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Tilting at Windmills

Written By: - Date published: 10:38 am, September 10th, 2018 - 42 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, energy, Environment, International, leadership, politicans, sustainability, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , ,

While the Democrats and their fellow travelers go off tilting at some “Made in Russia” affairs, Donald Trump found himself some real live windmills to tilt at. Big ones too. In fact, the biggest and most powerful in the world, of course – what with him being an American and all! Anyway. He lost.

A couple of days ago, Aberdeen Bay was officially opened. It’s a small array of eleven windmills that can provide enough electricity for 70% of the domestic consumption of Aberdeen. (pop: 230 000 ) The biggest of them produces 8.8MW of electricity, and without them, it’s reckoned that some 140 000 tonnes of CO2 would have gone up into the atmosphere every year by getting that energy from “traditional” sources.

Here’s a very nice time lapse video of their final assembly at sea. It’s kinda neat.

But here’s what I want to get on to. There are a number of people who understand we need to get to a point of using only zero carbon energy within the next few decades. And some people point to windmills or solar or other technological possibilities that could achieve that. Which is all fine and good. But none of it magics itself into existence. Everything takes time, and time is something we don’t have very much of.

Those windmills off the Scottish coast took 15 years from inception to completion. That story repeats across the entire world, whether we’re talking nuclear, or wind or solar. Things take time. It’s called reality.

So here’s another aspect of that same reality. If we aim to have any chance of not seeing 2 degrees and the widespread resultant mayhem, then we need to drastically cut our energy use at the same time as laying in new, zero carbon sources of energy.

And when we say “zero carbon”, that obviously means taking bio-fuels off the table. So, for example, when Fonterra announced they were going to convert some of their coal fired milk drying plants to run on wood waste, we shouldn’t have been patting them on the back, or otherwise suggesting things were moving in the right direction, because bio-fuels contribute precisely zero towards any reduction in CO2 emissions – they are CO2 emissions.

It’s a bit early to making Christmas wishes, but here goes. This Christmas, I wish people would get real. So there you go. That’s much longer than a job trial period. Surely, more than enough time for people to shake off any drowsy dreams or crabby eyed sleepiness and be ready to face the cool light of day.

Or maybe I’m just tilting at windmills?

42 comments on “Tilting at Windmills”

  1. Poission 1

    NZ has installed capacity of around 690mw.

    10 minutes ago wind generated 5mw in the NI and 0 in the south due to an absence of persistent flow.

    https://www.transpower.co.nz/power-system-live-data

    • Marcus Morris 1.1

      Why don’t you give a mean wind strength for the whole year and the average generation of power in that time.

      We are lucky in NZ that we have another renewable resource in our hydro lakes. Wind and water are perfectly complementary. The lakes are huge batteries.

      If, as you seem to be implying, wind power is unreliable, one has to wonder why huge numbers have been built all over Europe. Have you been to Spain or Greece in recent years not to mention The Netherlands, the home of the windmill.

      And I have not touched on solar power. Again, solar “farms” have been established all over Europe. This country has the capacity to be totally reliant on renewable resources and it seem that we have at least started along the journey. Domestic solar electric generation is not quite as popular as it was a couple of years ago because the privatised generating companies realised that paying for surplus electricity was affecting the dividends they were paying to their shareholders.

      Electricity generation and distribution is an essential public requirement and should never have been privatised.

      • Incognito 1.1.1

        According to the link in the OP Swedish state power company Vattenfall built (and presumably owns) the Aberdeen wind farm.

      • Poission 1.1.2

        Mean wind speeds are distorted by high flow wind speeds, at higher wind flow say at makara or brooklyn these can not be used during high winds.

        • Marcus Morris 1.1.2.1

          In any set of statistics there are invariably “outliers”. They do not invalidate an argument – they just have to be allowed for.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.3

        “Electricity generation and distribution is an essential public requirement and should never have been privatised.” There’s a widespread perception of market failure. I’m inclined to agree with you. If everyone switched to electric vehicles all electrons would get sucked out of the wires, right? Transport & economy would grind to a halt. So we must manage the transition carefully!

        • Bill 1.1.3.1

          Grid capacity needs to be greatly increased to cope with the demand that will come from converting all power derived from coal, gas, petrol etc, to zero carbon energy sources.

          Some people argue that peaks and troughs in demand mean that we can get by on what we have at present. But since (at least in global terms) carbon based energy sources accounts for about 80 or 90% of our energy use, I can’t see how we can package what we want into the box that we have.

          The grid, however it may be configured, needs to be carbon free and able to cope with likely peak demand.

          Seen any major works lately?

          • Antoine 1.1.3.1.1

            The people planning the grid don’t see massive growth in electric vehicle demand in the short to medium term. Thus, they don’t design the grid for it. They figure that if and when the EV boom hits, they can build more grid accordingly. I suspect they’re right; if it happens it won’t be overnight.

            A.

            • Bill 1.1.3.1.1.1

              Nah. It’s better than that!

              Andrew Tait (lead scientist etc at NIWA) reckons (at least in public) that global warming will lead to an 8% reduction in electricity demand in New Zealand.

    • Dv 1.2

      AND my solar power generated 0:.000 last night

      • Marcus Morris 1.2.1

        You sound indignant or surprised! Either that or you don’t actually have solar panels and are just taking the piss. Fair enough but it doesn’t really develop the debate.

    • corodale 1.3

      Demands a mix of generation. One problem with the bio-gas in Europe is the economic requirement that they always run at full capacity. So bio-gas isn’t being used act as short term (daily) storage, to off-set solar-power fluctuations. Potentially wind energy could, with electro-chemical conversion, be stored in the bio-gas tanks, or compressed, But in practice we’re not quite there on any grids I know of.

      • Bill 1.3.1

        The post – And when we say “zero carbon”, that obviously means taking bio-fuels off the table.

        The comment – One problem with the bio-gas in Europe is…

        The post – …when we say “zero carbon”, that obviously means taking bio-fuels off the table

        Is there something about the post that’s simply too difficult for you to grasp?

  2. ianmac 2

    The technology and manpower to build that windmill in the North Sea is just amazing. Thanks for the link Bill.

  3. dukeofurl 3

    Aberdeen. Isnt that main Scottish port for the UKs North Sea Oil and gas fields ?

    Some reports say that industry supports over 40,000 jobs in the region. Using wind turbines to support the oil and gas industry sounds a very Scottish solution.

      • dukeofurl 3.1.1

        How come production has been rising ?
        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/09/26/north-sea-oil-and-gas-output-rises-but-investment-dries-up/
        ‘Oil and Gas UK said it expected last year’s 10.4pc increase in production – the first rise in 15 years – to be followed by another rise of about 6pc this year as the industry “lives off the fat” of huge investment in the years before the oil price crash.

        Particular platforms may be at the end of their economic life and have exhausted production in immediate area and new platforms can use newer technology and reach areas where oil remains.

        We were lucky that the price fall meant offshore exploration largely dissipated and government got in a moratorium before rising prices meant they came back.

        • corodale 3.1.1.1

          Perhaps MI6 also supported the colour revolution in Ukraine, for returns on the North Sea (If so, don’t let Germany find that out 😉 Simple formulae of accommodation and drugs for homeless youth,.. Sources suggest MI6 are active in the Syrian chemical attacks, but I suspect the current airstrikes in the north west are removing much of that threat. One Syrian refugee I talked to said “…gas reserves are the main reason for the US/French occupation around energy rich Kurdish north east.”

  4. Antoine 4

    @Bill I suspect Santa will disappoint you

    A.

    • Bill 4.1

      I believe the carbon footprint of magical reindeer is somewhere between nothing and zero. Shame about all that carbon rich crap on the sledge, mind. 😉

      • Antoine 4.1.1

        One day you’ll take the logical step: “I think these things need to happen”, “but they are not actually going to happen”, “so what happens next?”

        A.

        • Bill 4.1.1.1

          Oh, they’ll happen.

          One way or the other, humanity’s carbon footprint is going to trend to zero rather fast. I guess the question comes down to which show we’d rather have front seats at.

          • Antoine 4.1.1.1.1

            > I guess the question comes down to which show we’d rather have front seats at.

            We get the show we get. Might as well sit back and ‘enjoy yourself’ rather than stressing. You know you can’t change the world.

            A.

            • Bill 4.1.1.1.1.1

              sheesh – glad I’m not a toddler on a busy road, with you as my best and only chance at being saved by a passing pedestrian (far too busy enjoying ice cream to be “stressed” with it all)

              • Antoine

                I can save a toddler on a busy road (funnily enough, I’ve actually done it). You can’t prevent global warming.

                A.

                • Bill

                  Really? Because, arguably, the first rather simple step is the same in both cases. Stop the traffic.

                  • Antoine

                    Which you can’t, and trying to only makes you stressed.

                    A.

                    • Bill

                      You saying I can’t stop all traffic?

                      Hell, I can’t even prevent my underwear being full of carbon, but…I’m not solely responsible for global warming, and unless I’m god, or a god I, as an individual acting alone, can’t halt it.

                      It’s like this. There are deep systemic issues at play, and though I can lessen my carbon footprint, I’m still left holding carbon filled undies, right?

                      But given that the problem’s systemic, I could say to “the boss” that if they want me help punt for the sixth great extinction just so they can make money, then they can fuck off. I could just say that.

                      And legal precedent suggests I wouldn’t be any the worse off for saying so, because I’d be suitably compensated under the Human Rights Act by any boss who fired me for standing up like that.

                      UK – employee fired for refusing to take flights because “global warming” The case was settled on the grounds of “religious discrimination”. The employees genuine ‘belief’ was, as far as the judge was concerned, on a par with any religious belief, ergo “discrimination” Now sure, science as religion? 🙄

                      So I could say to the banks that I’m not doing it; to government – to whoever or whatever. And as long as I’m not a lone voice, and destined to remain a lone voice, then it works.

                      Here’s the problem.

                      People like you who don’t want to do anything, but who try to cover their cowardice by lying that they can’t do anything. 😉

                    • Incognito

                      I think you’re projecting. Other people trying stresses you.

                    • Antoine

                      > I think you’re projecting. Other people trying stresses you.

                      What, you think Bill’s posts over the last 6 months sound like they come from a happy, contented, fulfilled place?

                      If he stuck his head in the sand like me, he’d be better off.

                      A.

                    • Incognito

                      I don’t know anything about Bill’s emotional wellbeing. He sees an issue that affects us all and has decided to take action. You, on the other hand, maintains that it is all too hard and confess that it stresses you out trying to do something about it. You are projecting this onto Bill. As I said.

                    • Antoine []

                      I’m not really talking to you, I’m talking to Bill. He will know whether his thinking on climate change really achieves anything or brings him happiness or fulfilment.

                      A.

                    • Bill

                      Think of it like this Antoine. It’s like AGW comes down to something pretty basic like 1 + 1 = 2. (An “observation” if you will – a simple enough piece of logic that produces an inescapable conclusion.)

                      But then, there are people around insisting we can’t do that (add one to one to make two), or that we should ignore 1 + 1 and divide one into one instead…or whatever.

                      But I can’t see where you get from that, to making pronouncements about someones supposed state of mind or emotional well being… unless it’s just that you get to maintain your “head in the sand” position a bit easier by insinuating bullshit about those who choose (or who might choose) to forego the sand option. 😉

                      Meanwhile. 1+1=2

                    • Antoine

                      At the end of the day, only you know how you want to live your life. I now leave this thread.

                      A.

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    “The reality is, though, that climate and energy contrarians are exerting less and less influence on media or politics.” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/10/bbc-climate-change-deniers

    “as the CarbonBrief website has reported, the BBC” [is now] “setting up a new one-hour course on reporting climate change “… covering the latest science, policy, research, and misconceptions to challenge, giving you confidence to cover the topic accurately and knowledgeably”.

    “There’s been a lot of climate change coverage this summer, and the vast majority that I’ve seen has been exemplary. But if this initiative can, for example, make sure that Today presenters know that individual extreme weather events are now routinely being linked to climate change… that will be a step forward.”

  6. Mack 6

    I like the way these conglomerations of noisey, unsightly, bird-chopping windmills are referred to as a wind “farm”. Don’t expect to see cows and sheep grazing in the meadows at the wind farm.
    It’s the same with industrial “parks”. The kids will get sadly disappointed expecting swings and slides…trees and birds and rocks and things….but instead, get an oil refinery surrounded by razor wire.

    • Bill 6.1

      1. They ain’t very noisy. And if they are, I’d punt the waves breaking on the beach drowns out any noise they may make.
      2. I think they look really cool. (It’s subjective)
      3. The blades on windmills located at sea take account of the “dive heights” of various sea birds and their elevation is fixed accordingly.
      4. Wind farms, farm wind, not cows….or sheep. And there’s not a lot of grazing for sheep or cows to be had at sea .
      5. Parks aren’t playgrounds. Sometimes, a playground will be in a park. But then, as your comment implies, there are many different types of park, and they’re not all conducive to swings and round-a-bouts…of which there are more than one type too -some of which you wouldn’t send your kids to play on.

        • Bill 6.1.1.1

          I very much doubt anyone is living out in Aberdeen Bay. And the coastline, which was a designated area of ‘special scientific interest’ is now a golf course – Trump’s. (There was something about windmills and crazy golf half crossing my mind when I did the post, but I couldn’t quiet get it).

          How much coastline does NZ have? How much of our off-shore is relatively shallow?

          Funny how there has been this information always lurking in the background about the detrimental health effects of windmills, yet the whole thing about cell phones and cancers “died a death” and we’ve now wrapped ourselves in layers of G3 and G4 and G whatever….

          You think money and profit might have something to do with “concerns” over public health?

          • Dennis Frank 6.1.1.1.1

            You bet. Btw, I was originally alerted to the ultrasonics thing by a news report of nearby residents being so enraged by the noise of a local wind-farm that they organised themselves into resistance. Can’t recall where but think it was in Britain.

            • Andre 6.1.1.1.1.1

              The turbine noise-illness thing appears to be a good example of the nocebo effect. That somehow goes away when the people experiencing the noise don’t suffer from when they receive a direct benefit such as income from the turbines.

              “The worldwide expansion of wind energy has met with opposition based on concerns that the infrasound generated by wind turbines causes health problems in nearby residents. In this paper, we argue that health complaints are more likely to be explained by the nocebo response, whereby adverse effects are generated by negative expectations. When individuals expect a feature of their environment or medical treatment to produce illness or symptoms, then this may start a process where the individual looks for symptoms or signs of illness to confirm these negative expectations. As physical symptoms are common in healthy people, there is considerable scope for people to match symptoms with their negative expectations.”

              snip

              “There is compelling evidence that creating a positive context for the experience of wind farm sound, has a correspondingly positive impact on reported annoyance. A field study conducted in The Netherlands indicated that respondents who benefited economically from wind turbines, by either full or partial turbine ownership or by receipt of other economic benefits, such as a yearly income, were less annoyed by wind turbine noise than other respondents, despite exposure to higher sound levels (49).”

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4227478/

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    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
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    6 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    7 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
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    7 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
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    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
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    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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    2 weeks ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago