Happy happy birthday Russell
I'm a year ahead (next week - I think that makes us both fellow July Leos?). I tried to have a big party last year but that omicron covid lockdown got in the way, but I did manage to have 25 neighbours spontaneously in my living room on the actual day, a Tuesday, a school night. Dancing and everything.
A year of being 60 has me feeling very comfortable in this new decade: I can only recommend it. Does it give us gravitas, finally? Who knows.
We were in Chch as cadets for local papers at the same time; we were in London at the same time, and possibly in the same field in Pilton in 1987. The dancing hasn't stopped here either, and I hope it won't: it's what keeps us young, right?
Hope you have a lovely week/month (a 60th birthday must be a festival, spread over at least two if not three occasions).
And welcome to your seventh decade.
I thought bubble but we only did bubbles for a short while, even though it seemed like forever, same with lockdown.
Regarding Trump, I'd go with FLAILING.
Full tilt again in Piha, Karekare this last weekend, with chopper hanging what looks like a camera on a long rope, and police Cessna also circling. Last year this was followed by an Army chopper with people hanging out of it suspended all of 10m above my gardens, peering in, completely freaking out the dog. That they are spending money on the army to do this seems like an awful waste of money.
The raids will come next. Last year a friend was raided for his TWO plants (turns out previous tenant had been a P dealer but cops hadn't realised this guy had moved in - even though he's been there for at least three years), and the police were apologetic.
Rebecca Reider's interview on Newshub's AM show convinced Duncan Garner, who said if the campaign made its points as clearly as she'd just made them to him, it'd win, in his view. Here's the interview https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/11/cannabis-advocate-s-impressive-justification-for-legalisation.html
And here are the points that convinced Garner:
* we're spending $400m a year policing it
* cannabis crime is needlessly filling up our prisons.
* We're missing out on $200m a year in tax revenues
* it's really not very harmful, never has been.
* so much less harmful than alcohol
* prohibition doesn't work - people already have it - is widely available
* But right now there's no regulation, it is sold on the black market - by criminals
* can be - and is being - contaminated, so regulation is good.
Makes for such grim reading. Those poor people - agree with Minto's comment this morning that both Housing Corp and WINZ, by the end of nine long years, appeared to be operating a system that ran on vindictiveness, and the targetting of some of society's poorest people. But the problem now is that it's probably the culture in both departments, and staff selected on their ability to have thick enough skin to carry out these policies. Going to take a while to undo?
Simon, yes, fracking is only a tiny percentage of water usage. The more worrying thing is that the fracking wastes have gotten into drinking water acquifers... Taranaki, anyone?
The other side of this "if we disappeared there'd be no impact on global emissions" argument is how New Zealand behaves at the climate talks.
So the UNFCCC's a consensus-driven process (yes, I know, it ought to not be, but the rule introducing a vote-based decisionmaking process has been permanently blocked by the Saudis). New Zealand plays this one pretty hard and fast at the meetings. A couple of examples. The NZ delegation has:
* sided with Russia, Ukraine, Khazakstan, et al on opposing a proposal to get the Eastern European "hot air" out of the system (because we want to keep our precious 'kyoto forests' in order to be able to appear to be acting on climate without actually doing anything)
* pushed for extremely weak LULUCF rules (extending them further so that we can, again, play with these to look like we're taking action)
* tried to push (in Doha) a rule that would allow anyone to trade as part of the Kyoto system, without signing up to CP2. This was rejected in Doha, but the NZ delegation thinks the wording of that decision is sufficiently vague and has wilfully misinterpreted it to mean the opposite of its intention
You get the picture. We side, in the UNFCCC, with a bloc including the US, Canada and Australia, and certainly we rarely side with the Small Island States, our Pacific neighbours.
So while we are small in emissions, we play a starring role (and not in a good way) on the international stage.
Comments on Fran's article appear to be ravingly in support.
I wonder how many they rejected.
I heard talk last year that the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment was getting help from some sections of the media in writing OIA's - because the Ministry for the Environment was refusing to give her office information requested. By law, they are required to give it to her, but she has had to resort to OIA's. Not sure how well that's going either.