Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Let's lynch the liberals!

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  • Lucy Stewart,

    You can agree that the science is about as settled as its ever going to get (and from my layman's perspective I'm not seeing any grand hoax exposed), while still arguing about the political response. That easier to get?

    Much more so, and I agree with you entirely, but I'm still at a loss as to how you got there from the sentence you quoted.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Mike Moore has an opinion piece in the Herald today attacking the environmental movement. It is the usual incomprehensible garbage we have come to expect from Moore.

    My favourite line is:

    I'm not a climate denier

    Good to know, Mike.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Much more so, and I agree with you entirely, but I'm still at a loss as to how you got there from the sentence you quoted.

    Fair enough, damn me thinking out loud in the middle of the night when I should be visiting Bedfordshire. I just think the whole thing (not what you said specifically) involves a rather dangerous confusion of science and politics.

    So you can't throw the broken voting system for Westminster elections at the door of the Labour party just because they are current beneficiaries. You see I remember my history.

    Peter: Well... let's review the evidence shall we? Beyond, of course, that Labour has had twelve years in Government, with substantial majorities, to not even begin to implement its own weak manifesto commitments on electoral reform.

    1979 General Election.
    Share of popular vote (Conservative/Labour/Liberal): 43.9/36.9/13.8%
    Proportion of Commons (Conservative/Labour/Liberal): 53.4/42.4/1.7%

    1983 General Election.
    Share of popular vote (Conservative/Labour/SDP-Liberal): 42.3/27.6/25.4%
    Proportion of Commons (Conservative/Labour/SDP-Liberal): 61.1/32.2/3.5%

    1987 General Election
    Share of popular vote (Conservative/Labour/SDP-Liberal): 42.2/30.8/22.6%
    Proportion of Commons (Conservative/Labour/SDP-Liberal): 57.8/35.2/3.8%

    So, you seriously want to tell me Labour isn't a big a beneficiary of the status quo as the Tories ever were? Or that they might have an equally large dollop of self-interest in maintaining the status quo?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    @Simon Grigg, I'm pleased to hear that about BKK. Last time I was there, 2000, the pollution level was astonishing. Every time I blew my nose, the tissue was black. Every time I went for a ride on my scooter, I needed a shower to get all the soot off my arms. In fact, one day when it was really sunny, and I could feel sunburn coming on, I got some lovely white sunblock, put it on, and I actually went grey. It was very disconcerting not to be able to navigate by landmarks because they could not be seen if you were more than a block from them, and just as disconcerting not to be able to see the top of some buildings at all, they were too high up in the smog.

    The mass transit system was fairly new then, and not much used. It seemed bizarre to me that the family I stayed with drove up to 20km into town every day right underneath a monolithic motorway and rail system, trapped in the chaos and delays below. I kept pointing to the motorway on-ramps and they'd just smile and wave and carry on. I offered to pay the tolls, but they still wouldn't do it. I could never decide if it was really that they felt it would be cheating and would deny me the right to enjoy a truly authentic BKK experience. A couple of times I used the train system, and the Thais I was with seemed to regard is as akin to a Disneyland ride, something to be enjoyed very occasionally as a novelty. Certainly it was like stepping into a different world, from the hot, crowded, noisy, smoky streets crammed with every conceivable form of transport, right into some sterile cool, restful, efficient, almost alien environment. Perhaps that was what the Thais didn't like about it (then, don't know about now).

    BKK's ability to turn this situation around quickly is mostly good. I say mostly because of the flip side, it could tempt others to delay such efforts, if they have such quick payoff.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    the usual incomprehensible garbage

    Speaking of which, WTF is up with Jim Hopkins? There are serious amounts of slander in this column. He doesnt go quite as far as Ian Wishart in slandering NIWA as well, but it's bad enough.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Speaking of which, WTF is up with Jim Hopkins?
    It's not like climate scientists actually want to be right about climate change.

    I often get the feeling Jim signed on to write that column for the Herald as some sort of "steady job", only to realise he couldn't be consistently funny and insightful every week, so he stopped trying to be either. Contrarian nonsense through and through.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Speaking of which, WTF is up with Jim Hopkins?

    James at Editing the Herald has a good piece on Hopkins' latest effort.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Speaking of which, WTF is up with Jim Hopkins?

    That requires a two part answer: Who? Why should I care?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    Thanks Scott, that's a beaut piece by James.
    Andre, I think you're right. There's a fine line between being a clown and an idiot.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Andy Fraser,

    Steve

    “Honest scientists ??
    The emails show differently.”

    Russell

    “That's a great piece. I hadn't realised just how, um, manufactured the so-called "Oregon
    Petition" was. You can't be that deceitful by accident: you do it very deliberately.”

    I think there is a lot of truth in both statements. The irony is Russell that your last sentence supports what Steve said.

    It does strike me that both sides are guilty of tampering with the evidence.

    As for Goff, Trotter, et al - am I the only person who feels comfortable with both Clark and Goff ?

    Invercargill • Since Jun 2009 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    On a slight tangent, The Liberals have just tea-bagged Kevin Rudd an early Christmas.

    As for Goff, Trotter, et al - am I the only person who feels comfortable with both Clark and Goff ?

    Probably, but as I've said I've got no problems with the Goff/Trotter/Pagani school continuing down the merry road to utter irrelevance.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    It does strike me that both sides are guilty of tampering with the evidence.

    Actually that's rubbish, Andy. Where's the evidence that climate scientists have been falsifying data on a grand scale? To believe that climate change is a hoax (a la Jim Hopkins, Poneke, Ian Wishart, Rodney Hide and co), you have to believe that thousands and thousands of climate scientists worldwide have colluded in a grand conspiracy for the purposes of ... what, exactly?
    The inadvisable and maybe even unprofessional private behaviour of a small handful of scientists working in a hostile environment is not proof that climate change is not real - the science supporting it is far more robust that that. As Danyl put it more elegantly, would black holes cease to exist if Roger Penrose and Steven Hawking deleted a few emails?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Actually that's rubbish, Andy. Where's the evidence that climate scientists have been falsifying data on a grand scale? To believe that climate change is a hoax (a la Jim Hopkins, Poneke, Ian Wishart, Rodney Hide and co), you have to believe that thousands and thousands of climate scientists worldwide have colluded in a grand conspiracy for the purposes of ... what, exactly?

    Whereas on the denial side, there actually is evidence of a broad and concerted campaign to distort the truth, through ways and means that should set alarm bells ringing for anyone who pretends to skepticism.

    The only way you would create something like the Oregon Petition is if your intention was to deceive.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    you have to believe that thousands and thousands of climate scientists worldwide have colluded in a grand conspiracy for the purposes of ... what, exactly?

    Ah Carol, clearly you didn't read Hopkin's piece closely enough.

    They are "earning for themselves great renown and large amounts of dosh"

    And now that I think about it, it must be true. Because every climate scientist I know swans around their own private island made entirely of gold ingots, strolling up and down the beach listlessly kicking clouds of powdered diamond into a sea of molten platinum.

    And they need the private island, see, because now they've got all that 'great renown', they're having to beat the groupies off with a stick.

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

  • Just thinking,

    Jim hasn't had it for a quite a while now.
    Its more than Grumpy Old Man syndrom, he's lost his perspective with which GOMS can be funny & even charming. He's now desending into the bowels of Old Git.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    So, you seriously want to tell me Labour isn't a big a beneficiary of the status quo as the Tories ever were? Or that they might have an equally large dollop of self-interest in maintaining the status quo?

    Nope, what we want to tell you is that if the Tories suddenly discover the joys of electoral reform now, we'll all know damn fine it's utterly unprincipled.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    The serious skeptics have been saying for some time the CRU and the group around Mann and Real Climate have been withholding the data. The emails and the lets not forget the code for the programs have shown much is amiss in the House of climate, wether it will be a house of cards we will see.
    Remember the great hurricane debate, Russell was amoung those hitching that weather phenomena to the global warming horse, but of course it turned out to be a donkey, much as the sceptics predicted

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Nope, what we want to tell you is that if the Tories suddenly discover the joys of electoral reform now, we'll all know damn fine it's utterly unprincipled.

    Jesus Christ... I just give up. The next Tory-bashing straw man can get set up without my help.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    And they need the private island, see, because now they've got all that 'great renown', they're having to beat the groupies off with a stick.

    Island property is also so cheap nowdays, what with all those scares they've put out about rising sea levels. Cunning scientist buggers!

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Nope, what we want to tell you is that if the Tories suddenly discover the joys of electoral reform now, we'll all know damn fine it's utterly unprincipled.

    I'm not sure if it applies to UK politics, but both major parties commitment to electoral reform here, a la MMP, was entirely unprincipled, they were dragged into it unhappily.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    O yes, there's nothing really wrong with unprincipled deals done to get the electorate onside, but you can hardly be the party of no on electoral reform for two centuries and then expect sympathy when the arcane system bites back.

    (I mean, the Lords, ffs, if we're going to have `unfairness' competitions.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Keir:

    You're convinced I stand exposed as a hypocrite, thanks to your rebuttal of an argument I never made in the first place? Gold star and a kitten. Move on.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    You did say:

    They've got as much cause to complain as the Liberal Democrats

    .

    They hardly have cause to complain --- they support the current system, and have done since forever, and don't even pay lip service to reform.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'm kind of loathe to suggest this, but it strikes me that Goff's approach may be even more cynical and tactical than simply trying to wedgie Maori and put Aloe on red necks. He could be trying to elicit from National what they elicited from Labour after Brash's huge post-Orewa poll bounce - a hasty and overreaching response. Can Key afford to just ignore it? How else are we really going to find what National are all about, if Labour don't start sounding out their demographics? They can just cruise along saying very little, smiling a lot, ramming the odd thing through under urgency, under the radar, cutting deals here and there, playing the center nicely. Or Labour can start yelling and screaming about things that will get various groups activated, and just see where the chips fall. What do they really have to lose at this point? Is there any real chance they'll win the next election?

    Seems to me that's a pretty good way to play against an all-rounder, a center-dominator like Key. Do a bait and switch, running from base to base, stirring, and see which ones that National defend the strongest. Try to get them to make a big play. Then pull off the final bait and switch, the dash to the center.

    It's not the only way it could be done, nor is it a particularly 'nice' way to do it. But clearly the strategy of trying to defend all bases simultaneously didn't work, and National now have strong defenders in place. Targeted assault will at least move the pieces around the board, possibly showing where the faultlines are in what seems like a strong defense.

    The danger is, of course, of losing bases you already have. Nothing is certain in war.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Loathe to agree, but I think you're kind've right.
    There's significant short and long-term danger to Labour in National and the MP finding a mutually satisfactory solution to the FSS.
    Not easy but possible- since National might just sell it to some of their base on the grounds of the 'supremacy' of property rights.
    I think there's room for a principled stand from Labour if they can frame the FSS debate in terms of the privatisation of what has been seen as a 'common': something owned by noone and everyone.
    I'd like to think that's where Goff is heading.
    But heck- I'd like the whatever percentage of the FSS that's said to already be in private ownership to be included in any solution- I'm unhappy with the notion of anyone- mäori (how can I get the macrons working here?!), pakeha, citizen or foreigner- having 'property rights' (which seem hard to quantify but symbolicly potent) over this strange liminal strip surrounding our country.
    And I'm not holding my breath for that to happen ;-)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

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