Hiatus to end soon

Not that hiatus. That never happened in the first place. No, the hiatus in posts here at Hot Topic.

It’s three months since Jim Renwick’s demolition of Guy McPherson’s enthusiastic doom-mongering, and I have been remiss in not following up with more topical observations. It’s not as though there’s any shortage of stuff to write about. I shall have more to say soon — not least because the end of April will mark the 10th anniversary of this little climate blog — but in the meantime, please talk amongst yourselves…

272 thoughts on “Hiatus to end soon”

  1. Global warming is increasing rain rates…. yea! Do we know….
    In the 20 years, I have been living on the Coromandel Peninsula we had already our share of several “100-year” rain storm events….
    The last one was particularly devastating to some. The new normal: Drought punctuated by floods. Just as the climate science community predicted all along.
    In the meanwhile, it is becoming ever more difficult to distinguish between the late night comedy shows by the networks and the all day comedy show tweeted from the Whitehouse. The fate of the world being knocked around by uber rich Russian Oligarchs, who throw people from windows or poison them. Reality is approaching a 3rd rated spy and doomsday movie with a plot to wired to win an Oscar….

    1. There is $6000 waiting at the New Zealand climate science coalition website for anyone who can provide reasonable proof based on hard evidence that man-made global warming is happening and is likely to be dangerous to mankind by 2050.

      This is a golden opportunity for those who have the evidence that it is happening – and, it appears, many people believe that they do have this evidence – to come forward and have it tested. If, of course, nobody responds, one can only conclude that this their evidence is absent or weak.

      The rules are:

      The prize will be administered by the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

      The offer is valid for 12 months.

      Judging will be by an independent panel of three people who must have experience in sciences relevant to climate change and statistical analysis. One will be chosen by the NZCSC, one by the applicant for the prize and the third will be selected by negotiation between the two selected experts.

      (For the avoidance of doubt, unvalidated computer programs that have never made accurate predictions, consensus and opinion are not regarded as “hard evidence”.)

      This is a serious offer and I look forward to serious responses.

      1. About as serious as your efforts to pay your court ordered costs, Bryan. I don’t imagine you’ll get any takers, as past performance (as in your attempt to sue NIWA) suggests you will not act in good faith.

        Just another infantile attempt at propaganda.

      2. How stupid can you people get? Anyone with a few functioning neurons, obviously not you lot, knows that “man-made global warming is happening and is likely to be dangerous to mankind by 2050”. Your bet will obviously be rigged because everyone apart from you AGW denying fools knows it.

        1. If you had read the rules, you would see that they were fair as they can be. One expert from each side and one independent expert chosen by the two is a standard method for arbitration and the like.

          Bluster as much as you like, but why don’t you just put your evidence up and walk away with the prize.

          If you would read the IPCC reports (not the summary for policymakers ), you would realise that even the IPCC admits there are huge uncertainties in key factors. So you cannot claim that the IPCC are seriously convinced.

          Put up or admit that you don’t have any hard evidence.

            1. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

              Give up on the personal attacks and provide some evidence. From the way you go on, you must have heaps of it. Let us see it!

      3. Bryan,
        The following paper defines dangerous as cumulative emissions of ∼1000 GtC or 2°C global warming above pre-industrial levels and explores whether and when this will occur under various emissions scenarios.
        Hansen et. al. (2013): Assessing “Dangerous Climate Change”: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature
        The only scenario where this does not occur is when emissions are reduced by 6% p.a. by 2013 with 100 GtC reforestation. As this has not happened, the 2°C limit will be most likely be exceeded. The question is when. Given the current rate of warming, this could well be before by 2050.
        I request that you donate the prize money to NIWA as partial compensation for your NZCSET Trustee obligations.

        1. Simon, Unfortunately, the paper relies on the output of climate models and assumptions regarding the climate sensitivity (forcing factor). As the IPCC admits, the climate forcing factor is extremely uncertain and recent research indicates that it is not much above a factor of one. Also, it starts with the premise that a 2° temperature rise is dangerous and builds on that.

          Regarding the 2° limit, I recently researched this on the Internet and could find no firm foundation for it. So I asked James Renwick if he could provide me with support for the figure but all he could find was something related to the melting of Antarctic ice. It seems to me that it is no more than an urban myth. After all, the world was warmer during the mediaeval warm period, the Roman warm period and the Bronze Age. You may be aware that civilisation prospered during these times.

          To compete for the prize, the paper would have to demonstrate that the carbon model was an accurate representation of the CO2 – climate system and had produced accurate results. I doubt if this is possible. It would also need to demonstrate – rather than assume – that man-made carbon dioxide causes dangerous global warming.

          Extract from the paper you referenced:
          “The Framework Convention [6] does not define a dangerous level for global warming or an emissions limit for fossil fuels. The European Union in 1996 proposed to limit global warming to 2°C relative to pre-industrial times [10], based partly on evidence that many ecosystems are at risk with larger climate change. The 2°C target was reaffirmed in the 2009 “Copenhagen Accord” emerging from the 15th Conference of the Parties of the Framework Convention [11], with specific language “We agree that deep cuts in global emissions are required according to science, as documented in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report with a view to reduce global emissions so as to hold the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius…”.

          A global warming target is converted to a fossil fuel emissions target with the help of global climate-carbon-cycle MODELS, which reveal that eventual warming depends on cumulative carbon emissions, not on the temporal history of emissions [12]. The emission limit depends on climate sensitivity, but central estimates [12]–[13], including those in the upcoming Fifth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [14], are that a 2°C global warming limit implies a cumulative carbon emissions limit of the order of 1000 GtC.

          1. As usual, nothing in your post – apart from the direct quote – is true. See Hot Topic comment policy point four: comments should not not deliberately misrepresent matters of fact.

            Your errors have been pointed out to you many times over the last 10 years, here and elsewhere, yet you continue to make counterfactual assertions. That amounts to deliberate misrepresentation, and I will not publish further comments from you that continue in this vein.

          2. The Hansen paper states several reasons for why 2°C above pre-industrial is dangerous with examples from the paleo-climate record.
            Any prediction of a future outcome requires a model, that’s what models do. To disallow the use of any model is disingenuous nonsense.
            The world was not warmer during the mediaeval warm period, the Roman warm period and the Bronze Age.
            The level of dishonesty that you display here and elsewhere is unbelievable.
            You and your fellow NZCSET Trustees owe NIWA $89,000 in damages. Pay up.

        2. Dear Simon,

          I have read the paper and, it seems to me, it assumes what we are trying to have proved.

          In the introduction it states: “Humans are now the main cause of changes of Earth’s atmospheric composition and thus the drive for future climate change”

          However, in several places, it does emphasise that there are many uncertainties and we would certainly agree with this.

          But thank you for your effort, and if you can find a paper that complies with requirements, we will certainly consider it.

        1. Dear Thomas,

          I am well aware of the reference you mention and I must point out that the “summary for policy makers” is a political document hammered out by agreement amongst various document representatives. It’s first statement is: “Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems. {1}” Few people would disagree with this but what does it prove? It certainly does not prove beyond reasonable doubt that man-made carbon dioxide causes dangerous global warming. Climate change certainly has widespread impact on human and natural systems – but it is is it natural or man-made? We simply don’t know.

          But when you get into the technical reports by the IPCC find that there are large uncertainties:
          1.       “… the rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012; 0.05 [–0.05 to 0.15] °C per decade) … is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (1951–2012; 0.12 [0.08 to 0.14] °C per decade).” [SPM, page 3, section B.1, bullet point 3, and in full Synthesis Report on page SYR-6]
          >>The world has not warmed as fast as we predicted and we don’t know why.

          2.       “… an analysis of the full suite of CMIP5 historical simulations (…) reveals that 111 out of 114 realisations show a GMST trend over 1998–2012 that is higher than the entire HadCRUT4 trend ensemble ….” [WGI contribution, chapter 9, text box 9.2, page 769, and in full Synthesis Report on page SYR-8]
          >> 97% of the model runs over estimated the actual temperature rise.

          3.       “There may also be a contribution from forcing inadequacies and, in some models, an overestimate of the response to increasing greenhouse gas and other anthropogenic forcing (dominated by the effects of aerosols).” [SPM, section D.1, page 13, bullet point 2, and full Synthesis Report on page SYR-8]
          >> It is possible that we have overestimated the climate forcing factor and other key factors – the numbers that drive our predictions of dangerous global warming.

          4.       “This difference between simulated [i.e. model output] and observed trends could be caused by some combination of (a) internal climate variability, (b) missing or incorrect radiative forcing and (c) model response error”. [WGI contribution, chapter 9, text box 9.2, page 769]
          >> We really don’t know why the climate models got it so wrong.

          >> Comments added by Bryan Leyland

          I am reminded  of this quote by Galileo: “In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”  

          So we are left with a few facts: 1 The climate changes naturally and some of it is probably due to human influence. 2 We don’t really understand how the climate works and all our attempts at computer modelling future climates have been a dismal failure.

          On top of that, more and more people are studying natural climate cycles and predicting that we are now at the beginning of a cooling cycle that, quite possibly, will be severe. What we do know from past history is that cooling brings famine, war and disease.

          So we will continue to hope that somebody can find a paper that proves, beyond reasonable doubt that man-made carbon dioxide, and nothing else, causes dangerous global warming.

            1. Gareth, if you’ve got the evidence, bring it up. We will be glad to look at it.

              But you might as well lay off the personal attacks. All they do is demonstrate that you don’t have the scientific evidence.

              Maggie Thatcher: “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

            2. I refer you to my earlier comment.

              As I have pointed out to you many times over the last ten years, pointing out that you are wrong is not a personal attack.

              And if you don’t want people to laugh at you, take off the clown suit.

          1. Bryan the only comparison to you that is perhaps possible as a simile is the pentecostal Christian with firm ‘young earth’ belief, who simply will dismiss all evidence to the contrary.

            Now for some comedy:
            Bryan Leyland, 2010: http://joannenova.com.au/2010/08/is-the-cold-weather-coming/
            Bryan Leyland, 2016: http://www.bryanleyland.co.nz/global-temperature-prediction.html

            Bryan, your astounding predictive ability with regards to climate change has left us speechless time and again. Your ability to brush away mountains of scientific evidence with pretty much nothing but your personal bravado lets us have a clear insight into the workings of your ‘gut instinct’ with regards to climate science, which, as I guess we can safely conclude, is of a Trumpian dimensionality, no less.

            Perhaps you provide this as an entertaining antidote for a rainy day to the stark reality, we find ourselves actually in:

            1. Bryan’s webpage is comedy gold. Maybe he would like to comment on why his predictions have been so wrong? I will give you a hint, it has something to do with greenhouse gases.

          2. Brian wants evidence we are altering the climate that is beyond reasonable doubt:

            There’s enough evaluation of all this in the IPCC report. No need for a new paper on it. The IPCC have stated they are 95% sure, which is beyond reasonable doubt in my books.

            In summary we have the greenhouse effect, (which is proven well beyond “reasonable doubt”), and we have evidence of an increasing level of atmospheric CO2 and an increasing greenhouse effect. We have looked at possible natural causes related to the sun and volcanoes, etc and eliminated them one by one, and have good certainty on this. You wont get 100% certainty, as we cannot put the entire planet in a laboratory and turn various knobs. But we have very good certainty.

            Therefore any genuine scepticism about causes of climate change rests with assuming there’s some hidden process causing climate change, that we haven’t discovered, that also duplicates the greenhouse effect. This is about as likely as fairies living at the bottom of my garden.

            That’s how I see the whole issue, for what it’s worth.

            1. Simon, thanks for the reminder to update my webpage. I have now done so.


              It now shows remarkable correlation between the Southern oscillation index and world temperatures for the last 17 years. Much better correlation than world temperatures and carbon dioxide concentration. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

              If we could only predict El Niño/La Niña events we might be able to predict world temperatures quite accurately. But perhaps not because there is a chance that the sunspot cycle also has a major influence. And then there is the 60 year cycle which is now on a temperature peak. Clearly, the science is not settled!

            2. What is settled is your ability to ignore the facts. Example: your page states, “It is quite remarkable that the climate models failed to predict the El Niño and the timing and magnitude of the La Nina.”
              Climate models – the ones we use look at the future of climate – don’t attempt to “predict” ENSO events. Never have done. We have plenty of models that do, though, dynamical and statistical both, and they are also sometimes called climate models, but they forecast near term (12 month) climate states. They’re currently leaning towards another El Niño by next spring. See http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/#tabs=Outlooks for more.

              ENSO affects the wiggles – the short term ups and downs in global temperature – but it doesn’t explain the overall trend, which remains strongly positive.

            3. “Strongly positive” You could have fooled me. 0.02 deg increase in ~20 years?

              Given that the SOI is the major influence in climate in the world any climate model worth its salt should be able to predict it.

            4. You’re showing your ignorance, again. Over the last 20 years global temps have risen about 0.6ºC – see table on this Met Office page.

              Your dismissal of models is unsurprising, and is against HT comment policy. I’ve asked you once to abide by it. Last warning.

            5. Dear Gareth,

              [Dear Bryan, I’m replying to your comment in line, so as to avoid any ambiguity. GR]

              When you make it a crime to use published data that, according to NASA is the most accurate
              [You cite no source for your assertion of minimal temp rise over the last 20 years. If you mean satellite temp estimates, then you are very wrong to state NASA deems it “most accurate”. Satellite temps don’t measure surface temps, and are the product of complex modelling and vast numbers of adjustments. Carl Mears of RSS is on record pointing out that because of their complexity, satellite temp estimates are less accurate. See here for more. GR],
              then I don’t think I want to have any more to do with you.
              [The feeling is entirely mutual, you may rest assured. GR]
              Your attitude that you alone know right from wrong
              [Do not misrepresent my attitude. It’s rude, and you get it wrong. I merely follow the facts of the matter as established by science. GR]
              does not lead to any constructive debate.
              [There can be no “debate” with someone who has, over the years, refused to learn from the many errors they have made. GR]

              I suggest you go back to your truffles.
              [I’ll give up correcting your errors when the NZ Climate “Science” Coalition gives up pushing piss-poor propaganda. GR]

              If you had any sense of decency and fairness
              [Rude. You know nothing of my character. GR]
              you would simply recognise that there are five different temperature records for the world and they give widely different results.
              [Factually incorrect. There are two satellite temp series, and six surface temp series (GISS, NOAA, HadCRUT, JMA (Japan), Berkeley Earth and Cowtan & Way). The surface temp series differ in minor details, but are in close alignment. The satellite temp series are very different, but show warming at more or less the same rate. See link above for a discussion. GR]
              You would also know that, according to a NASA whistleblower (Bates), the NASA surface temperature record has been fiddled.
              [Rubbish. More fact-free attempts at propaganda. Bates himself stated that his complaint had nothing to do with data “tampering”. GR].

              [This correspondence is closed. GR]


            6. Some perspective for Byran:

              And Bryan: Ocean circulation is somewhat analogous to the water cooling system in your car. The circulation affects the re-distribution of heat in the Earth system. It however, does not magically make the energy imbalance disappear or Earth suddenly radiate more energy away to space. It simply affects where the extra energy is transported too. And overall, you know one would hope to think, over 90% of excess heat from greenhouse climate forcing ends up warming and stored in the oceans. The wiggles along the rising trend of our atmospheric warming are certainly affected by ocean currents.

            7. But but but…..
              There was no significant warming in 2014! Bryan says so! It was only the 3rd hottest year on record, and any way 2015 and 2016 weren’t all that much hotter, and hey its going to get much colder this year, just wait and see. Why the Arctic is only warming twice as fast as the rest of the Planet according to the people who have actually been there and studied it – so just wait until it starts warming at 4 times the rate – then we will be really cold!
              Anyway mathematical modelling is simply a waste of time. Bryan never uses them, even when he is designing hydro power stations.
              The real climate model – if you really must have one is that developed by John McLean, Chris de Freitas and Bob Carter which shows quite clearly (once you have stripped out any underlying trend by mathematical chicanery) that there is no warming trend and that the the ups and downs of global temperatures are simply the result of the ENSO. And that is the model that Bryan uses. So there!

            8. Brian Leyland says:

              “It (the latest graph) now shows remarkable correlation between the Southern oscillation index and world temperatures for the last 17 years. ”

              Probably coincidence. Show me the previous 50 years. Bet you won’t, and I bet there’s no significant correlation.

              Correlation by itself proves nothing anyway. Its hard to see why such an index would drive up temperatures over longer terms. El nino is just a short term cycle that shifts heat around.

              There are correlations between all sorts of weird, unconnected things. The links below gives some absolute hilarious, amazing ones:



              “If we could only predict El Niño/La Niña events we might be able to predict world temperatures quite accurately.

              We will probably never be able to accurately predict the el nino cycle. It’s partly based on random events to do with changing wind patterns and you can’t predict random events accurately.

              There’s too much going on that strongly suggests an increasing greenhouse effect. You have to provide a better alternative theory, and you haven’t. Nice try though.

            9. Actually Nigel, the link between ENSO and global temperatures has been known about and studied for more than 30 years – possibly since the 1890s! The 2009 Maclean et al paper he references was covered in detail at Hot Topic here. It was rubbish then, and remains so now.

            10. Gareth, thanks.

              So Brian is saying strong el ninos correlate with high points in the 100 year global temperature record, etc, etc. Well that’s obvious, of course they would. I thought there must have been something more to it.

              I don’t see how he concludes it is driving increasing global temperatures since the 1970’s, because he doesn’t show a mechanism how it would. It just isn’t, because it’s a relatively short term cycle, that sloshes water back and forwards across the pacific.

              However I would bet money global warming itself is altering the el nino / la nina cycle in some way. You can’t pump all this energy into the oceans, and not affect it in some way.

  2. The Coromandel has indeed had some heavy rain, so you have my commiserations. Auckland has also experienced rainfall at flood levels in March, bigger than anything I can remember in the last 20 years at least. We are now stuck having to conserve water use, because the floods stirred up sediment that is proving slow to filter out.

    Of course climate science predicted heavier rainfall events right back in the late 1980s, and we have been seeing this develop over the last few decades. NIWA have specific research relating to NZ showing more rainfall, if you search their website.

    It’s also possible NZ could get more tropical lows.

    I notice Peru is also experiencing record rainfall, in terms of intensity during short periods. Apparently its caused by a local el nino event, which is an unusual sort of thing?

    Again higher atmospheric moisture probably made it worse. This el nino event may also be influenced by global warming. There is some evidence el ninos themselves may increase with global warming, but it’s not certain as yet.

    I will now do what I do every day for a few minutes. Google the latest Trump news, to see the latest comedy routine, although it’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry at all this voluminous, unprecedented, idiocy.

    1. I’d like some rain here in the Mackenzie, but as always it is dry and hot

      Which specific idiocy are you referring to? I did enjoy the comedy routine by Rachel Maddow, with the “breaking story” about Trump’s tax returns.

      How are your Russian conspiracy theories going? I see the MSM have shut up on that temporarily, possibly because of the wiretapping claims

  3. From AndyS “Which specific idiocy are you referring to?

    Hard to know where to start. Regarding the Trump Administration idiotic comedy show here are some random samples:

    1) The crazy immigration policies, fortunately overturned by the courts. Unconstitutional policies with inadequate proof of problems.

    2) The ridiculous, evidence free wire tapping allegations against Obama.

    3) The proposed cuts to the EPA and NASA. You cannot get more idiotic than that. See more on this below because it’s of most relevance to this website.

    4) The absurd replacement for Obamacare that makes things worse, and according to the houses own non partisan committee leaves millions uninsured.

    5) The probable connection of the campaign to Russia. The FBI have already stated they have a lot of evidence of conversations, although in fairness at this stage nothing is certain. But I have my own personal suspicions.

    6) Trump’s incessant made up numbers about anything you care to name.

    7) Spicers absurd clownish, transparent claim that the unemployment figures used to be fake but they are real now, despite the authorities who measure unemployment stating nothing has changed in the way they assess information.

    I could go on literally all day with a thousand points. It’s a clownish, idiotic comedy routine on a grand scale. No wonder Trumps approval ratings are so low. Idiocy is the appropriate word as far as I’m concerned.

    No doubt people like Andy’s will try to desperately refute each statement above, or want endless internet links, or will nitpick, or deny, or twist. It’s all amusing to me, because this sort of petty, deceptive, irrational response is what he usually does, and isn’t going to change my mind in the slightest.

    However it all has to get through congress, and they are not completely stupid. Hopefully sanity prevails somewhere. The right thing to do might to be to settle on just more careful checks of potential immigrants, as I have always promoted.

    But getting back to point 3) on cuts to the EPA and NASA etc, all allegedly to fund more military spending. This is of course of particular interest to me as I’m interested in climate change. It angers me. There’s no justification to cut these things, when climate change is such a huge potential threat, and when we are talking about the equivalent to a couple of stealth bombers.

    What good is more military spending? It’s not going to scare N Korea into submission, or fix the Iran issue, or even tensions with Putin. In fact it will escalate these sorts of things. Trump is living in the cold war past where military spending might have made some sense.

    The best way of resolving most current international problems is agreements, like the one between Iran and America on nuclear development, and linkages between countries by way of free trade etc.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think nations and their governments owe a duty to their own citizens first, but connections with other countries have to come a close second. Call that globalisation if you want.

    AndyS doesn’t “get” any of this, and probably never will. Nothing I say will change his mind, and he will just make snarky, hollow rebuttals. But I’m interested in what other people think.

  4. So, you have no evidence of Russia influencing the outcome of the election. There is evidence that wiretapping took place.

    According to Wikileaks, the CIA can listen to any of us, anytime, with a smartphone or Smart TV, so surveillance of a presidential candidate that is hostile to the elitist globalist agenda would hardly come as a surprise

    Of course I don’t “get it”. However, former left wingers like David Horowitz certainly do. His book “Radical Son” is a great read that I have recently finished.

    1. Another point regarding the “crazy” immigration policies

      I can’t say I agree with the way it was carried out, but it is hardly unconstitutional, as the US Constitution does not apply to people outside the USA. The seven countries affected by the travel ban were identified by the previous administration as being of particular threat to the country.

      Obama had a temporary ban from Iraq at some point in his tenure; no one seemed to complain about that

      NZ has very strict immigration criteria. NZ also has much more stringent abortion laws that the USA

      So all those shrieking about “fascism” from NZ should maybe look in the mirror first.

  5. Andys,

    “So, you have no evidence of Russia influencing the outcome of the election”.

    Of course we do. The intelligence agencies have already stated they do have evidence Russia interfered in the election campaign.

    I only referred to possible links between Trumps people and Russia to interfere. There’s already evidence of contacts, from the FBI. I think its probably only a matter of time before we find those contacts included a conspiracy to attack the democrats.

    The connections between trump and Russia are now under investigation, by the head of the FBI, a Republican no less. It’s not looking too good, if he has decided to proceed. Yes indeedy. However time will tell, and I keep an open mind unlike AndyS.

    Andy S trots out this statement” According to Wikileaks, the CIA can listen to any of us, anytime, with a smartphone or Smart TV, so surveillance of a presidential candidate that is hostile to the elitist globalist agenda would hardly come as a surprise.”

    No doubt they can. Goes to far in my view.

    But it is obviously not evidence that Obama carried or authorised wire tapping, – or any other form of surveillance on Trump. Multiple independent agencies have said there’s no evidence, and there’s no great love for Obama or Hilary Clinton by these people.

    Can you please provide proof the CIA or FBI support some globalist agenda? I would think the opposite could be true. And what do you even mean by globalist?

    Honestly Andy your thinking is often so irrational and delusional, and frankly dangerous. It’s the sort of thinking that is based on gut instincts, and leads to witch hunts and vigilante justice.

    1. Who said anything about the CIA having a globalist agenda?

      Of course you have no evidence of Russian interference in the elections. The same media and “intelligence” agencies also ran a story about Trump in a Russian hotel, with some ladies required to do some unhygienic acts. This turned out to be a made up story that someone on 4Chan wrote, yet it ended up as an official dossier and of course FNN (Fake News Network) ran with it

      How was that tax return again?

      How are Rachel Maddow’s ratings?

      1. AndyS

        “Who said anything about the CIA having a globalist agenda?”

        More irrationality. You certainly appeared to imply it as follows “According to Wikileaks, the CIA can listen to any of us, anytime, with a smartphone or Smart TV, so surveillance of a presidential candidate that is hostile to the elitist globalist agenda would hardly come as a surprise’

        “Of course you have no evidence of Russian interference in the elections”

        Just repeating this does not change the fact the FBI and CIA have evidence, and have released some of it, if you bother to read something apart from Brietbart.

        “How was that tax return again?”

        One tax return from about 10 years ago proves nothing, and may not be representative. Trump needs to release them all like other recent presidents. I want to know what hes so coy about.

        However I have reached my own conclusions about his lack of business acumen. Several of his companies went bankrupt, big ones. The guy is no financial or business genius, so this just makes me more sceptical of his many other views.

        Do you think we could get back to climate change, which was the main issue I originally raised?

        1. When the riots in Europe get so big that even the MSM have to report them, you won’t be prattling on about Trump 24×7

          Yes you can go back to climate change if you want.

          1. Andy, you really need to poke your nose outside of Breitbart for news. There is a real world out there, where life is a great deal better than you give it credit.

            1. Strange definition of “concurring”. FBI and whoever tap foreigners of interest, hoover up members of Trump team talking to them. That’s not proving Trump’s point, it’s proving his team worked with Russians. Not good news, unless you think Putin’s some kind of saviour.

          2. AndyS, I think it’s fair to say Europe let in too many refugees too fast. This can obviously create problems, because infrastructure cannot cope, there aren’t enough jobs, and these people have poor english. This can only create frictions, problems, and frustrations which may boil over into sympathy for radicals. I have never supported mass immigration over short periods.

            That cat is out of the bag, but they have now put limits in place and better assistance for refugee centres in turkey etc.

            But interestingly Sweden has very good economic growth, that they largely attribute to their immigration and refugee programmes, so even if there are risks, there are upsides. It’s just not black and white (pun not intended).

            You talk about Europe erupting in protest. Well it appears not, given the dutch anti immigration candidate has been defeated somewhat totally.

            But I’m tired of the way you conflate America and Europe. There’s no comparison. America has had a policy (thanks to Obama and even GW Bush) of relatively slow, measured immigration and refugee programmes, and careful checking of individuals. America has had very few problems from immigrant and refugee communities, and I can’t see this changing, ( unless Trump stirs it up with inflammatory rhetoric!). I generally support this measured approach to moslem immigration and refugees (and other countries) that allows immigration and refugees but keeps numbers moderate and checks individuals carefully. In no way was it an open door. He also ejected thousands of illegal, criminally inclined mexicans.

            Trump is trying to fix a problem that simply doesn’t exist.

            Build a wall if you like, as all countries are sensible to protect their borders. But it’s a sledgehammer to crack a nut, given border patrols have reduced illegal immigrants, and I doubt it will deter anyone really determined. It’s a Trump pipe dream, and monument to Trump, and is estimated to cost over $20 billion, and I would say you can double that.

  6. Andy says “another point regarding the “crazy” immigration policies. I can’t say I agree with the way it was carried out, but it is hardly unconstitutional, as the US Constitution does not apply to people outside the USA. The seven countries affected by the travel ban were identified by the previous administration as being of particular threat to the country.”

    Well several judges seem to think it applies to foreigners outside the USA as below.


    I’m sure they would have their reasons, and know a great deal more about the details of the constitution, and the many related laws than Andy or me.

    In any event the law DOES allow the constitution to be over ridden if there evidence of risk of substantial harm. (Its more complex than that, but comes down to this). This is logical to me, but of course Trump has not been able to provide proof, probably because there isn’t any proof.

    1. There is no evidence of any physical harm by letting in people from Jihadist run countries

      Of course, it makes perfect sense. Why would someone from Iraq, say, feel hostile towards the USA?

      1. AndyS, well there’s always a risk of a few people from Iraq in particular having some hostility towards the USA. I guess french immigrants to NZ have mixed feelings as well given the nuclear testing issue.

        But there’s a big difference between some latent hostility with some people, and blowing things up in terrorist attacks. I would suggest the sort of people coming from Iraq into America are mostly decent people, and more hostile to leaders like GW Bush, than America as a whole. They would recognise there’s a difference.

        It’s also unlikely that you would immigrate to a country you truly hate, unless you were totally nuts.

        America also checks immigrants carefully on their world views and attitudes. It seems to work well given immigrant and refugee communities have generally caused very few problems. Of course you will always have a few nutty individuals, but you get those with white so called christian fanatics of the klu clux clan variety.

        So what do you do, have massive bans on whole countries or religions, just because there might be some hidden conspiracy that Iraqi immigrants are secretly planning a mass takeover of America. I just can’t see it. It’s paranoia.

  7. I can sense the desperation in Andy. His nationalist reality denying clowns and conmen are in power now in the USA and the UK and the buck now stops now with them. Uh, consequences are piling up faster than the lies in Trump’s midnight tweets.

    The show they have put on is so gut wrenching that it will likely spoil the appetite for more of the right wing “take over” in the rest of the Western world. The Dutch gave the right wing loggerhead 15% of the vote.

    Intelligence and rightwingery have never been much correlated. While conmanship, bigotry, racism, denialism, criminality, and general incompetence have. When in power, however, the “rights” must face the very reality they could deny in risible blog posts, electioneering rambles, and gutter press round kicks. Welcome, Andy, to the real world, where your “heroes” are encountering the inconvenient world of facts. Economics, people, and physics belong to the real world. Make no mistake.

    If Trump gets to complete what he wants, Americans will be: losing their health care insurance, pay substantially more for imported goods (that’s most of what they consume), losing many social services including even Meals on Wheels…, become the complete laughingstock of the science community, lose out on the development of 21st century energy technology, lose out in the competition for the brightest minds in the world (learning French or German may become a new passion for the intellectuals), lose out on tourism (who wants to hand all their passwords to some border guard and be interrogated for hours to see Disney Land or the Grand Canyon), international conferences (100% of the African delegates to the University of Southern California’s African Global Economic and Development Summit 2017 were denied visa!!! – no joke)… and much more.

    Meanwhile, Trump is busy trying to hide the connections of his hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from Deutsche Bank for his business deals to the Russian Mafia money laundering schemes…..
    Deutsche would have lent him half a billion quit on his good name and business record (serial bankrupt) alone without guarantees by some “real billionaires” who have deposits with the bank from the billions they stole from Russia earlier… Yea Right!

    Meanwhile, Tillerson blames his wife and she blames God, for the worst decision of his life….

    A great show your “heroes” are putting on Andy. Just Fantastic entertainment…..

    1. For your information Thomas, I don’t include politicians as heros

      So I’m not quite sure why you keep referring to my heroes. I am, of course, like most people, concerned about the economy, domestic security, environmental degradation,and the rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness

      Creating a global caliphate isn’t part of my world vision either

      1. AndyS, sorry I can’t let those comments go by even if they are directed at Thomas.

        “I don’t include politicians as heroes”

        Unless you distance yourself from certain people, or at least some of their actions and words, we are justified to believe you approve of them. That is how our society works, whether you agree or not. We expect open and up front comment, not evasive spin. I’m always specific on such things, for example what I like or don’t like about any politician, so if I can do this why can’t you?

        Your claimed “concern about environmental degradation” hardly rings true, given you history of climate denialism. But I’m an easy going guy, so here’s your chance on a plate

        1) What would you do about global warming?
        2) What would you do about NZ’s polluted rivers?

        You are concerned about “the rights to life and liberty”. If you are sincere about this you would apply it to all peoples everywhere, and be pro immigration without discrimination, unless there’s very compelling proof of a problem. This is what wise judges in America have decided.

        As to your “global caliphate” the only actual evidence of anyone actively promoting this is ISIS. If you want to live in a world of paranoia thinking moslems everywhere are secretly plotting a world take over, you fall into the same crazy conspiracy theory as the conspiracies accusing Jews of wanting world domination, etc.

        So what would YOU do about ISIS? Specifically.

        ISIS is largely a creation of Americas tendency to interfere in other countries, but too late now, whats done is done. There is not much more we can do than bomb them, and I would support more troops on the ground provided its a multi nation effort (very reluctantly because we know the huge problems of this strategy). Even them they will probably come back.

        So what would you do?

        I sure don’t see any sense from Trump on the ISIS issue. Once again his exaggerated rhetoric about solving problems “beautifully and fully” “on day one” will come crashing into reality. Just as his repeal of Obamacare has failed.

        In fact Obama’s strategy against ISIS is about right, and just need strengthening a bit.

        So you can complain about global caliphates, and I share your obvious dislike of ISIS, and elements of Islamic beliefs in general, but it comes down to specifics of what you would do!

        Trump is like a bull in a china shop. His noise, and clumsy treatment of moslems, with threats to have curfews and close police monitoring etc, and his immigration bans, plays right into the hands of the radicals, and can only make it worse. If Trump had just stuck to extreme vetting he would have been on the right track. Now it looks like his presidency could actually implode in some unpredictable fashion as the badly considered policies crash into reality one by one like dominoes .

        1. Ok I explicitly distance myself from Trump

          Also, Obama, Clinton, Bush, Cheney, Paul Ryan, Bernie Sanders,

          Bill English, Murray McCully (obvuosly) , Winson Peters, Andrew Little, and all the minor NZ parties

          I also distance myself from anyone who supports Islam and Sharia, in particular people from Canada that support bill M103

          How about you Nigel? I assume that you support Sharia and its brutal treatment of women and minorities, since you have not distanced yoirself from it

          1. AndyS, points taken, but who do you support in terms of American politicians, generally, in the main?

            For me Obama is the best in recent years, despite his obvious flaws. By global standards he is a moderate, and I tend to be a moderate.

            I have already made it clear I don’t support the islamic religion. I’m pretty much an athiest. Sharia law and some moslem attitudes to women seem medieval to me.

            I think half the problem is Islam is very fixed in it’s structure and writings (eg the koran) while Christianity is more flexible, at least in the new testament. So it’s easier for Christianity to embrace modernism.

            However having said that, while most Christians no longer take the bible literally on every point, and I doubt moslems take the koran literally on every point. The Koran has some clauses that can be interpreted as promoting violence against non believers, but it’s only a minority of moslems who take this literally like Al Qaeda and ISIS. The behaviour of moslem communities in NZ and America is generally good, which suggests they don’t take the koran literally. As a sciency or maths guy, or whatever, you would understand we need to look at evidence, not paranoid fears.

            Therefore I just don’t see a case to ban all moslem immigrants, or whole countries, but I keep an open mind on this. I would just want to see hard evidence of widespread problems, violence, or widespread mistreatment of women etc. Even then banning immigrants won’t fix the bad treatment of women.

            It’s not as if christians and native born kiwis, and europeans never mistreat women. I think you need a compelling case to ban entire groups of immigrants.

            1. I support constitutional conservatives, on the whole

              Trump clearly isn’t one of these. he is a populist. However, he isn’t a leftist. This is a good thing, in my books

              Obama has “achieved” the following during his tenure:

              [Tedious list of alt-right nonsense snipped. GR]


              On the upside, he did support biological males using women’s restroom and changing facilities

              Any thoughts on why people think Obama is so wonderful? Nice haircut and smile perhaps?

            2. AndyS, constitutional conservatives include people like Ted Cruz I think, so that’s too rigid for me, and people like Cruz are too ultra conservative for me. Although he seems a sincere guy, and there is merit in constitutions, if they are carefully worded so as not to create overly simplistic or rigid requirements.

              Trump is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; This is how Winston Churchill described Russia.

              Trump is a mixture of left and right, liberal and conservative.His foreign affairs is actually isolationist and libertarian, on the whole. His religious and racial, immigration and ethnic views lean conservative. He supports social security. Thats a liberal / leftist position and in fact he supported the Democrats for a long time.

              So who knows. Hes a mixture of things, an eccentric and hard to categorise. I think he has some personality disorder.

              However the fact he supports social security does tend to show hes not heartless or ultra conservative. But this is Trump, and he could change his mind tomorrow.

              I judge leaders by policies and results, on keeping countries safe, crime low, inflation low and good economic growth. I also personally believe in some basic public services.

              Obama at least avoided a disastrous war like Iraq. That’s a big plus. His intervention in Libya was stupid in my opinion.

              Obama rescued americas economy, with his assistance packages, etc, and this is the view of economists and reputable economics publications, (despite the republicans undermining his every move). Unemployment fell from 11 t0 5.6%, growth is now reasonably ok etc. The data proves it, and much of this reflects Obama’s world view and efforts.

              Obamacare is not perfect, but is now pretty popular and better than the alternative.

              Bill Clinton also had a good record overall, when you look at the big ticket items like inflation, good economic growth, foreign affairs.

              GW Bush was an unmitigated disaster with literally everything.

              Reagon was generally ok overall, but before my time. His main failing was building up too much government debt.

              But you won’t find the perfect president.

            3. I won’t bother replying to your comment Nigel since most of my stuff gets deteted

              Have a nice day

            4. From the Hot Topic comment policy: comments should not “not deliberately misrepresent matters of fact”. The snipped list fell into that category.

          2. andyS [Ian, cut the personal invective please. GR]. He wrongly describes motion M103 as a “Bill” it is not a bill, perhaps he should read more and bluster less. He obviously has no understanding of what is actually in the motion. It does not support Islam or Sharia but expresses the desire that the Government should condemn Islamophobia and other forms of racism and religious discrimination.

            “That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear; (b) condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination and take note of House of Commons’ petition e-411 and the issues raised by it; and (c) request that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage undertake a study on how the government could

            (i) develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia, in Canada, while ensuring a community-centered focus with a holistic response through evidence-based policy-making, (ii) collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities, and that the Committee should present its findings and recommendations to the House no later than 240 calendar days from the adoption of this motion, provided that in its report, the Committee should make recommendations that the government may use to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the Constitution Acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms”.

            1. Ian, you might be interested to hear that Ayaan Hirshi Ali is speaking in Auckland NZ next month

              She, of course, as a Somalian ex Muslim, has written and spoken extensively on the problems with Islam

              Isn’t it wonderful that we can have such an intelligent and invite full woman sharing her knowledge with us in NZ?

              Too bad for you Canadians, who might prosecute her for “hate speech”

  8. Thomas senses some desperation

    This is true. When I was a school kid in London, we were locked down by the police as our history teacher was arrested for taking part in the IRA horse guards parade attack

    [Racist bollocks snipped. GR]

    1. If you are accusing me of “racism”, it would help if you kept the original comment so others can judge,

      By the way, Islam is not a race

      Also, the likes of Thomas can refer to me as a “white supremacist” and “racist” with no justification whatsoever.

      1. I snip stuff that doesn’t fall within HT’s comment policy, or which I deem distasteful. Frankly, given the stuff I’ve edited in the last 24 hours, I’m doing you a very big favour.

        1. I’m sure you are doing me a big favour by reinforcing the myth that I am a “white supremacist’ and a “racist” as proposed by Thomas

          I have, as it happens, visited – by accident – some genuinely obnoxious white supremacist, anti-semitic and Holocaust denying websites that leave me breathless

          The fact that some right of centre people like me get tarred with this brush doesn’t exactly leave the door open for discourse

          1. Then try to avoid giving the impression you support their view of the world. The fact is that there is an observable reality out there: you seem, from your comments – and from the stuff I’ve snipped – to be living in a completely different place. It’s certainly not the McKenzie country I know…

            1. It’s Mackenzie Country, not Mc

              Anyway, in order to diffuse a tense dialogue, may I interject with a musical interlude?

              This song and video comes from a young local talent. he went to school with my son

              It shows off some of the beautiful scenery here.

              This one too:

            2. That’s very nice Andy. It’s always good to bring things back to our common humanity, families and beautiful places.

              But doesn’t our shared humanity also include a basic belief in science research, and a stable, reasonably clean environment? I would have thought so, but right now a certain administration is proposing severely cutting funding to the EPA, and significant elements of climate research by NASA and have tried to censor what some organisations say or put on their websites etc. This is crazy stuff, with only feeble reasons given.

              Of course climate change mitigation is open to debate, but you would have more credibility if you at least distanced yourself from the Trump administrations attacks on science, and their funding cuts, and until you do so you make yourself look anti -science, hard right, and duplicitous.

      2. As Gareth pointed out: Your viewpoints are also defined by the viewpoints of those whom you support.

        The condemnation of entire religious folk for the grave crimes of some of them is precisely the reaction the terrorist wish to achieve as their prime aim has been the fanning of an all out religious world war. Your own reaction is what the terrorist are hoping for. The voice of moderation is the one they truly fear.

        The aim must be to prevent this all out war and to isolate defeat them as the criminals they are within Islam and the rest of the world. This is what the peaceful majority of all people including Muslims want and we owe it to them as much as we owe it ourselves to succeed with this strategy. In an all out war between the worlds nobody wins. The die-hard loggerheads of the West and the East, the hooligans, neo-nazis, hate groups, and religious extremists, from all works of life may enjoy such a war temporarily for violence is what they seem to crave. But they are the enemy, within our societies and outside. So defeat we will these forces through moderation and through upholding our own societies liberal values and freedoms, for which so many gave their lives in past world wars.

        1. Yes I understand that my viewpoints are supported by the people I support.

          However, I have explicitly stated that I don’t support any politicians. I regard them all as contemptible scum. Al of them, every single MP in our NZ parliament.

          But it’s OK for you to refer to be as a Brownshirt, a racist, etc, with no supporting evidence whatsoever

          Have a nice day

        2. Thomas, yes exactly right. The extremists within islam are delusional people, and want to stir up hate and start a full on war. They are a peculiar group who crave absolutely rigid rules, and beliefs, and are authoritarians and ultra conservatives. There’s a lot of commentary on this mindset from psychologists etc if you google it.The extremists are desperate to get the moderates on their side, by provoking governments and people to condemn islam, and insult or harass moslem individuals and their customs.

          There’s no evidence moslems as a whole group are criminals or dangerous. We have to be guided by data and evidence, not paranoia and suspicions and obvious “bigotry” which I deplore. What we have are some dangerous individuals and extremists just as you get people with extreme views on anything in life.

          But that doesn’t mean Islam is beyond all criticism. Sharia law, does come close to conflicting with some of our human rights legislation. It is theoretically possible for religion to become so closely integrated with lifestyle, that it can be in conflict with human rights legislation, and this cannot be ignored.

          It’s reasonable to expect everyone to act within the law, and this includes religious groups, and their rules are going to have to be compatible with this. It is not religious hate or discrimination to require this. It is only religious discrimination or bigotry to make arbitrary, emotion driven decisions, not based on facts.

          But we need polite informed debate, not hate filled ranting.

          1. Nigel and Thomas, the “extremists” within Islam are the ones that read the Qur’an. The book says to “kill them wherever you find them”, referring to the unbelievers

            [Rest of the post snipped because of deliberate misrepresentation. Andy: I understand that these are your views, but they are not grounded in the facts as I understand them. I will therefore not provide you with a platform to mislead.

            Everybody: although this is an open thread, HT is a climate blog. No further discussion of religion please. GR]

            1. Ok message received

              In that case, does anyone have experience with SolaStat hot water systems? I’m having a few teething problems

            2. Andy, just because someone reads an old book, doesn’t mean they take everything in it literally, or believe everything. The EVIDENCE suggests the vast majority don’t take it all literally.

              However I wont discuss religion further as per Gareths request.

              But the same principle of interpretation applies to everything. We are mostly all sceptics of various things at some level, and question things, especially when they are big things with huge implications.

              What amazes me is how little scepticism you apply to some of the alternate right material, or alternate news stuff you read, or stuff on Watts up and other climate sceptics websites. I mean you could drive a truck through the holes in most of it. I refuse to buy into it.

              We have time honoured established ways of establishing facts. Just because they are occasionally wrong, but that’s no excuse to start talking about alternate facts, or post modern ideas about alternative truths or realities, or assuming the so called elite are all liars.We have to get back to basic agreed facts and truths. I notice that even some of the leading Republicans are calling for this.

            3. Nigel, I don’t read Watts Up, or rarely anyway. So how am I supposed to apply scepticism to something I don’t read?

              Also, I don’t follow “Alt Right”, and I don’t really even know what it means.
              Milo Yiannopoulos has been described by Fake News sites such as Stuff.co.nz as a spokesman for the Alt-Right and a White Supremacist. He vigorously denies both.
              Thomas used this kind of rhetoric against me too.

              As for the term “alternate facts” used by Kellyanne Conway, she is a lawyer and the term “alternate facts” is actually a legal ter, as pointed out by Willis:

              Of course, I understand the real problem. I don’t suffer from Advanced TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) and I am not furiously tweeting about Hitler and Fascists taking over the USA, like this guy:


            4. Nigel says

              “We have time honoured established ways of establishing facts.”

              What are these ways?

            5. AndyS, interesting article on Conway. Yes I’m actually vaguely familiar with the legal use of the term alternative facts. I think its fair to say you can have alternative “versions” of the facts, and this is what she meant. (However I doubt her alternative version would stand up to scrutiny)

              But she wasn’t having a legal discussion. She was talking about political issues, and the term alternative facts has taken on a certain meaning in the public domain. She should have enough sense to be aware of that, and just said she “had a different version of events”. She dug a hole for herself.

              I suppose a practical example of “alternative versions of the facts” by some climate denialists, is their attempt to argue that the satellite data is more factual (or reliable)than the surface data. They are just plain wrong on this. I actually used to believe the satellite data showed little warming, and was likely more accurate, but it doesn’t take much digging to find this is not the case. Yet the climate sceptics go on believing their silly version of things. Well there’s a fine line between healthy scepticism and becoming a flat earther.

              The problem for me is when I hear the so called “alternative facts” they are invariably nonsense.

              The Conway article talked about the so called fake news media, and so called liberal bias in the media. There was not one word about the very strong conservative bias in Fox, and I have seen examples of where Fox have indisputably printed complete rubbish. All media have done on occasion. I mean the arrogance of the writer, and one sided stupidity or total disconnect with reality just amazes me.

              In fact most of the fake news I have seen lately has come from the Trump campaign. Most of the fact checking websites find that is where it is coming from and their fact checking is rather thorough. Sorry, but it is what it is.

              I’m supposed to believe all the government data on the economy or crime were fake under Obama, but are all accurate under Trump, (as long as they are good statistics, otherwise they are fake again). I mean ha ha ha.

              Come back down to earth Andy. I will go with the official statistics, unless someone can provide explicit, compelling reasons otherwise. Just saying it’s fake news or making up alternative numbers is just crap.

            6. Nigel, The Daily Wire’s John Nolte gives 24 examples of Fake News in just 5 days from the MSM

              (Needless to say, the Fake News MSM list the Daily Wire as “Fake News”)

              I don’t bother with Fox either, except for Tucker Carlson who is very entertaining in the way he dispatches his guests

              Bill Nye didn’t fare too well against Carlson when challenged on climate change and started spouting crazy conspiracy theories towards the end:


            7. AndyS, just out of curiosity a read your Daily Wire claims of fake news in the mainstream media and briefly note the following.

              1) The moslem ban. I think it is a moslem ban, given Trump originally claimed he wanted to ban moslems, it’s reasonable to interpret it is a moslem ban, and this is what several judges have done. The only reason Saudi Arabia was left out is Americas close ties with this country, and a couple of others were left out to make it not look like a moslem ban. The judges saw through this sleight of hand as do I.

              2) This looks like fake news

              3,4,7) These are simply accusations or claims about fake news with no evidence provided

              8) Could be fake news

              9) The original is an opinion, so is not news, so cannot be fake news.

              10) The original is an opinion on the effects of a pause in refugee bans, so is not news, so cannot be fake news.

              11) Not fake news

              12) Not fake news. There was a mass exodus of people. The reasons for the exodus dont change this.

              13 – 20) More of the same.

              So unfortunately even just scanning these very briefly I can see why the MSM call the Daily Wire itself fake news. Basically their claims above are mostly unverified nonsense with maybe a couple of genuine fake news examples.

              In comparison here is an example of fake news from Fox:


              You will always get mistakes in the news. Whether it’s an epidemic in America I don’t know for sure, but I don’t see the MSM as being a huge problem. The fake news seems to come more from fringe or “alternative” media websites, and on facebook, and in tweets from people like Trump.

            8. Nigel,

              The “Moslem Ban” is not a Moslem ban, because all people from the seven countries that are basically failed states are banned from those countries (temporarily). The seven countries were identified by the Obama administration, as I have already stated.

              60 Minutes just did a show on Fake News, in which they interviewed prominent blogger Mike Cernovich.

              Mike gets up to 150 million Twitter impressions a month, as opposed to 60 Minutes 3 million Twitter impressions a month

              It was a failed hit piece (in my view). They tried to discredit Cernovich’s claim that Hillary Clinton has Parkinson’s Disease.

              There is some fairly convincing evidence that HRC is not well. However, the MSM just covers it up and shouts “Fake News”, whilst they themselves propagate Fake News about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Trump’s tax returns, “Moslem Bans” (ignoring Obama’s ban of the same nature during his tenure)

              Nigel, the MSM is failing. It is a largely left wing echo chamber, that does not serve the public. It is failing financially, getting killed in the ratings. Youtube channels are dominated by conservatives and libertarians

              What is the solution? Censorship, obviously. If you don’t like the message, shut it down. This is what is happening already, with various Youtube channels. The next step is gulags, and don’t think it won’t happen again

              You will never win the “climate debate” because it is being conducted in a set of siloed echo chambers, like all other public discourse these days

            9. AndyS, we can argue terminology forever over the moslem ban thing. Opinions differ. Technically its not a moslem ban, but clearly a lot of people think that’s the intent. Sometimes intent is what matters most.

              I’m really just not too interested in whether Hilary Clinton has Parkinsons. I don’t see any obvious symptoms like shaking hands, and hands can shake for numerous reasons. Can you please show me a diagnosis from a doctor who has examined her in a medical centre please? Of course you can’t. The claims are just speculative garbage.

              You claim MSM is failing. Sorry have I missed something? Could you please show me evidence some company is bankrupt?

              Youtube conervative or libertarian nonsense gets an audience because it’s free!

              What youtube channels have been censored? Channels promoting hate speech, terrorism and paedophilia. Good job if they are banned.

              The only single thing I will concede regards Canada’s attempts to introduce some form of hate speech legislation regarding moslems and other religions. I think its probably too hard to define hate speech. However this issue doe not mean the internet is being censored, or free speech as a whole is under threat, or likely to be. Never have we had more free speech and more available platforms, and I doubt that will change much.

              However I deplore people who rant and rave about the moslem people, who mostly make hateful and stupid, badly informed comments about them. It doesn’t help.

              That mass rape in Germany? Never happened, made up by a couple of friends, and the police have dropped the investigation. It was “fake news”.

              We live in the greatest period of free speech with a thousand platforms and you claim free speech is being shut down. It’s hilarious and so disconnected to reality.

              We have already largely won the climate science debate. Polls all over the world by reputable organisations like Pew research show the overwhelming majority of people in most countries, even America, accept the science and want more done. The sticking point is politicians captive to lobby groups, but this will eventually stop. All things change. Reality is catching up fast, with record global temperatures and more expected later this year.

            10. Nigel,

              The “mass rape” in Germany is “fake news”?

              I’m sorry, which mass rape are you referring to? There is a rape epidemic in countries like Sweden and Germany. Of course, 1500 underage girls were sexually assaulted over a period of time in Rotherham, England. Is this fake news?

              Youtube channels being censored, or at least restrictions place on them: PewDeePie, a Swede who blogs about games. He is “far right”, despite not having a political channel.

              Most MSM papers are losing money. e.g the Guardian
              Conservative Youtube channels are not “free”. Many of them make good money from Patreon and ads. Public service broadcasting is “free” because we force people to pay via taxes.

              Of course I don’t want to see paedophilia, rape and violence promoted. So I agree with Geert Wilders that we should ban the Qur’an on that basis, just for consistency with the rules around Mein Kampf, although I’m not really in favour of banning books.

              Clinton had several symptoms of PD. e.g seizures, the blue glasses, little time in front of the media. Of course, any reasonable journalist might actually investigate, but the medical records weren’t released, and if you don’t want to end up in a body bag, its best not to cross the Clintons

              [Personal attack snipped. GR.]

              (Didn’t you enjoy the look on Bill’s face when his victims showed up at the Trump/Clinton debate?)

            11. Nigel says:

              We live in the greatest period of free speech with a thousand platforms and you claim free speech is being shut down. It’s hilarious and so disconnected to reality.

              This is a keeper. So good I’m going to print it out in 20 point and stick to my wall. It is so utterly hilarious. Of course, “free speech” is great if you agree with the dogma.

              Did you realise that people like Germaine Greer, Julie Bindel and Jordan Peterson are being denied the right to speak at Universities? When Milo tried to speak at SoCal, Antifa activists rioted, burned cars and smashed windows.

              Any left wing blog or newspaper has far greater comment moderation that right wing ones. Try leaving a comment on The Guardian, for example.

              Of course you are winning the climate debate. Oh there isn’t a debate, never mind.

            12. AndyS

              The whole rape issue in Europe has been exaggerated. I’m not saying there’s no issue, but its been twisted and misrepresented, if you look into the details.

              What was pew die pie censored for? Until you spell this out you have no cause for complaint. Maybe he was spreading hard core porn or paedophilia.

              By the way youtube is a private sector company, and is entitled to censor, ( ie moderate) it’s website any way it wishes. If you don’t like this, you are free to set up your own website, – and leave it uncensored, however you will find it get’s filled up with boring nonsense.

              ” Most MSM papers are losing money. e.g the Guardian”

              Please provide proof. In any event this doesn’t prove they are failing.

              ” Conservative Youtube channels are not “free”

              Who even cares? Plenty of conservative alternative media is free anyway. Wattsup is free to read, and deals with climate matters.

              “Public service broadcasting is “free” because we force people to pay via taxes.”

              Just so irrelevant to this. Try and stick to the basic issue.

              “Of course I don’t want to see paedophilia, rape and violence promoted. So I agree with Geert Wilders that we should ban the Qur’an on that basis”

              Then you would have to consider banning the old testament as it contains all sorts of violence and is a religious book. As you say, you don’t like banning books so you weaken your own rhetoric.

              But I agree, you cannot really ban historical books, because we are applying things too retrospectively. I do think you could ban current books or writings that specifically promote or incite violence of a specific type against specific targets. Such material is promoting law breaking, so could be said to be undermining the law. I think that’s applying an objective principle to censorship that is valid.

              I don’t actually like censorship as such, and it should generally be minimal and applied to foul language, and inciting violence, paedophilia, defamation, etc. I don’t think it should be applied to or religious political opinions, obviously. (unless its way off topic). I do think that if you make controversial claims, you need to back them up with something of substance.

              “Clinton had several symptoms of PD. e.g seizures, the blue glasses, little time in front of the media.”

              Oh give me a break. Are you serious? The main symptom of parkinson’s disease is shaky hands, especially the thumb and finger, and problems walking straight, and cognitive impairments. “She had little time in front of the media” You didn’t stop and remember she had pneumonia!

              I remember the right wing claiming Obama had lung cancer. Not much sign of that being true.

              Trump has several acknowledged medical conditions including high cholesterol. Better hope he doesn’t have heart failure. He also has a skin condition requiring permanent use of antibiotics.

              You are wrong about Clinton. She released her medical records. I actually just don’t see what your point even is. Many politicians have medical conditions.

              “We live in the greatest period of free speech with a thousand platforms and you claim free speech is being shut down. It’s hilarious and so disconnected to reality.

              This is a keeper. So good I’m going to print it out in 20 point and stick to my wall. It is so utterly hilarious. ”

              Of course it is. We have thousands of platforms to talk, more than even ten years ago, Many are un-moderated.

              Some universities have gone too far restricting speakers, but I think that will stop, and doesn’t alter the general freedom we have. You can’t see the wood for the trees.

              “Any left wing blog or newspaper has far greater comment moderation that right wing ones. Try leaving a comment on The Guardian, for example.”

              Maybe so and I prefer it that way, so at least we don’t have swearing, personal insults, or complete craziness. This website is generally well moderated about right. But you have lost me over the Guardian, it seems to allow pure ranting and very harsh criticism. I shudder to think what more you want to be able to write.

              The bottoms lines are these

              1) There’s very little government censorship. Just a few rules on defamation, inciting violence, and certain sexual themes. That seems about right to me. The only other thing recently is the bullying issue.

              2) Private media are entitled to moderate things. I personally don’t much like censorship, but most moderation seems ok to me.

              3) If you don’t like it, start your OWN unmoderated website or similar. Stop your endless complaining.

            13. Nigel,
              Do you have any evidence that rape issue has been exaggerated?

              [Andy – please don’t make those sorts of assertions without providing links to support them. You can assert what you like – doesn’t make it true. GR]

            14. AndyS

              “Actually, Nigel I watched some of the Fox documentary that Trump alluded to. There was a Swedish paramedic that spoke of the “no-go” zones in various towns in Sweden.

              This is the view of one person, or a couple of people. It’s a bit too “anecdotal” for me, and could be unreliable, politically motivated, exaggerated, or applies to just a couple of incidents or locations. It is also not remotely clear how many incidents involving grenades or car burnings etc have actually happened. Obviously scale and extent is crucial in evaluating cause, risk, and response

              The crime statistics for Sweden have shown very little increase overall in the country as a whole, since the surge of immigration. Rape levels are no different from plenty of other countries, when you compare like with like.

              This suggests the incidents you speak of are limited in number. They are obviously serious and deplorable, but if you want to decide policy on the basis of a few very unfortunate incidents be my guest, but on that basis we would have to ban cars, drinking, flying, swimming, guns, almost everything.

              You really need to proves there’s a widespread, out of control problem, and I see no proof.

              However if young islamic guys are caught raping, or the like, they should face the full force of the law, like anyone else, and with serious time behind bars. The real mistake Sweden could make is to go easy, to try to appease immigrants. But appeasing people is a widespread problem. Trump is doing it with Putin.

              You make the point about whether Auckland has riots or car burnings etc. Well we had very similar serious problems of civil unrest during the springbok tour, over the apartheid issues. However they were isolated. It all led to an over reaction, and police state approach from the Muldoon government and loss of civil liberties.

            15. For goodness sakes Nigel, just do a bit of research for yourself instead of denying everything I say

              List of grenade attacks in Sweden

              A report from the Swedish Police (2016) map 53 so called “exposed” areas (Utsatta områden), of which 15 were “particularly exposed”. An “exposed area” is an area with low socioeconomic status and the area is affected by criminality. A “particularly exposed” area is defined by an unwillingness to participate in legal proceedings, difficulties for the police to carry out their mission, parallel social structures, violent extremism and finally proximity to other exposed areas. These definitions are used to adapt their procedures when working in these areas, for example bringing certain equipment and working in pairs when in a “particularly exposed area”


              Migrants attack 60 Minutes Crew in Sweden

              I could keep going but what is the point? You obviously are in complete denial. [Personal attack removed. GR]

            16. Nigel.

              here is another article for you

              [Link redacted.GR]

              I don’t suppose Front Page Mag is an “approved source” so sorry about that.

              [If that unreferenced alt-right propaganda site where you get your worldview from, then I am deeply sorry for you. GR]

            17. AndyS, thank’s your wikipedia article on grenade attacks in Sweden, but the article gives few details, other than some references in Swedish. However refer to this much more comprehensive and illuminating article below:


              The grenade attacks are the work of criminal gangs using grenades left over from the Balkan conflicts. A few have been attributed to moslem immigrants, but many are not. There have been very few injuries.

              Some have actually been attacks against moslem mosques! So moslems are the victims.

              Once again your “evidence” does not reveal the problems you seem to believe.

              I have lost track of what the original point of all this was. I don’t deny there are some problems, but I don’t believe they reflect on all moslems, or are as massive as you seem to believe. They just simply aren’t according to reliable evidence.

              I believe as before that Europe (and NZ) should keep moslem immigrant numbers moderate,and carefully scrutinise individuals before admitting them. I see nothing in any of your posts to make me change my mind, or go further. I detest hysterical reactions and paranoia. The whole thing needs some pragmatism, not crazy reactions of the Trump variety.

          2. AndyS wants to know if I have any evidence that rape claims in Europe are exaggerated.

            Well of course I do. Here’s just one article that deals with Sweden. It’s a perfectly calm, well reasoned, balanced, article based on local knowledge.

            It deals with the outrageous claims made by people like Breitbart, and looks at the reality based on local knowledge, official data, definitions of rape in Sweden (that are very wide), actual incidents etc.


            I reiterate I’m not saying there’s no problem, and the article notes that there is significant sexual and other crime in immigrant neighbourhoods in Sweden, but it’s exaggerated, and no more than some neighbourhoods in America (including both white and African American).

            This stuff is complicated. The truth is often in the middle somewhere, although not always. You have to put prejudice aside (and we all have some sort of bias or ideological leaning) and look at the detail, and whats most coherent. Breitbart is not particularly coherent.

            1. Here’s another one, this time about a Swedish woman in a wheelchair gang raped by migrants. I don’t intend to clutter up this thread with these unpleasant stories, but I was asked for evidence

              Incidentally, I think the rapists were let off with minor convictions in this case, because, apparently, she didn’t fight back enough, or so I hear

            2. Daily Mail? I wouldn’t trust the veracity of anything in that paper unless it was on the sports pages, and then only some of it. And I speak as someone who used to write for the damned rag.

            3. AndyS, you are missing the point. I never denied rape happens in Sweden. I specifically said there’s rape in some moslem immigrant communities in Sweden. Please make the effort to read what people say.

              I simply said its all exaggerated.

              All you have done is describe some specific cases of rape. I could do the same for NZ, Auckland or Christchurch.

              You are cherry picking like a climate sceptic, so at least you are true to form.

              There’s no hard evidence rape crime in Sweden is any higher than various communities in other countries, when you consider definitions carefully, and compare like with like, as per the article I quoted above. One things for sure, there’s no evidence for the huge claims made by people like Breitbart. That’s all I ever said, that Breitbarts claims are exaggerated.

            4. Actually, Nigel I watched some of the Fox documentary that Trump alluded to. There was a Swedish paramedic that spoke of the “no-go” zones in various towns in Sweden. He said that they often require police assistance for ambulance callouts, as rocks and even hand grenades are thrown at them.

              No doubt you will tell me that this is no different to an average night out in Auckland, where hand grenades, mass sexual assault, car burnings, looting etc happen all the time.

              Doesn’t it?

            5. Inconveniently for Andy, a BBC fact check showed that rape rates in Sweden have actually declined recently:

              During 2015, the year in which Sweden took the largest number of asylum seekers, the number of reported sex crimes and rapes actually decreased by 11% and 12% respectively compared with 2014 – 18,100 sex offences were reported to the police, of which 5,920 were classified as rape.
              Preliminary figures for 2016 show a rise, bringing the latest figures close to 2014 values.

              The rest of the article also explains how Sweden’s efforts to encourage rape victims to come forward, and the way the numbers are recorded, means that its sexual offence numbers look high – but other countries collect their data in different ways and to different standards making comparisons invidious.

            6. There you go. Definitive proof that people who live in an alt-right virtual reality can’t deal with the real world.

            7. [Racist crap removed. Andy: go away. Spew your hate-filled world view somewhere else.]

            8. Andy is a living proof that right wing racist crappery and science denial are very often occurring in the same twisted minds.

              An interesting read for Andy to consider is this:

              There is a clear link between the domestic violence of males against females and acts of violence through terror. It would appear that a prototypical angry misogynistic male mind is the common thread. It links violent individuals across all works of life from right-wing Christian male dominators and terrorist to Islamic terrorists.

              It appears to be the common denominator between the sick minds the Christian white extremist murderers of the USA: http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/10-worst-terror-attacks-extreme-christians-and-far-right-white-men
              and the same minded people from other works of life.

              It is sick male individuals who we need to focus on, not entire cultures and religions.

      1. Ah, the prospect to one day play with my great Grandchildren, read them books from the fairy tales of the golden ages, sweat in the heat of 2100 Summers while sipping wine grown in the Auckland Islands (excellent Riesling) and diving the ruins of our coastal towns for precious loot left behind in the lush lagoons of our nightmares, fully dressed in a box-jellyfish protection suit… 😉

      2. And NASA contracts for an anti-aging solution to radiation damage to spacemen in the 2 year, each way, voyage. This research should not be abandoned because the properties of my spaceship make it unnecessary to those on board.

        The gravitronic drive of my fictional spaceship acts on every neutron on board thus overcoming effects of inertia, acceleration and a number of minor inconveniences, not actually discussed by Isaac Asimov. In particular the shell is much more massive than current reaction drives allow because it is 90% of the drive. That along with the field so generated permits almost complete shielding. Further details of this drive I am not at liberty to discuss, particularly with physicists, although enquirers might find hints in the phenomena of levitation of which there have been many reports, mostly humerous 🙂

        Readers might have noticed that “breakthroughs” in anti -aging products, even if found in common vegetables, tend not to reach the market until one has been rejuvenated by reincarnation anyway. I could do with something for my right knee right now!

  9. Sniffing the wind I detect a possible sea change in the climate change debate in NZ – a move from the era of political pretense toward informed engagement. I’m guessing Gareth is pondering the reports just released right now?

      1. The cross party report on reducing carbon emissions is encouraging. I noticed it talked about proposals to be less reliant on dairy farming as part of the general strategy.

        I strongly recommend to readers of this website have a look at the Sunday Programme from last night, 26.3, on the Selwyn River on the Cantebury plains. This really is worth a look, and talked about problems with this river that were an eye opener to me anyway. Firstly it is running out of water, and potential causes presented are irrigation and climate change, with increased droughts in the region combined with heavier rainfall mostly going west of the southern alps.

        Secondly the river has become heavily polluted with nitrates from dairy farming along much of it’s length, and also e- coli bacteria in the lower reaches. The changes from 100 years ago are dramatic and documented in various photos, and written accounts of things. Some recent progress has been made reducing bacteria counts, but the nitrate issue is largely unresolved.

        The programme also dealt with a polluted lake, where nitrates have caused a highly toxic blue green algae and the eel population is compromised (I can’t recall if this is the algae,or other factors)

        But the show makes the point that the Selwyn river is the canary in the coal mine for both the effects of intensive dairy farming and climate change.

        It’s a tough one as I don’t want to be seen as anti farming, because I’m not, but it appears the river water quality issue is combining with the climate issue to bring matters to a head.

        1. I watched it – another sign of changing thought. In particular I noted the scientist did not hesitate to assert cows did not belong on the Canterbury plains though he also reckoned horticulture had a role to play too. The farmers representative had to swallow and gather his courage to assign blame to intensive dairying and climate change in the same sentence – assigning more blame to climate change. Particularly striking was a point on the economics of dairying that might have slipped by many viewers – it takes 8000 litres of water to make one litre of milk, yet a litre of water in the supermarket is priced higher than a litre of milk!!!!

          1. Noelfuller, yes I watched the farmer with interest. His claims about the low river levels being 80% climate change and 20% dairy are a bit dubious. Climate change would have reduced the river flow, but not to the dramatic extent of the Selwyn river. We don’t see other rivers in NZ outside of intensive farming areas drying up quite as dramatically, so the principal cause would be irrigation water related to dairy farming. But I guess at least he conceded a range of causes. He was quite brave to front up.

            However climate change will further reduce flow over time in some places, and intensify drought conditions.

            Someone is making some serious, easy money out of bottled water. Numerous blind taste tests find people mostly either can’t tell the difference to tap water, or actually prefer tap water. Bottled water has also been found to have quite a few impurities of various kinds from bacteria, to various undesirable minerals, and impurities related to the plastic bottles. Bottled water is one of the greatest marketing jobs of all time.

            1. The “nitrates” will certainly “hit the fan” when the bulk of them hit the aquifers that people get their drinking water from. Nor will there be any quick fix.

          2. Having looked about the supermarket at the price of water and milk I have noted that a litre of milk is higher in price than a litre of water. That does not alter the fact that dairy is very expensive with respect to water on the supply side. That is not counting at all the expense in pollution of our water resources.

      2. Gareth

        I note that the report to Globe NZ is pitched to carbon-neutrality as a main goal. To define this goal I note:

        “Carbon neutrality, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset, or buying enough carbon credits to make up the difference”

        This of course is built into the Paris agreement. It relies on carbon trading which will never get us to where we want to be. It is beloved of politicians because it leaves wriggle room and heads off total hostility from vested interests. I deprecate this approach but this is not to say that the report has no value. In fact it examines carefully a whole range of ways we can reduce our carbon footprint and is worth attention even by those who recognise the larger goals of zero GHG emissions with regard to fossil fuels and carbon negative overall with regard to eliminating the perturbation of the climate we have induced.

        Carbon net zero is an equilibrium state and is only valid when the climate is in equilibrium at a point that favours the maintenance of a benign climate wherein the natural carbon (etc) cycle(s) rule. In that state carbon trading would be irelevant anyway.

        This benign equilibrium is far in our past. For example, I have read that 350 ppm of CO2 corresponds to a global temperature 1.5°C above pre industrial levels. We are already over 400 ppm of CO2. That is why some people are advancing 300 ppm as a goal.

        Put another way, we are hardly more than 1°C above the pre-industrial average but the glaciers are on balance melting, the seas are rising and acidifying, weather extremes are intensifying, fires increasing, flora and fauna is on the move and extinctions are way above the norm for a stable benign climate. Are these trends going to somehow stop because we let the average global temperature rise still further? Is carbon net zero going to take us out of this danger zone? No way, least of all if tied to pretend trading schemes like ours.

        I submit as I have before that carbon zero and carbon negative a.s.a.p. are the only real goals. If we recognise this we will find ways of getting there. If we don’t we will never get back to a benign climate were the settled unity of humanity is attainable.

  10. I’ve also been interested in some moves afoot in NZ in the realm of transport:

    1. Waste Management’s move to electrify their fleet of 800 trucks which use 100,000 litres of oil per day, and their cars:

    “In one day, an electric waste collection truck stops around 1200 times, during which the truck collects 16 tonnes of waste. This waste is taken to Redvale, where it is safely contained and emits gas as it decomposes. Our network of pipes capture and extract the gas — we average a 95% capture rate — which in turn generates 6,000kWh of electricity through our onsite generators.

    “What do we do with this electricity? We power that one truck for one day so it can go and collect waste from another 1,200 homes, which will then create even more gas in our landfill, which we will then use to generate more electricity. Even better, each waste truck will generate enough electricity to power itself for one day — as well as 275 houses.

    “Of course, with more than enough electricity generated from the waste a truck collects to power itself, we envisage a time when the motor and battery technology advances to the point where our entire fleet could be powered by the waste we collect.”

    2. NZ Bus is working on it’s large bus fleet:

    “We looked at diesel-hybrids, but in our view they are transitional technologies at best (a diesel-hybrid will only ever be a diesel-hybrid). EV technology is developing rapidly and it will be viable in the New Zealand context well before the 20-year life of any new diesel-hybrid buses we were to purchase now.

    “From a business perspective, therefore, it made sense for us to think outside-the-square about how we could future-proof our fleet. We explored a whole range of options, and ultimately made the decision to invest in electric powertrain technology developed by Wrightspeed, a US-based company that was founded by New Zealander Ian Wright, co-founder of Tesla.”

    3. Auckland will be beginning an e-bus trial later this year. They’ve hesitated till now because of concerns about infrastructure (recharge points) I’ve been told. When I ask bus drivers how this is going I’ve just met blank looks so far!

    1. Yay! Sounds awesome. My 2008 converted to electric, 1991 model Toyota Starlet, is still running like the Energizer Bunny and in use every day for the commute to work, supermarket and back home. 🙂
      Even in a home baked conversion like mine, electric transport is reliable, quiet and fun!

      1. How has that worked out? That daily commute is a fair bit longer than most city commutes I suspect. Also you must be coming up soon for battery replacement?

        1. It works out a treat. We moved from Coromandel Town to Whitianga. So all my driving is on flat land. Great for the electric car as hill living is energetically expensive as anybody with an electric car will not quickly.

          I did replace the Led Acid batteries once since 2008. About 4 years into the project. The current batteries are great still and with the small range I require in my daily driving are totally adequate probably for some time to come. My draw down in Ah on the batteries in my daily runs now are a lot less than when we lived in Coromandel Town. So my current batteries will last longer.

          When I finally replace the Led Acids I am tempted to go LiFePo. But I don’t need the added range really and while I could convert the car into a 100km+ range vehicle, I don’t see the point at present. Also, my car runs on a 72V nominal system. To get the best out of an electric system I would need to go to a high voltage system where the power comes from Voltage and not from Current so much (P = V*I). At the moment I have a high current (I). The system was cheap to make but is lossy due to the high currents plus tiny issues with battery contact resistance can snowball into big problems that way. A system, say, with 300V or so, would be a better base for a long range system if I needed that.

          We do have a fossil fuel car for the occasional long-haul journeys. I believe that this “hybrid” solution will serve me well for some while to come. 90%+ of my driving days are local and electric. Not a bad average outcome.

  11. The Trump administration has just launched an attack on the Obama era climate change policies, as most people probably know. The guardian has a good overview, written by Dana Nuccetelli as below:


    However Trump may not find it so easy. Many of Trumps policies have failed when they hit the reality of the courts, congress, and economics, which has mercilessly exposed the huge weaknesses and over promised claims.

    There’s a small group in the republican congress concerned about climate, because now Obama is gone they don’t have to oppose him on principle. But I don’t know whether they can convince their rather delusional, entrenched colleagues.

  12. I can no longer get posts to this site copied to me email despite opening the web page where doing so is supposed to enable this. Thus the value of the site is diminished in that we have to keep a continuous eye out for new posts. Is there something else now that we are supposed to do?

  13. Parts I and II out.
    It was no secret during the campaign that Donald Trump was a narcissist and a demagogue who used fear and dishonesty to appeal to the worst in American voters. The Times called him unprepared and unsuited for the job he was seeking, and said his election would be a “catastrophe.”

    Still, nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck. Like millions of other Americans, we clung to a slim hope that the new president would turn out to be all noise and bluster, or that the people around him in the White House would act as a check on his worst instincts, or that he would be sobered and transformed by the awesome responsibilities of office. [continues]

    1. III, IV and V too. Only the last one is still behind the paywall.

      Excellent articles and spot on. I wake up every morning hoping that somehow America has woken up and ejected the dangerous moron from the seat of power. What dark ages have the American voters chosen, not just for themselves, and that is the real tragedy, but for Humanity as a whole.

      At a time when true and altruistic globalism is needed to unite us all in our struggle to make the human enterprise suitable for survival in our “one planet” reality, the hydra of right wing Nationalism resurges. Unless it is stopped – and that is the fight of our lives we all need to engage in and win – a dystopian Mad Max future is awaiting us, never ending wars, walls, sectors and unimaginable suffering inclusive.

      1. Agree with you about the perils of extreme Nationalism.

        The LA Times has certainly done a good series critical of Trump. That will teach the guy for rubbishing them so venomously. It’s called payback.

        I agree with them while politicians are not always honest or accurate, Trump takes it to a whole new level. What the freedom of speech fanatics don’t “get” is with freedom of speech comes an unspoken responsibility to he honest, fair and accurate! Don’t just make stuff up or work on gut instincts.

        Now Trump has spent months appeasing Putin, practically getting into bed with the guy, and now suddenly turns on him and attacks his ally Syria. How does Trump think Putin will react? This is how huge wars start.

        Good article on SkSc on research into jet streams and extreme weather.

        1. Yea the Vladimir – Donald matter…. I am much much more cynical about that:

          Donald’s ratings are in the 30ties and his domestic political agenda in the doldrums. His fellowship and he himself are under investigation for undue contacts, conspiracy and electoral meddling with help of the Russians to get elected. Donald desperately needs something to get him over the next while…. Bannon and his connections to the right wing in Russia sort out a plan:
          Vladimir’s henchmen in Syria drop a chemical warhead on some innocent villages at night. The world erupts in the expected uproar. Timed perfectly with the Chinese Premier visit Donald (with prior collusion with Vladimir) fires $90 million worth of curse missiles into empty bunkers on the airfield. Expecting the hit, expensive Syrian and Russian hardware has been moved out before the hit. (they admit as much)

          People might begin to doubt that there is much in the Russian-Trump collusion story (intended outcome 1, and very much the intent), Donald gets browny points with his fan base and even cross party nods off concent for looking tough (intended outcome 2), the Chinese Premier gets a demonstration of US power and Donald’s iron fist on the day of his first state visit with Donald (intended outcome 3), Vladimir gets a renewal on his lease on the President he bought (intended outcome 4), Boeing gets to burn $90 million of taxpayers money for new Tomahawks (nice side effect), Bannon recuses himself from the National Security Council (makes it a bit easier for him to manage all the backroom deals…)

          Collateral damage: many civilians die an agonizing death for the creation of the theatrical effects required to pull this win-win-win stunt off…

          Perhaps more logical than Assad enraging the world with a chemical attack for some rather questionable strategic gain?

          1. Thomas, I thought something very similar to your theory, and you could ultimately be right. However I just don’t think Trump and Bannon would have the brains for it. I discarded the idea.

            I think the chemical attack was probably a genuine attack by Syria (and totally repugnant one has to say).

            I’m a believer that people have complex motives. Part of Trump was probably genuinely disgusted (either that or he is a good actor).

            The other part of Trump (‘Gollum’ Trump, like Gollum in Lord of the Rings, the evil part, and its quite a big part of Trump) would be thinking what a great way of distracting attention from all my troubles, and improving the approval ratings . So it was all very calculated.

            But there’s another factor. I think Trump acts very much purely to get public adoration and to look good, given he is a narcissist. So his foreign affairs and other policies just swing around and change in a crazy fashion, with no guiding principles, as he chases opportunities to gain approval of the moment, with little thought for “consequences”. The consequences of his retaliation could be nasty.

            1. Yea, you are probably right. Either way, the situation (Trumps presidency) is, shall we say, a protracted “bugger” moment that will simply not want to end.

  14. Thomas: “the hydra of right wing Nationalism resurges”

    Interesting that you refer to the hydra.

    I have had several occasions to reflect on and use Hercules’ battle with the hydra during my life. If you cut off a head of the hydra, more spring up in its place. However, if you raise the hydra into the light, all its mortal heads wither, just one being left.

    1. That is a good analogy. I think to raise the hydra – or shining the light onto it, naming and recognizing the monster, evil, troll – as the prime strategy to fight it, is such a common part of our mythology. It better work again in our days! Naming right wing nationalism as a fear-driven, coward’s reflex to the complex and challenging world situation we are moving towards is the right way forward. Fear they say is the mother of most evil. And fear is what drives people to congregate under flags, symbols, behind walls, behind guns and under freedom eliminating dogmatic views and fascist systems of oppression. Shining light into these connections is what hopefully brings us back from the brink.

      1. Hercules fired lighted arrows into the hydra’s cave to get it to come out where he could fight it. The cave is in a swamp. Now what does that remind you of?

        I watched the Edgecumbe hydra (taniwha) in action at the mayor’s meeting the other night – blaming, never naming the real issue.

  15. I’m also interested in this nationalism thing, that’s rearing it’s ugly head.

    Thomas said “At a time when true and altruistic globalism is needed to unite us all in our struggle to make the human enterprise suitable for survival in our “one planet” reality, the hydra of right wing Nationalism resurges.”

    This sums it up for me, and is very much to my way of thinking. Obviously we have some emerging global environmental problems that don’t respect borders like pollution of the oceans and fishing stock depletion. Some international cooperation is required. The climate change issue obviously requires a coordinated global response.

    It just raises the question of what is globalisation, and what is the role of sovereign nation states? Because right now clearly there’s a big conflict of views, with resurgent nationalism of the worst kind.

    The Marie le Pen very isolationist form of nationalism seems very wrong to me, but we better pay attention to these peoples concerns because not all their criticisms are totally invalid. Clearly some people have been hurt by free trade, and we better fix this, or the radicals will want to go back to protectionist trade.

    To me, good globalisation is about free trade, reasonably open immigration, and global rules and standards on basic things like airline coordination, the laws of the sea etc, and environmental issues and basic human right standards and labour laws. I think financial investment is part of it as well. But I don’t think investment flows and immigration can be completely uncontrolled, (a borderless world) as it produces too many abrupt pressures, but it should be as open as reasonably possible. Maybe a borderless world will be an end point some time in the future.

    Bad globalisation is where the corporate sector defines international rules and standards and drives globalisation. The rules of globalisation must be determined by the public and for the public, although obviously highly supportive of the corporate sector as appropriate. This is where the TPPA agreement seemed well intentioned on trade, but too slanted towards corporate values on investment issues.

    This leaves the question of what role nationalism plays,and what sovereign rights countries must maintain. I think we should maintain the right to have some control over immigration, but only where a logical case can be determined, as opposed to rampant xenophobia. We should control our military, tax laws, and have the right to set higher standards on regulations of all kinds than basic global standards if we wish. We should have the right to have public services, and should not enter into global agreements that erode this right.

    This is just my wish list. I’m trying to make sense of what is going on and what might be workable and ideal right now, and for the immediate future. I can’t see beyond that too much as to where it will all end up.

    It just seems that while Trump might make some valid criticisms of globalisation (no process is going to work perfectly) he is embracing all the worst facets of nationalism. All his policies are barking mad, but it’s interesting that he is being forced to abandon so many of them, as they collide with reality.

  16. One for the annals of wired things, conspiracies and mystical events…. 😉

    I got a series of TXT messages over the past days from “8222” which indicates that some online and probably anonymous web to txt services was the originating technology.

    The messages had either a very strong “alt right” content or were even personally a bit threatening, addressing me with my initials too. They all had one common item: They started with offering a mobile number as the sender which is ending in …5731.

    So today I finally called that number. The voice on the other end said: “Andy here”. I asked if Andy had a last name and that turned out to start wit “S…” and ended in “..e”, which most of people here know anyway. When asked if he is “The Andy” I know on HT here, and indeed he affirmed!!

    But it was quickly clear that Andy was not the sender of the txts and that somebody seems to make fun of both of us by perhaps intending to enrage me on Andy’s expense. Well, that did not work.

    Hmm… How wired indeed… Who would know about Andy and I having robust discussions here at times, working out both our cell phone numbers and then pulling this prank?

    1. That’s most intriguing. It sounds as though someone has subscribed you to a “service”, based on your comments here. I’m glad that Andy has assured you it wasn’t him.

      1. It seems sporadic and some of the messages had my initials in them, so they were targeted and unlikely made by some service that sends many of these. It is much more likely just targeted and of course, Andy would not himself then have placed is own phone number as the originator of the message in them. But it’s a bit spooky and wired to have us two connected in such a prank by somebody who knows both our cell phone numbers. I did not know Andy’s before but mine is on my website.
        Anyway, we do live in wondrous times. The last message warned me: “**Warning** Attack on N Korea imminent”…

        1. I’ve only just “twigged” that it was you I was speaking to on the phone, Thomas.
          How odd.

          As I mentioned on the phone, my Facebook account was “cloned” last week and several friend requests were sent out. My phone was lighting up like a Xmas tree from all the warnings from actual friends.
          Luckily Facebook were on the case and deleted the rogue account within 2 hours. (You can check my FB page if you don’t believe me)

          Anyway, you have my phone number now. You can call me Thomas, if you wish. I am not planning WW3 or an invasion of Korea; life is far too busy for that

          1. Yea all good. I know that you would not have done that yourself. So somebody who has both our phone numbers is pranking us. I’ll write it off as a funny incident. And I am glad you are not planning to start WWIII 😉

            And yeah, probably it’s linked to the hack of your facebook or something. Hacking is taking on a frightening dimension these days.

            Take care and spare a thought for us here in the Coromandel, with the 3rd 100-year flood brewing for tomorrow in as many weeks…. they say it might be worse this time than the two previous ones this year…

            Perhaps you can put a good word in with Bryan L to have some of his “global cooling” take the added moisture and with that the added energy back out of the atmosphere for us…

            1. Thomas, I will think of you all in the Coromandel and beyond. Take care and let us lay down our weapons…

            2. … good idea, but the “truth” – as in the best scientific observation and explanation of the state of our climate – is not a weapon, denial of the same, however, … 😉

            3. Thomas, AndyS

              Be careful regarding this cyclone, especially if you have family. This cyclone is predicted to have “very” extreme winds and rain, considerably worse than other events recently.

              It’s expected to be like Cyclone giselle. I did a google search out of curiosity as below, and was pretty stunned. This is far beyond what this country normally experiences.

              Coromandel will be hardest hit, Cantebury not as much.


            4. Nigel – I remember the 1968 event very well. I was living in the Hutt Valley then and remember waking to a vicious storm. I was attending Vic at the time – looked out the window and decided lectures could wait! Others who were more conscientious than I headed off on the normal train times – only to spend the day stuck in the Unit until rescued by the Army from somewhere near Petone.
              That was the day of the Wahine Disaster, but the event wasn’t just the result of a Cyclone, as noted in your link from NIWA, a severe depression centred around Campbell Island also influenced the Storm coming from the North, exacerbating it particularly around Cook Strait. The Wahine was caught in this maelstrom becoming unsteerable and thrown around like a cork, eventually foundering on Barret’s Reef, with the loss of 51 lives. The damage wrought on the towns had to be seen to be believed. A friend was driving a car in Wellington going about his work when a sheet of roofing iron plunged through the rear window. He was not a person to take a step backwards (having played as prop for Wellington Rugby) but he decided then an there that discretion was the better part of valour. Not a day to be heading out.

            5. This is a very different beastie to Giselle or Bola, it is going to be quite short and sharp.
              The weather models differ quite a bit about timing of landfall and effect, but the consensus is about 6pm. NIWA’s supercomputer is the outlier, picking quite a bit later than that. Time will tell.

            6. Stay safe everyone. Chez Hot Topic the biggest threat looks to be rain on my grapes. We’ve had 105 mm so far in April, and another 50 mm or more is being forecast for tonight. Good for the truffles, but I need another week or so to get sugar levels up a notch or two in the pinot, and warm, dry weather is required. That’s if the grapes don’t get so wet they split and start to get botyritis… Who’d be a grower in a changing climate, eh?

            7. So far it’s all still relatively quiet in Whitianga, a breeze, that’s all. The ocean, however, looks foreboding with wave heights rapidly on the rise. The first bands of high winds and torrential rain are just offshore over Gt Mercury Isl. The next 6 to 9 hours will be wild.

            8. Simon, yes according to the weather people, this latest cyclone is predicted to pass over much faster than giselle. However it will still be nasty. They say it has a similar intensity to giselle. The predicted track of this cyclone also looks very similar to giselle.

              Hopefully the thing changes tack, and stays more offshore, well away from us. Where’s harry potter with his magic wand when you need him?

              Three big floods, 1: 100 year floods, in a matter of a couple of months. Well, well, well.

  17. https://robertscribbler.com/2017/04/13/powerful-storms-in-a-warming-world-cook-is-strongest-cyclone-to-strike-new-zealand-in-nearly-50-years/
    Warming Ocean Waters and High Amplitude Waves in the Jet Stream Feed Storm Pattern

    Cook is interacting with a trough to the west of New Zealand in a manner that is broadening the storm — spreading its wind field and rainfall over a larger region than a purely tropical system would typically impact. The trough had dipped down from the Southern Ocean through an extended Jet Stream wave before it became cut-off and linked up with Cook.

    The swirl of clouds and wind to the west of Cook is a second low pressure system that was cut off from a trough sweeping south and west of New Zealand on Tuesday and Wednesday. Cook is interacting with this trough in a manner than is broadening its wind field and enhancing rainfall potentials.

    The far northward extent of this trough is indicative of higher amplitude Jet Stream waves that have been associated with warming temperatures at the polar regions due to climate change. And the zone south of New Zealand over Antarctica has featured a strong dipole — with well above normal temperatures facing off against a wall of cold air. This dipole has facilitated troughs and facing ridges that extended well into the middle latitudes.

    (Cyclone Cook fed on far warmer than normal waters which enabled it maintain intensity as it moved into higher latitudes. Interaction with a trough remnant left over from a high amplitude wave in the Jet Stream also contributed to this extreme weather event.)

    Meanwhile, Cyclone Cook itself fed on 1-2 C warmer than normal sea surface temperatures surrounding New Zealand. These warmer than normal waters allowed Cook to retain strength and to interact with the polar originating trough in a manner that arguably intensified and broadened the scope of this severe weather event.

  18. http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/first-seismic-sensor-installed-to-give-early-warning-on-new-exploding-pingos/
    First seismic sensor installed to give early warning on new ‘exploding pingos’
    By The Siberian Times reporter 11 April 2017

    New network of hi-tech alarms to be buried in permafrost to provide alerts over eruptions causing new craters, caused by methane blasts. The aim is to give warnings over seismic activity that could lead to the sudden formation of new craters, which could potentially damage key industrial infrastructure.

    The craters are believed to form when underground methane gas – released due to the warming climate in this Arctic region – erupts inside pingos,

    Scientists say several thousand pingos, many filled with gas, could ‘explode’ forming giant craters in this region. At least ten are known to have exploded in Siberia in recent years forming large craters. The largest, 35 metres deep and 40 metres in diameter …
    [Wonderful photographs]

  19. A new sea level rise study by Dewi Le Bars et.al was published recently. The study takes melting scenarios of the Antarctic ice shelf into account and provides a probabilistic analysis of SLR by the year 2100. According to the study SLR is most likely going to be about 2m but could reach up to 3m.

    Source: doi.org/b46w

  20. Lawrence Torcello is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology in the United States and specializes in moral and political philosophy. In a good article in the Guardian, he puts the current political drift in the USA into the correct perspective:

    I’m a climate alarmist because there is no morally responsible way to downplay the dangers that negligent policies – expected to accelerate human-caused climate change – pose to humankind.

    There can be no greater crime against humanity than the foreseeable, and methodical, destruction of conditions that make human life possible – hindsight isn’t necessary.

    And he concludes:

    The climate policies of the Trump administration, backed by many Republican leaders, are rooted in culpable ignorance and transparent corruption. And they place us all at risk on a scale that previous crimes against humanity never have.

    Sitting on the fence on climate change is not an option. We must choose to act responsibly or become culpable and defined by the failure to save the planet we depend on.


  21. On the matter of quixotic societies offering proof for concepts that science has long settled, here is one for Bryan Leyland and his own such society:

    According to the latest “Feedback” column of the New Scientist, the Flat Earth Society offers $8250 to anyone who can offer a proof that the Earth is round. (I tried googling the Flat Earth Society and found their website rather, well, flat… and think evidence of the offer might be hiding on the underside…). But that minor matter aside: I am sure Bryan should make a serious attempt to get the $8250 (unless of cause he is a closet flat earther, who knows, suspicions might have some merit perhaps going on past behavior). But that aside as well, Bryan would gain two beneficial experiences:

    a) Experience to argue with science fact against a society that denies any argument of science you bring forward. Good luck!

    b) Gain $8250 in the unlikely event that you manage to convince said society to abandon their quest.

    Experience a) would gain invaluable insights to being – for once – on the other side of arguing against a science denying society and would perhaps permit some form of therapy and perhaps revelation to himself and his fellowship of how real scientists might feel when coming up against their own ilk.

    Cash b) might be handy in case somebody tries and succeeds to convince himself and his own science denying society of the reality of climate change, its causes and threats. (fat chance of that…)

    I do not hold my breath for either though, as I fully expect Bryan to take his nonsense to his grave just like the flat earthers, and all the other silly buggers out there (sadly way too many of us to really call humanity on average an “intelligent” species) who believe in fairy tales, ancient little books, chemtrails etc. and pp….

    1. Interesting that multiple lines of evidence point to the earth being round, similar to multiple lines of evidence suggesting humans are causing climate change. (Of course any one piece of evidence on the round earth is pretty much enough really, but the public probably were more convinced by multiple lines)

      I have observed some people want black and white 100% proof of things, other people accept this is impossible, and it’s often about probabilities and multiple lines of evidence. People just think differently at a deep level, maybe our brains wired up differently.

      Just a heads up on a truly great little book: “Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari”. It is written in a very easy to read, slightly amusing style but is deeply serious as well. It gives some insight into the origins of anti science thinking, beliefs, and conspiracy theory nonsense.

      And here’s another: “Skeptic, by Michael Shermer” which is comprehensive on the origins of the scientific method, scepticism, and all the usual nonsense theories from the moon landings didn’t happen etc to 911 conspiracies and climate change denial.

      The author was a climate sceptic who changed sides, after listening to Tim Flannery and Al Gore, and also that book “Collapse, by Jared Diamond” on the collapse of various older civilisations. (Which will happen to America if Trump stays in charge too long)

        1. Ha ha yes. I have only watched the first episode right now, but more than a grain of truth in respect of birth rates in different social groups, because I remembered reading an article on it, similar to below:



          In fact a whole range of things are probably combining and catching up with society to dumb people down, such as drugs and alcohol, and general complacency, narrow specialisation, and taking science for granted. Humanity is a victim of its own material success in some ways.

    1. Thomas, the Guardian do some good articles. I find I have been reading this publication more and more this last two years.

      The anti climate science people are complacent, willfully ignorant have and a head in the sand attitude and risk taking attitude towards the planet that astounds me. It is a movement of crazies, conspiracy theorists, business lobbies, hard right wingers, petrol heads and libertarians all with their axes to grind, and in a sort of hideous unspoken alliance. It combines anti climate sentiments, isolationist, selfish, and xenophobic tendencies.

      Unfortunately they have dragged in plenty of the general public, and the business lobbies have politicians by the throat. One of the biggest problems is money in politics.

      However it looks like sanity has prevailed in France. Perhaps they looked at America right now and decided that didn’t look too good so France are fighting back.

      We need globalisation with a human touch. Capitalism, open free markets, immigration, cooperation, tolerance, but with help for poor people, some commonsense immigration controls to stop criminals and individual crazies getting in, and proper environmental and business regulation. Macron in France appears closest to this ideal. I’m stuffed if I can see a better way forwards.

      1. Yes I totally agree. The unfolding train wreck of the UK after Farage and co. and the downhill slide of the US following Trump are having lasting impacts on the appetite of the electorates elsewhere to fall for the same idiocy as the English and the American have. Also, it is becoming now very clear that both Brexit and Trump owe the outcome of their respective election to the incredible conspiracy between the right wing billionaire family Mercer and a network of right wing organizations who have used the data from Facebook and others to engineer a psychological war in order to shift public opinion in both countries – and trying to do the same in others. The article below is the most frightening piece of writing I have seen in a while. Democracy itself has been subverted and turned into an Orwellian game by filthy rich conspirators who operate in a legal vacuum between states and circumvent election laws.


        I can only hope that these people will soon find themselves locked up into a very small space with the key thrown out for good….

        1. What an immensely complex and extremely dodgy looking series of data mining and public relations companies, connections and activities. It is interesting that Peter Thiel now lives in NZ. It certainly all stinks of rotten fish.

          The economist.com has a big article on big data on their website currently. You can get a few articles for free if you don’t subscribe.

          Speaking of nasty smells, I see Trump has fired the head of the FBI on some very dubious looking charges relating to Clintons email issue. I can’t see how Comeys comments on the exact numbers of these emails is a sacking offence. It looks like a very convenient way of getting rid of the head of this Russia / Trump campaign investigation.

          I think we are looking at the most rotten, stinking corrupt administration since Nixon and Watergate. And that’s for real.

          1. It looks as if Comey overstepped the bounds of his office several times in the past with regards to the Clinton-email saga. It was clearly not his right call the Clinton investigation closed and present a conclusion in a press conference. He is just the police. It is the justice dept that decides to persecute or drop charges based on his findings. But that decision was not his to make. So he clearly had to go eventually. Also, his conduct just prior to the US election was hair-raising and likely provided Trump with just the balance of votes needed….
            But it is the timing that is wired about his firing. Trump could have done that on day 1.
            Now, while the Russia allegations are being investigated, and perhaps also timed with the release of this Mercer/Rightwing conspiracy adding fuel to the fire, it smells like Trump is shooting at the FBI while it investigates his own campaign….
            Not looking good at all. At least now, as a private citizen, Comey can start talking and perhaps will do so… and certainly if under subpoena by the Senate if it comes to that. Now that Trump has burned that bridge, perhaps what Comey is prepared to say now will have a greater impact..!

            1. Thomas, yes I suppose you are right about Comey, and he has made a string of errors. I know some of the history. Like you say if Trump was really concerned, he would have done it on day one.

              However although Comey did some things wrong, (especially the Clinton thing in the final week) he was respected for years as being relatively non partisan. I doubt they will find someone better in that respect. I’m very angry that he restarted the Clinton investigation in the last week, as it basically lost her the election, but in all fairness he has gone after Trump as well, so is not entirely useless or biased.

              Of course it was in Trump’s interests to keep Comey around initially, and then this Russia investigation happened. Comey was now a problem. He and this so called Attorney General have obviously waited until Comey made an inevitable relatively small mistake, which was on the numbers of emails, and claiming they were sent, when in fact the issue was Weiner’s computer was being used to store backup copies. It seems like a pedantic sort of difference, but it’s all Trump needed.

              I think the decision to fire Comey was at least partly politically motivated. Regardless of any so called advice from the Attorney Generals (who may be Trump supporters anyway) it was ultimately Trumps call. It stinks.

              More importantly the new head of the fbi will be a Trump appointee, so a lackey. And Trump has just given an obvious signal that if things don’t go Trumps way, the new guy could be fired as well.

              Will Comey speak more freely now? You could be right, but his reputation is as a very correct and controlled individual, maybe reticent is the word. But who knows, maybe he will, and I hope he does.

              Trump has also sort of dug a hole for himself. If he doesn’t quickly appoint somebody, and a person who is clearly respected and unbiased, his approval ratings will hit 20%. He will be gone in 4 years and so will the Republican congress. Wouldn’t that be ‘great’.

              The Mercers are big funders of the Trump campaign, and ultra conservative from what I have read. They also either own or have interests in some of Trumps properties, I just can’t recall. They sound like a modern version of Ayn Rand, god help us all.

              These Mercer people have a lot of power due to their money, and its very cleverly used behind the scenes in various think tanks, institutes and lobby groups to spread ideological propoganda under the disguise of being public friendly groups, with nice warm sounding names. A lot of comments posted on media articles look like the work of paid lobby groups to me, increasingly so over the years. The democrats made good use of data in election campaigns, but the republicans are far dirtier in the way they rely on nice sounding institutes to push their cleverly disguised poison.

    1. You were not kidding. Very good animations and videos on the Antarctic.

      Just a gut reaction, I think there is just such a difference between about 300mm – 500mm sea level rise / century, and 1-2 metres / century . Buildings are designed in NZ with a life of 50 – 80 years, and so lower end sea level rise may not be too big a problem, as it’s so slow. The higher end rates aproaching around 1 metre or more will mean a lot of abandoned infrastructure, well before it’s really needed to be abandoned. It could be very costly and literally catastrophic, certainly in places like Bangladesh.

      It’s just too much risk to take to ignore global warming, and bet that it will be low level rates of sea level rise. There are too many unknowns in the antarctic, and too much preliminary evidence that melting could be extensive and fast. The chances might be small (might) but the consequences will be larger than many people probably realise.

        1. Yes 50 cm can have big implications for flood frequencies. In fact this is one reason insurance companies are getting worried about climate change. Of course by the time peoples insurance policies start to go up, and reality comes home, it will be too late to really do much about climate change. The damage will be done and locked in.

          It also depends on location. I admit to a little bit of complacency as I’m living well above sea level, and much of NZ is reasonably above sea level, but then you have places like Florida which are low lying over extensive areas, and are already experiencing problems due to an insidious combination of sea level rise, the way this exacerbates floods, and impacts of hurricanes. Parts of florida have already been affected. One problem is floods and sea level rise stop drainage systems working properly, so even if you modify houses or lift them up on piles as some have already done in florida, they are left with problems.


          I was however thinking about sea level rise as a rate of change sort of problem. We In NZ have had modest sea level rise without too many problems so far (although there have been some impacts) and 300 – 500 mm might not be a disaster, partly as vulnerable buildings have been in a minority and others reach the end of their life before its a question of what to do. But the higher the rate of sea level rise especially from 500mm or 1000mm, this is going to catch many, many buildings in NZ that are not near the end of their life, and its going to make forward planning of building codes and floor levels increasingly difficult. Of course in Florida they have this already because they are so low down.

          But there is also far too much evidence that sea level rise in NZ could be above 500mm for us to be complacent, and if the worst fears about the antarctic are true, it could be over 1 metre. That would certainly create problems even around the lower parts of where I live, and lead to relocation and abandonment of plenty of perfectly good buildings, or expensive barriers of some sort.

  22. Hockey Sticks, wherever you look:

    This is how the PNAS sea level change reconstruction over the last 27 centuries looks like:


    And this is from this paper: http://www.pnas.org/content/113/11/E1434

    It demolishes the often peddled claim made by the deniers that the sea level rise we observe today is just an extension of the thawing from the last ice-age. This nonsense has been dished up again and again by people who cannot adjust their belief based on new evidence.

    The researchers found that there was, in fact, a slight reduction in SLR in the end of the medieval warm period, followed by a rapid rise now. From the Abstract of the paper:

    We assess the relationship between temperature and global sea-level (GSL) variability over the Common Era through a statistical metaanalysis of proxy relative sea-level reconstructions and tide-gauge data. GSL rose at 0.1 ± 0.1 mm/y (2σ) over 0–700 CE. A GSL fall of 0.2 ± 0.2 mm/y over 1000–1400 CE is associated with ∼0.2 °C global mean cooling. A significant GSL acceleration began in the 19th century and yielded a 20th century rise that is extremely likely (probability P≥0.95P≥0.95) faster than during any of the previous 27 centuries.

    And what this means in the context for New York looking towards 2050 is discussed in the “Business Insider” here with

    1. And here a “long read” from the Scientific American about the reality of attempting life in cities that are slowly drowning from the coastal fringes:


      The social and technological challenges of a city where the rich coastal property owners move slowly “upwards” and into the traditionally poorer neighborhoods are discussed and the challenges of attempting a continuation of life in urban areas where the essential underground networks of services slowly rot away and become too expensive to live….

      I think we are blissfully ignorant about the true societal impacts of living in retreat from the oceans – for the foreseeable future.

      1. Yes blissfully ignorant. I can see exactly what will happen in places like Miami and elsewhere. The smart money will get out early, and maybe already is in small numbers, one by one making various excuses.

        But eventually in maybe 50 years or maybe 20 years sea level rise and floods, storms will become very evident beyond the point of denial about climate change, and suddenly the panic will set in with everybody, because that’s how people are. People hang on and on then suddenly large numbers panic. Things reach tipping points.

        People will want to sell in large numbers, but there will be no buyers, no insurance, nothing. They will then want governments to bail them out, or build barriers. Then someone will say oops, if only we had reduced emissions when we could, and they will ask why didn’t we?

  23. NZ’s very own and first but probably not last lawsuit of a young person against the government for a lack of action on climate change is going to be heard at the high court in Wellington soon!!
    This is one to watch!

    The young generation, who will have to pay the bills for our generations inaction in the face of clear knowledge of what is happening and what is causing it, will take us to the task. And good on them!!

  24. Donald Trumps budget contains a 2 trillion dollar maths error. This is no joke, opinion, or fake news, it really does:


    Ok a bit off topic, but its so huge, so dumb and so hilarious its worth a read. These are the morons in charge, either they are morons or they are deliberately treating the entire population with utter contempt, which makes them the most dangerous and evil presidency I can remember.

    And good luck to the young persons case against the government. Gen x, y, z versus the baby boomers? He will be up against an army of lawyers, spin doctors and politicians, so will need some luck. But then young people have a habit of cutting through the bull really well at times.

  25. Sanders is impressive when he gets going. I like the way he wouldn’t let Mulhoney off the hook and evade the point over tax issues. He makes NZ politicians sound a bit unfocused somehow.

    I can’t work out why Republicans hate poor people so much. Taxation (within reason) and some social assistance makes more sense than people living in tent cities and open rebellion, or desperate people driven to crime. Even if these right wing nitwits don’t have a conscience, just think of it in practical terms.

    I’m in the top 1% by the way, so it’s not matter of envy on my part, or moral superiority either. I just like to think for all my many faults, I’m practical, and not a total mean spirited a******e.

    It’s like Mulnaney cant get beyond fundamentals. He is still arguing about whether we should help people in principle, and tax wealthy people, when to me the real question is making as sure as possible help gets to the deserving and is not squandered on booze etc, or debating things like a universal basic income, which might be a way of resolving and simplifying the whole thing. I have a feeling this idea is inevitable anyway.

  26. Today the Republican Party of the USA and their president Trump has signed a declaration of War against the future of humanity and the future of my children in the name of the USA.

    1. Yes. We have the “neighbour from hell”. The selfish, nutty git, who doesn’t care about how he and his tribe affects everyone else. The tragedy of the commons.

  27. Sandra Goudie and Climate Change:


    It is interesting to read that Sandar Goudie, when contemplating the government’s new rule of “no building consents blow 2m above high water Sea Level” said:

    “They keep talking about the challenges. Where’s the money, honey? If they want us to do something particular like relocating, they better come up with the dough.”

    I should reply: Dear Sandra, for decades you have belonged to those who have ridiculed the risks and challenges of Climate Change as part of the National Party line, that has been closer to Trumpism than realism for much of this time. Now you are crying for state handouts to relocate Thames?

    Where were you when NZ needed you in Parliament to fight for stringent greenhouse gas emission reductions? Where was your voice 20 years ago, when the Whitianga Waterways, a many hundred million dollar property development, was consented without adequate sea walls? Where were you 20 years ago, when CO2 not emitted since then might have made a difference for the future of Thames?

    Now, dear Sandra, you roll your eyes and cry foul over a government that – probably unlike yourself – finally takes heed of the writing on the wall. You still don’t get it at all, don’t you? This is not a case of evil government taking it out on the people with unrealistic policies, no my dear, this is a case of nature herself doing relentlessly what you and your fellowship might have been at least party too in order to prevent from happening. Now, you are calling for the ambulance at the bottom of the climate cliff. How predictable! And how sad and sorry indeed. The people of Thames will later this century remember – it’s all in the records – who stood in the way politically for a much more forceful action on climate change.

    1. Yeah. I wrote an email I didn’t Sandra Goudie in the end. She seems to think the problem is a political one – wretched red tape stifling Thames.

      Bucklands Beach inhabitants of two million dollar houses want “the beach” saved at ratepayer expense. I answered: Conversations page 6, Reality Check.

      I’m sorry, but I have to laugh: we continue to deny reality. Nothing is going to save houses on the peninsular beach front. Much of NZ may escape the worst of man-made climate change, in terms of heat waves and droughts, but it’s certainly going to suffer catastrophic coastal flooding. Greenland is losing probably 300 cubic kilometres of ice a year and parts of Antarctica are becoming vulnerable to sudden collapse. Ice doesn’t have to melt to raise the sea level. Nobody knows if the sea level will rise 1, 2 or 5 metres by the end of the century. We do know that when carbon dioxide was last at 400 ppm the sea level was 20 metres higher.

      My guess is by 2040 even the useful idiots supporting business-as-usual, keeping the oil money flowing into the pockets of the billionaires financing the greatest fraud in the history of science — the orchestrated denial of normal physics — will be in hiding. Or dead, of course; beyond our vengeance.

  28. Banged off a letter to NZ Herald but no idea if printed.

    Fact or fiction: Tillerson on the United States’ ‘unparalleled’ climate change record. 7:06 PM Tuesday Jun 6, 2017

    America cannot plead special treatment based on past performance. Its total (accumulated since industrialisation), current and per capita emission of carbon dioxide is very high. If it has dropped it is as much to do with shifting manufacturing to China as a shift to wind and solar – as significant as that has been.

    Mr Tillerson cannot say two things. Informed people, including leaders of industry, know we cannot continue business-as-usual and there is a misfit in the White House.
    Further reading
    The Republican party – not Trump – is the biggest obstacle to climate action
    Naomi Oreskes. Monday June 5 2017

    1. It got published.

      I should like to remind Dennis Horne that it is always useful to look at the evidence. The evidence is that the USA has made a bigger reduction in emissions than Europe; that India and China have promised to reduce their emissions at a rate less than they are achieving already; that if every country kept their Paris promises until the end of the century, then, according to the IPCC’s own climate models, 0.17°C of warming will be avoided. The Paris agreement will cost the world $100 trillion and achieve a reduction in temperature that cannot even be measured!

      A recent peer reviewed study on temperatures of rocky planets showed that their temperature depends almost entirely on their distance from the sun and their atmospheric pressure. The presence or absence of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide had no effect on temperature.

      The world has lots of problems including genuine pollution. Carbon dioxide – man-made or otherwise – is not one of them. All it does is promote agricultural growth and so provide more food for starving millions.

      1. Brian Leyland claims :”The evidence is that the USA has made a bigger reduction in emissions than Europe;”

        Nobody is seriously disputing America has made at least some reductions, probably more than Europe, due to Obama’s efforts, The EPA, fracking for gas, and outsourcing some manufacturing to China. Ironically Trump is taking credit for these things, while simultaneously opposing them in his usual pathetic, cynical way. Honestly America has elected a total ******* idiot.

        But as usual Leyland you miss the point. It is not a viable reason for Trump to claim America should get special treatment in the Paris Agreement. Going down that road will end in bitter argument and no agreement at all, and fails on numerous other levels as well.

        “According to the IPCC’s own climate models, 0.17°C of warming will be avoided.”

        What models exactly? Where are your calculations linking model predictions to individual countries pledges? I look forwards to your response, which will need to run to about 1000 pages to cover the issue.

        In fact the published research all says 1 degree is feasible as below, with the exception of Lomberg of course. The stooge for the fossil fuel industry who can never seem to get his facts right on anything. But 7 published and peer reviewed studies find 1 degree is feasible as below:


        “The Paris agreement will cost the world $100 trillion and achieve a reduction in temperature that cannot even be measured!”

        Who says it will cost $100 trillion exactly, and show me their calculations and funding sources for their research? Do they include cost savings from reducing emissions and thus reducing climate impacts, or is their crappy study just purely on costs of renewable energy?

        There is one study claiming that the Paris Agreement would cost America a trillion dollars or something, carried out by some business think tank, funded by vested oil interests, and which only considered costs of mitigation as opposed to factoring in reductions in climate impacts. So it is a completely worthless study. Is that the study you are quoting?

        “A recent peer reviewed study on temperatures of rocky planets showed that their temperature depends almost entirely on their distance from the sun and their atmospheric pressure. The presence or absence of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide had no effect on temperature.”

        What planets exactly? What study where? Are you so rude, you cant even name the study so we can look at it?

        What does “almost entirely” mean? Usually when you denialists say almost entirely the reality turns out to be very different.

        Venus is a rocky planet and it’s long been established science that greenhouse gases make the atmosphere of Venus extremely hot. I sincerely doubt any research has overturned this finding.

        “All it does is promote agricultural growth and so provide more food for starving millions.’

        Hilarious. At the very least CO2 changes the climate , has acidified the oceans, and only promotes healthy agricultural growth provided all other things are equal and only within certain limits anyway. The published research shows increases in CO2 will cause enough climate problems to reduce agricultural output later this century and cause a host of other problems, related essentially to trouble adapting to rates of change we are already starting to witness.

        You must be having a quiet day, so have decided to do some stirring and fulfill your requested quota of posting climate denial bulldust for the week.

          1. Brian Leyland, the Lomberg Study in your first link finds vastly different results from all the other studies on the affects of Paris on temperatures. It finds about 0.17 degrees while all the other studies are about 1 degree. The following published studies all find approximately 1 degree: Climate action tracker, The IEA, Fawcett and others 2015, Rogedj and others 2016, EC-RJC, Climate Interactive,MIT, UNEP as below:


            Its hard for me to see why I would believe Lomberg. He makes arbitrary and extreme claims that China and Europe will not maintain emissions reductions, which is nothing more than Lombergs personal pessimistic opinion, and is about politics, not science or something that can be genuinely quantified.

            The study in your second link is by Lomberg on costs of the Paris Accord. Its the opinion of only one person. His study is based on a screed of silly, pessimistic and extreme assumptions, and COMPLETELY fails to consider the costs of doing nothing about climate change and factor this into his conclusions.

          2. And Leyland, where is a link or reference to your claim “A recent peer reviewed study on temperatures of rocky planets showed that their temperature depends almost entirely on their distance from the sun and their atmospheric pressure. ”

            I’m still waiting. Probably some paper that is junk science.

      2. At least we agree that the Paris Agreement does not go far enough.
        Bjorn Lomborg came up with the $100 trillion figure so we can safely assume that it is a worse case scenario. Radical changes to energy systems can end up increasing global GDP, renewables are free energy after all.
        We live on a water planet.
        CO2 is only a growth promoter if it is the limiting factor. Productivity losses from crops in inappropriate places will affect growth far more than the fertilisation effect.

      3. I won’t remind you to look at the evidence because evidence has no discernible effect on your views.

        Speaking to the Guardian, Ellen Stofan, who left the US space agency in December, said that a constant barrage of half-truths had left many Americans oblivious to the potentially dire consequences of continued carbon emissions, despite the science being unequivocal.

        [IPCC climate report: human impact is ‘unequivocal’. Read more]

        “We are under siege by fake information that’s being put forward by people who have a profit motive,” she said, citing oil and coal companies as culprits. “Fake news is so harmful because once people take on a concept it’s very hard to dislodge it.”

        During the past six months, the US science community has woken up to this threat, according to Stofan, and responded by ratcheting up efforts to communicate with the public at the grassroots level as well as in the mainstream press.

        “The harder part is this active disinformation campaign,” she said before her appearance at Cheltenham Science Festival this week. “I’m always wondering if these people honestly believe the nonsense they put forward. When they say ‘It could be volcanoes’ or ‘the climate always changes’… to obfuscate and to confuse people, it frankly makes me angry.”

        Stofan added that while “fake news” is frequently characterised as a problem in the right-leaning media, she saw evidence of an “erosion of people’s ability to scrutinise information” across the political spectrum. “All of us have a responsibility,” she said. “There’s this attitude of ‘I read it on the internet therefore it must be true’.” [continues]

        1. Dennis Horne

          Yeah good points on climate scepticism.

          Your link: “I’m always wondering if these people honestly believe the nonsense they put forward. When they say ‘It could be volcanoes’ or ‘the climate always changes’… to obfuscate and to confuse people, it frankly makes me angry.”

          This sums things up very well, and I feel the same way.

          I think some people with strong vested interests like oil company executives or people with strong small government libertarian leanings, etc, probably are dumb people who really believe the nonsense, but they would be a minority.

          I think many probably know they are rubbish but promote them anyway.

          But I get the impression some sceptics react slightly differently, and probably learn that these beliefs are nonsense and intellectually understand that they are, but I think they continue to believe the nonsense because it aligns with their vested interests or world ideology. They effectively brainwash themselves, and gradually come to genuinely believe the nonsense they talk like some Orwellian belief that black is white.

          Sadly I doubt Trump will be impeached. Even if he is found guilty of obstructing justice over this Comey thing, or something similar, Republicans control the House and so are unlikely to impeach him. Impeachment requires a majority vote in Congress.

          However I doubt Trump would be re-elected and certainly sincerely hope he isn’t.

          1. https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/06/wont-long-republicans-finally-turn-trump/
            [Abstract] Already a number of Republicans are treading warily around Trump. Writing in the Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky observed, ‘President Trump is in deep, deep trouble; even Fox News acknowledged that, playing far more defense than offense yesterday afternoon as James Comey’s testimony ended’. Indeed, it was notable during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday that none of the Republican Senators really sought to take on former FBI director James Comey directly.

            The question, as Comey implied, is whether special prosecutor Robert Mueller now has Trump in his sights for attempted obstruction of justice. An additional difficulty for Trump comes in the form of his inability to hire a top DC law firm, versed in the mysteries of countering investigations, to represent him.

            At least four law firms apparently begged off, citing potential harm to their reputations as well as expressing dubiety that Trump would pay his legal bills.

            Still, Republicans are unlikely to turn on Trump—for now. His approval rating has dropped to 34 per cent in the new Quinnipiac poll. It would probably have to tumble below 30 per cent before the equivalent of a glacier calving took place in the GOP.

          2. I think the most likely scenario is that Trump will continue to stumble around like a power-crazed drunk until the midterm Congressional elections, with enough reluctant Republican support to prevent impeachment or anything too drastic. However I’d pick a shift in power to the Democrats at that time, as many of those who supported Trump will have realized he doesn’t give a damn about them. Then all hell will break loose in Congress, and Trump will be forced to resign or face impeachment in the second half of his presidency.

            1. Indeed.

              The ramming of the USS Fitzgerald starboard is symbolic of the shambles.

            2. I confess I find politics interesting, and I spend a good ten minutes or more each day googling the latest news on Trump. It’s like a horror story, crime thriller, action movie and comedy show combined. There is nothing like it on television, and if this stuff was scripted as part of a movie, it would be thrown out as implausible and unrealistic.

              But seriously what a vile, shambolic administration and what a collection of self serving and / or ludicrous policies.

              But with my sceptics hat on, whether Trump survives may come down to a couple of things: It’s certainly possible that what you guys say is right, and by mid term the shambles will be so great due to things adding up and he will be gone. Republicans will be worried about their own seats, and yes when Trumps approval ratings hit 30% the panic will set in.

              However things often come down to the economy. Like Clinton said “its the economy stupid”. Americas economy is actually doing passably ok thanks to Obamas efforts and even Bush got a few things right (not many I have to say). Trump also plans to stimulate the economy (although it doesn’t really need this) so
              it may come down to the economy, because when its doing ok governments or leaders are not usually voted out.

              But maybe on balance they will have had enough of Trump. There are so many problems, that these things do add up. Here’s hoping.

  29. A B C D. The Anything But Carbon Dioxide cultists have
    1. Lost their war on science
    2. Lost their war on scientists
    3. Lost their war politically
    4. Lost their war economically
    5. Lost their war on people; their health and well being.

    The mid-term elections next year will be about climate change. The Democrats will take Congress. We will watch Trump impeached – unless the Republicans dump him first.

    1. Yes it will be interesting to see what happens. We may be living through some of the most epoch making times in recent history.

      This is worth a look:


      “Climate change forces relocation of entire American town”.

      This appears to be a combination of things including sea level rise, subsidence and erosion, and salt water intrusion into fresh water aquifers, wrecking them. Oh the unpredictable and unintended consequences of agw. As usual its hard to get a clear account from the media, but sea level rise is part of it, and the article discusses other towns under threat right now.

  30. Here is astounding research about the ease and relatively low cost of generating fake news and election swinging propaganda:


    The same story underlines the prime causes of popular disbelief and doubt in science financed by the lobby of right wing oil and coal money.

    In the world of uneducated masses, fake news is a hydra of terrifying proportions. It costs billions in research and some the best-educated minds humanity has to offer in order to distil the truth about the natural world. But it costs only pocket change to set against all this a bag of lies which diverts the people’s attention and blinds people. Unless humanity goes with vigor after those scumbags who orchestrate these campaigns we will stand to lose our ability to have a functioning and effective democratic process that arrives at truthful outcomes.

    This is perhaps the prime issue of our time.

    And unlike an attack with intercontinental missiles which would be suicidal, an attack directly at the collective “brains” of the free world with fake news missiles and cyber propaganda has so far been a huge success without consequences for Russia and related interests by collusion of the West’s and the East’s oligarchs, who have discovered their common interest in deceiving and controlling the agenda. They have at their disposal the full arsenal of the Russian cyberwarfare apparatus plus copious paid shills who do their bidding in the West in the hope that some $$ will fall off the wagon of the thieves for them.

    We live in very dangerous and interesting times indeed.

    1. I just purchased this book about a week ago : “Post Truth by Evan Davis, Why we have reached peak bullshit and what we can do about it” (that’s whats on the cover.) Published 2017, so right up to date.

      I have only had a quick five minute scan, but it looks good, covers fake news in detail, and appears very critical of Trump, but covers a wide range of areas and is not one sided.

      I mean with a title like that, you know it will be interesting.

  31. https://www.ecowatch.com/solar-paint-hydrogen-2441653334.html?utm_source=EcoWatch%2BList&utm_campaign=9a58389833-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-9a58389833-86111021
    Researchers Develop Solar Paint That Turns Water Vapor Into Hydrogen

    … Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) developed a “solar paint” capable of pulling water vapor from the air and splitting it into hydrogen and oxygen using energy provided by sunlight.

    The paint contains a new, silica-gel-like compound—synthetic molybdenum-sulphide—that not only absorbs moisture from its surroundings but can also trigger chemical reactions that splits water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

    “We found that mixing the compound with titanium oxide particles leads to a sunlight-absorbing paint that produces hydrogen fuel from solar energy and moist air,”

    ” … This avoids all of the issues arising from the use of liquid water.”

    Theoretically, the solar paint could be applied or sprayed onto any surface where water vapor is present. Even evaporated moisture from salty or waste water would be sufficient…

    “this system can also be used in very dry but hot climates near oceans. The sea water is evaporated by the hot sunlight and the vapor can then be absorbed to produce fuel.”

    “Photocatalytic paints may find application in multiple settings, one obvious one could be the local production of hydrogen as an energy carrier, side by side with photovoltaics generating renewable electricity,”

    “Further steps are necessary in order to fully see the scope of this technology. For example, our next targets are to incorporate this system together with gas separation membranes that will allow selectively harvesting and storing the produced hydrogen.”

    Well, as I tell NZ’s very own and most famous denier (now that my old friend Bob Carter has carked), Michael Kelly FRS, Cambridge U: Necessity is the mother of invention. If we had lived our lives as hunter-gathers in paradise … we’d still be there!

    1. Interesting paint. However, I am yet to conceptualize how a painted surface, that generates H and O atoms from splitting H2O over its area will somehow permit these to be then harvested and hopefully not mixed in the stoichiometric ratios they would arise in (KA-BOOM !$%#&…) but nicely separated, O2 here and H2 there, in your sperate ways you go, then hop into a tank…. Hmmm….

      And the vision of highrise houses with pipework up and down the facades + the words “Highly Flammable Hydrogen” stamped on the facade panels makes for uncomfortable thoughts these days…

      1. My understanding is the material is developed as a paint so it can be applied to surfaces, and it can already be utilised to produce H2O, but to produce H and O2 the work is ongoing.

        But it does sound more promising than cold fusion… 😉

      2. Yes I struggle to visualise how the gases would be separated and contained. But then the last time I did chemistry was pretty basic first year at varsity over 20 years ago, and hmmm things get forgotten.

        When I think hydrogen as an energy storage, I think Hindernburg.

        What happened to fuel cell technology for cars? This hasn’t taken off. I think its a dead end, probably too costly, risky, and complex compared to battery power.

        Perhaps hydrogen could be used to generate mass power, and it would serve as an energy storage helping with renewable energy problems, but it sounds very complicated as well.

        I’m not knocking the paint in principle, but I suspect it will have great uses that aren’t currently apparent.

        Changing the subject, I just read an article in the Herald.


        Stephen Hawking has said “it was only a matter of time before the Earth as we know it is destroyed by an asteroid strike, soaring temperatures or over-population.”

        This seems a real risk to me when you look at how things are adding up. I have often wondered the same, and it gets my attention when someone as smart and educated as Hawking speaks out on it.

        He wants us to colonise the moon and mars over the next couple of decades, and then aim further afield.

        But is the guy crazy?

        1. Attention-seeking but with good cause. We are witnessing the end of western civilisation; Homo sapiens will survive but billions won’t.

          Or just maybe we might get sufficient and necessary leadership. “World government”? No wonder the blind right are scared witless.

          Trump needs to stop pussy-footing around and grab the opportunity!

          Nah. Won’t happen.

          1. Yes Hawking is attention seeking with good cause, and has the intellect to justify it. He has earned the right, if anybody has. Trump is attention seeking due to over the top narcissism, and his career has too many murky aspects to give him the moral high ground.

            Chances of Trump embracing one world government = zero. Its not in his dna, and his team are the same, Steve Bannon is totally opposed.

            Its paranoia really. The world is already drifting towards some form of one world government with various international agreements. These things proceed in gradual stages out of practical necessity.

            Obviously some sort of “united states of the world” is a possible model and could solve a variety of problems. It has a certain sense of inevitability to me, but probably not in our lifetimes or even our children’s, not in a full scale sense where most nations delegate considerable power to a central body. But it is heading towards that, or at least some sort of closer collaboration in some form.

            The election of the moderate, outward looking french president Macron is a move towards globalisation, and the rejection of Theresa May suggests Britain is having second thoughts about leaving the EU and Trump is taking a pounding in the polls as people wake up to the reality of his isolationist and aggressive craziness.

            However if one world government was done properly with a good balance of central authority and independence of nations in certain things, it is possible. It would need to be done like this with strict divisions of power like within the USA.

            Things like this one world government idea also might be driven by circumstances more than pontificating, or gradualism, for example a global crisis would suggest the need for greater global unity, and some form of central power becomes an obvious tool to make things work. Simply relying on “international agreements” is not always sufficient.

            A crisis is entirely possible as Hawking observes. Climate is already looking like a crisis, but its a complex set of things and people are slow to grasp what is happening, for all sorts of reasons, some deliberate.

            But here’s something to consider: The European Union is a sort of region with regional government. Its a half way system between a free trade zone and true fiscal and political union, and has tried to unite very varied countries. This is not a stable position really, however despite this, it has endured recent problems.

            There is one key problem with a wider one world government. Firstly nation states are still in hugely divergent states of wealth and economic development, so if such a united world happened tomorrow, we would have an economic shock, in a similar way that free trade might generate more total wealth overall, but can hurt subgroups of society.

            We also have the risk of the tyranny of the third world directed at the first world, out of envy and payback for perceived injustices of past imperialism and colonisation. These problems would have to be resolved somehow, and I think they can be resolved. But for these reasons I just see one world government as a slow process, unless it is forced by a catastrophe.

            1. “Chances of Trump embracing one world government = zero”… unless he was the anointed World President! Then, of course, he would love it. However, without an alien enemy, the right wing ploy does not function.

            2. Yeah true enough. The thought of Trump standing as a candidate for world leader is too terrible to contemplate.

              The right wing do indeed scaremonger and scapegoat. Their whole history is one of distracting attention from real problems, or advancing hidden agendas by finding imagined enemies. It would make a good book.

              A perfect current example is the way The Daily Fail has blamed the green movement for apartment fire in London by claiming it was climate goals that lead to the use of inflammable insulating panels applied to the exterior.They are trying to distract attention from the real causes, using red herring fallacies.

              Anyone with half a brain can see this is nonsense, but it sows seeds of doubt and confusion. The real cause of the fire was using cheap panels when for only a few dollars more they could have had suitably fire resistant panels, according to experts. The building also lacked basic fire safety protection. Its false economy, but the daily Fail is owned by business interests only interested in every last cent ,and that’s just tough for the occupants.

              But its hard to counter this. Liberals are interested in evidence based arguments, and once they descend to “making things up” or creating imagined enemies, they erode their own reason for being. Its a frustrating dilemma, do you know what I mean?

          2. …”Trump needs to stop pussy-footing around and grab the opportunity!”…. brilliant!! 🙂

            Unfortunately, Trump has had his priorities backward and so he took the opportunity to grab the former, rather than grasp what he should have grabbed instead… haha!

            What a complete moron and idiot #45 is…

  32. Mason-Jones, author of a book promoting ruminant farming peddles nonsense on the connection of animal farming and global warming:


    The myth: “Cows recycle Carbon naturally, so they do not add to the Greenhouse effect” has been peddled by this Mason-Jones for a long time. Like many other Old-Lads, this one won’t learn a thing:

    (1) Cows use land where otherwise carbon sequestering vegetation could stand. Point in case is the rapid loss of tropical rain forests in many parts of the world in order to grow cattle or cattle food.
    (2) Cows expel a lot of Methane, which has a 20 times higher GHG effect that the Carbon that is removed by growing the grass.
    (3) Farming is also responsible for N2O (nitrous oxide) emissions which again, have a much higher GHG effect than the CO2 that is temporarily removed from grass growing.

    When will the loggerheads of the denial industry learn?

    Dr. Reisinger,​ the deputy director (International) of the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, sets it right.


    1. Don’t want to nitpick but https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_methane
      suggests over 100 years methane is nearly 30X and more than 70X over 20 years. So the short term effect – which what we are concerned with right now – is dramatic. NZ will get nowhere until farming is brought to account; a third of our GHG emissions are from ruminants: http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/science/greenhouse-gases/agricultural-greenhouse-gases/methane-emissions
      Farming accounts for nearly half NZ emissions.

    2. I have also been ruminating over this dairy cattle issue, which is so much in the news these turbulent days.

      You hear the apologists claiming its all part of the natural carbon cycle, and that because methane breaks down into CO2 it’s harmless. This is shallow thinking.The essential cycle may be natural, and those emissions will ultimately be absorbed into carbon sinks over millenia, but thats not of much use to us.

      The problem is the methane is a strong greenhouse gas while its in the atmosphere, before it breaks down. Humanity has also increased diary cow numbers over the centuries, and so we humans are amplifying a natural phenomenon. This is seriously adding to climate change and its not an inevitable thing, because its a choice we have made.

      We have become reliant on dairy exports, but they are clearly not the only potential export available to NZ. We have the river pollution issue. We have ominous sounding experiments that have produced high quality artificially produced milk. This conglomeration of factors does raise questions about dairy farming.

      The bottom line is dairy farming in particular has several pretty substantial environmental costs not currently being fully paid for by farmers. I don’t know what the answer is and don’t want to see farmers hung out to dry, but something has to change.

      You have a typical tragedy of the commons scenario, and the basic principle is that while people have freedom to farm the products they choose in a free market economy, “the polluter should pay” or alternatively resolve the problem of methane emissions. That has to be the bottom line in any thinking on the issue. This is the rule the rest of us have to follow. This is how it seems to me. Yeah I know the apologists will claim we rely on dairy farming but any benefits that have trickled down to me are pretty hard to find.

      If diary is an economically brilliant industry as they keep claiming, it is strong enough to clean up its own mess.

    1. The Deniers will say: Oh now RSS has “fiddled the data too!”. You can’t win with science against conspiracy theories. Of cause, if the careful review of RSS would have come out the other way (less warming), then, of course, they would have loved it.
      It is the hallmark of the deniers that they will not accept any evidence that is going against their own view. For the rest of us, the revised data are simply proof of science at work doing what science should do: evaluate new evidence and if required review and recalculate the results and republish the new results.

  33. In case anyone missed it, there is a glowing write up posted on the wattsup web site, which I won’t link to, about the late Chris de Freitas.

  34. Message to the world

    Archaeologists searching the waters over ancient Egypt have discovered the remains of a 100,000 ton US aircraft carrier. Near it in the sediment, half exposed, is a plinth inscribed:
    “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

    1. I gather you are referring to the carrier Trump says is built with american steel, to make america great again, as he plans WW3 to distract attention from his personal troubles?

      I gather that would be the poem Ozymandius by Shelley? I’m not good with Egyption Kings or poetry, had to ask Mr Google. It’s a nice poem and rather apt.

      I met a traveler from an antique land
      Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
      Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
      Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
      And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
      Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
      Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
      The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
      And on the pedestal these words appear:
      “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
      Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
      Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
      Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
      The lone and level sands stretch far away.

      It’s just I’m not good with allegories so I needed clarification!

      1. I knew someone would get it! During my first appalling week at secondary school I managed to offend someone so had to write out ‘Ozymandias’ 10 times as a detention. 66 years later I have a use for it.

        The other poetic ‘detention’ I scored that same year was Milton’s “On his Blindness”. The line “They also serve who only stand and wait” stuck firmly in mind. As an adult I several times ran very successfuly some quite large scale activities under-budget on the basis of my understanding of that line.

        Thus we can perform larger works than our small circle of friends and aquaintances suggest, wherever we choose to serve.

        1. Noelfuller, to be honest, poetry is not my strong point. I do recall TS Eliot from School, The Waste Lands, which made an impression and you will see the point. However I’m making an effort, and bought a copy of the Book of English Verse some time ago.

          However I will attempt a short composition in three versus in the modern non rhyming style:

          The was a man called Donald Trump.
          He was a total, complete idiot.
          The end.

        2. More news on Ozymandius


          “This week, as Donald Trump publicly attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an assault one restrained observer described as “a multitiered tower of political idiocy, a sublime monument to the moronic, a gaudy, gleaming, Ozymandian folly,” even David Horowitz, the anti-Leftist intellectual and author of Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America, felt compelled to admit something to his Twitter followers: “I have to confess, I’m really distressed by Trump’s shabby treatment of Sessions.”

          1. Yes, I think distress is the right word to describe the inner turmoil that must have by now befallen the vast majority of Trump backers. Their idea of what Trump would be like as a President has been smashed to pieces at the erratic narcissistic personality who the real Trump is. I think by now Trump is a lonely angry and dangerous, wounded and old grump. Nobody with a brain would work for him and he is left with just even bigger nutcases than himself to “Mooch” his ego. Surely, this Whitehouse term must end, any day now…..

            On the upside, I hope that Brexit and Trump have inoculated enough of the people from the virus of the Populist Right for a very long time to come. The smoldering ruins that once were called “Great Britain” after their self-afflicted seppuku will stand for the next generation as a warning sign to many who might have been infectable by populist nationalist and right wing agendas.

            1. Thomas, yes I couldn’t agree more. And I hope you are right in your last paragraph.

              Except Trump’s backers, while probably having deep second thoughts, are still mostly right behind him. This has mystified me, but The Economist did an in depth study of opinion in small town America called “America Divided”, and here’s a brief summary: There’s a deep view of “anything but Hilary”. I don’t mind Hilary Clinton on the whole, but she is deeply disliked, and I don’t think we see appreciate this, being as we are in another country.

              The article also found many Americans vote on personality rather than policy, and felt Trump was one of their people (well and truly sucked in of course) and this popularity v policy seems a lot stronger than in NZ. The article highlighted a stunning ignorance in america about what the parties policy was, and even basically what they stood for, far more than NZ. Voting in America is very much based on personalities, peer groups, tribal affiliations etc. There’s a red blue divide of course, but the divide was more subtle, and just as much to do with employment and geography.

              Anyway at the rate Trump is firing people there wont be anyone left. And even the most loyal backers have their limits on what they will tolerate.

              Yes I think Trump and Brexit have inoculated plenty form the populist right. Britain’s economy is now struggling with very poor investment etc. Once things hurt peoples pockets, their worries about imagined bogey men of immigration etc pale in comparison. The election of Macron in France is another example of rejection of the loonies, and shows that those French aren’t as crazy as they seem.

  35. This is some guys comments from the RC website. It’s a brilliant story, an allegory on climate denialism:

    “One hot morning near a remote village at the edge of a large forest, a group of villagers discovered a strange large animal in a clearing, apparently asleep. They went back and inform the village elders, who called in the local chamber of commerce, and also summoned the only biologist in the region.

    Later, the biologist arrived and reported back to the village. “This is a very dangerous situation. That animal is a large predator. It has huge canine teeth, an absence of molars, eyes relatively close together for focused hunting, and large claws. My best estimate from the body pattern is that it is a large feline. Judging from the stripes, it is a “tiger”. While it is still asleep, it will wake and hunt, perhaps tonight. I got a rough reading from my infrared camera, and its metabolism seems consistent with a large cat. You would do best to evacuate the village, but you MUST keep a large distance, and DO NOT DROP OBJECTS ON ITS TAIL.”

    The chamber of commerce spokesperson replied “Don’t listen to this alarmist! It’s a good thing that we invested in an internet satellite station for the village. The pictures of locals dropping sand on its tail have gone viral. We’re making tons of money and creating jobs. Next step is pay-per-view when they drop something bigger. Besides, the epistemology of this job-killing so-called expert is completely warped. The teeth and claws could be for symbolic threat displays during mating season. Besides, you haven’t even observed it move, let alone what it eats. It may not even have any nerves in its tail. We suggest that it’s an estivating herbivore that will be in a torpid state for months, and slow-moving when it does awake.”

    The biologist exclaimed “This is nonsense! It can’t be an herbivore with those teeth, and cats have never been observed to estivate, although they do sleep a lot after a large meal.”

    The chamber spokesperson scoffed “You haven’t even proven it’s a cat. You’ll need an autopsy or a DNA sample for that. You didn’t get one, did you? You haven’t even demonstrated that it has nerves in its tail. They’re your assumptions, and you’re obliged to demonstrate them. Otherwise, it’s the null hypothesis that it’s not dangerous, won’t wake for a long time, and has no nerves in its tail. You’re illogical. Leave now.”

    “Leave now, leave now,” the villagers chanted.

    The pay-for-view was the sensation of the season, but nobody from the village ever appeared at the big city bank to collect their money.

    1. Totally agree. And one malignant narcissist would in himself not be much of an issue. But the fact that America elected the Trump, that is the real problem. It points to a very different category of threat to the future of humanity: The seeds laid by the Murdoch Press empire with its control of the Anglo-Saxon gutter press are finally germinating. Indoctrinated with a dumb & dumber pseudo reality and its racist, sexist and nationalistic mind viruses with a constantly drummed up fear of others, and consequently, fear of liberty it self, we now are living amongst a zombified section of humanity that is happy elect thugs like Trump and who are well prepped to deny any hint of a reality outside of the narrative they have been ensnared by.
      It is high time to educate ourselves out of this mess and prevent a similar fate that befell the UK and the US to take hold elsewhere. I think the “show” of decline we are witnessing in the UK and the US may serve to some degree to inoculate people and shake them up. Let’s hope so, but we must follow up to the heart of this right wing war on humanity until we see this terrible movement out like the Mooch….

  36. Thomas, yes America has a real problem. A small but wealthy group of individuals and corporates are drumming up nationalistic, hard right or ultra conservative sentiments, hating on minorities (trans gender are the latest targets) and they and they have control of Fox media etc. America is a more conservative society overall than NZ, possibly to do with religion and a frontier very individualistic mentality.

    However there is hope. It’s close to total melt down in the white house, with multiple firings. Trump employs nutbars, then cant seem to work out why it goes wrong for him!

    Interestingly many officials are ignoring Trump: Just read this today:


    I think one of the issues is people voted for Trump largely on personality and his cunning rhetoric. It’s all going wrong, and they will be unwilling to admit they made a bad choice. But everyone has their limits, and I don’t see how America can put up with this total ******idiot much longer.

    I think NZ is partly different. We have become more accepting overall of multi culturalism and immigrants, and the noisy haters that get in the media tend to be in a minority.

    I think there’s a genuine problem in NZ with just numbers of immigrants getting too high, and it needs a genuine debate, but that is a very different thing to matters of culture, race or religion of course.

    The political problem in NZ is also a little different to America I think. It’s right wing stirrers and intellectual light weights like Mike Hosking, Leighton Smith that are anti climate science and are generally very in favour of very small government etc. Those more on the left are far to meek and mild in their rhetoric, and need to stand up to these blowhards.

    The NZ Herald used to be quite balanced with plenty of commentators on both left and right. I actually liked that diversity of opinions, and don’t want to live in a bubble. Now it’s become a tabloid, lifestyle rag, and dominated by right wing views, sadly to say. I would be interested what you think on our media, or perhaps you simply don’t have time to watch or read much of it.

  37. I would just add to my comment above that I agree fear is behind a lot of this alternative right stuff, and I would add also primitive pecking order stuff and bullying.

      1. Quiet day at the office? Many conservatives seem opposed to various groups like immigrants, trans genders, non christians, scientists, individualists, and coloured people etc. Maybe its fear of some kind, because there’s no rational reason in most cases.

      2. In a way, yes Andy. Of course, you or the rest of the Alt-Right mob won’t admit it. But climate change is a massive challenge to the right. The logic goes like this: Climate change is a true threat to the very survival of our civilization and our biosphere as we inherited it from our parent’s generation. Tackling climate change will draw from an arsenal of strategies that are all totally alien to the right wing psyche:

        – International cooperation and treaties
        – Recognition that the common interests need to rank above individual rights
        – Putting the survival of all of humanity before nationalist agendas
        – Personal restraint of consumption
        – Giving Science a strong leadership position in determining the path forward
        – Recognition that international cooperation and not competition will carry the day

        This is what the right is so afraid of. This is why the reality of climate change must be denied with every lie and trick they can pull of. So yes, Andy is onto something here….

          1. Winston may be many things, xenophobic amongst them, but “far right” he isn’t.

            NZ’s only “far right” party is ACT, and it’s polling below the margin of error. An elite, you might say, but an irrelevant one. And praise be for that.

          2. Typical of you AndyS. You miss the point as always. You would make a good politician.

            I wouldn’t put your hopes in NZ First. Most polls have them at about 12%, and Jacinda Adern has the personality and brains to steal quite a few of those votes back.

            Your hopes are going to be dashed here. NZ is far more tolerant of immigrants, other cultures, gay marriage, etc than america.

          3. And yes I agree Winston is no far right or ultra conservative. He no Steve Bannon. In fact I quite like Peters.

            But his team has some oddballs that seriously lack brains or personality, and are more extreme leaning. And if they did get 19% their voice will become dominant.

            I would rather eat my own finger than vote for Act.

            1. Peters is a xenophobic racist, that stirs up anti-Asian sentiment. I have no interest in him or his party

            2. Well that’s good to see. Some of Peters policies are ok, but I never really understood Peters thing about asians. Can’t see any evidence of big problems with asian immigrants. I also didn’t know he was still so critical of them, so are you sure you aren’t thinking of days gone by?

              If the government would just tighten up its english language requirements! I think immigration is largely a management issue, and about individuals rather than groups.

              The trouble about NZ First is their vision is a bit simplistic.

          4. Here we go. Andy detracts from the substance of the actual observation to the reasons the right is adamantly in denial of climate change – a reaction caused by extensional fear. Right wingers would need to up-end their entire paradigm in order to become a constructive player in Humanities common fight for saving the planet from ourselves. They rather choose the ultimately indefensible position taken by Trump and his red hatters…. how strange!

            If however, humanity was at risk not from our own actions but from an Alien invasion that could be fought off by military might, or by a wayward comet threatening to strike, that would be right up their alley. They would rise triumphant, leading the charge….. go figure!

            1. You are right Thomas about why Republicans fear climate change. All that.

              Andys was always going to change the subject. So predictable.

              A lot of this goes back to Republicans belief systems being undermined by science and rational thought. The more time goes by the more science casts doubts on the basic beliefs of Republicans, such as fears about gay people, and their environmental, religious and economic beliefs. This threatens their fundamental world view that they hold so important to them.

              The fact that humanity can alter the climate puts man on the same level as god, which is an untenable position for many christians of the more fundamentalist persuasion, – and its those groups that wield power and influences in the media and politics. Pat Robson, Gerry Falliwell? (I mean no disrespect to christians as a whole, of course)

              Psychology tells us when there is fundamental cognitive dissonance between beliefs and reality, there is huge tension. Reality is often the victim and is ignored and denied with elaborate and feeble make believe reasoning or delusions. Eg “Climate changed before” “its all cosmic rays you know” “its a liberal scam”

              Yes the reaction to an alien invasion would be different. Nuke em! (But no tax increases please to pay for it, poor people will have to tighten their belts).

  38. How many NZ parties are putting climate change at the head of their policy list? Haven’t the Greens gone a bit off the target in terms of their core values?

    1. I listened personally to the spokes people of all parties on Climate Change at the EDS conference last week in Auckland I can tell you, Andy, that they are unanimous in acknowledging the issue of Climate change. And they seem to be united for once in their thinking to instate a Royal Commission on Climate change similar to the UK model here in NZ too, in order to decouple this so important matter from the three-year election cycle ups and downs.

        1. Why is this of interest to Thomas only? is it because he referred to me as a White Supremacist and a racist?

          I can tell you why some of this ugly stuff is happening in the USA and beyond: identity politics.

          it is the same ideology with different flavours that gives us BLM, Antifa, Black Panthers, and the Alt Right

          If you are constantly told, through the media and academia, that you are defined by the identity group that you belong to, then this stuff is eventually going to rear its ugly head,

          This is why I totally reject identity politics

  39. Andy, don’t get too paranoid. It was just something Thomas mentioned about what motivates these groups. It is of course of possible interest to yourself or anyone.

    Its particularly pertinent given recent events with a car being driven into people.

    Even Trump has finally condemned these white supremacists. We all should.

    I think its the extremists that are the problem, and concede there have been some on the left that have not been good. Right now its the alternate right in America flexing muscle and they are outrageous.

    I can tell you if it was a far left group driving into people I would not under any circumstances be making excuses for them.

    I like the Green Party but I’m not going to defend Matiria Turei’s cheating the rules, by way of a sort of related example

    I suppose it is identity politics. Its become very tribal in America recently. The reasons are complex but The Economist Journal July 1 edition ran an outstanding article about divisions in America, called Trumps america (its not a hate session on trump). You should track it down.

    The media do fuel this tribalism. For example listen to Leighton Smith or Mike Hosking, who are frankly totally tiresome. Those more on the left and liberal end of things may not be perfect, but are trying a lot harder to stake more moderate and evidence based positions, at least in NZ.

    1. Well I’m glad we agree on something Nigel.

      I would also totally condemn any of this hate fueled violence irrespective of political affiliations. By the way, if you see any of the independent media videos from Charlotteville, you will see White Supremacist thugs and Antifa thugs taking each other on in unprovoked attacks. The NZ media didn’t report the Antifa side.

      Antifa were the guys who rioted in Berkeley, injuring people and destroying property, when Milo tried to talk at the University. I don’t think there were any white supremacists at the demo, and whatever you think of Milo, he was just trying to give a talk

      1. Yes fair enough Andy.

        This is what I think of Charlottesville. There can be no apologising, or equivocation or grey areas over neo nazis, fascist racists, and jew haters. They should have been utterly condemned from day one. Their views are repugnant. Its pretty black and white.

        They are allowed to exist because sane people value freedom of speech and association. That doesn’t mean we have to tolerate their views, and any president who takes a soft line must be identified as a sympathiser.

        By all means Trump could and should have mentioned in passing that there was violence on both sides, but only as an aside, and with a clear statement that a member of the neo nazi side here has caused a death and multiple serious injuries.

        This was no ordinary protest of ordinary decent people where its customary to make a big thing about violence on both sides, it involved neo nazis. The fact that some may have been moderates is splitting hairs and beside the point.

        It was an utter vacuum of moral leadership in an area where its pretty black and white. I was surprised a little at the considerable negative response to Trump, as there was some violence on both sides, but it perhaps reflects americans views and their large jewish community.

        Of course there’s nothing wrong with criticising some things jews or Israel does, or moslem attitudes and beliefs, or any belief system, but it needs a bit of care and subtlety. There’s no justification for blatant hate speech, intimidation and threats.

      2. The difference is Andy: The NAZIs and white supremacists started this. They came armed to the teeth shouting their hateful slogans of genocide and racism. Given the history of NAZI ideas and the devastation they caused, it is our civic duty to defy these folks and to prevent them from spreading their poisonous ideas into the minds of the youth of our time. Ideas or memes can infect human minds like viruses and the youth of today has not lived through the horrors that NAZI ideas have caused. They are vulnerable to be infected.

        Proclaiming the right of free speech for NAZIs and their ilk is like proclaiming the right of the small pox virus to roam among us at will. Hate speech can in my book not be protected as free speech! Under the fascist rule, that these people would like to erect, there would be no tolerance whatsoever and free speech would be impossible. Under a NAZI rule, a simple statement of discontent with the oppression and racism could lead to death in concentration camps as we all know from history. And Milo, what a loser. His drivel qualifies as hate speech for sure.

        Germany has made it a criminal offence what these thugs in the US were permitted to do. And rightfully so. Add to the danger in the US is the fact that these NAZIs are permitted to march fully armed with military assault rifles and other fire arms, some of them concealed as permitted by the US lax gun laws. This is so similar to the armed militias marching at the end of the Weimar Republic.

        We must stand up to this in the strongest terms. And going back to history, anti-NAZI demonstrators holding hands singing Kumbaya would have unlikely prevented the NAZI take over. If you wanted to save 50+ million people’s lives back then, you had to defeat these thugs with all means.

        While I am confident that the US will beat this evil for the moment, I am not confident that we can be complacent. I would hope very much that the US population would come to its senses and outlaw all these militias and brand them as the terrorist organisations that they are and ban any form firearms and other offensive weapons at protests.

        1. Thomas,

          Agree largely, but NZ already has legislation banning hate speech if it has a racist component as below. Human rights Act section 61. I support it by the way.


          I don’t think its possible to go beyond all this and ban personal insults, robust criticism of religions or beliefs, or even odious white supremacy comments that we both probably don’t like. It becomes too difficult to define when its genuinely harmful, or just robust opinion. Even the race based hate speech provisions are challenging to interpret, but given this sort of level of racial hatred definitely often leads to deadly violence, I think its good legislation.

          Freedom of speech is important as well. Its one hell of a difficult balance.

          The white supremacist groups have very little sympathy in America. I suppose there’s always a risk their particular virus could spread, but probably more if politicians support them and of course that’s a problem right now. I think in the main their disgraceful showing at Charlottesville and ridiculous thick as a brick slogans probably just make them unpopular with the general public.

          Regarding some of humanity fouling their own nests, Jared Diamond has a good book called “Collapse” on the history of failures of early civilisations due to various self inflicted environmental pressures, although in some cases it was lack of knowledge, an excuse we no longer have.

        2. Thomas says

          We must stand up to this in the strongest terms. And going back to history, anti-NAZI demonstrators holding hands singing Kumbaya would have unlikely prevented the NAZI take over. If you wanted to save 50+ million people’s lives back then, you had to defeat these thugs with all means.

          Can you clarify what you mean by “all means”? Are you advocating or supporting violence?

          At Berkeley, Antifa shut down Milo Yiannopoulos’ talk by rioting, burning cars, hitting people with motorcycle locks and so on. As far as I know, there weren’t any neo-Nazis in presence

          Apparently this is justified because Milo, a gay conservative of Jewish parentage, is a “fascist”

          1. Andy: If somebody would have defeated the German NAZIs, with force if necessary, in time to prevent what happened back then, then any means necessary, including force, would have been aptly justified. In the end, it took the sacrifice of so many good people from all over the world to defeat an entire NAZI army. In the beginning of this deadly movement and before its ideas and the fear instilled in the population extinguished any meaningful internal resistance, it would have taken far less.

            Would I have gladly pulled the trigger on Hitler, had I been in such a position back in time: yes of course!

            Do I believe that there is the danger that the fascist era may be repeated – yes I do, and the pictures emerging from the USA today are simply disgusting. I believe we must be taking a very strong stand. Free speech has its limits when it advocates NAZI ideology and fascism. The full power of the state may be needed to contain these dangerous and heavily armed NAZI militias. Many people, including myself, have sworn to never allow a fascist NAZI takeover of society to happen again, and with all means necessary to defend the freedom of my children and our people.

      1. I am glad you stated this for the record. The way you associate your ideology with the alt-right in the future will be a measure of your honesty.

        By the way, on the matter of dangerous memes and viruses of the mind and the way in which these are capable to infect the population to the detriment of humanity, the examples of this are not limited to Pol Pot, Hitler and the other extremes of history.

        In fact, there is another very dangerous and contemporary meme that has the potential to cause untold misery for humanity and perhaps even our demise: “Denialism”. As you know from your personal case, denial of science is a virus that is spread by talk, can be transmitted electronically, verbally or on paper, is easily caught by people not inoculated by a good science education, and is very difficult to get rid off. It infects the central nervous system where it disables rational thought that is normally able to defend the mind against such infections. It also is known to create a much elevated and irrational sense of the correctness of one’s own opinion. The symptom of this has been also described as the “Dunning Kruger” effect. This mind-virus has acquired a formidable genetic mind-code that creates the urge in carriers minds to spread the virus voluntarily by means of blogging, posting, commenting and so forth on social media.
        Infected individuals become unable and unwilling to accept any evidence presented to them or reflect critically about their own state of mind. They develop a filter that permits only those factoids to pass that confirm their “Denialism” and elevate their sense of righteousness with regards to their personal convictions. Over time, they become blind to their own condition and addicted to the false sensation of knowing more than the “experts”. Healing this condition is rarely successful as the virus very successfully blocks the pathways of educational therapy.
        Unfortunately, with regards especially to Climate Change and Global Warming denial, the consequences of mass infections with this virus can cause mass extinctions of the infected species along with the irreversible loss of their habitats.
        The Fermi Paradox can be explained in part by the theory that sentient and thereby infectable species often begin to poison their own environment in pursuit of the wealth created for them by exponential technological development, once the later enables them to convert significant masses in their natural habitat by chemical means into unwanted by-products. In that case, rational beings would limit or modify their way of life in order to ensure their species and their planet’s survival. But as this would entail perhaps personal restraint or lifestyle changes and an end to exponential wealth creation, a moment arises where “Denialism” viruses are naturally evolving in the interconnected and infectable herd. Soon another fine planet is doomed to repeat the cycle. Very few have made it…. and those who did managed to find some way or the other to deal with dangerous memes as part of their rigorous survival strategy. Humanity on planet Earth is still in the early stages of this process and so far has not found the courage to make significant progress despite a strong awareness of the problem in the better educated and largely immune parts of the population. Whether the attractiveness of their proposition to enable the planet to survive will be sufficient enough in its own right to ward off the impending demise caused by the power of the infected parts of the population will remain to be seen. More drastic mental health measures may be needed to prevent this species to join the ranks of those who perished before them. Only time will tell.

        1. TL;DR

          Thomas, you referred to me as a “brownshirt” without an ounce of evidence and an ounce of remorse

          For the record, my mother was brought up in Nazi Germany, but it wasn’t National Socialism that killed her mother, her mother’s young baby and her 5 year old brother, I was the other kind of socialism that you seem so attracted to

            1. Which “denial of science” are you referring to Thomas?

              I don’t “deny” any science

              However, you can be fired from Google for stating scientific facts. So, science “denial” is embedded in our corporate culture.

            2. Andy wrote : “Which “denial of science” are you referring to Thomas?”

              Which proves my point entirely. Denying the denial is a fundamental symptom of those infected with the “Denialism” meme.

              Now to Google: One issue Andy, with deniers is, that they rarely read past the headlines when they spot something that at first glance would appear to support some of their closely held beliefs. So you did not really read the Danmore story did you, hence your misrepresentation.

              Danmore was fired because he violated specific aspects of Google’s code of conduct by his actions and not because of his views with respect to science. And the other thing with deniers like yourself is: You do not understand the difference between science facts (in this case: men and women have physical differences, haha) and the interpretation of these (in this case: with respect to social qualities). With regards to the later, Danmore gazed off the cliff of scientific rigor figuratively speaking and into the realm of speculation, a lot of which was rather ludicrous indeed.

              Being a teacher, I must say, I can not concur from my evidence with what Danmore says. To the contrary: About 65% of our graduates heading to university are female. Our Duxes have been female for years now and female students seem to head often into STEM careers and tertiary study. And our school is not alone in that observation. It is a clear trend.

              As far as women in business:

            3. I can’t comment on whether James Damore was right or wrong. His memo was just a 10 page sharing of some ideas and was backed up by several psychologists who said he was basically correct.

              However, Google fired him, because it didn’t fit their narrative. Google can hire or fire who it likes, but it doesn’t reflect well on the company, especially as they control so much of the internet

  40. Trump has fired Steve Bannon. Its almost like Trump appears to be running the White House as if it was the television show The Apprentice. Every few weeks somebody gets fired. Its crazy stuff.

    1. Bannon jumped before he was pushed. He is a clever rat. He leaves when the ship is sinking. He himself called that newspaper journalist unprovoked and unloaded. Thereby giving Trump the impetus to send him off. Just as he wanted. Bannon is a strategist. Unlike Trump’s toddler mentality, Bannon’s actions are chess moves. He is now busily working on the “Dochstoss Legende” from the storybook of the rise of the German NAZIs in order to prepare for the post-Trump Presidency era:


      When Trump is marched off either in a straight jacket or in handcuffs Bannon will direct and inflame the fury of the right-wing constituency of the USA to seek revenge at those who “Prevented the great Trump” from achieving the goals of the right-wing takeover plans. Perhaps Mercer will finance a new right wing media company for Bannon or perhaps even a right-wing party to advance these goals.

      A space to watch. As Bannon said, he is now back with his weapons…. dangerous as ever.

      1. Yeah that would be right Thomas, perceptive of you. I hadn’t thought of that to be honest. Bannon’s too smart to get caught by a journalist, it was all staged.

        With this new White House chief of staff Kelly in charge, he could see his days were numbered anyway.

        According to the media hes back to Breitbart to launch all out war on the moderates in Trumps administration like Ivanka. That’s all good, it will all cause further chaos, and further erode public support for The Trump Presidency.

        I despise NAZI’s as well, see my response to yourself above if you missed it. I tried to read Men Kampf once out of curiosity, but 20 pages was enough. Its a boring, ridiculous rant, because its based on prejudice and hate.

        Extremists of all persuasions generally crave simple rules, and authoritarianism, but reality is just not a simple thing.

        I’m a strong believer in freedom of speech and of association. You might not remember The Muldoon Government in NZ, which bullied any group it didn’t like, particularly anti war protesters and environmentalists etc. It got close to making protest illegal. Perhaps our views are shaped by our personal experiences, and events in our own countries. I detect you have your reasons to particularly despise The Nazis.

        However it should be possible to ban NAZI groups on the basis of extreme race based hate, because of the tendency of this to inevitably lead to violence. Organised criminal groups, and terrorist groups are illegal, so there are already some exceptions to freedom of association, if it sets out to undermine the law. Fortunately we don’t have a NAZI problem in NZ, but these things can flair up quickly if conditions are right.

        1. I despise Nazis too. I despise all authoritarian supremacist anti-Semitic ideologies.
          The Chief Rabbi of Barcelona has told his congregation to leave Spain and move to Israel, because “Europe is finished”, in his words.

        2. I think that freedom of speech means the ability to share ideas – any ideas – open minded and without fear of retribution in a civilized manner.

          What makes hate groups different in my mind is, they do not actually speak or open a conversation. They have made up their minds entirely, hold a hate filled position that vilifies others and then emerge en-mass, armed and ready for confrontation, to yell abuse at those whom they despise. This is not “Free Speech” at all. It is verbal and even violent warfare. It has no place and should have no rights in our society.

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