Apocalypse 2020

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As I look ahead to the future, visibility is poor. The haze of Australian bush fires and the blather of climate denying political leaders precludes the very possibility of visionary outlooks among atomised populations immersed in their private self-affirming digital worlds of selfies, memes and clickbait. As the post-truth era gives way to forms of consciousness unaware that eras actually exist or that history matters, the earth system is afflicted by melting ice, heatwaves, dying marine life, disintegrating agricultural systems, mass migration and never-ending geopolitical conflicts. Short-termism reigns, the long-term tomorrow will look after itself. Don’t bother searching for meaning, there isn’t any, just consume, swap selfies, demand nothing and die. In these unpropitious circumstances, allow me to make some predictions for the next calendar year. I have no gift for prophecy or prescience. In our dark and unfathomable world, my guess is as good as yours. 

New Zealand

  • Proponents of cannabis law reform win a resounding referendum victory. Video footage of Chloe Swarbrick and James Shaw sharing a celebratory spliff outside Wellington’s Backbenchers’ pub goes viral. 
  • Opponents of cannabis law reform win a resounding referendum victory. Parallel video footage of Simon Bridges, Paula Bennett and gang leaders individually celebrating, goes viral.
  • A series of armed gang clashes in Auckland, Northland and Wellington leave five dead and 10 injured. Simon Bridges vows to crack down on gangs.
  • After three weeks of intensifying volcanic activity, Auckland’s Rangitoto erupts violently destroying Takapuna, Devonport, the Inner City and the Eastern Suburbs. As fatalities rise and economic activity is wiped out, property prices fall dangerously.
  • Australian climate change refugees demand entry as early summer temperatures average 45°c and whole suburbs burn. Jacinda Adern’s re-elected coalition government announces that preference will be given to New Zealand expatriates.

Australia

  • Scott Morrison carries a large lump of kerosene-doused coal into the Australian senate. Setting it alight, he declares maniacally that there is nothing to be afraid of. Elected representatives are engulfed in flames as ScoMo escapes back to Hawaii.
  • Pauline Hanson declares that there should be a second enquiry into Islam.
  • Senior figures throughout the Murdoch media in Australia apologise for years of Islamophobic media coverage and the torrent of fake news about Labour’s tax policies.
  • Trapped in a Blue Mountains bush fire which firefighters refuse to put out, ScoMo, back from Hawaii, declares a climate emergency. 

United Kingdom

  • After being publicly outed as a helium balloon rather than a sentient human being, Boris Johnson ascends into the stratosphere.
  • Civil war breaks out in Ireland as an unforeseen series of massive earthquakes and gaping earth fissures separates Scotland from England. The Queen dies.
  • Labour announces that if they win the next election, two Brexit/remain referenda will be held consecutively. If the two results, averaged out, deliver less than a 5% margin for either side, there will be another referendum.
  • Prince Andrew, in an unscripted podcast, announces that Ghislaine Maxwell and himself will host a live internet-streamed press conference outside Jeffrey Epstein’s former town house in New York.
  • Upon his return to London, Prince Andrew is arrested by King Charles’ security detail and taken to the tower.

United States

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  • The US senate fails to impeach Donald Trump. After his presidential re-election victory, God intervenes and turns the Donald into a pillar of salt. Fox News refuses to run the news story.
  • The Democratic Party choose Joe Biden as their presidential candidate and lose disastrously.
  • A gigantic hurricane and multiple rainstorms drown thousands in Miami and Southern Florida. Regional property prices fall.

World

  • Trump re-announces that US citizens should leave South Korea. After a robust nuclear exchange between the US and North Korea, millions die and the entire region is contaminated by nuclear fallout for centuries to come. The UN Security Council fails to reach consensus on the issue.
  • After years of quantitative easing by the world’s Central Banks and massive borrowings by investment banks, hedge funds and other reckless speculators, the bubble bursts. A simultaneous collapse in the Shanghai property market and global derivatives markets triggers a massive financial meltdown and worldwide depression. The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland discusses how to protect asset values and restore confidence in the global financial system.

Sport

  • The third cricket test between Australia and New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground continues after two Black Cap fielders die of smoke inhalation. Australia wins the match by an innings and 56 runs. Scott Morrison and the Australian captain Tim Paine, both wearing face masks, congratulate each other on a fine victory. 
  • At the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, New Zealand win no gold medals and a commission of enquiry is established to apportion blame and intensify national self-loathing. 
  • England defeat the All Blacks at Twickenham by a huge margin. Ian Foster and the coaching team upon return to New Zealand receive 24/7 police protection. A commission of enquiry is established to apportion blame and intensify national self-loathing.

Well, that’s all from me, enjoy Christmas and the New Year, while it lasts. For those who are anxious or of fragile disposition, remember it is not possible for all of these predictions to eventuate. But some might, you never can tell.

 

12 COMMENTS

  1. “As I look ahead to the future, visibility is poor. The haze of Australian bush fires and the blather of climate denying political leaders precludes the very possibility of visionary outlooks ”

    Illustrated here.

  2. NZ business led, environmental practises – getting worse and worse for the environment and forget saving our many near extinct species in NZ, someones golf course, landfill or oil exploration is more important ….

    “A dam illegally constructed in an Auckland Council reserve is set to be lowered before Christmas, but not removed

    The impact of an illegally-constructed dam has been described by the Environment Court as “critical” for New Zealand’s most endangered bird but its removal will be a slow process, with the company which built it unlawfully setting most of the terms.”

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/12/19/953508/dam-delays-half-soon-half-later-maybe

    Harbour of doubt: The tiny creek that drains Auckland of its waste

    “St Lukes mall, one of the single biggest contributors of sewage into Meola, and likely among the biggest overflow points in the country.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/117958444/harbour-of-doubt-the-tiny-creek-that-drains-auckland-of-its-waste

    No plan to tackle environmental degradation by increased tourism – Commissioner

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/405767/no-plan-to-tackle-environmental-degradation-by-increased-tourism-commissioner

    “Protesters are vowing direct action in southern waters after oil giant OMV was yesterday cleared to drill up to 10 exploration wells off the Otago coast beginning this summer.”

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/mayor-slams-drilling-approval-farce?fbclid=IwAR0pg_haSht_L8zIPWhj2D-ph2d6CJb5yMAqp6BMozpjpjlofFpZuYFfylc

    Appeals against Chinese water bottling plant dismissed

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/118255435/appeals-against-chinese-water-bottling-plant-dismissed

    EPA grants drilling and discharge consent for Otago coast to oil and gas company OMV

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/118277477/epa-grants-drilling-and-discharge-consent-for-otago-coast-to-oil-and-gas-company-omv

    “Directors of Tamarind Taranaki, the New Zealand business of a Malaysian oil and gas producer say the company “may be insolvent”.

    Tamarind operates three oil fields according to its website, Tui, Amokura, and Pateke in the Tui Area oil field. It is the 100 per cent owner and operator of the fields.

    The company’s business model is to buy oil fields late in their production life.

    When buying fields off other companies, Tamarind assumes responsibility for any remediation costs when the field is closed.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12284777

    Dairy firm wants ocean wastewater outfall
    https://www.odt.co.nz/rural-life/dairy/dairy-firm-wants-ocean-wastewater-outfall

    EPA’s ‘inappropriate’ reaction to student’s speech
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/117378375/epas-inappropriate-reaction-to-students-speech

    Palm oil giant Wilmar goes to full control of Goodman Fielder

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12211787

    Great we have the Greens in parliament and Jacinda’s nuclear free moment of climate change on the forefront! Sarcasm.

    Maybe a bit underwhelming from COL on the environment which is only slightly better than the Natz wanting to turn NZ into a slave colony and pollution factory in the Pacific run by their favourite donors?????

    • Wake up GREENS and anyone else who wants their kids to have a liveable planet 2030! Is this what giving the Natz questions in parliament and working with industry has achieved as so called goals?

      This is from the Greens,

      “Today, our Government asked New Zealanders to have a say on three big ideas for more climate action. But we need your help to them over the line.

      Ending coal, with an end date of 2030 for coal used in boilers, as we move towards 100% renewable energy by 2035.

      (MOVING TOWARDS RENEWABLE ENERGY IN 15 YEARS… even the third world is moving faster than that)

      Putting a price on pollution by strengthening the Emissions Trading Scheme so industry cuts its emissions.

      (PRICING POLLUTION NOT ENDING IT – another go at keeping pollution at peak capacity but arguing over what monetary price destroying the planet is)

      Pushing energy efficiency to the next level by prompting energy companies and other industries to take responsibility for efficiency gains.”

      (PROMOTING BUSINESS TO VOLUNTARY RESPONSIBILITY – has never worked and there is a lot more to be done than efficiency gains)

      Environmentalists working with big business and industry leads to never never thinking, and the above headlines, with voluntary standards that go nowhere, endless dates of the future to do something, more creatures extinct, worse water, land and air quality, while the so called government environmentalists are in a meeting with business heads…

      Really, really underwhelming when the Greens and Labour press releases and goals seemssimilar to the Natz approach to pretend to be doing something with distractions and limited scope, while most environmental practises get worse and worse!

      Labour have done nothing for the environment either! Big disappointment that even the Green Party goals have been scaled back to nothingness.

  3. Also think who is producing that Christmas tat and who is profiting from it!

    Tesco withdraws Christmas cards from sale after forced labour claims
    Supermarket halts production in China after six-year-old girl finds plea for help inside card

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/dec/22/tesco-halts-production-at-chinese-factory-over-forced-labour-claims-christmas-cards

    Supermarkets the new profiteers!

    Supermarket owners banking super profits, NBR Rich List shows

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/106288425/supermarket-owners-banking-super-profits-nbr-rich-list-shows

    No need for a pay rise, I think also the bus unions have been unsuccessful in their strikes.

    Why would a business pay more, when they don’t have to.

    Our government approves 150,000 temp work permits per ANNUM being put through NZ and the people PAY for the job or the fake degree while the locals become the working poor or better off on benefits!

    “Glen Innes Pak n Save owner, who’s worth an estimated $65 million, is currently paying one of the lowest rates as far as collective agreements go in Auckland supermarkets.

    The Union is currently bargaining at Hastings Pak n Save where workers recently had to resort to a strike action following a miserable offer, several pickets have also been held at the store. At mediation, the owner offered a 0% pay rise for the 2018 year.”

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1808/S00537/oh-thats-where-they-get-their-profits-from.htm

    Likewise paying for an intern permit to work in a hotel at minimum wages… The NZ government is happy for these people to profit to both lower the wages and conditions while also making the NZ tax payers pay or subsidise the health, education, accomodation and other benefits going forward for the migrant workers upon residency and keep approving the schemes for NZ visas, which keeps the internment, student and temp work visa Ponzi’s, going.

    “The students paid up to $6000 each to Wellington company Internship New Zealand to come here to gain international experience.

    They were then employed as housekeepers by cleaning company AHS, which services rooms at the Grand Mercure in Wellington.

    The students told Newshub they had been forced to doctor time sheets so some of their hours are not being paid and had their wages unfairly docked.”

    This person paid $30k for a NZ work visa… to work cash and now dead on the job.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/117551892/death-of-a-migrant-under-the-table-workers-building-aucklands-multimillion-dollar-homes

    These people paid $45k to get a visa and job in NZ
    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/12/rotorua-holiday-park-owner-to-pay-record-sum-for-nightmare-worker-exploitation.html

    Paying some very dubious people to work in NZ and give crims work for residency.
    Bakery owner to pay back $33,800 illegally deducted from worker’s wages

    “Singh worked as a baker from 2011 till February 2017, when he left the job. About four months later, Singh was arrested in Henderson on three charges of assault and one charge of a threat to kill.

    A psychiatric assessment revealed Singh was a regular user of methamphetamine and had experienced a psychotic episode. Singh also served a sentenced of ten weeks in prison.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/112128450/bakery-owner-to-pay-back-33800-illegally-deducted-from-workers-wages

    This list goes on and on in NZ… have yet to see anybody in the government or media try to do anything useful to solve new migrants making money from fake degrees/work/marriages, in fact they seem to be encouraging crims or non income people to come to NZ to get benefits on fake jobs that only exist to make money from migrants paying to work there.

    endless list of people being caught which will only be the tip of the iceberg but the government and media keep burying the problem which like the environment is getting worse and worse.

    Sikh temple to pay $100k for breaching employment laws
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/117040153/sikh-temple-to-pay-100k-for-breaching-employment-laws

    22 restaurants, 120 staff – and now a $40,000 fine
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12014023

    The Big Scam: ‘Marriages for sale’ in alleged visa rort
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/108067804/the-big-scam-marriages-for-sale-in-alleged-visa-rort

    Indian restaurant bosses fined for exploitation
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/287183/indian-restaurant-bosses-fined-for-exploitation

    Indian businesses ‘sell’ jobs for visas to students
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/336687/indian-businesses-sell-jobs-for-visas-to-students

    The Indian women paying for a NZ education with their freedom
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/voices/audio/2018636396/the-indian-women-paying-for-a-nz-education-with-their-freedom

    Immigration marriage and dowry scams on the rise, says charity
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12123831

  4. NZ university to start psilocybin experiments next year
    AND they are wanting volunteers
    CEO’s and pollies first I reckon
    WOKEY WOKEY hands off _ _ _ _ _ _

  5. “…property prices fall dangerously….”
    That. Is bloody funny.
    Awesome Post @ WH.
    I wonder what will happen when we all become the same?
    Because that’s where we’re going.
    Can I ask? Have you seen any of the Black Mirror series? If not, I think you’d really enjoy it.
    I’m going to have to watch it all again because I did lose track a couple of times when I hid behind the sofa agog and aghast.
    Tech, per se, insists we will all become the same.
    The mathematics of Tech drives it’s own dreary conclusions ahead of the ability to be able to achieve its ends once, it hopes, the non binary creatives amongst us get their shit together and get on with it.
    My advice to those, then, is this. Stop what you’re doing and head out onto a grassy field with your lover/s and stay there until the cheeses are eaten and the wine bottles are empty.
    When one try’s to stay ahead of the demands of mathematics, one soon realises that we’re all being lured down a slippery slope into an abyss of no return.
    Mathematics and money are one and the same and the disciples of either, or both, are thinking, as they tinker with the funds and the figures that it is they who are in control when in fact the opposite’s true.
    I love this story.
    The brine shrimp is a solitary wee beastie until it becomes parasitised by a worm which dictates that brine shrimp join together with other brine shrimp to form clumps. Then, the worms turn the shrimp a nice, bright pink. A pink clearly visible to the naked eye.
    Along comes the flamingo.
    The worm must travel through the gut of the flamingo to mate and mature. Thus, the flamingo turns pink in the process.
    The ubiquitous Pink Flamingo is pink because a parasite demanded a shrimp turn it so.
    Go here. Freak out.
    Ed Yong
    Zombie Cockroaches. No. Not roger douglas.
    https://www.ted.com/talks/ed_yong_zombie_roaches_and_other_parasite_tales
    Our world’s morphing into a binary code which will have dire consequences for the creative mind. The binary code will insist we all become beige.
    While we think we have it under control, ‘it’, already has us doing what it tells us to do.
    One day, sooner rather than later one would hope, we’ll realise that we’re paying money to be further sucked in to a very, very dangerous co-dependant relationship and no good will come of it.
    If we must have an addiction, try Meth or heroin. Must less dangerous than your cell phone.
    A new species has arrived in our midst. It’s here and it’s now.
    If you’re not freaked out yet, then you should be.

  6. Your first paragraph sums up our crisis. We, even in my Intermediate playground, knew about ‘Piggy’ Muldoon and ‘Mouse’ Rowling. No relationship to social reality anymore. Let alone reality. All those who pander to the stupidity do well. The downside of democracy, and the death knell of, what do they call it, organised human society. No one full of spewing lava like our forefathers to shout for reality. No one full of it. Too many cushions. I have doubts unlike my full of it great grandfather who helped establish our demo-cracy. They’ve, no, reality has weeded out democratists.

    • Whew, thanks, that helped clear the fog of battle quite well… I need a nanna after the last few inciteful inciteable comments…. A, happy new year, soon, I think?

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