Thursday 31 December 2015

US duplicity

US Said to Be Preparing New Sanctions Against Iran

Despite renewed hopes for reconciliation between Washington and Tehran following the Iran nuclear deal, the Obama administration is reportedly preparing new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

29 December, 2015
In July, negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 nations, including France, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and Germany, led to a historic deal. Under the terms of the deal, after providing assurances that it was not enriching uranium to pursue a nuclear weapon, international sanctions against Iran would be gradually lifted.
But on Wednesday, US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that the US Treasury Department is prepared to roll out new sanctions against companies and individuals not only in Iran, but also in Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The penalties are reportedly related to Tehran’s test-firing of two ballistic missiles, one in October and another in November. Washington views the launches as a violation of international law, though Tehran maintains that the tests were conducted in according with UN regulations, and the missiles are defensive only.
If approved, the sanctions would apply to five government officials working in Iran’s Ministry of Defense for Armed Forces Logistics.
The Obama administration is also targeting Mabrooka Trading Co. LLC, a UAE-based entity, as well as its founder, Hossein Pournaghshband, for its alleged role in aiding Iran’s ballistic missile program. Penalties would also apply to Anhui Land Group Co, a Hong Kong-based subsidiary said to be used by Pournaghshband to produce carbon-fiber material for the missile program.
The sanctions would place these entities on a business blacklist, and would freeze their assets in US banks.
US officials stress that new sanctions are unrelated to the nuclear accord, but Iranian officials have warned in recent months that new financial penalties would be seen by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as a breach of the agreement.
Tehran recently accused the United States of violating the nuclear accord over legislation passed by the US Congress. New laws passed after the San Bernardino shooting require any foreign national who has visited Iran or Syria to obtain a visa before entering the US. Tehran claims this move could harm Iranian business, and cut off access to foreign investment.
The Treasury Department’s decision comes as the Obama administration prepares to lift sanctions related to Tehran’s nuclear program. The lifting of those penalties was set to begin next month, following Iran’s shipment of 25,000 pounds of uranium to Russia, a sign that the government was abiding by the accord.

Summing up 2015

CrossTalk: Farewell 2015

The year 2015 is about to end and what a ride it has been! There was no shortage of stories for this program and station to cover. We have reported the news and provided alternative narratives. On this edition of CrossTalk some of my colleagues at RT and I talk about the year that was.

CrossTalking with Anissa Naouai, Rory Suchet, and Oksana Boyko

Imperial policy for 2016


The year 2015 will be remembered as a year of expanding global warfare and militarism. It began with discussions of the possibility of “total war” against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, saw new provocations against China in the South China Sea, and draws to a close amid the escalation of the US and European war in Iraq and Syria and the spread of conflict to Yemen, Libya and other parts of Africa.
30 December, 2015

Originally appeared at World Socialist WebSite

The imperialist powers are determined to make 2016 an even bloodier and more dangerous year. Germany and Japan are openly remilitarizing, as their governments seek to whitewash and rationalize the crimes of the World War II era. All of the imperialist powers have seized on the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino to place their populations and economies on a war footing.
The most dangerous factor is the US drive for global domination. The United States has its hands in virtually every country, employing drone assassinations, Special Forces operations and a network of military bases and agreements aimed at establishing unchallenged military domination over the planet, along with cyberspace and outer space.
More plans are afoot. Washington is preparing to expand its global basing system through the addition of a “larger network envisioned by the Pentagon,” which will include at least four new Special Forces hubs and numerous new “spoke” bases, according to a New York Times article published Monday.
The commando network will be centered on Eurasia and Africa but will be global in scope, according to Pentagon officials. Among the new bases will be a permanent establishment in Afghanistan, which will function as “a hub for Special Operations troops and intelligence operatives throughout Central and South Asia.”
The record of the US special units, which have emerged as the spearhead of the so-called “war on terror” since 2001, makes clear the murderous nature of the escalating commando war. US Special Forces have been granted a general license to carry out violence and mayhem in every part of the world with total disregard for international law. Thousands of US commandos are already operating in between 85 and 130 countries worldwide, according to varying estimates by US media sources.
The enlarged Special Forces network is only one element of a broader strategic escalation by Washington. US weapons manufacturers are collaborating with the government to channel an expanding war chest of arms to allied governments and proxy forces, with American weapons sales surging in recent years. In 2014, total US arms sales jumped by $10 billion to a total of $35 billion, giving US corporations control over 50 percent of the world weapons market, according to a congressional report released last week.
The intensified drive for a redivision affects every region of the world.
Washington is pre-positioning military equipment and deploying conventional forces and military “advisors” and trainers throughout Europe in preparation for war against Russia.
The US Army plans to double the number of tanks it has deployed to Europe, sending another full armored brigade to the continent, accompanied by infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons as well as an additional full Army division dedicated to joint operations with NATO and European militaries.
In Ukraine, US Army forces are training five battalions of active-duty forces and US Special Forces are partnering with the Ukrainian military to develop Ukraine commando units.
Asia Pacific
South Korea, a country that has been tapped to serve as a staging area for US war preparations against China, was the leading importer of US arms in 2014, purchasing nearly $8 billion worth of American-made weaponry.
In December, the Obama administration approved the sale of $1.8 billion worth of weapons to Taiwan, including warships previously used by the US Navy and several advanced missile systems. The sale was the first weapons transfer to Taiwan in years and was clearly intended as a provocation against Beijing.
In the Pacific, the US Army’s “Pacific Pathways” program is coordinating joint operations with Asia-Pacific militaries. In the course of 2015, the program saw the US conduct joint drills with units from Australia, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Mongolia, South Korea and Thailand.
Middle East
Leading purchasers of US weapons in 2014 included the ultra-reactionary regimes of Saudi Arabia, which purchased $4 billion worth of TOW missiles, and Qatar, which purchased $9.8 billion worth of US arms. Qatar has been a major backer of Islamist forces in Syria in the US-backed civil war against Assad.
The US has spearheaded a new imperialist carve-up of the entire region, with Britain, France and Germany piling into the wars in Iraq and Syria toward the end of 2015 and Saudi Arabia leading a US-backed war in Yemen.
Total arms sales to Africa—particularly in the oil-rich regions—increased by 50 percent between 2010 and 2014 over the previous five-year period. Cameroon and Nigeria, which are collaborating with the growing US intervention in West Africa in the name of the “fight against Boko Haram,” were among the leading importers of weapons. Preparations are underway to relaunch military operations in Libya, already devastated by the US-NATO war that overthrew and murdered Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Cyber and outer space
Even cyberspace and outer space are not exempt from the US-led militarization drive. In November, the US was one of only four countries to vote against a United Nations resolution, “No First Placement of Weapons in Outer Space,” which was supported by more than 120 member states. In a presentation earlier this year, US Undersecretary of Defense Robert Work outlined Pentagon plans to deploy a range of space weapons, which Work claimed are necessary to ensure military dominance over Russia.
The experience of the Obama administration has underscored the impossibility of opposing imperialist war outside of a struggle against the capitalist system and all of its political representatives. Having won office in 2008 as an antiwar candidate, presenting himself as an opponent of the war in Iraq and an antidote to the militarism of the Bush administration, President Obama has presided over an escalation of the war in Afghanistan, wars for regime change in Libya and Syria, and a new war in Iraq.
Obama’s talk about ending the war in Afghanistan has been exposed by his decision to keep thousands of US troops in the country and the plans to establish permanent US bases there. All of his pledges of “no ground troops” or “boots on the ground” in Iraq and Syria have been exposed as lies.
The divisions that exist within the US ruling elite and the state over foreign and military policy concern the focus and methods of US efforts to dominate the territory and resources of the world, with the Obama White House arguing for a concentration on the struggle against China and his opponents demanding a larger commitment of troops and weapons to turn the Middle East into a de facto US colony. But there is no “peace faction” within the corporate and political establishment, or either of the two big-business parties.
One side of the global crisis is the slide toward a new world war. The other is the development of revolutionary struggles by the working class. Vast resources are allocated to destruction and war, while growing sections of the US population are pushed into poverty and forced to struggle for basic necessities such as housing, education, nutrition and health care.
The struggle against war can be conducted only on the basis of the independent mobilization of the working class in the US and internationally against imperialism on the basis of a socialist and internationalist revolutionary program.

Supllies for ISIS

Foreign planes dropping military aid for Islamic State in Kirkuk

FARS News Agency
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 22:04 UTC

Iraqi security sources disclosed on Tuesday that the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group has received military aid and other supplies dropped by unknown planes near the city of Kirkuk, Northern Iraq.
"After the US army's special heliborne operations in Southwestern Kirkuk, unknown planes dropped military supplies and other aids for the ISIL in the Southern part of Kirkuk," an Iraqi security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told FNA on Tuesday.

The official did not disclose more details about the identity of the planes, but said that it might have been US or Turkish.

In early November, the Iraqi defense ministry announced in a statement that two Canadian and Swedish planes which were carrying arms to the Kurdistan region illegally were discharged and returned to their bases in Kuwait and Turkey.

According to the statement, "upon the order of the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi armed forces and after several days of confiscation, the two planes were allowed to leave Baghdad international airport with all their cargos to their bases in Kuwait and Turkey".

In a relevant development earlier, the Iraqi government had announced that it had seized two planes of the US-led anti-ISIL coalition member states that were carrying weapons to the Kurdistan Region without prior coordination or information of Baghdad.

"The inspection committee in Baghdad International Airport has found a huge number of rifles equipped with silencers, as well as light and mid-sized weapons," Head of the Iraqi Parliament's Security and Defense Commission Hakem al-Zameli said.

He noted that two Swedish and Canadian airplanes were going to fly to Iraq's Kurdistan region, but they were seized after arms cargos were discovered.

Zameli called on the Iraqi foreign ministry to question the international coalition in this regard and warn the coalition members to avoid such moves in the future.
"The US ambassador to Baghdad has tried to send the weapons to the Iraqi Kurdistan region, and the government should investigate this and arrest the perpetrators," he added.

The US and some other coalition members have been supplying arms to different actors in Iraq.

During the last year, Iraqi officials have on different occasions blasted the US and its allies for supplying the ISIL in Syria with arms and ammunition under the pretext of fighting the Takfiri terrorist group.
In late October, Iraqi volunteer forces discovered and seized US-made military hardware and ammunition in captured terrorists' positions.

In early October, the Iraqi forces discovered US-made military hardware and ammunition, including missiles, in terrorists' command center in Salahuddin province, informed sources said.

The Iraqi army and volunteer forces discovered US-made military hardware and ammunition, including anti-armor missiles, in terrorists' positions and trenches captured during the operations in the Fallujah region in Al-Anbar province.

The Iraqi forces found a huge volume of advanced TOW-II missiles from the Takfiri terrorists in al-Karama city of Fallujah.
The missiles were brand new and the ISIL had transferred them to Fallujah to use them against the Iraqi army's armored units.

Also in October, the Iraqi forces discovered US-made military hardware and ammunition from terrorists in the town of Beiji.

"The military hardware and weapons had been airdropped by the US-led warplanes and choppers for the ISIL in the nearby areas of Beiji," military sources told FNA.

In February, an Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that the US airplanes still continue to airdrop weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL terrorists.

"The US planes have dropped weapons for the ISIL terrorists in the areas under ISIL control and even in those areas that have been recently liberated from the ISIL control to encourage the terrorists to return to those places," Coordinator of Iraqi popular forces Jafar al-Jaberi told FNA.

He noted that eyewitnesses in Al-Havijeh of Kirkuk province had witnessed the US airplanes dropping several suspicious parcels for ISIL terrorists in the province.

"Two coalition planes were also seen above the town of Al-Khas in Diyala and they carried the Takfiri terrorists to the region that has recently been liberated from the ISIL control," Al-Jaberi said.
Also in February, a senior lawmaker disclosed that Iraq's army has shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province.

"The Iraqi Parliament's National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL," al-Zameli said.

He said the Iraqi parliament has asked London for explanations in this regard.

The senior Iraqi legislator further unveiled that the government in Baghdad is receiving daily reports from people and security forces in al-Anbar province on numerous flights by the US-led coalition planes that airdrop weapons and supplies for ISIL in terrorist-held areas.

The Iraqi lawmaker further noted the cause of such western aids to the terrorist group, and explained that the US prefers a chaotic situation in Anbar Province which is near the cities of Karbala and Baghdad as it does not want the ISIL crisis to come to an end.

Also in February, a senior Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that US and Israeli-made weapons have been discovered from the areas purged of ISIL terrorists.

"We have discovered weapons made in the US, European countries and Israel from the areas liberated from ISIL's control in Al-Baqdadi region," the Al-Ahad news website quoted Head of Al-Anbar Provincial Council Khalaf Tarmouz as saying.

He noted that the weapons made by the European countries and Israel were discovered from the terrorists in the Eastern parts of the city of Ramadi.

Meantime, Head of Iraqi Parliament's National Security and Defense Committee Hakem al-Zameli also disclosed that the anti-ISIL coalition's planes have dropped weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL in Salahuddin, Al-Anbar and Diyala provinces.
In January, al-Zameli underlined that the coalition is the main cause of ISIL's survival in Iraq.

"There are proofs and evidence for the US-led coalition's military aid to ISIL terrorists through air(dropped cargoes)," he told FNA at the time.

He noted that the members of his committee have already proved that the US planes have dropped advanced weaponry, including anti-aircraft weapons, for the ISIL, and that it has set up an investigation committee to probe into the matter.
"The US drops weapons for the ISIL on the excuse of not knowing about the whereabouts of the ISIL positions and it is trying to distort the reality with its allegations.

He noted that the committee had collected the data and the evidence provided by eyewitnesses, including Iraqi army officers and the popular forces, and said, "These documents are given to the investigation committee ... and the necessary measures will be taken to protect the Iraqi airspace."

Also in January, another senior Iraqi legislator reiterated that the US-led coalition is the main cause of ISIL's survival in Iraq.

"The international coalition is only an excuse for protecting the ISIL and helping the terrorist group with equipment and weapons," Jome Divan, who is member of the al-Sadr bloc in the Iraqi parliament, said.
He said the coalition's support for the ISIL is now evident to everyone, and continued, "The coalition has not targeted ISIL's main positions in Iraq."

In Late December 2014, Iraqi Parliamentary Security and Defense Commission MP disclosed that a US plane supplied the ISIL terrorist organization with arms and ammunition in Salahuddin province.

MP Majid al-Gharawi stated that the available information pointed out that US planes are supplying ISIL organization, not only in Salahuddin province, but also other provinces, Iraq TradeLink reported.

He added that the US and the international coalition are "not serious in fighting against the ISIL organization, because they have the technological power to determine the presence of ISIL gunmen and destroy them in one month".

Gharawi added that "the US is trying to expand the time of the war against the ISIL to get guarantees from the Iraqi government to have its bases in Mosul and Anbar provinces."

Salahuddin security commission also disclosed that "unknown planes threw arms and ammunition to the ISIL gunmen Southeast of Tikrit city".

A heatwave at the North Pole and New Zealand politics

Arctic to hit 50 degrees hotter than average this week – no one told the North Pole about the ‘successful’ Paris Talks
Beyond the self congratulatory crap spouted by some NGOs and Green movements over the supposed ‘success’ of the Paris talks, something deeply disturbing will happen to the Arctic this week…

Martyn Bradbury

30 December, 2015


Beyond the self congratulatory crap spouted by some NGOs and Green movements over the supposed ‘success’ of the Paris talks, something deeply disturbing will happen to the Arctic this week
The sun has not risen above the North Pole since mid-September. The sea ice—flat, landlike, windswept, and stretching as far as the eye can see—has been bathed in darkness for months.
But later this week, something extraordinary will happen: Air temperatures at the Earth’s most northernly region, in the middle of winter, will rise above freezing for only the second time on record.
On Wednesday, the same storm system that last week spun up deadly tornadoes in the American southeast will burst into the far north, centering over Iceland. It will bring strong winds and pressure as low as is typically seen during hurricanes.
That low pressure will suck air out of the planet’s middle latitudes and send it rushing to the Arctic. And so on Wednesday, the North Pole will likely see temperatures of about 35 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2 degrees Celsius. That’s 50 degrees hotter than average: It’s usually 20 degrees Fahrenheit below zero there at this time of year.

50 degrees hotter than average. Just think about that for a moment – the Arctic will be hit this week by a storm that will bring heat 50 degrees hotter than usual. The simple truth is that the Planet is on the verge of feedback loops that simply can’t stop the warming.
We need to be on a war footing to prevent this and look for radical change so we can adapt to the changing climate fast enough. A report in 5 years to record the weasel word promises is like a band aid on a decapitation.
Meanwhile a climate minimiser like Government propagandist David Farrar admits temperatures are climbing while a climate denier like Cameron Slater still claims it’s all a great big hoax perpetrated by Greenpeace. When the debate is locked between right wing hate bloggers who are still arguing why the Planet is warming and delusional environmental advocacy groups who think the spineless response in Paris is somehow a success,  we will gain no real traction to prevent catastrophic climate change.

Ultimately I believe the Greens and their pro-market framework with their Coke-Cola consultant leader is simply not the best vehicle for change – there needs to be a radical green socialism to provide the solutions because if the Paris talks are really the best we can get – then we are doomed.

Rather than praising the Paris climate agreement as an 'incredible achievement', James Shaw and the Green Party should be denouncing it as a failure and a fraud. 

14 December, 2015

GIVEN THE MISGUIDED IDEOLOGICAL BELIEF of the Green Party that somehow capitalism can be the saviour of our planet rather than its destroyer, it came as no surprise that co-leader James Shaw should wax lyrical over the Paris climate agreement.

If you look to the horizon now, you can see little James tugging desperately on the chain of the capitalist beast as it drags him - and the rest of us - to the abyss of environmental disaster.

'Stay calm and don't panic!' cries out little James. 'There is a green capitalism! I know what I'm doing!"

There’s no doubt this is an historic moment,' Shaw says in his prepared media statement.'“It’s not a perfect deal by any means and there are lots of details to work out but it’s frankly an incredible achievement.”

Putting aside the obvious fact that the purpose of this conference was to work out the details of an agreement, why is it an 'incredible achievement?' According to Shaw and the Green Party its because it 'commits' the countries of the world – including New Zealand – "to bring their domestic policies in line with a goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C."

But it does nothing of the sort. Shaw should not be knocking back champagne in Paris and congratulating the conference for a job well done, but condemning this agreement for consigning the world to an increase in global warning of 3-4 celsius. That's estimate of Naomi Klein, who - unlike Shaw - knows what she's talking about.

Despite what Shaw claims, this agreement commits the countries of the world, including New Zealand, to nothing.

Pablo Solon: Paris agreement is 'a farce, a sham'.
All the participants have done is promise to lower their carbon emissions, there is nothing that binds any government to changing their domestic polices in order to lower global warming. They might claim this is the goal, but there's no program for achieving it. Everything's 'aspirational'.

The former Bolivian ambassador and climate change negotiator Pablo Solón has displayed the kind of hard nosed realism and honesty not displayed by James Shaw. He has described the agreement as 'a farce, a sham'.

Says Solon: "The COP is a summit of schizophrenic governments because they say they want to reduce emissions but they don’t mention the source of emissions–which is fossil fuel extraction and deforestation. A coherent way to address this would be to establish a limit of extraction of fossil fuels and an immediate end to deforestation. If these two measures are not adopted, how are we going to reduce emissions? Magic? Impossible.”

The figures are also suspect, to say the least, although James Shaw and the Green Party have swallowed them, hook, line and sinker. Says Shaw: '“What Paris has shown is that the world is moving only in one direction, and that is towards a low-carbon future. Countries like the US and China are at the forefront of that shift. New Zealand needs to catch up.”

Shaw is badly wrong again. China says it will cut its emissions only in terms of carbon intensity. But as Jamie Neale points out:

"Carbon intensity is the amount of carbon in fossil fuels that is needed to produce the same amount of work. Carbon intensity has been going down in the United States for a hundred years. It is going down all over the world. This is because we learn to use coal, oil and gas more efficiently, just like we learn to use everything else in industry more productively. So a promise to cut carbon intensity is a promise to increase emissions."

If you want to learn more about how the figures have been juggled and massaged, Jonathan Neale is worth reading here.

To defend this empty agreement as a 'first step' to real change, as the Green's Julie Anne Genter did on Paul Henry this morning, is simply unacceptable. The future of the planet is at stake and to defend an agreement like this makes Genter and the Green Party complicit in a massive fraud being foisted on us all.

The Green Party should be listening to people like Pablo Solon: "The Paris Agreement repeats old mistakes and will fail. The answer lies in a self-organized, self-conscious and empowered humanity that believes in itself and nature more than in technology and market forces."

James Shaw says that “If there’s ever a time to stop making excuses, it’s now.” I agree. James Shaw and the Green Party should stop defending and making excuses for this agreement. They should stop doing it now.

I find it very telling that leading climate scientist James E Hansen can refer to COP 21 as a ’ Fraud’ and James Shaw describe it as a historic achievement, wtf, cognitive dissonance or denial?

Here is the email from James Shaw and Kevin Hester's reply and the coverage of this issue on Extinction Radio

From: James Shaw []
Sent: Friday, 18 December 2015 2:18 a.m.

Subject: RE: Termination of my membership in the Green party of Aotearoa.

Dear Kevin,

We are sorry you decided to leave the party and that you so strongly disagree with my comments that the signing of an agreement at COP21 was a positive achievement.

By signing up to the Paris Agreement goal limiting global warming to 1.5oC, which wasn’t even an option before COP21 started, countries are now obliged to start taking action consistent with that goal.

We’ve also been very critical of the National Government in the last few days. Their comments that the Agreement means that nothing more is required of New Zealand is clearly wrong, as our own domestic policy settings are the equivalent of a 3.5-3.8oC temperature rise.

My view is that it is an enormous achievement to get 196 countries to agree on anything (the first time it’s been done since the founding of the UN, with the possible exception of the Montreal Protocol) and that it is better to have an agreement to act on climate change than to continue not to have one. The result would have been far, far worse, had we not come to the Paris Agreement (estimates suggest that, absent the Paris Agreement, we would be on track for a 4.5-5.5o C temperature increase).

It is a very weak agreement – as any agreement would be that had to include the states that currently rely on fossil fuels for their income – but we have to make it work. It is our only hope.

The Agreement itself will be reviewed every five years, with an initial assessment of the science and the policy settings needed to maintain 1.5o C in 2018 by the IPCC. This is the all-important ‘ratchet mechanism’ for tightening the screws over time. Will it be enough, or fast enough, to save Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and others? I hope so. That’s why I used the quotation of Churchill’s that, “this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

After 21 years of negotiations to get a global agreement, we have one but we are well aware that the harder work starts now.

Once again we’re sorry to see you leave, but we wish you all the best. And you’d be welcome back anytime.

Warm regards,


James Shaw MP, Co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand
14.14 Bowen House, Parliament Buildings, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand
+64 4 817 6769 | |

Authorised by James Shaw, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

Here is Kevin's reponse:

Hi James, thanks for taking the time to address my leaving the party.

I’d like to make it clear that this was not a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction taken in the heat of the moment of the Cop (out) 21 agreement being signed.

I have been considering this decision for a very long time and the ‘tipping point’ for me was the fact that you didn’t adequately qualify how bad and terminal for most complex life-forms on this planet the ‘agreement’ is. I was shocked how ill prepared your press statement sounded and that it completely understated the severity of our predicament and how little the agreement will contribute to slowing down this disaster, in fact it will have little or no positive effect and more critical time will be lost.

After Copenhagen and Kyoto’s abject failure it was recognised that having some kind of agreement was imperative in Paris. That has been achieved but effectively it is an agreement for mostly business as usual with non- binding emission reductions and little or no consideration for the fact that we are now in a time of abrupt climate change and we will witness an exponential, non-linear unravelling of our biosphere.

I accept having 1.5 C as an aspiration included was a huge victory but it is in fact little more than a feel good factor when our trajectory is towards and beyond the IPCC worst case scenario of 6C when you factor in the exponential nature of where we are now, the ten to forty year lag in cause and effect and the unleashing of numerous tipping points. I note you said in your email to me “countries are now obliged to start taking action consistent with that goal.”, they aren’t obliged to anything, encouraged yes, obliged no.

There are thousands of fires currently burning in Indonesia that are emitting more carbon than the USA, it is the equivalent of having a new # 2 emitter appear on the planet out of the blue, this is what we can expect going forward with the next major ‘cab off the rank’ being the exponential increase in discharge of methane from the permafrost and the ocean clathrates. I note that the eco-terrorist John Key has approved deep sea drilling in regions that have proven methane deposits that are already discharging, the cognitive dissonance shown is stupefying ! In the PETM extinction event this heated the planet up 5C in a mere 13 years, scientists previously thought this had taken thousands of years. We could conceivably be in a parallel window to that now . The consequences of that will be the extinction of most if not all complex life-forms and the meltdowns of 438 nuclear power stations and 1000 spent fuel pool fires which incidentally will be far worse than the melt downs! If your reaction to that scenario is that it sounds alarmist please remember the reactionary Winston Churchill was considered an alarmist in 1937 and 8 brutal years later over 50 million people were dead.

I recently interviewed Dr Jim Salinger who conceded in a public meeting I attended in Hamilton that we are in abrupt climate change. Jim is a wonderful guy but his conclusions are very conservative in line with his profession and he admitted to being hopeful when there is zero visible reason and under the precautionary principle we should all be preparing for the worst as is my training as a yachtmaster with 16 ocean passages completed, mostly in our dying Pacific.
My interview with Jim is here;

I understand that my position is a ‘hard sell’ for a political party trying to gain electoral success but this catastrophe presents an opportunity for the Greens to position themselves for a sea change that is definitely coming in the public’s mind. We will see more and more extreme weather events in the weeks and months ahead which will freak out the populace world- wide, I believe the Greens are missing a golden opportunity to be a leader not only in NZ but globally. I believe the party’s narrative needs to be radically altered to reflect the seriousness of the situation.

Very soon we will have a few billion very, very angry young people on this planet when they realise the ecological legacy we have left them. Speaking truth to the youth is more important now than it has ever been and presents you as the leader of the party, an absolutely golden opportunity to make a huge impact not just here but on the global stage. There is a paradigm shift unfolding on this planet, I challenge you to grasp this opportunity and lead.

All of the dire assumptions I allude to above are in embedded links in this post from the Daily Blog, I only post the link to make it easy for you to source it should you want clarification.

The purpose of me going public was not to bag the party but to stimulate a debate that wasn’t happening. My feedback from both members and non- members of the party has been much more positive than I ever expected and indicates that I have addressed an issue that has been praying on many people’s minds, mission partially accomplished. You have generously left the door open for me to return to the party which I might consider if my concerns were addressed and there was a sea change in the party’s narrative. I spend my life trying to raise awareness of the severity of this predicament and any vehicle open to me will be grasped willingly as long as I can address the predicament honestly and transparently, I am in the fortunate position of being beholding to no one.

I had lunch with Pearl Going and Susi Newborn yesterday, Pearl spoke very highly of you and suggested you and I should meet personally sometime, I’m available if you wish to do so.

Best regards, Kia Kaha.

Kevin Hester

Starts at 04'.48"

George Monbiot: "perhaps 1C of global warming has tipped the system"

The light goes on for George Monbiot


Seeing the kind of impacts we feared might hit by 2100. But perhaps just 1C of global warming has tipped the system.