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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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Recent Posts

  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    2 days ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    2 days ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    3 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    3 days ago
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    3 days ago
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki… ...
    3 days ago
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    3 days ago
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It… ...
    4 days ago
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry. ...
    4 days ago
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    5 days ago
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare… ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems… ...
    GreensBy James Shaw MP
    1 week ago
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems… ...
    GreensBy James Shaw MP
    1 week ago
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional… ...
    1 week ago
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional… ...
    1 week ago
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham… ...
    1 week ago
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham… ...
    1 week ago

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