Where Is The Mass Movement Against Climate Change?

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WHEN JACINDA ANNOUNCED she was having a baby, I was thrilled. What better guarantee could we have of serious government action on the big issues than a prime minister with a tiny and vulnerable child’s future to protect? Well, Neve arrived safely, but the urgent action required to secure her future seems as far away as ever.

I was seated in the Auckland Town Hall when Jacinda promised to make climate change her generation’s nuclear-free moment. Like everybody else I roared my approval. But where is the nationwide movement demanding change that matches the extraordinary activism and reach of the Nuclear-Free New Zealand phenomenon? The latter had a lively presence not only in every major city, but also in every sizeable town. The evidence was there for everyone to see as, one after the other, the councils of those towns and cities defiantly declared themselves nuclear-free. Many of those councillors were members of, or strongly supported, the Labour Party.

Just how embedded the nuclear-free movement was in the Labour Party is evidenced by the Fourth Labour Government’s unwillingness to stand in its way. No amount of internal resistance to Rogernomics was able to turn the Lange-Douglas Government from its course. But those same politicians were more willing to face the wrath of Ronald Reagan’s America than the New Zealand peace movement. All Labour’s President, Margaret Wilson, had to do was threaten to convene a Special Conference of the Party to reaffirm Labour’s “No Nukes” policy and the Cabinet rolled over.

But, on the calamitous issue of Climate Change, an issue with as much potential to lay waste human civilisation as an all-out nuclear war, there isn’t the slightest sign of a broad mass movement with the will and the power to force the Coalition Government’s hand. Nor is there the slightest evidence of a well-organised group within the Labour Party itself. No one’s willing to advance the cause of fighting Climate Change from either the stage or the floor of Labour’s annual conferences. In 2018, the members look to the top for inspiration and guidance. On Climate Change, however, they look in vain.

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The other thing that’s missing is the sort of grass-roots anti-nuclear education effort that both complimented and drove forward the anti-nuclear movement. New Zealanders researched nuclear weapons and nuclear strategy both individually and in groups. Local libraries ordered in specialist literature. Activists organised public seminars. Voters learned about the futility of civil defence measures and shuddered at the threat of “nuclear winter”. The “experts” thrust forward by the government to justify the status-quo were answered by the peace movement’s own. Against an informed and active citizenry both the National and Labour parties found themselves politically helpless.

If Jacinda is truly determined to make Climate Change her generation’s nuclear-free moment there is plenty she could be doing. For a start, she could use the “bully pulpit” of the prime minister’s office to summon her generation to action. She could fund a nationwide series of “Climate Change Forums” preliminary to the establishment of locally-organised Climate Change action-groups. A “Day of Action” could be announced and every young New Zealander invited to add their body to a nationwide demonstration of their generation’s vital interest in fighting Climate Change.

Within the Labour Party itself the rank-and-file membership could be given official encouragement to debate the best means of addressing Climate Change legislatively. What sort of laws does New Zealand need and in what order should they be introduced? A Special Conference could be called to assess the results and the news media invited to attend every session. The relevant ministers could be required to make themselves available for Q+A sessions. The whole event could be broadcast live on the Internet.

A prime minister determined to make Climate Change her generation’s nuclear-free moment could be doing all of this – and more. By the same token, however, a nation determined to “do something” about Climate Change has no need for guidance from above. The threat of an all-out nuclear exchange between the USA and the Soviet Union, a catastrophe from which no human-being on Earth would emerge unscathed, was all it had taken for hundreds-of-thousands of New Zealanders to commit themselves to making their country nuclear-free. Why, then, hasn’t the threat of the planet becoming uninhabitable by human-beings been enough to mobilise New Zealand citizens in the same way?

Does the answer lie in a simple lack of faith in the ability of any one person – any single generation – to make any kind of difference? When a left-wing populist government declines to keep its promise to oppose the TPPA. When a Green Party Minister of Conservation refuses to protect her country’s pristine water resources. What realistic hope is there then that people’s voices, people’s votes, can make anything like the difference made by the nuclear-free movement of the early 1980s? Have we entered an age when words and gestures are as plentiful as sparrows, but deeds as rare as Hector’s Dolphins?

When, on some unbearably hot day in the future, Neve asks her mother what she had to say about Climate Change, Jacinda will be able to answer: “Heaps!”. But, when her daughter follows-up her first question with a second; when Neve says: “That’s good, Mum, because everyone loved the way you talked. But what I need to know now is – what did you do?” How will Jacinda respond?

 

 

57 COMMENTS

  1. I was wondering that very thought.

    Jacinda was 100% correct about climate change. But since then what has changed?

    A stuttering halt to maybe stopping oil exploration with exceptions some point 50 years from now. But golly, if those oil companies get mad, we’ll back off and hide!

    A regional fuel tax in Auckland, we thought would provide funds for alternatives to cars, but now with some of that money to begin being siphoned off into speed bump restriction infrastructure around Te Atatu to the tune of 10′ s of millions. And bugger all else to show for the tax thus far.

    Pie in the sky light rail announcements in Auckland that almost a year later are little more advanced than in 1970. To go with the equally pie in the “Skypath” announcement that has been followed with, well, nil progress.

    A billion trees that have got to a couple of hundred thousand (It’s a start at least)

    An overhaul of 15 or so 30 year old electric loco’s so the lightly used North Island Main Trunk can remain electric, with more diesel electrics being ordered for everywhere else.

    And………well…. that’s about it.

    Nothing about bovine methane emmisions or farming, the biggest producers of climate change here.

    A hands off approach from everyone else associated with the government so as not to get the “market” offside.

    Absolutely no conversation on the subject otherwise and worse no obvious plan. Christ, it’s as meaningful as John Keys word.

    You were right Jacinda, but have the courage of your convictions. Like a lot of things like Kiwibuild for those pulling in well above average income, the few in other words, cheap talk benefits no one!

    • Same here, I asked myself the same question a fair while ago, again when reading Christine Rose’s and Chris Trotter’s earlier posts on this subject matter over the recent week or so.

      There are some real differences though between the realities of nuclear war threat in the 1980s and the realities of climate change and a resulting disaster as we are discussing now.

      Nuclear bomb explosions had occurred, there were visible records, examples, starting with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, also with many tests being done on remote islands in the Pacific, in the Australian desert, in Siberia and somewhere in China.

      You could visualise the disaster before your eyes, what nuclear war would mean.

      With the gradual but steady climate change, people do not see such immediate examples of wider disasters, all they see is a slow, gradual increase in strong storms, in more flooding here and there, more droughts elsewhere, and much is not happening here, it happens in other places in more dramatic fashion than in remote New Zealand.

      Our media and its news present only tiny bits of disaster news, a few seconds or a minute or two on new IPCC reports and projections, and offer NO deep insight reports, or even documentaries, which have gone out of fashion, replaced by reality TV, endless silly shows, violent movies, also by computer games, social media, which people access and consume more widely now.

      In the 1980s we had two or so TV stations, serving the whole nation, radio was the daily diet of many, so newsprint. And the news were discussed by most if not all people, more or less.

      Now we have a wide array of media and social media, some under constant commercial pressure, to serve what ‘appeals’ or is ‘wanted’, by consumers wanting nice and exciting products and services and entertainment. Social media lives on many levels in many forms, most is only connecting islands or groups of people, it creates subcultures almost, those who prefer something over another only consume what they prefer now.

      Hence society is very fractured, people are connected technically via copper, fibre or the conventional airwaves, but they act more individually or in subculture or other groups, not necessarily out to reach everyone, or convince everyone.

      Younger people, many, grew up perhaps in patchwork families, in one parent homes, so have different outlooks to the old style family that existed still mostly in the 1980s.

      In short, society has changed, people have changed, the media has changed, the realisation of the threat is different (more difficult), and with technical and commercial innovations, with the total connection within and between networks, in trade and communication, at so many levels, people see themselves as mere numbers.

      Jacinda may have meant what she said, but reality tells her, shit it is not that easy. A revolution from the top is more difficult to do than a revolution from below, and then she wants to be nice to everyone, not upsetting them, so trying to please everyone is something near impossible.

      My view is no democratic movement of conventional type can bring the swift change that is needed, it will require climate guerilla fighters, ready to work underground, to sabotage the polluting and destroying systems, to put down networks that are responsible for the shit that happens. People also need to be forced to wake up, to smell the air outside their airconditioned flats, cars and whatever else, and be confronted with the dirt and gases, and the dying animals and more.

      Then perhaps, may some in enough numbers wake up, and decide to join them, as it is far too late to try it the nice way as Jacinda seems to dream about. A new mother does also not make for a good, determined revolutionary, the body and mind function a bit differently to one adult not having kids then.

      I see little hope, and Chris presents another thoughtful post here, which asks the questions that need asking.

  2. Thank you, Chris.
    Problem about “climate change” or “global warming” or whatever the moment’s meme is….
    many of us have computers which are used, not for games, but research and many of us have discovered what “climate change” is really all about.
    Good luck to the believers and here’s hoping they finally find the answers.
    As for our “kind” PM, well …. bit of cheating here, she’s given the answers.

  3. Records revealed by the American Freedom of Information Act show that the Lange government had no intention of maintaining the nuclear ban but were in fact a victim of their own electioneering propaganda – they couldn’t go back on it. The nuclear ban made little sense at the time and absolutely zero sense now.

    So it is with climate change. People are not as dumb is the politicians (and activist scientists) think. They can smell the BS. So far all the predictions have proven to be gross exaggerations and NZ makes little difference either way. The science is certainly not settled there are still a lot of unknowns in the climate equation.

    The only substantive move made by the current government, banning oil & gas exploration, will most likely INCREASE our carbon emission. So people are wondering why we should sacrifice our economy on the alter of Jacinda’s virtue signalling.

  4. Western-style economies are predicated on mindless consumption. Western-style economies are riddled with systems that encourage and reward mindless consumption.

    The business models of banks and corporations are predicated on mindless consumption. Western-style governments facilitate the agendas of banks and corporations (rather than opposing the agendas of banks and corporations) because the financial system is predicated on mindless consumption.

    As Prime Minister, Jacinda Adern is responsible for ensuring that mindless consumption continues throughout the land. Jacinda Adern will therefore continue to sabotage her progeny’s future, just as every other politician in the western world does, because that is what she is required to do to keep her job.

    This debate is not new, of course, though it is new to TDB. In 2001, when there might have been time to ‘save us from ourselves’, the same scenario -sabotaging coming generations- was discussed extensively, and was raised with the Clark government of the time. Very few citizens were interested, and no politicians were: most were in denial of reality. The debate reached a crescendo over 2005 to 2015 (Occupy movement etc.), and then then more-or-less collapsed.

    30 years after Dr James Hansen publicly raised the matter of potential planetary meltdown politicians remain firmly locked into denial of reality, as do most of the populace, even though the meltdown is clearly underway.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/19/james-hansen-nasa-scientist-climate-change-warning

  5. I’d note that going nuclear-free had zero cost to peoples’ wallets nor changed their way of life.

    It’s not like Kiwis had to give up anything of use when their local council bravely put a sign by the road into their town saying it was ‘nuclear-free’.

    In fact, NZ going ‘nuclear-free’ is the definition of empty symbolism.

    In contrast, combatting climate change will mean massive change to our way of life and huge expenditure by the state.

  6. Just like no-one gave up their nukes in solidarity with NZ’s policy, no one is going to do anything for climate change either. Until China, India and the US change their ways, there is preciously little point in doing anything, given we represent just 0.1% (1/1000th) of global CO2 emissions. Jacinda is exactly right in doing absolutely nothing other than paying it lip service in an attempt to convince the polluters that actually matter to join her cause.
    Also, this bears considering:
    https://www.sott.net/article/400195-Professor-Valentina-Zharkova-explains-and-confirms-why-a-Super-Grand-Solar-Minimum-is-upon-us

    • NZ is emitting more GHG per head of population that either China or India.

      Historical accumulated emissions of GHG per head of present population of the USA is 26 times higher than that of China.

      Every persons emissions count.

      Kiwi emissions are still increasing not decreasing.

      • Absolutely correct!

        New Zealand is one of the nations right within the top lot of countries with high rates of GHG emissions per capita, a wee bit behind Australia, and worse are mostly only the Arabian or Persian Gulf states, some other Middle Eastern states, a few island nations (strangely), who lead the list:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_greenhouse_gas_emissions_per_capita

        Things may have changed a little since these figures were collated, but generally not all that much will have changed.

        And New Zealand and worse so Australia, emit more CO2 and other GHG per capita than most of Europe, certainly more than China, India and most developing countries.

        That is another inconvenient truth.

        NZers have for decades copied American lifestyles, and the US is one of the worst emitters within the OECD, having adopted a drive everywhere culture, with sprawling cities, drive in take aways, large malls and so forth, serviced by endless motorway and highway networks.

        Train transport of freight and especially passengers was neglected for many decades, so it requires massive investment in that, same as urban public transport.

        Problem is, the majority lament extra costs on petrol, they simply do NOT want to change. Or they say one thing, and do another. They want to have it both ways, but in this matter you cannot carry on as usual, and keep polluting.

        And in a democratic country it is very difficult to bring the needed change, as turkeys never vote for an early Christmas.

      • Totally the wrong way to look at it imo. Emissions can only be mandated on a per nation basis by the leaders of said nation. Thus only the handful of high polluting nations “matter”, when it comes to any sort of tangible change in global emissions. NZ doing anything in this space is if no global consequence – it only lowers NZ’s standard of living while achieving nothing (well technically as much as 0.1% change) for the sacrifice.

        • The way of living has to be changed. Call it lowering the standard of consumerism if you like.

          Measuring GHG emissions by nation is not useful as a guide of how people are generating GHG.

          Is that inconvenient.

        • Yes and no, it matters of course, whether the nations with the largest emissions make decisions on reducing emissions to address climate change, but you can hardly lecture or moralise in any fashion about anything much, if the highest emitters per capita (that includes NZ Inc) make no effort to reduce their emissions also, leading by example.

          Hence if New Zealanders continue to use the cop out attitude and endless excuses to do nothing much, and instead continue wasting and polluting, few will take this country and its population serious on anything to do with climate science, and with measures to address climate change.

          The arrogant developed world’s attitude of ‘we know best’, you better do as you are told, and we do what we see fit, that does not wash anymore.

  7. Perhaps the enormities of tackling climate change are too amorphous to galvanize the government or people. How about focusing on plastics, banning and fining all use if plastic. Even if you don’t use plastic shopping bags everything else in the supermkt is encased in it , do too all hay bales

  8. …building in the city are wrapped in it…ban all use if plastics, introduce alternatives, go back to old tech used fifty years ago..like brown paper bags.

    • Brown paper bags and string were both recycled as well.
      Our wastage with building is unfathomable.

      Our main CBDs will all be destined for landfill at some point.

      We cannot do that as we don’t have the resources left to follow that crazy path.

  9. I am a fully signed up member of the socialist movement and I believe our reliance on fossil fuels is the single biggest threat to the future of humanity, but I fear for the lefts’ embrace of anthroprogenic climate change.

    As a scientist with two degrees in two fields central to the study of climate I would urge caution. The climate has always changed, humans beings could once walk from London to Berlin with nothing more than a river crossing for covering water. That changed long before industrialization.

    The earth’s climate is one of the most complex system science attempts to understand and a few models (of thousands tried) that predict the last 100 years and the next 10 does not constitute proof.

    The west dragged itself out of poverty, child death and increased life expectancy through the increased use of inherited energy. To my mind it is of little surprise that much of the culture that gave us the IMF and drone strikes is now recommending that the rest of the developing world is prevented from accessing the same resources the west used to transform its quality of life.

    Scientists (not science) are subject to the same darkness as the rest of humanity – stifling debate, labeling those with different views the same holocaust deniers, putting funding above truth, etc.

    To be sure we need an alternative to fossil fuels before we kill each other over what’s left (as we have been doing, with less advanced weaponry), but the solution is not a lie, it is real science.

    We have been living off inheritance. Fossil fuels are finite. Regardless of the financial reward for extracting a barrel of oil, one day it will take more than a barrel of oil to extract that barrel. Use what’s left to help the poor and build the renewable and nuclear infrastructure needed to prevent the billions of lost lives due to war, famine and disease.

    Everything that sustains us comes from energy: water, food, medicine, refrigeration, construction etc. Climate change is a drop in the ocean compared to life without these.

    • John. You seem to miss the point.

      It is not just climate.

      Energy harvesting in general is a problem as it takes NON RENEWABLE RESOURCES.
      As does our infrastructure, and most things that we have including a bloated unsustainable population.

      Have you looked at that paramount aspect.

      Finite has a meaning.

      The bigger picture is not about details

  10. Perhaps the answer lies in the frog and hot water analogy?
    Drop a frog in boiling water ( God forbid ) and it’ll leap right out.
    Put a frog in cold water then very slowly turn the heat up… Frog soup.
    Nuclear war was/is an immediate threat that’d burn the surface of the planet to a cinder. Therefore. ” Fuck that! No Nukes in our back yard Mate! ”
    Climate change however is slow and barely perceptible. And some argue, has already gone way beyond that critical tipping point.
    Rather than all life on earth going out in a milli second, all life on earth will go out over decades. Therefore, what’s the point of protesting against the enviable? “ Rather stay at home and watch Netflix.” Right?
    Global warming is just too big for most of us to deal with. I think people need more realistic goals to focus on and I think it’s a mistake to focus, for example, on stopping the use of plastic bags at the supermarket. A great idea for sure, but it’s like pissing into a nor wester. And I tried that once and no good comes of it.
    “Ban the Bomb” should be replaced by a new mantra… “ Ban the Banks”. The Banking industry is the very foundation stone of global warming/climate change caused by human over-consumption/funding of heavily polluting ‘developing nations’ so they can over-supply cheap junk to us/Bankster-sabotaged NZ/AO farming practises/One person per massive V8 RV penis extender urban tractor ( personally? Would love one but I can’t afford it. )
    Organise a ‘Ban The Bankster’ movement? That’d bring out the regions.

    Or not. Buy a fiddle? Play a tune as you watch your Pale Blue Dot go up in flames under your feet. I can see a huge advertising screen, like the kind of thing in Blade Runner. The first one. A Bankster ad is showing a beautiful white family, all sparkling teeth and good health, smiling away as butterflies flicker amongst the petunias behind a perfectly manicured lawn in front of a Mc Mansion. The V10 Dodge RamRooter 4×4 glistening up the long sweeping driveway as flames blister its paint work, the butterflies turn to sparks…
    Oh? Wait? Oh! Fuck!

  11. The reason why is because she knows its bullshit
    http://sandhillsexpress.com/abc_national/blast-of-snow-for-new-england-before-recordcold-thanksgiving-abcid36131389/
    Suckers are born every minute, reputable science has called it out as a scam to bleed you of wealth
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/09/28/nasa-the-chill-of-solar-minimum-is-being-felt-in-our-atmosphere-cooling-trend-seen/
    even their own propaganda machine is starting to crack
    Dont be an icecycle prepare for food shortages and cold snaps, your leaders are complicit in this ripoff, they are robbing you in the carbon credit scam.
    Anyone pushing this program is suspect as part of the problem. Agenda 21 is anti-human, witness the 1080 protest and the results of the mass poison programs, once again we get the spys involved to protect profits, better to rename them what they are, the secret police.
    Did you vote for a police state?
    Dont remember that on any ballots, are you given the right to vote for or against 1080 use? Me neither,
    Democracy as practiced in this country is a fail, we need to clean them all out of there privileged positions, M.Ps and Managers of depts, then investigate their finances, they, the political party’s have consistently lied about their campaign promises and followed their own agenda to enrich their party members over NZ citizens.
    The answer is to not vote for any of the current crop of politicians or their partys at all in the next election and to bring in rank outsiders who will do as the country demands.

  12. Global warming?? I wish. It’s bloody freezing where I am. Long winter, short summer, who knows. It’s in the hands of those who deliberately interfere with the weather to make money on the commodities exchange.

    • Climate change and global warming does not mean it happens equally all over the planet. As a matter of fact, some areas or regions may experience a cooling. With large Arctic and Antarctic ice melting we can expect a larger flow of ice into the surrounding oceans, which will in some waters lead to a cooling, like putting ice into a drink like a cocktail. Yet on a global scale, and on average, temperatures are without doubt rising. Also is there more freak weather, which may explain the cold spell hitting especially the southern part of the South Island at present.

      And today it was reported, Donald Trump was ridiculing the climate change talk, as there was a cold weather burst in Washington DC.

    • How much coal, for what purpose, and how often, Andy, provide details, and do not try a Kiwiblog style cheap trick argument throwing around.

      Also, how much coal does NZ Inc export?

  13. The reason nothing can or will be done is demonstrated by these comments.
    They range from the intelligent and informed through to the lunatic and conspiratorial and in a democracy they all hold equal weight.
    In addition, we are, as a population more fractured and intolerant than ever before. Even that minority that makes up the “rainbow community” can’t even agree who should be in a fucking parade!
    If you’re not preparing for a really bad outcome and much sooner than expected, you’re a fool.
    Our clueless prime minister deliberately getting pregnant simply confirms our fate.

  14. The reason nothing can or will be done is demonstrated by these comments.
    They range from the intelligent and informed through to the lunatic and conspiratorial and in a democracy they all hold equal weight.
    In addition, we are, as a population more fractured and intolerant than ever before. Even that minority that makes up the “rainbow community” can’t even agree who should be in a fucking parade!
    If you’re not preparing for a really bad outcome and much sooner than expected, you’re a fool.
    Our clueless prime minister deliberately getting pregnant simply confirms our fate.

  15. Yes the climate is changing , no the population cannot influence it. Just have a look at the size of space and its impact on climate.

    • Go straight up 15km and you’ve left the troposphere where weather takes place.
      If Earth was the size of a basketball,then the troposphere would be the thickness of two layers of cling film.
      The limitless/huge idea is an illusion.

  16. I agree with your sentiment Chris and I offer you a companion question. This government formed an interim climate change commission which will become the Climate Change Commission after the Net Zero 2050 legislation is passed. It will set carbon budgets which is all very good. You could also ask: “will the CCC have any teeth and will it have any levers it can pull to compel the citizenry to act regardless of how complacent they are?”

  17. The crucial difference between nuclear free and climate change is the punters (nor the NZ politicians) didnt possess nukes

  18. Presently, there is no political environmental movement in the sense of the civil movements of the second half of the past century.

    But, globally, there is an enormous groundswell for social, economic and ecological change.

    Climate change and its impacts are like a magnifying glass that can show the extend of human alienation – and light a fire.

    Resilience is a key impulse.

    You find the marks and signs in many countries, although they may appear differently in their public expression. Looking deeper, one will find the similarities and the roots in the same causes, motivations and inspirations.

    ‘Same, same but different’, as it ironically reads on T-shirts for tourists to Southeast Asia.

    A transformational change is on the agenda. The desire goes through social stratification and class with different degree of consternation. It rests in New Zealand, watching the Green Party as if it could perform like a magic wand.

    Once we were rainbow warriors.

    The finance-industry-military complex and its media outlets are heralding distraction, dis-orienting, deflecting from the reality and ruthlessness of human and environmental exploitation.

    The Green Party has been sent to parliament to help supporting tangible responses, meaning adequate systems for transformational change. Simply performing as the Primus in the class is neither required nor sufficient.

    Climate change may affect some very sensitive areas of the narrow NZ economy: agriculture and forestry in monoculture practice, business and trade with long-distance transportation of people and goods (traveling, importation, exportation), real estate in vulnerable locations.

    It will take some powerful measures from extra-parliamentary groups and local individuals to create the socio-economic conditions for successful adaptation.

    Community groups and neighbourhoods for social organization, craftspeople for climate-proofing of houses and infrastructure, small rural entrepreneurs and producers for maintaining supply chains, agriculturists that show diversification through organic measures, planners in local councils, scientists in universities applying their knowledge in practice, spiritual explorers and philosophers lighting up the ways. And many others…..

    Viva la resilience. Rapido.

  19. The disconnect between the science of planetary overheating and what politicians promote gets greater by the day.

    And despite the abundant evidence, a large portion of the populace still remains firmly locked into denial of reality, supporting the rapid destruction of young people’s future.

    The great irony is that the present economic system has no long term future anyway, even if planetary meltdown was not a direct consequence, because the present economic system is predicated on infinite growth on consumption of resources on a finite planet!

    Unfortunately, the latest Guardian article on the matter does not provide a time frame for the ‘2-3 degrees warmer’ and ’10-20 metres higher than now’ sea levels which will eventuate as a consequence of the complete failure of governments to address greenhouse gas emissions. A good guess would be 2040 for the 2-3 degrees warmer and 2060 for the 10-20 metre sea level rise.

    As with all such articles, the latest Guardian article still talks of a window of opportunity for action, despite there being zero political will to take action.

    ‘The main greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change have all reached record levels, the UN’s meteorology experts have reported.
    Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are now far above pre-industrial levels, with no sign of a reversal of the upward trend, a World Meteorological Organization report says.

    “The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was 3-5m years ago, when the temperature was 2-3C warmer and sea level was 10-20 metres higher than now,” said the WMO secretary general, Petteri Taalas.

    “The science is clear. Without rapid cuts in CO2 and other greenhouse gases, climate change will have increasingly destructive and irreversible impacts on life on Earth. The window of opportunity for action is almost closed.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/22/climate-heating-greenhouse-gases-at-record-levels-says-un

    • Yes I read this too. Dire. Making the case that we are not able to change our current trajectory. So humanity really is doomed. But the planet will live on. I think James Lovelock said make hay while the sun shines.

  20. I think John Key gave the answer when he stated his policy towards climate change was one of adaptation.
    Wealthy people don’t care, because they believe wealth and science will see them through any calamity. That is why so many people are busy accumulating wealth they currently have no need for.
    And they secretly believe the world will be better off without the billions who cannot adapt.
    So the question for me is does Jacinda fall in that same group, those who believe they will survive the coming crisis and bugger the rest.
    I’m not 100% sure yet, but I think she probably does.

  21. The current system relies on market “signals” to affect change. Thirty years ago we had more centrally controlled economies which would have lent themselves to being able to make the changes required. We also have a world trading system which punishes those countries who for example impose restrictions on the sulphur content in fuel for health reasons. These punishments would occur if we decided to sanction Brazil or Indonesia for destroying their forests which are one of the greatest CO2 sinks and producers of the worlds rainfalls. Droughts in Australia have increased as the Indonesian forests have been burnt.

    Expert opinion now sees tree planting as one of the main ways to counter anprhopogenic global warming. This needs to take place on a vast scale, a much vaster scale than any human project seen before. Certainly not a scale that will be triggered by economic “signalling”. The solution to the problem needs to be disconnected from the market.

    Such a disconnection would also allow other projects such as clean drinking water to be rolled out. If fractional reserve banking can be used to create money for lending, on a global scale it can be used to solve the developmental and climate challenges of the world. Just create the money to run the projects and then write it off. Running this in a parallel economy would prevent this causing inflation (assuming you think that is more important than human survival).

    Some would say its pie in the sky, the magic money tree. OK, fine, wait for our current economic and political models to fix the problem. Not going to happen while vested interests continue to make money and think their wealth will insulate them from the consequences. The irony is doing nothing will most likely lead to a major reduction in the human population and to some extent ameliorate the problem. The climate is an equilibrium system, have a look at equilibrium curves and try and guess how close to the asymptotic tipping point we are. Unless you can disconnect the solution from the vested interests, it only take one Trump to derail it.

  22. The latest Guardian article on the matter highlights what anyone who has studied climate change knows: overheating (that has resulted from industrially generated emissions) is already causing wide scale death and destruction, and the death and destruction are going to increase substantially in the future as the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increase….CO2 being the major culprit.

    October 2018: 406.00 ppm
    October 2017: 403.64 ppm (CO2.earth.)

    The more CO2 nations put into the atmosphere to keep their economies afloat, the more vulnerable their economies become. Yet short-termism continues to rein supreme (for the moment).

    The Guardian article:

    ‘Climate change to inflict ‘substantial damages’ on US lives, major report to warn

    ‘Impacts of climate change are intensifying across the country’

    Draft outlines claim current response to crisis is insufficient’

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/23/climate-change-america-us-government-report

    • More “climate change” crap from the Guardian. The “97% scientists agree” bullshit has gone…harrah! and the dopey couple of troughing wankers…Nutticelli and Abrams have been shut down. Cry me a river.

      • Head in the sand, bum heading upwards, full steam, another shot of methane emitted from the rear end cavity, going straight into the atmosphere. Thanks for your ‘enlightenment’.

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