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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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    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
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