American jobs and wage growth slows sharply; Canadian jobs grow strongly; Aussie retail sales strong in November; international air travel rising; UST 10yr yield at 1.83%; oil down and gold up; NZ$1 = 66.4 USc; TWI-5 = 71.5

American jobs and wage growth slows sharply; Canadian jobs grow strongly; Aussie retail sales strong in November; international air travel rising; UST 10yr yield at 1.83%; oil down and gold up; NZ$1 = 66.4 USc; TWI-5 = 71.5

Good morning, wherever you are. Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news the air is going out of the American jobs market.

American payrolls grew in December by +145,000 and that was considerably below expectations of a +160,000 gain. They were lucky it wasn't worse. The results for the previous two months were revised down. That caps a year where private sector employment rose by +1.9 mln people (or +1.5%), and far less than the +2.6 mln rise in 2018. In December, factory sector jobs actually shrank by -12,000 jobs and over the whole year grew by less than +0.4%. More analysts are saying the American goods producing sector is now in recession. If it wasn't for a curious +39,000 spike by the retail rag trade over the holiday period, the overall result would have been much worse. And going forward, Boeing's increasing woes won't help either.

Average weekly earnings rose less than +2.3% in December from a year ago and that is a sharp slowing from the +2.8% rise in November. (For factory pay, the gain was just +1.6%.) In fact, you have to go back almost three years to find a slower wage gain. It is unsure what the Federal Reserve will make of today's jobs report.

In Canada, the jobs market was a lot better in December. They added +35,000 jobs and all of them full-time. Their jobless rate reduced. Average weekly earnings rose +3.7% although that was slightly lower than expected and lower than the +4.5% rise in November.

Back in the US, the Federal Reserve paid to the US Treasury US$55 bln in dividends in 2019, down from US$65 bln in 2018 and a ten year low. It's not as profitable being a central bank as it once was.

Australian retail sales came in better than expected for November, according to official data. They were up +3.2% year on year and that is the best rise since April 2019. Apparently Australians took to the Black Friday event more enthusiastically than excepted. Now the question will be, was this at the expense of the traditional Christmas season? In November, Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT all starred, Western Australia was average, Victoria and South Australia were below average, and NSW was weak. Bush fires are unlikely to help December and January in NSW or Victoria.

Those bush fire threats are rising. Firefighters are bracing for the creation of a mega blaze as horrific conditions were expected to see several bush fires merge in NSW and Victoria overnight. Sydney water storage is still falling fast. They are even lower for Newcastle.

International air travel rose +3.1% in November with the Asia/Pacific region rising +3.9%. These rates are similar to the growth recorded in previous recent months. Of special concern in January however will be travel in China during the major Golden Week holiday. It has the chance to rapidly spread a new deadly pneumonia virus discovered in central China - a kind of SARS II.

Equity markets are finishing the week in a generally timid fashion although there are already some outliers. So far for 2020 the S&P500 is up +0.5%. The German DAX is up +0.7% while the Paris CAC40 is flat. The London FTSE100 is down -0.2%. In Asia, the Nikkei225 is a standout, up +2.8%, the Hong Hong market is up +0.3%, while the Shanghai index is up +0.2%. Locally, the ASX200 is up a surprising +3.6% while the NZX Capital Index is down -0.4% since the start of the year.

The UST 10yr yield is down -4 bps overnight at just on 1.83%. Their 2-10 curve has tightened up, now at +25 bps. Their 1-5 curve is flatter at just +10 bps. And their 3m-10yr curve is moved the most, much narrower at +30 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is down -4 bps overnight at 1.23% but very similar to where it was a week ago. The China Govt 10yr is down -5 bps from this time last week at 3.14% with an unusual -4 bps overnight fall. And the NZ Govt 10 yr is unchanged overnight but -10 bps lower for the week at 1.49%.

Gold is higher today, up +US$9 from yesterday, now at US$1,558/oz.

The Fear & Greed index we follow is still hard over on the 'extreme greed' side. Volatility is low, with the VIX now at just over 12. The average for the past year has been 15.

US oil prices have fallen further today now just over US$59/bbl and the Brent benchmark is down too at just over US$65/bbl. The US rig count fell sharply this week, its biggest fall in three months and it is now approaching a three year low.

The Kiwi dollar is back up overnight but not quite to the same level as this time last week. It is now at 66.4 USc. On the cross rates we are at 96.1 AUc. Against the euro we are at 59.7 euro cents. That puts our TWI-5 at 71.5 and the same level it was this time last week.

Bitcoin is up +1.4% from where we left it yesterday and it is up +8% from this time last week. The bitcoin rate is charted in the exchange rate set below.

The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».

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72 Comments

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And the NZ Govt 10 yr is unchanged overnight but -10 bps lower for the week at 1.49%.

Negative real yield?

Negative rates = Liquidity Premium

Neg Yielding Bonds = Balance Sheet Tools, not investments Link

This is an excellent article on the future of house prices in NZ.
Warning: doesn't align with spruikers or 'DGM' views:

https://i.stuff.co.nz/business/118685466/housing-market-may-struggle-to-...

... interesting prediction he makes that immigration may fall to 25000 or so , below the level of annual house construction ...

The elephant in the room , as noted in the article , is the land restrictions by local councils ... causing section prices to soar ....

Gotta look after the (council) workers. Each must toil away in humble service to the tribe (of council workers), in the thankless task of keeping those lovely, lovely, fees rolling in. Of course, they're not called mere lowly "workers", they are far too important for that, they are the Officers, the Staff, the Management, Mayors and Councillors.

I would suggest people pay attention to good independent economists like him.
The urban development act will probably help on section prices. The gubmint will be able to compulsorily acquire large tracts of land on urban fringe areas

Do you really still have some faith left after the last huge debacle. Not me

Well not particularly.
But this act will let the govt acquire land compulsorily. Not too hard to do that, once you have the law.

Sounds good in theory. Buy some cheap land for $10 or $100 per square metre and sell for $1000. There is a valid reason for the price difference, yes including margin, but along the way are some massive costs. Unless the govt will get into land development with their own equipment and employees and not expect any return for holding costs. Roading projects done for the govt never come in cheap so I don't expect anything different. Finally house and land packages in far away areas will struggle to sell or be priced accordingly. The kiwibuild homes were not really value for money and I could see they were low quality. Wait for a repeat debacle after being sold the false hope with a smile.

You mean National's campaigning on house prices and then do nothing when they get onto power. Yes you are correct.

Elephant in the room....

We want to have an affordable home and not be in debt servitude vs we want to be rich by owning property.

Never the twain shall meet.

The council are only following/leading the example. Another means of land banking?

... my ideal scenario is : Kiwis have affordable homes ....
Kiwis be wealthy by direct or indirect ( Kiwisaver ) ownership of productive businesses ...

Yes the insanity has to end some where but thing I love about kiwis is their ingenuity, let young Kiwis vote with their feet and build their own affordable homes rather than face a lifetime in debt - Go tiny homes! Middle finger to REA's.

Indeed GBH. Add in if prices remain flat for 10 plus years can interest rates stay at record lows to prop it all up? I suggest the chances of another 10 years with no recession is nil. Lots of risk with little upside.

I am for more working tax payers in nz, but that's in the 10-15k per year max camp. Migration levels will again be an election issue.

NZF talked a lot and looks to have simply not delivered. Nats are married to chinese money and wholesale selling NZ to the highest bidder. Lab is a rabble of minor self interest groups. #choices....

Well put. That is my only criticism of the article, is that it doesn't recognize the likely downside influence of at least 1-2 recessions in the next 10 years.
But why would you listen to Gareth when you could listen to Ashley who says prices will double?

... our average house prices are higher than those of many northern hemisphere countries .... bigger , broader based , resource richer , higher productivity economies than ours , denser populations , much closer geographically to trading partners than we are ...

It just doesn't stack up , does it ...

Exactly. When your taxi driver is blabbling on about his portfio (property), just like stocks....its time to cash brace, head back look up, and pull the ejection handle.

Another "excellent article" circa 2017 by the same about the future of house prices et al.
https://www.infometrics.co.nz/looming-economic-risks-nz/

Its time Gareth moved into Hiding (wellington suburub) for his tragic efforts... better more accurate forecasts were made by the residents here on interest

Good point. There were a few poor predictions in that! Interest rates to rise, house prices down 12% by end of 2020 (which could of course still happen but unlikely)
It's all educated guesswork really isn't it.

If you are a FHB and 'can' buy, I think it's a good time to do so, so long as you are not over leveraged.

Go in eyes wide open but don't avoid buying just because of some economic possibility (either negative or positive)

Soil moisture comparisons starting to look ominous..its only early January?

No.
Summer is dry, winter is wet.
Irrigation transforms farming systems.

... what's gumming up my tiny teensy eensy weensy brain cell is ... unmmmm ... hows the Antarcticy supposed to melt , and raise globby sea levels 6 meters or so , when its -29'c in Scott Base yesterday...

-29'c in the middle of summer ...

And correct me if I'm wrong .. but ice don't melt at -29'c , do it ?

OK Boomer.

OK Doomer

Things can get better, fall away, then roar back to better than before

Go see the Guy Ritchie movie.
Great with Snatch,
nothing with Mage.
back now with The Gentlemen!

Have you allowed for the aussie ash turning the white ice brown

I think that was 29oF, and not -29oC yesterday. https://webmedia.antarcticanz.govt.nz/weather/sbweather.html

.. got my figgers from eldoradoweather.com/weatherextremes ... Eagle was -39'c ...

Them is the overnight lows ...

6 metres only requires Greenland to melt. Add Antartica and then it will be 60 to 100 metres (hard to estimate the change of the earths crust once miles of ice are removed. Since the stored coldness is volume based and melting is surface based even a very hot year hardly alters Antartic ice - maybe just more new icebergs. Melting in Greenland is being influenced by reduced friction causing the glaciers to move faster - also an unpredictable.
All this physics and an interest in climate change for over 40 years and I totally missed the way the ocean's massive thermal capacity slows everything down (it will also delay any solution). I stopped buying property less than 6 metres above sea level in the early 90's and wow was was I wrong - sea level increase only millimetres. Still it is an accelerating issue so I'm still not buying anything an insurance company may refuse to insure latter in my lifetime. Bye bye the dream beach-front bach.

GBH,

No it doesn't, but without overstretching your teensy weensy brain cells, are you then saying that this somehow 'proves' that there is no ice melt in Antarctica? If so, how about some evidence for that?
How would respond to this? The Thwaites Glacier which covers an area of some 192,000sq. ks is retreating. despite its remoteness, around 100 scientists are currently on it conducting studies. It is estimated that current melting from this one glacier accounts for 4% of global sea rise. Its grounding line has retreated many ks and recently, NASA scientists found a huge hole under it. This is caused by relatively warmer ocean water and this has the potential to speed up the melting process. David Vaughan, Director of science at the British Antarctic Survey said this; "There are several glaciers in Antarctica doing similar things, but this is the one we are most worried about. The glacier has already lost some 540Bn tonnes over the past 30 years and this loss is accelerating.
How would you explain the fact that the Western Peninsula is warming more rapidly than almost anywhere on earth, with almost all its glaciers in retreat? Globally, most glaciers are retreating, so you might want to get these teensy weensy brain cells working to explain that, but sadly given this and previous posts, I don't think you have any interest in challenging your beliefs. You and some other climate change deniers on this site can huddle together in your little bunker and console each other. Are you a member of the Flat Earth Society as well?

Deep theory you have come up with there Henry.

Thanks, you know keeping it simple, keeping it real.

Here for you is a little more of the good stuff.

https://youtu.be/-dUYjeSXS5E

This gives you a case for NZ, the role of family farms, the powerful positive psychology of farmers, of folk that use the resources available,
Going to the positive community building society improving of such thinking.

For your field trip locally.
Go to Nelson, see the wonderful thinking the first folk from Europe brought with them, the innovation, the enterprise, men & women and advanced from there.

Use the tool tool to look at equivalent periods in 2016 and 2017. Much drier then at this time and in more of the country. We survived those earlier periods just fine. :)

... I was reading yesterday , an account of a previous bushfire in Australia .. . It started on a scorching 47'c day .... razed 5 million hectares ... killed 12 people...

1851 ... wow ... back when we wasn't running many infernal combustion vehicles ....

Infernal ...nice

Infernal newspapers
Dates and models,
Models and dates
Models dates newspapers.

https://youtu.be/jW2yZsLHF_w

And
https://youtu.be/NWW1MmEA6bk

Subaru launched their highly modified version of the " Forester " in Singapore ..

.. they've called it the " Forester Ultimate Customized Kit Special " ...

Best we call the new model by its full name . . no abbreviations , please ...

Subaru, have been fingered for selling a mother in law variant in the USA.

https://youtu.be/Qhdc0kwoUhY
.
(Link now fixed and working great too!)

. . that guy's a hoot ... if you close your eyes , he sounds alot like Max Keiser .... another awesome shoot from the lip fellow ....

Fool me once , shame on you Subaru .... fool me 3 times ???

Fire Scientist David Packham on why the Oz fire fghters are on a hiding to nothing - as predicted by him years ago. Fire fighters can only put out fires 3-4MW/m2 - NSW currently running 10x higher at 30 MW, Black Saturday 70MW/m2. All the water bombers won't help you, only rain or doing the hard, unsexy, yards of controlled fuel reduction burns. Blaming climate change is a lazy, dangerous cop out. If you value biodiversity and human life put your resouces into fuel reduction burns.
*Murdoch paid me a crate of XXXX to post this - even though his news empire makes more money from out of control bush fires than fuel reduction burns. 30% of the area above in the tropics burns naturally every year and doesn't make the papers.

https://omny.fm/shows/nights/scientist-david-packham-on-whats-really-cau...

Thoughts from Canada.

https://calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/smith-facts-go-up-in-flames...

Rosling asked monkeys to randomly choose answers from a list of 12 multiple choice questions and they were right 33 per cent of the time. Humans scored 17 per cent. Here are two questions to give you a sense of whether you are likely to score better than the chimps.

In the last 20 years, the proportion of the world population living in extreme poverty has:
A) Almost doubled.
B) Remained more or less the same.
C) Almost halved.

How did the number of deaths per year from natural disasters change over the last 100 years?
A) More than doubled.
B) Remained the same.
C) Decreased to less than half.

I’m going to bet most of you chose A or B. In both cases the answer is C.

In the last 20 years, one billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty, and it is dropping faster than ever before in world history. In the year 1800, 85 per cent of the world lived in extreme poverty. As of 2017, only nine per cent of the world is that impoverished.

As for natural disasters, the world has grown by five billion people in the last 100 years, and the number who die from natural disasters has fallen to just six per cent of what it was 100 years ago.

. . surprised meself ... answered the two questions , and got 17 % right .. which means I'm half as smart as a random monkey ...

A better result than Gummy was expecting ... chuffed with meself !

... opening a " Lazy Hazy IPA " from Townshend Brewery , Motueka ... to celebrate .... ahhhhhh , happy days , Henry ...

And your point is?

Increase the population and the percentage decreases. What was the population in 1800? What is the measurement of extreme poverty?

According to the opinion of the author capitalism achieved these results. No mention of improvements to workers rights, abolishment of slavery etc over the same period of time.

Data, facts, statistics, meh if the scientists can't agree is the science proven? Science, the new religion.

The point is.
Science, critical thought, historical context and awareness of the human condition.

Things are better when these are appreciated.

Examples where they have not been applied.
1. Viewing Australian bush fire smoke and NZ members of parliament blaming climate change.

2. NZ government activist policy toward climate change, frightening & fooling people into thinking $5 trillion dollar spend to change temperature by less that the measuring instrument margin of error is a great deal. As well as ignoring that USA, China, India etc will actually dictate what happens, if anything happens. NZ has no influence. NZ government should not be governing by fright. #genless.

https://www.amazon.com/Factfulness-Reasons-World-Things-Better/dp/125010...

Manual on getting an evidence based world view
Hans Rosling explains how media bias, ideological preconceptions and statistical illiteracy makes most people (in rich countries) believe in a gloomy and spectacularly wrong worldview. The book carefully explains by data and vivid examples how positive developments are systematically underreported, while disaster news are vastly over-reported. Rosling categorise the 10 most important sources of bias and misconceptions as well as explaining strategies on how to avoid them.

This book is a treasure trove of evidence based reasoning, global statistics and myth busting! I read it just after finishing Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress . These books have a lot in common, both in goal and tone, but I enjoyed Rosling's book much more.

Unless you have watched Roslings famous lectures (available on TED and Youtube), this book will forever change the way you understand global health, demography and development.

This troll is getting a little tiresome.

We are spending-down the natural capital stocks that were once full. This is a one-way, once-off process. It is therefore unsustainable.

Pointing to how many people have consumed how much historically, when that temporary growth was based on draw-down, is stupid.

When that is pointed out and the stupidity is repeated ad nauseum, we are looking at a troll-slash-spin-doctor. Thee only question is who they/it are/is splurging on behalf of?

... yes ... you are tiresome ... but its freedom of speech , you're allowed to endlessly spout your gloom mongering ...

Says the bot who has twice been outed for outright falsehoods.

With no withdrawal or apology, one notes.

.. that's rich coming from an anti humanist who agrees with infanticide !

To thich we can add two more.

I suggest that the planet is overpopulated. Depending on your desired rate of consumption, I suggest it's from 5 to 6 billion overpopulated currently (having been built on nothing more than 200 years of fossil energy and resource draw-down.

If nothing is done, that population will crash, and it won't be pretty. Let us be very sure, your approach is to do nothing. There no adequate name for such an approach - in knocks the Holocaust into a cocked hat.

I suggest abstention, as did the Chinese Government. That is neither anti-humanist nor infanticide.

https://www.populationmedia.org/2012/04/04/the-meaning-of-sustainability...

Withdraw and apoligise.

What a laughable twee world view you have PDK. "suggest abstention" via bulldozer - "If sterilization was refused, Wang said that women were sometimes forced. If they went into hiding she said officials would bulldoze homes and arrest family members until the women came forward."
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-may-2-2019-1.5118724...

Either we reduce population in a controlled way, or we crash. Neither will be pretty, but the former is gong to be less ugly.

We are already orders-of-magnitude overshot, it's too late to avoid the bottleneck.

You offering a better way down? Or just advocating 12 billion by 2021 (a four-fold increase on resources compared to now, and even now we're at peak extraction) like the resident clown? This issue :) has to be addressed, sorry. And a growing :) number of people recognise this.

... who are you , to play God .. and assume that the world is overpopulated ... 'cos , maybe that assertion is wrong ....
.
So , all those " final solutions " of yours may unleash incredible horrors upon people... but all for no good reason ....

PDK, listen to yourself more

https://youtu.be/epwUTVUwB7A

See what your poster child leader AOC would say to you. Reflect on her words. Words she would say to you. You and Shaw & Co.

(This prediction business is fun).

ROFLMAO !!!! ... Foods to Avoid : 1 ; human babies ...
... luckily we have a few months left to live ...

OMG , that lady was such a crack up ....

Nice, time to crack open another beer Gummy. Just enjoying a Hallertau, myself.

. . which Hallertau brew are you having ?

I've got a Mussel Inn rigger , " Little Red Rooster Ale " . .. great amber colour . .frothy head . . biscuity malt aroma .... very bitter ... malty .... balanced , crisp ...

Ahhh ... life is good Mr F. .... and getting more gooder every day .... Yum !

The '09', but maybe that's only for Jafas?
Progressed on to a nice rum.

... green with envy , my man ... the 09 is for Orc Landers only ... Hallertau !!! ... have pity on the southerners ... send some doon ... soon ...

GBH,

Indeed, and you should be free to spout your climate change denialism and I will defend your right to do so. What I object to is that you produce no evidence, peer reviewed or not, to support your view.
let me give you a couple of examples from an essay I wrote a few years ago; Climate Change, A Synopsis. In it, I concentrated on the Cryosphere.
"At least one third of the observed sea level rise in past 100 years has come from glaciers, exclusive of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets" Source: The National Snow and Ice Data Center. Arcic sea ice loss. Since 1979, the observed decline has been in the order of 6.90% per decade. Source: The National Snow and Ice Data Center. West Antarctic Peninsula. 87% of glaciers are in retreat, with current ice loss of 41.50 Gigatonnes pa. Source: Antarctic Glaciers. Org
Finally, "Air temperatures above the Arctic Circle are increasing at roughly twice the global average". Source: Romanovsky et al 2010

Now, if you want to dispute any of this and I have a great deal more peer-reviewed information, then please do so with your own sources. I await your considered response.

What Australian state does New Zealand most compare?

Line on the map, could be Tasmania

https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Austra...

With no Bob Brown, the end of the first peace accord will a real wrangle, as people try to figure the real colour of the Greens.

https://amp.abc.net.au/article/11844326

Public and environmental policy expert Kate Crowley from the University of Tasmania said she had a feeling much of the impending forest conflict of 2020 would be manufactured.

"And by manufactured, I think that when the forest agreement process was overturned by the Hodgman Government, it was with an eye not only to getting access back to the resource but having a way of beating up divisive politics between Labor and the Greens, and between itself and the Greens," Ms Crowley said.

"Fire captain Brian Williams, 73, vice-president of the Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, supports the prescribed burn argument. He spoke after a 12-hour night shift fighting the Three Mile fire burning north-east of Wiseman’s Ferry.

Mr Williams said: “The hazard-approval process is what is stuffing the whole process.

“It is bogged down by green [environmental] and red tape which makes getting approval for a prescribed burn a very slow and complex process.

“They have introduced a system that makes it virtually impossible to manage the bush in a sustainable way. I am just one of thousands of volunteers out there who are frustrated.”"
https://volunteerfirefighters.org.au/prescribed-burning-key-to-controlli...

And from the same article:

A spokesman for the RFS said it continued to take advantage of all opportunities to undertake hazard reduction activities but the biggest impediment for burning remained the weather.

“Longer fire seasons in south-east Australia have reduced the opportunities for fuel reduction burning,” the spokesman said.

“It’s important to note that a number of fires this season have burnt through areas that were hazard-reduced as little as two and three years ago. Therefore, hazard-reduction burning cannot be seen as the panacea.

You people are patently obvious. Selectivity is the only game you play, and you only have to play the selectivity game when you're not telling the truth.

"A spokesman" as opposed to a named fireman and fire scientist also quoted in the article. David Packham was on the record decades ago calling for more hazard reduction burning. Meanwhile local councils were suing people $50k for clearing trees near their homes with full knowledge of the RFS.

"They were labelled law breakers, fined $50,000 and left emotionally and financially drained.

But seven years after the Sheahans bulldozed trees to make a fire break — an act that got them dragged before a magistrate and penalised — they feel vindicated. Their house is one of the few in Reedy Creek, Victoria, still standing."*
*Murdoch published this article in 2009 as part of his disinformation campaign for 2020.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/fined-for-illegal-clearing-family-now-fe...

And the type of burning for hazard reduction is part of the key: the 'cultural burning' referenced in this SMH article is part of a tens-of-thousands-year-old tradition, and was carried out irrespective of season. Small, low, smoky fires achieve the objective of reducing fuel load while preserving wildlife and assisting regeneration. So the guff about 'having to have the right season' refers only to the massive, easily-out-of-control non-culturally-informed burns of recent decades. Plus it's also useful to note that WA does prescribed burns to the tune of 12% annually - an 8 year cycle - and has had nothing like the National Sparks and Wildfires Service have managed to accomplish in the eastern States....

Its Sunday morning brunch time ... everyone got their coffee and smashed avo on toast ? .... goody ... then I'll begin ; today's subject is bowel cancer screening ! ..

.. a four way collaboration between Otago Uni , a uni in Britain , Callaghan Investments , and a tech firm in Christcurch have announced production of a breathalyser device which detects biomarkers for bowel cancer ....

... the days of slow , expensive , uncomfortable invasive colonoscopies may be over .... innovation from NZ ... love it ! ... back to your food , team ....

Indeed. Cue howls of dismay from the Guild of Rectal Photographers. Required reading: Bryson (of course) - The Body - a Guide for Occupants. What strikes one, via Bryson's many trademark wry asides, is how little is known about much of the meat robot we are.......

.. thanks for the heads up on that Bill Bryson book , looks awesome ..

Avert your eyes if you're squeamish ... it's a hot NW day here ... 28'c ... giving myself a colonic irrigation ... keeping the old bowels ringing happily ...

... except , Gummy's going from the other direction ... sluicing out the pipes from the top down , with a rather natty red ale from the Mussel Inn , " Little Red Rooster " .... seems appropriate , given the Chicken Littles running around here screeching armageddon at us . .. haaaaaaaaa !

Landslide election news, no unhappy coalition called for upthere. Taiwan.
Fabulous female leader, most popular election winning female leader of the Pacific. Asia Pacific.
Far better than, than the one close by & in Hong Kong.

https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/11/taiwan-re-elects-tsai-ing-...

Taiwanese voters have re-elected incumbent president Tsai Ing-Wen in a landslide election that serves as a sharp rebuke to Beijing and its attempts to intimidate and cajole Taiwan into China’s fold.

Winning more than 8m votes, the most any presidential candidate has garnered since Taiwan began holding direct elections for the position in 1996, Tsai easily defeated her opponent Han Kuo-yu, whose Kuomintang party promotes closer ties with China.

“This election is about whether or not we choose freedom and democracy,” Tsai said, delivering her victory speech in Taipei. “We must work to keep our country safe and defend our sovereignty.”

Not a pep/pop out of our guys.
https://www.beehive.govt.nz/releases

Context
https://youtu.be/-WPkkbq0U4Y

https://www.worldpopulationbalance.org/global_population

Right now, with over 7 billion of us:

We are ravaging wildlife populations. The number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish across the globe is, on average, less than half the size it was 50 years ago.1
We are rapidly losing farmland. An area of cultivated land the size of Iowa and Wisconsin combined (75 million acres) is lost every year due to soil erosion and urban sprawl.2
We are rapidly destroying forests. Between 2000 and 2012 the Earth averaged a net loss every year of forested land about the size of Ohio (over 30 million acres).3
We are consuming non-renewable resources - fossil fuels, minerals, and metals - at an enormous rate. Over time, these resources are decreasing in quality and increasing in cost.
We are depleting global groundwater over 3 times faster than rainfall can recharge aquifers.4 By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and 2/3 of the world population could be under water stress conditions.5
We are eroding soil 10-40 times faster than soil can naturally form.6
We are over-fishing, acidifying, and polluting our oceans.7
We are rapidly disrupting the relatively stable climate that human civilization and all other species have experienced for thousands of years through our greenhouse gas emissions.8
We are creating massive amounts of waste and pollution. Each of us contributes to: 1) proliferation of ocean "dead zones" and dying coral reefs; 2) rivers, lakes, and underground aquifers filling with industrial and agricultural pollution; 3) soil contamination; and 4) destruction and fouling of other species' habitats.
We are increasing a wide range of social problems: resource conflicts and wars; refugee migration; overcrowding and traffic congestion; dilution of representative democracy; increasing bureaucratic complexity and loss of personal freedoms; higher food, energy, and housing costs; and rising youth unemployment...that continue to worsen as our numbers increase by more than 75 million people every year.

Try and get out more PDK and get off the Maltusian websites. "The world is literally a greener place than it was 20 years ago, and data from NASA satellites has revealed a counterintuitive source for much of this new foliage: China and India.  ...“China and India account for one-third of the greening, but contain only 9% of the planet’s land area covered in vegetation – a surprising finding, considering the general notion of land degradation in populous countries from overexploitation,” said Chi Chen of the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University, in Massachusetts, and lead author of the study."

We can guarantee that anything you put up is spin. So it remains for us to identify same.

One-third of the greening happening on only 9% of the surface area, might give us an idea. And of course, a seedling seen from above...... Oh, and the little bit about 'populous countries' - not quite 'the planet', if you see what I mean. Which others will but you will choose to can't.

But I'll go with the standard view - that we are, and have, denuded areas like the Canterbury plains of forest, and are continuing to do so - ironically, in support of local dairying via palm-kernel (don't bother to run the hoary old chestnut about kernel being a by-product, OK? We're past that FF nonsense.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/deforestat...