Too Little, Too Late: Rachel Stewart On Climate Change

By   /   February 16, 2017  /   64 Comments

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Neoliberalism has immobilised humanity in the manner of those parasitic wasps whose offspring excrete a chemical which fatally overpowers their host’s self-protective reflexes. Aware that we are being destroyed, we are nevertheless incapable of resisting our destroyers effectively.

RACHEL STEWART’S COLUMN in this morning’s NZ Herald bears eloquent testimony to the global progressive community’s sense of helplessness. In it she berates herself for getting into a pointless altercation with a dirty-dairy farmer. Of what value are such small-scale exchanges, she demands, when the much larger and more important struggle against anthropogenic global warming is being lost all along the line?

“We need to wise up to the fact that continuing to compartmentalise our endless individual battles – pay equity, dirty dairying, transport, roading, autism funding, education, intersectional feminism, partisan politics – is a waste of precious energy.

“Don’t get me wrong. All are beyond important but, ultimately, unless we tackle climate change and right now, there’ll be no human rights or environment to actually fight for.”

There was one line in Rachel’s column that particularly resonated:

“[I]t’s time to stop getting caught up in the individual fights and realise that climate change is a mission that must be tackled on a World War II scale.”

Another way of expressing this is to treat global warming as the “moral equivalent of war”. This would require a level of personal and societal engagement proportionate to the existential threat which global warming poses to human civilisation.

The reason Rachel’s words resonated so strongly was that just over seven years ago I expressed remarkably similar thoughts in my own newspaper column ‘From the Left’.

On 9 December 2009 I wrote:

“If the battle against Climate Change does not become the moral equivalent of war for all the peoples of the Earth, then not only the battle, but the Earth itself, as a planet hospitable to human civilisation, will be lost.

“Our government – every government – must be willing to mobilise the population as it was mobilised during World War II. Our generation must plant its own ‘Victory Gardens’ and run its own ‘Salvage Programmes’. We must learn, as our parents and grandparents did, to ration scarce resources, pay special taxes, and buy as many ‘War Bonds’ as we can afford.”

I was moved to write these words seven years ago because the leaders of the world were gathering in Copenhagen for an international conference on combatting global warming. Even before that ill-fated conference collapsed in acrimony and confusion, I was doubtful as to whether any good would come of their going.

Seven years, and another fruitless international conference on global warming (this time in Paris) later, there is no doubt at all that no good has been done. The rate of global warming is already nudging the thresholds laid down in Paris.

As Rachel makes clear in her column, these failures are producing not only extreme consequences in the material world, but they are also generating extreme responses in the human psyche. Seven years ago people were asking “What can we do?” Seven years later, more and more of us are asking “What’s the point of doing anything?”

The sheer scale of the organised malice that has undermined every attempt to limit the damage of global warming is at once profoundly shocking and profoundly disempowering.
That global capitalism is fully conscious of the planetary harm it is causing, but resolved to go on inflicting that harm regardless, is a realisation so profoundly depressing that hitherto active citizens are robbed of all purpose and resolve.

It speaks of a civilisation in terminal decline. A world owned and ruled by people who have given up on the future. Humanity finds itself in the hands of a pathologically disassociated global elite. Stupefied by greed and consumed with pride, the ultimate demonstration of the power they refuse to give up will be the irreversible collapse of the fossil-fuelled economic system they have committed so many crimes to preserve.

The election of Trump, and the obvious incapacity of the American political system to defend itself against the madmen and women who have taken up residence in all three branches of the United States government, is merely the outward manifestation of global capitalism’s inner corruption.

Neoliberalism has immobilised humanity in the manner of those parasitic wasps whose offspring excrete a chemical which fatally overpowers their host’s self-protective reflexes. Aware that we are being destroyed, we are nevertheless incapable of resisting our destroyers effectively.

Rachel gets it: “Just about every bit of bad news is directly linked to climate change. Everything. Oh, and the greed of the few who are trying to extract even more before the inevitable breakdown.”

She has also, perhaps unintentionally, chosen the epitaph for the entire Anthropocene epoch.

Quoting the father of evolutionary theory, Charles Darwin, Rachel ends her column with his observation: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

We have changed far too little, and left it far too late.

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64 Comments

  1. esoteric pineapples says:

    In keeping with the World War II theme, all leaders of countries who don’t do anything serious about climate change should be charged in an international court with crimes against humanity just like after the second world war. People like John Key should be dragged out of their rest homes in their nineties (when climate change is really kicking in) just like some of the Nazis. Their inaction and obstruction will have greater consequences for humanity than anything the Nazis or Japanese did.

    • This being election year, it will be the Green Party alone that will make this an issue.
      And we know what many think of them, that the GP are a bunch of loops.

      So the other main parties just either ignore the subject, or do not take time to understand the consequences of what is going on.

      Not until the oceans rise a few metres will they start to react, but then it will be past the point of no return.
      And we don’t have another place to run to.

      • Sam Sam says:

        There are so many serious questions that need answers one could pick through when considering how to over come The Great Anthropoceneone could take off from any where. I’v talked a lot about different shades of warfare over the months but today I’ll talk about children because I’v accepted many children from my extended family into my home and they are all rushing out the door to school.

        So special mention goes to those children in primary school right now who when they exit the education system will confront challenges humanity has not experienced in 200,000 years of human history. The prospects for organised human existence will radically change and its not controversial any more, just look at news coverage which are all grave forecasts now. Incidentally we have already made the decisions to doom other species due to anthropogenic human global warming which is already at the level of extension when an asteroid hit the earth 55 million years ago – http://www.geologyin.com/2016/10/meteorite-impact-55-million-years-ago.html

        Fast forward 54 million years and a bit, modern day humans evolved out of homo sapiens into hunter gatherers about 200,000 years ago – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_human_prehistory

        Moving along from the hunter gatherer whom used fire to brake down and process protein more efficiently and improve our brain power so we could communicate better with others and work together to take down beasts as large and dangerous as woolly mammoth, harvest the meat, create a surplus, feed the colonies and further the genetic lines of the winners between the struggles of life and death.

        Then onto the stone age where sticks and manpower where used to leverage stone to overcome gravity and draw in and control even more people – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moai

        Then in the age of sail pulleys and man power where used to haul sails and transmit cargo over the pacific ocean – https://youtu.be/limpNU_aMhI

        In the industrial revolutions we leveraged huge production line machines to over come gravity and produce good on a global scale which all ended in world war 1 as a result of running out of land and resources to conquer we clashed over what other empires had – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Revolution

        Then in WW2 we started over coming gravity in terms of computing to allocate resources more efficiently and not tip off adversaries that we could predict there movements and end war on the pacific front – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_Projecthttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bletchley_Park

        Now we overcome gravity in terms of mega bytes per second in the digital realm to communicate and share ideas and in the physical world we use it to communicate with drones and other sensors – https://youtu.be/QaTIt1C5R-M

        The infiltration of technology will be like nothing you have ever seen before. The beauty and irony of what the companies producing all of the hardware and tech have actually done, is that they have made everyone globally believe that they are “empowered” by having all of this “access” when infact it has the opposite effect. They are not empowered. They are slaves. My obsession with this is not technological. I literally don’t care for it. My obsession is how to make money from it? So I win when 99% of people lose. The majority of people due to infiltration and therefore society as a whole will definitely be the losers from this.

        With Vitual reality goggles (VR) society as we know it is now officially over. The smartphone WAS the beginning of the end. VR literally IS the end. My family that I witness at dinner will no longer need to even go to New Zealand and even go for dinner with each other in person. Infiltration and distraction will see to that. Gen X will be relatively fine because we have perspective. Half of Gen Y and Millennials will be infiltrated for sure. The generation born after the year 2,000 will be a disaster of a generation. They will have no concept of reality and will no longer be able to deal with reality. Your only perspective will be a virtual world of whatever you want. In the real world you will become “victims.” – Must watch; https://youtu.be/iXHil1TPxvA

        I’ve seen The Future and its Not Pretty! Your ONLY concern is how to make sure you become a WINNER out of this, and not a millennial!

        • Mike in Auckland says:

          If we would commit at least half of all the “defence spending” of all nations on solving this and other pressing problems, we would get on top of this in no time.

          • Sam Sam says:

            Even less than half by my calculations, non fucking existent amounts of military aid.

            NZDF is something that the government is good at and works by us and for us, they will never contradict and always allow you to criticise the government unlike totalitarian structures that prevent critiques of government.

            What we have done in the middle east is restrict middle eastern trade routes to those of the old soviet union, and unfortunately all they export in any large amounts are weapons. To liberalise trade in the middle east we must remove all barriers to trade and alow safe passage to all trading hubs.

            If 5is was to pull right out of the middle east, the middle east will immediately go back to what they where doing when the British empire first introduced the most draconian labour laws in the world back in the 1860’s, which was to grow cotton, seek a fair price for thier labour and go through an industrial revolution like Britian had experienced just 40 years earlier in the 1820’s. This I am 100 on this (100% confedent of this prediction) there is still crude left so they can infact achieve enlightenment.

  2. Afewknowthetruth says:

    I have been attempting to raise awareness of the severe threat that planetary overheating poses since 1999, and have been insulted, vilified, persecuted, and locked up by the [corrupt] NZ police and faced trumped-up charges for doing so.

    I have confronted the self-serving liars that constitute the bulk of the political establishment in NZ, people like career snout-in-the-trough Harry Duynhoven, who, on one of his ego trips as mayor, refused speaking rights in the council chamber. And Jonathan, know-nothing, don’t-want-to-know-or-discuss-anything, Young.

    Mike Lee, Penny Hulse, Barry Curtis, Maurice Williamson, Ross Robertson, Chris de Freituas, University of Auckland, the entire Green Party hierarchy, CEO’s of corporations, the hierarchy of the Automobile Association, TVNZ, Prime, Maori Party, plus dozens of others; you name the person or organization, not one of them wants to know or do anything other than promote business as-as-usual until they can’t.

    I have had blazing rows with the district council CEO, Barabara McKerrow, who, with no answers to anything, put a trespass orders on me to silence me -twice.

    I gave up activism in 2014 when Andrew Judd betrayed me and practically everyone else who voted for by doing an immediate U-turn on everything he had said during his election campaign, refusing to even acknowledge the urgent action report delivered to him personally in 2014, and blocking public comment to council. Hence he is now known by as Andrew Judas, and probably will be for the rest of his life. But he did get over $100,000 a year for 3 years, so I guess betrayal was worth it for him personally.

    And don’t waste any time taking complaints to the Office of the Ombudsman: they don’t want to know either. And if they were to ever get round to making a judgement, it would be just a recommendation that the offending institution not repeat the offence.

    Far worse than fighting the corrupt political establishment is dealing with the ignorance, apathy and denial of the general populace, who will merrily go to their deaths celebrating destruction of their own life-support systems.

    • Andrea says:

      Somewhere I read that you never attack the citidel of entrenched priviledge from the front. All the defences are there.

      The people of whom you speak need to ‘hear’ those comments coming from the ‘mainstream’. People like themselves.
      There are useful clues in this clip, IMO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xecEV4dSAXE

      It’s tough being a straight talker against people primed to chant LaLaLa, I’m not listening. You have my sympathy.

      However, you are totally allowed to change your tactics and methodologies. Nowhere is it written that you have to play fair with the unethical. 😉

      • Afewknowthetruth says:

        It is only when you seriously challenge the political-economic system that you discover how utterly corrupt and rotten it is, and that people in very high positions (and some people in quite low positions) quite prepared to lie continually and breach the law continually in order to protect their short-lived privileges and ensure that money keeps flowing into their bank accounts: they have ZERO concern for the well-being of the communities they supposedly serve and ZERO concern for their own children’s/grandchildren’s futures. In many cases (and I could catalogue them but that would takes pages and pages of text) these people blatantly act against the policies they declare to be in place in the organisations they head or are involved with. Short form: every city, district and regional council in the country blatantly disregards the Local Government Act of 2012 and celebrate the breaching of the act (and nobody in a position to anything about it will do anything about it because they are all in on the same scams).

        Those who do not challenge the system, i.e. 99.9999999% of the populace, have no idea just how corrupt and rotten NZ is, so they say to me things like: “Have you tried writing to your MP?” (something I gave up doing about 12 years ago, when every response I received consisted of platitudes and mutually exclusive statements). The entire system is a pretence of democracy and representation and responsibility but in fact is a merry-go-round of abdication of responsibility coupled with looting and polluting the commons.

        As I said to a friend quite recently: My life has improved immensely since I stopped trying to wake people up to the triple catastrophes that are on the horizon (in fact clearly visible right now if one can ‘see’ abstract nouns): peaking and decline in the availability of liquid fuels; unravelling of Ponzi finance and Ponzi economics; abrupt climate change. The vast majority of people DO NOT WANT TO KNOW, and want things to continue are they are, even though that is mathematically impossible.

        At the other end of the scale you have people like Guy McPherson, whose unscientific narrative of ‘we’ll all be dead within 9 years because of ultra-rapid overheating and loss of habitat’ I proved wrong. Again, facts make no difference and some people absolutely insist that Guy McPherson is right event though he doesn’t know what he’s talking about and has been proven wrong.

        The is absolutely no question that we are governed by self-serving (in the short term) fools and liars, who make everything that matters worse by the day, and that the future consequences of their recent and present actions (or inaction) will be utterly devastating for everyone with 5 years. And ‘no one’ notices or cares.

        Having tried literally every tactic in the book over a period of 20 years, I can assure you nothing works because the system is geared to ensuring that nothing works. Try for yourself if you don’t believe me.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      “And don’t waste any time taking complaints to the Office of the Ombudsman: they don’t want to know either. And if they were to ever get round to making a judgement, it would be just a recommendation that the offending institution not repeat the offence. ”

      Yep, this may come as a shock to some, that is the absolute truth, that is the shocking truth indeed, when it comes to supposed “watch dogs” in New Zealand:
      https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/the-new-zealand-ombudsman-underfunded-and-compromised-the-auditor-general-sees-no-need-for-action/

      https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/the-new-zealand-ombudsman-fairness-for-all-an-empty-slogan-for-some/

      Hence we may as well include the Office of the Auditor General.

    • John W says:

      Any organisation that is not screaming about the mess is complicit.

      This includes most churches and all major political parties, business organisations and deep state.

      The Royal Society is captured and minimises any truth it reports. One Australian woman Academic put it quite plainly at a recent Royal Society launch, describing how much time is spent sanitising what the scientists have agreed upon until the original message is lost.

      The IPCC is so far behind the current research that conclusions are wrong – yes wrong.

      The 2 degrees rise limit talked about is unachievable and the methods of mitigation proposed are not possible and cannot be effective even if they were possible.

      2 degrees rise equates to a 15m sea level rise over time.

      The NZ Govt advise is a max of 1m rise by the end of the century. The sea will be much higher by then and the sea level rise will just keep on for a long time after that. T

      But temperature rise will also continue as there is enough damage in the present atmosphere and seas to continue the rise. A flywheel effect is enough without massive methane release presently accelerating as Northern icecaps recede.

      Not much will be recognisable by 2100 as world systems as we know them will have collapse long before.

      We get lies lies lies as business moguls and their puppets who just facilitate concentrating their wealth from us and strip the planet of a habitable biosphere.

      And you aren’t angry?

  3. Helena says:

    I guess nobody wants to report that the “leading” climate change expert is now doing jail time for fraud. I guess nobody wants to write about the new scientific reports that we are about to enter a mini ice age. Certainly it seems that nobody wants to warn anybody about the largest 1080 drop in the history of New Zealand currently underway in the South Island which eventually will kill everything and seep into the fresh water table. And certainly nobody wants to write about the so-called meteor that hit the hills above Christchurch shortly before the fires started. And nobody wants to write about the second fire which joined the first and how strange that was. Of course nobody wants to report that the pilot whales were dead and dying as they hit the beach or perhaps suggest that it might just have been a conscious decision of these 5th dimensional beings to leave earth. And certainly no one has written about the power and control being wielded against the people of this tiny nation by politicians bought and paid for by the Military Industrial Complex with their spy gizmos and gagets littering everywhere. We think we stopped the corporate takeover when Trump tossed aside the TPPA so its okay, we think. And now something which nobody wants to write about is the super duper ‘vampire’ watch. Buy one and get yourself hooked up to a mainframe computer. Unless, of course, someone does write about it and then we will all know.

    • Paul Judge says:

      A nonsense comment Helena

      • Sally's Husband says:

        I have to agree, Paul. Not very helpful, Helena.

        It looks like our future is now in the hands of our children, or else we will be grubbing in the dirt for bugs to eat. That vision of a post-apocalyptic future is not one to look forward to.

    • Strypey says:

      Helena, you’ll probably find that skepticalscience.com have written about the issues you raise to do with climate change. Your comments on TDB don’t strike me as those of someone who wants to spend unpaid time spreading disinformation for the fossil fuel industry, so I strongly suggest you read *everything* on that site. Also check out the Vice doco about the annual conference where reps from carbon-emitting corporations, and corporate think tanks like Cato and Heartland, dream up these fairy tales about “climategates” and “mini-ice-ages”.
      http://www.ecowatch.com/hbos-award-winning-vice-exposes-climate-deniers-and-the-dire-consequen-1882017395.html

    • Stuart Mathieson. says:

      Scientists get bought off. The late Bob Carter. $1600 odd US a month from Heartland. Numerous public spokes people. Merchants of doubt , Naomi Orestes called them.

    • Stuart Mathieson. says:

      Plenty of deniers are on the payroll Helena.
      Paid to misinform, confuse and sow doubt. If that isn’t fraud I don’t know what is. Deniers fiddle while homes burn!

  4. andrew says:

    Hey! Don’t knock climate conferences.

    They get to take home the hotel towels.

  5. I feel like the focus must be practical. Plant forests in all nations, but not just that, plant what was there before in newly commissioned national parks. Most countries have areas which aren’t arable, but had ecosystems which we destroyed just to create marginal pasture etc.

    Reverse desertification with planting and mass scale nurseries like Sankara did in Burkina Faso. Commission a fleet to start a full time cleanup of the Pacific ocean trash island. Boom the harbours where we know a lot of this trash is getting into the seas in the first place. Stuff like that. Imagine what it could do to the growing unemployment around the world. Wouldn’t that be the most fulfilling work, being a part of a war effort for our collective future? Instead, we get hundreds of politicians and their staffers flying around the world on jet planes creating ‘targets’. They couldn’t have fucking Skyped?

    Yes, make polluters pay on some scale or other, but spend some of that money cleaning the place up. It’s not just temperatures we need to consider – it’s air quality, water quality, soil quality. What’s the use of stabilising the climate alone if the water is undrinkable, the air unbreatheable, the soil leached to sand?

    • Afewknowthetruth says:

      If NZ stopped urbanization and began a tree-planting that resulted all the suitable land being covered with trees, that would take us back to roughly how things were in 1820, when atmospheric CO2 was about 282 ppm (it’s now 406 ppm and rising).

      No amount of tree planting will fix the predicament we are in because trees are carbon-neutral in the long run (not that I am against planting trees, just pointing out reality).

      The other dismal reality is that deforestation continues throughout the world as the demand for houses and food continues to rise. And, many forests, such as those in North America are dying faster than replanting can replace trees because of climate change and infestations of pests that proliferate in warmer conditions.

      The only strategy that will have any chance of preventing horrific planetary overheating would be to stop to human population growth and put it into decline -that means no more than 2 children per woman- and an immediate cut in the use of fossil fuels of the order of 60% worldwide, followed by a reduction in fossil fuel use to zero over the coming decade -which means turning off industrial civilisation.

      Well, we know nether of those policies will even be discussed, let alone implemented, so the predicament will be made worse and worse by those in power until they have managed to completely ruin everything, including their own children’s/grandchildren’s futures.

      • John W says:

        Urbanisation and industrialised cropping both are stupid traps guaranteeing disaster in the medium term.

        Urbanisation relies heavily on transport for everything, but means good short term profit for corporates at the expense of environment and Non Renewable Natural Resources. All unsustainable costs.

        People in cities are very vulnerable to starvation when food shortages occur as the food supply to cities is fragile at best.

        Industrialised cropping and animal husbandry is killing our soil and waterways, wetlands and marine nurseries, forest and wildlife, bees and other essential resources such as wilderness.

        The problem with Predator Fixation is that business only consider the narrow view or what affects them directly and what they can prey on.
        A wider view shows a damaged planet they are contributing to in a very negative ways.

  6. XRAY says:

    John Key demonstrated far more than any other politician in the history of this country just how short-term rich men think ahead to ensure whatever they are doing maximises their chances of profit to themselves.

    He and National had no interest in Climate Change as it was always a barrier to making a quick buck. At best all they have done to pay homage to their never ending polling is pay it an insulting lip service to give the look they are doing something. Even appointing the useless Minister of Appearances – Paula Bennett as Climate Change minister, after the previous minister, village idiot Nick Smith, reinforced their disinterest even further. To National and its supporters climate change is a non event that stands in the way of personal enrichment.

    Take the National Party as the yard stick and it is easy to see how we have arrived to where we are now.

  7. countryboy says:

    Get rid of the Banks. They did this. They inject the toxin that is debt into our lives daily.

    • Sam Sam says:

      COUNTRYBOY, you are smarter than a bee keeper and swim faster than a gambler, +1

    • John W says:

      The banks are the tools of conquest.

      They have beaten us robbing not only our wealth but now our environment and future.

      We have let them do this by taking heed of business bullshit about employment. Instead we should use common sense and reorganise the system of employment taking it our of the hands for private control.

      Labour started on this track during the 30s with a spokesman / author John A Lee who labour chucked out when they buckled to graft.

      As long as private corporations run employment we are in their hands and have no hope for a future.

  8. Hi-Vis says:

    I have a prediction. Civil protest and mercenary intervention to oppose specific water pollution in a ‘ war ‘ against specific offending conglomerates might start as early as ANZAC Day 2017 or on a day as equally sacred to NZ Maori militarists and defenders of the Land.
    (E-218 )

  9. bugsolutely nz says:

    I’ve seen climate change and environmental degradation as an issue to address for a while now and in a moment of madness thought it was of concern to a lot of others, so i decided to take affirmative action. Huge mistake, I’ve learned that General apathy indeed has a huge army. I took a punt and invested and imported cricket pasta a very easily consumed super food with exceptional health benefits but also without green house gases , minimal water usage and incredibly efficient use of space and resources. I even placed an add here but have yet to have any response, I guess its so much easier to sign a petition.

    • Andrea says:

      But is it chocolate-flavoured?

      For me eating bugs is on the same level as using snail slime beauty products. The gross! factor is too great. Including mopane caterpillars.

      Even Cordiceps sinensis in health products … Yeah/nah.

      Maybe, if it’s chocolate flavoured 🙂

      • bugsolutely nz says:

        If you want it to be . Its pretty inert and takes the flavor of whatever you cook it with. I like it as laksa or with guacamole or sauerkraut. Not having cowshit in the water helps too.

        • Sam Sam says:

          Some people just aren’t hungry enough. Id like to lock a vegan in a cockroach infeasted room and count how many are left arfter a month. Talk about 1st world problem

          • John W says:

            Sam locking Vegans away won’t do much to establish anything except perhaps your dislike / disapproval of Vegans.

            They are helping the situation by not supporting animal husbandry which is very destructive globally.

            Try it out – delicious healthy food that will help you enjoy your old age – son.

            I speak from long experience. Lol.

            • Sam Sam says:

              Mate, I have City and Guilds 751/752/753 practical cookery certs which means and 10 years hospitality experience, In that time I have made millions of dollars for customorers, employers and share holders. How much money have you made?

              • John W says:

                There are alternatives Sam that work far better for all in the long run.

                A measure of public good, environmental restoration, building of resilience in systems sustaining communities locally and underpinning a future.
                Producing food, creating sheltering and educating people each mean far more than collecting money to fatten your purse.

                Customers, shareholders and employers are all parts of a failing system. Making money for them is a servitude that does little else.

                Personalising wealth comparisons may bring your surprises.

                • Sam Sam says:

                  Simply put large numbers of Koreans/Latino/Vietnamese/Chinese/Japanese/Asians/Indians/Greeks are always good for food. No one ever says if only we have more McDonalds in this country we’d really start eating. The food in Asia is much more democratic, you can eat well in Asia much better than you can in Auckland. Asia has a far superior tradition of low end deliciousness.

                  Getting into the really nitty gritty, such as, what are people really eating on the benefit hospitality is one insight because you’ve got people living at/or below the poverty line. I could guess that 90% of McDonalds workers could not afford to or are not welcome in there own restaurants and this is a cultural tradition in New Zealand that decides who gets to eat and who gets to eat well. I guess what Im saying is if you are into the tradition of feeding people in New Zealand you are at the cross roads of all issues. The way we value food is changing, if you’re in your 20’s you are just as likely to wait 4 hours at a sit down restaurant as you are waiting for a website that says a delicious cockroach.

                  The question is, is there mobility because a lot of the new job creation are Mc jobs and you don’t learn anything at McDonalds. If you want to be talking about the food industry as a force for good, and the restaurant industry as a force for good then you’ve got to be teaching people about something, lifting people up from kitchen hand to prep, then the grill.

                  You never feel guilty about feeding people and working hard in a kitchen because it is noble toil.

                  • John W says:

                    Agreed Sam.
                    Any worker who does his best for others is a a good contributor.

                    We are taught to be obsessed with protein when in fact we function better with a small amount of mainly plant protein.

                    Millions in Asia have plant base diets although the creeping Western corporates are trying to change that and so we see disease rates rising.

  10. Dee says:

    It’s Megapope’s fault

  11. CLEANGREEN says:

    COUNTRYBOY IS RIGHT.

    We need to get rid of bank like Goldman Sachs as they are a leech upon our planet as they use there toxic formula to blackmail all nations that come under their web of over-borrowing from that makes the borrower becomes the debtor and victim of self inflicted death.

    Greece was the first such victim of Goldman Sachs toxic vile dirty deals.

    the world must rid them.

    Meantime just do what I did by spending the summer at the beach fighting the most violent season with destructive wins and wild weather changes that most have never seen!!! – then you realise that the beach erosion and wild weather is destroying the beach front to the point that we in five years we are told, we wont have any beachfront or road council says.

    This while CO2 levels rise to faster than ever now 2.5 PPM just in the last year while our planet burns in record heat.

  12. e-clectic says:

    Christchurch burns and we wonder why.

  13. Paul says:

    Canterbury burns and we never hear media say two words.
    Climate Change.

    Australia burns and we never hear media say two words.
    Climate Change.

    CO2 levels hits new records and we never hear media say two words.
    Climate Change.

    Increasing numbers of animals go extinct and we never hear media say two words.
    Climate Change.

    Syria fights a bitter civil war and we never hear media say two words.
    Climate Change.

    The Arctic melts and we never hear media say two words.
    Climate Change.

    The media sucks.
    It is there to defend the neoliberal order.

  14. Mike in Auckland says:

    A very timely post and a very timely reminder, I’d say.

    We are as a human species addicted to fossil fuel like an alcoholic is addicted to alcohol. We continue to live in denial, total denial that is for the bulk of the population. Whenever we hear a news item, reporting on the hottest year since records began, on climate disasters here or there, on the need to act on reducing on greenhouse gases, many of us say, yes, we need to do something, we cannot carry on like this. That may be a rational conclusion we draw.

    But once we are busy with other things, and caught up in our day to day routines, we swiftly forget the message and its importance and urgency. I see it every day, people jumping into their cars, and driving off to work, study or what else they are busy with. They do it in the millions every day in New Zealand, in their hundreds of millions or billions globally. The thinking seems to stop once the requirement to get things done comes up, and we click our individual selves out of the responsibility we carry both collectively and individually. We are back at “using” the drug fossil fuel, and we resign to the fact, there is no way we get things done the way we feel we need to, without it.

    So the whole humanity continues, every day. Politicians talk about it now and then, but our government is a prime example of being a highly irresponsible one, one of lip service only, and of tokism, nothing else.

    Every day the cars clog the roads and streets of Auckland, every day I smell the exhaust fumes, every day people buy and use stuff made from fossil fuel, the worst for instance endless plastic packaging and bags, which even end up in the oceans, get swallowed by whales, who choke and die from this.

    We want all the gadgets, the comforts the luxury life we have become accustomed to, cars, TVs, computers, mobile and smart phones, endless consumer goods, and we feel we need to put this into our homes, into other things we use and depend on.

    Where is the serious effort to change, where is the awareness, it is like it goes in one ear and out of the other, it is seen, and then blinkers are swiftly put on.

    Trump and his irresponsible, chaotic administration is only the product of ignorant, misled, and also some desperate people voting for a poor “solution”. Other poor solutions are looming in other places, we already have had eight years or poor or no solutions.

    We behave like addicts refusing to face up and to go into needed rehab. We know from experience where that leads to, it leads to self destruction, even destruction of those around us, to DEATH and annihilation.

    Welcome to the 16th Feb. 2017, we anticipate Orwell’s 1984 and even worse for the future, that is those of us that are at least clued up about what goes on.

    FFS get on and do something, start with yourselves, every one in this place, thank you.

  15. Mike in Auckland says:

    Further to my comment just made, which may appear a little later, we definitely need to act globally, change the economic and social system, and forge alliances and agreements to act together, as peoples all over the planet, and stop the “growth” obsession pumping up consumerism and endless wasting of energy and other resources.

    We need a global environmental treaty, that goes much further than that weak Paris Agreement, which allows countries and their governments to get off doing as little as they feel to set themselves as “goals”. We have even one Trump Administration in the US consider simply opting out of such agreements, the people in the US, that is those that are progressive, responsible and who care, need to stand up and throw the charlatan out of the White House, that is unless the Congress, Senate and/or the Courts will not see to it anyway.

    • Afewknowthetruth says:

      Governments and bureaucracies consist of professional liars who mislead the general populace. The mainstream media consists of professional liars who mislead the general populace.

      And since all governments represent the short-term interests of banks, corporations and opportunists, it naturally follows that no action that will impinge on the profits of banks and corporations or the opportunities for opportunists to rort the system will ever be implement.

      Additionally, the populace has been trained from a very young age to believe in the myth of progress and the detachment of humans from nature. Therefore, most humans living in industrial societies believe the destruction of nature is an acceptable price to pay for affluence. The fact that humans are animals and are totally dependent on nature for existence does not occur to them.

      The Christian notion of humans being special and substantially different from other animals also plays a part in the progress trap we are in.

      Nature is now a cartoon character or a computer-generated digital image to be used for commercial purposes. In an astounding distortion of reality, Gull now uses ‘Driven by Nature’ as a slogan: I suppose the truth, destroying nature, just wouldn’t promote petrol sales.

      Those who are completely disconnected from reality, i.e. the vast bulk of the populace of all induistrialised nations -including NZ, are going to be completely resourceless (physically and psychologically) when industrial civilization collapses, as must inevitably happen some time over the next decade or so when the global liquid fuel supply starts to decline.

      I have posted this link before but here is a reminder:

      http://energyskeptic.com/2017/we-all-fall-off-the-net-energy-cliff-in-2022-just-6-years-away/

    • John W says:

      Act globally sure but we can’t use that as an excuse not to act locally.

      Climate change is just one symptom of and amalgam of things going down the gurgler as a consequence of human activity.

  16. Robert Atack says:

    Most of you are attacking -them- the government, media, etc
    My experience has been at the coal face, trying to convince the average breeder how fucked the situation is and how impossible it will be for the child born in the last say 10 years to see its 21s birthday.
    I just can’t get the mentality of people wanting to create a human (they profess to love) that is going to suffer what is already in motion, at best we can hope for maybe painless starvation? Not sure how starving to death is compared to other forms?? But what ever is coming isn’t going to be pleasent…. or in the distant future, yet people keep having children, so we have to keep building more shit and fucking up the only human friendly environment we know.
    We have to take responsibility for our own actions. If most of the population (99.94 % ish) chose to commit suicide then who is to blame?
    Everyone wants to bealeve in the toothfary, god, ‘environmental politicians’ and Santa Claus, and not face reality or basic facts. At 405 +ppm CO2 it wouldnt matter if every human left the planet tonight taking their 440 nuclear power plants with them, maybe if we left a global rainforest ??? But na we can’t do a bloody thing, we can’t make it worse than it is. Maybe the only way to avoid death be climate change is by having a global nuclear war, which looks equely on the cards, so why the fuck chuck a kid at this future??

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      Yes, a sombre analysis that you summarise there.

      I am as astonished at the ignorance shown by so many New Zealanders, and the indifference by others, when it comes to the unusually high level of immigration we have under this government in New Zealand.

      This obsession with growth, wanting to create a large Auckland City that is home to another million people within the coming 30 to 40 years, that is complete INSANITY.

      We get many do-gooders and also liberally minded people (of course including the neoliberals), that want to welcome all these people, thinking they will “contribute” to this society and country. While in reality most will also be competitors for the finite resources we have, for energy, for water, for land, for housing, for infrastructure, for employment, for health services, and so forth.

      We are struggling to deliver this to existing New Zealanders, we have limited resources here, e.g. water, land and capabilities to do business and export, yet they seem to think, this is all “good” for us, and people are brainwashed to the max, thinking only of needing economic “growth”, so their jobs and businesses are “secure”, while they will NOT be so.

      The present economic order and system cannot be sustained, the present population would without the use of fossil fuels, that actually now cause more harm than benefits in the medium to longer run, not be sustainable, even here in New Zealand.

      We are inviting poverty and scarcity for us as individuals and society, for the future.

  17. Quicksilver says:

    Yeah yeah yeah…. we need to do this, we need to do that. The beginnings of climate change that we’re experiencing now are due to greenhouse gas emissions from many years ago. There’s still a helluva lot of “catching up” to come yet. Even if the psychopathic elite that enslave the 99% suddenly develop empathy and decide we must all go on a carbon diet, the short to medium term future is looking grim.
    Only a very sudden, drastic and significant reduction in the human population *may* curtail the worst of what’s to come. A viral pandemic perhaps. Food shortages? Hell, a Trump inspired war. Hey, maybe Trump is the planets attempt to redress the imbalance in the ultimate irony.

  18. andrew says:

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule It

    HL Menchen

    • e-clectic says:

      What’s your vision for the future Andrew?

    • Afewknowthetruth says:

      That is true when the ‘urge to save humanity’ is instigated by the psychotic sociopaths and exploiters at the top of the socio-economic pyramid, e.g. carbon trading and carbon credits, which are simply financial scams designed to make it look as though something is being done by ‘the powers that be’ when in fact all theuy do is make matters worse.

      It is not true when those who are downtrodden and exploited by the scumbags at the top attempt to save themselves from the disastrous policies foisted on them by the scumbags at the top.

      And, of course, in Mencken’s time, environmental collapse was not foreseen by many.

      This Mencken quote sums things up nicely:

      ‘The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out… without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.’ – H. L. Mencken

      Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/hlmencke136376.html

  19. andrew says:

    I disagree.

    Most of this environmental handwringing is just a weak attempt by old style communists, now embedded in the Greens, to gain some kind of political power.

    Ultimately they are authoritarian and we would be foolish to let them get anywhere near the reins of power.