Open Mike Friday 8th November



If we aren’t covering an issue you think needs debating today


  1. The oil vultures are circling, gathering over the dead and dying remains of the northern ice cap. These oil vultures are not just Greedy and ruthless they are also insane.

    These activists in the Northern hemisphere have risked their lives and their liberty to try and stop these criminals destroying any hope of saving the Arctic and the climate. Can we do any less here?

    The Prirazlomnaya “Ice Oil” a $43 Trillion opportunity!?

    “All the money in the world……”

    Climate Change caused by burning fossil fuels is a reality, the northern ice cap is disappearing. Instead of heeding this as a sign to cut back on fossil fuel production and exploration the fossil fuel industry backed by government, see it as a new frontier and an opportunity to invest in extreme new methods of oil extraction.

    They maybe from different worlds, but what does ruthless ex-KGB officer, Vladimir Putin have in common with greedy ex-Wall Street Trader, John Key?

    “Greenpeace storms Gazprom oil platform….”

    The Gazprom statement claimed Greenpeace ‘violated the 500 metre navigation safety zone of the Prirazlomnaya sea platform and ‘hung’ off it, using mountain-climbing equipment’.

    “Proposed sea-protest law a big blow to human rights”

    on April 10, the Government refused leave for the bill to be referred back to the committee for consideration of the new clauses.

    The Supplementary Order Paper proposes the introduction of two new offences:

    Intentional damage to and interference with mining structures and vessels and interference with their activities, with a jail term of up to 12 months or a fine of up to $50,000 for an individual

    Strict liability for contravention of a notified minimum non-interference distance (up to 500 metres), carrying with it a fine of up to $10,000.

    In addition, police or Defence Force personnel in command of a New Zealand Defence Force vessel would be deemed enforcement officers, with powers to board, arrest and detain.

  2. With Human beings perception is everything

    The global war against climate change, and the battle raging in the US over the XL pipeline

    “Those who love peace must learn to organise as effectively as those who love war.”

    Martin Luther King

    “Before Al Alamein we never won a battle after Al Alamein we never lost one”

    Winston Churchill

    In the fight to defend the climate, humanity is at war. It is a global war with many fronts, and like all wars it has its set piece battles that can decide the future direction of the whole war.

    One of these set piece battles is the struggle against the XL pipeline in the US.*

    The defeat of the XL pipeline could be the Al Alamein in the global struggle against climate change. Because of this, on the US mainland in the battle for the XL pipeline, both sides are marshalling all the forces they can.

    On one side, the big money multinational fossil fuel industry. With unlimited funding, with controlling interests in mainstream media outlets, with the ear of a whole raft of conservative politicians, and media pundits.
    Standing with the oil companies, and their political allies all the intimidatory forces of the state. Laws, regulations, Police, courts, Batons, hand cuffs, mace, tasers, fines, jail.
    Also found on this side, the liberal beltway doubters, and cynics.[i]

    On the other side facing off against them, is a large, powerful, committed, peaceful, grass roots movement made up of idealists, environmental activists, academics, ranchers, college kids. This side has little money, no huge media outlets, other than the (not to be dismissed) internet. This side has the antipathy, (rather than the support), of the law, the police and the courts. And the guaranteed condemnation of the mainstream media. Despite this, and the seeming huge imbalance in power and political influence, in this struggle it is this side that looks to be the one that is winning.

    This is something in which environmentalists all around the world can take heart.

    Winston Churchill speaking of Al Alamein. Said the battle of Al Alamein marked the “turning of the Hinge of Fate” the point at which the fortunes of the war finally went against the Axis powers.[ii]

    At some point the same will be true in the war against climate change.

    If the struggle against the XL pipeline is won, victory in every other campaign to turn back climate change, will be surer. If the activists win, it will a massive defeat and mark the beginning of the end for the fossil fuel lobby, after which it will hard for them to win any battles. On the other hand, If the anti-pipeline movement is defeated it will mean that in the war against climate change the Al Alamein battle is yet to come.

    * In NZ it looks to be Deep Sea Oil Drilling



  3. WWIII the war on the climate

    From the front lines:

    1# Sandy, Bopha, Haiyan, a catalogue of human tragedy

    2# Doha, Majuro, Rauauru Ma Raki, a catalogue of treason

    3# Subsidising the fossil fuel industry, a catalogue of climate war crimes

    1# Sandy, Bopha, Haiyan:
    Emergency services were overwhelmed when Hurricane Sandy struck New York, within weeks of Hurricane Sandy, a bigger and even more devastating hurricane struck the Southern Philippines Island of Mindanao. Like Sandy which struck the US unusually north, Cyclone Bopha was the most powerful hurrricane to strike the Philippines, so far south. Unlike the Northern Philippines, Mindanao was unused to such storms, buildings and infrastructure were more vulnerable. The devastation was incredible, (though little reported in the Western Media), many hundreds more were killed than by Superstorm Sandy. Death Toll Sandy, Death Toll Bopha. The unusual track of Cyclone Bofa, (even more so, than that of Hurricane Sandy) was definitively linked by scientists to climate change.

    In the latest attack Hurricane Haiyan has struck the Philippines. Haiyan is the most powerful Hurricane ever recorded anywhere on earth.

    “Typhoon Haiyan the most powerful storm in history”

    This is just the beginning, the tropics will be hard hit by climate change. It is predicted to get much worse. Rising seas, drought, unendurable heatwaves, Superstorms, ocean acidification, disease, crop failure, will all hit the tropics harder than the temperate regions.
    Some computer simulations and projections even suggest that large areas of the tropics, currently home to millions, will become uninhabitable.

    2# Doha, Majuro, Rauauru Ma Raki :
    Superstorm Bopha struck the Philippine Island of Mindanao during the Doha round of global talks on climate change….. The size of this tragedy and the stubbourn intransigence of the big emitters who continued to refuse to agree to act on climate change, caused the Philippine delegate to break down in tears as he gave what he knew would be a fruitless appeal to the assembled government delegations at Doha to come to an agreement to act. “If not here, then where?” he asked. “If not now then when?”

    It is generally agreed that the Doha round was a failure. But one of the few things the Doha conference did agree on, was to extend the 20 year old Kyoto Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which was due to expire.

    Notoriously, New Zealand alongside the big emitters US Japan and Canada, then immediately withdrew from the Kyoto treaty.

    Following the inaction by major emitters, Pacific Island Nations convened a special Pacific Forum conference on Climate Change in the capital of the Marshall Islands at Majuro.

    In the lead up to the Majuro Conference the President Loeak of the Marshalls called on New Zealand to do more.

    ‘We are fighting for survival,’ Pacific islands leader warns

    Many of the islands look to New Zealand, their closest large land mass, to give financial and diplomatic leadership. “New Zealand can and should do more,” said Loeak. “They are the fifth highest per capita emitters in the world and Kiwi emissions continue to climb.”

    The culmination of the Pacific Islands Forum Conference on Climate Change, was the signing of the Majuro Declaration where the signatories agreed to try and cut down their Greenhouse gas emissions. Again as at Doha, the big emitters refused to sign. (New Zealand the largest nation in the Polynesian Triangle did become a signatory.

    “Pacific island nations challenge big emitters to follow their lead”
    September 6, 2013

    “to lead is to act”, the 15 Pacific states that signed the declaration have all set themselves ambitious targets to “accelerate the transition to the low-carbon economy”. The Marshall Islands pledged a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions – below 2009 levels – and a target for 20% indigenous renewable energy by 2020. Tuvalu and the Cook Islands have both set targets to supply 100% of their countries’ energy with renewables by 2020, while Papua New Guinea pledged to become carbon neutral before 2050.

    In keeping with the Majuro Declaration the Marshall Islands and other low lying Pacific Island nations have vowed to actively cut their reliance on fossil fuels. President Loeak has asks us, “If we can do it why can’t you?”

    Accepting the “Pacific gift”

    At Majuro, Pacific leaders, (including Australia and New Zealand) demonstrated ‘climate leadership’ by committing themselves to cut emissions. All Pacific island nations took this approach knowing fully that their contribution to the global phenomenon was only a miniscule one. But the message was emphasised by President Loeak: ‘if we can do it, so can you

    And of course we could, (and even easier than the Island nations). The
    Rauaruru Ma Raki
    project in the Waikato region is already to proceed, all that is holding it back according to New Zealand Wind Energy Association chief executive Eric Pyle is “the right policy settings”.

    3# Subsidising the fossil fuel industry:

    “Will rising Sea Levels, or Dirty Fuel Subsidies Rise Fastest?”

    “Govts Pour $500 Billion Into Fossil Fuel Subsidies”
    Common Dreams November 7, 2013

    While greenhouse gas emissions reach record levels, governments across the world are pouring hundreds of billions into fossil fuel subsidies, fostering “perverse incentives” to continue the race towards climate doom, a new report details

    Make no mistake, despite the justification made about jobs and the economy, government subsidies for fossil fuels is a crime comparable to a war crime.

    More than any other country on earth, per capita, New Zealand is the world’s worst offender. In September at the first Pacific Forum on climate change, held in the Marshall Islands, John Key on our behalf, signed the Majuro Declaration in which we agreed to try to cut down our CO2 emissions. Only a matter of weeks later, in a dirty act of treachery, John Key gave over $100 million to Solid Energy to keep mining coal, the number 1 cause of global climate change. John Key and his government need to be brought to account for this dirty act of racist treachery, which flies in the face of the agreement he signed at Majuro. Through his actions John Key is condemning our Island neighbours to a very uncertain future, in which the the Coral Atoll Island Nations will drown under devastating tropical Super Storms made worse with sea level rise. (Like Typhoon Haiyan which struck the Phillipines this week, said to be the most powerful storm ever recorded to strike any country, beating out the previous world record holder Hurricane Camille).

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