Friday, 11 May 2018

Ecological and economic collapse in New Zealand

It will be only apparent to those paying attention but New Zealand is collapsing environmentally, socially, financially and politically, not to mention socially.

Every day we read headlines like this. The detail with which these questions are dealt with are usually in inverse proportion to the importance of the crisis in question.

People who react emotionally to things,mostly on social media, but are incapable (or unwilling) to analyse why this might be the case just blame the government.

It is really only the symptoms of social collapse that get any public attention.

While the previous government with its socially-destructive policies of austerity took this breakdown to new, unseen levels. But there is nothing unique in this and the result probably end up being the same.

We cannot look solely to economic policies.

What we are seeing is a neo-liberal response to a very real problem to ongoing and progressive collapse as a result of economic crisis arising out of energy decline along with ecological degradation and accelerating climate change.

NZ glaciers shrank 30 percent in hot summer

The summer heatwave has massively affected New Zealand's glaciers, resulting in a 30 percent loss of ice.

fox glacier

Fox Glacier on the West Coast (file photo). Photo: 123RF

10 May, 2018

The meltback was observed by the annual Glacier Snowline Survey, a collaboration between NIWA and Victoria University.

Survey founder Trevor Chinn said it was one of the largest glacier meltbacks since he began the survey in 1977.

"A glacier is the best climate change indicator you can use," he said.

Whether these dramatic results could be directly attributed to climate change "is the $64,000 question", Niwa climate scientist Andrew Lorrey said.

Niwa said it was embarking on formal testing in collaboration with Victoria University and the University of Melbourne to see if a definitive correlation could be found.

"Can you actually get a natural event like this, or is it something where climate change has loaded the dice and it's pushed us over some sort of threshold?" Dr Lorrey said.

"Those are the questions we're looking to answer."

Just think of the next major disaster which may strike sooner than the people  in charge are willing to admit.

Natural Disaster Fund drops from $6 4b to $287m in 8 years

The Earthquake Commission's assets are now as low as $287 million, and will soon reach the $200m mark that triggers the Crown guarantee to top up the Natural Disaster Fund.

What is underpinning the New Zealand economy (apart from immigration)? Dairying

First north Canterbury farm confirmed to have mycoplasma bovis

9 May, 2018

Cattle disease mycoplasma bovis has been found on a mixed sheep and beef farm in north Canterbury.

It is the first time the disease has been found in this region after it was first detected on a south Canterbury farm in July last year.

The farm was identified through animal movements from other infected farms.
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Mycoplasma bovis response incident controller Catherine Duthie says the discovery of new infected properties is not because the disease is spreading.

"All the infected farms we know about are in quarantine lockdown and no movements of risk goods, including animals, are allowed off them.

"Rather, the new finds are the result of our tracing uncovering historical movements of animals and then confirming the infection through testing.

These movements, in many cases, took place before we even knew mycoplasma bovis was in the country."

There are currently are 36 infected properties across the country in Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Hawkes' Bay and Manawatu.

In March, MPI announced more than 22,000 cattle will be culled in a effort to control the spread of the disease.

Mycoplasma bovis does not infect humans and is not a food safety risk.

However it can cause mastitis, pneumonia, arthritis and late-term abortions in cattle

It's that faulty Chinese steel again! We used to have our own steel industry

Faulty Chinese steel thought to be behind Britomart train derailment

11 May, 2018

Newshub understands the train derailment in Auckland's Britomart on Wednesday morning may have been caused by potentially faulty Chinese steel.
The derailment caused a huge mess, both for passengers on board at the time and with severe delays due to the clean-up affecting others.
KiwiRail chief operating officer Todd Moyer confirmed to Newshub there is Chinese steel in the Britomart tracks, along with other kinds of steel.
The company said it can't rule out Chinese steel being used at the point the train came off the tracks, but it needs to see what comes out of the investigation.
The union representing steel workers has long held fears about the quality of steel imported from China.
"For some time I've highlighted that I believe that there are quality issues, and there's no checks and balances with the quality of the steel that's coming into New Zealand," E tū union spokesperson Joe Gallagher told Newshub.
E tū is also concerned about the use of that steel on railway tracks.
"It's a major concern, I mean you know you're talking about people being transported, the general public being transported, on these railways," Mr Gallagher said.
"We're talking about shifting our freight. We've only just rebuilt Kaikōura. We can least afford to have another major derailment."
Chinese steel was also used in Te Matau ā Pohe bridge in Whangarei; the entire opening section is made with it.
Four years after it was opened, with much fanfare, the bridge had to undergo major maintenance and some of the Chinese steel was cut out.
The Whangarei District Council told Newshub some of the steel edge was cut off so the bridge can expand during summer.
A source familiar with the Britomart derailment told Newshub when trains derail it's often at the railroad switch point, but usually at the thinner blade end.
But they said in Britomart it was a crack at the opposite, thick end - something that is highly unusual.

No comments:

Post a Comment