A Polish Joke – At The Planet’s Expense

By   /   December 6, 2018  /   54 Comments

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KATOWICE, SILESIA. Polish humour, yes? To stage a critical conference on Climate Change in the heart of Poland’s coalfields just has to be a joke. Right?

Coal-fired power station, Bogatynia, Poland.

 

KATOWICE, SILESIA. Polish humour, yes? To stage a critical conference on Climate Change in the heart of Poland’s coalfields just has to be a joke. Right?

Wrong. Not when the Polish Government is seriously advancing the idea of a “just transition” from coal. Just transition? That’s code for: “Nothing will be done which threatens the job security of the thousands of Polish miners who constitute the electoral heart of the ruling Law & Justice Party.” No one in Polish politics has forgotten that it was the shipyard workers and the coal miners who gave the anti-communist Solidarity movement its economic and political heft back in the early 1980s. If the Commies could crack these guys, what chance do the Greenies have?

The bad news isn’t confined to the coalfields of Eastern Europe. In France an embattled Emanuel Macron has been forced to back away from his Climate Change-inspired fuel price hikes.

With the furious “Yellow Vests” threatening to launch another nationwide assault on the institutions and symbols of French state authority; and with his Police chiefs warning him that their men, close to exhaustion, may not be equal to the task of preserving law and order; what choice did the French President have? It was either concede the Yellow Vests’ key demand, or, bring in the armed forces to quell their nationwide insurrection against oppressive taxes and “Parisian arrogance”. But, setting the French army against the French people has only ever ended in tyranny, revolution, or both.

This is the world we live in now. A world where the desperate pleading of Sir David Attenborough and the UN Secretary General fails. Their words falling not so much on deaf ears as ears filled with the subtle whispers of fossil fuel lobbyists or the angry protests of workers and consumers. Vice-President Richard Cheney knew exactly what he was talking about when he warned the American political class that: “The American way of life is not negotiable.” Nope, and not the French or Polish ways of life, either.

It really is the perfect political storm. At precisely the time when trust and confidence in the world’s decision-makers is most needed, it is plummeting. Those whom Sir David enjoined, on behalf the world’s peoples, to “lead” the planet to safety simply cannot count on more than a tiny fraction of the global population accepting the massive and radical changes such leadership would require.

Perhaps, if people could be persuaded that the costs of transitioning away from our fossil fuel-based civilisation would be equally shared, then there might be some hope. But who believes that is even remotely likely? Who can see the “loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires” (thank you Paul Simon) who rule this world voluntarily relinquishing their wealth and privilege? Who would put their faith in the political classes who service those millionaires and billionaires ever deciding to treat Climate Change as the moral equivalent of war?

The disconnect between the rulers and the ruled is just too profound. In the current political environment it is much more likely that any Climate Change measures inflicting genuine hardship on the mass of the population would be met not with stoical acceptance but, as we have seen in France, with rage and denial. One has only to listen to the bitterness and contempt in the voices of the Polish miners interviewed by the press corps at Katowice. Rather than accept that the coal they dig out of the ground is warming the planet catastrophically, they preferred to pour scorn upon the scientists’ and economists’ warnings. “Who knows more about coal,” they scoffed, “them or us?”

And that marvel of the last quarter-century – the Internet – rather than acting as the perfect instrument for informing the whole world about the dangers that lie ahead has, instead, facilitated the world’s division into a multitude of mutually hostile cultural and political enclaves. There are as many truths today as there are audiences. People are willing to believe only what they have already been convinced of. Like addresses like exclusively – and everyone else can go to hell.

New Zealanders are no different in this respect from the rest of humanity. We should be thankful that the price of oil has fallen precipitately over the past few weeks because, had it not, rising petrol prices combined with increased fuel taxes would almost certainly have sparked a full-scale truckers’ revolt. Considerably less than one hundred large trucks, strategically stalled, could reduce Auckland to angry chaos in less than half-an-hour.

Now imagine those truckers joining forces with thousands of angry farmers protesting against the imposition of Climate Change-driven reforms on the agricultural sector. The French are not the only people who know how to cause trouble!

Sir David Attenborough has spent his entire adult life bringing the wonders of the natural world to appreciative global audiences. Few people on Earth have a more profound understanding of the immense damage being inflicted on the planet’s fragile biosphere by our fossil-fuel based civilisation. One can only imagine his distress at the near certainty of so much wonder and beauty being driven to extinction by anthropogenic global warming.

In the dark watches of the night, I wonder, does even as big-hearted a man as Sir David Attenborough not comfort himself with the thought that the authors of this global tragedy will, in the not too distant future, and along with all other living things, be forced to pay the price. The people of the world may not be interested in responding to Climate Change, but Climate Change is, most certainly, responding to them.

 

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54 Comments

  1. Mjolnir says:

    I’d like to say I emjoyed your piece, Chris, but I fear “enjoy” would be the wrong term…

    Insightful and thought-provoking, to be sure.

  2. Mjolnir says:

    By the way, shouldn’t this “If the Commies could crack these guys, what chance do the Greenies have?” read like this “If the Commies couldN’T crack these guys, what chance do the Greenies have?”?

    Just wondering.

  3. esoteric pineapples says:

    Not to mention that Poland has a far right government as well

  4. Andrew says:

    Meanwhile Germany, having failed in it’s attempts to be green, is busy building new coal fired power stations. 😉

    Attenborough is just another media luvvie. His horizon is a cute little clique of people that attend the ballet and drink chardonnay and art exhibitions.

    I’d trust his opinion as much as I would the Kardashians
    .

    • Aaron says:

      So says the local rep from the National Party Social Media Team.

    • Nitrium Nitrium says:

      Yep. Likely because they’re shutting down their absolutely 100% “green” (in so far climate change is concerned) nuclear power stations (due to Green pressure).
      https://www.dw.com/en/german-cabinet-approves-2022-nuclear-shutdown/a-15134028-1
      A core issue with this entire “clean-green” nonsense is that there are no genuinely green alternatives to fill the carbon and/or nuclear gap. How you gonna power those electric vehicles, exactly? You do realise that charging those things requires energy, right? 150,000 barrels per day of new energy in New Zealand (by the time you take generation and battery charging efficiency into account, it’s not much better than internal combustion engines that operate at around 30%) will need to come from somewhere that isn’t coal. So what is it? More dams? Good luck putting huge swathes of pristine land underwater. More wind/solar panel farms? Good luck covering huge swathes of land with eye-sore windmills/solar panels. More geothermal? Good luck getting resource consent for that.
      https://www.indexmundi.com/energy/?country=nz&product=oil&graph=consumption
      Even if anthropogenic global warming is real (and I’m not remotely convinced it is when you look at temperature changes over millennia – there is no short-term/<100yr resolution in temp/CO2 data so you can't say "but it's faster now than ever before" with any grounds whatsoever), you need to come up with viable alternatives. Queue the crickets. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t is about as good as this is going to get. Deal with that instead of unrealistic utopian pipe dreams.

      • David Stone says:

        You left out the fact that a huge percentage of power os lost to heat in transmission over long distances in the power grid.
        To be a net benefit to emissions electric vehicles would need to come with a solar charging installation to stick on the roof of the car port.
        D J S

        • John W says:

          David that doesn’t fit the capitalist model easily, which is one of its strengths.

          The important point is seldom mentioned.

          WE NEED TO USE LESS HARVESTED ENERGY.

      • John W says:

        The problem with the Greens is that the much of the public prefer to live in denial or just can’t cope with what is happening and will happen.

    • J S Bark J S Bark says:

      Hmmm…

      How does one drink art exhibitions?

      Just asking…

    • Snow White says:

      What about the NZDF’s warnings about climate change, Andrew ?

      Or do you think the NZDF is a cute little clique of people that attend the ballet and drink chardonnay and art exhibitions ? Really ?

      How does one drink art exhibitions anyway ? It could be a bit like choking on sand, Andrew.

    • D'Esterre says:

      Andrew: “Meanwhile Germany, having failed in it’s attempts to be green, is busy building new coal fired power stations…”

      At the time of our first visit to Germany, in about 2000, a relative told us that the Greens – who had recently won seats in the Bundestag – had forced the government to close the nuclear powered stations.

      As said relative pointed out, if we aren’t to have nuclear power, it’ll have to be coal-fired generation. Or gas. Or oil. The economy depends upon adequate supplies of electricity. Citizens depend upon it for ligbting, heating, cooking etc. And especially heating, if gas isn’t available. Winters are cruel in that part of the world.

    • John W says:

      What is your horizon Andrew.

      Attenborough not speaking doesn’t change what is happening.

  5. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Well said, Chris.

    I (and other like-minded people) used to think that the key to appropriate action was an informed community. Though we had come up against opposition, we thought that persistence would eventually overcome the forces that maintained status quo (predicated on squandering fossil fuels).

    How wrong we were! If there is one thing the commercial sector does not want, then that is an informed community that understands the connection between consumption and the meltdown of the planet we have been witnessing.

    The same applies to the government, of course. The government does not want an informed community that is frugal and conserves: it wants consumers who will keep buying stuff they don’t need to keep the keep the [phony] economic figures looking good in the short term. Government systems promote and reward consumption, and promote so-called development -which is code for using fossil fuels to convert that which is sustainable into that which is unsustainable. That is true almost everywhere in the world.

    I and others did our bit and got nowhere, just as others did their bit and got nowhere. The monster that comprises the economic system lumbered on. Apparently, it will lumber on until it can’t.

    We do know the end is not far off because ultimately it all comes down to maths, physics and chemistry, and the natural systems that are dependent on stable physical factors and stable chemical factors;

    https://www.albartlett.org/presentations/arithmetic_population_energy.html

    Industrial Civilisation is predicated on consuming resources and messing up natural systems, and humanity has done a great job messing them up, particularly since the 1960s, when the rise in atmospheric CO2 was clearly identified as a potential threat that needed to be addressed (and wasn’t addressed because vested interests (American big oil, American big coal, American big auto etc.) did not want rising CO2 to be addressed.

    So here we are, over 50 years later with rising atmospheric CO2 still not addressed:

    December 3, 2018 409.18 ppm NOAA-ESRL

    December 3, 2017 407.04 ppm NOAA-ESRL

    We should also note the role that banks play in promoting meltdown of the planet, their Ponzi financial systems being predicated on the mathematical impossibility of infinite industrial growth on a finite planet.

    We should not forget global population, which is three times what it was when meaningful action to prevent meltdown might have been taken.

    • John W says:

      The public live in relative ignorance, a state managed by the obesely wealthy profiters of consumerism.

      Banks have forced many farmers to buy fertiliser, overstock cattle and double out GHG emissions, all to create somewhat toxic exports at a great cost to NZ and the world.

  6. Siobhan says:

    Real Median Hourly wage in France has been flatlining for years. In 11 years, the hourly minimum wage increased by a spectacular 1.73 euro!. Thats $2.85. In Fact it has, in real terms dropped.

    On Top of that Macron has overseen a real break down in employment conditions, painting workers as the ‘enemy’. He once called opponents to his reforms “slackers”, and criticised union protesters for “stirring up trouble” instead of finding new jobs.

    And then he tells ,i>those very same workers they need to absorb the increase in Petrol prices.

    Can you not see why that might be a hard sell?

    He’s basically saying “I don’t think you need better wages, and you’re a bunch of slackers and trouble makers, but because I care about you so much we are going to charge you more for petrol, one of the basic commodities in life’.

    • francesca says:

      Exactly
      Sending fossil fuel “messages”without addressing underlying economic inequities won’t work.The poor bear the brunt of fuel increases
      Once again,its been shown that social justice has to be part of the solution

    • Mike the Lefty says:

      Because Macron is a populist.
      The underlying feature of populism is not to have definite policies on anything, instead you make up your policies according to political wind direction and public opinion.
      But sometimes the wind can blow from an unexpected direction and then the populists haven’t got a clue what to do.

    • J S Bark J S Bark says:

      Indeed SIOBHAN, I think you may find the flatlining of wages a global phenomenon and more or less coincident with the arrival of neo-liberalism in the late 70s. As long as that pernicious virus continues to hold the moneyed class in thrall, there is little hope for our ‘civilisation’…

  7. adam says:

    Wouldn’t it be ironic, that the urban middle class would have to go out and deal with the farmers if they tried what you suggested. What would a urban middle class billy club look like I wonder?

    • Sam Sam says:

      Oh they are jacked. Those clubs have been preparing for Ukrainian style protests ie smoke grenades and batons since the 90’s. They’re not messing around.

  8. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Sorry about the double posting but I have only just come across this dismal report:

    ‘Brutal news’: global carbon emissions jump to all-time high in 2018′

    ‘Global carbon emissions will jump to a record high in 2018, according to a report, dashing hopes a plateau of recent years would be maintained. It means emissions are heading in the opposite direction to the deep cuts urgently needed, say scientists, to fight climate change.

    The rise is due to the growing number of cars on the roads and a renaissance of coal use and means the world remains on the track to catastrophic global warming. However, the report’s authors said the emissions trend can still be turned around by 2020, if cuts are made in transport, industry and farming emissions.’

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/05/brutal-news-global-carbon-emissions-jump-to-all-time-high-in-2018

    Just how this can be ‘turned around by 2020’ is something of a mystery when governments are still promoting economic growth and still promoting increased use of fossil fuels. And world population is still growing.

    In the article is this ‘nasty’ piece of information, which as been speculated about as Global Dimming since the BBC Horizon documentary was made in 2005: ‘This is a film that demands action”. Whoops. There wasn’t any!

    ‘Falling air pollution is enabling more of the sun’s warmth to reach the Earth’s surface, as aerosol pollutants reflect sunlight, while a long-term natural climate cycle in the Pacific is entering a warm phase. Victor said: “Global warming is accelerating. [These] three trends will combine over the next 20 years to make climate change faster and more furious than anticipated.”

    • J S Bark J S Bark says:

      – However, the report’s authors said the emissions trend can still be turned around by 2020, if cuts are made in transport, industry and farming emissions.’ –

      That’s nice. Especially if it’s true.

      But what happened in Godzone the last time the government tried to impose limits on these three sectors?

      Tractors up Parliament’s steps anybody?

      • Lone Comet says:

        Do you remember carless days of the 70’s…

      • John W says:

        The evidence supporting the truth of being able to turn around the warming trend, is just not there.

        Statements made by political figures are expedients at best, for political purposes.

        Mother earth doesn’t hear them.

        CO2 and methane emission continue to climb with the last one being well out of human control at this late point.

        Deforestation continues to accelerate.

        NZ is a very bad example and amongst the leaders of climate destruction.

        Our way of life has to radically change – a direction that won’t be allowed.

        The present path will be enforced. Some tinkering may promised and even allowed

  9. Jase says:

    There ain’t no stopping this fossil fuel train until…

    Jethro Tull – Locomotive Breath
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNCT6pA5I9A

    In the shuffling madness
    Of the locomotive breath,
    Runs the all, time loser,
    Headlong to his death.

    He feels the piston scraping
    Steam breaking on his brow
    Old Charlie stole the handle and
    The train it won’t stop going

    No way to slow down.
    He sees his children jumping off
    At the stations – one by one.
    His woman and his best friend

    In bed and having fun.
    He’s crawling down the corridor
    On his hands and knees
    Old Charlie stole the handle and

    The train it won’t stop going
    No way to slow down.
    He hears the silence howling
    Catches angels as they fall.

    And the all-time winner
    Has got him by the balls.
    He picks up Gideons Bible
    Open at page one

    God He stole the handle and
    The train won’t stop going
    No way to slow down.

  10. Aaron says:

    The thing I want to know is do the workers in Paris just oppose the rise in petrol prices willy-nilly or do they know that there are better solutions like taxing the profits of oil companies or subsidising a different way of using the world’s resources.

    I don’t know the answer but as usual as soon as the left starts pouring scorn on people who want lower petrol prices we lose all hope of communicating with those people – who are genuinely suffering from high living costs btw.

    Our message should be; Yes, we agree it’s terrible how petrol prices are so high – just like it’s terrible that the overall spending power of our wages has gone down over the last few decades. As it happens the people who have taken your money are the same people behind climate change, and now they want to make you pay to clean up their mess. And yes Macron is in their pocket

    • David Stone says:

      The answer is that though the inequality of 30 years of neoliberalism means that those most directly affected by measures to reduce emissions are those who have been the losers of the system , there is not a solution to burning fossil fuels available to maintain our way of life. And changing that is going to hurt more than people will tolerate.
      D J S

      • D'Esterre says:

        David Stone: “…those most directly affected by measures to reduce emissions are those who have been the losers of the system , there is not a solution to burning fossil fuels available to maintain our way of life. And changing that is going to hurt more than people will tolerate.”

        That’s my view as well. I suspect that this fact underlies pretty much all of citizens’ unwillingness to accept governmental strictures intended to reduce emissions or fossil fuel consumption.

        People aren’t stupid. They see – or conclude – that the elites will have the means to arrange things such that they’ll suffer disproportionately less than ordinary people from the radical societal changes consequent upon reductions in fossil fuel use.

        In Europe in particular: how does anyone think that people could survive those cruel winters without fossil fuels? Only the blissfully ignorant think that society could return without massive damage to the pre-industrial idyll. If it ever existed… So: the lecturing of the political elites comes a gigantic cropper – for example in France – when faced with a population that knows from previous revolutions how much power it has to kneecap said elites.

        I’ve long taken an interest in the science of climate change. I’ve read literature, listened to radio programmes on the topic. Over the past couple of decades, it’s seemed to me that scientists’ tone has gone from desperation to resignation.

        It’s now too late to avoid radical warming; the time for the world to have taken substantive steps has long gone. Technological developments don’t exist which would provide a plausible alternative to fossil fuel use, such that our current way of life can be maintained.

    • David Stone says:

      Come to that why don’t electric cars all come out with a solar roof? It might not power enough for continuous motoring but all the time parked at the office would surely help.
      D J S

      • John W says:

        Planning communities where transportation is minimalised, is not happening but needs to.

        Cars cannot be an answer long term. The concept of a car is a growing problem.

        • D'Esterre says:

          John W: “Cars cannot be an answer long term. The concept of a car is a growing problem.”

          Our society is built around the internal combustion engine; there is thus far no practicable alternative to it. Even in cities, we cannot manage without cars, and EVs aren’t a solution at present. Or in the foreseeable future.

          A fortiori in rural areas: how do you think our food could be produced, without tractors and the like? And how would rural people survive without the car?

          We’ve no option but to continue fossil fuel consumption.

          • Sam Sam says:

            Growth is on track to hit 5%. Manufacturing is moving offshore. Productivity is up so we’re likley to see inflation in wages as RBNZ try’s to keep a lid on run away house prices.

            The only loser in a transition from fossil fuels is, cars. Changing the motor pool from fossil fuels to electric is going to be a huge cost on every one so the more money people have in the bank the more likely a there’ll be a transition to carbon neutral/zero.

            With 4 million people, if we were to fall back on horses would probably cause more harm than good. I don’t seeing having 4 million horses AND 4 million cows being a good thing.

          • John W says:

            D’Esterre – you seem to be assuming many things and missing out others.

            Do humans want to continue towards destroying our changes of survival beyond a decade or so.

            Humans population will reduce drastically in the short term if we continue the path we are on.

            Fossil fuel use is but one of many things we have to abandon. It is not a matter of economic disruption.

            Yes things will change one way or another.

            Many just can’t adjust to the idea and argue on about almost irrelevant detail.

  11. sc says:

    I love Attenborough. But he has never been a single-parent and nurse from a rural area in France that can’t survive on her income anymore.

    The thing is the fuel taxes, I believe, weren’t about saving the world from climate change, they were about getting the French deficit down so they can stay within the Mastricht Rules of “no more than 3% deficit spending” and “no more than 60% debt to gdp ratio”. It is austerity dressed up as Green politics (alongside the wealth tax cut he gave to the rich who I suspect funded Macron’s meteoric rise). A genuine green carbon tax would redistribute the revenue to those who need it most and heavily subsidise green consumption/investment – in a country with a sovereign currency this could be done via deficit spending. But not in the fiscally constrained Eurozone.

    The Green movement needs to realise that when they talk about “the end of the world” they need to remember that ordinary workers are more worried about getting “to the end of the month”. This should be a cautionary tale to environmentalists – ignore class at your peril. Those most able to bear the costs of transition should be asked to do so first.

    I have to applaud the yellow shirts. They have shown they have guts. They show the power that people united together have to effect change. As I read somewhere, one yellow shirt said, “a while ago we were desperate on our own. But now we are desperate together”.

    France needs to exit the Eurozone and its government needs to embark on a massive spending programme to end unemployment and raise real wages. It could, for example, employ people in the green industries the transition requires.

    The kind of growth path we choose does not necessarily need to harm the environment any more than it has to involve child labour or slavery.

    • John W says:

      You have not ruled out social reorganisation of employment and wealth distribution.

      The value communities put of various services can be changed. Nurse do more for people than many wealthy business tycoons.

    • John W says:

      The people of France have an understanding about social revolt.

      NZ has lost that.

      We did the 40 hour week

      We did the voter for all.

      We know suffer under a neo liberal regime with minimal protest.

  12. manfred staab says:

    Hardly anyone has brought the question of social classes back to the agenda so vehemently in recent years as the French writer Édouard Louis.

    This is a translation of his opinion on the yellow vests from ZEIT ONLINE, which first appeared on the French website “Les Inrockuptibles”.

    Quote

    For a few days I have been trying to write a text about the yellow vests. I can not handle it. Something in the extreme violence and social contempt that comes against this movement paralyzes me. Because in a way, it’s really personal.

    When I saw the first pictures of the yellow vests, I felt a shock that is difficult to describe. In the photos of the many articles you could see bodies that are almost always invisible in the media and public space. Suffering bodies. Bodies devastated by fatigue and work, by hunger, by the constant humiliation of the rulers, marked by spatial and social exclusion. I looked at emaciated faces, saw stooped, broken people, looked at exhausted hands.

    Why are these pictures so close to me? Certainly, I detest the violence of the social world, its inequality. But that is not the only reason. The bodies of the people you see in these photos are similar to those of my father, my brother, my aunt. They resemble the bodies of my family and the people from the village where I grew up. From these people, whose health is ruined by misery and poverty, I kept hearing all through my childhood: “Nobody matters to us, no one speaks of us.” Therefore, I feel personally struck by the contempt and violence with which the bourgeois classes of this movement have immediately encountered. In me, for me, it was like this: Anyone who insulted a yellow vest insulted my father.

    Immediately after she had formed, the yellow wests movement was downsized and stamped by experts and analysts. The revolt they stand for was laughed at. The social media talked about barbarians, spinners, brutals, and packs. The media spoke of the “rumbling” of the yellow vests. The popular class does not show resistance. She rumbles. As if it were animals. When shop windows were smashed, cars were lit or statues were damaged, people spoke of the “violence of this movement”.

    We are used to this differentiation of violence. A large part of the media and political sphere wants us to believe: violence is when cars burn. When a policy destroys and destroys the lives of thousands of people, it is not considered violence. Anyone who considers smudging monuments to be worse than the impossibility of feeding themselves or their own family, living in health, or just surviving, really does not have any idea what social misery is.

    Unquote

  13. J S Bark J S Bark says:

    An excellent (if somewhat depressing) article.

    The reaction to climate change reminds me of my Christian neighbour who once told me “I don’t believe in evolution.” To which I replied “You don’t have to. It happens without you.”

    It is blatantly obvious to any observer that tackling climate change requires a global war footing (with the exception of the Sentinelese who are already on a war footing). Nobody wishes to do that ‘coz it’s too inconvenient. Therefore the climate will continue to change. It’s that simple.

    But the big matter that is a complete no-no and never raised or discussed is that there are simply too many ambulant simians for the size of the planet.

    Unless the balance between hatching and despatching can be tuned a little more toward the funerary side the parasite will kill the host.

  14. let me be frank says:

    We may blame the lack of leadership but the reality is we get the leaders we deserve…and our children will reap what we have sown….and their children if they are lucky.
    La fin.

  15. dennis dorney says:

    If the fury of the Yellow Vests is what it is like to be in the European Community, can it really be any worse to leave it?
    How is it possible to have taken so long to reach this impasse and still not know what the situation demands? The core problem is population, population, population. If people just dont get it, there really is no hope.

  16. Jum says:

    Reminds me of the reality scene in The Matrix.

  17. Marc says:

    “This is the world we live in now. A world where the desperate pleading of Sir David Attenborough and the UN Secretary General fails. Their words falling not so much on deaf ears as ears filled with the subtle whispers of fossil fuel lobbyists or the angry protests of workers and consumers.”

    You have got it, Chris, that is the sad state of affairs, and NOTHING is any different in little NZ Inc..

    Turkeys won’t vote for an early Xmas, and voters who love their cars, most of which rely on fossil fuel, and who are used to the buy and turf away lifestyles we now have had for decades, they will not vote for restrictions to their lifestyles.

    They may vow in words to do something to save us from climate disaster, when asked to step up and make any sacrifices, no-one will be left to be seen.

    Hence they carry on as usual, and we can now expect above three degrees warming by the end of this century, for sure.

    People will have digitised animals and forests they can look up on their gadget screens, and feel green, while the real animals will become extinct.

    Humanity is the ultimate form of insanity, as we have it.

    They cut off the branch they sit on in the tree, and expect nothing will happen.

  18. Marc says:

    And the internet has solved or even improved nothing. Some still promote bitcoins, some love gaming, others watch streamed movies for hours, all using ever more electricity, so where does that come from?

    We have data harvesting, surveillance, we have tapping into cables, we have Fakebook and others. And so many read fake news, lock themselves into little chat rooms, and spend endless hours on trivia and entertainment.

    Systems make us ever more dependent, and a crash will leave us without services, without cash, without EFTPOS, without means to survive and access basic things.

    We are truly screwed, screwed big time.

    • Afewknowthetruth says:

      Do you get the feeling the phony systems are finally starting to break down?

      ‘Bitcoin is now at US$3,256 which is a -18.4% loss for the week. In fact, this price has halved in the past 30 days.’

      ‘Wall Street isn’t taking kindly to the data or its indications of the economic track, and is down -2.0% in mid-afternoon trade. And that means equities are now in loss territory over all of 2018, down -2%.’

      https://www.interest.co.nz/news/97273/us-jobs-growth-slows-sharply-wall-street-2018-loss-canada-jobs-data-impresses-china-faux

      • Sam Sam says:

        Some one mention Bitcoin?

        12.5 block reward with almost no fees. * $100 * 6 blocks = $7500.

        Need I say any more?

      • Nitrium Nitrium says:

        You can only keep running on very empty fumes for so long. Printing 6% of GDP in new debt each year to get 3% “growth” is definitely not something that is sustainable.

      • Marc says:

        Bitcoin was a project that got the money launderers and drug traders wet dreams, but for the rest, it is just another attempt to create some value or credit in the form of a currency, that is volatile after all.

        I am more worried about the whole direction of our information age systems and what the players in it do and take advantage of. We trust systems that maybe should not be trusted. I do not trust them but the sheeples do, and as the sheeples do trust them, this gives them ‘validity’ and power, which impacts on me, not wanting these players to have that kind of power.

        I feel dragged down a hole, a dark hole, a sinister hole, and enslaved, just trying to use the internet for my personal and generally innocent purposes.

        Maybe I should go bush, opt out of everything, that seems to be the only last option.

  19. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Yet again, money speaks much, much louder than science:

    ‘US and Russia ally with Saudi Arabia to water down climate pledge’

    ‘The US and Russia have thrown climate talks into disarray by allying with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to water down approval of a landmark report on the need to keep global warming below 1.5C.

    After a heated two-and-a-half-hour debate on Saturday night, the backwards step by the four major oil producers shocked delegates at the UN climate conference in Katowice as ministers flew in for the final week of high-level discussions.

    It has also raised fears among scientists that the US president, Donald Trump, is going from passively withdrawing from climate talks to actively undermining them alongside a coalition of climate deniers.’

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/09/us-russia-ally-saudi-arabia-water-down-climate-pledges-un

  20. D'Esterre says:

    Afewknowthetruth: “US and Russia ally with Saudi Arabia to water down climate pledge’”

    What did anyone expect would happen? There isn’t yet – or possibly ever – a practicable alternative to the widescale use of fossil fuels. Does anyone seriously imagine that people in high latitudes in particular would be able to survive without fossil fuels? Even here, we couldn’t. Our best hope is the development of technologies which capture emissions and render them less harmful to the environment.

    “…the UN climate conference in Katowice as ministers flew in….”

    Which neatly illustrates the hypocrisy of the elites: flying in from all over the world to lecture the rest of us on reducing emissions, instead of staying home and conducting a conference via Skype. This would be the logical thing to do, were they serious about emissions reduction.

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