Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Compete To Find The Solution

38 years ago President Kennedy launched a pledge to land a man on the moon – and 30 years ago it was achieved. But this was no race against time. It was a race against the Soviet Republic.

The competition needs to happen again. This time we need a pledge to create emission free energy for all our needs by 2020. This can come from the US, it can come from China. It can come from any country that wishes to prove itself the most technologically advanced - and the saviour of the human race. Surely this is something to do.

(I have seen online comments from many Americans deploring the lack of sovereignty demonstrated by the US recently. Well this is a matter they can demonstrate sovereignty on, and supremacy in, by rising to the challenge of developing emission free energy that can supply the world. Get to it.)


Monday, December 21, 2009

CO2 Level Means Emission Reduction Not Negotiable

The more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the hotter the planet. The hotter the planet, the higher the oceans. More heat, means more energy, means more extreme weather conditions.

“…our carbon dioxide levels have gone up so quickly, in just over a hundred years we’ve gone up from 270 to 389 parts per million – remember that in the last 3 million years it’s never been more than 270 before, never been more than 270, we’re already at 389. It’ll take the planet about 30 years to catch up with that change, so the next 30 years of climate change is in the pipeline whatever we do now. Then, after that, it all depends on our behaviour now. If our carbon dioxide levels keep going up then by the end of the century we are going to see a very significant change.” Professor Sir David King (UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor 2000-7), BBC Newsnight, 20 Dec 2009.

“There’s no reason why the European Union cannot unilaterally go for 30% [cut in emissions] instead of saying if China did this they would do that – there’s no need for this! This is not a negotiation! You cannot negotiate with the laws of the physics! You cannot cut a deal with Mother Nature! This is not a negotiation!” Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Maldives, BBC - The World Debate at Copenhagen, 20 Dec 2009.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Aren't The French Bizarre...

How does Google propagating French literature endanger French culture?

It must be a kind of 'If-we-don't-let-other's-access-it-they'll-want-it' kind of attitude.

They can keep it.

[French Publishers Toast Triumph Over Google]


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Manners Mall - A Bus Lane!

Manners Mall in Wellington, New Zealand, was ruined several years ago when Prendergast and Council removed all the bricks that paved the area in the same manner as the rest of the city, and lay down a swath of grey that dulled and uglified what was before at least a reasonably attractive (if somewhat tired) place to sit. All the usual park benches were ripped out in the makeover and replaced with ugly yellow plastic and concrete constructs that had no back to lean on.

In other words, Prendergast first ruined the mall she is about to make a bus lane. If Manners Mall isn't a place we want to go (and it really isn't anymore) it's because Prendergast and Council made it that way. But now, rather than admit to that mistake and rectify it with an attractive area we will visit (and that could very well be done - it is a natural center of convergence) Prendergast is going to use the excuse of its unpopularity (whether tacitly or explicitly) to rip it out altogether. This is poor. Something attractive could be done here, and it should be. The opportunity is about to be lost again.

(It looks like Lower Cuba is to be swathed in grey as well - it's ugly. Don't let them do it Wellingtonians.)

[Facebook - Talk Your Walk Wellington]
[Facebook - Save Manners Mall!]


Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Common Purpose Manifesto

The manifesto is published! The first edition on 10th December 2009 (NZ) - Human Rights Day. How appropriate and hopefully auspicious.

Available only through Blurb at the moment. Check it out.

The Common Purpose Manifesto


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Our Human Rights Day December 10

Though of course our rights are ours everyday, even if infringed on. (Are any of yours?) Here’s a selection…

We have the right:
- to rest and leisure [A.24]
- to material interest from our ideas [A.27.2]
- to not be subject to arbitrary interference with our privacy or to attacks on our reputation [A. 12]
- to be presumed innocent until proven guilty [A.11.1]
- to equal treatment (before the law) [A.7]
- to not be tortured or subjected to cruel or degrading treatment or punishment [A.5]
- to not be held in servitude or slavery [A.4]


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Is It "White" We're Afraid Of Or Redressing Wrongs

Hone responds to an abusive email with a similarly abusive email like most of us might. These personal emails are released to the media and the Human Rights Commissioner calls Hone's (or both of them?) "racially abusive", appealing to the Maori Party and parliamentarians to deplore the words used.

The worse thing is Human Rights Commissioner Joris de Bres allowing himself to be made a tool of censorship, in fact willingly participating in it. He is not the Commissioner of Bad Language, he should not be encouraging the censorship of politians who use bad language, that is an abuse of our rights.

MP's are people. Personally I'm damn happy when an MP behaves like a normal human being. This is not the kind of behaviour we, or the Human Rights Commission, should be censoring. It is not Joris de Bres' role to say what demeans the role of MP, no matter what he may think personally.

If anything the Human Rights Commission should be concerned about the number of people who believe Hone (a Maori) should be punished for using the term "white" and ask why? What are these people afraid of? Hone's angry at what the British did to Maori in the past - wrongs that need to be put right. Could it be this process of restitution and redress that people are really afraid of?

[Buddy Mikaere's email in part]
[Hone's email in full]


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Phil Goff's Replacement

Perhaps the reason why John Key can get away with anything is that Phil Goff keeps criticising him, and we're thoroughly sick of it.

Isn't it about time there was more talk about Phil Goff's replacement? C'mon media commentators, political pundits, what's the story?

There are many new labour MPs and from what I've seen they are a good bunch. There's plenty that aren't Helen Clarke dopplegangers and boring critics.

Labour, don't wait 'til just before the next election, or worse, after. Start now with a new leader that's really new. Start fresh.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Teflon Prime Minister

John Key, joint prime and tourism minister of 'Pure' New Zealand had for many weeks thought it a good look to be the only developed-country leader not be represented at the Copenhagen climate change conference. Hmmm. Not that the media in New Zealand had much to say about it.

Key gave a good impression that Greenpeace, Jim Salinger and Lucy Lawless's petitions for him to be there had absolutely no impact on his decision. Even if John does deny climate change, as has actions seem to imply, he might have had the good sense to see that not attending Copenhagen might put the lie to New Zealand's 'Pure' credentials. But he didn't, well not 'til today - a bit slow perhaps? Why wasn't The Green Party making more of fuss about of this, perhaps they just weren't getting media coverage...

Don't get me wrong though, I think Key's a good PM, especially for a National party PM, and I don't know that Kyoto (or similar) is the best way to go to resolve climate change. But I do wonder about his good-sense compass when it comes to the image of New Zealand overseas and his role as tourism minister/ambassador - surely New Zealand's leader being the first to step up to Copenhagen would have been better for the country's image than being the last... And sometimes perception is vital - a good leader knows this - it is their job to demonstrate and articulate what their country is about (the vision, the story, the culture, and so on). Obama knows this.