209 thoughts on “General debate, January 1, 2013

  1. How about “never”… does “never” work for you? Because that’s about what I expect from this government on anything that actually has an environmental impact.

  2. I wonder whether the NACTs will get around to ratifying the mercury treaty before the next election? Since the treaty is due to be signed in October, the NACTs could ratify it before the end of the year, helping to speed up its implementation (which is dependent on 50 countries ratifying it).

    Trevor.

  3. “What would it be like” is a good question. One we HAVE to ask because in science you want to have a control to figure out what an experiment actually changed. We don’t have another planet. We have to make do with what we THINK would have happened had we not come along. Models. Paleo trends.

    From the Paleo records over the very long haul, the process of gradual sequestration of CO2 over multi-million year time spans is a principle cause of the gradual cooling that brought us (about 3 million years ago, into the present Ice Age (with its periodic glaciations which are popularly referred to as Ice Ages). That sequestration process would have continued without us and the planet would have perhaps become nearly permanently iced up, until the warming Sun pushed it out of that state. What we don’t actually know is how how fast that would have happened and how much difference we’ve actually made, given that most of the climate change we’ve already done hasn’t happened just yet. :-)

    But it is a question that has its roots in the basic methodology of science. A proof that people are thinking. No matter how sure *I* am of this science, I would rather have questioning rather than blind acceptance of decrees of the truth (no matter how true) issed ex-cathedra from my belly-button. The question may have little relevance to what we should do now, but it is good science to ask it.

  4. 140 countries have adopted a treaty in Geneva to cut down on the use and emissions of mercury. One of the main sources of mercury released into the environment is burning coal, so this is another reason to cut back on coal-fired power stations and to use renewable resources instead.

    Trevor.

    PS: I am not going to post a link because usually when I try, the post disappears without a trace – what is it with frogblog and yahoo news?

  5. samiuela – in response;

    I fail to see why research on what the world would be like if there had been no human modification of the climate is a red herring. In fact, I think it is an extremely interesting question.

    If we were having a debate of the relative merits of CGT and someone asked “What would the world be like without taxes?” would you take the question seriously as a premise that adds to the debate?

    While the ‘no people’ hypothesis most certainly is interesting from a theoretical perspective, I take the view that unless it adds to an understanding of the question at hand it has limited value for the purposes of analysis.

    It smacks of fiddling while Rome burns (or drowns, perhaps?).

    If one accepts that;

    (i) CO2 is greenhouse gas
    (ii) CO2 is locked in fossilised carbon
    (iii) mankind burns heaps of fossilised carbon for energy purposes
    (iv) incinerating said carbon releases sequestered CO2 into the atmosphere
    (v) CO2 ppm atmospheric content is provably distinguishable based on isotopic reading (fossil vs current) and can thus be proportionally attributed, both in terms of absolute and relative ppm growth over time
    (vi) 350 ppm has been established by some big brains as a safe and stable upper limit for climate stability
    (vii) this limit has been exceeded by 40ppm and shows no signs of reducing

    then, the question of ‘what should we do as a species?’ becomes relatively simple. Adapt or suffer the consequences.

    ‘What if?’ scenario modelling is a great analytical method, but it is best constrained to likely, measurable scenarios lest the entire exercise becomes navel gazing.

    I honestly reckon that by trying to “shut up” people who ask these sorts of questions, you are doing far more harm than good.

    I don’t think asking people to analyse the real world problem at hand with a set of testable criteria is opposed to dreamy hypothesising is asking people to “shut up”.

    I think it’s asking people to stay on message.

  6. Samiuela – if I might chip in…
    “I fail to see why research on what the world would be like if there had been no human modification of the climate is a red herring. In fact, I think it is an extremely interesting question.”
    Yes, it is an extremely interetsing question (I’d say “very” – “extremely” is an extreme expression that implies a tendency to extremism, imho).
    There’s no harm and perhaps a lot of good in exploring the question “what was it like before we were here?” but relying on finding an answer before any action is taken to prevent a probable disaster, is dangerous indeed (dangerous in the extreme, if you like).
    Perhaps you could answer me this, by way of showing the viability of such a study – to what point in time would you assign the “humans start here” lable?
    My second point/question/challenge is around your use of “someones” simplistic model: “Extra heat = extra energy = wilder weather = unpredictability = unreliable cropping = hunger”.
    Could you please describe for me where this model is faulted?
    I read your own claim that sometimes extra heat does not result in wilder weather, and presume you are thinking of local examples, perhaps where long, hot still weather creates droughted landscapes and deserts. I mean it over all, in a global sense. What are you meaning?

  7. Gregor W,

    I fail to see why research on what the world would be like if there had been no human modification of the climate is a red herring. In fact, I think it is an extremely interesting question.

    This is in no way trying to deny that humans have changed the climate. We only need to look at the last few decades to determine that. However, the question about how much change humans have been responsible for in total is another interesting question. I saw some interesting research that suggested that climate has been changing for almost 10 000 years (albeit at a much slower rate than today) as a result of methane emissions from agriculture (especially rice paddies). By studying this longer time period we will undoubtedly learn more about the climate system in general. Furthermore, the question Gerrit initially posed is extremely interesting in its own right, even if one neglects more recent climate change caused by human activity.

    I honestly reckon that by trying to “shut up” people who ask these sorts of questions, you are doing far more harm than good. It presents those in the green movement as having closed minds who do not want to take the time to listen. And one extra point … some of the claims that people have made here such as: “Extra heat = extra energy = wilder weather = unpredictability = unreliable cropping = hunger” are extremely simplistic and potentially wrong. The climate system is far more complex than this. Simplistic mantras such as this makes legitimate and good science look like a religion (and by the way, the claim extra energy = wilder weather is not always the case, in fact it often isn’t).

  8. I cannot believe we are still having this debate while ice caps are melting, the Arctic is becoming an open shipping route, weather is getting much more variable and extreme and the range of tropical species is extending further towards the poles.

    These are NOT signs of a cooling earth.

    Green house gases keep the earth warm. In fact if it were not so earth would be an unlivable ball of ice, now.

    To much Green house gases in the past have resulted in a much warmer earth.
    We are approaching those levels now.

    Carbons origin can be determined by looking at the isotopes present.

    The excess of carbon in the atmosphere comes from burning fossil fuels.

    If it was only the natural level the amount in the atmosphere would be stable over time.

    Sorry to burst people bubble, but the earth is warming, it is caused by human activity, and we have to start doing something about it.

  9. bj – that’s going to upset those in the denier camp who are certain we’re in for one.
    No matter which way you look at it, there will be tears!

  10. Gerrit – we have already established a rough target for a desirable CO2 level. We have exceeded that target already or (if you adjust the target a bit) are about to exceed that target. Our current emissions are causing CO2 levels to rise, so if we do nothing except BAU then we are guaranteed to exceed whatever reasonable target is set. We need to start reducing our CO2 emissions ASAP and we only really need to worry about how low to go when we are in sight of getting our emissions down to that sort of level.

    Given that our emissions are rising, so we are still heading in the wrong direction, I don’t think we need to worry about doing too much to combat rising CO2 levels any time soon.

    Trevor.

  11. @ samiuela

    It should be possible to work out what climate on Earth would be like without humans. The starting point would be perhaps 10 000 years ago, before major agriculture or industry could start impacting on the climate.

    Again, what’s the point of hypothesizing the ‘no humans’ scenario? It’s not like humans are going to disappear (except by our own devices of course!)

    The whole thing is a red herring.

    As BJ notes, a bunch of work has been done by some incredibly smart people that has identified 350ppm as a sensible and achievable upper limit for a restoration and stabilisation target which includes the human population.

  12. The earth, without humans, is going to cycle through additional glaciations and sequester more carbon at a very slow pace, as this is what it naturally does… this will cause additional cooling until it (quite possibly) remains in the glacial state for a long time while the Sun warms gradually (Stellar life cycle progress is to warm over multi-million year time frames… eventually melting things.

    A proper target was analyzed quite extensively by Hansen here… I haven’t seen much argument about it either…

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2008/TargetCO2_20080407.pdf

    …and gave rise to a mob that uses it as the its name, 350.org

  13. Extra heat = extra energy = wilder weather = unpredictability = unreliable cropping = hunger.

    Can’t see the advantages, Samiuela.

  14. The questions Gerrit asks are good ones.

    It should be possible to work out what climate on Earth would be like without humans. The starting point would be perhaps 10 000 years ago, before major agriculture or industry could start impacting on the climate. One would then need to model the climate from then onwards. It is a horrendously difficult task, but that does not mean it shouldn’t be attempted. I have seen some speculation that without human influences, the world might now be headed back into another ice age (but it was very speculative work).

    As to what the climate was like in the distant past (millions – hundreds of millions of years ago); this is an area where quite a bit of work has been done. It was a lot hotter than now. Remember than humans (and most of the rest of the plants and animals) have evolved over the last million + years in a period dominated by ice ages with some interglacial warmer periods. Whilst dinosaurs etc may have been well evolved to a warmer climate, it does not mean we are. And even if we can adapt, what about the plants and so on we rely upon to grow our food?

    The other questions are political ones, and seem quite reasonable to me. For example, countries like Iceland may benefit from new shipping routes in the Arctic … we have to realise that there are pluses and minuses with climate change (albeit the pluses may be greatly overwhelmed by the minuses). It is quite legitimate to ask the sorts of questions like who benefits, and who loses, and whether those who benefit should in some way be responsible (or not) for helping those who lose.

  15. Trevor29

    Even if you don’t accept that the CO2 is causing climate change, this is enough reason to justify cutting back on our CO2 emissions.

    I never said CO2 did not cause climate change. What I said was that sequestered CO2 mankind is re-releasing into the atmosphere was at one time in the atmosphere and the planet had one would guess a stable climate.

    All I ask is what the climate was like before plants, trees, etc. sequestered CO2 as coal, oil, etc,.

    I consede that it impossible to quantify what the climate was like.

    However question remains, what amount of reduction and re-sequestering of CO2 is required to return the climate to a specification we can tolerate?

    How far do we go without first setting a benchmark?

    Now I may well (probably are) be wrong that the benchmark I would set is unobtainable or unworkable.

    However we need to set a world wide standard to measure achievement.

    Adjuncted to that question is who will set the standard to measure successful climate change control.

    These people effected by cold wheather might elect to burn more fossil fuel just to heat the place up a bit.

    http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/europe/siberian-cold-front-causes-chaos

    What consensus agreement do the scientist reach on CO2 reduction levels that will stabilise the climate?

    Will mankind reach global consensus to reach the targets and accept the resultant climate?

  16. Gerrit – the CO2 rise is caused by us. There is no other explanation. The amount of CO2 increase in the atmosphere plus the estimated amount of CO2 increase in the oceans is less than the amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere from our burning of fossil fuels – the difference is greater absorbtion of CO2 by plants and other mechanisms.

    This CO2 increase is causing ocean acidification, which is bad news as it affects a lot of ocean life. Many people depend on the oceans for their food.

    Even if you don’t accept that the CO2 is causing climate change, this is enough reason to justify cutting back on our CO2 emissions. However there is widespread agreement that the CO2 is causing global temperature increases – just disagreement over how much. It is becoming increasingly clear that the temperature increases are having detrimental effects, and once we have reached that conclusion, the only rational behaviour is to look to reduce CO2 emissions irrespective of how much temperature increase our emissions will cause.

    Trevor.

  17. The draft Third National Climate Assessment report has been released
    and it isn’t good news. It even mentions 5 degree C temperature rises.

    Trevor.

    PS: I tried including a link but my post disappeared – what is it about links to yahoo news?

  18. I’ll play the naive warmist (it’s easy!) if that suits, Gerrit.
    There has been no baseline established, therefore there is no need to take action to manage man-made carbon emissions.
    Am I following?
    Until the mankind’s contributions to the greenhouse gas load is taken out of the equation, there is no way of knowing how much effect, if any, human activity is having on the atmosphere, therefore we would be foolish to make any changes to what we are doing now, because it might be the wrong thing.
    There is little or no likelihood that such a baseline can be established (you’d think someone would have done it by now!), therefore the likelihood of doing anything significant in the name of global warming, is non-existent, so give up your foolish alarm-bell-ringing, you warmists, and get on with the real problems we face, such as lack of recreational waterbodies in my neck of the woods, on which I could paddle and sail.

  19. I just wanted to skip an easy part. The CO2 belongs to us. Not grassland fires, not volcanoes, not ocean outgassing (the ocean is still absorbing more CO2 than it emits due to the increased partial pressure of the gas in the atmosphere). The easiest resource to pick up is this one.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=87

    Now notice that the increased CO2 at the start of the interglacial IS always from the ocean. It takes about 5 thousand years to emerge… but that is NOT what is happening now.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=160

    This is BAU

    http://www.wri.org/tools/cait/?page=/World-FlowChart

    Not a good look.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/volcanoes-and-global-warming.htm

    …and this does not look like any volcanic activity I’ve heard of on this planet… and I think we would have heard of anything this large.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/history.html

    I don’t know if you’re convinced, but I’ve read these arguments and others more erudite and less linkable, and I don’t see any other explanation… the CO2 and equivalents belong to us.

    ___________________________________________

    Next topic is whether we know what the climate would be like without them (the emissions) or us… and that’s just a bit harder because we really only have the one planet. No “control” planet to compare it with. In other words, what you would WISH in an ideal scientific experiment, is impossible to have with respect to climate science. We are currently conducting an uncontrolled climate experiment with the only livable planet we can reach which BY ITSELF is an insanely bad idea from a scientific standpoint, but that wasn’t the gist of the question…

    There are 2 indications:

    First: There is no climate model of any construction by anyone that can replicate current temperature change without taking CO2 as a forcing. In other words, no matter what values are assigned to Solar, Clouds etc (we’ll leave out the BEMs with heat ray guns) the models cannot replicate the warming we have unless CO2 is assigned a significant forcing.

    The other is the temperature and conditions reached the last time CO2 was at the levels we are at now. That’s more than 3 million years ago…

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/What-was-it-like-the-last-time-CO2-levels-were-this-high.html

    (tending towards 30 million now as we aren’t controlling ourselves yet) there were no glaciations (the only silver lining I can imagine from this but we guaranteed that result 20 years ago), the current ice-age had not begun. The sea level some 25 meters higher. (Then it was falling)

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008152242.htm

    ______________________________________

    There is another argument to consider in this of course and that is the risk analysis you carry out relating to what needs to be done in the presence of uncertainty.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE6Kdo1AQmY

    Hopefully this will give you something to chew on…. working hard this week.

  20. Gerrit – in response:

    So if setting ther baseline (restore point) is futile, it will be impossible to measure if mankind climate change innitiatives are successful at anything.

    Not really. No one is seriously suggesting achieving a nirvana state or ‘restore point’ is feasible. The cat is out of the bag; it’s about arresting decline and stabilisation. Not letting things get worse is a success.

    Know reserves of fossilled carbon will lead to a measure of how much carbon was in the “system” and a climate model established. Again benchmarking.

    Being a compound, it’s pretty unlikely that the amount within the system is static, so again, not sure what this measurement is worth in practical terms.

    If the quantities of fossiled carbon is known and the climate was known at the time (hotter and wetter you say) then a scientist can calculate what the climate should be currently without mankind interference.

    Again, It’s unnecessary to aim for any complex hypothesis.

    We only need to look at the written record pre-industrial era to get an idea of the impact of fossilised carbon.
    Before humans stared burning coal, that CO2 was sequestered. After burning, it was released into the atmosphere. Pretty straightforward.

    The only things that need to be determined are:

    (i) is the burning of fossilised carbon increasing atmospheric CO2 beyond sustained historical norms – lets say the last 100,000 years

    (ii) does the fossil record indicate CO2 levels at the same level as today and if so, what was that comparative era like – ‘hot and wet’ is the likely inference from plant fossils as I understand it

    (ii) in empirically testable laboratory conditions, does the increase of atmospheric CO2 conclusively affect other measurable factors (i.e. temperature), all other things being equal

    If these questions can be answered then a pretty clear view of the relationship between CO2, climate and life can be formed.

  21. I’m endeavouring to make what I/we believe to be a attractive environment for whitebait and fernbirds.

    Playing god in other words.

    Altering the environment to suit what your interpration it should be.

    Nice. Be OK if I build a dam to suit eels, fish, oysters, scallops?

  22. GregorW

    So if setting ther baseline (restore point) is futile, it will be impossible to measure if mankind climate change innitiatives are successful at anything.

    Know reserves of fossilled carbon will lead to a measure of how much carbon was in the “system” and a climate model established. Again benchmarking.

    We are discussing fossil carbon therefore it must have been in the atmosphere for trees, plants, grasses, etc. to sequister and remove (after decomposition) carbon from the atmosphere.

    If the quantities of fossiled carbon is known and the climate was known at the time (hotter and wetter you say) when all the now fossile carbon was in the atmosphere, then a scientist can calculate what the climate should be currently without mankind interference.

    Only carbon that has been in the atmosphere can alter climate.

    Without the restore point the unmeasurable mankind innitiatives are just as likely to harm climate as to “balance” it as it hoped for.

  23. Gerrit – I’m not trying to restore the wetland to a known restore point – I’m endeavouring to make what I/we believe to be a attractive environment for whitebait and fernbirds. The original state of the area is not much of a concern to me. We could waste years doing nothing, waiting for the science to describe what the perfect wetland was like, rather than doing what we have done – a pretty fair job of a wetland that is doing what we planned – attracting fish and birds. As for playing God, no, playing intelligent human and moving while there is still time.
    Bill, over at the Standard is discussing the issue of climate change presently, fyi.
    “Last year, in the Arctic, atmospheric CO2 concentrations were measured at 400ppm. (referring to the text and links below the vid) If you search on line for historical CO2 levels, you’ll find a lot of comments that are of the opinion that 400ppm CO2 last occurred about 800 000 years ago…or maybe just a bit longer. The implication is that since that’s well within the span of human existence it doesn’t really matter too much. It’s fine; we’ve been here before.

    One small detail is omitted from those 800 000 year punts though. Well, two actually. Firstly there is no indication from ice core samples of CO2 levels being as high as 400ppm. And secondly, ice core samples only stretch back 800 000 years.

    According to sea bed core analysis, the last time atmospheric CO2 levels were around the 400ppm for any sustained period was during the Burdigalian stage of the Miocene. That’s 15 million to 20 million years ago. That’s the last time earth’s atmosphere had CO2 concentrations around the 400ppm for any sustained period of time.

    And needless to say, we haven’t ‘been there’.”

  24. greenfly,

    I find it amusing that for someone trying to restore a wetland to a known restore point for that wetland, finds it hard (probably frustratingly so)that this is similar to my argument with the climate change innitiatives.

    If you dont know what the restore point is how can you return to that point?

    See, you could modify the wetland to any configuration if you did’nt know the restore point.

    Same with climate change, we could alter climate way beyond what nature was setting for the planet.

    Playing god?

  25. Gerrit- in response:

    Just because something is hard to establish does not mean it is irreleavant.

    I’m not saying it’s hard to establish. I used the word impossible deliberately. Attempting to baseline premised on an impossibility is futile and, ipso facto, irrelevant for the purposes of a meaningful scientific comparative analysis.

    Problem is that climate change is not bought about by CO2 on its own, therefore to attribute climate change today versus what is calculated from fossilied carbon is useless.

    Sure, but CO2 is an accepted indicator. Therefore simple statistical correlations can be formed which may lead to more concrete causal theory.

    How do we know the known reserves of fossiled carbon?

    Not sure what you are getting at here. Can you explain?

    All the non-fossilised carbon must at one stage have been in the atmosphere.

    Not at all. Carbon is present in all types of materials not just in the atmosphere. But if you mean CO2 then I think this is the case (I’m not a chemist though so stand to be corrected!)

    What was the climate like then?

    If you’re talking CO2 then we can extrapolate (from ice records correlated with fossil records for instance) what the climate was like.

    Hotter and wetter.

  26. Already the frustrations of debating climate are apparent. gerrit is determined that a benchmark has to be established, otherwise no judgements can be made.
    Gregor makes the point that setting a benchmark cannot be done and is therefore the wrong direction to (try to) take.
    Gerrit persists by insisting that it must be done!
    End of discussion, it seems.
    For what it’s worth, Gregor’s proposals seem to me entirely rational and reasonable, while Gerrit’s faulted and half-formed. That’s not to say, gerrit, that your other ideas are not very good, just in this instance, you seem to be facing a conceptual block.

  27. GregorW,

    Just because something is hard to establish does not mean it is irreleavant.

    I know it would make life simple but that is not the way to argue a point of view.

    Problem is that climate change is not bought about by CO2 on its own, therefore to attribute climate change today versus what is calculated from fossilied carbon is useless.

    How do we know the known reserves of fossiled carbon?

    All the non-fossilised carbon must at one stage have been in the atmosphere. What was the climate like then?

    Prety good starting point I would have thought.

    Than we can add in all the other factors influencing natural climate change and make an assurtion on what the climate should be today vesus how much it has deviated due to mankind.

    Once we establish that we can look at “cures”. If we can that is, change things to effect a “cure”.

  28. My point Gerrit, (possibly poorly made) is that such a benchmark is impossible to establish and therefore irrelevant.

    Whereas attempting to measure the relative impact attributable to fossilised carbon as opposed to ‘current’ carbon – purely by extrapolation of actual data – is probably feasible.

  29. GregorW

    What would be the point of this alternate scenario?

    Simply to eastablish a climate benchmark that any mankind induced climate change can be measured against.

    Simple really.

    Abdsurdity is trying to influence climate change without knowing what the climate should be.

    Tilting at windmills comes to mind.

  30. First establish what the climate would be if mankind had not evolved. Highest intelligent creatures were the great apes plus dolphins, whales, etc.

    Gerrit – What would be the point of this alternate scenario?

    It’s not a case of quantifying the absurd but applying known factors to any analysis and extrapolating a hypothesis from there – possibly identifying the attribution of atmospheric CO2 (ppm) by source (fossilised vs ‘current’)?

    From, there some clever quantitative analysts can take a stab a correlating the rise and fall of CO2 levels with temperature to gain an understanding of future states.

    it is impossible to judge if any rectification efforts to stem climate change will be effective.

    True, but the same can be applied to pretty much any hypothesis where not all factors are understood. Which is why we have this marvellous methodology called the precautionary approach!

  31. It is not just a matter for BJ and myself, it would be an interesting discussion with all involved.

    First establish what the climate would be if mankind had not evolved. Highest intelegent creatures were the great apes plus dolphins, whales, etc.

    From that benchmark we can measure the effect mankind has had on climate.

    I propose that without setting the initial (no mankind) actual climatic conditions benchmark, it is impossible to judge the effect mankind has had.

    Furthermore without knowing what the climate would be like without mankind, it is impossible to judge if any rectification efforts to stem climate change will be effective.

    One could argue that the earth is entering a natural warming (or cooling – it does not matter) phase, how will mankind be able to influence and alter the natural climate change to maintain the current climate?

  32. Gerrit declares:
    “What the climate change proponents need to show how much mankind has altered the climate above and beyond what nature would have anyway”
    Bjchip responds:
    “That it is us is, in the terms defined, a matter of very high confidence indeed.”

    There’s a huge breach, isn’t there, between what Gerrit believes and what bjchip believes. Can it be bridged? I doubt it. Gerrit’s an intelligent man, but has failed so far, to arrive at the same place bjchip has, despite the matter under discussion being “a matter of very high confidence indeed”.
    I hope both continue to debate this issue. It would make great reading.

  33. Did that already. I’m working so can’t go there, but our current climate is not reproducible without CO2 forcing. The isotope signature of the CO2 in the atmosphere shows its the stuff dug up from a long time ago, not the brushfires. The volcanic contribution is risible compared to the megatons we’ve burned. Both quant analysis and isotopic analysis finger us humans.

    Later though.

  34. BJ,

    Would you accept that the CO2 in the atmosphere is, itself caused by us?

    Not being a scientist I cannot say for certain but every bushfire, every volcanic explosion, every undersea geothermal vent adds something to the atmosphere and the ocean.

    Bushfires for example induce CO2 which in the normal cause of events would be re-absorbed by the new growth.

    But for a period of time there is an inbalance with more CO2 in the atmosphere that new growth cannot absorb at once.

    What challenge?

    Not mine, but the scientists that say global warming is man made without having a corresponding graph of what natural climate change there would have been without mankind, have to produce the projections and variations.

    Until then they will always be under a methophorical (sp?) cloud.

  35. You are willing to pick up this challenge? I thought you wiser.

    That it is us is, in the terms defined, a matter of very high confidence indeed.

    Would you accept that the CO2 in the atmosphere is, itself caused by us?

  36. BJ,

    Not a single word about climate change. The battle about its existence is, apparently, won.

    It was never a battle about climate change. Climates changed before man kind arose from the swamp, it has been changing ever since mankind could upskill themselves to measure any change.

    Noone disputes that, what is disputed is the effect over-population has caused on top of normal and natural climate change.

    Vast difference between you proclamation that climate change is freely acknowledged to be man made and no longer needs proof.

    What the climate change proponents need to show how much mankind has altered the climate above and beyond what nature would have anyway.

    Until then there will always be skeptics regarding the volume of mankind induced climate change versus natural occuring climate change.

    Tha battle is certainly not “won”.

  37. There’s only one “engineering solution” that fails safely, and that’s cheap access to space. Any further alterations to the atmosphere’s chemistry and physics would be a really really dumb idea. UNchanging them would make more sense, as you note.

    IUGG? The Geologists no?

    Agree that even if we had CATS we’d still have problems. Just get to solve them better. The tax on CO2 remains a necessity, as the ocean acidification is NOT a good thing.

    The existential struggle for human civilization is IMHO, going to be won or lost locally… here in NZ. If we retain our knowledge base we can rebuild even if 90% of the population perishes. If we lose it, we lose, even if every last one of us lives.

  38. BJ,

    I went to an IUGG conference a couple of years ago. There was a whole session devoted to “engineering solutions” to climate change. This included things like cloud seeding on a global scale; huge mirrors / sunshades in space and so on.

    The scary part isn’t whether these techniques would work (and at what cost), but that once people start along this track of thinking, it essentially amounts to giving up on any attempts to minimise the change (which would probably be much cheaper in the long run, not to mention that I have severe doubts about whether the engineering solutions will work).

  39. Not a single word about climate change. The battle about its existence is, apparently, won. The battle for OUR continued existence is only just begun.

  40. A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you!
    I am a bsolutely positive that 2013 is going to be the year of the GREENS – worldwide!
    Greetings from Berlin, Germany

  41. It was the shareholders in a listed company, that I worked for, that bought it to pinch the employee pension scheme and strip the reminder of assets.

    The chief asset stripper/thief got a knighthood for it!

  42. I suspect that there is some confusion here about what is meant by “shareholder”.

    There are publically listed companies which have shares that are traded on share markets. Shareholders in these companies may be following the recommendations of their financial advisers and are unlikely to have ever been to an AGM – indeed there might not have been an AGM between when they purchased the shares and when the company is closed down. Asking these shareholders for more money is unreasonable.

    And then there are companies that are privately owned and whose assets can be moved around into other entities owned by the same people (or directly to the owners) before the company is closed down leaving creditors out of pocket. I suspect that it is this type of practice that has left a lot of people burned (myself included) and a closer investigation of these practices may be beneficial. Whether rule changes are needed or simply existing rules better enforced I don’t know.

    Trevor.

  43. Gerrit.
    Many of us. particularly in the building industry, have been left in the pooh by shareholders/owners who deliberately do not pay their bills to suppliers, subbies and employees and then declare the company bankrupt after they have taken millions out themselves.
    Usually to pop up back immediately under another name. Eventually they scarper to their mansion in Queensland, like the developers who took the court case to allow subdivision of unsuitable land in Christchurch.

    One of those crooks bankrupted a long respected building company locally, and left a local building supplier hundreds of thousands out of pocket.

    The right wing continually prattle about personal responsibility, but never expect any of themselves.

    I suspect the policy you speak of will be supported strongly by small business owners who are trying to make an ‘honest’ living.

  44. Though I agree that our managers and directors, like our politicians, are a largely self selected old boys club, who could never get the job on merit and, who pay themselves megabucks while their area of responsibility, tanks!

  45. Using that logic, voters should be held responsible for the actions of the government.

    Aren’t they now?

  46. A policy isn’t legislation. It is guidance for the Caucus and the public but it isn’t necessary for it to be directly translatable into legislation or any specific implementation.

    The people who work on policy within the party are to a large degree self-selecting. So they WILL be people who feel strongly about some issue… and we attempt to achieve consensus when we build a policy. The process is is fraught with difficulties to be overcome and temptations to be resisted. Often big documents. Within every unreadable big book there is concealed a really good – shorter – book.

  47. You guys are argue semantics like politicians.

    The comment I made was the Greens policy on who has product rectification responsibility after a company has been placed in liquidation.

    The Greens policy is to place the burden on the failed business owners, representatives and some obscure and totally open ended entity called “decision makers”.

    My question was “how will that policy be enacted and enforced”?

    If it cannot be enacted and enforced why have the policy?

    Is it like BJ hinted at, a sop to Green party members who feel strongly about it and has been inserted into policy to appease them?

    No hope of ever being enacted but it keeps some party members thinking they are “involved”?

    When in reality the voting public reads it like I did and thinks, that is an unenforceable load of rubbish and why would a party even have it in a policy document?

  48. Don’t you think they [shareholders] should have some responsibility to those who invest time effort and resources into the company and moral responsibility to wider society for the results of their investment.

    Using that logic, voters should be held responsible for the actions of the government.

  49. The way the system works the Execs are self selecting and the shareholders get stuff-all visibility and ability to rein in the excesses. Adding insult to injury is not going to correct their lack of power to do what they are in theory, supposed to do.

  50. When a firm goes belly-up, the shareholders are the last in line to be paid out. Isn’t that risk enough? To ask them to pay out even more when they have lost all of their original investment (unless they are lucky enough to have received a dividend) means that their losses may be unlimited. Shareholders are often individual investors, who are just as much victims of a company failing as the other creditors, except they are less likely to see any money.

    The top managers on the other hand may have been receiving hefty pay packets for a while…

    Trevor.

  51. Trevor. Shareholders enable the firm to exist. Don’t you think they should have some responsibility to those who invest time effort and resources into the company and moral responsibility to wider society for the results of their investment..

    Of course workers, customers and suppliers are expected to bear the costs while money capital gets out with no responsibility.

    It was one of the reasons why many of us refuse to invest in tobacco, oil companies or arms. Some of us take responsibility for our actions.

  52. As for what is enacted first. Doesn’t that depend on other parties in Parliament as well as voters.

    About the only Green policy the Greens got through during a national government was home insulation, but at least we now have people starting to talk about solutions outside the “market knows best” neo-liberal religion.

    Some of us actually believe in democracy. The job is to show people why our policies are necessary.

    I may not agree totally with all Green policy, but I certainly agree with the underlying principles.

  53. Well. It did take more than 3 decades for the neo-liberals to comprehensively bugger our society and even longer for us all to cause AGW and other environmental disasters. I expect fixing it will be just as big a task.

    However Gerrit, you will be pleased to know that clarity, brevity and consistency are definite aims in this policy round.

    They still have to go to the party as a whole to ratify, but we cut the transport policy, for example, down to two pages.

  54. BJ, Kerry,

    Not so much as dotting the I and crossing the T but when one looks at the share volume of policy in the Greens manifest (not just the business development one) it is clear the even with dictatorial powers, the implementation of the whole shebang would take many tens of years.

    Never mind in the parliamentary democracy we have in New Zealand, where old law repeal and new law enactment takes forever (and in a democracy we do need to have public input).

    Maybe the Greens could publish a priority list of what policies would be enacted first?

    Greens policy covers the spectrum of human endeavour and the scale of the policies in the manifest is just not practical to implement.

    Judging by BJ’s comments it would seem that earnest Green members set down and wrote policies without being mindful how to implement each in our democratic system.

    Maybe the Greens should prioritise policy?

  55. Yes. I agree that the polices are a work in progress, but each time they go through the development process, which really is! the best of any parties, they get tightened up and improve.
    Read up on good business decision making principles.

    After thinking about our discussion I think that Gerrit’s asking for policies to dot every i and cross every t is unrealistic.

    When we set the general direction of a business we set goals. The details of how we get there necessarily have to be flexible.

    I started a business to do ship/boat deliveries which mutated into boat building and ended up, mostly, building and renovating houses.

    Policies are where we want to go. The nuts and bolts, Well that is what agood staff/ civil service is for.

  56. I do think Gerrit has a point. There are policy documents in our library which are not well enough thought through to be given a place there. I recall some lines about prisons that made me grit my teeth, this is more of the same.

    The policy preparation I took part in left me in no doubt as to how this can occur. The battles I fought through on the defence policy were epic and we didn’t get it all good, just kept some of the worst nonsense from becoming part of the document.

    I am not personally obliged to defend every line in every document. I choose to defend a fair lot of our platform because there is much there worth defending, but there is also plenty of bilge.

    It is the best deal out there… and no other party has as good a set of principles and policies by a wide margin… nearest being (with clothespin to nose) Winston-First, with Mana being respectable but… not aligned with my priorities. I accept the imperfection of the art-of-the-possible, and decide how best I can act within the party.

    It is good, but the nonsense needs to be identified and excised. Policy should set goals, not means… and needs to be vague rather than specific (despite what Gerrit wants) because the means to implement a policy goal are most often a matter of compromise, and no prescriptive policy EVER works anything like it is expected to in my experience.

    Tying the hands of our MP’s with a too explicit set of goals and methods is simply a mistake. It is good that we try to have a complete set of documents but a uniformly well written set of documents it ain’t.

  57. Shareholders are creditors. They have invested what they may be prepared to lose but it is totally unrealistic to expect them to pay even more if a company folds. If you tried, you would find available funding for new investments drying up.

    Trevor.

  58. Kerry,

    Who says I don’t demand the same from NACT, Labour or Conservative. (I don’t expect it from Mana) ? Can you read my mind?

    The parties are asking for my vote. I’m looking for the party that has the best policies that are workable and affordable.

    How will the Greens sell their polices, strategic plans, time frames and funding to me?

    By saying “look we do as badly as National at promoting out polices, vote for us anyway”?

    You can make anyone you like responsible for product failures in a bankrupt company. Getting corrective action to rectify product claims will be how successful?

    This is what I mean by having unworkable policies. How will the Greens make this policy happen?

    Getting each stakeholder in the company to put a contingency away for the day the company MAY collapse?

    Just how will the Greens enforce the responsibility, what laws will be enacted to give the justice system the means to enforce the new laws, what punishment will be meted out if the product rectification claims cannot be met?

    This is what I mean by having a wish list without a procedure to enact the wish.

  59. Have you had a look at National’s policies, Gerrit. Where are their costings?

    Apart from their fantasy land idea that the confidence fairy will grow the economy if they just cut taxes to the wealthy, wages and State employment even more.

    Show me the money. Indeed!

  60. Funny you demand all that from the Greens, but NACT gets away with sneaky taxation to cover their total lack of ability and plans.

    Who have their own wish list, but absolutely no idea how to get there.

    And. Why should Managers, directors and shareholders not be personally responsible when their lack of care and competence costs their suppliers, customers and employees.

    I thought the right wing believed in personal responsibility. Laughing!

  61. Kerry,

    When I read through this expansive document

    http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/sustainable-business-policy

    I get the feeling that all the policies are what the Green party wants, but no how, where, when, and by whom (not to mention costings).

    One thing having a humongous wish list, quite another to strategise, priorotise, fund and implement.

    Voters want to see the stategies, implementations and funding, not the wish list.

    Here is a classic example

    Ensure that when a business entity is liquidated, closed or unable to finance ongoing responsibility for workmanship, products etc then the liability devolves to the owners and principal decision-makers.

    What the heck does that mean and what repercussions will that have to anyone investing in or advising a business entity.

    Sounds like if a company goes broke any product claims will be borne by the owners (a bankrupt company has no owners – just receivers and I doubt they will take on product claims).

    Will liability be heaped onto the board, management staff possibly production staff, even though each and everyone of them will be redundant?

    Another

    Explore ways of increasing access to capital for small businesses, including providing tax deductions for investors

    How much and when?

    Lets see some figures, lets see some direction the Green party is willing to provide to make small business capitalisation better.

    I could go on right through the wish list but you get my drift.

  62. Not what I meant Gerrit.

    Greens current policy is available to everyone on the website.

    Future policy isn’t, of course, because it is under discussion.

    I think you would find much of that discussion edifying.

  63. Gerrit,

    I agree with your sentiments about political parties which do not make their policies publicly known (although to be fair to the Greens, I think their policies are on their website?).

    I was recently trapped by a Liberal candidate in Australia whilst I was doing the grocery shopping. I told the guy that he couldn’t expect me to support his party unless he could tell me what their detailed policies were so that I could evaluate them myself. The reply was that the policies would be released closer to the election, to which I responded: “does that mean your party hasn’t decided on it’s policies yet?” That really shut him up. To his credit he said “no, we have got policies, it is just not strategically sensible to release them to the public now” … at least he was honest, though I suspect he gave that answer because he was young and had not yet learnt the art of side-stepping and avoiding questions that _all_ politicians seem to master after a short time.

  64. BJ,

    Negative GST runs into a big problem in the judgment call on what is locally made.

    Everything that is made in NZL (manufacturing sector at least) has an imported component content. Be it welding rods, buttons, machinery, specialist fibres, colourants, plastics, etc, etc, etc.

    We dont want to end up in a situation where a shirt is made in Fiji with one sleeves not sewn in. Lands here and has the sleeve sewn in locally to qualify as Made In New Zealand (actual case long time ago).

    So we need to set up another level of state servants to monitor what qualifies as “Made in New Zealand” plus massive changes to how business collects the GST content and the state verifies the GST correctness (more non tax paying state servants).

    I for example would need to show that the new overalls I just purchased were GST excempt as being “Made in New Zealand” (from imported cotton no doubt) and alter my accounting software to have another column for each expense catogory code to show inclusive or exclusive of GST.

    What certification would I need for every purchase to satisfy the IRD that I’m not falsefying GST?

    Business should concentrate on making money and creating jobs, not piss fart about filling out endless GST paperwork.

    IRD are bad enough with export GST exempt sales, never mind adding local purchases into the mix.

  65. Kerry,

    If you want to know how Greens intend to change things join the party and get on a policy committee.

    Strangest statement I have seen yet. Basically the Greens are saying “we are not telling anyone what we are going to do without you joining the party”.

    Good way to get people to vote for the Greens, not.

  66. Import tariffs no, that raises the price of everything. Purchase support was where I was going with that. A sort of “negative GST” on things (some things ?) made in NZ (bought by New Zealanders?).

  67. Gerrit.

    Never knew that Temesek, The Norwegian wealth fund and Singapore holdings were private. They are all holding companies for State owned resources and businesses.

    If you want to know how Greens intend to change things join the party and get on a policy committee.
    Tariffs to offset the value to importers of slave labour elsewhere are one of many issues under discussion.
    Because Green policy is widely discussed and has to be a consensus of the party members, not a few political hacks, we will get good policy.

    Personally I had no problem with NZ susidising high value industry like film. (Changing laws that protect workers to meet the lowest common denominator is a different matter). We subsidise our currently most successful industry, farming, in myriads of ways.
    All our competitors do it.
    Being the only one in step is not working.

    No country has built a successful industrial economic base without some form of protectionism. The USA and UK at their most prosperous were two of the most protected economies ever.

  68. “Greens for example are against expansion of salmon marine farming.”

    So were the people of Marlborough.

    The Green view equates with the people’s view. It’s representative.

  69. BJ,

    Problem if you only manufacture for local supply is the size of the investment required versus the returns.

    If we go back to the pine sideboard scenario, local consumption may well be 500 hundred units per year.

    Just not viable to set up a local factory/distribution chain that can compete with imported furniture pricing at the manufacturing levels that local demand only, is capable of generating.

    To protect the local industry requires import tariffs.

    Is it Green party policy to impose import tariffs?

    Not sure the Green party will find much favour with that idea should Labour be the deciding power of government come 2014.

  70. Gerrit – There is one common mistake being made here. Always I see the requirement that we build an EXPORT industry. That isn’t the requirement though it is I think, possible for furniture. The first goal is that we build at least enough to NOT be importing. To do that means that the cost of the FURNITURE on our market has to match (for some reason) the cost of the furniture from China here. Don’t have to beat it, just match it.

    Part of that is to reduce the value of the NZ dollar. The other is some form of assistance for New Zealanders and Residents who buy NZ products?

    I am asleep at the moment, so the details have to wait some… I am not sure I will remember this notion in the morning either. :-) – a means of refunding the CO2 tax to New Zealanders? There seem to be possibilities in this. Probably a big trap too, but too late for me to do any serious thinking.

  71. Having established that to sell ten thousand pine sideboards in India requires government support, what would a Green government do to facilitate this?

    All very well to point the finger at National and Labour as being useless in supporting local industry, what exactly would the Green party do?

    How would the Greens encourage private local investors to contribute funds to build the privately owned factories ? Tax breaks like the film industry receives?

    What would the Green party do to facilitate the establishment of distribution channels? Trade missions to push for tariff removals in overseas markets?

    I’m not sure the Green party really is ready to embrace private enterprise development as shown by the Koreans, Taiwanese, Finns, Norwegians and any other progressive social democratic state.

    Too many conflicts with the socialists idealist running the Green party.

    Greens for example are against expansion of salmon marine farming.

    http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/salmon-farm-decision-opens-coastline-marine-farms

    So that is one potential industry “dried up” as it where.

    Question remains, how would the Greens encourage private investment into privately owned export businesses.

  72. The Chinese Government supported their industry to establish the networks, trading patterns and infrastructure.

    Like Singapore, South Korea, Finland and Norway do.

    Like ours used to..But now only do it for dairy farmers.

  73. John Key either knows how this stuff works. In which case he is a crook.

    Or he dosn’t, which makes him an ignorant puppet.

    I suspect the latter actually. He reminds me so much of many in that sort of position I have met, who have extremely narrow interests and who have not read anything except get rich quick books.

  74. Yes Gerrit, NOW we’re going to have to work a hell of a lot harder to RE-establish our ability to make stuff. We gave it away because New Zealanders are sick… complete nutcases when it comes to having any support of industry through government. Learning the wrong lesson from some idiotic make-work scheme 30 – some years ago and never forgetting it?

    The penalty for not thinking is not pleasant. We are in a world of not-pleasant right now and the cause is obvious to a fair few outsiders and completely invisible to New Zealanders. Russel Norman knows what we need to do. I know. Steve Keen knows.

    John Key “knows how this stuff works” but I don’t believe for a minute that he actually understands how to run a country instead of a mega-bankers rip-off scheme.

  75. In the 30’s Labour employed workers, at good pay rates, to build infrastructure.

    After the Tories had tried, and failed, to get out of the depression with austerity and forced work, for slave rate benefits.

  76. IKEA. Tax breaks and encouragement for local industry/manufacturing helped get them started.

    Just like it helped all our successful industry. Including dairying.

    But that is not allowed in our “the market knows best” dogma.

    Lack of liquidity in NZ business is because all the “liquid” is allowed to go offshore. Low wages locally mean manufacturing has no local customers to help them start.

  77. BJ,

    …………..about getting a CHINESE manufacturer of wood products to set up a factory here because THIS government isn’t smart enough to help a New Zealander to do the same job.

    Problem is

    one – lack of liquidity in New Zealand business. There simply is not the funding in the sharemarket or private equity funding institutions to set up such an enterprise. You could redirect kiwisaver investments but not sure if you would want to have your nest egg invested locally where the risk is perceived to be higher.

    two – lack of sales, marketing and distribution. Whatever you make here has to be marketed and sold through as yet unestablished dealership networks. How will you get your furniture into an IKEA type sales situation without some major capital investment.

    The Chinese have already established the supply network, sales contact,s trading patterns and relationships.

    The NZL entrepreneur would need to not only fund setting up the factory but also the sales and distribution channels.

    It is not impossible for a NZL manufacturer to establish the “wholesale network and distribution channels but I suggest that the factory setup costs are but a fraction of the cost of the sales and distribution side.

    If we take furniture for example, how much will it cost to set up the marketing, sales and distribution channels to sell annually ten thousand pine sideboards to the Indian sub continent?

    For to set up a factory and distribution channels that is the sort of sales target you need to make it viable.

  78. samiuela,

    The long(er) answer is that there needs to be some level of compulsion

    Why?

    You can volunteer to pay more taxes, no one stopping you, or do you only fulfill your social obligation by compulsion?

  79. Thank you, Dave, you’re a gentleman.
    Arana, you’re in disgrace but a promise not to be dishonest in the future would help.
    Fyi – it was not this that sunk you:
    “Like Norman on matters fiscal.”
    but this:
    “Strange you thought you knew who I was talking about when I only gave one name.

    But now you’re bought up Russel Norman…”
    “Strange” – really? No. I thought I knew? I did know. Now that I’d brought up Russel? No, Arana, you brought him up. Aye.
    Have you come across the saying about holes, being in them and putting down your shovel?
    Look it up.

  80. Gerrit,

    I knew someone would reply to my post that advocated decreasing income inequality with a “why don’t you put your money where your mouth is” type of comment.

    I won’t give you the short answer, because it sounds a little too pious. The long(er) answer is that there needs to be some level of compulsion such as increased tax rates at higher incomes, otherwise a lot of people will not pull their weight, and a more equal and fair outcome will not
    be achieved.

  81. Dave – I am trying to work out why I’d expect shrinking to work? I never said anything about that, I just pointed out that the target of getting us some inflation to counter the artificially induced nosebleed levels that other countries are imposing on us, is the aim of this policy. The growth comes after there is some inflation and the problem is that Gareth is disconnecting that central link between the money supply and the growth.

    Here – he cut out the middle – ” a policy to achieve growth from printing money”. Said that way it makes perfect sense ONLY until you realize that he eliminated the lowering of the value of the dollar and the effect of that on growth.

    The difference between doing enough to counteract the big boys, and doing enough to look like Zimbabwe, is pretty severe. It is interesting that the moment the GOVERNMENT decides to issue money the first argument we hear from the banker-apologists is wheelbarrows full of money and extra zeros. Why is it always the extremes ?

    Borrowing and issuing money through the banks so that they get their cut is NEVER given that sort of treatment but it has the same net effect… particularly with the lie that the debt is going to be paid back. We are talking about utter dishonesty in finance.

    “just do what was done in the 30s and use the unemployed labour to build infrastructure”

    The ultimate expression of National’s philosophy… effectively slave labour ?

    The way to make this country sound is to get it off the Sheep’s back and the Cow’s teat and give it some manufacturing. That cannot happen if the government doesn’t actually support it and control the exchange rate better. We have our comparative advantage in agriculture and that’s cool but not making anything ELSE here is NOT what Ricardo meant when he discussed comparative advantage. We still have to make stuff here.

    It is absolutely sick that Joyce is talking about getting a CHINESE manufacturer of wood products to set up a factory here because THIS government isn’t smart enough to help a New Zealander to do the same job.

    This government is not working for New Zealanders. It is working hard but I do not know who they are working FOR.

  82. @Dave.
    You and Arana are getting funnier and funnier. No facts in rebuttal. Just I know what I am talking about because, my brother is.

    And Arana’s statement about manning shows she has no idea.!

    Did your brother start as a deck boy?
    No. He started as a chair polisher, didn’t he?

    No I am not envious, I got bored sitting in an office counting beans and I found it very difficult to cope with the degree of incompetence, butt licking, time wasting, money wasting, dishonesty endemic in shoreside management,. They can have it. They deserve each other.
    Behaviors which, at sea, would probably result in a shackle on the head from a large height, if their own incompetence didn’t kill them..

  83. Greenfly
    I must say that calling anyone that particular colloquialism for a woman’s sex organ is not OK in my book, but I’ll grant you provocation and restore your image to that of a Lady, pending future outbursts :-)

    Kerry, m8 you are well beyond redemption!
    Didn’t you read what I wrote? He started as the lowest of the low, and has worked his way to the top. THat gives him far better insight into the productivity levers and achievements than someone who has only got one perspective on the industry.

    To get back on topic, and away from your rediculous categorisation of anyone with the title “director” as beneath your distain, where is your rebuttal for the productivity gains I have already outlined. Or, if you would rather prove how clever you are, perhaps you could tell me what the biggest problem to the cargo shipping industry is right now?

    Otherwise, go get a life – I’ll not read any more comments bound in the hide of envy and socialism.

  84. @Arana.

    LOL even more.

    “Pontificating about things you know nothing about” In company with Dave Stringer.

    Ships used to have three watch keeping officers. They still have three! watch keeping officers.

    Who now do much more work than they did in the past as shore staff and officialdom make them do all the paperwork to cover their butts for them.

    Except for a few companies where cost cutting has reached ridiculous levels and they now have two to cover 24 hours.

    By the way OOCL is one of the shipping companies who competent officers refuse to work for and whose ships I advise my officers to give a wide berth.

  85. And the difference between 21st century ships and 20th century ships is that years ago ships were built to a standard, specified by the superintendents and naval architect, not to a price specified by the directors.

  86. @Dave.
    Even worse. A director. In other words he knows about nothing except money.

    Ships crews, and maybe the technical and operations superintendents “run” ships. Not company directors. Shipping company directors know as much about running ships as I do about fashion design.

  87. I know what you mean, Dave. Liars just push my tiny green buttons. I apologise for singeing your sensibilities. Can I have your belief in my lady-ness back if I speak in honeyed-tones from now on (to you, not to forked-tongued Arana)?

  88. “‘Twas a joke.”

    I get it!

    Go onto a Green blog, insult their leader then when challenged, declare “‘Twas a joke”.

    ‘Twat.

  89. Unfortunate surname Kunstler has. Quite frankly, the guy sounds like an unhinged doomist.

    The USA will not go belly up. People have problems to solve, other people will solve them, value will be created, and money will change hands.

    Same as it ever was.

  90. PS
    still to bj

    Can you name me a country that escaped our fiscal situation by reducing rather than growing? I’d like to read up on that approach.

  91. Yes… you’re getting it. Not all are actually in that category. The ones who have made themselves important though, are almost overwhelmingly dishonest both with themselves and with their dealings with others. Read the article I linked in the Atlantic.

  92. Kerry Thomas said

    Shipping is my profession. Unlike Daves brother. (No one “runs” 750 ships. That is just the figurehead who signs the accounts).

    I suggest you go look up the directors at OOCL Kerry. Unlike you, my brother has worked in shipping for iber 40 years and knows what he is talking about. Now YOU define “runs” and I’ll laugh again! When you’ve specified and bought a dozen new, 21st century, boats, you’ll be entitled to an opinion on their productivity!

    bj
    re “Because he does NOT acknowledge the intended inflation – reduction of the value of the dollar EXCEPT as a rising interest rate – but since WE AREN’T BORROWING MONEY FROM CREDITORS, it is irrelevant to us.”

    I understand what you are saying herte. However, there is one little issue to be addressed, and that is repayment of the existing debt we owe in foreign currencies.
    The best example of how badly QE can affect lives is, to me, from Brazil in the 1980s. They “printed” money so fast that the banks had to have rubber stamps with zeros on them to try and keep track of things. When they shifted between cruzaros and cruzeros little changed, it bacame a joke that if you got pain in the middle of the month for the entire month you could afford a maid with the inflation interest on the money you hadn’t yet earned. Certainly, I made all my children Billionairs – in cruzeros of course, they each got a TEN Cruzero note, with six zeros stamped on them by our company bank over there. We also joked about which is cheaper in Brazil, a bus or a taxi? The answe was a taxi as you didn’t have to pay until you got out but the rate was fixed when you got in!
    Having had to manage a business involved in inflation that was measured by the hour, not the year, I do not want to see NZ in that situation, the US is almost there, as is the UK, France is close, Greece – get a wheelbarrow, but please don’t start printing money here – just do what was done in the 30s and use the unemployed labour to build infrastructure; or have you forgotten how NZ made it through that depression?

  93. The people in “financial circles” are pretty much the last ones to trust, they are jerks. The origin of the term circle jerk may be related to their activities.

  94. http://kunstler.com/blog/2013/01/some-sunny-day.html

    …this is going to fall down and go boom…

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/01/whats-inside-americas-banks/309196/

    It is not different here.

    Gareth is full of shite as he is thinking about “growth”.

    For us there is little to no credibility in a policy to achieve growth from printing money. It will simply lower our credit rating and raise our interest rates as creditors extract the required reward for largesse.

    Because he does NOT acknowledge the intended inflation – reduction of the value of the dollar EXCEPT as a rising interest rate – but since WE AREN’T BORROWING MONEY FROM CREDITORS, it is irrelevant to us. Relevant to individuals who are trying to borrow from foreign banks but what a way to whack housing prices on the head.

    Overall… you have to read the comments beneath the blog post. Gareth isn’t always right and in this he’s arguing against a couple of other failed businessmen… Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. One might reckon that maybe they’d have understood that if BANKS have issues we ought not put a lot of faith OR money into them.

    Next “financial crisis” will be worser. Coming soon to a planet near you.

  95. Lighten up, Greenfly. ‘Twas a joke.

    However, I withdraw my comment as it isn’t accurate. Norman may know a lot about matters fiscal, I do not know either way.

    I think it’s fair to say Russel’s comments on quantitative easing were met with a great deal of mirth and not much support from those in financial circles.

  96. Ok, Arana, I’m going to charge you with dishonesty. You were meaning Russel Norman and now you are trying to slide away from your slight on him. I’m a fair insect though, and offer you the chance to explain who it was you meant, if it wasn’t Russel Norman, as you are trying to have us believe.
    Remember though, dishonesty isn’t widely admired here on Frogblog.

  97. “For us there is little to no credibility in a policy to achieve growth from printing money. It will simply lower our credit rating and raise our interest rates as creditors extract the required reward for largesse.”

  98. Shipping is my profession

    Then how can you possibly say “There has been no technological advances in ships productivity, or technology to assist crew work, since containerization in the 70′s”?

    Dave Stringer outlined them specifically. Just one example:

    “Navigators – used to need six on the ship, two for each watch, now the first mate looks after it all down to the inch through computers and satellites”

    Therefore…..?

  99. Strange you thought you knew who I was talking about when I only gave one name.

    But now you’re bought up Russel Norman, perhaps you could explain why quantitative easing is a good idea when you’re running relatively high interest rates? Could you enlighten us what went wrong in Zimbabwe and Argentina?

    And Gareth’s characterisation is “silly”. I suspect he’s being somewhat restrained.

    http://garethsworld.com/blog/economics/why-the-greens-suggestion-to-print-money-is-silly/

  100. “pontificate on areas you know absolutely nothing about”

    Own goal Arana. LOL.

    Shipping is my profession. Unlike Daves brother. (No one “runs” 750 ships. That is just the figurehead who signs the accounts). I have “run” ships for 30 years. Including oil tankers, container ships and rig tenders.

    Currently trying to bring yet another ship, built in China on the cheap, up to working condition.

    Russel has a great deal of financial sense, including the knowledge that the current financial system is incompatible with a socially and environmentally sustainable future. Something RWNJ’s have yet to learn.

  101. Arana – you claim Russel Norman knows nothing about fiscal matters.
    Have you any rational argument to back up your impolite claim (remember, you are house-guest on a Green blog), or are you just being ill-mannered and making up shit?

  102. There has been no technological advances in ships productivity, or technology to assist crew work, since containerization in the 70′s.

    Oh dear.

  103. Arana. RWNJ tactic number three. Introduce an irrelevancy and pretend it is proof.

    LWNJ tactic #2: pontificate on areas you know absolutely nothing about thus making a complete fool of yourself. Like Norman on matters fiscal.

    Do please tell us more about shipping!

  104. samiuela Posted January 8, 2013 at 3:05 AM
    Dave Stringer,
    In most Western countries (I don’t know about elsewhere in the world), the gap between the highest paid people and lowest has been increasing for several decades.

    I think if you consult history you will find that it has been DECREASING for a few centuries. The days when a Lord owned a castle, an army of servents, and army of soldiers and thousands of acres of land, (which was rented out to ‘peasants’ who paid 80& of the value of their crop, or the crop itself), are well gone. THat was probably the time when the gap was at its widest.The fact that there are now ‘peasants’ who can clip a percentage of the hundreds of billions of dollars that slide past their fingers, and so pay themselves a few dozen (or hundred) millions for doing it is a case for angst and anger, but not the fact that there are few people who can demonstrate successful management of large diversified corporate non-financial businesses and those who can are worth a premium in income.

    dbuckley

    I think you’ll find that 60 years ago, probably before you were born, we had the 3rd highest average standard of living, a somewhat different perspective than cost of living, but never mind. In that 60 years the countrties that have succeeded most have invested in trade and industry, and their populations have, in the main, grown ten-fold. Such growth is not acceptable to the majority of New ZEalanders, and so we have to exchange a higher standard of living for a higher quality of life. If we want to see the standard of living grow, the formula is quite easy and has been demonstrated many times; open the floodgates of immigration, and allow a generation or two to pass.

    Kerry
    No. He is still trying to pretend we have cheap prices against wages and that he is not RW.

    Fact is we don’t have cheap prices against wages when compared to some, and we do compared to others. If you can’t see that simple fact, then here’s a little example for you. A bricklayer in Sri Lanka earns SLR1,000 per day, the average price per day of renting a car in Sri Lanka is SLR2,500 and a kilo of rice there costs about SLR120. We have nothing to complain about, especially when the “minimum” wage (no such thing there but tea-pluckers are the bottom of the pile) earn about SLR100 per day.

    Your brother one of those accountants promoted about 20 steps above their skill level, whose lunacies I have to fix daily, is he.

    Oh I do like a good laugh, and so does he, he’ll get one reading this tonight!
    My brother left school with sixth form certificate, and went to work for a shipping company as a clerk, counting the number of bags coming off ships from the orient. He’s worked for the same company ever since (41 years) and is now in the second tier of management, looking after all the company’s trade in and out of Europe. He bought the boats he had to leave sitting parked in Norway because there were no cargos for them, so he understands the finances of the business only too well. An accountant – what a laugh! He’s just someone who takes responsibility on himself and delivers.
    As for productivity gains since the 70s – you poor schmuck< you clearly don't understand shipping (which runs in oour family). Let's take engines, buy a diesal from caterpillar have it fitted, pay them to provide mechanics to maintain it (well, ok, there are six to ten on a boat these days) and you reduce YOUR crew in return for guaranteed performance. Navigators – used to need six on the ship, two for each watch, now the first mate looks after it all down to the inch through computers and satellites. Shall we talk about manning the steering wheel (used to be a job, now done by the officer of the watch with a mouse and keyboard!
    Yes. Let's debate the issue – pml

    And as for :

    We do not have enough capital investment because our skilled labour is too cheap,

    when there are countries I can get a 300 sq mtr house built. brick by brick – no simple wooden frame and plaster board but a traditional brick house, including imported fittings and fixtures, for less than NZ$80k (that includes plummers, brickies, sparkies, painters, landscapers, engineer, architect and water diviner as well as ‘labourers’, vs a minimum of $600k (both excluding land) here in NZ, don’t tell me we have cheap labour – you’ve never come across such a thing!

  105. samuiuela

    I personally get paid quite well as a scientist, but I sometimes ask myself if my job is three times as important or valuable as the guy who cleans our toilets.

    If you feel strongly about it why don’t you donate some of your wages to the cleaner?

    Seems like even for wealth distribution, we wont take responsibility ourselves but instead rely on the state to do it.

    So go to your boss and have a deduction made from your salary and deposit that into the cleaners salary.

    Win-win all round.

    You feel better, wage disparity has been marginally reduced and the cleaner is better off financially to purchase the scientific discoveries you are able to bring to the market.

  106. Dave Stringer,

    I wasn’t advocating equal wages, but was suggesting the gap between the lowest and highest could decrease.

    In most Western countries (I don’t know about elsewhere in the world), the gap between the highest paid people and lowest has been increasing for several decades. There are several problems I can see with this:

    1) Those at the bottom of the heap have been becoming poorer, and all that goes with poverty.

    2) Humans, being what they are, compare themselves against others in relative terms, not on how much they have in absolute terms. Someone said that there was nothing better for societal harmony than the screams of the rich as they get taxed more. Ugly as this may be, I believe it is true (Right wing commentators tend to call this the politics of envy). I think if we had less of a gap between rich and poor, we would find that all sorts of other things in our society would improve (for example lower crime rates and so on).

    3) Are the people at the top of the heap _really_ doing that much more work, or more important work, than those at the bottom? I personally get paid quite well as a scientist, but I sometimes ask myself if my job is three times as important or valuable as the guy who cleans our toilets. Without him, the rest of the staff in my workplace might be dying from cholera or something. Without me, things might chug along OK (not to say that what I do is not valuable).

  107. @DS:

    Published by the OECD is a ‘league table” of the cost of living based on “equalised” incomes. It shows NZ IN 36TH PLACE, WITH A LOT OF THE WESTERN WORLD AHEAD OF US! : -

    Hey Dave, thanks for banging my drum for me. Though quite why you’re doing it, I don’t know.

    Fact is that sixty years ago, we were third. We’ve slipped, well, more than a bit. Some of it is due to the removal of the cosy arrangements that gave us most favoured nation status at British dining tables.

    But the majority of us is our business people selling the nation short, egged on by governments of all persuasions that just can’t see past agriculture.

    Give Key his due: He has moved heaven and earth to provide the environment for the Kiwi movie business to get a look in. This is a high value business that pays film workers well. Sadly, thats where it has stopped.

  108. No. He is still trying to pretend we have cheap prices against wages and that he is not RW.

    Of course the RW use “average” wages against prices. It would be more realistic to use median income.

    RW debating tactic number 4. Use Statistics to mislead.,

  109. Though many NZ ships are starting to become dodgy with our third world standards of safety, (As Pike River proved) officers recruited from wherever the shipowner can find anyone willing to put up with the conditions (Usually because they want New Zealand residency to move over to Oz ASAP) , and cheap Chinese built ships.

  110. And. I support mandatory country of origin food labeling, because there are many countries where the food is produced to indifferent regulatory standards by slave labour. It is not safe to eat apart from any other reason.

    I also keep well away from any ships manned or registered anywhere outside Scandinavia, New Zealand or the USA.

  111. What a load of shit, David.

    Your brother one of those accountants promoted about 20 steps above their skill level, whose lunacies I have to fix daily, is he.

    The crews workload has not changed, just the number of suckers who have to run round and try and do three peoples jobs.

    There has been no technological advances in ships productivity, or technology to assist crew work, since containerization in the 70’s.

    All the increases in shipping company profits have come from screwing crews.
    .
    The ships represent a much smaller capital investment than in the past, but it is so easy to just make the crews work harder for less money.

    And if the Filipinos get too expensive, just get Somali’s at two fishheads a day.

  112. We do not have enough capital investment because our skilled labour is too cheap, and you can make more, in the short term, by pure speculation..

    Screwing down the work force is an easier option than effective management and capital investment.

    If that option was not available, which is why we need unions, NZ politicians, managers, and capital investors, would actually have to do their job.

  113. SPC
    seems like you have a great handle on what should and shouldn’t be done by large corporate entities. Which one do you manage?

  114. Kerry
    My brother, who manages about 750 cargo ships, will tell you that that productivity has come from investment in bigger – smarter – SHIPS. Try again, where the productivity has come from PEOPLE not capital.

    Also if you don’t like people working for lower than NZ Minimum wage, tell me that you eat NO imported food or drink, and I will respect your opinion :-)

  115. John, the most topical one would be the wharves of Tauranga and Auckland where productivity gains have been sought by employers.

    Slightly off topic and question – NZ Post invested in mechanisation in a declining business simply to reduce the number of employees (why when the mechanised lines are dealing with declining volumes – they could have retained existing systems and reduced jobs in any case because of volume decline). Mechanisation allow capability for (higher) volume that was/is not required.

  116. Arana.

    Labour productivity has been outstripping wages in NZ for decades.

    Lets see. One ship 2000 tons a week. 29 crew. 1970’s.

    One ship 12000 tons per week 11 crew. 40% less wages. 2012.

    Wages increase with Labour productivity. I don’t think so.

    Arana. RWNJ tactic number three. Introduce an irrelevancy and pretend it is proof.

  117. SPC
    give us a “for instance” on a recent productivity gain that you think should have been shared out please.

  118. Arana

    Productivity gains can occur without distribution of these in wage increases, in recent times it has been notable how little of the productivity gain has been shared out in wage increases.

    Sharing out productivity gains in wage increases does not increase prices.

  119. Productivity increases require capital investment.
    New Zealanders don’t invest im businesses.
    Very little capital is invested
    Productivity stays low

    The bottom line of productivity is in two parts.
    In the so-called “public Service” part, it takes three meetings to decide the genda for a fourth meeting – hence there is great opportunity for productivity gain in that area of the economy, but when ever cuts are acalled for to force productivity from the labour force, there is screaming and shouting about how unfair it is to expect higher productivity.

    In the private sector there are service components – where getting a lawyer / accountant / engineer / architect / real-estate-agent/ etc., etc., to do more for the same wage (i.e. increase productivity) is greeted with ridicule, and the manufacturing component, where automation (through capital investment) is the only way to reduce the cost of what can be done elsewhere by cheap physical labour to something that approaches equiality of total cost – and there’s where we have no capital being invested :-(

    YES, we can build 1-off boats for huge sums using our skilled labour, as long as there are millionairs/billionairs who can afford them, but the reality of us competing in any market of mass-produced goods is that we can’t. So how will the green party resolve this dichotomy?

  120. That’s odd. When Key first assumed the role of PM, he professed a preference for greater productivity (yay!)and at the same time, lower wages (boo!). The man’s confused. Or making fools of us.

  121. RWNJ debating tactic no 2. Reductio in absurdum.
    Arana. We are already paying the higher prices.

    NZ has almost the highest prices for food and housing, in relation to wages, in the Western world. Wages havn’t gone up to match.

    LWNJ Tactic #1: Make Things Up

    We’re not the most expensive, far from it. Companies aren’t posting profits above the level of companies in other countries.

    If you increase wages, then prices increase, so all you’re doing is changing the numbers. Higher productivity leads to higher wages, not arbitrary wage fixing.

  122. Kerry,
    I’m not RW, so strat your rethink there. THen look at where the lowest opaid jobs are (cleaning, roading, low value added manufacturing, etc., and you’ll see why prices will go up.

    The basic point you made was NZ has almost the highest prices for food and housing, in relation to wages, in the Western world.

    This is manifestly untrue or those are not the key components of the cost of living – take your pick – I’ll laugh whichever you say is true.

    As for earning a million – that’s all in the eyes of the person who pays the bills. if there is only one shit-scraper in the south island, and you desparately need you shit scraped, I guess you will pay whatever that worker asks. If there are dozend of them you’ll probably pay far less. When you can show me which people earning over a million dollars a year you have been involved in hiring I’ll admit that you have an opinion worth listening to, until then stick to things you know about.

    As for “No one is suggesting that everyone earns the same, you are wrong, that is, by inference what someone claimed, leave them to speak for themselves, and you speak for you.

  123. KERRY
    CHECK YOUR FACTS PLEASE.

    Published by the OECD is a ‘league table” of the cost of living based on “equalised” incomes. It shows NZ IN 36TH PLACE, WITH A LOT OF THE WESTERN WORLD AHEAD OF US! : –

    Ranking as of March 2012▲ Previous Ranking, March 2011  City  Country 
    1 1 2 TOKYO JAPAN
    2 2 1 LUANDA ANGOLA
    3 3 6 OSAKA JAPAN
    4 4 4 MOSCOW RUSSIA
    5 5 5 GENEVA SWITZERLAND
    6 6 7 ZURICH SWITZERLAND
    7 6 8 SINGAPORE SINGAPORE
    8 8 3 N’DJAMENA CHAD
    9 9 9 HONG KONG HONG KONG
    10 10 11 NAGOYA JAPAN
    11 11 14 SYDNEY AUSTRALIA
    12 12 10 SÃO PAULO BRAZIL
    13 13 12 RIO DE JANEIRO BRAZIL
    14 14 16 BERN SWITZERLAND
    15 15 21 MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA
    16 16 21 SHANGHAI CHINA
    17 17 20 BEIJING CHINA
    18 18 15 OSLO NORWAY
    19 19 30 PERTH AUSTRALIA
    20 20 12 LIBREVILLE GABON
    21 21 17 COPENHAGEN DENMARK
    22 22 19 SEOUL SOUTH KOREA
    23 23 34 CANBERRA AUSTRALIA
    24 24 51 BRISBANE AUSTRALIA
    25 25 18 LONDON UNITED KINGDOM
    26 26 44 KHARTOUM SUDAN
    27 27 46 ADELAIDE AUSTRALIA
    28 28 29 ST. PETERSBURG RUSSIA
    29 29 51 CARACAS VENEZUELA
    30 30 43 SHENZHEN CHINA
    31 31 24 TEL AVIV ISRAEL
    32 31 38 GUANGZHOU CHINA
    33 33 32 NEW YORK CITY UNITED STATES
    34 34 23 NIAMEY NIGER
    35 35 70 YANGON MYANMAR
    36 36 31 WELLINGTON NEW ZEALAND
    37 37 27 PARIS FRANCE
    38 38 25 MILAN ITALY
    39 39 41 LAGOS NIGERIA

  124. No one is suggesting that everyone earns the same, but how can an individual “earn” a million a year. No one is that talented. In fact many of the people earning excessive amounts a are manifestly incompetent.

    In is much more economically functional to tax the crap out of them so that money stays in the system and others can live.

  125. Dave Stranger.

    The RW are always claiming that prices are set by demand, not cost.

    In which case why should higher wages raise the price of necessities?

    Or maybe the reason dairy prices went up so much with overseas demand was really due to NZ wage increases??. yeah right!

  126. Why samiuela, of course I’m happy for people in New Zealand to bite your bullet and have everyone earn the same amount.

    I’ll move to somewhere that appreciates that not all are created equal, and watch the experiment with great interest. After all, it’s never been tried before so it just might work! Eh, what’s that? Russia, USSR, China, Kibbuzen! Oh right. It’s been tried and failed several times. Right, but not here in good old NZ I bet, so lets see how we can turn a failed systme into one that works – should only need a bit of #7 fench wire and a complete ban on iternational travel!

  127. RWNJ debating tactic no 2. Reductio in absurdum.

    Arana. We are already paying the higher prices.

    NZ has almost the highest prices for food and housing, in relation to wages, in the Western world.

    Wages havn’t gone up to match.

  128. MORONS! All that is necessary is to pay better and there are many, many people who will take those jobs. We have unemployed people. Employ them.

    All that is necessary is for you to pay higher prices, then employers can pay employees more.

  129. Dave Stringer,

    Inflation would not necessarily result from increasing the lowest wages.

    The price of goods and services tends to be determined by the cost of the labour which goes into them (including the labour costs which are built into the materials, tools etc used to make the product or service). Supply and demand creates fluctuations around this equilibrium value, but mostly does not set the equilibrium value … hence a car is more expensive than a loaf of bread because a lot more labour goes into making a car.

    If increases in the lowest wages were offset by corresponding decreases in higher wages then the net effect could be no inflation (although some items may indeed go up in price, others would decrease).

    But are we prepared to bite the bullet and change things so that the gap between the poor and rich decreases?

  130. MORONS! All that is necessary is to pay better

    Typical answer from DB – spend more monney. So, let’s raise our minimum wage to $25 per hour, and let 7% inflation run away with all our earnings – after which we will insist that the minimum wage go up again to recognise the increase in the Cost Of Living.

    Yep, the same old same old solution of the 50s, 60s & 70s – rampant inflation – it will make us all feel better :-)

  131. I would go as far as to say that there is no eco system that has not been altered (destoyed) by nature sometime in the past.

    I think the dinosaurs would agree with you on this one.

  132. Corking story on TVNZ news at the mo: Desperate need for unskilled workers [in Christchurch]

    While the city calls for tradesmen, engineers and management-level workers as the rebuild gets into full swing, some businesses say there is a similar need for those willing to do low-paid, unskilled work.

    Trish Paterson, recruitment manager for Christchurch-based employment agency Ryan Recruitment, said many local companies were struggling to fill positions that required no qualifications or skills that can be learned on the job.

    Blah, blah blah, and then this gem:

    “It’s not so much that [jobs] are not available, but in a lot of cases they are paying minimum wage and there are other employers paying more, even if it is only 50c per hour, people will move jobs for that,” she said.

    It goes on and on and on, suggesting we need to get the foreigners in.

    MORONS! All that is necessary is to pay better and there are many, many people who will take those jobs. We have unemployed people. Employ them.

  133. Checking is good. A blithe ‘let’s dam this river/level this hill/fell this forest – the community wants it’, will only provoke shallow argument. A well described plan that shows all of the ramifications would be fun to debate.
    Should I collect the water off my roof and keep it for my own needs?
    Or should I return it to the soil so that it can percolate downhill to my neighbour, the way it did before I built?

  134. So long as it does not interfere with their making money.

    The issue here is the level of state control vs individual/community control and the apparent double standard of special interests.

    Not “making money”.

  135. The difference is in who gets harmed Gerrit. In the first case there are, as you describe, some winners and some losers right now. A value proposition can be argued sensibly. There may be NO losers.

    The second case has a few winning in the present and every person on the planet in a few decades, losing. Nor can the value proposition be argued sensibly because the nature of the damage is only understood using science that most people don’t quite understand.

    The point I am making here, is about the “destruction”. Not about “change”. When environmental change is destructive we are (most often) taking things from other people. It is a good idea to do some checking before making changes and the bigger the change the better that idea seems to me.

  136. Right wing debating tactics No 1.

    Concern trolling.

    I doubt if they really care what you do in your garden, reserve, whatever. So long as it does not interfere with their making money.

    As reality is not on their side RWNJ’s have to use other tactics.

  137. fin,

    The discussion started when I questioned greenfly regarding the eco system altering drain digging and damming of a wetland eco system by the community he lives in (see my comment top of page).

    I simply asked if regarding resource consent of the work done by the Southland community was obtained. Seems it had and that the wetland was on private property.

    I drew comparison with our communities efforts to gain resource consent to flood gate an estuary.

    Seems it is OK to alter an eco system on private land is (be it a garden or a wetland) but public land a no no.

    Most councils require resource consent to even cut down a tree over a certain size (native or import) on private land. Not to mention trying to build a house or pipe a creek on private land.

    Private land is not private at all but controlled by the councils, so it was good to hear a greenie say that the right to alter the eco system on private land is perfectly OK (be it gardening or altering a water course).

  138. In 1932, the 32km Afsluitdijk dam turned the Zuiderzee (an open sea) into a fresh water lake.
    I doubt there would be any similar consents dished out these days. But I would be interested in hearing if anyone thinks that the massive ecosystem change, in that case, was a bad thing. For the dutch, it could be descibed as essential.
    Something else that is essential is food. Which often comes from a garden, as Arana and Greenfly know. I’m not sure that Gerrit’s proposal, as described so far, comes under the essential category. The filter feeding oysters could be a win-win, but I reckon the smell after you let the water out on monday would turn a few noses.. But i’m no estuarine scientist.

  139. BJ,

    The difference between altering an ecosystem and destroying the utility of a planet for its inhabitants is?

    There is no difference though it depends on ones interpretation of “the utility of the planet”

    When an eco sytem is altered (even destroyed) a new eco system is created.

    We dam a river (example — Waikato at Karapiro), we destroy one eco system (a slow meandering river) but create another (a pleasant lake).

    The value of the old system verus the new can be debated.

    My interpretation of your utility would be human kind has improved the utility of the Waikato river to generate power and provide a very nice recreational lake.

    Nature has a unending history that alters (and destroys) eco systems.

    Take the Waikato again, it use to flow out to sea through the flat lands of the Waikato plains and empty into the Hauraki Gulf at Thames.

    Major change of eco system for both the Waikato flats and the previous flat lands now consumed by the Waikato river delta.

    Even the Tasman Sea and the Hauraki Gulf would have had eco system changes changes through the reduction, in one case, to the introduction, in the other, of a vast volume of fresh water.

    I would go as far as to say that there is no eco system that has not been altered (destoyed) by nature sometime in the past.

  140. The difference between altering an ecosystem and destroying the utility of a planet for its inhabitants is?

  141. And why do you hate gardens so?

    I don’t. I have a garden.

    You’ve grasped the wrong end of the stick and now you’re running in circles with it.

    I don’t know how to make it clearer – I was using your gardening as an example of you altering an eco-system to suit your own purposes. That is fine. Yet, many environmentalists can’t stand others altering ecosystems to suit their purposes.

  142. http://thestandard.org.nz/

    “”Interesting stats on food costs as researched by Otago Uni since the 70′s so that gives continuity of figures from 20/2/2011 Sunday Star Times.
    Otago University’s department of human nutrition has calculated the weekly cost of purchasing a healthy diet in five major centres since the 1970s.
    Last year, it determined a “basic” food bill for a man, woman, adolescent boy and girl, ranged from $274 a week in Auckland, to $263 in Christchurch. Add in the use of convenience and imported foods, some out-of-season fruits and vegetables, more expensive cuts of meat and some speciality foods, and that grocery bill would grow to $426 and $411.
    The reality? According to the latest from Statistics NZ, the average weekly household spend on food is $178.
    And the reality for those queuing at the country’s foodbanks? Last year, the median income for a government beneficiary was $269.
    IT’S TWO days after J… N…’s invalid’s benefit payment when the Sunday Star-Times meets him at Wellington’s Downtown Community Ministry. He has $5 left until his next pay day and just bread and jam in his cupboard. His last meal was an omelette, cooked at home last night””.

  143. “Appropriate Decision-making:
    For the implementation of ecological wisdom and social responsibility, decisions will be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected.”

    That’s the local community who live by and/or use the estuary, isn’t it?

    Not some grey in Wellington.

  144. Garden – private land. Estuary – not privately owned,

    What does appropriate decision making at the appropriate level mean? Shouldn’t the community who lives near, and uses, the estuary most decide what is done with it?

  145. ..although, as Lindsay Mitchell points out, it’s pretty unlikely most beneficiaries are going to take up gardening, no matter how much benefit it provides.

    Those beneficaries that are work-inclined eventually get a job. Those that aren’t, aren’t going to suddenly become gardeners any more so than they’re all good chefs.

    Many lack the motivation to better they lot.

    Many won’t like that truth, but the evidence is clear. You’ll see SFA more beneficiary vege gardens in a years time.

  146. Arana – you attempt to equate gardens with estuaries, claiming that what’s done with one can be done with the other.
    You are wrong. There are significant differences that you are ignoring. Most obvious is that of ownership. Garden – private land. Estuary – not privately owned, therefore use is managed in an entirely different manner. Legislation covers it. Look it up.
    And why do you hate gardens so?
    Did you have an unpleasant experience in one? Maybe a strawberry that was off?
    Did Michael’s plea not move you at all?

  147. Arana – doubtless you’re a Michael laws fan. Here’s the hard-bitten righty’s most recent column…on the joys and benefits of gardening! Oh, frabjous day! Enjoy.

    No, I’m not.

    I have a garden. I think gardens are a great idea. I brought up the garden as a means of showing you that you alter the ecosystem for your own benefit, yet criticise others for wanting to do so.

  148. Greenfly, when you dig up your garden, you are altering that eco system. You justify it by saying it creates another type of ecosystem and provides more benefit to you.

    Yet, you object to people altering the estuaries because it alters the existing eco-system. They counter with your exact same argument – it creates another type of ecosystem and provides more benefit to them.

  149. Arana – doubtless you’re a Michael laws fan. Here’s the hard-bitten righty’s most recent column…on the joys and benefits of gardening! Oh, frabjous day! Enjoy.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/blogs/opinion/8142987/Michael-Laws-Grow-a-bloody-garden

    “I don’t profess to be organic and I don’t profess to be independent either. But all the free stuff on the internet – from tips about eradicating tomato pests to those wonderful Ukrainian naturist gardeners – is there if you’re in any bother. And any terrain, any spare ground will do.

    It’s just so bloody obvious: if you want to eat well, grow your own. If you’re on a benefit, then you have that other great gift. Time. There is no excuse any more.”

  150. So your claims were insincere. You just said stuff for effect. You didn’t mean people to take you literally.

    I get it.

  151. Yet you busied yourself with criticizing me for having a garden, Arana.
    Do you see any disparity between what you say, and what you do?

    To show the flaw in your argument, not that I care what you do in your garden. It’s your property.

  152. Hey Gerrit, where I live boaties, professional fishermen, kayakers, waka ama, paddle boarders and the annual raft race all use the estuary/river mouth. When the tide is in! We check the tide tables, same way we check the weather before going out on the water. Maybe we aren’t like spoilt kids, grumpy cos we can’t have everything now, when we want it, to hell with the consequences, wanting to turn a natural tidal waterway into a big swimming pool on the weekends.

  153. The currency wars continue. Even the Swiss “Print Money”.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ambroseevans-pritchard/100022037/switzerland-and-britain-are-now-at-currency-war/

    It is a full on war out cannon to the left, cannon to the right, and NZ emulating the light-brigade charging along armed with toothpicks but proudly asserting the righteous religion of “Free Market Fundamentalism”.

    If the government were any dumber we could replace the lot of them with a random selection of livestock.

  154. “It’s none of anyone else’s business what you do on your own property”

    Yet you busied yourself with criticizing me for having a garden, Arana.
    Do you see any disparity between what you say, and what you do?

    “It’s always informative to watch what people do, rather than listen to what they say.”

  155. It’s always informative to watch what people do, rather than listen to what they say.

    What you do is the same as I do – uphold private property rights. It’s none of anyone else’s business what you do on your own property, so long as you don’t harm others.

  156. my boundaries have been crossed by those who don’t take the responsibility to ensure that their activities don’t impact negatively on mine as I reside within my boundary.

    Libertarianism. Private property rights. Welcome! :)

  157. You’re a wee terrier, Gerrit, worrying that bone so! It’s tempting to string you along more…but being a responsible greenfly, I’ll put you out of your misery. The wetland reserve is private land, bought from a dairy farmer who planned to convert the last remnants of natural harakeke wetland left on the estuary, into pasture. We designed and gained consent for the waterways with the assistance of Fish and Game and Environment Southland, DoC, QEII and other professional agencies. We manage the reserve with funds we have earned, through some clever business management and investments.
    Further more…
    “Your land, you can do what you like. Just don’t complain when your Maggie Barry type gardener next door wafts fertilizer and chemical sprays over your noble endeavour.”

    Here we do hold differing views. I’m fully supportive of land ownership and the rights that go with it, but I also believe there are accompanying responsibilities, such as not harming your neighbours, not trespassing, whether personally or through the broadcast of sprays,etc. I most certainly would/will/have taken action whenever my boundaries have been crossed by those who don’t take the responsibility to ensure that their activities don’t impact negatively on mine as I reside within my boundary.

    “The community, through being part of the NZL crown (and the crown owns the NZL land mass not in private ownership plus out to the 12 mile limit, owns the estuary as much as anyone else.

    Hence the community owns the estuary.”

    I wonder then, if you have canvassed your whole community to see if they want the estuary to be modified in the way you describe? You’d need to involve all affected parties, so the best way to do that, would be to apply for consent. Then everyone would have the opportunity to express their views. or are you favouring the unilateral approach? Dam and damn the torpedoes?

  158. greenfly,

    Your cause it is so noble (being left wing, pure gardener) to be above reproach, no?

    Your land, you can do what you like. Just don’t complain when your Maggie Barry type gardener next door wafts fertilizer and chemical sprays over your noble endeavour.

    His land he can do what he likes. Including digging and damming drains.

    You seem unable to answer a simple question regarding getting resource consent to dig and dam a “drain” on a public reserve (am presuming the wetland is a reserve) I notice.

    The community, through being part of the NZL crown (and the crown owns the NZL land mass not in private ownership plus out to the 12 mile limit, owns the estuary as much as anyone else.

    Hence the community owns the estuary.

  159. Gerrit – “landed gentry”? You’ll be familiar with the term reductio ad absurdum? With land ownership comes responsibility. Creating a vegetable garden could hardly be called irresponsible, at least by any rational person (leaving you out of the picture, Arana). Done responsibly; that is, in a manner that enhances the biology of the site and doesn’t impact negatively on the properties beyond its boundaries, a garden doesn’t contravene any green principles that I know of. There will be foolish rightwing gardeners (I’m thinking “Maggie Barrys” here), no doubt, who spray herbicide, pesticide, fungicide and every other biocide as part of their assault on the natural world, who will reduce biodiversity, pollute the air and water and injure the natural world in other ways (noise is their most oft-used weapon; lawn mowers, chain saws, weed whackers, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers…), but the green gardeners like myself, improve on what we began with and add to the vibrancy of a landscape that has been badly treated by humans as they/we pave paradise and put up parking-lots willy-nilly.

    Does your community own the estuary?
    That’s an unusual situation.

  160. greenfly,

    I own my the land I garden and have the right to cultivate it if I so choose.

    Lordy, that is almost heresy in the Green party surely. RWNJ for sure those landed gentry who reserve the exclusive right to treat “their” bit of land as they see fit. Dont let BJ see that statement, he will see red.

    Interesting that as an individual you own a piece of land so can choose to alter the eco system of that land to suit your “noble” purpose.

    But if a community that has an opportunity to develop a piece of community owned land (with a twice daily salt water rinse) it is a big no no.

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    More double standards?

    You know we have to cultivate in order to eat.

    Perfect answer. We allocate a portion of the estuary to growing pacific oysters on beds (crickey, they grow well in the Manukau, taking over the eco system they are) so that means we both feed the nation and can enjoy the retained water levels.

    It is not just the sailing boaties that enjoy the water, groups like Young Mariners, Sea Scouts, Rowing and Kayak club, Triathletes, Kite Surfers, Waka and Outriggers Paddlers, etc., etc. (even the annual duck punt derby and the raft races utilise the estuary).

    I guess the question I asked at the beginning, in regards getting resource consent to dig and dam a “drain” on community owned land was not obtained?

    More double standards if you did not obtain resource consent. Your cause might be “noble” under the guise of saving the wetlands, but you still need to follow due process.

    Otherwise we will have every tom dick and robert digging “drains” and building dams on their own or community land.

  161. Just to clarify, Arana, your position is that no individual should grow their own food because:
    a. small insects will get hurt
    b. a hydroponics grower can grow food more efficiently

    You are also convinced that the reason I grow vegetables is because it makes me ‘feel righteous’ – correct me if I’m wrong.
    I’ll keep the cap of my ad hominem quiver closed, for the sake of any intelligent person following this discussion, and instead ask if you’ve considered, even in passing, that I might grow vegetables because I prefer them fresh, I like them grown in soil that I’ve nurtured over time using methods that are soil-building and health-enhancing, that I value my independence from ‘hydroponic’ and other forms of horticulture, that I wish to carry on the tradition of my parents, that I hope to pass on my gardening skills to my children and to visitors to my garden, that it’s a very healthy form of exercise (BioGym! It’s a Great Outdoor Workout!), and most importantly I’d have thought, to a RWNJ like yourself, I own my the land I garden and have the right to cultivate it if I so choose.
    Weighed up against ‘buy from the hydroponic grower in Auckland’, I don’t think the scales are tipped in favour of your argument.
    Of course, you’ll counter with something clever, like, ‘but you’re not starving!’, so I’ll get in early and say that must be the most peurile argument I’ve ever seen on Frogblog and given some of photonz1’s attempts, that’s saying something (I’ll not even cite Big Bro or Blue Peter, such is the level of my New Year goodwill to all men.
    ps – I treasure your response to Viv’s
    ” Greenfly has rebutted your arguments clearly and intelligently”

    “Huh?” is so you.

  162. ” Greenfly has rebutted your arguments clearly and intelligently”

    Huh? Greenfly is flapping about like a fish out of water.

  163. “Good grief. If I don’t need to, then no one needs to.”

    Someone more productive (producing at higher yield per sq/m/hydroponics/etc). Net effect: you still get fed and your garden returns to nature.

    Do read and consider my posts before flying off the handle in some desperate attempt to attack the messenger.

    *You* grow because it makes you feel righteous, not because you’d starve if you didn’t.

  164. Gerrit, you seem to be suggesting I lack imagination because I can’t picture estuarine life rapidly evolving to adapt to a tidal pattern based on the western working week. I suggest you understand very little about natural ecosystems or evolution. Your comment about people’s desires vs flora and fauna is most revealing. Greenfly has rebutted your arguments clearly and intelligently. I am happy that other treehugging, permaculture gardening types are standing up for the flora and fauna too. Sadly the fact that no effective action is being taken on climate change means you will get more water in your estuary.

  165. “You don’t need to grow it”.

    Good grief. If I don’t need to, then no one needs to. You somehow think food will mysteriously appear on the tables, if they have them, of all humans, without a sod being turned! What a rarefied atmosphere you breath, Arana! Magical food – make your wish and their it is! You’ve been watching “Peter Pan” too, too many times – magical food!
    Who “Runs a more productive food producing operation” than I do, Arana?
    How do they do it without disturbing your precious beetles and worms, do tell! I’m fascinated by your magical thinking and want to hear more from you, despite it seeming that your logic is Neverlandish and your pie in the sky.
    I’m Dumbo (You clearly love Disney)
    All ears.

  166. You don’t need to grow it. You could return your patch “as nature intended” and not starve by buying – or trading labour for – the surplus of others who run more productive food producing operations.

    You don’t need a home garden any more so that the boaties and swimmers need their waterways. You choose it because it makes you feel good.

    The water creatures are replaced and relocated. New water creatures prosper where they didn’t previously.

  167. Yes, Gerrit, it is about the size of the patch, as well as it’s existing use, its history and the purpose to which it is to be put. Taken to its logical end, your ‘revert all gardens back to native vegetation’ would have much of the world starve – is that you intention? You know we have to cultivate in order to eat. We don’t, otoh, have to flood estuaries for the purpose of boating. It’s a matter of necessity. Your and Arana’s blithe ignorance of the simple need for humans to eat food that’s grown in the ground is startling. Perhaps the two of you are able to ‘sail away’ your hunger, but most of us humans have to eat real food.
    Arana – your ability to ignore an explanation and revert to your original claim is well know but not respected here on Frogblog and I say that knowing it will have no effect on your thinking whatsoever. Here, btw, is a flaw in your ‘thinking’,
    ““it’s a matter of choice and it’s those creatures who cannot speak for themselves that have to wear the consequences of the whims of humans.”

    That’s you in your garden.”

    Where you fail here, Arana, is with the use of the word “whim”. Gardening for food is not a whim. Sailing on a dammed estuary, is.
    I garden to grow food. Those creatures who are displaced are soon replaced or relocated. It could be, and I suspect is, possible that my particular gardening style (permaculture forest-gardening) increases biodiversity markedly over what was here when I began (pasture, gorse, macrocarpa). Bird life here, for example, has multiplied in number and variety to an extraordinary extent. Plant species and concentration likewise. As to reverting to natives, as Gerrit describes, my garden now features hundreds of native plants;tress, shrubs, vines, annuals and perennials, fungi and ferns, that weren’t here when I arrived and hadn’t been present for probably 100 years. Intelligent management by humans can (and should, in my opinion) result in an improvement to any non-pristine site. Going into an untouched or special environment and modifying it to suit a sporting or recreational need, doesn’t cut it with me, though as I said before, Gerrit hasn’t put up a good argument for it yet. There may be one. We’ve not seen it.

  168. greenfly,

    So it is about the size of the “patch”?

    You little private vegetable “patch” is OK to develop and utilise (instead of helping it revert back to native bush) but if the community wants to develop its communal estuary “patch” that is not OK?

    Not just the boaties that want to flood gate the estuary but also the families that bring the children down so they can enjoy the beach (slide down the water slide, learn to swim, enjoy all sorts of self esteem building activities around the waters edge, etc.

    You take on the the preservation of a wet land with eco altering constructions yet our local community is not allowed to create a weekend paradise.

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    As I said earlier, dont do as I do, do as I say.

  169. “it’s a matter of choice and it’s those creatures who cannot speak for themselves that have to wear the consequences of the whims of humans.”

    That’s you in your garden.

  170. You still don’t get it, Greenfly. You accuse others of destroying little critters of acting in their own interests, whilst you do the same.

    Nothing wrong with it, on balance, but it demonstrates the flaw in your reasoning.

  171. Arana – your professed love for the crawling, wriggling, slithering and undulating creatures that live in our gardens casts you as the ultimate tree-hugging, vegan, Gaian. Peace and love to you sister! However, your previous comments here on Frogblog belie that characterization, so I have to conclude that you are merely blowing. You would have gardeners lay down their hoes, farmers their ploughs and no doubt fishermen their nets, condemning humanity to death by starvation. What an evil sorceress some would think you, Arana, were they to read your words here today.

  172. Gerrit – I believe it was I who labled you ‘rightwinger’, not Viv.
    Your garden analogy is seriously faulty. An estuary is a distinct ecosystem whereas a garden is merely a modified ‘patch’ of earth. The biology of an estuary is vulnerable and highly dependent on subtle aspects of the estuary; saltiness, regularity of tide etc. gardens are highly modified already (few are recently cut from native bush) and populated by robust and resiliant creatures, many of whom are not natives at all (slugs, sails, bees, birds etc.) They have adapted to the machinations of the gardener, in fact they generally challenge his efforts by their tenacity, whereas estuarine creatures die off rapidly and easily if conditions are changed. For example, the estuary I overlook has become a dead-zone because of silt, phosphorus and nitrates that have “somehow” found their way into the estuary from “somewher” up-river.
    You ask, “where do we stop”, yet seem to promote not stopping at all, at least you’ve not said that you find any particular eco-system to be worthy of leaving-be. Certainly you seem to regard your own estuary as something to be modified to suit the whims of some boaties who happen to live nearby.
    That said, and given that you didn’t describe the ‘alter the estuary’ project very well initially, it would be interesting to hear from you why and how you propose to do it. If your estuary can be made more biologically diverse and resilient through human intervention, I’d like to hear about it. I’m not one for fighting to keep things the way they are, if they happen to be already significantly degraded and am always keen to hear about innovation that might improve the lot of the natural world.

  173. Greenfly appears to be a destroyer of worlds. All so he can selfishly have a garden (act in his own interest). He wins, those poor little creatures with no voice – lose.

    I don’t think he’s going to grasp it, Gerrit.

  174. greenfly,

    …..it’s a matter of choice and it’s those creatures who cannot speak for themselves that have to wear the consequences of the whims of humans.

    Yep, no diffenence when you dig up the vege plot to plant another crop.

    An eco system had developed after the last harvest containing worms, beetles, grubs, flies, spiders, snails, slugs, etc.

    When you dig it over you are altering that eco system again.

    Where do we stop?

    Viv, What part of the development of a new eco system based on variations in tidal patterns dont you understand? Just because you cant comprehand an eco system based on 10 flushes versus 14 in an estuary does not mean there cant be one.

    In the local estuary there has been large tract clearing of the mangrove weed and guess what, the estuary is cleaner, the fish are back as are the mud snails, crabs, scallops and oysters.

    No run off sediment is trapped by the weedy mangrove.

    I guess your labelling and pidgeon holing of me as a right winger shows your lack of argument.

  175. “Why should the flora and fauna override the desires of the local residence?”

    Lordy!

    Estuaries are immensely more productive, in terms of biota, than the farmland that so often borders them. Mud snails are not pretty, so don’t rate alongside of kittens and Bichon Frisé and have to take what we hand them. They don’t, as Viv notes, do well underwater for weekends at a time.
    I guess, Gerrit, it’s a matter of choice and it’s those creatures who cannot speak for themselves that have to wear the consequences of the whims of humans. That’s where the treehuggers come in – they seem to feel it’s important to act in defense of something other than their own immediate interests – why that is, no right-winger seems to be able to fathom, to use a term with which you are very familiar and which pertains to this discussion where you appear to want to consign said snails to the briny depths.

  176. Gerrit, we may have developed a 5 day week, 2 day weekend but it didn’t happen by evolution. I doubt much life will evolve to survive 2 days flooding alternating with 5 days tidal, I expect most life in that estuary ecosystem would just die. I think it would be really over the top to kill off an ecosystem to suit your weekend recreation. Maybe I’m in the minority, it seems that as long as the malls are still open the majority of the population wouldn’t notice if we killed off most of the ecosystems in the country.

  177. A farmer feeds his family FIRST and sells what is left. We as a nation are selling everything that isn’t nailed down. This is not wise.

    Going by those food handout queues in Auckland pre-Christmas, the problem appears to be too much food, rather than too little.

    Perhaps footpaths need to be widened to better handle the “kiwi physique”.

  178. Viv,

    Why should the flora and fauna override the desires of the local residence?

    All we want to replicate is what happens in the Orakei Basin

    http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/parksfacilities/beacheslakeswaterways/Pages/orakeibasinusagehome.aspx

    As one eco system is alterted so another evolves.

    No different then what greenfly is doing to rescue the Southland wetlands.

    If we look at the recreational opportunities created by the Karapiro dam, sure it has come at a cost to the original ecosystem. But a new ecosystem has evolved.

    Every ecosystem evolves either helped by human activity or by natural means (earthquakes, volcanic activity, tidal waves, etc.,etc.)

    You simply cannot “lock” an ecosystem into a fixed paradigm unalterable by evolution.

  179. Gerrit- You want to flood an estuary on weekends? The estuary life that is adapted to tidal flow would be flooded from Friday to Sunday but flora & fauna that live underwater would dry out the rest of the week !? I hope you never get consent for something like that.

  180. Happy new year to all.
    So no end of the world, huh?
    Did Thelma & Louise drive off the Fiscal Cliff? I can’t tell from here at the beach. Or did the ‘decent Americans’ manage to make a deal with that gun-hating-commie-loving-muslim-immigrant-nigger? Do I even care?
    Swim time…
    hugs to all!

  181. Gerrit – the “stream” is a drain, dug by the group. It was part of a closed loop that didn’t drain to the estuary, until a misguided employee dug it through with a spade. This weir partially restores the previous closed-loop state, while allowing some water to pass over top. It is in no way ‘the same’ as your ‘dam the estuary’ proposal, for which you would certainly need resource consent.

  182. Greenfly,

    Question is, was resource consent obtained to alter a water course?

    Or can any group just place dams if it is for the “greater good” of the (in this case) wet land and the production of whitebait?

    See, we have this estuary used for recreational purposes by the local community that we would like to dam (actually keep the tide in for the for the weekends – opening the floodgates to allow normal tidal flows during the week). Problem is we need resource consent.

    Is there one rule for Southland wet lands and another for the rest of New Zealand?

    Surely blocking a stream whether for the production of whitebait or for improving the recreation use of a community is the same and both would require resource consent.

  183. I can’t presume to speak on Mr Guyton’s behalf anymore than I could speak for Hugh Manatee or Gladstone Gander, Gerrit, but a keen observer will have noted that the weir you question, is part of the waterway system the Landcare group that Mr G chairs, built inside of their Te Wai Korari wetland reserve, in order to increase the amount of habitat available to galaxids that come in from the Jacob’s River estuary. The myriad of streams that previously flowed into the estuary and provided homes for the whitebaits, have one by one, been piped and covered or flood-gated, rendering them useless for the fish, so the group invested in creating some hundreds of meters of suitable waterway. The need for the weir resulted from a blowout at the estuary edge, which caused the water levels to drop, rendering the system less effective. The construction of such a simple device as a sandbag-weir, solved the problem, raising the levels back to what they were, with minimal impact. I’m not sure what “unquantified enironmental (sic) damage” you feel might be resulting from the employment of this simple technology, but if you care to detail your concerns, I’m sure the ever-watchful and deeply-caring Mr Guyton (who is unable to avoid being shunted into ‘moderation’ every time he tries to post here, Frog) would hasten to the reserve to fix the problem. That’s, I understand, the kind of guy he is :-)

  184. A very prosperous new year to all.
    May debate remain heated, positions remain flexible and commas make a long awaited return to our language.
    :-)

  185. Greenfly,

    Good to see you back on deck, all the best for 2013.

    You might have missed this comment of mine on an earlier General Debate

    Wonder if this well known greenie and supporter of conservation off waterways, had resource consent to block a stream, causing all sorts of unquantified enironmental damage.

    http://robertguyton.blogspot.co.nz/2012/12/adams-weir.html

    Or is it more a case of do as I say, not do as I do.

    Hopefully no native snails were drowned as the lake built behind the weir. Possibly there will be an environmental disaster as the population of greenflies reaches epidimic proportions ;-) .

    Mind you instead of wind power, the blocked stream should be able to run a water wheel and power the houshold of native greenflies.

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