is for the politicians, forced by us, to change the market so that it can react properly.

    • Ad 5.1

      “Or simply against change”.
      Truisms aren’t helpful when we are facing actual threats. Come on Draco, engage with the purpose of the post.

      “They were the generation that are the major cause of where we are now.”
      Again, another truism. Whether for good or bad.

      “Markets are purely reactive and never lead”.
      Very arguable and simplistic. We don’t have to do innovation theory right now, but markets and competition got formed when we invented the stone hand-axe a few hundred thousand years ago.

      Come on Draco, this is a post custom-built for one of your trademark doomey climate change/capitalism/bad people eschatological rants. Step it up!

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Truisms aren’t helpful when we are facing actual threats.

        Good job I wasn’t doing truisms then isn’t it?

        We don’t have to do innovation theory right now, but markets and competition got formed when we invented the stone hand-axe a few hundred thousand years ago.

        [citation needed]

        Actually, just go read Debt: The first 5000 years and you’ll find out that you’re wrong but that’s what I expect from market fundamentalists.

        • Ad

          I will have a look at that book recommendation and do a review.
          Innovation is not the same as debt however.
          We simply have an innate drive to improve things – it’s the core human competitive advantage against all other competing animals.

    • Steve Withers 5.2

      Though…a market is a bit like an onion in terms of the layers of discretion. The outer layers are things we can do without or find substitutes for. The inner layers are actual needs in all or most circumstances. These are more “inelastic”, to toss in an economics term.

      We have some room to move – marketwise and every other wise – as long as we aren’t stressing resources beyond those outer layers. But when we run into inelasticity on those inner needs – locally at first, then regionally, then globally……sh*t will happen fast. Also be clear that local issues can cascade into regional issues in a matter of weeks….and global issues in less than a year.

      • Ad 5.2.1

        I think that was the point of my last paragraph in the post.

        New Zealand still has the basics of elasticity in even some of your inner layers.
        It will take about three terms of a strong and stable alternative government to be able to achieve it however.

  6. esoteric pineapples 6

    Renewable energy made up half of world’s new power plants in 2014: IEA


  7. Colonial Viper 7

    I struggle to see how a transnational corporate rights document – the TPP – which enshrines guarantees against sovereign democracies which try to get in the way of big business profiteering and resource exploitation, is going to help solve the climate change problems which these transnational corporates have been a fundamental root cause of.

    • Murray Simmonds 7.1

      Absolutely agree with CV on that point.

      I thought this was a really good post – right up until the point at which the TPP was brought into the argument.

      Then all of a sudden the post stretched my credibility-gap WAY beyond breaking point. Taking the signing of the TPP as a measure of international coherence is just laughable.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        The TPP is a measure of the strong international coherance of the 0.01% elite, and their common attitude towards the rest of us whom they want to work and shed blood and tears for the sake of their profits.

      • Ad 7.1.2

        Thought you two would love that bit. I can’t just give you stuff you all agree with can I?

        My point was the form (ie getting to agreement) is really important as diplomacy. International agreements are hard, and diplomacy is harder. Remember the great theatre of the Pacific Island states at Copenhagen? Bared their souls? Made not a jot of difference. Grinding through text clauses does.

        The US responses to 9/11 have essentially killed effective diplomacy for the last decade. The US militancy in fact continues to fracture alliances that could otherwise work to common good. Granted they aren’t the only ones, but 9/11’s reactions were a new global low. TPPA is the first multinational agreement that really bound countries to work to common rules since 9/11.

        Now let me go out on a further limb.

        The Paris attacks will at least shift the tone towards COP 21 agreement. It was an interesting first that the Russian massive bombing wave of ISIS in the last 48 hours was actually communicated beforehand clearly to the US command in Iraq. Say that again: Russia and the US cooperating in hard military terms. That has not happened for 70 years.

  8. Jay 8

    The point made about deaths from accident, disease etc being far greater than from murder, terrorism etc is made often.

    While that view might be logical, it fails to take into account the visceral and instinctive fear and abhorrence humans have of a loved-one being murdered, as opposed to dying accidentally, of disease etc.

    This is reflected in the punishment of murder – life imprisonment, whereas for careless use of a car causing death – 3 years maximum (from memory).

    When a loved one dies “naturally” we can usually accept that. It’s far harder when they are deliberately taken from us. This is human behavior and something we can’t change. We want revenge on the attacker, from an evolutionary point of view that makes perfect sense – an attacker must be destroyed, kept he reoffend.

    A physical attack elicits an instinctive response – we can point out how many die of disease, accident, war overseas etc etc, but if a bomb blew up your wife and kids that breed of logic would be out the window, and rightly or wrongly you’d find yourself reaching for the ammunition.

    This is why France hits us so hard – it’s very close to home, whereas deaths in Beirut (for example) are not. It just puts our hackles up, and the closer it is to home, the more concerned we will become.

    That is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s totally natural and makes perfect sense.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      When a loved one dies “naturally” we can usually accept that. It’s far harder when they are deliberately taken from us.

      Now you know how tens of thousands of families across the Muslim world feel about US drone strikes, 90% of the victims of which were not the intended targets.

  9. G C 9

    There is NO evidence c02 emissions cause ‘climate change’. Water vapour accounts for at least 95% of all ‘green house’ gases. The sun shining on the ocean has an effect – not our meger man made emissions. In fact plants require c02 for photosynthesis. c02 is currently lower than in the not-so-distant past and nature is starving for it.

    Margaret Thatcher perpetuated ‘Global Warming’ to promote nuclear energy, trying to achieve ‘UK energy independence’ – the UK coal minners were striking at the time. As the planet was shown to be cooling and scientists were saying a mini-ice-age was coming – ‘global warming’ was changed to ‘climate change’. In the past 100 years the temperature has increased (maybe) 1/10 of a degree.

    Climate Change Models and the Scientists behind them have a track record of being 100% WRONG in ALL thier predictions. Almost ALL models do not take into account solar activity and water vapor (crazy, nuts, but true) – scientists are just on a funding grab.

    The Green Party wants to Sell NZ OUT over this myth and Labour are right behind them. The 3rd world will remain unindustrialized – causing untold misery. NZ will become poorer as we enrich the IMF.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      You corporate sell out. You should be ashamed of yourself. If you’re not a damn bot that is.

      • G C 9.1.1

        You clearly find my comments outrageous, yet you can’t point out any factual inaccuracies. I’ve researched climate change and found no evidence man-made c02 emissions have any impact.

        In the past the Earth has had more c02 in the atmosphere and been slightly cooler. It’s outrageous to me the NZ Government is paying ANY carbon tax~!!!

        I don’t deny the oceans erode the shoreline.
        I don’t deny droughts and famines have anyways been.
        I don’t deny human migration has been happening for centuries.
        I don’t deny antarctica is increasing in ice.
        I don’t deny 100% of c02 predictive models have been WRONG.

        There is no evidence for Man Made Climate Change due to c02. Even the old head of Green Peace quit over this conviction.

        Put up your evidence Colonial Viper – perhaps you’re indoctrinated by the global environmentalist religious cult/rhetoric. I normally enjoy your thoughtful opinions and insights Colonial Viper, but I totally disagree with you here.

        • RedLogix

          I’ve researched climate change

          Always delighted to have an actual climate scientist comment here. Most of us really do just depend on reading up websites for our information, or in my case have personal friends or acquaintances who have done field work and published papers on the topic in stringently peer-reviewed journals.

          Any chance you could give us some references to your published work please? Would be fascinating to see what new material you have been able to contribute.

        • Murray Simmonds

          Go away and do some reading without blinkers on, G C, before posting your utter piffle on this website.

          It may have escaped your attention, but there are AKSHULLY a number of intelligent people out there who regularly read “The standard”.

          • G C

            Stump up your evidence Murray Simmonds – I’ve provided lectures from PHDs, a Nobel Laureate and an investigative documentay. That’s just getting started.

            All you have is a closed minded, sneering attitude. I’m open to evidence, but you seem to be about tarring the Left as close minded like yourself – very unconstructive.

            • Murray Simmonds

              The evidence is out there – go read it for yourself. Or don’t you know how to Google?

              “All you have is a closed minded, sneering attitude. ”

              So glad that you obviously know more about me than you know about yourself!

            • Daniel Cale

              Been there, done that. You won’t get evidence from the alarmists. But you will get abuse.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                That’s funny: you failed to provide a scrap of evidence; and the non peer-reviewed material you did provide contradicted you. 😆

            • Tricledrown

              All the scientists you have put up a quick wikipedia check shows they are all in the big oil payroll.
              Ever since Exxon Mobil have released how they have funded false science.
              As well as Exxon Mobil own research being released.
              Only idiots like yourself try and defend the oil industry funded propaganda.
              I have read newspapers from around the world .
              The Denialists have stopped posting because they have been exposed by the largest oil company in the world.

        • Stuart Munro

          I’m fairly sure climate change is for real – but carbon credits are another junk bond like bitcoin. If environmental protection was the aim a carbon credit market was not the answer. The people who fiddle most of their tax will simply fiddle the carbon trading – no net positive environmental effects but a layer of extra cost for folk trying to be responsible.

    • Tricledrown 9.2

      CC Corrupt Conmen,your still pushing Oil industry propaganda.
      Around a month ago Exxon Mobil was forced to release information on its own research which showed from the mid 1950’s Exxon Mobil had known burning fossil fuels would cause climate change.
      In the 1980’s they did more extensive research and the results were that burning fossil fuels is causing global warming.
      They covered up this research.
      Then Exxon Mobil were forced to release all the information around their deliberate propaganda programming of buying off climate scientists and funding the undermine of legitimate Science.
      You make a laughing stock of yourself by being out of date with the Exxon Mobil exposure.
      Also no other global warming Denialists are posting anywhere on any forum.
      So you haven’t been reading or watching the News.
      Gullibility is how the Denialists relied on to spread their lies.
      98% of climate scientists agree that global warming is occurring the 2% that don’t are all paid by the fossil fuel industry.

      • G C 9.2.1

        HERE is some of my evidence – PUT YOURS UP~!!!

        The Great Global Warming Swindle – Top Documentary Films

        Richard Lindzen, Ph.D. Lecture Deconstructs Global Warming Hysteria

        Nobel Laureate Smashes the Global Warming Hoax

        Tim Ball – The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science

        • RedLogix

          Sorry, but was looking for the new work YOU have published. We’ve seen these guys before.

          But in his own words right at the start of the video you link to, Ivar Giaever states:

          “I am not really terribly interested in global warming. Like most physicists I don’t think much about it. But in 2008 I was in a panel here about global warming and I had to learn something about it. And I spent a day or so – half a day maybe on Google, and I was horrified by what I learned. And I’m going to try to explain to you why that was the case.”

          So I’m a baffled as to why you quote this person as an expert on climate change. He obviously knows a great deal about physics, but modern science has become such a specialised and complex thing these days, that there are no ‘generalist’s any more.

          In the early part of my career I worked for a University Physics department for many years. One thing that did surprise me, is that while all academics in the department could readily agree on and teach the 100 level topics, was just how limited their knowledge of other post-graduate and research topics was outside of their specialty – even those being worked on by other people working in along the same corridor.

          And most were modest enough to quite candidly acknowledge this. It takes years to become a global authority on ANY science specialty – it seems to me very unlikely Mr Giaever could come to any useful position in a day and a half.

          • G C

            I don’t seem to find any counter weighted evidence – just rhetoric?

            • RedLogix

              I quoted one of your sources for you. He explained that how in a day and a half he was able to completely de-bunk all of climate science and was “horrified by what he found”.

              Now I’m very impressed by Ivar Giaever’s Nobel Prize in Physics. That is a remarkable and enviable achievement. At the same time I’m also vividly aware that this really only makes him an authority on the particular topic for which he was given this Prize.

              It is true that at a basic level physics and climate science share a lot of fundamental ideas. Just as for example, while all computers are dependent of the physics of solid-state quantum mechanics for operation their silicon based chipsets …. no-one would never make the argument that this therefore necessarily makes all physicists experts in computer science. At a world class specialist level they really are completely different things.

              Physics underlies much of materials science, that in turn gives engineers the tools to build huge structures. But no-one employs physicists to design buildings.

              The same applies for physics and climate science. So again, I’m baffled why you have put up as an expert source on climate science – a person who is self-evidently not an actual authority on the topic.

              • G C

                I agree with your take on logical argument. However, one person not being as authoritative as we would like is not evidence that opinions contrary to his are true.

                I’m still not seeing any authoritative, counter-weighted evidence that c02 is driving climate change. I’m also yet to be informed of Earths optimum temperature.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You are no body.

                  Convincing you of anything is an exercise in wasting oxygen.

                • RedLogix

                  I’m sure you are aware that there is no problem producing evidence. A quick google reports any amount of it.

                  But until we can establish what can be regarded as ‘authorative’, and what criteria you are going to use to determine this – then producing evidence of any kind is a waste of time. You would simply refuse to ‘see it’ … regardless of whether the evidence was true or not.

                  So again – why did you produce a person who is not an expert in climate science as an authority? And I should pause to add – that much the same can be said about Richard Lindzen.

                  A very old and close friend of mine was once a student of Lindzen, so I do have personal sense of what it is that Lindzen was good at – and how far he has strayed from his academic foundations. Instead of publishing a paper refuting the accepted science – something he should be more than capable of, would see him awarded at least one Nobel Prize and the undying admiration of thousands of his colleagues who would could retire from the field in relief – he fails to publish.

                  Again very peculiar you should reference such a dubious ‘authority’. For someone who says they have ‘researched the topic’ I’m finding your sources remarkably narrow and selectively chosen to achieve a particular result. (This is a mistake that has to be rigorously taught to generation after generation of Physics 101 students – how not to fool yourself.)

                  So until we can gain agreement on what constitutes a reliable source you WILL accept, there is no point in engaging further. We’ll just go round playing internet linky and make no progress.

            • Ad

              What did you make of the IPCC reports?
              Presumably there’s stuff you disagreed with?

              • G C

                I will keep reading the report… …watch this:

                • Tricledrown

                  gullible Heartland Institute.
                  Funded by big tobacco big pharma.
                  Big Oil Koch bro’s
                  Exxon Mobil their biggest donors who now have admitted to funding false science while covering up their own research which says burning fossil fuels is causing global warming.
                  2010 this propaganda conference took place.
                  Gullible Conman.

        • Tricledrown

          Gullible Conman.
          Wikipedia shows everyone of your above socold scientists are on the oil industries payroll.

      • Andrew 9.2.2

        “98% of climate scientists agree that global warming is occurring the 2% that don’t are all paid by the fossil fuel industry”

        would someone please actually look this up for a change. “98%” of “all” climate scientists do “NOT” agree that global warming is occurring. It’s nowhere near that many, but yet this gets repeated almost daily as fact.

    • Ad 9.3

      Good gravy do you people still exist?

    • Hanswurst 9.4

      Your depth of knowledge would appear questionable purely on the grounds that your misspelling of “CO2” suggests that you don’t even know what it is.

  10. Murray Simmonds 10

    Alas, yes. Ad.
    Alas, alas, alas.

    • G C 10.1

      I’m happy to have a factual conversation or review information/studies – link me to them. I clearly have an informed opinion, however you detractors just have a rhetoric.

      I’m open to being wrong. I wish the NZ Government wasn’t unnecessarily paying carbon tax. I welcome u to change my mind. However, your comments are just rhetoric.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        feel the tick tick tick of bad karma as you condemn your offspring to a fucked world.

        • G C

          Still no evidence from you Colonial Viper – just empty rhetoric. What about millions dying in Africa because deluded c02 rhetoric is keeping them poor and unindustrialised.

          Go tell it to a doctor who is refused a generator and given a solar panel – then forced to choose between the vaccine fridge or lights while operating.

          • Colonial Viper

            Hopeless, GC. Why do you keep working for a corporate machine which despises you. Your pretend scenarios have nothing to do with the hundreds of millions of tonnes of coal being burnt every year.

            As for Africa being poor – of course it is, western colonial nations and their voracious corporations have ripped Africa off for the last couple of centuries.

            • G C

              You’re working for the ‘corporate machine’ – I’m working for New Zealanders. Who do you think these carbon taxes get paid to LMFAO – the IMF’s cartel on international bankers – that’s who~!!!

              You would have these poor countries burn no coal. Have them try plowing the dry ground using cattle, while people sit on the dirt and die. Here in the West we have the luxury of using so called ‘clean energy’ solar, wind, wave, etc

              Developing nations need access to cheap and abundant energy to develop. Denying them this is cruel, genocidal at worst. As for my “pretend scenarios” – such scenarios are all-too-common and you’re diminishing these people by denying that.

              • Grindlebottom

                I’ve given you a link on information/studies to review as you requested G C.

                The third Industrial Revolution

                Looking forward to your analysis.

              • Colonial Viper

                Developing nations need access to cheap and abundant energy to develop. Denying them this is cruel, genocidal at worst.

                Bullshit mate, India and China don’t need the likes of your shilling. And they don’t need do gooder westerners telling them what they are allowed to do or not.

          • RedLogix

            Maybe give the doctor two solar panels? They’re pretty cheap these days.

            • G C

              Solar Panels are cheapish by our standards, however power storage is not. When the sun goes down they are out of luck – no switching over to the national grid. They’re certainly not going to run farm equipment on solar.

              To make the poorest people on the planet use the most costly power generation in morally wrong.

              • Colonial Viper

                Using the poorest people on the planet as an excuse to keep destroying the planet is what is wrong. You are a fool, one on the fast track to hell.

                • G C

                  According to the bible Colonial Viper, God will return and destroy the Earth, so your reference to Hell is misplaced. Jesus went about helping the poor, he had a problem with the Carbon, I mean Tax Collectors.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Jesus had a problem with BANKSTERS, the ones who use usury to keep the poor in poverty, and today the ones who also finance the massive extraction and fossil fuel industries laying waste to our environment and our planet.

                    And I wasn’t referring to the Christian hell, you fool.

          • Grindlebottom

            I’m happy to have a factual conversation or review information/studies – link me to them. I clearly have an informed opinion, however you detractors just have a rhetoric.

            Sounds reasonable, G C. Here:

            Look forward to your review.

            • Ad

              Thankyou Grindle.

              GC ready when you are.

              Then you might be ready to engage with the substance of the post.

            • G C

              I’ll read over it. I’m interested in “Box 10.2: The Sun’s Influence on the Earth’s Climate” – Look’s interesting, I’m not seeing anything on “Man Made Climate Change due to c02 emissions, but I will read over it.

              • Grindlebottom

                Excellent. There’s a significant body of evidence referred to in the report. The whole case for anthropogenic climate change is the accumulation of the multiple strands of supporting evidence so as you’ll realise you need to review and rebut quite a few aspects, not just the solar component, to show why the IPCC’s wrong.

                All the relevant studies are identified in the report so it might take you a few days I imagine. I don’t mind waiting. Just get back to me when you’ve debunked as much of it as you can. I can’t make head or tail of a lot of the scientific stuff so I’m going to appreciate your informed rebuttals of all the stuff that’s not right.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.2

        Hi GC. Thanks for your generous offer. I’d like you to review On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in The Air Upon The Temperature Of The Ground by Svante Arrhenius, followed by The artificial production of carbon dioxide and its influence on temperature by Guy Callendar, and finally, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study, or any other example of a “hockey stick” not authored by Michael Mann.

        Or get laughed at. Your call.

  11. maui 11

    There is too much at stake for countries to agree to reduce emissions, which means reduced economic activity. That is political suicide. Even if an agreement was somehow made, a country in dire straits could just turn their furnaces back on to provide employment and the agreement goes out the window.

    Climate change is a symptom of the industrialised world. We should know that industry isn’t sustainable, we’re on a finite world, and when it goes away the amount of emissions we produce is going to be far from peoples minds.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Correct. The Left still hasn’t figured this out. If incomes are raised for the vast majority of people, the vast majority of people are going to start consuming more materials and energy.

      • G C 11.1.1

        This is why people won’t vote for the Left. The Greens want to de-industrialise – while Labour want to increase social spending. The two ideas clash.

        • Colonial Viper

          De-industrialisation is the trend of the 21st century. Almost every Western country is de-industrialising as we speak.

          Labour is irrelevant.

          • G C

            At least you admit you want people out of work and NZ producing as little as possible. I’m not like yourself and Prince Phillip who want to be ‘reincarnated as a deadly virus to kill humanity’.

            • Colonial Viper

              You really are a pathetic example of human kind.

              Deindustrialisation is happening, driven by transnational corporations, bankers, and the elite 0.01% who have acted to crush the working class in western countries over the last 30 years.

              Aided by greater fools like yourself, whom they despise anyway.

        • Ad

          Here’s a little taster from Rifkin, for you to get into, which goes something like this:

          Advanced economies are already changing physical objects into data at a remarkable rate. CDs. Photographs. Computers. Newspapers. Books. Online tertiary education. Public transport rather than cars. Skype rather than travel. Data being all, and data dissolving carbon use.

          The near zero marginal cost phenomenon brought the music industry to its knees, shook the television industry, forced newspapers and magazines out of business and crippled the book publishing market. That was the start.

          Now, you make money through data, through your screens. The only carbon being used is your actual fingers. Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and thousands of other Internet companies, which reaped profits by creating new applications and establishing the networks that allow the Sharing Economy to flourish. The entire developed and near-developed world is moving away from carbon whether political leaders run a successful Paris round or not.

          Now we get into big lumpy objects, the stuff we can see i the next five years accelerating real fast. Uber and shared vehicles and driverless vehicles, plummeting car ownership, massive increases in public transport, the majority of the world population in apartments within 5 years, 3-d printing obliviating the need for freight, etc etc. The markets are leading faster than the politicians.

          So perhaps Paris only represents political risk, rather than risk to the world.

          As for the crack about the Labour Party, CV, my solution to you is Join The Greens. They will love you and your capacities in the Dunedin mob.

          • G C

            Really good points Ad and made on a digital blog no less. This digital age of heat-pumps, solar panels, servers, phones, tablets, driverless-cars etc still requires the manufacturing of said items and mineral extraction.

            I definitely take your point of digitising the physical. In high school you had to buy a scientific calculator, nowdays you’d download the application. Maps, Newspapers, Compasses, Cameras, Torch, Building Levels, Books, etc – all digital… …it is truely amazing.

            What do you mean by, “So perhaps Paris only represents political risk, rather than risk to the world.”

            • Ad

              You are absolutely right about the necessity of mining.
              I don’t claim to be an expert in the field, but think about the New Zealand example.

              Coal used to be at the very core of the existence of the New Zealand Labour Party. Even massive and longstanding support by the state for coal mining could not stop its demise.

              Most of the West Coast economy ran on coal.

              Now, with coal prices plummeting, and the last coal fired (thermal) generator shutting down in Huntly, the era of larges scale mining in New Zealand is dead.

              There’s still a few reasonably-sized gold mines, sure, but the role of mining in our society and our economy has shrunk to less then one tenth of its size. From the United States, to Australia, to South Africa, to the United Kingdom, the great empires of mining are and will remain tiny husks of their former selves.

              As for “So perhaps Paris only represents a political risk, rather than a risk to the world”, I meant that because the world is changing away from carbon and hence away from destroying itself with climate change, we don’t have to worry about whether politicians solve the problem. Perhaps it’s going to fix itself.

          • maui

            I get what your saying about the world going digital and less visible resources being required in our consumables. But the collapsists say that we still need resources to run our IT infrastructure, with hard drives and servers continually packing up, you need factories still in place that make replacements that draw on oil and resources from all over the world to create complex components. They argue will there even be an internet in the future?

            We’ve already hit 100 dollar oil, what if it goes much higher in the next spike. What if it becomes uneconomic to run trucks between places.

            • Ad

              Collapsists are as useful as Deniers.

              Net result for the earth is the same.

              Humanity can do better. It has and it will.

              • Colonial Viper

                Ad, modern micro-electronics need a list as long as your arm of rare earth elements and associated compounds for their fabrication.

                John Michael Greer’s concept of interdependent “technological suites” captures the consequences of this perfectly.

                For instance, an inability for some reason to manufacture replacement filter units for the complex air filtration equipment every chip fab needs, will within the space of a couple of years mean that no modern CPUs can be made again.

                Humanity can do better. It has and it will.

                The history of human civilisation shows that societal collapse is a frequent and multiple occurrence. We’re not going to be any different, except this time we have a global civilisation, and when it falls apart, it won’t be coming back together.

                • Ad

                  Got a link for this Greer guy?

                  And how would you compare his ideas to Rifkin’s that I linked to in the post?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hi Ad,

                    John Michael Greer (the Archdruid) writes about the implications of interdependent technological suites here:


                    Re: Rifkin – the high tech ecofuture that Rifkin points to will not be realisable, for the vast majority of the world’s population. As material and fossil fuel energy resources run down over the next 30 years, fewer and fewer people will be able to live in the world that Rifkin sketches out.

                    Just look at the impoverished nearly-invisible housing estates full of unwanted immigrants in most every large European city. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands more refugees sleeping in the rough. That’s the reality at the coal face, for those not in the (disappearing) middle and upper middle classes of society.

          • maui

            Living in apartments may not be a good thing, its hard to grow food in a high rise. With limited trucks running and plenty of other people competing to acquire food in a dense area, why wouldn’t you move to a more rural area where you are close to where food is grown, and where you could support yourself. Listen to the Kunstler podcast, he has a rather dim view of the future of the city, particularly the multi million person cities in the states, he expects people to leave them in droves.

            • Ad

              I have a particularly dim view of people that presume the solution is our our Tiny House on our own Lifestyle Block. It is a regressive, selfish and ultimately counterproductive effort to save the world.

              Tiny Housers and people who can grow their own food are certainly lessening the impact of one or two people at a time upon the world. And good luck to them. (It’s why I bought my chunk of land in Wanaka, just to own up). They are the Left’s own 1%.

              Because the great majority of people need whole-network approaches, I tend to think in policy terms and whole-market terms rather than in individualistic terms. This is what is provided by water utility networks, electricity networks, and (regrettably) food oligopolies within cities. The City is the most efficient means of organizing the population of humanity – for telecommunications, for community, for family-raising, indeed for every public good. It has been since about 7,000BC.

              As you can see even throughout New Zealand, it’s not the Cities that are going to shrink and die, it’s the outlier villages and their regions. Cities in many respects are becoming more important than states.

  12. Sabine 12

    Capitalism at its finest hour – and surely nothing can be done about it.


    Quote:Nine people are dead, 19 are missing, and 250,000 still don’t have drinking water two weeks after two dams at a mine in Brazil collapsed, sending 15.8 billion gallons of waste-laden water and sludge though downstream towns in the state of Minas Gerais, about 250 miles north of Rio de Janero.
    Brazil’s president compared the disaster to the 2005 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
    Hundreds of people have been displaced and an entire town was swept away by the floodwaters.

    • G C 12.1

      A tragedy and a human rights issue. Not related to climate change though.

      • Sabine 12.1.1

        You are right its a tragedy.

        And no its not a human rights issue, it is an issue of a company not giving a flying fuck about the environment, saving pennies to the dollar cause they don’t have to spend the dollar nor live there. It is the issue of a company acting illegally and criminally..
        But the main and most important factor here is …. it is entirely Man Made, like the Excon Mobile Disaster, like the BP Disaster, and like many many others disaster like these, they add to the pollution of the soil, the water, the air, they add to the killing of bio diversity and this adds to ‘climate change’

        Drip drip drip, and then your bucket is full.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.2

        A tragedy and a human rights issue. Not related to climate change though.


        Industrial extraction of mineral and energy resources is absolutely related to climate change.

  13. Chooky 13

    This is well worth watching , if you havent already, for a concise interview/summary about climate change and the absolute urgency of the world confronting this issue.

    A leading professor on the issues surrounding climate change states the issues simply and starkly:

    ‘Understanding climate change: A conversation with Michael Mann’


    “Thom goes over the basics of what global warming is, what’s causing it, and how we can stop it with climate scientist Michael Mann, author of the book “Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change.”

  14. Chooky 14

    I would like to see David Cunliffe relegated to representing Labour internationally on this issue…together with the existing spokesperson.

    David Cunliffe has the intellectual and economics grasp of the issues …and most importantly the ability to articulate the issues clearly and well

    …Cunliffe also has the profile and mana to show that Labour is taking this issue very seriously indeed!

    (..Kevin Rudd the Labour Leader in Australia took a high profile internationally on Climate Change … while Rudd was undermined by Guillard and the Greens …it is nevertheless one of his enduring and very impressive Australian Labour Party legacies that he tried to get agreement on Climate Change internationally at Copenhagen


    • Ad 14.1


      • Chooky 14.1.1

        wrong word “relegated”…how about “promoted”?

        • Peroxide Blonde

          I see that tool Whaleoil recently had a shot at Cunliffe.
          Besides the predictable garbage he comes out with this whopper which indicated the source camp of the briefing.

          “The coolly ruthless assassin of David Shearer’s hopes;”

          So Shearer & Co are peddling a narrative that he was assassinated..! The only person responsible for Shearer’s demise was the bufoon himself. His deficiencies as a parliamentarian were balance by his overdose of hubris.
          The damage done to the party by his elevation by the ABCs is still being felt today. He is a flawed person who should look to a role outside of politics and Mt Albert.

          • Madeleine

            Courtney Love and green eye are perfect for each other.

            A marriage made in HELL. How lovely for you green eye- you found your true love.

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