Holes in the Tundra: Why Burping Cows Are the Least of Our Worries.


THE GREENS would like to see New Zealand’s dairy herd diminished … substantially. Not only would this go a long way to reducing the farming sector’s excessive methane emissions, but it would also assist mightily in cleaning up New Zealand’s waterways. Fair enough. Just so long as those same Greens are willing to tell the voters that a policy of reducing the number of cows is, at the same time, a policy of reducing their living standards. Now, it’s possible that upwards of 10 percent of Kiwis are happy to wear that – for the planet. Much more likely, however, is that upwards of 50 percent are not.

New Zealand’s dairy herd has increased substantially for a very good reason. More dairy cows were needed to compensate for the falling revenues from meat and wool. The year-on-year increases in New Zealand’s dairy production bear testimony to the energy and skill of her dairy farmers who, in the space of barely 25 years, have transformed the New Zealand countryside to accommodate their industry’s phenomenal expansion.

Did they know this would come at a huge environmental cost? You bet your life! As did successive governments. Did they go ahead anyway? Of course! Had they not, this country would be a lot poorer, and its people considerably unhappier. Unhappy voters may be acceptable to the Greens, but as far as the other political parties are concerned, courting the voters’ displeasure is a less-than-optimal election strategy.

Herein lies the problem with Climate Change. Everyone knows it should have been stopped. Everyone knows it could have been stopped. Everyone knows it’s not going to be stopped. Or, rather, no one’s going to make a serious effort to stop Climate Change until its far too late. And it’s already far too late.

In Norway, just a few days ago, in a little town well north of the Arctic Circle, the temperature topped 30 degrees Celsius. Temperatures even more extreme have been recorded in Northern Siberia. What’s that drip-drip-dripping sound? Well, yes, it’s what’s left of the Arctic ice shelf melting away. More ominously, however, it’s the sound of the Eurasian mantle of permafrost turning to slush. Now if you think cows pose a methane problem, the methane problem arising from melting permafrost is just going to ruin your whole day.

Not to put too fine a point upon it, if the Eurasian permafrost mantle melts, then the gigatons of stored Methane released will trigger runaway global warming. Basically, we – and just about all the other animals on the planet – will be cooked. The melting of the permafrost would, therefore, constitute an extinction level event – essentially, it would be unsurvivable. And, guess what: the permafrost is melting; at an alarming rate and in the most spectacular fashion. For more than a decade now, huge holes in the tundra have been appearing all across Siberia – evidence of massive methane eruptions. And that’s just for starters! Eurasia has barely begun to belch!

So, please forgive my guffaws when the likes of Andrea Vance start lecturing New Zealand’s farmers on Climate Change. As if the burps of our cows are in any way comparable to the vast methane burps already wafting up from the Siberian tundra. Do these folk not realise that we could slaughter every last dairy cow in New Zealand and the world’s climate scientists would struggle to measure the effect? Don’t they know that New Zealand contributes just 0.17 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions? Are they unable to grasp that the ever-increasing frequency of extreme weather events is proof that humanity is already in the grip of a planetary crisis from which it cannot extract itself? Certainly not by purchasing electric cars and embracing a vegan lifestyle? Why do we applaud this kind of empty virtue-signalling? It’s nuts.

Just how nuts is demonstrated by the fact that New Zealand is now importing dirty Indonesian coal to keep the Huntly Power Station’s furnaces glowing. Yes, that’s right, having shut down our own coal mines, we are reduced to loading the stuff onto huge ships and sailing it across the ocean. When, finally, it reaches our shores we transfer it into specially designed railway wagons and transport it to the Waikato, where Genesis Energy sends the fatal by-product of its combustion up two mighty chimneys and into the atmosphere. According to the hapless Energy Minister, Meagan Woods, we are going to have to keep on doing this for at least the next ten years – by which time a vast hydro project in the South Island will apparently be ready to take up the slack.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Not good enough for Forest and Bird. Its Director, Kevin Hague (a former Green MP) is insisting that burning coal is just plain immoral, and that Huntly be decommissioned immediately. New Zealanders, he says, will just have to make do with less electricity.

Huh! That means when the hydro lakes are too low; when there’s insufficient sunlight to power-up the solar panels; and when the wind’s not blowing hard enough to turn the big turbines; the lights will go out. The stove won’t work. And, if we’re in the grip of a heatwave like the one frying western Canada and the United States, the air-conditioning will stop keeping us cool. Since keeping the lights on, and the air cool, is the very least we expect from our politicians, those deemed responsible for plunging us into an overheated darkness are bound to get a real electoral kicking.

Which pretty much brings us back to where we started. Coming to terms with the fact that Climate Change is a bit like Heaven. Everybody wants to get there, but nobody wants to die. We know the planet must be saved, but we are unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to save it. When the American Vice-President, fresh from his secret 2001 conclave with the big oil companies, declared: “The American way of life is not negotiable.” He knew what he was talking about. It would be foolish to think that New Zealanders are any different.


  1. Agreed. Rather than banning oil and gas exploration and trying to force everyone into EVs, we’d be better off focusing on adapting our infrastructure and economy to the inevitable change that is already on the way. Global warming will eventually kill off dairy in the drier lowland districts (e.g. Wairarapa, Canterbury) because higher evaporation will mean there simply won’t be enough water to run dairy farms in those districts.

    • …’Global warming will eventually kill off dairy in the drier lowland districts (e.g. Wairarapa, Canterbury) because higher evaporation will mean there simply won’t be enough water to run dairy farms in those districts’…


      Maybe, but it is a long way from happening yet, and I suspect this ‘climate change’ will come in sporadic doses, here one year, affecting this region, gone the next, sort of thing. And never on the scale the alarmists are saying, I would say its more a case of graduation than apocalypse. Which buys us time for adaption.

    • NZ and the world need to use less harvested energy yet no one is talking about it.
      The tundra thaw is a product of our extreme use of harvested energy and yes cows contribute to the growing mess.
      The carbon footprint of the average USA person is 6 times higher than the per capita Chinese carbon foot print.
      Sorting out priorities is a logical science based discussion not a political race to preserve our wasteful destructive lifestyle of convenience for profit of the few.
      Education will not happen through privately controlled MSM. Taxation has to become more progressive as the state has to be a powerful player for rational change, Fuck the 5 billion profit sucking bankers.who belong to an investor cartel that is driving the road to doom.

  2. But isn’t it the 100’s of years of unconstrained emissions from the use of fossil fuels and intensive farming that have triggered the melting of the perma-frost?

    • Yes Peter indeed. Its not cows or methane eruption, they both play their part with cows helping to tip the temperature towards methane release from the thawing tundra.
      So attempting to write off the effect of cows globally is just nonsense. Cows and cars are major contributors to runaway or the tipping point.

  3. This culture is a death machine, read Derrick Jensen books.

    Especially the book called The Culture Of Make Believe, also The Myth Of Human Supremacy.

    Visit The Dark Mountain Project, for people who know the truth and are dealing with it in ways that help the soul.

    Keep fighting to save as much nature as possible, fingers crossed some life will make it through this extinction event.

    But this culture deserves all it gets. To play dumb about what we have done to the planet is just pathetic.

    When you drink your milky coffee think of losing your children, because that is what calving on farms all over NZ means right now, killing the Bobby calf and enslaving another female cow to this dirty industrial hell.

    I watched a cow exhaust herself to death jumping fences to find her stolen calf. What kind of revolting beast has this culture become to do things like this for our way of life…. which we can’t give up evidently….? Run against nature and she will come out swinging.

    • I’ll have almond milk with my coffee thanks. I don’t want to harm the environment and exploit enslaved bovines!

      • Almond milk has lower carbon emissions but uses 20 times the water compared to milk from dairy, and has less nutrient value.

        Are you saving your conscience or the environment?

        • Don’t be so snippy Kcco. It may be true but why be confronting. Almonds if I remember are not good for climate, probably the water required. I think most have been grown in California which has water troubles. Perhaps we could plant them here and water them with recycled water that is safe. How can we get out of the contracts set up with those exporting our water? Did we ever give away gold when we found it? Never! Can we grow up fast enough to cope with the difficult future, weather and people who are unable to be helpful to each other?

    • English comprehension is clearly not your strong suit, GreenBus.

      This post says two things:

      1) Climate Change has already reached the point beyond which it cannot be stopped.
      2) It has reached this point because humanity is unwilling to do what is necessary to stop it.

      Which of those two propositions do you dispute?

      The “green” bus has been and gone – we missed it.

      • The tone of your post is of mocking climate mitigation. A typical attitude from many in your generation IMO. Climate Change can be minimized, even reduced and possibly stopped from worsening. That must happen. But it’s not going too with attitudes like our farmers are showing and all the other blockheads out there. Oh, and the GreenBus will be back on the road asap, and you can’t miss it.

        • Part of the issue is you are standing there trying to fight the wildfire that is currently raging with a water pistol, while many of the great powers are dumping tonnes of gasoline out of C130s on the fire front. We can pretend we haven’t passed some of the tipping points, but it is highly likely that a cascade effect has been kicked off.

          We can carry on making what changes we can (though the more drastic ones will only get limited buy in by most people), but we also need to be prepared & ready to adapt to a future that will be quite different from what we have now.

          The earth will survive, it’s been through worse. Life on earth will survive, it’s been through worse. Human society? Well, that’s up to us & what we choose to do.

          Those who can not, will not, do not adapt, will ultimately pay the price.

        • GB That’s your interpretation not everyone’s. Chris is trying to Point out that collectively the countries of the world won’t do enough because there is not enough people like you GB. (That’s assuming you live like you talk.) that are prepared to change their thinking. Most likely myself included. Everyone needs the right attitude not just farmers. Like Chris suggests e-cars are a good feel allusion. They will have their own pollution issues. The popular sport of poking a stick at farmers will work because farmers are changing anyway but it won’t stop the planet heating because there’s too many other problems out there that are caused by the demands of the world’s population that will demand food clothing TVs and phones and will rather burn than be without them. I’m sure to you I’ve got a bad attitude as well. Then there’s the melting Tundra.

      • Except it is far from agreed among scientists that it is too late for climate change to be stopped. It was always the oil companies plan to prevent action on the climate in stages. Stage one, deny it is happening, stage 2 it is happening but humans did not cause it, stage three humans caused it but it is too late to do anything about it. Chris is following the oil companies lead here.

        The argument that the National Party has always made is that NZs contribution is too small to make any difference. Now Chris is making this argument too – pathetic. We are way behind Europe in curbing emissions and it is going to take every country to be on board.

        Would people really rather be able to trade up their cars every five years than have their kids survive heat waves and most ecosystems collapse?

        • You might have a small chance of being right there, Bob for Apples, but…
          Your optimism is refreshing to me, but not convincing. Methane emissions from melting permafrost mean more than anything our human societies will do at this stage..
          As Fraser used to say on Dad’s Army: “We’re doomed!” And Fraser was not paid by petrol companies any more than Chris Trotter is likely to be.

  4. The term Climate Change {which you are still using, Chris) was abandoned by the Guardian a couple of years ago, in favour of the term Planetary Overheating.

    Even that is an understatement: Planetary Meltdown is the only accurate descriptor of what we are witnessing. And the rate of Planetary Meltdown is accelerating.

    So when politicians promote fake solutions -like ‘Carbon Trading’ and electric cars that are kept moving by burning dirty coal (and have a MONSTROUS carbon dioxide debt in their manufacture) what those politicians are actually saying is this:

    “We are perfectly comfortable with not only destroying our grandchildren’s and children’s futures but are also perfectly comfortable with destroying our own futures and the future of everybody else under the age of seventy.”

    Needless to say, there is not one ounce (gram just doesn’t seem to fit) of honesty or sincerity or intelligence amongst the despicable LINO mob, or indeed amongst any of the other criminals and clowns that draw salaries from the public purse (our taxes) in order to grossly mislead the country towards ever-worsening financial, economic, social and environmental conditions….and all of that in order to prop up the failing economic system which is doomed to collapse in the near future anyway.

    Never have so many been lied to so often by so few.

    I, and other have said it before: cowardice, deceit and betrayal are the bywords of the political age we have been enduring. And as everything turns increasing ‘to custard’, we must expect the lies told by politicians (and their enablers, the mainstream media) to get bigger and bigger.

  5. A good read but some points… firstly the issue with dairy farming is not necessary it’s expansion but it’s expansion into the wrong places and too many in one place, aka too many intensive dairy farms.

    The small and medium sized mum and dad dairy farms are not the big problem for NZ pollution, it’s the intensive dairy farms buoyed on by reckless banking capital, that has led to the crafer farm failure, dirty dairying and it’s subsequent sale to Shanghai-based company Pengxin International Group. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CraFarms

    The intensive farms are far dirtier and create more issues around water, waste water and labour all of which seems to fall onto the NZ taxpayers. Those who own but don’t actually farm the farms tend to care more about profits than community and environment. https://www.odt.co.nz/rural-life/dairy/dairy-firm-wants-ocean-wastewater-outfall Oceania Dairy is wholly-owned subsidiary of parent company Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Company Limited (Yili Group), which has an “A” listing on the Shanghai stock exchange.

    Removing intensive farming in favour of small and medium sized family run dairy farms will solve most of the problems of pollution while labour shortages will abate.

    NZ set off to sell our milk but sold the farms instead. Profits and control of farming is now outside NZ and the foreign buyers have the ‘facade’ and marketing benefits of it being a NZ run venture. It’s not.

    Theo Spierings averaged 5 million salary per year while managing Fonterra and appears to have spent considerable sums that led to huge losses both in assets and in reputation. https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/102473864/fonterra-and-beingmate–where-did-it-all-go-sour

    If Fonterra had been better run, then the millions could have been easily spent bringing NZ milk up to par with international expectations on carbon neutral and environmental standards. Instead the money was wasted in poor overseas business ventures and Fonterra continued to keep using coal to dry their milk powder. Not enough money was invested in helping farmers help the environment in their community and not enough expectations set by government for this to happen.

    Now it’s all falling apart and the government is trying to blame the farmers…. but the farmers are fed up and very angry because a lot of the politics and bad decisions were done to them, not by them.

  6. In addition there are many other polluting factors in NZ that the government is enabling with constant grants and hand outs to wasteful and hugely emitting carbon industries like construction, electricity, air and cruise ship travel.

    Concrete is considered the third largest emitter in the world.

    Cement is the source of about 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to think tank Chatham House. If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest emitter in the world – behind China and the US. It contributes more CO2 than aviation fuel (2.5%) and is not far behind the global agriculture business (12%). https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46455844

    While households were being encouraged to recycle, construction and demolition waste had only increased. This now makes up half to three-quarters of all the district’s waste. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/447664/kapiti-residents-rubbish-dumped-at-controversial-landfill?fbclid=IwAR1934XjZVVR9ycO2azeAHsPM_7g1H4cRlpx5keBZJmF_DC_inGMJrxNB9o

    Coal accounted for more than 10 percent of the country’s electricity in the first three months of this year.
    Five years ago it was 2 percent; the proportion has steadily increased since. Coal is the most carbon intensive fossil fuel in the world, around twice as much as natural gas.

    Rio Tinto has been getting a huge power subsidy for years and takes up 13% of NZ power generation, this has contributed to keeping NZ consumers/business bills high for years. Coal is 20% of our generation so the removal of Rio Tinto will help reduce our carbon emissions immediately.

    Way to be cleared for big electricity players to prey on low-income households

    NZ Power Companies are not even Compliant under EU and US Laws!

    Aviation emissions are also large. Not sure this is helping carbon emissions as well as the millions in taxpayer funded bailouts – Air NZ is part owned by government and encouraging wasteful journeys! Flight wars: Air NZ unveils 300,000 domestic flights under $100

    Cruise ship emissions are enormous but there has been significant plans for expanding Auckland council fixed moorings for cruise ships. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesellsmoor/2019/04/26/cruise-ship-pollution-is-causing-serious-health-and-environmental-problems/?sh=4867cc9b37db

    Seems to be a huge double standard in the government’s attempt to cut carbon emissions and who they blame for them.

    NZ governments actions seem largely to blame, lazy research and policy decisions, probably run by a bureaucratic woke committee chaired by big business!

  7. Thank you Chris for finally telling it like it is.
    The only thing I would dispute is the “everybody knows” aspect.
    Most as yet do not.
    When they do, all hell is going to break loose.
    And it was all so unnecessary.
    Perhaps the following video should be required viewing.
    Jon Jandai Life is Easy/ Poverty is Not A Problem

  8. Good on you, Chris,…you have for decades pointed the way, yes you make mistakes at times, but so does every leader. I believe ,… you have the ‘Prophetic’ gift…that gift that points the way, and shows us the path to travel. Stand firm. You are not placed in this time for no reason, humble as that reason may seem to appear initially. Word of encouragement.

  9. Green Party members like me know all this. But at the end of the day, you either do something or you suffer the consequences. I’m for doing something. If the majority of people aren’t, then we will all suffer the consequences. But its no use telling some of us just to accept our fate. That’s the sort of argument people make when they don’t think the consequences will be too severe.

  10. By the way Chris, this:

    ‘We know the planet must be saved, but we are unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to save it.’

    is not true.

    As George Carlin put it ore than a decade ago, “The planet is fine. It’s us that are fucked.”

    And being incredibly ignorant, stupid and arrogant, industrial humans -constantly misled by politicians in awe of banks and corporations- just keep on ‘fucking themselves’.

    The irony of Industrial Civilisation is that once the last oil pump rig ceases operate, and the last coal mine closes, and spare parts for the electricity grid are no longer available, the few humans left alive will be reduced to stone age living conditions, but without the benefit of the stable climate conditions that allowed civilisation to manifest in the first place.

    And another’ by the way’: everything goes into ultra-rapid meltdown once the last of the ice floating on the Arctic Sea has melted because the latent heat of phase change currently being consumed melting ice (with no change in temperature) will manifest as rapid temperature rise.

    That [the loss of the last sea ice in the Arctic] will almost certainly occur before 2030.

      • You’re right, it is a long game. That’s the lesson of human history and its relationship to the environment. Its been long understood that everything – civilisation, economic activity and the environment – are interconnected. Arguably indigenous peoples have better understood this. But for a good many others – despite a long tradition of dissent – this understanding has been largely overlooked, ignored or simply left to the domain of reason.

        Large scale deforestation (and draining of wetlands) for agricultural purposes combined with the insatiable need for fossil fuel energy is our current nemesis. The long game has shifted.

  11. I do not claim to be an expert here but it looks grim and way past any reversal. There isn’t a government in the world vis a vis a community who really want to back the truck up and substantially change our lifestyles. One imagines change to the level of feudal society to have a dog show and even then…

    That we import Indonesian coal to provide electricity screams NZ has absolutely given up and surrendered to the inevitable. The only question is, why not revive our own coal mines? There are no planned hydro projects and we all know the electricity market is pure market force – profits oriented short term focused to do anything other than burn coal. Well that and Megan Woods isn’t known for anything positive in her portfolios anyway. Regardless we’ve still got to run those non polluting E vehicles!

    On this occasion Jacinda’s trademark timid choreographed non response to a problem is actually the correct one, utterly pointless ute & SUV taxes aside. There is no longer a solution. Only adaption.

  12. Yours is a reductio-ad-absurdam argument that fails on practical, moral, and economic grounds.

    Practical: you are essentially saying “oh, 0.17% is nothing compared to X, so why do it?” Well if everyone followed your logic, what’s the threshold? 1%? 2%? 5%? 10%? Pretty soon, you’ll have no one abating emissions. Collectively, the countries that emit less than 1% of CO2 equivalent constitute something approaching 25% of global emissions, which is a fuck ton of CO2. So your argument is ridiculous.

    Moral: so we only omit .17% of global emissions, but our profile is more than twice this when you look at per-capita emissions. This means we are at least twice as bad as we think.

    Economic: if we do nothing, as you advocate in your fatalism, then we will simply be outcompeted by others. Really, if you think it’s this hopeless, just commit suicide. Otherwise, change is inevitable so we can either have change imposed on us, or alternatively, change more on our own terms. Just look at methane emissions in agriculture – if dairy farmers adopted best practices, then we could get pretty close to the 40% reduction in methane emissions we need to achieve. Just by being more efficient. But farmers would much rather whine and complain how hard done by they are and how climate change is just lies etc etc etc. Same shit they have been spewing for decades now. They just don’t want to change, so change will be imposed on us by others like the EU who are already looking at our pathetic efforts to mitigate agricultural emissions and will soon impose trade barriers on laggard countries like us.

    Come on Chris, stop your old person fatalism and understand, we all have our weight to pull in this.

    • Your comment would appear to confirm that weak arguments are your specialty, Nukefacts, not mine.

      Has it not occurred to you that the EU, the USA, China – the whole world – will soon have bigger fish to fry – survival wise – than New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions?

      I’m afraid you still don’t get it. But, don’t worry, you will.

      • You appear to wilfully miss my point. Of course they will have problems, but why does that mean we have to sit on our hands and keep polluting?
        The counterfactual to your position is that the rest of the world gets on top of this issue and massively reduces emissions, plants billions of trees etc, there’s a period of shitty climate effects, then it settles down again. In the mean time, NZ does nothing, gets hammered by the effects of cc anyway, then the rest of the world says “well NZ can fuck itself since you did nothing to help”. Or, the rest of the world reaps the benefits of new tech and we don’t, and as a result lag further behind.
        Again, fatalism solves nothing. The same logic, when applied to WW2, would mean we would now be a vassal state of Nazi Germany. Sometimes you have to make the effort even though you know it’s going to be very hard.

        • Again, fatalism solves nothing. The same logic, when applied to WW2, would mean we would now be a vassal state of Nazi Germany. Sometimes you have to make the effort even though you know it’s going to be very hard.

          Really well said!

  13. Ah well. We’re fucked then, Chris Trotter says so.
    Of course he’s not making a judgement, just stating facts.
    Always the pragmatic defeatist when push comes to shove.

  14. “by which time a vast hydro project in the South Island will apparently be ready to take up the slack.” There are no large hydro schemes planned. All the viable schemes that could be built without inciting huge protests about the natural environment that would be inundated have been. The last great hydro scheme was built back when the electricity sector was owned by and run for the good of the people of NZ. The artificial “market” created when the privatization occured now sells us our power at the highest market price rather than the average price of generation. This in turn has had a huge impact on industry viability in other sectors and the cost of living. I say privatization because even though most of the generators are still 51% owned by the government (except one which was fully sold to sabotage any attempt at renationalization in an act of economic vandalism), Megan Woods sees them as private companies, clearly not wanting to scare the horses. And to be fair we had the chance to save them, but voted for Key. The profits from the sale used to develop irrigation to support intensive dairy farming. With our current settings and political mindset there is no way we can diversify our economy to avoid the impact of carbon taxes imposed by our trading partners or competitors who will beat us at our own game (Golden kiwifruit). Thats when the opportunity cost of deindustrialisation with no clear strategy except selling off the family silver will come home to roost assuming it hasnt already.

  15. Will less cows in nz improve the earths global warning statistics?..Ahh ..no. Will it improve New Zealand lands and rivers?.. hell yes.

    • Exactly Kim, Mr Trotter supports reformism as a political ideology, and lowering cow numbers is certainly a needed reform. Industrial farming is based on animal cruelty and hogs land and water that could be used for plant based food.

      With the ice melting it is certainly nearing “kiss your arse goodbye” time for many humans, but to do nothing is pure defeatism.

  16. Plant the whole country back in native forest.
    Everyone goes home and has one box of food a week given to them, a means to grow your own and the time to do so.
    Everyone stops still and actually relax..
    This mad rush off the cliffs of insanity is ridiculous
    Think Cuba… Funcky culture, recycle everything, nothing new at all in ever manufactured again. sing, play games, actually be a human being for a change not a human doing. Swap home made things with each other, have fun.. have a hobby.
    Seems everyone is depressed and over worked. Animals live horrible lives in factories….. We are on a rampant road to extinction, this is as real as it gets.

    The only way forward is to stop still.
    Let nature take care of the rest.
    Our brains are like fused wires, just chill out and stop running around as a species like a fucken robot with demented programming.

    Looks at the trees, birds, sea, walk for joy…. God it can’t be that hard to just slow down and pull the plug on this mess globally all at once. The plug will be pulled for us soon anyway..
    The way we live now is wrong, the machine worshiping culture is feeding a toxic mimic of real life. To the point we don’t know what is even real anymore.

    Anything else right now is just more of the same anyway.

  17. Chris, it does not matter whether I die today, tomorrow or the next day.
    It does not matter whether the world as we know it ends this decade or next.
    We don’t need to know whether there is yet time to save ourselves or if it is too late. Whatever will be will be. All that we can do is live what time we have left individually and collectively as rational and moral beings in our full humanity.
    To me that means avoiding the excesses of industrial society and capitalism. It means spending most of my days deep in the dirt enhancing and restoring nature with the aid of a flax knife and spade. If all is brought to nothing by drought and fire, storm, flood and pestilence then I will not grieve so long as I retain the conviction that I acted as a moral and rational individual. That is all that any of us can do.

    • As a fellow worker of the earth, not at all. Trotter is wrong. If enough effort is mounted we can do a lot. He makes himself strange by his negativity here. Discredits himself.

  18. To Doomers,

    Here’s the thing, if you are reading this it is likely that you are not doomed by climate change, unless you are a poor subsistence farmer in an equatorial region, farming a small patch of land you don’t own (and I suspect TDB readership amongst this demographic, is lower than the number of current ACT MPs that regularly visit this site), then you really are screwed but throughout history, you’ve always been screwed.

    You may not be able to afford a house, keep your home warm & dry, get appropriate medical treatment, afford to feed & cloth your children etc, but that isn’t due to climate change, it is due to neoliberalism. If you live in New Zealand, you live in a relatively affluent country, with a low population and a reasonable social welfare system. You live in a country with plenty of natural resources & agricultural potential, situated at the earth’s end, 1000s of kilometres from any major source of refugees. We have a very large moat, full of sharks & storms. We can be relatively self-sufficient if we choose, we can adapt if we want.

    Humans can live anywhere on this planet, from the frozen wastes of Antarctica to the burning deserts of the Sahara, to the bottom of the deepest ocean to the vacuum of space above, humans have survived there, because we are adaptable, we use tools & technology, we are survivors. Around the world there are the ruins of ancient civilizations, though very few of those ruins house the skeletons of those who lived there, sitting in their homes, still watching their papyrus scrolls through empty eye sockets whilst clutching their stone tablets with bony fingers. When their civilizations failed for whatever reason, the people moved on or adapted to the new conditions. Sure not everyone will survive, not everyone can be saved, not everyone can move to a new area. Count yourself lucky if you can.

    If you want to really make a difference and do something real to protect yourself and those you care about, forget buying an EV and try some of these things…
    Respect the earth & your environment, your life literally depends on this.
    Learn to find clean, drinkable water.
    Learn to how to grow your own food, learn about permaculture & sustainable agriculture.
    Learn to hunt, fish & trap.
    Learn to navigate using a map & compass, learn to travel lightly on the land and learn bushcraft.
    Learn how things work, how to build & repair things. Understand the technology that you use or rely on.
    Buy books on these subjects, the internet may not always be there.
    Invest in tools & supplies that will help you.
    Invest in your local community, get to know your neighbours, find out what skills & knowledge they possess, be kind & help each other. One day you life may depend on those around you & the relationships you have with them. Strong communities cope better with adversity that a bunch of individuals only out for themselves.
    Be aware of your surrounds & environment, understand its changes & fluctuations, be In harmony with nature.
    Live simply, and simply live.

    Follow all this advice, and you’ll be better able to cope with whatever comes along. You will probably also live a better, fuller life even if you never have to live in a post-apocalyptic world.

    • Don’t forget that the world is overpopulated to the extent of about 7 billion, who are kept alive and living in places ill-suited to human existence by the continuous use of fossil fuels -both to facilitate the growing of food and distribute it, and to modify the immediate environment (cars, dwellings, shopping malls, offices and factories etc.) to make them habitable for industrial humans. take away the fossil fuels and not only do the humans starve but they also die of hypothermia or hyperthermia. And don’t forget all the water that is pumped -both for domestic consumption and for commercial use like growing crops)- it is inevitable that 7 billion people are going to die in nasty ways over the next decade or so.

      Since the extraction of oil has been in decline since 2007, and the entire system has been propped up in the short term via fracking, tar sands, deep-water drilling etc. -all of which have diismal energy return on energy expended- we can expect the energy crisis to amplify the distress generated by the Planetary Meltdown crisis.

      In other words, it’s all terminal for the vast majority of humans (and non-humans) on this planet. And quite soon. Still looking very much like the Meadows’ ‘Limits to Growth’ (1972) forecasts were pretty damned close to what we are witnessing, i.e. all over for most people by around 2030.

      Of course the criminals and clowns that constitute parliament are NEVER going to admit that they fucked up so badly and squandered the last windows of opportunities to prepare for the coming mayhem, preferring to talk absolute bullshit instead.

      • It’s not called a mass extinction event for nothing. You’re certainly right that Governments & corporations will never do anything meaningful to put the brakes on, and a lot of people will most likely die. As to energy, there is plenty around, you just have to work out how to utilize it.

        The next scary bit is when individual Governments & organizations start implementing their own geo-engineering solutions to try & “fix” things, then the law of unintended consequences kicks in. Interesting times indeed. Though without hope for the future, everything becomes meaningless.

    • Love that Richard! Such good advice. Gotta feel sorry for those who clutch to their laptops like life rings.

  19. Wonderful I have two cure all solutions ! For the cow methane a drench of EPAZOTE (Chenopodium ambrosioides ) at the milking shed or feed lot it’s herb that makes a nice tea and reduces burping caused by bean consumption there may be a problem with pregnant animals so beef only as I don’t speak Spanish I am unable to research further I did think to tell the Green party member Ricardo Menendez March perhaps one of you know him and would be kind enough .It makes a very nice tea slight licorice taste I bought it from Kings seeds it is a prolific seed bearer with a solid root ( could go mental in the wild ) .
    The next solution is how to reduce global warming and how Billionaires will save the world , the rocket men you know them, I really like the plane though . this is especially for the conspiracy theorists use water vapor as an upper atmosphere or near space ( or higher to be determined ) as an ice crystal reflector . I can guess a lot of water would be needed droplet size extremely fine, time in orbit hopefully long if it hangs around too long use larger drops to drag them down good old gravity. and yes I know wild and fanciful on both suggestions but what can I do to be honest only this so you guys with the math play with it get that Nobel .My name is John and wish to live longer than the biblical minimum ,

  20. Chris you’ve left out a major source of Methane possibly greater than what’s locked away in the Frozen (melting) Tundra.
    That’s the billions of Tonnes of Methane Hydrates on the Seabed around the Planet. There’s lots off Aotearoa… And when the Seas get a Little Warmer this is also coming at us.
    With Greenhouse Effects 80x the equivalent volume of CO2 but breaks down in 20 or so years.. Unfortunately that 20 years is enough for the Effects to be absolutely Catastrophic.
    Remember reading about all this (land and sea Methane release) in The UK Sunday Times in the 1990’s
    Graphically Pictured as the Methane reaches “Bubble Point” and turns into a Gas expanding by up to 2000x as it rises and hydrostatic seawater pressure drops.
    Until it blows out of the Sea Surface in huge and violent Expulsions.
    Even a Supertanker sailing over the Bubble would sink like a stone…

    • To be clear the Methane Hydrates on the Seabed are currently a Solid in the Form of Methane Hydrates Ice.
      They can actually be “mined” and produced, under controlled conditions, as Methane (“Natural Gas”) which is obviously a Fossil Fuel that can be Burned. The PRC is using Semi Submersible Drilling Rigs to do this in Pilot Programs right now in deep waters.
      Japan is also looking at this.
      However if the Methane Hydrates release Spontaneously that’s a whole different Ball Game than Producing and Combusting.
      Pure Methane in the Atmosphere in the Volumes it exists (currently as an “Ice” on the Seabed) will very swiftly send our Planetary Temperatures much higher in a self perpetuating “Feedback Loop”
      Bye bye Human Civilization as we currently know it!
      Along with most other Flora and Fauna…

      • You are absolutely right about the generally-underestimated potential for methane clathrates to erupt and cause hyper-heating in a very short time frame.

        Whilst the over-20-year multiplier for methane is around 86 times that of carbon dioxide, the instantaneous multiplier is of the order of 300 times carbon dioxide.

        And there is a very real danger of a methane ‘burp’ from the various sea floors (especially off the north coast of Siberia) overwhelming the OH ion/OH radical mechanism that causes oxidation of methane to carbon dioxide.

    • Passive-aggressive comments such as this always make me smile.

      What is your point, Manfred? What is it that you dispute?

      It is customary in these commentary threads to at least try to make an argument.

      Sad fellow.

    • Curiouser and curiouser, Manfred.

      Following your links, I found ample confirmation for my post’s core argument.

      Which makes your point even more elusive.

      Very sad fellow.

  21. Basically, Mr Trotter, this, as many of your articles, it is a demotivating text, subtly appealing that the status quo cannot be changed.
    Media promotion like this, over the past 10 years, is one of the main reasons why climate change has not been politically addressed as required.
    We do not need this sort of ‘putting off’ urgent Action.
    Now, Sir.

    • I like your realism about the future , Chris, but it doesn’t change my opinion you should give your gift of the voice against ‘our’ , your children’s (not mine) and your grandchild’s early deaths.

    • Well said, Manfred. He’s our main talker, yet he thinks he can manipulate things. Everyone is dissatisfied with their strengths. This is 1939 and … and Chris has PERFed out. Funny, if 54 me wouldn’t starve to death, if ‘The Road’ film is right.

Comments are closed.