Quick video on methane


I’ll be recording an episode with Dr Terrence Loomis this month. This conversation will talk about the Oil and Gas exploration decision, the MBIE briefing advising the government to continue exploration, and the popular, but flawed notion than gas could serve as a transition fuel.

In the meantime the discussions about methane have recommenced. I recorded this short video explaining why methane from livestock is important and how it fits into the overall picture. Apologies for the audio on this – I expected to re-work it but ran out of time. If you like the format and think I should do more (and better!) videos like this please let me know. This really was a first attempt at the format. I could imagine other pieces talking about the history of carbon and the evolutionary process.


Outliving the bastards. Fiona and Abbie in gaslands. (NZ Climate Change)

Abbie Jury and Fiona Clark live in the Tikorangi, Taranaki. Their story will probably surprise you. The arguments that a reduction of extraction here will cause an increase in emissions elsewhere implies that practices locally are somehow cleaner. Yet we frack, land farm, and have open flare pits. It also seems likely that there is some deep well injection going on. Monitoring and testing for fugitive emissions seem cursory at best and
oil money seems to flow into every part of the local community to ease things along. Welcome to the sacrificial zone.
Welcome to gaslands.

(Note from Abbie – deep well injection is happening. It is a consented, permitted and admitted activity which is taking place all the time now).

Just doing tomorrow: Suzi Kerr

Suzi Kerr, for Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. Photo credit: Stephen A’Court. COPYRIGHT ©Stephen A’Court

Motu is a charitable trust, founded in 2000 with the aim of to promoting well informed and reasoned debate on public policy issues relevant to New Zealand decision making.

The institute aims to be fully independent, with no expressed ideology or political position. Their research reports include such areas as innovation and productivity, climate change, emissions trading, well being and housing affordability.

Motu was named the top climate think tank in Oceania 2015 by the International Centre for Climate goverenance. It has been named one of the top ten global economic think tanks by the Research Papers in Economics website.

Suzi Kerr is a Senior fellow at Motu and has worked on climate change since graduating from Harvard in 1995 with a Phd in Economics. She is also a member of New Zealand’s climate change commission. Note that she does not speak for the commission in this discussion.

I came to see her at Motu’s offices in Cuba Street and we tried imagining a future where emissions are finally under control.

01:34 Motu's approach and the space they occupy
03:35 The urgency graph since 1995
04:18 Acticely choosing optimism
05:40 Rapid change and Electric cars
07:20 We are small, but everywhere is small
08:14 Inducing responses from others
09:10 The high level negotiations work in the same way as the small ones
11:34 The painful formal process
12:40 The democracy you can touch
14:04 The sea change - open sourcing politics and policy
15:30 Preparing for the moment when the political and social climate is ready
17:18 Our role in the world
18:00 Its safe for you to say "I care too"
19:00 Comparing to the open source revolution
20:55 The way to shift a large complex system
22:00 What can you as part of this complex system
23:00 How could you enable EVs?
24:50 What is the one single change you want the most?
26:40 Agricultural emissions
28:30 The two basics of methane
30:45 Are we already geoengineering?
31:25 Fifty years on: the collaboration required
35:20 Fifty years on: what it will look like
38:20 Decarbonising over the last 100 years
40:10 How do you know when reductions are lucky accident
43:10 The momentum of the last four years
46:30 CNG and retrofitting cars - solutions from the sidelines
52:20 The thinking needs to pervade everything
54:15 When its not your day job
58:10 The importance of getting the right stories

Nicky Hager: the chemistry of change (Climate change in New Zealand)



I’ve known Nicky Hager for a few years now and we’ve rarely talked shop. I tend to gush a little over my guests on this podcast, and for that reason I’ll keep this intro short. He is extraordinary, John Pilger and Seymour Hersh can tell you that. He has spoken truth to power fearlessly for more than forty years. In the last week the Labour government announced an end to offshore oil exploration; the culmination of seven years of work by individuals and organisations committed to addressing climate change in a meaningful way. In the same week Attorney-General David Parker announced a government inquiry into Operation Burnham; the 2010 SAS raid in Afghanistan that was the subject of the book he co-authored with Jon Stephenson, Hit and Run.

We talked about the chemistry of change: why it’s hard to get, and why people work for it.