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What’s the economy? or why energy matters

Written By: - Date published: 4:08 pm, January 8th, 2009 - 35 comments
Categories: economy, Environment - Tags: ,

The more I learn about energy, and peak oil in particular, the more concerned I get. So, in the spirit of the season, I thought I would share some of it with you. I’ll get to some concrete things we need to start doing now to mitigate as much as we can the impact of falling oil supplies in the coming years. But before I do that I think a post or two on peak oil itself and its impacts would be a good idea. And, before that, a post on why energy is so important.

So, what is the economy? Basically, it is the conversion of naturally-occurring raw materials into forms we find more useful (and the provision of services, most of which use equipment created from raw materials). All of this wealth creation (conventional economic measures place no value on nature) requires work, in the scientific sense (the transfer of energy from one system to another), to be done. It requires energy turn raw materials into more ‘valuable’ goods. In essence, the economy is the use of energy, whether that energy be supplied by humans, animals, or, mostly these days, from fossil fuels.

Neoclassical economics doesn’t really understand the ramifications of this all that well (neoclassical economics is the economics that we are led to believe is the only economics at school, at university, and in the media). In fact, neoclassical economics doesn’t understand the economy very well at all. Neoclassicism looks at just two types of input, capital and labour, and it assumes (because it lives in a make-believe world) that prices accurately reflect value. So, if 50% of GDP goes to labour and 50% to capital then adding 1% to the labour input would increase the GDP by 0.5%, same with capital, and increases in those inputs should explain all economy growth. Problem is they don’t. Only a fraction of economic growth is explained by increases in capital and labour – the rest, the so-called Sowol Residual, is actually most economic growth and is vaguely attributed to technological progress.

It turns outthat if you look at the percentage increases in energy used (note not just expended but used, so efficiency gains matter too) it matches economic growth almost precisely. That means something very important. We’ve got wealthier (ie converted more raw materials into goods and equipment for services), by using more and more energy, mostly fossil fuels, especially oil (37% of the world’s energy supply comes from oil, 85% from all fossil fuels). To grow our economies we need to use more energy every day and use it more efficiently.

So, what will happen when the day comes that the supply of oil starts to fall? Unless there are dramatic gains in thermodynamic efficiency, less energy means are smaller economy to be divided amongst evermore people. Simple as that. Tomorrow, I’ll write about when that’s going to happen.

35 comments on “What’s the economy? or why energy matters”

  1. Ari 1

    And for everyone reading something like this for the first time: Welcome to Green Economics, that disastrous theory that’s supposed to destroy your economic livelihood ;P

  2. vto 2

    Your starting point appears wobbly and off balance. The economy is simply a financial description of daily human activity. The fact that that human activity (in fact any human, animal, plant or even inorganic activity) requires energy is merely tangential.

    Now back to the fish.. caught a whopper sea-run trout last night.

  3. randal 3

    its all a question of mind over mattter
    we dont mind and you dont matter

  4. Ag 4

    So, what is the economy? Basically, it is the conversion of naturally-occurring raw materials into forms we find more useful (and the provision of services, most of which use equipment created from raw materials

    This can’t be right. If I buy an area of outstanding national beauty and simply leave it alone so people can enjoy it, I have done nothing to it (although I have prevented right wingers from turning it into a golf course, luxury condominiums or a concentration camp or any of those other things that right wing people like).

    Some naturally occurring phenomena have value to human beings simply as they are. An economics that ignores this is not worth the name.

  5. Ag. I agree that it is disgraceful to ignore the value of naturally occuring things but in conventional economic measures like GDP natural services (oxygen production, beauty etc) are worthless. If you bought that land and left it ‘fallow’ you would be contributing nothing to GDP, although you would undobutably be making us wealthier in a wider sense. When we talk about our economy, we are tlaking about artifical (ie man-made) stuff.

  6. djp 6

    I agree with the basic point (that energy use matches economic growth)

    but

    All energy used by humans comes ultimately from the sun (except geothermal I guess)… this is for all intents and purpoises a limitless supply

    All we need is more ingenious ways of harvesting it

  7. Jum 7

    Welcome to Marilyn Waring guys. ‘Counting for Nothing’ – Air, water, unpaid work, kindness, empathy…(refer the slaughter of the sealions).

    Waring informed women, in particular, that the National Accounting System recorded their unpaid work at home as ‘un-productive’.

    Water is in danger of being swallowed by those who will then sell it back to us at grossly inflated prices. If anyone can keep an eye on this stealthy takeover by Nact, you can Standard.

    It would also appear, Steve Pierson, that in order to produce man-made stuff, we have to wilfully destroy nature. There’s clearly something horribly wrong here.

  8. djp. yup there’s heaps of energy in the universe, but the issue is getting it in the quantities that we need in forms we can use with our current tech. I’m a techno optimist but we haven’t got the tech yet and we don’t have a lot of time

  9. outofbed 9

    Unless there are dramatic gains in thermodynamic efficiency, less energy means are smaller economy to be divided amongst evermore people.

    and that is the elephant in the room population growth
    like bacteria in a Petri dish keep, expanding till all resources are used up and then die
    It is impossible to have unlimited growth
    Population / resource use has to be more in balance or our grandchildren ain’t going to have a particularly nice time of it,
    Come to think of it a high proportion of the worlds grandchildren ain’t having a nice time of it now

    Still at least we are getting tax cuts eh ?

  10. Ag 10

    When we talk about our economy, we are tlaking about artifical (ie man-made) stuff.

    Then I think that such a “science” is worthless. What we should be talking about is the management of resources and institutions to promote human ends. That includes everything that people value.

    Most economics is silly anyway. It has taken them how many years to wake up to the fact that people do not behave as their models predict? Finally, behavioural economists are starting to gain some traction. At least there is actual, empirical evidence for their claims. The rest of them have been exposed as sorcerers and occasional lucky guessers. As the current economic disaster has demonstrated, most of them do not have much of a clue.

    As it is, economics would be better served by thinking of human beings as being like a destructive energy eating virus. The only real question we need to ask is whether the virus is capable of waking up and changing its behaviour before it destroys its host and by extension itself.

  11. Peter Wilson 11

    Good post Steve. It is alarming indeed that even among the 20th Century economists I most respect (i.e Keynes / Galbraith) there is almost no understanding of the fundamental role that energy plays within the system. I guess that omission can be contributed to the period in which they were writing and thinking, which was well before we sharply woke up to the limits on growth in the 1970s (and then forgot all about them again in the 1980s…).

    For some good, if rather sobering holiday reading, I do recommend you all have a look at John Michael Greer’s site at http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/. He maps out the future in an energy-constrained world in a way few others can.

  12. Rex Widerstrom 12

    So, what is the economy? Basically, it is the conversion of naturally-occurring raw materials into forms we find more useful (and the provision of services, most of which use equipment created from raw materials).

    Coincidentlly I’ve just been outside catching some sun and re-reading “Voltaire’s Bastards” by John Ralston Saul. And I’d just got to the bit (p237 in my paperback edition) where he says:

    …the ability of governments to effect economic development has been severely handicapped by a growing reliance on service industries for growth… These sectors, it goes without saying, also fourish on on labour which is low wage, part time and insecure, thus creating a false sense of having solved part of the job-creation problem. This growth in services also leaves Western economies dependent upon the most unstable area of economic activity, which is the first to collapse in an economic crisis. Put another way, service industries are to the economy what the uncontrolled printing of money is to monetary stability. They are both forms of inflation.

    Aside from the obvious truth of this in light of the recent financial collapse, how much of the energy use in the economy is expended producing nothing?

    Muldoon’s was last administration that saw NZ as making a living “off the sheep’s back”. From the ’84 Labour government onwards the plan has been to make NZ some sort of “knowledge economy” (indeed that term has been bandied about ad infinitum) with a good dollop of tourist dollars for good measure.

    Agriculture and manufacturing were gutted and anyone who decried it was derided as some sort of Luddite who didn’t recognise progress.

    Even the construction of “golf courses and luxury condominiums” (concentration camps would probably get fouled up in red tape from that abominable RMA, Ag ;-) ) is fuelling the service, not the productive economy.

    To cite but one example, we’ve allowed unprocessed logs to leave our ports for others to add value and, in some cases, ship the finished products back to us with, of course, a far greater margin attached. This was all in the name of “free trade” we were told, but don’t worry, we’ll get it all back when our export markets send their tourists over here and we can iron their pants and wave our pois at them.

    We’re now reaping, in so many ways – including the vast energy used to make zip – the lack of foresight by Labour and National leaders for the past 25 years.

  13. Peter Wilson 13

    If so Rex, that puts all the work undertaken from the 1930s to the 1980s to build up the New Zealand manufacturing sector in a new light. It might pay for us to start digging around in the back shelves of libraries for anything by Bill Sutch and modernise the ideas.

  14. ieuan 14

    Firstly Steve your definition of ‘economics’ is way off, as VTO points out ‘The economy is simply a financial description of daily human activity’.

    If I sell plums from one of my trees at my front gate for $2 a bag that is economics in action but has nothing to do with ‘energy conversion’.

    I also take issue with the idea that we will have to survive with ‘less energy’, what will happen (and is happening) with oil is that as supply falls the price will rise making that form of energy more expensive; this will result in two things, people will use that energy more efficiently and people will look for other types of energy that due to the increased cost of oil are now competitive and viable.

    Sure, with more expensive energy our rate of economic growth will slow but at the same time new energy sources will emerge and one day we will look back at our current orgy of oil consummation and wonder what we were thinking.

    [you've expended human energy to turn a naturally occurring raw material, fruit on a tree, into a food source, plums. And that's just if you're harvesting them from the wild, if you're plating seeds, growing a plum tree, pruning it, fertilising it, those are all energy expenditures, plus you're standing on the shoulders of all the energy that went into domesticating the plum tree in the first place. I'll get to the point about alternatives to oil - here's the sneak preview, don't just assume it's all going to be fine. SP]

  15. vto 15

    I think you’re all on the slightly wrong track.

    especially randal

    edit – except for ieuan above of course

  16. Ag 16

    Aside from the obvious truth of this in light of the recent financial collapse, how much of the energy use in the economy is expended producing nothing?

    Because without it capitalism would collapse. The fundamental reality of modern society is that there really isn’t a lot of real work to do any more. That’s why we have all these ridiculous McJobs. Does New Zealand really need all those lawyers?

    captcha: craft resigned

  17. RedLogix 17

    SP,

    I’ve googled for “Sowol Residual” and I don’t get any useful results. Could you clarify what is meant by it please?

    Here is an interesting question guys. I am an automation engineer. Consider what would happen if we finally get around to automating everything we currently think of as work. That hypothetically at least, we could feed, clothe and house everyone on the planet with only a tiny fraction of what we currently call ‘labour’.

    What would change? How would the economy work, what mechanisms might govern the distribution of wealth? Would this be a good or bad thing? Would capitalism survive, or would it become more deeply entrenched than ever?

  18. Janet 18

    Ieuan
    The plums didn’t grow without land, soil, water and sunshine. And petrol if the bag is plastic, trees if it is paper. And who spent energy picking them? Lots of energy used on your $2 bag of plums.

    And good that Marilyn Waring’s important work has been referred to. I bet it was a woman tending, picking and packing the plums for no pay.

  19. Greg 19

    Ohk, there’s a few issues with your argument here Steve. One. Peak oil. Myth. The notion that we will all continue to consume the same amount of oil (or even increse it) and one day just run out is laughable. Simple supply and demand economics explains the reality. As supply decreases (as you state) price increases, As price increases, demand decreases. Therefore many consumers take advantage of a substitute good which becomes economically viable as the price of oil increses – electric cars for instance. Also there is a greater incentive to invest in developing further substitutes as they will be worth more. Supply and demand will ensure we make a seamless transition away from oil – probably without even realising it.

    Two. For someone who professes to know better than most economists your missing a fairly basic economic concept on the idea of the corrolation between energy use and economic growth. That infamous ‘mysterious third variable’. Productivity. An increase in productivity causes an increase in wealth. The use of energy does not create wealth as you assert. Wealth merely allows you to use more energy – you can afford it. So obviously there is a corrolation – there is just no causation. That comes through productivity.

    Finally, your hypocrisy annoys me. Apparently anyone who denies climate change is stupid for going against the mass consensus of scientists. But its fine for you to disagree with the mass consensus of economists – you yourself acknowledge this is the case.

  20. Pascal's bookie 20

    Greg. I’m not sure I understand your objection.

    The problem with ‘peak oil’, as I understand the theory, is not that we will just run out of oil, but that the dwindling supply of oil will increase energy prices to far beyond what they are today.

    When you say that demand for oil will decrease as it’s price rises, isn’t that just another way of saying that we will not be able to afford the lifestyle we have today?

    That some new energy source, as yet to be announced, will be economic at the new energy price does not change this underlying fact. Energy prices will be much higher than what we are used to in real terms, therefore (all else being equal) we will be using less energy, so if we do not come up with some much more efficient ways to use energy, then our economic activity will be less than what is today. Or are you suggesting that the new energy source, that hasn’t been developed yet because of cheap oil, will actually end up being as cheap as, or cheaper than, oil has been for the last coupla’ hundred years?

  21. Your grasp of economics is as tenuous as your outlook on life.

  22. RedLogix 22

    Greg,

    The notion that we will all continue to consume the same amount of oil (or even increse it) and one day just run out is laughable.

    Yes it is laughable, because that is NOT what Peak Oil is. The rest of your argument falls over because you are addressing the wrong argument to the wrong subject.

    Therefore many consumers take advantage of a substitute good which becomes economically viable as the price of oil increses – electric cars for instance

    Again the argument fails because there are no feasible technical options for substituting the vast amount of energy oil provides us at present. Electric cars are only a relatively small part of a potential solution. Besides, where do you think the electricity for these cars will come from?

    That infamous ‘mysterious third variable’. Productivity. An increase in productivity causes an increase in wealth. The use of energy does not create wealth as you assert. Wealth merely allows you to use more energy – you can afford it.

    You really have not thought this through have you? Productivity is not a magic dust that when sprinkled on an economy makes everyone wealthier. Productivity is the ratio of output versus inputs. The main driver that improves this ratio is improved technology, which in turn is entirely dependent on available energy. Technology can usually be thought of as a labour amplifier. A road that might have taken a thousand men and bullocks a year to build, is now accomplished in far less time with a mere dozen people, some clever machines and a lot of energy.

    Without a viable source of energy, almost all materially productive technologies are useless. Up until recently the price of oil/energy was so low that it could be ignored for most practical economic purposes. Keynes and Galbraith, and most mainstream economists, lived in an era when the energy component of the economy, while vital, was relatively small and could be ignored. This is no longer true.

    The problem is that we are not running out of oil, but that we are producing it at about the maximum rate that we can physically achieve given the reality of finite sized oil fields and finite new discoveries. The supply and demand curves for oil are very interesting. This clip explains it very clearly:

    Oil Supply Demand

  23. Chris G 23

    greg seems to think peak oil is a myth because of supply and demand. Read any papers in the journals on the topic of oil recently? ‘Oh no not ‘dem socialist scientists!’ – riiiight.

    SP you also need to mention another failing of neoclassical economics and in fact most schools of thought in economics: Non priced value. All the righties will harp on about supply and demand and cost benefit. Trouble is the process of cost-benefit analysis has been this huge shortcut used by economists to decide net benefit… all the while excluding so many other variables in particular things that are not priced but have value.

    Learnt about that in my environmental economics paper – before anyone starts speculating I have no idea what I’m on about…. Or then are we back to that “being from ‘dem dam socialist universities!” a la Dad4J ? ahem.

  24. Pascal's bookie 24

    Thanks for that link Red.

  25. The top story of the year is that global crude oil production peaked in 2008.

    The media, governments, world leaders, and public should focus on this issue.

    Global crude oil production had been rising briskly until 2004, then plateaued for four years. Because oil producers were extracting at maximum effort to profit from high oil prices, this plateau is a clear indication of Peak Oil.

    Then in July and August of 2008 while oil prices were still very high, global crude oil production fell nearly one million barrels per day, clear evidence of Peak Oil (See Rembrandt Koppelaar, Editor of “Oil Watch Monthly,” December 2008, page 1) http://www.peakoil.nl/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/2008_december_oilwatch_monthly.pdf.

    Peak Oil is now.

    Credit for accurate Peak Oil predictions (within a few years) goes to the following (projected year for peak given in parentheses):

    * Association for the Study of Peak Oil (2007)

    * Rembrandt Koppelaar, Editor of “Oil Watch Monthly’ (2008)

    * Tony Eriksen, Oil stock analyst and Samuel Foucher, oil analyst (2008)

    * Matthew Simmons, Energy investment banker, (2007)

    * T. Boone Pickens, Oil and gas investor (2007)

    * U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (2005)

    * Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Princeton professor and retired shell geologist (2005)

    * Sam Sam Bakhtiari, Retired Iranian National Oil Company geologist (2005)

    * Chris Skrebowski, Editor of “Petroleum Review’ (2010)

    * Sadad Al Husseini, former head of production and exploration, Saudi Aramco (2008)

    * Energy Watch Group in Germany (2006)

    Oil production will now begin to decline terminally.

    Within a year or two, it is likely that oil prices will skyrocket as supply falls below demand. OPEC cuts could exacerbate the gap between supply and demand and drive prices even higher.

    Independent studies indicate that global crude oil production will now decline from 74 million barrels per day to 60 million barrels per day by 2015. During the same time, demand will increase. Oil supplies will be even tighter for the U.S. As oil producing nations consume more and more oil domestically they will export less and less. Because demand is high in China, India, the Middle East, and other oil producing nations, once global oil production begins to decline, demand will always be higher than supply. And since the U.S. represents one fourth of global oil demand, whatever oil we conserve will be consumed elsewhere. Thus, conservation in the U.S. will not slow oil depletion rates significantly.

    Alternatives will not even begin to fill the gap. There is no plan nor capital for a so-called electric economy. And most alternatives yield electric power, but we need liquid fuels for tractors/combines, 18 wheel trucks, trains, ships, and mining equipment. The independent scientists of the Energy Watch Group conclude in a 2007 report titled: “Peak Oil Could Trigger Meltdown of Society:’

    “By 2020, and even more by 2030, global oil supply will be dramatically lower. This will create a supply gap which can hardly be closed by growing contributions from other fossil, nuclear or alternative energy sources in this time frame.”

    With increasing costs for gasoline and diesel, along with declining taxes and declining gasoline tax revenues, states and local governments will eventually have to cut staff and curtail highway maintenance. Eventually, gasoline stations will close, and state and local highway workers won’t be able to get to work. We are facing the collapse of the highways that depend on diesel and gasoline powered trucks for bridge maintenance, culvert cleaning to avoid road washouts, snow plowing, and roadbed and surface repair. When the highways fail, so will the power grid, as highways carry the parts, large transformers, steel for pylons, and high tension cables from great distances. With the highways out, there will be no food coming from far away, and without the power grid virtually nothing modern works, including home heating, pumping of gasoline and diesel, airports, communications, and automated building systems.

    It is time to focus on Peak Oil preparation and surviving Peak Oil.
    http://survivingpeakoil.blogspot.com/
    http://www.peakoilassociates.com/POAnalysis.html

  26. Ari 26

    All energy used by humans comes ultimately from the sun (except geothermal I guess) this is for all intents and purpoises a limitless supply

    The sun does produce more energy than we could currently want to use, but we harness a vanishingly small percent of it. Firstly, most of the sun’s energy is fired off into deep space to show up as light in the night sky of very distant planets, and from our perspective is completely wasted. So, let’s focus on the stuff that hits earth, which is a small percentage, but still probably more than enough to run the global economy several times over. Most of the energy we receive from the sun goes to heating the planet so it doesn’t freeze over- obviously even if we could take it all, we would need to leave enough energy as heat to keep the planet hot enough for life to continue at temperatures somewhere above the level of Alaska.

    Some of our sunlight very slowly and inefficiently converts dead trees and other organic matter into coal and oil deposits over thousands of years- this is where a large share of our current energy comes from, and we are using it up much, much faster than it could ever be produced. Some goes into the uneven warming of the air and water that helps generate wind and tidal currents. Geothermal energy in part relies on the heat from the sun in order to capture, (otherwise it would go to thawing the crust slightly) which leaves nuclear energy as the only energy that doesn’t directly come from the sun- however the fuels we use for nuclear conversion are limited in much the same way as oil and coal are, except the event that produces them is even rarer- we’d need more particles carried to us from another nearby supernova in order to get more, and that could do a lot of damage to life on the planet. Not happening any time soon most likely, so nuclear is essentially a time-limited game as well- even if we open up the ability to burn cleaner and more abundant fuels like thorium.

    This is why the conversion to renewable energy is so important: It’s energy that directly or indirectly comes from the sun and will last at least until the thing starts expanding and gets too cold for continued human existence on our planet anyway. Wind has resource consent problems, (although there are many good sites remaining that could easily power much of the country. I think wind is actually the one example where the RMA works too well, as it seems residents’ complaints get taken with gravity that they are not given in other projects) hydro can be very destructive to lakes and is capped by water levels so it is unreliable in dry years, tidal is experimental at the moment and would need considerable encouragement but is much more reliable than either wind or solar and probably even more energy-rich, and finally solar has only just become cheap enough to pay for its own panels relatively quickly and become straight-up competitive with fossil fuels without considering its environmental impacts.

  27. Sam P 27

    “and that is the elephant in the room population growth
    like bacteria in a Petri dish keep, expanding till all resources are used up and then die
    It is impossible to have unlimited growth
    Population / resource use has to be more in balance or our grandchildren ain’t going to have a particularly nice time of it,
    Come to think of it a high proportion of the worlds grandchildren ain’t having a nice time of it now”

    I agree that resources need to be better distributed, but it is also important to acknowledge that none of these arguments are new, in fact 200 years ago people were thinking that the world was going to end because of over-population and insufficient food (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Malthus) but there are 6 times more people on the planet now then there were 200 years ago, so maybe there is some credit in the ‘technology will save us’ argument??? Personally I am not convinced but don’t know enough

    Also Ari ..

    “tidal is experimental at the moment and would need considerable encouragement but is much more reliable than either wind or solar and probably even more energy-rich”>

    Check out http://www.awatea.org.nz .. I read an article by these guys saying that if experiments with seafloor turbines works out as expected, NZ would be able to increase its electricity production by 150% by using only 100km2 of sea floor in the Cook Strait … so there is hope for our carbon footprint!

  28. Matthew Pilott 28

    Did anyone else read Darren Rickard’s contibution? That guy is a friggin’ GENIUS! I’m surprised that anyone commented subsequent to his magnificent contibution without mentioning it. I guess you’re all just in awe of The Rickard’s Awesomeness. Fair enough. How can an ‘outlook on life’ be ‘tenuous’, Darren? For a one-liner you’ve done a poor job – 12 words and you can’t even put a real sentence together.

    VTO: Interesting that you agree with ieuan. Do you agree with this statement: “…and people will look for other types of energy that due to the increased cost of oil are now competitive and viable. because it is pretty much the fundamental point. There’s a large source of energy that to utilise, all we had to do was dig a hole, and set up an infrastructure to utilise it. Now we have to dig holes in difficult and expensive places. So, it’s going to be very hard to dig a hole, and the energy per hole dug will decrease. This means the cost of energy will go up.

    How many dollars per kilojoule do you think it is to dig a hole and wait for black stuff to bubble up?

    What is looking like a viable replacement, at the same price? Nothing thus far – hence the problem.

    I’m not sure what ‘track’ you’re talking about, but fact is you don’t get to decide what it is by making the odd veiled comment from the sidelines.

    Greg: Finally, your hypocrisy annoys me. Your inability to grasp simple logic annoys me. One body of science is right, thus ALL SCIENCE IS RIGHT. GREG HATH SPOKEN. Violate this and a hypocrite ye shall be branded.

  29. Ari 29

    Check out http://www.awatea.org.nz .. I read an article by these guys saying that if experiments with seafloor turbines works out as expected, NZ would be able to increase its electricity production by 150% by using only 100km2 of sea floor in the Cook Strait so there is hope for our carbon footprint!

    Oh, I knew it was promising already, but thankyou. I just mean that unless heavily subsidised it’s a ways off yet.

    And indeed, with a little more investment, New Zealand should not only have no problem meeting our existing power needs purely from renewable energy, (with fossil fuels as emergency backups) but also using the excess from tidal to power electric car networks and battery-swapping stations, and perhaps even export products produced with renewable electricity to other nations. It would be an excellent way to move our manufacturing sector forward.

  30. Mr Magoo 30

    Ari:
    yes, tidal generation is a really exciting prospect. A shame the tidal generation test in the kaipara was brought to its knees with the RMA. But there you go.

    However I would be wary of the claims made by those with the most to benefit. In my experience their predicts are intentionally naive and unrealistic.

  31. Matthew Pilott 31

    If anyone has responded I can’t see it – still having that caching issue which is making commenting rather impractical and this site mostly unusable, unfortunately…

  32. Greg 32

    Red.
    “there are no feasible technical options for substituting the vast amount of energy oil provides us at present.’

    This is the case because they are not necessary at the current point in time. The price of oil is not high enough. Go back to my original post and you’ll see how these feasible options will develop as the price rises.

    “Productivity is not a magic dust that when sprinkled on an economy makes everyone wealthier. Productivity is the ratio of output versus inputs. The main driver that improves this ratio is improved technology, which in turn is entirely dependent on available energy.’

    Well if productivity were a ‘magic dust’ when sprinkled over the economy it would make everyone wealthier, surely you can see that. But sadly, as you point out, it isn’t as easy as that. You assume that the rate at which the cost of energy increases is greater than the rate at which technology improves. This of course is not the case, for as technology improves (which as you say increases productivity), the price of energy also falls RELATIVE to what it otherwise would be with increased demand. Technology does not come entirely at the expensive of energy, because it also creates it.

    Chris.
    “greg seems to think peak oil is a myth because of supply and demand. Read any papers in the journals on the topic of oil recently? ‘Oh no not ‘dem socialist scientists!’ – riiiight.’

    Perhaps ‘myth’ was a more emotive word than necessary. My point was that supply and demand will ensure we develop other viable energy sources before peak oil occurs, therefore stopping it in its tracks.

    Matthew.
    “Greg: Finally, your hypocrisy annoys me. Your inability to grasp simple logic annoys me. One body of science is right, thus ALL SCIENCE IS RIGHT. GREG HATH SPOKEN. Violate this and a hypocrite ye shall be branded.’

    I wasn’t talking about right and wrong Matthew. My view is that both the majority and minority deserve to be heard. My point was that if you are in the minority on climate change you are branded loony and personally attacked by Steve. Yet if you are in the minority on economic issues you are praised. I find this hypocritical.

  33. Hi Steve,

    I would like to point out that most economists would agree with a large part of what you are saying – you are describing a physical process which human action occurs within and the limits associated with that process. However, using it as a critique of “neo-classical economics” seems a bit off to me.

    Neo-classical economics is a broad term for a conceptual framework that gives us scope to look at human action in the face of scarcity (it is the study of the allocation of scarce resources given then assumption of methodological individualism – contrary to other schools which may use a more holistic frame for human behaviour). The idea of “limited natural capital” is indeed part of this framework and, although I agree with your implicit claim that the trade-off can be under weighted in economic debate, it is definitely not ignored by economists.

    Your critique seems to be more closely against Keynesianism. Strict Keynesianism does not have a supply side – resources just appear and are used, implying that we can just grow perpetually. Economists have moved well beyond this view.

    Furthermore, we all agree that the “solow residual” is heavily underdefined by economists. Work by Romer et al has tried to uncover some of the basis of the residual (namely the existence of returns to scale) – however, the very uncertain nature of technological progress makes it a difficult factor to ever try to understand.

    Still, definitely an interesting issue, thanks for the post.

  34. Peak oil is a nonsense, designed by the left to tax us more through nutcase green technology that is inefficient and expensive.

    The world has hundreds of years of oil left to use. Bugger off and let us use it.

  35. terence 35

    RedLogix,

    Matt has the answer you’re looking for: it’s Solow (as in Robert Solow) not “Sowol”.

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    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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