Perspective by numbers

October 16th, 2011 at 10:45 am by David Farrar

I’m an animal lover, so like many hate seeing the photos of poor little covered in oil, or dead, on Bay of Plenty beaches. And I loved the footage on TV of the surviving being cared for in a pool.

But having said that, it is useful to put the numbers in perspective.

  • Birds killed by the – 1,000
  • Birds killed annually (in NZ) by predators (possums, stoats etc) – 25,000,000
  • Birds killed daily by predators – 68,500
  • Birds killed annually by hunters – 1,000,000
  • Birds killed daily by hunters during hunting season – 11,000
  • Chickens killed for NZers food annually – 77,000,000
  • Birds killed by power lines annually – 1,700,000
  • Birds killed by automobiles – 800,000
  • Birds killed by wind turbines – 500

I think the Rena is an environmental disaster – definitely. But is it the worst environmental disaster of all time as some media have trumpeted? Not so sure about that.

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113 Responses to “Perspective by numbers”

  1. frankflintstone (70 comments) says:

    I just read that cats in the USA kill a billion birds a year. Rena is way down the scale of environmental disasters. Still its a change from all the world cup coverage.

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  2. dog_eat_dog (772 comments) says:

    The Nation’s interview with Nick Smith was the most politically driven dribble I’ve ever seen. I’ve heard the Stephen Joyce one wasn’t much better. Can someone please ask these people how long they’ve been maritime engineers, and how long they’re going to keep willingly spreading misinformation?

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  3. robcarr (132 comments) says:

    I think the difference comes in that people care very little that millions of pigeons die a year. They do care however when it is endangered Penguins or an Albatross…

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  4. Scott Chris (6,013 comments) says:

    Good piece David Farrar. Most people really lack a true sense of proportion, especially when influenced by an unbalanced and sensationalist media service.

    Not really the media’s fault really. They simply comply with what the market demands.

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  5. m@tt (624 comments) says:

    In this spirit
    David Farrar calls for hunting, driving and wind turbine ban.

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  6. adze (2,049 comments) says:

    “I think the difference comes in that people care very little that millions of pigeons die a year. They do care however when it is endangered Penguins or an Albatross…”

    Especially when they’re cute. Cuteness helps.

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  7. Neebone (28 comments) says:

    Great stats. Do you have a source?

    [DPF: DOC for the predators. SAFE for chickens, the rest can't recall but all found via Google]

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  8. Scott Chris (6,013 comments) says:

    robcar says:- “I think the difference comes in that people care very little that millions of pigeons die a year”

    You have no idea of the damage wreaked by cats rats mice and mustelids on our native bird population every day. Coupled with that the damage to native flora by possums cattle and goats on the native habitat, then the Rena’s environmental impact pales by comparison.

    Using the Rena ‘disaster’ to preach to the converted is not going to help sway the smarter skeptics to support the environmental cause. Just makes them more cynical.

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  9. flipper (3,914 comments) says:

    DPF … Was that data sourced from Scoop or your sources?
    Whatever, it was good stuff and should be shoved down the throat of every so called reporter who, like a bunch of left wing puppets, have been quick to ascribve blame for Rena to Key and Joyce.
    Sure, they could have done PR shots. But they would have attracted criticism fior other reasons.

    This morning the left wingers (Watkin (producer), Holmes (intellectual dummy), Williams etc) on Q + A chastised Joyce for describing a so called jurno as naeive. Joyce was right to do so. Apart from TV One’s Peter Williams, headlines and hand-wringing have been the order of the day.

    Where was the data on fractured internal pumping pipes?
    Where were the early reports on an oil based goo that must be heated before it can be pumped (To believe some TV/Newspaper rubbish, it was simply a matter of connecting a hose and it could have been done a few hours, we were told), and on ALL the other major technical PROBLEMS that prevent rapid (like one or three days) response?
    Where was the analysis of the deliberate COURSE CHANGE that aimed Rena for Astrolabe?

    As one who has dived on Astrolabe dozens of times, and also had there a “walk on water” experience with Orcas, I deplore the whole Rena business. I also deplore misinformation served up as “reporting” or “objective comment/analysis”.

    In short, it would serve New Zealand well if the would-be entertainers were to take a few days off and then, having taken a dose of objectivism (as opposed to headline grabbing crap) they were to again report, in a calm, objective and non political way.

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  10. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    It’s the same with the media coverage given to (human) road fatalities versus a (extremely rare) plane crash.
    A steady drip, drip of deaths no one (unless personally involved ) notices, versus a single big drama.

    It’s all down to how we perceive things.
    And how we relate to individuals more easily than a generic mass.

    There are millions of penguins in the world, but one individual lands up in the wrong place and is given a name, and he’s no longer anonymous, so people who don’t care about penguins in general start to feel an affinity with this one.

    We don’t see the 68,500 birds being killed by predators, so we don’t relate to their suffering.
    We do see an oiled-up bird in a piteous state and feel sorry for it.

    Spiders set webs to catch flies. No one cares about flies, right?
    Ok, watch a fly get caught, struggle desperately to get free – it’s quite horrible to watch.

    As for the 77m chickens: if people saw them pecking away at corn, and had to wring their necks themselves and pluck them, there’d be a lot more vegetarians around!

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  11. Other_Andy (2,555 comments) says:

    “But is it the worst environmental disaster of all time as some media have trumpeted? Not so sure about that.”

    Maybe the worst environmental disaster in New Zealand?

    Then again….
    De-forrestation and hunting by Early Maori resulting in the loss of several bird spiecies.
    Consequent de-forrestation by Early European Settlers putting several other species at risk.
    Introduction of animals (Cat, Stoat, Possum…)
    Introduction of plants (Gorse…)
    Over-fishing by commercial fishing companies.
    ………maybe not.

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  12. Scott Chris (6,013 comments) says:

    Mary Rose says:- “Ok, watch a fly get caught, struggle desperately to get free – it’s quite horrible to watch.”

    Good for you. Couldn’t agree more. Luckily humans are compassionate or our selfishness would overwhelm us.

    With the spider and the fly, one is compelled to intervene, but to do so is a violation of Natural Law. Best just to look away. Same with lions eating half dead wildebeest. Can’t bear to watch.

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  13. Viking2 (11,335 comments) says:

    Other Andy, shit mate you are talking history here, and, most Kiwis are rammed full of the Maori and treaty bullshit that this stuff is just not on the radar.

    And don’t forget the Maori were great custodians of our original native life as well.

    Well that’s what they would have us believe now that all traces of Moa’s and Huia’s are gone.

    This will go away. The bigger problem is PSA in Kiwifruit which won’t.

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  14. Anthony (789 comments) says:

    Yeah, a year after the huge environment disaster off southern USA there was very little to show for it. And anyone would think NZ’s situation is similar to that given all the media coverage and opinion pieces!

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  15. lofty (1,305 comments) says:

    Yup Viking2, what is needed is perspective of course, unfortunately I feel with the dumbing down of NZ society, more & more NZr’s are unable to recognise perspective.

    PSA will have a long term impact in the worst way possible on the Bays (NZ) economy.

    This short term problem while anxious, will go away very soon in relative terms.

    My daughter is down at the beach doing the civic clean up duty, and good on her, she has been told that they will be looking for sand covered oil, up to 1′ down, so probing will go on….FFS.

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  16. thedavincimode (6,606 comments) says:

    The chicken statistics raise another interesting point.

    How many chickens will be slaughtered needlessly in the course of Liabore’s South Auckland electioneering? Rather more than those affected by Rena I fear.

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  17. dion (95 comments) says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q08uaFD1-IA – and there goes another one.

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  18. wat dabney (3,748 comments) says:

    I think the Rena is an environmental disaster – definitely.

    Well, it isn’t. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

    This is what a disaster looks like:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exxon_Valdez_oil_spill

    So Goff’s response simply betrays how totally unfit for government he is, or indeed for any position of responsibility. I wouldn’t put him in charge of a lemonade stand.

    A ship – not even a tanker – gets wrecked and his response is to propose a national ban on oil drilling!

    That a grown man could actually come out with such an idea is shocking. That an adult could possibly imagine that the proposal is in any way sensible, proportionate or even relevant beggars belief.

    Can anyone actually think of anything that Goff would not say if he thought it might somehow increase Labour’s election prospects? We should have a competition:

    A pleasure cruiser founders. No lives lost but someone gets a bit wet. Goff’s response? A national ban on commercial fishing.

    A milk tanker crashes into a tree at slow speed. No one is hurt but the tree loses a few leaves. Goff’s response? A national ban on pastoral farming.

    And the Greens, naturally, cannot be trusted to keep a consistent position when they see the chance of gaining more political power. From their outburst who would have thought that increased coastal shipping is a policy they advocate? But no chance of a grown-up analysis from them when there’s power and money at stake.

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  19. kowtow (8,107 comments) says:

    There were probably far fewer vegetarians ,back in the day,when people had to grow and breed and kill their own food.

    Vwegetawianism is a luxury of the modern world.

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  20. Courage Wolf (559 comments) says:

    That’s as stupid as saying the fact that 172 died in the Christchurch earthquake isn’t a tragedy because thousands of people die annually. Any loss of life is unfortunate and comparing random statistics is hardly meaningful.

    FYI kotow it takes far more resources to breed livestock than it would if those resources were used to produce vegetables to feed humans. A meat diet is the luxury of the modern world and the cause of inefficient allocation of resources to save the starving world.

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  21. Viking2 (11,335 comments) says:

    Beach section re-opens

    Posted at 11:37am Sunday 16th Oct, 2011
    Share on Facebook Follow Us on Facebook Follow on Twitter
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    The National On Scene Commander has agreed to re-open a small section of beach between Mount Maunganui and Leisure Island.

    Some restrictions on public access have been lifted, and the following areas are again open to public access: from the Base Track at Mount Maunganui to Moturiki Island.

    http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/17473-beach-section-reopens.html

    Nothing more to see here. The media can now move on. hahahahah

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  22. ben (2,418 comments) says:

    Is it a disaster if the effects of oil are not discernable shortly after oil stops being released? Because most signs are that is what will happen. That is what happened in the gulf of Mexico. And as you say the toll on wildlife is negligible compared with nature herself.

    Disaster?

    Courge Wolf: nonsense. The mere fact meat takes more resource to grow says nothing on its own about efficiency. The fact buyers of meat are prepared to bear the additional cost says plenty about efficiency.

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  23. Viking2 (11,335 comments) says:

    Here are some good photo’s to look at.
    http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/17461-rena-from-air.html

    http://screencast.com/t/QRTorr1YOP

    http://www.screencast.com/t/WH6gxmw3

    http://www.screencast.com/t/3hHjMB2NJ

    http://www.screencast.com/t/guprvwlHGG

    For those that are following the Rena story. This is a picture from an apartment in the Towers at the bottom of Mt. Maunganui and adjacent to the Mt Beech. It was taken during the winter and the island in the background is Motiti, which features in the story. The Astrolab Reef is approximately directly out across the top of the closer of the two small islands that are in the foreground, probably at a distance of about 10 km.

    http://screencast.com/t/o2KggrWhc9

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  24. Viking2 (11,335 comments) says:

    A couple more.

    http://screencast.com/t/7SjrgM0nRX
    The island over the bow I think would be Karewa Island of Matakana foreshore and home to Tuatara.

    http://screencast.com/t/BnFfCNKpra
    Reverse view of the back containers. One wonders at the enormous forces at play with those containers leaning over unsupported.

    http://screencast.com/t/1QszJvwUFw
    Up front where some of the containers have come off.

    http://screencast.com/t/6VydC0CV9ywN
    And here is what she looked like on day one.

    She has rolled over from one side to the other and settled .

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  25. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Funny things, numbers. And the persepective they bring.

    Around 6 million Jewish dead in WW2, we must tiptoe carefully around unless we upset someone.

    Almost 25 million dead in the USSR? Meh, that was then, this is now. Move on.

    As it is with people, so it is with birds. It all depends who has the best spinners on their side.

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  26. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Speak for yourself, MyBrainOnCrack, I remind you leftists of the atrocities commited by your soviet heroes all the time.

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  27. kowtow (8,107 comments) says:

    corage wolf
    The world is not starving because I love steak and chips.

    Some people are starving because their governments are corrupt and inefficient.those are the places that need revolutions.it is up to the people of those countries to put things right.

    I have roast beef on at the moment ,yum yum.

    This country is what it is today because of hard working farmers , traders ,sailors etc who grew meat and wool and exported it and still do.And other produce of the land.

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  28. Someone Else (140 comments) says:

    “And I loved the footage on TV of the surviving birds being cared for in a pool.”

    Well said by the blogosphere’s little blue penguin. ;)

    Oh, I can see the penguin sex headlines now! ;)

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  29. minto57 (197 comments) says:

    So perception is everything.
    All the Goverment has done is reinforce the perception of arrogance and we know best, the latest example being Q&A
    and the cheer leaders on this site are all telling how wonderfull this disaster really is in the grand scheme of things

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  30. Viking2 (11,335 comments) says:

    http://screencast.com/t/N56FypJWm

    A close look at the tear down one side.

    http://screencast.com/t/LQK6pEfKKvA1
    47000 tonnes and 236 mtr’s long. One big sucker.

    http://screencast.com/t/nQLxJIu508
    A big mess, really?

    http://screencast.com/t/WZlvCgpk
    http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/17471-eastern-bay-prepares-oil.html

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  31. Ross12 (1,366 comments) says:

    I sometimes wonder what media think the heads of Govt. Departments should or actually do. Here they are blaming the PM , Joyce and Smith and National in general for the disaster. If the PM and Cabinet have to control everything in detail why do we have these extremely , high paid CEOs of the the Departments ? You might as well sack them all and put in a simple administrator on a much lower salary.

    If the critics grand plans for removing the oil were easily workable in the first few days why hasn’t a large proportion of the oil been removed in the past couple of days of good weather ? Why are the containers still on board? Obvious answer is that Norman and others were talking rubbish , they know it now but we’ll never hear anything about the fact that they may have “jumped the gun” with their comments.

    Good to see the Govt. is not backing down on its plans to explore the possibility of deep sea drilling. They may have to review to liability issues with permits , company disaster recovery plans etc. to ensure tax payer risk is minimised but that is what learning from experience is all about.

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  32. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    “courage wolf
    The world is not starving because I love steak and chips.”

    It is you know- And I bet you’re an evil Capitalist to boot…Didn’t you know that if we all quit our jobs, and became Vegans and Professional Protesters the World would suddenly be an idyllic, magical place??

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  33. burt (8,173 comments) says:

    Longknives

    I’m not sure if we should quit our jobs or just work for people who don’t pay the PAYE they deduct from us to the gummit. These employers are the good ones to work for – apparently !

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  34. thepolecat (63 comments) says:

    David, the amount of birds killed is not the only way to measure the size of environmental damage. There is also something called Kaimoana which has fed the people of the Bay of Plenty for hundreds of years.

    I’m not sure if you have ever been digging for Tua Tua or been fishing out in the Bay. This oil spill may effect New Zealanders ability to feed themselves from the ocean for years to come.

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  35. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    It’s hard to tell the difference from the lefties between exploiting this for political purposes and the extent to which they genuinely do care for the environment.

    I mean do the idiots really think it could have happened any faster? Seriously? If so, how. And puhlease remember the oil transfer infrastructure was fucking broken between the time it grounded and the storm hit and this is the sole and only reason why no oil was pumped in that time. So given that, what the fuck is the lefty’s problem?

    What is it? Can any lefty out there pray explain?

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  36. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    It is a huge environmental disaster for NZ and and equally a huge environmental disaster for the current govt. The latter is not helped one iota by Steven Joyce continuing to sneer , smirk and look down on people. Who is paying his advisers? No value for money there.

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  37. burt (8,173 comments) says:

    DPF

    I pretty much agree with a few others here. I think using the number of birds killed to provide perspective is pretty lame. However the loopy-desperate-left using this as a stick to beat the National party is equally lame – but we expect lame from them or they wouldn’t be lefties.

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  38. Scott Chris (6,013 comments) says:

    Courage Wolf says:- “takes far more resources to breed livestock than it would if those resources were used to produce vegetables to feed humans”

    Yup. In simple terms, it takes 10 times more land to support a human eating *only* meat compared to a vegetarian.

    This places much greater pressure on wild habitat.

    You don’t have to give up meat in order to be environmentally responsible. Just eat fewer or smaller portions of meat.

    Bonus: It improves your health:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_vegetarianism

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  39. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Burt

    All he’s showing is that its not the end of the world.

    I live about 80 miles east in a direct line and nothing has happened, but I can tell you there are any number of hand wringers desperately wanting the beaches to be covered in three feet of oil, its not going to happen and it was never going to happen.

    Its been politicized out of all proportion even for an election year.

    Reminds me of Bird Flu, KY 2000, Nx87 flu, nothing happened ,,scare the people, scared people don’t think, a very socailist plan. You are scared ,we will save you, FFS

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  40. burt (8,173 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay

    I get what he is trying to say. I can see the relative carnage (on birds) from this ship compared to other things. The problem is that you can’t measure the impacts using just one proxy. DPF could have picked sea slugs, noted that they are toxic and then cheered how a few thousand were killed – Gee how about that – we need more oil dumped in our oceans so we don’t suffer from 1-2 hospitalisations a year from kids playing with washed up sea slugs that look appealing to play with because they are not covered in oil.

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  41. Murray (8,844 comments) says:

    Andy early deforestation and over hunting by Maori actually resulted in the extintion of over half the native species. A trip to Mt Bruce will give you the information you need for that.

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  42. burt (8,173 comments) says:

    Murray

    Yes that early capitalist system where profits were put ahead of people was devestating for NZ.

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  43. wat dabney (3,748 comments) says:

    Yes that early capitalist system where profits were put ahead of people was devestating for NZ.

    Deforestation and over-hunting are examples of the tragedy of the commons. The essential characteristic is a lack of property rights over the given resource. By contrast, do you see cows going extinct in NZ, despite the massive numbers slaughtered every year by capitalists? Do you see salmon going extinct in fish farms run by capitalists?

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  44. burt (8,173 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay

    see: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/toxic-sea-slugs-may-their-way-back-3602815

    When these little buggers are covered in oil the dogs won’t eat em – quick do an oil change on your car and dump the used oil into a nearby stormwater drain – it will save the dogs !

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  45. burt (8,173 comments) says:

    wat dabney

    For sure, my point was that eco-terrorism isn’t limited to capitalist greed. Given the stoneage status of the Maori people before the europeans turned up it’s not hard to imagine they had no concept of conservation. I very much doubt they even considered the possibility that Moa, as a single example, would be hunted to extinction.

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  46. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    It is a huge environmental disaster for NZ and and equally a huge environmental disaster for the current govt. The latter is not helped one iota by Steven Joyce continuing to sneer , smirk and look down on people. Who is paying his advisers? No value for money there.

    Right so that’s pretty much what I thought was the lefty position joana, thanks for confirming it. Thing is, it’s wrong. Factually, it’s illogical. Let me explain.

    Nothing the govt could have done differently would have changed anything on the ground. If you think there was, then get specific, and remember, they couldn’t have started pumping any earlier than they have, given what nature has thrown at us, since it happened. So what, precisely, could they have done differently which would have changed anything?

    And on the assumption you don’t have new information that no-one else has seen which hasn’t been in the MSM either, your position in blaming the govt for anything it has done over this issue, is illogical. Sorry, it just is.

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  47. wat dabney (3,748 comments) says:

    burt,

    You should also investigate the ecological disaster that was the Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe under Communism, before taking swipes at ‘capitalist system[s] where profits were put ahead of people.’

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  48. burt (8,173 comments) says:

    wat dabney

    All good, you have missed my point. I was being sarcastic about the lefties here blathering on about oil and big business wrecking our planet. I’m the last person you would find supporting the socialists claiming they have the high ground – on anything other than corruption and self serving behaviour which they excell at.

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  49. wat dabney (3,748 comments) says:

    Ah, sorry burt. Whoosh over my head.

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  50. burt (8,173 comments) says:

    wat dabney

    No drama, however it’s good to know that when I post the most stupid shit I can think of that I present like a genuine loopy-lefty.

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  51. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    No drama, however it’s good to know that when I post the most stupid shit I can think of that I present like a genuine loopy-lefty.

    Yes it’s an essential skill for when the VRWC call we sayanim up for a bit more deep undercover penetration work. Thank goodness some of their women are attractive, that’s all I can say. The rest of it just drives me batshit, having to wear sandals, play guitar, sit cross-legged and spout absolute crap for hours on end while the brownies cook. (The brownies are another good thing, I suppose.)

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  52. Other_Andy (2,555 comments) says:

    “Andy early deforestation and over hunting by Maori actually resulted in the extintion of over half the native species. A trip to Mt Bruce will give you the information you need for that.”

    I thought that’s what I said.
    It is also on the web.
    http://www.nhc.net.nz/index/extinct-new-zealand/extinct.htm
    31 Bird species became extinct during Maori (The custodians of the environment) settlement, several became endangered and were wiped out soon after.

    Now that is an environmental disaster!

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  53. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    mmmm mmmm. Steak, taties and wallaby for dinner in this house.

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  54. ephemera (564 comments) says:

    Surely this is an environmental disaster for many other reasons than birds dying?

    Could we get also some comparative figures on marine contamination and beach sludge?

    Many thanks.

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  55. Shunda barunda (2,977 comments) says:

    I think the Rena is an environmental disaster – definitely. But is it the worst environmental disaster of all time as some media have trumpeted? Not so sure about that.

    Nor am I, but David, are you concerned about the other stats you listed here?? do we just accept that a sh!t load of our native wildlife is being exterminated and feel comfortable that the Rena is “not that bad” while being fine with the destruction dairying and mining are bringing upon our native species??

    Are you personally doing anything about it? do you support governments that don’t?

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  56. swan (659 comments) says:

    The elephant in the room is helicopters. NZ has over 700 of them. If every single one had been mobilised, plus a few gas axes, we could have had the whole boat and fuel tanks up on dry land in no time.

    But of course the MSM wont talk about it – Key has shares in a company that owns a helicopter.

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  57. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Reid
    I am not a leftie and I am not illogical..As someone else has indicated on here , all Joyce did by going on Q+A this am is show more people just how arrogant he is..He is the Min of Transport , he should have resigned by now..the other night it was ”boffins” in Wgtn , today it was ”armchair critics ”..Where was he is the first four or five days? Who would know? He wasn’t fronting on the telly in Bob Parker fashion , nor was Simon Bridges , nor was Key , nor was the female head of maritime NZ…They were all notable by their complete absence..There was no leadership..Parker did not go and see his elderly parents till seven days after the FEB earthquake even tho they were in a damaged area..love him or hate him , that is leadership.
    The fact remains the National higherups underestimated the situation , seemed to be unprepared for it and now don’t seem able to grasp just how furious many people are with them. As David wrote awhile ago , the Greens will be the big winners on the day.

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  58. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    he should have resigned by now

    Yes joana we know you think that but the question I ask is precisely why you think that? Precisely what did Joyce do or not do, to make him have to resign? Can you please tell us what that is, please. All your above post says is that in your opinion, Joyce hasn’t been particularly communicative. Well, big deal, even if that’s true. That is not a resignation offence. So what, pray tell, is the issue?

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  59. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    We may have 700 helicopters but not a single one of them can lift so much as a 20′ container let alone a full 40′ reefer. Lord knows where all these freaking experts get their bat shit crazy ideas.

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  60. swan (659 comments) says:

    @ joana

    “The fact remains the National higherups underestimated the situation , seemed to be unprepared for it and now don’t seem able to grasp just how furious many people are with them.”

    If they are anything like me, the thing they will not be able to grasp, is WHY many people are furious at the government. I am yet to see anything like a rational argument for why Ministers are to blame for anything.

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  61. swan (659 comments) says:

    @ Whaleoil

    I was trying my hand at satire – trying to lighten the mood :)

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  62. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    A bit of right-wing re-parenting possibly required in this situation. Hand-wringers need to be told to bury the dead budgie under the tree in the back yard and carry on, that’s life.

    Who exactly decides the relative worth of life-forms in the socialist paradise? A dead native bird is worth more than a duck is worth more than a possum is worth more than an embryo?

    It seems to be a phenomenon of our modern age that someone or a group will decide what is the morally superior path to follow in a social issue and because delusion of moral superiority is the greatest drug of all, a following is garnered and robust debate over undesirable consequences is shut down.
    We don’t want that crap despoiling our beaches and killing birds and seals but for gods sake put effort into the clean up and not into futile wanking on about wildlife extermination. I probably should watch my language and not be coarse as I’m an election candidate but this really irritates me. If it’s oil vs duck then oil wins – that’s progress ladies.

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  63. ephemera (564 comments) says:

    @swan I suspect Whaleoil didn’t realise all 700 helicopters would be working together as one, like a giant Voltron.

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  64. magsta (313 comments) says:

    It seems thousands of sea birds are killed off periodically around NZs coasts in storms.
    http://www.wanganuichronicle.co.nz/news/birds-feared-killed-in-tens-of-thousands/1063351/
    The ornithological society usually performs beach searches after big storms. They could probably furnish more details.

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  65. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    We don’t want that crap despoiling our beaches and killing birds and seals but for gods sake put effort into the clean up and not into futile wanking on about wildlife extermination.

    Absolutely Monique. Since lefties are well known to have many hairy, long-haired hippy types in their ranks, the least you’d think they could do is volunteer themselves as human mops, writhing around in the deepest oil pockets till they’re all abolutely covered in it then run up the beach to get it rinsed off in the decontamination and collection zone. I calculate with a thousand hairy hippies doing around about two trips an hour, you could clear Matakana beach in a few days. Now if that’s not worthwhile, pray tell what is.

    So come on lefties, do your bit. Call every single hairy hippy you know and tell them to jump in the combi and speed off to the Mount, right now! Otherwise, just shut up completely since this is the only possible useful contribution you can make, your other contributions to date haven’t really added any value whatsoever.

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  66. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    The elephant in the room is helicopters. NZ has over 700 of them. If every single one had been mobilised, plus a few gas axes, we could have had the whole boat and fuel tanks up on dry land in no time.

    You know what Swan, if we got enough ropes and chains maybe all 700 of them could lift the entire ship bodily off the reef and bring it to shore, if they reved the motors really really hard.

    You’d think they’d give it a go, wouldn’t you. They probably just want to kill all those birds. That’s probably it. They’re probably taping all the live feeds right now just so they can edit it to get the most oily creatures and circulate the precious eco-porn for later enjoyment in their clubs with their brandy and cigars. Those bastards.

    on ya, Swan. You’re my hero. Keep up that lateral thinking, we’re all finding it incredibly valuable.

    edit: ephemera: snap.

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  67. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    edit: sorry swan, missed your 3:32

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  68. swan (659 comments) says:

    reid, No worries. In hindsight I should have come up with something more crazy, as helicopters are no less realistic than what a other people are saying in all seriousness.

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  69. burt (8,173 comments) says:

    swan

    Helicopters are high fuel consumers in themselves. Imagine the carbon footprint of 700 of them revving up really really hard to lift the ship. Given the way helicopters seem to fall out of the air from time to time it’s odds on that at least one of them would crash during the operation. Imagine, some rare snail minding it’s own business on the mount could be incinerated by a falling helicopter.

    I think we need a flotilla of Waka. We have a veritable army of big strong blokes in NZ right now and I tell you what, if Maui can haul up an Island I’m pretty sure the All Blacks front row could haul the Rena back to shore.

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  70. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    We have a veritable army of big strong blokes in NZ right now and I tell you what, if Maui can haul up an Island I’m pretty sure the All Blacks front row could haul the Rena back to shore.

    Crikey burt, what a dilemma. Should we temporarily divert the AB’s from their pre-match preparation and save lots of birds, or should we win the RWC?

    I expect Wussell is wight now phoning awound to get opinion from his senior advisors on next steps, a note with Key’s private number written on it clutched tightly in his somewhat girly bony hand…

    It’s all very exciting.

    Salvage Code Red.

    Seriously, it occurs to me that probably about 10% of the final election percentage depends on how Rena plays out over the next few weeks and how the AB’s go tonight. I wonder really, what Key and Goff are thinking about, right now.

    This is the worst possible time for National’s campaign manager to be arse deep in this crisis, as well…

    I wonder what’s happening on i-predict?

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  71. Viking2 (11,335 comments) says:

    Sorry guys but you aint gunna lift it off with choppers. The ship is 47500 tonnes and that makes it about 67.85 tonne per chopper. Now we caould call up the American army and get them to lend us a couple of chinnocks. They lift 70 tonne or a centurion tank.

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  72. Viking2 (11,335 comments) says:

    But then then the challenge will be to release the boxes of the ship. Just to remind you what that challenge is take a look again at these pictures and if you feel you can do the job give the salvor’s a call.

    http://screencast.com/t/7SjrgM0nRX

    http://screencast.com/t/BnFfCNKpra

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  73. radar (319 comments) says:

    “I’m an animal lover…”

    Then stop eating them. You should try going vegetarian or vegan DPF, it’s done wonders for Bill Clinton’s weight and health, and the same for many other people.

    You will lose a few pounds and your conscience will feel better for it.

    But on the other hand, it’s not the traditional macho Kiwi thing to do, so it may be difficult.

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  74. Scott Chris (6,013 comments) says:

    Monique Watson says:- “Who exactly decides the relative worth of life-forms”

    Relative worth is obviously a subjective judgment. All you can do in a democracy is to put forward an argument and hope it finds favour with enough others to give it political currency.

    I would argue a natural dynamic system that has evolved without interference from humans over the past 4,500,000,000 years is worth preserving. In our short tenure as supreme beings, we’ve wiped out up to 40% of the earth’s animal species.

    There have been 20 minor extinction events and 5 major ones in the earth’s history. We are currently in the midst of the 6th *man made* extinction event.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction

    A Christian may argue that these are all Gods creatures, and as appointed guardians of the earth, it is our responsibility to look after them. We’re doing a very poor job. God must be pissed off.

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  75. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    Sorry guys but you aint gunna lift it off with choppers.

    Not even if all of them rev really REALLY really hard, V2?

    As someone said above, there are likely to be some flameouts as they traverse the 12 or so thousand metres to shore lifting a mere 47,500,000 kilograms.

    But surely that’s a price worth paying.

    I think the key thing is to really rev those engines. That to me is the critical connexion to the real nub of it.

    I can’t understand why this idea isn’t being more widely discussed, apart from here and on The Stranded, one assumes.

    Is everyone else mental?

    Apparently, they are.

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  76. Viking2 (11,335 comments) says:

    Well God made it all good today.

    ANWER TO PRAYER

    Posted on 16-10-2011 15:16 | By dotfin45

    This morning at Holy Trinity we prayed that the clean up would move fast er than any expected. Terrific news that part of the beach is open.Thank you for all those who worked so hard. Shalom!

    Not sure who ANWER is but there ya go.

    Beach section re-opens

    Posted at 11:37am Sunday 16th Oct, 2011 | By Laura Weaser laura@thesun.co.nz
    Share on Facebook Follow Us on Facebook Follow on Twitter
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    The National On Scene Commander has agreed to re-open a small section of beach between Mount Maunganui and Moturiki Island (Leisure Island).

    Some restrictions on public access have been lifted, and the following areas are again open to public access: from the Base Track at Mount Maunganui to Leisure Island
    http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/17473-beach-section-reopens.html

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  77. Viking2 (11,335 comments) says:

    Rena container found at Whakatane

    Sunday, 16, Oct, 2011 3:23PM

    A container from the stricken ship the Rena has been found off the coast of the eastern Bay of Plenty town of Whakatane, 90 kilometres from Tauranga where the vessel ran aground.

    The container was spotted by a member of the public near Whale Island at half past eleven this morning.

    Whakatane Coastguard says a boat is now towing the container to Whakatane.

    A spokesman says it won’t reach landfall until high tide this evening.

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  78. somewhatthoughtful (461 comments) says:

    This is a terrible post. As others have pointed out that is an appalling metric to measure environmental damage by, but you did your dog whistle I guess.

    Theres both no way to know the full extent at this stage and it’s nearly impossible to visibly perceive this.

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  79. joe90 (273 comments) says:

    Perspective.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/10/oil-spill-disaster-on-new-zealand-shoreline/100169/

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  80. Viking2 (11,335 comments) says:

    http://screencast.com/t/VyY2qo28K

    http://screencast.com/t/VJMVeGBgh
    Some idea of the forces at work. Steel plates shorn in half with the working of the vessel.

    http://screencast.com/t/xeEpshYFK

    http://screencast.com/t/mg7AZ5Ve9Clo
    Looking at that stack again.

    10:01 AM Sunday Oct 16, 2011

    These amazing images were captured by photographer Katie Cox, who was able to get inside the cordon established around the grounded ship off the coast of Tauranga.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/image.cfm?c_id=1&gal_objectid=10759388&gallery_id=122188#8166451

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  81. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    V2 and joe, thanks for those.

    Clearly it’s the danger of those container stacks which is a huge constraint on their operations. Frankly it’s terrific they can even go in at all. It’s clearly not a straight-forward common-or-garden salvage op, clearly not.

    It would be good if the lefties stopped pretending it was…

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  82. awb (302 comments) says:

    Hmmm, its about a little bit more than just birds I think, after all, animals other than birds also live there. The beach ecosystem has been wrecked by the spill.

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  83. Andrei (2,534 comments) says:

    These amazing images were captured by photographer Katie Cox, who was able to get inside the cordon established around the grounded ship off the coast of Tauranga.

    Good pictures yes but……….

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  84. joe90 (273 comments) says:

    The Torrey Canyon solution?.

    The bombing raids began yesterday, when eight Royal Naval Buccaneers set off from Lossiemouth in Scotland.

    Since then, the RAF and the Royal Navy have dropped 62,000lbs of bombs, 5,200 gallons of petrol, 11 rockets and large quantities of napalm onto the ship.

    Despite direct hits, and a towering inferno of flames and smoke as the oil slick began to burn, the tanker refused to sink.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/march/29/newsid_2819000/2819369.stm

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  85. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    I’m sorry Scott Chris. I didn’t mean to disrespect your religion. Myself I generally argue from a secular viewpoint. Not being particularly religious myself I always favor the evolutionary favorable viewpoint. Anyone else notice a growing trend of the use of the term dog-whistle by lefty godwits that get their feathers ruffled? Latest attempt to claim moral superiority and shut down debate is my guess.

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  86. Minnie (98 comments) says:

    I think Virgil and the rest of the Thunderbirds are the ones who need to resign.

    I mean, where are they when we need them?

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  87. Viking2 (11,335 comments) says:

    http://screencast.com/t/eN12D7Ev

    At not to be forgotten on for DPF. Enjoy.

    http://screencast.com/t/7VnidmQYfvC

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  88. Viking2 (11,335 comments) says:

    Andrei (1,062) Says:
    October 16th, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    These amazing images were captured by photographer Katie Cox, who was able to get inside the cordon established around the grounded ship off the coast of Tauranga.

    Good pictures yes but……….

    Except that later they admitted they were the boats involved in the salvage. Talk about cry wolf.

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  89. plebe (271 comments) says:

    TOWARDS A BETTER FUTURE, a smarly key(party vote national BAD KARMA wow what will be the next shit to hurt NZ, Pike river,the bodies wait for the chinese owners to throw them on the slag heap, CHCH, looted and left to rot , and RENA, what a fuck up.The Mounts stuffed for years, CREDIT DOWNRATING, and opps wall street type protests around the planet.I was made redundant under key and key happened to made $5000000 dollars more during that time in my life.Key a money market dealer,with a plastic smile and real shit happening under his watch.

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  90. Steve (4,538 comments) says:

    Go jump off the bridge plebe.
    Get the paper in the morning and search for a job, until then there is a Rugby game on.
    So fuck off with your John Key attacks

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  91. Scott Chris (6,013 comments) says:

    Monique Watson says sarcastically “I didn’t mean to disrespect your religion.”

    You asked a question. I answered it using two morally relative positions, mine and the Christian one. I’ll remind you of your question:

    “Who exactly decides the relative worth of life-forms”

    I answered it dispassionately and courteously.

    You replied with intolerant abusive rhetoric.

    Is that what conservative values mean to you?

    So I descend to your level. Bah!

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  92. plebe (271 comments) says:

    Mr Farrar in my above post i didnt mention birds, but your post is crap sorry,in the great picture, oiled birds are a sad sight, but you can pull stats out of your butt but its not birds,kiwis,happy feet, or a new hording of smarly key towards a better future that plebes care about its the PLEBES lost of the MOUNT for their christmas holiday,Key holidays in his masters homeland the USA, so a oiled Bay of Plentyreally dosnt worry him(Key) no votes.

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  93. Scott Chris (6,013 comments) says:

    Monique Watson

    “The narrower the mind the greater the hubris.”

    Aesop 2500 BP

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  94. plebe (271 comments) says:

    Dont be nasty steve, got another job, just pointing out a fact,Steve, boy you have a nasty temper problem,opps a nat/act voter, upperty
    Steve (1,881) Says:

    October 16th, 2011 at 7:16 pm
    Go jump off the bridge plebe.
    Get the paper in the morning and search for a job, until then there is a Rugby game on.
    So fuck off with your John Key attacks

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  95. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    I think Virgil and the rest of the Thunderbirds are the ones who need to resign.

    I mean, where are they when we need them?

    Precisely Minnie. I have information that our subscription to International Rescue lapsed when we left ANZUS, but I’m not really allowed to say much more than that.

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  96. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    Do not have time to read all of the normal point scoring that goes on here..

    Mikhail Lermantov… Did that go down with TEEPOL in it’s fuel tanks ???

    Oil is a natural product.. .. How much was dispersed by the U boats.. Surface ships and U boats..

    Get a grip…

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  97. Steve (4,538 comments) says:

    @ adam2314, it all came out of the earth, what is the problem with it going back in? It is recycling the Earth’s rescources
    This Planet is self sufficient except a few nutbar green flakes wish to tamper so they can tax us and tell us what to do

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  98. Viking2 (11,335 comments) says:

    plebe (70) Says:
    October 16th, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Dont be nasty steve, got another job, just pointing out a fact,Steve, boy you have a nasty temper problem,opps a nat/act voter, upperty
    Steve (1,881) Says:

    You got another JOB.
    Fuck your employer was right to make you redundant and you must work shovelling shit now because that’s what your attitude is, SHIT.
    Piss of prick.

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  99. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    Steve 7:44

    Agree whole heartedly

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  100. Other_Andy (2,555 comments) says:

    @Plebe

    Or Darrell from Wellington……..
    Looking at your repetitive, one-eyed incoherent ramblings and your poor language skills you must be high up in the Labour Party or the Greens.
    Congratulations with your new job….
    Can’t do worse than Goofy or Wussell.

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  101. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    More oil likely to leak from Rena off NZ.

    This is an head line from Yahoo..

    Demonstrates adequately what total idiots are reporting the news..

    MORE OIL IS GOING TO LEAK FROM THE RENA.. !!!.. HOW MUCH IS THE QUESTION ????.

    Emotive crap designed to sell news..

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  102. plebe (271 comments) says:

    WOW do you give the wife and kids the bash or your boyfriend the bash, or do you just post vile/bile to make up for your shortcomings viking???
    Viking2 (5,324) Says:

    October 16th, 2011 at 7:48 pm
    plebe (70) Says:
    October 16th, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Dont be nasty steve, got another job, just pointing out a fact,Steve, boy you have a nasty temper problem,opps a nat/act voter, upperty
    Steve (1,881) Says:

    You got another JOB.
    Fuck your employer was right to make you redundant and you must work shovelling shit now because that’s what your attitude is, SHIT.
    Piss of prick.
    PRICKS are useful vicking and a bit of2

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  103. Viking2 (11,335 comments) says:

    http://screencast.com/t/xgp5iDFix

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/rena-crisis/5792006/Rena-salvage-crews-start-pumping

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  104. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    @ adam2314, it all came out of the earth, what is the problem with it going back in?

    Sorted, then. They can tip all the oil they recover on your garden.

    Oops – national anthem. Time to go!

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  105. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    Stupid .. Even ridiculous statement.. Which is what is expected from people with no scientific eveidence for their beliefs…

    Mary Rose ??.. Was that not a ship that sunk on its maiden voyage.. ??..

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  106. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    Half-time. Good start.

    >Stupid .. Even ridiculous statement..

    It was meant to be. Sorry if that went over your head.

    >Which is what is expected from people with no scientific eveidence for their beliefs…

    What are you talking about? Presuming far too much (I can only presume).

    >Mary Rose ??.. Was that not a ship that sunk on its maiden voyage.. ??..

    Should I sink to your level in reply? Na.

    (It sank, btw. Simple past. ‘Sunk’ is the past participle.)

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  107. Rich Prick (1,647 comments) says:

    We’ve had the Stockholm Syndrome, the Christchurch Syndrome, and now it seems Tauranga wants to get in on the act. We don’t want to compensate you lot. End of. So a few birds copped it, God will weep a tear for them, I won’t, they would have died by old age, disease or more likely at the teeth of a predator. But if you really want some one to blame, its Phil Goff. He should have demanded the Prime Minister fly so fast backwards and reverse time to make it all go away. Yes, the bastard in all of this is indeed Phil Goff.

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  108. burt (8,173 comments) says:

    reid

    It wasn’t when we left ANZUS that our subscription to International Rescue ended. It was 2007 when we diverted the tens of millions we normally paid to International Rescue to the UN development fund.

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  109. mpledger (429 comments) says:

    DPF said:
    Birds killed by power lines annually – 1,700,000
    Birds killed by automobiles – 800,000
    Birds killed by wind turbines – 500
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    These figures seem off.

    Most wind turbines in NZ are big bruisers whose blades move too slowly for birds to be in danger.

    If 800,000 birds are killed by automobiles that equates to one bird killed for every 5 people in NZ per year. Given that, I’d expect to have killed a bird with my car travel once every five years but I’ve never seen that in my life.

    My understanding is that birds can’t electrocute themselves on NZ powerlines – since the cities are the most electrified you’d expect to see dead bird carcasses around town, under powerlines, if it were so. It would seem odd that the NZ electricity companies would tolerate 2,000,000 such interuptions/fluctuations to their power supply per year.

    Anyway the 1000 birds killed by Rena are only the ones that have washed up. The ones that die at sea we can’t count.

    And the birds we eat or hunt are generally bred for eating or hunting or are pests. It’s against the law to hunt endangered animals.

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  110. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    The figures almost certainly off and most are probably too high because they come from DoC and other conservation sources who want to emphasise the disastrous impact of human beings on wildlife.
    There is some nice irony seeing these numbers now turned against them.

    But the number soon add up. Every spring Pukeko kill about a dozen ducklings on my two hectare property. How many do they kill a year over the whole country.
    And we routinely collect birds off the ground killed by flying into our windows.

    Every time I drive along the road I see new road kill. Multiply those numbers out. They are large.
    I understand birds are not electrocuted by power lines but by flying into them. But I stand to be corrected.

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  111. Scott Chris (6,013 comments) says:

    Owen McShane says:- “There is some nice irony seeing these numbers now turned against them.”

    Couldn’t agree less.

    DOC will use statistics to their advantage, but they won’t make them up.

    Conservationists are, on the whole, principled and idealistic people funnily enough.

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  112. insider (1,035 comments) says:

    Bob Brockie has done a road kill study http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/2345659/Road-kill-counts-in-nature-studies

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  113. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    about five years ago DoC added a bundle of trees to their list of endangered species.
    I was puzzled because I had just bought two of these species at the nursery down the road.

    When challenged DoC explained that these trees were endangered on the DoC estate and not in captivity on private land.

    The increased list was part of a plea for more funding. Over thirty or more years I have learned to street most “environmental data” with a grain of salt.

    Air pollution and “premature deaths” are a classic example. Go here: http://www.rmastudies.org.nz/library/49-pollution-soil-water-air

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