Ways out of the climate catastrophe

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, August 10th, 2021 - 130 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, sustainability - Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the IR6 Report yesterday,

The Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report addresses the most up-to-date physical understanding of the climate system and climate change, bringing together the latest advances in climate science, and combining multiple lines of evidence from paleoclimate, observations, process understanding, and global and regional climate simulations.

It’s grim. There will be plenty of coverage on social and mainstream media for those that choose to look. From RNZ,

Describing the report as a “code red for humanity,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged an immediate end to coal energy and other high-polluting fossil fuels.

“The alarm bells are deafening,” Guterres said in a statement. “This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet.”

While I was on RNZ I saw two related pieces. One was about New Zealand’s coal imports rising to an all time high this year, due to low hydro lake levels and low natural gas supply. That right there is the limits of growth: gas is a finite resource and a contributer to climate catastrophe, and power generation may be renewable but still exists within physical constraints. We could be scaling down our demand but instead are pretending that physical reality will bend to our will.

Here’s the other one: there were rolling power black outs in the central North Island last night, because demand on the grid was so high a power company was required to take the load off the network. Again, the limits of growth, as our population pushes against our infrastructure. Yes we need to be preparing better for climate change but we’re now in the climate catastrophe and each year will bring increasing demands on infrastructure and repairing damage from the increasing extreme weather events. It’s likely we won’t be able to keep up.

We’re also mired in the neoliberal death cult. It’s not hard to see the New Zealand versions of this,

You understand that there are people with enormous power that are not only lying to us, but actively working against climate solutions.

There is no doubt we are in an incredibly serious situation. This week there will be serious journalism, but also the MSM headlines and social media algorithms will be feeding us imagery and messaging designed to trigger our amygdalas into alarm, anger and fear leading to reactive clicking and soothing consuming. It’s the weirdest emergency, in our faces but still easy to disbelieve – most humans will flight and freeze rather than stand and fight.

I was fortunate then to come across this yesterday. A long essay by environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht about how the narratives around the Anthropocene are harming our well-being and ability to act, and offering up a new story – the Symbiocene.

In order to counter all these negative trends within the Anthropocene we clearly need, within popular politics and culture, visions and memes of a different future. We also will need more novel conceptual development, since the foundation on which we are building right now is seriously flawed and conducive of nothing but great waves of ennui, grief, dread, solastalgia, mourning, and melancholia. We must rapidly exit the Anthropocene with its non-sustainability, its perverse resilience, its authoritarianism, and its corrumpalism. The new foundation, built around a new meme, will need to be an act of positive creation.

Entering the Symbiocene

I argue that the next era in human history should be named the Symbiocene (from the Greek sumbiosis, or companionship). The scientific meaning of the word “symbiosis” implies living together for mutual benefit, and I wish to use this profoundly important concept as the basis for what I hope will be the next period of earth history. As a core aspect of ecological thinking, symbiosis affirms the interconnectedness of life and all living things.

As many thinkers have pointed out, such interconnection and interaction puts a human worldview back into the community of life and resists the Hobbesian and Spencerian views of nature as essentially hostile and a competitive war of all against all. No doubt, conflict between organisms exists, but an overall balance of interests (eco-homeostasis) is in the total interest of all life. In addition, ecology itself is a radical concept in that it requires of us all to live within the limits of nature and to live with all the other life forms that share this home we call the Earth.

As a scientific term, symbiosis has been used to give substance to the nature of the interactions between different organisms living in close physical association. For example, relatively recently it has been discovered that, in ecosystems all over the world, there are immense, mutually beneficial associations of macrofungi with flowering plants in complex, positive, metabolic, symbiotic relationship to each other. Findings such as these have scientifically overturned the view that evolution and life are solely founded on competitive struggle between species.

Albrecht goes on to explore how nature provides a template for our social and political organising,

The basic idea here is that if the processes that nurture ecosystems and biomes are identified, protected, and conserved, species within such healthy ecosystems will also flourish. We therefore do not need to further democratize a failing, biased democracy with, say, a Deep Ecology “council of all beings” approach, in which species’ interests are “represented” in decision-making structures by well-meaning humans. Rather, we need to elect people to govern who understand and affirm life-supporting organic forms, processes, and relationships, and we must give that governing body the authority to carefully deliberate on various creative proposals from humans.

And later, in conclusion,

I now offer “sumbiophilia” (the love of living together) as an addition to biophilia. Since we evolved within a pre-existing ecological matrix as an intensely social species and lived in relative harmony with all other life forms, sumbiophilia must also be deeply ingrained within us. If I am correct, then exiting the Anthropocene and entering the Symbiocene, will be a satisfying experience for most humans. As the politics of sumbiocracy play out and we live by symbiomimicry in all our technologies and habitats, the Earth will breathe a huge sigh of relief.

We desperately need cogent and hopeful visions of where we can go next. Hope here isn’t wishful thinking, it’s a declaration of what we want our future to be and then acting to make that happen.

I like Albrecht’s vision because it matches my understanding of the fundamental nature of life on earth and the inherent very long term functionality of that. It offers humanity a sense that we can belong, that there is a way for us to be that affirms rather than destroys life. But the point here isn’t to present the way, but to open the door to see futures where things work out, because it’s only from such imagination and hope that people will act for radical change.

Other stories of proactive hope:

The Powerdown
How change happens
What could possibly go right?

130 comments on “Ways out of the climate catastrophe ”

  1. Jenny how to get there 1


    This is what democracy looks like

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called New Zealand’s response to the global challenge of climate change as her generation’s “nuclear-free moment”. But both the risks and the costs for New Zealand will be much greater than that.


    ……we need to elect people to govern who understand and affirm life-supporting organic forms, processes, and relationships, and we must give that governing body the authority to carefully deliberate on various creative proposals from humans.

    Glenn Albrecht

    This is what democracy looks like

    I would go a bit further than Albrecht, who writes "we must give that governing body the authoriy",

    It is not up to us to 'give that governing body the authority', they must take it.

    We have seen glimmers of this sort of leadership

    Prime Minister Ardern

    The Prime Minister was on the way to a scheduled appointment with the Indonesian ambassador. She saw a protest by Greenpeace on the steps of parliament, The Prime Minister ordered her driver to pull over, so she could check out what the Greenpeace protest was all about. (The Indonesian ambassador could wait).

    Standing on the steps of parliament Jacinda Ardern handed a megaphone, told the assembled protesters that in her role as Prime Minister she would see that her government would ban deep sea oil drilling.

    A later photo would catch Shane Jones making the infamous slap to his forehead gesture, as the Prime Minister went before the cameras to officilally announce a ban on deep sea oil drilling to the nation.

    Shane Jones, a known schill for the fossil fuel lobby, was expressing their collective shock and horror that the Prime Minister of New Zealand had the temerity to defy them.

    If we are to beat the entrenched BAU establishment, we need more of this sort of inspired leadership.

    • weka 1.1

      Ardern is not the person who will lead us into the Symbiocene. She's the one leading a party that is still dedicated to the systems that are killing the planet. Labour have opened a door to the right direction, but they're not going to step through unassisted. Change has to come from outside of parliament, and the politicians such as Ardern will be able to follow.

      • Patricia Bremner 1.1.1

        That is a personal view Weka, and not entirely factual. Many actions to lay foundations have happened during a pandemic. She, and the government, has in 4 years made huge moves compared to anything which went before. Why are you so dismissive? Is there something you know we don't? Also, you have to take people with you surely? Dissing a popular figure is hardly the way. Public views are changing, and more now grasp the urgency of the situation.
        Perhaps we make concrete suggestions to that receptive public. i.e. How to measure your households carbon footprint. Ways to lower that by 10% or 20%

        • weka

          Let me put it another way. Ardern is facing Labour in the right direction (-ish). But Labour are still wedded to neoliberalism, and we can't solve climate/eco crises within that frame. That's what Albrecht is saying (so not just my opinion).

          It's continually perplexes me that someone like Ardern can both know the seriousness of the crisis and still act as if we have plenty of time. We just don't.

          You haven't said what you disagree with in my comment. Which wasn't dismissive so much as descriptive.

        • Jenny how to get there


          Politics is never practiced in a vaccume.


          Ardern is not the person who will lead us into the Symbiocene…..

          …..Change has to come from outside of parliament, and the politicians such as Ardern will be able to follow.

          I agree with Weka. We need activism outside parliament, absolutely.

          Patricia Bremner

          …..Many actions to lay foundations have happened during a pandemic. She, and the government, has in 4 years made huge moves compared to anything which went before.

          I agree with Patricia, Jacinda Ardern's disruptive leadership in response to the pandemic, in my opinion indicates the potential for this sort of leadership again in response to the climate crisis.

          We needed leadership in the pandemic, the sort the Prime Minister had already displayed in response to Greenpeace activism.

          We need political activism outside parliament, we need parliamentary activism inside parliament.

          We need more of both.

          When these two things are brought together is when real change happens.

          A moving example of political activism, giving rise to the sort of disruptive leadership we will need to beat the climate crisis, came this week from the US.

          …..The congresswoman’s protest on the Capitol steps may have been unconventional – but she didn’t come to Washington to play by the old rules.

          ……Bush’s local paper, the St Louis Post Dispatch, wrote that her "righteous-sounding aspirations" did not "seem to take into account political reality".*

          ….Some believed Bush’s tactics to be futile, considering the leadership of the Democratic party seemed to agree with extending the moratorium in principle, but felt they did not have the authority or the legal backing to do so. President Joe Biden – who also supposedly wanted to extend the eviction moratorium –nonetheless said his hands were tied. Scholars had told him a renewed moratorium was “not likely to pass constitutional muster,” he said, acknowledging a legal quandary, after the supreme court ruling had blocked an extension of the initial moratorium.

          ……Then on Tuesday, Biden announced the moratorium would be extended through 3 October in the states experiencing a “substantial” spread of the coronavirus – covering about 80% of American states and 90% of the US population. Biden acknowledged the extension would probably be challenged in court, but argued that protecting people in the meantime was essential.

          “At a minimum, by the time it gets litigated, it will probably give some additional time while we’re getting that $45bn out to people who are in fact behind in the rent and don’t have the money,” Biden said.


          And that's how its done. Talk about disruptive leadership, all credit to President Joe Biden for ignoring "poltical reality".

          *[How many times have pollitical activists been told this]

          • Jenny how to get there


            Political reality vs. climate reality

            The United Nations has issued a report urging immediate action on the climate crisis.

            UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged an immediate end to coal energy and other high-polluting fossil fuels.

            Genesis Energy neglects to turn on one coal fired Rankin boiler, and large parts of the Central North Island and Waikato are plunged into blackout on the coldest night of the year. (In a rural area of the country where right wing farmer activists are already harbouring greivances against this government)

            How can we reconcile these two realities?

            I have some ideas. But I would like to hear from others

  2. Maurice 2

    If only everyone could be forced to live at – or below – the level at which beneficiaries are constrained to exist at ……

      • Maurice 2.1.1

        The lower level of energy consumption would stop global climate crisis – wouldn't it?

        • weka

          yes. But we don't get lowered consumption by telling people they have to live in poverty. That story will turn people away from necessary change. If we want buy in for lowering consumption we need stories of how that can be done and we still get to live good lives. Fortunately there are lots of people living low energy lives who are happy and healthy and leading the way.

          • Molly

            We also need to remember to use all existing knowledge when addressing design and reducing power demand, passive solar, embedded thermal mass, regenerative farming etc.

            Low-tech has a place in solutions going forward.

            Guardian article: The case for … making low-tech 'dumb' cities instead of 'smart' ones

            This month, Julia Watson, a lecturer in urban design at Harvard and Columbia Universities, launched her book Lo-Tek: Design by Radical Indigenism, with publisher Taschen. It’s the result of more than 20 years of travelling to research the original smart settlements, through an architect’s lens…

            … Kongjian Yu, a design professor at Peking University, agrees with this philosophy. Known as the “sponge cities” architect, Yu creates urban landscapes in China that passively absorb rainwater, using permeable pavements, green roofs and terraced wetland parks that flood during monsoon. If wetlands are situated upriver of the buildings, they will flood before the water reaches the city proper…

            … Copenhagen, too, has opted for a dumb – or, as local planners call it, “a green and blue” – solution to their increasing flood risks: namely, a series of parks that can become lakes during storms. The city estimated they would cost a third less than building levees and new sewers, and come with the added ecological benefits of rewilding. An abandoned military site was cleaned up in 2010 and rewilded into a nature reserve and common for grazing animals, the Amager Nature Centre – a vast park with not only happy people meandering and cycling around but insects, protected amphibians, rare birds and deer…

            • Jenny how to get there


            • weka

              this is a superb article that led me down some wonderful rabbit holes, thanks!

              "frustratingly abstract" smart cities. Everyone involved in that project needs to spend time on a permaculture farm with their hands in the dirt.

              Saxe pithily calls for redirecting some of our energy toward building “excellent dumb cities.” She’s not anti-technology, it’s just that she thinks smart cities may be unnecessary. “For many of our challenges, we don’t need new technologies or new ideas; we need the will, foresight and courage to use the best of the old ideas,” she says.

              Will be quoting that in a future post 😉

              “Life on Earth is based upon symbiosis,” Watson says. She suggests we replace the saying “survival of the fittest” with “survival of the most symbiotic”


          • Jenny how to get there


            If only everyone could be forced to live at – or below – the level at which beneficiaries are constrained to exist at ……


            …..Fortunately there are lots of people living low energy lives who are happy and healthy and leading the way.


            I don't think many of them would be beneficiaries that Maurice was referring to.

            Maybe a mnority of the population, might be able to live like this. I am picturing here;
            A semi-retired middle class cashed up couple with the funds to buy an EV and power their freehold house with solar panels. With the time and resources, and reasonably good health, to work a small attached lifestyle block of land, enough to put in a decent sized garden, Possibly, selling their suplus organic produce from a stall at the local farmers market.

            If you could correct me on this, I would appreciate it.

            Proofs would be good.

            Links to some real world exmples would be greatly appreciated.

            We need stories of sustainable living that could be taken up by low income working families and beneficiaries.

            You said it;

            "….we need stories of how that can be done and we still get to live good lives."

            • weka

              "I don't think many of them would be beneficiaries that Maurice was referring to."

              Maurice wanted everyone to drop their standard of living to below the poverty line, I said this isn't the way.

              You are conflating that with "living low energy lives who are happy and healthy and leading the way."

              I move in circles of people who live low energy lives, they're sometimes but not always low income as well, and they sometimes own land but sometimes rent. Some are on benefits. Some choose to live simply so they don't have to work 40 hour weeks, but they're not financially poor in the way that many beneficiaries are.

              Plenty of off grid people in NZ too.

              Lots of people now living in converted vans, or yurts, containers, caravans, house buses and so on, and are happy. There are definitely people forced into those situations who aren't happy, but that's a different thing.

              Lowering energy use doesn't need large capital or high income, although there are people with those doing low energy.

              Some people choose to ride a bike or take public transport instead of drive. That's lowering energy.

              Lots of individual examples, some in the conversation under this post. We can also make it more possible for lots of people to lower energy use by acting collectively. Also examples under this post.

              Re low income/beneficiaries, this is where we need the team of 5m eg state intervention into building regs so that all new builds have passive solar, solar hot water, and where appropriate grid tied solar electricity generation where excess can be fed back into the grid. Labour can start with all new social housing builds. There's a bit happening already, but it's piecemeal and we need to scale it up and fast.

              • weka

                I will post some links to examples as I come across them.

                • weka

                  I'd also caution against the idea that lowpower = poverty, and that to escape that one needs lots of money or land. It's a false framing borne out of not understanding what is happening in the counter culture.

                  • RedLogix

                    I'll look forward to those examples.

                    The question I'd be asking though is to what extent do these counter culture examples truly exist independently of the broader industrialised society surrounding them? In my view – and I've some real-life experience in this – there are always critical linkages and dependencies that challenge their claim to self-sufficiency and long-term sustainablility.

                    And in terms on my series earlier this year on the Kaya Identity, I've no particular problem with people pursuing improved energy efficiencies or gdp/capita via 'low power'. Personally I’m very sympathetic and interested in these paths, but as I tried to show, by themselves these do not solve climate change, for the most part merely slow it down.

                    • weka

                      No-one is suggesting abandoning industrial tech altogether, this has been explained before. I'm not into putting energy into discussing it (haha) because it's a false premise in the context of what I'm writing about.

                • Jenny how to get there

                  Is this the sort of thing you had in mind?


                  It is what I was thinking of.

                  Tied with ideas, like buying out dairy farmers to change unsustainable dairy conversions back into cropping land or carbon sink forests.



                  Agricultural emissions New Zealand’s biggest climate challenge is different from that of other nations: it originates in the stomachs of cows, sheep and deer. This is what we could do about it.

                  Dave Hansford, New Zealand Geographic, Issue 170, July – Aug 2021


                  “Cutting methane,” says Inger Andersen, UNEP executive director, “is the strongest lever we have to slow climate change over the next 25 years.”


                  • Jenny how to get there

                    Of course all this is pretty much hand waving, Albrecht and myself incuded.

                    The fact is there is no shortage of solutions to climate change, just lying around on the shelves gathering dust.

                    What is really missing is the poltical will to implement them.

                    The main job of activists. in my opinion, is to create that political will.

                    How do we do it?

                    XR is organising a hands around the Beehive protest.

                    That’s one way.

                    Other climate change activists are planning to blockade coalmines and coal ships.

                    The thinking here, is if we take the fossil fuels off them, the polluters will be forced to take some of those alternatives, that every one of them have, off their shelves and dust them off.

              • pat

                Agree there are many people who are happy having chosen such a lifestyle…..key word being chosen.

                • weka

                  as we know, climate change isn't going to give us much choice. Best we adapt now while we have all the advantages of fossil fuels and a relatively stable climate, economy and society. Powering down is about future proofing and resiliency as well as climate mitigation.

                  • Jenny how to get there


                    Political reality vs. Climate reality

                    Should we power down?

                    Or, should we put our faith in offsets that allow us to still burn fossil fuels at current, or even greater levels?

                    The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged "an immediate end to coal energy and other high-polluting fossil fuels".

                    Power down, or offset?

                    The Parliamentary Environmenal Commision, PCE, has reommended a reform to the forestry offsets scheme, recommending that it only be used for offsetting biological carbon emissions from agriculture, and not for offseting carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels by transport and industry. .

                    Principally it [The Commission] suggests that forestry carbon sinks should only be used for offsetting biological emissions like methane from cows – while carbon emissions from things like transport should be brought to zero through other means.


                    Despite saying he, agreed, "that the priority must be actual gross reductions in emissions." James Shaw is against the PCE recommendation that things like transport should be brought to zero by other means.

                    Shaw said emitters, "need policy stability and predictability".

                    Personally speaking I would have thought the Minister should have been more concerned with climate stability and predictabibity, than predictability and stability for polluters. (But that's just me).

                    James Shaw has rejected a fundamental change to the Emissions Trading Scheme suggested by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment….

                    ……"For the sake of providing policy stability and predictability for emitters and the forestry sector, the Government is committed to retaining the use of forestry offsets for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions," Shaw said.


                    The climate commission has not reccomended scrapping carbon trading, only ammending it to cover agrcultural emissions only, saying that transport and industry need to find ways to cut back..

                    In opposing this reform, James Shaw is probably being a political realist.

                    Too bad he couldn't be a climate realist instead, and back the PCE reccomendtion.
                    (Maybe he just needs a nudge).

                    IPCC report: how to make global emissions peak and fall – and what’s stopping us

                    August 10, 2021 4.14am NZST

                    • Ground transport could be decarbonised by a shift to electric vehicles (cars, trucks, buses, trains) and from cars to bikes, walking and public transport.


                    • Jenny How to get there


                      Todd Niall thinks rather than balancing transport emissions with off-sets, we will have to cut back.

                      The real question about Auckland's next harbour crossing

                      Todd Niall, Aug 10, 2021

                      …..The real questions are why and how decisions are being made on major new transport infrastructure projects, when so much is unknown about what Auckland’s transport needs will be in coming decades……

                      Daily travel could look very different in less than a decade, if Aucklanders re-shape their movements in a way which delivers the promised 64 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

                      …..The only thing which is certain is that if the goal is to be achieved, there will have to be a lot fewer cars making a lot fewer trips on roads, including the existing Auckland Harbour Bridge.

                      The real question about Auckland's next harbour crossing | Stuff.co.nz

                    • Jenny How to get there

                      Of course the main point that Todd Niall is trying to make, is that if we do cut back on private vehicle transport for cycling. and public transport, we won't have need for a $15 billion tunnel.
                      We may even have room on the Harbour bridge for bike lanes and a busway.

                      (And though he doesn't say it the money could be used for something much more pressing).

              • Jenny how to get there


  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Glenn Albrecht seems Utopian in philosophical terms. He opens doors certainly, and capitalist dominated class society soon closes them. Various branches of science have demonstrated the connectedness of the material world down to particle level. A mass scientific consensus has demonstrated the link between human industrial activity and climate disaster. The way or various ways are exactly what is needed in this current existential fix. Philosophy is absolutely part of that. As the saying goes “we need more philosophers and less fund managers…”

    Imo it needs an activist materialist philosophy rather than feel the energy/good vibrations. “The point is not just to interpret the world but to change it” Karl Marx.

    Last nights ordered power cuts were due to what–too many heat pumps being turned on max setting? Duh, why are not all houses equipped with solar panels and storage arrays, natural heating/cooling flows, rain water collection tanks, composting toilets and mini gardens? The answer you likely know WEKA–regulation and private enterprise and privatised public assets as per power generation and supply.

    Not so long back some power companies actually penalised customers if they admitted fitting solar panels! Greenpeace did a public campaign on this back in 2016. Now 9 of them offer some sort of buy back.

    Good on you WEKA for keeping up the good work. Lets see school Climate Strikes reinstated and more direct action to get the message through.

    • weka 3.1

      Completely agree with the need for activism. The problem at the moment is we have too few visions of what life can be like. Protest activism is very much necessary and needs to be complemented by pathways that ordinary people can engage with and adopt.

      One of our hopes is that if enough New Zealanders get on board with the kind of change necessary, then politicians and businesses will follow. In NZ the potential is sitting there in front of us in the form of the Green Party. If we had 20 Green MPs in parliament come 2023, that's a game changer in terms of leadership and the kinds of ideas that are necessary to effect collective change. It will make it easier for Labour to move greenwards, we will have more climate solutions in the MSM, there will be more people in positions of power who feel empowered to change (think government departments, businesses, schools, NGOs). We also need extra-parliamentary movements forging further ahead on the proactive pathways.

      Voting Green is an incredibly easy action for people to take. In the next two years we could be working on showing why that is necessary and why it is a good thing.

      • Tiger Mountain 3.1.1

        Yes, I party vote Green myself. Labour’s self revelatory actions with its majority MMP Govt. has exposed the Caucus dedication to a neo liberal state, so the Greens are likely set to rise further in 2023.

        • GreenBus

          I party vote Green too. One day, I hope the Greens will have enough votes to demand change and Labour will need to fulfil their obligation to their partner.

          So Labour about 45% and Greens 15% would be fine and quite likely at this stage.

      • Jenny how to get there 3.1.2

        I party vote Green as well.

        If only it was that easy.

        "Voting Green is an incredibly easy action for people to take. In the next two years we could be working on showing why that is necessary and why it is a good thing".

        In the next two years, it will be an a extremely hard job showing why [voting Green] is necessary and why it is a good thing.

        In affect, no matter how hard we try to convince others to vote Green, I cannot see the Green Party increasing their share of the electoral vote beyond their existing progressive base.

        On the issues of the day, the Green Party are becoming more and more invisible.

        The Green Party just had a conference, did anyone hear about it, or read about it in the media?

        There has been a lot of debate over the pros and cons of the $15 billion Waitemata Harbour tunnel. The Green Party have been missing from this debate.

        When the John Key Government first suggested a $6 billion harbour tunnel be built, the Green Party openly and loudly opposed it, demanding that a rail option be added, bringing the total cost of a the combined road rail tunnel up to $10 billion. The Green Party later withdrew their support of John Key's road rail tunnel, supporting a rail only option.

        But this time the Green Party have been silent.

        Last time at least the tunnel proposal was raised by the National Government, the Green Party had an opinion and voiced it.

        What gives?

        Do the Green Party support the Labour Government's proposed $15 billion road rail tunnel?

        If the Greens support the Government's road rail tunnel, can they give their reasons?

        Do the Green Party oppose the Labour Government's proposed $15 billion road rail tunnel?
        If the Greens oppose the Government's road rail tunnel, can they give their reasons?

        The Parliamentary Environmenal Commission, has just made a reccomendation that agricultural emissions from biological sources be allowed to be offset, but not the burning of fossil fuels for transport. That transport needs to find other ways to meet New Zealand's international commitments.

        None of this instils me with confidence that the Green Party will be seen by voters as having any independant position for or against government policies.

        Condemning them to political irrelevancy.

        If this invisibility and politiical conservatism continues, I can't see the Green Party getting wider voter support beyond their current 10% of progressive voters less impressed with Labour’s continued centrism.
        No doubt the Green Party leadership will blame the voters, but will only have themselves to blame.

        Bryce Edwards gives his view;

        By joining the Government, the Greens promised to give Labour the spine it needed to act decisively on housing, inequality, climate change and other pressing issues. This hasn’t happened. In fact, rather than being the progressive backbone of the current government, some allege the Greens are helping to “greenwash” Jacinda Ardern’s administration. This issue was discussed in secret at the party’s AGM last weekend…..

        ……This approach, in which the Greens don’t pressure the Government and keep out of some of the big debates (such as the hate speech proposals), is appreciated by the Labour Party. It also hasn’t hurt the Greens’ popularity. Their last two poll results have been relatively high – 8.5 and 10 per cent. Just by existing, the Greens seem to function as a home for progressive voters who are less impressed with Labour’s continued centrism.


          • Jenny how to get there


            No road crossing


            …..A second harbour crossing should not include an additional road crossing as was proposed by the previous National Government. An additional road crossing would funnel an additional 5,400 cars into and through the city centre in the morning peak, worsening congestion and climate pollution.3


            Yep. That was a Green Party 2020 election 'priority'.

            A second harbour crossing should not include an additional road crossing. It couldn't be clearer. They even say why.
            (I have already mentioned that the Green Party had dropped their original support for a road and rail tunnel proposed by the National Government, in favour of a rail only crossing).
            Other commentators have voiced their opinions on the Labour government's proposed $15 billion road rail tunnel.

            But the Greens have remained silent.

            The question is have the Green Party switched back to their original position, and are now in favour of supporting a road rail tunnel again?

            Are they still against it?

            Who would know.

            They are not saying.

            Maybe they are waiting for more detail. before voicing their opposition, (or support).

            I am left even more mystified by the Green Party's opposition to the Parliamentary Environmenal Commission recommendation, that forestry carbon sinks should only be used for offsetting biological emissions like methane from cows – while carbon emissions from things like transport should be brought to zero through other means.


            If transport cannot use offsetting, the remaining means of bringing transport emissions down to zero, are electrification, public transport, cycling, walking.

            Things I would have thought the Green Party support.

            Todd Niall has noted that a move to public transport, cycling, walking, will mean there will be no need for another harbour crossing.

            Daily travel could look very different in less than a decade, if Aucklanders re-shape their movements in a way which delivers the promised 64 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030…..

            …..The only thing which is certain is that if the goal is to be achieved, there will have to be a lot fewer cars making a lot fewer trips on roads, including the existing Auckland Harbour Bridge.


            So does the Green Party support the $15 billion road rail crossing, or not?

            The Green Party have been silent on whether or not they still oppose another road crossing of the Waitemata.

            Green Party support for offseting transport emissions would indicate a reluctance to quantatively cut traffic volumes. Ipso facto indicative of Green Party support for needing a second road crossing of the Waitemata, in contradiction of their previous opposition to such an option.

            • Incognito

              The walking and cycling bridge is the current proposal that Government is currently working on until it is not. This seems to have the support of the Green Party.

              What windmills are your tilting at?

    • Adrian Thornton 3.2

      Good piece WEKA thanks, and good reply Tiger Mountain.

      “The point is not just to interpret the world but to change it” …100%

      I think we all agree that Labour and Ardern/Robinson have clearly demonstrated by their fundamentalist adherence to their Neoliberal ideology, that they have no answers, and as WEKA put it , are in fact nothing more than a Death Cult at this point….OK so this is an obvious indisputable fact, then what other viable political ideology that already exists is available to us that could embrace “living together for mutual benefit” and even“sumbiophilia” (the love of living together)” …the answer of course is Socialism.

      The only way out of this climate disaster is for absolutely everyone within all our communities throughout this country (and around the world ) be invested personally in saving the planet, this is the only way we could get the general population to buy into the extreme social/structural changes that will be needed going forward, this much should go without saying really…which means everyone needs to feel and be personally part of the solution, they need to feel they have power and a voice that can be heard within their local communities…in other words we need fully engaged Citizens NOT consumers!….Free market Liberalism can only create consumers…Socialism creates Citizens.

      So the most immediate question now is, could we wrestle the Labour party back from its Neoliberal cult leaders who are leading us down a death spiral and make it work for the people to save the Planet in time?..or would we be better off trying to make the Green Party a serious Green Socialist party that immediately comes out with a manifesto so new and radical, so full of hope and courage and vision, that it sweeps aside the negativity and despair levelled at it from all sides of the status quo, with its tsunami of empowered and fully engaged citizens showing the rest through their actions how to tackle climate change in a mature and orderly way that befits a human race, who's main purpose is to promote it's evolution very very slowly to a higher plane….(at least that is what I have always just assumed the overall project was!!).

      • Tiger Mountain 3.2.1

        The Labour Caucus seems beyond redemption at this stage really such is the embedding of neo liberalism into the NZ State and legislation. It will take a social movement and direct action to shake them. That is why I liked the “letter to Jacinda” before last Xmas by 70 NGOs urging benefit increases–it was a nascent ‘unite all who can be united’ community led approach.

        Dunno enough about the Greens these days, mate of mine was into “EcoNation 2020” during wild Green days, and after Sue Bradford left I stopped following in detail. But their brand is strong, and who of a certain age really wants to start yet another organisation. The boomer replacement generations will ultimately make the call I guess, but after Chloe’s Auck central win all is not lost with that idea.

        Imo a short basic programme would be…
        –Basic Income for all NZers paid by IRD (plus new agency for disabled etc., retire WINZ/MSD)
        –Fare free public transport and free Wifi nationwide
        –Power generation and supply restored to full public ownership and control with no more “energy poverty” allowed
        –State House and apartment mega build, incl. tiny houses for homeless/emergencies
        –Rent control and capital gains tax
        –Price control on basic food items

        and lets see who supports…

        • Adrian Thornton

          I agree with your programme, except that I would never back any sort UBI while we live under any form of capitalist free market political ideology.

          • Tiger Mountain

            Yes a basic income perpetuates consumerism, but people need to eat, so sometimes reform is useful. At least punitive WINZ/MSD could be removed.

            Working for Families in work tax credit (WFF) denied to low income people like beneficiaries, and paid to middle class people, just let employers and workers off the hook. Workers should be organising for their own pay increases from their boss rather than a transfer from other taxpayers.

            The market view distorts so much about peoples thinking. What would be wrong with most things being transfers for work–research, caring, cultural etc.? Housing, utilities, transport, education all available to all citizens as a matter of course.

            • Siobhan

              So, for a UBI to be of any benefit to the citizens, and not just another crutch for a failed economic system, the first step would be to create a world that is not Market Driven.

              Unfortunately the Political Leaders, worker leaders, street level activists and intellectuals we need to even start that conversation are few and far between, and certainly not in any position to spread their message. The crack down on YouTube etc, the infiltration and buy out of previously progressive political platforms (like Mother Jones, Democracy Now , TYT etc etc) has seen to that. As have the Universities etc who cancel tenure for anyone stepping to far away from the accepted narrative.

              In light of all that..it is very important we do not encourage the start of a UBI conversation….the fact that Zuckerberg, Branson etc like the idea should send a chill to the bones.

              My bet is a UBI that gets delivered via credits that can only be used through Amazon and approved providers.

              If even a supposedly benign politically progressive, moderate country like NZ, can't even begin to get its head around climate change action that is free of "Market " distortions and compromises, even in the face of imminent habitat/planetary collapse, then I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for them to contemplate any change of approach to equality any time soon.

  4. Ad 4

    Transpower has a lot to answer for this morning. Radio silence from Minister Wood so far. Not a 2018 storm but a tweak.

    Todd Niall on Stuff today laments how transport decisions are made here.

    Transpower is to our carbon zero future what roads are to our petroleum world. Two parallel networks of energy.

    Neither Transpower nor transport deal with the carbon v supply security choice well. Understatement. Government-mandated elationship between the 2 is zero.

    I don't see any potential government grappling well with this. The Greens have peaked, the farmers need utes, Labour is focused on COVID.

    Not optimistic.

    • weka 4.1

      And SS4C is in recess. A void waiting to be filled outside of parliament.

    • weka 4.2

      The Greens are the ones that want every government department to be required to take climate change into account. Voters haven't yet given them the power to make that happen. Not so much peaked as waiting for the tide to change (and spending time preparing).

      • Ad 4.2.1

        It's Act currently rising, bless them.

        The entrenched bureaucrats at Electricity Authority, Transpower and NZTA have ridden out this government very successfully so far.

        The Greens have the climate portfolio and have given it their shot.

        Outside Parliament and Wellington it will take weird and prolonged crises to alter that. No new report will change opinion now.

        I think we are proper stuck.

    • David 4.3

      Is now the time to reintroduce the world "nuclear" into our conversational vocabulary or is that word still best left in 1984?

      • Ad 4.3.1

        Let Tiwai Point take its course in 2024.

        • Andre

          … and please let’s don't pay another enormous ransom for the jobs hostages Rio Tinto has used so effectively in the past.

          Which means transition plans for those workers need to be underway now.

          • WeTheBleeple

            'transition plans' – A solar factory using local silica perhaps? Smelt our own aluminium (if required) for it. A bit of a think big, but not oil based?

            This is for the engineering minds, not the gardeners like myself.

            • Andre

              The grid upgrades needed to get the Manapouri electricity to the rest of the country are scheduled to be complete in 2023. At that point, the rest of the country can do useful things with it, even if it's just shutting down Huntly. There won't be a vast excess of electricity in Southland we will be desperate to do something, anything, vaguely useful with.

              So any transition plans should definitely not start with the assumption of massive amounts of power available.

            • Robert Guyton

              Southland has extra-high-grade silicon in abundance. We've been exploring its potential.

            • Molly

              Recycling ev batteries, manufacturing solar panels and/or wind turbines, pharmaceuticals. Producing standardised building components for Kainga Ora to use for state housing at cost…etc.

              There is a large selection of resilience industries that could employ the Rio Tinto workforce.

      • weka 4.3.2

        Nuclear fails in terms of the Symbiocene. Doesn't even work within current notions of sustainability and resiliency.

        Further, the last thing we need is lots of power generation that ignores the reality of the physical world. That’s what we’ve just done with fossil fuels. It drives growth and this causes all the other problems. There’s a reason that climate activists have paired the climate and ecology crises.

        It won’t hurt us to live within our limits and to powerdown.

        • David

          The issue with powering down is that we are moving along a path of having multiple energy sources (gas, oil, coal, electricity etc) to one energy source – electricity. Of course this is desirable.

          While powering down might be the preferred longer term outcome there is an inevitable transitional phase we must traverse first as the multiple energy sources converge on electricity. The push to electric vehicles and phase out of gas happening right now are the obvious examples. A case of ideal state versus real world state.

          So while we deal with the the idea of powering down, we concurrently need to deal with the here and now of having a robust and stable electricity network.

          • weka

            not quite following that. We have a robust and stable electricity network, with known vulnerabilities around private ownership and not being quake resilient.

            The problems we have with the network are perpetual growth reaching the physical limits of the network. I can't see more large hydro being built in the South Island for instance.

            NZ should be close 100% renewable by now. Instead we are going backwards. That's just fucking insane.

            Have I missed something about what you are saying? Building nuclear in NZ isn't going to help us with transition, it will just make transition harder (as well as making us massively vulnerable via quakes and tsunami).

            • David

              Yes, you are missing capacity. How are we going to meet the extra demand as we push multiple energy sources to electricity? Last night would suggest we don't have capacity now so we need a way to up capacity as we push more and more demand onto electricity as the sole energy source.

              So I raise the question of nuclear. It may or may not be the answer. But one way or another we need to deal with the capacity issue in the current system.

              Yes powering down will ultimately reduce the overall need for total capacity … but in the real world that is not happening any time soon as we have a Government actively and rightly encouraging a move from other energy sources to electricity.

              • pat

                Even if nuclear were the solution (which it isnt) what of the 10-20 year delay before it was online?

              • Patricia Bremner

                Outlaw Bitcoin mining. Give tax rebates for solar power. What other ideas would use the power we have more equitably?

                Who in Government is a dinosaur? How do we promote the views of the converted into parliamentary action? How do we root out the problem people in the associated ministries?

                How do we move it from ideas to action?

        • Adrian Thornton

          @Weka, Your answer there hit's the nail on the head…because our leaders have completely failed to see or even try to imagine any other way out of this climate disaster, other than consuming our way out…many fellow citizens now still believe that the status quo can just carry on as normal….

          Here is a little litmus test I have in the back of my mind..until I hear a politician say something along the lines of "It won’t hurt us to live within our limits and to powerdown" then you know that they are just talking pure shit like every other capitalist/ neoliberal/ free market politician.

      • roy cartland 4.3.3

        Depressing, but true. Nuclear is now only the second-most dangerous energy generation source.

        However, considering the fact that we'd become a legitimate nuclear target (not that we'd build a bomb, but that's beside the point to anyone who would care to accuse us), there is nowhere to store waste. Like carbon, it would accumulate and become a hazard down the track. Floods, fires, quakes, terrorists could cause catastrophic leaks.

        I'm with Weka on this – I don't need cat videos and electric helicopters, but I do need clean air and water. I.e. scaling down power consumption is preferable.

        • GreenBus

          Agreed. The Neo-Lib mantra for growth must be challenged and beaten. Our population need to know that powering down or consuming less does not make you a loser. Money mantra will be hard to overcome especially by those with an excess.

      • Gabby 4.3.4

        Accompanied by the word 'faultlines' I hope.

  5. Adrian 5

    Evia in Greece is the poster boy for the effects of CC, but Evia is also where a lot of Greek charcoal is produced and is covered in pine trees and small charcoal producers with lots of small fires and kilns going flat out. The problem of CC is exacerbated by what we actually do and where we live and the practices that cause fires and the damage that floods do. Those problems if solved would mitigate a lot of the damage.

    • WeTheBleeple 5.1

      If the charcoal producers grew replacement trees for the charcoal made (bear with me) they are, on paper, carbon neutral. But if they also used a portion of their product in the creation of the soil amendment – biochar, they could actually be carbon negative.

      I think many industries, with a good mind and good marketing behind them, could clean up considerably.

      It's not so much the production that's the issue, it's the methods of production. Charcoal making can provide all manner of by-products in the right hands.

      • Adrian 5.1.1

        I meant that Evoia or Evia, or for that matter most of Europe in a late summer period is not the safest place, the charcoal burners were still going all summer when I was there sending sparks and embers into the air. In 2018 when I was in southern France I was surprised that there were no fire restrictions in place and the locals told me they had never heard of such a thing. That was hot, 44degrees in Libourne in Bordeaux, this year it is the more normal low 30s. The spectacular scenes we see caused by CC would not happen as often if more responsiblity and care was taken It is not surprising that those countries that have the biggest problems this year are also the ones that have enbraced austerity and hence the lack of fire mitigation work, Greece, Turkey and northern California.

      • gsays 5.1.2

        "Charcoal making can provide all manner of by-products in the right hands."

        My next generation charcoal retort that I build will be able to catch and condense the smoke. At different temps, different products are available eg creosote for wood treatment and wood vinegar for a wide variety of plant assistance.

        "Wood vinegar is a byproduct from charcoal production. It is a liquid generated from the gas and combustion of fresh wood burning in airless condition. When the gas is cooled, it condenses into liquid. Raw wood vinegar has more than 200 chemicals, such as acetic acid, formaldehyde, ethyl-valerate, methanol, tar, etc. Wood vinegar improves soil quality, eliminates pests and controls plant growth, but is slightly toxic to fish and very toxic to plants if too much is applied. It accelerates the growth of roots, stems, tubers, leaves, flowers, and fruit. In certain cases, it may hold back plant growth if the wood vinegar is applied at different volumes. A study shows that after applying wood vinegar in an orchard, fruit trees produce increased amounts of fruit. Wood vinegar is safe to living matters in the food chain, especially, insects that help pollinate plants."

        From http://www.woodvinegar.org/wood-vinegar.html

        • Andre

          If it's got enough formaldehyde in it for it to be one of the five listed constituents, I don't want anything to do with it. That tar is also one of the five mentioned ingredients also makes me go hmmm.

          I wouldn't be thrilled about being around significant quantities of creosote, neither.

          • WeTheBleeple

            These are merely food for bacteria Andre. Ask a microbiologist (me). It's simply a matter of dilution.

            With larger plants separation of various chemicals for industry is practised. Formaldehyde has its uses (fungicide, disinfectant, preservative) as does acetic acid (vinegar, make lysine, metal acetates, cellulose acetate…), methanol (fuel) etc.

            That which is deemed unusable is very likely easily consumed by microbes. Hell I watched wire worms eat polystyrene decades before they 'discovered' this phenomenon. Hint – it aint the worms doing the digesting… The interesting aspect of microbial breakdown is they'll typically spit out a useful product. Efficiencies beyond what most idiots can dream of, if one pays attention to detail.

            But tell us more about creosote = bad. Nuclear = good.

            • Andre

              Formaldehyde is widely considered to be a carcinogen, on evidence quite a lot stronger than what is used to demonise glyphosate as a comparison.


              As it happens, I have two friends that had careers in wood processing that were heavily exposed to formaldehyde and developed cancers of types commonly attributed to excessive formaldehyde exposure.

              To be honest, I haven't much looked into creosote since it got banned from sale before I ever had much occasion to look into the harms from various substances. But when I had the misfortune of having my parents and grandparents task me with applying it to wood they wanted preserved, it was a fkn unpleasant experience, and I strongly remember feeling off-colour for days afterwards.

              When it comes to nuclear, if other countries had followed France's example instead of going with coal and gas, we'd be facing much less of a catastrophe right now. In the context of the catastrophe we're facing, even the worst case shriekings about harms caused by Fukushima and Chernobyl from the likes of Greenpeace are just a blip.

              By any rational assessment of human mortality and morbidity, ecological footprint etc, nuclear power is far far safer than fossil and biomass and hydro, and how it compares to wind, solar, geothermal and other depends on how you weight the various factors.

              • WeTheBleeple

                In the 70's I saw plastic carnage coming, and I was right. Anything that 'lasts forever' or doesn't break down in timely fashion, is a fuck you to the future, no matter how attractive it looks to engineers.

                Creosote, hell, all chemicals should be treated with utmost caution, and protocols are eventually put in place of past hubris.

                You struggle to think of us slowing down, openly detest the idea from where I'm sitting. I've no time for more short term solutions/long term problems. We need to slow the fuck down and get over ourselves while we nut this out. There's no need to go back to horse and cart, there's tremendous need to stop consuming so much crap. To stop demanding an instagram holiday once a year. To stop swanking about draped in the latest flakey fashion.

                Adding nuclear just allows for more industry – and very long term issues. We've seen what nature can do, there are no safe places. Then there's earthquakes, meteors, all your number crunching on the odds of such events means nothing in the face of time.

                There may well have been less pollution with more nukes, or more nuclear disasters. Trying to act like nuclear accidents aint no big thing because look at climate change is disingenuous at best.

            • gsays

              It seems we are only just starting to understand the relationship between a plant's roots and the soil.

              I have noticed the massive amount of white fungus in a compost heap where I have placed a macrocarpa branch.

              There was a suggestion from David Attenborough round these parts to just sit for 10 minutes and do nothing.

              I find the same sense of wonder in nature when I suspend what 'I know', and just observe.

    • weka 7.1

      Bit read out at the moment. Your comments below about what's happening in Riverton and the wider area really hit the spot. Such a relief.

  6. Ad 8

    I find it weird that the huge overlap of the COVID and climate crises have not generated overlapping multilateral "Marshall Plan" responses across the world.

    Maybe we've really reached the limit of the state. No matter the crisis.

    It's like the collectivity of the world just isn't up for collective action any more.

    For those who went through feminist revivals in the 1970s, and anti-nuclear, and anti-racist, and anti -war movements, and ecological movements, the lack of response is just resoundingly hollowed.

    • Andre 8.1

      A big difference is these crises now require proactive positive actions going into the future.

      Just being anti doesn't do anything useful in our current situation. Nor do dreams of returning to some past reduced state of living.

      • roy cartland 8.1.1

        Don't forget the decades of indoctrination on the pros of consumption, even on platforms owned by the state. We were educated to think it was a good thing, now we're supposed to resist it?

        Control of the story is imperative, how can it be wrested from the billionaires?

    • Robert Guyton 8.2

      Will the collapsing biosphere create such a state of despair in every human that a shared, psychological and spiritual "Marshall Plan" will spontaneously occur in every mind, creating a super-organism intent on one thing only; creating, (rather than destroying)?

      Evolutionary "leaps" such as this are not unknown.

      • Sanctuary 8.2.1

        "…Evolutionary "leaps" such as this are not unknown…"

        Agreed, but I doubt the TAB odds on it happening are good.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 8.2.2

        Modern civilisation's 'flooring it' – our impatience put us out of sync with Nature.

        Our planet is heading for disaster. We need to learn to work with Nature not against her.

        What we do now and in the next few years will deeply affect the next few thousands of years.

        Technological 'solutions' to (temporarily) mask natural limits are products of short-term thinking. Can 'we' make sustainable behavioural changes? In just ten minutes…

        Sir David Attenborough’s 10-minute tip to connect with nature

        The secret to repairing humanity’s relationship with nature? Sitting quietly in the woods, according to Sir David Attenborough.

        The naturalist has urged people to spend a few minutes silently contemplating the glories of the natural world, saying “extraordinary things happen” when you are alone in the countryside.

        One of the simplest things that you should do if you get the chance, when you get the chance, is just naturally to stop,” Attenborough, 94, said.

        Sit down. Don’t move. Keep quiet. Wait ten minutes. You’ll be very surprised if something pretty interesting didn't happen within ten minutes.

    • Sanctuary 8.3

      I am reading a book called "The Revenge of the Real" by a certain Benjamin Bratton which argues the COVID crisis – the "real" of the title – has crashed through the limited political imagination of the current neoliberal ideology of Western states. Many – most – western states failed to protect their populations and failed to do so because they remain wedded to an extreme strain of capitalism born in the globalist triumphalism that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. COVID failed to respond to the endemic Canutism and libertarian individualism (the "mask wars") that underpins the politics of modern western democracies. As with any crisis that up ends the comfortable illusions of the elites a significant amount much of the response retreated to magical thinking, followed by an abandonment of large sections of the local and global population in a chaotic sauve qui peut, be it to "save business" or hoard vaccines.

      Bratton posits that the governance response to covid can be seen as a dress rehersal of how our political and business elites, as wedded to their capitalist extremism as any fervent true believer of Juche might be, will respond to the crisis of climate change. That is an imaginative failure driven by the magical thinking of dogmatic certainty leading to an inability to respond when an inevitable collapse occurs as something somewhere gives.

      Bratton tries to be positive, calling for a re-ordering of our bio-politics. I am not so sure western states are capable of such reform. I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that although they won't ever say it out loud the experten neoliberal technocrats who dominate our politics in these times think they are immune from climate change, they can live as they please forever and the price will be measured not in any way meaningfully inconveniencing to them but rather in the lives of the economic Dalits of the world. So nothing will change anything, until a climate crisis event akin to the Great War collapse in credibility of the ruling classes sweeps them away.

      • AB 8.3.1

        "the governance response to Covid can be seen as a dress rehearsal of how our political and business elites … will respond to the crisis of climate change."

        A pretty good bet I think. 'Devil take the hindmost' and abandonment of the weak/uncompetitive is absolutely built in to how our economy and society function.

    • Adrian 8.4

      The Marshall plan was to create a bulwark against an encroaching USSR, wars are more costly and kill more than a common old pandemic.

      • Ad 8.4.1

        The confluence of crises surely warrants it.

        The Mediterranean is burning up, the US Texan and western seaboard forests are burning. Last year Australia's eastern forests retreated in their most massive fire since European settlement.

  7. WeTheBleeple 9

    ^^ Some people are of poor faith and are not worth bothering to engage with. Don't waste your energy, it's required elsewhere.

    Instead of going to the gym in your car – walk or run there. Even better, forgo your gym membership and spend the money on plants. Exercise by creating and maintaining a productive garden. Even better, make that garden a food forest. Got no land – get a plot at a community garden, or start a new one on some land council is not using. Kick up a fuss as they don't like to be seen as useless regardless of the evidence, demand they assist you and your neighbourhood to decarbonise.

    Can't afford a Tesla? Get an e-bike. Sure, sometimes the weather will push you into a car (or better, public transport) but many days of the year are fine for riding. So get some exercise and fresh air.

    Can't afford to wait for idiot governments. Vote Green so the mainstream parties have to deal with them and their entirely inconvenient science based approach.

    Working for a company that doesn't give a shit? Leave. Unemployment is low, jobs are plenty, be part of a company looking for solutions, not PR. Start your own business if you're in a position to do so. They say if you can solve a problem you have a business idea. We got problems, what can you come up with?

    Get some solar, ROI is (and has been for years) better than any bank will offer. Heat your house and water, charge your car… Laugh smugly at the rolling brownouts. Help others into solar.

    As panels pay for themselves we could start a pay it forward scheme with some government money where power savings from the first batch is used to pay for the second batch. Roll it out wide-scale, apart from the first lot it practically pays for itself. Anyone, any agency with many properties (looking at you Kainga Ora) should be doing this. Put solar to match power use. Use what would typically be paid to a power company to continue rolling out solar. Continue till each house has 'paid for itself' by buying solar for the next house. Then take a suitable fee for maintenance of the solar network but let the bulk of savings sit with the householder once they've 'paid it forward'. Simple, very effective if done by any half competent company.

    Incentivise solar, batteries, e-bikes and mixed forestry planting. Paying people to plant pines and not mixed forestry is total bullshit. Mixed forestry provides fruit, nuts, honey, fungi, medicine, fibre, selective timber, selective game and/or animal rearing…

    Create local production. I have friends watching their shipped goods go round and round the globe with no rhyme or reason. It's ridiculous. Local goods wherever possible. We have fibre, timber, clays, metals… use what we got. only import what we don't have – but actually need.

    Stop buying so much crap.

    • weka 9.1

      thank-you 💚🌲🐑🌻🎋🙏

    • Robert Guyton 9.2

      There's a substantial "strip" of unused "council" land at the edge of the estuary here in Riverton; it faces north, is sloping and sheltered and features great soil. On Wednesday night, I'm presenting a proposal to the local community board, that we plant the area (about 1km in length and 50m wide) in fruit and nut trees, perennial vegetables, vines…whatever can be utilised by the community, who will be invited and always welcome, to forage whatever they want from there. My group is offering all the fruit trees for free. Just saying'.

    • Koff 9.3

      About the best post I have read on this topic for a long time. Thanks.

    • Janet 9.4

      Thank you …. you said it all for me, and it starts at the bottom , each one of us must evaluate – like tomorrow- the way we are living our lives then rearrange it to fit earths needs. Simple things, and seeing electricity is on everyones mind today – how many unnecessry lights were left on in your house last night. My household of one and a farm used 478 kWh in June . How does that compare – am I doing OK with that ?That include chargeing my hybrid car

    • Patricia Bremner 9.5

      smileyyes Good useful post.

  8. Robert Guyton 10

    Robyn & I are off to Lake Tekapo this weekend, to run workshops on grafting fruit trees, growing vegetables and so on, at the request of the local community.

    I did an interview this morning, for "Glenorchy radio", advertising a weekend of workshops the community there has requested there in a few weeks time.

    I spoke to a group in South Invercargill a short while ago, on composting.

    We have our 2-day "Bountiful Backyards" series of workshops and events coming up very soon in Riverton.

    There's no lack of desire from all sorts of communities and people to learn how to live right 🙂

    • WeTheBleeple 10.1

      This is inspiring stuff Robert.

      I have a cunning plan for stripping nutrients straight out of polluted water columns – and turning it to profit, or at least greatly offsetting costs. Thing is I want to work with people dedicated to cleaning rivers, not using me for glossing over their other activities (Fonterra, poster child for bullshit, literally).

      • Robert Guyton 10.1.1

        Cunning plans, like yours, that were conceived altruistically; that is, for the perceived benefit of all (human and non-human beings) are what's needed now. Consequently, I support yours to the max 🙂

  9. Robert Guyton 11

    How about war-time-style public broadcasts booming out across the planet until the penny drops?

    Too soon?


  10. WeTheBleeple 12

    Mental Health! This (or lack of it) knocked me out of being useful for years. Depression and anxiety are killers – of innovation, drive, sociability…

    I'm happy the government is going to give some funding to both Gumboot Friday & MATES (construction). But we also need some experts to help us all. With change comes uncertainty, with uncertainty comes fear, avoidance, more problems… The current climate is so difficult many people are either distressed or simply denying the issue as it's seemingly too hard, way too much for individuals to comprehend.

    Overconsumption is a symptom, not only of capitalism, but poor mental health. We know the serotonin from purchasing is fleeting at best, but where else do we get our fix? Addictions, eating, squabbling online, promiscuity? All the unhealthy behaviours to distract ourselves cause societal problems that can at least be greatly reduced by addressing mental health.

    Not talking about talking about mental health.

    Actually talking about mental health.

    Who here isn’t a bit frayed round the edges?

    • Robert Guyton 12.1

      If anyone isn't yet, they soon will be. A prerequisite to transformation is significant "fraying" – we're all sailing in the same vessel and the fraying will be shared. Those who have had the opportunity to practice "getting-by-while-frayed" will, counter-intuitively, be advantaged in coming times (in my opinion) 🙂

      • WeTheBleeple 12.1.1

        To paraphrase an unknown source: the beauty of being human is that we're not all screwed up on the same day. So, when I'm having a bad day you can help me, and vice versa. We evolved together, and that is how we survive change and uncertainty – together.

        At some point, those sociopaths who divide and conquer for selfish reasons will need to be cut off. Celebrity culture and the worship of money also needs a severe dressing down. As I wrote this morning – if we erect monuments to assholes they just become monumental assholes.

        Society might turn it's back on the cult of self if we offer sound alternatives. But one can't even see their way out of the woods when mental health is bad. Hopelessness can be par for the course with depression, and ineffectiveness dogs the heels of anxiety. Society offers all manner of temporary escapes from reality (for a price!) but only pays lip service to actual healing. We talk about talking about mental health. Heavy lifting – hardly!

        You can't continue with mindless consumerism if the customers are no longer mindless.

        The same forces that want us divided prefer if we are down and needy – of their specific interventions… pills, potions, preachers and posers. Get in your box and buy the correct uniform.

        The opposite of addiction (and consumerism is a textbook addiction in that it's killing us yet we can't seem to stop) is connection.

        Connection through helping ourselves and others, purpose in helping society, responsibility in helping nature. That will help make humans well.

        The sociopaths are a failed evolutionary experiment. Too much at stake to be bothered with that particular minority anymore. The rest of us, together, could oust them in a (historical) heartbeat.

    • Patricia Bremner 12.2

      Yes, WeTheBeeple, pandemics and a sense of urgency about the condition of Mother Earth.

      I remember reading about polymers all those years ago, and wondering what that would do to the environment. An ongoing anxiety about damage which can't be repaired. Nagging away.

  11. Byd0nz 13

    The World's money systems will not defeat climate change, so don't kid yourselves that it will.

    The challenge is, how to live with it.

  12. pat 14

    Net zero (a real net zero, not an accounting scam) needs to be met by 2030 (rather than 2050.

    Time is the biggest constraint


    (around 13 -14 minute mark)

  13. UncookedSelachimorpha 15

    Some of what we are up against. Excellent piece from James from the Internet, on the Facebook advertising spend by fossil-fuel companies trying to delay action on climate change. Massive influence (431 million adverts) for a surprisingly low spend (<$10m) by ExxonMobil.


  14. RP Mcmurphy 16

    dreadfully sorry weka old chap but climate change is going to result in a massive global depopulation and maybe a slaughter of the innocents. no amount of social theory dreamed up in a university tutorial is going to predict the outcome when our energy spendthrift era comes to a close. what do they say? thats right. suck it up.

    • WeTheBleeple 16.1

      Tragic defeatist wank.

      We know we're not seers.

      Go lay down and die if you must, or are you polishing your guns?

      • roy cartland 16.1.1

        No no, Maccy's right: the earth will indeed burn in a slow blaze of annihilation. There's no stopping it. The sun is just too powerful.

        Course that's 5B years away; there's isn't just one future, y'know. The nearer future can support us, at Stuart says. We just gotta make it happen.

  15. Stuart Munro 17

    Humans will come together in the end.

    Cyclones, fires, droughts, floods – all the products of AGW are the kind of threats that historically spurred us to build robust supportive communities. The small towns have not forgotten, and a hundred years back almost all of NZ was small communities.

    The idle political classes will pass like the rain on the mountain, but without the lament. Plant a tree whose fruit you will not eat – Il faut cultiver notre jardin.

  16. pat 18

    "After an alarming international report on climate change, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says criticism of New Zealand's response is "unfair"."


    Unfair?….but not incorrect. Is the PM deluded enough to believe we are making a serious attempt to address our emissions?

  17. RP Mcmurphy 19

    when it's gone it's all gone!

  18. pat 20

    Judith spreading misinformation (and unchallenged by RNZ)

    Its the gas (exploration) bans fault according to Collins.


    • roy cartland 20.1

      Can you give us the snappy counter to that statement of Judith's? I'm still a bit unclear about the real cause.

      • pat 20.1.1

        The real cause is subject to an investigation/review….what can be safely ruled out is the oil and gas exploration (offsore) 'ban' of 2018…the existing permits are still live, any gas discovered since that time would not be developed and in the current market, and in the mid 2000s there were government incentives to find more gas which were unsuccessful….as Judith well knows.

      • Andre 20.1.2

        Woods already has it.

        There was no shortage of coal or gas at Huntly or Stratford. There was a shortage of simple managerial sense enough to read weather forecasts and deciding to turn the damn things on to be ready for when they were needed.

      • weka 20.1.3

        low lake levels, natural gas supplies decreasing (as they should), and neoliberal fuckery that can't see outside.

    • mac1 20.2

      Collins had questions on that in the House yesterday. The PM told her of her illogicality in blaming a ban in 2018 because it would take 10 years to get a new gas field providing gas; therefore, logically a gas field discovered after 2011 could not have been available during Monday's outage.

      But logic ain't a strong point with a lot of people, either speaking it, understanding it or wanting to understand..

      As that saying went about why people are climate change deniers- they can't consider the consequences of what might eventuate and the impact on their lives, so it just ain't happening.

      Now folk in NZ are having to consider the consequences of gas running out and no oil refinery in the country. Dependence upon foreigners! Electric utes!

      Good to see though that Genesis energy are developing plans for massive solar and battery usage. They're planning 500 megawatts of grid-scale solar coonecting to existing transmission systems including Huntly power station. They're also going to build enough solar over the next five years to generate up to 750 gigawatt-hours of power a year- enough to power nearly 200,000 EVs a year, backed up with battery storage as well.

  19. Robert Guyton 21

    This is the question I am asking at today's meeting of council:

    "My question refers to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released yesterday, the contents of which were described by the UN Secretary General as a “code red for humanity” and, he said, required an immediate end to coal and fossil fuel use. “The alarm bells are deafening”, the UN Secretary General added.

    My question is; what will this council do in response to these alarm bells? We have signed-up to the Government’s position on Climate Change as an emergency, our chairman signed the Declaration by Local Government on Climate Change and we have established an in-council Climate Change committee so it seems necessary that we do something tangible at this alarming point of time; what will that be?"

    • Janet 21.1

      Weka wrote “ We desperately need cogent and hopeful visions of where we can go next.

      Adrian Thornton wrote

      “The only way out of this climate disaster is for absolutely everyone within all our communities throughout this country (and around the world ) be invested personally in saving the planet, this is the only way we could get the general population to buy into the extreme social/structural changes that will be needed going forward, this much should go without saying really…which means everyone needs to feel and be personally part of the solution, they need to feel they have power and a voice that can be heard within their local communities…in other words we need fully engaged Citizens NOT consumers!…

      This will need a lot of sharing of information and public education for many people to come to fully accept, understand and discern that some of the ways they are living life are compromising earth’s natural boundaries. Maybe this will be more of a problem with the self-indulgent affluent.

      Tiger Mountain wrote

      Imo a short basic programme would be…
      –Basic Income for all NZers paid by IRD (plus new agency for disabled etc., retire WINZ/MSD)
      –Fare free public transport and free Wifi nationwide
      –Power generation and supply restored to full public ownership and control with no more “energy poverty” allowed
      –State House and apartment mega build, incl. tiny houses for homeless/emergencies
      –Rent control and capital gains tax
      –Price control on basic food items

      Wethebleeple also wrote in at 10 Aug 9.16am a range of very good examples that we could start doing NOW – these don’t need a government or council decree to get underway – and he finished it with “Stop buying so much crap.”

      Government can STOP the importing of so much crap NOW – better it had yesterday.

      He mentioned “ Create local production.” Councils have a role here to help initiate this a lot more especially from the stuff that people toss out after they are bored with it or one small piece inside it has broken or for whatever reason recycling is still a mine of “opportunity “

      You wrote

      We have established an in-council Climate Change committee so it seems necessary that we do something tangible at this alarming point of time; what will that be?"

      Maybe because unsustainable jobs and small businesses dealing in the unnecessary or climate damaging crap must go, try and identify what new jobs and opportunities are going to arise as we change our ways. This will help those directly affected change. I like the saying “when one door closes another one opens. “

      I also remember a time when some rural communities shared expensive but only occasionally used new equipment. Is this kind of thing something tangible councils can facilitate within their communities.

    • weka 21.2

      How did it go Robert?

      • Robert Guyton 21.2.1

        112 comments so far, weka: this is encouraging.

        It went well. The question was expected 🙂 and the responses opened new opportunities; we are to address these at our next meeting, with the support of staff. I felt buoyed by the response and this is, to me, significant. There's a report to come and no-one's wriggling.

  20. Robert Guyton 22

    Did I post this? Y'all might enjoy this 🙂

    "Kaleidoscopic Empathy “The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you.

    Look what a lot of things there are to learn,” writes T.H. White on the education of the young King Arthur. Arthur, like the sixth century Bard Taliesin, learns not by book, but by becoming. The sixth century poem attributed to Taliesin, reads, “I have been a blue salmon,I have been a dog, a stag, a roebuck on the mountain… A stallion, a bull, a buck, I was reaped and placed in an oven”. In order to become a storyteller, an advisor to kings, and a spiritual intermediary, Taliesin has had to live other lives, other stories. But the most important overlap between the young Arthur and Taliesin is that they learn not by becoming other human beings. They learn by entering into badgers and fish and insects: the minds of the more-than-human world.

    The best thing for being sad is interrupting your individuality. Imagine lengthening, feeling your skin polish into sheerness, crystal into glass, your mind fluid, placid. You are a cup of water. And then slowly, purposely, pour yourself into another mode of consciousness. Take on what biologist Jakob von Uexküll called a creature’s “umwelt”: their particular somatic body map, their situated sensory experience of world. Western materialism warns against anthropomorphism. And I agree that the exercise will necessarily fail. Unlike an octopus, my nervous system is not concentrated in my arms. Unlike the mistletoe, I do not know what it is like to parasitically, intimately, invade the body of a cactus. But that does not mean using our imaginative muscle for greater empathy is unimportant. I think, in fact, it is the most important skill for us to be developing as storytellers, artists, scientists, activists, and anyone anguished by escalating extinctions and ecological collapse. The best thing for being sad is practicing being more-than-human.

    The injunction against anthropomorphism seems like a misdirection to me. Believing that the world is mindless, mute, matter might be more dangerous than believing that a housecat has a personality, and that a mountain could possess its own lithic eroticism. In fact, it could be argued that the fictional “objectivity” of material reductionism is a grander type of anthropomorphism. Everything belongs to the human. Everything is blanketed by capitalism, our predetermined expectations, our teleology. Everything isn’t necessarily made human, but seen as made “for” humans. Everything is our standing reserve.

    This is not a universal belief. Indigenous cultures the world over had known that animals, insects, fungi, landscapes, and weather are other “people”. They don’t behave like us. They don’t even live on the same timescales. But it is deeply important that we tell stories about their experiences. That we actively try to inhabit their wants and needs, so we are not always making decisions from a singular, human perspective. Everything we do is entangled with our ecosystem. Every breath we take loops us into relationship with the trees and grasses and soil around us. It only makes sense that we should try and understand how our decisions might feel and live inside another species body.

    What if every time a logging company proposes to cut down a forest, they had to log an intimate story of the experience of every animal, fungi, insect, plant, and stone in that area? Each “chapter” would take into consideration the sensory apparatus, the scientific studies, the indigenous lore, the behavior of each being and then attempt to inhabit it and to experience what the clearcutting would feel like to that situated perspective. Then every logger, every investor, every person involved in the logging operation would have to attend a many weeks long conference where the report was read aloud.

    There is much talk, these days, about neural plasticity and neurogenesis. We are concerned with keeping our brains limber and adaptive by challenging them with new tasks and by creating new neural pathways with the aid of psychedelics. Why not also practice empathic plasticity? I tend to like the metaphor and the visual play of the kaleidoscope. Invented by the Scotsman David Brewster in 1817, the optical instrument has been remarkably good at avoiding inclusion in usefulness. It is still, to this day, seen as a marvel and a child’s toy. I have a strong intuition that it is these tools of marvel and beauty, that as John O’Donohue writes, remain “immune to our strategies”, will be of the most help going forward.

    Kaleidoscope derives from the Greek word kalos for beauty, eidos for form, and skopéō meaning to consider. Kaleidoscopes tilt mirrors towards each other at an angle, situated within a tube that often contains loose colored cells. Every rotation of the tube provides a stochastic arrangement of the cells, repeating the reflection to create a visually disorienting and stunning display. The view through the kaleidoscope is unpredictable and ever-shifting. Kaleidoscopes ask us to consider the mutable forms of beauty. And they ask us to do this without expectation and without aim. The kaleidoscope is a plaything, a child’s toy. It cannot be easily coopted by dominant paradigms.

    I want to offer Kaleidoscopic Empathy as an important exercise for an age of ecological collapse and extinction. The aim is not to “perfect” or “correctly” inhabit another being’s experience. The aim is to play. And to strengthen the muscle of empathy. Practice, whenever you enter into a forest, or go on a walk, or sit by a river, pouring yourself into the mind of every bird, fly, bumble bee, bindweed, grub you see. Center yourself in the wind-buoyed swiftness of the kestrel and then rotate the kaleidoscope, slip into the shadow of the sturgeon below the river surface, beginning to feel the chemical prickle that will lead the fish upstream to spawn. Then again, faster, condense into a Wolbachia bacteria riding inside a mosquito. Get comfortable with being other beings. With considering their experience not just intellectually, but somatically. Go outside and lie down on a patch of grass and melt into a thousand hyphal strands, weaving embodied appetite into the soil. Imagine what it would be like to hear with your whole body, to eat with your whole face.

    The aim is not to accomplish anything. The kaleidoscope teaches us agility and play. The aim is to expand our scope for empathy. If, like the boy Arthur, we want to care for the kingdom, we must know what it is like to “be” the kingdom. We must pour ourselves, empathically, curiously, into the world."

    Text via Sophie Strand

    [reformated for clarity and link added]

    • DB Brown 22.1

      Anne Rice's sister Alice Borchardt wrote some very interesting books, Legends of The Wolves, wherein the narrator was a shapeshifter within a wolf's form.

      I've taken enough fungi at times to reach alternate states… or to kill a horse, whatever came first. wink And, without the fungi, using meditation I have come close to shutting off this noisy thinker of mine. Would be nice to think I returned with some kind of insight, but it eludes me.

      These days my insight is to avoid substances, so I might be more of service to others. However, I highly recommend a MASSIVE dose of psilocybin for all our politicians.

      • Robert Guyton 22.1.1

        Heroic doses for the pollies, WTP?

        I see carnage.

        • DB Brown

          Heroic dose – who coined that phrase, McKenna? Stamets?

          I'd also recommend professional psychiatric supervision. There are studies that support how just one decent dose of psilocybin can make people more empathetic. And it is a long lasting effect.

          No wonder it's illegal. Still need something to adjust morals – possibly better role modelling for starters.

          Pokorney et al. 2017: Effect of Psilocybin on Empathy and Moral Decision-Making

          "These findings provide first evidence that psilocybin has distinct effects on social cognition by enhancing emotional empathy but not moral behavior. Furthermore, together with previous findings, psilocybin appears to promote emotional empathy presumably via activation of serotonin 2A/1A receptors, suggesting that targeting serotonin 2A/1A receptors has implications for potential treatment of dysfunctional social cognition."

          Mulukom, Patterson & van Elk. 2020: Broadening Your Mind to Include Others: The relationship between serotonergic psychedelic experiences and maladaptive narcissism.

          "A statistically significant mediation model indicated that recent CSP-induced experiences were associated with currently increased feelings of connectedness and affective empathetic drive, which in turn were associated with decreased exploitative-entitled narcissism. This relationship held even when taking into account sensation-seeking personality features. We found no evidence for feelings of ego dissolution to have the same effect."

          While my suggestions sometimes sound a bit mad (they are), there's nothing wrong with being a bit mad.

    • weka 22.2

      Robert, are you familiar with the internet phrase 'wall of text'?

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    Even many young people who smoke support smokefree policies, fitting in with previous research showing the large majority of people who smoke regret starting and most want to quit. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Wednesday, December ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Eleven years of work.
    Well it didn’t take six months, but the leaks have begun. Yes the good ship Coalition has inadvertently released a confidential cabinet paper into the public domain, discussing their axing of Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs).Oops.Just when you were admiring how smoothly things were going for the new government, they’ve had ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Why we're missing out on sharply lower inflation
    A wave of new and higher fees, rates and charges will ripple out over the economy in the next 18 months as mayors, councillors, heads of department and price-setters for utilities such as gas, electricity, water and parking ramp up charges. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Just when most ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • How Did We Get Here?
    Hi,Kiwis — keep the evening of December 22nd free. I have a meetup planned, and will send out an invite over the next day or so. This sounds sort of crazy to write, but today will be Tony Stamp’s final Totally Normal column of 2023. Somehow we’ve made it to ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • At a glance – Has the greenhouse effect been falsified?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealaders  have  high expectations of  new  government:  now let’s see if it can deliver?
    The electorate has high expectations of the  new  government.  The question is: can  it  deliver?    Some  might  say  the  signs are not  promising. Protestors   are  already marching in the streets. The  new  Prime Minister has had  little experience of managing  very diverse politicians  in coalition. The economy he  ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    4 days ago
  • You won't believe some of the numbers you have to pull when you're a Finance Minister
    Nicola of Marsden:Yo, normies! We will fix your cost of living worries by giving you a tax cut of 150 dollars. 150! Cash money! Vote National.Various people who can read and count:Actually that's 150 over a fortnight. Not a week, which is how you usually express these things.And actually, it looks ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Pushback
    When this government came to power, it did so on an explicitly white supremacist platform. Undermining the Waitangi Tribunal, removing Māori representation in local government, over-riding the courts which had tried to make their foreshore and seabed legislation work, eradicating te reo from public life, and ultimately trying to repudiate ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Defence ministerial meeting meant Collins missed the Maori Party’s mischief-making capers in Parli...
    Buzz from the Beehive Maybe this is not the best time for our Minister of Defence to have gone overseas. Not when the Maori Party is inviting (or should that be inciting?) its followers to join a revolution in a post which promoted its protest plans with a picture of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Threats of war have been followed by an invitation to join the revolution – now let’s see how th...
     A Maori Party post on Instagram invited party followers to ….  Tangata Whenua, Tangata Tiriti, Join the REVOLUTION! & make a stand!  Nationwide Action Day, All details in tiles swipe to see locations.  • This is our 1st hit out and tomorrow Tuesday the 5th is the opening ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Top 10 for Tuesday, December 4
    The RBNZ governor is citing high net migration and profit-led inflation as factors in the bank’s hawkish stance. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Tuesday, December 5, including:Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr says high net migration and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Nicola Willis' 'show me the money' moment
    Willis has accused labour of “economic vandalism’, while Robertson described her comments as a “desperate diversion from somebody who can't make their tax package add up”. There will now be an intense focus on December 20 to see whether her hyperbole is backed up by true surprises. Photo montage: Lynn ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • CRL costs money but also provides huge benefits
    The City Rail Link has been in the headlines a bit recently so I thought I’d look at some of them. First up, yesterday the NZ Herald ran this piece about the ongoing costs of the CRL. Auckland ratepayers will be saddled with an estimated bill of $220 million each ...
    5 days ago
  • And I don't want the world to see us.
    Is this the most shambolic government in the history of New Zealand? Given that parliament hasn’t even opened they’ve managed quite a list of achievements to date.The Smokefree debacle trading lives for tax cuts, the Trumpian claims of bribery in the Media, an International award for indifference, and today the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Cooking the books
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis late yesterday stopped only slightly short of accusing her predecessor Grant Robertson of cooking the books. She complained that the Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU), due to be made public on December 20, would show “fiscal cliffs” that would amount to “billions of ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Most people don’t realize how much progress we’ve made on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections The year was 2015. ‘Uptown Funk’ with Bruno Mars was at the top of the music charts. Jurassic World was the most popular new movie in theaters. And decades of futility in international climate negotiations was about to come to an end in ...
    5 days ago
  • Of Parliamentary Oaths and Clive Boonham
    As a heads-up, I am not one of those people who stay awake at night thinking about weird Culture War nonsense. At least so far as the current Maori/Constitutional arrangements go. In fact, I actually consider it the least important issue facing the day to day lives of New ...
    5 days ago
  • Bearing True Allegiance?
    Strong Words: “We do not consent, we do not surrender, we do not cede, we do not submit; we, the indigenous, are rising. We do not buy into the colonial fictions this House is built upon. Te Pāti Māori pledges allegiance to our mokopuna, our whenua, and Te Tiriti o ...
    5 days ago
  • You cannot be serious
    Some days it feels like the only thing to say is: Seriously? No, really. Seriously?OneSomeone has used their health department access to share data about vaccinations and patients, and inform the world that New Zealanders have been dying in their hundreds of thousands from the evil vaccine. This of course is pure ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • A promise kept: govt pulls the plug on Lake Onslow scheme – but this saving of $16bn is denounced...
    Buzz from the Beehive After $21.8 million was spent on investigations, the plug has been pulled on the Lake Onslow pumped-hydro electricity scheme, The scheme –  that technically could have solved New Zealand’s looming energy shortage, according to its champions – was a key part of the defeated Labour government’s ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: The Maori Party and Oath of Allegiance
    If those elected to the Māori Seats refuse to take them, then what possible reason could the country have for retaining them?   Chris Trotter writes – Christmas is fast approaching, which, as it does every year, means gearing up for an abstruse general knowledge question. “Who was ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON:  Forward to 2017
    The coalition party agreements are mainly about returning to 2017 when National lost power. They show commonalities but also some serious divergencies. Brian Easton writes The two coalition agreements – one National and ACT, the other National and New Zealand First – are more than policy documents. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Fossils
    When the new government promised to allow new offshore oil and gas exploration, they were warned that there would be international criticism and reputational damage. Naturally, they arrogantly denied any possibility that that would happen. And then they finally turned up at COP, to criticism from Palau, and a "fossil ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • GEOFFREY MILLER:  NZ’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    Geoffrey Miller writes – New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the government’s smokefree laws debacle
    The most charitable explanation for National’s behaviour over the smokefree legislation is that they have dutifully fulfilled the wishes of the Big Tobacco lobby and then cast around – incompetently, as it turns out – for excuses that might sell this health policy U-turn to the public. The less charitable ...
    6 days ago
  • Top 10 links at 10 am for Monday, December 4
    As Deb Te Kawa writes in an op-ed, the new Government seems to have immediately bought itself fights with just about everyone. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere as of 10 am on Monday December 4, including:Palau’s President ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Be Honest.
    Let’s begin today by thinking about job interviews.During my career in Software Development I must have interviewed hundreds of people, hired at least a hundred, but few stick in the memory.I remember one guy who was so laid back he was practically horizontal, leaning back in his chair until his ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he left off. Peters sought to align ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • Auckland rail tunnel the world’s most expensive
    Auckland’s city rail link is the most expensive rail project in the world per km, and the CRL boss has described the cost of infrastructure construction in Aotearoa as a crisis. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The 3.5 km City Rail Link (CRL) tunnel under Auckland’s CBD has cost ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • First big test coming
    The first big test of the new Government’s approach to Treaty matters is likely to be seen in the return of the Resource Management Act. RMA Minister Chris Bishop has confirmed that he intends to introduce legislation to repeal Labour’s recently passed Natural and Built Environments Act and its ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • The Song of Saqua: Volume III
    Time to revisit something I haven’t covered in a while: the D&D campaign, with Saqua the aquatic half-vampire. Last seen in July: https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2023/07/27/the-song-of-saqua-volume-ii/ The delay is understandable, once one realises that the interim saw our DM come down with a life-threatening medical situation. They have since survived to make ...
    6 days ago
  • Chris Bishop: Smokin’
    Yes. Correct. It was an election result. And now we are the elected government. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    6 days ago
  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science  Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 26, 2023 thru Dec 2, 2023. Story of the Week CO2 readings from Mauna Loa show failure to combat climate change Daily atmospheric carbon dioxide data from Hawaiian volcano more ...
    6 days ago
  • Affirmative Action.
    Affirmative Action was a key theme at this election, although I don’t recall anyone using those particular words during the campaign.They’re positive words, and the way the topic was talked about was anything but. It certainly wasn’t a campaign of saying that Affirmative Action was a good thing, but that, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • 100 days of something
    It was at the end of the Foxton straights, at the end of 1978, at 100km/h, that someone tried to grab me from behind on my Yamaha.They seemed to be yanking my backpack. My first thought was outrage. My second was: but how? Where have they come from? And my ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Look who’s stepped up to champion Winston
    There’s no news to be gleaned from the government’s official website today  – it contains nothing more than the message about the site being under maintenance. The time this maintenance job is taking and the costs being incurred have us musing on the government’s commitment to an assault on inflation. ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • What's The Story?
    Don’t you sometimes wish they’d just tell the truth? No matter how abhorrent or ugly, just straight up tell us the truth?C’mon guys, what you’re doing is bad enough anyway, pretending you’re not is only adding insult to injury.Instead of all this bollocks about the Smokefree changes being to do ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The longest of weeks
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday Under New Management Week in review, quiz style1. Which of these best describes Aotearoa?a. Progressive nation, proud of its egalitarian spirit and belief in a fair go b. Best little country on the planet c. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Suggested sessions of EGU24 to submit abstracts to
    Like earlier this year, members from our team will be involved with next year's General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). The conference will take place on premise in Vienna as well as online from April 14 to 19, 2024. The session catalog has been available since November 1 ...
    1 week ago
  • Under New Management
    1. Which of these best describes Aotearoa?a. Progressive nation, proud of its egalitarian spirit and belief in a fair go b. Best little country on the planet c. Under New Management 2. Which of these best describes the 100 days of action announced this week by the new government?a. Petulantb. Simplistic and wrongheaded c. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • While we wait patiently, our new Minister of Education is up and going with a 100-day action plan
    Sorry to say, the government’s official website is still out of action. When Point of Order paid its daily visit, the message was the same as it has been for the past week: Site under maintenance Beehive.govt.nz is currently under maintenance. We will be back shortly. Thank you for your ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago

  • Ministers visit Hawke’s Bay to grasp recovery needs
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon joined Cyclone Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell and Transport and Local Government Minister Simeon Brown, to meet leaders of cyclone and flood-affected regions in the Hawke’s Bay. The visit reinforced the coalition Government’s commitment to support the region and better understand its ongoing requirements, Mr Mitchell says.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity
    New Zealand has joined the UK and other partners in condemning malicious cyber activity conducted by the Russian Government, Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau Judith Collins says. The statement follows the UK’s attribution today of malicious cyber activity impacting its domestic democratic institutions and processes, as well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Disestablishment of Te Pūkenga begins
    The Government has begun the process of disestablishing Te Pūkenga as part of its 100-day plan, Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Penny Simmonds says.  “I have started putting that plan into action and have met with the chair and chief Executive of Te Pūkenga to advise them of my ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend COP28 in Dubai
    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will be leaving for Dubai today to attend COP28, the 28th annual UN climate summit, this week. Simon Watts says he will push for accelerated action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, deliver New Zealand’s national statement and connect with partner countries, private sector leaders ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to host 2024 Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins yesterday announced New Zealand will host next year’s South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting (SPDMM). “Having just returned from this year’s meeting in Nouméa, I witnessed first-hand the value of meeting with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security and defence matters. I welcome the opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Study shows need to remove distractions in class
    The Government is committed to lifting school achievement in the basics and that starts with removing distractions so young people can focus on their learning, Education Minister Erica Stanford says.   The 2022 PISA results released this week found that Kiwi kids ranked 5th in the world for being distracted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister sets expectations of Commissioner
    Today I met with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster to set out my expectations, which he has agreed to, says Police Minister Mark Mitchell. Under section 16(1) of the Policing Act 2008, the Minister can expect the Police Commissioner to deliver on the Government’s direction and priorities, as now outlined in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a strong and stable ETS
    New Zealand needs a strong and stable Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that is well placed for the future, after emission units failed to sell for the fourth and final auction of the year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says.  At today’s auction, 15 million New Zealand units (NZUs) – each ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PISA results show urgent need to teach the basics
    With 2022 PISA results showing a decline in achievement, Education Minister Erica Stanford is confident that the Coalition Government’s 100-day plan for education will improve outcomes for Kiwi kids.  The 2022 PISA results show a significant decline in the performance of 15-year-old students in maths compared to 2018 and confirms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Collins leaves for Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins today departed for New Caledonia to attend the 8th annual South Pacific Defence Ministers’ meeting (SPDMM). “This meeting is an excellent opportunity to meet face-to-face with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security matters and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Pacific,” Judith Collins says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Working for Families gets cost of living boost
    Putting more money in the pockets of hard-working families is a priority of this Coalition Government, starting with an increase to Working for Families, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “We are starting our 100-day plan with a laser focus on bringing down the cost of living, because that is what ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Post-Cabinet press conference
    Most weeks, following Cabinet, the Prime Minister holds a press conference for members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. This page contains the transcripts from those press conferences, which are supplied by Hansard to the Office of the Prime Minister. It is important to note that the transcripts have not been edited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme scrapped
    The Government has axed the $16 billion Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme championed by the previous government, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “This hugely wasteful project was pouring money down the drain at a time when we need to be reining in spending and focussing on rebuilding the economy and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ welcomes further pause in fighting in Gaza
    New Zealand welcomes the further one-day extension of the pause in fighting, which will allow the delivery of more urgently-needed humanitarian aid into Gaza and the release of more hostages, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said. “The human cost of the conflict is horrific, and New Zealand wants to see the violence ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Condolences on passing of Henry Kissinger
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today expressed on behalf of the New Zealand Government his condolences to the family of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has passed away at the age of 100 at his home in Connecticut. “While opinions on his legacy are varied, Secretary Kissinger was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Backing our kids to learn the basics
    Every child deserves a world-leading education, and the Coalition Government is making that a priority as part of its 100-day plan. Education Minister Erica Stanford says that will start with banning cellphone use at school and ensuring all primary students spend one hour on reading, writing, and maths each day. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • US Business Summit Speech – Regional stability through trade
    I would like to begin by echoing the Prime Minister’s thanks to the organisers of this Summit, Fran O’Sullivan and the Auckland Business Chamber.  I want to also acknowledge the many leading exporters, sector representatives, diplomats, and other leaders we have joining us in the room. In particular, I would like ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keynote Address to the United States Business Summit, Auckland
    Good morning. Thank you, Rosemary, for your warm introduction, and to Fran and Simon for this opportunity to make some brief comments about New Zealand’s relationship with the United States.  This is also a chance to acknowledge my colleague, Minister for Trade Todd McClay, Ambassador Tom Udall, Secretary of Foreign ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • India New Zealand Business Council Speech, India as a Strategic Priority
    Good morning, tēnā koutou and namaskar. Many thanks, Michael, for your warm welcome. I would like to acknowledge the work of the India New Zealand Business Council in facilitating today’s event and for the Council’s broader work in supporting a coordinated approach for lifting New Zealand-India relations. I want to also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Coalition Government unveils 100-day plan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has laid out the Coalition Government’s plan for its first 100 days from today. “The last few years have been incredibly tough for so many New Zealanders. People have put their trust in National, ACT and NZ First to steer them towards a better, more prosperous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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