Our group was mostly fairly liberal Australians, and Jordan’s historic and current attitude to refugees made a mortifying comparison for them.
I trust that the Kiwi contingent was not too smug, seeing as we don't even fill our measly quota of 750 refugees and the Aussies are now taking 20,000 p.a.
And how committed our policy-makers are to ‘market’ solutions to everything, even when the market is a wholly artificial mechanism like this one.
Auditing my household's ecological footprint made me a keen supporter of carbon pricing which can be folded into the other costs that contribute to consumer pricing.
An effective price will result in the system working such that consumers need not worry about carbon when they shop and not allow an unsustainable total carbon output. Each issue to be 'conscious' of requires a lot of work. Who has time to account separately for carbon, soil, and fisheries sustainability, even if provided with accurate source data? These will get as little traction as fair labour practises, overselling baby formula, and buying police oppression of environmental activists.
On the other side, my household found that our ecological footprints were most sustainable w.r.t. well-priced resources. Arable land was better than fish stocks was better than carbon.
Total sustainable supply will be more contestable for carbon pollution than land, but there are very physical realities underlying the question. Therefore I don't see that a global cap and trade system would be artificial. Making it work just for NZ and only some sectors is certainly artificial, but imho the worst problems arose from the political reluctance to accept an effective price and the political challenge of global agreement.
Remember that it took a long time to establish property rights over land for the common people, and in many parts of the world they remain tenuous. Constraining the powerful in a new sphere will not be easy.
I sometimes dream of NZ, Oz, US and the EU forming a global milk exporters cartel to enable carbon pricing to be passed on to consumers worldwide. Surely a long shot, but could an industry so centralised in developing countries be set up as an example case?
That'd be leadership for you.
and dairy farmers want to make a shedload of cash. they’ll absorb the cost, push it onto consumers, and keep doing it.
the theory goes that consumers will push back and consume less milk. but… like petrol it’s something we just grump about, then pay for.
I don't see a problem with NZ remaining a huge exporter of dairy, so long as it is properly paid for from the global carbon budget. It is hard to know how expensive dairy will prove in the long run, but there is likely to be more market than NZ alone can fill.
People do just pay up when petrol prices first rise, but next time they buy a car they think about fuel efficiency. Habits are slow to change, especially when reinforced by the built environment, but change they do.
We should own up to all the carbon emitted from our imported consumer goods, and repatriate it, if only to see just how much carbon we really do emit.
The best footprint data I have found is from Carbon Footprint of Nations. Sadly they have removed the widget where you could see production/imports/exports for your choice of country, and the data is so hard to compile that they basically only have 2004 numbers.
While the production focus of the Kyoto numbers suits a charge-for-pollution-where-it-occurs approach, I find that the footprint data is better for understanding (and changing) my own role in the tragedy.
If you like the Greens overall, but a couple policies make your bile rise, then why not join up and shape the party's future?
Has anybody thought to Capture the cyclists at the Avondale Market (or similar)? The 'old Chinese gentlemen' demographic, for example, displays a fine variety of refurbished bikes with ingenious cargo facilities.
Such cyclists rarely feature in discussions like this -- perhaps like the construction workers discussed upthread. Are they considered by planners and advocates? Have they ever been engaged in cyclist community building?
Forgot something I used last night - a cycle cap under the helmet.
Mostly for the brim to keep the rain off my glasses, but also for protecting the pate from water falling through the ventilation. On sun-strike days the brim pulls down low to minimise glare (no prescription sunnies here).
I am definitely in the street clothes category but do change into shorts for my commute and choose woolen shirts if I go > 5kms and can't shower. I cannot wear the 'sporty' plastic shirts Russell likes because they stink before I leave the house. I have considered padded undershorts if I can get away for some touring.
I recently bought some heavy-duty Cactus Supershorts to see how they last, since a few years in the saddle tends to wear through the crotch on denim. Still wearing them in after about a month, but would prefer that they cover my knees which work hard and deserve cosseting.
On my feet I wear the same boots I wear for everthing else, which happen to be steel-capped as that's what was in the outlet store last time I replaced them. I need the exercise, so don't mind that they are heavy or that I'm getting less efficiency without clipping in. Street-ready mtb shoes seem to be getting cheaper, but can I wear them in the backyard clay then straight onto the bike?
For rain I found a $20 poncho at the Avondale market that was good on my big, heavy, upright shopping bike. It hooks over the handlebars, allowing enough air underneath to avoid the usual problem of being wetter inside than out. The wind resistance was less than I expected, too. I did use lycra-ish tights up in Vancouver, for staying warm when wet. Was a bit shy, so bought a loose size.
I find that putting my foot down before riding those crosswalks satisfies most reluctant-to-slow drivers. I scheme to walk super-slow in front of cars who demand I dismount, but in practise the next car stops cheerfully and I don't want to hold them up. (Should I be worried how much time I spend planning cycle-to-rule campaigns to show up the inconsistent road code?)
The crossing by Motat (heading outbound) has ugly sightlines, which require looking 170 degrees over your right shoulder through a chainlink fence while cycling uphill. I assume that drivers on the off-ramp have similar difficulty seeing through the fence, but try to reserve enough momentum to minimise the awkward both-stopping moments.