Envirologue by Dave Hansford

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Envirologue: Too Big to Fail – Why National will Never Act on Climate Change

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  • Steve Rowe,

    For anyone who thinks Solar or any other Green tech is the answer I recommend looking at Ozzie Zehner's book "Green Illusions". I know it is very appealing to think that we can have our current wasteful extravagant lifestyle and have a functioning "green" planet - it's bullshit - we can't. The only answer is to return to a more pre-industrial life - as humans have lived for tens of thousands of years. I am not naive enough to think for a minute people will do that of their own free will but I am not deluded enough to think that we can continue modern industrial life and survive beyond the next 50 years (at best) either.

    http://www.greenillusions.org/

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/15588-power-shift-away-from-green-illusions#

    NZ • Since Apr 2015 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Stamper Stamp,

    A worthwhile read.

    Worthwhile for who?
    This woman strikes me as a dangerous gambler - if we listen to her and she gets it wrong (everyone else is 'out of step' after all) there is no plan B offered...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Stamper Stamp: if you don’t mind being asked a personal question, what industry do you work in?

    Good question. A brief trawl through Mr Stamper’s posts here indicates only one interest. FWIW, here’s Mr Stamper’s very first effort, 3 months ago

    Folks – if it was a ‘no brainer’ to move to solar – every one would do it; instead we have the arguments for/against for trying to save planet/energy/money.
    It you have to argue – it is obviously NOT compelling.
    So – are we going to save planet/energy/money – or are we just going to “feel good” ?
    Maybe green energy isn’t a reality after you have looked at the whole picture – a bit like the bio-energy fiasco.

    I guess the question really is: how honest is Mr Stamper prepared to be? (I’m intrigued at the idea Stamper is paid to do this work. Earnest low-wage-petroleum-slave-writer, pocket crank, or PR maven?)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    More on Judith Curry at RationalWiki and SourceWatch. Both name-check organisations linked to the Koch Bros.

    Ah. The "how can we even know?" line. Probably the best answer is: take a look at what the global reinsurance industry is doing with its trillions of dollars. They've assessed the odds and are acting on the climate change risk. The "uncertainty" argument is disingenuous. At best.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Ah. The “how can we even know?” line. Probably the best answer is: take a look at what the global reinsurance industry is doing with its trillions of dollars. They’ve assessed the odds and are acting on the climate change risk. The “uncertainty” argument is disingenuous. At best.

    I should get round to asking NZ's insurance companies if they even cover rising sea levels for posh coastal properties. And if they do, are they going to hike up premiums for it?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    (I’m intrigued at the idea Stamper is paid to do this work. Earnest low-wage-petroleum-slave-writer, pocket crank, or PR maven?)

    +1

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1385 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody,

    And when it suits them, this Government denies the opportunity for user-pays or polluter-pays options to resolve our environmental issues, e.g.;

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/news/68001282/wellington-joins-auckland-in-call-for-motorway-tolls

    Much more satisfactory to force local authorities into a UAGC (universal annual general charge), as Len Brown has announced today - as it is the most regressive form of taxation available.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Stamper you never even read that report, you just reached for a discredited third party , I suppose that is the essence of denial.

    Here is a report that is closer to home and a bit more hands on.

    http://www.branz.co.nz/cms_show_download.php?id=af3b6b202e83011d176ec5e8f9b58de4ce2ac882

    It may have been critiqued by Bob Jones but….

    Since Mar 2010 • 378 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Solar power falls on us from the sky.

    And the amount of land space we need to harness more than we’ll ever need is insignificant.

    The short piece links to a thesis written about closing the Mediterranean Circle. It goes for thermal solar - heat that oil - and worked out the type of cables, siting, all kinds of stuff. Most people in the world are elsewhere tho' so we'd want one for each continent at least.

    Make it easy for those aliens who are going to attack us HAHA :-)))

    Steve pointed out this guy upthread Who pointed out a lot of big picture problems, well thought out. And he didnt offer solutions, just trying to ask the right questions. Its a good place to start. Its a thorny bush for sure

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to andin,

    Its a thorny bush for sure

    Hot damn, name like that he
    should just run for President,
    or burn in the wilderness...

    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Rowe,

    Here is a nifty animation showing the temp increase over the last hundred or so years - not hard to see the trend http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2015-04-17/this-has-been-the-hottest-start-to-a-year-on-record

    Anything the IPCC puts out is very conservative because it is reached by consensus. Also the data they rely on is around 5 to 7 years old because from collection to peer review it takes that long to get it out. The real situation is always ahead of the IPCC.

    Factor in exponential change, feedback loops (as in the Arctic) and the situation looks (some feel is ) like runaway climate disruption...

    NZ • Since Apr 2015 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Rowe,

    Salmon farms have mass fish die off in the Sounds. Mussel factory has to close because of higher water temp...

    Sardine fishery closed on the USA West coast...

    Join the dots...

    NZ • Since Apr 2015 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Stamper Stamp, in reply to Alfie,

    +1

    Auckland • Since Feb 2014 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    There's been one or two posts on this thread that have touched on the current consumerist lifestyle, with a side note of resigned acceptance. While we (as a species) all like Comfort and New Shiny Things, I think it also needs to noted that the current culture of continuous upgrades and disposable products was more-or-less deliberately engineered by giving our psychological triggers a damn good spanking.

    Jaques Peretti* did a very good BBC documentary about it - 'the men who made us spend', which is on YouTube, and I highly recommend. First part here:

    *oddly, Jaques Peretti was originally a clubs-and-drugs reporter when he first appeared on my radar, so it feels rather weird to see him doing proper serious reporting.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    The shorter climate debate:

    If we do nothing now, we’ll have a catastrophe in 100-200 years. In the meantime, I can keep my job, maintain my standard of living and hope someone invents cold fusion in a flux capacitor.

    If we act decisively now, hundreds of thousands will have a dramatic drop in their standard of living, much of the economy will be disrupted, and the good times are over. Forever.

    Which one of the two above paragraphs is a voter most likely going to vote for? Which one of those two above paragraphs is a politician going to push? The only fauna that gets a vote is humans.

    For most people, when push comes to shove climate change is something they just hope is always coming tomorrow.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2212 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    If we act decisively now, hundreds of thousands will have a dramatic

    ... MIGHT ...

    That is the other lie, there is no evidence at all that anyone will have a drop in their standard of living. None! In fact, every initiative taken thus far has positive economic impacts and can be said to have improved the standard of living.

    The economic catastrophe is a lie.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Exactly. Renewable electricity in NZ peaked at 91% in 1980 and we’ve been going backwards.

    We could readily get to 100% using wind and a bit of hydro (including pumped storage, mostly retrofit on existing dams). We can then move on to replace fossil fules in static applications like coal-fired dairy factories and in transport.

    This would not cause much economic pain (except for the kind of over-mortgaged brats for whom a basis point on their income tax is untold grief). It would have the positive benefit that when oil prices (and carbon-based import taxes levied on recalcitrant primary producers) go back up, we would have a big competitive advantage by being a cheap energy nation.

    But the government is doing the opposite. Building roads, tearing up the Wellington trolley wires and now the main trunk electrification, privatising electricity generation.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    The economic catastrophe is a lie

    Fear is the key!
    a cowed populace is a controllable one...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Rowe, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    That is the other lie, there is no evidence at all that anyone will have a drop in their standard of living. None! In fact, every initiative taken thus far has positive economic impacts and can be said to have improved the standard of living.

    As Ozzie Zehner points out in Green Illusions we don't have a energy production problem we have a energy consumption problem. Even if electricity was free and had no environmental consequences, the production of all the stuff we want to plug in would have enormous consequences - as it does now.

    So it depends on what is a good 'standard of living' and a fucked planet with vast amounts of the (mostly) redundant crap we fill our lives with isn't one in my opinion.
    Does this mean people will be less happy? No. Why is it that places that objectively look poorer so often have high happiness - like Bhutan for instance? Because they look beyond the material.

    Anytime I see people crying over Auckland house prices I have to laugh - because for a deposit on an Auckland house you can buy a slice of paradise out on the regions of NZ. Not somewhere 'fashionable' and that somewhere probably doesn't have good coffee or an Audi dealership but you'll own it pretty quick and you'll be free. Live simply and consume less - you win and the planet wins.

    I used to thrash myself in the city on the rat wheel hoping I would win Lotto. Now I am in the sticks and I don't owe the bankers a thing. I live simply and don't own much - it's just like winning Lotto.

    There's no political solution to the ecological crisis because the false dream people are sold is so pervasive that Green Politics has to pretend it won't be ruined by caring for the environment.

    The solution is to kick the dream to the curb, start living and be free.

    NZ • Since Apr 2015 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Steve Rowe,

    There’s no political solution to the ecological crisis because the false dream people are sold is so pervasive that Green Politics has to pretend it won’t be ruined by caring for the environment.

    The solution is to kick the dream to the curb, start living and be free.

    Indeed. John Key has successfully made the inner Kath & Kim in all of us tick. And once again, there probably won’t be much political movement unless there’s a bubble burst of some kind. Or even the outbreak of war.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Stamper Stamp, in reply to william blake,

    Hi William
    I see from the comments that many commenters here don’t like Prof Judith Curry – pity, as she certainly is a lot more reasonable and balanced in her views than some of the skeptics.

    How about skeptic and MIT Prof. Richard Lindzen?
    You earlier suggested I read the “fifth IPPC report”. Well Lindzen was a contributor to the 1995 IPCC report and the lead author of Chapter 7 (“Physical Climate Processes and Feedbacks”) of the IPCC’s 2001 report. He has spent a life-time studying physics and climate. He appears more skeptical of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming [CAGW] today than ever. 18 years flat-lining temperatures while CO2 increases from approx. 350ppm to 400ppm helps too !

    I recommend this link:
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/what-catastrophe_773268.html

    By the way - don’t assume the so-called consensus on CAGW is correct.
    The story of plate tectonics is the story of how one man, Alfred Wegener, came up with the theory of continental drift, only to be widely opposed and mocked. Wegener challenged the earth science “consensus” of his day. And in the end, his view prevailed. Food for thought eh?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2014 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Steve Rowe,

    and that somewhere probably doesn’t have good coffee

    There ARE limits!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Stamper Stamp,

    By the way – don’t assume the so-called consensus on CAGW is correct.
    The story of plate tectonics is the story of how one man, Alfred Wegener, came up with the theory of continental drift, only to be widely opposed and mocked. Wegener challenged the earth science “consensus” of his day. And in the end, his view prevailed. Food for thought eh?

    Oh good lord, this again.

    Yes scientists have frequently overturned established dogma.

    But what you and your ilk fail to realise (or just blindly ignore) is they do so BY PRESENTING DATA

    The scientific community is not bothered by your fatuous cherry picked examples because when we look at all the data as opposed to your examples the data shows climate change is ongoing, human caused, and likely to cause great harm to life on our planet.

    That your examples get recycled again and again by paid flunkies of industries that benefit by the continuation of their current polluting activities just makes it easier to treat you with the contempt you deserve.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell, in reply to Stamper Stamp,

    You could have used Galileo,as well - or is he too long ago for your purposes?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 486 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell, in reply to Stamper Stamp,

    Oh - and the modern theory is called Plate Tectonics - its far more sophisticated than Wegener's theory, in that it has a mechanism to explain continental movement.

    You could use the story of N rays to show how the maverick isn't necessarily right.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/N-rays

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 486 posts Report Reply

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