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A golden age that will never end

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, July 19th, 2012 - 106 comments
Categories: economy, peak oil - Tags:

Whether you accept the evidence that the consumption of oil is currently peaking or not, it is undeniable that a) the world’s fossil fuel resources are finite and we’ve already consumed a large fraction of it and b) we won’t keep consuming evermore per day until it’s all gone. So, inevitably, the shape of human fossil fuel use is going to look like this.

From a long-term perspective the precise point of the peak doesn’t matter, the pattern will play out. (and, isn’t it about time we start to consider human civilisation a long-term project – rather than apply large discount rates to the future actions of our present actions, such that anything more than a decade or two in the future doesn’t matter).

So, why do not only the peak oil deniers but the whole political-economic elite want to carry on as if fossil-fueled growth is going to be perpetual? An interesting post on the Oil Drum (from which I swiped the above graph) says it comes down to our evolved hardwiring for extrapolation:

We humans owe much of our success to our ability to recognize patterns and extrapolate trends to anticipate a future state. My cats, on the other hand, will watch a tossed toy mouse travel toward them across the room—getting ever-bigger—all the way until it smacks them between the eyes (no, they’re not strapped down—I’m not that sort of scientist). But far beyond an ability to avoid projectiles, our ancestors were able to perceive and react to changes in local food and water supplies, herd movements, seasonal cues, etc. Yet this fine tool can be over-used, and I see a lot of what I call ruthless extrapolation. In almost every case, extrapolation works until it doesn’t. When the fundamental rules of the game change, watch out!

We found a one-time resource in the ground—like an inheritance—and are doing everything within our means to promote the fastest practical use of this finite deposit. By this, I mean that we have engineered a world that rewards economic growth—thus far carrying a nearly one-to-one physical/energy aspect, requiring ever more energy to keep the growth engine running. The finite nature of the underlying energy resource is not seriously under question. The overall impression of the figure above therefore must be approximately correct.

When we realize that this incredible surge—of planes, trains, and automobiles; of radio, television, and the internet; of industrialization, industrialized agriculture, and swelling population; of supersonic, nuclear, and space capabilities—in the past century or so are all reflections of the scale of surplus energy derived from fossil fuels, we come to understand that we need to stare the plot above directly in the face and recognize the peril of extrapolation.

We sit near the peak of the fossil fuel saga (the star on the plot). Our tendency is to note the incredible slope of the past century and expect more of the same phenomenal performance for the foreseeable future. It’s not a bad model.

But this instinctive presumption that what is happening will continue to happen and current growth will be followed by future growth is very bad at telling us that peaks and downsides are coming, and creates a bias to see a peak as a temporary halt to continued growth.

The big problem with that, of course, is it hinders our ability to plan and act on the need for change.

So, maybe we’re being too hard in criticising Treasury for not being able to forecast its way out of a paper bag. They’re only humans following their instincts.

106 comments on “A golden age that will never end”

  1. the world’s fossil fuel resources are finite and we’ve already consumed a large fraction of it

    I am not sure how you can possibly know what fraction of the worlds fossil fuel reserves we have used. I don’t doubt they are limited (how can anyone?).

    • prism 1.1

      TC Nitpicking while Rome burns (wasting fossil fuels also).

      • I did actually try to delete that comment (because I just banged it out without actually asking myself – “Do I really want some pointless The Standard debate today?” which I decided I didn’t) but I couldn’t for some reason

        [lprent: On my fix list. A plugin shifted developers and has been made worse. Need to find another redit or rewrite the code from an older version. ]

    • aerobubble 1.2

      Its widely agreed that the current price of oil reflects the now reality that cheap easy accessible
      highest energy rich fuels have now hit peak and are in decline. There are only so many desert countries with massive coal resources that can be stripped mined similarly. Or gas that is easily accessible. As we use more energy globally, more limits will be hit, causing fuel prices will rise, as energy concentration in the fuel declines. Its like a fat man, who gets hungrier while the food supply shrinks and become less nutritious. Either, or all, we slim, find new alternatives energy sources of equal or higher energy concentrations. ut we are effectively doing nothing like we were about to find
      a zero point energy device.

      • Gosman 1.2.1

        I would dispute it is widely accepted.

        • McFlock 1.2.1.1

          would you? That’s nice.

          • Bored 1.2.1.1.1

            Nice reply but Gos is right: peak fossil fuel is not widely accepted, even if it is true (which it is)….Gos is in denial (along with most of the rest of the world).

      • lostinsuburbia 1.2.2

        Yep, you only have to take a look at the IEA’s projections and the heavy dependence on “unconventional” sources of oil i.e. tar sands to see how much trouble we are in.

        Even if we exploit these resources (and it is explotation rather than development) they require significant amounts of energy even to get the oil out of the ground. Its the same for shale gas, coal to liquid fuels, or deep sea reserves (and thats putting aside all the environmental problems with them).

        And biofuels are currently a poor subsitute for oil and gas, given the agricultural inputs needed, the processing costs, and the poor energy return when combusted.

        We need to be pouring lots more money in R&D, maintaining the remaining reserves of fossil fuels for non-transport uses (i.e. chemical and material production), and changing the way to do business and live to reduce our individual energy demands.

        • Liberal Realist 1.2.2.1

          “We need to be pouring lots more money in R&D, maintaining the remaining reserves of fossil fuels for non-transport uses (i.e. chemical and material production), and changing the way to do business and live to reduce our individual energy demands.”

          Every day more energy hits the earth than is consumed by many times. Pouring money into R&D, particularly solar PV, is the solution in my opinion.

          I recon here in New Zealand we even have the opportunity to lead the way with the required energy transition. While still relatively expensive, off grid self generation solutions are coming down in cost. There should be subsidies or tax breaks for off grid solutions and grants for R&D.

          Two major benefits; distribution of supply and literally free energy minus cost of infrastructure and maintenance. Create favorable conditions for such a market and innovation will quickly follow.

          • lostinsuburbia 1.2.2.1.1

            I’m not sure our current Government is going to be too hot on making it easier for people to generate that own electricity, given it will undercut all the generation assets that they plan to flog off.

            DG is the future but our current leaders are sadly stuck in a 20th century frame of mind.

            • aerobubble 1.2.2.1.1.1

              Governments are all about control, government is not about to allow local energy sources (in any great measure) because with it comes local water purification, local food production, local democracy, and the end of the big corporate end of town.
              MPs, like many in society have huge amount of calls on wealth stored up, and when
              people take their activity out of the big national economic loop it undermines that
              money/power. So we must as a society hit one giant wall of ecological disaster, so the a few living now can proceed to control us the rest of us.

    • Deano 1.3

      We know that the world’s fossil fuels are limited becaue they were created by an organic process that is no longer ongoing in most of the world, or is ongoing at such a slow rate as to be negatively nil in human time frames. It takes millions of years to create oil. Effectively zero new fossil fuels have added to the existing resource since Homo sapiens evolved.

      So, yes. We know that fossil fuels are limited.

      And we know that we’ve consumed a sizeable amount of them because there are only certain geological structures where they can exist, we know where those structures are and we have at least estimates of their potential. We started off with several trillion oil barrel equilivants of hydrocarbons and we’ve used several trillion. there are several trillion more remaining, but we’ve used a large fraction.

      If you want to be an effective contrarian, you should at least have some basic knowledge like: how are fossil fuels made, how much is there in the world approximately, how much have we consumed?

    • Deano 1.4

      I can’t get over this. You actually doubt that fossil fuels are a limited resource? Seriously? What the fuck?

    • Mike 1.5

      The worlds geologists and oil prospecting experts are actually very accurate these days apparently, due to technology, in their estimates of oil reserves and what is left to be discovered. But that is irrelevant really as due to exponential growth, every ten years we are consuming more oil than we did in the entire previous history of oil consumption. If you look at how the exponential function works, you don’t have to be a genius to see that we are going to use up all of the oil in reserve and yet to be discovered very very quickly.

      • Colonial Viper 1.5.1

        you don’t have to be a genius to see that we are going to use up all of the oil in reserve and yet to be discovered very very quickly.

        No, mankind will give up trying to extract oil when there are still tens of billions of barrels of known reserves left under the ground.

        And it is not the total reserves left under ground which matters. It is the production rate from those reserves.

        It is irrelevant how much water there is in the Pacific, if you have to draw it out through a straw.

  2. jaymam 2

    Perhaps there is some hope. Photovoltaic panel technology is improving all the time, and appliances and lighting (e.g. LED) becoming more efficient. Increasing power prices will drive the development of such devices, and mass production will reduce their cost.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.1

      Sounds like you might be relying on a bunch of rational actors acting in their own self-interest in a free market.

      All the things you need to deliver your future require a great deal of energy. Cheap, reliable energy…

      PS: Of course there’s hope – the hope that greed will once again start to be regarded as a vice, for example.

      • prism 2.1.1

        Brainpower is produced by energy. Food produces fairly cheap energy. Therefore it is rational to use our brains more to advance systems that ensure our effective functioning as living beings and the nurturing of the environment and other living beings who and which are at present destructive insects on the planet. Right – that’s a good mission statement or statement of values and intentions. Let’s go with it.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.1.1.1

          Prism that sounds dangerously close to Julian Simon’s arguments ;)

      • Gosman 2.1.2

        You mean like during the middle ages when activites such as charging interest was banned?

        • McFlock 2.1.2.1

          Yep. Not everything about those times was complete shit. Just most things.

          • Gosman 2.1.2.1.1

            Perhaps one of the reasons it was shit was because they placed restrictions on interest. Certainly one of the driving forces of the Renaissance were the Italian banking families.

            • McFlock 2.1.2.1.1.1

              And the popes.
                   
              But if you’re looking at causes of much of the hardship in medieval times, I’m not sure that “lack of ability to borrow capital at interest” is ahead of, say, “healthcare system based on prayer and the four humours”.  

      • TightyRighty 2.1.3

        Yeah the hope the troglodytes get over the stupid fixation on the overblown negatives surrounding nuclear power.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.1.3.1

          I was coming ’round to nuclear power until last year. On the one hand, judging nuclear fission by TEPCO’s behaviour is unfair. On the other hand, with our lax regulations and weak employment protections (as a result of right wing delusions) I bet we’d make a worse mess than even them.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.3.2

          Negatives like the fact that nuclear power has a miserable EROEI of 10 or less? Whereas hydro returns anywhere between 50 and 150?

          • lostinsuburbia 2.1.3.2.1

            Not to mention that nuclear power is only good for base load and NZs problem is peak load. You can’t just ramp a nuclear reactor up and down rapidly without serious consequences.

            There are also going to be shortages of supplies in uranium too, so that undermines the usefulness of nuclear energy.

            Nuclear energy may be a temporary solution for some countries with poor access to renewables (and putting aside the problem of nuclear waste) but its not a solution for NZ.

            • Populuxe1 2.1.3.2.1.1

              Not to mention lack of technical expertise, lack of large unpopulated areas to store waste, and the fact this a seismically very active country that can still chuck up surprises.
              I think Hydro holds the most promise because we already have much of the expertise, however there is a lot of eco-nimbys who can’t see the dam for the trees.

        • McFlock 2.1.3.3

          nothing to tear your hair out about. Get the right combo of natural disasters, it’ll fall out by itself.

        • Bored 2.1.3.4

          Tighty might just hang around for the next 40,000 years to look after the spent fuel rods (at his expense of course for being stupid enough to think nuclear has a realistic cost over time). being deep underground in a troglodytic manner will become him (he can glow in the dark after exposure to the spent rods).

    • lostinsuburbia 2.2

      Remember that fossil fuels are more than an energy source. While there energy uses can be offset in part by electricity, oil is neccessary for a range of other uses – agrichemicals, plastics etc.

      And electricity can’t replace natural gas (which will peak too) for creating thermal energy (which is needed for large scale industrial processes).

      We need to focus our fossil fuel resources on these other uses rather than just burning it for transport (while also trying to find alternatives).

      • Jenny 2.2.1

        Solar collectors can supply most if not all thermal energy requirements for industry including making steam for sterilisation and pasturisation, metal smelting and refinement and is actually far more efficient than using it to generate electricity.

        Solar collectors are being used by the oil industry to generate steam to drive hard to extract oil to the surface. The oil industry have found it far more efficient than burning oil to generate steam for the same purpose.

        (I can’t be bothered with the link. google it)

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          Solar collectors are being used by the oil industry to generate steam to drive hard to extract oil to the surface. The oil industry have found it far more efficient than burning oil to generate steam for the same purpose.

          And what do they do on the days that the sun don’t shine? Yes…they burn oil.

          Solar thermal however is certainly useful and should be utilised way more. But its not going to ever replace a large fraction of thermal coal or heating oil usage. The on-demand, instantly rampable, highly storable nature of those fuels gives them massive commercial advantages.

          • Jenny 2.2.1.1.1

            “It’s dramatic. It’s disturbing,” said University of Delaware professor Andreas Muenchow, who was one of the first researchers to notice the break.

            “We have data for 150 years and we see changes that we have not seen before.”

            “It’s one of the manifestations that Greenland is changing very fast,” he said.

            Many of Greenland’s southern glaciers have been melting at an unusually rapid pace. The Petermann break brings large ice loss much farther north than in the past, said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo.

            If it continues, and more of the Petermann is lost, the melting would push up sea levels, he said. The ice lost so far was already floating, so the breaks don’t add to global sea levels.

            Northern Greenland and Canada have been warming five times faster than the average global temperature, Muenchow said. Temperatures have increased there by about four degrees Fahrenheit in the last 30 years, Scambos said…..

            ….It’s more than glaciers in Greenland that are melting. Scientists also reported this week that the Arctic had the largest sea ice loss on record for June.

            – AP

            .

            Huge iceberg breaks free

            Is it time to act against fossil fuel extraction and use?
            Or,

            Is it time to start fascist style scapegoating of minority sections of the population for being behind climate change, meanwhile hypocritically dwelling on the problem of running out of peak oil supply, while planning for, and switching from peak oil, to coal and tar sands, while continuing with alarmingly dangerous deep sea oil exploration and fracking technologies?

            It has been obvious for some time which option the warmist political parties like Labour and National favour.

            • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Is it time to act against fossil fuel extraction and use?

              This can be done. All you need to do is find a political party which advocates significant economic slow down and reduction in day to day comfort and convenience as their policy platform.

              Let me know when you find such a party.

              • Jenny

                It will take more than a political party.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Fully agree.

                  • Jenny

                    It will take a political movement. A political movement of the scale and power that put an end to nuclear ship visits, or visits from racially selected sports teams from South Africa.

                    A political movement that puts climate change on the national agenda.

                    A political movement of such high profile that political parties can’t ignore it. And will have to be seen to measure themselves against. One way, or the Other.

                    Does such movement exist?

                    No it doesn’t.

                    Could such a movement be built up?

                    This country’s history suggests that it could.

                    • Jenny

                      In the 21st Century, it is not Peak Oil, but Climate Change and a warming world that is the biggest threat facing humanity, particularly threatening our children and grandchildren.

                      Despite being responsible for only 0.2% global warming. We need to signal to the world that this state of affairs is not acceptable

                      We need to signal to the world that the destruction of the bio-sphere is not something that a free people need to live with.

                      At the last election, the greatest threat to humanity since Global Nuclear War, Climate Change, wasn’t even an election issue. The Greens, the New Zealand environmental party, barely mentioned, Climate Change.

                      All our political parties, need to be shaken out of this lethargy.

                      Parliament as a whole needs to take the existential threat of Climate Change seriously.

                      It is up to us to act.

                      In the same way, and by the same sort of mass political protests that forced the whole of parliament to take the threat of nuclear war seriously, making a globally recognised stand against Nuclear armed warships.

            • Gosman 2.2.1.1.1.2

              “…fascist style scapegoating of minority sections of the population for being behind climate change…”

              ???

              Examples of this type of behaviour happening please.

          • lostinsuburbia 2.2.1.1.2

            +1

        • Populuxe1 2.2.1.2

          They also require an enormous surface area, and you can’t exactly grow vegetables under them.

    • joe90 2.3

      Yeah the hope the troglodytes get over the stupid fixation on the overblown negatives surrounding nuclear power

      Well the troglodytes from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National
      University of Singapore look to be awfully fixated on why we should be having second thoughts (pdf) about nuclear power.

      Nuclear power is not a viable option for Southeast Asia. It is unsafe, unreliable, and
      unaffordable. Southeast Asian policymakers have the opportunity and obligation to
      pursue energy policies that enhance and strengthen development and security in the
      region. In doing so they should reject plans to build nuclear power plants and invest
      in existing renewable energy technology

  3. prism 3

    I was wondering about my family energy use. I found this link to help me get an understanding.http://www.greenwire.com.au/index.php?/Home-Owner-Tips/your-carbon-footprint.html

  4. Olwyn 4

    Human power relations play a big part in our individual and group survival, while nature in general plays a big part in our survival as a species. It is very hard for us to come to terms with the former so as to address the latter. People have been writing books about better and more sustainable ways of living since the sixties; Pattern Language springs to mind. But they do not gain traction because those who would implement their ideas on a large scale lack the power to do so, and those who do have the power are averse to messing with the structures upon which their power depends.

  5. gnomic 5

    Posting title says it all – business as usual will continue for a thousand years, or until we the living have all kicked the bucket, and who really cares what happens after that? The grandchildren can look after themselves, life wasn’t meant to be easy after all. Another house price boom is kicking in, it’s easy money if you’re in. Now there’s a reason to be cheerful. There are no worries about energy, it’s frack, baby frack. Shale gas is going to enable the petrolhead paradise for the forseeable future. Nothing to see here, just carry on consuming, and she’ll be right.

    • Carol 5.1

      And inflation is only 1%, so things are headed in the right direction – even if that 1% average masks some high rises some of the necessaries for living and survival.

      Is this official inflation rate just another BAU, neoliberal scam?

      • Te Reo Putake 5.1.1

        The CPI is a pretty reliable figure, but as you suggest, it hides the real rises that working folk are stung with day to day. The ‘non-tradeables’ part of the CPI is a more accurate reflection of those costs and is always higher than base CPI. From memory, food prices, particularly veges, were on the rise. That, apparently, is balanced by our ability to buy HDTV’s at record low prices!

        • Jenny 5.1.1.1

          New Zealand’s lowest ever peak inflation rate was measured at the depths of the 1930s depression.

  6. Carol 6

    Interesting that Greenpeace and local Iwi have lodged an appeal to the court decision on giving the OK for Petrobras’s exploration:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10820675

    Environmental lobby group Greenpeace and East Coast iwi Te Whanau a Apanui have lodged an appeal against last month’s High Court decision upholding Petrobras’ deep sea oil exploration licence.

    Papers have been filed with the Court of Appeal on the basis Judge Warwick Gendall made several errors of law in his decision, Greenpeace and Te Whanau a Apanui said in a statement. They were challenging then-Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee’s awarding of oil exploration permits in the Raukumara Basin in that he didn’t account for environmental considerations.

  7. Pete 7

    I’m intrigued by Rob Hopkins’ transition model (you can watch his TED talk here). As oil stocks decline, it would be critical to turn what oil there is into creating an infrastructure that allows us to endure its decline.

    We may also have to revisit our attitudes towards genetically modified crops in order to overcome the problems that come with the loss of oil-based fertilisers and to meet the demand for bio-plastics and bio-fuels.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      We may also have to revisit our attitudes towards genetically modified crops in order to overcome the problems that come with the loss of oil-based fertilisers and to meet the demand for bio-plastics and bio-fuels.

      Nope. The fertiliser is available – we just don’t use it. We treat it, dry and then dump it in the ground and/or out to sea rather than treating it and then spreading it over the farms while using the old rotation trick of letting fields lie fallow for several years between plantings.

  8. Jenny 8

    Peak oil may well be approaching or even have passed. But we are nowhere near peak fossil fuel. As oil has run down the fossil fuel industry has turned to more dangerous and dirty to extract, more polluting and poisoness to burn, fossil fuel alternatives.

    Deep Sea Oil

    Tar Sands

    Lignite

    etc.

    Our own government is investing heavily in converting the dirtiest and lowest form of coal, lignite, into diesel fuel and briquettes.

    And given the green light to deep sea oil drilling.

    So the destruction of the biosphere will continue apace despite peak oil. And may even be accelerated because of the passing of peak oil.

    Rationally the time has come to abandon fossil fuel including oil even before it runs out.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Even including unconventional sources, liquids production will clearly downtrend soon. In other words, don’t worry, energy depletion and peak debt will do all the heavy lifting required.

    • lostinsuburbia 8.2

      Tar sands are considered an oil type and are usually classed as “unconventional” oil

      As for coal and natural gas, there is every sign that production of these will peak this century.

      While the price of natural gas has gone down recently as a result of shale gas exploitation in the US (and other places) there is every sign that this is a short term boom as shale gas wells appear to have very short lifespans (2 -3 years in some cases) and it energy intensive to extract gas by this method.

      There is certainly a lot of coal in the world, but again it has varying degrees of usefulness depending on its grade and some industrial processes need higher grades than others (so we might still have a lot of coal but run out of certain types faster than others).

      We also need to take the long term view with these resources. If we don’t, the continuation of advance civilisation starts to get a bit shaky.

  9. Bob 9

    Any thoughts of using Hemp to (in part) replace fossil fuels? Hemp grows so quick it can be harvested 4 times per year, grows in almost any climate, is a renewable resource (as apposed to fossil fuels), and would in theory be close to carbon neutral as the CO2 emmisions from burning the Hemp oil would be coming from the Carbon the plant has absorbed from the CO2 in the atmosphere.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Ever considered where the hemp gets the resources to grow and what happens once those resources have run out?

      • Bob 9.1.1

        So we can’t dig, drill, mine, or GROW CROPS!!!
        Wow, how do you sleep at night? Maybe we should bring in the one child rule China has so we have enough nutrients to go around? Or are you just naturally contrary and like to say ‘that won’t work’ to everything? Have you actually got a better solution? (remember, horse and cart won’t work because Horses eat grass and ever considered where the grass gets the resources to grow and what happens once those resources have run out?)?

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          I’ll take that as a “no”.

          The horse and cart is sustainable within limits. What you propose isn’t.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1

            The formation of oil requires years of collected solar energy for the creation of the starting organic materials (plants etc) and then millions of years of energy input in terms of pressure and heat deep within the earth.

            Bob doesn’t get that a few months worth of hemp has collected fuck all energy per kg compared to a kg of crude oil.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.1.1

              And he doesn’t understand that the growing the crop will deplete the earth that the crop is grown and that then burning that crop will mean that the fields that have been so depleted can’t be renewed. What he’s proposing is, effectively, a Scorched Earth policy. It will leave the land dead.

          • Bob 9.1.1.1.2

            So are you saying growing any crop isn’t sustainable?
            Maybe we should charge a new tax to the horticulture sector to stop them from engaging in such an unsustainable industry?

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.2.1

              So are you saying growing any crop isn’t sustainable?

              No, I’m saying that you’re a fucken moron.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.3

            Bob try and make some interesting points please, instead of stringing words together randomly.

    • jaymam 9.2

      Hemp has a bad image.
      How about simply using the lower branches of trees in plantations (the ones we cut off already and which just fall and rot) and burn them or extract all the useful compounds from them?

      • Bob 9.2.1

        Hemps bad name is from the THC inside it, I know there are THC free versions out there now http://www.hempworld.com/hemp-cyberfarm_com/htms/hemp-seed/france.html which, if sold to the public correctly, could be a very viable solution.

        The hard part is knowing the environmental impacts of bringing a new fast growing species of plant into NZ.

        • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1

          Net energy density of hemp is negliglible compared to diesel.

          • Bob 9.2.1.1.1

            Surely the whole point is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. It obviously isn’t going to be a perfect solution otherwise we would be using hemp instead of diesel already. The point is, if we are going to remove the reliance on fossil fuels we need an alternative.

            Ideally, we would have electric vehicles with a diesel/eco fuel generator which, once the batteries are getting low, the generator kicks in to re-charge them.
            Before you jump in to quickly, diesel generators are more efficient than diesel powered vehicles, and using eco fuels reduces the environmental impact.

            • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1.1.1

              Your statements are irrelevant, illogical nonsense. Full of generalisations and bad reasoning.

              Why are you trying to compare the efficiency of a diesel generator to a diesel vehicle? A diesel generator can’t go anywhere.

              Why do you say ecofuels reduce environmental impact, when there is no such thing as an ecofuel?

              Why do you talk about reducing reliance on fossil fuels and miss the most obvious viable answer? We are going to have to use less energy.

              There will be no alternatives to that last one, btw.

              • Bob

                I’ll make this simple for you, diesel generator charges batteries, batteries make vehicle move, net result is the same as a diesel vehicle with less use of said diesel, capiche?

                I’ll be more specific, Biodiesel: According to the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standards Program Regulatory Impact Analysis, released in February 2010, biodiesel from soy oil results, on average, in a 57% reduction in greenhouse gases compared to petroleum diesel, and biodiesel produced from waste grease results in an 86% reduction. See chapter 2.6 of the EPA report for more detailed information. http://www.epa.gov/otaq/renewablefuels/420r10006.pdf

                This whole thread is about reducing reliance on fossil fuels! My alternative may be another short term solution, but its a damn site more likely to be taken up than telling everyone we are all doomed and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  “telling everyone we are all doomed and there is nothing anyone can do about it.”

                  And yet funnily enough, the only person who has said anything remotely like that is you. There’s nothing “doom-laden” about needed to reduce our energy usage, nor in pointing out the massive practical flaws in your “solution”.

                  • Gosman

                    Depends on how you interpret some peoples comments. Certainly people calling for a zero growth or rapid downsizing of economic activity in response to the challenges could be seen by some as doom mongering.

                • Bored

                  I love the concept of fueling the world with bio-diesel…..only question is what we will eat?

                  There are plenty of solutions available to replace our current fossil fuel use: nobody denies that. The real problem is that NONE of them scale up to the current total energy outputs NOR remotely close. Wishes are free, dreams the same, reality however costs and takes no prisoners.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    +1

                  • lostinsuburbia

                    Not to mention the prodigious amounts of water needed to produce them – case in point the use of corn produced in the US mid-west which is heavily dependent on aquifers for production (aquifers which are being depleted faster and faster)

                  • Jenny

                    There are plenty of solutions available to replace our current fossil fuel use: nobody denies that. The real problem is that NONE of them scale up to the current total energy outputs NOR remotely close.

                    Bored

                    Well that is just factually incorrect.

                    A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables

                    Wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world’s energy, eliminating all fossil fuels. Here’s how

                    Scientific American October 26, 2009

                    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=a-path-to-sustainable-energy-by-2030&page=2

                    Bored, I dare you, call Scientific American liars.

                    • Jenny

                      The interesting thing about the Scientific American plan, is that it excludes both biomass and nuclear. And still manages to cover all current and projected energy requirements.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’ve used that before. SciAm makes the assumption that electric and hybrid vehicles are going to be dominant modes of transport soon.

                      They’re not.

                      In an environment of physical resource and economic depletion, people are not going to be going out to by a new Prius, and governments are not going to be spending billions on new electrified rail projects.

                      And with that assumption history, the rest of their pleasant cornucopian fiction goes the same way.

                    • Jenny

                      I agree that using the energy supplied by WWS to power cars is extremely wasteful. This has more to say about American’s love affair with the private automobile.

                      Removing this American fixation with keeping private automobiles on the road, actually makes the SciAm plan even more bullet proof, freeing up even more energy for less wasteful means of getting around.

                      CV Your criticism of the SciAm plan that it wastes energy fueling private motorcars, seems to suggest that you accept the basic premiss made by SciAm that repowering the world to cover current and projected energy requirements up until 2030 is entirely practical and feasible.

                      Going on their figures I believe they are right.

                      And since you haven’t disputed these figures I guess you also agree that this plan is totally feasible as well.

                      To implement it, What is missing is the political will to do so.

                      It is up to us to create that will. First in this country and then the world as an example of what can be done, if you choose to.

                    • weka

                      Sorry Jenny, but it’s pretty hard to take a scientific article on future energy seriously that doesn’t even mention things like peak oil or eroei.
                       
                      Looks like there are criticisms in the comments section too.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And since you haven’t disputed these figures I guess you also agree that this plan is totally feasible as well.

                      Given that I said their entire plan was shit from the start, this would be an incorrect assumption for you to make.

                      To implement it, What is missing is the political will to do so.

                      It is up to us to create that will. First in this country and then the world as an example of what can be done, if you choose to.

                      Nah this is a strategy for failure. You think that an anorexic or an alcoholic engages in their destructive behaviour because of a lack of will power?

                      So it seems you continue to mistake the nature of what we are facing here. Greer has already stated it very plainly. Political power is too diffuse to act effectively. Energy depletion is not a problem that humanity can solve, it is a predicament facing the entire of modern civilisation: and predicaments have no solutions.

              • Jenny

                Why do you talk about reducing reliance on fossil fuels and miss the most obvious viable answer? We are going to have to use less energy.

                Colonial Viper

                Quite correct, CV.

                And there are policies that could do that, some that have been proven.

                In history, particularly in war some policies that were put in place, measures even more extreme than the ones proposed to combat climate change, created little actual hardship.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yep. We could easily reduce passenger and freight km’s travelled by 20% if we wanted to.

                  But you will find that it is middle class and upper middle class NZ who will fight tooth and nail against the loss of their entitlement conveniences and personal choices.

                  They happen to be the same groups our political parties pander to, coincidentally.

                  • Jenny

                    CV what is it with you and the middle class?

                    Are you a member of this minority section of society?

                    Rather than advocate action against climate change, it is far easier to stir up hatred against some “other” as an excuse for continuing with climate change.

                    Blaming and scapegoating of the “other” by concious apologists for continuing climate change is dispicable behaviour that not even the deniers of climate change would stoop to.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Totally missed point. I’m not here to demonise the middle class and the upper middle class.

                      I’m just letting you know that they’re not going to accept any changes which undermine their expectations of future economic growth and ongoing consumption.

                    • Jenny

                      I’m not here to demonise the middle class and the upper middle class.

                      I’m just letting you know that they’re not going to accept any changes which undermine their expectations of future economic growth and ongoing consumption.

                      Colonial Viper

                      Of course without facts that is only opinion. I put it to you CV that your opinion is based on little more than prejudice.

                      Not only that, but it goes against the known facts.

                      The middle classes have always been in the front line in most of the history making social movements in this country. You name it.

                      Anti-Vietnam war

                      Springbok tour

                      Nuclear ships

                      Schedule 4

                      If you have more than opinion, formed by prejudice, let’s here it.

                      Like these great movements of the recent past, any movement against climate change will get huge support from middle classes beyond their relative numbers. If Labour Party supporters like yourself don’t realise this then your party will keep losing middle class support to the Greens.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey Jenny,

                      Anti-Vietnam war

                      Springbok tour

                      Nuclear ships

                      Schedule 4

                      Which of these required people to give up (or downsize) their expectations of
                      – overseas holidays
                      – SUVs, Holdens and Falcons
                      – Consumable electronic iGadgets

                      which they feel they worked hard for and earned?

                      None, right?

                  • Jenny

                    ….. you will find that it is middle class and upper middle class NZ who will fight tooth and nail against the loss of their entitlement conveniences and personal choices.

                    Colonial Viper

                    Really?

                    Can you really see the middle classes marching in the streets in the same numbers as they did for schedule 4, in opposition to policies to combat climate change?

                    If you expect that, you are either deeply prejudiced, or deeply out of touch with reality.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Oh they’ll march against climate change alright.

                      And then they’ll go on their overseas holidays, drive their new SUV (with 3% better fuel efficiency for MY2013! lol), keep their heat pumps blasting on full, and update their still perfectly good iGadget with the latest made-in-China version.

                      They might check the box on Air NZ’s website to pay an extra $10 for offsetting carbon credits though, if that helps any.

                • Populuxe1

                  Jenny, while CV may occasionally behave as though his cloth cap is on too tight (in which case I recommend this tactic from Harry Enfield http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08BqaSuEE_w )
                  However, in this case I fear he is right

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    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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