Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Which emissions does National want to cut?

The Stuff story on the renewable energy target quotes National climate change spokesperson Todd Muller as opposing cuts to electricity sector emissions:

National's climate change spokesman Todd Muller said the report exposed the "economic lunacy" of being fixated on greenhouse emissions from electricity generation, which formed only a small part of New Zealand's overall emissions.

Meanwhile, he's also on the record as opposing agricultural emissions targets:
National will not support the Zero Carbon Bill passing into law if "ridiculous" methane targets are not wound back, the party's climate change spokesman Todd Muller says.

"I totally reject the view that when there is no ability to mitigate (methane emissions), you just push on regardless," he told the Federated Farmers Taranaki annual general meeting in Stratford on May 24.

Which invites the question: what emissions does National want to cut, and how to they expect to meet a remotely plausible emissions reductions goal when ruling out ~60% of our total emissions? Or is this just the latest version of their entrenched climate change denial: pretend to accept the problem exists, while opposing any meaningful action to prevent it?

The renewables target

Back in April, the Independent Climate Change Commission leaked that it thought the government's 100% renewable energy target would be prohibitively expensive. Now they're leaking it again, suggesting that fully renewable electricity would actually cause emissions to increase:

The committee, headed by former Opus International chief executive Dr David Prentice, said the impact of higher prices would likely mean that New Zealand as a whole would generate more emissions as a result.

High electricity prices would slow the decarbonisation of the wider economy, making it more difficult for New Zealand to meet its target under the Paris Agreement to cut greenhouse emissions, the ICCC argues.

Instead of focusing on 100 per cent renewable electricity generation, the committee urged the Government consider New Zealand's energy use as a whole, with industrial heat and the transport sectors generating far more in terms of carbon emissions than electricity.


The report claims such an approach could avoid 6.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from transport and another 2.6 million tonnes from process heat.

Overall, the policy would cut net emissions by 5.4 million tonnes of carbon a year by 2035, compared to the scenario where the Government pushes for 100 per cent renewable electricity sources.

To which the obvious answer is taco girl: why not both? Renewable electricity and transport decarbonisation aren't exclusive policies, after all. Our government is capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. Though it does also suggest that it might be worth having a primary energy target as well.

But I'm also rather suspicious of a chain of reasoning which says "we will have to build a massive amount of generation to ensure security of supply for the last couple of percent, so electricity will be expensive". But when you dig into it, that generation is all about covering for the possibility of the wind not blowing on a cold winter's night when demand is highest, and will sit idle almost all the time - meaning in fact supply will massively, massively outstrip demand. Absent anti-competitive behaviour from power companies, this should cause prices to fall. And on the gripping hand: we are going to need to build a massive amount of new generation anyway, to power all those electric cars (completely replacing petrol with electricity would mean increasing generation by ~25%). All of that generation should be renewable, and we might as well leverage this long-term need to crash prices in the short-term, driving electrification and pushing dirty fossil fuels to the absolute margins. As I noted last week, it is remarkably cheap to do so.

Ultimately, though, 99% renewable electricity is probably good enough for now. We should aim for 100%, try and drive the change, see where we get, and offset the rest. Because one thing we do know is that we won't get anywhere by not trying. Trusting "business as usual" (as the Climate Change Commission seems to think we should do) is how we got into this problem in the first place.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Australia's criminal government

Australian Ministers are guilty of crimes against humanity over their treatment of refugees, says a top Australian lawyer:

The top politicians in this country are guilty of major criminal offences, but they are unlikely ever to be tried for them, says lawyer Julian Burnside.

“I think it’s pretty clear that Australian prime ministers and immigration ministers are guilty of criminal offences against our own law,” says the Melbourne-based QC. “The problem is that no one can bring a prosecution for those offences without the approval of the Attorney General. Take a lucky guess what the Attorney General would say.”

The offences he has in mind involve the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers – deliberate and unnecessary cruelty that amounts, he argues in the documentary Border Politics, to torture.

And Australia has laws against that, both under the Convention Against Torture and as a party to the International Criminal Court. But they all have a political safeguard, which means that in practice no member of the government or official will ever face justice for their crimes.

The question then is, at what stage does that political safeguard become a deliberate obstruction of justice, enabling the ICC to assert jurisdiction over both criminals and obstructers? Because that's where this is heading unless Australia sorts its shit out. And as a decent country, the new Zealand government should be making the complaint. Friends don't let friends torture refugees and commit crimes against humanity.

Local elections, regional councils, and climate change

Local body elections are happening in October. With councils around the country declaring or debating climate emergencies, climate change is likely to play a big role, and the surge in younger candidates should provide some welcome and necessary representation against the gerontocracy on that front. But most of the focus is on city councils. And with climate change, its really regional councils we need to focus on.

Regional councils control public transport. They also control land, air, and water quality under the RMA. They set the rules which allow dairy intensification and the burning of fossil fuels, among other things. And if the government repeals the RMA's ban on considering climate change, then the plans and policies they make are going to be absolutely critical in limiting emissions and fighting climate change.

Those plans are made and approved by elected councillors. So who is on our regional councils is going to matter like never before. And because they're stacked with farmers, we desperately need voices to oppose the vested interests of rural climate change denial.

So, if you're a young or green and considering running for local office this year, please run for regional council. Its a real chance to make a difference - not just for your region, or New Zealand, but to the world.

Democracy wins in Turkey

Three months ago, Turkey's increasingly authoritarian government suffered a shock loss in local elections, losing the mayoralty of Istanbul to an opposition candidate. So the Turkish government made them vote again so they'd get it "right". But it didn't work out the way they'd planned:

Turkey’s opposition has won a high-stakes rerun of the Istanbul mayoral election, a landmark victory in a country where many feared democracy was failing and a serious blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Shortly after initial results pointing to a landslide win for opposition coalition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu emerged on Sunday evening, the candidate of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Binali Yıldırım, conceded and congratulated his rival.

The repeat election, designed to undo İmamoğlu’s narrow surprise win in the 31 March contest, was an unprecedented test for both Turkey’s fragile democratic institutions and Erdoğan’s political future.

Yıldırım’s swift concession saved the AKP the embarrassment of watching the vote count add up to a second defeat, but the loss is likely to lead to intense new power struggles inside the coalition government. Opposition parties were jubilant.

This looks like a strong backlash against Erdoğan's anti-democratic behaviour, which is good for Turkey's democracy. And it also suggest that Erdoğan is going to respect the vote, rather than trying to overturn it again. Which means that his time in charge is hopefully coming to an end.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Climate Change: A citizen's assembly in the UK

One of the central demands of the Extinction Rebellion campaign has been for climate change to be taken out of the hand of corrupt establishment politicians and put in the hands of the people via a citizen's assembly. Now, it looks like the UK government will give them what they asked for. But as usual, there's a catch:

A citizens’ assembly on the climate emergency will take place this autumn to explore the fastest and fairest ways to end the UK’s carbon emissions.

Six House of Commons select committees announced the assembly on Thursday. It is the second of the three demands made by the Extinction Rebellion protest group to be addressed.

However, the group have criticised the initiative as it wants the assembly’s decisions to be binding, not advisory.

Because the last thing the corrupt polluter establishment wants to do is yield any sort of real power. So instead, they'll run this as a PR exercise, pretend they've listened, then ignore or water down the proposals to suit the interests of their corporate backers. Which means that the rebellion will simply have to continue...


For the past four years, Saudi Arabia has been indiscriminately bombing Yemen, attcking hospitals and other civilian targets and committing war crimes. They're doing it in part with British weapons, exported by British arms dealers with the approval of the British government. Now, the UK Court of Appeal has declared those approvals unlawful:

British arms sales to Saudi Arabia have been ruled unlawful by the court of appeal in a critical judgment that also accused ministers of ignoring whether airstrikes that killed civilians in Yemen broke humanitarian law.

Three judges said that a decision made in secret in 2016 had led them to decide that Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt and Liam Fox and other key ministers had illegally signed off on arms exports without properly assessing the risk to civilians.

Sir Terence Etherton, the master of the rolls, said on Tuesday that ministers had “made no concluded assessments of whether the Saudi-led coalition had committed violations of international humanitarian law in the past, during the Yemen conflict, and made no attempt to do so”.

As a result, the court said that the UK export licensing process was “wrong in law in one significant respect” and ordered Fox, the international trade secretary, to hold an immediate review of at least £4.7bn worth of arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

Significantly, the court found that the British government had consciously decided to turn a blind eye to war crimes in order to allow continued arms sales. Those sales have now been suspended, but international trade secretary Liam Fox has apparently told people that he does not expect any permits to be overturned when war crimes are considered. Which seems to be both pre-determination (and further grounds for judicial review), and a further example of the problem. Ministers obviously don't care if the arms trade is moral, but now they are no longer even pretending to care about whether it is even legal, provided their mates get to keep on profiting by selling weapons to war criminals. And that is something they need to be held responsible for.

Democracy with Spanish characteristics again

Last month, Catalans elected three exiled and jailed pro-independence politicians to the European Parliament. Unfortunately, Spain no longer seems to respect the results of democratic elections, and the Spanish Electoral Commission today declared their seats vacant. The reason? None of them had made the required oath to uphold the Spanish constitution before the Electoral Commission. But in all three cases, it is because the Spanish state did not permit them to.

Oriol Junqueras's case is the most outrageous. He is currently in pre-trial detention awaiting the verdict of his show-trial for "rebellion" and "sedition" for supporting the Catalan people's right to vote in an independence referendum. He was unable to make the required oath because the court refused to permit him to do so, regarding it as a threat to the trial process (MEPs gain immunity from prosecution, meaning that he could not be sentenced). The democratic process? Apparently unimportant. The exiles, Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín, are in a different situation: they face arrest if they return to Spain, so they swore the oath before a notary in Belgium, and additionally sent their lawyer to the Election Commission to provide it by proxy - a process which the Commission has apparently deemed acceptable in the past. But as we've seen throughout this struggle, the rules change depending on what advantages the Spanish state, and it was refused.

Spain has used an arbitrary procedural barrier to thwart the expressed will of the Catalan people. It is naturally going to the European courts, and hopefully they will be able to restore democracy in Spain.

For election-day enrolment

Yesterday the government announced some minor tweaks to the electoral system, including more locations for advance voting, and allowing people to enrol on election day. The changes were recommended by the Electoral Commission in its post-mortem on the 2017 election, and would lead to an extra 19,000 votes being counted. So you'd expect them to be accepted by all parties, right? But instead, National is claiming they are a "stitch-up":

National MP Nick Smith told RNZ the move was a "stitch-up" because same-day enrolment favoured left-wing parties.

"The government is simply cherry-picking electoral law changes that will improve its own chances of re-election in 2020," Dr Smith said.

"That should really raise the hairs on the back of those people who want our democracy to have integrity."

A democracy has integrity when everyone who is eligible to vote is able to. Currently the law prohibits this in a completely arbitrary manner: people who vote before election day - about 50% of us at present - can enrol and have their votes counted, while people who do it on the day can not. This may have made sense back in the day of pen and paper bureaucracy, when rolls were closed weeks before the election because it was simply not administratively possible to enrol people over the election period and verify their data quickly enough to have their vote count, but it makes no sense today. The Electoral Commission can check whether an enrolment is valid, and they did for about 130,000 people who enrolled during the election period. Excluding election day enrolments seems simply arbitrary and cruel. And there's no threat to the vote count: late enrolments are special votes, and so counted separately, after checking.

At least 19,000 extra votes would have been able to be counted if we'd done this last election. It speaks volumes about National's values that they don't want these people to vote. But like the British Tories in the C19th, or modern day US Republicans, it seems that if you scratch a right-winger, you find that they're really not that keen on democracy, and certainly not keen on high turnout. Its almost as if they think their policies aren't actually that popular, and that the only way to gain or retain power is to stop people who would vote them out from being able to do so...

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Ombudsman on Horowhenua District Council

The Ombudsman has tabled a report in parliament on the Horowhenua District Council's compliance with the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. While it finds no wrongdoing, its not exactly good. The money quote:

In relation to official information requests, the building blocks are all there. The Council has well-developed webpages for making a request, sound policy documents and a database for tracking requests. However senior leadership needs to take ownership of the Council’s official information practices. There was a marked absence of engagement from senior leadership in this area and I think the political climate during the recent Council term has been a distraction in this respect.
Shorn of the polite bureaucratese, this is basicly an acknowledgement that things are not working properly. Specific findings include a habit of the CEO of engaging in intemperate and unprofessional communications with requesters, a perception from staff that decisions on withholding and charging are being driven by the political tensions within (and about) the council, and inappropriate handling of requests from elected members. The Ombudsman has recommendations suggested "action points" about all of this, but fundamentally the problem seems to be one of councillors and the CEO engaged in perpetual warfare with one another, and insofar as the public are seen as proxies for one party or another, this spilling over to undermine the public's right to know. And while the Ombudsman can't say it, the public is ultimately going to have to resolve this in October - because it is clear that none of the parties can be trusted to behave professionally or lawfully.

Correction: An Ombudsman can only make "recommendations" where they have found error or wrongdoing, so the Ombudsman has "suggested action points" instead.

Climate Change: Wellington joins the crowd

Wellington has joined the growing list of local authorities declaring a climate and ecological emergency. And to back it up, they've adopted a zero-carbon plan as well, pushing them towards greater investment in public transport and cycleways, building energy efficiency standards, a climate resilience fund, and lobbying central government for better policies. They've set themselves a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, but 80% of their submitters wanted an earlier target - and with that level of public support, councillors are going to have to fall in line or get de-elected.

So, who's next? And when will Parliament follow suit?

This changes nothing

The core claims of Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager's Hit & Run are that the New Zealand SAS raided two villages in Afghanistan in search of "insurgents" who weren't there, and in the process killed six civilians including a three-year-old child. Today, Jon Stephenson has retracted one of those claims: he has been able to interview the insurgents the SAS wanted to kill (!), and found out they were there that night - but that they also escaped without firing a shot. Meanwhile those interviews also confirm the rest of the story: that the only people killed were civilians.

This doesn't seem to change anything from the point of view of the SAS's moral responsibility for the killings. They still killed non-combatants, including a three-year-old. And they still went back later to destroy a building as revenge, in violation of the laws of war. They're still murderers and war criminals. And they still need to be held responsible for it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

StatsNZ to not engage in mass-surveillance

Correction: More information on this has emerged, and it appears the information will be aggregated before StatsNZ sees it. See the update section at the bottom of the post for further information.

Statistics New Zealand is planning to track everyone through their cellphones "for statistical purposes":

Stats NZ is partnering with cellphone companies to launch a new way of tracking people's movements every hour.

The population density programme will launch next month and Statistics Minister James Shaw said he was aware there would be perception issues around every step being recorded.

Mr Shaw said cellphone companies and credit companies already held that level of detail, but for the first time Stats NZ was able to act as a data broker to identify trends and patterns with the anonymised information.

James Shaw stupidly compares this to census night, where in theory everyone fills out a form saying where they are. But tracking people on an hourly basis is orders of magnitude more intrusive. He also assures us that the data will be kept secure. That would be the same as the IDI data, which had 24 identifiable breaches between 2015 and 2018?

Meanwhile, there's the obvious problem: cellphone users never consented to this. While cellphone companies collect the data as part of how the network works, their users have never consented to it being shared, and there's no suggestion that they are being legally compelled to provide it. As with the IDI, its a gross abuse of people's privacy. I'm also wondering why cellphone companies are retaining this data in the first place. Its personally identifying information, Privacy Principle 9 applies, so they have a strict obligation to retain it no longer than necessary.

If you are upset about this, I suggest you contact your cellphone provider. If the government won't listen, maybe a bit of consumer backlash is in order.

Update: When I posted this, I was assuming that StatsNZ would be receiving "anonymised" raw location data. I've since been sent the privacy impact assessment for the project, which makes it clear that this is not the case:
The information Data Ventures acquires is anonymised by the data providers providing it and consists of a count in an area within an hourly range. It does not contain any information which will allow for the identification of an individual by Data Ventures. Therefore, the information received by Data Ventures is not personal information within the meaning of the Privacy Act and it does not apply in relation to the Population Density product.

Counts by statistical area seems fairly harmless, and non-intrusive, though it still raises questions about the consent of users. StatsNZ / Data Ventures' position is that this is all according to their clickwrap, take-it-or-leave-it user agreements, so everything is OK. I think there's real questions about consent here, and the companies involved should be identified so users with a preference for high privacy can vote with their feet (as people like me already are by not using cellphones). But then there's this:
Data Ventures has indicated on its website there may be the possibility for the creation of related products concerning demographics and travel patterns. Such products may require additional data attributes to those collected for the Population Density product and, if they go ahead, would need further PIAs to assess potential privacy risks.

This seems to require far more intrusion - demographics requires either cellphone providers to collect this data on StatsNZ's behalf, or to provide disaggregated data for later matching. Travel patterns requires someone - which may be telcos - to start looking at where individual phones are going, rather than just how many are in a large area at a particular time. And that's a whole new level of creepy. Especially when you consider that the data is collected for network purposes and therefore shouldn't be used for anything else.

As with the IDI, there is a real issue of public consent and social licence here. Our public service seems to be getting into spying for convenience, without asking us first. If we want to stop it, then we need to send a clear message to politicians that our data belongs to us, and they don't get to use it for whatever they want just because they can. Alternatively, vote with your feet, and make it useless.

New Fisk

Egyptian democracy died yesterday in a prison cage alongside Morsi

Good riddance

Another major oil company has given up exploring in New Zealand:

Chevron and Norwegian oil giant Equinor have opted to abandon their joint exploration efforts off the east coast of the North Island.

The two firms have applied to surrender three permits they were granted in December 2014. The acreage covers more than 25,000 square-kilometres of ocean – roughly a quarter of the country's active exploration portfolio – and stretches from south-east of Turakirae Head on the southern Wairarapa coast, north towards Hawke's Bay.

The permits were granted for 15-year terms. Chevron said the decision not to proceed with the next five-year stage of their work programmes was based on the firms' broader portfolio considerations and not "policy or regulatory concerns."

"Broader portfolio considerations" being polluter for "its more profitable to explore for oil elsewhere'. At the same time, this is exactly the result we want from the ban: the withdrawl of the oil industry from New Zealand, and the slow expiry or surrender of its permits.

The area covered by the three permits can be seen in the map below (modied from NZPAM's permit maps):

The one remaining permit on the East coast of the North Island is owned by OMV - the only foreign climate criminal still exploring for oil in New Zealand. They've just sent a massive oil rig to New Zealand to drill in their other permits (including off the South Island). If you'd like to tell them to fuck off, you can do so here.

(The next permits to watch are 38602, which expires at the end of July, and 38479, which expires in September. They're both small, but every bit helps, and their expiry will put more ocean off-limits to the oil industry).

An invitation to corruption

When Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hired a lobbyist to set up her government in 2017, she assured us that everything was above board and any conflicts of interest would be managed. She lied:

The lobbyist who served as the prime minister’s closest adviser during the early days of the coalition government appears to have failed to comply with commitments he made to disclose conflicts of interest on an ongoing basis, according to documents released to The Spinoff under the Official Information Act.


The prime minister recently told parliament that the potential conflicts of interests were managed because Thompson was subject to codes of conduct and signed a declaration about conflicts of interest.

But documents show Thompson’s initial disclosure to Ministerial Services didn’t identify the firm’s clients and suggest that Thompson failed to comply with the undertakings he had made in the declaration to keep Ministerial Services informed on an ongoing basis about potential conflicts of interest, raising questions about a breach of government rules around conduct in the public service.

Effectively Ardern and Ministerial Services left it entirely up to Thompson to identify any problems, and he didn't. Which simply isn't good enough. With the integrity of our government and political system on the line, I'd expect something a little more proactive - like forcing him to identify his clients, and then firewalling him from anything to do with anything they might be interested in (such as appointments to agencies they lobby). While there's no evidence he behaved corruptly in the role (because we don't know who his clients were), ignorance isn't a good enough standard. Our government must not only be honest - it must be seen to be so. And Thompson's appointment and behaviour simply fails that test.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Climate Change: Ireland will ban fossil fuelled cars

If humanity is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, we need to stop burning fossil fuels. Transport is a key emitter, so this means we need to stop using fossil fuelled vehicles. A number of countries have already committed to do this, and Ireland has become the latest:

The Irish government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, as part of a major new strategy to protect the environment.

The aim is to ensure that all new cars and vans on Irish roads in 11 years' time are electric vehicles.


The hope is that by the time the petrol and diesel vehicle ban is introduced in 2030 there will be 950,000 electric vehicles on Irish roads.

The government is set to invest in a "nationwide" charging network to power the new vehicles.

At least one recharging point will be required at new non-residential buildings with more than 10 parking spaces by 2025.

Banning new imports is only the start - you also need to get legacy vehicles off the roads. Ireland plans to no longer issue registrations for fossil fuelled vehicles from 2045 - a window which gives plenty of time to make the switch. The question is whether it is fast enough, but its a plan, which can be sped up as required.

So, what's New Zealand's plan? Oh yes - let the market sort it out. Heckuva job the government is doing there.

The whitewash becomes a farce

The government's Operation Burnham whitewash has become a farce, with the SAS's victims refusing to participate any further:

Afghani villagers are turning their backs on a Government inquiry into allegations six civilians were killed and a further 15 injured in a botched New Zealand SAS raid.

Human rights lawyer Rodney Harrison QC said the villagers did not want to take any further part in the inquiry.

Harrison told a press conference on Tuesday the villagers were "completely disillusioned" by the process that has heard the vast majority of evidence behind closed doors.


Harrison said a key reason the villagers wanted to pull out was the inquiry's decision to hear evidence without them or their lawyers being present.

I don't blame them. With secret "evidence", an initial refusal to even hear from the the victims, and an ongoing refusal to allow them to participate as anything other than show-ponies, the "inquiry" was very obviously shaping up to be a whitewash aimed at publicly exonerating NZDF and defending their reputation. Continued participation simply lends credibility to this abusive process. Better to walk away and pursue justice through the courts than have anything to do with it.

Meanwhile, the public should be asking what the point of an "inquiry" which refuses to hear from victims is, and what is wrong with our political and judicial establishment that they think that that is acceptable, useful, or remotely credible.

Monday, June 17, 2019

New Fisk

No one is innocent in the Gulf of Oman debacle – but Trump’s ‘evidence’ of Iran’s role is dodgy at best
An Isis killer and an unlikely hero have heaved open the cracks in Lebanese politics

Climate Change: Advice it was right to ignore

A story on Scoop from NZ Energy and Environment Business Week about how the government had "ignored advice" when setting its methane target caught my eye last night. The story is based on a week-old press release from National climate denial spokesperson Todd Muller, and highlights the difference between the recommendations of the Climate Change Chief Executives Board - a collection of public sector CEOs - and the government's final position on methane targets. Reading the actual paper, the CEOs noted that the Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change had recommended cuts to methane emissions of between 22 and 47% by 2050 were required to stabilise the climate and avoid more than 1.5 degrees of warming. Despite this, they then recommended a lower target. Their reasoning?

In respect of the range presented for the biogenic methane target, 22% represents the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s assessment of the reduction in livestock methane emissions required by 2050 below 2016 levels to prevent additional warming from these emissions. 35% represents the midpoint of the range for agricultural methane set out in the IPCC special report. Analysis suggests that this range of emissions reductions is feasible.

The range reflects the differing views of departments on the trade-offs involved in the target decision, and that specific targets have not been tested with the agriculture sector.

[Emphasis added]

So, despite everything that is happening, despite the planet literally catching fire in front of us, public sector CEOs are still recommending doing as little as possible to solve the crisis, due to (economic) trade-offs. Which is unsurprising, really: its the same narrow circle of thought that got us into this mess, and the same advice they've been giving for decades, and changing their minds now would mean implicitly admitting they were wrong. And so public sector arse covering means doubling down on failure rather than admit error.

But snark at our failed public sector "leadership" aside, what this really is is a case of the government deciding to listen to the IPCC - the acknowledged international experts in the field - rather than a bunch of business managers. And that's a perfectly reasonable decision. When it conflicts with the IPCC, the advice of the NZ public service is most definitely advice that should be ignored.