GUEST BLOG: Kevin Hester – Termination of my membership in the Green party of Aotearoa

By   /   December 14, 2015  /   62 Comments

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I find it very telling that leading climate scientist James E Hansen can refer to COP 21 as a ’ Fraud’ and James Shaw describe it as a historic achievement, wtf, cognitive dissonance or denial?

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Dear Madam / Sir,
        I respectively wish to have my Green Party membership terminated forthwith in light of what I believe to be the ‘Greens’ abject  failure to face up to the dire consequences of abrupt climate change and their complicity in the incineration of the bio-sphere.

I have been having major issues with the party policy of sugar coating the severity of this planetary emergency but the tipping point for me was yesterday’s pronouncement by James Shaw that the signing of the agreement at Cop21  was a positive achievement . It was patently nothing of the sort. The agreement has achieved no substantive commitments to reduce emissions with nothing being obligatory. As in Copenhagen the can has been kicked down the road and further over the cliff.
Cop 21 has  effectively produced an agreement to emit more not less with near total disregard for tipping points like the melting permafrost, methane clathrates discharges from the ocean floor and numerous others .

These and many other pertinent issues are detailed here; and here;

I find it very telling that leading climate scientist James E Hansen can refer to COP 21 as a ’ Fraud’ and James Shaw describe it as a historic achievement, wtf, cognitive dissonance or denial? Whose side is James Shaw on, the environments and all the species that live within it  or “ The Dominant Culture” as my friend Professor Guy McPherson ( guymcpherson.com ) refers to the economic and financial system that is incinerating the bio-sphere, where we humans  live as a predatory part of.

This dereliction of duty is unforgivable from a party supposedly environmentally conscious. Supporting the agreement in any way is the same as  leading the populace that trusts the party,  sleepwalking to extinction.

Recently alongside  Robin Westenra who blogs at Seemorerocks, robinwestenrablogspot.co.nz  , I interviewed Dr Jim Salinger NZ’s leading climate change scientist who had previously conceded, in answer to a question from myself, that we are now in abrupt climate change, combine this with the 50 plus positive reinforcing feedback loops detailed in Professor McPhersons monster climate change essay and we are well down the path of abrupt, runaway climate change.
Jim Salinger interview here;

Professor McPherson’s monster climate change essay can be found here;

Yesterday was a sad day in the history of this planet with an effective death sentence being passed on most species, including ours  and the entire  biosphere. Today is a sad day for me personally with me giving up on the Green Party of Aotearoa but I cannot support a party that is wilfully in dereliction of it’s duty for what I believe is political expediency .
Being the best of a bad bunch is not acceptable, lying to the parties supporters and the “ youth of today” is unforgiveable.
Sadly
Yours faithfully
Kevin Hester

Former Green Party Member

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62 Comments

  1. Stuart Munro says:

    I’m afraid Shaw doesn’t do it for me at all.

    • mary_a says:

      Ditto here as well Stuart!

      After many years of being a strong committed Green supporter, I’m now having second thoughts about where my next vote will go. Thanks to James Shaw, who I put in the same category as FJK. Both deceptive traitors.

      After Shaw’s recent activities, I’m seriously looking at Mana to support.

    • thekiwisonfire says:

      Anyone who heralds this ‘COP 21 deal’ as a great achievement (rather than just a small step), fails to realize that even a 2-3% rise would be disastrous, and that these vague and non-binding targets will not stop climate change.

      But this is politics, and most politicians won’t move a finger till it is too late or the damage becomes clear*, and they are held responsible for their inaction over climate change.

      Anyone remember the Ozone Hole issue, as decades later there are still a large number of deniers, who claim CFC’s were never a problem, and that it was a ‘left wing conspiracy’.

      *’It’s too expensive’, ‘it will hurt economic growth’, ‘not with my money’ are all poor excuses for not doing enough, when it is future generations that will suffer for it.

  2. Markm says:

    After reading this It thought you’ll be leaving for another planet quick smart.
    But I then realised your already there

  3. Robert Atack says:

    The last time the environment went from about 280 ppm CO2 to 400 ppm CO2 it took something like 10,000 years, during that 10,000 year transition, most of life would have gone extinct. The oceans would have been stagnant dead zones, there would have been at least 60% less oxygen in the atmosphere, the oceans would be something like 26 meters higher, and the global average would have been 6 degrees above the 1880 yard stick ‘we’ use as start to our end.
    CH4 which some say is 150 times stronger a Green House Gas than CO2 has risen from an 800,000 year average of point 7 ppm to nearly 2.ppm in the last 30 years, and is currently growing exponentially. There is something like 50 million years worth trapped under the fast melting sub sea ice and tundra, there could be the equivalent of over 80 times more CO2 worth of CH4 than humans have emitted in the last 200 years, with a 50 giggaton burst ‘any day now’ being predicted for over 14 months, tick tick on that one … 50 GT is equal to about 2 times the amount we have added to the environment.
    Reducing emissions now will not be felt until after the affect of the current atmospheric loading has passed, and is in decline. CO2 hangs around the atmosphere for about 1,000 years .
    The Cop21 goal now of staying below +1.5c is admitting we have failed.
    The only way we could have avoided +6 is if we had stayed below +.5 … ops.
    The Paris agreement could be likened to asking the passengers in steerage on the Titanic to sign an agreement agreeing to no pushing.

  4. Robert Atack says:

    The last time the environment went from about 280 ppm CO2 to 400 ppm CO2 it took something like 10,000 years, during that 10,000 year transition, most of life would have gone extinct. The oceans would have been stagnant dead zones, there would have been at least 60% less oxygen in the atmosphere, the oceans would be something like 26 meters higher, and the global average would have been 6 degrees above the 1880 yard stick ‘we’ use as start to our end.
    CH4 which some say is 150 times stronger a Green House Gas than CO2 has risen from an 800,000 year average of point 7 ppm to nearly 2.ppm in the last 30 years, and is currently growing exponentially. There is something like 50 million years worth trapped under the fast melting sub sea ice and tundra, there could be the equivalent of over 80 times more CO2 worth of CH4 than humans have emitted in the last 200 years, with a 50 giggaton burst ‘any day now’ being predicted for over 14 months, tick tick on that one … 50 GT is equal to about 2 times the amount we have added to the environment.
    Reducing emissions now will not be felt until after the affect of the current atmospheric loading has passed, and is in decline. CO2 hangs around the atmosphere for about 1,000 years .
    The Cop21 goal now of staying below +1.5c is admitting we have failed.
    The only way we could have avoided +6 is if we had stayed below +.5 … ops.
    The Paris agreement could be likened to asking the passengers in steerage on the Titanic to sign an agreement agreeing to no pushing……

  5. esoteric pineapples says:

    Did you really expect all the world’s governments to come up with a binding agreement to immediately cut greenhouse gas emmissions forthwith, and because they didn’t it is the Green Party that must bear the brunt of your anger?

    I’m a member of the Green Party and a dyed in the wool cynic about these sorts of matters. I’m surprised things got as far as they did. Basically we are going to have to protest etc for the rest of our lives to save this planet. That’s the reality. Better get used to it and start kicking the arses of the people who are in power instead of the Greens who are doing the best they can.

    • gsays says:

      hi ep,
      the failure in the green party, is the illusion that we can keep ‘growing’, although be nicer to the animals/environment/poor.

      what i think robert and james are saying is that we need to change radically, now.
      anything that will help out is not going to get you elected.
      by this i mean a damn near stone age lifestyle, in small communities- the end of cities, processed food,real harmony with the earth.
      no amount of electric cars, tofu, or solar arrays is going to help.

      nandor, when he left the greens, said he could be far more effective out of parliament than in it.

  6. Paul says:

    Shaw is a sell out.

    • phillip ure says:

      that’s a bit harsh/rich there..paul..

      ..especially since..going by my observations..shaw is the most effective opposition politician in questiontime in parliament..

      ..and now that cunnliffe has been silenced/banished/reviled..he is first by a country-mile..

      ..and with metiria rurei not far behind..

      ..then it’s a long way back to anyone from labour..

      ..and as many of his questions make the government uncomfortable..i see little sign of any ‘sell-out’..(i’ll keep you posted..if that changes..)

      ..and i can understand the excitement from shaw/genter and those there in paris..

      ..’cos the seachange is not just in that govt to govt agreement..

      ..but by/from the energising/validating of the ngo’s etc present/who have been battling on these issues for so long..and for all that time seeming to gain no real traction..

      ..that has now all changed..

      ..and the tidal wave of dirty energy to clean energy will be unstoppable/unarguable..

      ..these are all reasons to be cheerful about paris..

  7. BR says:

    Hear Hear !
    Another party ( like Labour ) choosing political expediency over core beliefs .

    Looks like it’s Mana for us .

  8. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Too little too late. Always too little too late.

  9. Kevin Hester says:

    I did not abandon ship lightly but I know this one is sinking and even our so called ‘trusted’ leaders are asleep at the wheel in the blinding headlights of abrupt climate change.
    Question everything including what ever political party your inclined to support. Never give unconditional suppor.t
    “Action is the antidote to despair “. Edward Abbey.

    • Steve says:

      Kevin, I’m curious as to why you never mention Putin in your criticism of world leaders. As the head of a petro-state and a climate change denier, shouldn’t he be getting his due share of the blame?

  10. M Harvey says:

    Sure, I agree that we should not be congratulatory over it, and this Paris agreement is a farse, but out of all the parties in parliament (and not in parliament) the Greens’ policy for dealing with climate change is so far the most effective. It’s not perfect but no other parties have thought about it as much. And, one can’t have an influence on them if outside the party. In my view this public statement plays into the hands of those who simply don’t get the Greens and those that rely on conspiracy theories, as well as some who are so purist in their ideals that nothing will ever do who are simply too bloody minded to work with others to achieve common good. Do have a read of Metiria’s publicity release today, it lays out that Key et al is green washing. It’s not perfect and fails to address the scam that is carbon trading – the the Green party is against carbon trading. It’s no coincidence that Mana and the Internet party have borrowed the Green party’s climate change policy and have said at the last election that they follow the Greens on it. To me it’s a backward step to take it out on those who are genuinely trying to do something about it all, rather than work with them to become even better.
    I wish you well Kevin and to me its a sad thing to feel the need to hang this out on the line and not korero with members in the party to see how this can be improved. It’s especially sad because Bradbury here usually shows that he fails to understand the Green party, its workings and philosophies and appears to always be looking for an opportunity to have a go at them, as though he has some kind of grudge against them. As though he’s the left’s equivalent to Wale Oil – not to be trusted.) The Greens smile too much for him I suspect. (Sure, people may not rate my response high but please do look at this beyond having dig at the Greens – it’s not their fault we are in this mess and they are also trying to get us out of it – work with them, not against them – we waste way too much time having a go at each other than showing we can work together to beat National).

    • It’s especially sad because Bradbury here usually shows that he fails to understand the Green party, its workings and philosophies and appears to always be looking for an opportunity to have a go at them, as though he has some kind of grudge against them. As though he’s the left’s equivalent to Wale Oil

      Not only is that statement wildly unfair and inaccurate, but it minimises the really vile stuff that Slater has published over the last few years. When you can point to ‘Bomber’ making disgusting remarks about a “feral deserving to die”, then you can be entitled to make your comparison.

      Until then, you let yourself down, and undermine any position you espouse.

      • Harry F says:

        90% of the assumptions Bradbury has made here about the Greens has been entirely based on belief and not fact – they have been misjudgments and appear very biased against them. It’s as though he sees them through a smoke screen. Do have a look at his past comments on the Greens and do research the situations he focusses on very carefully. There has been very little truth in his opinions on them. He clearly does not like them, no matter what, and that’s very obvious, and very dangerous in terms of his influence and how we get to form a new government across our progressive parties.

  11. Harry F says:

    Kevin is simply over reacting here. The problem is not at all the Greens. The problem is John Key using this agreement to justify his continued exploitation. The only thing positive out of Paris was there was 100% agreement, nothing more. It is a scam. The Greens are the only ones in politics with policies that will fix this in Aotearoa. Give it up Kevin and Martin.

    • Robert Atack says:

      The Greens are the only ones in politics with policies that will fix this in Aotearoa.
      It was the green party that supported Kiwi Saver, making every investor a voter for growth.
      You will not vote against growth, if you are investing in it.
      Kiwi Saver is growth based, it needs positive CO2 producing expansion of this system, paying into KS is buying shares in you own death.
      Kiwi Saver = CO2

      • Harry F says:

        The Green party did not start Kiwisaver – that was actually Labour with the Progressives. The Green party was against using the sharemarket for Kiwisaver. They are not anti Kiwisaver as a saving scheme apart from that.

        • Robert Atack says:

          ………………….supported Kiwi Saver………………..
          Regardless of everything — Kiwi Saver = CO fucking 2
          You can not grow money without generating CO2.
          What do you not understand?
          Every dollar is connected to every other dollar, the nice little green dollar, invested in save the planet crap, is the brother of the dollar that is paying for the bullets and bombs.
          But keep voting Green you deserve them

  12. Dave Kennedy says:

    Given the expectations people had for Paris, what was achieved was beyond what was expected. Is it enough?…certainly not, but at least we can recognize the progress.

    Rather than attacking Shaw for recognising progress in the right direction that was never dreamed possible a few years ago, why not shift your anger to Key who wants to continue business as usual with fossil fuel extraction.

    The Greens are still the main party pushing National to do the right thing regarding climate change, resign your membership and where do you go? Talk about chucking out the baby…

    https://www.greens.org.nz/news/press-release/national%E2%80%99s-two-faced-approach-climate-talks

    • John W says:

      James has left some with the impression that as Greens leader he is happy with the COP21 outcome. His words in the short summary are pretty plain.

      Cop21 was a failure in laying down an effective planned mitigation path. Perhaps if James had made this plainer in his lead statements then the matter would be viewed differently to what his position is seen as now.

      Is he a corporate lackey. We have enough of them already in NZ politics. Is he sitting on the fence. One leg either side.

      If we are attempting to organise a credible leadership for fighting the Investor state criminal acceleration of global destruction, then fence sitting when representing Greens won’t do it and just captures support for action and immobilised that support.

      A loud message to James and others must show no tolerance of climate / equity action being ameliorated to comfort dominant corporate power.

  13. I don’t have much of a public voice but I too have folded my green tent and slipped away into the night, about the same time that Paul Kingsnorth walked away. I have more productive and satisfying ways to spend my time than trying to ring a bell by pushing on the rope.

    I have long since concluded that “the world” may not actually need saving, and that such a framing says more about ourselves than the world. The language of healing may be more useful – more altruistic and less egoistical – than the language of salvation. None of us are saviours, but we can all be healers, each in our own way.

    Start where you are; use what you have; do what you can. Destiny will take care of itself.

  14. Sam Sam says:

    I don’t think Kevin is overreacting at all. We are in a time when good climate action can not be compromised by bad climate action. It’s limit temp rise to 1.5 degrees and an independent agency that reports on mission reductions (so we no who to fine the shit out off)

    Forget billions. We need to start thinking in tens of trillions.

  15. countryboy says:

    What can any party do really ? We’re all in deep shit. We all over-consume, we all live beyond the ability of the planet to sustain us, we all buy unnecessary shit because it feels nice to do so, otherwise ? No computers to write and communicate on. If you want to augment change, then change yourselves first.
    Buy second hand whenever possible, learn to repair rather than discard only to buy another , new thing. Learn how to do your own home maintenance and grow as much of your own food as possible. All that is do-able. The reason we don’t do that is because the banks have us all by the throats.
    The fact that we can no longer buy materials and have a go at building our own homes is, in my view , a form of imprisonment. We’ve all become imprisoned within invisible walls of conformity foisted upon us by the banks. The banks tell us when to consume, how to consume and we must all work harder in jobs that’er 99% pointless in order to continue consuming at an ever accelerating rate. You never, ever see a bank advocating conservative consumerism for the sake of the planet. Quite the opposite in fact. The banks would torch the planet then go and live on Mars rather than let anything, including the health of the Earth, get in the way of them turning a profit.
    What might things be like if we boycotted the banks like we do TV 3 ?
    To reduce so called green house gas emissions means we must immediately stop being dependant upon ( consuming ) fossil fuels and plastics. That’s a ridiculous expectation and impossible to implement unless there are alternatives in place first. Electric cars for instance are a great idea but how do we generate electricity ? Nuclear ? That’s the only readily available alternative. How do we make plastics without first refining oil? Not easily that’s for sure.
    We Kiwis can’t even get rid of a jonky and renationalise our hydro ( Zero emissions once the dams are built ) electricity so how the fuck are we going to make politicians make better use of our tax money to save the planet? We’re all living in La La Land and will continue to do so until we expire and become extinct.
    In the mean time ? Lets party?

  16. michal says:

    Esoteric, Harvey and Harry you seem to have missed the point. This is what Kevin Hester has said “leading climate scientist James E Hansen can refer to COP 21 as a ’ Fraud’ and James Shaw describe it as a historic achievement”

    James Shaw has in effect said congratulations. That is the real point!

    I too am a member of the Greens and Shaw should have been damming about this not saying congratuations.

  17. phillip ure phillip ure says:

    that’s ok..the greens can have a bit of a chat about this..at their next bbq…

    the greens:..putting the ‘mental’ into ‘incremental’..

  18. Robin Westenra says:

    It all comes down to principle.

    Some people are saying that the Greens are “doing” more than anyone else about climate change than anyone else and therefore should be supported, it’s better “to be inside the tent”

    I would like to challenge that. It smacks of political opportunism.

    The truth is the Greens haven’t “done” anything about climate change because with 400 ppm CO2 (490 ppm of all greenhouse gases) and numerous positive feedbacks (unless one starts talking of dangerous fantasies like geoengineering) there is NOTHING TO BE DONE.

    What the Green Party could do, with its relatively better grasp of the science, is to tell the public the truth about how serious the situation and that scliamte scientist, James Hansen points out, the COP21 agreement is a fraud.

    But this would cost votes,

    So the Party decides to lie to the public (as well as to themselves) and offer the fiction of a “historic agreement”

    Who is worse?- the sociopaths who are actively taking us down the road to destruction, or the people who know the truth and choose to lie about it.

    For me that question is moot.

    • Dave Kennedy says:

      Robin, actually the most useful thing that the Green Party can do in Opposition is do what they have always done. I remember running a Climate Symposium in Invercargill to support a national tour that Russel and Jeanette undertook 8 years ago to educate people on the realities of climate change. I remember Kennedy Graham shocking National by accusing them of ecocide during a speech in the house because of their disregard of climate change.

      The Green Party has organised Parliamentary conferences on climate change over past years and has currently been running a national campaign on climate change and I was up in out ski fields handing out postcards this Winter in support of that. Across the country we have had a campaign of door knocking and petition signing in support of the marches and requesting greater Government action.

      Our Carbon tax policy during the last election gained a lot of support for its practical and economically sensible approach.

      We have also been the strongest critics of the Government during and since Paris.

      What many commenters here don’t understand is the importance of hope. Yes, we can preach a message of doom and gloom and the reality of what is actually happening, but what we don’t want is to discourage people and cause many to give up. People will only get behind an campaign if they believe it is possible and real outcomes can be achieved. If the only message that came out of Paris was that it was a total failure and we are all doomed, what would be the result?

      Paris wasn’t the best possible outcome but it was far better than most expected. Please let us celebrate the small victories so that we can scaffold from there to more substantial ones and please don’t diminish the hard work of the Greens regarding climate change over many years.

      Also our past leader Jeanette Fitzsimons and many other Greens were responsible for hosting James Hansen for a tour of New Zealand a few years ago and I heard him in Gore when we were in the middle of a battle against the proposed lignite mining. It was a pivotal meeting in terms of shifting local understanding.

      This post and much of the discussion is wasted energy because the enemy isn’t James and it is under James’ leadership that we are more likely to get buy in from many businesses to cut their carbon emissions. We do need to be aware of the realities but we also need to be pragmatic about how we achieve change.

      • Robert Atack says:

        Dave
        Please tell me what to tell an 18 year old, who has just started work, and is looking at opening a Kiwi Saver account, She is thinking about retiring in 47 years, and is concerned about the global financial situation, and of coarse climate change and peak energy/food etc.
        So what should I tell this young person on the minimum wage?
        That she should give a % of her hard earned pittance to the global bankers?
        So yeah waiting your suggestions.

      • Robert Atack says:

        Dave
        Please tell me what to tell an 18 year old, who has just started work, and is looking at opening a Kiwi Saver account, She is thinking about retiring in 47 years, and is concerned about the global financial situation, and of coarse climate change and peak energy/food etc.
        So what should I tell this young person on the minimum wage?
        That she should give a % of her hard earned pittance to the global bankers?
        So yeah waiting your suggestions. ………….?????????????

        • Sam Sam says:

          You should be saying, invest your own money, save it, buy your own infrastructure for cash.

          Point to the last 30 years of neoliberal retirement funds, the failure that is, that they only give 2-5 years income after retirement, which isn’t enough to live on, especially for a generation that will live longer than the last.

          Super funds are a complete fraud

    • Afewknowthetruth says:

      CO2 403ppm

      CH4 2×85 (forcing factor for CH4 relative to CO2 over 20 years) = 170 CO2e

      So without even considering N2O or any of the other greenhouse gases we are already at over 570ppm CO2e for time frames that matter.

      And if we take the short-term forcing factor for methane of around 150 we are already at over 700ppm equivalent……which one of many reasons why planetary meltdown is accelerating.

      You won’t hear about any of that from the Greens, of course.

  19. M Harvey says:

    I don’t disagree that James has sounded a little too congratulatory but this is such an over-beat up on this. I have suggested within party ranks (as a Green member) that we deal with this more honestly and keep it real and in line with our policies in future and a little less PR like. The Greens have a constructive process for self-development, and it makes a difference when it’s from within the party, because they are so consensus focussed. I suggest you do the same rather than only drag it out in front of some of those who would find any opportunity to put the knife into the party (for the sake of doing it, and little depth of rationale).

  20. Andrewo says:

    You know you’re a complete fraud when, by comparison, Hansen (the crooked hockey stick salesman) is being held up as a pillar of integrity!

    Too funny!

  21. Daniel Rogers says:

    To publicly denounce the only party determined enough to have been fighting so hard is disgusting.

    No, Shaw didn’t change the world in Paris but nor could any one person have. As party co-leader it is his responsibility to maintain commitment, dedication, drive and hope for the party. Hope is the key word for all those people who are doing all they can to change what they can.

    I question your understanding of sell out.

    Sure resign from the party but to broadcast it so publicly is a slap in the face of all other members committed to doing as much as we can for the future of the planet and the betterment of humanity. Because you decide its not working for you you believe you can damage the party for everyone else?

    A disgusting display of ego.

  22. John Hutcheson says:

    Well Kev, this is the kind of principled stand that will get you noticed by Mana, have a little chat with some of us and let’s see if we can work something out.

    What ever you do, stand strong in your principles, survivability on this planet is literally at stake.

    In any case good luck and good fortunes.

  23. Dean says:

    Man made climate change is a myth. When you consider that it was possible to walk from the south island to the north island less than 1300 years ago because sea levels were lower then. I do not argue the benefit of clean air and electric cars however.

  24. Peter says:

    I am a green member and while I understand the view point of Mr Hester, I think his anger and frustration is slightly mis placed. The greens are not in a position of power to effect change, voting shows that the majority of voting New Zealanders don’t rate the climate and environment as big an issue as the short term stability of the economy. the national party is on message with the PR spin on this topic so they hold the reins. The left is split between too many smaller parties to get a grip on the power. The real anger lies with the science community that has been on message since the 1970’s when we still had time to make the changes necessary to save our planet, but have been side lined, ridiculed and ignored. So James Shaw acknowledged that an accord was signed, thats it. The fact is it is too late to save the planet, big government is instead investing in war, the ultimate distraction when things are going from bad to worse, just look at the increase in investment into the arms industry world wide this year, eye watering amounts of money that could have gone a long way towards effective change in social behaviour and climate exploitation. National and Labour have been pathetic, the Greens marginalised, the rest ineffective. I shall never forgive Davis and labour for knocking Hone out, I shall never forgive labour for bringing us Neo liberalism, I shall never forgive National for their complicit dishonesty and for bringing us celebrity politics in the form of John Key.

  25. Stef says:

    I’d like to know when the last time 196 countries agreed on anything, let alone a plan to solve a major international issue. It is a major achievement and Hester needs to get in in perspective. Yes there is still a long way to go and James Shaw has acknowledged this. Many of us in the Greens and other groups have fought extremely hard to pressure this oil-focussed government to even take climate change as a serious thing and then to take action. They haven’t taken action yet and it’s up to us to make sure it happens. That’s part of being a citizen and having a democracy. So rather than complain about the people who are in a position to do that work and have been doing it, maybe the detractors need to start thinking about what they are going to do. We’re all in it.

  26. Andrewo says:

    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

    H. L. Mencken

    • Richard Christie says:

      Wrong thread.
      Dishonset John’s love of Five Eyes, dog whistling, the GCSB and surveillence threads appear elsewhere on the blog.

  27. Blake says:

    Gee — there is so much hate and anger going on here about the Greens and one person who may not be perfect so are these good reasons to throw the baby out with the bath water ? So many negative ticks going on now that I am wondering how many wrong assumptions and hateful judgments are being made to discredit anything that maybe good going on. These Nats-zi idiots who continue to support the lying PM show such psychopathic madness and greed. They are owned and dictated to by these mega-corporations and the payoffs they get. So of course they want to annihilate Labour and the Greens and anyone else getting in their way. Don’t be mis-led by their propaganda and attempts at brain-washing. They want to confuse the public with their BS and with their mumbo jumbo / fuzzy logic about their illusional rock star economy etc. . . . . .
    The Greens are not all bad, far from it. Just because one or two are questionable and need to be focused on, does not give us warrant or license to throw out all the good work that the Greens have done. Write to the Greens and speak out your concerns and questions instead of slinging mud.

    We need to not be manipulated and brainwashed by these pro Nats-zi trolls who want to kill anything good and anything that is NOT ! pro-Natz.
    WE NEED POSITIVE IDEAS AND PLANS AND TO BE IMPECCABLE WITH OUR WORDS. WE NEED TO NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS AND TO GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DESERVED. TOO MUCH HATE AND ANGER GOING ON HERE AND I HOPE FOR A MORE POSITIVE AND PROBLEM SOLVING 2016.

    There is enough money to feed and house us all and bring justice and fairness to the world if it were managed properly with sound economics and people in charge with their heads on straight. Consider listening more to the likes of Naomi Klein; Max Keiser; Rosa Koire; Bernie Sanders and Ken O’Keefe – etc.

  28. Barry Coates says:

    Hi Kevin, I’ve got a lot of respect for your passion on alerting people to the extreme dangers of climate change and the serious risks we face. But I don’t agree with the attack on James Shaw and the Green Party.

    I was in Paris and I don’t think that governments were serious enough about the changes that have to be made. But given the starting point and the lousy pledges the agreement was better than expected. It responded to the alarm expressed by Pacific island nations and other vulnerable countries – it got 1.5 degrees in there as a global goal, and agree a loss and damage mechanism in principle are both important. Sure it wasn’t enough, but that was never going to happen.

    The problem is governments like ours. The NZ government was shameful and spend most of their time either opposing progressive policy or looking for loopholes like carbon trading. We need to change this lousy government and tehn we can get some action to reduce emissions.

    So I’d say spend your time on fighting against the government and its useless policy instead of the Greens. They/we are the only political party that has a record of consistently raising climate change as a key issue to the public, backed up with a policy on renewable energy, transport, forests, agriculture etc as well as climate change. Attack your real enemies, not your friends.

    • Kevin Hester says:

      Kia ora Barry, It is not and was not an attack on James Shaw. It was his poor representation of the agreement as a victory of sorts and the fact that he didn’t qualify it properly.
      James and I have had a very positive email exchange since and he accepts some of my criticisms.
      Creating a debate about the Greens approach was the purpose of the blog, that objective has to a degree been achieved.
      The Greens need vastly better P.R. advice.
      K

  29. saveNZ says:

    Although I am also a bit disappointed with the Greens, they still overall have the best policies to curb climate change and a whole lot of other problems in NZ like privatisation, low wages, TPP, mass surveillance, social justice etc. They consistently have the right policy.

    Maybe they could do better at explaining policy or motivating people to vote, but overall, lets face it, there are big problems with the opposition in the country and the Natz are ruining this country unhindered, as we speak.

    The Greens are a much lesser part of the problem.

    The worst thing is to not vote at all or vote for someone worse.

  30. John O'Connor says:

    Is it true that we are heading for a “Maunder Minimum” mini “Ice-age” at about 2021? If it is I need to sell my Southland dairy-farm shares and it is not a good time to sell right now as dairy prices are so low. The increase in temperature of half a degree or so up to 2012 helped make Southland good for dairying and a decrease is going to make it unprofitable for dairying …maybe any farming. Climate change is risky all around.

    • Kevin Hester says:

      No it’s not John, we are heading for a melt down and their won’t be another ice-age on this planet if ever for millions of years.

      • phillip ure says:

        kevin..

        is it a presumption too far to assume you don’t eat animals..?

        ..’cos if you do ..eat animals..your finger-pointing and jumping up and down should be being done in front of a mirror..

        ..eh..?

        • Sam Sam says:

          Yes it is a presumption to far. Don’t be afraid of death, we’ve been eating meat since the beginning.

          • phillip ure says:

            ‘Don’t be afraid of death’..

            unsure of how my reasoning as to why we shouldn’t really be torturing/killing/eating defenceless animals..(especially so if we preach ‘green’/’caring’)..

            ..unsure how this translates to a ‘fear of death’..

            (and)..’we’ve been eating meat since the beginning.’

            without banging on about digestive-tracts/teeth/cultures that don’t eat animals etc..etc..i would just note that lots of things we did ‘since the beginning’ we no longer do..and with good reason..(do i really need to list them..?..)

            ..so such an argument as a foundation-pillar of yr attempted rebuttal..it kinda fails just on just those grounds..eh..?

  31. David Korn says:

    I know Kevin Hester. Quite well. From as far off as my very overrated country, the USA, its hard to judge or know the details. At age 57, I have seen it all. But I know this much. This is a loss to the Green Party. Don’t know what happened. But I trust Kevin, know him well, and believe in him. The earth is in very, very serious trouble and words cannot save us now.

  32. Kevin Hester says:

    Here is the email from James Shaw and my reply and the coverage of this issue on Extinction Radio
    From: James Shaw [mailto:James.Shaw@parliament.govt.nz]
    Sent: Friday, 18 December 2015 2:18 a.m.
    To: kevin@iconicproperties.co.nz
    Subject: RE: Termination of my membership in the Green party of Aotearoa.

    Dear Kevin,

    We are sorry you decided to leave the party and that you so strongly disagree with my comments that the signing of an agreement at COP21 was a positive achievement.

    By signing up to the Paris Agreement goal limiting global warming to 1.5oC, which wasn’t even an option before COP21 started, countries are now obliged to start taking action consistent with that goal.

    We’ve also been very critical of the National Government in the last few days. Their comments that the Agreement means that nothing more is required of New Zealand is clearly wrong, as our own domestic policy settings are the equivalent of a 3.5-3.8oC temperature rise.

    My view is that it is an enormous achievement to get 196 countries to agree on anything (the first time it’s been done since the founding of the UN, with the possible exception of the Montreal Protocol) and that it is better to have an agreement to act on climate change than to continue not to have one. The result would have been far, far worse, had we not come to the Paris Agreement (estimates suggest that, absent the Paris Agreement, we would be on track for a 4.5-5.5o C temperature increase).

    It is a very weak agreement – as any agreement would be that had to include the states that currently rely on fossil fuels for their income – but we have to make it work. It is our only hope.

    The Agreement itself will be reviewed every five years, with an initial assessment of the science and the policy settings needed to maintain 1.5o C in 2018 by the IPCC. This is the all-important ‘ratchet mechanism’ for tightening the screws over time. Will it be enough, or fast enough, to save Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and others? I hope so. That’s why I used the quotation of Churchill’s that, “this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

    After 21 years of negotiations to get a global agreement, we have one but we are well aware that the harder work starts now.

    Once again we’re sorry to see you leave, but we wish you all the best. And you’d be welcome back anytime.

    Warm regards,
    James

    James Shaw MP, Co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand
    14.14 Bowen House, Parliament Buildings, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand
    +64 4 817 6769 | james.shaw@parliament.govt.nz | greens.org.nz

    Authorised by James Shaw, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

    Hi James, thanks for taking the time to address my leaving the party.
    I’d like to make it clear that this was not a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction taken in the heat of the moment of the Cop (out) 21 agreement being signed.
    I have been considering this decision for a very long time and the ‘tipping point’ for me was the fact that you didn’t adequately qualify how bad and terminal for most complex life-forms on this planet the ‘agreement’ is. I was shocked how ill prepared your press statement sounded and that it completely understated the severity of our predicament and how little the agreement will contribute to slowing down this disaster, in fact it will have little or no positive effect and more critical time will be lost.
    After Copenhagen and Kyoto’s abject failure it was recognised that having some kind of agreement was imperative in Paris. That has been achieved but effectively it is an agreement for mostly business as usual with non- binding emission reductions and little or no consideration for the fact that we are now in a time of abrupt climate change and we will witness an exponential, non-linear unravelling of our biosphere.
    I accept having 1.5 C as an aspiration included was a huge victory but it is in fact little more than a feel good factor when our trajectory is towards and beyond the IPCC worst case scenario of 6C when you factor in the exponential nature of where we are now, the ten to forty year lag in cause and effect and the unleashing of numerous tipping points. I note you said in your email to me “countries are now obliged to start taking action consistent with that goal.”, they aren’t obliged to anything, encouraged yes, obliged no.
    There are thousands of fires currently burning in Indonesia that are emitting more carbon than the USA, it is the equivalent of having a new # 2 emitter appear on the planet out of the blue, this is what we can expect going forward with the next major ‘cab off the rank’ being the exponential increase in discharge of methane from the permafrost and the ocean clathrates. I note that the eco-terrorist John Key has approved deep sea drilling in regions that have proven methane deposits that are already discharging, the cognitive dissonance shown is stupefying ! In the PETM extinction event this heated the planet up 5C in a mere 13 years, scientists previously thought this had taken thousands of years. We could conceivably be in a parallel window to that now . The consequences of that will be the extinction of most if not all complex life-forms and the meltdowns of 438 nuclear power stations and 1000 spent fuel pool fires which incidentally will be far worse than the melt downs! If your reaction to that scenario is that it sounds alarmist please remember the reactionary Winston Churchill was considered an alarmist in 1937 and 8 brutal years later over 50 million people were dead.
    I recently interviewed Dr Jim Salinger who conceded in a public meeting I attended in Hamilton that we are in abrupt climate change. Jim is a wonderful guy but his conclusions are very conservative in line with his profession and he admitted to being hopeful when there is zero visible reason and under the precautionary principle we should all be preparing for the worst as is my training as a yachtmaster with 16 ocean passages completed, mostly in our dying Pacific.
    My interview with Jim is here;
    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2015/11/drjim-salinger-on-rapid-climate-change.html

    I understand that my position is a ‘hard sell’ for a political party trying to gain electoral success but this catastrophe presents an opportunity for the Greens to position themselves for a sea change that is definitely coming in the public’s mind. We will see more and more extreme weather events in the weeks and months ahead which will freak out the populace world- wide, I believe the Greens are missing a golden opportunity to be a leader not only in NZ but globally. I believe the party’s narrative needs to be radically altered to reflect the seriousness of the situation.
    Very soon we will have a few billion very, very angry young people on this planet when they realise the ecological legacy we have left them. Speaking truth to the youth is more important now than it has ever been and presents you as the leader of the party, an absolutely golden opportunity to make a huge impact not just here but on the global stage. There is a paradigm shift unfolding on this planet, I challenge you to grasp this opportunity and lead.
    All of the dire assumptions I allude to above are in embedded links in this post from the Daily Blog, I only post the link to make it easy for you to source it should you want clarification.
    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/12/14/guest-blog-kevin-hester-termination-of-my-membership-in-the-green-party-of-aotearoa/
    The purpose of me going public was not to bag the party but to stimulate a debate that wasn’t happening. My feedback from both members and non- members of the party has been much more positive than I ever expected and indicates that I have addressed an issue that has been praying on many people’s minds, mission partially accomplished. You have generously left the door open for me to return to the party which I might consider if my concerns were addressed and there was a sea change in the party’s narrative. I spend my life trying to raise awareness of the severity of this predicament and any vehicle open to me will be grasped willingly as long as I can address the predicament honestly and transparently, I am in the fortunate position of being beholding to no one.
    I had lunch with Pearl Going and Susi Newborn yesterday, Pearl spoke very highly of you and suggested you and I should meet personally sometime, I’m available if you wish to do so.
    Best regards, Kia Kaha.
    Kevin Hester
    https://soundcloud.com/xtinctionadioorg/extinction-radio-episode-39-dec-18-2015

  33. Afewknowthetruth says:

    We know how to get a stack of thumbs-down on TDB or get a comment moderated out of existence: just mention a unpalatable fundamental truths.

    I rarely watch television these days but yesterday, at a friend’s home, witnessed reports celebrating meltdown of the planet via increased consumer spending.

    Of course the television reports did not mention the accelerating meltdown of the planet due to overconsumption, not even when covering fires raging across Australia (where temperatures have been 12oC above normal). The propaganda presented by the mainstream media just focused on how wonderful it was that people were able to consume more and that some were able to acquire more fiat money. And it has to be that way because that is exactly how the system has been set up: to promote and reward the rampant consumption which eventually completely destroys the habitability of the Earth.

    We are thus now witnessing the complete failure of the political system, which is still geared to converting fossil fuels into carbon dioxide and is still committed to overheating the Earth at a rate faster than experienced any time in the past 600 million years.

    The Greens (or anyone else) may pretend they are working to protect the environment by making slight tweaks to the system but suggesting that saving humanity or anything else by tweaking the fundamentally dysfunctional system is a lie, or as James Hansen put it, fraud.