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AA wakes up to Peak Oil

Written By: - Date published: 8:29 am, December 6th, 2012 - 49 comments
Categories: peak oil, transport - Tags:

“It can only get worse from here.” – that’s the Automobile Association’s numbers man on petrol prices. It’s quite a revelation because, until now, the AA has been firmly part of the dinosaur establishment that has been insisting petrol prices will ‘soon’ fall to ‘normal’. In fact petrol prices have been rising at 8% a year since 1999, 3 times inflation in the rest of the economy, and there’s no sign that the price rises – driven by peaking supply – will stop.

There’s a rule of thumb, developed by looking at all the recessions of the Oil Age, that when oil costs exceed 4.5%-5% of the economy, you get a recession. In economic terms, the cost of burning oil exceeds the value gained on the marginal units of consumption – so, you stop doing those units of consumption, and the economy shrinks until the price falls under the danger zone. A look at our oil imports shows we’re currently spending 4% of GDP on oil imports vs 1.2% in 1999.

On the current trends of GDP growth and oil price growth, before 2020 it’ll permanently cost over 5% of GDP to import as much oil as we do now. We, and the world, will have to trim a lot of demand – ie have a series of serious recessions and ‘failed recoveries’ (sound familiar?) to get that down. But the cycle will just continue of oil price rises to recession-inducing levels, followed by recessions that temporarily relieve the pressure by destroying demand.

Mark Stockdale also gets the logical response to this – stop building sprawl: “In the past, people have thought nothing to live an hour away from work. Is that really practical?” Someone tell National, because they plan to put all of Auckland’s additional population in the middle of nowhere in sprawling suburbs where their families’ budgets will be extraordinarily sensitive to rising petrol prices.

We urgently need to reduce our nation’s dependence on oil (I nearly wrote ‘imported oil’ but, in fact, we’re always going to import all the oil we use for transport because the refinery is set up for sour, heavy crudes, not the light ones found here, and, besides we would pay the international price on domestic oil anyway). Imports have been flat for about 7 years. The party that can come up with policies to reduce oil consumption by a serious amount will be putting money into the NZ economy rather than seeing it flow offshore, will be insulating us against future price shocks, and will be helping save the climate.

Any takers?

49 comments on “AA wakes up to Peak Oil”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Spot on mate. Interesting thing about peak oil is that it causes such gradually increasing economic pain over such a long time that even the most resistant have to eventually come about.

    Also you implicitly identified one of the key characteristics of peak oil – it may not come with much of a price signal. We may run out of petrol literally at a price of $3/L…its just that the multiple recessions/depressions caused will have effectively reduced people’s spending power by half or three quarters so that the price is effectively $6/L or $9/L in today’s dollars.

    The total % of your income you have to spend on fuel is basically a key measure to look at from now on – both from a whole-country perspective and individually.

  2. CodyHM 2

    I think one of the biggest downfalls of fossil fuels, such as oil (apart from the environmental factor) is the cold hard fact that these resources are finite.

    One day, near or far, they are going to be in short supply, and then run out. And they’ll only get more expensive leading up to that.

  3. Wow if the AA is acknowledging peak oil we are in deep, deep trouble …

    • karol 3.1

      Yes, but only a first step.  The AA man still can bring himself to talk about public transport as an alternative to cars.

      • weka 3.1.1

        Nor actually mention the term ‘peak oil’.
         
        And his advice to buy a more efficient car is problematic. Building new cars and shipping them to NZ uses lots of oil. They’re still not making the connection beyond transport fuels.

        • Peter 3.1.1.1

          Yep. Cars have got way more efficient in energy use since the 1970s, yet we have far more of them. Efficiency improvements tend to result in a lower per unit cost, which means more units, and therefore, more energy used, not less. That’s the Jevon’s Paradox, and it applies all over the show. Another classic is irrigation – more efficient methods of water application to land, but more hectares irrigated, and less in streams.

          There is a Jevons Alternative though – if the constraint on energy supplies is quantity, and not price (as we are fast seeing now), and you work to cut the system costs of energy (you can’t cut production costs), then you can make the economics work in favour of conservation. But that will take effort, and probably some regulation.

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            Hi Peter, can you please give an example of the Jevons Alternative?

            • Ian Brett Cooper 3.1.1.1.1.1

              The most obvious example is the gas shortages of the 1970s, which was a quantity constraint. In the US, the government set up a system of rationing by only allowing people to fill up their tanks every other day – a managed quantity constraint. Did it work? To be honest, I don’t know. But it is an example of the Jevons Alternative.

  4. aerobubble 4

    Aviation fuel is untaxed, if true, it would explain why so many cars sound like they were propeller driven, over stimulated by the high energy aviation fuels. This loop hole means not only do engines wear out faster, roads wear away from the extreme violent engines punding vibrations into the roads, but worse, its one of those Greece size errors of judgment that by allowing individuals to avoid fair taxation only builds up extra costs, debts on the economy. Key’s government is all to keen to blame those who have little say, like the now comical routine of declaring Labour and Green potential policies effects if National lose power (like it was a pressing problem for Key) in parliament, and so avoid their obligations to nation, to government well.

    • Saccharomyces 4.1

      “Aviation fuel is untaxed, if true, it would explain why so many cars sound like they were propeller driven, over stimulated by the high energy aviation fuels. This loop hole means not only do engines wear out faster, roads wear away from the extreme violent engines punding vibrations into the roads”

      I’m a little confused by this. Do you have any idea of how difficult it is to get hold of aviation fuel? And how costly it is? I also have major issues with your quotes about engines wearing out faster etc…. PLEASE know what you are talking about before posting.

      • Mike 4.1.1

        Ummm, it’s not that difficult to get hold of jet fuel, which is essentially kerosene with additives and is actually cheaper (cost per litre landed in NZ) than regular petrol.

        • Saccharomyces 4.1.1.1

          Right, you go fill your car with Jet A1 and tell me how that’s worked out for you. The same statement applies to you too. PLEASE know what you are talking about before posting.

          • aerobubble 4.1.1.1.1

            Vibrations increase wear, its pretty simple, as people use products they wear out.

            Since you cant imagine a light plane owner seeing what happens if they put
            some of the fuel for their single seater plane in their diesal car. Since you can’t
            imagine them not filling their tank only partially, then its obvious you can’t
            imagine the more extreme combustion that results, and its excessive noise\and vibration.

            Now I get that, you lack an imagination.

            • Saccharomyces 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I repeat, please know what you are talking about before typing.

              First, light aircraft are powered (by and large) with avgas, which is a high octane GASOLINE fuel. Stick that in a diesel car and it won’t be going anywhere.

              Second, IF they were putting it in a modern petrol car the lead that’s in avgas would pretty quickly kill their O2 and air/fuel ratio sensors and block their catalyst. So again, they won’t be going anywhere.

              Third, IF they were to put it in an older car that doesn’t have an o2 sensor or catalytic convertor then it still wouldn’t create more wear as a higher octane actually DECREASES vibration, knock and preignition. You wouldn’t get any more power either. You could take advantage of these factors to create more power, but that would require major engine work to yield a relatively modest result, leaving you dependent on getting your hands on relatively hard to get avgas. If you really wanted that extra power there are many, many better/easier/more cost effective ways where you can still use petrol from a regular fuel station. I know everyone’s got a story about an old mate who chucked some avgas in a mini and the next day it beat a v8 at the lights, and these are partially true, but those engines would’ve been very highly tuned and modified (and coming off a very low base performance), and would’ve been absolute pigs to drive, and completely dependant on obtaining high octane fuel. This was before the days of EFI and turbos where now more power, and more importantly more useable and reliable power, is available far more cheaply and easily.

              Now, onto sound, first, the main component of the sound of a propellor-driven aircraft come from the propellor, not the engine.

              The sound emitted from a (petrol) car has very little to do with the combustion itself. When combustion is happening the cylinder is sealed, what you are hearing in the exhaust is the shockwave of the exhaust gases expanding into the manifold. The sound of the exhaust in two identical engines, one running avgas, one running pump gas, would be identical. Part of the sound you are hearing in some cases (especially in Hondas and other high performance naturally-aspirated engines) is intake resonance, and that’s also caused by shockwaves, in this case by air rushing into the cylnders in the intake stroke. Again, absolutely nothing to do with the fuel.

              I dont’ need an imagination in this case, the facts are freely available for anyone to research.

              I don’t think it’s me with the imagination problem here, I rather think you’ve let yours run away on you!

  5. Jim Nald - Once Was National 5

    Wow. This is significant.

    Mark Stockdale should be commended for stating this.

    What is the big secret policy plan of the current lot of Natz in government? A policy for flying pigs?

  6. Steve Wood 6

    The NZ refinery should be reconfigured to process NZ oil.
    As the depression deepens and international trade declines and trust horizons diminish, we will not have access to imported oil.

    • Peter 6.1

      The NZ refinery can process NZ oil, it’s one of the best refineries in the world. It’s just that NZ oil (i.e. light, sweet, condensate) is actually cheaper to ship it to Australia to be processed in lesser quality refineries. Instead, we can process sour grades of crude quite effectively, and that’s what we do. It’s cheaper as well.

      It’s quite likely that as Maui and Kapuni run dry, that we could reconfigure one of those pipelines running north to Auckland for oil (rather than shipping it around North Cape), run the current Marsden-Wiri pipelines backwards for a bit, and then achieve something close to a self-contained system.

      • alwyn 6.1.1

        I agree with you on paragraph 1 Peter.
        There is, however a minor problem with your paragraph 2.
        The condensate from Kapuni, and Maui are produced in conjunction with the gas they produce. If you aren’t producing any gas you won’t be producing any condensate either. (Perhaps it actually isn’t so minor).
        When the gas runs out so does the condensate.
        The gas pipelines are also, I believe, enormous for oil pipelines. There would never be the amount of condensate to fill them. The gas line from Oanui to Huntly is about three times the diameter of the Whangarei to Wiri oil line so would have, I assume and I’m not an engineer, at least nine times the capacity.

        • Peter 6.1.1.1

          Right, you are probably correct. I’m not an oil engineer, merely a simple planner, so the technicalities of engineering get me.

          Which means, that either we turn the condensate to synfuels on site in Taranaki (by firing up Motonui properly), or ship the condensate to Marsden.

          As much as I’m an advocate for energy independence for NZ (probably our most worthy policy goal right now), I can’t see this making any sense at the moment.

          A far better approach is to focus on the end use of energy, and eliminate it. This means, massively upgrading rail, and using electricity + biomass to shift things around. We’d have enough domestic fuel left over to run private cars, but even these would need a phase out.

          • alwyn 6.1.1.1.1

            Perhaps I should have put in the paragraph about the size of the pipelines.

            The critical bit was the previous one. If Kapuni and Maui run dry there won’t be any condensate to move anywhere. The field produces both condensate and gas. No gas = no condensate so if the gas runs out so does the condensate.

          • joe90 6.1.1.1.2

            by firing up Motonui properly

            Gone in the rush to make a profit.

            He recalls about seven years ago being involved in a joint venture with Macaulay Metals of Wellington, dismantling and disposing of the gas-to-gasoline plant at the Methanex New Zealand petrochemical complex at Motunui in Taranaki. Methanex had decided to scrap the plant,primarily because it had not made any synthetic petrol for years, preferring to manufacture methanol exclusively.So Molten Metals and Macaulay Metals,along with some Methanex staff,undertook the biggest scrap metal project of that time – dismantling and clearing a plant that covered an area larger than several rugby fields.

      • lostinsuburbia 6.1.2

        You would still need to transfer the oil by ship to Marsden Point.

        The Refinery to Wiri pipeline cuts down a hell of a lot of truck movements, so logistically and energy wise it would be better to keep it in use.

  7. xtasy 7

    TIME to WAKE UP NZ!

    My observation, as a person who spent a fair amount of my life in Central Europe is: NZ is “behind” progressive thinking, living, working, building and also business.

    Any person, who has ever been to Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and other places there, would well know that many things can be done differently.

    In NZ I see a very “americanised” way of life, typical of the US in the 1960s to 1980s. Auckland and other cities are largely built for the convenience of private motor vehicles, for burning immense amounts of carbon based fuel, following the urban sprawl that is typical of US cities like Los Angeles and even San Francisco, cities in Texas, Florida and so forth.

    It is a DUMB infrastructure and economy that NZers have and cling to.

    Energy neutral housing should become the NORM or STANDARD in a country like NZ, so blessed with natural alternatives, healthy resources, climate and still plenty of space. Yet I see almost NONE of this being followed, not by this government, and in opposition only the Greens have progressive, serious thoughts spent on this.

    Alternative energy use is only so dominant in NZ, because NZ spent money decades ago on hydro dams, which was a natural and sensible way to use the force of water and rivers to generate electricity. Yet wind and solar energy is only starting to take off to very limited degrees. They have more solar panels on roofs in a not so sunny place like Germany (per capita) than in this country. That shows how “backward” NZ is. It belongs to the major per capital fossil fuel users in the world by the way, and that is NOT a compliment.

    In Copenhagen, Amsterdam, many other cities in Central Europe, including now even Paris, there is a big take up of using bicycles for transport. Many NZers frown on that transport, not wanting to get “wet” in rain or facing the “wind”. That may be understandable, but it is petty, even part of a “lazy” mentality.

    The health benefits of cycling are enormous, and diabetis, heart issues and so forth could be reduced substantially if NZers start using alternative transport like that more often, saving immense costs in the health spending.

    Even in the US alternative energy use is becoming very popular with the informed and educated, and councils there, for instance in California, encourage this.

    The AA is just starting to realise now, what experts have said for many, many years. Indeed, they are a dinosaur organisation, but they now cannot deny the realities and the truth. I welcome this contribution, as it does only serve the needed reforms we must have a.s.a.p. in the energy and housing sectors, to use more alternative measures to use energy more efficiently and wisely. Public transport improvements are totally overdue in this respect.

    For some interesting sources perhaps look at some of these links:

    http://www.theenvironmentalblog.org/bike-the-netherlands/
    http://www.theenvironmentalblog.org/2007/08/dutch-energy-neutral-homes/
    http://www.boligplus.net/
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8224141.stm
    http://www.kk.dk/sitecore/content/subsites/cityofcopenhagen/subsitefrontpage/livingincopenhagen/cityandtraffic/cityofcyclists.aspx
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_in_Amsterdam
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=energy-efficienty-home-energy-star
    http://www.fypower.org/about/faq.html
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/actively-passive-the-new-wave-of-energy-efficient-homes-a-476279.html

    Now my question is: Have Labour considered making “energy neutral” homes part of the program to build a 100 k of “affordable” homes over 10 years? While Labour appears to promote public transport, where are clear, determined plans? Where are plans to change the urban development? I accept the Auckland Plan is in part ok, but I expect much, much more, also on a national scale. NZ is BEHIND and BACKWARD!

    This government does fuck all, so where is Labour’s smart plan.

    All I can say, upon what I have read, heard and observed, only the Greens come close to deliver anything serious in this area!

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Now my question is: Have Labour considered making “energy neutral” homes part of the program to build a 100 k of “affordable” homes over 10 years?

      Not as far as I know. In fact, I’m pretty sure that that entire 100k houses will be the standard cheap and cold shitty houses we get in NZ because the government has always set very low minimum standards rather setting high minimum standards.

      • xtasy 7.1.1

        DTB: It confirms my worries. It is NOT encouraging!

      • Stephen 7.1.2

        That would be inconsistent with the Healthy Homes Guarantee/rental warrant of fitness policy that was announced alongside the building programme.

  8. no-one is mentioning the fact that WE own an electrified main railway line between welly and auckland that was built in response to the seventies oil crisis, but the trucking industry have successfully managed to put so much freight onto the roads. perhaps its time for the government to actually lead(fat chance with the current loosers), and force more freight back onto the rail.

    • xtasy 8.1

      paul anderson: I agree to some degree. The rail system has been totally neglected for too long by various governments.

      Also the trucking lobby is extremely strong, and they have a foot-hold in the National Party.

      It is not an easy solution though. I worked in the freight industry. Bulk goods can be transported competitively on rail, and certainly by ship also. That should be promoted.

      Yet we will always have a certain element of transport needing more individualised services. Trucking can be done better with also developing alternative fuel options for them to use. There will always need to be a front end and back end “feeder” system of transport, where you have goods collected and distributed over certain regional areas. Rail will not be able to compete with that, unless you have links into every suburb of centres.

      So the solutions must be smart and well thought through.

      As it is, NZ has HUGE potential to develop MORE EFFICIENT systems, as what we have is very backward indeed. It can be done, must be done, and the sooner the better.

      We all know, even Greens, that oil and coal will not be abolished over the coming years. The challenge is to develop systems to use those forms of energy much more efficiently, to prepare for a transition to alternative and future proof energy use. That is what is is all about.

      I resent the Nat ACT brigade always thrashing alternative energy policies by trying to imply that a change from one day to another will be impossible. They are the Neandertal mentalities at work, and I feel even Neandertal man and woman was likely more intelligent than the people running this government by the way!

  9. outofbed 9

    The Change at the AA is probably due to Julie Anne Genter of the Greens engaging with the AA

    • Jenny 9.1

      That is strange.

      Though the problem of peak oil is dire. It is not as dangerous as Climate Change.

      But if it is true, then all power to her.

      (Because the solutions to peak oil, are for the most part the same ones required to halt runaway climate change….. A depowering of the economy and the ending of our reliance on fossil fuels.)

      • Robert Atack 9.1.1

        >to halt runaway climate change<

        The phrase "runaway climate change" is used to describe a theory in which positive feedbacks result in rapid climate change.[2] It is used in the popular media and by environmentalists with reference to concerns about rapid global warming.[2][3] Some astronomers use the similar expression runaway greenhouse effect to describe a situation where the climate deviates catastrophically and permanently from the original state – as happened on Venus.

        We have tripped 8 positive feedback's, according to Guy McPherson, which is good enough for me. There is nothing we can do to halt it, we are locked into anything from +6 – +16 (or god knows) by 2100, humans start to die off at about +2, and will be gone burger by +3-4
        Peak oil will just help our departure.
        When the US grain harvest is at 1/4 – 1/3rd of the 2010 harvest (within the next 5 years) we might see a fast reduction in oil demand, as massive amounts of people start to starve.

    • Jenny 9.2

      That’s great.

      Though the problem of peak oil is dire. It is not as dangerous as Climate Change.

      But all power to her.

      (Because the solutions to peak oil, are for the most part the same ones required to halt runaway climate change….. A planned depowering of the economy and the ending of our reliance on fossil fuels.)

      • karol 9.2.1

        (Because the solutions to peak oil, are for the most part the same ones required to halt runaway climate change….. A planned depowering of the economy and the ending of our reliance on fossil fuels.)

        I’d agree with that. I don’t have a scientific background, so you won’t see me arguing on the science of climate change.  But the solutions seem necessary one way or another, so I support them, in my daily life.

        • Jenny 9.2.1.1

          Unfortunately individual efforts to cut back will never be enough. This battle needs state intervention, and on a massive scale.

          Anything less is fiddling at the edges.

          If we are to have any chance, all coal mines must be closed. And definitely no new ones should be allowed to be opened. The Green Party must stay out of any government that insists on strip mining the Denniston plateau for the coal export market. The Green Party must not be part of any government that allows deep sea oil drilling. If the Green Party concedes to these things then we are finished.

          • Robert Atack 9.2.1.1.1

            Anything less is fiddling at the edges.
            Yes you are right, that would also include a moratorium on child birth, not only are humans the biggest contributes to climate change, the unfortunate innocents (the children) are going to have to spend the rest of their lives in this shit hole we have created, what loving parent would wish this on their child … a fuck wit I guess? Or a green voter.

    • xtasy 9.3

      Julie Anne Genter is from my observation doing an EXCELLENT job!

      She looks at the details, analyses them and is well informed on what should be done.

      When it comes to “public transport”, I must say, “Kiwis”, wake up, realise you are not just your narcissistic self in the world, you are part of a COMMUNITY. The sooner you realise this and “learn to share”, the better. Driving in cars is highly “unsocial” and “isolationist”. Better wake up and face the people you live with in the same town, city and country!

      I am afraid even the “middle class” hate to come to terms. That is the main problem in NZ, too many dreaming they can continue living in isolation and achieving a life style they will never really be able to afford. Also due to wealthy migrants purchasing power, most NZers are being marginalised and will NEVER get their own homes anyway.

      Wake up, I call yet again, but ignorance, complacency and wrong drug distributions (weekly alcohol or other intake to “escape”) make my call a futile effort.

      NZ is a LOST place, for sure, full of waste and ignorance!

  10. muzza 10

    No mention of the global control over the oil price then, continued threat of war hiking transport prices up, and of course the control over the oil fields of the stolen nations. Add to that the futures markets all working to keep the prices artificially high..

  11. IS THE END NIGH?

    Motoring editor Peter King checks the oil supply — Summer 2004
    Snip
    In this country two separate groups have raised the issue. A group called Oil Crash led by Robert Atack and Kevin Moore; and the Green Party. Although they are not allied, both say that little or no new oil is being found globally, and that the oil companies have all the official agencies in their pockets and are playing fast and loose with the truth. They say oil prices can be expected to skyrocket to the point that our way of life and economy will come under sudden and catastrophic change.
    ———————————————————-
    «Odd as it may seem to some, building more roads quickly to make our fleet more efficient may be one of the best things we can do for ourselves, our economy and our planet.»

    Peter King
    Autumn 2006

    • xtasy 11.1

      Fossil fuels are here merely for transition. We will nonetheless face a total energy crisis, unless we switch to alternatives and regeneratives.

      • Jenny 11.1.1

        All that is missing is the political will.

        • Robert Atack 11.1.1.1

          If John Key woke up as Mother Teresa this morning or J H Christ, he would still not be able to reverse our situation, or even slow it down We are about 30 years behind when political will would have done something. We can’t even accept the fact we have missed the boat, let alone gear up this fucked system to catch up.
          To make the slightest dent on our collective problems would involve 80% unemployment for a start, as employment = destruction of the environment, and massive fossil fuel use. Just feeding 7 billion people will be enough to guarantee our extinction, let alone giving them all a flat screen TV and a heat pump. To maintain the statuesque is still pumping a thousand years worth of CO2 into the atmosphere, we are close to 400ppm and will not see sub 400 for at least another 1,000 years.

      • weka 11.1.2

        We will nonetheless face a total energy crisis, even if we now attempt to switch to alternatives and regeneratives.
         

        Fify.

          • weka 11.1.2.1.1

            Spamming again I see Jenny.

            • Jenny 11.1.2.1.1.1

              Just doing my little bit to shine a light on the Green Party CCI policy of self censorship around Climate Change.

              • Jenny

                By the way weka, in a previous thread when I asked you if the Greens would continue to ignore Climate Change during the next election as they had in the previous one. After quoting back to me, my original question, here, after a long winded preamble, you gave your answer stating:

                ……I just don’t think it’s the job or responsibility of the GP to do this at this point. Time for others to step up.

                weka

                In response to your answer. I asked you another, and even simpler question:

                Who?

                Jenny

                You didn’t respond. Maybe you would like to now.

                So weka, if, it is not “the job or responsibility of the Green Party to do this at this point.”

                Whose is it?

              • Good on you Jenny
                I was asking Jeanette Fitzsimons back in March 2000 if the green party was going to talk about Peak Oil .. http://oilcrash.com/articles/greed.htm ……… It never happened. And I mean in a on going truthful way.
                Now they want to promote growth and manufacturing.
                Nothing has changed really they are still focused on getting votes, and so will never come out with the truth, they do not want to frighten the horses, and lets face it ‘the people/voters’ do not want to hear the bad news/truth.
                The Green politicians don’t want to face reality, let alone the members or voters. I think the Green politicians have been responsible for the most children born to standing politicians, even their spokesperson on energy has 2 or 3, he has a massive investment in ‘the system’ hanging together.
                They ether haven’t got a clue, or are a bunch of bloody lyres. Stupid or corrupt?
                But as I proved with my 37 votes in the 2005 elections the people do not want to know.
                I’ve always thought the Greens were set up by the Labour back room boys, to suck up the far left vote, then once in government, they were to act like tickle me Elmo and just role over and keep quite about the real issues, Gay land rights for whales, free range chickens, and lipstick, come to mind.
                Promoting Kiwi Saver is their biggest act of betrayal, as Kiwi Saver is growth based, for the under 40 yo Green voter it means to get a payout from their Green party promoted saving scheme the planet has to spew out a growing amount of resources for the next 25 – 47 years.
                What can they say now? “We think the planet is truly fucked and all you people we convinced to invest in this growth based scheme are never going to see a return on your investment”, hell no, they will just maintain the lie.
                And the people will keep voting for them …………….. the bullshit just keeps going around and around.
                I kind of gave up after watching this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIraCchPDhk

  12. Lloyd 12

    Just a few points.

    Fracking has increased USA gas production so that 9% more of the US electricity generation is now using natural gas than when Obama was elected and has increased US oil production to the point where the US is looking to become a net oil exporter again. My point? If the level of fracking carried out in the US is carried out in other oil producing countries “peak oil” may turn out to be “gently down-sloping plateau oil”. I think the crisis is not likely to be the oil running out but that global warming causes some of the cities using the oil to disappear under the sea….

    There is no electric powered railway from Wellington to Auckland. The low voltage Wellington system stops at Waikanae and the higher voltage electrification runs from Palmerston North to Frankton Junction. Present high voltage electrification work in Auckland is planned to get as far south as Papakura with the likelihood of extension to Pukekohe. The two gaps and the different voltages means it is presently impossible to put an electric locomotive on the front of a train at Wellington and detach it at Auckland. Hopefully a Labour policy will be completion of the main trunk electrification. Dual voltage locos are possible eg, the Eurostar under the English Channel.

    The nats opposition to the rail loop through Auckland is a most effective way of forcing Aucklanders to stay in their cars and therefore to use petrol and therefore cause New Zealand’s balance of payments get worse. I think even dyed in the wool blue voters in the suburbs now accept this. If the nats keep opposing the loop they will definitely loose votes because of this.

    Labour was never happy about alternative energy generation in the past. In the days of the NZED making power on your own roof was seen as crazy anarchist activity and was actively discouraged by regulation. After the NZED was broken up into corporations, making electricity on your own roof was seen as a potential threat to a state asset and would reduce the sale price if the corporations had to be sold.

    One significant way of reducing electricity use in New Zealand would be to put solar water heaters on every dwelling’s roof. The pay back for an individual home owner would be in a few years and the reduction in load would be significant. Presumably some of the fossil-fueled power generation in NZ would be reduced.

    One alternative to extending the motorway into Wellington (which will eventually be shown to “need” to have a second Mt Victoria tunnel and wipe out half of Haitaitai) could be to extend the suburban railway to the Wellington Airport, using the Miramar School site for a terminal. This, just like the Auckland loop, would need a cut and cover tunnel to Courtenay Place and then would need a tunnel to Cobham drive where an elevated section could lead to a curving tunnel under the airport. Logical other end on the line would be Palmerston North Airport which is usually open when Wellington is fogged in.

    Jeanette Fitzsimons has always had concerns about peak oil. She was concerned about oil price
    shocks on the NZ economy in the early 1990s.

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  • Bullying contributes to Auckland being stripped of ICU training
    Complaints of bullying and harassment by supervisors which have contributed to Auckland’s critical care department losing its training accreditation are further evidence of the appalling culture at executive level, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The department had its accreditation… ...
    1 day ago
  • Broadband failure sucks up more cash
    The Commerce Committee has blocked an inquiry into the $300 million rural broadband initiative (RBI) despite mounting evidence it’s a massive policy failure and waste of money, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “The Government is about to spend an… ...
    2 days ago
  • TISA – Another secret trade deal you may never have heard of
      This post first appeared on The Daily Blog You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by now and the widespread concerns around it but what about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) also being currently negotiated by… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 days ago
  • Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctor...
    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    3 days ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    3 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    3 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    3 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    3 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    3 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    3 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    3 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    4 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    4 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    4 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    4 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    4 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    5 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    5 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    5 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    5 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    7 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    7 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    1 week ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    1 week ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    1 week ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    1 week ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    2 weeks ago

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