Trumping Idiocy

Written By: - Date published: 4:59 pm, March 29th, 2017 - 28 comments
Categories: capitalism, climate change, Donald Trump, economy, Economy, Environment, International, political alternatives, Revolution, science, us politics - Tags: , , ,

Measures that governments have promised to put in place by way of the Paris Agreement do not address our need to avoid 2° C of global warming. If all emissions pledges are implemented in full, then global warming will be ‘limited’ to something like 3.5 or 4 °C. And nothing’s up for review with regards those commitments or pledges until 2023. By then, we’ll have blown through ~300 billion tonnes of the ~800 billion tonnes of CO2 we might possibly have been able to emit between 2011 and 2100 for any chance of having future warming of only 2°C.

Put that another way.  At 35 billion tonnes per year (approximate current emissions) our entire budget for the century (for any chance of 2 °C) will be gone by about 2030 or 2035.

So in a sane world, we’d be rejoicing at the scrapping of the woeful framework put in place by Barack Obama in the US and looking forward to realistic actions being pursued from here on in. But the world of power and privilege isn’t sane. So we now have the prospect of the US tumbling onwards and towards future temperature rises in excess of 4 °C.

Here’s the thing though. It’s kind of academic from a human survival, or well being perspective, whether future temperatures increases will be in the 3.5 – 4 °C range or somewhere above 4 °C. Barack Obama and all the other world leaders were not doing anything that would ‘save the world’ – they’d locked us into an impossible future with their bullshit.

The truth of the matter is that we might just scrape by with worthwhile lives at a temperature increase of 2 °C. But only with a huge amount of luck on our side. (ie, – very low climate and ecological sensitivities) And that luck most definitely will not be extending to the millions upon millions of people in equatorial regions who will die in a world that’s 2 °C above pre-industrial levels.

To get even a look-in at 2 °C, we need cuts somewhere in the order of 15% this year followed by another 15% next year and a further 15% the following year, followed by 15% in the next year and again in the year after that and then in every subsequent year until we have absolute zero carbon emissions (not net zero) from all sources of energy by around 2040. Just four years ago, the required cuts were about 10%. Another five years of inaction will require cuts in excess of 15%.

So where are we at?

A Presidential clown is moving to dismantle a framework that was slated to deliver nothing but suffering and death. And in its place, he’s looking to usher in a future of suffering and death.

But what about you?

Are you kidding yourself that Donald Trump’s robbing the world of salvation and then hoping a framework that was never anythng but the ribs of a hand-basket destined for hell, gets preserved in some way? Or are you ready, finally, to demand that politicians and leaders stop trying to preserve their positions of influence and power at the expense of all our futures?

Can you give up on the notion that our current socio-economic paradigm can somehow conjure up a pricing mechanism ,or magical technological fix, that will limit warming to 2 °C? That seems to be a problem for many of us – giving up on that whimsy. You’ll have your own personal reasons for ‘hanging on in there’ and persisting with the life you’ve mapped out for yourself. No doubt those reasons are convincing. But can you walk away regardless?

Because if you don’t – like, I don’t know, perhaps you just don’t want to, or can’t imagine how to – then maybe you’d care to imagine how well that goes down in the future when the question’s asked –

“Mummy? Daddy? When you said I’d go far, did you really mean that to be as far the end of the world ?” And the answer comes back –

“Yeah sorry, I had a whimsical notion things would be okay if we just kept doing things according to the ways we did things.”

 

 


Further reading (and viewing) for those interested.

The Cambridge Climate Lecture Series 2017  (I’d particularly recommend lecture no. 3 and the Live Panel)

A cat in hell’s chance’ – why we’re losing the battle to keep global warming below 2C (The Guardian)

Why Carbon Prices Can’t Deliver the 2 °C Target  (Short blog post)

Link to the paper underpinning the arguments given above Aviation in a Low Carbon UK  (pdf pp 89 – 109)

Carbon and inequality: from Kyoto to Paris Trends in the global inequality of carbon emissions (1998-2013) & prospects for an equitable adaptation fund (pdf) Chancel and Piketty – exploring ways to raise taxes in equitable and effective ways and also working out who emits what from the perspective of the end consumer (10% of people = 50% of emissions).

Extreme Carbon Inequality (pdf) Oxfam paper on the distribution of carbon emissions at the individual or end user level done independently from the Chancel/Piketty study but reaching the same conclusions. (10% of people = 50% of emissions)

New Scientist on Paris (Short piece)

Random Guardian piece on Paris. (Containing a number of direct quotes from scientists in the field)

A brief explanation of carbon budgets accompanied by some pretty straight forward graphics.

28 comments on “Trumping Idiocy”

  1. Gavin 1

    But Trump said “Clean Coal”. He stressed that. Put the two words together and maybe some people will believe it.

    • Bill 1.1

      Trump lied? Led people up the proverbial garden path? So did Obama. So did every single other government leader or negotiator at Paris (and Copenhagen and Cancun and wherever else they met this past quarter of a century).

      The only thing that might change now is that people will finally wake up and essentially get the fuck up from their docile slumbers and insist a world of demands is met.

      We’ve got about 20 years in which time to knock this shit on its head. That’s not long. And it definitely isn’t long enough to be indulging in nonsense and bullshit, the likes of which all politicians are wont to peddle.

  2. Heather Grimwood 2

    I grieve at this ignorant regressive step by Trump….really grieve.
    One can only hope for immediate massive action from US citizens.

    • Bill 2.1

      That’s the thing Heather – yes, it’s regressive. But what he’s pulling back from was in no way, shape or form going to deliver a future of 2 degrees C.

      Maybe the grieving would be better focused on the past quarter century of bullshit and bluster from politicians.

      And action. Yes. That’s absolutely necessary (always was) but there is a far better chance of that happening because of Trump than there ever was under other Presidents in the US.

  3. srylands 3

    Don’t worry about Trump. He might only be there for two years. Energy investments stretch over decades. The people who make those investments will look right through Trump. The market will deliver the right results. Or certainly much better results than politicians interfering in markets.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 3.1

      Your faith in the ability of “the market” to deliver the right results in response to global climate change is touching.

      Sometimes it takes political cooperation to encourage “the market” to act in everyone’s best interests.

      NZ has certainly benefited from this stick. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Protocol

      ‘The chair of the board of DuPont was quoted as saying that ozone depletion theory is “a science fiction tale…a load of rubbish…utter nonsense”.’ Is this an example of how the market produces better results than political ‘interference’, or an example of something else?

    • aerobubble 3.2

      Its like this. Coal wont be good PR, a company exporting US goods using coal to make them will be an opportunity for climate acceptors to target, both US and foriegn.

      Trumps ability to read off FOX news lies is great, its warning to everyone, Trump spots nother lie, and spend the next week of his Presidency backtracking from it. How great is that, its ridicule on ridicule, epic.

  4. Andrea 4

    The moment fools decided to have ‘carbon credit trading’, as if this was some sort of game for the gamblers in the stock exchanges, it was all a dead duck.

    This ‘mission’ is for EVERYONE – not just the elite few to make money from. And no one included us.

    Alternative fuels? Make it only for the well-shod who can afford the power bills and the fancy vehicles. There’s no company here like Tata, trying to make cheap and low-emissions vehicles for the majority. Why not, eh? Why not?

    Decently frugal appliances – fridges and stoves and washing machines. Oh, wow! It has three stars! Put them out of business. Now. Don’t reward that kind of 1950s power-guzzler engineering.

    Engineers and inventors and designers? Well, no. Make the classes too expensive and then send the expertise overseas because we don’t want that sort of stuff here. Crikey! We’re still evolving backwards from the #8 wire and baling twine. Don’t get fancy on us.

    Where are the alternatives to be thrifty and conservative for the people who know Trump will be fired! as soon as he fails some more? Where are the incentives and push to make this whole mission more important than putting people on the moon or winning the right to inflict the rugby world cup on an ill-prepared nation?

    Where’s the greater push to help women control their child numbers affordably and without the interference of a certain category of male, and malignant propaganda, so the world population can stabilise and begin to drop off?

    It would also help if we quietened down our propensity to aggression and wars – pollution, ruin, and a population rebound.

    Who might lead us?
    The Greens? ROTFLMAO. Wee sleekit cow’ring timrous beasties without a vision to bless themselves with, let alone share it with the hoi polloi.

    And the rest of the political class? Rest in Peace, or somnolence. Too fond of talks and free trips overseas to talk some more with their own kind instead of listen and collaborate.

    A few will do well out of this. For a while…

    • Bill 4.1

      Thank you Andrea….for the spirit in the comment!

    • weka 4.2

      Who might lead us?
      The Greens? ROTFLMAO. Wee sleekit cow’ring timrous beasties without a vision to bless themselves with, let alone share it with the hoi polloi.

      The Greens talked about Climate Change long before anyone else. They’ve been talking about an alternative to the growth economy model that underpins CC for longer. I’m going to guess that you don’t even know what that is.

      The people that think the Greens are James Shaw in a suit really haven’t been paying attention, and most of the people complaining about the Greens now in a CC context didn’t vote for them back in the day when it mattered. If the Greens had been on 15% ten years ago, they’d be on 25 or 30% now and have some chance of doing what is needed. But they didn’t get those vote and so their option was to become more mainstream.

      As a political strategy this has worked. But the only way they can do the right thing is if they have public support, and they just haven’t had that. Slagging them off for not being what we want is fucked up, because the Greens are what we made them.

      It’s pretty easy to bitch and moan but all I’m seeing here is a ceding of power. Finger pointing instead of stepping up. Don’t like the Greens? Then present us with something better. Because at this stage they’re what we’ve got. I don’t believe government will lead the way on this. But the Greens will follow if people start taking the right actions that sanction a reversal of cc. No-one is coming to save us, it’s up to us. But the Greens with a significant presence is parliament would be a powerful tool we can use.

      It beggars belief that people think shitting on our allies is a useful strategy. But maybe there is no strategy and it’s all about personal political gratification now. Sorry, but we are way past the time when we can afford the luxury of bitch and moan rants as a response to the crisis we are in.

      • Bill 4.2.1

        The Greens talked about Climate Change long before anyone else.

        Some people were talking about global warming in the 1800s. I’m picking that’s a bit before the Greens’ time.

        Look, I know it irks you when anyone says negative stuff about the Green Party, but this post is not about political parties and the Greens constituted only a minor portion of the comment you’re responding to and in the context of dismissing all political parties.

        Meanwhile, all of the following was mentioned or alluded to…

        Carbon trading.
        Exclusion.
        Alternative sources of energy.
        Efficiency legislation.
        Engineering.
        Less consumerism.
        Birth control.
        War.
        Pollution levels.
        Education.
        Political/social priorities.

        • weka 4.2.1.1

          “Look, I know it irks you when anyone says negative stuff about the Green Party,”

          No it doesn’t, it irks me when people say politically stupid negative things about the Green Party. I’m not defending the Greens for their sake, I’m pointing to failing strategy that affects us all.

          There’s a lot of good stuff in Andrea’s comment, but I’m looking beyond rhetoric and at action and pointing to the fact that sitting on the internet bitching and moaning about what is wrong, no matter how on point, is another aspect of counterproductive along with the middle classes wanting to hold into their CC lifestyles.

          • Bill 4.2.1.1.1

            I find the anger in comments like Andrea’s invigorating and positive. That energy’s so much more inspiring to me than the dull and depressing fare dished up by the dopey hopey crowd. At least it signposts an existent willingness for the necessary ‘no holds barred’ radical change in people (some people).

            (I meant it when I said ‘thank you’)

            • weka 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, I got that, and that’s great. Great too if Andrea gets something out of it that keeps her moving. But its not enough, and the mass of people who we desperately need to change aren’t going to engage with that in enough numbers soon enough. That’s a problem (not you feeling inspired but that we need something else as well).

        • jcuknz 4.2.1.2

          When the co-leader of the greens tells Maori to have lots of babies to preserve their % in the Nz population I stopped even considering greens as a sensible outfit, despite being a greenie from way back. As suggested above the world needs to stop increasing its population of humans if its human population is going to survive.
          As for those advocating electric cars … work out the holistic energy cost of production and you will see you are on a fool’s errand … sorry but that is the truth for those with eyes to see and not wearing blinkers

  5. Ad 5

    Al Gore’s sequel to An Inconvenient Truth, Truth to Power, is along the same lines:

    • Bill 5.1

      Al Gore’s an incrementalist – and incrementalism’s part and parcel of the problem.

      Our current socio-economic frameworks cannot and will not deliver a solution to global warming and the climate change that accompanies it. Quite the contrary, it prevents us from acting intelligently by insisting that any actions we may think of taking satisfy currently in vogue economic criteria first.

      • Mickomarvel 5.1.1

        ” Quite the contrary, it prevents us from acting intelligently by insisting that any actions we may think of taking satisfy currently in vogue economic criteria first.”

        Ain’t that the truth. Capitalism, which can ONLY survive through never ending growth, is killing the world. I really fear for my mokopuna.

  6. weka 6

    I get and agree with the general gist, but I’m not sure equating Obama with Tr*mp in this way helps. There are critical differences that we should be paying attention to. The easiest one I can point to is that activism is easier under liberal govts than fascist ones. Sure, we might get lucky and Tr*mpville might push the US into a mass uprising, but I suspect it’s more likely that there will be a long drawn out clusterfuck of that society whichever way it goes. I’m already hearing of activism fatigue from people in the US. And people’s activism is going into fighting the various Tr*mpville fronts, not CC.

    It’s not all bad, I think there is definitely an increase in climate activism, but with Tr*mp in power the govt will be literally incapable of changing, so I’m not sure how that will work out. Maybe in four years there will be a swing away, and so much then depends on the Democrats. etc etc.

    A better bet IMO is that the rest of the world uses this as a wake up call, esp those of us who still have the liberal privilege of choosing our battlegrounds.

    Can you give up on the notion that our current socio-economic paradigm can somehow conjure up a pricing mechanism ,or magical technological fix, that will limit warming to 2 °C? That seems to be a problem for many of us – giving up on that whimsy. You’ll have your own personal reasons for ‘hanging on in there’ and persisting with the life you’ve mapped out for yourself. No doubt those reasons are convincing. But can you walk away regardless?

    This is good. I think the big challenge here is that we have so many different ideas about what potential futures we have and we’re still struggling to work together as a result. And as always, IMO people need an alternate future to move into, not just one to walk away from (not saying it’s your job to provide that pathway, but someone will have to).

    • Bill 6.1

      Obama had not put anything in place that was ever going to result in 2 degrees of warming. Unfortunately, there was (or seemed to be) a desire to believe. That’s gone. (Thank fuck)

      And that was the only comparison I made between Obama’s Admin and Trump’s Admin. They both represent abject failure on the CC front. (As do all other national governments in the world today)

      In your comment you mention possibilities in four years from now. Four years from now is (another) four years too late. Four years ago we needed to reduce emissions by about 10% every year. Now it’s about 15%. In four years from now? I don’t know, but definitely more than 15%.

      Meanwhile, all climate models are predicated on nothing more than (from memory) a 5% reduction. The reason it’s 5% is because classical economists (the guys in power now) recognise that their economic models fall over if reduction rates are any higher than that.

      Democrats or Republicans? Labour or National? Possibly it’s all utterly irrelevant if we consider that very thing they gain power to manage (the economy) has to be ‘let go’ if we’re going to be in any way serious about confronting CC.

      On that basis, I don’t have any allies within the political class (the somnolents as Andrea might term them) They are all in the way. They have all peddled bullshit and nonsense for over a quarter of a century assuring us that things would be okay. And they have all done nothing at all. (Emissions for this year will be about 60% above what they were a quarter of a century ago)

      It’s down to us. And we either choose to risk having that little bit of dialogue at the end of the post or we withdraw our economic participation and get on with it. We don’t have any time to work towards some envisioned change or draw up plans or blueprints.

      Time constraints are such that it’s on the hoof or it’s not at all.

      • weka 6.1.1

        Sorry, my eyes glaze over at the maths, as you know 😉

        “On that basis, I don’t have any allies within the political class (the somnolents as Andrea might term them) They are all in the way.”

        Really? You wouldn’t ally with Metiria Turei? Are you thinking the only way is the destruction of the state entirely?

        (as an aside, I don’t see the political class as being only the politicians, it’s us too, so your position on that is problematic in the context of my previous comment. No-one is coming to save us, it’s up to us. Politicians aren’t a different race of people, they’re part of ‘us’).

        “It’s down to us. And we either choose to risk having that little bit of dialogue at the end of the post or we withdraw our economic participation and get on with it. We don’t have any time to work towards some envisioned change or draw up plans or blueprints.

        Time constraints are such that it’s on the hoof or it’s not at all.”

        Sure, I just don’t see you getting a lot of support for that at this point. You and I withdrawing our economic support isn’t going to change much, although it is worthy for other reasons. The on the hoof approach will work better when the middle classes have their backs against the wall, but we’re not close to that yet and as we know it will be an entirely different kind of crisis by then.

        I’ll just keep saying it, if we don’t find ways to engage with the people who want to change, we will still be sitting here on ts talking about it in five years time. So where are the points of engagement?

        • Bill 6.1.1.1

          Yeah Weka, this is a blog. Some of the people who come here come to engage and maybe both challenge with their views and have their views challenged. And that’s it.

          As a blog, it’s got nothing to do with engaging the middle classes or the rest of the working class or anything of that sort – it’s a self selecting source for debate or argument or learning.

          Sure, occasionally a post will ‘hit a nerve’ and take off on some ‘populated’ trajectory around tha web. But those are the exceptions.

          Also, given NZ is fairly shallow media wise, specifically targeted posts can have an influence on media angles.

          Metiria Turei. If I was talking to MT about Greens CC policies I’d be utterly critical (have been). As for allying with people, that means working in the real world (not via a blog). And as far as CC goes, I’d work with the disenfranchised ‘guy down the road’ who thinks Trump is the best thing since sliced bread alongside any other people who approached CC seriously and wanted to act on it.

          It’s not about ‘getting support’ via a blog (I post arguments, opinions and info is all). Will the opinions or outlooks of a wee few people maybe change a tad because of something I’ve written or argued? Possibly. (Mine sometimes do in response to something I read here) But the same would happen if there was some discussion or debate ‘down the pub’ and the level of impact isn’t too dissimilar.

          The value for me is in info – not opinions.

          What else did you say? Your eyes glaze over at maths? If you’re not willing or capable to work through some basic arithmetic, then maybe stay away from opinion or argument that is grounded in numbers…because 9 times out of 10 (rather often) you’re going to miss or diminish the point.

          And to reiterate. No – politicians are not my allies and no political party gets my endorsement when it comes to CC. And any party that has claimed, or does claim, to be some sort of a torch bearer on that front better stack up – because those are the ones who will deservedly be on the receiving end of most of my ire if they’re selling, or attempting to sell false hope or whatever. (Cue – The Greens and TOPs).

          If you want to truly influence people and engage them in action, then print leaflets and organise meetings and real world activity. There’s no other way that I know of.

  7. adam 7

    Yeah nah, Call me over 40 and pessimistic.

    All this should have been sorted 20 years ago.

    Now, Well if you can’t face facts, here is a little tv drama – to put it to you in language and situation that may help you understand.

    • Bill 7.1

      You over 40 pessimist!

      Okay, now that’s out of the way.

      A general and final (ie – not going back, there is no ‘settlement’ being sought) rent and industrial strike tomorrow ends it….because even pessimists dream 😉

  8. Sabine 8

    Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, held a hearing today titled “Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method” examining “the scientific method and process as it relates to climate change.”

    who is Texas Republican Lamar Smith you might ask?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamar_S._Smith

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/03/lamar-smith-claims-climate-scientists-not-following-scientific-method/

    “Smith went after climate scientists right in the statement he used to open the hearing, saying, “Far too often, alarmist theories on climate science originate with scientists who operate outside the principles of the scientific method.” He went on to say that “all too often, scientists ignore the basic tenets of science.” Smith singled out climate projections such as those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), saying that any predictions made to the end of this century are simply not credible.

    “Alarmist predictions amount to nothing more than wild guesses,” he said.”

  9. Poission 9

    Can you give up on the notion that our current socio-economic paradigm can somehow conjure up a pricing mechanism ,or magical technological fix, that will limit warming to 2 °C?

    Repose the problem.

    Why are technological fixes,and pricing mechanisms so constrained?

    In a word financialization (the usual suspects prevail)

    As John Maynard Keynes recognized, capitalist economies always contain the capacity for both “enterprise” and “speculation,” and if left unchecked, the latter will come to dominate over the former. Economists at the Bank for International Settlements have found that financialization harms innovative firms, which operate by creating intangible future assets that are difficult to collateralize (5). This shift has also changed corporate governance, bringing an increase of “financial controllers in the management of corporations” and of “the stock market as a market for corporate control in determining corporate strategies” (6). As a result, firms have become less oriented toward investing to improve their long-term performance and more oriented toward enriching their managers and investors in the short run (3). Reinforced by managerial incentives, increasing amounts of profits are spent on dividends and stock buybacks, leaving less for investment in long-term technological development

    http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/3/e1601861.full

  10. aerobubble 10

    Farage did not found anti-EU paradigm. If anything it was media bashing bureaucrats for fun. Farage was not successful, he could not foresee losing he day job, or EU diving into a crisis of s own making, Greece, Polands’ anti rule of law govt, and yes evenlimaye change that warms seas and pushes weather cooling processes over the interia of continuents i.e how did the ice age cause glaciers across the northern hemisphere? It was transported there by weather systems, and a ice free artic ocean.

    Brexit in a hundred years time wll look like foresight. The idea is clear our Press is run by idiots who have practice a form of reductist journalism pandering to the stupid end of the rich set. i.e. Murdoch, etc. Growng a generation of yes men and women, whose sole goal is take a cut of all the welth they can hand over to a dwindling numbe of .1 of .1’s. Yeah. Imagine that Farage, however incopetently is more on the side of history that Mr yes man Key. Keys fail victoria speach missing in action on ghettos carparks, stinky homes, overprice rentals of squalid quadruple bunking, shitty rivers.

    Trump is a joke, but on whom? Congressional Republicians, lobbyists, big ego money that does not get its fooling itself.

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    3 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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