1. Adman John Ansell provides his reasoning for this negative campaign in the comments. 

    …those knee-jerk enviro-panickers and exaggerators from the Green party who want to ban all forms of fun, for reasons which they haven’t properly thought through.

    …the Greens’ love for the environment comes a very poor second to their desire to kneecap capitalism and put people last.

    I imagine you and your fellow greenies would have been marching in the streets against the Industrial Revolution. 

    As you may have noticed, this series of innovations [previous commentator mentioned urban spawn, car-dependance, consumerism…] by our ingenious species has doubled life expectancy and massively increased human prosperity in every conceivable way over the last 200 years.

    Firstly, when did anyone ever think that the Green Party was not a Leftist party? How is this news to anyone?

    Secondly, I love that quip about “knee-jerk enviro-panickers and exaggerators” coming from a reactionary, Market-economy-panicker, exaggerating the threat of the Reds Under the Bed.

    Thirdly, & mostly: Not all inventions are good.  Technology for the sake of it, i.e. the Technological Imperative, may be a human trait but that doesn’t mean it’s always right.  Consider transport: from the latter half of last century we have high-speed rail and we have high-performance cars.  Which is better - safer, cleaner, more efficient - for people? Oh, trains.  We can do this for construction, for health, for computers, for energy… Yes, lets do energy: because really, if we’re talking about safe, affordable, unlimited energy, solar wins hands down over nuclear power.  As a bonus, I can produce my own energy at home with solar, but I am dependant on a provider for nuclear power.  How on earth is this not better for people? 

    Being opposed to a corporate-profit-driven technological imperative is not the same thing as wanting to go back to the dark ages.  Which is why the Green Party is the most technologically astute political party in NZ and will commit $1billion of government investment in research and development and start a Green Investment Bank.  Fossil fuels are the past, sustainable tech is the future.  

    Caring about the environment doesn’t mean not caring about people (it wouldn’t be very socialist not to care about people, after all).  Think about it John, Life (including human life) is dependant on the health of the planet far more than it is dependant on the health of the economy - or as Dr Guy McPherson said: “Try holding your breath while you count your money.”  

  3. universalequalityisinevitable:

    Dr. James Gilligan on crime, revenge, and punishment, from this video.

    (via sabelmouse)


  4. "So what’s the alternative to austerity? What we know is that New Zealand universities collect about $900 million in domestic tuition fees, requiring students to take out around $1.1 billion in student loan debt. The inevitable consequence of this is the exclusion of more and more people from tertiary education. To solve this growing problem, we support fully-funded, fee-free tertiary education. It would cost approximately half of the $2 billion per year tax cut John Key gave to the top income earners. If countries like Argentina, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Scotland, Norway and Denmark can do it, so can we. It shouldn’t be radical to call for dignity for workers, a vibrant student democracy and fully funded education - but it is."
    — Reclaim UoA (via reclaimuoa)

    Just to put it in perspective.

    (via its-that-badiou-know)

  5. exposethetpp:

    OK, gotta be honest here. This really freaks me out!


    Share if it really freaks you out too.

    (via sabelmouse)

  6. markscherz:


    Daily Decay (19th August 2014): Common Asian Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) @ Clementi

    I would like to see a lot more of this species in this condition.

    You might think that’s a pretty harsh thing for a herpetologist to say about a frog, but in this case, I mean it sincerely.

    You see, this species is native to southern Asia, where it is common and doubtless forms an integral part of the foodchain.

    These toads are able to reproduce at a phenomenal rate, with some (probably ridiculous) estimates stating that females can produce up to 40,000 eggs in one year. They are also highly mobile, and quite toxic.

    Earlier this year, it was revealed that this species has successfully colonised Madagascar.

    People familiar with the invasion of the cane toad Rhinella marina (formerly Bufo marinus) in Australia will know just how devastating this news is. Invasive species like this have the potential to spread and effectively cause the collapse of whole ecosystems. On islands like Madagascar, invasions of this kind are particularly dangerous for the specialised and unique local fauna.

    An assessment is currently under way in Madagascar to look at the feasibility of exterminating this species before it does too much damage. It is one of the main topics that we will be discussing at the ACSAM2 meeting in Madagascar in November. We can only hope it is not too late, and that something can be done before this toad spreads too far and truly becomes uncontrollable.

    (YOU CAN HELP by donating just a little bit to help make the ACSAM2 meeting a success!)


  7. Anonymous said: So I've been quite depressed lately as you have been about the whole "animals leaving the earth FOREVER really quickly " thing so I wanted to ask why things really aren't being done. You are in the field and you know how the field works, (this is not to bash you in any way, you just know more than I do.) so I wanted to know what is really keeping things from moving forward. We already have the research, the data, but what is the final piece? Is there anything other than donating and petitions?


    God this is a difficult question to answer. Honestly I don’t know how some people can get out of bed in the morning. I have friends who have watched numerous frog extinctions happen, and somehow they remain positive, hopeful, driven, and influential people. If Madagascar’s frogs start to collapse like the rest of the world’s, I will be inconsolable.

    The thing is, in a lot of cases, researchers are hesitant to take big steps because they don’t have all the data they want. In other cases, even if they take the necessary steps to make a difference, the people in political power, who ultimately govern what is designated for what purpose, become a huge obstacle. This is a problem of conservation science having to be run through governing agencies, whose interests are not necessarily what is best for the fauna or flora inhabiting the areas they govern.

    Even when governing agencies cooperate and agree on what is most important, they are notoriously slow. It takes years, sometimes decades, to enact the changes that we want to see over months to reverse or mitigate damage.

    It’s easy to have a defeated attitude. And sometimes it’s appropriate. Hundreds of frogs have disappeared without any possible hope of bringing them back. We are losing diversity before it is even discovered. But the most important thing is to stay positive. Focus on the steps that need to come, one after the next. We have to build policies. We have to work with communities to make differences to their lives as well as the lives of their fauna. We have to convince people that animals, plants, and ecosystems are worth saving. We have to identify what gaps there are in our knowledge, and then piece together the funding to do the research that we’re still missing. Step by step, slowly, we have to work toward a better future. For ourselves, for our children, and for our planet.


  8. "

    The University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor, Stuart McCutcheon, earns $650,000 to $660,000 a year in a remuneration package, making him the highest-paid public official in the country. His pay package increased by $20,000 from 2012 to 2013. If there is not enough ‘public funding’ to place a freeze on fees or to pay workers at the University an adequate wage then why is there enough to pay Professor McCutcheon’s salary?

    How is this kind of salary possibly justified for any public official when between 500,000 and 750,000 people in New Zealand are living in households with incomes below the poverty line? As New Zealanders, we bare the unfortunate statistic of an estimated 270,000 children living in poverty. How does the University of Auckland contribute to the perpetuation of poverty? Cleaners at the University of Auckland are paid a minimum wage, some of whom have worked for the University six days a week for 30 years. Wages are out of step with the cost of living and an institution bound to be the conscience of society cannot defensibly continue paying below subsistence wages.


  9. Of course I thought Metiria and Russel in the Green Room, totally rocked the debate.


  10. On the other hand. Viewer reportage to TVNZ put Key at 60+% and Cunliffe only a shade over 30%.