Adapting To Climate Change.


IT IS ONLY SLOWLY DAWNING on climate change activists that the fight against global warming is lost. Locally, Cyclone Gabrielle has rendered their cause hopeless. By insisting that Gabrielle is slam-dunk proof that climate change is real, and demanding immediate action to mitigate its impact, the activists have, politically-speaking, over-sold their case. The idea of mitigating a weather event as destructive as Gabrielle will strike most people as nuts. If this is what global warming looks like, then most New Zealanders will want their government to help them adapt to it as soon as humanly possible. Increasingly, politicians and activists who bang-on about reducing emissions and modifying human behaviour will be laughed-off the political stage. It will be the parties that offer the most practical and responsibly-funded adaptation policies that win the elections of the future – including the one scheduled for October 14 2023.

In retrospect the mitigators cause was always hopeless. So long as the effects of global warming were not going to be felt for many years, climate activists would never be able to force the changes necessary to prevent them. Tomorrow, as everybody knows, never comes – especially not in politics. Once heatwaves, wildfires, storms, floods and rising sea-levels start ruining people’s lives, however, their reactions will be different. “Okay, we believe you about climate change,” they will say. “So, now you have to show us how to adapt to this new normal?”

The other, even bigger, problem facing the mitigators – especially in New Zealand – is this country’s infinitesimal contribution to climate change. Kiwis and their industries pump out just 0.17 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and yet the mitigators keep telling them to completely change their economy, and the lifestyle it funds, so as to keep some barmy promise that all the largest greenhouse gas emitters are happy to break every single day. Since the Paris Climate Accords of 2016, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has gone up, not down. Collectively, the human species is burning more coal, more oil, and more natural gas than ever before. So, how likely is it that New Zealand pulling on a metaphorical hair-shirt and crying “Follow our mitigation example!” is going to stop them?

New Zealanders aren’t the only people asking inconvenient questions about mitigation. All across the developing world the penny is beginning to drop that the extraordinary civilisation brought into being by the exploitation of fossil fuels in Europe and North America; the civilisation responsible for anthropogenic global warming; is not a goal the climate change mitigators believe they should aspire to.

Practically speaking, the mitigators have a point. The huge boost given to climate change by the dramatic economic and social development of China, if amplified by equal “economic miracles” in India, Indonesia, Brazil and the nations of Africa, will make a complete nonsense of the Paris Climate Accords. The mean surface temperature of Planet Earth will rise to levels not seen since the dinosaurs roamed a planet without ice-caps.

But, just how receptive are the poorest peoples on Earth likely to be to a message delivered to them by their former colonial masters which boils down to: “Please don’t try to become as rich as we are – the planet can’t take it.” Are they likely to say: “Yes, Master, we are happy to remain poor – for the planet’s sake.” Or, will they not-so-politely suggest that if the peoples of the West really are so determined to save the planet, then how about they agree to spread their extraordinary wealth evenly across it? Will either side agree to mitigate climate by making such huge sacrifices? Or, will both sides move as swiftly as they can to implement an adaptation strategy?

Not that adaptation will be easy in the developing world. Not when it’s the poorest countries that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Their leaders have appealed to the richest nations for funds to help them recover from catastrophic weather events – like the floods that put a third of Pakistan under water. Alas, in spite of the West’s solemn promises to set aside billions, billions have yet to be set aside.

Inevitably, as the world warms, nation states will become even more selfish. When cyclones as devastating as Gabrielle lay waste to forests, farms and orchards, and make plain the worst errors of urban planners, every available dollar is going to be spent on recovery and adaptation. Pleas for financial assistance from developing nations confronting similar challenges are likely to fall on deaf ears. Charity, the voters will insist, begins at home – and their political representatives will not dare to disagree.

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It has not helped the mitigators’ cause that so many of them seem to be located on the left of the political spectrum, or that those not identifying as left are fervent advocates of indigenous rights. These climate activists characterise “Carbon, Capitalism and Colonisation” as the three evil giants that must be slain before climate change can be effectively mitigated. They are less forthcoming, however, when asked how this slaughter might be accomplished. This is understandable, given that the chances of destroying Carbon, Capitalism and Colonisation peacefully and democratically are rather slim.

Not that these difficulties are likely to bother the true revolutionaries, since for them global warming has always been the most wonderful excuse for imposing the sort of regime that nobody who believes in individual rights, private property, and the Rule of Law would ever willingly submit to. In the grim summation of George Orwell: “Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.” For far too many climate activists, mitigation has always been a Trojan Horse.

For those more moderate socialists, however, a strategy of adaptation can only be a good thing. Preparing a nation for the worst a warming world can throw at it will, necessarily, involve a wholesale revision of the economic nostrums responsible for leaving New Zealand – and many other nations – so vulnerable for so long. Setting in place the infrastructure needed to fend-off the worst that Mother Nature can throw at us will not be cheap and will require as its first major project the wholesale re-strengthening of the state. New Zealand can follow a strategy of adaptation, or it remain shackled to the doctrines of neoliberalism, but it can’t do both.

It’s an ill ex-tropical cyclone that blows nobody no good.


  1. Agreed. Sheep and beef emissions have dropped 40% since 1990 – Transport emissions have gone up 84% over that period. That we are prepared to sign a plan where 1 in 5 sheep farmers would go out of business, and yet 52% of Aucklanders report they don’t want to change their car usage – says it all really. Chris is right. The real future of climate change will be written by people in India, China and Africa – who quite frankly don’t give a shit about the methane emissions from their rice paddies. They just want to eat. Adaption is not defeat – indeed it is the only practical solution for a tiny country like NZ, with a tiny warming footprint and some stark economic choices to make. I mean is spending 1B per km on Auckland light rail really such a good idea? – 28B in total. How about spending 10B on Wellington/Auckland drains, 10B on the poor, 4B in the regions and 4B on education? NZ needs to stop all this virtue signaling and start reprioritizing our tax spend.

    • What about including the number of sheep & beef cows for context? There was a big shift to dairy farming over that time so that might be why you did not include their results. It is relatively easy to change people’s transport choices but changing their diet appears to be a no-go area for now.

      • Long term diet modification would be best served by facilitating monogamous two patent, one income households in my opinion, and child centered because the purposes of climate adaptation is to give the next generation a fucken fighting chance and that’s just not the purpose of marriage these days. The purposes of marriage is the long term development of spirituality and care for the purposes developing of children resilient children – that’s just a fundamental responsible thing to do and diet plays a huge role particularly with regards to education. Hungry kids don’t learn anything.

        We have to allow for gay marriages and trans humans because these people are to rigid much worse than your average cow cocky. Just ask them to discuss there pronouns with one and other. It’s been a disaster on social media that can not be allowed to follow us home.

        No one will entertain our wonderfully fantastic utopian ideals but at the fringes we can find tolerance. The ideal has to be intolerance against fatherless backgrounds. Maybe single parent households can struggle unbelievably to success and lots do but we will be asking of them a shit ton more tolerance than they’ve got struggling with rowdy and rambunctious children to then choose some sort of wonderful climate reducing insect diet or whatever just to work 50 hours a week and spend 40 hours with there single household children and with no help. And we know single woman with kids falls down the economic rabbit hole entirely.

        Instead of policy I’d rather ask questions because it’s pretty obvious none of you have the answers.

        The thing is everyone is been taken for a ride hurtling towards THE END

        Climate adaptation can’t be compulsive, it has to be voluntary.

        So when we go along our journey each and every one of us is how do we turn all this chaos into something everyone can be proud of?

        One answer is 3 Waters offers the opportunity at alternative forms of governance to that of the malevolently slow state and an exit to the chaos. It’s not the only thing. It could be a new political party. A new leadership group or something else but we should be doing all of the above. Testing, teaching people how to recover from the hell they’ve been thrown into all of a sudden with volcanoes, terrorism, floods and fire yknow the typical rath of god stuff.

        The question I guess is what sort of spirituality do you need to guide you ahead. Many will say I don’t need god or I can burn muh fire saan or drive my car it’s my personal choice! Now it’s like nope, we don’t have the option of opting out anymore.

        Spirits guide us all the time. It might be your stomach, you might believe in the god Pyus, the one that worships the penis for all those who’s identity is stacked on discovering your sexuality. Some spirit will guide you 100% the question is what is the highest form of spirit that can guide you and I guess one answer is the highest spirit that can guide a person is the one that objects to tyranny. Some may flock to The Daily Blog to push back against tyrant, I do. Others may vote, whatever. There are lots of good well to do people in New Zealand fighting against tyranny. In his own perfectly wonderful way Gaby does just that.

        The fate is that freeing the people to punish the tyrant will set lose the people to walk the desert and worship the highest spirit possible. That’s the story of Moses.

        It’s like great we have electrified the motor pool but hey did anyone ask the question can everyone afford EVs
        Jacinda did, only to get torn down just to set free the people from her crazy 3 waters deal. It was more complicated than that the point is setting people free by punishing the tyrant got them wondering around in flood plains.

        This is a major reason why we keep trying to knock down people’s intelligence because we can’t get to the promise land without wondering the desert first.

        • “spirits guide us all the time”

          woo woo delusional nonsense. spare us the sermon. the JIC sects can all rot in their own hell afaic.

        • a mate of mine is a long time vegan, they will eventually win because animal products will be priced out of the market…yup the elite won’t be affected but us PBI won’t be able to afford it

        • I see that Beef & Lamb publish this (8 November 2022) “The calculation using GWP* for the period 1998 to 2018 showed that when taking into account sequestration — trees and other vegetation on farms absorbing emissions — New Zealand’s sheepmeat is arguably “climate neutral” and New Zealand beef is also well on the way towards that.” while Agresearch publish this “Another important characteristic of NZ sheep and beef farms is carbon sequestration by trees on-farm. The study showed that net carbon sequestration by trees within farms was significant and equated to 29 per cent of the total on-farm GHG emissions (based on the GWP100 metric). However, these results should be treated carefully since there is no international agreement on how to use these factors in footprint calculations.” in it’s reference to the study.
          Claiming a 40% reduction per Kg of meat produced is about as valid as my claim to get 500 Km/Liter but not mentioning that I siphon the neighbor’s cars at night so I don’t include their fuel in the calculation.
          Animal nutrition is well understood & I started my working life at DSIR Grasslands so while I believe small improvements are happening to get a 40% change has to involve some sort of magic.

          • So if you are a scientist then you will understand and know of the scientific paper by Prof. Moot et al, Bonnie? And no it’s not magic not a ‘claim’ just basic science – mostly a function of improvement in efficiencies, less ewes/ha and more lambs per ewe. Net effect more meat produced with less emissions. And as a scientist you will also know that measuring methane emissions using GWP* is an outrageous over estimate of ag’s true warming impact. Not arguing we don’t have a warming impact – of course we all do, but ag is nowhere near 48% of NZs contribution to global warming. People are (deliberately?) confusing emissions with warming.

    • Only 1/2 of NZ emissions is due to agriculture (food production) the rest needs a lot more attention such as construction – especially the stupidity of building in flood plains that don’t last long, McMansion buildings that take up huge resources, raft foundations that fall off their foundations as have zero piles, lack of environmental controls in building such as not having solar panels, grey water collection, roof top collection of water, baked into the average building consent.

      Then transport, NZ is such a dinosaur in this, we still have diesel trucks, buses etc, can’t organise basic trains that work, much of people’s rates goes into paying for bad, poorly maintained roads that seem to be increasingly getting more corrupt and failing continually.

      NZ’s transport is so bad that by the time they regulate against diesel vehicles in circa 2050 – the car manufacturers won’t even be making diesel vehicles – aka our effort of transport regulation, is beyond pathetic and just a marketing exercise to nowhere!

      NZ gets awarded many fossil awards at climate change conferences to show just how terrible NZ is going. Clean, Green NZ has been a marketing exercise here, for a long time. The reality is that NZ under Labour and Greens has got worse, we are dirty, polluters who are behind the rest of the world!

      • Yes SNZ and less than half (around 10%) of our national warming footprint is from agriculture because methane is a short lived gas that leaves a warming residual of around 3% as opposed to CO2 which accumulates and lasts thousands of years.

    • Yes indeed. Spending our tax dollars to achieve a NetZero target on the believe that the beneficiary country will do what is right by us is a delusion.
      Those who are in need of power to lift their communities out of poverty have a moral obligation to listen to the voices of those who are in need.
      This cyclone was either inconvenient or an eye opener for many.

      Chris and many others posting on the Daily Blog has often warned that soon those in need will demand action. I am unconvinced that all these bloggers have consensus where this demand for action will come from.

  2. As a consequence of recent events, I’ve been reading about the Esk valley floods in 1938. Lives lost, metre thick silt and stock washed out to sea. Sound familiar?
    Down the road from my place is the Birkenhead ferry jetty. The land to the south of Hinemoa street next to the sea – Hinemoa Park on the map – didn’t exist until the late Victorian era when an enormous land slip came out of the hillside to the north of the road and slumped into the sea, forming today’s park. Does this also sound familiar?
    Regardless of any hypothetical climate change, these fair isles are sometimes in the path of intense tropical storms, so we should be designing our infrastructure accordingly and reconsider building on the steep clay slopes and soft cliff edges found in many parts of Auckland.

  3. It’s becoming pretty clear that the only way the country can return to being an advanced economy is if government intervention and state enterprises make a comeback.

    The condition of the infrastructure is atrocious. It would require large amounts of money even if Peak Oil and pollution issues didn’t exist.

    The country has long been a laughing stock due to its stinginess, and in such extreme circumstances, this flaw in the national character will have to go. People claiming that it is ‘impossible’ for Auckland to rebuild the tramways it already had 100 years ago is a good example.

    At any rate, production and household incomes cannot be crushed under the weight of economic backwardness. Otherwise production will continue to fall off a cliff, and households will go bust — only the government can arrange large enough investment sums for modern infrastructure, industrial machinery and pollution reduction systems.

    I’d go even further than Mr. Trotter: anything other than mitigation cannot make sense in the medium term, regardless of how radical your political programme is.

    No matter how your economy is organised, it takes a long time to mine all the raw materials required for mass electrification. For certain metals, prospectors will actually have to find large new reserves to meet demand.

  4. Someone should do something about climate change.
    The gummermint should do something about climate change,
    Isn’t anyone thinking about the children?
    Phew feel much better now that I’ve done my bit for climate change

  5. Lets not forget that Chris was instrumental in forming “New Labour” and subsequent “Alliance” grouping, which achieved Kiwibank and Paid Parental Leave among many other incremental reforms before self destructing over Afghanistan.

    So he pines still for social democracy, as do many of us!

    Re this “Adapting to Climate Change” at least the adapters appear to acknowledge reality and scientific consensus at last. None the less, the question is how to turn around virtually 40 years of deeply embedded neo liberalism in NZ legislation, culture and daily life practice?

    A number of the infrastructure problems encountered during the Cyclone were due to Rogernomics fudging accountability lines, light or no regulation and people’s asset sales. How many Gabrielle stories did you hear about competing or conflicting Ministries, agencies and Local Govt. responsibility to solve issues?

    Mass redundancies in the 80s/90s were just the beginning–there used to be Govt. run Forestry which employed thousands, Telco infrastructure was publicly owned as was power generation and supply. Private Capital did not take over working class built infrastructure to deliver a robust service, as people without power and communication or food and drinkable water have discovered.

    A major political campaign needs to be run to discard monetarism and neo liberalism and return significant infrastructure to public ownership.TDB readers know what is on the list by now.

    Chris has pointed out this is a “fork in the road event” because it will happen again.

  6. Nope ignoring climate change is a dinosaur approach. International co operation is needed.

    Imagine if those who are on their roof tops in Esk Valley were told, floods inevitable, no help is coming, we are ignoring you, as too late.

    Not a moral approach.

    I don’t agree with the governments stupid woke/big business led approach to climate change, but I do believe that to ignore climate change, is morally corrupt. We just need better solutions and thinking on this.

    Clearly thinking that big business and woke funded lobbyists are coming up with the master strokes on how to proceed with climate change, is not going to bear a good outcome for climate change.

    • Thinking about our small emissions and consequent logical satisfaction from limiting our country’s emissions to that which enables us to pull our weight and still carry on, I wonder if it is time to think along the lines of a new ‘Colombo Plan’. Which would mean small nations working together to make improvements reasonable for their size, and co-operate in so doing. I note from the wikipedia entry that the USA wasn’t in it and seemed based more on Commonwealth nations, Or has a quick glance not picked up the full details? Is it time to revitalise the colonial connections with a residual positive effect!

    • That’s the point that has sailed over your head. The main culprits don’t want to cooperate (when push comes to shove) and instead will do what’s best for their growing middle classes. Nigeria will have half a billion people by 2100, 377M in just 27 years from now, what impact will all of those people have, and it’s just one country.

      I don’t think the human story has a happy ending.

  7. Yknow a lot of people say that tough guys are the patriarchy and that tough guys walk around rapung woman, get tattoos, join gangs or whatever cliche.

    Well I’m here to tell those people that they are wrong.

    A tough guy is someone who goes to work even if he’s stressed out, hates it. A tough guy knows that if he doesn’t go to work then he can’t support his family and feed his kids.

  8. Chris Trotter
    “Setting in place the infrastructure needed to fend-off the worst that Mother Nature can throw at us will not be cheap”. And there’s the rub Chris – we just don’t have money/cashflow to do it properly and quickly…unless…UNLESS…we immediately stop the notion that absolutely everything can and will be funded with TAXES!!!! ‘As they say, socialism is great if there’s enough capitalists to fund it.’ So if NZ had it’s own state-owned oil and gas industry, if we explored resources like coal and minerals, if we had larger industry (yes sorry it’s dirty) and if we upped food/meat/dairy production for increased export earnings, then we would become so profitable as a country that all above could be funded easily. As it stands, all that impractical and expensive ‘green party climate commitment bullshit’ is turning us in a flooded basket case. While China and the USA and the big polluters laugh at us with our 0.17 percent effect. T-shirt design: Go Woke, Go Broke. NZ is wearing it loudly and proudly.

    • “then we would become so profitable as a country that all above could be funded easily.” yeah but, as soon as the country makes good profit per person the powers that be want mass immigration and lowered labour cost. Imagine the wealth each citizen would have if the population had been maintained at 3 million.

  9. A great article by Chris. Many don’t like to hear such analysis but it’s the reality. The answer to climate adaptation and our general well being will always depend on the best balance possible between governmental control and the correct allocation of taxed income on one side. (remembering the government has no money, it just spends yours.) And the private sector, who we love to hate but who finance many areas albeit for their own agenda. Government regulation in important areas I agree with, but large state ownership has always been clumsy inefcient with large amounts of your money going to pay some civil servant to make decisions on things they know little about. Already this government is spending 200million a week on consultants. Your money. The private sector may be self serving but they hate wasting money so try harder to get efficient expert advice needed to initiate new projects. Chris has alluded to the change in climate thinking that is occurring as the reality of these disastrous events seem to be happening with regularity. I’m reflecting on the Blog recently poking a stick at Utes. Ford ranger man. Yes we know many drive them unnecessarily, but it was interesting to me how useful they are in these situations. I live in Hawkes Bay. In the first days after the cyclone the majority of vehicles on the road were Utes. Many from outlying areas covered with mud as was mine. We need to be careful that in our quest for climate stabilty that we don’t cut off our noses despite our faces .. A Government with good intentions is meaningless if the reality of their policies fly in the face of common sense. Move toward reducing emmissions in a way that makes sense while spending the serious money on keeping our country functional now.

  10. Brilliant Post @ C.T. Thank you.
    I think the greatest, and quite big problem AO/NZ faces is the fact that a scant few, not that many more than one or two, have sequestered most of our money and the reason that, that’s a problem is because now is the time we need that money and no hyper rich, Kiwi-As fuck saw global climate change coming so Cook Islands/ Panama/ Citi Bank anyone? So what to do?
    Our wealth is all but mythical. A farmer farms the product which, when it trucks past the farm gate becomes another thing entirely. It becomes a commodity which then enters the dreaded market. Aye Boys?
    And once there, it attracts all kinds of flies. I looked at a cheap, nasty jersey made by a popular NZ company just the other day. It was for sale for $120.00 and I calculated the materials costs at about 30 cents because it was made of shit wool. Course-as, probably bellies, locks etc. It’d be cold and it’d fall to pieces after a couple of washes. Sure, there are other cost factors too like labour, dye, thread, transport, post shearing lunch time sausage trauma therapy for the shearer = emotion counselling etc. A fashion garment jersey made from the best AO/NZ sheep wool can return as much as $20.00 a kg but the garment will sell for £700 pounds.
    The point I’m trying to make is that because of generations of post farm gate skulduggery, the skullduggerers can’t afford to let the cat out of the bag in relation to just how much they’ve ripped off farming because if our farmers start to ponder ” I’m on a square mile of land looking after 3000 sheep and I’m broke as fuck, lonely and loathed by my city cousins while I now see where the money’s gone and those who took it, and by took I mean literally stole, never did a days hard work in their lives, unless their daily visit to The Pelican Club could be considered ‘hard work’. Bastards! I’m going to get surly and drive my tractor slowly! That’ll learn them! ”
    The first rule in rat-extermination is to drive the rats out of the woodpile and you’re not going to do that by driving tractors slowly. You’re just going to piss off people you need on your side like they need milk, bread and mince patties. The only way ahead for AO/NZ in these soon to be very, very dire times is for farmers to release themselves from their deeply binding yet all but invisible shackles and if you city people want to keep eating, wearing clothing and importing all that lovely plastic shit you buy from the malls of mind fuckery you’d better come to a better understanding of the machinations of our no nine multi billionaires ( Who literally stole farmer money built infrastructure.) and their mates in foreign owned banking stealing farmer money at an alarming rate of billions of dollars in net profits annually.
    Farmers? When you drive your tractors slowly through the cities in protest, you’re just fucking off your allies, and that’s the objective of the manipulative hyper riche. To divide is to concur. All you have to do, farmer people, is to do nothing except wait.
    A very public and enduring Royal Commission of Inquiry into our economy and our politics please because our lives are beginning to become reliant on that. It’s also becoming increasingly clear to me that people with no imagination need basic facts before they can act. It’s no one’s fault. It’s just the way it is. We’re unimaginably rich in all vital resources and yet we’re down trodden and broke-arse as fuck and why?
    Because we’ve been totally and completely and wholly fucked without the kissing by a crafty elite who were too lazy and too stupid to farm so they went to universities to learn how to fuck others on the deal.

  11. There is a problem. A big one. Like most western style nations, we’ve signed up to Carbon Zero 2050. This is all very well as a virtue signaling exercise and to prevent us facing trade barriers in Europe for not playing the game, but we simply cannot deliver it and with the exception maybe of Norway, neither can anyone else. The basic facts:

    1. The world cannot replace existing petrol and diesel fueled cars with EVs because we don’t have the mineral resources to do it. I’ve worked in the mining industry for decades as an engineer/consultant and I can tell you with complete assurance that the Lithium, Nickel, Chromium, Copper, Neodymium and in particular Cobalt ores simply aren’t there to be mined at the rate we need them. And even if they were, we’d need a couple of decades and an eyewatering amount of capital to ramp up mining operations. We make normal cars out of iron and aluminium because we have lots of it. So, unless we develop and entirely new battery technology, EVs will remain the province of the wealthy few. Expect mineral prices to soar in the coming decade as manufacturers try to out-bid each other (great investment tip!)

    2. If we’re to electrify the vehicle fleet by 2050 we will need to generate ~2.5 times as much electricity to power them. Wind and solar can add a little here and there but you’d be dreaming to think these renewables can produce this much power consistently and reliably. Geothermal can also add a fair bit but once again, it’s not going to get us anywhere near what we’ll need. Since signing up to 2050 we’ve actually gone backwards in terms of the percentage of power produced by renewables, not forward. If we’re serious about reaching this target, we’ll need a couple of nuclear power stations, and that’s going to go down like a cup of cold sick with the average uninformed voter. Or can someone tell me where we can build another half dozen or so Manapouri power stations?

    3. All that additional electricity will require an entirely new electrical grid, to transmit it. Last time I checked large, high voltage transformers were on a 30-year waiting list. Best we put in an order now! LOL

    4. Hydrogen is not an option – it’s just BS because most of the world’s hydrogen is made as a byproduct in oil refineries and if we don’t make it that way, we need electricity to make it.

    From conversations I’ve had with both National and Labour party people, they haven’t a clue what this entails. None have any grip on the technological aspects from what I can gather. At least Seymour is an electrical engineer, but he has never actually practiced as one. We’re being led by science illiterates.

    • right, nuclear power. Worlds most expensive way to generate electricity, putting us dependent on very long complex supply chains, and taking more than a decade to build at massive multi-billion dollar cost. Ridiculous.
      Guess what – no where on the planet will a private company finance a nuclear plant. Why? They are ridiculously expensive with massive hidden costs and complexities. Every single plant is bailed out by the taxpayer.
      Just imaging where we’d site it too, and how susceptible it would be to rising sea levels.
      Dumbest idea ever.

      • we are fortunate in that we could build more hydro tomorrow morning, and yes cement production isn’t agood for the enviroment but once it’s built it’s built….power companies prefer shortages so hydro is off the table.

    • @Andrew “that the Lithium, Nickel, Chromium, Copper, Neodymium and in particular Cobalt ores simply aren’t there to be mined at the rate we need them.”

      Agreed, add that collectively Russia, Belarus and Ukraine are major exporters of a number of those (including 1st for Nickel and 2nd for refined copper), so major parts of the resources we do have are going offline.

      Further the green tech material supply chains link to dozens of countries (many unstable) with widespread trade routes. So as deglobalisation continues it will become harder to guarantee the existing supply let alone supply at the volumes required for an EV revolution.

      Absent new sources of raw materials or new technology, I suspect securitisation and conflicts for resources in green tech manufacturing are on the cards. Due to the numbers of nations and trade routes involved will be order of magnitude more complicated than the oil wars since WW2.

      We need adaptation including new tech. The chances of an EV revolution with current geopolitics and technology is zero. As is being carbon neutral by 2050 without the global economy deindustralising.

      • No this is totally wrong. There is more than enough of these minerals for the energy transition, its just that historically they had less economic importance so mining companies didn’t mine for them or discarded mine tailing containing them. Sweden has just discovered a new source of so-called ‘rare earth’ minerals (which aren’t rare btw) right near an existing iron ore mine, and this new source contains a huge amount:

        Batteries are increasingly not using cobalt too btw. The majority of the worlds EV’s use Lithium Iron Phosphate chemistry, which is cheap.

  12. Adapting to climate change or doing things better, full stop? We do live in the South Pacific and historically these big weather events do impact on our shaky isles from time to time. With more frequency? More intensity? Well, we seem to have reached a conclusion on that already. In Japan and the Philippines cyclonic events are not new, except they call them by another name, driven by the monsoon winds. Every season there are localised mud slides, flooding, lives are lost, properties ruined. The difference is they generally don’t build on cliff edges where the ground is unstable, on or beneath slipperybacks, or in the path of rivers that have the potential to sweep all aside in extreme events. They don’t plant steep hillsides in exotic species that give little or no protection to the land or have to deal with the slash of commercial forestry, which swept down into the valleys wipe out bridges and cover the land in debris. Doing things better, or let’s face it, not doing it at all, would be a strategy equal to adaptation to climate change.

  13. We should be sending the ‘bill’ for the clean up to the EU, Europe and the rest of the countries that make up the Northern hemisphere as they’re the largest population and consumers of stuff that drives the factories that emit emissions that cause the weather patterns to change!!

  14. What so many in NZ just don’t understand is that:

    1. if every country that says “oh our emissions are so small we shouldn’t do anything it doesn’t matter” actually did something, this would amount to something like 17-20% of global emissions, so of course we should do something

    2. all the technology needed to decarbonise is available right now, and doesn’t need us to build stupid expensive crap like Nuclear power

    3. if we don’t try and decarbonise, our economy will be utterly destroyed. The winners in the global economy are the companies and countries that are transitioning to new net zero technologies and business practises

    4. we have a moral obligation to do something because we all share this planet and we have kids!!!

    I feel like I need to repeat it again – we have all the zero carbon tech we need right now to get to net zero. The only thing holding us back is corruption, ignorance and stupidity.

    • send your ideas to China and India and see how you get on. It doesn’t matter what the small players do even if they unit so long as the big players don’t change

      • China is a great example. Absolutely massive investment in renewables, so much so that they dominate the market for solar panels and are trying to dominate wind turbine manufacturing now. Yes they have been building more coal but they have an odd political system that despite central edict to stop this, several regions have still added new coal plants. But, most of their coal plants are well below generation capacity and falling, and are increasingly being crowded out by renewables.
        India is only now ramping up investment in renewables, and adding a lot of new capacity very fast. Early days but they are making a strong push to decarbonise what they can.
        As usual, NZ’ers remain totally ignorant of what’s really going on.

      • Northern hemisphere.
        1150bn tonnes of emissions.
        So they need to nuke themselves a few times in this war they’re having. Just a couple of small Nagasaki’s will do it.

    • That sounds like the idealistic ramblings of a 13 year old.

      Try living fossil fuel free for a week yourself, and let us know how you get on.

      Btw You can’t blame the ‘greedy corporations’ if you keep on using what they provide, they’re just fulfilling your demands.

      • Thanks for the condescending snark BG. I have changed my lifestyle from about 10% carbon free to about 85% carbon free (solar powered house, electric car, electric tools etc) and it didn’t cost that much. The bulk of the remainder is in food and clothing, and I’ve been ramping up growing my own food because its so damn expensive.

        • That’s wonderful – but what you may see as not costing that much could be an unaffordable cost to someone living in South Auckland. Be upfront – state what it cost you. As for growing food, all those people huddled into the new model of intensified multi-dwelling housing will have no land to do so on. Simply put, one persons changes cannot be replicated across the entire population. I’m not making that statement as a “facts”shual one, but a considered observation….

  15. we had a huge flood event in 2004 and did fuck all.
    we had another huge flood event in 2017 and did fuck all.
    why on earth would anyone think that the same fucks from 2004 and 2017 would change the course.

  16. Moving away from fossil fuel dependence is going to happen whether it’s for carbon emission mitigation or not.

    Do we have to wait for the next fuel shock to really eff things up, for people to realize BAU is not an option.

  17. This is Nature and how the earth’s geography evolves. How do you think Napier, Havelock, Canterbury and every other flat land was formed?
    This has been going on for millions of years, it is just in the last few hundred that people have been there to experience it.

  18. This article is largely nonsense and demonstrates a very poor understanding of the science and facts.

    Mitigation of anthropogenic climate change has to happen in parallel with adaptation to the already baked in warming driven effects.

    Why? Because otherwise you are fighting a losing battle. If we don’t act to mitigate warming, the climate system is going to degrade much farther and become much more chaotic, to the point where adaptation is nigh on impossible.

    Yes, me must adapt to the current and near term reality, but if we don’t get the warming under control, no amount of adaptation is going to help us.

    If people proposing adaptation are to be laughed off as the author suggests, then we are in for much worse outcomes than even the terrible ones we are currently experiencing.

  19. The coming climate stresses (stresses, a grotesque understatement) are going to invoke new forms of natural selection in humans. The mitigaters look like strong candidates for erasure from the race of Homo Not So Bloody Sapiens After All. Build flood barriers and retreat is your sole strategy? While fuelling the accelerating violence of climate change with the old normal? Hah! We see the congenital short-termism of humans at play here – do what’s convenient, not what’s necessary – humans fatally unable to recognise the vicious new assault on our ways of living and other hubristic absolutes.

    Sure, secure our lands and lifestyles on the flood plains and fire fronts of today. People need places to live and work. But how do you imagine these defences will cope when the melting Arctic ice sheets lift sea levels by 5 metres? Sooner then predicted. Or when the Antarctic ice sheets melt raising sea levels by 50 metres? Or when the tsunamis of desperate displaced humans arrive? Or when the natural systems we’ve violated for so long no longer support us? Retreat? Yes but you haven’t even attempted to deal with the root cause of the crises, even when you had a chance to do that on your own terms.

    Mitigate by all means but treat that as winning a breather alongside contemplating the radical behaviour changes you still have time to make before the climate holocaust makes them for you.

  20. We ignore our countries natural co2 absorption so what ever own emissions are recorded as , are bollocks…We put a tax on buying Ute’s…that should have farm animals more…that must work…I think we are are on the right track…..remember…the planet is burning…

  21. Adaption isn’t going to work if we keep putting more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It’s not like the temperature is going to go up and then stop after a couple of degrees. Without any limits on greenhouse gas emissions, adaption is not a solution. It just prolongs the dying process.

  22. Oh we can’t do anything about emissions can we Chris? How about finding some facts instead of the doom and gloom.

    Check out this – the EU avoided a 12billion euro spend on gas by ramping up renewable energy:

    And for all those who think EV’s are wasteful:

    Recyclers are now getting >90% recycling of Lithium from EV batteries. That’s actually better than aluminium recycling, which is already pretty good!


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