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Anthropogenic sea-level rise

Not only is sea-level rise no longer linear, it was never going to stop at 2100

$30 million Mahurangi action plan

$3 million over 5 years seemed, for a moment there in 2004, as though all the Mahurangi Harbour’s Christmases had come at once. Even in today’s money, $9.06 million is more than twice the 2004 amount, but nor, back then, does it mean that the Mahurangi’s sediment woes…

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On the unspeakable ephemerality of beaches

Relying on economics to salvage a survivable climate is the 21st century equivalent of a standing down an army and leaving defence of the realm to wizardry. With the United States Senate summarily scuttling the Green New Deal, it might seem…

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Near-certainty of 66-metre sea-level rise

Permanent ice sheets are a misnomer. Ages involving alternating glacial and interglacial periods are ephemeral, occupying only a small percentage of geological time. Humankind’s greatest—although certainly not in any laudatory…

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Wasting storms of the grandparents

When Dr James Hansen published Storms of My Grandchildren nine years ago this December, he lambasted governments for greenwashing while doing nothing meaningful to curtail fossil-fuel use. But despite, by that time, having already seen his…

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Odds against tomorrow without ultimate sacrifice

As if its bureaucrats needed any encouragement. Trump’s America now has its Environmental Protection Authority peddling the equivalent of Lisa Simpson’s Ignorital©. The agency requires its officials to lace their public utterances with phrases contrived to…

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Paris climate accord not the half of it

Not all agree it’s a bad thing Trump’s made good on his campaign promise to pull the United States out of Paris. One climate researcher argues that the Trump circus could do less damage outside of the tent, than in it. But regardless, a bad-tempered…

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Make Aotearoa egalitarian and great again

His timing is impeccable, and his mission merciful. Immediately mocked by the mainstream media, Gareth Morgan’s launch of a party dedicated to eliminating poverty and closing the inequality gap is a cause worthy of wholehearted support, even by…

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Best understood by least represented

Cohort that best understands the enormity of anthropogenic global warming is that which is least represented in Parliament. It is also the age-group that is least enrolled, and votes least. But given the great gulf between the awful reality of global warming…

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New unitary authority not going to plan

Len’s in danger of loosing it. As was all too apparent halfway through the term of Aotearoa’s first mayoral office to enjoy significant executive powers, Mayor Brown has bet the farm on a project for which he has little to show, come local body election year. Had...

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Sea-level rise deregulated and developer-friendly

Water finds its own level. Or at least that is the received, and generally entirely useful, wisdom. Water in a hose, for example, can make a useful builder’s level. However, as anyone who has actually attempted to use one will likely attest, the odd bubble…

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Democracy leadership and small islands visions

The ex-president of the Maldives is seeking to make sea-level rise a presidential election issue. Forced out of office at gunpoint in February, Mohamed Nasheed is in the United States promoting the documentary The Island President. On the…

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Global warming gets chapter to itself

It is all the royal commission recommended and more. The recommendations made by the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance two and a half years ago, cite global warming, and sea-level rise in particular, as a significant…

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Regional sea-level rise chapter revisited

North Carolina has gone one better. Aotearoa merely curtailed work on a national environmental standard on sea-level rise, in a calculatedly cynical strategy to oblige each local territorial authority to run its sea-level rise policies by a gauntlet of…

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Sea-level rise powered by Google

A trillion Google searches gobbles a prodigious amount of energy. But before eschewing online searches, climbing into the car and driving to the library, a little perspective: At 0.2‍ ‍grams per search, one‍ ‍trillion searches per year has a similar…

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Sea-level rise means dredging up the future

Writers urging climate action invariably claim that, although the situation is dire, by acting now, warming’s worst consequences can be avoided. But it is probable that it is already too late to prevent total ice-sheet loss and sea-level rise of about…

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Dr James Hansen unleashed on Auckland

Schoolchildren will assume that the crowds he addressed filled stadiums. In decades hence, when told Dr James Hansen lectured in Aotearoa in 2011, they will assume it was to Rugby World Cup-sized audiences. Thermal inertia in Earth systems allows the…

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Better place for cathedral closer to Alpine Fault

The Alpine Fault doesn’t move 30‍ ‍millimetres every year. It does on average, but the fault hasn’t ruptured since 1717. If goes anytime soon, nine metres of pent up horizontal movement could be released in an earthquake of a magnitude of more…

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Planning for the new coast road

For most of its 4.5 billion years, Planet Earth has been ice-sheet-free. Ice ages, on the whole, have been kind to humanity. The last interglacial has heralded the era in which humans have prospered, and built civilisation after civilisation. But there’s…

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Avoid ‘dredging’ with access code

Dredging, by definition, is a dirty business. Which is why the draft working paper addressing the issue uses the code access. While many will see this as inexcusable political correctness, it is actually entirely sound to define the objective, rather than just one...

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High time to ramp up response

Blame it on that unabashed alarmist, Noah. For establishing the notion that humanity could be wilfully drowned and a fresh start would only be few months in an ark away. The sad fact is that not all the animals can be saved. Sure, the likes of the lions and…

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Twin Streams floated their punt

Project Twin Streams features in the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance recommendations, and that is a promising sign for the Mahurangi. The 788-page report, which is eminently readable, is peppered with examples that…

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