Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: ALTered States

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  • Nick D'Angelo,

    One the one hand the company is talking about the loss of thousand of jobs to the region, on the other, they're threatening to take all the skilled workers overseas with them.

    To be honest, if they leave and take the workers with them doesn't that solve our problems? We get to keep the power and we don't have pay Unemployment Benefits to the workers ... lets call their bluff!

    Warning - rant follows....

    You've just reminded me of a recent SouthPark episode ...

    This just shows how insignificant we are. This volcano will spew out more pollution than all the automobiles ever made and yet we have the audacity to think we can control or change the weather. Quick someone put a catalytic converter on that volcano.

    That's the comment someone left on this You Tube clip (below). Anyone care to argue that Volcanoes don't release more carbon into the atmosphere than we do?

    Simon Laan • Since May 2008 • 156 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Here's the full petarding. We're $26 million a year better off if Rio Tinto carries out its threat.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1625 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    First, the P:

    Maybe. Or maybe the reporters wound him up a bit and edited it out. And I fail to see what the fact that perfectly legal household substances are available in normal shops is an issue.

    You really believe this? No doubt some editing went on, but the guy is there, on camera, quite clearly saying he knows what the guy is up to, offering him a cheap deal if he wants to bulk buy the products, telling him to be careful, and warning that the cops will sniff around if he tries to buy bigger containers.

    I'm not saying the guy has (necessarily) done anything against the law, but offering a discount to a guy who's admitted he's buying materials to make P? Isn't that, um, maybe a little bit immoral?

    And personally, yes I did find it a little surprising that 'ordinary household ingredients' - which normal people need to buy how much of, how often? - are being sold in bulk under the potato chips. It's like when NOS was big, did the dairy owners suddenly think there was a massive increase in wasted people making shitloads of their own whipped cream at 7 in the morning?

    You mean assault, intimidation and possible kidnap.

    Not what I had in mind, although I could see how angry some people might get in the circumstances. I was more thinking boycotting, shunning, and yes, perhaps a bit of verbal abuse on the street.

    Personally, rather than see harmless dairy owners hounded, I'd prefer to watch Ms Lewis get her tits out.

    As I've said above, I think it's a big leap between "possibly acting within the law" and "harmless" in this case.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    I'm with Damien on this one....

    While clearly, isopropyl Alcohol has legitimate uses (I use it myself)..... the comments being made by the dairy owner made it obvious he knew to what purpose it was being used, and he was willing to offer a bulk discount.

    Not illegal, sure, but dodgy.

    Can any of you who don't see the problem explain how this differs from the (generally seen in a VERY bad light) pharmacist who were supplying the cold remedies to people who asked for 20 packs at a time.... or was that OK too?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 786 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    It might surprise, but our industrial enviromental standards massively exceed China's and a coal burning power station in China will produce more carbon dioxide than a hydroelectric dam in the South Island. And China and the South Island are on the same planet as Auckland - I know I was really scared when I found that out.

    Don't they have dams in China too? And as Idiot points out, if we could use the dam power for our own electricity, we could effectively stop using coal (with some infrastructural changes along the way of course).

    (As an aside, I interviewed Jeremy Moon from Icebreaker a while back - he said it was easier to find a 'green' producer of his garments in China than it was in South Auckland)

    But yes, of course I realise that this is a global problem, and shifting it ain't going to help in the short term. My point being, nor should we just roll over when a major company says it's not going to internalise its externalities. Just because it's cleaner than moving to China, should Comalco get special treatment not afforded to anyone else for whom moving is not an option? We shouldn't become a 'safe haven' for companies who don't want to fall into line.

    China is a massive problem for the environment, and the world nations need to put pressure on them. Personally, I can't do a lot about it. Nor can our Government by itself. But eventually they have to see sense (don't they?) or feel pressure of sanctions or whatever it's going to take. And the only way we can get to that point is by making the first move.

    Contrary to what the Nats would have you believe, NZ is not 'going first' or 'leading the world' when it comes to lower its emissions. And even if we were, is that such a bad thing? Because not every business will relocate to China - for economic, social or whatever reason, some will choose to stay and clean up their act. And when they do, it means a better global environment for the South Island, and China. Because as you so helpfully point out, we're all on the same planet.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Seems like all your analysis of the Comalco question is from a national rather than local perspective. Now the needs of the nation are of course important, as are the environment, but do you have any studies on the social or economic impact of a Comalco closure on Invercargill?

    I know Invercargill has, like many other rural focused places, done a lot better for itself this last decade. The Invercargill I visited in the 1980s is worlds away from the one I visited last year but it is a small urban centre reliant on a small number of industries for survival. Would the recent sources of growth be enough to mitigate the loss of Comalco? I doubt it, or if it would, then not for some time. So what would the nation be doing to compensate the city for its sacrifice to this apparent national interest?

    It is very easy to sit far away and talk blithely of national interest and closure of major employers when you don't have to deal with the consequences* on a human scale, day to day.


    *With the obvious exception of environmental consequences

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 869 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Be clear we are talking about emmissions from the processing of bauxite to aluminium, not the electricty production which in this case does not emit carbon.

    Well, we have to pay for the emissions from coal and gas fired stations. So the renewables used by Tiwai could substitute this cost. If Tiwai are not able to demonstrate a net economic benefit to NZ then given the fact it has such a macro effect we should be looking long and hard at its viability.

    Kyoto signatories have in the last decade increased their AGW gas emissions by 21%. Non-Kyoto signatories have increased AGW gas emissions by 10%.

    Figures which surely blow a hole in the argument that developing nations have to be signed up before anyone does anything and increases the urgency for developed nations to get a friggin move on.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Damien, how do you reconcile this staunch support of the "war on (non-corporate-marketed) drugs" with your old job at bFM?

    Because, if I recall correctly, they do a lot of promos and sponsorship with The Switched On Gardener and even had a competition to win a hydroponic wardrobe.

    Or was that why you left?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4361 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    It is very easy to sit far away and talk blithely of national interest and closure of major employers when you don't have to deal with the consequences* on a human scale, day to day.

    Agreed. But since when has that stopped large corps. doing just that. Look at what is happening to Dannevirk right now and let's not forget it is Rio Tinto that is making the threat.

    I have a suspicion that they may want to leave anyway but are looking for the right excuse. Similar to Fisher & Paykel stated (as opposed to actual) reasons for moving earlier this year.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Damien, how do you reconcile this staunch support of the "war on (non-corporate-marketed) drugs" with your old job at bFM?

    You don't draw a distinction between someone making methamphetamine for supply, and someone growing a couple of plants in their wardrobe? I do, and I'm pretty sure others here do too. I've been around a hell of a lot of drug use over the years (including the bFM years), managing nightclubs and so on, and I can say that having seen acid, E, GHB, speed (in its diluted powdered form), party pills and even booze in widespread use, P leaves them for dead. So many walking zombies, people losing everything they had (friends, family, houses), addicts sent to prison. I don't think it necessarily turns people into frenzied killers, like the media might have you believe, but it definitely fucks up lives.

    FYI, I'm not for the 'war on drugs', in the George Bush sense. Drug abuse (and I don't automatically consider all use is abuse) is a health issue, and should be dealt with as such.

    And do I necessarily have to condone every advertiser who chooses to hawk their wares on a station I'm working for? Doesn't some fundy church have an advertorial on in the morning on TVNZ; isn't there some South Auckland finance company offering usurious rates to people who can't afford to pay back their loans? Should I quit TVNZ too?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • Nick D'Angelo,

    (As an aside, I interviewed Jeremy Moon from Icebreaker a while back - he said it was easier to find a 'green' producer of his garments in China than it was in South Auckland)

    Well he would say that wouldn't he? Much better than 'We went there because it was waaaay cheaper'. It's all well and good to find a 'green' producer in China but manufacturers considering outsourcing to need to verify the actual production methods their suppliers use.

    Mattel and others learnt to their cost why one supplier was able to supply lead free painted toys at such a good price ...

    Simon Laan • Since May 2008 • 156 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    @Angus - cheers for that, interesting.

    @Damien - So have I got it right, Moon moved to China for the environment?

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Nick D'Angelo,

    Because, if I recall correctly, they do a lot of promos and sponsorship with The Switched On Gardener and even had a competition to win a hydroponic wardrobe.

    Damn! You mean that's how they make P?

    Simon Laan • Since May 2008 • 156 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Be clear we are talking about emmissions from the processing of bauxite to aluminium, not the electricty production which in this case does not emit carbon.

    Yes. But Comalco has a bottom line to keep them in the country, and that's really balanced by negotiating for dirt cheap electricity, which is a major cost for them. If they pay more tax, carbon credits etc, they'll rip it out the other side in their electricity negotiation. Given that at present there's no where else for the electricity from Manapouri to go, they can get heavy with the electricity supplier and throw their weight around.

    To be honest, if they leave and take the workers with them doesn't that solve our problems? We get to keep the power and we don't have pay Unemployment Benefits to the workers ... lets call their bluff!

    I'd love to call their bluff, and tell them to bugger off. Tiwai is a rather archaic idea, from the 1970s when the government was running around with big ideas paid for by stupid borrowing.

    It's the same system that a lot of third world countries get subjected to - give us a great deal on taxes, electricity, the environment, labour standards etc, and we'll bring our big plant here and give your people jobs. And if you don't keep things comfy for us, we'll bugger off.

    But let's not pretend that it wouldn't hurt if it shut down. Yes, many of the skilled workers would go with it, but not all. And the unskilled workers, the administrative workers etc, would all be out of jobs and collecting unemployment in Invercargill. Hundreds of them, with flow on effects in terms of the money leaving the region. Bluff would die as a town, shops shutting down, schools downsizing etc etc.

    And then if you upgraded the lines and shut down Huntly (which would be great), then you've also impacted similarly up there.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6148 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Bluff would die as a town

    Bluff died for me when the Paua Shell House was dismantled.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • dubmugga,

    Who are we kidding? Voluntary reductionism wont work, neither will carbon tax and moving polluters offshore doesnt limit the amount of shit we put in the sea/air/land, it just gets it out of our faces.

    I just hope the next Einstein of this century/millenium breaksthrough soon with a free energy device before the earth haemorrhages too much more

    And i also hope this next genius can get the blueprints online for this unit made from easily obtainable household items which you can stick in the ground of your backyard and powers your house and car, before the powerlords and energybarons supress it.

    Technology got us into this mess not taxation and legislation and it's the only thing that can get us out and off planet.

    the back of your mind • Since Nov 2006 • 257 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Technology got us into this mess not taxation and legislation and it's the only thing that can get us out and off planet.

    This is the George Bush theory of fixing climate change.

    Lots of technology got us into this mess, what we need is more technology, that'll fix it!

    There's value in technology, and it's going to be part of the solution. But it also looks like the "screw that, I ain't changin' my ways. Someone else can fix that shit, ain't my problem" answer.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6148 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Damien,

    I must take issue with the important issue you raise:

    I don’t agree that Lisa Lewis has a bad boob job at all. And she seems to be quite proud of it too; good on her.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Drug abuse (and I don't automatically consider all use is abuse) is a health issue, and should be dealt with as such.

    And is trying to restrict the availability of common household products a good way to do this? Especially as I suspect actual drug makers know how to get their needs a bit more subtly than walking into a dairy and asking you got the stuff for us to make P, bro

    isn't there some South Auckland finance company offering usurious rates to people who can't afford to pay back their loans? Should I quit TVNZ too?

    No, but I guess there'd be no mileage in doorstepping the advertising management, or indeed the responsible Minister, and asking how they justify carrying that stuff?

    BTW, I think my comment was a bit snarly. It wasn't meant to be - bit it isn't often that we get someone from national media defending their social authoritarian agenda in a public forum.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4361 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    BTW, I think my comment was a bit snarly. It wasn't meant to be - bit it isn't often that we get someone from national media defending their social authoritarian agenda in a public forum.

    Oh really ...

    I think I can vouch for the fact that Damian doesn't have a "social authoritarian agenda".

    For an apology about being snarly that was pretty ... snarly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • dubmugga,

    Technology got us into this mess not taxation and legislation and it's the only thing that can get us out and off planet.

    This is the George Bush theory of fixing climate change.

    Not only George. Its what the entire western consumerist ideology is built on. Buy now, pay later and to hell with the finite resources and pollution. We're clever enough to solve whatever comes up and if not, those at the the top are sufficiently financially evolved as to ride out the fallout.

    It's all about the monkey sphere !!!

    [url/http://www.cracked.com/article_14990_what-monkeysphere.html]

    ...otherwise it's looking like bladerunner and the matrix.

    the back of your mind • Since Nov 2006 • 257 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Fuck 'em.

    I forwarded a link to a cousin of mine who is unlikely to be "redeployed through our global network" by Tio Pepe if Tiwai is closed down. The (typically laconic) response: "Are you Dork-landers always a pack of c**ts?"

    He then went on to note that the principle of 'polluter pays' doesn't seem to be quite so popular north of the Bombay Hills when it involves regional petrol taxes or some combo of tolling/congestion charging to encourage folks to use more public transport. And I find it hard to argue that he's wrong.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Craig:

    Don't make this a JAFA vs Southlander thing, because it's not. You're launching a fallacious argument here buddy, by lumping everyone in Auckland in with my views, and then me in with a fictitious view of every Aucklander:

    a) Not every Aucklander wants to shut down Tiwai. Probably not even a majority. In fact, I'm the only Aucklander I know talking about it. It's got fuck all to do with where I live.

    b) I'm quite happy to pay for my pollution. Bring on the regional petrol taxes. I've got a bike, I use it. I walk. I drive when I have to and I'm happy to pay extra for that privilege.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Craig, it was Rio Tinto that raised the prospect of closing down Tiwai. Surely it makes sense to analyse the impact of that threat at local, national and international level?

    If that analysis agrees that RT are correct and should shut down, what then?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

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