Posts by Martin Roberts

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    perhaps it might be worth considering the cultural and social value of travel

    Indeed. But what do I weigh it up against?

    At present we pay for flying like we pay for 7/8ths of our lifestyle - we steal it from the future. Only in extreme cases would I steal cash to fly somewhere, but my carbon 'budget' lacks the same conceptual hold. To start with it doesn't even feed me, and on the other hand my cheques never bounce.

    This uncertainly makes it hard to either justify my choices or challenge my unconcerned friends.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate, in reply to BenWilson,

    Back in the day, you said final goodbyes to your family when you went overseas. If you did travel, and wanted to marry a foreigner, you faced very hard questions. I can see us going back that way, albeit with Skype to prolong the agony of parting.

    In the present day, the moral picture is clouded. So many families (including yours and mine) have spread across the world in the expectation that those decisions belonged to a bygone era.

    I don't mean to draw a line, so much as to recognise that I have something in common with all those dairy farmers whose business model has become more problematic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate, in reply to Tom Bennion,

    give up all non-essential air travel

    What constitutes essential air travel? Perhaps asylum seekers? Bomber pilots too, if we're going to have them. Maybe medevac flights.

    I still travel for work, on the argument that I'm spending their karma, and budget one domestic flight every three years for personal travel. I am increasingly uncertain that this is morally defensible, even though I feel that a globally equitable carbon-neutral world may still permit some flying.

    Telling work that I am no longer available to travel feels big.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate, in reply to Moz,

    somehow every year I donate to NZ deductable groups and every year can’t find anyone in NZ willing to claim the deductions)

    I am well disposed to claiming anybody's deductions and re-gift them to charity. Does anybody know if there are legal hurdles? (e.g. Do the donations have to have been given in my name?)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate,

    is there a better way of talking about this?

    Have you heard of Psychology for a Better World, by Niki Harré from the University of Auckland? My wife recently recommended it to me as a book that is reshaping how she presents issues. (Free pdf, even.)

    For my 2c, PAS as a community could help each other to understand why so many people are opposing or dragging their feet. I firmly believe that most people are not very cynical, and we've got some bright sparks here with ample connections outside our own right-thinking bubble, so we ought to be capable of finding some ideas with traction.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: Saints Preserve,

    My figs take forever to ripen, each one randomly appearing after I've given up hope. Perhaps an adaptation to human cultivation, which increases the likelihood of a bird getting there first?

    In contrast, I bottled a full bucketload of guavas yesterday and hope to make pâté/jubes on the weekend. What a pleasant surprise to discover what those scraggly trees half-under the carport were.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Gower Speaks,

    I didn't read the entire previous discussion, but did any of the historical analyses of polling account for the 5% threshold?

    If Winston polls 4.9% then I would pick NZF to be in, based on how many people I heard last time saying they might throw him a vote to nudge him over. Possibly they learned something by how big a nudge he got, but there will be new suckers who hate to see other people disenfranchised.

    My main gripe is that you can't run your numbers as if the public were ignorant of the 5% line. That's like ignoring the electoral college in the US presidential elections.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Neither Deep nor Wide,

    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.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Climate, money and risk, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    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.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Climate, money and risk,

    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.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

Last ←Newer Page 1 2 3 4 5 9 Older→ First